Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Your month ahead (April 2014)

Have a fabulous April!

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Aries

Ace of Wands – using creative force – inventing a better way, expressing yourself, allowing a talent to unfold; showing enthusiasm – feeling fired up and eager, creating an aura of excitement, giving 110%; having confidence – believing in yourself, having high self-esteem, knowing things will work out; proceeding with courage – being true to your beliefs, daring to take a stand, facing your fears

Taurus

Princess of Wands – being creative – taking a novel approach, finding a new area of self-expression; being enthusiastic – getting excited, being passionate; being confident – stretching your envelope, moving beyond doubts; being courageous – taking assertive action, overcoming a fear

Gemini

10 of Cups – feeling joy – radiating love, delighting in good fortune, counting your blessings; enjoying peace – doing away with hostilities, reducing stress and tension, calling a truce; looking to the family – working for peace in the home, supporting a relative in need, reaffirming a family commitment

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Cancer

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled – obtaining your goal, having your dream come true; feeling satisfied – feeling pleased as punch, indulging in a little smugness; enjoying sensual pleasure – relaxing, making love, appreciating the arts

Leo

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

Virgo

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

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Libra

2 of Wands – having personal power – commanding attention and respect, holding the world in your hands, having authority; being bold – daring to do what you want, speaking your mind, seizing the day; showing originality – taking a different approach, doing what no one else has done, marching to a different drummer

Scorpio

10 of Pentacles – enjoying affluence – feeling financially secure, having a good run of fortune, being free from money problems; seeking permanence – looking for a solution that will last, having an orderly family life, being concerned with the long term; following convention – being conservative, taking part in traditions, proceeding according to the rules

Sagittarius

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

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Capricorn

The High Priestess – staying non-active – withdrawing from involvement, being receptive to influence, waiting patiently; accessing the unconscious – using your intuition, trusting your inner voice, being aware of a larger reality; seeing the potential – allowing development, opening to what could be; sensing the mystery – opening to the unknown, seeking what is concealed, looking beyond the obvious

Aquarius

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

Pisces

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

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The final few

I had my 13th session with Trevor on Sunday morning. After my usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer I did the following circuit:

  • Treadmill x 1 minute at 5 km/h
  • Treadmill x 1 minute at 7 km/h
  • Treadmill x 1 minute at 7 km/h at a 3% incline
  • Kettlebell swings x 30 seconds
  • Combined squat/shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 30 seconds

I did that four times. After a short break I did another circuit:

  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Mountain climbers x 15 on each side
  • Rest
  • Tricep dips x 10
  • Mountain climbers x 10 on each side
  • Rest
  • Tricep dips x 5
  • Mountain climbers x 5 on each side
  • Rest

I then did 5 minutes on the recumbent bike at resistance 7. And then there was another circuit:

  • Combined squat/kick x 16
  • Alternating lunges x 16
  • Rest
  • Combined squat/kick x 12
  • Alternating lunges x 12
  • Rest
  • Combined squat/kick x 8
  • Alternating lunges x 8
  • Rest

And then there were a couple of stretches and I was done. Trevor was going to be on holiday for a few days and that was the only workout I did in the week.

Low point of the week? Making it to the gym only once.

High point of the week? I can’t think of anything!

Weight loss? I’m still at 73-74 kg, although went down to 72 kg again on Friday…

3 months

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Silent Sunday

2014-03-28 21.45.14

Silent Sunday

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Your week ahead (30 March – 5 April)

Have a wonderful week!

2014-03-29 15.00.06

Aries

The Moon – feeling fear – lacking courage, being overcome by anxieties, feeling a nameless apprehension; believing illusions – deceiving yourself, experiencing distortions, chasing after a fantasy; stimulating the imagination – opening to fantasy, having vivid dreams or visions, plumbing the unconscious; feeling bewildered – losing direction and purpose, being easily distracted, feeling disoriented

Taurus

The Wheel – feeling a sense of destiny – using what chance offers, finding opportunity in accident, altering the present course; being at a turning point – reversing, having a change in fortune, being surprised at a turn of events; feeling movement – being swept up in new developments, getting involved, experiencing change; having a personal vision – seeing how everything connects, becoming more aware, expanding your outlook

Gemini

10 of Wands – over-extending – trying to do too much, refusing to say ‘no’, having to work overtime; feeling burdened – assuming responsibility, being left holding the bag, never having time to relax; struggling – doing everything the hard way, pushing against the current, having to work for every gain

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Cancer

9 of Swords – worrying – doubting all will go well, going over and over an issue, getting worked up; feeling guilty – wanting to turn back the clock, being hard on yourself, getting overwhelmed by remorse; suffering anguish – feeling you’ve reached your limits, having sleepless nights, wanting to cry

Leo

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

Virgo

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

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Libra

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

Scorpio

7 of Swords – running away – shirking responsibility, sneaking off, leaving; being a lone wolf – wanting independence, staying aloof, preferring solitude; choosing hidden dishonour – covering your tracks, lying or stealing, avoiding a shameful secret

Sagittarius

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled – obtaining your goal, having your dream come true; feeling satisfied – feeling pleased as punch, indulging in a little smugness; enjoying sensual pleasure – relaxing, making love, appreciating the arts

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Capricorn

9 of Pentacles – being disciplined – exercising self-control, sticking to a programme, reining in impulses; relying on yourself – handling the situation alone, doing it all by yourself, wanting to be alone; pursuing refinement – achieving a comfortable lifestyle, being tactful and diplomatic, remembering to be gracious

Aquarius

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

Pisces

The Fool – beginning – entering a new phase, expanding horizons, beginning an adventure, heading into the unknown; being spontaneous – letting go of expectations, acting on impulse, surprising someone; having faith – staying open, feeling protected and loved, recapturing innocence; embracing folly – taking the ‘foolish’ path, being true to yourself, trusting your heart’s desire

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Dubai 2014: Week 12

What a week! I didn’t have my usual session with Trevor on Sunday – I wasn’t feeling great and had to be at work early. I had lots to get through as the April issue of the magazine was due to go to press this week. So aside from a lot of hours at the office, this is what I got up to…

It was the week of Art Dubai and a friend managed to get us passes for the entire week. I’d never been to Art Dubai – I totally missed it the first year I was here and last year a friend and I got there just as they were closing. I was determined not to miss it for the third time!

Monday night was the opening of the Modern Art section at the Mina A’Salam Hotel. It was small and exclusive. My friend had been in touch with a gallery in New York who were selling paintings by MF Hussain and Sadequain, and they were extremely keen to sell her one! The guy who was showing us the paintings didn’t really impress me. He showed us two MF Hussain paintings and told us that the first one was done in the 1950s and nobody knew when the second was done. I looked at the canvas and said, ‘But it says 1971 on the canvas.’ And when I looked at the tag next to the painting that also said 1971. ‘Oh right! Well done, you could do my job.’ Er, yup, I could. Perhaps he was jet-lagged. He and his colleagues invited us to drinks at Bahri Bar once the exhibition had closed and my friend and I walked around the rest of the hall. It was quiet as the opening of the Modern Art section coincided with Art Night at DIFC and another event at Al Serkal Avenue.

We joined them at Bahri Bar at 9pm along with a few other select clients and sat with them for an hour. We had a great view of the Burj Al Arab (it was St Patrick’s Day).

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After that the two of us decided to go elsewhere for a drink on our own and ended up at Left Bank. We ordered some wine, calamari and French fries and caught up properly. I got home at around midnight and went to bed.

In order to explain what happened to me on Monday night I need to go way off-topic. When I have a manicure and pedicure I usually paint just my toenails, but at the end of January I began doing my fingernails as well. For the last few weeks my fingernails have been a little sore. I know it sounds ridiculous but it wasn’t all my fingers all the time – one day it would be my middle finger on my right hand and the index finger on my left, the next it could be my right thumb and the middle finger on my left hand. It was uncomfortable, but not painful enough for me to worry about. Before going to Art Dubai on Monday evening I removed the nail polish completely and cut my nails as I had a piano lesson the next day.

At 4am on Monday night, the pain in my fingers was so bad that it woke me up. The nails and fingertips of my thumb, index finger and middle finger were throbbing and they were swollen. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even press the Panadol tablets out of the foil packet. I eventually managed and took two tablets. I made the mistake of asking ‘Dr Google’ what throbbing painful fingertips could be a symptom of and immediately wished I hadn’t as everything pointed to amputation or dying. I eventually fell asleep as the pain subsided and knew I’d have to see a doctor as soon as possible.

On Tuesday morning I called the clinic and made an appointment for that morning. The doctor was horrified at the state of my nails (as was I).

Left hand

Left hand

Right hand

Right hand

She asked if I’d been using Gelish or Shellac but I told her that it was just regular OPI which I changed each week. I had told her I thought I might be allergic to nail polish but that didn’t explain why all my fingers weren’t in pain. She said that if it had been just one hand she would have concluded it was a strained nerve and left it at that. As it was both hands, it couldn’t be so straightforward. She explained that the fact that it was just my thumb and two fingers on each hand was significant because those three digits are connected to one nerve, whereas the ring finger and little finger are connected to another nerve. She suggested I have a blood test to check whether I had any vitamin deficiencies and booked me in for the following week. If that test was normal she’d have to do more tests.

I went to work. The pain had subsided and I’d also taken more Panadol so I was able to get through some work and just about managed my piano lesson that afternoon. My teacher was very keen I learn a Bollywood song (Tum Hi Ho) which he’s crazy about so I agreed.

On Tuesday night I was going back to Art Dubai with a friend for the VVIP opening of the main halls. I was tired and didn’t really feel like walking around all evening but didn’t want to cancel. When I picked him up, he got in the cab and said ‘Should we just go to La Serre for drinks?’ Genius. He read my mind. We got to La Serre and made ourselves comfortable at the bar.

The bar menu at La Serre

The bar menu at La Serre

Baby Batman at La Serre

Baby Batman at La Serre

We made ourselves a little too comfortable as we each ended up paying about AED 750 that night! We did have some food too. And the bartender was lovely – even though burrata isn’t on their bar menu I asked him if they could bring me a portion, et voila! There it was…

I was a bit hungover on Wednesday but had loads to get through at work. I also went back to Art Dubai that evening for the official opening (I don’t know how many openings Art Dubai has!). I walked around for a while but didn’t get to see everything. These are some of the pieces I saw and liked…

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And my absolute favourite:

Kirsten Everberg

Kirsten Everberg

I caught up with my friend and we went to have a drink and some food. The staff at the bar were extremely disorganised but we managed to get a couple of glasses of overpriced plonk. We then got some food – black pepper beef from Zheng Ye and pad thai from Pai Thai. Luckily we found somewhere to sit as I couldn’t hold my plate for very long – my fingers still ached but not as much as on Monday night. My friend then managed to locate one of her friends who was at the event and the three of us went to the bar across the bridge for a couple more drinks. At midnight I decided I needed to get home as I had a long day the following day.

After my session with Trevor, I went to work and was there till 6.30pm. I got home, tired and irritable (I hadn’t had lunch). I did a bit of work until 9pm and then met up with a friend at Double Decker for some drinks. It was quite relaxed, not hectic at all.

On Friday I decided to get my hair cut and coloured – it was long overdue. That evening I went over to some friends for dinner. It was just seven of us. We started with Bloody Marys and some canapes (salmon sushi and cucumber rolls). We all sat round the table for dinner. The food was amazing. The starters were pastry with oyster mushrooms and scallops, as well as a prawn mousse. The main course was barbecued steak (it has been marinated in cognac, olive oil, black pepper and chilli) and asparagus. Dessert was something lemony (sorry) and mango sorbet with tequila. And it was all made at home. I told our hosts that they were never coming to my place for dinner unless they did the cooking!

This couple also has a 65-kg Great Dane who’s almost 2 years old. He was in the garden for most of the night but was allowed in once we’d eaten. He was the size of a horse and luckily left me alone most of the time, apart from when he drooled all down my sleeve. We were still sitting around the dining table and talking, and the bottle of Patron came out. Oh God. I sipped mine and then decided it was time to go home. I got home and was sober enough to do some work. In fact, I was up until 5am.

I think I only slept for four hours. I was working at home and then met up with a friend. We considered going to Safa Park as there was some music festival on but we ended up going for a drive along the beach and then to Iris for their chill-out Saturday session as he wanted a drink. I really didn’t feel like drinking but had two spritzers. Another friend joined us as well but by 8pm I felt like a total zombie and we all went home.

I love my life.

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The final few

I had my twelfth session with Trevor on Thursday morning. I hadn’t done any exercise since the Sunday before as I’d been ill and I’d also had a weird problem with my fingertips earlier in the week and was in a lot of pain. I got to the gym and Trevor was already there with a scary 10-kg kettlebell. As I did my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer he asked me if I’d done any exercise. I told him I hadn’t and told him what had happened to my fingers. ‘Have you been doing push-ups with your three fingers again?’ he asked. ‘Oh yeah, I do that all the time when you’re not around,’ I replied. ‘I don’t want you to know how fit I really am.’ This seemed to amuse him.

The kettlebell circuit consisted of:

I actually laughed when Trevor demonstrated the Kettlebell Turkish get-up. I mean, really. Who did he think I was?? I did try it, and couldn’t get past the second step (moving my leg behind me and standing up) so I ended up doing half get-ups (still 5 on each side). After I’d been through the circuit once he told me that in the next round, I’d have 30 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds of rest for each one. He also changed the order – so I started with regular kettlebell swings followed by the windmill and then the single arm swings. I was really struggling with the single arm swings – 10 kg is heavy – and my back was starting to ache! So he abandoned the circuit and I spent the last 10 minutes on the treadmill walking at 5.5 km/h at an incline of 5%.

Trevor told me that after the kettlebell circuit my back would feel sore the following day. But by the time I left my office on Thursday evening I could already feel my muscles aching!

That was the only workout I did in the week and my muscles ached for the rest of the weekend.

Low point of the week? Making it to the gym only once.

High point of the week? I can’t think of anything!

Weight loss? I’m still at 73-74 kg, although went down to 71 kg again on Friday…

Every

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Silent Sunday

2014-03-19 20.14.36

Silent Sunday

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Your week ahead (23-29 March)

Have a wonderful week!

2014-03-22 11.49.51

Aries

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

Taurus

The Emperor – fathering – protecting and defending, bringing security and comfort; emphasising structure – creating order out of chaos, being organised; exercising authority – taking a leadership role, representing the establishment; regulating – establishing law and order, setting standards of behaviour

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

The Hermit – being introspective – thinking things over, looking for answers within, needing to understand; searching – wanting the truth at all costs, desiring a new direction, needing more; receiving/giving guidance – going to or being a mentor, turning to or being a trusted teacher; seeking solitude – needing to be alone, desiring stillness, experiencing seclusion

Leo

3 of Wands – exploring the unknown – expanding horizons, leaving the secure behind; having foresight – getting a premonition, being visionary; demonstrating leadership – assuming a responsible position, showing others the way

Virgo

Ace of Wands – using creative force – inventing a better way, expressing yourself, allowing a talent to unfold; showing enthusiasm – feeling fired up and eager, creating an aura of excitement, giving 110%; having confidence – believing in yourself, having high self-esteem, knowing things will work out; proceeding with courage – being true to your beliefs, daring to take a stand, facing your fears

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Libra

5 of Swords – acting in your own self-interest – thinking of your own needs, going for the win-lose result, gloating; experiencing discord – choosing to battle, creating ill will, feeling people are set against each other; witnessing open dishonour – losing your moral compass, sacrificing integrity, knowing of criminal activity

Scorpio

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

Sagittarius

Temperance – being temperate – finding the middle ground, reaching a compromise; maintaining balance – recognising all sides, feeling centred and secure; experiencing health – renewing energy and vigour, flourishing; combining forces – joining with others, finding the right mix

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Capricorn

The Chariot – achieving victory – reaching your goal, winning, beating the competition; using your will – rising above temptation, focusing your intent, concentrating your energies; asserting yourself – knowing who you are, feeling self-confident, having faith in yourself; achieving hard control – getting your way, maintaining discipline, curbing impulses

Aquarius

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

Pisces

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

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Dubai 2014: Week 11

After another crazy weekend, I was exhausted. I had a session with Trevor on Sunday morning and went to work.

That evening two friends and I had signed up for a Restronaut event at Spill the Bean, a coffee shop at the mall. I’d been on the Restronaut mailing list for several months but this was the first time I’d been compelled to attend an event. The email said:

The Outpost is a Beirut-based magazine about possibilities in the Arab world. The magazine was named by the Guardian as the successor to the Economist. The Editor in Chief is in town for the weekend. Join him in this gathering where he’ll talk about how stories can impact societies and cultures and the quest to create a magazine with a mission to change the world. Join this table if you’re interested in creativity, media and culture. If you’re a writer, artist, film-maker or thinker, this gathering’s for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? It cost AED 70 to attend which included a coffee and a selection of cakes and muffins. We got there at 7pm and met a few people at our table – we were supposed to be 11 in total but at that time we were only five. There were a few copies of The Outpost being passed around. I have to say it’s a beautifully produced quarterly magazine, the kind you would be proud to display on your coffee table. It’s printed on high quality matt paper and is very text heavy. I would buy it – and it would probably take me three months to get through each issue. The editor in chief told us that it was in its second year of publication and until now had been financed by himself and a few investors. He was looking for fundraising ideas. Or perhaps he was just looking for money – because whenever someone made a suggestion I don’t think he gave any of them much consideration. I can understand that when you’ve worked so hard and someone tells you to change it, it’s difficult – you have your own ideas of how things should be. But then why ‘invite’ people to discuss these issues? I felt a bit bad for the editor in chief – I think he came under attack by a few people who asked why, if the magazine was aimed at change in the Arab world, it was published in English? Wasn’t that considered elitist? I left at about 8:30pm. I was tired and was disappointed by the evening. I think the description of the event was misleading and didn’t think it applied to writers, artists, film-makers or thinkers. But that could just be me.

On my way home I spoke to my parents. They were having dinner at Silver Fox Steakhouse at Citywalk so I joined them. I was tired and hungry and a steak sounded so good. I ordered the 6 oz. petite filet. It was served with mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. It was just perfect. We got home, I got into bed and passed out.

I woke up on Monday with a sore throat and fever and was home until Wednesday.

On Wednesday I decided I had to get back to the office – I had so much to do! I met a friend for lunch at the Urban Bistro. I really like that place. We shared the chicken and avocado wrap and the smoked salmon focaccia sandwich. I had a green juice to drink. I really wanted a Coke but they didn’t have any!

On Thursday night some friends and I went to Toko for dinner. I’d been thinking about the beef gyoza since the last time I’d eaten there!

It had been cloudy all day and by the evening it was drizzling. I was worried because I’d booked a table outdooors. I got there about 20 minutes early as my parents were dropping me off so I decided to have a drink at the bar while I was waiting for the others to arrive. It wasn’t very pleasant – it had that stale bar/cigarette/alcohol smell that you find in cheap bars and it really put me off. Luckily my friends showed up on time and we moved to our table.

I have to say the food was amazing. For starters we had the spicy edamame, crispy rice chips (okowa age), nasu dengaku, the warm French bean salad and the beef gyoza. We ordered one dish at a time so we could enjoy each dish without worrying about the other dishes getting cold!

After our starters we ordered some sushi – prawn tempura rolls and spicy tuna rolls.

By the time we were supposed to order main course we were quite full but we ordered the grilled avocado (excellent) and the grilled scallops.

All the food was incredible and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

For dessert we ordered the chocolate and hazelnut fondant. Once we had demolished that we ordered another. Fantastic! Our bill was a nightmare though – between us we’d had 24 vodkas. It would have been cheaper to buy a bottle!

I was home all day on Friday – I stayed in my pajamas, did some work and caught up on some TV shows.

On Saturday I was home for most of the day and then met up with a friend at Iris. They have a chill-out Saturdays where selected wines and cocktails are half price and you get free food between 5pm and 9pm. We got there at around 7pm, it wasn’t crowded and we got a table. I had the rose wine and my friend had the red wine. We were brought a platter of food to share – crudites and dip, cheese, olives, bresaola, spring rolls. It was quite substantial. We were there way beyond 9pm though and I got home at about 1.30am, already dreading having to wake up the next day.

I love my life.

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The final few

I had my eleventh session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I was so tired from the weekend and really hoped he would go easy on me. When I got to the gym he was already there and said we’d be doing a toning session. I was a bit relieved and thought it would be easier than a cardio-focused session.

I started with the usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer. He then told me to get on the treadmill for 5 minutes. I walked at a speed of 5.0 km/h for 3 minutes and for the last 2 minutes carried on walking at the same speed but with an incline of 10%.

After that I did a tricep circuit:

  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Kickbacks (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15

I then did a legs circuit using a 3-kg medicine ball:

I did that circuit twice. In the second exercise I had to hold the sumo squat position but push the medicine ball out in front of me 15 times. In the fourth exercise I had to do a sumo squat and roll the medicine ball to Trevor, and as it rolled to him and he rolled it back I had to do an alternating elbow to knee raise on both sides.

I had a rest after that and then did three sets of seated rows. I did 15 in the first set, and 10 double pulse rows in the second and third sets – that’s where I release it halfway before pulling it back towards me and releasing completely.

I then did an abs circuit:

I did that three times with no breaks in between. I had to take 3 seconds on the way up and 3 seconds on the way down. I then did another abs exercise using the medicine ball. I had to sit in a V-sit position and Trevor rolled the ball to me. I had to push it behind me with my right hand into my left hand and then back to him. We did that 10 times going from right to left, and another 10 times going from left to right. In the first set I could feel it in the tops of my legs. During the second set Trevor told me to lean back a bit more – and I could really feel it in my abs. It also took some coordination!

During my session Trevor asked me if I wanted to do a detox for 7 to 10 days. Does that mean no alcohol, I asked. Of course I knew it would mean no alcohol but I thought I’d ask anyway. ‘Well, seeing as alcohol is a toxin, yes, that would mean no alcohol.’ I thought about my plans for the next few weeks and decided I’d do the detox in April, after my birthday. I’d probably need it by then anyway.

By the time I got into bed on Sunday night I could feel my triceps aching a little. When I woke up on Monday I had sore abs, sore triceps and sore thighs. I also had a sore throat and a fever. I was so annoyed because I’d been so determined to go to the gym on Monday before work and it didn’t happen. I stayed in bed on Tuesday too.

I didn’t make it back to the gym all week. I felt feverish and I had a constant headache for two days. By Friday I was completely hoarse too. Not a great week.

Low point of the week? Getting sick and not being able to work out.

High point of the week? I can’t think of anything!

Weight loss? I’m still at 73-74 kg.

Sick

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