No brain, no gain

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SUNDAY FIT -

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

Pic­ture: Sam Ruttyn.

Amanda Keller en­joy­ing a walk with her dog Mini at Coogee in Syd­ney’s east­ern sub­urbs.

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