Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I had to cancel my session with Trevor on Sunday morning as I had to go to Sharjah for the medical tests (blood test and X-ray) for my visa renewal. I had to be there by 10am and wasn’t sure how long it would take. So I didn’t work out on Sunday.

I didn’t work out on Monday either.

I had my usual yoga class at home on Tuesday morning. I was so stiff – I definitely need to do more yoga. I found out that the Shangri-La Hotel next door now offers yoga classes in their studio. They emailed me the schedule (four times in one hour!) and they have at least three classes at various times every day during the week. The price was reasonable too – a single class was AED 60, and a 12-class package for 1 month was AED 500. My cousin and I decided we’d try the 8:30am class on Thursday morning so I called them with a few questions.

I asked the man what kind of yoga it was.

‘Err, weight loss yoga?’ he replied.

Was he asking me or telling me? He obviously didn’t have a clue. Never mind – I’d go to a class and see for myself.

I asked him if I could reserve two spaces for Thursday.

‘Yes, we have classes at 6:30 and 7:30.’

‘But the schedule I have says you have a class at 7:00 and 8:30. Is the schedule wrong?’ I knew that they’d only just started doing yoga so surely the schedule couldn’t be out of date already.

‘The classes are at 6:30 and 7:30. In the evening.’

‘The schedule says you also have two in the morning.’

‘Oh yes, we have 7:00 and 8:30.’

Good grief. It would have been quicker for me to walk there, speak to someone and walk back home at this rate.

‘Can I book two spaces for the 8:30 class?’

‘Oh, you don’t need to book – just show up and you can pay before the class.’

‘OK, great. And do I need to bring my own mat?’

‘We have some mats but you can bring your own if you prefer.’

Yes, I think I will because I’m not sure I believe you, I thought.

I had a session on Wednesday with Trevor. I did 5 minutes on the bike and then moved over to the weights area. I started with 20 squats and then had to do the following exercises with 10-lb weights:

  • Deadlift – bent over row – bicep curl – squat – shoulder press x 7
  • Squat – shoulder press – then putting the weights on the floor (but still holding on to them), I had to step my legs back so I was in a plank position and then step them back in – then stand up x 7

I thought 7 was an odd number to choose but then Trevor told me it would be increased to 8 in the next set. Trevor told me the second exercise was a simpler form of a compound exercise called the ‘Man Maker’. I told him that, if anything, it was making me feel like a little bitch. He burst out laughing.

After those two exercises I got on the treadmill for 10 minutes (5 km x 1 min, 7 km x 2 min, for 10 min) and had a water break.

In the second set of the compound exercises, one more move was added to the end of each one:

  • Deadlift – bent over row – bicep curl – squat – shoulder press – reverse lunges x 8
  • Squat – shoulder press – step back – mountain climbers – step in – stand up x 8

It was hard! I think the shoulder press was the hardest for me out of all those exercises. I spent another 10 minutes on the treadmill and had a water break, hoping there wouldn’t be another set of 9 reps! There wasn’t. Instead I did this circuit:

  • Seated row x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Repeat two more times

I did some stretching after that and the session was over.

On Thursday morning I decided to try the yoga class at the Shangri-La. I got there at about 8:20 with my mat and registered at the front desk of the spa. I was told that my first class would be free. I went to the studio and there were just two mats laid out so I laid mine out too. It was quite chilly outside and the studio was nice and warm. The teacher, Shilpa, introduced herself to me. There were towels available and complimentary bottles of water, which was nice. By the time we began, there were eight of us in the class – a variety of ages and fitness levels.

Hmm, what can I say about the class… If you’re looking for a relaxing way to start the day or a traditional form of yoga, this is not it. The warm-up was quite energetic – jogging on the spot, kicking our legs from side to side and forwards and backwards; there were some more usual yoga moves but at a faster pace. Once we had the warm-up out of the way, we did a few rounds of sun salutations and went through a few asanas. It was a proper workout. What I found annoying was that the teacher kept saying ‘mountain pose’ when what she really should have said was ‘downward dog’. And she kept saying it. At the end, we spent the last ten minutes doing breathing exercises and then we could finally relax in savasana. The teacher was good, but I think calling it ‘yoga’ is misleading. It was more like body conditioning based on yoga poses. If that makes sense.

Still, it’s better than doing nothing at all! I even planned to go back on Monday, knowing that I’d get a full workout.

I’ve still managed to abstain from alcohol (mostly). I thought it might all come to an end when I went to a party on Thursday night but I just didn’t feel like drinking. I even started with a passion fruit mocktail but found it far too sweet and cold (we were out in the garden). I spotted someone with a glass of red wine and knew that would warm me up. I ended up having two glasses in the entire night – my first drinks since the 2nd of January. I was very tempted by a third glass later on but we couldn’t find the corkscrew!

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? I can’t really think of anything. Oh yes, the pizza I scoffed for dinner on Friday.

High point of the week? Not drinking very much – and not wanting to – and not missing it. I don’t expect it to last forever, but for now I’m enjoying it.

Weight loss? Well, it’s been up and down, but the general trend (for now) on my Libra app is finally down.

2015-01-18 20.27.06

Read more updates here.

2 thoughts on “The final few

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