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.

Fat fasting

Still quite a bit of swelling in the legs, but down a couple more pounds.

I had an early conference call with IDM, but I didn’t get home from work until 11:30pm. Yeah, not a lot of sleep. I didn’t go back to bed, hoping that this will help me turn in early tonight. Good advice and insight from Nadia, reinforcing the habits I’m trying to instill.

I’d like to get to five days on, two days off. The question is flexibility, and the right ratio of macros.  The weekends are best for planning to eat; one restaurant meal like the sausage party at Rasselbock (without the ginger beer or pretzels), and the rest of the eating at home.  Two meals a day on Saturday and Sunday are easier to do when I’m with my honey. During the work week, fasting is the safest and least complicated, and would save me a crap ton of money, but I’ve found this week that fat fasting helped me to transition to a water fast. Eggs, bacon, butter, coconut oil – could be tedious after a while, but if it works to anchor me for the next lap of fasting, it could work. Rather than all or nothing, If I can leverage fat fasting and water fasting to get through the work week, , and resist the simple carbs on weekends, it could be a winning formula. As my body gets more used to fasting, the need for fat fasts should diminish.

My meal today was around 1300 calories. 4 eggs,  2tbsp of avocado mayo, 2tbps of Kerrygold, and a 220 calorie bar of 99% cacao. I’m aiming to stop any eating around 4p, but I’m already sated.

The fasting the previous few days has helped with blood sugar levels, and the food I’ve eaten hasn’t moved the needle upward. BS has been around 90 all day.

It’s probably good I don’t have any nuts on hand; I could polish off a bag of them in a hurry. a spoonful of butter or coconut oil? not so much. But it reminds me of the last time I did eat a bag of nuts on day 5 of a fast, and it tided me over for two full days.

each step feeling easier

I’ve used the InstaKetones again today, but otherwise sticking to water and salt. Been around 48 hours of near-water fasting (< 100 calories/day) and 4 days total “fasting” (<1000 calories/day).

I’m not sure where the calories show up on the instaketones – 48 per serving, even though no fat, carbs, or protein are listed. Probably the monkfruit extract. I want to not have to rely on these. Autophagy is a priority for me.

My blood sugars this evening pulled down into the 60s, my best in a while., but could have been an anomaly. My last, around 11p, was around 90. They started in the low 100s like the previous few days. I haven’t been feeling cold in the extremities, which is good. Walking feels easier; my knees are bending and my legs are lifting without having to think much about it. I’m not breathing as hard; I can make it to the bathroom frmo my cubicle while breathing through my nose. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big deal. Last week I was puffing and sweating from the same walk.

My weight was down some more, to 460.4.  I’m in that fun space where I’m not feeling seriously tempted by food, not feeling weak, just kinda cruising. Brain feels decent, legs aren’t weak. This feels like the sweet spot.  I’d like to keep this going tomorrow.

On to day 4

Were I only counting pure water fasts, I’m not fasting today.  By a more liberal definition of fasting (less than 500 calories in a day,  80% or more of it fat), I’ve finished three days as of 8 pm today. Going by how my body feels and is responding, I am willing to call this the start of day 4.

My blood sugars moved below 100 this afternoon, and I recorded an 88 later in the evening.  My wife noted my breathing is “more dry;” I am still getting short of breath easily, but I can take deeper breaths, and if I cough it’s not a wet cough.  Lowered inflammation in the chest, I’d guess. My legs are less swollen. My knee isn’t as achy. I slept decently last night, and felt wide awake at 6 am. (I went back to sleep, and was groggy when I finally woke up around 9 am.)

My weight was down another four pounds, 15 pounds from Saturday.

My brain feels sharper.

I felt some solid temptations today when I went to the break room, but I also heard the counter voices. I did resort to InstaKetones a couple of times. I regret nothing.

I changed my goal from 410 pounds to 440 pounds, which is a hair below my lowest recent weight. I haven’t bounced below it yet, so that’s the goal. After that I’ll likely stick to smaller near term goals so it’s close enough to reach with a decent fast, if I don’t backslide. The folks who have had the most success this year, the folks featured on the podcasts, are those who are consistent – cycling between five days fasting (weekdays) and two days of keto eating (weekends).

I’m feeling good about the last three days because I wasn’t perfect, but I was doing pretty well. Each day I’ve aimed to improve on the day before.

A note on the ketones. It came up on the Facebook group, and Megan was pretty blunt about sticking to coconut and MCT oil for “ketones”, which is cheaper than the over-priced, over-processed crud I bought. I don’t disagree, and the coconut oil is a lot cheaper, so when I finish these bags I likely won’t get more. I do think it made the last three days easier, but I don’t want to use it as a crutch. The closer I am to pure water fasts, the more autophagy I can rely on to deal with loose skin.

New week, new fast

I managed a 17 hour fast from Saturday to Sunday, and aside from a bunch of nuts and parmesan crisps around 2pm yesterday, have maintained a partial fast. I’ve had fewer than 200 calories today – a ketone protein bar, a serving of instaketones, and three small squares of 99% cacao. It did have an impact–my blood sugars were 108 around 11am and 107 at noon, but  1pm it had jumped to 120. at 2pm, back down, to 104. I’m going to do more frequent testing today.

Late last week my sugar cravings were again out of control, and I nudged the scale close to 480 by Saturday. We ate well overall on Saturday, but did have some ginger beer with our dinner. Sunday all I had was some nuts and parmesan crisps, and a bottle of kombucha. The combined fasting hours did help; I dumped a lot of waste yesterday. I was 468 this morning.

I’ve been having waking hallucinations a few nights a week the last few weeks. I wake up and see some pretty vivid, disturbing images for a few seconds. Could be a trick of the small amount of light in the room, but when the images move (spider crawling) I suspect it’s something more, It’s a recent phenomenon, so I brought it up with my psychiatrist this morning. She suggested bringing the Wellbutrin dose down to a consistent 300mg for 3-4 weeks. I’m curious to see if that helps.  My psychiatrist said there’s a lot of dopamine massaging going on with the Wellbutrin.

The swelling in my legs was bad last week; the weekend fasting helped to purge a lot of that water. But I’m still bloated. I haven’t seen the 440s since February, so I want to buckle down with a decent longer fast.

Progress not Perfection, Day 3/Day 1

A lot of things can derail you. Your eating – or non-eating – can be on target, but if you’re stressed out, or you’re not sleeping, you’re not going to see good results.

Last night I made the mistake of not going straight to bed after taking my evening meds. My wife came in and turned on her computer, and it had problems. McAfee was slowing her system down, badly.

Long story short, it wasn’t until after 4am or so that I crawled into bed with the computer (mostly) fixed and (fully) usable. I was up around 9a to drop Honey off at school. I was exhausted.

I tend to make high-calorie decisions when I’m tired.

I swung through Arbys on my way to work. Got a gyro and a fish sandwich, a small order of jalapeno bites, and a large Mountain Dew.  Yeah, not the best.

I ended up making it 61 hours of fast-friendly living before the drive through.

I’d like to start the clock again today. Maybe around 4p.

Progress not Perfection, day 2

Yesterday went pretty well, all told. If you stretch the term (a lot), I did a fat fast. If you don’t, I had a good solid high fat, moderate protein, low-carb day. I drank a lot of water, had some exogenous ketones both liquid and bar, had 100% and 99% and 88% cacao chocolate, and finished the day with bone broth. And went to bed before midnight for a change.  It was absolutely progress over the previous week’s habits.  Not close to a water fast, but closer to “fasting” than “feasting.”

The scale approved; I was down to roughly 469, so about 5 pounds, which I can get on a good day of fasting. I was able to resist the snackier items available to me.

Today is going similarly; I’ve had two eggs and an instaketone bar. My blood sugars are higher (103-115) than yesterday, which did dip to 99 at its lowest. Will continue to monitor.

I’d like to have some strict water fast days this week, but I’m willing to transition to it with fat fasts, fast-ish days, etc. feast days are intended to be ketogenic, so practicing that seems good. So far (3pm) I’ve had 4 boiled eggs, a bit of 99% cacao chocolate, and a Monster zero ultra white can.

On FB several people mentioned attempting 5:2 weeks – five days fasting, dinner Sunday to dinner Friday, and feasting on Saturday and Sunday. There’s a guy who was on the Fasting Talk podcast who had lost over 100 pounds in four months with that fasting schedule; he began around the same weight as me, so he’s enjoyed the benefits of consistent good work. I want to get there myself.

Progress, not perfection

That’s a common phrase at IDM: progress, not perfection. They are dealing with some pretty sick people; I’m actually one of the healthier ones – not diabetic, no kidney failure – though I’m high risk and on more meds than I’d like. The IDM caregivers are aiming for long term treatment, so every improvement is cause for celebration.

I marked the start of a new fast last night around 10, after eating a plate of eggs. I ate too many carbs over the weekend, and my weight edged up to 474 this morning. So today’s going to feature a lot of water and Celtic salt.

It also included a serving of Instaketones and an instaketones protein bar.  I don’t yet know how this product will impact me, or whether I can take it on a fast. I’d intended today to be a strict water fast.  That can’t happen now, but I can still make today a fast day. I could add bone broth tonight and still be fine.  If today isn’t perfect, it’s absolutely progress over the weekend, and most of last week.

When you fast, fast. When you feast, feast. Some people consume too many calories when fasting, and restrict calories too much when not fasting, so there’s insufficient gap for the body to know you’re varying your eating. Because you really aren’t.

So, my goal for this week: fast. I’m taking it a day at a time, but with or without crutches, I would like to fast through to the weekend. I haven’t had a long fast in a while, and my body is requesting it. I’m feeling bloated and sluggish, and more achy. I like not feeling that way.

So, no detailed goals. Just…fast. As much as I can. As close to a strict water fast as I can. But with enough leeway to keep momentum going if I need a bit of fat, bone broth, or ketones.

Ups and Downs

My birthday has passed without much fanfare. Several dozen birthday wishes on social media, a few phone calls. I tend not to celebrate the day until the weekend.  I had a two hour massage, which was great, and a steak dinner at Black Angus, which was meh.

The refurbished notebook is working better, but it’ll never set speed records. I confirmed it can run Linux.  The screen resolution makes it less than ideal, but it’s usable.

My weight has still been fluctuating, mostly upward. I had my monthly session with IDM. I’m struggling enough that my next session is in two weeks.  I was encouraged to start another fat fast, which can help reduce sugar cravings, induce ketosis/fat adaptation, and make water fasting easier. Continue reading “Ups and Downs”

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.