New Year New You?
Every year, we are all determined to be fitter and healthier. Now the question is will 2016 see our best intertions turn into reality? Katie Truman ponders but keeps it real...
It’s the same old story every year across the planet, at the dawn of a New Year and on the first week of January, everyone furtively making New Year resolutions. And those inevitably include a determined effort to make this year a healthier, fitter and more fabulous one, with well-meaning plans like going to the gym regularly and starting a new diet or a healthy lifestyle plan.
Sadly, for many this lasts as long as the year is new, especially in my native UK – and for that matter, the rest of Europe – where in the post-festive season, as it gets so bone-chillingly cold and depressing in January, the last thing you feel like doing is cutting down your comfort food intake and trudging out in the rain to a soulless gym. Besides, you can get away with hiding all your festive excesses under a bundle of clothes until the temperatures, hopefully, start to rise again. And that’s just it: one reason why people perhaps fail in their New Year fitter-healthier quest is that it all too swiftly follows an obscenely gluttonous month of feasting, partying and drinking, resulting in an insurmountable contrast in lifestyle.
If however, you are lucky enough to be based in a tropical part of the world like Southeast Asia, specifically here in Bali, excuses and denials don’t cut it so much. With a mostly outdoor existence, invitingly warm climate and all that flesh on show, being fit, slim and overall healthy (or at least attempting to be) should develop as second nature – at the very least a gentle overall lifestyle habit, not a quick-fix, guilt-ridden game plan.
In Bali, you have all those beaches and marine life, and related activities like surfing, sailing, water-skiing, swimming and so on. Not to mention a hot tropical climate that should work to reduce your appetite – in these temperatures, who would actually want to eat melted chocolate and greasy breakfast fry-ups or, while we’re at it, afford extortionate-priced European cheeses? Instead, the island’s abundant fresh fruit and produce, and just-caught succulent seafood and pure juices, should encourage us towards healthy eating.
If that wasn’t incentive enough to be healthier, you cannot escape being surrounded by all those lean surfer dudes and impossibly pretty young things dressed in flattering, reveal-all attire. And if you need further inspiration, Bali just happens to be a world leading spa and wellness destination – especially Ubud, which is globally acclaimed as the health and healing epicenter – with more yoga centers, slimming therapies, raw food restaurants and detox retreats (far gentler than their Thai counterparts it must be noted) than you can shake a bamboo stick at.
Compared to the unhealthy, gluttonous habits of my former life in London, with its unavoidable positive influences and nature-based surrounds, Bali has positively encouraged me to be at my healthiest and fittest, albeit on a long-term basis and keeping it real for my age and day-to-day lifestyle. Ever since I set foot on this part of the world I have slowly acquired more energy, experienced less ailments and achieved a leaner figure and healthier glow than I carried at the height of my youth back in that cold climate metropolis. But let’s not forget, everything in moderation, with a teaspoon of flexibility thrown in. We are, after all, only humans and life is short.
The healthy life I may – annoyingly for some – exude and extol, but I still like (read: deserve) the odd treat or two: occasionally indulging in pizzas, chocolate truffles (albeit chilled) and Happy Hour cocktails. When planning a get-together drink with an American colleague in Ubud, who could diplomatically be described as a born-again health-freak, she declared, “Yes, let’s meet over a cold pressed green smoothie,” to which I replied, “Actually I prefer a Lychee Martini.” At least she didn’t invite me to a yoga session or a 7-day juicing fast. Or those increasingly popular colonic hydrotherapy treatments, which no one and no amount of money would ever entice me to undergo. I mean, I do have my limits.
Contributor : Katie Truman
Magazine issue > Pondering Point