How’s the new regime going?
The “new you” that you promised yourself last year? Not good? Don’t despair! You’re not alone.
Part of what makes it tough is that you’re never quite sure if it’s worth it. Deep down we suspect that life is, in fact, a genetic lottery. You can take the very best care of yourself and still drop dead at forty or you can abuse your body and still be hauling your scraggy carcass around nightclubs well into your sixties. Bruce Lee has been dead for years and Peter Stringfellow is still laughing on his speedboat with his stupid mane of hair and his big grey tits flapping in the breeze…it’s understandably galling. It makes no sense. But the very reason these quirks of nature are so visible is precisely because they shirk expectation. So don’t be fooled – it is still worth it.
And yes it’s hard. Until you actually try to get fit and stay that way you’ll have no concept of how hard, as an adult, it is. No concept mainly because you’ve been misled by magazines. Magazines that promise that you can “drop 2 dress sizes in 2 weeks”. Which of course you “can” – if you have violent dysentery or if you exist on rainwater and your own toenails, but you can’t do it safely, healthily or permanently.
Don’t be fooled by magazines’ supposed examples to prove it’s true. “LOOK EVERYONE here’s healthy happy Kerry Katona doing it and surely she eats food from Iceland”. She’s on the prawn ring / profiteroles diet. Scant weeks later she’ll be back in the same magazine under the headline “Belly Fatona lets herself go – nation fears for her health”
For the magazines it’s a circus, a fairground hall of mirrors which has really nothing to do with health and everything to do with bikinis.
If you’ve had kids it’s even worse:
They’ll have articles about supermodel mothers proclaiming they were back in their size zero jeans a quarter of an hour after giving birth to massive triplets and before the placenta came out: ready to wow the paparazzi and presumably the midwives in tiny blood drenched denim. As if society is really standing in the maternity ward with a stop-watch and a little black dress, desperate to make you feel inadequate. Talk about a “bloody show”.
And it’s just as bad for the boys, worse perhaps because men don’t want to be thin, not really, they want to be “ripped”. Men’s magazines guarantee “a six pack in six days” which is barely enough time to read this article, let alone grow the chiseled abs of He-Man in time for the summer. They’re just SELLING YOU STUFF really, for every decent article on running plans there are a hundred trying to sell you ever bigger jars of creatine or “luminous solar powered GPS sweatbands” or spray-on hair. Page after page of deeply unconvincing before and after pictures. Men who look like they’ve been painted orange and are just “breathing in” alongside their “old selves”. Men who have painted the bald patch with shoe polish and now “get all the girls”.
And although we can laugh at the obviousness of this trick the glossy magazines are doing exactly the same thing – only better.
And when you realise that it can’t be done as quickly as you’d hoped it can take the wind out of your sails. So there is a period of adjustment where you have to realign your expectations, where you realise that unless you do it slowly and sensibly it can never be a permanent thing, that actually it’s not about a concentrated effort in order to look good for a specific occasion but it’s a change of lifestyle forever. Or at least a good long time. For that you need the support of friends and the advice of people that have done it.
As far as I’m concerned the best thing you can do is reduce your intake of processed rubbish and stop buying these magazines.