As many of you know, I have completed the 30 Day Shred (March 9th – April 7th). It was one of my 95 in 1095, so I can proudly cross that off my list. My goals when beginning the Shred were as follows:
- To see if the 30 Day Shred, when done every day as intended, really works.
- To see if I could be disciplined enough to work out every day for 30 days.
Also, swimsuit season is coming. Need I say more?
My sister & I did it “together”; actually, we only did it in the same room a couple of times, but just knowing that someone might check in on me that day and ask “Did you Shred today?” was one of the motivators that kept me going. It also helps that she’s my younger sister (sibling rivalry, anyone?). If she can do it, I can do it, right?!
Another motivator? My husband, who, when I told him what I was doing, said “Every day? Yeah right.” Oh boy, it was on. Proving people wrong is one of my greatest joys in life. (In his defense, I usually am the laziest person alive when it comes to exercise, so I shocked him & myself.)
So I did it! Although, since I’m being honest & everything, I missed a couple of days (I was really busy, promise), & did it twice the next day. Twice in one day = terrible punishment for missing a day. You don’t want to have to do it twice in one day.
Is it hard? Yes. Level 1 is hard at first, but you adapt. Level 2 is hard, but it’s my least favorite level, since it feels pretty monotonous. Level 3 is the hardest (no really?!) but also my favorite. It beats the crap out of you before you even know what hit you. Plus, you’re on the floor for most of the time, which makes it feel easier somehow (but it’s not, not even a little bit). It starts hard, and as you progress, it still feels difficult. It was still challenging on my last day! In case you’re wondering, I did each level for 10 days, but there’s no set way to do it.
My results weren’t huge, as in, I didn’t lose 20 pounds or get Gwen Stefani’s abs (WISHFUL THINKING). I did, however, notice a huge improvement in muscle tone & strength. You’re talking to the girl who couldn’t even do a girl push-up, let alone a full lunge, when she started. I noticed my strength, balance, flexibility, & endurance improving every day. And holy crap, I’m more toned than I’ve ever been. I have never, I repeat, never, no matter how much weight I’ve lost, had a toned butt. While I’m still not 100% there, I can actually see such an improvement. Improvement = motivation to do more, & that’s why the Shred is successful. However, the Shred is not all you should do. Diet is huge, and I am a bad dieter. I’m learning to subsitute healthy things instead of reaching for a handful of chocolate chips every time I need a sweet fix. I want to develop healthy habits now, so they’re easier to keep as I get older.
Also, the Shred is not the end. It shouldn’t be your goal to finish the Shred & be done. For me, it’s the beginning. It was the motivation I needed to kick myself into shape so I can start running again, & really get back to where I want to be, which is healthy & fit. I don’t want to be a mom who passes on her bad eating habits & laziness onto her kids; I want to be active & teach them how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. And while kids are still in my distant & hazy future, starting now will be much easier, in the long run, than starting “then.”
My plan is to keep doing the Shred about 3-4 times per week, and implement a running schedule in with that. We’ll see how long that lasts.
My advice to you before beginning the Shred:
-Make sure your schedule is somewhat free for the month. I’m not saying don’t plan anything for a month. Hello, I was trying to put a house up for sale while I was doing this. But DON’T start if you know, for example, you’re going on a week-long vacation that month. It would be awkward to have to do this in a hotel room, and you don’t want to be thinking “I have to Shred, I have to Shred” before riding the teacups at Disneyworld (No one is going to Disneyworld? I’m the only one with that dream?).
-The sooner, the better. This goes for both beginning the 30 Day process, and also shredding each day within the 30 days. If you keep putting it off, that DVD is going to stare you down every time you see it & you’ll have built it up to be much, much scarier in your mind than it actually is. (But it is pretty scary.) Have a healthy fear but don’t add it to the “I could never do that!” list. And try to do it as early as possible in the day, so you’re not sitting there at night, glass of wine in hand, thinking I still have to Shred. It’s not conducive for a relaxing evening. I speak from experience.
-Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Just do it twice the next day, or at least once the next day, & keep going. Contrary to popular belief, Jillian & the Shred Police don’t show up at your front door if you miss a day. Although, whatever keeps you motivated.
-Make a calendar. Print off any one of the free calendars available online & set it up so that your 30 days are clearly marked. Then, each day, cross out that day. Not only does it keep you motivated to knock out those days, it shows you exactly how long you have left. I don’t know about you, but I need to know exactly how many days are left when I’m being tortured. Minutes, even.
-Eat healthy. Don’t cancel out your Shred by eating half a pizza (not that I did that! OK, maybe I did, once). Add healthy eating to your routine, and the results will be even better.
-Find a partner. You will need this person to keep you motivated (& vice versa!). It doesn’t matter if they live in a different country or right next door, as long as you commit to do it together & check in with each other regularly.
-Find a reason. Whatever that reason or goal might be, find it, and focus on it. Focus on it when your thigh feels like it’s going to burst open during a lunge. Focus on it when you’re doing what feels like the millionth cardio circuit & you just want to stop. Focus, and those 25 minutes will fly by.
Is it necessary to do every day for 30 days? For me, it was. Completing those 30 days & saying “shove it” to the part of me that tells myself “You can’t do this!” was a HUGE encourager. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person that, if I let myself miss one day, then I’ll miss the next day, etc. Doing it every day meant no excuses. No letting myself off the hook. It takes time to develop healthy habits. Yesterday I was thinking “I’ve got to work out today,” even though my 30 days are up, because now I’m used to making time for this every day. That’s such a change for me!
Listen, if I can do this, anyone can do it. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Or email me so I can encourage you to get going! laurenfromtexas(at)gmail(dot)com
Now get on Amazon, buy the DVD, and get started!