About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: You are what you eat!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

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.

  1. Identify where your fitness level is.
  2. Determine if you need/want to do anything about it.
  3. Assess where you are.
  4. Set a mini-goal to start getting you where you want to be.
  5. Make a plan.
  6. 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.


Lisa said...

A great resource for easy eating habits changes are the "Eat This, Not That" books. I gave one to my mum for Christmas (at her request) and bought one for myself. Some of the information is surprising and it makes it easy to make some simple and effective changes. I've started reading labels and seeking better food. Something worth checking out.

Karen said...

Man Michelle, you sounds like a clone of me. Seriously! Everything you write in this blog is ME to a tee!! And seriously... your place is called Hidden Meadows? We call our place Hidden Creek!
I too am in a rut - physically speaking. I started back into jogging this month (treadmill for winter)... starting 3x/week and hoping to increase that to 5x, but am starting slow so I don't quit. I also started a 28-day cleanse this week, in hopes of getting back on track with eating healthier.
Excellent challenge Michelle!!

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks for posting comments ladies. AS always, much appreciated and always interesteing to read. By the way, I did great on week 1, I lost 6.2 pounds on weigh-in and am feeling wonderful. :) On to week two! I have my menus planned, exercise planned, and motivation to move forward. :)

Geneviève said...

Great post Michelle. I took charge of my health and fitness a few years ago after realizing that it was standing in the way of my advancement as a horsewoman and instructor. I found a good healthy program with a plan, tools, support and knowledge, set some progressive objectives and stuck to it. It took a year, but I achieved my goal and have maintained it ever since. The support network really helped with motivation and strategies. If you keep your focus on the positive, what you will gain and accomplish,the good feelings and the pride in being fit and healthy, it actually is not that hard. Keep at it, it sounds like you are on the right track. Remember, here too, slow and right beats fast and wrong!


Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thank you, Geneviève. Your input and insight mean a great deal to me. I am working on week three and have worked very hard. Good results are evident and I am really happy with my progress. And, I agree, slow and right beats fast and wrong...I hadn't thought of that in these terms, I appreciate you reminding me.


Geneviève said...

Another important thought - if you make a mistake or fail to follow your plan one day, put that day behind you and forget about it, and just start over the next day. The worst thing is when you focus on failure and then start giving up - don't do that, live by each day and keep looking forward. It's what you do over the long run that counts.