My original plan in September was to lose 10 kilos by Christmas and a further 10 kilos by Easter. It didn’t happen. I’m not sure how much weight I lost by Christmas because my scales were packed and shipped to Dubai at the beginning of November – I think it must have been about 8 kg or so. I unpacked them in February (of course they came out of the very last box) and had lost exactly 10 kilos by then. From mid-February to Easter Sunday at the beginning of April, I lost almost 3 kg. I was making very slow progress, was stuck at the 12-kg mark, and it was frustrating! I’d like to think that I was building muscle and that muscle weighs more than fat, and so on, but who knows.
So now I’m going to lose the remaining 8 kg. I was hoping it would be by mid-May before I head back to London, but that’s just over 6 weeks away now and doesn’t seem possible. I don’t have a date in mind any more, I’ll just have to keep going until it happens.
I was in two minds about having a session with Rama on Sunday – one of my cousins from London was staying with me and I thought we were going to have a late Saturday night, so when Rama texted for a 9am session on Sunday morning I told him I wouldn’t be able to do it and my next session would be on Wednesday. In the end, we decided to see a movie and I asked him if he could do a later session – at 11am or so? Yes, perfect. Sorted. I hadn’t wanted to cancel the session but really didn’t want to be hungover like I was a few weeks ago – because that really was torture. My session began with a warm-up on the cross-trainer and then Rama said that because my endurance was building up, I was going to do as many burpees as I could in 7 minutes. Was he insane? A few weeks earlier I’d done 30 burpees in 2 minutes and 25 seconds, but 7 minutes is a bloody long time. I don’t know how I did it, but I did 82 burpees in 7 minutes. I’m not sure who was more shocked, him or me. I had a rest after that and then did the Ramanova circuit which consisted of the following:
- 15 lateral pulldowns
- 12 clean and presses with a weighted bar
- 15 hamstring curls using the Swiss ball
- 15 military presses with a weighted bar
- 15 push-ups
- 15 bicep curls with a weighted bar
- 15 squat jumps with the weighted bar on my shoulders
- 500m on the cross-trainer (at resistance level 10)
The last time I did 500m on the cross-trainer at the same resistance it took me 4 minutes and 8 seconds. This time Rama was determined I would do it in under 4 minutes but by the time I got to 250m I was so exhausted from everything I’d done before I wasn’t sure I would make it. Again, I don’t know how I did it but I did the 500m in 3 minutes and 58 seconds – an improvement of just 10 seconds but an improvement nonetheless.
I had a rest after that (but what I really wanted to do was lie down) and then moved to the floor for some lower body exercises and three 2-minute sets of abs exercises.
I had my usual yoga class on Monday. In the previous two or three classes our teacher didn’t make any adjustments to my cousin or me, and we both noticed he spent all of those classes sitting on his mat. On Monday, however, he was all over the place – and I’m not sure which I prefer!
On Tuesday I went to the gym quite late, at 11.30 – all three treadmills were being used so I did 25 minutes on the cross-trainer and did some weights. By the time I left the gym there were six women in there: three using the treadmills, two using the cross-trainers and one doing weights. I don’t know where all these people have come from. One of them looks quite young, like she’s still at school, so perhaps she’s just here for the Easter holidays. The pool was quite crowded too… I used my new yurbuds (no, that’s really how you spell it). They’re earphones that don’t fall out while you’re exercising. My old ones fell out constantly when I was on the treadmill or cross-trainer and after a while it got bloody irritating – but problem solved.
On Wednesday morning I had another session with Rama. I started with the usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer. He told me I was going to do a circuit of exercises, repeating each exercise three times for 30 seconds, with a 20-second break in between each one (for example, 30 seconds of push-ups, 20 seconds rest, 30-seconds of push-ups, 20 seconds rest, and so on). It consisted of:
- Lateral pulldowns
- Shoulder press
- Tricep extensions
- Bicep curls
- Cross-trainer (five 30-second bursts, starting on resistance 15 and going up one level each time)
I had a rest after that and then started the second set of exercises. These were:
- One-legged lunges
- Running backwards x8 lengths of the gym
I did that circuit twice. We then went to the stairs – Rama sent me down to the ground floor in the lift and I walked up to the sixth floor. The last time I did stairs (a couple of months ago), I complained that the stairwell was dirty and none of the lights worked. This time I was pleasantly surprised that all the lights were working and I didn’t have to touch the railings to feel my way up the stairs. My legs were already tired from the circuits I’d done and by the time I got to the fourth floor, I was ready to get in the lift and go up to the sixth. But I carried on and got to the top completely out of breath. Thankfully I only had to do that once.
Back in the gym, there were three rounds of pelvic raises – the first round were normal pelvic raises, the next two were with the Swiss ball. Then came the lower body and abs exercises. And then I was done.
I was expecting the gym to be crowded on Thursday as I got there at 11.30, but I had it all to myself. I spent 45 minutes on the treadmill and decided I was done for the day.
I took the day off on Friday as I was heading to the infamous brunch at Al Qasr.
I woke up on Saturday ready to try a spinning class at the Shangri-La Hotel next door. I’d read about it in Time Out and thought it would be good to try something new. I called them to double-check it was on and the woman said that they don’t have the class on Saturdays. It’s on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Friday evenings. So Time Out was completely wrong then. Good thing I called them. I went to the gym in the building instead. I walked 5 km on the treadmill in 49 minutes and 50 seconds.
A good week for exercise, I thought – six days out of seven. And my weight? I’m thrilled to say I have finally broken through the 12-kg barrier (I hope)! Since last week I lost 0.8 kg and my total weight loss is 13.5 kg (29.7 lbs)! One of my friends who is in Dubai on holiday asked me whether I’d kept my old jeans – the ones that are now two sizes too big for me. I told her I got rid of them as soon as I fit into a smaller size. ‘I’d have kept them,’ she said, ‘to remind me of how far I’ve come.’ I told her the only reason I keep clothes is because I intend to fit into them one day – and I have no intention of fitting into those jeans ever again. I’m not going back there.
Read more updates here.