Hi, everyone! And a Happy Thanksgiving to all!
You can call me TianTian (it means 'everyday' in Mandarin). I'm a 22 year old female with a lot of heart and a thriving passion for life, love and horses! Currently I am in college and switching majors from film studies (a super fun
major) to equine studies (a major that's closer to my heart).
I am 5'5" and I weight exactly 200 lbs. I'm posting in this part of the forum because I am going to be attending Meredith Manor June 2013 as a Jumping Major! I am terrifically excited and I cannot wait! Though I do have a few concerns...
About my weight:
- I weighed 180 lbs at the beginning of 2009. Back then, I was swimming and getting ready for Tae Kwon Do heavyweight competitions. I was solid muscle and was amazing (and there were many dates).
- In the summer of 2009, I got in a terrible car wreck that left me in a neck brace for 3 months and physical therapy for another 6.
- Needless to say, I gained a LOT of weight... I went from 180 lbs to 240 lbs!!
And I'm sure someone may think that 180 lbs is simply "too much" for my height so please let me clarify: I graduated at age 16 from high school (I'm kind of a smart kid, I guess?) and I weighed 180 lbs then, too; I was also competing on the swim team and was goalie both in soccer and in water polo. I've always been very physically active and concerned about what I eat and how much (because growing up in a community where I was the odd girl out that wasn't a toothpick was difficult). Questions? Please ask away before passing judgement! Thank you!
- I moved to another state and it was there that I slowly started to shed the weight. Little by little, the weight has been coming off and I'm thinner, getting healthier and keeping happy! (though the dating scene has been rough; 20 more lbs to go should fix that). I have found that weight does stay off the slower you lose it.
Now! On to the topic of horse riding. Here are a few photos of me to help illustrate my concerns:
Me: 180 lbs. (and just after a nice, long trail ride!)
Post-Car wreck (the day after; I was hopped up on SO MANY PAINKILLERS!! Hence my utterly goofy smile) :
Oh yeah, in addition to that car wreck, THIS happened (rolled my left ankle and got a second opinion... and I couldn't help making a de-motivational poster, haha):
Oh! Here we go... this was the photo set I was looking for:
Yep! So there's my journey in a nutshell. The bottom right picture above is current as of last year (my hairstyle has changed and my neck has finally thinned out; that's about it). My biggest problem areas are my thighs and my bum... and lately my tummy (but only because I edit film on the side and sitting at the computer for hours on end does NOT help). How did I lose 40 lbs and keep it off, you ask?
- Hiking/walking in snow uphill for 45 minutes every day (except Sunday; it's a day of rest!), took a job that had me on my feet for 8 hours, ate about the size of my fist at every meal, increased water intake by A LOT and took some fruit with me to school to snack on when I got hungry between meals. I also did some light exercises and stretching in the mornings.
- And as far as food stuff goes: I don't eat fast food AT ALL (have you seen what they put in their food?!?!?). I eat lots of legumes and meat sparingly. I can never get enough of fruits of all kinds and if I do eat candy, it's a tiny chocolate bar to satisfy my once-a-month-cravings. I don't drink sodas, I don't smoke, don't drink alcohol, don't do drugs, don't drink coffee, don't drink energy drinks and I get plenty of sleep (which I've found DOES help in maintaining weight).
- To summarize: Walking + water + more veggies - less meat + more walking + adequate sleep + light exercise = weight loss!
- While researching Meredith Manor and all, I did notice some heavier riders than what I was used to seeing at most riding schools I've been to (which was a big comfort for me). Because I don't have my own horse to bring to the school, I just hope they can accommodate my weight on a horse there (though I have 6 months to shed, so hopefully it won't be an issue by then). If there's anyone who is an alumni, or current student, can you please share your experience if you've seen heavy riders get matched with horses at the school?
- What are some core exercises I can do to help build strength and tone?
- What are some target exercises that will slim down my thighs and butt?
- Am I doing everything that I can to slim down my weight?
- Because of my weight, I'm also concerned about my left ankle (and especially so as a jumping major!). If you saw the pictures above, I positively rolled my left ankle and it has never truly healed properly. It has kept me from doing high-impact exercises (only this semester has it finally held together in my martial arts class.. sort of). I've since sprained it many times and I just worry about how it'll hold up in the saddle. Anyone else have problems with achy body parts/joints while riding? What do you do?
- And finally... I wear a size 11 shoe. I have a very high instep and not much of an arch. My foot is very, very wide (circa. 4.5"). I also inherited a very large calf; 20" around! As you can imagine, finding tall boots, or even regular paddock boots + half chaps, has been downright impossible! I don't want to have to spend more than $65 on a pair of boots (preferably black). If you know where on earth I can find boots, please point me in the right direction! Thank you!
Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them! Thanks and have a great day!!!