I was not overweight as a child, but when I was 13 my weight started rapidly climbing without explanation. For three years this continued until I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was put on treatment for that, but my weight didn't change. In fact, it continued to climb until I reached 315 lbs at the age of 22. I had been in karate since I was 19, but saw little improvement.
During the years since I started gaining weight, I was bullied (in junior high/high school) and battled depression. I didn't realize that my eating habits had become so unhealthy, and I was barely exercising (I was attending karate 3 days per week). I struggled with day to day things like tying my shoes and being able to breathe at the same time, or any kind of cardio exercise. I was misdiagnosed with asthma during this time because of my poor cardiovascular health. I couldn't run one lap around the 2/3 gym we train karate out of without having to stop and catch my breath.
After being unhappy with my physical state for so long, I finally decided enough was enough. I needed to make a change, but I had no idea where to start. Then, near the end of 2013 my karate instructor, Steve Doyle, was introduced to the DDPY program, and shortly after introduced me to the program that has changed my life. All I could think was "this could be it, this might be the thing that finally works for me."
I had to save up the money to buy the program, and once I did, I ordered it. I started as soon as I received the package. I decided to go all in right at the start. I did the advanced 13 week workout program and was attempting the phase 1 nutrition plan (I had a long struggle with food during this time). The workouts were great because there was always a way to modify it to my lack-of-a-fitness level. I saw improvements every time I got on the mat, but unfortunately, as soon as I finished the 13 weeks, I lost all motivation and quit for almost 6 months. I had the mentality that "I finished the program so now I can curl up on the couch and relax." I hadn't seen a great deal of weight loss at this point, and I pretty much gave up on any hope I had that I would.
One day, after gaining more weight on the weight loss roller coaster I was on, I decided to give it another try and started doing the DVDs again. By this time Steve had gotten his DDP YOGA Level 1 Instructor Certification, so I started attending his classes 4 days per week as well. Steve mentored me through the whole process and helped me get my eating on track. I started logging all of my food (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and this helped me to see where I had been making all of my mistakes. As soon as I did this, I saw noticeable results both on the scale and in how my clothes fit! I was so happy with myself. But shortly after, I let life's stress get me down, and I quit for a second and final time.
It was about five months before I got my head straight and I went back to DDP YOGA classes, and the DVDs, and put a great deal of effort into eating healthy. That was almost 2 years ago, and I'm still going strong. DDP YOGA has built my cardio to the point where I picked up running a year and a half ago (I went from not being able to run to now currently training for a 10k race!), and I decided to join the military (this had always been a dream, but I never thought I'd be able to because of my physical condition). I made it in, but unfortunately, I was injured during basic training and had to come home. So I went straight back to DDP yoga classes, got myself healed in no time, and in February of 2017 I became a DDP YOGA Level 1 Certified Instructor with a lot of help from Steve Doyle and Kristen Penner)!
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I started this journey as a 315 pound out of shape, unhealthy, unhappy woman, and through consistency (I can't emphasize enough the importance of consistency) I've become a happy, fit, strong, healthy woman who is down 90lbs currently, and I'm still pushing towards my final goal weight of 180 lbs, and striving to get stronger every day!