Amanda Elliston

Amanda Elliston

Kenzai Member
Assistant Trainer
Worlds Collide

As a teacher I participate in lots of professional development to keep my teaching relevant and engaging. I just returned from a two day course on Mindful Self Compassion with some of the best researchers on the science of Mindful Self Compassion, Dr. Christine Neff and Dr. Jeremy Germer, and everything we worked on (lots of guided meditation). This resonates beautifully. To be compassionate to the self helps build true compassion out in the world. I hope my students, too, will learn that perfect is not "normal" and life is full of struggle. If we can listen to our breath, name our feeling, and talk to ourselves like our best friends, we'll build compassionate world, right?
Check it out: https://centerformsc.org/


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Still reading the lessons and fully intending each time to make time to sit. It's just not happening with regularity. I love what I dream of doing. Sometimes, I use some of the guided meditations from week 2 with my students for a few minutes. Getting myself to sit that's my goal. Funny enough I head to a mindfulness and compassion conference for educators this weekend. Maybe it'll just be the thing to get this going. I aspire to breathe for a long enough spell to quietly weave a thing of beauty like this spider.


We fled the smoke (trapped inside for 12 days) to have a wonderful and family full Thanksgiving in Portland, Or. I managed to fit in a few daily mediations in random hotels, but I've missed a few sessions, too. It leaves me marveling at myself, mostly with a raised eyebrow-- because in truth I never miss a physical workout. What am I scared of? Today's lesson resonated, though, and so I'll sit still for 15 minutes tonight.


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Just too hard to do a walking meditation with a mask, but I do admit, I sure can listen to my breathing much more carefully. It's been quite unsettling with the air quality here in Bay Area.


Challenging Days

I don't think I ever missed a workout during KB1, and I was training for a marathon at the same time, and this program, I find myself getting to the workout before the mediation. Today's lesson rang true. It's hard for me. It's hard to settle. To find a position. To disrupt the chain thoughts. But I did it. And, I'll sit again tomorrow.


Enjoy Guided Mediation

Despite some technological snafus, I enjoyed choosing a guided meditation to follow. I still defer to exercise first before mediation, and often mediation feels tacked on or interrupted by life (I always invite my children to participate in the workouts, and they usually just goof around, so not good for the mediation part of my practice).
I need to figure out a way to try the meditation as its own practice. Starting tomorrow, I am going to try it in the morning before everyone wakes up!


Breath

I knew it would happen--the dreaded flashback to all those yoga classes I despised: "listen to your breath" as a way to disrupt the thought chains! However, yes, however, this time it worked! Because I had to focus on my breath to drown out the noise from my children and husband, I was so much more attentive to it. And knowing that 7 minutes isn't really that much time, thought chains easily broke. Little moments with the life force. Day 4, so far so good.


meditation round one!

Just tried 10 mins, found it a nice try to reboot my arrival from work. Met with a couple of interruptions, but in the darkened room I felt some worries subside. Also let mind go any which way, so it felt easier than when bonuses try it in yoga classes.



Intro to KB1
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Amanda here! I used to say I'm a recovering jock, now I say I'm a crazy athlete who loves to run up trails and fall on my face (see photo)! Thanks to Kenzai I have found my inner strength and my outer chisel. I run after my two sons (and often finish first), I run after my middle school students (and I can hang with the speedy ones), and I feel strong, agile, and happy in foggy San Francisco.
Now that I know how good it feels to eat clean, I love my veggie breakfasts and see fruits and egg whites as a fuel for my fun! Sometimes I struggle with stress eating and feeling overwhelmed with maintaining a high level of fitness, but then I can come back to Kenzai blogs and find support and encouragement to get back to it tomorrow.

I did wrestle and won in 5th grade! A horrifying memory of pulling hair and broken glasses. My song would be "RESPECT" by Aretha Franklin (R.I.P.), just like it was my psych up song before each soccer game many years ago. This is a good thing to be part of.


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Chiseled IT!  
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This is my kind of program! It helped me overcome complacency with strength workouts; somehow Kenzai just knows how to shake it up just when I need it. I crushed many burpees, and I hope to improve hang time next go-around. The final week coincided with my much-anticipated trail race, and so I couldn't jump as high or as much in the final week. My strength--in upper body and core--kept me in the race, though, even helped me pop right up after a face plant at mile 17. So it's a win for me. I'd do it again!


Hi Friends—heading to trail marathon this Sat (day 41), so want to push back the final crunch! You all got this, chizzlers!


The Last Week Worries

I always enjoy these programs that push me harder physically, mentally, and nutritionally. That said, I start to worry about how maintain the gains without falling into self sabotaging behaviors. So, feeling strong, loving new additions to my strength training repertoire, and holding mostly steady on diet! Onward!


Cycle 3s!

Time. I need more of it now that school's in session. 3 cycles leave me sweaty and hungry. I stayed on point for diet for most of week, but when I missed a protein portion (left it at home) I gobbled a few carb bites that I shouldn't have. Craving salty stuff, too. Bring on last two weeks!


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Sorry for inconsistent blogging this week! I feel like a klutz on all fronts this week. I can only imagine what I must look like when I try Russian Dance move, and it doesn't help that I had to sneak a few workouts during the student retreat last week. Can you imagine my students stumbling upon such a sight?

Workouts on point. Diet suffered a mild setback with my anniversary dinner--a glass of Rose for 18 years!

On the diet front: I have great habits after four programs, but it's harder for me to go stricter and stricter each week. I wonder if I gave myself enough time between programs? Thankfully, my good habits are helping me interrupt guilt and binge patterns, and I am able to reset by returning to the clean eating Kenzai has taught me. I hope to carry on next week with my new strength and embrace any klutzy moment.


Crabby about Crab-Day 10
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I don't know if I can do more of the crab walk. Is it just me?
Overall, Chisel is just what I needed to add some variety and spice to the maintenance program!
Yes, despite the crab.

Day 10 in the books!


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