No brain, no gain
SHE’S a top-rating breakfast radio host, a TV star and a mother of two teenage boys. So how does the effervescent Amanda Keller stay on top of it all?
Simple, she says, it all comes down to reinforcing the positives in your life.
“It’s a bit of a brain game really. If you constantly give in to ‘I feel terrible’ or ‘I feel tired’ it will overwhelm you,” she says. “I’m now better at managing my time and putting myself first in a way I never used to be.
“When the kids were little and they’d say ‘don’t go to the gym’, I wouldn’t go, and then they’d be off doing something else anyway.
“I learnt from that. Now I will go to the gym and I will have that afternoon sleep. I will do the things that keep my whole engine running because without that, the whole machine falls apart.”
Despite the 4am starts on weekdays to prepare for the WSFM breakfast show that tops the Sydney FM radio ratings, and her other commitments, Amanda says her schedule is actually a bit misleading.
“It probably looks busier than it is,” she says. “Radio is daily, TV is every now and then, so I’m home for dinner most nights and I’m there when the kids come back from school.
“I want my children to see I’m having a happy, healthy working life as well as loving my home life. It’s for my sanity, too.”
That said, her schedule — with its pre-dawn radio starts and occasional afternoon or evening TV filming — is something akin to shift work for Amanda, a lifestyle that carries its own health dangers. In fact, research suggests people who work outside normal business hours are up to 30 per cent more likely to become overweight or obese.
Amanda says that’s a trap that is all too easy to fall into, but changes to her diet and a farewell to temptations of the past have helped her avoid it. Alcohol is now largely off-limits on weeknights, and an early bedtime to meet her 4am alarm avoids late-night hunger pangs.
“Because I start so early it would be easy to have 10 meals a day. You think ‘I’m tired and energy equals food’,” she says. “Filming on The Living Room days used to be tricky and I’d occasionally have a Red Bull or whatever. I don’t do that anymore because I know the boost is false.”
STEP TO IT
Like the famed mantra about journeys of a thousand miles, Amanda says changing your lifestyle comes down to simply taking the first step.
“The minute you take that first step it will get easier,” she says. “Even if it is just taking the dog for a walk. I had a sedentary lifestyle for a number of years and I knew I had to do something about it.” KELLER IS CO- HOST OF WSFM’S JONESY & AMANDA SHOW
Amanda Keller enjoying a walk with her dog Mini at Coogee in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.