Although I've belonged to SparkPeople for a few years, I've never tried the blogging feature. So... stepping out of my "comfort zone" here a bit. Today is my birthday, and I figured there's no better time to take a new step toward emotional fitness, right?
For me, emotional eating is probably one of my biggest challenges. I KNOW what steps to take as far as activity levels and portion control and clean foods vs processed foods, but sometimes when the stress levels, anxiety levels, and depression kick in, all this knowledge fades into the background, and the bad habits creep back in.
In March, I finally got up the nerve to act on one of my lifelong passions: HORSES! I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a small town with no possibility of having my own horse. Every Sunday after church, I begged my dad to take me to the county fairgrounds so I could walk through the horse barn to just see the horses. If I was very lucky, I might get to pet a velvety nose or two. I attended all the horse shows there and imagined myself on one of those magnificent creatures, trying to pick out the winners in each class.
We joined a little private campground when I was about 12. I met my best friend there and had marvelous times camping, swimming, and fishing. But MY favorite activity was the trail rides. She and I would save our allowances until we had enough money, then off to the barn we would go!
Fast forward to the present: my oldest granddaughter is taking riding lessons at a stable very close to my condo. I often take her for lessons and hang out in the barn as she tacks and grooms her horse before and after her time in the arena. She has inherited my equine love. Being around these beautiful creatures brought back all of the wonderful feelings I had as a kid growing up. After fantasizing, worrying, and making lists of the pros and cons for well over a year, I finally approached my GD's teacher about the possibility of an old, overweight woman taking lessons. AND SHE SAID YES!!!!
So, folks, I am now "living my dream", as the saying goes. I will never compete, I have no desire to jump, and my progress is very slow and often ugly, but I'm getting better, I'm getting confidence, I'm building my core strength, I'm LOSING WEIGHT! Because I've found that if I can work for a PASSION in my life, I will work harder, I will work longer, I will incorporate other activities that help me improve! My Tai Chi, my yoga, my strength training, my kayaking, my hiking, my snowshoeing,my short video workouts through my SparkPeople site, my healthy eating, my trying new recipes, have all combined now to help me be a better, stronger, lighter, more balanced rider. This carries through in all aspects of my life, too. I'm a better granny to my 5 grandkids because I'm healthier. I have more energy and can keep up with them. I look better in my swimsuit, so I was able to enjoy a great day at the pool yesterday with my daughter and her 3 little ones without feeling embarrassed.
Find what moves you, what you dream about, and work toward making it happen. Don't let ANYONE tell you that it's not possible (most of all, those little voices inside your head)! GO for it, and you will thank yourself for having the courage to change your life for the better! The hardest part is taking that first step!