Monday, 13 May 2013

Fat Woman and the heart

Fat Woman has a heart. This fact was in doubt for a while, not because Fat Woman appears to be an emotional void or possibly a sociopath, but because Fat Woman couldn't get her heart monitor to work. Fat Woman had visions of herself tripping off to see the Wizard of Oz singing "If I only had a heart" or having her heart replaced by an apple like in the fairy tale but then had the bright idea of replacing the battery in the chest strap of the monitor. This is lucky because in Fat Woman's experience it is hard enough to get minor surgery on the NHS, never mind open heart procedures.

Fat Woman acquired the heart rate monitor from Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer definitely has a heart although he is so fit it might take a little time to detect his resting heart rate. Personal Trainer is not in danger of a heart attack so had not bothered to use the monitor since purchase. Fat Woman was very grateful for the initial loan because buying a heart rate monitor seemed to be as complicated as buying a car.

The interesting thing about wearing a heart rate monitor for Fat Woman is that there is no correlation between how hard Fat Woman's heart is working and how hard her legs think she is working. Fat Woman has always known that her body is a big fat liar, demanding cake when actually it needs a protein shake and some lettuce, but it was nice to finally have proof of this. Knowing that even though her legs were aching that her heart rate was only at 60% allowed Fat Woman to push harder without fear of death. Fat Woman had spent so long with doctors looking at her as though she was going to have a heart attack/pulmonary embolism/stroke at any moment that she was rather concerned. With the heart rate monitor Fat Woman could gauge her capacity much more accurately.

Fat Woman wore the heart rate monitor for three days and found out that boxing and rowing got her heart rate up past 170bpm, cycling took more effort than her legs could manage to get her past 150bpm and that Tai Chi and Escrima are useful activity but not really helping directly with weight loss.

Having found that the heart rate monitor was a good indication of when she was doing some work Fat Woman measured her heart rate in the pool. Swimming laps was good cardio, but aquarobics was no longer cutting the mustard. Fat Woman was going hell for leather and still her heart rate would't nudge past 60%. This was a key point in Fat Woman's decision to quit her gym.

Fat Woman is using the heart rate monitor during her Couch to 5k. Fat Woman finds the little numbers intriguing and the correlation between her heart rate and her activity fascinating. Fat Woman can see from her data that her fast walking intervals get slower throughout her session but her heart rate does not drop. Fat Woman is going to live with looking like a sad exercise geek if it helps her kick her way off this plateau. Fat Woman is a sad geek and doesn't care who knows it. At least Fat Woman is a well-informed sad geek.

Giving the heart rate monitor back was very complicated because the chest strap goes under the wearer's arms and would need a wash before someone else used it. Personal Trainer was kind enough to sell the heart rate monitor to Fat Woman. Fat Woman paid for the heart rate monitor with an enormous chocolate cake that Personal Trainer commissioned for a loved one. Fat Woman made the icing decorations extra sparkly.

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