Regular readers will know that since my disabling injury in 2004, I've been growing steadily less healthy, thanks to the limitations on mobility and exercise imposed by that injury, plus constant, never-ending pain from nerve damage. My weight also ballooned, thanks to the wrong mix of medications after a heart attack in 2009, which caused me to put on over 100 pounds in less than a year. The combination trashed my body's metabolic balance, and I've never been able to lose weight by "regular" means since then. (I wasn't able to exercise normally, thanks to my earlier injury.)
Blood tests last month warned me that I had to do something, or die soon. My liver was flashing danger signs, my pre-diabetic symptoms had erupted into full-blown diabetes (Type 2), and other indications warned of potential organ failure unless I did something drastic. I wrote about it earlier this month.
I'm doing something drastic to try to counter the overall deterioration in my health, including pain levels. I've recently started a liquid-only fast Monday-Friday every week, with strictly limited food intake (mostly carnivore, i.e. meat-only) at the weekends. It's helping me to lose weight (a lot of which piled on since my injury, thanks to my inability to exercise much due to pain and physical limitations), and I hope it'll also have the effect of a "hard reset" on some of my bodily problems. It has for some (not all) others, so I'm hoping it'll benefit me too. Results won't be verifiable for some months, so watch this space for details in due course. (Yes, I'm doing it under medical supervision, to try to avoid some of the problems others have encountered. I'm following the general guidelines provided by Dr. Jason Fung of Canada, with a number of variations on the theme tailored to my needs and abilities.)
Last Friday I did another comprehensive series of blood tests. They show dramatic improvement in almost all areas of concern, including my liver, which has returned to the mid-range of normal readings in terms of function, etc. My heart health is also better. For both organs, the "hard reset" effect of the fast appears to have worked. My diabetes is well on the way to being not only controlled, but eliminated, if current trends continue. Best of all, after thirty days on this rigorous fasting diet my weight is down by 30.7 pounds. That's so high it's potentially cause for concern if I wasn't doing this under medical supervision (too-rapid weight loss can cause organ failure and other problems). However, with my blood tests being so positive, and no visible or obvious health concerns as a result, I'm happy with it. I see my doctor tomorrow to have her check me out from head to foot. If she gives the go-ahead, I'll continue with the weekly fast; if she thinks I should break before continuing it, I'll eat for a couple of weeks, then get back to business. That'll be her call.
I expect future months' weight loss to be considerably less, because the initial week or two on this fasting diet always gets rid of the "easy weight" (excess water, etc.). Later weeks are half, or less than half, of that earlier loss. Still, if I can maintain 10-12 pounds per month, sooner or later I'll get to where I want to be. That's going to take a long time, and I know I won't enjoy the process: but if normal diet and exercise can't work for me, this is about the only thing that will.
Thank you for all the good wishes you've sent. Here's hoping for continued success.
Keep positive and know that you have lots of friends rooting for you.
If you're inclined, I suggest you peruse the videos of Dr. Rob Cywes, the "carb addiction doc". He's helped me bring my blood sugars from mid 200's to just over 100 in a couple years. He's on YouTube.
I agree that Dr. Fung is helpful as well.
Glad to hear you're making progress!
Very glad to hear it’s gone well so far, I will continue to pray for you. As you lose the weight, increase activity, I would recommend walking and steps. For steps, take a 2x10” board, and cut it into 30” lengths, ideally 3 in total, start out at 1 board height, and do sets of 10 to 20 of stepping up, then back down. I would encourage you to increase the set frequency and duration as tolerated, then increase the height to 2 boards, then up to 3. I would use screws to secure the boards together as you go, and a hand rail is a reasonable precaution if you have gait instability.
Congratulations and continued success. I've taken a slower route, cutting back on carbs and sugars, but not in a strict fashion. I'm down just over 40 pounds over the course of a year.
Just a thought; do you have access to an indoor pool? Doing ANYTHING in the water will give you the exercise you need without the weight/pressure points coming into play...
When I was in the Coast Guard I used the indoor pool on base; one that was used when the place was the CG's West Coast boot camp. There was a REALLY old man who swam there every day. He was a STEAM TRAIN who could outswim anyone there! I talked to the guy. He was 96-years-old. His doctor told him that if he didn't do something about his health he would soon die, so he took up swimming. Several years later, that guy had the body of a 30-year-old and the admiration of EVERY Coast Guardsman in the place!!! And Coast Guardsmen, as we all know, have gills!
Here's hoping (and praying) for your continued success, too.
Autophagy is a thing and the discoverer won a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016. The body can reset itself with periods of fasting as short as 18 hours. It is a subject well worth exploring.
I have held diabetes at bay with a strict low carb diet for 21 years. If I adhere to it my A1c stays in the normal range and I take no meds.
You are in my prayers. Glad to hear this is with a Doctor monitoring. I took off 85 pounds at about 5 pounds per month. Slow is much better at staying off. Was amazed at how much better my back was.
So glad to hear things are improving. I recommend you follow Dr. Berg, he has much information on fasting and what you should take to balance the fast, like magnesium, potassium and/or sodium. Along with lots of other stuff.
I like Dr. Berg and follow him on some stuff and it has worked.
friend sent me links to jonathan landsman
he has interviews with doctors about liver disease, kidneys, diabetes
i took notes
a doctor once told us intermittent fasting, according to the Church calendar, is good for you
another doc said losing a pound a week is okay
Well done and great effort. Glad to hear things are turning for the better. Keep up the good work!
In all of your fasting, liquid diet, and so on, do make sure to get protein, about 70 grams a day if you can. The meat on weekends will give you protein but to regulate your body AND your brain, you need protein. If I miss protein for a day (and I do full, 5-days a week muscle workouts that most 76-year olds can't do) I suffer for it. And at night it feels like I've been on a 3-day alcohol bender with my brain shutting down, slurring words, and feeling totally exhausted...all because of lack of protein.
I hope you can get protein (70 grams a day +/-) via protein milk (Fairlife makes one) and other such liquids. You can get protein drinks that have 30grams of protein at the grocery store.
Best of luck, and hope you make a good recovery.
Keep up the good work!
Great job and discipline - keep it up! brentg
*Excellent* news! Good luck with the continuation! And it sounds like you have a good doctor who actually has your best interests in mind; some I've heard would probably blame your initial problems on the lack of (monthly? weekly? daily?) Covid boosters.
Good news! Glad to hear it!!!
keep going! it is hard, I can attest, there will be successess and setbacks, just roll with it and keep going. I have lost over 130 pounds, then went to night shift and gained 17 back on...and I can feel it...Pissed me off. I am 57 years old so having to regain that ground that I lost is hard, but I have to do it because my health requires it. I will be going to Days in a few weeks and I am looking forward to that and hopefully will be on days until I retire in 10 years
Best wishes for success!
Weight loss was very hard for me and my now ex-wife. We both had Bariatric surgery done. She had the more drastic roux-en-y and I had the gastric sleeve (stomach reduction). Both of them are tools to correct overeating habits that we had both succumbed to. Our diabetic issues disappeared, blood pressure is now normal. But the overeating habit was a compensation for other issues and those led to our divorce.
I’ve recently met a wonderful woman who also had the sleeve operation and we are very happy with the results of our surgeries.
The surgery is a tool that enables weight to be brought back under control and life to improve. It can be overcome and is not for everyone, but it is an option and you have the necessary discipline to make it work if your diet becomes untenable as many do.
Good luck and it is wonderful to hear how you have met this latest challenge with courage and discipline.
I would like to read more about your liquid diet.
I am pretty much in the same boat. God has blessed me with great health but it has been fading fast due to constant severe pain.
Drs, including specialists, have not been able to provide a solid diagnosis.
This is awesome news. Well done and it's just ... so awesome.
Peter, chat with your doc about Milk Thistle in support of your liver. And your liver function.
Very glad to hear that you health is improving. You bring joy to my world with your writings (blog and book) and I pray that I will continue to enjoy for a long, long time.
Best of luck and good fortune!
Hot damn! Your improvement is wonderful. Congratulations on your discipline and determination. I wish I could loan you my metabolism, I have fused and herniated spine from a tree and a car accidents. The VA gives me Vicodin and I have no side effects, no fog, funk, constipation, nausea, euphoria (damn it!), just pain relief. No Idea why I'm so fortunate on the DNA lottery, but I thank the Lord regularly. I know about your level of pain, but only for a week to a few. My Mom took her life after two decades of too much back and migraine pain and she was a STRONG Christian. So happy for your progress, improvement. You're doing everything great, I'll concentrate my prayers on your pain relief.
Thanks for your site, I visit daily.
Finally, some good news!
I agree on the protein amounts.At 60 plus I have followed a primal/paleo lifestyle for the last 6 years and never felt better.Many aches and pains have been eliminated due to the reduced inflammation as a result of this diet. Mark Sisson is how was introduced. Good luck.
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