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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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The start of day forty-three…  And I only made it to noon.
Morning weight:  319lbs.  No change…
I am still down “54/61”.  As in, 54lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 61lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started Juice Fast I): 380lbs.  Today’s weight is no change from yesterday when I gained 4lbs from my cheat evening (the night before).
Considering yesterday was the first day I EVER registered over 20 miles in steps (over 45K steps) on my FitBit, I was hoping for some kind of decrease.  But, it was not to be.  In all honesty, while not bloated, I do feel like I’m still retaining fluids from the cheat.  Which is what should happen when you suddenly re-introduce salt and / or sugar into your system.  I did both on Thursday evening.  I guess I just wasn’t able to clear them out enough to register a loss by this morning.
Bottom line:  I’ve decided to end this fast for now.  I’ve fasted for a total of 42 out of the last 43 days on a fast which was meant to be a 7 day fast.  Six weeks!  That’s a continuous fast of 41 days plus one more after my “slip / cheat”.  Eleven days longer than the four other “longest” juice fasts I’ve ever done (all those were “only” 30 days).  So, as Joe Cross would say: “Good on ya, mate!”
Reaction:  I have two main reactions, 1) I feel 10 years younger, and, 2) this evening, after my dinner, as I am writing this, I feel slightly bloated.  I did NOT end according to plan.  The plan was to spend six(6) days easing back into food.  I definitely have NOT done that!  I’ve jumped back in with a big salad for lunch and another big salad for dinner.  For dinner, I also had a sausage, a half cup of rice and a cup of pinto beans.  And I washed it down with 24 ounces of water with lemon slices which had been sitting for 24 hours.  When I say “slightly bloated”, it’s my tummy which is just full enough that I am not hungry, but I’m not stuffed either.
Other notes:  I’ve gone from a 54 inch waist to a 48 inch waist.  I’ve gone from barely being able to touch my two middle fingers behind my back to being able to grab either opposite wrist with the other hand (again, behind the back).  I am comfortable doing 5 to 7 laps (5×25 yards) in the local swimming pool in a nice slow breast stroke with minimal stopping time between turn-arounds.  At the start, I could barely do one lap.
So, what’s next?  Well, this week we are planning to join Costco.  While it is a little farther away and less convenient than Safeway, we believe we’ll be able to get a healthier selection of fruits and veggies at a more reasonable cost (even though we will have to buy substantially more at one time).
That’s takes care of the “sourcing”.  But, what’s the plan, you say?
We are currently planning on a modified Dr. Fuhrman, “Eat To Live” two-week plan.  Week One is hard diet (no meat) and week two is the softer (slower weight-loss) diet (meat is included).  We are flipping the weeks to start: soft and then hard; and then we plan to re-cycle through.  My wife will have whatever she wants since she is not strictly joining me on the diet.  She says she will try to stay with me, but no promises.  I said that’s fine.  Every dinner will be a large fresh salad, a half cup of rice and a cup of beans.  We may also have an optional cooked vegetable depending on her mood.  We may also have optional flesh: meat, poultry or fish.  I can only have 4oz of flesh at any meal.  In lieu of “flesh”, if she is making something else for her meal (usually a pasta and chicken dish), I can have a half cup of that.
Lunch will be a medium salad, a half cup of rice, and a cup of beans.  There may also be “something” for a change.  We are not sure what those somethings will be, but we are leaning towards veggie-patties or maybe a bean / beef / oats burger.  Again, the bulk of any meal should come from the salad and the beans.  I like pinto beans (because that’s what I was raised on), but we will alternate / rotate with black-eyed beans and kidney beans.  We will try to keep the salad different by using the various dressing recipes Dr. Fuhrman provides in his book.
Breakfast will primarily be oatmeal made with water or almond milk.  I will add fruit (dates, blueberries, black berries, strawberries and raisins) and nuts (walnuts and / or almonds) instead of sugar.  I will alternate that with the occasional fruit bowl (melon / mango / strawberries / other berries).
Snacks:  My go to snacks will be fresh fruits (apples and bananas or whatever is seasonal), nuts (walnuts, almonds or cashews), or raw veggies (mainly celery and carrots).
Fluids:  I will also use fruit and veggie juices for snacks.  I will try to drink at least 32oz of water (with a little lemon concentrate) – for my kidney stones, cranberry and pomegranate (again for my kidneys), and black cherry juice (for my arthritis).  I will occasionally also make veggie juices for between meals and for evenings.
Finally, cheats:  I am not “planning” a cheat schedule (yet), but I understand human frailty – particularly my own – so I fully expect a “small” cheat once a week or so and a “large” cheat once a month or so.  I expect this will work out over time and will depend on how much I’m losing and how eliminating salt and sugar from my diet progresses.  I do not feel I can / should completely eliminate salt, because I will still need iodine and electrolytes, but I am going to try really hard to minimize the sugars.  We’ll see…  Day by day.
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  Namaste!
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On This Day In:
2017 And Second By Second
2016 Bakeries And Coffee Shops
2015 Spirit Not Form
2014 Sometimes Even Kneeling Seems Insufficient
2013 Hobgoblins
2012 Got Sleep?
2011 Not Another Barren Corner

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The end of day twenty-three and the start of day twenty-four…
Morning weight:  336lbs.
I am now down “37/44”.  As in, 37lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 44lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 3lbs loss, down from 339lbs yesterday.  One more pound of loss and I will have lost +10% of my body weight from the starting date of the fast.  I’m still .3lb shy of 10%.

Image of FitBit Weight Loss as of Day 23.

FitBit Weight Loss as of Day 23.

Please recall as soon as I come off of the juice fast I will (should) gain between 7lbs and 10lbs as this is the “normal” amount of weight contained in a person’s stomach plus a couple of pounds for water retention due to salts and sugars in most foods.  This means my “real” weight loss for the 23 days is probably closer to 30 to 35lbs than it is the 37 to 44lbs indicated by the chart.
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On This Day In:
2017 Still Trying To Make It
2016 One Lucky Man
2015 Food Change ==> Health Change
2014 10 Commandments Of Logical Arguments (Fallacies)
2013 Sociology Of The Future
2012 1010
There In The Sunshine
2011 Not Enough Time

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The end of day fifteen and the start of day sixteen…
Morning weight:  350lbs.
Another 2lbs decrease from the prior day.  I keep waiting for the drops to plateau to one pound and / or no loss alternating for a few days, but so far, it hasn’t happened.  I’m getting concerned that when it does happen it will be for several days instead of a single day.  A multi-day plateau is much harder to deal with psychologically than a single day.  In turn, that means it’s easier to quit, because you don’t see constant progress.  At least that’s the way it is for my simple brain.
It didn’t help that last night was not a good night’s sleep / rest.  According to the FitBit I got about 4.5 hours of sleep.  I thought it was closer to 6 or 7 hours, but the FitBit is probably correct because when I got up I felt as if I hadn’t slept at all.  I was sleepy all day and felt tired for most of it.  I’m finding there are multiple levels of fatigue (“tiredness”) as well as hunger and they seem to be amplified in you head when you’re fasting.  Today was the drag your body through it kind of day.  It wasn’t the “Wow.  That was a great workout”  tiredness.
Anyway, after walking the dog and having my morning “constitutional”, I sucked it up and mowed the front lawn.  No rest for the weary…  It was all about get it done while just going through the motions.  Which wasn’t helped by it being a spirit draining HOT day.  I got through it with a bit of constant supervision (by my wife).  My wife loves sitting in the shade, watching me work in the sun.  LOL
Other thoughts:  I’ve been spending some time on YouTube watching videos of other folks who have done juice fasts.  I find it helps me to see others have made it through the purgatory to emerge at the other end healthy, happy and pleased with themselves that they were able to accomplish something the vast majority of western society never really even thinks about trying – an extended fast.  I think that’s the thing about 3 day, 7 day and 10 day fasts, they cleanse you, but they don’t really make the radical change in your life’s attitude.  There’s possibly something qualitatively different about a 30+, 60 or 90 day fast.  Watching the videos, most of the folks seem to act / sound like they’ve gone through a religious experience.  I guess it must come from longer fasts, because (in my lifetime) I’ve done 30 day fasts four times and 10 and 20 day fasts numerous other times and I’ve never felt “moved by God” at the end of any of them.
Slowly, slowly…  One day at a time.
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On This Day In:
2017 Strongly Convinced
2016 Me, Myself & I
2015 God, Give Us Men!
2014 Got Any Bezzy Mates?
2013 On Being A Nerd – Awesome
2012 Writers Write
2011 And History Has Proved This Correct
2010 Fascinating Discontinuity
Tasted Bacon?

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Earlier in the week (Tuesday & Wednesday), I went in to the doctor’s office for a “nuclear” (Adenosine / Thallium Study) stress test on my heart.  I suffer from AFib.  Anyway, yesterday I met with my cardiologist for the results.  I am all clear with no blockages and at all.  Yippie!!
This was my second nuclear test in five years.  (I’ve also taken the standard treadmill test twice in the last 10 years.)  The last one was the same results.  I was having (again) radiant pain in my left chest / shoulder / arm / elbow / wrist / hand, so the test was just to be on the safe side and make sure nothing had changed since the last test.  Same results as last time, so that’s even better.
I told the doctor I’ve started going to the pool as he advised and I’m feeling a lot better for it.  He said terrific.  He added, he would like me to eat a little healthier and try to get my weight down.  We discussed it and I (of course) agreed to try.  I see him again in six months – unless something changes…
The not so good news is that while boiling water for dinner (ravioli) last night, my wife spilled a pot of boiling water on her lap.  So, after a visit to Urgent Care, she got some pain killers and instructions for taking care of the 2nd degree burns.  Fortunately, instead of rising, the blisters all but went away during the night, so we got away very lucky.  I had a terrible night (lack of sleep) worrying about accidentally touching hurting her.  My Fitbit, said I got a little over two hours of interrupted sleep.  It needs a minimum of three hours to identify the types of sleep (deep / light / REM / awake).  Hil, on the other hand, got over eight hours and slept like a log.  LOL!!!  How do you spell relief?  (SLEEPING wife = happy husband!)
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On This Day In:
2017 Forms Of Conservation
2016 Oh, So Lacking
2015 e pluribus unum
2014 Nothing So Far Removed
2013 Positions
2012 Two Errors
2011 Long Live The King!

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Shoe review:  Itasca (manufacturer) Fairview (model) $25 (sale price) / $45 (current price)
I haven’t done a shoe review in quite a while.  Mostly because I haven’t been jogging much the last couple of years.  The spirit has been willing, but the heart (and various other parts) have not been entirely cooperative.  Be that as it may, this is my review of the “Itasca Fairview” hiking / walking shoe.  It can be used as a “heavy” / off-road jogging shoe if you don’t mind a stiff and knobby soled shoe.  I don’t.  I purchased this because I prefer a hard wearing inexpensive shoe.
First, the price was very good.  It was on sale at my local Big5 Sporting Goods store.  I was able to find my size (14) and it was wide enough for my “dogs”.  I have “paddles” for feet (much wider toe than heel area), so normal running shoes, which tend to the narrow fit, don’t really accommodate my feet.  As I began jogging a few years back with a mid-sole strike, my arches changed and I became no longer able to wear many of my older shoes.  My left foot (arch) in particular bars me from wearing size 13 shoes and most size 14 slip-ons.
I found these shoes very comfortable for my slow and steady jogging style.  I started off with a 1 mile jog and by the end of about 6 weeks I was consistently jogging about 4 miles a day.  Enough to get my 10K steps goal on my Fitbit.  All in all, I would estimate I jogged fewer than 100 miles during the pairs use and, if you add in another 50 (generous) miles for cool-down walks, I’d say the shoes were blown out by 135 to 150 miles of use.  By way of comparison, a good running shoe will probably cost you about $80-$120, and it is recommended you replace them every 400 miles or whenever they feel like they’ve lost their sponge under your forefoot.  So, the price I paid was about 1/3rd of a running shoe and the use was about 1/3rd.  I guess that’s considered equal value for relative cost.
Another significant factor on the shoes use is that I am extremely heavy (350+lbs) and therefore very hard on soles.  That is part of why I look for stiffer shoes with heavier tread – they tend to take a beating better than normal running shoe models.  Of course, the trade-off is you have to jog less upfront when the shoes are newer so you can break them in without giving yourself horrendous blisters.

Fresh from the box

Fresh from the box

View of new soles

View of new soles

Soles After 150 miles

Soles after 150 miles

Tops after use

Tops after use

After use:  You can’t really tell from the image, but center forefoot is completely worn through to the sponge padding under the forefoot.  The tops, on the other hand, were practically without blemish.  From the start, the shoe felt like I was jogging with a pair of wooden slats under my feet.  Again, on the other hand, the tops were very comfortable (once broken in), even when tied tightly.  Had the soles lasted another month, I would say the shoes were a very good value.  As it is, the best I could say was these would be good value (at sale price) if you were either normal weight or were only going to use them for actual hiking / path walking on the odd weekend out and about.
If you look at the “Soles after” image, you’ll probably notice a lot of outer heel wear and some “tippy-toe” wear.  The heel wear is from the daily walking where I do a lot of heel striking.  The toe wear is because I seem to push-off a lot when I do my jogging.  I should clarify.  I don’t “really” jog.  I would describe it as slogging (“slow jogging”) – basically, a little faster than walking with a jogging / shuffle motion.  In general, my heels wear out on my walking shoes, my forefoot wears out on my jogging shoes, and the top wears out if I try to get the comfortable light-weight mesh uppers common to many true jogging / running shoes.
Final recommendation: reasonable value for the price (I paid).  I went back to Big5 to get another pair.  Like most “sale” items at this type of discount store, “my” store no longer carries this model.  I also looked on-line and Itasca no longer manufactures this model.  It turns out other Big5 stores in my area do carry this model, but the current price is almost double what I paid on sale.  At that price, I leave them on the shelf…  I can find “real” running shoes for that price.
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On This Day In:
2017 Unseen Here, Too
2016 Criticized Anyway
2015 Sometimes The Truth Hurts
2014 All Agreed, Say “Aye”
2013 Two Books, Two Movies
Just Because
2012 God’s Requirements
2011 Greater Purity

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Yesterday, I started jogging again.  Today was day two.  As of yesterday, I am a “runner” again…  Like most things / types of activity, you can only “be” it if you “do” it.  In this case, in my case, running – or more precisely very slow jogging – which I call “slogging”.  (Not very original, I know.)  I am not timing myself yet.  I am counting the laps (around the schoolyard across the street from where I live) with my little “clicker” and my “Fitbit” says it’s about 5 miles.  I reckon it’s closer to 3 miles, but whatever, I’m back in my shoes and beatin’ feet!
I started one of my hundreds of diets back in July and lost 35 pounds by the end of August.  As of today, I am still down 20 of those.   And so the beat goes on…  I joined the “YMCA” back in September, but injured my left knee pretending to play basketball.  And by “pretend”, I mean literally pretending: I was playing by myself, missed a shot and was challenging for a rebound under the basket.  When I landed, my knee gave out (quite painfully) and I had to limp to the locker room to get my stuff and go home.  My knee cap swoll-up the size of a grapefruit and I couldn’t extend my leg straight for about a week.  The pain has mostly (now) gone but I’m still not able to push off of that leg the way I used to.  But I have been walking 40 to 60 minutes each day and I’ve now been able to begin jogging – slow but steady.
So, I am a runner again.  One day at a time.  One step at a time.  And today is day two.
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On This Day In:
2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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