30 Day Shred – Second Round

Having enjoyed pretty amazing results from 30 Day Shred last year, it was pretty much a given that I will give it another try. Since I was diligent enough to document my experience with the program daily, it is interesting to be able to compare how my fitness level changed. As I have previously mentioned, I have quit all of my DVD workouts right after my last weightloss update, but have been figure skating almost daily since around October, which appears to have done wonders for my endurance.

Compared to last year, Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred was a walk in the park. While some of the exercises, such as push ups, have definitely taken a set back, overall, I hardly even broke a sweat. Judging from the “anterior raises” exercise from the third round, which I absolutely despised last year, even my arms appear to be stronger: I was able to do it with 5lbs dumbbells, missing just a few.

As to the results, I am not quite sure what to think. My scale is showing +0.4 lbs, and since I haven’t been taking pictures, it is hard to say whether this is a muscle gain or a result of my diet being less than perfect. I do think that I look better at my current weight than I used to look at the same weight last year, but maybe I am just not being honest with myself. In fact, I am wondering if this workout is simply no longer challenging enough to show noticeable results as it did last year. Still plan to stick around till the end, so time will show.

Check out my 2013 30 DS diary:

Weightloss Update #5

1. Height: 5’8″

2. Current Weight: 135.5lbs (-6.0lbs since last weight-in; – 20.5 lbs total)

4. Fitness Challenge: In April my fitness challenge was to complete Ripped in 30. In May, when things got crazy in school, it was to just workout at least 5 times a week, alternating Ripped in 30, 30 Days Shred, No more Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism.

5. Diet challenge: Continue to stay away from grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and any sort of processed foods. Watch portion sizes and eat only when hungry. Try not to eat between 6pm and 10am. Fast once a week from 6pm to 6pm of the following day. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day. And most importantly, to not let stress lead to long spells of bad eating.

6. How did it go: Everything considered, I think I did amazingly. I did manage to complete Ripped in 30 in April and then worked out at least 5 days a week during the first 3 weeks of May. In May, knowing that I’ll be extremely busy in school, I consciously decided not to set any strict rules for myself so that I do not to feel guilty when I can’t follow them. On the days that I did not feel like working out, I did a short workout from either 30 Days Shred or Ripped in 30, and on the days when I did, I went for No More Trouble Zones or Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. Overall, it came down to at least two long workouts per week.

7. Failures and slip-ups: There were two or three of times when I did go on a little binge, but these binges never lasted for longer than one day. Every time after it would happen I felt extremely worried that I’d go back to my naughty ways, but fortunately,  the only thing that these binges have shown me was that I really don’t care for all the crappy foods I used to crave. Don’t get me wrong, I still like me a yummy desert, but if you really listen to your taste buds, the sugary stuff that comes from the supermarket  simply does not taste good, and I am most certainly not going to cheat on my über healthy diet with anything that does not taste heavenly.

8. Results: The results, in my subjective opinion, are amazing. I am down another 6lbs since my last weight in, and for the first time in many years, I like what I see in the mirror. Overall, I have lost 21lbs and am super close to reaching my goal weight. Because I feel very comfortable in my skin right now, I am beginning to take things a bit slower: I’m still planning to workout frequently and eat clean, but my focus is not so much on losing weight but on developing a system I could stick to for the rest of my life.

9. Progress photo: You can see the rest of my progress shots here

May 26

10. Finally: And just so that you can truly appreciate the difference, a side by side comparison:

february vs may

Weightloss Update #4

1. Height: 5’8″

2. Current Weight: 140.5lbs (-5.5lbs)

4. Fitness Challenge: To complete Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred

5. Diet challenge for this week: Continue to stay away from grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and any sort of processed foods. Watch portion sizes and eat only when hungry. Try not to eat between 6pm and 10am. Fast once a week from 6pm to 6pm of the following day. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day.

6. How did it go: The last 5 days of the 30 DS were somewhat of a struggle as I got pretty bored with the workout. I took a lot of willpower not to say, “Screw it, I’m as shredded as I am ever going to be” and move on to something different. I ended up taking a one day break after day after day 8 and simply powered through the remaining two days. As far as my diet is concerned, I did very well in terms of quality of the food that I ate, but was terrible in terms of the quantity. There were a few day when all I wanted to do was eat, eat, eat, and it wasn’t even that time of the month. This emotional state got me pretty worried, but fortunately I haven’t gotten off track too much and things seem to be back to normal. Sadly, I continue to be pretty terrible about my water intake :/

7. Failures and slip-ups: On Tuesday, I decided to have banana with some peanut butter for snack and ended up devouring 3 bananas and 1/4 jar of peanut butter in under 15 minutes. This tells me that while my cravings for certain types of unhealthy foods are gone, I am still a bit of a binger and therefore should be extremely careful with my food choices. The banana episode was followed by two violations of my commitment not to eat after 6pm. This is not too bad per se, but taking into consideration that I was not hungry on either of these two occasions, still qualifies as a slip-up in my book.

8. Results: April 1st was a very exciting day as it was the first time in one month that I’ve stepped on the scale. I have lost 5.5lbs, which, I think, is a pretty decent result considering that I did not bother to count calories. In retrospective, I am very glad that I stayed away from the scale this long because I’ve been able to avoid going a bit crazy every time I weigh myself and do not see the desired result (which in my case would have been -1.5lbs per week). It happened to me many times before: I lose a little less that what I hoped for, get upset for a few seconds, promise myself to be super strict with food and exercise next week, follow this promise for a couple of day, and end up falling off the wagon because both my body and my brain rebel against limits that are way too strict. This time around, even though the numbers I saw on the scale might not have been as impressive as I hoped, the photo results were more than reassuring, so I truly could have cared less.

9. Progress photo: You can see the rest of my progress shots here

April 7

30 DS: Days 25-30

As promised, here goes my final 30 Day Shred update. The last five days of Level 3 were very much the same as the first five: tough but doable. It was nothing like Level 1, which got significantly easier after day 5-6, or level 2, which continued to kill me until the very end. Even though I liked Level 3 very much in the beginning, I’ve got pretty bored with it by day 6 or 7, which made the last few days more challenging. I even had to take a day off after day 8, which considering how good I’ve been with staying on track, says a lot. This being said, I still think that 30 Day Shred is one of the best workout DVDs out there and will be professing my love for Jillian’s workouts for a long time to come.

Even though the changes in my shape became less dramatic after Level 1, I am extremely satisfied with the final result. The most noticeable difference is definitely on the top of my body, but I think my legs are in a much better shape as well. In fact, while I look pretty much the same after Level 3*** as I did after Level 2, I think that my saddlebags situation has somewhat improved. The best part, however, is that the transformation I’ve seen does not end with looks: I feel stronger than I have ever had and have seen an absolutely amazing improvement in my endurance. While I still have a long way to go before I actually start enjoying this type of exercise, I am at a point when I no longer hate it, which is more than I could have asked for.

30 Day Shred Before and After

***DISCLAIMER: The last picture is not 100% representative of the final result as it was taken this morning, after I have been doing Ripped in 30 for 6 days.

Check out my full recap of my 30 Day Shred Experience:

30 Day Shred: Days 22, 23, and 24

I have been too busy to update on my 30 Day Shred progress in the past few days, but I am still on track. Yesterday was the fourth day of the third level, and I remain a fan. I don’t know whether it has to do with the routine that Jillian has us perform on this level or just me developing a liking for strenuous workouts, but I don’t mind pushing myself through more difficult exercises. Don’t get me wrong I still slack quite a bit, but I no longer dread the beginning of a workout or have a burning desire to turn the DVD off somewhere in the middle. At the moment, there are about five exercises that I find rather difficult, so for the remaining six days of Level 3, my goal is to improve on those. Other than that, I think I am doing pretty well.