Over the last two and a half to three years I've had two patellar dislocations and a meniscal tear (which I've had surgically repaired) all in the same knee. I am 238.4 lb (this morning) at 5'9", and I just turned seventeen. I saw your other post about losing weight to help knee pain, and I totally agree. In theory, it's an amazing cure. In reality, when I have tried it, I screw up and quit and start back up again.Sissy sounds like a bright, thoughtful, self-aware ... and extremely frustrated teenager. She wants to lose weight. She wants her bad knee to get better. And she wants all that now -- or pretty soon anyway.
When I was a lot younger, I used to do tae kwon do, play soccer, basketball, almost everything. Now I feel like I can't do anything because one day my knee is excellent and then next it's trying to commit suicide. I started Insanity (the workout program), and was following its nutrition guide. The first days I felt amazing. This past Thursday (getting closer to the end of my second week), both of my knees hurt so bad that I was afraid to get off my chair an hour after my workout because I felt like my knees were both about to dislocate or collapse.
You say to take small steps. Look...I just turned seventeen, I'm way overweight, I hate the way I look, I'm constantly uncomfortable, I'm extremely insecure, and I'm just sick and tired of this lifestyle, but no matter what I try to do about it, I can't finish what I started. I really do not know what to do. My doctors didn't sugarcoat anything. They told me to lose weight. But I need help. And quite honestly, I hate having to face that "taking small steps" is the solution. Can you suggest something or post a solution using me as an example, please?
She joins a workout program called “Insanity.” If I were 5’ 9” and 238 lbs. and suffering from knee pain, I would look for a different program -- maybe one called “Sanity”? :) But I understand the “Insanity” appeal -- edgy moniker, the promise of fast results.
Truly, much is at stake here. Carrying a lot of extra weight is bad for anyone, but it’s really bad if you’ve got knee pain. I can’t be hopeful of Sissy finding a fast solution -- it takes time to expand to 238 lbs., and it’ll certainly take time going in the other direction. However, I don’t think the process has to be miserable.
Here are some thoughts I have (note: I’ve never had a challenging weight problem, I admit). Instead of organizing this by, “Do A and B and C,” I decided to take a more fun approach. Namely, I start out by asking, “What kind of person are you?”, then offer ideas based on that. Something different!
(1) Are you a social type?
Are you the one in your group of acquaintances with the most Facebook friends? Are you chatty and gregarious?
If so, try enlisting a support network to help you reach your weight goals. These people can be friends who can listen to you complain about your food frustrations or who can lend encouragement when the going gets tough.
(Note: This would be a special role, so I’d try to choose members of a support network wisely, and not make their duties too onerous. Or you might go from having 40 friends to four!)
(2) Are you a competitive type?
Do you like to win, even in situations when winning doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter much?
Turn weight loss into a challenge. Compete against friends. Compete against yourself. Who can drop 20 lbs. by (insert date here)?
(Note: I would strongly suggest sensible, realistic goals. Crazy starvation diets -- or skipping meals you need to function properly, and alertly -- is dumb.)
(3) Are you a researcher type?
Are you more of a quiet, introspective person, who prefers reading and self-directed learning to clamorous discussion and debate?
Very well. You have an enemy: excess weight (and the bad food and high caloric intake that leads to excess weight). How to beat your enemy? Through research.
Learn how many calories are in common foods. Learn which kinds of calories. Learn about saturated vs. unsaturated fat. Learn which foods fill you up faster.
And don’t stop there! Study your own eating patterns. When are you most prone to overeating, or eating junk food? Use all this data to modify your eating behavior, and to beat your enemy.
(4) Are you a hobbyist type?
Are you someone who tends to get absorbed by hobbies, whether they’re collecting old glass medicine bottles or hanging out for hours and watching for different kinds of birds along migratory routes? If so, great. You’ve got a new hobby: cooking!
Now here’s the thing though: you’re going to be a cook who specializes in tasty, low-fat meals. You’re going to be someone who figures out how to saute spinach and sprinkle on a little grated cheese and just the right seasonings to make it taste like something off the menu of a 4-star French restaurant. That’s your goal anyway. Be creative. And have fun!
Note: Everyone loves a good cook, so don’t be surprised if your circle of friends expands. Who knows? You might get your own TV show (or get on a TV show anyway).
Okay, those are some of my ideas on losing weight.
But what if none of these works for you?
Well, there is what I would call the “nuclear option”: surgery. A procedure such as bariatric surgery can accomplish what a weak will cannot. But -- and it’s hard to overstate this -- surgery is a serious choice. Try everything else first. And then, be sure to consult with doctors and loved ones to make sure surgery really is your best option.