Weight and fitness are two separate entities: while the number on the scale might remain the same, Esther Roberts noticed some major differences over the course of a year.
Losing weight, like training horses, takes time. Sure, one can drop pounds quickly with fad diets or an intensive weight-loss program; sadly, however, most people who lose weight rapidly regain all the weight they lost and then some.
I knew when I began this journey it would probably take some time. How long, I did not know. And sometimes, when the scale seems permanently stuck on a certain number, my determination lags.
Recently, however, while reviewing some photos of my weight-loss journey, I came upon these two images, taken exactly one year apart.
While my weight has remained almost the same during that time (*sigh*), I was happily surprised to see how much different my overall shape has become. I have at least one less chin (yay!) and my upper body is far more toned. My core muscles are much stronger and a good bit of “belly fat” has been sweated away, so I don’t have quite so much mass in front of me, and less bum behind. (Woo hoo!) My upper arms are at least a half-inch smaller in circumference; I did not take initial body measurements when I began this journey, so I don’t have “start” metrics, but certainly my shirt sleeves are looser and I have greater upper arm strength.
My forearms have always been muscular — I was a full-time professional pianist for years and still play professionally on a regular basis — so I’m not at all concerned about trying to have “thin” forearms.
My legs have also slimmed down a bit, which allows me to have better hip rotation so my leg position is much better now than it was one year ago — now, I can relax the leg around the horse better, rotate the knee forward and in, and thus have more calf on the horse’s side, instead of merely the back of my calf. #Progress!
As you can see, Kaliwohi has also developed over the past year. In the first photo, we were riding in a JJ Tate clinic after Kiwi had been under saddle a mere thirty days. Fast forward to the second photo, and Kaliwohi is focused and listening, with good contact, and softly chewing the bit. He is also beginning to raise his back, which lowers his neck and head, resulting in baby steps towards self-carriage.
The second photo was taken on the day of the “great fall” — this shot was after the fall and I was back in the saddle to finish out the schooling session. These days, I’m working Kaliwohi on the ground in the round pen, ferreting out any holes in his trust or his training, and figuring out what my riding goals are at this time in my life.
But I thought these two photographs were a stunning visual to illustrate how slow, steady, incremental work on weight loss and fitness can show big results over time.
Similarly, slow, steady, incremental work training our horses can also show big results over time!