This Week in my ‘healthier me’ journey: Jillian Michaels’ BODYSHRED, Zumba Convention, and At-Home Workout Pack GIVEAWAY with Boomchickapop!
The last month, as I’ve finally been back on my feet (so to speak), I’ve been working really hard at living a healthier life — emotionally, of course, but also what I eat, and how I take care of my body.
I went from never exercising at all to going to 3-4 fitness-related classes a week — and some have been pretty hard core!
Last week, my bestie Kristin and I went to a pretty incredible class – Jillian Michaels herself taught the sneak peek class to her new BODYSHRED, a new group fitness class she created for Crunch Gym that will be launching this fall.
The new workout, utilizes Jillian’s 3-2-1 approach, and it was intense.
The sneak peek class was “only” about 30 minutes, which made my crazy brain think it would be a breeze — but, it was hardcore. For those 30 minutes, I was pretty sure I was going to die – burpees into mountain climbers into a series of abs work – then planks – then pushups — then crunches and lunges and I’m having post-traumatic stress during THINKING of it.
But the class was amazing, and by the end of it, I was so incredibly grateful to have survived it – to be able to have done as well as I did – and for Jillian being tough as nails and not appreciating any slacking whatsoever. “I want you to feel like you are going to die!” she shouted. “If you want accelerated results at an accelerated pace, you’re going to pay,” added Jillian.
At one point, I did slack a bit, and she screamed, “Move your ass, or I will come over and KICK IT.”
But for a long-term slacker like me, America’s toughest trainer was exactly what I needed — my fear of being shamed trumped my fear of pushing myself further, and that’s what kept me moving! Ultimate motivation — Jillian is a genius.
It just so happened that was the beginning of a weekend of new beginnings – the very next day, I was invited as a guest of Zumba to attend their annual Instructors Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Now, the funniest part of all this is that I have never Zumba’d a single time in my life.
So, here I was, on the flight down to Orlando at the crack of dawn Friday morning, still sore from the Jillian experience (which may have been capped off by going directly from there to a Vinyasa class!) – and imagining how befuddled I was going to appear, being the Zumba-virgin, taking classes in a room full of people so advanced they were INSTRUCTORS.
Intimidation be my name.
I had the BEST time there (and my interviews with Beto and a lot of his team are coming up on LovingYou!) – and what did I discover?
Well, a new favorite way to burn calories, for one.
You can burn (way) upwards of 500 calories in an hour doing Zumba, engage a ton of muscles, and do fitness moves like squats and lunges and free weights without REALIZING they are fitness moves because you are having fun and it doesn’t feel remotely like exercise! And that means people (like me) will keep coming back, and have amazing results, and may even fit into my jeans again!
And there’s fun variations. A few hours after taking a private class with Beto, where I learned tons of fun Zumba Sentao and Zumba Toning (where he was wearing EXACTLY as pictured above. I was totally having Baby and Johnny flashbacks) - I visited Ann Saldi’s “Hip to Strip” Zumba class and it was AMAZING. Ann created Hip to Strip, and I knew IMMEDIATELY I’d love her when I saw her slogan for this class is “Dancing Naughty is Good for the Body” — agreed! They use props ranging from chairs, a man’s tie and a towel as props into a dance that felt parts Zumba, parts Burlesque, part chair-dancing and striptease workout.
I came home from this fabulous weekend of rediscovering myself (exercise can be fun? Really?!) and received a mailing from a brand called BOOMCHICKAPOP.
It’s made by the people behind Angie’s Kettle Corn – a new brand of popcorn that is low-calorie and really yummy — I tried their first flavor, Sea Salt, is free of gluten and preservatives and is Non-GMO Project Verified (rare for a popcorn).
What I like is that it’s made with just three ingredients: popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt. Best of all, it boasts only 35 calories per cup, meaning I can embark on my new plan of being babilicious – AND snack.
In the name of me having such an incredibly awesome week, I’ve teamed up with BOOMCHICKAPOP to do a super fun giveaway!
To have your chance to win, tweet me at @AlyWalansky and tell me about your own personal wellness “aha” moment. You can also leave your answer in the comments below! For extra credit, please visit and “like” the Boomchickapop Facebook Page AND RT this giveaway! They have some great content, including “Healthy Bites,” “Wednesday Wants,” and “Snackisms.” Deadline to enter is August 25. Good luck!