The work Christmas parties have started, which means your trustworthy little black dress is coming out of the closet. But now that you’ve put it on, it seems to be looking a little shabby—or shock horror—tight at the seams. You’re filled with dread at the prospect of going home for the holidays and having the neighbors comment on your muffin top as you heft suitcases out of the car. You yet again haven’t brought a man home with you, and you just know that there will be seemingly endless parties with your parents where you’ll be the spinster sitting in the corner fending off the drunken advances of drooling middle-aged men or that awkward cousin that no one talks about the rest of the year. At least in Victorian times you’d have been given the opportunity to retire to another room while the men talked about important things and smoked cigars. But all is not lost! There’s still time to do the below diet which will banish all thoughts of weight gain and spinsterhood. In just one week, you can have your ideal body and wave goodbye to the winter blues.
Stage one: RESET
This time of year everyone is getting itchy feet thinking about all the things they promised they would accomplish this year. But now is perfect time for getting a jumpstart on those New Year’s resolutions! This is the prime opportunity to change your expectations, reset your work-life balance, and generally take a long look at what your life is really like and how you would like it to be in the future. Pick up World War Z by Max Brooks. After reading this post-apocalyptic tale, you will realize just how much could go wrong but hasn’t. You know, like watching all of your family members turn into part of the zombie plague that threatens to wipe out humanity. The little things.
Stage two: REASSESS
So having filled your head with doom and gloom, it’s time to pull back from the world of fiction. Hopefully the thought of being turned into a zombie has made you feel like your own life is something to treasure a bit more. Take a new stance on life by reading Yes Man by Danny Wallace. This hilarious memoir takes a look at how much a person’s life can change when they say ‘yes’ more. In Danny’s case, a year saying ‘yes’ has produced a book with tales like the time he ended up with a duck on his head in the middle of Amsterdam.
Stage three: RELEARN
It’s one thing to be inspired to say ‘yes’ at every opportunity, but it’s a whole other ball game putting it into practice. Perhaps you have a job as a buyer in retail. You couldn’t possibly say ‘yes’ every time someone asked you if you wanted to order their products. More realistically you need some help in focusing your energy into changing aspects of your life for the better. A book that will do just that, as well as making you less likely to criticize your body and improve your overall self-image, is Beat Depression Fast by Alexandra Massey. Bear with me. All of us have the inclination towards self-doubt and being hard on ourselves. This book counters these attitudes, as well as giving actions you can take in your life to feel better in your own skin. You don’t need to be depressed to be feeling like your life is out of control or dissatisfying. Reading this really will help, along with making you feel that your body deserves to be loved no matter what it weighs.
Stage four: REJUVENATE
Move forward with the ‘new you’ by reading what is probably one of the most hyped books of the last ten years. But unlike The Twilight Saga and Fifty Shades of Grey, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho is well worth the hype. For only a short book, it packs a hell of a punch and will leave you reeling and pumped for following through with the changes you’ve identified you need to make in your life. What starts as a simple tale of a boy having a recurring dream soon turns into a novel about a quest for treasure and deepens to become a story about how we must all be more active in listening to what our subconscious is telling us about what we should do in order to be happy.
Stage five: RETOX
After all that reading and soul searching, your brain deserves a break. Pour a gin and tonic, mulled wine, baileys and hot chocolate, or a chilled glass of OJ (if alcohol isn’t your thing), put your feet up, and get ready to brave the work Xmas party with a real smile on your face.
Title image source: theguardian.com