New year, new you, blah blah blah
You're bloody great as you are, says Roxy Bourdillon
New year, same old twaddle. Every January, diet companies and gossip mags start ramming their “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH! YOU ARE TOO MUCH! STOP CRYING AND BUY THIS!” agenda down your throat when all you want down your throat is a bottle of vino and a whopping wedge of Victoria sponge. Everyone in the office is babbling about their latest miracle diet – “I’ve already passed out twice today so it must be working” – it’s amazing their mouths can move so fast when they haven’t consumed calories since December 31. It’s making you (ok, me) feel like a frumpy failure.
I don’t blame the dieters. I’ve been there and bought the “but-it’ll-look-great-when-I-lose-10-pounds” t-shirt. I’ve invested, emotionally and financially, in the makeover myth – the false promise that if only I could make myself less, I would become so much more. I’ve been fat and I’ve been slightly less fat, but I get the same niggling feeling every year without fail. “Come on, chubster! Put down that doughnut and reach for that dumbbell. Stop being so gluttonous and embrace clean living – whatever the KitKat Chunky that is!
But this year, I say “no more”. Except to the question, “Would you like fries with that?” I urge you to join me. I’m not suggesting you take up chain smoking for a lark and start injecting lard directly into your veins, but surely there must be a way to be healthier and, crucially, happier without putting your body and your self-esteem through such torture. Why do we believe that in order to reach the holy grail of loving yourself you have to wade through the merciless sludge of properly hating yourself first? It’s time to give up giving stuff up.
Speaking of abstaining from abstinence, Dry January can fuck right off. As if the first month of the year isn’t depressing enough. Everyone’s a grumpy-chops, it’s nippier than Jennifer Aniston in Friends and Christmas is a distant memory that’s left you with nothing but insurmountable credit card debt and a mean case of indigestion. Yet half the population, possibly still blotto from New Year’s, proclaim it the ideal time to cut out the one thing that makes the bleak mid-winter a smidgen more bearable. Dryathletes’ blood alcohol content may be low, but their being-a-total-bore-rating is off the scale. Time that used to be spent getting pissed and oversharing with strangers is now devoted to posting selfies with wheatgrass smoothies, making you silently wish Facebook would invent a Sod Off You Smug Git reaction.
Read the rest of this article in the January issue of DIVA, available to buy in print or digitally here.
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