I was getting ready to head to the airport and noticed my backpack was feeling really heavy. It has two computers, all my clothes, an iPad, all the charges, etc. I decided to weigh it and sure enough it was just a hair under twenty pounds in total. I thought to myself, “That’s a lot of weight to be hauling around an airport for a couple hours in each direction!” Yet just a few months ago I was carrying an extra fifteen extra pounds of fat on my body each and every day. Hopefully as I carry forward having my fitness routine dialed I’ll be carrying around twenty five pounds less weight than I was at the beginning of the year. There’s obviously a toll for carrying around all that extra weight. Plopping twenty pounds on your back to experience that briefly is an interesting exercise in reminding ourselves of that.
Being the new year is almost upon us and I’ve spent most of the last year lamenting my lack of progress on health fronts (besides that sweet spot in the summer) I was looking forward to dialing in my lifestyle and diet over the next month and into 2018. It wasn’t going to be anything more structured than 2017, which may or may not have led to more or less the same results, but I was going to be focusing in on the same core Blue Zones lifestyle elements that I’ve previously highlighted. It was therefore a bit of a coincidence when I received an e-mail from 23andMe about enrolling in a genetic weight loss study they are doing.
According to the study they are looking at coming up with up to 100,000 volunteers to try three different combinations of diet and lifestyle changes to see if it can create weight loss over a twelve week period of time. They are then going to use that data combined with our detailed genetic data to find correlations in weight loss and the various lifestyle changes. That type of thing sounds fascinating to me in its own right and I certainly would love to contribute to that body of work, so I decided to enroll.
Their initial survey information lined up exactly with all of the things I currently track religiously: food patterns, sleep patterns, sleep quality, stress patterns, exercise level, meditation patterns, and trunk body measurements. Sadly most of those elements they were looking for a weekly survey on. That’s obviously heavily skewed by the holidays. I want to e-mail them about that. Also sadly is that my current levels diet and exercise are about as piss poor as they could ever be. They would be improving anyway (hypothetically) but perhaps that gives them a better baseline to start from. Based on the diet/exercise recommendations I may have to tweak what I was planning on doing into the start of the new year, the study beginning sometime in January, but I think doing that for 12 weeks is a pretty small price to pay (assuming I get accepted for the study).
I’ve written several times about the use of periodic fasting days to counteract our periodic feast days as well as health benefits of fasting from the perspective of supposed cancer fighting and potentially longevity. I’ve also mentioned fasting as a means of accomplishing weight loss too. Now that I’m a couple months into that practice, I figured I’d show what that actually looks like.
I didn’t need my monthly measurements to tell me that the last month things were still going off the rails. Yeah, I sort of cleaned up my eating on most days, except for the indulgences in desserts and cookies every night. Yeah, I did start working out a bit, but that still equated to only a half dozen work out days over the whole month. I don’t want to know incremental steps of progress but I do have to recognize that my lack of ability or eagerness to get back on the fitness rails is causing things to go completely out of whack.