Not so fast!

Christmas is over, presents unwrapped, the fridge is groaning with sliced ham & turkey that you’ll be forced to eat on sandwiches well into the New Year, the liquor cabinet is drained and even those galloping housewives in the Northern Hemisphere are doing their best beached whale impersonations. Despite doing the equivalent carb loading of an ultra runner stocking up for a 100 miler, the average galloping housewife barely has the energy to get off the couch let alone go for a run. At best she can manage a quiet hack around the block in between the rain showers. She reaches into the back of the closet for her stretchiest trackpants, sits in the comfy chair with her steaming mug of hot chocolate with a ‘dash’ of whiskey and opens up her Facebook feed…

Which is full of impossibly lithe and nimble women with plastered on grins, swathed in lycra and not a sweaty armpit to be seen, all espousing one diet after another, a bootcamp here, a ‘guaranteed to lose 5 pounds in 10 days’ there, here another programme, there a quick fix, every bloody where something reminding you that you are out of shape and unfit and that it’s all your own fault. It’s not by chance you’ve now got (old) McDonald as an earworm and it’s certainly not by chance that the diet industry is taking advantage of the perfect storm of people over indulging, being less active than usual and the whole New Year, clean slate bullshit we all seem to be programmed with. While the galloping housewife is all for setting a health goal for the coming season, she would caution against jumping on any bandwagon and making wholesale changes. No, cancel that: the galloping housewife says don’t f’ing do it!!!

There’s a bloody good reason there’s a diet industry. Diets are designed to fail, to have us in an endless loop of losing a few kilos and then gaining it back plus a bit more then being forced back to the coalface to look for another solution, which works for a bit, until it doesn’t. We are all hamsters on a giant wheel and all we are doing is lining the pockets of the providers – there is no sustainable change being made to our health. Don’t get me wrong, this galloping housewife has been suckered alongside a lot of you – she’s signed up for a few of the big players at different times and has even had some good results from a couple. And there are a few more ethical choices amongst them – businesses that do provide good and well balanced programmes once you sift through all the marketing. Yet even the best options have problems. They’re hard to find for a start. Like equine products: those that can afford to advertise on the inside front cover on Horse & Hound are likely to be spending more on advertising than on research, just so the programmes spending top dollar stalking you all around Facebook & Google at this time of year are not necessarily the ones you should trust. Secondly, they tend to focus on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘why’ meaning that when you’re not able to follow the directions exactly because you don’t like what is suggested or are on holiday or away from your kitchen you are lost without a compass, and lastly and most importantly, they rely on rapid results to get you hooked.

Hang on a minute – the galloping housewife knows that at this very moment you’re convinced she’s fallen off her unicorn and knocked her head one too many times – what’s wrong with fast results? We all want to be in the bikini for the week in the sun we’re shouting ourselves in the depths of February’s frozen hell, or, at the very least – the ability to do the zipper up on our competition boots (electrical tape comes in many colours, but not Petrie navy).  The thing is, you know how much you hate that skinny Minnie at the yard that can eat all the donuts and still model for Holland Cooper in her spare time while you look at a slice of cake and put on half a stone? You sit with your mates at the pub on a Friday and bitch about her Instagram account, begrudgingly hitting the heart icon and commenting with blatant overuse of the fire emoticon while saying ‘it’s not fair – she’s got such a fast metabolism’? Well, you’re right. And your metabolism is rubbish. And if you lose weight fast, you’re going to screw it up completely, for a very. long. time. This is undisputable scientific fact, and if you’re a true galloping housewife, you’re a believer. Of science, that is. Recently the galloping housewife read an incredibly tedious bit of research done on the Biggest Loser participants after being on the show. The short version is that all participants put weight on after completion and a massive 90% ended up even fatter than when they began. It wasn’t that they returned to their old habits, either. When their metabolic rates were tested six months after the show they were a staggering 10-25% less effective than they were prior to starting. 25% is the equivalent to two entire Big Macs a day for your average galloping housewife. Let that sink in…

So, my fellow galloping housewives – what to do? You want to get fit, you want to get trim. You need some support and you need all the information as to how to go about it. You want a few what’s and how’s amongst the why’s. If you’ve signed up for the newsletters you have some of the info (and if not, don’t panic – they’re being packaged up into a neat downloadable for everyone to get their hands on, along with some bonus material including tips to kick start your own metabolism) but it’s not enough for you. Then keep following my friends, because this galloping housewife is here to help.

And in the meantime, set those goals but start small. Remember 1% a day for 100 days is 100% better. Drop a sugar out of your tea or add a walk with the dog. Do one small thing different and make it a habit. It’s the way to a lasting change and also the pathway to a big transformation. Together, we can do this!

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