Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Week 9 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Another good week, I think!

I had my usual session with Gus on Tuesday – again, it was bloody hard work as he decided we should focus on my upper body. His favourite piece of equipment is a rubber tube called a ViPR and whenever I see him with it at the start of the session, my heart sinks. I told him this on Tuesday and he said ‘Oh, this isn’t for you today.’ ‘Really??’ ‘No, just kidding – it’s all yours.’ Thankfully we only used it for one of the exercises he had lined up for me. He also discovered I have no stomach muscles whatsoever (I say ‘he’ because I’ve known this for some time) so I have a feeling it’s going to be a target in coming weeks!

After that Tuesday session, by the time I got home, I was so tired I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the latest episode of ‘Hawaii Five-0’. In fact, I didn’t even switch on my computer – unheard of for me.

Gus saw me on Thursday morning when I was doing one of my cardio sessions and said I had definitely lost weight – I told him that at times my target still seems a long way away, but he disagreed. 

I did two more cardio sessions on my own (three in total this week) and also had my Sunday morning yoga class where we focused on hip openers.

I’m the kind of person who will sleep or snooze till as late as possible, skip breakfast, rush while getting ready and be late for work. Every day. So how am I getting up at 7am four mornings a week to get to the gym before work? Well, I’ve been taking photos of the sunrise each morning because they have been so incredible. Like this:


I love how the sun is coming up but you can still see a sliver of moon in the darkest part of the sky.

And this:


Those were taken on the same morning, just minutes apart. And I didn’t use any filters or special effects. So this seems to be working for now, but let’s see what happens when the clocks go back…

On the food side, it’s still going well. Gus looked at the food diary I’d kept for the previous week and seemed happy with it – I think I’ve been doing everything he’s told me to do… I’m allowed one cheat night and this week it was Friday. I went for a sushi dinner with some friends and not only did I have some sushi rolls (which contain rice), I also had some sake – but again, not as much as I would normally have had. I haven’t had bread in three weeks.

I caved this week and decided to weigh myself – I needed to know. And I was shocked. I’ve lost 2.5 kilos (5.5 lbs) in the last three weeks! So that’s a total of 4.6 kilos (10.1 lbs) since the beginning of August. I can’t believe it!


Read more updates here.

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Week 8 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Another good week, I think!

I feel like I’m spending most of my time at the gym (when I’m not at work) or at least thinking about it! I’m thinking about when I need to do the laundry so that I have enough tops, bottoms, towels, etc. I’m thinking about what time I need to sleep in order to be able to wake up. I’m thinking about what the *latest* possible time is I can get there to have a decent work-out.

I had my regular session with Gus on Tuesday – it was TOUGH (but I wasn’t crippled afterwards like the first time). He seemed to think my body has already changed – and sometimes I do think so, but there are other times when I feel that my goal is as far away as it ever was. More squats, upper body work, more squats… I didn’t tell him that one night I actually dreamt I was doing squats. It will all be worth it, I keep telling myself. He asked me to keep a food diary for the week – which I’ve been doing.

Aside from my Tuesday morning session, I managed cardio sessions on Monday, Thursday and Friday before work. As a result, I was in my pajamas by 7.30 on Friday evening – and totally shattered.

I also had my Sunday morning yoga class – and that’s where I’ve noticed the most changes. I thought it was a hard class – and I also think I was able to do more than I’ve been able to in the past. My legs are a lot stronger than they used to be.

On Friday afternoon, I had my third session with the hypnotherapist. She asked me what had happened since our last session. I told her what I’d been doing – exercising, watching what I eat, how I’d been feeling – amazing when compared with our first session, how I actually feel in control of things for the first time in a long while… ‘Do you actually need me today?’ she asked. Funnily enough, as I was walking to her office, I kept thinking that I felt great – I didn’t need any more of this… She said it takes people between 2 and 6 sessions to start feeling like they’re back on track and I was already there. That felt good!

The food side has been going well too. I was out for dinner on Thursday – I had one glass of wine with my meal. Three weeks ago, that glass could easily have been at least a bottle. I also had dessert which I haven’t had (or wanted) in ages. But that was the only sweet thing I’ve had all week. I’ve managed to avoid carbs at night and haven’t had bread in two weeks. Oh wait, I had a bite of focaccia on Thursday evening but it did nothing for me – I realised I haven’t missed bread at all.

I still haven’t weighed myself – I think I’m scared I might be disappointed if I haven’t lost any weight! I have had to tighten my belt by one notch though – now I’m just waiting for the rest of my body to catch up!


Read more updates here.

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Week 7 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Another interesting week!

After my first session with Gus which left me crippled, by Monday morning I was starting to feel how I would normally have felt after a workout – some aches and pains, but able to walk. I had my second session with the hypnotherapist on Monday afternoon – it lasted about half an hour but I learned a lot. I’m not going to go into what happened, but it has made me realise that things I used to believe when I was younger are not real… What I will say is this: Philip Larkin was right. They do f*** you up, your mum and dad (‘This Be The Verse’).

I had my second session with Gus on Tuesday morning before work – and it was much better than the first session! I told him how much pain I’d been in and he said that the good news is it will never feel like that again… And he was right. My second session, although longer, seemed somehow easier. I did a 20-minute warm-up on the bike, followed by some weights for my upper and lower body, and then some great stretching. And I could even walk the next day! He told me that the three sessions on my own should be just cardio – and at least 45 minutes long.

I went back to the gym on Friday morning and had a yoga class on Sunday morning. It was a really good class – I was able to do more than I could before and even my teacher commented that I looked stronger. Result!

On the food side, it has been going well. I haven’t had bread in over a week, I haven’t had carbs at night (apart from a couple of sushi rolls on Thursday) and I’ve been eating my banana and teaspoon of almond butter for breakfast. The alcohol side, hmm. I have cut down on the alcohol – but I’m still over the quantities I should be having! I think, for me, that’s the hardest part.

I haven’t weighed myself this week – but a couple of people have told me that I look like I’ve lost weight. On Friday I actually had to go out and buy a belt (which I don’t usually wear) because the waist of my jeans was way too big. So something is working. Let’s hope next week is even better!


Read more updates here.


Week 6 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

My week 5 update was posted at the end of August – I was away for almost 3 weeks after that, and now it’s time to get back on the wagon. I’m saying this is week 6 because the last 3-4 weeks have been a blip. I was in Lagos, and I was incredibly lazy. Not intentionally though – I did take my gym stuff thinking that I’d get to work out at least a couple of times a week, but it never happened. Now I’ve decided that unless I’m training for a marathon, I’m never taking my gym stuff on holiday with me! So my routine on holiday was: wake up, move from my bed, to my sister’s bed, to the sofa, to the car, and then back again in reverse order, sleep. Not good. And that doesn’t even include all the eating I did – Lebanese, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Indian – you name it, I ate it.

So. Back to reality.

Last week was… interesting.

A few weeks ago I’d bought a Groupon deal for three sessions of gastric band hypnotherapy. I made my appointments for the three sessions and had my first session on Tuesday. I had no idea what to expect.

The hypnotherapist is young – she must be in her mid 30s. I expected to be hypnotised, told never to eat again, and be sent on my way – three times. Instead, she asked me about my eating habits, what meals were like when I was a child, what my relationship with my mother was like, how stressed I was, and any other issues going on in my life. I felt like I was in actual therapy. Let me say that I woke up on Tuesday feeling a little… cranky. I was tired and just felt upset for no apparent reason. And then having this person ask me all these questions about my childhood and relationship with my parents and food made me more upset. She must be used to her clients shedding a few tears in their sessions because she didn’t seem surprised. At all. After I felt a bit more ‘normal’ (if that’s possible), she made me sit in the most comfortable chair in the world. I lay back, closed my eyes and listened to her talking, telling me what to visualise, and to count back from 500. It wasn’t a full session – it was more for her to figure out what my trance level is – how long it would take me to fall into the trance, etc. When we were finished she said I had a great trance level. To be honest, I didn’t feel any different while I was in the trance – she asked me questions, I answered them. I felt like I could have gotten up and walked out of her office if I’d wanted to. She said the real hypnosis sessions would start the following week. I still don’t know what to expect.

The second interesting thing was that I got a call from LA Fitness offering me a free session with a personal trainer as part of my membership deal – would I be interested? Oh, yes please. They said one of their trainers would call me within the next couple of days to arrange a date and time. The trainer, Gus, did call and we did set up a time – and I had my first session on Friday morning before work.

I met him at the gym at 8am – we spent the first 30 minutes in the office, talking about what I wanted to achieve, my eating habits, my non-existent exercise habits, my sleeping habits and work. He said he could guarantee I’d lose 10 kilos by Christmas if I had two sessions with him each week and changed my diet. That’s great – but I don’t have that kind of money to spend each week on a trainer – so he said I could probably do it with one session a week but did three other sessions at the gym on my own. Yes, I can do that. The changes to my diet: no bread, have a banana and a teaspoon of almond butter for breakfast, nuts as a mid-morning snack, protein for lunch, no carbs at night. Hmm. No carbs at night, trainer’s delight. OK. Get 8 hours of sleep each night. Does anyone get 8 hours of sleep a night? I’m lucky if I get more than 6 hours. ‘Let’s hit the gym,’ he said. ‘Wait,’ I said. ‘We haven’t talked about alcohol.’ (If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it properly.) He asked me what I normally drink when I go out – usually white wine or vodka with soda. ‘Ditch the wine.’ Dammit.

We went into one of the studios where I spent the next 15 minutes alternating between sets of 20 lunges and 20 squats, with weights. Then walking lunges across the room – forwards and backwards. We then went out to the weights area in the gym where we did some upper body work (incorporating more lunges and squats). And then the session was over. Did I want to train with him again? I made an appointment for the following Tuesday. By the time I got to the office my legs felt like jelly and I knew I was going to be in serious trouble this weekend. Each time I sat down or stood up it felt like I was doing another squat. My body was in shock.

But the pain on Friday was nothing compared to the pain on Saturday. It’s always worse the day after, isn’t it? On Saturday my thighs were on fire. And not in a good way. I wanted to weep each time I moved – I felt like my thigh muscles had turned into razor blades inside my body. I could barely walk. I felt like Bambi – shaky and unsteady. It was horrible. Looking back at what Gus said – how am I supposed to fit in three sessions on my own at the gym if I can’t even get there? On the positive side, I stayed away from carbs on Saturday night – almost unheard of for me.

I woke up on Sunday still in pain – but nothing like the pain of Saturday. And the pain was reduced further when my cousin gave me a couple of Nurofen capsules on Sunday night when we were at the pub. God bless her.

Hopefully this will get easier!!


Read more updates here.


Back in Lagos

I know I usually write about my 10 kilos by Christmas progress on Tuesday mornings, but considering all I’ve done since I got to Lagos three days ago is eat, I thought I’d give that a rest for the next couple of weeks. Or it might be about PUTTING ON 10 kilos by Christmas!

I’m in Lagos for a couple of weeks visiting my sister and her family. It’s my nephew’s 1st birthday on Wednesday and I wanted to be here to celebrate with the little monster. The last time I was here was back in February 2008.

Coming to Lagos is never simple. First of all, there’s the visa, which I took care of. Then, there’s the list. Luckily, my mum took care of most of that. And in case you’re wondering, we did ignore items 4 and 8! There’s always a lot to bring as everything is pretty expensive here.

When travelling to Nigeria, economy passengers are allowed two pieces of checked luggage, instead of the usual one. When I started packing I realised that even two suitcases wouldn’t be enough for all the things I had to take, so when I checked in online I was given the option of purchasing allowance for another suitcase at £32 which I took. I then had three heavy suitcases – one filled with my clothes and things, the second one filled with hams, cheeses, corn flakes, toys, and the third filled with whatever wouldn’t fit in the other two!

My parents dropped me off at the airport – both of them. I don’t remember the last time that happened. Check-in was smooth – Virgin travellers to Lagos have their own check-in section at Terminal 3. Each of my bags weighed just under the 23 kg allowance. Other passengers on either side of me, however, were having to re-pack their bags to distribute the weight more evenly in their suitcases and were given quite a hard time by the check-in staff, including a member of their crew. They even gave the guy in front of me a hard time because his hand luggage weighed 6.3 kg!

I went through security without any problems, browsed through duty free (I bought a Lalique perfume to replace the discontinued Le Baiser) and then it was time to get on the plane. The gate was quite a walk from the main airport lounge – it took about 10 minutes. I got there early enough to get a seat and waited for my section to be called out so I could board. There were loads of kids waiting at the gate – I’d say there were more kids than adults on the flight, all of them heading home after the holidays. The waiting area at the gate was noisy – music, video games, it didn’t bode well.

My section was eventually called and I boarded the plane. Whenever I’ve flown to Lagos, by the time I get on the plane, there’s no room in the overhead compartments so this time I made sure I was waiting at the door when they called my section! I got on the plane, and luckily the entire compartment was empty when I got there. I put my bag and duty free shopping away and waited for the person sitting next to me to show up before I sat down and made myself comfortable in my aisle seat. I waited for ages – and just when I thought I might have an empty seat next to me, he showed up. Isn’t that typical? Luckily, once he sat down, he didn’t move during the entire flight!

We got to Lagos at 5.15 am, went through immigration in 5 minutes, got a trolley and porter, and by 6 am I was waiting for my luggage. And I waited. And I waited. I’m not exaggerating when I say that about 90% of the suitcases that fell onto the carousel were upside down and back to front. It made identifying bags even more difficult. Every time I saw a red suitcase, I got all excited and then realised that it wasn’t mine. Surely ALL my bags couldn’t be lost?? I wasn’t panicking yet as there were still about 100 people waiting for their bags to show up. In the meantime, the porter was busy helping other people with their bags – my sister had warned me not to expect him to hang around me all the time and that I’d have to share him with other passengers! And then finally, at 7 am, there they were. All three of them in a row. The man who had helped me through immigration told me I should never check in on time because that’s why my bags were late. If you check in on time, your bags are the first ones on the plane and the last ones off. Er. OK. I’ll remember that. I went through customs, my sister was waiting for me outside the airport, and we headed home.

Being back in Lagos makes me appreciate the things I take for granted in London: electricity, hot running water, petrol, the Internet, pavements, being able to walk anywhere I want…

This is part of the road outside the house

This is part of the road outside the house

There have been a lot of changes since I was last here – the most noticeable one is that there are traffic lights (in some areas)! And they work! And drivers pay attention to them!

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There are also many new hotels and buildings coming up – mostly on the waterfront…

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… including the Radisson Blu which opened earlier this year.

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You can still go ‘shopping’ when you’re stuck in go-slow (traffic) – you can buy almost anything! Watches…

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Bread, water, sweets…

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Mobile top-up cards…

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There are still little shops on the roadside in some areas…

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The Internet connection can be temperamental. The day I got here I was using my BlackBerry – I needed to be in touch with my sister after I landed and thought I may as well keep it on for the day until I had a local phone sorted for myself. At about 9 pm I got a text message from Vodafone saying my usage for that day had already reached the maximum while roaming, which is £15 per day. There was no way I was paying that amount every day so I switched off the data while roaming. There was no wi-fi at home for the first week so I used an MTN dongle – it costs about £2 for 24 hours or 50 MB – whichever comes first. You can also get monthly top-ups. The service wasn’t great – the Internet speed varies from minute to minute – but it was better than nothing! The wi-fi is up and running now – hurrah!

Today, Lagos is a city where the old meets the new…

New buildings and yachts on the waterfront

New buildings and yachts on the waterfront

New buildings and yachts on the waterfront with *loads* of traffic in the background!

New buildings and yachts on the waterfront with *loads* of traffic in the background… Yes, that is a helipad on the water. It has been there for years and I have yet to see a helicopter flying over the city – but I’ve been assured that they do exist!

Old and new

Old and new – Eko Court in the foreground, and the new Intercontinental Hotel coming up behind it…

So, there have definitely been some changes around here!

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Week 5 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

A bad, bad, BAD week. So bad, in fact, that I haven’t even bothered to weigh myself. I’d rather bury my head in the sand and pretend everything’s going according to plan. Basically, there was too much drinking and not enough exercise.

I did learn two things though:

  1. If I’m going to the gym, it has to be before work. I planned to go on Tuesday evening but ended up at the pub. And it wasn’t even a good pub. I only went to the gym once last week – and that was on Thursday morning before work. 
  2. Beer, champagne and sake do not mix well. I’m thought I’d learned this a while ago, but apparently it hadn’t sunk in. I think I’ve learned my lesson now. What was supposed to be a chilled Friday evening turned into quite a heavy night as we went from a pub to a bar to a restaurant. The combination of drinks made me totally forget we planned a barbecue for the bank holiday yesterday. It turned out to be a laugh, but I ate so much. I can’t even think about the amount of meat that was cooked.

I’ve made a mental note of what I had to drink this week and it’s a lot! I won’t bore you with it, but I had at least two drinks on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. That’s way too much, even for me. 


So there you have it.

And the next three weeks aren’t going to be any easier either as I’m off on holiday!

Read more updates here.

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Week 4 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

I had a great week in terms of diet and exercise, but the weekend was atrocious. It’s shocking how quickly the calories add up. 

As I said, the week was fine – I thought I ate well (apart from Thursday night when all I had was a glass of champagne, two martinis and some olives as dinner).

I had my induction at LA Fitness on Tuesday evening as scheduled – I was asked what my goals were, how often I intended to get to the gym and how long I was going to spend each time I was there, what my eating habits were, and then I was measured (height) and weighed (embarrassing). The trainer walked me through various exercises – I did some sets on the leg press and lateral pull, sets of crunches, push-ups, weights. I was knackered by the end of it. And the gym was *packed*. I decided right then that I would prefer to be there in the morning when I didn’t have to wait for a treadmill or weight machine to be free!

I went back on Thursday morning for a workout. I was there just after 8am – I did 15 minutes of cardio, another 20 minutes on various machines and then spent the last 20 minutes on the mat followed by stretching. I felt really good at the end of it – like I’d accomplished something! One of the perks of going at that time is that by the time I’m back in the changing room, there’s just a handful of women there. I can’t bear crowded changing rooms. I got ready and was at work a little before 10. Tip: avoid Regent Street in the mornings, the traffic is horrendous. I spent 10 minutes stuck in one place (by the Langham)!

On Friday evening I decided to go to a Zumba class at the gym. The class was at 6pm and I didn’t think it would be very crowded being a Friday night, but there were about 25 people there. It was a good class, but nowhere near as good as the class I’ve been to in Maida Vale. 

And there ends the ‘good’ part of the week. On Friday night I went to The Engineer in Primrose Hill with some friends. I’d read on Twitter that it was being taken over at the end of September and wanted to go before it changed hands. We shared the cured meat platter as a starter and each had our own main course. I couldn’t decide between the lamb and the tortelloni – but the artichokes won in the end. I had the tortelloni stuffed with artichokes and truffles in a butter sauce. Now if that doesn’t scream 1000 calores, I don’t know what does! It was amazing. And I was so full by the end of it, I didn’t have a bite of dessert. Not one bite. And of course there was wine – we had an Australian Pinot Noir. Lovely.

I had a carb-free lunch with the girls on Saturday, which I was pleased about. On Saturday night I went to Le Cochonnet for dinner. I love their pizzas but thought I’d give it a miss and go for a pasta instead. The pasta special was papardelle with salmon and spinach so I ordered that. I didn’t think it was too bad a choice. Better than the pizza at least. But I did end up sharing a chocolate brownie for dessert – which was yummy. And of course there was wine – a French rosé, but I can’t remember what it was called.

Lunch with my parents on Sunday was at Kamil’s, a Lebanese place on Boundary Road. We weren’t planning on going there at all, but to another restaurant on the same road, but we ended up there when I decided I couldn’t possibly eat any more pasta – for a few days! I’m pretty sure Lebanese food must be the worst choice when you’re trying to watch what you eat. Everything (all their vegetarian food I can think of) is fried.

Nope. Definitely not a good weekend for food.

And so Monday came round again. I’d booked a 7pm yoga class at the gym, but was at work till 7.20 so didn’t make it. I’ve booked a step class for this evening – which should be interesting. The last time I did a step class was when I was in my early 20s – God help me.

I was totally expecting to have put on weight when I stepped on the scales this morning but found that I was exactly the same weight as last week. I was relieved! I can handle the plateau but to go up again would have been really annoying. I need to start wearing those HotPants again! And eat less and exercise more, of course.


Read more updates here.


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Week 3 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Not a good week, to be honest.

I tried to eat sensibly, I logged everything I ate and drank, I wore my HotPants, I walked home through the park once (where I managed to take my Silent Sunday photo), and I had yoga on Sunday morning.

However the eating out over the weekend really took its toll. On Thursday (which we all know is the new Friday), my ex-trainer from the gym was in town and had organised drinks at the Refuel Bar at the Soho Hotel. I used to see her once a week when I was a member of LA Fitness but I moved out of the area and she moved back to Australia a couple of years ago. I told her I was going to re-join the gym and she recommended a trainer who was there for drinks as well. But by the time I finished catching up with her and looked around for him, he’d gone.

Friday night I was out with friends at Sumosan, I had the usual lunch with the girls on Saturday, and I was out at Arirang on Saturday night. I didn’t think I’d done too badly, but then…

It was Dad’s birthday on Sunday and four of us (my parents, sister-in-law and me) went to Hakkasan Mayfair for lunch. We were seated downstairs, which was a shame as it was such a nice day – it’s quite dark downstairs. The food was excellent. For starters we ordered the steamed dim sum platter, crispy duck salad, prawn toast with foie gras, and salt and pepper squid. As we’d had so many starters, I ordered two main courses and a green vegetable: black pepper beef with Merlot, spicy prawns and gai lan in garlic sauce. All of it was so tasty – and I think their portions are quite generous. For dessert, I’d brought along a small strawberry and vanilla cake I’d picked up from Maison Blanc in the High Street. The waiter brought it out with a candle and told Dad to make a wish. ‘I wish I didn’t have to pay the bill,’ he joked. Unfortunately that wish didn’t come true – they do say you’re not supposed to tell anyone what you wish for! Dad asked the waiter to cut the cake into small slices. I think the waiter must have heard ‘four’ slices because five minutes later he came back with four plates, each containing a quarter of the cake. No, don’t panic – we didn’t finish it!

We got home after lunch and we all passed out. We were full and sleepy. I’d have happily stayed home that evening but my uncle had invited us for dinner to Singapore Garden in Fairfax Road. We were all still full from lunch – and I didn’t eat as much as I normally would have at dinner. And there was another cake for Dad to cut, so I had a little piece of that too (a sliver compared to the wedge from that afternoon). Definitely not a good day!

On Monday, I joined LA Fitness in Marylebone. I called them up to make an appointment for my induction – which is this evening. The man on the phone told me I’d need to bring my gym kit as they do a fitness test (or unfitness test in my case!) and measure your BMI, etc. I’m not looking forward to it at all! 

While wearing my HotPants last week, I had one scary moment when I was in the ladies’ room at work and couldn’t get them back on. I had initially been told it was easier to pull them on and off instead of using the zip – so that’s what I’d been doing. On this one occasion, I couldn’t pull them back on again. I had images of Ross and his leather trousers – and then I started giggling. I did eventually get them back on (using the zip) but I was worried for a few seconds!


(OK, it wasn’t as bad as that – but now you know how I felt!)

And then, the moment of truth… I stepped on the scales and was surprised! I’ve lost 0.2 kgs (0.44 lbs) this week – in spite of all of the above! That’s a total of 2.3 kgs (5.06 lbs). Hopefully I’ll have lost even more by next week!


Read more updates here.


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Week 2 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

I’ve written about my weight gain – and last week I mentioned I was going to join LA Fitness in Marylebone… but first let me take you through the week I had…

I wrote that I was down with flu last week – I was home from work on Tuesday and Wednesday, feeling rubbish. I decided to go back on Thursday as I knew there would be tons to do and it would be more peaceful than staying home. I had a full house last week – parents, brother and sister-in-law, sister and monster nephew.


He’s adorable but he took over my room. And my bed. I was relegated to a mattress on the floor. So staying home on Thursday wouldn’t have been very restful. I felt worse on Thursday than the two previous days, but just stuck it out at the office. I got home and collapsed on the sofa. My dad made me Lemsip (awwww) and I didn’t move for the rest of the evening. When I woke up on Friday I felt like I was finally on the mend. 

When I was in the office on Thursday and Friday I was trying again to eat healthily – and I think I managed. Soup for lunch and no biscuits!

To keep me motivated, I downloaded an app onto my new iPad called MyNetDiary. It helps you keep track of what you eat, how much you exercise, how much water you drink, and so on.


(Not the clearest picture, but you get the idea)

When you log in the first time, you enter your weight, how much you want to lose and by when, and it calculates how many calories you should be eating and whether they should be protein, carbs, fibre or anything else. I’ve been using the app for about 10 days and I’m quite impressed by it. There’s a huge variety of foods already entered into the database, so you just type in the first few letters of what you’re looking for and several options appear. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can add it to the database. And if you don’t have your iPad to hand, you can always update your details online with a laptop.

I’ve also been using my Zaggora HotPants for the last four days. I’ve had them a while but had only used them sporadically until now. I’m going to do the whole two weeks and see what happens. When they arrived, they weren’t what I expected at all. I thought they’d be like regular cycling shorts, but they’re made from neoprene, polyester and nylon. They’re black on the outside and fluorescent yellow on the inside – and they have a zip. I had planned on wearing them to Zumba and while doing other exercise, but they’re actually very noisy when worn on their own! I keep thinking of that episode of Seinfeld with George’s noisy trousers. Or of Mammy from Gone With The Wind and her rustling red taffeta petticoat. Worn under trousers or jeans, though, the noise is significantly reduced (I hope!). I’m not sure what good the HotPants are doing while I’m sitting at my desk all day, but we’ll see.   

I weighed myself again this evening (I’ve decided once a week is more than enough for me) and I’ve lost 0.8 kgs (1.76 lbs) this week. Not as much as last week, but something is better than nothing – and it’s still a loss of 2.1 kgs (4.62 lbs) in the last two weeks. And I’m joining the gym this weekend.

Watch this space!


Read more updates here.


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Week 1 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Last week I wrote about how much weight I’d gained over the last year or so… and I decided that something needed to be done about it.

I was quite careful about what I ate last week when I was at work – and I think I did pretty well (apart from the rum cake on Thursday afternoon, but there you go)! I don’t usually eat breakfast and if I do, it’s granary toast and Marmite from the cafe across the road from the office. I sometimes stop on my way to the office (if I have time) and get some. For lunch, I had either a jacket potato with tuna or soup from EAT – their soups are delicious and they tell you whether they contain wheat, dairy or less than 5% fat – you know what you’re getting into.

And then came the weekend. On Saturday morning, my brother and sister-in-law arrived and we had family lunches on both Saturday and Sunday – the spread on Saturday was never-ending. And if it’s possible there was even more food on Sunday. I felt like lapsing into a food coma after both meals. My problem is: if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it.

I had my first yoga class on Sunday morning – and it was TOUGH. A six-week break and mild hangover do not a good yoga class make. My triceps are still aching and that was three days ago! And since Monday morning I’ve been down with the flu, so I’ve been snacking on things during the day and healthy eating doesn’t seem to be a priority.

I thought I’d face the music by weighing myself this afternoon – and was shocked to find I’ve lost 1.3 kgs in the last 9 days. I must be doing something right? Or perhaps it’s because I’m ill? No idea.

I’d been toying with the idea of joining a gym for the next few months – but I know that if it’s not within a 10-minute walk from my house or the office, I won’t go. I also didn’t want to commit to a gym for a whole year. But then I got an email from LA Fitness in Marylebone offering membership for six months only at a discounted rate. Is it a sign? Hmm, maybe. And then I read my horoscope for today which said: ‘Start eating right and working to get back in shape. Why not take out a membership at the local gym?’ I’m pretty sure LA Fitness don’t sponsor these horoscopes, so I’m taking it as a sign!

From Wednesday I’ll be going to the gym regularly, before or after work and will keep you posted with updates. I chose next week to start as my sister and nephew arrive this evening for six days and I want to spend some time with them, my brother and sister-in-law are here until Monday – and I want to get over this horrible cold/headache/lurgy I’ve got going on… 

Watch this space.


Read more updates here.


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