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The end of day six and the start of day seven…  Today completes the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 362lbs.  (on Day 7)
I am down / down “2/11”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 11lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday, was a peculiar day.  I had to give a blood sample in the morning for a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This meant I had to “fast” (no eating of drinking of my blend) for 12 hours.  I stopped about 9pm the night before.  I got up and walked the dog about 9am, so I was on time.  I got to the office about 10:15am and gave the sample a little after 11am.  I almost never make an appointment to give blood.  I just bring a book or read email on my cell.  In this case, I did both.  Some time this week, I’ll get my results with my cholesterol and triglycerides levels and the doctor will review them with me to see where I stand.  Hopefully, both will be down (at least slightly) and I’ll be able to avoid any statins.  I was taking them in pill form for a number of years and been having a negative reaction (muscle pains and joint stiffness), but my cardiologist feels I will need to go back on something.  He’s recommending some new drug (new to me) which is administered via shot.   I’m not keen on drugs or shots (in particular), so I have another reason to make a go of fasting and losing weight.
After giving blood, I had a shot of OJ and then went out to mow the front lawn.  That took about an hour.  I settled in to drink at least a quart of my blend.  I watched a bit of TV and read a bit and then took a nap for about 2hrs.  After that, I watched some Netflix and then went to the pool for an evening swim (60 minutes / breast stroke).  I felt like it was exhilarating but (again) I tired quickly (after about 30 minutes).  So, it was another gut check to finish the time.  I just set a nice relaxing pace and got through it…  I can pretty easily do 40 lengths (25 yard lenghts) in under 55 minutes, so I say I’m doing 42 to 44 lengths an hour.  That’s a little more than one half mile (36 lengths).  It may not sound great to any young readers, but I started out in April taking between 75 and 80 minutes to do just 40 lengths, so I’ve made reasonable progress for an ol’ geezer.
Today is actually Day 7 of the fast and tomorrow I’ll be posting a photo of my progress.  Tonight I’ll make a decision about going for another week or just going day to day.  At this moment, I’m feeling great, so I’m leaning towards committing to a second full week and then switching.  The thing about “committing” is if I fall off the wagon, I’ll start beating myself up about it, whereas “day to day” is just until yesterday.  I know it’s psychologically wrong, but that’s the way (formerly) A+ personality types think.  “Set a goal.  MUST make it.  MUST make it. MUST aaauurrgghh!”
Why Studying Dieting Doesn’t Work…
On this journey I’ve struggled with dieting for most of my adult life.  I’ve almost always succeeded (for a while) in losing some weight, and then rebounded – sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  I’ve tried every diet plan I could reasonably afford, and almost all of them have worked (for a while).  For me, the problem has been, “What’s next?”  Sure, this or that diet works for a week or two, but what happens next?  I don’t want to “diet” forever.  This means over the last 20 years I’ve used “fasting” as my hack to a non-healthy eating lifestyle.  I either eat too much or I eat too frequently – or both.  For the longest time I’d felt this was some kind of psychological failure / adaptation on my part.  Although not poor while growing up, we certainly didn’t have the quality or quantity of food which I experienced when eating over at my friends houses.
It’s only in the last ten years I’ve thought maybe it’s not me with the problem.  Okay.  Yes, it is ME, but it’s not necessarily my brain’s (a lack of self-discipline) fault.  It’s not that I’m weak.  It’s that modern food is addicting and it’s promoted in advertising as a substitute for happiness.  I don’t mean psychologically addicting, by the way, although there is definitely some of that, too.  I mean modern food is full of chemicals (mainly) – sugar and flavor enhancers – which are meant to stimulate our appetites without giving us a sense of fullness (to tell us to stop stuffing our faces / stomachs).  I mean that modern food is physically addicting.  (Our stomachs, in fact, have sensors which tell our brain “we’re full, stop eating for a while”.  This is why drinking water before eating somewhat deadens our appetites.  The water – which has zero calories – takes up space and generates a sense of fullness in the stomach.)
The human body has served us well for thousands of years and until fairly recently, obesity (and in particular morbid obesity) has been rare.  The trend over the last ten to twenty years has been to blame what we eat (junk food / fast food), how much we eat (portions and frequency), and, everybody’s favorite culprit:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  The problem we (as individuals and as a society) have is correlation is not causation and food science is closer to a “soft” science (like psychology) than it is to a “hard” science (like chemistry).  This is because we have little to no ability to create valid controls for a scientific test.  The primary variable is the human body and, despite appearances (we all “seem” pretty much the same), in fact, we have wildly different individual reactions to different types of food AND we have no longitudinal studies (that I am aware of) which show the same person has the same reactions to different types of food across their individual life spans.  What longitudinal studies we do have tend to be voluntary, subjective and self-reported.  We are, therefore, highly dependent on the person reporting to provide accurate and honest information / data for our analysis.  We then use statistics and hope accuracy and honesty will level out under our Bell Curve.
More of my random thoughts to come…
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking
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Last summer I started to take advantage of our housing association swimming pool.  Mostly, I brushed up on my treading water with what I hoped would be low impact exercise.  I learned how to tread water when I was living alone (before my family arrived) in Saudi Arabia (way back in 1998).  Back then, I would tread water for up to two-and-a-hours.   It’s not that I couldn’t go longer.   It’s just that it got pretty boring by then.
Anyway, last summer I got back up to 90 minutes or so just treading water.  Towards the end, I switched to a breast-stroke and I got up to about 90 minutes of that as well.  One problem I then had was the constant fogging of my swimming goggles.  (I didn’t wear goggles for treading water.)  Basically, I had to pause ever few laps and rinse out the haze in my goggles.  During the winter I did a search on cures and (lo and behold) I found one.   “No More Tears” baby shampoo / body wash.
Before going to the pool, put a drop in each goggle lens, smear it in with your finger, and then rinse thoroughly – or at least until it stops sudsing-up.  After that, don’t touch the lens.  Just put them on when you get to the pool and your off.  I don’t know how long the “de-fogging” lasts.   It’s worked for me for an hour maximum, three times now, so I’m satisfied it works.  AND, it’s a LOT less expensive than purchasing swimming defogging spray, goes a lot farther (you get more for your money),  and, no, I have no idea if the “real” spray does anything to your eyes.  (But I assume not.)  I repeat the process every time I go swimming, just prior to getting into the car.
I don’t know if it matters but I will mention our pool is fresh water (not salt-water) and is heated to 83°F.  If anyone tries this (or already does this), let me know if it works for you, too.
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On This Day In:
2018 Lost Time
2017 Are You Talking To Me?
2016 Here, Desire Is Purified
2015 Hopefully Just Visiting
2014 Fond Memory?
2013 Distress, Hope, Trust
2012 Creating Interlocking Fragility
2011 Four Stories And A Gospel
What Have You Burned Lately?

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You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.
  —  Edwin Louis Cole
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On This Day In:
2018 Defining Characteristic
2017 Just Asking
2016 Still A Burden
15 And Counting
2015 All A Game
2014 Two Thoughts
2013 RIP – Dear Abby
Half-Life Problems
2012 To The Soul…
2011 Reverted!!

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Today was the last day of the season for our neighborhood (outdoor) pool.  We’ve lived in the area since 2000 and I’ve never used the pool more than a dozen times in a single year.  Most years, it’s been less than five times.  Most years it’s been zero.  At any rate, I told myself: “Once I’ve retired, I’m going to use the pool.”  Well, this year I’ve been 94 times and only once was for less than an hour.  The vast majority of times I’ve only been treading water for the hour and then (maybe) doing a few lengths to stretch out at the end.  The last month, I’ve done breast stroke for the hour – almost exclusively.  I must admit I’ve really enjoyed both the treading and the breast stroke.  And now I’m looking forward to next year and hoping for a mild spring so the pool can open in early / mid-May…  Maybe next year I’ll learn how to free-style…
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On This Day In:
2017 And Some Of Us Have Books
2016 I See No Proof
2015 Whither Tea Party?
2014 Nothing Is Known Absolutely
2013 Decoration Time
2012 The Beatitudes
2011 Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
2010 Back On The Asphalt
No Sweep – Rangers Win Game 3 by 4 to 2
Greek Myths For Kids

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The end of day twenty-eight and the start of day twenty-nine…
Morning weight:  323lbs.
Finally, a 2lbs loss!  I am now down “50/57”.  As in, 50lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 57lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lbs loss, down from 325lbs yesterday.
In my past fasting attempts, I’ve never had a four or five pound loss after day three.  This is because up until then (day 3) I was losing stomach content and / or “extra” water.  I just finished three consecutive days of 4 to 5 pound losses at the “almost” four week mark.  Today’s loss breaks that streak and, strangely enough, I feel relieved.  I honestly felt if it continued for another couple of days, I would have to break the fast just to stop that kind of ridiculous (unsustainable and probably unhealthy) losses.  They were beyond my experience and therefore I did not consider them “normal” (whatever normal is meant to be).
Today I got my first low sugar headache of this fast.  At first I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I guess the large losses were almost a precursor to the headache.  The cure was to drink more veggie juice and more fruit juice.  This wasn’t the first time in my life I’ve had this happen, but I was still concerned until the headache passed.  I then spent the rest of the day walking a fine line between over drinking and not drinking enough for energy.  My “normal” mid-day drink is 32oz of ice-water with an ounce of lemon concentrate.  The problem with this drink is that it quenches your hunger, but it doesn’t provide very many calories (almost none).  So I also added in 32oz of ginger / mint tea and apple juice.  After that, I felt much better.
Other news:  My wife is still recovering nicely from her surgery.  She was up most of the day and even managed to get out in front and back to water her gardens / plants.  And, at the pool, I managed to do seven straight laps of breast stroke – more or less without stopping.  I usually try to swim fast, but today I just tried to cruise through them and I was able to keep going with only a brief pause to turn around.  Normally, I take a minute or two to catch my breath between laps.  Smooth and easy was a lot easier and more fun.  I believe I will miss the pool when it closes for the season in October.
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On This Day In:
2017 Sea Worthy
2016 Rising Integration
2015 No Worries
2014 Devouring The Present
2013 But So Far…
Twice Moved
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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The end of day twenty-two and the start of day twenty-three…
Morning weight:  339lbs.
I am now down “34/41”.  As in, 34lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 41lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lb loss, down from 341lbs yesterday.
My son (James) moved out of the house about seven years ago.  I “inherited” his bedroom.  Over the course of time I’ve turned it into another library storage room for my book collection and I’ve (slowly, slowly) added bits and pieces of workout equipment to make it into a mini-gym.  My wife has been in constant battle with me over this as she believes the room is her personal rent-a-space.  I routinely go in and find she’s moved something into “storage”.  I then have to find some way to organize the new items so I can still walk around and use the room as I want to.  LOL.  It’s a constant battle which I slowly win as she doesn’t care what I do with the things as long as she doesn’t have to see or dust them anymore.
Today I moved a bunch of my weights and barbells around in the room.  I laid down some more rubber floor pads.  (Almost the whole floor covered now.)  And, I (re-)setup my inversion table.  Because our housing association community pool was extremely busy today, I decided to pack in the swim and do some step-ups instead.  I cleared a bit of floor space, and did my 30 minutes.  (That was more than enough to raise a sweat and to remind me how old I am.)  I started using step-ups to workout way back in the 1990’s while we were living in Liverpool.  Step-ups are one of those routine exercises that benefit you by giving you a workout without taking you anywhere.  So you have ready access to as much water as you want and to a toilet if needed.  Just my cup of tea…
After the step-ups, I hopped up on “the rack” and gave it a flip for about five minutes.  I got “into” inversion therapy (“hanging”) back in the early 1980’s.  I had a partially slipped disc in my lower back when I was in high school and I spent a good deal of time in pain, which got substantially worse (severe, chronic and constant) when I left the Army and started getting out of shape.  I heard about hanging on TV one evening and I felt desperate enough to try anything (but surgery).  I went to a store which offered them.  I tried one.  Within five minutes my back “popped” and it felt like an exploding nova in the base of my spine.  And then, nothing…  Absolutely, no pain for the first time in close to four or five years.  I got off the demo machine, handed the man my plastic and I’ve owned and used an inversion table ever since.  Sometimes frequently.  Most times only occasionally (once or twice a year).  Either way, I’ve carried my tables to Europe and back again when we returned.  And, yes, I am a avid proponent, advocate, champion (etc.) for inversion / hanging.
Epiphany:  I just re-read the last paragraph and it just hit me how I’ve spent most of my late twenties and most of my fifties and early 60’s in pain.  Chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.  Between my pinched nerve in my lower back and my kidney and gall stones, I’ve been a mess!  LOL.  It’s amazing to me how adaptable the human mind is.  When you are in pain, it is all-consuming.  When you are not in pain, you can take time to smell the roses (forget about the thorns) and look forward to meeting the challenges of day to day living.  We really are strange creatures.  (Or at least I am.)
Apologies to anyone who came expecting to read about my fast.  Sometimes my thoughts wander…  To tell the truth, other than being a bit tired, it’s been an easy (boring) day – fast wise.  And I think that’s a good thing!
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On This Day In:
2017 Adrift In The Oval Office
Regrets – The Donald Failed The Test
2016 Just Ask “The Donald”
2015 Did You Pass On It?
2014 Even When It Ain’t, It Is
2013 Still Happens
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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The end of day twenty-one and the start of day twenty-two…
Morning weight:  341lbs.
I am now down “32/39”.  As in, 32lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 39lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lb loss, down from 343lbs yesterday.  It also represents a +10% body weight loss from my highest ever weight (the week of / before I started this fast).
I am a creature of habit.  It makes feel comfortable to have an idea of what to expect each day.  Today was disruptive.  After walking my dog in the morning, I drove up to spend a few hours visiting my brother.  He is on dialysis four times a week for kidney failure and he also suffers from vertigo, so he isn’t able to get out and about much on his own.  I try to visit him at least every 4 to 6 weeks for a bit of in-the-flesh company.  This visit made the fast difficult because in order to stave off hunger I have to be able to drink regularly.  In order to drink regularly, I have to have ready access to a toilet.  My brother lives about a 45 minute drive away.  This means I can’t really drink until after I get there and I have to stop well before I’m leaving so I can make sure I’m “empty” before getting on the road to come back home.
I made it both ways without bladder issues (i.e. failure), but I wasn’t able to drink my normal amount of fluids.  This put me right on the edge of energy failure.  As I said, I got through it, but it left me physically exhausted.  Not physically tired or sleepy; just sit on the couch and melt into the cushions exhausted…  And then I had to suck it up, have a drink to get my energy back up and go for my “swim”.  I try to go for a swim each day.  I don’t actually “swim” that much.  I tread water for an hour and then I try to do 5 or 6 laps with a kick board and / or breast stroke.  Except for toe touches, that’s the sum of my daily exercise.
Reactions:  Complete surprise!  I am now three weeks into a (planned) 7-day fast and I feel terrific.  What was meant to be a jump-start into a food / eating lifestyle change has evolved into a mini-achievement all its own.  I must admit this is both a surprise and unexpected.  A surprise because I feel so good after this amount of time.  Unexpected because I’ve lost so much weight.  As stated in previous posts, I have completed four 30-day fasts in my life and many shorter (10 days, 1 week, and 3 days) fasts, but I have never been this successful in losing weight.  As near as I can recall, on each of my 30-day fasts, I averaged about a pound a day and was never more than 30lbs in three weeks.  (In fact, 30lbs was usually my end of fast result.)  I also had much more frequent plateaus where I might not lose a pound a day and then “suddenly” drop 1 or 2 pounds.  This time around, 2 pounds a day seems to be an average loss.  Now, in fairness, my maximum weight (380lbs) was FAR more than any prior starting weight (by 50 to 100lbs), so I had a LOT more weight available to lose going into this fast.  Bottom line:  I’m expecting the law of diminishing returns to kick in any day and I’ll start having more 1 pound-a-day losses and more multi-day plateaus where I don’t lose anything.  But even expecting that change, I feel terrific in myself – clean and getting healthier.
New Goals:  Because I’ve FAR exceeded my initial objective, if I break fast tomorrow, I won’t be disappointed and beat myself up.  I would like to make it to Tuesday noon (which would be 25 days).  Beyond that, Friday noon would be four weeks and the following Monday (27 August 2018) would be one full month.  But that is 10 days away and seems like a far horizon…  Practically speaking, my “weight” goal is to shoot for six more pounds.  This would put me down 38lbs from my starting-the-fast weight (373lbs) and would be a 10% loss from there.  But that is “probably” 4 to 10 days away, and it too seems like a distant horizon…  (Do you see how easy it is for ego to start to slip into these situations?)  Day by day, day by day…  🙂
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On This Day In:
2017 Courage
2016 Don’t H8! — I’m With Her!!
2015 $20 Anyone?
2014 And Yet I Still Study
2013 Use Your Own
2012 Strengthen Freedom
2011 Attrition = A Lack Of Imagination
2010 Mind The Fire, Love
Just Beyond My Reach…
Even A Life Of Quiet Desperation!
Acts Of Courage

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