BARBARA I.

Over 50 Average to Lose + Health

BODY PART INCHES LOST
Pecs -4
Bust/Chest -2
Ribs -3
Waist -5
Abs -3.5
Hips -4.5
Right Upper Thigh -3.5
Left Upper Thigh -3.5
Right Lower Thigh -1
Left Lower Thigh -0.25
Right Calf -0.25
Left Calf -1
Right Upper Arm -1
Left Upper Arm 0
Total Inches Lost:
Total Inches Gained:
Total Net Inches LOST:

 

Health Improvements: Combo with Long torso tendencies. Torn Meniscus and arthritis in right knee Left shoulder “frozen” – injured in an accident several years ago. Returned to normal after physical therapy. Now it is limited in movement again. Unexplained intermittent high blood pressure (can be as high as 180/90 but usually stays around 150/89 – but my pressure used to be around 120/77.) Urine leakage with activity even though I had a hysterectomy and bladder repair 5 years ago Noticeably thinning hair for the past several months Tiredness/lack of energy

ESSAY:  Less REALLY IS More or Bodies Don’t Lie!

When I began the 60-day T-Tapp Challenge, I was very skeptical. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe T-Tapp would work for anyone, it was just that old familiar voice in my head saying, “It will work for others but it won’t work for you.” I have tried to join the T-Tapp challenge before. Once I even wrote the final essay and submitted it without any pictures. Of course, I didn’t actually do the workouts, at least not very often, but I still believed that even if I had, I would not have been successful.

This time was different. This was the battle for my life. I desperately wanted to live out my life with a purpose and to use this season to make a difference in the world. For one thing, I am approaching my 60th birthday in October. Aging was taking its toll. My health challenges were beginning to mount up. I had a frozen shoulder from an old rotator cuff injury. I had a torn meniscus and arthritis in my knee and it hurt to walk or even to lie down in bed and try to sleep. My blood pressure was up so high (180/90) that my doctor gave me one last chance to bring it down naturally and if that didn’t happen soon he would prescribe blood pressure medication. My hair was falling out in handfuls and I had to wear a pantiliner due to urine leakage even though I had had bladder repair surgery five years ago. I was tired all the time and my memory gaps were beginning to concern me. I was “obese” by the doctors standards and I couldn’t even wear a skirt because my waist was so big. And I was lonely.

Last September I sent my sixth and youngest child to England for a gap-year study before college. After homeschooling all six of my kids and being a mom for 30 years, I had worked my way out of a job and that made me very sad. I loved traveling with my kids, but that had piled up quite a lot of credit card debt. As I considered what kind of job I was qualified to do, I lacked the confidence to go after some of the jobs that I thought sounded interesting. I would get claustrophobia when I thought about working every day for the same place in a little cubicle with limited vacation days.

I decided I better do something about my confidence and my attitude before I turn 60. I listed all the things I had put off doing for myself. Exercise, time out with friends, even reading books. My “community” was my kids and they had moved on – just as they should have, but it left me with little support and some very real loneliness.

The T-Tapp challenge came at the perfect time as I decided that my health was the most important area for me to address. My knee had been diagnosed with a torn meniscus and arthritis and was constantly causing me pain. At the end of last year I tried 40 sessions of physical therapy but did not see any real improvement. I also had a frozen shoulder from a previous rotator cuff injury. I had done physical therapy several years ago and it helped, but over the years it had refrozen and I could not reach my left hand above my head. (I have a photo of me grabbing the “ring of faith” at a ropes day event. I was determined to grab that ring and it is hilarious that my right hand does indeed grab the ring, but the left hand is dangling helplessly in front of my chest dinosaur-like, unable to move due to the frozen shoulder!)

Hot yoga had helped a little bit. It loosened up my joints and reduced the pain for a little while. In fact, when the challenge began, I thought I could not qualify because of attending hot yoga once a week. At the last minute I contacted T-tapp Support and asked if I was disqualified because of attending hot yoga. They kindly said I could continue my yoga visits but to report it at the end of the challenge. As I was writing up my entry I realized I was not giving T-Tapp a fair chance. So I decided to make a full commitment and not attend hot yoga or physical therapy to see what happened.

I started taking Alfalfa, B-12, Vitamin D and Pyruvyl Glycine. I started dry brushing. I drank water. I did an 11-day detox and then tried to eat as “God made” as possible. I did not count calories but tried to let hunger be my guide. I watched portions, but I didn’t cut anything out completely. I did cut back on sugar…most days. I also listened to the Calls and took notes. I ate avocados and salmon. (My weight did not budge until the last two weeks and then I suddenly dropped 10 pounds!) Finally, I made it a goal to get more sleep. That was very helpful! I stopped waking up with a foggy brain! (I was struggling with memory issues but I forgot to mention that in my opening Challenge list of health issues…of course! That proves that it was a real problem!)

In the beginning I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos and DVD workouts. I tried some of the moves and decided to stick with Senior Fit. (I also have added the finger stretches for arthritis and the sitting moves that stretch the tops of my feet. Oh, did those two exercises feel good!) The first couple weeks I was doing warm-ups, stretches and twists and found that if I follow the T-Tapp position it actually took the pain off my knee and I found my shoulder loosened up. Within two weeks my frozen shoulder was remarkably better and my range of motion was dramatically increasing. That gave me enough encouragement to press on.

I decided to drive to Louisville for a workshop and to meet Teresa. That did three amazing things for me…

Number 1: I was welcomed into the arms of an amazing community of women who were wonderfully supportive, affirming and encouraging. I felt my thirsty sponge of a heart begin to fill with love and support. I began to pray for my T-Tapp sisters as they posted stories of miscarriages and health issues and also celebrated their successes with them. At Louisville I met Teresa. She worked so hard for us! Her life is devoted to discovering more and more about how our bodies respond and how to tweak each movement for maximum benefit. She was smart, funny, patient and incredibly selfless. The end of a that long workshop day when she wanted to go to see her brother whom she hadn’t seen in a long time, she offered to stay to extend the workshop to show us additional moves. She didn’t have to do that. I found myself wanting to spend a weekend in Florida with Teresa and these lovely ladies and that began to truly motivate me. Over lunch some of the workshop attendees showed us things they had learned at the retreat. How to stand, how to pose for pictures and even how to minimize turkey neck 🙂 We laughed, we talked and I found acceptance and joy in the journey instead of the “need” to look better. I am by nature a “nurturer” and would love to give back to the T-Tapp community that has given me a new community to love and serve. I really hope that I win a spot at the Annual Retreat in August so I can fulfill this dream!

Number 2: I took a place right in front of Teresa and by being with her in person I was able to clearly see what she was doing and she would give me feedback to improve my position. I finally “got” the bellybutton to spine, where before I was only holding my stomach in. I learned so much in person and when I put them into practice I began to see a difference! I am so thankful I made the trip from Wisconsin to Kentucky to meet Teresa and the other wonderful T-Tapp ladies!

Number 3: I ordered more workshops; in fact, I literally ordered More 1 and 2. When they came I spent more time watching different moves and found the chair section an excellent warm up. In the meantime I had gotten pretty good at the Senior Fit and could complete the workshop at tempo after doing the Senior Fit warm-up. I made my schedule for the weeks to come, fully intending to faithfully follow my plan. Of course, as life happens and opportunities / responsibilities arise, sometimes those plans aren’t carried out.

The first week in April I got an unexpected opportunity to go to Paris for a week. I thought, “Oh well, maybe next year I can win that trip to the retreat…” but I kept up with the Hoe Downs and pressing my belly to my spine. On the plane I would push my feet to the floor and my forearms on the armrest and some of the things that I learned from Teresa. Of course I never believed that less is more, but I still hoped that less was better than nothing. Walking for miles in Paris would never been have been possible if I hadn’t spent the last several weeks strengthening my core and learning to tuck and curl so that my weight shifted to my heels and walked KLT. If I was standing at an art exhibit or at a store and my knee began to throb, I would check my posture and inevitably I was out of “T-Tapp alignment.” As soon as I corrected it, the pain went away. The friend I stayed with in Paris lives on a 4th floor apartment with no elevator. The day I arrived and carried my suitcase up four flights of stairs, I thought one of my health challenges was going to really be a problem. As I went up the steps I consciously thought, “I hope my pad can hold what happens!” But I paid attention to my posture and my knees and what I had learned about steps on the DVD’s and just kept going. You can imagine my surprise when there was no urine leakage at all!

Over the next week I walked those flights many times, sometimes three or four times in one day. I knew that my T-Tapp workouts were paying off! I kept up with a few Hoe Downs and curling my core and KLT. I thought to myself – i’m not sure that when Teresa said ‘less is more’ she meant this little but I still figured less is better than nothing. I pressed on. When I got home I was greeted by the news that a good friend was dying of pancreatic cancer. She asked me to help her with a publishing project and I laid aside everything for that priority. Every time I drove somewhere I pressed my belly to my spine and held it tightly. I tried to get in at least a set or two of Hoe Downs every day. But I wasn’t getting my workouts in as I had planned. Is twice a week plus some individual movements enough to make a difference? I would find out. I refused to measure during the challenge because I was afraid it might be too discouraging. I knew I had not lost weight, but the metabolism boosts and walking kept me from gaining weight!

However, I was pretty sure that when I looked in the mirror I saw my waistline narrowing. Was my stomach really getting flatter? Was the muffin top disappearing? I pressed on sometimes only fitting in two workouts a week but I did have to admit to myself that two workouts were more than I have ever done in a week before. Could it really work for me? Could it work enough to win the retreat?

Well, here are the results of my health issues I listed at the beginning of the Challenge. My blood pressure was so high (180/90) that the doctor said he would give me one more visit and if it had not come down he wanted to start me on blood pressure medication. By the end of the challenge my pressure was regularly in the 117/70 range. He was delighted and I told him all about T-Tapp. Yesterday I finally had surgery to repair the torn meniscus in my knee and I glanced up at the monitor. My blood pressure was 117/80. I am so thankful for the health I have built up using T-Tapp! Urine leakage is rare and is now only induced by violent unexpected sneezes 🙂 My hair seems to be falling out at a minimal – even normal rate. My hairdresser said it seems normal to her, and she and I had talked about how much hair I was losing over the past year.

The lymphatic system has responded to the exercises and the supplements – perhaps especially the alfalfa, Vitamin D and B-12 and lots more water. I also found that my memory was better. Between the sleep, the nutrition and the exercises directed to help your mind-body connection, I am much improved! My shoulder is as limber as the “healthy” shoulder and although I would occasionally feel a twinge I could easily shake it out and it did not limit my workout. Finally it was time to measure the results. I’ve been reading Facebook posts online about how well some of the ladies were doing and I saw some of their pictures. I took a deep breath and measured myself. I took my pictures and compared. It’s really true! Less is more! I lost a few pounds (10 pounds) although I’m not sure how. When I returned from Paris I was at the same weight that I began the Challenge. I only had two weeks between Paris and the end of the Challenge. I guess all that walking in correct form and the Hoe Downs paid off! I feel like my body let go of some of the fluid buildup I had been storing. But pictures don’t lie and I can see a BIG difference.

A few weeks ago my husband and I drove to NYC just for a day (birthday request.) When he was filling up the gas tank I found myself practically skipping in the sunshine. I was wearing a pair of legging-like pants and a long flannel shirt. I felt so peppy! I felt so young! I even felt CUTE 😉 I lost a lot of inches (32.00) and I regained my confidence.

Just three days before the challenge ended I was asked to join forces with a nonprofit group to raise money to refurbish the Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse which has been abandoned for 50 years. They had been working for three years and had only raised $20,000. They need at least 2 1/2 million dollars more! Fundraising would require knocking on the doors of all the biggest businesses and political offices of the city and even of the state. Asking for money requires confidence. Building community requires being able to take rejection and being creative and letting them explore how the Lighthouse could fit into their dreams.

I know my journey with T-Tapp is only just beginning but now I’m ready for the challenge. I am reassured that I still have a lot to offer and can serve anywhere God calls me. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have to go call the Mayor! Thank you SO much for this challenge and for the results you see. I am thrilled and ready to start my next Challenge. My son is getting married June 12th and I now have hope that I will feel great and look good walking down the aisle with everyone watching! And I won’t be limping!! Woot! I hope I get to thank you in person at the August Retreat! Much love and gratitude, Barbara Ingraham Just to clarify, I did not attend any hot yoga classes or physical therapy during the Challenge.