Episode 1 – The Journey Begins
Greetings Internet! I’m Jared and welcome to my fitness journey. I decided to start this Vlog to help keep myself honest and hopefully inspire others as well. This journey begins around January 13th, 2019. After going through some upheaval in my personal life, I stepped on the scale that morning and it said 315lbs. This is the heaviest I’ve ever been and it’s not the first time I’ve hit that number.
Several years back, before my move to New York, I was also around 315lbs. I wasn’t necessarily inactive. At the time I was working out at the gym at least twice a week and I worked retail where I was always on my feet and moving. When I moved to NYC in 2012, I first decided to focus in on my health again, I counted calories and went to the gym 2-3 times a week still. I tried several gyms, but eventually I got bored with the workouts and frustrated counting calories and plateauing at about 285lbs. I stopped working out regularly and didn’t care what I ate.
Eventually I got back above 300lbs and wanted to turn things around. I started counting calories again and instead of the boring old gym workouts, started training in martial arts again after many years. I quickly worked up to training 4-5 hours a week in various disciplines and actually got my weight down to 265lbs. And stayed there…for over a year. I made 2 very large mistakes. Even though I was being active, I was still eating a lot of fast food. I wasn’t home often so I ate out frequently, but that wasn’t the biggest mistake I made.
I didn’t realize the biggest mistake until this year. Fast forward to 2018, I’m now back in beautiful Charleston, SC and I’ve been working out at the gym a consistent 2-3 times a week. In November, I had a sharp shooting pain that had been going through my wrist for a couple weeks and noticed I was losing gripping strength in my left hand. I have a bad feeling I’m going to have to kiss that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu return I was hoping for good bye. I’m also having trouble lifting so I’m trying to do an hour of cardio each visit, but I’m getting bored and start working out less. I go to the doctor and they tell me it’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and gave me some anti-inflammatories. The doc told me there’s a good chance if it gets worse, I’ll need surgery. I needed to find a workout that works around my current injury but still burns calories. The more convenient the better.
Now, I’m a huge wrestling fan and have been since I was young. I was aware that Diamond Dallas Page, a wrestler from WCW who became very popular in the late 90s, had developed a fitness system called DDP Yoga. I had ordered the DVDs years ago and used them a few times, but didn’t stick with the program like I should have. DDP had a new book come out in January 2019 called Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning IT. I purchased this book and read through it and was immediately reinvigorated. It didn’t hurt there was also a contest starting at that time and my natural competitive side wanted in.
The beauty of DDP Yoga is its designed to be no impact and therefore good for joints. It combines the flexibility of yoga exercises with dynamic resistance exercises allowing you to build muscle while gaining flexibility. If you search around YouTube there are all kinds of videos showing what DDP Yoga has done for some folks who thought they could never be fit. The video featuring Arthur Boorman, a Gulf War veteran who could not even walk without crutches, went viral after people saw the amazing flexibility he’s now capable of. A documentary, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts also came out a few years ago. In this documentary, DDP helps Jake, a former pro-wrestler from the 80s and 90s, as well as my personal favorite wrestler of the 90s, Scott Hall, turn their lives around. They were both in trouble with drugs and alcohol and their bodies were practically falling apart. DDP managed to apply, not just his workout techniques, but his life philosophy of living at 90. That’s when I realized what I was missing.
DDP has a video available on Vimeo of a speech about living at 90. He also discusses it in the book I mentioned. The gist is, ~10% of things that happen in your life are out of your control. Forget about those things and focus on the 90% you can affect. He also makes the point about writing down your goals and THAT is what I was missing.
I had been focusing on just “LOSE AS MUCH WEIGHT AS POSSIBLE”. The problem there is that without saying when I wanted to weigh a certain amount by, I had no real way to track my progress. I just thought I’d weigh myself every week and as long as I was going down, I was doing ok. This method didn’t give me a good idea of how well I was doing though. Without being able to break down how much weight I’d need to lose per week, I would vary between 0 and up to 4lbs lost. This is what would cause my frustrations. This time I said I’d be down to 285lbs again within 16 weeks and 265lbs by the end of July. That works out to losing roughly 2lbs per week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app again and set “2lbs per week” to my loss goal. MyFitnessPal gave me the estimated amount of calories allowed per day and worked with my Apple Watch to adjust for workouts. I started putting in my calories and quickly realized some of my favorite treats could be up to HALF of my allotted calories per day. I quickly changed my diet to less take out, and more natural and home prepared meals.
I started doing DDP Yoga at home using the DDP Yoga Now app. They have the starter exercises as well as an archive of some live classes. I started with 2 30 minutes sessions of DDP yoga the first week but by the end of the second week I started doing 30-60 minutes of DDPY PER DAY. I just can’t emphasize enough the convenience of pulling up a class on my iPad or computer, laying out my mat and working out. And of course there’s the joy of showering right after the workout.
Now it’s February 23rd 2019. I weighed in this morning at 298lbs. That’s 17lbs lost in 41 days and the first time I’ve been under 300lbs since moving back to Charleston in July 2017. I can’t say it was all the DDP Yoga workout, or even all the diet. The biggest changes I made were deciding to stop coming up with excuses NOT to workout and NOT to binge eat junk food when I was having a bad day. That’s the trick to reclaiming your life, not a fad diet, but your mindset. I’m on that journey to reclaim my life and my health now and I’m not jumping off anytime soon. When I have a chance to update, I’ll be sharing things I learn on my Youtube channel and my blog so please follow
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Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page (Fantastic book for getting started with DDP Yoga and a great read): https://amzn.to/2ErMcK1
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