ZELLA COMPTON: Pressure's not fattening us up - it's the easiness of life

The season of leftovers is finally drawing to a close.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 6:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:49 am
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

But the leftovers hang around for far longer than any of us ever expect, even with the ‘moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips’ mantra which we all know and ignore.

There’s a big push going on aimed at the bigger people. I’m one of those, the obese, who fall into the 40-60 year-old age and fat bracket.

A new campaign has appeared all about living better to decrease the likelihood of heart disease and diabetes as we get older. That’s those of us who eat too much, drink too much and exercise too little.

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The new campaign bases this all on the pressures of modern living. Now I’m not too sure if pressure is the cause. I wonder if it’s more easiness that’s the problem.

I doubt I’m alone in remembering a cautious upbringing, where shops closed on a Wednesday afternoon and most of the weekend, so food had to last.

Where your parents eked out puddings and supplemented your daily bread with items from the garden.

Where home-made wasn’t hip, it was rather embarrassing, and you looked on with envy at the few who had a disposable lifestyle. Ribena cartons were an example.

And then came supermarkets and cars, and ease. It’s not pressure which is fattening us all up. It’s ease of going to the shop and buying a ready-made meal – pizza in my case.

The ease of going to a shop and buying alcohol because at the end of the day that’s what you fancy.

That’s why I carry fat on me, because it’s been simple to get bigger. It’s required no effort in any way.

And here we are, at the start of another new year where we have new notions about the different type of people we were planning to be, and where we set ourselves new goals with easy new ways of achieving them on offer.

Like apps. Download this, that and the other and let your new phone tell you how easy it all is, if you just do easy things.

Except, when trying to access the Public Health England website with its easy quiz about all the things I need to change, it turns out it was having technical difficulties.

Which I thought was rather perfect.


I admit I slept through most of Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie, so I can’t exactly comment on what I thought of it.

But there was lots of noise and action occurring each time that I snorted myself awake.

That’s what happens when you go to the cinema post-Christmas feasting – it all catches up with you.

I did get the gist of the story though, which I thought was stunningly clever, fixing a massive hole in the original trilogy’s plotting.

I very much enjoyed the ending, especially as I saw it on the day that Carrie Fisher died. It was she who inspired a generation of young girls to take control of their destinies.

You have to love sci-fi for that – women given character, brains and looks.


Will 2017 be a year of new starts? It can’t get much bigger than 2016 for political turmoil, celebrity deaths and dark times teetering on the horizon.

For me, 2017 is about taking part – in Brexit, in my community, in politics and shaping what I want for the next 20 years, and for my children’s future.

It’s about making sure that kindness and other values are put centre stage and holding those to account who make the bigger decisions in our society.

I’m starting with a letter a month to figures with real political gravitas – not puppets.

I haven’t decided to whom my first missive will be addressed (there are so many topics we need to keep account of), but I will let you know of any replies.