Brett T.

Brett T.

Alumni

So after the first day post tooth extraction, I felt reasonably good yesterday. On the day of the extraction I wasn't able to eat on plan, I ate well under plan but - and I don't remember perfectly - I think I ate pretty much all compliant foods.

Yesterday I went for a walk and did Monday's set of floor exercises, which I had missed and which seemed less likely to really get my blood pressure up. All in all it went well and I am going to do two days of floor exercises (I know that this is a Kenzai foul, but in the absence of skipping I want to get my heart rate up) today.

As a few others have posted, I'm starting to see the benefits of the work out in so far. I am starting to see some lines and the scale is telling me that good work has been done. Thanks to the reboot and the last few weeks I am fitting into some shorts that weren't happening at the end of 2016. But it's only the beginning. Let's go folks!


Adventures in Dentistry
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A lot has happened in the last 5 days and I haven't had time to post. Between Thursday and Monday I spent at least 3 hours each day in a car, going to a wrestling tournament at the shore for my son, then Easter with my in laws in Maryland, then out to New Haven to help my sister get her dog back from my folks.

Today? Tooth pulled. Wait. No. Front tooth pulled. At time of writing I look very much like a hillbilly. And not a particularly upscale hillbilly. I'm on an opioid painkiller with instructions not to exercise for the next few days, which sucks. I'm going to walk as much as I reasonably can and see what happens if I do some of the floor exercises....just not today.

I felt great last week. On Thursday I started to really feel like the diet was clicking and the exercise was starting to feel good. The attached pic is my lunch for last Friday at the wrestling tournament -dialed in! The weekend was generally good, but Dinners were all non-kompliant with the holidays. I made good, impact minimizing decisions on all days other than Easter, when I ate the food put in front of me.

I am now back to where I was on Thursday, but without a tooth. I am going to struggle to eat all the meals today, but I am eating very Kenzai. Tomorrow will probably be a bit similar and then back to normal.

I hope everyone is doing great. Sorry for the gap in blogging.


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So I have eclectic tastes in music. I listen to all kinds, from jazz to classical to Marimba to techno to heavy metal. But my dirty little Kenzai secret is that I work out to - largely - 80s pop music. , particularly Brit pop. Depeche Mode, The Specials, Soft Cell, Duran Duran, The Cult......you can hammer away at your Slayer and your Metallica, I am getting amped up knowing that everything counts in large amounts.

On today's workout we had a grand confluence of events, a true harmonic convergence. Not only did I begin the push ups right as everyone's favorite "Ice, Ice Baby" spooled up, but as I was coming toward the final push ups it became clear that the moment triumphant was there for the taking......the downstroke of push up 40 finished at the A1A, and the apex?

Oh yeah baby. Beachfront avenue.

Thanks Vanilla.

Let's not feel bad about the crappy music we listen to people. We are Kenzai warriors. Embrace the cheese.

Also, Phillipa (I'm sure I didn't spell this right. Per your request, pictures of Bear from this morning's walk.


I have been doing great on the diet but have been struggling to squeeze in what is not a lot of cardio. I am up to date on the floor exercises because I have been wedging them in, but have had a bunch of disruptions today and yesterday when it has been time to skip. Simply put, kids are the worst. I need to do a better job of having a "plan A," "plan B" and "plan C" for the skipping (well, the whole workout really. I slammed in today's workout while the kids' dinner was on the stove and in the oven).

With that said......I am starting to feel better after a week of eating quite clean and then these 2 days of eating very clean. All in all, good stuff!


Jerk of the week

So I live in a great place. It's a small-ish town in Central New Jersey that is a great balance between rural and urban. We are close to Princeton and Trenton both, about an hour away from NYC and Philadelphia. Having lived 15 years in a very rural part of NJ (while working in NYC......blergh), we now live in a town where we can walk to pretty much everywhere, which I love. It is my goal to spend an entire week this year without driving a car....we'll see.

Anyhoo, in this town is a huge private school that is really, really cool with letting residents use their facilities. As long as the school doesn't need them for any event, they are pretty much cool with folks doing whatever. Their track - which is an excellent, 4 lane, tartan track - is about 0.3 miles from my house and I use it a fair amount.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I find cardio to be amazingly boring. I need a ball to chase. Whenever I sign up to do 10ks or whatever else I know that the biggest obstacle isn't fitness or health, but boredom. I have tried listening to music, watching videos on treadmills, listening to podcasts......doesn't matter....I get bored out of my skull. So for alternative cardio I made the decision that I would use, as my default, the beep test and then walk or jog for the remaining time. Great idea, huh? This way I get a weekly measure of where I am at from a fitness perspective, it is not boring, and I run without actually thinking that I am running. Wow Brett, GJGE!!!!

Yesterday I walk down to the track, measure out 20m and lay down my cones. As I am doing this a guy comes over and asks what I am doing.....which I explain. "Oh.....uhhh......that is going to kind of get in my way." Now, I have set up probably the first 10m in the sprint start area, which is off the track, and the other 10m are in the outside lane, which no one uses. He explains that he and his son are working on baton hand-offs for relay practice and were hoping to use the corner where I was setting up. He pointed to - and I am not making this up - two batons randomly on the track nowhere near where we were and said "as you can see, we were kind of here first."

I'm now in a very difficult position. My dad went to college on a track scholarship and was a 4x100 and 4x200 runner, so I am very supportive of this somewhat dying sport. But on the other hand, there are other parts of the track where he can do this. But no. For various bizarre and asinine reasons ("Well, people often bring their dogs through the gate near that corner and my son is afraid of dogs" was an actual excuse given. His son was at least 16 years old.) it had to be this corner. And they couldn't use any other lane.

I asked if he could wait 15 minutes while I did my work and of course.....they couldn't. They had some important event they desperately needed to get to. All the time that me and superdad3000 are talking, the kid is literally playing games on his iPhone, not warming up in any way, which is probably annoying the dad as much as it is me.

Finally, we agree that they will do their warm ups around the track while I do my work, and if there is some slight overlap then they can use the otherwise-completely-unused-other two lanes until I am done. So I get started and not one minute in he comes over and asks if I am nearly done. Seriously. His kid is not even off his iPhone, no sweat has been broken. For whatever reason this just breaks me. I gather my stuff together and get walking back home.......and pass his son going to their car.....which has Pennsylvania plates. They aren't even residents of the town.

So my alternative cardio yesterday was using all of my mental energy and breathing control to not go back and run my keys up the side of a guy's car. I did pretty well to be honest.


KB2 Days 4-6; Dad

So with the first week just one alternative cardio away from being over, I am feeling pretty good about the opening week. After a pretty sluggish day 1 workout that kind of bummed me out, the rest of the week's workouts went well. I went slow on all of the movements to get some nice burn in and I went to bed every night with a few sore muscles here and there, but no nights where I felt broken.

From a diet perspective things also went pretty well. In the past I have used the first week as kind of a hybrid vegetarian Mardi Gras to follow up on the absolute Rumspringa that is often the week before Kenzai. I ate clean most of the entire week and didn't drink at all until my dad got here on Thursday. Spent those three nights having a few glasses of wine and a few beers, had one last "indulgence dinner" out on Friday night (it was an occasion, and technically I only had an entree salad....but there were a number of appetizers ordered for the table and somehow a few really good beers ended up in front of me). At time of writing there is now no beer in my house for the first time in.........I honestly can't remember. It may be 25 years. That seems weird but I honestly can't remember not having beer in my house. Hrrrrmmmmmmm.

My legs are more tired than I would like, but they have ended the week doing well with the skipping sessions and also with some long walks, so I'm feeling like my body is ready for the next few weeks and months. I have also put in place some good practices around bed, time management, eating and workouts. Let's see how things go, but right now I am pretty locked in. Good Luck Maple!!!!


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Day 2 went really well. The skipping felt a lot easier than day 1, which makes me think I may have been just having "one of those days" with skipping, which is a small relief. But man oh man were the last 20 seconds on the 3rd Wall Chair tough. It's all fun and games until your quads say "Hey.....uhh.........this isn't working for us." I got to the max on all three, but I was a puddle after the last set. It is pretty rare that I say the words "Oh yeah, Davincis, that's a relief", but there we were.

Right now 4 of the 5 humans in my house are on healthy eating programs (also known as "diets"), with my wife participating in one of those work-sponsored weight loss programs where you can earn money with a group of folks, my eldest son getting ready for off-season wrestling tournaments (Folks who don't yet know me but follow the blog will learn over time of how boring I find wrestling....but my eldest son loves it, so he does a second season of it.....hooray!), and my youngest son participating in a healthy eating program through his school. This has made the healthy eating a bit more fun and less of a lone trek, which has been nice for the first few days. I should have this companionship for another month or two, which will get me through the first few pangs.

But most importantly....it is currently Spring Break for two of my three kids (my third had his two week Spring Break three weeks ago). That is hurting my ability to get into a rhythm in terms of day flow, but it is only for this week. I'm getting a pretty surprising amount done given the near constant presence of kids complaining about stuff. Still.....Spring Break.


A good day 1 yesterday with on point eating and the workout done pretty well. The skipping took more out of my legs than I was expecting; which is a reflection of what a poor job I did on the reboot with the cardio. Shame on me.

Still, a good start and today is off to a good start as well. It is after 11:00, but I got a call from a good friend asking me if I wanted to go to breakfast, so I went with him and watched him eat as I had Kenzai'ed as soon as I woke up. Will work out slightly later than I would like today - between 2:00 and 4:00 - because that is where my window is. Trying to figure out how to manage a lunch that sets me up well for the day with that workout time........may need to bring the workout forward. Hrrrmmmmm........

Feeling good, excited to be here.


For those who follow the Brettblog closely, you will have read of some of my experiments in time management of late and the desire to squeeze an extra hour - 90 minutes of productivity out of my each day. As background, I work from home and am a consultant in the most boring areas of digital marketing (data, email deliverability, customer experience, etc). At the moment I am launching three....maybe four....companies and am helping two clients launch two others, so things are busy, but very fun. If we can get the revenue streams to be a bit more reliable that will be nice too!

At the very highest level, here are the foundations of what I am doing on time management as it relates to Kenzai:

- Blog before 10:00 a.m. every work day, and blog at least 3 out of 5 work days.
- Exercise before 1:00 p.m.
- Be in bed (not lights out necessarily) by 10:15.
- Removed about 70% of the apps from my phone and don't take a phone to the bathroom or into my bedroom.

Let's see how it all works. Right now, one meal into KB2 (although still waiting to get formally enrolled), things are going pretty swimmingly!


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On to the next steps 

In the end, I used the reboot more for trying out some new techniques around time management, eating and shopping, etc. than I did for driving to better health....although I am in better health. Many of the new techniques failed to have any kind of noticeable impact, which is too bad. I need to get at least an extra hour of productivity into my days to crush Kenzai as I would like. My failure to blog and my failure to skip as often as the program defined were the results, and that is not acceptable heading into KB2. I am working with a new time management structure that is feeling a bit better, pushing higher priority items earlier in the day and trying to remove low value distractions.

Mentally I am all fired up for KB2. I spent the last week eating largely on point and getting the workouts in, so I finished strong following a mediocre showing overall.

Huge thanks to Kim and also to all the folks in Cambria. Look forward to seeing everyone in the months ahead!!


KB2 enrollment

Following up on Christina's post, given that the Reboot she and I are on ends on April 2nd, will there be any concern that we won't be able to get into the KB2 group that kicks off on April 3rd? Either from a capacity or technology perspective? Basically, if we try to sign up on April 3rd will the system be all "Hey, great to see you!" or "Yeah....no. Sorry, too late."


Final week begins!

First off, my apologies for the lack of blogging. I have been working on a new structure to my day for the last week (so far the results have been, at best, uneven) and quite simply, I struggled to get blogging into the day. I'm making some changes in advance of KB2 to accommodate more time for exercise and also blogging. While on reboot I slipped into some bad habits around casual screen time and time management, which led to other bad habits. I need to hammer down on that in the last week and as I head into KB2.

Overall, the last week was mediocre at best. We had some really cruddy weather a handful of days where it was wet and cold and I didn't get out to skip on those days. Another learning from this week was that I really need to find a few more indoor spots where I can skip. Having lived in this area for 18 months, not knowing that has been a bit painful. Diet was also OK but not great. As I look back, probably 80% of my meals were compliant, but I was struggling to nail perfects in the evenings for an array of reasons.

On the plus side, I have been sleeping very well and I feel healthy. I'm ready for KB2 and ready for the final week here! Good luck everyone!


Kenzai-er than thou

So I bounced back from the beers on snow Tuesday pretty fantastically. On Wednesday I had a perfect on diet and then in the evening I did my workout in 20 degree weather (I think that is like.....-374 degrees Centigrade or something) in a parking lot as my son had wrestling practice.

Thursday was good as well, although I wasn't able to get any skipping in due to the ice. I ended up walking a ton, which was boring and blah. I was good on diet until the very end of the day when I was watching the NCAA tournament at a friend's house. I avoided all beer but did have a few of the really nice appetizers he had made. They were healthy, but also in excess of my portions for dinner. Feeling good in the exercises; it seems like one movement just crushes me every day and the others I get to a nice solid burn at the right point. I should be able to get back on the skipping track today as we had a lot of ice melt over the last 36 hours. I hope so, walking stinks.


So it snowed about 8" yesterday. 8" should be nothing, right?

I spent three winters living in Rochester, NY which is right off of Lake Ontario in Western New York. It is cold as all get out and it snows a ton up there. One day we had a snowfall and I got out to dig out our pretty short driveway. The old lady next to me comes out in her robe and slippers and says "Watch out!! This is.......(I'm really not making the dramatic pause up)......DEATH SNOW."

"Wait.......what?"

"Death Snow. It killed my brother and it killed my father."

Upon further questioning, she was referring to wet, heavy snow which can lead to heart attacks for folks who have spent the winter in hibernation. But still...it was definitely a top 5 in terms of "tremendously awkward conversations."

So yesterday we had 8" of pure, unmitigated death snow. It was wet like oatmeal and each shovel load was hard work. For an array of silly reasons, I was shoveling various driveways and sidewalks for nearly 4 hours and it was pretty brutal. Excellent cardio, excellent upper body workout though.

I decided not to skip after all that as my heart rate had been pretty up for a long period of time, but I did do the floor exercises, and I was on point on the diet until I had 2 beers at the end of shoveling (which were simply glorious. I think I may have accidentally drank the actual bottle for the first one I was so thirsty) and a dinner that had a few fudges, which was a bit of a downer, but I was well ahead for the day.

Very much focused on diet today and getting perfectly on point. Hope all are doing well!


Week 1

So going up to see mom was kind of quirky.

A big chunk of it was helping out my mom as she is making the adjustment to the rehab facility. It is looking like she will be there for about 60-90 days as she gets feeling and strength back in her leg. My mother is - as a point of fact - the worst patient on the planet, which is a poor attribute for someone who has a chronic condition to be honest. My mom is a pretty quirky lady to begin with, but she has this odd desire to try and establish dominance when confronted with anyone involved in the medical profession; doctor, nurse, person wearing a white coat because they work in a lab, you name it. This led to significant periods of time where my sister and I were apologizing to various people and trying to hide under the bed.

Combining this with my sister's love of eating out and my desire to drink when confronted with any form of conflict made for a rough Kenzai period. I exercised really well and feel like I did a nice job getting to burn at the right points in the exercises, although man oh man were some of those movements tough - I'm looking at you mini lunges.

But while I am giving myself an A- on the workouts, I got a pretty solid D on the diet. I avoided fried food, ate more healthy than I would normally, but between wine and portion sizes it was a bad effort. Since returning home Saturday night I have been much closer to target.

Good luck folks!


End of Week 3

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