Yes, it’s that time of the year. Resolutions abound to get fitter, lose weight, drink less, eat less, exercise more, start yoga ….
There’s some truth to this somewhat predictable way of thinking – personal trainers in gyms up and down the country report boosts in new clients in January. And I had my busiest period ever the week just after Christmas. But I wonder if this was not so much a shared determination by clients to look after themselves better as simply a way to escape the stresses of the festive season?
I used to have a house in Devon and every Boxing Day, the beaches would be full of people walking up and down the promenades or along the beaches themselves, glowing with the relief of getting out of the house at last.
For me, Christmas is for children and as I don’t have any, I simply enjoy the time to read, catch up on films and continue eating and drinking well in the way I do all the time.
This year I took the train from London to Italy – the Dolomites – where I cocooned myself in a really splendid hotel with three excellent restaurants. I didn’t eat more than I would normally except at breakfast. The breakfast was such a fantastic display of goodies – cheeses and hams, five types of muesli and so many other cereals, yoghurts and a multitude of different Austrian and Italian breads and Viennoiserie, plus cakes and rolls and buns and all manner of fruit – that I was unable to hold back.
Fortunately, I began the day with a 5k run and kept pretty active while on holiday so the scales didn’t look too bad by the time I got back home. I have only ever been on one diet in my life and that was just an experiment last year to see what it was like to live on 800 calories per day for a week – actually not too gruelling but then I do live with an Italian cook. So no diets or fads will occupy my days as we embark on 2019. I can, though, feel the pressure building to take up yoga – I’ve been putting it off for about 30 years now. But I might just manage to hold it off for another year. After all, one of the pleasures of the new year is being able to ignore all the cries to change and continue on just as you were before.