Buddy Up For Fitness

frog fitness

I’ve never been one to exercise with others. I like to run alone.  If do hit the gym with a friend we go our separate ways. I need to get in my zone.  So when my husband was watching my progress and saw how the weight was coming off and my body was remolding itself to “human” from “blob”, it incented him to get on MyFitnessPal, buy a Garmin watch, and a Garmin Scale. A month later, he’s down 6 pounds and toning up.

To be fair, he wasn’t dealing with more than the Holiday ten pounds. He was never really chubby but his frustration was he was getting a dad body. He always moved about 5 pounds over the holidays, and to be honest, I liked snuggling against him in the winter better than the summer when his body was hard and bonier. But, Tom wasn’t happy, so power to him to join me on the program.

Now, this has its positives and negatives. The positive is that it actually is motivating me more. My competitiveness kicks in and if Tom has days with more steps, more exercise time, and more intensity it drives me crazy. This make me push myself a bit more. For example, today I got myself to find a way to stay on the elliptical for 30 minutes at high intensity and then move to the treadmill with a high incline and faster pace for an hour.

On the other hand, Tom eats into my treadmill time by getting on himself for 60 – 90 minutes about the same time I would. I have to share, which kicks in my childish self that pouts grouchily as I need to work around him. “You could get on the elliptical when he is on the treadmill,”  you say. And, you are right. But, that means there is someone distracting me from my zone (which is a big reason why I even hate going to the gym).

I just need to get over it. The best thing is that the two of us are going to be ready for the warm weather when we can go out for bike rides, hikes and runs. Toms keeping an eye out for a day to hike Mt Monadnock. We talked about a hike up Falling Water trail to Lafayette and Haystack then down Bridle Trail, taking pictures of us in the same spots from 25 years ago. I’m looking forward to some morning jogs along the beach together and then jumping into the ocean to cool off. And, the thought of hitting the slopes next winter isn’t causing anxiety but rather joy. In the end, the positives of doing cool stuff together are definitely better than my petulant child alter ego.

BTW – here’s the eclectic playlist that finally got me over my elliptical hump to drive my intensity to 90% and HR to 154 for 30 min.  I also hit 10650 steps before lunch today. This (chubby)girl will be road ready in no time!

Rooster – Alice in Chains
Spoonman – Soundgarden
Wherever I May Roam – Metallica
Break On Through To The Other Side – The Doors
Silent Lucidity – Queensryche
Lights – Journey
Rock and Roll Never Forgets – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
New World Man – Rush
Here By Me – 3 Doors Down
Even Flow – Pearl Jam
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
She Talks To Angels – The Black Crowes
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns n Roses
Turn the Page (Live) – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Don’t Fear The Repear – Blue Oyster Cult
Don’t Tread On Me – Metallica
Only The Young – Jouney
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds
Black – Pearl Jam
Love Her Madly – The Doors
Burning For You – Blue Oyster Cult
Hard To Handle – The Black Crows
Rockstar – Nickelback (even for the Nickelback haters you need to end on this!)



Yikes! Bad Interval Day

I have a service man coming this morning to fix my garage door and had to wake up early. Industrious me decided that this would be the perfect time to slip in 30 minutes of interval training before he got there. NOT!

I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t have it in me today. I knew it would be bad after the first set when even listening to Soundgarden’s Spoonman couldn’t get my legs running/dancing to the rhythm. 3 mph/6mph turned to 3 mph/5 mph. Pushing through 5 of 8 sets and that was it. Even walking the extra 10 minutes was a drag and I cut out early.

I think it was the bowl of peach greek yogurt with sliced banana and granola last night that did me in.  I knew I shouldn’t have eaten it even through I was well within my points and calories. My stomach is still full.

So, I am sharing my Interval Failure for posterity. I know everyone shows their successes, but sometimes you just have to own up to fails and learn to work past them.

Here’s to another day and a prayer for courage to tackle 30 minutes tomorrow. Chubby Girl signing out.


Treadmill Desks – Fad or Fabulous?

Can a treadmill desk help me hit my goals?

Each day I track my activity on my Apple Watch. No matter what I do, during the week I can never seem to close all my rings except for standing.  Movement and exercise, even with 30 minutes of exercise, are my downfall.

The idea of walking my way through work on days that I work from home is intriguing. So, I started taking a look at the options on Amazon and my heart sank. I just want a piece that goes across my hand bars to lay my laptop! The plastic shelf seemed small and ergonomically challenging.  The option for about $450 was this massive desk that spanned across your treadmill – essentially a desk that just happens to be high enough to slide your treadmill underneath. Then you get the whole thing for about $1000. Nothing seems worth the money.

Now that I had a sense of cost, I looked for information on the benefits of treadmill desks.  Those promoting the health benefits had an ulterior motive of selling the treadmill desks. Not a good source for unbiased information.  Tracking down the few independent studies out there brings some concrete findings – good and bad. (attribution to these studies is available in the source links below).

  • A study  from an article in the journal Obesity, showed that participants lost as much as eight pounds over the course of a year
  • There may be an increase in productivity by 0.69 based on walker input
  • Over a 12-month period participants using treadmill desks increased their daily activity and lost weight.
  • Health benefits include lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • 10% loss in performance of fine motor skills
  • increase in treadmill accidents

The studies done are small and the predictions of changing work environments where employees have treadmills embedded in the floor as part of their desk and cubicle areas. It also seems that the cost-benefit isn’t compelling enough to those looking at significant weight loss. One could also argue that a .69 increase in productivity  may not be worth the investment, disruption, and employer ‘mandates’ to work in a walking style for the business gain.

Maybe you can now see my cynicism. I’m not convinced that a bigger investment in a treadmill desk is really going to make a huge difference for me if it is only a day or two per week. Better to be patient as my interval routine ramps up and I can go longer and at higher intensity. No need to waste money on gimmicks.

It can be frustrating at the beginning when the pounds start to come off.  You get excited and want to build momentum and get to your goal faster. I need to remind myself that this is a journey, was always supposed to be a journey, and that I have 11 months to go. This way, I don’t just lose weight, I gain a healthy lifestyle I can stay with.

Chubby girl out…

1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/03/11/new-study-treadmill-desks-boost-productivity/#6bc373f64c8a

2 http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/30/392580747/sure-use-a-treadmill-desk-but-you-still-need-to-exercise