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.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Favourite: Yoga!

I have something brewing in me. I'm mad. I'm really really mad, and I am finally going to say something about mean comments and hurtful things said to fat people. I'm going to say it, I just need to compose it so that it sounds like something halfway reasonable. In the meantime, check out something that will make you NOT mad...

Body Positivity Yoga

I know, it's not horse related, but I think it is COOL. Yoga is another one of those places where you see the stereotypical body types - just like riding. This lady is doing something AWESOME. Check her out!