The Hunger Games have started. Tributes have been selected and the game makers are rubbing their hands with glee as another spectacle of control and conformation to societal expectation gets under way.
How boring is this? Another New Year and yet another attempt to lose weight (yawn). I wonder how many of us have chosen to take part and why. How much is down to good intentions and how much to a desire to conform to the media’s unrealistic promotion of a utopian dream of beauty and never ending youthful looks?
Some of you may be spotting a flaw with the maths. After all, New Year started a week ago. However, my logic works like this: I get given chocolate for Christmas; if I don’t finish the chocolate before I go on a diet then I will be unable to resist the chocolate and the diet will fail; there is therefore no point in starting the diet until all the Christmas chocolate has been consumed.
I have a mindset that requires priming. Knowing that I am going to restrict my consumption of food, I need to allow myself all the treats that will be forbidden before I start. By allowing myself to indulge I can resist for longer once I move into the arena. The trick is to make noticeable progress that I will be inspired to maintain before my resolve weakens. For me, this is the hardest part.
I have been trying to lose weight since I was a teenager. Think Bridget Jones. Each year I succeed in losing an impressive number of lbs, and each year I gain more than I should. A couple of years ago I had a rare success. When the losses and the gains were added up I had managed to shed in excess of 40lb. For my age I was fit and felt fabulous.
Unfortunately I couldn’t maintain this happy result and the weight crept back on. There were no good reasons behind this, I simply allowed myself to eat too much of the wrong sort of food. Hence I am now facing another New Year with another determination to work off the spare tyres and improve my eating habits.
It is not all about looks. I am no beauty, not least because I am too lazy to maintain good grooming habits. I would like to feel better in my clothes, to have them skim rather than cling, but my main incentive is to improve my fitness and thereby my energy levels. When I carry less weight I just feel so much better in myself.
I do not, not, not wish to become a diet bore. I recognise that these Hunger Games will not be entertaining for others. Nevertheless, being constantly hungry will result in me thinking about food and self imposed restriction. Working out will result in me feeling tired, achy and smugly self satisfied when I achieve my workout goals.
The films to which I flippantly refer star an actress who is unusual amongst her contemporaries in refusing to conform to the entertainment industry’s size zero ideal. I admire her for her willingness to promote the fact that food is not the enemy, that people are supposed to be different shapes and sizes.
Nevertheless, it is not good for my health to be the size that I am. Forget size zero, I am aiming for a USA size 10 (UK size 12). For my height this puts me in the healthy weight range. I will not be a skinny but will feel so much better in myself.
If I do mention diet and fitness too often in the coming weeks then I apologise. If I emerge a victor then you can be sure that I will let you know.
Let the Hunger Games begin, and may the odds be ever in my favour.
It seems like a constant battle sometimes. Good luck with yours.