It is a very low point in your life when you are faced with the thought that maybe you should just accept the fact that you are supposed to be a big girl the rest of your life.
I have struggled with weight and my appearance since giving birth to my first
son in 1998 at age 20. The pregnancy weight came off and I was quickly back
down to my pre-pregnancy size... but all of those inches and pounds came back
quickly because I was really naive about even the most basic concepts of nutrition
or fitness. I had always been an avid horseback rider, swimmer, runner, and
downhill skier, so exercise wasn't new, but I had never done any of these things
looking for a physical payback - I just did those activities because I enjoyed
With a new baby, a husband, full-time schooling, and the new stress of financial struggles, I began to eat when I didn't know what else to do to cope with it all.
I found T-Tapp in January of 2002 through a forum geared on motivating Weight
Watchers participants. Intrigued by this fitness program, and a self-admitted
exercise program/equipment junkie, I ordered the system and started as soon
as I received the tapes. Fourteen days and 10.5" down (and nine pounds lost!),
I was sold. I continued T-Tapping faithfully until I reached my weight and
size goal and, unwisely, stopped T-Tapping because I had, after all, reached
my goal and maintaining would be easy! Seems ridiculous to think of it now,
but I will blame the ignorance of my youth for that. May I never make that
I did more or less maintain my smaller figure for a while because I was riding and jumping horses a minimum of 10 hours per week until I found out I was pregnant with my second child. T-Tapp slipped my mind during this pregnancy, and I chose to instead work out at the YMCA and swim laps. My pregnancy and labor/ were uneventful, but then I got hit hard with a very severe case of postpartum depression stemming from the limitations of having a new baby, a husband working 80+ hours per week, building a new house with a less-than-helpful builder, and trying to sell my current house. Following the birth of my second son, I had, again, lost most of my pregnancy weight, but I put it back on quickly because I was drowning my sorrows in liters of Pepsi each day and dozens of breadsticks and cheese dip or containers of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket bakery. Without a doubt, it was the lowest point of my life and I didn't know where to turn except to food because no one seemed to understand what was going on in my head.
Nine months after having my second son, in January of 2005, I decided that if I couldn't do the things I loved to do (mainly ride my horses) due to a small baby, I needed to find something else physical I could do. More than anything else, I needed to try to relieve stress and focus all of that energy on something else other than bingeing on the worst kinds of food and wallowing in self-pity. This is when I returned to T-Tapp with another
14-day bootcamp, which netted me inch loss that exceeded 11 inches. My mood was better, I was focused on something that could only be good for me. I will never regret my decision to put that tape in the VCR and give T-Tapp another shot to work wonders with me.
However, during my first couple of months back to Tapping, I found out I was
pregnant with my third child. My focus shifted from inch loss and focused on
a healthy pregnancy, though it was very difficult because I was sure that I
was doomed to repeat the same horrible postpartum depression following my pregnancy...and
I felt that it was likely I could not physically or mentally take any more
of that than I had already endured.
I T-Tapped throughout my pregnancy, and the delivery was uneventful. To my delight, my postpartum depression was significantly diminished. I attribute this to the hormone balancing effects of T-Tapp and the Premium Blended Alfalfa sold in the T-Tapp store, as well as the fact that I was already more accepting of the fact that my freedom to do personal activities had already been limited by my middle child.
About March of 2006 we decided to take my second child (now two years old) in for speech and occupational therapy evaluations. He was exhibiting extreme behaviors such as lining up objects obsessively and banging his head on the floor or the wall when he could not make his wants or needs known to us. This course of action threw our lives into what felt like constant motion, with my son attending various therapies four to five days per week. Some days we were in the car from nine in the morning until five in the evening hitting more than one therapy appointment plus the obligations of my oldest son who was attending his old school 30 minutes from our new home. It was enough to take a toll on me physically, and even though I had lost most of my pregnancy weight after having my third son, it came piling back on and I ended up weighing in at 190 pounds, only a couple of pounds lighter than when I was full-term with the last pregnancy.
It was at this point that I found myself at that point that I was ready to accept the fact that maybe I was supposed to be a big girl. A size 18 or higher would be my normal size from here on out, and, okay, I guess plus-size clothing wouldn't be so bad now that they make some cuter options (at a premium, naturally). And I listened to myself for quite a while!
In the fall of 2006 I remember writing a blog saying that I was drawing a line in the sand, that I wasn't going to live this way anymore. I was sick of sitting down in that reclining chair with a tub of cookies and eating every time my husband's job mandated he work until the wee hours of the morning instead of 6 p.m. like he'd originally told me. I was sick of wearing those ugly stretch jeans that were now starting to dig into my stomach every time I sat down. I was sick of kids poking my love handles when my tank top would ride up above them. I was sick of sweating all the time and being uncomfortable just sitting in a chair because of rolls getting in the way.
I started following the Mastering Leptin way of eating, joined Tappy Holidays
with T-Tapp Trainer Lani Muelrath, and lost about 11 pounds in a month until
holidays came and screwed me up again. I was able to maintain the weight loss,
but my inches fluctuated wildly after I fell off the wagon with my eating -
and so did my sense of humor.
Fast forward to the spring of 2007, when I decided I wanted to surprise one
of my best friends by losing weight for her summer wedding. This started me
experimenting with workout schedules and my caloric intake, which resulted
in another 10 pounds gone before the wedding. It has been four months since
the wedding, and I've lost another 15 pounds and I'm still going strong! The
key for me was getting out of the mindset that said I should be able to eat
whatever I want because Teresa said I could. I was using that philosophy to
justify my huge tubs of cookies and the enormous quantities of food that I
was consuming in one sitting. I guarantee she didn't mean that when she told
us we could lose inches without dieting. Teresa is all about not depriving
yourself, but I now know that what I was doing was not what she meant by "not
dieting". It was probably more like an eating disorder. I was eating my emotions,
something I must stay very conscious of daily. I also realized that I prided
myself on taking days off from working out and instead laying around watching
TV instead of taking a walk or making time in my schedule to still be active
even if it wasn't necessarily T-Tapp. Making simple changes like adding in
a walk or bouncing on a rebounder while watching TV has made a noticeable difference
in my body and my outlook on health in general.
Looking back, since that time that I drew that imaginary line in the sand
last year, I
have lost about 53 inches, four sizes, and 35 pounds - bringing
me to a snug size 12 and 155 pounds, much more reasonable for my 5'6" combo
body than my previous size 18 (and growing!) and 190 pounds.
I still have a ways to go to hit the goals in my head, but T-Tapp and taking charge of my own health has given me focus and determination that weren't there before. I can't say thank you enough to Teresa and all of the wonderful T-Tapp trainers, staff, and wonderful fellow Tappers I've met along the way. It is unusual to meet a community of people like you will find here, and it is invaluable to my success as I travel this road of finding out more about how to thrive in this life instead of settling on being a person I don't want to be.
Thank you for everything!
Jen Henderson (a.k.a Sk8rgrrl)