Sorry to start a blog post this way, but fuck. 2014 is barely hard yet. It's climax is months and months away, and we're already being bombarded by diet advice. January is, of course, the natural time to start ragging on you for being a porker, but knowing that the months ahead of us will bring swathes of 'bikini detox' plans and fad diets is almost too much to bear. One wonders what will be the new trendy starvation regime of 2014. The Times is already putting its money on the 4:3 diet (like the 5.2 but you go hungry for longer) and I'm literally quivering with anticipation. Well, anticipation and the fact that I've been living off master cleanse 'lemonade', like Beyonce. The idea was that I'd write an article about how terrible it was, thus dissuading people from thinking that shitting out saline liquid at a rate of knots might not be the best idea for losing weight, but I failed to take into account that I'd be too weak to do anything, let alone write. Hell, 'Made of Honour' came on the television and I ended up helplessly watching the thing because I didn't have the energy to turn it off. This is no way for a woman to live. Beyonce is a superhuman.
So I ditch the master cleanse in favour of Closer magazine. Closer is brimming with suggestions for what you should be doing to get your body shipshape, and although none of them are as extreme as subsisting off maple syrup, it nonetheless makes for hideous reading. 'My Amazing Body Secret' reads the cover, next to a before and after comparison of Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison. 'I work out 10 minutes a day...I've lost 3st.'
As excellent BBC documentaries 'The Men Who Made Us Fat/Thin' pointed out last year, magazine weight loss stories are incredibly lucrative, and those horrible 'cor! look at that beached whale' paparazzi photos are, depressingly, sometimes taken at the instigation of the celebrities themselves. I'm not saying this is true of Pattison, but the fact that she's given Closer a photo shoot and interview despite their having published numerous photos of her looking 'chubby' in her bikini on a beach makes me suspect that there may be dark forces at work. 'It wasn't until unflattering pictures of her on holiday in Marbella in July that she realised she had to shape up,' say Closer, who published those same photos, natch. Cue 'wake up call' narrative and plus for her new 7 Day Slim DVD.
'Vicky's regime incorporates quirky resistance exercises based on animal movements', we're informed. I'm sorry...what?
'There's one called The Gorilla, which is great for toning your arms and shoulders', says Vicky, before explaining that the best one for stomach flattening is called the 'Dead Bug'. All you have to do is lie on your back with your arms and your legs in the air and the stomach fat, plus your dignity, melts away. And as everyone knows, dignity weighs a fucking ton. But 'it's worth it to be able to wear crop tops.'
Meanwhile, 'super slimmer' Josie Gibson is 'working on getting a body like J-Lo's', and also has a DVD coming out. Apparently it shows you show to lose up to 8lbs in 21 days, by eating unprocessed food 80% of the time (presumably you subsist on cheesestrings for the other 20%?) She's also cut out gluten and sugar. It's fascinating stuff.
Just as I had made the decision to eschew bread and dance around my living room like an ape, I'm confronted with yet more dieting advice. Apparently Frankie from The Saturdays had lost her pregnancy weight by doing a juice cleanse, so now I'm confused because I'd just decided to cut out sugar. Maybe if I do juice 80% of the time and eat Haribo Fantastics 20% of the time, it will all even out?
OR, I could get a body like Kim Kardashian by doing the Atkins diet, but that involves banning all fruit, which I obvi can't do on a juice diet, so maybe I'll skip straight to phase two like Kim did. She was, after all, breastfeeding, so needed to make sure that her diet of lean meat, eggs and cheese gave her enough nutrients. ('No new mum should feel under pressure to lose weight', Closer insists, a few pages on from having said that Kardashian is now back to her 'bootylicious best', having lost nearly 4 stone.)
In fact, I think I will go with Kim's diet. I like the look of that spinach omelette, which if you squint your eyes KIND OF looks a bit like a pizza. Maybe that will work with all food? If I close my eyes a bit, that Ryvita could pass for some delicious cardboard. It's a tempting strategy.
Oh, oh, but then maybe I should make like Strictly Star Kristina Rihannof, and adopt the diet that saved her from a breakdown. 'Among other things, I was intolerant to chicken, eggs, diary, citrus fruits, certain types of wheat, mushrooms, pork, kidney beans, lentils and nuts.' Perhaps I too should cut out the 'offending items'? Yeah, no.
By this stage, all the conflicting evidence is beginning to make my tummy grumble. SO MANY PICTURES OF FOOD IN THIS MAGAZINE. Naturally, dress sizes, measurements and weights - also known as the 'vital statistics' are posted alongside each celebrity to warn me off. Should I aim to be 5ft 2 like Kim, or should I aim for the more achievable 5 FT 2 like Frankie off TOWIE? The whole thing is too much to bear. I've only just got over the fact that watermelon, a fruit I had assumed consisted of mostly water, is laced with EVIL SUGAR and should be avoided at all costs.
Thankfully Dancing on Ice star Suzanne Shaw is here to put me on the straight and narrow, and inform me that it's actually OK to have porridge topped with fruit for breakfast. Phew. Sophie Anderton also passes the 'fridge raiders' test, presumably because her cool box contains mostly diet coke and water. She should, however, eat more brown rice, as should we all, even though it tastes of regurgitated rusk.
After finishing the eighteen page dieting special, I've concluded that all I need to do to lose weight is cut out all of the major food groups while simultaneously impersonating various wild animals. Simples. Even better, women everywhere including myself have been saved the arduous task of coming up with their own new year's resolutions, because 'MAN TALK' columnist Andrew Hartley has done it for us. According to spiky haired simpering bell-end Hartley, all we have to do is repeat after him:
- 'I will ignore the (genetically predispositioned?) urge to buy shoes at least three times a month.'
Wow, you've really got our number there, Andrew. We really do fucking love shoes, us women.
- 'I promise to stop saying 'nothing is wrong' if something is wrong.'
Nothing is wrong, Andrew. Really, it's nothing. What that? Oh, that's just in case of burglars, darling. Just go back to sleep.
- 'I must stop obsessing over my figure. I look great. My bum is peachy and my boobs are pert.'
But...wait...surely to stop obsessing over my figure I must also....stop buying Closer. My 2014, according to Closer, must naturally be Closer-less. Fuck yeah. Now we're talking.
*exits, pursued by a gorilla*