Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Playin' around

I've been playin' around a lot this summer and I love it.  Work is kind of making me tired though.  It couldn't be the long weekends of non stop fun. It is definitely the job that makes me tired.  I wonder if I could sell that to my employer? 

Let's see.... a couple of weeks ago I showed at California State Fair in the Ranch Versatility.  It was an AQHA show they opened up to all breeds. The big white horse was the only "other breed" there. My bestie went with me.  She makes me laugh, distracts me from over thinking, keeps things in perspective for me and is one of my biggest supporters.  Her sense of humor is beyond comparison.  She posted this picture of us on Facebook with the caption: 

" In a sea of browns, one color stands alone... Sigs Semper Fi"

It just cracks me up!  Where does she come up the this stuff? 
We did exceptionally well at State Fair.  We won the limited class and brought home a beautiful buckle and ginormous ribbon for our efforts.  Semper was on, there was no doubt about it.  I was super proud of him.  We also did the Ranch Horse Pleasure class.  We placed 5th out of 26 in that class. That was the most satisfying 5th place (we actually tied for fourth)  I have ever taken!  The winner of the Ranch Pleasure won the Open Ranch Horse Versatility, the second, third and fourth places were all trainers.  The horses were all extremely well trained "finished" quarter horses.  5th was not a bad place for a non pro on a white horse to land.  For me - it is placings like that one that let me know I am definitely on the right track.  The picture below is of us waiting for our cow during the working cowhorse portion of the show.

I think this picture is from the Ranch Pleasure Class - the extended trot.
(Thank you Sachorse.com for the picture)

Last weekend we took a break from the showing thing and went to St. Bernard Lodge.  Rode from there over to Drakesbad. The same ride we did last year.  This year 10 of us went. What a great time with great friends!  The weather was glorious. We didn't get lost this year and made it to the lodge in record time.  Ate lunch and then rode up to Devil's Kitchen.  It is a geothermal site in the park.  Water boils, mud percolates, and as my bestie said "you can fart here and not get in trouble".  The smell of sulfur is overwhelming.  

Look at these HOT women at Devil's Kitchen!
I asked for the sorority girl pose... I am not sure what sorority they belong to?
That is my daughter on the left, Ruth (we have been friends for close to 40 years!) in the middle,  and my bestie Laura on the end.

My daughter went along and she refuses to ride any horse but the big white one - she has pretty "high brow" taste in horses. (I mean really, it is like giving your kids the keys to the Corvette.)  I rode Bob.  The more I ride him, the more I like him. He was the youngster on the trip but he out performed some of the older more seasoned horses.  He took everything we put in front of him in stride.  Even the bear!  In the park they are putting up a lot of elevated walkways. Mr. Bob went across them like he had been doing it for years. Even when he had to go out first. 
(Thank you Brandy for the picture!)
We are about half way across the meadow and you can see Drakesbad Lodge in the back ground.
Don't you just love Laura's HOT PINK saddle bags?   

 Hope you all are having a wonderful summer.  Spending time with your families, friends and horses. Pursuing your passions and living life large! It doesn't get any better. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

3 years and counting....

It has been three years since I had my stomach cut down to the size of a large walnut. My brother-in-law refers to it as when I was "filleted like a fish" which isn't really true. I wasn't filleted; I had six little one inch holes... let me see him gut a fish with only six little holes. Hmph.
Weight Loss Surgery is one of those things that everyone has an opinion about but no one really knows what to think. That didn't make sense but it kind of does. To some it seems so drastic and extreme while others feel it is the easy way out. It seems to be a knee jerk reaction either one way or the other. I look at it this way. My body was broken and I had it fixed. Like a broken arm or a ruptured appendix. Whether I created the problem or not...my stomach to brain signals weren't working for whatever reason. I would over eat and my stomach wouldn't tell me. It would let me eat, eat, and eat some more without saying - o.k. enough already - you don't need anymore! I believe it was 48 years of over eating, gaining weight, starving myself, losing weight - literally dozens of times that got me to where I was.

The good doctors gave me baby stomach again. It is up to me to take care of it. It is a new chance, a new beginning, kind of a do-over. I know that sounds cliché but that is how I look at it.

Every year I go see the good doctors on my WLS anniversary. About a week before I go have blood work done. Yesterday was the big day. First off - they weigh me. I still absolutely dread it. I weighed myself before I went. I knew that I was on target. But the scale has never been my friend. In the doctor’s office I got on the scale and I swear to goodness it took forever for those numbers to appear. Long enough for my pea sized brain to think the scale was broken or maybe my scale at home was broken and had I gained too much for this scale to weigh me? None of this is logical because I know I haven't, but that is what was going through my mind. I was just getting ready to ask and the numbers flashed up. Whew... the number was the a few ounces different than what I had weighed at home. A wave of relief swept over me. Then the thought crossed my mind of just how ridiculous all this overthinking was.
I met with the doctor and we went over my blood work. Everything looks good. Great actually.  We talked about how, when and what I eat. We talked about what vitamins and supplements I take. We talked about my exercise routine and  when I tell him that I am riding two horses five to six days a week - he is impressed. Thank goodness my WLS doctor rides horses. I am not completely convinced a non-rider would understand that riding is a good form of exercise.
I have maintained my goal weight for 3 years OR over 1,000 days OR over 25,000 hours OR over 1,500,000 minutes. I have learned to eat better, I feel one hundred times healthier, I definitely ride better, I can move freely, my joints don't ache anymore, my shoulders don't have ruts in them from my bra straps, I sleep better and clothes are comfortable again, I don't worry about whether or not I am going to fit into a chair or god forbid break one when I sit down, and last but definitely not least... the pp leakage problem (TMI - SO SORRY) is completely gone.
I have had bumps in the road along the way. It hasn't all been peachy. I had a twisted intestine and had to have colic surgery. I have to work at maintaining my iron/feratin level. I gave up some of my favorite things - avocados, ranch dressing,  Sees candy, beer, Diet Pepsi, Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade and my penchant for drinking vats of Margaritas - along with a few dozen other things that just don't like me anymore.

Was it extreme or the easy way out?  Who knows.  All I know is that I am riding better and that makes me happy.