Hello there and Happy New Year to you!

We are all back in action here following the festive season and the New Year celebrations and a great time was had by all.

I am still staggered at the fact that I need to winched out of the armchair on Christmas Day afternoon following far too much to eat and drink. My marathon training has started again today in preparation for April and I know that I’ll be back in good shape in no time — you know what? It was good to spend some time not worrying about what I eat.

With New Year comes the onslaught of weight watching advertising as people attempt to achieve their ideal size, shape and weight and many are seemingly obsessed with it. I was reading this health article at the Daily Mail today and was staggered to read about women spending £300,000.00 on weight reduction attempts… And still getting nowhere…

Here is part of the article that really interested me:

This, of course, is the time of year when, after weeks of overeating and excessive drinking, most women join a gym or start weight loss programmes. But are they simply wasting their time — and money?

Victoria Wills is convinced that’s the case.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve tried everything to be slim,” sighs Victoria, who lives in Ilfracombe, Devon, with partner Frank Russell, 35, a hotel manager.

“I’ve lost and gained weight on countless diets and wasted thousands on slimming clubs and meal replacements. I once worked out that I’ve lost over 20 stone in my life and put it all on again, which is dreadful.”

When Victoria went to boarding school in Kent aged 11, she was already a size 16. She puts that down to a love of chocolate, chips and junk food, and to her parents using food as a reward for good behaviour.

“By the time I went to Durham University, I was a size 18 and 14 stone. I joined a slimming club, tried surviving on cabbage soup, and enrolled in a gym. I longed to be a size 12 so I could be like my slim friends and buy beautiful clothes.”

But Victoria continued to rattle through several chocolate bars in one go, followed by chips and takeaways. Even her collection of hundreds of diet cookbooks and weight-loss tomes — which had cost her more than £3,000 — didn’t inspire her to cut down.

“When, after university, I started working in London as a management consultant earning £60,000 a year, I had the disposable income to up the ante,” she recalls.

“So I joined four private gyms in different areas of London, including the Chelsea Harbour Club where Princess Diana was a member. I figured that wherever I was in London with work, I wouldn’t have an excuse not to go to the gym.

“My monthly memberships cost me £6,000 over a couple of years. I’d go sporadically for a few weeks, full of good intentions, then not set foot in one for another three months.”

In fact, a survey last week found that as many as 15per cent of people who take out gym membership never make even a single visit.

Victoria says: “Even when I’d been exercising, eating healthily and was feeling good, if the scales didn’t register the weight loss I was hoping for, I’d be full of self-recrimination.

“I’m not stupid — I know that losing weight is about eating less and exercising more. But I guess I hoped that each faddy diet or exercise regime I tried would offer up this miracle cure to my weight problems and enable me to approach food like a thin person.”

Fed up with losing a few pounds then piling them back on again, Victoria hired a personal trainer. Over four years, she had seven different ones, costing from £35 to £70 per hour. She had three sessions per week — and spent an astonishing £35,000.

“They were great and worked me hard,” she says. “But I still didn’t alter my diet. I continued eating junk food and, of course, I socialised a lot with my job.

“I spent a lot of time staying in hotels and eating out. I’d try to diet and eat healthily, but I’d soon put any pounds lost back on again because I just couldn’t stick with it.”

Hmmm…. Now I do not think Victoria is alone with her story, is she? Maybe people do not spend as much as she did, but so many people go from one place to the other, one diet to another, one form of exercise to another… It amazes me that if 4 different personal trainers did not work, why oh why would you go to another 3 to find out they didn’t work for you either?

The article does move on to mention briefly what I believe is t the heart of so much of this oscilation… Identity. That is, on one of her subsequent courses away, Victoria says:

“…during my stay I realised that in my head I was a fat person — so I behaved like a fat person and kept on gorging myself.”

It is true that if we firmly believe that is who we are, then no diet or regime is going to help us finally achieve that New Year resolution for the dream body.

So many people seem to blame so many other things for how and who they are… What’s more, Victoria went on to become a hypnotherapist! Blimey. I wonder if she is intending on working with clients for weight reduction…

WHen people begin to change their true sense of identity, then it won’t make a huge amount of difference what they eat or what exercise regime they follow — many think people eat very unhealthily and never exercise and yet they are thin.

I run marathons each year because primarily I love the sensation of fitness, I love that sense of healthy energy it gives me, and I love getting outside and breathing all that fresh air. However, my identity is that I am omeone who is slim and healthy — this is who I truly believe myself to be — and we all know that what you believe to be the truth, is the truth for you

Happy New Year!