While some of us are still desperately clutching onto the festive season, for others, Christmas is truly over. The turkey’s been eaten (along with the cheese, the pork, the stuffing, the trifle and everything else in the fridge), the empty champagne bottles have been flung into the recycling bin and, for most of us, we are back in the office after a very sleepy and miserable commute.
Open any newspaper or magazine at this time of year, and you can be sure to find the exact same article: ‘Lose a stone in a week’, ‘The best detox-diet’, ‘New Year health kick 101’.
Turn on the TV or scroll through social media – everyone is talking about weight loss, gym-memberships, and extreme-diets.
So are you ready to embark on a New Year health kick? How about a grapefruit only diet? Or no carbs? No alcohol? Or perhaps, religiously committing to a protein shake every morning?
While I won’t be joining in with one of those torturous military-style weekend boot-camps in some sodden park, with ex-soldiers screaming at me for not jumping high enough, not holding the plank long enough or not sweating fast enough. I will be questioning my food and exercise choices, in hope to tone-up, feel fit and get rid of the Christmas bulge.
Eating well can be a challenge, especially when there is an overwhelming range of advice on the internet. It can be tough not to get sucked into the detox industry with adverts coolly showing cucumbers splashing into water and models draping themselves haughtily next to a pile of vegetables.
But is a one-week starvation diet really the answer?
Whether you decide to cut dairy from your diet, drink 3 litres of water a day, attend that gruelling weekly spin class or start logging your calories on the MyFitnessPal app, make sure you set realistic goals and remember that the only person that’s going to change the overcommitted, twitter-junkie, ice-cream-addicted version of the ‘Old You’ is the ‘New You’.
But don’t just rely on that January feeling of fresh starts and new beginnings to give you the kick of willpower you need in order to wake-up at 5.30am for the gym. Concentrate on the ‘Present You’ – the one that needs to see your friends, to over-indulge on chocolate and date disastrous, yet handsome, people – because if the ‘Present You’ is happy, you won’t be pretending to be the kind of person who goes for a morning jog, or the kind of person who eats Rainbow Roasted Vegetable Salads for lunch, you will just become them.
Today is the first day of the rest of your week. Vow to do that thing, once. Today. Now. Which will make you feel happier and healthier. Then, go repeat.