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THERE’S no doubt I’m getting a little older, a little thicker around the edges and a little slower.

To my utter despair the other week I discovered ‘back fat’. I was horrified. I never saw myself as heading towards chubby … or as a potential middle-aged woman. Just how old is middle aged? Is it middle between 0 and 100, or middle-of-life – which I’m guessing is around 43ish? On the brink of 46, either way, I am there!!

Try as I might, I just can’t seem to shift the weight gain from babies five and six. And how have I tried? I’ve got a full gym membership, I have bought a beautiful #Specialised bike for weekend country rides, I have all the latest #Adidas trackies and every chance I get I buy Women’s Health, the runners’ magazines and #Prevention.

So what is going wrong?? The last time I went to the gym was in January, the bike is gathering dust, celery and beetroot going soggy in the refrigerator, trackies are for the couch and I haven’t even opened the magazine covers.

I know – it’s my fault. And funnily enough, it’s not because I hate exercise, power juices or healthy food – I’ve just been insanely busy. Full time work, part time consulting (trying to get my business off the ground), and Masters studies have supposedly dominated my time. These are my excuses anyway.

Between friends though, I still have time to watch my daily fix of The Young and The Restless, Home and Away and the latest renovation or cooking competition series. I still have time to play Gems with Friends, Words with Friends, Bejeweled and Scramble with Friends.exercises

I still have time for my glass of shiraz before dinner and after dinner and for my Twitter and Facebook tweaking.

Yes …. I do have time to tackle my middle-aged spread head on – and to do it successfully – but I’ve just lacked the motivation.

How have I worked around my malaise? I’ve recruited a buddy!! No more making fiddly healthy meals for one to take to the office!! We are taking turns. And the motivation of competition has always been a key driver for me in everything that I do.

It’s long been known that having a buddy on the fitness journey (fitness is far more important than the singular focus of weight loss) helps us all stay on task.

“In the realm of dieting, there is evidence that social support is a positive factor influencing weight loss,” says Kenneth Schwarz, PhD, who with his wife, Julie Schwarz, wrote the book Maria’s Last Diet: How to Break through the 15 Obstacles to Achieve Diet Success.

In research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2005, doctors at Brown Medical School and Dartmouth University found that people who had an exercise buddy who successfully lost weight were more successful at losing, too.

I’m counting on it – watch this space!!