Saturday, August 21, 2010

PAU. (a wink and a smile)

"Pau" means finished in Hawaiian. I know we're all winking and smiling because how can one ever "complete" the project of mental and physical health? How can I stop training, despite the fact that my jumprope broke on Day 90 (bittersweet, but definitely not a sign that jump roping is no longer on the menu. Thank you, Mr. Rope, for 180+ days of fun times together)?

I imagine us all with this huge quilt of knowledge - we've got pieces and patches from a variety of sources, but ultimately we need them all. More importantly, the growth of this quilt is never-ending. This quilt might circle the globe like 8 times in our lifetime.

My current patches include: my mother, my sisters, Patrick, the whole PCP/KFB crew, my intuition, Geneen Roth, The New York Times, the good stuff on TED, Coach Jen, Angela at Bend and Bloom Yoga in Park Slope, Mestre Foca and Instrutora Rouxinol at Capoeira Brooklyn, any holistic healer/natural food blogger who has written about the chia seed, coconut flour, or How to Tell if You're Lactose Intolerant, acupuncturist Juliette Aiyana, my awesome therapist, my hero, Emily Drum, my spiritual leader, Amber, and the list goes on.

Thank you all for teaching me about my body, encouraging me to keep fighting, or stretching, or just breathing. I could not have made it without your expertise and patience!

A special shout out to some of the amazing women who weren't part of my official team (in fact some of ya'll weren't even training KFB! Not yet.). Jessica B. and Heather L. from Team Tiger, Jenny H. and Elena S. from PCP team Sexaaayyy. YOU LADIES RULE. Seriously. Let's form a buff lady band and go on tour. Your comments got me through the days I wanted to drown my quinoa in peanut butter ( cookie idea?).

So what has KFB added to my quilt? First, here are the benchmarks...

Standing jump: 10.5" (up from 10!)

Ball punches: 131! up from 43!

Toe touching: hmm...not much past the toes. Still got a pain behind the right side of my knee that makes this not so fun in the morning.

I could tell you about pounds lost (5-ish?) or huge body transformations (arms, arms, arms. LOVE THEM. And oh yeah, they should call this the KFBooty Project, because I believe mine came back a little - hello push kicks!) and maybe I would if the stats were as dramatic as what happened between my ears. Still, here's what happened physically:

When my enthusiasm was faltering midway through the project, I asked myself: What do you want from life and how will KFB get you there?

Here are some answers.

1. Follow a creative path that is rewarding and true to your beliefs, visions, etc. Finish book, or at least find new direction in novel!

Ok, I haven't exactly finished a novel, but I'm nearly finished with a collection of short stories I started like 9 years ago and then forgot about because many people told me I couldn't sell it. I'm writing about what I want, not what I think I should, or what would make me, like hella rich. That is, if people are still reading in 2020 or whenever my books make it out the brain and into your local library!

2. Become a BALANCED eater. i.e. Buy ice cream and have it suffer freezer burn because you bought it on a whim, had a little and were satisfied (rather than feeling like you'd ruined your diet/life and thus should consume entire pint) and actually forgot that it was there!

Made a bit of headway here, more in the direction of uncovering and dealing with the feelings that drive me to restrict/binge/restrict. You know the cycle. I'm working on this everyday, with lots of reflection, help, and forgiveness.

3. Get closer to 20 minutes of meditation!

This was hard. Especially while living with others, above a bar. I could not have maintained the focus and discipline to complete the program without daily meditation. Yes, sitting silently was harder than pistol squats and pull-ups, and a trillion times more rewarding! I feel the same way about meditation that I do about jump roping - how did I live without this do-it-anytime/anywhere-life-saver?

The practice has improved my concentration and ability to control my reactions. It has also helped me become more articulate when expressing my emotions, a task that is integral to developing a healthier body image and relationship to food.

Somewhere my ancestors are laughing - yes, it took an American man living in Japan to teach me to meditate! Go figure!

High-five to all of you who made it to Day 90, and to those who will be brave to attempt this mind/body revolution in the future!

Thank you Patrick and Chen for the chance to be part of this overwhelmingly powerful project!

I can't wait to see what you will dream up next!


  1. What an amazing last post—you are MY hero! Seriously. PCP and KFB back-to-back...such a hardcore accomplishment, Poca, physically and mentally. I know it wasn't easy, but you totally rocked it. And those ABS! But especially, thank you for sharing your journey so honestly with us. No doubt you will achieve these goals and then some!

  2. Shivani, You are a champion! Look at those arms!
    It was a pleasure to share this experience with you and see how you navigated through the difficult times. It was a big inspiration to know you were writing freely and constantly.

    I'm sure you will keep on learning new ways to rock that body, mind and soul. So please, write about it!

  3. Great job Shivani! I really appreciated all your posts... I would read them and think, yeah I feel that way too! You look hot! I mean, look at those abs and arms! Anyway, keep in touch!

  4. Super stuff Shivani. Brought a tear to my eye. You've found out that all the kicks and punches and badassery is just a trick to get you in the meditation doorway.

    My only real goal in life is to leave the planet with more people meditating than we I came. Everything else, the strong body, the good diet, it's all there to support a meditation practice.

    Thank you for trusting us enough to show you the kung fu of being you.


  5. Ah Shivani, you are a beautiful woman and a beautiful writer. I am thrilled to hear that you got a bit of ass back, b/c I most certainly would like some bootie bulge back (not that I'm thinking about doing KFB or anything ;-)). Besides that, I think that KFB gave you a slimmer, more feminine look that I LOVE!

    I'm honored to have been able to support you through your journey and thank you in return for your supporting comments on my blog. Your post regarding body image made me REALLY stop and think about my own body image. We all have work to do... :) Here's hoping we cross paths one day! Cheers! xoxo!

  6. Great Job Shivani - Its been a pleasure reading your blog and thanks for all your stories, thoughts, fears and words of encouragement!