I need breaks. When I start a “regime”, I’m not aiming for Olympic level fitness or supermodel style thinness (and I won’t open that rant about how they are all starving themselves and will have osteoporosis by the time they hit 38). I just want to be spirited and zippy, the fun bunny I used to be in my twenties – but without the crazy partying every weekend.
And part of being fun is taking the joyous, regime-reversing break. I’ve been on a week’s break from my new year’s resolutions, my February’s resolutions and March’s “something new every day” challenge. And this is what I’ve learned:
- Irish Catholicism has a feck-load to answer for! I really can’t believe it but every so often I have felt guilty for not walking or running every day – even though I am on a self-sanctioned and well thought- out and planned pause. I haven’t been to mass regularly since I was a teen and yet this mental habit has endured from a childhood of lent, Saturday confession and eating fish on Fridays. It’s insane and stupid. I’m sure a clever psychologist has written a book about it but I’d rather just whinge a bit and then drink my wine.
- The really fab thing about being slimmer and fitter is that even when I try to indulge my stomach, it has shrunk to half (slight exaggeration), it’s previous size and therefore gluttonous extravagances are naturally smaller. I just can’t squeeze the same amount of debaucherous fat into my system! This fills me with uplifting hope that I won’t have added a gravity-altering amount of weight to my arse. Although we all know that I will have, because every night I keep upping the ante.
- After almost one week of quenching my fat-thirst with alcohol, chocolate, laziness and all things yummy; I am definitely feeling heavier. And when I say “feeling heavier”, I’m not just alluding to a physical donkey-style blubber. Nope, emotionally I also feel heavier. Everything is a little bit more difficult to achieve, to even consider achieving. Yes, this could absolutely be a side effect of an impressive 4am close-of-play with my buddy the other night, over a bottle of baileys. But its not entirely down to that.
- I am thrilled to discover that I can still take a good night to 4am: and without a bother, I might add. We were going strong when the fright of the time gave us both a minor heart attack. My spiritual 21 year-old is well and truly still kicking and dancing! Or maybe that’s my spiritual 4 year old.
- And lastly, if you really gear up and thrust yourself at the break, take advantage at every available opportunity like an escaped prisoner discovering themselves in a Michelin star restaurant… I stuffed my face at every moment of the day. I slugged the glass of wine even when I only just “kind of” totally wanted it. I kicked back and embraced the horizontal flow of not exercising. And the upshot is that my Inner Devil has become satiated to the point where I’m actually looking forward to Tuesday when I get back to basics, back to effort, back to challenges again. …. But not before I finish the bottle of wine in front of me. And some brie. And maybe some of the Easter Bunny treats. Oh and the cake. And a teeny bit more cheese. But right after that, I will be ON it!
So in summary – some people are amazing at marathons of dedication, taking rare and little breaks. I, on the other hand, am human and a very happy mediocre one. I need my break. I take my break. I relish my break and then I get back on the Spartan horse, a little bit heavier than before, so we all feel sorry for the horse.