Fake it till you make it! GRADUATION POST
Ok I have no idea what beach that final pic is getting ready for. I vaguely had some thoughts about looking for the lone one-piece swimsuit I own...but my sparkly bodysuit was a lot more handy. Those genuinely are my beach shorts though - that I run in. I don't know how any woman runs in a bikini alone...without having to stop several times to retie, pull up, pull down, tuck in clothing and body bits - it's simply beyond me! My IQ shorts keep it all in!
For my final workout I decided to prep John Rambo style...and give it my all...I taped up my broken finger, wrapped my warped ankle and strapped in my tenissy elbow. And did the whole workout. It felt awesome. I felt comatose. I even ended with an extra 4 sets of X sits. Loved the style of the workouts of this program. I can see how this can get you really ripped.
For me, my greatest learning during this program was to recognize my body's signals, make the adjustments and yet not get derailed. Thank you all for your support and as always great having such an awesome family!
That's my baby brother, who's finally started listening to his big sister (as of a few days ago) and is trying to make some lifestyle changes.
So I took a few days off workout...it's incredible how little you can do with one sore ankle, sore elbow and sore middle finger! But stayed tight-ish on the diet. I was in Kerala and for the first time didn't have access to home cooked food. I was so surprised that restaurants serve greasy vegetarian fare in heavy gravies, rather than the original lightly steamed/sauteed veggies that is actual Malayalee food. So much for my vegan paradise!
But once our work was done, we found a beach shack, got the guy there to go buy veggies, cook home style food and did a LOT better.
I thought I would drop off the program...but since my diving is only in November, I thought I would finish this in true Kenzai survivor/adapter style...tight on diet, minimal workout (with my ankle weights - since I can't seem to do any of the skips or jumps or push-ups right now) and with a positive attitude! How's everyone doing?
This week's pic is me in burkini glory - since we were on a very crowded public beach that's not very bikini friendly for locals. They have no problems with foreigners in one!
This is either my kitten walking over my keyboard or me typing in my sleep because I’m so knackered with these workouts!
Also featured is my dinner - Nigella Lawson's WARM SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEA SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS (yes I've mixed in some fruit - face palm)
Hello all, it's a busy time, but there's no perfect time to start a Kenzai programme. Maybe I'll reward myself with a dive holiday after I get my beach bod heh heh (although I'm usually turned out in fully burkini splendour on my dives).
Loving the workouts although I missed mine today despite a 5 am start to the day. Diet I plan to eyeball. I'm going to be a bit kind to myself. Have fun all!
I’ll Remember GRADUATION POST
That’s a song by Madonna who was my muse for this programme. But it also came timely. I just lost a dear friend in a freak accident. He was 43 and a trailblazer in the legal field.
He was also battling a mysterious illness that caused his once gorgeous body to waste away, until he was barely skin and bone. And yet, his spirit never broke.
And so, I dedicate this to my friend. I woke up, hit the gym for the last workout and went straight to his memorial meet dressed to the hilt, and told a story of how we were fashion show buddies in law school. It was a small school and we few had to represent the college for all events-ranging from literary to cultural to sport. I’ll spare you the more embarrassing details of the rest of the story.
I feel gratitude for the good health and strength I have today. And I hope to never take that for granted. And I wanted to share that with this amazing community.
Thank you to Scott, my supportive team and wonderful Kenzai family for walking - rather pumping through this with me! Am I done yet?
Saturday I made it to the gym at the odd time of 1 pm after a few work meetings. It was a strange world I walked into. I had never seen such gigantic men in my life! I was the lone pipsqueak amongst them. One giant and I made for the same weight, and I said to him, 'no bro, you take it, I'll take the heavier one'.
I walked away feeling like a goddess, only to realize that:
1) I couldn't lift the heavier one after all
2) He was using the weight I intended to use for my bicep curl for his wrist curl.
He was nice enough to give it to me after all. I gotta say though, Pipsqueak got her R.E.S.P.E.C.T. from the bros, tiny weights and all. Thank you Kenzai. It has been my single point agenda to gain their acceptance.
I'd like to present Exhibit A: The Saree Blouse. I will be the master of ceremonies at a conference at the end of this programme and I'll have to show up in a minimum of 4 sarees. The saree is worn with this cursed garment. The blouse/choli/corset-from-hell.
It a garment stitched to exacting measurements and is fastened with hooks that have NO room for change. So a blouse that was made 3years, 6 months or even the last week, will only fit if you have stayed the EXACT same size. Now there are different seams that you can open up as you...erm expand, but I have 'firmed up' and there is nothing in our vast Indian heritage that addresses this particular phenomenon.
I rip blouses, (ok, once was when I tried to lift a desk in a saree - but I did work in furniture), I can't fit into sleeves, I can't stretch my arm once I'm IN the blouse, and occasionally can't even breathe.
I have gone crying from tailor to tailor and finally one harried one told me: "madam, fat we can squeeze into a blouse. Muscles we cannot". Great...last night I tried on one, and I can fit about one wrist in. Methinks I'll just let it hang from the end of my fingertips while I'm on stage. And wear a t-shirt under my saree instead.
And as I do with each and every Kenzai programme I've ever done, I want my money back! (Secretly thrilled). Diet I wasn't being too sharp on, but I stay more or less on track all year long, so I'm not complaining.
I didn't know I had them till mean boy-who-sat-reluctantly-next-to-me-through-law-school pointed them out. I used to obsess over them through my 30s. But now I gotta say, I kinda love them.
But I love the fact that I can feel muscle under them. Gosh, these workouts are brutal. I missed one because of equally brutal 6 hour hot and humid trek. I did climb up a waterfall and made it faster than most of the kids who were 20 years or more younger than me! So I won't consider that a miss.
Yes. That's it. Gonna work for it. Hello everyone and look forward to doing this program with you all. I'm one day behind as I was on a road trip all day of Day 1 till late night.
Hangin' up my gloves...NEVER! GRADUATION POST
I'm really starting to bore myself now...halfway through each program I ask for my money back. And by the end, I declare that it was THE BEST PROGRAM EVER! I'm sure Patrick falls asleep when he sees this pattern now. But I have to say, this one I enjoyed from Day1 to today, when I experienced serious withdrawal.
Besides being able to continue with my Indian vegan diet (yes, with dal), I loved the way good ole dumbells felt. Made a new friend in the E-zee bar and slowly, very slowly, learned to look half graceful doing the push car.
Doing this with my super focussed (but non-blogger) husband was wonderful too. And it helps that we eat and drink similarly. Actually, he does exactly what the program, and I, ask of him. Needless to say, his results were spectacular.
A big thanks to Scott for his warmth, humour and gentle prodding. To the mastermind Patrick, and our wonderful cohort here at Kenzai who coax, inspire and shame me into staying true. My teammates who walked the walk with me. And to my son, who played my 'before'. Did I say I wanted to be Cyndi and not Hulk? No ***^^%$^& way!
I work a fair bit over video calls. The advantage of this is that you only need to get dressed waist upwards (and remember to stay seated). I've noticed I've started to get a biiiit distracted by the cuts in my shoulders and arms. Yay!
In other news, I'm well in with the bros in the gym. These days, I get so tired...one giant very sweetly moved my bench into place for me. I must have stood for a full minute in front of it looking like I was going to cry. It being the bench. Not the giant. Him, I wanted to hug. But I was sweaty. And he wasn't wearing much.
And two of them came running when I looked completely INCAPABLE of moving after the weighted hip thrust. Sob, now I love them all!
And just when I was about to give up yesterday, Missy Elliot told me to 'Get my Freak On' and 'Work it'. But listening to the lyrics I don't think she was talking about golf swings.
Last week gang! Let's go downtown and cat it like a vulture!
This last week hasn't been great. Travel to very hot, very cold cities, then insane jumps in temperature here in Mumbai...we hit 41 degrees C a couple of days ago has given practically everyone I know flu-like symptoms. Luckily they were mild enough that I wasn't wiped out completely, but I did take 2-3 days off workout every other day.
When I did a workout, I just used an unloaded Ezee Bar and clubbed two days of workout with half the number of sets just to activate those muscles. It worked well enough to give me a nice burn given that my body wasn't in top form. This coupled with a few nights of disturbed sleep told me I ought to take things a little easy. BIG progress for me! 😅
I'm 95% restored and planning to give it my all today! Oh, an for our indulgence, my husband and I had a most awesome vegan spaghetti bolognese at home (night carbs) and a whiskey at the pub after. Small and fulfilling.
Hope everyone else is doing great!
I've been really focused on my right bicep because my physio had warned me that the point of its joining with the tendons at my shoulder get really tight. I often wake up with pain, but I know what stretches to do to ease it out in a minute or two. (Thanks Doc!) In all this, I noticed that my left bicep looks smaller than my right. I have a nice little quail egg 🥚 (to my husband's ostrich egg) sitting on my right, but my left is more runny caramel custard 🍮 . Have decided to give it some more ❤️ in the weeks to come.
In other news, my life seems to have come full circle. In 2012, shadily announced on Kenzai (PCP) that I had just recovered from 'a serious illness' and wanted to challenge myself back to fitness. It was a severe case of tuberculosis that there was so much stigma attached to, in India, and a disease that most of us didn't really know much about, much less know how to manage it.
I am just back from a workshop by The Moth (American personally storytelling organization) - I was selected, along with several other amazing TB advocates, to craft and tell our personal stories. Sponsored by ole Bill and Melinda Gates. Will share when they finish editing our videos.
I don't even recognize the scrawny, stressed out person I was, in 2011. Very grateful to be here. Amongst y'all crazies.
Was at the most dreamy wedding of our Kenzai graduate friend. My husband and I stay pretty on point through the year, so we indulged mindfully - it WAS Jaipur and the food was outstanding - I didn't eat any of that deep fried street food I've posted pic of! Was nice to nibble at all the goodies and just stop.
We did have one bartender who, in typical Rajasthani hospitality style, responded to my request for a tiiiiiny gin by simply ignoring me and telling me I was here for a wedding. And there was another one who comped our drinks and snacks (that we didn't order) another evening at our hotel.
Is it any wonder that this is one of the world's favorite traveler destinations??! I may not be up but I'm not down either for Week 8. Workouts on track, barring one (3 am wake up and travel and just too tired - didn't want to push it).
Come on gang, let's give it our all - oh wait I'm traveling the next 4 days again. But let's give it our best!!
Apologies for the late blog, but I’m just back from a writer’s retreat on an island, in Goa, with no access to the outside world, and one that was only accessible by crossing a river that had crocodiles 🐊 in it. I think they really wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t want to run away.
Workouts: there were no weights or gym, and not enough network for me to access the website. Somehow the link to the bodyweight exercises simply didn’t work on the app; and so I accessed the regular workout and did the closest approximation with my resistance bands. I had two varieties of jackfruit tree, and a mango tree for my anchor point. And two ducks for company.
Workouts are 50/50. Diet - was vegan, and meals sometimes plated; but I managed ok by fishing out veggies from the gravies, if I had to.
It was all very beautiful, early in the morning, except when I had to hold my plank. That’s when every conceivable insect from the trees, water, and possibly even from the duck vomit jumped, hopped or flew to land on my back and my legs. There’s a saying in Hindi that goes “aa bail mujhe maar”- come and hit me, bull 🐮 Meaning I was a sitting duck 🦆 or as the philosopher Britney Spears put it, I was saying “Hit me, Baby, one more time”. And they did. 🦟 🕷 🐜