Lockdown Diary: Hold-Up

Dear Reader,

I hope you’re keeping well and healthy in these strange and surreal times. I didn’t feel too well yesterday, but am feeling much better today, so reckon my peakiness was merely the result of the sudden burst of exercise I did.

I realised yesterday that I’ve really missed writing. I love making you laugh and entertaining you. Before yesterday, I was all about the negative self-talk (‘What’s the point of writing? I’ve spent two years writing a book and lockdown means I’m not even going to be able to promote it on radio and TV, yada yada yada!’) but I’m a writer: I need to write.

One of the main takeaways from my new book How to Live to 100 is that reading makes you live longer. It’s just a theory, but I’m pretty sure that writing makes you live longer too, because it’s cathartic, expressive and creative. I have no evidence for this theory, but this is an encouraging list, and I intend to be on it one day!

So: yesterday I began my new healthy life (before starting to feel under the weather).

Things that went well

I ate my five-a-day. Baked beans, carrots, cucumber, grapes and strawberries. One of the strawberries had developed a hideous furry coating so I ostracised it from its friends.


I logged my calories. MyFitnessPal is the best free app and/or website to help you track them.

I did more than 5,000 steps (I was aiming for 10,000, but didn’t feel well enough). It took way longer than I’d predicted. It was cold outside, so I paced up and down in my kitchen, which is going to need new floorboards at this rate. I called my mum and marched on the spot while talking to her about her magnolia tree; I strode around while listening to my daughter’s Spotify soundtrack of songs about hamsters; I danced around to pop songs too embarrassing to name.

I then got a text from my lovely friend John Bon Jovial, who also has an Apple Watch and was secretly monitoring my progress. He came to the wrong conclusion:


(I’ve literally only been leaving the house once a week, to get groceries. John thinks I should go out for walks; I think I shouldn’t. COVID-19 is out there, people!)

I did my Davina McCall exercise workout. Her website is free for 30 days, and I’m pretty sure that after that you can just sign up again with another email address (sorry, Davina). She is massively inspirational: to go from being a heroin addict to turning your life around so completely and being such a huge success is incredible. Speaking of banging bodies, look at her now, aged 52:


Yeah, I’d settle for my body looking like that! And the workout (presented by her), while not exactly fun (is any exercise fun?) seemed very effective: I felt knackered afterwards and actually had to stop halfway through and do it in two instalments. Which is a bit embarrassing, as it was only 25 minutes long. There were loads of squats, lunges, deadlifts and more. All you need are weights and a mat, but I only have one set of weights and they’re twice as heavy as the ones she was using. Maybe that’ll mean my arms will get twice as toned? A girl can dream…

Things that didn’t go so well

I ate way too much bread and butter. Exercise makes you hungry, and it makes me crave carbs: I ate a whopping 739 calories of bread and butter. I’m going to try not to do that again. Wholemeal bread is good for you; 80% fat butter, not so much.


I didn’t do my yoga video. I was too knackered from Davina’s workout and the 5,000 steps. But I’d heartily recommend Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She’s awesome and funny and I basically want to be her.

I’m not doing a To Do list today; instead, to be on the safe side after feeling ‘peely-wally’ yesterday (as my Scottish friend John says), I’m just staying in bed reading the self-development blinks on Blinkist, as they’ve kindly and unexpectedly given me a free subscription until the 25th. I’ll write again tomorrow!

Lots of love,

Ariane xxx

This post has been made possible by my awesome Patreon supporters Peter Weilgony, Ricky Steer, Charlie Brooker, Mary and Tim Fowler, Steve Richards, Alan Brookland, Mark Ormandy, Oliver Vass, Keith Bell, John Fleming, Mary Clarke, Rebekah Bennetch, Matthew Sylvester, Brian Engler, Jack Scanlan, Dave Nattriss, MusicalComedyGuide.com, Aragorn Strider, Mark White, Lucy Spencer, Shane Jarvis, Emily Hill and Marcus P Knight.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support me on Patreon from just £1 a month and you’ll get to read a lot more of my writing.





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7 thoughts on “Lockdown Diary: Hold-Up”

  1. “I only have one set of weights and they’re twice as heavy as the ones she was using. Maybe that’ll mean my arms will get twice as toned?”
    Or twice as long…

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