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Alison Thompson

I’ve struggled with my weight for the last twenty years or so. I put on weight after I had my daughter, and then gave birth to my son, lost my grandmother, had post-natal depression and ate my way through it. I tried every diet going and was very good at losing half a stone, but then I got bored, got stuck and put on ten pounds – or more. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I was just meant to be fat and I needed to stop worrying about it and get on with life. I wasn’t happy – but what could I do?

April 2016 was the month everything changed – though I didn’t know it at the time. My son’s childhood ambition had been to go to Wrestlemania and it came true when we flew from London to Dallas for the wrestling extravaganza. While we were there I became aware of just how big people were – and while I felt quite thin in comparison, it made me realise that if I didn’t get my weight under control, I could end up in trouble, healthwise.

We went to Wrestlecon and met some of my son’s idols, including Al Snow, Jim Duggan and Diamond Dallas Page. Dallas was lovely. He talked to us for ages and mentioned this yoga thing that he’d invented, DDP Yoga. My son had heard about it through one of his favourite YouTubers and they chatted away. I wasn’t all that interested – exercise wasn’t really my thing. But something from the conversation must have sunk in, because when we got back to the UK I had a look at the website, downloaded the app, signed up for a three month subscription … and nothing has been the same again!

I can remember the first day I tried the Diamond Dozen. I sweated buckets and my joints screamed – but you know what? I loved it! Next day I did Energy, then Fat Burner, and before long I was addicted and doing DDP Yoga four, five, six times a week. I told everyone I knew about this “crazy wrestling yoga” I was doing, shared my progress pictures on Facebook and smiled as the pounds started to go. Within two months I’d lost a stone, and 15 inches – but then I got stuck. And you know what happens when that happens…

But I was determined. I wasn’t going to give up this time. This was the time I lost weight once and for all. I have to admit I’ve never got further than phase 2 of the DDP Yoga nutrition programme – it’s a bit too extreme for me, and I knew I needed to find a way of eating that was sustainable for life. So I joined my local Slimming World group and followed their food optimising plan. This encourages you to eat as much lean meat, pulses, fruit, vegetables, eggs, pasta and rice as you need to satisfy your appetite, along with a limited amount of treats. Nothing is banned but it teaches you to fill up on healthy foods and enjoy treats in moderation.

And the combination of Slimming World and DDP Yoga has worked. It’s now 17 months since that first meeting with Dallas in Dallas and I have lost a whopping 80 pounds and am only 4 pounds from my target weight. But better still, DDP Yoga has improved my strength, posture, flexibility, mobility and balance. I’ve had hiccups along the way – an arthritic knee and a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome mean I have to modify from time to time, but DDP Yoga makes it easy to do that. It’s the only exercise programme I’ve found that really does let you make it your own – which means anyone can do it, no matter how much they weigh or how fit they are.  I’ve never been interested in exercise before, it just bored me, but DDP Yoga is fun and I look forward to hitting the mat before I go to work. It sets me up for the day and it has changed my life for the better, forever.

In September 2016, I went along to the DDP Yoga workshop in Birmingham and met Dallas again. I took the photos from Wrestlecon and waited to see if he could spot the difference. The hug he gave me when he saw the pictures was the best reward I could have for all my hard work!

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