"I am now going to be insanely motivated to lose another 25 pounds"

20080306-scale.jpgI went to see my orthopedist again this week because my right knee gets so stiff and sore after I play squash that I can hardly walk for two days afterward. He sent me upstairs for an x-ray for my left knee before I went into an examining room in his office.

He closed the door, put the x-ray up on a light box on the wall, turned to me and said, "This is not good. Your left knee is in even worse shape than your right knee. You've got arthritis in both knees. There is no cure for arthritis. You're looking at the very least at a right knee replacement. It may not be for ten years, but that's what's probably going to happen. The only thing we know that can alleviate a lot of the pain of arthritis and could possibly stave off the knee replacement is to lose weight."

Whoa, a couple of weeks ago he was making a suggestion that I lose significantly more weight to alleviate the pain. Now my doc was saying that losing more weight was the only way I could significantly reduce my pain and discomfort so I could even semi-regularly play squash (I think my three days a week squash regimen is about to become history) before going under the knife to get a new knee.

Holy shit! This is serious business, serious eaters. Losing more than forty pounds (I think it will be 42 today when I get on Thinner) is not enough. I am now going to be insanely motivated to lose another 25 pounds, to get me well under 200 pounds, so that one bad weekend doesn't push me over the magical 200 pound line. How am I going to do this?

I'm obviously going to have to live by the five rules I came up with a couple of weeks ago, but I think I'm going to have to go even further. I've gotta get back to merely single tastes of everything I try in restaurants for my reviews.

Ditto with the seriously delicious stuff that magically appears at Serious Eats World HQ. One small peanut butter heart from Lee Zalben will have to do. Two or three or five is not acceptable.

Same with a lot of the good/bad food that we get for our nutty, funny, and revealing forays into fast-food. Yesterday Adam brought in a Papa John's Cinnapie. I took one bite out of the one small strip I had decided to eat and I was in good/bad food heaven.

The rest of the Cinnapie was staring me in the face. No matter. I stared it down and walked away from the table. Mission accomplished. I did the same thing with a heart-shaped Papa John's pepperoni pizza glistening with delicious pepperoni grease. Truth be told, resisting that wasn't all that difficult, except it was twilight when everything looks really good because I am in pre-dinner starvation mode.

Lunches in the office are going to be more like the chicken spinach noodle soup, brown rice, and string beans we had yesterday. A business lunch out today at a good new Roman-style trattoria in New York, Maialino, is not going to be quite as enjoyable. But if I eat half of what's put in front of me I'll be all right.

The Weigh-in

Unfortunately I didn't get the word from the doc until Wednesday afternoon, so the beginning of my diet week was not great. By Thursday morning I had pulled even for the week. Let's see where we are right now: 223. Down a pound from last week. It's a start.

I'm not messing around here. This is no optional, "it would be nice to do" course of action. My doc scared me straight. Knee replacement is not fun, not fun at all. I'm going to change the name of this column to Ed Levine's Triple Serious Diet. All bets, and almost all fries and onion rings, are off. I'm just going to have to figure out a way to be the Serious Eats overlord without ever overindulging ever.

My new Julia Child-derived mantra: Absolutely Everything in Serious Moderation. No exceptions. I like my old knees. I want to keep them. Stay tuned.

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