BY MICHAEL GOODPASTER|
I recently went through some changes. Some of these changes were social, some were personal, and a lot were physical. I was 29 and unhappy with life. I’ve been a “big guy” for years. By “big guy” I mean “fat guy that is cool so we call him a ‘big guy’ to not be so harsh”. I wore it well. If you’re a fat guy for your whole life, it’s just part of who you are. It’s how you see yourself and how the world sees you. I wasn’t one of those stereotypical fat guys who was always seen eating and being gross like on TV or in a movie. I never had that stigma, at least from my own perspective. It never stopped me from going after goals and putting myself out there. In fact, it wasn’t even a discipline thing. I had already proven strong by quitting cigarettes for nearly three years now after smoking at least two packs a day for about nine years. I’m even close to three years without eating a bite of red meat. I’d even go a few months with no carbs or junk food. It didn’t change anything… I was just a “big guy”.
It came down to two things; bad habits and a shitty life style. It’s as simple as the fact that I ate too much bad food and not enough good food. The second part is the lack of exercise. Life is not exercise, despite popular belief. You HAVE to move around.
Things were sucking. I needed a change. I mindlessly drifted towards yoga. I started using a low impact 23 minute yoga DVD. I think it’s an Alan Harris one called “Basic Yoga”. It was just that, basic yoga. For a 350+ pound person, even the most “basic” of yoga is going to be a work out. At first I was proud of myself for being able to do it once a day, then after a week of doing it I was up to two sessions a day. Before I knew it, I was doing this basic 23 minute yoga DVD four times a day. It was my new addiction. I was sweating my ass off (literally), sleeping good, and losing weight. Eventually it wasn’t enough. It got too easy. I had to push myself.
Meanwhile, I still indulged in hobbies and passions. Professional wrestling has always been one of those. I have professional wrestling sprinkled through my own personal AND professional past on top of my life-long love for the physical theatre that it is. I kept reading and hearing about one wrestler’s yoga program. The positive reviews were building up so in early fall of last year I took it upon myself to dive right into “YRG Yoga”, a program created by former wrestler “Diamond” Dallas Page. I think he had to stop wrestling so he could be a superhero.
For those who don’t know, Diamond Dallas Page was a professional wrestler. He got involved in the wrestling business early on as a manager. He did pretty well at it, but it wasn’t enough for him. So at late the age of 35 he took it upon himself to start training to be a wrestler. At first he was put on the show because of his work ethic, but it wasn’t long before he was one of the best parts of WCW. It’s crazy to think that within a few years he held pretty much every championship he could in the company and had some of the best matches, storylines, and moments in WCW. I was always a fan as a kid. I really got into WCW right around the time he showed up with “Diamond Doll” and started feuding with Evad Sullivan, “The Booty Man”, and Johnny B. Badd. His personality was huge and he was one of the first people in wrestling that I could visually see improve and evolve in front of my eyes. There was a point in junior high where I got in the habit of writing fan letters to get autographs. One of the only people in the entire wrestling business to send an autograph back was DDP. At the time he wasn’t in the World Title picture yet, but the dude went way beyond what was necessary. He didn’t just send one signed picture, but he and his then wife and valet Kimberly sent me three different signed photos. It wasn’t a whole lot, but I’m sure it made my day and was a huge impact on my fandom. The entertainment of his performance, the inspiration of his really late start, and the fact that he seemed really fan-friendly made him really easy to be a fan of. The point is that DDP is awesome and it seems like he always has been.
Since last August I’ve dropped over 100 pounds.
Yeah. I was a “BIG” guy. DDP’s YRG work out is pretty awesome. It gives a nice intro manual that explains everything in detail. It goes over the exercises, nutrition advice, and gives some great 13 week plans that people can follow. I choose not to. One of the things Page says over and over again is to “make the YRG work out your own!” So I did.
I was already doing yoga for around two hours a day. It wasn’t the same yoga though and I quickly learned that. The difference is that DDP focuses on resistance. Instead of just stretching and posing like general yoga, DDP shows you how to create your own impact. It’s basically yoga with invisible weight lifting. It’s hard to describe, but it makes a lot of sense within a few minutes of DDP explaining it. He does it in simple words. He doesn’t talk down to you. He coaches you, teaches you, and despite hearing the same little jokes a million times by now you can tell there is some genuine goodness there. Being a wrestling fan for so long, it’s awesome to see the little tie-ins to my work out. Marking out that DDP tells you to “take it home” is fun. DDP chopping people randomly is fun. DDP adding little twists to the names of moves like “Road Warrior”, “Pinfall with a bridge”, “Figure 4”, “Dead Man(and Woman)”, etc. etc. etc. There is something comforting and fun to be working out and still be able to maintain your nerdiness.
My regiment is simple. I bust my ass! I’ll still use my old yoga DVD as a warm up or cool down, but my main focus is YRG. It comes with different work outs. In the guide it has a suggestion to do pretty much do one a day but I wanted to push harder. The first session is basically a tutorial. DDP goes through his “Diamond Dozen” and shows us how to do just about every move and pose he has us do. He shows us how to use our posture, how to use resistance, and how to get the most out of these motions. From there, there are separate sessions that focus on different things. There is a “Fat Burner”, “Energy”, “Below the Waist”, “Red Hot Core”, and others.
I just went down the list. I’d do two to four sessions of the “basic yoga” DVD and then at least two sessions of the much more physical YRG. For the first week I’d do “Diamond Dozen” every day and the next one down the list, which I think was “Energy”. Then after that first week I dropped “Diamond Dozen” and moved down the list to “Fat Burner”. So every day for the second week I was doing “Energy” and “Fat Burner”. I just kept going down the list like this. Eventually you run out of workouts, but at that point its all second nature. As of now, I’m really into a 50+ minute power work out called the “Diamond Cutter”. It’s a great work out that leaves me worn out in all the right ways.
One thing I do is set goals. I’ll keep a log of working out, what I eat, and even other projects. It keeps me focused and organized. My most recent work out goal was that I wanted to hit 350 yoga sessions in 2013 by 4/20. It was a REALLY crazy goal, but I did it. The truth is that it didn’t “completely transform my life” or anything. I’m still working on losing more weight and getting healthier. Life doesn’t automatically get better because of one step forward, but it does help to have positive things to distract yourself with.
If it’s your weight, your health, your lack of center, or even if you need a good escape then I’d full recommend at least trying DDP’s “YRG Yoga”. I did and I did not regret it. It’s all a process. Life is too short to be unhappy with yourself. This program won’t make you lose weight overnight. You can’t eat junk and expect to drop five pant sizes. You have to work at it and earn it. For me, this program showed me how I CAN earn it. It’s still up to you to do the hard part. If I’ve taken anything from this on-going journey it’s that regardless of what you do, just make sure you DO.
It's working for me...