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Catherine Holecko

30-Day Shred: How did I do?

By April 2, 2009

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The Shredheads 30-Day Shred online challenge is officially over (and boy are my arms tired). I managed to do the Shred for 27 out of 30 days--pretty good in the face of deadlines, sick kids, and all the usual day-to-day interruptions.

While I didn't see a huge change in weight or body shape, others did; check out some of the Shredheads results posts for amazing success stories. Still, I'm glad I participated. Here's what I and some of my compatriots learned. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's nice when reality reinforces theory.

  • Exercise begets exercise. Starting each day with 20+ minutes of vigorous activity sets my mood and my goals for the rest of the day. I find myself craving opportunities to fit in a little more fitness (by, say, doing errands on foot or playing catch with my kids), and also being more aware of what I'm eating.

  • Companionship helps. This is why Weight Watchers, SparkPeople, About's Calorie Count, and smaller, homegrown projects like personal blog posts really work. Having a group, even a virtual one, with which to share your pain and your successes can be very motivating.

  • Routine rules. Waking up at 6 a.m. every day to work out quickly becomes a habit.

  • Breaking out of your comfort zone feels good. As trainer Jillian Michaels says in Level 1 of the Shred, don't assume you can't do a particular move. "I have 400-pound people doing jumping jacks. So can you!" One Shredder told me she learned "that I CAN work out despite being a wimp all my life."

  • You have more time than you think you do. Christine Koh, a Shredder and the editor of Bostonmamas.com, says, "I definitely questioned whether I could commit to a daily routine. But it occurred to me that there's plenty else that I do every single day without question. I needed to at least try because I deserved to devote 20 to 30 minutes a day to myself. Once I started, it was amazing how easy it was to take that time. And I have been so much happier for it!"

  • Exercise is made to be modified and personalized. "For the segments that I could finish easily, I swapped up to harder moves to keep challenging myself," says Koh. "For the segments that I could finish but still found challenging, I concentrated on perfecting form."

Your turn: Are you ready for a personal or family fitness challenge? Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Photo: Shredhead organizer Kristen Chase and her adorable baby, Margot; courtesy Kristen Chase

April 2, 2009 at 9:21 am
(1) Boston Mamas says:

Congrats on doing 27 out of 30 days! And for featuring this fantastic effort on your blog! -Christine

November 18, 2009 at 7:56 am
(2) Joy says:

Your not saying that you dropped the 20 pounds after the 27 days or any weight? The point is to lose weight? I thought. This is not done for fun but for weight loss.

September 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm
(3) Robin says:

Did you take before and after measurements? You could have lost several inches and it is not obvious.

June 23, 2011 at 3:19 am
(4) rebel194 says:

It works if you are dedicated enuff, it’s hard and at time brutal but worth every ounce of sweat you put into it. 31lbs down since February!

July 16, 2011 at 10:00 am
(5) Angela says:

Joy, I’ve done this before and I’ll admit I only lost around 3lbs, but I was in much better shape than before, and I was a lot stronger. I had no arm definition and after this my arms looked amazing bc I pushed myself with 5lb weights from the start. Loosing weight isn’t the only goal…it’s also to get up, get moving, and get healthier. If you don’t loose pounds, so what? You loose inches, which to me is more important anyway, and you tone up your body. What’s not to love about that???

July 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm
(6) Annie says:

that’s whats wrong with society! “its not for fun it’s to lose weight” it SHOULD be for fun otherwise you wont stick to it. Society is obsessed with this twig thin ideal and that’s just sad and wrong. muscle and health are sexy.

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