Monday, August 13, 2012




TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS FOR 2012:- 23.5 kg/ 51 lbs

Thoughts for the day..........

Welcome to my new readers. 

It's never too late to change your life for better.

Dr. William Davis of Wheat Belly fame, wrote this some time ago. It helps me to understand why my blood pressure is not responding to weight loss as I expected it to do. Patience is required. I have copied his post here because I think the website is a member only one and I doubt if I can do it justice to paraphrase it. Here is a link to the original.

Weight loss and blood pressure

Here's another thought in regards to time issues in regards to reductions in Blood pressure. (BP)
The previous post talked about about how triglycerides initially go up, sometimes way up, when weight drops, only to be followed months later by substantial drops. HDL initially drops in response to the triglyceride fluctuations, only to be followed by a rise.
Blood pressure also shows a curious pattern that is dependent on age.
Say someone in their 20s or 30s, for instance loses 30 lbs (through elimination of wheat and cornstarch, say,) BP usually drops within a few weeks, perhaps a month or two at most.
How about someone in their 70s? Say a substantial amount of weight is lost, say 50 pounds over 6 months. BP does indeed drop, but it may require 6 months or longer after weight plateaus for the full effects of BP reduction to be expressed. But it will eventually drop. 
Awareness of this can help most people decide better when medications are necessary or if weight loss alone is sufficient to reach BP goals.
Why the age dependent difference?
It relates to the capacity of the arteries to remain flexible and distensible. Over the years, cross-linking of collagen (a structural protein), glycation (glucose molecules attaching to proteins), loss of endothelial  responsiveness to generate artery-dilating substances like nitric oxide, and artherosclerotic plaque all add up to making older arteries less able to "relax" and BP to drop.
Bit given time and the proper effort, BP will eventually drop.
Awareness of this can help most people decide better when medications are necessary or if weight loss alone is sufficient to reach BP goals.
I no longer expect to be able to reduce my medication in any significant way before the beginning of next year.

Now for the slow breathing. Again I am copying this information from an on-line free booklet. If you want to read the whole book go here to Simon Fosters web-site The advise seems to be fairly sensible and it didn't make me feel bogged down in science. Slow breathing is simple and adds another tool I can use in my quest to reduce medication.  Here is a 'how to' graphic if you like this sort of thing. I simply practice this each morning before I get out of bed. Is that the best time? I have no idea but it works time-wise for me. I grab my mobile phone and click on the 15 minute alarm and lie back and relax. Not a worry in the owrld except making the next inhale/exhale last as long as I can. Because I'm a nerdy counter I count at least 10 in and 10 out. Gives me 3 complete breaths to the minute.

Slow Breathing
The most popular form of stress reducing exercise to lower blood pressure is slow
breathing. This exercise consists of consciously regulating and slowing your breathing
down to approximately 6 breaths a minute for around 15 minutes at a time.
I try to take off 15 minutes most days to do this exercise. The benefits are many
including enjoying a calmer mindset and lower blood pressure.
If you have a blood pressure monitor try this for yourself:
Take your blood pressure reading and make a note of it. Then do a 15 minute slow
breathing exercise taking 6 deep breaths a minute.
Try to stay focussed on your breathing. If you get distracted by thoughts just let them
pass by, like clouds in the sky, without getting too attached to them.
After 15 minutes take your blood pressure again. It will often be 10 or more points lower.
It has been generally accepted that if you practice slow breathing for 15 minutes
everyday it will have a cumulative effect in reducing your blood pressure permanently.

Reporting back............

I didn't set out to fast today. Mealtimes came and went and I simply did not feel like eating. I have a salad I fully intended eating with some left-over grilled steak. About 7.30 pm I thought a lot about this unintentional fast. I thought about the meal that was waiting and realised I did not want to eat it or anything else. I thought through my other options and made a decision.  I decided that since it was well into the evening I will continue this fast until breakfast tomorrow which will either be my normal smoothie or an omelet. Unintentional fasting could be a problem. I was a chaotic eater. I don't want to fast to lose weight but I do like the freedom from eating that an occasional fast allows.

Intermittent fasting is considered good by many people. I'm not sure whether I fit into the healthy group or not. I would be more concerned if I thought I was doing this to lose weight. I'm sure I will want three healthy meals tomorrow.

There is good reason to be concerned. I know several older women who for one reason or another did not eat properly in their later years. They were all slim and had an abhorrence of fat. One fasted as a spiritual thing but some of her friends became aware that she had some things in common with anorexics. They all eventually suffered from alzheimers or dementia caused by lack of nutrition. No-one thinks of older women being anorexic but it has been recognised and written about.

Fasting one day a week is acceptable only if I eat well on the other days. I'm comfortable with that.

I don't believe I'm at risk but I do know there is often a thin line between sane fasting and the insanity of anorexia.

How did I do?

I'm happy with how today went. We might go out tomorrow if it's a decent day. I'm also sleeping better than I have for a while.

Breakfast:- FAST

Lunch:- FAST

Tea/Dinner:- FAST

Snacks:- NONE

Drinks:- Water x 0
Flavoured teas x 5
Black unsweetened coffee x  1

Daily Goal:- 1.5 lt or 5-6 large cups *yes*

Exercise:- Walk or Cross-trainer *yes*

20 minutes cross-trainer = 4 km

13/75 km for August

BP 11th May, 2012 147/75
BP 23rd May 2012 135/75
BP 15th June 2012 135/85

1ST JULY 7.30 am - 90 kg/198 lb
3RD AUGUST - 91 kg/200 lbs
Start weight:- 114.5 kg/251 lbs

Weight loss history for 2012
January: - 10.5kg/23 lbs
February: - 3.5 kg/7.5 lbs
March: - 3.5 kg/7.5 lbs
April: - 3 kg/ 6.5 lbs
May: - 1.5 kg/ 3 lbs
June: - 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs
July: - + 1 kg/2 lbs

Next Official Weigh-in September 1st


  1. Good for you for your endurance! I have got to move myself towards better physical health! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this info, it's great stuff! I especially appreciate reading what Dr Davis says about BP, and being patient if one is older. That is very helpful to me! Just yesterday I had a Dr's appt re BP, and haven't yet been able to reduce my meds. This is encouraging to read.

    And I've "tried" the slow, deep breathing before, but never been consistent. So I also appreciate reading how this will also help BP if done consistently over time. When I was doing it, I would think "inhaling God's love, exhaling gratitude", since my mind tended to wander otherwise, LOL! I will definitely get back to doing this daily now.

    AND, about the IF. I appreciate reading about your experience with it. In the last 3 years, I've read so many different views and "opinions", and just couldn't settle in my mind what was healthy and right for ME. I recently bought yet another Kindle book, which focused only on the science, research and health benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Having it all together in one reading was enlightening, and today is actually my first day back at doing it. To really DO it, I had to be at peace about it, and after reading the book, and then your experience, I'm excited to give it a whirl again, only this time without all the confusion and half-hearted commitment. :-)

    Thanks for all the info, it's really helpful!