For the first week, I deliberately didn’t alter my food intake, though I did keep a food diary and count calories. I found that my estimates of my caloric intake (around 1200 a day or so) were accurate. When I went to see my GP, he pointed out a couple of interesting things:
- The “2000 calorie” recommendation, upon which all our vitamins and mineral requirements are based, derives originally from studies done by the U.S. Government on navy members during the 1970’s–not exactly a long term “representative study” that a benchmark should be, as navy seamen don’t have the same activity levels as civilians, even when averaged out.
- Civilians at the time, no matter what their occupations, got at least three times as much physical activity i the average day than we do now, and microwave meals and pre-packaged meals weren’t the norm either.
So, the “recommended daily allowance” isn’t necessarily applicable any more. And given that the almost 2 pounds per month I have been gaining equates to about 200 calories a day at my normal exercise level, we settled on a 1000 calorie a day limit, with slightly high protein, moderate low glycemic carbs, and near zero fat as a starting point. I’ll be getting into that along with the recipes I use in other posts.
Week One: Observation And Experimentation
I settled on using my ZAAZ 4 times per day, 12 minutes at a time, and doing gentle stretching and isometric exercises as a benchmark. I found that even when doing only simple stretches and running through some of the few Yoga postures I am capable of contorting myself into, I could definitely “feel the burn” at times. The machine came with a nice big chart of stretches, and I found that using them allowed me to tightly focus the majority of the vibration in selected muscle areas.
By the third day, I had not only gotten more adventurous, I got my first indications that the ZAAZ does, in some way, provide extra muscle stimulus; I was “stiff” when I woke up in the morning. Typically, before the ZAAZ, when I woke up I would be extremely stiff, and often couldn’t move comfortably for some time. Now, I am able to roll out of bed easily (something I haven’t done in literally a decade), and the “stiffness” is very like the residual effect you have the morning after a typical exercise workout in a gym or Yoga class, tightness but not pain.
I have also noted a noticeable improvement in my range of motion, and my lower back spasms have significantly decreased as well.
The Final Takeaway From Week One:
Yes, the ZAAZ has made a definite difference in the type of pain I experience, as well as pain level and inflammation level. I have noted also that my digestive system is working much better than normal, in that I haven’t had any diverticulitis, very little bloating despite a dramatic increase in fiber, and very little discomfort.
I have also noticed that my fluid output his increased in relation to my fluid intake. When I do sleep, I’m not sleeping longer than usual, but I am falling asleep more easily, and waking more rested than in the past, and ANY improvement in my severe sleep disorder is cause for celebration. When I weighed myself, I found I had lost about 2 pounds, which I am assuming is water weight.
One of the most interesting side effects from a physical standpoint was something the literature on the ZAAZ had touted as a benefit, that I had completely dismissed as hype; cellulite reduction. For those who don’t have cellulite or aren’t chicks, the degree of cellulite you have is measured against the fruit scale–minimal cellulite is typically lemon or lime peel consistency and appearance, mild is orange, moderate is grapefruit, severe is cantaloupe or cottage cheese (small, medium or large curd).
You gauge your level three ways–standing at rest and shining a flashlight at an angle along the skin looking for ripples and dimples, seated doing the same, then you pinch a few inches and squeeze lightly. A young woman or boy will show nearly perfectly smooth skin with tests one and two, and lime or lemon with the pinch. Girls typically have more cellulite in general than males of the same weight, as we have higher body fat percentages.
I was a large curd cottage cheese for one and two, and also for the pinch test. Having tried every cream, nostrum, exercise, and homemade remedy for the condition for years, I have found no permanent fix–even when I weighed 125 instead of 200, it was pretty bad as I got older. Now, after one week, I am a grapefruit in many areas of my thighs sitting and standing, and a small curd cottage cheese to cantaloupe with the pinch test. Even the worst areas show an objectively noticeable difference after a week, and the actual reduction of visible cellulite is probably around 25-30%.
I have also noticed that my overall skin appearance is “different”, but I can’t quantify how it’s different. My other half tells me I’m getting a glow :-). I have also noticed that I am removing a lot more dead skin cells with my three times weekly whole body exfoliation than in the past, and that my feet aren’t cold all the time any more either. Nor are my lower legs and feel at swollen as they had been, though I still wear my compression socks, and will continue to do so.
Week Two Plans
This week, I’m sticking with the 1000 calorie diet plan, and increasing the types of stretches and exercises I do while using the ZAAZ, and we shall see what happens. While the ZAAZ does have a “calorie counter” on board, I don’t necessarily consider it an accurate measure at this point, and so only note the numbers for comparison with any actual weight loss. In theory, the amount of food I am eating should, at this point, equal my body’s needs–which means any weight loss would derive from water weight being lost or the actual exercise value of the ZAAZ.
My plan at the moment is to keep full intake and output documentation of fluids for a week or two and see how much more output than intake I have, so I can determine how much of my weight loss, if any, is coming from exercising on the ZAAZ in the form of interstitial fluid released from my fat layer by the intense vibration, and how much is my expected output based on intake.
In theory, the ZAAZ, like any whole body vibration machine, liberates interstitial fluid built up in the fat layer and in cellulite (thus decreasing the appearance of the cellulite), and the constant micro movements of the musculoskeletal system to stay in balance burn extra calories above and beyond any calories burned in natural body functions–so even if you just stand on one and don’t move around at all, you’re supposed to lose weight. According to the calorie counter, each 12 minute session provides a base calorie usage of 75 calories, give or take a calorie or two–which would amount to that 1.2 pounds a week.
The ZAAZ is also supposed to create a synergistic effect, if you exercise while on it, so you burn more calories exercising on it than you would doing them standing still. Once I have determined how much of the weight I’m losing is pure water weight, I can begin to chart other weight loss, and figure out what is causing it.
In the meantime–2 pounds less weight, sleeping better, and the cellulite reduction is amazing! As to the chronic pain, the decrease is about 50% or more, coup-led with greater range of motion and less inflammation. So far, a resounding success.