On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game! (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).
Q. I'm looking into getting a treadmill. Can you recommend a specific make/model or just features that it should have?
A. I am certainly no treadmill expert, but I can tell you from my experience what features I like, as well as features I don't find to be necessary. When I was looking for a treadmill, a huge factor for me was the cost. I couldn't afford to spend a small fortune on a machine that I was hoping I wouldn't have to use all that much (I much prefer running outside to the treadmill). I also knew that I didn't need all the bells and whistles--I just wanted a reliable machine I could run on. (Here is the treadmill I have)
The features that I really like (or features I wish I had) are:
- The one-touch speed and incline control buttons. See the gray numbered strips on each side? You just have to push the button and it will change your speed or incline. You don't have to hold down an up or down arrow button to change the speed/incline. This makes it easy to go from a walk to a run almost instantly, and makes my running intervals much more efficient.
|Front face of my treadmill|
- The speed goes up to 12 mph and the incline up to 12%. A lot of lower-cost treadmills only go up to 10 on each. Now, I'm certainly not going to be running at 12 mph ;) But, I hope to use that for sprints one day. The highest button I've pushed is 10 so far. On the incline, however, I have used the 12%--it makes a GREAT workout. Some treadmills go up to 15%, which would be nice, but those treadmills usually cost a lot more.
- This treadmill has iFit technology, which is something I've never used and probably never will. This wasn't a selling point for me at all.
- I like that the console is very simple. There aren't a million different buttons to try and press while I'm running.
- I don't remember the length or width of the stepping part of the belt, but when choosing a treadmill, it's important to get one that isn't so small that you're practically falling off the back of it with each step. Also, you want it to be wide enough for comfort.
- My treadmill folds in half, but that doesn't make it take up much less space. From what I've read, the treadmills that fold up smaller tend to have more problems with the hardware, so I didn't care about finding a treadmill that folded up.
- I wish that mine had a spot to put a magazine for reading. You can see from the first picture that there isn't a spot to put a magazine. I can't read while I run, but while walking, it would be nice.
- I have found (with all treadmills I've tried, even at gyms) that the heart rate grip monitors are extremely inaccurate; so that wasn't a selling point for me either.
- My treadmill has built-in running/walking programs. I've used them and liked them, but I mostly just use the manual setting.
- Options that you can get on certain treadmills, but will most certainly pay extra for: a built in TV, a color touch-screen panel, downhill incline, etc. But keep in mind that the more features you have, the higher the risk of something breaking.
Q. I was just wondering if you ever had a hard time sleeping when you were losing weight? I'm a good sleeper till I start to count my WW points again. If you did, do you have any tricks for a better nights sleep?
A. It is definitely harder to sleep on an empty stomach (for me, at least)! But from the very beginning of my weight loss, I would always have a bedtime snack. I usually saved that time for dessert--a brownie, a cookie and tea, wine and a piece of chocolate, etc. I know a lot of people think that you shouldn't eat right before bed, and maybe that's true, but I always have (and probably always will). Maybe give it a try and see if it helps :)
Q. Did your bra sizes drop quickly during weight loss, and did you have to keep buying new ones? I'm wondering how much mine will shrink as I lose weight.
A. I've actually never been very large-busted... at my heaviest, I was a C cup. I can't remember exactly what my band size was, but I want to say it was 42 or 44? Anyway, my band size went down, but I resisted buying new bras until I couldn't stand it anymore--because bras are expensive, and I knew I would have to get another new one soon anyway. So I think my bras went from 44C, to 40C, then 38B, then 36B (which is what I wear now--although I'm probably closer to an A cup!).
I didn't really notice the decrease in breast SIZE as much as the perkiness--they are not at all perky anymore :( But it surprisingly doesn't bother me--I'm fine with having small boobs ;)
And now a question for all of you...
How have you been staying cool in this heat wave? Has it changed your summer plans at all?