The City Girl Farmer


We Want Results!

My last two posts have been about my quest for health and the latest crazy ideas I have come across in that quest.  Well, I thought you’d like to have the nitty-gritty on how it has worked for me.  So here are the details.  I began the T-Tapp More 10-Day boot camp on January 13, 2012.  On that day, I weighed 172.6 lbs according to my very high-tech scale.  Measurements were as follows:

  • Bust: 41″
  • Pecs (around chest above bust, under armpits): 40″
  • Ribs (under bust):  36 1/2″
  • Waist:  36″
  • Abdomen (fattest part of belly above hips):  42 1/2″
  • Hips:  45 1/2″
  • Upper thighs:  28″
  • Lower thighs (2″ above kneecap):  18 1/2″
  • Calves:  15″
  • Upper arms:  13″

Just so you know, I did not execute this plan perfectly.  Life happens and there were a couple of days where I only did the abdomen toning routine for about….uh….5 minutes.  I never made up any exercise I missed.  Early in the second week of February I caught some sort of intestinal virus that had me in bed, close to a toilet.  I did not exercise at all for the two days I was in bed and for about 3 days afterwards I took it very easy and did not finish the 20 minute workout.  After the 10 day boot camp, I followed the plan and with a few exceptions did the 20 minute workout every other day.  Five weeks later I weighed 173.8 lbs. (gasp! I gained a pound!) and here are my measurements:

  • Bust:  41 1/2 (Woohoo!  Gained a half-inch!)
  • Pecs:  37″  (Happy dance!  Back fat going away)
  • Ribs: 36″
  • Waist:  35 1/2″
  • Abdomen:  40″ (Another happy dance!  Belly fat going away!)
  • Hips:  44″
  • Upper thighs:  27 1/2″
  • Lower thighs:  17 1/2″
  • Calves:  15″
  • Upper arms:  12″

So while I am not yet ready to be seen in a swimsuit, I find these results amazing.  But it doesn’t end there.  While I was in bed with the flu, I was reading Matt Stone’s 180 Degree Metabolism and decided that as soon as I was ready to eat anything again, I was going to start his Rehabilitative Rest and Re-Feeding program (affectionately known as RRARF).   It took me three days to be able to really start over feeding myself, but since then I have been eating 2 to 2 1/2 times what I normally eat and drinking things like this coconut cream concoction, which is essentially a fat bomb sweetened with about a half teaspoon of honey to make it taste like a dessert.

Rachel drinking coconut cream

Now I have never had anything against fat and have always considered butter, cream, cheese and a big juicy rib eye steak proof of the existence of a loving God.  But this has been just the most fun experiment, challenging myself to eat as many of the forbidden foods as I can!   I figured I was so fat that I really didn’t have anything to lose (no, the irony of that statement was not lost on me) so I went all out.  I was absolutely convinced that I had finally found the cause of my weight problem.  It was caused by a slow metabolism as the graph below will attest.

Basal temperatures from 2/7 to 2/19

(I am realizing as I check the preview on my blog that the numbers are so small you can’t see them, so the bottom number is 95.0 F. and the top number is 98.0 F, the goal.)  So I have been eating as much as I can of proteins, carbohydrates and fat and I feel great.  As you can see, my body responded immediately and there is a steady upward trend.  Digestion is great and energy is better.  I have been resting a lot.  Naps are an almost every day occurrence.  I’m doing the T-Tapp More DVD for 20 minutes every other day and finding that it fits in very well with RRARF.  Exercising too vigorously while your metabolism is low is counter-productive.  I’m treating myself as if I were my own patient or as if my body were my child.  The challenge has been letting go other things to find the time to make LOTS of good food and to rest but I really couldn’t be happier with the results.  (Well, actually I could but this is real life.)

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A Little Bunny Trail
February 11, 2012, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Health & Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , ,

We originally decided that we wanted a little bit of land so that I could raise cashmere goats and pursue my spinning hobby. In the four years that we have been here that vision has changed. I saw this beautiful barn and all those acres and ideas of what we could do began to just pour into my mind. We still have goats and I still enjoy spinning but when we got here we realized we could do so much more and so began City Girl Farm.

I have always enjoyed gardening, cooking and eating and I always found the idea of self-sufficiency very intriguing. So we expanded. We added chickens, a dairy cow and an organic garden. But there was a secret motive behind all this that I want to share with you in this little bunny trail.

I had a health challenge that began in the fall of 2005 when I had a miscarriage. I have never been thin and before that I had dieted periodically in an attempt to maintain a reasonable weight with a reasonable amount of success. After that happened, I found myself unable to lose the weight I had gained during the few months I had been pregnant. At the time, I had a membership at Curves and I was on their diet and religiously working out for 45 minutes four days a week. To my horror, not only was I not losing weight, but I was continuing to gain weight despite my heroic efforts. I went from a pre-pregnancy weight of 145 lbs. to a whopping 182 lbs. in a year. I was miserable.

A friend of mine referred me to her chiropractor and he told me I was suffering from adrenal fatigue and that I needed to stop exercising immediately and take a nap for an hour each day—not sit and knit for an hour, not read for an hour—close my eyes and take a nap. If I couldn’t sleep, I was to just lie there with my eyes closed for an hour. I could walk for a half hour each day or do some yoga if I felt I needed to exercise. This was not an easy discipline to maintain as I was home schooling and trying to run a busy household at the time. And since I didn’t get immediate, dramatic results I quit going to the chiropractor and kept looking for what could possibly be causing this intractable weight gain.

During this time I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola and I learned about how important it was to eat organically grown, nutrient dense, “real” food. People reported that making these changes in their diets had resulted in dramatic health improvements, including effortless weight loss. So I made the change, hoping that it would do something for me. I found a source for raw milk and started buying organic produce and my weight didn’t budge. I went to the doctor thinking that maybe I was yet another victim of peri-menopausal hormone imbalance. All my test results were normal, but after having me record my axillary temperature first thing in the morning for 10 days, he determined that I was hypothyroid. He put me on thyroid medication which I took for about 6 months before I felt my thyroid kick back in and I went off of it. During all that time I lost less than 10 lbs.

After that, I decided to give acupuncture a try and it worked. I began going once a week early in 2008 and at the end of the year I was down 25 lbs. I continued into 2009 and got down to 150 lbs. before I stopped going. I felt I was just too busy and I was happy to be back in a size 10. But in the fall of 2010, the weight started to come back again and by the end of last year I was wearing a size 16.

Now I am a woman of a “certain age” and not as vain as I was when I was younger. I had made peace with the idea that I might just be a plump grandmother when the time came. But the real problem, aside from the plain discomfort of carrying around all that extra weight, was that I was losing my joie de vivre. I didn’t care about anything anymore. The smallest task seemed like a huge chore and my son remarked that I didn’t seem like the happy, passionate-about-everything mother he had known and loved.

I decided he was right and in the back of my mind something whispered that I might be hypothyroid again. I determined that what was missing in my health plan was exercise and I started to discuss this with a friend of mine who is a nurse. She agreed with me that I had several symptoms of hypothyroidism and that I should see my doctor and get tested. As I was procrastinating doing just that, I came across a book called The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary J. Shomon and I thought, “That’s it!” I bought the book and started to read. It had a lot of great information (although there were some things with which I disagreed or felt didn’t pertain to me) and a particularly intriguing part about exercise, which is where I felt I was deficient.

I have a theory about health. I believe that if you give the human body what it needs, good food, rest and exercise, that it will naturally heal itself and function well until the day it dies. I determined that of those three pillars of health, exercise was where I needed to focus. So I ordered the program recommended in Shomon’s book, T-Tapp More. It arrived on January 9th this year and I got started. Within the first 10 days, I had lost 3″ off my lower abdomen and could get into some size 14 jeans. (I lost inches everywhere else, too, but nothing quite as dramatic as that measurement.) Those are the kind of results that speak to me. After the first 10 days of what Theresa Tapp refers to as “boot camp”, you do the exercises every other day for 20 minutes for five weeks and then back down to 2-3 times a week. Fearing that wasn’t a sufficient amount of exercise, I went on to her forums and started snooping around and that was when my eyes were REALLY opened.

To be continued….