“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond” Mae West
It’s that time of the year again when everyone is either dieting, talking about dieting, on a diet, on a weight management program or weight loss program. It’s as though a memo went out and perhaps on some subconscious level one did. It’s the start of a new year, the holiday excesses are taking their toll as clothes feel just that little bit smaller, the waist looking just that little bit bigger. Fruit replaces fruit cake, water and green tea replace mulled wine and cocktails, and “sure why not” has become “no thanks ,I’m trying to be good”. Suddenly everyone’s conversation is littered with words like ‘sins’ or ‘points’ or whatever jargon belongs to their particular method. In the big picture, no pun intended, this is all good as we all know from how often the media likes to tell us, that obesity levels are constantly on the increase and the average size is no longer a 12 but a 14. So in some way it is a good thing that people are taking action, taking back control of their bodies and are actively trying to lower their BMI. However given that the weight loss industry is a billon dollar one,(I say dollar because I just think it sounds better than euro even though euro is more correct and is even more money)I find myself being just a little cynical about the whole thing and wonder instead if, in many cases, their efforts would be best served elsewhere. I accept that there are the few who have significant weight loss with some of these diets/programs but for countless others they become a lifelong obsession, one that sees their weight fluctuate like property prices. The idea of restriction, of denial just seems essentially flawed to me. I prefer the idea of balance, of allowing some, some chocolate, some cake, some pizza, some wine but also some exercise. Not the fanatical ‘must run 10k every morning before 6am’, but more walk everywhere, or least as must as is feasible. Incorporate walking into your lifestyle so that exercise is part of your life not a forced, something that you must do. Rather than denying yourself only to then run amok once the diet fails, which inevitably it does, keep a check on things. All things in moderation and all that. And finally then when those jeans, or dress are just that little bit tighter than you remember them, blame the dryer and wear some extra sparkly jewelry to draw attention away from the troubled spots!