The Programme, week 1: Simon Manley

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The Independent Online

Aim: To lose 2 or 3 per cent in body fat.

I'm doing the Programme because I want to get stronger, increase my stamina and generally tone up. I'm feeling the effects of sitting at my desk too much and think this will give me the kick up the backside that I need. I'm less interested in losing weight than I am in losing body fat, though I think I can lose three or four pounds.

My exercise regime has in the past been pretty good. I usually manage a game of squash each week and cycle to and from work most days. But in the past couple months this has dropped off so the Programme is a great opportunity to get back into gear. I like to think my diet at the moment is reasonably healthy and I cook quite healthy dishes at home, though I am aware that I do have a limited repertoire, so it would be nice to know what I can eat from a wider range but while still trying to keep it healthy. I do eat out more often than I should and I'm sure the nutritionist is going to tell me to cut down on the amount I drink, though I wouldn't say I drink more than average.

I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can about the types of exercises I can do and nutritional information about the things I eat. I'm more apprehensive about the level of exercise. It should be quite do-able but I'm sure there will be quite a bit of pain involved. I think it will also be quite difficult to cut down the amount I drink, whether it's through work or socialising, there always seems to be some excuse.

I think it's good that both myself and Rachel are doing this together as we'll be able to encourage each other. She's better at some things – like the jogging, which I hate – but I'm a much better cyclist. Though I don't know if we'll become more competitive later on.

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