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Curls & Curves - Let's Shape up!

Everyone now and then, CHC readers offer some fun suggestions to a page they think would be of interest. This idea came from Linda VavRosky of Creekside Curlies in Juliaetta Idaho. I thought it was a great idea! So here we go!

This page will include tips from both our CHC readers as well as from an onine article called "Fit to Ride." So sit back (but only for a moment!) and enjoy the testimonies from others that are getting in shape!

We hope this page inspires you! Let's get in shape TOGETHER!

Introduction to getting Fit: (Fit-to-Ride article)

Contrary to what most non-riders think, there are really two athletes in the sport of riding.

While some riding disciplines, such as polo, eventing or classical dressage may demand a higher fitness level than others, any rider who is fit to ride is likely to have more fun riding no matter what discipline they prefer.

Riders spend time and money exercising, training and caring for their horse every day. The horse will almost certainly be in tip top condition; but to be a winning combination, both you, the rider, and your horse need to be in the best possible physical condition.

A fit rider is physically stronger, has more stamina, is well-balanced in the saddle, and has the flexibility and suppleness necessary to move with the horse as one unit. A rider who is fit to ride can give direct, clear and consistent riding aids.

Rider fitness is a special type of fitness, a combination of suppleness, stamina, muscle strength and flexibility. Being fit to ride allows the rider to move in balance with the horse; with free and flexible movements.

As with any physical sport, a rider needs the correct type of fitness and being fit to ride means having supple and flexible joints and developing the correct type of musculature. This in turn, helps you ride more safely; helps you avoid injuries and pain, makes you a more effective rider, increases your mental confidence and enhances your enjoyment of the riding experience.

NOTE : Yes; mucking out, filling haynets, pooh picking and walking back and forth to the field will help with your general fitness but they are chores and can sometimes fix muscle groups in rigid positions or can over-develop forearms or biceps on just one side.

A balanced rider needs to be flexible on both sides, to be supple and strong, to be soft in the hands and firm in the shoulders, to roll through the hips and be steady in the legs. Being properly fit to ride requires attention to your whole body, not just a strong right arm.


My road to weight loss and fitness improvement....By Linda VavRosky

A few days before Thanksgiving of 2006, Mike and I sat in our family room, and looked at each other...and said..."WE ARE DOING THIS"....this being...a change in our eating habits/loss of weight/and a better fitness level.  This post is meant to be inspirational,  this is what has worked for us, and the reasons it has worked. In case you decide NOT to read this lengthly account of our progress, please note this...Mike has lost over 70 over 30lbs...maybe that will inspire you to read this...AND...we did it without suffering, being starved, or damaging our health.

Mike is now 50, I am 49, as most of us know, weight does NOT come off easy, so we knew we would need a plan that was doable, without it being so much of a denial of food, that it would not be successful...we discussed options, counting calories, weight watchers ( great program, works for some ) and general ideas and concerns on how to succeed. 

What we came up with, is the Atkins plan....NOW, this is not what most folks think of...all steak and little else. "IF" you take the time to read several of Dr. Atkins books, you will find, as we did...there are specific reasons this way of eating works, and it is way more than what most folks think of the plan on the surface. 

I wanted to approach this whole matter of weight and fitness, like I have my successful horse breeding/showing program, with total dedication to the process, every step of the way...seeing the little rewards, and seeing the big rewards too.

So, we dug into the books....Mike did most of the reading, and bounced info and ideas off me...Yes, you start with a very limited amount of carb intake..then work that intake up to what your body can handle, and still lose weight.

As we studied the books, we found out things we knew, but have never been put into words...I was a carb junkie...every day with a huge number of carbs,  just made me want more the next day..I "could" easily  have survived on casseroles, mac and cheese and chocolate.  Both of us are emotional eaters too, boredom, stress, were good triggers for us.

So, we studied, and found out...lean protein is good for you, it helps you function, and it also helps your body's craving for something to keep you full.  There are MANY good carbs....whole grain items, vegetable carbs, nuts, some fruit carbs...these are all very good things for you.

So, we studied some more, and found a level of eating in balance that suits us. We ALSO found it much easier to eat out on this plan, because salad is always available, and even at a buffet, there are many items that are acceptable, to keep you in check...and I have found, that the mac and cheese that calls me....I have one tablespoon when I got to a buffet...that is all, and frankly, it is enough too satisfy me. 

We have lost our weight slowly, Mike also works heavy on the exercise, something I have to be better at in 2008. He actually came from a family that LIKES to walk?!?!?!  I prefer to ride.( horses for exercise )..hehe!

Of course, I would LOVE to share a couple things that have really saved me...when I just need "something" to put in my mouth....Raw/unsalted almonds, I buy them at Costco...popcorn is a great snack, pretty low in carbs, but also a complex carb made from whole grain...Sugar free jello is usually our "after dinner snack" with a squirt or two of canned whip cream...and I buy one variety of Atkins bars...they are CHOCOLATE ! and I have learned to accept the caroby taste, as my chocolate prove my point...I got a King sized bar of Hershy's Special Dark, last fall for my is STILL in the freezer...never touched....that is just so NOT me...LOL...

As I said, 2008 will mainly be fitness year, although I have about another 30 lbs to lose, I am intent on moving forward, as we have for the past 14 months, I don't even care when I reach my target weight, I just know I will. 

We found out, it really IS a matter of having the right things to eat in your house, I have also become an avid label reader, because you MUST understand that old norms do not work here...My Mother-in-law was excited that they made a sugar free Cool Whip...I looked it up in the book, it has more carbs, than normal Cool why put the extra artificial sweetner in your body, if you don't need too

Dr. Atkins also only endorses  Splenda,  he did not like the other fake sugars, so we have switched to that too.

As with anything, expect plateau's, expect some daily failures, but keep your eye on the big picture, and that big picture will become smaller ;-)



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