Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you Jillian Michaels!

I just realized it's probably been a bit too long since my last post, and I was wondering what to write about. I had a look at my last post about our engagement photos and realized it's time to talk about my (near) daily date with Jillian Michaels. Most of you probably know Jillian from The Biggest Loser series. She's the one who yells at everyone and makes them cry. She's one scary lady considering her tiny stature!

I had heard a lot about her workout DVD, 30 Day Shred. I think I've expressed before how much I really and truly hate working out. It's not so much the working out, it's the sweating. I hate to sweat. Like really truly hate it. It's revolting. I have a crappy cardio system, I'll never be a marathon runner, that's for sure. I was doing Curves 3x a week, but I sort of got bored of it, and the street in front of it was under construction making it impossible to get in and out, so I gave in and got myself a copy of The 30 Day Shred. 

Basically the DVD is set up into three levels, each increasing in intensity. The workouts are about 20 minutes long, but you work hard in those 20 minutes, trust me. I sort of wanted to punch Jillian in the face the first few days (not that I could have lifted my arms that high if I tried), but after I got over the initial hump, I had a sort of sick desire to kick some ass with the Shred each morning. What had happened to me?! 

I'm not fanatically religious about doing it every day, I mean, we all have a life right? I try to do it at least three times a week. The odd time I've taken a full week off when wedding related and life related activities make it too hard to work it into my schedule. There were also a few days when it was so humid even at 8am that I couldn't possibly work out. I tried and nearly died. Not worth it.  I also changed what I eat in the morning. I typically have a piece of fruit and a yogurt or a big bowl of cereal with skim milk. And lots and lots of water! Always water!

So anywho, even with my non-religious regime, I've gotten great results! I've dropped down a dress size, from a 10 to an 8 and I couldn't be happier! I'm fitting into clothes from when I first met Dan five years ago and haven't been able to get into for at least two years.

Now I realize I'm not a huge person, but we all have our insecurities right? I tend to gain weight in my stomach and my hips. I hate putting on a bathing suit. The last time I felt good about myself in a bikini was five years ago. I don't want to live my life feeling like I need to suck in my stomach or camoflauge that bit of a pooch, so it was time for change. I didn't take before photos (bad move), so here's a photo from a friend's wedding last summer. When I left the house I felt like I was looking nice, when I saw this photo it was a HUGE reality check for me. I thought black was slimming?! Who was this woman wearing my dress?!

So, I hit it with Jillian. I sweated. A lot. I swore. I grunted. I sweated some more. It was gross. BUT after a while I noticed my jeans were too big, and not the stretched out after a few days of wearing them big. Like big straight out of the dryer. I got brave and put on my goal pants. They fit!!! We had our engagement shoot and my "Ah ha!" moment came when I saw this photo:

Who was that hot chick with the trim thighs and toned arms?! Look at my waist! THANK YOU JILLIAN MICHAELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear to god I'm having that photo blown up so I can stare at it every morning when I wake up! It's my motivation to keep going. My first fitting is July 27th, so who knows what the next month will bring!

Before I sign off, I'd like to share with you a few pros and cons of the 30 Day Shred since not every program is perfect. It's not a godsend for everyone, it doesn't work for each person who tries it, it's what you make of it. Each person will have different results, I just happen to be very happy with mine. Remember too that even though you're exercising, you need to eat healthy! Working out is not an excuse to eat a Big Mac every day! I definitely splurge on food, this blog isn't called The Well Fed Newlyweds for nothing, but I try to balance out my splurging and my healthy eating as much as I can.

  • All you need is a pair of running shoes, a yoga mat, and a pair of 3-5 lb weights. It's not highly structured with tons of equipment. I love that!
  • It's only 20 minutes. Now it's what you make of those 20 minutes, are you going to push yourself or wimp out? 
  • Jillian is tough but encouraging. I liked some of the things she said during the video, she seemed to be in touch with when her viewers would be hurting the most and really keyed in on helping you push through it. It caught me off guard, but I like it. 
  • There are three different levels, so when you can do one relatively easily, you can move up to the next. I didn't get bored with Level 1 at all, I think I could have done it for months on end, but I figured I should move on. 
  • It's working for me!
  • Really short warm ups and cool downs. I typically stop the video and do more stretching at the end. A lot of people say they're SO sore after the first day or two, and it's likely caused by this short cool down period. I think Jillian was too focused on the time frame and keeping it within 20 minutes. Spend the extra few more minutes to stretch a bit more. 
  • Level 2 is full of exercises in the plank or push-up position. For me, this is a huge con because I freaking hate push ups. I have no upper body strength and I'm just fine with that. I'll substitute some of her plank position exercises for ones from Level 1 when my arms get too tired. 
 So make of it what you will, but I'm thrilled with my results and I'm going to keep going. I'm looking forward to bikini shopping (did I really just say that?!) and lookin hot on our honeymoon!



  1. I'm so glad the video worked for you. After a couple weeks I felt better but I didn't notice any difference. I couldn't do level 3 though, it was too much for me. LOL

  2. I haven't tried Level 3 yet although I sort of skipped through it to see what it holds (and since I'm hating all the plank stuff in Level 2, I thought I might just move one). Maybe I'll try it tomorrow and report back :)

  3. i actually pulled a muscle in my stomach doing this video last year! i couldn't exercise for almost 3-4 months before things started to get better (crazy, i know). i'm thinking about trying it again now, there are only around 30 days until our wedding and i need to buff up a bit. this time, i'm just taking it slower!

  4. Holy cow! That's crazy! Maybe take it easy on the ab crunches this time around ;)

  5. Okay. I did Level 3 today. It's way better than Level 2. There's some plank position stuff, but I enjoyed it SO much more. I'll let you know tomorrow if I can move, there's some REALLY intense thigh work outs!!! Oh and big news, I can do push ups now! Good ones too! Holy cow! Go me!

  6. I'm doing Jillian's other workout video No More Trouble Zones. I really need some motivation to stick with it though. Love your blog!

  7. What's No More Trouble Zones like? I've heard the name mentioned but don't know much about it.