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At-Home Fitness: Aka “Best Laid Plans”

May 27, 2013

Editors Note: I’m always cautious when writing about fitness or diet on this blog. I have learned a great deal from friends who have battled eating disorders and body issues in the past (and are still managing these disorders), and I know that commenting on fitness/diet trends can sometimes act as a trigger for them. So, with that said, I’d warn anyone reading further that this is an examination of fitness trends where I do talk about my hopes for my post-pregnancy body. If that might upset you, please feel free to read our archives instead where there is a great deal of content on other fun things to keep you amused while you enjoy your morning coffee. To the others who are hoping to learn more about at-home fitness videos, stick with me. I’ll need your advice.

Ally: As I wind down on this pregnancy, and have finished up work, I have more time to reflect on the copious amounts of ice cream I have eaten over the past nine months. I have zero regrets about this, I enjoyed every spoonful (as did my baby), but I know this satisfaction will have a lasting effect once I give birth in June (or like, earlier. It’s totally ok if it is earlier!).

As my pregnancy comes to an end, I’m thinking about how I’d like to get my body back into fighting form so that I can be strong, healthy and let’s be serious, fit into my pants again. There’s no real rush, as I hope to breastfeed and this means that losing weight is not going to be a top priority. With that said, exercise and a healthy diet has always helped me feel better when I’m going through periods with lack of sleep and need some extra energy to get me through the day.

So why fitness videos? Because I’m a realist. I know that if I sign up for a gym, I will never go. That’s my life. Clearly I so dedicated to exercise that I’m willing to leave my house or neighbourhood to achieve results. Real talk. This means I’m looking at the following choices for my home fitness regime. I feel so sorry for my newborn who will have to watch me attempt this shit.

Jillian Michaels: Body Revolution



I love the capri style jogging pants, says the co-writer of a fashion blog!

I love the capri style jogging pants, says the co-writer of a fashion blog!


The woman is terrifying, ok? This is a good thing. It’s like someone constantly judging you through your television screen. And I think I need this motivation. In my research, I also found this lovely lady who expressed my sentiments exactly in an exchange with Michaels:

“I am not giving up my red wine”


I specifically think this kickboxing workout could keep me focused and interested for a half hour period:

When I talked about writing this post a couple of weeks ago, one of my dear friends Isabel sent me a note expressing the following:

I have two words for you: Jillian Michaels. I know she kind of seems like a crazy betch, and maybe she is, but I have to say that her workouts are great You are done in 30 minutes, feel accomplished, and are on to the next.

I need endorsements like this on my LinkedIn page….”So about Ally, I know she seems like a crazy betch, and maybe she is…”

Tracy Anderson: Metamorphosis

Straight up I would not want to be friends with this woman. Anderson was quoted last year as saying the following:

“A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go,” Anderson said. “I’ve seen so many women who come to me right after (having children) with disaster bodies that have gone through hell, or they come to me years later and say, ‘Oh, my body is like this because I had three kids.’”

Not great PR, Trace. She quickly came forward to say that this “wasn’t what she meant” (???!!!), but the damage was sort of done. Or was it? Cause I’m totally contemplating buying one of her workout videos.

Call me vain, my husband does, but the reason I’m interested in Tracy Anderson’s workouts is because I want legs like this:

I also wish to own that shorts suit.

I also wish to own that shorts suit.


I can see you right now. You’re snorting your coffee through your nose. It’s not attractive, nor is it kind. A girl can dream, ok?

Nicole Richie is also a member of the Tracy Anderson cult team, and I like the way she’s toned up as well.

So, the thing is, the video above showcases basically what I do on the daily around my home office to the exact same music (this is 100 per cent truth telling…I made a dance routine up to this J-Lo song. Pour me a box of wine and I’ll break it out someday).

Her workouts seem fun, and the type that can keep you distracted from the fact that you are actually working out.


This looks like a commitment. Something that a mother of two might not be able to accomplish. It also looks really scary and could potentially cut into my daily Law & Order maternity leave viewing.

Insanity is also the workout that I’ve been hearing the most about, and the one that seems to have the greatest success (to those who commit to it).  The trainer is also not awful to look at it.

shaun T


The infomercial is extremely enjoyable:

I’m trying to imagine L-A hanging out with me if I was wearing the “Insanity – I earned it!” t-shirt. I think she would not.


So here’s where I need your help, do any of you workout at home? I’m looking for a video that can compliment my daily walks (sometimes I go twice a day). Muscle tone is my goal, not necessarily dropping lots of weight.

Any thoughts?


15 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley Coffin permalink
    May 27, 2013 7:45 am

    I actually started the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution about a month and a half ago and let me tell you – it works! It’s only 30 minutes a day and the workouts fly by. I call Jillian names frequently but my body has toned up and I’ve lost inches and weight. It comes with a pretty strict meal plan however a lot of people do their own thing, keeping it to around 1200 calories a day and still see great success. I like it because I can do it whenever I want – usually in the morning before work – so I’m not tied to having to go to the gym during specific hours.

    • allygarbs permalink
      May 27, 2013 7:47 am

      This is great feedback! I particularly love the, “I call Jillian names frequently”.

      • Ashley Coffin permalink
        May 27, 2013 7:51 am

        I figure she would appreciate it because it means I’m working hard. There are 12 different workouts in the program with 3 different cardio DVDs so boredom doesn’t easily set in.

  2. May 27, 2013 7:47 am

    I tried Tracy Anderson and it’s nonsense. There are many occasions where she’s talking about a move and you can’t even see what she’s doing. There is also some not-subtle body snarking in it, which, for obvious reasons, really rubbed me the wrong way. Gwyneth can have her.

    I haven’t done the same Jillian Michaels workout, but the one I did I found challenging enough to sustain my interest. She’s not for everyone, but I can’t help liking her.

  3. Christine permalink
    May 27, 2013 7:47 am

    Insanity does take commitment. The workouts are longer than JM’s (45 min-1 hour). It’s crazy hard and works but it might be too challenging right away post baby. I did Insanity last spring, but there’s no way I could do it now (baby is 3 months). I’m working up to it. Did JM’S Shred and now doing JM’s Ripped, both of which I’ve done before, but both help build back core strength. Good luck!

    • allygarbs permalink
      May 27, 2013 8:23 am

      People love Jillian! Would you recommend I start with Shred first? Body Revolution seems to be popular as well…

      • May 27, 2013 12:00 pm

        I found the Shred easier than Ripped. Before I became fit, the Shred was challenging; once I moved on to Insanity, it was too easy. But then I became pregnant and lost all my core muscles, and became a great way to ease back into working out again without wasting my time. I love her 20-minute workouts (maybe closer to 25 if you count warm up and cool down) and the variety (you do each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat, and move on).

        I also recommend her power yoga video as a nice compliment to her cardio workouts. You still get a cardio workout in b/c she mixes yoga moves with cardio (hence “power yoga”), but you get a bit of a break from evil push-ups.

  4. allygarbs permalink
    May 27, 2013 7:49 am

    Thanks, Krista. This is what I was worried about. I love the dance idea, I’ve never been able to complete a step class or anything like that in an actual gym. I lose interest quickly. I want something that feels like it’s fun, but also feels like it’s a great workout. Tracy would totally judge me in real life, which brings me pain.

    • May 27, 2013 11:22 am

      She’s flat-out unlikable. I’m going to give the Hawaiian one mentioned below a shot, just to mix things up a bit!

  5. May 27, 2013 8:19 am

    I think I’ve tried almost all of Jillian’s DVDs, and I do love them. They’re really hard, and yeah, Jillian is known for being tough, but there’s a reason she’s so popular. And as everyone else has said, they’re quick. You can get through them and get on with your day. I’ve done a month of Body Revolution (then I decided to take up running, because I wanted to be outdoors), and I’ve done the 30 Day Shred twice. I’d recommend them both. (Also, in BR, after the first cardio workout, she collapses on the ground and says “Maybe I made this too crazy”, so yeah, she keeps it real).

    I’ve also tried Insanity. And it is aptly named. IT IS INSANE. If you haven’t worked out in a while, I’d suggest leaving that for a bit. Yeah, the trainer is nice to look at, but you’ll end up hating him. I did it for 3 weeks and had to stop, because I realized I was never completing an entire workout. I wasn’t ready. I’d say work up to it, after doing Jillian Michaels for a bit.

    Just my opinion.

    • allygarbs permalink
      May 27, 2013 8:22 am

      This is great advice. That’s pretty much what I had decided about Insanity. It would be an epic failure and I would just end up feeling shitty that I couldn’t do it. I’m also going to get back to running. I’ve missed that. I’ve walked throughout my pregnancy, but I miss the feeling of a real workout. Thanks for this! It’s looking like Jillian will be victorious! I’m sure she will be so honoured!

  6. kat permalink
    May 27, 2013 8:46 am

    You should try Lisa Avramenko through Pow How, online classes. She’s in Maui (which will make you hate her) but she’s from the south shore and has a devoted following taking online classes for a reason! Happy fit fusion would be a great place to start. A personal trainer and you don’t have to leave your house.

    • allygarbs permalink
      May 27, 2013 9:22 am

      I’ll check it out! Thanks!

  7. May 29, 2013 1:23 pm

    After I had Eli I was in the same boat and just wanted to be able to work out at home while he was napping or whatever. I downloaded the Nike Training Club app, which is free, and now I feel like I work for Nike because I recommend it to everyone. You need a set of dumbbells and it calls for a medicine ball, but I just use a dumbbell instead. That’s it. There are routines of varying lengths (15, 30, 45 minutes) and you can choose total-body or specific areas you want to work on. There are different levels of intensity too. And it’s actually super effective. You can set your workouts to your ipod playlist or just turn music off altogether.

  8. May 29, 2013 11:25 pm

    Hello Allison, I have tried all of the above, including Brazilian Butt Lift, Turbo Kick, Zumba, PX90, all-of-them!! I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but for me walking is the most sustainable routine, and it’s easy, thou not as easy as coffee and cigarettes:) Congrats on the new babe.

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