Posts Tagged ‘Inversion Machines’

Caution:  This is a long post.  If you are bored about other people’s diets – stop here and come back some other day (LoL)…   You have been warned!
I am a borderline compulsive acquirer / hoarder.  Books, DVDs, CDs, clothes / shoes and now guitars (LoL!).  Way back in December, my wife was observing my closet and said I REALLY need to get rid of some of my clothes.  (She offered to help.)  I have a large number of items which were bought for work (shirts, pants, ties, etc.) which I don’t have a need for – and many of which haven’t fit for some time.  This is because I have been yo-yoing in weight for soooo many years.
Anyway, I told her I’d begin going through my stuff and getting rid of things – mainly items I’ve been keeping because they are slightly damaged and I could then wear them for dirty work around the house before tossing them.  Well, I accumulated them faster than I’ve worked, so I’ve now got a stack buried in the back of my closet…
Since that conversation, I’ve tossed several pairs of shoes and about a half dozen old shirts (which has surprised and pleased the wife!).  Because they are too worn or damaged, the items have not been suitable for donating to charity.
As an addendum, I said anything I can’t fit into by my next birthday (end of March), she can toss or donate.  She was very pleased by this offer…  (She is not the hoarder I am.)
So, on the Monday after Christmas I started my latest “juice / blend” fast and scaled up my workouts to start losing some pounds.  My weigh-in was 374lbs.  Today / this morning, my weigh-in was 362lbs.  Basically, at the end of seven days of not chewing, I’m down 12lbs.
Juicing / Blending:
First off, this is NOT a traditional / “strict” juicing “fast” as defined by Joe Cross or any number of doctors.  Over the last eight to ten years, I’ve been on multiple strict vegetable juice fasts.  They all worked for rapid weight loss.  None of them were useful as lifestyle options.  For the last five years (or so), I’ve been trying alternate day fasting and intermittent timed fasting.  My success with these fasts have been much more limited.  Mostly because I’ve not been strict enough (portion control) in my eating periods.
So, what am I doing?  One 16oz fruit blend in the morning and the same for lunch.  I then have a much larger (34 to 64ozs) vegetable blend for dinner.  I also have a couple of mugs of tea (green or herbal) during the day.  Occasionally, I will have a bottle of warm water with a couple of tablespoons of lemon concentrate in the evening.  Whenever I do this, I keep a smaller bottle to swish in my mouth after drinking from the larger bottle.  This reduces acidic exposure for my teeth.
The “typical” vegetable blend is:  spinach, broccoli, cucumber, onion, celery, bananas, carrot juice and enough fruit juice to make the roughage into what I affectionately call “swamp juice”.  Yes, I do have a “real” juicer machine.  Yes, I have used it in the past.  Yes, it is much better at making “juice”.  The problem I have is / are two-fold:  1)  I think tossing the roughage is a terrible waste of nutrients, and, 2)  juicing on its own does not produce enough body waste (“poop”) – in me, anyway.  This second “problem” means I would have to relieve myself with either a oral laxative or a suppository – neither of which are thrilling options.
Technically then, I’m NOT “juicing” at all.  I’m just not chewing.  Does this matter?  If you want to do a strict juice / health fast, I believe it does.  If you are not that bothered (like me), then the answer is “nope, not in the least”.  The weight loss is not as quick my way, but I’m also okay with that.
My longest strict “juice” fast was 30 days and I lost 30 to 40 lbs.  I’ve done this type (length) of fast four times in my life and it is cleansing.  It’s just not sustainable and I’m not convinced it’s healthy (due to yo-yoing).  I’ve also done much shorter (7, 10, 14 and 20 days) juice fasts – mostly in the last ten years.  My longest fast was alternating juice with blend days and I went forty-two days and lost 72lbs.  This fast was documented on my blog a few years back.
I haven’t decided how long this session will go, but I seriously doubt I’ll be doing it until the end of March.  At the moment, I’m thinking ten days and then switch to alternating days with stricter portion control on my eating days.  But, I’ll just have to see how it goes…
I case you’re interested – I am feeling terrific in myself, but I tire quickly (after 3 – 5 minutes of “light / continuous” exertion).
There are two universal dieting platitudes:  you can’t spot lose; and, you can’t outwork a bad diet…  I don’t believe the first.  I firmly believe the second.
A couple of months ago (12 Oct 2021), I began working out daily with the idea of of completing a “30-day / 100 push-up per day challenge” and then building a complete body workout which I could continue more or less indefinitely.
I started with presses.  I did 100 presses with 40lbs on a standard 20lbs bar (60lbs total).  I had a number of bad weather days, so I began doing inclined push-ups instead.  In a standard (from the floor) pushup, you are lifting about 60% of your body weight; an inclined push-up at two-feet is about 40% of your body weight.  In my case, this would be 220lbs and 145lbs respectively.  Obviously, there is a BIG difference between 40lbs and 145lbs (let alone 220lbs), so instead of a single set of 100, I did 10 sets of 10 repetitions.  I am now doing 5 sets of 20 repetitions.  I am hoping to move from inclined to floor, but I will have to drop back to 10 (or maybe even 5) reps – so many more sets.
After a while, I added pull-downs (straight, curls and inclined).  Initially with 40lbs and then I upped the weight to 43lbs.  I do 100 pull-downs (via cables), then 50 curls, then 100 inclined pull-downs, and I finish with a second set of 50 curls.  This is a total of 300 pull-down motions (reps).  The number of reps was chosen to provide equivalence between 100 push-ups (at 145lbs) and 300 pull-downs (at 43lbs).  At some point, I hope to be able to do a hanging pull-up, but that’s way in the future (LoL).
As of the start of the juicing, I’ve added “Niko Niko” (smile) pace jogging and crunches.  Niko Niko is what I used to call “slogging”:  slow, ass jogging, but the Japanese name sounds so much nicer (LoL).  Once around my block is .4 miles.  I do three laps: 1.25 miles (according to my FitBit).
For the crunches, I do five sets of sixty for 300 hundred reps in total.  Because I have lower back (a pinched nerve) issues, I do them balancing on a fitball rather than from the floor.
I also spend about 5 – 10 minutes on my inversion stand after completing my workout.  If my back is hurting, I’ll do a shorter hang mixed in-between the sets of crunches.
So, (at long last) that’s it for now…  Thanks to any readers who’ve made it this far.  I will be posting about this at least through the end of March, but (mercifully for you and me) it won’t be every day as I’ve done in the past.  If anyone has any questions, please add a comment to one of the posts and I’ll try to answer as best I can…
Please remember:  I am NOT a doctor and nothing on this blog should be taken as medical advice.  Consult with your personal doctor before beginning ANY diet or exercise program.
Live long and prosper!
On This Day In:
2021 More New Year’s Exercises
7 Done, 12 Down
2021 Another Public Service Message
Greetin’ The Sun
2020 From The Mountains To The Shores
2019 Watering The Trees And Seeds
2018 Take Care Of Me…
2017 Make Some Difference
2016 Still 99%
2015 Adolescent Opinion
2014 In A Big World
2013 Vacancy For God
2012 Sweat Equity
Try It… You’ll Like It
2011 Still Incomplete
2010 Happy New Year – 2010

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Family stuff first:  Thursday, I drove down to UCLA to pick up Rebecca.  She finished her last final at 6:30, but wasn’t allowed to move out until 11, so we went to dinner and then just hung out until she was ok to leave.
We got back to the hotel (the Hampton Inn in Van Nuys) after 12:30.  We got back on the road by 9:30 the next day (Friday, 11 June) and were home by 3:30.  All in all it was a nice, smooth trip.  I was not looking forward to the drive down – mostly because it was all by myself, but it turned out to be not bad at all.  I listened to music (sang along) and it was quite enjoyable.
I had one of my serendipity moments on the way down.  I was at the northern end of the Grapevine and looked up at the hills and saw a unusual purple color on several of the (mostly brown) hills.  My first thought was, “Wow, they’ve either had a fire already or they’ve sprayed fire retardant in advance of the next fire.  As I got closer, I realized the color was from a small flower and not a chemical spray.  It was a faint, but very distinct purple.  It wasn’t on all of the hills or spread as evenly as the brown from the grasses – which was probably why I thought it was a spray and not naturally occurring.
Anyway, it occurred to me that I was probably seeing something which only lasts a couple of days a year and which probably only happens a couple of times a year – kind of like a “desert bloom”.
I would like to make a few quick comments about the hotel.  I’m not a big fan of hotels, but this was a nice little place for the price ($130).  It wasn’t much to look at from the outside and I can’t comment on the locale, but it was reasonably close to UCLA, which was my primary criteria.  The inside was surprisingly quite nice, appearing reasonably modern and well kept.  The room was a nice size with two full size beds.  There was a large flat panel TV, and free wireless internet in the room.  The bed was very comfortable and the shower was hot with good water pressure.  The room smelled a little musty when I first entered it, but that soon went away with the AC on.  All in all, I would highly recommend it.
I injured my back last week crawling around on the floor, shifting PCs at work in Oakland.  At first I thought it was just a strained muscle, but by the end of the day, I had tell-tail sharp pain all the way down my right leg.  The next morning, Tuesday, I tried to do a light jog to work it out, but all I did was aggravate it severely.  I had to stop jogging because the pain in my leg was so bad.  The pain continued all day until I could barely walk.  I texted James to set up my inversion table and I hung when I finally got home.  I managed to relax after about five minutes and I felt my spine snap back into place.  The leg pain was gone and I gingerly made it through the rest of the evening.  I decided not to risk injury by taking Wednesday off.
I haven’t had back (and leg) pain like that in quite a while and it put the fear of God back in me.  Thank God for inversion machines!!
James’ girl friend – Natasha – graduated from high school on Friday.
Sarah had her end of year band dinner last week – Saturday before last and we went.  It was lots of laughs and we are very proud of her.  Go Minuteman Marching Band!!
Home stuff:  Hil and I took a trip down to The Shed Shop in Fremont to have a look at sheds.  We picked a model and size, so now we just have to have them come out and do the site evaluation and then we agree a day for installation.  Finally!!!!  We’ll have a shed.  We’ve also decided we’re going to start doing the floors with bamboo.  It’ll take us a few years to get it all done, but at least the decision has been made to move forward.
Perhaps, the most significant thing (to me) is that Hil has finally decided she likes our house and wants to stay in it.  I think this will mean we’ll move forward on a lot of different things now.
Movie Review:  Well, I finally got around to watching my DVD copy of “Slumdog Millionaire“.  It was a very intense (and moving) movie.  I discussed it with my son James who dismissed it as a chick-flick, date movie.  It was – at a certain level – simply a love story, but it was a lot more as well.  It raised questions of philosophy – are our lives destined?  It also hi-lighted man’s inhumanity towards others – particularly in circumstances of dire poverty.  Bottom line – I highly recommend it.
Book Review:  Yesterday, (Sunday, 13 June), I finished “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell (2005).  The book is about how we are able to make almost instantaneous decisions based on limited information and those decisions turn out to be (frequently) as reliable as decisions we make with great consideration and lots of data / information.  Another interesting discussion was about using different parts of the brain to remember things.  If we think of the picture of a cow, we use a different part of the brain than if we think of the word “cow” and try to describe it, height, weight, color, etc., and the very act of trying to describe something tends to make us “forget” the thing we are trying to describe.  This seems to happen because of the difference in the amount of brain power allotted to long term versus short term memory.  Long term memory is virtually unlimited, but short term is “thimble sized”.  It takes some time to move memories from short to long term and the act of interpreting the memory, by describing it, seems to short-circuit the transition from short to long term memory.
I found this point very interesting because at one point, I used to “think” in text, as in when I “thought of” a “brown cow” (in my mind), that’s what I saw – the words, not the “image” of an animal.  I remember being mildly surprised at the time that others didn’t “see” the way I did.  (I asked several of my friends.)  I actively tried to “see” the image of a brown cow instead of the words when I thought of it and in the space of a couple of weeks, I started “seeing” the images.  Unfortunately, I found I had lost the ability to “see” the words now.  I’ve tried a few times to think my way back, but it seems to be completely lost to me.  I don’t know if it’s a permanently one-way street, but it certainly seems to be since I’ve never met anyone else who admits to ever thinking of things that way.
Bottom Line:  the book was a very fast read and raised some interesting points for me to continue thinking about.  You can’t ask for much more than that from an author.  I now plan to make time to go back and read the author’s other work:  “The Tipping Point”.
Running and Diet:  Not so good of late.  With the continuing little injuries (back and legs), it’s been easy to make excuses for not running at night.  I’ve found the jogging in the Gym to be not the same.  For one, I try to run instead of just enjoying my time jogging.  I also tend to get distracted by the TV.  This means my brain is not continuously involved in my moving.  It also means, when I go do my school yard jogs, my head is missing the extraneous input (distraction) from the TV.  I believe the long term solution is to not jog at the gym and instead do other cross training, cardio workouts.
I’m still wearing my first pair of test shoes – the Ahnu Delta Water shoes.  Granted I haven’t been pounding them daily, but they still seem to have almost no wear whatsoever.  I’m already over a month using them (sporadically) and I’ve not done a hundred miles yet, but they still seem very sturdy to me.

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