Heart rate monitors & R.P.E. (sounds exciting! oh golly gee!).

Hi MizFit, I saw somewhere you dont use a heart rate monitor. what do you do instead? thanks!!!

I am a complete child as this email triggered a vivid and muchtimekilling daydream sequence in my head.

One where the emailer heard I didnt use a heart rate monitor when Jillian discussed it on an episode of The Biggest Loser as a form of encouragement for a team member who struggled with the apparatus.

Then I was jolted back to reality when I realized I had work to do. questions to answer. so here goes:

You heard correctly. I dont wear a heart rate monitor.


And I didnt when I was working to lose weight either (oooh how was THAT for heading off additional questions?) as even then I fretted not about staying in my target zone.

Ive always been a body listener (whisperer?).

For example: I typically do lateral raises with 15 pounds. If today were shoulder day, however, and that 15 pound dumbbell felt frickin heavy beyond belief and I knew I’d be SWINGING the weight not lifting I’d listen to my body, back off to 12 pound weights & merely increase my repetitions.

The same goes for my cardiovascular workouts and, for that reason, I always go by Rate of Perceived Exertion.

A numerical scale which is used to measure the intensity of exercise and (the one I use) runs from 0-10.

There are myriad ways to define each number. For me zero (nothing at all) is how I feel when plopped in a chair watching Real Housewives of Orange County and 10 (very, very difficult) is how I’d *imagine*I’d feel were I ever to run a marathon.

You can envision the entire scale looking somewhat like this (with my personal target for cardiovascular exercise falling into a number 4 or 5 depending on the day & whether I’m interval training):

0 Couch plop

0.5 Just noticeable

1 Very light

2 Light

3 Moderate

4 Somewhat hard, sweating, breathy, I CAN TALK but dont want to.

5 Hard, very breathy but can still talk or sing.


7 Very challenging but doable.

8 – MizFit is working hard, can talk but verging on angryexerciser (dont pretend you dont know what I mean).


10 Very, very difficult (read: I dont think, in all honesty) I have pushed myself to this point….yet.

The scales may vary (some range from 1-20 instead of ten) but the concept remains the same: perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working.

It focuses upon the physical sensations you experience during an exercise period (increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue).

For me this method of assessing my workout works far better (more personal than a heart rate number) & after years of using the RPE scale I find I know, intuitively, when to up my intensity level.

Now you, Oh Bumbling Band.

Do you swear by your monitor? Never embark on ANY cardio without it?

Are you a sister/brother in the RPE scale? how well does it work for you? how long have you been using it?

Or, and you rebel peeps may be my fave group, are you firmly in the I dont need no stinkin heart rate exertion calculator camp?

Please to hit us all up in the comments.

So this Zone thing really has me interested. I’ve been reading on the site and I took the “zone in a week” book out of the library. For what I know to be my diet issues (insulin resistance being a big one) this diet makes SO MUCH sense to me.

Here’s my stumbling block… I work full time and spend my mornings trying to get myself and two seven year olds out the door. Breakfast is a challenge (to say the least) so cooking is O-U-T. Any handy breakfast tips that fall in line with staying in the Zone?
And let me just say that I find your blog really inspiring. It’s great to see someone my own age (I’m 43) showing that you don’t have to be 22 to be fit and healthy. I wanna be you when I gro
w up. :)

I almost edited out the compliment at the end but decided, even though we’ve rambled a bunch lately about age, that the point about not needing to be 22 to be fit (not that there’s anything wrong with being 22 & fabulous) was worth leaving in.

Before I address the breakfast question I wanna back up clarify something. I am a fan of the Zone, but Im not enough of a fan (of any way of eating) to measure or obsess about counting.

No (fingerquote) diet (unFQ) is worth my having to become a slave to the food scale, measuring cups, or constantly count grams of things as I know I simply wont do it.

As our emailer points out with work, kids and LIFE there’s just too much else going on.

As a result, all my tips & suggestions are from this perspective: I keep in mind 40% good complex carbs, 30% lean protein, 30% good fats, estimate & just do the best I can. (as another reason I love Dr. Sears’ approach is his constant reminder we are only as far away from the Zone as our next meal.)

First? Refer to the glycemic index when you have a moment & be certain none of your breakfast options fall in the highhigh end of the spectrum. (for the most part this is easy to remember/figure out as super processed means super high on the index).

Next? Plan ahead. While I wont dare admonish you and say there is always time though I do think that we, women, need to put ourselves FIRST more often and MAKE the time there are foods you can prepare the night before which are easy to grab & go.

(*here* is where I give my thoughts as you, Oh Bumbling Band, think to yourself how much BETTER your ideas are and quickfastskip to the commentversation and chime in.)

  • Breakfast doesnt have to mean breakfast foods! Ill often have grilled chicken and brown rice for my morning meal (prepared the night before and eaten cold at my desk after morning mayhem settles).
  • In that same vein: whole wheat pita pockets, deli meat and cheese.
  • Im also a fan of protein pancakes made ahead of time and eaten cold on the go in the car (if by FAN you mean Id probably steal the time to heat & eat–which I do).
  • You could do a Zone bar. While I find these MORE satiating than other bars Im still not a fan of bar-as-meal-replacement.
  • I adore Morningstar Farms sausage patties. These would take (literally) a minute to heat up but when shoved into a pita pocket and crammed in your piehole with a fruit chaser you’re pretty close to Zone perfect.
  • Laughing Cow cheese or string cheese (protein/fat) & some whole wheat toast?
  • Peanut butter (protein & fat) & some fruit?
  • plain yogurt (Fage?) & some fruit cut & tossed in?
  • nuts (almonds, for example, give you your protein and fat) & fruit?

My struggle here, as I try and generate a list for you, is that I find I do keep returning to the notion of asking you to cook (or reheat).

To, if need be, get up 10 minutes earlier so that you can at least eat a bowl of oatmeal (with some flax seeds sprinkled on top) for your morning meal.


I know that it can feel like a Herculean task (believe me) but I also firmly believe that not only is role modeling the importance of breakfast crucial but you will feel FAR BETTER, more energized and set yourself up for a more productive day (with fewer energy crashes) as a result.

So that’s me, People.

I start off strong and vow not to nag—–and then veer wildly off track into chastising territory. Into the breakfast nag & the importance of deciding (whatever the ‘issue’ is) that we are WORTH IT and MAKING the time.

You with me?

Disagree and think that, for many people, my suggestion is unrealistic?

Have some better no-cook-eat-on-go tips for our reader?

Please to hit us all up in the comments.


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  1. says

    We have a heart rate monitor around here someplace. I used it twice. I don’t use it – and I think I don’t use it because it takes time – time to put on. Time to check. Time to take off. (maybe I’m just lazy!). I see it’s benefit, and yet also, like you, MizFit – I also know when I feel winded, when my heart is pounding as hard as it can – and I know that I need to bring it down a notch. (and scale level 8 – I know it well…)

    I also see that a HRM can be a good thing – it gives an accurate picture of where our heart rate is at – especially if we’re trying to work within a particular zone.

  2. says

    I would LOVE a heart rate monitor. At the moment I go on RPE, but I know for a fact that I would hold myself more accountable to a machine. Because it’s NUMBERS, and numbers have that effect on me.

    When I’m working down in London and need to get up at crazyo’clock to get the train, I throw a tub of Total (Fage to you) a big handful of blueberries and another handful of All-bran (I think this is like your Fibre One??) into a tupperware container the night before. That’s more or less a Zone meal, right? Don’t forget your spoon…

    TA x

  3. Renee says

    I am not your emailer but I could be.
    I am so busy in the morning and always make time for my 3 kids to have a good health breakfast and end up at the vending machine when I get to the office (as you say Miz: for shame! for shame!).

    I will think about this. I need to go now and make the kids some food. LOL.

  4. says

    I wear a heart rate monitor just about every time I work out. I almost feel naked if I accidentally forget it. I spent so many years NOT listening to my body that I needed help learning how to do that. I could probably rely on the scale now, but I have become hooked on watching the number.

    One thing that has helped me during hectic mornings is to split breakfast up. I might eat cereal or toast right away while making coffee, protein later while the car is de-icing or etc., and fruit while I drive. Not focusing on taking the chunk of time to eat the proper meal and instead focusing on just finding the time, in general, has helped me tremendously.

  5. says

    Hi! Sorry it has been a while, I have been slacking! Love your answer to the first question. I never wear one either. I am thinking about getting one purely from a stance of motivation- if I know my burn-age is being recorded, will I work harder? Not sure. I think you should change the name of your blog to Mizfit, the body whisperer hahaha

  6. says

    I used to wear my HRM all the time when I was doing cardio, but mostly because I know I’m a slacker. If left to my RPE devices, I probably wouldn’t work out hard enough. LOL

    I recently got a BodyBugg though, so I haven’t been wearing the HRM. I’m back to using RPE for my cardio because as long as I meet my calories burned goal at the end of the day, I’m happy. :-) I actually have been considering wearing it one day all day just to see how the two numbers jive with one another, but I can’t quite imagine wearing the chest strap for my HRM all day. Ugh!

  7. says

    I just got a hrm for Christmas and I LOVE it. I find that I do a combination of both, listening to my body AND looking at the monitor. When the little up arrow is blinking up your heart rate and it’s just not one of those days I’m like screw you, it’ ain’t gettin any higher than this!! :) I like it more for the calorie counter than anything. Now when I do weight training I’m more intense, I don’t tend to lolly gag around anymore, so I’m getting a better workout. It motivates me to move more. I wore it the other day while cleaning house and I saw that if I danced around while cleaning I could get some bonus calories burned! For me it’s a motivation gadget! :)

    As for breakfast, when I don’t have time to cook or plain just don’t feel like cooking I have:
    Yogurt mixed with Choc protein powder and frozen cherries and flax
    Protein shake mixed with frozen strawberries 1/2 banana little bit peanut butter and flax
    1/2 c oatmeal with some raisins, milk and flax eaten cold without cooking…is that weird?

    I’m not very creative with breakfast.

  8. MizFit says


    Interesting that some of you like the HRM.

    (and I shall be woman enough to say I saw one yesterday which made me think OOOH I WANNA TRY THAT OUT. Linking on friday)

    I recently got a BodyBugg though, so I haven’t been wearing the HRM.

    I cant wait to hear/read at your blog what you think of it, Mel.

    and Natalia? im calling you out.

    While this may seem prideful (pleasetowatchmetotrip as thats what goeth before a fall right?) it is all in APPRECIATION of your last post.


  9. says

    I have a heartrate monitor/watch thingie, but I generally use it for the timer option more than anything.

    For breakfast #1, I tend to do yogurt and fruit, or if I overslept, a palmful of almonds. I’ve also been known to slap some tuna salad on a slice of whole wheat and eat it in the car on the way to work. For breakfast #2 (a.k.a. mid-morning snack), I usually have oatmeal with some PB2. I’m all about easy-schmeasy in the mornings.

  10. Amiee says

    I am selfish in the morning. I know that I need to eat and have some time to focus or I am bitchy all day long.

    I think of it as a gift to the people in my life that when I take the time to make myself breakfast and have coffee and take care of myself their day is easier too.

  11. says

    I love my HRM.. I swear by it in cardio classes..especially when teaching because the adrenaline is flowing and I’ll forget about me while pumping my class up LOL.. but while running I wear it but if I don’t it’s no big deal.. I judge my body on the way it feels during runs.. there are times when you NEED TO WALK because your legs won’t make it if you tried to run anymore and falling in the street is so not cute!!!

    to be honest.. if I didn’t get my HRM through my instructor discount I probably wouldn’t have purchased one :)

    Breakfast.. I must eat it.. and I just finished LOL off to work I go..

  12. says

    You’re welcome Miz!!! Well since you called me out! <3

    For those of you that haven’t visited my blog, every month Oxygen magazine features their favorite website as a suggestion to surf/check out. I wholeheartedly believe that there are loads of people out there that could benefit from Miz’s insight and support and that Oxygen Magazine can help spread the word. You can send an email to : editorial@oxygenmag.com and ask them to check out Miz’s site and to list her as one of their favorites!!! :)

  13. says

    I’m with Renee. Child 1 just had a nice hot brekkie, Child 2 will be down in 15 for his. I’m too busy to stop! Also, not supposed to eat w/in about an hour of meds, and by that time I’m in in full day swing and eating is off radar, so I’m totally in the handful of almonds and a piece of fruit and catch me later group. For me it’s all about healthy grazing.

    I have 2 hrms. Don’t use them anymore, but I think I’m defective. The hrms on the machines don’t even register my hr, while the chest strap indicates that I should have exploded. This does not happen to my DH, so I know it’s just me. Much prefer the “if you can sing to your ipod you need to work harder” method.

    Happy Hump Day!

  14. Bea says

    I will email them as well, Natalia.

    Thanks for thinking of this it’s a cool idea.

    I wonder if I need to read the magazine first. Might be the excuse I want to spend some money LOL

  15. says

    I have a hrm, but I don’t use it. I tend to listen to my body. I know that my HR doesn’t get all that elevated when I am doing walk away the pounds – I have to practically run to get my HR where it is supposed to be for high intensity which seems ridiculous to me and my audience of the boy and critters. If I’m sweating, something is working – that’s my measure. If I feel like I want to kill Bob when doing BL DVD workout -that’s my measure.

    Have a nice day.

  16. MizFit says

    I second that emotion, HughsMom.

    And substitute:

    If Ren Man DARES to try and chat with me during my 30minutesofmebiketime and I wanna scream @ him (a rareity up in herre): I’m working hard enough.

    (Thanks Natalia. You are *beyond* sweet & supportive.)

  17. Lori says

    I had been working out for 20 years before I got my first HRM. My husband got me the Garmin Forerunner for Christmas one year so I could see how far I was running etc. It came with a HRM and after some time I finally tried that part (I had initially said I would never use it as I go by how I feel). Now I use my HRM all the time. Just like seeing where I was/can get too and it motivates me.
    Lots of good ideas for quick breakfast. I have never done it, but a lot of people cook steel cut oats in the crock pot overnight. You can stir some eggs in a bowl and microwave for a min and put into a whole wheat pita with cheese. The biggest thing is being prepared. Have what you need and ideas of what you will make and you can make quite a bit in a very short time.

  18. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    No heart rate monitor for me; I’m a perceived effort fan. Besides, it wouldn’t even be practical for the short-burst stuff I do. For example, today’s HIIT is:

    2 handstands
    triple forward somersault
    2 shoulder rolls
    12 bench jumps
    25 med ball slams

    x 6

    I do this totally non-stop. Stopping to check a HRM would break my concentration and slow me down.

    No morning time is a bad excuse to not eat properly. I scramble my eggs and thaw out my cherries BEFORE I go to bed; I only need to stumble to the microwave for a brief warm up in the morning. (Or, heck, you could even have them cold.)

  19. Nita says

    I use a hrm, but to track calories burned, not my heart rate. Using WW, we earn more points to eat by exercising – and having an accurate count of calories burned is the key to knowing how much more to eat (we can eat half of the calories burned in exercise basically).

    I still suck at listening to hunger cues from my body (as noted by the weight gain when I stopped counting points). I’m always hungry, even when I’m not. I schedule meals/snacks and just don’t let myself eat between at this point. Maybe someday my brain will figure it all out and I’ll be able to eat intuitively.

  20. says

    I haven’t ever tried a monitor but it’s something I thing I might try now and then out of curiosity.

    Here’s a zone breakfast

    A cup of plain yougurt
    cup of milk
    cup of berries

    throw it all in a blender and you have a zone smoothie…….crunch on a small handful of nuts while sipping for your fat or add a tsp of pb to your smoothie :) or flax

    I also like to have oatmeal already cooked in the fridge and then just zap for a sec……..add some berries and milk, grab and apple and some stringe cheese….a few ounces of chicken :)

  21. MizFit says

    Im with you Annette on the steelcutoatscoldinfridge—but I often sprinkle with flax and cinnamon and eat it cold.

    much to the ickchagrin DELIGHT of Ren Man.

  22. says

    I don’t wear a heart rate monitor, and I don’t pay attention to the hrm on whatever machine I happen to be using at the gym. Mostly because I’m stupid, and I like to do as much I can and it seems like the HRM is telliing me I’m going to have a heart attack, which seems to me to be a bit of a downer. Yell at me if you’d like. In the gym classes (like kickboxing or whatnot) and when I’m on my own, I tend to be a body listener. If things get to be too much, I slow down. If it feels too easy, I crank it up.

  23. says

    I’ve never done the heart rate monitor either – frankly I’m not sure how much I believe in the various target zones. For a lot of people, it’s a big deal just to get out there and exercise, and it’s fatally discouraging to hear that “ur doin’ it wrong.” The benefits of any activity at any rate sure as heck beat NO activity!

    I think a lot of this stuff is appropriate for advanced exercisers and athletes, but not something the average person needs to worry about. Fitness magazines and websites have to push something new each issue, so they’ve become more and more esoteric. I definitely go with the perceived exertion method: you can tell when you’re working hard, it’s no mystery.

  24. says

    I used to be a heart rate monitor ADDICT. Even wore mine for 24 hours once just to see what happened over the course of a day. But now I don’t wear one ever. I found that it didn’t help me achieve my fitness goals and I spent too much time worrying about the numbers (i.e. doing jumping jacks at the top of the stairs at my gym because I couldn’t leave only having burned 986 calories!).

    As for breakfast, I hate to say this and I don’t want to sound mean but we’re ALL busy. It really is a decision that we make, how to spend our time. You have to decide that the first meal of the day is worth the effort (and I believe it is) and then choose to make it a priority. Plus, it sounds like it would be good for the kids too, to have a healthier breakfast. Maybe look at it from the perspective of additional family time together? Good luck reader!

  25. says

    I’m with you Miz about monitoring my effort. I too have an internal scale that checks out how far I can push myself, but at times it becomes intertwined with my humor monitor. There have been times that I remember something that makes me laugh right out loud when in the middle of some serious exercise. It’s that whole out-of-body experience when I get to a level of not dwelling on what I’m doing (or else I would back off) and just go for it. The Zohan would be proud.

    Breakfast is usually a quick bowl of oatmeal or Grapenuts, etc. followed by an apple or pear. Not too original, but effective.

  26. says

    Am slinking back to apologize for my previous comment coming out much crankier than I had intended! Truly, I do empathize with crazy hectic mornings!

  27. says

    I love my HRM. I use it more to measure improvements than to measure exertion levels while I’m working out. I think it’s a great tool for that. Sometimes it’s tough to see improvements on your body, but if you know you ran 6.5 on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 160bpm last week, and this week you did it at 140bpm, you’re making cardiovascular improvements, even if the second week felt more difficult than the first week. I think it’s a great motivator when it’s tough to find another reason to be motivated.

  28. MizFit says

    no need to backtrack Charlotte!
    I think you nailed it with the WE ARE ALL BUSY remark.

    And I know for me, when I was putting other’s needs before my own, I began to grow resentful.

    And a little bitter.

    With a dash of martyrdom thrown in for good measure (is that even spelled correctly? I’m on my thumbs ;))

  29. Carolyn says

    Thanks for the breakfast ideas. I have been a Morningstar Farms sausage fan for a while now and pairing it with a whole wheat pita sounds like a great (and quick) idea…..so I went to my pantry and with no pita in sight I put the sausage on a rice cake and topped it with sliced avocado. Surprisingly tasty! I might have just topped you on weird food combinations. 😉

  30. says

    Now I have something else to think about. I don’t work out yet. I am planning to get started with a walking regimen soon. Simply walking up the stairs briskly with a heavy load of laundry would quickly put me on your RPE scale somewhere around 3 or 4 cause I am so sadly out of shape. Sounds like a beginner like me would be better off starting with a HRM so I get a feel of what to “listen” for in my body.

  31. says

    No heart monitor here, either. I’m all about perceived exertion. Truthfully, after working out for so long, I know when I’m doggin’ it and when I’m really pushing hard.

    Re: breakfast. My kids have entered into that teenage-y phase where they don’t want to eat in the morning. Aside from the whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” speech, I make sure they have fortified cocoa made with milk (which they actually love on cold days), as well as some sort of healthy carb. It’s not a huge meal, but it’s something and, like Miz said, it doesn’t have to be breakfast food. I’ve been known to eat chicken and brown rice in the morning myself and if my kids preferred morning chicken, too, I’d gladly serve it.

  32. MizFit says

    carolyn? sprinkle on some chia and you get the I EAT WEIRD FOOD sash.
    And Kel? That’s a tough one.
    I’m confident many trainers disagree with me but, when I was training, I did NOT urge my new exercisers to wear HRMs.

    When we were together I’d ask them what they were feeling and ask them to rank it on the scale of r.p.e.
    (And I could tell by the breathiness of their responses, too) & I would encourage them to ask themselves this same question when exercising away from me.

    The clients I had to were chained to their HRM from the *start* didn’t learn, in my experience, to be their own body whisperers as quickly as those who didn’t.

    Just my .02

  33. suganthi says

    Oh Miz. Did not even read the post completely. Have to rush off. I don’t use a HRM even though I have one. The guided mp3s I use to run with, gives different heart-rate zones, but I just do it by perceived exertion. I have to say that I am all about pooping myself out for 1 or 2 minutes and then resting for a minute or two and then starting all over. I feel like a doggie running fast and then flopping down panting and grinning … . Having said that, I wore a HRM when I was training for a half marathon (ha, ha.. I am not at all an athlete, but I just love saying “training” ) just to figure out the number where I was thought I was doing a decent pace. I then used this to keep myself on track during the race. I realize HR varies depending on the climate, what I ate, my moods etc. Unfortunately, left to my devices, I tend to slow down a lot. When I run on a tready, I never bother with a HR, I set a competitive pace and go for it.

    OK, gotta run. BBL.

  34. says

    I don’t do the heart rate monitor either. But mainly because for me, just doing anything is the main thing. And plus, with the RPE, I know if I’m going too hard or not.

    Can’t help out with the breakfast thing. I almost always have scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast :)

  35. says

    I’ve yet to get a HRM but I have thought about. I looked up the Bodybugg too but at $249 that just seemed way to steep for me. I’ll have to try your scale idea.

    As for breakfast, I make my own protein bars and it’s like having cake for breakfast almost lol. I’m all for quick and easy though when it comes to fixing food.

  36. says

    Hello, good morning, I see I’m already late for the breakfast party (and btw, my children have finished off Go Lean frozen waffles-two each with peanut butter, but the skinniest of my girls just wolfed down a third-wow…) I’m going to comment on HRMs. I think they’re a great tool for those who are learning how to listen to their body. Those who’ve been at it for a long while have a more intuitive feel for heart rate. Sometimes I like to wear mine to “check” and it’s usually where I think it is. But if you’re just starting out, can be hard to know. I do use it more when I’m training. For instance, I have a good feel for HR when running, but my heart rate is typically lower when riding because riding is harder for me and what feels hard on my legs doesn’t always translate to . Wearing the HRM keeps me honest. HRMs are also helpful for those who tend to workout ONLY at high intensities. Marathon training, for instance, requires you to train your heart to run longer distances at lower heart rates. The way to do that is to run slower. Funny as it sounds, this is difficult for a lot of people. Which brings me to your comment: “10 (very, very difficult) is how I’d *imagine*I’d feel were I ever to run a marathon.” Speaking for myself (and I’m pretty sure even elite marathoners) I’ve never run a marathon at a 10–not sure anyone can sustain a 10 for that long or far. I think a 10 is more akin to running a mile as fast as you can. Does that make a marathon less intimidating? And while I’m waxing on about heart rate, because I’m pregnant I’ve had a number of people ask if I wear a HRM. Being pregnant is when I absolutely DONT wear one. Perceived exertion is much better when pregnant. First off early in pregnancy your heart rate is already up do to your body making an effort to make more blood, so your HR will be higher, but not because of the exercise necessarily. Then at the end, you’ll *feel* like you’re working harder than your HR says because of the, uh, no way to say delicately… extra bulk. There my unsolicited opinion on HRMs for fit pregnancy, too:-)

  37. says

    i got a heart rate monitor for Chrismahkah (i asked for it lol) and was all excited.

    Now i’ve wasted hours trying to get it to work. I like numbers to show me results. I was hoping this would help me not ‘get lazy’ on the treadmill, in the pool, while doing video workouts. After our first two attempts at consummating our relationship, we just stare at each other warily across the room.

    The GI diet, on the surface, seems to make so much sense. It seems like it might be the answer to why I go into a sugar frenzy twice a day. And no, Jillian and Bob, that piece of Extra Sugar Free Gum does NOT make it magically disappear.

    But, the math. No one told me there would be math. Le Grand Sigh.


  38. says

    The Bag Lady doesn’t wear a HRM when she works out. In the first place, she is afraid of what it would tell her (“seek medical attention immediately!”) and in the second place, she doesn’t “work out” in the same way that y’all mean.
    (not that she shouldn’t work out, she just doesn’t.)

    Wearing a heart rate monitor whilst doing yoga just doesn’t seem ‘right’ somehow. Especially if it’s telling you to get thee to the emergency room…..

  39. says

    I don’t wear a hrm, even though I have an unhealthy obsession with fitness gadgets. I am totally that person who convinces herself that if I just buy this onemorething, I’ll instantly be motivated and melt away the pounds.

    However, since I’ve become a little more serious, iI’ve tried to be more deliberate about where I spend my money, and I just can’t justify it. I already have enough trouble concentrating on jogging in a straight line AND listening to my ipod at the same time. I can’t imagine how many times I’d fall if I was trying to keep an eye on my hr too.

    So I stick to rpe. I actually tried checking the hrm on the treadmill when I had to move inside for the winter, but it always read really high, so I decided to ignore it. I know that I’m around a 5 most of the time (although there are definitely days when it’s closer to a 6 or 7). Although I never really put it on a scale, I just kinda felt like that was the level where I could finish the wokrout, but I felt like I’d worked out afterwards. I figure that I’m healthy enough not to worry about my heart exploding, and not so healthy that an exact number is going to make the difference in me winning a race or not, so I just kinda hope that I’m ok.

    As for breakfast, I am not a morning person, so I am always rushing out the door, and I found myself eating meal replacement bars more often than not through the week. I finally caved in, and I eat breakfast at my desk after I get to work. I have a little more time that way, and can heat something up and eat it deliberately while checking my morning emails. I keep the stuff for it at work, so it’s ready for me and I don’t even have to think about it before I rush out the door in the morning.

  40. says

    I have never worn a heart rate monitor (I have worn a Holter monitor, but that’s completely different!) and I don’t think concretely in terms of RPE…but I do listen to my body. There’s an instinctive sort of feeling when you’re really working hard…hard enough to feel like it “counts”. I’d say I shoot for about a 6 on your RPE scale for the first quarter and last quarter of the workout, with the middle half generally being a 7. That’s cardio. My Jillian circuits end up being about a 7 or 8 the whole D**N time, though. They kill me and I love them.

    Love your “angryexerciser” label, too…I know JUST what you mean. I tend to be very intense when I work out, which is one reason I tend to work out at home, alone. At the gym it seems someone always wants to chat, which just irritates me. :-)

    About breakfast…I have pretty crazy mornings, too. Two kids to get out the door to school, and have to be at work by 7:45 or so. I started getting up half an hour earlier to have time to cook and eat. And now I get up even earlier to have time for yoga. But I’ve found that the tradeoff in terms of energy and mental clarity is more than worth the lost hour of sleep. (Though I do as much as possible the night before.)

    Hardboiled eggs – boiled the night before and in a bowl in the fridge – are a great quick morning protein source. Homemade trail mix with almonds and raisins and granola would be a great quick breakfast too. Yogurt is quick. English muffins with peanut butter or Laughing Cow or a similar spreadable protein fix wouldn’t be too time consuming. And most of these, with the exception of the yogurt (unless you get the drinkable kind) can be eaten on the go.

    But I, too, favor cooking. Sitting down and focusing on eating a meal seems to help me get my mind set for the day better. I generally do this BEFORE the kids get up, because if I wait till they’re up, it would never happen. :-)


  41. says

    In a rush, I grab some low fat cottage cheese and apple sauce, sugar free of course, or fruit cup in it’s own juice. I also make oatmeal pancakes the night before and eat them like a cookie the next morning, hot or cold. I keep them in zip lock baggies in portion sizes.

  42. says

    Yes, I swear by my HR monitor but only because I like to see the number of RPE on my HR monitor!! I don’t run with it because of the chaffing/don’t work with Garmin problem but I use it for cycling or any other cardio work.
    No, I wasn’t a 10 in the marathon!! Maybe a constant 7.

  43. says

    We’re talking about Morningstar “sausage,” right? I’d forgotten about those, but now I feel like making myself a sausage pita RIGHT NOW. Best of all it’s easier to eat behind the wheel than oatmeal…

    I have a HR monitor on my watch (you press two fingers to it). I don’t use it, or even consciously use the RPE scale (although I must unconsciously be using SOMETHING to determine how hard I’m working), but I do like checking my HR right after I stop running to see how quickly it gets back down to normal, when I remember.

  44. says

    I do have a HRM but I have only used it once since it is WAY too cold here to run outside with it. It is not as accurate on the dreadmill. Will keep you updated as it thaws out here.


  45. Twix says

    No heart rate monitor here but have been toying with the idea of getting one.

    I have 5 kids. They make their own breakfast except for the weekends. I don’t have that chaos in the morning that you describe but I have been there in the not so far distant past. My kids stay at home, homeschooled and I stay at home. We have different sorts of chaos’s that happen. However this thought came to my mind. What about like MizFit suggested heat something up the night before, around the time before you go to bed. Stuff it (the heated food) into one of those thermos bowls or plates or mugs and in the morning you should find it still hot. Mine supposedly keep foods hot for 12 hours. Although I have never tried. But I have eaten things 8 hours later and they were still piping hot. You can find most of these products just about anywhere. I have gotten mine at the Farm and Home/Fleet supply shops. As for cold breakfasts, only summer. Otherwise I find them just yuck! 😉

  46. says

    Add me to the devout heart rate monitor user. I’m wimpy. It’s easy for me to say, “Oh, I’m already breathing a little hard,” and not push it any further, but if I can see my heartrate, I might realize that I’m letting my wimpy side when and that I’m not really pushing my body hard at all. And it’s not so bad when I push myself more thanks to the HR monitor. It’s like my own little personal trainer.

  47. Twix says

    Oh and I forgot! Oatmeal can be made in the crockpot overnight!!! So yummy and it would be hot and healthy for everyone! 😀

  48. says

    I must confess–I love my HRM. I am a numbers nerd and it gives me something to focus on, especially during that 5:30am spin class when the instructor is apparently asleep.

  49. says

    I always wore a HRM when riding the elliptical, but since the original battery went, it doesn’t seem to work so I do without.

    I too am very interested in the BodyBug. Saw it on BL, but I really don’t need it anymore at this point.

  50. says

    I love me my HR monitor. I have been wearing it for about 2 years now..or more..I initially got it because I couldnt figure out what my RPE was to begin with. I like it for a few reasons, one that I am a gadget nut. Second, that I use it to challenge myself with a certain time/calories burnt goal. Third, the stupid elliptical calorie counts which are all wrong don’t let me fool myself. Fourth, I love big watches..so I wear it as a watch about 90% of the time, it looks pretty cool 😀
    I wouldnt get another one though..if something happened to this one, I know my levels now..i’d get a biggg sports watch instead 😀
    As for breakfast…a lt of people soak oatmeal and yogurt the night before to use as brekky, can just add toppings to it and its a pretty yum breakfast.

  51. says

    No HRM here. I use my body to tell me when I’m working hard enough -or not. I know how I want my body to feel.. and I also know that the heart rate # to feel that has increased over the last 2 years. The perception works so much better for me, as a number would keep me static.

    With the machines at the gym, I cannot use my real age. They have me working at such a low level that I barely break a sweat. If I work where I want to, they start blinking madly that I’m killing myself.

    And I have to pull the intensity back much more often than I have to pump it up.

  52. says

    I don’t need no stinkin heart rate exertion calculator!

    Haha. I’d love to use one just to see what it says, but haven’t ever. My curiosity is through the roof with things like that. I want to know what the stats are, just for the sake of knowing. It’s fun (I have a strange idea of fun, maybe…)

    I sympathize with the lack of time but sort of agree with Charlotte… when I was doing boot camp and then had work straight after, all I had time for was a couple tbsp of PB before boot camp and then an apple and a glass of milk between boot camp and work. Then, when I got to work, I’d make a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and cinnamon. We can be super busy but we don’t have to eat an enormous breakfast all in one go; we can eat them in stages to accommodate our lifestyles. It’s all about being creative!

    About the age thing- I love that. You’re only as young or as old as you feel!

  53. says

    Hmm. Your comment, Miz, about your experience with HRM clients not learning to be their own body whisperers as quickly has prompted me to think about forgoing the HRM for a while. I didn’t start with it, but I think I’m relying on it too much. Interesting discussion, and something that I’ve put zero thought into until today.

  54. says

    I have never used a heart rate monitor either, though I have thought about getting one now and then. While I don’t consciously think about an RPE scale, I think that is more or less what I do; I try to challenge myself but not push so hard that I overdo it. How much weight I can lift/how fast I can go definitely can vary from day to day. So I try to pay attention and do the best I can from day to day.

  55. says

    Someone gave me a heartrate monitor as a gift, but I don’t use it because I had to keep licking the metal thingy to get the strap to stick to my chest. I also couldn’t figure out where I was on the charts and where I needed to be b/c I couldn’t get my heart rate high while I ran, but it would go wacko when I stopped. So I just stick with the RPE.

    As for breakfast, I’m bad. I eat whatever is left over from the night before (cold, I love cold food) or, if there is milk in the house, I make chocolate banana protein shakes. Yum!

  56. MizFit says


    With the machines at the gym, I cannot use my real age. They have me working at such a low level that I barely break a sweat. If I work where I want to, they start blinking madly that I’m killing myself.

    Im gonna have to try that once and see what happens. Id not thought about the age/fitness level *assumption* on machines.

  57. Kelley Burrus says

    No heart rate monitor….but not adverse to it. Maybe that is just too much planning for me. Must think on this.

    IDEAL BREAKFAST FOR MY BODY: Fiber ONe cereal, soy milk and half a banana. IF I stray, I pay. If I don’t, ALL is in harmony!

  58. Sarah says

    Good idea Natalia (comment#13).

    Miz you are my Fitness Guidance Counselor and I would be happy to email that magazine and tell them that as well.


  59. says

    I found a heart rate monitor really helpful when I was forced to do racewalking rather than running–it was hard to use my own intuition to figure out how I was exerting myself, because I hated it the activity so much I’d confuse misery with aerobic exertion.

    Now that I’m back to cardio that feels a bit more natural, I use my “effortometer” instead, and like it much better!

  60. says

    It’s funny. I wear a heart rate monitor watch that is freaking huge, but never wear the monitor strap ever since I quit long distance running. I guess I’m just used to my Polar and don’t wish to downsize even though I only use it as a glorified stopwatch. I’m with you Mizfit – just listen to your body. You’ll know when you’ve reached your max. However, my husband swears by HRM training for hisrunning. He does all of his tough workouts based on heart rate, and it works for him. I think everyone is different. Find what works for you and stick with it.

    All your Zone-friendly b’fast suggestions sound great to me…there is always enough time for something! Pop a whole grain or flax fortified waffle in the toaster, slap some almond butta on it, fold it in half, hit the road. Yum!

  61. MizFit says


    please to chant with me:

    we want video!
    we want video!
    we want video!

  62. says

    I’ve never used a heart rate monitor. I have an incredibly low heart rate to begin with, so I’ve never fallen into the proper scales, and I’ve always been to lazy to calculate my own target heart rate. That sentence may not have made any sense. I don’t care.

    Right, so. I use RPE because it allows you to focus on how you *feel* on a day to day basis. Today, I’m all stopped up and can’t breathe right. So my RPE of 5 might be different than it was yesterday when I felt great. I know I won’t push myself too hard with this head cold if I listen to my body and focus on how I feel rather than focusing on a monitor. Just my 2 cents.

  63. says

    I’m an RPE kind of girl. I can tell when I’m pushing myself too hard and react accordingly. I used the HRM on my treadmill the other day and the numbers seemed in line with my perception, so I was pleased. Of course, if I can ever get the HRM to communicate with my garmin, I’d like to run with it, just to see what it says.

    I eat breakfast every morning as I’m putting together all the last minute stuff before we head out the door. I either eat heated up quiche that I have in the freezer or a quick bowl of cereal with extra nuts. I have to get a 7 year old and a three year old out the door, but I make sure I do everything that can be done the night before, so that I do have time for a quick eat.

  64. says

    Hey Miz,
    I have the heartrate monitor and you just reminded me to use it once in awhile! Thanks! I don’t really use it to set where I should be or anything, more as a, “oh gee! look how quick my heart slows down when I stop?” or “I didn’t know hearts could beat 190 bpm? Will it explode?”. I still used the RPE to set my intervals or make sure I was where I wanted to be, but I was trying to calibrate that back to heart rate a little. Harder than you think!

  65. says

    It’s hard to think about not having enough time to reheat something in the microwave, but then again I don’t have kids and just have to get my lazy self going :)

    I don’t do heart rate or even the 1 to 10 – I just try to workout @ where I could talk but don’t want to. I try to listen to my body and when I’m done or near muscle failure I stop…usually working out anywhere from 20-50 minutes. It’s been ok so far, but I’m not in shape either. I figure if I’m moving my body I’m good. I don’t want to burn out of any of it by hyperfocusing or pushing myself too hard.

  66. says

    People I know with high blood pressure often acquire heart-rate monitors to keep on top of the effects of their medications. It is nice to see exaples of more proactive thinking. When people become more conscious of the effects of diet, mindset and exercise, then they can avoid directly contributing to health issues like high blood pressure. Of course, genetics and other variables are also believed to contribute, but deliberate intention and conscious practice go a long way to enriching your life.

  67. says

    Whoa! So glad to read this today as I have been thinking of getting a HRM!!!! Do you read minds?????

    LOL at Real Housewives; it’s like a train wreck – bad, but you can’t help but look 😉

  68. says

    I’d like to get a HRM because my weight is still low and I’m pretty sure that the machines don’t calculate the right amount, because a half-hour of working hard (out of breath, sweating, not able to talk) is around 100 calories burned to the machine.

    Also, I’d like to see how far I ice skate.

  69. says

    I am so happy that you reminded people that *breakfast* can mean ANYTHING – it doesn’t have to mean cereal and bagels or even whole wheat pancakes. ;- )

    The rest of the planet eats stuff that is considered “lunch/dinner fare” for breakfast. This morning I had two eggs, refried beans (98% fat free) and salsa for breakfast.
    Sometimes I will have ww noodles with peanut sauce and chicken.

    Eating like this prevents me from having the midmorning sugar crashes that I used to have.

  70. Ellie says

    It isn’t even noon yet, Miz, and I’m number 76??

    I love my HRM but I do see what you are saying. I love numbers (I am a mathematician) and don’t think I would bother to get on my treadmill without it.

    I also love Real Housewives. It is my guilty pleasure and I am glad it is yours as well.

  71. says

    I wear my HRM more for the calories burn readout than anything else. With all the running, step and CrossFit etc. I sometime get concerned about not getting enough calories. If I burn 5000 calories a week I need to eat differently than a week where I burn 2500 calories.

    Plus I’m a measuring cup, food scale, calorie counting, math/computer geek type of girl anyway. I like data.

  72. says

    I have one of those inexpensive heart rate monitor watches, and at first, I’d check my heart rate quite a bit. But since that time, I only occasionally look. Curiosity, and all. Now, I just run at a pace that’s challenging for me. My heart rate is what it is.

    But when I would check my heart rate, it’s usually in about that same spot from one time to the next.

  73. says

    I never use a heart rate monitor–like you, I just listen to my body. When it says OMG FOR THE LOVE OF PETE STOP, I do. I’m not a no pain, no gain type. I am for no pain. Period. Deliciously satisfying post workout soreness is quite another thing.

    As for breakfast, dump some guac or cheese in the middle of some slices of any kind of deli meat, roll ’em up, and eat them as you’re running out the door. Always works for me in a pinch :)

  74. says

    For years, I never wore a HRM.
    I started using one when running a couple of years ago. I still only use it when I’m running. In order to really know how hard you’re working, you need to find your own target max HR. I haven’t done that, but I have a good idea based on where my HR normally falls.

    I agree that you should listen to your body, BUT many times, a hard workout is more of a mind game. Sometimes, I think I’m really working hard, but it’s all in my head. I can’t trick myself like that when I’m wearing a HRM that tells me exactly how hard I’m working.

    I pack my breakfast and lunch the night before. I eat my breakfast at my desk at the beginning of my day. I also never have time for breakfast at home in the morning.

  75. says

    No heart rate monitor here. I’m sure all it would really tell me is that I need to be working harder.
    As far as Zone breakfasts go, how about some fruit salad you can prepare the night before or even an apple or an orange? In A Week In he Zone, there’s a recipe for a breakfast fruit salad which consists of mixing together low-fat cottage cheese, canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges and macadamia nuts. Or how about yogurt and fruit and nuts? For added protein you can pre-cook a week’s worth of turkey bacon and microwave it a few seconds to warm it or just eat it cold. Also in Dr. Sears’ book are recipes for blueberry pancakes and french toast sticks, which I’m sure you could make ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze. Then a few seconds in the microwave in the morning and you have a zone-friendly breakfast.

  76. Alyssa says

    I have a HRM, but don’t always use it. I also prefer using the Listening To My Body technique. I think it’s more effective. The truth is, every person will have an “ideal” rate of exertion. My monitor is more for my own geeky curiosity. Same as my pedometer. I don’t really need it, but it’s a fun little gadget.

  77. MizFit says

    I agree that you should listen to your body, BUT many times, a hard workout is more of a mind game. Sometimes, I think I’m really working hard, but it’s all in my head.

    I totally agree with this.
    I know that im in a different place than many as well.
    For me it’s the “Im gonna DO cardio today” more than caring how hard I go.
    some days it is pathetic and lolling and Im paging thru In Touch Weekly looking at Brad Pitt’s new ‘stache.

    and others Im intervaling and sweating like the proverbial mo’fo’


    it is all about the goals huh?

  78. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever gotten past number 6 (whatever that is–possibly involving regurgitation?), and I can’t imagine there even being anything after that except sudden death.

    I’ve never used a heart monitor but I did order a FitBit Tracker last fall, which has NOT come yet. :-(

  79. says

    I have to say I own 2 HRM and never use them. I tried them in the beginning but I find the zones they lay out for me are not challenging at all. I too much prefer the perceived exertion scale, and mine is very similar to yours :) When I’m doing intervals I will ask myself ‘can you do more’ if can, can, if no can, oh well. So yeah, I’m with you, listen to the body it will tell you way more the any HRM.

    As for the breakfasts, it really is a matter of deciding you have time. If one of her kids needed some kind of medication in the morning she would make sure she got up earlier and got it taken care of. So that’s how she should view breakfast, if she doesn’t have it every morning things could go really wrong with her and then where would her kids be?? A lot of times it’s how you view things that allow you to get them done or not.

  80. says

    I like the RPE. I just had my “target” heart rate calculated for the first time (when I signed up for a trainer), and when I got on the treadmill, and looked at the numbers I was like, “Are you KIDDING me?” I hit my “target” heart rate without breaking a sweat. It’s a moderately brisk walk. On the other hand, if I’m running and working hard, my heart rate reads as about 3 beats away from my “maximum.” And that’s at a pace I can sustain! Not even running intervals or anything! Whatever. (And I’m not in the best shape, either, so COME ON.) That said, I’m guessing those little HRMs built into the handlebars of the treadmill aren’t that reliable. Either that or I’m in WAY better shape than I thought, LOL.

    Breakfast? On the weekends, I cook 5 eggs (or 5 1/4 cups of egg substitute). I just put each serving in a bowl and microwave it (I know, I know) for 2 minutes or so. Then I’m left with a stack of 5 round-ish egg “patties.” The night before (because I eat breakfast at work, but you could do this the morning of) I put one egg patty, plus one MorningStar Farms Soy Sausage Patty, plus one slice of Veggie cheese on an Alternative Bagel (Roasted Onion, please) from Western Bagels. It’s about 250 calories, 8 or 9 grams of fiber, 3 or 4 grams of fat. I think the carbs might be a TINY bit high, but if you added some olive oil to the pan/bowl you cooked the egg in, you’d be just about right for the Zone. Only downside is no fruits or veggies, so I try to make up for that later in the day.

  81. says

    Oh! And microwave the sandwich for about a minute! (Longer if you just took that sausage patty out of the freezer.)

    Seriously. It’s only good hot. Do NOT eat this cold. Blech.

  82. MizFit says

    ahhhh an eater after my own heart. love this:

    put one egg patty, plus one MorningStar Farms Soy Sausage Patty, plus one slice of Veggie cheese on an Alternative Bagel (Roasted Onion, please) from Western Bagels. It’s about 250 calories, 8 or 9 grams of fiber, 3 or 4 grams of fat. I think the carbs might be a TINY bit high, but if you added some olive oil to the pan/bowl you cooked the egg in, you’d be just about right for the Zone.

  83. says

    I wear a HRM for every workout but I probably completely waste it. I turned off the little beep that’s supposed to tell me if I’m in my zone or whatever. I just turn it on and do my workout, then look at it when I’m done. Sometimes I even bother to write down the results, but not much lately. I think the main benefit for me is I look at the range I was in for the workout and compare it to previous workouts. Like when I worked out live with Cathe Friedrich on her road trip, I noticed my heart rate was much higher than when I’m working out at home (even using her DVDs). Otherwise I don’t let the HRM stress me out or anything.

    (Kinda hard to stress The Fig, though.)

  84. says

    No HRM here only because. No other reason.
    Ezekiel english muffin – half with two hard-boiled eggs. Or oatmeal.
    Sometimes I’ll make a panini out of Ezekiel bread, banana and a light spread of pb. Some days that is my dessert.

  85. says

    I’m with you, Miz- I’m more of a body listener. I’ve never used a HRM, but I sort of follow the RPE. I’m down with OPP, yeah you know me. Oops, sorry, there weren’t quite enough acronyms in that paragraph, LOL.

    Actually, I’ve used the monitors on cardio machines, but I don’t really rely on them- sometimes I’m just curious. For most workouts my RPE is around 6 or maybe 7. For a higher intensity workout it might be 7 or 8, but a shorter duration than usual. Or if I’m doing intervals, it might be short bursts of 8 or 9, with recovery around 5 or 6. It sounds technical, but it’s really more of an intuitive thing for me. I usually have a time goal that I want to reach, so I keep it at a level that I can sustain for that long without passing out.

    About the breakfast, I usually eat after I get to work (oatmeal with flax, or sometimes cereal with soymilk), but if I’m really hungry I’ll eat a piece of fruit before I leave the house- a banana (I know, not zone friendly) or an orange, or lately I’ve been into prunes. Another quick breakfast is the hard-boiled egg that someone mentioned. You can even eat it with oatmeal or toast. I’ve also had cottage cheese (with or without fruit) for b-fast. And it’s super-easy to microwave scrambled eggs in a small bowl, and put it between toast to make a sandwich (that can be eaten on the go).

  86. says

    I do not have a HRM because I am (1) cheap and (2) concerned I might b/c obsessed with numbers. Mostly though, I am cheap. I would be curious to see what my exercise does calorie burn wise. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to be more gym efficient.

  87. Evan says

    I would love a HRM but I don’t know which one to get so I end up just blowing it all off.

    And I am lucky as my girlfriend makes me breakfast every morning.

  88. says

    I have a heart rate monitor that came with my Garmin. I use it, but more out of a number-oriented, nerdy, oooh why-is-it-higher-than-yesterday? sort of fascination than actually determining if I’m working hard enough. I’m definitely more of an RPE fan for that.

  89. says

    I don’t use any fancy gadgets. I don’t even use a scale. Scales make me mega crazy, so I ditched it. Now I’m sane. I don’t need a scale to tell me that eating a donut is not a wise choice, or that eating an apple is a better choice. I’m not the hi-tech gadget type though. Husband is. That’d probably motivate him. Maybe I should get him a heart rate monitor and one of those step counter thingies.

    I know the difference between pushing in a good way and a bad way. Learning to listen to our bodies is a major key to this whole thing. Isn’t it?

    I’m not into weighing or counting either. In the beginning, I spent time learning portion and calorie counts of things. I counted calories and adhered to that pesky food pyramid thing. I armed myself with knowledge and made my own plan. For me, that works. I don’t count any more as everything in the house is within my criteria and I know generally I am eating between 1300 and 1800 calories a day. I eat out very rarely, so don’t worry about that much. I pick off the menu or make requests using good sense. I really can’t stand greasy foods or a lot of fat these days. Feels icky in my mouth. So, I don’t really have to rein myself in when I do go out, I prefer to continue eating healthy. I try not to flinch at the plates of crap everyone around me eats. Sometimes I can’t help it though.

    So, I invested some time in learning to eat right at the very beginning. I did adjust my diet 2 years ago and learned I wasn’t eating enough. It’s not just about what you eat, I was telling a friend recently, but also how and when you eat. Keeping that metabolism thing going thing. Breakfast! That was the most important change I made. I eat it everyday. I now get up and make the time to fuel myself for the day. I and it are worth the time and effort. :)

    My food preferences keep changing as I let the transformation happen at its own pace. I eat fewer and fewer prepackaged foods. Anything that is, is organic except my Skinny Cow. I am not giving that up. I think whatever plan you do, it has to be personalized to fit you and work for you.

  90. says

    Hi Carla: I used to wear a heart monitor but stopped doing so about a year ago. I agree with you that it’s about keeping tabs on how you feel. If I’m on the exercise bike and I feel like I’m just coasting, I’ll go up a couple of levels. If I’m jogging and I’ve reached my time for the day but feel like I can do a few minutes more, I’ll go for it. It’s about listening to your body.

  91. Ann says

    I just had a comment on the heart rate monitor. My mom is starting a new exercise program and I really encouraged her to get one, because IMHO anything is better than focusing on the number of calories burned. It helps you focus on what matters – heart health. (Feeling good in your own body is even more important, but that can take a lot of time to reprogram your thinking.) Plus, it verifies that you are working hard even if you are not moving as fast as you would like. It helps you meet your body where it is at.

    I like to use the heart rate monitor. I like numbers. But I’ve definitely found that my heart rate and perceived effort do not vary at the same rate – sometimes I’ll feel like I’m really struggling and my heart rate is only around 140, while other times I feel great and my heart rate is up to like 175 (target is 160). Not sure what it means.

  92. says

    Excuse me for ‘eating when I comment’ (my post workout snack of a Wasa whole grain cracker with Laughing Cow)….

    I still depend on my heart rate monitor to make sure I am not working harder than I need to be on my steady base building runs…..in time, I’m sure (hope) my reliance on the gadget disappears!

  93. says

    I’ve completely ditched the idea of “breakfast food”, and just started having “morning meals”. I find “breakfast food” tends to be mostly carbs (cereal or oatmeal or pastries) and BIG breakfast food is eggs, bacon, and carbs… or as I like to say LDH, Grease, and carbs.

    These days I may or may not make a poached eggwhite and spinach on whole wheat. More likely I’ll pull a Lean Cuisine out of the freezer, or leftovers from the previous night.

    as for heart rate monitors, I wish I had one. There are some things I’m just so hopelessly clueless about. This morning, I figured I was doing a good workout. Had my heart rate up, trudging away on the treadmill for 20 minutes. At the end of it, I figured I didn’t get much of a workout. Then I sat down for a half hour… and tried to stand back up. THEN I felt it.

    It’s not unusual for me to not “feel the burn” when I’m exercising, even if I’m pouring sweat and my heart rate is up. I actually have no clue unless I’m using a monitor or stopping to take my pulse, how hard my heart is working.

  94. Ashley says

    I used to use a heart rate monitor, I am actually thinking about buying a body bugg.

    What do you think of them Mizfit?

  95. says

    I agree! Fun insinuates that I’ll be having FUN…but if I eat one I am mad cause I want more and can’t have more and that’s not fun. If I eat more then I have to spend extra time in the gym…again that’s not fun either.

    Whoever came up with that advertising gem should be hit in the face :)

    But thanks for the sunshine…I needed it! AND I’m tellin ya…Dave Ramsey is the most amazing financial peace speaker I’ve ever listened to…and it works :)

  96. MizFit says

    Im not the one to ask about the Bugg for a few reasons.

    Never seen it in person (Id love to so I could get a sense of it. not so much if it works as I believe it does—-but how user friendly it is. I adore my FLIP VIDEO camera because it took longer to free from the packaging than it did to figure out. Why do I think id be perplexed by the B’Bugg?)

    Im not a gadget girl (well, for the most part). If I were Id have one of those suckers NOW. They look really cool and the science behind it appears quite solid.

    it’s pricey and not a necessity. I once charged an 1000.00 stationary bike I couldnt afford because I NEEDED to lose weight and that was a way to do it.

    IMO it is so costly (400, yes?) and not pivotal to a weightloss routine…an accessory.

    (I told you I wasnt the one to ask :))

  97. Dana says

    I do the peanut butter on my finger thing and fruit when I am racing out the door with my little girl. Not proud…but honest.


  98. says

    I loved my heart rate monitor when first getting into fitness- now I’m loving my RPE (1-10). I think HRM’s are great for people training and for newbees, but for regular fitness buffs, we know our bodies well enough!

  99. says

    I’ve never used a heart monitor but I go more by the way I feel when I’m doing cardio. I try to strive for being able to speak but not hold a conversation. You know what I mean?

  100. says

    The “whisper” in my case is more like “yelling” as of late. My body tells me exactly when I’m working out to hard, not getting enough protein, or dehydrated (or at least that‘s what I perceive). I try to give my body what it needs before It starts yelling or even before it has to asks. I keep in mind how I feel that day and what sounds good. It’s usually something I need…even a good intense workout.

  101. says

    whoa, baby, I hope someone reads my comment way down here! If not, it’s okay I will just be mirroring what I lot of people said above me. I want a HRM but have been watching the money flow out so gotta keep the pocket book closed.

    My favorite breakfast is oatmeal, psyllium husk & miz fit post’s. PERFECT!

  102. Nancy says

    LOL@ Jenn.
    I always use that scale and never knew it had a name.
    And as far as breakfast I make it all the night beofre and just eat it cold.
    I think someone said above that they like cold oatmeal and that’s what I do as well.
    Cold oats and flax seeds (thanks to you Miz!) and I u sually try to have some protein in there somewhere usualy cheese.

  103. MizFit says

    whoa, baby, I hope someone reads my comment way down here!

    I did :)

    My favorite breakfast is oatmeal, psyllium husk & miz fit post’s. PERFECT!

    And that’s my goal, Jenn. Money? Schmoney.
    I’d adore as many people as possible starting there day here with us.
    Thats all I need….

  104. says

    no hrm here either. i guess basically i use RPE, without really thinking about it. I know when i’m working hard (or not hard enough), but maybe it’s easier b/c i have my breathing to guage with my asthma. Ha, that also reminds me when i’m out of shape :)

    breakfast? i don’t know how feasible it is for everyone, but a batch of fiber-filled muffins made on the weekend are a quick breakfast all week. Add a glass of milk for some protein, or a schmear off peanut butter, that’s pretty darn quick. A quiche or the like also reheats so well that it can be ready in a jiffy!

  105. says

    I just got a new battery for my old one and promptly got intimidated, cranky, etc. So, I hung it up and went back to having fun and using RPE — more effective!

  106. says

    Hey mizfit,
    If you ever need a text pick me up i would be more than happy to send one your way! I just got this Acti-Trainer from my work today. I’m gonna post a blog about it. Its a heart-rate,pedometer,calorie counter device. Its sweet! Do you know if it?
    –Happy wednesday!

  107. says

    I think I’m a body listener as well. I never use a monitor. I’ve tried it a few times, and I get too fixated.

    I’m a HUGE fan of Morning Star patties as well :)

  108. says

    I always wear my HRM. I don’t really use the HRM functions much during exercise but do use the speed / distance functionality when I’m running. Like TA, I’m very into the numbers and recording them in my training journal, so that’s why I always wear it.

  109. MizFit says

    I may have caved.
    I found a HRM yesterday—which Ill link friday—that I WANT to try!

    I know…
    I know…

  110. says

    I’m very low-tech when it comes to my body, so I don’t even want to consider a heart rate monitor. This whole process is a learning curve for me and I’m learning to listen to my body, not only regarding exertion, but also about eating, drinking and sleeping. It’s very empowering!

  111. says

    I’ve never used a HRM in my life, and I don’t have any interest in doing so. Maybe if I was more hardcore and felt like I needed to keep my heart rate at a certain point for a certain period of time…