2015-12-15: Hi! You're probably here because you did a Google search for 'plus sized horseback riders' or you saw my content quoted elsewhere. There are a couple of things I'd like you to know.

I am still here! But I am living away from my horses and not riding often. I could tell you a lie and say that I am, but I have always endeavored to give you the truth here. As a result, I'm not feeling terribly motivated to write blog posts and I feel out of touch with the community.

I'd love for you to stay a while and look back through the archives. Visit the links listed below. We still have an active forum community and I post on the Facebook page from time to time.

I have tentative plans to try to get more involved in the horse world in 2016, and I will absolutely share whatever that adventure becomes with you, so keep checking back!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Negativity Breeds Negativity

I have always been a fat girl -- from birth to now. When I was in elementary school, I went to a birthday party with a bunch of my friends. We were a relatively small group (there were only 50-some students in our entire K-5 elementary school) and all tight knit. A couple of my friends were sitting on an old porch swing that was held together on one end with a thin nylon rope - I went to sit with them. As I sat down, the rope holding the porch swing together gave way and the swing fell. In retrospect, it likely would have happened if a normal sized kid had sat on it, but this was the first time that I realized that my extra weight made me different from the other kids because it was brought to light - of course the other kids thought that the swing broke because I was so heavy. I felt terrible. I felt shameful. It did not motivate me to want to lose weight, it embarrassed me and made me want to stay home and not be with my friends in situations like that again. To this day, I am cautious when I sit down on anything that might be questionable about holding my weight (porch swings included - even ones that AREN'T held together with nylon rope!).

When I look back at the things that have motivated me in this life - from wanting to ride despite my weight to motivating me to lose 50+lbs to wanting to write this blog - any of the motivation to do anything good in my life - this incident has never factored in as something that has pushed me. Negativity is not true motivation - and if it gets you up off your butt, let's see how happy you are when you get down the road.

I discovered a couple of weeks ago that a group in the state of Georgia is trying to shame their children as a method to stop childhood obesity. It has taken me this long to put words to my rage.

Let's be realistic about children. They are children. Their parents are the holders of the purse strings, the providers of food, and basically their advocate when it comes to access to afterschool sports and other activities. The parents are the ones who say "YES, you ARE going to go to the park instead of playing a video game." and the like. We'll be realistic here on that point, too - some children grow up as beanpoles, others grow up as vikings and that is just merely how it is. I am not suggesting that calories be counted and controlled at young ages, but I am suggesting that healthy lifestyles are encouraged by the family and the rest comes. I also believe in a firm message of "this is the right way to fuel your marvellous body, which is exactly perfect just the way it is - and that's just one more reason to treat it the way that it deserves to be treated!".

If I had seen these ads when I was a child, in that tender, formative time when I was already sensitive and hurting about the body that I had and did not have the brainspace to understand that all bodies are inherently GOOD, I would NOT have endeavoured to do better. I would have wallowed. I would not have been encouraged to go out and do sports, I would have been embarrassed to show my body on a basketball court or at a horse show. I would not have been encouraged to eat better (though I have to say we have always eaten quite well, just eaten a LOT), I would have taken comfort in food. Because my body would never be good enough - or so I would feel - it would always be that example on those images.

I weigh about 30lbs less than I did when I started writing this blog and I don't think it's a secret that I am on a continuing journey for better fitness
I have never written this blog as a weight loss blog - because that's not what it is, at all. This is a blog to encourage you not to spend your whole life waiting until everything is right for you to do the things that you want to do. It's like waiting for the never-arriving tomorrow. Nothing will ever be 100% perfect (and if it is, you're kidding yourself!), so don't hold your breath until it happens or you'll suffocate. Of course I want you to be healthy. Of course I want you to fuel your body with the things it deserves and move it like you know you can. But what I also want is for you to experience joy NOW. Not later, NOW. Because you deserve it NOW. And that is exactly the philosophy that my weight loss journey has followed. I treat my body well because I DESERVE it. I continue to do and enjoy the things I love because I DESERVE IT. In THIS body. In the body I had thirty pounds ago, in the body I had fifty pounds ago. RIGHT NOW.


  1. FANTASTIC post!! Thank you thank you thank you!

  2. This post is right on. Absolutely right on. Glad you shared.

  3. Well written. Thank-you for sharing. You touch so many hearts. And it is a lifestyle to change, preparing reciepes, exercise etc...

  4. Amanda, I always enjoy your blogs. As I have said in the past your are wise beyond your years. I spent my childhood perceiving myself as a fat kid. I never quite got over it. Even when I shed the baby fat in adolescence I never thought of myself as thin. When I look at pictures of myself as a child now it is shocking to me that I had that self-image. I really wasn't that big at all! Its amazing what supposedly well meaning parents and yes, doctors can do to damage the fragile self-image of a child. Now that I have my own children we approach weight from a family perspective. Notice how many of the parents in the Georgia Strong for Life video were overweight/obese, too? Not exactly a coincidence would you say? Making healthy choices as a family helps create a more lasting impression that children will want to emulate because its part of their environment. Personal Example: after much wailing and nashing of teeth I was able to get my family of 5 to partake of a vegan diet. To the amazement of all they actually liked and ate most of the food I have prepared! They have also lost some weight and learned that there is culinary life out there beyond the cheeseburger. A win/win for all. Better health with self-esteem fully intact. Imagine that.

  5. I agree 100% with you and how the parents at the young age of a child is to blame for childhood obesity. I look back on how my life was just like yours and feel proud that instead of my mum telling me I was fat, that she took the step forward with me and hired a nutritionist and was beside me in my struggle. It made me feel so loved and want to loose weight, She didn't shelter me and say "Oh your not fat, forget the world your perfect". She opened my eyes to that I had extra weight that wasn't healthy for my age and showed me how to get rid of it in a happy atmosphere. So these mothers shaming their kids into seeing they are "fat" and need to loose it or they will not be accepted in the world, it just sickens me. I mean who are they to choose what is perfect and then tell their child they are not perfect. I am an extremely fat person 100+lbs needing to be lost and I blame nothing else but myself and instead of letting it drag me down, I make sure it makes me stronger and fight harder for myself. I remember going to the fair with my sister in law who is a very healthy weight and at that time I was 60 lbs overweight and trying to get on a ride that cages you in, I couldn't ride it because my tummy made it so it wouldn't close. I didn't get upset and cry and freak out, I took the bull by the horns and told myself I NEEDED to fix this issue and get healthy. It upsets me that my sister in law was so heartbroken for me and was ashamed for me, when she didn't need to deal with that and so forth. I will stop my rant now :) I just am so proud of you and this blog it gets me passionate about loosing weight and helping others loose it as well. Keep it up!!