Anetta S.

Anetta S.

Kenzai Reach | Day 34 (Member)
Kenzai Reach
Day 34
Program progress:
One week behind

Well, as usual, I've gotten sick during a program. I feel like this happens every time and I can't figure out why. Maybe my body is pissed that I'm treating it so well? Anyway, while I was two days behind schedule on my lessons and workouts due to our trip to Lake Como, now I'm a full 8 days behind and it makes me feel really out of sync with the other Reachers. Not sure if I should just skip ahead and participate in real time, or keep trucking along alone in the back. The worst part is that after a few days of being basically immobile, I feel like I lost all of the gained flexibility from the program and my body is starting over at day one. Should I throw in the towel and try again another round?

I'm loving the new balancing exercises, although I find myself wondering how they improve flexibility. I understand how they improve strength, but I don't really feel much stretching going on while in position. Am I missing something?

Everything else is going great, except I find myself dreading the evening stretches. I hate holding the same position for so long, I get really bored! I try to read or listen to a podcast to entertain myself, but I guess I just much prefer the flow exercises. Oh well, can't win 'em all!

We took a little trip to Lake Como a long weekend, and while I packed my yoga mat and had every intention of Reaching while I was there, I missed two days. We were hiking to catch some sunrises in the mountains, and waking up at 4am made me not want to wake up any earlier to get my workouts in. I'm terrible about exercising if I don't do it first thing in the morning!

Otherwise, everything is going great! Sorry I haven't been too active on the blogs for this program, I've been so busy which is why I'm doing Reach rather than something a bit more intense.

Core Beliefs

I didn't used to give a lot of thought to my core beliefs, but the tumultuous past few years of American politics have really helped me fine-tune my priorities.

When I need to make big life decisions, I often debate for long periods rather than go with a gut instinct. I usually end up sticking with my gut anyway, but I really love lists and spreadsheets and I just can't help myself.

When it comes down to it, I want to life a live that is open, caring, and not based in fear.

- I avoid eating meat because I care about animals and our planet.
- I travel and live abroad because I want to be open to new experiences and cultures.
- I believe that most of the hate and violence we see in the world is based in fear, which helps me to feel more sympathetic towards people who do things that disturb me.
- I try to be accepting and tolerant of others' beliefs and practices rather than stick with the herd, in-group mentality.

I've always liked doing things differently. I like to get off the beaten path, choose the road less-traveled, and stick it to the man if I get the opportunity ;)

However, sometimes I feel like I'm so focused on *not* doing the same things as everyone else, that I'm not genuinely being myself. Am I really being myself, or am I doing things differently just for the sake of being different?

Oof, I really spend too much time thinking about this kind of stuff. I've been keeping up with my meditation practice since doing Mind a few months ago, and these kind of thoughts often sneak in during my practice.

Anyway, I'm loving the Reach program so far.

Diet is pretty clean but not perfect on grams. I seriously CANNOT EAT THAT MUCH. I've been saying it for years, and it's my only issue with Kenzai. I can never get the grams right because it's way too much food, and then I feel like since I'm not doing it perfectly anyway, what does it matter if I have a Lindt truffle after dinner? What's one glass of kombucha? Why not sprinkle a little feta cheese on that salad? I really need achievable goals in order to stick to a routine, and the diet just doesn't work for me. I also never eat the fruit snacks. Oops.

Here's what a typical day of food looks like for me:

Coffee + 100ml soy milk before exercising.
Breakfast: frozen banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 150ml soy milk, and a shot of espresso blended into a smoothie.
Lunch: Sauteed sweet potato, bell pepper, cabbage, and cashews on top of brown rice. Topped with avocado and cilantro.
Snack: One 75-calorie non-alcoholic beer (day 84 sans alcool, yeehaw!) as apero before dinner.
Dinner: Grilled thin-sliced strips of zucchini topped with a charred eggplant and walnut pesto; boiled potatoes tossed with a little oil as well as herbs and spices; white beans simmered in tomato sauce; semi-whole wheat baguette.
Dessert: One square of Lindor truffle (I'm so bad!)

Okay now I'm getting a bit hungry.


Hi group, super happy to be here for this program. I've been wanting to do it for ages!

No one around to take my photos for the assessment, so I set up the old tripod and used the timer function on my camera.

I felt really uncomfortable doing this, which was kind of weird. I know no one else needs to see the images, but I felt ashamed of my current inflexibility. I've been doing yoga for years, why don't my damn heels touch in down dog!? I tried to just accept that these ideas will come up in my mind and move past them.

Then, when I went to do the morning exercises, I was shocked by how difficult they were for me! Especially the ones that involve sitting on the floor with my legs in a v-shape. Anyone else struggle with these?

I'm really excited to increase my flexibility and core strength. For my diet, I'd like to run a tight ship in order to slim down a bit.

Rebooted and ready for more! 

Very happy with my reboot this time around. I wasn't perfect with my grams, but overall a pretty clean 4 weeks.

I completely skipped (ha) all the jump rope exercises and I enjoyed working out SO much more. I replaced these with vinyasa flow yoga workouts (doubled, so 30 minutes of yoga for 15 minutes skipping) and I really feel like I got more bang for my buck. I know some people really enjoy skipping, but I hate it. It makes me dread my workouts, and also it pisses off my downstairs neighbor!

I feel like I gained a lot more core and upper body strength by doing these yoga workouts, too. Which means I'm ready for...

BEACH BLAST! I'm super pumped to try this new program. It sounds so fun! I'll be in Malta for the first week of the program, so I'll be running at a bit of a delay (aren't I always?!), but I still want to participate. I'm staying in a hostel dormitory which means I won't be able to get the regular exercises in, but I made plans to trek around the island and I also rented a bike and found a drop-in yoga studio. I'll make up the exercises when I'm back home, but I travel *very* light and there's no way I'm bringing my bands with me. Eating clean shouldn't be too difficult. Lots of fish and veggies, coming right up!

Congrats to everyone else who finished the program, I'm looking forward to seeing you around on the blogs!

Lots going on in my little world lately.

The biggest thing going on for me right now is the sale of a large business asset and preparing to sell my home back in the U.S.

Essentially I'm liquidating all the things I don't love or need anymore and investing the proceeds for the future. I'm also selling all of my belongings besides my camera equipment, some clothes, and one or two pieces of art I can't bear to part with. My boyfriend and I are going to convert a van into a camper and drive to Mongolia.

I'm super excited to be back in the nomad lifestyle after the past year and a half of "regular" life. It sure is weird saying goodbye to everything I own, though. Especially my house! I've been looking at everything with new eyes since we decided on the whole "living in a van" thing, and realizing how few things we really need.

I've been living rather minimalistically for a while now, but I still technically own a lot of stuff back in the U.S. I had spent a lot of time curating those things, so it feels weird to just sell them off. What if I wish I had kept them? What if eventually I want to move back to Portland and then I have to buy all new stuff all over again? Lots of racing thoughts lately which has been making meditation difficult.

I finally told my family about the "plan" and they are less than enthused. My mother in particular has been pissed at me for the past few years because I didn't stay in Portland and have a bunch of kids like my sisters did. It's a bit lonely out here on my own without the support of my family, but considering the other option is giving up on my dreams, I guess I'll have to learn to live with it. Fortunately the world is full of amazing people, so I'm excited to get back out there and start meeting them!

How is all of this affecting my Reboot? Positively, I think. I know that I need the exercise to help with stress, so it motivates me even more to get my training done in the morning.

I'm 100% for the workouts, but the diet hasn't been perfect this go around. I'm eating clean most of the time, but some bastard brought Easter chocolates home and I've been sneaking some in the evenings. Mostly dark chocolate, but I just can't help myself when it's in the house! Usually the diet is the easiest part for me, but this time I've just been craving sugar like mad. I've read that sugar cravings are common when people stop drinking, so I think it may have to do with that. I'd say it's not a half-bad trade off!

Excited to finish this week strong and snap that final picture!


Well, I haven't told anyone other than my boyfriend about this, but I recently quit drinking.

Today is day 50 sans alcohol, and it's the longest I've gone without booze since I did Body 5 years ago. Towards the end of that program my dad passed away and not long after that I got divorced. That was followed by a very tumultuous new relationship, a first trimester miscarriage, and then an impromptu 8 month solo backpacking trip through the Middle East and Europe. There, I met my current (and hopefully forever ) partner and moved to France to be with him.

Over the years it seems like I've had excuse after excuse to drink. I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm celebrating, I'm mourning, etc.

I've been drinking way too much the past few years on a daily basis. I've tried moderating myself over and over again, but nothing ever sticks.

Two months ago, I was in Spain by myself and I got sick. Really sick! I had a terrible fever, hot and cold flashes, aches and pains, and I was delerious. I was staying in a little pension in Granada up four flights of stairs and I didn't have the strength to even walk down the hallway. I didn't eat for four days and slept for 33 hours without stirring. I should have gone to a hospital but I was so out of it I couldn't think straight. It scared me, and kind of snapped me out of this mentality of hedonism I'd been in for years. My body is so previous, and I've been abusing it with heavy drinking for 15 years.

Anyway, like I said, today is day 50 of my alcohol free journey. I feel amazing. I'm happier than I've been in years, I feel creative and inspired again, I'm sleeping better and I look better, too. I went to Tuscany for 10 days and didn't drink. I feel happy now, which after so many years of anxiety and depression feels like such a relief.

Of course I know this is only the beginning, but I'm excited to start this journey.

Wish me luck!

*Photo from 10 years ago on a bender in Vegas. 30 pounds heavier than I am today.


I bought these right before I moved to France last year. This morning, I dug them out of the back of the closet and tried them on.

I've lost 20 pounds since I moved here a year ago, and today I finally feel like I see the difference!

While I lost weight over the past year, I didn't do a lot of strength training and my diet wasn't very clean. I feel like these past two weeks on reboot has really shown me how much my body has changed. Workouts are a lot easier than they used to be, and already I can tell my taste buds are changing... this morning a banana tasted almost *too* sweet to me!

Thanks for letting me share this here, it's not a picture I really want to put up on facebook or somewhere. I'm so happy to have such a great community of people to train with!

I love having an egg with breakfast, but I can't stand discarding perfectly good egg yolks to get my extra whites in for the day. We only buy the pasture-raised local eggs, which are not cheap, and I just hate to waste food in general. My boyfriend is French, but even he can't consume enough homemade mayonnaise to use up all the extra yolks. I've been salt-curing them, but now I have more than a dozen cured egg yolks in the fridge and nothing I can do with them.

I know that protein powder is an alternative for us vegetarians, but I also wonder about what difference it will make in my training diet to eat one extra egg yolk each day instead of avocado.

For example, I usually cook an egg each morning and eat it on top of avocado toast (along with some fresh veggies on the side). I save the white from a second egg and make a little smoothie for my mid-morning snack with a banana, my dairy allowance, and a shot of espresso for flavor.

This morning I just couldn't face separating one more damn egg, so I decided to have two full eggs on bread and forgo the avocado.

What does everyone think about this? Calorie-wise I think I'm actually consuming less, but I wonder about the different composition of fats and other nutrients. Avocados have more fiber and carbs, but yolks have a bit more protein and less fat. I'm comparing one egg yolk to half a standard-size avocado.

What's the verdict here? Is it safe to make this swap?


Today is day 12 for me and I've had a pretty good run of it so far. I live 30 minutes from the nearest restaurant, and that restaurant is a fondue chalet, so eating out isn't really a thing for me right now.

However, we did make the 90 minute drive to my partner's parents place Saturday for our biweekly lunch date and I was able to eat on plan.

We had grapefruit, avocado, and mint salad to start, then parboiled white asparagus with chives, fresh green salad, and roast chicken with rice. I turned down the champagne, beer, wine (even a 1994 vintage they brought up from the cellar!! Ok I had one sip) olives, massive cheese course, rum cake with cream, and ice cream.

I did cave and snack on a few sesame honey almonds from the organic coop after we had been sitting at the table talking for more than 4 hours after lunch.

My adoptive family is so amazing, they are all working on their English as I'm working on my French, so conversations are always very amusing!

I did feel quite sick the next day and had terrible cramping pain in my stomach. Maybe it was the chicken? I rarely eat meat but my FIL was so proud of his dish I decided to have some. Maybe my body isn't used to digesting it, though I do eat fish once or twice a week.

Anyway, I feel better this morning so hopefully my workout today will be more enjoyable than yesterday's torture!

Photo of yesterday's lunch, a vegetarian burrito bowl !

I nearly forgot how much food is involved with a training program. I had to stop eating my breakfast yesterday when I experienced a bit of a gag reflex. I've spent the last year learning how to eat very slowly as the locals do here in France, so my brain is screaming at me that I'm full and I must stop!

I was thinking, what would be so helpful is a list of foods organized by weight. I mean, it's easier to eat 130g of some carbs than others, right? And 200g of broccoli will be different than 200g of potato. I can't seem to remember which options are the best for these times when I just can't finish my plate.

Week 2 diets are up and there's even more egg whites and dairy so I'm feeling nervous. I tend to skimp on the veggies when they are amayw but then question if I'm missing important nutrients.

Any advice from seasoned trainees ?


who needs indulgences?!


Hi, Team!!

Sorry I've been a bit absent on the blogs this first week. As I mentioned, I was in Tuscany for a while and just flew home (France) two days ago. Yesterday was my first full day on the program.

I was getting plenty of exercise while in Italy (~30,000 steps each day) and I spent a lot of time going up and down winding streets. I also spent a lot of time eating pasta and tiramisu, so I'm really thrilled to be cleaning up my diet now that I'm home.

Okay, so Thomas posed these two questions:
1. What do you want to get out of this training?
2. What do you need in order to make that happen?

1. I want to get my body back into well-running-machine status. I'd like to see my digestion return to a normal pattern, and to be tired enough from the training that I sleep well at night.

2. I need to stick to the diet and make sure I get my training in each day. I just sent Thomas a message about helping me come up with an indoor 'quiet' cardio practice, as we still have lots of snow here (see attached!) and my downstairs neighbor yelled at me yesterday for making too much noise skipping. In a few weeks I'll be able to ride my bicycle, but as I don't have any snowshoes I'm limited for outdoor activity right now. As far as diet goes, as long as I stay away from my French in-laws I should be good. They are lovely people but they are cheese-pushers.

I had posted a 'start' photo that I took the day before I went to Italy, but I just changed it to a new photo after I got back. I think the new photo better represents the state of my food belly.

I've attached two photos to this post -- one of San Gimignano in Italy where I did lots and lots of up-and-down walking earlier this week. The second is out my apartment window in my tiny mountain village in France.

I can't wait to get rebooted!!

Another reboot!

This is my second reboot session and I'm quite excited about it. However, I'm in Tuscany for the next few days so my diet won't be spot on. I'm planning to work the program with just a short delay :)

End of Week 3



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