What Jillian Michaels has taught me about endurance | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, March 01, 2010

What Jillian Michaels has taught me about endurance

So I've been dong a lot of Jillian's 30-Day Shred lately.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this workout is so hard that sometimes I think I'm going to keel over and die right there in front of my television set.  Jillian is one tough cookie, and she doesn't allow you to make excuses or take no for an answer.  She is ruthless.

But, she gets results.  Even I can attest to that, although you might not know just by looking at me.  She did lose me a few inches off my waist in just one week so I could wear the darn dress, after all.  Problem is, I still have something like ten more to go, but that is neither here nor there.

When you are working out with Jillian, she tells you things like, "If you want to see results from a 20-minute workout, then you have to push through and just do it. You can't just phone it in."  and "It's when it gets hard that you've got to keep going, because that is when your body is going to change."  and "You can do anything for one minute."

But, you see, I really can't.  I can't do push-ups for one minute, for instance.  I have the world's weakest arms.

Really.

In college, I took a weight-lifting class to fill a P.E. credit, and I couldn't even bench press the bar, let alone adding 5 measly pounds of weight to it.  And they wanted me to be able to bench press 75% of my weight by the end of the semester!  Ha!

So, I can't do push-ups for a full minute.  Or even 30 seconds, mind you.  But, thanks to Jillian, I can do more than I could when I started because I have kept going when it got hard.

And isn't life just the same way?  I mean, we all have stuff that's hard.  Whether that be keeping our tempers, cleaning the house, or just getting out of bed in the morning.  Then of course there's the really hard stuff like death, illness and financial ruin.  None of us are exempt from the hard stuff, whatever it is.  But we still have to endure it.  To the end, just like all those push-ups and sit-ups and butt kicks Jillian says I have to endure.

And when it gets hard, sometimes I give up. I forget to endure to the end. I don't keep my temper, I don't clean the house, and I stay in bed until I can't any longer.  And where does that get me?  Nowhere.  Nothing changes. No positive results.  In fact, the more I lose my temper, leave the dishes overnight and sleep longer than is needful, the more I'll continue to do it.  It's a vicious cycle, and one that is all too easy to fall into where the hard stuff is concerned.

But Jillian says that when it gets hard, that is when the change happens.  If, and only if, you push through it and keep on going.  Every time I feel like yelling (or throwing things) and I choose not to, I am slowly changing.  I am slowly becoming the woman who doesn't give in to her anger.  The one who stays patient and calm despite the insanity around her.  Every time I clean the bathrooms when I really don't want to because there are so many other (better) things that I could be doing, I change a little bit of myself.  I start to become the mother who realizes that a clean home is a happy home, and that only a few minutes each day will make it that way.  I start to become the woman who enjoys cleaning her house, because of the satisfaction it gives her.  And every time I get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off at zero-dark-thirty, the easier it becomes the next day, and the next.  Until one day (most likely in the very distant future) I will have become a woman who actually looks forward to getting up in the morning and accomplishing great things throughout the day.

Easy?  No.

Worth it?  Yes.

So every day (okay, maybe not every day) as I'm huffing and puffing while Jillian tells me to keep going through 30 more seconds of push-ups or crunches or jumping jacks, my body will slowly change.  And every day as I face the hard things in my life head on, and endure to the end, my character will slowly change.  My attitude will change.  My spirit will change.

And someday, I will be a goddess.

And so will you.

43 comments :

  1. LOVED this post Lara! It was so completely what I needed to hear this morning too... just last night I said to my husband that I absolutely could not do this whole pregnancy thing anymore. I'm so very tired and so very sore everyday. But you're right. It will be worth it. I CAN endure.

    And really, the principles are so much better applied to general life, because one day at a time, with each little effort, we do improve. We do get better, stronger, more capable. If only it were easy to recognize the progress and keep our motivation up!

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  2. Zero-dark-thirty. Amen.

    Love this post! I have always said you can do anything for 2 weeks because I used to work spud harvest for 2 weeks every fall. I like the one minute thing better. 2 weeks is a long time! :)

    Thanks for the attitude check this morning - I needed it!

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  3. Lara, that was really quite profound. I think your analogy is spot on. Thanks for that encouragement--I have a few inches to shed, too, and more than a few character spots where I'm pretty weak.

    Nice job, on sticking with the workout, by the way!

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  4. I can so relate to this. Every morning I just want to curl up and die but I tell myself I'll feel better once I get up and start moving around. And it's true! One can always take a nap later. And the exercising--one of the best things one can do in a day. It makes such a big difference! Good for you for making Jillian your exercise guru. I'm pretty sure I could never handle her (and you don't have the world's weakest arms--I do!)

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  5. Awesome post. I love reading your posts, actually. They 1) affirm to me that you are human too, 2) give me hope for myself, and 3) usually give me a "lift" for day. Thanks for this. :)

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  6. You brought back memories of my Shred Days! Glad that's over! I'm glad you'll be able to get into the dress. Don't give up!

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  7. A goddess......I like the sound of that.

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  8. I do like Jillian's work-outs, but I don't like the end when we sit down and stretch and she turns all psychiatrist on me. I just tell her she dosen't actually know me and turn the TV off:)

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  9. This post reminds me of our Sunday school & RS lessons yesterday. Maybe Heavenly Father is trying to tell me something because of the recurring theme...

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  10. She scares the crap out of me. I can't do pushups either. Or squat for more than 10 seconds. Or barely breathe!

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  11. such a lovely post. I like another saying from a celebrity "fit" expert (only its financial fitness) Dave Ramsey says something to the effect of change only happens when the pain of doing nothing (staying the same) outweighs the pain of change. I've found that to be so true!

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  12. Love this! Thanks for the post...

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  13. What a wonderful post! And, it comes at a great time. February was mostly a down month (being sick half the time, and eating so much junk, and on and on). But, it's a new month, and I'm going to try to take advantage of that. Day by day!

    And on a Jillian note, I don't care for the pushups (they were hurting my wrists), but I'm better with them now (even though I didn't do many days of Jillian in February). I still really hate jumping jacks. I sort of "phone" some of those in. But, my goal is to do better! Glad we can sort of work on it together.

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  14. what a great post! Thank you for helping me not give-up on my fitness or my daily grind. I agree with you and have been trying to think of an eloquent way to share these feelings with my YW for the upcoming NB. This is perfect.

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  15. You go girl! Keep up the great work! I have her DVD too and am looking forward to doing it once the baby comes along! I had to chuckle a bit at your weight class to sub for P.E. credit, I did that too! Bad idea! LOL for me anyway! :) Baby steps...you will reach your goal!

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  16. I had to add this...have you heard of Flylady?

    Check her out, she is a lifesaver!

    http://flylady.com/

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  17. Lovely. Thank you for this one. Echoes so many things that I have been thinking and feeling.

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  18. I've been doing P90X for forever now! I still don't do push ups off my knees and i can only do 2 pull ups. But Man! I couldn't do that before!

    Thanks for the motivation!

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  19. I actually agree with a LOT of what she says, even if I hate her the whole time I'm doing it. I wonder how much her program for wii fit is, have you looked at that one at all?
    My favorite one is the jumping jacks and how she has 400 pound people doing them.
    Also, I do think we think that if we take the stairs a couple of times a day it's gonna do it.
    And it's just not. :)

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  20. When did you crack my head open to examine they contents? Lately things have been getting hard. Lately, I worry that maybe I CAN'T do it after all. Thanks for the reminder that now is the time to push through.

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  21. You know, I'll be this person for a while, the "I can eat this elephant one bite at a time" gal. And then, from deep down in my psyche will come this voice that says, "Why the heck are you trying to eat an elephant? The cholesterol alone will kill you1"

    So then I become that other person, the one who says, "Knock yourselves out, elephant eating fanatics! I'm happy just the way I am!"

    And that's no good, either. Oh, for a little bit of balance, just once in my life, to see if I'd actually enjoy it...

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  22. I've been doing the same DVD, and it IS a butt-kicker, but it is SO effective and therefore, worth it. Love this post. :)

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  23. So awesome, change is so hard but it takes time and is worth it. I sent you an email if you can get to it, I have a question on it.

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  24. I just have started a routine of cleaning. Because I have fallen behind in these things, the staring off has been hard. I think down the road things will be easier... I like to hope the same will go for working out. That is I put in the work things will pay out.

    And congrats on your dedication.

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  25. These are great parallels in life for sure. Though, I can't help but relate to the fact that I feel I can conquer the world more like you when I am exercising. The endorphins & increase in seratonin is awesome. This is why I like running.

    Anyway...if anything...I'm motivated to exercise more. If I could just get my bit belly a bit more comfortable.

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  26. oh dear to be 30 something and do it all over again...it would be so different, but now the only thing I can do is...just take it from here and keep the faith. Ah it was so refreshing to come across your blog, I can't remember where I did! I need to get my sweet daughter who is 30 something to read your blog...very inspiring....thank you!
    Just another mom that's been there and one that and keeps on trying...

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  27. I HATE push-ups too!!! I have one tape that has you do--no joke 50+ and I avoid doing that tape because of it. I actually have this same tape and it's a killer tape. I wish it were longer is the only thing. You would really like the Cardio Max Biggest Loser too. You can customize it however you want and there's only a few push-ups and Bob is the one having you do them. I have started to do pushups at the end of other tapes I have, just to prove to myself I can do hard things. I love feeling stronger. Pushing myself is great--especially when it's over!

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  28. I can't even tell you how fantastic this post is, how important ... thank you for putting it all into words.

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  29. Amen. Awesome post. I'm sharing this because I'm feeling almost all these things and not always doing the things I know will bring me results. Baby steps. You are awesome Lara. So glad to know you "irl" - sharla

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  30. Thank you for the personal boost, and increased motivation. I really needed to hear/read that right now! Words of Wisdom indeed.

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  31. Thank you for this post, Lara. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear it. I'm facing some big changes in my life and I needed to hear that when it gets hard is when stuff changes. Thank you so much!

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  32. It's when things get hard that change happens. What a great thought! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  33. Good post, Lara, on several counts....I am also familiar with Jillian (and I have to say I find her personality so...annoying! And arrogant!). I have yet to see results, but I've only been at it a week or two. Another good one is "Slim in 6" (Debbie Siebers). I would say she's harder than Jillian. But I do have to say that I think we all forget too often what you nailed on the head: we have to keep trying, a little bit every day to work at our weaknesses. Keep climbing the hill or else slide back down a bit. A good reminder--thank you!

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  34. I have SUCH a love-hate relationship with Jillian and her shredding. Hate doing it, love the results. I'll be firing it up again soon. Sigh...

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  35. Lara, can we be friends? Can I just keep a mini you in my pocket to give me the pep talks I need? Thank you! I was thinking of investing in a Jillian workout video but honesty I thought "no, she is too hard." Now I want to. And I want to get up before any sane human should get up so I can be with my little man who likes to get up that early... thank you!

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  36. What a great motivational and inspirational post! You are awesome!

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  37. I love the fact that the shred is only 20 min (30 with warm-up+ warm-down). It has helped me so much in the last 5 months. I bought the shred & a few days later found out that both of my parents have cancer. I did the shred in order to stay strong for them & it worked. Jillian is tough but she is right, we do get stronger. My parents are doing really well & Jillian helped me stay strong for them! My tip: write down when you work out, how you felt etc. It is nice to look back & reflect on what you have accomplished! Also, if you have time, check out my blog, where I blog about the snippets of life.

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  38. Thank you for this beautiful post. It's something that I needed at this time. I can see beyond the surface of it and see the gospel side of it. Not only do we have to endure, but we should endure with grace. Life is like a Jillian workout!

    Cathy ♥

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  39. I have the Jillian, "No More Trouble Zones" that I've been doing off and on this winter . Its brutal. I almost threw up the first few times doing it so I totally get ya! I like how you related working out to other aspects of life. Great angle!

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  40. Fantastically said! Love it!

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  41. I have her tape too. I have never thought about it like that. Good words to think about.

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  42. OH, amen, sister! I've got a lot of catch-up to do on blogs lately, because of all the self-change I'm trying to implement lately (physically, artistically, tempermentally, etc.). So this post is like balm to my very soul.

    Although I still lump exercise-for-the-sake-of-exercise in the same category with death/illness/financial ruin, because I loathe it so. So I'm working on the exercise I love: walks with a purpose, hikes, skating.

    You'll get there, I promise. Thank you for helping the rest of us see the finish line as well.

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