I wrote last time about my adventures with Jillian Michaels: the building of my muscles, in some cases long atrophied muscles, the balancing of my body’s strength the relearning of what my body can really do.

The program I’m doing, “Body Revolution”, is a program that builds on the weeks before it. Six days a week, cardio with weight training and each successive set of weeks gets harder and more intense. Of course what that means is that I am fatigued by the end of the week and sore. But that is a very small price to pay, and in comparison to the excruciating pain I was in, muscle soreness is a walk in the park!

In the previous blog I described how my first go around with Jillian (with bad hips) and even my second go around (with new hips) I had trouble doing many of the exercises even with modifications. Or as my husband calls it, the weeny version (the smart alec).

Even with the new hips, stamina and strength eluded me. I made some small progress, but it wasn’t nearly what I had hoped for. The weight loss was also elusive. With Jillian’s Body Revolution I was supposed to see rapid decrease in weight and despite watching what I ate, I had very little success.

With so little to show, despite doing what I was supposed to, by all the articles by nutritionists and dieticians and health gurus, I wasn’t getting any real results. If you worked hard and ate right and got very little to show for it, how would you feel? Probably the same way I felt…frustrated and depressed. I blamed myself. I tried reading more articles, researched vitamins and supplements. I tried those various supplements and vitamins, and still nothing much. My body had a “meh” response, so I basically gave up.

Then, I was introduced to a new line of supplements that gave me hope. I could eat healthy and eat organic until the cows came home and as I had mentioned in a previous blog post, I wouldn’t get all the nutrition I needed. The supplements I was taking (no one “called my baby ugly” in regards to my supplements, and I’m not going to do that to yours either-we all have our favorites) may work great most of the time, or some of the time, but not all of the time due to the FDA not regulating what goes into a bottle and in what dosages. That includes all the vitamins that we assume have what they say they have in the bottle (I’ll speak more on a lack of regulation and what that means for you and your family in a later post).

The supplements I take are organic, whole plant, and whole food based, but even more assuring is that they are in the Physician’s Desk Reference, the bible of doctors and pharmacists. They act as a third party regulator, so what is listed in the bottle, in the levels it says, are what is in the bottle.

I started taking organic sulfur for inflammation and asthma.  My asthma is under control, without steroids, for the first time in years. I took a liquid cleansing supplement to flush my abused body of the steroids, toxins and built up crap. The liquid daily vitamin (with a crazy amount of nutrients plus herbs, including methylated B vitamins) once drunk felt like liquid energy pumped into my system. Junk food began to taste awful, and I stopped craving them. Healthy foods tasted good, and were enjoyable.

But the work out line is what really wowed me. Taking their herbal capsules and drink powders made workouts count. I was stronger, had stamina I’d never had before. I build muscle faster and inches have started to come off like I’d never had before. I wondered that something, whole plant, and whole food that made me feel that great during a workout could be legal, thank goodness it is!

My defining moment, my “oh, my gosh” moment, came when I could  do an exercise Jillian is fond of and that I could only do with a modification…plank.  For those of you not familiar with plank, it’s a yoga move called Kumbhakasana (koom-bahk-AHS-uh-nuh), where the shoulders are held aligned over over the wrists and the back, butt, and legs are held in a straight line with the spine, tilted at a slightly upward angle to the shoulders, feet resting gently on the balls, toes curled under for balance. It sounds simple and when Jillian, and her crew of extremely fit folk do it, it looks simple.

For me plank was anything but simple. My core muscles and thigh muscles were so weak I had to resort to half plank, where I put my knees on the floor and tilted my torso instead of resting on the balls of my feet. But this time something was different – very different. I not only could I hold full plank for a minute, I could do plank moguls and plank punches (where I punched the air with one hand while balancing in plank with the other). I could do plank with one hand, even if I did it awkwardly or clumsily, I can do it now!

I couldn’t have done it without the proper nutrients to my muscles and my organs. I am finally finding out what my body can really do and it’s amazing! Jillian says if you believe, you will achieve. And that’s true to some extent but belief sometimes needs proper pragmatic action. I believe that now my body has what it needs, it, me, we can achieve. Because now, Neely can be a plank!


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