Treadmills and exercise bikes across the country are being reinforced and production of industrial strength lycra is at record levels as the annual rush for gym memberships is underway, only to be cancelled within days.

With the UK in a solid first place in the European Obesity League, fatties across the land are looking forward to their annual social media orgy of self-prophesizing weight lost posts, vague earthly-hippie yoga mantras and a gluttony of ‘before’ pics, taken shortly after dumping out their third Turkey sandwich of Christmas day.

Resident Burnley fatty, Hugh Jass, has been waiting for this moment since January. “I cant wait to get to the gym,” he told The Rochdale Herald.”I’ve bought all new kit but I’m going to keep the labels on, just in case.

“I always wanted to get the perfect beach body, for the trips to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. I never got round to joining the gym last Christmas, so missed the opportunity to do so, and now the gear I bought last year doesn’t fit. I’ve been meticulously putting together a healthy eating plan and exercise routine to kick the new year off. Bring on the new me!”

Although he has a better diet than most Burnley residents, when asked whether he knew what Kale was, Hugh assumed it was a greasy spoon cafe village near Skelmersdale.

“I’ll be cutting down the KFC’s to two a week. Although I hear chicken is key to getting fit, so I can’t cut it out completely. I’ll also be making healthier choices with my drink, and instead of 8 pints a night, I’ll switch to Vodka or gin at 6 pints to cut down on the carbs.”

Flood barriers are being installed at one leisure centre in Lancashire to ensure that a repeat of the North West floods do not take place for the one day when the pool looks like mating season of the Elephant Seals.

Regular gym members treat the annual phenomenon as a viewing platform, to make them feel better about themselves, before the migration back to the pubs and takeaways finishes in February.