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Archive for the ‘Juice/Blend Fasting’ Category

The following is the 7th monthly (210 days “-ish”) update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  As always, it’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your (still) not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (again and again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!! Here goes…
(As in previous posts:) On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”. My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was: 358lbs.  Based on these “initial” numbers, I’ve lost 15lbs from the end of August 2019, gained 2lbs from the start of the ITF and lost 2lbs in the last 30 days.  This feels like a drop in the ocean.
If you’ve viewed any of my prior month’s postings on this string / topic, you’ll see I’m “missing” my charts.  As it turns out, I am subject to the limits of my technology.  Fitbit isn’t reporting my calories for any days prior to the end of March.  And, no, I don’t know why…  This means I can’t report the data in a chart format.  Oh, well…
My long-term goal is weight loss and remains to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week (not per month).  In theory, this will prevent the two worst parts of extreme weight loss: a permanent (and excessive) drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity).  As of the holiday season (Nov. 2019), I’ve not been very successful.  I yo-yo’d down / up / down and up again.
Two final observations:
First, In the last week I’ve gained and lost 20lbs.  A five pound overnight increase; a twenty (!!) pound overnight increase (a loss of ten pounds during the same day); and then a second five pound overnight increase.  Tied to this, I’ve had painful kidney stones (grains) passing.  Today’s was the largest in quite a while and was the size of an ant.  I also passed over a half dozen “grain of sand” size stones.  There “seems” to be a rough correspondence between the bloating and the grain passing, but it’s not exactly the same, so it’s a problem saying THAT’s what’s causing the rapid weight gain and loss.  Since I am not stuffing myself and then tossing / passing the food, it seems to be pure water weight (gains and losses).  At least that’s my opinion…
The second point is that, in all honesty, I’m only VERY loosely following the modified intermittent time fasting regimen.  I am still eating later in the morning, but I am rarely (otherwise) following the schedule or stopping at the designated evening hour.  Realistically, I’m off the program.  Even more than working out, I need to get back on the program as I still feel it made a significant difference when I was actually adhering to it.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2019 Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat
2018 Just Two?
2017 Living Without Love
Good News!
2016 At This Moment
2015 Still Dreaming
2014 Good Wins
2013 Before
2012 Look To This Day
2011 One View Of Man

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This is a long post!  (You’ve been warned…)
The end of day seventeen and the morning of day eighteen…  Elvis has left the building, folks…
Morning weight: 348lbs.  (on Day 18)
I am down / down “5/25”.  As in, 5lbs down from yesterday and 25lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday morning (the early morning hours of Day 17), I didn’t sleep well.  I got out of bed a little before 3am and by dawn I’d “cheated” on my blend fast by having a two handfuls of nuts.  The rest of the day I was able to stick with my juice blend and felt pretty good in saying the cheats were aberrations and I was continuing my fast count.  Well, today the desire to chew (and taste something different) got the better of me and I had two slices of toast and two slices of pizza.  I said (in yesterday’s post) if I cheated again, I’d have to call the blend fast done, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.
The “interesting” thing is I’ve now had two five(5) pound changes in the last week.  I gained five pounds overnight a few days ago, and between yesterday and today, I’ve now lost five pounds.  It is routine to lose 5 to 7 pounds in the first day or two of a fast.  This is due to loss of stomach contact and some initial water weight loss (due to decrease of sugar and salt in the diet).  It is not common (in my experience) for this to happen after the first week without some significant change.  I have not restricted water or exercised excessively, so I have to assume there is “something” else going on in my body which is beyond my experience.  As such, and because of my prior comments about “cheating again and ending the fast”, I’m going to modify my behavior to more moderate eating habits (i.e. I’m going to start consuming / chewing food).
Below are the images from my scale to mark the end of the fast:
Image of scale at High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Image of scale at Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
As per normal, there is a five(5) pounds variance between my “high” and “low” weights.  As explained in previous posts, the high is from me pressing my toes and the low is from pressing my heels.  When I last took my weight on a digital scale at my doctor’s office, their scale showed two(2) pounds less than my low for that day.  I wasn’t pressing forward or backwards.  And, again, I don’t know if their scale is programmed to subtract estimated clothing weight (or how much they might have subtracted).  As I’ve been using the “high” weigh-in, I feel I’m being conservative (and fair).
To summarize:  I started my “blending” fast with the parallel goals of completing one week without chewing while sticking to a plant (vegetable, fruit and legume) based liquefied diet; and, to jump-start myself on my Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) diet which I had started way back in February, but had not stuck to fairly.  I’ve ended up completing the first of the original goals and, in fact, doubling the time to two full weeks.  I said at the end of the second week, I’d like to push through for a third full week, but I was considering the process as “day-to-day” from there on.  I ended up making it through two days (Days 15 and 16), and now have cheated on two consecutive days (Days 17 and 18).  At this point, I’m calling the fast done and moving on to the second goal: switching to the Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) or a “Modified” ADF or to a Intermittent Time Fasting lifestyle – maybe trying “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD).
So, which will I choose?  I don’t know…  I’m not sure I have to choose one over the others.  With the exception of having a defined protocol, I’m not sure there is any advantage to picking one of them over the others, so for the time being, I’m leaning to trying a bit of a mix and match to see which “works” for me.
Having said that, what will be my criteria:
1)  Although only specifically stated for the ADF protocol, I believe it is necessary for me to establish a longer and more consistent sleep period and schedule.  I’m therefor committing to trying to get a minimum of seven(7) hours each night.  I will set my start time for 11pm and end to 7am.
2)  A “strict” ADF or MADF has a low-calorie day and a normal-calorie day, with both tending to use windows to extend the daily fast time period.  The preference is to wait until 10am or 11am to break the fast each day and to close the window for eating (and drinking) at least three hours prior to going to bed.  For me, this would mean, no more eating or drinking (the exception being the water required to swallow my heart pills and vitamins before bed), after 8pm.  This will give me a fasting period of 15 to 16 hours each day, with eating windows of 9 to 8 hours on both the “fasting” and “normal” days.
3)  No matter which day or time period, water, black coffee, black tea and green tea are allowed —  EXCEPT during the three hours before bed, when I am only allowed enough water to take my heart medications.
4)  On “fasting” days I will try to limit myself to between 700 and 1,100 calories per day.  These numbers are fairly arbitrary:  the low end is the “recommended” fasting number for adult males doing an ADF.  The upper number is from my prior experience using the “Fat Smash Diet“.  This “high” number is not a caloric limit that many people could live with for very long.  I no longer believe dieting is simply “calories in < calories out = weight loss”.  I now believe limiting “calories in” too severely, over too long a period of time (one or two weeks), simply tells the body to lower your normal basal metabolic rate (BMR – how many calories you need to sustain life in a state of coma).  This makes it difficult to continue to lose weight and even more difficult to continue to keep the lost weight off.  It has also been shown that it is much more difficult to restore or raise the BMR to a previous level once you have lowered it than it was to lower it to start off with.  Basically, we must somehow lose weight while not lowering the BMR.  This means your body must not sense it is ever in a prolonged period of caloric deficit.  The “trick” is to lower the average caloric input over time while convincing the body you are never “really” dieting.  This is the goal of the ADF and the ITF methods.  On ADF, you eat as “normally” as you wish during your eating window.  On the ITF, you not only can eat as much as you wish, you can eat anything you wish – as long as you stay within your eating window.
5)  I must also maintain a reasonable protocol for increasing and maintaining my “calories-out” portion of the formula.  I currently walk my dog each day for 30 minutes (about 1 mile).  I also swim a couple of times a week for 60 minutes per session.  Our local pool will be closing for the winter soon, so I will need to commit to using a “gym” more frequently.  Swimming has a natural advantage over typical gym workouts.  I believe the three main ones to be: swimming tends to be a continuous whole body workout; swimming tends to be less damaging to the support joints (feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine; and, finally, water transfers heat energy significantly faster than air, which means you will burn more calories to maintain your own body temperature in water than you will do in air of equal temperature.  The combination of these advantages means I will need to go to the gym more frequently and stay (exercise) longer than I would have to by swimming.  The only advantages of the gym (that I know of) are: you can increase your muscle mass to body weight ratio and you can increase your flexibility.  Swimming tends to make bodies long and lean, but not strong and flexible.  Weights and calisthenics will tend to increase muscle density, muscle size and flexibility (if done in conjunction with proper stretching), but not provide a long and lean appearance.  Bottom line:  go to the gym 4-5 times a week and stay for 90 minutes, including weights, stretching and cardio work in each session.
6)  My new protocol will be a rotation of fast day, eat day, OMAD day.  All three will be time restricted, but the window will vary between days: fasting(8 hrs), eating(6 hrs) and OMAD(5 hrs).  Most fasting days will be two eggs, beans(1 can / 1.5 cups) and rice(1/2 cup), and fruits and veggies(no limit).  Most eating days will be two eggs or oatmeal, salad or fruit(no limit) for lunch, normal dinner.  Most OMAD days will be egg(1) and fruit, large dinner (all I can eat / anything I want); if I want a “snack / desert” on my OMAD, it must be eaten 75 minutes to 1 hour before the daily eating window closes.  Water, black coffee, and black tea are any day / any time.  Fruit juice or veggie-fruit blends are only allowed on eating or OMAD days and only during the windows.
I will begin the protocol tomorrow.  I will continue to post images on my MADF page each day and my weight on my “Sweat Equity” pages, but I will not be creating a daily post specifically about this protocol.  I will try to update (via posting) a couple of times a month if I have anything interesting to say.  If I have any significant health changes as a result of the protocol, I will post about those.  And, so it goes, a “lifestyle” with the simple acknowledgement that vacations, holidays, birthdays, and exceptions will happen…  And, you just deal with them.
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On This Day In:
2018 I’ll Trade You…
2017 Luv Me Some Meat Loaf
2016 Unless Your Name Is #AmnestyDon
2015 A Tentative First Step
2014 Making People
2013 On Reading Books
2012 On America
2011 Shiver, Me Timbers!
2010 Fiduciary Breakdown

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The end of day sixteen and the morning of day seventeen…   Last night / this morning was my first cheat day.  😦
Morning weight: 353lbs.  (on Day 17)
I am down / down “2/20”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 20lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
The three(3) pounds I had gained two days ago to yesterday is mostly gone.  Two(2) pounds of it, anyway.  The “high” weight was a loss of 2lbs.  My “low” weight was a loss of 1lb.  Whatever it was that caused the three pounds gain appears to be sorting itself out and I’ve started going back down.  Since I had coffee the last two days, it seems unlikely the coffee (or caffeine) is what caused the uptick.  If the weight keeps dropping for the next few days, I’ll just have to leave it as an unresolved aberration in the weight loss pattern.  If I spike (bump up) again, I’ll have to consider the cause may be something else.  My weigh-in was performed before my “cheat(s)”.
So…  The problem wasn’t really yesterday (Day 16), as much as it during the night / this morning (Day 17)…
I woke up at 2:30am last night and couldn’t fall back to sleep.  After laying in bed for awhile, I got up and went to log on to my computer to read my ever-growing backlog of emails.  Normally, I get up, weigh in, take my BP / HR and walk the dog (1 mile, 30 minutes).  Then, I prepare my “daily” blend.  “Prepare” means I pour my saved blend into a larger bottle, add two or three goblets of ice cubes and then top up the bottle with fruit or vegetable juice.  The “vegetable” juice is “V-8” brand or “Naked” brand, depending on which I have available and my taste for the day (saltier or sweeter respectively).  Our neighborhood is not very well lit by streetlights, so we don’t normally walk the dog in the dark.  It’s too difficult to see if we’re getting up all of the poop.  This morning, that meant waiting until dawn to walk the dog.  As it is not practical to drink loads before going out to walk the dog, I was going to be stuck for some time just feeling hungry…
To make a longer story a little shorter, I had a couple of cheats during the wait.  I had a palm-full (8 to 10) of almonds about 3:15am and then another about 5am.  I walked the dog a little after 6am.  So, technically, my blending “ONLY” fast is broken.  😦
However, being the forgiving person that I am, I’m going to let it slide and pretend it didn’t happen.    IF it happens again, I will face up to the “fast” being over.  Until then, I’ll just keep counting the days as fasting.
So…  How did yesterday go?  Not too badly.  I am still (after two weeks) missing the act of chewing.  Yesterday, I was mostly missing the taste of eating.  When I make a week’s worth of blend, there simply isn’t much variety in the taste from one day to the next.  (To me, this taste variety is THE main benefit of preparing your juice prior to drinking it or in the morning for that day.)  This is why I vary the “juice” I add to the daily bottle a more “straight” fruity juice (apple, pineapple, grapefruit, cherry, etc.) and a more “veggie” juice (the various types of V-8 and Naked juices).  Other than the mixture, the only variation is the amount of ice I add over the course of a day.  As mentioned above, I start with three 16 ounce goblets of ice cubes, then, depending on the day’s temperature, I will add another one or two goblets of ice.  Yes, this makes for a very watery drink for most of the second half of the day, but it has two benefits:  1) it keeps the drink cold; and,  2) it dilutes the sugar and acidic content of the drink.
The benefit of a cold drink is two-fold:  1) it cools you off on a hot day; and, 2) your body has to expend additional calories raising the fluid’s temperature up to your body’s temperature.  It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps in the weight-loss process.  The benefit of diluting the sugar (by volume) content is obvious.  The reduction of acid may be less so to the average person.  I have no scientific “proof” of this, but my teeth “feel” different when I go all day drinking an undiluted blend than they do when I drink with continuously adding ice (or chasing with plain water).  When I run my tongue over my teeth, the teeth feel cleaner or “rougher” depending on which I do.  So, I either dilute during the day or I keep an extra (small) bottle of water and “sip and swish” the water after drinking some of the blend.  I also have a separate brand of mouthwash (which I use every second or third day) which is supposed to rebuild / reinforce the enamel on my teeth.  (This was recommended by my dental hygienist who said you cannot “repair” lost / damaged tooth enamel, but you can help “remineralize” your teeth with proper brushing and gargling.  She relayed the products recommended by the dentist’s office.)  I alternate the mouthwash because I am a creature of habit and my regular mouthwash makes my mouth / teeth “feel” cleaner.  The “recommended” mouthwash doesn’t have as much alcohol content, so it doesn’t give me that “burned” cheeks, tongue and gums feeling I’ve grown used to over the last 45-plus years.
And, now you know more than you ever imagined you would ever know about my dental hygiene.  And, admit it…  You are a better person for it!  (LoL)
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On This Day In:
2018 The Children Are Our Future
2017 And Three
2016 Nine Parts Mystery
2015 Little Or No Common Ground
2014 Just Between Me
2013 Beyond The Strings
2012 Saving The Union
2011 Still And Too Often

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The end of day fifteen and the morning of day sixteen…  Live by the scale, die by the scale.
Morning weight: 355lbs.  (on Day 16)
I am up / down “3/18”.  As in, 3lbs up from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
As bad as it may be (for a dieter) to hit a plateau, it’s psychologically MUCH worse when you have a day to day gain.  One pound?  Okay.  Three pounds?  WTF?  (Pardon my language / expressions.)  Three pounds is either a healthy meal or it’s almost a half-gallon of water (or similar density fluid).  Since I didn’t eat and I don’t feel bloated (water retention), the most reasonable two explanations are:  1) I’ve accidentally moved the scale, so it’s giving different readings; or, 2) the universe is unkind and / or unjust.  (I prefer to think it’s the second option.)  To make it even more painful, the scale wasn’t “bouncy”.  The needle was stable.
Now, please recall I take my weight two ways each morning:  forwards and back.  This means I stand in almost the exact same spot each morning, but on “forward”, I bend my knees slightly and lean as far to the front as I can while maintaining full foot contact, but with my weight shifted fully onto my toes.  For the “back” weigh-in, I straighten my legs and tilt as far back on my heels as I can without falling off of the scale.  Again, I still keep my feet in full contact with the scale.  This gives me (respectively) my high and my low weight for the day.  The two weights tend to vary about 5 to 7 pounds (as much as 10, but so far never less than 5), and they also tend to vary between themselves.  By this I mean, they don’t usually both go up or down the same number on any given day.  It’s usually 1 and 2 or 2 and 1.  I’m not saying they don’t.  I’m saying it’s far less common for them to correspond.  Today they both increased by 3lbs from yesterday’s weigh-in.
Of course, I have to consider what I may have done different yesterday from any other day.  Off the top of my head, I can only think of two things:  1)  I had a mug of black coffee in the morning; and,  2) I had more fruit juice in my blend than normal.  The day before I was a bit fed up with the taste of the blend and I felt a bit down on my energy level.  I countered that yesterday by adding more juice and less ice to the blend mix.  This was probably somewhere between 8 to 12 ounces of juice.  It is certainly possible the extra fructose contributed to the weight gain.  It’s hard to imagine it to have been the black coffee.
About sugar (well, about fructose) –  my understanding is sugar doesn’t (by itself) cause water (fluid) retention.  What sugar does is promote an increase in insulin (there’s that hormone again) which causes the body to retain sodium (salt), which in turn causes you to retain water.  The body has a very narrow band of tolerance for sugar (glucose in the bloodstream) which is maintained by increasing or decreasing the amount of insulin in the body.
About the coffee – I tried adding the coffee because the intermittent fasting book I just read said it was okay to drink black coffee or unflavored (black or green) tea – or plain water, and it wasn’t considered “breaking” your daily fast period.  I have never had coffee or black tea while on a fast before (in over 35 years) as removal of caffeine (like sugar) is usually one of the targets of a “cleansing” fast.  I have had herbal teas before while veggie broth fasting (over 30 years ago), but never while on a veggie-juice or veggie-blend fast.  My expectation was that it would make the hairs on my forearms stand up.  Surprisingly, it did not.  I also don’t feel like I got my usual coffee “buzz” –  that “ahh” sensation.  We drink Folder’s ground coffee at our house.  It struck me as fairly bitter.  Not as bad as back in my (ancient) memory of my Army days, but nowhere near as enjoyable as my sugar / half-and-half / Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Most of the year, I only drink coffee on the weekends.  This last year, with joining Costco and paying only 2/3rds the price for Bailey’s, I’ve been going through a pot-load of coffee on any given day.  (A pot-load is between 10 and 12 cups of brewed coffee.  The Bailey’s and half-and-half are on top of that.)
Ultimately, there is little to no chance to guess or deduce what may have caused the “bump”.  All I can do is continue down the path for a day or two and see if it really is an aberration or if something has fundamentally changed.  I just finished my morning (10:30am) mug of black coffee.  I guess we’ll see what we see tomorrow…  The next step will be to eliminate the coffee and see what that does.  Time will tell (or not).
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Wondering
2017 Until I Think Of Something Better
2016 Who Are You?
2015 Renaissance Reptiles
2014 Book Return
2013 Keep Writing Your Truths
Perilous Times For The U.S. Military
2012 The Victor
2011 Forging Away At My Deadlines
2010 Try This With Your Shoes…

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The end of day fourteen and the morning of day fifteen…
Morning weight: 352lbs.  (on Day 15)
I am down / down “2/21”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 21lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Well, the good news is I have made it through two full weeks of blended fasting.  At 21lbs lost, I am averaging a loss of 1.5lbs per day.  This is not terribly good or bad.  It’s pretty average for a veggie juice type of fast with moderate exercise most days.  I am continuing to walk my dog each day for 30-45 minutes in the morning and going to the pool for a swim (or to tread water) for an hour for ten(10) of the fourteen(14) days I’ve been fasting.  All of the swim sessions have been breast stroke and I’m doing between 40 and 48 lengths an hour.  (FYI: 1 length = 25 yards; 1 lap = 2 lengths; 18 laps = 1/2 mile.)  Basically, I’m swimming 1/2 mile 5 times per week (so far).  The pool will be closing for the season in a little over a week, so I will have to make other arrangements to get exercise after that.  I haven’t done any treading water sessions since starting the fast, and only a handful of times during this summer season.
How am I feeling?  Thinner.  Which is good!  Even though the loss is only a little over 5% of my starting weight, it already feels easier on my knees to get up from a sitting position.  That’s the “movement” test.  I am also beginning to experience more flexibility and range of motion.  The flexibility I’m putting down more to doubling my average number of days of swimming per week (from twice – maybe 2.5 – to five times per week), than I am to fasting.  The range of motion I’m putting down to less fat getting in the way of any given stretching action.  So, that’s due to the fasting.
As promised, here’s the face shots from on day 1, after week 1 and after week 2:

Image of me on morning of Day 0 of 2019 fast.

Day 0

Image of me on the morning of Day 8 of the 2019 fast.

Day 8

Image of me on morning of Day 15 of the 2019 fast.

Day 15

I, for one, am hard pressed to see much difference between the three photos.  Of course, it is ONLY two weeks.  If anything, there appears to be slight decrease in puffiness in the area of the zygomaticus (major and minor).  That’s the upper cheeks between the nostrils and the ears to us normal humans.  There (to my eyes anyway) appears to be the start of a jaw line between the face and neck.  Of course, both of these changes could just be due to the difference in lighting.  And, I could just be seeing what I want to see: my face getting thinner.  (LoL!)  I guess time will tell…
And, here are the images of the scale:

Day 0 (373lbs)

Day 8 (361lbs)

Day 15 (352lbs)

Note:  The morning of Day 15 shows 348lbs in the image, not 352lbs.  The scale was bouncing between the two weights and I am using the high end for the day’s weight as it is only two pounds less than the previous day.  If I used the lower weight, it would mean I lost about 6lbs from the prior day.  Thus, the lower limit is unreasonable and why I am using the high end.  The photo just happened to catch the bottom end of one of the bounces.
What now?
I am fairly encouraged, despite my off and on preoccupation (obsession?) with food / chewing.  I’m not finding the blend fasting process too bad, although the sense of wanting to chew does seem to be greater than it was during last year’s juicing.  As mentioned in prior posts, that may be a side effect of strictly blending rater than strictly juicing or mixing juicing with blending.
For now (the afternoon of the Day 15), I have four full bottles of blend left in the refrigerator.  That should get me through at least the next three days.  After that, if I’m going to continue, I’ll need to restock.  Bottom line:  I intend to keep going day-by-day / hour-by-hour, and see how far I get.  I have now doubled my target (two weeks, instead of a single week), so even if I break my fast tonight, I’ve still had a successful fast.  (Yea, me!)
In the meantime, I’m  giving serious thought to returning to Planet Fitness.  I joined last year and haven’t gone since mid-January because I got a bit full of myself and fed up with the New Year’s Resolution crowd.  I will have to just get over it (and get over myself, too).  We’ll see…
For now, I’m just enjoying keeping on – keepin’ on…  (I’ll drink to that!)
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On This Day In:
2018 House To Home
2017 Got Education?
2016 Necessary Company
2015 Reality Vs Imagination
2014 Penalty Period
2013 Theft
2012 Cranky Old Man
2011 A Man’s Got To Know His Limitations

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The end of day thirteen and the morning of day fourteen…
Morning weight: 354lbs. (on Day 14)
I am same / down “1/19”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 19lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Today’s answer to yesterday’s question (Pause or Plateau?) is:  Pause.  At least for today…
Day 13 was harder than expected and probably harder than it needed to be.  I watched some daytime TV and it looks like 50% of the commercials are about food and eating lunch out (dinner too).   Anyway, it’s hard to watch a couple of hours of “news” when you’re salivating over the commercials.  The bottom line:  Turn off the TV and walk away!
Last night was a strange night.  I feel like I had a terrible night of sleep because I was dreaming about eating.  LoL!!  I don’t really know where I was (home or out at a restaurant), but I was at a large round table which looked like it was loaded from a buffet.  The table was loaded with mounds of my favorite foods – and lots of foods which I would not normally consider my faves:  pork chops, corn bread, corn on the cob, BBQ ribs, shredded beef and pork, chunky mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and spinach, fried calamari and southern style fried chicken.  It sounds funny to say, but have you ever dreamed of your eyes opening to the size of dinner plates?  I felt like my eyes popped out of my head like I was in a “Loonie Tunes” cartoon.  I guess the TV commercials struck a deep chord in my psyche for the day / night.
The good news is I woke up today (Day 14) feeling full!!!  (Take that Madison Avenue!)
In the afternoon, I spent another hour or so working on the floor project I’ve got going.  We have some chipped tiles and the wife has decided enough is enough and it’s time for me to replace them.  The first step is removal (7 tiles).  The next step is making sure the grout and mortar is removed and the replacement tiles sponge cleaned and the same with the holes.  I replaced three tiles earlier in the year and I wasn’t satisfied with either the mortar process or the grouting process, so I’m going to try something “new”.  Instead of mortar, I’m going to try some Loctite adhesive bond.  It’s supposed to work best for concrete, but it says it will bond any two clean surfaces.  Today (Day 14), I’m giving it a try in an out of the way area.  Hopefully, this will help it be less noticeable if it doesn’t work.  I’ll let you know if it does work…
As mentioned in earlier posts, I’m going to try to integrate my blending fast with the intermittent fasting (OMAD) so I delayed drinking any blend until 1pm.  I’m going to try to get through with finishing my bottle by 7pm.  After that, it’ll be strictly water or tea.  I don’t want to try drinking coffee that late in the day / evening.  That means today will be day one for that test too.
Today is Day 14, which is the last day of the first two weeks of my blend fast.  Tomorrow, week two will be done and I’ll post the images from my start day, after one week and then after week two.  I had a peek today and I don’t see much of a change yet, so I’m not expecting much tomorrow either.  The point is not just to feed my narcissism, but to create a “public” record for myself.  I’ve been told (or I should say I’ve read) this is important psychologically to create / increase personal accountability.  I’ve never agreed with the philosophy, but I’ll give it a try…  In for a penny, in for a pound.
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On This Day In:
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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The end of day twelve and the morning of day thirteen…
Morning weight: 355lbs. (on Day 13)
I am same / down “0/18”.  As in, 0lbs down from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
This is the day most folks trying to lose weight dread.  The pause…  Is it the start of a gain?  Just a one day / one off, or an actual plateau?  Did I do something different yesterday?  Was I simply standing differently on the scale?  And, so it goes…
I’m afraid most of the time, there simply is no reason for a one-day pause (assuming that’s what this is).  It could be anything from a slight change in water retention to the body simply saying enough is enough for now.  As mentioned in a prior fasting post, the human body is not only a complicated system, it is a complex system with hundreds of factors interacting with each other in the process we call life / living.  In any case, only time (a few days) will tell…  Pause or plateau…
One of the things I’d forgotten about was (for me) the main difference between juicing and blending (particularly with a thick / hearty blend) is when juicing, after a few (three or four) days your stomach settles down to getting a limited amount of calories with almost no substance / roughage.  Effectively, this means you stop getting the persistent sensation of:  “I want to eat and I want to eat NOW!!”  You settle into a “I’m tired” or “I’m energized” kind of toggle-state.  When you’re blending this doesn’t happen.  The blend tells your stomach there is more to come and your stomach tells your mind:  “Now!!”  At least this is how I feel when I do blending.  And this is what I went through the day (Day 12) with – thinking about food.
Today (Day 13), I’m trying to nip this in the bud by having my blend earlier and more consistently throughout the day.  I’ll just have to see how it goes…  At this point, I’m only two days (today and tomorrow) shy of a full two weeks, so I am momentarily setting aside my “one day at a time” attitude and pushing to finish the week.  If I make it easily, I may continue day to day.  If not, I’m intending to switch to Intermittent Time Fasting.  I’m thinking of going straight to a “6/18” window with “one” meal a day (OMAD).  My understanding of this is “one meal” is not one eating session.  It is one “meal”.  You get a “snack” to break the fast (typically an egg, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts), you then get your one “full” meal where you can eat as much as you want and anything you want, and then you have the option of another snack before your daily window closes.  The meal is usually timed at two hours before your eating window closes and the final snack is usually in the last fifteen minutes before the window closes.  On a 6/18 with a window of 1pm to 7pm, this means “break fast” between 1pm and 1:30pm, full meal about 5pm through 6pm and the second snack at 6:45pm.  During the fast period, you can only have water, black coffee or unsweetened / unflavored tea (green or black).
I must admit, I am looking forward to trying this “new” (to me) version of eating / fasting.  This is what my sister has been doing and she says she is having good results.  And so it goes…
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On This Day In:
2018 Here And Hope
2017 Choose
2016 All I Ever Wanted
2015 Compassionate Toward Yourself
2014 All And None
2013 Voices In The Dark
2012 Does Uncommonly Flexible = Flip-Flopping?
2011 A Modest Review Of A Modern Day Classic
Encouragement Is The Path To Immortality

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The end of day eleven and the morning of day twelve…
Morning weight: 355lbs.  (on Day 12)
I am down / down “1/18”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs  (the morning of Day 1).
After walking Shiva, I went up to my brother’s (Sean) house to visit and to watch the San Francisco (actually the San Jose) Forty-Niners play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I went up in the morning so we could have some time to kick it before the game started.  We did that for about an hour and then spent most of another hour reviewing the movies and TV shoes my brother has been binge-ing on.  He has kidney failure and goes to dialysis four times a week.  Most of the remaining time he is recovering from the dialysis and watching the tube.  He says half the time he is sleeping and the tube is watching him.  He is really starting to get into foreign entertainment (Asian, Middle-Eastern, Indian and some European).  We were joined by my sister’s husband (Art) for the game itself.  The Niners won and it was a satisfying victory keyed more by the defense (two interceptions for touchdowns) than by the offense.  Still, a win is a win.
After the game and drive home, I relaxed for a minute and then went for an evening swim (7:10pm-8:10pm), so I did get a little bookend exercise for the day.
I stopped drinking three hours before bed and, again, did not have to get up during the night.  I’ll give it a few more days, but it certainly seems like that’s going to end up being a key to losing weight (a restful sleep).  For some reason my FitBit gave me an extra two hours of sleep – including an extra hour of “deep sleep”, which started before I even went to bed.  I guess it just can’t tell when you stop moving and your heart slows and when you are actually asleep.
As of this morning, I consider myself to be losing actual weight now.  As I’ve frequently mentioned, the best estimates are that you (we / I) have between 7 and 15 pounds of stomach content at any given time.  This is food “in processing” along the pipeline from mouth to bum.  When juicing, most of this gets eliminated after the first few (4) days.  This explains the rapid weight loss during the first few days of a juice fast.  It also explains the rapid weight gain when you come off the fast and begin to refill the stomach content.  From my reading, the 7 to 15 pound range is the best estimate for average adults and not reflective of obese or morbid obesity.  I assume morbidly obese folks will have even larger stomachs than average adults and therefor would start off with more stomach content and more weigh to shed.  I don’t know if this is a fact or just my opinion, but assuming it’s valid, this means that at 18 to 20 pounds loss I am probably finally stating to get to my non-content weight loss.  I am certainly hoping that is true, anyway.
I’m now more than halfway through week two and proceeding day to day…  And, so it goes…
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On This Day In:
2018 Worry (x2)
2017 Still Working
Gold In The Morning Sun
2016 Power Inside
2015 Sometimes I Feel Small
2014 It Slipped Away
2013 Corollary
2012 Working Retired
2011 The Web Is Not Authoritative! (Really?)

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The end of day ten and (now) most of the way through day eleven…
Morning weight: 356lbs.  (on Day 11)
I am down / down “2/17”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 17lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Day 10 seemed to be hard because it was cool to cold and I didn’t want to go for a swim in the cold.  Somehow, not having the swim made the day seem a lot longer.  Instead we (Hil and I) went to Home Depot and humped some decorative rocks to the car and then from the car to the back of the house.  (I did the “humping”.  My better half did the supervising.)  Not at all the same as an hour’s swim, but it was a bit of a pain toting 50lbs sacks, so I am counting it as exercise.  I also spent a good hour-plus getting my blend ready of the next few days.  It looks like I have enough for at least a week.  I boosted the blend with an extra can of beans:  1 can pinto and 1 can of black beans.  I also blended with whole carrots instead of carrot juice.  The two “extras” has made this week’s blend very thick.  It’s almost as thick as a pan of Scouse without the potatoes and lamb (or beef).  The taste / texture is also heartier / thicker.  And, of course, it’s a LOT more filling.  I had my first half-bottle for dinner in the evening.
I am going to try to combine the juice / blending with the intermittent fasting by using a drinking window.  I don’t seem to be hungry in the morning (unless I smell food), so I”m going to see how long the following morning I can go before breaking my overnight fast.  Normally, I have something to drink (my blend) as soon as I complete the dog walk.  This means any time between 8:30am and 11am.  In intermittent fasting, you eat within a specific time window each day.  8/16, 6/18 and 5/19 are some of the more common windows.  Basically, you can only eat during your window “8” hrs, “6” hrs or “5” hrs each day – and, of course, you fast for the other hours.  The key is picking how many meals you will have during the window and adjusting the window to match your lifestyle.  For example, if you have an eight hour window and you normally have your family dinner at 7pm, you might chose to open your window at noon.  This gives you an hour to eat your dinner before the window closes.  You are allowed to slide the window on any given day, but folks generally get the best weight loss results from using a consistent time for their window.
Last night I stopped drinking at 9pm sharp.  The side benefit (last night) was I didn’t wake up to use the toilet.  I’ll have to give this an extra few days of testing to see if that’s all it takes to sleep through the entire night.  I have been advised, by various books, web sites and YouTube clips that I need to stop all drinking at least three hours before going to bed.  That’s a bit tough as I take all of my heart medications and vitamins just before bed.  Anyway, I’ll start by not drinking my blend a couple of hours before going to bed…
Day 11 has been an out and about day for me, and this post is pretty late in the evening.  In other words, I’m tired and cutting today’s post short.  I hope everyone (anyone?) reading this has a good week.
Back soon…
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On This Day In:
2018 Up For Progress
Day 1.5: Done (For Now)
2017 And Second By Second
2016 Bakeries And Coffee Shops
2015 Spirit Not Form
2014 Sometimes Even Kneeling Seems Insufficient
2013 Hobgoblins
2012 Got Sleep?
2011 Not Another Barren Corner

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The end of day nine and (now) most of the way through day ten…
Morning weight: 358lbs.  (on Day 10)
I am down / down “1/15”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 15lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).  Compared to today (Day 10), yesterday (Day 9) was easy.  Maybe it’s a hangover from yesterday’s flu shot at the doctor’s office, or not, I don’t know.  I woke up feeling “fuzzy”.  I walked the dog (like every morning), but I kind of “woke up” every now and then realizing I was walking along just staring at the sidewalk.  The day was grey and overcast, so I wasn’t missing anything brilliant, but I really have little to no recollection of most of the walk.  I’m tempted to blame it on low blood-sugar level, but that normally feels weakening, not fuzzy around the edges.  Anyway, I got home and drank some “swamp-juice” and started feeling better.
Most of yesterday was just “chillin’.  I remain “mildly” surprised at how much extra time blogging takes up during these fasts.  It’s my own fault for trying to keep a running daily tab, but this “journaling” is the closest I come to actually writing.  Yes, I also do book and movie reviews on this blog, but I’m really slacking off on the book reading and I’ve got a running list of just over a hundred movies I’ve not reviewed in the last eighteen months.  Heck, I’ve got over five movies to review from this week alone!  Alas, if only there were more hours in a day and / or I were less of a procrastinator.
Before reading any further, remember I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist.  I am only relating what I have viewed on YouTube and read over the course of my lifetime in books and magazines.  Take everything I opine on with a healthy bit of skepticism and conduct your own research.  To quote the famous Vulcan expression: “Never trust anyone over 50!”  Me in particular…
Eat Less
I mentioned a few days ago that I believe losing weight comes down to three things.  ONE of them was to eat less.  I also mentioned I didn’t particularly believe this meant eating less calories.  Huh?  It turns out for many years we’ve been fed (pardon the pun) a line as to both calories and various food types.  It turns out that you really AREN’T what you eat.  When we eat fat, we don’t get fat and when we eat food high in cholesterol we don’t “get” high cholesterol.  It seems the body has an organ (the liver) which can make enough for you to live without eating foods with high cholesterol content.  BUT, that’s not the same thing as saying eating foods with high cholesterol will make your cholesterol rise.  From my limited reading (remember, I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist), we don’t know if it does or not for “most” people.  We also don’t know if the bump / effect is permanent or short term and we don’t know if it (high cholesterol) causes any problems in the body.  We have evidence that folks who die from heart disease also frequently have high cholesterol, but correlation is not causation.  For all we know, the heart disease may be causing the high cholesterol, rather than the other way around.
According to one of the (many) online calculators, at 5′ 10″ and 358 pounds, my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is : 2750 and my Daily Calorie Needs (DCN) is: 3850 calories.  The BMR is how many calories you need if you are in a coma or sleeping all day.  The DCN is how much I need for a sitting job and light physical activity (aka: a normal life).  What this says is that (on average) I will burn 110 calories per hour if I do nothing but breathe, and I need to take in 150 calories per hour if I live my “normal” life.  This will leave me at a complete wash.  I won’t gain weight.  I won’t lose weight.  As most folks normally eat during a 16 hour period (8hrs per day of sleep), that “really” breaks down to about 240 calories per hour or three meals in that time span of 1,300 calories each.  (Yes, I am rounding my numbers.)
When considering these numbers, please recall both BMR and DCN are related to height and weight.  Since my height is not going to decrease by dieting, we really only need to think about weight.  As my weight decreases, my BMR and my DCN will both also decrease.  So, as I get lighter, I will need to progressively eat less.  Surprising, the difference is not linear for either.  If I were my “ideal maximum” weight for my height (181 pounds), my BMR should be: 1678 and DCN should be: 2349 calories.  Since my ideal weight is almost exactly half my current, I would expect my BMR and DCN at my ideal weight to also be one half (i.e. BMR: 2750 / 2 = 1375 and DCN: 3850 / 2 = 1925).  The two ratios are linear (corresponding) with each other, but they are not linear with weight loss.  So, something seems out of whack for calories…
It is generally accepted you need to burn 3,500 calories to burn off one pound of body weight (per week), or 500 calories per day.  That’s not eating slightly more than two candy bars or not drinking three eight ounce glasses of average juice per day.  That should be “doable” for most people.  Instead of four bars a day, I’ll cut back to one or two and voilà, in two years (-ish) I’m skinny.
The problem seems to be that calories don’t count as much as sweetness counts.  Fat / obesity “seems” to be more related to insulin than it is to calories.  And the primary purpose of insulin is to maintain blood-sugar level within a pretty narrow band:  too low, you pass out; too high, you get sick (think: diabetic coma).  So, the questions are:  “What do we know about insulin?  And, how can we control it?”
And…  more to come…
Oh, yeah.  The average Vulcan lifespan (in StarTrek:TOS) is 180 to 200 years.  The actual Vulcan expression is:  “Never take the advice of anyone under 50.”  Presumably, because they haven’t lived long enough to know much.
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On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 2)
Day 1: Redux
2017 Good Blogs, Too
2016 My Prediction For #AmnestyDon
2015 Worth A Try
2014 I’m Feeling It
2013 May I Have A Little More, Please?
2012 Increasing Doubt
2011 You Can’t Touch This

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The end of day eight and the (now) most of the way through day nine…  One full day completed into week 2 of juice / blend fasting.
Morning weight: 359lbs.  (on Day 9)
I am down / down “2/14”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 14lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).  For those who are British: I have now lost a “stone” from my starting weight!
Yesterday was a fairly uneventful day: walked the dog (30min), TV (news), blog a bit / watch YouTube / read emails, read a book, go for a swim (1hr, breast stroke), watch the first half of a movie.  Basically, a nice, relaxing day.  Nothing major to report.  Drink my juice / blend too fast, get runs…   This is both good and bad.  Bad:  You got the runs.  Good:  Another day without being constipated.  Believe it or not, THAT is a BIG thing when you are fasting.
So, today is Day 9 and I woke feeling pretty well.  I’m feeling slightly thinner and I’m not having any of the (my) normal aches and pains.  It’s all good…
This afternoon I went to see my General Physician (GP) for my annual health check.  BP: 114 / 64.  HR: 67.  Weight: 350lbs.  BMI: 50.22.  The good news is my blood test was also generally positive, with most bad numbers edging closer to good and good numbers getting better.  So, it’s: “See ya’ in six months.”
Today I am finishing my last bottle of “juice / blend” so tomorrow I will need to grind up a new batch.  Here’s the menu:  2 bunches of celery, 2 large cucumbers, 2 large onions, 2 bunches of spinach, 3lbs of carrots, 1 large broccoli, water (for blending) and various processed juices (for calories and taste).  The processed juices vary depending on what’s on sale, but normally include V-8 Greens, V-8 Bananas / Strawberry, Apple Cider, Grapefruit, Cranberry and Pomegranate.  None of these have added sugar.  That’s not the same as having NO sugar.  It only means there is none added.  I also add 1 or 2 cans of beans (Kidney, Pinto or Black).  This makes enough bottles for 6 to 8 days of fasting.
Now the first thing any health / juicer person is going to shout is:  “You can’t store juice that long!!!”  Yes!  I know.  I know.  “Traditional” veggie juicing theology (protocol) mandates you MUST drink your veggie juice within an hour of juicing and certainly no longer than the same day.  Well, that’s fine if you’ve got the time, energy and dedication.  I could probably find the time if I had the other two assets (energy and dedication), but – to be perfectly honest – I don’t.  When processes get too complicated, a somewhat lazy stiff like me blows off the process or at least a few steps.  I wish I could afford to have someone else do the preparation before ever juice meal or even every day, but I can’t (afford it) and I don’t have the motivation.  I’ve tried it a couple of times when I first got into juicing and, to quote Bob Dylan:  “It Ain’t Me Babe.  No. No. No.  It Ain’t Me Babe.”  So, I have to focus on what I can:  bunch process the blend and drink it each day.  That I CAN do.
Backing up a bit, some of you may have noticed I showed my weight this morning as 359lbs, but my doctor’s office visit was 350lbs.  What’s up with that?  Well, first I use an analogue scale and they use a digital scale.  I don’t know if they program the scale to discount for clothing or not.  When that is programmed into the digital scale they are normally set for either 3lbs, 5lbs, 7lbs or 9lbs depending on if the person is fully dressed or in shorts and either barefoot or in shoes / trainers.  I didn’t see the nursing assistant punch anything in so if it is programmed it’s probably for fully dressed with work shoes – so the max: 9lbs.  But, for the sake of argument, let’s say it doesn’t have an offset programmed in.  What else might cause the difference?  Standing!
Standing??  Yes.  Standing…  What is the scale standing on?  Carpet or a hard surface?  And, where are you standing on the scale?  Surface can add / drop 5lbs from the reading.  My own scale is on cement.  If a scale is not my own, I try to stand in the center of the scale, as flat footed as I can get and with my weight as balanced as I can be.  On my own scale (at home), I take two measurements daily (each morning):  1) knees slightly bent, feet flat, but with my weight shifted as much as possible (without falling) over my toes; and, 2) knees straight (not locked), feet flat, but with my weight shifted as much as possible (without falling) over my heels.  On my scale, the variation between the two is normally 7 to 10 pounds!  It has been as low as 5 pounds and as large as 12 pounds.  (Sarcasm:  “The beauty of using a spring based scale.”)  The first is the high for the day.  The second is my low for the day.
My daily record (these posts) shows the highs.  My monthly “Sweat Equity” page (with daily updates) shows both weigh-ins.  The temptation is to pick the lows, but because I don’t “really” know how accurate my scale is, I don’t want to pick the lows and then show up at the doctor’s office a get a rude surprise.  The last time I was at the doctor’s office, his scale matched my scales low weight for that day.  Today, the doctor’s scale was 2lbs below my low scale weight from this morning (and I was wearing shoes at the office but not this morning).  Which means I got a pleasant surprise!
So, now having read all of this post, aren’t you glad to know there are some folks out there who are WAY crazier and OCD than you are…??
Yesterday I offered up a 20-ish minute video about the math of fat loss.  Today I’ve got a reply.  It’s marginally shorter (17-ish minutes) and I don’t know the presenter or what he is trying to “push / sell”, but I found it interesting, so I’m passing it along…
(Reply Video to:) The Mathematics Of Weight Loss Ruben Meerman TEDxQUT (presented by: Dr. Sten Ekberg)
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On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 1)
Day 41: Hiccup Or End Of Days?
2017 Sharp-Edged Beauty
2016 Start, Keep, Finish
2015 Lifetime Friends
2014 Acknowledgement
2013 Longevity, Tenacity and Diversity
2012 What Reagan Really Cared About
2011 Seeming Sane (Or Not)

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The end of day seven and the start of day eight…  Today is now the start of week 2 of juice / blend fasting.
Morning weight: 361lbs.  (on Day 8)
I am down / down “1/12”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 12lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).

Image of scale at 361lbs

End of Week 1: 361lbs

As I am typing this, I am past noon on Day 1 of Week 2 (Day 8).  After walking the dog, Hil and I had a brief chat about the fast.  She is supportive, but not enthusiastic about my fasting as she believes dieting and losing weight is about personal discipline, portion size, and not eating foods you like (except VERY rarely).  And DISCIPLINE.  Did I mention she believes in discipline?  She, therefore, is not a big fan of fasting because:  “What’s next?”  You come off the fast and you gain it all back…  I asked her how she felt about my continuing the juice fast.  She replied by asking how I felt.  I said good.  She said, well then go for another week.  So, it’s decided: I’ll go day to day and “try” to make it another full week.   (Did you see how I made that “modest” change?  LoL.)
The good thing about committing to a week is you have a set goal with an end day / date.  The bad thing, of course, is that if you are a “goal setting / objective” person, you feel like a failure if you don’t hit the goal.  Since today was my original goal (“finish the jump start and move on to MADF”), I am reluctant to arbitrarily double my goal and now be only half done (half way through two weeks).  Hence the day to day goal…  Hopefully, this will also help me try to stay in the moment (or in the day).  Yesterday is done and I was successful.  How am I doing today?
The following is a TEDx video I’ve watched multiple times over the last two years.  It deals with the chemical mathematics of burning fat tissue.  Enjoy…
The Mathematics of Weight Loss
Presented by: Ruben Meerman
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On This Day In:
2018 Hey, #45: Are We Sick Of Winning, Yet?
Day 40: Wrists
2017 Heart Vision
2016 A Labor Day / Pre-Election Hope
Trust Me, Too
2015 Without Hope
Things Known And Unknown
2014 A Wall Too High, A Bridge Too Far
2013 Glory = Danger
Chicago Magic
Feelin’ It
2012 How Did We Get Here?
2011 Labor Day Weekend Mishmash
More, More, More

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The end of day six and the start of day seven…  Today completes the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 362lbs.  (on Day 7)
I am down / down “2/11”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 11lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday, was a peculiar day.  I had to give a blood sample in the morning for a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This meant I had to “fast” (no eating of drinking of my blend) for 12 hours.  I stopped about 9pm the night before.  I got up and walked the dog about 9am, so I was on time.  I got to the office about 10:15am and gave the sample a little after 11am.  I almost never make an appointment to give blood.  I just bring a book or read email on my cell.  In this case, I did both.  Some time this week, I’ll get my results with my cholesterol and triglycerides levels and the doctor will review them with me to see where I stand.  Hopefully, both will be down (at least slightly) and I’ll be able to avoid any statins.  I was taking them in pill form for a number of years and been having a negative reaction (muscle pains and joint stiffness), but my cardiologist feels I will need to go back on something.  He’s recommending some new drug (new to me) which is administered via shot.   I’m not keen on drugs or shots (in particular), so I have another reason to make a go of fasting and losing weight.
After giving blood, I had a shot of OJ and then went out to mow the front lawn.  That took about an hour.  I settled in to drink at least a quart of my blend.  I watched a bit of TV and read a bit and then took a nap for about 2hrs.  After that, I watched some Netflix and then went to the pool for an evening swim (60 minutes / breast stroke).  I felt like it was exhilarating but (again) I tired quickly (after about 30 minutes).  So, it was another gut check to finish the time.  I just set a nice relaxing pace and got through it…  I can pretty easily do 40 lengths (25 yard lenghts) in under 55 minutes, so I say I’m doing 42 to 44 lengths an hour.  That’s a little more than one half mile (36 lengths).  It may not sound great to any young readers, but I started out in April taking between 75 and 80 minutes to do just 40 lengths, so I’ve made reasonable progress for an ol’ geezer.
Today is actually Day 7 of the fast and tomorrow I’ll be posting a photo of my progress.  Tonight I’ll make a decision about going for another week or just going day to day.  At this moment, I’m feeling great, so I’m leaning towards committing to a second full week and then switching.  The thing about “committing” is if I fall off the wagon, I’ll start beating myself up about it, whereas “day to day” is just until yesterday.  I know it’s psychologically wrong, but that’s the way (formerly) A+ personality types think.  “Set a goal.  MUST make it.  MUST make it. MUST aaauurrgghh!”
Why Studying Dieting Doesn’t Work…
On this journey I’ve struggled with dieting for most of my adult life.  I’ve almost always succeeded (for a while) in losing some weight, and then rebounded – sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  I’ve tried every diet plan I could reasonably afford, and almost all of them have worked (for a while).  For me, the problem has been, “What’s next?”  Sure, this or that diet works for a week or two, but what happens next?  I don’t want to “diet” forever.  This means over the last 20 years I’ve used “fasting” as my hack to a non-healthy eating lifestyle.  I either eat too much or I eat too frequently – or both.  For the longest time I’d felt this was some kind of psychological failure / adaptation on my part.  Although not poor while growing up, we certainly didn’t have the quality or quantity of food which I experienced when eating over at my friends houses.
It’s only in the last ten years I’ve thought maybe it’s not me with the problem.  Okay.  Yes, it is ME, but it’s not necessarily my brain’s (a lack of self-discipline) fault.  It’s not that I’m weak.  It’s that modern food is addicting and it’s promoted in advertising as a substitute for happiness.  I don’t mean psychologically addicting, by the way, although there is definitely some of that, too.  I mean modern food is full of chemicals (mainly) – sugar and flavor enhancers – which are meant to stimulate our appetites without giving us a sense of fullness (to tell us to stop stuffing our faces / stomachs).  I mean that modern food is physically addicting.  (Our stomachs, in fact, have sensors which tell our brain “we’re full, stop eating for a while”.  This is why drinking water before eating somewhat deadens our appetites.  The water – which has zero calories – takes up space and generates a sense of fullness in the stomach.)
The human body has served us well for thousands of years and until fairly recently, obesity (and in particular morbid obesity) has been rare.  The trend over the last ten to twenty years has been to blame what we eat (junk food / fast food), how much we eat (portions and frequency), and, everybody’s favorite culprit:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  The problem we (as individuals and as a society) have is correlation is not causation and food science is closer to a “soft” science (like psychology) than it is to a “hard” science (like chemistry).  This is because we have little to no ability to create valid controls for a scientific test.  The primary variable is the human body and, despite appearances (we all “seem” pretty much the same), in fact, we have wildly different individual reactions to different types of food AND we have no longitudinal studies (that I am aware of) which show the same person has the same reactions to different types of food across their individual life spans.  What longitudinal studies we do have tend to be voluntary, subjective and self-reported.  We are, therefore, highly dependent on the person reporting to provide accurate and honest information / data for our analysis.  We then use statistics and hope accuracy and honesty will level out under our Bell Curve.
More of my random thoughts to come…
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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The end of day five and the start of day six…  Two more days to complete the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 364lbs.  (on Day 6)
I am down / down “1/9”.  As in, 1lbs down from yesterday and 9lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
I feel like I’m starting to get my second wind.  I am feeling great in the mornings and try to do things and then get tired easily.  All of this is normal until the fat burning really kicks in.  I do feel like I’m already getting thinner and (like I said) feeling better / healthier.  Part of it is purely psychological as I can see the goal – of completing week one – now clearly in sight.  I will wait until I see how I feel on day seven to decide if I’m going to the modified alternate day fast (MADF) or if I stick to the juice blend for some additional time.  Last year, I did my week and then kept going for almost seven weeks (41 days).  I pretty much said: “Let’s go for two weeks and then day to day.”  Which is what I ended up doing…
I was planning to go for a swim in the evening, but when we drove by around 6pm, the pool was still packed with families.  My local homeowners association has two BBQ’s a year: one for Memorial Day and one for Labor Day.  The are used to mark the “official” open and closing of the pool season.  At the discretion of the association board the pool can be opened earlier and stay open longer.  Last year (2018), we opened at the start of May.  This year, almost at the start of April.  Last year, we closed after Halloween.  This year it looks like the end of September.  We are hoping to resurface the pool (after 20 years), and the Board wants the pool closed as soon as our permit clears to make sure we are able to open on time next year / season.
My point about the families being I don’t like to swim laps when it’s crowed because folks want to have fun with their kids and I’d be tying up a whole lane just for my laps.  So, no swim, but I did get in my 30 minute dog walk.  C’est la vie…
My hands, wrists, feet and ankles are consistently not bloated and my Blood Pressure is starting to consistently drop into the “good” range.  I had my first 118 / 81 in quite a while.  Not perfect, but much better than the 135+ / 85+ I’ve been registering lately.  When I’m getting 115 / 75 in my morning reading, I’ll be happy.  That’s a great number for any age, let alone 64, pushing 65 years old.  My average resting Heart Rate is now down in the 50 / 51 per minute range.  That’s down from the 55 / 65 is was for most of last month.  I’m not a fully convinced believer in the maximum heart beats in a lifetime theory, but it seems oddly consistent across species, and I think it deserves more research.  And, yes, I’m fairly OCD and measure my BP/HR two to three times a day.  I was doing it religiously for several years (and charting them over time).  I showed my Excel file and charts to my cardiologist and he said I need to chill out as this kind of compulsive behavior can result in increases to both BP and HR.  That was a couple of years ago, now.  I no longer chart the results and I mostly just do morning and before bed – and, maybe once or twice a week during the afternoon.
In some future post, I’ll try to explain what I mean by “eat less”, “move more” and “eat healthier”.  For now, I’ll just say “eat less” doesn’t necessarily mean eating fewer calories…  (more later!)
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On This Day In:
2018 Thought Experiments
Day 38: Going Crazy
2017 Which Did You Learn?
2016 Shape And Limit
2015 Me Either
2014 Just Business
2013 Beautiful Adventure
2012 Precedence
2011 Ya Think?

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The end of day four and the start of day five…  Over the Hump for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 365lbs.  (on Day 5)
I am down / down “2/8”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 8lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a much easier day than expected.  And, yes, I am pleasantly surprised.  As mentioned (in yesterday’s post), I was expecting a difficult day because we were going to my sister’s house for a Labor Day BBQ.  We did and it smelled delicious (and everyone said it was).  Despite the obvious temptation, I was able to tough it out.  It really only takes me about 10 minutes to settle in.  My sister has fasted and her husband has lived with her while fasting, so once I “announced” I was fasting, they were very polite in not “pushing” the food at me.  It was difficult looking at the veggies, dip, BBQ (and desserts), and mainly smelling the BBQ, but I just walked away from the counter with my bottle of juice and settled in front of the TV while everyone ate.  After everyone else ate, I felt less tired than Day 3 – physically and sleep wise, but I still managed a short (20-30 minute) nap on the couch while the ladies went shopping and Art (my brother-in-law) walked their dogs.  They left and let the TV watch me for a while.
Prior to departure, I added pink grapefruit juice and watermelon juice to my veggie-blend (“swamp-juice”) to make it a little more acidic and to have a few more calories.  I find the acidity reduces hunger and the calories keep me from getting the low blood-glucose hunger pangs / shakes.  I brought along my 1 gallon (128fl.oz.) bottle of blend for the trip and I got through most of it.  We stayed almost five hours.  The key, of course, is to drink a bunch at first, so you are both full and can “go” early and often (i.e. don’t have to “go” too badly when you’re on the road driving home).  Anyway, I had the timing almost perfect – at least there were no problems on the road in either direction.
As expected after yesterday’s rebound, I shed most of the water weight I picked up (2lbs) after my initial big loss.  Between days two, three, and four, I lost 6lbs and then regained 2lbs.  A loss of 6lbs overnight is not only unhealthy, it is almost certainly an indication of excessive water loss (with or without stomach content).  Gaining some of it (the 2lbs) back should be no big deal as long as the overall trend of several days is downwards (negative / actual weight loss).  While this is completely subjective, the question is:  “How do you feel?”  Both at the start of the day and throughout…  If you feel thinner, it’s okay.  If you don’t, is it because you feel heavier or “just” bloated.  This is not always easy for someone to judge.  It takes experience because feeling bloated can also make you (me anyway) feel heavier.  The key is that it doesn’t always do so and you have to learn to feel the difference.  Again, down to experience…
While at my sister’s, she asked me: “How long this time?”  My response:  “The plan is at least a week and then back to a ‘real’ intermittent fasting schedule.  But, I’m flexible and I’ll see how I feel.”
For my new(er) followers, last year I fasted for 41 solid days and didn’t quite finish the 42nd day.
My sister has been experimenting with Alternate Day and Intermittent Time Fasting since early April when I talked with her about it over our multi-birthday family BBQ.  She’s lost just over ten pounds and says it’s been really interesting and relatively easy.  The hard parts were playing with both types and figuring out what actually fit with her lifestyle and daily schedule.  She figured out the strict alternate daily fasting didn’t work at all.  The modified (5 / 2 method) was better, but still too difficult.  She then tried Intermittent Time, and it “clicked for me”  (her words).  Now she uses a window each day, which slides depending on her daily schedule and hunger.  She tends to stick to 10am to 6pm, but says if she’s not hungry, she simply pushes the window back  (11am to 7pm), or sometimes even leaves it at 6pm.
My sister was a pretty strict vegetarian, but says she now has chicken and / or fish several times a month.  She still doesn’t eat beef or pork.  She is letting her body tell her what it needs.  She is visibly thinner and (to me) looks younger and happier (more contented) than when I last saw her (even a few weeks ago).  Of course, there is no reason to believe all of this is down to her changed diet – I’m just sayin’.  Oh, yeah.  And she still enjoys her wine!  She believes she’s reached a point where her body is naturally telling her to eat better food choices and she’s enjoying that feeling.  This was her “click”.
Other thoughts:
Last week I got word they were closing our neighborhood pool on the weekdays through the end of September.  It would remain open on the weekends, but with reduced hours.  There was a stink amongst the homeowners association and the Board has decided to keep the pool open on weekdays, but with limited (no) lifeguards / staffing.  Yea!   I have really been enjoying my use of the pool and try to go when there are few families / children so I have a clear path (lane) for swimming laps.  So, I’m very happy about the Board’s decision!
So, I am mid-way through day five and finishing one week is starting to look like a piece of cake…  (Yes, a bad dieting / fasting simile.)
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On This Day In:
2018 We Are Approaching Default
Running On History
Day 37: Blended Not Juiced
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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