Tomorrow is my not-birthday


For new or forgetful folks, the not-birthday concept is pretty straight-forward: my wife and I have the same birthday, which sucks, so I moved mine back a month.

What this means: omelet with oven-roasted potatoes for breakfast, pizza at some point, possibly a bottle of quality beer.

Then, on Monday, I’m starting an unjuice fast. Health-related stuff behind the cut.

So, here’s some more explanation and background: Last August I started trying to seriously lose some weight. It went well for a while but then it stalled out. I’m not gaining it back, but I’ve plateau-ed at about 265. Better, but not my goal.

Unfortunately, I’ve had some health stuff get in the way, including cholinergic urticaria. Quick definition of that condition: when my body gets warm, I break out in itchy hives. Scrub the kitchen floor? hives. Take a hot shower? hives. Argument with my wife? hives again.

I’m not sure what started this. Too much protein in my diet? A reaction to work we were doing clearing up my father-in-law’s estate? (the hives started there) “Toxins” being released by my body as I get rid of fat? (Dubious, I know) But whatever caused it, it sucks and has to go.

Which brings me to the documentary FAT, SICK, AND NEARLY DEAD which was recc’ed on my LiveJournal and which I watched on Netflix Instant. It’s about a guy who was 309 lbs (only 5 pounds more than me last summer), and plagued with hives who went on a juice fast. He lost the weight and, more importantly, he stopped having allergic reactions to his own body.

Now, I understand that fasting is a dumb way to lose weight. I’ve done it before, not to reduce permanently (which pretty much never works) but as a way of examining how I deal with food in my everyday life.

Anyway, the documentary is interesting enough and moves away from the original guy who started this over to two other people he meets during filmmaking who decide to join him.

One is a woman plagued by all sorts of health problems: a strict 10-day juice fast (no other foods, no meat, carbs, or oils) cures her migraines, blah blah blah.

The other is a 400+ pound trucker who also suffers from hives. Much of the second half of the film follows his attempts to base his diet around plants, and the benefits thereby.

Meaning, no more hives.

The documentary has a strong case of the smugs, which taints the happy ending; that’s why I’m not giving it a huge thumbs up.

Also, our juicer bit the dust years ago and I don’t have the cash or a new one. So, rather than juice a bunch of greens and subsist only on that, I’m planning to take all the veg that would normally go into a juicer, throw it into a bowl, and eat it.

If I chew thoroughly, I should get all the benefits of the juicing, plus the fiber that juicing leaves out. Also, I’m not giving up coffee, because I don’t believe it’s all that bad for me. I’m not doing it to lose weight (although that will certainly happen, but I know it’s a dumb, unhealthy way to attack obesity) but I do hope to lose the allergic reactions that have been making my life miserable, preventing me from doing even the most mild exercises.

Anyway, another way to challenge myself! We’ll see how it goes. I’ll start it at three days. If it goes well, I may extend it to seven or ten.

In the meantime, I’d better buy myself that bottle of fancy beer.