New Year – New You!

January 6, 2012

It’s 2012, a signal for the new and the opportunity once again to do what you’ve promised since the last millennia: to create a better life. There are many paths to this goal and the numerous books, DVDs and TV shows gathering dust for 11 months of the year, fall over themselves to help you come January 1st. I have distilled this hardy perennial to the simple diagram below, what I’d like to call The Hopeful Circle.

The hopeful circle illustrating new year resolutions

It’s easier to start a January diet in warmer climes. The warmth and brightness of the sun makes it a pleasure to consume meals replete with fruit and vegetables. In La La land, the mere mention of a carbohydrate drives a person to furiously shake the water off their solitary rocket leaf, lest the expansive qualities of the clear liquid pile on the micro-calories. Here in Blighty, we have cold, dark, wind and wet: therefore, we’ll snort chips, pies, pizzas and ale to keep warm. The duvet looks more enticing and inviting than a session at the gym, but the fitness/diet industry continue to put a magnifying glass on our ever increasing gut: like the imminent collapse of the global market and the (potential) ending of the world on the 21st December isn’t already enough to occupy the mind. And speaking of the mind: this is also the time of year where we decide to train our brains like Rocky to be a lean mean wish-making machine. Because dammit, this is the year we win the brilliant job/have a great relationship/forgive our parents/get a dog. Failing this, we leave it all to the alignment of the planets to spell out our (hopefully) beautiful future.

Looking around Waterstones in Piccadilly this week, I found the usual life transforming books and DVDs. But something has changed. Back in the day, a fitness book would have had a basic title like How To Get A Six-Pack, or for a diet book something like The Silly Fad Diet. Not anymore, ladies and gentlemen: the titles are now using the language of self-help books and sometimes it’s hard to know if you should be buffing up your body or invoking your angel. Here are some I found:

You are your own gym book

Trust me, if I was my own gym, I would not be Officially Fat™

Stretch to win book

If I stretched a bit further for the remote control, what would I win?

Get fit for the games book

Wellll, it’s an Olympic year after all. It would be rude not to.

Is it just me, or are sit-ups a waste of time book

Is it just me? Or is this a book title missing an Oprah show?

Alicia Silverstone - the kind diet book

World peace diet book

Diets for the modern age: shift the lard, save the world – winning!



  1. These are funny! Vanity sells a lot of books.

    We are pursuing a different one, the “dog trainer diet”. Next Sunday we will be picking up Superdog #2. She will doubtless drag us all over the neighborhood, up hills and down, each and every day. Last time I lost 15lbs in one month!

    • 15lbs in one month? Maybe I should go on a dog trainer diet!

      Glad to hear about Superdog #2. You’re going to have great fun with this one and I’m sure it will be a success (Mikey will be training a puppy over the next few months to become a most excellent guide dog).

  2. Personally Pie I am in denial about the whole new year, new you business when every day seems to be one of misplaced good intentions.

    I am curious enough about Will Tuttle, Ph.D to go and google him – for someone into spiritual health his taste in graphics is off-putting.

    Keep warm however suits you best and happy new year!

    • Spiritual/self-help books almost always have the most toe-curling awful graphics – it’s the law.

      Misplaced good intentions: that lead to disappointment maybe? Yeah, I know. To be honest, you can become a ‘new you’ anytime you like. You don’t have to wait until January 1st to get on to it.

      • What’s the function of the apple-thing floating on the sea? Or is it perched on a continent?

  3. Talk of reverse psychology… those book titles are just hilarious.

    Holidays make me indulge in such guilty pleasures in terms of food. Since I hate exercising, the best way I plan to keep fit this year is to ensure I eat by 6pm each day. Walk more, drink lots of water and let life be. Simple achievable goals don’t you think?

    • I’ve tried that eat by 6pm thing, but when my stomach calls, I have to listen to it, whether it calls at 8am or 11pm. That’s just the way I roll (in every sense).

  4. Hi
    Can you suggest any exercise that I can do at any time. I mean while reading a novel on a chair, while watching tv, while blogging. I’m much cautious about my physique. I don’t have enough time too.
    Great blog BTW

    • I think wriggling your toes occasionally will cover the stretching. Yawning will get your lungs working: that’s the cardio sorted. Picking up the remote control, a mug of tea/coffee or a can of beer will do for weight training.

      Will that help?

      Welcome to my blog.

  5. Hmm How to stress the toes? Will it work for your whole body?

    • Try it and see!

  6. So many questions raised by your post: What are the resolutions of the skinny? Is my body really a gym, because I thought it’s an auto dealership. And again, why is that apple-thing floating in the ocean? Is it about bobbing for apples?

    But finally: rather than dieting, wouldn’t most of us like to eat every tasty thing we can before we evaporate on the 21st December?

    • Resolutions of the skinny? There must be some, but this industry concentrates so much on the fat amongst us, that people who genuinely want/need to put weight on are often overlooked.

      Your body’s not a gym, but an auto dealership? That’s funny. Mine’s a burger bar with a side order of liquor store.

      Ah, the floating apple. There is clearly some sort of symbolism and deep meaning to it, as befitting a book like this. But what that symbolism is will remain, I’m afraid, a mystery to this blogger.

      In answer to your final question: yes, eat everything! We won’t be leaving this earth alive anyway. Well, maybe an astronaut would, but there’s always the chance they’ll burn up on re-entry. Swings and roundabouts, Jacki, swings and roundabouts.

  7. I haven’t done any sort of excercise yet, unless you count walking down the stairs at a parking garage because the lift was out of order.Who cares, though, right, if we only got until December to make a go of life?

    • Yeah. 11 months and 11 days to be exact. So let’s go for it!

  8. “Here in Blighty, we have cold, dark, wind and wet: therefore, we’ll snort chips, pies, pizzas and ale to keep warm. ”

    Ugh! I hear that, except here in Ottawa-Canada’s capital-we get -20-40C, freezing rain and piles of snow and it doesn’t end until optimistically speaking, April!

    What I’ve started doing is I now wake up an hour earlier and work out to a dvd for half an hour. That way I get it out of the way and have more energy for the rest of the day.

    • Do those DVDs really work? I would’ve thought hopping around the back garden in your underwear at -20-40C would really get your heart racing. Or kill you, whichever comes soonest.

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