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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 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 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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The end of day three and the start of day four…  Starting Hump Day for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 367lbs.  (on Day 4)
I am up / down “2/6”.  As in, 2lbs up from yesterday and 6lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a difficult day.  I am still very tired – physically and sleep wise.  I was dreading going to the pool, but when I finished (1hr of treading water), I felt refreshed.  Then, and hour later, exhausted again.  The struggle is maintaining the correct blood sugar level so as not to want to go to sleep, not feel excited and not feel hungry.  It’s a fine balance.  I will be happy when I get my “fasting second wind.”
This time (this fast), I’m finding the sleeping difficult.  I got in a bad sleep habit when Hil was gone earlier in the year and the habit got reinforced with her latest trip.  I’m readjusting, but it’s slower than usual.  I’m sure this is due to the modified alternate day fasting (trying to) and the current juice / blend fast.  I remain amazed at the body’s ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions and then it’s reverse – slow adaptation to returning conditions.  It’s like the body is saying, “Yes!  I can do that!”, but then says, “Wait a minute, we just changed from that…  Why are we going back?”  Eventually, the body comes around, but then it’s even more resistant to the next change.  I think this is the problem with yo-yo dieting (which I am guilty of).
So, the elephant in the room is that I gained 2lbs since yesterday morning.  What’s up with that?  Well, as mentioned in yesterday’s review (post), I dropped 6lbs from the prior day and that was not a sustainable rate of loss.  I said it was probably a combination of stomach content and water retention (loss).  Given I didn’t eat yesterday and I did drink, this means the ratio was probably more than 50 / 50 between water (fluid) loss and stomach content.  As a gallon of water is a little over eight(8) pounds, 8.34 to be precise, a two(2) pound gain is about a quart of water (fluid) retained over what I was carrying yesterday morning.  Not a big deal if the over-all trend remains downward tomorrow and the next day.  This is why many sources recommend only weighing yourself once a week instead of daily.  So I have to remind myself: “It’s the trend that counts, not the daily drops and bounces.”
Today, (Day 4) should be another “difficult” day as we are going to my sister’s house for a family BBQ to celebrate Labor Day.  We’re bringing the deserts, which my wife stocked up on yesterday.  Every time I opened the fridge to get some juice, cake and chocolate fudge brownies are staring me in the face…   Can I feel some luv???  Or at least a little sympathy…  LoL
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On This Day In:
2018 A Thought For Those Continuing To Support President Trump
Day 36: Pushing On
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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The end of day two and the middle of day three…   End of week 1 already looks to be in sight!
Morning weight: 365lbs. (on Day 3)
I am down “6/8”.  As in, 6lbs down from yesterday and 8lbs down from my fasting start weight:  373lbs (morning of Day 1).  Obviously, a 6lbs weight loss in a single day and 8lbs over two days is not sustainable.  It was mostly stomach content (digesting solid foods) and some water weight.  Most adults hold between 7lbs and 15lbs of stomach content, so the first few days of any “cleansing” diet will be mostly the elimination of that content.  Most fruit juice and veggie juice diets tend to be “cleansing” diets by default.  So, the loss was expected and no big deal.  Losses of 1/2lb to 1-1/2 lbs per day tend to be more realistic (from my experience).  Managing the fasting to stay near the bottom end of that range (.5lb / day) is where the “art” of fasting comes into play.  Most of that “art” is listening to your body tell you what it wants / needs.
Yesterday I walked the dog (30 minutes) and went for a swim (60 minutes, Breast Stroke.  44 lengths X 25 yards == 1,100 yards.  18 laps == 1/2 mile. 1 lap == 2 lengths.)  The swim felt much more difficult than normal because I felt like I ran out of energy about 45 minutes through.  After that it (swimming) was just a gut check to finish the time.  Anyway, I got it done.
I was very tired for most of yesterday, but the flip side of that was I felt I got a good night’s sleep.  My FitBit (FB) doesn’t really agree with that assessment, but whatever.
I have a FitBit Blaze.  It’s my second FitBit.  The first was a hand-me-down belt attachment, which I only used for a couple of months.  I didn’t feel it was accurate and it was difficult to remember to keep moving it between clothes.  My latest (the Blaze) is a wrist-watch style and was a present from my daughter (Rebecca) for Christmas 2017.  So, I’m about halfway through my second year of wearing it.  I got it more as a Heart Rate (HR) tracker, but it is only of limited use in that regard.
My Blaze is VERY accurate on providing my current heart rate.  Since I suffer from Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), this is important for me to marry up with my sensations of palpitations.  This allows me to exercise cautiously.  The problem I have with the Blaze is it actually doesn’t record your heart rate by the minute.  I downloaded and reviewed my HR for the first couple of months and found the information was recorded at set intervals which have nothing to do with AFib or exercise.  I don’t remember (this was Jan / Feb of 2018) anymore what the interval (5m, 10m or 15m) was, but I remember being dissatisfied enough to stop downloading the tracking.  I don’t expect 60 second per minute tracking, but this seems to me to be periodic “snapshotting”, not tracking.  As a person who also suffers (a bit) from Obsessive / Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and from years of practicing “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”, you can kind of guess at my initial level of frustration.  LoL.
My second “issue” with the Blaze is that it doesn’t “stay” on what it’s set to do.  I swim.  The Blaze doesn’t “track” swimming.  This means I have to tell it I’m “working out” to get it to track my HR an calorie effort while swimming.  Fair enough.  The Blaze doesn’t support swimming and it says so in the documentation and on the company web site.  The site says the Blaze is “water resistant”, which means okay for heavy sweat and a quick shower, but not bathing or swimming.  In fact, over this last 20 months I’ve used it while swimming for over 150 hours and never had a single problem.  Well, almost none.  Remember the “staying” mentioned above?  Randomly, when water brushes against the Blaze it turns off or pauses the tracking.  The result is I am forced to pause between pool lengths to check if it is still tracking.  Yeah, that’s annoying.  I guess that’s what you have to live with to enjoy touchscreen activation.
This is my first wrist-based HR monitor and other than the two bits mentioned above I REALLY like my Blaze and I would definitely recommend anyone looking into buying a HR monitor consider FitBit’s line of products.  Having said that, I don’t think I will replace it when it finally dies.  One, the Blaze is no longer offered by FitBit.  Two, I feel their products are inordinately expensive.  The regular cost was $150.  My daughter got it as at a closeout price of $99.  Maybe it’s just the dinosaur in me, but I can’t see paying $100-$150 for a watch with a pedometer and a HR tracker – particularly if the tracker doesn’t really “track”.   In fairness to FitBit, their newer models DO “track” swimming as an exercise, but since I don’t own one of the newer models, I can’t speak to how they do it or how functional it is when doing the tracking.  But, if you are in the market for a good Heart Rate monitor, I guess you’ll get what you pay for.
Well, those are my thoughts about Day 2…  I hope I haven’t bored you all too much and you’ll come back for (and enjoy) some of these longer posts.
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On This Day In:
2018 Ryan, McConnell & The Republican Controlled Congress
The Proud Dad
Day 35: Five(5) Weeks Completed!
2017 Serving Is Proving Harder Than Winning For #DumbDonald
2016 Come Again…
2015 At Five
2014 Touching The Past
The Supreme Question
2013 Children Will Judge
2012 Liar, n.
2011 Freedom To Doubt

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Yesterday I completed Day 1 of my Veggie-Fruits Juice / Blend fast.  It’s pretty much the same as last years effort, but this year, for the first few days anyway, I’m skipping the straight-up “juice” and going right to the “blend”.  In a nutshell, this means I’m dicing up my fruit and veggies and just blending them with water and additional fruit / veggie “juice”.  Yes, the additional stuff is processed and not terrible healthy, but it’s a sacrifice I’m making to save time and expense.
My starting weight yesterday was 373lbs and this morning I was already down 2lbs.  So, I’m at 371lbs.  That’s pretty normal as the blend tends to flush out most of the solid material from your (my) digestive tract.  From experience, I normally drop 10lbs in the first 5 to 7 days.  We’ll see…
From experience, the first three or four days are the worst part physically as I will be grumpy, tired and missing the simple act of chewing.  “My” style of fasting is not particularly restricting on calories.  Yes, processed fruit juices have a high amount of sugar (fructose) content, but absorption is slowed by the roughage of the blended veggies (onions, celery, cucumber, carrots) and fruit (apples, berries, bananas, pineapple).  I also blend in about two cups of beans.  I vary them between weeks (pinto, black and kidney).  In all, I probably have close to a gallon of “blend” per day.  It actually ends up being more than that consumed as I continually add ice to keep the drink cool.
Yesterday, I went for my normal 30 minute dog walk and an additional 60 minutes of treading water at my local swimming pool.  I’ve been trying to swim as often as possible this year, but I am only averaging about every other or every third day  (mostly third).  I seem to go on streaks and then my built up list of things to do gets too long and I have to spend a couple of days whittling the list down.  (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…)
The good news is that as I’m ending my second day, my fingers, hands, wrists, feet and ankles are already feeling considerably less bloated.  The flip side (the bad news) is that passing all the solids and acidic fluids leaves one with a bit of a  burning bum.  This too shall pass…  (Yes, mild poop humor.)
The key (again, from my experience) is to never get so hungry (either real hunger or empty stomach) that you start to obsess about food.  This means drinking the blend regularly (to maintain your blood-sugar level) and supplementing it with regular water (or herbal tea) which acts to keep your stomach full (physically) which tricks your mind into not being hungry.  By this means, I can increase activity and (over time) modify (decrease) caloric input to lose weight.  Weight loss always comes down to three things: 1) move more; 2) eat less; and, 3) eat better (healthier & more natural).
So, the journey begins again.  The current plan is to juice for a week and then switch to the Modified Alternate Day Fasting (MADF), which I have been unsuccessfully trying since February of this year.  Over the course of the next few days / weeks, I’ll discuss some of my views on why the MADF has not been successful for me and why I’m fairly confident this jump start will help in this next go around.  While on this path, I will try to post every day on how I’m doing.  These posts will tend to be longer than my normal (quotes) posts, so if you are not interested in my dieting process, just skip the long post and enjoy my other shorter post(s).  Stay tuned…
Oh, yeah…  Before I forget:  I am NOT a health professional NOR have I been trained in medicine or psychology.  Take EVERYTHING you read on my blog about dieting / fasting with a grain of salt and a heaping dose of skepticism.  I have read lots of books and watched hundreds of hours of YouTube & TED videos about health, sleeping, dieting, working out, etc and most of them contradict each other in detail while agreeing on generalities.  ALWAYS consult with your personal healthcare provider before engaging in any of my crazy ideas / practices or beginning any change in diet or fitness program. 
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On This Day In:
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Last summer I started to take advantage of our housing association swimming pool.  Mostly, I brushed up on my treading water with what I hoped would be low impact exercise.  I learned how to tread water when I was living alone (before my family arrived) in Saudi Arabia (way back in 1998).  Back then, I would tread water for up to two-and-a-hours.   It’s not that I couldn’t go longer.   It’s just that it got pretty boring by then.
Anyway, last summer I got back up to 90 minutes or so just treading water.  Towards the end, I switched to a breast-stroke and I got up to about 90 minutes of that as well.  One problem I then had was the constant fogging of my swimming goggles.  (I didn’t wear goggles for treading water.)  Basically, I had to pause ever few laps and rinse out the haze in my goggles.  During the winter I did a search on cures and (lo and behold) I found one.   “No More Tears” baby shampoo / body wash.
Before going to the pool, put a drop in each goggle lens, smear it in with your finger, and then rinse thoroughly – or at least until it stops sudsing-up.  After that, don’t touch the lens.  Just put them on when you get to the pool and your off.  I don’t know how long the “de-fogging” lasts.   It’s worked for me for an hour maximum, three times now, so I’m satisfied it works.  AND, it’s a LOT less expensive than purchasing swimming defogging spray, goes a lot farther (you get more for your money),  and, no, I have no idea if the “real” spray does anything to your eyes.  (But I assume not.)  I repeat the process every time I go swimming, just prior to getting into the car.
I don’t know if it matters but I will mention our pool is fresh water (not salt-water) and is heated to 83°F.  If anyone tries this (or already does this), let me know if it works for you, too.
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On This Day In:
2018 Lost Time
2017 Are You Talking To Me?
2016 Here, Desire Is Purified
2015 Hopefully Just Visiting
2014 Fond Memory?
2013 Distress, Hope, Trust
2012 Creating Interlocking Fragility
2011 Four Stories And A Gospel
What Have You Burned Lately?

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Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  —  Quoting one of my Drill Sergeants and numerous other NCO’s I knew while in the Army
Today was supposed to be Day 6 of my juice diet / fast.  I fell off the wagon hard…
The plan this morning was to get a number of little chores done and then relax with the wife.  It didn’t end up that way (so far).  To start off with, I woke up feeling bad – nasal congestion and overall feeling “off”.  I was supposed to get a blood test in advance of a doctor’s appointment.  They were closed for the 4-day holiday weekend.  (The things you don’t think about when you’re retired and everyday is a holiday.)  Check, next.  Pick up brake light for car.  Check.  Wow!  Do I have a bad headache!!  Plug on.  Get cash at the bank.  Check.  Look for cooking book for wife.  Check.  Well, so-so.  I can’t find the book for her so I get myself a book from the $3 rack.  Does that count?  Yes.  Okay, check.  Wait.  I already gave myself a check for that…  On to the drug store to pick up some topical disinfectant.  Check.  Since the sporting kit store is right next door, why not?  Lots of interest, but nothing I want enough to spend money on today.  Check.  Man, my head is pounding…  I’m considering taking a Ricola drop for a shot of energy, but decide against because my stomach is also a bit upset.  I can’t tell if I’m going to heave or get the runs.
I got home and decided I was going to eat something bland-“ish” to settle my stomach and maybe help my head.  I settled on a square of cornbread.  It does help both my stomach and my head, but I’m still congested and feeling drained.  The wife says: “Just take a pill.”  I do and by the time I’ve finished walking the dog, the nasal congestion is clearing and my stomach is feeling better (more settled).  The wife asks me to go to the store and get some soup and ginger ale for her (she’s been under the weather for two days).
…Bad move!  Sending me to the store without adult supervision.  I buy her requests, but also get myself some “unhealthy” stuff for myself – as well as some okay stuff.  And…  We both have lunch.
And that’s why I didn’t make it through Day 6 of my seven day “diet / fast”.  Lesson learned?  The 6-P’s.
Moving forward, I’ll be taking tomorrow (New Year’s Day) off from the diet and I’ll be trying to start back up on either Wednesday or Thursday.  My initial plan for those two days was salad and more salad (and maybe some soup), so maybe I’ll just go ahead with that.  At this point I’m playing by ear.
And the results:  Starting weight on 26 December: 360lbs.  Ending weight on 31 December: 343lbs.  The scale is analog and was fluttering between 340lbs and 343lbs, so I’ll be conservative and call it 17lbs for the five days.  The question is was that any more than my other fasts?  Only slightly.  My last juicing fast (started in July) I lost 15lbs in the first five days and I was swimming for at least an hour three of those days.  I put it (the slight difference in weight) down to hard workouts on three(3) of the five days.  The workouts were 90minutes, 2 hours and 2 hours.  So, really, the longer duration of the workouts is marginally responsible for the extra pound or two of loss.  The big difference is how I felt.  The pool and veggie juice was invigorating me.  The weights and processed juices has seemed to be making me feel exhausted.  Well, it’s all purely subjective, but it’s something for  me to consider going into my next round – this week or next.  Small steps to better health…
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On This Day In:
2017 Best Wishes For 2018!
2016 Best Wishes For 2017!
2015 Better Red Than Dead
Tomorrow Starts A New Year
2014 Recovering
Best Wishes For 2015!
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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Today was the last day of the season for our neighborhood (outdoor) pool.  We’ve lived in the area since 2000 and I’ve never used the pool more than a dozen times in a single year.  Most years, it’s been less than five times.  Most years it’s been zero.  At any rate, I told myself: “Once I’ve retired, I’m going to use the pool.”  Well, this year I’ve been 94 times and only once was for less than an hour.  The vast majority of times I’ve only been treading water for the hour and then (maybe) doing a few lengths to stretch out at the end.  The last month, I’ve done breast stroke for the hour – almost exclusively.  I must admit I’ve really enjoyed both the treading and the breast stroke.  And now I’m looking forward to next year and hoping for a mild spring so the pool can open in early / mid-May…  Maybe next year I’ll learn how to free-style…
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On This Day In:
2017 And Some Of Us Have Books
2016 I See No Proof
2015 Whither Tea Party?
2014 Nothing Is Known Absolutely
2013 Decoration Time
2012 The Beatitudes
2011 Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
2010 Back On The Asphalt
No Sweep – Rangers Win Game 3 by 4 to 2
Greek Myths For Kids

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