Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've Decided to Change the Way I Eat #lowcarb

When I started eating lowcarb, I lost nearly half of my excess weight in the first year...well, actually in the first 9 months. Then, for reasons I will explain below, I decided to stop for a year. Now, I have decided to start losing again. Here's the story:

After that 90# weight loss I didn't feel better about my body, I detested it. It was - and still is - a source of great disgust to me, with all of the hanging skin and flab everywhere. None of my clothes fit properly anymore, and I developed the saggy shape that is typical after a larger weight loss. You can see it in my picture: smaller on top but just as big between hips and knees because of all the flab that fell there...and looking even worse because it's saggy and totally out of proportion. In addition, all of those extra skin folds created a lot more work. No longer was a shower something that took 10 minutes after I brushed my teeth in the morning...and if I tried to abbreviate the processes that became necessary, I was rewarded with miserable rashes. So rather than "lather, rinse, dry, dress" it became "lather here, lather there, move this flap and lather under it, then repeat with a half-dozen more flaps...rinse in the same order...blow dry each, apply medicated powder...etc. A half-hour later I was ready to get dressed. (Ruby, of TLC fame, said that her morning shower ritual took her TWO HOURS!)

Enough was enough. I felt so good, and that was all that mattered. I didn't want to look even more out of proportion, didn't want flab hanging to my knees, didn't want to make my morning rituals any longer...besides, I was told that if much of my excess skin issues would resolve on their own in a year or two...

Well, now it's been 5. And no resolution of any sort. But my legs are becoming deformed, and deformity trumps everything else.

I've had arthritis in my knees (and spine, hips, and right foot) for years, according to rads, but it never bothered me all that much unless I was using a lot of stairs. And I walked on uneven terrain several miles every day without a problem, even, so I've taken them for granted. Now, however, according to my doctor, the outside of my right knee is wearing down while the inside isn't. So the lower half of my right leg is increasingly pointing out to the side; it looks more and more like a hockey stick when viewed from the front or back. And as it worsens, it is causing numerous soft tissue pain issues in muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even nerves as they are pulled and twisted with the changes in my leg, as well as the joint pain; altogether it has been so bad some days that no amount - or type - of painkiller will touch it, and I wish for a hacksaw. Literally. The ways it has affected my mobility and quality of life are so numerous I won't even try to mention them...but when I have to give up time babysitting my almost-toddler grandson, or deny him crawling activity, all because I can't walk due to pain, even with my now-ever-present cane - I need to make changes.

Still, I was procrastinating. Until last night, when I was sitting in my recliner, looked at my legs, and saw that my other leg was starting to do the same thing. I'd had pain in it for several weeks, yeah, but assumed it was because it was taking more of the weight load that I was taking off of my right. But when I saw that, and tried to straighten my leg and couldn't, I started to sob.

I am 52 years old. Will I be in a wheelchair before I'm 55? I would not be able to walk at all - or only very short distances, with a walker maybe - if my left leg started to do as my right is doing. And even if I did have health insurance and therefore access to a specialist, they don't replace knees in people who are 100# overweight.

So...out of all this comes a decision: I need to lose more weight. So how I eat will change. I'm not going all Atkins induction, but the occasional cheats will be much more "occasional"...the restaurant meals will become sparse...in short, I'll be going back to what I know worked for me before: more fats and fewer grains. I don't weigh myself regularly but when I'm eating to lose weight, it happens whether I step on the scale or not - the numbers don't matter to me. For now it's all about not becoming more crippled than I already am.

What won't change: my way of eating will still be cheap, and it will still be easy :).


  1. Oh no, OUCH! Would a knee brace help?

  2. Dunno...Gwen loaned me one and it used to help the pain at least, but now it hurts more to have it on than to have it off; I can't put my lower leg into a straight position anymore, it stays to the side; I can still force my other lower leg to straighten although it hurts. A lot.