Columnist, Nicola Farah: I just don’t have the willpower for it this year

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Have you ever heard of food envy?

If you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you. It’s an urban slang term for ‘that moment,’ in a restaurant when somebody at your table - or perhaps even a neighbouring diner - receives their order and it looks soooo good, you immediately wish you’d ordered the same. Nothing kills an enjoyable evening like being out-ordered by someone, particularly if that someone can’t help but be a little smug about it.

What I have is a little different. An entire month into 2016, I’m finding myself stricken with Diet Envy. Yes, it was new to me too.

Basically, everywhere I look, I see people eating well and getting in shape, as we all tend to do at this time of year. The problem is, everyone is doing it better than me. My ‘health kick’ has consisted of ‘trying’ to eat less chocolate and digging out my old kettlebell. In the name of full disclosure, I haven’t actually used the kettlebell, but it’s been sat in my hallway since January 1.

Our office is filled with people coming to the end of Dry January. 12pm rolls round and people start unpacking their beansprout salads and snacking on boiled eggs. There’s never been such a queue for the water cooler as people rush to hydrate themselves at regular intervals, filling up sports bottles and stopping to do a few lunges on the way back to their desks. And their hard work is starting to pay off.

I used to be just the same. When I was in my twenties, I’d hit the gym a couple of times a week - for fun. I took Zumba and dance classes and only drank wine on rare occasions. I gave myself a ‘cheat day’ a week and spent the rest of the time packing tuna and brown pasta salads for lunch.

Then I became a parent. Now, given the choice between spending an hour with my 20-month-old before she goes to bed or heading out to a boxercise class, my daughter wins - at the expense of my waistline. By the time she’s finally down for the night and her little clothes have been washed and packed for the next day, and her toys put away and I’ve scraped spaghetti bolognese off the walls from dinner, I sit down. I’m too tired to do anything else. I certainly don’t start cooking healthy lunches for the next day or get in a round of stomach crunches before bed.

I used to enjoy getting up and hitting the gym for an early class before work too. The idea is plain funny now. Maybe one day, when my little one isn’t so little, but for now I just sit - glass of wine in hand - and admire the people who’ve made January pay.

Next year, perhaps I’ll have what they’re having.