Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lighter Side

It was to the point where I only had maybe two pairs of work pants that fit and only one pair of jeans. I felt bloated and crappy, and wasn't sleeping well.

On January 4, I started paying attention to what I eat, exercising (albeit sporadically). To date, I have lost 25 lbs. I feel great and if clothes in my closet don't fit now, it's because they are too big.

This was taken in early November 2009, and I know I put on at least 8-10 more pounds over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now those jeans are so baggy, they are ridiculous on me.

Heather took this on our ride last weekend. Funny that I am wearing the same shirt. You can see how differently it fits. I used to have to stretch it so it didn't pull across my chest and stomach. Before, those stretchy riding breeches were at the very bottom of the very bottom drawer — no way would I have subjected the rest of the world to that. This has become my favorite photo of myself because seeing it marked the moment when I saw through the distorted body image that most overweight people have. That distorted image makes us continue to see ourselves as overweight, even when the scale, our clothes, and our friends tell us otherwise. Our eyes don't believe what we see in the mirror.

It sure is a lot easier to haul my kiester into the saddle from the ground these days. I will say that I've noticed a bit of chaffing on the inside of my knees where there's not the padding there used to be between me and the new saddle. For whatever reason, I sleep better, and consequently have more energy.

In addition to the practical reasons (fitting into my clothes), there are genuine health reasons behind my weight loss: women in my family have seriously high cholesterol. That didn't stop my grandmother from living to her 90s or my mother from still being a pistol now in her late 70s, both without statins. My doctor has encouraged me to get and stay as light as I can, and, as much as I love to eat and drink, I see the soundness of that advice. I do need to exercise more faithfully, as that is the second part of the equation.

I have one concern: I don't have much padding left. My rodeo incident last May cleaned my clock; I still stiffen up on that side. Six months later, I came off again, though not as hard, and on the other side. I'm convinced my fluffiness protected me from more serious injury.

I'm thinking of velcro-ing my butt to the saddle.

22 comments:

jane augenstein said...

WOW!!! Leah! You look GREAT!!! I need to lose more than 25 but that would be a good start, I too know that I would feel better and I am sure Gilly would like that too! I am trying but it's so hard the older you get the more is wants to stick! LOL
Keep up the good work, you look fabulous darling!!! :-D

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Looking good. Not sure the extra padding does much for rodeo incidents, I still bruise and break with all of my padding

Dreaming said...

Congrats on your weight loss. What a difference! I know you have to have more energy now.montydog

the7msn said...

You go, girl! Poco and Jaz must be thinkin', "Who's that up there? Feels mighty different."

morningbrayfarm.com said...

The before and after photos definitely show you've been working on it! You look great. Congrats Leah.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I was going to say "Who's that outrageously skinny woman in the saddle?" when seeing your picture in that last post, but didn't want it to sound weird. However, since you are now bringing up the subject, "Who's that outrageously skinny woman in the saddle?" I guess we won't be hearing anymore from you over at Healthy as a Horse. You've already met your goal. You're an inspiration.

Leah Fry said...

Thanks, all. I really do feel great.

Nuz, I've been mulling a HAAH post LOL. Reaching a goal doesn't mean the end of the line. It's the maintenance part that does me in every time. I hope this time is different.

I wonder how much the horses notice. No way to know, I guess.

JeniQ said...

Way To Go Leah!!!! That is a big accomplishment and one to be oh so very proud of.

Enjoy your vacation!

Paint Girl said...

Congrats! You look fantastic!!

SHP said...

Ya know, I've been lighter and I've been heavier then I am now. I swear that hitting the ground hurts less when I'm lighter. I always blamed inertia!

I thought you looked lighter on our last ride, but assumed it was from a winter of extra layers stuffed inside the jacket. Although... I know where it all went.... POCO!

City girl turned Country Girl said...

YOU GO GIRL!!!! You look awesome!!! Hopefully you will not ever get to test the better with/without padding question!!

Leah Fry said...

Jane, you're right that it gets harder when you're older. Those fat cells hang on for dear life.

Low blow, Heather ;-) That's how tanks are. I don't worry too much about the cast iron pony. Besides, he is the most comfortable ride ever. I hope your theory about it being better when you're lighter is true, because ... (see below)

CGTCG (Michelle), it's not IF, it's WHEN. That I know for sure.

aurora said...

Having more energy & being more agile definitely helps the quality of life, congrats! What did you do, switch to lite beer ;)

Seriously, I'll never forget a doctor's comment while accessing physical activity when I included horseback riding. He said "that doesn't count the horse is doing all the work"...say what?! I schooled him through a typical scenario, and he recanted. Bet he never discounted it again lol.

We need to stay healthy so we can keep doing what we love, and with that - I think I'll go workout. You look great. Thanks for the inspiration.

Leah Fry said...

Aurora, how did you know? Corona Light is my new drug of choice.

Breathe said...

Looking good - and you'll find that the padding isn't all it's cracked up to be - being healthly will do more to help you ride and recover from rodeo than padding.

But I do believe velcro can't hurt.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

You look fantastic!! I would be happy to lose five pounds or so myself, winter fat. ugh!

aurora said...

Leah, I've got ESPN (inside joke) and if you don't believe that then I guessed, I mean knew, from reading your blog for a while. Darn it, should have named the lite beer too - I would have been right lol.

Hmmm, maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket today?

AareneX said...

You look terrific. Wanna lend me some willpower? Sigh.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Saddle Velcro sounds good to me, too!

Congrats on your weight loss and feeling healthy. You go girl!


~Lisa

Leah Fry said...

I need to lose weight more often. I haven't had this many comments since my 200th post giveaway. Stay tuned — we're getting close to 300.

cdncowgirl said...

Congrats Leah that is an awesome accomplishment!! :)

You know, when you posted that pic before I was thinking you looked pretty slim`n`trim

Tammy said...

Congrats on your weight loss. It really does make a difference in our riding. I lost 37 pounds two years ago and never felt better in the saddle. I felt I had better balance & more energy.

I am still struggling to keep it off. Over the last 2 yrs, 10 pounds have managed to creep back on. It was so much easier to lose them the first time than the second. Its very frustrating. Dr. said I need to try something different - not the same routine. Heck, I wasn't up for a change in routine the first time! LOL.

You look great & I bet you feel fantastic!

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