With another January over, it’s time to reflect on what always promises to be a month of fresh starts and new habits, out with the old and in with the #NewYearNewMe. In reality, it’s when you’re huddled under a duvet at 4pm on New Year’s Day, the ebb and flow of waves of nausea and remorse submerging you in a pit of doom that Lucifer himself would be repulsed by – this year, you decide, you’ll be better. Healthier. Smarter. Fitter. Your intentions can be golden but unless you have the willpower of gargantuan proportions, more often than not you unceremoniously stumble into one of the following categories:
1. Clarissa the Clean-ish Eater
After weeks of overindulgence, the inability to say no to a leftover mince pie and a raging sugar addiction to rival that of the Cookie Monster, Clarissa has decided that January will behold only the most clean and pure of foods. No sugar, no processed foods, only organic fat-free salt-free sugar-free fun-free foods made by artisanal communities based in the foothills of Patagonia will do.
Expectations: Aesthetically pleasing plant-based meal-prepped lunches worthy of a separate Instagram account, and a healthy glow of someone who has both trebled the amount of nutrients in their diet and a smugness of superior eating that just radiates. #CleanEating
Reality: Folding the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream carton inside out in the recycling bin so that her eternally-preached-to housemates can’t see the evidence of a broken resolution.
2. Seb and his slightly-less-wet January
It was the ninth shot of Sainsbury’s Basics vodka that really pushed Seb over the edge in the wee hours of 1st January. His decision to do #DryJanuary was beneficial to both his financial status and the state of his renal system.
Expectations: With the extra pounds gained in his pockets and the loss of them around his waist, Seb would be able to make so much more of his time – think of the extra hours he’d gain not having those Big Nights Out, and the subsequent hours spent consuming a large Domino’s and a family pack of Alka-Seltzer! Maybe he would take up running, maybe he would do a night class, maybe this would take years off him…
Reality: Seb is still paying back his colleague Bryan, who kindly paid the nice Uber driver for the deep clean of the car. It turns out that two weeks no alcohol + Sue’s leaving drinks + ‘Just a half’ + zero booze tolerance = not a great idea.
3. Allie and the athletic aesthetic
Allie has decided that this is the year. THIS is when she finally completes a Tough Mudder, that triathlon and the Three Peaks challenge with the ease of an Olympian. She knows she can do it – she used to be on the county team for Under-11s Cross Country – and 2017 is the time she finally gets off the settee and does it.
Expectations: Although it’s a rocky start, Allie takes to the treadmill and weights like a duck to water, wowing her friends, colleagues, and fellow gym members with her amazing progress. Protein brands approach her to be an ambassador, and her Instagram following will rocket due to the copious amounts of #FitFam and #GirlsWhoLift tags on pictures of her wearing a sportswear wardrobe that costs as much as a family of four spends on food each month.
Reality: After tweaking her wrist trying to bench 10kg, Allie has spent the majority of January loitering in Tesco, juice bars, the park, and at home in her overpriced, underused gym kit, to give the illusion that she is a slave to exercise and thus a healthier, more whole person than you.
4. Barney and the pseudo-intellectual intent
Barney has just purchased the works of Dostoyevsky from Amazon, and can’t wait to sink his teeth into some great literature. Knowledge is power and he wants it all.
Expectations: This year, Barney is going to conquer his inability to get through more than the first four chapters of ANY book (Rick Stein, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Marie Kondo – you name it, Barney hasn’t finished it), expand and nourish his mind, and to be able to pass a cutting comment when Sven from Accounts launches into one of his long-winded literary existentialism rants that just really don’t set the right mood for your 11am cup of tea.
Reality: Sven resigned, so without the need to take the literature snob down a peg or two, Crime and Punishment is now acting as a stupendous prop to hold Barney’s kitchen window open when he cooks. He sounded like a prat on the tube trying to sound out the names in the first three pages, anyway.
To all of those brave soldiers who marched through the guilt and struggle of a New Year’s resolution in January, we salute you. You lasted longer than we did.
*Fits whole Krispy Kreme Maple Crunch doughnut in mouth in one go*03.02.17 Archive