Evening, hope you’re well.

So, after the fun and games of pancake day you may well be knuckling down for an extended period of self-deprivation.

What did you give up this year?

How about last year?

Now a trickier question…

Why?

Why did you decide to give it up?

For health reasons?

To lose a few pounds or drop a couple of inches?

Those are some good reasons.

But isn’t it odd how you had to wait until lent to pull the trigger.

We had a long thread in our Facebook group about just this, and why I think giving things up for lent, or January, is a load of conkers.

Now if you’re a spiritual person who believes in a higher being, goes to a place of worship regularly and practises your chosen faith day to day I can kind of buy into it more.

But even then, I don’t think your higher power meant for you to use this period to do a sugar detox or get fit for summer.

Any more than the true meaning of easter is to gorge yourself on creme eggs until you feel physically sick.

Let’s be honest, for most of us it’s just a nice excuse.

But honestly, in my opinion it’s just another short-term fix for a longer-term problem.

Yes, if you remove crappy foods from your daily nutrition for six weeks your body will thank you for it and you may well see and feel some positive changes.

For six weeks.

BUT if you then go back to eating it again, guess what.

Your body will return to exactly where it was when the whole thing started.

So why bother?

Did you try to do dry January?

If so, whether you made it through or not, I’m willing to bet it ended in a good old fashioned boozy binge to celebrate.

So why not focus on reducing your intake every so gradually, one week at a time, for the rest of the year.

When you feel like you’ve reached your limit (i.e. what you can manage at the moment without fear of going on a crazed binge) then look at another area to improve.

Doesn’t have to be sexy. Could just be drinking more water or going to bed 30 minutes earlier.

But the main point here, is that you should be doing this FOR YOURSELF.

Not because it’s a random date in the calendar or because you’ve convinced yourself it’s what JC would want.

But because it’s what YOU want.

If you keep making short term changes, you’ll never see long term results.

You’ll be stuck in an endless, confidence and energy sapping cycle of fad diets.

Not a great place to be.

Isn’t it annoying when you know someone’s right 😉

So do the right thing by yourself, ditch the crazy short term commitments, and make a commitment to yourself.

To do what benefits you and your body, most of the time.

But occasionally, if you want cake/chocolate/crisps/wine, to have some.

Because life’s too short to be good all the time.

And whoever claims to be perfect all the time is either a liar or painfully dull 😉

If you feel like you could use some more help with this stuff then check out my free facebook group – a like-minded community and support network of amazing people struggling with similar stuff.

Ian “long-game” Male

Personal Trainer | Greenwich Personal Training Studio |