Should I Get a Garmin?

So, I’m on day four of being “back on the wagon” and everything is going really well:

  • I’ve worked out every day (another run with my neighbor today!)
  • I’ve done really well with nutrition (I went a bit over yesterday – about 1500 calories – but I worked out hard and still felt hungry at the end of the night, so I figured my body needed it)
  • My weight is down again: 141.4 lbs this morning.

After running with Susan and her friend this morning, though, I’ve been really wondering if I should consider upgrading from my FitBit Charge 2 to a Garmin. I feel like all of the runners I know have Garmins, and they seem to have so much more functionality in terms of intervals, pacing, heart-rate monitoring, etc.

I’ve enjoyed my FitBit immensely since I got it (December 2016) and I thought it had a lot of cool functions and features, but in observing my friends and how they use their Garmins to actually fully control their runs (speeding up, slowing down, running in their ideal heart rate, etc), it makes me wonder if I am missing something.

Does anyone reading my blog have a FitBit or a Garmin and want to weigh in? Would using a Garmin improve my running and, if so, how?

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

~ Tori

Great Run!

At least one hundred times in the last three years, I’ve bumped into a neighbor in workout clothes and we’ve chatted about our mutual love of running.

Despite this almost daily interaction, we had never run together. I had often thought about suggesting it, but I was intimidated by her fitness level: she regularly competes in triathlons and, despite my Marathon success this past January, my weight gain has really crushed my self confidence.

A few nights ago, after we’d bumped into each other walking our dogs, she told me she planned to do an 8 mile training run Tuesday morning and asked if I’d want to join. I hesitated, embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but then told her I’d love to.

For two nights in a row, I panicked, worried she’d be so much faster than me or that she’d feel like she had to tone down for me to keep up, and I even debated canceling on her. I didn’t want to be that person, though, so when my alarm went off at 4:45am this morning to get ready, I got up, stretched, and put on my running clothes.

I met up with her and her friend, another super fit runner, and I could feel myself getting really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But they were so nice and friendly and excited to run together, I decided I would give it my all and hope for the best.

Nine miles later, we finished as the sun was rising over Lake Baldwin, and I couldn’t believe we were done. We talked the whole time and, except for a quick water stop, we ran the whole route. Because of the high heat and humidity, we committed to a 10:00 minute mile pace; and it felt perfect the entire way.

No pain. No stress. Just a beautiful run and great conversation.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel, and this gave me the confidence I needed to know that my few extra pounds haven’t diminished my athletic ability or endurance. I can get this weight back off, and I can continue to get stronger and faster at the same time.

I can do this. We can do this.

Bon appetite, my friends!

– Tori

Trying Something New

Well, as much as I was ENJOYING the Dine N Ditch meal plan service, they unfortunately closed up shop just a few weeks in. Not a permanent close (I hope), but they needed to relocate their kitchen, hire new staff, and take a step back from the service for a few weeks to restructure the entire business model.

I was doing exceptionally well on the meal plans, dropping almost 10 lbs in my first four weeks, but after the deliveries ended and I was left to my own devices …well, you can imagine what happened.

Today’s weight: back up to 141.2.

Yikes. It’s hard to believe that just two years ago I hit my all-time low of 123.4, and now I can barely get (and stay) in the 130s anymore.

I know it has been a combination of factors: stress, overeating, and, shockingly, overexercising.

For those of you who have followed the blog a long time, you know I’m a cardio-junkie and, as my weight started to slowly climb at the beginning of 2015, I started to seriously step up my cardio, hitting more than 3 or 4 hours on some days.

Well, as I’ve learned, you not only can’t out-exercise a bad diet (or, in my case, a healthy diet, but in MASS quantities), over-exercising can actually sabotage weight loss by making your body freak out and think you’re fighting for your life on a daily basis. Hence my weight creeping up and up, even when my diet was in check. Yeaaaaaah, that fucking sucks, if you don’t mind me being frank. Ugh.

So, with less than 5 weeks until my 32nd birthday, I am trying to switch things up and break out of my rut.

For the next 34 (well, basically 33, since it’s 11:35 pm EST as I write this) days, I am going to drastically reduce my cardio (think 10-30 minutes per day, versus my usual 90+) and look to integrate substantially more strength training, yoga, and stretching. My body has been in a perpetual state of stress for over a year as I pummeled it with intense bouts of cardio, so now I’m going to try to give those slow-twitch muscles a bit of a break and focus on building lean muscle mass.

In addition, I’m attempting to modify my diet slightly, increasing my fat in take and leaning more toward a Ketogenic plan. Not full Keto – which involves like 70% of your calories from fat – but definitely hoping that incorporating more healthy fats, like avocado and coconut oil, will help with satiety and appetite control.

Yesterday was a rough start, only because I have absolutely no will power when it comes to nuts, so my “single handful” of almonds before bed turned into half of a can, but today’s been better:

Calories: 1,611
Carbs (total, not net): 72g (about 17% of my daily calories)
Protein: 136g (about 33% of my daily calories)
Fat: 93g (about 50% of my daily calories)

I prepped all of my food for the next two days (salmon and green beans, chicken and broccoli, shrimp and sauteed cauliflower, etc), so hoping that having quick, easy to grab meals will help me stay on track. I’m aiming for 1,350 calories per day, but happy as long as I stay under 1,700, as I am exercising pretty consistently.

Fingers crossed I can reset my system and get back into the 130s before I hit 32. I feel like it’s only getting harder with age, so I need to really get control of my weight now before it becomes an impossibility, you know?

Any advice, suggestions, or feedback is always welcome.

Bon appetite, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. The photo is totally my dinner tomorrow night: shrimp sauteed with basil, garlic, coconut oil over a bed of chopped cauliflower and orange pepper. Much noms. Many yums. So delicious.

Moving on UP!

I’ve been absolutely in love with the stairmaster lately, watching 90-120 minute movies on it 5-7x per week.

I know it’s terrible to do the same cardio machine every day, but I love how intense the workout is (I’m literally drenched in sweat and have to towel off multiple times during the session), but also how strong and sore my legs feel after.

I feel like I’m getting an intense lower body (and back, and core) workout from balancing on the machine, and I alternate between single steps, lunge steps, swing steps, and others to keep the exercise diverse and challenging.

As a result of all of my stepping, my UP band reports that I’ve set a new personal record for steps taken in a single week:

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You saw that right: I walked over 83 miles in a single week!

YOWZA!!

That’s a little over THREE FULL MARATHONS worth of steps taken in just seven days. WHOA!

I’m going to try to take it a bit lighter this week, though, as I recognize that 83+ miles is a bit obsessive, especially for someone who is NOT training to be a pro-athlete. Still, though… I can’t help but be proud.

On that note …I think I’ve earned a snack. Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Morning Cardio!

So… I’m not much of a morning person when it comes to working out, but dinner plans with friends necessitated a morning trip to the gym. Skipping my workout was out of the question, as Monday sets the tone for my whole week – if I skip the gym once, I’ll find excuses to skip again. (Same goes for my diet, unfortunately!)

Much to my surprise, I felt awake and refreshed when the alarm went off at 5:45am. This is probably a residual effect from my long stint working two jobs, as I’d become pretty acclimated to waking up at 2am and having my brain functional for writing.

When I arrived at the gym at 6:15am, I was thrilled to see how EMPTY it was. Literally, almost every machine was available to me, something that rarely happens when I go after work. I decided to take advantage of this freedom by cardio-hopping, spending 5-15 minutes per machine and switching the moment I felt the boredom set in.

I did a little over 60 minutes of cardio, jumping from the elliptical to the stairmaster, stairmaster to the treadmill, treadmill to the bike, and bike to the rowing machine.

While I admit my flexibility and endurance is a bit less in the morning (still waking up slowly), I felt good. I burned a little over 625 calories and got home with plenty of time to shower, eat breakfast, and get ready for work.

The perks of working out in the morning are numerous, but is it enough to get me out of my warm, cozy bed tomorrow morning? Let’s see!

Bon appetit, my friends!
~ Tori

Ode to the Elliptical

I know I should do more strength training, but I am hopelessly and madly in love with the elliptical training.

Whenever I can squeeze a workout into my already hectic schedule, I find myself irrepressibly drawn to the beautiful, shiny black elliptical at the end of the row. You know the one: perfect view of the front door, a machine to the right (but clear and open on the left), and one of only three machines that has closed captioning, which will let me groove to my music AND watch the movie streaming on the private TV simultaneously.

My favorite.

I know strength training would give me more caloric burn (over the course of the day) and the added muscle mass would tighten, firm, and improve my overall look.

I know that mixing up my routine will likely help me break through my plateau and start to advance my weight loss goals.

I know that I shouldn’t have a romantic love affair with a single piece of cardio equipment, but I can’t help it.

I love my elliptical machine.

elliptical

That is all.

~ Tori

Saturday Accountability Report

Man, this has been a weekend of ALCOHOL!

I’ve been getting a hefty chunk of calories every day from my drinking – almost 700 alone today! Yikes. Definitely need to tone that down a bit.

Here’s today’s report:

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Way over my calorie allowance, but the workout helped to ease the deficit.

I hope everyone had a stellar Saturday! Hoping for more self-control on Sunday!

Bon appetit,

Tori