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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

When there isn’t enough food, the body has to make a decision on how to invest the limited foodstuff available to it.  Survival comes first, growth comes second.  And in this kind of nutritional triage, the body seems obliged to rank learning, last.  It sort of it’s better to be stupid and alive, than smart and dead.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2021 Life Finds A Way
In The Palm Of My Hand
2020 I’m Not Worried
2019 Forgiving The Chasm
2018 A Sure Sign Of Age
Before The Fall – Cheat
2017 Distant Goal
2016 More Lives
2015 Go Shopping More
2014 Say What?
2013 Accepting Beauty
2012 Transitional Choice To Ride The Wave
2011 Freedom Isn’t Always Perfect
Just That Simple

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I would say that I don’t know how we got through that first shaky week of this third pandemic-impacted school year, hugging our kids and checking to make sure their masks were secure before they left each morning, except that I do know:  We had no choice.  We still don’t.  Though we’re grateful to their teachers and glad that our kids are once again learning alongside their peers, the worry persists, an undercurrent to which we’ve been forced to adapt as we settle into routines both familiar and new.
Each week brings more pediatric infections, more student quarantines.  Each day, I’m conscious of the fact that I’m allowing my children to assume a risk from which I, working at home, am protected, and this feels hopelessly backward.  I read every update to the school COVID-19 guidelines so I know what to expect after the inevitable exposure, but I can’t tell my kids what they have long wanted to know:  When will things go back to the way they remember?
Over the past 18 months, a common refrain has been that this pandemic should compel all of us to recognize our interdependence, the inescapable fact that we will not address this or any of the other grave threats we’re facing without collective action.  This is a lesson that I expect many of our children are also learning, though the cost and the danger to them feels too high.  I know I don’t want my kids to conclude that they are or forever will be powerless, or that there is no one who will fight with and for them.  There are many things I still have to hope for to get through each day, and while our children’s survival and health top the list, I also want them to retain their faith in themselves and in their ability to look forward to something better than this — to find, as they so often do, their own reasons to hope.
    —     Nicole Chung
From:  “The View Essay: Parenting – Did I point my kids to the wrong North Star?
Appearing in:  Time Magazine;  11/18 Oct 2021
Also online at:  https://time.com/6102019/covid-19-hope-for-kids/
The online version appears as:  “There’s No End in Sight for COVID-19. What Do We Tell Our Kids Now?
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On This Day In:
2021 The Rush Is On
Another Rerun
2020 It Is Still About Sharing And Cheering
2019 Sounds Like #LyingDonald
2018 Start Building
2017 Woof! Woof!
2016 Cast Out
2015 Small Pieces
Happy Father’s Day!
2014 Uncertain Work
2013 Unpatriotic And Servile
2012 What Price Freedom?
2011 Particular Importance
Three From Bette…

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Back in the 1980’s I developed a “repetitive stress injury” to my wrist(s) – mainly my right wrist, as I am right handed.  It happened due to overuse of a mouse while working on computers.  Back then it was more “popularly” starting to be called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Of course, back then, there was no significant use of either term in the general populace.  The closest we (the public) came to it was “tennis elbow” and its cousin “golfer’s elbow / wrist”.
I was lucky and mostly got over it (RSI) by playing Aikido for a few years – where you do a number of wrist flexing exercises during warm-ups / before practice.  When I stopped Aikido, the symptoms began coming back and I went to a sports doctor (specialist) who gave me a sheet with wrist exercises to do several times a day.  He said it is more important to do a few repetitions several times during the day than it is to do a massive number in one long session.  He said he normally suggests using 1lb to 3lbs weights, but as I was muscular (back then), I should use 5lbs weights.  He added if a weight is not available, just use a book.  I’m in the process of going through some of the stuff I used to have in my work cubicle and found the exercise sheet so I’m offering the image of the exercise instructions to anyone who may have similar wrist issues.  (Click on the image for a larger and more readable version.)

Wrist Exercises for RSI Relief

[Disclaimer:  Please remember I am NOT a medical professional and the “tips” in this post are based on my positive anecdotal result(s) from a therapy recommended by a certified physician.  Consult your personal physician before starting any diet or exercise regime.
I recently drove by the location of his storefront office and it is no longer there.  He was older than me, so he’s probably long retired.  As such, I have removed his office information from the image.  I did a quick browse around the web to see if there were similar instructions / exercises available from a website I could provide attribution to.  I was not able to locate anything similar.  I am making no claim to ownership of the image and I am merely offering it up to help others in need.   —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 It Doesn’t Stop
I Feel Like I’m Winning
2020 #45: 14.81 Lies Per Day
2019 Less Miserable Now
So Near And Yet So Far
2018 I Doubt #45 Is Listening?
2017 Life’s Oddity
2016 Just Asking…
2015 Two Thoughts On Thinking
2014 From The Top, Please…
2013 You Are The Stars
2012 Just One??
2011 Anything But

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I do not know which of our afflictions God intends that we overcome and which He means for us to bear.  But this is certain:  Some I have overcome, some I continue to bear.
  —  Jean Toomer
[Another (2022) COVID Update:
This update is being written on 5 June 2022 (for posting on 12 June).  There have now been:  1,003,803 total deaths;  247 average deaths per day;  84,565,697 total cases (about 1% fatality rate);  97,611 new average for daily cases;  and, 258,747,147 vaccinations (at least one dose and over 5yrs old) – for a rough 83% of the (eligible) population.  Over 90% of hospitalizations and deaths are of those who have not been vaccinated.  I have not been able to determine if the (remaining) less than 10% are fully vaccinated and current with their booster(s).
What do we know?
Surprisingly little (IMHO) at the end of 18 months…  The early prediction was a fatality number of 2.2 million in the first 18 months IF WE DID NOTHING.  We temporarily shut down a significant portion of society (NOT the economy).  We halved the total deaths to date, but not the rate of deaths per cases.  The economy (and society) are roughly back to “normal”.  Most people can (do) now work from their offices (and / or homes).  Stores and restaurants / bars are mostly opened, but business levels have not recovered.  Most importantly:  we still have little to no publicly available information about the rates or effects of “long-term” COVID, the number of folks with current boosters, or the duration of the vaccine (or booster) effectiveness.  We DO know there is a general decrease in the vaccine(s) effectiveness – hence the recommendation for boosters.  We don’t know the breakdowns by factors such as age, gender, over-all health, etc.  I’m not saying the number(s) isn’t (/ aren’t) out there somewhere or that someone, somewhere isn’t tracking this data – only that I can’t find it readily available.  And, here we are:  “Only time will tell…
As a side note:  much is being made about the pandemic’s effect on the economy – past and current.  While we (in the U.S.) have accepted deaths and illnesses as a “cost” of returning to a “normal” economy, the world’s manufacturer (China) has not.  They continue to impose local and wide area shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID whenever there is another surge.  Our (U.S.) demand continues to grow back to normal rates (pent up and current demand).  Goods are not being made / delivered to meet demand – so prices increase.  They will continue to do so until supply (roughly) matches demand.  No matter what the Federal Reserve does to interest rates to “cool” inflation, it will have little effect until the manufacturing / delivery conditions change.  How long will that be?  How long is a piece of string??  You never know until have it’s been finally cut (until it’s over).    —    KMAB]
Original post (from 2020):
[This is an unusual post for me.  This post is being written on 28 May, three days after the Memorial Day weekend.  Yesterday, the U.S. passed 100K in deaths due to COVID-19.  We are dying at just under 1,000 lives per day.  We are engaged in a great social experiment testing whether we can open our economy without a plan to deal with the virus.  This post is scheduled to go online roughly 15 days after the holiday weekend.  If the President’s gamble was correct, the average death rate will be at or below 1,000 per day.  If his gamble (with our lives) is incorrect, the death rate will be higher – and potentially much higher.  Only time will tell.   —   KMAB]
(2021) Follow Up to Last Year’s (2020) Post (115,000+):
The “post” above is from one year ago.  It is still too early to tell how good / bad a gamble President Trump took with the health of the nation.  Partly because it is still too soon to have had academia take a look at the data and partly because a number of states – mostly (but not exclusively) with Republican governors (Florida) – are using their office / administrations to hide the true / accurate numbers of illnesses and deaths for political reasons.  We do know that since the Inauguration, the vaccine count has gone from under 50 million to over 300 million.  Over 50% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine.  Part of this success is attributable to a competent President / Administration and part to the manufacture and distribution of the various vaccines ramping up.
As for our losses, the current “rolling” weekly death average is under 500 per day.  A few weeks ago, the CDC also updated the information on their site to “confirm” that not only are the vaccinated unlikely to get seriously ill and die (still 5 – 10% chance of illness, and less than 1% chance of death), you are also unlikely to become infected and ill at all (15 – 20% illness rate once vaccine period is completed).  Again, it’s too early to KNOW the exact numbers, but in this case it’s because (it is my understanding) “illness” is being self-reported.  Still, this is “good” news and we should see the economy and society begin to return to normal.  We’ve dodged a bullet this time folks.  I am not making light of the individual losses to family members and friends, but the virus could have been a lot more lethal and we still have a considerable way to go on getting the rest of the way to herd immunity.  Let’s hope we are better prepared for the next epidemic…
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On This Day In:
2021 One Year Later (Now 604,000+)
Good Intentions
2020 115,000+
2019 One Generation’s View
2018 The One Thing
2017 Never Give Up
2016 Which Generation Are We?
Congratulations, Kyle!
2015 Centered
2014 Economic Trinity
2013 At Both Ends
2012 Holding Allowance
2011 The Power Of Good

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This morning I completed my 10th 40hr water fast (at 9:00am) over the last 35 days.  A bit of a delay since #9 because of scheduled company over the weekend.  My weight has been bouncing around.  Fewer visible kidney stone / grains, but still fluctuating water retention (represented by 5± overnight weight gains / losses).  The actual full day (yesterday) of not eating didn’t seem particularly difficult.  We watched the NBA playoff games last night.  The constant food commercials didn’t really set me off on a psychological hunger binge.  (That’s good!)
I’ve moved from daily water pills (Rx) to every other day.  It doesn’t seem to impact water retention (bloating) as much as eating salty (or sweet) food.  I’ve noticed a start of ankle bloating after the two day skip, so it looks like I need the water pill at least every third day.  The bloating doesn’t seem to start in my hands on the same schedule.  It’s hard to tell because of the variability of food(s).  My GP was fairly emphatic to be on them as little as possible, but stay within my cardiologist’s recommendation.
Since my scale doesn’t indicate I’ve had any weight loss, all I can go by is how do I “feel” after and during my water fast days.  My body feels good.  My head (concentration), less so.  Not really headaches or anything, just general fatigue – which is not helped by the frequent night-time “breaks”.
It looks like I may end up with “only” two days a week fasting – in which case, I will probably pick days and build a schedule / lifestyle around it / them.  It seems that will be easier than on / off every second day rolling protocol.  So, it looks like there may be merit to the “5:2” daily fast regime – although not in the way my general review of the methodology indicates.  In any case, my “reality” is I’m sitting pretty close to “5:2” anyway, just because of “life happens” and it interferes with a true “on-again / off-again” 72 hrs rolling protocol.  Anyway, slowly…  slowly…  listen to my body and go with the flow.  (“Water retention” pun intended!)
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On This Day In:
2021 Still Learning (And Practicing) Guitar
Still Ain’t Quite Right
More Changes…
2020 Remembering…
You KNEW That Man Was Trippin’
2019 Kingslanding
2018 I’d Bet On Taxes
Ooops! I Spoke Too Soon
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
It’s About…
Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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This morning I completed my 9th 40 hour water fast.  It wasn’t “really” difficult.  The only “hard” part was watching all of the food commercials during last night’s Warriors playoff win.
I dropped 8lbs from yesterday.  Obviously that was just water weight from the 15lbs over-night gain a few days back.  I don’t think my kidney grains (tiny stones) are blocking the tubes as much as I think they are simply irritating the filtering process itself.  I didn’t weigh myself before bed (I never do), but I was up multiple times during the night with a healthy flow – so that’s where the “weight” went to.  LoL…
The good news is that it dropped me into the 340’s at 349lbs.  I’m not celebrating (yet);  just acknowledging a minor achievement.  Slowly, slowly…
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On This Day In:
2021 Happy Meeting Day 37 (And Counting)
2020 Happy Meeting Day 36 (And Counting)
2019 Happy Meeting Day 35 (And Counting)
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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[Disclaimer:  Please remember I am NOT a medical professional and the “tips” in this post are based on my anecdotal experience(s).  Consult your personal physician before starting any diet or exercise regime.    —    KMAB]
My last 40hrs water fast did not go well.  I didn’t complete the 40hr;  I only made it about 19 – 20hrs.  On the “full-day” portion of the fast, I had a late morning doctor’s appointment and some shopping chores.  The sum of this left me tired and HUNGRY.  I ended up breaking the fast just after noon.  Then I didn’t want to start over at 5pm, so I carried on normally through yesterday and started over at 6pm.  Today is the “new” 9th cycle full-fast day.
Why 6pm instead of 5pm?  LoL…  I took a nap and over-slept.  I was reading.  I felt tired.  I donned my CPAP mask and closed my eyes…  Next I knew, it was 4:55pm and I’d not eaten my dinner.  So, I rushed a couple of dogs onto the boil and had a cup of mint chip ice cream for dessert.  (Yes.  I know it’s a heck of a diet…)
My tips for successful short water fasts:
1)  Get the start time right…  Breakfast and lunch don’t matter, but you’ve got to be organized or you’ll never get the dinner cooked and eaten by the 5pm start time.  The later the start time, the later the end time.  (You want to end as close to getting up as possible.)
2)  Stay up a little later on the start day / evenings.  You’ve eaten a couple of meals that day and staying up a bit longer isn’t that much more difficult (hunger / eating wise).
3)  If you are allowed to…  sleep in a little later on the full fast day.  The less time you are awake, the less time you have to think about eating.
4)  Coffee / tea:  I drink a LOT of coffee – about 60 fluid ounces between getting up and 2 “ish” pm – on the full-fast day.  Coffee is a mild appetite suppressant and the volume makes your stomach “feel” full – which may itself BE the appetite suppressant.
The stomach doesn’t have a calorie gauge.  It does have a volume gauge.  If you eat (or drink) a lot, your stomach will tell your brain to turn off the hunger hormones simply because you are full.  The gauge doesn’t know about calories, proteins, carbs, nutrition, sugar, or any of that.  It only knows full, not empty and empty.  And it seems to have a bit of a delay processing between switching from “not empty” to “full”.  For most folks this delay seems to be about 15 to 30 minutes.
The “interesting” thing about black coffee is it gets to be an acquired taste.  I’ve been drinking “stand-up” coffee for about 40+ years and Bailey’s coffee most Saturdays for the last 20 years, so straight-up black coffee was something I had to adjust to.  Now, I must admit, I prefer it to my normal coffee.  (Although, I still enjoy my Saturday’s Bailey’s.)
Some readers may be asking:  “What’s a ‘stand-up’ coffee?”
A “stand-up” coffee is when you add enough CoffeeMate and sugar to your coffee so the plastic stirrer stands-up in your mug.  Super sweet / super creamy.  (And, yes, I have had people ask if I want a little coffee with my sweetened creamer.)  For those of you who may foolishly think to try this at home, I stopped it about 30 years ago when I developed kidney stones.  I (perhaps falsely) attributed the stones to the powdered creamer.   In any case, I’ve not used powder for well over 20 years and I still get kidney stones (grains).
5)  Take a nap on the full fast day.  I’m not a big “bed-napper” myself.  I’m more of TV watching me in the easy chair for a half-hour napper, but it does make the day go by faster.  The simple fact is most of your burned calories is your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) – how many calories you burn just to stay alive – and those get burned whether you’re awake or asleep.  And, I’m generally not aware of food / hunger when I’m asleep.
6)  Avoid watching sports on TV.  Sports are on TV to sell you cars, booze and food.  And, not necessarily in that order.  Except at dinner time:  then all TV is off limits – for the same reason, but mostly take-out food ads.  If you have to watch the evening news – watch public broadcasting.
7)  At meal time, go sit outside or to the far end of your house (away from the kitchen / dining area) when everyone else is eating.  It’s much easier to not feel hungry if you don’t smell the food cooking, being eaten, or lingering in the air.
8)  Drink at least two 8oz glasses of water in the evening.  I drink about 6pm and 8pm.  It fills the tummy a little and helps move anything in your digestive tract from the prior day.  Plus water is just good for you and most people don’t drink enough of it.
9)  You should probably “break fast” the following day with something healthy.  I almost never do.  Mea culpa, mea culpa… but it’s the truth.
10)  And this is probably the most important tip:  Lighten up and learn to forgive yourself.  If you don’t make it through the day – who really cares?  You are NOT a personal failure (in life or even “just” dieting) just because you didn’t make it through the day.  Your imagined state of self-discipline (or lack thereof) is just that:  imagined!  Eat slowly.  Enjoy the flavor(s) and the sensations of eating (smells, tastes, fullness, company) and being alive.  Start again tomorrow (or soon).
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On This Day In:
2021 And Yet I Still Pray
I’m Still Listening To It
2020 What Am I Missing?
If Only
2019 For Most #IncompetentDonald Followers
2018 I Dare You
2017 To Republicans Who Choose Party Over Country
2016 All About Control
2015 Liberty Is Extravagant
2014 Always Remember To Reach
Have You Registered To Vote Yet?
2013 Ripples From The Water’s Edge
Because I Was Alone
2012 POI vs Reality
Dear And Sacred
2011 Chilled Again

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Researchers , and governments, also still need to figure out a better way to coordinate this effort around the globe.  “We haven’t learned this much about any disease so quickly, I would say, in the history of science that I’m aware of,” says Sumit Chanda, the director and a professor of the immunity and pathogenesis program at Sanford Burnham Presbys Medical Discovery Institute.  “Genomic technology allowed us to get here.  But if we really want to get serious about preparing for the next pandemic, there needs to be a global command and control infrastructure, with transparency from all governments around the world.  These viruses don’t know national boundaries, so it does not make sense to have a balkanized response to the virus.”
“We got pretty lucky that [COVID-19] vaccines work as incredibly well as they do,” says Sanford Burnham’s Chanda.  “But we can’t just rely on luck.  We need to make a global commitment and come up with an organization that has some teeth and has some funding whose job it is to survey, track and share genetic information.  We have the tools to do it – we just need the will and leadership and especially the public to demand that the devastation of COVID-19 is something that shouldn’t have happened and that we never want to have happen again.”
    —     Alice Parker
From her article:  “The Sequencing Solution:  Genetic Surveillance Is The Key To Controlling Future Pandemics
Appearing in:  Time Magazine;  dtd:  21/28 June 2021
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On This Day In:
2021 Standing Next To Anyone?
Pitter Pater, Pitter Pater
2020 Only Now
2019 I Think I’ve Been Blurred
2018 Progress On The Honey Do List
And It’s Mostly Free, Too!
2017 Both Dismissed
2016 Poetry Isn’t Going To Work
2015 MA Fix
Getting Better
2014 Actually
2013 Unfortunate Evolutionary Accidents
2012 Tense (Past, Present And Future)
2011 What Is Your Preference?

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We were very encouraged by the rapid development of the vaccines, and everybody really thought we were going to vaccinate our way out of this,” he said.  “But then we had people that wouldn’t even take the damn vaccine.”
“We know vaccines work.  We know masks work.  We know social distancing works, and we know crowd control, limiting crowded spaces, works.  This is like a no-brainer, but we cannot seem to do it.”
    —     Dr. Robert Murphy
Executive director of the Havey Institute for Global Health
Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine
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On This Day In:
2021 I’ve Still Not Found #45’s One Thing
Chewin’ On A Piece Of Grass
2020 Listening To A #IncompetentDonald COVID-19 Press Briefing
2019 I Am Doubtful
Future Justice Looks Corporate
2018 True Measures
2017 Hoping For Tapes
In It Now
2016 On Viewing This Mudball
2015 It Takes A Village
2014 In God’s Eyes
2013 We Root For Ourselves
2012 Like A Shark
2011 Discernible Virtue

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Last week I completed my 6th 40 hour fast.  There was nothing particularly significant about it and I didn’t bother posting.  Today (9am), I completed my latest (7th) 40 hour water fast.  I took an extra day off so I could eat with my family on Mother’s Day (last Sunday).  So, Monday, at 5pm, it was back on the wagon…
This one was difficult!  I’m not sure why.  It just was.  I wasn’t feeling well going into it and I felt pretty bad through most of the day.  (Yesterday was the full water fasting day.)  What does that mean?  Well, I have issues with my inner ear which I believe is caused by my CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.  Basically, I snore and this machine pushes air into my nasal passage to prevent / reduce my snoring.  The problem is I also have other sinus issues:  I’ve had a runny nose since I was about 12 years old and I had a deviated septum straightened when I was in my late teens.  (The procedure was supposed to help with my constantly runny nose.  It didn’t.)
Because the CPAP machine requires me to wear a mask, I tend to sleep on my back most of the time.  This means the machine blows my “snot” / mucus back into my inner ear and I irregularly get a packed inner ear and then feel dizzy.  My relief tends to come from sleeping on my left side, but like I said, most of the time I “have” to sleep on my back.  So, I have pills for my dizziness and other pills for my congestion.  Both, increase tiredness, and together, they can make me “foggy” and tired.
That was a long way of saying I didn’t have a great day yesterday!  (LoL)
But I made it through and I get to eat today and tomorrow before I start again at 5pm…!
Actually, I guess I know pretty well why this last one seemed more difficult than others…
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On This Day In:
2021 Questioned By Life
If There’ll Come A Time
2020 Trying To Grow Pearls?
2019 Instantly Turned
2018 Sitting
2017 No Right Way
2016 Still Ticklish
2015 Maybe Sooner Than You Think
2014 The Path Of Mastery
2013 Love’s Ignorance
2012 Here’s To Enjoyment
2011 Not Just The Facts, Ma’am

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Each of us can maintain an effort level of about half our maximum perceived effort almost indefinitely, regardless of what that perceived effort level is.  We may not be able to maintain it continuously, but with a few exceptions, most of us can move our bodies at about half of our perceived maximum for as long as we want.
    —   John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
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On This Day In:
2021 Allowing For Compromise
Whoa-whoa
2020 Why #LyingDonald Hurts The US
2019 Blow Between Your Ears
2018 Thinking Ahead
2017 I’d Like To Try
2016 Or Blog (And Bound)
2015 Welcome The Virtuous
2014 Closing The Gap?
2013 On Parenting
2012 What Knowledge Is
2011 The Indefinite Accumulation Of Property

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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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2021 Our Identity Crisis Continues
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2020 In Need Of Concerted Action
2019 Anything / Everything
2018 Touching A Nerve
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2017 Did I See You In Chapter 13?
2016 As I Recall
2015 Less And More Irritation
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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
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2020 I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plans
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2019 Beautiful Rules
2018 Skepticism
2017 WWGD?
2016 Growing Greatness
2015 When It Is Darkest
2014 Knowledge And Doubt
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2011 Leave The Light On For Me Anyway

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Second 40

Earlier in the week I completed a 40 hour water fast.  My response was good, so I decided to try again next week.  A health test has come up, though, for mid-week (two-day cardiac stress test), so I pushed ahead and just completed a second 40hrs from Friday evening through 9am today (Sunday).
I feel terrific (again) today, but I do feel yesterday was somehow a bit more difficult as a “full-day” fast.  Maybe it was because I only had a half pot of coffee instead of a full pot.  Or maybe, my wife’s cooking just smelled better yesterday than Thursday.  (LoL)
Anyway, like I said, I feel good and it wasn’t really any problem, so I’ll probably keep doing one per week and see how it goes…
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On This Day In:
2021 Adding Spice
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2020 Mo, Cilla, Mushy Peas And Rain
No New Wars
2019 An Epitaph For #45 (#LyingDonald)
2018 Before And After
2017 Verbs
2016 Not Too Tidy
2015 Little Understanding
2014 Open Early
2013 Movies And A Lifetime Of Lyrics
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2012 Cheaper To Hold
2011 Resistance Is Futile
One Great, One Enjoyable, One Terrible…
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