Your month ahead (February 2016)

Have a great February!

Aries

06 The Lovers

The Lovers – relating to others – feeling love, getting closer, making a connection; being sexual – making love, opening to another, feeling a physical attraction; establishing personal beliefs – figuring out where you stand, staying true to yourself, making up your own mind; determining values – facing an ethical or moral choice, finding out what you care about, struggling with temptation

Taurus

Swords 3

3 of Swords – feeling heartbreak – having your feelings hurt, getting some unsettling news, being disappointed; feeling lonely – feeling lost, being separated, wandering far from home; experiencing betrayal – being let down, breaking your word, finding your trust misplaced

Gemini

Cups 8

8 of Cups – seeking deeper meaning – leaving the rat race, finding out the facts, concentrating on what is important; moving on – abandoning a hopeless situation, starting on a trip of unknown length, finishing up and walking away; growing weary – dragging through the day, lacking energy, getting weighed down by worries

Cancer

0 The Fool

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

Leo

Pentacles 4

4 of Pentacles – wanting to possess – acquiring material goods, keeping what you have, hanging on to someone; maintaining control – wanting to be in charge, insisting on your own way, setting limits and rules; blocking change – wanting everything to stay the same, stagnating, holding on to the present

Virgo

Pentacles Princess

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

Libra

Wands 10

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

Scorpio

Pentacles King

King of Pentacles – being enterprising – making any venture successful, attracting wealth, having the Midas touch; being adept – having quick reflexes, handling any situation competently, having a wide range of abilities; being reliable – being counted on in a crisis, assuming responsibility, meeting all commitments and promises; being supporting – encouraging the accomplishments of others, sponsoring worthwhile projects, readily jumping in to help; being steady – having a stabilising influence, maintaining a calm approach, avoiding mood and behaviour swings

Sagittarius

Pentacles 8

8 of Pentacles – showing diligence – making an effort, plugging away, producing steady results; increasing knowledge – taking a course, researching, increasing expertise; paying attention to detail – being painstaking, checking and re-checking, noticing the fine points

Capricorn

Swords 8

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

Aquarius

07 The Chariot

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

Pisces

19 The Sun

The Sun – becoming enlightened – finding the sense behind the chaos, getting to the heart of the matter; experiencing greatness – being singled out for notice, becoming the centre of attention; feeling vitality – experiencing joy, feeling invigorated; having assurance – knowing you can succeed, trusting your abilities

For your monthly readings, click here.

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For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Your week ahead (31 January – 6 February 2016)

Have a great week 🙂

Aries

06 The Lovers

The Lovers – relating to others – feeling love, getting closer, making a connection; being sexual – making love, opening to another, feeling a physical attraction; establishing personal beliefs – figuring out where you stand, staying true to yourself, making up your own mind; determining values – facing an ethical or moral choice, finding out what you care about, struggling with temptation

Taurus

20 Judgement

Judgement – making a judgement – having a day of reckoning, taking a stand, getting off the fence; feeling reborn – awakening to possibilities, making a fresh start, discovering joy; hearing a call – feeling drawn to a new direction, answering a need, recognising your true vocation; finding absolution – feeling cleansed and refreshed, atoning for past mistakes, feeling sins washed away

Gemini

Pentacles 5

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, abusing your body, refusing to take care of yourself; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, being ostracised, standing alone

Cancer

12 The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man – letting go – accepting what is, ending the struggle, giving up control; reversing – turning the world around, seeing from a new angle, overturning old priorities; suspending action – giving up urgency, living in the moment, pausing to reflect; sacrificing – putting self-interest aside, putting others first, giving up for a higher cause

Leo

Cups Prince

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

Virgo

Cups 7

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

Libra

Swords Prince

Prince of Swords – finding a balance between being direct/blunt – being frank and outspoken/tactless and rude; being authoritative/overbearing – commanding with attention/forcing a position on others; being incisive/cutting – being sharp and alert/having a barbed wit; being knowledgeable/opinionated – having well-reasoned opinions/being arrogant; being logical/unfeeling – reasoning clearly/undervaluing intuition

Scorpio

Pentacles Princess

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

Sagittarius

Wands 9

9 of Wands – defending yourself – being paranoid, protecting others, feeling wary and guarded; persevering – trying repeatedly, keeping your resolve, refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer; showing stamina – holding fast, keeping up the pace, continuing despite fatigue

Capricorn

Cups Queen

Queen of Cups – being loving – dispelling anger and hate, having infinite patience; being tenderhearted – being kind and gentle with all creatures, feeling what others are feeling; being intuitive – being guided by the heart; being psychic – having a well-developed sixth sense; being spiritual – having reverance for all life, appreciating the deeper meanings of life

Aquarius

Pentacles 4

4 of Pentacles – wanting to possess – acquiring material goods, keeping what you have, hanging on to someone; maintaining control – wanting to be in charge, insisting on your own way, setting limits and rules; blocking change – wanting everything to stay the same, stagnating, holding on to the present

Pisces

Swords King

King of Swords – being intellectual – ably carrying out research, using thought creatively; being analytical – applying reason and logic, understanding a problem quickly; being articulate – being a lucid writer and speaker, being a stimulating conversationalist; being just – being impartial and objective, being concerned with truth and fairness; being ethical – encouraging high standards, living by your highest principles

For your monthly readings, click here.

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For a daily card, follow me on Instagram (@nectar1269).

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2016: Week 3

I went to the gym on Sunday morning and went to Eco Yoga Sanctuary that evening but realised it was a teacher I didn’t like and left!

Monday was a busy day – I had a session with Pete in the morning. That afternoon I had a piano lesson (I started making a recording of my latest piece) and that evening I had my Arabic class. I’m quite enjoying being back in class but finding the time to study at home is another matter!

I was home all day on Tuesday, apart from going to the gym. I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning and that evening I had another Arabic class.

I’d been swamped with work ever since Christmas and by Wednesday night I had just three papers left to edit – and they were all due on Friday. That would be easy – and I could enjoy my weekend totally guilt-free!

I went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary on Thursday morning and finished off those three papers. That evening I went to Wine Club at Origami at the Nassima Royal Hotel – and while I was there I got email notifications of papers being sent to me for editing. By the time I got home, there were 22 of them – six due on Monday, ten due on Tuesday and eight on Wednesday. Oh. My. God.

Anyway, back to Wine Club. It was the first time I’d been in over a year. As usual, there were six wines – this time all six were from South America. There were three white wines and three red wines, all blinded.

2016-01-21 20.34.55

I really think I’m going off wine, white wine in particular – which is surprising because I usually love white wine. I didn’t like any of these three, including the Sauvignon Blanc, and didn’t finish them. The three red wines were OK, and I drank those. There were a few nibbles served at each table (mostly bread-based), but I wouldn’t call it a meal by any standards! As I knew how much work I had to do, and I wanted to go to the gym in the morning, and I seem to have gone off wine, I left soon after the wines were revealed. I was home by 11pm, and did a bit of work.

I went to the gym on Friday and did some work. That evening I went to Maya at Le Royal Meridien for a friend’s birthday. I got there at around 6pm, just as the sun was setting. It was nice to see people I hadn’t seen in a while and I was there till midnight. I had a few vodkas, but again I didn’t go overboard as I had a huge amount of work to get through.

I was home all day on Saturday (apart from the gym and a walk on the beach). My parents were out for dinner so I had the place to myself, which was nice. I did a bit more work but was struggling to keep my eyes open and decided to have an early night.

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

The final few

Well, I had a pretty good week at the gym. I worked out eight times. EIGHT! (I’m including my yoga class as a workout.)

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then moved over to the treadmill. I did Week 2 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min, walk x 2 min (x 6)
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I walked at 6 km/h and ran at 7-8 km/h. I didn’t do the Great Butt or the Great Abs app that morning as I just wasn’t in the mood – and I was also planning to go to a yoga class that evening.

I got to Eco Yoga Sanctuary in time for the Hatha Prana class at 6pm. I’d checked the schedule earlier on and the teacher was the same lady I had on Thursday morning. But… when I got there it was a different teacher – I noticed that at the top of the sign-in sheet the original teacher’s name had been crossed out and replaced with the terrible teacher I’d had two weeks before. I asked what had happened to the teacher and the receptionist said she was ill. I decided that I couldn’t bear to spend one hour in a class I wouldn’t enjoy so I went back home!

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. The weather was nice so we had an outdoor session. My warmup consisted of running around the pool twice, high knees, butt kickers, side-stepping and stretching. I then began the first set of exercises:

  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Combined squat/kickback x 2
  • Jumping jacks x 40
  • Combined squat/kickback x 4
  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Combined squat/kickback x 6
  • Jumping jacks x 20
  • Combined squat/kickback x 8
  • Jumping jacks x 10
  • Combined squat/kickback x 10

Ugh – it was awful! There were no official rests in that set but I did have to stop and catch my breath a couple of times. I managed to do that in 4 min 30 s. I used the 8-kg kettlebell for the next set of exercises. These consisted of:

  • Kettlebell swings x 3
  • Combined squat/upright row x 2
  • Overhead tricep extension x 1
  • Repeat 5 more times, no breaks
  • Rest

I did that circuit three times in total. Then came an abs circuit:

  • Standing side bends x 30 s (8-kg kettlebell)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Standing side bends x 30 s (on the other side)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Abdominal in/out x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Situps x 30 s
  • Rest

After that came an awful set of exercises:

  • Burpees x 10
  • Pushups x 2
  • Burpees x 8
  • Pushups x 4
  • Burpees x 6
  • Pushups x 6
  • Burpees x 4
  • Pushups x 8
  • Burpees x 2
  • Pushups x 10

It was worse than the jumping jacks/squats exercise and took me 4 min 38 s to finish. I then did the same abs circuit I did before.

The next set of exercises used the TRX cable:

  • TRX bicep curls x 10
  • TRX tricep extensions x 10
  • Rest
  • Repeat two more times

I did one more abs circuit – which was the same as the previous sets and then did some stretches. It was a good session though – and Pete said people should be able to tell I’d been working out regularly.

On Tuesday my triceps were so sore! I went back to the gym and did a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then did Week 3 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Run x 2.5 min
  • Walk x 2.5 min
  • Run x 2.5 min
  • Walk x 2.5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I walked at 6 km/h and ran at 7.5-8 km/h. After that I did Week 4 Day 3 of the Great Butt and Great Abs apps. I did some stretches after that and went home. That evening Pete texted to say I’d be going back to Egypt again – which could only mean another pyramid workout.

My triceps were still aching on Wednesday morning. I warmed up with 10 minutes on the cross-trainer:

  • Walking x 3 min
  • Run/walk for 30 s x 4 min
  • Running x 3 min

I walked at 5.5 km/h and ran at 7 km/h. After stretching, Pete listed the nine exercises:

  1. Deadlifts x 10 (20-lb weights)
  2. Wood choppers x 10 on each side (10-lb weight)
  3. Abdominal in/out x 10
  4. Upright row x 10 (10-lb weights)
  5. Bench squat/twist x 10 (10-lb weight)
  6. Situps x 10
  7. Combined side raise/bicep curl x 10 (3-kg weights/5-lb weights)
  8. Abdominal toe touches x 10
  9. Glute bridges x 10

Like the last time, I was to do the circuit nine times without any breaks. Each set would start with 200 metres on the cross-trainer and then after every set the exercise at the top of the list would be cut out. So in the first set I did all the exercises, in the second set I started with the wood choppers, in the third set I started with the abdominal in/out, and so on. I only took one water break between the first and second sets, but that was it. For the seventh exercise, I started out with 3-kg weights but after three sets, Pete reduced the weight of the dumbbells and gave me two 5-lb weights). I did some stretches after all that and was done!

On Thursday morning, I went back to Eco Yoga Sanctuary for the Hatha Flow class – there was just one other girl there and the regular teacher. It was a good class – I’m really enjoying going there (depending on the teacher of course!)…

On Friday morning I did a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then did Week 3 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min, walk x 1.5 min
  • Run x 2.5 min, walk x 2.5 min (x2)
  • Run x 1.5 min, walk x 1.5 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I did a few stretches after that and went home.

On Saturday morning I went back to the gym. I did my usual 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then did Week 3 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 2 min, walk x 2 min
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 3 min (x2)
  • Run x 2 min, walk x 2 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I pretty much ignored the Great Butt and Great Abs apps this week – I just wasn’t in the mood to do them. But at least I’m being consistent with the running. I did four sessions with the 10k Runner app this week because I didn’t do one last weekend and I wanted to catch up so that I could begin with Week 4 Day 1 on Sunday morning.

On Saturday evening a friend and I went to walk on the track at Jumeirah Public Beach. We got there at around 5.30pm – and once again we were treated to a beautiful sunset. I suggested we try and improve on our time from the week before, and we ended up doing 5.83 km in 57 min 35 s. We also managed a steady pace of 9:50 per km (more or less).

I was shattered when I got home though and could barely keep my eyes open for the rest of the evening.

Low point of the week? I can’t think of anything… I did have a couple of glasses of wine on Thursday at Wine Club but I think I’ve gone off wine a little. I had a few drinks on Friday night too, but I didn’t go overboard. I also had pasta for dinner on Saturday night (which I rarely have), but I was cold and tired and wanted some comfort food.

High point of the week? Doing eight workouts this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach!

Weight loss? I think it’s easier if I just do this (bear in mind that when I got back from Bali I weighed 81.4 kg – even after all that yoga!):

2016-01-25 03.10.30

So, according to my Libra app, I will reach my goal of 65 kg (which I realise is quite unrealistic) by early January 2017.

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (24-30 January 2016)

Have a great week 🙂

Aries

Cups 9

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

Taurus

Cups 4

4 of Cups – being self-absorbed – concentrating on your own feelings, seeing only your point of view, ignoring gifts and blessings; feeling apathetic – losing interest, finding life stale and flat, lacking motivation; going within – meditating, dreaming, withdrawing from involvement

Gemini

03 The Empress

The Empress – mothering – giving birth, nourishing life, expressing tenderness; welcoming abundance – luxuriating in plenty, having more than enough, feeling rich; experiencing the senses – giving and receiving pleasure, focusing on the body, doing physical activity; responding to Nature – embracing the natural, feeling connected to the Earth, going outdoors

Cancer

01 The Alchemist

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

Leo

04 The Emperor

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

Virgo

Pentacles 10

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

Libra

Swords 4

4 of Swords – resting – taking a break, giving your body time to heal, taking life easy; contemplating – taking time alone to think, standing back from the situation, reviewing where you are; quietly preparing – making sure your base is secure, tying up loose ends, stabilising

Scorpio

20 Judgement

Judgement – making a judgement – having a day of reckoning, taking a stand, getting off the fence; feeling reborn – awakening to possibilities, making a fresh start, discovering joy; hearing a call – feeling drawn to a new direction, answering a need, recognising your true vocation; finding absolution – feeling cleansed and refreshed, atoning for past mistakes, feeling sins washed away

Sagittarius

Wands Queen

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

Capricorn

Swords Princess

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

Aquarius

Pentacles 2

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

Pisces

Cups 8

8 of Cups – seeking deeper meaning – leaving the rat race, finding out the facts, concentrating on what is important; moving on – abandoning a hopeless situation, starting on a trip of unknown length, finishing up and walking away; growing weary – dragging through the day, lacking energy, getting weighed down by worries

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a daily card, follow me on Instagram (@nectar1269).

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2016: Week 2

Apart from going to the gym on Sunday, I didn’t do much else apart from work.

Monday was a busy day – I had a session with Pete in the morning. That afternoon I had a piano lesson and that evening I had my Arabic class. I managed to get through the class – I’ve realised I can remember most of the grammar but my vocabulary is awful! I need to build that up again…

I was at home on Tuesday, apart from going to the gym. I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning and that evening I had another Arabic class.

I went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary on Thursday morning. That afternoon I went to Mercato to buy a present for a friend’s baby. I wasn’t sure what to buy and stumbled across a shop I’d never seen called Caramel & Sun – they had some different things in there and I ended up buying a gift box for a baby girl. It had a baby blanket, little photo album, a bangle for the mother, and a couple of other little things in it. While the gift was being wrapped I started chatting with the owner of the store, a French woman. She said the store had been open since August and was doing quite well. She said their sale was starting the following day but that she’d give me the sale price anyway – that was nice of her. I’ll go back for more gifts when I need to!

That evening I met up with my friend who was visiting Dubai on her way to Pakistan – with her 7-week-old baby and husband. Two of their friends also joined us, so we were five people in total. We went to the Armenian restaurant Mayrig on the Boulevard Downtown. I’d heard that the restaurant was really good and had been keen to try it. We started with some hummus, lentil salad, soubeureg (pastry with three cheeses) and the kibbeh with cherry coulis and yoghurt. The cheesy pastry thing was a bit bland and too cheesy but everything else was excellent. We ordered a variety of things for our main course: soujouk fekhara (beef sausages in tomato sauce – this is a starter dish though), grilled kebab and one grilled hammour. I was surprised that all the kebabs were beef rather than lamb… and I also thought the starters were better than the main courses. It was an earlyish night and I was home by 11pm.

I pottered around the house on Friday for a while and started working after lunch. A friend had invited me over to his place on the Palm for the afternoon/evening but I’d told him I’d have to see how work was going. At about 4pm, I thought: ‘F*** this, I need to get out of the house’. So I got ready and went over to the Palm – I was there in time for a cup of tea and the sunset.

2016-01-15 18.15.47

He’d invited a few other friends over, some of whom I’d met before. He brought out the fishing rods and a couple of them went down to the beach to see if they could catch anything. And one of them caught a 3-foot barracuda! Remind me never to swim there! Once the fish was dead, it was handed over to the cook to be cleaned and cooked for dinner. There was a lot of fish and all eight of us had some. It’s not my favourite fish to eat, but it doesn’t get much fresher than that. After dinner, we moved over to the open fire and sat there for a while – it was quite a chilly night and I decided to have some red wine – it was the first day I was drinking since Christmas Day. Three whole weeks! We then moved indoors for a few rounds of karaoke… I got home at around 2.30am.

I was tired on Saturday. I’d slept late on Friday night and was up early on Saturday and couldn’t get back to sleep. I eventually got out of bed and did a bit of work after lunch. At 5pm a friend picked me up for a walk on Jumeira Open Beach. I’d never been there before but it was lovely – the fresh air, the sea breeze and the sunset…

2016-01-16 17.26.21

We walked for an hour and then went home. I had dinner with my parents and spent the rest of the evening working and reading.

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then moved over to the treadmill. I did Week 2 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min, walk x 2 min (x 4)
  • Run x 1 min, walk x 1 min (x 2)
  • Cooldown x 5 min

Again, I alternated between 6 km/h and 8 km/h. I did Week 4 Day 1 of the Great Butt and Great Abs apps after that, followed by some stretches. I was done!

Pete sent me a text on Monday morning, asking how I was and telling me that today he’d be taking me to Egypt. ‘Pyramids?’ I replied. I assumed it was some kind of pyramid workout he had up his sleeve. And I was right.

I started with a 10-minute warmup on the treadmill, starting with an incline of 1% and gradually increasing it by 1% every minute until I was at 10% in the last minute. I did some stretches after that and then he rattled off a list of nine exercises:

  1. Bulgarian squats x 5 on each side
  2. Combined knee-up and twist x 10 on each side
  3. Tricep dips x 10
  4. Combined squat/upright row x 10 (10-lb weights)
  5. Bicep curls x 10 (10-lb weights)
  6. Situps x 10
  7. Mountain climbers x 10 on each side
  8. Overhead tricep extensions x 10 (10-lb weight)
  9. Split squats x 10

He explained that I was going to do that circuit nine times, without any breaks. If I wanted to stop for water, that would be fine, but there would be no ‘official’ breaks. He said each set would start with 1 minute on the cross-trainer (no resistance, speed 7-8 km/h). I thought he’d gone mad. He then explained that after every set, the top exercise would be removed. So in the first set, I did 1 minute on the cross-trainer and all nine exercises. In the second set, I did 1 minute on the cross-trainer, skipped the Bulgarian squats and started with the combined knee-up and twist. In the third set, I did 1 minute on the cross-trainer, skipped the first two exercises and started with the tricep dips. And so on, until the last set which consisted of 1 minute on the cross-trainer and just split squats. It was exhausting. I was sweating. And I’d only had three short water breaks.

The hardest part for me was going straight from the combined squat/upright row to the bicep curls. By the time I got to the bicep curls I really struggled with the 10-lb weights. In the fifth round, when I started with the bicep curls, I could do them without any trouble! I found the split squats tough too – and by the end of nine rounds of that, I’d done 90 split squats. I knew my legs would be aching the next day.

I did some stretches after that and went home. I was so tired the rest of the day – I just wanted to go to sleep!

My quads and glutes were in so much pain the following morning! I went back to the gym and did Week 2 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. It was the same as Week 2 Day 1, but I took it a little easier. I walked at 6 km/h and ran at 7-8 km/h, depending on how I was feeling. After that I did Week 4 Day 2 of the Great Butt and Great Abs apps.

I was still aching on Wednesday. Pete said the session would consist of ‘easy’ cardio and abs. It didn’t sound too bad. I began with a 10-minute uphill walk on the treadmill at 5.5 km/h, starting with an incline of 1% and increasing it every minute until I was at 10% in the last minute.

I did the usual stretching routine after that and then went back on the treadmill for 4 minutes, alternating 30 s of walking and 30 s of running.

The first abs circuit consisted of:

After that I did 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s of sprints with 10 s of an easy glide. Then came another abs circuit:

I then did another 4 minutes on the treadmill, alternating 90 s of walking and 30 s of running. After that I did another abs circuit:

    • Wood chopper x 30 s (10-lb weight, on one side)
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Knee in/out x 30 s
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Wood chopper x 30 s (the other side)
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Kneeling side bends x 30 s

Rest

I had another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 30 s of an easy pace and 30 s of an easy sprint. I did some stretches after that and was done for the day!

I went to the Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary on Thursday morning. Thankfully, there was no sign of the teacher I’d had the week before – it was the same teacher I’d had two weeks earlier. I was the only person in the class again – it was a good class and she’s a really good teacher.

I didn’t work out on Friday. I was tired on Saturday morning and didn’t go to the gym but that evening a friend and I decided to walk on the running track at Jumeira Open Beach. She picked me up at 5pm and we got there at around 5.15. I’d never been there before but it was so nice to be outside in the fresh air and the lovely sea breeze and walking while the sun was setting.

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We walked and talked and managed to do 5.55 km in 58:28. Hopefully this will become a regular thing while the weather is like this, and hopefully we’ll walk more and talk less next time!

Low point of the week? I can’t think of anything… I did have my first drink(s) on Friday night after three weeks of no booze – not because I was consciously abstaining but because I had so much work to do I didn’t really have time to go out and meet anyone…

High point of the week? Doing six workouts again this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach!

Weight loss? I thought my weight would carry on dropping this week but it stayed more or less steady throughout the week.

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Read more updates here.