Thursday, June 3, 2010

The E-Book has arrived!

I just finished my new e-book "Renewing Me:  Size 22 to 6, 15 Minutes at a Time!"  If you've been a Renew You blog reader you'll recognize much of the information, but it has been revised and expanded, with photos, schedules and more.  You can grab a copy at a special introductory price, so hop on over to and take a look!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog is Moving

Just a heads up that I am moving this blog over to my website.  I will continue to post here a couple more times and will leave this blog up, but in a few weeks I will post solely at my website blog.  I'll let you know when the move is official and final.  Hopefully by then I will have figured out how to have followers and a few other goodies. 

I am also working on a "how I did it" ebook with lots more details, photos, checklists and schedules, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top Three Tips for the 60-Day Challenge

My top three tips for those entered in the T-Tapp 60-Day Challenge?  Here they are:

1)  Plan a schedule.  Don't just wake up in the morning and think, "Let's see--what will I do today?" because it's too easy to say, "Nothing" and go on your way.  We tend to think "tomorrow I'll work out" and then tomorrow comes and we put it off another day and before we know it the Challenge is over.  A blank calendar page is a good tool.  First write down days you'll be out of town or extra-busy so you can plan around them.  Plan a regular day off each week (mine is Sunday).  Then make a list of the workouts you own (OR the workouts you are allowed to do in the category you entered) and use that list to design a schedule.  Write it in pencil, then go over it in ink (or check it off) when it's done.  This helps with consistency.  (Many T-Tapp Trainers offer custom workout schedules based on your needs, too.)

2)  Be realistic.  If you plan on a 60-Day Bootcamp, forget it.  You might be able to last a few weeks, but sooner or later life happens and you'll be set up for The Big Crash.  Then you'll either decide "this is too hard" or "if I can't do it perfect I won't do it at all" and the Challenge will be over (for you).  Remember the workout that works is the one you'll do.  Sure it's great to make a harder effort and establish consistency--that's what the Challenge does.  Work up to a few weeks of a tougher schedule, then back off some.  Your body needs recovery time.  Less is More with T-Tapp.

3)  Finish the Challenge.  This may sound silly, but I'm serious.  Did you know that in last year's 30-Day Ladybug Challenge not ONE participant in the More to Lose Category finished?  If only ONE person had stuck it out they would have been an automatic winner of a trip to Safety Harbor.  It's easy to get discouraged and think you have no chance of winning but you never know what Teresa Tapp is looking for in the winners.  Remember--she won't be judging your photos and story if you never send them in.  Kitty told me that virtually everyone she sent comparison pages to was shocked at the changes they saw.  They (including me) hadn't looked at the photos side-by-side, they had looked at one and then the other, and were disappointed in the results.  So do your best and let Teresa do the judging after you finish the contest and send in your final entry.

If you'll look closely, you'll see that these tips apply to your year-round T-Tapp practice!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The 2010 60-Day Challenge--DO IT!

Entering the 2007 60-Day Challenge was life-changing for me.  It helped me to cement consistency in my workout schedule and gave me accountability.  You may have heard it before, but I'll say it again:  EVERYONE who enters is a winner because of the health and shape benefits of T-Tapp.  I was ecstatic to win a category in the More to Lose division and to win a trip to the Safety Harbor Retreat and find out that Teresa Tapp was who I had hoped she would be.

In 2008 I *almost* didn't enter because I just couldn't imagine winning again and I was getting close to my goal size.  I had already signed up for an online class with Michelle and she insisted that I enter the Challenge.  I dutifully took photos and sent in my information, secretly doubting that there was any point.  When I won a cateogory in the Less to Lose division, I was shocked.  I didn't see much difference in the photos until Kitty sent me the actual comparison photos that were used to judge (I hadn't looked at them side-by-side). 

If you don't enter, you for sure won't win.  If you enter, you MIGHT win.  If you enter and don't win you will emerge healthier, stronger and smaller, so it's all good.  If I hadn't entered the second year we wouldn't have that video that has encouraged so many that Yes, They Can. 

I don't know where you are in your T-Tapp journey, but the 6o-Day Challenge is a great kick in the tucked pants to help you reach your goals! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And Do You Brush?

I get questions about whether I used T-Tapp's brushing system and here's the skinny.  I brushed from Day One.  I've continued to brush consistently for more than three years.  Every day?  Uh, no.  But 4-6 days a week, yes.  Life happens and there have been times when I didn't brush for a few days, but I started back up because I like what it does for my skin.  I believe that skin brushing and alfalfa were the key factors in tightening my skin as I lost 9 sizes and well over 135".  I don't have loose, hanging skin like you see in those pictures of people after massive weight loss.

At first it took longer than 5 minutes because there was a lot of me to brush.  After a while I stopped brushing in front of the mirror because it was too easy to be critical of my appearance.  The routine for me was work out, shower, brush, get dressed.  Many people work out, brush and then shower.  I worked out my routine because my brush got too stinky too fast if I used it before a shower, and I'm always looking for ways to clean things less often.  And just like T-Tapp, the routine that works is the routine you'll actually do.

I have this documented on my calendar (and in an early forum post):  after 7 days of brushing, the crepe-y skin in my cleavage was smooth and tight.  Wow.  Sold!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Perfection Not Required

Fortunately perfection is not required to get results with T-Tapp.  I now know that my form was pretty rotten in the early months of T-Tapp. :-)  Check me out in the audience of TWO Super Slow or Critter Crunch (halfway through my size loss, at the 2007 retreat, wearing pink).  Lots of extra water breaks, only one set of Hoe Downs, collapsed core, you name it.  I sat down on the steps and cried like a baby halfway through the first workout of the retreat--really--probably because nobody wrings the lymph and toxins outta ya like Teresa Tapp. I cried again at the end of the retreat when it was time for "ta-da photos" because I was so worried that my tummy would look bad in the photo.  But the point is that I kept learning and getting stronger and staying consistent and learning some more.  Notice that being perfect (in form or schedule) is not on that list.

Progression, yes.  Perfection, no.   

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Upper Body Workout = Lower Body Inch Loss

I had an interesting experience at one point in my T-Tapp journey.  I had an "area of concern" which is Teresa's nice way of saying "area of flab and bumps I don't like."  In this case it was upper arms and I was determined to make some progress because inch loss was s-l-o-w in that spot.  I was wearing a size 10 and thought I was at my goal so I had been happily shopping and buying my new wardrobe.

Enter Tempo Arms bootcamp.  Remember--I like short, rare bootcamps.  I did Tempo Arms for five days straight and then continued doing it 1-2x week for about a month, plus other mostly short workouts.  We're talking 30 minutes, folks.  My body tends to show results from a bootcamp or harder effort 2-3 weeks down the road, not immediately after.  Imagine my surprise when the 10's started hanging on me.  I bought a pair of size 8 pants and they fit.  For about a month.  I sort of blew past the 8's and got into 6's and even some 4's.  I was absolutely surprised.  Tempo ARMS?!

Muscle activation and leverage isometrics, baby.  Holding that T-Tapp stance while working the upper body is powerful.  Consistency is powerful.  T-Tapp is powerful.  I had spent the year before doing consistent T-Tapp and it had worked its magic internally, which translated into external transformation.  My body is still changing and reshaping--25 years of obesity isn't going to completely rehabilitate in 3 years, especially at age 50.  But hey, it's a start.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Short Workouts Effective, Part 2

Gee whiz, sorry so much time passes between posts.  Life happens.  I realized I need to write "blog post" on my calendar so there's a slight chance it will get done. 

More questions from Elizabeth:
Also, did you brush after "every" workout? What about supplements? What supplements did you take during your weight loss that you feel really made a difference for you? Did you use PG spray? Alfalfa?

Yes and yes.  I did brush about 6 days a week and I truly believe it helped my skin tighten as I lost the inches.  Even when I did workouts every-other-day, I brushed every-day.  A few months in to my T-Tapp life, I began to take Sundays off from anything remotely resembling T-Tapp, and that included brushing.  I needed a mental break, a day that was *legal* and guilt-free, even if I had missed a couple of days before Sunday.  It is very rare for me to do any T-Tapp on Sundays to this day.  My life is so 24/7 with a (very) large family that I guard against getting overwhelmed, 'cause it doesn't take much to tip the scales in that direction.  I guarded my mental attitude towards T-Tapp by those Sundays and occasional longer breaks because I didn't want to burn out and quit. 

Supplements?  As an O blood type I don't need Fibertox so after that first bottle I didn't take it anymore.  I took alfalfa pretty consistently and when I didn't I definitely noticed a negative difference in my skin texture and the appearance of cellulite.  In my current lovely menopausal season of life I take 8-12 day.  I used PG spray and B-12 during workouts and again in the afternoon.  And let's not forget Skin Saver.  I used Skin Saver Face under my eyes morning and night and Skin Saver Body on problem areas.  I also took Natural Calm before bed fairly regularly.

And I'm not saying if you run out and buy and do all of this you'll get the same results, I'm just sharing what I actually did because, after all, that is the point of this blog. :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making Short Workouts Effective, Part 1a p.s.

In case you didn't read Casey's comment, here is part of it:

"Taking the less is more approach with T-Tapp you can focus on pushing your form as best you can for a 15-20 minute routine in order to get the most out of the workout. Rushing through a longer workout with sloppy form doesn't benefit you much. It's best to focus on doing the best you can with your form on each exercise, even if that means less repetitions at your own pace. Taking that route will get your body stronger faster so that you can do more each time you exercise."

My thoughts exactly!  No "break moves," no spaghetti arms, no straight knees--you get the picture.  Sure, it's a lot to think about, it's hard, it makes me huff and puff, I feel uncoordinated, waaaahhh! :-)  But in what other workout system do you get so much for so little investment of time?  I stand amazed when I read about people going to a gym two hours a day, six days a week.  Power to ya.  But it wouldn't work for me, period.  I'll spare you the details of what I've got to do this week, but suffice it to say, uh, I'm busy.  So I'll take 15 minutes of isometric, comprehensive compound muscle movement and go on my merry way.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Making Short Workouts Effective, Part Ia

Elizabeth asked these questions and I'll answer them in a series of posts.  Stay tuned for the next episode of *background music rises* Renew You...*commercial break*  (thanks, Elizabeth, for sparing me the effort of thinking up new topics!)

Q:  Could you share more about what you did that really made those short workouts so effective?

A:  There were a combination of things I did to help make short workouts effective.  First of all, I actually DID the short workouts.  :-)  Not just once or twice a week, but pretty much every other day, at least 4-6 times a week (6x week during harder efforts for a season, like the 60-Day Challenge, 4x week during regularly scheduled life, especially during the holidays).  I believe that long workouts EOD would give faster results overall, but only if done in good form.  In other words, flopping quickly through the Total Workout in an effort to speed up inch loss would *possibly* give less results than a mindful, muscle-activated short workout.  I say *possibly* because it would depend on overall form, fitness level, etc.

I became a student of T-Tapp.  I am "an inquiring mind who wants to know" so my search for information was probably more intense than the average person.  Many people are not the type to read everything they can find on a subject.  However, even the most casual learner can scribble a question about form on a post-it note as they work out and look it up on the forum later using the "search" function or study the move in Fit and Fabulous.  I read and posted on the forum almost every day, so that knowledge base built up.  Of course reading a form tip and applying a form tip are two different things, and you have to DO the workout to apply the form tweak (see above).

I have more to say on this, so there will be a sequel to this question.  In the meantime I must cook supper for twelve.  On the menu for tonight:  refried beans, tortilla chips, salad, taco meat, cheese and sour cream for a Mexican buffet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Short Workouts Revisited

Okay, girls, let's get down and dirty.  Yes, I got the vast majority of my results with short workouts.  Usually 15-20 minutes, up to 30 minutes.  (But I think interspersing seasons of long workouts a couple of times a week was important, too).  The promise of "15 minutes" is what drew me to T-Tapp in the first place.  "15 minutes" kept me going through busy days.  I would think "anybody can do 15 minutes."  And of course it was a little more than 15 minutes by the time I changed clothes and brushed, but still, no more than 25 minutes.  Okay, so we've established the fact that I did "15 minutes" a lot.

But does that mean it was easy?  Did I not sweat?  Did I flop through and jump in the shower?  No, no, no, my dears.  I groaned.  I dripped.  I researched form.  I pushed myself.  I worked HARD in that 15 minutes.  True confession:  More than once, when I was still really, really overweight (like 100 pounds), in the middle of the workout I sat down on the edge of the bed and cried a little bit because it was hard.  Then I stood up, pulled up my socks and pushed *play* again. 

So yes, 15 minutes.  Fifteen efficient, effective minutes.  But easy?  Not exactly.  Worth it?  Most definitely.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Enter the January Jumpstart Challenge!

Calling all T-Tappers--no matter how long you've been Tapping! The January Jumpstart Challenge begins this Friday, January 15:  January Jumpstart Challenge

I entered the 2007 and 2008 60-Day Challenges and they were instrumental in helping me reach my goal.  These contests were motivating and gave me an extra push to work harder for a season.  I saw real changes in my body and the effects continued in the weeks and months afterward.  And of course winning a category was absolutely fabulous!  Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.  The prize for this challenge is even more amazing than the Safety Harbor Retreat because of the chance to receive personal attention from Teresa Tapp in a smaller group.  The resort and spa is the ultimate pampering experience, and it's the best girlfriend time you'll ever spend because T-Tappers are so encouraging and friendly.  Take advantage of this opportunity to commit to consistency that will improve your body and your health.  GO FOR IT!!