My name is Jesse Stakes and DDP Yoga has helped me lose 77lbs and recapture my health and athleticism in my mid 30’s. I was an athlete in college. Spent every day in the gym or on a baseball field. As Dallas references many times when I hear him on Podcasts or giving his testimonial, I beat my body up – especially my knees. By the age of 21, I had orthopedic surgeons telling me that my baseball career was over and that if I didn’t stop doing so much damage to my knees, I would be looking at needing a knee replacement at 25. I believe his words were, “You currently have the knees of someone in their late 40’s or early 50’s”.
Losing what I loved to do and the opportunity to take it that step further, I lost the motivation to be in the gym every day. I graduated from college and went into sales. Financially I did well for myself, but I was chained to a desk most days and my eating habits were atrocious. I went out to breakfast, grabbed a bite for lunch, and, why not – dinner out as well! I had several family members that fell ill at this time as well which added additional personal stresses on top of my already poor eating habits and lack of fitness routine. At the height of my weight gain, I weighed in at 295lbs – at least the last time I stepped on the scale.
In 2012, I decided that I needed to make a change in my life. I did not want to leave my wife a widow nor be able to live the life that we wanted to live because of being overweight. And, quite honestly, I wanted to look back at the photos we shot and be happy with the “me” that I saw.
I am, was, and ever-shall-be a huge wrestling fan - especially of the WCW days. Being from Jacksonville, FL we were fortunate to get Nitro in town quite regularly and I was there every time. I was self-high-fiving and throwing up the diamond cutter well before I was leaning back and hulking up! I say all this just to emphasize the fact that I tried DDP Yoga because of who DDP was to me as a fan. I have stuck with DDP Yoga because of who I see him as now as a teacher and an inspiration.
I began the work of getting back in shape in 2012 and I have never stopped. DDP Yoga and the lifestyle that Diamond Dallas Page advocates for have been a part of my life ever since. I have adopted several tools to hold myself accountable (step tracker and app to log calorie intake) to the work I need to put in and the food that goes into my body. I have set realistic attainable goals throughout my journey and I have smashed through each one of them. Without DDP Yoga, it would have not been possible
Let me expound upon that because just saying it sounds like I am just marking out to the program. I have tremendously damaged knee joints (thinning ACLs, torn meniscus in left knee, wearing patellas, and no femoral grove in my femurs). My knee caps have a lateral disposition of about 45 degrees. I had a trainer in college want to do his college thesis on my knee joints! Not to mention I have a torn labrum in my right shoulder. Going to the gym hurt! DDP Yoga is low impact and it is callisthenic. Instead of the swelling and pain I would get doing a leg workout at the gym, I started gaining flexibility, strength, and muscle definition. I wish I had this when I was young. It is, by-far, the best program I have ever done for my personal fitness.
At the time of writing this, I have lost a total of 77lbs. I now weigh 218lbs. My flexibility is the best it has ever been. I feel and look great. Thank you DDP!