We’ve had a beautiful summer in Quebec this year, with long stretches of sunshiny days interspersed with the odd day of rain. It has been warmer than usual — I was skinny dipping in the lake yesterday, and the water is still quite lovely. The leaves on the trees have only just started to change colours, but green still dominates the hilly horizon.

But Mother Nature is reminding us today that autumn is not far off. It is considerably cooler, with strong wind gusts. In fact, I decided to cover my bare legs with jeans today and was shocked to discover something of a tummy overhang.

Now, no one could ever accuse me of overeating, even if I do have a sweet tooth. I doubt that I eat anymore than 1400 calories in a day.

So, where did this extra weight come from?

Hmm . . . I suspect wine may be one of the guilty parties. We probably don’t think about the calories that come with a glass of wine. Every other day, I consume 4 or 5 ounces of some of California’s finest. I think those ounces are adding up on my waist.

They’re sneaky ounces, especially for those of us who have been barelegging it and wearing dresses all summer. The extra weight seems to be equally distributed, until I put on a bare of tightish jeans and see . . . I don’t even want to talk about it, except to say that the extra weight is concentrated around the waist, and the rest of my body is as skinny as always.

Suffice to say, it’s war. Fewer sweets, less wine, lots of celery. And, most important, tummy-flattening exercises.

And if you are getting a sense of déjâ vu, yes, I probably have written about this before and declared similar war.

Sigh . . .

Anyway, I am searching for the most effective tummy exercises without having to go to any great expense. Google is helping me out.

How about you? What are you favourite tummy-flattening exercises? Got any suggestions?

— Jillian