Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24th, 2011 - Day 15 of 60

This morning my weight, according to my scale, was 156.2 lbs.  Yesterday I was told the weight was 157.6 lbs.  The day before that was 158.5 lbs.  The day before that was 158.0 lbs.  The day before that was 159.7 lbs.  A generally downward slope, but I don't like the increments.  Given my activity level, my consumption and other factors, I wouldn't imagine I'd lose weight this quickly.  Wild swings in both directions make me suspicious. I'm starting to blame my scale.  It is a strange device purchased by my wife some years ago.  The only time I would pay attention to it was if it was occupying space I needed or when I was feeling particularly bad about myself and needed some confirmation.  I am beginning to doubt its ability to accurately report my gravitational effect on the earth.  As it is digital and electronic rather than analog and mechanical, I realize that it is probably very accurate when working properly.  Still, as a person who makes their living in the technology field, I also realize that something as simple as a weak battery can drastically skew the results.  I may see about changing the battery or I may not worry.  Besides, I know that weight is only one of many components that go into tracking one's relative health and one's Reboot.  It is a useful number, but only as it relates to all factors of your health.  For example, take another tracking statistic: Body Mass Index (BMI).  I've never been too keen on that number as over most of my adult life I was someone who lifted weights. Now, I never was a bodybuilder, per se, but I did manage to add enough muscle to alter anyones interpretation of BMI to make me seem way off kilter.  As BMI takes just raw numbers, a male who has 30% body fat could be interpreted as being more fit than I, given the right circumstances.  I lean toward lean body mass percentage in conjunction with weight and other numbers to more accurately gauge potential fitness.  In the end, it is how you feel and your freedom from pain, disease and stress that would more accurately determine your health.  If you are twenty pounds overweight (per current standards) but had no disease, no fatigue, no stress and no pain I'd say you were in good shape.  We can all fudge numbers but we can't fool ourselves.  We know our relative fitness level without the aid of expensive technology.  That isn't to say that such technology isn't helpful.  Just as the invention of the telescope aided the naked eye in locating distant land masses, advancing troops, incoming storms and all manner of calamity, so too the modern blood test, body scan and EKG can warn us of potential issues.  It does no one any good to discover something is wrong when it is too late.  And, unlike our eyes, (which can be fooled, interpretive and judgmental) cold, hard numbers can help us gain perspective.  A few numbers on a chart can signal the need for a slight course change.  A little less saturated fat, a bit more exercise or maybe some extra sunlight exposure.  Depending upon what they are and who is interpreting them, a few stray numbers can effect how you live your life.

Technology, the main collector and arbiter of those stray numbers, is a wonderful tool for these sorts of statistics.  It is also indispensable for creating juice, smoothies, cleaning up and gaining support.  Imagine, if you will, the amount of labor required to make juice without your juicer technology?  Oh sure, it could be accomplished, but I don't want to even consider the amount of labor required or amount of wasted food.  Smoothies would be a bit easier, but still formidable.  I am so spoiled by my appliances that I can't even entertain the thought of living without them.  Pure juice.  Smoothies as smooth as velvet.  Hot water heaters and pumps and plumbing to give me endless hot water to make cleanup effortless.  My refrigerator stores and cools my produce to ensure its ripening is slowed or stopped so I don't have to shop each day.  I can connect to the Internet to gain information, encouragement and support from all of you wonderful people.  It is, truly, a miracle and a blessing.

My grandfather (maybe your grandfather as well) was alive when electricity wasn't ubiquitous.  Many who lived outside of the major metropolitan areas and their gravitational pull had electricity later in their lives, but not always.  Much of the work performed by technology and fossil fuels today was performed by animals and humans.  We did a lot of physical labor back then.  Our bodies probably ached and didn't resemble the fleshy objects of worship we've made them today.  They were harder, darker, drier, sorer and much, much leaner.  They might not have looked or smelled the way we consider normal, either. A small, wiry chap back at the turn of the 20th century would probably be considered as strong as an ox today.  Incessant labor does that.  Do you think they thought about Reboots back then?  Probably not.  They wanted a good job, enough food and a simple home.  No cell phones, no computers, no cars, no air conditioning, no TV, and not even a radio.  Lots of walking, lots of bread kneading, lots of beating carpets.  No wonder they were lean.  Makes my back hurt just thinking about it.  Makes my heart hurt not having some of it.

Each day when I step on the scale and look into that digital readout for facts, I am seeing more than numbers.  Each digit that rolls by tells me a story about myself and my culture.  It tells me all the things I no longer need to do to survive.  It tells me all the things I possess that few, in the broad scope of human history, ever imagined having.  Each clicking figure reminds me of the insane technological advances made which make me wealthier than any king who lived in days of old. The fluttering numbers tell a story of blessing, surplus, relative ease and accrued knowledge.  The symbols tell me of things lost: simplicity, wholesomeness, connection with environment and true thankfulness.  The readings tell the story of an age where superficiality necessitated the creation of hundreds of styles of home bathroom scales.  Ticking decimals speak of a culture where the natural order of health and healing has been lost in a sea of consumption, commodity, adulteration and selfishness.  Each time my bare feet touch that cool surface I am reminded that we have machines that fly and sail around the world to gather resources for my benefit.  The daily readings speak to me of technology that promises me a better life, but also shows the limits of what it can promise.  This daily ritual isn't only a gathering of facts, it is a reminder of how far our civilization has come and how far we have to go.

Who would have thought that a few numbers could mean so much and so little at the same time?

I am 25% through the 60 days.

Weight: 156.2 lbs

Food: Fruit/Veg Smoothies With Hemp Seed


  1. I just read your entire blog from the beginning and I loved it. Wonderful stuff here!

    I watched Joe's documentary a week or so ago, and have been looking around the website (where I found your link) and adding juicing to my regular diet, meaning vegan but still often lacking in fruits and veggies, and today I am juice fasting. I don't know how long I will keep it up; I don't have very much weight to spare and my health is very good, so I'm really just curious and experimenting. :)

    Thanks for an inspiring read and I will definitely check back!


  2. Those juices look awesome!!! (how did you incorporate the hemp seeds?)

    You're right about our fore-bearers, my grandfather was a farmer/rancher his whole life and the only time I recall him not being lean and trim was after he was forced to retire his lifestyle.

    Excellent blog! My wife and I are in our 7 day wind-up phase to a 15 day reboot (at least mine's a 15 day, I believe she's going for longer)

  3. Diana and James, thank you for your kind comments.

    Diana, like you, I don't really have much weight to lose, so this Reboot was more about feeling better and getting healthier thanlosing weight. I am doing smoothies rather straight juicing (although I've had juice occasionally) but the effect is the same. I feel very good and certainly hope that trend continues over the course of things.

    James, Since I am mainly doing smoothies I throw the hemp seed into my Vita-Mix with everything else. No fuss, little muss. An easy way to get extra protein as well as Omega-3s and Omega0-6s.

  4. Frank, I commented last night that I didn't know how long I would stay on the juice fast... and the answer proved to be 21 hours. I felt awful. I was also wondering if smoothies, as you do, would be better than straight juice. I was also thinking, "this fasting stuff is not for me."

    But I woke up this morning feeling wonderful. I thought I'd be starving and wanting to eat everything but I started to eat my normal breakfast and after two bites I was satisfied. also, I had NO desire for my usual cup of coffee (I had skipped it yesterday during my fast).

    I am reconsidering. I learned a few things on my 21-hour fast which might make the next go more successful. For starters, I'll go for a full 24. :)

  5. Diana:

    First things first. You have NOT failed. Failure is failing to try. You have succeeded as you've not only tried but you've learned something concrete. Keep that fact in the forefront of your thinking.

    Next, yes, smoothies offer advantages to some people. Juice and smoothies are similar, but not the same.

    Regarding smoothies:

    1) They include all the fiber so they are more filling. Some people feel less satisfied after drinking juice. The added bulk makes transitioning to a new way of giving the body nutrition a bit easier for some.

    2) They include all the fiber and help slow the digestion of sugars, thus slowing the insulin response. Some people are sensitive to the very rapid release of nutrition in juices. Rapid ingestion of a large (say, 16 oz.) juice with some fruits and some vegetables (like carrots) and illicit a stronger insulin response than one with few sugars or more fiber. If you want to experiment with yourself, make smoothies with higher glycemic fruits and vegetables and make juice with low glycemic fruits and vegetables.
    And, though they slow the assimilation of sugars, they also slow the assimilation of nutrients in general due to fiber.

    3) A smoothie, ounce for ounce, will give you less nutrition than juice. The Reboot is certainly about nourishing your body, so this is an area where juice would be a better deal. Keep in mind that either one is probably light years ahead of one's normal intake of produce.

    4) Given the same type of produce used in the formulation, juice will give you more calories than a smoothie. For some that is a good thing, for others not so much. Each person is different.

    5) Smoothies are much faster and easier to make and much easier to clean up after. If time is a big deal, a smoothie helps.

    6) Smoothies store better than juice. The fiber in a smoothie will slow oxidation and loss of nutrition. It is always best to get the freshest produce (the optimum being picking it from your own garden) and make your drink and consume it right away. If that is not possible, one should store it in an airtight container with as little air in it and in a cold location.

    Both have advantages and disadvantages. For me, I don't like the insulin response I get with juices. I have them occasionally but find smoothies suit me better.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Thanks, Frank. I appreciate your thoughts.

    I love to make green smoothies, but as I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, I have overdone them in the past and had major digestive problems. I do have a problem eating high volumes of raw vegetables; one salad a day is fine but if it becomes two, or one HUGE salad, I pay the price. I wonder if juicing vegetables will help my system to the point where I can "graduate" to smoothies and then salads? I know I can tolerate about 500% more vegetables and fruits juiced than I can in any other form, so I'll keep drinking the juices for now with the goal of adding a smoothie here and there.

    I think my next experiment with fasting will be this weekend, although I haven't decided how long to shoot for yet.