The inter Christmas- New Year week is an annual invitation to be in your pj’s powering through a selection box at 11 am and to legitimately still justify it as breakfast. Add some left over camembert and cold brussel sprouts and you can call it brunch. You certainly have no time to write a weekly blog (soz).
Naturally you feel like a slob, but in the process of lounge lizarding your way from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, you have also embraced the opportunity to read through a back log of articles about the benefits of self-nurture and recharge so you now also have a well-rehearsed argument that your body deserves this retox.
You feel pretty smug – sluggish perhaps – but then the benefits of retoxing can only be cashed in weeks later. Leave me to hibernate friends.
It now feels unnecessary to leave home at all. Your cupboards and fridge are still bulging with those ‘essential’ snacks you brought in for Christmas – the fact that the sell by date for your savoury dips has long passed no longer keeps you awake at night (indeed, since the start of this retox nothing keeps you awake). The tray bake cook book that was parcelled in your direction on December 25th is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving; who knew that a pack of brie ‘stinky but lovable’; some stale Pringles; a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and a jar of pickled gherkins could be thrown onto a baking tray and result in such delicious couch potato cuisine? Next up will be a fallen-goddess tray bake comprising a jar of seasonal piccalilli, a chunk of dry Stollen, some After Eights and half a porkless pie (I draw the line on a meat retox after nearly 40 years without it).
Clean eating can wait until January 1st. I am on holiday but sadly I can see that clouds are building on the horizon and they refuse to be ignored.
Five days in to this food coma and I realise that I need to stop writing in the second person and acknowledge that it is only I that is still inhaling post-Christmas fodder and refusing to embrace fresh air. I know this because of social media.
I start seeing Facebook posts of friends frolicking on Christmas Day coastal swims and Boxing Day runs; I see Instagram stories of friends listing their healthy intentions for the New Year; I see adverts for healthy menu options that can be delivered to my door. Where were these people on December 1st when they were encouraging me to bulk buy Christmas buffet food and to ‘relax’ with my family during a well-earned break? I can see that Team Christmas has pulled up the ladder and sprinted off into the future.
Sure enough, I pull open the curtains and see that there is physical activity outside; joggers, dog-walkers, and cyclists who will not be deterred by the rain (I told you clouds were building). I try turning off the notifications on my phone but it is too late, I am sent a reminder that I foolishly entered a 10 mile race on December 29th. I realise that it was the old me that entered this race, the old me who back in November had good intentions to power through Christmas with my training.
I vaguely remember that the November old me may have also entered the Newport Marathon and that when I have done marathons in the past (did I mention that I am a marathoner, friends?) training usually starts at Christmas.
My Barclaycard bill comes through and I realise that the old ‘let’s prepare for 2020’ me also invested in a new pair of expensive running shoes in November (Hokas if you are interested but sadly no gifting from this brand in my direction so nothing to declare here folks).
I receive a reminder that I have also booked in for a charity yoga session on New Year’s Day and in a moment of boldness also invited FM (Favourite or Fortunate Man – he can decide once the yoga lesson has kicked in) to join me. I see that the class has been titled ‘Awakening’. The irony – like my Christmas leftovers – is not wasted; I can see that I will have to rouse myself. I may even need to energetically come over all ‘woke’.
Clearly the yoga class awakens FM because afterwards he is tiggering around and chooses to remind me that I also pinky promised to do a little jog with him and agreed to walk part of the Cotswold Way before we went back to work.
I can see that it is time to scrape the congealed Chocolate Orange off my onesie and to reacquaint myself with lycra.
I wobble my way to the start of the Gloucester 10 miler and pride myself that I get round the course while carrying the extra weight of a small person – Terry naturally. I must be fitter than I think.
I waddle my way back to BMF and the instructor greets me with a trial sachet of a new energy gel. He throws in an extra batch of sit-ups to ensure my flab can return to ab’ in time for the marathon season. As he sprints past me, my fellow BMFer – James of James’ Chocolates – declines my request for salted caramel energy chocs to see in the New Year, and notes with a deprecative glance that during my self-imposed hibernation, I have probably banked sufficient surplus energy stores to upgrade to ultra-marathons if I ever choose to leave my sofa for long enough. (Again, sadly no gifting from James’ Chocolate here, but I can thoroughly recommend everything that they produce and, as I seem to have chomped my way through most of it, in the spirit of good intentions, I hereby declare that their products are extremely tasty and that I am a pig).
So, I am back with you now. January has crept up on my unawares but I hereby commit to playing as much catch up as I can.
Strangely I feel quite energised – spotty and pasty but springy and refreshed also. My good intention to be more positive in 2020 will start with congratulating myself on burning blogging calories by staying away from the fridge while writing this post. Then, as I jog around the block I may just mull over the ethnicity of rewarding myself for this positivity with a handful of left over Quality Street. I still intend to self-nurture, I think this is one resolution worth training for.