Jillian Michaels Is Whipping Me Into Shape for My Wedding

Jillian Michaels body revolution and my weights
My little workout equipment corner in our apartment
I am not one of those brides who plans to stick a tube up her nose or go on some wacky no-carb crash diet to get "fit to wed." On the other hand, I've always thought that leading up to The Big Day, I'd commit to a hardcore workout plan (paired with sensible, balanced eating). Seems like something realistic, healthy, and above all, effective.

Enter Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution. Going beyond the former Biggest Loser trainer's tried-and-true 30-Day Shred (love!), Body Revolution is 12-weeks worth of 30-minute circuit training workouts that pair cardio with weight training for major "metabolism-boosting." Being that my sluggish thyroid and sedentary lifestyle could use exactly that, and I already loved Michaels' no-nonsense style, I decided to go for it when I was offered a chance to test-drive the program. That was six weeks ago. 

I just started week seven, and I honestly cannot believe I've come this far. Granted, I've gotten to this point without completely mastering the advanced forms of some of the exercises (like in weeks five and six, doing tricep presses in "crab pose" with one leg straight out -- yeah, not so much!). Sometimes, because of my back and ankle injuries, I've stuck with the modified versions, but all along, I've figured that as long as I get through each workout every day, I've accomplished what I set out to.

Lord knows there have been days I have not wanted to work out, but as stereotypical as it sounds, every time I've pushed myself through it, I've felt satisfied that I did. Maybe not endorphin rush blissed-out every time, but at least content that I "showed up."

The program comes with a 90-day journal and a recipe-based diet (which I'm bearing in mind while doing Weight Watchers). But I have my own little trick that has helped me keep my head in the game, so to speak. During weeks one and two, you do Workouts 1 and 2 and a Cardio workout, weeks three and four Workouts 3 and 4 plus Cardio, and so forth, and so on. So every two weeks, I've photo-copied the schedule, posted it on our fridge, and every time I complete a workout, I check it off. Simple -- but very visual and effective, being that I really don't want to get through the end of the day and see a glaring empty spot where a check should be!

It also helps that the workouts are cumulative. Meaning you need to do workout seven before eight and you don't want to be stuck doing both in one day (I let that happen once, and it was no fun!). So you do 'em to get 'er done and move on.

There are amazing success stories -- and photos! -- on the Body Revolution Facebook page, including lots of ripped-up abs and amazing before/after pics. I'm still not convinced that I'll have much to contribute in that realm by week 12, because my personal health challenges mean results are happening a lot slower for me. Still, I'm sticking it out, feeling stronger and more energetic every day, so that counts for something! And who knows? With half of the program to go, anything could happen. Stay tuned*!

This is the first in a mini-series of posts I'm writing on how I'm shaping up for my walk down the aisle.

How do you stay motivated to stick to your workout regimen?

 

exercise, weddings