I was in a state of blissful ignorance when I ordered the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred on a late September day. I’d heard it was effective, but not much else. I lost my innocence in a hurry when I ran out and threw up in the middle of Day 1.

Yes, I did.

Obviously, that first day scared me a bit and I only did the workout 3 more times until a couple of weeks ago when a doctor’s appointment made me realize that I’m actually having health issues—primarily excessively swollen ankles, which can lead to blood clots—from lack of exercise. My doctor recommended walking 2 miles a day, but winter temperatures brought Jillian and the Shred (what does that mean, anyway?) to mind.

I watched the DVD counter carefully: it was somewhere between the 15- and 16-minute mark when my body decided it had had enough on that first day. When I finished and lived to tell, I posted it to Facebook, as I have every time since then. The crazy thing is that other ladies are jumping on the 30 Day Shred bandwagon with a growing number either ordering it or dusting off neglected copies.

It’s a personal victory every time I pass that 16-minute mark and it’s getting easier. I finish stronger than I start and my ankles improved by the second day.

I’d thought of starting a private Facebook exercise support group, but then we wouldn’t keep adding new members. We sometimes exceed 50 responses in the comment thread on a status update. It’s fun to laugh, compare notes, and encourage. Believe me, I need encouragement to keep slipping that DVD in the player each day.

I’ve currently punched and lunged and crunched and jump roped and chest flied/flew/flown and listened to Jillian talk about “phoning it in” for 7 days (not counting the original 4) until I think I could recognize a “false message of lethargy” just as quickly as the next gal.

I won’t name my fellow Shreders here, because there’s “no shame” in bailing (I turned that one around, didn’t I?).

Have you ever tried the 30 Day Shred? Did you finish? Did you switch to levels 2 and 3 or stay at 1? Are you doing it now? (Do you want to?)

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