How are you getting on with your resolutions? Have you collapsed headfirst into a tiramisu yet? Lost all feeling in your thighs? Have you had a breakdown in the supermarket, entering with a shopping list of quinoa, beetroot and kale and leaving in tears with 12 tubs of butter?
I can’t stand new years resolutions, aka, the annual flogging and gruel parade. I personally think it’s a miracle there aren’t more kale-related attacks at this time of year. I keep expecting to walk into my local grocer’s and see people lobbing mushrooms at one another, giggling uncontrollably and shouting FATTY BOOM BOOM.
The worst is the magazines, which are all crammed full of tips on how to create a fab, amazing, glitzy, shiny awesome Brand New You! Because clearly the old you is a bit shit, isn’t it? There’s the workout ‘fashion special’, which is invariably leggings and a crop top. A crop top. What celery-encrusted witch makes you wear a crop top after two months of eating tiny sausages with a trowel? Fetch me a t-shirt. Fetch me a kaftan. Fetch me an Uber and some garlic bread.
Then Gwyneth Paltrow invariably gets rolled out with a cleansing hummus and kale vaginal wrap or some other weird trend to steam, tone, trim, spritz, shame, lecture or fumigate your sour, post-Stilton clunge: new year, new noo! Everyone knows that in January your vagina is good for nothing but gently marinating in a gravy-boat of gin.
All the chefs flog recipes that cost a fortune to make because you can’t use sugar or salt or fat or oil so instead everything’s “dotted” with chia seeds or pine nuts or micro-cress that cost 8 quid a bag. ‘Garnish with micro-cress’ is possibly the most aggressively hateful phrase in the English language. What even is it? Cress is already so damn small and pointless. “Garnish with air,” “garnish with hope”, “garnish with memories of happier lunches.” Maybe I should cut out the middle man and just garnish my lunches with fistfuls of pound coins.
It’s not the health thing – healthy is good, I like healthy. I just hate how it’s all or nothing: Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits, biscuits, CABBAGE AND DEATH. Why can’t we be more measured? A 50% reduction in biscuits and a 25% increase in cabbage and death, slowly working our way up to a balance of salt, veg, sugar, fat, carbs, fruit, protein and micro-cress.
This year, I’m rebelling and choosing joy. There’ll be no beetroot or vaginal cleanses or squishing my upper belly fat into a micro t-shirt. Instead, I’ve resolved to visit two countries I’ve never been to before. First up is Bolivia and a sunshine-toasted jolly from La Paz to Lake Titicaca. I can’t wait to explore the quiet, bare beauty of the salt flats sans telefuno. Next is…well, who knows? Maybe the Glacier Express or Jordan or Burma. Maybe St Lucia and a jaunt in the sugar plantations. Salt flats and sugar plantations: now there’s a way to get a fix of the bad stuff.
For me, the new year isn’t about shrinking – it’s about growing. Why start the year feeling guilty, gluttonous and wanting when you can feel excited, inspired and exhilarated? Sure, there might be some beetroot or kale or even – god forbid – micro-cress in the mix at some point, but those things won’t define me or my year.
Wonder, exhilaration, imagination and beauty – these are my resolutions for 2019. Somehow, I doubt I’ll be falling off the wagon anytime soon.
Happy New Year x