Friday, 9 March 2012

30 day shred review & results.


you can't say i don't spoil you. who else would spend over a month writing a blog post for you? das rite. ME. and what a blog post it is. i have finally completed the 30 day shred, and it feels oh so good to finally publish this review - along with the results, obviously. needless to say i am extremely pleased with how i've done. i've tried to cover every single little detail and hopefully those who are on the fence will be encouraged to complete it.

with the exception of my waist, i took measurements at the thickest point. i have a sort of mangled apple body shape, where any weight i gain goes straight to my tummy. this means that i have narrower hips than most, and that any weight gained on my thighs goes on my inner thighs rather than my outer thighs. (i know right. talk about awkward.) i also am a giant wuss and opted out of posting pictures - to see the results properly, i'd need to be in my knickers and as before/after pictures are widely circulated, i don't want any photos of me wearing very little lurking around the internet. sorry! however, i can see a difference. no i'm not exactly unrecognisable, but my waist does look smaller as do my arms. my general mid section still is by no means perfect, but looks more toned. there isn't a crazy difference from the side though, except that my tum is slightly flatter.

measurements before:                         measurements after:

waist: 29''                                                           waist: 27" (-2)
hips: 38.5''                                                         hips: 38.5 (-0)
thighs: 23.5''                                                     thighs: 22" (-1.5)
calves: 13''                                                         calves: 13" (-0)
upper arms: 10.7''                                         upper arms: 9.8" (-0.9)
lower arms: 9.5''                                              lower arms: 9.1" (-0.4)


amazing, right? i feel so completely proud of myself, and feel a new sense of positivity towards fitness as a whole. i really don't want to stop at this point - rather, i want to continue challenging myself and push myself so that i  get into the best shape i've ever been since 2008 in my life. i wish i could meet jillian and thank her, because she really did deliver - and luckily for me, she has so many dvds out so i am spoilt for choice.

for those who are interested, the biggest changes occurred during level one which is somewhat ironic given that it is supposed to be the easiest. i think my body got a real shock to the system, and decided to tell me by losing 2.8". during level two, which i found the hardest by far, i lost 1.1". and throughout level 3, i lost 0.9". however, i have gained weight (3kg) which i suspect is water weight. i don't care though, because inches coming off was what i always wanted.


before the shred
little bit of background info here. i admit that i was a little cocky before starting this. i usually do 45-60 minutes of zumba several times a week, and walk quite often. i thought that it would stand me in good stead, and i guess it did when i read other diaries which describe sheer pain (my favourite was one where the blogger couldn't sit down on the toilet). additionally, the only part of me that is toned has always been my calves, ever since i could remember. i can't pinch them at all. this, in my warped little brain, made me assume that i would ace any leg exercise she threw at me. i guess my sense of realism only kicked in with the acknowledgement that even though the shred is designed to be complete in 30 days, i wasn't ever going to push myself if i were to feel any proper pain or injury. i wasn't ever going to cause myself any damage just for the sake of saying i didn't take a single day off.

in terms of equipment, you will need a mat (that is, if you are exercising on a hard surface), proper shoes (i can't stress how important this is), and handweights. my weights are so small, and frankly, i can't be bothered to get heavier ones. i have 3 sizes which i got from argos - i think they cost around £15. the pink weights are 0.5kg (1.1 lbs) each, the blue are 1kg (2.2 lbs) each, and the green are 1.5kg (3.3 lbs) each. i admit that, at times, i wished i had heavier ones - not because using these weights were easy (NO) but because i would've been able to push myself further on my good days.

during the shred
for optimal results, you'd obviously have to have a good diet aswell. as with a lot of her dvds, jillian includes a meal plan. unfortunately, i didn't do this - so it will remain a "what if?" as to how many more inches i would have lost if i did. in true jasmine form, i didn't cut a single thing or restrict my eating in any way. in the 30 days there were mcdonald's, kebabs, pizza, pasta, and bread. truly carb central. the only thing i did not consciously have was alcohol except on one occasion - but this was more due to me adjusting my priorities, and putting studies before any nights out. other friends which accompanied me on the programme were: harry ramsden, colonel saunders, wagamamas, and ping pong dim sum. however, i'd also supplement the workout with long walks and other exercises when i felt like it... so maybe that's how i got away with it.

i also found that there is a really supportive e-community on twitter & tumblr with lots of people using those platforms to update how they're finding it. i'd get all sorts of tweets congratulating me, giving me advice, or sharing experiences - and that too was really nice.

after the shred
what next? well, i'm fitter, stronger, ever-so-slightly leaner and really positive about having this new thing (that is, serious fitness) in my life. i now have something that counterbalances all the crap i eat, and minimises the damage i do to my body all the time. here's to that next stage of getting a killer body! thanks to all the people (especially on twitter) who gave me kind words of support. i do really encourage anyone to do this, and trust me, you won't look back. as for blogging about these things, well, i'm hoping to make a series out of this and do detailed reviews/results for each of her dvds. :)

the diary: i kept a diary of how i was finding the workouts every day. interested? read on...

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