What I have learned from trying to work around pain is that if you get some pain-free time when you can stand to do exercise, take it! If you're not in pain and can stand to do a little extra, that's probably a good thing. Our bodies really appreciate exercise! Just don't re-injure b/c you have a few good days and do TOO MUCH. Been there, done that, not trying to do it again.
Congrats sounds like you're rising to the challenge you've set for yourself! Way to go!
Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.
A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.