OK, so yesterday (Day 3) I had to run up to Cape Cod to see my mom, who had a stroke. This is (no exaggeration) like, her 12th stroke - she has a condition that causes these - but she couldn't move her right leg so me and my sister came up to help mom and dad for the next few days. I have gotten the exercises in, and generally been pretty good on diet, but I have not been perfect. I will get "perfecter" when I get back home on Saturday evening.
The weekly challenge was tough as a result. I live in a great little town in the Princeton/Trenton area of New Jersey and had a few good ideas for cool pics. However, a somewhat sudden trip precluded this. So attached I have two photos. The first is me working out on our deck up on the Cape. The second is one that i really like, my "Kenzai gym." I do about 70% of the exercises in this very confined space, and it works great. That is what I love about Kenzai, once the shorts are on you are pretty much ready to roll.
Good luck everyone!
Super trainer Ed put up a great post a week or so ago about the need to rearrange your Life with Kenzai to accommodate sleep. Sleep is something I have done pretty sub optimally throughout my adult life, but over the last few years I have tried to emphasize it a bit more (in related news, I'm also slightly less of an asshole since making this change.). Last night I got to bed right on time and.......the dog (who is generally awesome) started randomly freaking out. I'm still not sure what caused this, maybe a few squirrels were messing with him outside the window? In the big picture it was a good reminder of the importance of good sleep hygiene, as you never know what is going to keep you up on a given night.
Exercises ran smoothly, diet went well and I executed brilliantly on the command to clear out the high calorie wines and beers. Yay me!
As a preface to this, I started KB2 back in January and was having a blast with it until I got sick with something that hung around for nearly 3 weeks, then had some really sub-par life events happen, so I had to drop out and am very psyched to be back in reboot. My goal is to transition from reboot straight into KB2, so I am looking down the proverbial barrel of 4 months of Kenzai, which has me pretty psyched up at the moment - talk to me in 3 months!
I first did Kenzai about 6 years ago, as one of the last members of an old program called "The Foundation." The Foundation - and Kenzai in general - has made the last 6 years of my life infinitely better. I was about 15-20 lbs heavier than I am now (and than I have been at any point in the last 6 years) but more importantly, I was immensely out of shape. I could barely walk up 3-4 flights of steps without my heart rate going through the roof and sweating like a pig. So I am a believer. Since that time I have done KB1 and the reboot (this is my second reboot), and kicked off KB2.
I'm at a pretty exciting time at the moment. I have three kids who are 10, 13 and 15 (mildly annoying, very annoying, more annoying than not with occasional flare-ups to extremely annoying), a wife who is very cool, a dog who is immensely cool and a cat who tortures everyone in the house in various ways.
I am working to launch - or help launch - a small handful of companies in 2017 and taking a pretty aggressive approach to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. A big part of that is "healthy." But over the next 28 days, in addition to Kenzai, I will be focused on continuing to meditate (I think everyone has, by now, read about 1,000 articles about how good this is for you, so I won't bother....it works for me and in a pinch it can be a nap), doing some substitute teaching, getting certified in a few different things and working like crazy to get these companies launched/re-engineered.
Best of luck everyone!
Sorry for going dark for so long. Right after my last post I got sick again and in the end, I had an illness that may or may not have required some antibiotics, but I did go on mild antibiotics for a week, got a lot more rest and it all cleared up.
I spoke with Ed and Jess about doing a reset and going into the KB2 group that had started a month after us, and they were fantastic about everything. Unfortunately, there was a tech issue so we couldn't make it happen, and I felt that I was too far behind with everything to really rejoin and be in sync with everyone. That was a real downer.
Unfortunately, the next KB2 isn't until April, so I am going to hop on to the Kenzai Reboot starting next week, then transition over into the KB2 starting in April. Not exactly what I would have liked, but a lot better than sitting and doing nothing.
All the best Team Mahogany. You guys were/are fantastic and I look forward to seeing you all on the blogs. Ed and Jess, you guys were fantastic. Just tremendous in every way, I am sad to be leaving the group. Best of luck everyone!
When you have a kid they spend a great deal of time at the hospital, or adoption center, telling you all kinds of stuff about how to strap it safely into a car, but the one piece of information that they don't provide you with? "Oh yeah.....kids will go to great lengths to ruin anything you love doing or have as a life priority." And THAT would be useful information, frankly.
Coming off the perfect day and the belt loop win, I was pretty amped up and raring to Kenzai. I had a plan for the day that had me exercising at 4:00 p.m. and everything was looking superb for the day.......until my daughter got home at 3:00. Apparently she had a project due for French that required a bunch of purchases, oh....and it MIGHT be due tomorrow. At 5:00 we got back home and met my youngest son.....who ALSO had a project due the next day that required shopping, etc. (For the record, both of them go to schools where assignments are posted online. In both instances the teachers hadn't posted these when assigned weeks ago because, apparently, the system is constructed such that putting assignments up that are longer out than 10 days is very difficult.)
Long and short, I spent the night assisting in the construction of a diorama of a French school room and the making of a video about a book. At 10:30 I was done, but too tired to exercise, which sucked.
Today is my wife's birthday and one of my promises to her when I started the program was that I would eat "normally" with her for dinner, so I know that today will not be compliant. That is a bit of a downer, but in truth, she has been pretty awesome in supporting all of the Kenzai silliness over the years ("why of course I'm working out, it's only 10:00 in the evening." etc.) and has been great with this program too, so having a few glasses of wine and a steak with her this evening is hardly the worst thing that has ever happened to me.
So I nailed the perfect yesterday, which felt really nice. And because I am OCD, it had some weirdness to it. I ended up having my blood sugar start to decline around 11:30 at night, but I couldn't bear the thought of missing a perfect....so I ate some dried dates at 12:01 this morning. I recognize how silly that is, but there you are (NB: my blood sugar never got below 65, so there was never any danger, it was just a question of trajectory).
The 6th exercise is definitely hard work. I felt well and truly pounded at the end of yesterday's workout. This morning the first belt loop movement happened, which was pretty cool. Hope everyone is doing great!
So Super Bowl weekend is a terrible weekend for Kenzai. Everyone and their uncle is making some kind of fried food, fatty dip, or elaborate meat dish and not trying a bite is perceived as a mild slight to some, a larger slight to others. Yada yada yada, I did pretty well under the circumstances, but the weekend was an A for exercise and a B- for diet.
Yesterday was the first day of apples and egg whites, so I was immensely geeked up. I had a great day of work, ate perfectly, had a good workout (I'm at about 60% of the way on skipping, but my resting heart rate has definitely responded. It is now back down to 57 and my recuperative heart rates are also looking pretty good. Better than I would have thought with this lingering chest cough).......and then I went downstairs after putting the kids to bed to have 200 grams of......apparently not fruit. The banana tasted great, but I did wonder why they would have us eat fruit after the fruit dinner. Well.....they didn't. I wrote it down wrong on my little piece of paper behind the fridge. Perfect blown. Definite sad trombone moment.
Still, feeling good. Let's go Mahogany, a third of the way (almost) done!
I love apple and egg white time.....but man are there nights when I look at the apple and think, quite simply "f*ck you apple." They get very boring after 3-4 days and eating becomes work, and I work enough at....you know....work.
So Kenzai rockstar Helen L gave me the best piece of advice when I was on KB1......bake the apple. Just put it in the oven for 10-12 minutes at, like, 200-250 ish (Fahrenheit....I think that is like....400 or -23 or something in Celsius) and eat it right away. I had totally forgotten about this until my wife reminded me, and I wanted to share this great tip with everyone. Good luck everyone!
So as I have noted here a few times, I have been dealing with this calf injury, fighting off some kind of chesty illness and having some sub-optimal life events through the first 4 weeks of the program. Over the last two weeks I have been working out, but I have not been "WORKING OUT" and I have been dieting but I haven't been nailing it.
I'm also goal obsessed. I don't do well when I don't set measurable goals....I am not very clever like that. But with the effort I was putting into them, I couldn't bring myself to click off on the "I DID IT!" link on the workouts; I wasn't doing any skipping (I was walking, which is the Dane Cook of exercise) and I was really not feeling as if I was pushing myself. This isn't some type-A exercise freak talking here, I was feeling mediocre physically so I would use lighter bands, I would do the min number of reps, I would take 5 minutes between sets.....whatever.
So I have been committing some Kenzai sins....now that I am at full strength I have been adding in extra exercises at the end of each workout (well.....actually...the beginning), doing one or two sets of each exercise in a workout where I sucked in the last few weeks. I have to admit, it has felt fantastic. While I have not slept as much as I would like this week due to work, I have been sleeping like a baby.
Skipping has felt decent. I am still not in "Day 25 Kenzai" skipping shape, but yesterday I did 1200 skips and felt decently well. The calf felt fine, so I will gently increase over the course of the next few weeks until I catch up.
Diet has been lazy, and that is on me. My dog (110 lbs and not very smart) walked into my legs as I was pulling a huge container of ratatouille out of the fridge on Monday, spilling my prepared veg all over the floor. A Kenzai warrior would have shaken this off and moved to other vegetables and not sweat it. I ended up sprucing up the rest of the plate and eating mediocre raw vegetables, and the sprucing ended up with me eating outside of plan a few times. Nothing crazy, but not where I wanted to be.
Very excited for the coming week. I love the apple and egg white period. I find that it is when I am the most focused and also when things really happen. Good luck everyone!!!!
So I have been on a Kenzai program now for about 260 days of my life - formally, this does not include periods when I re-do KB1 for 45 days or something comparable. Yesterday my wife mentions to me that things are clearly getting serious as I have no carbs at dinner now, which is a shame as we still have the last if the winter CSA potatoes to eat.
Being the kind, benevolent Kenzai guy, I patiently explained to my (physician) wife that in fact, potatoes are a vegetable, not a carb. The poor potato has suffered from poor PR, but on Kenzai the potato is treated with proper respect.
So with great diligence and care, my wife grilled me up a small steak, perfectly weighed, and served it with the perfect amount of.....mashed....potatoes. With butter. So yesterday was not a perfect.
Today was a great day, but also a day where I ended up being out of the house somewhat unexpectedly at lunch time, so I had to eat an eyeballed Kenzai lunch at the cafe where I met my client. Good effort, but not perfect. Exercises went very well today, I really hit them hard and went slow with the returns. I am not 100% recovered from this cold/flu/blech, but I am real close.
My calf is feeling 97% better so I am going to try skipping for 10 minutes tomorrow. My resting heart rate is now at 60 - from 57 at the start of the program - so the layoff from the rope hasn't had a horrible impact, but I want to get back to skipping in the worst way. Walking sucks.
It seems like everyone is doing pretty darned well! I realize that there is no "winning" in Kenzai per se...but let's be honest. We Mahoganians are beating all the other groups in this program and all other programs.
I have always had a quirky physical attribute wherein I can work like a bear for weeks on end and stay completely healthy, but then as soon as the stressful period ends I will get massive exhaustion or illness. Over beers, a doctor once explained it to me as my body pretty much responding to stress perfectly (I was buying the beers.....), waiting until everything was done and then going into massive shutdown. This dates back to University when I would somewhat routinely fall ill at the end of finals in the winter, or just spend 16 hours a day sleeping in a hibernation state for 4-5 days in the summer, and has stayed with me throughout my life.
The respiratory illness that I thought I had kicked about a week ago resurfaced again last week once I had gotten through a bunch of stressful life events. This sucked. I ended up not really being able to work out over the weekend (I did work out, but I really didn't do well at all), and I ate OK, but not great. I just wasn't hungry at meals, and then I was tired, and then I ate healthily, but not as Kenzai as I wanted.
On the plus side, I woke up today feeling 95% better and pretty aggressive on Kenzai. Despite having a ton going on today I will be shocked if I don't end up with a perfect for the day, and I have nice plans in place for the week. I hope all is well with everyone!
Generally smooth sailing, but in all three days I ended up having dinners that weren't Kenzai, but close. I had to eat out on day 17 and 18 and am eating a fancy dinner my son has to make for a course he is taking on day 19. I would give myself a "B" for diet compliance over the last three days, but at a time where I was really hoping to rack up an A+.
Workouts are going smoothly as well. I definitely felt the extra set of push ups, particularly when the set of tricep dips came up. I wake up in the morning and I feel the prior day's workout.
I am very close to my week 3 target in terms of weight and general "where I am at," but need to get back on the rope. Walking is boring me senseless. Good luck everyone!!!
Day 16 ran smooth. I had a perfect going until the very end of the night when I started to go mildly hypoglycaemic, so I was 4-5 dried dates off of a perfect. It was a bit of a "Blargh" moment as I had exercised good discipline throughout the day, and had felt very Kenzai, but we need to avoid going to the ER too. The recent stress has made it a bit harder to control my blood sugars well as I adapt to Kenzai, so I guess this was a price I ended up paying.
Wishing I could get back on the rope. Walking is a huge time suck and I love the way I feel at the end of the workouts that start with rope sessions. The diet yesterday felt great. I was hungry within 30 minutes of every mealtime but felt nicely full after each meal and snack. It is starting to feel like my body is getting Kenzai'd. Not much more to say, but good luck everyone!!
Yesterday was a good day. I wasn't perfect but I was very close on the diet.
I am being a bit gentle with the calf issue. I took a 20 minute walk to stretch it out, but we are in a stretch of cold winter rain at the moment, so I limited it to that. However, I did all of the floor exercises. I ended up sliding a bit backwards in terms of weight over the weekend with the non-compliant meals, but I woke up this morning hungry for breakfast and feeling like I was re-setting nicely.
Today (Day 16) is off to a great start and should go well. I am shooting for a perfect to really get my head in the game. The calf still has some residual pain, but I am going to try and walk a bit further on it. My cardio was good coming into the program as I had been jumping rope regularly for the last year, but I was hoping to end the program with a resting heart rate in the 40s (I am currently at 58, and had it down to 53 for a long while last spring, but just couldn't get over the hump). I'm feeling a bit restless to get back on the rope.
Great to see all the progress everyone is making, and thanks again for all the kind words on my blog over the last week. Very appreciated.
So this weekend was tremendously taxing for the reasons I wrote about in my last post. Having two separate friends lose 21 year old children in the span of two weeks has been painful. I am one of those folks who deals with my own pain a lot better than I process the pain of others.
Over the weekend I was a very annoying bouillabaisse of:
- Depression. Spent a lot of time doing the "stare off into the distance and be glum" move.
- Volatility. Let my emotions carry my decision making a few times, which is not how I like to be.
- Restlessness. Ended up doing two workouts on Saturday (only one jump rope) because I couldn't keep my legs, body or mind still.
- Ineffectiveness. Tried to immerse myself in tasks on Sunday and couldn't make any progress on anything.
In the end, I went for the comfort of sitting down and having a nice dinner with family and friends on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to try to get back on track. It wasn't Kenzai, but it got me to where my head needed to be at the end of each day. I had a few beers on Saturday night and Sunday night, but only a few. In the end, I would say that I was a C- on Kenzai each day. I ate Kenzai through lunch, but then drifted every day. To add to this, I did something to my calf - it feels like a strain of some sort - while skipping on Saturday after getting a massage, so I am going to go off the rope this week and move to alternative cardio. That is a shame because I actually enjoy jumping rope.
With all of this downer post.......I am feeling a bit more "back" today. While I am a very kindly baked slice of banana bread from my neighbor away from a perfect today, I am in good shape to finish the day strong.
I love weeks 3-5 in Kenzai as we build up the calorie furnace in our bodies. Best of luck everyone!