Friday, 31 August 2012

First day fasting

And so my memory tag for 30 August 2012 is the first day of my fast, following the eat, fast and live longer regime.

The specific image is weighing my body fat on the special balance at the local chemist, at 25%. My target is to bring this down to 18% or less. These scales are apparently not very accurate, but presumably I will see some difference. My weight, with my shorts and t-shirt on (I was in public view) was about 5 kg above my accurately measured weight of 86 kg. My accurate BMI is 25, at the upper limit of the recommended range, so it would be good to bring my weight down to 80 kg or a little less. I run regularly and would love to feel a little lighter on my feet (and joints).

The other image pinned to this day on my mental calendar is feeling totally whacked by the end of the day. I don't think this was because of avoiding food. I missed breakfast and lunch, taking just fruit teas as refreshment. After arriving home I had a small meal of rice and vegetables and a small piece of beef, leftovers from the previous day, and then some fruit and yoghurt for dessert. Together it should have been within the 600 Calories limit.

I felt hungry during the day, of course, which is why I added dessert to my meal, not to suffer too much. Unexpected was the terrible headache and exhaustion to the point of falling asleep while watching television. During the night the headache also troubled me when I woke and my stomach felt knotted.

I realised what it was in the morning: caffeine withdrawal.

I don't drink a great deal of coffee any more as a few years ago it started giving me problems with stomach acid. So usually just a milky cup in the morning and perhaps a second in the early afternoon. If I'm out and about, I might have a latte at some point. Not a lot, but every day.

Having a cup of coffee this morning brought my headache to a quick end.

I had thought to make my first two fasting days consecutive, but decided against it after waking so rough.

I will probably make Saturday the next fast day - but I will have a cup of coffee and a biscuit as part of my 600 calories.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Repairing neurons

This is a fascinating investigation of how diet influences how our bodies deteriorate - and repair themselves.

It is a serious exploration of the science of cell division and repair, including of brain cells.

According to the emerging science, it is not so much what we eat, but how we eat. A normal intake of calories puts cells into 'go, go, go' mode, where they divide, we lay down fat, genetic errors may occur (leading to cancer) and blood sugar rises.

Periods of fasting not only use up blood sugar and start to break down fat, they reduce the levels of IGF-1 growth factor in the blood which switches cells into repair mode. The effects of that can be astounding.

Watch the programme broadcast in the BBC Horizon series below. I will be following the regime suggested at the end of the programme and recording here what happens. My memory tag for 28 August 2012 is watching this film.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Speed reading

As a teenager I read a booklet on speed reading.

The basis of the technique is not so much to read quickly, but to learn to glide over the words on a page and register key words to gather the gist.

I sometimes try to apply this to recalling the images pinned to my mental calendar, now that there over 250 of them since I began this process of remembering every day that passes.

My current strategy involves remembering the three days leading up to the present day of the week, beginning from when I started this process. So today is Wednesday 29 August, so I begin with Monday 19 December 2011, then the following Tuesday and Wednesday. Then I jump to Monday 26 December 2011, the following Tuesday and Wednesday. And so on until I reach a month ago, 29 July 2012. From then on I recall the images for every day until yesterday.

Most of these images come with little effort, using the techniques I have been developing.

I'm trying now to speed up the whole process of the review by using the speed reading technique of registering a flash of the images, rather than dwelling on them. Not on every run through and not for every week. But certainly for those that are now well entrenched and come to mind easily this will hopefully be enough to stop them fading.