Dear Jillian Michaels,
I purchased your exercise DVD called “30 Day Shred” just over a month ago. I had a high hopes. You promised me I would be “shredded” in just 30 days and lose weight. For some reason I still can’t see my abdominal muscles. Are they still there after childbirth? All I see is a pooch (and I’m not talking about my puppy) and love handles. And no one informed my hips I’m not pregnant anymore and my baby is almost 4-years-old!
Maybe the promises in the DVD are geared more toward non-child bearing women. My body has not been the same since baby Baniewicz number four. (My children are numbered because I can’t remember their names.) The reasons my body might be disobeying me could be my age (gravity is no longer my friend), lack of discipline to exercise daily (I’d rather check email for thirty minutes instead), and this chocolate chip cookie dough addiction I’ve suffered from my entire life. It just calls to me. It might also have something to do with this erratic chocolate craving that came out of nowhere a few years ago. Does that normally happen when women turn 40? I never understood it before and suddenly I’ve joined those women who can smell a cocoa bean from miles away. What’s wrong with me?
If I were to be completely honest, I have to admit I haven’t done the workout for 30 consecutive days. This could certainly be slowing down my results. Maybe I’m more the “shredded in 120 days” type, although I’m not holding my breath. If I’m going to be entirely honest, I have to confess I haven’t made it past level two. I’m frightened to advance to level three guaranteeing the “highest level of intensity” (pain, agony … whatever you prefer to call it). I believe during the level two workout I recall you saying, “I want you to be hating life right now.” Really? Is that what you want? Because that scares me. Does it mean level three might actually kill me? In the beginning, after having completed level one, I couldn’t walk down the stairs without saying, “Ow, ow, ow,” with each step. I need to be able to care for my children after exercising. That’s non-negotiable.
With that said, I think it’s in my best interest to ask for a refund. Isn’t there some kind of money back guarantee? Why don’t I look like you or those other two seriously toned women in the video with rock-hard abs? My only other thought is that you come over to my house everyday and make me workout. I’ve heard from friends you’re extremely motivating on that TV show, “The Biggest Loser.” Maybe I just need you live and in person in my living room. Although I’m not entirely sure how much more pain I want to endure, check your calendar. See if you have 30 consecutive days to give me your undivided attention. Have your people call my people (which in my case means any of my five children or my husband), and we’ll set something up.
There are times I wear different hats as a mother. Like “Juggle 80 Things at Once Mom,” (something I’ve gotten better at the more children I’ve had), “Flexible Mom,” (able to completely change plans in minutes), and “Zen Mom,” (staying calm in stressful situations.) This last one has never been one of my strengths. I admire people who can stay calm during complete chaos.
I’ve never been a strong believer in the saying “when it rains, it pours.” I tend to be more optimistic than that, but after this one particular day, I guess sometimes the rain just keeps coming. There was so much simultaneous chaos within 15 minutes I thought the world was going to implode.
It all started when the kids got home from school. It’s that fabulous time of day when everyone’s tired and hungry and within minutes will be headed in different directions to athletic practices. This is my “Juggle 80 Things at Once” hat I wear often. From experience, I had everything organized that day. (One gift I’ll be forever grateful for.) Then my world quickly took a stressful turn. It started with a text from my husband explaining that the houseguest I was picking up from the airport was arriving an hour and a half early. Early? I’d never heard of such a thing. What airline was that? I quickly rearranged my schedule and wondered how long my husband knew about this information before he told me. I was temporarily wearing my “Angry Wife” hat at that moment.
I quickly switched into “Flexible Mom.” Not a hat I love, but I’ve learned to just go with it. I changed the dinner menu to frozen pizza, that emergency stash of meals kept on hand for days exactly like this. I’d make it up later with something nutritious. (Yea, in my dreams.) I yelled for my daughter to get the pizza out of the freezer downstairs. In the meantime the phone rang. My sister called long distance to tell me my nephew was in a life-threatening situation in the emergency room. By far, this took precedence over everything and I started packing in my head and was ready to book a flight the minute we hung up.
In the meantime, my daughter headed downstairs while I was still on the phone. In seconds, she frantically yelled, “Mom, there’s water everywhere down here! It’s flooded!” With this latest news not quite registering yet, I yelled back, “Just get the pizza!” She came back upstairs and said, “Uh mom, nothing’s cold in the freezer or the fridge.” And she meant nothing. Still on the phone I couldn’t even deal with that at the moment. I tried to switch to “Zen Mom” and tell myself I’d deal with the flood later. I needed to know more about my nephew and try to stay calm for my sister, too, even though internally I was freaking out. I tuned out all the chaos in my own house for those few minutes. She told me not to do anything yet about her situation and she’d call me back with an update.
As the day turned into night, it stopped raining, pouring, hailing, whatever you want to call it. With great relief, I received news that my nephew was released from the hospital. I made it to the airport to pick up our houseguest, the plumber took care of the flood, and it turned out the fridge wasn’t broken. My youngest child changed all the dials. By far, I wouldn’t say this was the worst day of my life. It was just another day as a mom; only I had to wear several hats this particular day. Life always goes on.