Jess Swarbreck

Jess Swarbreck

Kenzai Member
KB3 and a year of Kenzai challenges!  

Another epic challenge from Kenzai which has once again brought the highs, the lows, and the unexpected to a 90 day 'journey'.

Its amazing how much happens in 3 months. Once again I find myself in a very different place to when I started. I knew I was in for a big challenge, both with Kenzai and in my personal life 3 months ago. I was perhaps the most nervous I've ever been about getting through it all. College work, professional qualifications and exams and a new job.

I knew KB3 was the thing to keep me on an even keel but perhaps one thing I hadn't factored in was needing to balance all this with things at home which are all pretty new still. Having moved a long way from London, making new friends and keeping things sweet with loverboy at times have stolen the limelight from Kenzai. At first, I found this very difficult (see blog 'downturn') but since then I've managed to balance things out a little more.

Last Saturday marked the final hurdle with my college finals which I'm pleased to say I got through. Needless to say the final three days of my holiday were the most enjoyable days I've had in some time! (See photo!)

Of course, the result of not being completely strict with myself in these final few weeks is that I'm not at my leanest. I'm ok with that, even if its not what i intended at the start. I always find, after several weeks of hard training, that I become much happier in myself and the need to push things to extremes dissipates. I'll never find it too much of a struggle to work out or eat right but I do always struggle with body image when I'm being lazy about training! I've realised during KB3 that self acceptance is easier the more I train, and the more I watch others train. Not rocket science, is it!?

As I talk about often, my key motivator for fitness and healthy eating has always been mental health and sharpness. I'm just so much better when I'm focused with training in this way and I'm grateful to Kenzai programs for over a year of being on consistently good form. I've got a lot done in a year!

A lot further back on my blog I've talked a bit about my struggles with ADHD over the years and I was quietly celebrating last month which marked a year of being completely medication free. Again, I have Kenzai to thank because, the day Thomas took me on as an assistant trainer was the day I finally took the courage to let go of a crutch that I'd relied on for so many years. Aside from a little bit of weight gain, the rewards of this have been really positive and I'm happier about my health than I've ever been.

I've loved KB3, thank you to each of you in the team for your encouragement along the way, and I'm sorry I've not been as present in the later stages as you've been for me. Thank you also Thomas and Patrick for your support.

Here's to the next challenge :)

On holiday

Sorry for the radio silence guys. I'm away with family in France. Lots to celebrate with big birthdays and being all in the same continent for once. Beautiful day today- which was dads birthday so we did a very Kenzai friendly bbq.
Not able to enjoy things quite as much as I want to as I have my big exam on Saturday. Still, training wise things haven't fallen to pieces. Been on a couple of gorgeous runs and lots of swimming. Won't say I've totally avoided the rosΓ© πŸ™„
Anyway, just checking in!

Brexit :(

A very sad week for the UK, and I'm feeling pretty depressed about it.
Having moved back to England 4 years ago, I've only really felt settled recently but have spent this week quietly wondering what kind of a future we have here now. It's early days and who knows what will be but for now this sense of uncertainty is my overwhelming feeling and the only thing I can write about.
Waiting for assessment results and counting down the days to final exams is of course exacerbating these feelings so I'm trying to keep things in perspective.

I had an awesome work out yesterday and can now manage about 3 half pull ups- progress indeed! I now love back day as it always makes me focus. We also had a great weekend with my dad (one of the original PCP graduates... ) and of course took a rare opportunity to work out together which was fun! Things are ticking along and one thing I feel very settled in is training mode! There's never two ways about it- I train, everyday, and thats just how it is!

I saw this photo on instagram earlier and had to share it. If Brexit does one positive thing, let it be to warn Americans that the unthinkable can happen. Don't forget to vote!!!

Busy busy

Just home from an incredible weekend at a wedding in Spain. Here's a photo of my sister and me all scrubbed up! Of course a wedding is one of those situations you'd be crazy not to enjoy so, needless to say I'm needing to re-centre and put the effort in even more AGAIN this week. I'm not entirely happy with the way KB 3 has taken a back seat as of recently but it's all continuing to positively contribute to every aspect of my life. So I'm not complaining.
I do want to step things up a gear but it's into another busy week-a busy work week, a final assessment for a course all day on Thursday and then my amazing Dad arrives from HK on Friday for the weekend. I will do my best.
Happy Monday team.


Oo lala 7 days no blog. Time is flying!
Things are just about ticking along. 'Rest' week with full body integration work outs felt long overdue last week- I think that Kenzai along with some pretty intense ski days over the past few weeks required some real rest days which I hadn't been allowing myself. Anyway, last week I definitely did allow myself a rest! Feeling much stronger for it this week although after my indulgence (which lasted all weekend) it's been tough getting back into it all this week.
Good thing is that we're dog sitting this week so she motivates me to get outside early and go for a run. She makes me run faster too :)

Phone is out of storage space so couldn't get a decent lunge spot in view of my computer camera...settled for a squat this week.

Busier than ever at the moment so not being the best team mate. Looking forward to catching up with you all this week.

Peace X


Question of the week- what mottos do you live by?
It was a toss up between two extremes...well I guess that sums a lot of us up here at Kenzai right!?
One thing I'm often told is 'slow down'. Simple but sobering. Necessary often but rarely actually invoked. Feels good to slow down, particularly if you're prone to rushing like me.
The other, I actually had framed a few years ago. Its like YOLO but ruder. See picture. It always calms my fear of failing if occasionally gets me into trouble :)


I attempted a pull up yesterday and didn't even come close to moving in an upwards direction. I managed a few more negatives than the last back work out but they really hurt. Not in a good, that's my muscles working way- more of a grindy I'm not doing this right kind of way!
Beginning to wish I'd considered my abilities before committing to this challenge of 5 pull ups. Why do I even want to do this!? Party trick!? Anyway commit to it I have.
In the lat pull down machine I can just about manage 45kgs for around 5 reps which means I either need to lose 20kg or get 20kg stronger. Ahem.

Pull ups. Day 44

Managed to do the negatives today but less and less each set. 5,3,2,1 I think. Great way to train if you can't manage the full pull up. I've been using a bar to do assisted pull ups but I think the negatives are better training. We'll see...
New little goal for day 90: 5 full pull ups (no assistance).


It was bens bday on Wednesday and I threw a surprise party for him. It was great although I did have a few drinks. Felt really dehydrated and awful the next day and missed my first work out. Gutted and have been beating myself up about it for two days. As a trainer I know I need to just move on and not be too perfectionist about it but I have to say this experience has humbled me. Having been on such a massive high with training, it was a shock to wake up on Thursday morning feeling so monumentally shit and then a little depressed about it all this morning. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

One positive is that I have blown off a lot of steam, I feel 'levelled out' again, if a little bit jaded after a not-so-great work out today. I know this will change and I'll be feeling good again after a few days. It feels good to blog it out! Have a terrific weekend everyone πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Honkers running

Beautiful shots of HK


So who else is on apple, egg white and yoghurt for dinner?
I have had many many an evening feeling underwhelmed on this meal BUT i have discovered something rather wonderful. Cinnamon stewed apple with yoghurt and vanilla.

Here's another recipe to try:

1. Peel and chop 2 or 3 cooking apples and put into a pan with the juice of an orange and 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

2. Cook until Apple is soft.

3. Mix 1 apples worth of cooked Apple mixture into your yoghurt portion along with a few drops of vanilla extract.

You're welcome ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy 🍏

Checking in

Hi Team, very busy week so haven't had time to comment on blogs but will catch up with everyone soon. Things are ticking along fine. Looking forward to making some breakthroughs next week. Happy Sunday everyone X

Chilli con funghi

I don't know if I've invented this, I doubt it but I will take credit for making it up as I went along and friggin nailing this recipe. It worked perfectly with boiled egg whites for dinner tonight. Tastes better if all ingredients are organic.

1 punnet mushrooms
1 red onion
2 sweet potatoes
1 tiny bit of butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tin tomatoes (400g)
1-2 cups beef stock

1. Saute the vegetables in the butter over medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Add the spices and saute for a few more minutes, stirring.
3. Add the tomatoes and stock and stir.
4. Leave to cook for an hour or so until the spices no longer burn your throat in a bad way.
5. Serve with coriander or parsley.

Seriously yum!

Roll on week 5

So, after my 'enjoying week 4' post things started going down hill a bit.
I've kep up with the work outs 100% but it's all felt a bit half arsed. I've also felt hungrier and craves. Hormonal I imagine.
Last night i made stewed apple with some crumble topping for Ben but if I'm honest so I could pick at it too! So had a few mouthfuls of sugar filled crumble last night which is my first diet slip. Nothing major and have just had a great work out. I'm glad we're back into strength training!
Happy week 5 and good Kenzai y'all :)

Question of the week

What makes me loose track of time?
-Sport when its fun and I'm playing well.
-Playing the piano when I'm learning a new song and its going well.
-Photoshop. This was the first thing I thought of actually. When I worked in animation I once spent a ridiculous amount of time adjusting one background shot but completely lost track of time. Thats the picture attached to this blog.
It ended up in the film Astroboy in 2008 which was a very sweet film if a little bit of a flop at the box office!

Jan 8th, 2018





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