Bikini Ready! GRADUATION POST
Project Bikini Body is a phenomenal success. As you can see from my final photo, I'm feeling very bikini-ready and confident to be on the beaches of Palawan and Cebu in June.
There's still a month before we go, so I'm going to keep locked in on the diet with the exception of a couple planned indulgences coming up in late May and early June. I'm going to sneak into the end of the Beach Blast program for the next couple of weeks.
In my real pic below, you can see my progress from January when I was quite fluffy, to the end of Chisel in March, to the end of Kettle Bells now. That's been some consistent dedication, so I'm very proud of myself.
This was a really fun program and I would definitely do it again. I'm excited to try Kettle Bells 2 at some point this year. Thanks to my teammates for pushing me. For Kenzai regulars like Fish, Janet, Naoko, Cecilia, Meghan, Watson and now my cousin June for constantly popping on and encouraging me. Coach Jess - I swear I can feel your positivity and love flowing across the pond and continent and right into my heart - and sweat glands! Thanks for being such a joy to work with.
Whole30 report out - well I've been doing it for 2.5 weeks now because of a work challenge and an opportunity to experiment. The pluses are that I have continued to lose body fat, and that my energy levels have been consistent and high. I will say that without the grains, I get intense cravings for crap food - particularly sweet baked goods like doughnuts and cakes - that I never wanted before. After this experiment, I'll stick with the Kenzai diet approach, although know that Whole30 can be an effective tool for short, focused, fat loss.
My son had his first communion this weekend. As part of it, he had to do his first confession on Saturday - and believe me, that 8 year old has lots of material. AND speaking of confession...
I went through a really strange four-day period in which I refused to do the workouts. After loving this program for five weeks, sailing through it with high motivation, fidelity, and consistency - I just found myself hating the bells. My standard avoidance was to wake up on time, read blogs, check emails, realize it was past my time to get out and workout, make other excuses, and finally when I was way past time, I would say - well I don't have time for the four cycles, so I'll just go for a short, hard run. I did go running 2-3 miles all of these days and one day also did the Silver workout with Mom. I stayed tight on diet. I'm not feeling too bad because I know the whole secret of Kenzai is to stay tight on diet and move everyday. But the psychology of it is weird.
I was back on track this morning - did all four cycles and enjoyed feeling ridiculous doing the primal quadrupedal movements from Day 37 lesson. Clockwise from upper left; I'm a cat, I'm a bear, I do uneven push-ups, I buy healthy foods, I'm a silverback gorilla.
Pic below is my latest progress pic at my most truthful angle - 3/4. I'm feeling confident and beach ready. Project Bikini Body has been effective. These jeans are too loose now. I would like to lose a little more of the body fat in the lower abdomen and love handles. I have exactly one month to do this before the Philippines. I also realize that losing that last 2-5% body fat will be very difficult at my age. I'm going to go for it, but if doesn't happen, I'm feeling beach confident right now.
Just a few more days, K-bell soldiers. Keep on going.
My mom is doing Kenzai Silver. Give her some love - https://kenzai.me/shelleyc/blog
I did her workout with her on Sat (in addition to mine). We cracked up when it was time for pelvic pumps.
Final week of Kettle Bells - feeling strong and in the zone. Let's crush this.
I've been doing double unders all week to make the speed work interesting. 17 is my record. Often I trip as early as 1.
I've been consistently stretching on this program. This is very different from my first two years of Kenzai when I never stretched. But I made sure to do at least three of the post-workout stretches. This pic is one of my faves- the typists stretch. So good for those of us who spend too much time at a computer.
I had been really flowing in this program - nailing every exercise and staying on diet without much temptation or work. Unfortunately, my big indulgence last week threw me off a little and I've been cheating here and there throughout the week. Nothing major - but I know these ghost calories will slow my progress, especially in this homestretch. Time to hunker down.
On the Whole30 program, I'm not allowed grains. The last pic is my new version of avocado toast. Delicious.
There may have been a lot of wine.
Bestie Kenzai trainer Malia visited this weekend, which means I worked out hard and I indulged hard. The wine started at brunch and kept flowing through dinner. It was kind of a perfect day. Chisel workout (as you can see - we dare to frog walk and yahoo jump in public), followed by amazing brunch including this incredible grilled zucchini bread with whipped butter (that counts as breakfast veggies, right?), and sparking rose (which is a fruit snack, right?), then a bike ride through Golden Gate park that somehow ended at a wine bar. We made it home to scream at the television - cheering on the University of Hawaii men's volleyball team in the national championships (Malia knows the names of all the players - cougar much?). Unfortunately they lost but with a valiant effort. Then off to a fantastic dinner including my husband with - yep, more wine, amazing roast chicken and shoestring fries. If you're going to indulge, go hard, right?
Nursing a hangover now, but heading out with Malia for Sunday cardio run.
Back on track now - let's go hard these last two weeks.
We are halfway through Kettle Bells?! I feel like I'm just getting warmed-up. Although the jump to four cycles this week was a strong signal that shit got real. I'm generally feeling good, at ease, and flowing in this program. Compared to Chisel, I'm not sweating as much or running out of breath, so I feel like the cycles are harder there. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying throwing a canon ball around - esp the swing.
So a departure from program: a bunch of coworkers are engaging in a Whole30 challenge throughout the month of May and I've decided to join them. I researched the Whole30 diet and it's basically a Kenzai diet except ZERO grains, ZERO dairy, but one is allowed oils and nuts. There isn't amount restriction or gram measurement (which is obviously a problem from a results perspective), but I know my Kenzai portions well, so I'll eyeball things according to my Kenzai meals. From a trainer perspective, it's a good opportunity for me to test something out there that is popular right now. As an athlete, I'm not afraid of carbs, so I think the no grains policy is foolish, but it's just a month. I'll report back with thoughts and results throughout the month. Below is a pic of my Whole30 (also Kenzai kompliant) steak frites dinner. Fries were just potatoes cut into fry shape and then sauteed in avocado oil with spices.
5:01 Coffee, check email, wait to poop so I can workout
5:40 Success! Now head outside to do Kettle Bell workout
6:25 Head inside so husband can head out to workout
6:30 Meditate 10 mins (yes, my Mind practice is still going)
7:00 Make avocado toast with side of veggies, make breakfast for the baby, get myself dressed, get the baby dressed, wake the bigger one up, wake the bigger one up again, scream at the bigger one to get out of bed or bribe him that if he gets up and gets ready on his own he can watch one episode of Wild Kratts, feed the bigger one, get the bigger one dressed, my hair brushed, the bigger one's hair brushed, everyone's teeth brushed, yell "Okay everyone shoes on, we are out the door in 2 minutes, 10 minutes later yell, "why the hell aren't you ready we are supposed to out the door," kiss husband and bigger one goodbye for their walk to school, walk the baby to the nanny's house, kiss the baby good bye, get on the bus and head to work.
Today was the first really warm day of spring in San Francisco. So I busted out one of my favorite Kenzai recipes; S--- on Rice. It was actually salmon on quinoa. This "recipe" can be made with any protein, grain and combination of veggies. Because it's a great hot day dish, you don't even need to reheat veggies that are in the fridge. I roasted salmon, asparagus and broccoli and then brought out leftover quinoa, sweet potatoes, roasted onions, and spiral zucchini. Everyone decides what they want in their bowl, and then chooses spices and vinegars and decides how they want to flavor their bowl. Delicious, easy, and perfect for warm weather.
I'm loving the pace of the program - can't believe we are almost half way through. The workouts are getting a little longer now with the 5 min jumprope time per cycle. It's taking me about 40 mins plus stretches now. Some of my mid-section fluff has gone, so Project Bikini Body seems on track.
Two years ago, I was in a Kenzai Body 3 program and I got a call from a city social worker. "We have a six week old baby boy, his parents are terminating parental rights, oh - he's the biological brother of your son (adopted six years before)." We met him two days later, and that's the picture here. He moved in with us the week after and the adoption was complete in six months. I switched out of Body and into Reach because I could do all the exercises next to the baby. Trainer Kim Murch and my whole team were amazing supports during that process, and went gaga when I would post my weekly pics in a yoga pose carrying the baby.
Below is him now as a toddler, and with his big brother that he idolizes.
Ok - on to Kettle updates. I'm loving the workouts and they cycles. Last week I was away at a fellowship, where all meals were provided and wine with dinner. I did the workouts every day, and ate clean every meal (they provided steamed veggies with breakfast!) but also indulged in the wine every night. I told myself I would only drink two nights, and that was a best laid plan... you know how the story goes, alcohol is my achilles heel. This week has been much better on the diet front - totally clean, on program eating. I missed two workouts this week because of a crazy workload for both me and husband. That's really uncharacteristic for me, but I'm not worried - exercise is my jam and I've been back on it for the past two days.
Keep rockin' and rolling every body. Happy Easter to those who celebrate. It's a chance to have more egg whites. Stay away from that chocolate stuff.
Jess - I didn't realize you are our trainer. I'm so excited to have you as training partner AND trainer.
1. Where are you in the world and whats the weather like?
San Francisco. We are moving into a great time of year weather wise. Mild, beautiful spring.
2. Are you training with anyone?
Not in person, but I've made many connections online in the Kommunity and I consider them real even though I haven't met these people.
3. Is this the first time you've used kettlebells? If so, what do you think so far?
Yes. The workouts are fine, although they seem a little bit easy so far. I'm sure I'll pay for this comment later. I know Kenzai!
4. What question would you like to ask other members (that they can answer in comments on your blog)?
What are your training weaknesses? How will you overcome them? How can your teammates support you?
Ok, I'm not even going to pretend with y'all. I'm going on vacation in the Philippines in June and it's going to be all beaches all the time. The next two months are all about getting bikini-body ready. I'm not going to use terms like fitness, health, personal growth. April and May are all about looking better (almost) naked.
I've got some assets here. I'm coming off a strong run at Chisel in which I nailed the exercises and was intentionally 80% on diet. I'm feeling in really good exercise condition, injury free, and I'm proud of my musculature - I think the latter will only get better through lifting a cannonball around for six weeks. The main focus for me is mobilizing the fluff around my mid-section. I know that will only come from strict diet over the next 8 weeks (at my age, very strict!). I'm well aware of my weak points here...
ED - NO ALCOHOL! NO OFFICE M&Ms AT 3PM! NO LATE NIGHT POPCORN! NO "BUT I DESERVE THIS" MEALS WITH FRIENDS. So here we go.
I'm challenged in that I'm on the road this week at a Fellowship, and taking my kettlebells was a bit impractical. So I'll be starting off in hotel gyms. I think I can find something to throw around. All meals will be prepared for us this week, but I think I can navigate my way relying on rice, veggies, and some plain meats. I'll just have to accept some extra oil and salt in this first week. I was able to get fairly kompliant breakfasts (shown) at the airport and at my first stop.
Excited to see this crew! Three great teammates I know from prior programs (hey Jess, Barb, Tommy!) and I look forward to getting to know you Andrew, Rouella, Michelle, Robert and Nandini.
Alright let's get to bell-ing.
Round Three Complete GRADUATION POST
Thanks team, for a great run this past six weeks. Special shoutout to Da Fish. I haven't been on a team with you before and you were definitely the soul and head cheerleader of our group with your daily posts and commenting on every single teammate's post.
Chisel has become my favorite and my go to program. There is nothing like it for both feeling like a bad-ass, as well as the efficiency of the workouts.
I attacked all the workouts, and my diet was mostly on target. I definitely stopped the fluff gain that happened through the holidays and during Mind. I didn't drop a full belt notch, but when I squeeze my mid-section the abdominal muscles are closer to the surface.
Final workout was fun, but this time I noticed it was easy compared to the three cycle workouts. In other programs like KB3 the final workout is killer. Interesting choice. Anyways, got out, got it done and then had plenty of time for a two hour nerf gun war with my kids in the beautiful SF spring sun.
I had a couple of indulgent celebratory meals this weekend (Italian! Korean!) and then it's right back on track for the next couple of weeks. I'll be weight focused on my own in the gym until Kettle Bell starts on April 8. I'm excited to try a new program and add another badge - that will be my 100% program this year with the goal of getting in bikini shape for our June trip to the Philippines. Beaches, beaches, everywhere!
Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to have a late lunch near San Francisco with two Kenzai royalty, Watson J who was in from N Carolina on business, and Tahera Z who drove up (over an hour) from San Jose.
I've "known" these two for years on Kenzai. Watson's wife Meghan was on my initial Kenzai Body team (we brought her in on Facetime and that was fun!), and I was Tahera's trainer when she did Body a few years ago, and I think I was her trainer subsequently on Run. There is something special about having the opportunity to meet Kenzai folks in person. You share this connection - commitment to health, lots of egg whites and V-sits, understanding each others likes and dislikes and weaknesses, half-naked pictures every Monday. So you have this connection but there is of course so much you don't know. It was like old friends catching up - which I guess is exactly what we are.
Thanks Watson for organizing this. Here's his take on the experience: https://kenzai.me/watsonj/blog/so-this-happened
Over the past year, three Kenzai lessons have been most influential to me. The ones on sleep hygiene, on injury prevention, and on stress busting. The stress busting lesson came up again late last week, and was a great reminder about the power of flow state. Since reading that lesson a year or so ago, I try to get into flow state a few times a week with activities like playing outside with my kids, getting into nature, raptor bird watching, cooking a favorite recipe (this one is hard to do in an uninterrupted flow state - please see afore mentioned kids).
On Sunday, I was able to get hours of flow-state with a perfect day. My soccer club had its annual intra squad tournament - a series of 4 v 4 games with a randomly drawn team. I played about 150 minutes of soccer. That's a lot. It was with a bunch of great guys so we were flowing all around. Although if one indicator of flow is that you don't pay attention to time, I admit that at the end of the day, I definitely wondered how many more minutes I could go. Happy, tired, and wet from both sweat and rain, I returned home to find that husband and kids were still out. I drew myself a hot bath and then had over an hour to read in the bath tub. I know that every parent reading this blog now wants to stab me in the neck from jealousy.
All that soccer has made the Chisel exercises tough this week, but it's totally worth it.
Another note: Mind ended in mid-February, but I've been going strong on the meditation. I meditate most mornings for 10 minutes.
I'm not actually in the valley, but damn, we've all been there with this damn egg haven't we?
Food game has been on point have Sharm's scolding last week. I've had some social engagements but have directed them toward places that have kompliant options. Last night I had some friends over and made lasagna from scratch. I make a damn good lasagna. But see pic below, I had an apple + egg white dinner with just a slight sliver of the lasagna. Also found a new great breakfast restaurant that has this "smoothie bowl" as a well as a savory breakfast porridge featuring roasted butternut squash and kale. Veggies for breakfast in a restaurant? Is the world catching up with us?