New year, new you… anyone else fed up with all the bollocks?
Listen, I know this is gonna be controversial, especially ‘cos having looked at the stats (more of which later…) the chances are that many of you reading this post are highly likely to be taking part in at least one of the January fads I’m about to mention. However, ever the one to voice my opinion, here’s why I think you are wasting your time.
Out of all the health fads that emerge at this time of year, Dry January (sometimes called Dryanuary or Dryathlon depending on the company or charity associated with it) is one of the most popular. A month really doesn’t seem that log after the gluttony of Christmas and usually we start to plan out our good intentions when we are in the very midst of said Christmas glugging. Research suggests that the average Brit puts away 67 units of alcohol a week over the festive period, nearly 14 times more than the recommended amount. And we can well believe it!
You’ve spent the best part of December necking alcohol like it’s water so come January you are more than fed up of the stuff. In theory this should be a piece of piss. But a couple of days in, when your liver feels as if it has finally rehydrated, you’ve gone back to work, the evenings are still so dark, the days are still grey and cold, your bank balance is shocking ‘cos of all that Christmas spending, and your worktops are littered with half drunk bottles of Baileys, Port and Advocaat all of a sudden Dry January ain’t looking quite so appealing!
In principle it should work, as apparently it only takes three weeks to break a habit, but out of all of the months to choose to give up the one thing that keeps most of us sane (especially us mums!) January is a pretty shit one to pick. I’m sorry, but the vast majority of you are destined for failure. And when you do fail… it makes you feel utterly crap!
January 20th has been cited as the day that most Brits give into temptation and Dry January is suddenly no more. The fad has worn thing (you don’t say!) and what do we do…. we make up for lost time! We go out on a bender, we binge, we get absolutely bladdered. Which kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it!?!?!
So look, I’m all for breaking a habit – hey starting the day, every day, with a Bucks Fizz followed by a Baileys chaser just ain’t sustainable even I get that – but do yourself a favour and just have a couple of days booze free. That’s all you need to reset your system and then go back to your normal pre-Christmas lifestyle. It ain’t difficult folks – everything in moderation. Else you’re going to turn into a right miserable old bastard!
As you can probably work out from the name (I mean it’s not rocket science is it!?!) Veganuary is all about going vegan for the month. And people are going flippin’ mental for it!
The hope is that come the end of January you’ll have enjoyed it so much that you will be converted of your meat loving ways and will continue on in your pursuit of a plant powered diet.
Personally, I like bacon sarnies, burgers and gnawing the roast chicken carcass too much to even contemplate giving this a go, but hey whatever floats your boat.
Veganism has become one of the biggest and most popular food trends to hit our diets in recent times and many high street names have been keen to get in on the act – you must have heard of the infamous Greggs vegan sausage roll that caused such a furore on social media recently? And as vegan alternatives become more widely available, a whole lot cheaper and well, a whole lot tastier, a record number of us are keen to try out this way of life.
Veganuary offers a try before you buy mentality, a dip your toe in the veggie water so to speak, and since the movement started five years ago the number of people taking part has more than doubled each year. It is now estimated that one in eight Brits are either vegetarian or full on vegan and the vegan market is estimated to be worth a whopping £572 million in the UK alone.
By all means try it if you really can’t stand the idea of fluffy sheep being killed for your dinner, try it if the thought of calves being ripped from their mother’s udders just so we can pour milk on our cornflakes each morning makes you shudder in horror, but please, please don’t try it just because you’re mate and everyone else on Instagram’s doing it, just because like it’s so totally on trend.
Run Every Day January
OK so firstly RED (Run Every Day) January ain’t just about running. So I’ve got beef with that already. But secondly, why the hell should we put pressure on ourselves to fit in exercise every single flippin’ day, when some days we simply may not have time or may not feel like it. I am totally on board with incorporating movement into our daily lives. Hey I am that person who will ALWAYS walk if I can and I am not one to shirk exercise, but what I do have a problem with is what a good friend of mine calls ‘junk miles’. Because if all of a sudden we’re putting pressure on ourselves to exercise every day (and it is quite often either running or some other more strenuous form of exercise that is chosen) then not only does it drain every last ounce of fun out of it, but it also increases the risk of injury. And so you go at it hell for leather in January only to either be thoroughly fed up with it come February (if not before, let’s be honest) or be put out of action for a good couple of months afterwards ‘cos you’ve twisted your ankle or put your back out!
At the risk of repeating myself, balance people, BALANCE! A little and often approach is way better in the long term you mark my words. And anyway I totes heard that the only fad you really wanna be doing this year is DED (Drink Every Day) January… way more achievable in my opinion 😉
No seriously, this is an actual thing! Launched by an Exeter college student, JanuHairy is basically the female equivalent of Movember… but in January (obvs.).
The premise is that during the month of January you don’t remove any hair from your body. So that’s no shaving, no waxing, no plucking, no threading, just 100% au naturale let your inner Chewbacca do it’s thing. And let’s face it, out of all the January fads this has got to be by far the easiest to commit to and in my opinion have by far the best benefits. Firstly, I don’t know about you lot, but I feel as if I’ve kinda already embraced this one already, so yay go me; already winning.
Ask yourself when the last time you shaved your legs was? Yuh huh, thought so 😉
Plus no one really sees your legs in January anyway, although perhaps avoid the low denier tights – fuzzy felt most definitely ain’t a good look!
Legs and lady bits are easy, but what about armpit hair, the tash and those stray wiry stragglers you get growing out of moles (ladies of a certain age you totes know what I’m talking about 😉 ). I’m not exactly the world’s highest of high maintenance girls, far from it in fact, but I do like to be trimmed shall we say.
The idea, like many of these fads, is to raise a bit of money for charity in the process and this particular one centres around Body Gossip, an education programme teaching young people about body image. Great, I’m all for that and of course I’m all for raising money for charity, but by joining the ranks of the January fads, does it not somehow just serve to make a mockery of it? If women genuinely weren’t concerned about being all kinds of hairy, then surely they would never dehair themselves ever again. So yes for the month of January you’re making you’re own personal stand against the societal expectations placed on women, but I’ll put money on those same women getting out their razors come the 1st of Feb!
Have I managed to knock a bit of sense into you yet?
Brill if I have, if I haven’t… well maybe I should start start cashing in on all this ‘-uary’ nonsense. How’s about next year you try ‘Gymuary – where you go to the gym every single day of Jan? Or what about ‘Ginuary’ where you must drink gin every day – totes a winner! Or what about ‘IDontGiveAFlyingCrapuanry’??? Try saying that when you’re back on the booze – I give it a week 😉