I’m a big girl.  I stand nearly 6 foot tall and have long, not particularly pretty feet. I do have blonde hair and green eyes but I don’t have a good track record of being consistently weight maintained.   I’ve certainly been robust and strong and have no problem touching my toes, but there has never, ever been occasion to put my name in the same sentence as skinny. Uh uh, never going to happen dat one. No stranger to weight loss programs I’ve been there, done that and then had to discard the tee shirt as it didn’t fit for very long.

Bummer – which is exactly where the biggest problem lies. Lets just say I’m a classic pear shape, which only exacerbated the problem as I pounded the streets for years and years in my quest to be a marathon runner.

A couple of weeks before my first full marathon my knees died on me. I hobbled in to see the orthopedic surgeon who told me in no uncertain terms that if I ran that marathon I’d have trouble walking pain free for the rest of my life. The rebel in me irreverently dismissed him under my breath, while I politely asked him for something to get me through the 42 kilometers no matter what. He obliged, I ran, finished the race and have struggled with pain filled knees ever since. Sometimes revelling in rebellion pays not such good dividends.

We live and learn.

And learn I did: That even the smallest amount of extra weight carried by an arthritis sufferer, stresses, inflames and causes swelling and pain to joints, especially in the knees and ankles. The more weight we carry, the greater the load on the joints which wears away the cartilage, which eventually needs surgery – which I had. It did not help and the next step is knee replacements. Oh Lord have mercy.

All this to say that the junk in your trunk, the thunder thighs, ample arms and big belly causes a compressed load on joints that is equivalent to about four times the actual weight. So even if you are carrying a small over load of just five kilograms (+-11 lbs), the impact on your knee and ankle joints would be the equivalent of a 20 kilogram (44lb)punch. Ouch!

But wait…that’s not all this bearer of sad tidings has to tell you: it’s not just the extra weight on the joints that hurts and causes damage. Apparently the fat itself is active tissue that creates and releases chemicals, many of which promote inflammation.

Lose, lose all round.   Both literally and figuratively and……have a nice day!

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