So if you were a horse, what type of partner would you prefer? One who could not move and was heavy, unbalanced, and nonathletic or someone with balance, athleticism, and who seemed to care about themselves and the horse? I want to be the latter, forever more.
My goal as I have said before (I linked to some of the previous posts throughout this segment) is to get back to being physically fit not only for myself but for my horse. If you've been reading this blog over the years, you know I've posted several things on living a healthier life and so, I thought I'd take a moment to update you on my progress. This is a long journey and a lifetime commitment for sure. Don't be fooled, it is not a simple process mentally, emotionally, or physically. And don't fool yourself, if you are in the same situation, admit it and move forward, do something about it---you can do it, contact me, I'll support you! By the way, I think that both fat and thin people can be considered not physically fit so please understand that everyone has a journey of some sort in this realm, be supportive of each other.
Today, as a thirty-something, I have struggled since college with weight - or too much of it. At the time, too much on the run (full-time job, full-time college, married, running a wildlife rescue, etc.), fast-food eating, sitting in front of a computer, and a lack of the level of exercise I'd done for all my previous years. As an adult, I've done Weight Watchers and have found success (when I followed the program).
This year, in January, I joined the gym and started working out again, a step in the right direction. My weight has been out of check and I want that fixed, for good. I am athletic with my horses (except for mounting from the ground--which I still wonder what the impact is on their backs even with a thin rider - read this, "September 2007 - A Mounting Problem Study shows: just getting on can hurt your horse's back").
I ride bareback mostly (too complacent most of the time to pull out the saddle and think it keeps me honest about my riding position and balance) and have even started my own horses (you know this already if you've been a regular reader). I do recognize that balance and weight distribution can be an issue and plan to be more equal with bareback and saddle riding from now on. I pretty much act like I am 12 years old most of the time, no fear, just fun. Being lighter will help even more with my fitness level and horsemanship skills.
Anyhow, since the beginning of the year, I was losing a little but not much. I know that my food choices were the issue. Although I'd been working out, my food choices were still unhealthy (old habits die hard). Once my gall bladder issues arose, I was forced to get back to healthier eating habits (or suffer greatly--maybe even die) and it is paying off! Not only am I enjoying wonderful, healthy foods but, I am getting back to my old, thinner, healthier self. (I did have surgery and still cannot eat foods with fat without getting quite ill - a blessing really, this helps my journey a great deal - Yup, I always try to find the positive in everything.)
Anyhow, I've been doing great! I've lost 47 pounds since January and feel fabulous. My clothes are all getting too big (breeches are looking much better and feel better), my shoe size went down, my hubby makes some wonderful sweet remarks (always has but now more than ever), and my horses for sure will appreciate it too (I have not started riding again yet, was told to wait until July 1st but have been running around playing on the ground with the horses and having a blast--they seem to be as well.) One thing to note, I am very strong, always have been, and can work side-by-side with my hubby on most things so, I am not lazy, I am not a wimp, I'm just a bit too fluffy! LOL
I have to confess that talking about this subject in such detail on the blog is quite difficult for me and it took a lot of courage to divulge "the numbers" but, I think that my journey should be accurate and I know other horse people (women especially) have similar issues. One benefit I have it that my numbers are higher than anyone would ever guess--my little secret I suppose--well not anymore. LOL Perhaps my sharing can help some of you. I do share with my Plus Sized Riders Yahoo Group which is precisely why I know I am not alone. If you are interested, please come join us.
In any event, I challenge you to think about a few questions (be honest with yourself):
- Are you athletic and balanced?
- Are you physically fit?
- Is your weight where you want it to be?
- Do you feel good about yourself?
- How does your horse feel about your fitness level?
- Is your horse physically fit, especially for what you are asking him to do?
- Are you making wise food choices?
- Do you get in regular exercise?
If you answered no to any of these questions, what are you going to do about it? Take action and do something about it!
Some of my strategies for physical fitness are:
- Exercise at the gym or at home 3 times a week minimum. (Try something new if you get bored.)
- Eat low-fat, lo-carb, healthy foods. (Lots of veggies, fruit, lean meats, water.)
- Have a plan.
- Stay positive to keep yourself motivated.
Here are a few resources to consider:
Saddle Up Training
Parelli Mastery Manual #1 Balance (Savvy Club Silver and Gold Members Exclusive)
Exercise for the Rider Blog Post on Natural Horse Lover
Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone
Athletic Works Circuit Trainer Mini Trampoline
Nintendo Wii Fit
Fitness Tips for a Better Ride
I plan to update this weight-loss ticker so come back to this post if you want to see my progress or check out my blog homepage, I am putting it out there for all to see! (I think I'm nuts but if I help motivate just one person it is worth it.) My ideal weight range is 132-154lbs. I am shooting for 145lbs. I may also even post before and after pics someday...not that brave yet! I hope to be, correct that, I will be at my goal by spring 2010. (Wish me luck!)
My Weight Chart: