Mince pie lethargy

The last couple of days, I’ve had no energy at all.

It’s hard to wake up and get going in the morning, even though I’m getting more sleep than usual. The lure of the sofa is just too strong, even when there’s plenty of stuff I should be doing.

The reason is pretty obvious when you think about it. I’ve been eating crap, so I feel like crap.

Since just before Christmas, my diet has been made up almost exclusively of three key food groups; sugar, fat (not the good kind) and grapes. By which I mean wine.

There has been some protein (turkey, Christmas Day), some healthy fats (olive oil, Greek yoghurt on top of pancakes plus syrup) and I did manage some fruit (the orange creams in the Quality Street).

But a few vegetables aside, the bulk of my food has been highly processed food, with low nutritional value. And there has been too much of it.

All of this equals a very lethargic, smudgy, lazy Gem.

There are plenty of ways to approach eating, especially when you want to lose weight or simply feel in yourself. One of them is to focus on eating food as close to its natural state as possible and with high nutritional value.  Good food that contributes to feeling good, rather than detracting from it.

The overall amount of food you eat, including the total calories within it, are important. But there’s more to it too.  That’s one of the reasons I can’t get on with many diet plans.  You can limit yourself to a 1600 calories a day, but there’s 1600 healthy calories and 1600 calories of crap.  You might lose some weight, but not necessarily in a way that will make you feel at your best.

Today, to get over my lethargy, I went to the gym. It’s true that exercise gives you more energy. I nourished myself in a better way too.  Protein, fibre, fruit, salad.  And only the one mince pie…….

After the excesses, the guilt trips

Encouragement for weeks, from every angle, to indulge yourself.  TV adverts, magazine articles, food pictures, special offers, biscuits and chocolates in every work place.  Mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas cake, marzipan fruits, After Eight Mints, cheese, chocolate tree decorations, a cheeky little glass of fizz.

After the excess comes ta new message.  To do, to be, something else instead.

Just because it is January. 

The new year, new you pressure. 

Blatant fat shaming. 

Adverts everywhere, for a quick detox, weight loss clubs, gym memberships. Celebrity exercise DVDs.

10 Steps to this, that and the other.  All the clickbait.

Shiny and bright white new Christmas trainers, waiting in the box. 

It’s all just marketing.  Much of it promoting quick fixes, doomed to fail.


There is a reason that many diets and big life-style changes fail. 

They are just too big.  Too much change all at once.  It’s cognitive overload.  

There is nothing wrong with making some new resolutions for the new year.  They can be a positive thing, providing focus and helping to create new habits (or tackle unhelpful old ones).  But instead of deciding to change everything, all on one day, choose something else instead.

Choose small changes.  Doing one thing at a time. Small steps. 

If you have never even run for a bus, deciding to go for the marathon in a matter of months is probably setting yourself up for failure.  Aiming, just to being with, to go for one single parkrun is more doable,  more real.  Then when you have that achievement ticked off, take the next step.  And the next one. 

If you want to improve your wellbeing in 2018 (and not just the first week in January), take just one action, make just one change.  Today.  Stick with it for a while.   And then think about making another.  It’s tortoise, not hare, time.  And while you are at it, ignore the marketing and the clickbait and all the other stuff that just makes you feel like crap and simply wants to part you from even more of your money. 

Make your wellbeing changes manageable.  Make them count.  Make them today.


The Christmas Quality Street Grief Cycle

Promises self not to eat any Quality Street

Decides that some Quality Street might be acceptable.

Limits self to one strawberry cream and one orange cream.

Actually eats 12 strawberry creams and 10 orange creams.

Decides might as well eat entire tub now.

Opens wine to go with it because, well, Christmas.

Goes to bed drunk with chocolate still smeared on face.

Wakes up and promises self not to eat any Quality Street.