Why do we feel the need to make ourselves miserable?

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I’m going on a juice diet!

No, don’t be silly, of course I’m not. The only juice I drink comes in fermented grape form or is bought in surprising combinations that include something called wheatgrass and seem to be more expensive than molten diamonds.

No, this was out of the mouth of a friend of mine who declared, mid-house party, that she wasn’t drinking on New Year’s Eve.

This was because she needed to prepare for her seven-day juice diet, which was to begin the following morning.

She doesn’t really drink much anyway, so giving up her new year glass of bubbly was, I’m sure, no great hardship and it meant she didn’t have to pay a king’s ransom to get home.

But why January 1? Why not a couple of days later?

Why do we all feel the need to celebrate the end of the party season by making ourselves feel thoroughly miserable?

Now don’t get me wrong here, I will support her in her endeavours to replace cutlery with a selection of drinking straws.

Her aim is to lose half-a-stone in seven days, and to up her exercise while simultaneously starving herself.

And she won’t be alone. I bet most of us know someone who’s planning on doing something similar.

Remember that 5 + 2 diet that seems to have worked, in the long term, for a sum total of nobody?

Now I’m no svelte temptress, but life’s too short to drink eight mashed bananas with a twist of cucumber, surely?

Ironically, I was talking about this with some friends over a post-party fry up on January 1.

While studiously ignoring the intake of a grease-laden feast on our plates, we concluded it was better to eat well, exercise more and not try to stick to diets that have the potential to promote homicidal thoughts.

Exercise is something I struggled with last year, so my resolution this year is to do more.

Not to run every day, or become a health evangelist who eats quinoa and brown rice three times a day.

No, just to make a small change that I can carry on all year – and beyond.