Susan G.

OVER 50 – Average to Lose

Pecs 2.5
Bust/Chest 3.25
Ribs 4.5
Waist 3.75
Abs 3.75
Hips 1.125
Right Upper Thigh 1.125
Left Upper Thigh 1
Right Lower Thigh 1.5
Left Lower Thigh 1
Right Calf 0.5
Left Calf 0.25
Right Upper Arm 1
Left Upper Arm 0.75
Total Inches Lost:  26


Essay:   I entered the T-Tapp challenge at the encouragement of my friend, Karen Thames. We met in an online support group for patients with Cushing’s Disease.

The last ten years have been challenging for me. In 2007, I was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease caused by a pituitary tumor. The disease had caused me to gain about 40 pounds, mostly in my abdomen. It also caused muscle wasting in my legs and arms making it difficult for me to do daily activities, threw me into early menopause, and caused exercise intolerance, tachycardia, high blood pressure, and severe fatigue. I also developed an inguinal hernia, most likely due to trying to exercise with thinning skin, tendons, and ligaments. Finding the online support group helped me to self-diagnose my condition and find an expert who would literally save my life. I had the tumor removed in July 2007 and thought all was behind me. Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy, as my pituitary gland needed time to recover. I started growth hormone replacements to help with the muscle wasting and weight control, as my pituitary was no longer keeping up with GH production. For several years I was better, but not well. In 2009 I hit another bump in the road when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I became “interesting” to the medical community once again, as my doctors did not know how to handle my cancer and continue to keep me on growth hormone. The final decision was to take me off GH, as the doctors were concerned that it could accelerate any cancer cells that might be left behind. As the years passed I went into remission from both diseases and gained strength, but the weight hung on. In 2011, I went on a restrictive diet to lose weight for my son’s wedding. It worked, and over six months I lost 30 pounds. While I was very happy with the weight loss, I wasn’t happy not being able to enjoy the food I loved, and I quickly regained all I had lost.

I saw the progress that Karen was making (up, walking, feeling good!) and talked to her about T-Tapp. I studied the website, did a few “try before you buy” exercises, and even chatted a bit with a T-Tapp Trainer. Then life happened again, and my weight and health had to go on the back burner. My elderly in-laws moved to Colorado to be with us. My mother-in-law was in a nursing home just around the corner, and my father-in-law lived with us. At the same time, my elderly parents had to leave their home of 65 years and move into assisted living. My husband and I had four parents ages 89 – 96, and we were spending all of our time taking care of them. In one year alone we had 15 hospitalizations, one surgery, and 133 days spent hospitalized or in rehab. All of that took its toll on me, as my stress response will never be normal due to my Cushing’s, and I was hospitalized with acute kidney failure and had several adrenal crises. After my mother-in-law passed away in December of 2016 and we moved my father-in-law to an assisted living, I realized it was time to gain control of my stress and focus on my own health.

I was still in the Cushies for T-Tapp group on Facebook, and I saw the posts about the challenge. Without even thinking about it, I joined the challenge — but then I realized I didn’t even own a DVD player, much less any of the T-Tapp workouts! I ordered the BWO+ with SATI and bought a DVD drive for my computer. I had to start the challenge just doing Hoe Downs because my videos hadn’t arrived yet! After the first week, I did what I’ve always done when it comes to exercise. I thought “if one workout a day is good, three will be outstanding” and overdid it. I went back and reread the website, and posts on the Facebook group, and determined that this time I was going to work the program like Teresa designed, where “less is more”. I tried to do something almost every day, even if it was just a set of hoe downs, but in those weeks that I only exercised three times I congratulated myself on letting my body rest. I think I *finally* understand how to make this a true lifestyle, and not just another failed diet/exercise program. The 60-day challenge was the perfect amount of time to get the philosophy embedded in my brain! Thank you, Karen and T-Tapp!