I've had a bit of a fitness disaster recently.
My personal trainer dumped me.
It might sound a bit melodramatic, but I've been training with him twice a week for about nine years.
He's left London and moved to the US for a job offer that was too good to refuse, so it wasn't personal, but it's like losing one of your closest friends.
To be fair to him he has left me detailed instructions on what exercises I should be doing when, how much weight I should be lifting, and what I should be eating - predictably lots of high protein foods, fibrous carbohydrates and healthy fats every meal.
Two problems though - he's not here to motivate me, and I've been traveling quite a lot with work which means that I haven't really been able to get to the gym or control what I eat.
I love travel and I will use any excuse to jump on a plane or train and head somewhere new, somewhere different. Even when you're traveling with work it kind of feels a bit like a holiday so the normal rules and routines don't apply, right? That means you don't go to the gym and you can eat and drink what you like!
The trouble is that when you're away more than you're home, it gets harder and harder to pretend that you're treating yourself with a 'cheat meal' - you're actually just being lazy and eating rubbish.
When you get to my age (40), it doesn't take long for the body to embrace a more relaxed approach to exercise and diet. Goodbye abs. Goodbye tight t-shirts. Goodbye skinny jeans.
I was in Manhattan recently with my friend Ming. He pointed at my stomach and said:
'Unless you can control... that... you're going to have to start wearing baggier clothes.' Ming is not known for his subtlety.
So it's time to take some responsibility for my fitness. Time to get serious.
However I'm not emotionally ready to sign up with a new personal trainer, so I've been checking out apps, technology, and other forms of professional support that might help get me motivated and keep my gym regime on track.
Six Pack Shortcuts
This is a website that gets my attention - it's a useful guide to some of the success strategies for getting your body into shape (as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid).
I'm convinced that there must be an easier way to get my abs back than super-strict dieting and relentless exercise - anything headlined 'Six Pack Shortcuts' is definitely worth a look.
Online reviews are a useful way to test the credibility of new workout programs - it's reassuring to see some positive results reported in the six pack shortcuts review, so I'm planning to give it a shot.
I'm liking this one - Gym Jam is an app that helps you find your nearest gym which is useful when you're traveling. It also tells you opening hours, class timetables, and has social media features so that you can see if any of your friends are there or helps you make new gym buddies.
Something that combines fitness with travel could be my answer - an adventure holiday. The idea of swimming with turtles off the coast of Borneo, or 'coasteering' off the cliffs of Hokkaido, or even just cycling along Australia's 'Shipwreck Coast' seems a legitimate way of combining my passion for travel with a focus on staying fit.
I'm not going to throw those skinny jeans out just yet... there's still time... there's still hope!