Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shedding Time


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.

6 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

Boy! Do I ever need to cut out sugar and starch too...sugar is easy, starch is much harder. I have also been indulging...hope that my spring bike rides will help.

The change in the weather has been a real upper!

Wolfie said...

You resisted brownies???!!! Wow! There would be no way I could have passed up on them. With that kind of determination, you will reach your goal.

Oak in the Seed said...

I started my new life by making teeny changes and only one or two a day, mostly saying no to junk food I don't care about anyway. Then I added an exercise or two here and there. The most helpful has been an attitude of self forgiveness, acceptance and adopting a different relationship to the fun of saying no to something. Have lost 7 lbs since January and this time have not scared myself off.
I do say yes to the "high value" goodies, so would have enjoyed that warm brownie!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I think we'd all be better off cutting out as much starch and sugar as possible. That said, those brownies would have been a memory if they were sitting on my lap. Good luck with your goals.

As for the girls, I'm glad to hear they are doing well. Ours are shedding too, I look like a werewolf when I'm done grooming on most days! Once we get rid of this mud things will start getting done around here. It seems we are always so dependent on the whims of the weather.

A Mini Beginning said...

My little guys are shedding so bad and they still have a very long ways to go! As far cutting back on the sugar I wish you all the luck in the world! I never was a big sweets eater until I got pregnant and I still am not nearly as bad as my husband or girls are about wanting sweet things to eat but I still find it hard sometimes to resist. My husband loves to bake and eats all the time and never gains weight from any of it! Although, I am not worried about my weight I still worry about what it does to my body and teeth!

I have never been a huge meat eater but when I was getting sick alot this past winter (mainly from my germy children and extremely low Vitamin D) I starting eating more high protein (meats, eggs, and dairy) I was shocked at how much better I felt and how I never craved junk and wasn't hungry in between meals ever! It was no atkins diet but if you are like me and don't eat alot of protein normally I would give it a try! Could work for you as well!

Breathe said...

Good for you! Your body and soul will feel so good as you continue on this journey.

I recommend banana chips and dried cranberries when you need something. Natural sugars will be so much better. Getting "off" sugar is very powerful.

(but I think I might have bitten one brownie. Lol)