Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I had my 30th session with Rama on Sunday morning. Thirty! Time really does fly… While I was on the cross-trainer, he told me I was going to do some of the fitness tests which I hadn’t done for a while: push-ups, crunches, wall squat, plank and 500m on the cross-trainer. I’ve done burpees in the past as well, but he said the last time I managed to do over 80 in 7 minutes so it wouldn’t be much of a test. Thank goodness, because I hate burpees.

I did the following:

  • 1 minute of push-ups (39 push-ups, 36 last time)
  • 1 minute of crunches (39 crunches, 40 last time)
  • Wall squat (1 minute 8 seconds – an improvement of just 7 seconds)
  • Plank (2 minutes, an improvement of 26 seconds)
  • 500m on the cross-trainer (3 minutes 12 seconds, an improvement of 29 seconds) 

The wall squat was torture and the 500m on the cross-trainer killed me. Rama told me to aim for 500m in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and even he was surprised at my improved time. I told him there wasn’t a vast improvement with my push-ups or crunches, but he said my technique and range of motion had improved so each push-up/crunch would take a little bit longer. Neither of us could remember what my first results were. I had a rest after that and then did some lower body exercises, wall squats using a Swiss ball, stepping on and off a bench, Swiss ball crunches, and finally a cool-down on the treadmill. 

I woke up on Monday with a sore lower body: abs, hamstrings, thighs, they all ached. I had yoga on Monday morning. It was much better than the week before, and much quieter for most of the class! That evening Rama sent me a message with my first ever results: push-ups 22, crunches 26, wall squat 32 seconds, plank 37 seconds, burpees 11 (pathetic), 500m on the cross-trainer 4 minutes and 53 seconds. And that was four months ago. I was pleased about the improvement, but feel the wall squat could be much better…

I got to the gym quite late on Tuesday morning to find four Lebanese women there. I’d spoken to them all before, but had never encountered them together. They were chatting and cackling, the iPod speakers were on, it was noisy. I felt like I was at a Lebanese hen night. I still managed to do my 5k and left.

My Wednesday session with Rama consisted of target training using free weights and the weights machines. I worked each targeted area for 4-5 minutes, starting with abs, then moving on to legs, then hamstrings, then my upper body, then some cardio (boxing moves holding the 3-kg weights) interspersed with squats and burpees (still holding the 3-kg weights), and then back to abs again. It was tough – and I woke up sore all over on Thursday.

Even though I was sore, and a little hungover from Havana Night at Blends Bar on Wednesday night, I went to the gym intending to do just 3k. Something is better than nothing, after all. 

I planned to go to the spin class at the Shangri-La at 7pm on Friday evening, but I was so full from lunch at Sakura that I didn’t think it was a good idea. Instead I went to the gym: I did 3k on the treadmill, two sets of tricep extensions and two sets of Swiss ball crunches. Of course I could have gone on Saturday morning but I’d decided to take Saturday ‘off’ as I wanted to spend the morning at the pool after taking Joy to the airport… 

On Sunday, Rama asked me what my target weight was, and I told him I wanted to be 23 kg lighter than when I started, so I’ve still got just over 8 kg to go. And actually, even if I make it to 20 kg I’ll be pretty thrilled! It seems to be taking me a month to lose just 1 kg so I should hit my target by the end of the year. And if I do, I’ll be the same weight I was when I was in my early 20s!

Low point of the week? Having a burger (without the bread) and fries on Saturday night. By the time we sat down to dinner it was almost 10pm and I was famished. The only thing that looked good on the menu at Social House was the burger… 

High point of the week? As loud as the Lebanese women in the gym were, when I saw them they told me I looked like I’d lost a lot of weight (I hadn’t seen one of them in a few weeks). They asked about Rama (they’ve all seen him at the gym at some point), they asked whether I was on a diet, they seemed impressed. 

Weight loss? I’ve now lost 15.1 kg (just over 33 lbs), which I was surprised about considering how much I ate and drank this week! 


Read more updates here.

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