herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Putting life in order is a year-long goal

IS there anything more depressing than starting a diet in January? I mean, it's the coldest month of the year, it's dark, everybody is broke and the summer holidays seem a million years away. And yet, here we are being bombarded with diet books.

They say the most popular books in the world are cook books and diet books. So I guess you got the cookbook for Christmas, went crazy for the next few days trying out all the recipes and are now in a hurry to lose all the extra lard before you get back to work.

I was browsing online the other day and noticed that glamorous TV presenter Christine Bleakley has a fitness DVD out. I have always thought Christine had an amazing body, but I don't think buying her DVD will make any difference to my own out-of-shape figure. Surely those celebrity DVDs are usually made by former-chubby soap stars, or reality stars who have transformed from ugly ducklings into swans? Christine has always been a beautiful swan!

Years ago I bought a Claudia Schiffer DVD work-out, sat down with a cigarette, and watched the whole thing before putting it back on the shelf never to be watched again. Unfortunately, we live in a country where outdoor exercise isn't always possible, although I do make sure to play tennis hail, rain or snow.

I hate gyms, hate the testosterone and hate that the person running behind you has a view of your wobbling bum as you pound the treadmill. So this year, I have hired my own treadmill to run in front of my own TV with only the cat casting a critical eye on me from the comfort of his cushion.



Pressure

I think we put terrible pressure on ourselves to turn around our lives. No wonder most New Year's resolutions are abandoned mid-January! I make out a list every year with 10 things to do. Half of them are very achievable and half are challenging. I hide my list away somewhere that nobody will see it (it's too embarrassing to stick it on the front of the refrigerator along with a fat photo!).

Last year I ticked off seven of my 10 goals. But I never try to change my life around completely in January because then I would fail at the first hurdle. I sometimes think that squirrels have got it right. They hibernate for the winter with their stash of nuts only to re-emerge when the evenings get brighter and spring is on its way. But, alas, we can't just disappear for January and February with our summer brochures to wonder which resort we'll hit in sunny July, so let's enjoy every single month and not wish our lives away.

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