Ever since I got back from vacation (last Wednesday) I have been following the diet plan pretty nicely. Well, the first two days were a challenge because of lack of available food in the stores. After a big storm, the bread, pasta, produce, and egg sections were empty! A separate mention to eggs, which didn’t appear back in the shelves for almost 1 week after storm passed to the point I was thinking the winds blew away all the chicken hens!
Truth be told, this is the first time using the kitchen scale. When I did Kenzai Body 1, I refused to buy one and I made two “good” excuses 1) no space in a tiny apartment and 2) I will never have a scale outside of home and will not want to become dependent on it. So I ended up doing extra effort in memorizing portions of food and scrutinizing the food labels to find the weight measure. The good thing was it got me used to knowing how my portions should look whether I’m at home or out and about. Now that I have my scale I have to say I LOVE it! Makes it easier and also I know that I’m getting my food right.
Only one bad moment of the week has been a night out where I had two beers. Oh well...extra 5min of rope that day.
Workout wise it’s been steady and strong. Enjoying the ramp up in exercises and looking forward to more of that. There are a few workout challenges going on around Kenzai blogs and I hope more people join them! I will do the burpee challenge for 7 days (by Robin K) and will see if I make another challenge for speed rope or planks (by Sharmali). Let’s have some fun!
After the last 7 days living like a nomad - sleeping in 4 places, catching 3 planes, several trains, and jumping rope 7 times (yes!) - finally made it home to Miami. We have been fortunate that our building and apartment had no issues from Hurricane Irma and electricity, water, and cable/internet had just returned the day we arrived. Not so lucky have been so many people in Florida who are without power or supplies and have suffered major damages to their homes. For a while I reflected how it would have like to go thru something like that and let me tell you that worrying about jumping rope, getting my veggie grams or fruit snacks right just disappears from the priority list for the day. As if Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs that we all studied in school at some point popped back into real life. Our minds clear all the superfluous worries we carry during the days and focus on the essential: Shelter, water, and food, maybe cash too. It’s not after we have these that we start filling our thoughts of other stuff and worrying about things. One thing is for sure though, I can say with certainty that Kenzai is helping me stay focused on my fitness and making me better prepared physically and mentally to withstand anything that comes.
Workouts are going smoothly. Glad that I made time even when traveling. I have 2-3 more trips to do in the next 80 days but those will be easier since will be staying at hotels (with gyms). Today, I took advantage that our office still doesn’t have power, I have a flexible day, it was a gorgeous day and went for a run and workout outside. I ended up running 5K, workout at the park, and 5K back. Oh man! The way back was grueling, was soaked with the heat and humidity and legs weighed a ton each. Drunk 2 liters of fluid in the hours after. I realize now I had not run 10K in a long time and I felt it. But it was great!
Diet got started yesterday on our first day back home. Being out there traveling around in Spain was a clear sign that my official diet was going to wait until day 10. It was worth it and I’m now ready! It was hard to find all the stuff needed at the markets because people cleared every single food item that is non-perishable. In any case, I’m ready now to begin Kenzai Diet officially and beginning to use my new kitchen scale (more on this later).
Photo is from a boat I run into next to the park I stopped. I found it to be a timely name seeing how the sea is so calm now and sky so clear.
Now it’s for real: ready to kick butt! :) GRADUATION POST
I did 1000 leg reps today! Crazy stuff!
If you had asked me 6 weeks ago I will be doing 1,000 reps of leg work I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, as all of my Sculpt team, our bodies surprise us with being so adaptive, so capable of improving and becoming stronger when given the right attention and fuel, even in such a short period of time.
Because the change of the rest day, I was getting mentally ready for a really tough workout but it wasn’t that bad; I only groaned and cursed a few times :)
I finish this program knowing that my physiology is not one of having a big butt, however, it is one of having strong legs. I remembered how many years ago, when daily training for 2-3 hours was part of my life, my butt was no bigger and my legs were just a bit stronger. The fact that I feel I gained quite a bit of the endurance and strength I once had in my legs makes me happy. And make some think I will repeat at some point in the future (I think exercise endorphins are still flowing! Haha!)
I have to admit I have not been fully Kenzai compliant diet wise. I followed the diet plan for main meals very well but was not as good as keeping the habit of snacking as often as planned. And I let too many adult beverages infiltrate the diet during the past weeks. Oh well...
It was fun to learn all the dance exercises. The plies, arabesques, & Co..... it was challenging and rewarding seeing how over the weeks my body was getting used to them. Ankle straps were annoying but very effective at touching those muscles we often ignore. Pretzels were in this category too.
Thank you Kim for rocking the Ecru team all along and pushing us to the finish line. It was fun to have such a good group in the team and I just wished I could have engaged a little more in the blogs. I hope to train with you again soon in other Kenzai programs.
Let’s kick some butt out there shall we?!
PS: after so many plies, I figure I capture that moment for posterity
Today was one of those days that I was just so happy to hit the "done" checkbox. one of those that every leg exercise felt heavier and heavier. There was some motivation but inertia kept me going more than anything else.
Probably it was a combination of very hot weather, 3 hour dentist session with too much anestesia over my head, and just overall low energy. Feeling good that I just pushed it through and didn't cut corners.
I can feel the workouts really testing all my muscles around my legs and glutes. It is reminding me why I signed up for this....and I'm gaining strength indeed.
I have a very busy week ahead and I hope this inertia and motivation keep me through the week with all the workouts and decent diet compliance.
Have a great week everyone!
I see the fun has "doubled"! Not exactly fun to have to reach deeper to complete these "double" sets of barre workouts. They are testing my leg muscles now. I'm not sure about my butt shaping but I can feel my legs getting shaped a little more, gaining some of the strength I once had when tennis was part of my daily life.
I jumped ahead a little and read tomorrow's lesson. So seems like next week will be a very hard one! I have a very full work schedule AND the workouts will push my limits.
Well....I can only say...I'll do my best and bring on the challenge! ;)
So I made Banana Bread this week and reading about my indulgence allowance I was wondering where it will fit.
The more I thought about it, I think this Banana Bread could even be part of a Kenzai "clean" diet :D
It has eggs (a Kenzai diet staple), Greek yogurt (snacks), oats (carbs), whole wheat flour (carbs), bananas (fruit), and few additions for natural flavor.
Too healthy for an "indulgence".
I will have to put some Nutella over and ice cream then ;)
We all have seen those choreographies, ballet shows, or just those ice skaters dancing around.....it looks soo smooth and flawless. What nobody sees is the true sweet (and tears) that happened for months and years prior to that event. I think the "little" burn I'm feeling during these new leg and booty workouts are probably like a game to those athletes.
Which reminds me that they also started somewhere and everything I'm doing now was hard for them at one time and they persevered with motivation, determination, and courage.
Its always important to keep your inner motivation lighting up your path forward and pushing you every day to get better.
Lets keep dancing!
PS: I think a night out to go dancing some salsa or else after Sculpt is a must! :D
Last week was rough. Work was crazy busy and many days were nonstop with more than 12hrs of sedentary, unhealthy habits. That meant, I only worked out 4 days, and two of them were in the weekend where I doubled the sessions to try to fulfill the week's routines. I know it is not ideal, but, I needed to get back on track.
Fortunately, it is not terrible because I still have a 5-min walk commute and I try to use my stand up desk at least a few times per day. I need to begin trying doing some squats in the middle of the day, right? that would be funny how my co-workers see my doing Kenzai ballet exercises while I'm trying to take breaks from work.
Diet wise has not been that bad. I had not abandoned completely the diet principles from my Body program, so it has not been a hard adjustment, although, I saw myself drinking calories more days than I wished.
This week is a different story and I'm on track to a great one. I'm enjoying the additional exercises and learning about new techniques. I def. can begin feeling my legs a little more tired than usual, but it feels good to know that I'm building strength with them.
they say 'no pain no gain'....and I'm looking forward to the upcoming week to have new exercises that will make me feel that burn in the legs and butt through those workouts. I'm enjoying the variety in the exercises.
Unfortunately, this past week was rough for me and I was only able to complete 5 of 7 workouts. I will work on squeezing this into my routine again.
Nutrition wise, I have been behaving decently over the past few months, so I think I will just have to cut back on drinking calories and bring on the fruit snacks in between meals.
Today was officially my first day. I will have to catch up over the weekend and try to squeeze a double session day. I missed the daily workout commitment in my life but had forgotten how challenging it can be some days to make time for it.
I will refine my diet habits during the week and try to go back to a more strict Kenzai diet. Fortunately, over the past few months I didn't let it deviate a lot but I was def. becoming more loose on some things, like those lovely wine and beer with food gatherings.
But here we are....ready to "kick butt" and get my legs stronger.
Looking forward learning new exercises too.
After almost 4 months; a broke my jump rope and I just received the new one. I was surprised that it started to tear apart after "just" 3 months of using it and only 52,759 jumps; but who's counting LOL!
Looking forward to many more rope sessions
Its been close to 2 weeks since Kenzai Body was done.
Yes, I did take the "so-called" rest days and the 1st week I only had 2 days of exercise. This second week after finishing the program, I've been a bit more consistent with 4-5 days of working out to maintain. I've pushed myself to continue some type of workout routine and having access to the weekly workouts has helped. In any event, it has been much harder to set aside time to do this because I felt a huge drop in motivation to continue. But I know better, and I know that this is the lifestyle I want to maintain because it just feels great.
On the nutrition front, I've been behaving well. I've kept the higher than pre-kenzai intake of veggies overall. I've maintained a somewhat regular snacking habit, with mostly fruits. Also, I've continued to cook almost every morning a similar breakfast, with veggies, eggs, and some good carbs. I've noticed that I have incorporated again some more alcoholic beverages per week but I feel less willing to have them, which is the good thing.
Overall, I will continue to do my best to follow the refined lifestyle habits that I've acquired but without the rigidity of following a specific program guideline.
And to renew my motivation to keep a good level of workout routines, I may have to just enroll in a new Kenzai program :)
Finished! Yeah!!; and its bittersweet... GRADUATION POST
I wasn't sure at all what kind of journey I was immersing myself into back in late January. I'm so happy I committed to it, the best way I could. It has been rewarding, challenging, and a learning experience.
Rewarding because I have been enjoying a good and constant energy level for the past 3 months. Also, very rewarding because...hey, I don't only feel great but look physically pretty good.
Challenging because it has demanded a lot of time commitment to every day be a little strict with the diets, eat multiple dozens of egg whites, cook more frequently, plan workouts on the go, and traveling across several continents. It clearly requires a true commitment to fulfill the requirements of the program. After all, it is finding anywhere form 30-90 minutes every single day - between workouts and cooking - to devote to this fitness/wellness program.
Learning experience because I think all the daily lessons are nicely planned. It is true that often I would find them kind of simple but they are practical and easy to understand for someone who has never engaged in a fitness program or cared about it. Nevertheless, it has refocused my efforts in listening to my body more while exercising and eating. It has reinforced even more the importance of eating well, with as much natural ingredients and avoiding refined foods (I was already doing much of this). It has reinforced also the fact that alcoholic beverages are empty calories, but calories after all. In addition, it has again showed me during these 90 days that nutrition is so important to feeling good, fit, and healthy, and just exercising is not enough without the proper fuel.
Speaking of nutrition, I have a confession to make: I never bought the kitchen scale! My excuse was that our kitchen is small and it would have been a headache. However, I did start reading a LOT of labels and measuring visually and mentally how much I was eating. I figured that was going to be more helpful in the "real world" than using a kitchen scale for everything. I guess I remained disciplined in my "visual scale" and it worked.
Reflecting back on the last workout I did today, I remember that around that week 2, I was contacting Ward asking for heavier workout loads because they seem easy. Yes they did, but in retrospect, even though I was looking and doing more than planned in the 1st month, I do see that the program is designed very nicely to make sure most people can follow from day 1 and not feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
Thank you to Ward and Cecilia for encouraging all of us along the way. Congratulations to all new Kenzai graduates. I have to admit that I do feel somewhat bittersweet about this ending because it was nice to have such a strong motivation to finish a special fitness program. I guess I will have to find my next fitness challenge soon after my 3 days off ;)
I had to share this with my Kenzai friends because I'm figured they'll get a kick out of this....
I was staying in the outskirts of Kyoto, Japan, real close to that famous bamboo forest. Going for an early run through that forest trying to soak all that awesomeness without the crowds was something I've been wanting to do.
So, I woke up at 7am and went for a run. It was beautiful and even though it wasn't as lonely and peaceful as I had expected (obviously I wasn't the only one thinking the same way) it was just an amazing experience to hear the bamboo hit each other with the wind.
And as I was jogging through it I run into these unique "characters" taking pictures along the way as if it was some type of magazine photo shoot.
I could not help it and I took a picture with one of them! You can see it here.
I then came to find out that this is something popular in Asia, specially in Japan, and is referred as "cosplay" and there are festivals and everything around "cosplay". I'm sure attending one of those will be an experience in itself :D
Well....after a wonderful vacation it was time to come back home and get hit with reality. In addition to a seriously jet lagged arrival, I experienced a severe fall in motivation paired with some tiredness, which is very unusual for me. I arrived Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday I was exhausted and literally fallin asleep by 9pm so I voluntarily skipped the workout and went to bed. I felt bad about it but I also felt I was listening to my body.
The hardest part though, was to rise up again on Friday and stick to the workout and diet plan in the same disciplined way I have been for the past months. Thankfully, that is what I have done this weekend. The only part I failed was in, again, drinking some calories this weekend.
I can't believe next week is the last one of this 90-day program. To me, the last days of vacation after having worked out every day felt like being on the top of the mountain and took a picture to remember and serve as an example of how I should be looking when I reach 40! Maybe is wishful thinking but now I have a visual goal of how my body could look like if I maintain it well over the coming years.
I will push hard this final week!