Natasha K.

Natasha K.

Alumni

Hi Team,

I haven't been doing anything kenzai this week since Monday. Sorry for going off the rails at the final week. Senioritis hit me hard on top of being at a time when my stress levels are going through the roof, waiting for my offer or continuing my interview process.

I've received one offer today for which I've made a counter offer since the salary was low. However, my dream position is still ongoing (I'm waiting for the next round, although I know I made the cut), and I hope that I will end with that.

I wish I could have ended my Kenzai in top form and feeling great. I am a bundle of nerves and the negative voices in my head got to me.

Now with the offer on the table, I hope I can climb out of this hole I let myself slide into. I've skipped three days of exercise along with terrible food habits. I will actually be re-doing the last week of Kenzai next week, so you all won't get to see the final results, but I wanted to let you know that I am proud of all of you for getting this far. Minor hiccups aren't the end of the world when we make responsible decisions to change our behavior for the better.

I know that without Kenzai keeping me to a schedule at this time, it would have gone a lot worse for me, so thanks for all the love and support.

Maybe we will see eachother in another program someday. Good luck!


Hi Team,

I had an interview this morning for the position of a lifetime. My interviewer told me I was great and that I answered her questions exactly in line with what she was thinking, but she also said that there were other candidates with more experience. I won't go into the whole conversation, but at this point I'm hesitantly positive. I don't think I will find out in time for the end of the program, so feel free to message me at natashak.kovacs@gmail.com if any of you are looking for a resolution.

I was so nervous with so much adrenaline that after the interview I had a full on case of the shakes and got a headache and totally lethargic. If you have ever had an interview that you incredibly, badly wanted, you know exactly what I mean. I took a nap this afternoon instead of exercising (I've not been sleeping well AT ALL over the last 3 days in anticipation). However, my diet is great 100% and I didn't fall into the trap of needing comfort foods again.

As an aside, comfort foods meant brownies and homemade mac and cheese on Monday :( Mentally it made me feel great, physically like I was going to puke.

I'm going to pick up tomorrow, and try to do Friday's and Saturday's exercise on Saturday and Sunday instead as long as my husband's plans don't interfere on Sunday.

Also as an aside, holy moley the so many sets of cross lunges (a total of 204 individual cross lunges if you do 17 on each side and repeat 6 times) have made my legs SO PAINFUL today. I can hardly walk, but it didn't really set in until after the nap. This is surprising since we exercise legs all the time! Ha, this one really got me. Hope I feel better tomorrow!


Hi Team,

I got back on track yesterday, and I'm feeling a lot better having eaten Kenzai diet and exercised. The interviews went really well. I'm fairly certain that I will have a job offer here in Korea in the next couple weeks. It wasn't quite the job I hoped for but depending on the offer and the availability of a position at a different company I may take it.

I also had an initial phone screening with a job that is pretty much the perfect once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I know the company well, and I even know the person who I would be replacing, although I didn't know he was leaving when I applied. The recruiter is pulling for me, and I am the first and only person they have spoken to so far (the job posting wasn't even opened yet, this one kind of fell into my lap). I don't know much yet, but I want this job very badly. If all goes well, I may even be flying to meet the team next week in San Francisco.

Here's to thinking positive. Maybe everyone can send some good thoughts out my way!


Hi Team,

I just wanted to give you an update on my situation since Kim was curious last time. But first, an update on exercise. I have been really good about diet last week, and it also felt pretty good. I didn't do any anaerobic cardio on Sunday, but I was out and about all day, which is a lot more average movement in a day than me just sitting at home and working on applications or watching TV when I wasn't doing housework. So maybe half of my exercise got done on Sunday? I'll take it as a sort of B-level win for the day.

However, Monday I basically took a mental health day. I didn't exercise, I ate what I wanted (which was not vegetables, I'm just gonna say). I have three interviews today! They are spread out all day, with the first starting at 2:30 and the last at 9:30. I was actually supposed to have four interviews but I couldn't handle it and canceled the early morning one at the last minute. Anyway, these interviews are for jobs that I really want and this is basically the last hurrah before I get a firm offer, so I was really really stressed out yesterday just waiting. I feel anxious today but ready to crush it and get back up again. I have time between my two afternoon interviews to exercise then, so hopefully no time to stress today.

I'll update after the result, and I hope I can tell you some positive news! I do have two more interviews that are coming up this week for other positions, so we will see about those as well.


D-16

Hi Team,

We have 16 days left of this if I'm counting right (until the end of week 13). I will be glad to be finished so I can put the daily workouts behind me. I have decided that I really hate daily workouts, since it provides no flexibility and we all need our low energy days now and again. Today was one and I really couldn't finish the last two sets of my final exercise: side sit-ups, which is very unusual for me, even if i have to take longer than ideal breaks.

I can see why the program is structured this way since part of it is learning discipline and fitting health into your daily routine especially for those who are complete beginners or those who tend to jump on and off the health train. But I do feel tired of it and would love to go to 4 or 5 days a week, which is even enough for training if you are really committed.

Anyway, it's been fun to get through this with all of you, but I will be happy to be done!


Hi Team,

I'm back on track with diet yesterday and today so far and feeling much better. Haha, it's amazing how a one-day rest really makes the next day's exercise seem very easy when it can normally be a struggle to finish all the sets at this level.

Fighting! (This is a Korean cheer of encouragement used commonly in almost every conversation among friends. I honestly don't think it makes much sense, but I've gotten used to it^^).


Hi Team,

I've been working on a big interview project over the last few days. I think I am pretty much finished, but I had some Kenzai blips in there...

I had a drink and a couple slices of pizza and some ice cream yesterday. On top of that, I didn't even exercise. I was working pretty much all day and at the end it was late and I stressed out and ate.

Well, I'm not proud, but I have to remember I am doing this for me so as long as I am happy with the results at the end then that is the whole point. I just need to make sure this doesn't get away from me and shut down those stress triggers today.

I think the project is pretty good. There are some parts I could shore up, but I don't really want to give away a 100% business plan in an interview.

Here's to the up and downs of struggling with your psyche!


Hi Team,

I hope all of you are moving forward with this last month at breakneck speed. Nonstop!

Actually I messed up a bit last night after stressing out all day and applying to 12 different companies in one day. I had a couple of beers, some garlic bread, and 7 oven roasted hot wings.

I've been SOOOO HUNGRY in the evenings with this diet, and I'm starting to fantasize about eating a stick of butter (which is not a thing I've ever wanted to do before). I've been eating lean chicken breasts because it is cheap so maybe I need more meat based fats and switch up the meat for a while to get some variety. Last night the hunger and the tummy rumbles combined with the stress caused me to reach out to some comfort foods...but I'm actually kind of proud that I didn't want packaged snacks, and went for homemade food instead.

Honestly, I can't even say that the diet is wrong for me, because when I was training before and got down to 17% body fat (my personal best, and I was looking great!), I had the same experience at the end with my diet and it was a struggle to try and sleep with the hunger pains. That's what it took for me (timing wise for light dinners/diet wise on calories and whole veggies) to shed those extra pounds of fat but keep most of the muscle. I'll try to do better but perhaps adjust upward the amount of healthy food intake during the day so that I don't break down and eat a bunch late at night.

The lesson yesterday talked about how we saw a lot of change in the first month and had a valley in the second month and that the last month is a struggle for minor changes with our "tunnel-vision". I've always had the opposite experience. For me, tunnel vision is always much worse in the first month. Additionally, Kenzai was especially hard for me the first month because I actually gained a couple kilograms from the heavy diet and reduced exercise (I was used to exercising harder than the first month of the program), and it took a while to balance out. I didn't see any real changes until the final week of the second month. While I definitely felt the valley, I generally tend to see real fat loss/trimming/slimming in the last month of training because I tend to put on muscle and bulk up easily. So that's really a big motivator now. I guess everyone is different.

I'm starting to feel healthier and closer to my "normal/average" self again after my unhealthy end of the year last year, but I can't wait until I get to the feeling of my "fit" self. It feels amazing!

I will be going to the Eastern Coast in Korea on a weekend stay with my husband and another couple. We will go hiking the biggest mountain in Korea mainland (our actual biggest mountain is on our resort island, Jeju-do), and visit a sheep farm (I dunno why? I grew up around animals, so it's not a thrill for me, but I guess it is for the city kids), and eat some Korean BBQ and visit the big fish market. My diet won't be exactly on point, but I will limit any extra snacks and drinks outside of fresh whole foods and we plan to stay pretty active during the trip, so I think it will end up not being very damaging to the training schedule overall. I will eat a Kenzai breakfast/lunch on Saturday, so it is only a day and half of non-scheduled foods.

Anyway, it should be pretty fun, and I'm becoming more aware of my body and listening to my limits--with both exercise and food intake, and I feel like I can complete this non-Kenzai challenge with panache!


Hi Team,

Sorry for the long time between posts. I've been kind of busy and when I'm not, I'm just absorbed with life stuff. Diet and exercise have been going along fine since I posted about trying to do better.

My life:

1. I've been interviewing and doing some applicant projects and applying to more places. I had a really interesting position about which seemed like there was a lot of enthusiasm on both sides, suddenly got pulled off the table yesterday. Not sure what happened, but I'm pretty bummed about it. I'm expanding my search now. Anyone got a lead on some Business Development Positions?

2. My husband was in a fender bender (another guy backed into him in a parking lot). He's fine, but our car had about 2,500 dollars worth of damage due to the location and needing a new side panel. Not his fault obviously, and there were cameras backing him up. However, interesting new tidbit about Korea (actually new information to me): Korean insurance companies need a bit of pressure to pay out, so he actually stayed in the hospital for almost a week, just hanging out and wracking up a medical bill until they agreed to pay. I was busy visiting him whenever I wasn't doing my Kenzai stuff, which was the main reason for lack of posting. I said this was like legal mafia and having protection money, but my husband got a bit sensitive about this "mafia" word, since it is all very normal and casual in Korea. Such is life.

3. My little sister-in-law's golden hamster seems to be dying despite all our efforts to make it better and feed it medicine and give it treatment. Mother-in-law was quite broken up about it this morning. Sometimes it is heartwarming to see how deeply she cares for something even though I feel so sorry. Everyone really thinks she might be an angel in disguise.

4. I found a new pair of jeans that fit amazingly. If you women (sorry men, since you tend to be straighter in the lower half of your body, but forgive me if I'm incorrect) have ever gone jean shopping, you know how hard it can be to find a pair of jeans that fits the waist, butt, thighs (or calves, since I have pretty big calves), and height all at the same time. It seems like every woman has such different measurement combinations of these items that it is sooooo hard to find a pair of fitting pants. I tend to wear jeans out until it has holes where I don't want them, and then even will wear it with long shirts....
I'm pretty enthusiastic about this find.


Hi Team,

Thanks for all the positive comments, and you're right Valerie -- it is better to accept my "grazing" and plan for it be eating a small bit of something healthy rather than obsessing, denying, and eating junk food or candy.

Well, it turns out I was much sicker than I realized yesterday when posting. I was essentially in bed all day, stomach completely cramping up. I struggled, but managed to get down my food, so my diet was actually pretty good, but I was weak and dizzy, and kept getting hit with a headache, so I had to skip my exercise. I think I had food poisoning from my indulgence day....

Way to keep me motivated, body.

Update 2: I was able to get all the exercise done today, albeit at a lower intensity. Back to the program! There's nothing like an enforced rest to make you stop want to choosing to rest.


Day 51 - Sick

Hi Team,

I've had a couple setbacks this week with being sick on the diet and exercise front. Felt like it was better to rest yesterday than push through. My stomach is quite upset this morning, but I'm going to try to be back on track today.

Last week was kind of hard for me about the diet, so I really want to do better this week. I hate feeling like I didn't do something 100% of my ability. Part of the reason for me not exercising yesterday as well as feeling sick is to try and reset the clock, remove any hunger triggers (always end the day pretty hungry, which makes me want to graze and snack before bed), and just stick to the right kind of diet.

I did great on the diet yesterday, but I'm looking for a perfect week from today!


Hi Team,

Everyone seems to be complaining about V Sits, but I'm actually okay with them. I can only do the first two sets in good form in good timing before I have to slow down to keep form, but they aren't awful, and I don't dread them.

I think I would give just about anything to never do another Otter Kick. I hate them so much and they just never suck any less, no matter how often I do them.


Hi Team,

Well this is new. I'm doing all the same exercises for the same amount of time, but I've got sore muscles today all over. I haven't really had sore muscles since the first week or so.

Doing something wrong or doing something right finally?


Hi Team,

It's been kind of a boring week. We had a little bit of snowfall, which was unusual for Seoul (dry and very cold winters) but it mostly disappeared by the afternoon. I've been applying to more companies and also had an interview, but no real updates on that front. I was planning on going to a college group meeting tonight, but decided to stay away since it is at a bar and I'm not good at self control around delicious temptation.

Diet and exercises have been pretty good. I've been noticing that I have days that I breeze through everything and some days that are a real struggle, and they can be one right after another. The time difference between the two can be more than 30 minutes! It's a surprise how much one day can affect me, even with the same amount of sleep and the same exercise and meal times.

Anyway, I'll update you all if anything new comes up!


Hi Team,

Well, I survived my hard diet week. I did better than I thought in some ways and worse than I hoped in others. Overall, I think that my diet ended up being about 75% compliant all week. There was some chocolate and cookies consumed...and one small cup of beer, outside of what I already listed in the last post. Everything else was diet compliant and on time.

Well, I'm back at it with no big hurdles in my way this week, and ready to stick to the plan!

The GREAT news: I'm finally seeing some changes in my body sizing and fitness. It's still slow going, but this week I could tell that I am making progress, both visually and finally showing up when checking my body measurements on the fabric ruler. It took halfway through the program to feel like any progress is being made, so I hope that I will be radically changing over the next half!

To be honest, my jury is still out on whether I feel like I could have done both a better and easier job without the program, as I've done my own training previously. I'm learning a few new things and doing different exercises than I would normally but I'm still not sure whether it is BETTER or not. However, I'm not going to pass judgment until I see the results at the end and make sure that I've been an average of 90% compliant to program all the way through.

I've got to share a great recipe I made this week. It really is DELICIOUS!!!

Simple Hungarian Kohlrabi Soup (Karalabe Leves) semi-adapted from
https://www.thespruceeats.com/hungarian-creamy-kohlrabi-soup-1137419

Just enough butter or Ghee to prevent burning (1/2 teaspoon?/nonstick pan making it unnecessary?/a few tablespoons of water instead being even better)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 pound kohlrabi bulbs (peeled and chopped)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock - even better if you can add a tbsp or two of tomato paste
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste (or leave out the salt completely, it's great without it and more kenzai compliant)
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika (honestly this makes the dish)

1. Melt butter/ghee/make water hot in a large pan with a lid. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add 1 pound (up to 1.4lbs, which is about one large purple bulb) kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped, and cook 2 minutes.

2. Add 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock, 2 1/2 cups milk and 2 bay leaves to the pan and bring to a boil. Leave uncovered and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and remove bay leaves.

3. Using an immersion blender, conventional blender or food processor, purée soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and Hungarian sweet paprika.

How does this break down into your meal grams? Well, I'm here for you. I weighed out everything that went into the soup (if you follow the recipe exactly), and it comes to about 2 parts vegetables to 3 parts other liquids. "Other liquids" separate into about 1/2 water and 1/2 milk.

How does this look in practice? 250 grams of soup would equal: 100g of cooked veggies, 75g of milk, 75 grams water/stock/fairly negligible amounts of other veggie solids.

Good eating!!


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