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FEATURE: FAMILY FITNESS

by Cecilia Aiello

For Elizabeth Jane and her family, a moment of spontaneity fostered a lifetime of health. It all began when a family friend turned Elizabeth's older brother, Joseph, on to Kenzai.

For G.I. Joe--a nickname he earned for his years of service as a major in the Indian Army--Kenzai was a natural fit. He had always been the fittest member of the family. His time in the military had instilled in him an iron-clad discipline. So the idea of daily workouts and a regimented diet was a welcome addition to his routine.

Convincing the rest of the family was a bit more difficult.

Elizabeth's eldest brother, Melvyn, had put his own health aside to start an organic farm. He was looking for a way to parlay his passion for farming into a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth had left a career as a journalist and TV anchor behind to be closer to her family. She had spent these years in front of the camera worried about her appearance. The pounds were easy to keep off when she faced a nationwide audience at work every day.

So the two of them decided to follow Joseph's lead and they all enrolled in the summer Kenzai Body session. Soon, they were pressuring their mother, Mabel, to join a program.

Mabel, a retired school teacher, joined Kenzai Silver. And soon, the family was spending their evenings prepping vegetables and jumping rope.

"We were all sweating and going nuts and measuring our grams. We hadn't done anything like that in our lives," explains Elizabeth.”

But the novelty of the program kept the family motivated. They prepped meals together. They worked out together. Training as a family kept everyone accountable. It steeled their resolve when times got tough. "It was a good idea to do it as a family," says Elizabeth, "because the only way it works is for everyone to be on the same page. We all knew what the others were experiencing. Empathy was good." They family kept at it. Joseph snapped at Melvyn, any time he reach for an off-diet snack. The family prepared and shared meals together. And over the course of 90 days, the changes came.

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Midway through the program, the brothers had to alter their wardrobes. Their pants were hanging loose. They tightened their belts. They had their shirts tailored. Melvyn lost so much bodyfat that people started to ask if he was ill. As for Elizabeth Jane, by the end of the program, she had signed up for a decathlon--and was buying XS’s, rather than her customary M’s. When their programs ended, the family weighed in. In sum, they'd lost 27 kg's (60 lbs.). Melvyn's high cholesterol had stabilized. Mabel gave up sugar altogether. Joseph adapted his Kenzai cooking habits into a post-program routine. And Elizabeth says she's fitter, lighter and happier than she's been in 12 years. The family continues to train the Kenzai way. They continue to improve, one day at a time - all committed to living a healthy and fulfilling life together.
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