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Daniel Roe Tries His Own Medicine

Daniel Roe
Poster: Daniel Roe @ Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:09 am

I've written rather extensively about dieting on this site in the past, and have used my own experience as well as my training in the past 3 years of medical school to back it up, hopefully to help people get on a sustainable path to a healthier life. Unfortunately, all the while my own lifestyle is saddled with a bit of hypocrisy. While I rail against bad lifestyle on here, my own personal diet is basically an abominable heap of shit.

I don't consume soda, sweets, or carb-loaded snacks, but I eat fast food nearly every day out of convenience. The only reason my weight has been controlled is daily exercise including weights, trail running, and mountain biking. It's always been my contention that no matter how busy you are, you can always find time and energy for self-maintenance. Moreover, health should be a priority up there with whatever personal or professional things you're doing--as it's equally important to long term success in life.

Unfortunately, the delicate balance between my activity level and my shit-eating was upset recently due to a rather horrific accident. On a beautiful day last October, I was running alone on a secluded mountain trail by my home. My only care in the world was that my knee had been sprained a few weeks prior and I had a slight limp even before I started. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do, but I uttered the famous last words "what's the worst that can happen?" and hobbled on. Every step was somewhat painful, and it didn't take long for the limp to get worse. Finally, I was making my way down a gravel embankment when my foot slipped and my knee gave way. I let out a loud "FAAAHHHHHHRGH!!" and ended up on my back. Confused and breathless from the pain I looked down at my leg, only to find my right knee cap had moved from its normal anterior perch to the outside of my knee. I had laterally displaced my patella. I quickly reached down and relocated it (by squeezing the lateral thigh and passively extending the joint) and it slipped back into place with a loud "POP". Relieved, I laid back down to catch my breath and collect myself.

As I lay there in the sun, watching my aching knee joint swell with blood, I calculated the recovery time, plotting out the weeks to come and how I was going to bounce back. I figured I'd be on this trail again in 2 months at nearly full speed--a slightly depressing thought, but oddly amusing. Finally my brother arrived with a knee wrap and a walking stick and I made my way back to my car. What I didn't realize was the amount of effort and pain involved with recovery. With the torn muscles and lack of use, my thigh atrophied extremely quickly. Within 3 days it was noticeable, within a week it was rather freakish. I could walk on the knee (and did for my 35+ hours a week at work), but the limp was exhausting and excruciating. I didn't run again for 2 months, and even then my knee would swell following each attempt. I couldn't even use a weight bench for 4 weeks because my knee wouldn't flex past 30 degrees.

It's now been five months since that day and things still aren't close to what they were. My home-brewed rehab regimen has been fairly effective, but has its own ups and downs. All the while, the stresses in my professional life have been mounting and calorie intake has remained constant. Finally, a few weeks ago I was doing BMI calculations on some patients only to find I've been fluctuating over the 25.0 mark--the technical definition of "overweight." I know that BMI is a highly imperfect measurement, especially for my body type, however the fact remains that I'm not in the shape I want to be.

So what's to be done? Well I guess I need to get off my ass and take my own advice. I'm not going to track my progress on here very closely as I'm far too busy, but I'll try to update every few days. This represents an opportunity to demonstrate the efficacy of proper diet and exercise. With my work (and study) hours being consistent with or beyond those of the average American, hopefully this will also demonstrate time constraints are no excuse. Either that or I'll gain 60 pounds and join Blues Traveller.

Today is March 26, 2010, I'm 6'1", 181 pounds (BMI: 23.9; Body Fat: ~17%) -- we'll call this Day 1.

Comments: 5  •  Post Comment  •  Share Share Top
PopperIsGod Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:44 am
You moron, John Popper of Blues Traveller isn't fat - his body just has to be of prodigious volume in order to store all his killer talent!
PopperAteMyBaby Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:02 am
Fun fact: the original Blues Traveler bassist, Bobby Sheehan, died in 1999 from what the mainstream media called a "drug overdose." The only confusing part about the case is why Sheehan was covered in BBQ sauce and was able to misplace several of his limbs and vital organs. After the fact, Popper was quoted as saying, "This is a real tragedy, but with the help of some Pepto-Bismol, he shall rest in peace."
Captain Fantastic Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:36 pm
ChevyChase39 Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:23 pm
Those running shorts made me say FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU
Usain Bolt Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:41 pm
That's why I just go freeballin most of the time.
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Daniel is Medical Resident from the southwest US. Prior to medicine, he worked in IT as a consultant, programmer, web designer/developer, and technician.

Health, music, economics, libertarianism, computers

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