Limitations and challenges

Recently my neck pain (2 previous operations for herniated discs – see bandage in pic above) has really flared.  I’ve had to curtain exercise.  So far, my weight has stayed the same.  I’m sure I’m losing some muscle.  I’m trying to walk more (even the elliptical and treadmill hurt if I push myself), and reduce what I eat.  For the past 1.5 yrs, I’ve been able to eat as much as I want as long as I eat healthy foods. But now, I’m cutting back from 1/2 cup brown rice and lunch and dinner to 1/4 cup; 8 oz sardines instead of 12 oz; etc.

Last time I had a physical challenge like this was after my appendectomy 2 years ago – my surgeon told me to stop doing weight training for 2 months to allow the abdominal muscles to heal.  I used that time to increase my incline and speed and time on the treadmill.

Now, I think I’ll have to walk slower, but longer, and more often for a while.  Fortunately, it’s getting to be spring, even if Chicago – walking along the lake is a joy!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. Dr. Ellis,

    Have you considered swimming? You’d still get a great workout and it’s non-weight bearing so … less stress on your joints (and much less pain). I’ve been doing it for almost 5 years and it’s helped me to keep off the excess pounds.

  2. You are absolutely correct! For whatever reason, I don’t like pools and chlorine – so I generally swim during the summer months.

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