Friday, April 16, 2010

Weigh in - and Know Thy Knees!

Weigh in day # 2 for the Beach Challenge and I was not surprised to see less than stellar results. I was 203.6 last Friday, and today I'm 202.4. Yeah yeah, a loss is a loss. I'm fine with it, but am thinking perhaps I need to temper my fervent desire for a tacky beach souvenir down a few notches. I'm really happy to have lost anything.

I went to visit a close friend last night who had both knees replaced last Thursday. She's done well with her recovery, and is now at a rehab facility for about a week, doing intense physical and occupational therapy (who knew putting one's own socks on could be such a challenge!?) and practicing activities of daily living like getting up stairs, in and out of cars, and such.

This friend, like me, has battled with her weight for years. Up and down. In the past couple of years she's added more pounds because of her true inability to move much at all due to the horrendous status of her knees. So she's optimistic that once she's recovered and therapied back to optimal function, she'll be able to do more, and stress eat less.

After we were talking awhile, she remarked that when I walked in her room, she noticed I looked "good", and thought "she's keeping her weight off". I chuckle-choked a bit and said actually I'd put on a few from my lowest weight back in November. Nice to hear that at least I'm looking like I'm holding my own, even if I know how precarious the holding feels.

I then said that she was surely going to have lost a few pounds when she got home after this, and that when walking with the walker I noticed she looked "narrower", which she did. I went on and asker her what the new knees are made of...and she, "Titanium, and they're very heavy. I'm 10 pounds higher on the scale now!" She's so frustrated! That would play with my eating disordered head big time. Turns out she can set off metal detectors and will need some kind of special paperwork to fly in the future due to her packing titanium knees! With all the baby-boomers getting joints replaced, I guess there's a lot of this going on that I never thought about before.

I asked if they feel heavy or different, and she said no. She did not that the way they do feel different is they don't hurt in the way they did before. She has post surgical pain and muscle stiffness, but that's nothing compared to what this gal went through for a long time. I'm really happy that she's finally done this for herself because it will likely change her life hugely. But slowly.

Speaking of knees, I mentioned I hadn't exercised as much this week and was definitely going to do a long walk yesterday. It never happened because I had to stay late at work, had an appointment, and then had to do an early dinner so I could go see the friend. Well, this morning, my knees feel as stiff and tight as if I'd been cryo-preserved for ten years and was just now thawing. I know it's due to the lack of movement. I have my gym clothes with me and am going to go bike the second I get off today. And hopefully a dog walk will also be in the cards if it isn't raining. Not gonna overdo, but with arthritis, the daily movement is vital to keep the joints lubricated and functioning. Every single treatment plan for arthritis lists movement and exercise at the top of the list! They also note that it actually decreases pain, and I have found that to be true.

They also all list weight loss as a very important tool to decrease the pressure on joints. Read this from an Orthopedic suregeon: "Carrying extra weight is problematic for your knees. This is because for each extra pound you carry, your knees feel 4 or 5 pounds. So, if you're 10 pounds overweight, your knees think that you are carrying 40to 50 extra pounds! If you're running or jumping, the forces across your joints are even higher. Small amounts of weight are amplified across your joints and that‘s why it can be damaging to the joints. This is why a small amount of weight loss can go a long way in keeping your knees healthy."

Okay - I didn't mean to turn this post into an arthritis Primer. But how interesting that each pound results in 4-5 extra pounds of impact on the knees! That's pretty startling. Hopefully motivating. I'd really like to post a big loss next week. Happy Friday fellow bloggers!


  1. As a runner, I can attest to the extra impact on the knees - and it slows me down too! I am a full minute or so slower right now than I was at my lower weight 2 years ago. Frustrating!

    If it makes you feel any better, I LOVE peppermint patties and have a full bag of them at home. Until you mentioned it the other day I had never thought of freezing them. Yummo. BUT I have them hidden right now and plan to leave them there until I feel safe putting them in the freezer. Even then, I think they'll go to the big freezer out in the garage, that way it won't be so easy to access them.

  2. See, you need to be patting yourself on the back for your 1 pound weight loss! That's so much better already for your knees. Your headed in the right direction even if it's not as quickly as you would like to see. Keep it going down! Your doing so great!!

  3. Hi there Leslie-it's me,Lucy, the anti-diet chick :) I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing. You say you didn't exercise & you even ate some "non-diety" type foods:good for you! Sounds to me like you didn't diet and yet you had a lost. You're doing great.

    Remember-easy weight off is easy weight BACK on! And nobody wants that. Your body wants to be healthy just as much as you do :)

    You're a "THUMBS UP" in my book!!

  4. Congratulations on the loss :)

  5. I can atest to the - every single extra pound puts more stress on knees - thing.

    I noticed a marked difference ALL THE WAY DOWN THE SCALE.

    and a friend had one knee done last year and the second one done this year and said she would have done it YEARS ago if she had understood what am impact it made on her mobility and (getting rid of) pain.

    And as you say - truly is a vicious circle between mobility - pain - optimism/mood - food - weight - etc.

    the pounds add up to make a big difference.

    Any week that you either hold or lose and are healthy and feeling very even is a good/sucessful week!

  7. My husband is in ortho sales and sees everyday what excess weight does to a body. You'd think that would make me give up snicker bars!!!

    Congrats on the loss. Yes...a loss is a loss. Much better than a gain :)

  8. A loss is good, don't chuckle-choke about it. You really have a way with description.

    In the last couple of years, my knees have bothering me. The extra weight definitely seems like four or five times more for many reasons.

    Let's move 'em more and see what happens.

  9. seems your knees lost 4-5 pounds this week. That's pretty good. We could even get creative and say that each knee did. That's even better!

    I totally can add to your movement and arthritis comments. If I don't move every day, I'm more stiff and more pained. It's just that simple. I crushed my foot at 19, and I can barely walk on it if I haven't worked out the day before.

  10. Well, okay then. If 1 pound = 4 pounds to my knees, then my poor knees are feeling, ummm, oh dear, I need the calculator. wait... ! 220 pounds more than they should!!! Uh-hmmm. I shall not be running or doing jumping jacks any time soon. lol Deb

  11. Hey congrats on the weight loss! I just spent 3 weeks taking care of my mom after her knee replacement surgery. That was back in late Feb and she is already walking 2 miles a day!It has given her great relief and restored her life. I am very thankful.

    I have bad knees and even though I can't run I do walk a 3 mile route at least 6 days a week. You are right it helps me knees feel better. If I don't walk I get all stiff and sore.

    Hope you have another great loss next week!

  12. Hi Leslie,

    Thanks for your note in my journal! I did get the bike ride in but only one time around; my husband thought it was too cold and windy and didn't want to go at all! I was surprised! I am the sort of knitter who, so far, only does afghans and dishcloths. BUT...I just learned I am going to be a grandmother for the first time in December, so now I want to learn some new things. I want to do baby SOCKS, not booties so I am on the hunt for something that I like. In May I am going to an introductory session on making socks, because I know nothing about it!

  13. Hi Leslie. Well at least your knees will be feeling that you're 4-5 lbs lighter!

    My knees are in a bad way and we all know why that is. I've never considered how bad it might get when I'm older. Mainly because I haven't really expected to still be around that long. And also because mobility scooters are just so cool.

    Why did mother nature invent things that wear out so easily anyway? Bit like teeth really ...

    Bearfriend xx

  14. Congrats on the loss and Good luck with those new knees. I need new everything. My sis got a new sofa. But don't help all my hurting body parts. :)

  15. Well that extra weight thing on the knees explain why I still can't jog. It's just too painful on my right knee. Maybe when I drop another 50 lbs I'll be able to, 'cause that would be like 250 lbs of pressure off the knees right?? Am I doing my math right? lol

  16. may the blessing be always with you!! ........................................

  17. Hey girl...just sending some love your way. I just read your comment on my blog about struggling with the binge monster. I totally get it. I really wish I could completely pull it together and blast these pounds off. Patience is not my virtue.

    You cracked me up about not being able to gyrate with a bunch of people around. There is this lady at my gym who latin dances in between her sets and sings in Spanish. She is hilarious. It's so fun to watch her. She looks fantastic too. I told my friend the other day that I wish I had that Latin movement...I would just look like a uncoordinated dork if I tried to dance like

  18. Glad you tried the quiche - still not sure why it was watery, that usually happens to me when I reheat it, not when it comes out of the oven.

    Yep, my husband had his knees replaced - one got infected years later and had to be re-replaced! He always gets the "special" lines at the airports - not only does he have the titanium knees, but an artificial heart valve, so the buzzers go off all around him!

    Tell your friend that she should concentrate on her thigh muscles - they usually take the longest to come back.