Me and my health: Pamela Ballantine on her lifestyle
Pamela Ballantine (60), from Belfast, is the presenter of UTV Life.
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: Yes - I go walking at least twice a week, usually about three or four miles each time. I meet a friend of mine who lives in Bangor, so we either walk the Lough Shore from there or nearer to me in Belfast. I do love being by the sea.
However, every now and then, if I wake up and feel the need to get in some quick punishing exercise I charge up Craigantlet Hill. I do a Pilates class once a week as well. I then try and do a few Pilates exercises at home a couple of times a week. As you get older you notice a few more creaks in the body and I find it really helps. Susan, my Pilates instructor, has convinced me that I do have abs - mine are just very well protected.
Q: What is the worst illness you've had?
A: I had diverticulitis about 14 years ago which resulted in surgery to remove eight inches of my intestine and my sigmoid colon. I also had to had a full hysterectomy about five years ago after the discovery of 11 large fibroids. Both these operations came as a hell of a shock as I have always had good health. As a child the only time I was in hospital was for dental work. I was even in my 30s when I got my tonsils out.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: I try to eat a healthy diet. I joined Slimming World a few years ago and lost nearly two stone, and while I don't go to the classes any more I do try to follow their recipes and eating habits. However, I do love a good binge as I love dining out.
Q: Any bad habits?
My downfall would be crisps and cheese, quite often at the same time. I try not to have them in the house to avoid temptation.
Q: Do you drink and smoke/ if so how much?
A: I don't smoke but I do enjoy a drink or two. How much really depends on my social life that week. I am not someone who grabs a glass of wine as soon as I get home. I am a believer in "everything in moderation", but I don't always follow that!
Q: Do you take any supplements?
A: Yes I take Paradox oil as I suffer from osteoarthritis and I find it really helps my joints. I take turmeric and calcium with magnesium for the same reason.
I also go to the Sea Breeze Salt Therapy rooms where I sit for 45 minutes breathing in pure salt air. This is brilliant for clearing my lungs as I am mildly asthmatic and it is also great for painful joints.
It is also a great opportunity to relax as I always download something to watch on my tablet or read my Kindle. 45 minutes of peace... bliss.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: I take every opportunity I get to veg out and lie on the settee and watch TV or read.
My work pattern varies every week so my days off don't often coincide with my friends', so when I get the chance I like to get away for a long weekend.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: That depends on what is going on - if I've got a lot on, I toss and turn. I do keep a notebook by my bed and if thoughts keep going round in my head I just write them down in the dark. It's great fun then trying to decipher the squiggles in the morning! I do like to get seven or eight hours' sleep a night. Why is it though that, when you have the opportunity for a lie in, that is the morning you wake up really early? That is so annoying.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: What's the point? I have celebrated every milestone birthday in style. Let's face it, getting older is better than the alternative.
Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: The facetious reply is of course gin and tonic! But seriously, I love padding around outside in my garden in my bare feet - however I do get the gutties on when heading out for a walk in the fresh air, especially in cold, wet and windy weather.
You can catch Pamela on UTV Life this Thursday at 7.30pm on UTV, with a great line-up of guests including Boyzone's Keith Duffy