Elaine S.

Elaine S.

Kenzai Body | Day 70
Kenzai Body
Day 70
 
Program progress:

V-Sits happened!!!

Not the full set, but 2 1/2 sets of 11.

Replaced the rest with 4 sets of 25 recline bicycle.

Keep trying... I never thought it would happen.

Celebrating over here.


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Hi team,

Here we are on our home stretch. I hope everyone is feeling as well as I am.

To answer the question, "How has your overall lifestyle changed in the last two months?" ...I would have to say my life is more structured due to the diet and workout schedules. I am able to move around better as I know I am much stronger. My life is clearly more self-focused and I look forward to that changing in the future. I started this program seeing KB1 as a time capsule to gain strength and lose weight. What I now realize is I have learned a new lifestyle. I have to ingrain that into my daily life and not think and talk about it all the time...just do it. Practice makes perfect.

I had quite a week between celebrating my father's 95th birthday and going to the funeral of our friends' son. It was a week filled with emotion. Without any trouble, I was able to resist the amazing birthday cake and wine at Dad's party. The day of the funeral was another story. It was an all-day event that was filled with intense grief and sadness. I was able to get my workout done early and have breakfast. I didn't pack food because I knew I wouldn't have time to eat it. Food never crossed my mind throughout the day. I easily navigated the reception having one meatball and a glass of water. Everyone else had the delicious-looking assortment of hor d'oeuvres along with drinks. I wasn't even interested. Once home, I ate my Kenzai dinner at 6pm. I recognized that this was just one of those moments in life. I knew all would be fine in the end.

So on to the next week. I am feeling very good about my results and hoping for more muscle tone to come. I know I am not supposed to look at the scale, but I have. Given I gained two pounds after signing up for Kenzai, I have lost 12 pounds and I know inches. I am now in that dress I couldn't even zip up. Have to wear a belt with my pants and my once tight tops are now baggy. Better yet, I am feeling SO much stronger.

Thanks Kenzai. Stay strong team...we can do this!

Cheers,
Elaine S.

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Epiphany!
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Hello team!

Last week some of you blogged about being tired. I wasn't feeling it, that is until the last two days of the week and did it ever hit me. I am not a napper so I powered through but was certainly running on low energy.

Some of the workout exercises are still sloppy for me. I can feel my shoulders gaining some strength, the ab work is still grueling. and anything involving a chair and my triceps practically doesn't happen. I keep trying... you've got to start somewhere.

This morning as I was groaning through some of the exercises, I had an epiphany...How fortunate am I to be healthy enough to do this program. I felt ridiculous whining through my workout and told myself I was lucky to be working out and gaining strength. That certainly put things into perspective.

Now I am off to pick up my dear Father for his 95th birthday celebration tonight. I plan to keep the diet clean and will skip the cake and alcohol.

On to week 9...Stay strong out there.
Cheers,
Elaine S.


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Happy week 8 everyone! I cannot believe we are on day 50. Time flies when you are having fun...wink wink.

I have just returned from six days in the Adirondacks where I was almost camping. I managed to keep to the diet and workout program almost perfectly. One exception was the local grocery ran out of lowfat plain yogurt so I had to get the nonfat. That was only for two days.

As I moved on to my friends' wedding weekend in Connecticut, I found it challenging to stay the course. We had several impromptu gatherings of 12 or more where the restaurants couldn't quite meet my needs and I didn't have the flexibility to go to another restaurant. To make matters worse, one afternoon the waiter gave another person my meal...the one without the cheese and dressing. I didn't realize my grilled chicken wrap was the incorrect version until I was half way through. I learned to inspect my food before I eat it. There was no grocery store in sight so I was down on some egg whites for a day. I was excellent at the wedding. I was pleased my dress was slightly loose (progress albeit slow). I used my indulgence to have a small piece of salmon. I lucked out because all of the reception food was farm to table and there were plenty of vegetables. No sugar or alcohol temptations. I had one sip of champagne to toast the bride and groom. I didn't feel deprived in any way.

I have learned I have the willpower of steel...that is until my husband starts eating french fries in the car. I did have to sneak a few. It's all a slippery slope my friends. I kept in in check.

It feels great to be back home rested and strong. I am hoping to gain more strength with my ab exercises this week...still a struggle for me.

Sharing some photos of my support team over here. Wishing you all willpower and strength for week 8.

Best,

Elaine S.


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Every year I unplug on a private island on Lake George, New York. You can only access the house by. boat. There is electricity if you run the generator and yes we have a toilet and it is even inside the house.

I go to sleep and wake up each day by the sounds of the massive lake knocking against the dark rocks. My Charlie dog is doing a lot of napping in between trying to jump in thinking he knows how to swim.

I am making my own meals while watching my family indulge. The first night was very hard on me but the family continues to tell me they are amazed at my strength. That helps...a lot.

I am still fluffy but much less than the beginning of the program. I am still holding out hope for a slimmer trimmer stronger me.

My exercise routine is confusing to me. Some days I am able to complete a certain exercise while others it is a struggle. It keeps changing. Yesterday my wrists were the challenge. Given that I am the senior citizen of the group, it could be my age. My initial attraction to Kenzai was the strength building. I will power on.

I leave my happy place on Friday to attend a dear friend’s wedding in Connecticut. I am trying to figure out how I am going to navigate the sit-down dinner at the wedding. Hmmmm. Let me know if you all have any suggestions.

Have a great week!-


Abs - Week 6

Today's metronome set was very challenging for me. My lower back was screaming . The side crunches are still not working for me. I opted to do the recline bicycle instead.

Powering through but making a lot of ugly noises along the way.

Tomorrow I have a 9 hour car ride and then a boat ride to my destination for the next week. Not sure how I will do my workout but will try in the evening.

Kenzi is a new way of thinking and living isn't it.

Power on.


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THANK YOU! Today's lesson arrived just in time and was spot on. Yesterday, I went from feeling confident to not in a few moments in the department store dressing room.

I have a wedding to attend in a little over a week. As I am unable to fit into the lovely little dress hanging in my closet, I had to go shopping. Although I am pleased with the dress I found, I was very disappointed I haven't dropped a dress size yet. My pants are looser and I thought my arms appeared toner than they look in this photograph. My family assures me I look slimmer, but the scale hasn't moved in over a week. This is such a slow process. If I didn't have my friend and fellow Kenzai comrade Sophie L. to prove to me this IS possible, I wouldn't believe it.

Your lesson put things in perspective...I think. The way I am looking at it is, we have put SO much time and effort into Kenzai and ourselves so far, it would be wrong to indulge or quit.

Trying to stay strong over here. I hope to see more improvement sometime soon.

Kenzai lessons are my favorite part of the program...and, of course, teammates too!


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I was not sure how to prepare for week 5 away from home. I had a vacation at the beach and thought it would be full of temptations. Even more concerning I wasn't sure how I would navigate dinner out with an egg white requirement.

I learned the temptations became a fleeting thought. Most importantly, I learned all I have to do is ask for exactly what I want in a restaurant and the restaurant will accommodate my request. It was easy!

My exercise routine consisted of a bike ride to and from the beach in the early morning. The other exercises I did mid-morning while my hosts were busy doing their thing. It all worked out.

So on to week 6. Today I feel stronger doing my workout. I am working with a physical therapist to gain more strength in my left quad which is weaker due to my knee replacement. I am finding the exercises compliment my Kenzai workout.

Feeling stronger each week and hope you all are as well. Let's conquer week 6...one step at a time!

Elaine S.


Kenzai at the beach
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It is exciting to read about everyone's progress and challenges. I am in awe of those who are putting in the extra time.

I am headed out to stay with friends at the beach for the next four days and I am hoping I can conquer the challenge of traveling a la Kenzai. My exercise equipment is packed and so is my scale. As I continue to notice positive changes in my body, I don't want to lose what I have gained.

We are staying in a house so I think I will be fine with breakfast and lunch preparing my own food. I am hoping a restaurant will swap a chicken or fish protein for a hard boiled egg that I may be able to add the egg white to a large salad for dinner.

My exercises are going fairly well. Anything involving my abs is still a challenge but I continue to try my best. Shoulders still on the weak side but getting stronger. I am hoping my hosts won't hear my groans and cries as I complete the workouts. I may have to put tape over my mouth!

This will be quite an interesting vacation. Good thing it's a short one.


Train off course

Hi Team,

It was a great week for me except the day I was allowed to cheat. What a bad idea!!! Sparing you the details, I indulged not one but three times that day and realized I was heading down a slippery slope. I quickly got myself back on track and don't want to go back.

In an effort to stay healthy, I received my first of two vaccines for the Shingles virus. I apparently am having a common reaction. One that feels like I have the flu. I am down today and completely unable to do anything. Luckily my husband is keeping my diet on track, preparing, weighing and serving my food. I am very appreciative and hope to be back in the game tomorrow.

Keep going...It sounds like everyone is doing well.

Stay strong!
Elaine S.


It's working!/Day 21
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Hi Team,

Well it's day 21 and I am feeling quite pleased with my Kenzai results. Things are clearly firming up and I feel well fed, rested and alert.

Still not a fan of having to weigh my food and cooking things separately for the purposes of weighing, but I am adjusting. Making progress with the exercises moving up a color in the resistance bands. Anything involving my shoulders is staying in the yellow band range. The weak shoulders are a huge surprise to me...had no idea. The crunches continue to challenge me but I will keep trying. Still on my knees with the push ups but improving. In these three weeks, I can really feel myself gaining strength.

The roasted vegetables grew old very quickly. I am experimenting with new ideas. One breakfast favorite is a combination of fresh tomatoes, cold corn sliced from the cob along with fresh basil and parsley. It is a beautiful sweet accompaniment to my cinnamon french toast. I have been cooking extra corn on the cob in the evenings and then refrigerate it for use in my breakfast or lunch. I have also used avocado with tomatoes in the morning.

Eating away from home has been interesting. I went to an afternoon pool party yesterday and had no idea what to do. I ate a hamburger with a pinch of mustard. There were no vegetables other than a vinegar based coleslaw...so I ate it. My long drive home was in the late afternoon and I knew it was time for my fruit snack, so I stopped off and bought a plain yogurt (carried over from breakfast) and some fresh cherries. I felt good not giving in to any temptations and sticking to my diet as best I could. I even survived watching my family enjoy a bowl of ice cream. I ate watermelon!

So on to the next adventure of Week 4. Time is flying by and I am becoming a true believer this program will work.

Stay strong out there!

Elaine S.


Easy/Hard Day 15
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To answer your question of what has been easy and what has been hard. The diet has been fairly easy. I am doing much better than expected with cravings and no liquid calories. I am doing better with "heavy" vegetables where I don't have to eat a huge volume of food like I would with something like uncooked greens. Going out to a restaurant a couple of times has been challenging, but I think I did a good job. If anything, I didn't eat enough vegetables.

Portions of the workout have been the hardest for me. The crunches and the DaVinci are absolute killers for me. I tried doing the DaVinci in front of a mirror to keep good form but I must admit, my grimaces were an ugly sight. The push ups are slowly coming along, but still on my knees. The first two weeks I could feel myself gaining strength. Today I feel a bit bloated and weak. I am feeling like my progress is at a turtles pace but remaining optimistic. Hoping tomorrow I will feel stronger and better.

(Photo of local turtles along the C&O Canal in Washington, DC on a recent walk.)


Snap, Crackle, Pop!
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Snap, Crackle, Pop! No, I'm not referring to the Rice Krispies cereal commercial of long ago, but it captures my Kenzai week 2.

Growing tired of my usual mix of grilled meat, roasted vegies and rice, I decided to cook a whole fish... a red snapper in fact, hence the Snap. It was a delicious mix of fresh vegies, herbs, lemon, pepper and a quick spray of EVOO.

My exercises continue to challenge me. The shoulder exercise make my shoulders crackle but it's all good...nothing serious, and the Otter kicks made my back pop in a good way the other day.

So there you have it Snap, Crackle, Pop sums up my week 2. All good.

See you all on the other side of week 3.

Stay strong team...Have a good week out there,

Elaine S.


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Greetings Team,

I was so excited to start Week 2, I experimented with the diet a day early. I can't recall the last time I ate that much food. In fact, I couldn't eat all of the carbs. Should be an interesting week ahead.

I am discovering I am clearly and emotional eater. Something I never thought about before. Yesterday I ate food on the diet that I wasn't even hungry for. I felt like I was force feeding myself. Not sure if this is a good thing, but I followed the plan the best I could. Missing my evening glass of wine and cheese and crackers but dealing with it. Drinking lots of tea instead.

Also discovering, I don't breathe properly when I exercise and stretch. Certainly have to be more mindful of that.
Some of the exercises continue to be challenging. How about that DaVinci? Still on my knees with the push ups. But before Kenzai, I wasn't even on my knees given the knee replacement. I guess that's progress.

Yesterday, I grilled some chicken, cooked some salmon, roasted vegetables and cooked some black rice. I discovered a very light spray of olive oil and pepper was tasty enough. Hopefully I am prepared for a few days. I also put some sliced banana sprinkled with cinnamon in the freezer for a fruit treat. Surprisingly, it was ok.

For those of you asking if I left 1/4 of the artichoke heart...the answer is yes.

Stay strong this week.

Elaine


Greetings Auriga group,

Happy day four of our Kenzai journey. My name is Elaine and I live in Washington, DC. I am a native Washingtonian. Fun fact, I met my husband in nursery school here in DC . No...we didn't date in nursery school! We have two beautiful daughters who have graduated college and are working hard on their careers. They are very curious why their Mother is doing the Kenzai program.

I am a jewelry artist and spend most of my day working in my home studio which means, other than walking the dog and cleaning the house, I don't move enough. Hence, Kenzai. I have two obstacles. Obstacle 1: I often find myself going for a snack, especially when I am in design mode. Even worse, as I am constructing a piece of jewelry, I run upstairs and reward myself between phases of the construction. The more successful the design is the more I snack. It isn't as bad as it sounds, (they are usually healthy snacks), but it's bad. In my effort to combat this temptation, I try to keep a large water bottle or a cup of tea on my bench. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Obstacle 2: Due to my husband's work hours, we eat dinner anywhere between 8 or 8:30 pm. I know...It's all his fault! Just kidding. I am really ready to enjoy my dinner by 5:30/6 pm and can snack on cheese and crackers and have a glass of wine, sometimes two, while waiting for him to come home. I think the best way to combat this is for me to eat earlier and perhaps have a salad or tea and fruit with him when he sits down to dinner at 8pm. Sounds like SO much fun! I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

I have given your question of having a superpower a lot of thought. It was hard. I wanted to think beyond myself. I would say If I could have one superpower, it would be the power of healing. Not only for myself but just imagine the endless possibilities of this power.

With that I say, have a great day out there today!

Wishing you all good health and strength,

Elaine
PS - Question of the day: How does one eat 3/4 of an artichoke? Eat every fourth leaf? I tried.


End of Week 4

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