Happily Ever After: How Your T-Tapp Story Turns Out
by Charlotte Siems
“I’m a homeschooling mom of seven, and your story gives me hope.” “I’m middle-aged and my tummy is definitely my worst feature. Reading your story gives me hope.” “I’m so encouraged by your success. It makes me think I can do it, too.”
These emails and messages come in weekly. In the beginning, with that first hopeful inkling of starting to exercise, I had no idea where it would end up. Losing two sizes, from 22W to 18W, to look better for a wedding was my idea of a final goal and the first chapter in my story.
And that was all I had the belief for. Standing at the foot of a weight-loss mountain, looking up at 100 pounds to lose, was too overwhelming. Like a fairy tale, one hundred pounds was the faraway, magical dream, the someday-maybe and the I-don’t-have-time-or-energy impossibility.
I weighed 258 pounds and wore a size 22W, so my sights were set on getting into the 240’s and a size 20W.
That first workout was a doozy. I was out of breath and sweaty just from moving my arms in Plies. It was a good thing that the bedroom door was closed. I had never done an exercise routine before and my coordination was pitiful. When I did my first set of Hoe Downs I’m pretty sure I heard the china rattling in the dining room.
I bought my first pair of shorts in many years and a cheap pair of shoes for my new workout life. The shoes lasted less than a week before I bought Skechers Energy 2250 on the advice of T-Tappers on the T-Tapp forum. I even donned a tank top and felt practically athletic.
One of the first challenges of moving my body was having to look in the mirror while I worked out. Our small bedroom has a large mirror above a sink area so there was no escaping. I didn’t like looking at my large arms and lumpy hips and big, round tummy. But in some ways it was good for me, because it forced me to face reality.
I was tempted to give up before I started. No one likes doing something they’re not good at. How do you get good at something? By doing it. Over and over. I was surprised at what just a week or two did for my coordination and endurance.
Within days my arms and legs seemed firmer. Skin brushing made my skin so soft and silky. My energy levels soared, but it took a couple of weeks. At first I was just tired and sore.
My body went through a detox phase. I had done so little physical movement for so long, getting the lymph moving was a bit of a challenge. I felt emotionally “down” for a couple of weeks at first. But from my reading on the forum I knew that it was probably detox, so I took salt baths and cried when I needed to and it eventually passed.
Getting started was not pretty. I huffed and I puffed. My form was way off. I didn’t have the mind-to-muscle connections to place my body in the correct positions. My fat got in the way. Seriously.
But I just kept going. Even when I felt ridiculous or discouraged.
I kept going by keeping it doable. Sure, I had seasons of doing more long workouts. Short seasons. And those seasons were really good for me, as I think they did things to rehabilitate my body on the inside.
But over the long haul, being realistic about what I could physically, mentally and emotionally handle was crucial. I knew that an all-or-nothing attitude would burn me out so it was more of a some-and-something lifestyle. For me, four 15-minute workouts a week were better than one 15-minute workout plus one 45-minute workout that didn’t get done because I dreaded it.
You know the rest of the story. I grew up to become a T-Tapp Trainer, appeared in Woman’s Day magazine and my story went on to inspire tens of thousands of people all over the world. All from sweating through a DVD in my bedroom with the door closed.
I don’t know where you are in your T-Tapp journey. I would never in a million years have dreamed that I would end up where I have. But I do believe that your story can have a happy ending, too. Start writing your story today, with that first workout, sweat and all. You’ll love how it turns out.
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