Monday, 12 January 2009

Like a Phoenix from the Flames (Possibly)

This New Year, like every other before it, I have drawn up a veritable hot-list of resolutions just made to be broken by mid January. It does not help that these are made on New Year’s Eve, by far drunkest time in most peoples’ calendars.

The first (and arguably the most important of them all) of my resolutions was made outside a club, in a fag-balanced-on-lip-and-holding-another stance: give up smoking. A friend recently (and very cautiously!) pointed out that phrasing this resolution as ‘giving up’ was to imply that the thing being renounced had started life as something good. Really, she chided, smoking was not all it was cracked up to be. “How would you know?” I muttered ominously, violently sucking on a biro.

Giving anything up cold turkey is difficult-for someone with all the willpower of a limp towel its damn near impossible. I decided phase one was to stop smoking during the day, a sort of desperate bid to return to the early, honeymoon stage of my addiction: social smoking. This one’s actually going quite well except I do find I have started to go out a little more and stay out a lot later…

This brings me to the second of my top three resolutions (I’m going to stop at three: it would take far too long to detail the other ten!). On an average 2008 night out, I could be found safely tucked up in Shoreditch’s Kebab Zero by 3.00am. That glorious ship has sailed: it’s ‘goodbye’ succulent, alcohol-quelling lamb Doner and ‘hello’ fresh green beans etc. Excellent. Try pairing a lack of deliciously un-healthy food with a shortage of 20 Marlborough Lights in your pocket. It really is a recipe for disaster-and that’s without a monthly bout of PMT.

Lastly, because I like to really rub myself up the wrong way, I have started to exercise again. This is an interesting one: no matter how many new exercise DVDs are advertised, I always return to my old faithful: Elle Macpherson’s ‘The Body Workout’. My routine is simple. I watch a bit of Elle in all her annoyingly toned, tanned glory and then jump around like an uncoordinated (pale) gazelle. My housemate who lives in the room below mine then gets concerned for the welfare of his ceiling. After a while, I get bored and sit on my bed for the remainder of the tape (to be truthful there is more sitting than jumping involved). But do not fear: I have more determination than this nonsense. After repeating the aforementioned routine at least twice in one week (for one week) I then decide that the tape is not working and join a local gym. I go for at least two months (last year it was three!) then either move house or just stop going, whichever comes first. I finish up by whinging about how difficult it is to cancel a gym membership to anyone who’ll listen: at least they then know that I once, albeit many months ago, frequented a place of exercise.

I think 2009 could be the year that I achieve at least one of these three hallowed goals. It really has to be: I have made the same ones for a very long time. Another option is to do as the sensible do: invent a need to give up something I don’t do: perhaps next year this could be smoking…or eating rubbish food…or exercising more…or…

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