The “I Love Oils” Video Competition

My Son is an Excellent Videographer

My son, Greg, is one crafty dude! And he’s good at his craft! His wife (by the way, I’m pretty certain that today is their anniversary) . . . Happy Anniversary, guys! I picked out the card especially for you, Emily!

Anyway, as I was saying (before I interrupted myself), Emily is pretty savvy with Essential Oils! She sells Young Living Essential Oils, and knows a lot about them. I recommend that you ask her about them. A coalition of Young Living Oils people, based out of the Kansas City area is sponsoring a video competition now. It would be good if the competition were based on the quality of the video entered, because then, my son’s video would have a good chance of winning. Alas, video quality has seemingly NOTHING to do with it. It is a popularity contest, based on how many likes a video gets on the specific page were it was first listed.

So . . . I intend to make it easy for you to get to the correct page on Facebook, to press the LIKE button that will help them win. I will make this entire still photo, taken from the video, a link to the proper Facebook page. At this writing, that page shows just under 300 likes. We want to get that number WAY UP THERE, so please help us, but clicking on the photo below, which should take you to the proper Facebook page, and then click LIKE. And by the way, watch the video, so your LIKE will be with integrity!

helpuswin

Some Random Thoughts on Technology

I have a trip to Chile planned for this summer. I’ll be teaching a course on OT History through the Instituto Bíblico Iberoamericano. I also plan to have some workshops designed to demonstrate the capabilities of Logos Bible Software for Chileans.

I have been a user of computer technology for over 30 years, specifically using software aimed at Biblical studies for  28 years (in 1986 I got a multi-lingual word processor for IBM-PC, designed to let me type in Greek and Hebrew [with full right-to-left capabilities for typing in Hebrew], using that on a dot-matrix printer!)

I’m into it! Over the last several years, I have been introduced to some technology users who use it critically. Following in the footsteps of Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, et al, I believe that we should question the uncritical use of technology. To shape my thinking, I have benefitted from reading some of the following books:

Currently, I am reading Craig Detweiler’s iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives. It is very good! On my trip to Chile, I will be sharing in a couple workshops on the Theology of Technology (thanks to my good friend, Juan Carlos Campos Arenas). I’ve been gone from Chile for nearly 20 years. During those 20 years, technology has exploded. I now have thousands of books on my 13″ MacBook Pro, which weighs between 3 and 4 pounds! If it is stolen, and I have to get a new machine, I’ll still have access to all those books. I have benefitted personally from the technological explosion. I like it! Yet, it comes as a double-edged sword.

Detweiler muses about the history of the computer (technological) revolution, and what it may mean to our theology:

Our theology once shaped our understanding of technology, but now we wonder how technology may alter our theology. From each tech company profiled in this book, we can deduce a creation narrative. They follow a similar path, from humble beginnings, when the founders were seen as foolhardy, to the early test launch when a few more believers came on board (as additional investors). . . . The narrative shifts when the scoffers are ultimately defeated by those they previously dismissed (think Apple versus Microsoft). The scrappy outsiders become esteemed insiders, establishing a new standard. They liberate the public from a life of dull servitude into greater clarity, purpose, and practice. Whole Earthers that tried to drop out of the system now run the system, with so many of us directing our MacBooks toward Google’s searches and Facebook’s newsfeeds.

Some will recognize the similarities to the biblical narrative, where a creator God aligns with a marginalized people to take on established kingdoms and principalities. Jesus undercuts the established practices of his time with an upside-down ethic that supports the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. Such a counter-cultural power rearrangement was bound to create resistance, but despite the appearance of defeat, Jesus and his band of devoted followers rise and overturn the dominant people and paradigm. The outsiders become the insiders, the powerless are given access and authority. It becomes easy to see how faith in technology becomes an alternative religion, a way to reverse the curse of the fall, to provide comfort to hurting people, to offer us a glimpse of eternity. American optimism has morphed into faith in technology. The only problem–technology cannot save us.

I’m not certain how to take Detweiler’s comparison, but I find it intriguing. I have just completed a semester in which I taught the Epistle to the Hebrews. If I could summarize that epistle to a few words, I would say: “Jesus is Better! Jesus is Everything!” Technology is great, but it cannot save us.

During the summer months, I’ll continue to work on these ideas. Do you have some input? Please share with me.

On another point, tomorrow is my 60th birthday, and I will be doing the Joplin Memorial 5K run. My training did not go as well as I had hoped, but I will cover the 3.1 miles in the morning, before heading off to Aurora, MO to watch my grandson, Nathan, play soccer.

On still another point, I don’t have the money together to purchase my tickets to Chile yet. If you would like to help me, let me know.

I’ve created a Google Doc where you can express your interest in helping me get to Chile and back. Click on THIS LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Random Good Friday Reflections

Wow, it has been a long time since I have posted anything. This will be random, but perhaps those interested in me will see it, and read it.

I’ll have a number of headers, under which my thoughts will be quite random indeed.

Reflections on the Work of Christ

This semester, I have been teaching the Epistle to the Hebrews. I taught in during the fall semester of 1994, and did not repeat it until the spring semester of 2013. I think I did a better job the second time around. I’m repeating it now (just one year later), and for the school year 2014-2015, I’ll teach it both in the spring and fall semesters.

The book presents Christ’s sacrifice numerous times throughout the book, contrasting it with the ineffective sacrifices and offerings of the Levitical priests (Heb. 1:3; Heb. 2:27; Heb. 9:11-12; Heb. 9:26; Heb. 10:12, among other places). The once-for-all-times character of His offering (the Greek word ἅπαξ or its intensified form ἐφάπαξ are used 11 times in the book of Hebrews) for us should bring us to our knees in doxology. It is indeed a Good Friday for us!

kostenbergerThis week I have also been blessed by reading from a new book, written by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived (Crossway Books, 2014). It is extremely readable, approaching in Gospel accounts in a harmonized way, with footnotes that have sent me to theological journals. I have benefitted by its reading. Ideally, one could read this during Easter Week, reading the events of Jesus’ life during the day of the week that they occurred. I didn’t begin its reading in that fashion, but it could be an excellent devotional.

I’ve just returned from a very moving, student-led Good Friday Service. I especially appreciated Cassandra De Fazio’s moving devotional thought, and the reminded us of Tony Campolo’s It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming! Also, Kendall Wingert et al did a moving song I had not heard (they don’t play songs like this on talk radio), titled Hero (originally performed by a group called Abandon).

Exercise, Healthy Eating, Etc.

Most of the recent posts on this blog had to do with nutrition. Last summer I embarked on a life-changing experience nutritionally, which resulted in dropping a lot (!) of weight. I have maintained the weight loss primarily, though I have picked up a few pounds. I eat very little meat. For the last several months, I have juiced very little. It is somewhat of a hassle to juice, as getting the machine ready (and cleaning it after use) takes time. When I have juiced, I have been impressed with how healthy it seems to drink the juice. The last batch I made produced pretty much a green juice, which even Rose seemed to like. Last summer, it was rare for her even to be willing to taste my juices.

During the summer months, I was pretty much physically inactive. I have tried to remedy that recently. I will participate in the Joplin Memorial Run (5K) on May 10. I have always hated running. Having some sort of a ball involved made the running a bit more tolerable. In recent years, I have become much more sedentary. I have been using the smartphone app Couch to 5K to get ready for the race. I could, theoretically, walk the 5 kilometers on that day. There is something strangely appealing about being able to say, “I ran a 5K on my 60th birthday.” Were it not for that, I probably wouldn’t be interested.

I have  also been playing racquetball with some regularity over the past couple months. My partners, up until yesterday, consisted of my son, Greg, and my good friend, Ralph Shead. We have played one another in singles, and also cut-throat. I am now getting to the place again, where I can win random games. My son, Greg, reminds me of myself. For years I was obese, but rather athletic. I could get to those difficult shots. Greg is overweight (I wish that he would drop some poundage), but he gets to nearly every single shot (even if he has to cover the entire court). No longer do I get to every shot. I can see myself getting much more mobile in the racquetball court, and get to some shots that two months ago I would have participated in spectator fashion. Neither one of my above-mentioned racquetball buddies could play yesterday (even though I had the court reserved), so I invited my friend, former student of mine, and current small-group member to play. He is a former Green Beret, and has a son who is one of the best high school tennis players in the state of Missouri. It was a matter of personal joy to beat him three matches in a row!

Spectator Sports

Rose and I made a quick trip to St. Louis last weekend to watch the beloved Cubs lose at the Evil Bird Arena. I so want the Cubs to do well, but I baseballam too honest even to say “Wait ’til next year!” I hope my trust in Theo and Gang will be rewarded in a couple years, as the Cubs have some great prospects in the minors. We’ll have to wait and see. Regarding the Cubs, I revisited a chapter from the book, Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter’s Box, particularly chapter 3, written by University of Arkansas professor, Thomas D. Senor, titled “Should Cubs Fans Be Committed? What Bleacher Bums Have to Teach us about the Nature of Faith.” The double entendre in the title of the chapter is well-intentioned. Perhaps being a Cubs fan is the reason I did not like Kyle Idleman’s point in his 2011 book, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of JesusIdleman’s point, of course, was to make people fully committed to Jesus, rather than just being a fan of him. His critique of fans are what we might call jump-on-the-bandwagon fans. Chicago Cubs fans are a different variety. For the past several years, no bandwagon has come remotely close to the North Side of Chicago, upon which one might consider jumping. I am a professed follower of Jesus. That is not in question. My conclusion to Idleman’s description of fans, only left me with the conclusion that I am also a follower of the Chicago Cubs. Should I be committed? Perhaps!

At any rate, I look forward to May 21, when I will be in the stands of the Friendly Confines, accompanied by my 3rd grandson, Sam. I will look forward to meeting with dear friends in the Joliet area on Wednesday night. Sam and I will stay with my long-time forwarding agent and dear friend, Lola Mitchell. She will have a number of friends over that evening. On Thursday morning, Sam and I will meet with Matt Summers (Crossroads Christian Church of Joliet) and Dallas Henry (First Christian Church of Wilmington). Matt and Dallas are both graduates of Ozark Christian College. After breakfast, Sam and I will head back home to Southwest Missouri.

The NBA playoffs will get started this weekend. Chicago Bulls fans started the season with optimism, as Derrick Rose was back from his entire season hiatus. When he was injured again just a few games into this season, many lost hope. The Bulls have a first round matchup against the Washington Wizards. Everybody expects the Bulls to win that series. The 2nd round against the Indiana Pacers, or the championship round, likely against the Miami Heat, will be the difficult rounds. In this morning’s Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Cowley gives a series prediction, calling for the Bulls to win in 5 games. He amused me when he compared Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau with Wizards coach Randy Wittman:

Randy Wittman vs. Tom Thibodeau: One coach is playing checkers, hoping to get lucky on a double jump, while the other is playing chess and going bishop to knight 2. Give Thibodeau Washington’s roster, and they would’ve finished with the No. 1 seed in the East. 

Thibs’ never say die attitude may mark the difference in these playoff series.

My Summer Trip to Chile

A couple months ago, I made a commitment to teach an intensive course for the Instituto Bíblico Iberoamericano in Chile, during the first week of August. The last trip I took like that was paid for by an organization that raised money to send professors to teach courses around the world. That organization ceased to operate in 2013. This trip will cost at least $2000 (I’m amazed by how much more expensive it is to travel these days).

I have begun to write a letter that I thought I would send to some friends and former supporters (individuals and churches) to seek some help in making this trip. About ten days ago, I casually mentioned to one of my colleagues my plan for this trip, and my need. Yesterday, I was blown away, as I was given a check to help me meet more than 20% of the expenses of the trip. Assuming that this blog may have a readership of about 3-4 people, I thought I would mention it here. I’m committed to go, but have not purchased tickets yet. If you might be interested in helping me, either by prayer, or financially, I have prepared a document where you can easily communicate that intention. You could fill in a survey here: LINK TO GOOGLE DOC CREATED BY DAVID FISH.

 

Sammy Sosa’s HR total from 1998

As all 3 readers of my blog are aware, this past summer (starting on June 24, or on July 1, depending of how the date is calculated), I embarked on a personal journey of a reboot of my nutritional intake. You can go to the top of this blog to read past entries, if you are unaware of the approach that I took.

In private conversations, I referred to what I was doing as “this crazy thing I’m doing.” Such language scared my mother to no end, until she watched the documentary that kick-started my journey, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. After she finally watched it, she understood the context of that crazy thing I did. I guess I should refrain from giving such mixed messages. As I was describing what I was doing as crazy, I believed it was what I must have been doing, which made it anything but crazy.

At any rate, I began eating sensibly on June 24, as a preparation for a juice fast. As it worked out, my juice fast continued from July 1 through August 30, a full 60 days, as was featured in the documentary. Joe Cross, featured in the documentary has a website and a community, titled Reboot with Joe. As I began my juice fast, I was aware that his website features less radical reboots, which include fresh vegetable/fruit juices, but also solid food. Though I had not arrived in the 300 lbs+ neighborhood (like Joe Cross), I was heavy enough to make myself sick of myself, and believed I needed to make a radical, call it crazy approach to change things.

When I started the fast, I didn’t really know how long I would do it. I started with an initial, in my mind goal of at least 10 days. If at the end of 10 days I wanted to continue, it would be at least 5 more. If I made it to 15 days, and wanted to continue, I planned to arrive at 30 days. If I made it to 30 days, and wanted to continue, I planned to go another 30, which is what I in fact did.

Friends who were aware of what I was doing responded with things like, “I could never do that.” My inner response to such statements was something like, “YOU don’t NEED to do something like this!” I went through the 60 days believing that what I was doing was what I needed to do. In reality, it was easy.

As I ended the 60 days, I went back to eating food. I still make and drink fresh juices, and enjoy them. I was aware that the period from June 24 through August 30, though many people said they could never do such a thing, was the easy part of my reboot. The hard part would be what was going to happen after that. You see, I have probably lost 500 pounds in yo-yo fashion. When I was younger, I would get serious about my weight issues, and could drop pounds so fast it would make the women in my life envious. In more recent years, I was aware that the pounds were getting harder and harder to shed, and when I would stop my dieting, the pounds would come back so much more quickly than they used to come. Musing along this situation, making a comparison to the news topic of the week, the US debt ceiling, my weight ceiling was reaching ever higher. I decided that I had to do something radical to lower that ceiling. Perhaps politicians in Washington DC could learn something from me, as we need to do something more radical than what has ever been done, to address our national debt issues.

This post really is to let my 3 readers know what has happened since August 30, when I resumed eating. At the end of my 60 day juice fast, I had dropped 63 pounds since June 24.

I began eating solid food rather judiciously, probably taking up to 4-5 days to get to the volume of food I have been eating for the past month or so. My weight went up slightly, but dropped back down, stabilizing at pretty much my ending weight. I continue to weigh myself (and record the weight) nearly every day, as I don’t want to slip back into old patterns. Until a week ago or so, I was fluctuating at the same weight where I ended my juice fast, and called that good. It has now been 47 days since I resumed eating. I follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet approach, consuming mainly a plant-based diet, with lots of veggies, less fruit than veggies, not a small amount of legumes, nuts and seeds, even less grains, and a minimal amount of meat and dairy. I have had trace amounts of meat only, not really volitionally eating meat at all. Small amounts of meat would include trace amounts in the soup at Kinnaree Thai Restaurant, trace amount of ham in a vegetable plate meal at Cracker Barrel in September, when I ordered pinto beans, and upon consumption realized it had some ham in it, and just the other night, when I had some faux Olive Garden style minestrone soup, and found trace amounts of ground beef in it. I have volitionally eaten some cheese (very small amount) and have consumed 6 eggs, though my daughter thinks it is hilarious when I have confessed to having eaten 6 eggs.

Ready for the drumroll?  The weight on the scale today was at an all time low (for 2013, anyway), down 66 pounds since June 24, (Sammy Sosa’s juiced HR total from 1998)  1. I can almost hear Aussie Joe Cross say, “Good on you, Mate!”

Notes:

  1. I can already imagine Bill Shewmaker, Gary Hardy, and other fellow Cub fans complain that Sammy never tested positive for PEDs, but I would ask them if deep down in their heart of hearts they believe he was innocent

I’ve been juicing for two months, have hit zero HRs, but my weight loss number is somewhere between Babe Ruth and Roger Maris

On July 1, I began an odyssey designed to bring my weight under control, and to get healthier. It really has been a delight. From July 1 until August 29, I consumed no solid food. My nutritional needs were met by drinking natural juices made from fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. Yesterday was Day 60 of an intentional 60-day juice fast.

Juicing is different from blending, but both are very healthy. About a month into my juicing, I burned out the motor on my juicer. It was under warranty, and was replaced. While I was waiting for the replacement juicer (only about 5 days), I used a Nutribullet, and created smoothies.

The way I understand the difference between juicing and blending is to compare it to the difference between an injection and  a time-release capsule. A centrigual juicer (like mine) creates a lot of pulp. Pulp can be used as compost, or it could be used in cooking. I just discarded it. There are lots of nutrients in the pulp, but the nutrients in the juice were quickly absorbed into my system. Using the Nutribullet, there was no pulp, as it blends everything together, even though it is necessary to add water (which I drank a lot of anyway). My favorite Nutribullet always includes a green leafy (spinach or kale), and some fruit. I particularly like the frozen fruit (source from fresh fruit, which I have frozen myself–as contrasted with frozen fruit processed and sold that way (I’m suspicious of the processing, added sugars, regardless of what the label says). So . . . for the last 30 days, it is better to say that I have been both juicing and blending, as since I got the Nutribullet, I have enjoyed frozen smoothies at breakfast. I haven’t been able to interest Rose in my green smoothies though.

Now as a life-long baseball fan, dating back to before the advent of PEDs, for me the single-season HR record either belongs to Babe Ruth, who hit 60 HRs in 1927, or to Roger Maris, who hit 61 in 1961 (that’s easy to remember). I haven’t hit any HRs since I’ve been on the juicebut my total weight loss is 60.6 pounds (since June 24, when I entered my 7-day long preparation phase for juicing).  Para los que viven al sur del Río Bravo, he bajado 27.5454545 kilos.

I had my green smoothie this morning, as has been my custom. For lunch, I went to our Faculty/Staff Luncheon. The menu for the lunch was Chicken Parmesan with penne Alfredo. I had a little of a prepared cucumber salad. I probably ate somewhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of a small cucumber, with a vinegar seasoning, along with some shredded carrot. I don’t know what else I may eat later today. I’ll spend the next week gradually transitioning into solid foods.

I feel pretty well. People who know what I have been doing have commented things like, “I could never do that.” In reality, it has been pretty easy. Desperation will do that for you. Right now I weight less than I did when I got married, but more than I did when we left Chile in 1994. I’d like to get midway between the 1994 weight and where I am right now.

The past 60 days have been easy. The difficult part begins today. I would welcome your prayers on my behalf.

2 Months Ago I Started Eating Sensibly: One Week Later I Started my Juice Fast

June 24th was the last time I drank any kind of soda pop. I only did it that day because I had some Diet Dr. Pepper in the refrigerator in my office. I enjoyed drinking it that day, but I really haven’t missed not drinking it. I suppose the first couple days, I was having caffeine withdrawals, and didn’t feel all that bad.

Right now, I am on Day 55 of my 60-Day Juice Fast. I feel well. 25 days ago, the numbers from my blood work showed that I was healthier than I have been for a long time. I think I will have more blood work done in about 2.5 weeks, and we’ll be able to compare progress since then.

I have lost 57 pounds since that fateful day (2 months ago today), when I saw the largest self-generated number of my entire life on a scale on which I was standing.

 

foodpyramid-large

Now on Thursday, I’ll go to Norma’s Restaurant with my Life Group guys. I might take juice with me to drink, but I think I’ll probably just sit with them, watch them eat, drink water, and try to direct the conversation. Thursday will be Day 60 of my 60 day long juice fast.

I’ll eat some food on Friday, to go along with my juice (which I have grown to like). I will try to avoid processed foods of any kind, and be heavy on the veggies, a little less heavy on fruits, beans and legumes, and still less heavy on the stuff at the top of the pyramid. In short, I’ll plan to follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s approach from his book, Eat to Live, and his Nutritarian food pyramid (see the image).

 

Long overdue update (notice how I think someone really cares)

Today is Day 43 of my Juice Fast. The other day Rose asked me, “Don’t you feel hungry?” The truth is that I don’t. This has been very easy for me. I even accompanied Rose and my Mom to IHOP a couple days ago (I took my juice with me). They ate a traditional breakfast meal with bacon and eggs, and had fancy waffles. I drank my juice. I was fine.

Thinking about being where others are eating, tomorrow night is the OCC Faculty/Staff & Families back to school night. It is scheduled to take place at Carousel Park in Joplin, where they have a bunch of rides for kids to ride. We invited our grandkids to come, but they have a “back to school” activity in Mount Vernon. Then the next day we have our Faculty Retreat, which always entails eating. I’ll have my juice. Then on the 19th, we have our Convocation Banquet. I’ll drink my juice in advance. I’ll go, but just drink some water. I don’t like cheesecake anyway.

I never reported back on the results of my blood work. If the doctor read the report, he never called me about it. Nearly a week after I had the blood taken (four days after the doc received them, and never followed up on my call about the results—-Grrrrrrrr!), I went by to inquire about them. I was told that he hadn’t had a chance to read them yet (he received them on Thursday; this was Monday). They gave me a copy of them. Granted, I am a lay person, but I can see the numbers, and can align them with normal ranges printed on the report.

(Nearly) everything was normal. Most of my cholesterol numbers were in normal range. The composite number for the cholesterol was LOW (121, where as the normal range starts at 125). Also, the HDL (good cholesterol) was lower than it should be, but only by 1 point (39, where normal range starts at 40). By the way, in the past 4-5 years, my HDL has never been that close to normal range. All of the other things on the report were within normal range.

So . . . my juice fast has gone well. I have energy. This morning I kicked up the treadmill to a level I had never done for a full 30 minutes, then I did yard work for about an hour (in the rain, partially). In short, I feel well.  I will plan to be on my Juice Fast through August 29, which takes us into the 2nd week of classes. On August 30, I will plan to eat a little solid food.

How much weight have I lost? As of this morning I am 50.8 lbs lighter than I was that fatefuly morning when I saw the largest number ever on my scale. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Notwithstanding Jeremiah Wright’s Ethnomusicology, This is BEAUTIFUL!

This is beautiful . . .

Now, what does that have to do with Jeremiah Wright? Here is the back story.

Back in early 2008, some of the most Jeremiah Wright’s most strident remarks after the 9/11 terrorist attack in NYC and Washington DC surfaced. They were thought to hurt Senator Barack Obama’s chances at the Democratic nomination for president, and Pastor Wright was kindly “invited” to disappear from public notice.

I was surprised on April 28, 2008, to see that Jeremiah Wright re-surfaced, as the keynote speaker for an NAACP fund raiser in Detroit. I caught his speech in the middle, and was “reeled in” quickly (pardon the Fish pun, please). I thought, I need to get this to use in my Anthropology class. His emphasis was this: different does not mean deficient; it simply means different. He spoke about learning theories, language, music, and even homiletics. I was pleased that the next hour, the news channels were going to replay his speech in its entirety, so I got my DVR ready, recorded the entire speech, and have played portions of it for my Anthropology classes each fall since then (I need to get some more up-to-date material, right?).

In one of his more fun little ploys, he compares western (classical) music to African American music. You can see a section on his speech here: FEEL FREE TO FAST FORWARD THIS VIDEO TO ABOUT 4:40 TO SEE THE ETHNOMUSICOLOGY PORTION.

This post has taken me about 3 days to write.

 

Over a month “on the juice,” and I hit 40! (not HRs)

August 1, 2013

I’ve been “on the juice” for over a month now. Not the Biogenesis kind, so I anticipate no suspension from MLB. I’ve hit zero home runs since I started juicing. If you missed the back story, you can check it out here: Radical Decision, or the later updates. I weighed myself this morning, and I am down 40 lbs since June 24!

Actually, today is DAY 32 of what could become a 60-day juice fast. I went to the doctor on Day 30, primarily to accomplish 3 things:

  • confession of making such a drastic decision, and implementing it for an entire month without consulting a doctor
  • get an order for blood work to let the numbers tell a more complete story of what is going on in my body
  • get an Rx to treat what appears to be an infected insect bite

His reaction was not unlike what I expected. He had neither seen nor heard of the documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (this link will allow you to watch the documentary on YouTube), which inspired my radical decision, though he liked the title. Initially, he said, “I’ve never been one to argue with success.” I told him that the largest number ever on the scale provided the motivation, and that I knew I had to make a radical change in my eating habits. I spoke of going from being a couch potato (really an office desk potato) to nominal activity (at least a mile to a mile and a half every day on the treadmill). He was concerned about the possibly negative effects of losing too much weight in a short span of time, vitamin deficiency, etc. For that reason, he included an analysis for vitamin B12 and folic acid in the blood work.

August 2, 2013

I wanted to post this yesterday, but waited, because I planned to add a comment about the results of my blood work. I called the Dr yesterday afternoon, to get the results, but got sent to voice mail, where I left a message with the nurse, but did NOT get a call back. His office is closed today (Friday), so I’ll have to wait until Monday to get the results.

By the way, the weight loss today is up to 41.8 lbs!

I did plan to mention that I hit a bump in the road, in that my juicer quit last weekend. It is under warranty, but a hassle while waiting for a replacement. We shipped it to New York on Saturday (I had enough juice to get me into Sunday. Knowing that I would be without a juicer for a while, but planning to continue the juice fast was a problem. The solution? I used a 20% off coupon to buy a NutriBullet at Bed, Bath & Beyond. With that machine, I have been pulverizing veggies and fruits, though you have to add water. I had thought I might be interested in that machine past the juice fast anyway. The NutriBullet machine has gotten me through this week. I did not expect my replacement juicer to arrive until the end of next week, but . . . it arrived today! Now I can use mainly the juicer, for real juice, and add the use of the NutriBullet for fun stuff, like the spinach-pineapple drink I had for an early lunch. By the way, spinach has become my go to green leafy vegetable. The nutrient density of spinach is not as high as that of kale and collards, but it is still pretty high. The scale is based on Dr. Joel Furhman’s ANDI scale, rating the nutrient density of a number of foods. I’ve preferred spinach to kale, as it seems to be juiced much easier.

I’ll update a report on the results from my blood work next week.

 

 

One month since I drank a soda . . . (among other things I HAVE consumed)

Today is the one month mark of my Radical Decision, though I only posted about it on July 1. Anyway, on June 24, I saw the largest number EVER when I got on a scale, and decided to do something about it. One week later (July 1), I started juicing. It has gone VERY WELL! Today is the 24th day of my juice fast, a fast during which I have drunk LOTS of water, and the only nutrition I have had,  has come in the form of micronutrients (in the form of naturally extracted juices) from LOTS of vegetables, and LOTS of fruit.

How much weight have I lost in one week of eating fruits, vegetables, brown rice, and nuts, followed by 23 days of juicing?

Are you ready? Drum-roll please . . .  in the past month I have lost a grand total of  34.2  pounds!

I have not gone hungry. I have had quite a bit of energy. I feel well.

Now, so my mother will not worry, I plan to visit my doctor next week, and have him draw blood, to see how healthy (or unhealthy) I am. I did not tell him I would embark on this road. I really don’t think he would have encouraged me to do it. I did not have blood work done JUST before beginning this, but it has only been about 3 months, so he will certainly have some sort of a base line from which to compare. I think that my numbers should be substantially improved, maybe even to the point of not needing to take my medication for high cholesterol (I’ve been taking Crestor for about a year now). If all is well, and if I am still of the same mind, I would continue on for another 30 days, making this a 60 day juice fast. No promises, just yet.

Some say that a person who is trying to lose weight should NOT weigh daily. However, since we came back from our Branson vacation (where I did not have scales but I DID have a juicer), I have weighed myself daily, recording my daily weight on both a spreadsheet and on Walgreens’ site. I have also done AT LEAST a mile on the treadmill every single day since we returned from Branson. In Walgreens’ STEPS program, I get points for doing healthy things (which ultimately means CASH value toward purchases there).

Disclaimer: there is something in the previous paragraph that is not true. I have walked at least a mile on the treadmill every day, except for 2 days. Last Thursday night, Rose and I entered the smoky arena called 4th Street Bowl. Freeman Hospital, where she works, has “summer healthy lifestyle” activities in which their employees can participate. These activities are listed on a BINGO-like card. She will get certain points for completing her BINGO card. One of the activities was to go bowling. So, last Thursday evening we went bowling. My score was atrocious, but, we figured out the last time we went bowling was probably when Kim still lived in Joplin, so that must have been about 5 years ago. Anyway, I was unable to walk on the treadmill on Friday and Saturday. Somehow, I managed to sprain the big toe on my right while we were bowling. It was really tender. I got on the treadmill on Friday morning in an attempt, but when it sped up, I just was unable to keep going, so I stopped. I did not try at all on Saturday. By Sunday I was able to return to my routine. In this morning’s workout, I pushed it up one notch higher (in speed and elevation) than what I ever had.

Now, how does one sprain a big toe while bowling? I honestly do not know. It was the first time I had ever sprained the big toe on my right foot. Now I’ve sprained the big toe on my left foot LOTS OF TIMES, but that is a story for another day.

One other thing happened of small consequence for some of my manually capable friends, but which was HUGE for me! We are in the middle of remodeling a bathroom. Yesterday afternoon, a crew was coming to lay new flooring. I figured that I couldn’t mess up too much removing the toilet, so that they could do their job. I DID mess it up, but finally, got the job done. Realizing that I am pretty clumsy with manual jobs like that, when I went to the hardware store to get a new wax ring to re-seat the toilet, I asked them about a handy man. They gave me the name an number of man. Now it hasn’t been very many months when I needed to do something in the other bathroom, which required me to remove the toilet tank. I had NO SMALL PROBLEM getting it not to leak. Also, I know now that the correct way to do what I was attempting would have been to remove the entire toilet, without removing the tank. I didn’t know that at the time, so I just took everything apart. Knowing how difficult re-attaching the tank without leaks in the other bathroom was, I was scared. I DID want the toilet to be re-installed right away, so I thought I would resort to professional help, that is . . . until he quoted me the price. Now, there might be a remote possibility that some plumber could be reading these lines, but I thought that $90 was a pretty steep price. I didn’t tell the plumber that, but told him I might call him back. I watched several YouTube videos on how to accomplish the task at hand, and decided to try my hand at it. clickseal

How did it go? SUCCESSFUL! The part that scared me the most was the seal between the tank and the base. No problem (I changed ALL the hardware, which is the way one is supposed to do it. On the previously mentioned attempt, I tried to change only the rubber gasket). Getting the base seated on the new wax ring was also a piece of cake. Only the water line gave me a little trouble. I discovered a pretty cool trick, using a Fluidmaster CLICK SEAL Toilet Water Supply Connector. Now I had heard that the connection to the toilet tank only needs to be hand tight, but it never seemed to work for me. The hose I was working with had been abused (someone [maybe David Fish?] had tried to tighten it up really tight multiple times in the past). Anyway, when I hooked THAT PART  of my job up, water leaked. A quick run to the store and I discovered this new hose. I picked it up, and thought, “This sounds too good to be true!” I got it home (Rose and Greg were out to eat–since I don’t eat, I got to try to finish my installation before the got back), hooked it up, it clicked (meaning that it was fully connected), I checked it, and it DOES NOT LEAK!

I DID call the plumber back to thank him for his willingness to come, and for his time, but that I had watched some videos on the right way to do the job, and accomplished it myself. He would not have been able to come until the morning anyway.

34.2 pounds in one month. Today is Day 24. I’ll be consuming juice made from spinach, celery, cucumber, apple and orange. Yummy!