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Dropping Pounds: Jesse Ruggiere, Wantagh

Jesse Ruggiere, of Wantagh, is pictured at a

Jesse Ruggiere, of Wantagh, is pictured at a Mets game in May of 2011, weighing about 235 pounds, and in a more recent photo after he lost more than 55 pounds through proper eating and DDP yoga. Photo Credit: Jay Ruggiere / William Perlman

Name Jesse Ruggiere

Age 33

Community Wantagh

Occupation Insurance broker

Height 5-11

Before 236, May 2011

Weight 179, August 2015

His story

Jesse Ruggiere had severe health issues for most of his life. He says he was depressed and ate and drank too much as an adult. His weight went up when he started a desk job, saying, "Sitting at desk, I didn't really make time to eat properly and made every excuse to not exercise." In 2012 he was diagnosed with arrhythmia and had a cardiac ablation procedure to correct it. He stopped drinking the night he was released from the hospital after his doctor told him he would die before the age of 50 if he didn't. Ruggiere, a die-hard wrestling fan, stumbled upon DDP Yoga, which was developed by retired professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. It combines traditional yoga movements with resistance, breathing techniques and power movements, being careful to put no pressure on any joint. Ruggiere ordered the DVD and took off with the program. He lost 50 pounds in six months and went on to become a certified DDP Level 1 yoga instructor.

His diet Ruggiere eats out nearly daily but still maintains a healthy meal plan. For breakfast he'll enjoy gluten-free oatmeal or egg whites and turkey with apple juice. For lunch, he brings gluten-free bread to a local bodega, where the servers make a turkey and Swiss sandwich with it. Some days he orders grilled chicken. Dinner can be steamed chicken and broccoli with brown rice or a dish of prepared tilapia at a Chinese restaurant. He says he doesn't really snack but takes daily doses of vitamins B1, B12, and C.

His exercise He works out for an hour at home two days a week doing DDP yoga and then teaches DDP yoga three days a week for either 30 minutes or 60 minutes, depending on the class level.

His advice "Be willing to fight for what you want in life. Health is a privilege, it's not an entitlement. You have to work for it."

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