New year's diet? No thanks!
Happy 2013. Now, let's all make ourselves miserable by denying ourselves the only good thing about the miserable post-festive season: the leftover Quality Streets, cheeseboards and the last of the slightly stale mince pies.
I've never understood the point of the New Year's diet: why start the year with a fizzle when you've seen it in with a bang? You're already on a post-party comedown, why do you want to make things worse for yourself?
"There's nothing worse than a January dieter."
Sure you're packing a little extra festive padding, but think of it as insulation against the miserable January weather. It's not like anyone is going to force you to prance about in a one piece any time soon. There's precious few good things about January: don't turn yourself into a celery martyr just yet – you'll not only make yourself tired, irritable and miserable, but you'll depress the heck out of the rest of us.
There's nothing worse than a January dieter. In fact, hearing about other people's January diets is the only thing more torturous than being on one yourself.
There's three types of new year dieter: the No Hoper, the Fad Dieter and the Diet Bore. They all start off the same way: their Facebook status updates are so upbeat and optimistic: JOINED GYM. LOL, as they tag themselves in and post photos of their brand new trainers.
The first to fall by the wayside is the No Hoper. Their Facebook status updates start to become fewer and far between and you hope it's just that they've realised they don't have to tell everyone each time they go to the gym for it to count. But then one day you see they've been tagged at Greggs bakery, and you know they're rocking in a corner somewhere, elbow deep in flakey pastry, crying and berating their lack of willpower.
The Fad Dieter will still be blathering on about their quick fix: you can eat anything you want but you have to eat it from the reverse side of a spoon, while standing on one leg. On Wednesdays you wear pink. By week two they have the glazed eyes and fevered expression of a religious convert and the flatulence of a dairy herd. They will have lost 20lbs, but most of it is bone density. By week three, if they haven't already spontaneously combusted after standing too close to a naked flame, they'll look at a chocolate eclair and put all the weight back on again. Plus an extra 5lbs for luck.
The Diet Bore on the other hand will still be updating you on their progress. They will have cut wheat, dairy, red meat and enjoyment from their diets. Each morning they will joyfully Instagram a glass of pond sludge and mutter on about 'reps', 'squats' and 'kettle bells'. They'll stop coming out to the pub, or at least you'll wish they had: because while they're there in body, their calorie starved minds will be calculating the cost of that diet cola against a punishing treadmill regime the next morning. As misery loves company, they'll be sure to inform you how many calories you yourself are consuming (“It's like blending a Mars bar…” “Beer is just liquid bread…” “Empty calories. Emmmppttyyyy caaalllooorriiiesss…”).
They'll go for daily runs that take them farther and farther away, until one day, they reach the end of the Earth and never come back. Either than or they end up on the cover of Men's Health magazine and you're forced to eat your (delicious) words.
Diets don't work at the best of times, let alone when all the odds are stacked against you. January is such a dead elephant of a month – all cold, depressing and grey. You've got no money, you can't be bothered to go out and there's nothing good on the TV – the only thing you have left is comfort eating. Why not wallow is some chocolate-coated misery a while longer? The selection boxes and cheeseboards in Tesco are all half price, and there's still a tub of brandy butter in the cupboard. Added bonus: if we all make this anti-diet pact we'll all look thinner in comparison.