Well, it was an interesting question, firstly because I hadn't actually considered quitting until the question was asked. Ha! But, I do feel like I have some pretty solid reasons why I won't. Firstly, we are frugal, and paying for something we don't use is worse than the egg white dinners. Secondly, so far, this has all been worth the effort. Even though I don't feel like there is much of a difference in my photos yet, I do feel a huge difference in my clothes and my ability to do things without getting winded and my energy. The energy thing is an interesting piece though. It isn't that I have lots of energy...I'm still exhausted, every day and can't wait to get to bed at night. But when I'm awake, I feel that I have very positive and happy energy. I'm excited about things that have been a struggle for a lot of months. And, lastly, for as hard as it is to say no to certain things and to motivate every day to do my workouts, I feel like the routine of it all has taken over and even when my mind says "ooh, I would so much rather sleep in than get up and workout"...my body just hops out of bed, knowing that I want that part out of the way. Even when I love the smell and look of the meals my kids are eating for dinner, I sit down with my egg whites and apples and don't think twice about it. I will say, being out with friends is still a challenge every time, but the home routine seems to have taken over for the wants my mind tries to work into the days. We'll see how it feels to be on the other side of half-way.
So, we thought about cooking up the apples with our egg whites and adding a bit of cinnamon. Actually pretty good! Try it!
I've been nervous about how I was going to continue to get out of bed earlier and earlier as these workouts get longer and the time needed to prep breakfast and lunch was added into what already felt like a crazy time of day getting the kids ready for school and us ready for work and out the door on time. Oddly, the getting up and getting the workout done for the day benefit has far outpaced the grumbling about getting up earlier. I love knowing that I've completed my Kenzai commitments before I even leave the house in the morning (aside from eating well all day). I even try to read the lesson while I eat breakfast, just so I don't miss one. Its become a nice bonus on weekends when we take the same approach, but an hour later. That extra hour of sleep feels incredible and the day is still ready to start with Kenzai commitments done before 9am. Already thinking about how to incorporate this into life after Kenzai, but for now just enjoying the early moments.
So, I'm not feeling super challenged by the social life piece. I feel like we have the benefit of some of our social activities revolving around the kids, and though there is also usually some alcohol and food for the adults, there is plenty of distraction to not have to focus on what we're missing out on. I have drank a lot of seltzer water lately as I find the CO2 bubbles to be a bit of a mind trick to not having the beer. Love that there are so many flavors these days.
Overall I'm not feeling too bad about our sacrifices. We seem to have been able to manage on 2 very challenging travel/camping weekends full of drinks and food that we couldn't partake in. The confidence is up from that and I think we have a few calmer weekends ahead to keep it easier.
2018 back to school family picture (I'm on the left)
So, despite the fact that I don't feel like I can see a huge difference in myself day to day, I did have 2 moments of pride today. First, Facebook showed us a memory of last year's first day of school for the kids and the difference in my body shape from last year to this year was noticeable. I had already done some work earlier in the year to lose some weight, pre-Kenzai, so it isn't all from the last month, but it was fun to see a difference. And, despite having lost some weight earlier in the year, I had not been gaining any strength, hence the Kenzai approach to continuing my journey to fitness. It isn't that gratifying to lose weight and still feel weak and out of shape. Now I'm in a whole different space about myself and its great.
Second thing that happened today that one of our lessons had mentioned watching for is that someone who had no idea that we are doing this plan saw me at work and said "hey...you're losing weight. You look great" That was fun. So, I guess even if we aren't noticing the big changes yet, we are for sure making progress that others can see. Feeling great about that!
2019 back to school family picture (still on the left...I guess we have our spots)
So, we have been on vacation with friends for the last 4 days. This was the first extended stay away from home since being dedicated to Kenzai and I think it went really well overall. One large factor for sure was preparation...with a stress on the "PRE". I probably would have been writing a very different blog if it wasn't for Bev being so good at thinking ahead, so a huge shout out to my wife on this one. Thank you Bev! She pre-packed our lunches for each day in packets of the exact grams of protein and veggies we would need and a cooler full of fruit options along with our scale. Made life so much easier!!
We did eat out for both breakfast and dinner, but found a reliable breakfast place that played along with all our strange requests (can we have honey for our coffee? Can you put extra veggies on that? Can I get a third piece of gluten free toast with my veggie omelette? Oh and no cheese on any of that!). Really, they were great. Every restaurant we went to was willing to accommodate us where they could. I think the potatoes were probably still cooked in a bit of butter or oil, but overall I think we got pretty close to hitting the diet needs. And, we didn't miss a workout at all, plus did a bunch of hiking and biking, which felt great!
Mentally, I felt pretty good this week. Still a bit drained every wise, but hoping that will start to shift. I do love the feeling of noticing my muscles more. That soreness that reminds you that you're working hard, but doesn't feel so uncomfortable that it hurts. I love that feeling.
We are home for a few days now and can get back to super strict. We have another 4 day trip this weekend - camping! This one ought to be interesting, but I think we're both feeling a bit more confident about the food options than we were last week.
Doing a great job of staying on program this week, but I'm finding that I'm totally wiped out. I went for a mountain bike ride Monday night, after having done my Kenzai workout in the morning. I was so tired I could barely eat my dinner afterwards and went straight to bed. I kind of feel like I never really recovered energy wise. Whew! We'll see what the rest of the week holds for energy.
So, the hardest thing for me I think has been the amount of carbs to eat, and giving up cheese. I hadn't realized how much cheese I eat, because at a sitting, I don't eat a lot at a time...but I think pre-Kenzai, I was typically having cheese with every meal. And of course, giving up alcohol through the last hurrahs of summer has been hard, but that was a piece I was looking forward to, despite knowing it would be a challenge.
Some things that I've actually found to be easier than I expected...giving up chocolate. I haven't really thought much about it. I thought I would really miss/crave it, because my pre-Kenzai self ate chocolate almost as often as I ate cheese, but it doesn't seem as big of a deal. And, fortunately for me, I've not struggled with the rope as much as others have. I think I jumped a lot of rope as a kid and it just kind of came back to me. I know that is a hard part for so many people, so I've very thankful to not be tripping up all the time.
We had a very busy Friday. No time in the morning for my workout, craziness getting everyone where they needed to be for the day, and a summer outing for work which always includes a champagne toast on the boat out to an island, then a lobster bake and lots of options to drink alcohol with coworkers. I managed to only have a sip of the champagne, and brought my own serving of veggies and carbs weighed out to go with the lobster (I ate the lobster without weighing that out...but hey, who turns down free lobster?!). The will power was lost after the 2nd regular seltzer water when I caved and grabbed a spiked seltzer on my next round. The funny part is, although I had decided one would be a fine compromise, I had a few sips and realized that I didn't even want it and it didn't taste good. It was totally not worth giving up the commitment for. I threw the rest of it away and made it back home to a very busy evening. Dinner was later than usual but I waited for home to weigh out and eat the right things. Then, after dinner, after dark, I finally fit my workout in. I could easily have just gone to bed but decided that skipping a workout was not a compromise I was willing to make at this point. So, woman - 1; will power - 1, but at least now I know that it isn't going to be worth it to cheat because my taste buds played the karma card for me. :)
So, I met up with a couple friends at one of our usual spots for drinks and dessert (and sometimes apps). I indulged in a whopping 3 seltzer waters with lime and left the scallops, bacon, walnut dish, the cheese-covered salad, and the flourless chocolate torte and blueberry crumble with homemade ice cream to the other ladies. :) I was proud of myself. It wasn't even tempting (this week...I'm sure that temptation might feel different on day 70). I was all cagey about sneaking in a container of blueberries and banana as my evening fruit snack because I was afraid they might frown upon my bringing my own food in, but the waitress never said a word. My friends kept apologizing for all the yumminess that was on the table, but there was no need. I am on my own journey and I will join them again for drinks and desserts in the not so far future. Glad to be through my first "restaurant" experience, even if I didn't actually try to eat anything there. That will be a challenge for another day that I frankly just wasn't ready for, so I ate at home.
Wow, that is a lot of food to eat! I’m struggling with fitting this much dairy in. I might have a glass of milk every other month, not daily. This will be my challenge. Today I tried to mix yogurt with my fruit portion and it took me over an hour to get it all down. Whew!
I decided today that this must be the Kenzai way of getting us to want to eat less when calorie deprivation time comes.
So, if you read Bev P's post, you'll know that she is my wife and Pigeon is our last name. It was my name first though, so I get to claim "original" Pigeon in this group even though I'm of course not the first.
1. Where are you from and what do you do?
In Maine, there is an unwritten, but very well understood rule that if you weren't born here, you aren't "from here". I was born and grew up in Massachusetts, just south of Boston. I came to Maine for college and moved back to Boston after graduation. That lasted 2 years, when I realized that Maine is truly the place that feels like home for me, so I've been in Maine ever since. So, even though I've lived in Maine longer than anywhere else in my life, I can't say I'm "from Maine"...but I can always say my kids are from Maine as they were both born here.
What I do includes a lot of fun things. I'm a mother, a hiker, a mountain biker, an ultimate frisbee player, a wooden puzzle maker, a gluten-free homebrewer. For work, I'm currently a project manager, but have been a scientist most of my career. I'm making moves over the next few years to become a business owner and open a small gluten-free brewery.
2, What's your best quality?
I supposed Authenticity would be my best quality. I have a pretty solid sense of who I am and I try to be that person, regardless of the situation I'm in or whether or not I will be accepted as such. In our wedding vows, my favorite line that Bev wrote was "you are unapologetically you" and that part of me gives me a sense of pride. An interesting part of understanding who you are and being authentic is that who you are can change. Deciding when to accept your changes and embrace them vs when to turn your changing self in a different direction is the key to happiness in my mind. There are parts of the way I've changed over the years that I embrace and love...becoming a mother, building the household and life we have built, choosing how to spend my time. And there are changes that I refuse to accept and am taking an active role in shifting the direction...not feeling fit, having to say no to things for fear that I can't keep up because I'm out of shape, making poor eating choices out of stress or that feeling of hopelessness to change my body. This program is part of my shifting direction. I'm no longer the person who is accepting the body I've been living in as aging, ailing, and larger than its ever been, and I'm no longer the person who feels that I have no control over it. I'm the person who's going to do everything I can to feel healthy and fit...and then accept my body where it is at that point.
3. How did you hear about Kenzai and get to be here? If you were referred by an alumni, tell us who!
My friend Moe was the first inspiration I had to look into Kenzai. I met her for lunch one day and she was literally radiating happiness and energy. I could see it from across the street before we met up. When I asked what she was doing, she said she was on day 30 of Kenzai. I'm a big believer in how energy affects everything around us and I knew at that point I would do that someday. That was 2 years ago, and even though I've known this is something I wanted to do someday, it took a long time to feel like I had the time to commit to it. We're finally in a place where we can commit to this change and super excited about it.
Ward Willis (Kenzai trainer) was my other inspiration. Ward is one of those people who shows contagious passion in everything he does. I've played Ultimate with him, I've taken his yoga classes back when he was an instructor, and he is always an inspiration to meet yourself where you are, and be the best you that you can be. I knew if he's connected to this program, than it will be everything I wanted it to be. Thanks Ward!!
At this point, I am really excited to get into this program in full and to start to feel the progress. It feels really good to be dedicating some efforts to myself and I'm super excited that my wife decided to join me in this as its great to have in-home support (and she's the best cook, so meals will be so much better than if I were the lead on this). And, I'm also looking forward to feeling like I can open a brewery without looking like I'm doing it only to drink the beer. Ha!
Good luck all!
*Photo is a couple years ago when we first brought home our rescue puppy, Reuben!
Day 3 now and my muscles are sore (but in that good way that you know you've done something productive). I thought I would share my experience with leaving a quarter of my food on my plate. The first day, I had a crazy morning, forgot to eat breakfast at home (never happens) and then had a stressful meeting first thing at work, during which I ate my entire omelette without even pausing to think that I was supposed to save a quarter. That was kind of my proof point that stress and non-mindful eating truly do lead to your eating things you didn't intend to eat. After that, I've been able to remember to leave a quarter, but I haven't been happy about it. Its a combination of the cringe of "wasting" food and the fact that I really want to eat it. I've found that if I get up and give it to the dog, throw it away or put it in the fridge for another day, I don't think twice about it. If I let it linger on my plate while we sit and finish dinner, I pick at a few more bites, justifying that my "quarter" was only an estimate anyway and probably I had left more than a quarter on my plate to begin with. This does for sure mess with your mind a bit, but I'm trying to stick to it.
We've been looking forward to and getting nervous for Day 1 all week. Glad it's finally here and we can get to work. Pleasantly surprised that I remembered how to jump rope. Only tripped twice. Also, found that I'm incapable of doing that many push-ups in a row with good form. Is it okay to switch to modified when you can't finish the set or better to do less reps of the full push-up?
Good luck everyone!