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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Smile in the mirror.  Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.
  —  Yoko Ono
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On This Day In:
2018 Wondering About #45
2017 A Prayer For London
2016 Don’t Default
2015 Her Pilgrim Soul
2014 Three Observations
2013 Robbed Again
2012 Good Hearts
2011 Interesting Reading
What Are You Lookin’ At?
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I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
   —  Erma Bombeck
Okay, the above quote is not strictly true for my family, but it seems pretty close…  All of my immediate family have struggled with weight and the impact of that weight on our health.
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know this (dieting and health) is recurring topic for my posts as I continue to struggle with my morbid obesity.  Last year, I went on a 42 day vegetable juicing / fruit juice & vegetable blending diet.  I dropped from my all time high of 380lbs down to 311lbs.  However, like almost all of my other attempts to lose weight, the real effort is spent in keeping the weight off (not just losing it).  I had hoped to gain around a pound a month for the next five years before having to worry about losing weight again.  Unfortunately, things have not gone to plan and I have gained most of the weight back in less than one year.
In the spirit of “never say die(t)”, I am now trying again.  This time I will be trying the Alternate Day Fast (ADF) technique.  More precisely, I will trying the “modified” ADF.  In a “standard” ADF, you alternate between days you eat and days you fast.  The “fast” day is not a “true” fast day as I’ve always understood it.  Basically, females are allowed 500 calories and males are allowed 700 calories on your Fast days.  On the “Feast” Days, you can eat anything you want and as much as you want.  Obviously, you should approach this with some reason, but as near as I can tell, “common sense” is not a requirement.  If you lack it (common sense), you will simply slow the process of weight loss, but you still will not stop / end it.
In the modified ADF (MADF), I will be trying to stick to either a single large salad in the evening (between 4pm and 6pm), or a series of three smaller “meals” during a 8 hour window (typically between 10am and 6pm).  Inside and outside of the window, I can have as much water, coffee and tea as I want.  I will NOT, however, be counting calories on either day.  The coffee and tea are black (with no cream), but that is not a requirement.  If, some day, I want cream, I will have it.  Basically, I am severely reducing calories on alternating days and eating normally on alternating days.
On a typical juicing fast I would normally lose about 18 to 20 pounds in my first ten days of the fast.  Most of this would be water weight and stomach content.  I estimate between seven and ten pounds minimum (and probably closer to 15lbs).  In this case my “real” loss would be the difference – between five and ten pounds.  To date (today is ADF:9-5), I have lost about eight(8) pounds.  This is actual “loss”, because I am not emptying my stomach and I am, in fact, maintaining my stomach contents (by eating normally every other day).  It is possible the loss could still be mostly water, but I will not be able to determine that for at least a few more days (if not weeks).  I do note that my hands and feet no longer feel swollen in the mornings when I get out of bed.
My goal for this “exercise” (lifestyle change) is to consistently lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per week for at least the next five months.  5months X 4weeks X 2pounds = 40 pounds of weight loss by the middle of June.  After that, I will evaluate whether I need to be stricter / looser or whatever…  This is a completely arbitrary “deadline” and I anticipate I’ll know if the MADF is working or not within the next 30 days.  You may have noticed in the last paragraph I said I’ve lost 8lbs in this first week.  I am expecting this will have been mostly water loss weight, but in any case, I am well over my goal for the week.  This means I will need to have more than my normal amount of calories tomorrow (during my “feast” day).  Losing weight too quickly risks the body slipping into “famine” mode and lowering my Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) which will only make future losses more difficult.
Starting information:  Age – 63; weight: 355lbs on Day 1; 366lbs on Day 2; waist size: 55.5″ at my belly-button.  My “ideal” maximum weight for my height: 181lbs.  My healthy waist size s/b: 35-36″ at my belly-button.
Based on my height and weight, my “Inactive BMR” is: 2,434 calories per day;  my “Lite Activity BMR” is: 3,347 calories per day.  Generally, we all need to reduce calories 3,500 to lose 1 pound per week.  So, if I have less than 1,000 calories on my fast days and 3,347 on my feast days, I should lose between 1 and 3 pounds each week.  Easy, peasy…
Additional info:  During my last juice fast I struggled to get a consistent reading on my scale.  It was during the summer, so I would be in t-shirt, shorts and barefoot for my morning weigh-in.  I tried to stand a specific way to get a consistent reading, but it was difficult because I had to balance on the scale to do so.  It is now winter and my house is too cold to wander around in shorts and barefoot, so I get up and get dressed now.  This introduces another set of uncontrolled / un-recorded variables: different tops (sweat shirts), different shoes, and different pants.  Since I am too lazy to get dressed just to weigh myself in the morning and then change to what I will really wear that day, I will be letting it all sort itself out in the wash.  More precisely, I’m going to let it even itself out over time.  Although I am weighing myself every day, the main factor I will use for judging success is the weight every eighth day.  Up, down or no change.
I will be recording my weight two ways: 1) HIGH – standing with my knees slightly bent, feet flat but with my weight on my toes; and, 2) LOW – standing with knees straight (but not locked), feet flat but with my weight on my heels.  I have noted my scale can show a variance of 12lbs between these two methods.  In future posts, I will be stating my “HIGH” weight.  On my daily account of “Sweat Equity” (see tab at top of the page), I will list both and also other specific data I track (walks, sleep, feelings, etc.)
So, I will not be counting calories and I will not be on any strict exercise regimen.  I do walk my dog each morning for 30-60 minutes, but it is at a leisurely pace so she can smell the outside world.  We are not walking for a land speed record.  I will be going to the gym because I like to.  This means a couple of times per week with no set day or duration.  I will (generally) not post every day about this (MADF) process.  I will try to post often, though.  I am learning a lot about eating, fasting, exercise and a host of other topics which I am finding interesting and I plan to use this forum to record my observations (LOL – what else is new?).  This is for my benefit more than for any of my readers.  A personal journal, as it were…
Just a last comment on “title of post” nomenclature:  “ADF: Day 9:5” will tell you (me) this post is about the diet (“ADF”).  It will normally be my second post of the day.  If you are not interested, have a nice day and come back soon.  If you are interested in my notes / thoughts, “Day #:#” indicates the total number of days and (at least for now) the second number indicates a “fast” day (odd number) or a “feast” day (even number).  That will let you know if I’m writing while hungry or full (LOL).
Please feel free to leave any questions below in the comments.  I will try to respond to all comments, and who knows, your question may end up the basis for a future post.
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On This Day In:
2018 #DumbDonald: Start With Hearing What You Don’t Want Said
2017 The Press Is NOT The Enemy
2016 It Ain’t Easy
(Leap Year 29th) Or Try To, Anyway…
(Leap Year 29th) Circles Within Circles
2015 A Series Of Funerals
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Infinitely Care
2012 In My Room
(Leap Year 29th) Stingray – TV Series Review (This is my most popular post since starting my blog – hands down! It still draws hits almost every week. The hits seem to come mostly from Central Europe. I guess the show must be in syndication there.)
(Leap Year 29th) A Single Thread
2011 Lyrical Mixture
Teaching = Translating

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If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.
  —  Raymond Inman
Certain thoughts are prayers.  There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
  —  Victor Hugo
[I try sleep, myself…  But walking has worked for me, as well.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 #DumbDonald: Start With Hearing What You Don’t Want Said
2017 The Press Is NOT The Enemy
2016 It Ain’t Easy
(Leap Year 29th) Or Try To, Anyway…
(Leap Year 29th) Circles Within Circles
2015 A Series Of Funerals
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Infinitely Care
2012 In My Room
(Leap Year 29th) Stingray – TV Series Review  (This is my most popular post since starting my blog – hands down!  It still draws hits almost every week.  The hits seem to come mostly from Central Europe.  I guess the show must be in syndication there.)
(Leap Year 29th) A Single Thread
2011 Lyrical Mixture
Teaching = Translating

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One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.
  —  Bertrand Russell
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On This Day In:
2018 Have You Stretched Today?
The Original
2017 Being Nice
2016 Zero To Some = Most
2015 Born More Obligated
2014 Rage And Fury
2013 Successful Children
2012 For God So Loved The World
2011 Go Cheeseheads!!
Structured Mentality

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X+Y” (2014)  —  movie review, released in the US as “A Brilliant Young Mind” (2015)
Today’s review is for the 2014 / 2015 movie “X+Y“, aka: “A Brilliant Young Mind“.  The movie stars Asa Butterfield as Nathan Ellis (autistic math genius), Rafe Spall as Martin Humphreys (Nathan’s tutor), Sally Hawkins as Julie Ellis (Nathan’s mum), Eddie Marsan as Richard (UK tutor), Jo Yang as Zhang Mei (Nathan’s love interest), Martin McCann as Michael Ellis (Nathan’s dad), Jake Davies as Luke Shelton (mocked math genius), Alex Lawther as Isaac Cooper (mocking math genius), Alexa Davies as Rebecca Dunn (Piano girl / jealous crush).
There is something called the “International Mathematics Olympiad” (IMO) which brings together all of the maths geniuses from around the world to compete on their respective national teams.  It seems China is the historically dominant power at this event.
Nathan is an autistic maths wiz.  The only person he is close with is his dad who dies in a car accident.  The accident makes Nathan even more reclusive / eccentric than he was before.
Nathan’s mum (the fish lady / maid in “The Shape of Water“) is not able to relate with her son and finally gets a piece of relief by shipping him off to compete in the IMO.  Nathan’s tutor (Martin) is himself a “failed” maths prodigy and slowly builds a relationship with Nathan and his mum.  Eddie Marsan plays the UK team manager who’s only concern is for the team to beat the Chinese team. Zhang Mei is Nathan’s “love” interest.  He slowly pries Nathan from his turtle shell.  Martin McCann is Nathan’s dad and is the only one who sees him as special and not weird.  At least that is how Nathan feels.  The final three main characters (Luke, Isaac and Rebecca) are other “kids” on the IMO team who are meant to demonstrate some other levels of autism or to act as a kind of alternative love interest.
Is this movie any good?  Does it say anything about math?  Does it say anything about kids?  Does it say anything about autism?  Yes, a little, nothing new, and I don’t know.
I really enjoyed this movie. I got interested in it a while back when I saw Butterfield in “Ender’s War” and thought I’d look out for any of his other work.  (I’ve seen the previews for this film and the bits and bobs available on YouTube and have been waiting for this movie to become available on cable or on Vudu.)  Now I’ve seen him in two very good roles and it will be interesting to see if he develops into a good adult actor or if he fades.  As with “Ender”, Asa plays the straight role well and the emotional role almost as well.  I don’t really understand autism, so I can’t say how accurately he portrayed the ending transformation.  My gut feeling was it was too Hollywood and not realistic, but that just may be me.
The movie relates math to various aspects of the real world: pattern recognition, music, art, architecture, philosophy and love.  They were not main points of the film though, so if you blink, you may miss a couple of them.
I don’t think this movie says anything original about kids.  Certainly nothing you couldn’t get from a half-dozen other movies starting with “Lord of the Flies”.  Yes, kids are mean and pick on other kids who may be viewed as somehow “different”.
As mentioned above, Nathan is “transformed” at the end of the movie.  I doubt autism is cured on the road to Damascus, so I didn’t care for the resolution / summing up.  It just seemed too tidy for my taste.  Apparently, the movie is based on a real-life person and his reaction to viewing the film was: I am a maths wiz.  I am not a rain man.  For me, to the extent the movie related Nathan’s love for math, I felt it stood on firmer ground.
Final recommendation: very strong to highly. I do have an “unusual” fondness for movies with even the slightest math / science / computing theme, so you have to take this recommendation with the normal grain of salt you take my reviews…   (LOL)  I’m not usually a big fan of hazy / distorted filming to represent the perception of genius, but in this case, it worked pretty well.  I liked the acting, the story and loose correlation of math to music, color, flow and pattern recognition.  I will watch it again in the future.
One final note: I got to see this movie for free!  I joined my local library (re-joined) and they have a pretty interesting selection of movies you can stream just for being a member of the library.  It saved me having to purchase a movie I really wanted to see.  They do limit my viewing to eight per calendar month, but it still seems a great deal to me!  Who knew??
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On This Day In:
2018 And May Never Be
2017 Don’t Forget
2016 I Was A Percentage Man
2015 It Waits Patiently
2014 Unknown
2013 Explaining Love?
2012 Echoes of 1%
2011 Salaam, Egypt!!
Where Do You Learn?

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It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.
  —  Irish Proverb
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On This Day In:
2018 Feeling Both
2017 Just Start
2016 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
2015 Restraint At The Inn
2014 To Not Discovering
2013 I Have Less To Say
2012 Not The Best Prediction I’ve Ever Read

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Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
  —  Saint Thomas Aquinas
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On This Day In:
2018 Seeking Finer Fruits
2017 Something That Is Absolute
2016 Animate And Encourage
Out Of Time
2015 In Time
2014 Robust Interconnectivity
2013 What Have We Here?
2012 Tributaries And Eddies
An Honest Politician
2011 Penultimate

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