No Colon? No Problem!

Joe K. used to suffer from Ulcerative Colitis. The disease became so debilitating, he had to have reconstructive surgery to take out his colon, add in a “j-pouch” and essentially re-route the way his body gets rid of waste. Even after all the surgeries, the struggles and the flare-ups, Joe’s been able to achieve some great success! Read about it in his own words below.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 10 years old. UC is a disease of the colon which causes it to become fibrous, have ulcers and leasons, inflamation, and well…it’s like having diarrhea all the time. Luckily, for me, it would flare up for a year and then go into remission for several years, then flare for a few months then into remission, etc. In 2000, it flared up, would NOT go away, and every drug they gave me I had a reaction to. One medication cause me to throw up for 3 days straight! On the first day I was 215 pounds and when they weighed me again at the doctors I was 194! Down 21 pounds! I do not recommend this form of weight loss. :)

I got better but never got well, if that makes any sense. In January of 2004 they discovered several areas of mild dysplasia – not cancer yet but it would become cancer and go straight to the liver. So I had to get this surgery. It consisted of 2 rounds – first, to create the pouch and second, to reconnect the plummbing! I had to have a bag on my side for 10 weeks while everything healed up – not something I want to do again

It affects my workouts in no way, shape, or form! When I started I was concerned about doing ab and core excercises, but you don’t know until you try! I’ll never have classic abs because of the nice scar I have starting from just under my ribcage, but I think it looks worse to me than anyone else! I’m a huge proponent of “There is no can’t, only try.”

Life is good. When I had Colitis I had to know where all the bathrooms were! Now, I can go anywhere, do pretty much anything – except go back to learning some martial arts – getting pummeled in the stomach area has lost its allure! Also, I have no food restrictions now. With UC, I had certain foods I could not eat or drink because they would just set me off. Now it is all good! And instead of looking at doing things and thinking “I can’t make it through that,” I think, ‘That looks like fun!”

I’ve done Turbo Jam, P90X, Insanity, Asylum, RevAbs, Tai Cheng, Les Mills Pump, and now I’m doing another round of P90X which I’m calling P90MX – Monster Xtreme – all slow count, all heavy, all the time – with Insanity, RevAbs, P90X+, and LMP Combat thrown in on conditioning days. Why? I can! And it will keep me busy until I get my pre-ordered copy of Les Mills Combat!

Now – I feel great! I’m 52 years old and feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve lost 43 lbs and have gone from a 44″ waist to a 35″! I often say I’m 52, feel 22, and act 12! I just realized, also, that I’m in great shape for a 50 year old then thought, “I’m in better shape than most 40 year olds! And 30! And probably (and sadly) 20 year olds!”

Truthfully, I am 100% better than I was.