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Friday, January 21, 2005
I was amazed on Tuesday when I measured. I lost 6.5 inches off my body total in the past 2 weeks, 4.5 inches on my waist alone. For those of you who haven’t followed my blogs, I entered into a contest using a workout system (or I should say, “life approach”), called T-Tapp. The website is here:
I’ve started t-tapp many times, but I have always fallen back on my old standards: weight lifting and aerobics classes (step, floor, kickboxing, etc.). I guess the reality of it has been that, after a lifetime of workout out HARD, of exercising for hours at a time, of been exhausted and sore, my mind just wasn’t willing to accept that there was a different and much better way.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my workout history, a synopsis would go like this: I grew up on a farm training horses and doing all of the farm-type chores that are, in and of themselves, hard physical labor: pitching stalls, hauling 50-lb bales of hay, stacking 50-lb bags of feed, loading saddles and supplies to and from the trailers, etc. I also started weight lifting when I was 13. I was not a particularly athletic child off of a horse. I was somewhat lumbering and was pitiful at anything that required me to be quick on my feet or to run. I had good eye-hand coordination, actually EXCELLENT eye-hand coordination, but most sports required that you run or jump or something along that line and those parts defeated me. Whenever teams were picked, I was picked “last” routinely. Whereas I was the BEST at anything on horseback, I was just plain terrible on the ground. It really was a bad deal for my self-esteem.
Around age 13 we were introduced to weight lifting in PE, using the then “new fangled” Universal equipment (this was the mid-70’s). Here was something at which I could excel! Even though I was a girl, I was very tall, very broad and VERY strong. I took to weight lifting like a fish to water. I loved it. I continued to lift weights into college. I was on a varsity sport in college (the polo team) and as such, we had professional trainers in the varsity gym. This is where I was trained extensively on the new Nautilus equipment and was finally introduced to free weights. The trainers were very precise and very picky about how we were to use the equipment. There was no “lift the weight and drop it” for us. Nope, we had to watch each link of the chains. It was excruciating. I grew unbelievably strong. I bulked up. Unlike most women, because I am a mesomorph, I CAN put on muscle and put it on, I did. My mother, years later, told me that she was afraid that I was taking steroids because I got so bulked up. Nope, my body just responded to the professional training by putting on muscle and getting strong. By my senior year, I could do 10 SLOW repetitions lifting the entire stack of the abduction/adduction machine. I was strong.
For aerobics I would run in the pool. I didn’t like aerobics, and I didn’t like running, but running for an hour in the pool seemed like the best of the choices suggested to me by the trainers, so run I did.
After college, I became a professional polo player and horse trainer. For nearly 10 years I rode between 6-8 horses per day, 6 days per week. I hit millions of polo balls and played tens of thousands of chukkas. After riding each day, I would hit the gym. I would lift weights and, for the first time in my life, I got seriously into aerobics. I was simply shocked at how hard aerobics were. This was the mid-eighties and floor aerobics were the thing. For someone who had always shunned activities that worked my lungs and required coordination, I threw myself into it full force. I liked aerobics because it made me smaller, rather than bigger. After lifting weights for 10 years straight, I was burned out and tired of being so muscular. I was sick of the endless repetitions and sets. After being professionally trained for 4 years, and having the correct form and methods drilled into me, I was unable to simply switch over to lifting for recreation. I realized that I was burned out on weights. I just didn’t like doing it anymore. I threw myself into aerobics instead.
Keep in mind, that I wasn’t just sitting on the horses that I rode each day. I would work the “greenies”, which often meant long hours of repetitive and strength-draining drills. I would take the “made” horses and work with them on “stick-n-ball”, which was hitting the polo ball at all different speeds, angles, and in all kinds of different circumstances, in order to make sure that the horse did exactly what I asked of them, no matter where the ball was, where I was on their back, or where other players on the field were. If I could, I would stick-n-ball with a partner or two, and turn it into a game of “keep away”. This was hard, dirty, exhausting work for me, often done in 80 to 100 degree heat here in south Texas. 4 days per week, I would also do “training” practices, which were chukkas set up to work the horses and teach them. Often I was also in competitive matches during the week. Finally, if I had more than 10 horses at a level ready to sell, I would “pony” several sets, which meant that I would ride one horse while leading 2-4 more. Ponying was simply to keep horses fit, and I would pony the horses at a fast pace for 30 minutes to an hour per set. Riding one horse at a gallop is hard enough. Riding one while leading 2 to 4 others at a gallop was exhausting. It would help me because I could keep more horses fit than I was actually able to sit upon, but it would take a lot out of me.
Of course along with all of this was the never ending walking out to get the horses out of pasture, feeding, cleaning, loading of the barns and trailers, hauling them around, etc. I was in great shape, in other words.
On top of that I was doing 4-6 aerobics classes per week. I started to get obsessed with it all. As the icing on the cake, I was, as I had since college, taking some sort of metabolism enhancers, in the form of diet pills. I had always been big, but I wanted to be thin. The diet pills and the heavy exercise would keep me where I wanted to be. Finally, if I ever DID start to gain weight, I would end up dieting. Dieting, dieting, dieting. It seemed as if it never ended.
Finally, after 10 years in the horse business, I quit. . There are lots of other reasons that I stopped doing it, but the biggest one was that I burned out. I was at the height of my game when I quit, but I don’t regret it at all. I was one of the top women polo players in the world, and one of the best, overall, for my handicap in the United States, but I was getting to the point where I didn’t want to go to the barn. I went from riding 8 horses a day to 6, then 5, then 4. I just couldn’t do it anymore.
To compensate for the lowering of my daily level of exercise (and inevitable weight gain), I obsessed with exercise even more. I began running, which, if you were to see me, was obviously ridiculous. I was never built to run, but running long distances kept me thin. I would run miles and miles. I went from 4 miles a day to 6, then 8, then 10. I would run the 3 miles to the health club, do a couple of step aerobics classes, then run home. I hated it, but I did it anyway. I was thin, so that was all that mattered. I was really thin. It was great. I was also on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
In 1995, I DID in fact, have a breakdown of sorts. It’s funny because I look at modeling photos of myself from that time and I am so thin. It should have been wonderful, but instead it was one of the most difficult times of my life. I was depressed and incapacitated. I didn’t know who I was (after all, what was I, if not a professional polo player?); I didn’t know what to do with my life. I was far too thin for my health, and I was physically exhausted. I took a break from my life and recovered. It took me nearly a year.
Since that time, I have fought an internal battle regarding diet and exercise. I still want to be thin, but I’m unwilling to do what it took me doing in 1995 to get there. I stopped taking diet pills about 4 years ago, and have come to realize what havoc they have brought upon my metabolism. I have kept up a good modicum of exercise, but I am easily burned out. If I start to lift weights, I grow to hate it quickly. If I start doing aerobics classes again, I find myself dreading them. Running is out – I am too heavy and my body won’t tolerate it anymore. Plus, I just don’t want to do it. I find this about much exercise. I just don’t want to do it anymore. Although I want to be healthy, I want to be thin, there is something that just won’t allow me to step up onto the merry-go-round. It is a terrible conflict that lives within me on a daily basis.
Then Teresa Tapp comes along. For several years, a dear friend of mine has been working with T-Tapp and has been telling me that it was something that could really work for me. I was skeptical, but tried it a few times. It was very different from anything else that I had ever done, but I just couldn’t get it through my head that there was an easier, more effective way to get the exercise that I need, and to trim my body. I just had a deep belief that there was no other way to get where I wanted to get, but to suffer.
But then my friend lost 4 sizes in 6 months doing only T-Tapp. She went from a size 18 to a size 10. She didn’t diet (she certainly doesn’t do BTD), and she didn’t change anything in her life except that she did T-tapp regularly. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the change. I started reading the site – really reading it. I talked to people who had had similar results as my friend. I realized that, like the BTD, there was something different going on here. That, like Dr. D., Teresa Tapp had found a key to health. She had found something different from what was already out there. It wasn’t something repackaged, but something entirely new. I decided to really give it a good try. There was a contest starting on Jan. 4th, and I decided to do it. What did I have to lose?
What I ended up losing was 6.5 inches in 2 weeks. What have I been doing? Well, for the first 4 days, I did T-Tapp to Tempo, which is a 40-minute workout. That’s all I did. After that, I took a couple of days off, then I did 3 of the 40-minute workouts the following week, along with a 15-minute workout and one day of walking at a medium pace for 30 minutes.
That, alone, was what I did to lose the 6+ inches off my body. I was so impressed that I did the 40-minute workout 5 times this past week and added in 3 sets of walking. I’m going to stick with that schedule for the rest of the 6 weeks of the contest. I’ll let you know how it does for me.
In the meantime, I’m convinced that this workout is as different and as important as the BTD for overall health. I’m amazed at how much better I feel, how my posture has improved, and how much more tone I have than 3 weeks ago. All doing a fraction of what I used to do. I don’t find the workouts boring, nor do I feel that I am burning out on them. I’m actually shocked to see the results that I did, as I have not been eating as compliant as I would like. I got on a wheat roll (so to speak) over the holidays, and I am not off of it yet. I’m a lot closer, but it’s not the same as when I only eat wheat occasionally. It’s nice to see that there is an exercise program that is helping my figure, in SPITE of not being as compliant as I would like. I know that there are things that I am not going to give up (Sunday breakfast tacos is one of them – soft, warm flour tortillas filled with scrambled eggs and Mexican cheese. Nope, those are hear to stay), but for the most part, I have cut my wheat consumption down to just a few things here and there. The T-Tapping makes me feel really good, and I know that the wheat makes me feel very bad. I’d rather feel good. I hope that, by the time that I blog again, I am back off of wheat, save for my breakfast tacos on Sunday morning. Along with that goal, I would like to back off starches save for one meal a day. I’m not sure that will work, but I’d like to find something that works on a day-in, day-out basis and works for my life.
So, a long blog is done. I will be measuring myself again in the next week or so, to see if the T-Tapping is still working as well as it did thus far. I would love to be in a true size 14 by the time that the contest is over on March 4. The loss of a full size in 2 months, without obsessing and working myself to death, diet pills or dieting per se, would be better than any other system in my life. To be in a size 12ish in 2 months would be a true miracle. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.