Shaving off the Christmas weight


Ding dong.



Happy New Year!

Oh, God I need to lose weight.

Each year, deep in the bleak midwinter, we all stay up far past our bedtimes and shout and cheer for ten minutes to celebrate the incremental change of a large number in a system someone invented two thousand and thirteen years ago. We all claim to have a great time, then get home as fast as we can, collapse into bed at 12:15, then wake up in the morning, hung over, and decide to give up crisps.Well maybe that’s just me. A few minutes before midnight on 31 December 2012, I weighed fourteen stone, eleven pounds and three-quarters. True to my word to my brother, I downed two pints of water to reach a nice round fifteen stone, the heaviest I have ever been in my life.As a reference for any readers who come from a more progressive or more American country, there are 454 grams in a pound, and fourteen pounds in a stone. I’ll let you do the math(s).

So there I was, futuristic scales groaning underneath me while calculating my BMI and body fat percentage (which, it decided, was enough to classify me as “obese”) and I pondered on how I was going to get back to my nice healthy ideal weight of 12½ stone.

The first thing I decided was to stop eating five meals a day. There was one day over the Christmas holidays in which I ate a full breakfast and a full lunch, then had a Wetherspoon’s roast dinner in the middle of the afternoon, an entire pizza, a plate of chips and garlic bread for dinner, and a large packet of Dorito’s to tide me over till bedtime. I found that for a few days afterwards I couldn’t sit down without hurting my chest, and I decided it would be best to stick to just the three.

Secondly, I needed to stop watching television. In the midst of deadlines last semester, I never thought I’d be able to spend four hours each afternoon watching darts, but somewhere between the 21st and 30th of December, my standards dropped considerably. Anyway, I got my trainers on and went out for a run. I nearly threw up after twenty minutes and turned back, but I felt better for it.

After thirty days of intensive dieting and not-so-intensive dieting, at last measurement, I’ve managed to lose 17 pounds. So as a fleeting success story who hasn’t descended into relapse and surrender yet, I feel it is my duty to share what I’ve learned about weight loss and other new year’s resolutions with you, my loyal and dedicated readers.

Tip #1: Be ambitious. Why try to lose three stone in three months when you can attempt to lose it in three weeks? Remember, the sooner you hit your target, the sooner you can carry on eating pizza every night.

Tip #2: Everyone cares about your endeavours, so make sure you give everyone constant updates on how you’re doing. Explain your entire strategy and progress to anyone who’ll listen, and even people who won’t. Preferably start a blog. Everyone loves blogs.

Tip #3: Include other people in your resolutions. If you manage to stop smoking or taking heroin, make sure you tell everyone else how great you feel and put pressure on them to quit as well. They’ll really appreciate the attention you’re paying them and they might even ask your advice in the future.

Of course, some people don’t have the immense strength and willpower I have. One housemate of mine, in fact the bloodsucking business manager of this very publication, recently paid for membership of the East Sands gym, ten minutes’ walk away from where we live. He has visited at least twice in the last five months, and he drove there. Of course, it’s not our fault that we’re so bad at applying moderation to our lives. It’s the fault of society. When Nestlé bring out four new limited edition flavours of Kit Kat Chunky, what are we supposed to do except try them all in swift succession and decide which one is the best? When The Rule’s cooked breakfast is down to £1.87 for the whole of January, how can we help but go and buy one every morning?

In the old days of rationing and sprinting towards bomb shelters, it was easy to keep slim, but nowadays we are LITERALLY FORCED BY CAPITALISM to eat as many calories and as few vitamins as Tesco will provide. Perhaps one day, under a different government, things might change. Until then, we’ll all have to struggle on and rely on expensive healthcare to keep our horribly unfit bodies alive in our autumn years.

Happy new year, everyone!



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