15 April 2015

Product Review: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes! (Updated 4/30!)

Have you started getting in shape for summer? I wish I only had to worry about summer! I've reached the age where I have to keep at it year round. When I had ankle surgery last October, it put quite a crimp in my exercise schedule. I wasn't cleared to walk on the treadmill for almost 5 months. Five months with virtually no exercise at my age is about the equivalent of no exercise the entire decade of your 20's!

So when I was presented with the opportunity to review Teresa Tapp's book, Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, I said YES! Anything to jumpstart my exercise program and firm up some of this flab from sitting around for months.

Product review: Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes!
sponsored post disclosure

Have you heard of the T-Tapp program? It's been around for quite some time, and has been hugely successful. The name of the program stands for the name of the workout's creator (and author of the book), Teresa Tapp. Teresa has an extensive background in exercise physiology, and a Bachelor of Science degree - and she also has a history of back problems, which is what led her to develop the program. You achieve more results in less time, while getting stronger and more flexible.

Teresa Tapp, fitness expert and author of Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes!
 Teresa Tapp, fitness expert and author of Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes

The key points (and the great things!) about this program are that:

  • It can be done anywhere- even in hotel rooms.
  • You only need 4 square feet of space to do it.
  • It only takes 15 minutes for each workout.
  • No equipment is needed.
  • You can lose one to two sizes in four weeks

The Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes book includes a DVD inside the back cover. That DVD has a message from Teresa and instructional videos that show the exercises for: getting a flat stomach, Hoe Downs, and advanced Hoe Downs. The Hoe Down is the only exercise from the book that is on the DVD. So it's just a little "bonus" DVD, not a full exercise DVD. I love the stomach exercise and the Hoe Downs!

The main part of the book explains all of the moves for both the Basic Plus Workout and Total Workout, and even includes common mistakes made and how to avoid them. There are plenty of pictures showing all of the body positions. It tells you how to breathe, how many counts to hold each position, and even explains what each exercise will do for you.

But the book does a lot more than that. It talks about working with your body type and helps you determine what that type is - and it's not the typical apple-pear categories. There is a lot of positivity in the book, which I found, well, healing. I think so many of us have self-doubts, feelings of not being good enough, wishing that we were thinner, taller, more athletic, more flexible, whatever - and we fail to see that we don't need to be like anyone else. This book talks about just doing your personal best, working to your personal max, and that is all it takes to see results. I liked that - and it made so much sense!

It also includes stories from real people who have used the program. These are people of all ages and sizes, with a lot of different health issues, who share their stories and how T-Tapp worked for them. There's a section on eating, although this program doesn't restrict calories. And then there's a FAQ section.

Linda, a real-life T-Tapp success story!
Linda, one of T-Tapp's real-life success stories

So what did I think?

I thought the book explained the program and exercises really well. I liked being able to understand the theory behind it. And it's great for learning the correct form. But I found it a little difficult to actually do the exercises using the book as a guide. It's hard to hold a position and breathe properly, while turning pages and reading - and I'm not the most coordinated person (just ask Lulu - I think I was the only dance mom who couldn't dance). Fortunately, there are some videos of Teresa doing several of the exercises on YouTube, so if you're interested in trying them out (and need to be shown, like me!), you can see them here.

I didn't have any problems following the exercises on YouTube or on the DVD in the back of the book, so I plan to purchase the Basic Workout Plus DVD. But I'm the type of person who has to know "why?", so I'm glad I have the book to refer to for positioning, what not to do, etc.

Does it work?

First, let me tell you about my health issues. I don't talk about them much, but I think they're pertinent here. I've had 2 cervical spine fusions (C4-5, C6-7-8) which limits my neck movement. I have degenerative disc disease, and another bad disc at the C3 level that causes ear, neck, and shoulder pain. I've had thoracic spine surgery, where they inserted rods and screws - and I still have residual back and nerve pain that radiates around my rib cage. I also cannot twist to the side very well. I have hypermobility syndrome (which is a milder form of Ehler-Danlos syndrome) which means that my joints are really flexible - and that sounds great - but it's not. The ligaments and tendons stretch out easily and they don't go back to the original size, so my joints tend to be "loose" which leads to joint pain. I have Stage 2 arthritis in my right knee which causes daily (and nightly) pain. I had a tear in the peroneal brevis tendon in my left ankle last year, resulting in surgery in Oct. 2014. And that's just the mobility stuff - I also have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, gastric reflux, migraines, and hot flashes. Is this the part where I thank my ancestors??

The point of me telling you all of that is so that you can see that exercise is something that is not easy for me, for many reasons. Yet it's something that is very important that I do everyday if I want to stay mobile and healthy. The problem is finding something that I can do that won't cause more pain afterward.

So back to T-Tapp. I started on March 27, and took my measurements before I began. There are four options in the book, with specific instructions for each option. I opted for the "lose two sizes" option, which had these instructions:
    • 15 minute Basic Plus Workout or Total Workout (45 minutes) seven days in a row
    • Then switch to every-other-day schedule for 2-3 weeks
    • Then take 2 days off between workouts for another 2-3 weeks
    • Once desired clothing size is reached, work out 1-2 times/week to maintain results

    Sounds pretty easy, right? Skeptic here - if it sounds too good to be true, and all that...but I put on my big girl panties and did the Basic Plus Workout. Or I tried. A lot of the exercises were really difficult to do! (Or I was in worse shape than I thought!) I kept thinking "Wow, there is no way I will ever lose any inches because I'm sure I'm not doing this right!" - but I kept trying. Every day. Remember - work to your personal max! After about 4 days, I noticed that it was getting easier, and my form was better!

    So at the end of week 1, I stood in front of the mirror with the measuring tape - pen and paper at the ready - and nervously took my measurements. I purposely didn't have my original measurements with me because I didn't want to be influenced (or disappointed). I was very careful not to pull the tape too tight, just keeping it taut against my skin.

    I LOST 11 INCHES!!! AND 2 LBS.!! What??? I really was amazed. I knew I had lost some because my clothes were a little looser, but I didn't expect that much.

    According to the program I chose, for the second week, I was to exercise every other day. I actually only managed three days instead of four, but when I took my measurements at the end of the second week...

    I LOST 6 INCHES!!! AND 1 LB.!! And keep in mind that I was doing nothing differently other than the T-Tapp. I do try to eat healthy and I walk a mile on the treadmill 2-4 days a week, but that isn't new (well, not new since last month when I was cleared to walk on it). So in 2 weeks, I'm actually a little smaller than I was prior to my ankle surgery 6 months ago - except for my calves, but I think that is because they had me pressing 70 lbs. with my calves in physical therapy, LOL!

    And you know what else? My back hasn't been hurting nearly as much, and I've been able to move around with less pain. We've had a ton of rain the past week, so I'm really surprised that my back and neck haven't bothered me much. Since my back seems to love it, I've been doing the Primary Back Stretch and one Hoe Down every morning and then part of the Primary Back Stretch at night before I go to bed.

     T-Tapp logo

    Would I recommend this book?

    Those of you who know me, know that I am always absolutely honest in my reviews. If I'm not allowed to be honest, then I won't do the review. So, yes, I would definitely recommend this book! Even if I hadn't lost any inches, having less back pain with doing 15 minutes of exercises a few times a week is totally worth it. If you only knew how much I have suffered over the past 5 years, having to take narcotics for pain, but trying to limit what I take so that I didn't become addicted. Not an easy road to travel. I have been able to cut down the pain meds to 1/2 pill at bedtime. That in itself is a miracle. (I almost cried when I typed that!) I can't wait to see what the coming weeks bring. And I love that I can do this anywhere. In the past, when we traveled, I would have to worry about how I was going to exercise - and usually, walking was all I was able to do. But this can truly be done anywhere - in 15 minutes - so you can be off to the beach for the rest of the day! I'm anxious to see if my lab values improve any - and I will post an update when I have labwork done in a few more weeks.

    UPDATE 4/30/15: I haven't had labwork done yet, but I wanted to post an update on my 4 week "inches lost"! I continued to do the Basic Plus Workout just 2-3 times/week, and lost an additional 4.75 inches, for a total loss of 21.75 inches and 4.5 lbs over 4 weeks. Yay!!

    Have you heard of T-Tapp?
    Have you tried it?
    Are you interested in trying it now?
    Have you been discouraged by lack of success with other diet and exercise programs?