I am clearly an all or nothing person when it comes to dieting. I was NOT good last week, when we were supposed to be scaling everything back, but I am religious about it now, so this feels more like ‘Week I’. Once I’m in, I’m in though, so it’s “game on” now, and I’m kind of getting a kick out of measuring and portioning everything again, guessing the over/under on the weights. I do love the workouts, though I have to stay reeeeaally focused to keep my pelvic position stable, and so far I haven’t quite been able to get the same burn on my own that I can in a barre class. So I’m mixing it up a bit, doing a little of both, trying to train myself to recognize that tiny muscle activation and commit it to memory.
How’s the rest of the team?
This is my second program, having completed KB1 at the end of June. I liked how I looked and I loved how I felt, but I launched into a month of craziness and ended up nearly where I started. Ah well: we spiral through life til the lessons are learned, I suppose. But never quite from the same place. In any case, the only thing that didn’t change too much in the first program was my butt and thighs.
I was a physical therapist (in my last life) and a yoga instructor, and I theorize that the lack of change was from an inability to produce enough focus and power from my glutes due to old injuries (re: connective tissue tears) in and around my hips/pelvis. My body has done a pretty remarkable job compensating, but I have zero strength and zero range of motion through my posterior chain and I know I’m going to be set up for more problems later if these don’t get addressed.
I like the micro-movements of barre for a couple reasons. One is: it targets muscles that I’ve never been able to access otherwise. Two: I’ve managed to be pretty athletic in my life despite chronic pain and injury, but my ego has overridden a lot of the signals my body has given to focus on the training of the muscular intrinsics. I have been able to call upon the larger musculature to do the work of the smaller ones, so they’ve never gotten stronger. And then the bigger ones fatigue and end of injured from being over-utilized. In short— I’m a hot mess! 😆 So as I ride the late summer wave into my 50th birthday, coming two weeks after Sculpt finishes, I hope to have given my backside the attention it deserves and has probably been seeking since my first injury 25 years ago!
Only mildly afraid of how sore my legs are after two days... Ok, maybe slightly more than mildly. I totally get that we’re in “Welcome back warm-up” mode, so it’s really game on tomorrow, but I am FEELING IT. That said, I also did a short run and a barre class on top of Monday’s workout, so —fingers crossed— that is why I’m feeling a bit rough. Loving everyone’s posts across the Sculpt groups. Hope everyone is cool with my commenting— even if you’re not on my “team.” I think the blogging and connection is one of the most fun and valuable parts of this program. Go Butts! 😆
Boy am I ready for this... After killing it in KB1, I fell waaaay off the wagon (and down the hill, over the tracks, and off the rails!) in the month of July. Travel to Paris, Vegas, Nantucket, and Vermont did not do much to maintain my diet, even though I exercised regularly. But multiple wine dinners, regular drinking and eating off piste has left me a bit off my game, so I’m happy to be back in the Kenzasphere.
I love barre classes, and I’m wondering about the occasional substitute for the workout...? Or complement? Any thoughts?
I don’t know if I’ve truly made it to “failure”, but I have certainly found success in the workouts that I almost-didn’t-do. Tonight I was dying. I got about 4 hours of sleep last night and worked a solid 9 hours, shopper, made dinner, and everything in me screamed to skip the workout and go to bed. It’s dark out. My back is a little in spasm from the plane. I hurt. It’s late. All the voices. All the excuses. And I compromised. I didn’t do the cardio because I wasn’t going for a run at this hour and it would have broken my psyche to jump rope. Seriously. But I did every f—ing curl, dip, and katana until I was, literally, crying. And part of me was crying because it hurt. But part of me was crying because I didn’t give up on myself. I didn’t give in to myself. I may not have done the whole workout, but I laid it out there. That is the difference between me now and me then. And that changes everything. 💪🏼😰♥️
It’s hot here. Really hot. And humid. Running feels better than jumping rope, but none of it feels that good in the heat. The pineapple is awesome. And they put shoyu (soy) in EVERYTHING. SO— I’m feeling a little bloated from the ambient temperature, the salt, and the wine. I haven’t had more than a glass and a half, but I can tell. I would say I’m being >80% compliant with diet —not a shining week 12 example, but better than most vacation diets!
I took the indulgence last night, since Patrick said it was “not optional”. Timing was good, since we had a wine dinner. Again, fine dining is clearly not a fan of the vegetable. That said, there were virtually no carbs either, and the chef wasn’t heavy-handed with sauces, so I got off pretty well from that standpoint. I did eat dessert, which was fun, but I enjoyed less than I used to, for sure. What I have come to realize is I’m not really cut out for wine dinners, and this may be a little challenging going forward, given that our family is in the wine business. Although I wasn’t sick, I certainly didn’t feel awesome, and definitely queasy. So I’m going to have to work out how to manage that.
Back in the game today! Go Team KB!
When my daughter gets asked which of our wines is her favorite, she sometimes responds, “What am I wearing?” Her point is that in any given day, what she likes can be influenced by what’s happening around her, the weather, her mindset, etc. I feel like that about Kenzai. ‘When it was good, it was really, really good, and when it was bad, it was horrid.’ When my joints hurt, the exercises just suck for me. And pushing through that has not been entirely in my best interest, I think. While the musculature around the joints is stronger, the joints themselves are now really inflamed and I find that joints that didn’t really bother me before —knees, elbows, wrists, hands, feet— seem wildly exacerbated by the exercise. So I take ibuprofen, and then I feel AWESOME! Because I fundamentally am much stronger and fitter. But it’s been a little bit of a rocky path. Diet is similar. Mostly it’s great and I don’t generally mind that it’s super boring. Even the egg whites I can get down without a lot of fuss when I’m on my own. But faced with real life, I just don’t quite eat that way. I don’t eat really badly, but not so much or so often. So going forward, I’ll really have to pay attention to where and when I’m eating. I appreciate not having to weigh everything now and that makes it more practical, but I’d love to know how best to manage it when the evening meals include carbs and/or wine. Because that is a little more common for me, even if I don’t eat or drink a lot of either. Which brings me to the indulgence. I’m debating not taking it, given the last week’s dietary shifts. Other than the wine and probably overall salt consumption, I did a pretty good job. (And I did all the exercises except one set of abs work and stretches, which I actually would like to get in tomorrow. Just cuz I like them!) It was more that the travel through off the rhythms of my day, and an egg white would be forgotten somewhere, or dinner was late and so I was too stuffed for the evening fruit snack. Part of me wants to do it because it seems so INTENTIONAL. But as the lesson said, it’s a lot less exciting than at the beginning. We’ll see.
Ok, there is no “breakfast buffet” at the hotel, as the Kenzai guide to travel might have you believe exists everywhere, nor ready access to a grocery store, and so I am sourcing as creatively as I can. Buckies, when coupled with the veggies I brought from home, does pretty well. I got the pre-workout banana, the egg and cheese package (from which I will throw out the cheese, peanut butter, and little bread thing that has nuts or something in it), a latte with 2% milk (which I won’t drink all of, as it is more than 200ml) and (not pictured), the sausage, egg and cheese sandwich— no sausage, no cheese. The woman at the counter thought I was nuts. And I only ate one half of the dry English muffin it came on! 😜 Not an efficient outlay of funds, but it came out relatively clean, diet wise. A little over-processed on the sandwich, but I needed 50 carbs from somewhere!
Ok, Las Vegas travel day #1. Banana. Check. Egg whites. Check. Fruit. Mostly eaten. Check. Jump rope. Check. Bands. Check.
Managed to get through a distributor lunch without drinking anything but water and espresso. (Bonus: I know what the wines taste like already... ) Chef cleaned up the dish for me (mostly) and although the olive oil and salt were still there, and I probably didn’t get my carb grams because everything had cheese or prosciutto on it, I’ll call that a W.
So much for thinking I could be strong in the face of temptation. Fine dining does not seem to think vegetables are very cool culinarily. I swear they are included purely as garnish and part of the visual appeal, but not actually part of the dish. And there is no salad option. Vegetarian options are all carbs, so not a lot of help there. Fortunately, portion sizes are reasonable, typically, but there are just too many courses!
All this to say the month has not started well —not that I really expected it to— but it’s always gratifying to surmount expectation. Yeah, um, not so much. I don’t feel very well, which I guess is a good sign that my body isn’t comfortable with the richer food and wine, but I don’t know where to go with it. Yes, I can not drink with the meal, which is on me, but I can’t really do that at our own wine events. And I have to eat. I don’t want to get into the “ATM mentality”, but I’m also pretty sure that the diet is going to need some temporary adaptations to accommodate the evening’s extra calories. I’ve only lost 5 lbs in these two months (about 2.5 kg for those of you far and away), and while I know that isn’t what it’s about, it feels dangerously close to net neutral if I can’t manage the nighttime calorie input. I have NOT had people noticing the changes in my body and I DON’T see a vast difference between day one and now (some, mind you, but not super remarkable), and while I don’t want to get into all the body dysmorphia that I am prone to anyway, and I DO want to acknowledge feeling stronger with more energy, I confess to still being in it for the ego gratification. Not proud of that, but there it is. I want the little fat bulge around my waist/back and in my thighs to tighten up. And I know that’s going to take years, since it took years for me to get it. So there it is. Now here I am in the last month with real life on my plate and I’m flailing. I guess that is how my social life has changed. Ugh.
So my energy levels have been pretty consistent throughout the day, but I always have a slow start. With school done and no job 😞, I can curate my day pretty nicely, so I don’t have to do the workout right away as I did before. This is nice, as it gives my body the chance to ease into the day a bit. I’m enjoying the calm before the storm, because next month the kids get home, the travel begins, and I won’t be able to manage everything as tightly as I have. I’m super impressed with all of you with young kids, managing families, or traveling constantly. Being constantly bombarded with temptation is tough and I’ve mostly kept myself out of harm’s way. But we’re in the wine business and summer begins a schedule of wine dinners, travel etc that revolve around that. Literally. So I’m going to be picking and choosing my battles a bit, which is not exactly the way I wanted the last month to go, but which I kind of knew going in. This is partly why I was super diligent with diet and workouts these last two months. I guess I’m about to see just how tough I really am...
Well timed lesson, as usual. I didn’t do yesterday’s workout, although I took the dogs for a hike for an hour. I was hoping that would free up my head space to make room for the workout, but the allergies and/or sinus infection that descended upon me like locusts or plague refused to succumb to medicine or exercise. I was in a fugue state most of the day, and pretty much the best I could do was one foot in front of the other without falling over. Naturally this happens in the middle of my finals... 🙄 But time is limited today, so I just got up and busted it out— even before I read the lesson. Kept the resistance a little lighter and tripped a lot skipping, but I got it done. Feel a teensy but bad about blowing off yesterday, but there it is. Moving forward today. Last final!
The hardest day to do the exercises for me are just the mornings where from my first step out of bed, I hurt. Even if I am able to walk it off, somehow that initial contact with the floor will set up my day. These days it’s mostly ok, but I have been slowly rolling toward a crash and so I took yesterday off completely. Didn’t even do the skipping, as intended. I have to say, there is something liberating about that. Like even though I am fully committed to his program, I am still an autonomous being who can think for myself. That said, I’m not especially proud of taking control and choosing not to do the workout. I did a hot yoga class, so it wasn’t like I simply dropped everything. And I do actually feel better today. I am not going to backpedal into yesterday’s workout, however. I will enjoy that respite, do the jump rope today, and probably hit yoga again. That should set me up pretty well for a long week of final presentations, projects, and finals. And then the indulgence will be the treat at the end. Not pretending I’m not looking forward to it; I am. But overall, I like the diet —especially when I’m not crazy-neurotic about the grams. Diligent, and within 10g, but not totally crazy. Hoping that’s ok in this stage.
Also, I have a couple diet questions for Patrick, Talya, and anyone else who wants to weigh in. Canned tuna? Made with a little yogurt, this has been a saving grace for me with portable food, ie sandwiches. Obviously, it’s canned in water. Is this acceptable? It feels totally clean and it’s the perfect size, but I thought I’d ask. Also, cornichons. If I cut up one or two into the tuna, my world lights up. I know that regular pickles are way too salty and I’ve only done the cornichon thing once (that WASP guilt thing is amazing! 🙄) The ingredients state they’re done more in vinegar and mustard than salt, but I’d be happy to hear they’re not too bad used sparingly...
Finally, just thought I’d share this article that just came out in the NYT. Validates everything we’ve been learning.
I get that this is “valley time”, and I’ve certainly been bobbing up and down with the amount of will I bring to the table. I haven’t missed a workout this whole time, but I surely have wanted to. This week brain and body were really conspiring to skip out (no pun intended) but I found myself doing the damn things at 10 at night, or breaking it up with the cardio and leg work earlier and other stuff later. (I hate leg work, so it’s mission critical that I get it out of the way.) And now, for some reason, Mother Nature has delivered another week of rain and it’s broken my excitement for running and getting outside. Today during yoga when I was so tired and sore from all the upper body work (which I love) I could barely do a chatturanga (yoga pushup), I decided I needed an extra day off from the workout. So today and tomorrow I will eke out the f-ing skips and give my neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees and wrists a break. Hopefully returning to the sweet spot on Monday.
In other news, I am graduating from a long and arduous program next week and I’m saving my indulgence for next Friday, although I ate some edamame last night in my vegetable snack. (In my defense, I went to my friend’s ‘girls’ night party, ate the apple/egg whites before, had no alcohol 🍷, and used the vegetables —done with rice wine vinegar and a little salt and pepper— as my snack. Not bad for not eating at home). I suspect my exuberance will return once I get through my final portfolio and finals... Hope so...