New Year's resolutions | M. SASTRE


By anyone’s reckoning, 2020 has been one hell of a traumatic year for everyone. Yet with determination, perseverance and tolerance by the majority, the dreaded year has been firmly tucked under our straining belts, and we can all look forward to a new and hopefully brighter future in 2021. When Spain pulls its finger out, there is the promise of a vaccination programme visible on the horizon, which means we can once again start to breathe, and realistically anticipate fulfilling those lost hopes and dreams, as life returns to some kind of normality.

New Year is also the time when traditionally, people reflect on past trials and tribulations, aspiring to improve and grow, with the cleansing and symbolic gesture of pledging a ‘resolution’. These annual resolutions, although harmless enough, are often quite tough on the individual, and usually rashly proclaimed without much thought to the possibility of any celebrated success.

The most popular example of a New Year’s Resolution is the well practiced drinker, who, having imbibed to excess on a daily basis for the past twenty years, declares in an inebriated stupor on New Year’s Eve . . .“Well, thashh it. Hic! The lashht one everrr! Tadahhhh!” What they actually forget to add to their heartfelt pledge is the caveat - “until tomorrow lunchtime when my hangover of biblical proportions is in dire need of the mythical hair of the dog!”

It’s the same with hard core smokers. Under the pressure of New Year they endeavour to quit overnight, yet with their addiction more overpowering than hollow words they rarely see the week out let alone the year. And chocolate! Well, no-one should even contemplate giving up chocolate, even on a whim. It’s a ridiculous concept and a law should be passed criminalizing any attempts to quit the cocoa, which is actually documented as one of life’s greatest pleasures!

Giving up sex on the other hand is debatable, and totally depends on how often you’re doing it and with whom! More often than not, the pledge to abstain is used as a threat to control or punish a partner, and not a real resolution at all. Besides, most people would rather hold their hands up and stick with the chocolate! After all, it’s less energetic and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your armchair to enjoy it!
But joking apart, if you have already given that nod to tradition this year with a ‘resolution’ of your own, then I hope you made it something halfway achievable, or you will end up feeling a total failure in 2021 even before you start.

These digital days, with the advent of social media, it has become almost compulsory to post your intention of resolution on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, announcing your imminent failure to the entire world and his wife before you have the chance to give it a fair crack yourself in the privacy of your own life! Some people advocate that ‘sharing’ actually helps them to ‘achieve’, but the added pressure simply ramps up the disappointment and shame of personal failure. Why would you want to advertise that to the world? Or is it just the superficial belief that if you’re not living your life on line then you’re not living at all?

Once your resolution has been posted, and all the ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up emojis’ have been counted, the truth often emerges that no-one really cares a flying flamingo if you succeed or not, and have quickly moved on to more interesting and realistic pastures like the January sales. But at least the absorbed and addicted got to post yet another photo of themselves ‘out there!’ even if their exciting resolution has slipped off everyone’s forgettable radar quicker than butter off a hot coal.

Those days of quietly and privately setting yourself personal goals and challenges out of the limelight, seem to have sadly departed. Posting new year announcements and resolutions is very ’de rigeur’ yet sadly, is seen by many as nothing more than self indulgent publicity stunts. But as resolutions go, nothing flags up more immediate attention than proclaiming to the masses your New Year Keto Diet plans. Yeahhhh!!!

Basically, for those who spent lockdown in the larder, with months of comfort eating, Christmas has been the last straw. ‘Lockdown Lovehandles’ are really trending on social media at the moment with attention seeking dieters whipping themselves up into a frenzy, trying to get all their ‘friends’ involved in a massive group weight drop.

Being plugged across social media naturally gets everyone going for it. Some people get sponsored, which is both admirable and rewarding, offering donations to their favourite charities. So, being ‘out there’ does have some advantages, whilst providing yet another unmissable opportunity to post more intimate selfies as the pounds drop off. Or not!

Thanks to Covid19, whilst journeying through 2020, many munchers working from home were challenged by the kitchen cupboards being temptingly close to the computer, and sadly contracted Biscuit Belly – a secondary condition to Lockdown Lovehandles. It’s not fatal, but if it’s not kept in check, those sunny beach months ahead when Majorca is Covid managed, you might find yourself facing a certain amount of regret!

It’s commonly accepted that everyone overdoes it a bit between Christmas and the lead up to New Year. But if you don’t nip it in the bud, those extra pounds will get more and more difficult to shift; and that narrowing of the torso between the shoulders and the hips, affectionately called the waist, will soon become a distant memory. And you don’t want to end up looking like the box that all the pies came in! But it’s never too late! It’s just a question of self control.

Personally, without putting myself under pressure by telling everyone and posting my weight loss proposal on social media, I find that simply eating smaller portions invariably does the trick. That along with regular walking and exercise. No need to cut anything out completely, just don’t be a piglet and eat so much of it! Use common sense. That way you don’t feel you are depriving yourself of anything. It’s been a really rough year so we don’t want all our treats to disappear in the beat of one dinner gong! But let’s just keep this to ourselves shall we? No one needs to know if I fail or succeed. That’s the secret of a successful resolution. Always keep it private! And wish me luck!