Kiona A. Leah
Master T-Tapp Trainer, Wellness Enthusiast and Student, Postural Restoration Therapy Student
Professional Engineer – MD Registration # 29898
As a professionally licensed engineer I have always lived a large part of my life driving for perfection to compete as a woman in a male-dominated field. This drive would show up in my private life when, I would stare into a mirror agonizing for hours over the bulges on my body, my stomach wasn’t flat, my saddlebags were disgusting and I felt like a COW! I wished I could be a smaller size and more toned like the fashion and movie icons of Hollywood.
When I took the Body for Life Challenge at my gym, it was my first structured fitness program. I approached it like an analytical engineer would, giving up activities I loved such as water aerobics and dancing because, while they had brought me joy; they were no longer effective enough. Instead I worked out 2 to 3 hours a day, 6 days a week doing hardcore cardio and weight training and restricted everything I ate to high protein, no fat, and no carbs and even less taste. I would allow myself one cheat day every 10 days during which I would binge on restricted foods and then take harsh laxatives, fiber supplements, or do extra workouts to pay penance. I eventually dropped down to such a low weight that for 14 months I couldn’t maintain a female cycle. The thought of putting on even a single ounce terrified me because the only source of self esteem I had became tied to the fact that even a size 4 was becoming too big for my 5’-8” frame. All the other joy and pride in my life was over shadowed even though my future husband adored me and I had the courage to start my own personal training business in my 20’s. My world was lonely and desolate and I was so skinny friends started to worry and whisper. A place I hope no one ever has to go, but too many of us DO.
Under crushing stress trying to make ends meet my binging on those off days was getting worse and I was gaining as much as 9-lbs in a single day. Eventually those days became more frequent and eventually overtook the anorexia/bulimia. Every day I pretended to eat the perfect diet and exercise because that’s what trainers do, but every night I went home to eat cakes, cookies, ice cream, and any other sugar I could find, too exhausted and depressed to work out. My life was a lie. In my desperation I tried liquid protein fasts, Ketosis, raw foods and every “Natural” weight loss supplement I could find. When I ballooned up past a size 16 I stopped looking at sizes but didn’t stop binging. The sizes kept piling on and I couldn’t lose them because my metabolism was destroyed; nothing worked. Until I found T-Tapp.
With T-Tapp I lost weight consistently, steadily, and evenly. I learned to love and appreciate the natural curves I am blessed with. I accepted that even though the goal of washboard abs for a short waist was unreasonable, I could still look fantastic. But I didn’t know how fabulous until one morning after a day of helping and participating in clinics I wandered into the bathroom to take a shower and caught a glimpse in the mirror of a FOUR PACK. I barely had one when I was starving to death, but THERE it WAS! I haven’t dieted in 2 years, I savor my food, I rarely eat until I’m stuffed (unless we’re talking pizza and popcorn at the movies with my hubby on Fri night) and I am NEVER deprived of chocolate! I rarely work out more than 20-minutes except when I teach my classes. I still work a 40-50 hour week in engineering, have T-Tapp clients and classes, my beloved dance classes, and chorus every night after work except Friday.
I have kept my promise I made to myself to heal from my eating disorders. I have learned to be consistent, usually that means 15-20 minutes 4 times a week but sometimes it’s just two moves a day. I eat smart and try to be healthy but never perfect. I focus on doing every workout to my maximum and being a Black Belt in my T-Tapp Basics. I believed in myself and never gave up and I never could have DREAMED that I could have washboard abs, KEEP my feminine figure AND never count a calorie… but I have more than the body I ever dreamed possible with JUST the workout and I hope everyone in the WORLD finds what I have found through T-Tapp!