MERETONI   51,617
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MERETONI's Recent Blog Entries

Two years?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Apparently it has been 2 years as of February 21st that I started on SparkPeople. Crazy... emoticon

This last year hasn't been as successful in the weight loss/maintaining as my first. I have since gained 10 pounds in the 1.4 years since starting maintaining, which I am not proud of, but I am still trying. At first I was losing weight still while maintaining so I slowed down on the working out and upped the eating a bit but then life went crazy.

First it was months and months of wedding planning that was non-stop last summer/fall. We got married in October! Then we bought a house in December! Since buying the house we've been spending all our free time painting, fixing, building, etc. It doesn't help that my living room has been off-limits nearly since we bought the house due to 1) the fact that it is not insulated that well and is REALLY cold when it's been -20° to -40°C outside all winter and 2) we wanted to limit the drywall/building dust from the adjoining dining room. So needless to say my treadmill, all workout equipment, DVDs are behind plastic. SO looking forward to getting that room back!

Course with drywall dust, and construction there were one to many pizzas ordered, or fast food bought but now that we are nearing the end and painting, we've been back to making food at home, which I am really happy about! I am looking forward to getting back to a routine. I had a great one before. Get home around 3:30, workout for about an hour, shower, start supper and have the now husband come home around 6:30 in time to eat, then relax the rest of the evening. And it's not like we come home and sit, oh no. I get home, put on my painting pants instead of my workout ones, and get to work on something. The joys of home-ownership eh? But guess what? We now have a pool! So maybe getting some water workouts come the summer!

My activity on SP hasn't been the greatest either. I still come on everyday and do a few things but no tracking, no interacting with anyone, which I miss... But it seems moot to do so when I am not being active physically in my real life. I miss my friends on here, and I hope each and every one of you have been great on your journey. I will be back soon, I hope.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYJAJA 3/23/2014 2:14PM

  emoticon on your new marriage and becoming home owners!! I know how it goes when you're in the middle of remodeling (no time for cooking, just grab something quick and be done with it!). Good luck with getting back on track... emoticon

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One Year!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's amazing to think that one year ago today I was a different person. I ate well but never watched what I put in my mouth. I tried exercising from time to time but it never stuck. I was disappointed with my self because of the way my body looked. I was carrying around 40 pounds of extra that I did not need.

One year ago today I decided to take a stand and change what I knew I could. I ate better and counted what went in me so that when I worked my ass off everyday it wasn't in vain. I worked out every day that I could, sure there were days and even sometimes weeks that I couldn't due to life, sickness, etc but I never let that keep me down. I got back to it over and over again. I started to look in the mirror and like what I saw. Slowly I saw the jeans getting bigger, my body slimming down, my energy increasing. It took nearly 9 months but I did it.

I do feel upset with myself though on this happy day. I am upset with the fact that I have been slacking lately with my workouts. Only ONCE since the beginning of February. Maybe this blog entry and reflecting on the changes I made in the pass year will help me get out of this rut. I am still watching my food intake and have been very good staying in my range and (happy happy!) have been maintaining for nearly 4 months! It's just the working out. But I will get back into it. That is a promise.

I would NOT have been able to come as far as I have without SparkPeople and my amazing Spark Friends I have found in the last year. You guys are so amazing it is impossible to put into words. You kept me motivated, brightened my day in those grey, gloomy times where I couldn't/didn't workout or felt that I back stepped. All the comments and goodies and words of encouragement are what kept me going. I owe you everything. Sure I did the physical working out and watching what I ate but you kept my spirits high and got me to where I am today.

I could never thank you all enough and although I haven't been on as much as I used to, I hope you know that I am always here for you as you have been for me.

Here's to one year of sweat, pain, ups, downs, sore muscles, trying new healthy foods, trying new workouts, and giving 110%!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEXBOBOMB 2/25/2013 11:17AM

    You are a total inspiration, girlie, I know you'll be kicking azz again real soon!

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1PEACEBUNNY 2/25/2013 9:13AM

    You have been awesome since day 1 and inspired some of us others to find our own awesomeness. Your unique way of being you and busting Killian's chops has endeared you to me. As I find myself slacking, I understand your frustrations but as I know that you have beat this before so I know you will again! I'm glad for your year here cause you have made my time on SP fly by...heres to year 2! Lets do it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADLYINLOVE 2/23/2013 12:24PM

    You AMAZE me! You've done so well for yourself and MADE the lifestyle change!

Happy 110% Sparkversary!

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BRADMILL2922 2/21/2013 11:52PM

    Congrats on all of your changes over the last year! Sometimes looking back can be the best thing to propel you forward!


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RAMONAFLOWERZ 2/21/2013 1:53PM

    We joined around the same time it's been a great journey. Lets keep pushing ahead together!

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KJELLYBEAN15 2/21/2013 8:56AM

    Kudos to you! You have done an amazing job this past year. Don't let this slow month derail your efforts. We all have times in which we need to slow down and rest. And with the freezing temps you have been dealing with it's no wonder you even climb out of the bed at all. Yikes! At least Spring is coming and with that all new possibilities.

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OUT-OF-ASHES 2/21/2013 8:40AM

    You said it sister! Great job on continuing to maintain, I know you will get back to work eventually. It usually takes reflection like this to get me back on track. Congrats on all your accomplishments!!!!!!!
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Calorie Counting Recipes Quick & Easy

Thursday, February 07, 2013

A fellow Sparker and co-worker of mine sent me a link for this wonderful site.

It's a recipe analyzer. You Just put in your ingredients in the box provided with how much of each (ie: 1/2 unsweetened applesauce) and input how many servings in the recipe and it will show you how many calories per serving with a grade of how good it is for you and what, if anything, is bad about it. For example I inputted my Banana Muffin recipe and next to each ingredient it gave me a grade (ie: sugar D-, applesauce A) then it gave me a grade on the whole recipe (got a B), and it said that the bad part of it was that it was high in sugar.

Try it out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 2/8/2013 1:29AM

    Iiiinteresting! I love using the recipe calculator on Spark Recipes, but it doesn't give you a grade on your recipes or analyze it or anything. Thanks for sharing!

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BRADMILL2922 2/7/2013 11:15PM

    Pretty cool site! Thanks for sharing!

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1PEACEBUNNY 2/7/2013 2:18PM

    I need this for when I make up spur of the moment thanks but you're awesome so what did I! emoticon

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IRP1114 2/7/2013 1:48PM

    cool! thanks for sharing : )

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MADLYINLOVE 2/7/2013 1:10PM

    Love that site! I'm so glad you're sharing it - I'm betting it's highly underutilized!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

This thought came to me last night after a pretty bad food night and a lack of workout week.

Everyone struggles, it's part of being human. Even those who appear strong, who every day is eating right, doing their workouts without fail and look great because of it struggled to get there because no one is perfect. And even if you strive to be, at some point you will stumble and fall, but what makes a strong person truly strong is their ability to get back up after that fall and keep on going.

It would be helpful is someone asked you, "How did you do it?" for your reply to start with, "It was a struggle but...". People need to know that this journey of making a better you will have it's ups and downs just like life and the only thing you can do to better yourself not only physically but overall is to just keep it up, keep going, put that trip up behind you and start new.

Every day you wake up is a day where you have a chance to start over. It's inevitable that you will bring aspects of the previous day ahead with you, but use it as motivation, not an excuse. Tell yourself that last night's lack of control with food or yesterday's missed workout isn't an excuse to do so again, hey, if you did it one day, might as well do bad again today. No. Tell yourself, OK, I slipped, but it was one day.It's just a drop in the bucket compared to how long you have been here and how many more years you have ahead of you.

When you are looking at your calendar and see that workout scheduled there, tell yourself that is your appointment with you to make you better. Remind yourself that 1 hour of working out is only 1 of 24 in a day. If you add all those 1 hours for the month, that is only 24 hours, only 1 day in 30! Or, it's only 12 days in 365. That is nothing, NOTHING, when it comes to your health.

When you think back to yesterday's bad food choices tell yourself, OK, that was a slip but NOT a step back, one day won't affect my overall health. It would take a lot more than one day to mess up all your hard work, even for the week. Besides, the odd 'cheat' day isn't a bad idea. Count it as your cheat day and make the next 7 days good ones.

We can all do this, we all have it in us to be the best you. But don't beat yourself up over a few slips and stumbles. Dust yourself off and wake up tomorrow morning feeling great about your day ahead. Be the strong person you want to be, the strong person you keeps going. Do that everyday, one day at a time, it's really all it takes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANILUS 1/15/2013 6:41PM

    Yes take it one day at a time and it is not worth beating yourself up, that's life!

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SPRINGBABY80 1/14/2013 10:03AM

  My calender give me motivation knowing that I have completed and accomplished my goal and have more to push forward too. It can become a struggle but, with my belief and my motivation I will continue to push forward to reach my goal by June, 2013!

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ALK140 1/12/2013 8:13PM

  I like the saying, 'I reserve the right to be wrong.' It helps me to change my negative thoughts to positive ones, and to 'lighten up' on myself. I've always been very hard on myself when I would screw up, be it at work, playing sports or when dieting. However, I'm learning that these mistakes or 'slips' along the way teach me things about myself that help me on my many journeys.


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CHARLOTTE2539 1/11/2013 8:24AM

Great post! We all tend to just blow it after one slip! It's not the end of the world!

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AMANDACOETZER 1/11/2013 12:46AM


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FIRECOM 1/10/2013 10:12AM

    You hit it right on the head of that nail. It's easy to be negative but serves no purpose other than brining you and everyone around you down.

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LTULLIS 1/9/2013 3:21PM

    Great Blog

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CM_GARDNER78 1/8/2013 12:50AM

    This is a GREAT blog!!! I thought of the quote from Anne of Green Gables when I read it..........
“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Thanks for a great, thought-provoking blog!!

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TXANGEL84 1/7/2013 10:45PM

    Fabulous reminder for us all.

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NELLJONES 1/7/2013 1:14PM

    Personally, though I have been at goal for 42 years, I am NOT strong. By myself I can't do anything. I rely on the strength of friends and God. My success is a team effort.

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ADRIENNIE 1/7/2013 12:46PM

    Great blog. It never gets old to hear those great thoughts.

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POPSY190 1/6/2013 7:30PM

    It IS all in the mind as far as motivation goes! Great blog.

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    Thank you for sharing!! We all go through this and we all can learn from each other!!

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LAWANDMUSIC 1/5/2013 5:39PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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MARYHENNIG 1/5/2013 1:30PM


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LOGOULD 1/5/2013 11:14AM

    Thanks for this blog!!! I especially appreciate where you said, "but what makes a strong person truly strong is their ability to get back up after that fall and keep on going." That's why I am sticking with Spark...even a couple years after hitting maintenance, I still struggle with the bad habits that caused me to give up so many other times and put all the weight - and then some - back on. So, even though the holidays did set me back a little this year, I didn't fall as hard as years past, and am back on track sooner. So, it's progress, not perfection and I will stay right here and continue to learn and be encouraged by great Spark Motivators like YOU! THANKS!!!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 1/4/2013 3:50PM

    Thank you for sharing this great blog! Very good stuff!
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OHMEMEME 1/4/2013 9:14AM

    I have been thinking along those same lines! Great advice and great attitude. I am recognizing my self-sabotage more and more. I did a similar blog called "self check" the other day. 6 holiday lbs up BUT still 5 lbs less than same time last year and maintaining (lose/gain/lose a few) 30-50lb loss for over a year! And I reflect back in AWE and say is that really MY story? Oh yes it is! Keep Sparking!

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SWEDE_SU 1/4/2013 4:27AM

    so well put - it's important as a maintainer to read these ideas and remember it's worth the struggle, we can do it! and stay there!

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    Excellent blog ~ thanks for sharing your insights. If it wasn't a struggle for nearly everyone, then there would be no SP. Everyone would be at and remain at a healthy weight and glowing with youthful health. We have to be kind & forgiving to ourselves as well as to others. emoticon

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PCASEY7 1/3/2013 6:11PM

    Great blog and oh so true! Each day is a a new beginning regardless of what happened the day before. It's a long journey with ups and downs and we need to remember that no one is perfect.

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/3/2013 5:31PM

    Excellent advice. The struggle for me never ends, as you say, every day is a challenge.

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CATMAGNET 1/3/2013 4:57PM

    I find that now that I'm pretty much where I want to be weight-wise, this is where I am struggling the most with the sustained effort. However, I also have lots of reminders as to why I don't want to go back to where I was, and it keeps me going in the tough times...even when I slip.

Thanks for reinforcing that for us. It's necessary! :)

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HANSBRINK 1/3/2013 4:48PM

  Your final comments remind me of the song "Pick Yourself Up"

Now nothing's impossible, I've found for when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Don't lose your confidence if you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust off, start over again.
(Composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. 1936.)

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MRSGIXXER 1/3/2013 4:47PM

    Very well said. Those are things I have to remind myself of almost daily. Thanks for sharing!!!


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THOMS1 1/3/2013 3:39PM

    What a wonderful blog. If we find that we slip once in a while we have to just get back up on the horse and continue. It took me years to realize that. Thanks again.

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MAREE1953 1/3/2013 1:38PM

    Good job!! By the way, no one asks me any more how I did it or even mentions the weight loss I achieved 18 mos ago. But I agree, it can still be a "struggle." Best wishes to you in 2013!!

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FITFOODIE806 1/3/2013 1:21PM

    Great blog! So thoughtful and well written. As a maintainer, I would add, "It continues to be a struggle!" The message that this is hard work and continues to be after reaching goal weight is so important.

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BLUE42DOWN 1/3/2013 1:03PM

    It was a struggle, but you never stopped getting back up when a choice or a day got you down.

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ROMEOSMOM27 1/3/2013 12:59PM

    Great blog thanks for sharing

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/3/2013 12:57PM

    Well said!

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_LINDA 1/3/2013 12:03PM

    Well said! Nothing is ever easy, but sticking with it will win the rewards in time! I have been maintaining for almost two years (Feb1) and its still a monumental struggle, especially with my health issues constantly trying to bring me down.
Continue to fight the good fight, you are doing great!

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SUSIEMT 1/3/2013 11:30AM

    Thank you so much for such a good blog. Yes, it is a struggle every day. While I was in the losing mode, not so much. However, this past year and a half have been somewhat troublesome. It is a struggle that I choose to deal with on a daily basis. I go to fitness, log my food and fitness and if I keep at it I know one day it won't be such a struggle. Keep putting one foot in front of the other!

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DOUBLEMME 1/3/2013 11:26AM

    A pretty bad food night?
Two spark alternatives could be:
1) a relaxing sleeping night;
2) an intensive love night.

Whatever your choice, I wish you good night!


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DIANNEMT 1/3/2013 10:20AM

    It was a struggle--it IS a struggle but it is easier with the practice AND the support of people around me in real life and in Spark-land! I am just beginning my "maintain" and still not sure what to do--so reading about other peoples' experience is helpful.

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MEXGAL1 1/3/2013 10:13AM

    wonderful advise. Everyday is for sure a new day and a new opportunity to renew our commitment to healthy eating and exercise. I work hard to get under my goal weight knowing that I will splurge occasionally. This way when I do slip I have some "cushion pounds"
Thanks for a great blog.

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-AMANDA79- 1/3/2013 9:50AM

    Great blog!

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CELIAMINER 1/3/2013 8:23AM

    Good advice on the reply. I usually start out with a flip, "I ate less and exercised more," and watch their eyes glaze over. Next time I'll start with, "It was a struggle," or "It wasn't easy, but...."

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ROXYZMOM 1/3/2013 7:38AM

    Very nice blog and so true! Great attitude!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/3/2013 6:53AM

    What a great blog! Thank for you a much-needed dose of motivation this morning. It IS a journey of making a better *ME*, I've never thought of it like that. While it IS a struggle the time spent is not much compared to all the time (years and years) I've spent being fat.

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ANNIEONLI 1/3/2013 6:46AM

    Everyday (and every meal) is new... with a fresh start!

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WATERMELLEN 1/3/2013 6:43AM

    Great blog! It was a struggle, it IS a struggle: but as you point out, it takes a relatively small amount of time and is so worth it.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/3/2013 6:30AM

    Brilliant blog!! So very true. Yes, it was a struggle, and from time to time it continues to be a struggle even as I approach 4 years at a healthy BMI. But sticking with it makes me strong and healthy! Appreciate you saying so! -Marsha

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SIRENSONGS 12/19/2012 11:00AM

    Very inspirational blog! Every moment can be a new beginning, and we can all find that strength within us. Thank you for writing this, it's just what I needed to read today!

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SASSYLJB 12/19/2012 6:46AM

    So True, and my story. Everyday, I have to remind myself, some days are easier than others some days I struggle, but it is a journey, not a race, and a lifetime commitment! I am just so grateful for such a great sparkfamily that remind in great blogs like yours!

you ROCK!


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AUTUMNBRZ 12/19/2012 6:37AM

    Thank you my wise friend. The road to success is definitely a jagged knotted line. :)

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TINAJANE76 12/18/2012 6:18PM

    I definitely try to put the message out there that my journey was not always easy and definitely not without its ups and downs. I think people need to really understand that they don't need to be perfect to see results and that little slips and cheats don't really mean that much if your overall plan is a good and healthy one. Thanks for putting this out there!

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IRISH813 12/18/2012 1:20PM

    Awesome!! Thank you for sharing!!

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KATYDID412 12/18/2012 12:40PM

    This was the perfect blog for me to read today. I've been off my game plan for probably two weeks and growing more angry with myself by the day. Thank you.

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Jillian Michaels Help Blog. Order of DVDs, what to expect, etc.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Now I am no expert and I am sure Jillian has her own order for her DVDs but this is my take on how to get started with Jillian Michaels and what DVDs to use. There are a few DVDs of hers I have yet to try:

Killer Abs - this is her brand new one that just came out and I literally just found out about it while getting a list of her DVDs for this post.

Killer Buns & Thighs - I should probably get this as those areas are where I want to work out more... but I will see where my running takes me first.

Yoga Melt Down - yeah, no interest in yoga.

Beginners - there are three: total body, front side, back side. I never ended up buying and doing her 30 Day Shred before I found out about these, so I think they are pretty much moot.

Anything from Biggest Loser - I never watched the show so never bothered with the DVDs.

Body Revolution – this is her new full program. It has tons of DVDs and books, etc. Think P90X or Insanity style box set.

As for the DVDs I have used here is the order in which I would use them, although it is not the order in which I did and now I wish to share my knowledge! (All these DVDs you can find the exact workouts done on, the reviewers there are awesome at laying out each circuit/level)

30 Day Shred - I think this is a great starting point for new-comers to Jillian. There are 3 levels each of which takes 10 days. It's not super easy, so those Beginner DVDs might be better for those JUST starting out, but if you even have a bit of workout under your belt, give this a try. It uses her 3-2-1 system: 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minutes abs. You will need weights (I used 3 pounds, sometimes 5) and I tracked it as circuit training here on SP.

No More Trouble Zones & Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism - I group these two together, as does Jillian, for a reason. NMTZ is strength training with weights and BFBM is cardio. I LOVE these two, I did them at 2 different months of my journey. Both have seven 6-minute circuits and are about 50 minutes with warm up and cool downs.
NMTZ has a 'quick' version where you only do the first 5 circuits, this is because the first 5 are total body (1-shoulders/legs, 2-chest/abs, 3-biceps/butt, 4-thighs/triceps, 5-core) if you need a quicker workout. The last two circuits (6-upper body/core, 7-lower body/core) are for your core and full body, but I recommend doing the full thing. I used between 3 and 5 pound weights and tracked it as circuit training.
As for BFBM, if you can get through circuit 2 you can get through the rest of the workout. I think that one is the hardest of them all. No weights as it is just cardio, and I tracked it as cardio.

Extreme Shed & Shred - This one has 2 levels of which you can do one then graduate to two, or Jillian would like you to do both, which is kinda long. The first level is about 35 minutes with 4 circuits. I did find it a bit easy move wise, nothing overly 'Jillian' on them but they do work you out! There is some new things like Capoeria that is fun. Level 2 is about 45 minutes with 5 levels. This one is definitely Jillian. You can choose on the DVD to do either or both. You need weights and I tracked them both as circuit training.

Ripped in 30 - I did this one after my first round of NMTZ/BFBM and kinda wished I did it later when I had more strength to me, hence having it AFTER her Extreme Shed & Shred. This is first, and I think so far only, DVD that has 4 levels. Even she says there has never been a level 4 before. Each level is like her 30 DS in which it uses her 3-2-1 system and each level has 3 circuits. It runs about 30 minutes each level. You graduate from each level after 5-6 days, 4 levels, 4 weeks. I personally think level 3 is the worse of them, but keep at it, it will change you. I mostly used 3 pound weights with 5 pounds sometimes and of course, tracked it as circuit training.

6 Week 6 Pack - Now I did this as an alternating day with Extreme Shed & Shred (this was 2 days a week, ES&S was 3 days a week) but it can be done alone. It has 2 levels (3 weeks at each level) and are both around 30 minutes. It is meant to give you a great core/abs but it works you out completely. You WILL feel this everywhere, especially, I found anyways, in the shoulders/arms (as well as abs) because she loves her planks. Both are 1 15 minute circuit repeated twice, and you can bet that second round is quicker and she pushes you harder. You will need a dumbell and I tracked this as circuit training.

Kickbox Fast Fix - I am doing this DVD now for my maintaining. It is one of her newest DVDs and I love it. It consists of three 20 minute levels. Level 1 is upper body and requires dumbells. Level 2 is lower body and level 3 is abs. Course, being Jillian, they all workout your whole body. Each level has 4 circuits repeated twice, give or take, usually the last circuit is slightly different and sometimes she switches in new exercises and being that they are only 20 minutes, even your warm up is considered part of the workout. You can do each separately (which is what I am doing - Monday/Wednesday/Friday - with my running) or you can mix up 2 workouts, or do all three for a total body workout. It is fast paced so watch the tutorial for sure, especially if you never did kickboxing before. That being said, it is FUN! I track this as kickboxing.

Shred it With Weights - I recommend not buying this DVD or using it. I bought it because kettlebell training looked fun, different and from what I read, it really works you out. However, Jillian is not proficient in kettlebell (unlike kickboxing which is where she started in fitness). I did her tutorial and Level 1 for a day... then I started to do research. Many people have been hurt with her DVD because she does not perform the moves properly. A kettlebell is not like normal dumbells. It involves momentum from your hips and swinging, also catching it and holding it certain ways. Needless to say I stopped that DVD and bought Iron Core Kettlebell by Sarah Lurie. You can get 4 of her kettlebell DVDs in one right now for cheap and she will train you properly. The first 2 volumes (learning DVDs) are kinda slow but with kettlebell you want to take it slow and learn the proper techniques.

Of course, with Jillian the best part is you can mix and match all her DVDs to keep your routine fresh. Different DVD every day? Why not! As well, you can always up your weight in all her DVDs for more of a challenge, which she encourages quite a bit. And as will any exercise, Jillian included, at first the moves will be awkward/ challenging/ you might fall over (hello kickboxing) but keep at it. It will AMAZE you how much just a week, or even a few days, can help with your balance and strength.
I hope this helps anyone who is just getting into Jillian workouts, or working out in general and wants something fun to do so they don't get bored.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISH813 11/1/2012 6:02PM

    Thanks for the great blog!!!!! I really need to get myself back into working out!!

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AUTUMNBRZ 11/1/2012 5:47PM


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5WHITEROSES 11/1/2012 12:29PM

    Thanks for the great blog! I recently started with Jillian DVDs, did 30DS in Sept and RI30 in Oct. Today I start the 30 Day Slim Down and am looking forward to mixing up the DVDs. I've never done BFBM or NMTZ before so I know that those will be a challenge. I'm finding I love Jillian workouts and the results they give. It's great to be able to read first hand experiences, so I appreciate the time you took to write this blog!

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SIRENSONGS 11/1/2012 10:23AM

    Thanks for posting this awesomely informative blog! I really need to get my butt in gear and check out some of these DVDs. I don't know what I'm waiting for!

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