Name: Jesse Amaral
Hometown: New Bedford, MA
Starting Weight: 276 lbs
Done DDPY For: 15 months
Most people can’t say that their decision to embark on a drastically life-altering journey came after a great night at a comedy show with the love of their lives; but I can. For most people it is a horrifying and eye-opening moment that happens in the wake of some form of tragedy or scare; hold on, I’m getting there!
For Valentine’s Day 2016 my fiancé got us a set of tickets to see my favorite local comedy troupe, it was supposed to be a rare night out for us doing something we have been talking about doing for the whole 9 years we have been together. The show was great, we had some drinks, some food and some laughs. Came home right after the show and decided to relax on the couch for a while before heading to bed. My fiancé falls asleep on the couch, as is her usual M.O., and I proceeded to finish watching the show I was sucked into. As I sat on the couch I started to notice a tightness in my chest and shortness of breath; it was like someone was sitting on my chest with their hand over my mouth. A little panicked at this point I decide to do nothing and allow my fiancé to continue sleeping.
A week later I finally let on that something happened the night of the comedy show. At this point my fiancé and father (who is 4 heart attacks deep himself) convince me to go see a doctor and we head over to the E.R. to get checked out. I think it was when they brought me back, without hesitation, in front of a full waiting room, after announcing “I need a bed for chest” that really opened my eyes to the gravity of what could have happened. It was at that point I realized that a night a comedy show turned into my eye opening scare.
I had talked about doing DDP YOGA for years. Diamond Dallas Page was one of my childhood idols and that was a huge motivator to make me want to start that program. The problem was that sometimes you need to feel like you hit bottom before you try to get back up. My bottom came in the form of a realization of what I would be leaving behind due to my own careless hesitation and excuses. I decided I could not leave my daughter without a daddy, nor could I leave my future my wife; we promised we would do this together and I intended to keep it.
Very quietly, I started to change my eating habits. I cut out soda entirely. Cut back on starches, fats, desserts, and portions. That changed the way I felt about myself in ways I never expected and drove me to strive harder and make more changes. I started looking up DDP yoga on youtube.com and found some videos I could start to follow. Slowly, I started to get myself more involved in the community; reading testimonials and following some impressive progressions. I didn’t think I would be able to keep up, so getting the program became a huge motivator. I didn’t want to start and fail, I wanted to make sure I would be able to keep up. So I worked harder and my fiance noticed; she got me the package for Christmas 2016. Since then I have been hooked! My attitude and intensity have improved drastically and the results are a continuing motivator.
I tier my goals so I can have incremental success. Starting at 276, my first goal was to get down to 200 by my wedding on May 21st, 2017. I am just shy of that goal and currently weighing in at 215. My final goal is to get to, and maintain, a steady weight of 185 lbs. At that point, I will reevaluate to focus my goals more on toning than fat burning. Currently, I have noticed that my eating habits and steady routine are causing a plateau so I have started looking for more healthy meal options and increased the intensity of my workout to get closer to reaching those goals.
I can’t really say there is a distinction between the “old me” and the “new me”, I am still the same person. The difference is in my habits and my attitude. One of the biggest things holding me back in the past was my attitude. I never believed people could change, and I was set out to prove myself right. I was a very negative person and learned to live with the way I was, regardless of how unhappy I may have been with it. The biggest change was my attitude; positivity has had an overwhelming impact on my success. Believing I can do it has driven me to try and to prove myself right, again. Allowing myself to become more of an optimist has also allowed me to let go of a lot of frustrations. I no longer devote energy to banging my head against the wall; now I step back and get a sledgehammer! I have become accountable to myself and dedicated to meeting goals that I have started to set. Setting SMART and incremental goals allows me to measure my success and serves as a motivator.
It has not all been attitude; that doesn’t burn calories! The change in attitude has allowed me to change things like my eating habits and exercise habits. I overhauled my diet. Starting with cutting out soda and drinking more water, then trying to eat more vegetables, cutting back staches, increasing protein, and generally being more conscious of what I am putting in my body.
I reduced my portions and learned self-control. Self-control has allowed me to stay away from desserts and fast food; two of my biggest weaknesses. I also do not deprive myself completely; when I really want it, I’ll have it in moderation. What it really comes down to for me is wanting more out of life; more comedy shows with my almost wife, more trips to the park with my daughter, a better attitude to really enjoy it all. DDP YOGA helped me with that; I was motivated to get to the point where I can do the program,
now I more motivated than ever to stick with it.
UPDATE - July 2017
I've continued to own it so far I'm down 102lbs and have never felt better. Thank you so much to everyone involved in this program. It is amazing and has changed my whole outlook on life. I just completed day 135 In a row, with no rest days!!! My next goal is to become a DDP YOGA Certified Instructor and make it out to the Performance Center in Atlanta !!!!
UPDATE - December 2017
I've just completed my 300th day of DDPY in a row. I am officially on my way to becoming a certified instructor and am down 160 lbs.
- Tags: weight loss