Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I have a dilemma. One of many in my life, but for now, I'll just concentrate on this one.

I really want to get a heart rate monitor. I have no idea how many calories I burn in my workouts, because I don't program my treadmill with my weight, etc. The fact that I am too lazy to program the machine in which I walk/run on for an hour everyday is something that should probably bother me, but doesn’t.

Anyhow, I just think a HRM would be a more accurate way to go, and I want to get as much credit for calories burned as possible. I have researched many different kinds, and even thought about getting a Nike+ because my shoes are Nikes, and have the little pouch or whatever you need.

That being said, I'm not sure if a HRM would be a healthy thing for me or not. I am, by nature, an all or nothing person. All. Or. Nothing. If I am off-plan with my eating, I am eating everything in site. If I'm on plan, I stick to 1100 calories a day and burn probably 600 a day. I am either really good or really, really bad. I realize that this is something that I need to work on, and not just say screw it for the day if I have a cheeseburger at lunch. This weight loss journey is all about moderation and a healthy approach to food. And despite a 60 lb. loss, I still don't think I have conquered that battle. I just managed to be good long enough to lose 60 lbs. I still have an unhealthy relationship with food, in that I put too much reliance on it and sometimes see food as the answer to all my problems. (Which it is so clearly NOT.)

My point to all this is that I am scared the HRM will make me crazy. Part of me thinks that I should stick to what I know works - working out for an hour a day, and keeping my calories in check. I know this works for me and is a healthy way. If I stick to this, I won’t get caught up on so many of the minutia details. I don't want the HRM to cause me to become obsessed with numbers. I'm afraid that I will use it as a way to justify bad eating or a way to justify eating barely anything at all. This is the way my brain sometimes works:

"Yes, I can eat this 600 calorie cheeseburger for supper, because I burned 600 calories on the treadmill today. So it breaks even, and the rest of the day I was good, so basically this equals to a day eating on plan, without exercise."


"I burned 600 calories on the treadmill today, and I only consumed 1100 calories, and my BMR is 1770 calories, so my calorie net for today is 1,370, which means that I should lose EXACTLY 2.74 pounds this week."

These thoughts lead to problems if 1) I lose less than 2.74 pounds that week and I am frustrated because the numbers prove I should have lost more or 2) I lose more than 2.74 pounds and I am frustrated because the numbers prove I should have lost less, and then I get mad because the system should work the way it says its supposed to and the way the numbers add up and how in the world am I supposed to get this weight loss thing right if the freaking science behind it is not making sense????

And obviously, the first thought leads to situations in which I am justifying a cheeseburger or pizza four times a week instead of the one that I normally allow myself.

Hopefully you can see why I think it may be a problem. But the other part of me really would like to know how many calories I am burning during my workouts because I would like to be more self aware and be knowledgeable about as much as I can during this journey.

So I don't know what to do. If there's anyone that reads this, now would be a great time to de-lurk and let me know your opinions/experiences with HRMs. And if you have read this entire post, bless you. Because I am awfully neurotic.

On a happier note, I have stumbled across two more blogs that I love. The first one is Kenz over at All the Weigh. She is incredibly optimistic, motivated, and has an amazing attitude. It took me the better part of two weeks to get through her archives, but I enjoyed every minute. Plus she has really good taste in shoes.

And through Kenz, I found Man Meets Scale. David Kirchhoff is the CEO of Weight Watchers International. I really like his blog because it is in incredibly funny and interesting, but also because it is nice to know that the CEO of the company is a Weight Watcher himself who has lost weight on the system and keeps it off. It’s also incredibly refreshing to hear about weight loss from a man’s point of view. And you don't have to be a Weight Watcher to enjoy his blog. I am not one (although I am currently in the midst of a three month online membership that I may or may not have purchased during an Ambien induced online shopping spree one night), and I love it as much as the next person.

I highly recommend you check out both of these.

Have a happy Wednesday!


  1. I have found using a HRM or even a calorie counter or my Garmin with the pace and all the extras I do obsess over it. I want to know how you are 'losing' weight or know how much you are going to lose. I journaled my food for a month. I knew how many calories I was taking in and how many calories I was burning but yet my scale continued to creep upward. I know I shouldn't completely go with the scale since I am seeing some results but still, it is driving me crazy! :) I think everyone finds something to obsess about when it comes to weight loss. I'm sure there are even sites out there that you may can look at to calculate or guestimate how many calories you are burning based on your activity.

  2. Hey girl thanks for stopping by my blog. I got an HRM for Christmas and I have to say that I REALLY REALLY like it, like could not imagine working out without one. I can see your dilemma though because sometimes I burn so many calories but don't lose as much weight as I'd hoped. For instance I burned 3200 last week and gained +.2 pounds, WTF? Since I have had so many weeks like this, I no longer think hat just because I burned so many calories that I will have a good loss. Instead I use my HRM to learn what workouts burn the most calories and to push myself a little bit further. Pre HRM I noticed that a lot of the workouts I was doing weren't really burning that many calories. Now I usually have a daily goal and try my best to get to to it. It gives me the extra push to maybe do 20 extra minutes of cardio instead of head home.