Over the years, I had made halfhearted attempts to lose weight and get in better shape and never seemed to have much luck. I had spent money on fat burners and tried diets that I couldn’t keep. I even joined the new gym in town hoping it would be the answer to all my problems. But on September 13 of last year, I made a commitment. I was going to lose weight no matter what it took, and I set some goals to try to prevent losing weight from becoming another losing battle.

As of last Friday, I’ve lost 25 pounds, reaching my first goal. (I wish I had before-and-after pictures, but I didn’t take one at the beginning.) I managed to lose this weight during a period that included vacation, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, so it wasn’t always easy. I can tell a definite difference in the way I look. My clothes fit better, and I feel great. Several people have asked me what I’ve done, and my answer turns into a long one, because it’s a combination of factors that have helped me.

The caveat to my weight-loss strategy — I refuse to run. My sister and brother-in-law began training around the same time for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and while I’m proud of them for it, running just isn’t my thing. So, here are three actions I’ve taken that have contributed to my weight loss.

1. Water, Water Everywhere!

Bottled Water

I’ve never been a water drinker, despite hearing over and over how good it is for me and knowing the benefits of increased water intake. When I made the commitment to lose weight, I knew that water had to play a part in my efforts.

I started out following the formula of twice your weight in ounces of water per day, which meant I had to drink a gallon a day! After a couple of days, I realized that pouring from a gallon jug into cups was impractical, so I switched to eight bottles a day. Walmart and Aldi brand water taste fine and are cheap enough to be worthwhile. Later, a friend shared a chart with me showing that I needed to drink ten bottles a day! Adding the two extra bottles became a chore, so I went back to eight a day.

I’ve now lost enough weight to drop down to seven bottles. I credit the water with helping me feel healthier, and, though I’ve sworn off my dalliances with diet drinks, I still enjoy sweet tea and soft drinks. I’ve even learned to enjoy water!

2. DDP Yoga


A year ago, if you had told me I would be doing yoga by now, I would’ve laughed in your face! I mean, isn’t yoga for hippies and soccer moms? Luckily, my brother discovered DDP Yoga – you guessed it — in September. It has changed the way I work out in the best possible way.

Former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page developed DDP Yoga after rupturing two discs in his back. He took what he saw as the best aspects of yoga training and blended them with more traditional fitness. In DDP Yoga, there’s no Eastern spirituality, and the purpose is to elevate the heart rate and use dynamic resistance to build strength.

Professional wrestlers, MMA fighters, and football players use DDP Yoga to help them. The program works so well that one veteran, who was unable to walk without assistance, lost 140 pounds and gained his strength back. Check out Arthur’s story:

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If Arthur could do it, why couldn’t I? I’m not only seeing the weight loss benefits, but I’m also noticing the strength I’m building, especially in my upper body. I look forward to my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday DDP Yoga workouts every week.

4. Portion Control

Smaller Portions

I can’t deny the fact that I love to eat. For too many years I simply ate too much and attempted to rely on supplements or fits and starts of exercise to keep weight off. They never worked, and my weight crept up and up over the years.

I knew I had to do everything in my power to watch what I ate, but I also knew that completely denying myself the food I enjoyed would only make me miserable. So I decided to limit myself. I won’t worry about paleo or clean eating; no vegan, low carb, or gluten-free — just good old-fashioned portion control.

When I’m full, I try to stop eating. That’s pretty easy at home, but it becomes more difficult when I go out to eat, because I like to get my money’s worth, and I’m not much of a leftovers kind of guy. Eating less overall has allowed me to enjoy the foods I love. I don’t always do so well, but I feel like portion control is new to me. I’m learning more and more each week how to be careful.

So there you have it. I’ve made it to my 25 pound goal, and my next goal is 50 pounds. I don’t claim to be a fitness guru – I’m just a regular guy who has found a combination that works. If I can inspire one other person to find a working combination, sharing my journey will not have been in vain. Here’s hoping I can share more success stories!