Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

Compared to the last few weeks I had an awesome week at the gym!

I had my usual Sunday morning session with Trevor. I did an 8-minute warmup on the bike (I did 5 minutes and then just carried on until he showed up) and then moved on to the treadmill for another 8 minutes. I started at 5 km/h, and then went up to 5.5 km/h and eventually 6 km/h – at an incline of 10%.

After that, Trevor told me I was going to do a compound exercise with the weighted bar. This one exercise consisted of:

  • Bent-over row
  • Clean and sweep
  • Squat
  • Press (and then move the bar onto my shoulders)
  • Good morning
  • Alternating lunges x 1 on each side
  • Wide squat
  • Press
  • Repeat six more times
  • Treadmill x 2 min at 7.5 km

I did the circuit three times in total.

After that there was an abs circuit:

  • Crunch roll-ups x 15
  • Crunches x 15
  • Legs from side to side x 15 (this was kind of like a reverse Russian twist where my lower body was twisting but my upper body was the support)
  • Toe touches x 15 (with a 10-lb weight)
  • Repeat

I did some stretching after that and was done.

On Monday I decided to go to the gym on my own – after ages. Someone was using the bike when I got there so I started my warm-up on the cross-trainer. And then they moved on to my favourite treadmill (it seems to be everybody’s favourite) for 5 minutes so I continued on the cross-trainer for a few more minutes until they’d finished. I’d put my stuff there already so they knew I was planning on using it! I did 3 km in 28:07. It’s not great but the last time I did 3 km was in January and it took me 30 minutes. I did some lower body exercises after that and called it a day.

I had my regular yoga class at home on Tuesday – our teacher has been trying to get us into The Wheel pose but I’m finding it impossible to lift with my arms. I just seem to have no upper body strength!

I had another session with Trevor on Wednesday. I did 5 minutes on the bike and we went straight into body weight exercises with this circuit:

  • Prisoner squats x 15
  • Combined dead lift/bent-over row/upright row (with a weighted bar) x 10
  • Tricep extensions x 15 (3-kg weights)
  • Kayak (with a weighted bar) x 15 on each side
  • Combined squat/press x 15 (10-lb weights)
  • Treadmill x 4 min at 5.5 km/h (min 1 – no incline, min 2-4 – 4% incline)

After a rest I did that again. In the second set, I had to reduce the weights for the combined squat/press as 10-lb weights were too heavy for me. I used the 3-kg weights instead.

I then did three supersets of the following:

  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Chest press (machine) x 15

I was done by this point. Unfortunately my session wasn’t. I got back on the treadmill and did the following:

  • 1 min x 5.5 km
  • 2 min x 7.5 km
  • 1 min x 5.5 km
  • 2 min x 7 km
  • 1 min x 5.5 km

Then I did some stretching and was finished!

That evening I went to Fitness First at Beach Park Plaza where Trevor works. One of his clients was giving an informal talk on hormones and how they affect weight loss. She said that we all should be taking a multivitamin, omega 3 oils and a probiotic supplement every day. She said if that doesn’t help you lose weight then you need to consider checking your insulin and thyroid levels because of those aren’t balanced you’ll never lose the weight. God, one more thing to think about! She also said to cut out dairy completely.

I went back to the gym on Thursday and warmed up on the bike. I did 3 km on the treadmill and managed it in 27:30 – but I really did push myself. I did only one set of lower body exercises after that and went home.

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? My knees are aching a bit – both of them.

High point of the week? I worked out five times this week! I didn’t eat too badly either – but did have a few glasses of wine at the weekend.

Weight loss? Still up and down – but hopefully that will change!

One workout

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The final few

Again, not a great week!

Trevor texted me on Saturday evening to cancel our Sunday morning session – something to do about a car he was buying. I was tired after the weekend and didn’t mind. I thought I’d try and go to the Shangri-La for yoga but couldn’t get up.

I think the reason I can’t get out of bed to go to that yoga class is because the thought of listening to the instructor makes me want to punch someone – and I’m pretty sure yoga isn’t meant to make you feel like that!

I had my regular yoga class at home on Tuesday – and on Tuesday evening Trevor texted me to say that he couldn’t make our Wednesday morning session.

So apart from that one yoga class at home, I did nothing all week. I was still swamped with work and focusing on that.

Low point of the week? See above. I can’t understand why I’m so unmotivated.

High point of the week? I’ve been eating (fairly) well and I only had one drink in the entire week! I’m still off the bread – and I don’t really miss it.

Weight loss? Meh – up and down, as usual!

2015-02-24 09.26.53

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The final few

Another terrible week in terms of diet and exercise.

I didn’t have my session with Trevor on Sunday as I was going to a wedding reception the night before and knew it would be a late night. I was so exhausted from the wedding – I think it took me a week to recover. I couldn’t get out of bed to go to yoga at the Shangri-La on Monday, and when my cousin called me on Tuesday morning to say she couldn’t make our yoga class at home, I was so relieved.

I basically did nothing all week. I was slammed with work and had visitors in town as well – so I ate out a lot and on Friday I drank a lot.

Low point of the week? All of it! I have just given up. I can’t understand why I’m so unmotivated.

High point of the week? I don’t think I’ve eaten badly – and I’m still off the bread.

Weight loss? You can only imagine!

I need to sort myself out

I need to sort myself out

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The final few

I had a terrible week in terms of exercise and diet!

I had a session on Sunday morning with Trevor. After my 5-minute warm-up on the bike he told me I was going to do the following circuit:

  • Treadmill x 400 m (5 km/h for the first minute, 7 km/h after that)
  • Lateral pulldowns x 10
  • Push-ups x 20
  • Combined squat/press (3-kg weights) x 30
  • Mountain climbers x 40 (20 on each side)
  • Rest x 3 min

I did that three times in total. I think the worst of those was the combined squat/press – my shoulders were already sore after the push-ups and combined with the squats, I just wanted to die.

After the third round, I did some stretches. Just when I thought we were done, he said his watch wasn’t working properly and we still had a few minutes left. So I did the following abs circuit:

  • Crunches x 15
  • Reverse crunches x 15
  • Abdominal toe touches x 15
  • Russian twists x 15 (on each side)

Ouch!

I didn’t make it to yoga on Monday morning – I just couldn’t wake up.

On Tuesday I was all ready for yoga, my cousin had come over and we were waiting for our teacher to show up. She eventually called to say that she was at the temple and would be about 10-15 minutes late. OK, fine – at least she let us know. Thirty minutes later there was still no sign of her so I called her. No answer. She called back a few minutes later to say she was still at the temple – and she could be at my place in 20 minutes. Well, no – that didn’t really work. My cousin had to head off and I had work scheduled for the day so we thought it best to just leave it for the day.

On Wednesday I went to the gym and began my warm-up on the bike. At about 8.40 I texted Trevor to see if he was on his way. No response. I decided to just get on the treadmill while I was waiting for him. At 9am he sent me a text saying he was really sorry and that he’d slept through his alarm. I just carried on with my brisk walk and then went home.

I couldn’t wake up on Thursday for yoga either. I’d been working late the night before and just couldn’t face it. And the entire weekend was spent eating and drinking as I was attending a wedding.

Low point of the week? See above!

High point of the week? I’ve given up bread for Lent.

Weight loss? Nothing new (or good) to report!

Fat life

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The final few

I didn’t have my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. His parents were visiting from the UK and he asked me if I’d mind if we skipped it. Of course I didn’t mind. I even considered going to the gym on my own, but of course I didn’t.

I went to yoga at the Shangri-La on Monday morning. Everything about the class that morning made me want to punch the teacher in the face. Of course, that’s not what yoga is about – but I could feel myself getting more and more irritated as the class went on. It was just two of us in the class that morning – and it was almost as if he couldn’t be bothered to teach us. The ridiculous techno music was on and as part of our warm-up he had us running in circles around the studio. OK, fine – I can deal with that. We did five rounds of sun salutations (five on each side), moved on to another pose, and then did another five rounds of sun salutations, and then another stretch, and then another five rounds of sun salutations. He told us we were going to do twenty-five rounds of sun salutations that morning. Well, if I wanted to do that I could do that at home – I wanted to tell him I’d have to reconsider coming to the class regularly if that’s all we were going to do. I even wondered how he’d react if I just walked out. In the end, we did fifteen rounds – which was more than enough for me. I was still irritated by the end of the class.

I was aching on Tuesday – my abs and my arms and my shoulders. We had our regular yoga class at home on Tuesday – and we did five rounds of sun salutations in class for the first time. We usually do  three or four, but today our teacher made us do five. I was sick of sun salutations! The rest of the class was fine. We’ve been doing bow pose for a while and our teacher introduced an extension to that – side bow pose – where we’re supposed to move from being on our front in the pose to being on one side and then the other. I don’t even know where to begin with this or which muscles to use and it doesn’t seem to get easier as the weeks go by. Every time I try to get on to any side I start thinking about beetles on their backs, struggling. And then our teacher has to ease us both into the pose – first one side and then the other.

I was in so much pain on Wednesday – my deltoid muscles and my abs were the most sore. I had a session with Trevor on Wednesday. I did my 5-minute warm-up on the bike and then he told me I was going to do supersets (two exercises in a row). He also mentioned something about time under tension training – which I didn’t really understand at first but then realised it makes each exercise that much harder as the movement is more controlled. I began with the first superset:

  • Squats (with a bar) x 12 (down for 4 counts, up for 1 count)
  • Chest press (15-lb weights) x 12 (down for 4 counts, up for 1 count)
  • Rest x 1 min

I did that three times in total. Then came the second superset:

  • Deadlifts (15-lb weights) x 12 (down for 4 counts, up for 1 count)
  • Horizontal row x 12 (pulling in for 4 counts, out for 1 count)
  • Rest x 1 min

I did that twice more and had some water. Trevor told me the next two supersets would target smaller mucles and would feel more intense. I’d already told him I was aching after yoga two days in a row – and I knew I’d be in serious pain on Thursday. The third superset consisted of:

  • Military press (10-lb weights) x 12 (up for 1 count, down for 4 counts)
  • Bicep curls (10-lb weights) x 12 (up for 2 counts, down for 2 counts)
  • Rest x 30 s

I did that three times and then came the final superset:

  • Tricep extensions x 12 (down for 1 count, up for 4 counts)
  • Abdominal leg raises x 15
  • Rest x 30 s

I could really feel those abdominal leg raises! I did some stretching after that and was done.

I didn’t work out again in the week. I had planned to go to yoga on Thursday morning but for some reason woke up at 4.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. By the time 7.30 came around I was ready to fall asleep again!

Low point of the week? Only working out three times. Oh, I also seem to be addicted to Galaxy bars again. Which would explain why none of the clothes I plan on wearing to a wedding next week fit. Dammit!

High point of the week? I’ve still managed to control my alcohol intake when I go out. I was out for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday and I had reasonable amounts of wine (for me). I’ve been drinking mainly red wine as I’ve realised I drink it a lot slower than white wine or vodka – so it’s easier to drink less.

Weight loss? Nothing new (or good) to report!

Miracle

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The final few

I didn’t have a session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I’d woken up that morning with a splitting headache and decided to cancel it.

On Monday I went to yoga at the Shangri-La. My cousin decided to try out the class as well – and we were the only two people there. It was a good class though (even if the teacher did continue saying ‘mountain pose’ for ‘downward dog’).

I was sore the following day! Especially my hamstrings. We had yoga together at home on Tuesday morning as well and I had a session with Trevor on Wednesday. I was already aching from the yoga classes on Monday and Tuesday so I knew it was going to be painful.

I did my five-minute warm-up on the bike and he told me we’d be using the weights machines during the session – increasing the weights for three sets, but the last set would be a drop set. The only annoying thing about the weights machines in the building gym is that they don’t tell you what the weight of each bar is (apart from the abductor machine). I started with the leg press:

  • 20 reps x weight 6
  • Rest
  • 15 reps x weight 7
  • Rest
  • 10 reps x weight 8
  • 10 reps x weight 7
  • 10 reps x weight 6

Then came the lateral pulldown:

  • 20 reps x weight 4
  • Rest
  • 15 reps x weight 5
  • Rest
  • 10 reps x weight 6
  • 10 reps x weight 5
  • 10 reps x weight 4

Trevor had to help me with the heaviest weight on that machine! After that I did hamstring curls:

  • 20 reps x weight 2
  • Rest
  • 15 reps x weight 3
  • Rest
  • 10 reps x weight 4
  • 10 reps x weight 3
  • 10 reps x weight 2

I find hamstring curls impossible – and I was already aching so it was even harder.

Tricep extensions were next:

  • 20 reps x 3
  • Rest
  • 15 reps x 4
  • Rest
  • 10 reps x 5
  • 10 reps x 4
  • 10 reps x 3

And then the abductor machine:

  • 20 reps x 33 kg
  • Rest
  • 15 reps x 40 kg
  • Rest
  • 10 reps x 47 kg
  • 10 reps x 40 kg
  • 10 reps x 33 kg

And I finished off with 10 minutes of cardio:

  • 5 km x 1 min (5% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 5 km x 1 min (5.5% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (5.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 5 km x 1 min (6% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (6% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 5 km x 1 min (6.5% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (6.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 5 km x 1 min (7% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (7% incline, 3-kg weights)

I did some stretching after that and was done for the day. I didn’t work out again in the week. I set my alarm for yoga on Thursday morning but just couldn’t get out of bed. And I didn’t do any exercise over the weekend either.

Low point of the week? Only working out three times in the week – but still better than nothing. I also had a lot of red wine on Friday. I was at a friend’s barbecue all day…

High point of the week? I’ve been trying to eat healthily most of the week.

Weight loss? Ugh. I am giving up!

2015-02-07 12.18.32

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The final few

I had a session with Trevor on Sunday morning. After 5 minutes on the bike, I did 14 minutes on the treadmill:

  • 5 km x 2 min
  • 5 km x 2 min (5% incline)
  • 7 km x 1 min (5% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (0 incline)
  • 7 km x 1 min (4% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (0 incline)
  • 7.5 km x 1 min (3% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (0 incline)
  • 7.5 km x 1 min (2% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min (0 incline)
  • 7.5 km x 1 min (1% incline)
  • 5 km x 1 min

After that I had some water and we started doing some boxing:

  • Jabs x 30 s
  • Squats x 30 s
  • Hooks x 30 s
  • Squat/twist x 30 s
  • Uppercuts x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Treadmill step-ups x 30 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Bench squats x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Wall squat x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Alternating lunges x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Sit-ups x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Piston punches x 30 s
  • Combined knee-high/twist x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Padwork x 30 s
  • Something I can’t remember x 30 s

God, that was tiring! I then did a circuit of the following exercises:

  • Combined lateral raise/front raise (3-kg weights) x 10
  • Deadlifts (bar) x 20
  • Mountain climbers x 15
  • Shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Abductor machine x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Abdominal toe touches x 15

I finished with 5 minutes on the treadmill at 5.5 km with an incline of 10%. Well, I was supposed to, after 2.5 minutes I reduced the incline to 8%! I then did a few stretches and was finished. Hurrah!

I went back to the yoga class at the Shangri-La Hotel on Monday morning. There was a different teacher this time – a man called Ritesh – and there were just three of us, all women. Again, we started running on the spot as a warm-up and kicking our legs from side to side, and so on. He also referred to ‘downward dog’ as ‘mountain pose’. And he sometimes said ‘toes’ and he sometimes said ‘feet fingers’. Good grief – learn English. But by far the worst thing about this class was the awful techno music. In fact, one of the other women complained about it at the end of the class. When I do yoga at home, I’m not surrounded by mirrors so I have no idea what I look like while I’m doing it. I also have no idea about the way my body is aligned – other than my teacher adjusting me every now and then. In this class at the Shangri-La, I realised how different the right side of my body is from the left. I noticed this while I was in bow pose – my right leg goes much higher than my left. It would make sense as my right side is stronger than my left, but I’d never really thought about how it looked.

I had my usual yoga class at home on Tuesday morning.

I woke up on Wednesday and I was sore all over. I was also so tired and was very tempted to cancel my session with Trevor. Instead, I got out of bed, got ready and sat down with a cup of tea. At 8am, Trevor texted me to say he wouldn’t be able to make it as he wasn’t well. Part of me wanted to climb back into bed, but as I was already ready I decided to go to the gym anyway. I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes – I started at a speed of 5.5 km/h and gradually increased it to 6.3 km/h. After that I did two sets of lower body exercises and decided I’d had enough.

I had planned to go to yoga at the Shangri-La on Thursday morning, but on Wednesday night I found out I had to be in Sharjah by 10am to sign the form for my passport to be returned. So I didn’t go. And I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? Just being sore, I think – but even that’s good in a way!

High point of the week? I went out for dinner on Thursday but again didn’t drink very much. Actually, that’s a lie – I had four glasses of red wine (in the space of four hours), but I didn’t switch to vodka when the others did.

Weight loss? The trend was going down but by the end of the week it was on the up again! Boo.

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Dubai 2015: Week 4

I had to cancel my Sunday morning session with Trevor as I had to be in Sharjah by 10am and I wasn’t sure I’d be back in time. I got to Sharjah, had my blood test and X-ray and was done in about 20 minutes. The traffic coming back to Dubai was pretty bad and I’m glad I’d cancelled the session.

Instead of going straight home, I decided to go to the Dubai Mall and have a look around. I needed to get a birthday present for a friend and I’d seen the perfect book at Kinokuniya – Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (Charley was Steinbeck’s dog and my friend has a dog called Charlie). On a previous visit to Kinokuniya I’d noticed three Folio Society copies of the book and thought I’d get one. I also wanted a couple of books for myself (naturally). The Folio Society copies were nowhere to be found. I couldn’t believe that three people had bought them and I went to the Information desk to find out if they had any in stock. I gave the man behind the desk the title, the author, the publisher – and he insisted they’d never had that edition in stock. And I insisted that they had at one point. Why was I so sure, he asked me. Because I used to work at that publisher in London, and I worked on that particular book. Anyway, I ended up getting the Penguin Classics edition of the book – it’s nowhere near as impressive as the Folio Society edition, but there you go. I also picked up the new Wally Lamb book (We Are Water) and a book called Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It was written before Shadow of the Wind but was only translated a couple of years ago. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have bought the second book because I doubt it will be as good as The Shadow of the Wind! While I was browsing I was horrified to see this sign on one of the shelves.

I was so horrified I went to Debenhams and bought a dress to cheer myself up. I was home in time for lunch and spent the rest of the day at home.

I woke up at about 6am on Monday – all I could hear was the wind howling outside. It was dark and looked like rain. It rained most of the day and I hoped that my piano lesson would be cancelled (it wasn’t). Luckily, when I left for my lesson it had stopped raining and only started again after I got back home. I could still see lightning and hear thunder as I got into bed at around midnight.

I had yoga on Tuesday morning and then met up with NP for lunch at Tasha’s in Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road. NP got there a little before me and managed to snap up the last available table. There were already people waiting when I got there at 1pm. She had the wagyu burger – she said it was better than the one at Jones the Grocer. I had my usual quinoa salad with chicken and a carrot/beetroot/apple/ginger juice. We both had a coffee after that and went our separate ways.

I got home and did a bit of work. I was reading Natalie Goldberg’s The True Secret of Writing and it made me want to start writing again so I decided that my project for the week would be to clear up my desk. (I finished reading the book later that night, and to sum up her ‘true secret’ of writing: Shut up and write.)

2015-01-20 11.30.29

Yes, that is a bottle of vodka. No, I haven’t been drinking it – I inherited it half full. What else is on there? Camera lenses, books, papers, sunscreen, makeup, my old laptop from three years ago which I must get rid of. I haven’t worked at my desk in about two years and I need to start using it again. Where do I work? On my bed. No comments, please.

So I put off clearing up my desk until the evening. And then I spent about four hours sorting out papers, emptying drawers and basically throwing out a lot of sh*t.

On Wednesday morning, my desk looked like this:

2015-01-21 09.38.16

Miles better, but still room for improvement! After my session with Trevor that morning, I had to get ready in a rush to go back to Sharjah to finish off the rest of the visa renewal process. I was in the visa application centre this time. My dad had arranged for someone to take me through the procedure as I had no idea what to do or what queue to stand in. I had to wait in line at the front desk while they stamped all my forms, then I had to queue to pay for my renewal, then I had to queue to submit my passport, then finally I had to submit the rest of the forms. I sat in the chair opposite a local woman. She looked at me and decided she’d rather continue chatting to the male colleague on her right. For about ten minutes. Eventually, she decided she’d better get on with her job and looked through my forms. She told me one form was missing, so the guy I was with rushed off to get it while I waited there, and this ‘official’ folded her arms on her desk and just put her head down. Erm – that’s professional. The guy came back with the form, I filled it in, signed it, she woke up and that was it.

I had a piano lesson on Wednesday afternoon – we spent the entire hour working on the Debussy Arabesque. I spent a few more hours clearing up my desk that day. I even came across my first plane ticket which my mum had saved.

By Thursday morning, my desk looked like this:

2015-01-22 09.45.14

Yes, there was still crap under the desk and that’s a work in progress. But – I’ve been feeling very positive and energised since clearing it up.

On Thursday night, I went to my friend’s Gatsby-themed birthday party at his house (I wore my new dress and he loved Travels with Charley). It was a nice evening – and not as many people as I thought there would be. I had just two glasses of red wine (I hadn’t had any alcohol since my friends left after that mad week they were here). I hadn’t really missed it and even started with a mocktail, but because we were outdoors and it was quite chilly I thought the red wine would warm me up. I got home at about 2.30 and went to bed.

I worked all day on Friday and most of Saturday. I had a sudden influx of work on Thursday and my only option was to work all weekend.

On Saturday evening a friend and I went to visit some friends who’d had a baby just before Christmas. We were there for about an hour and then headed home. And I went back to work for a few more hours! I love being busy at work, but I’d been swamped on Friday and Saturday. According to one of my clients, I should expect it to be like that for the next couple of weeks. Oh well, more work equals more money!

I love my life.

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The final few

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

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The final few

I cancelled my Sunday morning session with Trevor as I was still unwell. I was better, but I didn’t think I’d be well enough for that! By Monday I was feeling a lot better, apart from a slight cough.

My cousin and I had yoga on Tuesday morning. The last class I’d had was at the end of November so I was expecting it to be tough. And I was right! But it felt good to be doing something.

On Wednesday morning I had a session with Trevor. It had been exactly a month since our last session – and I was still coughing a bit and I was also sore after my yoga session the day before. I did 5 minutes on the bike to warm up and then moved on to the treadmill for 15 minutes while Trevor told me about his trip to New York.

  • 5 km x 1 min
  • 5 km x 1 min (10% incline – just to warm me up properly)
  • 5 km x 1 min
  • 7 km x 1 min
  • 5 km x 1 min
  • 7 km x 1 min
  • Alternating between 5 km and 7 km each minute (no incline) up to 15 minutes

It wasn’t too bad. I had some water and did this circuit:

  • Squats x 20
  • Shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 20
  • Deadlifts (10-lb weights) x 20
  • Push-ups x 20
  • Bike x 4 min
  • Rest

I had some water and did another circuit:

  • Sumo squats (15-lb weight) x 20
  • Tricep dips x 20
  • Single-leg deadlifts (10-lb weight) x 20
  • Tricep extensions (3-kg weights) x 20
  • Bike x 4 min
  • Rest

I had some more water and did another circuit:

  • Combined squat/abductor raise x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Bent-over row (10-lb weights) x 20
  • Bench squats x 20
  • Mountain climbers x 20 (10 on each side)

I did some stretching after that and was done. By the end of the day I could feel my hamstrings and shoulders getting really sore and I knew I’d be in pain on Thursday!

I woke up on Thursday and took some Nurofen – that’s how much I ached! I didn’t work out again in the week. I’m feeling extremely unmotivated right now.  One good thing, I suppose, is that I haven’t had a drink since 2nd January – even though I was at La Petite Maison for dinner on Monday and was out for dinner on Saturday night…

Low point of the week? Feeling unmotivated and blah. And I still have a slight cough.

High point of the week? Trying to get back into a routine – and not drinking!

Weight loss? Ugh.

Tin man yoga

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