Dianne Burger DeGreeff continues to inspire me-- from her 2 hour workouts to her fitness model bod! (She's not a fitness model, she just looks like one!) She took the time to share her story, including a very personal health scare that was debilitating and frightening until she was finally (and correctly) diagnosed.
Here are her insanely amazing before and after pics:
|BEFORE: Bursting with Baby!|
|AFTER: What Baby Weight? TAM Results!|
I started TA a little more than 4 and1/2 years ago after the birth of my third child. I had been active with workouts since my 20's. I use to run 8 miles a day/ 7 days a week along with fitness classes and lifting weights. I also took private Pilates classes and ended up teaching Pilates for about 2 years and gave everything else up. Pilates seemed to get me back to pre-baby weight. After my last child was born, there was a lot of extra skin hanging around my mid-section. She was 9lbs.7oz. and two weeks late, so my stomach was about to bust with her. I had also lost a baby at 4 months, three moths prior to getting pregnant with my last. I was reading Kiwi magazine and saw an interview with Tracy. She was promoting her Post Pregnancy DVD and saying that this workout would get the skin back to muscle. That was all I needed to hear and immediately ordered it.
At first, I was alternating TA’s Post-Pregnancy workout with Pilates. I kept hearing Tracy say, "Really commit to my method only.” So I finally stopped the Pilates. I then found out I was pregnant again but lost that baby at three months. I continued working out and I ordered the Dance Cardio 08 DVD. I did both MS and Cardio everyday, 7 days a week. My goal was to get the roll of skin to disappear but I lost 18 pounds on top of it. I ordered the Mat DVD and then the Malawi webisodes came out and she had a workout in Cosmo starting every month. I searched the Internet and Youtube continuously to find more of her stuff. Clients, friends and even strangers were asking what I did for my fitness routines.
When the rumors of a new 10 day monthly program came out I started to panic. Once I accumulated all of her material, I made up my own rotations and did a different workout everyday along with DC. I was happy with the results too. I knew I couldn't miss the boat on the new monthly stuff so I hesitantly did the 30 day method as prescribed. I knew that if I saw any changes in the wrong direction, I would cease the 10 day thing and go back to what I was doing prior. I am kinda type A. I didn't lose any results so I continued on to Meta. I actually had a couple of friends from another TA group that were in the testing of Meta. They were raving about it. I was used to a 2+ hour workout and the thought of cutting back to 1 hour made my palms sweat. So I decided to do two Meta's : Omni and Ab. I have continued with that and am now on Continuity 2.
A health scare changed your life. What happened?
When I was teaching pilates, I went into adreanal failure. I was cutting hair five days a week, teaching 8 classes a day and had two kids under the age of two plus a husband and house to take care of. I was burning the candle at both ends. I got the flu virus and it knocked my feet out from underneath me. I started having anxiety attacks so bad that I ended up in the ER several times. I knew something was wrong with my body but could not get an answer. Every doctor that I talked to asked me about my marriage and home life. They wanted to put me on anti-depressant drugs. After months of this I finally caved. I went on something for three days and I was worse than before.
My body is very sensitive to drugs and I have had life threatening allergic reactions. After a year of MRI's, stress tests and numerous blood tests, I wasn't any closer to an answer. The anxiety attacks were debilitating. I would lay in bed afraid to get up. I thought I was losing my mind. I prayed for an answer. I left the salon I was working in and came home with a third of my clients. One of my clients told me about a man she went to see about her hormones. He was a compounding pharmacist that specialized in women's hormone issues. I went to him and had my hormones tested by saliva.
Weeks later he called with my results and when I heard him say, "I don't know how you get up in the morning," I cried with relief. Finally someone understood.
My adreanal levels were dangerously low. He put me on bio-identical hormone cream designed specifically for me and what I was depleted off. I had to lay flat for an hour a day so that my adreanals could somehow repair themselves. It took several months to get energy back. I started doing 30 min. of Pilates a day and then slowly started to do more. To the shock of my pharmacist, I got pregnant and then lost that baby at 4 months. Three months later I got pregnant with my last child.
You’ve been incorporating other fitness styles into your weekly workouts-- what are they and how are they affecting your training/body/muscle tone?
I am a fiercely loyal person and a "dance with the one who brought you" kind of a girl. But I noticed things that I wanted to see improve that had not with my TA journey. My husband thought I was crazy and loved the way I looked and could not or would not see what I was seeing. So I added Glute into my routine. My butt was still hanging down onto the top of my thigh. I felt that as much as I worked out, I should have been able to bounce a quarter off my ass. (Hehe!)
Two months ago, I hit a wall. I literally made myself sick contemplating what I should do about my workouts. I was reading all these things about HIIT and other workouts, living on the fitness tab of Pintrest and analyzing bodies of fitness models. I finally called a good friend of mine and she convinced me that I needed a change. It’s the word I dread: "Change". So I dropped my TA down to 5 days a week and made Saturdays and Sundays my "new thing" days. Right now I am happy with what I am seeing.
My daily workout is Omni and Ab unless they are the same and then I will do Glute with them. I also add on extra abs, arms and some good old leg moves. I love Amanda Russell and Tracy Campoli. I rotate the extra work. I have been doing AR's Ultimate Butt, Hip and Thigh workout everyday with my TA and am really seeing improvement in my lower butt/ upper thigh area. On Saturdays, I do Dream Body and some Valerie Waters HIIT, and AR's abs and arms. Sundays are all Amanda Russell: A HIIT interval cardio along with Booty blaster, arms and abs. Then after dinner I go on a 4 mile walk. Monday comes and I do it all over again.
I think I will do TA until I can't do it anymore.... I will be 45 this year.
How do you balance workouts with family commitments?
Working out is like brushing my teeth. It has to be done whether I feel like it or not. I do it when I'm sick, PMSing, tired. It doesn't matter. I even workout out on vacation cause, hello, I am eating ice cream every night and in a bikini EVERYDAY!! I don't even think about taking a day off. It is my therapy. I homeschool my three children and work out of my house three evenings a week. So I workout first thing in the morning. The kids know this and keep themselves occupied. I have done it all their lives. My Mom just passed away two years ago from complications with breast cancer. She was overweight my whole life. Had all the typical things that obese people suffer with. High blood pressure, diabetes, had to have both knees replaced twice. The list goes on and on. Her mother was the same way. I decided that it will not happen to me or my children. They get to eat ice cream and cookies but they also know that we only get one body and we each have a specific job to do in this life. They know that we need to take care of our bodies. Sometimes they will do Wii fit or other exercise DVD's while I am in my gym doing my workout. On Sunday evenings, I walk a trail near my house after dinner or the track at a high school. The kids like to go with me and walk or ride their bikes. We have a pool, so they swim everyday in the summer. We are just an active family.
What is your diet like?
I have changed my diet a little also. I realized that I was not getting enough calories. I experimented a little and added in more protein and calories and boom, dropped two pounds. I was just thrilled to be eating more because I like food. I always ate somewhat clean except for my cheat days. We eat all organic and clean at home during the week but weekends are free. I had been grinding my own grain (wheat) and never deprived the kids or myself of goodies like cookies or cakes because I knew they were not full of crap. I was reading on my FB groups about Paleo and grain free diets. So once again, I started experimenting. I still have my cheat days on the weekends but I cut back on grains during the week. I only have Oat flour or Oats.
I am seeing some great changes. I don't know if it is diet or adding in new workouts or both but I am seeing some sweet definition.
My typical diet is:
Breakfast: Monday,Wednesday, Friday: Smoothie and a sprouted wheat English Muffin with lots of butter and apricot jam.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes.
Lunches: a salad with tuna or leftover protein of some sort, cranberries, feta and balsamic/olive oil dressing. OR tuna salad with cranberries and scoop it up with celery sticks.
Dinner: Some kind of meat, veggie and salad.
Snack: HOME MADE FULL FAT Greek Yogurt!!!! I make it myself and I love it!! with some kind of fruit. Right now I am hooked on frozen pineapple (Trader Joes) and frozen raspberries with maple syrup.
A couple of pieces of good Dark Chocolate
Beverages: Water or Kombucha ( I make my own)
…on defying genetics and changing your life:
I just finished reading my friends autobiography. She just turned 53 and has Cystic Fibrosis. She was officially diagnosed at 12 and was told she probably wouldn't make it to 13 but no older than 18. I met her at the gym running next to me on the treadmill with a PIC line in her arm about 15 years ago. She credits exercise for her long life with this horrible deadly disease.. Her life inspires me to continue on my fitness journey.
My favorite saying is "Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes". I totally agree. TA talks about defying genetics, I agree with that too. Not only am I defying that fat in my family history but also the health and quality of life. Only you can motivate yourself to do something. I have changed my thoughts of wanting to look like someone else to pushing myself to see what I can become. Not to compare myself to others but to compare myself yesterday to the person I am today. I am learning to be less critical of myself and live my life in grace. I aspire to grow in my faith also.
There has to be a balance. I have to work my insides just as much as my outside. Because when it is all said and done, I can't take this body with me. We need to love and nurture ourselves and others. We need to be able to share our deepest regrets and fears with each other and not be judged. I strive to live my life by the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would like to be treated.