T-Tapp – 8 Day Bootcamp

I decided to embark on a 7-10 day T-Tapp bootcamp. (Spoiler: I made it 8 days.) Below is my journey.

Overview
I did a little research on WHY you should do a T-Tapp bootcamp, and it sounds like the magic is in your body LEARNING T-Tapp. I’ve always shied away from bootcamps because of my past adrenal fatigue issues. My issues have improved greatly. In fact, I’m not sure if I actually had adrenal fatigue or anemia and host of related issues. I’ve been much better since about 6ish months after starting iron supplements. Despite the recommendation on the T-Tapp Facebook page, I’ve decided to try a bootcamp anyway! (Famous last words?)

My Background
I’ve been doing T-Tapp informally for almost three years (will be 3 years in July). At first I just did Basic Workout Instructional and Plus. I only originally did the instructional the first week or so, then moved into BWO+. At first, I probably did 3ish workouts a week. Over time, I was able to build up to some days doing 4-6 workouts. In December before I sold my house I was doing SOME T-Tapp every single day. I’d do the full Tempo workout every other day and PBS and a few other moves the other days. I have been steadily gaining weight the past 5-6 years, almost seemingly for no reason. I’d try low carb or fasting and would lose 3-8 pounds, then would stall and gain everything plus more back. Other times I’d step on teh scale and watch it climb 5 pounds here, 3 pounds there. I’ve never been officially diagnosed with anything, but I also don’t do the diagnosis chasing that’s easy to get in the routine of. I was told there’s nothing serious wrong. That’s all *I* needed.

After having good luck in December doing more T-Tapp workouts, and recovering from two weeks of heavy work moving, in late February I decided to start doing traditionally “harder” workouts (specifically, The Firm, which I LOVE). I made it about 9 weeks before my hip flexor started hurting and I ended up with piriformis pain, stopping me from all workouts. But my body was gaining endurance and strength until that point. And I was working out about 5 days a week. I felt good about that progress, but so frustrated with the hip, I decided to go back to T-Tapp since I’d never had issues there. The Tuesday after this decision was a Discount Tuesday. And it all fell together! More

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Revitalized and Excited for the Future

For those of you who have been following my disjointed journey, I’ve been struggling for the past five years with post-workout fatigue, food allergies, and lots of various minor health maladies. I say minor not because fatigue or allergies are small things. But for me, compared to bigger things like cancer, heart disease, or anything else I may not have been able to work out with time, in hindsight, these are small things. I think my struggles all hinged from burnout at work. I ran my body into the ground, and was surprised when it finally revolted. Actually, that’s not true at all. But I was surprised despite the revolt, “fixing” me wasn’t simple.

Note: Just looked back at my stats. Things started to go awry in late 2010/early 2011. And really came off the rails in late 2011/early 2012 (it makes me sad to see the “WHY?!” that I was noting waist size increase, no weight loss, etc.), but I didn’t accept it until later that year and beyond. I remember that year was the year I went paleo, and I was able to glean some weight loss because of the (lower carb, switching up my workouts, etc.). But you’ll be not-so-happy to see my stats now. I’m trying to stay NOT FOCUSED on that. It’s going to be a 40lb gain. Work to do, but I’m more excited for endurance and strength than weight loss.

It was a complex combination of learning to sleep normally again, avoiding allergy foods, using AAT (Advanced Allergy Therapeutics) to fix a magnesium allergy, finding a vitamin C that worked for my body so I could absorb iron, and using B-12 almost excessively, but D-3 sparingly. I also went through a phase of food obsession (ever heard of orthorexia?), let the pendulum swing back to horribly unhealthy eating out of frustration, and now have settled into a more sustainable way of eating. I went almost five years with no real workouts to speak of. This was the worst part for me. More

Book: May Cause Miracles

Over the past several months I’ve been working on improving my attitude, perspective and happiness. Some steps have been empowering myself – going after weaknesses in my job skillset, facing fears, and saying “no” more often.

I have also been prioritizing sleep. And doing something pretty hippie: diffusing essential oils.

But one thing I’ve really enjoyed is reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles. As a disclaimer, her definition of a miracle is simply having a change in perspective. So instead of being a victim, re-telling your story or seeing opportunities. Face your fears, or even simply acknowledging them, and seeing fear and your ego are limiting you.

This book has been fantastic. You do a quick one minute meditation in the morning, a short focus at lunchtime, then usually some journaling at night. I think simply taking these times for yourself would improve happiness. But following Gabby’s approach really does create subtle shifts. Forgiving yourself or others. And realizing everyone’s unhappiness comes in most part from fears.

I am just barely in to week two, and I have so much positive, I feel myself rejecting and pushing away negative people. My boss who is a roller coaster of grumpy moods. One day he’s hilarious. The next he’s a bear. Seeing the fruitless competition and complaining on social media. Anything the media prints.

 

I walk away from arguments I can’t win before they start. I am a lot more empathetic. I smile at people. I say things like, “good morning” and “have a great weekend” and mean it. When the pace speeds up, I consciously slow down. I see my aggression, frustration, anger, unhappiness and shut it down. I haven’t been in such a positive mood in years. I feel like a brand new person. Only not brand new. Rather the old me.

Thanks to Gabby. And I’m so excited to get through the remaining four plus weeks. She dedicates a week to food issues. I can’t wait to get there for my next post. But general peace and well being is relative to overall health. So, even without that, I’m a lot healthier. And I enjoy being in my own skin more!

Overweight People Aren’t Lazy Idiots – Maybe There’s Another Cause (Besides “Genetics”)

Here it is. The death rattle heard ‘round the Internet. People are posting links to this article and either saying it’s disheartening or “another excuse.” And despite my better judgement, I read every comment. Every single one. Full of people who think their experience never gaining weight, their experience easily losing weight, or their experience losing weight and keeping it off negates that there’s an issue. Rather people are lazy excuse-makers. No one sees an overweight person as a person. Rather they’re a sub-human form of life who is disgusting and lacks willpower. I’ll stop you right there if you’re one of those people. I am overweight, and I am not lazy. I am not worthless. I have willpower. I work on projects for work that everyone else has abandoned because they require too much work, too much attention to detail, and too much follow-through. I lack nothing that these assholes are saying fat people lack. I am a very goal-oriented person. I bet I have more money saved than the average American my age. I get delayed gratification. And I am a smart person. I have access to good food. And I eat it. And I don’t eat 6,000 calories a day like many people assume. But I hear you, you judgmental jerks. You don’t WANT heavy people to lose weight. You don’t want there to be more to the story.

In my opinion, this article was the perfect avenue to open up dialogue and brainstorm other potential causes  or approaches. This was a great scenario to consider other things that might be playing into the story. Maybe it’s not as simple as people are eating way too much because they’re glutenous sloths. Maybe most overweight people WANT to lose weight, but they’re struggling. Maybe simply eating less and exercising more really isn’t working. Maybe you can take them at face value and be part of the cure, not the perpetuation of the disease (of fat-hate).

Somehow an article that seemed to me like a suggestion to look at other approaches has pitted those who struggle against those who have never had weight issues or lost weight once and kept it off (even if that time is less than two years, as mentioned in the article – those who have lost weight recently think they’re safe from regain). Hell, a friend called fat people “fucktards.” How is that helping? I’m glad you know every person in the world. I’m glad you’ve experienced every scenario. I’m glad you know everything about everything, ever.

So, as a fat, worthless, lazy fucktard, what do I think? More

N=1 – What Works For You Versus What Will Work For Everyone

Let me start this post by saying, I think it’s so, so, so important to learn what works for you. So important. So I’m not suggesting people stop that. Keep using yourself as an experiment. If you think a certain food bothers you and you want to eliminate it, add it back and see what happens, great! If you want to see what level of carb intake your body responds best to, do it! Or how much protein or fat seems to be optimal for staying full and getting in good workouts, do it! Or, when you have in injury you might work out on your own or get advice on what your issue is, that’s fantastic. There’s no point in knowing what that pain means in “most people.” In order to heal and improve, you need to know why YOU are having the pain.

But you have to remember, what works for you may or may not work for someone else. So someone else is struggling losing weight, and when you lost weight all you did was eat as few carbs as possible. That’s great. And it’s nice to suggest, but stop at suggesting. If the other person feels like crap on very little carbs or can’t maintain it, or doesn’t lose, that doesn’t mean he or she is lying. It just means what worked for you doesn’t work for them. If weight loss for you is simply staying under 2500 calories, great. I’m glad you found what works for you. The problem is you can’t push that on someone else. You can’t expect someone who progressively feels worse and worse to intermittent fast. Or run two miles every morning. Everybody’s body is different. We’re all unique little snowflakes. And, sure, when something works for most people, it’s nice to suggest it. But when it doesn’t work for someone, that doesn’t mean they’re lying or doing it wrong, it simply means they’re not part of the “most.” That’s why they say “most,” after all. “Most” means “not all.” More

Nine Cups A Day – Day One

Day one wasn’t as hard as I suspected. It’s not that I never eat fruits and vegetables, I think I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for how much I was eating. Probably at least five cups per day, on average. Of course there are days I only eat a cup or two. But other days I probably get six or seven or more. So adding two to four more cups wasn’t much of a challenge. The biggest challenge seemed to be the sulfur-rich vegetables, which, admittedly, I avoided.

Once upon a time, I ate carrots, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower several days a week for an afternoon snack. Then I couldn’t eat peppers anymore. And then I tried to limit things like veggie dip. And without those few tablespoons of dip, I didn’t want raw vegetables anymore. So it was kind of nice getting back to eating some raw veggies. I did miss that. I used to pair raw veggies with any number of things. Yesterday I just had my veggies with a dip made of cream cheese, salsa and garlic powder. Win!

So, the day went well. But it was also kind of gassy and bloaty which is the reason I’d been avoiding broccoli and cauliflower. Once I stopped eating it semi-regularly, it’s like I lost my tolerance for it, even cooked. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with those gas pains that feel like a heart attack. And if I’d add just a few pieces to a salad, I’d feel blah all day. So, like a normal avoiding person, I avoided.

Anyway, that’s the background of that. And I’m excited to add these vegetables back because I did some limited/unfocused research (results below), and am excited to get the health benefits of these vegetables.

So, what did I have?

  • Berries (frozen and fresh): 2 1/2 cups
  • Spinach (raw): 1 1/2 cups
  • Kale (cooked): 1 cup
  • Lettuce (plain old iceberg, which many people don’t count, but I do): 1/2 cup
  • Grapefruit (fresh): 1 cup
  • Carrots (raw): 1/2 cup
  • Broccoli: 3/4 cup (1/2 cup raw, 1/4 cup roasted)
  • Cauliflower: 3/4 cup (1/2 cup raw, 1/4 cup roasted)
  • Banana (fresh-frozen, and fresh): 1 cup
  • Onion and Garlic (cooked): 1/4 cup
  • Tomatoes (canned and salsa): 1/2 cup
  • Total: 10 1/4 cups

Summarized:

  • Greens: 3 cups
  • Sulfur vegetables: 1 3/4 cups
  • Colorful: 3 1/2 cups
  • Miscellaneous: 2 cups

My goal was three cups each of the first three. I fell short on the sulfur vegetables, but think I made a good decision to ease into it. As my body adapts to eating them, I’ll probably eat more, spreading them out during the day. I HATE waking up in the middle of the night feeling miserable. Not only do I feel miserable, but it impacts my sleep. And I need my sleep! I seemed to thread the needle. Enough for bloating. Not enough to be up at night (and I even ate dinner late).

So, overall, I’m happy with day one!

Other breakdowns: 

  • Fruits: 5 cups
  • Vegetables: 5 1/4 cups

More vegetables than fruits (by a hair). And I even put tomatoes in the fruit group. I’m happy with this.

Sulfur-Rich Vegetables

I did a little more research on the sulfur vegetables. The Wahls stuff I read says the sulfur helps push the toxins out of your body. Mark’s Daily Apple had a little bit of information on why to eat sulfur-rich vegetables.  It wasn’t as in-depth as I’d hoped, so I specifically researched a list of and benefits of the two types of sulfur-rich vegetables: brassica and allium.

Brassica

  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens (which I’d put in the greens group)
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts

Brassica Health Benefits

  • High amounts of vitamin C and soluable fiber
  • Potent anti-cancer properties (reduced with boiling – but not with steaming (especially for 3-4 minutes), microwaving or stir-frying)
  • Compound in brassica is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer activity
  • Improves eye health
  • Lowers risk of stroke
  • Rich in vitamin K, which improves inflammatory response

Some Considerations

  • The same compound that modulates the innate immune response is also an anti-androgen.
  • They also contain goitrogens, which suppress thyroid function.

Allium

  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Chives (not a vegetable, and contain limited health benefits compared to above)

Allium Health Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps with memory loss
  • Hinders tumor growth
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol
  • Improves heart health
  • Helps with arthritis

Allium Health Considerations

  • Garlic can be a blood thinner
  • Might want to avoid if you have migraines

Doesn’t that make you want to run out and make a brassica/allium stirfry? Seriously, though, is there a better smell than onions and garlic cooking in butter? I’m already thinking of all the ways I can incorporate more of these vegetables.

Day One Workout

Just for the sake of reporting in on my workouts, I did 30 minutes of walking at work yesterday (I sneak in the workout room on breaks and walk at 3MPH). I also went for a 2 mile walk/run/jog. Jogging as much as I could, doing some faster running intervals when I felt like it. This was the best attempt at running in a long time. I still felt tight/clunky and am worried I’m inducing shin splints. But I think the magnesium is working! Zero full on charley horses while running. I didn’t even stop to stretch. Although my legs were the first to fatigue. I also did about 20 minutes of a workout video, which included some weight lifting. I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m going to use some of the machines in our workout room the rest of the week since I seem to be on a cardio uptick, which means I’m lifting a little less. Don’t worry, this is normal. Spring and fall always make me want to get outside more. My goal is to get into good enough running shape to maintain through the summer.

Overall Day One Summary

My energy was good yesterday. The worst part of the day was the bloating from the cauliflower and broccoli. But if that’s the worst of my problems, life is pretty good!

Tomorrow I’ll talk about either brightly colored

Waving The White Flag at Perfection – Focusing On The Big Picture

I want to apologize in advance for over-use of quotes. When I talk about an eating plan, I often quote stuff because it’s all heresy.

This week starts my “focus on nutrients from foods” week. Forget about eating “perfect” since there’s really no “perfect” diet. The one thing all the “good” or “successful” diets seem to have in common is focusing on eating fruits and veggies. Sure, there are some diets that say to avoid fruits or starchy vegetables because of the sugar. But most just say, “Don’t just eat potatoes and bananas, and you’ll be fine.” All of these diets can’t be wrong. There’s a reason that’s what we always go back to fruits and vegetables. They’re nutrient-dense. They’re satisfying. Fruits can cut your sweet cravings. Vegetables are filling. You’re getting vitamins and minerals and fiber and improved internal functions. And there are so many to choose from.

So, it’s the end of an era. The era of perfection. The era of, “This perfect diet is what I need.” I’m entering a new era. An era of, “Perfect isn’t working – it’s too time-consuming.” I’m moving on to “eat like you’d feed your kids.” Or, “Focus on the positive, not the negative.” When we feed our children, we focus on making sure they eat nutritiously most meals. We give them fruits and vegetables. But we don’t often do the same for ourselves. I once read that the majority of dog owners feed their dogs better than they feed themselves. I think it’s easier to see what everyone else needs, but easy to put our own needs aside. Our health is a priority, too. And once we’re past a certain age, our moms don’t force us to stay at the table or withhold dessert until we’ve finished our vegetables. We’re adults. We should do this for ourselves.  More

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