Monday, April 11, 2011

Q&A Session: The Answers Part 3

I've gotten a few more questions that I really want to answer, so here's one more edition of my Q&A session! I need something to take my mind off the 2 lbs of water weight I managed to put on this weekend from eating out with my boyfriend. But it was fun and I kept my portions under control. Anyways, on to the questions!
1.) When I push myself, I find my heart rate has been going up to 180, sometimes higher. I know you're not supposed to go into that zone but I feel like I'm not working as hard as when my heart rate is around 160. What are your thoughts on this?
When I workout, I aim to get my heart rate at least to 160, preferably higher. When I run, my heart rate is anywhere from 175-182 and once it starts to get near 185 is when I have to back down the intensity a bit to be able to continue. I don't think it's a bad thing at all to get your heart rate up that high. I have found that over time, I've been able to sustain a high heart rate MUCH longer than when I started. For example, in my early days of trying to run, a minute running would have my heart rate at 185 and I'd be totally out of breath. But as I've gotten in better shape, I take my HR right up to 180 and keep it there for 20-30 minutes, even more! When I ran my 5K on Saturday morning at the gym, my HR was in the 180s for around 40 minutes. It's good to push yourself, do interval training that gets your HR up, and you burn more calories. I don't believe it's bad to get up that high since it's above the "fat burning zone". You make up for that quite a bit with the extra calories you're burning.

2.) In reference to what I changed to break my plateau... How did you determine your calorie goal? How much more did you up your calories? And did you keep your exercise the same?
I put in lightly active for my activity level and then set myself to lose 1 lb per week. That's how I got myself to 1400 base calories. I've been bouncing around between as low as 1200 base and as high as 1500 base. I just decided to go with what was most accurate and sustainable. But, I also started to eat back some exercise calories so I'm consuming between 1500-1700 calories a day now. I somewhat increased the intensity of my exercise by taking up running a few days a week. It's been a great workout and I average running/walking (getting better at running more of it) 3-4 times a week. Sometimes outside depending on the weather, but usually at the gym.  
3.) When you reach your goal weight (and I know you will), do you think you will need to contrinue logging food, at least intermittently in your food diary as part of maintenance or do you see yourself being able to maintain without doing so?
That's a good question! I've definitely gotten better with "eyeballing" food for calorie content and I have a pretty good mental tally in my head. I suspect I won't be logging forever, but I don't want to stop as soon as I hit a goal weight. I tend to eat along the same things at least during the week, so sticking to that won't be too hard. I still plan to look up calories for what I eat and make healthy choices. I think this will lend itself to being able to stop logging, but I still plan to use MFP. It's a great source of information and I want to be able to encourage people that are still on their journey. It's great when MFP-ers stick around after they reach their goal to help others, and I plan to do the same.
4.) You have mentioned your sister a few times as being slimmer than you. Did she ever have a weight problem? If not, what do you think was the difference that made this aspect of your lives different?
That's such an awesome question! Yes, my little sister is 130 lbs and a size 4 and in fantastic shape. And I know there are a few reasons she's managed to be like that her entire life. I remember when she was excited to be able to fit into size 0 in high school instead of kids sizes (i know, gag me... hahah). So, I can think of a few reasons why two girls raised in the same house by the same parents and went to the same schools ended up so vastly different in terms of weight and health. First off, Krissi is allergic to milk (not just lactose intolerant). She can't have ANY dairy products whatsoever, so no ice cream, cheese, chocolate, ANYTHING. That removes a lot of the high calories foods that we tend to eat in abundance. Also, she's been particiating in sports and dancing since she was 6. She's done soccer, softball, swimming, cheerleading, gymnastics, and finally she's still a competitive Irish Dancer. So even at age 20, she's been working out on a regular basis her entire life. So that girl can definitely eat, but she has an AMAZING metabolism from all the activity. And she's see what happens when she slacks off and doesn't get any activity in (she's gained like 5 lbs, freaks out, and it's gone in a few weeks... lucky...). But I think those two things are the big difference. I tried sports but it never stuck. I liked more academic things, that involved lots of brain power and that's it. So... now that I'm getting active it's nice because she is too! And I've already decided that when I'm a parent, my kids are going to be involved in activities to get them moving. They can join the band like I did, but they're picking a sport too so they get regular exercise in.

So there's the last of my questions! Hope that these few blog posts have been helpful. If you have anything else you want to ask, message me and I can always include them in another blog that I write at the bottom. 

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