Posts Tagged ‘Shred’

To shred or not to shred?

For the past couple of days, but particularly today, I’ve had really painful knees, and I’ve also had a little bleeding.  (One of the things noone really tells you about before you give birth – 9 months without a period and then oh-my-God they all come at once and go on and on and on…nice.  It’s called lochia and it’s bloody horrible, so to speak.  Mine stopped about 3 weeks ago which is why I was a bit worried this week to see it again.)  I wondered if I had been overdoing it with the daily shredding and did a spot of googling.

Ah.  Whoops.  Perhaps I should have researched this before starting up with the brilliant-evil-Jillian.  To be fair though, my six week check with the GP consisted of him saying ‘Are you ok?’, me replying ‘Yep’ and that was that.  (Other mums I’ve spoken to had full examinations, stitches looked at etc.  Noone likes to get naked in front of a stranger but I do wonder whether my ‘check’ was a bit half-hearted on his part!)  So I just assumed that that was the all clear and I could go ahead and start exercising.  I’m beginning to think now though that my body maybe isn’t ready, what with the gap in the abdominal muscles and the relaxin still coursing round my joints – hence, I suspect, the knee pain.  I’m taking tonight off from shredding to see whether I feel better tomorrow, but I’m gutted because I’m the kind of person who really needs to continue with something once I’ve started, otherwise it’s too easy to quit altogether.  This applies to lots of things in my life – over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a bit inclined to addiction.  I quit smoking very successfully by getting addicted to the high of being a non-smoker, and then made the classic mistake of thinking I could have ‘just one’ because as a non-smoker I could handle it.  Nope, that was another three years of smoking right there.  When I quit because we were trying to conceive I had to say to myself that that was IT forever.  (A bit like an alcoholic always being an alcoholic even if they don’t drink, I will forever be a smoker not having a cigarette.)  And similarly, of course, I cannot have one biscuit.  Oh no, it’s the pack or nothing.  So quitting shredding even for one night means I’m very likely to not do tomorrow’s work out either, and then once I’ve not done two, I might as well not do the third night, and so on and so on.

I think I need to address this as sensibly as possible and try not to punish myself if I do have to quit.  I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and then either a) continue and continue properly or b) DECIDE to quit until a later date (which I’ll put in my diary so I can’t ignore it when it comes around) rather than ‘taking it a day at a time’ which will only make me feel like I’ve failed.

Psychologically it’s important for this to be a decision, rather than a failing that creeps up on me.  Either way, I WILL complete the 30 Day Shred within the next year, whether it’s this month or when my joints are back to normal at some point next year.

On a totally different note, DD slept for 7 hours straight last night – I woke up very confused!  It was brilliant, though she cut out the 11pm feed rather than the 3pm one so I was still up in the middle of the night, and I really hope she repeats it tonight, preferably cutting the later feed this time.  DH is taking tonight’s shift (on a work night, bless him) so I can get some rest – fingers crossed for a good night!


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The website My Virtual Model, found at is a great motivational tool.  It’s really for ‘trying on’ different styles of clothes, but if you ignore the clothes and focus on the model herself you get a good idea of what you’d look like at different weights.  Here’s me at 13st 10lbs and me at 10st:

Quite a difference!  (The site only allows you to have small/medium or medium/large breasts though.  Hah!  No option for the more realistic ‘bloody enormous’.)  Fingers crossed in a year or less I’ll look more like the second picture…

I haven’t used the site above to look at clothes or think about style, mainly because I like to think that I dress quite well whatever my size.  In reality of course, there are things I wear and then look back on and wonder what on earth I was thinking.  As a chubster my main strategy has been to wear clothes loose enough to ‘skim’ over any rolls, but slim-fitting enough to not make me look like a giant, walking tent.  That’s actually quite a tall order.  My main trouble has always been my tummy, which I can’t remember ever being flat, even when I was otherwise pretty slim.  The key is to wear jumpers and tops that are loose-ish over the shoulder and fairly long, so they cover a bit of hip, but quite straight up and down in the middle to disguise the flab.  (Though you’ve got to be careful with fabric as this can quickly look very 80s if you get it wrong.)  I also love my ‘Not Your Daughters’ Jeans’, which I mentioned the other day.  They are very American – quite high waisted.  They slightly run the risk of making you look like a 90s Deep South line dancer (just add cowboy boots for instant fashion suicide) but I tend to wear tops that hide quite how high they come up so it’s less of a problem.  I don’t know how they do it but they manage to suck you in like a corset would and simultaneously lift your bum a good couple of inches.  They are genius.  Unfortunately they’re also cripplingly expensive – about £170 which is the same price as proper designer jeans, and which I resent a bit!  Thank goodness for Black Friday.

The other thing I rely on a lot is dresses.  With boobs as ridiculous as mine shirts are impossible (unless worn over a vest and only buttoned over the stomach, which can look very slutty very quickly when your cleavage threatens to suck in and drown passers by) and I don’t tend to wear t-shirts as they can look stretched over the chest (again, slutty), not to mention a bit teenager-ish I think.  Dresses get over the modesty problem and can be dressed up or down depending.  I rely a lot on places that cut for curves like Hobbs and Jigsaw.  Whistles dresses are fabulous and made for my figure – I love them and wish I could afford more.  I loved Boden’s maternity range but find their normal range quite slim fitting.  I’ve bought trousers from them before that are flattering on my legs, fit my bum, look great from behind but won’t zip up at all – my hips are too big for the way they cut I think.  The perennial hour-glass fashion favourite of Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses are also brilliant, but they’re so expensive I only have two and they don’t currently fit.  Another reason to get to goal as quickly as possible!

A little-admitted problem of the modern fatty is the dreaded thigh chafe.  There is not much that is more unpleasant, and it makes tights or leggings a must with dresses.  I didn’t really get leggings until I was pregnant; I remembered a couple of horrendous BHS pairs my mother made me wear when I was at primary school (it was the 80s, to be fair) and vowed never to wear them again, but they’re far more useful and flattering than I gave them credit.  I still don’t get the three-quarter length ones worn with tops that don’t cover the bum though.  Just, why?!

Today is day four of the 30 Day Shred.  Just got to kick DH off the X-box so I can switch on Jillian in all her glory.

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30 Day Shred.

Yesterday I did Day One of the 30 Day Shred.  It’s a work out DVD by Jillian Michaels, who apparently is one of the trainers on the USA version of ‘The Biggest Loser’.  She has the most incredible figure but my God the woman’s a sadist.  She says things like, ‘Do you want to die?  Tough, you lily-livered flabby piece of crap!’  OK, she doesn’t actually say that.  It’s more, ‘Do you want to die?  Watch trainer X for the modified version of the moves,’ but the rest of it is implied by her demonic, red-flashing eyes.

The program works on the basis of doing short circuits several times with no breaks.  There are three levels and you do each one for 10 days or until you’re no longer challenged, then move on to the next one.  Level One is quite like an old-school gym class; there are star jumps, skipping, sit ups, press ups etc.  You do 3 minutes of strength work, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs exercises, then two more circuits (but with different exercises so you don’t get bored).  The good thing is that because you’re only ever doing any one exercise for about a minute, when you feel like you’re about to collapse you know it’s not for much longer.  The other thing that’s really great is that the whole thing only takes 20 minutes, (1 minute warm up, 3x 6 minute circuits, 1 minute cool down) so there’s little excuse for missing a day.  (Apart from the annoyance of constantly washing gym clothes I suppose.)  Whether I’ll be able to stick it out for 30 days I don’t know, but I hope so – the potential results are impressive going by the reviews I’ve read online.  I’m certainly knackered today, and I’ve only done Level One once!


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