It’s the lovely month of June, which means that summer is officially here, even if the British climate doesn’t agree and this magazine has just spent twenty minutes shielding you from a hailstorm on the way back to the office. Summer in Jersey means obligatory semi-nudity on the beach, even if you’re like me and can only say your body is ‘beach ready’ in the way that the body of a tired whale is ready to end its days stinking up a sandy bay in Cornwall. Maybe you’re prepared: you’ve spent three hours in the gym each day since October 2014, and are sporting more muscles than a sunken pedalo. Maybe you run to work from St Ouen and have a body so lean that your only visible fat is inside your eyeballs.
What is more likely is that you really don’t know if you’ve been active enough to be the Pamela Anderson of St Brelade’s Bay. The question you might be asking yourself is – should you be confident enough to show off on the sand, or should you pay some children to bury you in it? To find out you could just look in the mirror and be happy with what you’ve got. Or, you could pay £50 for an appointment with a personal trainer and then live on kale smoothies til July. The best option, as ever, is to entrust the decision to the 100% objective approach of one of Gallery’s multiple choice quizzes. We asked ten fitness experts to comment, and seven of them agreed that taking our quiz definitely wouldn’t make your love handles get any worse. The other three told us to stop calling them at 3AM.
1. Which of these best describes your daily fitness regime?
A: I walk to work when the weather is nice, and try and do a yoga class once a week. I have some hand weights and a Davina McCall aerobics DVD (both unused).
B: I stay active by only taking the lift when I’m going upstairs, and regularly work up a sweat just by loading paper in the photocopier.
C: At least an hour of cardio, either at the gym or through sports. Stretching and muscle toning on alternate days.
D: My regime is harsh and oppressive, like Saudi Arabia but with free weights instead of camels and 200 sit ups before breakfast instead of Sharia law.
2. What’s your ideal plan for a sunny weekend?
A: Go for a quick swim, or a nice walk on the beach. Maybe reward myself with a milky coffee and a slice of cake afterwards.
B: Sunbathing, barbecue and beer on repeat.
C: Depending on the wind direction: surf, kayak, kitesurf, windsurf, paddleboard, swimming.
D: Running around a quarry, barefoot, carrying a bag full of rocks. If you haven’t fought off heat exhaustion and thrown up twice, you haven’t worked hard enough and I pity you.
3. Which statement best describes your diet?
A: Not enough vegetables; too much pasta and cheese.
B: Deep-fried, microwaved or take-away; always dripping in delicious sauce.
C: Steamed vegetables and fish; lean protein and whole grains.
D: raw eggs, steamed chicken, protein shakes and supplement powders I bought from a website in Russia.
4. How do you like to end your day?
A: A glass of wine, an episode of Game of Thrones and something to nibble every time a gory bit comes on.
B: A bottle of wine, four episodes of Game of Thrones and any leftover takeaway within reaching distance.
C: A decaf tea, some classical music on Radio 3 and a slice of brown toast.
D: Hanging upside down from my pull-up bar, consuming protein via an enema, because I read that inverted digestion boosts muscle gain.
5. What do you like to do on holiday?
A: Take in the sights and go on long walks, especially if they finish at a charming local restaurant.
B: Foam parties, kebabs and a hen party from Bolton.
C: Run, hike, swim and climb in new places.
D: Endurance races through inhospitable climates, showing off in the hotel gym, possibly some bare-knuckle fighting to earn a bit of spending money.
6. What’s your ideal shape?
A: Slightly slimmer and a bit more toned. I’m not losing any sleep over it.
B: I’m only interested in other people’s shape, unless you’re talking about a brand of low-fat yoghurt, which you can keep to yourself.
C: This one. I don’t want to boast, but I can take my clothes off, stand still and be mistaken for a Renaissance sculpture.
D: So hench that they can spray me green and hire me to play Hulk in the next Avengers movie.
7. You’ve worked really hard this week.
How do you finally relax?
A: I’m mostly pretty relaxed, but Friday is time for a movie, popcorn and perhaps some ice cream.
B: 18 hours of Red Bull-fuelled Playstation gaming. I like to swear the week away.
C: A small glass of wine and a meal with melted cheese in it. Cheeky!
D: I am physically unable to unclench my muscles, unless my doctor friend Johann makes a house call with ’sleepy gas’ and a bottle of Slippery Elm. I can relax when I’m dead.
How did you answer?
Mostly As: You should find the time to exercise a bit more often, but you already know this. Sign up for a fitness class, eat fewer carbs and go to the beach anyway. You probably look fine, and your refusal to worry too much is the secret envy of people a lot healthier than you are.
Mostly Bs: You are very lazy, but it is possible that if a heart attack or stroke doesn’t take you out you might outlive us due to your Buddah-like disregard for the stresses of this world. Be proud of your beach body, as what it doesn’t represent in gym-time it represents in vending machine cash investment. Consider living close to a defibrillator station though.
Mostly Cs: You are super healthy, and are probably reading this quiz whilst you cool down between sets. You are in fantastic shape, so this is your permission to be naughty and eat half a packet of Quavers. You’re 100% beach ready, but also 100% likely to make the rest of us feel guilty about that second eclair.
Mostly Ds: You are a fitness fanatic, and have no downtime that isn’t taken up by some form of exertion. It’s lucky you’d never take the lift, or a captive audience would have to hear you talk about CrossFit / Bikram Yoga / Tough Mudder / how difficult it is to have a poo. You’ll die at 43 when fate decides a runaway ice cream van will crush you for the sake of cosmic irony.