Random Acts of Kindness? Challenge Accepted!

Long story short....

Long story short….

Something wonderful happened a today. I had just dropped my daughter off at daycare, and I was heading home for a long and tedious morning full of writing cover letters, studying for my nutrition certification and dealing with realtors. I decided a trip to the drive-through Starbucks was in order, so pulled up and order a venti decaf Americano. I order this drink so regularly that I know how much it costs*, so I had the exact change ready. I was behind an SUV, and noticed that the lady driving it handed money through the window, was then handed money back, and then for some reason handed more money through the window. I assumed she had ordered additional items after getting to the window, but didn’t give it too much thought.

When I pulled up to the window, I reached my arm out of the car holding the cash for my drink, expecting that the barista would take it. Instead, she kept her arms by her side, and informed me that the lady ahead of me had paid for my drink. I was really touched by the random kindness, but had no idea why a stranger would be so nice to me, so I asked the barista if she knew why?

“Nope!” she replied, “People just pay for each other’s drinks to be nice. It happens quite a lot.”

In all reality, giving $3.20** to someone is not the most charitable or kind act, nor I am the most deserving of said charity or kindness. But it put me in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day, and definitely had an positive effect on how I treated other people. I was reminded about the huge effect on society that the smallest acts can have.

I was going to come up with some cheesy challenge for the Women of DDPY group to do a random act of kindness every day this month, but it occurred to me that it was a little narcissistic to expect other people to pay forward my good fortune. Then it occurred to me to set the same challenge for myself, but again the cheesiness belied the genuine appreciation I had for the nice Starbucks lady. So instead I am just going to say this: from now on, I will make a more concerted effort to do nice things for people, both friends and strangers, of my own volition and for no reward. I hope that some of you reading this post will join me in that effort, because doing nice things for people makes for a nicer society and feels good.

Also, if you bought someone a coffee at the Nations Drive, Gurnee Starbucks at 9am on 2/27/14, thank you!

*Actually, I know how much it costs in both Illinois ($3.20) and in Wisconsin ($3.11). Yes, I drink too much decaf! ** Thank you  Illinois sales tax!      

Read This, Watch That

I am compiling a list of resources that have really helped me on my journey towards good health and weight loss. This is an interactive post; if you have anything to add, please tell me.

Books/Written Word:

  1. Yoga for Regular Guys: The Best Damn Workout on the Planet! 
  2. The China Study
  3. Eating in the Light of the Moon
  4. Anything by Stacey Morris


  1. Forks Over Knives
  2. The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue
  3. Genetic Roulette
  4. Hungry for Change
  5. TEDtalks: Chew on This (Episodes: 1, 3, 4, 5)
  6. The Quest to Understand the Biology of Weight Loss
  7. Big as Life: Obesity in America

Spoken Word:

  1. DDP Radio
  2. The DDP Yoga Experience Podcast

… But You Lost The Weight by Running!

Oh, how soon they forget.

I was having a conversation with my husband and his grandmother, when the discussion turned to my weight loss. I got halfway into my usual spiel about how wonderful DDP Yoga is, when my husband corrected me, and said that I had actually lost the weight by running. I can understand where his confusion came from; I have been training for a half-marathon for the last three months, and it might seem to someone who hasn’t been measuring and logging everything as meticulously as I have that all that running contributed to the weight I lost. However, despite his insistence to the contrary, he is wrong. The weight came off and then I started running more frequently.

Like I said, I documented everything, so figuring out what actually contributed to my weight loss wasn’t too hard.

  • I started DDP Yoga on April 9th (as per the upload date on my Day 0 pictures)
  • I reached 155 lbs (my goal weight) on July 11th, or Day 93.
  • Between April 9th and July 11th, I did DDPY 62 times
  • I only ran or used the elliptical 17 times between those two dates
  • I didn’t even start my half-marathon training until July 21st, prior to that my average run was only about 20 minutes

So there you go! The weight came off because of DDP Yoga. It’s also worth noting that before DDP Yoga, I couldn’t get up or down the stairs without wincing in pain, and my physical therapist told me in January of this year that it would be at least a year before I could consider doing any running. Even if running had contributed meaningfully to my weight loss – it didn’t – I wouldn’t have been able to do it without DDP Yoga’s rehabilitation of my knees. As for that rehabilitation, my marathon training was okayed by my sports doctor, and my physical therapist said I was well-above average in flexibility of my joints.

Also, there’s this:

Sorry if this post seems unusually defensive in tone. I owe everything to DDP Yoga, and I get a little Mama Bear when people criticize it, or try to place the credit it’s due elsewhere!