Fasting


Being on this ship is all about avoiding temptation.  There are candy, cakes, cream puffs, ice cream, chips, delicious little bowls of ramen noodles (the good kind most folks will only find at an Asian market)…. you name it, we got it.  Yet amazingly I have so much more willpower than if, say, I was home and my wife had bought me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  I think it’s because we only see each other  on this ship every few months, so changes in peoples appearance are very noticeable.  A lot of these guys knew me when I was at 260 pounds (118 kilos) and they always comment on how amazed they are that I not only lost 70 lbs, but have kept it off for so long.  Others I know have lost, but promptly gained it back and more.  That is the magic of a paleo lifestyle.  It is a long term, livable solution to weight troubles.  I don’t ever preach to anyone here, but some have tried to kick the carbs after seeing my results.  And maybe it’s the fact that I’ve always kind of been on the fringes that gives me just a little pleasure in being an individual – the one guy quietly snacking on some olives with balsamic vinegar while everyone else dives into the pastries.  Brushing my teeth next to a guy who looks like I did a couple years back is a powerful reminder of how far I’ve come, and how important it is to stay the course.

I’m working nights, so my meals are kind or reversed – leftover dinner for breakfast, breakfast before bed. Yesterday went like this:

  • Black coffee – 3 cups (at least)
  • 10:30 pm – Workout A from the Gym Junkies blog
  • 11:30 pm – 12 meatballs (no pasta) with 2 slices of provolone melted on top
  • 2:00 am – 6 oz. wild salmon, 6 Spanish olives, 2-3 tbsp olive oil (didn’t measure, just poured)
  • 5:30 am – 1/2 cup scrambled eggs, 3 oz. spiral cut ham, 2 slices bacon with about 2 tbsp ketchup

I only ended up sleeping about seven hours, but I was very rested.  I got up and went to the outside deck to catch a couple hours of sunlight (yay vitamin D!).  After the sun set I headed inside for a quick circuit of 30 pushups, 20 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups, 15 squats, 1 minute front plank, and side planks of 30 seconds each.  Breakfast was a big bowl of fajita chicken with bell peppers smothered in about 1/3 cup of Wholly Guacamole (the only kind I will eat if my wife doesn’t make it fresh) and 2 tbsp salsa.  No coffee this morning, only green tea.

Until next time!

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Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, things have been busy!

Last week I ended up fasting for 5 straight days!  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I could barely eat as it was – only had a small bowl of chicken soup in the evening.  Thursday I felt a lot better, so it was ribeye steak with cauliflower and carrots for dinner.  Friday was another all-day fast with a nice piece of salmon.  Saturday I spent the afternoon snacking on whatever I could get my hands on, then Outback for an Ahi tuna steak with a baked potato (I know..).  Sunday was eggs for breakfast and tri-tip roast and pork chops for dinner.  I must admit that giving up dairy just isn’t happening.  I can live without the other stuff, but nothing beats a hunk of cheese when I’m hungry.  One day I may be able to purge it from my diet, but today is not that day.

I am currently out at sea for my job.  Given the nature of the comms out here I may be lucky to post once a week.  If I can do more I will.  I’m looking forward to doing some long fasts while I’m out here.  I’ll be lifting weights every other day, eating clean, and (here’s the best part) getting a lot more sleep.  This should give me some good results by the time I get home!

So yesterday started dark & early for me, as I had to be at work by 4:00 AM.  I can’t even entertain the thought of food at that time, so despite my “hunger of habit” the night before I had no appetite for several hours (save for some much needed coffee).  I am lucky to have some weights at work, so I took a break around 8:00 and squeezed in Workout A from Phase 1 of the Muscle Building Workout at Gym Junkies.  I was done (& done!) in about 15 minutes.  After the workout, I ate 2 cans of tuna with about 10 Spanish olives, salt, and pepper.  I got a little hungry again around 1:00 PM, and had 10 more olives with some EVOO and pepper, and a couple cups of green tea.

After a long 12-hour workday I arrived home to the heavenly aroma of Roast Beast simmering in the Crock-Pot.  I could have wept for joy!  And when it was ready I piled my plate high, savored every bite, and went back for more.  I was so full and satisfied that I didn’t miss the cheese at all later, nor did I eat anything else that evening.

I went to bed before 10:00 PM and woke up this morning already 12 hours into today’s fast.  I had some coffee and hit Workout B this morning, pretty well killing my appetite.  I’m not sure what’s on the menu tonight, but since my wife is allergic to fish it will probably be egg salad again.  That is totally fine by me – in 12 years of marriage I have yet to taste a meal she made that wasn’t delicious!

Well, today was the first day. Being Ash Wednesday it was a day of fasting and no meat, so I just had a cup of coffee in the morning.  I didn’t eat anything until around 6:30 P.M.  when I had some egg salad and a small green salad with EVOO & balsamic vinegar.  Easily under 1,000 Kcal for the day.

Now I should say that as I don’t regularly eat grains or sweets and do an 18-20 hour fast most weeks, the real “challenge” for me is giving up cheat days, wine, and cheese.  And right now I am really missing my glass of burgundy and plate of cheese while I unwind before bed.  I’m not so much hungry as I am craving that comfortable little routine.

As promised, here are some starting numbers:

Height – 5′ 10.5″

Weight – 193 lbs

Waist – 36.5″ (measured at navel)

Neck – 16.5″ (measured below the larynx)

Biceps – 14.5″

Estimated BF% – 19.1%

We’ll see how a month+ of fasting, weight lifting, and a dairy, alcohol, sugar, and cheat free diet affect my body composition!  I have a hunch……

Well Fat Tuesday has passed, and so begins another season of Lent.  For folks who aren’t familiar with this Catholic tradition, there is a some good info at Aggie Catholics.  Last year I did a straight week of fasting, consuming only one small meal in the evening.  This year I decided to expand and adjust a little, throwing some paleo principles in as well.  So from today until April 9th I will abide by the following rules I’ve set for myself:

  • No Alcohol – not even my evening wine
  • No Sugar
  • No Grains or grain products
  • No Dairy – going to be very tough!
  • Fast every Friday (1 small meal, no meat)
  • Fast at least one additional day a week, no less than 24 hours

Additionally, I’m going to commit to Vic Magary’s muscle building workout to preserve as much mass as possible during this period.  I also plan to try some alternate day fasts (eat one day, only tea and water one day, eat..) during March, as I will be out at sea for my job and my wife won’t freak out about me not eating.  Fasting during Lent gives me a profound appreciation for the fact that unless I want to, I never have to go to bed hungry – a luxury many others do not have. It also gives a feeling of connection to countless generations who fasted to become closer to their gods, to express remorse, or demonstrate their faith so that they might be worthy of future blessings.  Many people who don’t consider themselves “religious” still find a kind of spiritual experience in the clarity and calm one experiences during an extended fast, a sense of power and control in an otherwise chaotic existence.

But enough rambling.  I’ll have before and after body measurements (Not promising pics, not sure if I’m comfortable putting shirtless pics of myself online, lol), and talk about how I’m feeling during my personal challenge.  Wish me luck!

Well, I ended up fasting AGAIN yesterday, though unintentionally.  I forgot to eat my leftover chicken before church, and then we went shopping for baby stuff downtown.  Ended up not eating until 3:30 pm or so….

Dinner was at Gordon Biersch in Aloha Tower Marketplace.  I had a chopped salad and a cup of lobster bisque.  The bisque was creamy and delicious.  I took my time and savored every spoonful!

I had not intended to drink anything, but almost out of habit I ordered a Blonde Bock.  It tasted so good I had another.  I figured 2 beers wouldn’t kill me, and I was such a good boy in avoiding those damn garlic fries that everyone else was enjoying.  Oh well, between the two, at least I got a buzz off of the beer 😀

Today I finished off the fried chicken (3 pieces) for lunch, and had a great ribeye w/ butter and some green beans.

ribeye-green-beans

I’m about 20 hours into a fast and I feel great.  Went for a bike ride with the boy for about an hour, then did some pushups (regular & hindu), bodyweight squats, and laid down for a few.

I broke my fast around 4:30 pm at Zippy’s with a plate of roast pork and tossed salad for a side.  Then I took home a 9-piece bucket of their unbeatable fried chicken to munch on while I watched the Affliction MMA show.  I was stuffed after Zippy’s but still put away 4 chicken thighs (one of the greatest things about Hawaii is that most local eating places will ONLY serve chicken thighs!) while watching the fights.