Pao crosses two bridges

This morning we took a longer than usual walk. The video is a little long, but if you like, let’s watch it together.

First we walked up to the Nakagawa, turn right and continued until the Hon-Okudo Bridge.

We then crossed a bridge together for the first time.

When we reached the other side we turned left, and on the right side we saw a large, beautiful park. Sometime, Pao and I will probably come and visit the park together.

We continued walking until we reached the Heiwa Bridge, crossed it, and returned to the other side of the Nakagawa.

We continued walking along the river, and left by the usual slope, stopped at a park along the way, drank a lot of water, and finally returned home.

Along the way, Pao failed to notice a cat that was lying there. Did you see it?

Great quarterly whole food plant based test results for 8/20/2020

My blood sugar remains normal (even went down some more), cholesterol is fantastic, blood pressure is great, and I continue to (very slowly) lose weight.

The rest of this post are details, if people are interested in numbers and more!

What I eat and don’t eat

I follow WFPB (whole food plant based) eating: mostly vegan, no oil, very limited nuts, and limited sugar and salt. No intermittent fasting, no keto, lots of carbs including potatoes and fruits. I stick to low calorie density foods to help with weight loss. For example potatoes are surprisingly low calorie and bread is very high calorie. 

For lots more details on the things I eat and the people in the field I follow take a look at my post from last November: November 28, 2019 – quarterly test results | Doug Reports

Basically I eat lots of veggies, including starches, and have fruits every day. In other words, I eat lots of carbs. Carbs do not impact negatively on blood sugar or weight. 

Logging with MyFitnessPal

I log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1500 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories). 

Today is my MyFitnessPal Streak Day 3,014. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past. 

I’ve lost a total of 54.6 kg = 120 lb, currently weigh 74.4 kg = 164 lb, have lost 42.3% of my original weight, and am at a normal BMI. I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been in my entire adult life. I’ve only lost 1 kg = 2.2 lb since my last checkup though. But slowly losing is better than a rebound!

My stomach still sticks out a bit, and in Japan my shirt size is LL (maybe M or L in the U.S.), so I will continue healthy eating and doing as much exercise as I can. Actually, I’ll continue healthy eating and exercise even after my weight is perfect. This is for life. 

My doctor said I really don’t need to lose any more weight though. He was pretty emphatic about that. He did think I could add more upper body muscles and should generally move more. I know I reported the same thing last time, but I really do have to start those upper body exercises! Or maybe do swimming. He was enthusiastic about that idea. And there is a public sports center near here. Not sure what they are doing during the pandemic though.

Blood test results

Here are the latest and previous results. Normal ranges are in parentheses. 

Total cholesterol (120-219)

2020: Aug 20 – 108; May 21 – 124; Feb 20 – 120

2019: Nov 28 – 118; Aug 29 – 116; Jun 8 – 136; Mar 19 – 133

108 is very low. Below normal range. But it’s supposed to be heart healthy this way. 

HDL good cholesterol (35-80)

2020: Aug 20 – 39; May 21 – 43; Feb 20 – 40

2019: Nov 28 – 46; Aug 29 – 40; Jun 8 – 34; Mar 19 – 38

Normal range. 

LDL bad cholesterol (70-139)

2020: Aug 20 – 46; May 21 – 56; Feb 20 – 54

2019: Nov 28 – 55; Aug 29 – 56; Jun 8 – 73; Mar 19 – 72

Quite low! The lowest for me ever. Also lower than normal range.  But, again, that’s supposed to be great for your heart. 

Triglycerides (30-150)  

2020: Aug 20 – 69; May 21 – 93; Feb 20 – 107

2019: Nov 28 – 62; Aug 29 – 79; Jun 8 – 129; Mar 19 – 114

Went down even more, and well within normal range. 

Blood Sugar HbA1c (4.7-6.2)

2020: Aug 20 – 5.6; May 21 – 5.8; Feb 20 – 6.1

2019: Nov 28 – 5.9; Aug 29 – 6.1; Jun 8 – 5.5; Mar 19 – 5.9

2018: Dec 20 – 6.5; Sep – 8.2; June – 10.8

This dropped some more again. The doctor said I have my blood sugar under control and there was nothing more to do about it. Remember, he finally decided to drop all blood sugar medication last November.

This value does not fluctuate much over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. It’s a great improvement over time (it had been dangerously high), and has been in the normal range since March, 2019. 

In fact he said all my blood values were fine and I just should concentrate on being active and moving about. 

My blood pressure was a great 113/66. 

The nutritionist was also very pleased, as long as I promised her I was eating tofu and using soy milk to get enough protein. Honestly though, there is protein in everything I eat. I don’t know why people worry about vegans not getting enough protein. Anyway, I mention soy and she’s happy. She also suggested lifting PET bottles of water at home for exercises and laughed when I said I guess I have no excuses not to work out.

More on the “E” Word

Exercise… 

I have also been taking my puppy, Pao, who will be 9 months old in a week, for walks along the river, so that helps. He’s gotten quite large. Last December his weight was 1.3 kg = 2.87 lb and I could weigh him on my food scale. Now he’s 23.35 kg = 51.5 lb! So the Doug/Pao ratio is currently 3.19, close to pi. 

And onward…

The secret to getting Pao to stop jumping after cars

I think I may have found the right way to stop Pao from leaping after cars and motorbikes. When he does that he is really really strong, and if he does it suddenly it can hurt my arm.

These are the recommended things I tried which don’t work:

  • Delicious treats to lure him away.
  • Scolding him.
  • Using force to restrain him.
  • Crates. (Just kidding on this one, but at Reddit it seems whenever you ask a puppy-raising question they suggest sticking him in a crate).

What seems to work (he didn’t jump after one car yet today – fingers crossed) is complimenting him on what a good boy he is while rubbing his back. He’ll stop and stare at the cars, but he will be more-or-less still and not use force.

He was calm enough at his late morning walk that I could take this short video with one hand.

Good boy! Good boy!

I look forward to trying this again at our 4 pm walk.

Note: This does not work with cats. I have to drag him away from cats and he gives me a look like, “Are you insane, man? There’s a cat there!”

An afternoon at… the park?

In retrospect, I’m not so sure this was a great idea

My neighbor, who has a sister of Pao, was getting into her car as I was coming back from a walk with Pao. She said, “Let’s go to the Arakawa Sports Field.” It’s on the river bank.

I asked how far away it was and she said 2 km, and very spacious and empty.

It seemed safe enough, so Pao and I got into the car and went over.
It seemed to be the very essence of social distancing. I don’t think any two small groups of people were within 100 yards of anybody else. But there were families playing ball, some runners, and other people around by the river.

Pao enjoyed the car ride, but he wasn’t used to all the stimuli. When we got back and got out of the car he threw up what appeared to be his lunch and snacks. He’s quietly resting now. I think it was a bit too much for him. And it didn’t exactly follow the Tokyo Governor’s advice to stay home this weekend.

There was no contact with other people though. And the river looked nice. But Pao is subdued at the moment. He loved having the open space to run around in at the length of his 5 m leash though.

I’ll post some more pictures later.