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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.

Make #YourBariLife the best it can be.

Visit the BariLife Website for all your Protein and Vitamin Needs!

BariLife

A Protein Bar Packed Pantry Helps Me Be A Successful Obesity Rebel

Protein Bars. This Obesity Rebel loves them. To me a protein bar is like a candy bar.  One of the things I often tell my clients is that when it comes to healthy lifestyle changes you must find food substitutions that help you through daily life without constantly feeling deprived.

Feelings of deprivation do not motivate us in a weight loss journey. They hinder us. Dieting fails people. This is largely because it leaves us with feelings of starvation and deprivation and those feelings lead us to eating things we shouldn’t have and end up making dieting a full circle experience that usually ends in with us left feeling like we failed.

Now the old food addict in me, when I hear the word candy bar, I want to run to the nearest store, pick out eight different varieties, bring them all home and eat ever single one of them. If my healthy lifestyle meant that I could never have a candy bar again, I’d be a sad Obesity Rebel.

But you won’t find me snacking on Snickers and Almond Joys. Instead, you’ll find my pantry well stocked with protein bars that make me feel like I am having a sweet treat while packing in the protein. Which makes a good protein bar a Pandora Pantry must have.

Now y’all know that BariLife is the company that decided to help me get my mojo back and is the company behind my Paris Redux, they are sending me back to Paris to help me try to find my love of running.

If you’ve been following that journey my recent broken toe has me sitting on the bench itching to get back to training for the event. I’m still mad I left that suitcase in the middle of the floor to be “unpacked later.” I unpacked that thing, with my TOE and it’s been buddy tapped to the one next to it trying to heal for almost 6 weeks now.

So, since I don’t have much to tell you about training for Paris right now I wait out this toe, instead I’m going to tell you about 3 of the yummiest protein bars BariLife sells.

Bari Life Crispy Chocolate CoconutBari Life Crispy Chocolate Coconut– So it’s got coconut in it. Which makes it my favorite. Because I am a lover of all things coconut. Mix that with the crispy texture and chocolate and there is no question it is my number one pick.  I mean it’s got chocolate and coconut in it and that’s like the two best ingredients in a protein bar.

 

 

 

Bari Life Peanut ButterBari Life Peanut Butter – Back in the day I was a peanut butter cup junkie. Any protein bar that can remind me of eating a peanut butter cup is going to make my list of favorites, and the texture on this bar did just that. This bar would have been my number one pick if it wasn’t for the mere fact that chocolate and coconut wins over peanut butter any day. But it was really a close tie for the number one and number two slot here.

 

 

Bari Life Oatmeal Bari Life Oatmeal – So when I think oatmeal I think oatmeal cookie. Not like actually eating oatmeal. Because really if you ask me the entire reason oatmeal exists is so someone could make treats out of it. Eating it as a breakfast cereal was just a bonus perk. This protein bar tasted very much like a frosted oatmeal cookie, or at least the closest thing my brain remembers to a frosted oatmeal cookie. It was delicious.

 

 

If you’re anything like me and you’ve got to keep nonfat Greek yogurt in the fridge to keep you feeling deprived of sour cream heaven, you can’t imagine life after weight loss without a sweet treat, I’m not kidding, pack your pantry with these Pandora protein bar picks!

You won’t find me curbing my cravings with a peanut butter cup or dipping that spoon into the peanut butter jar. But you will find me standing in the kitchen at 2am snacking on a BariLife Peanut Butter protein bar! After all, this is #MyBariLife and I have to live it as healthy as I can. What does #YourBariLife look like? What’s in your pantry?

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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.

Make #YourBariLife the best it can be.

Visit the BariLife Website for all your Protein and Vitamin Needs!

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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.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out!

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