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Today is day fifteen of my juice/blending fast.  I started on Sunday, 3 January 2016.  I’m not sure how long I’ll go or how long I can go.  I’m thinking I’m going to end up on kind of a “4-hour body” kind of thing where I “schedule” a break and use that as the “target” when I really start obsessing on food, then push into another session immediately after the one day break.
My best guess is that I’m down between 15 and 20 pounds.  My last fast was back in July 2015 and lasted 21 days and I dropped about 34-35 pounds.  Between August and December, I slowly put most of it back on.  I went from 363 to 329 “officially”.  That is, I started at 367lbs, but that was with clothes on.  Also, I didn’t have a scale at home, so that was an “at work weight”.  By the time I got a scale (at home), I was at the 363lbs in my shorts.  The 329lbs was also a “shorts” weight.
I started this round at 347lbs (shorts), so I still had 15lbs (not counting ounces) off of my July max.  Today’s weigh-in was 326lbs (shorts).  So, right around 20lbs (again, not counting ounces) off.
Yesterday was a REAL hard day because I had family over to watch the NFL playoffs and they all had food and there are just a ton of food commercials on during sports broadcasts.  Anyway, I managed to tough it out but it took three bottles of juice to do it.  I normally drink two 64 ounce bottles of juice/blend each day and another 64 ounces of water.  (And, yes, I’m constantly going to the bathroom.)
One of the big “issues” for me is the problematic use of the (our) scale and weighing-in.  My wife thought she’d be helping by buying a Weight Watchers digital scale so I could get BMI, % of fat and % of water as well as weight.  It turns out the scale is VERY unreliable.  If I move the scale, my weight varies by as much as 8lbs.  If I vary conditions by adding or removing clothing, the scale can vary up or down by as much as 4-5 pounds and frequently in the “wrong” direction.  Add clothes and I lose weight.  Remove clothes and I gain weight.  What’s worse is this is a “known” issue with these scales.  Of course, you have to read the reviews for the product before you buy it to know it’s not very accurate.  The batteries recently died.  I’m hoping new batteries will fix this issue, but I’m not holding my breath.  Anyway, live and learn…
So, I’m “cheating”.  I move the scale.  I lean forwards and back.  And then I use whatever is the lowest weight.  (That makes sense doesn’t it…  LOL)
The bottom line is I am getting smaller and I am feeling better.  I’ll try to keep everyone updated on how long I go and how much I lose.  Stay tuned…
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On This Day In:
2015 All A Game
2014 Two Thoughts
2013 RIP – Dear Abby
Half-Life Problems
2012 To The Soul…
2011 Reverted!!

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

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Anybody who has browsed around my blog or read my posts over the years is probably aware I’ve been struggling with weight issues for years (decades).  I am – “health wise” – clinically morbidly obese.  A little while back, I weighed in at 363 lbs and my waist is a size 50″.  Over the last forty years I’ve lost weight and gained it back (plus some) numerous times (including three strict fruit juice and vegetable broth fasts of 30 days).  In the great “yo-yoing” of dieting for life, I’ve been steadily going up and up in weight and down and down in overall health.  I currently have low cholesterol (statin based) but high triglycerides, irregular / non-persistent AFib, and I am taking blood-thinner to prevent strokes.
My mother is currently 88 years old and in very good health – no drugs at all, and still reasonably mobile for her age.  I believe if I am able to get better control of my weight, it will go a long way in getting me to a similar age.  I am currently 60 years old and am planning (hoping) to retire when I am 62- 1/2 years old.  That’s a little over 24 months away! (Yea!!)
Anyway, my wife is constantly worried about my weight and I’ve decided I’ll try to kill two birds with one stone and give her a birthday present.  I’m going to lose 30 pounds by her birthday at the end of October.  That’s right around 1.5 pounds per week, which I believe is very do-able.  So, that’s my goal.  At the moment, that’s my short term goal.  Of course my medium term goal is to keep the weight off until I retire and, hopefully, to use this as a jump-start to go beyond that to really get down to a “manageable” weight.  I don’t really know what that weight is just now, because it’s soooo far away and I really just want to make a start and then see how I get on.
Two weeks ago, I started on a combination juicing / blending diet.  I am currently completing day 14 of no solid foods and I’ve lost between 14-16 pounds.  Recognizing that the human stomach normally carries around 5 to 7 pounds of digesting food, that means I’ve lost about 7 to 10 pounds so far and 3 to 4 inches from my waist.
I am currently walking between 30 and 45 minutes per day and I “plan” to start doing a bit more exercise, but for now, it’s just the walking.  I’m currently drinking two bottles of “juice” (64 oz. each) and one bottle of water (64 oz) each day.  I’ve only had two “bad” days, so far – where I wanted to just drop the program and go gorge myself, so I think that’s pretty good.  Anytime I get hungry, I drink about 8 oz of juice.  I have three types of “juice”.  The first is actual “juiced” vegetables and fruit.  The second type is the pulp fiber from the juicing and some bottled fruit juice and water.  The third is just straight-up bottled smoothie juice from the store.
My “juice” blend is mainly kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, lemons, onions and an apple or two.  My “pulp” blend is the fiber from the juice plus pineapple juice, apple juice, cherry juice and cranberry juice.  I also throw in whole bananas since they don’t juice well at all.  I also try to add one can of beans (usually kidney beans) to the blend.  This gives me some salt and some protein.  Finally, once a week, I add a bottle of regular “V8”.  This is to change the flavor and (again) to give me a little salt.  The “smoothie” juice is usually the “Naked” brand of juices from Safeway (my local supermarket).  I usually have the “Green Machine”, Mango, “Very Berry” and Strawberry/Banana.  None of the juices or smoothies have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  Of course, they all contain their own natural sugar content (about 1200 calories per bottle).
One observation about including the “V8”.  I’ve only done it once during these two weeks because I found the blend with it increased my water retention.  This tells me, there’s “probably” too much salt in the bottle –  for me, at this time.  I don’t use the “low sodium” version, because it frankly tastes foul.  But that’s just me…
As I said earlier, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep the juicing going.  For the time being, I’m dropping weight and not hungry so the only “problem” is I miss chewing and I miss the company of mealtime.  I don’t have the will-power to sit in the kitchen while the family eats, so I take my juice to my room and jump on the computer.  Obviously, this is not a sustainable lifestyle, but it seems to be working for my short-term goal.
Medium term, when I do stop the juicing, I’ll be starting back eating slowly and work to change my carnivore habits.  Ultimately, keeping the weight off will mean a sustained exercise program and more “healthy and raw” fruit and vegetables in my future.
Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts and prayers!
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On This Day In:
2014 Pass The Soul
2013 Zapping Music And Art
2012 Not Quite Fantastic
That Kid Is Back
2011 Wolves At The Door
2010 I’m Feeling Patriotic… (Well, more than usual, anyway.)
Beating the Heat…

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Last weekend I wrote my review (Nerd Heard – And Good-Bye) of the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“.  I mentioned at the end of the blog that I’d gone out and purchased a blender and was now (then) off to buy some fruits and vegetables.
Well, today I’m finishing day seven of my juicing fast / diet.
Observations and comments:
To start off with I’m definitely thinner.  I’ve been having 64oz of fruit juice, 64oz of vegetables juice and at least 48oz of water each day.  The fruit juice is mostly apples (red and green), a lemon, carrots, grapes, strawberries and cherries.  I tried using bananas, but I used two giant bananas and got about four drops of juice.  The rest just ended up as cast off in the pulp.  (More on this later.)  The juice isn’t what I would normally call “sweet”, but it is “fruity” tasting.
The vegetable juice is just that – greens, greens and more greens (at least it looks that way).  Basically, various kinds of kale, spinach, red lettuce, beetroot, mushrooms, ginger, onions (red and white), radishes, a couple of apples (red) and some whole lemons.  This is surprising filling, but does not seem to provide an energy boost (as I expected). Instead, I’m feeling a sense of heat flush on my skin – mostly my arms – after drinking some.
For both types I’m tending to drink about four or five swallows and then a little water as a chaser to clean the palate a bit.
Yesterday, after work Hil and I went to a new grocery in the area which has a tremendous turnover of fruits and veg and we stocked up.  Probably too much as I made three jars – one juice and two veg – and I’m on my second jar now.  I also made a change to the straight forward juicing by making a smoothie with the fruit.  I bought a large hand of bananas and switched to the blender instead of the juicer for the fruit jar.
Weight-loss wise I’m doing fine.  Not outrageous, just fine.  I estimate I’ve dropped between 8 and 12 pounds.  I’m not entirely accurate because I started with a clothes off weight of 339lbs the Friday before the fast and now I’m a clothes on weight of 334lbs.  I had a “big” drop of three pounds during the week when I developed the runs on Tuesday.  My understanding is that is a normal experience of combining fruit and vegetable fasting.  I don’t recall the experience in my other earlier fasts, but that’s probably because they were so long ago.
This is my fourth fast.  I did it three other times for 30 days each when I was in my mid 20’s and 30’s, so it’s been over 25 years since my last time.  Back then I did fruit smoothies and vegetable broth.  This current version is much more fiber free on the fruit and uncooked on the vegs.  As I said, each time was for 30 days and each time I lost at least 30 pounds.  This fast is only partly about losing weight.  Mostly, it’s about cleansing out my system and any weight loss is an added benefit.
My ultimate goal is to get to a “flesh” meal not more than twice a week.  Other than that, I’ll be trying to stick to as much raw fruits and vegs as possible.
I haven’t been doing any working out for the past week.  My gall stones have been pretty bad and I’ve had to start work early so I’ve not been going to the gym (at work).  I’ve got three doctors appointments this coming week, so I will probably get only two days in at the gym.  I’m mostly a high-energy morning person and between that and the juicing, I don’t feel like I have much energy to even go for walks at the end of the day.  I will say my gall stone pain is a lot better this week than is was last week, so hopefully the juicing has been helping that as well.
One final comment: I’m struck by the large volume of waste at the end of the juicing process.  Even though it feels mostly dry, it seems as if it’s immoral to discard that much roughage.  I think when I ultimately come off of the juicing mode, I’ll feel a lot better (“hippy conscious” wise) about eating (and enjoying) the whole fruit / plant.
Movie Review Time:
This week started off with “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” made in 1961.  Not much to say, really.  It’s a classic, old-Hollywood style, romantic comedy (lite-comedy, not HA HA comedy).  The movie stars Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard.  The movie is a feast for those with an eye to 60’s style – particularly the narrow black ties, which would now be a fashion statement.  One thing I found amusing is how much the young Peppard resembles Dan Stevens – the Matthew Crawley character in the British series “Downton Abbey“.  They’re doppelgängers!!  Truly one of those few movies you can say (at the end): “Wow! That was a classic!!”
The second movie I watched this weekend was the DVD of “Deliverance” from 1972.  This is another “classic” movie.  This one stars Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty as four “city folk” who decide to go on a river canoeing adventure over a weekend.  The adventure quickly devolves into a survival movie and morality play.  The movie is still (after 40 years) too intense for children due to its “famous” male rape scene and its fairly graphic death scenes – so it’s also not for the squeamish.  To my mind, the closest comparison to any film I’ve seen recently and remember as a classic is “The Deer Hunter” which was made in 1978.  I’m not sure why “Deliverance” reminded me of “The Deer Hunter“, but it did.  Yes, they both had a “hunting of deer” scene in each, but it was more than that. I think it was that each tried (with varying degrees of success) to capture a moment in American history.  As a movie, I enjoyed “Deliverance” much more than “The Deer Hunter“, but neither were particularly believable.
The third movie was “Shoot ‘Em Up” with Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci.  I like Owen.  I’ve never liked Giamatti.  And, I’ve never heard of Monica Bellucci.  This is really a terrible movie!  The title is the plot.  I think I was hoping for something a little like one of the “Die Hard” series, but nope, just a bad action movie.  Completely unbelievable characters.  The ONLY redeeming factor was the occasional one liner from Owen.  But, they are not enough to save this movie.  Now that I own it, I’d probably watch it again to see if there’s anything of value I didn’t notice in the first viewing, but I would not watch it if it was on TV and I had to sit through commercials too.
Finally, there’s “Righteous Kill” starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pachino.  This is kind of a geezer-buddy-cop movie.  It’s two NYC cops trying to catch a serial killer.  Anything more pretty much gives away the movie.  A lot of (mostly) unnecessary “effing and blinding” (as we say used to say in England), but all in all, a pretty good movie.  I wouldn’t say it was in either of the lead actors great roles lists, but it was interesting seeing them together.
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