Thank you Kenzai ☺ GRADUATION POST
If there’s one thing common to a majority of us, it must be the desire to get in shape each time we look in the mirror. Often that desire reflects as new year resolutions, we are often determined to achieve. The more resolute amongst us actually follow up on that dream trying to find the best path to get there. But plodding through the confused muddle of information and data available at one’s fingertips these days can be seriously daunting to say the least. As if it isn’t bad enough to get mired in circles within circles, you also often hit a wall with contradictory information on the ideal diet to follow to compliment the chosen workout plan. And after sweating it out and struggling to shed the flab, you realise that your body has decided to go into lockdown after a point and the numbers on the weighing scale simply won’t budge when you’re looking at it desperately for some encouragement! So then, you tighten the screws some more and starve yourself to reach the tipping point. Then if you’re lucky you reach your dream weight, the holy grail you’ve been seeking and feel incredibly proud of yourself, only to return to bingeing a few days later, when your body begs status quo. And before you know it, you’re back to square one 😥
In a nutshell, this pretty much sums up my previous experiments in the pursuit of health and fitness. And then, Kenzai happened to me 😊Before I embarked on the 3 month Kenzai Body journey this June, I read a bunch of blogs of Kenzai alumni, who seemed to all wonder about the same thing “Why does Kenzai work when others don’t ?” Based on my experience, I think it’s down to it’s scientific approach. It does not rely on gimmickry or current trends and fads. Instead it works on a tried and tested methodology of combining clean eating with consistent whole-body exercises and puts the onus for your wellbeing in your own hands. The only way any such endeavour can succeed is when you take responsibility for your role in it and show up every single day despite nagging aches and pains and then rely on the experts to show you the way till you’re ready to walk the path unassisted. Any doubts start to dissipate when you start to see and feel the tangible results in real time. In merely three months, turning back the clock almost 15+ yrs on your body is nothing short of a miracle. And by the end of the Program when you get to physically experience your own growth and transformation by returning to an earlier phase in the journey, you get a very real sense of just how far you’ve come in such a short time.
I can see why most people who experience Kenzai become Kenzai-believers and stick with it’s approach. It’s consistent with everything we’ve always known as per traditional wisdom, and yet been shy to follow- eat right, 6 small meals, packed with fresh veggies and fruits, have your dairy and poultry if it works for you (or find alternatives), exercise daily and sleep well. How can you possibly go wrong with that?! The big changes for me and my family have been to drop sugar from our diets entirely and to reverse the proportions of carbs to veggies on our plates. That done, we seem all set for whatever’s in store.
The Kenzai experience has been very timely and relevant for my family to help hit the reset switch on our relationship with food and rest. The invaluable lessons we imbibed along the way, from learning about the nature of the fat stored by our bodies, the fallacies about BMI or numbers on the weighing scale, genetics and body types, down to how to simply boil an egg the right way, are all things to never forget.
Why Kenzai works is because it is probably the one resource that offers scientific, precise, relevant, concise information necessary for the overall health and wellbeing of a person in a market flooded with misleading approaches. That it works remotely, via online updates, for unrelated people across the globe, without needing to ever enter a gym is a testament to the success formula that Patrick Reynolds and his team of trainers have admirably put it place over the years. That Kenzai grows from strength to strength only through word of mouth, without advertising its wares, is also evidence of it’s genuine success.
I’m really glad I discovered Kenzai unexpectedly through a conversation with my brother who had in turn heard about it from his friend Prarthana and her husband, both genuine Kenzai-believers, having been there and done that.
The past three months have felt quite impossible at times, but then that feeling has only lasted for the duration of the actual workouts. It’s been a trying time of digging deep to find the strength to carry on without giving up. The mutual support from the blogs within the community, the constant look-ins and pick-me-ups from fellow trainees and trainers have all been fantastic. In retrospect I think it would be a lot harder to do such a Prog individually cut-off from the world than to do it within a group, following each-others progress on a consistent basis. The blogs have been cathartic too, as you can tell from how long some of mine tend to become!
It’s also been very useful having the entire family join the ride together, in my case. This way we all know what it takes, we appreciate what we’ve been through and respect what each of us has achieved. Of course all my time in the kitchen and the prospect of that becoming my new constant is a bit of a bummer 😉 Will need to get a few more hands in the kitchen, methinks- make the cooking a lot more democratic as everyone learns to take responsibility for their own health!
While I appreciate the three rest days after the Prog, I’m starting to miss the exercises already. Looking forward to the maintenance workout plans to keep the momentum going. With my new and improved level of confidence, attaching a few pictures taken by my soon to-be 9 yr old! Feel good about the leaner muscle tone and fat-loss, though the belly is going to still need some work. The black shirt I’m wearing used to be one of my favourites. It’s about 13 yrs old. I remember wearing it to my BBC interview, back in 2004. As I gained in girth over the years, I couldn’t get the two flaps to meet, in order to button up until recently. But post-Kenzai Body, I can actually wear that shirt again. Yayyy :-)
Also, since it’s been quite a season of caterpillar sightings, a few more pictures of some amazing creatures from our garden and the farm, that will transform into gorgeous butterflies, just like the Kenzai team.
Thank you everyone, especially Adelyn and Nate and my fellow-trainees- Marisa, Karen, Dan, Luis, Nicky, and Lasya. Felt like I got to know a few you better than others. Although not everyone is finishing at the same time, I wish you all the very best. It’s been lovely being part of team Centarus 😍 Love and luck to all of you. Take care and stay healthy, everyone 🖐
PS: If anyone, not on Kenzai, is feeling inspired to take the plunge, do get in touch! As alumni, I can actually offer a reference code to help you avail a $100 discount 😃
Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
After keenly awaiting the surprise in store for the big Day 90, I was really surprised to be asked to repeat the workout from Day 8 of the Programme today! Got on the job in earnest, even though it was drizzling this morning (pic of wet courtyard attached) and felt a bit like a workout snob 😉 knocking off each listed exercise in the short spaces of 2-5 mins each!!
Got quite a reality check when I revisited my blog from Day 8 and realised how hard it was for me then to get through 400 jumps, doing 5 sets of 80 jumps each with 15 sec rest gaps. Just 82 days ago, 400 jumps felt like scaling the Everest, a super-human feat, after which my legs were stiff and hurting. And today at Day 90, the same task felt like kid-stuff. I breezed through the sets at my best speed ever, refusing to stop at 80, coz it felt too soon and doing 5 sets of 100 jumps each. The 15 sec rest periods felt almost like a luxury to dispense with. And this cardio session at about 5 mins, was my longest activity today. I averaged about 2.8 jumps a sec, which I think is my best timing so far. The rest of the workout also felt really easy. I didn’t need to catch my breath and the first time I broke into sweat was by the time I was doing the Arm Curls and Da Vincis. I really have come a very long way since Day 8. Thanks for the reminder 👍otherwise, like most other things, I’d have taken this in my stride too, overlooking it and got pre-occupied with new goals I think I may have missed, forgetting to celebrate the actual victories.
This last week on Kenzai Body has truly been a test of endurance. Since getting into the circuit training course from Tuesday, I’ve wondered which is harder- the multi-set, multi-rep system of the previous weeks or the freedom to take oneself to the edge of the cliff, hitting failure and meeting deep-burns each time, this week. In retrospect I think this week was the hardest, because I’ve never done 30 Elevated Tricep Dips, 5 times in giant super-sets or 40 Otter Kicks, and 40 Side Captain’s Chair poses ever. Have to admit, I haven’t always nailed the ‘form’ necessary, especially when it came to the tough ones like V-Sits or Pull Ups, but I’ve come a long way from the initial days of struggle.
Day 89 was I think one of the hardest on the Program. I was a sweat-soaked mess by the end of it, left without any energy to speak of. I couldn’t do the Blue Lycra Man’s 8 min routine to close yesterday and went straight to the closing stretches after my Planks- which I’m able to hold for about 2 mins now. Today, on the other hand, I felt I really needed to add the 8 min ab routine to make up in some measure for the ease of the rest of the workout.
It’s been really amazing challenging myself and discovering the amazing limits to which the body can go if pushed the right way. Thank you for switching it all up so nicely and proving what a massive difference 3 months can make to one’s body and mind. A hat tip to both Adelyn and Nate for being around, nudging and cheering all through the journey and a very big thank you to the mastermind, Patrick 😊👏👏
This is not my ‘Graduation Blog’. Will work on that soon…
Not sure if it’s a coincidence that I’ve been coming across so many amazing caterpillars 🐛 lately! Think it fits right into the theme of ‘metamorphosis’, which all of us have been attempting at Kenzai. So here’s to the spirit of self-transformation, and evolution. Go find your wings, become a gorgeous butterfly 🦋 Cheers, everyone! Congratulations on completing Kenzai Body. Hip Hip Hurray!!
Hi everyone! This is a quick note to say that I sort of messed up on Day 1 of the super-sets today. In case any of you did the same, this might be a good time to course-correct and get it right tomorrow. Thought I'd leave a note, after I realised it wasn't just me, but both my brothers got it wrong too. Glad I caught Adelyn's video message earlier this evening to clear things up.
Basically, all of us at home took each listed exercise in the workout individually, and flogged it until we hit failure, which was about 6 sets and several reps each. We moved from one exercise to the next like we've been doing in the past with the only difference being 'failure' each time.
Instead, what we should've done is, all five exercises in sequence back to back hitting failure in each without gaps, only to take a 1 minute break at the end of that 5 exercise cycle, and repeat that pattern 5 times.
This will mean, prepping ahead and having the bands, mat, chairs, push-up bars etc all ready in advance for the whole workout, so you can switch from one to the next without a hitch.
Will get it right tomorrow onwards. Anyone else in the same boat as us three?!
Didn't think I'd get all nostalgic about three months of gruelling workouts, but strange things are known to happen 😃 and this is probably one of those!
Think I've started repeating a lot lately, that the past week has been seriously tiring, only to realise that each following week gets a few times worse... so that's how it's been again 😩
Each day's workout last week felt like it would never end. Fewer exercises than before perhaps, but so many sets and reps, so much sweat and fatigue that I really felt like I earned each "I did it" and every breakfast that followed 😊
Think my skipping has certainly improved coz I was able to hit a PB of about 850 jumps in 7 mins day before and 3 sets of 7 mins didn't seem that hard through the week. In fact 2 sets of 9 mins today seemed ok too, though I could only manage 930 jumps in the first set, which is not the ideal 2 jumps per sec. In the second set, I pushed myself to over 10 mins to get 1000 jumps in.
Didn't manage the undercover visit to a neighbourhood gym last week, and haven't really researched alternative ab workouts yet. I've been doing the blue lycra man's 8 min routine as often as possible, stopping for a break when my neck hurts. Otherwise, pushing to failure has been leaving me sore and totally spent. The coming week will probably be an exercise in masochism! But, I already know I'm going to miss it all... I intend to continue with the workouts beyond day 90, coz despite the great results, I'm raising the bar for myself and going all out for the belly fat, some of which is likely to linger beyond the Prog.
In a sense, I think the difference between what I thought and felt at the start of Kenzai Body and how I feel now, is that, in the beginning I didn't even know what to expect or whether I'd survive the regimen, but by the end my confidence has grown, and with it my expectations have shifted, making me more ambitious. Now I really want the gains to count and take this to its logical end. I'd appreciate guidelines on the diet post day 90, as we won't need to have as many eggs or as much meat.
I've loved the daily lessons. Will really miss those too. And I'll miss the group & their blogs...
Let's get this done, guys 💪✌ Here's to a strong finish for everyone 👊
I have never pursued 'failure', of any sort, with the earnest dedication I've shown through the past week!
To find the holy grail of fitness- muscle failure, I went as far as to add an extra set to my jump rope sessions yesterday and quite consistently added extra reps to sets of other exercises during the week, until my muscles wobbled and strained, screaming "enough".
Without doubt, the past week has been one of the most tiring. But I have to confess, I couldn't bring myself to try the Kung-fu sit-up. It just looks very intimidating.
I honestly wondered if I'd last 3 sets of 7 min long jumping sessions today and was very relieved to survive it. Repeating this daily from tomorrow will be interesting, to say the least 😊
I've been spending so much time in the kitchen lately, I've almost had no time at all for anything else. I discovered that the easiest way to cook chicken breast is to marinate it overnight and grill it until you finish the batch. Delicious and really fast. Also goes with nearly everything.
Had to squeeze in a Parent-Teachers meet at my son's school yesterday, so had to reschedule my workout to the evening for a change. Coz the PTM became a family outing, the house looked like a gym by evening with everyone sweating it out at once!
Incidentally, was very thrilled to be able to wear a pair of fitted trousers I got tailored back in the year 2000, to go out yesterday. Kenzai is making some impossible things happen to me 😀
Mother went out to meet some of her old colleagues and friends today, and I'm told, Kenzai was a hot-topic there too, especially after they saw how my brother Melvyn has transformed (he drove mom).
I'm sorry, I haven't been able to stay engaged much with the group, and have been a bit inconsistent with the blog. Hope everyone else is fine... let's do this guys! We're almost there now ☺
With only 20 days of the Kenzai Program left to go, it's hard to say what's been the "easiest" part of this process, while it's relatively easier to name the things that have been hard. I guess without realising, the ease with which I've been able to go with the cycle of training as it gradually ramped up, may have been the easy part. I'd have laughed if anyone had suggested to me in June, that by August, I'd be able to jumprope continuously for 6 minutes and repeat that thrice after a mere 20 sec break. I'd have called it a joke if you said, I'd also be able to follow up the jumping with several levels of madness to do 5 sets of push-ups or pull-ups, scores of other kinds of twisting and turning, working the quads, lats, pecs, biceps and triceps and abs, and then come back for more. Yet, all of that has indeed happened and I feel a bit like a war veteran 😇
So, what's been the hardest- well, there have been days when I've wondered if I really could get myself to show up and do it that day and the next... and the multiple sets, reps and sheer fatigue have been a lot to take at times... the endless process of fixing Kenzai meals has been tiresome too. Resisting the occasional craving for something sweet and sinful- that's been hard too.
But at the end of day 70, everyone at home has transformed! My brothers have both dropped a few sizes, and so have I. The satisfaction of simply fitting well into my clothes, without having to tuck, pull and conceal rolls and tyres, the lightness in each step I take, the reflection in the mirror, the sense of strength and control overall, makes everything worth it.
I never imagined that I'd be able to get back into clothes almost 14 yrs old, lying discarded only because I'd outgrown them. Not only have I earned a whole new wardrobe by reshaping my body to fit back in those clothes, I just feel a lot younger, energetic, cheerful and healthier. I've probably added a decade to my life, and that too a better, more youthful one. Others at home seem to share that feeling and there's hardly any excitement about the third indulgence we've just earned, which is quite rare for a family that enjoys eating, especially eating out!
This has been one of the best experiences ever. One that has already exceeded expectations in terms of results. I expect the next 20 days to be tough. But then, nobody said so much good stuff would come easy 😊
With fewer days ahead of me on Kenzai and more behind, met the challenge of skipping 4 times at a stretch for 5 whole minutes with only 20 sec gaps between the sets. At about 500 jumps per set, that made a new milestone of 2000 jumps in about 22 mins today. And because I’ve set myself a goal of completing at least a minimum of 60 active mins daily, added the 8 min abs routine of the blue lycra man and a round of stretches to keep my rest day busy. While I was feeling very accomplished, saw the marathon runners at the World Athletics in London, and got some serious perspective on stamina, endurance, the human spirit and that amazing gift we all have- our bodies, which can almost go as far as we are willing to. My 20 mins of skipping didn't feel like a lot in comparison to the women and men running for almost 3 hrs on a warm day, pushing themselves well beyond muscle failure through sheer grit and determination. Quite humbling.
Meanwhile, as the end of the Kenzai Prog draws closer each day, I am tempted to shift my goalposts too. I happened to try on some of my old clothes, (a few of which are over a decade old), pushed to the back of my wardrobe coz I haven't been able to fit into them… and was happy that I could actually button up a few, but felt discouraged that I still have a rather long way to go, before I can roll back the wheel and go back in time to my once-upon-a-time, size 10. While its great to see the progress so far, I’m getting a bit greedy now and want to see if I can simply fit those old clothes.
It’s heartening that I haven't missed a single workout so far, and haven’t really strayed from the K-diet either. Hopefully, staying on course will see me through.
Incidentally, the routine of the blue lycra man gave me quite a pain in the neck yesterday, when I tried to complete the whole thing in one go. Its quite hard to keep one’s neck off the ground for that long. Decided to break it up into 3 sets of 3 moves today, and felt slightly better.
Noticed that my breakfast carbs are back from Monday! Was it the whining?!
The culinary experiments continue, and inspired by Karen’s recipes, tried the squid and prawn pasta, which turned out nice, and fresh. Got a bit tired of Indian spices for my chicken curry and did an oven back with potatoes and herbs instead and also tried Karen’s oven-baked potatoes, which I mostly gave my son and he loved :-)
And I tried to show off my biceps and the cut-look in my arm, which hardly seems to show in the picture, photo-bombed on cue by three of my doggies, with my son on the camera :-)
The 9th week of Kenzai feels like a heck of a milestone to hit, but the path three days in, has been somewhat undulating. Monday and Tuesday felt hard but somehow not as long as individual days last week, while today’s workout felt like it would never end! After a really long time, my headache has made a comeback and I suspect it might have to do with a combination of factors including the really small carb component in my daily diet and insufficient rest.
I really do miss my two slices of bread for breakfast. Having only veggies, milk and an egg doesn’t quite feel like breakfast, to be honest. But who thought I’d come this far without a cup of wake-me-up chai… so perhaps my body will adapt to this ‘new normal’ too!
Amongst the happy things to happen today, my head actually cleared the pull-up bar for almost the entire first set, if not perfectly, until fatigue set in, in later sets. Felt my arms and back must’ve got stronger with all the other exercises since the last time pull-ups were listed. I’ve also earned a bunch of callouses over the weeks! Can't find the gloves I used to have, and have been thinking of a new pair, but just haven’t gotten around to buying them.
I’ve also been doing the regular tricep dips for several weeks now, instead of the substitutes suggested earlier on, and I only struggle at the ends of later sets.
While I’ve been moving to higher resistance bands for most exercises, I still go with the weakest yellow one for the Double Katana!
I find the new ‘Antisocial’ exercise harder than the Plank and Side Sit-ups. The new Wall Pigeon stretch turned out harder than it looks. At an angle it just looks like sitting down and crossing your leg, a fairly commonplace thing, but when you lie down with the butt touching the wall and then try to defy gravity, the crossed-leg gets quite an amazing stretch. Whoever thought these up, is very cool. Managed a convoluted selfie in that pose, for posterity :-)
And adding another picture of tonight’s dinner- assorted veggies and egg whites.
Btw, just noticed a deadly new thing coming up tomorrow called the Cross Lunge, followed by Pistol Squats and Creeps! Oh Man!! Bracing up for it. Good night everyone…
To answer the week's question- have your energy levels changed, and if so how? I have to admit the past week has been really hard. Three sets of exercises back to back, to work the same muscles with increased reps and shorter rest periods has been really bringing on the burn everywhere. The skipping sets the tone everyday and the entire workout, especially when done in one go has left me drained daily and very relieved to reach the finish line. By about 5 in the evening my system begs a siesta and I often give in to a catnap of at least 15 minutes. I've been somewhat crabby and snappy and overall not a very nice person to be around! So much for energy levels :-O
Hoping this week will be better and see me out of the tunnel and into the light. Today's 5 sets of skipping of 4 mins each were really something! Every weekend I wonder if I have it in me to hit the new target and surprise myself by making it. Hope it stays that way :-) Touchwood! Managed to hit 400 jumps in each set and reach about 420- 430 in others, which makes more than 2000 jumps- the most I have done to date and I feel very accomplished. My heart rate reached a new high of 145 bpm too after today's cardio.
The past week has been very busy also because I needed to get all my finances in order to file my taxes before the July-end deadline. Getting all the documents together, number crunching etc was quite a task, but that's done and dusted as well.
Incidentally, we finally decided to 'indulge' yesterday, given that we've let two earned indulgences go without much fanfare. Chose a place called Byblos that serves nice Mediterranean food. Mum's Kenzai Silver Prog ended today, and along with her, both my brothers had their pending KB indulgences too. So after we saw Valerian, we headed for dinner and opted to order Lebanese. Got lots of nice grub, mostly salads- the tabbouleh with tomato, parsley, mint and lime, fresh greens, hummus, mutabbal- grilled and smoked eggplant puree with tahini, falafel, boneless chicken etc. All of it was great, but it came with some pita bread, and so we added carbs to our dinner, veering off the K-diet. The chicken had skin on, which we needed to remove to get rid of the fat and the dressings used in the salads were all fairly over the top compared to what we normally eat- in terms of saltiness, sourness and even hints of sugar.
We ditched the cocktails, mocktails and soft-drinks and went for a pot of hot camomile tea instead, which was nice to wash everything down with. And then we ordered a fresh fruit platter to comply with out K-diet, to close the meal. Overall, I think we did alright and felt fine, yet rather indulgent, especially when it reflected promptly in terms of weight-gain on the scale, the next morning. So, all that cardio today was very much in order!
Don't think I'm going to 'indulge' in a hurry again, even if asked to. Attaching pictures of the Lebanese dinner last night. All said and done, it was quite a treat.
Got my first gentle reminder to post a blog asap, after apparently going AWOL for about a week. I’ve been checking in on posts by others and leaving messages but haven’t felt up to putting one up myself. Ever since we moved to timed jump rope sessions, of 7 sets, lasting 2 minutes each, last week, I’ve been trying to figure my way around it. The first few days I found myself counting each jump, and when I topped off at 170 jumps in 2 minutes, felt, I needed to add another 30 to make it 200, since we closed at 1600, the Sunday before, and I would only make 1400 @200x7
This meant, each set grew longer and closed at about 2.25 mins. And occasionally I would actually manage 200, and even exceed that number at times. In short, I was trying to probably find an even pace and rhythm. Then mid-week, came the lesson on how to handle timed skipping, which was helpful. Have to admit I haven’t quite managed to find my rhythm yet, and I’m not simply going with the flow either. I still count and try to average a 100 jumps a minute, which now means 300 in 3 mins. Didn’t think I’d have the stamina to keep jumping that long continuously, and survive with only 20 sec breaks, between 5 sets, but I have managed for two days in a row now, and not died :-)
Past the half-way Kenzai rubicon, today, was quite likely one of the hardest for me. The series of hardcore exercises for the legs were punishing- skipping, regular squats, pistol squats and floor jumps. Wow!! And then the killer sets for the arms and shoulders- Da Vinci, Shoulder Press, Shoulder Fly, with so many reps… followed by the dreadful V-sit, which incidentally I seem to have improved at somewhat, and then side sit-ups. Again, wow!!
Was I happy and relieved to hit the “I did it” button today! Phew. Realised what yesterday’s lesson on “welcome to the Real Kenzai”, meant.
But, for all that pain, the payoffs look good. Clothes fit a lot better. That stubborn spare-tire, is starting to appear deflated, if only a little, and the numbers on the scale are quite encouraging.
Just one quick question, should I be eating after my cardio? Coz I’m fairly hungry half-way through. I’m hungry every couple of hours in fact, and very happy to eat all my snacks. There are just no leftovers at home anymore. We all seem to polish off every little bit, down to the last gram.
About the ‘Indulgence’, a proposal to have pizzas was shot down by a majority vote, Sunday, and ever since nobody has really thought about it. I find that most of everything we ate pre-Kenzai, might qualify as an indulgence now. Don’t really have the heart to spoil a good run by throwing in sugars or fats at this stage, just to check how it feels. Hope that’s alright?
And yes, the lesson on “Belly Fat” on day 44 was very insightful!
A month ago, I would've balked at the idea, if told to skip 1600 times a day. But, today, I managed to do just that and feel very proud of myself.
To answer the question "why won't I quit now?" Well, why would I quit now? I didn't sign up to quit. This is one of the best things to happen to me in a long time. I intend to stay and finish what I've started. Staying to see the finish line in September and beyond...
Why would I abandon the Programme just because of some pain, a little sweat or other sundry discomforts? This is totally worth my time. The benefits far outnumber any problems, and I'm in for the long haul 😊 Whatever it takes...
As if starting the week off with 1200 jumps wasn't enough, it had to be followed up by the killer one-legged pistol squats and floor jumps! My legs were almost screaming 'assault and battery'... add some waterboarding, and it could've been a simulation of git-mo!!
Just joking 😁
Truth be told, my feet and legs did protest. The swelling returned, but despite some vassilation on Tuesday, I figured it was too late to throw in the towel. So got down to the job and finished my workout. And guess what, my legs fell in line! Wondered briefly how 1300 jumps might feel today, but survived it alright.
Am still going at the pull ups doggedly and then doing the optional downward row too. I've improved a bit, but only a wee bit 😐 I dream of doing at least one clean pull up by the end of the program!
The Da Vinci Vitruvian Man is still a killer, especially in the dregs...
But hey, still standing to tell the tale 😃 and that's what matters.
Thought I'd report a few random observations:
1. I seem to drink a lot less water these days. Used to be a guzzler once! Guess its all the water in the veggies and fruits that's compensating.
2. No headache for a longish while! That's great news for me. I've popped so many aspirins over the years, I imagine ulcers everywhere.
3. Hairfall is under control. Earlier I'd imagine weaving a wig with all the hair collected after a wash 🙈for when I'd go bald! Is it the high protein diet?
4. I know I'm not to step on the scale coz "weight is just a number"!! (Would've never seen it that way, until I read the lesson) but I have a scale placed in my bathroom which I tend to step on often. Its almost a habit now. And it says I've shed a little more than 2 kg while on the Prog. Not bad!
5. I'm able to look right past the pastries in the fridge and not crave sugar. That's pretty massive 👍
Yesterday was mom’s birthday. She turned 68, of course a reason to celebrate, cut a cake, throw a party, pop the bubbly… and right there is the problem! How do you celebrate, or appear to be celebrating joyfully, without doing any of the above?!
So, not for the first time since embarking on the Kenzai journey, the family was locked in a debate- to cake or not to cake. Our ‘indulgence’ has come and gone, and although nobody else in the family really ‘indulged’ in a real sense at all, the mood was not in favour of cake! Coz well, sugar, butter, all that icing = undoing all our precious gains from the past month, through serious hard work.
Eventually, my brother Melvyn brought home 4 pastries for 5 people. One, a pineapple pastry, to replace the fresh cream, pineapple cake my mother loves, and the other three- black forest pastries, which the rest of us love! No idea, why bro got 4!! Think he was craving a bit, and hoping he’d catch the rest of us in a weak moment to give in too. But when it came to crunch, bro no. 2- Joseph, an ex-Army officer cracked the whip! No cake for the rest of us he decreed and that’s how it was. We still lit the candle, and sang the song. We also did the ritual cutting of a little sliver of mom’s pastry, and she had a bite for old time’s sake, but that was it.
My son, David, the only one not on a ‘diet’ in the family was also the only one who had a ‘real party’, in the conventional sense, making up for the rest of us.
Besides this, the usual way to ‘celebrate’ would’ve been to go out for a big lunch/ dinner, to indulge on a decadent feast- a full course meal, rounded off by desserts! None of that happened yesterday. We stuck to our Kenzai diets of apple, egg-whites, milk, yogurt and veggies. Ma got to have carbs too, a regular bonus in her dinner plate.
A week ago, I happened to take David for a modelling assignment and noticed that the sets of the shoot were practically overflowing with food! There was biryani for lunch, tea and coffee on the house, biscuits laid out on tables, and even an evening snack of jalebi (deep fried, sugar syrup-filled sweet) and samosas (also deep fried). And everyone except for the more conscious models were helping themselves to everything without a second thought. Only I and my brother, chaperoning David stood around like we came from another planet (Kenzai) and politely refused to have anything. Of course, we may have behaved just like everyone else pre-Kenzai.
So far, the Kenzai Program has been a lot about renegotiating our relationship with food. About becoming more conscious of what we put in our mouth, about thinking and knowing when and how to say no, realising why, not regretting, and figuring out that ‘we are what we eat’, in more ways than one. As a culture, we seem steeped in the idea of living to eat, because, well, we “only live once”, and what’s life without “enjoying” it, with the choicest, often expensive and rather greasy food. Resisting this, at the start feels like one is going against the grain, to use a cliche. We’re conditioned to participate in the feast everywhere and its a ritual to end the day holding one’s bloated belly, to complain, “Oh I think I had too much, today”! Hopefully, that is behind us now, as a family!
Relieved to be freed of the cycle of gluttony and regret, of damage and repair. Every major festival or life event, invariably puts a few kilos on our frames through sweets alone. Just cutting out sugar for good has taken care of so many things. Its very empowering to feel in charge of deciding the shape and form of my body through food and exercise, of being able to choose health over everything else.
Here's a big thank you and lots of appreciation for all Kenzai Gurus on the occasion of Guru Purnima. While the full moon is already blazing the night sky and the correct date was yesterday (Sunday), it's never too late to express gratitude for your role in imparting invaluable lessons for good health, wellbeing and positive living. The moon looked quite literally like an eye this evening- an eye in the sky. A bright, benevolent, happy moon. These pictures are dedicated to all you lovely Kenzai trainers.
After 1000, 1200 jumps didn't feel lile such a leap, so managed to scale up without struggle this morning.
Glad you're asking what we're fed up with at this point in the training cycle! It has to be the continuous cooking and eating, for me. Guess its different if you're only cooking for yourself, but preparing meals for 4 Kenzai trainees is quite a task daily for 3 months. I feel like I'm cooking and eating all the time, and eating a lot! I'd be happy with a lot less, to be honest 😊
The monotony of the whole thing is starting to get to me now...
What about others? How're you guys all holding up, Team Centaurus?
Decided to edit my post to add what I'm really, genuinely most fed up with- it has to be the obstinate belly-fat!! My paunch is enemy number 1 for now. It's putting up a very brave fight, refusing to budge. I know I gathered it over the years to give it life and form, but I just wish it would go now and leave me in peace. I'm going to chip at it every day, a little at a time. Really hope to get rid of it...