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Tips For Starting With TAM and Continuity Review

(Another of my after pics, taken by my friend Amy. Check out her photography blog here and like her Facebook page here. I love Amy!)

It’s now been 2 weeks since I finished Tracy Anderson Method Metamorphosis. I know a lot of people who have decided to take the plunge and try it themselves, and I’ve found myself dishing out all kinds of advice to everyone, so I decided to instead put it all right here, my top tips and tricks when starting TAM.

First of all, TAM is hard. And I mean really hard. I have usually done some kind of exercise pretty much my whole life, and nothing has challenged me like this. I tell you this not to discourage you, but to tell you that when you put in those DVDs for the first time and you are wondering how in the world you are supposed to jump for half an hour and then have anything close to the energy to do about a billion leg lifts, that it’s okay! You get awesome results because it is challenging, and no one expects you do be able to do it perfectly on day one. It’s a 90 day program, you have 90 days to try to get the dance cardio right, and 10 days to try to get the muscle work right. And if you don’t get it right in that 10 days? That’s okay too, just move on and do your best on the next level. It’s more about putting the time in than doing each move perfectly and every single rep.

Second, the dance cardio involves a lot of jumping. Jumping a lot can be hard on your body, especially on your shins and your joints. I had a lot of probs at first with shin splints, and then a couple of weeks in I had probs with ankle pain, and then a week or so later with knee pain. I’ve heard having a warm room helps, some people even get a space heater to make sure it’s nice and warm. I also was shown this video that really seemed to help me a lot. The biggest thing you can do is listen to your body and go easy on yourself! It’s okay to not jump as much and just step touch for awhile. That’s what I did for probably the first month and a half! It can take a little time to get your body used to moving in this way, but it will. I now rock out full boar for my half hour of dance cardio without any pain.

Third, food is important, even more important than the exercise. I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t do the eating plan that came with TAM and instead did my own thing. No amount of exercise is going to give you the ability to eat fast food cheeseburgers and fries 3 meals a day and be skinny and healthy. It’s just not the way life works. As I’ve been going through this process I’ve been reading so much about nutrition and exactly where our food comes from and I’m learning so many fascinating things. I encourage everyone to really put effort into thinking about what you are eating, where it comes from, and what exactly it is doing to your body. I think we were already eating pretty healthy at our house, we cook a lot from scratch and rarely eat processed foods, but we have been refining even more, adding way more fruits and veggies than I thought it was possible for a family of our size to eat, cutting out even more sugar and doing a lot more whole grains and lean proteins. Later I’m going to share a whole bunch of books that I have found, there is so much good information out there! Oh, and the food has to taste good! No one wants to starve and/or eat cardboard forever. Thankfully there are about a billion recipes out there that are both healthy and delicious. I recommend starting here if you need some ideas. Also, for your first reading assignment, go read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat, such a wonderful book that will change your mindset regarding food, I love that book!

I have now been doing the TAM Continuity program for 2 weeks. I was a little nervous starting Continuity because I read a lot of icky things about the editing. It was supposed to be just awful. I just started level 2 this morning and honestly, it’s not that bad at all. I love the new dance cardio, for me it seems easier to let go and just dance. It’s just fun! In the muscle stuff there is a weird thing where it fades in and out between moves on the leg work, but it really doesn’t bug me. Also, the computer-generated fake apartment that Tracy was exercising in in Metamorphosis is gone, replaced by a plain white background, but I don’t really care. The editing is supposed to get better as Continuity goes on, too.

For my results, I have to admit that I fell into maintenance mode a little early. Two weeks ago I still had 3 pounds to go to reach my goal, and I had been losing 2 pounds a week, so I should be at my goal by now, right? Well, I got thinking about how Metamorphosis was over, how close I was to my goal and how nice it would be to just maintain my weight. And so that’s pretty much exactly what I did. I started taking seconds of dinner again sometimes and indulged a little too much in treats. But really, I was still overall eating really good, healthy food with tons of fruits and veggies, so I was able to maintain fine. I did that for about a week and then realized what was going on, and after buckling down a little more I still lost 2 pounds the second week. I’m now just 1 pound away from my goal, and then I can go into maintenance mode for real! In level 1 of Continuity I also last another half inch off my waist and off my hips.

To find out more about TAM, read the rest of my updates here, or go check out the Tracy Anderson website here.  The people at TAM haven’t give me anything to talk about them, I just like to blab about the things I like.

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