As I think the whole world knows, I do a program called DDP Yoga. It is a very intense, challenging, and amazing program that combines yoga, rehabilitation moves, and dynamic resistance into a series of workouts that make your body lean, mean, and healthy. I started my journey in June of 2013. I was unhealthy, overweight, unhappy, and miserable. I got out of breath walking across the room to the bathroom. I was killing myself, slowly.
A couple of months ago, I was forced to admit that I was injured. My Achilles on my left foot was so sore that I was limping. I kept buying different shoes, spending lots of money, thinking I could “fix” it. I went to Physical Therapy and got help. I found out that even though I have been doing DDP Yoga like a crazy woman (5 workouts a week, about 300 minutes a week), my hips were weak, my glutes were lazy (don’t go there, that’s my favorite joke - I have a lazy butt), and I had injured my Achilles because I pushed through instead of working to strengthen these core muscles. Now, don’t mistake this as me saying I don’t work my core! I do Red Hot Core, which I dare anyone not to sweat through, but, my OTHER muscles were compensating. So I got hurt. I reached out to DDP. He emailed me back some suggestions and it opened a dialog. We got to talking about food, and I ended up agreeing to join an accountability group he had started.
At this point, I had already been logging my food on My Fitness Pal for over a month (username 1RadChick, hit me up with a friend request!). I had dialed in my calories, was watching what I ate, and had just decided to try eating plant based. I joined and started sharing my food each day. Every day, we share our food logs. It’s been eye opening for me, seeing how different everyone eats, and knowing that everyone is succeeding. At this point, my weight loss has been very slow (in my eyes). I’ve lost 39.6 lbs in 13 months. Yup, it’s a great loss, but for me, looking at some of the folks doing this program, I’m losing at the pace of a snail or slower. I was frustrated, but I am not willing to do drastic crazy diet measures to lose. I want to lose in a manner that is sustainable and healthy and fits me for the rest of my life. I have spent a lot of energy repairing my metabolism from yoyo dieting, taking diet pills, eating Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and just plain starvation. I am done with all that now. As the kids say “This shit just got real!”
Earlier this week, I popped a quick message to the accountability group saying “I’m so frustrated, WHY am I not losing??!” DDP himself replied, asking me for 5 days of food diaries and a few other questions. I sent him what he wanted. When I looked at the diaries, I saw 2 entries that were not my finest choices, but I shrugged because I knew the background and I knew that they were *still within my calories and my vegan lifestyle.* I had managed to keep legal even with challenges, so I just sent them off. A day or so later, he reached out again and asked me to appear on DDP Radio. I said “Yes, as long as you promise not to Diamond Cut me on the air.” He agreed.
Wednesday night I called in. I was on the line as they played that amazing opening music. My accountability partner, Mark Furniss was on Facebook chatting with me, living it with me, and asked me if I had my heart monitor on. We laughed about that for a couple. Now I wish I *had* worn it! LOL
The first thing DDP said, after we went through formalities of my short bio, was “So September, you had Ice cream…. Really? You think ice cream is something you can eat on a diet? And gluten free pancakes?” I don’t really know much of what he said after that, because, those were my only 2 bad choices in 5 days and I literally lost it. In MY head, I was now a food shamed failure. I heard my biggest mentor call me out and thought I had failed completely. Obviously, that was NOT the intent or the reality but that was MY reality. Fortunately, I had a notebook handy, and I managed to jot down ideas that came from him and from Stacey Morris on how to improve things and get the weight loss hopefully moving. Everyone was as baffled as I am (and as my doctor is) as to why I’m not losing more quickly. The call out on the bad foods? It was just meant to jostle me into remembering I’m trying to lose weight… not maintain. (I get that now, then not so much!) I was on for almost 20 minutes! It was crazy amazing. And at the end, they asked me to come back. And I really will!
After the show, I sat and cried. For 3 hours. I remember thinking “Its not worth it. I don’t care. I’m quitting.” Mark Furniss is a totally amazing accountability partner. He is in Ireland, 8 hours away, and had a new baby born to he and Susan last Thursday. He stayed up with me, for almost an hour after the show, (that’s like 3 am his time!), and talked me down. He made me understand what had REALLY happened, versus what I heard. I also talked to John NS, Christina Russell, and Liz Collins. I have the most amazing people surrounding me on this journey, I really do. Mike Mullins also reached out. Just crazy caring! I railed at all of them, lashing out in anger, pissed off at the world, and knowing that I eat more cleanly than most of the people in my life and who I associate with online. Dammit I own my food, it doesn’t own me! I kept reiterating my frustration and man, it’s a good thing DDP wasn’t in the room because I might have Diamond Cut HIM before he could calm me down! :D Yep, really, ask Christina.
Thursday morning I woke up and logged onto my computer. I had several messages waiting for me, congratulating me on being on DDPRadio and telling me how awesome I was. Wait, what? Awesome? What? Becky Curtis-Parker caught me and told me I had done great. Jennifer Singletary commiserated with how I felt but said I did really well. I started to blossom a little tiny bit. But I was still really angry with DDP. I wrote him a long email. I told him I felt ambushed, hurt, frustrated. I hit send, (rewrote that sucker 5 times), talked a bit more to Becky and she said no no no! Send him a “read me first”… and talked me back to reality. So I did. He wrote back, apologizing profusely because of course he never meant to hurt me. He is proud of what I’ve accomplished but wants me to have even more success. He was using me as an example. And he was thrilled to get my Read Me First (although he got it after he started replying!)
By mid day Thursday, I had started to regroup, and open back up and get back to living life at 90%. I was exhausted though. Really exhausted--Mentally and physically. I left work a bit early, went home and did my workout. It didn’t go well, and I didn’t really finish, but I did it, and it counted. I ate right all day, and felt good about all of it. I also exchanged emails with Stacey Morris and got clarification on some of what was said that was confusing to me. On the show they told me to eat no more than 27 grams of sugar a day. Well, I didn’t hear “added grams”, so I was trying to figure out how the heck you can only eat 27 grams when a freaking banana has 14. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live on bananas, but after going many many years with them being on a “never eat” list, I’m not cutting them out ever again! So Mark worked with me a bit too, ironing out my food, and providing input on it. It was a good day.
This morning I weighed. And burst out laughing. Honestly. I am down 1.2 pounds this week. Really. I’m .4 away from 40 pounds. And this after whining that I wasn’t losing. My weight hasn’t budged by even a pound for almost 4 weeks, and now today, bam! Down.
So today, I sat down and really looked at My Fitness Pal. I looked at my goals and I decided to re-examine them. I made some adjustments. Are they going to be easy adjustments? I guess it will depend on the day. Are they crazy? No. Are they difficult? Again, it will depend on the day. Can I do it? Hell yes. Do I want to? Hell yes! I’ve also agreed to a 2 week challenge of not eating complex carbs at dinner. (That’s what I am doing, no complex carbs. The whole challenge is no carbs, just veggies and protein.) Last night I had a protein shake with some tofu added for a bit of extra protein and some amazing roasted veggies.
In short, I got this. And. I am so SO very grateful to DDP for everything he does. He is an amazing human being, and I only hope I can be half the person he is. Thank you for being there, listening, pushing me to be more, and knowing I can be more. It really means a whole lot. More than you could possibly know. I am also grateful to Mark Furniss (http://heroddpyoga.blogspot.com) for being the most supportive (and yet realistic) accountability partner ever. Lastly grateful to the Team DDP Yoga folks who reached out and pulled me back to reality and made me see perspectives other than my own. My apologies to everyone I lashed out at, life happens, thank you for caring enough to stick with me through it. J
If you want to know more about my plant-based eating experience, which started as a 40 day experiment and has taken on a life of its own because I feel amazing, I have a facebook group set up here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323525631145417/