Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

And now it’s back to the grind…

I was supposed to have a yoga class at home on Tuesday morning at 9am. By 9.15 there was no sign of my teacher so I texted to ask if she was on her way or parking? She called me a minute later, very apologetic, but she’d forgotten I was back. She said she could come to me by 9.40 but I had to be somewhere at 11am and it just wasn’t going to work. So she said she’d come on Thursday.

I texted my potential new trainer on Tuesday afternoon but didn’t hear back from him until Wednesday morning. He came recommended by a friend and Trevor knows him too, so that’s something.

I had a session with Trevor on Wednesday morning. It was really nice to see him and catch up (and exercise, of course)… I started with a 10-minute warmup on the bike and then moved on to the treadmill. I told him I’d done hardly anything in the two months I was away but he didn’t really go easy on me. I did 14 minutes on the treadmill:

  • 2 min x 5.5 km/h (no incline)
  • 2 min x 5.5 km/h (6% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (8% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (10% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (12% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (6% incline)
  • 1 min x 7 km/h (6% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (6% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (8% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (10% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (12% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (no incline)

And then we moved on to boxing intervals:

  • Squats x 30 s
  • Sparring x 1 min
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Combined squats/side leg raise x 30 s
  • Sparring x 1 min
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Bench squats x 30 s
  • Sparring x 1 min
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Treadmill x 30 s
  • Sparring x 1 min
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Sparring x 1 min
  • Rest

Oh god, I was exhausted. I had some water and did the following:

  • Leg press x 3 sets of 15
  • Abductor machine x 3 sets of 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 3 sets of 15

I did a few stretches after that and was done for the day. As I walked home, I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day! I was right – my legs were sore until Sunday when I went back to the gym.

I was supposed to have a yoga class on Thursday but we had to take my dad to hospital on Wednesday night and I didn’t know how long we would be there so I cancelled the class. And I didn’t work out again during the week.

Low point of the week? Only exercising once.

High point of the week? I’ve been trying to eat better this week and have cut out bread from my diet.

Weight loss? I’d lost about 1 kg by Wednesday but had put it all on again over the weekend. I wasn’t out and I didn’t have anything to drink – but I think it was our Chinese takeaway!

2015-08-13 13.31.45

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The final few

I’ve been tired this week and was very tempted to cancel my sessions with Randy but knew that I’d feel better after each session!

On Sunday I did my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and we began the first circuit:

  • Kettlebell swings x 20
  • Step-ups on to a bench with 3-kg weights x 10 on each side
  • Alternate knee to elbow x 10 on each side
  • Reverse crunches x 20
  • Rest

I did that circuit three times and then hopped back on the cross-trainer for another 3 minutes.

The second half of our session was spent boxing! Randy brought boxing gloves and pads and we started with basic punches, hooks and uppercuts. He set his timer for 3-minute sessions and we began. Boxing reminds me of choreography. Right punch, left hook, right uppercut, left punch, and so on. We did variations of that a few times and then moved on to the legs – roundhouse kicks and knee strikes. Right hook, left uppercut, right knee strike, right roundhouse kick, and then the same on the other side. It was exhausting but it was a good workout!

I did some stretches after that and wondered if I’d be able to move my arms the next day.

I had yoga on Monday. Nothing new to report there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my body didn’t ache as much as I thought it might after the boxing.

I had my second session with Randy on Wednesday. I’m so used to having the gym to myself so I was surprised to find another guy in there with his radio on. I got on the cross-trainer for my 5-minute warm-up.

The first circuit consisted of:

  • Kettlebell (6 kg) swings x 20
  • Squat combined with a shoulder press using 3-kg weights x 15
  • Plank reaching out with alternate hands x 10 on each side
  • Reverse curls x 20

I did that circuit three times. The plank exercise was actually supposed to be moving from an elbow plank to a full plank and back down again 10 times. I did it twice but my right wrist couldn’t take the pressure so Randy switched the exercise.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer. The second circuit consisted of:

  • One-armed kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 15 on each side
  • Alternating lunges combined with bicep curls using 3-kg weights x 10 on each side
  • Wall squat combined with lateral fly using 3-lb weights x 30 seconds
  • Sit-ups x 15

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched out my lower body. I was done!

I didn’t work out again during the week. I’ve just been very unmotivated.

Low point of the week? I’m still eating Galaxy bars – I don’t know why I can’t seem to stop.

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

Weight loss? My weight fluctuated a lot over the week (it can go up or down by more than 1 kg from day to day sometimes!) but in the end it remained the same.

2012

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The final few

The week began with my usual session with Randy on Sunday morning. It was a tough one.

I began with my usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer.

The first circuit consisted of:

  • Plank x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Mountain climbers x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Push-ups x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Burpees x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Jumping jacks x 45 seconds
  • Rest

I did that three times. After the plank and mountain climbers, doing push-ups was hard on my shoulders – and it got tougher after each round.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and began the next circuit:

  • Parallel bar abdominal knee raises x 15
  • Lunges with 10-lb weights x 15
  • Wall squat x 30 seconds

I did that circuit three times. Again, the knee raises were tough on my shoulders as I was using them to support my body weight.

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and did an abs circuit:

  • Boat pose x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Sit-ups x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds

I did that circuit eight times. EIGHT! Eight minutes of abs.

And then we were done. Randy stretched me out and I crawled home.

The next morning I woke up with my abs on fire. And not in a good way.

I had my first yoga class in a month and it was tough. Not just because it had been a month but because moving into and out of any position hurt!

I had my second session with Randy on Wednesday – and my abs were still sore from Sunday!

I did my usual 5 minutes on the cross-trainer as a warm-up and then we went outside. The first circuit consisted of:

  • Running sideways x 2 lengths followed by 10 squats x 5
  • Burpees x 10
  • Lunges with a torso twist x 10 on each side
  • Punches with 3-lb weights x 1 minute

So after doing that circuit three times I realised I’d done 150 squats! It was quite windy outside and my exercise mat kept blowing away so we moved indoors for the rest of the session.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and did the next circuit:

  • Seated row x 15
  • Tricep extensions with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Double crunches x 10
  • Ab cycles x 20

After three sets of that Randy stretched out my legs and I was done.

On Thursday my abs had stopped aching but my triceps continued to ache until my next session. On Thursday afternoon I decided to pick up some protein from one of the nutrition stores at the Dubai Mall. I got MET-Rx’s Ultramyosyn why isolate in creamy vanilla. Let’s hope it does the trick.

Low point of the week? I ate out a lot, and not very well either. Deep-fried cheese balls at Trader Vic’s are hard to resist and I seem to be addicted to Galaxy chocolate once again.

High point of the week? A friend of mine was in town from Lagos and said I looked ‘tall and thin’. Yay!

Weight loss? None. But no weight gain either.

To_do_list

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The final few

So I put on weight over the holidays – about 2 kg. I don’t think you can tell by looking at me, but the scales don’t lie! I also feel unfit and not toned at all. All that eating out hasn’t done me any good – and for some reason I’ve started having toast and peanut butter every morning! That has got to stop.

I only had one training session with Randy between Christmas and New Year, and I ended up cancelling my session on the 2nd of January as I was SO tired.

So now I’m on a mission. I’m going to lose the 2 kg I put on over the holidays and a further 8 kg. Well, I’m aiming for a further 8 kg but I can live with losing just another 5 kg!

I had my first session of the year with Randy on Sunday morning. I started with my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench press with 10-lb weights x 15
  • Push-ups x 10
  • A back-strengthening exercise which involved me lying on my front with my upper body off the floor pulling a towel towards and away from me x 10
  • Ab cycles x 20 on each side
  • Rest

I did that three times followed by 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second set consisted of:

  • Alternate lunges combined with a squat x 10 on each side (lunge, lunge, squat)
  • Side plank with reach under x 10 on each side
  • Star jumps x 30 seconds
  • Rest

I did that three times and then Randy stretched out my lower body.

I didn’t work out at the gym until Wednesday when I had my second session with Randy (although traipsing around the Dubai Mall the day before surely counts as some exercise?).

I did my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer while Randy set up the TRX equipment outside by the pool.

The first circuit consisted of:

  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 20
  • TRX squats x 12
  • Kettlebell dead lift combined with an upright row x 15
  • TRX pull-ups x 15
  • Rest

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and we stayed in the gym for the second circuit. It comprised:

  • Step-ups on a bench x 10 on each side
  • Burpees x 10
  • Knee-to-elbow using a bench x 10 on each side
  • Stepping on and off a (stationary) treadmill x 1 minute
  • Rest

I did a further 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched out my lower body and we were done. Yay!

I didn’t work out again the rest of the week – that has got to change.

High point of the week? Learning that an hour of playing the piano burns 175 calories!

Low point of the week? My mum telling me my face had ‘filled out’ over the last few weeks.

Weight loss? Well, I covered that above – a weight gain of 2 kg over the last 3-4 weeks!

Scales

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The final few

I had my usual Sunday morning session with Randy. I started with a warm-up on the cross-trainer and then we went outside to use the TRX equipment. I did three sets of the following:

  • Pull-ups x 15
  • Chest press x 15
  • Squats x 15
  • Running sideways x 1 minute
  • Rest

It wasn’t too bad although I felt like I was doing the ‘Gangnam Style’ dance when I was running sideways around the pool and hoped nobody was watching me from upstairs!

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then did the second circuit. It consisted of 40 seconds of an exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest:

  • High-knee jogging on the spot
  • Lunges combined with shoulder press (40 seconds on each side)
  • Burpees
  • Plank

It was a tough circuit and I only just managed to hold myself in the plank position for 40 seconds.

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched out my lower body. I was done!

I didn’t work out again until my Wednesday session with Randy. I started with my usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then began the following circuit:

  • Step-ups on to a bench combined with a shoulder press with 3-kg weights x 10 on each side
  • Kettlebell swings x 45 seconds
  • T-planks x 15 on each side
  • Plank x 45 seconds
  • Rest

I did that circuit three times followed by 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Fly press with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Leg press x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Abdominal crunch held for 45 seconds
  • Rest

I did some stretches after that and I was done for the day.

And that was all I did this week.

Low points of the week? I’ve been eating badly this week – and a lot of bread: peanut butter on toast every morning, houmous and bread regularly. This needs to change!

High points of the week? Going out on Saturday night, meeting loads of friends from London and Lagos I hadn’t seen in a while, and seeing their reactions to my weight loss. That is something I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of!

Weight loss? None – weight gain! I’ve put on about 2 kg in December. Bring on January and I’ll get rid of it…

Cheesecake

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The final few

I got back from Singapore on Saturday night and was tired for 2 days – I just didn’t feel like doing very much. I did one workout this week and that was on Wednesday with Randy.

I did my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then we began the first circuit:

  • Chest press with 3-kg weights x 20
  • Kettlebell swings x 20
  • Squats with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Kettlebell swings x 20
  • Rest x 1 minute
  • Chest press with 10-lb weights x 15
  • Kettlebell swings x 18
  • Squats with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Kettlebell swings x 18
  • Rest x 1 minute
  • Chest press with 10-lb weights x 15
  • Kettlebell swings x 15
  • Squats with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Kettlebell swings x 15
  • Rest

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and began the next circuit:

  • Seated upright row x 15
  • Core exercise – on all fours, lifting right arm/left leg until level with the body, alternating sides x 12
  • Full sit-ups x 20
  • Rest

I did that three times and did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer. The third circuit consisted of:

  • Lunges with 5-lb weights x 10 on each side
  • Push-ups on a bench x 15
  • Reverse crunches x 20

I did that three times followed by another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

Randy then stretched out my lower body and I was done!

High point of the week? Buying four dresses during the week and actually feeling good in all of them!

Low point of the week? Only making it to the gym once. I need to get back into my routine and stick to it.

Weight loss? None.

Drained

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The final few

I woke up in the early hours of Sunday with a really bad pain in my left knee. I don’t know what happened – perhaps I was in an awkward position – but I could barely move my leg. The pain eventually subsided and I fell asleep again. When I woke up it seemed OK, I just had some slight pain in my right knee – is this what old age is??

I had a session with Randy on Sunday morning. I started with my usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then we went outside for the first circuit. He’d brought a skipping rope and an 8-kg sandbag with him.

The circuit consisted of:

  • Skipping x 1 minute
  • Sandbag squat with a horizontal throw and a burpee x 8
  • Military press with the sandbag x 15
  • Knee to opposite elbow x 20

I did that circuit three times but told Randy that I could feel a niggling pain in my right knee while skipping.

We went back into the gym and I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Lateral pulldowns x 15
  • Single-hand deadlift x 15
  • Reverse crunches on a bench x 20

After three sets of that I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The third circuit consisted of:

  • Hip extensions x 20 on each side
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Boat pose (or something similar) x 30 seconds

After that there was some stretching and I was done for the day.

I had yoga on Monday but that was all I did that week. I left for Singapore on Monday night and didn’t think I’d have time to do any exercise while I was there.

High point of the week? All the relatives I met in Singapore telling me how good I looked – I hadn’t seen some of them in a few years so they really noticed the change!

Low points of the week? Eating far too much in Singapore – I indulged in whatever I wanted because I knew I was only there for a few days on holiday. Also, I can’t believe I never noticed that I come from a long line of over-eaters!

Weight loss? Well, no. Actually a weight gain of 0.5 kg while I was in Singapore – but I’m sure I can lose that in a couple of days!

Skinny

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The final few

Sunday was a public holiday here in the UAE so I didn’t have my usual training session with Randy. I didn’t work out either as I was quite tired from a couple of late nights over the long weekend.

On Monday I went back to the gym. I was on the treadmill for 20 minutes and managed to do 2.5 km. I thought that was OK after a month of not doing very much! I think it will take me a while to get back up to 5 km though.

I did 20 minutes on Tuesday as well – and managed 2.5 km again.

I had a session with Randy on Wednesday morning – I did my 5 minutes on the cross-trainer while he set up the TRX equipment outside by the pool.

The first circuit consisted of:

  • Twist-ups combined with a squat x 12
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Squats x 15

I did that circuit three times followed by 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

We stayed in the gym for the rest of the session.

The second circuit consisted three sets of:

Dead lift combined with an upright row (6-kg weights) x 15

Chest press (with two 10-lb dumbbells) x 15

Walking lunges x 2 lengths of the gym

Incline sit-ups x 20

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer after that and then got down on the exercise mat. I did 20 Russian twists (10 on each side), another abdominal exercise and some hip/thigh exercises. Randy then stretched out my lower body and I was done for the day.

I didn’t work out the rest of the week but my triceps, abs and hamstrings were aching for three days after that training session! My knees were also a little achey after the twist-ups using the TRX equipment.

High points of the week? Getting back to the gym and on the treadmill.

Low points of the week? I don’t think there were any. Oh, maybe drinking too much over the weekend. Oops.

Weight loss? I hit an all-time low this week taking my total weight loss to 20.5 kg (45 lbs)!

Alcohol

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The final few

My session with Rama on Sunday morning was a tough one. I had just about finished my warm-up when he got to the gym so we began immediately.

I did the following circuit:

  • Lateral pulldowns x 15
  • Clean and press with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Pelvic lifts x 12
  • Military press with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Push-ups x 15
  • Bicep curls with 3-kg weights x 15
  • Squat jumps with 3-kg weights x 15
  • 500 metres on the treadmill

The hardest part of the circuit was the running. Rama told me to get as close to 3 minutes as possible – I managed it in 3:19. The last minute of that was awful and I didn’t think I’d make it. I also didn’t think I’d be able to do it again without crying if he asked me to.

I had a rest. Rama told me I was going to do the circuit again, but instead of the run at the end I was going to climb up to the sixth floor. Twice. It sounds crazy but I told him I’d prefer that to the running!

In the second round, I did the pelvic lifts using one leg only. And I was all set for the stairs. I hadn’t done them in a couple of weeks and wanted to see if I’d made any progress.

I went down in the lift and climbed up to the sixth floor in 1:12. My rest time was the length of time it took me to go back down in the lift. I climbed up the second time in 1:17.

After that there was another circuit of lower body exercises, then I had to walk while crouching for two lengths of the gym (I felt like I was waddling like ET) and then there were 25 star jumps. I did circuit that twice.

That was followed by two sets of one-armed tricep extensions and three sets of abs exercises. And then I was done!

It felt like a very long session.

I didn’t have yoga on Monday so decided I was going to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and see how far I got. I was tempted to stop at 3km like I did the week before but forced myself to keep going. At 30 minutes I was at 3.9km – I decided to walk the last 100 metres and got to 4km at 30:57. I did some tricep dips after that and I was done for the day.

On Tuesday I did just 3.3km in 25 minutes. I struggled to get to 25 minutes, mostly because my right knee had been aching a bit. The only thing I feel may have caused this was the exercise where I had to crouch and walk in my Sunday session with Rama. By the time I got into bed that night it was aching even more.

My session on Wednesday was tough. I did three circuits, three times. I warmed up on the cross-trainer and then began. The first circuit was:

  • Squats holding 3-kg weights extended above my head x 10
  • Jumping from side to side with my feet together x 20
  • Lunges with 3-kg weights x 10 on each side
  • Alternating split lunges x 20
  • Rest

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Treadmill – alternating 30 seconds of running/rest (at an incline of 3) for 3 minutes
  • Upright row with a 10-lb weight x 5 on each side
  • Lateral raises with 3-kg weights x 10
  • Push-ups with 3-kg weights x 10
  • Rest

The third circuit was:

  • Dead lift combined with an upright row using a 10-lb weight x 5 on each side
  • Overhead press with 3-kg weights x 20, alternating sides
  • Squat jumps with 3-kg weights x 10
  • Burpees x 10
  • Rest

It was tough. Rama told me to ice my knee every few hours – it would feel better.

On Thursday I went back to the gym and aimed for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I only got to 3.7km as I couldn’t run as for as long as I wanted to because of my knee. I’d iced it and taken Nurofen but nothing seemed to be working.

I took Friday and Saturday off as I was tired and/or hungover on both days!

High point of the week? Going out on Thursday night and someone telling me I looked 28.

Low point of the week? Messing up my knee.

Weight loss? I’ve hit my lowest weight in years this week – I’ve lost 19 kilos (just under 42 lbs) since July 2011!

2012

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The final few

The first half of my Sunday session with Rama was pure torture. There’s no other word for it. As I was warming up on the cross-trainer he said I’d be doing some cross-fit work which consisted of just two exercises. He then told me what the two exercises were: squat presses (with 3-kg weights) and burpees. I had to do 100 squat presses – but after every minute of squat presses I’d have to do three burpees! And… he was going to time me. He said some people took 20-30 minutes to do this exercise.

In the first minute I managed 14 squat presses, in the second minute I did 11, in the third and fourth minutes I did 10 each, in the fifth minute I did 9 (this was the lowest I got), and so on. It took me 14 minutes and 11 seconds. My legs were burning at the end of it.

When I was done I said, ‘Please tell me I don’t have to do that again.’ Thankfully, he said it was just one round. Phew!

After a rest I did some upper body work with 3-kg weights on my mat – chest press, fly press, and tricep extensions for two sets each. I asked Rama what difference it made to being on a bench (like I’ve been in the past) and he said being on the floor isolated the area I was working on as the rest of my body was supported by the floor. By being on a bench, you could still move from side to side, but on the floor there’s nowhere to go.

After the upper body work, I did 5 minutes on the stepping machine. This was followed by one-legged pelvic lifts and some lower back exercises and stretching. And I was done!

My legs were sore on Monday and I don’t think my yoga class helped much.

On Tuesday my legs were still sore and I thought walking/running might help. I managed 5k in 39:24 – another improvement!

I decided to look online for a website to log my walks/runs and eventually registered with Running Ahead. You can log each run, swim or weights entry and it keeps track of what you’ve done. You can view the data as an individual workout or as a weekly or monthly table. Just by looking at the summary page I can see that I’ve done 35 km in October already. This is going to be fun!

On Wednesday, as I was warming up, Rama told me I was going to do a circuit I’d done before:

  • Push-ups x 15
  • Squats x 20
  • Star jumps x 20
  • Jogging on the spot x 30 seconds
  • Wall squat x 30 seconds
  • Burpees x 15
  • Stair-climbers x 20
  • Crunches x 20
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Bear crawl x 2 lengths of the gym
  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Punches holding 3-kg weights x 20

It sounded familiar but I knew I hadn’t done this circuit in ages. The first time I did the circuit it took me 6 minutes and 23 seconds. It was tough – the wall squat gets me every time, and I still hate that bear crawl. After a break, I did the circuit again in 5 minutes and 52 seconds.

After reading through my past posts I realised the last time I’d done this circuit was at the end of April. The first time I did it that day I finished it in 6 minutes and 5 seconds; the second time I did it in 5 minutes and 44 seconds. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m fitter than I was then, so why haven’t my times improved?

After another rest, Rama started me on the Tabata training:

  • 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest x 3 minutes
  • 7 seconds of sprint training followed by 7 seconds of rest x 6 minutes
  • The push-up/squat jump combination: 10 push-ups, 10 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest, 9 push-ups, 9 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest, and so on

After a short rest, I did three sets of ab exercises followed by some stretching and then I was done!

I was sore all over on Thursday – my shoulders and arms were aching, and so were my legs. I still went to the gym and did 5k but found it really tough that day. I still did it in under 40 minutes but didn’t beat my fastest time.

Friday’s run was tough too – I considered stopping at 3k, at 30 minutes, and again at 4k and 4.5k! I managed the whole 5k in 39:47. Again, it was tough and I was nowhere near my fastest time.

TM, on the other hand, is crushing me at the gym.

I took the day off on Saturday.

Low point of the week? Seeing no improvement in my time for that old circuit. Or my runs, for that matter.

High point of the week? Realising I can actually keep going when all I want to do is stop.

Weight loss? I lost 0.5 kg this week – my total weight loss is now 17.2 kg (just under 38 lbs). I’m still aiming for 20 kg by the end of this year.

2012

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