January is over and boy is it tempting to celebrate the end of the New Year, New You Challenge with a nice, long rest in my warm bed! The days might be getting longer, but they still seem way too short. I believe nature’s greatest irony is that the darkest days are also the coldest. How tempting, then, to take advantage of my new-found time by wrapping in a blanket and drinking a hot cocoa or eating something warm and bad for me? Nope! If this 31-day challenge taught me anything, it is that you have to kick those winter doldrums in the butt and work the hardest when the winter is hardest. It is easy to go outside for a walk and follow it up with a light, refreshing dinner when the warm, sunny evenings are on your side. Summer is the time to let Mother Nature be my dietician/personal trainer. This month, I have to think of her as that grandparent/parent/aunt that you have that feeds you biscuits with gravy for breakfast and encourages you to have seconds and thirds at lunch two hours later. So for anyone else willing to throw down that soft, warm blanket and put down the Valentine’s Day chocolate: I will be eating healthy every day this month, doing lots of galloping and no-stirrup work for me/the horses in prep for show season and then going home to my torturous exercise video every night before bed. When the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I won’t be that person coming out of hibernation: pale, out of shape and stiff. I will be ready to go, with all the summer has to bring. OK, OK. I will probably be pale. After all, you can only do so much with what Mother Nature gives you.