Life in a small town

Fasting … another progress report …

“The Wind Of Liudao”, Jia Peng Fang, from the album “Faraway”, (2002)

flowing brook animatedSo, fasting, how are things going? I seem to be still stuck at some kind of plateau with my weight holding steady at approximately 230 pounds. As mentioned, that is a long way (on the good side of the scale) from 268 pounds but also a long way from my arbitrary weight target of 200 pounds.

I say arbitrary because while I have some doubts about ever getting back to my combat weight of 180 pounds where I was in my early 20’s, I don’t think 200 pounds is unreasonable for a  65 year old, 6 foot male of medium build in reasonable physical shape.

I am currently still using the weekends, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as eating days and eating everything I like or want to eat, although I must admit that I just don’t feel like eating anything near as much as I once ate “normally”. I am probably eating about half the calories I was eating 7 months ago and not missing anything.

Guide to FastingI had intended to switch to total fast during the busy time of the week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until suppertime on Friday but I have been consistently NOT feeling like doing that when suppertime roles around.

I could call this a failure of self discipline or I could just say “What the hey, that’s how things role right now”. I think I prefer “What the hey …”.

Anyway, Joe’s Fasting Chronicles …  (part 7?). I just recently (26th of July) had my 65 year old, 10,000 mile, warranty check up with my Doc in order to establish a health baseline going forward. I have been feeling great and as far as I could tell I was and am healthy but I wanted to get a full panel of lab tests to verify that the deep blood work substantiated how I was feeling.

I arrived at the appointment expecting to have to do a hard sell on my “new” fasting lifestyle and the health benefits because generally speaking the medical profession, by and large, in Alberta, Canada tend to feel that they better stick to the guidelines currently established by the medical associations and by the teaching universities, and in a kind of “ME TOO” way, by the Provincial Department of Health.

I was completely and pleasantly surprised to be told that not only was my Doc quite OK with my fasting regime but that he had been doing it himself for several months now and had lost 45 pounds, and was using the method to treat some of his diabetic patients for their Type II Diabetes.

Obesity CodeSo instead of a difficult sales job we spent the better part of 45 minutes exchanging observations, and titles of articles and books and recipes and just generally having a good chinwag, and then spent about ten minutes taking my vitals and lining up a full panel of lab tests. Just the best doctor’s appointment I can ever remember having and no problems at all.

So how did my tests turn out? First, blood sugars are now routinely testing and holding at 5.0 to 6.5 international. Dawn values are often in the 7’s but drop rapidly over the first two or three hours of the day.  The conversion factor is 18 for those who want to see that in American units , eg. 7×18=126, at least that is how I think it converts, and I am told that that is normal.

My lab results show Blood Insulin level as 40.8 pmo/L and the reference range is <120.0 pmo/L. That is excellent. Negative urine glucose, urine keytones +1 and the lab notes that as high but it is what I am targeting to be in moderate keytosis. Protein, nitrite, and leukocytes all negative, hemoglobin A1C was 6.3 (should be less than 7.0) and Glucose fasting 6.4 which is slightly high but consistent with what I have been getting for dawn values with my meter daily.

So everything is looking very good and trending in the right direction. I have another appointment lined up in a few days to go over the results and get my Doc’s advice but I think we will be just agreeing that this is very good and I want to get come contacts regarding grass fed beef and where to get it around here. I am “officially” officially declaring my Type II diabetes “cured” for sure now.  Resting blood pressure is around 110/60 these days and weight is 230 Lbs. (or about 100 Kg). I am in keytosis, testing using “Ketostix”, and I truly feel great.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on this topic here, and  here, and hereand here, and here, and here, and here, then let it be known that when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 years ago I was 270 Lbs., blood sugars were in the high teens, and blood pressure was in the 140 over 90 range. I felt like crap!  In January of this year I was testing blood sugars of 16.0 to 17.0 while taking 4 Metformin and a Gliclazide daily. We were talking about starting on Insulin injections.

What else have I found in addition to getting these great results in my official lab blood tests?

Well there is this website , Confronting The Confusing World Of Nutrition, another WordPress blog site where I have found just about every book ever written about my current lifestyle choices.

This has become my go-to site for all things diet and health in terms of finding resources and information.

I agree with this blogger, that I still feel that were you to choose only one, my personal favorite is The Obesity Code written by Canadian Nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung.

As the proprietor of Intensive Dietary Management in Toronto, Dr. Fung is a clinician that has real-world experience and an uncanny talent for cutting through the BS.

He “tells it like it is” in an entertaining way that makes it easy for non-scientific minded laymen to really grasp an understanding. This book is perfect for sharing and provides an excellent introduction to the LCHF/Ketogenic lifestyle.

The other book I like is : Principia Ketogenica: Low Carbohydrate And Ketogenic Diets – Compendium Of Science Literature On The Benefits by A Simmonds. This book contains 319 pages of important science and studies related to low-carb, high-fat diets, with hundreds of research papers and scholarly journal articles from over the past century, summarized and fully referenced.

Though available in hardcover, the e-book provides active links to pertinent studies and abstracts. There are no recipes, testimonials, or popular articles.

This book is current up to 2014, perhaps the greatest collection of relevant nutrition science available to date.

The Principia is available as a Kindle eBook for a couple of bucks and truly worth the price.

Cheers

Joe

So, to the “Medical Establishment” and “Professional” Nutritionists everywhere … Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

 

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Life in a small town

Fasting and Type II Diabetes …

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings

flowing brook animatedSo, fasting, how are things going? I seem to have hit some kind of plateau, where I am loosing inches and getting “flappy” but with my weight holding steady at approximately 230 pounds.

That is a long way (on the good side of the scale) from 268 pounds but also a long way from my arbitrary weight target of 200 pounds.

180 pounds

This is what 180 pounds combat weight looks like, (FN C2 LMG foreground, FN C1 assault rifle, background)

I say arbitrary because while I have a lot of doubts about ever getting back to my combat weight of 180 pounds where I was in my early 20’s, I don’t think 200 pounds is unreasonable for a  65 year old, 6 foot male of medium build in reasonable physical shape.

Obesity CodeUp until 8 days ago I was following a 1 meal a day regimen with a monthly 4 day total fast, and allowing myself a 4 hour window between 6 and 10 PM for eating and snacking.

Last Saturday, following advice offered by fellow “fasters” on the Obesity Code support group, which is a Facebook chat group for folks following Jason Fung’s “Intensive Dietary Management” recommendations, I switched things up to encourage my body to get back into weight loss mode.

Guide to FastingI am currently using the weekends, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as feast days and eating everything I like or want to eat. Then I switch to total fast during the busy time of the week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until suppertime on Friday.

It’s way easier to fast when you are busy at work than on a weekend when all you do is think about what you are going to eat when you stop fasting.

Blood sugars are now testing and holding at 5.0 to 6.5 international (the conversion factor is 18 for those who want to see that in American units , eg. 7×18=126, at least that is how I think it converts) and I think that is normal.

I am officially declaring my Type II diabetes “cured”.  Resting blood pressure is around 110/60 these days and weight is 230 Lbs. (or about 100 Kg). I am in keytosis, testing using “Ketostix”, and I feel great.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on this topic here, and here , and here, and here, and here, and here, then let it be known that when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 years ago I was 270 Lbs., blood sugars were in the high teens, and blood pressure was in the 140 over 90 range. I felt like crap! 

In January of this year I was testing blood sugars of 16.0 to 17.0 while taking 4 Metformin and a Gliclazide daily. We were talking about starting on Insulin injections. Today, Happy Father’s Day 2017, blood sugar 5.5, weight 230, BP 112 over 65, and I just threw all my Atkins stuff from back in 2002 in the dumpster.

Scrambled eggs, hash browns and ham for breakfast, Avocado with sour cream and Macadamia nuts for lunch, and Fried Pickerel and green salad with Almond flour baking powder biscuits for supper tonight. Weekends are great when you start to eat only on weekends.

Cheers

Joe

Fat GuyIn January 2017 I looked like the 2nd guy from left (May 2011), a long long way from the lean mean machine of the 70’s (at top)

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Matthew 4:2 … on fasting …

“Aki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner thoughts”, (2006)

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Jesus In The Wilderness

Matthew 4:2 states: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

In the Christian tradition, fasting and prayer are often methods of cleansing and renewing the soul. Symbolically, believers empty their souls so that they may be ready to receive God.

Fasting is about self-denial, mortification, sacrifice, atonement and also about reaching for a focused spiritual state where one can better  commune with God and hear his voice.

001-a-hongyi2By fasting, you put your mind and body under submission to the will of the Holy Spirit, humble your soul before the presence of God, and prepare yourself to hear the voice of God.

For millions of people, regular fasting is a commonplace part of life and has been a part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. In ancient times, before we discovered agriculture about 10,000 years ago, fasting was the natural way of life.

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Netsilik Inuit Camp on Ice near Gjoa Haven, King William Island, N.W.T.

For our native people here in Canada it was common up until the early 20th century as witness the near starvation catastrophe of the Netsilik Inuit  which prompted the Canadian Government to become more involved in the lives of the Netsilik.

With no way to preserve food and no agricultural products to stockpile our ancestors routinely experienced both feast and famine.

When game was scarce, seasons changed, or the pickings were slim, or the herds changed their traditional routes, the hunter-gatherers did without until the hunters could find the game.

Eating 3 or 4 or 5 or 6  times a day was an unheard of fantasy. So fasting is a time honoured traditional practice dating back thousands of years.

Christians follow various fasts on 180 to 200 days of the year. Buddhists are known to abstain from eating after noon, fasting until the next morning.

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Nepalese Temple Maha Shivaratri Fast

Hinduism embraces fasting in the belief that our sins lessen as the body suffers. It is seen as a method of cultivating control over desires and guiding the mind towards peace. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

We Catholics fast at various times and for various reasons. A few weeks ago I started what I now know as an “intermittent” fast, that is fasting from supper to supper three times a week. Also called a 24 hour fast, this fast is/was undertaken as part of adopting the recommended practices and norms of the “Flame of Love” movement.

I expected the effort to be fraught with difficulty and discomfort, which I actually thought was the intended path, that is, mortification for reparation. The result was not at all what I expected.

001-a-tumblr_ofo3pky5rz1upvbufo1_540

Clear Mind Like A Clear Spring

Were I not so firmly rooted in the modern medical paradigm I might have felt I was breaking through to a new spiritual plane of lucid clarity and freedom from physical distress.

I have been type 2 diabetic for almost 8 years now. It has been controlled by a combination of Metformin and diet.  I had accepted the modern medical view that Type 2 Diabetes was incurable, and that the best I could hope for was to control blood sugar levels using diet, drugs, and eventually insulin.

The inevitable future included declining health, assorted nasty complications and an early death. The last few months my sugars have been steadily rising, recently as high as 16.5 mmol/l where normal is around 5.0 mmol/l. Obviously the drugs were no longer working and I was discussing with medical folks the possibility  of starting to use insulin.

And then, for religious reasons as mentioned above, I started to fast.  I was a little surprised to notice that on fasting days my sugars declined back down to the 14.0 mmol/l range. Now, that’s interesting, I thought.

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Dr. Jason Fung

Well, never one to shy away from going counter-culture I considered that if I had this result doing intermittent fasting (supper only) three days a week, maybe doing it every day would have a larger affect on my blood sugar. So that is what I did.

For six days I did daily 24 hour fasts eating only supper. And my blood sugar came down a couple of more numbers to 12.0 mmol/l. And I felt better over all, more energy, less appetite, clearer head, better sleep.

This was all good! And then I stepped on the scale and discovered  I had lost eight pounds. Click!  Something good is going on here and I like where this is going.

You can figure where this is going right? Yup … if 24 hour fasting gives me this much of a good result let’s see where a continuous fast goes. So the next day I just didn’t eat supper.

001-a-obesity-code-coverHas my usual coffees all day, added coconut oil to a couple of them, tasted good. Had some beef broth with a pat of butter added to pump up the flavour.  Drank a lot of water!

My bottle is the 1 litre size and I was drinking three or four of those a day. and I decided I had better start researching what I was trying before I got myself in trouble. Almost immediately I found Dr. Jason Fung.

Wow!  I downloaded his books from Amazon onto my iPad.  Immediately spent several days speed reading through them. Yea, I’m a speed reader.

I guess I read about 7 or 8 hundred words a minute. I took a speed reading course as a teen but the course never even came close to catching up to the speed I was already reading at when I started the course. Mom was pissed she wasted money on the course.

So as of today I have been on a total fast except for beverages and broth for four days. I have stopped all my Metformin, no diabetic medications at all.

001-a-complete-guide-to-fasting-cover2-1My waking blood sugars are down to 11.0 mmol/l  dropping to 9.0 mmol/l as the day goes on, and I am testing every two or three hours.

Testing urine with keto sticks and I am in moderate ketosis. I have dropped twelve pounds. I am assuming this is mostly water since this is early innings in this experiment but so far so good.

I experienced mild discomfort on day two of the total fast, feeling — I guess “hollow” best describes the feeling and kind of agitated and restless, and I visited the fridge about twenty times that day but always managed to turn away and stick to it.

Now I am almost done day four and feeling great, no hunger, no discomfort, feeling sharp with lots of energy!  I love this.

I will keep y’all posted as things progress. I wonder how long I can go. To get back to my fit combat weight from my twenties I have to lose another 60 pounds. How long can I go?

Cheers

Joe

001-a-jigging-for-lake-trout D’ya want a snack?

 

 

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