A Hot Healthy Mess…

Posted: March 11, 2011 in Day to Day
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This may sound crazy but I am on Day 10 of Optifast and I can already feel my health changing for the better.  Prior to Optifast I had several issues. I am on three different Blood Pressure Medications. It took three to get my pressure to a normal level. I take two different ones in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening. I had fine cholesterol until about a year ago.  After 45 the health really starts to suffer when you are overweight.  So I joined the millions of men like myself and started taking Crestor. The drug gave me pain in my arms — like Tennis Elbow — and I had to take a supplement called CoQ10. That did not work so well so they lowered my cholesterol drug a few milligrams. That did the trick. But the lower dosage gave me “good” levels of cholesterol but not “great” as my doctor said.

I had horrible acid reflux for years.  If you have never had it believe me it is not something you want.  So I had to start taking Nexium.  But because of my size one Nexium did not work, I had to take one in the morning and one at night for it to work for me.  Two Nexiums is an non-standard dosage so there was a big fight with my medical insurance company to cover it. They finally did cover it but it was very expensive (several hundreds of dollars a month). My health insurance rates went up 25% every year. I honestly think it was the Nexium that did it.

Along with acid reflux comes Sleep Apnea. The way you know you have Sleep Apnea is suddenly your spouse wakes you up in the middle of the night and says they cannot sleep because of your snoring.  The snoring becomes so loud your spouse moves to the couch or in with the kids or wherever she can escape the noise.  It is not just the noise, mind you. When you have Sleep Apnea two other things happen.  You stop breathing periodically during the night.  So there you are snoring away and then suddenly you stop breathing. This causes your spouse to shake you or pound on you or start to make loud noises.  As you awaken, unaware of your snoring or your sudden lack of breathing, you wonder why it is that this person you love so much keeps waking you up for no reason. The last significant issue with Sleep Apnea is your quality of sleep.  I used to wake up at least every two hours during the night. Some nights it was as much as every hour. At a certain point you give up and get up and make some coffee and feed the pets.  Since you hardly sleep and the quality is so bad, you fall asleep in your chair a lot. You fall asleep at your desk at work and you even fall asleep while people are talking to you.  To help with Sleep Apnea, medical science has created a breathing machine. I have met people who say they can’t live without their “C-PAP” machine.  All I can say about it is that I am convinced that the Nazi’s invented this machine.  I tried many many masks for this damn machine.  I know that Sleep Apnea is a serious disorder that can cause death, but I felt like I was suffocating with this crazy thing.  Over the years I have purchased numerous mouthpieces from websites (some of them in England) that promised to cure snoring.

I not only fed my soul before optifast with food, but I drank a good bit of alcohol (as you might know from previous posts) and I survived most days on coffee. My destructive behavior had invaded every single part of my life and I am amazed I am still here to blog about it.  With this behavior other things start to happen.  I had developed some kind of urinary disorder so I was seeing a urologist. I think at this point this was my kidneys saying they wanted to give up. I had a prostate problem that was cured with some drugs as well.  I did not have cancer but I think my prostate was trying to say that it did not have enough room to operate properly.

Recently, and one of the main reasons I went on Optifast, my legs started having problems. Because I play semi-pro football, I always prided myself on having great legs. I used weights and had to do sprints at practice.  I hate my coach for making me run up hills and stadium bleachers for hours upon hours. I also have very muscular legs because they worked very hard keeping this big body up in the air. I am 6’5″ tall besides being very overweight.  In the past year, my ankles hurt, the bottom of my feet hurt and my knees were killing me.  My shoulders started aching because I was using my arms to overcompensate for my knees and ankles.

OK — so I guess you have got the point: I was a hot healthy mess.

So you cannot believe my amazement when after 10 days on Optifast and about a 6% weight loss, I can see the results on my health already.  My optifast physician is calling my regular physician and coordinating the slow but eventual removal of all blood pressure medication. My cholesterol is normal thanks to Crestor but the doctor would like to remove that within the next month or so. My acid reflux is gone. This is mainly to the fact that I am not eating anything! I have stopped taking Nexium. 

The most dramatic change is my Sleep Apnea. On the third day of Optifast, I suddenly stopped snoring and in close to two weeks my wife says I have ceased my non-breathing episodes.  The best — I am sleeping eight hours and only waking up once to use the restroom during the night. It is amazing!  I am not falling asleep in my chair, at my desk, or while someone is talking. It has improved my energy and my attitude.

The lack of food, alcohol and the limitation of caffeine (only two small cups a day — sorry, Starbucks!) has also improved my energy, my sleep and my overall feeling of health.  I am breaking the back of my destructive former being.

Finally, we get to those amazing legs…. It is much easier to get out of a chair. I notice the difference on my shoulders and arms. My ankles are not swollen and do not hurt.  The bottom of my feet are not sore and I am walking and working out without pain.  Oh the Knees!  They feel so good. When I get up they don’t hurt. My legs feel so much better. I can only imagine what they will feel like as I continue to lose weight.

I have a long way to go, but as I have said, I can already see the difference.  Losing just a little bit of weight can improve your health dramatically.  It just makes me crazy about how much money I have spent trying to feel better when the answer was right in front of me all the time. If there was any single reason that I could point to as to why I would continue this long — oy, how long it is — fast, it would be the improvement of my health in just 10 short days. I can’t wait to see how I feel after 20 days!

  1. I’m glad you’re getting healthy and feeling better! I’m on that journey myself so I felt really connected to your post. Have a great day!

  2. Thanks 🙂 You might be the first person who has ever read my blog LOL I just started the other day so I haven’t put any posts up about my health journey but they are coming! And there are a few others up to look at 🙂

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