Jess Swarbreck

Jess Swarbreck

Kenzai Member

I'm enjoying reading the lessons on this program, particularly ones that remind me to keep pushing on through the runs, and indeed through life :)

I'm currently working my way through the final few weeks of a five year course in nutrition and as is often the way with long term projects (so I'm told), these final few weeks feel like I'm crawling up hill through mud! It's weird, the tricks the mind plays on you in situations like this. I'm getting good grades and yet my confidence levels are super low. I've been excited about reaching this point since day 1 yet suddenly I'm terrified about whats next.

It's a similar story with my fitness. I'm probably the best shape I've been in years, yet I look in the mirror and feel rubbish. I struggle to get the out the door to my lacrosse practice (my all time favourite thing!) or for my runs. I don't feel the need to psychoanalyse myself too much but I imagine it has something to do with feeling daunted at the prospect of life changing, albeit in a way I've planned and worked by arse off for.

Anyway, my point is, I've been 'metaphorising' the lessons where I can to help me keep moving forwards. Like a lot of people, I don't enjoy running up hills for example, and its something I've actively avoided. But the simple pointers like shortening my stride and leaning into the hill make it so much easier. And giving myself permission to go a bit more slowly makes a difference too.

My mantra has been a simple one but its a goodun, see above! :)

Checking in

Just checking in after a busy week away on holiday. Just back and stealing a day to continue painting the outside of our house, hence my speckled look in this weeks photo.
All going well but need to get back on track with the diet after a pretty relaxed week on that front whilst being away. Had some beautiful runs through the hills of France though :)
Hope everyones doing well!

Day 1 - K-run!

Finally, I'm getting started with K-run which has been at the top of my Kenzai list for over a year!
I've been a runner for many years but have never really improved- I'm a plodder but I love it.
This photo was taken of me a few weeks ago and I don't like it- every time I see a photo of myself running, I'm reminded at how poor my form is. I've had that pigeon toe since I was a child and, it always comes back when I least the only way is up!
Good luck everyone!

After a great start to the ranger challenge, family stuff kept me from finishing the final few days and i’ve struggled to write a blog since. I wanted to explain why I disappeared as realise it must have looked like I just fizzled our by now! Here’s what’s been going on...
After a very short illness we lost my mums dear partner. It’s a shocking and desperately sad time, one of if not the toughest of my life.

It’s strange, the way i’ve come to rely on working out, I would have thought i’d be pushing it harder than ever now but the past two weeks i’ve actually slowed right down. I’ve stopped my triathlon training altogether and even my runs with the dog have become slow walks round the block which take ages. It’s nice to have the time and space to think and absorb I guess but i’m wary of letting it go on too long. I’m feeling better after a weekend of warmth and sun and planning to make a plan tomorrow to get everything back on track.

Tough times but it’s great to have Kenzai as a unique layer of support- I know I can always log in for a bit of support and encouragement.
I was inspired to write this blog by a trainee called Aparna who’s been coping with a terrible loss but now bossing KB1 with a small human on her back 😊

Glorious England

Soggy work out with Bo today. She came in and shook muddy water all over the kitchen before i’d Had a chance to dry her 🐶🙈

Still loving the ranger workouts and feeling fit although the diets been lax whilst on holiday in France.

I attempted to swim in the pool which was 11 degrees- thought it’d be ok in a wetsuit but how wrong I was! Seriously painful. Invigorating though, I managed 2 lengths. I’d love to upload the video Ben took of it but there’s too much swearing 🤣

Hope all the rangers are doing well!

I was having a tough day but feeling better after an hour of Kenzai blog commenting. I'm finding it tough balancing everything at the moment. It's the nature of flexible working and part time study but its a balancing act thats always taken continuous effort and adjusting. But today's got me really wound up for some reason.

It's funny, I get really stressed out when I'm forced to change my plans at the last minute- today it was that I was needed at work longer than planned. But as it happens, its made me crack on with the short time I had and I've managed to get a fair bit done anyway.
I'm sure I've read about the busiest people getting the most done. I guess that's cos they don't have time to procrastinate.
It's going to have to be a late night workout this evening but I was feeling much stronger during yesterdays work out and swim so thats good. Hope you're all doing well, Rangers!

Day 2 ranger challenge

Was at work 7am-7.30pm and nearly put the 3km run off till tomorrow and then remembered dem ain't the rules.
Get it done. Don't complain. It's not hard. It makes you feel gooooooooood


Baseline results:

8km run: 49.33
Push ups: 53
Crunches: 80
Pull ups: 0

That was tough! It’s shown me where 6 months of focusing on weight loss (for my wedding) has got me fitness wise. Can’t even do one pull up 🦋

Onwards! 💪🏼

Triathlon training

Just signed up for 2 triathlons a couple of weeks apart in June.
One sprint and one olympic distance. Never done the longer one before so a little apprehensive but doing it with my sister so know it will be fun!
Need to renew my swim membership and get cracking. A little daunted as have been off games recently with a bad back (self inflicted as I overstretched it during a game of cereal box master...don't ask!)
First run today after over 2 weeks and very relieved to say it felt good. Saw these creatures en route- farm boundaries round here are seriously lax!


Not to blow my own trumpet or nuffink but I’m on a bit of a roll with this leafy greens cooking.
Tonight I cooked up some onions (the ready chopped frozen kind again) with garlic then added frozen broad beans and kale. Added a tin of tomatoes and a veggie stock cube and some water and cooked for 10 mins.
A lot more edible than my usual attempts at kale. Maybe I was just really hungry as looking at it now, it’s not so appetising! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Brain food

This week I read a compelling study about how eating leafy greens every day slows the aging of your brain. It’s given me the push I needed to get back into eating veggies which I’m not the biggest fan of like spinach and kale.
Tried a really nice recipe tonight- onions, garlic and wilted spinach. Easy to cook as I had some frozen ready chopped onions (a life hack I’ve always had an unnecessary issue with but for no good reason I’ve decided) and actually delicious.


I'm back to work after an amazing and intense few weeks! On the 16th of December I got married to Ben in what was one of the most wonderful, overwhelming, happy days of my life.
I felt amazing, thanks in the most part to Kenzai which helped to keep me disciplined over the 6 month lead up to the wedding, starting with reboot and then keeping things balanced from there with K-life.
On the morning of the wedding (at stupid o clock) as I lay in bed worrying about the Christmas tree lights in the church (which weren't working the night before) I logged onto facebook where I found a note from Sharmali telling me to check my Kenzai email. Low and behold, there was a video, put together by the whole team to wish us luck and love for the big day. I have to say the video took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster (rather like the past few weeks!) I laughed out loud and seconds later was moved to tears by the gesture...all of which I couldn't have stumbled upon at a better moment.
Thank you all so much for such a wonderful gift for my wedding which I will always cherish and enjoy :)
Here are a few unofficial pics from the day...
NB. Christmas tree lights fixed by Santa over night as it happened so I needn't have worried

Time flies!

I couldn't believe it earlier when I noticed that my last blog was a month ago! Time seems to have flown...
W-day is getting ever closer and the final dress fitting should be tomorrow all being well. A good sign at the last fitting was that I'd lost 2cm and she had to adjust it again. I'm feeling reasonably trim and fit so happy enough. I would like a bit more definition by the big day though so will keep working hard at the diet. Weekends are doing me in at the moment- need to exercise way more discipline for the next 4 weeks.
Happy Wednesday y'all :)

Latest fitness toy

Bo will be a year old at the end of the month which means I've been able to start taking her running with me. We're still getting the hang of it but I just got this awesome lead which makes things much easier! Such a fun fitness pal and really makes me run faster!
I'm down a few kilos and tightening things up again this month with #soberoctober! Actually really enjoying not drinking, especially weekend mornings without a fuzzy head!
Avoiding sweet things in the evening is proving the toughest part but I'm stocked up with herbal teas and embracing the early morning hunger pangs which are starting to wake me up just before my alarm at 6.30!
Ah well, all in a good cause #wedbod2017 (jokes...sort of)-

Wedbod update

All well! I haven't gone completely K-ompliant and instead have decided to pace myself towards December with a strict no drinking on weekdays policy and an all round 'eat less shit' policy. I reckon I'll keep tightening the belt as time goes on towards the big day. Am considering doing sober October...but a little concerned about where extremes are likely to take me during a pretty high pressure time. It probably sounds silly but experience has taught me that I don't do well with extremes.
I've persuaded Ben to start working out with me which is something I hope will last. He's an active guy but with a family history of heart issues, I'm hoping he'll find a reason in himself to keep it up past the wedding photo pressure!
I think I've managed to work out every day since my last post, just about. Might have missed one but feeling fit and happy nonetheless. I think I might have also had chocolate every day since that post too though so it feels a but like swings and roundabouts at this point :)
I've recently finished my last semester of the uni year which I'm super happy about. It's weird I didn't realise how stressed I was, just having deadlines hanging over me. I've now secured a diploma in nutrition and health and am just one year away from being a qualified nutritional therapist (and 2 years away from my degree).

Life is good.

Jan 8th, 2018





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