I totally blame my friend Melissa.
See, she has been on a journey to lose weight too. And recently, she did something that I couldn’t believe. She did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. And she even did it for 30 days. AND LIVED.
If Melissa can do it, so can I, right???
Before I begin my story, may I remind you of- and share- a few facts?
A. I have been lazy about exercise lately, and haven’t walked more than 3 miles at a time since I got the flu. Nor have I swam a mile, done yoga, or anything else notable. I have, however, dropped a few pounds in tears after seeing what my laziness has done for my numbers. It ain’t pretty. 174.2, I say with despair and frustration in my heart.
B. I own the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. The last time I attempted it, I was approximately 219 pounds, and I made it precisely 5 minutes into the DVD before I had to decide if I was going to have a heart attack with a side of exercise induced panic attack, or stop and sit on the couch- reminding myself to breathe. I chose the latter.
C. I was dealing with a serious case of Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt. DoubleTriple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt, actually, because I ate two of the durn things at 3am. I made them while waiting for clothes to finish drying so I could switch uniforms from the washer for the kids to wear to school this morning. I was going to fall asleep if I didn’t do something, so I made muffins. I did not realize how dangerously close to brownies those frickin frackin muffins would smell as they were baking. As soon as they were cool, I tasted one- BUT ONLY, OF COURSE, to make sure they were fit for consumption. Then I had to eat another, to make sure the deliciousness wasn’t a fluke on the first muffin. I was wise enough to call it quits before (inhaling) nibbling on a third. I still have my pride. It’s just prettier with a girdle to hold it in.
Now, flash forward to 5am. Still not sleeping, still remembering the taste of muffins. So for a swift kick of reality, I weighed myself. Then I decided I should go to an exercise class at the YMCA. But I really wasn’t sure that was the best idea, because I hadn’t slept and was genuinely tired. So I opted to look at my unusually large collection of workout DVDs and keep the humiliation on the home front. But which DVD to choose?
Lotte Berk. Not a chance.
Billy Blanks TaeBo Bootcamp. When pigs fly.
Barry’s Bootcamp. When H-E-double hockeysticks freezes over.
Sarah Ivanhoe’s 20 minute Yoga Makeover. Forget it.
Bob Harper’s Biggest Loser Workout- maybe, 'cause I loves me some Bob Harper, but the DVD would take longer than I had at that moment.
Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. NO FREAKING WAY.
That is when I remembered Melissa. And what she did.
I’m actually not sure if she made it the whole 30 days. But in my mind, I totally give her credit for it. I know I applauded her on Facebook every time she said she had to leave and go let Jillian work her over (especially as I was sitting on my rumpus “still recovering” – aka being a lazy butt- from the flu). Melissa persevered. She didn’t like it, but she did it.
And I thought to myself “if sweet Melissa can do it, so can I.”
Not that I am as strong as Melissa, but ever since I read her reply to my first email to her, I was bonded to this woman. She is my kinda girl.
Jillian, however, is not even close to being my kinda girl. She is eeeee-vil. To the third degree. Nay, eeeee-vil to eeeee-leven. And like I said earlier, the last time I tried 30 Day Shred, I almost had to call the paramedics. It was bad. And that was 5 minutes into it. I only wish I was exaggerating.
And I was freaking myself out.
So I started my mantra.
“For Melissa. For Melissa.”
‘Cause if I repeated it over and over, I would see Melissa’s face instead of Jillian. Melissa loves me and doesn’t want me to die. I honestly believe Jillian could care less if I kicked the bucket, as long as kept kicking while I was down.
So I began.
It really didn’t help that I was trembling before the opening credits were over. That is how fearful I am of this DVD. “For Melissa. For Melissa.” Maybe it was because I hadn’t slept, or maybe it was the double triple chocolate chunk muffin guilt, or it could have been the fear of God that was rising up within me. Whatever it was, it wasn’t getting Jillian and I off on the best foot.
She smiles and talks about how she’s going to transform your body. I reminded myself that I had already done a butt load of transforming, just me and Jesus, and perhaps this time, if me and the Big J added Jillian into our sucessful mix, it would be easier. Plus, I was down a third of the woman I was back then!
I’m going to break this down to the highlights. You don’t really want to read a play by play of my torture.
Jumping Jacks- One of Jillian’s favorite forms of (torture) exercise. Normally, I would attempt to pound them out, and best my eeeee-vil foe. But as I started bouncing out the jacks -cause with my jigglies, there is no jumping. Just residual movement from the initial action of a singular JUMP- two facts became alarmingly clear.
1) If I bounced like Jillian was on the DVD, I was going to wake up everyone in the house with my elephant sized booms, perhaps causing a sizematic catastrophe.
2) I was going to wet my pants. No room for error. One hearty hop and I’d be puddle jumping.
So I modified the jumping jacks. I lifted one foot at a time and did more of a side kick action, keeping things quiet and dry. It was about the time I was exceedingly pleased with myself when the eeeee-vil one spouted off, “If you are looking for a modification for jumping jacks- well, there isn’t one.”
“I’ve got 400 pound people doing jumping jacks, and if they can do it so can you!”
Excuse me for a moment, Jillian, while I bury the remains of my pride. I’ll be stomping down the dirt of its grave with one foot at a time.
It was deflating.
So I imagined Melissa replacing the soundtrack in her southern accent.
“Honey, if you can only do one foot at a tiiime, you can only do one foot. Keep kicking, sister!”
Much better. My blood pressure reduced. (It really is a good thing I have an overactive imagination. It comes in handy sometimes.) And despite there not being a modification to jumping jacks, my single action Chuch Norris-ish kicks got my heart rate up there. I promise.
Next up- The HAND WEIGHTS
Now I may be delusional about my abilities, but I am not insane. I knew that if she said I needed hand weights, I would not be wise to dig out my 5 pounders. I was quite content to grab the puny 2 pound dumbbells. (Or as Matt calls them, my dumbbellettes.) Say what you want, but I still needed to function after this for the rest of the day. So little weights it is.
Except that after the lifting and pressing with the same motions for what seemed to be an eternity, those little weights got big. And heavy. Like when you hold a baby for 15 minutes and your arm starts to cramp up because you are out of practice. I was totally out of my element here, and it hurt like holy thunder. My arms went on autopilot. They were moving without my brain telling them to. I think they knew that it was inevitable.
That was about the time that my glasses started slipping down my nose because of all the sweat I was producing. Without a second thought, I went to push them back up my nose, nerdy style. Uh, with a handweight in my hand, and my arm completely unaware that we were changing intensity and heading for my face. My arm was focused on the movement at hand. (pun intended) So as the glasses went back up my nose, so did the handweight. Right square on the bridge of my nose. You know those cartoons where a person gets hit on the head and they see stars? Huh, I can say without a doubt that I saw George Clooney. Right there in my living room. At 5:20 am. Who knew he was in town?
The glasses flew off, and I gave up on seeing what I was doing. It was much easier to imagine Melissa’s head on Jillian’s body with them gone anyway. And I listened for my guardian instructor’s voice above the shrilling of the shred.
“It’s just a miiinor setback, hon. Keep going. Just a little while left. You can do this, girl. I know you can.”
I muddled through the next 10 minutes best as I could. If you have never done the shred, it cycles you through the movements. And you all know how FOND I am of cycles. Harumph.
Finally, the last cycle of the “strength portion”-
By the time the last round rolled through, I was a broken woman. The eeeee-vil one has you laying on the floor for the first bit, doing chest presses with the dumbbells. Then she says “Quick, stand up. No resting!” And I tried. I really really tried. But there was no getting up. I was just laying on the floor like the sad muffin eatin sack I was. And the eeeee-vil one goes back to the confounded jumping jacks. So I, in the vain hope of pleasing my cruel mistress, started doing pulses of being spread eagle down on the floor, still lifting my weights, praying that Jillian would be appeased with my pathetic offering. I also prayed that none of my kids would wake up. I could just imagine my explination...
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing, just doing jumping jacks on my back…”
Thankfully, everyone stayed in bed and no explanation was necessary.
So what is the verdict about the shred?
A. Pee first. NO EXCEPTIONS.
B. Wear contacts or fly blind. I nose what I am talking about.
C. Get yourself a Melissa. Someone who loves you and wants what is best for you. It makes the whole thing tolerable.
D. Double Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin guilt is highly overrated. I wasn’t left with a shred of dignity at the end. They weren't worth it, and they won't be the next time either.
But I survived. At least, I survived day one. I’ll keep you posted on the next 29….
tales of the cupcake part one
2 days ago