19-0127 : resolution (472)

It’s been a month since we returned from Christmas in Utah. I have been, charitably, off the wagon.

Before and after Christmas, the admin area has been well stocked with sweets. This last week, they added a monster jar of Jelly Bellies. My appetite for sugar grew.

By Friday of this week my weight had climbed to 478.

I didn’t eat great on Friday, but I did resist the vending machines and the snack areas, and had just two meals: lunch and a late dinner at bibigo that was all meat and veggies.

Saturday I fasted.

Today we’re having dinner with my sister so I’ll eat, but that will be my breakung meal, giving me a 42+ hour fast.

The carb crash hit me hard yesterday and most of today. But I’m feeling better now. I weighed late today, but am around 472.

Over 470 is miserable. Things get harder. Even simple things. Walking is harder. More joint pain. Swelling everywhere. Poor sleep.

Glad for the fast. It doesn’t take long to feel better. I want to fast more this week, and find a rhythm that helps me to do so consistently. I crave momentum.

Fast Five complete. Feast on.

I’m in the home stretch.  I’m close to the 120 hour mark, but I’m well past the point I expected to break the 5-day fast. I had some macadamia nuts to help prime the gut. I have eggs and butter ready to go. Yes, the vending machine is calling out to me, and I’ve had thoughts of ordering from some local takeout, but the Good Food is closer.

The scale read 447 this morning – more than 30 pounds down from two weeks ago. My blood sugars have been consistently below 100 all day, and reached the 70s this afternoon. My fingers started getting chilly around 6 pm; I have been low on salt today. This is the first time all week I’ve had cold hands issues.

So, I’ve had a good couple of weeks. 11 days fasting in 12 days, including the 24 hour fast from Saturday to Sunday. This schedule may well be sustainable, and could help me resist the weekday junk food temptations.

So, on to the feast. Clock’s ticking.

Monday afternoon

So far so good. Just water and salt. Feeling pretty good, though walking is fatiguing.  But 450+ pounds, walking is going to wear you out under the best of circumstances.  I’m walking easier than this time last week; i did a bunch of stretching over the weekend so my left knee is less stiff so I’m not favoring it.

One day down. 97 hours to go.

Day 6 – ended?

I’ve been feeling pretty energized all day. I maintained a full fast until around 6p, when I had some macadamia nuts. I followed that with gyro meat, kombucha, and kimchi. I feel pretty full at the moment.

Blood sugars were in the 70s and 80s most of the day. After the food they jumped to 110. I’d read somewhere that 110 and 126 are numbers that can cause doctors to start labeling you diabetic, but that’s fasting blood glucose. I’d gotten to a good spot with the fasting levels.

I probably won’t eat again until tomorrow. If I do, it’ll be pure fat like coconut oil. I had a tablespoon earlier.

New Snow

I often joke about cleaning my own or someone else’s PC – starting with a fresh install of Windows or other OS – as “walking in new snow.” Before the system starts to bog down from daily use, a fresh Windows install is often the device at its best, with a spring in its step and full of optimistic potential.

So, last week I broke out an ancient netbook and spent 4 days running Windows update, and updating the apps on it. with only 1Gb of RAM and a standard low-end, slow spinning laptop hard drive (5400 rpm), the nearly ten year-old device that was underpowered even when it was released may not be the best use of time.  But it’s got some nice features, and I determined that it wouldn’t take a lot of money to minimize its worst bottlenecks by maxing out the RAM ($13) and installing a spare SSD (free). The screen is still only as  dense as a $50 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, but I’m stuck with that.   There’s another port that I don’t know if it works or not, but if it does could house a faster wireless adapter, or maybe an mSATA drive.  The Ethernet port is fine, and why I wanted to revive it. Most modern tablets and convertibles don’t include an ethernet port.

Aside from an unusual number of tiny screws and a failed first attempt to get the new RAM to click into place, the hardware upgrade was a cakewalk. Installing Windows 8.1 went off without a hitch even though I did it with the original 1Gb – not fast, but noticeably faster than with the spinning drive.

After installing the base OS I needed to run Windows Update. I started with the March 2017 update rollup, which did one very important thing: it removed the 2+ day “searching for available updates” step.  After it was done I still had 200+ updates to install, but the search part took only minutes, and the first round took only a couple of hours.  It didn’t take much longer to install the remainder.

There are still some obvious slowdowns. Windows Defender? A pig on wheels. Whenever the system slowed to a crawl, memory and disk access weren’t the problem; the lion’s share of the CPU was taken by Defender. I’ll install a real antivirus app later.

It’s not a speed demon, but the difference from last week’s slow drive, low memory to its current configuration is noticeable, and it’s now a lot more usable. For the $15 memory upgrade and a bit of time, I’m pleased.

More birthday musings

The ancient netbook is on Day 3 of a Windows Update. After two full days, it finally showed what it found: 290 patches.

That must have been the slow part; it’s currently, after a mere 6 hours, 100 patches down, with 200 or so to go. It could be another full day before this round is done – and I anticipate several more runs before the system tells me it’s all caught up. Those should be much, much quicker.

There’s probably another analog to health here. The longer you let things slide, the longer and more effort it will take to determine what issues are present, let alone resolve them.

Part of me wonders if this is wasted time, because my plan is to swap in an SSD and I may be resinstalling from scratch. If the thing had a larger screen I’d skip straight to the latest Windows 10.

Starting again

Weighed 461 this morning. Ate poorly yesterday, from gas station snacks in the morning to with Jack in the Box and Randy’s Donuts around 11pm.

I had a 12p-1pm meal of thick cut pepper bacon and eggs with butter and avocado mayo, with a splash of olive oil. Heavy, heavy on the fat. I want this to carry me through to the end of the day. As of 8pm, it’s worked pretty well. I’m not at all hungry.

I prefer starting around 4pm so this is a bit early for me, but I’d like to get to bed earlier tonight – I was up too late last night, and that led to waking up later. With the earlier dawn, I’m waking up earlier whatever time I go to bed.

Making that decision to act, and following through until bedtime, is the hard part for me; if i can make it to the next morning with most of the first day under my belt I’m usually okay.

I have a 2 hour massage on Saturday; that would give me close to three days, with a good head start on reducing inflammation. I’d love to be at least 10 pounds down (water and gunk) when that happens. The massage tends to hurt less, and the muscles get better attention.

free food ain’t free

There were treats after a work meeting today: gourmet cupcakes. I had two, which is two more than I should have had.

Aside from that and a bar of 88% cacao chocolate, though, my food choices today weren’t bad. I ended the day with two eggs, two pats of butter, and a small baggie of bacon I brought from home. I resisted the vending machines, and steered clear of sodas. So, a slip but not a plummet, with a quick recovery and a strong finish.

For my first day back, I got my second wind. it’s been a long day, but I got a lot done. I should be able to finish my week’s tasks, despite the three sick days.

This week’s fast, Day 4

Weighed 449 this morning. Can’t complain about that. Hoping to reach the 230s on this fast, depending how long it goes. 16 pounds down from Monday. Blood sugar at 12:30p was 92.

Slept decently, until around 6am. Been seeing things within the first few seconds of waking, in the dark, that quickly go away. Could be odd shadows, but still freaky.

Met with counselor. She was pleased to see progress, but still trying to wrap her head around the whole fasting thing. We’ve been working together over 10 years; she’s seen me attempt many diets, from protein-shake medical “fasts” to pure exercise to the Biggest Loser and Beach Body approach. She’s seen me get discouraged many times, or anxious about the other shoe dropping. I truly believe this time, I have the answer and the tools to move the needle more permanently.

I have the car today; that’s always a trigger for me. I have freedom to go anywhere on the way to/from work; when I’m craving any food or drink I have the means to get it. Yes, there’s the downstairs cafeteria and the vending machines, Postmates and UberEats will deliver from dozens of restaurants, and today’s a Pizza Webinar day. But the car provides a lot more options for instant gratification. On the way to work I got a call from my cardiologist’s office, reminding me of an appointment on Monday. It came at a good time. I’m currently on day 4; Monday morning would put me halfway through day 7, if i continue the fast.  I was on the fence, but this pushed me back into the Fasting Today box. My parents are coming to town at the end of next week, and they want to have lunch or dinner with us, so this fast will need to end by next Friday night or Saturday morning. But if I get that far that’s 11+ days. I’ve been wanting to fast beyond 7 days for a while now, and this may be a good opportunity. The weekdays are safer when I’m fasting; when I’m with the wife I have at least some check on my choices.

I intend to take it day by day – if at any point I feel that I need to stop, I will. I’m not committed to a certain stretch. I aspire to longer fasts, but health comes first. The guy on the Fasting Talk podcast last week (#7) who is healthwise a brother from another mother, has lost 100 pounds in 4 months through five-to-seven day fasts. If a longer one will benefit me, I’m sure my body will let me know. Going with the day to day check, or adjusting during the day if the need announces itself, will eventually lead to a >7 day fast. Will it happen this time? It could. Wanting to stretch it until my cardiologist appointment will give me nearly seven days.

Day 3 – fat fast

Weighed 456 this morning. Down 8 from yesterday, and 14 from Tuesday. About half of what I gained since the last fast ended.

I picked up some more lancets, alcohol wipes and test strips (was down to my last 3), along with a prescription. I was sorely tempted to buy something, but stuck with a Smart Water.

I’ve had some unhappy DP (disaster pants) this afternoon. Guess the body is expelling some of the last week’s excess.  I had it yesterday too; it feels like an ongoing purge.

BG reading at 1p was 108. Around 3p I ate some macadamia nuts and avocado mayonnaise. at 3:15 my BG was 97. I started with one small piece of a nut, which I sucked on for a bit, then slowly chewed. Fifteen minutes later, the rest of the bag was gone, as the pace of eating each nut accelerated.  I added a couple tablespoons of mayo to bump up the fat percentage even further. My BG went back up an hour later, but only by about 20 points.

I found myself grabbing some candy from an Admin station, but after staring at it for a bit, I put it away and reached for the water and salt. I call that a victory. I think the spreadsheet with the “didn’t have candy” line helped.

Although I’ve had food, it’s all high fat, no protein, trace carbs. I made 65 hours before the nuts, but even after my total carbs has been under 20 and my carb percentage is under 5%. The rest is fat. While today hasn’t been a full water fast, I’d say I weathered the crisis and continuing the streak.

Normally day 3 is fairly easy, but today was a challenge. Many temptations in places that often get me to indulge – shopping, break room food, candy jars. Stress from unhappy tummy and bum from diarrhea.  I want to be better about portion control on the nuts, but that’s a fine tune rather than a problem.