I promise I am not coming over all girly, in a ‘does my bum look big in this?’ kind of way, but I am on the lookout for a few quickfire diet ideas.

Having just stepped on the weighing scales – something I have avoided doing since sensing my heavier weight coming on and staying, especially when running, cycling or climbing stairs – I finally did so a few moments ago after stepping out of the shower.

It could be resisted no longer, as I was overtaken on Regent’s Park canal this morning by someone I can only describe as a large-bottomed high end of 30-something female not of naturally athletic bent.

So on I popped … and for the first time since I was on steroids (already admitted in Prelude to Power, to treat ulcerative colitis, rather than for sport/doping reasons) I was on the wrong side of fifteen stone. For the kilogrammers among you, that is above 90, and pointing towards 100. Bad, bad, bad, unless I want to be a heavyweight boxer, for which I may be a bit old.

Now as I am 6 feett 3 inches tall, and fairly big built, so 15′ 4″ might not sound too much, and because it has not yet gone too much on my face, and I have developed those middle-aged spread breathing-in techniques, I probably look lighter than I am. But it is way too much when in my head I am closer to 35 than the 53 years I have actually been around; and way too much a few weeks out from a holiday that always entails zipping (or snailing) up and down Mont Ventoux on a bike, or training for the Great North Run.

I met up with Brendan Foster in Gateshead on Monday and he told me the wonderful story of Chris Chataway, now in his 80th year, who called the GNR organisers the other day to ask what the cut-off point was for the ‘top 20 per cent’ doing the run. Told that it was 1 hour 50, he said that was great, because it gave him a good target for his training. At 79 years of age!!

I have done the GNR several times, usually well under 1.50, but if I was to do it tomorrow, a combination of inflexible limbs – why oh why did I never listen to all those strictures about stretching? – and excess poundage would give me absolutely no chance.

So like Chris, I need a schedule, but I also need to lose a few pounds. The only time I have ever deliberately tried to lose weight before, I went on a strict no carbs diet. It worked so far as losing the excess pounds was concerned, but it also led to massive energy crashes when out running and cycling so it was a bit counter productive.

I also cannot be bothered reading books about it, so I was hoping a bit of interactive dieting might give me the ideas, the inspiration, and the public pressure to keep myself on the straight and narrow as the Boost bars, flapjacks, Daim bars, fruit cakes and puddings hove into view.

And before anyone says ‘just ask George Osborne to make 25 per cent cuts,’ I have already thought of that one.

*** Ps big response to my tweet this morning about my neighbour’s son asking me to get Piers Morgan’s autograph, not least from Piers, who obviously sits there monitoring his mentions while he waits to become the next Larry King. ‘Don’t think I haven’t worked out you keep needing to tweet about me to get your hit rate up,’ he texts me.’ Can you believe the impertinence of the man? After all I did for him, in helping him out of the door at the Mirror and onto the road to the fame that he always craved …

*** Buy Prelude to Power here at Amazon.