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Falling Apart

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  • Falling Apart

    Okay so going on 2 years ago now i was 50+ Lbs. overweight, didn't exercise, had a horrible diet.

    Spring of 2008 i decided to get serious about getting healthier. I started off with WW but gradually shifted away to something closer to Primal (the only meat i can bring myself to eat is fish and i do eat dairy but i've cut WAY back on the grains). I also started doing rollerblading an hour a day almost every day. And i lost 35 lbs. I looked and felt much better. Then fall came and i slacked off with the skating and the dieting. Nothing horrible happened, i gained less than 5 lbs.

    Spring of 2009 i started doing more Primal sorts of exercises, still some skating, cut out most of the bread and rice cakes and crap. Lost another 25 lbs. (from 180-125 in a year and a half. Female. 61 inches tall. Born in 1976).

    Started CrossFit in August. Started having some issues with my shoulders in October (CrossFit plus a job with heavy lifting is maybe a little too much for me). Decided to stay away from upper body stuff and just do things that used my legs.

    Rather abruptly developed a problem with both knees. It got somewhat better over the next couple weeks. Went back CF as usual. Mistake. The last few days have just been awful. I have an appt with the Dr. in a couple of days. My attempts at internet self-diagnosis suggest Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome or Chondromalacia Patellae...Not good.

    Am i the only one who can't seem to exercise without falling apart? Has anyone had this problem? I just want to be able to exercise again. Right now pretty much everything pisses my knees off.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2

    1st - congrats on the weight loss.

    Did you walk off the street and start squatting and doing cleans? Did they teach you how to do it properly?

    Have you considered trying something like swimming (very low impact) or maybe yoga?


    • #3

      After talking with your doctor and following his/her instruction.

      I would talk to your crossfit coach about your injuries and ask them to watch your form. When first starting CrossFit, form trumps intensity. So make sure you really focus on good form before you blast through a workout.


      • #4

        My humble opinion is to take it easy.

        Go for long walks, light(er) weights that you know you can perform without much stress on your joints; for instance.

        You've lost a great deal of weight and want to push further, it seems like. However - keep in mine injury prevention is just as important as working hard. There's nothing worse than being sidelined for 1week-3months because you pushed too hard.

        **Rest days are just as important as the workout days.**

        Personally - Crossfit is pretty rough of the average individual, even scaled back. I hurt my tricep/shoulder doing too many pullup-centric workouts in too short a time. CF is something I want to work up towards, and the more I get in shape and lose weight, the more I realize how ill-advised (on my own accord) I was to pursue CF so early.

        Now I can't do unassisted pull-ups, even though I've lost another 20lbs since the injury. Its rough mentally, but sometimes less is more.


        • #5

          Always make sure you are getting an adequate amount calcium and iron. These are going to be essential in keeping bone health. If you are still eating just fish then make sure your Mercury levels are not too high. High concentrations can cause joint pain.


          • #6

            As a 51 year old female, I am always, always aware that I need to protect my joints. I intend to be active for the next 60 years, so I'm in this for the long haul. My joints are fine right now and i intend to keep them that way.

            Here's a list of random things I've learned over the past six years:

            I'm always changing my exercises, but I don't like to add more than one at a time within a week so that if something doesn't feel right, I know what caused it.

            Running on asphalt sucks. Running downhill on dirt sucks. Both are high-impact activities that cause shin splints and knee twinges. Oh yeah; running on treadmills sucks, too.

            Jumprope and jumping squats are great, but do both of them on top of padded mats; makes all the difference in the world.

            Chin-ups (palms in) are very hard on the elbow tendons. Pull-ups (palms out) are harder to do, but easier on the joints.

            Take a glucosamine/chondroitin MSM supplement. The Costco (Kirkland) brand is the best price and works great. I started taking it I think about five years ago, and pains that I'd had in my feet for years went away within two weeks.

            Get hold of a medicine ball and try out some different slam variations. High impact workout with low impact on your body, because most of the impact is going into the ball.


            • #7

              Active for the next 60 years huh? WORK IT!


              • #8

                I recently also abruptly developed pain in both knees, about six weeks ago, a few weeks after beginning squats, deadlifts, and lunges. I gradually backed off, and now I'm not doing any lifting with my legs. I do sprints on a stationary recumbent bike, but my knees hurt even after that. I self-diagnosed myself with patellar tendonitis, but patellofemoral pain syndrome seems like a very likely candidate as well. I made an appointment with my chiropractor after the holidays.

                Before the knee pain started, I was doing a lot of pushups and modified pullups, which ended up aggravating my pre-existing tendonitis in my wrists and shoulder. I had to back off on those too, and my wrists and shoulder are better now.

                I think I just have lousy connective tissue. It's very discouraging. I'm really geared up and excited about heavy lifting and HIT, and I'm losing fat and gaining muscle, but my joints hate it.

                My blog: Pretty Good Paleo
                On Twitter: @NEKLocalvore


                • #9

                  Thank you all for your responses!

                  Arthur: Re: the weight- Thanks. Yes, they showed me how to do stuff. And i thought the skating was low impact...i can swim (more like doggy paddle...) Never tried yoga, though my flexibility could certainly use some help.

                  Cubical: I'll ask them to watch my form when there's something to watch. Right now i can't do much of anything. Walking around at work all day is painful enough.

                  Mr. M: Yeah but i think i'm already sidelined. And right now even long walks don't sound good...

                  Dual: I'll look into the iron/calcium thing. Mercury is definitely a concern and i do try to eat smaller fish species. But i do eat a lot of it. Still i think this is probably an overuse thing not a poisoning.

                  Dragon: Thanks for the tips! I don't know about 110, but i certainly want to be active and mobile in my 70s and beyond.

                  Annika, don't overdo it with the bike sprints. I tried rowing because it was non-impact and i had to give up on that, too.


                  • #10

                    I had bad knees. I dropped ALL nightshades and now I hardly ever notice them.

                    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

                    Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
                    Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
                    Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


                    • #11

                      That's 111, not 110; don't cheat me out of my last year!

                      I'm named after my Great-Aunt Naomi, who was active until she died at 107. A couple more of my great-aunts lived to be 105 and 110. (Hence, the 111: I'm competitive and feel the need to break the family record.)

                      My genes aren't too bad from my dad's side, either. In spite of drinking and smoking, they still lived into their 90's.

                      This is why I really need to take care of my body! I figure I'm destined to live a lonnng time, and I want to be fully functional and feeling good.


                      • #12

                        I second dragonmamma on the MSM supplement, I've heard good things about it. Another supplement that you should take is Fish Oil, cut out the fish you're eating so that you get that good balance of Omega 3/6. Something else you might want to try is Aloe vera juice. It is a good source of calcium, although it tastes really bitter (I suggest taking it with juice). It helps absorb other supplements you might be taking as well as joints and over all health.


                        • #13

                          I understand the joint pain so well, but I have a sense that you feel you need to exercise to lose weight. I used to believe that too. I felt if I didn't do some kind heavy breathing exercise, the fat factory would just kick in gear. I think exercise is good, to keep your muscles strong and insulin sensitive, but to me exercising to lose weight is like voluntarily undergoing some horrific trauma to lose weight. You will lose the weight but you had to withstand a lot of trauma to do it.

                          One thing that has helped me is to change shoes during the day. It really makes a difference. This would be in addition to the great advice of others on this thread.


                          • #14

                            When you first start working out, you need to build tendon and ligament strength. Muscle is build a lot faster than those other two. I would recommend starting with bodyweight excersises with moderate rep range for a bit. Pushups, pullups, dips, pike presses (sort of handstand pushup... look it up), body weight squats, lunges and calf raises (all assissted or modified if needed until you can do them yourself). Then you could add resistance bands into the mix and do more common movements. Then jump into crossfit.


                            • #15

                              If you think it's your bones, take bone/joint supplements. I used to have similar problems. I believe I've even dislocated a rib from my spine or something (never got it checked out, so I don't know) but it's perfectly fine now. After that incident I started taking high doses of Vitamin D3 and Magnesium and it went away after a month. Whew! Not sure if the supplements did it, but my bones definitely feel stronger now, that much I can say.

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