I am not religious. Religions freak me out. The word God freaks me out. As a result, I don't know how to pray. Prayer makes me feel silly and ridiculous. Who am I talking to? As far as I'm concerned, there is no big dude in the sky listening to me talk to myself. But, somehow, in my soul, I believe prayer is important, and I want to open up more space in my life to practice prayer. Not so that God will bless me with a $10,000,000 or a brand new car or immortality, but prayer seems to be to be a way to practice gratitude, offer love and good vibes to the world and work through life's difficulties.
I just don't know how to do it without bring up all the religious baggage that surrounds it. How do I not feel silly? How do I open up to prayer?
I am Jenny. I live in Malawi. Currently, outside of work and family, I spend my time obsessing about a business plan for a start-up I'm envisioning on the property right next door to where I currently live. What makes me happy these days? Finding that little gem of alone time to do whatever I want.
Why Reach? I think it's important to intersperse some flexibility work in with the strength work once in awhile. Makes me more well-rounded. Reach also lends itself to introspection, as we explored in today's lesson, and I am in that sort of stage now, with the business planning underway. As part of the plan, I signed up for yoga teacher training, which seems to match Reach well. :)
I'm a mommy. I've got kids. I like to think of them as distractions rather than barriers...but sometimes they are difficult distractions to step around or hop over. I'm getting the hang of balancing work, kids and my own needs, though. Still a challenge but a manageable one.
Karaoke song. No thought necessary on this one. "Like a Prayer" Madonna. Also, oddly, "Welcome to the Jungle" Gun n' Roses. Both of these were big hits with the crowd when I performed them. Brought down the house! Of course, for a group effort, "Love Shack" B-52s is a classic.
Question of the week! Let's get this one done. Core Beliefs. I've been thinking a lot about this over the last few years, brought on by having children. What do I want to model for my children? What are those values that I want them to pick up from me? Well, in my business plan, I wrote the business will operate on the values of peace, strength, honesty, growth, simplicity and equity, because these are the core values that I find top the list in my own life. The business will be a health and wellness center with many different services, all of which I hope will bring more of these values into the lives of people living in Malawi.
Life is crazy busy right now, but time to give my flexibility some attention. Starting photo up! Let's see how much deeper I can get into that forward bend. Flexibility is so interesting. For some comparison, I've posted my deep squat. Super flexible hips but those hamstrings are tight. Looking forward to my second attempt at Reach. I'll be around to catch up on blogs in due course.
Sculpt Graduation - The Belfie GRADUATION POST
Before you do anything else, please go to the photos and check the before picture and after picture. That before is as epically terrible as any before picture posted by Fish (https://kenzai.me/jasonf/blog - this is Fish, check him out, he's pretty cool, just finished Chizzle). The booty is looking good in pink...thanks to the Kenzai team and the awesomeness that was Sculpt. By far, my favorite program. I absolutely love leg focused work, probably because I am good at it. I've got strong legs, weak upper body. That is me. I also adore ballet and idolize ballerinas. Ballerinas do amazing things with their bodies, and they make it all look so easy. They are so slim and wispy and fragile-looking but it's all an optical illusion. There is strength and power and flexibility rolled up into one Superhero package. See beautiful Ballerina at the Beach shot below. Just wow.
In a way, I wish this program was longer, but I am glad to take a two week break before starting Reach. The last week was brutal for me. I was toast. I did every workout and stayed the diet course about 90%. I admit to reaching for a couple chocolate coconut cookies in a moment of bone-tired, deep weakness. But, I dropped 1 kg between week 5 and week 6 after holding steady most of the program. Some of the last pregnancy fat reserves left my body in that time and the workouts from week 5 were tough. I could feel it. Friday, totally zonked. Saturday I did an easy yin yoga routine and blasted through the final workout at 4:30 AM on Sunday morning, so that I could really enjoy my Sunday. Btw, those weird arabesque lunges were clearly dreamed up by the devil.
And, that's it for me. As always, I'm excited to see what new challenges lie around the corner and what new fitness goals I can take on. I am also super, duper excited that my partner is signing on for the July Kenzai Body group. I won't have to feel so guilty about feeding him bland, steamed vegetables and boiled/baked meats every night.
My partner has a knack for taking flattering bootie pictures. I must say, I am pleased with the results in the Week 5 picture...or at least pleased with the camera angle. Ha!
I am still loving the barre workouts, despite the evil that was Saturday's workout. For the first time, I was quivering while doing the hip tucks and those have always felt easy! Not after all the ridiculous pulse work, heel lift, double time action. Ouch! I would love to do a lot more of this bootie building, and in fact, I think I might continue it. I've established a realistic morning routine for this round of training and would like to take it into an enhanced Reach training. By enhanced, I mean layering the barre work with some flexibility work. I've already seen an increase in my flexibility in this program. Imagine focusing on it! Some of the ideas I'm floating for after Sculpt.
For now, let's focus on this week! My goal for this week is to keep the diet perfect. Gram for gram. Hit every workout with a sense of enthusiasm. And, crawl into bed on time, every night, regardless of the amount of sleep my children allow me to enjoy. I envision a perfect week ahead and a big celebration at the end! Wishing everyone else the week of their dreams!
I am running a tight ship over here in Southern Africa. I know I am because I am getting hungry. I snarfed my dinner last night (chicken mince and mushroom whole-wheat fusilli with a side of garlic beet greens), looked at my partner and said I could eat another plate just like that...I am soooo hungry! But, I didn't and with the AMAYW fruit snack to follow in short-order, I felt some solace. That said, I may have sheepishly eaten 10 grams of my daughter's Hershey cookies and cream bar, which was 55 extra calories. I know this because I am engaging an experiment of sorts....
I've never been a calorie counter. I just trusted the Kenzai approach and went with it. I got results and that was enough for me, but I'm becoming more interested in the process. Therefore, I decided to start counting the calories to see just how the diet stacked up to my caloric needs. I estimated my base need to be around 1750 calories as a 39 year old breastfeeding mother of my size and shape. I added on about 250 calories for daily exercising, which may be more or less depending on the point in the program. That puts me at about 2000 for my daily needs if I want to maintain my weight. I downloaded an app that does this calorie stuff for me...I can add food consumed and exercise and it gives me some nice visuals of where I am at with my daily intake versus daily need and how close I am to reaching my exercise targets for the week. Anyway, the app isn't perfect but it was right on track with my own estimation of my daily needs and offers lots of food choices with the option to create foods....blah, blah, blah.
Here is what I've discovered so far. Chen's diet is right on. On the days where I am following the diet to the gram, I am left with a deficit of between 100 - 300 calories. The days that are closer to 100 are the days that I use my vegetarian option and eat some beans/nuts in place of meat. The days that are closer to 300 are the days that I eat nice lean meats, like chicken or fish. And, if I slip and eat a 10 gram piece of chocolate, it won't break my diet but when I have to log it, I think real hard about whether I want to sacrifice those calories for an itsy bitsy treat. And, if I don't want to totally f-up my diet, it must be an ITSY BITSY piece. If I ate the whole bar, it is the difference between a calorie deficit for the day and just breaking even. Just breaking even will not deliver on that fat loss that will highlight those fantastic muscles I've been busting my ass to build the last 4 weeks. So, the calorie counter puts an interesting spin on keeping me accountable. A few little bites of high calorie foods over the course of the day, and I could mindlessly pass the break even point.
Anyway, interesting lessons. I like quantifying the diet. I learned a lot in less than a week.
More information here: https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/it-s-baaaaaaack-the-return-of-kung-fu-body
I completed this program back in 2010 and loved it. I found that it increased my core strength and opened up my hips a lot. Plus, it was just a different kind of training that I found to be tons of fun. I spent a lot of time pretending I was one of the ass-kicking heroines from the Kill Bill series. You can check out my blog at this link for some inspiration: http://thekungfubody-jenny.blogspot.com/
A little motivational media for everyone. I laughed out load so many times in the first 6 minutes....haven't watched the entire 30, probably not necessary as the message is loud and clear after the first couple of minutes. Basically, what you are doing here at Kenzai is exactly what those actors are doing everyday, except they actually do have someone cooking up their food and forcing them to do the exercise daily. Enjoy!
Well, guys, literally, hours after I posted my acceptance of the Spidey challenge, I developed a headache, which turned into body aches, chills, night sweats, fever and a little nagging cough. Sounds suspiciously like....malaria. I tested negative twice but since the doctor couldn't figure out what I had, he treated for malaria and a bacterial infection. Read, atomic bomb in my body! The second day on the meds, I felt so "drunk" that I didn't feel safe to drive. My headache finally started to let-up yesterday. The cough developed into a full-blown whooping type cough, lots of nastiness coming up out of my chest. The cough leads me to believe that I had a yucky chest flu-virus or some such. This means that none of the meds I took did anything other than make me feel worse and wipe out any good critters in my body. But, hey, better to treat malaria than leave it alone and let it become more complicated.
So, my Kenzai game's been a little off. I managed 44 and 46 spidey push-ups, then workouts stopped abruptly. I did my first tentative workout yesterday. It went well and felt good. I will do another workout today and finally go back to work tomorrow. Being sick sucks but I'm on the upswing now. I will finish out this Sculpt training with a roar.
Fish, I accept. I can't hide from a direct comment challenge. So, I started this morning. 22 down, 22 more left for the day. You never said 44 in a row. For the rest of you Sculpters, feel free to join in! Boost the bootie and the boobies!
I saw Fish's spider push-ups challenge and was reminded of a former life, after PCP before Kenzai, when I did a LOT of Jillian Michaels' DVD workouts. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I couldn't afford Kenzai prices and instead would liven up my workout routine with PCV resources, which included Jillian Michaels workouts. I love her routines. Fun, challenging and she always pushes in just the right way. Sooooo, I pulled out my Hard Body mp4s yesterday and got to it. Holy moly, Jillian did not disappoint. I did so many freakin' push-ups that I was shaking! Great way to complement the leg focus from Sculpt. And, it's always enjoyable to watch her raz the models.
Food on point. Workouts 100%. Bring on Week 3!
Posture is so important. I am constantly aware of my posture, how I sit, trying to correct it and keep the channels in my body flowing properly. I looked in the mirror today, per the lesson, and discovered my posture isn't so bad. Even without correcting, the spine seems to line up well. I still have a bit of lordosis from the pregnancy, but it seems with my exercise, things are getting back to their proper place. When my budget allows, I want to invest in a standing desk so that I can alternate between standing and sitting postures more often. Standing helps me to be more mindful of posture, and I hope, over time, more standing will lead to more consistent good posture and better back health. The woman in the picture looks pretty pleased with her standing desk!
I am excited to be on diet officially now. So far 2/2 food inputs on point! That's 100%. Only 208 left to go....
First name Jenny. Last name Haddle. I spend my time working as a MEAL (monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning) professional for a food security project in Malawi, taking care of two radiant girls (3 years, 6 months), cooking, meditating and sleeping whenever I can fit it in. Sleep makes me happy. I am obsessed with sleep. I read a blog once by a someone who said that they could not stop thinking and talking about sleep after having children. I can relate....and promise not to talk about sleep the rest of this training cycle. Just assume I'm not getting enough, no matter how important it is or how much I love it. No reason to blog it out, anymore. It just is.
Goals for this training cycle. Well, looking at my starting picture that would be to lose the last bit of pregnancy fluff hanging around my belly, butt and thighs while getting a nice lift. Also, I'd like to be a better teammate. I've found that the mix of 40 hour work weeks, assistant trainer duties and children leaves much less time for blogging it out and checking in with you guys. I hearby pledge to blog at least once a week, hopefully twice, and read your blogs DAILY.
My barriers are basically listed in my goals. The only other barrier is my thinking mind...and the only way to conquer that is consistency in choice. Automate my routine and make it portable!
The color question was easy. Silver! I would be silver. Sometimes dull and gray, sometimes sparkly and full of shine. My eye is drawn to anything silver. Silver jewelry. Silver glitter. Silver tights. Silver hair.
So, that's me. Who are you?
This program's been a long time coming for me. I don't know why it's taken me so long. Oh! Well, I guess there was that pregnancy thing, which put me behind by some months, but I'm raring to go now. Check out that flat bootie ready to be lifted and tucked! The one in the starting photo...not the perfect one above that I've uploaded for inspiration.
I'm traveling right now, which for some my be a total disaster for week one, but I am sans children. Free time galore. Workouts will get done. No question. I made sure to focus and get a strong burn this morning. Breakfast was on target. Nice healthy bread (that's what it was labeled as!) with scrambled eggs, greens and grilled tomato. Coffee with milk to drink. I grabbed an apple for a snack on the way out. I did have a mini-doughnut for dessert as a parting gift to sweets. I also plan to eat some pizza at some point this week. I've already said good-bye to booze. And, that's that. Let's see what I can do in six weeks!
KRun Graduation Post - What next? GRADUATION POST
Instead of putting this off for longer, let me just go ahead and write it. I keep forgetting to take my final photo. Bianca is going through a waking up at 4:30 AM stage right now, which really messes with my morning routine. Though, not sure I can really call it a routine...stopped being routine when I became a mom. Every morning is a new adventure!
Which, honestly, is why KRun didn't go as smoothly as planned. The diet is easy for me to control and get right with children. The workouts are not as easy. Running requires the right set of circumstances for me to get out on the road. It's not like I can just get up and leave my small children alone while I go running. I need support...people to be with them. This cannot always be possible during the hours that I can run. So, I need to find an exercise regimen that still allows me to workout from home...in a place where I can hear the children if they wake or be there to address their needs. In this moment, I'm not sure what this looks like...I'm still kicking around the idea of Chisel that is starting up March 12. Then again, I'm wondering. Is this the right time for me to be on a program? I just am not the teammate that I should be...I can't fully commit. Maybe it is better to stick to the 3 times a week maintenance workouts and add in a couple of runs a week. I'm also looking at just focusing on core rehabilitation and really doing exercises to help me reconnect to me to my pelvic floor and deep core muscles. I am open to any opinions anyone wants to give me!
Even though I haven't done one workout over the last couple of weeks, I can say that I have stuck fairly closely to the diet. In the last 2 months, I have gone from 55 kgs to 50 kgs. I am nearly my pre-pregnancy size and with just a small amount of focused work can be pretty fit. So, that's where I'm at. KRun was an awesome program. I wish I could have committed to it more fully.