Chest Strap Included.

A hodge-podge of thoughts today. 

First up, I finally broke down and bought a heart rate monitor a month or so ago.  I did NOT want one with a chest strap – no way.  I didn’t care how reliable they were; I dug in my heels.  A pain to strap on.  Uncomfortable.  Wet the strap first?  Uh-uh.  I researched high and low trying to find a wireless one that was accurate.  After countless hours of reading reviews, (yes – hours, I was that determined) I finally accepted the wisdom of others who knew: the wireless ones were good, but not as accurate in calculating calorie burn as those with a chest strap. 

I threw myself onto my knees, had a major tantrum and when I pulled myself together enough to dig out my credit card, I ordered a Polar Heart Rate Monitor…  chest strap included. 

There is a chest strap laying around here somewhere.

Now that I’ve been using it for a while, who cares about the chest strap?! I can’t imagine exercising without it.  The main reason for this is that I no longer trust myself when exercising.  Before the monitor, I spent 90% of my time on the treadmill working my way up to an incline of 15 while walking at a fast clip.  I figured that since I was pushing my body as hard as I could, then I was obviously burning my maximum amount of calories, right?  Not hardly.  Once I started wearing the monitor and comparing my calorie expenditure with other exercises – in particular several workout dvds, I learned that I could do interval training with short periods of rest in between and burn the same amount of calories. And before, I had zero idea how many calories one can burn while using weights…until now.  And it’s a lot. 

My workout program has completely changed because of this; I am no longer a slave to my treadmill; I don’t have to exercise myself half to death in order to feel good about my workout anymore.  The chest strap is a small price to pay for this information.  Best news right now:  I can hula hoop with no interference at all, which is good.  I plan a full post on my hooping experiences next week. 

On to other things: many thanks to all of you who recommended what to buy at Trader Joe’s yesterday.  I came home with a good variety of foods to try, including various soups (sweet potato bisque), cereals (Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins – thanks Michele!) and some frozen goodies as well. 

IKEA was an unbelievable stop.  Even my husband was impressed.  I didn’t buy very much only because I didn’t really need anything, but I did get a few things to make my kitchen a bit more organized.  We arrived right before they opened and thanks to all of your comments, if I ever go back – it will be on a weekday as they are opening their doors.  I even heard a few shoppers mention how much they dislike being there when it’s crowded, so I feel lucky to have planned it the way I did. 

One more thing before closing.  Something happened while at the Blue Man Group on Sunday evening.  In case you’re wondering – no, I did not get picked by one of the blue men to come on stage and perform (although that would have made a cool post, wouldn’t it??).  No, it was actually something better.  I had a kind of ‘breakthrough’ during the show that is in direct relation to this month’s Hate-Loss Challenge.  It’s almost two weeks into it and I can honestly say that I am making progress in that department.  I can’t wait to share it with you on Thursday. 

Have a great Monday Tuesday, everyone.  (I’ve been doing that for the last two days)  Taking Monday off has my whole week messed up.  Does that happen to you, too?

29 thoughts on “Chest Strap Included.

  1. roxie

    I’ve been considering a HRM myself. Hmmm. I’ll use all your good research when/if I decide to buy :-)

    I’m still green with envy over TJs. I used to travel to AZ quite a bit and they have Trader Joe’s there. I couldn’t wait to go shopping there. Who needs a mall when there’s a cool and groovy grocery store! Might explain the weight problem.

    Have a super Tuesday. Oh, and glad you enjoyed IKEA.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I’m pretty happy with this one and it coincides with my treadmill stats, too.
      …and Trader Joe’s IS a groovy store, isn’t it? Every employee there was so laid back and chilled out – calm atmosphere. I’d never seen anything like it.
      Is there such a thing as a store being TOO big? I think IKEA might fit that bill just a bit.

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I’d love to see them again, actually (now that I know what I’m in for) and just by looking online I see that every show is somehow different. You never really see the same thing twice. So glad you saw it and enjoyed it!

      Reply
  2. Jane

    Great shopping tips. We recently got a T.J.’s, and I love it. Good for you getting the HRM. You have worked very hard, and you deserve it!

    Reply
  3. KCLAnderson (Karen)

    Peanut butter Puffins? OMG (see? there’s another TLA LOL). PBP used to be a binge food for me. I haven’t bought them in a long time though. I think the reason is because I never ate them like they were intended to be eaten (with milk in a bowl). I ate them directly out of the box. I wonder what would happen if I bought some?

    I can’t wait to hear what happened at BMG. The time I saw them in NYC, one of the people I was with was brought up on stage…

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Karen, I could see how you would binge on this. It’s almost too good! I have a habit of eating out of the box, too. I had to stop that for obvious reasons.
      I would have loved going onstage. The woman they picked was an elderly Chinese woman. She spent the entire time looking horrified and confused. She did great, though.

      Reply
  4. TheFatMom

    I bought a Sport Line HR monitor (with strap) with my Christmas money. The instructions are non-exsistant and it pisses me off. I can’t figure out all the functions no matter how many hours I spend playing with it. I saw the Polar one, but didn’t want to spend the extra money. I guess I got what I paid for.

    Sorry for the rant. GRRRRRR!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Have you searched online for a manual? If you give me the specs for it, I’ll look for you (I’m pretty good at online research). It’s a shame that you have one that you can’t use….let me know if I can help (well, as much as I CAN help from this far away!) lol

      Reply
  5. Helen

    As much as you like your Polar HRM, is as much as I dislike mine. I don’t know why, but I can run 6 miles and the stupid thing will tell me I’ve burned 157 calories. I know that’s not true! I’ve tried everything and I know I sweat plenty. I finally quit using it as it just frustrated me to no end. I should sell the dumb thing.

    I do *heart* the HRM that came with my Garmin though. Too bad the Garmin doesn’t work on the treadmill.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      That is terrible, Helen. I wonder if yours is a lemon or something. I researched a cordless phone once for days and finally bought one that was given rave reviews – everyone loved it – said it was the best phone they ever had. I hated that phone more than anything and was glad when it died (immediately after the warranty was up, of course) just so I could get another one. Things like that get me all worked up!

      Reply
  6. Karen Ogle

    So glad you enjoyed your trip. I’ve never been to Ikea either as that is another place we don’t have close by. However, I can rarely make shopping trips without spending too much so it is probably good that my options are limited. :) I would love to have something to measure my activities and calories burned etc but it just isn’t in the budget right now. Something to think about for a special occasion though. I’m glad you monitor is working out. :)

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Karen, you could easily spend too much money at IKEA. It’s crazy cheap there and I found myself thinking about getting things more for the price than whether or not I actually needed the item. That’s when I know I’ve got to move on. Thanks for reading today and especially for your comment :)

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Oh, me too! So glad they figured out that interval training is great as a workout. I’d get so worn out constantly pushing myself, it was crazy. Thanks for reading and for your comment today, Maude.

      Reply
  7. Sasha

    My husband has a Garmin with the chest strap and he runs with it and has complained about the strap. He wants to buy one for me but I have a feeling the chest strap might annoy me. I have to be absolutely comfortable in my own peculiar way when I’m running or hiking. So…I’m still thinking about it. Interval training shouldn’t take you back down to a resting heart rate, your heart rate should still be elevated during the “resting” interval but at a slightly higher rate. So…yeah, I know I know. More annoying information from Sasha. :p

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I have to say, I actually do forget that it’s on. It’s just that initial ‘not wanting to strap it on’ feeling that puts me off.
      Thanks for the info on the interval training. I make sure that I keep it up there and luckily, my watch will beep if I fall too low; otherwise I’d probably not even notice. Right now I’m trying to do some research (so far unsuccessfully) on the Internet about whether or not it’s possible to get bigger while doing weight training. Everything I read says that ‘you’re clothes will feel looser; your measurements will get smaller’. That doesn’t seem to be happening to me, though. I’m not necessarily bulking up but I have put on a couple of pounds and my measurements are increasing. So far I can’t find anything remotely consistent anywhere online so I’m still searching. You have such a plethera of knowledge, have you ever heard of this happening?

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        Wait…let me dig around in my Plethora a bit. Hmm, no, I haven’t heard of that happening unless it’s in reference to actual weight builders but they will distort their bodies so that they gain mass where they want it and tone where they don’t. :) My scale is budging ever so slowly downward as I tone up. I took measurements again this morning and I’ve lost another inch off my waist and another half inch off my hips and an inch off my thighs yet…the scale says “no”. Keep in mind that whatever hormonal issues you’re having, medications you may be on, will affect your weight a bit. Unless you gain something like, 10 pounds, I would absolutely not be worried. Play with your hula hoop (which is looking like great fun and tempting me!), get the blood flowing and maybe doing a little core/strength training (I recommend my favorite, the kettlbell). :)

        Reply
  8. Shantell

    I got a HRM for Christmas from Sir. It is a Garmin 110 (I think) it comes with a strap but it doesn’t work for me. I still have to do my review on it cause it sucks (for me). It works fine when he uses it but it does not do that for me. I am thinking about getting a strapless one, the Polar F10 (I think it is) that is the one I wanted to begin with but the store was out so he got the Garmin. I am going to try it again though before I make my post about it. I am happy the polar is working out well for you

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Shannie, if you end up with the Polar F10 let me know how it is…maybe do a review? When I got mine I never had the chance to research that one. The strap is a pain, I won’t lie – but I do forget it’s there once it’s on.

      Reply
  9. Tim

    It’s interesting to read about your pre-heart rate monitor walking and post-heart rate monitor walking. To be honest, I see my heart rate on the treadmill and I haven’t a clue what’s good or bad. The fact I see a heart rate means I am not dead so that’s the positive thing about seeing it! LOL

    I look forward to reading your Hate-Loss post on Thursday!!

    Reply
  10. Kristen

    I have been thinking about getting a heart rate monitor but i was afraid that i would see that i burn alot more calories doing something and reward myself or not push as hard thur the rest of the workout.

    Reply

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