If you've been reading my blog over the years and looking at my photos, you know that I am challenged and have been struggling in the area of physical fitness (something that was not the case when I was younger). I am not lazy, I am active, I do move, I am athletic actually (but could be way more), and yes, I need to lose weight and tone up, just like millions of other people on the planet. I think my problem stems from complacency and defiance! You know, the devil on my shoulder telling me that I shouldn't have to work at it, that I should be able to eat and do what I want like when I was younger (I'm 38 now)! I have control in all other aspects of my life and am taking control of this one now too, period. Complacency and defiance have gotten me nowhere. This is for me (and my horse).
Pat Parelli has said time and time again (and I've blogged this time and time again) that there are three things to achieve fitness for partnership, both horse and human should have these to achieve true partnership: Mental Fitness, Emotional Fitness, and Physical Fitness. A few years ago, you might recall seeing Pat a bit puffier than in years past (sorry Pat). Well, he did something about it and worked with a trainer. He and his son Caton lost weight and gained better physical fitness (and in front of the world, or at least the Parelli world). And, they look great! Linda Parelli looks fantastic but don't fool yourself, she works at it too! Read her blog and check out the fitness Mastery Manual. She talks about food, exercises, balance, and more! (By the way, if you search the blog for physical fitness, you will find many posts, links, and resources too.)
As per my blogged New Year's resolution, I have been working on my physical fitness. I started back to Weight Watchers meetings last Saturday and have had a great week. (I did WW years ago and was very successful until I stopped paying attention.) All week I've been planning, journaling, and eating healthy! I wanted to go to the gym this week but had injured my elbow which seems better now and so gym here I come! I also have not been sick once all week, after any meal, and feel great. I weigh-in tomorrow and should show about a 5 pound loss! (Just an aside...I've been sick on most foods since my gall bladder surgery unless I was very careful about the meal's content. Over the last couple of months (holidays), I'd been eating poorly, getting sick all of the time, and feeling lousy--how stupid is that?) Anyhow, doing well, feeling great, set a very small goal of a 5% loss for now. I cannot look at the final goal at the moment, it is too scary. I am looking at WW (or the skills you learn) as life-long learning opportunities and skills, not a diet to quit.
Ok, so to this week's challenge. This week, I challenge you to assess your physical fitness and create a doable plan to get to your first mini-goal. I want you to be very brutally honest with yourself (not cruel to yourself, no negative self-talk, I do enough of that for everyone). One's fitness goals are completely personal and that is okay. Some people need to lose weight, others just need some exercise, some need healthier eating habits, some need it all. Everyone has a different set of circumstances in life and that is ok! And, everyone's journey to what the "perfect" them is differs as well.
Here are some assessment ideas to help you. Write things down, take pictures, make a record.
- Have someone take a photo of you in clingy clothing, a bathing suit, your underwear, what ever it takes to see all of you! No hiding behind your comfy, oversized sweatshirt. (Or stand in front of a full-sized mirror if you'd prefer to keep this a secret.) I have a huge antique mirror in my bathroom and when I get out of the shower, there is no hiding the truth. LMAO
- Get on the scale, in the morning, in your birthday suit, write it down! I really like the digital scales or doctor's scales if you can afford one. They seem to be more accurate that the analog scales and easier to read.
- Go use an online body-mass index calculator and see where you are at. You might also want to look at a height/weight/age chart.
- Get out the tape measure and measure your parts.
- Think about how you typically feel. Do you have energy, do you lack it? Do your insides feel right?
- Think about when you are with your horse, do you get winded easily? Can you post trot without a problem? How is mounting for you? A challenge? Easy? Be honest.
Okay, once you have honestly figures out where you are think about where you want to be. Consider these goal ideas as a starting point and go from there. This is YOUR journey.
- If you want to lose weight, set a 5% goal to start. Once you lose that, set a 10% goal, etc. Until you get where you want to be.
- Set a goal about where you want to be in your horsemanship in the next year and list what things related to your fitness you may need to do to get there, then write down your plan.
- Plan your week's menus. Look at new healthier recipes (or alter your all-time favorites) and write down a menu plan for the week, go shopping, and stick to it!
- Find a local support group if you need to lose weight.
- Locate a local gym and join! try to get there 3 times a week.
I am certain by now, you understand the challenge. Broken down very simply, it is this.
- Identify where your fitness level is.
- Determine if you need/want to do anything about it.
- Assess where you are.
- Set a mini-goal to start getting you where you want to be.
- Make a plan.
- Stick to it!
Best wishes to you all. Thanks for reading, until next time.*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.