Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Survivial Guide (it's a looooooong one)

I can't believe Christmas is in just one week, peoples! Where has the time gone? I hate to admit this, I really do, but I lean a little bit more than I'd like toward the bah humbug side of the fence. I think this is because I do not do holidays well...actually, to be more specific, I do not do stress well, and I find holidays extremely stressful. Overall, we actually have a pretty laid back holiday - we don't do a lot of partying or entertaining, just family and close friends. But what kills me is my perfectionist gene: I always want everything to be perfect for the kids, and I always feel like I come up short. It's always been bad, but it's been even worse since I've been a Single Mama, and all the responsibility falls on me.

So, the past week has been really difficult. I've felt myself starting to slip. I haven't been journaling what I eat. I haven't been eating great. I haven't been exercising as obsessively as I was there for awhile. I feel like I'm starting to circle the drain a little, and it's time to throw out the grappling hook and Get. A. Grip. I need to take a pause and get my strategies and coping mechanisms back in focus. I need to be more accountable, and y'all can feel free to help hold me accountable, too! I will get through this holiday...the question is, will I get through it lighter or heavier? At this point I'd be thrilled to maintain! Here's what I need to do:

Bite it, write it. I've gotten really bad about this. Part of it is just me "forgetting" - I am at that stage where the novelty of it has worn off and frankly it's kind of a PITA now - and part of it is me not wanting to record my mis-steps (if you don't record that third brownie, do the calories really count?). I've switched from my iPhone app to Spark People for journaling my food and exercise, so please feel free to check up on me and give me some hell if necessary! (Want me to return the favor? Email me your dets!) One of these days maybe I'll pretty up my page over there, but in the mean time I think I got it set up so others can see my nutrition & fitness trackers. 

Snack healthy. I have gotten really bad about this, too, as I mentioned in this post. It occurred to me the other day that...duh! I quit smoking! While I was very conscious about it and did not go off the deep end with my eating when I quit, it has affected me since I tend to be a boredom eater and now I can't relieve boredom by having a cigarette. But another, unexpected side effect struck me the other day: I used to go out at lunch time so I could smoke, and a lot of days I would go to the grocery store or WalMart (usually to buy more cigarettes), but while I was there I would pick up some healthy snacks. I was never short of good snacks at work. Well, now that I don't "have" to go out to smoke, I don't like to go out! I don't usually have things to bring from home because when I keep things at home, the three little munchsters eat them! Hence, I need to be more conscious about making at least a weekly snack run at work so the fridge there is filled with healthy snacks, and I need to create a diversion to use at home when I feel a snack attack coming on. Maybe I will buy myself a jump rope, and whenever I feel the need to snack, I will go out to the garage and jump for a few minutes - two birds, one stone. SCORE!

Fail to plan, plan to fail. I need to STOP doing this! I need to get back to planning weekly meals so I am not caught unprepared at lunch or dinner time. We've had pizza twice in a week because I have had my head up my butt (fa la la la la). That is not good - you know it's bad when the kids get tired of pizza! Part of this is a by-product of working out at the gym - I threw that big ball up in the air and it's affected my ability to juggle other things, but that is really no excuse. I have a ton of healthy crock pot recipes, and I've been saying for awhile I wanted to pre-cook a few things on the weekend so there is always something easy to grab for the nights dinner has to be quick. School is delayed 2 hours again tomorrow, so after my morning workout, I will sit down and make menus and grocery lists for the next few weeks. I think it would even help to log them in my food journal ahead of time so I can always see where I stand (and stand to, gain...if I cheat!).

Eat more. Huh? Sounds crazy, but this is another problem I've been facing. I've been trying to stay within my "recommended" calorie range despite the fact that some days I am burning close to or upwards of 1000 calories. It was a little easier on my iPhone app to see where I stood for the day because food and activity calories were all lumped together, but not so on Spark People. I realized one day last week that maybe part of the reason I was feeling so tired and blah was because I needed to compensate for all that exercise by eating a little more...can you see where I'm going with this? The "eating a little more" got a little out of hand. I think along with planning meals, I need to plan my exercise as well, and know ahead of time when I will need to eat more calories - and then do it in a healthy way. 

Indulge, not over-indulge. I could never have gotten this far in my journey if I had denied myself some of the foods I really love. I would drown in tears if I thought I could never enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or prime rib again! The key is learning to indulge once in awhile - to build excitement and anticipation over a splurge, and then savor it and enjoy it. Ever notice how when you set no limits, you eat and eat without truly enjoying what you are eating, sometimes to the point of feeling sick? But when you plan an indulgence and look forward to it all week, then you eat slowly and deliberately, enjoying every single bite? I would much rather have one truly decadent slice of cheesecake once a month than a pile of crappy processed snacks every other day. Based on Tuesday's working-from-home animal-cracker-binge, I need to be more conscious of allowing myself the occasional calorie-worthy indulgence instead of filling my days over-indulging on crap snacks because I'm feeling deprived. (I mean really, animal crackers? They are barely a step above cardboard and paste!)

If necessary, take a break. I don't mean to stop altogether what I've been doing, because I feel like I've been really successful to this point, and I am thrilled with my progress. I have known for awhile that sooner or later I was going to hit a plateau, and I am right at the weight I might have expected it to happen (I am just a few pounds away from my original goal weight, before I decided to push myself). Logically speaking, I don't think there is anything wrong with taking a break from all the obsessing that goes along with trying to lose weight - it really becomes all encompassing, as it needs to be, since it is a lifestyle change and not a "diet." By definition, it affects all areas of your life, but it can get to be exhausting. I think a little break from trying so hard to lose, lose, lose, and concentrating on maintaining for a little while is probably good for both body and mind. Like I said, makes perfect logical sense...the problem is getting the brain to let go of the obsession for awhile and relax! I do think that since I know the next few weeks are going to be pretty stressful, it would take some of the stress off me to relax a little and let myself be ok with maintaining while I truly enjoy being with family and friends for the holidays. Of course, that doesn't mean I will stop doing all of the above!

Well, these are my strategies for surviving the next few weeks. What are you going to do to get through the holidays with sanity and goals intact?

Today I am grateful for:
  • Google
  • Jenni-o turkey hot dogs - I know they fit my definition of processed crap, but sometimes a hot dog just hits the spot
  • Heat Miser & Snow Miser
  • discount gas cards
  • the first day of winter next Tuesday - then the days start getting longer again!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow day!

I am originally from Maryland, which is by no means the Great White North, but we still had our fair share of snow and snow days. I remember waking up in the morning and turning on the tv or radio to listen for school closings, and there were plenty of days I looked out at a white blanketed yard as I got ready for school! Where I live in NC, however - different story. I live in an area that is a good mix of northern transplants and NC born and raised, so I'm going to go ahead and blame it on the natives who don't know how to deal with a little winter precipitation ;-) Last night's weather forecast predicted light snow/wintry mix this morning, and by 9:00 pm I had already receieved an email saying our county schools were delayed by 2 hours. I woke up this morning to another email informing us that schools were closed. This is what I saw outside my window...

Out the front door (courtesy of C)

Out the back door (courtesy of C)
I'm not going to complain about the snow day, even though it means that J's winter band concert (for which my mother made her a beautiful black velvet dress...) will be cancelled :-( Even though the fireplace guy couldn't fix my fireplace this morning because he has to order a part. Even though it means I have to go out in the slushy yuk with the dogs because they are big ol' babies. You know why? Because it's almost Christmas and I am looking at white stuff out my window! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Amanda over at RunToTheFinish tagged me for my very first meme, which seems like a perfect post for a "sort of snowy" day, so here goes!

1. Are you a girlie movie? Action movie? or Comedy kind of person? I used to be a movie fanatic. I don't see many in the theater, but I was addicted to pay per view and always had a hard time finding something at Blockbuster that I hadn't already seen. These days, I don't have too much time for tv and movies, but my favorite kinds are comedy (The Hangover anyone?) and action (love the Bourne series). I am not a fan of  horror, nor is anyone who watches a horror movie with me, or suspense - in fact, I almost always read the last page of any book first! Yeah, I know, right?

2. What is your favorite thing to do to “treat” yourself? This is a toughie because for a long time my treat was food. I do still treat myself with food once in awhile, but these days it's more likely to be a square of dark chocolate than a slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory (in fact, I still have the gift card my girls gave me for my birthday). I would say my favorite treat these days is to let go of everything for awhile and curl up with a good book without feeling guilty.

3. How much sleep do you need to feel your best? Around 7 hours. Whenever I try and get more, I feel too sluggish. Less, and I can get through one day on adrenaline but then I crash big time.

4. What vegetable could you eat every day?
That's easy - corn on the cob!

5. Dream place to run? Wow. That's a hard one, because lately I've been imagining all kinds of places I would love to run. If I could pick just one place, though, I think I would love to run through the Scottish countryside, especially if I had a Scottish guide talking to me in that lovely accent! Why Scotland? I am part Scottish and part Polish, and embrace both sides of my heritage - Scotland seems like it would be a better place to run, though! 

6. Last good book you read? Write it Down, Make it Happen. I love it. I've read it at least a dozen times. I highly recommend it.

7. What was the best year of your life?
This year, without question. And next year is going to be even better!

Well that was fun, so now it's my turn to ask the questions!
1. If you could go back and talk to your 16 year old self, what advice would you give?
2. When you see yourself having reached your goal, what do you see?
3. What is your favorite book?
4. What is your best organizing tip?
5. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
6. What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
7. What would your theme song be?

Today I am grateful for:
  • our snow day, of course!
  • that my fireplace will be fixed on Saturday, so I can curl up in front of the fire with a good book come Christmas break
  • exerciseTV
  • my kick ass washer and dryer that allow me to get all my laundry done in one day (even though I still have to do all the folding)
  • Pandora radio and Christmas songs

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Inspired Run

Picture courtesy of
I took the big red dog out bright and early this morning for a run, and what a great run it was! I love my new running partner (except for the one time he tripped me, but hey, he is the spastic 90 pound puppy, after all). I love running in the cold (who would have known). I love seeing other runners out there - no ambling half-serious walkers this morning! I love being one of the serious runners out there! I am trying to take it slow as I build back up after my break, but I actually felt stronger - maybe since I'm out there enjoying myself instead of pushing toward a deadline or distance goal. I've also reached a point in my running where I am no longer thinking about the mechanics of it; I can put my body on automatic and use the time to think. It's an amazing feeling. 

Today as I ran, I was thinking about the progress I've made since the first day I stepped onto the trail with "Nan" (for those of you who don't know, that's what I called the voice on my iPhone C25k app). When I started running, I had a goal - to run a 5k - and  I kept that goal fixed in my mind at all times. But when I was running, I kept my focus on the ground right in front of me, because I was literally thinking about one step at a time. Over time, I shifted my focus to a point just ahead - a tree or other marker I was aiming for. I got through my runs reaching those small goals. Then I reached a point where I could focus in the distance, because I knew I was going to get there. And now, I can look around and take in the sights or fix my gaze ahead while I turn my thoughts inward. I reached my "big" goal by concentrating on smaller goals while always keeping the end in sight.

It occurred to me that a weight loss journey is much the same, or rather, it should be. We start out with a big goal - sometimes a huge goal, like losing 100 pounds. We should always keep that goal fixed in our mind, but trying to keep our focus on it can be overwhelming. We need to chunk it into smaller goals - say, to lose 10 pounds at a time - and keep our focus shortened, on one day or even one meal at a time, while we learn skills and strategies and habits for success. Then we can build momentum based on those successes, and turn our attention a little further down the trail, and finally, to the long goal. 

We also, above all, need to learn to forgive ourselves when we slip, and to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. Sometimes when we slip, which we mistakenly call "failing," we get so frustrated that we just quit. Can you imagine if we had had that attitude when learning to walk, or read, or ride a bike? Slips are not failures, they are lessons, and we should look at them as such. Just because we gulp down half a pizza doesn't mean we've failed our entire diet, it means we have to look at what happened and learn from it! Maybe we learn that we can't eat pizza alone, or we have to buy it by the slice, or maybe, that we can't have it at all for awhile, but that's ok, because we've taken a slip and turned it into something positive.

Building an exercise program is just the same. We have to start small and build on successes, even if it's 10 minutes a day. I know that I suffer from "OCD" - Obsessive Competitive Disorder - and this is hard for me! When I want to achieve something, I want it now! Yesterday, even! If I can't be the best or do the best right out of the gate, I feel like a failure. I had to let go of that attitude when learning to run, and for the most part I did - I still think I pushed myself too hard and ended up with an injury I wouldn't have if I had stepped back and admitted that I needed to go a little slower. But now I set tiny goals for myself and celebrate when I acheive them. For example, I do pushups every morning. When I started I could do 7. I decided to add just one a day, and before I knew it, I was doing 20, 25, 30, and more! Each time I go to the gym, I use the Stairmonster and add just one more minute to my time...I'm up to 35 minutes. And if one day I am not up to what I planned for the day? Guess, what...I forgive myself! Tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow I'll meet my goal.

Zig Zigler, a famous motivational speaker, uses the analogy of a pilot flying a plane when talking about reaching goals. He explains that a plane is off course the majority of time between point A and point B - the pilot is constantly making tiny corrections to make sure they reach their destination. Life is like that, too...the road to any goal is never straight or easy. We have to be on guard, make corrections, have faith, keep plugging, and remember, sometimes the best won battles are those that are hardest won!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Camera Shy

You may have noticed that I haven't posted any pictures of myself, other than a few from race day. I have spent a very good part of the last many years avoiding being in front of the camera, using the convenient excuse that I am always the one behind the camera. Even at my best, I am not a photogenic person. My sister, on the other hand, never takes a bad picture - once, when she had mono in high school, she looked bad in a picture. To my knowledge, that had never happened before nor has it since. End result - I am more than a little camera shy. This makes me sad because I wish I had more pictures with my kids and not just of my kids.

I also have not been very good about taking self-portraits during my journey. It is always in the back of my head to ask one of the girls to snap a few, but I need a new battery charger for the camera, I'm too busy, they're too busy, blah blah blah and so on and so forth excuse-y speak. The truth is, I've been afraid to see pictures of me because in my head I always look better than I do when faced with a can't lie photo, and I've been reluctant to see proof that I'm not where I want to be or think I am. And that's ok, some people use photos for motivation - the pictures below sure motivated me to get off my ass - but I find they trip me up more than motivate me. Still, I do wish I had taken them so I could look back at some point and see the changes. I will make an effort to do that going forward, because I still have a ways to go. And I will make an effort to be easier on myself when I do look at the pictures, and try and quiet that ugly talk voice in my head.

So, without further are my before pictures. These aren't even of me at my heaviest - I will have to see if I successfully avoided the camera altogether during that period, or if I can dig up a picture somewhere. My family probably has some - I never even wanted to see them much less have a copy! These pictures were taken in June, and I think I probably weighed around 217. I had started dieting in January with a starting weight of 235 but then stalled out around Easter. My friend took these pictures on a camping trip we took and posted them on Facebook and tagged me - I promptly untagged myself, of course! I remember I had just gone to Target and bought some shorts and t-shirts, and was so happy that the shorts, a size 18, were a little too big. I had no idea I looked this bad, and now when I look at them, I want to cry. Not just because I am clearly FAT, but because I am clearly UNHEALTHY. It makes me sad that this is what my kids saw every day for many, many years - this is the example I was setting for them. But, I will not dwell on that because I am working hard on setting the right one now - I just wanted to post these as evidence of how far I've come!

Trying to put up a tent for the very first time. I think that's my "what now" look!

Next on my list, taking my measurements. Yeah, yeah, I know I should have been doing this all along, too. I'll post 'em when I got 'em!

Today I am grateful for:
  • my wonderful family - I would not be where I am without them
  • my garage - not having to scrape ice and defrost every morning is a wonderful thing!
  • discovering that I can run in the cold without crazy bad inner ear pain
  • the changes eating healthy has brought about - I never would have believed I would lose my taste for soda and crave vegetables
  • it's Friday!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hi, my name is Liz, and I'm a snackaholic

I don't know what it is, but lately I have really gone down a slippery slope with my snacking. For awhile there, I was really good, snacking on fruits and veggies. I had given up the processed 100 calorie snack packs. My snacks averaged around 100-150 calories. But lately, my snacking has been a little out of control. Not so much that I'm going way over my daily "budget," but enough that it's clear I need to rein it in and make some changes. There are days that I take in over half my calories in snack foods!

A few things I have had to step away from, as I have realized that either they aren't really doing me any favors, or I really have zero self control when I have them around.

I used to eat Nutella, but that is pretty much nothing more than chocolate frosting, so I switched to Justin's Hazelnut Butter as a healthier alternative. The problem is, I still tend to go way overboard on it when I have it around - a little spoonful here, a little spoonful there - at 190 calories for 2T, that adds up pretty quick! I have not given it up entirely, but I now only buy the little one serving packets as a special treat - I was super excited to find my local grocery store carries them, so I don't have to go all the way to the health food store! This stuff is seriously yummy, and if you haven't tried it yet, I recommend you run right out and get some, but if you, like me, suffer from a lack of self control, definitely try the individual packets.

For awhile I was eating a Clif Bar every day, usually before running or the gym. I've tried most of the flavors, and I think my favorites are White Chocolate Macadamia and Chocolate Brownie. Oh, and the Cool Mint Chocolate and Peanut Toffee Buzz are yummy, too, and I can't forget the Pumkin or the Gingerbread. You get the idea! Unfortunately, they are not low in calories, packing in 240-260 per bar, and it did not take long before "pre-exercise fuel" became just an excuse to devour one. Truthfully, I was not and still am rarely exercising long enough or strenuously enough to justify these calories, so I've said goodbye to Clif for now. I do occasionally indulge in a Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna bar, at only 180 calories, but I've given up the daily habit.

I have always been a nighttime nosher. I do so well during the day - I know the structure of my workday helps, but I stay on track with scheduled snacks and my meals are really pretty light yet filling. However, once I get home, I just fall apart. I am working on trying to curb this bad habit, and I definitely need to stock my fridge with some good veggies again - I have no problem crunching on carrots instead of graham crackers, I just haven't had them in my fridge for awhile. I'm putting them on my list now!

Are you a snackaholic? Nighttime nosher? How do you deal with it? I'd sure love some suggestions!

Today I am grateful for:
  • and online Christmas shopping
  • E's totally adorable toothless smile that makes me grin every time I see it
  • perseverance - I got it going on!
  • my wonderful and supportive friends
  • my new chiropractor, who is fixing my back and hip so I can keep persevering!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And I ran!

Am I dating myself by saying that I now have that song by A Flock of Seagulls playing in my head? Weren't the 80's grand!

So yes, I ran! I took C & E and the big red dog to the trail and we did Week 1, Day 1 of C25k, and it felt GREAT! Part way through my phone died, so we spent the rest of the time counting out loud, but the kids were troopers - C really seemed to enjoy it and wants to do my January 5k with me. Not sure if E will stick with it, but I hope so because her school does a "marathon" every spring. The kids have to run or walk 25 miles at home over the course of a few months, and then everyone does the final 1.2 miles at the school. The past two years E and I have come in dead last, but not this year!!! 

Anyway, it was just awesome to be back out there and even better to have my kids and my dog beside me, and best of all, NO PAIN. It totally makes "starting over" O.K!

Saturday Weigh-in

I have not been very good about posting my weigh-ins lately because I have not been very good about weighing in. After my race, I gained about a pound an a half, which is not a huge deal, really. My trainer said that some people lose and some people hang on to weight after a race, and I was lucky enough to hang on. Although I did not overindulge over Thanksgiving, I also didn't get a lot of exercise in over the holiday, and I didn't want to depress myself with bad numbers, so I stayed away from the scale that weekend. I have started to think that my scale is smarter than me and I need a new one (now that I've given my "back-up" to a friend!) - it is one that is supposed to measure body fat, though I don't use that feature (*), but I think it holds some kind of memory because the first time I get on it, it always reads the exact same as the last time I got on it, and then I step off and step back on and it changes. Really, I just need a nice, simple Scale for Dummies. 

Actually, I think I am going to start using the stats from the gym, if I can get into the habit of going every Sunday morning. Then I can see my weight and my body fat percentage - although it reads about 5 pounds more than my home scale (evil thing), I will be able to see weekly how I'm getting stronger, not just lighter! The initial change will be hard because it will be frustrating to see numbers I thought I already fought through!

Anyway, that was a fabulous ramble about scales, yes? Now to get to the's weight, on my too-complicated-for-my-brain home scale, is...


I will enjoy being in the 170's for today, until I go to the gym tomorrow and get put back in the mid-180's. I am, however, still going to post my 70 pounds lost badge today, because I've still achieved that goal according to my scale! I really needed this positive weigh-in to re-motivate me, I've been feeling kind of slumpy in my eating lately (but that's another post - I have a date with Jillian right now!).

(*) When I first got the scale I did actually take the time to set it up to read my body fat percentage, but I was so fatty that it would not even register! You can understand why I banished those instructions from my brain!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Time flies when Christmas is around the corner!

The past few weeks have felt very crazed and disorganized. First, I am still hurting - my hip is still bothering me, and I haven't run since my race on November 20, which is really depressing me. As if that's not bad enough, the other day I leaned over the kitchen table and felt a shooting pain in my back. When I started this journey, I expected some roadblocks and difficulties, but getting myself addicted to exercise and then sidelined with injuries wasn't among them! And then of course, to add to the stress, Christmas is fast approaching and it can be a very challenging holiday in some respects when facing it as a single Mama!

However, I do not want to dwell on the negatives, because these days, even my "worst" is 1000 times better than my "best" felt before I began my Fat to Fit journey. I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, and as we come up on a new year, I am full of exciting goals and challenges I can't wait to meet!

One of my goals for 2011 was inspired by awesome blogger Ann over at Twelve in Twelve. I hope she does not get upset with me for borrowing her idea (in scrapbooking we call it "scraplifting" and it's a compliment, really!), but I was so impressed and motivated by her commitment to run twelve 5k races in 2010 that I decided to adopt that goal for myself for 2011, with one little twist. Well, two twists, actually. First, I am only going to do charity runs. Second, I have an open invitation to all my friends and family to do a 5k with me, whether we walk, run, or a combination of the two, and my hope is to have everyone I know and love do at least one with me at some point during the year!

Though I have not been running, I have found plenty of other things to do. I have been pretty consistently working out 5-6 days a week, usually at the gym. I still have a few sessions with my trainer, after which I will have to start saving my pennies to afford more sessions with him - he is fabulous and I am going to cry when I have to give him up! I absolutely love our workouts, and working with him pretty much confirms what I learned while running with "Nan"...I really, really like having somone tell me what to do and when! I tend to be very unstructured and disorganized, even though I crave both, so having it dictated to me is fabulous!

I have been having fun trying lots of new things: I tried a spin class the day before Thanksgiving and am trying to figure out a good time to fit a weekly class into my schedule; I have worked out on the elliptical, "recumbant" stationary bike (I'm sure there's a more correct name for it), and the stairmonster - which I LOVE; I've been doing some kickboxing moves with my trainer and Tuesday I start a Strike class, which is going to be so fun! This weekend I need to get myself some gloves, because those community gloves are ewwwww gross!

At home, I've been doing pushups - trying to add one each day - and just started Jillian's 30 Day Shred. I am on Day 4, although I did miss yesterday because of my back. Tomorrow I am taking the kids and the spastic 90 pound puppy (yes, he's grown, and still not done!) on a walk/run to try and ease myself back into running. Instead of feeling frustrated that I have to "start over," I am looking at it as a good opportunity to start getting the kids involved and training the big red dog to run with me, which will make me feel much safer in the future when I'm running alone. In January I am starting an 8k training program and am really, really looking forward to running in a group and meeting others with the same obsession! 

Finally, I am "blog-lifting" one more idea from another amazing blogger, Amanda at Run to the Finish (she is the one hosting the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, which is going to keep me from losing ground over the holidays!). She includes a Gratitude Journal at the end of each post, and I have been trying rather unsuccessfully to keep up with a daily journal of my own so I thought I would try adding it to my blog. I may not get it done every day, but at least it will be on my mind every time I post! With that...

Today I am grateful for:
  • small town Christmas parades with sleigh rides
  • the library and their willingness to let me check out way too many books at one time!
  • the connections I've made since starting my Fat to Fit journey
  • brussels sprouts - I just recently learned how to roast them, better late than never - YUM!
  • healthy TaTas