DDP Yoga: Round two.

I had the best of intentions and the worst of implementations when I first started doing DDP Yoga.

Through bad timing and excuses on my part, a routine schedule that should have taken me three weeks ended up taking a month or more. While I was still active outdoors during the late summer and fall, this routine fell by the wayside under the “I’ll get to it later” category. After a sedimentary winter and warning signs of weight starting to creep up, it was time to get going on something again.

So here I am, relatively back at square one. It’s been a week since I started and I’m doing my best at keeping up a schedule for it. Heck, my last workout was at 11 pm just so I could say I did one that day! If I can stick to a three times a week schedule (like I should have done in the first place), I should be on track.

Another difference this time is I signed up for their support page at TeamDDPYoga.com, which has the claim of “The best damn support group in the world!”. When I first signed up for the page I got several welcome messages, one of them even from DDP himself, and later on the infamous Arthur Boorman! While the response has been impressive, it’s also been incredibly overwhelming, almost to the point of information overload. It’s like having the knowledge of the planet at your fingertips, but not knowing what questions to ask. Eventually I’ll get there, as my eating habits could still use a lot of work, or at least focusing in the right direction.

But for now, establishing the workout routine is more important.

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DDP Yoga Review: Week One… ish…

You feel like this too?

You feel like this too?

So this has been the new “project”. While I know that I haven’t followed the program as scheduled, I still what I can when I can. Which is my I call it Week One-ish. So this review isn’t really about results as it’s in first impressions.

DDP Yoga was originally known as YRG, or Yoga for Regular Guys; this was my first exposure to it a few years back. I liked the idea of yoga (stats show that stretching alone can increase muscle strength by 30%) but I wanted something that provided more of a workout, and without all the fluff that usually goes with yoga. I happened to be walking through our local library one day and there was DDP’s book out open on the shelf. It wasn’t some ex-wrestler pushing Yoga that got my attention, it was the forward that was written by none other than Rob Zombie himself! Written very bluntly and plainly in Rob’s style and his experience and impressions. Rob aint no fluff kind of guy, and even he was impressed with the workout it gave. Hmmm… maybe there is something to this? The interest lasted briefly and then passed along like many other things. It wasn’t until Arthur Boormans video came out that I started looking at it again more seriously.

The Program stats with what’s called the “Diamond Dozen”; 12 positions that are what DDP calls “the core of DDP Yoga”.  This segment of the DVD is about 36 minutes along and is essentially a practice run, helping you get down pat these positions that are used routinely throughout the program. I had my heart rate monitor on for this one, and was just over into the 120 range, which for me, it just inside what they determine to be the “Fat Burning Zone”. This is calculated using 180 beats per minute, minus your age (the high end), and then subtract another 20 (the low end of the range). I had a good sweat sheen happening, despite ample time to rest in between positions. I figured the more structured routines could be interesting if this is just the warm up.

After a couple of times doing this first video, you can move on to the next part called “Energy”. This one is about 21 minutes long, and is the first full-on routine. I will full admit this one really had me sweating good! I thought I would be able to do most of the positions, but instead I had to use the modified positions. With how I was shaking, I’m finding a lot of muscles not used in a long time! I could really feel it later in my shoulders and abs, which were doing more support than any major work themselves. It’s really focusing on building core and support muscle groups.

If this is just the start, this could be an interesting ride!

Milestone Reached!

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Yesterday was speculation. Today, it’s official. For the first time in 7 years, I’m under 300 pounds!

This is the first big Milestone on the journey, and represents several things:

  • This is the most weight I’ve ever lost at once.
  • This is the most weight I’ve lost and KEPT off.
  • This is essentially the “halfway” mark to my target weight.
  • This opens up a lot of options for sporting goods to use, as many have a “Maximum 300 lbs.” weight limit.

It’s a bag of mixed emotions: joy, relief, a sense of accomplishment, and wonder about what comes next. It also bring a new voice that I recognize, and call “Complacency”. “Hey, you don’t need to go out and run or bike today. Look how far you’ve come. Go ahead and cheat a little more!”. That type of voice is what contributed to me being as heavy as I was. Now – more than ever – is the time to remain vigilant! The habits are still new and too easy to slip back into old ways. How bad do you want to keep what you’ve accomplished?

This is the first of 3 milestones I’m aiming for. The other two are: around or above 290, which is what I weighed when I got married; and 270, which is what I weighed when I played Tournament Paintball, and when my wife and I started dating. I’d eventually like to give her back the man she met!

I honestly had my doubts that I would ever get to this point. Now that I’m here, I look forward to what lies ahead.

Torn…

You know there’s a big change in your life when your biggest decision of the morning is whether or not to go for a run, or a bike ride!

Due to spending too much time mulling over it, the bike ride won out, but also because I did some work on it the night before. Installed my GPS mount so I can track distance, time and heart rate with a monitor. Tackled the same hill again and while I did get further up it (properly inflated tires help!), it still won. Kept a brisk page walking up the hill and managed to keep my heart rate in the low 140 range. Rest of the ride went well, especially with properly inflated tires (did I mention I inflated the tires?)!

Damn things wouldn’t even show pressure on the tire gauge. No wonder I was struggling last time!

Off to the Doctor’s today for the 3-Month progress report!

Stepping up your game…

As of today, I’ve lost 34 pounds since starting in late July/August of last year.

Now, I am proud of this achievement and I don’t take it lightly, but lets face it… I did this with a half-assed effort and without much risk. I may have gone out of my comfort zone on a few things, but with one foot still firmly planted on the other side of the line. But, for a guy who’s struggled with his weight for the majority of his life, this is also the MOST I’ve ever lost that I can recall. So for me, if that is what it takes, then so be it. I’d rather do it slow and keep it of than something quick and not let the habits fully set in.

I’ve seen testimonials of people losing great amounts of weight within a year doing a variety of programs. I’m not going to compare myself to them and kick myself in the ass for not losing as much as they have, as they’ve probably dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to whatever program they’re on. There does come a time where one needs to step out of their comfort zone and take bigger strides toward their end goal.

For me, that time is now.

The running is OK. I’d like to stick with it, but I’d also like to add something else. I had been looking at programs  like P90X and Insanity, but found out recently that it’s better to be in good shape for P90X and even BETTER shape for Insanity! Well, those are out for the time being. What has piqued my interest again is DDP Yoga ( http://www.ddpyoga.com/site/index.php/en/ ). I first looked at this back when Diamond Dallas Page was calling it YRG, or “Yoga for Regular Guys”. Back then I had bought one of the DVD’s but never did much with it. Wasn’t ready I guess. Now, I’m looking for something more and I like the principal of it. Many of you may have seen the viral video of Arthur and the amazing transformation from a disabled veteran on crutches, to running.  If you haven’t seen the video, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448

I like to watch the video frequently. Not that it inspires me (although it is inspiring); I use it as a reminder. Every time I feel like I can’t do something, I watch that video and say to myself “Your Excuses are Invalid!”.

The next (and I’m predicting most painful) step as well is to take control of my eating habits. I’ve made a lot of changes in my habits in the last 6 months: I don’t eat fast food anymore. My pop consumption is next to nothing, compared to what it was. I try to cut out processed sugar and use natural sources – like honey- instead. I’ve cut down (working on cutting out) on processed foods. I have more fruit and vegetables in my meals. Big strides, but I have room for more improvement too. Despite the improvements, the one thing I’ve never really addressed is how much I eat, good or not. Portion size is what got me in trouble in the first place. So, I found an app that should help count my calorie intake, and hopefully I can adjust what should be a proper portion for me, as opposed to eating whatever I could until full. It’s a new learning curve, fighting 40 years worth of learned habits.

I’m setting a start date after my next Doctor’s appointment, which is next Friday. Wish me luck.

I’m allowed off days… right?

Not the best run today.

I struggled to try to keep up my usual pace. By the end of it, I was practically dragging my feet for the last go-around. I spent my laps trying to figure out what had changed in my morning routine or what I had missed. Besides for no coffee (not that urgent, depending who you talk to)… then realized that I had nothing to drink that morning. Essentially I went from the night before until after my run with no water. I was dehydrated.

Well no wonder!

Before figuring this out, there’ always that annoying voice questioning what you’re doing and why you’re not progressing. We all have the moments when we trip and fall. The key is to get up and keep going.

This too shall pass.

Week 3: Take #2.

My first attempt at Week 3 was pretty much a write off. Mostly due to preparations for an upcoming trip, plans for the trip falling apart, then mad scrambling to salvage said trip (which all did work out in the end). Then travelling, and the trip itself throwing schedules off. Got a good chunk of hiking and walking in, but no run until we got home. Yesterday was the first try back on the old schedule. For the most part, it went well.

I tried throwing in something a friend of mine was telling me about called “Chi Running”, which is supposed to be a running technique that’s more efficient and less stressful on your joints. I watched a quick YouTube video on it (Viewable here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UYkAB18wgs ) and tried it to see what I thought of it. So far… I think I need to watch more videos or read the book! I don’t want to poo-poo it yet as I will guarantee I don’t have the proper form as shown on the video (and I only watched said video once) so I really don’t have the technique down. I need to research it a little more. However he did answer a question I’ve had floating around in my head if my form was proper or not. Something to work on with everything else.

Now, as I’ve said before, there’s always that inner voice you that you conflict with when starting out – your self doubt. I can tell you for sure that the more persistent you are in your efforts, the quieter that voice gets. It does eventually come back, but now it’s different.

While coming to the end of my run, I was pondering everything I had to get home to do. My mother was coming over to help in the garden, it was going to be hot out, I still had the grass to cut, the kitchen needed to be cleaned, ect… With Accept’s “Balls To The Wall” in my ears, I looked out at the looming stretch of track almost glad that this part of my day was over. Then it came – over the noise in my ears and thoughts in my head – the voice had returned. Over everything, it said a single sentence that came through loud and clear:

“Just one more lap…”

This voice, I didn’t mind giving in to.