As you work through the Kenzai programs you tick off little achievements. Its important to celebrate these little wins - they are the tops of little hills that for one reason of another you were uable to climb previously. Each little hill you climb lets you see a bigger, more ambitious mountain to summit. Put another way, each of these achievements adds another thread to the armor of confidence that you build over these programs.
Not to get too lost in metaphors, tonight I ticked off an important little win. I ran (ran/walked and stood in incredibly long toilet lines is a fairer description) the Tokyo marathon on Feb 24th 2013 and then broke my leg 5 months later. I did basically nothing then until KB1 last September. Tonight I had my longest run since the marathon, almost 6km, for my free cardio. It was very liberating. I just started jogging aimlessly, not too quick, around 6 min/kms for the running geeks. I didnt really have a specific goal, just kept going until I needed to slow down to rest which was 12 minutes in (another record since then). Then I picked a destination, made it there, and added a slightly further destination. Ran a few easy intervals to make up the last 5 minutes. It was a very satisfiying feeling.
What little personal wins have people had on this program?
Onwards and upwards,
I finished reading this book this week. Its a very interesting look at how habits, both good and bad, are formed and occaisionally broken. It got me thinking about what habits I have made and not made over the course of KB1 and now KB2.
- breakfast: I now make breakfast pretty religiously. Fried egg, tomato, avocado and some sort of toast. I can make it quickly and regardless of the time of day I get up I make it and eat it
- exercise: I have tended to exercise at night, often late. I have known for some time this was something I would have to address. I missed Thursday night as I found out late afternoon I would need to prepare for something urgently on Friday morning. I can blame the late notice but the reality is that if I had exercised earlier in the day I wouldnt have missed. Today I exercised late morning and I will working to bring this earlier as time goes on. Changin habits takes time but if I can nail this its another step on the road to long term consistency
- cooking: I can cook quickly and efficiently (though potentially somewhat boringly [is that a word?]). What I dont have a good system for is cleaning up after myself and hence there are always dishes. I need to fix this too
What habits have people formed for the better (or worse) and which habits have people struggled to break?
In other news, I had an ok week. I missed Thursday night as I wrote and Saturday and Sunday were replaced by snowboarding. I was extremely tired and getting back Monday night I couldnt will myself to get out and do the Monday session. I am going to see if I can double up this week (I know thats anti-Kenzai, the Kenzai gods will live and I am not sure if I can do it). Food was perfect until Friday and about 85% over the weekend as I needed to eyeball stuff but I didnt eat anything off plan (which includes the amazing looking pizza my family ate as we left the ski resort on Monday evening while I nibbled on green salad).
Onwards and upwards.
Finally broke my first rope. The culmination of few jumps and a shatload of trips. Celebrate this glorious day
Now I just need my crossrope to arrive so I can stop using the super crap spare rope I have.
I am a boring cook. The world seems to be full of foodies who eat all sorts of this and that. Despite spending 11 of the past 17 years overseas I can happily eat pretty similar food every day and be very happy.
Which brings me to the secret to making just about everything better:
cracked black pepper.
The following is all better with cracked black pepper: steak, fish, chicken, tomatoes, avocado, potato, onion. Just about everything I can think to cook. Love it.
Hope you are all well
Apologies for being a rubbish blogger. I tend to blog less when I feel I am not going well (see below) and that is something that I need to improve at.
A pretty mixed last week or so but back on track now. Missed a 4 work outs in HK/Japan late in the week/over the weekend but spent 2 and a half days in deep power on a snowboard and did a decent amount of walking in deep snow which was hard work. So not perfect on the daily front but probably about even on the exertion front. Didnt eat perfectly and had the odd drink over the time but was probably 80% compliant otherwise. Back on track this week and been pretty much 100% spot on since Tuesday.
Exercise feels pretty good. Skipping feels the best it has since I started and although I cant go a really long time I feel I have better control. I think my biggest problem was hand positioning so I have been focussing on tidying that up. Non-skipping exercise feels good, enjoying the legs and feeling strong for now which is great. I am not looking forward to the pushups (guessing that was in the sessions I missed last week, too scared to look) as they were my nemesis along with skipping in KB1.
Didn't realise it was indugence day - bonus. I had a couple of smallish glasses of beer over lunch and a little chocolate and a little Japanese milk pudding from the combini (convenience store). Before KB1 I ate one of these puddings pretty much every day....good times....ah well, I am fitter than I was.
I am seeing a bit of improved definition in my chest and upper arms and can see where some fat has come off of my gut (where it meets the chest) which is positive.
Hope everyone is well.
Today was awesome. It snowed in Tokyo. It only snows once a year or so and not everyone loves it but I reckon it’s great.
Downside was I flew to HK and my plane was a couple of hours late taking off so now I am in wan chai trying to find some relatively compliant food at midnight. Found a Thai place which excepting the oyster sauce and the salt is gonna have to be close enough. Hope everyone is well.
Decent week all in. I have family visiting so ate out a bit and had to eyeball the grams but should be pretty close. missed a day but doubled up. Will go for a late night run tonight for my alternative cardio.
Pretty challenging week coming up, 3 days in HK and then straight back and straight to the snow for 3 days. Quite a bit of kenzai is likely to be swapped for snowboarding over that time but I will try to stay as on point with the diet as possible.
Apologies on the pics, I just got start and week 2 up. I missed week 1 which I am annoyed about but given how week 1 went I am pretty happy to just still be moving.
Hope everyone is going well - see you all in the blogs
So week 1 of KB2 did not go as originally planned. A significant an unplanned work gyration threw everthing completely off course. Missed the workouts from Wednesday to Sunday. Had a big night out on Thursday as I met some people related to the issues the previous day.
Bad start, but done now and time to move on.
On the plus side, with the significant exception of Thursday night, my food was pretty well on point the whole time.
This week has started better, workouts on Monday and Tuesday where on point. Despite some crazy procrastination - I exercised around midnight both nights - skipping felt solid and it was good to get it done. The workouts have been shorter than I expected which has helped me get through given my poor start.
Team - apologies for not being on the blogs, I was a bit jaded and embarassed to be honest. Things are never completely smooth sailing and hopefully its a bit less choppy going forward but none of that is an excuse for being a bad teammate.
Onwards and upwards
Nice light workout last night which given my lazy December is good. Skipping was a rubbish as ever, I should hire a tutor or something.
Slipped back ok into the food - avocados, tomatoes and black pepper on pretty much everything - though I have shifted to poaching rather than frying my eggs for now. Had some greek yogurt after my workout, its sooooo goood (and after I after I actually looked at the price....best not look at that again). Bananas on my desk at work, professional healthy eating just staring at me now. I am gonna eat one. Peace
Happy New Years all.
Had a lazy December so looking forward to getting into Kenzai Body 2. Can’t wait to meet my new team and smash the next three months.
Best thing I have done in 2017 GRADUATION POST
Every year I like to try to do something new, something I haven't achieved in the past. This year my achievement has been to learn about my body, fitness and food.
I have always been a lazy eater. Kenzai has taught me how to take notice of what I eat. I learned how to pick a decent avocado, got more confident in the kitchen (even though I mostly stuck to my lifelong cooking motto of "if it cant be fried, it cant be cooked"). I used a lot of pepper, some oregano and garlic. I will take the Kenzai Kitchen course next year to follow this up. Overall I liked the food though, didnt struggler with sugar cravings like I thought I might or really miss beer. Toughest part was probably social situations (lunch/dinner/drinks). Some people find it really odd you're not drinking beer with them or dont eat half of your rice.
Didnt drop some of the crazy weight that some people did. Weighed myself yesterday and came in at 80.2kg, down from 84.7 that I started at (I understand that weight fluctuates). Having said that, I lost a ton of fat off my gut, developed the beginnings of a v-shaped torso, put on muscle in my arms, chest and shoulders and have nice tight calves from the skipping. I know that I was 25.8% body fat when I started. If I have lost 4.5kg of fat and put on 2kg of muscle that pushes my body fat down to around 19%. I will try to find somewhere to do a rough estimate on it this week. I have gotten a lot of really positive comments and the fat loss is clear just from my face. So super hapoy with the results on my body overall. Next stage is to get fitter and stronger and drive my body fat down.
Fitness and exercise
By far the toughest part for me. I hadnt done anything for four years* and so getting back into aerobic and strength work was extremely tough it started tought throughtout. I had never done jumprope before and so I moved from completely rubbish to still not very good but better by the end of the program. The headaches in the first couple of weeks were brutal. While pushups and much of the other upper body stuff were tough throughout, I was ok with the leg stuff. I want to run Spartan next year so there will need to be another significant step up in terms of cardio and body strength work but I am really looking forward to that. I want to be able to do pull ups properly
The 64kg question. I have bought Kenzai membership for 2018 and will take some courses though I havent decided what yet. For the last couple of days I have broken every rule in the book including: chocolate, beer, pizza, Starbucks caramel machiato, curry and fried chicken. It was good but I am nearly over it. I will take a look at the diets and make a final decision but likely aim to be around the medium diet. I enjoyed the food for the most part so this should be fine. Execise I will need to be more conscious about and I will think through that over the next few days. More importantly, it is snow season and I want to get 15 days in fluffy paradise over the next 3 months.
This is an amazing program. At its core, its very simple. Eat good food and do regular exercise. The details though are very clever and the focus on managing your motivation and making the program viable in the long term is the genius. Thank you to the instructors for their encouragement and thoughts. Huge thank you to Team A who we a great help throughout. An apologies to my wife for cooking at midnight.
Onwards and upwards!
* I broke the ball joint in my knee in 2013. Playing Aussie Rules I landed with my leg straight and snapped my knee outward. Basically after hospital, some rehab and hobbling I proceeded to do somewhere between none and stuff all physical activity for the next four years. The knee weighed on my mind throughout this time as well even when it wasnt bothering me. Kenzai helped me to regain confidence in my knee and just to forget about it for periods which was amazing. For the sadists out that, the video of me breaking it complete with sound is out Youtube.
Graduation post to come but really proud to part of such a great group through the 90 days. Just at cheesecake soufflé thingy and some chocolate (first time in 3 months). Going to let my mind rest a bit before I pen my more general thoughts.
Team A we made it.
Look back at your feelings from the first week. What has changed?
I took my original email to the group and commented on some of the things I wrote.
W1: I have never been an exercise nut but kept fit enough, playing some aussie rules and even finishing the Tokyo marathon in 2013. I then proceeded to break my leg quite seriously in mid-2013 and basically havent done much since. I am 6kg heavier than my pre-marathon training weight and 9kg more than when I actually ran. I also got my body fat measured and am just under 26%. I would like to get fitter and stronger, lower my body fat percentage but most importantly been able to sustain it longer term. I also think it will improve my work performance, concentration and general life outlook. I am also a super lazy eater (though thankfully I dont overeat, never seen the point in that) so this will teach me about food. I also wanna be fit for the ski season
-> I have lost about 5kg last time I looked but have clearly lost a decent amout of fat and my body looks much better. I take more notice of food and really enjoy breakfast now (today was an egg, fried mushrooms, tomato and avocado). I discovered greek yogurt and enjoying making food everyday. I am clearly fitter and stronger and have 6 days pure snowboarding in the diary plus what I do with family so hoping to get about 12 days on the snow. I have joined Kenzai for next year and will work out over the week or so what I do between now and my next program. Mood-wise I am more stable with bad things not frustrating me as much as they did. Having a big non-work focus has probably helped me to be more balanced in my general worldview.
W1: I dont have specific goals so much as thoughts. I think I will likely drop around the 10kg and lower my body fat percentage significantly. What is more important is that I develop some habits that, even allowing for some rebound, we keep me eating better and exercising consistently going forward. I also may be able to take my shirt off at the beach
-> havent lost 10kg but my body fat is clearly down. I will talk about going forward more in my graduation post but I have always maintained that is the real trick, continuing the good habits I have built over this course. Barring my borderline albino skin tone I may be able to consider removing my shirt outside of the bathroom.
5. I am a sucker for sweets. Chocolate, little milk puddings from the combini, tiramisu, creme bulee. Love all that stuff. I have dropped most of it this week barring some oreas on Tuesday and I am pretty sure I am having withdrawals
-> oddly enough this has been pretty easy. If I am hungry and go to the shop then the chocolate looks appealing but that is easy to control. I havent eaten any chocolate since I started and have eaten two little puddings both on designated cheat nights
Other random stuff
- I have always liked stretching but the stretching in this program is amazing
- I feel the confidence to do things that I thought were out of the question (such as considering Spartan rather than dismissing it outright and being able to snowboard more seriously again)