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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

Taking Your Protein on Tour

Protein.

It’s the first thing we learn about when it comes to nutrition in our post-operative bariatric surgery lifestyle.

I really wish that I was the sort of bariatric surgery patient that possess the kitchen savviness that has me creating protein shakes so yummy you’d think you had just hit the Tropical Smoothie Café or Smoothie King drive-through, but alas I am not. That sort of play with your food creativity is what lead me to follow blogs like Bariatric Foodie and The World According to Eggface.

Me, I am the exactly opposite. My protein shakes are a matter of fact, matter of convenience type thing. I typically put 1-2 scoops of protein powder in a blender bottle add 8-16 oz. of almond milk, and off I go. It’s not pretty, in truth it’s not even tasty, but it does the job and it gets me the 15-30 grams of protein that I need to add to my day.

The problem I run into is that I am always on the run. Literally. I’m either rushing to the studio for an appointment with a client, rushing out the door to walk the dog, or rushing out the door to squeeze that run in. Which presents an obvious problem for me, I don’t always have almond milk and a couple scoops of protein powder sitting around for me to mix up that shake when I need it.

BariLife Protein Supplements As a weight loss coach and personal trainer one of my jobs is to help my clients recognize their obstacles and find solutions to them that allow them to get past them so that obstacles do not become barriers. I try very hard to practice what I preach in this regard. Which is exactly where the Protein Drink Bottles from BariLife come into play for me.

With these handy-dandy protein bottles, I don’t have to worry about being creative with my protein shake. I don’t have to worry about having something on hand to mix my protein shake with. I just grab a bottle, add some water to the fill line, shake, and instantly I have a great tasting protein shake that offers me 15 grams of protein.

I keep bottles of the Bari Life Protein Bottle shakes in my gym bag, at the studio I work at, I even keep one in the glove compartment of my car. This is my way of making sure that no matter where I am I can mix up a great tasting protein drink any time I need to.

If you happen to be traveling, they are wonderful for throwing in the suitcase or carry-on and having on hand to mix up on the plane or first thing in the morning. Plus, since you can just throw the bottles away when you are done using them, there is extra room in your bags to bring back from your travel destination when you’re done. This is my game plan for getting my morning protein shake in during my upcoming Paris trip next month!

BariLife Cappuccino Protein DrinkThe BariLife Protein Bottle drinks come in several great flavors including chocolate, cappuccino, vanilla, strawberry, kiwi strawberry, pineapple orange. My absolute favorite is the cappuccino, because with this one I get all the taste of a sweet coffee treat without all the unneeded calories that those yummy coffee store drinks add to my day.

From a nutrition standpoint the BariLife Protein Drink Bottles offer up 15 grams of protein for 80 calories. That meets and exceeds the 10:1 calorie versus protein ratio that I look for when selecting protein-based products to help me meet my protein goals for the day.

BariLife Chocolate Protein DrinkBeing a bit of a caffeine junkie here’s a little Pandora Pro-tip for you. If you don’t have time to finish that pot of coffee you brewed this morning. Pour the last few cups in a to-go container, put it in your fridge and add that to the chocolate flavored BariLife Protein Bottle instead of water and you’ve got another sweet coffee treat that is reminiscent of a café mocha with half the calories and twice the protein!

Being a Nutrition Rock-star is an important element of being an Obesity Rebel. A Nutrition Rock-star is someone who knows that the key to making healthy food choices is to make sure that you always have healthy food on hand to choose from. Rock-stars are usually on the go, so it’s always important to make sure that you’ve got healthy nutrition choices that can be on the go with you. I call this “Taking your food on tour.”

I use the BariLife Protein bottles to help me insure that I am living the best version of #MyBariLife. If you want to use these delicious protein bottles to make sure that you are living the best version of #YourBariLife, then head on over to the BariLife website and place an order today.

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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

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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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