A year and a half ago I was at the end of my rope. Couldn't sleep, couldn't walk straight, mornings were hell. My neck was almost completely immobile, my back spasms were unbearable, my whole body would seize up, I couldn't breathe, life was miserable. I had gained 30 lbs from inactivity, I was popping several Aleve tablets each day just to make it thru the work day. I endured the stupid comments from my co-workers about how old I seemed. I wasted thousands of dollars on chiro visits and physical therapy. I was sinking into depression because no one knew what was wrong with me and I felt helpless.

Finally I went to a new doctor to get some blood work done out of desperation. He took some x-rays and a couple days later I was diagnosed with AS. Reading about spinal fusion scared me to death. I used to be athletic, I raced Mtn bikes, I played basketball and tennis. Now I was overweight and doomed to be on expensive medicine or be crippled.

Then I found this site, I read about the diet, I got Carol Sinclair's book, I had hope! I started the diet, I had some bumps along the way, I had some bad flares and made some stupid decisions, but after a few months I finally got used to my new lifestyle. I started working out EVERY day, whatever I could do. I think weight training is VERY beneficial, especially back exercises. I lost the 30 lbs I had gained by drinking lots of water and avoiding starches and most carbs in general. I took vitamins and fish oil. I started doing yoga in the mornings. I work around the house instead of sitting in front of the tv or computer.

Now, I am pain free. I don't take any meds, not even tylenol. I have packed on a lot of muscle in the gym, I can turn my neck like a normal person, I can do sit ups, I can wrestle with my kid, I can practice martial arts, a couple weeks ago I rode over 50 trail miles on my mtn bike in one day and I am training to start racing again next season. Along with exercise, the No Starch Diet has given me my life back! I miss the junk food and bread, but all I have to do is remember the sad, broken down man I used to be.

I don't post very often on this page but I read every post and I am very grateful for those who take the time to answer questions and help others. If you are reading this and are thinking about trying to diet, I encourage to get a gym membership right away and make that a part of your new lifestyle, anything you can do is better than nothing. Stay in motion, stick to diet for a couple months before you dismiss it. It takes time, but once you have your life back it is totally worth it. Jason M.

"Experience: the most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." -CS Lewis