Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 480 14.7% Body Fat (really?) and You Mean I Need To Eat More?

Day 480

14.7% Body Fat (really?) and You Mean I Need To Eat More?

No time for the snooze alarm this morning. I jumped up at 4am ready to go full force. I was full of energy and optimistic. Today was going to be a turning point, and it was. I met with Melissa Walden for my first training session at 4:45am. The first thing we did was a body fat analysis and a bunch of measurements. The analysis found my body fat at a surprisingly normal 14.7%. (The average male should fall between 10 and 15%) I was really shocked. I think she was surprised too. Her initial analysis concluded that I didn't have much fat OR much muscle, especially upper body muscle. My lower body was much better in the muscle department, surely from carrying around all that weight for so long. I remember getting a body fat analysis done a long time ago, maybe 13 years or so ago, and if I remember right, my body fat at that time was a whopping 54% . It had to be somewhere around there when I started at 505. But 14.7%...I'm thrilled. She commented on “a bunch of skin and bones,” Hmmm, never been described like that, although that's not the good thing I always thought it might be. I need muscles and that's the point of this new chapter of my journey. Strength training is critical at this point.

That 14.7% number had me buzzing all day long. I was seriously high on that all day long. I had very little trouble today with the nicotine cravings, very little trouble...I was too busy running the numbers of my body fat analysis. If 14.7% is correct, then that means I only have 40 more pounds of fat on my body, and since it would be practically impossible to have less than 1% body fat---well, you see where I'm headed here. Maybe I set my goal too low? Perhaps, but wait a second. After more fat loss and then adding some muscle---and then having all this excess skin removed---maybe 230 is possible, very possible. Melissa called this evening and said she'd like to re-do that test. I know---hard to believe huh? She was positive that it was very close---but just to confirm, we'll do a re-test. I guess I shouldn't have ordered that jacket with 14.7% on the breast and back. I'm kidding, I didn't order a jacket, but I was excited enough for sure!

This chapter of my journey will be archived with some of the most revealing photos I've ever taken. I will keep them private until after skin removal surgery and months of weight training. There's no way I'm brave enough to post the “before” without an “after” to lessen the pain. Some people I know wouldn't have a problem with the super revealing pictures—in underwear with shirt off. Some guys would be really comfortable with that regardless of their weight. Not me! No way, no how! I'm not that brave. But, I'm going to take these pictures and save them just for the sake of a jaw dropping contrast someday. I love jaw dropping before and afters, or “in progress” shots. I love 'em! I'm recruiting Irene to come over and take these shots, she'll do it—no problem!

The workout this morning was amazing. We did squats, modified push ups, plank raises (not sure if that's what it's called), and then we killed my mid-section with some killer sit-ups she called “out of beds.” I felt the workout all day and evening. I'm still feeling it. I worked out again tonight and it was noticeably harder to accomplish the same reps. I'm a sore boy.

Melissa has upped my calories to 1800. It's a little awkward, I'll admit...but it's not too bad. Listen to me, am I complaining about eating more? That's nuts, isn't it? She did tell me to make that extra 300 calories good stuff. Fruits, veggies, proteins...something real and good for me. So today I did 1800. Can you believe that? I feel good! Can't wait to see the difference this turning point creates.

Melissa left a very nice comment on last night's blog. She addressed the “stress factor” as it applies to weight loss. Here's what she said: Hey all you Sean supporters and my new client. How amazing to have this many people sending good thoughts and such a brave person to post his life's struggles. Oh! About the stress hormones...high levels of stress can cause your body to not reduce body fat as efficiently as it could under average levels of stress. If anyone has a question for me, just throw it out there. Sean can let me know because I have a 2 year old that requires a lot of attention and I don't get to read Sean's blog all the time. Lol. Sean-Another new road and I'm honored to be going down it with you. I will learn as much from you as you learn from me. I knew when I met you that God had a plan. Can't wait to see what the future brings!----Melissa Walden

I made the most wonderful turkey mozzarella melt egg white omelet for lunch today. The giant—and very filling plate load was an unbelievable 160 calories. I really should have had more calories for lunch---so I enjoyed a ham sandwich loaded with veggies a few hours later.

I interviewed Kat Long on my show this morning. She was promoting the 2010 Census employment testing. Kat is a long time reader of this blog and it was so good to see her. She came bearing gifts! A census 2010 mug filled with flavored tea bags! How did she know I wanted to start drinking less coffee? And then she gave me a wonderful water bottle. It's like she was reading my mind. More water is a top priority these days, I needed a good bottle. And then I remembered, she's not reading my mind---she's reading my blog! Thank you Kat! You know, Kat has accomplished her own successful weight loss journey! After losing 50 pounds, her and her husband both agreed---she was there, that was it...goal!

I drove to Stillwater tonight and picked up my mom. She's staying the weekend with me. I'll take her back on Sunday. We got back kind of late and I immediately took her down to the fitness room so we could visit while I worked out. It was good. Real good. The best part of the night was making a nearly 95 mile round trip smoke free. Driving and smoking always went hand in hand with me. But tonight—it was like I didn't miss the nasty things. I didn't have to crack my window once. And that dirty nasty ashtray? I tossed it all in the trash. Who needs it? Not me!

In the morning it'll be “Sean And Mom In The Morning,” We did that once before, it was so much fun! My mom has a great radio voice. She's a natural indeed and everybody just loves her on the air. We're looking forward to doing it again.

Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. Wow, you said exactly the reason I didn't post some revealing swimsuit "before" photos yet that I took... I want to have some "afters" to soften the pain of them!! Exactly!!! I totally understand. :-)

    How exciting to be on the "home stretch"... working on strength training, having to eat more (poor baby), and busy just enjoying it all! I am so happy for you.

  2. Oh Sean that is absolutely wonderful about the fat percentage!!! It is also wonderful that even in your writing I can tell you are less stressed out about quiting smoking, and that is great! That means you are winning! Eeeee, I almost wanna stand up and do a little jig I'm so happy :)

    And how wonderful is it that your personal trainer is so passionately devoted to your health, just like you are. She certainly isn't going to phone it in, and I know you won't!

    I'll have to look through some of your older posts to see if I can find this, because maybe you've already said....But do you plan on having the skin removal surgery in the foreseeable future? I know that type of thing can be expensive, but I was just wondering.

    Yay! Congrats on this new chapter!

  3. Awesome job, Sean. Thanks for being so open and inspiring us.

  4. Sean is there any way I can hear your radio show?

  5. Hi Sean, I just found your blog a few days ago. I shared the link and was thanked by several people who have been really inspired by you.
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful journey and for your amazing honesty.

  6. Hey, glad to hear you're building muscle and eating more. Also, congrats on your percentage - that's wild!!

  7. Hope you have fun with your mom on the radio... I love reading about your journey every day. You are such a motivation for me.

  8. That's awesome about your body fat percentage!
    I wish I had a way of getting my body fat percentage calculated for me just so that I know how I am doing. Do you have any idea where one could have that done?

    There is a herbal tea that I would like to recommend to you (other than Celestial Seasonings which have an amazing variety) and it is called Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea and it is made by a company called Good Earth which I have found at Costco, Trader Joe's and Vons/Safeway - I am in no way affiliated with either company btw. My favourite caffeinated tea is Earl Grey and yes I do add sweetener to my tea (sacrilege according to my mother, lol).

    My husband also has issue with excess skin and is looking into skin removal surgery, but we have been told that burn centers do not accept the excess skin anymore. Apparently they rely on a synthetic skin more these days as it reduces the risk of infection and rejection - but if you happen to find out something more on this I would love to hear more!

  9. This post is just vibrating with positivity. I'm happy for you Sean. I'm sure you know this already by Roni has some great before and after photos on her blog - a whole section devoted to her tummy tuck. Even though it's hard now, I'd bet down the road, you'll be glad you took those pictures.

  10. How exciting Sean!
    Sounds like Melissa will put you through the paces & you will start to see some big changes - beyond the scale. Those are just as sweet. :)

    Enjoy your extra 300 calories - adding more good stuff is, well, good! lol

    Have a great weekend!

  11. You are rocking the body fat percentage!
    Can't wait to see what kind of workouts Melissa puts you through :)

  12. Hey Sean,
    Sometimes you have to eat more to lose more! I know that in the more critical phases of my weight loss I almost felt guilty when I needed to up my cals- what if I get fat again? It sounds like you and your trainer have a great relationship. And I'm so excited that you are still not smoking.
    And the number one reason I love your blog is it makes me HOMESICK! n I know where all those places are!!!
    Hang in there, squat boy.
    Alison :)

  13. Sean you amaze me every day. Thank you for sharing your story! 14.7%?!? Forget the jacket, where are you going to put the tatoo!

  14. lmao @ the tattoo.....that was awesome. :)

  15. Sean, that was so great. Its hard to believe you're 14.7% And doing a great job quitting the smoking too! Amazing.

  16. Sean, that's really exciting news. Congratulations! As for stress - when your cortisol levels spike, your blood sugar spikes too. When it crashes it gets stored in the body as fat.

  17. Sean-that's awesome!!!!! What an amazing number!

  18. Great news for you Sean. No more cigs man... no more.


  19. The skin definitely adds up. 14 percent body fat is pretty healthy if you ask me. I'm glad to see that you've upped your calories :).

  20. Sean, I'm so excited that YOU'RE so excited! Your enthusiasm for this new piece of your journey shone through your post. WTG on not craving cigarettes as much today, too! Yippee!

  21. I was wondering about extra skin....I bet that would be a heck of a good weigh in all on it's own once you have it removed.
    Glad you have a trainer and are on the right track.
    Keep up the great work sean.
    It's good to see all your forward progress on every level.

  22. You are sounding so positive and your journey is just beginning you have so much living to do. I had to get new bathers (the old ones were getting a bit embarrassing) so I bravely had a full body photo taken I have a bit to go still so hopefully the after photo's will soften the blow congrats on not smoking

  23. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have been inspired by your dedication and approach. Don't take this the wrong way but I have a hard time believing that your body fat percentage is 14.7%. That percentage is considered "lean" for a man. If you are 270 it is pretty tough to imagine that reading is accurate even if you are carrying 20-30 pounds of excess skin. I had my body fat taken a couple of years ago when I was 205 pounds (6feet 1 inch tall) and it was 22% or something. Not trying to burst your balloon but something about that number (which is considered "lean") seems pretty off.

  24. Hi Sean. You're leaner than you thought! That figure does sound a little low. But I suspect the excess skin makes it quite difficult to measure your body fat. Maybe measuring electronically might give a more accurate figure?

    On the other hand, I bet the excess skin weighs A LOT. How much of the 40lbs still left to lose is accounted for by the skin? Have you consulted a surgeon over this yet? They might be able to give you an estimate.

    Bearfriend xx


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