Yup, puke...

Yup, puke…

Happy New Year. An odd expression. Most people I know are decidedly miserable when a new year begins. Christmas is over, they’ve taken down the tree and having hauled their exhausted, hungover heads back into the office, all they have to look forward to is yet another year of hard graft, no pay rise, no bonus and fat chance of affording a holiday anywhere further afield than France.

For this reason, last year I blogged about the stupidity of injecting even more misery into your life by taking part in a New Year detox (Detox Shmeetox). I just couldn’t understand (have never understood) why in the most unexciting month of the year one would consider subjecting oneself to this harrowing ritual. Do we actually want to become a nation of depressives?

This year however, well… I’ve sort of changed my mind. A little. Not a lot – a TINY bit.

Perhaps it’s because as the clock struck 00:01 on 1st Jan 2013 I was happier than I have been in a long time, and in view of that, I felt I could take on a small amount of self-afflicted punishment. Or maybe I’d just overdone it last year and had had enough. A nice little combo of the two I think.

Let me get one thing straight though, I ain’t detoxing. I am, however, deciding to not drink… every day. I’m not ‘not drinking, period’ as I am stubborn as sin and the moment I tell myself I can’t do something, I immediately go out and do it.

But I have said to myself ‘try not to drink during the week and if you can help it, weekends too’ – and yes, speech marks are necessary for I have said it to myself. In the mirror (no, not really).

Framed in that context it’s not at all scary, not at all pressurised, I’m not holding a gun to my head or anything. If I cheat, I cheat, big whoop, I’m a failure (and losers are often far more interesting than winners anyway).

In addition to this, I am trying to look to healthier other drinking options too. Instead of my beloved Mango Rubicons – full of sugar and not much else – I am opting for water. Urgh. Urgh. Urgh. This has been extraordinarily difficult; I doubt it will last the week.

And instead of the go-zillion sugars I am used to in my morning vat of tea, I am trying to have none at all.

This may not sound like much to you, but to me – the detox virgin – these are HUGE dietary changes. Like cutting out an entire food group.

I am also trying (and this is very impressive) to replace my large, salted, fried-in-fat-from-a-farmyard-of-animals snack preference, the Sainsbury’s Gigantic Sack of Cashews, with the healthier organic, baked, unsalted, tiny packeted ones.

Question – why is unhealthy crap so much cheaper than basically everything else in the supermarket? I used to think fat people in shopping centres piling their trolleys high with crisps, chocs and chips had eating disorders. Now I realise the poor dears are just like me – poor.

That's the spirit

That’s the spirit – far more affordable

I have also realised something else. That the lying-tongued, long nosed Pinocchio actually exists. He is, in fact, English and has an English name too: Jamie Oliver.

‘Bro,’ [WHAT?] ‘it doesn’t have to be expensive to cook a healthy dinner.’

Yes, you’re right Jamie, it doesn’t. But it is. If we all had back gardens to grow our own fruit and veg, and a snuggery for a pig and a cow and maybe a chicken, then fine, dinner would cost us the price of the gas we burn to cook it. But we don’t. And so it doesn’t.

Jamie telling porkies

Jamie telling porkies

As it is, you’ve already made us feel bad about buying affordable ‘good things’ – like battery eggs, battery chickens, tuna, cod, etc. I don’t care that you’re right and I signed your online petition and agreed with you at the time and told everyone about it…  you’ve told us we can’t buy these things, and yet you’ve given us diddly squat in return.

So unless you wish us to morph into a nation of pulse-pushing, quorn-crunching, windy-arsed vegetarians, I suggest you come up with some sort of satisfying, reasonable and appetising solution.

Put that in your pukka and smoke it.

[Rant #1 of 2013 over]

So anyway, I am sort of detoxing. And it actually doesn’t feel that bad. I don’t align myself with those diehard detoxers, endlessly updating social networking sites on their progress or anything. That’s far too dedicated for me. I’m just taking it easy, not drinking and saving money.

That I’ve not yet been to the pub yet probably has something to do with it. I’m undertaking that little assault course tomorrow. So if next week’s post reads something like: fgjd2q897%$, know I’m hungover and I cracked.

And if, or rather when, that happens, I shall raise my hands and declare that yes, I am a failure.

Will I really sweat it though? Nope! For if I start 2013 a winner, I’ve worked out I have precisely 365 days of hard labour, trying not to screw it up. Which is why I’d far rather start as a loser… and have 365 days to make it better.

Mine’s a double.

By Beenie Langley