Cece Aiello

Cece Aiello

Kenzai Member

My teammates inspire me so dang much.

From Elissa, I learned a new breakfast sandwich combo to try for tomorrow morning. From James, I was reminded to give blood. From Ward, I was shown what cool couples do together. This was just in the last 3 days.

From Jess, I'm inspired to learn how to do a handstand. Found some tutorials so hopefully, I'll be able to debut my handstand before the end of the 90 days.

For my alternative cardio today, I had planned to ride the bike around the neighborhood. Then I got outside and looked at the bike (my landlord's) and I realized, holy crap- I don't actually know how to ride a grown up bike! One with an elevated seat! And gears! It's embarrassing but I didn't even know how to begin climbing onto the monster. My short legs made touching the ground with my feet impossible. Impossibly scary. Clearly, I have some fears to work through in terms of the metal beast. So for my second goal, I'd like to learn how to ride a grown up bike... and while I'm at it with the bike, I'd like to learn how to pedal standing up, a move that I've long envied in others. Believe me, I know how elementary this goal is but hey, if I want it to stick, I have to make it public.

We all know that a byproduct of working hard and following the KB2 program is a banging physique (yes please) but it'll be up to me to bring together athleticism with a fit body. Yes, I'm looking forward to being able to say I can do 5 sets of 20 pushups and skip rope for a million minutes but I'm more looking forward to how that translates into the the handstand and riding a bike.

Post KB1/PCP, I kept the good eating habits and clean diet for the most part-ish. I've continued to workout regularly but it was often very sterile and compartmentalized (not counting my brief but heavy flirtation into Muay Thai). So for my 3rd goal, I'd like to make an even deeper shift in my lifestyle- to finding joy and fun in being active. This encapsulates my first 2 goals I know, but this is kinda the granddaddy of it all. Practice makes perfect, right?

Excited to start the real diet tomorrow and how that's going to impact date night with the Professor. Over the course of several dates, we've so far bonded over our mutual appreciation for his wine collection and his bloody fantastic culinary skills. Homemade pasta, rib eye steaks (medium rare with a coffee rub), paired wine (one for each course, naturally and don't get me started on the dessert wine)... so beginning this week, it's going to get interesting. And real. Real interesting.


Thanks for leading the charge James! Went and gave blood today- the phlebotomist who took my blood said I was healthy as a horse. Yay! Afterward, they make you stay in the rest area where THE ONLY snacks are Oreos, Hot Coco, Chex Mix, and fruit juice concentrate. Now I understand that they're trying to give me a quick dose of sugar and carbs- but damn, lets not kill the "heroes" who are giving blood with a poor snack options.

Workouts been getting done first thing in the morning followed by a Kenzai approved breakfast. Soft boiled egg plus eggwhite plus veggies plus avo on toast plus a poor man's cafe au lait (microwaved 200 gm of milk + coffee). I can eat this everyday... oh wait, I do. I'm going to miss my AMAYW veggies.

Have a date tonight, we're firing up the grill for steak and veggies as he wanted to be supportive of my clean eating. We'll call him The Professor. We'll see if there are more stories to tell about him soon enough.


Jump rope jam that got me over the hump at the 5 minute mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

Mighty fine to find myself here as a trainee! The timing couldn't be more perfect. I feel so emotionally, mentally, and physically ready for this awesome commitment.

So stats (as we all know I'm kinda a numbers brat):
weight: 134 lbs
waist: 27 inches

I ended Reboot in July at 138 lbs and have continued to drop a few more pounds as a result of the Breakup Diet, the younger, less committed sister of the Divorce Diet but still pretty bitchy.

It's what happens when you realize that the only thing that stops you from wallowing in poor decision making is work and well... work. Exercise went out the door as did normal eating habits. I didn't eat junk.. I just didn't eat. There's no time for eating or exercising when there's 15 hour work days to be had! And whiskey, because that's what friends are for.

Goals for KB2? Not really here for weight loss this time around- but let's see how toned I can get! And always working towards my life goal of doing a pull up. I would give up cheese for the rest of my life if it means I could pull my body weight up and over a bar.

Haven't touched the rope (or weights or bands) since early July so appreciating the slow ramp up.

Over and out!

(My jump rope corner in SLO, California... pretty sweet, even on an overcast day. )

New Moon, New Regime

With a mixture of anticipation, fear, excitement I clicked "submit"- I am onboard with KBII!

Watching the inaugural class of trainees go through the program so far has been nothing short of inspiring. Those kids are sweating it out, tearing it down, partying it up! Do I have what it takes to play? I've done it before but circumstances were different.

For one, a boyfriend and I completed KBI together- but this round I will be going it alone- Welcome to Singledom! It was easy to be a social hermit and stay on course when one's partner was home with you popping egg whites and munching on veggies. Now? Well, dating and meeting new people is fun... and a priority. I really don't want to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs on Friday nights for the next 3 months but what will Dating While Training look like?

How does one date without the ancient rituals of breaking bread and raising a cup of conscious altering beverage together? Fine, buck the trend and go hiking, go kayaking, go walk a dog. How many activity dates can one go on??? The sharing of glorious meals and libations are embedded in the social DNA across many cultures for a reason right? And here's the question that may lie at the heart of all this- how to juggle the desire for social/ romantic connections without sacrificing training goals? These and more questions shall be tackled. I am firmly in the camp that life has to be lived fully and deliciously at all times- no pause button! Though perhaps there is much to be said about seasons? I will report back.

But what better way to usher in Q4 and all that a new regime can embody? Looking forward to structure, reaching for the sky, and general badassery for the next 90 days with a crew of likeminded folks.

T minus 5 days. Time to take some selfies for the Nutrition Master.

ReBoot Complete! 

ReBoot delivers on exactly what it promised it would- I got back to a great rhythm with the diet and workouts in 28 days. The community support was huge and it was great to experience that again firsthand as a trainee. It was so much fun to do it with my fellow trainers.

I was not a perfect trainee but I am *super* happy with my gains and this journey! Perfectionism and bean counting tendencies were things that got highlighted in my first PCP journey so it's been a great lesson in learning how to be ok with myself when things don't go as planned this time around.

My starting stats:
146 lbs
waist: 29.5"

ReBoot Finish stats:
138 lbs
waist: 27"

Oh yea, those Hong Kong pants I mentioned on Day 1 of Reboot? They fit AMAZING again, Mission Accomplished!

Day 24- New Jump Rope Tunes

Not really tunes... but a podcast! Not sure why it didn't occur to me before.

Terry Gross (of NPR fame) has been plugging TED RadioHour pretty hardcore the past few weeks so I finally gave it a try. It's no RadioLab but engaging enough for me to keep that rope turning without the usual bout of boredom for 19 minutes (and three 20-second breaks). Podcasts & skipping rope- This is a whole new world!

My favorite podcasts:
1. RadioLab
2. This American Life
3. FreshAir
4. Invisibilia
5. PlanetMoney
6. Death, Sex, & Money

Day 23- Missing in Action

What can I say friends? I've fallen a bit off the wagon- I've let personal stuff get in the way of my training. At the end of the day, what is more important- a fitness program or saving a relationship? But ah, that is not the real question.

The real question is who is more important? Not, "what is more important?" The question, as cliche as it is, is- do I put myself first?

It's interesting the trade offs we make in an effort to salvage what we kinda know needs to be released. Food, bad habits, relationships. The lessons of Kenzai actually goes beyond the getting fit and strong. Do we as trainees, as people, as individuals commit to ourselves first? Physically, mentally, emotionally.

This has been a good lesson for me. Not really one I wanted learn necessarily on this stage but here it is all the same. Here I go, picking up mentally where I left off mid last week and determined to end strong! For me. Go Team!


BOOM! I think this is from 10th or 11th grade. Yay braces! Yay marching band!

Did I mention that the only reason why I joined marching band was to get out of gym class? Yep, I hated exercising THAT MUCH. I really meant it when I said Kenzai Body changed my life 3 years ago.


It's July 4th and I woke up at 6:30 am to get my workout done before hitting the road to Santa Barbara for some fun with friends. If I wasn't on ReBoot there'd be exactly 0% chance that would have happened. Apples and eggs packed, Trader Joe's packaged salads purchased. I'm ready!

I've been planning for my Week 2 challenge since I knew SB was in the works, but alas! Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Oft' Go Astray. The place was closed for Fourth of July! Oh Shop Cafe, you disappoint me. What's more American than working on America's birthday? So rolling with the punches, and went to a Thai spot down the street.

The jump rope is getting easier, in the sense that 16 minute of jumping seems to be getting shorter. Those brain grooves are being repaved. No brake here!

Day 10: A Quickie

Been 95% on the workouts and diet so far this week (forgot my evening veggie snack last night)... though with July 4th around the corner, I can feel the brain already trying to justify my love for all desserts decked out in Red, White, & Blue colors.

I'm enjoying the extra dose of egg whites (2!!!!) for dinner. I've been taking them raw or omelet style.

Anyone else struggle with INSANE "gassy feelings of fullness" from hardboiled egg whites? Like, 8-hour long bouts of bloatedness! It can't be just me??!!

Body felt a bit sore for the first time today, yea baby, bring it on!

This is the story of a girl who learned how to jump rope. I remember the day when it finally clicked and I was able to jump rope like a normal person. The date was June 4, 2014. I remember it because I posted about it on Facebook (it's not real unless you post it on social media). I remember how exhilarating it felt, how proud I was of my body, and how much I appreciated having a teacher that knew what I needed to get over the hurdle.

June 2014, this was a full 2 years after I completed Kenzai Body. I spent the entire duration of Kenzai Body doing double bounces on every turn of the rope. Like a little kid that was just learning to skip rope. To say I looked ridiculous is to put it mildly. Friends would ask why I was double bouncing and I could only wail "I can't help it!"

I thought if I just kept skipping, I'll eventually stop the bunny hopping, but that never happened. 1 year went by. Then almost 2. Because of the double bounce, I could never get that rope turning that fast so I was always stuck doing a very moderate pace, I think the fastest I got up to was maybe 80-90 skips a minute.

But that all changed when I joined a martial arts gym here in San Luis Obispo. The jump rope is pretty important in martial arts warm ups for reasons unknown to me (convenience factor?) and my Kru (teacher) devised a plan to get my skips up to speed. And it wasn't to just keep skipping. I needed to pause and retrain my body & brain on how it responded to the rhythm of the rope.

So I spent 3 months not actually skipping rope at all. Instead, my Kru had me fold the rope in half, hold both the handles in one hand and turn the rope on the side as I jumped up and down, as if I was actually jumping rope. Alternate hands, while making the rope turning motion on both sides. I got weird looks a lot.

But you know what, 3 months of this and it worked! I nearly cried that day when I started to jump rope and I didn't do the bunny bounce! I never thought I'd be able to turn the rope and go fast like everyone else. I was also amazed at the brain's ability to be rewired and how adaptable it was, I just needed some fresh instructions. Everyone needs a teacher.

Today my pace is about 135 skips a minute although I do trip quite often. Even though I can only go about 2 minutes without tripping, I am still jazzed that I can do that at all and at a good clip too!

So yesterday's lesson on picking an alternative cardio.. well- that hit home. I had plans to go hiking but that got sidetracked so I headed to the gym (sometimes I get resentful that as a woman it's not super cool for me to go hiking by myself). 12 minutes on the treadmill and I was pretty much toast. I like the challenge of having to do a different form of cardio 1 day a week. While I do struggle with all forms of cardio, I do not take my ability to jump rope for granted. Not at all. I wonder what's next?


Call me a freak, but I like to workout in my room. And with a view like that, it ain't so bad.

I like the softer surface of the laminate flooring. I like not having sweaty headphones. I like the convenience. I like the privacy. I like the view. I like it all.

3 sets of 5 minute rope is fine physically. Mentally, I'm still trying to find that zen spot but it's been elusive. I'll keep turning the rope, although not sure how I will fare when the sets get longer next week. It's like meditation, I know I just gotta relax into it and not judge the experience. I feel like the sense of boredom and impatience are just internal resistance... it's something I should be able to get through.

Day 3: Done & Dusted

Excited for the party to REALLY get started with the diet that kicks off tomorrow. Back I go to eating 4-7 times a day. After Kenzai Body, I've experimented with different eating schedules and I learned that I prefer to eat fewer times with larger portions. It just works better for me in terms of cravings and not go overboard on snacking. Once I start, it's hard to stop! But I do love me some structured diet and I can do the Kenzai meal schedule for 25 days.

My diet hasn't been terrible (ribs? bacon? I don't know what you're talking about) and I've lived and breathed much of the Kenzai nutrition philosophy probably 70% of the time over the last 3 years since I completed Kenzai Body. I still fit in to the pants that I had tailored for me in Hong Kong after I finished Body but truth be told, it's getting a little tight.

The ReBoot exercises for these first few days has been breezy for the most part (as it is designed to be) and I've kicked it up to 12 minutes on the rope after Day 1 (peer pressure is real). But confession- the 4th set of crunches today was a tad painful. Yep, you guessed it- I also kicked out much of abs-specific work out in the last 2 months or so. Its.Just.So.Annoying. But as I've embraced the rope, I know abs and I will get friendly real quick.

Left to my own devices, any workout that isn't super fun is torturous and I swear time slows down when I'm doing it. But somehow if it's laid out in clean horizontal color blocks and Pat's face is on it, I'm all IN and the s**t gets done real quick!

My starting stats:
146 lbs
waist: 29.5"
hips: 37

Here's my Day 1 , Day 90, and Day 1 Reboot side by side. I love me so pixel proof of change.
I don't have any specific goals except to push as hard as I can on all fronts and ride the momentum to more gains after ReBoot. Ok that's a lie, I'd like those HK pants to fit real well again. REAL WELL.

It's New Beginning!

So much to say, so little time.

Like Jess, I too was beyond excited for Day 1 of ReBoot. So excited that I inexplicably awoke from a deep slumber at 3 am and decided to reach for my smartphone to read my Day 1 lesson and workouts.

Thank you Patrick for managing my expectations and setting realistic goals. While I may not get those 6 pack abs (or so you say), I know this is going to be an awesome ride.

Completed workout in 20 minutes (had to stop and read instructions of Rocking Lunges... rookie mistake) Will post Day 2 measurements and Week 1 photo tomorrow!

I was pleasantly surprised that I was not dead by the end of the rope sesh. But that may change once I start pushing into the double digits time frame. Yea yea, I only aimed for 9 minutes of rope. Guys, I'm easing into this, OK? I had drastically cut down my cardio in the last few months due to a new life philosophy I adopted: ONLY DO THINGS THAT I WANT TO and/or FUN. Spoken like a true wanna-be millennial. I hate cardio so I only did the bare minimum per week and focused my time on strength and conditioning because lifting heavy things is FUN. But I am here to rekindle my love affair with the rope and go for gold.

In the meantime, I may or may not have pork ribs on the grill for that last supper. Here's a shot of my weekend hurrah- kayaking in Morro Bay and Surf & Turf dinner (no buttah!).

Kenzai Life

My first time doing a Kenzai Life workout... also first time working out in about 10 days. Wow, it hurt! I had been keeping active with other forms of exercise for the past few years but am looking forward to incorporating some steady Kenzai back into my workout routine!

I did the skips second thing out of bed (first thing is to try meditating for 5 minutes, operative word being TRY... another post coming about that) and re-learned a valuable lesson: Do not skip bare foot! I now have two baby blisters on each of my big toes as mementos. Got the rest of the exercise done later on in the day, had to regress several of the movements- including the push ups and the shoulder workouts (prior injury). No ego there, I am where I am. I know I hadn't been focused on my chest workouts for the past couple of months and I've been letting my shoulder heal.

After finishing up with some glute work, felt like a superstar! Love how once I start exercising, I always inevitably feel like I can conquer the world and accomplish anything I want.

Jun 8th, 2017





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