Ed Center

Ed Center

Kenzai Member
Assistant Trainer

Exercise is my strong suit, and through the course of this project I've taken pride in surpassing the number of reps and/or sets for each exercise.

But metronomes are my achilles heal. They kill me. Today I felt good that I barely got to 20 and then when I double checked the exercise bill, we were prescribed 24-28. I simply could not get there and at one point even fell to the side. To top it off, I wasn't bringing my legs down at a full 90 degree angle. When my boyfriend walked by, he said, "You know you're cheating those a bit."

Kenzai friends, you can post my bail at the San Francisco County Jail. This was justifiable homo-cide!

And the rest is gravy

One of my main goals on Kenzai was to fit these shorts that I bought two years back in a moment of confidence or hallucination, and haven't fit since I purchased them. I tried them a month ago and I could actually get them on as long as I didn't breathe. Today: Bam! Fairly easy fit. They could sit a little lower on the hips but I'm calling success. I'm celebrating with a tub of ice cream! Just kidding Thomas.

Major Kenzai goal accomplished today so the rest is just gravy, or, um, plain 1% yogurt.

Kenzai Life Hacks

We had that drawer for all the chargers and every time I needed one, it was hidden and tangled in a great mob of electrical flotsam.

I bought an attractive box and PRESTO!, all the cords and ear buds are now safely housed like hermit crabs in their own half toilet-paper tube shells, organized and patient, waiting for me to call.

I love life hacks. Kenzai presents lots of challenges to our daily lives; the consistent exercise, the enormous amounts of plant food. What tricks have people discovered to make the road a little easier? I have three so far.

1. The three minute breakfast: Put a bowl on your scale. Set scale to 0. Put in the right amount of veggies. Set to 0. Add the right amount of pre-cooked grain. Set to 0. Crack your egg or eggs over this mob. Add spices and vinegar (I'm currently on a curry kick). Pop in microwave for 1.5 minutes. Stir up and eat.

2. Eating out: I do a lot of business lunches. You can almost always order the steak or chicken salad, "cooked without salt, please, balsamic vinegar, not vinaigrette, for dressing, no nuts or fried bits in there, please." Skip the weighing that meal and enjoy.

3. Happy hours: Sparkling water with mint and lime, paired with raw oysters. It feels decadent and compliant.

What life hacks have you got?

This photo

Sums up my life...

Positive Feedback

My gym partner told me that I look trimmer.

The other day I had brunch (yogurt, berries and coffee while she had eggs benedict) with an old friend who, without knowing about Kenzai, told me that i look six years younger than when she last saw me and asked what I was doing.


I have to say, the lighting was really, really good in that cafe, and I had chosen an outfit that really worked for me.

But still...

Habits and Work

I'm noticing some of the changes become habit forming, which is critical to sustainable change. I wake up. I make my coffee and grab my jump rope. My nighttime routine now looks like putting my kid to bed, getting the next day's outfit ready, and then packing bushels of kale, yogurt and eggs into a lunch bag for the next day.

But I'm also struck with how much work this is. For me the exercise if fun and already integrated into my life. But the food! I freak out when i realize, crap we are out of salmon! How is it possible we only have 2 eggs left? I just had two containers of yogurt yesterday! More trips to the market and more packing - the diet requires an amount of preparation, diligence and discipline that I have never put into food before. But something's working.

Last week was pretty mediocre for me. I had planned an unauthorized indulgence for St Paddy's Day dinner, since I rock a rock a beautiful corned beef and cabbage each year and have company over. Yah, there was the Guinness and the Jameson as well. That set precedent for typos throughout the week. A glass of wine at dinner. Potatoes at brunch that were salted and oiled.

So this week, I'm challenging myself to have a perfect Kenzai- compliant week. From Monday through Sunday, I'll stick to the diet plan. Then I'll reward myself with a huge ass burger and fries next Monday.

Just kidding, Thomas.

Let me know if you are taking up the challenge with me!

6 minute abs

Thanks David D. for nudging me to try 8 minute abs. I tried it this morning and found it quite challenging, fun and enjoyed the hilarious outfits. I think I'm going to have that damn music in my head all day.

My son woke up when I was on minute 6 and started calling for me, so I didn't finish. Looking forward to doing the whole routine tomorrow.

The Back Up Plan

My friend Malia posted a Kenzai note that my cohort can't see yet, so I'm reposting because I think it's helpful.

"When we talk about setting out to make healthful changes in our lifestyle, I am often reminded of the phrase, “the best laid plans of mice and men / often go awry”. Even when we have the intention to skip rope every day, fill half our plates with veggies at each meal, drink sparkling water and lime at parties, and befriend egg whites as our evening snack, it is often the unforeseen barriers and obstacles that derail them.

That’s where the back-up plan comes in. The back-up plan is a list of “if-then” scenarios that you can fall back on if your original plan gets sidetracked. The more if-then scenarios you can come up with ahead of time (READ: before you get in that sticky situation!), the more likely you’ll follow through with your plan.

Let’s take the example jumping rope. Since I live in an apartment, my daily plan is to head outside at 7 am to jump for 20 minutes. However, IF I wake up at 6am, to find that it’s pouring outside, THEN I’ve got a few contingencies to fall back on:

IF it rains, THEN I’ll jump rope inside (ignoring the neighbors’ complaints).

I’ll move my car and jump in my covered parking space.

I’ll drive to the gym to jump, arriving 15 min late to work.

I’ll ride my stationary bike for 30 min instead.

If you’ve got a list of viable options to choose from in the moment, the less likely you’ll come up with a solution on the fly: e.g., I’ll just skip jumping rope. Make a list for each of the more likely obstacles (work travel, sick child, etc), to boost your chance of following through. It’s a deceptively simple concept, but I challenge you apply this technique to one healthy habit you want to adopt and see if it can keep you on track."


Does anyone else relish their morning coffee (and mid early mid-morning and late mid-morning and after lunch) and think, thank God those bastards didn't take this from me too!

Thomas, if I read a daily lesson on week 9 that says, "Surprise! No more coffee!" So help me, I will hunt you down and beat you with a bushel of organic, free range carrots.

That was really violent. Maybe I should try the decaf.

1 hour

Today's workout, including the stretches*, took me just over an hour. Gone are the days of yore** when we could power through the Kenzai exercises in 20 minutes. But I feel good. Despite the morning cold air, I worked up a great sweat. I'm in good cardio shape, so Nate has been challenging me to do double-ups (DUs) on the jump rope. Trying DUs made me forget that I consider myself an athlete. Fantastic trips, including one that almost brought me to the ground, and several stinging whips to the back of my arms. After a few days I've gotten better and today was delighted when I did 7 consecutive DUs!

*Yes, Nate, I occasionally do the stretching.

**Was that really only 35 days ago?

The Pacific

I'm curious about the genesis of Kenzai and how it has impacted the demographics of the trainees. Just looking at the Braunite trainees; Kenzai seems to be very prevalent in Asia and the pacific, particularly with ex-pats, and particularly in Hong Kong. I heard about Kenzai from my friends who are HK expats from the U.S. The numbers of us in the U.S. seem fewer, and in Europe even fewer.


Slippery slope

I had an absolutely wicked fail... er... typo this week.

I've been great about avoiding the alcohol - what i thought was going to be my biggest challenge. But on Wednesday, I had work drinks with a college president with whom I am I trying to forge a new partnership. We went to some classy bar and he ordered a Cardamom Old Fashioned. I casually ordered one as well. I sipped it slowly. It was delicious and satisfying. We finished up our chat and then I walked home. Now it may or may not have been by sheer chance that I chose the route that passes the bar that my best friend tends. He was outside when I walked by and he called out in delight and insisted that I come in. Other friends were already inside. 2 glasses of wine and a bit of scotch. Who am I kidding? My friend pours by the goblet. Oh, did I mention the free food? This bar has free happy hour grub, and I attacked a dish of sandwiches like an Alaskan grizzly in a salmon filled river.

When I binge, I binge hard.

When I got home, my husband looked up, his eyes opened wide, and he asked, "How's Kenzai going?"

I didn't want to discuss it.

Stayed on track the rest of the week!

May 12th, 2016





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