Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 712, 713, and 714 Manipulating The Metabolism and Weight Limits No Longer Apply

Day 712, 713, and 714

Manipulating The Metabolism and Weight Limits No Longer Apply

I’m still not liking this sporadic posting business. It changes the perspective, and becomes more generalized as I try to recall specifics from each day. As my experiences stand out, the idea is that I’ll remember and write about the most important tidbits. I guess it’s an evolution that really couldn’t be helped as I grow and become focused on several different things other than writing a daily post. But trust me, it’s really a tough little adjustment period for me. After being so prolific, nearly two years of writing everyday, that personal account stands and isn’t going anywhere—so there’s no need for me to change the name of this blog to the “When I Get A Chance Diary of A Winning Loser.”

Saturday morning came at 7:50am, early for me, especially since I didn’t have a location broadcast, but fine---considering I hit the pillow at a decent hour Friday night. I stumbled to the kitchen to start the coffee and grab a banana, I wanted to wake up a little before I started cooking breakfast. Breakfast makes a big difference and I’ve written many times about its importance level in my life. I was never a “breakfast person,” but I quickly realized from early on that everyone was right when they said “It’s the most important meal of the day.” But why? Let me explain…

We must because we need to break-the-fast. Our metabolism depends on it, just like I’ve convinced myself I need coffee to function in the morning, the metabolism refuses to start working efficiently without fuel. A couple of friends of mine, Melissa Walden—fitness and life coach, and Dr. Amy of the Ranch Chiropractic Wellness Center, have both shared with me the same metabolism analogy of “The Wood Burning Stove.” I know I’ve written about it before, but I can’t seem to find the original excerpt—don’t need it, I’ll write it fresh:

Just like a wood burning stove needs good wood in order to burn hot, the metabolism needs good fuel to burn hot and fast. (First of all, imagine it’s freezing outside) The metabolism is your wood-burning stove. After a long night, the stove needs some logs to get the fire and heat going. After a few hours, you’ll need to put some more wood in the stove to keep it burning hot. But don’t put too much (overeat), because then the fire will suffocate itself, not burning as efficiently…the heat will slow down at that point. But if we keep throwing good wood on the fire every three or four hours, the fire never stops burning hot and fast, until late into our nightly slumber…but then we get up, feel a little chill (hunger), add a log or two to the stove (breakfast), and we’re burning hot again. As your good choices evolve along the way, you’ll realize—like I did, that certain foods (fruits, veggies, lean meats) are like premium wood, perfect for really getting the fire hot—and certain foods (typical junk food fare—The kind that occasionally were a part of my journey in the beginning, because remember—good choices must evolve from what we like and normally eat) are like cold-wet-green wood, the kind that will burn eventually or maybe not, if it does, it’s at a much slower rate—producing less heat. So there you have it, our metabolism is a wood burning stove…perfect analogy, thank you Melissa and Amy!

It was March 30th, 2009 when I published this excerpt about metabolism. Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor or expert, far from it!! I simply have combined advice from experts with my own experiences along this weight loss road:

I've really been concentrating on spreading out my calories more evenly throughout the day, you know, to keep the fire in my “wood burning stove” burning hot. The metabolism is a tricky thing. I use to think that the metabolism was something you were just born with and completely unable to change. I thought that some of us were blessed with a really fast metabolism and some were unfortunately “blessed” with a slow metabolism. While you'll find some truth in that, a slow metabolism doesn't have to remain slow. I've learned that exercise, water consumption, and eating frequently all have the power to act like a “metabolism dial” that you can adjust up several notches. It just so happens that all of my former bad behaviors with food and lack of movement was a perfect recipe for a sluggish metabolism. Oh how much time I wasted being depressed and negative about losing weight because I had a naturally slow metabolism, and all the while my metabolism was yelling “Hey, help me help you!” and “It's called H2O, look it up.” and “If you would eat smaller portions maybe I wouldn't feel so smothered down here.” and “How long has it been since you really exercised...well that's too long.” That's right, my metabolism was a heckler that I refused to acknowledge for many years. Instead I would sit and be jealous of the naturally thin people with super-human metabolisms, looking out the window as they would run by with their workout pants and water bottle. “Crazy over-achievers,” I thought. I now pride myself on slowly becoming one of them. I don't even necessarily have to be an over-achiever, just an achiever, that'd be just fine with me. I'm fitting the description of an “achiever” everyday, one day at a time right?

Jan has discovered the power she has over her metabolism. Sometimes, when the scale isn’t moving—the solution is to eat more. When you think of it in terms of the wood-burning stove, it makes sense---perfectly. Here’s what Jan writes:

“Just wanted to share my news. I have written before and I have taken your advice. I was on a 2-week plateau and was not moving up or down. I hate breakfast, but I started eating cereal last week to see if that would really help. I have to tell you, I weighed in this am and I lost 3 pounds. YEAH!! I started at 267 1/2 and stopped at 252 1/2. I am now at 249 1/2. I broke into the 240's. I am on a natural high!!!! Thank you for all your advice. My final goal is 155, so I have a ways to go, but I know it is one pound at a time. Thanks again, Jan”

Congratulations Jan! That’s awesome news, keep it up—and soon you’ll be at 155—exactly where you’re headed my friend, and you’ll never want to miss breakfast again—I think you’re already there!! I’m very happy for you!

After Saturday morning’s breakfast (an egg white scramble with veggies on a Joseph’s pita), I headed to the YMCA for the hour-long spinning class at 9:15am. This time I knew exactly how long I was “in.” It had been a good long time since I made this a Saturday morning priority, and since I didn’t have a work schedule other than personal projects, it was on! I felt powerful on that cycle, like I could do anything---light-years from where I came. I tried to imagine old Sean doing this, and seriously---that was a ridiculous thought, because 505 pound Sean would have known better than to even try, besides—there’s probably a weight limit on those things. That’s a cool idea—that there really isn’t a weight limit that applies to me at this point, unless it’s made for a child. I like that, oh wow—I really love that!

After an amazing steak dinner, featuring a potato AND corn (picture below), I know—double starch---again, not perfect…Never have been, but that plate checked in at 460 calories, well within my calorie budget. I agree, it would have been better with something green—maybe grilled asparagus or fresh frozen green beans. Oh boy, wow---did that become an issue or what? The whole canned green bean debate of 2010. The canned is absolutely full of sodium, unless I try the low or no sodium variety…Hmmm. Well, Just so you know, in my freezer right now, you will find fresh-frozen green beans. I’m looking forward to them immensely!

Usually I would just call a one-hour spinning class good enough, and think about my workout for the next day, but not Saturday—No, instead I made my way to the trail for a late night 5K walk/jog, but mostly power walk. I absolutely rocked in the workout department Saturday. I’m so proud!

I made my way to Stillwater on Sunday afternoon for a nice visit with mom, grandma, and my Aunt Kelli. Kelli is my aunt, but as I’ve said—we’re only three years apart and were raised like siblings really, so I occasionally refer to her as “sis,” especially on her blog or facebook. The visit was fantastic, absolutely wonderful really…and it wasn’t long before I headed home to immerse myself in thought, as I continue working on other projects.

This is what’s so tough about not posting daily. That’s it for Sunday? Really? I did eat well, staying within my calorie budget, but I didn’t workout—opting for a “rest day,” which sounds so permissible and normal, but really---I’m not fooling myself. It only takes 12 minutes to do a set of non-weighted strength training exercises…I could have and should have done at least that. How can I make myself feel better? I worked out twice yesterday! There…I feel better, but not really.

Monday found me in spinning class once again, 50 minutes this time. I didn’t even know we had a 50-minute class. I made sure to ask at the start, “Uh, excuse me—I want to mentally prepare myself…how long is this class again? ---Oh, 50 minutes, that’s strange, but OK…Let’s go!”

My dinner Monday night after the spinning workout was over the top incredible. I had a little over 700 calories remaining for the day---so I used them with dinner and, get this---desert! See the pictures below!!! Yes my friend, this is what it looks like to lose weight eating real food, in real life, everyday situations. Grilled chicken marinara topped with mozzarella on a bed of spaghetti for the main course---and desert? You ready for this? A deliberately smaller scone…hold on, what does that mean you ask? The scone, made the way the package describes---calls for it to be bigger, by almost double. This scone was made smaller with fewer calories, about 120 for the scone, 50 calories for the strawberries and sugar, and another 20 for the Cool Whip Lite---or 190 calories of absolute incredibleness. That’s not a word, I don’t think…maybe it can be, yep—I think so.

I regularly feature new weight loss bloggers in these writings and occasionally feature ones that I really enjoy. Today, it’s a new weight loss blogger! Welcome Jessica! She writes:

“I literally stumbled onto your blog last night and I'm completely blown away by your progress. You are such an inspiration to so many (and to me!!) I've recently started my journey (July 1) and I have right around 100 lbs to lose. I would be so honored if you would link to my blog and even stop by to say hello. You seem like such a down to earth person and you've come such a long way. When I read blogs like yours, my journey doesn't seem quite so daunting.....thanks for being so open about your experiences!” Find her here: http://healthyfor100.blogspot.com/

I feel so blessed. Thank you for reading! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Saturday morning breakfast!

My “double starch” dinner. I completely agree—it would have been much better with some green in there! Perhaps some frozen fresh or fresh green beans! ;)

After I posted a picture of my blood donation, Tammy, a regular reader, sent me a picture of her giving blood!! I just started donating in the last year, as my weight and the resulting high blood pressure always held me back…but Tammy, oh my—she’s been devoted for a long time!!! Tammy is a 10-gallon donor and that’s amazing! If you have a picture of you giving the gift of life, please---send it to me and I’ll feature it here. Thank you Tammy for the picture!

With my lovely grandmother on Sunday!

She’s so beautiful! When she says “Don’t you lose another pound,” I know she says it with love!

Breakfast at work…so good! This is two whole eggs with mushrooms on a 60 calorie Joseph’s pita. A fantastic 205-calorie breakfast! I could have used egg whites instead and added cheese---and had a similar calorie count…just a choice.

I can’t think of a better way to spend almost 700 calories (for the entire meal, not just desert). I rarely eat desert, but this was an exception to the rule. It was an amazing calorie value!

Today’s featured before picture. Wow…we would have to make that face painted logo a little smaller today!


  1. Sean,

    Your sporadic posts are getting on my nerves...lol.

    And I realize metabolism needs to be fed by fuel. But can I ask you a question? When you meet your goal, you will be happy right?

    Your friend,


  2. Sean it really cracks me up that you and I seem to be on the same page alot. You talked about weight limits on stuff and the other day, I was telling Kathy that I am so looking forward to the day that I don't have to look for the weight limit or assess a situation where I may break something by sitting on it!

    I have said it before and you are gonna hear it many more times brother.... thank you so much for the push. I know the journey is all mine, the push, I credit to you. YOu made what I do possible. I referenced this in my own blog, but I am gonna use it here too. I have been doing a really great job in the exercise department, and I always feel like Superman when I am done with a walk or workout or whatever. I had a rough Monday this past Monday, but I got back on track Tuesday and was contemplating the difference between the two days. I had a thought that "I had my Superman back" on the way home Tuesday and thought that was cool. I am gonna start using that to motivate me!

  3. Interesting post regarding weight limits. Summertime is the season where size limits really come into play for me, because it's amusement park season. We didn't go this summer, partly because of time constraints, but also because I knew that at my current size, I wouldn't fit into the seats of the rides I would most want to go on! Darn those over-the-head harnesses! Next summer will be different!

  4. Sean,

    I went to the doctor yesterday, and started my weight loss program. I am shooting for 1000-1200 calories per day (my doc says this is fine, I'm a small woman) and yesterday I totally hit it!! I was a little hungry, but not much. I got this, right? I am 180 now, and thinking I'd be happy at 130, but who knows? I remember being 105 once upon a time, I can dream, right? I have a treadmill and a bowflex in my living room, so this week, I start exercising. NO excuses. I have hypothyroidism, so I am going to have to work extra hard. I'm looking at your example to keep me there and keep me honest with myself.

    Thanks so much for inspiring me to do this, for making me feel like I can. Good lord, now I'm crying. Anyways, thanks. I'm looking forward to getting my life back.


  5. Great post Sean. I read in Bob Harper's book that you should eat within an hour of waking up in the morning. I can't always do that but I have decided that will be my challenge this week.
    Have a great day!

  6. Breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day, but I don't miss it because I know it's important. You're right.

    Check Tammy out! She's a blood-donating rock star, and you are too.

    And those 700 calories definitely look well spent.yummy..!

  7. I admit, I've always been skeptical of the whole "fast/slow metabolism" thing as well, and I've never had a weight problem. I will occasionally eat a big meal, but what people don't see is that I cut back before and after so it balances out. I don't do it consciously, though -- my body just retains the full feeling for longer. I've had a few times in restaurants when I will go and get three big sushi rolls, potstickers, and a giant scoop of ice cream, and someone at another table will say, "Look, look what she's eating and how skinny she is ... " and what they don't know is that it's highly unlikely I'm eating dinner that night. I eat unevenly -- it averages out over a week, but there are days when I eat a lot and other days when I have a piece of toast and some coffee. But if the other people don't know that, then all they see is the skinny b*tch who lives on ice cream 24/7 and doesn't gain weight.

    It really does just come down to calories and activity, for everyone. It's the mental stuff that makes that simple equation difficult or easy. (Simple is not the same as easy, that's why we have separate words for the concepts ... )

  8. If you wish to lose some more pounds, please eat breakfast in the new studio. You will lose some more pounds off your butt if you do.....

  9. You're such a cute little Gecko when you start talking tough! With that accent and everything...just adorable. No food or drink in the new studios, got it! I guess I should keep in mind that the owner of this broadcasting empire occasionally reads this blog...
    Shouldn't you be selling insurance right now? ;)

  10. Love the "wood burning stove" analogy. I was never a consistent breakfast eater, but now I know that I can never skip it. I wouldn't want my fire to dwindle! :)

  11. Sean, I was certainly surprised when I saw my picture on your blog this morning! I hope some of your other followers will decide to give blood. It is relatively painless (just a needle stick to start), it only takes a few minutes, and one pint can save up to 3 lives! Plus, they ENCOURAGE you to eat a snack when it is over! It is an easy way to be a hero.

    Thanks for all you do by sharing your story with all of us who are on the same road!

  12. Having a really difficult time finding the Joseph's pita's here in the midwest (Michigan). I found something similar with 138 calories in a wheat pita with 5 grams of fiber for one whole pita. Best I can do but I know the ones you describe, Sean, are better for you with the flax, etc.

  13. I love my breakfasts. Best meal of the day. I remember learning, when I was very young, that we should:
    Breakfast like a King;
    Lunch like a Prince; and
    Dinner like a Pauper.

    My challenge has alays been my portion sizes... I like to eat all my meals like a King and afternoon tea as well. However, I too, am learnng to make changes.

  14. You know before I started loosing weight I avoided breakfest like a plague ...unless it was pancakes etc. I now can't live without eating breakfest. What works for me is eating something that is not traditionally considered breakfest. For example I love Morningstar Black Bean Burgers with a melted string cheese on the new sandwhich round whole wheat breads...also love Boca spicy chicken too....sounds strange but very filling and low in ww points

  15. Sean you are the best! I love reading your blog. Remember that dessert is spelled with two s's because we always want more of it!!!! That's how I always remember it.

  16. Sean I jsut wanted to comment because well I read everyday and never comment . I love reading about your weightloss. Just want to ask a question do you record what you eat, and do you ever eat bread or pasta. Jsut out of curosity, I get sick of writing down what I eat but find I can only stay ontrack by writing it down. thanks Jill

  17. I start each day with 4 strips of bacon. Sometimes 6. Since I stopped eating low fat everything I've lost 65 lbs!!! Fat keeps me satisfied and revs up my metabolism. I curse the day I got talked into eating low fat...that debacle caused me to overeat and gain, gain, gain until I realized it wasn't right for me. I guess we each find what works best for our own body. Keep up the great life!


  18. Totally agree with the whole metabolism thing. Love the wood burning stove analogy!

    Your grandma looks SO sweet!!!!!

  19. Sean,
    You are truly an inspiration. In fact, your blog is what inspired me to start one of my own. Thank you for that.
    There is an award for you on my Blog.

  20. hey!! you have a wonderful blog. thanks for sharing your weight lost progress here. keep it up and never give up. you can do it.

  21. I love that your metabolism "speaks" to you! LOL!! Everyone's body and metabolism speaks to you - you just have to be more focused on your body to hear it! GREAT post Sean!!!!!!!!!!
    Yours In Health, Dr. Amy


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