As we age, our body changes in ways we don’t enjoy. I never saw this coming. As a professional exercise rider, I took for granted that I would always be fit and never have to watch my weight. When I was in my twenties, I could have eaten a cake and still lost weight. Nowadays, if I walk too close to one I gain a pound. This didn’t creep up on me, it changed in a flash when I was 39. I was trim and had no fat on my body when I was 38, but sometime in my 39th year, I started to maintain some body fat. Not a lot at first, but it was there. I just attributed it to the fact that I wasn’t galloping the large number of horses I had when I was younger. No problem though, I eat a very healthy diet consisting mostly of fruits and vegetables. It is an amazing thing that your body can create fat from fruits and veggies. My mother has always had a weight problem and I always thought it was because she lacked the self control and good eating habits it takes to be trim. Boy, was I wrong. If I wasn’t as active as I am, I’d be fat. It’s that simple. I am not the weight I want to be, but I’m not fat – yet.
I ride an average of six hours per day. Sometimes a bit more or less. When I ride, I work out.
I start a lot of young horses and they make you work. They don’t know anything about carrying the rider yet. I’ve gotten a lot of flack from Elizabeth about opening my hip angle. I tend to be a stiff person so I started to seek exercises that might help me limber up. As an aside, not only does your metabolism change when you get older – you get STIFF! I was zapping around on the tv one morning and landed on a show where a guy was sitting on the floor in a really bad looking position. He was talking about how much it hurt, but saying it worked on stretching the hips. I thought I’m in. It was Yoga and he was doing the Happy Cow. That cow can’t be happy, but I was pleased to find a way to limber up. I Tivoed the show and have been doing Yoga at least 6 days a week. It really works and I have to say I feel better.
I decided around this time that I should start running too. I am no runner, in fact I hate running. My thought was I could run around my farm and take Star my wayward German Shepherd with me. I began by walking and running when I came to an uphill grade. Within three weeks I could run one lap around the farm. I was so proud of myself. It must be at least a mile, right? My husband is an engineer so I took my wheel around the farm once and asked him to convert the distance to miles. He said, “I already did that, it’s .6 of a mile. I thought, no way, it’s got to be further than that, so I went on the internet to check for myself. Well, you know how that turned out, my husband has been and engineer for over thirty years. Six tenths of a mile. What a let down. So that was eating at me which is probably good and I’m now up to 1.8 miles, which is three times around the farm. I’ll be happy with two and a half miles. Well happy might not be the right word. That’s my goal. Run four times a week and yoga six times a week.
You’d think with all this activity and the fact that I’m a veggie, I’d lose weight. Think again. I am the same weight I was before I started all this. I know what you’re thinking. She probably eats pasta and tons of sweets, but you’d be wrong. I love pasta, but I have it only once per month. The truth is, this is the way it is when you age. I hope I don’t have an injury and have to stop all my physical activity. I’ll weigh 300 pounds in no time flat. At least I haven’t gained weight.