Barbara I.

OVER 50 – Average to Lose

Pecs 1.5
Bust/Chest 1.5
Ribs 1.25
Waist 3
Abs 2
Hips 1.25
Right Upper Thigh 0.75
Left Upper Thigh 1
Right Lower Thigh 6.75
Left Lower Thigh 7.25
Right Calf 1.5
Left Calf 1
Right Upper Arm 1.25
Left Upper Arm 1
Total Inches Lost: 31


Essay:  British philosopher and author Alain de Botton on his website, The Book of Life, writes, “We begin to work only when the fear of doing nothing at all exceeds the fear of not doing it very well … And that can take time.”

I’ve been doing a lot of research to understand my behaviors lately. For example, I KNOW Ttapp is life changing, and I was excited how easy it was to win the Grand Prize in last year’s challenge. So why couldn’t I get off the couch this year? I’m working on a summary, which I would eventually like to share, about my journey in life and in this Challenge. As one of the posted articles asked, “What if a workout could save your life?” It definitely has saved mine!
I’ve always been a “last minute” kind of person. The one who waits until right before a paper is due, or right before a dinner party – or any number of such scenarios – before I shifted into high gear. The above quote helped me to understand part of my patterns. Fear of not doing it well enough certainly impacted my Challenge this year. After all, now “everyone” knew I could do it. But this time it wasn’t physical challenges I had to overcome. It was mental. To skip to the conclusion, the biggest difference came when I broke things down into smaller steps that I could actually plan and measure. First, I stated taking care of my nutrition to help give me enough energy to start to move. I started with a product called Isagenix and took their vitamins and protein shakes. The second thing I did was to take a look at my life to see what was different that could be holding me back. That’s when I realized that I spend most of my days alone, now that my six kids are gone. I’ve never been alone like this before! I’ve never lived alone and before we had children I worked full time at a job I enjoyed. Long periods of being alone had made me feel sad. Not depressed or desperate, just not the bubbly person that I usually feel like being. That’s when I got the email from Renee McLaughlin about a “bootie camp” for the last two weeks of the Challenge. It solved a lot of my problems! By having accountability and actually being in contact with a live person, I was able to respond to the connection in spirit as well as body. Renee wrote an email about stretching and this was my response… it explains how the Challenge went for me:

Dear Renee,

Thank you! I couldn’t agree more – about everything you said! But especially about the stretching. When both of my knees were hurting from having torn the meniscus in BOTH my knees in the same year, I stopped moving. Every movement hurt my knees. But over that year, ironically following the challenge that I WON, I just sat. Every muscle shortened up and froze. My shoulder hurt again, my thighs, which had been my strongest muscles, grew weak and flabby. And of course, I gained weight and lost muscle tone in my stomach – and everywhere else.

The 2017 challenge was my chance to change things up. I had had my knees operated on and I was supposed to do physical therapy but I didn’t do it. I just sat. When the challenge started I was “down” in every way. I was weak and sad. I spent the first month beating myself up for “not starting” with Ttapp. I just dreaded knowing how far down I was. Finally, after 5 weeks I did a 15 minute walking workout – but only made it 7 minutes. I couldn’t even lift my knees anymore! Instead of celebrating that I had made my first step in the right direction, I pulled back inside my shell and sat some more. I decided I could address my nutrition, even if I wasn’t moving, so I started an intensive supplement and protein shake program. I didn’t count calories or try to lose weight, I just tried to feel better. After 3 weeks it started to kick in and I had enough energy to try Ttapp again. I still had to get over my mental block – and just then I got your email about the Bootie Camp. Perfect timing! I have only missed one day in the 2 weeks and I feel so much better. The STRETCHING has been my best friend. My muscles are rejuvenating more and more every day! My shoulder is tons better, my knees are becoming more flexible and now only twinge occasionally when I go up the stairs. YAY!! My back pain is gone because my muscles are holding me up in Ttapp position and my stomach isn’t just hanging as dead weight for my back to hold up. And ohhhh those stretches on the floor where you put both knees on one side then the other – pure heaven!

It is hard to go from a Grand Prize Winner to a sad, stiff, discouraged lump and I am so thankful that this challenge brought me back to life again. My BRAIN needed a makeover before my body could even get started! By breaking it down to manageable, measurable steps I could finally move forward. I am so happy to be in forward motion now! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Here are a few takeaways:

1. If something doesn’t feel right, find the source(s). If it might be nutrition, make some changes. One thing at a time. Vitamins, water, sleep – fellowship – even baby steps take you forward! Break things down into measurable pieces and inch forward. Never give up.

2. Fear gets a voice, but it doesn’t get a vote. Sometimes fear brings to mind important details that I should pay attention to: like texting while driving could cause an accident! Listen to that voice! But sometimes the messages are just self beat-up. “You’re 60 now and you’re getting old, you just can’t look or move like you used to…” Nope. Thanks for showing up, but I’m not following that advice. I thank my body regularly now and listen carefully to what my spirit is saying.

3. Reach out. Signing up to be WITH Renee was the best thing I could have done for myself. It got me out of bed (8am class) and I was BEING SEEN. It was awesome!

4. Your mind listens to you and acts accordingly. I’ve always said that I hate to exercise. It’s no wonder that my body doesn’t jump at the chance to move (pun intended.) But I have finally changed that paradigm by saying, “I LOVE to stretch.” Ttapp is all about stretching and activating. I love the results! I didn’t lose any weight (after all, I only began two weeks ago!) but the muscles activated and began to hold up even between workouts. My back pain was gone because my abdominal muscles really came alive again and began to support my body. AND because of the stretching. Now when it’s class time I feel happy and excited for class to begin. I spend time thanking my body for taking such good care of me. I am so thankful for a fresh start!

A friend of mine recently said, “Your sparkle is back!”
And last week my mother asked me if I had been losing weight! (She’s 94 and still sharp!)
I have Ttapp to thank for that!

Final note: I lost 2.25 inches in one knee and 1.75 inches in the other knee! The swelling is virtually gone! My knee can bend back in a 90-degree angle and well beyond – and I can do all the moves of awesome legs! What a relief after 8 months of pain and limitation! I can sleep again without being woken up with a sore shoulder or knee! Thank you so much! I love to stretch 😉
It was such a different experience than last year. Feeling like I needed to “prove something” by looking awesome or that somehow I was a “fraud” if I could repeat last year’s success really had me paralyzed. Add that to the new loneliness in my life and the lies I was believing, well… I am so grateful that it ended on a better note. I am healing my body and my brain and enjoying my renewed flexibility and vigor. Thank you so much!