I woke up this morning, swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up. Amazingly, my legs didn’t feel like they were going to give out beneath me. Must be time to move on up to level 2!
So, here are my thought on the second level of Jillian’s program. Ugh. Double Ugh. Can I go back to level 1 and doing 100 jumping jacks now?
A couple of the squat moves were absolutely killer, but the cardio in this one is what really got me. Level one was jumping jacks, butt kicks, jump rope and something else (can’t remember right now…all my blood is trying to rebuild my torn up muscles…there’s none left for my brain). The second level included high kicks, double jump rope, skis (jumping side to side leading with one leg, other one behind you) and twisting jumps. During the final circuit I literally could not breathe. At during one lunge move, Jillian said “halfway there” and I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. Nor did I quit. I made it thru. But just barely.
Level 2 differs from the first level in one major way. Instead of doing squats and lunges where you get a break (up, down, up, down) – the lunges and squats in the second level are static. You get into the position and stay there. So, you’re in a squat for a full minute or two instead of it being a couple of seconds down, then a rest as you come back up before the next move. And, since Jillian does small muscles at the same time as big muscles – you’re doing a static lunge with shoulder presses, or raises the entire time. So, in addition to your thighs being on fire, you want to chop your arms off at the shoulders to stop the pain there too. I didn’t like the abs workout as much in this level – and actually did a few sets of the moves from level 1 at the end of the workout today just for good measure.
Bottom line, it was awesome. I feel great completing it, and love the abbreviated workout time. I feel like I’m working harder and better in 20 (really about 25) minutes than I used to in an hour at the gym.
Here was my final thought before beginning my warm-up today “Oh goodness. How am I supposed to do a whole workout when it hurts just to walk? Ugh!”.
I stuck with the Level 1 workout again today. I’m getting very close to being able to do “boy push ups” thru both sets of push ups (1 minute sets…about 30 each set). And the ab work still hurts like crazy. I must just have really outta shape muscles in my midsection. Sheesh! I think I’ll do one more day at the first level and then bump it up to level 2.
Interesting thing about today’s session. It was a gorgeous fall day in Seattle. The sun was shining brightly as I drew the shades in my kid’s playroom to do my workout. The upstairs room + afternoon sun + drawn curtains + closed-door (nap time for the munchkins) made the room like a sauna within minutes. Holy smokes. I’ve intentionally never done hot yoga, because I despise being too warm. Today, I felt like I was doing “Hot 30 Day Shred”. Yuck. Good sweat though.
The shred is already helping me eat better. I’ve had breakfast the past three days. Which is something I always do when paying attention to my food, and somehow always forget when I’m getting off track. So far, so good.
I’ve done many different workouts. I’ve trained for a half-marathon (didn’t actually get to the race, but that’s another story). I have spent countless hours at the gym doing various forms of cardio, weights, Zumba, Yoga, swimming – pretty much anything available. My weight loss has been steady for the past few years. At one point, I’d lost a total of 70 pounds. However, since the Cabbage Soup Diet – I have been completely off track. My weight has started creeping back on. Right now, I’ve put back on 20 of the pounds I worked so hard to lose. I haven’t been to the gym regularly in about a month. And I’ve completely stopped caring what I shove down my throat for fuel. So, two days ago I decided to try something a little crazy. I decided to do Jillian’s 30 Day Shred.
I haven’t blogged my devotional in a while. Partly because I had a rough week and wasn’t in the word much (maybe that’s why my week was so rough?). But also because I’ve started a reading plan that includes more than just a couple verses picked out to support a devotional book. The plan I’m doing now includes several (gasp!) chapters of the Bible per day. Also, right now it’s got me in Exodus and Acts. Let me tell you, Exodus can be pretty tedious. I know God has things to show me, even in a book that’s pretty full of very specific instructions on building things that seem to have no application in my life. It’s been kind of a struggle to pull anything out that I feel like writing about.
I’m still in Exodus, but after an experience at the gym this morning, I viewed God’s detailed instructions a little differently. I pulled a circuit routine off SELF magazine’s website yesterday from renowned trainer Jillian Michaels. She has been a HUGE motivational presence in my weight loss journey of the last two years. Today was the first time I actually attempted one of her workouts though. I have experienced great success working out on my own, but as I’m trying to get into a bikini for my cruise in three weeks, I figured a little Jillian might be just the extra boost I needed. Goodness, it was intense. Each of the moves in her workout was completely foreign to me. I was drenched in sweat within about 5 minutes. Halfway through, I actually felt like throwing up. I am a pretty fit person, I spend about 10 hours a week at the gym and I work myself out pretty hard. But this routine was different. I was out of my comfort zone entirely. Having never done these moves before, I had no idea if I actually would be able to perform them. Every time I felt like quitting however, I imagined if Jillian were there with me. Encouraging me in her sweet nice way to keep going. For those of you unfamiliar with Jillian’s training style, this might help you understand. Oh yeah. She doesn’t mess around. I don’t agree with her choice of language (obviously) but she has the ability to push people to where they need to be. Her workout was beyond hard, but it was specific and when I felt like I couldn’t do it, I leaned back on my knowledge that Jillian doesn’t ask people to do more than her experience tells her they can achieve. Somehow, I made it through the workout.
After showering, still physically reeling from my sweat-session, I sat down to do my devotional today. Suddenly, God’s instructions to His people in Exodus were fascinating. Back in the day, God didn’t pull any punches. He was very particular about what His people were supposed to be doing. And He didn’t take it too well when they didn’t do 100% of what He asked of them. Kind of like Jillian’s workout today. And, even more so than a great trainer would, God asks us to stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can accomplish, but always has our best interest in mind. The Lord’s life workouts are not easy. They are not comfortable and many times they leave us exhausted and hungry for a rest. Today when my muscles were shaking, burning and aching for relief from the pounding I was putting them through, I trusted the instructions of a woman I have never met. But I struggle to follow God’s direction in my life. Why is that? He loves me. He wants what’s best for me. My trust in Him should be completely unconditional. No matter what happens in my life, how difficult the situation is I need to remember that God is there for me, and never asks more of me than He knows I can handle. Just like Jillian.