Saturday, August 25, 2012

TheTracy Anderson Method: One Year On

A year ago today, I started doing the Tracy Anderson Method 30 Day Bootcamp. Two days previously I had been on my hands and knees in tears as I saw my weight starting to creep up, depsite exercising to dvds etc. I decided to go hard core and ordered Tracy Anderson's book.
It changed my life as it made me think that certain things were possible if I put the sweat in. And you know she was right.
I went from being a skeptic to being a believer in about 14 weeks as the fat melted from my body. My shape changed and my cheekbones which had disappeared sometime in my late tweenties/early thirties reappeared. After doing the 30 days, I started on her Metamorphosis programme.  I am currently on Day 289. You only count the workouts and unlike the bootcamp, you do get a rest day once a week.
So what has changed:
I am well within my healthy BMI. So I am not too fat or skinny and am currently in my ideal weight spectrum. I stopped weighing myself in the early part of this year when the scales started determining my mood. This was not good and I find it easier to do it on how my clothes fit.
I went from wearing a UK size 14 (okay I could squeeze in a 14 if I held my breath but I liked to think of myself as a 14. My daughter commented that I should face facts and I was a 16.) to wearing a UK size 8. There are times when I fit into a UK size 6 but I like being an 8. When you get smaller than an 8, it is difficult to easily find clothes. I have no super model pretension and I do like my food. An 8 suits me and my lifestyle. The equivalent US sizes are a 10 (12 if you listen to my daughter) and a 2/4 (depending).  As a side note when I first moved to the UK, the equivalency was UK sizes were one number bigger, now they are 2.
I have been able to maintain this while eating what I want. I have found my eating habits have changed and I now eat far more fresh fruits and vegetables. And something has to be worth eating if it is unhealthy. I also eat very little processed food as I don't particularly care for it. I eat far less cheese and don't drink milk. I do eat more Greek yoghurt. And I really limit my salt intake. I eat far less bread  than I used to. I no longer have the cravings for it. Having a bit of gluten/wholegrain in my diet does help my digestion and I dislike the thought of forbidding anything. It is more about how my body feels and if the food is worth eating. Underpinning everything is the before breakfast exercise.
I recently went through a stage of incredible physical hunger and have decreased my dance cardio to 30 min 6x week. I had been doing 60 min. I also walk the dogs and garden. Decreasing the cardio means that my appetite is now back under control. Some people would have easily lost more weight but at a certain level, I love my food and kept needing to eat.
For a number of levels of TAM I have been using weights once I can do all the reps, however with the last few levels of C1.2, we were supposed to wear the weights all the time and I found it hard. With the start of C1.3 and the ball, there are no weights. I decided to experiment and am keeping off the weights (unless Tracy has them on). The slight bulking I saw in my calves, thighs and abs has gone down and I am really concentrating on hitting the cross vectors. I am also sweating far more.
  I have also started repeating the arms and abs as it is permissable. With the leg lifts, because sequencing is important, you can add extra reps but you don't want to repeat them. This feels like a more complete workout.
The net results is that my body is in better shape than it has ever been. Unrecognisable to what it was last year!  I now have a bottom which is an asset instead of a behind. It no longer flows in my thighs or drops. My arms are fab and my back is great. My c-section overhang remains but I am working on it. (Hence the repeating of the abs), I think it is mostly loose skin. One of the great things is that I now know that truly redesigning your body does take time. It doesn't happen overnight. You can get great results but to get the last bits, you need to realy get in there and work.
Exercise for me has become like brushing my teeth -- something that I just do. It doesn't have to be enjoyable. I just do it. My mood always lifts and one surprising upshot has been that I have not beeen seriously ill for the last year.
My flexibility and strength have all increased. I feel far more empowered to do things. I know I can cope with various challenges that TAM throws up and therefore it is easier to cope, to be proactive rather than reactive or trying to ignore things.
I am very pleased that TAM came into my life and look forward to the next year.


Caroline said...

Your weight loss has been amazing Michelle. Massive congratulations. Caroline x

Anonymous said...

Fantastic for you!

Chris Olesen said...

Very impressive, Michelle! It's inspiring how you have gotten to know your body and fine tune the plan to what works best for you.

Kate Hardy said...

I'm really proud of you - you've worked hard and you've achieved a lot. Best of all, you're maintaining it, which is the hardest part. Well done!

Judy Jarvie said...

Well done, Michelle! You've worked so hard and it's inspiring!
I'm on Weight Watchers currently and half a stone from goal but getting activity firmly into my life has been the best part of the journey. I also like feeling more in control with food.
All best and well done.

Christine said...

One year is such a major milestone! Congratulations, and thanks for paving the way and being an inspiration to me.

Unknown said...

hmmm...and I thought that blogg with name year with Tracy...I found out...but saddly not.
So congratulation Michele ...and for lost weight too.