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Saturday, August 31, 2013


Some people call them excuses. Some people call them reasons. The bottom line is, there are things that get in the way of success. It doesn't matter if it is professional, personal, whatever, obstacles will get in your way. Right now, I have quite a few getting in my way, trying hard to take me off track.

First of all, the sheer amount of hours that I work.  I worked 50 hours this week at my main job and another 16 at my second job.  That's 66 hours for all you math majors. That alone is extremely difficult, physically, emotionally and to be honest, psychologically. Since Thursday, I've gotten roughly 6-8 hours of  That doesn't help.

Also, I am in the absolute worst work situation at my main job that I've ever been in in my professional career. Not going to go into details, but its a mess and it is taking its toll.

We are extremely busy at my main job and keeping up with eating isn't going very well for me.  I'm not eating poorly, actually I'm eating extremely well, when I do eat, I'm just not eating enough. At all. Jodi and I figured that over the last couple of days, I've had maybe.....1300 calories a day....and that's stretching it. I just haven't had the time to lay several small meals out that I would normally eat over a 10-12 hour day, so I'm usually eating once instead of the three times that I would actually like to. The issue with this, outside of the obviousness of needing fuel for my body, is that I'm getting cravings.  Really bad cravings that I haven't had in a while in over a month.  My biggest  Pizza was my favorite food. I could (and sometimes did) eat it 3-4 times a week. I haven't had any in at least 35 days, if not longer and with my body wanting food, it knows that it would get some satisfaction (even if temporary) from some cheese and pepperoni.  I'm afraid if this keeps up too much longer I'm gonna end up on a pizza binge, which won't be good for me physically or mentally.

Not to keep piling it on, but I'm also going batshit crazy without a scale.  Jodi says she's not going to buy one so I don't obsess over it and I've just been too damn busy to go get one myself.  I'm damn sure that I'm in the 220's by now and I really want to see it. Ugh! So, yeah, maybe she's right, I'm obsessing over it and it isn't even here.

I'm going to have to figure out something pretty quickly with this food situation.  I don't know if I should pack some protein shakes or bars to take to work just in case I can't get around to having an actual meal that I'd prefer or if I should just suck it up and deal with it when it happens.  But right now, I'm really struggling with that.  Everyone struggles with certain things.  A lot of people just don't have the drive to do the workouts, that's not a problem for me, it's clockwork at this point.  A lot of people just want to binge on crap, which is a small issue for me, but I've yet to do it (except that one time that was planned at the beginning of all this) but my biggest damn issue is, I just don't have the time available to eat weird is that for someone trying to lose a pretty good amount of weight?

On the plus side, and since calories isn't a concern right now, I decided to buy a gluten free beer tonight.  I was honestly expecting the worst.  My thought was, you can mess with a lot of things and make them taste close to their original (tofu turkey anyone?) but beer was something you can't mess with. Well, honestly, I picked up New Grist pilsner style....and it is really, really good.  It isn't helping my cravings for pizza, but I've realized there is something I can have, beer wise, that isn't going to be terribly awful for me, in moderation.

Judge me, don't judge me. I'm still gonna do what I set out to do, obstacles or not. But I'm sure gonna TRY to keep doing the right things. I don't want to chance of ruining all the great habits that I've gotten myself into just for one night of food satisfaction that will make me feel like shit after anyway.

Any of you smart foodies have a good recipe for healthy pizza? I'd love to hear it!!

Until then....cheers.

Day proxy.

So, after Chris's long days at work yesterday and today...he came home from working two straight days, with only four hours sleep, and crashed hard.  I know he would wake up devastated that he didn't blog so I (future wife) decided that I should blog in his place.. .

I would like to take this opportunity to let you all know what an amazing, caring and giving man Chris is.  He likes to portray a tough image...but in reality he is a "softie".  This is a man who does anything and everything for me and his family.  To him, his whole journey is more "for us" than it it is "for him".  But for Chris, this is one in the same, US and HIM are the same.  He wants to be healthy for us and our future. He wants to be the best him he can be. 

He has amazed me every day with his dedication to this program and to maintaining it for the future.  I can tell this time it isn't a fleeting moment of  "I may be able to do this".  It is Chris's time to shine.  To do what he has tried to do in the past.  He WILL achieve his goals. Not because he wants to give me the "husband she deserves" but because he has the drive...the will to make those changes that last a lifetime.  It is for is for is for the kids...he WILL do this. 

At this time, one year from today, I will be Mrs. Manning...I don't care if he is 190 lbs and cut or 400lbs...I will love him with all my heart and soul.  As much as the first time I heard his voice, as much as the first time I laid eyes on him, I will love him unconditionally.  He is the man I am supposed to be with. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 31-keep on truckin'

I'm writing yet another one of these from my phone because I'm not going to have time between my day job and night job to go home and sit down to write this. I got to my day job at 9am, will be here until 1015pm and then head to my night job from 11pm until 7am and then back to my day job at 1pm until 9pm.

A lot of people think I'm crazy for doing this, but last night on DDP radio, Dally said that you have to always be setting goals. To me, that's not just about fitness and the program, its about life. Sure, I've got plenty of goals when it comes to Ddpyoga....I met one yesterday, I wanted to see results after thirty days, and I did. But the reason I'm working the way I am is because of a life goal. I want us to have the perfect wedding that we both want and I don't want there to come a time where we say "we can't do that" and it be because of money.

We both make pretty good livings, but between 4 kids, child support and our bills, saving thousands of dollars to spend on a one day event just isn't in our budget. So, I can work this second job, with most of the money going toward the "wedding fund." We get married a year and one day from today, so we can save up a pretty decent chunk and as long as I don't have to look at her, ever, when it comes to the wedding and say " we can't afford that" then all of this will be worth it.

Same goes for the morning workouts. I'm willing to sacrifice an hour of sleep when I've only gotten three to achieve my fitness and physical goals. I'm well on my way. I have all my goals set from day one until Aug 30, 2014. When that time comes, I will have new goals to fitness, and in life.

What goals are you working toward?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

30 days

It's here. My first thirty days with DDPYoga.

I woke up, crawled out of bed and went to step on the scale for the official 30 day weigh in. I was excited, I was pumped, I was ready to see some results.

I stepped on the scale and ......nothing. The scale was dead. It's a digital scale, so I can assume maybe the battery was dead, I'm not sure, but that was just kind of funny considering how long I've looked forward to this.  Maybe it just cements what Jodi has told me all's NOT about the scale. So, I'll make sure I have a replacement before day 60, but I am just using yesterday's weight. (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to weigh every day....I'm sure glad I did in this case.

13.5 inches and 20.6 pounds lost in thirty days. I'm proud, but more than that, I'm motivated to continue to kick my own ass daily. I'm still a long way from where I want to be, but damn it, its working!

07/30/13 08/15/13
Weight 252.8 232.2 
Waist 39 37
Chest 46 43
Shoulders 52 51
Neck 17.5 16 ¾
Biceps 15 14
Wrist 7 7
Hips 45 43
Thighs 23.5 22
Knees 17 16
Calves 18 17


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

29-One left until the big "reveal."

Ok, so that title is mis-leading.  I'm not really revealing anything....well, except my weight loss and increased fitness over the last 30 days. While, obviously, this journey doesn't come anywhere close to ending tomorrow. Tomorrow is the first step in the first chapter of a lifelong journey. Tomorrow I will be weighing and measuring first thing in the morning, then doing Diamond Cutter and then taking the 30 day pictures when Jodi gets home from work.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I can feel it in my clothes, I can see it in the mirror and I haven't been good about the "only weighing on 15 and 30 day increments" rule I set down for myself, so I know its there on the scale.  Doesn't matter....those pictures will be a lot of satisfaction for me.

I'm going to be doing two sets of pictures tomorrow. One with the same clothes I wore in the pictures I posted on and one sans shirt (that I didn't post, basically because I was embarrassed at how far I'd let myself go. 

I got some great feedback on yesterday's blog about Jake Roberts. It was nice to hear some of the feedback and know that I wasn't the only one that was here because of Jake. I tweeted a link to the blog last night to DDP and Jake, I'd be lying if I tried to say that I wasn't hoping for a response.  Not because I'm interested in their collective 100,000 followers seeing it, but because I really, truly, hoped Jake saw it. Just in case he ever doubts himself, he can know that there is at least one person down there that he is inspiring.

Speaking of twitter, for all of you tweeters out there, I can be found @manning2379 on twitter.  I follow back, especially if I know you came from teamddp.

Big day tomorrow and I've got a beautiful woman upstairs waiting for some snuggling. So, until tomorrow folks.

Monday, August 26, 2013

28 days later-A snake charms me.

They say you can notice a change in your body in two weeks.  That's true.

They say in four weeks, others can start to notice. I can also tell you that's true as well. Four weeks today and I'm having people continuously saying things to me.  The "wow, you've trimmed up" or asking Jodi "is he losing weight?" Those are music to my ears. After almost twenty pounds, I'd think it would be tough for them not to notice, but hey, what do I know.

However, with body changes come the questions. "What are you doing? "Are you going to a gym?" "Are you on a diet?"  When I was doing Insanity, I really didn't want to answer these questions. I just wanted to say "yeah, I'm on a diet, I'm working out" and move on. I didn't want to say "yeah, I'm doing that thing they show over and over on infomercials at all times of the day and night.  Frankly, I was kind of embarrassed that a former professional athlete was now doing workouts from a DVD in my living room. So, I did them, hurt my knees further than they already were and gained back everything I had lost (which, by the way isn't as much as they tell you) within two months of being done with my "life-transforming 60 days."

After that I had an accident which had my wrist get sliced and an artery was hit, as well as destroying several tendons. According to the EMT's and the surgeon that fixed me up, I was anywhere from a minute to three minutes away from dying due to blood loss because of hitting the artery. After that, obviously working out was the furthest thing from my mind. Between having, essentially, a useless right arm for a little while and just being happy to be alive, I wasn't worried about my weight, I wasn't worried about eating right, I was just enjoying life with my kids and shortly thereafter met Jodi and was just in a whirlwind of emotions and knowing that I had just met the person I was going to spend a long, long time with (not gonna say the rest of my life, because at that point, neither of us was planning on ever getting married, don't things change?)

Fast forward and I had that "aha" moment when I realized I needed to do something.  Between my knees from baseball and my wrist from before, Insanity or anything high impact, for that matter, was out of the question. Most people say that they came to DDP Yoga because they say Arthur's story. I'm not going to say I'm the only one, but I've got to be one of the few that isn't here because of Arthur's amazing story. As a matter of fact, I didn't see Arthur's story until long after I'd done my first workout. 

My inspiration for finding DDP Yoga was a little different. It goes back to my childhood. My inspiration for trying DDP Yoga was Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

I've been a fan of professional wrestling for 30 years. If they've been worth seeing in the last thirty years, chances are, I've seen 'em and seen 'em in person.

I watched Jake in Mid-South (although I barely remember) of course the pinnacle of his career in his first run in the WWF, then his shocking, but short run in WCW (anyone remember the Coal Miner's glove match against Sting?) then his return to WWF. What I wasn't aware of as a kid was his addiction and his challenges. Then the movie "Beyond the Mat" came out and showed where Jake Roberts got the inspiration for his character's darkside he was so famous for.....his real life.

I watched Jake's downfall and  I figured over the years, seeing a headline of "wrestler dead" one of my first guesses was always Jake. I'd reminisce with my dad about what an "evil bad ass motherf*****" Roberts was and how he was never quite given the recognition he deserved for his work on the microphone. In the 80's, everyone got their point across by But Jake could sell you on a match and put a chill down your spine....never lifting his voice above a high whisper.

It was sad what happened to Jake. But then his old pal and former protege Dallas Page came calling.  The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.  But that history was just the beginning for me.  It was seeing what the program did for Jake (and continues to do) that got me inspired to take the plunge, so to speak. Seeing how Jake essentially was unable to do much of anything to now having plans to take one more shot on the big stage at the 2014 Royal Rumble.  Jeez, if it could do that for him....I can only imagine what it's gonna do for me. 

So, while so many people thank DDP (and I of course do, because it is DDPYoga, after all) I'd first and foremost like to thank Jake.  Without Jake Roberts and DDP Yoga, there would be no Chris Manning and DDPYoga. So Jake, thank you for changing your life, because you and your story inspired me to change mine.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 27-Support, where it is and where it isn't.

No one can do a life change on their own.  Whether they think they can or they can't, the brutal honest truth is, they can't. You have to have support in some way shape or form. In this life changing journey, I've found support from many places, some I expected and hoped for and some I didn't expect at all.  

Obviously, my main support is Jodi. It helps that my main motivation and my main support are the same. She's, as noted in this blog, social media and anywhere else I have a voice, just been amazing. From changing our diets, to our lifestyle and even giving me that kick in the ass when I need to go workout (that's 27 straight days of ass kicking.)

My kids think its so cool that daddy is working out and eating better. (though they do still wish we'd order pizza or go to McDonald's every once in a while.)

Even the folks at work have been pretty awesome with their support. A few of them have said they admire my discipline by sticking with it and are amazed at how quick I'm showing results.

I appreciate all the support I'm getting from the people important to me. It helps me continue to have the dedication to stick with this day in and day out. I assume (and hope) I'll be even more motivated after taking pictures in 3 days.

I've got 3 more days to bust my butt as hard as I can (not that I don't already) to get the optimal results for Wednesday. I'm going to weigh in the morning and take pictures at night. Can't wait to see the results for myself. The mirror, hopefully, isn't doing the results justice. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 26

Looooooooooooong day. I've got to find a new "gimmick" for this blog bc after 26 days I'm not gonna fall "off the wagon" nutrition wise or with the workouts.

I'm on two additional belt loops now so I'm clearly losing weight. I'm looking forward to the day when I HAVE TO buy size 34 pants. All my 38s are loose.

I've lost 18 lbs as of today. In 26 days. I'm busting my ass.

She's gonna be marrying a hot piece of ass on 8/30/2014.

Day 25

5 days til 30 day weigh in and pictures. Can't wait.

Speaking of cant wait..... Jodi's dinner last oh man....I really should have taken a picture it was so good!! And dessert!!!! All amazing and all damn good for me!

Today is done and tomorrow will be diamond cutter!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

24 (no, not the show)

Temptation. In my (not so) expert opinion, that is what makes people fail when taking on new goals. In nutritional and fitness goals, it's even easier.  Eat this, you can make it up tomorrow. Skip today, you've worked hard up until then. I don't feel good, I just need a day off. I'll feel better tomorrow. In the last 24 days, each of these has popped in my mind.  None of them have been successful. Because even though I have a goal, a set, attainable goal, this isn't about dieting or trying to make a small change.  I'm making a long-term, life change. When you are making a change for good, there are no days off, there is no "well, I can make it up tomorrow."  You've made the decision, you stick with it.  If you don't, that's up to you.

For the first couple weeks, temptation was pretty tough.  I felt like it was a victory each time I declined something I wasn't supposed to be eating.  Notice the language, "wasn't supposed to be."  Three and a half weeks in, it's not a "supposed to" its an I DON'T WANT TO. For example, at work today they ordered burgers, fries and all the stuff I used to be happy to eat.  Our big boss was in town and it was all on him. Instead, I ordered a spinach salad with grilled chicken with a tiny amount of dressing.  I can assure you an hour later I felt better than they did when that brick hit their stomachs.  It wasn't that I didn't think I was supposed to, I just didn't want to.

However, tonight was the night that my mother met Jodi's parents (I'm from the east coast, she's from right here in good ol' Iowa) and Jodi once again had an amazing meal prepared. Spinach meat (turkey) balls, fresh green beans (that were just awesome) and spaghetti.  I went easy on the noodles, but heavy on the greens and the turkey balls!

I did my workout early this morning (and will continue to every day) but tonight/tomorrow is going to be one of those tough days.  I worked the day shift at my main job and then have to go back for a meeting from 9-1030 and then my overnight job from 11p-7a....I'll get a few hours off before I have to return to my main job at 12 and work until 9p.  Somewhere in there I will own a workout.

Of course, now I look down at the time and realize I have to leave for my meeting.....see ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


For the last 22 days, I've spent a few minutes telling you about my day, my victories, my opinions and my progress. I've also spent those days bragging about my beautiful future wife and how supportive and amazing she is.

Tonight, I'm going to go hold her until she falls asleep in my arms.

(Don't worry, I ate well and did Fat Burner today)

Double duece-Victory

In this goal of changing my life (featuring Ddpyoga) today was the biggest Victory of all 22 days. Let me explain...

Last night/today was the day from hell. Actually, even those in help may have felt sorry for me. I went to work at my second job last night at 1030 pm. I was there until 7 am , then I came home, got my daughter ready for school by 8 and then .... You guessed it, busted my ass with a workout before I got myself ready for my main job at 9 am and was there until 6pm.

I was a zombie all day, but was still smiling because I was still dedicated enough that I still did a workout in the short amount of free time I had. My original plan was to do it after getting home but both Jodi and myself knew that I wasn't going to physically be able to do one after that long of a day.

Speaking of Jodi.....what a woman. She had dinner ready for me when I got home and then essentially put me to bed so I could sleep for a little while. I needed it.

You can't do this journey alone... And I've got the best partner you could ask for. Im thankful every day for her.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lucky 21

Today was 3 officially weeks in. So, how to I celebrate?? Drenching myself by doing Diamond Cutter, eating right and sleeping most of the day.

Today is my second overnight at my second job (you know...the one to pay for the wedding) and I essentially work from 11pm tonight until 6 pm tomorrow if you count having to leave my second job to go to my first job. Because of that, I had to alter my sleep schedule to make sure I could make it that long.

Today started off with me driving an hour west to see my 5 year old's first ever day of school.  With having a teenager and now her being in school, I officially feel old. After coming back though, I knocked out DC like a champ. It hurt, I was tired but I sure felt good.

In 9 days I'm really looking forward to seeing exactly how much progress I've made, in measurements, weight and pictures.  But until then, I'm gonna spend the next 9 days busting my ass for there to be as much progress shown as possible!

Until tomorrow....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 20-Accountability

I do this because I want to. Not because I feel like I have to look a certain way or I think Jodi wants me to look a certain way. I want to look the way I'm going to look when I keep this up. It's strictly about desire. About heart. About dedication and determination. It's getting my ass up when I'd rather lay in bed. It's about eating what is better for me, not what is convenient and looks good on TV (and we all know, it never looks in person like it does on TV.)

I'm not a slave to what I'm doing.  If I decided right now that I wanted a burger from McDonald's, I would get my happy ass in my car, drive to McDonald's and get a burger.  I don't want that.  So when I read, on a daily basis, these excuses from people about "it's gonna be hard....."  Yeah, I said that too. I was wrong.  It isn't hard, IF YOU WANT IT.  If you don't want it, then stop complaining about it and just live life however you want to live it.  If you actually want it, then not having that fast food, isn't a sacrifice. Not having those four sodas, isn't a sacrifice. You're not sacrificing if you're doing something that you want to do and something that is good for you. 

If you screw up.....your best course of action is to do something about it, whether it be an extra workout or better planning.  However, going on and on complaining about how you screwed up....what's that gonna do? You made a choice, make a better one next time, or fix it.

We are all here for a variety of reasons.  We let ourselves go, we have health issues, we want to be stronger, more flexible, more toned. The bottom line is, I made a choice. Life is a series of choices that we are accountable for, right or wrong.  This is the cold hard truth that people don't want to talk about. Willpower, or lack thereof, is bullshit. Deciding what you are going to do to achieve your goals and what you've set out to do and making the right choices is what it's all about.  Excuses, whining and passing the blame are as bad as the garbage we used to put in our bodies.

I've stepped up. I'm accountable.  Who's with me?


Day 19-Dedication

Today was my son's 13th birthday.  For months, he's been wanting to go to this decent burger joint in town. When he started asking a few months ago, it was no big deal. Over the last three weeks, it started having me worry. This is a place where everything is fried, includes bacon and an obscene amount of cheese. Even the salads have just ridiculous crap on them. I had my half a cheat day eleven days ago, so today was not going to be another.  However, I wasn't going to take his birthday lunch away from him just because of the plan I'm on. I've said plenty of times, I don't want anyone else to have to "sacrifice" because of what I'm doing. 

Luckily when we got there they had some alternative options on the menu.  Instead of the greasy burger, you could substitute it with a veggie burger, a portabello mushroom or a chicken breast.  My first instinct was the shroom or the chicken, but I decided to go with the veggie burger. I figured, what the hell, I've had them before and they were good.  Well....this wasn't before.....and it sucked.  It tasted like unseasoned cardboard (not sure why you would season cardboard, but I think you get the idea.)  It was awful.  So I doused it in mustard and choked it done, all the while he had a big smile on his face enjoying his bacon monstrosity where the buns were actually grilled cheese sandwiches and washed it down with an enormous milkshake.

A week ago, I would have probably just gotten a regular burger and figured I'd be "good" the rest of the day.  Two weeks go, I'd have just said screw it, gotten the burger and partaken in one of the two baskets of fries on the table and probably gotten a shake as well.  Today, the thought of even taking a bite of his burger kinda made me a little sick and I never thought twice about it. 

I'm dedicated.  I'm seeing results. I don't want the crap anymore. (Not saying I won't enjoy an occasional piece of chocolate or some really good cheese.) I, I love how I feel.  And I'm strongly beginning to like how I look.  Why the hell would I want to risk any of that for something I don't need?  I didn't.  And I'm not going to.

That's dedication.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 18-Inspiration

I've lost 15 lbs in 18 days.

You want to talk about inspiration? Take a guy, getting closer and closer to 40 with every breath. A guy who, what feels like a couple years ago, but in reality was 15 years ago, was a world-class professional athlete. That guy has seen the scale yo yo year in and year out.  One day, this guy decides enough is enough. Enough of the bullshit, enough of the excuses and enough of the quick fixes. This guy decides that he's gonna make the final life decision to get back where he belongs, once and for all.  In shape, presentable and proud to look in the mirror.

That guy is me. 

For 18 days, I've been disciplined, I've been focused and I've been damn near perfect in what I set out to do. The results are there. I'm putting in the time.  I will continue to put in the time and the effort. Regardless of what situations are around me or affecting me, I will no longer allow my health and fitness to be put on the back burner. It's not a diet, it's not a quick fix, I'm not watching a commercial telling me that they have a 60 day "cure-all," I'm changing my life. For the betterment of myself, for the betterment of my kids and for the betterment of the love of my life and my best friend.

You want inspiration?  You're not gonna see it in pictures, stories, blogs or posts on a message board.  You'd see it if you were in my living room at 6 in the morning.  You'd see it if you watched me at lunchtime when everyone of my co-workers is scarfing down the crap I used to put in my body. You'd see it when I put on clothes that used to be tight that are now getting too big.  You'd have seen it last night when I worked my overnight shift, having to pull my jeans up because even with my belt on the last loop, they were falling down all night.

Some people talk the talk.  Some people take a short portion of the walk. And then there are the few of us. The very miniscule few that are completely committed. We have one thing in common for sure, the person we look to when we press play. The one of many tools that we use to do what we set out to do. We all come from different walks of life, have different stories and different reasons for doing what we do, but we do it for the same reason.....we're committed.

This blog is here to document my journey. It isn't the fanciest, I'm not posting a lot of videos with graphics and intros. I'm not doing it for anyone else.  If I end up inspiring anyone else along the way, AWESOME.  But in this journey, I have to be selfish. I have to do it for the reasons that I have, not for anything else. So, when I look for inspiration, I don't need to look any further than my own household.  My love, my kids and my mirror. That's my inspiration. And it's more than enough for me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 17

This is gonna be a quick one. 14lbs lost in 17 days is a huge success. I can feel myself getting stronger and I'm on the right track.

Tonight is my first overnight at my second job, just gotta maintain the nutritional habits I've developed over the last two weeks and all will be fine.

More tomorrow

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And on the 16th day, Chris created a video.

So......this morning I posted a video. It was extremely early in the morning and to be honest, I just wanted to clip the portion that showed that it was Diamond Cutter that I was doing.  It was the last 1/4 of the workout and I had busted my ass for 40 minutes or so at that point.  I was spent at that point.  But I said I was going to put a video up and I did.  No problem.....then I watched it.  Wow.  I've got a long way to go.  I felt like I had seen a physical difference, but if I do, then I'm glad I didn't do a video two weeks ago. 

I debated for most of the day on whether or not to take it down. Honestly, it's embarrassing. I really loved the part where I wiped the sweat off my face with my shirt. That was GREAT! *end sarcasm*

Well, whether it was me trying to impress both people that would view the video or just my continued determination, I kicked my own ass this morning with DC and I've been feeling it ever since. 

I got a text from Jodi this morning saying "any idea for dinner tonight?" I responded back with a two word text "Turkey Burgers."  Well, of course being her amazing self, Chris had turkey burgers tonight and they were amazing.  Mixed with spinach and served with cooked zucchini.....I was a happy (and full) boy.

Tomorrow, just to keep with my schedule I originally created, I'm going to weigh and measure (my calendar is going on the 15th and 30th of every month) I'm looking forward to that, but not expecting too much of a difference since I just weighed two days ago. 

I'm beyond the struggles with food and things like soda it's just a matter of continuing to put in the work and seeing the results.  Thanks for coming along the journey folks, we've got a long way to go.

Day 16

I'm nowhere near where I want to be, but I'm getting there and I'm a hell of a lot closer than I was!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 15-weigh in

15 days in. 19 workouts. 14 and a half days of healthy eating. 15 days of no soda. 15 days of changing my life.  I'm proud to report that in 15 days I've lost....... 10 pounds!!!

10 pounds down, 43 to go to be at where I want to be.  I don't expect to be 20 lbs down on the 30 day weigh in, but I wouldn't be shocked either.  What I like about this ten pounds versus losing ten pounds in the past is that this has been done the right way. No gimmicks, no starving, no bull shi*. Just plain and simple hard work.

Tomorrow morning I will be taking my first video. Scary.  Even more scary is that I'll be doing Diamond Cutter!!! It will be my 3rd time doing DC and each time it has kicked my @$$.  I'm looking forward to it doing it again in the morning.

I don't have a whole lot else for now, it's just nice to see that all the hard work is paying off and I'm forever thankful to Jodi for supporting me, as she will continue to do.

Look for my first video tomorrow!

Monday, August 12, 2013

14 days

14 days in. Another awesome workout followed by healthy eating.

What I'm trying to decide now is, do I weigh and measure tomorrow or do I wait til the 15th as originally planned. I've got a night of sleep to decide but I'm leaning towards waiting til the 15th and then doing it with pictures on day 30.

Any suggestions?

All of my clothes are getting looser by the day it seems. A pair of shorts I bought about a month ago will hardly stay up (38's at that!) And all my shirts, even the slim fit ones, are starting to feel baggy. Is this really possible after just 14 days? Apparently so.

I was talking yesterday about getting a couple new suits but Jodi (who swears she can already SEE a difference) kinda made me wonder if that would be a good idea seeing as I plan on continuing to lose and if I hit my goals, I will be a size, if not two full sizes smaller. She's so smart.....I think I'm gonna keep her.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lucky 13

13 days. 13 straight of not only doing DDPYoga, but 13 straight days of proper nutrition and eliminating the "bad stuff" (with the exception of the planned event on day 10.)

I feel, physically, better than I have since I was a teenager. Mentally, I'm still struggling sometimes. I haven't had a soda in two weeks now, but I'm trying not to force my lifestyle change onto anyone else, so I will still let the kids have an occasional soda and today, out of old habit, nearly poured myself a Coke.  To be honest, I'd have been better off mentally had I went to McDonald's and ordered two McDoubles.  Neither is going to happen, but apparently all that talk yesterday of "habits" came back to bite me today.  It almost got me.  I wonder how long it really will take before there is zero desire and zero thought given to the "junk" I used to consume.

I'm getting better about not wanting anyone to watch me do the workouts, this was the second morning in a row that I let my 5 year old watch me. She got a kick out of seeing me do "down dog" and even tried to do it herself.  I got a chuckle with sweat dripping down my face.

Jodi topped herself tonight with another amazing dinner.  Pork loin and my favorite vegetable of all time, BRUSSEL SPROUTS!!!!! I just finished them off before sitting down to write this. Even in the past, I've always loved them and I'm certainly glad that is something I don't have to give up. I know, I know, I'm kinda nuts, most people hate them...I'm not most people.

This is going to be a tough week, I officially started my second job today (to pay for the wedding) but starting Thursday, I will be working two overnights a week on top of my normal job which is 45-50 hours a week. One day in particular, this Friday, is going to be a whole lot of planning on my part and I'm essentially going to have to "sneak" a workout in. I work from 11pm Thursday to 7am Friday morning, then have to get my daughter off to school and be at my main job by 10 and work until 6. THEN, I have to drive an hour to pick up my son for his birthday. So I will essentially have a window between 7 and 9 to get a workout in after working an 8 hour night.  Guess, what, I'll find a way, because it's gonna happen. There aren't going to be any days off. My next day off from the workouts will be 8/30/2014.  That's a long way away, but its gonna happen. It must, I'm taking the choice away from myself and will continue to follow through.  I've already put in too much effort to do anything otherwise.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


What is it they say, that it takes 21 days to form a habit?  Or is it 14? Not really sure, but I can assure everyone who reads this that 12 days in, doing DDPYoga, daily (occasionally twice a day) is already a habit. At least its a good one, right?

I woke up much later than usual this morning, didn't have to be to work until later and the kids were kind enough to let us sleep in a little bit. The time of morning made no difference, I walked downstairs, re-filled my water bottle, put the DVD in and pushed play. Never even thought about it...just did it. I gotta admit, that's pretty darn cool that this is now a part of my life, like showering or getting ready for work. It's just something that I do. I actually, technically did DDPYoga longer than this "last time," but I took days off, was trying to follow the 13 week program to a "t," but this time, like Dally says, I've "made it my own." It definitely works better when I'm in control and it is something I WANT to do, not something I feel like I HAVE  to do. If I want to do Diamond Cutter, I do it, if I want to do Energy with Red Hot Core on the end, I do it.  If I want to do just Red Hot Core, I do it. Every second of it is better than the alternative of being sedentary.

Everyone's story is different, including all of mine each and every time I've tried something, but this time it's different. I'm sure everyone says that each and every time they try or start something, but it's kind of like meeting the right person, when you know, you know and all the stars have to align and everything has to be in order and the timing has to be right. That's how I feel right now, I just know that this time it is for real. Kinda cool.

I know that I'm supposed to be inspiring and motivating and if my story is helping anyone, that's an awesome bonus, but currently, I'm pleased, heck, more than pleased, with the inspiring that is going on under my own roof and in my own head right now.

Once the kids start school again, I'm going to be adding videos to this journal. Some may be me doing the program, some may be just me running off at the mouth like I'm some kind of expert and some just may be something silly, because this journey is about more than fitness, more than weight loss and more than DDPYoga, it's about me and my family and that's what inspires me.  The looks I get from her, the admiration in my daughter's voice when she mentions that daddy is working out, even my, soon-to-be teenage son, trying to be smartass and picking on dad for doing "yoga" but when I ask him if he thinks he can do it, he responds with "no, that looks hard."

Yeah, the primary goal is about the day that is 352 days from now, but there's more that continues to be added to it every day that just continues to make it, all of it, worth every single second.

Friday, August 9, 2013

1+1 does not =11

DdpYoga, food, work, time with Jodi and friends. They're drunk, I'm drinking water and writing this from my phone. 

That's my day. I wouldn't change it. 

Tomorrow will be the same, without the drinking. As will the next 353 days. (Except I will do some drinking between now and then.)

So, this is the most uninteresting blog I'll post during this journey. You're welcome.  

However, after last nights planned debacle, I decided to not wait for the 15th and go ahead and weigh-in. 7.2 lbs down, 1 inch off my waist. In 11 days. 

Yeah, it's worth it. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 10

So....yeah, day 10 came and went, nothing major....except the Iowa State Fair.......

So, call it what you want, call it a "cheat day," call it "falling of the wagon." Whatever you want to call it. It was a planned bad day. It was the reason for the two a days the last couple days. Call it preventative maintenance, call it whatever you want, it happened. Once. One day out of 364.

My amazing, supportive, beautiful, loving bride-to-be has an addiction ya see. It's called the food at the Iowa State Fair. If she had a choice between me and the fair, I'm fairly certain she would choose the fair. (Hopefully I'm wrong, I'm only half sure.)

We missed last year because it was right before she had surgery on her hip. We had plans to go with all of our friends and we couldn't because she simply wasn't going to be able to walk that much without being in major pain.  One year and one surgically repaired hip later, we were going.  Bad timing, I know. Not going to make excuses. I voluntarily went. I voluntarily ate ALOT of stuff that wasn't good for me. I also knew for a week that I was going to.  It doesn't take away what I've done for all the days prior including this morning leading up into this evening. I don't apologize, I don't make excuses. I made the love of my life happy and while I'm typing this, a happy, sleepy girl is next to me. That's bringing a smile to my face.  However, I will work harder tomorrow then I did the previous ten days. I will work harder each day than I did the day before. This wasn't a "whoops, I couldn't control myself, I've got to start over," it was a choice I made and a choice I'd make again to not ruin her experience at something that's important to her.

Tomorrow was supposed to be one of the "special occasions" where I drank alcohol. That's out the window. I'll have water, thank you. Tomorrow morning while many of you are sleeping, I'll be doing Diamond Cutter (and will tweet Dally, hopefully prior to his tweet of the day asking if "you've done your ddp yoga."

So bottom line, I'm going to bed tonight with a full stomach, a clear mind, an even bigger drive and determination than I woke up with and a hell of a beautiful woman beside me.  Today was still a win.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My favorite number.....9

Just finished the second of two workouts for the day. (For those keeping count, its 12 in 9 days.)

I'm pretty much beyond the point now of worrying about nutritional slip ups, I'm in a routine and I like the way I feel. I'm feeling results, so it's just a matter of keeping it up. I don't crave soda, I give myself enough sugar that I won't all of a sudden want to binge on Hershey bars and I'm eating enough small meals during the day that I don't truly get to where I feel like I'm "starving" except when I first wake up in the morning (obviously sleeping is the longest amount of time I go without eating in a 24hr stretch.) Of course the best part of the day, most days, has been to see what Jodi has planned for dinner!! Tonight was no exception. She just keeps being awesome....I'm pretty sure she doesn't know how to be anything else but awesome (but don't tell her I said that, she'll get a big head about it.)

So, everyone has different stories and different motivations. Take a look at and you'll see thousands of different stories as to why people are "owning their life" and have embraced the program. Some are doing it for weight loss, some to heal from injuries, some to gain strength or flexibility and some just because they like trying every fitness thing they can.

Well...for me, being out of shape or even "fat" still seems like a foreign concept.  It shouldn't, I've struggled with weight for over a third of my life now. But like everyone else, I had my "glory days." I still see myself as the same guy in those glory days. I played professional baseball. I was pretty damn good, too. When I was younger, I had a heck of a build, muscles on top of muscles (in some places,) certainly wasn't ashamed to take my shirt off in public. Could do push ups, pull ups and run all day long. Then, what seems like all in just one day, it all went away.

My loose 34 pants became 36's...shortly after 38's.  My son is born, then my daughter, shortly after I bought my first pair of pants that had a waist size in the 40's. I decided, in my mid-20's that I was still young enough to give baseball another shot (I left the game voluntarily)and gave myself six months to get back in shape. Physically, I got to, pretty close to where I was in my late teens, but my arm was gone.  My 90+ mile an hour fastball was not even hitting 80. It was a hard reality, but I was no longer an athlete.

I stopped working out. Again. Stopped eating right...again. I focused my energies on my work and my kids and I actually did quite well at both, but the weight kept coming back on. 38....40....42. When I started with my company 11 (almost 12) years ago, I was a size 44 in the jacket.  At one point in my career, I bought a 50.  That's a huge difference.  One I was never happy with.

It didn't go unnoticed by me. I'd do little things here and there for quick fixes.  When I got to 42 pants, I'd starve, give up sodas or do whatever to get back to a 40, hoping for a 38.  Then, slowly but surely, I'd be right back again, bigger than before.

I don't like being called "big guy."  I did't like having people jokingly pick on me about my weight.  I didn't like helping a guy in the big and tall section and having him say something along the lines of "yeah, guys like US have to do what we have to do." But I never did enough to change it.  Always something, never enough.

Back and forth for over a decade.  One quick fix after another.  Nothing permanent. This excuse or that excuse.

Then came the day I asked and she said yes. Then I started preparing mentally for the change.  Not the quick fix, not the temporary change, the permanent, life-altering change. 

I have someone who loves me unconditionally she won't love me a single ounce more if I have sculpted abs on our wedding day, just like she wouldn't love me any less if I showed up that day weighing 300 pounds.  She loves my kids as if they were her own and she is an amazing mother, spouse (close enough, we live together) and most importantly, best friend. I treat her like a princess and I spoil her in every single way I can (don't belive me?, ask her, she'll back me up) and this, this journey, this change, this new me, the end result, will be just another in the many ways I show her that I love her.  That I can be better for her. But also, that I can be better for me...once and for all.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 8

8 days down. 10 workouts in. 2 today including "Diamond Cutter" for the first time. I THOUGHT I was getting the hang of this until tonight.

Anyone who happens to read this who isn't familiar with DDPYoga, this should tell you everything you need to know.  I did Insanity all the way through a couple of years ago.  I had more sweat coming off me tonight doing Diamond Cutter than I ever did on any Insanity workout (although they were tough, not gonna lie.) So if anyone thinks "oh, it's just yoga..." think again.

Today was my day off from work and I had the three P's all day.  I woke up this morning and sent Jodi a text saying "I'll just do my workout tonight after I drop the kids off." Easy enough, right?  WRONG.  Without guilting me whatsoever, she reminded me that I said yesterday I wanted to do two workouts today.  That was all she needed to say, I got up, nailed the first workout and went on about my day.  Yeah, she's that inspiring.

Tomorrow I'm gonna post a little more personal blog dealing with my other reasons for doing this, besides the obvious (if you don't know, read the title of the blog, to give her a husband she deserves) but there are other reasons to and as a published author and writer of roughly around 600 articles for publications ranging from national to hyper-local, I'm pretty sure I can put into words what goes through my head when I want to crawl into "safety zone" or just turn the damn DVD off, or pickup that candy bar or cheeseburger. Along with reason A (Jodi), these are the other reasons that I'm going to finally change all this, once and for all.

Until then...BANG.

Day 8

First ever diamond cutter..... Yowsa!


I couldn't have made it through today without her. She just always knows the right things to say or do to make it all alright. Guess that's why I'm marrying her, huh?

Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong day. I'm not going to turn this into a blog where I'm bitching about work left and right though, so I'll just leave it at that.

Early AM, knocked out "Below the belt." That makes 8 workouts in 7 days. Gonna try for two tomorrow to make it an even ten in eight days, but we will see how the day goes. The kids go back to their mother tomorrow, so that will make early morning workouts easier, but I'll sure miss them. Get em back in a few days though.

I can feel my body changing ever so slightly.  My pants today were looser, my vest (I usually wear 3-peice suits) had to be tightened just a little bit.  It's all starting to come together one week in. I can only imagine two week, three, a month and so on.  It's all for that one day.  For her. For me. For us.

Still killing it on the nutrition side.  Didn't get to stick with my routine I've developed over the last week (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner) actually only ate three times today, but I made up for it with a big hunk of meat for dinner.  It may or may not have been the ideal dinner, but I know it wasn't bad for me and it sure tasted darn good. I got home really late and Jodi was exhausted from her day (even though her amazing self STILL offered to make something for me) I just decided to simplify it and make something I've been craving and something pretty darn amazing.

One week in I've forgotten that this is a challenge and now its all about changing my life.  It's working.  It's worth it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 7

This is what you eat when you work a 12 hour day and don't hardly get to eat. Real blog later. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One, two, three, four, five AAAAAAAAND 6!

Six days. Six days in a row of doing what I needed to do. Six days in a row of doing the right things, good things for me, for my family, for my health.

I don't work a lot of Sundays, but today was the exception (first in over two months.) That in itself was already a challenge. Working Sundays sucks. No other way to describe it. I work for a very large retail men's clothing company (here's a hint, until recently, our commercials ended with "I guarantee it") and Sundays are just a day where if something bad is going to happen, it does. So, I knew that it was going to be a challenging day before I even got there. Reality, it wasn't so bad. But my mindset prior to going in put me in a semi-foul mood before it even started.

I got up this morning to do my workout and right as I was about to hit play "Cranky 1" and "Cranky 2" (our new nicknames for our daughters) decided it was just the right time to come ask me for breakfast. Well, of course when the little girls ask, usually daddy says yes. So I got them all set and told them the living room was off-limits until I told them otherwise and I was on the floor in Pinfall ready to get to work..... then here comes "Space Cadet" (not really her nickname, I just made that one up....out of love, of course) our 10 year old daughter who was ready for breakfast too!! AAAAAArgh. Fine, no matter how old they get, the daddy/daughter rules apply. So I got her all settled and finally got to do my workout.

Guess what, the day went great from there.  Work could have been a whole lot worse and when I got home the amazing healthy chef (aka Jodi, my amazing beautiful fiance) had an idea for an insanely delicious meal that came perfectly together and she, once again, raised the bar on this "healthy eating" gimmick.

I've completely decided that I'm not stepping on a scale until 8/15, and then not again until 8/30, then the 15th and 30th of each month, so on and so forth. I haven't stepped on the scale since day 3 and I know that doing so will possibly frustrate me a little bit, because I'm the kind of person that wants results right then and there.....RIGHT NOW.  I know that to do it right, it ain't gonna work that way this time, but it will all be worth it.  The scale (and pictures) is there to help motivate me and show me the work done, but if I use it incorrectly, it could hinder and frustrate me. It's just another think, like DDPYoga and healthier eating, that I've got to stick to, not just think a little hard work will go a long way....NOPE...a LOT of hard work will go a long way.  363 more days of it....for starters.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

5 down, 359 to go.

Of the five days, this one has been the toughest from a nutrition standpoint. It's after 10 pm and I'm still sitting here having cravings I haven't had in the last five days. Look, I know it's only five days so this may seem silly, but you've got to start somewhere and this has been the first day I've really struggled when it comes to food. I haven't given in, I won't give in, but it's there.

This morning I knew I was gonna have a long day. It didn't stop me. I woke up and I knocked out my workout. Had my breakfast and went to work. I felt sorry for Jodi, she was left home with all four kids, two of which are kinda sick.  She made it through it though and once again had an awesome dinner waiting, substituting cauliflower in place of pasta with chicken.  It was freakin amazing and for the second consecutive night, she has made vegetables take the place of something and made it, in my opinion, even better.

This week, I'm going to post of video of me doing one of the workouts, haven't decided which one yet, but I'm hoping that will get my over my fear of having people watch me do DDPYoga. My kids have been shooed out of the room when trying to get a peek at "daddy working out."  I'm not sure why I'm that way about it, but I am. Hope I can change that, maybe even have them join in.

359 days left to go...with her by my side, it's gonna be no problem!!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 4

5 workouts....4 days. Not a single lapse on the nutrition side. I'm feelin' pretty darn good.

I guess what they say is always right, it's all about what motivates you. Like I said, I started this journey once before, back in February. Everything was going smoothly, just like it is now. I was doing the workouts daily (skipping one day a week, which I don't plan on doing this time) and following a nutrition plan, eliminating soda, sweets (as in chocolate, candy etc) and focusing on portions. I was going pretty strong for three weeks and then fell off due to a surgery.

Not only do I not plan on falling off this time, I WON'T fall off this time. I can break both legs and I'll just ask Dally on twitter if he can suggest a super modified position for broken table, haha.

Yesterday, I had what, in the past, may have thrown me off track. Due to all the fresh vegetables I'm consuming (mostly spinach) my system is in a minor adjustment period, and by minor adjustment period I mean I spent two hours sitting in the bathroom yesterday. (TMI, I'm sure.) It lasted through most of the night until I finally got comfortable and was able to sleep. I woke up this morning unsure, but I put in the DVD and went to work. And you know what? I owned that M*****F*****.  Had my breakfast and went to work, feeling great all day. What could have been an obstacle in the past was something I just pushed past and did what I had to do.

While the purpose of this journey is to look damn good for my bride on our wedding day (which is now officially 360 days away) it's funny how this whole thing all works.  My biggest motivation is also my biggest support. She has adjusted our menus at home to things to keep me from falling "off the wagon." Tonight's dinner was an amazing combination of squash and zucchini, cooked up like a Waffle House hash brown (without all the "bad for you stuff) and grilled chicken.

While that may not sound like that big of a deal to you, keep in mind, between the two of us, we have four kids. A 12 year old, 10 year old, 5 year old and a 4 year old.  So while we are keeping their menus the same (we never have eaten poorly as a household, she's just making changes to keep my calorie counts where I want them) for the kids, she's essentially having to make two dinners or at a minimum, making two different versions of the same.  That's pretty awesome if you ask me.  Then again, she is awesome, and that awesomeness is why I'm doing what I'm doing. Trust me, she's worth it.

This weekend will be a little challenging as we have all four kids all weekend and I work two 10 hour shifts, on both days, but I will find a way to do my workouts and own 'em. It's not an option.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 3

Even with today's hectic day, got my workout in (4th in 3 days.) I'm ready to start seeing some results...I know, I know, keep working the program and they'll come. I'm not impatient, I just want this to do what it's supposed to. I don't expect anything after 3 days, hell, I don't expect much after 7 or even 15. It's day 364 and beyond that this is all about. 

The day my bride walks that aisle and sees what all this work and dedication and lifestyle change has done, that's the real result I'm looking for. 361 days to go. 

Late night, Day 2