Former international pony dressage rider Katy Willings’ latest update on her progress training for the Mongol Derby

I have lost a kilo. It’s been gone for over a week now. If this were a household item, such as a sink plug, favourite sock, or something else I habitually lose, I would not be confident about ever seeing it again. Kilos are different. Nevertheless, Bruno the personal trainer will be delighted. Although possibly less so if I explain how I have lost it. He advised plates of steamed broccoli. To date there has been no broccoli, and definitely no steaming, but I have been very busy and not generally around at mealtimes. My training commitments have also meant I haven’t had any alcohol (well, apart from the remains of a bottle of Chenin Blanc after a particularly rubbish day at work on Tuesday — ok, I haven’t actually been OUT drinking. I think that’s the crucial determinant of calorific intake) in the last week.

Training so far has been a bit less hardcore than last week’s burpees barrage. I went swing dancing on Monday night with regular partner Ed, we generally work up a reasonable lather and are getting quite twinkle-toed. So much so that we are going to graduate to the “intermediate/fast improvers” class next week. It’s all immaterial anyway, come 9pm the whole floor goes freestyle, a fabulous retro band shimmy on, and everyone goes bananas. Weirdly it’s the old duffers who are the best dancers — it’s a much better pulling place for Ed than me unfortunately. Lots of glam girls in red lipstick and pincurls. Anyway, 3 hours’ lindyhopping in the 100 Club, the dark underbelly of Oxford Circus, and I am pretty well cooked. Bit of a low point waiting for the bus home when I succumbed to a MacDonalds. Whoops. Still, was one of their taster menu little wraps, about the size of a matchbox. I reckon that’s ok.

Yoga class and a little run on Tuesday — nice sensation of having your limbs pulled out of all their sockets. Feel slightly taller. When you are this small that’s significant. Also, everyone has a little lie-down at the end. Super! I knocked out a decent gym session at lunchtime today, having met two important deadlines at work. Zen-like calm this afternoon, for an hour or two at least.

Riding has had to take a back seat this week on account of my getting my purse nicked at the weekend. I can’t buy any petrol, or a train ticket, and I have a rubbish poker face so there is no point trying to fare dodge. It’s now Thursday and my replacement credit card has arrived, which means I am slightly more liquid, but only slightly as have put flights to Ulaan Bataar on said card and a fair slug of other stuff too. It’s been a frugal week of cycling everywhere and inventing “new ways with home-grown lettuce” at mealtimes. Rob, step-father, he of chicken-fancying fame, is also quite the kitchen gardener and insisted I bring one back to London. It’s been a lifesaver. In the absence of bread and cash, lettuce is a good receptacle for eggs, the only other foodstuff in my fridge. Egg mayonnaise on lettuce, anyone?

Digressing. I can now go home, and have lined up two neddies for tonight and tomorrow morning respectively. No shows this weekend, and in fact it looks like I have been jocked off by Mum, who is much better than me anyway. I will jock her back off when the Basingstoke Gazette come to photograph me, on fabulous steed, looking wistfully into the distance (beyond the chicken run) on Saturday.

Katy