THE effervescent queen of Sydney radio Amanda Keller has no shortage of things on her increasingly crowded plate, with a demanding career that includes WSFM’s top-rating breakfast show, long-running TV program The Living Room, a weekly magazine column, as well as being a mother to two teenage boys.
So how does she 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 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
Despite the 4am starts on weekdays to prepare for the breakfast show that tops the Sydney FM radio ratings, and her other commitments which include her upcoming hosting role for Dancing With The Stars, 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.
“As I’m getting older I can’t eat bowls of pasta and bowls of porridge and stuff like that. Your metabolism just shifts, so I’m more careful that I used to be.
“I might have a shake in the morning and luckily I love salads. But I just can’t keep control of my weight if I don’t do these relatively strict – well, for me – things.”
STEP UP TO A NEW YOU
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.
“Gyms and that kind of stuff are scary, and that first step is hard but once you take it will never be hard again.
“I meet up with girlfriends on Saturday and Sunday mornings and we go for a 5km walk along the beach. Then we have a cup of tea and maybe some breakfast afterwards – you can build it all into your lifestyle.”
SHAKE TO IT
Amanda’s secret to starting her day the right way so she can power through her day is to shake it. Yes, Amanda’s breakfast shake has been a game changer.
“Everyone knows that the hours of breakfast radio can be brutal and the early starts would often see me miss breakfast or not eat the right thing first up which made the rest of my day not as productive,” she says.
“But once I started making my super shake in the morning I felt full of energy and great. And it really is just so simple and easy with some blueberries, some super greens powder and protein powder with water.”
Is there anything you wouldn’t eat?
That’s really hard. Probably a lot of things. That kind of sea-sluggy octopus?
What’s your secret vice?
Salt and vinegar chips, or cheese, or wine – I’ve got quite a long list.
What’s your best motivational tip?
Just take that first step. The moment you do that, it’ll get easier.
Do you have a daily meal secret?
No carbs at night. My boys and husband get all of that instead.
What’s the secret to staying fit?
Amanda Keller is the co-host of WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda Breakfast Show, which airs every weekday morning from 6am and the host of Channel 10’s The Living Room which airs every Friday at 7.30pm.
Interview courtesy of The Daily Telegraph September 30