I think by now it can be considered that my New Year’s resolution not to make any New Year’s resolutions has proven rather successful. However, I do have the feeling that I am personally in need of a refurb. So maybe I should consider a few mid-term resolutions.
Things have slipped a bit on the exercise front of late. Even though I am still paying a gym membership fee, I actually haven’t been to the place for a good few months. I had got into a habit of attending three times a week and the staff even knew me by my first name and then I went on holiday! Although I saw myself as some sort of an Adonis, I don’t think that they had the same impression. Maybe their recall was influenced by the fact that I once fell off the back of a running machine after I had stopped for a rest whilst the machine was still running (and I wasn’t!).
I’m not quite sure that a gym is the answer, I find that as I get older my quotient of technophobia increases exponentially. Most of the machines are highly complicated and the - generally younger - people using them seem to have electrical wire sticking out of their ears and can often be heard singing; although not in unison. I am never really quite sure if singing is de rigueur or not and, in addition, I’m not quite sure how to dress for the occasion. Quite a lot of the participants seem to wear Lycra shorts, which tends to exaggerate all of one’s good bits. The trouble is that they also exaggerate all of the bad bits, and if you haven’t got any good bits, well …
As an alternative I thought that maybe I should try yoga, which I must confess, I initially thought was a healthy dairy product. I did give this a try, but when you are the only male in attendance, and you are wearing your Lycra shorts, you find yourself considering whether you’d be happier falling off the back of the running machine. A gentler and subtler form of this exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates which is supposed to improve your core strength and enhance your sense of well-being. It did occur to me that much the same effect can be achieved by paying a visit to the local pub.
Running was another option to be tried and in the end I was running 5 miles a day. The trouble here was that by the end of the week I was 35 miles away from home!
Diet; now there’s a conundrum, some people might say that they are ‘on a diet’. But a diet is ‘what we habitually eat’. So when somebody says that ‘they are on a diet’ it might just simply mean that they are surviving on variations of a full English breakfast. So if I am going to adjust my eating habits maybe I should make sure that it’s a healthy one. The problem is that official dietary guidelines change from day to day so we never know quite what we should be consuming. Five fruit or vegetables per day was manageable but now it’s up to ten, some nights I lay awake worrying that I’ve only eaten nine - and that includes the sherbet lemon which I had earlier - and then there is the additional worry that if I do go to sleep, I might never wake up!
Maybe I should become a vegan, which seems to be one of the latest trends? This ‘philosophy’ almost seems to have reached the dizzying heights of a religion; and what a complicated business it must be. I guess that you all know that its definition is a person who does not eat or use animal products. Achieving the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates and so on must be a major exercise so they have to be admired – and I say this in order to create an impartial balance for this article.
So I suppose, when the chips are down, and I’m not sure it’s politic to mention chips in this context unless they are cooked in vegetable oil, the best way forward is to approach this subject with moderation. A moderate level of exercise accompanied by a moderate level of food together with a moderate attitude towards life is maybe the best answer.
So after due consideration, the result is that I don’t think I’ll be making any further resolutions for this year. Although I’ve just noticed that if you remove ‘re’ from resolution it’s quite interesting what you are left with!