Friday, July 29, 2016
Faster, God, faster...
I had a couple days off the wagon after my Wild Man Weekend with my grandsons, but I've continued to adhere to the Sweet Sixteen with minor exceptions.
Number One, I don't like the exceptions I've been making. Yesterday, I was in town all day, didn't get to eat, and for convenience sake, at the end of the day, I ate McDonald's. That misstep told me in a big way: YOU ARE REALLY GOING OFF TRACK DONNA GAIL. I think the Wild Man Weekend with its tator tots and cheese and other crimes really threw me out of my healthy living routine. I feel like I need some separation from food to hit the reset button and get myself back on track.
Number Two, in this past few months, I've been having trouble with my knees and hips hurting me. My weight, combined with my deteriorating joints, has kept me from being very active. That lack of activity since my cancer surgery has only exacerbated the joint problem.
I desperately need to incorporate Guideline No. 16: EXERCISE.
But my conundrum is that I can't really exercise safely until I take some of this weight off. It's too damaging to my problematic hips and knees because I'm so heavy.
Always before, I would jump back into exercising after a period of not exercising, no matter how heavy I was. My knees and hips were in great shape most of my life, even though I was heavy. Age has caught up with me, however. Too many years of carrying this weight. Also, this past year after my cancer surgery, I have been so sedentary, protecting my ripped incision, and being so sick, and that has contributed to the deterioration of the muscles that would normally support my knee and hip joints.
Exercising, though, would not only help me lose weight, it would do all the biochemical things that need to happen to make me well.
Exercise is number 16 on my list. I put it last because I knew I'd have to lose a bit of weight with eating changes alone until I lost enough to be able to exercise--especially with HIRT (that'll be a future post). I've still not incorporated it. I don't want to hurt my knees and hips anymore than they are already damaged. Swimming would be an exercise option that wouldn't damage my joints, but because I'm trying to replenish my gut biome with healthy bacteria, chlorinated water is not the best place for me right now. Just in case chlorinated water really does impact gut bacteria like some sources suggest.
But I've got to incorporate some form of exercise. I keep going round and round with this in my head.
I remember in an issue of Harvard Magazine a few years back they wrote an article about some study on longevity and health that explored all the interventions that had been tried...it ended up concluding that the number one thing you could do to improve your health and extend your life was: EXERCISE.
Exercise is the fountain of youth.
So how do I get from here to there?
There is one thing I can do to take some weight off my joints quickly and also heal my problem joints at the same time. I've been pondering it for weeks. Trying to build up to it.
I'm thinking I'm going to try to do a 30 day fast, take off 50 pounds (like I've done two other times in my life), then start a gentle walking routine. I want the weight loss to go faster, to take the pressure off my joints, so I can incorporate the exercise.
Fasting won't just accelerate my weight loss. Fasting accelerates everything: healing and joint repair, and it also reverses candida, high blood pressure, diabetes, bad cholesterol, etc. and brings breakthrough in every area of your life. Fasting also causes your body to produce miraculous age-reversing human growth hormone (HGH). Google that word. Also, read some of Dr. Jason Fung's stuff on fasting. Fascinating. He says occasional fasting, combined with increased fiber and use of vinegar can revolutionize the battle against obesity and degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease, even cancer, among others.
For my purposes in this discussion, fasting is defined as ingesting no food, only water. No juices. This is not juice-fasting I do. It is water-fasting. I only allow myself a little lemon occasionally in my water, or green tea or white tea, with no sweeteners (not artificial or otherwise).
Because I am a coffee-fiend, I break the normal rules of fasting and allow myself this cheat: one cup of coffee each morning with a dash of whipping cream. I don't advise this, it's just what I do because I cannot live without at least one cup of coffee in the morning and I must have cream in it. Since true whipping cream is a 100% fat food (it might have one net carb at the most), it will not disrupt the ketosis state I will be developing and maintaining. It's always seemed funny to me that fat is the one thing that does not disrupt ketosis. Google ketosis if you don't know what it is. That is assignment number one if you want to start learning about fasting for health and weight loss.
You can stay in ketosis as long as you stay below 15-20 carbs a day, but you will not be fasting. You will be doing a low-calorie starvation diet. Fasting means no carbs, no calories. Fasting means NO food or drink. Water or unsweetened tea only.
My coffee exception is not a good one, but it's the only one I allow and it really doesn't change the nature of water fasting--much. But if you can do without it, do without it. If you are like me and cannot live without coffee, do not do more than one cup of coffee a day and do not drink whipping cream because you think it's 0 carbs. Some people actually do a fat-fast for accelerated fat loss, where they ingest nothing but fats for several days. You can google fat fast and read more about it. That's a different type of fast with a different purpose. My water fast is designed to detox my body, take off weight, and promote healing for major illness.
In the past, when I've gone over 30 days, I have completely reversed my diabetes and high blood pressure and lost over 55 pounds and transformed my life with major breakthroughs. Fasting is miraculous.
During this fast, I'm going to continue the unmodified potato starch I've just started and see how it makes me feel. It does not disrupt ketosis, it goes through my body undigested, but it will continue to feed my gut bacteria, and they should continue to produce butyrate, which should help keep my hunger at bay during the first few days of the fast until the hunger goes away from the ketosis.
I don't know how far I'll make it into the fast. I'm aiming for 30+ days.
I've tried to fast countless times since my cancer surgery, but I never made it past 7 days usually. One time I made it 14 days. I haven't tried since then. That time I made it 14 days, I think it helped that I ate really healthy for several weeks--with lots of veggies--before I did that particular fast. I think that's why I made it longer than I'd been able to make it before.
I'm encouraged about this fast because I've had a long period of exceptionally healthy eating and health practices and really detoxed my body and given it nutritional support. I feel ready for this fast.
I know you'll all have lots of questions about fasting. The best site I can refer you to is www.fitnessthroughfasting.com.
That site is maintained by a guy named Robert Dave Johnston. I hired Rob to be my fasting guide on my first long (33 day) fast in 2010. He was invaluable to me and I lost 55 pounds. I was very sick when I started that first long fast. In the course of the 33 days I fasted, I cured my recurring UTIs after I'd gotten antibiotic resistant. I got over pneumonia. I closed up an infected hole in my gums where I'd lost a tooth. I completely reversed my diabetes and high blood pressure and got off all meds. That's not even counting the host of spiritual and personal benefits. Fasting brings breakthrough in your life, not only in weight areas, but in every area.\
That's why every major religious tradition in history has prescribed fasting. You pray and you fast and things turn around--miraculously. The longer you fast, the more powerful the impact on your life.
In 2012, I did a 35 day fast, but it wasn't nearly as effective on my health. I lost 50 pounds, but my health issues did not completely resolve. I later found out I'd had cancer during that fast and didn't know it. That's why I wasn't feeling good. I believe that fast kept my cancer from spreading as fast. When my cancer was discovered in 2014, my doctor said I'd had it for years and she didn't understand why it hadn't spread past my uterus.
Now remember, not everybody can fast. Even if you find you can, please be under medical supervision. My doctor thought I was crazy when I told her what I was going to do, but she couldn't stop me. She was amazed after she saw the effects the fasting had on every medical condition.
If you fast, drink only water or unsweetened tea, otherwise you will not be in ketosis and you will not reap the benefits. Don't just drink a small amount of juice or eat a small amount of food.
The minute you ingest carbs, you are no longer fasting, you are eating a low-calorie diet. If you're going to do juice-only, you have to do at least 1200 calories worth of juice. Anything less is starvation and that's not good for you.
But you should know all of this before you even attempt a fast. You should research fasting exhaustively and be an expert on it if you're going to try it. Or you should hire Rob on Fitness Through Fasting. Don't try this without knowledge and guidance.
While I'm fasting, I'll keep blogging about all the things I've been discovering in my research. Just because I'm not eating doesn't mean I can't write about eating. In fact, I'll probably post lots of pictures of food porn. I love looking at food porn when I'm fasting and planning what I'm going to eat when I can finally eat again. I hope this obsession with food one day leaves me. Sigh.
You can't really say you're successfully into a long fast until you've reached Day 3. That's when ketosis starts because it takes at least that long to deplete your liver of all sugars and start subsisting on your fat stores solely. Even a 24 hour fast has benefits, but the true benefits of fasting really are evident in my 30-plus day fasts.
I'll check back in on Day 3 and let you know if I'm still hanging in there. With fasting, you never know if it's going to be a go. It's a spiritual thing, I think, even if you are doing it for health or weight loss reasons. I always pray and ask God to enable me to fast. I think it's impossible without divine assistance to do a long fast.
So here's my prayer: Dear Lord, I am beginning this fast to heal my body and take off this weight that is keeping me from being able to move comfortably in this body. My eating and lack of exercise has hurt my body, and I am trying to undo the damage I have caused. Please help me to heal myself. Please enable a long fast. Give me strength to complete this fast and the joy and energy it brings as it progresses. Heal everything within me that is sick and restore into my life everything the locust has stolen. Bring breakthrough and answered prayers with this fast as you do with all my fasts, and let my intimacy with you increase in this special time. Please take food down from its place as an idol in my life that has come before you. Forgive me for turning to food instead of turning to you, Almighty God, in my times of distress. Let me allow you to be my comfort and my joy. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Here we go. Everybody pray with me that this will be my first 30+ day fast since my cancer surgery. My body, mind, soul and spirit so need the rejuvenation, healing, transformation and breakthrough.
Thirty days or bust.