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  #1  
Old 01-27-2015, 12:15 PM
DerekWahler DerekWahler is offline
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Default You Have the Digestive System of a 70 Year Old

I joined the Transformation Contest as the final little push to transform my body and ultimately my life.

As a CTT, I don't really have a problem sticking with my workouts. But I've decided to try something new and accountability is going to be key.

Long story short, I was hospitalized last year while in San Diego for the TT Summit. I ended up having emergency bowel and appendix surgery, but what came afterwards hurt even worse.

In fact, I just told my wife about this yesterday. For the past 7 months, no one else knew.

As I spent 23.5 hours a day in my hospital bed, one of the nurses came up to me after a morning full of tests and x-rays.

She said, "Derek, you're in great shape. But you're 30, and you have the digestive system of a 70 year old."

I thought she was joking at first but she never cracked a smile. She was serious. And it's stuck with me ever since.

I think about it every day. Before I eat, it's in the back of my mind. Sometimes I can enjoy a meal and be perfectly fine. Other times, I feel extremely uncomfortable and bloated for hours afterwards.

I've racked my brain on how I can make this better and it all comes back to one thing.

Each time I've been hospitalized (4 times in 6 months) they stick tubes up my nose and down my throat, to give my digestive organs a chance to rest.

They can't keep up.

As incredibly painful as that process is, it always does the trick and I ultimately feel better.

Which lead me to this conclusion....

I need to eat less often. The average day for me includes 5-6 meals and I just don't think my body can handle it.

So after 6 months of putting it off, I've decided to start Intermittent Fasting. I know about all the health benefits, but as someone who regularly eats breakfast as soon as I wake up, I didn't think I could do it.

But it's time to suck it up and give it an honest try. The plan is real simple, fast for 16 hours (usually 8 pm. to noon) and then have the option to eat over the next 8 hours.

Yesterday was my first day and it surprisingly went REALLY well. I made it to noon without a problem and didn't have any digestive issues once I ate again.

Day #2 is going well so far, although I'm a little hungrier today during the fast, so I might need to eat a little more at night to hold me over.

I'm committed to sticking this out until the end of the transformation contest, and possibly even longer.

Time to step it up!
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2015, 01:44 PM
John Magovern's Avatar
John Magovern John Magovern is offline
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Hey Derek,
I've read of your issues and am in touch with what your feeling. I to have had some serious GI issues. Started when I was six in 1974 when I had Meckels Diverticulitis and a rupture. Two months in the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. A repair of the rupture, that failed and required a second repair. And aren't those naso gastric tubes the worst. I would pull mine out every night while I slept and it would have to be re-inserted every morning.

Fast forward to 2008. 34 years later the scar tissue from the two repairs in 1974 eventually wrapped around my large and small intestines "like a spider web". As it was described to me. resulting in a serious bowel obstruction. The fix. Emergency surgery: All the adhesions needed to be cut away, eight inches of intestine gone, a bowel resection and they took the appendix so we could instantly rule it out the next time.

Okay then 2011, Incisional hernia due to weak abdominal wall from two incisions that crossed one and other. The hernia repair took more time than expected and five days later another bowel obstruction. This time it was really bad and I had to be transferred to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and ended up with a trauma doctor who specializes in compartment syndrome and ...gunshot wounds. Ten days in ICU, medically induced coma and they decided to leave me open with a wound vacuum hoping to reduce the edema to my internal organs. This one required four separate procedures with a day or two between each because my blood pressure would plummet to close to the death level each time. Anyway, I'm down to a half a colon and 3/5 of a small intestine. The real problem is they took the Ilioseqal sp? valve. It resides at the end of the small intestine and removes the bile salts that aid in digestion. as a result the bile salts now go into my shortened colon and I only excrete by diarrhea in the neighborhood of five times a day.

Sorry for the lengthy story but I wanted you to know there's others out here who know how difficult this can all be. And that I to have adopted a 16/8 IF. I did it because I read somewhere that it can give your system a rest. It has made things better. And I have also adopted some of the principles of the Fodmap diet. Look it up if you haven't already.

Oh and during my last stay in the hospital I actually inserted my own NG tube when it slipped out and I couldn't get the attention of a nurse. Still hate those things.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2015, 02:11 PM
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LeslieM LeslieM is offline
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Derek,
I hate that you are having to deal with this. Did they test you for food allergies? I'm sure they did. I do IF twice a week now. I'll switch to 1X per week once I get my body fat to around 18%. When I started seriously doing it, I did the 16/8 style, but have now transitioned into ESE. It's easier for me, but I don't think it would have been at the start. My next fast is Thursday. I'll try to pay attention to what I do to make it easier. If you want, of course! I hope this is the solution! Leslie
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:45 PM
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RobB RobB is offline
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Derek,
I used to eat breafast every morning...1 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup walnuts and 1 cup of grapes, sprinkled in cinnamon. Then I decided to do the 16/8 IF daily fast. It works pretty well. I workout in a fasted state and do just fine (some experts refer to that as being fat-adapted). Some people say they NEED to eat before a workout and of course there are always the "experts" that have varying opinions on working out and eating. Anyhow, I believe it is what you get used to. On rare occasions I will eat breakfast, just to confuse my system a bit (nutritional intervals, if you will), but I get really hungry, when I do.

So, I guess that is my perspective. What works for me, may very well, not work for others................

On weekends I often have my above breakfast for lunch or dinner, if the wife is not home........I love my steel cut oatmeal.........lately been stirring coconut oil into it!

Good luck in your contest accountability!

Last edited by RobB : 01-27-2015 at 03:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2015, 11:45 AM
Mike Whitfield's Avatar
Mike Whitfield Mike Whitfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekWahler View Post
I joined the Transformation Contest as the final little push to transform my body and ultimately my life.

As a CTT, I don't really have a problem sticking with my workouts. But I've decided to try something new and accountability is going to be key.

Long story short, I was hospitalized last year while in San Diego for the TT Summit. I ended up having emergency bowel and appendix surgery, but what came afterwards hurt even worse.

In fact, I just told my wife about this yesterday. For the past 7 months, no one else knew.

As I spent 23.5 hours a day in my hospital bed, one of the nurses came up to me after a morning full of tests and x-rays.

She said, "Derek, you're in great shape. But you're 30, and you have the digestive system of a 70 year old."

I thought she was joking at first but she never cracked a smile. She was serious. And it's stuck with me ever since.

I think about it every day. Before I eat, it's in the back of my mind. Sometimes I can enjoy a meal and be perfectly fine. Other times, I feel extremely uncomfortable and bloated for hours afterwards.

I've racked my brain on how I can make this better and it all comes back to one thing.

Each time I've been hospitalized (4 times in 6 months) they stick tubes up my nose and down my throat, to give my digestive organs a chance to rest.

They can't keep up.

As incredibly painful as that process is, it always does the trick and I ultimately feel better.

Which lead me to this conclusion....

I need to eat less often. The average day for me includes 5-6 meals and I just don't think my body can handle it.

So after 6 months of putting it off, I've decided to start Intermittent Fasting. I know about all the health benefits, but as someone who regularly eats breakfast as soon as I wake up, I didn't think I could do it.

But it's time to suck it up and give it an honest try. The plan is real simple, fast for 16 hours (usually 8 pm. to noon) and then have the option to eat over the next 8 hours.

Yesterday was my first day and it surprisingly went REALLY well. I made it to noon without a problem and didn't have any digestive issues once I ate again.

Day #2 is going well so far, although I'm a little hungrier today during the fast, so I might need to eat a little more at night to hold me over.

I'm committed to sticking this out until the end of the transformation contest, and possibly even longer.

Time to step it up!
It's really awesome of you to share your transparency with us buddy. Let us know how that works for you including how you feel. I've been doing daily IF for a while now and love it.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2015, 12:12 PM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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Derek,

Thank you for sharing.

Stay strong. The worst is behind you.

1) I agree with John. Research Fodmap foods. Start by cutting out onions, garlic, and brussel sprouts. Spinach is the safest green vegetable. You might also cut out apples. Citrus fruits are easier. Cut out dairy as well, and grains consider removing all of them, including corn, oats, and rice - but check with someone on that, too.

2) Check with someone about more frequent smaller meals vs. less frequent bigger meals. Its likely that the former is better than the latter, but perhaps you are right.

3) Get help from Dr. Osborne. Reach out to him by email and let him know your situation.

Push on,

Craig
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2015, 01:23 PM
DanielWoodrum DanielWoodrum is offline
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Thanks for sharing this with all of us Derek. As I've said dozens of times, you are one of the strongest dudes I've ever met. I can't imagine what all you've been through man. Keep staying strong.

I agree with Craig about the smaller vs. larger meals. As someone who did intermittent fasting for close to 5 years (and I've tried all variations), I would think that the larger meals would do more damage to your digestive system compared to smaller meals.

I experience digestive comfort myself and ever since I've gone back to smaller meals (about 6 months ago) I've felt much better.

Although honesty you might just want to test both ways and see what works best for you. Keep pushing buddy and let us know how things progress.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2015, 01:30 PM
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PeterJankowski PeterJankowski is offline
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Hey Derek yes I agree with Craig and Daniel on this one.

Packing all your food into a small window is potentially going to place more load on the system.

If it were me I would be leaning more to Brad Pilon's approach with 24 hour fasts here and there. Best of both worlds that way. You keep you smaller meal schedule and you digestive system gets a break once a week.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2015, 07:34 AM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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I think this is the best approach yet, well summarized, Peter.

But again, derek, talk to your doc.

Stay strong.

We've got your back with support and accountability.

Here's to an incredible 2015.

Thanks for a being a leader and inspiring us by living by example.

Craig

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJankowski View Post
Hey Derek yes I agree with Craig and Daniel on this one.

Packing all your food into a small window is potentially going to place more load on the system.

If it were me I would be leaning more to Brad Pilon's approach with 24 hour fasts here and there. Best of both worlds that way. You keep you smaller meal schedule and you digestive system gets a break once a week.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2015, 11:29 AM
shawnss711 shawnss711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Ballantyne View Post
Derek,

Thank you for sharing.

Stay strong. The worst is behind you.

1) I agree with John. Research Fodmap foods. Start by cutting out onions, garlic, and brussel sprouts. Spinach is the safest green vegetable. You might also cut out apples. Citrus fruits are easier. Cut out dairy as well, and grains consider removing all of them, including corn, oats, and rice - but check with someone on that, too.

2) Check with someone about more frequent smaller meals vs. less frequent bigger meals. Its likely that the former is better than the latter, but perhaps you are right.

3) Get help from Dr. Osborne. Reach out to him by email and let him know your situation.

Push on,

Craig
Derek,
Thank you for sharing your story.
I have been busy the last few days and just got to read your thread.
I have digestive issues as well. I have went through a lot of testing in the last year. Luckily I have not had to deal with any emergency hospitalizations but I deal with a lot of pain and frustration. I almost always have this pain in my left side. I have been to the doctor so many times in this last year trying to diagnose the issue. I here the horror stories from people like you and John and I get a little scared. I have ruled out any colon issues but worry about what else is going on in there!

I have played around with the idea of going on a low fodmap diet all of last year and I am just beginning to test and see if it helps me. I have been obstinate in giving up garlic and so many other foods but I am very motivated this year to really address these issues so I don't end up having any emergencies. I will tell you this is very challenging the idea of low fodmaps.....
I love Brussels sprouts,apples, garlic and so many healthy foods (for the average joe that is).So many foods that are really nutritional powerhouses if your GI can handle them.

I agree with Craig and John about the fodmaps. Do some research on them.I have found a bit of varying information on some sites. Some say broccoli is fine in small quantities but with some of my tracking ....sadly I think it is an issue for me and I love it.

Thanks again for sharing.
Shawn
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