Natasha K.

Natasha K.


Hi Team,

Thanks for all the advice you all offered on sleeping. I have been struggling with it for many, many years and keep up with the current literature, so I'm pretty aware of my triggers and body. Unfortunately for me, I am one of the small but sizable percentage of population that naturally sleep well during the day and naturally wake up toward the evening (with no alarms even!). This obviously doesn't work in the professional world and also it kind of sucks in general, so to combat it I usually wake up much earlier than necessary to get to work so that I'm fully awake by the time I need to speak to someone.

Gihan - Thanks for the diet encouragement! On the 2 or 3 occasions where I needed to go out and eat, I've been bringing my portable food scale with me. I just let people know in advance, including coworkers. They kind of laugh but I can tell they are secretly impressed. :) Obviously this would't work with clients, but for the most part it works even in the office. Korea has enough whole food and wellness restaurants as a cultural lifestyle that it is also pretty easy to find what I need to eat outside.

Now onto the jobs update:

The interview went fine. I'm good at my job and my work history shows that. However, the job wasn't well explained in the job description and it is a much lower position that I was hoping. I'm currently director level at a startup, so I could do a large company team or project leader position or equivalent level at a startup, depending on how interesting the work is. The company appears to be hiring for just basic, almost newbie level team member, and I definitely don't want to move several years back in my career. It may sound arrogant, but I refuse to be one of the women stuck under the glass ceiling on my salary and my position while my male coworkers advance and get paid more. There are good places out there, and I will find it and not settle any more.

I was pretty discouraged when I got home, so I went to bed without really any dinner and I was also rushing at lunch (just leftover veggies I could microwave from the fridge). I also didn't exercise in the end so I was not that hungry. Final diet was....bad today:

30ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
130g of fruit out of 130g = target!
740g of vegetables out of 740g = target!
105g of protein out of 230g
0g of carbs out of 120g

In the meantime, you can see a lovely picture of my lunch, sans the carbs in the form of my sourdough bread I would normally eat with it. That's over 7 types of veggies in one meal: broccoli, onion, purple cabbage, corn, sweet peppers and one hot pepper, baby spinach, and a small amount of other mixed baby greens, ginger, and garlic.

Hi Team,

I'm going to keep this short today. As you can see from the title, I finally hit all my diet goals almost exactly on point yesterday (17th day), which was a big relief. Exercises went fine. I don't have a pullup bar, so I did the alternate exercise. I may get one though, since I wouldn't mind it. The Shoulder Fly exercise was surprisingly difficult just like Davinci the first time, but I'm sure it will get better.

17th day - Final Total Daily Record:

250ml of milk out of 250ml = target!
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
130g of fruit out of 130g = target!
740g of vegetables out of 740g = target! I may actually have been over by about 10 grams, since I took an extra bite.
230g of protein out of 230g = target!
105g of carbs out of 120g I ate corn as one of my veggies today, which has a lot more carbs and less fiber than some of the other veggies at equivalent weight, so it's probably about right on target. The carbs listed here are only my homemade multigrain sourdough bread.

18th day:

I have an interview today, so I decided to wake up a little early. I was in bed with nearly 9 hours of resting time before my wake up alarm, and I had been gradually decreasing my bed time so that it wasn't a sudden change to earlier.

HOWEVER, I am a chronic insomniac and for some reason it was just awful yesterday. I barely got 4 hours off and on all night. When my alarm went off, I decided that sleep was definitely more important than getting up for exercise and added a couple hours. This means I don't have enough time to exercise before my interview due to prep times, travel, etc. I may not be able to do it today since I'm already pretty tired. I will have to wait and see how I feel when I come home tonight/after dinner.

Hi Team,

It turns out that Ricky is right, I am pretty committed to this blogging effort. This was kind of a surprise to me, as I'm a pretty private person and don't post anything on social media. It takes me over two years to update images on things like Facebook to share with friends back home. I guess the sort of closed nature of this group makes it more like writing a letter. I hope you all don't mind reading my long-winded posts. Feel free to yell at me to cut it down or ignore me in the future.

Exercise was okay. I am starting to feel burn instead of just being a little tired in many of the exercises. I also decided to stick with the bike for now. I feel much better and less tight, and I adjusted the bike length so that I'm targeting different muscles this time. I hated having to go outside in the freezing cold 20F degree weather and then come back inside to do the rest of my exercises. The bike, although it takes a lot longer, requires a LOT less mental encouragement to get started. It may be harder to keep increasing the time as we get more jumps in the future, but I suppose that's the price for doing a different exercise.

I've got an interview tomorrow at 4pm. My city is big and I should leave for the workplace at 2:15ish, which throws off my current after lunch, before snack exercise routine. I'm not looking forward to my morning workout tomorrow, which always makes me feel really sick. Dang all you happy morning workout people in this group! I'm so jealous! Even when I'm working, I need to exercise after I get home for the day.

I noticed that I forgot to update my carb targets yesterday, which should have read 120g now, and not 250g.

16th day - Final Total Daily Record:

180ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
130g of fruit out of 130g = target!
645g of vegetables out of 740g I don't like eating morning snacks even when waking up really early, and I'm definitely not hungry at that time, so it's really hard to incorporate 190g of vegetable snacks in the morning.
230g of protein out of 230g = target!
120g of carbs out of 120g = target!

The reason that I haven't been reaching the milk target is because I add 30ml of milk to my morning coffee (it's a big cup and I like it just barely black), and then I eat 150ml of full fat yogurt. It's the only yogurt option in Korea that doesn't have sugar added. Since it is much higher in calories, I've been opting not to eat/drink the last 70ml.

Korean food in general seems to be way more sugary than the U.S., and they have no concept yet of bad "sugar-added" stuff; this is weird to me because I've never otherwise seen a nation as obsessed with whole health and wellness as Korea is.

Anyway, I'm out of yogurt until I make a run to the big, specially imported foods grocery store (local marts don't sell non-sugary yogurt), so I'll be back to drinking milk for the next couple days. I can get my mother-in-law o make some at home, but that takes a day or two as well. She has this fancy yogurt holding machine. Our oven doesn't have the right low setting to be able to do oven yogurt.

Hi Team,

Update on the job front: I've finally been getting some responses and have interviews and short answers/projects due this week. I spent most of the day working on that.

My calf muscles were really tight and locking up today, just like before the injury. I did a lot of stretching to warm up and continued to do so periodically throughout the day, before/after the exercising, but it didn't help too much. So I decided I better not risk it this time and did 30 min on the bike (10min extra for every new 200 jump roping jumps) in lieu of. Everything else just goes as usual. I thought that the crunches would get better, but instead of just being tired, now they also burn when I get to the last set. I guess that's progress in muscle building world.

15th day - Final Total Daily Record:

180ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
130g of fruit out of 130g = target!
650g of vegetables out of 740g
230g of protein out of 230g = target!
0g of carbs out of 250g = okay, so I want to note that while I didn't eat any carbs directly, I did eat potatoes for 200 of my vegetable grams and thought they would double count for me today as a veggie and a carb. I actually was planning to eat rice, but I was applying for jobs and forgot to turn on the rice cooker until it was way past lunch time...

This is also the first time I've had any potatoes on this diet, so I really felt full and satisfied. I've been happy eating mostly green veggies, which I love, but I'm trying to get some diversity. My normal veggies have been kale, baby spinach, chicory, peppers of various sorts, onions, broccoli, a tiny bit of carrots, and baby tomatoes.

Good luck on the diet adjustments everyone!


Hi Team,

I mislabeled yesterday's posting as the 14th day, when it was actually the 13th. Maybe I was excited to be moving forward. Here is the real 14th day, Sunday posting:

Almost-totally unrelated to this blog, but I went shopping yesterday with my mother in law and my husband, and I found this amazing 100% virgin wool sweater dress. It's blue and a full centimeter thick, and the price was ridiculously good for something this high quality. Good sweaters are so hard to find! I guess I'm all dressed up now and nowhere to be!

Why almost-totally unrelated? Because the reason why we went shopping is to find new exercise shoes. I did my 600 jump roping yesterday instead of a bike, slowly and with a lot of stretching to warm up. It was good; I didn't do it that fast so I could monitor my leg situation, but there were no rest breaks! At the end of it, I realized that my underfoot muscles/arch were hurting a bit, and that's previously been a shoe problem for me. I already thought my shoe had been broken in too much and that it was time to get some new ones, but now its REALLY time. Unfortunately, I didn't find what I was looking for and went home empty-handed, so I bought them online. Since then, I've been reading reviews and I kind of feel like the shoes I bought are pretty low quality for the price (air vapormax). Dang you Nike, for only releasing those lovely flyknit shoes in vapormax recently! So I will probably return them and try something else.

Has anyone else tried the Nike free rn flyknit shoes? I thought they were a ridiculous idea at first, since I was a firm believer in ankle and stability support, but I tried them on once when they were on sale and fell in love. I've never run better or had less feet/leg problems since I started wearing these shoes, so I'm pretty bummed that I've worn them out.

Does anyone else have shoes they fell in love with for marathons/races/hard impact sports?

Final diet on the last day of the first tracked week:

250ml of milk out of 250ml = target!
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
0g of fruit out of 580g = sorry guys, I was out of the house for much of the day.
440g of vegetables out of 550g
170g of protein out of 200g
115g of carbs out of 250g

I actually felt like I overate yesterday, since there were more cooked vegetables this time, but looking back on totals I guess I was eating less. Maybe I was just less hungry since it was a low exercise day.

Hi All,

Better today in both my injury and exercises. I was still on the bike, but got everything done. No major updates, since I stayed home and watched a movie ("IO" out on Netflix).

I ate more carbs than usual due to my body being out of whack from the day before, but within my diet guidelines. All of my categories were up today equally though, so I think it may even have been more balanced, haha.

14th day - Final Total Daily Record:

180ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg but no egg white
200g of fruit out of 580g
513g of vegetables out of 550g
188g of protein out of 200g
225g of carbs out of 250g

I'm SUPER looking forward to next week's diet. It almost matches exactly my normal, daily ideal diet. I never could get this week down perfectly, so I think I can next week, and I'm pretty excited!!!

Hi Team,

Still have the calf injury, but I wanted to give a shout out to Kim M. for sending a very thoughtful and kind email with clear instructions on how to take care of it. Thanks also to all my team members who commented to be careful. I have been elevating and resting. I'm mostly sitting at my computer all day anyhow, applying for new jobs. I've got 14 applications in so far, and a phone interview coming up next weekend, and a follow-up email requesting some short answer questions due by Tuesday morning.

Exercise was okay, I was careful and I'm still on the indoor bike. I still hate pushups though.

My diet was very good and on track all day, but suddenly the stress of it overwhelmed me last night and I went off track. My dinner was pretty good: a big salad with a chicken breast, and then immediately I just wanted some comfort food and to blow off some stress. My stomach feels kind of weird today, but my mind does feel better. I guess that's why they call it comfort food (what a trap!).

12th day - Final Total Daily Record:

180ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
230g of fruit out of 580g
410g of vegetables out of 550g
200g of protein out of 200g = target!
72g healthy carbs out of 250g + 1 slice of pizza + 45g of ritz crackers + 25g of potato chips + 1 beer + 1 whisky

It's not way way way overboard in terms of total calories and total grams, but it's definitely not good. I know I'll do better today.

FYI, it was small individual packages of snacks, which is why I know the grams.

11th Day - INJURY!

Hi Team,

I sprained a muscle when I was about halfway through jump roping. I thought maybe it was just a twinge and it would go away as I warmed up more, but NO. It's a serious sprain and I have been limping all day (since morning and it is now evening). I think it will take quite a while for it calm down...

On the other hand, since none of the other exercises were leg exercises / definitely weren't using my calf muscles, I just went ahead and finished them. I couldn't finish the jump rope, so I did an additional 10 min on the indoor bike (since I had done about 50% of jump rope) and then the other exercises as normal with no problems.

11th day - Final Total Daily Record:

250ml of milk out of 250ml = target!
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
130g of fruit out of 580g
550g of vegetables out of 550g = target!
200g of protein out of 200g = target!
124g of carbs out of 250g

Honestly, I'm trying to eat more comfortably. I don't think my body would give that many warnings signs without there being a reason. I felt a lot healthier and happier today after eating less yesterday, when I had felt so sick.

I had the warning signs on my calves--which get really tight and big quickly, and didn't listen to my body, and now I have an injury. I'm back to the exercise bike again.

Hi Team,

I hate eating this much a day. I hate it. I'm feeling really sick, miserable, tired, and no energy all day long. Everything on my body feels bloated and I am eating myself to nearly puking point at every meal. And I can't even get to 90% of target grams on most categories. This can't be normal and I don't understand any gains I can get from this. Even the thought of putting another bite of food in my mouth is making me sick. This isn't added salt or other sauces since I'm flavoring things with vinegar, garlic, lime, and, chili pepper and I don't like salt very much, so I usually don't add any.

I've tracked carbs/macro diet before, and I was my happiest and most energetic self between 100-150grams of carbs per day. I should say that I don't have and never had any food disorders, but I feel like this is giving me some sort of food complex.

Davinci exercises were quite a bit easier the second time around, but the leg rotations were surprisingly hard. I say surprisingly because I stretch that way pretty often, so I thought it would be easy. My whole body feels weak and my timing was off, although I'm not sore at all. I was able jump rope today because pollution levels have returned to "good-to-moderate."

Something has to change. I definitely don't have any cravings like Lesson 10 discusses. It's more like anti-cravings, i.e. loathings.

10th day - Final Total Daily Record:

150ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
116g of fruit out of 580g
550g of vegetables out of 550g = target!
200g of protein out of 200g = target!
170g of carbs out of 250g

I can only hope this improves, and good luck to the rest of you.

9th Day Quiet

Hi Team,

I went into the office today to make sure my exit papers were signed and check if there was anything else I needed before I went home, but I was only there for about 2 hours waiting to get the papers. More people than I thought have decided to believe that lying CEO jerk and trust in him. I hope their dreams don't get too broken. Otherwise, I went to the store to get some more veggies for my diet and spent the rest of the day exercising/cleaning/cooking.

Guess what? I've been working on my sourdough starter, and I made my very first loaf of sourdough bread today!! It is...less than great, since my proofing timing was thrown off by company drama, but its a start! I bake a lot, so this has been a goal of mine for years! I finally just got my first stand mixer too!

9th day exercise:

I got it done. Still can't go outside for the pollution but did the cycling indoors. You really just need SO MUCH SPACE to do some of those door anchor band exercises. I definitely can't stretch out the way I want, but I'm doing the best I can. I always do the maximum amount of reps/set suggested, except for pushups. Those are at minimum.

Why so hard, pushups? Why?

9th day - Final Total Daily Record:

150ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
326g of fruit out of 580g - bought some baby tomatoes, which are just enough like a vegetable for me to easily snack.
420g of vegetables out of 550g
172g of protein out of 200g
216g of carbs out of 250g - Pretty close here, ate soba noodles instead of rice today, but it wasn't perfectly proportioned between lunch and dinner.

My protein portion always includes an extra egg or two because they are super easy to portion out by gram. Is there any problem with adding extra eggs to my diet? I did also have some beef for dinner on top my soba salad.

7th day - It turns out all we had to do was skip rope yesterday. I had to rest after every 100 jumps for a few seconds to catch my breath rather than doing it all the way through but otherwise I was done after a total of 5-6 minutes, so my injury wasn't a problem. I was really emotionally tired and just went to bed late afternoon, only eating a light lunch for the entire day, so I definitely didn't stick to the "leave a quarter". It was more like "leave 3 quarters."


Okay, I have now gone and reported everything to the police as of this morning with 4 of my coworkers and a pile of evidence. The police are investigating, and I hope our CEO will be arrested. I will be officially unemployed as of tomorrow. I am also out more than $17,000 dollars in unpaid wages with no real hope of recovery with all of my coworkers in the same situation. The Korean government will pay up to $4,000 in my back wages in lieu of the company, and I will get unemployment as well, so something will be coming in. Thankfully, my husband and I are really good at putting money away on a careful budget and there isn't any financial emergency or cramp in lifestyle, just a cramp in our savings for purchasing a house...

8th day exercises: I couldn't do the jump rope exercise, and had to use an indoor bike training machine for 20 min instead. Seoul had historically high record levels of fine dust (2.5 PMI in the hundreds!) today; the government sent out a warning message warning everyone to be very careful and stay indoors or use a mask. I had a mask on when I went out today but obviously outdoor exercise was out. This is not a normal situation, and we have never been this bad. Our skies are normally clear, so hopefully it will get better soon.
All other exercises done, but that Davinci exercise is a major killer! It didn't really make me tired or burn, but I literally couldn't raise my arms to the flat, straight-out position. I don't think I had any muscle there to feel the burn, haha. I may need a weak band for this exercise.

8th day diet:
Wow, the amount of food in this diet is really high! I couldn't get through it before literally becoming sick to my stomach full.

Final Total Daily Record:
50ml of milk out of 250ml
1 egg and 1 egg white = target!
360g of fruit out of 580g - I don't really like fruit that much. I'm never gonna make it through this diet if I have to eat this much fruit and I may start substituting for vegetables, which I enjoy a lot more.
162g of vegetables out of 550g - I would have actually eaten more vegetables, but I need to make a trip to the grocery store. I'll do that tomorrow.
120g of protein out of 200g
190g of carbs out of 250g - That was WAY too much rice for me. I will reconsider this amount of carbs and not eat myself sick tomorrow.

Anybody else actually have trouble eating that much?

Hi Team,

So I mentioned I was not sure about how my diet would go yesterday. It was not a quarter of what I would normally eat, and I also had one beer so I don't think that I kept to our plan. We were skiing for about 2 and a half hours, and I just got really hungry...
So double the exercise but also not any food reduction. On the plus side, I don't feel like I overate or ate more than I normally would even with the skiing.

I plan to do better today, although my body is really sore from skiing. And my back (old injury) hurt very badly this morning, so I will need to be extremely careful in my daily exercises.

For those who are now invested in my unfolding drama at work: Three of my coworkers went to the police yesterday, and both they and the detectives drew up a plan of all the evidence they needed from each worker, so I will go there tomorrow afternoon. Our CEO is not yet arrested, but (hopefully) he will be soon.


Hi Team,

I exercise in the evening after work and then post the following morning. Today is Saturday, so I wasn't at my computer in the morning anyway, and just got my 6th exercises done late morning. Now I'm posting about both.

I am a major night owl. It's just my body rhythm. I've tried exercising in the morning for a year and never got used to it. One time I passed out mid-run in an early morning exercise due to extremely low blood pressure. It just takes a while for my blood to get moving in the morning no matter what good habits I try to endure. I've given up now and just do late morning or evening exercises because I'm at my peak energy and I feel good when I finish rather than weak and shaky. What time do you all exercise?

5th day exercise was really hard for me, although I did complete them (probably worse form than usual....). I had no energy since I was feeling a bit down. My coworker and I spent most of the day at the government labor offices speaking to a labor lawyer trying to figure out what our legal options are. We also gathered all evidence because we are planning to go to the police as advised on Monday following an all-employee meeting scheduled. I thought we would need to go next Friday, as there are some timing issues regarding promises made to employees, during which the government usually gives companies the chance to follow through on their promise rather than get involved and shut them down immediately. However, our all-employee meeting is earlier than expected so maybe I can put most of this behind me and concentrate on finding something new from early next week.
Diet was just so-so. There wasn't really any snacking although I definitely wanted to eat my feelings today (I ate a peppermint and a small wafer crisp, but total calories not greater than 75). My husband and I went on a date, during which we shared a rather healthy handmade pizza instead of junk food, total calories there probably pretty low, but it is definitely less veggie-friendly than my normal meal. Then we split one VERY SMALL ice cream cup. Holy crap that was overpriced for the size. I would still count this as a win despite not eating a quarter less because it was definitely less than half of what I actually WANTED to eat considering how crappy I felt.

6th day exercises were fine. No tiredness or soreness really so far, and nothing like the drained feeling during my exercises yesterday. I've yet to finish the day so I don't know about my diet yet. Ate a normal healthy lunch, which I posted to the website. It consists of spinach, anchovies, kimchi, mixed grain rice, and soybean sprout soup (this doesn't translate well to English and the broth is usually made with a small amount of lean meat and seaweed). Normally I would eat a small amount of meat to help round out protein but today I ate a leftover slice of pizza. You can't see from the image but the slice is very, very thin, about 75g total. I would consider this to be the right meal following our diet guidelines too, with less rice and main dish by about a quarter.
I will go skiing tonight. It's about the 3rd time I've done it in my life, and it is a very small local slope. It usually makes me a bit sore so I don't know how I will feel tomorrow.

Everyone keep up the good work!

4th Day Down

Hi Team,

I am doing just fine in the exercise and diet departments, after working out some of my questions and missing the one day. No major updates for me today while I try to otherwise sort out the legal morass that is the business conducted by my CEO....

To answer Kim's questions:
1. I'm in Seoul, Korea, where I have lived for about 6 and a half years. I moved here after graduation. There was a brief interlude for almost a year where I went back to Boston (I graduated there), but otherwise my adult life has been spent in Seoul. However, recently I've been considering a move to Singapore or the United States, where I think there are better opportunities than Korea right now.
2. So far Kenzai doesn't seem that challenging except for the daily aspect of it, although I keep hearing warnings about the future weeks. I do prefer to exercise intensely 3-5 times a week rather than everyday, so we shall see how this goes. The main 2 reasons I decided to do Kenzai over other programs: is that (1) I could work out myself and still get some form of training/guidance. I hate non-solo exercises. People just get into my headspace and it ruins the experience for me. And (2) my commute and hours had decreased since the last several years, so I had enough time. I have been doing a 3 hour round trip for many years.
3. Ummm the music? I just press radio on Spotify without any specific channels... hmm let me look through my upvoted music to find the one I'm currently digging. I guess I could go back to one of my old favorites: Tennessee by Kiiara.

Great getting to know everyone!

Hey Team!

No problem getting my training done today. I really appreciated all the advice about the diets and focusing on personal wellness from my team members. I'm not old but...This is the first time I've ever put any kind of thoughts/updates on social media. I don't post anything personal on social media and much prefer messaging someone directly or emailing or calling. I can see the appeal, since your feedback really felt good! Thanks again!

Now back to my diet:
I know we are halfway through the week, but I've thought the best way to measure out a quarter less of what I was eating is to simply remove the snacks from my diet. Seeing the way the other members are posting and getting some responses from the Kenzai team regarding my diet, I feel like I actually have a pretty healthy relationship with food nowadays (I didn't use to, so this is a welcome relief from several years of struggle and bad habits from childhood). However, I really let myself down with the other foods and snacking that sneak into my diet, so I will cut those out almost 100% and that will definitely be a quarter of my weekly calories! In my normal meals, I will be extremely mindful not to overeat as well. If I get rid of nearly all the junk calories in my diet and eat only the whole foods, then that is probably the best outcome for "leave a quarter" week. I hope this helps anyone else struggling with what "leave a quarter" means!

On exercise:
No real problem here in finishing today. Got it done right after work as usual.
Don't much like the jump rope due to my extreme hate of my massive calves and need to be able to wear my boots since it is VERY COLD outside. I'm considering switching it for something else. I mentioned this in another comment. I used to have even bigger calves than now. Okay, for the layperson, most female wide-calf boots have a circumference of about 16.5 inches, while normal boots have a circumference of 14 to 15 inches. Any larger than that and you will have some hard time wearing any jeans, normal work slacks, or any boots. I worked hard to reduce my calf muscles to wide-calf size by no longer wearing any high heels outside of very special occasions, removing any kind of calf exercises, and losing weight (which at the time also removed some muscles width due to heavy dieting). This process took years, so I am not eager to put it back on.
It's such an odd and specific problem to have about one's body. I can't/don't want to spend the money to get every item of clothing I buy tailored to be able to put it on my calves and also fit my waist size.

I am conflicted since I do want to follow the program, but I have seen a difference when previously calf training. I've got to think more about it.

Since you all know my work is kind of exploding, I now have tons of time to blog and put out my thoughts, even in the office. So I guess there is one silver lining!




Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body