Elissa Imran

Elissa Imran

Kenzai Mind | Day 16 (Member)
Kenzai Mind
Day 16
Program progress:
Busy week!

It’s been a busy week since we got back from our fall break trip. I haven’t had a chance to read blogs at all. Sorry team! I will catch up this week and be a better teammate!

I missed Monday’s workout with our travel day. So I’m running a day behind but I will catch up tomorrow with a double up of today’s workout and cardio day.

I’m feeling stronger overall but workouts are long and tough! I’ve been using a timer app (GymBoss) for the negatives. I find it keeps me honest when I’m tempted to rush through, especially by the final set. It also helps to keep count!

Hope everyone is doing well as we near the halfway mark!


Entering the Singapore Airlines plane in Dhaka felt like re-entering civilization! Quiet, calm, clean, fewer odors...such a nice change to be in Singapore now!

We are staying with friends in a beautiful old black and white house. They have an amazing garden, pool, house with guesthouse. Had a fabulous workout this morning in the back garden. Skipped on the decking by the pool, used a palm tree to anchor bands, spread a towel on the lawn for ab work.

Yesterday we took the kids to Universal Studios, so diet was a bit off and I decided to consider that walking around all day my alternative cardio. Got in my ab work in the evening. But yesterdays’s workout happened today and today’s will happen tomorrow, so I’m still pretty well on track for a perfect record through the end of week 5.

Enjoying the food here - lunch at a big hawker bazaar was not on plan! But also looking forward to being back home and cleaning up the diet for the remaining 7+ weeks!


...instead of protein and vegetable. Otherwise I have no choice but to be off plan! Breakfasts, lunches and snacks all going ok. But last 2 nights we had rice and meat...not a vegetable in sight. These were dinner parties thrown by my in-law’s with all sorts of extended family attending. The food was delicious. And as I tell people - better to eat than starve, make good choices in your given situation, etc. Sometimes things are not within my control and I have to make do. Considering we have not visited Bangladesh in 5 1/2 years, I can’t risk offending by not eating and being happy with these special meals they’re making for us.

On a positive, we have been to the expensive hotel gym 3 of 3 days here and it’s well worth it. Today’s workout seriously ramped things up a notch - 5 sets of chest dips then elevated pushups then ovations!!! And I had the added joy of an older man stretching in the same room where I was skipping...I don’t think he averted his eyes even once...fully stared at me the entire time, even when I looked him in the eyes!

Family photos - with husband’s parents, sister and her husband and kids. I feel like quite the giant here. And my daughter (age 10) is taller than her 16 year old cousin. Tried to get a photo of the kids with the dinner spread but son not quite cooperating.


Food is not quite within my control as mother in law wants to show how much she cares by feeding us. Breakfast was an egg, fresh roti (so good!) and some chopped up seasoned somewhat oily potatoes. I was lacking an egg white but otherwise portions were pretty close - just not quite what I would have chosen for my veggies!

We decided that our best bet for a gym where I could wear workout clothes was a hotel. It seems the local options generally have a “women’s hour” at some point. That doesn’t quite work for us. And there’s really no space to work out in the apartment. So we headed to the Pan Pacific Sonargon. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane as I stayed there for a night when my flight out was delayed due to fog during my first visit to Dhaka in 2006. The gym was actually quite nice. I was the only woman there but the few men around didn’t seem to take any notice of me. It was sort of air conditioned. The locker room and shower facilities were good, if dated (see photo). So the only negative...the day pass is US$30 per person! I’m glad we got to workout but I’m not so sure I want to spend $60/day on it!

My mother in law’s homemade yogurt is perfect for my dairy requirements - hopefully she’s making lots more - not sure she expected us to eat so much of it! So far the only fruits we’ve had are banana and guava and something they call amra, which the internet says is also called hog plum. It’s quite bland...so they dip it in a mix of salt and chili powder...not ideal!

Lunch had lots of veggie options, some chicken and fish, and plenty of white rice. It was in the spirit of the diet...but certainly not prepared in a Kenzai way. At least the Bengali curries tend to be thinner and lighter.

I knew this week would be tough when I signed up for KB3. So I’m fine with rolling with it. To quote my mother-in-law, who doesn’t speak a whole lot of English but was accidentally profound when she said this when I asked if her visit to her sister’s house in New Jersey was fun 10 years ago - “not fun, family.”


I'm going to need luck in being in Dhaka, staying with in-laws, getting workouts in and not completely blowing the diet. Challenges ahead!
Had a busy week but I'm 25 for 25 on workouts! Boom!
Had a meeting yesterday morning, errands in the afternoon, and lunch on the go in between. Picked a fave sushi place that has a great set lunch. Added a roll on the side with the sashimi salad. Not perfect of course...but pretty darn close and very tasty!

Scale not moving

...but I’m seeing emergence of some abdominals! So even with some cheats (wine!) I’m making great progress. I have nailed every workout so far and I feel great!


I'm 14 for 14! Today's workout was a YouTube video. It was actually pretty good - fairly full body and got a good sweat going! I found this one with a quick search but I've subscribed to the channel in case of future needs! https://youtu.be/fcN37TxBE_s

Our apartment seems to have weathered Typhoon Mangkhut pretty well. The wind is still howling and rain is still coming down, but the storm is now moving away and hitting the coast further southwest in China. Lots of crazy photos and videos of damage all over the city.

Diet has been pretty good this week...minus a glass of wine here and there. Bring on Week 3!

Flying by!

It's Day 12 already - that's 13%! I'm feeling good. My body does feel happier when I feed it right and exercise daily!

New recipe for dinner last night - sorry for my bad photography. These chicken meatballs were tasty (I made them without the cilantro since to me it ruins everything!). And the sauce is not too bad - just a couple spoonfuls across the whole plate of food anyway. Made the sauce without the sriracha for the kids and with a little extra for me and hubby. This one would work when I have no carb dinners too. Could be good over salad greens or roasted veggies. And I'm thinking I could use the meatballs with Israeli salad and tzatziki too. Exciting!

Got out for a nice hike with a nice group of women the other day. Since it was a fairly moderate one I still got the rest of the workout in after. Saved my alt cardio for it's rightful place on Sunday...and it will likely consist of my mini exercycle or a workout video...since we are likely to be stuck at home in a typhoon.

My kids are now both doing an aerial yoga class on Thursday afternoons. My daughter is such a natural at it - it's just beautiful to watch. And my son is the one who actually needs it. His upper body and core are a bit weak - just the result of skeletal growth faster than everything else can keep up. We have done some occupational therapy for it in the past (because it was affecting his stamina to sit at a desk and write for even a few minutes) but I think this class is truly just what the doctor ordered. And the very lovely teacher complemented him yesterday on being willing to try everything and keep at it even when getting into some of the poses is quite tough for him. The whole family is feeling fit and healthy!

Also adding a photo of lunch from a couple days ago - fish, okra and egpplant with curry seasoning - delicious.


Today's the big day...been pondering whether 40 is over the hill or if I still have 10 more years on the ascent before I start the slow skid down the other side?
Why do people say it all gets harder at 40? Today's workout didn't feel any worse than yesterday's! ;)

Despite our trip getting canceled, I had a nice weekend. Saw some friends. Hung out with my family. Watched my kids play soccer. The highlight was Zuma brunch of course. Mmmm...and I kept it sort of under control...not over-eating so much as to feel sick and not overdoing the wine either. I avoided the fried stuff and had lots of oysters and sashimi - no doubt protein I needed since I did my workout first thing in the morning. Right?! And I did not eat all of the dessert in front of me in the photo! Hubby is taking me to dinner tonight - location TBD - it's a surprise...or maybe he doesn't know yet.

No matter the age, it's always good to celebrate another year of living - sure beats the alternative!

And on the Kenzai front - I'm 8 for 8 on the workouts and plan to have a clean diet for the rest of the week after today!

Pity Party

I'm having a bit of a pity party today. My husband and I were supposed to take a trip to Osaka this weekend to celebrate my upcoming birthday (Monday). But the airport is closed due to typhoon damage. We will reschedule at some point. But for now it just feels like kind of a bummer weekend. Not only do we not have the trip but we have no plans other than the kids' activities. I did book us in for Zuma brunch on Sunday - a favorite indulgent free flow bonanza - although I'll have to be a little tame as my daughter's soccer is a couple hours later - no coming home and passing out while the kids watch a movie.

And a couple days ago I started getting that throat tickle that meant I was about to get sick...sure enough came down with a most unpleasant cold yesterday. Stuffy head, runny nose, achy. But the worst is that scratchy tickly throat that is keeping me from sleeping well! The cough is starting to kick in today. And I just feel drained. So I guess I can be a bit positive that it's good I didn't spend a weekend feeling a bit ill in Osaka.

On a positive, I'm running the diet pretty clean. And I haven't missed a workout yet. I went on a nice but hot 2-hour somewhat challenging hike on Wednesday to "rhino rock" - so I took that as my alt cardio day and am running the rest a day behind through the end of the week. I did manage to get the full workout in yesterday, but with some extra breaks as I was feeling quite weak. And about to go do the same for today! Followed by a nap I hope!


Who are you?
Elissa, stay at home mom of a 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son, part time Kenzai Trainer

Where are you?
Hong Kong

How do you spend your time?
Exercising, dragon boat paddling, with my family, parenting, reading, shuttling my kids to their activities

How did you get here? Seriously. Who told you about Kenzai? Why do you keep coming back for more?
Had a neighbor who did it back in 2012 and was impressed! It worked for me too! And it still does!

You finish Day 90 in the best shape of your life? You strut down the street in triumph. What song is playing in the background as your theme music?
Girl on Fire


I have technically completed this one before - but really I was only halfway when I had an unfortunate fracture in my left hand - unrelated to the program. So the rest of it felt quite half-assed as I substituted and skipped various exercises. Not sure if it's a pro or a con to know what I'm in for this time as I attempt to get through the whole thing in full form!

I do have some upcoming challenges, during which I promise not to be fully compliant but to be mindful... a little mindful... aware of my non-compliance! ;-P

Today begins the final week of my 30s. And dear husband is whisking me off to Osaka and Kyoto for a long weekend to celebrate - we'll be gone Thursday to Monday - eating and drinking our way through a getaway without the kids! I may exercise...but I definitely won't keep the diet...at all.

There are sure to be some other birthday celebrations spread out over the next couple of weeks...which will "require" nice meals and wine and fun...and I'm okay with that!

Our fall break is the end of the month and we're headed to visit the in-laws in Dhaka Bangladesh. Not my favorite travel destination but the food will be good! Not so sure how the exercise will fare in a modest country in my in-laws' flat...will see what I can do! We're following up 5 days there with 4 in Singapore. Staying with friends will surely mean we aren't in control of what we eat. Plus we have to hit some hawker bazaars. And a day at Universal Studios. OK if I'm being honest that will be 10 days off the rails.

So all that is to say that I've got 90 days, of which I plan to screw up 15. But I don't have a whole lot I want to accomplish beyond continuing to be fit and strong - lose a little fat, gain a little muscle. And thus 75 of 90 days ought to pretty well get me there!

Day 1 workout was a bit of an eye opener though...have definitely lost a bit of fitness over the summer holiday. The last set of each exercise was killer...but I pushed myself for max reps and short breaks. At least it was short!

New Toys!

Been playing with my TRX for the last week or so. Didn't really get started with it when I got it in the spring and didn't take it with me on summer travels. So even though I got it in April, it feels new! Wow - some of these videos from their app and other Youtubers are intense! I'm definitely getting the good full body DOMS! Hopefully it's good preparation for KB3 in a week!

I also got myself a cute little speedrope this summer from Elite SRS. I finally got around to setting it up today - got out the wire cutter and screwdriver and played around with the length a bit. I've cut it shorter than my usual ropes so I can get faster speed rope and cleaner double unders (and I did leave a little extra tail on the end in case I decide to go a little longer). But...it's going to take some time to adjust to it...let's just say my 15 minutes this morning resulted in many trips and quite a few whips (one on my arm that may last a few days - ouch!).


Got my exercise in first thing in the morning after getting kids on the school bus the last couple days - yay! And today joined a nice group of women, most of whom I did not know, for a hike. One of the nice things about being part of a vibrant expat community is meeting new people from all over the world. One of the not so nice things is they constantly move away. I'm a pretty social person, so having had a lot of friends move away over the last few years, I'm feeling ready to put myself out there and start meeting more new people again.

Diet has been pretty clean...minus the couple glasses of wine at happy hour yesterday. And I know I've got things revved back up because I'm hungry about an hour before it's time for each meal/snack throughout the day. Gotta' get my body used to normal portions after a bit of US gluttony again. But at least it's pretty good at tearing through the inputs!


I gave myself a few days to settle back into routine before getting on the scale...and found I'm only 4 pounds heavier than I was before I headed out for my 8 weeks of summer travels. Feeling pretty good about that!

Unfortunately there is some muscle loss and fat gain in the mix...but it's not healthy to be on program all the time, right? :)

Kids started school this morning - yay! And I exercised immediately after and have been and plan to continue eating clean all day and all week! Hoping I'll be seeing some progress over the next 2 weeks before starting KB3 and then of course it really gets real!

Starting Photo



Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind


Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body

Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Body 3
Kenzai Body 3

Kenzai Reach
Kenzai Reach


Kenzai Sculpt
Kenzai Sculpt

Kenzai Kettlebell
Kenzai Kettlebell

Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Kenzai Kettlebell 2

Kenzai Chisel
Kenzai Chisel