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Posts Tagged ‘Intermittent Time Fasting’

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

Image of Calories Chart from start of ITF

Calories Chart from start of ITF

The observant among you may notice in the above chart, I had four(4) days where my calories-in exceeded my calories-out…
When I switched to the ITF, I also began using my FitBit (FB) to begin tracking my food and gauging my calories-in versus my calories-out.  I’m not sure why, but the FB has set my calories-out “objective” at 3,800.  The on-line BMR calculator I use says my BMR is roughly 2,400 calories.  This means I have to burn an additional measure of 1,400 calories during my waking hours to reach the FB objective.

BMR on 16 Oct 2019 at 347lbs

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

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This is a long post!  (You’ve been warned…)
The end of day seventeen and the morning of day eighteen…  Elvis has left the building, folks…
Morning weight: 348lbs.  (on Day 18)
I am down / down “5/25”.  As in, 5lbs down from yesterday and 25lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday morning (the early morning hours of Day 17), I didn’t sleep well.  I got out of bed a little before 3am and by dawn I’d “cheated” on my blend fast by having a two handfuls of nuts.  The rest of the day I was able to stick with my juice blend and felt pretty good in saying the cheats were aberrations and I was continuing my fast count.  Well, today the desire to chew (and taste something different) got the better of me and I had two slices of toast and two slices of pizza.  I said (in yesterday’s post) if I cheated again, I’d have to call the blend fast done, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.
The “interesting” thing is I’ve now had two five(5) pound changes in the last week.  I gained five pounds overnight a few days ago, and between yesterday and today, I’ve now lost five pounds.  It is routine to lose 5 to 7 pounds in the first day or two of a fast.  This is due to loss of stomach contact and some initial water weight loss (due to decrease of sugar and salt in the diet).  It is not common (in my experience) for this to happen after the first week without some significant change.  I have not restricted water or exercised excessively, so I have to assume there is “something” else going on in my body which is beyond my experience.  As such, and because of my prior comments about “cheating again and ending the fast”, I’m going to modify my behavior to more moderate eating habits (i.e. I’m going to start consuming / chewing food).
Below are the images from my scale to mark the end of the fast:
Image of scale at High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Image of scale at Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
High end of Blend fast (348lbs) Low end of Blend fast (343lbs)
As per normal, there is a five(5) pounds variance between my “high” and “low” weights.  As explained in previous posts, the high is from me pressing my toes and the low is from pressing my heels.  When I last took my weight on a digital scale at my doctor’s office, their scale showed two(2) pounds less than my low for that day.  I wasn’t pressing forward or backwards.  And, again, I don’t know if their scale is programmed to subtract estimated clothing weight (or how much they might have subtracted).  As I’ve been using the “high” weigh-in, I feel I’m being conservative (and fair).
To summarize:  I started my “blending” fast with the parallel goals of completing one week without chewing while sticking to a plant (vegetable, fruit and legume) based liquefied diet; and, to jump-start myself on my Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) diet which I had started way back in February, but had not stuck to fairly.  I’ve ended up completing the first of the original goals and, in fact, doubling the time to two full weeks.  I said at the end of the second week, I’d like to push through for a third full week, but I was considering the process as “day-to-day” from there on.  I ended up making it through two days (Days 15 and 16), and now have cheated on two consecutive days (Days 17 and 18).  At this point, I’m calling the fast done and moving on to the second goal: switching to the Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) or a “Modified” ADF or to a Intermittent Time Fasting lifestyle – maybe trying “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD).
So, which will I choose?  I don’t know…  I’m not sure I have to choose one over the others.  With the exception of having a defined protocol, I’m not sure there is any advantage to picking one of them over the others, so for the time being, I’m leaning to trying a bit of a mix and match to see which “works” for me.
Having said that, what will be my criteria:
1)  Although only specifically stated for the ADF protocol, I believe it is necessary for me to establish a longer and more consistent sleep period and schedule.  I’m therefor committing to trying to get a minimum of seven(7) hours each night.  I will set my start time for 11pm and end to 7am.
2)  A “strict” ADF or MADF has a low-calorie day and a normal-calorie day, with both tending to use windows to extend the daily fast time period.  The preference is to wait until 10am or 11am to break the fast each day and to close the window for eating (and drinking) at least three hours prior to going to bed.  For me, this would mean, no more eating or drinking (the exception being the water required to swallow my heart pills and vitamins before bed), after 8pm.  This will give me a fasting period of 15 to 16 hours each day, with eating windows of 9 to 8 hours on both the “fasting” and “normal” days.
3)  No matter which day or time period, water, black coffee, black tea and green tea are allowed —  EXCEPT during the three hours before bed, when I am only allowed enough water to take my heart medications.
4)  On “fasting” days I will try to limit myself to between 700 and 1,100 calories per day.  These numbers are fairly arbitrary:  the low end is the “recommended” fasting number for adult males doing an ADF.  The upper number is from my prior experience using the “Fat Smash Diet“.  This “high” number is not a caloric limit that many people could live with for very long.  I no longer believe dieting is simply “calories in < calories out = weight loss”.  I now believe limiting “calories in” too severely, over too long a period of time (one or two weeks), simply tells the body to lower your normal basal metabolic rate (BMR – how many calories you need to sustain life in a state of coma).  This makes it difficult to continue to lose weight and even more difficult to continue to keep the lost weight off.  It has also been shown that it is much more difficult to restore or raise the BMR to a previous level once you have lowered it than it was to lower it to start off with.  Basically, we must somehow lose weight while not lowering the BMR.  This means your body must not sense it is ever in a prolonged period of caloric deficit.  The “trick” is to lower the average caloric input over time while convincing the body you are never “really” dieting.  This is the goal of the ADF and the ITF methods.  On ADF, you eat as “normally” as you wish during your eating window.  On the ITF, you not only can eat as much as you wish, you can eat anything you wish – as long as you stay within your eating window.
5)  I must also maintain a reasonable protocol for increasing and maintaining my “calories-out” portion of the formula.  I currently walk my dog each day for 30 minutes (about 1 mile).  I also swim a couple of times a week for 60 minutes per session.  Our local pool will be closing for the winter soon, so I will need to commit to using a “gym” more frequently.  Swimming has a natural advantage over typical gym workouts.  I believe the three main ones to be: swimming tends to be a continuous whole body workout; swimming tends to be less damaging to the support joints (feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine; and, finally, water transfers heat energy significantly faster than air, which means you will burn more calories to maintain your own body temperature in water than you will do in air of equal temperature.  The combination of these advantages means I will need to go to the gym more frequently and stay (exercise) longer than I would have to by swimming.  The only advantages of the gym (that I know of) are: you can increase your muscle mass to body weight ratio and you can increase your flexibility.  Swimming tends to make bodies long and lean, but not strong and flexible.  Weights and calisthenics will tend to increase muscle density, muscle size and flexibility (if done in conjunction with proper stretching), but not provide a long and lean appearance.  Bottom line:  go to the gym 4-5 times a week and stay for 90 minutes, including weights, stretching and cardio work in each session.
6)  My new protocol will be a rotation of fast day, eat day, OMAD day.  All three will be time restricted, but the window will vary between days: fasting(8 hrs), eating(6 hrs) and OMAD(5 hrs).  Most fasting days will be two eggs, beans(1 can / 1.5 cups) and rice(1/2 cup), and fruits and veggies(no limit).  Most eating days will be two eggs or oatmeal, salad or fruit(no limit) for lunch, normal dinner.  Most OMAD days will be egg(1) and fruit, large dinner (all I can eat / anything I want); if I want a “snack / desert” on my OMAD, it must be eaten 75 minutes to 1 hour before the daily eating window closes.  Water, black coffee, and black tea are any day / any time.  Fruit juice or veggie-fruit blends are only allowed on eating or OMAD days and only during the windows.
I will begin the protocol tomorrow.  I will continue to post images on my MADF page each day and my weight on my “Sweat Equity” pages, but I will not be creating a daily post specifically about this protocol.  I will try to update (via posting) a couple of times a month if I have anything interesting to say.  If I have any significant health changes as a result of the protocol, I will post about those.  And, so it goes, a “lifestyle” with the simple acknowledgement that vacations, holidays, birthdays, and exceptions will happen…  And, you just deal with them.
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On This Day In:
2018 I’ll Trade You…
2017 Luv Me Some Meat Loaf
2016 Unless Your Name Is #AmnestyDon
2015 A Tentative First Step
2014 Making People
2013 On Reading Books
2012 On America
2011 Shiver, Me Timbers!
2010 Fiduciary Breakdown

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In a nutshell, there are two main types of intermittent fasting strategies:  Plans you do every day (an “eating window” approach), or plans you implement a certain number of times per week (an “up / down day” approach).
Which approach to intermittent fasting is the best?  It’s the one that makes you feel in control and the one that you can follow long-term as a lifestyle.  That’s important to understand from the beginning —  intermittent fasting is a lifestyle.  It isn’t something that you start today and then end when you get to some arbitrary “goal weight.”  Something you start and then stop is DIET.  Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet —  as I said, it’s a lifestyle.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book:  “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 The Children Are Our Future
2017 And Three
2016 Nine Parts Mystery
2015 Little Or No Common Ground
2014 Just Between Me
2013 Beyond The Strings
2012 Saving The Union
2011 Still And Too Often

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When we follow restrictive diets, count calories, eat according to an arbitrary meal schedule, etc., we disconnect from our satiety hormones.  We eat because it is time to eat.  We eat because it is time to eat.  We eat because food is available.  The more we do it, the worse shape we are in.
Bottom line, if you have had trouble sticking to a diet, it isn’t your fault — it’s your hormones.  The overwhelming drive to eat is coming from ghrelin, telling you to eat more.  You are no longer able to get the signals from leptin, telling you that you have had enough.  Understand that uncontrollable or constant hunger is a sign that your have made some dietary choices that aren’t working for you.  On the other hand, satiety is a good sign, telling you that your body is happy with what you are doing.
  —  Gin Stephens
From her book: “Delay, Don’t Deny
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On This Day In:
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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Delay, Don’t Deny”  (2017©)  —  book review
Today’s book is “Delay, Don’t Deny“, written by Gin Stephens.  The book was loaned to me by my sister while we were visiting for the Labor Day BBQ at her house.  The book is sub-titled: “Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle“.   Basically, the book is a cheer-leading exercise for the “One-Meal-A-Day” (OMAD) intermittent fasting protocol which the author feels should be adopted not as a “diet”, but as a “lifestyle”.  In other words, once you start, you can’t go back.  The author’s claim goes beyond that.  She believes the benefits will be so obvious to you that you will choose to never go back (to your old eating habits / lifestyle).
The book is very short – only 155 pages.  It is written in a very friendly and easy to read style with short chapters and a few photos thrown in.  I would estimate a reader could speed through this book in a day (evening) if you were motivated to just sit still.  It took me a couple of days to get to it and then I read a couple of chapters a night before turning off the light.
In full disclosure:  I turned my sister on to Alternate Day Fasting, which is one form of intermittent fasting, so I am already a “true believer”.  I believe in fasting as a jump start to a healthier lifestyle and have done strict veggie broth fasts and veggie / fruit juice fasts of various duration’s over the last thirty-five years.  I have tried (and consider myself still on) an alternate day fasting protocol and it was working for a couple of weeks before “life” got in the way.  Besides my excuses, I feel the ADF or “modified ADF”  (MODF)- which is what I am / was trying – is a workable lifestyle for me.  Prior to reading this book, this (a MODF) is what I was planning to return to when I finish my current (12 completed days) veggie-juice / blended fast.  After reading this book, I think I will substitute the OMAD for the MADF.
So, what is a one-meal-a-day fasting lifestyle?  According to the author, you can eat anything you want and as much as you want, but only for / at one meal a day.  You have a window for eating each day.  The window may be as long as eight hours or as short as one hour.  The remaining hours in the day, you are fasting.  “Fasting” means water, black coffee or unflavored green or black tea.  No sweeteners.  No creamers.  The more common windows are: “8/16”, “6/18” and “4/20”.  This varies from the traditional alternate day fasting in that with OMAD, you do eat EVERY day.  In the ADF, you eat no more than 500 calories (female) or 700 calories (male) on your “fasting” days and you eat whatever you want (whatever you normally eat) on the alternate eating day.  An eating window is also recommended for both the ADF and the MADF.  In fact, many proponents suggest you water fast on occasion just to super-charge the process.  The water fast is also frequently added to the “5:2” version of the ADF.  In the 5:2, you eat within an eight hour window five days a week and then water fast for two days.  You can pick the two days and they don’t have to be consecutive days – just any two out of the seven day week.  The 5:2 is briefly mentioned in the book, but the author does not favor it.
The author does not discuss sleeping, but this is a critical part of the ADF protocol.  You are expected to get 7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep each day for the ADF protocol.  This is where I definitely have a problem with ADF.  I typically can only manage six hours and almost never get over seven.  This is mostly a bad “lifetime” habit of mine.  As it’s not mentioned in the book, I guess the author doesn’t feel it’s that critical for OMAD.
The strength of this book is its approachability, both in ease of reading and in terms of the protocol.  She says:  “Try it.  You’ll like it!”  In fact, she believes you’ll like it so much, you’ll feel comfortable dropping it for special occasions (vacations, holiday weekends, Christmas, etc.) and then you’ll recognize you are out of sync with your body and want to drop back into the protocol.
The book has a particularly useful section listing the author’s favorite books (15) about alternate day fasting and intermittent fasting.  The author says these books contain all the science which she has chosen not to include in her own book.  She writes a paragraph or so on why each book is recommended.  Many of the authors of these books I was already familiar with from watching their videos on YouTube.
Final recommendation:  Very highly recommended!!  I fully intend to give this protocol a go whenever I finally come off of my current blend fast.  I will be sure to include updates in future posts.
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On This Day In:
2018 Here And Hope
2017 Choose
2016 All I Ever Wanted
2015 Compassionate Toward Yourself
2014 All And None
2013 Voices In The Dark
2012 Does Uncommonly Flexible = Flip-Flopping?
2011 A Modest Review Of A Modern Day Classic
Encouragement Is The Path To Immortality

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The end of day twelve and the morning of day thirteen…
Morning weight: 355lbs. (on Day 13)
I am same / down “0/18”.  As in, 0lbs down from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
This is the day most folks trying to lose weight dread.  The pause…  Is it the start of a gain?  Just a one day / one off, or an actual plateau?  Did I do something different yesterday?  Was I simply standing differently on the scale?  And, so it goes…
I’m afraid most of the time, there simply is no reason for a one-day pause (assuming that’s what this is).  It could be anything from a slight change in water retention to the body simply saying enough is enough for now.  As mentioned in a prior fasting post, the human body is not only a complicated system, it is a complex system with hundreds of factors interacting with each other in the process we call life / living.  In any case, only time (a few days) will tell…  Pause or plateau…
One of the things I’d forgotten about was (for me) the main difference between juicing and blending (particularly with a thick / hearty blend) is when juicing, after a few (three or four) days your stomach settles down to getting a limited amount of calories with almost no substance / roughage.  Effectively, this means you stop getting the persistent sensation of:  “I want to eat and I want to eat NOW!!”  You settle into a “I’m tired” or “I’m energized” kind of toggle-state.  When you’re blending this doesn’t happen.  The blend tells your stomach there is more to come and your stomach tells your mind:  “Now!!”  At least this is how I feel when I do blending.  And this is what I went through the day (Day 12) with – thinking about food.
Today (Day 13), I’m trying to nip this in the bud by having my blend earlier and more consistently throughout the day.  I’ll just have to see how it goes…  At this point, I’m only two days (today and tomorrow) shy of a full two weeks, so I am momentarily setting aside my “one day at a time” attitude and pushing to finish the week.  If I make it easily, I may continue day to day.  If not, I’m intending to switch to Intermittent Time Fasting.  I’m thinking of going straight to a “6/18” window with “one” meal a day (OMAD).  My understanding of this is “one meal” is not one eating session.  It is one “meal”.  You get a “snack” to break the fast (typically an egg, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts), you then get your one “full” meal where you can eat as much as you want and anything you want, and then you have the option of another snack before your daily window closes.  The meal is usually timed at two hours before your eating window closes and the final snack is usually in the last fifteen minutes before the window closes.  On a 6/18 with a window of 1pm to 7pm, this means “break fast” between 1pm and 1:30pm, full meal about 5pm through 6pm and the second snack at 6:45pm.  During the fast period, you can only have water, black coffee or unsweetened / unflavored tea (green or black).
I must admit, I am looking forward to trying this “new” (to me) version of eating / fasting.  This is what my sister has been doing and she says she is having good results.  And so it goes…
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On This Day In:
2018 Here And Hope
2017 Choose
2016 All I Ever Wanted
2015 Compassionate Toward Yourself
2014 All And None
2013 Voices In The Dark
2012 Does Uncommonly Flexible = Flip-Flopping?
2011 A Modest Review Of A Modern Day Classic
Encouragement Is The Path To Immortality

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The end of day ten and (now) most of the way through day eleven…
Morning weight: 356lbs.  (on Day 11)
I am down / down “2/17”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 17lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Day 10 seemed to be hard because it was cool to cold and I didn’t want to go for a swim in the cold.  Somehow, not having the swim made the day seem a lot longer.  Instead we (Hil and I) went to Home Depot and humped some decorative rocks to the car and then from the car to the back of the house.  (I did the “humping”.  My better half did the supervising.)  Not at all the same as an hour’s swim, but it was a bit of a pain toting 50lbs sacks, so I am counting it as exercise.  I also spent a good hour-plus getting my blend ready of the next few days.  It looks like I have enough for at least a week.  I boosted the blend with an extra can of beans:  1 can pinto and 1 can of black beans.  I also blended with whole carrots instead of carrot juice.  The two “extras” has made this week’s blend very thick.  It’s almost as thick as a pan of Scouse without the potatoes and lamb (or beef).  The taste / texture is also heartier / thicker.  And, of course, it’s a LOT more filling.  I had my first half-bottle for dinner in the evening.
I am going to try to combine the juice / blending with the intermittent fasting by using a drinking window.  I don’t seem to be hungry in the morning (unless I smell food), so I”m going to see how long the following morning I can go before breaking my overnight fast.  Normally, I have something to drink (my blend) as soon as I complete the dog walk.  This means any time between 8:30am and 11am.  In intermittent fasting, you eat within a specific time window each day.  8/16, 6/18 and 5/19 are some of the more common windows.  Basically, you can only eat during your window “8” hrs, “6” hrs or “5” hrs each day – and, of course, you fast for the other hours.  The key is picking how many meals you will have during the window and adjusting the window to match your lifestyle.  For example, if you have an eight hour window and you normally have your family dinner at 7pm, you might chose to open your window at noon.  This gives you an hour to eat your dinner before the window closes.  You are allowed to slide the window on any given day, but folks generally get the best weight loss results from using a consistent time for their window.
Last night I stopped drinking at 9pm sharp.  The side benefit (last night) was I didn’t wake up to use the toilet.  I’ll have to give this an extra few days of testing to see if that’s all it takes to sleep through the entire night.  I have been advised, by various books, web sites and YouTube clips that I need to stop all drinking at least three hours before going to bed.  That’s a bit tough as I take all of my heart medications and vitamins just before bed.  Anyway, I’ll start by not drinking my blend a couple of hours before going to bed…
Day 11 has been an out and about day for me, and this post is pretty late in the evening.  In other words, I’m tired and cutting today’s post short.  I hope everyone (anyone?) reading this has a good week.
Back soon…
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On This Day In:
2018 Up For Progress
Day 1.5: Done (For Now)
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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