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I finally got my knee checked out and I was diagnosed with chondromalacia patella. This basically means my knee cap is tracking too far to the outside of my leg due to some cartilage damage. My innermost quad muscle is very weak and the outer ones are over compensating, so I'm walking all retarded.

I started physical therapy last week and omg ow. The therapy consists of quad strength exercises and some deep tissue massage using a foam roller. I swear I was in tears this morning from that damn foam roller. My calves and outer quads are so freakin' tight.

I've also switched to wearing Vibram Fivefingers shoes. For awhile now I've had chronic pain in my ankle and a couple of weeks ago it just got too unbearable. I finally could only wear Crocs clogs because every other shoe I had just hurt too much. Well then the ankle pain started with the Crocs so that was no good. A couple of my coworkers swear by the VFFs so I thought I'd give it a shot.



I went to REI because as a member they have that whole lifetime guarantee, so if you don't like something even if you've used it, you can return or exchange it. I tried on a pair of KSO Trek's and immediately felt like a kid again! Walking barefoot is so comfortable for me that wearing these "shoes" just feels so good on my feet.

The physical therapist examined my walking in them and didn't see any issues, so she's ok'ed me continuing to wear them. I think they are definitely helping because I'm using a lot more of my leg muscles when walking in them due to the total lack of foot support. Also she showed me some calf stretches. We think the ankle pain is a result of my tight calves, which she says is common with high arches (I have super high arches).

As painful as it is, I'm really enjoying the PT. My gym offers a few complementary personal trainer sessions, so I've started the process of getting into that, especially while I'm in PT for my knee. That way I can double check what the personal trainer is having me do with what the PT is recommending.

Diet-wise I haven't been losing weight which sucks, but I haven't been gaining any either. This last 30 pounds just does not want to come off, I swear!! I started reading this hokey book called The Primal Blueprint. Most of it is nonsense and is better covered in books backed with actual scientific fact, like Mary Enig's Know Your Fats, but whatever. The useful stuff is his recommendations on Carb intakes and his fitness recommendations.

Regarding carbs, he says for weight loss you want to target 50-100 grams per day. So basically what you'd get from fruits and vegetables while skipping grains. I've been doing grains in moderation and on the rare occasion I treat myself to anything high carb, especially refined carbs, I exercise immediately afterwards to avoid the insulin spike. For me, the insulin spike means cravings and a risk of overindulgence.

Regarding exercise, he recommends regular low impact activity with up to 2 "sprints" per week. According to him, regular high impact exercise release cortisone, a stress hormone. I don't know how much I agree with him, I think it's about balanced, regular activity. I would really love to get back into running. There's this regimen called "couch to 15k" for non-runners and I'd really like to get into it. I mean geez, humans are born for running. I guess the idea is walk/bike regularly and do big runs 2x per week. I could be down with that.

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Augustina Blair

June 2011

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