Monday Monthly Mission #22

September 5th, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.


Oh man, I am SORE!

Today, for the first time, I did a real work out. None of this cutesy “happy healthy mama” stuff. No way. Today . . . I met Jillian.

I’m a pretty dang active lady. I do my little videos a few times each week. I walk the dogs almost every day, while wearing a toddler on my back. I go for a bike ride almost every afternoon, while carting a toddler on my handlebars. I walk said toddler to sleep every night, for about 45 minutes, while wearing him on my chest. And you know, this particular toddler never. stops. moving. so I’m also running around constantly, in between all those activities.

So I maintain my weight pretty easily, I have some lean muscle, and my heart is fairly strong, I think. But still, I’m not necessarily toned. I’m not even as strong as I’d like to be. Mostly, I’ve never, in my whole life, attempted to get “cut”. By which I mean, to *really* get into shape.

But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about health outside of diet. About wellness beyond nutrition. About holistic healing, and whole-person happiness.

This month, I’m going to focus on fitness. I’m going to strive for strength. Build muscle. Feel my body become powerful. Challenge my own physical limits. Heighten my metabolism . . . and my abilities. Sweat out some toxins. Increase endorphins. Combat cortisol and, hopefully, help to manage my stress.

I’ll be working through Jillian’s 30-Day Shred, – a serious ass-kicking of a workout – with the end goal of completing level 3 without stopping, at the end of the month. And I’m really excited for this one, guys!

So what about you? Do you accept this mission? Do you already have a fitness routine that you’re ready to take to the next level, or will you be starting from square one and jumping in for the first time?

***As an aside, remember you can always hit your local library for awesome workout videos/dvds without spending any money. Or, check out tons of great options on youtube.


Next month will be the second installment of the Bonzai Book Club, which switches off with the Monday Monthly Mission, alternating every other month. I know that reading can be time-intensive, and we’re a very busy bunch of movers and shakes around here. So I always give you the reading assignment a month ahead, at the end of the MMM post, in case you want to get a head start:

Our next BBC selection is Ellen J. Langer’s Counter Clockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. I’m so excited to read this book! I’ve been dying to get my hands on it ever since I heard the author interviewed a few years ago. She’s brilliant and whip-smart with a wonderful sense of storytelling, and I think we’ll all learn so much from her. See you next month!

If you want to support the work I do here, please consider purchasing Counter Clockwise through my Amazon Store. Buy used to go green!

  • Janine @ Alternative Housewife

    Awesome! I am on Day 8 of the Shred so this couldn’t be more timely! I am trying to kick off the baby weight as my son’s first birthday is this month and I am still 20 pounds from my pre-baby weight.

    It’s so annoying, because if I had been this active (baby-toddler active) before I had my child, I would be LIKE OMG SKINNY. I used to be so, so sedentary and still maintained a decent weight.

    But the health aspect is the big one as I get into the workout. I miss feeling strong and in shape, and I love feeling the muscle when I do something routine like put my hands on my hips.

    Here’s too getting totally SHREDDED. :)

  • Kathryn B

    Challenge accepted!

    I’m excited for this month! After being down for several weeks from shunt surgery and not being able to lift or do any activity I’m ready to get back on my workout routine. Can’t wait to take this journey with everyone!

    P.S. Great choice with Jillian! I love her workouts!

  • Mary

    I accept!!!! My first fitting for my wedding dress is in January and I need to get some serious rear in gear!!

  • Kathrynbickel

    I have a question. If we buy through your Amazon store does it support you? Do you receive a portion of the proceeds?

  • Minna Toots

    YES! That’s exactly what I was hoping for! I’m trying to find the time&money for a fitness club, but if that doesn’t work out, I’m just going to work out at home with the help of YouTube for example :)

    Good luck and willpower to everyone!

  • Joselle Palacios

    I’m in. This is an area of my life that definitely needs tending. I walk daily and workout a few times a week but I really need to ramp it up to everyday and get more movement in general.

    Oh, if you want a really tough workout DVD, have you tried Amy Bento? I call one of her intervals in her Hi/Lo Challenge DVD the vomiter because I feel like vomiting after doing it. You know, in a good way. She’s phenomenal. I sweat more doing one of her WARM-UPS than I do when COMPLETING some of the other videos I have.

  • Anonymous

    I accept.

    I’ve been working cardio, weights, and blogilates (<3 her, they are free & great community too)since moving to pdx. My goal is to reach my desired weight/strength level and maintain it the next 10 years.

    Cheers everyone!

  • Alina S

    I am stoked for this! I’ve been thinking I need to work out more lately. I just moved, and without regular company rehearsals I’ve been feeling sluggish. But I’m in Long Beach CA with bike trails and yoga galore, so no excuse not to exercise!

  • Angela

    I definitely could benefit from getting in on this. I do have lots of whiny excuses, though, not the least being that I am taking a full load of classes and have to do a ton of reading/working out problems. Therefore I am forced to sit on my bum most of the day. BUT that probably means I could benefit from the stress relief and other health benefits even more. I accept! Except I have no idea what workout I’ll try….

  • raechel

    I *love* Jillian. I worked my way through 30-day Shred last year, to the point that I was doubling up on the routines (as in, doing part 2 and 3 consecutively). Since that stopped being as challenging, I was thrilled to get her new DVD, Ripped in 30. It’s even *more* intense, so you have something to look forward to!

    My fitness goals for the new school year (I’m a grad student and a teacher, so, yeah, my “new years” are still based on the academic calendar) are to get my running mileage up again–haven’t run more than 6 miles since my 1/2 marathon almost a year ago–and to do yoga daily (in addition to whatever cardio or strength training I do). I got a Groupon to Corepower, so hopefully I’ll take full advantage of that! : )

  • Emily

    That’s great! My fiancé and I JUST started running, so I’ll be doing this MMM right along with ya! I really want to get into shape and get my butt kicked!!

  • Emily

    That’s great! My fiancé and I JUST started running, so I’ll be doing this MMM right along with ya! I really want to get into shape and get my butt kicked!!

  • Moiramia

    PERFECT timing. I started my own 30 day challenge today to get in shape for my Peru trip. And I can use ALL the motivation I can get. So excited!

  • Emily Alicea

    I’ve started Jillian’s 30DS before but I never finished. Seeing this has inspire me to do the challenge along with you. I’ve been telling myself to start it again for two weeks, but I need a kick in the pants.

    I’ll start tomorrow and supplement it with running. I’ve lost a lot of endurance since my classes have started and I’ve had to stop daily tennis workouts.

  • Katie

    I am totally on board with this one. Jillian scares me a little, but I already vowed to myself to do yoga much more often this month and even go running, which is something that I have yet to really bond with. I guess it would round things out nicely to add this DVD to the pile of ways to keep myself sane when the new semester begins, right? (A sidenote: when I typed that last sentence, I forgot to include the word “sane.” See, it’s beginning already).

  • Melisa

    Over the last few months, I have seen my body transformed by regular zumba classes, and have recently added CHALLENGING boot camp classes to the regimen. At 32, I’m honest-to-goodness in the best shape of my life. I’m happy about a nicer body, but the biggest benefit by far is the happiness boost. If I miss a workout, I really feel the effects. I think if more people worked out, it would snatch money right out of the hands of big pharma. Not that EVERYBODY on anti-depressants could just do vigorous exercise instead, but I know the mental results can be amazing.
    While I am good to go on physical fitness, today happens to be day one of no-more-stalling, jumping-off-the-cliff, shut-up-and-just -do-it veganism, so I WILL be pushing myself, just in a slightly different way from y’all. :)

  • Evebeasco

    I’m in! I just ordered my dvd and will be picking up a copy of the book club book from the library soon! So excited! I do taebo 2-3 times a week and I think that is a butt-kicker so I’m a littler nervous about Jillian, but certainly up for the challenge!

  • Sarah Jessi Smith

    Fing YES!

    I’m so pumped dude! School is back in, I’m back in the gym, following a REAL routine, and with it being closed today I’m gonna pop in my 30 day shred dvd too! I have her yoga and shred with weights dvd’s too that I may alternate between.

    I’m also starting to get going on a work out from, the specific one I’m doing is but I realize that may be too much with the Waits and all! I’m psyched, I’m so ready to like my body more, and push it farther than I ever have before. I’m excited to do this with you! Great challenge! Health isn’t only about eating, it’s so important that it encompasses working out too!

  • Anonymous

    I am so on board.

  • Erin

    Nice. My coworker is doing 30 day shred, and has been saying that it’s kicking her ass bigtime. I’m currently on week 7 of couch to 5k, and looking to run a 5k in October without stopping. Maybe once I’ve got that down I’ll move on to something like 30 day shred.

  • Mrixey

    I was already thinking about re-starting this- it has been about a year since I did this work out and REALLY need to start doing something!

  • Mrixey

    I was already thinking about re-starting this- it has been about a year since I did this work out and REALLY need to start doing something!

  • Sara Ann

    I’m really excited about this! I’ve been needing to run more regularly and now I have some solidarity.

  • Olivia Bonney

    I accept! I do yoga once a week, and dance every now and again….but its time to kick it up a notch for sure :D I think I will start with biking and more dancing

  • Jes

    I’m totally in!

    Actually, I just started going to yoga on Sept 1st (didn’t plan for that date, just kind of happened that way). I’m totally hooked, and the hot yoga classes are soooooo awesome! The feeling of sweating that much is pretty dang wonderful. You’d figure it would be quite oppressive, but I always leave the studio feeling a lot better in my body and mind. The heat makes you more flexible, so I definitely feel it afterwards!

  • Lacey

    This might sound kind of funny, but levels 2 and 3 are easier than level 1 on the 30 day shred. :)

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Ha – I call one of my spin instructors The Vomitress, because her classes force me to push myself in a way I never can with running. And I totally know what you mean about “in a good way”!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    W00t!! You know I’m in! I was nursing a couple of mild injuries before the WD last month, and now that everything’s all healed up I’m ready to really REALLY push myself! I’ll be focusing on adding some speedwork to my running routine, and ramping up my yoga practice.

    Hooray for “holistic healing, and whole-person happiness.”

    And I cannot stop laughing at your description of Waits and how he never stops moving. Nina was the same way, and I swear her energy levels just keep getting higher. She’s a smart cookie, too — she attributes her “Super Duper Nina Energy!” to her diet. =D

  • Selina

    This is PERFECT! I have really been an on-off exerciser my whole adult life (so, the last few years haha). I did lots of sports in high school, then next-to-nothing once I graduated and while pregnant for my first baby. I was really into exercise as a weight loss tool after that- looking back it was a pretty unhealthy amount. Then, when I got pregnant for my second, I began a daily prenatal yoga practice and scaled back from running to walking every other day. Once my son was born, though, I stopped exercising for awhile. Then this spring I trained for and ran a half-marathon. Since then- nothing. Sporadic runs and even less-frequent yoga sessions. GAH! I am so in!

  • Erinuminn

    This is something that I usually am pretty good about, though the summer months found me relaxing and vacationing and I need something to motivate me and kick it back into high gear. I think the cooler weather helps the motivation, as it is no fun to do intense workouts in scorching, muggy summer weather when the lake is calling my name ;)

  • Erinuminn

    I also had a quick question that I hoped you (or someone here!) could answer for me. I’m not vegan/vegetarian, though I am thinking of a switchover for health reasons. I’ve had horrible, HORRIBLE chronic sinitus (as does my mom) that improves significantly whenever I cut out dairy/meat/wheat/high-sugar products. (Gee, Erin….lightbulb?) Drs. keep throwing medication and the possibility of surgery at me, though I want something preventative and healing for long-term wellness. Anyway, for a newbie, what are your book/documentary recommendations on this subject? Not so much as a “why” to eat plant-based and whole foods, but a “how-to”. I need something that helps me to develop my new diet, such as your website here. Is your new vegan pregnancy book a good go-to for those who are not currently pregnant? I am looking for any and as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions for my family and I.

    Thank you!

  • Sonja (zerowastelifestyle)

    I am 42 and boy do I need to be careful these days about getting my exercise. (Baby number 2 for me arrived when I was 38.) I have been practicing Ashtanga yoga for 12 years now. Last year I added a jump rope workout to up my cardio fitness and to work those abs a bit more. After a lazy summer of little walking and not picking up my jump rope once, my abs tell me that it is time to get jumping again……I have no trouble staying motivated to do yoga, but the jump rope business……..aaaaaghhhh I hate it. I have promised myself I will start jumping three times a week again…..

  • Alexander Samons

    All right, I’m in.
    It was kind of hard to pick something though because I need something that doesn’t require a gym for personal reasons and couldn’t require any actual equipment because I’m totally broke and if I had money I’d be spending it on tuition and my anthropology textbook I’ll need later this month, not work out stuff.
    Anyway, I ended up choosing the work-out shown at the website on the bottom (ignore the picture/instructions for squats, that is an old method that has been since proven to be horrible for your knees so I’m going to do them the right way because I like my knees).
    It doesn’t take any equipment, it sidesteps the whole ‘gym’ issue, and it shouldn’t take too long. I’m thinking three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday (so I get to start tomorrow morning when I get up for school).
    (I am not however starting at the amount of repetitions listed because I haven’t done stuff like this since middle school [yeah, I completely bailed on high school gym, I hated it].)

  • Rebecca

    That’s so funny—I just recommitted myself to working out (especially after FINALLY recovering from throwing my back out..oy!). AND I just started a Jillian M. video! I have to say, I was very judge-y about her but I really enjoyed the workout (and her in it..go figure!). Tried to follow the whole Tracy Anderson thing (her body is siiiick! and, I like dancing) but I can’t stand the videos! I was so disappointed. They were hard to follow and it drove me crazy that she/the other leaders don’t modify what they say for the viewers at home (i.e. since they are facing the viewer, when they use their right leg they should say “left leg!” Argh..either translating what she said or trying to do it backwards was so irritating (NOT what you want a workout to be!)

    Also, I hear ya’ about feeling like you’re in shape and then getting your a$$ kicked. I definitely think to myself, “I am active…I run around after kids all day long and walk my dog.” No dice. All that activity *is* great..but I need to stop kidding myself—a workout it is not!

  • Kate

    Holy Shit. I started today. No weights. HOW DOES SHE MAKE YOU SO SORE IN 20 MINUTES? I swear at her a lot, but I bet she likes it.

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    With a testimonial like that, how can I NOT track this dvd down and hop on the Jillian bandwagon? I can work my shred AND my potty mouth.

  • Jen

    We tried Level One and it kicked out butts. Mike and I were sooo sore. Unfortunately, he hurt his foot soon after so we’re holding off, but for the past two months we’ve been eating better and working out. We track all of our food and exercise on myfitnesspal too. Constant Vigilance! Hopefully we’ll re-start Jillian soon!

  • Kory Rigler

    Seriously. I was thinking ‘eh, I’ll just do my own workout’. Then I read your comment. Now I need to find shred, lol.

  • Endless Summer

    Ok, after a week of deliberating, petulance and a general loathing of working out I have caved, count me in. Starting a degree course in Holistic and Spa therapies without *actually* feeling like I’m doing my own bit for whole-person health is a bit hypocritical, so I’m biting the bullet and ignoring my loathing and getting on with it.

    Thank you Sayward, I needed that kick up the jacksy!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Jillian arrives in the mail tomorrow. I’m a teensy bit scared.

  • Kathryn B

    Ok, I’m so excited and have to share. I have lost the 10 pounds I gained while recovering from surgery! And I’m starting devil dogg crossfit next weekend!!! One of my co-workers son-in-law is the instructor and is going to get us started.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    What perfect timing! We must be in sync. =)

    Also, I too am one who holds a little extra padding while nursing. I think some women just are built that way. Ah well, it’s worth it!

  • Kate

    Yeah! I hope you guys got the DVD. She says things like “Yeah, we’re right there with you guys, doing it with you” and I say “YOU STUPID [wheez]…YOU LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD AND YELL AT PEOPLE FOR A LIVING AND I HATE YOU”

    That being said, I’m 7ish days in and I can get through level 1 without dying. I think after tomorrow I’ll be able to move on to the next level. Ugh, I have NO upper body strength!

    I don’t see major changes yet, but I can feel them!! Also, I skipped the weekend and drank the whole time, because it was my birthday….so that could have something to do with it. ;)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Hey Kathryn, sorry for the late response, but yes! Any time you buy thru my store I get a small cut. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Hey Joselle, I’ve never even heard of her. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll check it out! =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Ohmigod that is gnarly, how long did it take you to get to the point where you were doubling up? That’s intense!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    You can do it lady. <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I totally want to do a c25k, what program are you following?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    That’s hopeful! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It’s true, plant-powered kids run FAST! ;-)