Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

I spent the week at Bali Goddess Retreats in Seminyak (Sunday to Saturday). I’d booked it several months earlier while I was in Jamaica and had really hoped to progress in my yoga practice before going, but that didn’t happen. Instead I’d been getting more and more fed up of yoga and my teacher in Dubai, knowing exactly what each class would entail and I was getting bored. So in the end, this retreat was going to make or break my relationship with yoga.

I was a bit nervous – I wasn’t even sure what kind of yoga we’d be doing or if I’d be able to keep up with the rest of the class. It turned out that there were only four of us on the retreat this week (they usually have between eight and fifteen women each retreat) so we all got a lot of attention in class. We had two teachers for the week – Ailise (pronounced ‘Aleesha’ – it’s Irish but she’s English) and Santi (an Indonesian from Java). They were both excellent teachers and after just two classes at the retreat I realised I was going to have to look for a new teacher (or yoga studio) when I got back to Dubai.

On Day 1, we had our first yoga class at 4pm. The yoga shala was outdoors (it had a roof but no walls) so it was pretty hot. Ailise explained that she was going to take us through one chakra in each class, starting with the root chakra or muladhara. I enjoyed the pace of the class and was able to keep up although ten minutes into the class I had to spray myself with mosquito repellent as I was being eaten alive. I really liked Ailise’s style of teaching – she explained what certain poses did for us physically and emotionally – it was nice to have some explanation rather than moving from one pose to the next without knowing why. The only drawback to the insect repellent was that it made my limbs slippery! Trying to twist one arm over the other, or one leg over the other, or even clasp my hands together was twice as hard as I kept slipping out of the poses!

On Day 2, we had our first class with Santi at 6.30am. The first thing that struck me was how ridiculously toned her body was! Her arms were so defined. It was almost intimidating actually – seeing as I’ve given up on having anything toned! It was a vinyasa flow class and it was tough. There was a lot of moving from one pose straight into the next, which I’m not used to – but it was good to do it. At one point she said, ‘Just kick up your legs and float back’. Erm, floating implies a certain amount of strength (and grace) which I don’t have!

Our afternoon class was at 5pm with Ailise. She covered the second chakra or swadisthana. It was a 90-minute class and we went through many hip opening sequences and several poses involving lunges. I had sprayed my arms and legs and exposed areas with mosquito repellent before the class, but by the time we’d finished I had three mosquito bites on my left hip/butt cheek and one on the right. The little f***ers had bitten me right through my clothes! Damn nyamuk!

On Day 3, we had an hour of yoga at 7.30am with Ailise. She went through the third chakra or manipura (solar plexus). We did some breathing exercises, including kapalabati breathing, to get that fire raging in our bellies. She also didn’t switch on the fan so we were really feeling the heat and were all sweaty by the end of the class.

That afternoon we had a class with Santi at 5pm. We told her we were all quite tired so she went a little easier on us (I still found it difficult). It was a 90-minute class – after a warmup of stretching, we did two rounds of sun salutation and then the rest of the class was active stretching. The second half of the class was so relaxing that I even dozed off during savasana.

On Day 4 we were supposed to have yoga at 7am – and we were all ready – but Ailise thought our class was at 7.30am and so we started late. We ended up having a 45-minute class focusing on the heart chakra or anahata. It was mostly a gentle class but I got really sweaty during garudasana (not to mention slippery from the insect repellent while trying to twist my limbs)!

That afternoon we had a yin yoga class at 5pm. I’d never done yin yoga before but I loved it. It was a very slow, relaxing class. It’s definitely not something you would do if you wanted a workout but for deep stretching it’s amazing as you hold each pose for about 5 minutes, if not longer.

On Day 5, we had yoga at 7.30am again. Ailise took us through a meditation for love and kindness, and we then covered the throat chakra or vishuddha. We did some chanting, fish pose, plough pose and shoulderstand (and other poses).

Our class with Santi was at 2.30pm that afternoon as we were all heading out early that evening. We did a vinyasa flow class and it was bloody hard. By the end of it I looked like I’d taken a shower with my clothes on. I suppose having the class at the height of the afternoon heat didn’t help matters much. Even though her classes were hard, she was an excellent teacher.

On Day 6, our yoga class was at 5.30am as two of the girls were leaving for their SUP class at 7.30am. Ailise covered the third eye chakra or ajna. I can’t even remember what we covered during this class – probably because I was so tired! I ended up going back to bed after breakfast for a couple of hours.

In our evening class, Ailise covered the crown chakra or sahasrara. We began with a meditation and a gentle warmup and were then put in pairs. I was paired with SS, who is only 5 feet tall. When I had to sit on her while she was in child’s pose, I was really worried I’d crush the poor girl! That was our last class with Ailise – she was such a good teacher and I really learned a lot from her.

On Day 7, our last day, we had yoga with Santi at 8am. It was a really good class. She taught us about nauli – an internal cleansing technique which tones your abs. She didn’t think her English was good enough to explain it (her English was fine!), so she showed us this video:

She said that nauli is what gives yogis their six-packs. We then tried to do it ourselves – it’s so hard! I can only do the first part – and not for very long… It’s like creating a vacuum in your stomach. I’ve been doing it every morning since I got back to Dubai but no sign of a six-pack yet (I think that’s a long way away)!

Santi also gave us tips about what we were doing wrong and what to focus on while we were practising yoga. I know that when I’m in chaturanga, my elbows come out like I’m doing a pushup rather than staying close to my sides. She picked up on this and gave me tips on how to correct it. Now why couldn’t my regular yoga teacher point this out to me? I feel like I’ve wasted time with her as my teacher.

Once I’d moved to the Sofitel, on the Saturday, I wanted to carry on doing yoga (or anything) and found out that the gym at the hotel had yoga classes every morning at 7am. I intended to go on Sunday morning but was so tired and I felt like having a lie in. I did make it to the gym though – and spent 30 minutes on the treadmill and then did Week 3 Day 1 of the Great Butt app:

  • Reverse leg lifts x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 7
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 6
  • Rest

I also did Week 3 Day 1 of the Great Abs app:

  • Crunches x 7
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 6
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 6
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 8 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 6
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 6
  • Rest

On Monday morning I made to to the yoga class – the yoga teacher was called Mustika. The first half of the class was hatha yoga and the second half was swing yoga!

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Even though I’d tried it once before in Dubai, I still found it difficult. Also, there were three people in the class and only two hammocks so we had to take it in turns which interrupted the flow of the class.

At the end of the class I asked Mustika what kind of yoga they’d be doing on Tuesday. He said they usually did hatha yoga but someone had requested a swing yoga class – I asked him if I could join that class and he said it was fine.

I’m glad I tried it again, because I really managed to do some of the things I couldn’t do the day before! The other girl in the class and I were quite enjoying it – although the friction of the hammock against my skin really hurt at one point (and I later had bruises under my arms!). It was an extra long class – we didn’t finish until 8.30am as nobody was keeping track of time (in true Balinese style)!

And then once my parents and sister and grandmother arrived, I didn’t make it to the gym for the rest of my trip!

Low point of the two weeks? Once my cousin’s wedding started, there was a lot of eating and drinking. Not as much drinking as you might think – I hadn’t had a drink for two weeks before the wedding and was quite proud of myself. I stuck to vodka and soda during the wedding – no wine or champagne – and no hangovers!

High point of the two weeks? It was all amazing. I only felt sore one morning during the yoga retreat – and that was on Day 3. I really learnt a lot while I was there too…

Weight loss? I didn’t weigh myself while I was away, but I’d put on 1 kg by the time I’d come back home, even after all that yoga!

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The final few

I skipped the gym on Sunday. It was my last day of having the place to myself and I wanted to make the most of it!

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. We had our session at the pool again as the gym is still being renovated. They’ve laid the wooden floor down and painted the walls. I hope they upgrade the machines as well though.

My warmup consisted of jogging around the pool five times. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it without stopping every now and then, but I managed it. I think I was going really slowly though! We set up the mat, shuttle markers and kettlebell in the shade.

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After some thorough stretching, I did three sets of the following exercises:

  • Shuttle runs x 30 s
  • Side squats x 10 in each direction
  • Rest x 20 s

In the first set, I touched the markers 9 times. In the second set, Pete told me to go a little faster and touch them 10 times. And in the third set, he wanted me to touch them 11 times, but I went 2 s over the 30 s. The side squats were considered ‘active rest’ (which is just BS as it’s no rest at all) and I had exercise tubes around my knees to make it a bit harder.

I had a longer water break and then did the following circuit with an 8-kg kettlebell:

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

I did that three times. After a longer rest, Pete told me the next circuit would work my upper body:

  • Pushups x 12
  • Low row x 12
  • Rest
  • Repeat two more times

I managed to do the pushups without stopping each time, until the last set where I struggled with the last two or three. For the low row, Pete passed the exercise tubes behind his back and I had to hold the handles and pull the ends towards me.

After that, I had another short break followed by an abs circuit. Pete told me we’d do two sets, possibly three, depending on how I was feeling. He told me what the exercises were and I really thought I’d be able to manage three sets.

  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Double crunches x 20
  • Plank x 30 s
  • Situps x 20
  • Rest

After the first set, he pulled me up and told me to walk around during the rest. Why couldn’t I just lie on the mat?? I told him it was actually harder than I thought it would be, but I still thought I could do three sets. In the second set, I did it all but struggled with the plank – and even the double crunches and situps were tough. He said I’d worked very hard in the session so I’d only do two sets.

I did a few stretches after that and went home.

My abs were so sore on Tuesday, and my hamstrings were a bit sore too! I woke up and struggled to get into a sitting position (pathetic, I know). I hadn’t felt this sore in a long time. I decided not to go to the gym – I had errands to run and work to finish off before travelling on Friday.

I had my 20th session with Pete on Wednesday (time flies)! We stopped to look at the gym – the floor had been done and all the machines were back where they used to be. All three treadmills have new running belts, but I didn’t check out the cross-trainers. There was still a sign on the door that said the gym was out of use so we carried on outside as we had planned. At least I wouldn’t have to renew my membership at the Shangri-La when I got back – yay!

I started with the 1-to-5 warmup:

  • 1 squat, 1 pushup, 1 situp
  • 2 squats, 2 pushups, 2 situps
  • 3 squats, 3 pushups, 3 situps
  • 4 squats, 4 pushups, 4 situps
  • 5 squats, 5 pushups, 5 situps
  • 4 squats, 4 pushups, 4 situps
  • 3 squats, 3 pushups, 3 situps
  • 2 squats, 2 pushups, 2 situps
  • 1 squat, 1 pushup, 1 situp

My abs were still sore so those situps were painful. I then did some stretches and we started with a Tabata circuit:

  • High knees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Ski slides x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Butt kickers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Ski slides x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat immediately, no rest

Pete added some resistance by putting me in a harness of sorts. Well, not really a harness, more like a band that went around my hips that he held on to and pulled on so I’d have to keep working. It reminded me of the pool at South Fork when I visited Dallas many years ago – on the show it always looked like they were swimming furiously but in fact they were all tethered to the side of the pool and going nowhere. Also, the pool was the size of my bathroom!

After the Tabata circuit, he laid out the shuttlerun discs in a zig-zag route.

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He told me the zig-zag run would start with the disc in the bottom right corner of the photo, then run to and around the disc in the bottom left of the photo, then run to and around the middle disc on the right, then to and around the one on the top left and then to the disc on the top right. Once I got to the last disc, I would do walking lunges in a straight line back to the first disc. And once I got to the first disc, I would run one lap around the pool. So:

  • Zig-zag run
  • Walking lunges
  • Lap around the pool
  • Rest

He said he would time me. In the first set, I did it in 45 seconds. In the second set, I managed to shorten my time by half a second! I told Pete that at least I was consistent. In the third set, I did the circuit in 43:08! And in the fourth set, I did it in 41:something (I can’t remember what it was).

I had some more water and did three sets of the following exercises

  • Back extensions x 12
  • Pushups x 12

And then came an abs circuit. I did two sets of these four exercises:

  • Leg slides (aka ‘the breakdancer‘) x 30 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20
  • Plank x 30 s
  • Combined single leg raise/crunch x 20
  • Rest

Oh. My. God. My abs were on fire after two rounds of that! On the plus side, at least I know I have abs somewhere deep inside me, even if I can’t see them!

I did some stretches after that and we were done! It was my last session with Pete before my holiday and I wouldn’t see him again until after Christmas.

Low point of the week? Just two workouts this week… and even then having such sore abs!

High point of the week? Heading off on holiday!

Weight loss? Still going up and down!

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The final few

I was tired on Sunday and decided to skip the gym. I also had several deadlines for Monday so thought it would be best if I spent the day working.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I overslept and didn’t even have a cup of tea before my session. As the building gym was closed for renovation, we had our session outside by the pool. He brought kettlebells and the TRX cable and I took my mat (but didn’t use it).

It was the first session I’d had with Pete where I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything. I don’t know whether I was tired or whether being outside felt weird, but I just wasn’t in the mood to do any of it. But I still did it. I started with a warmup:

  • Light jog x 2 lengths of the pool
  • Sideways jog x 2 lengths of the pool
  • High knees x 2 lengths of the pool (the second length was backwards)
  • Butt kickers x 2 lengths of the pool (the second length was backwards)
  • Running x 2 lengths of the pool

I did some stretches after that and then did the first set of exercises:

  • Kettlebell swings x 15 (8-kg weight)
  • Sumo squats x 15 (with kettlebell)
  • Combined knee-up/twist x 10 on each side
  • Shuttle runs x 2 lengths of the pool
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Shuttle runs x 2 lengths of the pool
  • Rest

I did that two more times and had a longer rest while Pete set up the TRX cable.

I did three sets of the following exercises:

  • TRX pullups x 14
  • TRX curtsy lunges x 7 on each side (alternating)
  • TRX pushups x 14
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side to side jumping x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Butt kickers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest

Being outside with the TRX reminded me of Randy – gosh, that feels like a very long time ago but it’s only been 2 years.

I then did two sets of the following exercises using the Kettlebell:

I did some stretches after that and was done – yay!

I had my usual yoga class on Tuesday morning. My cousin and I have been thinking about not continuing with this class next year. I think that’s mainly driven by me though – as I feel that every class is the same and I can’t even tell if I’ve made any progress in the last few months. I think I’ll decide once I’m back from my trip to Bali in December.

It had been very overcast on Tuesday and it even rained for a while. When I woke up on Wednesday it was still grey, but not wet, so Pete and I carried on outside.

2015-11-25 11.15.53

There was a lovely breeze and I wondered whether I’d been so miserable on Monday because I was out in the sun and was feeling too hot. The other good thing about Wednesday’s session was that Pete told me there would be no shuttle runs. Hurrah! I rolled out my mat and began with the 1-to-5 warmup:

  • 1 squat, 1 pushup, 1 situp
  • 2 squats, 2 pushups, 2 situps
  • 3 squats, 3 pushups, 3 situps
  • 4 squats, 4 pushups, 4 situps
  • 5 squats, 5 pushups, 5 situps
  • 4 squats, 4 pushups, 4 situps
  • 3 squats, 3 pushups, 3 situps
  • 2 squats, 2 pushups, 2 situps
  • 1 squat, 1 pushup, 1 situp

I was quite warm after that! I did a few stretches and then did three sets of the following:

While I was lunging forward I would have to pass the kettlebell to my other hand through my legs. It took some coordination and balance, but I got there eventually! During the third set it started to drizzle. I didn’t even notice it at first, but we carried on anyway. It wasn’t heavy enough to stop our session and I found it quite refreshing.

Pete set up the TRX cable. I did the following circuit three times:

It was tough. And the second set of exercises wasn’t any easier. I did three sets of this circuit:

That was even harder! I could really feel it in my triceps during that circuit.

Then came the next circuit, with a Kettlebell for some of it:

  • Kettlebell swings x 15 (8-kg weight)
  • Kettlebell side bends x 10 on each side
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat

I did some stretches after that and went home.

The next morning my glutes and my triceps were sore. I went to the gym at the Shangri-La and did 3 km on the treadmill (28:35). I alternated the speed between 6 km/h and 6.6 km/h. I then did Week 2 Day 2 of the Great Butt app:

  • Reverse leg lifts x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 7
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 6
  • Rest

Then I did the Week 2 Day 2 of the Great Abs app:

  • Crunches x 6
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 5
  • Rest

I did a few stretches after that and went home.

I went back to the gym on Friday morning. I did 3 km on the treadmill, alternating between 6 km/h and 8 km/h. I did the 3 km in 26:51. I then did Week 2 Day 3 of the Great Butt app:

  • Reverse leg lifts x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse leg lifts x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse kicks x 6 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 7
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Butt raises x 6
  • Rest

I then did Week 2 Day 3 of the Great Abs app:

  • Crunches x 6
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 7
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Crunches x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side obliques x 7 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse crunches x 5
  • Rest

I did some stretches after that and went home.

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

High point of the week? Five workouts done this week!

Weight loss? Still going up and down, but I think I’m starting to see a downward trend (I hope!).

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The final few

I didn’t have my session with Randy on Sunday. I’d had a heavy weekend and was absolutely exhausted.

I had my first yoga class on Monday morning after ages – I couldn’t even remember the last time I had yoga. It was good though – I really needed it. I realised as I was doing the sun salutations how stiff my body had become over the summer.

I didn’t do a whole work-out on Tuesday but I did manage to do a 2.5-minute plank, just to keep up with my 30-day plank challenge!

I had a killer session with Randy on Wednesday. As I was doing my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer, I told him I wanted to incorporate a 2.5-minute plank into my work-out that day. He told me we’d do it at the end of the first circuit. It went like this:

I did that three times with a break in between each set. After the first set I thought he was kidding when he told me I’d be doing another 2-minute plank and then a 1.5-minute plank in the second and third sets, respectively. Wasn’t 2.5 minutes in total long enough? Apparently not. In the second set I had to have a 3-second rest after 1 minute, and in the third set I had to have a couple of 3-second rests.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then had a water break. The second set consisted of:

  • TRX plank with knee-ins x 15 (enough with the plank already!)
  • Incline chest fly press x 15
  • Leg extension machine x 15

During the TRX plank, I could really feel my abs more than any other part of my body. Serious plank overdose! Randy then stretched me out and I was done.

I did a 3-minute plank on Thursday (but that was it). I’m starting to dread these daily planks!

I didn’t work out on Friday and I didn’t do the plank either – I was just too tired.

On Saturday I suggested to a friend that we register for a 10k race in January – just to motivate ourselves. She thought it was a good idea – so it looks like I’m training for my first race! I hope my knees don’t fail me.

I went to the gym on Saturday and did 3 km on the treadmill (25:37). I walked for the first 3 minutes and then alternated 1 minute of running at 8 km/h and 1 minute of walking at 6.4 km/h. My knee seemed fine until the last 0.5 km. I had planned on doing more than 3 km but once I could feel that niggling feeling in my knee I thought I’d take it a bit easier. I then tried to do a 3-minute plank (being a day behind schedule). I had to put my knees down for 3 seconds when I got to 2 minutes. And then again when I got to 2.5 minutes. I was disappointed but it really is so bloody difficult.

On Saturday evening I read an interesting blog post about whether ‘real’ runners walk during their runs. Some of the comments underneath the post are interesting too. I’m a complete beginner – and I wonder if I’ll always feel like a beginner – but a run/walk is about all I can manage right now. Of course I’d love to be able to run an entire 5k (and more!) without stopping but for now this works for me. I’ll change the run/walk ratio as I go on so that eventually I’m running more than I’m walking. If I can run/walk the 10k race in January, I’ll be thrilled – but will other runners think of me as a fellow runner? Or someone who’s just taking up space on the road? I’m not in it to win the whole thing (obviously) – just to challenge myself…

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

High point of the week? There were so many – re-starting yoga, being able to do a 3-minute plank, starting to train for a 10k race. I’ve also managed to cut down on my daily peanut butter on toast – instead of having two slices for breakfast, I now have one – and I want to cut down on that too…

Weight loss? A little – I’ve been at 70 kg all week!

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The final few

After a late night on Saturday I was so tempted to cancel my session with Randy on Sunday. I thought about it but then realised I hadn’t done any exercise since Wednesday and thought I should just do it. We got to the gym and found three other people there. That rarely happens!

I started with the usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then began the first circuit:

I did that three times. The side plank/leg raise combination was difficult. I think it was partly because I haven’t had a yoga class in a few weeks and am really noticing how inflexible I’ve become.

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and had a short rest. I then began the next circuit:

  • One-arm dumbbell row (15-lb weight) x 15 on each side
  • Plank x 45 seconds (but moving my right leg out and then back, and then left leg out and then back)
  • Incline sit-ups x 20

I did that three times. I found the 15-lb weight too heavy during the dumbbell row so for the second and third sets, Randy reduced the reps to 12. It was still tough though!

Randy then stretched me and I was done.

My second session with Randy on Wednesday was also tough. I started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Alternating knee-ins x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Half-burpees x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Tricep push-ups x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Rest

I did that three times. The rest of 5 seconds sounds good but that’s how long it takes to get into position for the next exercise! Half-burpees are just like regular burpees but you don’t stand up at the end of it.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer, had a water break and then did the next circuit:

  • Kettlebell swings (6-kg) x 20
  • The ladder x 6 lengths (in and out separately in one direction, jumping in and out with feet together in the other)
  • Chest fly press (3-kg weights) x 20
  • Bent over row (3-kg weights) x 20

I did that three times too.

Randy then stretched me and I was done.

I didn’t work out on Thursday BUT I did remember to do the plank! I did the 1.5-minute plank in my bedroom before going to the Shangri-La poolside with my sister and nephew.

After taking my sister and her monster to the airport on Friday I went to the gym. I did 3 km on the cross-trainer (24:13) and then did a 2-minute plank. I didn’t think I was going to make it to 2 minutes but I somehow managed it. The time seemed to go by very slowly!

I didn’t work out again over the weekend.

Low point of the week? I hit my highest weight of the year on Sunday. I also cut my left knee while getting out of the pool at the Shangri-La on Tuesday. As if that knee doesn’t have enough going on with it!

High point of the week? At least I made it to the gym three times this week… Also, I haven’t had a Galaxy bar in weeks now!

Weight loss? I hit 72 kg on Sunday (after a weekend of eating and drinking) – but was back down to 70 on Friday after a night of drinking (again, I just don’t get it).

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The final few

I had a lazy few days while Randy was on holiday and finally had a session with him on Wednesday. He went easy on me as it had been a couple of weeks!

I started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Leg raises x 15
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 20
  • Tricep dips x 12

I did that circuit three times. In the last set Randy increased the weights for the bench press to 10 lbs.

I did 3 more minutes on the cross-trainer and began the second circuit. It consisted of:

  • Combined squat/upright row/military press x 12 (on each side)
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Leg-lowering abs x 15
  • Bicep curls (3-kg) x 12 (alternating sides)

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched me out.

That was the only time I worked out this week!

Low point of the week? Only working out once – I’d been feeling a bit fluish on Monday/Tuesday and even cancelled my yoga class on Monday.

High point of the week? Thank goodness Randy’s back – I need someone to force me to the gym these days.

Weight loss? My weight has fluctuated between 68 and 70 kg this week! I can live with that…

Healthy

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The final few

I couldn’t have my usual Sunday session with Randy as my cousin and a friend were having a lunch for me that day – to celebrate my 40th. I thought I might be able to get to the gym before lunch, but that didn’t happen! I had to be at the hairdresser by 11am, and lunch was at 12.30pm. But I did have yoga on Monday, and I did spend 30 minutes on the treadmill on Tuesday (3.7 km).

I had a session with Randy on Wednesday. He started off by measuring me. This is how my body has changed in the last 3 weeks:

  • Arms: no change
  • Chest: +1 cm (+0.4 inches)
  • Waist: -4 cm (-1.5 inches)
  • Hips: -1 cm (-0.4 inches)
  • Thighs: -5 cm (-1.9 inches) (l), -7 cm (-2.7 inches) (r) (now there’s only a 2-cm difference between them)

I’m convinced the first measurements we took were wrong. Is it possible to lose that many inches in 3 weeks??

I did a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer. My first circuit consisted of:

  • Alternating backward lunges x 2 minutes
  • Push-ups x 40
  • Squats x 40
  • Sit-ups x 40
  • Rest
  • Alternating backward lunges x 1 minute
  • Push-ups x 20
  • Squats x 20
  • Sit-ups x 20

I had a brief rest and then did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Squat/shoulder press x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Plank and reach x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Burpees x 50 seconds

I did that circuit twice.

I then did 4 minutes on my abs:

  • V-sit (boat pose) x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Extended leg reach x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds

I did that four times and then Randy stretched me out.

It was my last session with Randy before he went on holiday. I told him I’d be on the treadmill while he was away so I better stick to that. Having said that, I didn’t make it to the gym the rest of the week. I had friends in town for my birthday and it was all a bit too much!

Low point of the week? Drinking far too much – in fact I think I need a new liver!

High point of the week? Losing inches around my waist and thighs – I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Weight loss? Again, I’ve been either 68 or 69 kg all week! I love seeing that ‘6’ at the front…

I know

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