I missed out on a chance to ride yesterday - it was warmer than they'd forecasted - low 20sF - and the wind wasn't too bad - but I hadn't planned to ride so the day got away from me. And my back was somewhat sore - my back's often sore and sometimes worse than sore, due to some old injuries (including one time when I was jumping and my horse fell right before the fence and I went flying, head first, directly into one of the uprights that was set in concrete - and my helmet came off (not that it would have helped much since it was one of the old "decorative" ones)). That'll do a job on your neck and back, not to mention giving you a pretty good concussion. And there are all the times I've picked up heavy things without using good body mechanics . . .
Anyway, this morning I didn't feel too bad and was up picking poo in Pie's paddock (nice alliteration, that!). He'd left me what my husband and I jokingly call a 12 pack - 12 piles of poo. That got me thinking about 6 packs (as in abdominal muscles, not beer). I'm planning to ride two horses at the Mark Rashid clinic in May, and I'm not in shape to do that. I'm also getting older and need to pay more attention to my diet and fitness - I sort of take it for granted that I eat healthily (and we mostly do) and that all the work at the barn I do and the riding are enough for fitness. But my diet's not that healthy right now - I sort of let things get away from me over the holidays and haven't been eating as well and have added some pounds - weight's not usually much of an issue for me and I don't even own a scale but my clothes are tight, which is a good sign I'm carrying too much. And my fitness level is mediocre - to ride in the clinic I need to be significantly fitter than I am now, particularly in terms of core strength and aerobic fitness.
So here's the plan.
Eat mostly vegetarian, with some fish and very occasional meat.
Nothing that comes in a package (except things like plain rice, beans, canned tomatoes, etc.) - e.g. no industrially processed food.
No deep-fried food, and be careful about the cheese and dairy.
Eat more at home and less out, and watch portion sizes.
Less alcohol - there's a lot of calories there that have no nutritional value.
No snacking between meals or at bedtime except for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
Eat mindfully - don't eat while doing something else and enjoy every bite.
That may sound severe, but it's actually not that far from how I'm eating now. I used to eat mostly vegetarian, with lots of beans and legumes and wonderful vegetables of all types - there's almost no vegetable that I don't enjoy. So it shouldn't be hard.
On exercise and fitness:
Take a long (at least 3 miles), brisk walk every day, at a speed sufficient to have some aerobic benefits.
Start doing the core exercises I have from when I was in physical therapy a number of years ago, and also exercise my quads - they've been feeling weak and are important for posture (and riding).
Maintain good posture all the time - chin in and back, shoulders relaxed and core muscles lightly engaged.
Continue doing stall cleaning and paddock picking - it's good strength training.
Sort of New Year's resolutions a bit late!