Now that I am back on my feet, riding, walking, mucking -- it's time to get back in shape. I am working to get Winston fit and fabulous but its really not fair to him if I don't do my part as well.
The past four months looked like this for me:
I gained weight and I lost muscle. In short, I got soggy. My weight was already a bit higher than I like when I broke my toes and now I am positively disgusted with myself. I don't want to be the skinny thing I was in my 20s, but I do want to be fit. I'd like my work clothes to look decent and I hate the way my breeches cling to the crevice at the top of my thigh. Ewww. I've tried different weight loss programs in the past and the one that works best for me is Livestrong.com. I can eat my own cooking, which is important to me, and it tracks my calories, my exercise, and my weight. I log everything I eat. My problem is not that I eat unhealthy foods: I love veggies and fruit, meat in small quantities and can pass up sweets pretty easily. My downfall is twofold: portion size and bread. I put a badge showing my weight loss at the very bottom of this blog. It will help keep me motivated if I'm broadcasting to the world my progress. I need to stay motivated. I've done well this week, my first week. But, the first week is always full of good intentions and resolve. The trick is staying with it in the weeks further down the road.
The other thing I did was sign up for a weekly session with a personal trainer at the gym. I need to get my muscle tone back. I need that muscle to ride effectively, and more muscle means a higher metabolism and that translates to burning calories at a better clip. At 52, my metabolism has ground to a crawl. I think it may have stopped all together. I had my first session with the trainer last night after work. I started with a free walk for ten minutes, on a loose rein, on the treadmill. ...okay, that's what it reminded me of. Then we did abdominal work. I'm excited about working with a trainer. Again, there is that whole accountability thing.
Our first week back to work has gone well. I try to mix things up and work on whatever emerges as we warm up. We trained five days this past week: four days in the arena and one day on the trail. Monday, he was tired after our arena work Friday and Saturday, plus a trail ride Sunday, so we took it easy -- a lot of work at the walk. Tuesday he had off. Wednesday, he was full of the devil. We did our warm-up and some trot work, which all went well. It was cool with a hint of rain in the air; every so often a stray raindrop would hit my cheek. I asked Winston to canter. He did the bucking, hopping, rearing, throw a fit thing that caused my broken toes (he surged forward, came up on Flash, who kicked at us, nailing my foot in the stirrup). Gayle had instructed me to send him forward and ignore the antics. So, with my heart in my mouth, I sent him forward. He continued to buck but then settled into a canter. I brought him back to trot, got ready to ask again, (said a couple Hail Marys), and very quietly asked for canter: he bucked a tiny bit, I sent him forward and he settled. Phew. The third time, he smoothly transitioned up into a lovely canter and I praised him profusely. We cantered down the long side, slowed a bit on the short side, and then I asked him to give me more on the long side. He surged forward with happy ears. So, we did it a few more times around and then ended on that happy note. This morning, we worked on intervals and transitions. Forward trot around the arena, down to walk, next letter forward trot all the way around, walk to the next letter, etc. We did that exercise until we had transitioned up all the way around, changed directions and did it the other way. Then we cantered - transitions were calm and smooth.
We are making progress. Both of us.