It would be fair to say that politics and liberal bureaucracy are not a healthy mix. When I first got involved in politics at university, I was in the early stages of putting on seventy pounds. The late nights, the beer, the junk food, the lack of exercise, all of these took their toll. It was only when I became International Officer of the Young Liberal Democrats that I became inspired to address the problem, and promptly lost half of that in a year. Giving up active politics in mid-1991 caused me to lose the remaining thirty-five pounds in six months.
I became politically active again in the late nineties, and the pounds began to pile on inexorably, until late 2003, when I had put all of the weight back on, but was suddenly out of the political scene again. Off came the weight again, another thirty-five pounds, and I was doing well, relatively fit (fit enough to wander around Machu Picchu and Potosi comfortably, despite the high altitude).
And then Flick Rae came a-calling in 2004, and lured me back into Liberal Democrat politics. More late nights, less/no exercise, bad dietary habits, more alcohol, those pounds went back on. The Presidency, combined with a diet rich in locally produced pork, cheese and beer, certainly didn't help - all of those Local Party dinners, the hotel buffet breakfasts - I was on the road to perdition. Until this summer, with my District Council election out of the way, when I decided to scale back the politics and focus on getting myself into rather better shape.
It's gone quite well up until now - I've lost twenty pounds and reclaimed a large wardrobe of clothes that had ceased to fit - but there's an awfully long way to go still. It will, I have to confess, probably be even further after this holiday, with much pork eaten and even more beer drunk. But it's been fun, and I have a decent run until Christmas to make another dent in the pile of sugar bags I effectively carry around with me.
Next year, I suspect that the politics I do will be rather gentler. I'm not up for election to anything significant, certainly nothing requiring a campaign, I won't be a Regional office holder, and I'm not expecting the Parish Council to occupy my time quite to the extent that it did this year. Hopefully, I might reach the end of 2012 in rather better shape as a result, both mentally and physically. One can but hope...
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange