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

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The start of day forty-three…  And I only made it to noon.
Morning weight:  319lbs.  No change…
I am still down “54/61”.  As in, 54lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 61lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started Juice Fast I): 380lbs.  Today’s weight is no change from yesterday when I gained 4lbs from my cheat evening (the night before).
Considering yesterday was the first day I EVER registered over 20 miles in steps (over 45K steps) on my FitBit, I was hoping for some kind of decrease.  But, it was not to be.  In all honesty, while not bloated, I do feel like I’m still retaining fluids from the cheat.  Which is what should happen when you suddenly re-introduce salt and / or sugar into your system.  I did both on Thursday evening.  I guess I just wasn’t able to clear them out enough to register a loss by this morning.
Bottom line:  I’ve decided to end this fast for now.  I’ve fasted for a total of 42 out of the last 43 days on a fast which was meant to be a 7 day fast.  Six weeks!  That’s a continuous fast of 41 days plus one more after my “slip / cheat”.  Eleven days longer than the four other “longest” juice fasts I’ve ever done (all those were “only” 30 days).  So, as Joe Cross would say: “Good on ya, mate!”
Reaction:  I have two main reactions, 1) I feel 10 years younger, and, 2) this evening, after my dinner, as I am writing this, I feel slightly bloated.  I did NOT end according to plan.  The plan was to spend six(6) days easing back into food.  I definitely have NOT done that!  I’ve jumped back in with a big salad for lunch and another big salad for dinner.  For dinner, I also had a sausage, a half cup of rice and a cup of pinto beans.  And I washed it down with 24 ounces of water with lemon slices which had been sitting for 24 hours.  When I say “slightly bloated”, it’s my tummy which is just full enough that I am not hungry, but I’m not stuffed either.
Other notes:  I’ve gone from a 54 inch waist to a 48 inch waist.  I’ve gone from barely being able to touch my two middle fingers behind my back to being able to grab either opposite wrist with the other hand (again, behind the back).  I am comfortable doing 5 to 7 laps (5×25 yards) in the local swimming pool in a nice slow breast stroke with minimal stopping time between turn-arounds.  At the start, I could barely do one lap.
So, what’s next?  Well, this week we are planning to join Costco.  While it is a little farther away and less convenient than Safeway, we believe we’ll be able to get a healthier selection of fruits and veggies at a more reasonable cost (even though we will have to buy substantially more at one time).
That’s takes care of the “sourcing”.  But, what’s the plan, you say?
We are currently planning on a modified Dr. Fuhrman, “Eat To Live” two-week plan.  Week One is hard diet (no meat) and week two is the softer (slower weight-loss) diet (meat is included).  We are flipping the weeks to start: soft and then hard; and then we plan to re-cycle through.  My wife will have whatever she wants since she is not strictly joining me on the diet.  She says she will try to stay with me, but no promises.  I said that’s fine.  Every dinner will be a large fresh salad, a half cup of rice and a cup of beans.  We may also have an optional cooked vegetable depending on her mood.  We may also have optional flesh: meat, poultry or fish.  I can only have 4oz of flesh at any meal.  In lieu of “flesh”, if she is making something else for her meal (usually a pasta and chicken dish), I can have a half cup of that.
Lunch will be a medium salad, a half cup of rice, and a cup of beans.  There may also be “something” for a change.  We are not sure what those somethings will be, but we are leaning towards veggie-patties or maybe a bean / beef / oats burger.  Again, the bulk of any meal should come from the salad and the beans.  I like pinto beans (because that’s what I was raised on), but we will alternate / rotate with black-eyed beans and kidney beans.  We will try to keep the salad different by using the various dressing recipes Dr. Fuhrman provides in his book.
Breakfast will primarily be oatmeal made with water or almond milk.  I will add fruit (dates, blueberries, black berries, strawberries and raisins) and nuts (walnuts and / or almonds) instead of sugar.  I will alternate that with the occasional fruit bowl (melon / mango / strawberries / other berries).
Snacks:  My go to snacks will be fresh fruits (apples and bananas or whatever is seasonal), nuts (walnuts, almonds or cashews), or raw veggies (mainly celery and carrots).
Fluids:  I will also use fruit and veggie juices for snacks.  I will try to drink at least 32oz of water (with a little lemon concentrate) – for my kidney stones, cranberry and pomegranate (again for my kidneys), and black cherry juice (for my arthritis).  I will occasionally also make veggie juices for between meals and for evenings.
Finally, cheats:  I am not “planning” a cheat schedule (yet), but I understand human frailty – particularly my own – so I fully expect a “small” cheat once a week or so and a “large” cheat once a month or so.  I expect this will work out over time and will depend on how much I’m losing and how eliminating salt and sugar from my diet progresses.  I do not feel I can / should completely eliminate salt, because I will still need iodine and electrolytes, but I am going to try really hard to minimize the sugars.  We’ll see…  Day by day.
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  Namaste!
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On This Day In:
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 following is a short story I found on our recent trip to Oregon.  It was one of several sheets of paper handed out to hotel guests to amuse them while they were having breakfast…
A Seniors Trip To COSTCO
Yesterday, I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog.  I was in the checkout line when the woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
What did she think I had, an elephant?  So, since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.  I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect balanced diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.  The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.  (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.
I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s rear and a car hit us both.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard…
Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.
The moral of the story:  Better watch what you ask retired people.  We have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.
[Postscript:  Just out of curiosity I googled this story and found dozens of references.  Not as many as I thought I’d find, so I guess this is a fairly recent story/joke.  —  KMAB]
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