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T-Tapp Tuesday! Did I Diet?!

Sorry I’m a bit late in the day here!  Today was music teaching day so I’ve been busy between that and catching moments to work on 2 essays for my personal trainer certification!

So the big question–did I diet? 

Big answer–NO!

I am not for deprivation diets of any sort.  Even when I was a part of First Place, a Bible study weight loss program, I didn’t go below 1800 calories.   

I am an emotional eater, and one thing I’ve learned is that any extreme focus on food, either avoiding certain foods or even eating more healthy foods,  is counterproductive.

When I started T-Tapp, I weighed 175 lbs., which is exactly what I weighed before I had Isaiah….four months before!  I had lost very little when he was born, and then regained 10 lbs. over the next few months.  Nothing I did, even “being good” and not eating too many treats over the holidays, did anything to budge a single pound off.  I had started working out with my routine again (core exercises from Peggy Brill’s The Core Program, light weight training, and rebounding) and again…not a single pound, inch, centimeter budged–nada.

Teresa often says if you have to focus on movement or diet, choose movement.  You are at least moving lymph and expending some calories.  You can diet and get small, but you cannot diet and get healthy or diet and build muscle.  You must move to build muscle, tone up, and help move out the toxins you’ve stored in that fat!

In fact, T-Tapp advocates not focusing on food when you first start.  I started T-Tapp in January 2007 (4 years ago tomorrow!), and I didn’t worry about anything food-wise until March.  At that time, I was still nursing Isaiah completely, so I just focused on not eating as much bread and pasta (which I ate way too much of!).  Although First Place advocated exchanges instead of calories, I still got tired of counting things.  It did, however, show me how imbalanced my eating was! 

Baby steps–that’s how I did it. 

I started eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Then started eating a better chocolate (Endangered Species 72% dark, as a matter of fact!).  After awhile, regular variety chocolate started tasting like wax!  Even to this day, if I give in at the check-out and get a Milky Way (what I used to buy a LOT!), I eat a few bites, and wonder WHY did I even bother?!  YUCK!

I started only having half a piece of bread at dinner instead of two.  Still had butter on it, though!  And sometimes homemade freezer jam, too! 

Added more vegetables in my diet (still struggle with that one). 

After a few years of T-Tapp, I learned about Dr. Diana Schwarzbein and The Schwarzbein Principle.  I started eating that way as much as I could, and after a period of not losing for 2 months, started losing weight, inches and sizes!   Unfortunately, life got in the way after a few months, and although I didn’t regain, my progress was more sporadic.

I hit an adrenal crash a year and a half ago by doing two no-no’s:  I didn’t eat enough protein and I overdid it with exercise at the same time.  If you don’t eat enough protein (and carbs–you need carbohydrates to synthesize protein AND to metabolize fat!), your body will catabolize itself (think “cannibalize”!).   It must have amino acids and it will do all to keep circulation, respiration and digestion happening.

Most “weight loss diets” have you cutting way back on one of the major macronutrients–protein, carbohydrates,  or fats.  Now, anything in excess is not good!  But you shouldn’t cut way down on your complex carbohydrates.  This is backed up by science, that your body needs some carbs to metabolize fat and synthesize protein.  You need protein to build body tissues.  You need good fats to help you stay full AND it is an essential ingredient for healthy skin and hair AND helps in transporting fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K–I always thought low-fat or non-fat milk fortified with vitamin D was a bit of a joke!  You need the fat to synthesize the D!).  Dietary fat also provides you with essential fatty acids which are needed for many bodily functions, including regulating your blood pressure.

Let’s take a typical scenario:

You go on a “diet”.  You start losing weight and feel encouraged.   After a little while, though, you hit the dreaded plateau.  You then decide you need either a new diet, to lower your caloric intake, and/or exercise more.   Sometimes, that works.  Then you hit another plateau.  Now it’s not working, so you conclude that diet is not working for you.  You try another one.  And the pattern repeats itself.

A very important thing you need to know is that a plateau is NOT a bad thing!   Losing weight and inches is a good thing, but it is still a stress on your body.  When you burn fat, remember fat stores toxins and hormones.    So as you burn it off you are getting rid of that, but it may not feel so great!   The body needs to regroup and rebalance after a period of loss.

What also happens, if you are not getting enough of the right ratio of nutrients, is that your body assumes it is in a famine.  Now, in case you didn’t know,  muscles burn more calories than fat.   The body says, “We’re in a famine!  GET RID OF THE MUSCLE AND HANG ON TO THE FAT! We’re going to need it for this famine!”   Basically it resets your metabolism.  Now 1500 calories no longer will “work” for weight loss.  You need 1200.  But what happens when the body resets for 1200 calories for maintenance?  How low can you go?

My mom was anorexic.  She never admitted it, but anyone who knew her could tell you that.  I don’t know what started it, but for the past 20 years she had trained her body to quit eating enough.  And it was quite obvious as her body ate itself up—she looked like a Holocaust victim. 

You may say that’s not happening to you.  Your scale tells you you’re losing body fat and not muscle mass.  I had never figured out how standing on a scale is going to measure that.  So I looked it up and found those type of scales use “Bioelectrical Impedance”.  I’m going to quote from my trainer’s manual, “Fitness: The Complete Guide” from the International Sports Sciences Association (p. 346):

“Keep in mind that BIA devices were developed mostly for the population at large and use calculations and norms for the average person.  In addition, recent scientific reviews of thes emethods indicate that they are unreliable.”

I would not rely on those to tell me I’m really not losing muscle mass!  I don’t always fit into the “population at large’s” statistics!

The ISSA doesn’t condone any diet or eating plan that goes below 1200 calories unless for a medical reason that is closely monitored by a doctor.  I personally believe even 1200 is low. 

The big problem with low calorie diets or cutting out a nutrient (such as low carb) is that it is damaging your metabolism.

Breaking down, or catabolism, uses up your neurotransmitters, and actually releases “feel good” hormones. That is why people get “addicted” to exercise.  Dieting can do the same thing.  But there must be a building up phase, or anabolism, and typically that doesn’t feel as good.  Someone whose metabolism is damaged may not feel bad symptoms until they stop the behavior that’s damaging.  Then they feel worse, so they think, “I’m going back on my diet!”  or “I’m going back to my workout routine!  I felt much better before!”

The time of rebuilding can even mean weight gain.  That is not what we want to hear!  But you must be willing to go through this time of rebuilding if you want to be well in the long run.

Sure,  some of these diets and eating plans make you feel great–for now.   You may even have great results!   (for now)   Dr. Diana Schwarzbein is an endocrinologist who has been helping people get well, mainly through a way of eating, for 20 years.  She firmly believes that many of the “degenerative diseases of aging” are really diseases of a damaged metabolism.

If you are interested in learning more about The Schwarzbein Principle,  I have posted links at the end of this post I  would advise you read the transition page first.  Then go back and read through The Program tab to get an overview of the 5 steps.

I made a comment on my Fabulous Family Friday that if you don’t fuel your body well, you will be fooled by food!    We think we’re doing the right thing–but face it–food is to fuel our bodies.  Yes, it’s nice to have comfort and fellowship, but those are not to be food’s main purpose.  If you are an emotional eater, going on a diet or doing something to decrease your appetite is not going to solve the underlying problem, and that form of idolatry may just find its way into another area of your life.

The flip-side of that is if you only eat when you’re hungry, you may also be fooled.  If you have a damaged metabolism, you may well not be hungry when you should be.

Dr. Schwarzbein explains a lot of this in her excellent books.  “The Schwarzbein Principle” is a good book giving you the basis of her program.  “The Schwarzbein Principle II: The Transition“, is to me, the “textbook” explaining much of the whys and hows and helps you figure out where your metabolism is, all without being too technical.  “The Program” gives a Reader’s Digest Condensed version of it all and gets right into the program itself.  All three books have sample menu plans, and the first book even has  a few recipes. 

She has you eating 3 meals and 2 balanced snacks a day.   That is interesting, because do you know what my trainer’s manual advocates for building muscle density?   5-6 smaller meals a day!  With a balance of good fats, good carbs, veggies and protein! 

The thing I love about SP is that it is doable.  I am not doing it 100% right  now, but just getting the basics of the balance of protein, good carbs, good fats and non-starchy veggies is a big help.  When I was doing this last spring (during my Daniel Fast, I was careful to get plenty of protein from legumes and nuts, and to balance the meals according to SP) I started losing again and felt really good–mental clarity, less foggy brain, less hormonal issues, and even my eyesight cleared up!

Dr. Schwarzbein’s motto is:

“You have to eat well to build well and feel well, and you don’t lose weight to get healthy, you get healthy to lose weight!”

I say a hearty AMEN to that!

Your body has to perceive overall health and that it will be fueled well to release the fat.  You may need to give it time to “believe you” that you’re not going to turn around and starve it–again!  But once your metabolism heals, you will lose the excess fat in a way that is sane and healthy.

To date, after 4 years of T-Tapping, I have only lost at the most 38 pounds.  I have regained about 9 since Mom died last May.  But I kept losing inches even on fewer workouts over the summer! 

The amazing thing is–I have lost 174 inches!  And 8 sizes!  (Well, probably regained one of those!)  All I can say is muscle density is GREAT! :)

That is why I often say, “Weight doesn’t matter!”  If you are gauging your success on how much “weight” you’ve lost, may I suggest a better way?

There is a place for losing weight, but the scales absolutely cannot be the measure of success of a way of eating or an exercise program.

You want overall good health–not just a thinner body.

You want more lean muscle mass–muscle density, not just less fat.

You want to do all you can to live a full life as long as God allows–not just exist as you get older.

To do that, you have to move (T-Tapp!) and you have to fuel your body well (for me, that’s Schwarzbein!)

Following are some links that you may find helpful!

May we strike the word “diet” from our vocabulary and just focus on healthy, balanced eating!

I want to end this rather lengthy post (!) with a quote by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, from the page on the transition on her website:

In the healing phase your body will repair itself from the damage caused previously by years of poor nutrition and lifestyle habits. You always have higher insulin than adrenaline/cortisol levels during this phase because this is a rebuilding time.

It may seem as if you are in suspended animation during this phase because though you are healing, it doesn’t feel or seem that way. As you improve your habits, you are rebuilding your biochemicals at a much higher rate than you are using them up, and this causes you to feel tired and to gain fat weight.

During the healing phase you expose your current metabolism because your hormones will react to your new and improved nutrition and lifestyle habits and reflect their true state.

Unfortunately, your body will not start working efficiently the moment you improve your habits. As previously stated, you did not damage your metabolism overnight, and you will not heal it overnight. During the healing phase, you are still hormonally out of balance.

The more damaged your current metabolism is, the longer you will need to stay in the healing phase and the more fat your body produces. In fact, as your ratio of insulin to adrenaline/cortisol increases, your symptoms will worsen.

As awful as this may sound, this is your body’s only way to heal. So do not be put off by the healing phase–it is simply a reflection of the damage that came before it. Since insulin is a rebuilding hormone and adrenaline and cortisol are using up hormones, you can only heal from years of using up your biochemicals by rebuilding them– this means higher insulin to adrenaline/cortisol levels. Unfortunately, even though you begin to improve your habits, the damage has already been done by your previous poor habits. Therefore, you will not instantly reap the rewards of your better habits.

The Schwarzbein Principle homepage:


The page you MUST read about the transition (especially “The Healing Phase” about half-way down, where the above quote came from):


(In case anyone wonders, no, I have not done her GI testing. I can see it could be beneficial, but it is not necessary to “do” the Schwarzbein Program.)

A picture of 5 lbs. of fat and 5 lbs. of muscle so you can see how the same “weight” can take up less space!


A thread on T-Tapp that I compiled a few years ago of many other threads which will convince you that “weight doesn’t matter”!


Another thread I started about a plateau not being a bad thing:


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7 Responses to “T-Tapp Tuesday! Did I Diet?!”

  1. AJ says:

    Very intriguing! I have always been interested in diet, health, nutrition and fitness. I will have to look more into the Schwarzbein principle. That name is new to me.

    I can totally relate to what you said about diets. In my teenage and single adult years, I dieted constantly which only led to unhealthy food obsessions and yoyoing dieting plus binges. I don’t think a person should ever allow themselves to be hungry for any extended period of time. Imo, the best thing a person can do is to learn to love healthy foods and eat enough to fill satisfied. Goodies are fine. I just make sure to budget how much and how often.

    The T-Tapp site is not letting me post for some reason. I can login and read but I cannot post. I sent the administration a note and hopefully they can help me out soon.

    I tried the broom workout today but at then end of an hour, I had to go pick up my daughter. I did both warm ups and then that six minute walk workout. Is that okay? There was so much talking and instruction (plus that funny fire drill) I didn’t feel like I was getting all that much of a workout in that hour. My shoulders are sore right now and so I am hoping it did more than I think. A week or so ago, following the pamphlet that comes with the DVD, I did the BWO+ and then the two broom workouts. I don’t think I am ever going to want to do that whole DVD at once for an hour and 45 minutes! Is this okay? I can’t make up my mind if I like the broom workout or not. I worried about my form the whole time.

    I am wanting to buy more tapes as I know I need variety to stay interested. I know I want the arms one. I am also thinking about ladybug and something I think maybe the max series? I’m not sure on the title.

    Sorry to post so much. I didn’t intend to. I guess I am just frustrated that I couldn’t get on those forums!

    Glad you posted all those links. I’ll be sure and come back later and read them all.

    • Trisch says:

      A.J.–hope they get that problem figured out! That would be….like…withdrawl for me! LOLOL!

      Don’t worry about not getting through the Broom dvd. I went through the whole thing once! When I want to do something from Broom now, I do the Warm-Up (fast forwarding through the fire drill!) and then either Broom workout #1 or #2. Warm-up with Broom #1 takes about half an hour, Warm-Up with Broom #2 take 40-45 minutes.

      You can do the stepping one (without the broom) on days when you’re time challenged but want a little lymph pumping!

      And I’ve done the MORE on Broom by itself at times. The muscle activation tips on there are great!

      On a really crunched day, I at least do the three moves she shows in MORE–Primary Back Stretch, Reach Scoops and T-Tapp Twist, then do one of the Broom workouts. That way I have warmed up my spine before doing the workout.

      Hope those ideas help!

      I did some research on three different fat loss diets for an essay for my certification. I’m not impressed with any of them! (No, I’m not going to say which ones because I will probably make someone upset with me! ;) ) I know sometimes doctors are behind certain diets, and Schwarzbein isn’t without her critics, but I will say that everyone I know that is doing/has done SB has regained a healthy metabolism and eventually lost the weight–yes, sometimes it got “worse” before it got better, but they didn’t have to go way below a decent caloric intake nor buy any expensive “diet foods” or drugs. And most of them aren’t strict about SB–doing the best they can with what they can!

      One website said that SB requires a dr. because of the HRT. Well, the HRT isn’t needed by everyone, and although hormones may need balanced, you can still do a lot of good for your body by eating according to her principles.

      Oh, and another “con” to the program was “low carb and hard to stay on”–I have not found it that low in carbs, and Dr. S herself doesn’t advocate low-carb diets! For a bodybuilder, it’s probably low-carb! ;)

      Anyhoo, probably more than you wanted me to know! I am interested NOT just in losing weight/inches/sizes, but keeping my lean body mass and gaining health while I’m exercising and learning to fuel my body well!

      How long have you been doing BWO+? And have you done the rest of TWO? You will want to be familiar with TWO and Hit the Floor before attempting LadyBug! LB is an advanced workout that can seem easy…until you really get the muscle activation! Whew!

      The max series—strikes fear into my heart! LOL! I had MM3 but loaned it out and really don’t care if it ever comes back…..

      What do you have already? And have you seen Kirsen’s thread about how to advance through the workouts?


      Tempo Arms is a good one…but your lower body will get a workout just standing in T-Tapp stance for most of it!




  2. AJ says:

    You’ve given me so much food for thought I think I should print this out or something!

    I have been doing TWO since October but exercising for much longer before that. I use just the BWO+ on days when I want to do SATI or my elliptical. I also do the elliptical sometimes by itself to keep from getting tired of the TTapp moves. I do that on my offdays. I have pretty much stopped going to the gym or taking group fitness classes.

    I actually think I do need something more that TWO as I had been exercising regularly before I started Ttapp. I realize that Ttapp is different but still, I think I had an advantage than if I was totally out of shape.

    I am not trying to lose weight. I just want to maintain my weight while becoming more toned. My body responds quickly to aerobic fitness but my genetics are terrible when it comes to building muscle and toning. After a year and a half of body pump (and even longer with weight training classes) I still find myself looking flabby to myself. That’s one of the reasons I decided to go back to Ttapp and stick with it for at least six months to a year.

    I have Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and so I am also happy that these exercises are good for the thryoid. I don’t have too many problems with this condition however. I seem to be doing fine with my doctor’s care and don’t have severe symptoms.

    Btw, I am also skin brushing and taking alfalfa and fibertox.

    I get bored easily with exercise and so I do need to build a large library of DVDs so that I have lots of options to choose from each week.

    Let’s see..what else did you ask. Oh let me give you the rundown on my exercise stock so far.

    That hand and foot one but I haven’t looked at it yet.
    The skin brushing instructional
    Broom workout
    I ordered this months’ barefoot workout and the other one that comes with it.
    I also have some DVD’s with Theresa’s lectures and a CD.

    I think most of what I have is from when I ordered the complete system about for or five years ago.

    I’ll quite typing now and go read Kirsen’s advice. Sounds like something I really need!

    Thanks so much, Trisch!

    • AJ says:

      I just realized that I have one more tape. I have the advanced total workout on VHS. No one ever seems to talk about that one anymore.

      I actually like that one a lot as it appeals to my general impatience, lol. I like the way she moves through the sequences so quickly. There is not so much pausing and talking and so even though you do more repetitions of the moves, it seems like the time goes faster. You whip right through it!

    • Trisch says:

      I think the VHS you have is probably now known as Tempo 2. It moves more quickly, and there are two workouts–both TWO, but one with 8 reps and one with 10. I have never done the 10 rep one! :)

      Before you get LadyBug you’ll need to be familiar with Hit the Floor, so you might want to put that on your wishlist! The new Barefoot Basic+ is FABULOUS! I did it yesterday, and am amazed at the muscle activation! My lats, glutes, thighs and arms are talking to me! I also am excited that it will help rehab my foot that was broken several years ago (and we didn’t realize it was broken so it grew back together a bit torqued.)

      Just make sure you have a “default workout”–once I amassed most of the dvds, I would have the “which one shall I do” problem sometimes! LOL!

      I tend to gravitate towards MORE, although Basic Tempo has been a staple for awhile, too. Since I will be mentoring in Total Workout, that is what I’ll be doing and teaching for awhile!

      Have fun! “See” you on the forums! ;)

  3. melissa says:

    I am glad I read this post. I have learned much and have Dr. Schwarzbein’s books requested from my library.

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