30 Day Shred Review (and life after the shred)

I challenged myself to complete all 30 days (consecutively) of Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred in the month of March.  An April visit to the beach and a really awful picture of me (that I can’t find now) at Jess’s baby shower were the impetus behind the goal.  Originally, B and I were in discussions about purchasing Insanity and working out together everyday. And then we remembered that we don’t work out well together – we’re too competitive and proud when it comes to workouts and personal fitness goals, and not in a healthy competition kind of way.  Translation: B’s goal to gain weight irritates the hell out of my goal to lose weight. So for the sake of our marriage, we workout separately for now. I bought the 30DS years ago – I think before our wedding and would do it on and off, but never for the full 30 days.  So, since I had it on hand, I decided to give it a go.

I loved this challenge and liked the workouts.  Here’s the rundown:

There are 3 levels in the 30 day shred and each is about 25 minutes with warm-up and cool down. You’re supposed to do the workout everyday for 30 days, spending 10 days at each level.  Everything I’ve read led me to the conclusion that if you actually want to see noticeable weight loss and inches lost, you need to do it pretty much daily.  So I did.  I loved level one.  Looked forward to it every day for 10 days.  Level two was heavy on the arms and I loved it a little less.  And level three kicked my a**.  By the last two days of the shred I would have rather run two marathons than spent 20 more minutes on this DVD – but I powered through because I would have been furious with myself if I stopped two days early.

The workouts are heavy on plyometrics – which wasn’t the best for my already injured knee.  But I powered through because I’m stubborn. I broke or severely jammed my toe on day 15 (shower injury, not a workout injury) which made the plank moves in levels 2 and 3 more difficult but doable.  I used 5 pound weights for Levels 1 and 2 and three pound weights for level 3.

I was conscious of eating healthy foods, but I didn’t worry about calories because I’m still nursing and need calories to keep up my milk supply. I had oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, a salad and cottage cheese or a turkey sandwich at home for lunch, a normal dinner and simple snacks if I got hungry mid-day.
My personal results? I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose – since Thomas was born last June I’ve been about 3 pounds above my favorite and pre-pregnancy weight and that hasn’t really bothered me.  What bothered me was my lack of stomach tone.  You know, since my abs were sliced to deliver my child. Not that I ever had visible abs, but I had abs that held in my stomach prior to my c-section.  Not that I’m still bitter about that, or anything (you better believe my next child will be born in a bathtub in Boulder. Because I’m all about extremes). And I thought this workout was fabulous for toning – I felt stronger, slimmer, taller and just more energetic while I was doing it.

In 30 days I lost:
7 pounds
3 inches around my waist
3.25 inches around my hips and chest
and 2.5 inches around my bust

I would call it successful. My clothes fit better and more attractively. I’m not really a before and after picture kinda girl, which I realize isn’t helpful in posts like this.  I’ll do better in the future.  But I did feel comfortable hanging out on the beach in a bikini in Florida.

So life after the 30 Day Shred. I needed a break from Jillian. So I’m doing a hybrid Couch to 5K – I’ve run on and off before, so I don’t need the super slow start that the C25K is championed for, but I also tend to start too quickly and either get injured or burn out.  So I’m starting with the C25K interval training schedule and adding in a day of long(er) straight running.  It’s going pretty well – now that we’re not rushing out the door to daycare three mornings a week, I’ve found that we have time for morning runs again.  But I’m missing the resistance training, so I’m planning to spend May with Jillian’s newest 30 day DVD on top of the running. I’ll take before and afters this time.