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Obesity and Joint Pain: A Weighty Issue

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I had never really thought about how painful and stressful excess weight can be on our bodies until one day a few years ago when I was out making sales calls with a co-worker. As I drove up to the place of business where we were having a meeting, I casually parked the car about three rows out, not giving a second thought to walking to the front door from that distance. My co-worker, who at the time could be classified as morbidly obese, requested that I drop her off at the front door, as it hurt for her to walk that far, and she explained that her knees and ankles especially took the brunt of the pain.

I willingly obliged her request, and as I watched her walk the few short yards from the drop-off point to the front door of the building, it was obvious that even walking such a short distance with all of that extra weight was all but crippling her. I could only imagine the stress that it was putting on her body and the wear and tear it was causing her joints.

Health and fitness are top priorities of mine, so researching this topic has been quite interesting. I recently became acquainted with a wonderful woman, Tina Bryant Cochran, who is a certified health coach (www.masteryourweight.com). She discovered her passion to help others when she, too, was suffering from obesity. Cochran indicated that when her young son suggested she try out for the reality show, “The Biggest Loser,” the grim reality of her weight issues set in.

“When I was sick and overweight,” she explained. “All of my joints hurt, including my knees.”

At 5’ 5” tall and weighing 252 pounds, just climbing the steps in her home was appreciably painful on all of her joints. When she made a commitment to eat a healthier diet and commence an exercise program, the reduction in pain was noticeable almost immediately, as the pounds slowly began to drop.

Shortly thereafter, Cochran's mom, inspired by her daughter, decided to lose a few pounds too. She had been suffering from arthritis and was facing possible hip joint replacement. She switched to a low-glycemic diet and lost 35 pounds.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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