Ray S.

Ray S.


First, I want to thank all of you, the trainers and team mates, for being in this group. I received encouragement along the way from each of you at just the right time throughout this lifestyle changing challenge. I can not express what this has meant to me from a growth perspective to accept the challenge, commit to it, painstakingly endure it, grow from it, and finish successfully. A big shout out to Matt L. for introducing me to KB1 last year, as well as, his and his lovely wife's encouragement these last 90 days. Thanks Matt and Amy!

Now, what I really feel. I FEEL GREAT! My wife and I were just giddy this morning as we both finished our respective workouts. We are head to my daughter's home tonight for wine and pizza and watch the NCAA Final four ball games tonight. My wife went to Auburn so she is super excited. Then we are off to North Carolina for a few days of hiking, eating, etc. Might stretch the mandatory rest days from 3 to 5 or 6, excluding the benefits of hiking.

Below is a picture of our wine choice for this evening. Not sure if it goes well with stuffed crust supreme pizza, but it will tonight for sure! Nothing like celebrating a "win" with family, food and beverage.

I plan to continue on with everything I learned over the next 90 days. I have always done some type of fitness, mostly running in the winter and biking in the fair weather months. Now I know how to mix it up and include a healthy eating lifestyle. What a great feeling.

You all have been wonderful and I look forward to following you on Kenzai blogs. Enjoy your rest and the indulgences over the next few days. You all earned it.

Day 89

We are almost there! What a great experience and one I am sharing with my friends. I am telling them this was hard, requires dedication and discipline. It’s not a lose 20 pounds in 20 days diet plan that won’t work and will leave you frustrated. It’s a lifestyle change and you should take the challenge of you are not committed. This weeds out most everybody, but the don’t deny the results they see on me.

I am excited about tomorrow’s final workout. I have really enjoyed the format of this weeks workouts.

See you all on the other side later this weekend!


Hello, All. Looking forward to the final countdown to KB 1. The weather this week has been awesome so I was able to get in three bike rides for about 60 total miles, on top of my KB workouts. I tried several times to upload a little video from one of my rides, but it wouldn't work for some reason. Instead you get four generations of Smiths. (note the chubbiness on me from a few month's ago). The lessons have been spot on, especially today. Needed that boost to not feel like I had done enough. Confession is that I did have two (small) chocolate chip cookies this week. Made them for grandson and they were toooooo tempting. (They were good, too).

I am excited about this coming week. I glanced at the workouts and I like the format. I hope to see some last week tweaks to the body. I have had several people this week comment on my physic. That was encouraging. This morning I put on a pair of shorts and had to go back and put a belt on b/c they wouldn't stay up. How cool is that?

I look forward to reading everyone's final blogs in the next week. I hope you all can hang in there this week, finish strong and be proud of the work you will have completed.

Day 78

What am I going to do when the program is over? Well....My wife and I are going to celebrate first with a bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay! Then we are leaving Monday (April 8) on a four day trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Plans are to hike, eat, hike, drink (socially, of course), hike, sleep. Looking forward to finding how we are able to eat well, yet not over do it. Then when we get back, we have a plan to continue down a path of a healthy lifestyle.

Looking forward to the finish line. Hope everyone here is too. Have a great week.

Day 74

Hello, All! Thought I would post a lot about nothing....I have been on the stationary bike this week due to knee pain. Never thought I would say I miss the rope, but in a way I do. Liked the challenge and efficiency. I hope to augment routine with bike rides tomorrow and Saturday, as the weather is supposed to be really nice. I do want to jump at least one day this week (3 X 6min) just because Sunday looks like it bumps up to 7 minutes. May whistle a different tune about the rope next week.

A little over two weeks left. My wife and I are excited as we are planning a few days away to celebrate our respective successes and get outdoors some. It's been a long, wet winter here in Middle Tennessee.

Have a great weekend, everyone. We are almost there. Let's cross the finish line with great enthusiasm and joy!

(Photo: Grandson spending the night at Papa and Mimi's)

Day 71

Well, I discovered (via a reminder) that it has been 6 days since my last post. It doesn't seem that long ago, as I try to read posts every couple of days and respond to most. Anyhoo.....

My wife started asking me on Thursday about the next indulgence day. Low and behold, this weekend's announcement of the third and final was a welcome surprise, especially for her. We are going to get a burger today for lunch. I am looking forward to that.

I have been struggling a bit with my right knee which I had surgery on last October. The jump rope has taken it's toll somewhat so I am modifying to my indoor bike trainer. I hope a few days off the rope, ice and ibuprofen will help because I really want to finish with the rope, if possible. While I haven't been doing the Floorjumps - usually sub some other leg workout- I also bypassed the pistol squats today. I subbed mule kicks (with a band) and creeps.

The weather yesterday was great, so instead of rope, I rode my bike 20 miles (32km) inclusive of some hill work. While I feel like I am in really good shape, I am not yet in bike riding shape. That will come in time.

No real food challenges. I am pretty strict for the most part. I have pretty acceptable discipline when out with friends. 71 days with no alcohol, in my mind, is pretty amazing. I will admit, I do pinch off a bite of cookie or take a bite of cake now and then, but not habitually. I have lost over 15 lbs and still feel as though I am losing weight. If I can get a little more of the "spare tire" melted away over the next 3 weeks, I will be ecstatic!

All for now....Let's stay focused and disciplined. The finish line is in sight so let's all get there together! Have a great week.

Photo: Daisy and me out for a long walk last week!

Day 64

Its the start of a new week and the finish line is in site. While I am looking forward to completing the journey (successfully) I am a little nervous about "getting lazy" for a while, too. The good news is that spring is around the corner which means better weather and more outdoor activities.

That dang jump rope is the most frustrating thing I have ever done. Last week, I nailed it. I would jump the 4-4minute jumps and maybe only have 2-3 misses the whole time, usually in the last set as I was getting tired. Friday and Sunday ( I rode stationary bike on Saturday) I couldn't jump to save my life. The good news is that 2 /12 months ago I would have likely thrown that jump rope across the room and said several inappropriate words. This time I just took a deep breath (said one or two bad words) and restarted. We don't talk a lot about attitude, per se, but being disciplined and fit does, in my opinion, help with a better attitude and patience. At least for me.

Looking forward to shedding those last 5 pounds and finishing strong. My wife continues to complement me on my discipline and how I am slimming down. That is a great motivator.

Hang in there team and let's finish strong!!!!

Day 59

The daily lessons have remained spot on. It's funny how I correlate the lesson with "wow, I was just thinking/feeling that!" Very helpful.

I moved up a band color today on the row (and row like) exercises. That was great. Still dealing with the mid-section "roll" that is pretty stubborn to get rid of. Hoping the next few weeks will take care of that.

My wife hears me groaning on some of the hard sets and yells up the stairs "are you all right?" Yea, but this is hard!

Thinking about that motto or mantra to get thru the hard parts I have stole one. Toby Keith has a new song that he wrote after he asked Clint Eastwood (who is about 87-88 years old) how he keeps making/directing movies. He said "I don't let the old man in". The movie the Mule was a really good movie, and this song, "Don't let the old man in" is a great song. That's what I keep telling myself. Not that 58 is old (at least not now that I am there), but its way different than even 48. Not bad, just different. I know so many in this age class category that are on high blood pressure, cholesterol and other regular meds that do long and act old. I don't want to be them!

Any how, tomorrow marks 2/3 of the program complete. I am anxious to finish strong. Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement.

Day 55

Made it through my visit to Memphis fairly unscathed. I think I did really well on the food. Only thing out of diet I ate was a small veggie egg roll at a reception. No alcohol, just plain water! I did miss my jump rope on Friday morning. This was the first time in 54 days I missed any part of a workout.

I will say that this far in to the program I love the experience. I will say that I have never committed to anything (temporal) in this way before. I enjoy the encouragement from you all and my wife, especially, to stick to it and get to the finish line. Thanks, ALL.

Cycling season is on its way. My plan is to augment my workouts with 2-3 long bike rides (20+/- miles) during the week when weather cooperates, in prep for cycling season. My goal is 100-125 miles per week, which is about 3-4 rides per week.

Hope all is well with you all. Have great weekend.

Day 50

Things are going really well here. It takes a couple of the three minute jump rope reps to get my wind and cadence synced up, but I have really been in a grove the past few days. The workouts increasing sets was a kick in the pants. I can see how there will be significant changes over the course of the next several weeks.

Food wise, I am still doing well. The AMAYW veggies (and now evening fruit) are interesting. I am curious though, when it switches from a certain number of grams to AMAYW is the tendancy to move down in grams, up in grams or hold the same for most folk?

I'll be traveling a couple of days later in the week. I plan to take the jump rope and bands. Not too worried about getting the exercise in, but food, as many of you know, is a challenge. Think about what Memphis, TN is known for. Pork BBQ, corn bread, fried everything, and banana pudding, so eating may be a bit of a challenge.

Have a great and successful week!

Attached photo are two of my motivators (grandson and granddaughter).


I told my wife a couple of weeks ago that when or if we got another indulgence day I knew exactly what I wanted. Some of you will understand, but most likely the international team may not. Chick - Fil -A! A number 1 with Coke Zero. I did not check the caloric intake, but let's just say I could have eaten another one or finished it with an ice cream cone, but I didn't. It was so good and I was so busy enjoying it, I couldn't tell what my taste buds were thinking other than ecstasy (sorry, I'll try to keep this PG rated). I am making myself hungry just thinking about it. Took my grand-nephews and they had a great meal, too.

I really do like the timed jump rope. I see the time goes to 3 minutes soon and I may not like it quite as much, but I like the break to reset my rhythm. This has been a really great experience for me. As I mentioned, I left my profession at the beginning of the year so the timing was great as I am able to spend time in the kitchen and with the workouts. I admire you all that are traveling for work or managing a house with kids, etc. because I see how time consuming this is for me. You all are my heroes. Keep up the great work team. Have a nice weekend.

Day 43

Looking at pic from Day 1 to today, I can really see the difference. I know we aren't supposed to step on the scale necessarily, but I was curious and I have lost 10 pounds since starting! Slow and steady she goes.

I have enjoyed reading the blogs this past week. It looks like many of us are having highs and lows along the way. As we are part of this Kenzai community together, having one another to correspond with is pretty neat. (yes I said neat).

I enjoyed the timed jump rope today. Out of the 7 sessions, I only missed 4-5 skips the whole time. The 20 second rests allows me to reset my internal timing mechanism. Today, I substituted chair step ups for the Floor jumps. The latter really kills my knee.

We have out of town guests coming today and staying until Thursday. I will have to alter my routine a bit and be cautious on foods as we have to fix meals for the guests. See the pic below to get an idea what I have to stay away from. We have small kids coming so my wife made cup cakes for them. I will confess....I swiped my finger in the batter when she was making them. Man...it was really, really good!

Hope everyone has a great week. Celebrate the highs and perserver through the lows. We are almost half way there.

Day 38

The daily lessons have been spot on this week. The groove vs grid blog is right where I find myself this week and the fat vs muscle weight is a good to know. When I explain what I am doing to my friend and family the first words from their mouths are "how much weight have you lost"? I tell them it's not about the weight, its about the fitness and lifestyle changes.

I do feel as though I am in the groove generally. I will admit that getting started this week has been a bit of a battle. Though once I get going I am fine and actually enjoy the workouts (as much as that is possible). Today I jumped about as well (efficiently) as I ever have. Not that I didn't miss a few skips, but it just felt more rhythmic than usual.

I appreciate reading those blogs with the challenges. They are motivating. If you all can do this and work through the struggles, then there is no reason I can't do it with my wide open schedule. Thanks for that.

My wife's birthday is tomorrow (yes on Valentine's Day). She is going out with the girls for a chocolate molten lava cake. I can't go with them, but I have promised to take her for a slice of pizza on Friday. I am trying to figure out what kind of pizza from a pizza shop will not have cheese on it, or even, what pizza itself will taste like without cheese on it?

Take care for now!

Day 34

I have avoided as much as possible, going out for lunch or dinner. Ironically, we received invitations to go to lunch and dinner yesterday with different friends. I am a rule follower and it somewhat frustrates my wife as I want to do what the program says -exactly- and she is realist enough to know it can't happen 100% of the time. However, I believe both lunch and dinner were within the margin of flexibility and I can say that both were tasty. I am sure the roasted Brussel sprouts had some salt added to it, but hopefully not too much. I squeezed lemon on the garden salad, passed on the buttered buns, and added avocados in lieu of sour cream based sauce for the hanger steak taco.

Today, I subbed bike for skips...I am an avid cyclist and look forward to getting back on the road when the weather turns a bit better. I need some time in the saddle to get certain body parts ready for 2-3 hour rides.

Happy that it's the weekend. We are celebrating my wife's upcoming birthday tomorrow at our kids house. They have promised to make fresh foods that are compliant with my program and my wife's food plan.

Have a great weekend, all.

Day 31

Hello all! Today I had some dental surgery so I was not supposed to work out, or at least keep things low key to keep my blood pressure down and reduce the likelihood of bleeding. Therefore, I did not jump rope today, but I did do all the exercises and stretches. Missed my mid-morning snack and had a bit of a time with lunch, but have the feeling back in my mouth so dinner shouldn't be an issue.

I have to stop bragging about my consistency in jump rope counts without missing. Seems this week I can barely get to 100 without a miss or two. I think now I am thinking about it too much. I am sure it will get better.

Thanks for all the encouraging notes from all of you.



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