Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Facing Weight Gain and a Bad Knee


Buddha on the rocksWhen I lost weight the last time, the successful time, I started out heavier than I am now but my body was pretty much the same size. The biggest difference is that my knee is in crappy shape and is seriously limiting my comfort level in standing or walking for any length of time.

Every once in a while I see myself reflected in a window or my shadow lurching as I walk, and it looks pretty sad.  I look old, fat, and disabled. The excess pounds aren’t helping, I know, but the knee is just not structurally sound anymore.  But having surgery isn’t something I can wave a wand to do.  And it won’t, and shouldn’t, abrogate my personal responsibility for shedding some pounds to relieve the strain on the joint.

It’s been almost 7 years since I went to WW and buckled down to make serious changes.  I was a quiet person in class for a long time and didn’t make a big deal about working the program; I just did it.  I started working out at the gym in limited ways until I could do more; I brought lunch most days, and pretty much eliminated a social life so I could make this the only thing I did.  I was afraid to deviate,  afraid of temptation, afraid of failure.

Well, it’s time to face facts. I have failed and failed spectacularly.  I’m not comfortable in this bigger body.  Finding cute clothes, in my closet or elsewhere, is impossible.  My stamina is minimal for walking and standing for any length of time.   It’s taken me 5 years to regain this weight, which for me is a pretty long time.  But having been through menopause and with this problem knee which limits exercise, I know it’s going to be a lot harder to get it off again.  And that’s discouraging before I even start.

I read blogs from others of you who are in maintenance mode or close to it, and even with your struggles, I feel pretty isolated.  I’m not sure what to do, to be honest.  I don’t think I can face WW again and wonder how to manage sticking to a restrictive plan on my own.  I have done a very poor job of it so far so that doesn’t bode well.  I may actually ask my doctor if I can come in and weigh in at the Health Plan once a month so I have that accountability – for free. But maybe I need the structure and community of WW, if I’m able to make myself go.

I’m giving myself this week to think through what changes I’m willing to make, knowing from experience that making too many at once is a recipe for failure.  I want to cook up success instead.

10 thoughts on “Facing Weight Gain and a Bad Knee

  1. I hope you can find a solution that fits YOU and doesn’t feel like a chore, so that you can feel better.

  2. I really sympathize with the knee thing and with the challenges of being a bit older to “start” anew. Oh yeah, and looking for clothes that make you feel cute in your closet. SO me too! Anyway…what I’m trying is just a LITTLE bit rather than stressing over being perfect. I exercise a little bit more each day (I’ve decided to do SOMEthing every day…even if it’s just a 15-minute walk down the beach). And my food is NOT perfect, but I’m striving for BETTER. And it makes a difference.

    But it IS a struggle every day…coming to terms with that is part of MY journey…and maybe your too…who knows?

    You CAN do this. WE can do this.

    And the knee thing: if I am careful and exercise carefully, the exercise (and weight loss) help. Ugh…sorry for stating the obvious…I know you know that! 😉

  3. I try not to think of my eating plan as “restrictive,” but rather as the best way for me to feed my body. When I eat crappy food, I feel crappy and look crappy. When I’m faced with temptation – some kind of dessert or treat – I tell myself it’ll be there later. And it will be. It won’t kill me if I don’t get to eat it Right Now, and in the long run I’m not missing a thing.

    I used to eat a lot out of boredom. I’m still not good at planning ahead, but if I keep crap out of my house, at least I know my mindless eating will be of a more healthful variety.

    I wouldn’t worry a lot about exercise right now. As Helen suggests, something is better than nothing and with a bum knee, it’s hard to do much at all. Figuring out what you’re willing to change is a good idea, and it’s easier to change what we eat than it is to become an overnight athlete! I wish you much success. Sounds like maybe you’re finally ready.

  4. I feel very much like you do. Weight gain, bad knees, not wanting to exercise, the whole clothes issues….you shouldn’t feel isolated, I’m in the same boat as you are. Just different knees and sizes but with the same general unhappiness about the situation.

    I don’t know what to tell you. You do one thing in your favor: you can put whatever you want in your cupboard.

    I have done what Debbi recommends about tempting food: remind myself it will be available another time and it won’t kill me not to eat it. But for now, I think if I’m being honest, I have one or two different feelings: it’s either I “deserve” it or I fall into a self-pity trap and say “why bother.”

    I really am working my way back to exercising a tiny bit even if it’s just walking around a bit more. This weekend, we went to see a play and it was up and down and up and down stairs all night long. I was in bad pain but it was mostly because I hadn’t used some muscles. It got better.

    (And I could draw you a pretty little picture of what my doctor said my knees look like and I bet we have a match for the most part!)

    I don’t have any good ideas. I know that the answer is eat less and move a bit more but damned if I know how to jump start that. Maybe I need to be more unhappier to make that metaphorical leap?

  5. Are you sure that’s not me you’re seeing when you look in the window? 🙂

    As with others, I’m in a very similar place – including bad knee and post-menopause. I’m even in a similar place with having been “successful” 6 years ago and now back up to the same place I started – likely a several lbs more – haven’t been on a scale for a while.

    If I had the magic answer, I’d sprinkle my WW fairy dust over us all, we’d suddenly be thin, and life would be good…or so we’d like to think. I guess that’s the biggest problem – thin probably won’t solve what’s causing us to be fat in the long run. If it did, we would have been able to hang on to a lower weight for longer.

    However, failing to produce the magic answer doesn’t leave me without an option to offer. If you are interested in an email buddy to try to enforce accountability, I would be game for that. I also need someone to kick my *ss and at least get me started on SOMETHING…anything other than eating junk food and sitting around on the ever-expanding result of eating junk food.

    Or perhaps a little friendly wager of some type – I can sometimes respond to competitve situations – although it’s not a absolute – just another thought. I, for example, might be willing to put up $50 for whoever gets to 10% loss first.

    Or maybe we could come up with long distance weekly challenges – like Biggest Loser. In order to “stay in the game” you need to …. whatever … or you earn points towards some end game score. Say every quarter the person with the most points “wins.”

    We’re creative people, I think we could come up with something.

    Think it over. If we can figure a way to work it that it’s mutually beneficial, I’m in – heck – I’m in even if it’s just beneficial to you – at least someone would be making progress!

  6. What I am seeing in every blog I have followed is one reoccurring theme–everyone who went “on” a weight loss program regained the weight (or most of it). Whether the loss was inspired by a goal (wedding or reunion), or surgical (bypass), or a program (ww, jenny craig, south beach). It’s a rare person that the restriction had a lasting effect. To reach a “goal weight” is a misnomer. Maintenance is til-death-do-we-part, and THAT is the hard part as old habits return and restrictions lapse.
    I’ve concluded that the only effective solution is to keep to the principles of daily exercise and healthy eating in portion control. Anything consumed outside of BMR needs is purely emotional eating. Until emotional eating is understood and no longer an issue then no restrictive period of eating (dieting) is going to be maintained for the long term.

  7. Here are two other things to consider.

    1. Gaining weight isn’t failing any more than coming up from swimming under water and gasping for air. Some of Us have bodies pre-programmed for weight gain. Once we’ve gained weight, our bodies’ set points are way high. You’ve done what your body wants you to do. It’s not failure in that sense. It’s nature. If you can get over the I’m-bad thing and accept that your essential self isn’t involved, maybe you can breathe easier?

    2. The higher your weight, the less you need to exercise because simply standing up burns more calories than it does at a lower weight. I think exercise is an unnecessary complication when you’re starting out at “big numbers”. Let it go because, given your knee, it’s already let go of you.

    Hope this helps. You’ll get there. You always have.

  8. Seeing my reflection in windows or mirrors, other than the mirror I am used to . . . is always a shock for me, but window reflections are distorted.

    Several years ago, Crazy Aunt Pearl wrote a post about “NOT” dieting any more. Instead she made changes and started slowly. I love that philosphy.

    Regarding WW, I remember at one time you had a super great leader that you had a real connection with. Maybe the lack of a good leader is making WW less desirable?

    We have all lost the weight before, and I know we will lose it again.

  9. I am another passenger in the weight gain boat. I refuse to buy bigger clothes so I have three or four outfits I wear constantly. Horrible. I too cannot seem to get back on my “food plan.” I am bored with it. I have started walking again. That in and of itself has made me feel less like a slug. The estrogen I am on I think has slowed my metabolism to almost nothing. I foresee it is going to be slower losing the pounds I have gained this time. So be it. I am not sure where motivation comes from, but I know it seems to be getting harder to gin it up. It seems to take me twice as many starts as it used to before something finally “catches” and I begin to lose. So be it. I am going to just keep starting over until I find what will work this time. I think I may write about this. Thanks and hang in there. You have lots of sailing company.

  10. Wow…..after jumping on the scales for the first time in months…..and hating the damage, I stumbled upon this blog. Do you all write everyday? Testimonials? This may help me in my journey.

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