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Name: Mike Geeland

Hometown: Ridgefield, NJ

Starting Weight: 210 lbs

Age: 38

Health Conditions:
Spondylarthropathy (autoimmune arthritis)

Started DDPY:
April 2017

Timeframe:

12 weeks

Weight Lost:
40 lbs

My name is Michael Geelan. I started DDP YOGA in April of 2017. I’m 5’11” and my starting weight was 210 pounds. My goal weight was 170 pounds. I wasn’t sure if I was going to succeed, but I had 40 pounds of flab (mostly around the belly) that really needed to go. Also, I was desperately trying to regain my flexibility and reduce my pain…

I grew up a skinny kid. So much so, that my parents always encouraged me to eat as much as I wanted (and/or could). That idea of eating is what I learned at a young age and carried with me into adulthood. Close to age 18, I had gallstones and had to have my gallbladder removed. Doctors said it was likely related to poor eating habits. At that young age, I really didn’t care to change what or how much I ate. So, I just kept on eating unhealthy foods. Fast food, junk food soda after soda, I didn’t leave anything out. Into my 20’s, it seemed I was often having health problems. Looking back, it seemed my body was always struggling to keep up with the workload of dealing with the nonstop garbage diet.

My mid-twenties were also when my metabolism shifted greatly. The rocket engine metabolism of my youth slowed down to a much more average pace. When that happened, fat started showing up on my body. By the time I his 30, I was over 200 pounds. I didn’t look fat (an XL t-shirt hid my big belly nicely), but I was far from healthy.

In my early 30’s was when I started having pain in my hands and feet, cramping and aching like pain. After countless doctor exams, I finally was referred to a rheumatologist. This was the point that I finally got a diagnosis, Spondyloarthropathy. Huh? Yeah, I didn’t understand either. It’s in the same family of autoimmune disease as rheumatoid arthritis. What it means is that somewhere along the way, my immune system started not working correctly. It now sees the protective tissue around my joints, ligaments, and tendons as a foreign body. Kind of like a virus or bacteria.  So now my immune system is hard at work (24/7) attacking all that gives me mobility and flexibility.

At 38 years old, I’ve been in a fair amount of pain most of the time, from the autoimmune disease. I was not very happy, not very healthy and my weight was 210 pounds (my heaviest) and my eating was still poor. I was using food to help cope with the unhappiness of my circumstances. It felt like there were so many aspects of my life I couldn’t control. I liked eating the food, but I knew this path wasn’t working. My wife Tiffany and I both knew we needed to make changes.

Tiffany and I had talked countless times in the past about how we needed to eat better, and how we needed to be more active. Don’t we all talk like that? Like some sort of weak New Years resolution, that you already know you’re not going to keep. We’d also talked about DDP YOGA a few times. Not in depth, more like “we should try that sometime” and “it helped Jake the Snake turn his life around you know”. After watching the Resurrection of Jake the Snake, I became a believer in DDP’s ability to motivate and inspire people to change. If DDP could help Jake, then DDP YOGA was certainly something powerful.

It was in April of 2017, shortly before my 38th birthday, when the stars finally aligned. I was really struggling with pain at the time. Putting on my shoes in the morning before work was a painful struggle. My weight was high and my self-esteem was low. I was in pain most of the time. I know Tiffany was struggling with seeing the condition I was in as well. She was on the laptop that fateful day in April. She brought up the DDP YOGA website and asked how I felt about trying it. I told her that I needed to do something because I couldn’t keep going on in as much pain as I was in. So she ordered the DVD set. April 8th, 2017. Our lives haven’t been the same since.

I believed I could lose the weight. In the past, we had some short-term stretches of being active and I lost weight. Some of that youthful metabolism is still inside me somewhere. So I knew if I put the work in, I’d lose some weight, but 40 pounds? I was skeptical about losing that much weight.

Starting the program, I knew my eating habits had to change. I tried to go in with the mindset that this was an opportunity… not a punishment. I wasn’t going on a diet. I wasn’t going to count calories either. My food goal was to change what I was eating and why I was eating. I didn’t follow the DDPY meal plan verbatim. Instead, I focused on changing over to natural, real foods. As much natural, single ingredient foods as possible. I needed to eliminate the junk. So, I started by buying fresh fruits and vegetables that I liked. I felt that switching to healthier food choices would be much easier if I was eating food I liked. I found this to be very helpful. Starting with what I know and liked helped keep my thoughts positive. Good food kept me engaged in the process. The transition wasn’t perfect in the beginning, but nothing ever is.

I also made it a point to write down everything I ate. I’m kind of old-fashioned, so my food journal is just pen and paper. I do this as an accountability tool. I’m in charge of my program and I want to succeed. That is why I try to put in accountability measures to help me help myself. The food journal is a way for me to eliminate impulsive or emotional eating. Before I eat, I stop and write down what I’m going to eat and what time. This step slows the consumption process and makes me think before I eat. This has helped a lot. The first 30 days of the program I was especially strict about the eating. The reason is that I was trying to establish new habits. I read somewhere about successfully establishing a new habit, by doing it every day for 30 days. After 30 days, the action becomes more natural. It becomes a part of your routine.

As I started doing the DDPY workouts, I realized that the program starts you out gently. I was thankful for that too. I was stiff and sore in the beginning, so 20 to 30-minute workouts 3 to 4 times per week fit my ability level well. I found the intensity level to be challenging, but do-able. Having modifications on the different moves also was helpful. With arthritic joints, having low/no impact fitness was invaluable to me. The beginning workouts for me were really about learning how to do the moves correctly and getting my body moving again. The workouts being as gentle as they were also allowed me more time and energy to focus on my eating. I really want to stress how important a proper diet is to being successful with DDPY. It’s the fuel that you put in your body, that really is the foundation of how your body performs.

With the workouts being low impact and my commitment to eating natural foods, my body started changing rapidly. I took my initial 6 pictures, signed up for the app and started using the DVDs religiously. The DDP YOGA NOW app really helped me stay focused on my program. It keeps my schedule of workouts, my monthly pics and keeps track of my weight and measurements. I’ve gotten great use out of the app, and I am glad that it is available.  After just 12 weeks, I had gotten down to my goal of 170 pounds. Accomplishing my goal felt phenomenal. I had less pain. I look better and feel better too. DDPY hasn’t been a magic bullet for my arthritis pain, but it has given me an improved quality of life.

After hitting 170 pounds I decided to make new goals. I wanted to maintain a weight between 165 and 170 pounds. I also really felt I needed to work on the message I tell myself. I’ve struggled with depression, and a negative self-dialogue for most of my life. DDPY has given me the tools I need to really change the story I tell myself. In my opinion, the positive self-dialogue is the most critical component of DDP YOGA. It’s really the foundation for being successful with the eating healthy and exercise.

In conclusion, DDP Yoga has given me the tools and resources that I’ve used to transform my life. Furthermore, its given me the belief in myself that anything I want to do in life is possible.

 

Update July 2018

July 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of hitting my weight loss goal of 170 pounds. By combining healthy food choices and DDP YOGA I’ve kept my weight between 160-170 pounds. My DDPY workouts have been up and down over the last year. I’ve had some bad joint flare-ups, that required me to listen to my body and dial it back a bit. DDPY and healthy eating are a huge part of my lifestyle and routine. Tiffany and I attended the DDP Yoga Retreat in Cancun and we had a blast. It was amazing getting plugged back into the DDPY community, and we can not wait for the 2019 retreat. My goals for the coming year are a.) to continue my DDP Yoga b.) to actively pursue nutrition and supplementation to treat my autoimmune disease.


Story Posted: January 23 2018

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