Monday, November 07, 2011

The Tracy Anderson Method: L4 Days1 - 6: Secrets of being fit and fab

This last week included a rest day and two dinner parties.  Note the picture is from AMBA and does show off my new figure. The second party proved problematic as I ate too much.  Simon Hopkinson's Stilton biscuits and cheese at the end proved too much. My husband had made this really rich meal -- chestnut and wild mushroom tagliatelle, cassolet, orange and watercress salad and chocolate pithivers. My stomach ached. I had to do the dishes while our friends were still over as I felt so sick. It is the last of the entertaining for awhile and I can back to normal. It is easier when we go out to other people's houses. I really guilty refusing my husband's food as I know how hard he has worked to make it.
Anyway, the scale was heavier on the Saturday so I made sure that I really worked out hard and dialled everything back. The result was that the weight gain has disappeared by Sunday and I am back into my green zone. (Yes I did weigh myself as I knew I'd eaten more than I should)
This week I read The Secrets of Skinny Chicks by Karen Bridson. An awful title for a fantastic book. It should be called the Secret of Being Fit and Fab, no matter what what your jeans size!
It is about looking at how women who are slender or who don't have problems with their body image cope and it is hugely practical. She profiles 21 women and gives 50 tips which are examined in detail with action plans. Most of profiled women are US size 2,4 or 6 with one size 10. The common theme is a six day a week exercise regime. If you want to be size 4 or below, it includes an hour of cardio plus muscular structure work, so it was a huge tick for me there. It is about making exercise like brushing your teeth, something you just do. Very few women look good at my age without working out. End of story.
The women eat around 1600 calories per day but the important thing is that they burn all the calories. If they know they are going to be eating more, they make sure they exercise or dial it down. Everything in moderation. Some allow themselves a designated cheat day.Others just go for the moderation approach as it is a Lifestyle rather than a diet. Once you feel like it is a lifestyle rather than a diet, you are less apt to feel deprived.
When the holidays or dinner parties come up, people who feel good about their bodies develop a strategy to deal with them. For example, looking at menus before hand to decide what to eat if going out to a restaurant or exercising more. If they spend time eating too much, they don't abandon the good work they have already done. It is not an all or nothing approach. They simply return to their programme, making adjustments as needs be.
One of the big take aways for me was the concept of a traffic light system with my weight. To think about it in zones. Red (above 145 or 10 st 5 lbs for me) means immediate retreat to full TAM Lifestyle Menu. Amber (140 - 145 or 10 st - 10st 5 lb) means cut back on portions and watch. Green (under 140 or 10 st) means I can eat  with the family and am allowed a few treats as long as I do the exercise.  The decision of where the zones are is entirely subjective but they should be within a Healthy BMI. Basically I am happy with being a size 4. I don't want to go to a size 2. I want to tone, rather than lose more weight.
A lot of being slender is from your neck up. It is about thinking about those parts of your body that you like and realising that you do have the figure you want (if you work for it).
She also has some strategies for combating emotional eating and other forms of self sabotage.  Except for some of the wording (skinny chicks and gals -- nails on blackboard time for me), the  book was a good read. There are very few books that deal with maintenance after a weight loss and how you restore your body image. This is one.
Much of what she says tallies with what Tracy Anderson's philosophy so that was good.
Level 4 Omni is hard work but fun. I am still really enjoying TAM. I shall see what my measurements are at the end of this level. However, I am v glad that my thighs don't touch any more. There are bits that still need to be toned (I can see them on the photo!) but I am confident that TAM will get me there. Consistency and persistence.
With my writing, I promised my editor my partial today and am not entirely happy with it so I need to work on that. It just needs more depth. Consitency and persitence for that as well! I suspect when it is done, it will be awesome.


KarenB said...

You are an inspiration to me. I started with Jillian Michaels after you did and it helped. But now I'm working out with kettle bells, it's fabulous. Not as quick as Tracy Anderson, but I've dropped 2 dress sizes in 5 weeks. I'm still fat, but these days I look compact not flabby. I was aiming at a uk size 16, but now I'm going for a 12 - I haven't been there since I was 15, over 30 years ago.
The photograph of you is amazing, well done. One day, when I'm published, maybe we'll meet and compare notes.

Rula Sinara said...

Wow, Michelle! That photo is amazing! You're such an inspiration.

Christine said...

What a great picture, looks like you have made so much progress! Thanks for the book summary too, that is alot of useful information

Michelle Styles said...

KarenB -- Fantastic that you have dropped 2 dress sizes.
I am sure you will make the UK size 12! It is important to decide which size you want to be and how much effort you want to put in.
And one day you will be published. Again it just takes perseverance.

Thanks Rula!

Christine -- my jaw is on the floor at my progress. I am not the person who is supposed to be the UK size 8/US size 4.
The Secrets of Skinny chicks is a useful book. It has a lot more info tht I need to process -- tips for breaking emotional eating for example...

Tracy2011 said...

Hi Michelle,

I enjoyed your blog on TAM. I think it would be a great subject on the community on body image. I have a problem with seeing myself as a smaller woman. I lost about 20lbs last year, another 6lbs with TAM. I wear a size 2, so really don't need to lose weight, but do not see myself that small in the mirror. I wonder if any other ladies have this problem. Anyway, I think I will read the book you suggested in your blog. Keep up your blogging and posts on the community I enjoy reading them. Take care.