DDP YOGA Founder Diamond Dallas Page On Staying Motivated And Why He Went Gluten-Free

Over the past three decades, Diamond Dallas Page – or DDP, for short – has experienced success in multiple fields. In the world of professional wrestling, he transitioned from a manager and on-air broadcaster into a multi-time world champion; he feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and The Undertaker over the course of his career. As an actor, he has appeared in a mix of dramas, comedies and horror films on both the big screen and television. But as the founder of DDP YOGA, hundreds of thousands of people have utilized his one-of-a-kind fitness program, which carries the tagline of “where inspiration meets perspiration.”

DDP YOGA followers include athletes (e.g. A.J. Styles, Chris Jericho), musicians (e.g. Darius Rucker, James Durbin) and other touring performers (e.g. Gabriel Iglesias, Mick Foley). However, DDPY is the sort of exercise program that can be done anyone of any skill level at any time, thanks to its interactive DDP YOGA NOW app. The brand also offers a personalized touch with in-person workouts featuring DDP himself — including June 24 and 25 at Worcester, MA’s MASSive Comic Con and July 15 through 21’s 7th Annual DDP YOGA Retreat – showing the still-growing reach of what DDP initially billed as “not your mama’s yoga.”

On behalf of the Inquisitr, I had the pleasure of talking with Diamond Dallas Page by phone about healthy eating, what is more important than diet and exercise, and how anyone can get a hold of him. When chatting with Dallas, the energy is always high and the laughs are always plentiful. More on the WWE Hall Of Famer and his current projects can be found at www.ddpyoga.com, while the man himself can be followed on Twitter at @RealDDP.

On The Person Who Inspired Him To Go Gluten-Free:

“About 12 years ago one of my good friends, Terri Lange, she was the first person I ever helped lose weight and get in shape, going into her 50th birthday…I’m writing a book right now called Positively Unstoppable: The Art Of Owning It. No book has ever started out like this, ‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’ As a kid, you don’t know until you’ve stumbled and everybody goes ‘You can’t do that’…She was my massage therapist and we’d become good buddies. I could talk to her about everything and one day she was just went on a rant about turning 50. At some point, she took a breath and I said, ‘Are you finished? Uncle!’ (laughs) I said, ‘You’re six months from turning 50. You’ve gotta change your mindset…’

“I had an idea that just came to me instantly. I said, ‘I want you to go on a journey with me.’ She said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘I just want you to close your eyes and believe what I’m about to say to you is real.’ She said ‘okay.’ I said, ‘It’s not going to be your 50th birthday, get that out of your head, it’s gonna be your 60th.’ ‘Oh my god! You want me to be 60!’ I said, ‘You finished?’ She said ‘yes.’ I said, ‘Number one, believe it’s real, you got that part down. Number two, keep your mouth shut and go on the journey.’ And again, I’m figuring out where to go next.

“‘Okay, it’s not gonna be your 50th birthday, it’s gonna be your 60th, it’s gonna be your 70th.’ Now she is working on my shoulders, I can feel the air just come out of her. ‘It’s gonna be your 80th, your 81st, your 82nd, your 83rd, your 84th, your 85th birthday. You just celebrated your 65th wedding anniversary. You’re still in love, you got to see your grandkids grow up and now you’re watching your great-grandkids grow up. So let me ask you a question: What would you give up to go back in time 35 years and be six months from 50 again? BANG! Open your eyes.’

“So I didn’t see her for a couple of weeks, I was on the road, and when I showed up I see she’s lost about 10 pounds and pointed it out. She was like, ‘I can’t believe you notice things like that.’ She said, ‘I listened to you when you talked. I started doing yoga, I got your tape and I applied your dynamic resistance,’ which is engaging muscles. I had showed her how to do it. She said, ‘I got on a treadmill, I hate that thing, I call it “the terrible treadmill.”‘ I said that she needed to change its name and she asked what I meant. I said that I had a close friend who was a wrestler, his name was Droz. He was shredded, he looked like Adonis, he’s a quadriplegic today. Do you know what he would do to get on that treadmill today? You should be kissing that treadmill every day because maybe it’s helping get you your life back on track along with everything else. That was the beginning of her journey, man, and coming up on her 50th birthday, she weighed 198. On her 50th birthday she weighed 134, she lost 64 pounds, she was at her college weight.

“For years she had become like the mother, the grandmother of DDP YOGA, and at one point she started gaining weight again. It wasn’t a lot, it was like 10 or 12 pounds. But she wasn’t eating any different, she wasn’t working out any different, it’s just that she was exhausted…Her father had to be put in a home, he had dementia, it was traumatic and she got sick. She started going around to doctors. Now, this is a registered nurse…She knows medicine, she’s a really smart lady, the doctors would like pat her in the back and go, ‘Welcome to 55.’ I mean, like this is what you’ve got to look forward to and she didn’t believe that.”

“At some point, she went to see this woman named Bernadette and she was a nutritionist. She looked at her blood work and goes, ‘I know what’s wrong with you. You’re a Celiac.’ Now this is 12 years ago, I don’t know anyone who knew what a Celiac was 12 years ago…When she sees Bernadette, Bernadette tells her she can’t eat anything that’s genetically modified or wheat or dairy or anything that has gluten in it. Then I asked, ‘Well, what can you eat?’ Aisles of gluten-free products didn’t exist. Everything was full of gluten three years ago, five years ago.

“Everything should be in moderation, but when you take wheat and corn…Corn’s genetically-modified to the point that it has a pesticide inside the DNA. A kernel of corn, if you don’t eat organic or Farmer Joe’s, you’re eating a pesticide. You can’t wash it off, it’s in the DNA. Corn is everywhere. Corn syrup is now allowed to be registered as a natural sugar. It’s all about the money and our government is all paid off from lobbyists that they mess with us left and right. I’m not gonna come down that heavy in my chapter, but I’m telling you to watch Food, Inc., watch Genetic Roulette, if you don’t walk away knowing our government is f**king us…Food will kill you…I know some doctors who are like, ‘No, we don’t want you on medication. We want you eating real food that’s not genetically modified.’ Food that our grandparents used to call ‘food.’ (laughs) In three weeks you can feel a significant difference.”

On How He Stays Motivated To Keep A Gluten-Free Lifestyle:

“For me the gateway was feeling so much better…Here are your choices: feel great, or like s**t. You like to eat ice cream? Do you really need ice cream? Eat the coconut ice cream, eat the almond milk ice cream, okay that’s over with. You wanna eat chocolate chip cookies? Eat the gluten-free chocolate free cookies. Want pizza? Let me show you how to make this pizza that tastes amazing.

“Here’s what you really give up, what every American needs: convenience. As a whole, Americans are lazy. Go to Italy, where they make everything. Everything’s organic. Or like our great grandparents used to call it: ‘food.’

“‘Oh my Internet’s so slow.’ It took you three seconds? (laughs) You can’t watch a five-minute video, you can only watch something that’s under a minute? I want things as convenient as possible and I’ll pay for it, but the bottom line is this is the only body I’ve got, and I have beat the f**k out of it. (laughs) If I didn’t beat the f**k out if it, none of this would be working because there’d be no story and I would have no following. I’d have no Hall Of Fame ring, none of it…To me it’s not about what you did, it’s about what you’re doing. I cheated [with gluten-based foods] a few times and it kicked my a**. So I learned, ‘Okay, there’s nothing worth putting that in my body.'”

On Whether A Gluten-Free Diet Requires Portion Control:

“Of course it comes down to portions. Everything is, no matter what, portion control. If you’re not trying to lose weight, like me, I pretty much eat whatever I want as long as it’s not over-the-top. I don’t eat two pints of ice cream a night. Overall, it’s still going to be calories. But in the beginning, if you stop eating gluten and dairy, you’re going to lose weight…’It’s so hard to eat gluten-free.’ Really? You can go to any restaurant in America and get vegetables and a protein. Guess what? You’re gluten-free and dairy-free. (laughs) It’s not like brain surgery. (laughs)”

On How Important Diet Is Versus Exercise:

“A lot of people do and will say it’s 80 percent the diet, but the diet is number two, the workouts are number three. The number one, 90 percent, is the mindset then seven percent goes to the food and three percent goes to the workout. Now you can elevate that and cut back on the brain stuff, but without the brain stuff giving you the story you tell yourself, without that you’ve got nothing, you know?

“My phase one is really getting rid of all fake fast food, you know? Don’t go through the freaking drive-in, get away from white sugars, stop drinking, what you’re trying is to get healthy and you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re a casual drinker that’s not a big deal, if you drink all the time that’s a big deal because of all the calories and sugar. We’re talking about fake calories, so I would say 90 percent is between your ears, that six-inch piece of real estate. If you’ve got that, the food and the workout just happen.”

On How To Get A Hold Of Him:

“In The Bible [it says]: Treat people the way you want to be treated. I don’t believe that at all as far I’m concerned, because I don’t want you to treat me the way you treat yourself, because you treat yourself like s**t. You feed yourself garbage, you fill yourself with all the reasons why you can’t do something, you put yourself down in a whole different level. No one can do more damage to you than you, and I don’t want you to treat me like that, I want you to treat me like I want to be treated.

“If they’re being straight up and good to me, I’ll bend over backwards for them for nothing. My time’s worth a s**tload, and when someone gets my program, I spend time with them. It’s about putting the work in. If they do the list…My list is watch the lecture Living Life At 90 Percent, listen to my Own Your Life audio-book, watch Food, Inc., Genetic Roulette, Forks Over Knives, GMO OMG and The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake. Go on the [DDP YOGA] app, take the pictures, the measurements. Write down your goals. When you’ve got all that ready, send me an e-mail and I’ll call you. Of the 100 percent of people I send that list to, maybe six percent of people finish it…There’s no guilt from me, because I gave them the opportunity.”

[Featured Image by Brenda Nair Page]

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