The New Year brings with it a need and a desire to improve things, a fresh start if you will, and top of 99.9pc of people's lists is 'get fit'. After Christmas finally comes to a close, I find myself sober, with no parties to look forward to for a while, and faced with the cold hard fact: I am unfit.
My most energetic movements of late have been tripping about town or reaching forward to the enormous tin of Celebrations on the coffee table and, to be honest, I am bored with not feeling spritely. Being unhealthy is so 2009.
While I am all for working out, there's something about my previous regime of throwing on an old T-shirt of my brother's and my ancient tracksuit bottoms that eventually made me want to avoid it all together. I would never want to be the gym show-off who prances about in the smallest slips of Lycra and an immaculately made-up face; however, seeing as I write about fashion, the skanky gear has to go and I need something vaguely attractive.
First up was investing in some nice new gear -- so far, so enjoyable. I made my way into American Apparel and, an hour later, emerged triumphant. Their tracksuit bottoms are amazingly soft and super-long, which is vitally important. And, without wanting to get too intimate, investing in an amazing sports bra -- alongside good runners -- is about the most important thing a woman can do. The Shock Absorber, although pricey at €47.50, is incredible and sort of moulds itself to your shape, supporting you exactly where it should.
Tesco also has some really reasonable pieces and, should you be really stretched cash-wise, I thought these flat, low-cut shoes would be perfect to slip on for a walk around the block.
I am also a huge fan of layering, so I liked their long-sleeve T-shirts, one on top of the other, topped off with the body warmer. Adidas also had my favourite pair of black leggings.
One cold morning, I optimistically made my way into the Pat Henry Fitness Centre and met Cathy Morrow. Having lost a stone-and-a-half herself, Cathy knows exactly what it feels like to be on the wrong side of buttoning up your jeans. She sort of eyed me up and didn't take seriously any of the rubbish that was coming out of my mouth. Her regime is a very basic one: work hard, know that weight does not come on overnight so it's not going to disappear overnight, and know that it's worth it.
After an hour in Cathy's company, I was puce and breathless. I walked home in a daze. The Celebrations were on the coffee table and I was so disgusted at the amount of work I had to do to rid myself of them, I took the remainder of the tin and chucked it in the bin.
Cathy advised me that investing in a good pair of runners is essential. You get what you pay for, but €80 upwards will guarantee you a good pair that should last the year.