I must confess, I think I'm a pusher.
Whenever I find a product I love, I always tell my friends about it. "Have you tried this recipe?" "Have you heard this song?" "Have you felt how smooth this lipstick is?"...I'm one of those.
Hey, I'm just trying to help a sister out! So naturally I HAVE to tell you about the Jillian Michaels ab DVD I have discovered. It's quick and effective and I am kind of obsessed.
I'll stop here to throw out a spoiler alert for all my male readers- This is when the proverbial "girl-out" starts. If this were a slumber party, right now would be the portion in between the pillow fights and fingernail painting- you know, the part where we sit around and ask each other how much we weigh. (Because evidently that's what guys think we do?)
Who knew? After thousands of dollars and countless months spent at the gym, that THIS
would be the best $10 I ever spent?
Just looking at this picture strikes fear in my bones. I have tasted her pain, and yet I keep coming back for more. After watching her scream at contestants on the Biggest Loser for years, I always assumed I was more of a "Bob" than a "Jillian" type of person in the gym. Be kind, that's all I want. Be gentle with me! But as they say, "You've got to be cruel to be kind."... Yes?
I've made no secret about the fact that I've been slowly trying to claw my way back from a physical low point over the last few years. We talked about it HERE and HERE and HERE... and then I shut my mouth about it because generally I subscribe to the idea that no one really WANTS to hear you talk about your weight. It starts to sound obnoxious after a while. But I'm also a person who believes in keeping it real, and since I've so liberally shared all my defeats along the way, it seems only fitting to share the triumphs as well.
I've tried many different workout programs and DVD's over the years, (Winsor Pilates, P90X, etc) and my issue with all of them is this: NOBODY HAS TIME FOR THIS NONSENSE!
As a mom who has two tinies who are at home with me %70 of the time, it's simply not realistic for me to spend 60-90 minutes rolling around on the ground sweating it out while my children whine at me, correct my form, beg for snacks, or try to "join" me in my efforts, thus directly thwarting my efforts. I know this because I have tried. It seems that unless I'm willing to get up at 5 am and work out before my kids wake up, (and let's all be real here- I'm not) it's pretty much a waste of time.
So for years I have gone to the gym instead, which works well for us. They get to play in the kiddie area, I workout and have a smidge of time to myself, and we all get out of the house- win/win/win!
Other than a couple seasons off to tend to the minor business of growing and birthing humans, I've been pretty faithful at working out.
But regardless of my continual efforts at the gym, I have been unsuccessful in reaching my goals. Or partially successful at best. And let's face it, after having two babies, one C section, and gaining and losing a total of 100 pounds (Yes. I said it) between both of them- I have my work cut out for me. Even after managing to lose the 50 lbs after my last baby, at my lowest weight, I was never strong. I had no muscle tone. I just managed to get thin enough so that all my soft bits didn't fold over onto each other.
It's a good trick but it's a far cry from being truly fit. And it didn't last. As soon as I started to ease up on my diet and cardio, the pounds started slowly and inexorably taking up residence everywhere between my neck and my knees. Okay fine, my ankles too.
I think a big part of my problem has been that I tend to master one or maybe two major elements of health and fitness at a time, but I've never quite gotten a handle on doing it all at once. I have focused too much on cardio and almost completely neglected strength training over the years. In regards to my diet I have yo-yo'd between utter vigilance and throwing caution to the wind.
While Jillian's reputation garners both fear and respect in equal measure, the woman knows how to get results. I will say that. Her workouts are legitimate. I decided on a whim one day to buy a couple of her workout DVD's, figuring that if I hated it, it's only $10, and if I loved it then all the better.
I have LOVED them.
Specifically her 6 Week 6 Pack DVD. I committed to myself that I'd give it a real go. Why not?
So for 6 weeks I worked out 5-6 days a week and ate very clean (very little carbs, sugar, or dairy, and lots of veg and lean protein every few hours). In 8 weeks with Jillian I have lost 10 pounds and almost two pant sizes! It works! My God, it really works!
Before it starts to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, let me clarify that I still have a long way to go. I am barely over halfway to my fitness goal. There is still much work to be done. But I am so excited to actually be seeing results. The best motivation is seeing your body start to change.
For maybe the first time in my adult life, I am starting to see muscles in my arms, stomach, legs, and butt. Like, actually SEE them!
Here's why I love her all of her DVD's and this DVD in particular.
- It's quick and effective. Her workouts range from 25-45 minutes. Which is perfect because a half hour is about the longest I can keep my kids preoccupied.
- It's SIMPLE! You don't need any weird bands or equipment. A small hand weight and room to move are all you need.
- It's just hard enough that you feel accomplished, but not so hard that you dread doing it. Each DVD has multiple levels of difficulty as well- so just when you start to get comfortable (or adequate) she kicks it up a notch.
- It's cheap!
- It WORKS. She uses HIIT (high intensity interval training) to help burn fat while building muscle. Double duty. Boom.
I'm not saying it's magic, and I'm not saying it's the best thing out there. Just another tool to add to the toolbox. Just wanted to share my experience in case any of my comrades out there are looking for something quick and doable.
I'm finally learning that I can't take any shortcuts. I have to eat clean AND do cardio AND do strength training to get where I want to be. Once I finish losing the weight I think maintaining is a whole different story. But to lose weight I just can't get away with any funny business.(Blurg.)
I still give myself a couple cheats a week, otherwise my head would explode. And my morning coffee with creamer is non-negotiable. Off the table.
But I've got to say, as much as I miss my pastas and cheeses for now, if it spares me from feeling like a gelatinous busted can of biscuits, maybe it's worth it.