Unless you’ve been hiding inside for the past few weeks, you’ll notice the days are getting longer and the sunshine that little bit warmer.

And pretty soon, volcanoes permitting, a good proportion of us are hoping to be jetting off on our Summer holidays to enjoy the sea, sun and sand.


Are you prepared? Do you look as good as you want to, or as good as you thought you would?

And if you don’t – which probably means most of us – what are you doing about it?

Most people do nothing, except perhaps to moan and complain and seek solace in a big tub of ice-cream with M&Ms on the top.

And, in truth, for us to be at our best by the time the holidays come round, we should probably have started several weeks ago.

But we can’t change the past and there’s nothing to be gained in beating ourselves up about it; what’s more, stuffing our faces in the (erroneous) belief we’ve somehow “failed” and we’ll “start again later” is going to do us a lot of harm in the long term (it’s dumb, we all do it, and we all know how dumb it is).

So let’s start from now. Draw a line under the past, start afresh and commit to being the best we can given where we are now. That’s a lot healthier, positive and success-orientated than giving in, over-eating and piling on a few more pounds until we decide to start again at some indeterminate time in the future.

Here’s what to do. It’s all simple, it won’t take long and it’s guaranteed to work. You might not be how you wanted to be, but you’ll be the best you can be.

  1. Take a piece of paper and work out how many weeks it is to your holiday.
  2. Decide how many pounds you think you can reasonably lose between now and then, and set it as your goal. Don’t go all silly and think you’re going to work like a Trojan and lose 10lb a week. That’ll last for at least a couple of hours until you start feeling hungry, tired and miserable. If you can consistently lose 1lb to 1 ½lb a week, you’re doing really well.
  3. Write this goal down.
  4. Then work backwards and calculate how much you’ll have lost each week. So if you want to lose 10lb in 10 weeks, then at week 9 you’ll have lost 9lb, at week 8, 8lb, and so on.
  5. Begin. Today. Right now. Don’t say you’ll “start Monday” and then spend the weekend pigging-out on junk-food in a desperate attempt to cram as much food into your belly as possible.  Begin now by eating how you should be eating tonight, and exercising how you should be exercising.
  6. Record your progress, feelings, moods, food, exercise and everything else every day.
  7. And don’t forget to have one relaxed “free meal” at least once a week.

I can’t guarantee exactly how much you’ll lose doing this, but I do guarantee you’ll lose more than if you don’t.