15 years ago, I was told: “You have to stop running or you will have double knee replacements by the time you are 30!”
After surgery, the doctor stated my knees were essentially bone-on-bone 😬. I decided to stop running and weight training at the collegiate level and recover from surgery. In a single conversation I went from running college cross country and track to wondering how I could possibly live a healthy life without even being able to jog.
At first, I couldn’t give it up entirely and would run once a week but that soon became too painful. Then my mom was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and required double knee replacements which was a huge wake-up call that I needed to preserve my knees as long as possible.
At this point, I didn’t know what to do for workouts. I tried the gym and ellipticals, exercise classes, and DVD’s but didn’t enjoy being stuck inside or on a machine. What I missed was being outside despite the weather (muggy or bitter wind) and having time to think. Biking and walking were low impact options that fit what I was missing.
Running 40-60 miles per week and weightlifting several days per week gave me lots of freedom for any types and amounts of food with little consequence in weight gain. I was ravenous every single day when running. I just ate and ate and ate. Out-exercising my food choices worked before my knees could no longer sustain that intensity. Learning how to listen to my hunger and fullness cues, and savoring food was something I had to work on.
Over the years, I have learned:
how to balance my eating with my change in activity level
mindfulness with eating
the importance of nourishing my body with foods that help it thrive and prevent disease
I can’t out-exercise my food choices nor do I want to anymore
adapting exercise and eating to life stages (infertility treatments, pregnancy/nursing)
Now I stick mostly to walking (and 💪🏻pushing 70+ pounds of babies 👶👶and stroller) as that is the most realistic and consistent form of exercise in this life stage for me.
It took many years, trial and error, and small little choices to achieve balanced eating and exercise I enjoy (and that my knees can handle).
Change is hard! And sometimes slower than we want. I know how frustrating, but also how rewarding it can be to adopt and overcome lifestyle and diet adversity. I’d love the opportunity to help you do the same. Click the button below to learn how we might be a good fit!