I have been going to the gym somewhat consistently. However, I have not been using heavyweights, only enough to stimulate the muscles. At age 58, I am very mindful of my joints.

Back in the latter part of 2015, I was in the gym daily. I was pushing myself hard and increasing my workout weight as much as I could. It was a time when I believed that more exertion equaled fat burning. However, I wasn’t losing weight. Before too long, I had strained my shoulder joints. I also put too much pressure on my lower back, using too much weight on the leg press. On top of these issues, my neck developed a bulging disc. As a result, I had a pinched nerve on the left side of my neck. Suddenly my left arm was weak. I thought I was having heart problems.

I had to see a specialist for my neck. That lead to cervical spine fusion surgery in 2016. As always, the surgery cured one pain and caused another in a different area. In the future, I will be avoiding any surgery options.

Since the neck surgery, I had not gone back to the gym, not as I had in 2015. Eventually, I was not exercising at all. I ate whatever I wanted and as much. I probably gained around 30 pounds.

Currently, I am following an intermittent fasting protocol. I have not experienced any dizziness, extreme hunger, or lack of energy. I have plenty of power for lifting weights and at least 30 minutes of walking. The only issue with longer fasts is that I have lots of energy at night, and I can’t go to sleep. Then I end up needing a nap in the middle of the day. Today, I had to stop driving and take a 30-minute nap in the car.

To those of you who may be alarmed at the sound of the word “fasting,” I assure you I am not starving myself. I have not lost weight faster than is healthy. However, it happens quickly enough. My doctor is also aware of what I am doing and approves.

As I mentioned in another post, fasting causes some detox and cellular repair. The point I make is that even though I don’t eat right all the time, I have less joint pain, fewer headaches, and fewer allergies. I don’t know how it works. After so many hours of fasting, something called autophagy happens. “It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autophagy).

There are many benefits of fasting. I have talked about the pancreas getting a break from insulin production. I have talked about how fasting can lower blood glucose levels. I have been able to reduce my A1c from 7.1 to 5.5 in less than two years.

Overall, I feel better physically, and that helps me to feel better emotionally. As far as weight loss, it is not a quick process. I certainly cannot trust what the scale is telling me. Have I said how much better my joints feel? I’m not pain-free. However, less pain is a great thing. I just left the gym, and my back (MY BAD BACK) feels fantastic!