Sunday, 28 December 2014

A question of resolve

Within the next couple of weeks there will be a massive surge in new gym memberships as thousands of overweight people finally feel guilty enough about the state they've allowed themselves to get in to declare that their new-year's resolution is to get in shape. I think what they really mean is that they want to change shape - from spherical to something a little more aesthetically pleasing - and hopefully reap the benefits that accompany being less of a bloater such as reduced heart strain, increased energy levels, less joint pain, and better quality sleep.
It only seems to happen after the annual winter binge-fest when the chair is creaking under the added contributions of too much roast dinner, huge tins of Quality Street, and those silly orange and lemon jelly things that nobody would consider buying at any other time of year. People have done the usual thing of hoarding mountains of unhealthy crap over the preceding three months with the sole intention of consuming it all in two days straight, and then they wonder why they feel like shit and why the scales have suddenly developed a calibration fault.
I must admit to not being completely unaffected by this because any time spent at home with little to do results in boredom, and boredom leads to a significant increase in trips to the fridge to look for beer and cold sausages.

I don't know when or why the tradition of new-year resolutions began, but it's a fortunate coincidence for those with this particular affliction.
So as soon as the gym opens in the new year there will be a queue of sweaty faces and wobbly bottoms waiting to sign up for a membership, stealing envious glances at the long-term gym freaks with their perfectly toned bodies encased in all-revealing lycra and their faces wearing an expression of confident superiority.
The new recruits will sign on the dotted line of the direct debit mandate, with a determination to put all their effort into reversing the last few years or decades of self abuse. The scientific formula for the success rate of this is A/100=X where A is the number of new gym members and X is the number of new members who are still attending after the first month.

Some may feel that the gym is a tad expensive in the long term, and that the lycra-clad tofu and lettuce enthusiasts who frequent the gym are too intimidating, and so they opt to purchase their own gym equipment to use at home. Naturally this is doomed to failure because everyone knows that a cross-trainer will be used twice before sitting in the corner of the room being used as a convenient clothes horse until it finds its way onto Ebay.

Another popular resolution is to give up smoking, and again this is a great idea that meets with limited success, despite all the assorted patches and gum on the market. The problem with these things is that all joking aside, they're a fight against an addiction and addictions are hard to break. Whether it's reaching for a last pork pie before bed time, lighting up after a meal, or watching shite TV like Eastenders every day, to the sufferer the attachment to these habits is very real and requires a huge change in thought processes to see any positive result.

For my own part I need to stop constantly fretting over what will happen if the automatic gearbox on my car fails, what car I want to have to replace it, and why it's so hard to find a record shop these days. I want to stop worrying whether my colleagues have any respect for me, wondering if I'm ever likely to be free of pain, and forever trying to find a sense of purpose. In short I want to learn to still my mind and live in the moment.

Therefore to everyone who's going to make a new-year resolution to change something about themselves for the better, whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking or drinking, using the internet for something other than porn, or simply to greet each new day feeling grateful to be alive, I wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavours.

You go, girl.