Champions of Wayne Blog
Sean Galvin is Executive Director of Champions of Wayne and makes a point establish a new good habit each semester so he can keep up with the impressive feats of Wayne Memorial students. While his accomplishments of earning a Ph.D. and running ten marathons (and counting) are impressive, he has eaten like a total loser for upwards of 35 years and is embarrassed (as he should be). This is his story:
By Sean Galvin
Today begins day #9 of the 14 day no sugar/carbs challenge. Here's what I've learned thus far:
1. This isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. By loading up on everything I WILL be eating each Sunday, there's no need to think about eating anything else. I have a plan and I stick to it.
2. Days 2-4 were relatively uncomfortable. Fatigued, sweaty, bloated, and forced to use the men's room with startling frequency, my low point came when I improperly cooked whitefish on my Foreman grill, watched it flake off into little pieces when attempting to move it to my plate, and then just started barehanding flakes of fish off the countertop into my mouth because I was ravenous from a lack of sugar/carbs.
3. My biggest challenges: evening cravings--relatively easily overcome with a steady supply of nuts, and ice water is more satisfying than you'd think.
4. I had a (full-sized) spare tire going before I started this: As a habitual marathon runner, I assumed I was fit as can be...not the case. After 8 days, I can see the fat falling off of my belly, and my previously-unnoticed love handles are rapidly diminishing as well.
5. I sleep better. And wake up with a clearer head.
6. Waking up is easier. Oh yes.
7. I'm maintaining steady energy throughout the day: No more spikes, crashes, needs for an afternoon coffee or nap.
8. Increased ability to focus. My productivity wheelhouse, normally 8am to 11am, now extends well into the afternoon.
9. Biggest life hack I've figured out thus far: bulletproof coffee. I've come up with my own variation, which is coffee with a tablespoon of grass-fed butter, heavy whipping cream, and coconut oil. This morning routine provides me with 500 calories (none from carbs, obviously) and a steady source of energy throughout the day.
10. Routines and "staples" have been key to early success. Unless I've gotten creative, the standard operating procedures are:
I see you, bro
Will I continue this strict diet after the mandatory 14 days?
While I refuse to answer this question now, I can promise the following:
1. I will carry an increased awareness of what enters my body from now on
2. Permanent diet changes are imminent
3. There will be cheat days (goodbye to pizza forever? I think not.)
4. I don't really have any cravings anymore, and I'm into this steady energy and clearheadedness
Stay tuned for my post-14 days wrap up and plan for the future!
Much like fellow Spartan and Champions of Wayne Blogger Sharon Carpenter, Arion Logan is a 2016 graduate of Wayne Memorial who has overcome significant obstacles to get where she is. Her persistence in pursuing the Spartan Advantage Scholarship, which is awarded to economically disadvantaged students, has resulted in a full scholarship and a previously unforeseen array of opportunities. This is her story in her words.
By Arion Logan
The day I’ve anxiously awaited is finally here, my first day as a student at Michigan State University. As I sit alone in the cafeteria while typing this, I realize this is not high school anymore, it’s a whole new ball game. What’s so different? I am no longer the outgoing and “popular” girl that I once was known as in high school, I mean I’m eating lunch alone. I’ve never been nervous for my first day of classes before, but on a campus with over 50,000 students, how could I not be?
What is there to be nervous about? How will I make my college years worth it, I have many plans for the next four years, and my biggest fear is not accomplishing them. The end of my high school career was full of regret, I didn’t participate as much as I’d wanted and I hadn’t left my mark on the school that I had envisioned. I refuse to let college leave me with any regret.
Other than not accomplishing all my goals, my biggest fear is the freedom and unknowingness that come along with going away for school. I have no idea what this year will have in store for me at Michigan State, but I can only hope that Wayne Memorial, my parents, and my mentor Sean Galvin have prepared me to take on the huge university with confidence, caution, and passion.
Here I sit, in a cafeteria of many full of some of the best and brightest students throughout the U.S. and beyond, I realize that I have made it, although Michigan State is not my destination, just a pathway to something far greater, I have made it. Being a first generation, low income student, this dream was something far out of my reach but with the help of many I have made it my reality, and I refuse to mess up this opportunity, I will be as successful as my fullest potential allows me, because #spartanswill.
Sharon Carpenter is a 2016 graduate of Wayne Memorial High School. At the end of her senior year, she was uncertain of where she would attend college and how she would afford it. Now, she is attending Michigan State University and receiving a full scholarship. Sharon is the first in her family to attend college and is no stranger to challenges. Please check out her two-part podcast here to hear her backstory.
By Sharon Carpenter
So here I am, riding in a 2 door f-150 on my way to East Lansing. How do I feel? Excited, anxious and like everything is unrealistic. In one hour I will be home in a small room with Kaylie (my roommate). It will be a change, considering I have never shared a room before.
I was never nervous, I was more excited than anything but now that I am on my way to Michigan State I can feel the nervousness. What am I nervous about? Time management, I think is so key in being successful in college. At home I was not too worried about time management because everything was planned out for me. Now, I am an adult and can make my own schedule. I think that's what scares me the most, everything that is waiting at Michigan State is unknown.
Why fear the unknown? I think it's good for me to admit that I am a little scared for the unknown, but I think that's what keeps us going. For example, like at the exact time I was in Sean Galvin's office deciding if I wanted to attend Michigan State University or Schoolcraft Community College. I had no idea what to expect from Michigan State University, but Schoolcraft college was more in my comfort zone. DON'T STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE! I knew that I would live in the same house with the same room and the same colored walls. Schoolcraft would be 20 min away from home, easy drive means saving money on gas. Also I would always have my grandparents to rely on. But I decided to face my fear, which is what I'm doing currently at 9:03 am. My fear of how I am going to unpack and be able to meet new people and finding a job is building up. Facing my fear is not only the best part, it's when you accomplish so much more from the day you face your fears.
When I chose to go to Michigan State I never thought I would have any roadblocks. I didn't want to imagine what can happen in the future that could potentially bring me down. I believe now that I have so much passion for who I am going to become that I will not let anything get in my way. I am so thankful for this opportunity that I do not want to mess this up. Although, many things can get in my way I will gain experience on how to handle certain situations.
So here I am an anxious freshman at Michigan State University, ready to move in and get my college life started.
In keeping with my spring 2016 declaration that I will establish one new good habit each semester as a part of my ongoing Champions of Wayne goal, my new habits of reading and eating spinach on a regular basis have guided me to this conclusion: although my diet is healthier than it was before, it is still an embarrassment when compared to the ideal diet I have recently come to understand and can no longer deny.
Homo Sapiens have roamed the planet for 100,000 years, and lived as hunter-gatherers for the first 90,000. Seeing as how genetic adaptations take roughly 25,000 years to appear in humans (per my boy Sebastian Junger), I've concluded that my body is that of a hunter-gatherer and that I need to treat it accordingly. A few notes on our foraging ancestors:
Another note on hunter-gatherers, they did not eat bread, pasta, bagels, Rice Krispies, or Power Bars. From what I understand (and will put to the test), the idea that carbs and sugars are a good source of energy is a myth. Consider an excerpt from Christopher McDougall's Natural Born Heroes:
Think of your body as a furnace...Fill it with slow-burnding logs and it will run smooth and strong for hours. But fill it with paper and gas-soaked rags and it will burn hot, rattle the pipes, and die out until it is fed again.
Carbs are a puddle; fat is the Pacific. At any time, your body has some 160,000 calories on tap: about 2,000 from sugar, 25,000 from protein, and nearly 140,000--87 percent--are fat.
The plan is to condition my body to burn fat instead of carbs and sugar. To do this, I will need to completely eliminate sugar from my diet (including fruit, beans, grains, soy, wine, beer, and low-fat milk) for three weeks, then slowly reintroduce natural sugars (fruit). My days of added sugar are over (minus the occasional cheat day).
Keep in mind, this is not a weight-loss diet (although I'm guessing I'll shed a couple lbs). The purpose of this endeavor is to determine what the impact of such a diet is on ol' Joe Six Pack over here. I can stuff myself silly all day, but only with meat, fish, eggs, avocados, vegetables and nuts. Fortunately, I have maximum love for cashews and will undoubtedly keep tubs of them at work, home and in my car.
I'll be headed to the grocery store this weekend to load up on the above items and to begin the challenge. Next blog post will include a plan for the upcoming week (each breakfast, lunch, dinner planned out) and pics of my food for week. Damn it feels good to be a gangster.
By: Sean Galvin