How would you fill that blank in?
If you are challenged by some progressive weight gain or battling a persistent overweight or obese condition, chances are you probably find yourself making that statement now and then. Or, maybe you say it every day. Perhaps you just think it in your head. Maybe you verbalize it to a spouse or a friend. Our message to you today is simple:
Don’t give up hope!
Never accept that doing “that” (whatever you filled that blank in with) is gone for good or not possible to do and enjoy again.
As weight loss clients succeed in our program, they typically notice their MOBILITY improving and their ABILITY to participate and ENJOY many simple, meaningful and important activities is restored. We routinely hear awesome reports like … “Stairs do not take such a toll on me!”
- “I could actually get out and enjoy my vacation this year!”
- “I love being able to keep up with my children!”
- “It felt so good to walk along the beach again!”
- “Work is easier now that I can move better!”
- “I can work in the yard and not be sore the next day!”
- “I was able to fit in and ride the roller coaster for the first time in years!”
- And many, many other similar statements.
These things are what it’s all about. They are the difference between just being ALIVE and really LIVING! That’s what we want for our clients! It’s what we want for YOU!
WHY do the joints hurt so much when we are battling an over-weight condition? An article in the Harvard Medical School newsletter Healthbeat entitled “Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain” shares some helpful insight about this. We would encourage you to see the link below to check it out.
There are two big things that come into play with the joint pain and reduced mobility associated with being over-weight. (1) excess weight causing more pressure and (2) inflammation. Check out this one point made in the Harvard article:
“Let's look at weight and your knees. When you walk across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put 300 pounds of pressure on his knees with each step. Add an incline, and the pressure is even greater: the force on each knee is two to three times your body weight when you go up and down stairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped”.
Whoa! Once we understand these numbers, it gets easy to understand how an extra 30, 50, 100 or more pounds adds some serious extra pressure on the knees! Of course, the same holds true for the spine, hips, ankles, feet and other weight bearing joints.
However, the reason for the pain, discomfort and limited motion can be more complicated than JUST having more weight and pressure on your joints. It often involves a more progressive and serious condition called OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA). This is a degenerative joint disease, in which a person loses cartilage and progressively destroys the bones of their joints. While aging often makes such a condition more common, there are certainly factors which accelerate or worsen OA early on in life.
Scientific study after study has demonstrated that more weight will typically cause joints to degrade more rapidly. That’s pretty basic and easy to understand. But OA is caused by more than JUST extra weight. It’s also clear that there is a correlation between the presence of excess fat tissue and INFLAMMATION.
So, now a person has the combination of excess joint load plus the inflammatory related chemical and hormonal environment that excess body fat creates. This results in a debilitating 1-2 PUNCH that hits your joints … and your LIFE right where it counts!
Like so many other chronic and progressive conditions, OA is a VICIOUS CYCLE. Think about it …
- Something in life leads to a little weight gain.
- You’re grow frustrated, self-conscious or have less energy.
- Your joints ache and your body feels lethargic, stiff or hurts overall.
- So, you move less.
- Moving less and the inflammation associated with excess fat means your joints stiffen.
- Less activity creates muscle weakness.
- Muscle weakness means it’s even more difficult to move when we DO want or need to!
- Less movement means even more weight gain … causing even more stress on the joints.
- This all leads to even less cushion in the joints. The osteoarthritis condition worsens.
- Meaning even more pain ... and more limited activity.
- And on … and on … and on. It’s a downward spiral!
There is often an ASSUMPTION that people primarily want to lose weight to “look better”. Of course, that is a strong and positive motivator for many people. Others are inspired to take weight off because of a serious diagnosis like Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. (or the threat of getting such a diagnosis). These are all good reasons to consider weight loss.
Yet, one of THE most commonly reported POSITIVE “side effects” of losing weight is JOINT RELIEF and being able to once again DO THINGS they love to do … to PARTICIPATE in activities again with family and friends that have been missed or put on hold because of the aches, pains, stiffness and immobility related directly to their weight challenge.
Are you struggling with more than just a weight challenge? Does it involve joint pain and limitations like we are addressing here? We don’t want this for YOU or anyone!