10,000-14,999 SparkPoints 11,117

Feeling Healthier

Notice the weeks I would weigh heavier, or when I would plateau. Remember, this is normal.

155 lb Goal Met!


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My weight loss journey with CRPS has restored my life.

I was injured during deployment to the Middle East and served briefly till retirement. This injury caused nerve damage, chronic severe pain resulting in the VA diagnosing me with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), then disabling me. The longer I was retired [from the military], the more severe the pain became. My symptoms remained untreated with my receiving a later diagnosis of CRPS, Type II [chronic, disease caused from my injury].

The pain kept me from moving much and doctors placed me on; tramadol, methadone, morphine and other opiate cocktails. This increasing pain caused me to become sedentary and my weight increased to an obese [for my height and age] 221 lbs. on June 21st, 2015.

My blood pressure increased with the increasing pain and I was prescribed additional meds, ugh! I was an invalid, moving as little as possible to minimize my pain. It hurt like crazy just to hold my kids and grand kids; can you imagine??? On top of this, when trying to rest, my sleep was interrupted by nightmares caused from PTSD. I needed a CPAP machine to keep me breathing when sleeping.

I knew if this continued, I'd die. I became depressed and fed up, COMPLETELY fed up. I wanted to live to see my grand kids grow. I spent a career in the military; I'm a fighter and decided to FIGHT this disease. I knew I'd have to 'embrace the suck' [military term] like never before. Even if I perished in the process, at least I'd go out fighting.

I'd hang onto God's promise to me, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

I researched during my 'down' time and shared with my wife the information I'd discovered on how to eat and exercise. I thank God for her! She bought the 9 inch plates I requested, she purchased the food and prepared it for me in the smaller portions I needed. She created these smaller, healthy meals six times daily. She was my angel, my nurse, my chef, my encouragement, my hero.

Surprisingly, many would judge me because I 'looked' normal. But my family supported me and I discovered who my true friends were, the ones who knew I was going through Hell. Their loyalty to my recovery was huge in my fight to survive.

At first, I could only walk to the end of the street and back. This would increase my pain even more forcing me back to bed. But I'd go at it again, then again. Then I used cans in pillow cases to lift, progressing to stretch bands.

My wife gifted me with a Vivofit to count my steps and monitor my sleep activity. I was able to get out more consistently and joined the VA Move [weight loss] Program. I got to a point where I could go to the gym. I began using their physical therapy contraptions. I built up to using machines to increase my strength lifting lower weights.

I focused on exercising my largest muscles; my thighs and rear. I chose the recumbent [sitting back] stationary bikes to burn the most calories as possible.

The extreme pain was dulling as I pushed myself further. The Vivofit graphed my weight loss. This was very motivating to me as I could SEE my progress. I learned at the VA meetings that occasionally my weight would rise and/or plateau and that it was perfectly normal. People began complimenting me on my noticeable progress.

Through the VA I even earned one of the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards (PALA); "One Test. Five Events. I Earned It."

It took me until August 2016 [lost 66 pounds in 13 months] when I met my final goal of 155 lbs. I was in the healthy green area on the BMI chart, which hadn't happened since I was on active duty.

This, however, was not the blessing I'd hoped for as I became too small for my frame. I began catching all the 'bugs' going around; colds, flu's, then lung infections, etc.. I knew I had to gain muscle weight to be truly well. My goal was 175 lbs. I'm still working on this part, up to 167 pounds.

The diet and careful exercise program, with plenty of rest, helped dull the CRPS pain severity. My blood pressure returned to normal. I no longer take morphine and blood pressure meds. I no longer need the CPAP machine.

I still deal with the devil of CRPS; nerve-biting chronic pain, it's randomness, pain spikes...but I'm as well as I can be with this disability.

Did I mention my schooling? As I began my weight loss journey, I challenged my mind as well. I began taking college correspondence courses. I was awarded my Associate's degree in Pastoral Studies in July 2017. Currently, I'm working on my Bachelor's.

I still have CRPS, PTSD and God knows whatever other M,O,U,S,E, I've been diagnosed with, but I'm making it.

Know that persons with chronic pain can achieve personal goals with medical observation, determination, education, self-forgiveness and loving support.

"My only hope is in You." Psalm 39:7b

Member Since: 3/11/2016

Fitness Minutes: 2,560

My Goals:
To reach my goal of 175 lbs. and maintain as healthy body as possible. To remain true to myself and give back to my family and friends what I have to offer. Oh, and to earn my Bachelor's degree in 2018!

My Program:
I continue to exercise on the recumbent stationary bike to work on my cardio. I've been working on lifting heavier on the weight machines and moderately increased my caloric intake, even using a non-soy, vegan weight gainer.

I know this sounds crazy, but it's become quite difficult to gain muscle weight. It may be age, but my metabolism is in the 'happy' mode still, comparable to what it was in my teens.

Personal Information:
I am an Air Force veteran. I served for 21 years. I am the husband of my angel wife, having been married for 32 years. We have [they're all Brady Bunch thing here!] eight 'kids' [5 are adults, 4 are married and the last 2 are still at home]. We also are the guardians of our grand nephew who is 12. Full house for my age! We have 3 grand sons that I'm able to play with now! I love the outdoors, photography, being with family and friends. Oh, did I mention LIFE???

Other Information:
WEIGHT LOSS PERKS: Besides the obvious benefits of feeling and looking better, you get to replace your wardrobe as you clothes!!!

Read More About STUBBY_DOUGLAS - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 19)

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    I hope you will have a Sparktacular Saturday.

    “Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”-Thomas Edison
    4 days ago
    Thank you so very much for the Spa for Valentine's Day, I can really use it ! ; }
    Hope you had a wonderful day ! Also thank you for your service in the Military !!! I'm so sorry for your health problems. I sure hope you will be able to get some treatment that will help you ! It's no fun living with pain every day !
    Thanks again and take good care , keep safe & God Bless !!!
    Love ya', Flutterfli emoticon
    emoticon emoticon

    6 days ago
    Thank you to all who've posted such kind words on my page. It's heart-warming to hear from you. emoticon
    6 days ago
    I added you as a Spark Friend because you inspire me. Your Spark Streaks and weight success are awesome!!!

    We share something besides CRPS, my long-suffering Hubby has been my Heroic angel in caring for me the last eleven years. He takes good care of me. I do as much as I can but am battling being deconditioned. I have 16 inches of titanium in my left leg after I got a bone infection 12 years after a TKR. I also have an artificial knee in my right leg.

    Thank you for your service to our country. God bless you and all your family.
    7 days ago
  • v DLJONES50
    Your story is moving and inspirational. Thank you for all you have sacrificed for your country. God Bless You!
    10 days ago
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