It’s weird to think I am a success story at the ddpyoga.com transformations page. It was less than 6 months ago that I was filling out my mailing address at the DDP Yoga store, horribly overweight, in chronic pain, really, really depressed, and quite convinced that I was going to be like that for the rest of my life. As I have said before, I was one last attempt away from completely giving up on my health, my body, and any dreams I had about getting thin during this lifetime. Luckily for me, that last attempt was DDP Yoga.
But’s that’s the power of DDP Yoga. I get fairly frequent emails from people who are just starting out asking for tips and advice, or simply asking what I did to get where I am. And the answer, to quote my father, is RTFM (I’ll let you urban dictionary that one!).
I didn’t do anything special. But I did do everything that the program guide asked of me. And everything is important, even if you don’t get why at the start (and there were a lot of things I didn’t quite get when I began this journey).
1. Let’s Get It Started.
Start with the Diamond Dozen and nail it before you go charging off into the actual workouts. Little Miss Know-It-All here very surprisingly followed this advice, but trust me, it was out of character for me to do that. But I am glad I did. There is so much information in that 35 minute lesson/workout that I still go back to it to fine tune my practice.
2. Ride on Time.
Do the workouts at the frequency that the program guide says, at least at first. That will help you set a good pace. Some people may be inclined to be slackers, or if you’re like me, following the schedule is a good way to avoid over doing it and burning out and quitting all in the first month. The schedule was, to the best of my knowledge, written by DDP with the Yoga Doc, so this is what experts know to be a good pace for you. Once you’re up and running, you can deviate and explore the different workouts before the calendar tells you too, but keep referring to the calendar to ensure that you’re putting in enough time.
3. Take A Picture.
Do the Day 0 pictures, all 6 of them. Then on Day 30 do them again. Then on Day 60, and Day 90, and Day 120…. I also recommend that you wear the same clothes and do your very best to make sure that your camera is in the exact same place each time* A laptop’s in-built camera is useful here, because you can see on the screen what you’re aiming at, and at the same time have your Day 0 pictures open to see where you were standing, and what the camera had been aimed at. The pictures will help you see where you are. When I was at Day 30, I hadn’t reached my weight goals, but I had lost some weight. While the weight was coming off quickly (I lost 37 lbs in 3 months, baby!), no one loses weight at the rate they would see on a day-to-day basis. At Day 30, I didn’t think I looked very different. Until I took the photos, that is. Once I put my Day 0 and Day 30 side-by-side, I saw that I had made some huge changes, especially around my midsection where the dangerous fat is. Seeing that improvement was enough motivation to fuel my next 30 days, and some of my best workouts have happened after taking update photos!
4. With Every Beat of My Heart.
Get a heart rate monitor!! There are numerous benefits to having one. First, it lets you know where you are in your workout. That’s not just a fleeting curiosity. That information will change how you do the workout in a way that will translate to more weight loss. When I first bought the DDPY system, and was waiting for it to arrive in the mail, the initial Arthur-lost-weight-so-I-can-too enthusiasm disappeared, and the cold, hard reality of having to actually do exercise which I didn’t like doing hit in. I looked at my fat body in the mirror and worried that the person who let their body get that way would never actually do all the dynamic resistance. Sure, I’d do the workout, but no one would be looking so I would probably half-ass it. I had done that with most workout systems in the past. Having that pain-in-the-ass heart rate monitor chirping at me when I fell out of my zone really helped me build good habits as I started out. Nowadays, my HRM helps me on days were I just don’t have the energy, or I’m just not in the mood. I make myself get on the mat telling myself I can half-ass it if I want. Every single time I have ended up bringing my A-game and burning a tonne of calories.
5. Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright.
Join teamDDPyoga.com and get involved. Like I said before, it’s the only place in the world that you will find people who are interested in supporting and motivating you. There’s no judgement if you stumble, and there’s no jealousy when you succeed. Not to speak ill of my own gender, but even the women are all banding together and making one another stronger. I started a group called “Women of DDPY”, and I have received so much from the friendships in that group. TeamDDPyoga.com has also helped me immensely in the transition between reaching my goals and finding what to do next. I am in two groups, “YouTube Yoga Freaks” and “Warriors in Training”. Both of these groups challenge me to try new things and that has prevented the issue of letting all the weight come back on during the maintenance phase that many people experience. Like DDP says, “There’s always some place to go!”. However it is that you define yourself, by your gender, your age, medical condition, location, there’s a group for you. There’s so much more to teamDDPyoga.com that I am omitting, and it occurs to me that I should write a separate post about it, so I will leave it at this: the time I spent at teamDDPyoga.com was pivotal to my success, and I would not be where I am without it. Period.
6. I Want Candy!
Well, you can’t have any! I’m the biggest sweet tooth I know, but I had to decide what tasted better: brownies or feeling good about myself. The DDP Yoga program guide has a whole nutritional program which takes up about half the program. I always tell people that it’s hard to lose weight with diet alone; it’s impossible to lose it only exercising. It’s thermodynamics. Calories in, calories out. Every diet you have heard of comes down to this. The low carb diets, the vegan diet, the cleanses, the really bizarre ones. They all work because they create a restriction in your food options that cause you to lower your calorie intake. The problem is that you eventually discover loopholes and cheats. You need to lower your calorie intake below your calorie output if you want to loose weight. You also need to get the metabolism crashers out of your diet, and the DDP Yoga nutrition guide will help you do that. I am a vegan, so I had to make minor modifications to the DDP Yoga plan, and because I am an overeater, I choose to measure my food and track what I eat on MyFitnessPal** too. But if you work up to Phase III, in essence you will be calorie counting. The plan sets enough limits on caloric foods and encourages you to eat the right things that you will end up eating the correct amounts of healthy foods, and restricting the worse foods so that you will be in the correct calorie range. Basically, DDP did all the tedious calorie counting work for you.
7. No Excuses.
As much as I am happy to chat about DDP Yoga all the live long day, spreading inspiration and positivity, and using my story to get people into the only system that has ever worked for me, I have encountered the one type of person that causes me to get a little frustrated: The Negotiator. You aren’t gainfully employed by Priceline. You can’t haggle your way to losing weight without putting the work in. Like DDP says, you will get out what you put in. If you do all the things I said in 1-6, you will reach your goals in a similar timeframe. If you don’t use a HRM, or you don’t do the nutrition side of it, then you will have a harder time. If you don’t engage your muscles when DDP tells you too, you won’t be burning as many calories. As people go, I am stubborn, I am prideful, and I am a little lazy. I get the instinct to talk your way out of doing things that seem difficult. But it’s up to you. Do you want to get a free pass or do you want be healthy?
That is the sum total of my wisdom, and those 7 things are what I did to get to my goal weight and keep it off. Follow them, and in no time you too will be answering emails from people who want help getting to where you are. You may be thinking, “You didn’t say anything that isn’t already in the DDP Yoga guide.” I know, like I said at the start of this post: RTFM!
*A footnote to this is that I was speaking with a girl on teamDDPyoga who is kicking it, and had her before and after’s featured on DDPY’s Facebook. Instantly, the haters and conspiracy theorists attacked her saying she photoshopped her after picture because the door behind her looked thinner. This happened because she put the camera at a different angle. I have seen enough of her pictures to know that she has lost the weight. So, like I said, put your camera in the right place!!
** Another reason to get a heart rate monitor. By knowing exactly how many calories I have worked off, I can eat more on workout days while knowing I am within my calorie limits and maintaining my weight.