Gettin’ Too Big for my Britches…Literally: Horses, fitness and weight loss

I have been on a quest to loose weight for at least 5 years.  Each year one of my New Years Resolutions is to loose 10 pounds.  But a few months ago I decided I was tired of dieting, tired of worrying about my weight and feeling fat, so I decided to let myself just be.  I decided Big Macs and my 7 seconds of bliss from a peanut butter cup is totally worth a few extra pounds.  And I have gained a few and I’m really OK with it.  My pants, however, are not OK with it.  I actually don’t fit into half of my pants anymore (they’re a size 2…what was I thinking??).  And if my butt gets any bigger I’m going to have to buy a new saddle.  I don’t want to buy new pants or a new saddle and my checkbook agrees.

There are other concerns as well.  I miss feeling strong.  I miss a sweaty, breathy, intense workout that makes all of my muscles vibrate and clears my mind of all thoughts.  I used to think of my workouts as a mental nap without actually being asleep.    Riding is a good workout, but it’s a different kind of workout.  It will make me all sweaty and breathy and turn my legs into spaghetti, but I don’t notice any of that happening until the end of the ride…or until I give Savy a break.  I’m totally focused on Savy and our ride, not my workout.  While I feel fantastic after a good ride, it’s as mentally demanding as it is physically.

Also, I’ve been reading article after article about how being a fit athlete will make you a better rider.  Riding only works certain muscles, and you’re stronger if you work muscles you don’t use all the time.  This all makes sense and sounds good, but it didn’t hit home for me until I read this article by Jan Ebling.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/dressage/jan-ebeling-dressage-show-adversity/

Engaging in a workout program is part of what helped him become a better rider…and he was already awesome.  I saw a clinic with Jan at the 2013 Equine Affair, and he talked about fitness.jillian-michaels-unlimited-photo-gallery-jillian-with-horse-2  Unfortunately he decided to talk about fitness and becoming an athlete during the ride of a bigger lady.  I thought it was distasteful and an insult to the rider, but now I realized I got the wrong impression.  The rider was at second level, and he was trying to make the connection that fitness will help you move up the levels, because being fit makes you a better rider.  Duh!

Freshly motivated to workout and become strong again, I bought the Biorider At Home Fitness Training DVD.  I do not recommend this DVD.  It moves too slow and the exercises are nothing special.  I plan on using the recumbent bike at our little gym until my neck fully heals, and then I’m going to start doing Jillian Michaels DVDs.  She packs a full workout into 20-30 minutes!  I love Jillian, I find her extremely motivating and she rides horses!

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