Amanda steps away from the sofa….

Doughnut So the chocolates and the salami and the sausage rolls have all been packed away with the tinsel and the fairy lights and I’m ready to tackle the annual New Year comedy that is my resolution to get fit. I’m really good at it – I make the same resolution every single year and have done since I was 16.

The trouble is, as Lee Janogly, diet counsellor and author of the harsh but true “Only fat people skip breakfast” (Harper Collins) explains, when it comes to getting fit we suddenly enter a fantasy world where we turn into completely different people. Instead of the harassed mum of four who spends the first hour of every day drinking coffee, making toast and bawling up the stairs I imagine myself as someone who not only has the time to spend an hour at the gym every day but has the money and willpower to actually do it. In the absence of my mum it takes someone like Lee to point out to me “It’s never going to happen”.

“When it comes to taking exercise think about what you are prepared to do and what you enjoy,” she said, “No-one is going to keep doing something they hate – so if you know you hate spending half an hour staring at the wall on a treadmill and can’t face all those machines don’t do it. Try something else, take up Zumba or kickboxing,” There is absolutely no point in setting yourself up for failure by setting yourself unrealistic goals. “It’s much better to do five or ten minutes of exercise a day and stick to it than try to do an hour a day and fail,” she said. Equally there are ways to minimise the chance of failure – number one of which is of course the old “whoops I seem to have run out of time for my 15 minutes of exercise today…” routine. “Don’t let that happen – the easiest way is to get it out of the way first thing, so even if you have to come downstairs in your nightie, just do it, or if you want to exercise outside get your trainers and trackie bottoms out the night before put them ready by the bed and you have one less excuse to stop you,” she said.

So here goes. I’m going to return to the only exercise I actually enjoyed and which did make a difference to the way I looked – running or moving slightly faster than normal while wearing trainers….It’s cheap – I can do it in the park, it doesn’t take long (twenty minutes and I’m puffed out!) and I can fit it in when I’m walking the dog (poor Doughnut – he used to be a racing greyhound now he’s reduced to trotting round the park with me….)

I start tomorrow – so watch this space! And let me know what works for you.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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