I very well could be 600 pounds. I wouldn’t know at this exact moment because there are few consumer-grade scales that can measure that much weight, but the last time I went to the doctor and got weighed, I had to drive to a specialty clinic where they had scales that didn’t top out at 400 pounds. I was mortified (and petrified) to learn I weighed well over 500 pounds. That was three years ago.
Let’s back up a bit, though. I’ve always been a big person, from my time as an offensive lineman in little league football, all throughout high school, and obviously well into adulthood. I’ve always struggled with it, and no matter how much I tell myself otherwise, I hate it.
I was the enforcer of the group.
I was pretty active and maybe even a little agile for a guy my size, but once my younger years evaporated and the hardships of life took hold, I ballooned. The stress and depression that came along with transitioning into adulthood had me binging on my comfort food and drinking more beer than the human body is likely able to handle. I’d stay up late at night snacking while watching movies or playing video games, and then wake up close to noon the next day too tired to do anything. This was a daily excursion for a solid five years.
There were numerous times in the past I sought to change that. The problem is that I was missing key components. I’m not just talking about material things like a treadmill or that hot new diet pill everyone’s using to lose the gut. Some of the things are intangible, like support, a healthy mindset, motivation, and inspiration.
Thankfully, I got my first big bite of that last thing back in mid-2018 when resident madman Russell Holly shared his weight loss journey with the world. It’s a truly remarkable transformation and one definitely worth reading about when you get the chance.
Unfortunately, I can’t take the same exact path Russell did, but his story made me start thinking about my own health and the value I had placed on my own life up until that point (hint: it wasn’t much). I started thinking about all the people and things I love and how awful it’d be to surrender them, whether it’s because I’m too sick to do those things or because I’m no longer here to enjoy those people’s company. I started educating myself on the real dangers of being morbidly obese. High blood pressure, heart palpitations, sleep apnea, severe asthma, back and leg pain from having to support so much weight, acid reflux; the list goes on and on. And yes, I suffer from every last one of those conditions. I scared myself on that late night trip down the research rabbit hole.
Diamond Dallas Page — the creator of DDP Yoga
Searching for the answers that could get me going in the right direction, I came across a program that instantly impressed me as being something more than just a fad. It’s DDP Yoga, and it was the biggest sign I had from the higher-ups that this is what I need to do. That’s because I’m a huge wrestling fan, and Diamond Dallas Page — the creator of DDP Yoga — was one of my favorites growing up.
I’d only known him on-screen, but digging into this program, I found out that he was the one who helped two of my other favorites — Scott Hall and Jake the Snake Roberts — take control of their lives. Those two were beat up physically, of course, but they also had destructive personalities. Scott Hall was even confined to a wheelchair at one point.
But through copious amounts of support from the love he had for those guys, DDP helped them loosen those aching joints, regain mobility, and even kick the demons they’ve battled over the years. If that alone wasn’t enough to sell me, I saw the very real stories of many others, including Arthur Boorman, a disabled war veteran who doctors said would never walk again. Well, he actually shattered the expectations of those doctors. Before long, he had lost over a hundred pounds and was able to kick those walking canes that he’d been attached to all these years. Now he’s able to do stuff that I’ve never been able to do.
There are many more who have lost thousands of pounds collectively. The crazy thing is that this wasn’t even meant to be a weight loss program, as DDP originally developed it to help him stay loose and nimble throughout his short and late career as a professional wrestler.
As he puts it, the weight loss part is just a really nice side effect. Those stories are plentiful, and knowing how good a person “Dally” is from the many wrestlers who have sworn by this program and been touched by his friendship as he helps change their lives got me to the checkout screen.
So, DDP Yoga is where I begin. They have a bunch of DVDs, but I’ve opted to go with the smartphone app, which includes all of the content from the DVDs plus new weekly workouts, vitality tracking with support for heart rate monitors, meal plan tips, motivational videos, a rewards system, and you’ll also get access to a community full of other people doing the same thing. It’ll be perfect for me, because DDP Yoga scales for people of all sorts. Short, tall, skinny, obese, young, or old. I can’t stand for much more than a few minutes and the amount of time I can walk without resting is even shorter, so this low-impact, high-cardio workout is the perfect starting point. The plan is to get to the point where I can do more demanding workouts both within DDP Yoga and of my own accord to accelerate my weight loss goals.
DDP would tell you that “it ain’t your mama’s yoga” but that doesn’t mean I don’t need the proper equipment. I need a yoga mat and some accompanying balance blocks to keep myself comfortable while working out. The yoga kit I bought features a mat with anti-slip material on the outside and thick padding that will take it easy on my joints. The balance blocks are there to help me modify poses and workouts where bending is required. I will also use my chair for assistance when needed. (And if I were bedridden, there’d be a workout plan for that, too. It’s serious stuff, folks.)
Next, I bought resistance bands to add another dynamic to my workouts. This isn’t even something DDP recommends, but I’ve read from others who have been successful with this program that adding extra resistance when I can will help me get the most out of my workouts. This seems counterintuitive to the spirit of DDP Yoga, which stresses natural resistance therapy that uses nothing but your body to burn fat and strengthen your core, but there’s no inherent reason for me not to add this spin as I’m confident I can do some of the workouts with the increased resistance.
And I don’t even need this next piece of equipment to get started on DDP Yoga, but it will certainly help. It’s a heart rate monitor. I’ve opted for the Polar H10, a monitor designed to be strapped around your chest.
Many people swear by using this monitor for accurate workout tracking as some of the wrist options — like a Fitbit or a Samsung Gear Fit2 — are said to pale in comparison. It’ll be important for me to get something that can accurately track my heart rate both on-demand and over the course of a workout so I can know when I’ve reached my optimal fat-burning zone, so this is what I want. I will eventually buy a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor for general activity tracking, but for now, this will do.
Next up, I need a Chromecast, because I want to beam the videos from my smartphone to any TV in my home. My current TV of choice — the fantastic LG OLED B7 — works with Miracast-enabled devices on its own, but when I’m not at that TV or when I want to share the workout with family and friends, I need a solid, reliable, inexpensive, and convenient way to get those videos playing on whichever screen I fancy.
I’m opting for the standard Chromecast, which can display video at up to 1080p. I could upgrade to the Chromecast Ultra, but DDP Yoga doesn’t have 4K content and I’m not planning on using the Chromecast for anything else. I could also go even cheaper and opt for a USB-C-to-HDMI cable, but then I would have to deal with cables and it would be a pain to operate the phone during the workout. There are also other cool things I wouldn’t mind doing with a Chromecast.
The headphones I’ll be using are a pair of uninspiring Sony XB650BT Bluetooth headphones I received as a gift some time ago. They’re uninspiring in that they’re just… normal headphones.
There’s no Google Assistant, they don’t offer conspicuity, and they don’t have the most amazing sound signature in the world. One undisputed positive: 30 hours of battery life, which is amazing. I’ll use these headphones to hear DDP’s instruction clearly while being able to adjust volume and control playback. I know over-the-head isn’t sexy anymore, but my ears are like two separate grand canals and there aren’t many earbuds that fit. (And the goal here isn’t to look sexy, even though it kind of is.)
Last but not least, I’m going to want some kind of measure of proof that all this is working. I plan to weigh myself every week to start, preferably on Mondays. The exact day isn’t necessarily important to my plan except for the fact that Sundays will be my cheat day and I’ll use the scale to remind me to get back on the ball that next Monday morning. As I said before, there aren’t many scales out there that can read my weight, including pretty much every smart scale on the market.
That’s fine: people my size struggle with this issue in all facets of consumerism so I was neither shocked nor discouraged, and it’s yet another point of motivation for me. I’ll go for My Weigh’s 700-pound capacity bathroom scale instead. It has no memory functions and can’t talk wirelessly with a smartphone app, but all I really need is that weight readout. I can do the rest. It’s only $80, too, and I thought I’d have to pay much more for something that could work with me.
How you feel is more important than how you look.
At the end of the day, this is not just about my weight as a number. It’s about taking control of my life and living that life better. It’s about respecting my body. It’s about feeling better more than it is looking better. I’ve already made small changes to my diet and daily habits.
I’ve cut out soda, beer, and empty carbs and calories from snacks like potato chips. My portion sizes have gotten considerably smaller as I eat more balanced meals which keep me satisfied longer. More frequently, I’m volunteering to take out the trash, do the dishes, or get the mail, anything that gives me another excuse to move around. And even just changing my sleeping schedule so I can wake up sooner and get more work done earlier so I don’t spend my entire day tied to my chair has helped tremendously.
It’s only been a few months, and I can already feel the results from those minuscule adjustments. I no longer loathe standing up to go get a drink of water. I can bend over without fear of hurting my back or knees. I don’t wake up feeling like crap because I spent the previous day scarfing down value meals and dangerous amounts of sugar. I even managed to chase my nephew around the house full sprint the other day. Imagine what I can accomplish if I pair what I’ve been doing with more intense levels of activity and a proper diet. Just thinking about it has me feeling all tingly inside.
I don’t know how much, exactly, I weighed when I started and I’m not sure where that number is right now, but I wake up every day feeling better than I did the day before, and I never want that feeling to end. I want to be that happy guy you see above again. That’s why I’m dedicating the rest of my life to living the best of that life I can. Join me next week here on Android Central as I go over some of the cool things I’m doing with my diet to further help that cause.
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January 18, 2019 at 05:00AM