I finally got a heart rate monitor that works with the DigiFit app and tracks my heart rate throughout my workout. I was only able to get usable results on the last workout of this week, Friday, but it is very informative:
|Image by Maggie Q. Magniloquent, Some rights reserved|
The red line shows my heart rate over the course of the 25 minute workout, and the pie chart shows the time spent in each of the various training zones. For example, today I spent 3:48 min in zone 2 (fat burn) and 16:43 in zone 3 (endurance).
The downside of this particular Garmin ANT+ heart rate monitor is that it is not automatically picked up by the elliptical like my old monitor, so if I want to see my heart rate at any given time I need to hold on to the bars on the elliptical so that the elliptical's own sensors can take a reading. All things considered, it's not a bad trade off given the richness of the data provided by the DigiFit app, so I think I will stay with the Garmin monitor for now.
Another new toy this week is the Withings blood pressure monitor that plugs directly in to my iPad. I am genuinely pleased with this app and device, as it is super easy to use, and tracks blood pressure as well as resting heart rate.
The display is clear and easy to read, and the unit can sync with DigiFit, as well as be tracked on Withings own app. I read my blood pressure yesterday when the unit arrived (normal), and it was normal this morning when I tracked upon waking. My resting heart rate was 52 with the blood pressure cuff, which is pretty close to the measurements I was getting from my heart rate monitor, so I think the measurements are pretty accurate. It will be very interesting to see how the numbers vary over time, and over my schedule.
My new morning routine will be to get up, take my blood pressure and resting heart rate, work out on the elliptical, and hop on the scale. I received the Withings wi-fi scale, but I have not yet had a chance to calibrate it and get it properly connected (it's not the kind of scale that works right out of the box, nor does it communicate with the iPad immediately, like the blood pressure cuff).
All of this is all well and good, but this week I actually gained 1.3 pounds. Talk about utterly disheartening. I was able to get a lower reading on the new scale (once), but on repeating it more of the subsequent readings were higher, so I went back to the old scale which consistently gave a reading of 298.2 pounds. I generally ate healthily this week, and avoided most snacking and late night meals (my usual Achilles heel), and I worked out more than I have in years, and yet I still gained weight. I know these things happen, and that weight loss is not a straight linear progression, but it is still extremely discouraging to put on weight when I am working so hard.
However, I remain hopeful that it is a blip. If I keep on the program and keep working out, I should be able to keep losing weight, eventually. I keep reminding myself that it is a long term plan, not a quick fix, but at times like this, it feels like my objective is farther away than ever.
Thank god I have new toys to distract me from obsessing too much about my weight. Now, if I can only get that Withings scale up and running to see my body fat %, that might explain some things.