Monday, August 31, 2009

Random Thoughts on Eating

Okay, I've put off this post as long as I can. I just feel so darn unqualified to write about diets or food or nutrition. My only qualification is that I've lost more than 100 pounds and kept it off for over a year now, so keep that in mind. I can only share what worked (and continues to work) for me. So here are my random thoughts--not a plan, not a *way of eating*, certainly not a magic forumla.

--There's no way I could stick to a restrictive food plan for very long because I have to feed a family of nine every day and more on weekends.

--I couldn't stick to a restrictive food plan for the rest of my life because sooner or later I would throw off the shackles and go hog-wild and EAT whatever it was I wasn't supposed to have.

--If you tell me I can't have it, I want it.

--If you tell me I can have it, I might or might not want it.

--I eat only when I am truly hungry, and stop when I am full. Politely full, not stuffed to the gills.

--Food is always available. If I'm hungry again, I'll just eat again. I don't have to be afraid.

--Food is not my friend. The only *need* it meets is true hunger. Not emotional needs, spiritual needs or social needs.

I remember feeling so shocked when I first realized how often I was eating because the food was good or it was my favorite or it was there or I was lonely or I wanted to pamper myself, etc., etc., etc. I once told my husband during the years of babies and toddlers (uh, 25+ years) that "eating is the only fun thing I do." That makes me sad now. But at the time I truly did not realize what I was doing.

It amazes me how complicated the diet world is. Everyone is looking for the miracle, the pill, the plan. I lost all my weight eating pizza, hamburgers, french fries and ice cream. And of course, apples, natural peanut butter, cheese and almonds. Just food. Sort of The Casual Approach to God Made/Man Made eating, now that I look back on it. I would go a couple of days and eat God-made food because that is what sounded good, then stop by Braum's for a peanut butter hot fudge sundae. And eat the peanut butter and hot fudge and whipped cream and cherry first, because I never knew when I would get full and stop eating.

Okay, so that's a start on the random thoughts. More random-ness to follow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding Time to T-Tapp (and Homeschool)

One of the questions I get asked is "How do you find time to T-Tapp?" This post will be especially geared to the homeschooling mother and those with large families, as that is my situation and therefore, my experience.

When I began T-Tapping I had eight children still at home and the youngest two were one and three years old. Six were school-age and it was just before The Summer of the Weddings (two of my children and one nephew got married within two months of each other, and we were heavily involved with planning, sewing, shopping and cooking). Obviously I was busy. Heck, I'm busy on a slow day with no outside events. But I found T-Tapp and thought it would be a good way to look better for those weddings. Little did I know what a life-changing, body-transforming ride I was in for!

What worked best for me was to T-Tapp first thing in the morning, before my day got busy and exercise got relegated to the "maybe later" pile. I got up early, ate breakfast, did my quiet reading/journaling, and then laced up my shoes. Yes, actually changed into semi-cute workout clothes. It was part of my exercise ritual and made me feel official. Often things didn't go quite as planned so I exercised then showered while the children did their chores. If you say "well, my children won't leave me alone" or "they won't do their stuff if I'm not there" then that is another subject entirely. I'm just sharing what I actually did. Did school start late sometimes (often)? Yes. Did we still get school done? Yes.

I have noticed over 23 years of homeschooling that every year there are one or two children who are more needy in certain academic areas. I spend a little more time and effort helping that child overcome their weakness. Teaching a child to read, concentrating on spelling, and moving forward in math all come to mind. Well, that year was my year to lose weight and get in shape. It meant rearranging the schedule and committing to take the time for a season. It's a little different now that I'm in maintenance, but the losing stage took studied determination and focus.

One of the bestest things about T-Tapp is its efficiency. When my mind was whirling with thoughts of the busy day ahead and adding an exercise routine seemed overwhelming, I told myself, "ANYBODY can do 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes." Eventually during the summer I did longer workouts a couple of times per week, but during the school year I only did 15-30 minute workouts. Occasionally I did a lunchtime or afternoon workout, but the vast majority of the time mornings worked best, before the questions and distractions and responsibilities took over my brain.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ladies, I've Been Consistent

If you've watched the video on the T-Tapp website, you heard me say in the second half, "Ladies, I've been consistent." While I was standing in line that night I wrestled with myself about whether to say that because I didn't want to sound smug or haughty. But my eyes got bigger and bigger as I heard one person after another say, "Welllll, I really haven't been consistent....." so I just had to share that "secret" of my success. Notice I didn't say, "I've been perfect" or "I put my entire life on hold so I could T-Tapp" or "I also did extra cardio, lifted weights and did Pilates three times a week!"

So what do I mean by consistent? Well, I looked back at my calendar pages from the months between Safety Harbor 2007 and Safety Harbor 2008 to find out exactly what I meant. Here's what I found:

Nov 07: BWO+ or Ladybug BWO+ 4x week
Dec 07: "
Jan 08: "
Feb 08: "
Mar 08: "
Note: The holidays and an unusual number of illnesses for me and my family, including Influenza Type A, limited my time and energy--but I still lost inches, albeit more slowly for these months.
Apr 08: 2008 60-Day Challenge began
Week 1 - MORE, BWO+, HTFS, Tempo Arms
Week 2 - LB BWO+, SATI, Arms, HTF, MORE
Week 3 - Arms, LB BWO+, HTFS, SATI, MORE
Week 4 - SATI, Arms, LB BWO+, HTF
Week 5 - SATI, LB Floor, Arms, LB BWO+
May 08: 2nd month of the 60-Day Challenge, so I did a more rigorous schedule, including Tempo Arms at least 2x week and an Arms 5-day bootcamp
Jun 08: First week I took off completely due to travel and fatigue--the longest I had ever taken off since beginning T-Tapp. To my surprise, I lost 5 pounds.
Weeks 2 - 4 - One long workout, one HTF, and a couple of shorts (usually BWO+ or MORE)
July - September, more of the same

You will notice that I mixed up workouts quite a bit. I liked the variety, it kept things fresh, and it worked my whole body in different ways. But I suspect that the actual workouts I did are not as important as the fact that I DID workouts, 4-6x week. Was my form perfect? Heck, no--but I didn't flop through or watch TV while T-Tapping, so I did my best and went to my max. And T-Tapp did its max on me.