Cara R.

Cara R.


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Having a tough time since arriving here in Ziway, Ethiopia for work and here until Thursday. In Addis I had much better food options and a great hotel gym. Here in the rural areas, I’ve been swimming at least at the hotel pool, but food options are so far from plan, so I’m trying to eat lean protein and veg when possible. I can’t get yogurt and asking for egg white or eggs at dinner was a non-starter. I’m doing my best, but this was so not how I wanted my last week to go! 😱😫Trying not to panic. 🙏🏻The bright side is I see differences in my body, even slight changes in my abs, and feel like not all hope is lost.

Last week for my monthly measurements I’d lost another inch in my hips and chest!! The scale is still at the same number so I’m trying to keep an open mind.

What I love about this program is I see results, lost fat, feel better about myself, see healthy eating and fitness as part of my long term life goals, AND I’m ready to keep going.

Hope you all are rocking it better than me this week! GO TEAM CYGNUS!

Photo is of a gorgeous tree at dawn; the Haile Resort in Ziway, Ethiopia.


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Hello everyone! I hope you are all having great weeks going into week 5! This past week was really tough, I’m not gonna lie. My shoulder is killing me and made it really tough to do the full shoulder/back workout and the light dinner was a struggle.

What am I fed up with? The apple, banana, yougurt and egg white dinners were tasty, but 4 out of the 7 nights I was SO hungry even after my veg snack. Mind over matter didn’t always work, so I tried extra veggies, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda over it. The Jumprope too is still killer for me. I get to 500 sometimes 700 and still have to do sets of 100s; after 500 I felt like I was facing a mountain, but I continued. I’m slow and I’m tripping like crazy.

Let’s turn these lemons into lemonade though. While I’m fed up with parts of the training, being honest, I’m fed up with not fitting into 2/3 of the clothes in my closest, of being ashamed of how I let myself go. I’m fed up of letting cravings run me and reach for food in times of stress. I’m fed up with feeling tired, run down, and angry. I’m also fed up with being so ashamed of my appearance so much I wouldn’t wear shorts. Yesterday at a friends BBQ, I put on a pair of shorts I haven’t worn in 3 years! I can fit into them now!

So yeah, I might be fed up right now with Jumprope and light dinners, but I’m in this for the long haul, so just wear the shorts! Training and being healthy is hard, but anything we want in life is hard. So I’m reveling in small successes (like wearing shorts), and gritting my teeth through the tough parts! Let’s do it! Have a great week everyone!


Hello everyone! Happy Monday and welcome to week 2!

I like someone else, missed these messages on guidance on the introduction from last week, so here goes.

About Me: I'm Cara. I live in Lusaka, Zambia where I work as a regional technical adviser on agriculture and livelihoods for an international humanitarian and development agency. I have been living and working in sub-Sarahan Africa for the past 21 years off and on. I love my work and enjoy it so much, but I travel about 50% of the time, so it can be very challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since joining this current job about 4 years ago it has been very tough to stay fit and healthy, especially after our second girl. I'm a mom of a 6 and 2 year old, so I want to be happier and healthier for them, and myself. I'm on this program to change that forever.

2. Two fellow colleagues and friends who are on here on the program and one an assistant trainer encouraged me to join. Their explanation that Kenzai doesn't make me drink crazy concoctions, give up every food imaginable, and I can work out anywhere even in remote hotels and places where I sometimes find myself traveling to for work. That is really what sold me to join.

3. What programs didn't work for me in the past were two things. First, it was working out too hard to the point of injury and not listening to my body. Then following a program that restricted so much food, it was hard to maintain when traveling for work, especially in places in Southern Africa where health food options are quite limited. I need a program that I can follow anywhere and the food options are basic so that they are available most any place.

4. As for my interests, I love to travel, learn about different places, and I love reading travel novels, especially from the Africana diaspora. The latest book I just finished was Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen. It has its controversy but the book was really good. I still think the main message is you can learn so much from people all over the world even in the most remotest of places, especially from people whom you think you have nothing in common. You expect to teach them, but they will teach you so much more. Second, you need very little materials to accomplish great things.

5. A message to myself today and going forward: It's all about the climb. No matter how high the mountain is, or rough the path, the journey is the reward. We just have to stick to the course, or the program, be patient and take it one step at a time. The journey will teach us that we can accomplish anything if we stay the course. We might be slow, but slow and steady wins the race!


Hello everyone, I’m feeling pretty good about the workouts and definitely appreciated the workout smarter every day post to get success. Yesterday I had a really tough time, schedule messed up and by the time I could workout it was 9pm. Before, I would have talked myself out of it, but I said it’s only 20 min max, so I did it! That’s success for sure. The food though and leaving a quarter on my plate is easier at breakfast and harder as the day goes on. I was really hungry today for some reason so I had some of kids Chex Mix snack even after my dinner. Dinner was about 1/2 c jasmine rice with black bean soup and roasted veggies. Great and pretty healthy, but I wasn’t full. I think too because I had fewer calories this morning and afternoon. Anyway I am looking forward to a more strict and smarter eating next week, especially to stave off cravings later in the day and evening. One other success is swing my girls watch me as I exercise and try to mimic me, the they ask me, “Mama, why do you exercise?” I told them because it makes me feel better and it’s good for me. If that isn’t motivation, then what is?


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