Jennifer B.

Jennifer B.

Kenzai Mind | Day 13 (Member)
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Kenzai Mind
Day 13
 
Program progress:

I've been pretty crappy about posting. That's one of the parts of Body 1 that I did not do well and definitely think that the social piece of Kenzai is one of the keys to it's success for those who do well. So...in the interest of being a better blogger...here is my go at Ward's Questions:

Where are you? Hong Kong. Moved here last July from New Hampshire. I've lived abroad when I was younger, but first time as an official expat.

How do you spend your time? Left job to move to HK so that has freed up much time. I've filled this time with sports and other "things I'll do when I have time"...like learning to make pottery, kid's stuff (I have 3), and travel

Why Kenzai Mind? My biggest obstacle to my fitness and longevity is my on again/off again exercise habits and somewhat mindless eating. I would love to make meditation a daily routine and improve my ability to stick with daily exercise and more mindful eating.

How do you get here? Who introduced you to Kenzai? My fellow Dragon Boater and Kenzai coach Elissa. Just watching her kick ass in the DB is enough to sell me on Kenzai.

What's your favorite season? Why? Fall in New England. October/November in HK (= summer in NE)

Are you facing obstacles to this training cycle? Overcoming my snooze-button habit.


Mind Day 1

Hello team!! I’m relatively new to Kenzai. Just finished KB1 and struggled with focus and “sticking to it” - somewhat in the middle and again toward the latter two weeks. 12 weeks was a long time! The biggest hurdle was eating poorly/snacking when overtired or stressed. The emotional and mindless eating gets me every time. Hence....my motivation for Kenzai Mind.

I’ve dabbled a bit with meditation and am still paying for a largely unused subscription to Headspace. I am a believer in the positive benefits for both physical and mental health, but don’t know what has held me back from consistent practice. I seemed to have no problem eating chocolate every day😜 (well...not anymore!!)

My goal is to develop my mental muscles just as much as the physical ones!


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Better late than never 

I lost it about Week 9. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but the wheels just came off the Kenzai bus. I managed to do half-Kenzai for Weeks 9-10.5, but was then on vacation for the last 1.5 weeks. Literally and figuratively.

My body is nowhere near what I had anticipated it would be at the end of Kenzai - especially after feeling some pretty good results between weeks 4-6. However, I have definitely learned... rather, 100% confirmed...that my willpower is next-to-nothing when I am tired and/or stressed. BUT...life pretty much comes built in with stress and tiring days, so that is not a valid excuse. What it means is that I have to find better strategies for handling stress and not use food as a way to make myself feel better in the moment. I have managed to get a handle on my chocolate consumption (one may say addiction) and don't find myself craving sweets or sugar. I do, however, still tend to finish my kids meals sometimes and other mindless eating that adds up.

I am excited to continue to pursue Kenzai and haven't decided yet on which program is the next best step. I also realize that I need to delve into my group more and that fellow Kenzai support is a huge component that I did not leverage as well as I should have. Onward....


Life lessons

As we finish Kenzai, the most important thing I have taken away is to keep getting back on the horse. I have a (bad) habit of putting my kids/work/etc ahead of my own health. When time gets tight, the first thing to go out the window is my workout. I used to go weeks or months between my stints in the gym.

There have been many days in the past couple of weeks when I did a long hike, DB practice, etc but did not do or did not completely finish the Kenzai workout. There were other days that I did not do any sort of exercise. Those days left me feeling sluggish and tired...and more likely to eat more.

I don’t have the body I was planning on having at the end of Kenzai. But I do have a crystal clear understanding of my pitfalls and weaknesses. I need to prioritize adequate rest and avoid over scheduling (Not my forte.) But when I do, the motivation to eat clean and workout is easy.

I am super excited and happy for several of my teammates who have really put in 100% and gotten amazing results. No doubt this program works. I’m going to keep plugging away.

On a tangential note....I am writing this afternoon from Mumbai (here as a chaperone for a school trip.) I am so deeply grateful for my life and my health. Living in the US and HK, we are quite sheltered from the deep poverty that so many people around the world live in. Really eye opening...

As the lovely locals say - Namaste!!

Ps. I am on my way to the gym to get in a workout before dinner. Trying to finish on a high note. Or at least work off the naan before I eat it!! 😬


Veggie Fail
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Last week was marginal, so this week I was determined to be 100%. On Sunday, I did all my shopping and prepared a bunch of veggies for roasting. When the buzzer went off, the carrots were still a tad bit firm so I stuck them back in for 3 more minutes...and didn't set the timer. An hour later, I smelled something burning and discovered my beautiful veggies now inedible and carcinogenic. Such a bummer.

Here we are mid-way through the week. I have been 100% on workouts and about 90% on diet. "Kenzai Parenting" should be another course....Strategies to avoid eating their crusts, catching their germs, and mental preparation for how-to ignore their fighting, whining, and homework battles so you can squeeze in a workout.

Off to the gym for a mid-day workout. :)


Indulgence(s)
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I had a night out this week and had my fair share of bubbles and probably most of someone else’s fair share judging by my headache the following AM. While I was down the rabbit hole, I ate a couple of sweet treats. Yesterday My 12 yo daughter and I had a day out which culminated in pizza (veggie pizza but still loaded w oil & some cheese). Felt pretty crappy afterward so clearly my body prefers the veggie heavy, low/no carb dinners. I actually like having a very light dinner and enjoy the apple/yogurt/egg white combo.
Missed one workout (of course the night after drinking) but managed to play 1.5 hours of very active tennis that day so all was not lost.
Am not seeing my belly fat budge much (no doubt because I’m not 100% on diet) but I am definitely stronger - particularly my legs. Core needs a lot of work.


Decent day
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Got up early, but only had time to do 15 min run on treadmill and half the workout due to kid issues (that I fixed for them even though I should have LET THEM FAIL...but that’s another post for another day!)
My old self would’ve scrapped it or put it off, but I said “you’ve got 25 min...just start!”
Ate well (but missed the AM snack) and did a grocery shop & a bunch of food prep this afternoon so feel positive that I am stocked up. Now finishing the rest of the workout and going to bed!

Food question...what about combination foods? I have a great couscous salad that has lots of veggies in it...I’m counting as 75% carb & 25% veg? Does that sound ok? Also frittata with veg & salmon? Not always sure how to count these.


Motivation...

Week 6 started stronger but I lost focus toward the end of the week/weekend with visitors in town. I'm pretty annoyed with myself but after a scuttled dragon boat practice due to weather, did 7 rounds of 500m (instead of the 2 min of skipping, I did 2 min of pretty hard rowing) and completed the full workout. Part of my "things to work on" is to procrastinate something if I can't/don't have time to finish it. But...half a workout or the short "emergency" workout is better than NO workout. I know this....yet......knowledge does not = behavior change.
So...I'm back to the plan that I HAVE to get the workout in before 9am. This is truly non-negotiable. Once I start the rest of my day, it's just not gonna happen.
Here we are past the mid-point. It's time to make the 2nd half count. Its not over 'til its over!


Week 5 doldrums

Week 5 did not go well for me. I feel like I'm the epitome of every single one of these lessons - particularly the Ups and Downs of training. Last week was Chinese New Year here in HK and I basically jumped off the wagon with both feet. For the most part, my food was ok - I've been avoiding sweets successfully, but with my kids out of school and being out and about, I missed several of the snacks and ate a couple of dinners out. My biggest disappointment in myself was that the exercise went sideways. I missed or didn't complete 5 of the 7 workouts. I still did Dragon Boat and played some tennis, but took a full break from the jump rope.

On the bright side, my knee has certainly appreciated the rest from skipping. I had an evaluation on Saturday and it was mild bursitis from overuse and I haven't damaged anything significant. I'm now able to fully flex it without tightness or pain. However, I feel like I'm back at square one on the jump rope. I'm sticking to alternate cardio , but I could use some guidance on how much I should be doing to equate to 1200 jumps?

I am super inspired by those of you that are totally rocking it - keep up the good work and providing us semi-slackers with incentive to catch up to you!!!


Back in the groove

I’ve had a few days where I have slipped on my motivation to weigh and measure everything. This definitely resulted in me not eating enough veggies and then feeling hungry and looking for more. I’m missing at least one fruit snack per day...usually either the afternoon or evening. I’m in full recognition that I need to get back on the strict wagon if I want to see the results I signed up for.

On the exercise front, I’ve tweaked my knee. It feels tight, is making new clicking noises, I can’t achieve full flexion. But...weight bearing is ok and I seem to be able to manage skipping, creeps, and lunges fine as well. For now, I’m keeping on as usual with some ice and ibuprofen thrown in for good measure.


Spoke too soon...

So the brownies got me tonight. I’ve been strict w my diet and on task for every meal. After a very rushed dinner and non-stop day, I was feeling antsy and irritated w my kids (another story altogether...)

I wandered into the kitchen and there they were...staring me in the face. Calling out “I taste SO good” and I caved. Had two w a cup of tea. They were good, but not worth it.

I never thought of myself as a particularly emotional eater, but I really AM - especially late at night when I’m worn out. I should just GO TO BED!!

In an odd way, I’m grateful for this. Tomorrow is a new day. Back in the saddle!


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I NEVER EVER EVER thought this day was possible. My kids are a little down at the moment. Missing the US & our family/friends, tired, sick, etc. Despite the fact that I know I shouldn’t use food as a pick me up, I decided to do exactly that. I made brownies this afternoon and the kids were totally psyched.

The reason I am psyched is that I didn’t even want one!!!! I have never gone this long without having some sort of dessert/sweets/chocolate and I am completely surprised by the disappearance of cravings. Yes...I read the Lessons and am aware that Kenzai said this would happen, but for me it was a case of “I’ll believe it when I feel it”. Or don’t feel it....

I’ve managed to start back w the jump rope and so far, my pelvic floor is on my side. The cardio is definitely getting better. I swim a couple nights a week and I notice I am faster and not as winded as my usual. The coaches are wondering if I’m using a performance enhancing drug.

Food is still sometimes tricky- esp when I need to eat out or run out of food ready-prepped in the fridge. Getting better though...Below is a photo of dinner....chicken w pesto (I think there a bit of oil in the pesto), red cabbage sautéed w a bit of Apple cider vinegar and thin apple slices, & broccoli rabe sautéed w garlic.

I hope everyone is doing well & starting to settle into their own groove too!!


keeping the mojo

Crazy weekend...fun and busy with kid stuff and some exploring of Hong Kong. It’s difficult to eat out on Kenzai...we were at a seafood place so I ordered rice and steamed prawns and scallops. Tried to go easy on the rice and ballpark the carb grams. Should have brought my scale!!
I’m loving the veggie heavy diet. I really enjoy my teammates food posts to get new ideas. I’m stuck in a zucchini noodle salad with peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, and citrus dressing. It’s great, but I’m in need of something new!
Mostly doing sets of 5 x 500m splits on the erg or 2 miles on the treadmill for cardio. Faithfully doing the pelvic floor stuff and working my way back to jump rope.


4pm

Seriously....I am DYING for a piece of chocolate. This time of day is always my lull when I run out of steam, but still have quite a few hours until I can climb into my cozy bed. After my chocolate/peanut butter binge last week, I made a deal with myself that I’m NOT going to cheat on the diet. So...I’ve got a steaming cup of chamomile vanilla tea instead. Definitely not quite the same, but it’ll do.


Hi everyone,

I'm a 43 yo from the Boston-area, but I live in Hong Kong. We moved here 6 months ago and I'm taking a self-imposed sabbatical from work. I have 3 kids (12, 8, 6) and have found my lifestyle here in HK far more active than it was back home. I am taking advantage of our time here to hit the reset button on my life and prioritize my health and fitness.

My goal for Kenzai is to get stronger and build muscle - particularly my upper body and core strength - and to improve my posture. As a tall woman, I have spent too many years slouching and it's time for that to end.

Great job to everyone on a successful Week 1. I look forward to this journey with all of you!