Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 102: Can Knees Weigh You Down?


Healthy knees, aka not Ed's knees. [Filckr: Minnaert]

The last few months I have found it hard to play squash because I haven't been able to bend my knees all the way. For someone who derives as much pleasure as I do from chasing some kind of ball three times a week, this has been a real problem. A real big problem in particular because chasing a ball has been my chief form of exercise for just about my entire adult life.

So last Thursday, when I found myself unable to continue on the squash court because my knees were hurting so badly (and because I knew that my partners that day were not having any fun playing with someone who couldn't move) I walked—or should I say limped—to my internist, who prescribed a steroid and sent me to an orthopedist.

Having had numerous sports-related injuries and resultant surgeries over the years, I have seen many orthopods in this town. This time I went to see an old friend who I had played basketball with twice every weekend back in the day when I could play basketball.

But this visit to the orthopedist was different because my doctor friend told me the following words that I have always dreaded hearing:

Arthritis is what's causing your pain and stiffness, and there are two factors that contribute to arthritis pain: age and weight.

Damn. One factor, age, I can't do anything about, unless I can find that Ponce de Leon fella and bathe in his fountain of youth. But the other, my weight, is entirely within my control. Sort of. Except when my eating impulse controls fail me, which still happens too often.

So, serious eaters, I have to keep losing weight, and not just because I post about my weight, and not just for reasons of vanity or overall health, but so that I can keep chasing a ball three times a week as I get older. Now that's what I call motivation. Staying on my serious diet seems more important than ever.

The Weigh-In

There's been lots of pie around the office, and pie is one of my biggest food weaknesses, so it hasn't exactly been easy. And I didn't see my friend the orthopedist until Wednesday, so his scaring me straight, or should I say bent, didn't leave me much time to act on his advice. But let's see how I do: 222. Same as last week. My knee is feeling better, so I am planning to play squash tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.