Still not fasting

Yeah. Once out, especially if you slip, it can be tough to get back into it.

Eating was pretty good today until about 6:30p. Then, granola bars.

grrr.

FAST Day 5: (metric) Onederland

Felt a migraine coming on before bed; tried to avoid drugs, slept with an ice pack. Fitful sleep again. Still very light sensitive when I woke up, so broke down and took some Excedrin migraine. On a fast, so didn’t take with food. Feeling it a bit in the stomach. My wife just asked if it could be a salt deficiency; she had a headache as well, but a bit of sea salt reduced it somewhat. I’m sucking on a pinch at a time now.  I notice that when I’m deficient, salt doesn’t taste too bad, but once I’m at satiation it doesn’t taste good at all. So, a pinch at a time until I can’t stand it.

I can feel the inflammation continue to recede. As expected, the pace of loss dropped after the first couple of days, but I weighed this morning at 440.2, which is juuust under 200 kilograms, which puts me in metric Onederland. Headache aside, I feel pretty good; if this continues, I should still be fasting when I meet with the doctor on Wednesday, and beyond. I’ve made it to 7 days once, but I’d like to reach a 14 day fast before the year ends, and I could see this one going that long.  Jimmy Moore, coauthor of the Complete Guide to Fasting, is two days ahead of me and is aiming for 21 days, and providing daily Periscope updates. It’s helped keep me motivated.

Through fasting, I’m gaining a growing understanding of my insulin resistance/carb addiction. One fast isn’t going to clear it up, but each fast seems to make some improvement. It will work best in conjunction with a LCHF/ketogenic diet.  I anticipate more slips, but the better my health, the worse the slips will feel; as Dr. Fung says, it’s an issue that’s generally self-correcting. The more your life embraces the healthy feelings, the less desirable the short-term thrill of the carby foods will be.

My blood sugars were 130 earlier today, but were in the 90s in my evening reading.

FAST: Day 3

Well into day 3, about 65 hours in.

Weight today: 444.6, close to the lowest weight of my previous fast. Feeling good about that, but expecting the losses to slow soon; they usually do. I have gotten around 20 pounds on 5-7 day fasts, so if that happens again I’l probably average 2-3 pounds a day.

Sleep: could have been better.  Vivid and odd dreams again.

Blood sugar: Strangely, up. 108 at 11am, 117 at 5pm. I haven’t been as active today, working from home, and I took my morning drugs with olive oil and had a 10 calorie sparkling water. But could just be fluctuations. I don’t think I’m quite in ketosis yet.

Food cravings: nothing, really. Some “could be good” but no “must have.” Still planning, barring the need to stop, to keep going through at least my doctor appointment Wednesday. i haven’t felt the need for bone broth yet. Not planning to use kombucha until i break the fast.

FAST: Closing on 40 hours

I’m well into day 2. I’m using midnight Tuesday as the start time. I had a few Costco parmesan crisps just before, which was very low carb but too much protein to let slide as a fat fast. but for a satisfying crunchy guilt-free thing, a couple of crisps are great for eating days.

I had a pretty easy day yesterday, all told. Stuck with water-only and a few small pinches of HPS (Himalayan pink salt) for electrolytes. I’m taking all the prescription drugs and supplements I usually do. I’m older, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to get off all of them. I’ll likely need to stay on Eliquis because of a clotting gene I learned about last year. But the fewer drugs I need to stay on, the happier I’ll be.

One thing I haven’t grown out of yet is sleep disruption. I felt wide awake at 3am, and though I’m sure I slept, my dreams were vivid and bizarre. This has happened often while fasting. I can sort of understand: switching fuel sources has to have some impact on the brain.

(yuck alert) Today included a bit of barely-averted Disaster Pants. It can be fascinating to check the bowl on days when fasting diarrhea. Some of what comes out is unexpected, like years ago when I’d take the occasional round of Colonblow (actual product) to boost regularity.

Around 4pm I reached the cold hands stage, which often happens to me the first few days of the fast. I’m glad I’m not cold throughout like I was the first time.  Seems to accompany a drop in blood sugars, which makes sense: I burn hot when I’m full of carbs. when burning fat I’m on more of a slow burn.  (Do I repeat myself? I think I repeat myself.)

Anyway. Feeling pretty good. Brain fog hasn’t fully lifted, but not feeling overly cranky considering I’m not yet in ketosis. I’m glad I don’t get the Keto Flu that often.

Day 1 so far

just a quick update. not quite to 24 hours, but have made it safely so far through work. no snacks, no slips.  My blood sugar at 7:15 was 89, which  I have to be happy about. Anything under 100 makes me happy.

Day’s not over yet, but on to tomorrow.

Benefits of fasting: observations

I started my journey, roughly, on July 14. It’s been about three months. What have I seen in myself?

  • atrial fibrillation: back in January, even the most basic activities – showering,  getting dressed, walking more than a few feet – left me heaving for oxygen. I struggled to sleep because of my heart. I was told I was in congestive heart failure – later “downgraded” to a-fib. Since then I’ve been on a cocktail of medications, and a failed effort to restart my heart in a proper rhythm. Since starting my first fast, my breathing has been much more regular with normal activities, and my a-fib testing has been coming up negative more often than not.
  • blood pressure: also part of the January scare, my blood pressure has been elevated most of the year, but dropped a lot once fasting began. I’m still on the medications, but I got off them once before and feel confident I can do so again.
  • Body composition: autophagy is supposedly one of fasting’s secret weapons for weight loss. When the body consumes cells and other stuff no longer needed, excess skin is said to be on the plate. Anecdotally, I don’t know that all loose skin is on the menu, but I can say that my losses this time out have come with more significant positive body changes than when i did a “medical fast” involving 600 calories of shakes a day, and when I exercised off the pounds but kept eating a lot, especially protein. I feel more hopeful this time out that loose skin won’t be a mandated-surgery part of my future. I’ve seen folks like “butter Bob” Briggs who do have loose skin after significant losses, but he has little enough that I’d be happy with it.  Bags of fatty skin down to my knees? Surgery wouuld be on the table.
  • inflammation: my first medical scare was about a year ago, when I ended up in the emergency room with a bad case of cellulitis and edema in my left leg. It took months of antibiotics to clear up the infection to the point that when it gets hot and pink now it’s something new. My left knee has been giving me fits ever since, to greater or lesser degrees. When I started fasting, I noticed greatly reduced pain in my knee and ankles, and other trouble spots in my back and hips, shoulders and elbows. You may not notice the pain until it’s gone – you just get used to it, and only notice changes in intensity.  The inflammation can come back as quickly as it goes when eating the wrong things, but it’s amazing when it’s gone.  The reduced inflammation throughout the body  makes deep tissue massages a lot less traumatic, and I need a lot less tylenol.
  • mental: a few days into a fast, my brain feels much more awake. I’ve been feeling an increasing amount of brain fog in recent years, so when it flees in less than a week, the difference is stark. In the “oh yeah, I used to be this smart” sort of way.  In some of my daily puzzle games, I notice the improvement in my SuDoku game.
  • Monkey love: I’m old enough to just say sex, but heck with it; I married late and I own my arrested development. Bottom line: the reduced inflammation and pain, increased stamina and focus, and increased accessibility and flexibility are all conducive to more enjoyable happy fun time with the missus.

Another new one – aiming for at least a week

The fast on the 16th didn’t last long; I ended it after 24 hours. Final weight dipped under 450, but I made some carby choices and quickly bumped back to 455.

I had some parmesan crisps right at midnight, so I’m about 14 hours in to a new one. Still feeling full from yesterday. I see my doctor next Wednesday, so as long as I don’t get the must-stop signals from my body (nausea, faintness) I can get in a full week plus a few hours when I see her. I’ll do bloodwork next week, perhaps after the appointment with her, but I’d like to see this fast go two weeks. I want to get the paperwork ready for the IDM program in case she’s willing to work with me.

My wife confirmed that the blood in the toilet the other day was indeed another Surprise Boil – I didn’t know it was there until it was gone. It’s disconcerting in a way, but in another it’s kinda cool. The body says tells something nasty to GTFO, and makes its own exit. It hasn’t hurt either time, and in fact it’s been nice and Toilet Trained tidy. it’s just a bit scary to see blood and pus show up when you’re not expecting it.

My fasting has been sporadic and my feasting has included a lot of sugars and carbs – not daily, but often – but, the benefits have been there. My body continues to change shape.  The man boobs are flattening out. the rolls in the back are diminishing. The upper legs aren’t as crepey.  I’m calling it the benefits of autophagy and infusions of growth hormone. My gray hair hasn’t darkened yet, but I’m curious if it might. I’ve seen others who have lost a ton of weight look years younger, and the fasting approach is supposed to maximize that.

So…back to a new push. Knowing I’ve fasted as long as the time remaining between now and the doctor appointment makes it easier to consider going for it.

I ordered Dr. Fung’s new book, which arrived yesterday. I’ll review it shortly.

New fast

Started a new fast last night after dinner. My eating has been sporadic lately. I was on a break this last week and had the occasional treat, but by Friday I was feeling the impact of carbs and caffeine.  I ate better Saturday, intending to not hobble myself before the next fast. Started at 455 pounds. Weight has fluctuated some but has settled in the mid 450s this week.

I had a migraine this morning, but the drugs and ice pack helped sort me out by early afternoon. I was about 18 hours into the fast by then. I’ve been shedding a lot of water today. i also had a #2 with a lot of blood in it. Hoping it was just another boil, or a hemorrhoid.

Haven’t really been tempted by food today. Back to work tomorrow.