Thursday, July 02, 2015

Busted Knees and Juice Fasts

Since January, as I entered menopause, one of the first symptoms that I noticed was weight gain. I've always been pear shaped, so I'd learned to live with my chubby thighs and hips (sometimes chubbier than others), but menopause surprised me with belly fat.
You can see how chunky I am in these pictures with my blogging
friend Linda. These were taken in Paris at the end of March. 

I hate that feeling. I vowed to get rid of the belly fat as spring arrived. I began training for the marathon.
I didn't necessarily plan to run the marathon in the fall, but the training would keep me running and increase the miles each week.
For six weeks, I was diligent, not skipping any of the runs, usually five runs each week. And I'd workout at the YMCA on days I didn't run. I'd worked up to between 20-30 miles each week, and I felt certain that my fat should be melting away soon.
Then Saturday morning, I started down the road on my run. I had five miles to go that morning, and something in my knee caught and then popped.
What was that?
I didn't stop but continued and a few steps later the same thing happened. And again a few steps later.
I hadn't even made it a block before I bent over to look at my knee, as if it might give me answers.
"What's going on with you?" I asked aloud.
A man walking across the street called out asking if I was okay.
"Yeah, just hurt my knee," I said.
"Don't overdo it!" he yelled.
"I'm just starting," I complained.
I decided to keep running, but I kicked my heels higher or stretched out my stride. I just needed to switch it up, I figured.
I was headed to the track because the cushioning was better for my knees and joints. But as I ran, twice more my knee caught then popped. On the final time, I yelled out. I wasn't sure if it was pain or frustration.
Instead of running, I would have to walk. I texted my running friends to complain about my bum knee. As I got back to the street, I decided to try again. Just a few strides in, catch, pop, "Aaargh!"
That time, I knew it was pain and not frustration.
I took it easy, resting my knee. The next morning, I went out again, thinking the pain had been a fluke.
I walked along the street, warming up, and I told myself I needed to try to run, just run. But I couldn't make my body do it. My knee was too afraid of the pain.
Since then, I've hurt it a few more times as I've gone down or up stairs.
I plan to rest my knee for a week or so and if it isn't better, I'll go to the doctor.
In the meantime, I decided that one thing that would definitely benefit my knee would be to lose weight. My poor knees! What kind of pressure am I putting on them?
My friend Sheila is the diet queen. As a matter of fact, she inspired the character in my novel Trail Mix who diets all the time.
For more than 30 days, Sheila has been on a juice fast. She looks great.
The idea of fasting for more than 30 days seems crazy, but she told me to watch Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead, a documentary made by Joe Cross about his 60-day juice fast as he traveled across America.

In addition to being overweight,  more than 300 pounds, Joe had an auto-immune disease that caused skin eruptions.
I can't remember how he came up with the idea to drink only juice for 60 days, but he ended up getting off his medication and losing a lot of weight, while converting others to an all fruit and veggie diet to cleanse their systems.
Now, I'm not great with dieting, but I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a juicer and stocked up on fruits and vegetables.
I'm on day three, and frankly, I'm not feeling great. I have a hard time knowing if that's because I'm not running or because I'm not eating.
I've had a nagging headache, which is probably caused by not drinking enough water, and, frankly, I'm pretty hungry.
This morning, I had a cup of hot water with lemon and ginger, and I drank more water during a brief workout at the Y. When I got home, I made a juice with kale (very little juice comes from kale, I'm not sure what the point is), a small cucumber, two nectarines and two bananas. Pretty tasty, but I'm hungry again.
I think I'll move on to a juice that Grace called a bloody mary, without the alcohol, tomato, celery, and cucumber.
The main staple for the juice fast is supposed to be the Mean Green Juice, which includes cucumber, celery, kale, apples and ginger.
The hunger is supposed to start fading tomorrow. I'll let you know.
Meanwhile, I know that people would prefer that I not try a juice fast. People have already tried to talk me out of it. One acquaintance said, "But you're going to eat on Fourth of July, right?"
I mean, it's July 4th, not Thanksgiving. I think I'll be okay skipping the burgers and hot dogs.
Believe me, I'm in no danger of wasting away, so let me give it a shot. I'm aiming for a 10-day juice fast, unless I get on a roll.
Mmm, rolls.


Sim Carter said...

Oh wow! I hate the feeling of moving forward, feeling so happy about finding the inner resolve to do it and then being completely derailed by stuff that's beyond your control. Sucks! I don't know Paulita, I want to be positive, but I think real weight loss comes with the boring daily choice of moderation. Turkey burgers instead of beef, a taste of this and that versus the whole slice. The word DIET isn't in my vocabulary because every time I've tried to diet I end up spelling it F A I L.
I'd probably have my knee checked and consider doing something less extreme than a 10 day juice fast but that's me. You're such a Francophile, maybe the French women have the answer for you. Here's the link to that Frenchwomen Don't Get fat site
I should also let you know that you don't really look 'chunky' but I know that's something you have to feel for yourself. Good luck!

Just Me said...

I agree with Sim, you don't look chunky to me either and I guess it doesn't matter what I think. I'm behind you 100% in your effort. It might be your thing. It is kind of funny about how it can get under other people's skin. Let us know how it goes.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I would have a knew check straight away , and I agree with Sim .. I think juicing is too extreme especially for 10 days. I agree too with them that you don't look chunky but it is how you feel. I understand that you love to run but maybe just maybe doing too much. Would be interesting to know , when you get checked out what the problem is.. and don't leave it too long , x

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

oops Knee check..

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone. My knee if feeling better, one week and a day since I hurt it. I haven't run yet, but I've been walking everyday and even swam and biked some on Friday (stationary bike).
The juice fast, day 6, is going okay, but I've been pretty hungry. Might as well stick with it now. I've had more fruits and vegetables than I would ever expect, and I'm feeling good overall.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

You remind me of myself at 50. Belly fat, weight gain and a torn meniscus.

I was able to avoid knee surgery by babying the knee for a while and taking -- Glucosamine and Chondroitin -- religiously ever since. This supplement works and my knee/knees are like new. Try it.

Esme said...

This just sounds like misery. I hope the knee heals. Do not juice. I do not believe in it. I am a believer that food is meant to be chewed and not swallowed. This is my motto-fiber fills. Stalk up on spinach and broccoli. It is also good for the bowels. Seriously if you want a good meal plan-get Denise's Austens Daily Dozens-she has great food suggestions. I have never tried to juice because it does not fill me up. I really need that chewing sensation. Best of luck with the knee.

Unknown said...

You looked great on the third! I can't see any belly fat in the photo, but we're all self-critical. I hope the knee continues to feel better. I've always admired your dedication to running.

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