In case you want to join us, here’s the way the five-pound challenge works:
Find a friend (or friends) willing to take the challenge with you—or join our online friends who are joining me in the challenge, by signing in below (hit the comments link at the end of this entry and share your successes and frustrations! This is your place to join the community).
- Agree that you will lose five pounds over a certain period of time—we decided on one month, but it could be longer or maybe even have no time limit at all.
- Then agree on what the prize will be when you reach that goal—it should be something you’ve been wanting for a while but haven’t yet treated yourself to. We decided on a manicure this time, but also considered massages, a new pair of shoes, a day at the lake, Sunday brunch at our favorite restaurant, a lesson/clinic with your favorite instructor, a day-ride with your friends.
- Next have the weighing-in ceremony and document your starting weight—everyone on the same scale. Write it all down—starting weight and goal and everyone signs it. We followed our weighing-in ceremony with a rigorous hike up “butt hill”, kicking off our five-pound campaign.
- Then go to work to lose the weight—keeping in close contact with your fellow challengers and spurring each other on. Sharing ideas, recipes, successes, agonies and defeats, with a hard eye on the goal. One idea: Keep yourself accountable by making rules for yourself and reporting in by text or email to a friend (or post here in the comments) each day!
- Want to make it official and start a real deal with yourself? Sign our commitment form:
Some tips (as I’ve been working to keep in shape before our next TV shoot): Dieting need not be so hard—there’s lots of ways to make it easier. There has never been a shortage of faddish new diet plans, each with its own gimmick. But at the end of the day, any successful diet always boils down to two important factors: eat less and move more. The trick is to finding the right system for you—whether it’s a proven formula like South Beach or Atkins, or a customized formula to meet your personality, lifestyle and blood type.
A while ago, I heard a health tip on the radio that said that if you wanted to lose 5-10 pounds, all you had to do was 20% more—or less. Eat 20% fewer calories and/or exercise 20% more. I’ve thought a lot about that since our challenge began last week and have decided that this is a good plan for me. I was already jogging 25 minutes every morning on the treadmill, so to do 20% more, I only have to add five minutes. That fits my schedule and my tolerance level just fine. Maybe you can add more time at the barn—more vigorous grooming, cleaning stalls, doing more ground work, riding without stirrups. Can you think of fun ways to increase your exercise while enjoying your horses?
Cutting 20% of your calories shouldn’t be that hard either. Heck, I can probably do that by just drinking water! Most of us have things we can either substitute (i.e., no-fat mayo instead of real mayo) to lose calories or we can cut portions. I like this idea because I can still eat what I want—not depriving myself, but just eating less of it. I proudly set aside 20% of my French fries last night, but still enjoyed “burger night” at our favorite restaurant with friends (of course, Cheryl, my challenge-mate, out-did me by having her salmon burger on a salad—no fries or bun!).
Spring time is the perfect time to get in better shape for the riding season. Will you join our challenge? I am already scheming on what my ultimate reward to myself will be when I reach my ultimate weight-loss goal. Right now I am leaning toward all new under garments—and I’m talking the good stuff, not the Wal-Mart undies I’ve been wearing!
What would your five-pound reward to yourself be? What about the ten-pound mark and other mile-markers you meet? I talk a lot in my clinics about what motivates horses and how to find the right amount of pressure to motivate a horse—but we work the same way! If we can motivate ourselves by sharing successes and failures with friends, with reasonable goals and scrumptious rewards, by making it as easy and fun as possible, it’s a whole lot easier to do!
I hope you’ll sign-on. Please comment below to join the fun and share any ideas you have that make it fun and easy!
Enjoy the ride,
Note: To post a response, log in with your google ID or just post as anonymous. We do read what you post before it shows up on the blog, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away. Know we’ll post ASAP!
Hi all! I am motivated to be healthy. That’s my goal right now– not to lose weight but to feel good and be able to move and do what I want easily! I believe my body will thank me and return to its pre-baby weight with that goal 🙂
Here’s my plan:
Yoga every day–I need this to stretch out from the day! So far I have done 4 days in a row!
Trot with Q– My horse is still in rehab but needs to be moving with some groundwork. He’s feeling good, I’m being cautious with him! Today we were snowed inside so trotted 5 laps of the indoor and worked on walking and stopping and backing without me having to tug on the rope. He was really listening. I let him off the lead to roll at the end and that was quite a Western scene! He was ready to be free! I’m ready for the ice in the pastures to be gone so he can be back on regular turnout.
For me, jogging in the sand was a good workout! I need to up my stamina. I’m sure I didn’t even make him break a sweat, but he did have to listen and mind! For me, that was a half hour of running around without even thinking about the time. That’s what I need! I hate running for no reason.
What can you do to incorporate your horse into your workouts?
–Heidi (Julie’s producer)
OK, this holiday season is tough! I need to step it up and make time for myself. I need to get up early and hit the elliptical downstairs before anyone is up. This week, I’m making an “easy” promise to myself. Just to get on the darn thing one time. I know once I get back on I’ll crave it. What’s ONE thing you can do to feel better this week?
Good job Heidi! Now you make me feel guilty about missing some of my workouts lately. Workouts make all the difference to me. I hate it but then I love it—it feels SO good when it’s over. To me, working out is an everyday commitment; as soon as I skip days, I skip more. I have been on a routine over the summer of a 10 mile bike ride (5 miles uphill) every other day with an abdominal video workout in-between. But lately, I’ve been on the road so much that it is hard to keep up. Shame on me! I’m going on a bike ride in the morning! Thanks for motivating me (guilt-tripping me) Heidi!
I did pretty good over the summer and was well into my second 5# round when I back-slid. For me, the deprivation part of the equation is going without BUTTER! If I dropped that completely from my diet, I’d lose plenty. Since I am the only one in my house that eats butter, every stick I open I realize I am going to eat the whole thing! Being a southern girl, it is tough to do without. Just say no!
Tell us how you’re doing:
So glad to have more of you joining the challenge! It’s fun to see the commitment letters come in. Good job!
I have been doing OK this week. Few sweets and sticking true to my coffee, tea, water plan. That’s a help to the budget when dining out as well! No soda, no soda!
I know I need to be creative when it comes to adding exercise to my schedule. One thing I admire about Julie is that no matter where we travel, she builds in exercise time. I know that for her, this time is her re-grouping and time at peace. I am doing my best to emulate that. My young daughter tends to take up that early morning alone time, but I can’t use that as an excuse. She loves to dance with me. It just means my workouts need to include hopping around dancing or getting out and taking a fast walk (brrrr).
How are you being creative about adding in exercise time?
just joining the challenge, but excited to get things moving again…hubby and I did the Visalis 90 challenge this summer and shed a few lbs….now want to balance things a little better and keep the wt off and lose a little more. Good luck everyone!
Oh goodness, it’s been a long time! Hope you’re all doing well!
I have been in a mix of stress eating and just not having time to think about meal planning! There is hope, though! My husband has joined the mission. He has vowed to give up soda and cookies. That’s a great start. And just having him thinking about calories is a great boost for me!
I was doing really well until the flooding here near us. Q injured himself in the mud and muck and after a week of rain, I didn’t have my workout buddy. Thankfully, he’s on the mend and ready to be walked three times a week. That means I need to walk, too! I’m planning in noon-time walks this week. I can give up lunch breaks for horse-walking breaks and eat my bowl of soup at my desk!
Here’s my new, revised plan:
Only drink water, tea and coffee
Drink more water!
Walk Q three times a week (doctors orders)
Do yoga 2 more days a week
Do something outside and fun on the weekends
This weekend was a workout on its own! I love when chores are workouts! You don’t think about the work! I had a big photo shoot Saturday morning (yoga and push ups with a 10-pound camera in hand) then we loaded up tons of old wood and tree trimmings and got them to the community recycle day! It was a horse trailer full of weight-lifting! I’m sore! Sore feels good, though! It feels like I’ve done something and propels me to keep exercising!
How are you doing on your goals! Please post here and keep each other accountable!
I think I gained 5 lbs. Blek!
Down 8 lbs. I was just thinking today that I need another boost after a work trip to NYC.
Got a new scale that measures lbs by the point 2 increment ….bet I weigh 10 times a day…I know they say once a week…but its so encouraging to see a point 4 loss. Trying hard to monitor the sweets and chips….trying more fruit and smoothies with yogurt. Trying to stay active but in this Texas heat, its exhausting. I’ve lost about 4 lbs since I started and already can tell a little in how tight the jeans fit…..still tight just not gut wrenching.
I have been stuck on a plateau for WAY too long now. Upping water intake and activity, tacking food intake like a hawk in the hopes of stoking up the metabolism.
It’s time for us all to check in! How have you been doing? Need a jumpstart again?
I sure do!
Time to get back to exercise and making time for it– no matter what. It’s just like brushing your teeth–something you need to do every day.
Let me know how you’re all doing!
I’m back! Been out of the country. How is everyone doing? Don’t give up in the dog days of summer. I set the alarm to ride as soon as sky gets grey. Done by 7 am. After that, it is too hot in South Caroline to make any horse work!
Welcome back! Now that’s dedication—riding at dawn. Reminds me of my days on race track; I always loved early morning rides J It was in the 40s here this morning!
It’s been great to hear all of your feedback and suggestions! I love hearing from real live people and sharing with you my perspective on the little tricks that work for weight loss, life-style changes and exercise tips. I’ve managed to lose 3# this past month and keep it off, so I am moderately happy with that. Only 7 more to go (I’m doing a double challenge)!
For me, traveling is the hardest part. Eating dinner at a restaurant sometimes 5 or more nights per week makes dieting tough. At home I do pretty well since my husband is an obsessive dieter, so it rubs off on me a little. My willpower for not buying fattening foods form the store is pretty good, and we keep our cupboards pretty bare. So being home more over the next eight weeks should help me a lot. The end of June marked my last business trip for the summer–then all I have to worry about is vacation time, where my willpower is at its weakest!
My main goals for the coming months are to lose 2-3 more pounds AND to work out more. I confess I’ve been slacking on that lately. What are your successes and what are your weaknesses? For Heidi it is dessert–not so much for me. It is restaurants! Please let us know how you are doing! Sign on and join us all in the challenge>>
Hi all! It’s Heidi. I’ve been working hard on this, too! I had friends visit last week for a “staycation.” We didn’t stay in one place for long, though, and toured much of Colorado! We climbed the stairs at Seven Falls (see the stairs beside the falls in the pic?), walked at Garden of the Gods, hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park and ran, ran, ran! That’s a great way to keep up with the Five Pound Challenge, but I was beat! I topped off the week with a stomach bug over July 4th. Not fun, but may have helped my appetite for sure.
This week, I went running with my horse Q. I did 4 running laps around the arena. I need to measure the arena to find out how long my distance was. No matter what, it was great to do some interval work and to do a little groundwork training in the process.
Please keep us posted about how you’re doing and what tips are working for you! Keep posting in the comments of the blog here>>
I did not get my walking in yesterday sooooo today I told myself NO computer at all till I did my yesterday’s mile. Then later this after noon I will get in today’s mile. Rode Nova, drank water and back exercises. Whether I lose a lot of weight or not, I feel better and that’s the goal.
I also have not been doing too well lately on the challenge but I”M BACK!!! Had new grandchild and Dad has not been well so have spent two weeks with them and that’s hard on the routine. Missed Nova mostly ….and my husband. Back to water, back exercises, walking, riding, and “slight limiting” of the food intake. I had lost 4# but it came back so not any real weight loss. Kay
Thanks, Kay! Stick with us!
It’s been great to hear all of your feedback and suggestions! I love hearing from real-live people and sharing with you my perspective on the little tricks that work for weight loss, life-style changes and exercise tips. I’ve managed to lose 3# this past month and keep it off, so I am moderately happy with that. Only 7 more to go (I’m doing a double challenge)!
For me, traveling is the hardest part. Eating dinner at a restaurant sometimes 5 or more nights per week makes dieting tough. At home I do pretty well since my husband is an obsessive dieter, so it rubs off on my a little. My will-power for not buying fattening foods form the store is pretty good and we keep our cupboards pretty bare. So being home more over the next eight weeks should help me a lot. The end of June marks my last business trip for the summer– then all I have to worry about is vacation time, where my will-power is at its weakest!
My main goals for this coming months are to lose 2-3 more pounds AND to work out more. I confess I’ve been slacking on that lately. What are your successes and what are your weaknesses? For Heidi it is dessert– not so much for me. It is restaurants! Sing on and join us all in the challenge. Please let us know how you are doing!
Something simple like bicycle riding is good for both fitness and balance. When my husband and I started mountain biking again after a decade or so off, we really noticed a challenge to our balance, which quickly improved. I like to ride off-road which challenges your balance more. I also have a balance board that I can practice standing on in front of the TV. It is actually a great core workout. There are all kinds of balance boards commercially available. The one I use comes from the ski/snowboard industry. For the ultimate balance training, get a “slack line,” like rock climber’s use. It’s like a tight-rope made from webbing and you can place it low to the ground. At first, you can’t even take one step but after practice, you can go more and more. When you can walk the full length of the line, you’ll be able to stay on any horse! –Julie
Here’s another indoor tip I like to do– and I need to remind myself to do it more! Make sure your yoga ball stays in the living room and sit on it whenever you’re watching TV. If you sit on it in riding position with your feet on the floor, you can gradually pick up your feet and balance on your seatbones– activating your core. Make sure your legs are back and not in chair position– and keep your feet at the ready to steady yourself! This can be tricky at first so use caution. I have had riding students challenge themselves to sit on their balls through entire TV shows–without touching their feet down!
Have a good weekend and make healthy choices– I commend myself for choosing fruit instead of potatoes when we went out to breakfast this week. I also did a good job of cutting out soda and drinking iced tea made with Celestial Seasonings’ Country Peach and Tangerine Orange. Enough flavor to feel like a treat and not so much sugar.
Keep sharing your tips!
Good job to all. We can do this!
Squats and tooth brushing – what a great idea! Do you have any suggestions for retraining in balance after several years of not riding?
Yes! Something simple like bicycle riding is good for both fitness and balance. When my husband and I started mountain biking again after a decade or so off, we really noticed a challenge to our balance, which quickly improved. I like to ride off-road which challenges your balance more. I also have a balance board that I can practice standing on in front of the TV. It is actually a great core workout. There are all kinds of balance boards commercially available. The one I use comes from the ski/snowboard industry. For the ultimate balance training, get a “slack line,” like rock climber’s use. It’s like a tight-rope made from webbing and you can place it low to the ground. At first, you can’t even take one step but after practice, you can go more and more. When you can walk the full length of the line, you’ll be able to stay on any horse! –Julie
I do my squats during commercials. Being older I don’t want to multitask too much and hurt myself. M&Ms are my weakness!
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Hi all–how did you do over the Father’s Day weekend? I had a bite of dessert Saturday night–not depriving myself, but got a good taste and savored it! I love that Cheryl on our crew challenges us to suck on M&Ms and make them last instead of garbling a handful.
What else do you do to have a little, but not a lot?
Also, how are you fitting in exercise?
Anyone want to join me in doing squats while you brush your teeth?
Keep it going this week!
I have not been keeping my commitment too well recently but this has motivated me to keep on track. My excuse is the birth of my newest grandson and staying with my daughter, son-in-law, and the two kids….one is in his terrible twos and I needed ALL my calories , energy and sweets to keep up with him. Now back home and ready to continue. Water, walking, riding Nova, back stretches….these are the main four elements of my weight reduction plan.
Hi Kay! thanks for posting! Sounds good. I am doing my best to not use my daughter as an excuse, too. It takes calories to keep breastfeeding and chasing her, but not that many 🙂 Glad you’re back to a routine.
Ok, I’m in! I don’t know where it came from, but my muffin top is out of control. Time to get it under control.
Yesterday, I rode two horses bareback, now the inside of my legs hurt, i even posted. then I did my elliptical for 30 minutes. then I worked a clients horse on the ground for one hour, and worked in the garden for an hour. I drank a ton of green tea sorry to say it was sweetened with honey. but my biggest down fall was making chocolate chip cookies for my son, I had three. For dinner two slices of tri tip, spinach salad with blue berries and oranges skip the dressing, and corn ( no butter or salt) I know it is a starch but really hard to resist this time of year
Today will be tuff with the cookies in the house. And Fathers day will be impossible, with the salsa, and bbq and dessert. I’m going to make fruit kabobs, with honey and cinnamon for dessert that should help and eat early. Got to get out and play with my horses and dog once I get going there is no stopping me. My goal is to be able to run and jump and play with my horses and dogs with joy.
I really want to be able to take my horse to a clinic and go all day and not be tired. I have the horse, I have the trailer and now I have to get me ready.
Thanks for letting me feel connected.
i all– I had a good day yesterday. I did some yoga, did my squats while I brushed my teeth (a good habit for me–what else do you have to do when you’re brushing your teeth? Plus, it wakes you up for sure!) then started doing crunches during the evening news (Jared held my feet, my sweet support system).
I limited my dinner portion by approx 20 percent and drank water–this I need to be more diligent about.
How did you do yesterday?
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I love sharing all of these ideas—what works for you, new ideas I might try, inspiration for others. Let’s keep the ball rolling!! –Julie
I certainly need to do better with my cardio! Thanks for the inspiration to get back to it! I keep free weights by my TV and do my upper body reps while I watch. My treadmill is there too but I haven’t been using it. Yeppers, from now on I’ll walk while I watch Horse Master now that I know ya’ll are cardio-ing at the same time!
Over these past 5 months I’ve been experimenting with what works best to break a plateau and I’ve come to the conclusion that increasing my water intake is the surest way. Guidelines say you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. I’ve noticed that whenever I hit a plateau, I’ve gotten slack on my water intake. Soon as I bump it up to where it should, be my body starts shifting again. The hardest part is getting it all in early enough in the day that I don’t have to keep getting up to pee at night!
Hi! I just signed up and am very excited!! I don’t have a local ‘buddy’, so if anyone out there in internet land needs one and wouldn’t mind communicating via email, hit me up via my blog @ http://texasofallplaces.blogspot.com and we can keep each other motivated!
Awesome to have you! you can always post here to be a buddy of us all, too!
Here’s the thing about cardio… the more you do it, the more you learn to love it. I started working out seriously about 5-7 years ago. First I walked a few miles, then got up to five. When that was no longer a challenge I started running short distances within my walk. I started with running short goals (to the end of the block, to the next stop sign, etc.), resting at the walk whenever I needed until eventually I was up to running five miles straight. Once you find that state of max VO2, when your breathing can keep up with the exertion, it is a pleasant feeling and a great abdominal workout as well. I quit running about a year ago because I was having a lot of foot pain at night. Now I enjoy cardio on an elliptical when I am at a hotel (which is a lot) or on my bicycle at home, or on our ski machine, which is set up in our living room in front of the TV. It’s how I watch Horse Master every week! –Julie Goodnight
Morning all! It’s Heidi. I admit my weekend wasn’t my best work, but reading all of your posts makes me motivated! It was my anniversary so we had to share dessert and then a baby’s first birthday–it felt rude not to have a little bite of cake!
I know that my biggest challenge is needing to do cardio 20 minutes a day. That’s my goal for the week is to challenge myself to get on the elliptical. I think I’ll jump on today while I watch the first airing of Horse Master in a few minutes!
Also, I decided that instead of the scale, I’m keeping track by pant sizes. I have a pair of pants that are my goal pants right now. I got them before our honeymoon. Once those fit, I will dig out another pair. It feels better to notice what fits and how that’s changing than to see numbers I don’t want to see on the scale.
Happy, healthy day, everyone!
I’m with you Heidi! I have a pair of Wranglers that I only wore once or twice before I got distracted by my life and outgrew them. I can get them on now and zipped if I lay on the bed! I’m looking forward to being able to actually wear them in public. Still a little ways to go! Next after them are my old show chaps. It’ll be a serious celebration when I can get them on and zipped!
As for the bite of cake or sharing a dessert, I’ve found I do so much better and don’t feel like I’m being deprived (or guilty) if I plan on having 1/2 a dessert now and then. I make room for it by making lower calorie choices in one or more of my meals on that day. 🙂 Kris
Hi Julie, Heidi, Susie! I started my challenge at the beginning of the year and have reduced my weight by 53lbs so far. I’m down another 25 since I saw ya’ll at Sister Creek Ranch in March! The thing that helps me most is the free app DailyBurnTracker on my phone. I record everything I eat every day. It keeps up with total cals plus fat, protein, carbs etc. I allow myself 1300-1600 cal/day. I throw fruit, greens (baby spinach, kale etc) in the blender twice a day and eat pretty much whatever I want (within reason) for lunch. I still eat cheeseburgers and fries about once a week but try not to exceed 600 cal at lunch (which means no mayo, cut the burger in half and stack it to make 1/2 a double cheeseburger eliminating 1/2 the bun.)
Eliminating processed foods and added sugar totally got rid of my cravings for carbs! I find that adding unsweetened cocoa to my green smoothie (especially good with cherries!) in the evening satisfies my desire for chocolate. This has been the easiest eating plan I’ve ever followed.
My most recent reward was buying jeans in the women’s section of a regular dept store rather than having to shop at a plus size specialty shop! Oh yeah! I’m wearing 16 tall Lee jeans! 14’s here I come!
That’s awesome, Kris! So glad to see you here!
The 5 lb challenge is just what I was looking for. Knowing others are sacrificing and working too. The sweets are my problem too. I’m not sure I can cut them out completely. Like Julie says …cut 20% and raise activity 20%. That sounds like a pretty good plan. Worked all three horses today for about 3 1/2 hours. It kept me out of the kitchen and thirsty for water. I agree…being in shape makes you a more confident rider and that’s what I’m working for. ( I don’t understand what “profile” I’m supposed to pick. So just did open id. Kay Jones
Thanks, Kay, keep checking back here!
Thanks all who have already joined! We are announcing this soon in the newsletter, so we’ll have more friends to keep up with. I did well yesterday– did some groundwork with Q and ran along with him as we trotted poles and struck out down the road. I walked my big dog! It was pretty fun. I plan to ride this weekend.
My problem is having time to plan good meals (and wanting something sweet after dinner). What tips do you have to share to help with yummy but good for you meals? Any favorite recipes?
I’ve gotten hooked on blue bell banana popscicles….50 calories and very refreshing. Also smoothies in the blender….one container of yoplait yogurt ( I use blackberry or blueberry)(90 calories) plus one cup of chipped ice, a little vanilla, one sweet and low packet, 1/2 banana, and 4 strawberries…blend and its soooo good.
I’m not sure I’m “blogging” correctly, but just wanted to “weigh in” and let everyone know that I’m up for the challenge but I don’t have a buddy. I’m hoping there are others who join and that I can keep up my spirits here.
Hi all, it’s Heidi, Julie’s producer. After having my daughter, it’s time to work off some baby weight– and Q needs to shave off a bit of hay belly, too.
Here’s my plan:
My friend Sharon and I decided to name our own rules. We text every morning to report how we did the day before. If we break a rule, we have to tell on ourselves! It’s good motivation to say, “No honey, I can’t share dessert with you or I’d have to tell Sharon!” Sharon, of course, isn’t really a mean person, but she’s interested in my health and I in hers!
My rules (I’ll add more later, but to get started easily):
Leave something on my plate at every meal
Exercise at least 20 minutes every day (walk, work my horse, ride, jump around –which my daughter thinks is hysterical and fun)
That’s it! What’s your plan? You design it, use the form to commit to yourself and let’s get moving!