January is very much behind us. The Winter Solstice/Christmas/ New Year/Hanukkah/Kwanza Holiday (I hope everyone feels fairly and equally offended) is all but lost from memory, partly because of its apparent disappearance over the temporal horizon of life, but mostly because you were hammered 90% of the time. You’re back to eating ready meals and ketchup four times a day and that essay you wrote during the train ride back to uni on a series of sheets of shabby paper promises to resurface any moment with a well-deserved third class mark. Come on, admit it. You’ve forgotten what your new year’s resolution was, let alone kept it. There is only one thing that remains of your wasted holiday: the inevitable and now seemingly inescapable Christmas Weight.
Signing up to the gym and enduring the patronising induction tour hasn’t magically solved the problem as you hoped it would, and in any case, you can’t face the effort of actually attending regularly. Your copy of the Pussycat Dolls’ workout DVD is now gathering dust after having served its primary purpose as soft porn and your ‘moobs for beginners’ are starting to demand a training bra and negatively affect your already infinitesimal pulling power. (That last bit was all directed to our male readers; because I know you girls feel fat already … you don’t need one of my wildly meandering rambles to help you with that.)
We all know the benefits of healthy eating are as believable as global warming and affording liposuction on your student loan is about as likely as Simon Cowell giving you some of the unicorn blood he stored away to preserve his televisual tyranny into the new millennium. Fairytale metaphors aside: anything that’s good for you tastes rubbish, costs money and cooking it takes up time better spent drinking, sleeping or facebooking (that’s right, ‘to facebook’ is a legitimate verb nowadays, as far as I’m concerned). So, what can we gym-averse food lovers do to fight the flab?
There are plenty of crackpots about who insist that laughter really is the best medicine. Just pop ‘laughter’ and ‘exercise’ into Google and you’ll come across the likes of the ‘American School of Laughter Yoga’. They don’t offer many suggestions on how to get yourself laughing but, personally, I like to type the word ‘fail’ into Youtube and chuckle at someone else’s pain.
I’ve noticed that I seem to lose weight during exam season, which leads me to mention the ‘stress yourself thin’ theory. There’s not much scientific proof of this, but plenty of old wives tell tales about stress suppressing appetite and the mental and physical tension increasing your calorie use, even while just sitting despairingly staring at your essay not writing itself.
I expect this will be your favourite of my suggestions. Sex. The NHS even affirms its effectiveness. They say: “Sex uses every muscle group, gets the heart and lungs working hard, and burns about 300 calories an hour” and even claim that orgasms prevent wrinkles! Try a heftier partner for ‘weight training’. Vary positions to tone different muscles. Why not see how long you can last and call it ‘stamina training’? (Alternatively, stamina training could mean doing it repeatedly. Probably the desirable method.) Yes, girls, I’ve heard there is some correlation between using the pill and weight gain and I’m not necessarily advising a hysterectomy, but look at it like this: it’d mean you never have to worry about losing that dreaded baby fat.
Obviously, there are some flaws to this exercise method. The biggest being that the weight you’re trying to lose may well hold you back from finding a partner. Well, if you’re stuck guys, you can always resort to a bicep workout.
But my favourite option (mostly because I don’t get any of the last) is undoubtedly to draw the curtains, shut all the doors and windows, pull out a hairbrush or air guitar and privately, exuberantly rock out to my vast collection of Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep and The Prodigy.
Ok. I lied. It’s S Club 7, The Spice Girls and the soundtrack to Legally Blonde.