Last year I started having some health issues. Extreme fatigue, migraines, nausea and stomach aches. They’d come and go at random times and pretty much make everything else in life a massive pain in the ass. Doctors didn’t really know what was causing it, so, after my Christmas junk-food binge, I decided (along with the vast majority of the western world) to make this year a healthy year. I was keen to start feeling good again, and also get a rig like Cindy Crawford. Clean and mean in 2016.

About three weeks in and I’m starting to have my classic existential diet crisis, which I guess is better than my sister who, for her no-booze/no-carbs January, got a full two days into the new year before drinking a bottle of red wine and eating a Jacks burger.

The part I’ve always faltered in in clean & healthy living is the the horrible diet-like cycle of guilt and denial. It feels like living clean is like dating this dickhead who tells you you could lose a few pounds when you’re two fistful’s into a fresh pack of Burger Rings and then berates you for being the “boring girl” when you order a mineral water and green salad at the pub. He makes you feel bad for indulging and worse for abstaining. Its LOSE-fucking-LOSE.

It reminds me of that quote from Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ when she talks about the elusive “cool girl” who “drinks cheap beer,… and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2.” How can we be expected to be this way? It is unrealistic. We can’t all be Nicole Arbor.

So *Newsflash*. Diets don’t work. Not for me, anyway. The whole denial/guilt cycle is ineffective and unsustainable. The minute I tell myself I can’t eat treats, I see pizza in my dreams, and arouse myself at the thought of a Krispy Kreme. But the second my resolve falters and I tear bashfully into a packet of overpriced 7/11 Burger Rings (I like Burger Rings), they taste like ASHES IN MY MOUTH. Like SHAME and WEAKNESS and FAILURE.

What the smart kind of healthy-life advocates try and tell you is you gotta be kind to yourself. Do stuff that’s good for you, but sometimes do stuff that is not so good for you too (if you want to, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody). You’re your harshest critic, and sometimes it’s okay not to stick to something you swore you had to if it’s bringing you down and making you hate life (sorry Serial S2.)

Everything in moderation. It’s all about balance. Unfortunately, the scales generally balance at an 80:20 ratio favouring the green stuff, so I guess I’m bound to live my life consistently unsatisfied (lol, jks, I love kale). I always want fries, but I’m also vain and I don’t want tummy aches, so I’m gonna try and stick to this healthy living thing. Who knows, I might wind up feeling better. And if I get to look like Cindy Crawford, and sometimes have some Burger Rings, well, I guess that’s living pretty.