Unless you puke, faint, or die, KEEP GOING!! -Jillian Michaels
I have a vague recollection of a time when I worked a normal Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job (7-3:30 for me). I would finish work every day, change into my workout clothes, and head to the gym. I spent an hour to an hour and a half at body sculpt or cardio classes and was home in time to cook dinner for me and my husband. On Saturdays, we would wake up early and head to the gym for Pilates followed by a relaxing breakfast at our favorite restaurant. AHHH! I not only had a routine I loved, I was probably in the best shape of my life.
Then I became pregnant with my first child. I exercised almost up to the day she arrived. I figured I’d take the advised 6 weeks off and be “back in the saddle.” I was determined to get the baby weight off as fast as a Hollywood actress or supermodel. I was DELUSIONAL!
First of all, I put on about 80lbs in my pregnancy. Eating for two (or 10), right? I also severely underestimated the lack of sleep and energy I would have. Not to mention the fact that I had no desire to do anything except snuggle with my new bundle of joy. To top it off, when I went back to work after maternity leave, I was now working 3rd shift. Talk about exhaustion!!!
When I did finally manage to get back to the gym, it became more of a hassle than the escape it was in my previous life. I now had to lug the diaper bag along with my gym bag. I had to tackle coats, car seats, and a crying baby who did not want to stay in the childcare area. The instant I would get to my treadmill or elliptical, I would get paged for a diaper change. UGH!! If I was able to get there without my daughter, I always felt it was eating too much into “family time.”
I found myself getting to the gym less and less. I struggled to fit exercise into my new life. I opted for long walks instead, but in Wisconsin, that only works about 6 months out of the year. Then, I became pregnant with my second child, and due to the struggle, I pretty much gave up exercise all together. I proceeded to put back on the same 80lbs I had almost finally taken off, and I was even more lethargic than before. I needed a better way!
I already knew Jillian from The Biggest Loser, and I loved her right away. Her no- nonsense methods really appealed to me. So when I heard about the 30 Day Shred, I immediately went out to buy it. How hard could it be, right?
I was sore for a week!! I was also hooked!!
Jillian Michaels changed my life. She definitely lives up to the hype. I was able to exercise in the comfort of my own home. I didn’t have to worry about childcare or fancy exercise clothing. I worked out in bare feet, old shorts, and maternity tees. (Side note: They work really well for mopping up all the sweat.) I still use those tees to this day.
I now own every single exercise DVD Jillian has made. When I’m short on time, I can get a good workout in in 30 minutes. When I want to devote more time to my workout, I do an hour-long DVD or 2 30-minute ones. My kids are able to see me focusing on my health, and sometimes they even join in. Some of my son’s first “dance” moves came straight out of a Jillian routine. ADORABLE!
Often I rotate through the same 3 or 4 DVDs for several months straight. Then, I change it up, and pick a new set of DVDs to rotate into my routine. I have a few favorites for when I really want a “make you puke” workout (Level 2 Hard Body comes to mind). I try to mix up strength training and cardio and focus on different areas of my body. There are so many workouts to choose from, it is easy to get variety. The following are some of my favorites.
- Quick & Effective – 6 Week Six-Pack, One Week Shred (Cardio), Ripped in 30 (Level 2 or 4), 30 Day Shred (Level 3)
- Great Cardio – Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, Kick Box Fast Fix, Cardio Kickstart
- Best Strength Training – No More Trouble Zones, Killer Body (Upper, Core, & Lower), Killer Arms & Back
- Good “All-Around” – Hard Body (Level 1 or 2), Extreme Shed & Shred, Yoga Inferno
- Combinations – Cardio Kickstart (Cardio 1) followed by any Killer Body workout, Kick Box Fast Fix (all 3 workouts), One Week Shred (Cardio) followed by Killer Arms & Back (any level)
I’ve been working out with Jillian almost every day for nearly 8 years now, and although I have recently taken up running and biking, I still come back to Jillian often, especially in the winter months. I can hear her encouraging (and let’s face it, sometimes yelling at) me in my sleep. If I am even thinking about skipping my workout, I think of what Jillian would say, and I end up doing it (maybe one of the easier ones, though).
Jillian’s words often seep into other areas of my life as well. Now that I am starting my own business from home, I find her words especially motivating. I am sure some of you out there have been affected by Jillian as well. For those of you that have not and may be looking for a good way to sneak in some exercise, she comes very highly recommended!
Why choose failure when success is an option? -Jillian Michaels
*The opinions in this article are my own and are not sponsored by Jillian Michaels. I have not received any free products as incentive for writing this post.