Day 90 GRADUATION POST
I'll be totally honest in that I didn't see the program through to the end. But the experience was a definite win overall and I learned a lot to help me navigate diet and exercise in the future. I will be excited to do a Kenzai Reboot in the future or possibly an advanced program (I think there was one called Mind?) And when the time comes to do Kenzai Body again, I know to start in January! April was just so busy and distracting. I'm happy to have met such wonderful and supportive people on our team and I wish everyone the absolute best in their future endeavors!
Quick update: I'm still here! Mostly sticking to the diet, but not getting all of the exercises done. The sheer volume of sets has increased my workout time so much that I'm having a hard time completing them. And knowing its going to take so long, I have a hard time getting started. But I'm trying to work through the mental part and making sure I'm able to continue doing what I can, when I can. I figure as long as I can establish the habit of working out everyday, its going to pay off more than killing myself trying to complete all of the exercises now and quitting out of sheer hatred after the 90 days is up. Maybe that's not the right move, but I'm trying to focus on the long term goals vs the short term disappointments.
On a side note: Happy birthday to me : ) Here's to starting 38 healthier and fitter!
Alright. So. Last blog post - I spoke too soon. Wednesday through Sunday saw NO exercises. I know, right? WTF happened there, Amy?
And I'm not exactly sure what to tell you. Life. Family. Springtime. Starting a business. Every day has been full and ending late. But I feel like I have two choices here: be upset / regretful, or... not. I'm choosing not. In my mind, I've been assigning that time as a "Kenzai won't last forever" training. I was eating mostly on diet, I was active, outside and productive while making meaningful connections with the people I love. I'm incorporating some of the things I've learned into every day life. I'm just having a hard time feeling bad about it.
But I also know Kenzai isn't over yet and I need to take advantage of it while I can. So I've done most of the exercises Monday & Tuesday. I don't always have time for all of it, but I'm doing as much as I can. (I counted mowing the front lawn as my cardio on Monday, back yard will be Thursday cardio) And I'm happy to report that, thanks to the hard work for the past 2 months, I'm feeling a lot better and I actually have the strength and energy to be as productive and busy as I have been!
Anxiety and regret are two big demons that haunt my life. So choosing happiness is a bit of an exercise in itself. I know I could push harder and be fitter, but I have to keep reminding myself that the other things were important, too. Because (lets be honest here), if I think about it too much, I will be regretful no matter what at the end of Kenzai - if I gave 99%, well.. it could have been better.
Maybe this is the excuse machine working overtime, but that's where I am right now. Feeling good, being active (and weighing 129 haha!)
Thanks for checking back in with me Patrick! Things are a bit harder this week, but I'm handling them a lot better.
My days have been really busy lately, and I'm having a hard time juggling everything in my mind. So much so, that my daughter's 8th birthday is on Monday and, not only did I not plan a party this year, I'm not totally sure what to get her or actually do for her birthday. Feels like everything is all happening at the same time. So I don't have a chance to do my workouts until after the kids are in bed around 9:30pm. Long days ending with a hard workout aren't ideal, but I'm motivated to get them done vs collapsing into bed!
And in a totally unexpected turn of events - I like jumping rope more than strength exercise this week!?! 3 sets of jumping has really helped the mental game and, even though its technically the same amount of time, I feel like its going to be quicker. But 6 sets of reps on other stuff? Its taking foreverrrr.
My photos still look meh, but I've lost 8-9lbs now. I'm teetering on 130 and I'm pretty excited for the moment its 129. Its funny how different I feel now that I'm coming out of that valley and I'm motivated to finish strong. This has been quite the adventure : )
I've definitely hit a slump. I haven't been making the best decisions, food-wise (usually lunch). I haven't been finishing my jump ropes every day (either a busy day, or frequent sinus headaches). I'm frustrated with my belly still being an issue, especially if I don't try to keep it flexed periodically throughout the day (every change to my diet has me in a panic that I'm not losing fat fast enough and you know it). I'm incredibly tired, but my mind is making it difficult to fall asleep. And worst of all - I'm starting to despise cooking for my family at night. Its incredibly difficult to spend time and effort cooking, seeing and smelling a delicious dinner only to watch everyone else enjoy it. I'm sad that I'm feeling bitter during such a cool and important part of our family's routine.
I'm exceedingly luckily that I have an amazing support system all around me. My husband has stepping in a cooked a couple of times, lately. My kids are always watching what I eat and when its not healthy, asking me if its on my diet or if I'm taking a day off - guilt trip masters in the making. My mom told me today that she was really impressed with how far my jump roping skills have come since I first starting trying in December. And when I'm frustrated about my belly, my husband reminds me to look at it from the side where you can tell a bigger difference. Plus he's comments on changes in my arms and legs which are less important to me.
So I'm just slugging through it at the moment, and I'm hoping every day closer to the end helps get me through this difficult time. I don't want to disappoint anyone.
I was doing pretty well with being sick - taking medicine so my head wouldn't explode and getting most everything done (not perfect, but good). But today's its moved to my chest and I'm starting a nagging cough. I'll try jumping rope, but I know there is a good chance I might need to skip today and reevaluate tomorrow.
Skipping a day of jump ropes has been interesting. I thought skipping a day would set me back and I would be worse with tripping and fatigue. But its the exact opposite - I can skip longer and with fewer trips when I come back to it. It a little exciting to see how its changed.
The lesson on low energy has been spot on, especially for yesterday. It felt like everything was on slow motion and I couldn't seem to get anything done without wanting to sit and zone out. I'm still not eating enough and no matter how gung-ho I feel about it, I can't seem to do it. I'm busy or just not hungry / thinking about it. But when I do eat, its MUCH healthier than my usual - so its still a little win.
I'm sick with a nasty head cold (lots of headaches and fatigue), so I'm taking a couple days to rest and recover. I've mostly kept to the diet, but I'm concerned the whole program is slipping away from me. I'm anxious to get back to my normal routines and not have training weighing on my mind every day. The closer something is to the end, the more difficult it is for me to finish. I'll really need to work on getting back into the groove as soon as this passes.
New shoes were helping my jumping! My feet still ache, but after wearing the same type of shoe for 8 years, its to be expected.
I messed up some of my shiny new baby muscles trying to start a lawnmower on Saturday. I really went full force for too long and now it feels bruised. All of that work, and the mower is officially dead. My super nerdy husband convinced me to switch to a new electric lawn mower (it turns on with the press of a lovely button), so my shoulder is safe! Until I did my exercises and I had to do "lawnmower" hahaha
I'll take my progress photo tonight or tomorrow. Last I checked, I've lost 7lbs and we can see some big differences. But, right now I feel like crap. Going to lay down again.
Day 40 was seriously rough - period started, early morning, non-stop busy all day, very little food, got home late, still needed to cook dinner for myself and family, AND do all of my exercises. I was physically and mentally exhausted - I was slipping off the wagon and freaking out. So I took control of the situation: I jumped clear off the wagon all together. And that was the only jumping I did, too. Not one single exercise and I ate THREE slices of pizza. I can't remember the last time I was so giddy about food (I never did get around to doing the indulgence). And it was glorious!
...right up until it made me nauseous haha! I tucked into bed early and called it a night. The next day, I was very happy and a little excited to go back to my Kenzai diet. I definitely needed the night off and I'm glad I took it. Somehow its actually helped keep my cravings at bay.
Jump ropes are still the bane of my existence. I still badly need to buy new shoes. I also hate cardio. I just hate the feeling of being out of breath, blood rushing and feeling out of control. It makes me anxious in a similar way claustrophobia does. Heck - I don't even like roller coasters and the rush of adrenaline. I just want to be calm. So I tend to take a lot of breaks with jumping. While I'm super excited not to need a notepad to keep up with the number of jumps, I'm terrified about the timed version. The goal posts always moves before I get close.
So why am I not quitting now? My sponsor would kill me and our 2 week family vacation would be super awkward knowing that I wussed out while he did TWO Kenzai programs while I do this one as a kind of emotional support. Plus 48 days is nothing in the grand scheme of things. It'll be as hard and annoying as the first 42 days, but its worth a shot to see where it takes us.
What am I fed up with? Everything. Basically, all the things.
I'm fed up with exercising everyday. I'm SUPER fed up with jumping rope (I threw it a couple times today because I can't stop tripping and they are taking FOREVER). Extremely fed up with the pain in my shins and calves. Mildly fed up with food. (Taking my dinner banana away? Fine. Take it. I don't care.) I'm often consumed with the feeling of "I just want a break"
And now that the novelty has worn off and I'm having all of the negative feelings, now... NOW I'm seeing results. DAMNIT.
I feel like changing my ab exercises to accommodate the diastasis recti from pregnancy has been a good move. I worry because they are so much easier, but I'm seeing better results. It's making me more aware of my abdomen, and I'm realizing just how much I tend to push out my stomach *all* of the time. So I'm focused more on correcting it throughout the day.
I'm also going to try and incorporate meditation into my training. I had a few days where I was in a great mood and I attributed it to Kenzai. But it went away? It hit me that those days I did a little meditation! So right after exercising today, I did 10 minutes on Headspace and cried for a good 3-4 minutes of it. Did NOT expect that. But I feel like it was an important and necessary cleanse I didn't know I needed.
I need to figure out either how to fix the shin / calf problem (new shoes? I wear onitsuka tigers now and they have basically no cushion) or I need to do something else, because the jump rope is by far my biggest obstacle right now.
Everything is going well here!
I'm still not 100% on getting all of my grams in on the diet, but I'm definitely staying within the right categories of food for the right times of day. I have not done my indulgence meal, despite having spent the first 24 days dreaming and scheming on what I would eat. (I have a house full of Girl Scout cookies - would 16 boxes of Samoas / Thin Mints count as a lunch?) Now that its here, nothing seems worth going off diet for so I'm finding myself holding on to it like a shiny penny in my pocket.
Exercises are going well. I'm pretty confident I'll never be great at jumping rope and they still take me quite a long time to finish. For some reason I'm back to tripping repeatedly and now I'm having shin splint pain in my right leg. But I'm happy, and sometimes surprised, to see new muscles in my legs and arms showing up. I've never really exercised in the past, so this is kinda new to me.
The not so great stuff:
My moods are still really messed up. I feel almost manic lately and I'm having a lot of trouble staying focused on anything. This means I'm not getting much accomplished throughout the day and leaving me feeling overwhelmed and anxious about everything that still needs to be done. Maybe more energy is not the best feeling for me?
I'm haven't lost any more weight and my progress photos look EXACTLY the same. Seriously - I did not take 12 photos on the first day and then post one a week, because I know it looks like that. So while I can see differences person, this is making me question reality. Its just a bummer.
I've encountered my first pushback to training. Apparently, this is all "pseudo-science bullshit from a bunch of untrained hacks" and he thought I was "more intelligent than to fall for that garbage" Despite calming telling him its not at all complicated and nothing is particularly new (aside from combining all of the elements in one comprehensive program), no attitude or opinion changed and I was told to "get the fuck out and go home" Not the best feeling in the world, but I'm still proudly wearing my Gi and enjoying this new adventure.
Y'all. I messed up. Why on earth did I think it would be a good idea to take my progress photos at night, right after dinner on a Sunday?! I'm freaking out that it looks like absolutely nothing has changed between week 1 and week 3. Tempted to start taking the photos first thing in the morning, but then it'll look like I suddenly lost 5 pounds in one week. Gosh this is so frustrating and kind of demoralizing.
The flu hit home on Friday with my oldest daughter getting sick. I managed to get my jumps in, but none of the other exercises that day. But I worked hard today and combined the 800 and Friday's strength training, so I'm all caught up again! That feels good and I'm glad to not have the guilt of missing a day weighing on me. Now we just wait to see if anyone else gets sick : /
My eating habits are not the best, lately. My mornings have been starting later, and its like a domino effect pushing everything else later, too. So I've been missing lunch or only having about half. I'm hoping to get this back on track this week.
Question of the week: Have you noticed any changes in your mind or body at this point?
Honestly, not a lot. I still have mood swings and I still hit that afternoon wall of fatigue, despite sleeping well. I'm much more obsessed with my body image and I look in the mirror several times a day just looking for changes - I don't particularly like this new habit. But, I do feel like my mind is a little clearer. I like the fact that I am doing all of the training, even when I don't want to start. And I'm looking forward to warmer, drier weather so I can do more work in the yard. It normally wears me out, but I'm hoping I'll be stronger and can do more this year.
My brain is officially trolling me, now. Every time I go to eat my Evening Snack, it starts singing "Working on my night fruit..." ala Bob Seger. On repeat. And I don't even know the lyrics, so I can't make up anything clever to go along with it. Just that one line, over and over, being super catchy.
Moving on... this week's exercises have been a little off. I tweaked my calf on Sunday when I landed badly on the jump rope. It was no big deal, but jump roping on Monday made it worse. So I skipped the cardio on Tuesday to give it some time to rest. As much as I hate jumping rope, I also hated the feeling of not doing it. So even though it's not feeling much better today, I carried on. (None of the alternative cardio options were really an option - no bike, no pool, no gym, and its pouring rain here) The first 400 were without a rope, and the last 200 were with it. My calf still bothers me, but its not worse, so I'll probably do something similar tomorrow. If it starts to hurt more, I might invest in the boxing game on the Nintendo - seems like it could be cardio, but wouldn't aggravate my leg. We'll see.
Today, I was super excited to try out the pull up bar Ian K. let me borrow! It was short lived. I have to stand on my tip toes to even reach the bar, so the hop / pull up into position was pretty impossible. Ok. No problem. Grabbed a chair, grabbed the bar annnddd.... immediately dropped to the ground. Wut? Here I thought I was doing well and leveling up in the strength department! It looks like I have a lot of work to do..
Food is going great - taking one meal at a time. Turns out I'm enjoying the no carb thing at dinner! And I guess my kids are so used to me being strange lately, they haven't even mentioned me skipping on certain items. That has been a big relief.
The weight loss / body composition is going slower than I had hoped. It feels like a lot longer than 17 days and I have to keep reminding myself we are still in the beginning. But I'm anxious for the time when I feel proud enough about my progress to show off a little. We'll get there...
Hardest part so far has been the jump roping. If I could do double of everything else in exchange for no jumping, I'd do it without a moment of hesitation. I still cap out between 50-80 jumps before my legs muscles tighten so much I just can't jump any more. And the second I stop, it feels like the blood rushes to my head and I just hate that feeling so so much. Sometimes I can walk it off, but sometimes I still need to sit for a little bit or else I can't stop tripping over the rope. Needless to say, 600 takes me a WHILE. But, on the bright side, I feel like my technique is still improving - I'm jumping faster and more smoothly, and the increased spreed is part of what's causing me to fail so quickly. I'm hoping to continue improving this week!
The best part for me has been all of the other exercises! I LOVE resistance band work! I have more control over my body when I'm not doing cardio and I can concentrate on powering through those last reps. I feel strong without feeling overly sore. I'm even considering going up to the 3rd band size on certain sets! I feel good and I feel proud of myself.
Today was a hard one. I'm 90% sure it was because I started my period and, unfortunately, it has arrived with extra baggage - increased discomfort, fatigue and moods. I haven't had period cramps in well over a decade.. until this morning. This was not at all what I was anticipating. But after some tylenol, I soldiered on and got all of my exercises done. Hormones have me feeling a little depressed and defeated today. So yeah - ready to move on from this as it's been less than helpful.
On a happier note, my youngest was by my side the whole day doing the most adorable versions of the exercises. Every time I tripped over the rope, she'd tell me (through her toy megaphone) that I was doing a great job. She helped me around the house, snuggled, watched me play Zelda (what? she asked me to!), and hung out with me all day while I felt less than stellar. She has been an absolute shining light of joy and awesomeness - I'm so lucky to have her by my side : )
1. What inspired you to sign up for Kenzai Body?
My brother, Ian K. (doing Kettlebells 2), has been my inspiration for signing up for Kenzai. He's been an active member in Kenzai for about 10 years now and has always been very enthusiastic about the programs and results. With a family vacation to Hawaii at the end of May, this was the perfect opportunity to share this experience together.
2. In terms of the Kenzai Body challenge, what do you think is your greatest strength?
I have an amazing support system in place - husband, kids, family, friends - everyone is excited and proud of me for being brave enough to give this a shot. But personally, my stubbornness will probably be my greatest asset. The 'Wearing Your Gi" story has been very inspiring to keep at it with an unapologetic attitude, too.
3. What do you think will be your greatest weakness?
Fear. We have a long way to go and it's only going to get harder as we go along. The jump ropes are already increasing faster than I'm improving. I mostly ate easy, junk food had a hard time just making weekly dinner menus when I cook eat anything in the world, and now I have to think / weigh healthy foods 6 times a day. It's just.. a lot.
Question of the week: What has surprised you most during this first week of training?
A couple of things have really caught my attention this week. One being that my cravings are almost non existent. I expected to really battle with wanting chocolate, fatty foods and soda / coffee. But it just hasn't been an issue even though it was something I was battling constantly. The other was how eager I am to do my training (despite all of my moaning about jump roping and sore muscles). I read my lessons before even getting out of bed and I do my exercises first thing after shipping off the kids to school. I started weighing foods on Thursday or Friday and trying the diet even when I had the opportunity to eat junk. I'm hoping I can keep up this level of enthusiasm for a long as possible!