Saturday Posts . . .

Not so long ago, I posted that I’m done chasing the recovery of my lost ability.  I’ve been seeking a way to reverse the physical decline of my body, which began 37 years ago with a bone tumor, for so long it seems to be the only thing I’ve ever done sometimes.  You could call it my career.  The only thing I’ve pursued longer would be spiritual growth.  I’m frustrated, and tired.

However, I recently saw a video made by a former cardiac surgeon – Dr. Steven Gundry, MD.  He worked at Loma Linda University Medical Center until he had an epiphany – that he was just putting bandaides on conditions.  He realized he could do more good for his patients by helping them to NOT NEED surgery.  Foremost on his mind was the fact that, despite doing “everything right” he himself was 75 pounds overweight and heading for cardiac trouble.

Well, he tells the story far better than I could.  You can find it at http://www.thenewgutfix.com

Anyhow, after seeing that video, I shared it with my wife – and she agreed that his description of the “typical patient” with the problem he now treats – with NUTRITION alone – was a total description of how I’ve been feeling the last few years.  Everything  – chronic fatigue, joint pain, migraines, brain fog, memory lapses – it is all just symptoms of a leaky gut. And he’s figured out how to repair it without surgery. So, making an exception to my former declaration, we’re going to give this a shot.

Yes, “we” – my wife has several of the same symptoms, so she’s going to do the regimen with me.  With a little help from the gods, perhaps we will both soon be in the best health of our lives.

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Medical Mystery . . .

Sorry I haven’t been writing much the last couple of weeks.  My body hasn’t felt right for a while.

Besides the arthritis acting up with every change in the weather, I’ve also been coping with lack of sleep, low energy, and a few other minor things.  I was happy to attribute this to the process of trying to lose weight, but then my wife found something that pointed in a different direction.

It seems that one nutrient has some sort of affect on all of those symptoms.  Pantothenic Acid – which is one of the B Vitamins.

Here’s where the mystery comes in, though.  Pantothenic Acid is in virtually everything.  If you eat it, and it’s a whole food, it probably has this vitamin in it.  So the question becomes – how does one become deficient in a vitamin that is everywhere?  My best guess is that something is causing my body to not metabolize the vitamin properly.  But, having no training in biology or chemistry, I have no clue what that would be.

Still, we got some supplements and I’ve started taking them.  It’s too soon to know how much relief this will eventually give me, but it has already helped some.

Diet and weight loss . . .

I’m fat.  In fact, by the standards used today, I’m morbidly obese.  That somewhat scary term simply means that I weigh more than 50 pounds more than my ideal weight.  I’m 5’8″ tall, and have a medium build.   My target weight should be around 155 pounds to 175 pounds.  I currently weigh in at 240 pounds, but when I tell people that they look at me incredulously and ask, “where are you hiding it?”

I’m not hiding it – it’s here.  A lot of it is a fairly obvious “beer belly” – a term I hate, by the way, because I don’t drink beer.  But the incredulous inquirers do have a point: My pants are only a size larger now than they were when I left the US Army 30+ years ago – at a lean 155.

I’ve talked to my primary care doctor.  I’ve talked to the nutritionist he referred me to.  I’ve talked to weight management counselors, physical therapists . . .  and I’ve read books and articles on macrobiotics, vegitarian eating, portion control, fasting, pacing, juicing . . .

None of it has worked for me.  There is one reason why, and it’s the giant pink elephant in the room.  It’s terribly obvious to me, but nobody else wants to acknowledge it because it is an automatic barrier to the success of whatever approach they pitch at me.  I’m a disabled veteran – I had a bone tumor in my left leg, and that bone has been permanently structurally weakened.

Imagine building a bridge across a half-mile wide river, and the central girder on the left side of the bridge was manufactured wrong and can only stand 10% of the weight it was intended to.  What is going to happen to that bridge when rush hour traffic hits it?  During the first 3 months after the surgery to treat my tumor, I was hospitalized an additional 10 times for stress fractures related to my not believing the limitations imposed on me.  I believe them now.

That’s what’s wrong with my leg now.  Instead of being able to stand the stresses of all the normal activity I used to do, I’m now limited to “No pushing, pulling, or lifting over 30 pounds” AND “no walking more than 1 mile per day TOTAL” – that includes trips to the bathroom and the kitchen.  Let me tell you, it’s amazing how small one mile is when you carry a pedometer around the house for a few weeks.  I have one of those “Cory Everson” resistance cable type home exercise machines, but it seems impossible to do enough repetitions with only 30 pounds of resistance to either burn fat or build muscle.

So, the next time you see someone in the store, or on the beach (which won’t be me, I don’t live anywhere near a beach) who is heavy, don’t automatically think that they are just lazy or don’t care about how they look.  Some of us care a LOT – there just isn’t anything we can do.  Because we are trying.