Today I learned how integral the knee is to the strength of the body, and in light of recent events, I have realized that my body is aging faster than I want it to, and I know I need to get this weight back off me, and look into the whole inflammation thing, but sometimes I find this whole weight loss/healthy eating thing so confusing I want to scream.
I have been really disappointed with the way I look and feel. Before I knew I had a torn meniscus, I was trying to work out, to just push through the discomfort, but once I got the news, I have been trying to take care of the knee so as not to irritate it. The cortisone shot has worn off, and now I am kicking myself for not taking advantage of it while it was effective. In hindsight, it seems it would have been wiser to be working out while the swelling was being controlled, as compared to trying to do it now, when the swelling is returning. But I feel really almost helpless. Swimming hurts the knee because there is no support. Walking hurts it, dancing hurts it, elliptical kills it. I am running out of options. I wanted to get into some healthier patterns before the surgery, so that I will be in the right mindset to stay healthy after, but this is really challenging.
My eating habits have changed. I am eating mostly a plant-based diet full of a variety of organic, whole foods. There are so many awesome alternatives to meat these days, my two new experiments over the weekend were quinoa burgers, walnut burger, and polenta. The polenta was my favorite, and I plan to incorporate it into my normal diet. I have also been eating spaghetti squash, which was something I had heard loads about but never tried until last week. It is now what i'm eating for lunch this week, with some soy "meat"balls. I am trying to get a whole heap of veggies every day, and I'm finding, now that I don't eat meat, it is way easier to get veggies in my diet. And since most of my meat substitutes are vegetable-based (like soy), it is almost a no-brainer. I am feeling pretty good eating this way, and finally last night, my metabolism, which I thought was dead, returned in full force, making my stomach grumble every couple of hours. Making these changes in my diet is easier because I am simply following my husband's lead, but also it will help assure I am not piling on pounds of unwanted gut by eating salty, sugary, pre-packaged crap. My family has been doing a lot of research on the crap they put in food, and now my kids will only eat certain things. They even discovered that their breakfast cereal had BHT in it and immediately looked up what it is and what it does to the body, and refused to eat it. They are becoming very conscious of what is in food and on food. I am a little torn about it. Yes, I want them to eat healthy, but I don't want them to assume they have to be perfect all the time. This weekend we went out to a local artsy-fartsy cafe for a light dinner, we chose it because they have vegetarian and vegan options, and my kids both chose the cheese pizza. It made me feel content that they know they can have a little "treat" now and then, and their health will not crumble. Because I have learned from personal experience and from reading other people's stories, that trying to live up to perfection often leads to horrible periods of indulging in the "forbidden".
This morning was a nice spring morning, and my schedule afforded me a little extra time before work, so after getting the kids on the bus, I decided to take a walk. I wasn't sure how it would pan out since the knee was really bothering me yesterday, the limp is back, and after being on my feet most of the day yesterday, my opposite heel was burning and aching (plantar faciitis maybe) and this morning when I got out of bed, I could hardly walk, not because of the knee but because of the heel. It really sucks getting old and being fat. Nonetheless, I went for a walk because I have to do something about this situation. It wasn't long into my experiment that I realized this isn't what my body/knee wanted me to be doing. My leg felt really weak, as if it could give out right from under me at any moment, and the pain and swelling intensified until the endorphins kicked in near the end, making it feel numb. I started running down a list of things in my head of what I could attempt that could get me active without bothering the knee. I came up with only one to try, stationary bike, and I will try that tomorrow morning. If that fails, I will be reduced to one-legged dancing! OK, I think that's a joke, but I'll try anything. I will also get back to the weights to see what I can and can't do without putting stress on the knee. I know training back and legs are out of the question.
I will be scheduling my surgery within the next couple weeks, and while part of me is welcoming the short break from work, I am a little scared about how the rehab will go. I don't want to wallow in self-pity and indulgence, because I will be spending my days alone in my house for 4-6 weeks. At least the weather will be nice, perhaps I can go for a walk on my crutches.
Ah well, this is my sad story. I'm glad my knee is something that can be "fixed" and in a year or two, this will be a distant memory. My mind is starting to come around a little. When I saw 179 on the scale this weekend, I wanted to cry. I keep telling myself, I was 152 once. But after I let the disappointment pass I realize I can beat that. My mind is in the right place, I just have to get my body back together and I will be ready to try again.