The final few

After the great week I had the previous week, this week was disappointing.

I didn’t have my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I wasn’t feeling very well and ended up cancelling it.

After work on Monday I decided I’d rather go to the gym than go to yoga. I got to the gym and went through the new circuit that Trevor had showed me the week before – I managed to do three rounds of it but then decided I’d had enough.

To make up for my missed session on Sunday, I had a session with Trevor on Tuesday. After 5 minutes on the cross-trainer, I did the following circuit:

  • Medicine ball (3-kg) sit-ups x 20
  • Medicine ball Russian twists x 20
  • Kettlebell (10-kg) swings x 20
  • Kettlebell side lifts x 10 on each side
  • Medicine ball wood chops x 10 on each side
  • Medicine ball – passing back and forth x 10 on each side
  • Treadmill x 5 minutes (1 minute at 5 km/h, 2 minutes at 7.5 km/h, 30 seconds at 5 km/h, 1.5 minutes at 7.5 km/h)

Trevor asked me if I’d noticed what area of my body we were working on. Umm, yes! The core! He said the sides of my waist would feel a bit sore the following day. After a short break, I did that circuit again.

Once that was done, I did the following circuit with the body bar:

  • Deadlifts x 10
  • Combined deadlifts/row x 10
  • Combined deadlifts/row/upright row x 10

After that there was another circuit:

  • Glute kickbacks x 10
  • Glute pulses x 10
  • Glute extensions x 10
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Rest (in child’s pose!)
  • Lateral kicks x 10
  • Lateral pulses x 10
  • Lateral raises x 10
  • Repeat on the other side

That was exhausting. I was sure that would be the end of the session but then Trevor announced I’d be working on my adductors. ‘Aren’t we done yet?’ I wailed. My entire body was sore. Trevor assured me it would just be another 5 minutes and I could hobble home. I lay on the mat on my side and did the exercises that Rama had taught me and which I used to do on my own (but which are so painful again!):

  • Single leg raises x 10
  • Single leg pulses x 10
  • Single leg circles x 10 clockwise and anti-clockwise
  • Repeat on the other side

I then did some stretching (which felt so good) and I was done.

Trevor wasn’t kidding when he said my sides would be sore the following day. My sides ached, my hamstrings ached, my glutes ached, everything ached!

And I didn’t make it back to the gym again that week.

Low point of the week? Getting to the gym only twice after a great week the week before.

High point of the week? Finding out I can run (slowly) for 2 minutes – I’ve had a real mental block when it comes to that!

Weight loss? My weight has shot up again. I’m back to 75/76 kg…

Change

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (20-26 April)

Have a wonderful week!

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Aries

Princess of Pentacles – having an effect – making plans real, using your body, acting on your dreams; being practical – taking a realistic approach, using common sense, finding a solution that works; being prosperous – increasing your means, enriching yourself, becoming secure; being trusting/trustworthy – having faith in others, keeping your word, establishing credibility

Taurus

Princess of Cups – being emotional – being moved or touched, letting your feelings show, being sentimental or romantic; being intuitive – acting on a hunch, trusting your gut reaction, having a psychic experience; being intimate – starting or renewing a love affair, getting closer to someone, solidifying a friendship; being loving – forgiving yourself, forgiving someone who has hurt you, mending a broken relationship

Gemini

Death – ending – closing one door to open another, putting the past behind you; going through transition – changing status, being in the middle; eliminating excess – concentrating on essentials, shedding old attitudes; experiencing inexorable forces – going through what cannot be avoided, riding your fate

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Cancer

Justice – respecting justice – seeking equality, trying to do what is right, insisting on fairness; assuming responsibility – settling old accounts and debts, admitting involvement, doing what has to be done; preparing for a decision – weighing all sides of an issue, setting a course for the future, balancing all factors; understanding cause and effect – seeing how you chose your situation, accepting the results you created, recognising the action of karma, knowing that what is makes sense

Leo

Ace of Swords – using mental force – being objective, finding out the facts, analysing the situation; having fortitude – facing problems, finding the strength to overcome; seeking justice – righting a wrong, accepting responsibility, establishing the truth; proceeding with truth – cutting through confusion, being honest, having clear understanding

Virgo

7 of Pentacles – assessing – evaluating the status, making sure you’re on course, finding out where you stand; reaping a reward – receiving payoffs, reaching a milestone, finally seeing some results; considering a direction change – pondering alternatives, thinking about change, standing at a crossroads

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Libra

2 of Cups - making a connection – joining with another, celebrating a marriage or union, working together; calling a truce – bringing together opposites, letting bygones be bygones, forgiving and forgetting; acknowledging an attraction – recognising a bond that is developing, accepting your preferences, feeling a positive response

Scorpio

The Devil – experiencing bondage – being obsessed, being addicted and enslaved, losing independence; focusing on the material – forgetting the spiritual, getting and spending, being caught up in appearances; staying in ignorance – being unaware, choosing to stay in the dark, fearing the unknown; feeling hopeless – believing the worst, lacking faith, thinking negatively

Sagittarius

8 of Wands – taking quick action – making your move, putting plans into action, rushing into a new area; coming to a conclusion – closing out an activity, completing unfinished business, having all elements come together; receiving news – getting an important message, finding the missing puzzle piece, having a meaningful conversation

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Capricorn

Prince of Pentacles – finding a balance between being unwavering and stubborn – staying fixed to a chosen course and refusing to listen to reason; being cautious and unadventurous – checking/double-checking and being too conservative; being thorough and obsessive – being meticulous and being too picky; being realistic and pessimistic – predicting problems in advance and dooming a project from the start; being hard-working and grinding – being tireless and unflagging and forgetting life should be fun

Aquarius

6 of Cups – experiencing good will – doing a good turn for another, receiving a gift, feeling blessed; enjoying innocence – being acquitted, having a clear conscience, feeling simple contentment; focusing on childhood – feeling carefree, being taken care of, indulging in play

Pisces

The Alchemist – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

For your monthly readings, click here.

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For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

The final few

I didn’t post anything last week because I hadn’t done any exercise but I certainly made up for it! I had my 14th session with Trevor on Sunday morningand it was a killer. After my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer I did this circuit:

  • Kettlebell (10-kg) sumo squats x 30 seconds
  • Kettlebell (10-kg) swings x 30 seconds
  • Alternating lunges x 30 seconds
  • Mountain climbers x 30 seconds
  • Kettlebell (10-kg) goblet squat x 30 seconds
  • Alternating lunges x 30 seconds
  • Treadmill x 6 minutes – speed 5 km/h (incline 0 in minute 1, 5% in minute 2, 10% in minute 3, 0 in minute 4, 5% in minute 5, 10% in minute 6)
  • Bike x 5 minutes – resistance 7

I had a break and then did the same circuit again.We finished off the session with 10 minutes of boxing – hooks, jabs, upper cuts and various combinations of the three.

On Monday evening I decided to go to a yoga class at Zen Yoga at Jumeirah Town Centre. It was a 90-minute hatha yoga class. I got there a bit earlier, filled in the registration form and put my bag and shoes in a locker. I went into the studio and found a mat. I lay down in savasana and in about 3 minutes could feel myself dozing off. I caught myself just in time and luckily the class began. It had been more than 4 months since my last class and I could really feel how stiff I’d become. I’d become so used to my yoga teacher who would come home that having this new teacher would take some getting used to. To start with, she didn’t stop talking. I expected there to be some silence during the class but she just talked and talked. And talked. It was a bit irritating actually. Anyway, I made it through the 90 minutes and went home.

I woke up the next morning with sore hamstrings, sore glutes and sore thighs. All those forward bends had taken their toll on my hamstrings! I could easily have sat around doing nothing all day but decided to go to the gym and do Trevor’s 20/20/20 workout – 20 minutes on the treadmill (alternating walking/running), 20 minutes of abs intervals, 20 minutes of cardio. I felt less sore after working out – which I knew I would.

On Wednesday evening I went back to the gym and did the 20/20/20 workout again. When I got there there was someone using my treadmill! (Of course it’s not my treadmill but it’s the one in the middle which I always use.) I used the one on the right for the first 20 minutes and it wasn’t too bad. The only trouble with that machine is it faces the wall between the two windows that look out on the pool. I moved on to the abs and when I went back to the treadmills the only one free was the one on the left. I hate that treadmill but decided to try it out. After 5 minutes I decided I’d had enough and spent the next 15 minutes on the bike.

I had my 15th session with Trevor on Thursday. I was on the cross-trainer warming up when he came in. He said he was going to show me a new circuit I could do on my own between sessions. It consisted of:

  • Treadmill x 5 minutes – 30 seconds at 5 km/h and 30 seconds at 9 km/h
  • Squats off a bench x 20
  • Dumbbell deadlifts (2×15 lbs) x 20
  • Step-ups on a bench x 10 on each side
  • Single-leg pelvic lifts x 10 on each side
  • Lateral pulldowns x 20

Jesus – that’s a lot of leg work! And I did that twice more in our session. Then there was some stretching and I was done!

Low point of the week? My hamstrings ached for most of the week!

High point of the week? Working out (including yoga) five times in the week.

Weight loss? In spite of working out every day during the week I was still at 74 kg all week…

Awesome

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (13-19 April)

Have a wonderful week!

2014-04-12 18.09.49

Aries

7 of Cups – indulging in wishful thinking – creating fantasies, building castles in the air, lacking focus and commitment; having many options – looking at a wide open field, getting to pick and choose, being offered many alternatives; falling into dissipation – letting everything go, being lazy, procrastinating, eating/drinking/partying to excess

Taurus

The Star – regaining hope – having faith in the future, thinking positively; being inspired – realising an inner strength, regaining motivation; being generous – wanting to give or share, offering with no reservations; feeling serene – experiencing peace of mind, being tranquil amid trouble

Gemini

6 of Swords – feeling the blues – just keeping your head above water, working to get through the day, feeling somewhat depressed; recovering – dealing with the effects of a trauma, beginning to get your health back, heading toward a more positive place; travelling – changing location, taking a trip, going on a journey, entering into a new frame of mind

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Cancer

6 of Wands – triumphing – having your day in the sun, coming out on top, achieving success; receiving acclaim – earning applause, achieving recognition, getting a pat on the back; feeling pride – strutting your stuff, holding your head up high, having a high opinion of yourself

Leo

5 of Cups – suffering a loss – letting go of a hope, being defeated, saying goodbye; feeling bereft – breaking up a relationship, longing to be reunited, feeling sorrow; feeling regret – being disappointed by events, wanting to turn back the clock, believing you made the wrong choice, wishing for what might have been

Virgo

Ace of Cups – using emotional force – getting in touch with your feelings, expressing deep feelings, empathising with others; developing intuition – going with your gut reaction, enhancing your psychic awareness, trusting your inner voice; experiencing intimacy – falling in love, getting close to someone, going to a deeper level; proceeding with love – expressing affection, giving to those in need, getting rid of negativity

2014-04-12 18.10.32

Libra

8 of Swords – feeling restricted – feeling trapped by circumstances, experiencing few options, being fenced in by obstacles; feeling confused – being unsure which way to turn, not understanding what is happening, needing guidance and clarity; feeling powerless – doubting anything you do will help, looking for a white knight, avoiding responsibility

Scorpio

4 of Wands – celebrating – rejoicing over an event, observing an anniversary or milestone or special time, enjoying well-deserved rewards; seeking freedom – breaking free of bonds, cutting loose, letting go of limitations; feeling excited – bubbling over with delight, feeling jubilant, being surprised

Sagittarius

2 of Pentacles – juggling – coping with demands, having a lot of irons in the fire, keeping everything in balance; being flexible – going with the flow, seeing the possibilities, handling challenges; having fun – taking time to play, feeling in high spirits, seeing the humour in the situation

2014-04-12 18.10.54

Capricorn

Prince of Cups – finding a balance between being romantic/over-emotional – remembering special occasions/blowing hot and cold in affections; being imaginative/fanciful – spinning marvelous tales/having an overactive imagination; being sensitive/temperamental – responding deeply to life/getting melancholy and depressed; being refined/over-refined – being suave and gracious/getting overwhelmed by pressure; being introspective/introverted – seeking below the surface/being unable to relax around others

Aquarius

Queen of Wands – being attractive – being appealing and popular, making friends easily, having great sex appeal; being wholehearted – being loaded with enthusiasm, being open and sincere; being energetic – being vigorous and strong, being a natural athlete; being cheerful – having a warm and sunny disposition, having an encouraging word for all; being self-assured – having faith in your abilities, quietly demonstrating self-confidence

Pisces

Princess of Swords – using your mind – analysing the problem, using logic and reason; being truthful – acting honestly, exposing what is hidden; being just – acting ethically, righting a wrong; having fortitude – facing problems squarely, keeping a firm resolve

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2014: Week 13

The week started off much quieter than the previous week. I was busy at work on Sunday and Monday – the April issue finally went to press! I’m really pleased with this issue – my editorial was easy to write and I’ve got an article and photo published in the issue too.

On Monday morning I went to the clinic for my blood test. I’d been dreading it because every time I have a blood test I end up being stuck with needles as my veins are difficult to find. My record is eight times, spread over two days (they gave up after a few times on the first day). By the end of the second day, the doctors were looking at my ankles and I told them there was no way they were sticking needles in my ankles. They eventually found a viable vein in my wrist. The pain in my fingers had vanished which was a relief. I was called in to the nurses’ station and a male nurse sat me down and tried to find a vein. He told me he could see one in my right arm and started preparing me for it. I really had my doubts – but he did it the first time. I was so impressed!

On Monday evening I had dinner with NP at Toko Dubai. We went early – I’d booked for 8pm and the place was rather empty. I guess 8pm is early for Dubai! NP had never eaten there so was happy to go along with most of my suggestions: rice chips, nasu dengaku, beef gyoza and Japanese salad to begin with. For our next course we had the soft-shell crab tempura, grilled avocado and seared salmon maki. For dessert we shared the green tea ice cream and coconut sorbet.

I decided to work at home on Tuesday. The doctor called with my blood test results. She said I was severely anaemic – that my iron levels are ‘on the floor’ and my haemoglobin levels are so low that I’m a fraction away from a blood transfusion. Oh great. She said she would prescribe iron tablets which I’d have to take three times a day and have a blood test in another week to see if there was any improvement.

I went to my piano lesson that evening – we went through various patterns you can use with the left hand while playing the melody with the right hand. He also gave me some new music (‘Let It Go’ from Frozen) and a couple of others. I had wanted to walk home after my lesson but it was raining.

When I woke up on Wednesday it was still raining. And by the time I left for work it was pouring. I stopped at the clinic to collect my prescription and tried to get what I needed at the pharmacy in the same complex. They didn’t have ferrous sulfate 200 mg so she offered me ferrous sulfate 80 mg. Well, that’s not what the prescription says, is it? I declined and told her I’d find somewhere else. I went to work (waste of time) and got a lift back to the Dubai Mall from a friend. I rarely go to the mall but I needed something to wear for my birthday drinks on Friday.

He dropped me off at the Waitrose entrance so I went to the pharmacy next to the supermarket – they didn’t have ferrous sulfate. I went to Boots – they didn’t have it. I went to one more pharmacy and they didn’t have it either. I picked up a dress and then on my way home stopped at Life Pharmacy on Al Wasl. The pharmacist told me that they only had ferrous sulfate 80 mg and that’s the highest dose pharmacists are allowed to stock. If I wanted 200 mg I’d have to go to a hospital. Now why couldn’t the first pharmacy have told me that? It would have saved me a lot of time and irritation! In the end I went with the 80 mg but just got double the quantity!

I took the day off on Thursday. I did some work at home and had an early dinner at the Meat Company in Souk Al Bahar with a couple of friends. I was tired and I didn’t want to be hungover the following day. I was home by 10pm – my parents were out and came home shortly afterwards. ‘Are you ill?’ my dad asked (as I knew he would). No, of course not. ‘Why are you home so early?’

On Friday I’d organised drinks at 40 Kong at the H Hotel from 6pm onwards. My birthday wasn’t until Sunday but Sunday is a working day here… I was at 40 Kong with a friend shortly after 6pm just in case anyone did show up at that time! It was a little chilly up on the 40th floor but at least it wasn’t raining! We ordered a bottle of Prosecco and watched the sun set.

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My guests started arriving from about 7pm onwards. It was a fun evening – a very mixed crowd but everyone seemed to get on with everyone else. And then, my surprise cake was brought out. The cake that stole my thunder. Everyone wanted a photo of it – I don’t even know where my two friends got it from and they still won’t tell me! All that was left of it was this:

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At about 1am, most people had gone and a friend and I decided we were hungry and went to Zaatar w Zeit. I was home by 2.15. I’d had a really fun night and I think everyone had a good time.

I woke up on Saturday feeling exhausted. I was home for most of the day and then went to meet a couple of friends at Iris for drinks. I was only there for a couple of hours and had two glasses of red wine and really wished I’d had only one. It started to make me feel sick – and I don’t normally drink red wine any more. I got to Sapore di Bice at CityWalk where I was meeting my parents for dinner and nothing on the menu appealed to me. I thought I’d go with something simple and ordered the penne arrabiata. Yes, it’s boring, but it was a safe choice. When the food arrived I started to feel much better! We were home by 11pm and I watched a couple of episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’.

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.