So, Friday was Dragon Boat Day. Our team came third in one of the races which meant we won a roasted pig. It was a lovely morning followed by a junk boat in the afternoon. This was one of my indulgence days I earmarked from the beginning. I just did not want to worry about grams and I knew I would have a glass or two of bubbles to celebrate.
The weather had not been great all week so we were so lucky to have a beautiful day. It really was Hong Kong at it's best. I only managed my morning stretches that day, left home at 6 am and I was too tired when I got back to do anything but shower and lie down.
Four more weeks of Reach-ing, hoping to get my forehead on the floor in the forward bend. Onward, ever onward!
Everything ticking along nicely here. All exercises done, even on Saturday when I woke up feeling dizzy and sick. I am putting this down to perimenopause as it's been happening on and off. When I google the symptoms, perimenopause pops up and then a line that says although this is a common complaint among women there has been little or no research done on it. Anyone know an enterprising grad student who would like to be a hero to women of a certain age by conducting such research?
Anyhoo. We hosted a swimming and bbq get together on Sunday and lucked out with the weather, after an entire morning of heavy rain. I already planned ahead with lots of kompliant options (think giant tupperware boxes full of chopped veggies). My downfall was the homemade Thai sausage, pictured above. I ate more than my protein grams of this as it was so good. Apart from that, I ate several spoons of homemade hummus and babaganoush so really it was ok. What I did not have: alcohol, dessert or chips. Calling this a win.
Older child took photo again this week and complimented me on my forward bend! Shows improvement, she said. Massive praise coming from her, hehe. Loving the Sun Salutations, need to work on breathing.
Have a good week, Reach-ers!
Photo: F. Mori
Finally went to a good physio (sports medicine, not old people like the one I went to initially) and got my knee sorted. Turns out I had a tight piriformis muscle that threw my whole right side out of alignment and that affected my sciatic nerve down my leg and the side of my knee. Last September this flared up when I started KB3 and I had to switch out to KB2 and I've been off the jumprope ever since. Looks like I will be back on it shortly! The physio said it was dragon boat related, due to the positioning of my legs in the boat. Now that I know the stretches I have to do, it should not be a problem going forward.
So far 8/8 for workouts, diet nailed down with only two misses last week--the aforementioned spring roll and then a tofu jigae lunch I had with a friend. I hid in my bedroom while my family ate take out pizza Sunday night #winning
Feeling a difference already after only one evening stretch. These muscles still remember! Roll on Week 2!
Picture from remedialbodybalance.wordpress.com
In reply to the intro message, sent by me, I am replying to the questions.
1) I am Reach-ing in Hong Kong which has gone from cool temps (lower 20s C) to humid, sweaty summer in about a week. Only now am I remembering I need to get the a/c units cleaned as they started dripping when we turned them on. As a result, my husband is sleeping in my daughter's room and I am on the top bunk in my son's room until Saturday. Joy!
2) I did my first Kenzai program in 2013, when it was still called PCP. Lots of people I knew did it with great results and Trainer Sharm's great blog and photos finally convinced me. Subsequently I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer and I fully credit the Kenzai lifestyle for playing a huge part in making my treatments tolerable and for getting me back on my feet in terms of getting back into good shape. 4.5 years cancer free, yay!
3) As a family we've recently been watching Schitt's Creek on Netflix. The first season is the weakest so hang in there. Otherwise it is a funny and strangely heartwarming show and only about 25 mins per episode so you can watch a few and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Not 45 mins after bragging about the halo on my last blog, I ate a veggie spring roll my helper made for my kids' dinner. I love spring rolls, like last meal before execution love. It was so good and it was veggie...right? Well, the torment I felt after showed me that one moment on the lips was not worth the aggravation. Back on the straight and narrow.
*The photo is not of our spring rolls, they are from Dartagnan off the internet, but my helper's looked just as good.
I am getting ready to do my skillful stretches before Dragon Boat practice. We have a social team at work and this is my third year. Finally, I got a compliment from the coach! I know my form is better as I no longer get a blister on my thumb. It is so lovely to be out on the water in Sai Kung at night.
Yesterday our school hosted the HK Battle of the Books final. We ordered special catering and I did not go near it. Ate my fruit then lunch after the big event. Our team placed 3rd which is quite an achievement and everyone was so tired afterwards. I could have used an adult beverage or two but did a youtube yoga video once I got home instead. I feel my halo is slowly coming back toward my grasp, like Thor's hammer.
Don't forget to comment on your teammates' blogs! We are all in this together, right?
Hello on Day 1 of Reach! As my older child took my photo, she kindly reminded me that last year I could get my head onto the ground--not any more! So that is my goal this time, in addition to doing something about my muffin top :-0 As accountability I am going to post weekly photos of my torso in addition to my pose. Turns out going on vacation and eating all the food leads to clothes not fitting correctly. With summer coming up, I have to do something about that, especially since hoping the fat would go away has not worked.
Although I am the trainer for this round, I want everyone to keep their eye on me to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow. The only giant pitfalls I foresee is my son's (primary school) graduation which is a day long thing involving a buffet and the post Dragon Boat Day junk which we all go on after our races. Both of those qualify as life events as far as I am concerned so I am going to give myself permission to indulge on those days.
Alright, team, let's Reach!
Worked for me! GRADUATION POST
Well, I got up early this morning to do the 30 min meditation in order to be undisturbed. Not early enough as my son got up at some point and although he was trying to be quiet he started clanging around in the kitchen and I could hear the low voices from this podcast. Needless to say the soft thoughts coursing through my head turned frantic.
How long do I need to put up with listening to this? How am I supposed to focus? He is supposed to be using the headphones I got him!!!
For the first time in this program I looked at my timer while meditating. Fail...sort of.
The timer showed 2:29 left. Not so long. I immediately went back and brought my focus back to breath and posture. I thought gentle thoughts about Son, he was in the kitchen doing his morning chores and was being as quiet as a ten year old can. Felt much better and experienced an almost timeless moment as the alarm went off what seemed like seconds later.
One of the biggest takeaways from Mind is that I do not need to react to every thought that I have even when it is combined with emotion like irritation or anger. Thought plus strong emotion plus reacting rarely produces good or desired results. By sitting with thoughts and letting the slip by regularly, I can do this more in every day settings. I've even caught myself thinking 'go away thought' in an effort to hurry it along!
It's empowering to know that I can sit calmly for up to 27:31 minutes while staring at curtains. I've let go of the mantra and at this point the thoughts are in soft focus rather than urgent calls to action. Hard to explain but there we are.
Thanks Kenzai, for another great program. I put this next to Reach in terms of learning something new. I am only sorry that I was a lousy teammate as I am running a KB group and this always happens when I am trainer and trainee. See you all on the blogs!!
Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy New Year! I am just coming out of a week of celebrating the Lunar New Year here in Hong Kong. We got to spend time with friends, go hiking, go to the beach and generally relax together as a family.
This year we decided to let each family member choose something we would do all together and each person had to enter into that activity with an open mind, knowing this would be reciprocated. My son chose family video games, specifically Super Smash Bros. I have no time for video games and consider them a complete waste of time. My son loves them and I could tell how excited he was that I was going to sit down and play. I could feel my judgement creeping in and I let those thoughts pass as I focused on the controller and buttons I needed to use to do jump, smash etc.
So, I did improve over the couple of hours we all played. My son still beat all of us, no surprise, but we were all laughing so hard that winning was not even the point. I now know that Son cannot remember to turn off the bathroom light but he can remember all the powers of all 80 characters in the game and I understand the attraction to these games a lot more.
Diet reached a low point after the video game session, with me eating Cheetos (cannot remember the last time I ate these) and all of us eaten frozen pizza for dinner. I had fun eating the junk food but only during the moment. Afterwards was blah. As of yesterday I am back on the straight and narrow of daily exercise and kompliant eating.
One more week of Mind--time really flies unless you are trying to meditate for 20 mins, hehe.
Today I was at the bank waiting in line for lai see or red packet money that we give to people at Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig this year). It is traditional to give new bills and there is a whole procedure for reserving the bills at the bank etc. etc. but I did not get round to this. Last year I was in the same boat and I remember feeling so irritated by the number of people, critical of myself for not being organized and so on. I ended up with slightly used bills and went home.
This year, I went in knowing there would be no new bills, confirmed by the man handing out the queue numbers, sat down, read my book, ate my fruit and patiently waited my turn with no agitation toward myself or anyone else. Like the relaxed person in the queue in the lesson. I waited about as long as I did last year and when I got to the counter I asked for my money and the teller started counting it out. The bills looked new! It can't possibly be, I thought so I asked. The teller said, yes, we have some so I will give them to you! OMG!
So, if you needed proof that meditation is the best thing ever, you have it. I will take new bills for CNY over levitation any day. Thanks, Kenzai Mind!!
Ok, my mantra, which has seen me through all these years is actually a crutch? Patrick, that is harsh! Although in retrospect, I've used it most when I am panicking or scared or feeling extreme emotion to the point where I cannot think straight--the whirlwind described in the lesson--so perhaps I deployed it correctly.
The thing is my brain now defaults to it so when I try counting breathes, I end up with the mantra. I will try my best to reduce it down.
Over the weekend, I went to see Mamma Mia! on stage. We splashed out for good seats as it was my birthday present. Two rows down there were 4 women who brought their 4 kids who looked to be in the 5-6 year old range. These little girls could not keep still or be quiet--not surprisingly. At first I totally judged and started feeling angry at them for being so distracting. Then, I took the time to notice my thoughts and guess what? I starting realizing the poor moms were not enjoying the show at all and had basically wasted 100s of dollars on these seats to try and pin their kids down, shush them and endure the evil stares of those around them. After that revelation, I focused my attention fully on the stage and enjoyed the awesome show!! So, Result!
Apart from that, the walking meditation was meh, needs work. Had one other disrupted session due to spouse waking up earlier than expected but apart from that I am breathing away over here. Feeling good.
Day 6 was a fail as I was out all day with my daughter, came home, worked out and forgot that I had to meditate as well. Remembered only after drinking half a beer...finished it off and had another at dinner. Meditation done on Day 7 although you are not really supposed to do that.
The guided mediation was ok. I kept trying to imagine what the speaker looked like and then half way through our neighbors started their karaoke party! And the phone rang. Soldiered on through and finished. I've done an in person guided meditation and that was a lot better. Not sure I will try it again but who knows.
Day 7 meditation done without incident. Day 8 and 9 were fine. Today I meditated with my palms up rather than down. I prefer down as it is more grounding and l like to feel my feet and hand on something. I really noticed that my posture improved in the palm up method, as it said in the lesson. It felt really strange and my palms kept crying out for something to touch. Very distracting. Also my mind was racing having looked at my email before sitting down, something I will not repeat.
I am not noticing any specific change yet!
I am doing Mind because I've always been interested in meditation, never that good at it, but it did help me a lot when I was going through my cancer treatment in 2015 (time flies). On the day of my first surgery, I saw something my friend posted on FB, " I am peace, I am freedom, I am bliss". It was one of those inspirational quote type things and it really hit home. I repeated it to myself that day and thousands of times during the first half of 2015: when I was sad, when I was terrified, when I needed to calm down, when I thought of my children. I use it to this day. It is incredibly effective! I hope that I will pick up a few more tricks on this program and possibly develop a daily practice. Let's see.
I don't mind sitting on the floor but for meditation I have to go with the chair. I have successfully done guided meditations on the floor but I am not sure I am up for the challenge on my own.
Today I meditated at 11 am rather than before sunrise the other days. I had to close my eyes because it was so bright. The floating colors were more distracting than the outside as I had nothing to focus on. Next time, I will sit in front of a wall and stare at that vs out the window which I love. I pick a twinkling light in the distance and look at that. Interesting how my posture does collapse when my consciousness moves away.
Last year during KB2 I did over 100 days of 8MA in a row. Had a break over the holidays and I am at it again. I do see some lines appearing so I am going to keep working at it.
Have a good weekend everyone!
I am glad to be doing this program as I am also lucky enough to be running the first Kenzai Body of 2019. I say this because on other advanced Kenzai programs I always sort of know what I am doing. On K Mind, I am constantly thinking -- Am I doing this right? Or AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? is more how it sounds in my mind.
People on their first K go round experience a lot of that as they venture out into new ways of moving and eating. I know next week I will be wondering if there are any changes in my mind yet and if not, why the heck not??? It's been 10 whole days already!!!
Anyhoo, yesterday I sat for 5 mins and used my mantra to bring me back to the present. Today I used my breath, as instructed, and it was hard. I focused on the physical aspect and the sound of my breath but my thoughts were louder. Usually I can repeat the mantra even louder than thoughts--does that even count as being in the present?
5 minutes really isn't that long to me at the moment, I am always surprised when the timer goes off. For exercise I am doing a combination of cardio and flexibility plus a weekly boot camp at work. I am getting through my Trader Joe's chocolate espresso beans in time for Sunday, no need to worry about that!
Day 1, sitting still done! Wasn't sure what to expect but I knew I had to get it done early or else I would be falling asleep. Still a bit jetlagged from our holiday so the afternoons are tough. The 10 mins went surprisingly quickly. I naturally revert to my mantra whenever sitting like this but I did not try and actively 'meditate' so thoughts were constantly chugging through my head.
Let's see where this takes us!
Was doing so well with the blogging and it's all going pear shaped. I am still here, hanging in there but not being as good on the diet as I would like. Doing the workouts which are getting tedious. Also have a sore throat! 10 more days!