So I had one of those Christmases, you know? The ones that basically last all December, involve an entire vat of Quality Street, and leave your stomach looking like the rippling sea of Prosecco you consumed; the kind that leaves you in January unable to wear a chunky sweater under your coat and still button it up, desperately typing 'what is clean eating?' into Google, ordering chia seeds even though you have no idea what to do with them, and finally turning to exercise because you realise there's no way you're ever going eat kale.
I have a gym membership and the gym is IN MY BUILDING, like I literally don't even have to go outside to get there, but sometimes a girl needs something even easier - as in, exercise that you really don't even have to bother to get dressed for. Ergo, I decided to buy an exercise DVD. My research for this basically consisted of 'which ones promise results in the quickest time imaginable?' and I came up with the 30 day shred. It seemed pretty ideal because my sister's wedding is in about six weeks' time, which means I can aim to fit in the 30 days before then (you know, because of all the days when I'll be out, or ill, or so lazy that even getting off the sofa and removing my fluffy slippers seems too hard). And it was £5.99, so I got it.
(Sidenote: I considered Charlotte-from-Geordie-Shore's DVD too. My sister has this and says it is very good. But it looked like it took quite a long time to complete it all, and I know I am a cheat and would start doing 3 minutes a day and it would be rubbish, so I chose not to get it.)
I decided I am going to blog about my experience using the DVD because 1.) I think it's interesting and I would like to read this sort of thing and 2.) because otherwise I will definitely, 100% do like three days of it and then put the DVD inside my 'Gossip Girl Season 2' boxset and never ever use it again.
I am not going to tell you what I weigh or anything but at the end I will say if I lost any weight (and how much) and if I lost any inches. I am eating relatively healthily at the moment, around endless glasses of white wine (why would anybody not drink in January?! January was MADE for drinking) and I do a bit of exercise on the side, as it were, but not enough to drastically make a difference.
Basically the format of the DVD is that there are three workouts; you do Level 1 for 10 days, and then work your way up to Level 2, and once you've done that for 10 days you do Level 3 and then at the end you look like one of those 'body inspiration' girls on Pinterest. There's a diet, which I won't follow because it doesn't seem to involve white wine, caramel lattes or toasted cheese sandwiches on hungover Saturday mornings, and that's about it. Simple enough.
Jillian leads the session with two equally terrifyingly toned women behind her, one doing the full movements, one doing a 'modified' version that is 'easier' in the sense that she looks slightly closer to the terrible approximation of the movements you will be doing in your own home. Word to the wise; don't do this workout in front of a mirror. It's terribly disappointing.
The warm up involves a minute of star jumps, by the end of which I already feel exhausted and want a lie down. Then there's intervals - basically, two minutes of cardio, two minutes strength training and one minute of abs - and a cool down. It takes around 30 minutes if you include the warm up and cool down, which doesn't seem very long but on my first attempt is pure hell.
I fail miserably almost immediately - I cannot do press ups, not even on my knees - my arms are on fire and I keep nose planting the rug, which I realise, this close to it, is in definite need of a hoover. I prefer the next exercise, although I don't have any weights, so I use two jars of madras paste. Again - don't look in the mirror.
At the end I am sweating and hot and yet I feel happy. I do always get a good buzz out of exercising, but I am surprised by how good a workout I feel that I've got in just 20 minutes. Bath and caramel latte - well deserved.
I wake up the next day aching like a bitch, to be honest, which isn't all that shocking considering I haven't exercised properly in weeks. I do the routine, and it's hard at first, but I focus on how many press ups I can do, rather than sticking with Jillian's manic bobbing up and down. I can do ten each time - I want to get that number up. By the end of the routine I've loosened up a bit, which is nice, but at the end of the day this has reverted to insanely stiff legs and I can barely use my arms at all. I really don't think the warm up is particularly effective! Rest day tomorrow, I think...(and so it begins!)