I am seeing “less” of my friends these days. And that’s a good thing! You see, since January 2, 2013, we joined hands, sang Kumbaya and swore ourselves off the Schwan’s ice cream in hopes of a newer, thinner self come riding season. If for no other reason, to give our horses a lighter load. It’s all about the horse, you know.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Taking It Off… Again, this is not the first time I seriously dieted. In 2008, I lost almost 40 pounds. Over the next few years, a few of those pounds snuck back on. I had let my guard down. I stopped watching what I ate and stopped going to Curves or engaging in any sort of work out plan and a funny thing happened: By 2012, I had gained 30 of those hard fought-off pounds back.
I would fool myself by saying I was going to lose it and “this time I’m serious” but I didn’t walk the talk. I know from losing weight before, that diet and exercise are the key. There is no magic pill, just taking the stairs won’t cut it. When I mentioned I am pretty much sedentary this time of year, my friend, Diane, pointed out that I am not sedentary – that “you chase after your dogs!” I told Diane that the only thing more sedentary than me was my dog, Bo!
(Catch the theme here? Seems to be all about the asses!)
So my friend, Joni, drew the line in the sand. She said that we need to stop making excuses for ourselves and each other, like we seemed to do when we tried the 10lbs in 10 weeks diet, and to start being accountable for our successes and failures. If we are going to say we need to lose weight, we need to get out and do it!
Like quitting smoking or conquering any addiction, you must in your heart of hearts be ready to do it. An army of Jillian Michaels cannot motivate a person if you are not ready to make the change. We mentioned our plan to lose weight on our Horsetales list serv and initially, about 20 of us joined forces to support and encourage each other to get on a plan and stick to it. A couple gals on our team dropped out after a couple of weeks and we gained a few more in the weeks that followed. Today there are 18 women in our group. We use a private Facebook page for our activity as well as a Yahoo list serv.
Since the Distance Derby had such a positive effect on getting people out to ride, we thought perhaps we should have a Leader Board on our Facebook page to show our losses. And to encourage exercise – because it is key in a weight loss program – we should also keep track of the time we worked out. To up the ante a bit, we said exercise must be a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes for it to count.
Many of us started using the app, My Fitness Pal. With just some basic information about yourself and your goals, it provides you with optimum calorie intake to meet them. If you go over, you simply need to exercise to credit the calories back. I set the program to lose 2 pounds a week and although I was up and down though out the first few months, entering the 3rd month, I was spot on for the 2 pound per week average. If you are honest with what you eat and what you record, it works.
(and more ass motiviation)
To keep interest in the program and for further encouragement, we have added other challenges along the way. We found pedometer and GPS apps through Runtastic that will record steps or miles and credit the exercise calories back to My Fitness Pal. This month, we started a 30-day squat challenge we saw on Facebook and a few of us are participating in that exercise. I found a bike that a friend wasn’t using and hope to start riding over lunch hour soon. It’s been a long time since I have rode a bicycle.
We discuss our workouts and follow each other’s progress on our Facebook page and My Fitness Pal messaging. We share YouTube videos, exercises, and just keep each other up to date on our challenges and successes. And seeing is believing! Since most of us don’t see each other on a regular basis, when we do, we can really see the results of our efforts. The team concept has been critical to this program and they’ve given me permission to share some of their successes, too.
Sarah has been a runner for the last few years. This spring, she is tackling a ½ marathon. Corie just finished her first 5k this past Sunday. Sharron, who had already lost 50 pounds prior to this challenge, hits the Curves circuit three to four times a week. Lori and I also attend Curves and all three of us walk when we can. Using Runtastic, I’ve “virtually” walked with Jess and Shari. Sharron, Jenny, Brenda and I have all attended Weight Watchers meetings.
Kathy did water exercises this winter and now, with her retired husband, has started walking the trails around the city. Shari completed Jillian’s Ripped in 30 and she looks it! Joni has left the treadmill and jogs down her country roads. Diane has recorded over 90 hours of exercise; many of that spent on the elliptical. Jules admitted her elliptical had become a clothes hanger and has since hung up those clothes and got back on. Brenda, who lost over 40 pounds prior to this challenge, continues to work with a trainer to help meet her goals.
Others in the group are not as forthcoming with their program but continue to report in each week. For me, what makes this diet bearable is sharing it with these friends; the good and the bad. And since all these women are horsewomen, it just adds another dimension to our friendship.
I had hoped to hit goal weight by May 1 but I don’t think it will happen. As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, it will come shortly after that. Already in smaller jeans, I hope to have lost 25 pounds by the end of this month. Although I’ll never get the bikini days back, Corie and I are going to get our belly buttons pierced very soon just because.
We are almost to the 100th day of our diet. With spring in the air, it’s time for some serious riding. We are pretty sure our horses will thank us for our efforts. When I hit my goal, I’ll put up some after pics. Perhaps some of the other gals will share theirs as well.