Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171123

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Waist = 43.25"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Balance Body Composition Bath Scale
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171118

The new scale arrived, so I decided to do an "immediate" weigh-in.

I'm now using the Balance Body Composition Bath Scale. The resolution for weight is 0.1lb; for percent body fat, 0.1%. The resolution of the previous scale was 0.5lb and 1%, respectively.

The new scale also reports water, muscle mass, bone, and it computes BMI directly. But for these weigh-ins, I'll continue to calculate BMI myself, and I'll report only weight and body fat. I didn't get the model with any connectivity to a computer, and all those other numbers are hard to remember. (I usually weigh myself in the morning and then enter the data much later in the day or even the next day.)

It's scary that I'm only 11.2lbs away from hitting 200lb! That's crazy!

Waist = 43.25"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Balance Body Composition Bath Scale
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I had been planning to resume the Wednesday Weigh-ins. Unfortunately, after I weighed myself on 10/18, the scale stopped working. I guess I broke it! Another scale is on order, and I'll resume the weigh-ins soon, most likely on 11/22.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171018

One of the reasons I stopped entering these weekly measurements was because I got tired of thinking about something to write about them. So I might just write nothing, which is essentially what I'm doing this time.

Waist = 43.5"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Quotes from David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo's "Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment"

Here are quotes from "Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment," by David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo...
Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, uses sophisticated brain mapping and imaging techniques to examine how meditation changes both the structure and function of the brain.  In his book How God Changes Your Brain, Newberg states that meditation not only modifies specific areas of the brain but helps the meditation practitioner behave and express emotions and a more positive manner. 
Newberg's work shows that meditation enhances blood flow as well as function in an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate, an evolutionary newcomer that mediates empathy, social awareness, intuition, compassion, and the ability to regulate emotion.  This structure sits in the front of the brain and wraps around the anterior of the corpus callosum, which is the thick network of neurons that bridges the two hemispheres.  In addition to these functions, the anterior cingulate acts as communications conduit between the amygdala, which, as we've already stated, is one of the most primitive brain structures, and the prefrontal cortex. 
The anterior cingulate thus stands at the crossroads.  Its functionality, or lack thereof, helps determine whether our day-to-day behavior is reflexive and fear-motivated or is a manifestation of our uniquely human ability to recognize a wide array of choices, implications, and consequences.  Newberg has quite graphically shown that meditation and other spiritual practices strengthen the anterior cingulate while also calming the primitive amygdala. 
As might be expected, anger produces an effect quite the opposite from meditation.  Anger shuts down communication to the prefrontal cortex.  Emotion and fear determine and dominate behavior.  As Newberg states, "Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes.  Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you're acting in an irrational way.  When your frontal lobes shutdown, it's impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion….  When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which cause the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease." - page 80-81

Bӧn is ancient indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet.  The lineage of Bӧn teachers is said to have been founded by Tӧnpa Shenrab 18,000 years ago, predating Buddhism by many thousands of years.  Tӧnpa Shenrab was born into a royal family and, according to legend, left the comfort of the palace and traveled to Mount Kailash, where he meditated and attained enlightenment.  Even today, follows of the Bӧn religion venture into nature to fast and pray so they can heal their Light Body and attain a greater understanding of the workings of the mind and of consciousness. 
An essential teaching of Bӧn, known as Dzogchen (or the Great Perfection), suggests that once you heal your Light Body with specific practices, you are even able to survive physical death. 
After the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet during the 7th century, the Bӧn traditions, which to this day remain shamanistic, lost favor among the royal families.  In 1987, however, the Dalai Lama, who is a master of Dzogchen, recognized Bӧn as one of the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism and forbade discrimination against Bӧn practitioners. 
Dzogchen practice cultivates a Light Body that is free from the imprints of trauma and disease.  This is known as the natural, primordial state of an unconditioned mind.  In this state, meditation comes easily and infuses everyday activities.  You no longer need to retire to a primordial cave or monastery to attain inner peace and joy.As your Light Body heals and your natural mind establishes itself, you'll start to attain an inner peace and equanimity that will radiate all around you. 
As you become increasingly enlightened, your body will become more luminous.  People will notice there is no longer a figurative dark cloud hanging over you or a literal dark mood about you.  Instead, there is a new radiance to your being. 
As your Light Body heals and your natural mind establishes itself, you'll start to attain an inner peace and equanimity that will radiate all around you.  As you become increasingly enlightened, your body will become more luminous.  People will notice there is no longer a figurative dark cloud hanging over you or a literal dark mood about you.  Instead, there is a new radiance to your being.  - page 130

While any day of the month would be fine for fasting, the Power Up Your Brain Program recommends that you fast on the 11th day after a full Moon, which is the day considered auspicious for fasting in Ayurvedic texts.  We believe there is a special advantage to fasting on the same day as the many other people who participate in the Power Up Your Brain Program.  When you fast with others, whether they're physically present with you or halfway around the globe, you enter into intentional resonance with those persons.  This will make it easier for you to attain brain synergy as you, along with others, collectively awaken the capabilities of the prefrontal cortex.
Check out the website www.drperlmutter.com for more information, including the five core species of probiotic.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171012

This is the first Weigh-In in a long time. Gosh, have I gained weight, fat and girth!

Waist = 43.5"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: “I Drink for a Reason,” David Cross

This is a review of “I Drink for a Reason,” by David Cross.

I was amused by this book as soon as I picked it up.  The tattoo of a cat butt on the author’s face totally cracked me up.  But then I laughed even harder when I realized it wasn’t a tattoo at all.  It was a small crescent-shaped stain from a bit of dried cat feces!  I didn’t realize it was cat feces right away – it wasn’t until I scraped it off with my thumbnail that I surmised what it was.

Now that I think about this, I was in the kitchen when this happened.  I hope I wasn’t eating at the time and that I remembered to wash my hands.

So then I started to actually read the book.  That’s when I really started laughing.  Because that was when I realized I could write a funny review about the book and mention how I found cat feces on the author’s face!

Now on to the actual review….  Can I say that I couldn’t put the book down?  No I honestly cannot say that.  That would be a lie.  Of course I could put the book down.  In fact, that’s how I preferred to read it.  I sat at the kitchen table and put the book down in front of me.  That way I could read it and have both hands free to fondle myself.  Unfortunately, the cat decided to lie on top of the book.  At that point I paid less attention to the book and more attention to the fondling.

But one time I had put the book down on top of the newspaper.  So when the cat went on top of the book, I was able to slide the newspaper out from underneath and read that instead.  I was hoping that if I then put the newspaper next to the book, the cat would get off the book and lie on top of the paper.  If there’s anything irresistible to a cat, it’s a newspaper, especially one that a human is trying to read.  But the cat showed total indifference to the newspaper, and I was unsuccessful getting my book back.  Well, at least I was able to read the newspaper that night, so the book proved to be quite valuable in that regard.  Next time, I hope to put the newspaper on top of the book.  And then when the cat lies on top of the newspaper, I’ll slide the book out and read it.  I really hope Mr Cross writes another book, so I can write another review and let you know how well the newspaper-on-top-of-book trick worked.

In every book review, I always like to write about my favorite part of the book.  I would have to say that my favorite part was the bit about how he wakes up and finds out that someone got into his bedroom and stole a beautiful gold cup.  He gets really bad ass crazy, like flying around, smashing things and roaring.  He’s not sure who did it, but he’s sure someone from town had something to do with it.  So he flies over to the town, screaming the whole time, lighting people’s houses on fire.  People run in all directions, especially into the lake to get away from all the flames.  All that unbridled anger and fury – it’s so wicked cool.  Unfortunately, there’s this guy who stays totally chill during the melee.  He shoots his lucky arrow at him, and hits him right in the chest where his scales are missing.  The arrow penetrates all the way in. He screeches in pain and fury, but it’s too late.  He plunges dead into the huge lake, making a great cloud of steam burst up.  I think this part could’ve been even better if he caught the arrow in mid air, lit it on fire and threw it back at the guy, hitting him right in the eye.  Yeah that would've been awesome.

Anyway, I think you’ll enjoy this book.  I’ll be returning it to the library tomorrow so that you can check it out next.