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Today in sports medicine and exercise physiology, peak oxygen consumption is known by the ubiquitous acronym VO2 for oxygen in its usual chemical notation, and “max” for maximum.  VO2 max is accepted around the globe as the best single measure of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic power.
In the early days, the question was whether coaches and individuals could raise the maximum uptake so as to increase athletic performance.  The answer emerged quickly: very much so.  Regular aerobic training turned out to increase the size of the heart, most especially its left ventricle — the heart’s largest chamber, which pumps oxygenated blood into the arteries and body.  A bigger left ventricle sent out more blood per beat and more oxygen to the tissues and muscles.  Scientists sought to measure the rise.  It turned out that the cardiac output of elite athletes was about twice that of untrained individuals.
The benefits extended to most anyone who took up vigorous exercise.  In time, scientists found that three months of endurance training could raise VO2 max between 15 and 30 percent.  Two years raised it as much as 50 percent.
The new perspective was a breakthrough.  At last, after many decades of mistakes and misapprehensions, scientists had uncovered what seemed like a dependable guide to human fitness.
The topic was long obscure.  Then Kenneth H. Cooper came along.  A track star in his native Oklahoma, the physician worked for the Air Force and early in his career devised a simple test that provided a good estimate of an individual’s VO2 max.  The test measure how far a person could run in twelve minutes.  Cooper’s rule of thumb let the Air Force quickly assess the fitness of new recruits.  Eager to popularize his insights, he invented a new word, “aerobics,” and in 1968 authored a by the same name.  It drew on his years of research to show what kinds of exercise produced the best cardiovascular workout.  Cooper found that such muscular activities as calisthenics and weight lifting were the least effective.  Participant sports like golf and tennis came in second.  And the big winners?  Challenging sports like running, swimming, and cycling, as well as vigorous participant sports such as handball, squash, and basketball.  His analyses caught on rapidly and helped get millions of people off their chairs and into the streets.  Starting in the 1970s, jogging became fashionable.
The surge of activity resulted in a number of scientific inquiries that examined what aerobic exercise could do not only for athletics but health.  The results were dramatic.  Perhaps most important, the studies showed that aerobic exercise lowered an individual’s risk of heart attack and heart disease — the leading cause of death in the developed world.  It also reduced the prevalence of diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, dementia, osteoporosis, hypertension, gallstones, diverticulitis, and a dozen forms of cancer.  Finally, it helped patients cope with all kinds of chronic health problems.  Frank Hu, and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, praised the benefits as exceptional.  For general health, he called vigorous exercise “the single thing that comes close to a magic bullet.”
Why did it do so much good?  Scientists found that forceful exercise improved the performance of virtually every tissue in the human body.  For instance, it produced new capillaries in skeletal muscles, the heart, and the brain, increasing the flow of nutrients and the removal of toxins.  Scientists also discovered that it raised the number of circulating red blood cells, improving the transport of oxygen.  Still another repercussion centered on blood vessels.  It caused their walls to produce nitric oxide, a relaxant that increases blood flow.
  —  William J. Broad
From his book:  “The Science of Yoga
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On This Day In:
2019 Chained To #45
2018 Some Men Make Their Office As Small As Themselves
2017 Too Many
2016 Not Yet, Anyway
2015 On Pornography
2014 Nudge, Nudge
2013 The Journey Will Be Joy
2012 Hopeful Flights
2011 Irrationally Predictable
Lawful Restraint

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The following is the 5th monthly (150 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 not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (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: 333lbs.  Based on these “initial” numbers, I’ve lost 40lbs from the end of August, 23lbs from the start of the ITF and gained 15lbs in the last 30 days.  [Note:  I have made a “determination” that my home scale is 30lbs light vis-a-vis the digital scales used at my doctor’s office.  Because of this, as of 1 February 2020, I have begun adding 30lbs to my weight on my home scale.  This means my “true” 29 August starting weight was closer to 403lbs than to  373lbs.  It also means my starting ITF weight was closer to 386lbs, not 356lbs.  My weight 30 days ago was 318lbs…  Adding 30lbs to that would make it 348lbs.  Today’s adjusted weight of 333lbs, means I’ve lost 15lbs in the last 30 days and not the 15lb gain indicated in the sentence prior to this “note”.  I know…  I know.  This is all confusing (and frustrating).]

Image of Calories Chart from last 30 days (Jan / Feb) of ITF

Calories Chart from last 30 days (Jan / Feb) of ITF

The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart I had three(3) days where my calories-in significantly exceeded my calories-out…  This is, however, back where I was before the X-mas season / holidays.  In the first three months, I was blowing my calories about once per week, and it looks like I’m back in that area again.  Remember, it’s not a diet, per se, as much as it’s a lifestyle, so I’m happy to have been able to lose weight while eating and (still) not working out.  The plan, of course, is to start working out again…
In prior months, I spent a paragraph describing my calories in and out and my BMR and the differences between starting, last month and the current month’s BMR.  With the “adjustment” to weight, it doesn’t make any sense to continue that discussion this month.  I may resume it next month.  The only thing which needs reporting is the 2,307 calories / day.  That plus 500 calories-out is my daily goal to achieve a weight loss of 1lb / wk.
Image of BMR on 15 Feb 2020 at 333lbs

BMR on 15 Feb 2020 at 333lbs

 

Anyway, the chart below shows I still have a calorie deficit of over 1,000 calories per day. That times seven(7) days is 7,000 calories. Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last month is 15lbs.  Divided by four(4) is 3.75lbs per week.  Over the last 2 weeks I’ve lost 7lbs (3.5lbs per week) and over the last month (as mentioned above) 15lbs (2.5lbs per week).  I would like to mention that at least once a month I have a one-day gain of 7-10lbs and this month I’ve had several such occurrences.  I initially believed this was water weight, but I’ve not been able to “prove” this, so I only record it as happening.  I will add one day I bumped my scale and it registered a jump of 10lbs (350lbs) from the prior day (340lbs).  The following day, it was back where it was (340lbs).  My other theory was a correlation with the passing of kidney stone (grains), but (this month) I haven’t had any issues with this (grains) which lined up with the weight bounces.  The vagaries of analog scales I guess…

Image of Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  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).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first few months.  (The addition / adjustment of +30lbs is clearly visible on the chart.)

Image of Weight Loss Chart (Oct - Feb)

Weight Loss Chart (Oct – Feb)

Equally important: how does it feel?  Still so-so.  As stated last month, I was very good in November and December in my daily jogging.  I haven’t been “good” since.  Yesterday was actually my first day back at jogging (5K == 3.15 miles).  I seem to be losing my chest and shoulder muscles and retaining – if not increasing – my stomach fat.  My shirts “feel” looser, but they don’t really look looser.  It’s hard psychologically to see the scale go down, but not see a bigger drop in clothes and photos.  I continue to have a nagging feeling I’m losing muscle and bone density instead of body fat.  My “reason” (as opposed to my excuse) for not jogging has been a mini-flare-up in my AFib.  I reported it to my cardiologist and he ordered a monitor for me.  I’ve been wearing it for a week now.  I’ve not been feeling ANY palpitations, so I’m starting back up on the jogging to see if that shows anything on the monitor.  Unfortunately, it’s a “black-box”.  So, even if it shows something, I won’t know about it (the issue) until after I return it (the monitor), they read it and then they send the report to my doctor.  I am still walking my dog 30-to-60 minutes a day six or seven days a week – which is better than nothing.
Obviously, I’m making no progress on my secondary goals (which remain) going forward: to smooth out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  If there is a silver lining to my cloud, it’s that I (still) didn’t have a single OMAD opportunity when I over-stuffed myself to the point of feeling sick, as I did in my first month of the MITF.  I guess you can say I am improving there, too.  Slowly, slowly…  (Full disclosure:  I got pretty close on Super Bowl Sunday.)
A final observation (again, pretty much the same as the last two months): although it is theoretically “impossible” to spot lose weight (or spot gain weight), I seem to be losing “size” in areas which correspond to my activity.  My waist is not shrinking much, but my legs, ankles, shoulders and forearms “feel” like they are getting smaller to me.  I was feeling discouraged, so I tried on some pants…  I can now fit in my 48in waist jeans.  They are comfortable on the legs and butt, but while buttoning easily, they remain snug on the waist.  I could wear them, but I’d rather feel comfortable everywhere.  This is down from my 54in waist pants / jeans of last year.  This bucked me up a bit, but I look at my 48’s, 46’s, 44’s, etc. in my closet and just have to shake my head.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2019 Sunlight Stream
2018 Wars Without Taxes
2017 Multiplication And Division
2016 I Went To The Woods…
2015 I’ve Got To Run
2014 Which Is It?
2013 Making You Stronger
2012 Sick Of Being Sick
Greater Than Power
2011 Clear, Specific And Measurable
2010 The Runner’s High
Into The Dark…

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The following is the 4th monthly (120 days) update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  Again, it’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (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: 318lbs. Basically, I’ve lost 55lbs from the end of August, 38lbs from the start of the ITF and 11lbs in the last 30 days.

Calories Chart from last 30 days (Nov / Dec) of ITF

Calories Chart from last 30 days (Nov / Dec) of ITF

The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart I had seven(7) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out… This is double (per month) than I did in each of the first two months, so definitely off the wagon for the X-mas season / holidays.  In the first three months, I was blowing my calories about once per week.  This month it was almost twice and it wasn’t “based” on my “one-meal-all-you-can-eat” day.  Again, it’s not a diet, per se, as much as it’s a lifestyle, so I’m happy to have been able to lose weight while eating and not working out.  It seems, sometimes “life” just happens and I go with it.
As mentioned in my prior monthly updates, when I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800. The on-line BMR calculator I use said my initial BMR was roughly 2,370 calories. At my current weight (318lbs), my BMR is 2,239 –  about 50 fewer calories lower / less than the prior month and 130 from the starting calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,550 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.  In any case, FB is showing my daily calories out for the last 30 days at 3,940 (about 230 calories less than prior month).  By this reckoning, I am exceeding the FB calories (3,800) by 140 per day and my BMR by almost 1,700.  Multiply this by 7 days in a week and we get 11,900 – which works out to about 3.4lbs per week of weight loss.  My actual weight loss for the last 30 days is about 11lbs.  Divided by 30 days and multiplied by 7 days is 2.57lbs per week of “actual” loss.  So, the FitBit is either scoring my calories-out to high or I’m not inputting the calories-in correctly.  I feel I am diligent about the input, but I may be underestimating the portions and therefore the difference still isn’t as great as the charts suggest.  It is also still possible the difference is in both cals-in and cals-out.  Finally, it may just be my body is not burning the calories at the “normal” rate (meaning my calories burned is lower than the heart beat is suggesting it should be because of my AFib).  Basically, I’m saying the actual weight loss is about 1 pound less than what would be predicted by the FitBit calories burned…  (Still, 11lbs in a month is pretty good!)

BMR on 16 Dec 2020 at 318lbs

BMR on 16 Jan 2020 at 318lbs

Anyway, the chart below shows I still have a calorie deficit of about 1,000 calories per day.  That times seven(7) days is 7,000 calories. Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last eight weeks is 20lbs. Divided by nine(9) is 2.22lbs per week.  This is roughly the same average weight loss per week as recorded at the end of four and eight weeks.  Over the last 2 weeks I’ve lost 7lbs (3.5lbs per week) and over the last month (as mentioned above) 11lbs (2.5lbs per week).  Again, the numbers are more reflective of weight fluctuation (gain and loss) due to the holidays than from progressive weight loss due to MITF.

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  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).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first two months.

Weight Loss Chart (Oct - Jan)

Weight Loss Chart (Oct – Jan)

Equally important: how does it feel?  So-so.  I was very good in November and December in my daily jogging.  I haven’t been very good since my 90-day update.  Sometimes life got in the way and sometimes (most times), I was just “tired” (lazy).  Is it noticeable?  Yes.  I’m not getting “fatter” in my normal areas (legs and hips), but I do seem to be getting a “little” bigger there.  More importantly, I seem to be losing my chest and shoulder muscles and retaining – if not increasing – my stomach fat.  My shirts “feel” looser, but they don’t really look looser.  It’s hard psychologically to see the scale go down, but not see a bigger drop in clothes and photos.  I have a nagging feeling I’m losing muscle and bone density instead of body fat.
Obviously, I’ve made no progress on my secondary goals (which remain): I am still working on my secondary goals going forward – smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  If there is a silver lining to my cloud, it’s that I didn’t have a single OMAD opportunity when I over-stuffed myself to the point of feeling sick, as I did in my first month of the MITF.  So, I am improving there, too. Slowly, slowly…
A final observation (again, pretty much the same as last month): although it is theoretically “impossible” to spot lose weight (or spot gain weight), I seem to be losing “size” in areas which correspond to my activity.  My waist is not shrinking much, but my legs, ankles, shoulders and forearms “feel” like they are getting smaller to me.  It’s not that big a deal, except it would be nice to imagine I was losing fat around my internal organs and not just legs and shoulders.  Oh, well, time will tell…
PS:  I went to Urgent Care for a pounding ear and then to my cardiologist about 10 days later.  My weight at the Urgent Care was 30lbs heavier than my home scale on the day.  Between that visit and the Cardiologist visit I lost 5lbs on my home scale.  At the cardiologist’s office, I had lost 5lbs from the Urgent Care, but it was still 30lbs heavier than my home scale on the day.  The bottom line is my home scale is probably 30lbs too light and I am 348lbs and not 318lbs.  While this is mentally hard to take, it means my home scale is consistently incorrect and therefore reliable for showing weight loss (and gain), even when it isn’t showing my “medical” weight.
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On This Day In:
2019 Stationary Target
2018 And Firmly
2017 Nearer My Goal To Thee
2016 Relatively Simple Actions
2015 And Yet, You Did
2014 Difficult Learning
2013 Four Things To do
2012 When I Was Young…
Emergence

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The following is the monthly update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  It’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (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: 329lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 44lbs from the end of August, 27lbs from the start of the ITF and 11lbs in the last 30 days.

Calories Chart from last 30 days (Nov / Dec) of ITF

The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart I had three(3) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…  This is one less (per month) than I did in the first two months, so slightly better.  Still, essentially it’s demonstrating that about every other “all-you-can-eat / anything-you-want” day, I blow my caloric allowance.  I’m on a three day cycle, so this means about once a week I lose it.  Interestingly, it’s not necessarily on the OMAD that I blow the calorie balance.  It seems, sometimes “life” just happens and I go with it.
As mentioned in my prior monthly updates, when I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800.  The on-line BMR calculator I use said my initial BMR was roughly 2,370 calories.  At my current weight (329lbs), my BMR is 2,289 – (again) about 40 fewer calories lower / less than the prior month and 80 from the starting calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,510 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.  In any case, FB is showing my daily calories out for the last 30 days at 4,167 (about 200 calories less than prior month).  By this reckoning, I am exceeding the FB calories (3,800) by 367 per day and my BMR by almost 1,800.  Multiply this by 7 days in a week and we get 12,579 – which works out to about 3.5lbs per week of weight loss.  My actual weight loss for the last 30 days is about 11lbs.  Divided by 30 days and multiplied by 7 days is 2.57lbs per week of “actual” loss.  So, the FitBit is either scoring my calories-out to high or I’m not inputting the calories-in correctly.  I am diligent about the input, but I may be underestimating the portions and therefore the difference isn’t as great as the charts suggest.  It is also possible the difference is in both cals-in and cals-out.  Finally, it may just be my body is not burning the calories at the “normal” rate (meaning my calories burned is lower than the heart beat is suggesting it should be because of my AFib).

BMR on 16 Dec 2019 at 329lbs

Anyway, the chart below shows I still have a calorie deficit of about 1,000 calories per day (for the last 2 weeks in Dec.).  That times seven(7) days is 7,000 calories.  Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last eight weeks is 18lbs.  Divided by eight(8) is 2.25lbs per week.  This is roughly the same average weight loss per week as recorded at the end of four weeks.  Over the last 2 weeks I’ve lost 3lbs (1.5lbs per week) and over the last month (as mentioned above) 11lbs (2.75lbs per week).

Calories Chart for Year

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  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).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first two months.

Weight Loss Chart (Sept – Dec)

Equally important: how does it feel?  Today I am almost done with 5 weeks (out of 6) of “slogging” (VERY slow jogging).  My goal is to get to 3.2 miles per day and then begin dropping the time (slowly).  I’ve been “pretty” consistent although I’ve been slipping lately (hence the “5 out of 6”).  I’m mostly sticking to my goal of 3.2 miles per day, but yesterday I jogged 4.12 miles (one “extra” mile) and for the first time my overall pace was under 18 minutes at 17:59.  Yes, just barely, but still under AND with the extra mile – so I’m pleased.  I am planning to keep it to 3.2-ish miles per jog.  This is just over 5K (3.11 miles), and now that I’m good with the distance, I still need to start to drop the times.  When I (finally) get below 300lbs, I intend to add in some body weight exercises to improve my flexibility and strength.
As per my last two monthly reports: I am still working on my secondary goals going forward – smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  I am still “abusing” the OMAD opportunity, but… during the last month, even though I was over my calories limit (“in” vs “out”) three times, I didn’t eat beyond feeling stuffed to the point of feeling sick on any of the three “overs”.  So, I am improving there, too.  Slowly, slowly…
A final observation: although it is theoretically “impossible” to spot lose weight (or spot gain weight), I seem to be losing “size” in areas which correspond to my activity.  My waist is not shrinking much, but my legs, ankles, shoulders and forearms “feel” like they are getting smaller to me.  At least my clothes feel more comfortable in those spots.  As all I am doing for exercise is walking my dog and going for jogs, this makes sense, even though it contradicts all the “theory” of fat loss distribution I’ve ever read about (i.e. fat loss is supposed to be proportional across the entire body).  It’s not that big a deal, except it would be nice to imagine I was losing fat around my internal organs and not just legs and shoulders.  Oh, well, time will tell…
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On This Day In:
2018 And Some Never Do
2017 When We Know We Are Loved
2016 Good Acts
2015 Will You Be Leaving Soon?
2014 Just Long Enough
2013 R.I.P. – Tom Laughlin
Seeking Success?
2012 All Aboard
2011 Sail On, Sailor

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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: 338lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 35lbs from the end of August and 18lbs from the start of the ITF.  There is need to mention one minor qualification: after the end of the juice / blend fast, I regained 11lbs the first week – which I’ve had to re-lose under ITF.
Calories Chart from last 30 days (Oct / Nov) of ITF
The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart, I had four(4) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…  Interestingly, this is the same number of “exceeds” as the prior (first) month.  Essentially it’s demonstrating that about every other “all-you-can-eat / anything-you-want” day, I blow my caloric allowance.  I’m on a three day cycle, so this means about once a week I lose it.
When I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800.  The on-line BMR calculator I use said my initial BMR was roughly 2,370 calories.  At my current weight (338lbs), my BMR is 2,329 – about 40 fewer calories lower / less.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,470 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.  In any case, FB is showing my daily calories out for the last 30 days at 4,383.  By this reckoning, I am exceeding the FB calories by 583 per day.  Multiply this by 7 days in a week and we get 4,081 – which works out to about 1.25lbs per week of weight loss.
BMR on 16 Nov 2019 at 338lbs
Anyway, the top chart shows I still have a calorie deficit of about 1,300 calories per day.  That times seven(7) days is 9,100 calories.  Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2.6 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last eight weeks is 18lbs.  Divided by eight(8) is 2.25lbs per week.  This is roughly the same average weight loss per week as recorded at the end of four weeks.
The goal of my long-term weight loss is to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst part 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).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first month.  IF I can keep this up, I should be under 300lbs for my 65th birthday at the end of March 2020.
Equally important: how does it feel?  Today I am almost done with my second full week of “slogging” (VERY slow jogging).  I went from week one of 2 miles per day, to week two of 2.4 miles per day.  My goal is to get to 3.2 miles per day and then begin dropping the time (slowly).
I am still working on my secondary goals going forward: smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  I am still “abusing” the OMAD opportunity, but… during the last month, even though I was over my calories limit, I didn’t eat beyond feeling stuffed to the point of feeling sick on any of the four “overs”.  So, I am improving there, too.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2018 #PresidentBoneSpur
2017 My Staggering Confusion
Zapped!!!
2016 And Bloggers?
2015 Ethical Energy
2014 Are You Likely To Defend It?
2013 Might As Well
2012 The Long And Short Of It
2011 Bravery

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Well, I’m not sure what came over me, but today (this morning) I went out for my first “slog” (ssslllooowww jog) in ages.  Two(2) miles in 36m 57s.  Yeah, I know, pretty slow…  But, hey, I’m 64 years old and this is my first time hitting the pavement in ages (pretty much since last year and it is November).
 And so it goes…
Are you a runner?  Did you run yesterday or today?  If the answer is “yes”, you are a runner.  And, it doesn’t matter how fast (or slow) you did it.  (No, tomorrow doesn’t count.  We ALL plan to run tomorrow!)
Oh, and just for chuckles, 22m 30s gets me 1 (single) point (out of 100 possible points) on the Army physical fitness 2-mile run test.  Only 14m 27s to go…  I guess first I’ve got to start “running” – and then maybe lose 20 years (LoL).
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On This Day In:
2018 The Worst
2017 #DonTheCon In The Oval Office
2016 Are You Like #AmnestyDon And Sarah Palin?
2015 Begin Today
2014 Look Again (At Life’s Illusions)
2013 None Knows
2012 Yet
2011 No End In Sight
2010 Back At It…

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It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister.  I can tell people that no human is limited.  I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.
  —  Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge (the 34-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya) ran a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds, becoming the first person in history to break two hours for 26.2 miles in a special running / marathon event in Vienna (at Vienna’s Prater-Hauptallee (main avenue)) on Saturday (12 October 2019) morning.
Roger Bannister – mentioned in the quote – was the (British) runner who became the first man to break the 4 minutes for a mile record in 1954 (May 6, 1954, in 3:59.4).  Multiple individuals were close to the record before Bannister broke it and over a thousand runners have since broken 4 minutes in the 60+ years since.  Bannister’s “world record” lasted barely six weeks before it was broken and two months after the initial sub-4, two runners in the same race (Bannister was one of them), broke sub-4.  A sub-4 minute mile is now considered “routine” for world-class middle-distance runners.
Kipchoge’s run does not qualify for the world record nor will it be “officially” recognized because it was not an “open” competition and because Kipchoge was preceded by a pace car (which provided a laser path guide).  In my humble opinion, neither of these factors are significant and we have witnessed one of the greatest feats in human athleticism.
The quote was taken from the web and is available from many sources.  This image was “snipped” off the news video at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/eliud-kipchoge-runs-1-59-marathon-first-to-break-2-hours/ar-AAIFQjT?ocid=spartandhp.  I make no claim to ownership or rights to the quote, image or video.
I AM simply astounded at the achievement.  It staggered me to wake up and read about (and watch) history in the making!  I had been hoping for it (the record) to happen, but never “really” expected to see it in my own lifetime.  As expected, it could “only” happen under ideal conditions: cool temperatures, flat course, little or no wind and only at (or near) sea level.  The course had an elevation difference of less than eight(8) feet over it’s lap distance and (I gather) the location for the course was between 500 – 600 feet in elevation.
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On This Day In:
2018 25 Days Until The November Election
Old And Young
2017 Universal Soul Sounds
2016 Not Rivals
2015 Dead Sure
2014 Are You Educated?
2013 For Myself
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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Okay.  So, yesterday went well.  I was not “hungry” per se, but I was missing chewing and the act of eating.  Anyway, I got through it.
Last night was my first visit back to Planet Fitness in ages.  Well, in ten days; but it felt like ages.  Nothing was “hard” like when you’ve stopped exercising for six months and you’re just starting up again, but I had little to no energy stores.  I walked / jogged 1.27 miles in 26:15 minutes.  Yes, I know.  Most people walk faster than that.  The truth is sometimes I do, too.  Rarely, but sometimes.  Anyway, it felt like I was in molasses.  I was okay for my 2 minute warm-up walk, but as soon as I started to jog – forgetaboutit.  So, I had to alternate slogging and walking to get through it.
I moved on to the calisthenics portion of my workout.  I have a cycle of crunches, inclined pushups and air squats which I run through.  I started out at five cycles, then eight cycles and for the last couple of days (about a week) before my Christmas break, I was up to ten cycles – about 45 – 50 minutes.  Last night I struggled to get to eight.  It wasn’t “hard”.  I just felt exhausted.  After my cycles, I did a few minutes of rowing.  And that was it.  My “normal” workout usually runs about two hours and includes stretching and lots more weights (light weights, but high volume reps).  Last night was cut short and was still about 90 minutes because I was moving so slow.  Still, I went to the gym and plowed through it…
One interesting point:  My face is already starting to get the “oily / waxy”, moist feeling on my forehead, nose and cheeks.  This normally happens around day 6 or 7.  I don’t know why it seems to be happening sooner than “normal”.  At first, I used to worry about acne when this started, but in all of my fasts (long and short over a dozen in my life), it has never ended up causing a breakout of  acne.  Actually, I find it kind of makes my face look younger – smoother and better hydrated.  So, that’s a good thing.
And before I forget:  this morning’s weigh-in was 349lbs.  That’s down from Boxing Day weight of 360lbs.  Day Two’s weight was 353lbs.  Basically, that’s water retention loss from all the salt and sugar consumed on Christmas day.  My weight on Christmas morning was 355lbs.  So, really we’re talking about six pounds from then, and not  eleven pounds from the “start” of the diet / fast.  Please recall I am trying to not worry about day-to-day losses and gains as much as I am three and four day trends.  Of course, first I have to get past four days…  LOL
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On This Day In:
2017 Daily, Mr. President, Daily
2016 We Did This
2015 I’m Talking To You
Forced (Again)
2014 We Are Not A Fearful Nation!
2013 Risking Truth
2012 Working On Reality
2011 Massive Contradictory Changes

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The Road To Sparta” (2016©) — book review
Today’s book review is for “The Road To Sparta” written by Dean Karnazes.  Karnazes may not be the “Dean” of ultramarathon runners, but he is certainly one of the sports most famous names and faces.  Karnazes lives in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I also was raised and currently live), and, from his writing, appears to have totally adopted the ethos of being from Northern California.  Clean air, physical fitness, sometimes single minded pursuit of one’s goals, etc.
The book is another semi-autobiographical book about Karnazes.  His other book (which is reviewed here) is titled: “Ultramarathon Man“, and deals more with his various runs – particularly the Western States One-Hundred.  This book is about his being descended from Greek immigrants and him getting back in touch with his roots in his native country via participation in an ultra-run called “The Spartathlon.”  This run recreates the run which Pheidippides made from Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartans to help the Athenians resist the Persian invasion of Greece at the beach of Marathon.  Not to spoil the story (as it is ancient history), Pheidippides ran about 150 miles to carry the message (request).  He then ran a similar distance to carry the reply (“Yeah, we’ll come, but not for a few days”).  And then, … wait for it… he ran from the battlefield (Marathon) to Athens (about 26 miles) to carry news of the victory.  And then he died.
The race isn’t so spectacular.  Karnazes “only” has to run the initial portion (Athens to Sparta).  Oh, yeah.  You have to run the race in a “similar” time span to that of Pheidippides – 36 hours.
If you are a serious distance runner, much of the book will seem self-affirming as you will probably relate to the action and feelings of a ultra-distance runner.  If you are not a “serious” runner (or athlete), you may still relate, but you’ll probably also find Karnazes’ descriptions of the Greek countryside a bit flowery.  Make that extremely flowery.  Almost (but not quite) off-puttingly so.  Almost…  On the other hand, if you are just an average reader, you may really like all the verbiage.  I was kind of in the middle.  Parts of the book made we want to strap on some shoes and go out for a jog.  Others left me feeling like he had been assigned a set number of words to get the book published and he was going to reach that number with the same determination it takes to run an ultra.
Final recommendation: strong.  I enjoyed the history.  I enjoyed most of the descriptions, particularly when he was talking about the people out in the Greek countryside.  And I enjoyed the re-telling of the actual Spartathlon he ran in.  Ultimately, a good running book should make you want to lace up and hit the pavement.  As mentioned above, this book did that for me.  I picked the book up at Half-Price Books off the $3 rack.  A steal at that price.  I’ve already used a couple of quotes on my blog and I’ve got about another dozen or so hi-lighted for use in the future.
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On This Day In:
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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The end of day five and the start of day six…
Some days are just easy…  Like a cool summer breeze when you’re sitting in the shade on a hot afternoon.
This morning I woke up feeling fit an energized.  This is a normal and expected feeling after the first few days of veggie juice fasting.  Something “clicks”, and you start to feel terrific.  I got up at 8am and took the dog out for her walk.  Still feeling my oats, around 11am I went out for a jog.  2 miles in 34 minutes.  Not far, and definitely not fast.  As a matter of fact, I felt like I was in treacle.  I felt like I was absolutely plodding along, so I was surprised when I finished under 40 minutes.  I didn’t start sweating until the last lap around the block (2 miles = 5 laps X .4 miles).  When I got back in the house I started pouring sweat.  Anticipating a bit, as soon as I got in the door I got a 32oz bottle of ice water to re-hydrate and cool down.
I then had a couple of bottles of juice while watching a movie with Hil, before going out at 6:30pm for my hour of treading water.  Another bottle of juice and one of water and I’m done for the day / evening.  And before I forget…  NO weight change!  Still 365lbs.  If I hadn’t dropped 3lbs the day before I “might” be upset.  But then again, 1) I’m using an analogue scale, and, 2)  I know from past experience that the weight loss isn’t a straight line down.  When the losses start to decrease, you have to get your head ready for the 1 or 2 pound increase coming from water retention / fluctuation.  So, I’m good…
Issues:  No hunger and no light-headedness.  I lost track of a sentence twice while talking to Hil, had a general sense of fatigue when I was making my veggie blends in the afternoon, and, I got mild palpitations while swimming which have continued into the evening.  No secondary symptoms, so all I can do is monitor and hope they go away.  If it doesn’t clear up by morning, I’ll have to go to the ER.  Ah, the joys or asymptomatic AFib.  Oh, yeah.  I made enough veggie juice to easily see me through Saturday, so I can stretch the juicing fast out to 10 days if I feel like it on Friday.  Friday (morning) is when I finish my 7th day – the planned duration.
After thoughts:  Last night I dreamed about a big plate of SOS.  For those of you unfamiliar with the finest of American dining, that’s “Shit-on-a-Shingle”, which is also known as ground beef in gravy served over toast.  I make mine (the gravy) with mushroom soup and added flour (for thickening), with half an onion and a handful of mushroom.  I saute half of the onions and mushrooms before adding them.  The second half of each I add at the last moment, before serving so they’re fresher in the gravy.  Earlier today, while jogging, instead of going back to SOS, all I could think of was one of the Fat Smash dinners of rice, pinto beans and a heaping portion of bok choy.  Go figure…  I always fancied myself a ribs, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob man.  LOL.  Maybe, there is hope for me and a lifestyle change.  (Naaa…)
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On This Day In:
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent

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Anybody running beats anybody walking, and anybody walking beats anybody sitting.
  —   Tom Bunk
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On This Day In:
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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My daughter (Sarah) had a take your pet to work day, today.  She borrowed Shiva.  So, we had no dog walk this morning.
I made up for it by hitting the asphalt.  I got out and jogged (slogged) 2 miles in 30 minutes.  Yes.  I know.  Pretty slow.  But given my weight and other health factors, I’m quite pleased.  I started like gang-busters last December, but I thought I’d broken my left foot (stress fracture) and had to stop in mid-January.  Turns out it was “only” a bit of arthritis and it seems there is nothing to be done about it.  The podiatrist made me up some shoe / arch inserts, but all they did was make my feet hurt like I’d been beaten with a cane.  And that was after only a 30 minute walk to the pool.  I tried the inserts again a few days later, but they were agony almost immediately (literally within steps).  I haven’t worn them since.
So, between the 2 miles and the 60 minutes of treading water, I’m feeling pretty tired.  Healthy tired, but tired.  Now I just have to see if I can keep it up.
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On This Day In:
2017 Living Memory
2016 December
2015 That’s Gotta Leave A Scar
It’s All About Me (…Not!)
2014 Bull’s-Eye Next
2013 Change ÷ Time
2012 High Anxiety
2011 To Be, Do
2010 In the Arena…
Not An Island, Today…

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As a runner, you have to face the truth about yourself on a regular basis, and it makes you more honest.  You can’t pretend to be faster than you are.  You can’t pretend that you are better prepared than you are.  You cannot pretend to be a runner, you actually have to run.
   ―  John Bingham
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On This Day In:
2017 A Long Shadow
2016 Learning, Experience, Chances or Money
2015 The Critical State
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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Suddenly, when the run itself is the goal, there are no more bad runs.  Suddenly it doesn’t matter if we don’t finish within our goal time — or don’t finish at all.  What matters is that we tried, that we enjoyed the process.  What matters is that we got out there.
   ―  John Bingham
From his book:  “No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running
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On This Day In:
2017 By Far
2016 Until…
2015 Or Infinitesimal
2014 I’ve Looked At Clouds
2013 Undiscovered Ocean
2012 Feeling Old? (Part 2)
2011 What About Freedom?

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Shoe review:  Itasca (manufacturer) Fairview (model) $25 (sale price) / $45 (current price)
I haven’t done a shoe review in quite a while.  Mostly because I haven’t been jogging much the last couple of years.  The spirit has been willing, but the heart (and various other parts) have not been entirely cooperative.  Be that as it may, this is my review of the “Itasca Fairview” hiking / walking shoe.  It can be used as a “heavy” / off-road jogging shoe if you don’t mind a stiff and knobby soled shoe.  I don’t.  I purchased this because I prefer a hard wearing inexpensive shoe.
First, the price was very good.  It was on sale at my local Big5 Sporting Goods store.  I was able to find my size (14) and it was wide enough for my “dogs”.  I have “paddles” for feet (much wider toe than heel area), so normal running shoes, which tend to the narrow fit, don’t really accommodate my feet.  As I began jogging a few years back with a mid-sole strike, my arches changed and I became no longer able to wear many of my older shoes.  My left foot (arch) in particular bars me from wearing size 13 shoes and most size 14 slip-ons.
I found these shoes very comfortable for my slow and steady jogging style.  I started off with a 1 mile jog and by the end of about 6 weeks I was consistently jogging about 4 miles a day.  Enough to get my 10K steps goal on my Fitbit.  All in all, I would estimate I jogged fewer than 100 miles during the pairs use and, if you add in another 50 (generous) miles for cool-down walks, I’d say the shoes were blown out by 135 to 150 miles of use.  By way of comparison, a good running shoe will probably cost you about $80-$120, and it is recommended you replace them every 400 miles or whenever they feel like they’ve lost their sponge under your forefoot.  So, the price I paid was about 1/3rd of a running shoe and the use was about 1/3rd.  I guess that’s considered equal value for relative cost.
Another significant factor on the shoes use is that I am extremely heavy (350+lbs) and therefore very hard on soles.  That is part of why I look for stiffer shoes with heavier tread – they tend to take a beating better than normal running shoe models.  Of course, the trade-off is you have to jog less upfront when the shoes are newer so you can break them in without giving yourself horrendous blisters.

Fresh from the box

Fresh from the box

View of new soles

View of new soles

Soles After 150 miles

Soles after 150 miles

Tops after use

Tops after use

After use:  You can’t really tell from the image, but center forefoot is completely worn through to the sponge padding under the forefoot.  The tops, on the other hand, were practically without blemish.  From the start, the shoe felt like I was jogging with a pair of wooden slats under my feet.  Again, on the other hand, the tops were very comfortable (once broken in), even when tied tightly.  Had the soles lasted another month, I would say the shoes were a very good value.  As it is, the best I could say was these would be good value (at sale price) if you were either normal weight or were only going to use them for actual hiking / path walking on the odd weekend out and about.
If you look at the “Soles after” image, you’ll probably notice a lot of outer heel wear and some “tippy-toe” wear.  The heel wear is from the daily walking where I do a lot of heel striking.  The toe wear is because I seem to push-off a lot when I do my jogging.  I should clarify.  I don’t “really” jog.  I would describe it as slogging (“slow jogging”) – basically, a little faster than walking with a jogging / shuffle motion.  In general, my heels wear out on my walking shoes, my forefoot wears out on my jogging shoes, and the top wears out if I try to get the comfortable light-weight mesh uppers common to many true jogging / running shoes.
Final recommendation: reasonable value for the price (I paid).  I went back to Big5 to get another pair.  Like most “sale” items at this type of discount store, “my” store no longer carries this model.  I also looked on-line and Itasca no longer manufactures this model.  It turns out other Big5 stores in my area do carry this model, but the current price is almost double what I paid on sale.  At that price, I leave them on the shelf…  I can find “real” running shoes for that price.
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On This Day In:
2017 Unseen Here, Too
2016 Criticized Anyway
2015 Sometimes The Truth Hurts
2014 All Agreed, Say “Aye”
2013 Two Books, Two Movies
Just Because
2012 God’s Requirements
2011 Greater Purity

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