Sunday, February 16, 2014

30 Day Cold Shower Challenge

Prologue

This started as a week challenge but has become a way of life. I've formed the experience into a 30 day challenge so it can be reproducible by others.

I've logged 30+ days of the cold shower experience. I admit it can be interpreted as both good and/or bad. I created it for myself just to log the experience with no intention of sharing but feeling that I'm a better person because at the end of it so I figured I'd share. I recommend the cold shower experience to everyone for at least 7 days. By the seventh day, the cold water anxiety should be manageable.

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tl;dr Version

After 30 days of cold showers, I got sick for 2-3 days, killing my 2 year sick free streak. This could be attributable to many things (I live in Chicago and this January has seen the most sub zero days in my lifetime for January) so I will continue experimenting with cold showers though I did postpone them while sick. There was no improvement to the white mark on my face but there was also no worsening. My skin continues to feel rough so I’ll begin a 30 day log of natural moisturizer and lotion use which I'll post in mid March if I follow through with it.

(This list grew as I continued the experiment)
Reasons: Time savings (average 7m showers), water savings (7m showers but the water only runs for 2-3m, rest is used lathering), increased tolerance for cold weather and water (I shiver when most people don't; I'm also under weight) and lowered exposure to minerals and metals make cold showers worth it (I'm at the beginning stages of ridding my life of all harsh chemicals, especially any petro based items).

Build up of pressure in the head is normal during a cold shower, increased perspiration after the shower also is. I experienced increased odor the first week so I purchased Sam's Natural deodorant which I use on and off. Body odor has been a new thing for me and the more I think about it, the more of a problem is seems to become. Body odor stopped after I used the deodorant a few times though during weekends I remained odor free even without use of deodorant.

Things I learned:
  • Hot showers are bad for your scalp and skin;
  • Excessively cold water produces pressure in your head--shower cap recommended after hair is cleaned;
  • Cold or warm showers have similar affects on skin;
  • Cold shower seemed as affective as a hot shower (read more effective than warm shower) though was not willing to continue for fears of prolonging cold;
  • Cold showers teach you how to take deep breaths--outside of cold water exposure, I've never been able to practice deep breathing with any sense of accomplishment. With that said, cold showers forces your body to react with a natural deep breath which leads me to believe cold showers would improve your overall breathing habits if taken daily which apparently can lead to numerous quality of life improvements.
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Log

140109 - felt extremely cold for a few moments; bearable; dry back was not noticeable afterward; hands are a bit dry; no body odor

140115 - felt fine; no dry back; no body odor; later odor-strong; dressed warm 140116 - luke warm water; felt good; mild dryness on shoulder blades; morning odor-strong; warm night, sweat (75F+ degrees)

140119 - cold to very cold warer; felt lots of discomfort at initial rinse and scrub but second rinse felt great; odor returned upon warming up; skin feels dry but appears healthier than usual


—cold showers continued; no notes—

140130 - didn’t use completely cold water though still very cold. cold water is starting to become tolerable. able to shower continuously though shaky afterward. skin is still dry but not irritated. no change in face discoloration. get same refreshed feeling as warm/hot shower when congested (typical morning congestion at this point, not cold). supplemented body with natural brand deodorant; working though may be partly mental.

140203 - cold seems to be causing temporary pressure in my head when doused and soaking in cold water. not sure if it is a good or bad thing. cold water doesn’t have the same affect on body when soaking. tolerance for cold seems to be increasing. an aside, had a major hangover that lasted about 16 hours. my temple artery is pulsing a bit and I’m a little worried it is not reversible and signs of the onset of a disease (bit paranoid, i know, but it still persists though not sure if it was always there).

140210 - took a cold shower and hot bath. was a bit worried that I had hot water at my feet. doesn’t seem to have an adverse affect on health. one thing is clear though, the hot bath dried out my skin so I definitely need to follow it up with a cold shower and lotion. the hot bath felt good though. mark on face is stayed the same. starting to think I’ll have it forever like brooke burke.

140213 - i am sick and i believe it was due to the cold shower while ankle deep in warm water. this must have had some ill affect though my house is all sick (wife and daughter, who is in daycare with 5+ kids). my wife believes the cold showers are the cause. it is hard to say. the cold does increase pressure in my head which i’ve read might be do to coagulation. i may buy myself a shower cap so that my head is only wetted when intended. overall, i feel it has done more good than harm though it is difficult to say with certainty. i do wonder if i am playing with fire. it is known that hot showers are bad but the same cannot be said for warm showers. and as for cold showers, many ills can be said and even those that have had to bear them cannot attest positively to them. i believe i’ll err on the side of caution and take warm showers for the remainder of my sickness. i’ll continue my cold showers afterward when i’ve regained my vigor.

140216 - cut cold showering until i get better. luckily, it seems it’ll be better by tomorrow. the key is lots of water, some steam and warm compress on the sinuses. completely skipped the whole cough and sore throat aspect of my cold. during this time, i’ve been taking warm showers, as opposed to hot. years of habitual hot showers has me fighting the urge to the dial up on the heat. warm showers seem to be as conducive to skin health as cold showers. I also believe that it does a better job at cleansing the body but that could be due to the extended time of the shower (10-15m w/ continuous water flow). i’ll more than likely incorporate a warm shower day into my week as a thorough cleaning exercise. in the end, my skin, though more resilient to breakage or itchiness, feels rough to the touch regardless of cold or warm showers. as a result, I purchased both moisturizer and lotion from an online natural product vender, tropicaltraditions.com, hoping to finally rid myself of dryness and possible the white spot on my face. from this point forward, I’ll be recording less frequently though I’ll be starting a log of continued moisturizer and lotion use.

Monday, March 19, 2012

6 Days of Raw Green Smoothies

6 days and 2 bags of spinach later, all I can really say is that I see an overall increase in my energy levels. Nails show no signs of smoothening and skin is still dry though not as bad. For example, I have a patch of scaly skin on my right hand. That hasn't changed much, but my left arm which was also pretty dry to the point of getting scaly has started to feel smooth. Light rubbing doesn't break the skin as it once did. Also, my back isn't nearly as itchy as usual. One neat thing I've learned is that pineapple completely masks the spinach flavor. Thus far, I'm happy with this little experiment and look forward to the next 3 more weeks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Raw Green Smoothies Mornings

I've come to the realization that my skin isn't what it used to be and that if I don't do anything about it, I'll be as scaly as the fish I hate to eat. I don't like the idea of using lotion daily so for the past 3 days, I've started my days with raw green smoothies. The hype behind this is pretty huge: smoothen your nails and clear your patchy skin. There are other ridiculous claims, none of which I care to mention but I'm willing to give it a shot for a few months. I have dry skin, ripples on some of my nails and a bit slow to get started in the morning. I'll try and share the results as well as it's affects on my wallet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wasting money

I should clarify; in my eyes, I'm not wasting money but considering the economy some would definitely call it a waste: I'm investing cash on my home network.

It started off as a simple task; stream media from my computer to my laptop. Initially, I figured I'd go the cheap route and get a wireless N router: no thought, just run out and get wireless N.

What I ended up getting was a single band router with a 100Mb switch. Needless to say, the little improvements I found were quickly tainted by new problems. It was a situation described simply: I rushed into a purchase and didn't get what I needed.

Fast forward a year and a half and now I'm ready to tackle the problem again. Unfortunately, I didn't internalize much of my last experience: all I remembered was that it didn't work like I had hoped.

So now, I figured I wanted something that was top of the line. I was looking at the sleek Asus routers but the limited speed on the 5Ghz frequency bugged me. That and the fact that reports said their new router was on the way that corrected these issues.

A visit to Fry's helped me realize the Netgear N900 accomplished everything I was looking for. Again though, I didn't assess my present network so I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the speeds at all.

Playing around with the router, I found out that my cables didn't even support 1Gb transfer speeds. That bothered me mainly because I had recently purchased a bunch of ethernet cables. Turns out I had bought Cat5 cables. On top of that, my laptop's wireless card didn't even support the 5Ghz frequency so technically I had nothing that would even be running on the wireless N band which I had found out the year before with the other router but had forgotten. Anyway, I ended up spending 60 on new. Cat6e cables, 40 on a wireless card for the laptop and eventually I'll be needing a 1Gb switch as well which will run in the 100s. So, excluding time, I'm already at 300 spent with nothing notably awesome.

I will say though that it was cool installing the card into the laptop. I had to install an antenna myself. I've already clocked double the speed on the laptop, maxing out at 100Mb, the maximum transfer  speed my computer can manage with Cat5. Also, I would have never realized I was using older cables had I not had the N900.

Though the ultimate goal had been to be able to stream movies from my computer to a wireless laptop without jitters, it's now evolved into having a topnotch network so if I need to transfer anything, it'll be blazing fast. Lol, now that I think about it, the N900 probably doesn't have USB3 so there's one lingering bottleneck I hadn't considered. Either way this thing goes, it's been a great learning experience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Abandonment issues

Everyone eventually feels the sting of being abandoned by someone they love for the first time. Mine came at the hand of my own dad during his futile pursuit for "happiness". Suffice it to say he got more than he bargained for.

One thing is certain, until I was directly confronted with this, I never once imagined the level of selfishness needed for someone to do such a thing let alone their affects. You could imagine my surprise when someone nonchalantly summed up the feeling of resentment whom I believe hasn't gone through what I have. I thought either the person has gone through some sort of abandonment or is very in tune with the emotions of others.

The first thought is what interests me. Could a person experience such hatred for selfishness simply through relationships? The answer should jump out at you as a yes: any emotional arousal is still a valid experience no matter how trivial their affects would seem to an outsider. This wasn't an obvious conclusion for me. My personal bias kept me from recognizing it as what the sentence was; a brief intimate moment into their life. I have to remember to keep this in mind more often. There's nothing worse than opening up to someone and having them take your emotions lightly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

60h Banana Fast

So far so good. I've got too much energy for my own good. It must have been all the exercise I had done a few days ago. Either way, I'm shocked at how well I feel although I only ate a few bananas and drank little water. I do feel like eating but not because I'm hungry. The idea of eating is appealing but to be clear, I've eaten a total of 6 bananas in 2 days and have yet to hear a stomach grumble. Makes me wonder...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

32h Banana Fast :P

So, the second my girlfriend came in, I got the feeling that she wouldn't be very supportive so I decided to switch to the banada fast.