Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jillian Michaels: Jedi or Sith?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for tips and suggestions on how to rev up my Jedi training efforts to decrease the size of my ass. We got great suggestions, including Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred”. So Kate and I did some research. The Shred is a DVD. You need do a 20 minute workout every day for thirty days. There are three levels of workouts. Level One is the easiest and when that doesn’t make you feel like throwing up anymore, you progress to Level Two and when you've basically lost the will to live you move to Level Three, which is super hard. The reviews said The Shred was difficult but were almost uniformly positive.

Neither of us has watched her on TV.  I asked Kate if she thought Jillian was good or evil.  She shrugged and suggested we find out together.  Then at the same time we said:

Kate: I can do pretty much any workout for 30 days.
Lydia: I'm pretty sure I can work out for 20 minutes a day.

We started last Tuesday and it’s been sort of a bumpy ride so far. Here are my notes:

Day Before Starting (Monday 11/8):
Gathered up all the required stuff (mat for sit-ups and hand weights). Not feeling very worky-outy as I have a rotten, stupid cold and I have to blow my schnoz every 30 seconds. I weighed myself and took my measurements. Apparently I am lopsided because my left side was consistently a half inch less fat than my right. This was a fact I feel I may have been better off not knowing.

Day One (Tuesday 11/9):
Did the workout as soon as the baby went down for her nap. These were my thoughts upon finishing my first shred: "Can’t. Breathe. What. The. Hell. Was. I. Thinking? I’m pretty sure it’s possible to die from this. How long will it take for them to discover my body? I need to get a medic alert necklace. How is it possible that was only 20 minutes? Did that woman do something to space/time continuum? Does she has a f*cking flux capacitor?"

Kate calls and tells me she didn’t think it was all that bad but she’s scared to switch to Level Two. Let’s just say for the record that I love her dearly but Kate is a smelly whore who runs six miles all the time like it’s no big deal. So once again I was forced to say “Suck it, Fancy” except this time I was sort of mean about it.

Day Two (Wednesday, 11/10):
Thighs on fire in the way that is bad. I had to hold the handrail when I go up and down stairs. When I attempted to go for my daily walk with my neighbor buds, every uphill step pushing the stroller was painful. Effing Jillian and her effing: “There is no adapted beginner move for this exercise! I have 400 pound clients that can do this and so can you! Come on!”

Woman. Your 400 pound clients are terrified because you’re right in front of them screaming. If I had you and your flaring nostrils of doom up in my face, I would do whatever you said for fear that you might lose it and go on a killing spree.

Day Three (Thursday 11/11):
The front of each of my thighs was in a perma-cramp. When I tried to sit on the potty, I fell the last three inches. Thank you, Jillian. My medic alert necklace should arrive any day. Now that I am officially unable to “self-toilet without falling” insurance may actually pay for it. I will say the Shred itself was markedly easier to do on day three, though. Except for push-ups. I think there may be some people who just can’t do push-ups and that I am one of them. I bet there are plenty of bad-ass people who can’t do them, like maybe Leonard Nimoy and Kirk Cameron and Yasmine Bleeth.  Maybe we could form a Shred team.  In any case, the Shred felt kind of good today – at least after it was over. Even my stinking cold was starting to feel better. And I think I’ve sort of lost the will to drink. Maybe it’s just because I want to sleep more than I want to stay up because Jillian has worn me out and made me her B.

Day Four (Friday 11/12):
My seven year old daughter keeps asking me: “Who is Jillian? How did you meet her? Why do you keep talking to her and about her? Why do you let her hurt you?” I had to explain to her that Jillian wasn’t real. Well, actually she’s totally real. I just don’t know her but I still have to do every damn thing she says for 20 minutes a day. Daughter suggests a family shred. It’s much harder to do with a toddler writhing around on your belly while you’re trying to do sit ups and hollering “UPPY UPPY UP!” when you’re doing squats. My thighs however, hardly hurt at all. Progress?

Day Five (Saturday 11/13):
Cold worse. Fever. Baby has it now too and it’s her birthday so as a special treat she decided NOT TO SLEEP between the hours of midnight and 4am and then wake up for the day at 6. FML. At 9pm I finally got all the kids to sleep and dishwasher loaded and was faced with a bed or Shred dilemma. I chose bed. Sorry Jillian. I know what’s coming tomorrow.

Day Six (Sunday, 11/14):
Exhausted. Sick. Need to shred. Jillian was mad that I skipped a day. Jillian made that clear because she snuck through the TV screen and slapped me like a pimp. I barely made it through the 20 minutes.

Day Seven (Monday 11/15):
Today I noticed that the two women in the video backing Jillian up have moments where it looks like they are contemplating revolution or a coordinated Square Up taco-kicking. I am intrigued by this. I keep watching their faces. One of them rolls their eyes while Jillian’s back is turned. Tee hee hee. I am surprised how quickly the work-out is over. It was hard and it wasn’t fun but I did the whole thing. My push-ups are still horrific and Jillian hates them but she can sit and spin because I’m doing my best.

I got on the scale. I lost 3 pounds this week! I love you, Jillian, and thank you - even though I still haven’t figured out if you’re good or evil. I'm thinking... good.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. I love her Trouble Zones workout! Jillian is big in our 5 and 3 year old do it iwth me...or attempt. And even my 16 month old gets down and tries some push ups. Love it that Jillian comes through the t.v and slaps you like a pimp too! Just the other day I wrote my blog about Jillian (gee, she is getting lots of blog time!) and how my 5 year old looked at the t.v and said "She didn't even say PLEASE!! She's not a very mannered girl!!" Manners or no manners, she knows how to burn ass fat!

  2. Jillian kicks my ass everytime...but I got bored and muted her. Ha. Take that o' bossy one.
    Sidenote-uh, when did Kirk Cameron become a badass? lol.

  3. Love 'fell the last three inches' imagery. So true. I'm going to go see if my library has this DVD. I'm a glutton for punishment.

  4. One of those back up girls stops working out the minute the camera changes angles... I follow her when she does that.

  5. Just almost spit a mouthful of wine (sorry Jillian) onto my lap top. I enjoy working out with Jillian from time to time, yet I haven't progressed onto workout #2. She is hilarious and scary. I love the part where she points out that her helper is "literally kicking herself in the ass right now". Good job Lydia! Keep it up, I'm right there with you. I haven't thrown up yet, but I'm definitely not "phoning it in" (another favorite line...). I would love to hear some feedback from those who have progressed onto video 2!

  6. Good Girl Lydia... Wycombe would be proud.... You're doing a wonderful job and we all love you!xxxxx

  7. The shred is so hard. I am impressed with you... I did it for two days and decided I'd rather have a pizza.

  8. 3 pounds?! I made it through 19 days of that thing and all I got in the end was a deep, hacking, I-can't-breathe cough and some jeans that fit tighter in the thighs than they did when I started. And I think I actually GAINED weight during that time. Muscle? I don't care. I GAINED! So not fair...but I'm sooo glad it's working for you. Snitch. :)

  9. Good for you for fighting through the cold! I would have totally thrown in the towel and gone to bed every day for the next, oh, 9 years.

  10. I am still of the opinion that doing the same frickin weight moves EVERY day is NOT good for muscle build...don't know a trainer out there other than TV Jillian who is a proponent of doing weight training with the SAME muscles every day.
    After having said that...way to stick with it! and 3 inches - Woot!
    I have been doing every other day - which explains 0 inches lost so far...:D

  11. I am with Liz. I do weight training three days a week CHANGING up which muscles I am working rather than doing the same moves everyday - that's my biggest complaint with 30 day shred. I do a Beachbody workout called ChaLEAN Extreme.

    M W F - weight training - changing which muscles are being used. TH, S - cardio.

    Muscle does burn fat - but you gotta vary the routine.

  12. Yeah I did day one then couldn't move - the whole falling onto the toilet comment had me laughing so hard I was crying. Really I totally get it. I decided to back it down a little and have been doing only 1 segment a day. I am working out every day which is good and I am much less sore. Maybe I whimped out - the 20 pounds in 30 days would have been amazing but I need to walk and move and frankly doing HER entire workout that wasn't happening. Next week I rev it up to 1 1/2 workouts!

  13. Bahahaha. Well, I already have this DVD. In fact, I've had it for months and it's still sitting on my TV stand. So, I was going to start on Friday and write a blog about it ... until I read this post this morning. Nothing I write could possibly be as funny as this. :)

  14. Been there! Tried The Shred after I was cleared for exercise 6 weeks postpartum and almost died. Longest 20 minutes of my life. Also peed my pants with every jumping jack. Thank you, child birth.

  15. Jillian is awalking contradiction of good and evil. Bwaahahaha.
    I do the trouble zones workout too sporatically to make much difference. Good for you for sticking with it!

  16. You inspired me so I got my pre-holiday act together and decided to make a little room for the inevitable holiday weight gain.
    Committed to daily workouts of some kind -- already involved in several things throughout the week but spend a lot of time on my butt at the computer -- and the weight tends to collect there and in the nearby environs.
    Did a training session and a Pilates class Sunday. No prob.
    Shredded on Monday. Hard to keep up with Level 1 because of the 'no breaks' thing, but I only stopped twice.
    COULD NOT WALK up and down the steps by the end of the day/next morning. Not.loving.Jillian.
    Took a ballet class and Pilates again Tuesday. Don't know how I survived.
    Still having trouble walking today and need to 'Shred' again or do something to keep my promise to myself.
    She is definitely a Sith. But the girls on the dark side have great abs, so I am going to hang in there.
    Hoping you feel better soon -- and really, really grateful for the inspiration -- even if I curse Jillian's name every time I stand up or sit down. We're all in this together!
    (Oh. And I lost 3 pounds, too! Now to keep it off. It is far more appealing to watch the 'Shred' video with a bowl of popcorn right now than to actually DO the workout again.)

  17. I have P90X for you when you are done playing with Jillian!

  18. I think I'm going to try to get back to exercising, too... I lost almost 50 pounds this year on Weight Watchers (I know, I'm a snitch!) but then I got tired of writing everything down, so I stopped paying attention to what I was eating... and gained 2.5 pounds last week. Whuck? I tried Power 90 in August, but I don't think I was eating enough, because I gained weight and my inches stayed the same. So keep logging everything I eat, and never eat cheesecake, or wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and have Tony Horton kick my butt... Hmmm... (Though, he is nice about it. He cracks really corny jokes, which is funny the first 3-4 times, but he encourages you to take breaks if you need to!)

  19. Congrats on the 3lbs, that is awesome! I am working on a blog post of my own about how heinous bras are so I did an image search for "satan in a bra" and guess who's picture came up?? Jillian Michaels!!

  20. I have experience the Jillian induced fall-to-the-potty. Level 2 is evil...and 3 is eviler...also those workouts are not 20 minutes. They are 27 and a half minutes - warmups count when they include jumping jacks.

  21. PS Glad to see I'm not the only one who pees while jumping-jacking. @MrsPatterson

  22. she is tough but the shred works.

  23. This is so funny! I worked out with Jillian on Sunday & am still sore! I'm hoping for warm enough weather tomorrow so that I can walk/jog rather than having to face her again this week! :)

  24. My husband is convinced that Jillian will someday go on a killing spree at a Dunkin Donuts or similar establishment and that they all have pictures in the back warning of this.

  25. I think we were separated at birth! I had the same shred experience earlier this year but unfortunately did not stick with it (or lose the 3 lbs). I am newly inspired though and think I will begin again. Thanks

  26. “self-toilet without falling" Love it!!!

    JEn Deming

  27. Bitch came to my house Sunday for 40 minutes of Wii work-out. Effing hate her. And, like you, I couldn't even take a pee without whimpering for the next three days. Good lord.

  28. I made it through level 1 and started level 2. Just when you think you've got the hang of the whole dang thing, Jillian ups the ante about a million fold and level 2 is worse than what I imagine hell to be like. I threw in the towel after two days at level 2...I can't even begin to imagine what kind of torture she brings out in level 3, and I don't think I want to.




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