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[This post is one of a series of posts about my current diet / lifestyle choice of performing 40 hour water fasts to try to lose fat and get healthier.  These posts are not intended as medical advice as I have next to no formal medical training.  The posts are based on my personal experiences / opinions and are purely anecdotal.  Please consult your personal doctor or other REAL health care professional before starting any diet or exercise regime.    —    KMAB]
Yesterday morning (9am) I completed my latest 40hour water fast (#5).  My first one started on the evening (5pm) of 19 April and I weighed 355lbs.  Today’s morning weight:  347lbs.  So, that’s down 8lbs.  This should be good news, but, in fact, it’s actually very mixed (if not bad) news.  The projection for ALL “healthy” weight loss is NOT more than 1 to 2 pounds per week.  In other words, with the exception of a daily dog walk (15 – 30 minutes) and a single swim (80 minutes), I’ve done next to no exercise, yet still lost about 4lbs per week.
The issue / problem is if I exceed the 2lb per week loss rate – for an “extended” period of time – my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will drop at a faster rate than would be indicated by the weight loss alone (the main factor in BMR is your weight) and I will set myself up for much more difficult on-going weight-loss.  Like I said, losing too much, too quickly is not necessarily a good thing…
Part of the “problem” is I don’t (science doesn’t) really know what the definition / parameter is for “extended” period of time.  I’ve read it may begin after as little as 96hrs of dieting with a reduction of only 200-300 calories per day.  Of course, one answer / response to this problem is to begin exercise (actually JUST weight / resistance training), which is supposed to raise your BMR by increasing your muscle mass.  (Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells, even if you’re doing nothing but breathing to stay alive.)  Cardio exercise also burns more calories (during and after the exercise period) than simple rest, but cardio doesn’t necessarily promote muscle increase.
As stated in a prior post, I am monitoring my weight loss and will be re-evaluating the current protocol after another week or so.  …And I’ll be starting cycle #6 at 5pm, this evening.
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On This Day In:
2021 And Initiative Gets You Started
Here’s My Story
2020 #IncometentDonald Says The Economy Will Rebound Quickly
A Family Horror Story
2019 A State With No Business
2018 Reflections
2017 Opposites Attract
2016 Completely Unreasonable
Starting To Be A Reacher
2015 Avengers Assemble II
But If I Had To Perish Twice…
2014 Turning Pages
2013 We Are All Accountable
2012 American Sign Language
2011 Happy Disproof
2010 Book Review – Managing Your Government Career

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[This post is a LONG one…  If you are not interested in diets or my specific notes on a diet / lifestyle / fasting, feel free to leave now and come back some other day.  You’ve been warned…  (LOL!)
This post is one of a series of posts about my current diet / lifestyle choice of performing 40 hour water fasts to try to lose fat and get healthier.  These posts are not intended as medical advice as I have next to no formal medical training.  The posts are based on my personal experiences / opinions and are purely anecdotal.  Please consult your personal doctor or other REAL health care professional before starting any diet or exercise regime.    —    KMAB]
This morning I completed my fourth 40 hour water fast.  I hope at some point I’ll start looking forward to them.  So far, they are more of just a grind (before I start).  Once I get going, they are not too bad.  The time does go by more quickly than you would think – and it “really” is just one day.  Then, you have “effectively” two days to eat.
General reaction…  I’m feeling fine.  Maybe a little healthier, even.  I’m not losing any significant amounts of weight (qualified statement), yet.  When I do veggie-juice fasting, I tend to lose a pound a day (sometimes two pounds).  This makes jumping on the scale every morning VERY psychologically encouraging / re-enforcing.  This method of fasting (40hr water fast) is not “intended” (by me) to lose weight as much as it is for losing fat.  The weight will come off as a by-product of fat reduction and is itself not the primary objective / goal.
The morning before my first 40 hours (Tuesday 19 April), I weighed in at 355lbs.  Today, I’ve had my second consecutive day at 350lbs.  This is 5lbs in roughly 11 days.  That is actually excessive!  The short term goal is .5 to 1lb per week.  This rate is meant to ensure I don’t over stimulate my metabolic response to a lack of calories.  For anyone who doesn’t know:  a prolonged shortage of daily caloric intake stimulates a “starvation reaction” in your body which results in a lowered metabolic rate (BMR).  This lowered BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) means you will burn fewer calories to maintain / retain as much energy (fat stores) as possible.  Your body doesn’t know you’re fasting.  It thinks you’re starving and therefore it starts “shutting down” / reducing cellular activities to extend the calories (fat) it knows it has.
More specifically (as I understand it…):
Triglycerides (in your bloodstream) provide energy for warmth, but they also provide energy for all of the other functions of the cell.  We all have cells, called “fat cells” (brown and white) whose job it is to extract “extra” triglycerides and cholesterol from the blood and convert them into “true” fat for longer term energy use when called on / needed.  First we burn the energy in the cell.  Then we burn the energy in the bloodstream.  Then we burn the energy in the fat cells.  The body – as an organism and as individual cells – is continuously monitoring how much energy is available and sending out messages (via chemicals / hormones – mainly insulin from our pancreas) about the needs for energy.  There is a spectrum of reaction.  It is not a true “light-switch” – on or off.
Fasting:  I start each fast period at 5pm…  (Info about hours in the fasting process is from various fasting websites.  All times should be taken as “about / around”, and not as absolutes.  No one’s body reactions function as on-off switches set to fixed timers.)
12 hours.  Food consumed has been burned. …  (to me 5am)
14 hours.  Body has converted to using stored fat as energy. …  (to me 7am)
16 hours.  Body starts to ramp up the fat burning.  …  (to me 9am)
18 hours.  Human Growth Hormone starts to skyrocket.  …  (to me 11am)
24 hours.  Autophagy begins.  …  (to me 5pm)
36 hours.  Autophagy 300% increase.   …  (to me 5am)
48 hours.  Autophagy increases 30% more.   …  (to me, 40 hours ends at 9am)
72 hours.  Autophagy maxes out.   …  (I don’t go here / this long.)
During autophagy, the cells remove unwanted molecules and dysfunctional parts.  Sometimes, autophagy destroys some of these molecules and parts.  Other times, the cell recycles these parts into new components.  The term “autophagy” derives from the Ancient Greek for “self-eating.”
Depending on the individual’s metabolism, significant autophagy may take two to four days of fasting in our bodies.  Autophagy is believed to begin when glucose and insulin levels drop considerably.  Animal studies have shown evidence of autophagy after 24 hours of fasting, which starts peaking at around 48 hours of fasting.  (These last three sentences are “evolving” science.  I have not found a definition of “significant autophagy”.  As near as I can tell, we don’t know the trigger levels or the peak point(s).  I think there is likely to be a spectrum for both.)
A key sign of autophagy is reduced appetite.  It’s likely due to changed levels of hormones like glucagon and insulin.  Specifically, levels of glucagon tend to increase during autophagy.  Glucagon helps manage your blood sugar levels and has been shown to suppress appetite.
Cells use autophagy to get rid of damaged proteins and organelles.  Autophagy “may” counteract “some of” the negative effects of ageing on the body.  Despite advertising claims, I don’t believe this (anti-ageing claim) is settled science.
While it may be difficult to properly measure autophagy, here are some signs of autophagy:  Low blood glucose – When your blood sugar drops, your body raises cortisol, growth hormones, and ketones.  This can enable the beginning of autophagy.  Elevated ketones – as your blood sugar lowers, your ketones elevate.  You can buy strips over the counter (OTC) for home use in measuring ketones in urine.  You can also get OTC blood meters.  I do not currently use either method for testing and am not planning to.  I do get blood workups prior to my doctor appointments at least twice a year.
Because you are fasting and you need a source of energy, your body will use stored fat.  Ketones are chemicals made in your liver.  They are known as “endogenous” ketones because they’re produced by your body.  Your liver turns fat into ketones, then sends the ketones into your bloodstream.  Your muscles and other tissues can use the ketones (energy molecules) for fuel similarly to glucose / sugar.
You produce ketones when you don’t have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy.  An insulin response (increase) occurs whenever we eat.  The level of response varies, but seems to relate to the amount of sugar molecules in the food.  Insulin regulates the use / burning of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of glucose / sugar molecules from the blood into liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells.
All of this is kind of a circular explanation and very much a lay-person’s explanation for how (I understand) our bodies work.
Basically, AFTER 72 hours, your body has reached the maximum RATE of self-healing / anti-ageing.  Depending on the amount of fat you have in your body, you will continue to burn FAT (and other tissue) until your body chemistry says “I think we’re starving!”  At that point, your metabolic rate will start to fall as the body first tries to reduce energy consumption.  If that fails (you don’t resume eating), the body will begin to digest muscles and organs for their energy and proteins to protect the most critical body functions (mainly the heart and kidneys).  At this point, fasting for fat / weight loss is self-defeating, because you are losing proportionately more non-fat cells than fat cells.
Because I cut off my water fasts at 40 hours, I “only” have a maximum of 4 hours at the 300% increase rate in each cycle.  It remains to be seen how long it will take my body to adapt a long term response to this fasting regimen.  According to the fasting proselytizers, I (we) can continue the cycle indefinitely until I (we) reach a desired weight / fat level and then I / you simply play with the number of hours between cycles to establish a personal maintenance level.  I guess I’ll find out…
In the meantime, my plan is to continue my current alternating cycles for another 10 days to see how much weight I lose.  If it continues at this rate (5lbs lost over 10 days), I will extend the number of hours between fast cycles by 24 hours to slow down the loss (goal is .5lb to 1lbs per week).  Remember, the “goal” is fat reduction, NOT weight loss, while maintaining my metabolic rate (BMR).  This will (hopefully) maximize fat loss, weight loss and health all at the same time…
Two final points:  1)  Bile is stored in the gall bladder.  I had my gall bladder removed 10 years ago.  The body uses bile to emulsify (mix) fat in with water (blood) for transport around the body.  The gall bladder does not make bile.  Bile is made in the liver (like ketones).  Bile is made continuously and excess is stored in the gall bladder for quick release when we ingest fatty foods.  Bile use (gall bladder) and production (liver) is increased when we eat fatty foods, but it is a delayed response.  I have not been able to determine how this (use or production) effects fasting per se.  I do know if I “binge” on something fatty on breaking fast, I will have indigestion and get the trots – at least that’s what these first four cycles have shown.  Your response to renewed eating may vary.  And…
2)  I have seen numerous videos about “one-meal-a-day” and “alternate-day” fasting, which state most people cannot eat sufficient calories on an eat-day to make up for the calories not eaten on a fast day.  This is NOT true for me.  For whatever reason, I seem to be more than capable of making up for calories missed over a single day of fasting.  I spent almost two years trying OMAD, intermittent timed fasting and alternate day fasting.  All three seem to work (for me) for maintenance (slowed regaining) periods, but none of them worked for extended weight loss.  In other words:  they would help me maintain a plateau, but they didn’t help me continue to lose weight.  I should restate:  my goals for those diets / fasts / lifestyles were weight reduction, not fat loss;  and, both the intermittent timed fasts and the alternate day fasts were severe calorie restriction diets (days) – typically between 500 – 700 calories, NOT water fasts (days) – 0 – or near 0 calories.  I NEVER got to the 18hr (let alone the 24hr) mark without eating something.
Why do either of these points matter?  1)  because I am trying to reduce body fat, so it seems reasonable (to me) to assume fat transport is a factor.  And, 2)  because while 0 and near 0 days sounds more extreme than restriction, at least they offer an explanation for why you need to do it.  It appears physiological time (time between meals) is at least as important as calories.  This is an interesting wrinkle for me.
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On This Day In:
2021 Our Identity Crisis Continues
There’s No Hiding Place
2020 In Need Of Concerted Action
2019 Anything / Everything
2018 Touching A Nerve
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
I Have Realities In My Past
2017 Did I See You In Chapter 13?
2016 As I Recall
2015 Less And More Irritation
2014 That Marvelous Feeling
2013 Exceptional
2012 A Wild And Crazy Believer
2011 A Lack Of Scarcity
The Joy Of Prevention

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Yesterday, I completed my third 40 hour water fast.  My original intent was to do one per week starting on each Tuesday evening (5pm) and going until the following Thursday morning (9am).  However, I was due to have a cardiac stress test this week (Tues and Wed), so I went ahead and did a second fast.  It wasn’t as “easy” as the first time, but it wasn’t particularly difficult either, so I thought:  why should I let the stress test disrupt the schedule?
Interestingly (to me at least), this would give me a chance to complete my first “true” 40 hour water fast.  The water fast allows for you to drink black coffee or tea.  Actually, “black” just means no milk, creamer or other additive.  It is not a descriptor of color.  Tea can be black, green or herbal.  Again, just with no additives.
Anyway, the chemical cardiac stress test I was taking did not allow for the ingestion of caffeine (coffee, teas, soft drinks or chocolate), so this would be a “true” water fast.
My after-fast reaction is that I didn’t seem to notice any significant difference in my body / hunger in this third go round from my previous two.  I was more tired, but not more hungry.  Also, I didn’t get (or didn’t feel) my “normal” caffeine withdrawal headache.
I completed the cardiac procedure and the results posted last night:  I have no obvious cardiac blockages and I do not appear to have suffered a “minor” heart attack (as my GP feared).  So, that’s a BIG plus, too!
As an aside:  My second day test was supposed to go from 7am to 9:30am, but there was difficulty getting my IV in place (five failed attempts before a successful sixth needle using an ultrasound to direct the insert), so the whole thing ended up taking until noon.  In between the “marker” drug and the second set of imaging, I was told to go to the cafeteria and have a large breakfast:  “eggs, bacon, coffee, and a donut or waffle – and maybe some cereal.”  To make sure this happened, the nurse showed (“escorted”) me the way to the canteen and watched me start down the line.  (LoL!  I didn’t realize I had been escorted – to ensure compliance – until I got home and thought about what happened.)
I was advised by one of the nurses:  “Make sure when you get home after this, you have a couple of donuts and two large cups of coffee.  You need to have two large meals for lunch and dinner and make sure you either have a salad with both or a large salad with one or the other.  And drink a lot of water for the rest of the day and evening.”  There was also this:  “We’re not really supposed to say anything, but some of the marker chemicals can be bad for your liver, so you need the fluids and salads to flush them from your system as quick as you can.”
LoL…  I had “failed” to mention I was coming off a 40 hour water fast.  …And here I was being given a “prescription” of donuts and coffee!  Life is full or its own ironies.
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On This Day In:
2021 Keep Growing
I Keep Looking
2020 I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plans
One Earth
2019 Beautiful Rules
2018 Skepticism
2017 WWGD?
2016 Growing Greatness
2015 When It Is Darkest
2014 Knowledge And Doubt
2013 Three Thoughts
2012 Gentle Reader
2011 Leave The Light On For Me Anyway

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Six best doctors in the world…:
1. The sun
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self-respect
6. Friends
Stick to them at all stages of your life and enjoy a healthy life…
    —   Charlie Chaplin
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On This Day In:
2019 Innocent
2018 Ripost
2017 Just Asking…
2016 And 4
How Tall Do You Stand?
2015 More Prejudice
2014 Say What?
2013 Daring Errors
2012 Are You Comfortable?
I Just Have To
In Flux
2011 True New
2010 A Job Well Started Is A Job Half Done
I See With My One Good Eye

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So, today I am completing my 365th day of Intermediate Time Fasting (ITF), which has “really” been a mix of ITF and One-Meal-A-Day (OMAD) mixed eating and it’s time for an update:
My weight is down from 364lbs to 345lbs.
19lbs in 12 months or “roughly” 1.5lbs per month.
Had I been on a “strict” ITF – or my modified three(3) day cycle) (MITF), today would have been day:3 of cycle:119
As it was, this was day:267 of ITF / MITF and day 98 of OMAD.  Now, of course, there were multiple “normal” days mixed in during the year, but by and large I tried to stick to the time guidelines / eating periods.  Surprisingly, (to me) there was very little exercise done other than my daily walking of our pet dog.  This would be between 15 minutes / .4 miles; 30 minutes / 1 mile; and, 45minutes / 1.3 miles.  There would be some minor deviations in time or distance, but these were the overwhelmingly most common times and distances.
I would amend I was doing some body-weight exercises for about 45 to 60 minutes each day, but they did not result in significant weight loss or gain.  Although I felt much better at the end of the 60 day period.  At the start of August, I began suffering from vertigo and lower back pain, so I curtailed the exercises.  The main accomplishment was going from zero(“0”) pushups (from the floor) to 15 pushups.  I was pushing myself through a 30 day / 100 pushups a day challenge.  I started with 20 sets of five(5) inclined pushups and worked from 10 X 10 to 5 sets of 20 (inclined), with mixing in one or two sets from the floor on alternating days.
I am still dealing with the vertigo (off and on, mostly off), but my back issues seems to have cleared up.
An observant reader might ask about my food plan…  The reality is / was there was virtually NONE.  Every third day was ALL YOU CAN EAT / anything you want, within the eating 2Hr window and I did just that.  I started off with pizzas and cakes, fried chicken, chow mein and ice cream, and…  Well, you get the idea.  Almost nothing healthy every third day for almost three months.  I did tone it back after that, but I “just” toned it down to “crazy” every 6th day.  I did not stop.  My test was to see if controlling the time windows (6Hr, 4Hr and 2Hr) would work as a diet / lifestyle variable.  I would say, it does seem to have worked.  Relatively little exercise for most (10 months) of the year and a gross amount of unhealthy food every third (6th) day (but only within 2Hrs) and I still lost weight.  I can only imagine how much I would have lost had I adopted a healthier food program (at least on the third / 6th day) and added a modest exercise program to go with it.  Or alternatively, if I had just done the every other day eat / fast regime which seems to be more commonly recommended.
And that’s where I stand moving forward…  I am hoping to continue both the OMAD and a workout routine to continue to lose weight and get healthier.
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On This Day In:
2019 Reality And Imperfection
Day 8: One Stone
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 1)
Day 41: Hiccup Or End Of Days?
2017 Sharp-Edged Beauty
2016 Start, Keep, Finish
2015 Lifetime Friends
2014 Acknowledgement
2013 Longevity, Tenacity and Diversity
2012 What Reagan Really Cared About
2011 Seeming Sane (Or Not)

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The following is the 5th monthly (150 days “-ish”) update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  As always, it’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!!  Here goes…
(As in previous posts:)  On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was: 333lbs.  Based on these “initial” numbers, I’ve lost 40lbs from the end of August, 23lbs from the start of the ITF and gained 15lbs in the last 30 days.  [Note:  I have made a “determination” that my home scale is 30lbs light vis-a-vis the digital scales used at my doctor’s office.  Because of this, as of 1 February 2020, I have begun adding 30lbs to my weight on my home scale.  This means my “true” 29 August starting weight was closer to 403lbs than to  373lbs.  It also means my starting ITF weight was closer to 386lbs, not 356lbs.  My weight 30 days ago was 318lbs…  Adding 30lbs to that would make it 348lbs.  Today’s adjusted weight of 333lbs, means I’ve lost 15lbs in the last 30 days and not the 15lb gain indicated in the sentence prior to this “note”.  I know…  I know.  This is all confusing (and frustrating).]

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

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

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

BMR on 15 Feb 2020 at 333lbs

 

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

Image of Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst parts of extreme weight loss: a permanent (and excessive) drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first few months.  (The addition / adjustment of +30lbs is clearly visible on the chart.)

Image of Weight Loss Chart (Oct - Feb)

Weight Loss Chart (Oct – Feb)

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

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The following is the 4th monthly (120 days) update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  Again, it’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!!  Here goes…
(As in previous posts:) On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was: 373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was: 356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was: 318lbs. Basically, I’ve lost 55lbs from the end of August, 38lbs from the start of the ITF and 11lbs in the last 30 days.

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

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

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

BMR on 16 Dec 2020 at 318lbs

BMR on 16 Jan 2020 at 318lbs

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

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

Calories Chart for Last 12 Months

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst parts of extreme weight loss: a permanent (and excessive) drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first two months.

Weight Loss Chart (Oct - Jan)

Weight Loss Chart (Oct – Jan)

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

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The following is the monthly update on my attempt to lose weight and get healthier.  It’s a longer post than my “normal” daily post, so if your not “into” reading about “another person’s” diet (again!), I’ll understand if you stop here and come back another day.  You’ve been warned!!  Here goes…
(As in previous posts:) On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was:  373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was:  356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was:  329lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 44lbs from the end of August, 27lbs from the start of the ITF and 11lbs in the last 30 days.

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

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

BMR on 16 Dec 2019 at 329lbs

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

Calories Chart for Year

The goal of my long-term weight loss is (remains) to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst parts of extreme weight loss: a permanent (and excessive) drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity).  It looks like I’m continuing my promising start from the first two months.

Weight Loss Chart (Sept – Dec)

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

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On September 16, 2019, I switched from my 18 days of “juice / blend” fasting / diet to an Intermittent Time Fasting (ITF) “Diet / Lifestyle”.  My starting weight on 29 August, for the juice / blending fast was:  373lbs.  My starting weight for the ITF was:  356lbs.  My current weight (this morning) was:  347lbs.  Basically, I’ve lost 26lbs from the end of August and 9lbs from the start of the ITF.  There is need to mention two minor qualifications.  1)  My initial weigh-ins for both starts (juice and ITF) were barefoot and with shorts on.  My weight this morning was with sweatpants and cross-training / “fake” leather shoes.  I would estimate the “extra” weight to be between 3-5lbs.  Having said this, I did not subtract this from the morning’s weight.  And, 2) after the end of the juice / blend fast, I regained 11lbs the first week – which I’ve had to re-lose under ITF.
Image of Calories Chart from start of ITF

Calories Chart from start of ITF

The observant among you may notice in the above chart, I had four(4) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…
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 says my BMR is roughly 2,400 calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,400 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.

BMR on 16 Oct 2019 at 347lbs

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is defined as 220 beats per minute (BPM) – your age (64).  This makes my MHR equal to 156bpm.  “Elevated” heart rate is defined as 70% of MHR.  In my case, that would be 109bpm.  According to my FB, my active time (i.e. “elevated heart rate”) per day is 71 minutes (on average).  I’m not sure how this level is met as I only walk my dog for 30 minutes per day and 45 minutes (maybe) 2 or 3 times per week.  My FB “step target” is 7,500 steps versus the 10,000 “normally” recommended.  I miss my step target about once every couple of weeks.  I can only imagine my AFib is raising my heart rate at various points during the day and this is being read as active time by the FitBit.
Anyway, the top chart shows I have a calorie deficit of about 1,300 calories per day.  That times seven(7) days is 9,100 calories.  Divided by 3,500 calories (1 pound of human body fat) equals to 2.6 pounds of loss per week.  My actual weight loss over the last four weeks is 9lbs.  Divided by four(4) is 2.25lbs per week.  (If we subtract the 3lbs for the shoes worn in this morning’s weigh-in, the result is 2.75lbs per week.   Just saying…)
The goal of my long-term weight loss is to drop 1.5 to 2 pounds per week.  In theory, this will prevent the two worst part of extreme weight loss:  a permanent drop in BMR (which makes it easier to regain lost weight) and a large amount of floppy / saggy skin (pure vanity, it just looks terrible).  It looks like I’m off to a promising start.  IF I can keep this up, I should be under 300lbs for my 65th birthday at the end of March 2020.
Equally important:  how does it feel?  Today I was able to get into my wife’s Toyota Corolla without having to put the seat back-rest almost flat and contort my body to get into her car!  So, yeah.  It feels pretty good.  🙂
My secondary goals going forward are to work towards smoothing out the “calories-in” numbers and to eat more healthy on my one-meal-a-day / all-you-can-eat day.  I won’t say I’m “abusing” the OMAD opportunity, but…  Okay.  Yeah, I am ABUSING it!!  And, I know better.  At least two of the days, I ate beyond feeling stuffed to the point of feeling sick.  So, yeah, I can do better there, too.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2018 One Of The Great Ones
2017 Mirror In The Oval Office
True Courage
2016 What’s Your Excuse?
2015 Some Meaningful Resemblance
2014 Bloom
Orange October (VII) – The Giants Win The Pennant!!
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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If you want to succeed with long-term weight loss, it’s crucial that you embrace both reality and imperfection.
Remember, too, that your best efforts will vary.  Your best when facing a challenging time in life will be different from your best when everything is hunky-dory, just as your best on your birthday, or on a vacation, or at a holiday meal will require indulgence.
The truth is there will come a point where you can’t happily live any better — where you can’t happily eat less and you can’t happily exercise more — and your weight, living with that life, is your best weight.  In every other area of our lives we readily accept our best efforts as great, and we need to do that with weight and healthful living too.
    —    Yoni Freedhoff, MD
From Dr. Freedhoff’s article:  “Don’t let the Biggest Loser study get you down! There’s hope.
[This article was originally published on May 10, 2016, by Vox: https://www.vox.com/
You can find the original online at:   https://www.vox.com/2016/5/10/11649210/biggest-loser-weight-loss
I found it at:   https://getpocket.com/explore/item/i-m-an-obesity-doctor-i-ve-seen-long-term-weight-loss-work-here-s-how?utm_source=pocket-newtab     —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 1)
Day 41: Hiccup Or End Of Days?
2017 Sharp-Edged Beauty
2016 Start, Keep, Finish
2015 Lifetime Friends
2014 Acknowledgement
2013 Longevity, Tenacity and Diversity
2012 What Reagan Really Cared About
2011 Seeming Sane (Or Not)

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The end of day 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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It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.
     ―     Margaret Mead
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On This Day In:
2018 Fear And Hope
Day 33: Good News & Prep
2017 Directions
2016 Handle With Care
2015 Nothing But Pride
2014 Go
2013 Well, Does It?
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.
    —    Irish Proverb
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On This Day In:
2018 Feeling Both
2017 Just Start
2016 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
2015 Restraint At The Inn
2014 To Not Discovering
2013 I Have Less To Say
2012 Not The Best Prediction I’ve Ever Read

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

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Today is the last day of my first year of retirement!
Things I’ve Learned:
1)  You need more money up front than you think.  Because of the way Social Security, retirement plans and private savings are set up, there is a “substantial” delay between when you retire and when you start getting your money on a regular basis.  In my case, I couldn’t make up my mind how much to draw down my personal / private savings until after I got my final payment figure from SSA.  This meant pulling in our belts more than expected (for a few months) until I felt comfortable making this decision – and then waiting for it to kick in and start paying.  Everyone’s situation will be different, but I saved four months of “working” net pay to cover the expenses and I probably would have been more comfortable if I had been able to save up six.
2)  Make sure you can cover your health care expenses!  This out of pocket expense has been significantly more than I estimated.  I made sure to cover the cost of insurance and prescriptions and a “normal” amount of routine visits.  I didn’t “really” budget for trips to the ER, colonoscopies, cancer surgeries, … and the list goes on.  This will remain a cost I will have to constantly monitor until we get a “real” national healthcare system which covers medical, dental and vision.  You know – all of “health”.  For us, this probably means Medicare when we turn 65 in a couple of years.
3)  You need to get organized and then try to stick with a flexible plan.  Even with all day, every day, if you aren’t eating the elephant one bite at a time, big jobs on the “honey-do” list will get away from you.  Most stuff is day to day, but you need to allocate time to longer term goals and what you want accomplished or they will drift and just not get done.
4)  It always ends up being more complicated than what / how you learn to do it on YouTube.  And usually more expensive, too…  Sometimes, you’ve just got to bite the bullet and pay a professional.  Do your retirement budget a favor and pay to get it done before you retire.
5)  It takes longer to adjust to a “non-work” schedule than you think.  I thought my body would adapt to a different sleep pattern within a couple of weeks.  WRONG.  It’s been twelve months and I’m still adjusting.  Sure, I can stay up later now, but that doesn’t get things done the following morning when you sleep in to make up for it.
6)  I wanted to read more books, learn to play an instrument, learn basic fluency in a foreign language and get in better shape (lose weight).  I am sleeping more.  I’ve lost weight and I’m getting more exercise.  I’m reading fewer books, because I’m on the computer a LOT more.  No progress on music or a foreign language.  (See #3 above…)
7)  Relax, smell the roses, and have a cuppa’…   About six weeks into my retirement (last November), I had to go into the ER / hospital to get my heart stopped and restarted due to my AFib.  So, once again I’ve been reminded I’m living on borrowed time.  (Hence the more sleep and trying to lose weight.)  It felt so un-natural to not have to get up for work, I think I let that (by itself) stress me out.  Now, I really am trying to take it a bit easier and settle into “being” retired.  LOL…  I think it might take me another two or three years, but I’m determined to get better at it.
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On This Day In:
2017 First Day Of Retirement!
2016 Revere And Criticize
2015 Global Climate Change May Test This Statement
2014 Adaptability Won
2013 Disappeared
2012 Fuller
Life On The Range
More Classics
2011 Stoned Again?
2010 Insubordination… And That’s Why I Love Her!
Losing – Week One

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