Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Shred Strikes Back

We're on week three of the 30 Day Shred.  Technically I should be on Day 26 but I'm only on Day 23 because I have taken 3 days off.  And Jillian punished me for my laziness.  Also, I may have engaged in a little holiday gluttony but in case you doubt the power and majesty of Darth Jillian, read on... 
  • I lost no weight the second week because of Brie. The Cap'n bought some and it was in my house and that crap is like Lydia kryptonite. Can't. Resist. The. Creamy. Deliciousness. Then came Thanksgiving.  But for the most part, I tried to be good.  I would say I was good every other day. (Hangs head in shame) I am not proud.
  • You know what I did an awesome job of shredding? My right knee.  So I had to take it easy and change up some of the stuff in the work-outs so as not to get hurt (also why I took off 2 days - that and a post-Thanksgiving turkey coma).  I bought a knee brace and now a week later my knee is totally fine.  I am being very careful with it though.  Thanks for all of your good advice on Facebook. 
  • I have moved on to Level 2.  It took me two full weeks to get there.  I don't think it was supposed to take that long but whatever, I suck at push-ups. Kate felt it was a real ass kicker and she asked me what I thought.  I told her the truth: It's really, really hard, but it's do-able. And oddly, I sort of like it.
  • I have reached the conclusion that for me (because I am special) this will not be a 30 Day Shred but probably more like a 45 Day Shred.  Even working as hard as I can, I just can't see being ready to move onto the next level anytime soon.  I think we just all need to accept that I'm a remedial shredder.  I can hear her voice.  Stop it! Stop talking! SUCK IT, JILLIAN. You and your minions in the sports bras need to understand that I am doing crunches with a toddler playing horsey on my feet.  Sit and spin, lady and stop flaring your nostrils at me.   
  • Little known fact: Jillian is contagious. At current count - three of Kate's friends and neighbors are now shredding.  Since I started, my two best neighbor buds Ellen and Mimi started as well as my buddy Amelia.  She said she couldn't walk right for three days and that snitch did a tri-athlon this year.
  • The bottom line: I'm convinced that Jillian is a Jedi and not a Sith.  Because the shred totally f**king works.  After three weeks (of holiday eating) and working out an average of 6 days a week I've lost a total of:
    • 5.6 pounds
    • 2.5 inches off my waist 
    • 3 inches off my hips
    • 1.5 inches off each thigh 
So yay me!  But I still need help.  Because where I get into trouble is between the hours of 8-11pm.  Any tips on how to not stuff random food in my mouth late at night?  Also, do you have any really great low-calorie recipes that kids and husbands also like? Any websites you could recommend?  Oh YEAH!! If any of you have been shredding along with us and want to share your experiences, we are DYING to hear about them.  And once again, thank you all very much for your help and support with this.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. Starting the Shred again tomorrow based on your results...I still won't do the weights EVERY day...but I will do it every day, every other day with the weights....I will post my results after a TRUE 7 days on the SHRED. Remember I am running too, so I have to be even more careful of my OWN knees...still, your results are hard to argue with. I'm behind because of a whole week of flu that my lovely returned-to-college-after-Thanksgiving daughter left for me to deal with...thanks, sweetie!
    Thanks for the post - it has inspired me to Go Hard or Go Home. (That's what HE said!)
    You rock!

  2. Thanks for the update, I've been wondering if this works.

    Late night eating - try chewing gum. A really strong minty sugar free gum that will kill your desire to much. It has helped me! :)

  3. i try to eat low fat popcorn late at night. if i'm dying for a sweet treat, i eat some graham crackers, not too many tho' which is hard cuz they're yummy!

  4. I would love to be able to try the Shred. I am outnumbered in my house by 3 guys to me. If I even attempted this, the laughter would never end. Low self-esteem sucks.

  5. I have always found that freshly brushed teeth will deter me from stuffing more food into my mouth, because then I have to brush again, and if I want to be really good, floss too. I hate to floss, but I want to enter old age with all my natural teeth.
    Good for you on your losses, I just started the basic workouts, and was a wus today. I probably did about 2/3 of the circuits. I need to start slowly so I don't injure myself and totally wimp out.

  6. I'm shredding with you! I really shouldn't be losing any weight, I'm just trying to get into great shape before I get pregnant so I won't fall apart as bad as the rest of my family does.

    So far so good! I can now heft adult goats into the back of a truck -unassisted-. Booya. Jillian Kicks. My. Butt. But it hurts so good. :D

    I get terrible before bed munchies. You know what I do? I drink a HUGE glass of either lemonade, green tea, or mint tea. Cold only. It makes me feel not hungry anymore, and it satisfies my craving for sweet.

    AND... The lemonade I make is 1/2 crystal light pink lemonade, and half pink lemonade Emergen-C, so it's even HEALTHY. And it tastes fantastic.

    And I have yet to have a cold this year! Woohoo!

    Good luck. :)

  7. Try a cup of decaf hot tea. They make awesome flavors like sugar cookie, candy cane lane, and egg noggin. Use an artifcial sweetener if you like, splenda, truvia, whatever. This will help give you a taste of something sweet, it is warm and delicious. Also, I'm starting the shred tomorrow. Wish me luck. I just ran a marathon a few weeks ago, but I'm still pretty sure Jillian is going to kick my butt.

  8. I have three tips:

    1. When you get a craving, chew some sugar-free gum, (like that Extra Mango Smoothies(really good) or the new ones they have out desserts or some junk), and it will help curb your craving. This has worked for me.

    2. You could just brush your teeth with minty freshness and make EVERYTHING taste horrible, except for water. (This worked for some celebrity, I wanna say Pam Anderson, or somebody, can't quite remember who exactly, sorry.)

    3. If I am out of gum, I usually drink an eight ounce glass of water and wait a bit because usually A.D.D. kicks in and I am like 'ooooooo a puppy!', but that's just me.

    Hope this helps. :)

  9. I keep a glass of ice water with a squirt of lime juice next to me in the evenings. There aren't too many foods that really go with the taste of lime, so it's easy to avoid the snacks that way. Kind of like how easy it is to avoid orange juice for the couple of hours after you brush your teeth. But seriously, those measurements? You're doing an awesome job so far. Don't be too hard on yourself.

  10. I actually started crocheting to help me loose weight. It keeps my hands busy at night, and when my hands are busy, i'm not thinking about what i can eat. I haven't been doing it for too long, but it's been insanely helpful. You can even youtube how to crochet and there's all kinds of videos to get you started.

    Good luck with everything!

  11. I started the 30DS this past winter. I am now in a maintenance mode where I shred twice a week and also do yoga meltdown and shred it with weights. I run and hit the gym on the weekends. Regardless, Jillians other workouts don't hold a candle to 30DS (though to be fair I haven't gone to level 2 on either). My mom's group turned me on to it and every so often we start a new challenge.

    I have no advice on the eating thing. My youngest is nearly 1 year old and I'm still pumping 3 times a day at work because I enjoy burning extra calories. When I start dropping sessions I'm going to have to cut back on my beer and ice cream. So I'll just keep on for now, at least through the holiday season. ;)

  12. You have inspired me to start the Shred again!! It does work but it IS hard work. We'll see what happens?!?!

  13. Brush your teeth!!! If you brush your teeth at the same time as your kids do you really won't want to eat anything. Brush them twice if you have to. Then if you think you really need to eat try the water trick above. Sometimes our bodies think hungry when it's really thirsty!!

  14. First of all you are awesome!!! Way to go!! I agree with all those who said brush your teeth...I do it right after dinner (that's what she said) and I don't want anything else the rest of the night! As for kids LOVE tacos. I know you're thinking so NOT low cal but we use vegetarian refried beans and if you skip the tortillas and just have lettuce, tomato, beans, shredded mexican cheese, salsa, etc and let them pile on tortillas, guac, sour cream etc...voila! Dinner everyone can eat!

  15. The shred made my muscles awesome but it was the diet that made me lose weight. Good job on the shred!!!! I found level 2 easier than 1 and then 3 KICKED MY ASS into next week. Have fun ;)

    As for nighttime eating - there are a lot of issues there for me - emotions, boredom, etc. Sadly, it just takes will power.

  16. I did the shred for about 6 weeks in the spring. Even got to where I could do level three (almost) plyometrics are the evilest. But then my youngest stopped napping and I'm not good at following a workout unless I can do it at the same exact time every day. So, still trying to find a time (that's not early in the morning) when I can jump back on the Shred-o-wagon.

    PS If you find a way to not munch late at night, please share. I'm feeling that pull toward the kitchen right now.

  17. Great job Lydia! Those are amazing results!

    Your knees may be hurting due to your quads being weak. I have this issue (as well as about 100 others, but lets stick to this one...) and you could try any quad strengthening exercises.
    Evening grazing is the worst. I find that warm tea helps. It could be a thirst thing as another poster pointed out. Also, if I satisfy my sweet craving with a bit of dark chocolate, that helps me....
    Recipes? I can't help you there. I have yet to figure out how to cook a meal for a family of 4, so we eat in shifts. I hate that I do this but the hubs gets home late-ish, then the bedtime melee, ugh. Maybe when they are both feeding themselves (reasonably) and I have fixed my other parenting fails I can work more on this. The taco idea was good. We do lots of pasta....I try for more light has done some amazing recipes.

  18. Between you and my sister, I have acquired the Shred. I have not begun the shred, but I will. I. Will!

    And even though it feels bad that your scale didn't move this week, MAINTAINING is EXCELLENT!!!! I've been doing WW for nearly 2 years (6 months on maintenance) and I've learned to celebrate the weeks of no gain, if no loss.

    As for evenings, gum and tea usually work for me. As a rule, whenever you are hungry, knock back a glass of water first. The brain tells our body we feel hungry when we are thirsty, too!

    When I started WW, I knew that in order to be successful, I couldn't redo all my meals, especially supper. And I also wasn't about to make meals for me that were different than the meals for the rest of my family. It's so easy to tweak a recipe by doing things like using leaner meats (ground bison instead of ground beef, turkey sausages, etc, etc), switching to lower fat dairy and just cutting the cooking oil in half. And after you've done this, cut back your serving size. My average meal, for my serving size, is about 400 calories. The chili I make is less than 300 calories per serving and no one would think it's "low fat". If you are eating fresh foods that you have prepared, it's easy to eat within a reasonable calorie range. Eating out is the tough part. =P You don't have to eat boiled chicken breast with plain veggies and rice. Healthy eating is delicious (and your family doesn't need to know about it!).

    Check out these blogs:

  19. For the night cravings, if the tooth brushing doesn't work - Popcorn. Peppermint tea, popcorn again, apples. It helps if you like carrot sticks,and also those little 'grape' tomatoes. But mostly just a huuuuuuuuuuge bowl of popcorn with a little tiny bit of olive oil and salt.

    My kids like salmon baked with lime juice (so it kind of poaches on the bottom) and sliced onion on top. Serve with half/half brown and white rice, carrot slices and brocholli. Of course, it helps that we live on the west coast so our freezer is very very full of cheap salmon from the record run we had this year.

    Burritos - make sure at least one of the tortilla options is full grain (I like flax), then let them choose from black beans, lean ground beef or chicken bits, tomatoes, lettuce, rice (half and half again - just reheat some leftovers), light sour cream, salsa, and shredded cheese - and be sure to go light on the cheese yourself. It's also quite a quick dinner to make, since you only really have to cook the meat and nuke a can of (well rinsed) beans) - everything else is just chop and can be done ahead if needed. Literally ten minutes to table if you have everything on hand.

    Stir fry - again half and half white/brown rice (if you don't have a rice cooker GET ONE - talk to Santa), lean meat and everyone's favourite veggies - break out a can of mini corn and score the length of the carrots a couple of times before you chop to make 'flowers' - everyone will think your are a culinary genius and if you get the pre-cut brocholi and coliflower mix it is, again, a really fast meal. My eldest is a sauce-hater so I just put the sauce in last and pull enough stir-fry out for her before the sauce goes in.

    Chicken fried with the skin on in a bit of butter (yes, I said that). Salt and pepper. Tastes lovely and buttery and more fat comes out then goes in (something to do with how fat melts), so you actually end up with a low-fat chicken if you take the skin off before you serve. Good bread and veggies on the side and you are the star.

    Also substitutions: 7% sour cream (5% or 0% just tastes like cr*p), light cream cheese instead of butter on your whole-grain bread (a miniscule amount of the calories for more taste - esp if you use the herb & garlic kind).

    OK, gotta go, the zoo is increasing in volume ;>

  20. After 8pm, nothing by celery gets eaten - cost-effective crunchiness and burns mouth calories :)

  21. I'm shredding too! Jillian is kicking my butt and I'm still at Level 1 after a week and a half. I fear for Levels 2 and 3, even if I do always feel better after one of her workouts.

    Slow-Cooker Chicken Burritos is one of my favorite recipes lately. I don't know the exact calorie count but it's 5 Weight Watchers points so it can't be too bad. I typically add red/yellow/orange/green peppers for an extra boost of vegetables. I have yet to make burritos with them though. I typically serve it as a soup/stew.

    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    1 small red onion, chopped
    14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes with green chiles
    15 oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp table salt
    1/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (they call for chicken thighs, I usually use chicken breasts)
    3/4 cup canned chicken broth
    Whole-wheat tortillas
    3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

    Place first 8 ingredients in 3-quart slow cooker and stir well. Add chicken and broth and cover. Cook on low setting for at least 5 hours; drain off liquid to serve.

  22. Check out It's free and I think it's funsical, as fun as moving towards a healthy lifestyle can be. It helped me lose 50 pounds. They have articles about late night cravings, stumbling blocks, motivation, and pretty much anything related to a healthy lifestyle. There's a nutrition tracker and exercise tracking. And a points system to reward you for your awesomeness. The best part though, is the community and social aspect of it. It's worth checking out.

  23. oh crap...I'm starting to feel a little Shred infection coming on...

    Resist the force, resist....

  24. To avoid the late night munching: do something else with your hands! See, that's why I'm on FACEBOOK all evening! Knitting or crocheting is even better. Cause while you *can* manage to snack and play silly games at the same time, if you try to knit and snack, well... you eat fuzzy snack!

  25. night time snacking is hard... when I'm being good (which has been rare this fall), I have a cup or two of Sleepytime Tea (Celestial Seasonings - Chamomile blend) with a tiny bit of honey.

  26. A small piece of dark chocolate at night does a great job in curving my sugar cravings. Because the flavor is so intense, even when I eat a small piece it tastes as if I had a ton of chocolate.

    When I'm feeling the munchies come on, a small bowl of popcorn seems to do the trick. Eat it slowly and drink a big glass of water.

    Oddly enough, sometimes even sucking on a fruity mint is very satisfying.

    You rock, Lydia! Don't worry about following other people's schedule - Turning a 30-day shred into your personal 45-day shred is great if it helps you avoid injury and you're enjoying it.

  27. I really love the Hungry girl recipes! She takes foods that we all love and makes them healthy! Ive made some and my 1 year old will eat them! Good luck and congrats on your weight loss! Jillian is no joke.

  28. Firstly, I have no idea what the 'shred' is, but I'm assuming an exercise 'diet' thingy?
    As to how to not snack randomly during the day/late night, how do you go with coffee? Caffiene, therefore coffee and tea, is a mild appetite suppresant. I drink a constant stream of tea (because I like it, not for weight loss) and it gets round to dinner time, and there I am starving hungry when my husband says, once again, 'wait, you forgot to eat again, didn't you?' So maybe give coffee a go? :)There seriously isnt enough milk in a few cups of coffee or tea to add any weight at least ;)

  29. Oooh, I just ordered the Shred and I'm excited (and terrified!) to start it. I'm also trying to bike to work again, although I realize for the first week of the Shred I may not be able to do it.

    Sorry, no advice on the late night eating thing. That's my downfall too. The only time I ever manage not to snack is if I take a tylenol pm and fall asleep at 8. I realize this is not a good strategy for more days.

  30. Write everything down. Seriously. I write down everything I put in my mouth in my phone and then I have a visual reminder of what I ate.

    I let myself have as much to drink as I want at night, usually herbal tea, especially the sleepy time brand. It tastes pretty sweet with nothing in it and it fills me up.

    I'll let myself snack on air popped popcorn. Filling, fiber and totally delicious with a Tbsp of shredded Parmesan, salt and pepper on it.

  31. Lydia, your results are AWESOME!!! Also, you're proof that you can still enjoy life & get results. It's not about how fast it happens, but how you change your habits & live your new life...and you're doing it!! Give yourself a ginormous pat on the back for that one!
    As far as tips, I lost 50lbs & have managed to keep it off for two years by trying to make smart choices (just like you're doing) & including strength training in my exercise routine (I've got a trainer who kicks my ass...very Jillian-esk). As for late night eating - that's my downfall too. I love my sweets - can't enough of that chocolately goodness before bed. My trick? I've found that Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate is AWESOME! I put two packets (50 calories) in a tall coffee cup, mix with hot water & sip slowly for a while. It fills me up & helps with the cravings. Another trick? Dipping banana slices in a teaspoon of real maple syrup. I eat this with a cup of tea.
    Hope this helps a little! Keep up the good work!

  32. I'm so glad the Shred is working for you! I gained 2 lbs. and an inch on each thigh during the 19 days I did it...but I'm really happy for you. Really.

  33. Gum, brushing your teeth...doesn't work.

    For me, I bought the little single bags of the low fat (94% FF?) popcorn. Both regular and kettle corn. And I eat the whole bag. But I don't feel bad, because it's a mini bag, but there is crazy satisfaction from eating the whole thing. Kettle corn is a little sweeter, so I eat that if I crave something sweet.

  34. Jillian IS contagious! My husband is shredding now too!

  35. Jillian is evil...but in a good way. My oldest even joined me last week doing level one! He and his third grade pals have decided they need to get in shape. Keep it up!

  36. Okay - this is going to sound CRAZY!!! but my secret to not eating at night is to use a light box for 20-30 minutes every morning from fall - spring. Crazy, right? But it freaking works! Go to and check it out. And then you basically just find 20 - 30 minutes each morning (crazy, I know) to pop your kids in front of the television and sit on the couch with a cup of coffee and a magazine and "see the sun."

    It gives me tons of energy throughout the entire day, I sleep better at night, and I DON'T get the late-evening munchies that I used to get.

    I swear I don't work for this company or anything - it's just something that has been working *really* well for me for the past 3 years.

    Good luck!

  37. I did Jillian for a while and she Kicked. My. Butt. I didn't last for the full 30 days, and my need for late night snacks kind of killed any results I may have gotten. oh well. I think I may need to start it up again. I will warn you, don't even LOOK at Level 3. It will make you cry.

    When I am having a really strong sweet tooth (which is my main issue) I drink a glass of juice or Koolaid. I know its got tons of sugar... blah, blah, blah but I figure its gotta be better than a bowl of ice cream or an entire Butterfinger. You know? The teeth brushing works sometimes for me too. I just keep reminding myself that if you have the munchies it almost always equals thirst. Didn't stop me from making popcorn last night, but it helps sometimes.

  38. I blog about easy, relatively healthy dinners at I'm pregnant with my first, so I can't necessarily vouch for kid friendly, but my husband eats like a kid and he likes most of it!

  39. Try brushing your teeth right after dinner. I'm always less apt to eat something if I have already brushed my teeth.

  40. Herbal tea - when I want a treat after I'm DONE eating...I make a cup of The Republic of Tea's "get lost" tea. It's caffeine-free and has a lovely chocolate / cinnamon thing going on. So I get something sweet, and warm, and filling - and it's NO CALORIES!!!

  41. For recipes, I have a new favourite blog:

    The recipes have nutrition facts added, so helpful. I've made the Asian Glazed Drumsticks (I used thighs) and WOAH.

    Thanks for sharing your journey, it's helping to motivate me!

  42. I'm going to echo tacos, I hope your family doesn't happen to despise tacos! I use ground turkey (not breast, for flavor) and let it get all carmel-y brown on one side for flavor then after it's cooked, rinse it in a colander with hot running water. This gets rid of all fat and you are left with just pure protein and can make up for the fat with a little shredded cheese and LF sour cream. I put mine on the biggest pile of shredded romaine or red lettuce with the sour cream, salsa and small amount of shredded cheese as the dressing. Also, for healthy fat a quarter of an avacado can be mixed with the sour cream for "dressing". Also, lots of fresh tomatoes. You can crumble a healthy kind of chip on top for crunch and texture, like black bean or one of those whole grain hippie chips.

    A good thing about a big salad - you get tired of eating because it takes so long and feel satisfied. Obviously, other family members can have their choice of shells and toppings.

  43. Hummus and carrots/celery when you just HAVE to shove something in your face late-night. I LOVE the garlic hummus, but the JayDub, notsomuch liking the attempting sleep next to the late-night garlic monster. Suck it JayDub! I do what I WANT! ;)

  44. Popcorn with olive oil and nutritional yeast (available at health food stores or a larger grocery). It tastes like cheese! But without all the fat! That and clear tea or water. Waiting in between helps as well - eat a small snack and then wait 20 minutes before having a second serving. Body usually registers the "full" feeling by then. A handful of almonds and an apple also usually does the trick too. I find if I'm craving sweet, low fat protein will kick it.

    I've been resisting that B Jillian - everyone here is shredding away. I may have to just give in already. Dammit. I really hate her!

  45. I did the shred about 2 years ago. Lost 18lbs and it was wonderful. Then I got pregnant and definitely need to do it again. Wishing you luck!

  46. I know I am really late to this but just in case you read it ... the only thing that keeps me from stuffing food in my face when I shouldn't is to brush my teeth. Because then they feel really clean and who wants to brush them again an hour later because the ice cream was calling too loud?




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