CASE STUDY: Toby in Kent
“Before I developed a problem with my left knee, I hardly drank at all. But the escalating pain in the knee joint led me to drink more and more.”
Toby, a 43-year-old software developer in Maidstone, used to be sports mad. Then a heavy tackle while playing non-league football brought an abrupt end to his active lifestyle. What followed was four years waiting for an operation on his knee at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex: yes, the demand for knee and hip operations on the NHS can mean waiting an eternity before eventually ‘going under the knife’.
As well as struggling to cope every day (and night) with the excruciating pain, Toby became depressed. His weight also ballooned.
“Lose the weight, or forget about an op”
“I was in a Catch-22 situation,” Toby explains. “The knee consultant at Stanmore insisted I lose at least two stone in weight, before allowing me to have the operation. It’s too much bodyweight pressing down on a rebuilt joint, you see. But, being inactive, I found it impossible to lose any body fat at all. My weight gain was not just through comfort eating and being almost permanently sedentary; my alcohol consumption level gradually increased to the point where I was binge drinking regularly. And lager is so fattening, isn’t it?”
So how did Toby lose weight prior to finally getting the knee operation he so badly wanted and needed?
“I tackled my alcoholism first.” Toby explains. “My parents kindly paid for me to go into a private rehab clinic in Hampshire. The clinicians and counsellors there were brilliant.”
Why low-calorie alcohol isn’t the answer
“If you could eat four big American chocolate chip cookies or have a glass of wine, which would you choose?” Toby asks. “If you’re watching your weight, it would be best to decline both offers, actually. Why? Because they both contain exactly the same amount of calories!
Wine isn’t the worst culprit when it comes to piling on the pounds: beer and cocktails are by far the worst beverages to drink regularly if you are watching your waistline. You could opt for low-calorie alcoholic drinks, of course. But the potential for gradual weight gain is still there, if you drink heavily regularly.”
Toby gets back on his feet (in more ways than one)
“Through overcoming my addiction to alcohol first, I developed increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Finding the strength within myself to overcome my addiction gave me the resolve to remain teetotal and to maintain a nutritious diet*, once I returned home again from the clinic. The weight came off; a date for my much longed-for ACI autologous chondrocyte implantation procedure on my knee was set, and the rest is history, as they say!”
* Nutritional Support is just one of several modules that can be included in a treatment programme at a private rehab clinic in the UK. Rehab Treatment UK can assist with immediate admission to the most suitable clinic for you.
Note: All names have been changed