You Broke Your Own Metabolism

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Today was a beautiful day in Seattle. It was mostly sunny in the upper 60s with no noticeable wind. In other words, it was a perfect day. Yet I look around and I see people wearing sweaters, jackets and I even saw 2 guys wearing wool caps. Unless you are The Edge, you shouldn’t be wearing a wool cap on a warm day.

Your body is fully capable of adapting to a wide range of temperatures. It wants to be challenged. Always living in 100% comfort does not provide the body with an opportunity to overcome a minor risk free stress. When you baby your metabolism, you lose the resiliency that is your birthright. If you are always reaching for jacket and fear the cool breeze on your skin, how will you react when life throws you a major stressor?

The Edge by Jack Newton. This is the ONLY man on the planet that looks cool wearing a wool cap when it isn’t cold outside.

About a month ago, I got into a minor argument with someone about this very topic. Basically, I was told that I was able to withstand colder temperatures without a jacket because I have a fast metabolism. I told that person they had it backwards. They have a slow metabolism, because they’ve never given their body a temperature challenge to adapt to and as a result it has efficiently slowed down. They aren’t just wearing a jacket because they are cold, they are cold because they are always wearing a jacket.

I’ve posted many times on my motivation and results for cold weather training. I was once like you. When I moved from San Diego to Seattle, I got damn cold damn quickly. I did something about it and now I am comfortable across a much wider range of temperatures.

When the body is exposed to colder temperatures, it learns to generate heat, provided you don’t interrupt that lesson.

15 thoughts on “You Broke Your Own Metabolism

  1. I admit, I’m a wimp 🙂 but upper 60s sounds divine to me right now!! I often just wear a scarf– I find that keeping my neck warm is sufficient.

  2. Ahrand

    MAS, I do not have a shower at home, only a bathtub. How would one go about what that ?
    PS I have stopped using soap and wash myself (hair and body) with salt since more then a year now.

  3. liz geyer

    i had heaters on when it was winter,i dont now, i got my body to handle it by retraining it. it does work.

  4. @Ahrand – Get a freezer cold pack and place it between your shoulder blades and neck for 30 seconds. It should have the same effect.

  5. I’ve been taking public transit lately, and contrary to popular belief, sometimes San Diego is chilly in the mornings (boy I really wish I could quantify that with a numerical temp right now, MAS loves evidence!) … anyway, after a long time always having a sweater in such weather I’ve converted to no-sweater. The only exception — when I miss the sweater — is when I’m in an office or meeting room with AC set cold. I dislike not being able to bundle up when I’m not moving around.

  6. @Joe – I know that cool morning temp in San Diego. It is chilly and perfect to for initial cold weather training. I agree about coupling movement with cold weather. There is something primal about both being cold and doing something about it. Being cold and stable is a recipe for being miserable.

  7. thomas

    “About a month ago, I got into a minor argument with someone about this very topic.”

    Love it. I picture you as almost like a Larry David character in a health-related sitcom wherein you get in random and arcane confrontations with people.

  8. @Thomas – I love that show.

    I’m pretty easy going. I’d rather learn from someone that lecture. Something about wearing jackets during warm weather just annoys me.

  9. thomas

    “Something about wearing jackets during warm weather just annoys me.” – MAS

    That sounds like the beginning of a comedy bit. I can totally picture Larry David saying something like that.

    FYI: Most people are so self-involved that everyone around them could be naked or wearing gorilla costumes and they wouldn’t even notice.

  10. Angie

    Um… Look, what you’re saying isn’t really true. Sick people, people who don’t have enough body fat, and older people can’t tolerate colder temperatures as well as others. You’re a young man and suffer from strong young man syndrome – just assuming that everyone is as healthy as you are when really they aren’t.

  11. @Angie – 2 thoughts:

    1- I once got cold very easily and would reach for the layers. Only when I stepped back and gradually lowered my coverage exposed myself more to cooler temps did my body start to throw off more heat. Although I was able to expand my comfort range quite a bit, the example I cited above was a pleasant day.

    2- The pattern I cited isn’t just for older or sicker people, but rampant across all ages.
    https://criticalmas.com/2014/09/temperature-wimps-san-francisco/

    The purpose of these posts that address temperature are about increasing comfort and resiliency. Even if that is just 5 degrees.

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