Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Now that the air is full of promise and a hint of warmth, the horses have come alive again. Each morning, when I feed the girls and open the doors to their stalls, I hesitate before I swing Siete’s door open. In the past, I’ve tried to train her not to rush out like a bullet train into the pasture. What’s different this year is that some days, she is still full of exuberance, but other times, she just strolls casually past me to check out the new day. I’ve become more accepting and amused by the times that she revs up and dances wildly as the sun rises. I kind of feel that way myself on the mornings that she does it.
The horses are literally shedding away the winter blues. I’ve brushed huge amounts of fur off of them, joking that I could make a sweater with it. Silk has gained weight so I’m no longer worried about her. Siete and I are another story. We’re both on diets. I started us on a strict regime last Friday. My little horse is not happy about it, but I am personally feeling so much lighter and better already. For the past year, I’ve pretty much eaten whatever I want, and I’ve added some inches to my girth. In the winter, my bones began aching, culminating when I threw out my back during all the digging after the flooding. Recently, in a not so subtle way, the Universe started sending me messages everywhere I turned about how bad too much sugar and starch are for our bodies. I decided to cut them out of my diet for a couple of weeks and see if it made a difference. It was much harder than I thought.
On the first day, my neighbor was giving me a ride down to the garage where my car was being repaired. As I opened the door on the passenger side, I found a huge platter of warm-from-the oven brownies on my seat. She offered me one, and I explained that I was on a diet. Then, my neighbor asked me to hold the plate on my lap as she drove because she was afraid the brownies would spill all over the backseat if we put them there. Smelling that sweet chocolate for ten minutes was torture. Yet, it certainly strengthened my resolve. I thought it would be pathetic to not even be able to make it through one day without sugar and starch. So, I resisted temptation.
After five days, I am amazed at how much better I feel. No aching bones, no regrets, and a stronger resolve to keep my horse on her diet too. It’s difficult not to give in to Siete’s begging for more hay and food. She’s very cute and smart about pushing my buttons. I started reading Geneen Roth’s book, “Women, Food and God”. She is a tough teacher, and I’m really looking at how I use food to comfort myself when things get scary and hard. "The relationship with food is a direct path to coming home after a lifetime of being exiled.” What an interesting thought. It forces me to consider whether I want to give in to self-indulgence and all the health risks that result from automatically reaching for that fresh baked brownie.