Mid-January, still fat from Christmas, have already broken all of my resolutions. To be fair, I think that this year I’d slightly overreached myself with twelve; the most I’ve ever managed to stick to in the past being four. And I think that they were overly interconnected, so failure in one area inevitably dominoed into failure all round. For instance, I resolved to be more organised at work, with one monster planning session at the beginning of the week rather than frantic last minute scrabbling sessions each day. This would give me time to write each day. And my next resolution was to write each day. Needless to say, I’m no more organised now than I ever was, and have written exactly 140 words this year.
Some of the resolutions were quite frankly, unreasonable, like the decision to wear nice underwear every day. The logic behind this was that life is somewhat grey and ordinary these days, and I have a tendency during the winter months to remember how much I hate the world, people, and leaving the house. Wearing nice underwear makes me feel pretty, even if noone knows I’m wearing it, therefore helping to transform me into a marginally nicer, friendlier, more outgoing version of my sulky self. But look. The boyfriend is working overseas. Noone is ever going to check. There is absolutely no incentive to stick with this. And if I should be rushed to hospital after some unforeseen accident, and there humiliated by my ugly granny pants? I’ve been taken to hospital exactly twice in my life. Once aged four after a playground fall resulting in a nasty gash on my chin. I remember every detail of this visit. I turned into a child of Satan at the first sight of a needle and it took every member of staff available to pin me down whilst the doctor hurriedly stitched me up and my mother cowered, mortified, behind the cubicle curtain. I was probably sporting very respectable undergarments that day, as my mother is something of a stickler for that sort of thing, but I am one hundred percent sure that nobody at the hospital checked them. My second visit, during my student years, is rather less clear in my mind, dazed as I was by the eight foot fall down the stairs. However, I woke up the next morning in the same outfit that I’d been wearing at the time of the fall, now nicely set off by some very fetching blue plastic hospital issue slippers. My housemates spared me no detail as they filled me in on my behaviour whilst concussed (half an hour speaking only in French, shrieking that they all hated me at the top of my voice, having to be tied to the stretcher chair by the paramedics etc). It seems unlikely that had there been any sort of embarrassing revealing of substandard underwear, they would have foregone the delight of telling me about it. So I find it hard to take the ‘hit by a bus, shamed by knickers’ scenario seriously.
Basically, I’m blaming my lack of success on the resolutions themselves, which now seem to me to be a bizarre hotchpotch of the overambitious and the irrelevant. My answer to this: I’m giving up my resolutions.
The thing is, it’s mid-January and I feel like crap. My Christmas fat has this year abandoned its usual home of stomach/thighs, and has taken up residence on my face. Normally this would be a cause for celebration, my clothes still fit me, I still have good legs. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, the boyfriend is overseas, and the only part of me that he gets to see during our daily Skype chat is my face. Moreover, he’s been using this time apart to do all of the things there’s usually no time for, like going to the gym and taking long walks, whereas I’ve been using it to watch tv whilst eating fondant icing out of a bowl. He’s getting more chiseled and cheek boney by the day, and I’m starting to look like the man in the moon. There need to be some changes.
I saw a commercial a few years ago saying that you should just focus on one thing at New Year, rather than trying to give everything up at once. This seems like sound advice for someone who made twelve resolutions and kept none. I need to start small. And obviously it needs to be something that makes me feel healthy again.
The current recommendation is that we should all be eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. I saw on QI that that’s not actually as many as we should be eating, that’s just the most that our government feels that they can persuade us to eat. Now I am not anti-vegetables, it’s just that in our house they are more of an accompaniment to the main event (the meat). In my mind, five portions of fruit and veg doesn’t leave a lot of space for anything else. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten five in one day.
So here’s my new resolution: five portions of fruit and vegetables per day for five days. I’ve been to the supermarket. I’ve bought carrots, plums, courgettes, broccoli, leeks. I’ve bought an aubergine which I have no idea how to cook. I’m already feeling energised and I haven’t even eaten any of it yet.
I can see some problems ahead. I eat breakfast on the train and take a packed lunch to work, so portability is normally the main factor in my food choice. I can’t peel an orange on a packed commuter train. If lunch doesn’t fit in a ziplock bag, I’m not having it. Nevertheless, I am determined to succeed.
I’ll keep posting throughout the week; successes, failures, any exciting recipes I come across. I’d welcome suggestions and advice, even better would be some company on this mini adventure (adVEGure? Too cheesy?). So go on, join me, it’s a fairly easy way to feel smug and virtuous and it’s only five days. Who’s in? Write a blog post about your experience and I’ll reblog it here too.