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graindart - Saturday Aug 20, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Just journaling for my own records while I wait for back surgery.

A week ago I decided to make an abrupt change for at least a few days.  I started on a fast with no food, but plenty of water.  I also stopped taking any pain killers to see how well I would be able to cope.  

I ended up going 3 days without food and then started eating again.  I was pretty hungry, but the headaches were subsiding by the end of day 3.  I'm guessing the headaches were from caffeine / pop withdrawals.  Since I already went through the headaches and didn't want to have to go through that again, I kept from drinking the pop again.  (When I'm drinking pop, I average about 30oz-50oz per day.)  I was feeling weak, irritable, and hungry so I started eating again after day 3 and felt better.  I've been able to deal with the increase in pain without having to take much pain medication over the past week.  I think I've taken a total of 3 extra strength Tylenol pills over the past 7 days with only minor added discomfort.

Back surgery (double discectomy) is 6:30am on Monday.  If everything goes well, I'm expecting to be able to walk standing upright without a crutch for the first time in several months.

I have to keep from eating for half a day before the surgery, so I'm contemplating starting another no food fast today just to see if I get the large headaches or if they were mostly attributable to the cold turkey on the caffeine / pop.


Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

graindart - Saturday Aug 13, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Well, I'm at the end of day 2 of my fast.  I also made it through the whole day without taking any pain medication. 

Head - I've had a headache the whole day and my mind has felt really fuzzy.  My head's felt like it usually does when I give up caffeine cold turkey.  I was hoping for a clearer head now that it's been about 36 hours since I last took any Tylenol, but hopefully it'll clear up over the next few days.

Body - My back and leg have been hurting a little worse than when I was on the pain medication, but not anything unbearable.  The pain was actually quite a bit less than I was expecting.  Today and tomorrow are fairly relaxing days, so Monday / Tuesday should be a better test of whether I can deal without pain medication.

Hunger - I had several times during the day that I had strong hunger pains.  Nothing terrible, but enough for me to consider grabbing something to eat.  The hunger seemed to last for 10-20 minutes at a time and subsided.  Even though I'm not feeling unusually hungry right now, food is occupying the majority of my thoughts.  Unfortunately I'm not able to do much to take my mind off the food. Due to my back and leg condtion, I'm not able to do any exercise (that includes walking, swimming, fishing, and pretty much anything else).  The majority of my day is spent sitting and laying down. 

I can't wait for the back surgery.  I've been researching it for the past month or so.  I've even tried watching real surgery videos on the internet.  I usually just end up listening to the commentary, as I'm not a fan of blood, needles, cutting, etc.  For back surgery, it's minimally invasive and the recovery time is remarkably short as long as you're part of the 90-95% success rate.  If everything goes correctly, a 1 mile per day walking plan is suggested starting the day after the surgery.  I've never been a huge fan of walking, but after having to use a crutch to move 30-40 feet at a time for the past few months, I'm definitely looking forward to being mobile again.  It's amazing how you take walking for granted until you either can't do much of it or it's very painful to do it.

Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 08/14/2011:
feel better. Maybe if you are able to get to a pool or join one, you could do a little exercise that way? Pools are great for exercise....

I hope you feel better. It seems many on here are feeling a bit under the weather lately.

graindart on 08/14/2011:
I wish a pool was an option. I've tried pools several times over the past 5 months and they offer no real relief from the pain.

liza36 on 08/16/2011:
Good luck with your surgery. I hope it will alleviate the pain you are in. Hang in there!

graindart - Friday Aug 12, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

It's been about 5 months since my leg and back started hurting.  About 3 or 4 months ago I had to start using a crutch just to get around.  It's now to the point where I have to sit or lay around most of the day.  Walking with a crutch, I can get about 30 or 40 feet at a time before needing to stop and rest / shift my back.

In the past I've rarely taken any pain medication in any given year.  I'd estimate that I've averaged less than 10 tylenol pills per YEAR for the past decade.  Unfortunately for the past 5 months I've been taking about 10 pain pills per DAY (aspirin, Aleve, Tylenol,etc).  

I saw a back specialist and had xrays about 4 months ago.  He said that it was probably a herniated disc in my lower back and that my leg pain was due to the nerves in the spine being pressured by the herniated disc.  Supposedly the majority of people's herniated discs heal on their own.  He said that the best course of action was to get lots of relaxation and give it 6 months in the hope that it would heal on its own.  He said that if the pain got too bad that we could discuss surgery. 

After a total of 5 months and with my mobility getting pretty bad, I decided to go get an MRI and see the doctor for the results.  The MRI confirmed that there were actually 2 herniated discs in my lower back and one was pretty large.  He said we could schedule surgery for the next Monday but we had to reschedule when he found out that I was taking aspirin and Aleve.  I guess aspirin and Aleve can cause bleeding problems, so we had to reschedule for August 22nd.

Even though I've been taking quite a bit of pain medication, it didn't completely mask the pain and I still felt plenty.  The thing I hate worse than the pain is the cloudy head feeling.  Since I had to get off the aspirin / Aleve, I switched back to just Tylenol at the doctors suggestion.  Unfortunately the past few days on Tylenol alone have been a little more painful, not excrutiating pain, just different pain in areas that must have been masked better by the aspirin.

After a couple of days on just Tylenol I've decided on an abrupt change that may or may not last for a few days or more depending on how I feel.  

I'm not really looking for suggestions, I just decided to post my thoughts here so that I can keep track of things.  I've got about 9 days before the surgery and have decided to start a food fast and also try to go off the pain medication all together to see how things are really feeling.

Day 1 fast - yesterday (Friday) - I did fine with no food, but plenty of water.  Had several times where I felt hungry and my stomach was grumbling numerous times especially later at night.  I missed eating meals with my family.  I was concerned that I would be waking up in the middle of the night due to feeling hungry, but that didn't happen.  I woke up every few hours due to back / leg pain, but that's been par for the course the past few months.  I had a couple Tylenol at the beginning of the day and a couple at about 11am.  I decided I'd better do that because I had work appointments that I couldn't miss at 1pm.  I didn't take any additional pain medication after that and it's now been about 24 hours since I've had any.  I'm definitely feeling the pain more now, but it's not anywhere near as bad as I was expecting it to be.  Unless something becomes unbearable, I'm planning on going without medication today and tomorrow and see if I think I'll be able to handle work starting Monday without it or not.

Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

hollybelle on 08/13/2011:
So sorry for your pain and back problems. Wishing you a successful treatment. Hope to hear more from you soon.

graindart - Wednesday May 18, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 250.0

Weightloss / diet / activity all on hold while dealing with my back and leg.  My back doesn't hurt much, but my leg kills without being hopped up on medication.  After seeing a chiropractor a few times, x-rays, and seeing a medical doctor back specialist...... the concensus is that I've got a herniated disc in my lower back that is pinching a nerve that is causing the major leg pain.  The doctor said that with rest and relaxation the majority of people's backs heal without additional steps needed.  He said to come back in a couple months if its not better.

After I've got a fair amount of over the counter pain medication in me I can function, but first thing in the morning it's all I can do to move 30 feet at a time with the help of a crutch. 

Just placing this placecard entry here so that when I'm looking back on my entries down the road I remember why I had this hiccup in my progress.

Progress as of today: 15.2 lbs lost so far, only 75 lbs to go!

Em17 on 05/18/2011:
Aww I hope it gets better =)

~Moody~ on 05/18/2011:
Ack, I'm so sorry to hear about the herniated disc. My best friend has degenerative bone disease, and just today had her 4th back surgery..So I understand and have witnessed first hand how painful that is. I hope your doctor is right and you heal. In the meantime, be very careful and go easy.

hollybelle on 05/19/2011:
Hi and welcome back. So sorry to hear about your back. My husband was in similar situation after a bike accident a few years ago. Good news is - his herniated disc did heal without surgery. It took along time and lots of Ibuprofen. The other thing that helped him was a lady that did a particular type of physical therapy - unvonventional, but safe. He said that was the best thing he did in the healing process. I cannot remember the type of practitioner she wasbut I'll ask him and let you know in case you'd like to try it. His injury occurred after a very slight OOPS on the bicycle - something like his foot slipped off the pedal and twisted his back slightly. It did get better - slowly but surely, though. He lived on ibuprofen for a long time.

graindart - Thursday Apr 07, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 245.4

Started the day off with a Slimfast, vitamins, and water.

Lunch was some chow mein.

Dinner was mac-n-cheese, chicken cordon bleu, asparagus, and some baby peppers with ranch/blue cheese dip.

Had an orange for a snack.

My left leg has been killing me for the past couple of weeks.  If I'm doing something I don't notice it too much, but if I'm just sitting at my desk / driving / or laying around it hurts a lot.  The first week or so I took it easy on the leg thinking that I may have strained it or something.  Now I'm thinking that it might have to do with poor circulation so yesterday and today I got out with the kids and walked for around an hour per day.  It didn't hurt while walking so I think I'll continue doing some mild exercise for the next week or so.  If I don't see any improvement it'll be time to see a doctor I guess. 

Progress as of today: 19.8 lbs lost so far, only 70.4 lbs to go!

graindart - Friday Apr 01, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 245.4

Well, I fell of the wagon for about a week or so.  I even had a 44oz Mtn Dew even though I haven't had any pop for 2 months.  The taste wasn't as good as I was remembering, but the carbonation and ice-cold temperature were excellent!  I submitted to my cravings for pop, chips, and a little candy on one of the days.  The other days I just went overboard on eating stuff, including ice cream.

Yesterday was better, although I still ended the day with a scoop of my favorite ice cream.  It's a simple vanilla base with tiny flecks of lemon or lemon zest.

Today I'm starting off with water, Slimfast, and vitamins.

Lunch and dinner remain to be seen.


Progress as of today: 19.8 lbs lost so far, only 70.4 lbs to go!

paddler on 04/03/2011:
Whatever you are doing, it seems to be working. You're doing great. I really wish they didn't have food commercials on TV.

graindart - Wednesday Mar 23, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 244.4

Breakfast - Slimfast, vitamins, water

Lunch - small thing of chow mein

Dinner - turkey, bread, stuffing, asparagus

Sitting here watching some TV, just saw the best looking fully-loaded hot & cheesy pizza.  I really really wanted to run out and get one or have one delivered.  

Trying to convince myself to wait until tomorrow and have pizza for lunch or dinner instead of tacking it on to a day I've already eaten my meals.  Pretty sure I can hold out until tomorrow.

Progress as of today: 20.8 lbs lost so far, only 69.4 lbs to go!

lolla on 03/24/2011:
Don't you hate these comercials? It really should be illegal. Why can't they advertize veggies and fruits all day? Hang in there!

geevee on 03/24/2011:
Good job in talking yourself out of having the pizza. I failed in my attempt to NOT have peanut butter and jam at 3:30am. Darn!

graindart - Saturday Mar 19, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 246.0

 Weight sitting at 246 for the past few days.  

Started off today with some cereal and milk, water, vitamins.


Progress as of today: 19.2 lbs lost so far, only 71 lbs to go!

graindart - Tuesday Mar 15, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 244.6

Breakfast - Slimfast, vitamins, water
Lunch - frozen dinner
Dinner - chicken cordon bleu, mac-n-cheese, cooked spinach with cheese & bacon

Starting off with Slimfast, vitamins, water
Lunch planning on frozen dinner.
No plans yet for dinner.

My weight can fluctuate a couple pounds each day with no real reason.  This morning I weighed in at 244.6 lbs.  Hopefully it stays around there instead of jumping up a couple lbs tomorrow.  Anyways, that's 20 lbs down from January 1st, which seems like a decent start.  

My wife has commented a couple of times that I look thinner.  The only difference I've noticed is that a couple pairs of jeans aren't quite as snug as they were a couple months ago.  I'm also fastening my belt one notch smaller now.  I would've thought 20 lbs would've been more noticeable to me, but maybe the next 20 lbs will be.


Progress as of today: 20.6 lbs lost so far, only 69.6 lbs to go!

geevee on 03/15/2011:
Twenty pounds is a GOOD loss!

My weight fluctuates 2-3 lbs. during the day and also from day to day.Eventually the lower weight prevails.

It's funny how the noticeability of weight loss goes. Sometimes, it's like all of a sudden a person looks smaller. I remember commenting to a teacher at school, "Hey, haven't you lost weight?" "Sure have. 40 pounds!" It took me that long to notice.

To me the most important thing is being able to get back into clothes I'd outgrown. It's so rewarding.

Soon you'll be in the 230's!

lifestylechange on 03/15/2011:
Have a great day:) Keep up the good work!

legcramps on 03/15/2011:
20 pounds is great! And you know, you may not notice the loss the same way other people will. Especially people who haven't seen you for awhile. Test it out on them ;)

Have an awesome day today!

lolla on 03/15/2011:
WOW! 20 pounds is great! I bet you feel better. Sometimes I tell myself to concentrate on feelings and not so much on looks or if I dropped a size or not. I know I feel better at night if I had a healthy eating day. Eventually if you collect enough of those kind of days you will reach all your weight goals! Good Luck!

graindart - Sunday Mar 13, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 247.8

** Yesterday **
Lunch we ate out Chinese food - ate quite a bit.
Dinner was Taco Bell

** Today **
Slimfast, vitamins, water for breakfast.
Lunch was a frozen dinner and a few slices of pepperoni.
Dinner I made pork chops, mac-n-cheese, green beans.

After dinner we went over to my parents for dessert.  My mom made a couple of pies from scratch - lemon meringue and coconut cream.  I had a small piece of lemon meringue which was nice and tart, just the way I like it.  Wife and girls tried the coconut cream.  I probably would've had a piece of both, but the coconut cream looked a little weird to me, although it supposedly tasted good.


Progress as of today: 17.4 lbs lost so far, only 72.8 lbs to go!

legcramps on 03/14/2011:

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