Today I woke up after a bad night's sleep with a nasty crick in my neck and a mountain of work. Under most circumstances it would be a "let's just skip the workout" kind of day, but this is the beauty of committing to a plan, you remove all the wasted mental cycles of "should I workout, should I skip a day and try to catch up later, should I just eat a bag of cookies and call it a day, etc..."
When you're on a plan and your fully dedicated to it, the question doesn't even arise. Should I workout today?" is about as relevant as "should I put on underwear today?" Of course, because that's just what you DO man!
This is the real beauty of choosing to live your life by a creed. When the rules of the road are laid out, you free up mental energy on making progress. Just choose a worthy creed and the rest follows!
Day 10 Workout: https://www.periscope.tv/patrickcantype/1jMJgyXdQbAKL
One of my long-term projects as a health-educator is to "de-bro-ify" fitness and peak condition. I hate that what is a fundamental human right; being in fabulous shape, has largely be co-opted by a narrow-minded anti-intellectual movement of gym-rats with obsessive tendencies and shallow pre-occupations. These bros and instagram gym ladies are actually a small minority of people looking to get in shape, but they somehow take all the oxygen in the room.
Over the years I've met so many people who are interested in fitness because it's a stable platform from which to launch their real interests, which are exceedingly "Un-bro-iy". Astronomy geeks. D&D losers, Street Fighter circuit fighters (the video game, not the back-alley variety). And lots and lots of gamers. There's a whole secret underground of fit gamers out there. They don't trumpet their six-packs and muscle tone, because they don't really care about that stuff. They just want to get their game on.
Tonight my jump rope is done, workout was livestreamed, my diet was clean. I took out the trash, did my work to the best of my abilities, and am going to sink a few hours into a new game. This is my version of heaven. Sitting in front of a PS4 for a few hours and rocking out some wide-grip pull-ups are not mutually exclusive activities! We are gamer-geeks, we are ripped. We are legion!
Firing up the console and going on a virtual adventure now! And more Fatpocalypse in the morning!
(I'm cross-posting blogs from http://www.kenzai.com/fatpocalypse so the Kenzai community can engage and comment on my posts. I want to hear from you and we just couldn't get the comment function to work properly on the Fatpocalypse official page. Sorry about that. You got 81 more posts coming your way here!)
Hey gang. I've been laying low for the past few months. The Kenzai team finally found a headquarters spot that matched our ambitions, and it took a solid two months of renovations to get moved in. On top of that, I was deep in my work to complete the Kenzai Body trilogy, as well as all the life stuff of school, family, you know the deal.
During this time I played it really fast and loose with my diet and exercise. I stress-ate A LOT over the last few months. The result is, unsurprisingly, an overly high body fat, lack of muscle tone, and general feeling of crappiness. I knew it was time to hit training again, and to have a good strong session now that things are finally stable.
I've been watching with interest how people are using new social media outlets to find inspiration and motivation to stick to their fitness goals. There are, for example, entire subcultures on instagram and twitter devoted to logging their exercise routines and holding themselves accountable.
This is where the idea for a full on, 100% transparent event came about. I was meditating a few weeks ago and the name bubbled up. We were going to wage war on this fat that was sticking to my body, it was going to be fat armageddon... a fatocalypse. And we were going to live stream it.
Today is Day 1 of this experiment. Over the next 90 days, I'm going to be as clear and transparent as possible, sharing every meal, snack, workout, and craving that comes with a round of training. I'm going to show, in delightfully tedious detail, how much you can change your physique in a short amount of time, with nothing but food and simple exercise. To drive my point home, I'm going to do this all just following our basic program, Kenzai Body. No crazy advanced exercises, just the fundamentals.
There are four big things I want to accomplish in these next 90 days.
1. To get back in shape, low body fat, high muscle mass, six pack, the works.
2. To figure out how these new technologies can be integrated into our programs. Back in the day, all we had were blogs. Now I can livestream to thousands with the touch of a button. Let's see how these new communication channels can help (or hurt) a training cycle!
2. To show our users and the world that there aren't any tricks here, every single food input and exercise will be catalogued and live streamed when possible.
3. To use my own training as a jumping off point to teach YOU how to do this stuff. If you're brand new to training, you'll see how it works from the ground up. If you're a seasoned Kenzai trainee, you'll get tips and tricks that will propel you even farther in your training efforts.
This is where our lean and clean blog design at Kenzai falls a bit short. As much as I'd like to, I can't host and gather all these new media types here in this blog. So I've staked out a Fatpocalypse section of kenzai.com (www.kenzai.com/fatpocalypse) and will be blogging from there for the next 90 days. Set your bookmarks, it's going to be a steady stream of great stuff hitting that page like a 90 day long hurricane!
So that's how it's going to go. Visit http://www.kenzai.com/fatpocalypse as often as you like, hold me accountable, ask me questions via Twitter (https://twitter.com/patrickcantype) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PatrickCanType). I'll answer every single one!
Do I still have what it takes? Will I publicly humiliate myself and be found comatose in a kids pool of raw cookie dough? In 90 days we'll all know the answer to these questions and more. Let the Fatpocalypse BEGIN!
Buckle Up, Long Grad Post Incoming! GRADUATION POST
Finished up the last workout, took final photo, and happily calling a wrap on Kenzai Body 2. Random thoughts about the journey:
I took on this training cycle two weeks after moving my family and business to a new country. On Day 1 we were still living in temporary housing, and had all of our possessions in 6 suitcases (1 of which was Juri's toys). The sheer amount of tasks that had to be done in these last three months is mind boggling, and most of it was urgent (find a house, find transportation, find school, get phones, get internet, get IDs, set up bank accounts to pay for all this stuff, etc...) As such my first month was extremely rocky.
By month 2 things were settling down and I could get into the training routine. Still, at least twice a week I'd have a major bomb thrown in the day that disrupted everything, be it being on the phone with insurance companies for hours, having our car repossessed because it was sold illegally at an auction in Las Vegas, or missing a ferry because meetings ran late, it was far from solid.
By month 3 school, housing, and office schedule was mostly locked in and I could finally get the training done the way it was meant to be done, with steady daily doses of discipline and good decision making.
The result of this was a bit of a mixed bag for training results. I'm down two belt notches, and back to a flat stomach, but have really not pushed the accelerator on muscle growth. This is actually fine with me, as my body packs on muscle fast and can get overly muscled if I'm not being careful. (This fall I'll show you all how that works with a "hulk out" program that's in the works.)
So, all in all, I'd say this is one of those training cycles that I think of as "staying unburied". It's like you're in a deep hole and the world is throwing dirt on you. You can just accept it and get buried under stress eating, alcohol, and lethargy, or you can pick up your own goddamn shovel and try to throw as much dirt out of the hole as is coming in. At the end of the experience you're still in the hole, but at least you're no worse off than when you've started, and can start making plans to get out once and for all. I'm only at about 12% subcutaneous body fat now, not the 10% that I'd expect from a proper training cycle. All in all pretty good.
Thanks to everyone for their support. One of the funny things about being known as "the fitness guy" is that most people forget that you have to work just as hard as anyone else to get in shape. You don't get a lot of kudos when you're on point, people just shrug and think "well that's how he's supposed to look". But if you let yourself get out of shape, there's hell to pay. Be kind to your trainers, they're putting up a hard fight too!
Now, on to what I really want to talk about in this final post. The true heroes, our global community of scientists, engineers and innovators. Over the course of my 90 days of training, there have been an astounding amount of science stories that I've wanted to write about but haven't had a chance to. Let's run down the list.
FEB 12TH - The LIGO team, an international group of astronomers and engineers, announced that they had definitively measured gravitational waves (in this case from the massive forces of two black holes colliding). This is the final bit of proof for Einstein's theory of relativity, and unlocks an entire new "sense" for us to use as we explore the cosmos. You can't imagine how important this is! (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/gravitational-waves-einsteins-ripples-spacetime-spotted-first-time)
MAR 2ND - Astronauts Scott Kelley and Mikhail Kornienko return from 340 consecutive days in space. These guys are so badass, and best of all Scott Kelly has a twin so NASA can study the changes of prolonged spaceflight with a proper A/B sampling. The astronauts were two inches taller and had developed super-sensitive skin during their year without gravity! With missions to Mars getting off the ground understanding the effects of long space journeys will be critical. (http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-astronaut-scott-kelly-returns-safely-to-earth-after-one-year-mission)
MAR 16TH - Google's AlphaGo system beats Lee Sedol in 5 game Go tournament. This was something people thought wouldn't be possible for 100 years. That's because everyone expected computers to simply try and brute force Go victories (as they do with chess). But the AlphaGo team instead turned to machine learning, where the AI learns the deep structure of the game and practices against itself across millions of games to gain mastery. The famous "Move 37" in the second game will be written about in history books one day. The AI made a move no human would ever have thought of. It was truly a glimpse of the future, where AIs are able to solve problems by thinking laterally in ways that our brains just can't handle. Sedol's win in the 4th game was an awesome moment for humanity, and the grace with which the tournament finished was a testament to the power of technology to bring us together and improve our world. (http://www.wired.com/2016/03/two-moves-alphago-lee-sedol-redefined-future/)
MAR 31ST - Tesla unveils the Model 3 electric vehicle. This is the first completely from the ground up electric car designed for the masses. Tesla got 350,000 preorders in the first week. It won't be on the streets until 2018, but this shows a significant number of people are ready to get off internal combustion vehicles and start driving smarter. I've got an electric car now and will never go back to internal combustion engines!
APR 8TH - In more Muskian news, SpaceX successfully lands a rocket on a barge at sea. The amount of precision and skill involved in this is wild. Not just on the rocket, but on the barge, which has to maintain a steady position in the turbulence of the ocean. This ability will allow us to send up rockets more cheaply and more often. Having watched 3 of these guys blow up because of small mistakes in landings, it was awesome to see the people at SpaceX learn from failure and see it as part of the process towards success. (http://www.space.com/32527-spacex-rocket-landing-sea-amazing-videos.html)
APR 12TH - Just under the wire for my 90 days, project Breakthrough Starshot is announced by Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner, and Mark Zuckerburg, with an audacious plan to send hundreds of microprobes to our nearest star (alpha centauri), powered by laser boosted light sails and able to make the trip in TWENTY YEARS. That's moving at .2 c! The fact that we could potentially have interstellar probes zipping by a neighbor star before I'm 60 years old is truly joyful news. Go guys GO!(http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/science/alpha-centauri-breakthrough-starshot-yuri-milner-stephen-hawking.html)
All of this plus dozens of smaller stories plus stuff from 2015 that are still playing out, like the continue hi-res images from the new horizon's Pluto flyby (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/targetFamily/Pluto), the unbelievable speed with which CRISPR technology is accelerating gene manipulation (http://www.wired.com/2015/07/crispr-dna-editing-2/), continued global warming record breaking (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/03/01/february_2016_s_shocking_global_warming_temperature_record.html). Every day I find I can't keep up with it all, and that's an awesome feeling. All of this in just a 90 day slice of time, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
All of this science and progress is only possible in a world that allows education and invention, meaning a world that's safe, sustainable and healthy. Here at Kenzai I hope I'm doing my small part to build that kind of world, and I'm happy to have so many great people along with me for the journey.
I guess I'll go ahead and give myself a big COMPLETE! Great job me, and great job to everyone here at Kenzai!
One week left. I think about my life and all the times I toughed stuff out for a week, and it gives me courage. The next seven days are going to have to be head down, there's so much to be done, so many balls in the air, and some do or die deadlines coming up, so I'm switching to "monk mode". This is what I call it when I cut out the distractions, the excuses, the wanderings of the intellect that I'm prone to, and just do the work that's in front of me.
In zen they say you should "practice like your hair's on fire" meaning you give as much diligence and intensity to your meditation as you would putting out a fire on your body. I've found that amount of focus is no way to have long term success, but in short bursts it can be very productive, and in fact smooth the way for the more fun periods of contemplation and creativity that arise when you've knuckled down and gotten your pressing tasks done.
So, for the next seven days I'm not going to be a lot of fun. Don't ask me to do anything, I will say no. I won't be answering mails, I won't be blogging, I won't be doing anything except working, eating, exercising, or performing basic hygiene needs. That's no way to live, but it's a great way to finish a program and get set for a few weeks of creative release.
See you on the other side everyone!
I was buying the usual week's worth of fruit and vegetables and was at the register getting checked out when I had an unusual experience. The register person was a middle aged guy with a ponytail, kind of a stoner type of guy I guess. As you all know when you're training you go through a ton of vegetables, so he was working through a pile of them, and having to manually punch in the item code for each one.
Anyway, he gets to an eggplant, and he's having some trouble. He's not sure what kind of eggplant it is. He asks me if I know, and I tell him it's just a regular eggplant. He says "You sure it's not a Japanese eggplant?" and I was like, "yeah... pretty sure." He says "how do you know?" and I told him Japanese eggplants are darker, smaller, thinner, and a little sweeter. He asked how I knew so much about eggplants and I told him "I like eggplants." Then he kind of shrugs and says "Huh. I've never had one."
I said "Really? Eggplant is good man, you just have to cook it right. You never even had roasted eggplant? Eggplant parmesan?" He responds "I don't really do vegetables."
The conversation kind of stuttered to a stop there, but it was an interesting moment, and a good reminder to me of how different people's nutritional experiences are. You can get so stuck in the eating clean mindset that you forget many (if not most) people are still unfamiliar with the concept and are working from a completely different playbook when they make their food choices.
So, tonight is eggplant curry and rice (three cheers for the return of evening carbs) and I'll raise a forkful for supermarket dude, who doesn't know what he's missing.
When I taught in Japanese elementary school, I'd go to recess with the kids (it was a lot more fun than sitting around the teacher's lounge). One of the popular games was a "shootout" where the kids would take turns taking goal kicks. There was this one boy who would stand in the goalie spot and wave his arms around and say "Gaaaaah! I'm an invincible wall! Nothing gets past me!" He was really funny.
Sometime in early January, after we had moved to the North Bay, I bought a six pack of craft beer at the supermarket. I made it through 4 of those bottles before Kenzai Body 2 kicked off. The last two have been in the refrigerator ever since. In the first few weeks, whenever I opened the fridge my brain would always register the bottles; there'd be a niggling thought "hey you could always drink a beer." I'd then have to deal with that impulse and focus on the food that I was actually looking for.
Here we are two months later and the bottles are still there. But when I look at them now no craving arises, my brain has placed beer on this list of things that aren't really consumable. It's awesome when you get to that point in training, when you're out of the weeds and in the groove. Gaah! Invincible Wall!
Kazue and I had a delightful day at the DMV last week getting our California licenses, it was almost a cliche how horrible the speed and service was. Pretty stressful but we're now street-legal! After that we decided to hit that second indulgence at a great pizza spot in Novato. They've got a nicely thin wheat crust and are generous with the vegetable toppings. Pictured above is the "green monster," a pesto based slice with fresh greens on top.
So, how was it? As thousands of Kenzai trainees have said before (and will say again), it was so SALTY! We went to this place before this program started and it tasted fine, this time I felt like I could barely taste the pizza through the salt. And I was so thirsty afterwards that we had to stop and get a bottled water on the way home. Not a great experience, but a good confirmation that my palate has been cleaned out and things are on track.
Thinking now about indulgence 3 and how to make it a winner!
This week was strong on all fronts, good diet, good workouts, steady and consistent progress with home, work, and training. Great example of what I call "bending the curve" where you just keep pulling on the iron bar of your life and habits, even when you feel like nothing's going right you keep the pressure on, and find that the bar gradually starts to bend and you've arrived at a new, healthier normal.
Onwards past the halfway point and into the real workouts!
As they say, when in Rome, so for my first indulgence I had a glass and a half of Californian wine with Kazue on our wedding anniversary last week. But we realized when we got home that we didn't have any wine glasses! So a quick trip to the drugstore netted two plastic wine receptacles. Toasting with plastic is pretty underwhelming!
The wine was also underwhelming, which is one of the good outcomes of an indulgence. One of those times you realize "this is good, but it's not as good as I was imagining it to be." Throws a welcome wet blanket over the cravings for a week afterwards.
Working hard at Kenzai HQ, we're going to kick things into high gear in a few more weeks and get some stuff out the door that's long overdue. Really appreciating the clear head and extra energy of being on program right now. Onward into month two!
Last night I woke up thirsty around 2 am, so I went upstairs to get a glass of water. A few moments after I flipped on the kitchen light I heard a bunch of thumping outside, under the kitchen window, kind of a cat-like screech, and some more scrambling. That was weird, but we've seen lots of cats and even deer around our house. Sure is a different world than Tokyo.
As I drank my water I started wondering if the cup had been washed well, it smelled kind of funny. But it wasn't the cup, it was the whole room, and the smell quickly strengthened and resolved itself into the unmistakable scent of skunk spray.
I started to review the skunk facts my brain has accumulated over the years. They're nocturnal, the live in burrows in wooded areas (like the area behind my house), and they're especially active in February and March when they mate. So my theory is we had a skunk or pair of skunks doing their thing around our house at 2 am, and I startled them by suddenly turning on the light. When they're startled they let out a warning spray.
Skunk spray is cool because it's made mostly of thiols. Basically you take the chemical structure of alcohol, and swap out the oxygen molecules for sulphur. This creates an odor that the human nose is incredibly sensitive to, just one part per billion of a strong thiol will be noticeable to you. Thiols are behind the wonderful odors created by heated garlic, onions, and roasted coffee. A skunk has two anal glands which can dial up or down the concentration of their simple thiol-based sulphuric acid. The more you scare or surprise them, the worse it'll smell.
So I stayed in the kitchen waiting to see how severe this spraying might be. It wasn't bad at all, I actually found it kind of pleasant, leaning against the kitchen counter and drinking my water in the middle of the night, sniffing this skunk's spray. It smelled like the sulphur springs near the famous on-sen area in Hakkone Japan. It also stirred some deeper memories of going to summer camp in north Georgia where skunk spray was a common olfactory backdrop.
I went back to sleep and by morning the smell was gone. Kazue and Juri couldn't smell anything unusual. So it's one of those moments that was just between me and this skunk and the universe. Those are kind of special!
Greetings everyone, it's Monday here in sunny San Francisco, and I'm cruising along nicely. Diet is good, workouts are good, and we're making some good headway in the growth and development of Kenzai. App is getting done, new advanced programs are getting done, and office setup and the mountain of paperwork that goes with it is getting done. Good to have some points on the board.
Will be around on the blog a lot more this week, what a time to be alive people!
Feeling like the guy in that picture today. The giant boulder of getting started on a new life is moving!
1 month ago today the family and I got on flight to the US. As of yesterday we've secured a house, vehicle, set up bank accounts, insurance, moved into new office, and done most of the dozens of little things it takes to get life running smoothly. Had a less than perfect first two weeks of Body 2, but am on track and finally in the groove and hitting the diet and workouts hard.
Feels good! The last thing I need is a table to eat all these meals and snacks on. Been eating standing up or on the floor for a week! Dining room table arrives Sunday and we'll be in business!
Bring on February!
Diet was clean, only blemish was a few tortilla chips and salsa one night. Workouts were fine, hard to mess up when they're so quick. Training team is strong, site is buzzing with more than 300 people simultaneously in the first week of their programs.
Sleep has been awful this week. Waking up in the middle of the night with a hundred thoughts and worries flickering through my mind. You get in that crappy cycle where there's so much you need to do, but because you're not sleeping enough you aren't getting it all done, which leads to more sleepless nights and even less productivity. I can't seem to break this cycle, and I know it has such deleterious effects on my body's ability to create new muscle, it's seriously pissing me off.
My current commute is pretty ugly. 2 hours seated on a bus every day. Bus has wifi so it's not lost time, but I really dislike a commute that has me completely sedentary like that. (See my teleportation lesson for more on this - https://kenzai.me/blog/how-to-teleport-really )Thankfully from next week after I move into the new house the commute gets a lot more exciting and engaging.
Real diet, real workouts, real sweat coming up in the next week. Bring it on.
Had some tech problems with my enrollment, some backend stuff having to do with already having "graduated" Kenzai Body 2 (a useful status to have when you're going back and proofreading/improving programs) Looking forward to earning the badge for real this time.
Not a super strong start to a training cycle, but I'm expecting some wobbly days as we continue the process of finding a house, moving, and otherwise rebuilding from scratch here in the US. By week 3 of this course things should be smooth sailing. Well, less chaotic at least.
Let's have a great 90 (87) days. I've got a lot of biomass to mobilize and am in a great mental place to do it!