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Last Saturday, was my 65th birthday.  Ten years ago, I took the week to jog 55 miles.  Because I’ve been having issues with my AFib, I haven’t been in a position to even consider trying to do the same thing for this birthday…

65K on 65Yrs

Instead, I decided to try to march-in-place for 65,000 steps.  As a subset, I did do my 30 minute dog walk and of course there is the regular amount of steps one would take in a day.  (I try to do a minimum of 7,500 steps.)  My prior FitBit maximum for a day was 50,000 steps which included the dog walk and a 5K jog.  Anyway, it was a long haul, but I made it.  I got my first 55K, my first 60K and then my 65K!  Sore back and sore knees at the end of the day, but otherwise no significant issues the following day.  And, yes, 544 minutes is over 9 hours to get it done.  LoL!!
Life can be full of small, daily achievements…
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On This Day In:
2019 Tomorrow’s Bread
2018 Impeach 45: Make America Great Again
2017 Training Shoulders
2016 You Just Have To Care
Day 4 – Blending
2015 My Slow Education
2014 Great Service
2013 You Really Should Wear More Sweaters
Here I Am God
2012 The Serenity Prayer
2011 The Victory Of Life

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The following is the 6th monthly (180 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 and again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!!  Here goes…
(As in previous posts:) On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was: 360lbs.  Based on these “initial” numbers, I’ve lost 13lbs from the end of August, 23lbs from the start of the ITF and gained 27lbs 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 333lbs…  Adding 30lbs to that would make it 363lbs.  Today’s adjusted weight of 360lbs, means I’ve lost 3lbs in the last 30 days and not the 27lb 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 (Feb / Mar) of ITF

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

The observant among you may (again) notice in the above chart I had two(2) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…  This is, one day less than the past two months, but there is a marked increase in the number of days where (indicated in pink) I exceeded my calorie ratio (good vs bad). Remember, it’s not a diet, per se, as much as it’s a lifestyle, so I’m happy to have been able to maintain my 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 2,424 calories / day.  That plus 500 calories-out is my daily goal to achieve a weight loss of 1lb / wk.

Image of BMR on 15 Mar 2020 at 360lbs

BMR on 15 Mar 2020 at 360lbs

Anyway, the chart below shows I still have a calorie deficit of over 1,000 calories per day (albeit just barely this month).  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 negligible.  As mentioned above, I’m still “playing” with my home scale.  I started off trying to get as accurate a measurement as possible by placing my feet together with my toes at the base of the scale.  Over time, I found I was “balancing” on my toes and the rear of my feet to get a “lower” scale reading.  I then switched to bending my knees and leaning slightly forward and then straightening my legs and leaning as far back as possible while maintaining toe contact.  This gave me a “high” reading and a “low” reading and I was recording the high reading as I found this more closely matched up the digital scales at the doctor’s office or at the Urgent Care Unit (where I was going for vertigo treatment).  Along the way, I found that moving (or bumping) my scale was throwing the high / low weightings off by 15 to 25 pounds for no discernible reason.  At this point, I went back to just recording my weight as “balanced”.  Last month, I went to two doctor’s appointments and got corresponding weigh-ins which were both 30lbs more than my home scale, so I began adding 30lbs to my daily weight.  Which worked fine for a while…  And then I bumped my scale and it jumped 25(ish) pounds (more).  At which point, I gave up on accuracy until this month when I again had two visits with corresponding weigh-ins (with shoes and clothes) at the doctor’s offices.  They roughly match my weight on my home scale with shorts and bare feet, feet wide at the side of the scale.  I believe I’m more or less within 3 to 5 pounds when I alternate between shorts and sweats and shoes and bare feet, so now I am just going with whatever the home scale says.  (Yeah, I know…  Still pretty confusing.)  Bottom Line:  no balancing or leaning and no exact placement of feet.  I just try to get them close and stand naturally / relaxed on the scale.

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 from last month is clearly visible on the chart as is the “bump” of +25lbs from this month.)

Image of Weight Loss Chart (Oct - Mar)

Weight Loss Chart (Oct – Mar)

Equally important: how does it feel?  Not good.  As stated in prior months, I was very good in November and December in my daily jogging.  I haven’t been “good” since.  Other than walking the dog, I haven’t done any exercise this month.  I am definitely losing my chest and shoulder muscles and (now) increasing – my stomach fat.  My shirts no longer look or feel looser.  It’s hard psychologically to see the scale go up.  I continue to have a nagging feeling I’m losing muscle and bone density instead of body fat even though the scale is not “changing”.  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 wore the heart monitor for two weeks and then waited almost three for the follow-up appointment.  The results are that I am in AFib quite alot (sever hundred times during the two weeks), but for very brief periods – my longest session was 14 seconds and my average was 2 seconds.  My highest heart rate was over 200 beats per minute.  My average is in the mid-60’s.  I reported I was mildly surprised because I really didn’t feel any palpitations and was afraid the monitor would not show any AFib.  The bottom line is my cardiologist says I don’t need any change to my medications but I could definitely lose some weight and get more exercise.  He recommended swimming as strenuous but not wearing on my knees or spine.  My local pool opens in May and he’ll see me again in the fall.
Obviously, I’m making little 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.  That makes two months in a row.  I guess you can say I am improving there, at least.  Slowly, slowly…
A final observation: my waist is growing (but still smaller than when I started), but my legs, ankles, shoulders and forearms “feel” like they are getting smaller to me.  The pants I was comfortable in (at the waist), are now uncomfortable (again) and I need to begin to push myself (physically) again now that I’ve been given the “all clear”.  More significantly,  I’m only VERY loosely following the modified intermittent time fasting.  I am still eating later in the morning, but I am rarely otherwise following the schedule or stopping at the designated evening hour.  Realistically, I’m off the program.   Even more than working out, I need to get back on the program as I felt it made a significant difference when I was actually adhering to it.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2019 Tonight I Am All Blacks
In All Its Messy Complexity
2018 Danger = Opportunity
2017 True And Great
Sand At The Beach
2016 There Is A Difference Between Dangerous And Frightening
2015 Always A Goal
2014 Standing Strong
2013 Shaken And Stirred
The Bird With The Broken Wing
2012 Friends In High Places
2011 Objective Independence

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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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Walking is the best possible exercise.  Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
  ―  Thomas Jefferson
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On This Day In:
2019 Every Vote Counts
2018 Or A President
2017 Pleasures
2016 Why Not?
2015 Je Suis Charlie
2014 To The Nines
2013 Higher And Truer
2012 Life’s Last Question
2011 A Single Heartbeat
A Little Male Humor – WHY MEN SHOULDN’T RETIRE

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

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The end of day 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 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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Image of a fallen tree branch

And when the bough breaks…

As I was out walking my dog today, I heard what sounded like someone stomping on a 2-liter plastic bottle and then dragging it underfoot.  I looked up and didn’t see anything.  I thought it might be a bottle being tossed down the street by the winds.  As I got a little farther along, I noticed some folks standing outside their homes looking across the street.  The wind had caused a tree branch to snap and fall across the road.  I went back a little later (after retrieving my phone) and took this picture.  The workmen had already cleared the opposite side of the road.  The branches originally fully crossed the street.
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On This Day In:
2018 No Religious Test, Yes Religious Ban
2017 Looking At #DumbDonald
2016 No Great Thing
2015 Happy Memory
Of Two Minds
2014 Sums
2013 Memories & Binging
Admiration Due
2012 Choices Matter
2011 Acceptance Is The Key
2010 Just A Permanent Crease…
Bodily Functions

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In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.
  ―  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2018 No Religious Test, Yes Religious Ban
2017 Looking At #DumbDonald
2016 No Great Thing
2015 Happy Memory
Of Two Minds
2014 Sums
2013 Memories & Binging
Admiration Due
2012 Choices Matter
2011 Acceptance Is The Key
2010 Just A Permanent Crease…
Bodily Functions

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The speed at which you walk, for example, can be eerily predictive of health status.  In a study of nearly 35,000 people aged 65 years or older in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who walked at about 2.6 feet per second over a short distance — which would amount to a mile in about 33 minutes — were likely to hit their average life expectancy.  With every speed increase of around 4 inches per second, the chance of dying in the next decade fell by about 12 percent.  (Whenever I think about this study, I start walking faster.)
  — James Hamblin, MD
From his article: “The Power of One Push-Up: Several simple ways of measuring a person’s health might matter more than body weight.
Appearing in:  The Atlantic, dtd: Jun 27, 2019
The specific article can be found on-line at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/06/push-ups-body-weight-bmi/592834/
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On This Day In:
2018 Modern Day Behaviour
2017 On Misogynist Tweets From #DumbDonald
2016 Cowboy Boots & Missing Teeth
Or Electricity
2015 Oh, To Be Vulnerable
2014 Neglected Horror
2013 The Price Of Illusions
2012 Once Again
2011 And The “Market” Isn’t Always Right

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An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
  —  Henry David Thoreau
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On This Day In:
2018 One Person Can
2017 Been There, Thought That
2016 Diligent Students
2015 Unanswered Prayers
2014 Pray, v.
2013 As I…
2012 But We Need Room
2011 A Definition Of Leadership

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My wife and I were walking our dog this morning and a “techno / hopped-up” version of this classic R&B song was blasting out of a garage.  I HAD to listen to the original – so I thought I’d share it…
Enjoy!  (The lyrics are also available on my “poems / song lyrics and videos” page.)
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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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