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John Bolling

When I graduated from high school, I was in the decent shape at 350 pounds. I dropped some weight getting back to 300 but remained pretty active into my late 20’s getting down to 275 pounds, but still feeling good.

After a series of challenges in life, I all but stopped most of my activity, but my stress levels kept rising. My biggest problem was I found myself eating to deal with the stress. Problems at work, let’s eat. Problems with family, let’s eat. But even if there was something positive, food was the answer. After over 10 years of this, the pounds had piled on. I went from wearing size 38 waist in 2004 to the final size 46 in January 2017. But I hadn’t been on a scale in years, but on January 6, 2017 I stepped on and read out 370+ pounds.

I was shocked, disappointed, sad, and angry all at the same time. I felt like I had given up. I knew I needed to do something, but all the traditional fitness systems I couldn’t do at my weight. Due to a missing half the cartilage in one knee, running was essentially unthinkable. I was winded going down a flight of stairs and walking to my car after work. I didn’t have energy to do things with family and friends. I wanted my life back.

I knew that my weight was a problem after one of my cousins ended up in the hospital in 2016. After seeing some pictures of me through the year, I realized that I wasn’t that far from heading down a similar path. I didn’t know what to do. But my Aunt posted Jared Mollenkopf’s transformation video that Sunday as I was on Facebook checking the posts from family. I watched it and was in awe of his dedication and drive. I thought, “If this man can do this, why can’t I?”

I made the decision to try DDPY after seeing Jared’s story. And it has been the best decision I have ever made. I started January 8, 2017 and started feeling better almost immediately. In addition to the DDPY program I had a friend at the office that started walking with me at lunch, starting at a ½ mile to 1 mile at first. I was finding reasons to remain active even on the days I had off from the DDPY program. I started changing my diet about a week after starting the program. My wife was a catalyst in ensuring my success with my dietary lifestyle changes. No soda, cooking at home much more often, making healthy lunches, and eating on a schedule. I went from eating one time a day to eating three or four meals.

During the beginning I had so many distractions that could have derailed my progress. Issues and travel with work all through February were difficult to manage. But the DDPYogaNow app provided all the tools I needed to stay on track. Then I met Steve Urban, who at the time was finishing his certification as a DDPY instructor. Working with Steve has been amazing, and another catalyst for pushing past my comfort zone. By June 8, I had lost 64 pounds. The program was working, not just on my weight but on my attitude. I was calm when stress was present. Now I was able to deal with the day to day without losing my temper.

As of September 11, 2017 I am down to 285! I just finished a local obstacle course race in September 2017. Now I can hit the trails for hiking and running with another DDPY Warrior in the area every weekend. I could not imagine trying to do this without taking control of my life with DDPY. This program has given me all the tools I needed to get on track and crush my goals. I have 30 pounds to my target, but I’m nowhere near the finish. I am looking forward to resetting my goals in January 2018 and starting the instructor certification.

I am stronger every day, and I’ve learned to never give up. My excuses that I used for years were lies. My only option is to get out there and get after it. I own my life again and can’t wait for the next evolution of my journey.

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