Ok, so I'm just over the 33.33333333333 percent hump of Jillian Micheal's evil and malicious act of revenge on the under-exercised majority (ie her 30 day shred video, which combines strength and cardio). Today marked my first day on level 2; that's right folks, I'm 11 eleven days in.
Do I love it? Am I doing cartwheels and blessing the heavens that my bod resembles something hard enough to withstand the apocalypse? Have I reached indestructible status??
Nope. I am still pretty out of shape. And for a long time, I was comfortable with that title. Out of shape. It has a pleasant ring to it, and I think it depicts my personality pretty well. Like something who you can eat with and not feel judged when you pick around your shirt for splinters of chips. Someone who will never, ever suggest we all go for a pleasant morning jog (oxymoron alert!). Someone who doesn't decline a healthy portion of chocolate trinity ice cream at midnight.
And, what I realized, is that it's a total cop out. This isn't about weight. This is about health. And the fact of the matter is there is simply no reason why a healthy, young, normal weighted ranged woman can't touch her toes or walk up the stairs without crawling like a spider monkey halfway through. My health reasons, my phosphorous deficiency, my leg difference (one is pathetic and artery deprived, fyi) my asthma, blah blah, they were all excuses. Stupid ones, since exercise helps all those issues. The truth of the matter is I was depressed. Like, really depressed, as in mildly suicidal. An agoraphobic, depressed crazy person who stayed on the computer all day. But for the past couple months, swallowing appropriate pills and what not, I've relearned my love for feeling “good”. I know a lot of people are anti-meds and believe me, I can relate. But can I just say from personal experience there is a big difference between waking up and hurting and feeling awful and...well, feeling nothing, totally empty inside, to feeling, just one day, normal. Healthy. No fever, no headache, no obsessing about all the possible things that could be wrong with me, like brain tumors or cancer. Being happy to simply exist!
So for the past couple months I've been taking that new founded normalcy and reclaiming my health, my body, and my goals (while still being neurotic as heck). Karate Chop!
Um, so back to the shred. Minor detour there....whoops. In any case, I've been trying to exercise, eat better, go outside, but 11 days ago I decided to start the shred and really commit to a daily intense workout.
I still feel like I have a while to go, it's not a 20 minute miracle worker, but today I fit into the jeans I almost threw away 6 months ago. I've lost a couple pounds, but I'm not sure how many. I weighed myself a couple months ago at 112, and now today I'm 102. How much of that was “shredded” off? Not sure. (I'm 4'10, so no one freak out :P )
I can also feel myself getting tighter, more toned, and absolutely stronger. I can do push ups now! Real ones!
Level 1 is pretty damn difficult, but Level 2 is just mean. I didn't modify moves by choice. My body modified them automatically. To clarify, since I'm doing a rather poor job, the 30 day shred is divided into 3 levels you do for 10 days a pop. For the freeloaders out there, it is available on youtube.
I wish I would have taken pictures at the beginning the way those clever fancy pants do on the interwebs, but alas, I didn't. And I don't have a good workout “look”. It would pretty much be me in my red bra and undies, which sounds sorta inappropriate...so....
Maybe next time, post shopping?
Pros of the Program:
Jillian Micheals is more encouraging than I anticipated. I thought she was going to make me cry or vomit and it turns out I only felt like doing one of those.
They have modified version of the moves that make you want to kill yourself
It's doable and time accessible at only 26 minutes
Most importantly, there are real results after only 11 days. So yippe!
(To be fair, I probably wouldn't give any exercise program a sparkling review unless it rewarded me with a golden pony upon completion... or 250,000 dollars)
The repetition makes me feel like I've lost my mind. In an ideal world, there would be 30 different videos instead of three. Even if the workout remained the same, the slight changes would be refreshing. Like one day, they come in wearing funny hats.
I want some pumping tunes! Grrr!!! The weird background music isn't doing it for me, sorry.
The girls look a little “too” excited to be working out. Why is there so much smiling?!
Some of the moves are impossible for newbies. Impossible I say!!!
They don't specify what weights they are using (I use 5 lbs but have to drop them for certain exercises)
Lastly, I don't agree with her promises of perfectly chiseled abs and "looking like this" (she points to her lovely advanced assistant athlete who clearly did not arrive at a workout video by putting in a mere 30 days). It's not realistic and I'm not sure I 100% appreciate the "lets get a hot bod" mentality of exercise. I will never resemble anyone in the video, and I am A Ok with that.
In any case, despite the disproportionate amount of negatives to positives, I really do like this workout and feel committed to sticking it out. It's hard, but it's supposed to be. Or at least that's what Jillean tells me.
Thanks for reading my first Spark Blog. ^_^ Stay tuned for a tangential rant about the potential hazards of the Biggest Loser, both for the contestants and for our culture. And of course, for future updates on the shred, and whatever other nonsense pops into my newly INDESTRUCTIBLE BODY.
Best of luck to everyone in achieving their goals! :D