I am not one who celebrates the New Year or makes resolutions at that time preferring to wait until the time is right for my next challenge. Today is the day. Apparently the third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday but this isn’t something that I subscribe to.

This week is the start of a new 12 week period in my life. After succumbing to the vomiting bug last week, I am now back to ‘normal’ just in time to commence another round of Julia Buckley’s Fat Burn Revolution programme only this time I have a different focus – strength rather than fat loss. I do not need to lose weight and my body composition is now lean so fat loss is no longer my goal. With Julia’s knowledge, agreement and advice I am tweaking the metabolic workouts so instead of 2 sets of 10 reps, I am working towards failure in 4 sets of 5 reps. What does this mean in reality?

Basically I am lifting heavier than before. That’s the difference. Gone are the pretty coloured dumbbells and I am now working with adjustable sets. There’s going to be trial and error but that’s all part of the challenge.

However, all other principles of Julia’s programme still apply. In fact nutrition now plays an even more important part in my diet as I have to ensure sufficient consumption of protein and the inclusion of carbohydrates. I’m not a calorie counter (never have been) and admit to a weakness for cakes and croissants. So my dietary challenge is too eat well, eat healthily and to eat right for my specific aims of gaining strength and defining those lovely muscles that have begun to appear.

My other challenge during this period is that I’m not going to use the usual metrics. I will not step on my bodyfat scales. I will not use the tape measure. My guide is how heavy I lift and how I feel.

I already know that I’m going to feel fit, healthy and fabulous by the end of the twelve weeks but I have an added incentive. On the last day of the programme, 13th April (London Marathon day too by the way), I am going to see Russell Watson in concert in Oxford. So I’ll have a fantastic night out, see one of my favourite performers, probably have a glass of champagne too and know that underneath my gladrags is a fit fifty-something bod.

Oh and I have a birthday this week so champagne and chocolate are definitely on the menu along with a day of pampering! Happy New Year to me