Jess Swarbreck

Jess Swarbreck

Kenzai Member
Trainer
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Pretty gorgeous day here in England which has made it very easy to get out an enjoy the day 1 workout.
It’s a long time since I’ve done any weight training so I’m excited to get back into it.
Good luck team!


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It can be a difficult time of year to remain motivated to train strict. Most of us approach our diet and workouts afresh at the start of a new year but our resolve can start to taper out as the year carries on. Being a part of the Kenzai community can be a wonderful way to maintain motivation and momentum with training, but as with anything, sometimes you find yourself in a rut. Enter, THE MOTIVATE APRIL Challenge!

This is a challenge for any Kenzai member to take on. Are you feeling like you need a boost in motivation? Here is a challenge to get you back on track. Take part in any or all of the following:

1. SET A NEW GOAL!

Have a think over the weekend about your current goals. Maybe you set them earlier in the year and they need to be revisited. Maybe you’d like to set new goals. Whichever it is, tell us about it in a blog along with how you’re going to achieve it. Include the hashtag #MOTIVATEAPRIL in the title so that other participating members can join in and comment.

2. THE 7 DAY CHALLENGE!

Think of this like a mini-program. 7 days, 7 workouts, 7 Kompliant diet days. Can you do it? Tell us about it on your blog #MOTIVATE APRIL.

3. MOTIVATE SOMEONE ELSE!

As a Kenzai member, you know that sharing your positivity and energy with someone else is the surest way to energize yourself. Get out there on the blogosphere and find someone to share the #MOTIVATE APRIL fun with.

The #MOTIVATEAPRIL Challenge. Join the team...you know you're fierce enough!


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Sculpt complete!  
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Boom! Sculpt has been awesome and I really want to do it again as my programs been a little haphazard this time due to travelling.
One huge bonus of this was that I got to meet up with Hong Kongs finest dragon boat team (see photo of all the Kenzaites involved!) including one of my Sculpt trainees, Sophie which was awesome! The dedication these girls showed during their practice was pretty intense, and as someone who's played a fair bit of team sports, I know how special that is. My husband Ben came along too (wish I'd gotten a photo!) and he even said whilst we were on the water ' this is a reason to move to HK!' Watch this space ;)

Another huge highlight was to meet up with a handful of my amazing colleagues in Hong Kong (see photo) - we enjoyed an evening of healthy Kenzai drinks and snacks....naturally.

I'm back home now and embarking on the final part of my degree which is seriously daunting and I'm so DONE with academics now. Not to wish my life away or anything but bring on the 15th May when it will all be over!

Huge congrats to all my fellow sculptors- you've been AWESOME! And also hats off to Kim B for designing this super fun and effective program.


Niseko
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Just coming to the end of an amazing week skiing in Niseko. Skiing has been wonderful although we’ve had unusually spring like weather so will have to come back another time to experience the famous Japanese powder.

One of my favourite things has been to go to the Onsen every day- I’ve found my muscles have recovered more quickly from workouts and long days skiing.

Diet’s taken a bit of a hit but having never been to Japan, I’ve not wanted to resis trying everything!
It’s a big fat yes to ramen noodles, sushi, gyoza and moshi! And a resounding NO to smelly natto beans!

Onto HK this evening and looking forward to catching up with the Kenzai gang there!

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend!


Not the best day
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I was really pleased to see the jumprope time drop today as my shins have started to flare up (long term issue). And I'm absolutely loving the barre work- so much fun and causes a burn like no other!

After an epic start to the program, the past couple of days have been pretty off. I was at work all day on both Saturday and Sunday and our neighbour sweetly took us out for dinner on the Saturday night. So I was completely pooped by Sunday night and never ended up doing my workout yesterday, AND had a few glasses of wine. Slap on the wrists for me.

Today's been a funny one. Last night I found out that a company I've been dreaming of working with for years (alongside Kenzai) and who I was in the process of hopefully securing a job with, has had to close down. Basically, Brexit has scared some investors off. Sodding brexit- where shall I move? So yes, that has dampened my spirits which have been so high over the past few weeks.

I've been for a run with my dog today instead of jumping rope and will do the barre workout shortly. Who knows what's around the corner, eh?

Shout out to all you Kenzai warriors fighting to make your dreams come true...whatever they may be :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8qDOGLCSFo


Sculpt Intro!

Hi Team- hats off and thank you to Maria, Rina, Lori and Mai who've kicked us off with the intro blogs!
I'll go next!

1. I'm Jess and spend my time working as a Kenzai trainer, as well as a nutritionist and PT here in the UK. I live near a small town called Uttoxeter in Staffordshire with my husband Ben and our small menagerie pets :)

2. Goals for this program include shaping up my legs and butt for an upcoming holiday which includes both skiing and looking good in a dress!

3. Time is the only one I can think of but I'm loving the routine I've been in most of the year which includes getting up early and working out before work.

4. I love watching great dancers- Michael Jacksons up there with Thriller! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V90AmXnguw

Have a great weekend everyone!


Sculpt day 1

Thrilled to be kicking off this month with the February sculpt crew!

I've hit pause on ski-boot to put on my trainer hat but will be back to it later in the year- sincere apologies to my skiboot team mates for not seeing it through this time around.

Lettuce sculpt!


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I still have to dig out a photo for last weeks challenge but in the meantime here's a map of Mt Tremblant, Canada.

I spent several months training and teaching skiing here back in 2006 when I was taking a year out before university. By no means is it the most beautiful place in the world but it was where I put the hardest graft into any sport ever in my life. Compared to Europe where I'd done most of my skiing before, the conditions were tough, reaching -20C some days!
Second pic is of a rather chubby 19 year old me on my first week at ski school :)


Skiboot - Intro Blog
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Hi Skibooters! Here are my answers to the intro blog questions...

1. I'm Jess, I live in the Midlands, UK and work as a nutritionist, personal trainer, and am also proud to be a member of the Kenzai team. Things that make me happy include family, friends, food, sports, my pets and right this moment, a wood fire which I'm sitting by after working out in the cold with my last client of the day.

2. My main goal for training this round is to prepare for my ski trip at the end of Feb- its a bit of a bucket list trip as I'm heading to Niseko, Japan for the first time. Anyone been?

3. Possible barriers to come up are shin splints (an ongoing issue) and time constraints. I'm currently setting up a Nutritional Therapy business alongside my full time job and finishing off my degree. I think it should be fine though. 4 weeks ain't long!

4. Weird stuff: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?
Probably a labrador because they love eating.

Off to a great start and loving the cycle workouts. Fun!!


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Mind-the start of something great 

I've loved this program and reading everyones final blogs its amazing to see how attainable tangible results can be, with short (ish at the end!) daily practice.

Generally, I've had a tough year, and it came to a head a few weeks ago with a great loss in my family. As sad as its been, I feel that the skills I acquired, pretty early on in the program, have helped me to stay calmer, to be there for my family more, and stay productive.

As the programs gone on I've found that sitting can be an incredibly effective way of calming anxiety. I've always used running in the past but find that ten minutes of meditation is just as effective, and much more efficient than a long run which isn't always practical.

I find myself breathing and practicing metacognition at random times in the day, and the results are clear in my relationships and in my general sense of wellbeing.

Pretty life-changing. Knocked it out the park, Patrick. Thanks a million :)


Milestone
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Yesterdays session felt like a milestone.

I got a phone call in the morning which unexpectedly sent me from highly chilled to highly frazzled in about 5 minutes. I was so stressed and cross about it...its the kind of feeling where I'd usually head out for a long run to calm down, but I didn't have time as had to get to work within the hour. So, I decided to do my meditation practice instead. I had zero confidence that it would be a pleasant session so I set my timer at 10 minutes.

At first it felt futile but within a very short time, it was as though I could feel the stress hormones melting away- an intensely physical feeling letting go of stress and anxiety. And it wasn't as though I felt as though I was doing a particularly good job of it- just a practice day like any other. But the intensity of the effect was amazing to me.

In contrast, todays 20 minute session felt kind of blah! It was full of distractions. I wondered if the idea of a longer session subconsciously encouraged procrastination during practice. Anyway, excited to see where the next two weeks take us all.

LOVE this program!


Feeling the effects
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I’ve started to notice some real benefits of meditating. The process of stepping back and detaching from thoughts and difficult emotions is super helpful for me, particularly with difficult relationships. I’ve always been a ‘reactor’...to the point that my family love to wind me up. I can laugh at it but have always disliked that about myself. This process is helping me to keep my cool 😎

On my way back to France with my sister for the funeral. As you can see we’re both living in the moment right now...


Metacognition and 💕
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I found todays lesson helpful. Did everyone else physically do the exercise?
I used this bottle and observed the thought chain attached...I found that the action of thinking about thinking in this way really interesting, and I wonder if it might be a good way to detach from anxiety.

I bought this bottle at the airport yesterday, on my way home from a very emotional trip to France. Last Monday, my beloved grandmother had a stroke which we knew she would not recover from. I went to see her and was able to say goodbye and be with her after she died on Friday. She was 92 and had a truly amazing life...working as a nurse in Palestine during the war, and later as a translator and nurse to the Sultans mother in Oman. Oh the stories she would tell!The devotion of her children, my father and aunt, as well as her grandchildren, friends and neighbours, to her, for her entire life, illustrates what an amazing mother and person she was. She kept bouncing back through years of bad falls and one or two acute health problems, but never suffered with disease, living at home till the end and never ending up in a wheelchair- two things she always felt strongly about. She was the most loving, generous, and gentle person, with so much love to give- I will miss her terribly. I'm incredibly grateful for the long life she had and for her influence in my life, I'm so pleased we were there with her at the end and that it was peaceful. So many people don't have that chance.

When I observed my thought chain attached to the bottle it took me back to the airport, where I'll be next week for the funeral and all anxious thoughts about falling behind with work surrounding that. For some reason, thinking about thinking about this made tension in my solar plexus disappear momentarily. I admit I've been avoiding meditating since Friday, instead trying to keep busy and distract myself from the sadness I feel. But I've realised there's a deep sadness which I don't need to escape from, and a level of anxiety which I do...and can! It's amazing what you can achieve from really observing your thought chains- how many years have they been active in the background, causing tension in my body which didn't need to be there? ...all this from a bottle of water?


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This lesson was another great realisation. Meditation is NOT just an attempt to relax. If I can equate it to training then I can absolutely get my teeth stuck into this. Great lesson!
I feel such a great buzz around this program. Its like KB1 (or PCP) all over again!


Posture
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Such a simple concept but todays lesson was quite a revelation. I've ALWAYS corrected my posture from the shoulders- 'shoulders back' my parents used to say to me, which results in an exaggerated , uncomfortable arched back. Working it up from the hips makes so much more sense. So simple!


Jan 8th, 2018

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