Sunday, 19 February 2012

Do you do as you're told?

I'm trying to remember the current Government advice on how much wine we should drink. It seems to change fairly regularly; but we are all, presumably, meant to note each new communique and respond obediently. (I think advice about water-drinking also fluctuates, but somehow that doesn't arrive with the same fanfare.)

We must also exercise. This isn't tightly defined, and again the amount seems to vary. Sometimes we only need to walk for twenty minutes a day; other times we should make ourselves puff three times a week (so the newly-married should be ok?). I'm not sure if there is an allowance made for age: should I be striding down to the gym three times a week? Does yoga count - I can manage worshipping the sun, though not when it involves getting down on the floor and up again several times a second. And I can manage a tree-pose provided I can prop myself up on the wall.

Then we have to eat - no salt, unless you have low blood pressure and then you must eat salted crisps. But you must avoid fats. Fruit and veg: good. Sugar, chocolate: bad. Red meat - who knows?

I am aware that there are people who need help to look after themselves. They haven't got the hang of eating to keep well, and moving around comfortably.

But most of us - well, what is your response to each new Government edict? Do you measure your salt intake, study the ingredients on the side of tins for saturated fats, wake up on Tuesday and know that if you don't go for a swim today you'll turn into a pudding? And drink - have you ever said, 'sorry, I've had my fourteen units this week, I can't have any more until Sunday?'

So - tell me I'm not a rebel, just because I think for myself. Sometimes I drink more than the recommended units; I taste my food and decide if it needs more salt; I eat fruit - because I like it. I walk the Wiltshire's glorious Downs because they are beautiful; I walk through Savernake Forest because some of the trees are over a thousand years old and they remind me just how ridiculous - and insignificant - I am.

And you? Do you think for yourself? Obey Government advice to the letter? Or do the opposite just because you can? (Or do you simply not notice when this stuff is in the papers anyway?)


  1. It's impossible to stick to Government guidelines because they keep changing. Moderation in all things seems to fit the bill:-)

  2. I think I purposefully ignore anything the government recommends! They seem recommend something this year, then change it next year... I think if we have any common sense we can pretty much look after ourselves. Of course there are always going to be those who get it wrong and they're the ones who make the headlines (or those TV shows where someone will only eat chips because they can't force themselves to eat a vegetable...poor things :/ ) but most of us can regulate ourselves well enough to stay relatively fit and well!
    Like jabblog says moderation is the word!

  3. Moderation, if course, keeps us healthy.

    Plus the occasional rebellion, when we eat, drink, or lie about like a beached whale, because we can? Or am I the only one who still feels like she's sitting in the back row of the class at school with some teacher telling me that greens are good for me?

  4. Yeah, because the Government is doing such a bang-up job of running the country, of COURSE I'm going to trust a word they tell me when it comes to my health ;-)

  5. Sarah - a woman after my own inclinations!