Wednesday 21 March 2018

Shape Up: Don't hide behind props

A group of models present creations that look like bridal underwear as part of Dolce&Gabbana’s
Spring/Summer 2011 women’s collection during Milan Fashion Week
A group of models present creations that look like bridal underwear as part of Dolce&Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2011 women’s collection during Milan Fashion Week

Damien Maher

If you stopped procrastinating and finally started exercising, then you wouldn't feel the need to use clothes as a prop -- you'd be happy to show the world the real you

The countdown to the Christmas party is under way and you are pre-occupied wondering what dress you're going to wear. But the voice in your head asks the question -- does the little black number still fit? Will it hide my indiscretions in the food department of recent times?

You have two options, as portrayed by Jane and Mary. Jane will opt for the easier option.

Spanx underwear will go on the shopping list to work on lifting her bum and tucking in her mid-section, a maximiser bra to draw attention away from her ever-widening hips, and fake eyelashes, hair extensions and spray tan will all be relied on, until her alter-ego makes an appearance on the night.

Jane puts a mask on, for she fears that nobody will like her for who she is and she is afraid to take responsibility for her actions.


Mary, on the other hand, is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Each year she has taken the route that Jane does now, with a push-up bra, high heels to make her legs look longer and leaner, but now she wants to be true to herself.

She wants to regain control of her body and to bring it back to its former glory when she had more energy and wasn't continually looking for the next prop so she could feel good about herself.

Mary has taken 100pc responsibility for herself and she takes the road less travelled.

She has decided to seek coaching in nutrition and to schedule time in her diary to train now, not January.

Whatever your reason for procrastinating, your mirror won't lie to you when you try on your party dress.

If you decide to offer up your training regime as the sacrificial lamb, your dress might reveal all your recent indiscretions, as the average person can gain up to 10lbs of fat during December. To gain 10lbs is an achievement but it is one that will be accomplished with some ease by many. The Christmas dinner alone can pack 3,500 calories, enough to gain one pound of fat, but it will be your decision to slack off your training that will tip the scales in the wrong direction.

Why not be like Mary who loses 6-10lbs during the same time frame? It is very achievable to lose two pounds a week but this will only happen if you make the most of the available time left in the year.

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week and as the clock ticks closer to your Christmas party, the sense of urgency and desperation increases.

This can see you tempted by many drastic methods to lose weight quickly: exchanging solid foods for weight-loss shakes, skipping meals and that old reliable -- the cabbage soup diet.

The irregularity of meals and nutrients when you use these methods forces the body into meltdown as it transfers into energy conservation mode.


It doesn't know when its next meal is coming and so the body looks at which systems it can shut down and your health will deteriorate. This will slow down your metabolism and increase your body-fat storage in the long term.

A year from now you may wish you had started today because it will be the same challenges you face.

But next year your hips will be even bigger and there'll be even more wrinkles on your face. It will mean you need more props and you will be moving further and further away from the real you.

You may still procrastinate and you even might try and justify it to yourself and say you are waiting for the perfect moment, when you have more time, when Christmas is over, the kids are settled, after my brother's wedding . . .

If you waited until all the traffic lights were green before you got into your car, you'd never get started.

There will never be a perfect time. So which road will you take at the crossroads?

Will you take Easy Street, with Jane, or will you take the road less travelled with Mary that will be challenging but it will bring you to new pastures that help recharge your energy as well as defying gravity?


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