First I had to shut the blinds.  No, first I had to make sure the kids were asleep, then I had to shut the blinds.  I don’t want to be responsible for sending peeping toms into cardiac arrest.

Then it was just me and…it. Alone together.

Twenty minutes later, I was sweaty and sore, and harboring very nasty feelings towards the person responsible, who smiled and told me everything was going to be okay, if I would just commit to the process.

Yes. It’s true. Tonight was my first-ever shred, a word I’ve generally only used for cabbage, carrots, and old credit card statements. Now I see that shredding is a way of life and its high priestess is Jillian Michaels, who may be the fem-bot from those horrible Svedka vodka ads, except I don’t think the Svedka fem-bot has ankle tattoos.

Yes. That was me hopping around my living room tonight trying to keep up with Jillian and the other two rock-solid bitches in spiffy workout clothes. Twenty minutes, promises Jillian. Twenty minutes, five or six times a week of my “A game” (note to self: find A-Game) and she promises I will be ripped in 30. Personally,  I would settle for just being less squishy at 47, but why quibble?

I don’t watch “The Biggest Loser,” the show that made Jillian a star-in-a-sports-bra but a few bloggers whose work I like (try Motherhood Uncensored, for starters) did the “30-day shred” and swear by it, so I figured I’d give it a try.  I took my measurements and realized that all the gut-sucking in the world can’t hide the fact that I am, basically, square. A puffy, gently quilted square.  I’ve been genetically blessed with skinny legs and ankles but lately I’m looking a lot like a potato on toothpicks and as I move into a serious relationship with the big Five-Oh, I would like to leave behind my swags of back fat.  Wouldn’t it be nice to start my next decade with a waist?

I had to face it: a few days a week of Prana Power Yoga and fifteen minutes of sit-ups while watching “The Good Wife” on TiVo are no match for my evening cookie habit.

Thus, Jillian. Thus, new sneakers: black adidas, with shiny bits, and dark pink stripes. Husband pursed his lips, looked at the sneakers, said, “well, they’re really girly. And kind of horrifyingly ghetto, too.” I like them. They remind me of good-and-plenty candies, which apparently, says Jillian, I can’t eat any more.  Bitch.

Here’s what I learned from tonight’s little celebration of Jillian love: I need a new sports bra, I need lighter free weights, I hate to run, and despite all the walking I do every day, my cardio is for shit.  I learned also that I pretty much hate exercise videos. Why is she encouraging me and saying “great job!” Doesn’t she realize she can’t see me?  Is that her version of Romper Room’s Magic Mirror?

You know what else I learned? That when I run in place my belly slops over the waistband of my shorts and jiggles.  Blech.  So yeah, Jillian, I’m coming back tomorrow. I think my A-Game might be in the back of the closet behind the winter coats. Of course, it might also be in the cupboard where I keep the cookies.