Aren't you glad this isn't a political post?
2016 was the year to try to rebuild my strength to pre-surgery levels and try to find a way back to a healthy weight and bodyfat level.
I succeeded at the former, but failed at the latter. Nonetheless, I celebrate my success. Over the course of the year I sometimes looked at the routines in my various workout programs and thought, "That's too hard. I can't do that." Then I went ahead and did it. I continue to amaze myself every day.
I swore that I needed to accept my body and just deal with the fact that I'm not willing to make the changes needed to radically make over my body. I got my level of fitness back and that's all that matters.
Or is it?
Unfortunately in recent months my pony has become impossible for me to ride. She is unresponsive and even combative when I ask her for simple tasks. My trainer has asked me to consider if I might be too heavy for her. I think she may be right. I owe it to Riddle to make her more comfortable. We are a team. We have worked together for the past 10 years working to riding goals. I can't move forward figuratively if I'm making moving forward literally uncomfortable for her.
So I need to find a new way to work on these eating habits. My attempts to share regular habits wasn't working out too well. I wasn't sticking to it. I need new goals and new strategies.
I came up with these strategies for both exercise and nutrition.
Stay with a fixed meal plan: I have been writing and refining a list of meals to carry me over for the next six weeks. Each week I eat the same breakfast and lunch and three different dinners (each dinner is eaten over two nights). This allows me one night out per week. The meals are vegetable heavy and often vegetarian (even vegan) although I make sure each day has adequate protein.
The No-Dessert Challenge: I am challenging myself to not eat sweets for as long as possible. I will save desserts for special occasions like holidays and other family gatherings. Each interval I go without sweets will come with a reward such as new perfume from Sephora, an off-season pedicure, a massage, and a styling session with one of the high-end box services.
No alcohol at home: If I want to drink, I do it when I'm out. I have only one dinner scheduled out per week so that doesn't leave much room for drinking.
I have only one goal and, believe it or not, it is to scale back. I have spent years following the rule of three strength sessions a week. I have had multiple injuries and I'm getting stiff. New body parts are hurting all the time.
Instead of 3 strength, 2 cardio, 1 dance, and 2 horseback riding, I am swapping out a strength session for yoga. I need to start doing more flexibility work, not just to keep the stiffness at bay, but to be more relaxed and centered.
Many fitness experts say two times a week is minimum and three times a week is optimal. I'm guessing most of these experts don't work their muscles trying to control an animals that weighs several times more than they do. I think I get enough muscle work from riding.
My winter schedule will look something like this:
Sunday: AM strength training, PM riding
Monday: Dance class
Tuesday: AM strength training
Wednesday: Cardio (30 minutes steady state on bike or elliptical, 10 minutes of intervals) or Zumba
Thursday: Yoga class
Friday: Cardio (see Wednesday)
Thursday is yoga day because it's the day my gym has a class at a time I can be there. I want to go to a class because I know I am less likely to do anything if I decide to simply stretch or do a DVD at home.
I think I can liberate myself from the expensive weight programs and the books. I believe I have the knowledge to design my own workouts now.
This will change when dance class is out for the summer. I think by that time, I will have another check in. Can I hold out with only monthly (if that much) dessert and weekly wine? How will that affect my body if I can?
I want to feel like a Ninja Goddess again. Ninja Goddess may not be quite what she was in 2013, but I can redefine who she is and what she does and what she can accomplish. She needs to banish the Dumpy Stumpy Troll (granted, she should have been doing that all along and I haven't been letting her).