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Posts Tagged ‘Dieting’

Here’s the thing you need to remember: your goal is to start burning your own fat for fuel.  The ONLY WAY to tap into that stored fat is to STOP running on glucose / glycogen.  You can either be a fat-burner or a sugar burner.  The end.  Making the transition from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner is the hard art, but once you do it, you will be AMAZED at how good you feel.  I promise.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book:  “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 You Mean There IS Something Else?
2017 Be Good
2016 Raise Yourself
2015 A Kids Movie Rip-Off
2014 Ready, Action!
2013 Responding To Challenges
2012 Abnormal, adj.
2011 Large Families
On The Brink

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The end of day six and the start of day seven…  Today completes the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 362lbs.  (on Day 7)
I am down / down “2/11”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 11lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday, was a peculiar day.  I had to give a blood sample in the morning for a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This meant I had to “fast” (no eating of drinking of my blend) for 12 hours.  I stopped about 9pm the night before.  I got up and walked the dog about 9am, so I was on time.  I got to the office about 10:15am and gave the sample a little after 11am.  I almost never make an appointment to give blood.  I just bring a book or read email on my cell.  In this case, I did both.  Some time this week, I’ll get my results with my cholesterol and triglycerides levels and the doctor will review them with me to see where I stand.  Hopefully, both will be down (at least slightly) and I’ll be able to avoid any statins.  I was taking them in pill form for a number of years and been having a negative reaction (muscle pains and joint stiffness), but my cardiologist feels I will need to go back on something.  He’s recommending some new drug (new to me) which is administered via shot.   I’m not keen on drugs or shots (in particular), so I have another reason to make a go of fasting and losing weight.
After giving blood, I had a shot of OJ and then went out to mow the front lawn.  That took about an hour.  I settled in to drink at least a quart of my blend.  I watched a bit of TV and read a bit and then took a nap for about 2hrs.  After that, I watched some Netflix and then went to the pool for an evening swim (60 minutes / breast stroke).  I felt like it was exhilarating but (again) I tired quickly (after about 30 minutes).  So, it was another gut check to finish the time.  I just set a nice relaxing pace and got through it…  I can pretty easily do 40 lengths (25 yard lenghts) in under 55 minutes, so I say I’m doing 42 to 44 lengths an hour.  That’s a little more than one half mile (36 lengths).  It may not sound great to any young readers, but I started out in April taking between 75 and 80 minutes to do just 40 lengths, so I’ve made reasonable progress for an ol’ geezer.
Today is actually Day 7 of the fast and tomorrow I’ll be posting a photo of my progress.  Tonight I’ll make a decision about going for another week or just going day to day.  At this moment, I’m feeling great, so I’m leaning towards committing to a second full week and then switching.  The thing about “committing” is if I fall off the wagon, I’ll start beating myself up about it, whereas “day to day” is just until yesterday.  I know it’s psychologically wrong, but that’s the way (formerly) A+ personality types think.  “Set a goal.  MUST make it.  MUST make it. MUST aaauurrgghh!”
Why Studying Dieting Doesn’t Work…
On this journey I’ve struggled with dieting for most of my adult life.  I’ve almost always succeeded (for a while) in losing some weight, and then rebounded – sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  I’ve tried every diet plan I could reasonably afford, and almost all of them have worked (for a while).  For me, the problem has been, “What’s next?”  Sure, this or that diet works for a week or two, but what happens next?  I don’t want to “diet” forever.  This means over the last 20 years I’ve used “fasting” as my hack to a non-healthy eating lifestyle.  I either eat too much or I eat too frequently – or both.  For the longest time I’d felt this was some kind of psychological failure / adaptation on my part.  Although not poor while growing up, we certainly didn’t have the quality or quantity of food which I experienced when eating over at my friends houses.
It’s only in the last ten years I’ve thought maybe it’s not me with the problem.  Okay.  Yes, it is ME, but it’s not necessarily my brain’s (a lack of self-discipline) fault.  It’s not that I’m weak.  It’s that modern food is addicting and it’s promoted in advertising as a substitute for happiness.  I don’t mean psychologically addicting, by the way, although there is definitely some of that, too.  I mean modern food is full of chemicals (mainly) – sugar and flavor enhancers – which are meant to stimulate our appetites without giving us a sense of fullness (to tell us to stop stuffing our faces / stomachs).  I mean that modern food is physically addicting.  (Our stomachs, in fact, have sensors which tell our brain “we’re full, stop eating for a while”.  This is why drinking water before eating somewhat deadens our appetites.  The water – which has zero calories – takes up space and generates a sense of fullness in the stomach.)
The human body has served us well for thousands of years and until fairly recently, obesity (and in particular morbid obesity) has been rare.  The trend over the last ten to twenty years has been to blame what we eat (junk food / fast food), how much we eat (portions and frequency), and, everybody’s favorite culprit:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  The problem we (as individuals and as a society) have is correlation is not causation and food science is closer to a “soft” science (like psychology) than it is to a “hard” science (like chemistry).  This is because we have little to no ability to create valid controls for a scientific test.  The primary variable is the human body and, despite appearances (we all “seem” pretty much the same), in fact, we have wildly different individual reactions to different types of food AND we have no longitudinal studies (that I am aware of) which show the same person has the same reactions to different types of food across their individual life spans.  What longitudinal studies we do have tend to be voluntary, subjective and self-reported.  We are, therefore, highly dependent on the person reporting to provide accurate and honest information / data for our analysis.  We then use statistics and hope accuracy and honesty will level out under our Bell Curve.
More of my random thoughts to come…
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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The end of day five and the start of day six…  Two more days to complete the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 364lbs.  (on Day 6)
I am down / down “1/9”.  As in, 1lbs down from yesterday and 9lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
I feel like I’m starting to get my second wind.  I am feeling great in the mornings and try to do things and then get tired easily.  All of this is normal until the fat burning really kicks in.  I do feel like I’m already getting thinner and (like I said) feeling better / healthier.  Part of it is purely psychological as I can see the goal – of completing week one – now clearly in sight.  I will wait until I see how I feel on day seven to decide if I’m going to the modified alternate day fast (MADF) or if I stick to the juice blend for some additional time.  Last year, I did my week and then kept going for almost seven weeks (41 days).  I pretty much said: “Let’s go for two weeks and then day to day.”  Which is what I ended up doing…
I was planning to go for a swim in the evening, but when we drove by around 6pm, the pool was still packed with families.  My local homeowners association has two BBQ’s a year: one for Memorial Day and one for Labor Day.  The are used to mark the “official” open and closing of the pool season.  At the discretion of the association board the pool can be opened earlier and stay open longer.  Last year (2018), we opened at the start of May.  This year, almost at the start of April.  Last year, we closed after Halloween.  This year it looks like the end of September.  We are hoping to resurface the pool (after 20 years), and the Board wants the pool closed as soon as our permit clears to make sure we are able to open on time next year / season.
My point about the families being I don’t like to swim laps when it’s crowed because folks want to have fun with their kids and I’d be tying up a whole lane just for my laps.  So, no swim, but I did get in my 30 minute dog walk.  C’est la vie…
My hands, wrists, feet and ankles are consistently not bloated and my Blood Pressure is starting to consistently drop into the “good” range.  I had my first 118 / 81 in quite a while.  Not perfect, but much better than the 135+ / 85+ I’ve been registering lately.  When I’m getting 115 / 75 in my morning reading, I’ll be happy.  That’s a great number for any age, let alone 64, pushing 65 years old.  My average resting Heart Rate is now down in the 50 / 51 per minute range.  That’s down from the 55 / 65 is was for most of last month.  I’m not a fully convinced believer in the maximum heart beats in a lifetime theory, but it seems oddly consistent across species, and I think it deserves more research.  And, yes, I’m fairly OCD and measure my BP/HR two to three times a day.  I was doing it religiously for several years (and charting them over time).  I showed my Excel file and charts to my cardiologist and he said I need to chill out as this kind of compulsive behavior can result in increases to both BP and HR.  That was a couple of years ago, now.  I no longer chart the results and I mostly just do morning and before bed – and, maybe once or twice a week during the afternoon.
In some future post, I’ll try to explain what I mean by “eat less”, “move more” and “eat healthier”.  For now, I’ll just say “eat less” doesn’t necessarily mean eating fewer calories…  (more later!)
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On This Day In:
2018 Thought Experiments
Day 38: Going Crazy
2017 Which Did You Learn?
2016 Shape And Limit
2015 Me Either
2014 Just Business
2013 Beautiful Adventure
2012 Precedence
2011 Ya Think?

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The end of day four and the start of day five…  Over the Hump for the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 365lbs.  (on Day 5)
I am down / down “2/8”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 8lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (morning of Day 1).
Yesterday was a much easier day than expected.  And, yes, I am pleasantly surprised.  As mentioned (in yesterday’s post), I was expecting a difficult day because we were going to my sister’s house for a Labor Day BBQ.  We did and it smelled delicious (and everyone said it was).  Despite the obvious temptation, I was able to tough it out.  It really only takes me about 10 minutes to settle in.  My sister has fasted and her husband has lived with her while fasting, so once I “announced” I was fasting, they were very polite in not “pushing” the food at me.  It was difficult looking at the veggies, dip, BBQ (and desserts), and mainly smelling the BBQ, but I just walked away from the counter with my bottle of juice and settled in front of the TV while everyone ate.  After everyone else ate, I felt less tired than Day 3 – physically and sleep wise, but I still managed a short (20-30 minute) nap on the couch while the ladies went shopping and Art (my brother-in-law) walked their dogs.  They left and let the TV watch me for a while.
Prior to departure, I added pink grapefruit juice and watermelon juice to my veggie-blend (“swamp-juice”) to make it a little more acidic and to have a few more calories.  I find the acidity reduces hunger and the calories keep me from getting the low blood-glucose hunger pangs / shakes.  I brought along my 1 gallon (128fl.oz.) bottle of blend for the trip and I got through most of it.  We stayed almost five hours.  The key, of course, is to drink a bunch at first, so you are both full and can “go” early and often (i.e. don’t have to “go” too badly when you’re on the road driving home).  Anyway, I had the timing almost perfect – at least there were no problems on the road in either direction.
As expected after yesterday’s rebound, I shed most of the water weight I picked up (2lbs) after my initial big loss.  Between days two, three, and four, I lost 6lbs and then regained 2lbs.  A loss of 6lbs overnight is not only unhealthy, it is almost certainly an indication of excessive water loss (with or without stomach content).  Gaining some of it (the 2lbs) back should be no big deal as long as the overall trend of several days is downwards (negative / actual weight loss).  While this is completely subjective, the question is:  “How do you feel?”  Both at the start of the day and throughout…  If you feel thinner, it’s okay.  If you don’t, is it because you feel heavier or “just” bloated.  This is not always easy for someone to judge.  It takes experience because feeling bloated can also make you (me anyway) feel heavier.  The key is that it doesn’t always do so and you have to learn to feel the difference.  Again, down to experience…
While at my sister’s, she asked me: “How long this time?”  My response:  “The plan is at least a week and then back to a ‘real’ intermittent fasting schedule.  But, I’m flexible and I’ll see how I feel.”
For my new(er) followers, last year I fasted for 41 solid days and didn’t quite finish the 42nd day.
My sister has been experimenting with Alternate Day and Intermittent Time Fasting since early April when I talked with her about it over our multi-birthday family BBQ.  She’s lost just over ten pounds and says it’s been really interesting and relatively easy.  The hard parts were playing with both types and figuring out what actually fit with her lifestyle and daily schedule.  She figured out the strict alternate daily fasting didn’t work at all.  The modified (5 / 2 method) was better, but still too difficult.  She then tried Intermittent Time, and it “clicked for me”  (her words).  Now she uses a window each day, which slides depending on her daily schedule and hunger.  She tends to stick to 10am to 6pm, but says if she’s not hungry, she simply pushes the window back  (11am to 7pm), or sometimes even leaves it at 6pm.
My sister was a pretty strict vegetarian, but says she now has chicken and / or fish several times a month.  She still doesn’t eat beef or pork.  She is letting her body tell her what it needs.  She is visibly thinner and (to me) looks younger and happier (more contented) than when I last saw her (even a few weeks ago).  Of course, there is no reason to believe all of this is down to her changed diet – I’m just sayin’.  Oh, yeah.  And she still enjoys her wine!  She believes she’s reached a point where her body is naturally telling her to eat better food choices and she’s enjoying that feeling.  This was her “click”.
Other thoughts:
Last week I got word they were closing our neighborhood pool on the weekdays through the end of September.  It would remain open on the weekends, but with reduced hours.  There was a stink amongst the homeowners association and the Board has decided to keep the pool open on weekdays, but with limited (no) lifeguards / staffing.  Yea!   I have really been enjoying my use of the pool and try to go when there are few families / children so I have a clear path (lane) for swimming laps.  So, I’m very happy about the Board’s decision!
So, I am mid-way through day five and finishing one week is starting to look like a piece of cake…  (Yes, a bad dieting / fasting simile.)
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On This Day In:
2018 We Are Approaching Default
Running On History
Day 37: Blended Not Juiced
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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

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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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After a hearty Christmas dinner, it’s back to thinking about health and weight.  Improve the former.  Decrease the latter.  So, it’s back on the “juice / blend” diet for a while.
I started my last diet / fast back at the end of July and went 42 days.  I was at my lifetime maximum weight of 380lbs when I started and got down to 311lbs.  I was surprised how quickly the  weight has come back.  This morning I weighed in at 360lbs.  My previous max was in running shorts, barefoot and t-shirt.  This mornings weigh-in was with jeans, running shoes and a sweatshirt.  The prior max was with me standing on the scale in a precise location so I could try to standardize my weigh-ins.  At this time of year, it is too cold to try to do the same, so I will be wearing various clothes / shoes.  This means I can’t sweat a one or two pound gain or celebrate a one or two pound loss.  After all, it could just be a change of shoes.  What I have to concentrate on is not daily weighing, but 3 and 4 day trends.
My recent readings on weight maintenance have said the body seeks to find the old weight when you come off of a diet (plus a few extra).  This is what causes the “rebound” effect almost all dieters have of regaining everything you lost plus a couple.  I have been hovering around the 350lbs level for about four weeks now.  My goal is to start working back down to that level (with a 7 day juice fast) and then see how it goes from there.  That’s the same plan I had for my last fast (keep a short term goal clearly in sight) and it worked pretty well.  Anytime I do anything to try to change my body, (sleep, diet or exercise) I try to make sure I’m “listening” to my body.  Hopefully, by starting the diet at 30lbs lighter (actually 20lbs as of this morning), I have re-set my body weight at or near the 350lbs level, so when I come off I’ll only rebound to somewhere near there minus a few.
So: exercise more regularly at the gym, fast for a kick-start, eat healthier choices when I come off the fast.  It remains true that it is practically impossible to lose weight from just exercise.  Eating poorly (calorie dense) will always more than counter any benefit from exercise.  To lose weight, I have to eat better, sleep more regularly (and longer – minimum of 7hrs), and exercise.  So, here I go again…  Wish me luck!
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On This Day In:
2017 Biased World View
2016 Control In The Age Of Entanglement
2015 Okay, Maybe Not Ceaseless
2014 Can Do
2013 Are You Helping?
2012 Inside All Truth Is A Vacuum
2011 So, Whom Are We Trying To Fool Then?

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The end of day three and the start of day four…  Goal in sight!
Get up.  Walk the dog.  Drink breakfast.  Run to throne.  Piddle about the house.  Run to throne.  About house.  Run…  (Sensing a pattern?)  Just before 1pm my stomach settles and I go to the pool for a swim.  The timer clock at the pool malfunctions and instead of an hour treading water and then a few laps, I spend the whole 75 minutes treading water and then come home.  Start in on my second bottle of veggie juice.
Hil went to the store to restock my veggies as I’m going to have to make a new batch of veggie juices soon (tomorrow).  And, yes, I know I’m “supposed” to make it just before I drink it, but frankly, I’m just TOO lazy.  It’s just easier for me to make two or three days worth and then pull them out 2 or 3 a day as needed.  My view is the less time I’m standing in front of an open fridge, the better.  As Oscar Wilde said: “I can resist everything except temptation.”  After I make up the veggie juice, I’ll probably boil up some water for ginger / mint tea.  I make up about 1/2 gallon and it is very refreshing (after chilling) in the heat of the day.
No headaches today.  My energy level seems okay – even – but, short term.  Good at starting something; not so good at finishing it.  I’m hoping it’s just more of my normal state of attention deficit disorder.  I’ll know more in two days…
It’s now past 7:30pm here.  That means I’m more than half way through the conscious part of day 4.  (LOL)  I’m currently enjoying a V8 and apple cider mix.  I don’t usually drink V8 – the regular V8, that is.  I like the taste, but it has way too much salt.  Having said that, it is drinkable.  I’ve had the low-sodium version of V8 and it is TERRIBLE tasting.  I consider it undrinkable.  Just my opinion.  But this particular blend is delicious.  Of course, it could just be my veggie enhanced taste-buds talking to my brain.  I’m only drinking the V8 because my wife got it by accident.  She misread my shopping list on which I asked for “V8-Healthy Greens”.  This is a rather bland tasting mixture which is almost bad enough to make you think it must be healthy.  As near as I can tell, it almost tastes good and only has 60 calories per serving, so you get away with about 300-400 calories for a meal (46oz bottle).
With a fresh stoke-up of veggies in the chiller, I may decide to push on past the 7 days and go for a full 10.  I’ll play it by ear and see how my energy levels are.  Generally, I know it’s time to come off the fast when I get “hungry in my bones”.  It’s hard to describe the exact feeling.  For me, there’s:
1)  I notice a clock: “It’s lunch (meal) time” in my eyes,
2)  “Humm, I could just go a biccie (that’s cookie to non-Brits) or a few crisps (that’s potato chips)” (usually in response to a smell or a TV commercial),
3)  “My tummy’s growling” in my ears and stomach (obviously),
4)  “My stomach thinks my throat’s been cut” – I’m starting to get desperate,
5)  I start to get a headache or my hands and knees start shaking – quick sugar rush time, and then,
6)  I’m hungry in my bones…  “Eat something NOW!”
The last one is the warning sign that my body is going to severely over run my common sense / rational judgement at my next opportunity to eat.  I think this is where the expression “hungry like a wolf” comes from.  And, yes, I have ended fasts on pizzas, fried chicken and other similar less than “healthy” foods in the past.  More often than not, I have broken fasts slowly with an apple, a small salad or a cup of yogurt or some such boring item.  So, no, I’m not always a complete idiot about this.  (LOL)
Right now, it looks like the schedule is for ending Friday noon (7 full days) or Monday noon (6 Aug) which would be 10 full days.  After that, I’ll probably go to the (Dr. Smith) “Fat Smash” diet or combo it with Dr. Fuhrman “Eat To Live” diet for a couple more (at least 6) weeks.  Either will give me a chance to modify my “lifestyle” eating habits to something better for the longer term as I continue to lose weight.  And, (drum roll please) this morning’s weight: 368lbs.  That’s down 1lbs from yesterday and 12lbs from 20 July.
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On This Day In:
2017 Orange Comb-Overs Unite!
2016 Speaking Of Which
2015 Complexity Has A Strict Architecture
2014 Just Support
2013 Wandering Free
2012 Contribute = Paying Taxes
2011 How Will You Be Judged?

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Please do NOT take anything I say in this post (or the next few days) as medical advice.  I am NOT a physician or health specialist and have NO formal training in medicine, diet or nutrition.  I do have lots of personal experience dieting (and failing) and losing weight (and finding it again).  Please consult your doctor before you start a diet, work-out plan or any significant change in your physical lifestyle.  A word to the wise should suffice…
Okay…  I have just finished the first 24 hours of my latest cleansing fast.  What is a “cleansing” fast?  Basically, every so often, usually once a year, I go through several days of not “eating” – that is, masticating / chewing.  The longest fasts I’ve been on were 30 days.  I’ve done these four times in my life.  Once (each) in my 20s and 30s and twice in my 50s.  The two early one were veggie broth and herbal tea fasts.  The later (and latter) two were in the last 7 years (I’m currently 63 yrs old).  I’ve also done multiple cleanses of 10 to 21 days during this time frame.  These were not so much to diet as to try to initiate lifestyle changes.  Generally, they work for “a while” (a couple of months), before I slip back into my old ways / habits.  The two long ones were the results of watching the films “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (1 and 2).
Procedure:  I run a bunch of veggies through a juicer and drink the results.  This normally results in about two 32oz bottles of “veggie” juice to drink.  It also results in a large amount of “waste” roughage which I sometimes use and sometimes dispose of.  I don’t have a composting area, so if I’m not intending to use the roughage for blending or brothing, I’m afraid I haven’t been able to think of much else to do with it.  When I am just intending to juice for a day or up to three, I toss it.  If I’m intending to go longer, I keep it.
My current plan is to go for a week and see how I feel.  As such, I’m holding onto the roughage to use in a blend.  As I mentioned, “my” cleanses tend to be both veggie juice and veggie / fruit blends.  I try to go about two and three days of each, alternating.  I do this because I’m not a big fan of enemas and after two days of just veggie juice, I don’t have anything solid to pass.  The alternating between juicing and blending seems to work for me to keep the plumbing working (to put it politely) comfortably.  So, no, I’m not doing “pure” fasting.
Dieting / Weight-Loss:  I personally do NOT believe juicing (the way I do it) is an effective form of dieting or of losing weight and keeping it off.  Why not?  Because the normal adult body holds about 5 to 7 pounds of food “in processing” at any time.  You eat.  It works it way through your system.  You poop.  That 5-7 pounds is the “in system” stuff.  When you (I) begin the juicing, the first couple of days is getting rid of all of this.  This means I normally drop 7 pounds in the first three to four days of a juice fast.  This is NOT true weight loss, because as soon as I eat an apple or salad coming off the fast, the weight is right back there in my stomach being processed.  Interestingly, this period also roughly corresponds with the snarky, tired, miserable mood period most people experience when they start a juice fast.  It is only after this initial period that I begin to lose real weight.
On my last 10 day fast (just juice), I lost 20 pounds.  Thirteen if you discount the stomach weight.  On my last 20 day fast (juice and blend), I lost 25.  On my last 30 day fast (juice and blend), I lost 30 pounds.  Again, you’d have to subtract 7 pounds to get the real weight (18 and 23, respectively).  There is a law of diminishing returns – for me anyway.  It starts to fall off more slowly once I get past the 15 day mark.  I’ve never averaged less than a pound per day over the course of a fast.  But, I’ve also never had a “really” long fast (over 30 days).
So, what’s the difference between “blending” and “brothing”?  Blending (for me) is using either water or purchased fruit juice in a blender with the roughage to make a “smoothie”, which I then drink.  Brothing is simply boiling water with the roughage to make broth.  You boil for a few minutes and then pour the mixture through a sieve to get the vegetable broth.  It’s pretty good on a cold winter day and vaguely stirs memories of eating stew (“scouse”) – but only VERY vaguely.  LOL.  A couple of points to mention: 1)  I try to use the roughage within two days (unless it’s been frozen); and, 2) brothing boils away a lot of the water soluble vitamins which were left after the juicing process and leaves very little soluble fiber.
And a few closing points, in addition to my regular heart meds (I suffer from irregular / non-symptomatic AFib), I also take a regular one-a-day type of multi-vitamin pill, a one-a-day D3 (specific) vitamin pill and three fish-oil pills.  I walk our family dog (almost) every day, for at least 1/2 hour (about 1 mile) and I try to do some other form of exercise.  In the summer (starting this year), it’s been treading water, which I do for an hour.  I’m currently averaging about three times per week on this.
Finally, long term weight loss (and keeping it off / maintenance) is about making a lifestyle change, not just getting through a cleansing fast.  Having said that, every thing you do to make yourself healthier – no matter how small – is a good step on the way to being just that – healthier.  So, I’m starting today and I’ll try to provide daily updates to let you know how it’s going.  Wish me luck…
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On This Day In:
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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So, this last July 6th, I began my latest attempt to reduce weight.  My starting weight was 363 lbs.  As of yesterday, August 6th, I weighed in at 335 lbs.  So, I have lost my initial goal of 28 lbs (two stones).  Now, because of the way “juicing” works as a form of dieting, I have to lose another 8 to 12 lbs to legitimately say I’ve lost a full 28 lbs.  This is because the body normally holds about 5 to 7 lbs of food matter in the stomach when there is food available (when you’re not juice fasting) and (from experience) I’ve found normal eating generally adds about another 1/2 gallon of water to your weight due to the addition of salts and sugars back into your diet.  That’s another 3 to 4 lbs.  The bottom line is I need to drop another 12 lbs by Hil’s birthday (the end of October), before I can legitimately says I’ve lost the weight I promised to lose by her birthday.
General Observations:
I feel terrific.  I don’t have a tremendous amount of endurance energy, but I feel capable of most routine activity.  My “fast / diet” consisted of 1 to 2 days of “pure” juice, and then 1 to 2 days of “smoothie” juice.  My smoothies consisting of the left-over fiber from the vegetable roughage mixed with “no-added sugar, no-added fructose” fruit juices and water.  The intent was to prevent the stoppage which normally occurs if you aren’t passing fiber for an extended period of time.  I dislike enemas and this works for me.  Another benefit of this is “smoothie in, smoothie out” – my hemorrhoids are a lot better and the is no straining to pass.
Interestingly, I’m not experiencing any passage of grains of sand (tiny kidney stones) which I have a habit of passing every few weeks.  Of course, four weeks is a small sample size, but it “feels” like good news.  I also have almost no bloating in my hands or ankles.
Practically speaking, 28 lbs translates into four notches on my belt (at the waist), so all of my clothes fit much more comfortably.  Strangely, the weight loss is not at all evenly distributed.  The loss of four inches on my waist doesn’t mean I can wear smaller pants, only that my current pants are more comfortable.  That is, I can wear “normal” fit as opposed to only “relaxed” fit pants of the same size, but again, the waist size hasn’t decreased.  My best estimate is that I’ll need to lose another 15 to 20 lbs before I can switch to smaller pants.  That’s definitely not encouraging, but it is what it is…
Physically – I’m still walking for 35 to 45 minutes almost every day.  I walk my dog in the evening, before getting ready for bed.  Also, last Friday (7/31) I joined my local YMCA.  I reckon I’ve given my body enough of a break adjusting to just the juicing, so now I can add in a bit more exercise.  At the moment, I’m starting off with 30 min slow jog (or elliptical), 30 min of rowing on a machine, and then a final 30 to 45 min of weights and stretching.  I originally started off with 30 min of shooting around on the basketball court, but I sprained my left knee on the second day, so I’ve given that up indefinitely.
The bad news is that yesterday (8/6/15), I had another “bad” day with my AFib and had to spend the afternoon in the ER.  I reverted to normal rhythm on my own, but it remains a cautionary event to prompt me to lose weight and get into better shape.  So, onwards and downwards…!!  (Keep me in your prayers!)  🙂
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On This Day In:
2014 Tough Journalism
2013 Things I’ve Learned
2012 Abstainer, n.
2011 Rain, Rain, Rain
Test Your Strength
2009 End the mistakes…

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