Name: Tiffany Geelan
Hometown: Ridgefield, NJ
Starting Weight: 153 lbs
Started DDPY: April 2017
Timeframe: 8 months
Weight Lost: 29 lbs
I have never been one of the thin girls who didn’t have to worry about what I ate. It seems like from the time that I can remember I have always felt like I was overweight and have been very self-conscious about my body. Fast food and sweets were a regular part of my diet and I have never been a very consistent exerciser. Although I always knew that these choices weren’t good for me, I figured that “someday” I would change my course but not today because ____ (fill in the blank with any excuse to put off the work until later). There always seemed to be a good reason to put off the change until “tomorrow”.
When I was around 24 I was at my heaviest, 168 pounds, which at 5’4” was a weight that I was not comfortable with anymore. That was when I first really started to try to lose weight. I joined a gym for a while, which didn’t work because I started making excuses to not go or to cut my workouts shorter than they needed to be. I even tried some home workouts that just got boring and didn’t seem to work anyway. Finally, I was able to find some success with calorie counting. I would count calories Monday – Friday and not eat more than 1200 calories a day then I would eat what I wanted on the weekend. I managed to get to around 150 pounds after several months of doing that. I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed, I was drinking a lot of diet soda and the weekends were like binges of bad food because I knew Monday would come around and I’d be back “dieting” again. Over the next 10 years, my weight would yo-yo between 150-160. And even though I had lost some weight I knew that the way I was doing it wasn’t healthy.
In the back of my mind, there was always a fear because I knew that heart disease runs in my family and that if I kept going down the road that I was on it could end up killing me. My mom’s mom, my Nana died at the age of 46 of a heart attack. I was only 5 at the time and I didn’t realize how young that actually was. Then only 5 years later my Papa, also died of a heart attack. No one in my family was ever really concerned about nutrition or exercise. I think losing my Nana and Papa at such a young age made me realize how short and precious life is. It also created an irrational, or maybe partially rational fear of losing the people I love. I knew that I needed to change my lifestyle for myself so that I didn’t follow in the same path as my grandparents, but the truth is what really made me change is the fear of losing my husband.
Mike and I have been together for 20 years since we were teenagers. We both came from homes that were not very health conscious so when we got together we just followed the same pattern. He has had health problems off and on through our entire relationship and we both realized that we needed to make a real change. We couldn’t just keep talking about it and never take any action. We had talked about DDP YOGA before, once after watching the Resurrection of Jake the Snake, then after seeing DDP on Shark Tank, and a handful of other times, but we never got really serious about it. After several months of Mike having auto-immune arthritis flare-ups and even more months of us saying ‘we need to start eating and living healthier’, we finally took the first step. We were sitting on the couch one-day last April and I don’t even remember what made me think about it at the time but I went to the DDP YOGA website and ordered the program. It was that day that we took our first real step on the journey to take our lives and our health back.
When the DVDs arrived, we were both really excited to get started. We started by taking pictures, which I think was a real wake up call for both of us. We knew that we had let ourselves get really out of shape but seeing the pictures of myself was hard. We started our first 13-week program on beginner and did the exercises as scheduled with some added in on off days. It was really hard at first, we got winded easy and couldn’t hold the positions as long as we were supposed to, but we noticed improvement every day.
The best part was that the exercises aren't just extremely effective, they are also fun! DDP makes it so entertaining, way better than my previous workout DVD experiences. But honestly this program is much more than a workout DVD, it’s a community and a lifestyle. There is so much support and encouragement all along the way from people who have reached their goals and are now inspiring and helping others, to people still on the journey to their healthier self, to DDP himself. It is unlike any other program I have seen or tried and I honestly believe that is why so many people find such success with it.
The hardest part for me was the food. I knew that I couldn’t just do the exercise and still eat the same way I always have and expect to see results, but I really love food! We started out buying the healthy produce that we already knew that we liked (apples, strawberries, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc…), we didn’t want to introduce anything that we weren’t sure would taste good because we didn’t want to give ourselves a reason to cheat. We didn’t follow Phase 1 of the eating plan exactly, we followed a lot of it but made adjustments that would work for us while still maintaining a healthy diet. Each month that passed we would take our pictures and compare them to the previous month and that would motivate us even more. Not only could we feel the difference but we could also see it too!
My goal when I started DDPY at a weight of 152.5 was to get to 125 pounds. A goal that I have set for myself every time I have started a new eating or exercise regimen. The last time I was 125 pounds I think I was in middle school and to be honest it might have even been before that. That has always been my pipe dream weight goal. I’d say I want to get to that weight with no real belief that it would ever happen. Now here I am 8 months later, I now weigh 123.5 pounds. Not only did I get to my pipe dream goal, I have actually gotten below it! It took me longer than Mike to get to my goal (he got to his goal weight just before the end of the first 13-week program), but we have been supporting and encouraging each other every step of the way. It has been amazing sharing this journey with my best friend. We are both healthier and are leading a much more active lifestyle and we are loving every minute of it.
Update - July 2018
Initially, after losing the weight and getting to my goal I struggled with the question of ‘What now?’. It seemed easy to let myself slip back into bad habits with food, so I tried to figure out what would keep me from doing that. I found that engaging more in the DDPY community online and focusing on encouraging others to reach their goals helped me stay focused. I also used the success stories of others to help motivate me to stay the course. There is an energy within the community that I try to stay plugged into as much as possible.
It has almost been a year and a half since Mike and I started the program and we often talk about how much our lives have changed in that time. We are certainly not the same people we were when we bought the program. Today we are stronger, healthier and more determined than we have ever been. We have maintained our weight loss through healthy eating and regular DDP YOGA. Of course, we still slip up from time to time when it comes to the food, but now we have the tools to get ourselves back on track. We now know that we feel better and our body’s function better when we are eating clean and staying active.
Even though Mike’s autoimmune arthritis has not gone away and has been in a flare up for a while now, the program helps him stay positive and it has improved his mobility and flexibility. We are exploring natural, alternative methods for healing his disease that focus on nutrition and we are looking forward to seeing where that takes us. We know that with our new-found belief in ourselves, determination and the positivity and support of the DDPY community that we will be unstoppable in our quest for healing.