Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Silent Sunday 19


Silent Sunday

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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.


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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