May 9, 2013

An evening with Jillian and Danni

How did we get here?  That's the question that I continue to laugh at.  Sure we took 69 North to Marion, but it's much deeper than that.

Last evening, Molly and I had the EXTREME pleasure of being Danni Allen's invited guests to the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life tour stop in Wabash, Indiana.

The show was nothing short of "life changing" for both Molly and I - and not just in terms of weight loss, but in terms of LIFE!  The show is broad, mature, and REAL.  If you're not ready for the truth, then stay home!

The show is broken into three parts.  Science, Sweat, and Self - or - Food, Exercise, and Life!

Each segment starts with an intense video - the music is loud - the crowd is not.  It is very much a lecture type of atmosphere.  Molly took notes throughout.  Jillian is...Jillian.  There's only one of her, and what you see is what you get.  She tells it like it is, no matter what you may think of it.

The show opens with her saying, here is the secret to success - wait for it - Eat Less.  Move More.  Simple right?  As she says, "...and you continue to pay me money to tell you that!  I don't get it!?!  But thanks!"
The science is simple, and it's what we all know.  Burn more than you eat.  Within food, we talked about counting calories (how cutting edge is that-ha) We took a hard look at specific foods, food groups, pros and cons, what and when and how often (what did you think I was going to share all the secrets here)

The Exercise part was great for me.  Cardio vs Strength - Both are critical.  Do you know your BMR (not to be confused with your BMI) - if not, google BMR calculator and find out!  Mine is higher than I expected.  But then you can increase that number from 10-30% based on what you do throughout the day (I sit at a desk, so I get a 10% bump) - For years, I've told you to use myfitnesspal because IT DOES THIS FOR YOU!

After intermission, we talked about Self.  I was surprised how much I got out of this, but as we got into the psychology of who we are, what we are, and WHY we are, I found myself hanging on every word of the quasi live version of a self help audio book.

When it was done, it was done - OVER 2 HOURS LATER!  It flew by though!  But the fun was just beginning.

Danni hooked us up with VIP tickets for the after show Q&A meet and greet.  Our orange wristbands got us into the basement with about 100 others who fought for a close seat and waited on Jillian AND Danni!   Yay, Danni was there!  And as the Q&A began, I was fortunate to have my question picked to come forward and ask.

As I approached the mic, I caught her eye, and we smiled and waved.  And in my most smitten child-like voice I said, "Hi Danni" and she laughed and said "Hi Chris", then I said "This is cool - I'm talking to Jillian Michaels and Danni Allen" which drew a laugh from the crowd.  I told Jillian that I learned tonight that it really was okay to be proud of myself, and so I was happy to share that I had lost over 100 pounds which drew a nice applause, but ultimately my question was "As an endurance athlete, training for an Ironman, I just eat and eat and eat, but I'm burning it, however the weight has stopped coming off, and I know I have more to lose - should I expect my body to stop dropping weight because of the extreme cardio, or is the only way to get more off to add the strength training"  I loved her answer - in typical Jillian fashion "Oh honey, I can tell by looking at you that you might have a few vanity pounds to lose, but you don't need to lose any more" - I smiled and said "thanks, but..." and then she interrupted "Do the math!  BMR + burn - calories"  She asked if I had an arm band and I said we had tried the BodyBugg, but no, I counted on my Garmin for the calorie burn count, too which she said are you sure you're eating enough calories and my wife chimed in from across the chairs "YES" - she again said "Do the math, and make sure your deficit is no more than 1000 calories on your big burn days"  I'll take that along with everything else I learned tonight and put it to the test.

I returned to my seat and enjoyed the next 30-40 minutes of questions, and when it was done, Danni hopped out of her seat and bolted right for me with the biggest hug and thanks for coming!  Seriously!  I couldn't thank her enough!  And finally released her into the waiting arms of my wife who gave her an equally big hug, while I grabbed my phone and captured this moment!  We just stood and smiled and continued to say thanks until it seemed awkward that others were standing around us waiting they're turn to meet her while we were hogging her all to ourselves!  I promised her we'd see each other again, and we agreed to continue to keep in touch.

Jillian was surrounded by the masses, posing for photos, and signing autographs!  Someone had a strange request for her to yell "Get your ass back in the gym...and move your ass" and I almost caught the whole thing on video.

As security pulled her away to exit, she graciously continued allowing pictures to be taken, and I was brave enough to jump in and get mine taken with her.  When she was gone, Danni remained with many others, and as much as we wanted to hang out and chat more, it was going on 11:15 pm, and we had an hour drive home, so we headed out.

We talked the whole way home, and learned a lot about ourselves, and each other.  Our habits, our likes, and things that just never have come up in day to day conversation were meaningful to both of us.  This carried on until our heads hit the pillows, and this morning we picked right back up.  The VIP package included a 4 week free trial of Jillian's program off her website, and Molly had it downloaded and installed before 8 a.m.!

I tossed and turned and even smiled as I lay in bed last night thinking "how did I get here?".  Jillian kept talking about "what is your why" Why am I doing this.  Why was I fat?  Why did I change?  Why do I continue?  I know the answers to each, but that's another post.  I chose tonight to focus on the How.  So how DID I get here?

Well in a reverse chronological relational sense...I got to hang out with Jillian and Danni tonight because I got to meet Danni in Nashville.  I got to meet Danni in Nashville because I won a contest through Rock N Roll races.  I won a contest through RnR races by being registered for the Nashville Half.  I signed up for the Nashville Half because I was sponsored to do so by Team Refuel and Got Chocolate Milk.  I was sponsored by Team Refuel and Got Chocolate Milk because I shot a video at the Vegas RnR Expo (and because you voted for me, thanks!) I shot a video at the Vegas RnR Expo because I was signed up for the Vegas RnR half.  I was signed up for the Vegas RnR half because Pete and Amy encouraged me to do so.  Pete and Amy encouraged me to do so because of the impact I've had on their lives.  I've had an impact on their lives because I helped get them active by being active myself.  I got active myself because... well, because I wanted a better me!  Danni said it in Nashville, "Be the best you that you can be because there is only one you" and I can tell after tonight that she learned that from Jillian who preached the same message. 

I continue to be blessed with amazing opportunities as a result of my efforts.  I had let my foot off the gas a little over the winter months, and tonight was the perfect reminder of why I want to maximize my life!

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