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Transformation: Is Comparison The Thief of Joy?

Transformation. The word makes most people think of change in form or appearance. But, transformations come in many fashions.

Four months ago, I announced in my “#ThisIsMyBariLife” post that thanks to the good folks over at BariLife, I was going to back to Paris to run in the annual Paris Run Disney Half Marathon Weekend.

I had stop running entirely for almost a whole year.

My last half marathon had been back in May of 2016 when I completed my 40th half marathon at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend event in Anaheim, California.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last several months you already know why I stopped running. I discussed it back in April in my “The Truth About Why I Stopped Running” blog. Finding the joy in running again is important to me.

Trying to change my mindset about running has been quite a transformation process for me over the last few months. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself in the process. It’s been enlightening.

I started running again back in early May. Typical of most training plans, my runs were short in the beginning. My long runs were 3 and 4 miles runs. They were hard, I was struggling with speed and realizing quickly that I didn’t have the long duration cardiovascular endurance that I had once had.

I didn’t care. I was ecstatic to be out there running again.

Early Prep For Paris RunI felt empowered, each time I went out for a run I felt like I was taking back a little piece of myself that had gotten lost in the last year.

4 weeks into my “Prepping for Paris” training plan, I broke my toe in an altercation with a suitcase that I had left in the middle of the living room to unpack later. The repercussions of procrastination at it’s best. The broken toe knocked me off the training plan for 6 weeks while it healed.

At the end of July, I jumped back on the run. I was scared that losing 6 weeks was going to be a huge setback for me. I was concerned and uncertain I would be able to build that cardiovascular endurance back up in time to run 13.1 miles in Paris.

Trying to jump back into training in the middle of the summer when the heat and humidity levels in North Carolina send the heat index into danger zones before noon was a struggle for me. I noticed very quickly that I had to pay close attention to where my heart rate was rather than just getting out there and nonchalantly doing my thing.

I was A LOT slower than I had been in my early May short runs.

There were days that instead of running any sort of set interval times I was basing my intervals on my heart rate. Running until my heart rate got to a level that I knew I needed to slow down, and then walking until it dropped to a level that I knew it was okay to run again.

I use typically use the HRR method to decide what my target heart rate zones are. It’s a little more accurate than the typical heart rate calculation formula of (220 – Age) x Intensity.

It’s more accurate, because it is taking into consideration the cardiovascular health of each individual person based on their resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate tells you how many times your heart beats per minute at rest. The lower that number the healthier your heart is. The average resting heart rate for adults is between 60 – 100 bmp (beats per minute).

These days, my resting heart rate is averaging about 55. I just turned 42. So, using the HRR method of (220 – 42) – 55 x Intensity + 55 my target heart rate range is 128 – 159 if I am calculating the low-end at a moderate intensity level of 60% of my heart rate reserve and the high-end at a vigorous intensity level of 85% of my heart rate reserve.

Formula for HRR Method of Target Heart Rate Calculations:

(220 – Age – Resting Heart Rate) x Intensity + Resting Heart Rate

I learned very quickly, especially in the summer heat and humidity when your heart rate shoots up faster than normal, that being on the high-end of my target heart rate zones was something that I couldn’t do for long periods of time. When it came to long duration, if my heart rate was over 150, I was struggling.

I found that my “happy pace” was with my heart rate somewhere 145 during my running intervals and around 135 on my walking intervals – that would be on average an intensity level of about 65% and 73% of my target heart rate reserve.

This bothered me a bit. The “Cardio Zone” is 70%-84% of your maximum heart rate. This is the target heart rate zone that you are typically trying to achieve during cardiovascular exercise. It bothered me that I couldn’t reach and stay in the high-end of those zones. I was barely hitting the low-end of this zone when I was out there. This is the zone where exercise is described as “You are pushing yourself, but not straining.” For me to achieve that, I’d have to be averaging heart rate zones of 141 – 158 on a regular basis. The high-end of that zone didn’t feel like I was pushing, it felt like I was going to keel over and die!

I decided to sit down with my numbers and do some research and comparisons.

Pandora On The RunIf I used the standard formula for heart rate calculations (220-42) x .70 and (220-42) x .84 that would put my target heart rate for the “Cardio Zone” at 124 – 149 – which meant my “happy pace” at 135 – 145 was smack dab in the middle of that target heart rate zone and on the higher end of that zone when I was doing the higher intensity segments of my intervals. This made me feel a lot better! Applying the HRR formula to the “Cardio Zone” standards of the typical formula had made me think I was training at sub-par levels.

I looked up target heart rate ranges specific to the HRR method. I had completely forgotten that when using the HRR calculation methods, also known as the “Karvonen Formula”, the definition of target heart rate zones is slightly different. When using this formula the “Aerobic Zone” is 70% – 80% of heart rate reserve and the recovery zone is 60% – 70% of heart rate reserve.  That means my heart rate should be at about 141 – 153 during my run segments and about 128 – 141 during my walk (recovery) segments. This made me feel a lot better.

Looking at the numbers transformed my outlook on my progression.

Because I was so much slower than I used to be, I was feeling a little defeated. But once I looked at these numbers and started considering that back when I was running a 12-minute mile my resting heart rate was in the lower 40s and I had a much higher cardiovascular threshold, I started to feel a lot better about myself and where I am with my training.

I often tell my clients that fitness fits us all, it just fits us all differently and it fits us differently at different times in our fitness journey. I’m exactly where I need to be right now in my running journey. My heart rate is in all the places I need it to be, at all the times I need it to be there. I’ve gone from not running for almost 12 months, to being able to run 11 miles at once. My pace time is averaging about a 14 to 15-minute mile, which has me well under the 16-minute pile pace requirement for this event. I’ve gone from ZERO – to being ready to run a half marathon in 17 weeks while spending 6 of them on the bench due to a broken toe.

They say that comparison is the thief of joy. That can be true if you are comparing yourself to someone else; Even if that someone else is an older version of yourself. But comparison can also help you put things into perspective and transform your outlook, especially when that comparison is based on data that shows you how well you are progressing in your fitness journey.

This sort of data comparison is how fitness professionals just like me help keep our clients motivated and show them what they have accomplished. How ironic that applying it to myself did the same thing for me eh?

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

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The Obesity Rebel Challenge

If you follow me on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you probably already know about the Obesity Rebel Challenge.

If you don’t follow me on social media, you should, follow the link I just gave you and take care of that.

But I want to take a moment out of the Sex Love and Obesity blog series to talk to you about the Obesity Rebel Challenge, why it is important to me and why I am personally asking you to step up and take some steps in the fight against obesity.

 

The Obesity Rebel Challenge is a fitness fits everyone event.

Anyone CAN do this challenge. There is no distance requirement, no time requirement and no pressure as to when, where or how you decide to get your Obesity Rebel steps in. All it takes to complete this challenge is you, your own two feet and the will to finish.

The only rule in the challenge is that you have to complete the distance and submit your distance by September 30th, 2018.

Because there are no distance or time requirements you can complete the challenge in any fashion you wish. You have the choice of signing up for a 5k, 10k, half marathon or 36k challenge distance.

For those that don’t know a 5k is 3.1 miles, a 10k is 6.2 miles, a half marathon is 13.1 miles, and a 36k is 22.4 miles.

There is a training plan for a 5k, a 10k and a Half Marathon included with your registration for the Obesity Rebel Challenge. Let’s say that you decide that you want to complete your first 5k or 10k as part of the Obesity Rebel Challenge. That’s awesome! What a neat thing to knock off your bucket list.

The training guides included with your registration are geared to help you meet that goal. Each one is designed for a beginning walker/runner to slowly progress you from not walking or running much at all to achieving the total distance you’ve selected by September 22, 2018. The 5k Training Plan begins on August 5th and the 10k training plan begins on July 15th.

If you decided that you wanted to take on a half marathon distance and build up to completing 13.1 miles in one day, the Half Marathon Training Plan is designed to get you there. The Half Marathon Training Plan begins on June 24th.

The Obesity Rebel Challenge allows for combined distance totals.

ObesityRebel ChallengeIf you’re not an avid walker or runner, if you have a medical issue that prevents you from doing a total distance of 3.1 or more miles all at once, the Obesity Rebel Challenge is still a very doable event for you.

I have a client that has lymphedema and just recently had knee replacement surgery. To get her 3.1 miles in she is doing 10 minutes a day on a treadmill 2-3 day a week between now and September, tracking her total distance each day and building up to a 3.1-mile distance.

I have another client who has two bad knees and is bone on bone in both knees. She has a trip to Ireland coming up. She’ll be using her total distance walked each day that she is in Ireland touring the country to accumulate her miles and is hoping to achieve a half marathon total distance of 13.1 miles.

I have another client that has decided that she and her daughter are going to do her first half marathon together. She is going to be following the Half Marathon training guide to get her distance in. That training guide will be building up her distance and she’ll be using some of her training runs to get her 5k and 10k distances in and submitting those. By the time she is done, she will have accumulated the 22.4 miles for the 36k challenge total and then some.

No matter where you are in your weight loss or fitness journey, you can accomplish and complete the Obesity Rebel Challenge.

Let’s talk about WHY participating in the Obesity Rebel Challenge is important.

A “Rebel” is a person that rises against opposition. We live in a world that marginalizes people who are affected by obesity. Those that are affected by this disease are taught that they are less than worthy. They face bias and stigma in the health care they receive, in how they are treated by medical professionals, in what kinds of treatments their insurance companies will provide.

Obesity is still commonly accepted as the punchline of the joke. People affected by obesity are often ignored or even ridiculed by clothing manufacturing companies.

They are mistreated and judged in industry standards when it comes to fitness and fashion.

They are stereotyped when it comes to mental health, and emotional stability.

Because of all of this, those that are affected by obesity or have been affected by obesity often worry about what others are thinking about them in almost any environment.

Will this doctor figure out what is wrong with me or will he blame everything on my weight? Will this nail salon charge me more to sit in their pedicure chairs? Will people stare at me in this fitness facility? Will the person on this dating site look at my photo and decide not to talk to me? Will someone yell out horrible things or make animal noises at me if I walk down the street to get some exercise in?

NONE of these things SHOULD happen. NONE of these things should be things we have to be afraid of or fear. But right now, THAT is the sad truth of the world we live in. The only way we will ever change that is by fighting back. That’s what an Obesity Rebel does. They fight back. They fight obesity and they tell the world, this sort of treatment, this sort of stigmatization, this sort of bias, this sort of judgement is NOT OKAY.

The world isn’t going to change without people teaching and educating it on how it needs to change. We are stronger together. We must rise to the opposition. We must be the Rebels leading the charge. That, in my mind is why your participation in the Obesity Rebel Challenge is so important.

If you’ve ever sat there wondering what you CAN do to help make a difference and change how the world sees and treats those effected by Obesity, I have a question for you…

Why WOULDN’T you participate in this simple fitness event?

By being an Obesity Rebel you can do exactly that. You can be an individual standing up in opposition to how the world treats and sees obesity. All you have to do is click the link register and put some steps in.

Obesity Rebel Challenge

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.
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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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