It has been a week since I started this kooky quest to reverse my biological age. The week was filled with some great wins and some disappointing losses; some high highs, and some low lows. It has been a trial and error process of what works and what doesn’t (Broccoli, Kale, and Strawberries do NOT mix) and I will continue to learn and improve my protocol. The week was tough, but fortunately, not as tough as anticipated.
I failed to stick to regimen as closely as I’d like to have, but overall, I’m quite satisfied with my discipline and progress. I missed one session of High Intensity Interval Training, one Wim Hof Method Session, and one session of Lumosity, all on Thursday because I had a date right after work. I also consumed two glasses of red wine on the date, but happily managed to stay under the 600 calorie requirement for a fast day, despite the wine. Aside from the wine, I pretty much just ate a bunch of grapes and drank a lot of water that day. The vitamin component of my protocol needs tweaking for reasons I will elaborate upon later in this blog.
Let’s review what went well:
Oct. 1st Oct. 8th Change
Weight 186.2 178.59 Lost 7.6 lbs
BMI 29.16 27.97 Lost 1.19 BMI
Body Fat 25.5% 23.7% Lost 1.8% Body Fat
Muscle Mass 36.2% 37.2% Gained 1% Muscle
Water 56.5% 57.9% Gained 1.4% Water
I did not only lose a considerable amount of weight, I lost body fat, gained muscle, and even increased my water content. There have been times in the past in which I have busted my ass to drop weight quickly. I always found it incredibly irksome when someone would respond to news of my weight loss by saying, “Anyone can do that! It’s all water weight!” Something comparable was actually said to me within the last few days. In this case, however, I can prove that I actually GAINED water weight as a percentage of my body weight. The human body is made up of over 50% water (57.9% in my case). That means that in order to maintain a healthy equilibrium, for every ten pounds someone loses, roughly 5 of those pounds should/must be water. I gained 1.4% of water weight, lost almost 2% body fat, and gained 1% muscle. I am thrilled with the results of week one! Had it been true that all of my weight loss was water weight, I would have lost it all in the water percentage of my body and not gained muscle mass or lost body fat.
Another, equally irritating, response to news of quick weight loss I’ve heard (usually from a fat person) is, “Oh, that’s so not healthy!” Many people just seem to accept this as fact without giving the matter any real thought. It begs the question, “Why is it unhealthy to lose weight quickly if I am consuming an adequate number of calories from nutritious sources?” Prevailing wisdom seems to indicate that one should lose no more than 2 to 3 pounds a week. Conventional wisdom is often simply wrong (I suggest reading Freakonomics), as it is in this case. There is no study or data in existence that even suggests losing weight quickly while consuming an adequate number of calories from nutritious sources is the least bit unhealthy. In fact, it is extremely healthy. Being fat is the killer. Don’t be fooled!
My Lumosity Performance Index surprisingly improved significantly. I expected it to improve over the course of the coming year, but not this much and not this quickly. I started at 1342 and soared as high as 1366 during the week. Previously, I had been moving sideways. Let’s hope this trend continues.
Another positive aspect of the week was that I did not turn on my television from Monday through Friday. I watched a documentary on Saturday and a movie on Sunday. This mission is practically a full time job between cooking, juicing, high intensity interval training, cycling static training, Wim Hof Method every night, cold showers, Strong Lifts, documenting data, and reading to learn more, I have very little time for much else. I’m neither unhappy nor am I complaining about my lack of time because with this new lifestyle, I’m more productive, living purposefully, and happier.
There were certainly some hiccups during the Week One. I barfed up a mixture of Broccoli, Kale, and Strawberry juice. The date night caused me to miss one session of HIIT, Lumosity, and WHM. Growing wheatgrass in my apartment is a problem because it is not really growing right. I’ve mostly been substituting it with Kale. And finally, my farts smell like the farts of a stranger. They are revolting.
My biggest concerns are my heart rate and my O2 Saturation. My heart rate is not going down. In fact, much to my dismay, it is going up. On one day, I had an average resting heart rate of 75. That is awful. I’m not sure why this is happening, but while concerned, I remain confident it will eventually slowly begin to tick down. I have recorded O2 Saturation levels of 88. That is absolutely terrible. That’s like I should be in the hospital. I am not certain why my levels are so low, but the Wim Hoff Method may have helped me discover the source of the problem. As a result of all the breath work I do in the program, I have come to notice that I often inadvertently and subconsciously hold my breath, especially when I am deep in thought, which is fairly often. This is bad. I am not sure why I do it or how to prevent myself from doing it. I also likely do it while sleeping. That is really, really bad. I’m hoping just being conscious of it and the WHM will help me slowly raise my O2 Saturation numbers.
I’ve had terrible diarrhea most of the week. I’m still not exactly sure why. I initially thought it was the vitamins, so I made adjustments, but even on days on which I consumed zero vitamins, I had repeated, explosive diarrhea. Another potential explanation is that I could be detoxing. Yet another, is that my body just isn’t accustomed to all these fruits and vegetables I am consuming. This issue remains unclear, but I will eventually get to the bottom of it or the problem will just fix itself. It is mildly frustrating, uncomfortable, and disappointing.
Tuesday evening I decided to cycle to Liberty State Park to perform a session of High Intensity Interval Training. As I got about halfway to my destination, my stomach began to rumble. I tried to ignore it and pedaled a little faster. My bowels refused to permit me to ignore them and the rumbling became more urgent. I decided I must relieve some of the building pressure in my gut by opening the valve to release a little noxious gas. I cracked the valve and relieved some pressure, instantly making me feel better. A moment later, I sensed, to my horror, that the pressure I relieved was not gaseous, but liquefied fecal matter. The situation was further complicated by the fact that I soon realized I must relieve at least a little more pressure, which would also likely be liquefied feces. And by this point, I knew the floodgates were about to come roaring open. I pedaled faster. And faster. I began to sweat. Then came the goose bumps. I was no longer sitting, but pedaling while standing, as I came racing into the parking lot in front of the Liberty State Park Rest Area.
I intended to save a second by hopping the curb to park my bike next to a handrailing. I have easily hopped a hundred curbs in my bike riding career, but miserably failed to hop this one. As the back end of my bike violently rose as my body was propelled forward over the handlebars, time seemed to stand still. I was truly shocked and thought to myself, “I am 40 years old and about to go flying head first over my handlebars. The last time this happened to me was when I was in the 8th grade riding the trails with my friends Jeff and Ronnie in the ‘Sands’ on the South Side of River Vale. It hurt badly.” Sure enough, I sailed over my handlebars. Fortunately, I landed in grass. While I grunted rather loudly upon impact, I quickly managed to struggle to my feet and ran past bewildered looking onlookers. I’m sure they realized what was going on as they saw me sprint for the Men’s Room. I did what I had to do, threw my underwear away and was back on my way in no time.
Reversing your age is hard, dirty work, yet it is incredibly satisfying!