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Mike Matson
May. 31, 2011, 09:45 PM
I had an Aussie event rider acquaintance return from a recognized dressage show ranting about the number of unfit and overweight American riders he saw. Not long ago, I had a European trainer tell me the same thing. Do we need to notify Michelle Obama that American dressage has an obesity problem? How does American dressage stack up to Europe and other countries in terms of rider fitness? Would love to hear viewpoints from those outside the U.S.

catosis
May. 31, 2011, 09:51 PM
I think this is true to some extent. Obviously, not everyone is overweight in dressage, but there definitely are some uh... Heftier riders out there. Perhaps the mentality that dressage is a sport and therefore we are receiving all of the conditioning we need from riding is contributing to this issue.

MistyBlue
May. 31, 2011, 10:23 PM
I'd be surprised if there wasn't an obesity or unfit epidemic in dressage in the USA.
It's an epidemic in all other areas, why not dressage?

Other countries don't have this issue, not at epidemic levels. And especially not in sports. And of course there isn't any obesity in some countries. Lack of food ensures that and they seem to be oddly lacking in all of the disorders that cause much of it here.

Also in most riding disciplines...the vast majority of the riders aren't doing the riding as an actual sport but as a hobby. Which is perfectly understandable, not everyone has the time, inclination or income to make riding into a serious sport.

I do subscribe to the theory though that if you want to keep advancing, then at some point you have to take your own fitness to the level you demand of your horse and to the level appropriate to the sport.

But this thread will probably start a whole "not fair" "big meany pants" "you're a fatist" argument anyway.

Mike Matson
May. 31, 2011, 10:35 PM
I'd be surprised if there wasn't an obesity or unfit epidemic in dressage in the USA.

It's an epidemic in all other areas, why not dressage?

Good point.

kcmel
May. 31, 2011, 10:43 PM
Well, I am exhausted after my piddly beginning dressage lessons. I don't know how upper level riders can't be fit. But I suppose it gets easier once you figure out what you are doing ;).

Fallbrook
May. 31, 2011, 10:58 PM
Yes. To help rid "Dressage" of this embarrassing image problem I think I'll take my disposable income and buy a fricking reining horse.

MistyBlue
May. 31, 2011, 11:12 PM
Oh geez, anyone would be grouchy on that diet Fallbrook.

Reining is actually fun as hell! And confusing. Talk about a "culture" shock learning the cues and aides, LOL!

One of my two horses has some level of reining training (not sure how much since I don't knnow much) and we've had some hilarious "wtf" moments together. :lol:

But I throw in a bunch of extraneous Yeehaws and Yahoos anyway. :winkgrin:

mswillie
May. 31, 2011, 11:12 PM
Enough already


http://www.abestweb.com/smilies/beat_deadhorse.gif

Mike Matson
May. 31, 2011, 11:18 PM
Houston - we have no problem.

JLR1
May. 31, 2011, 11:27 PM
Oh please! The heaviest riders I have ever seen are in the western pleasure classes where the horses are barely moving :cool:

Blume Farm
May. 31, 2011, 11:34 PM
OK, I am just going to say up front that I am probably going to be flamed, but...

I understand being "defensive" when discussions come up about weight. I need to loose the 20+lbs I gained the last two years eating with abandon and it is not going to be as easy now that I am in my 40's. I find it important to have these discussions. It helps me keep on track with my weight watchers points. I know I am "schlubby" and not as fit as I need to be....I am sure anyone overweight KNOWS they are overweight. Instead of taking offense at these threads I use it as a slap in the face of reality.

It is impossible to be as fit, as athletic, as nimble, as healthy as one can be being 20lbs, 40lbs, or more overweight. Granted I know my body type will never look like Cindy Crawford, but that is not my goal. I want to FEEL good and not be predisposed to diabetes, high blood pressure, not have fat rolls hanging over my waistband, and be able to stretch my leg long down the side of my saddle and not have fat in the way!!

I don't aspire to ride in the olympics, or even FEI levels, but I DO want to be an athetic rider and that requires getting my body back into a more fit/ tone/ thinner self. I think it is fair to call us overweight Americans because WE ARE overweight Americans (myself included). And I am on the forefront of leading the charge of trying to change that!! I don't get defensive trying to convince others and myself that these types of comments and threads are out of line.

So bring it on...keep me motivated!!

manesntails
May. 31, 2011, 11:47 PM
Yes, America as a whole has a fitness problem. Too much food and not enough exercise. Too many conveniences and not enough opportunity and/or gumption to get out and sweat. Most folks don't have to sweat on a daily basis so, when they eat a normal meal, they have no easy way of losing the excess calories.

I'm 57 and it's hard, at this age to lose weight unless I go outside, work hard and sweat it off. If I didn't have a farm and very little help, I'm sure I would be pretty over weight. I'm not a big eater but boy, does my waistline expand when I don't or can't get out and work. Every winter I gain weight. I can do the same work as in summer but the fact that it's cold out and I'm not sweating has a big affect on my waistline.

I still would like to lose another 10lbs. The thinner I am, the better my balance is. Riding is much easier on me and the horse too. I really don't think it's the eating, unless a person eats to excess; I think it's the lack of hard exercise and sweating that makes us fat. That's just my own personal theory, though. I have no science to back that up with.

netg
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:52 AM
I thought this was going to be about the horses, and I was going to respond with an emphatic YES! It seems like folks want their horses to get fit and learn more on 3-4 rides a week, and they overfeed them on top of that.

With lower level aspirations only, if the horse has the temperament for it - that's ok, as long as the horse isn't heavy to where it's a health risk.


As for riders? I don't think so. I agree dressage isn't treated as a sport by many people. And for those who want to stay at the lower levels, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I haven't had any sense of FEI riders who are too heavy as a common problem, but we don't have that many here, really. Maybe in Florida or California I would feel differently.

So to me, the weight situation matters as a reflection of society, not dressage riders. I think most riders are aware of their personal fitness needs, whatever the body shape that gets them there, if they are moving up the levels.

Mike Matson
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:26 AM
I would like to thank those posters who responded personally about their situation and viewpoint concerning this topic. That's not always an easy think to do on a public forum.

jenm
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:28 AM
Yes, America as a whole has a fitness problem. Too much food and not enough exercise. Too many conveniences and not enough opportunity and/or gumption to get out and sweat. Most folks don't have to sweat on a daily basis so, when they eat a normal meal, they have no easy way of losing the excess calories.

I think this is pretty true.

I try to keep my weight at a decent level out of respect for my horse. It's not fair to her for me to ask her to cart my extra pounds around.

My primary discipline is eventing, but I happen to enjoy dressage so we do go to dressage shows as well. However, I have a greenbean, so I can get way (for now) with soft beige breeches.

Wearing white breeches is enough to scare me into not gaining weight!

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:06 AM
Yes, America as a whole has a fitness problem. Too much food and not enough exercise. Too many conveniences and not enough opportunity and/or gumption to get out and sweat. Most folks don't have to sweat on a daily basis so, when they eat a normal meal, they have no easy way of losing the excess calories.

LOL, "normal" meal? Try a meal that could feed 2-3 people! Oh wait, is that the new normal? :lol: You're so right. It's just too easy to go to work, sit at your desk for 8+ hours, come home, plop on the couch while eating dinner and watch tv until it's time for bed :rolleyes:

Yes, Americans ARE too fat in general. It's no secret. As of 3 years ago (though I think there was another set of numbers released last year but it didn't pop up quickly) the % of *obese* Americans was 34%. Another 34% were overweight but not yet obese. That's 64% of us who are overweight and beyond. It's disgusting.

This gets discussed, pretty heatily, about once a year on the H/J forum LOL But I think that's because it's such an image-related sport, with George Morris being pretty outspoken about what fitness means in terms of riding. Is there someone like that on the Dressage side? I can't say I've heard of someone being that vocal about it.

Mike Matson
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:21 AM
eagerly waiting for new jobs. thanks

You're fired! :yes:

red mares
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:34 AM
I thought this was going to be about the horses, and I was going to respond with an emphatic YES! It seems like folks want their horses to get fit and learn more on 3-4 rides a week, and they overfeed them on top of that.



I second that, and I think it goes for all disciplines. I have rarely been in a barn with actual FIT horses, even the working horses. Most of them are full of beer barrels with legs. It drives me nuts; I saw Mom's "skinny horse" a few weeks ago who looks great since she lost weight over the winter. The woman isn't happy unless her should-be-sleek saddlebred looks like an over-sized Shetland pony.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:46 AM
I haven't spent time studying the fat and fitness of European riders, but I think it's safe to say America does have a significant amount of riders in all disciplines that are either too fluffy, or unfit to be as effective as a fit trained athlete. I was talking to an upper level event rider turned upper level dressage rider a while back who remarked so many riders are unfit to the point of it being dangerous, especially on cross country.

Yes, yes, I know we are mostly ammy's doing our best with 50 hour work weeks, commutes, budgets, kids husbands, etc.... that's no different from the rest of the world.

I'm technically an ammy, have a demanding career and child free family, and I manage to take care of my horse's fitness and mine. I wake up at 5:30am so I can get both a 90 minute dressage ride, and a 15 mile bike ride in before work. It's amazing what even 5lbs of fluff does to your riding.

Here's another indicator. Most breeches in the states start at size 28 and go up to 36, 38. When I order breeches from Europe they start at 24 and max out at around 30 32. Despite being 16% body fat, Europe's standards would probably consider 28-30 me a fatass.

carolprudm
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:54 AM
This gets discussed, pretty heatily, about once a year on the H/J forum LOL But I think that's because it's such an image-related sport, with George Morris being pretty outspoken about what fitness means in terms of riding. Is there someone like that on the Dressage side? I can't say I've heard of someone being that vocal about it.
Thankfully, no.
Thin may or may not be healthier but does not necessarily mean the person is fit.

He doesn't like jointed stirrups either. Oh well

inca
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:57 AM
Here's another indicator. Most breeches in the states start at size 28 and go up to 36, 38. When I order breeches from Europe they start at 24 and max out at around 30 32.

This is NOT true. I wear a size 26 and have NO PROBLEM finding breeches. I have never been unable to buy a pair of breeches in my size. And I only buy from the States.

I am appalled daily at people I see walking around in America. I'm not talking about people that could stand to lose 15 pounds. I don't know why anyone would expect all dressage riders to be fit when the majority of America is overweight.

And I am guilty of having an overweight horse in my barn. I haven't been able to ride a lot lately and she has gotten fat (actually fatter, she was plump to start with) while eating ONE pound of Nutrena SafeChoice twice a day and coastal hay. Guess I can't bear to not feed my horse.

carolprudm
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:58 AM
Yes, yes, I know we are mostly ammy's doing our best with 50 hour work weeks, commutes, budgets, kids husbands, etc.... that's no different from the rest of the world.

.


Actually American workers ARE different
http://www.salary.com/benefits/layouthtmls/bnfl_display_nocat_Ser27_Par64.html

Jeito
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:00 AM
I confess I like my horses fat :D I don't personally know any overweight or terribly unfit riders. I have seen videos posted here of riders who are very overweight, who look like lovely people and competent riders. I've been 10-20 pounds above my ideal weight and felt miserable, so I can't imagine what it would be like to be very overweight.

I try not to gloat or brag, as the gods are mischievous :winkgrin:

ise@ssl
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:03 AM
I just wish those riders who have put on weight would get jackets and shadbellies that FIT. Some are so tight they look like the buttons are going to blow off and injure someone!!!

netg
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:17 AM
One of the loveliest riders I've seen lately outside of the international circuit is a rider for a Europe-based trainer who appears on many of that trainer's young horse videos. Despite being quite overweight, the rider appears to be very fit, and is one of the quietest, most sympathetic riders I've seen in quite some time. This rider appears to be the one who gets to ride the more difficult horses, and the ones who are described as easier rides get other riders.


I was talking to an upper level event rider turned upper level dressage rider a while back who remarked so many riders are unfit to the point of it being dangerous, especially on cross country.


Eventing is different to me because of the safety factor. Now fitness means more than just higher scores, but survival. I actually have known quite a few lower level eventers who weren't so fit, and they got stuck in lower levels because of it. Got fit, and suddenly moved up easily.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:23 AM
And I am guilty of having an overweight horse in my barn. I haven't been able to ride a lot lately and she has gotten fat (actually fatter, she was plump to start with) while eating ONE pound of Nutrena SafeChoice twice a day and coastal hay. Guess I can't bear to not feed my horse.

An overweight horse doesn't need more calories than hay. Hay should be provided at max 2% of the *desired* body weight for these guys. Small hole nets/bags allows more eating of less hay. Use a vit/min supplement with added amino acids if necessary, mixed in a cup of soaked beet pulp or alfalfa pellets. Muzzle on grass.

It's not about not feeding the horse. It's the same as people - feeding the correct things in the correct amounts. Safe Choice is a high sugar feed, and 1lb is not all that nutritionally significant. You'd be far better off with 1lb of a ration balancer - about 5x the nutrition with a few hundred less calories :)

meupatdoes
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:41 AM
Here's another indicator. Most breeches in the states start at size 28 and go up to 36, 38. When I order breeches from Europe they start at 24 and max out at around 30 32. Despite being 16% body fat, Europe's standards would probably consider 28-30 me a fatass.

I find this incredibly hard to believe.

a.) This (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Alphy%20Briarwood%20081708/liberty8_14_08003.jpg) is what a 30/32 pair of breeches looks like.
b.) I have lived in Europe and am in fact in Germany now and I assure you I am not a "fatass" compared to everyone else on the street here. People here comment that I am thin same as they do in the states.
c.) And I have no problems buying clothes here.

So not really sure where I suddenly tipped the "European fatass" scale by wearing a 30 but before I read COTH today I was still one of the skinny people on the street in Munich.

It is one thing to legitimately discuss obesity but to start posting like people with a BMI of 19.5 would "probably be considered fatasses" gets a little out there. Let's not make the public "Weight Standard" completely ridiculous.

sonomacounty
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:45 AM
Stopping in from hunter/jumper for a good topic.

Here's an interest sub-area of this topic to Google - obeseogens.

We can't blame it all on this but . . .

Also, there has been a huge increase in the use of high fructose corn syrup in manufactured foods - it's in every darn thing, almost - it's a huge obeseogen.

And, a cutting-edge website for those interested in weight - fatnews.com
Quite interesting. I stop in and look around there every few days. Look at the long list of topics/areas you can click on if you scroll down a bit on the left.

Sonoma

Jeito
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:01 AM
I find this incredibly hard to believe.

Me too. I wear Size 6 jeans and Size 30 breeches. A couple of years ago, when doing a "Secret Santa" with friends from Europe, we shared sizes, and most of them wore larger sizes than I do. It's also not true that breeches in the US start at 28 and go to 38. A quick look in one catalogue shows most breeches go from 24 to 34. My co-worker who is Asian Amarican and tiny (short and thin with no hips) has had no trouble finding breeches that fit here.

quietann
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:05 AM
Sonoma, thanks for the link.

Getting back into horses took me from a low-obese BMI to a low-overweight one. At this point, I'm happy as long as I stay stable at my current weight, but no, I'm not thin or really anywhere close to it. I don't think the Europeans would like my body type... I am not built for "competitive" riding at all, being short, short-legged, heavy-boned, and well-endowed up top.

I too look around at my fellow American citizens and cringe at the obesity... especially fat KIDS. I don't know if it's true or not, but it seems like people who were not fat as kids have an easier time not becoming fat adults. OTOH, working in a hospital, I see a lot of very skinny people attracted to the health care field.

As for horses... I want to keep my horse a bit on the thin side because of her suspensory issues, but you would not believe the hassle I get from the BO about cutting back her grain (she only gets a quart a day in summer, a bit more in winter.) I think a lot of us boarders with easy-keeping horses have issues like this.

quietann
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:08 AM
My co-worker who is Asian Amarican and tiny (short and thin with no hips) has had no trouble finding breeches that fit here.

Has she tried the upper ranges of kids' breeches? Also, for everyday riding she could check out Equissentials, which makes made-to-measure breeches for no extra cost if you order directly from them. Summer riding tights start at about $75 and even though the fabric is black, it stays cool. They don't really have a good "show" breech but their breeches do wear well.

I know the body-type you're talking about and it's very very tough to find "adult" clothes if one's 5 feet tall and a healthy 85-90 pounds.

birdsong
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:16 AM
Americans are overweight....period!!! We live in the land of plenty and we don't want ANY to be wasted!

You HAVE to clean your plate after all!

Jeito
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:25 AM
Has she tried the upper ranges of kids' breeches?

No, I think she has had no trouble finding adult sizes at Dover. She just started riding about a year ago and is having fun buying different styles and brands. I'm the only other rider at work, so we share stories.

And, yes, she's as you describe, around 5 feet and probably 85-90 pounds. She is smaller than my niece who is a gymnast. (And I just realized she might be reading this.)

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:00 PM
So many things. SO MANY THINGS.

But mostly... Waist size/weight/BMI does NOT represent fitness. I have an obese BMI, weigh more than anybody assumes by looking at me, and lost weight (or inches...) to get into the largest size of Pikeurs. And I am the fittest that I have EVER been - and far more fit than a lot of people with normal BMIs that I know. Would I be more fit if I lost weight? Sure. I'm working on that. Maybe in another 30 years I'll get that part figured out. In the meantime, the ONLY reason I want to lose weight is to make the ride a little easier on my horse.

YES - many dressage riders aren't fit. But it's not just the fat ones. Some of them might surprise you.

vineyridge
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:02 PM
I've only seen one CDI, and one male dressage rider looked very chunky, and one female looked positively anorexic. Both ended on the WEG team.

It isn't the amount or type of food that makes us fat. It's the lack of exercise pure and simple. If any of you have ever read menus from before 1900 for dinners, or the Southern diet with all the bacon grease and pork that was so prevalent in those times, you'll know that the food was not calorie limited at all. Nor were the vegetables steamed. Other cultures are able to eat fattening food without getting fat.

It's pure lack of exercise; hand labor, hard labor, having to work to be transported keep weight down.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:19 PM
It isn't the amount or type of food that makes us fat. It's the lack of exercise pure and simple. If any of you have ever read menus from before 1900 for dinners, or the Southern diet with all the bacon grease and pork that was so prevalent in those times, you'll know that the food was not calorie limited at all. Nor were the vegetables steamed. Other cultures are able to eat fattening food without getting fat.

It's pure lack of exercise; hand labor, hard labor, having to work to be transported keep weight down.

I totally disagree. There are hard-working fat people now. I've met plenty of construction crews or farmers that definitely have a life of hard labor, and it would be a good bit easier if they didn't eat bacon-cheeseburgers at lunch every day.

There is far more to it than calories in and calories out, but that is always a good place to start.

The real difference between now and the pre-1900s is the amount of processed food.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 1, 2011, 12:37 PM
The real difference between now and the pre-1900s is the amount of processed food.

DING DING DING DING DIIIIING!
and the invention of the nutrient zapping microwave!

Gloria
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:10 PM
Reading this kind of posts really makes me appreciate my company and its outstanding benefits... Apart from excellent 401K, it has onsite fitness center (brand new weight machines and treadmills), a couple of onsite personal trainers, group classes. It organizes tons of teams (basketball, rolling team, jogging, marathon, golf, etc), and pays for most if not all of the team dues if they are orgaznied by third parties. This makes exercising so much easier for those of us who sit on our bum 8+ hours a day. It even pays and organizes diet programs... We as company as a whole don't have many overweight folks.

I don't know what other busy people do when getting exercise takes some serious commitment...

It really is some kind of cultural problem in this country. Where I come from, we walk everywhere, and I do mean, walk everywhere. When I was a kid, I walked with my mom to grocery about five blocks away and carried grocery bags in our hands home. Here, people get on a car to move 1/2 block.:no:

sonomacounty
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:26 PM
"I totally disagree. There are hard-working fat people now. I've met plenty of construction crews or farmers that definitely have a life of hard labor, and it would be a good bit easier if they didn't eat bacon-cheeseburgers at lunch every day.

There is far more to it than calories in and calories out, but that is always a good place to start.

The real difference between now and the pre-1900s is the amount of processed food."

--------

This.

and

high fructose corn syrup (in almost everything)

obeseogens (in most plastics & lots of other things)

Again, look around at fatnews.com

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:27 PM
Quietann - absolutely it's been proven that overweight kids have a greatly increased tendency to be overweight adults

Also it's been shown that the more overweight a parent is, the less likely they are to think their overweight kid is overweight, and the more overweight a person in general is, the more likely they are to think they're just fine.

sonomacounty
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:27 PM
Wow, Gloria - cool. :)

kinnip
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:30 PM
Processed foods, readily available food, oversized portions, all of this contributes to the problem, but ultimately you have to move more than you eat. This is where Viney makes a good point. Transportation used to involve work, and in much of Europe it still does. I can get in my truck right now and drive five minutes to a fast food restaurant where I don't even have to climb out of my vehicle to get a sackful of calories.
There are a lot of fat construction workers out there. I see them sitting on jobsites smoking cigarettes, or lumbering along at a snail's pace hoping the clock will run out before they have to do any real work. In fairness however, there are a few trades that involve very little physical effort, i.e., while it takes a lot to get our doors hung, the actual application of hardware can be done from a seated position. I don't think using folks who are paid to be manual labourers as a yard stick for fitness is a good idea.

Leprechaun
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:43 PM
Of course - me included!

Big Spender
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:56 PM
I don't know what other busy people do when getting exercise takes some serious commitment...


I come from an eventing background...most of my life in fact. I have an 8 year old Hanoverian that has brought me to the dressage world, for the last 4 years. I never did worry about fitness when I was eventing, because I was young. Now that I am in my 40's and starting a young horse, I decided that if I was asking him to give me his best, that I had to expect that from myself too....it was only fair! Now, I wouldn't consider myself overweight, but I am not a size 2 :no: I was the "average" size 10.

Long story, short...I joined a gym to get fit, worked with a nutritionist for 9 months, lost 18% body fat, and started running. I don't get on the scale, because even after all of that, I still weigh the same, but now I am a size 8. Needless to say, I replaced the fat with muscle :D I work full-time, so I try to get my work done in the morning and leave the afternoon to ride. It's not easy, but I make it work because I want us both to improve together.

I look back at my time eventing, and I wasn't nearly fit enough! I guess it worked at the time, but if I knew then what I know now...I am the fittest I have ever been in my life! It does take time and committment, but I feel that it has been worth the sacrifice :)

atr
Jun. 1, 2011, 01:57 PM
I got back from England yesterday. I spend a happy hour in a tack shop on Saturday trying on breeches. I can tell you that the size range available in Wincanton is really no different to the size range available in Salt Lake City. (The range of choice and pricing, however, is somewhat more favorable :))

vineyridge
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:02 PM
When I lived in Manhattan without a car, I walked a huge amount. Not just to and from the Subway stops, but real distances. It was just easy to walk, and there were plenty of places to duck into for rests.

We are all addicted to motor vehicles and being able to micromanage our schedules through them. Bicycles or three wheelers, properly equipped with baskets and panniers, are just as good as cars for grocery shopping on sunny days. Do we use them? I don't. Gloria is right.

Anyone who thinks that processed food is the culprit is mostly looking at sugar. And I agree that as a society, the food manufacturers delight in our addiction to sugar in all its forms. IMO, they deliberately addict young kids to sugar. We even breed vegetables these days for very high sugar content. I don't like sweet, regular food--not meat dishes or vegetables or bread--but I love desserts and sweet fruit. And I don't like modern tomatoes and corn that are tooth achingly sweet.

I found when I cut out all sugar and processed food (but not sugar substitutes) I lost to a certain point and couldn't get below that point. But add walking for most transportation, and the weight melted. And I'm genetically programmed for apple belly.

Fried foods are indicted equally with sugar these days. And mankind has been using grease to cook with for thousands of years without an obesity problem.

We could eat anything if we had no labor saving devices and had to rely on our own muscles and not motors.

PS Horses and weight. I'm reading General Harry D. Chamberlin's Training Hunters, Jumpers and Hacks at the moment. He was Cavalry pre WWII, wrote the last Cavalry Manual, trained at Saumur and at the Italian Cavalry School, brought the forward seat to the US cavalry, and was in charge of the Military Competition squad from the mid 1920's up to WWII. He believed that the ideal size for a sport horse was 15h 3", saying that was the perfect size for carrying 180 pounds "far and fast across rough country." From that, it would seem to me that worrying about a much bigger horse carrying a much smaller person in a manicured arena is much ado about nothing.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:02 PM
Getting exercise doesn't have to be a "serious commitment" in terms of time - just regularity

It's been shown that 15-20 minutes makes a difference. 15 minutes twice a day makes a bigger difference.

Going to the gym is more time consuming and sometimes time-constraining than buying a set of good videos and working out at home. And the latter is quite a bit cheaper.

MelanieC
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:40 PM
There's a difference between basic body size and relative fitness, and I'm not sure that clothing sizes in and of themselves tell you much about how fit people are. I'm not the aforementioned Asian-American coworker, but I am Asian-American, 5'1", ~105 lbs (give or take a few depending on the week) and I have a really, really hard time finding breeches that fit (and clothing in general). I am probably more fit than your average American woman in her late 30s, but I am more of a natural waif than actually athletic. Still, size 24 breeches are usually too big; brands I can't wear include FITS and Pikeur. I have a pair of Goode Riders I couldn't wear until I shrunk them in the dryer over about three cycles. That kind of thing. It is kind of a nightmare actually. Really, I think I wear a 22 in most brands, but retail outlets in the States don't carry size 22 most of the time. Almost all of the breeches brands suffer from vanity sizing as far as I can tell. My waist is only as small as 24" when I am really, really ill and I'd have to be in a corset to have a 22" waist.

When I am abroad I have no trouble finding clothes in places like France or Italy, where people tend to be smaller framed. (I LOVE shopping in France and Italy. love love love) In Germany people tend to be quite a bit fitter than they are here in the States, as well as being more fit than French or Italian people (French and Italian women are just thin; German people are way more into outdoor activities and physical fitness) but I can't find clothes there because German women are just plain a lot bigger than I am. Bigger, but also more fit and probably more healthy.

I do think that dressage is a kinder equestrian discipline to those of us who are less fit than some others, and it also tends to attract a demographic in which we are not as thin as we once were (middle-aged women, among whom I count myself by the way). That said, I think the relative fitness of American dressage riders reflects nationwide trends more than any factors that are specific to dressage itself.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:45 PM
Getting exercise doesn't have to be a "serious commitment" in terms of time - just regularity

It's been shown that 15-20 minutes makes a difference. 15 minutes twice a day makes a bigger difference.

Going to the gym is more time consuming and sometimes time-constraining than buying a set of good videos and working out at home. And the latter is quite a bit cheaper.

:yes: I chose to purchase a really nice road bike over a gym membership. Figured I'd get my money's worth from the bike. there's something very freeing and enabling about being able to be exercising less than 5 minutes after having the notion to do so.
In the winter, it's just me and Tony :cool: considering what i paid for the vids was equal to 3 months at the cheapest gym around, and I use the vids occasionally even in summer, it was a worth while investment.

danceronice
Jun. 1, 2011, 02:59 PM
Processed foods, readily available food, oversized portions, all of this contributes to the problem, but ultimately you have to move more than you eat. .

This. It is entirely possible to eat processed, fatty foods all the time and not get fat. (Heck, the guy who just ate his 25,000 Big Mac probably weighs less than I do. I'm good Slavic peasant girl. Strong like bull, dumb like ox, pull plow when horse die, you know the drill.) If you keep what you eat < what you burn, or at least equal (maintenance).

As far as Americans not walking enough, I have to say, that really is also affected by where you live. I can't walk to work. Not unless I left at 5am. (Even then I'd probably get killed because out in the country we have no sidewalks, never mind street lights.) Walk to the store--it's twenty miles away. That's obviously not happening. "Move closer" only works for people who can move to a city (or who'd want to; I moved here to get AWAY from the city.) A lot of what I see as 'lifestyle advice' is obviously directed at urbanites and suburbanites (and even there it's not always feasible to just walk.) Even some northeasterners truly don't grasp distances--I had to constantly explain to people in Boston that yes, while there, you can drive three hours and be four states away, at home, you drive three hours and you're maybe halfway across the long side of the state. Heck, it's the same reason "flyover country" doesn't want electric cars--if it only goes 80 miles on a charge, it's worse than not having a car at all here. Everything is a drive.

I bought an eliptical. It's cheaper long-term to buy home equipment at Wal-Mart for a couple hundred bucks than drive to a gym (and avoids the irony of driving to the gym) and means I don't have to see other people.

Of course, as I've been eating disordered, I may not be the person to listen to. You can't really trust anyone who's had an ED on the subject, ever, as it's a mental illness, not a food issue and never truly goes away, you just get conditioned to stop trying to kill yourself by starving or vomiting. I even project onto my HORSE--he's THIN, especially once the track fitness was gone, and I still freak over his getting a hay belly or the girth needing to be let out a notch.

vineyridge
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:31 PM
Garden with hand tools. Strip your stalls by hand, pull the wagon to the dump spot by hand, unload and unload by hand. Pick your paddocks and pastures by hand if you have time. Use the tractor less and your body more. Don't use golf carts at horse shows. Don't use golf carts at all. WALK.

BTW, a posting trot is supposed use calories equivalent to swimming, which is one of the very best exercises there is--and the muscles and body that swimming develops are most aesthetically pleasing to my eye.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:32 PM
I think anytime you take an approach, in regards to human diets, that is "the answer is simply..." or try to peg obesity on one thing, you may be right for one situation, but not all situations.

Omnivore's Delimma has a great section that describes the eating habits of Americans in relation to our culture having no "natural" eating habits. There are very few American cuisines that are based on a full natural cycle - in Europe, the "local" cuisines are based on a full variety of dishes based on the local ecosystem and the effects these combinations have on our bodies. He explains it far better than I could, but it is a great explanation of the problems with "American cuisine" that lead us to having so many nutrition issues (and options.)

Bluefish
Jun. 1, 2011, 03:41 PM
I too look around at my fellow American citizens and cringe at the obesity... especially fat KIDS. I don't know if it's true or not, but it seems like people who were not fat as kids have an easier time not becoming fat adults.

As I understand it, the problem with being very heavy as a child is that you don't actually "lose" fat cells later... the number of "fat cells" you have is determined during childhood and adolescence and then they change in volume- growing and shrinking with your weight as an adult.

dalpal
Jun. 1, 2011, 05:22 PM
I'm not obese.but have dropped 20 pounds since January.

Turned 40 and my stomach said....UM, yeah, youre done with any type of processed junk food unless you want to pay the price.

It's amazing what happens once you take artificial sweetners and diet soda out of your diet and replace them with water. I don't eat dairy either. All white meat with the exception of filet mignon once a week.

I'm an active person, but without changing my routine, 20 pounds came off just from giving up the garbage I was addicted to eating/drinking.

ToN Farm
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:09 PM
As I understand it, the problem with being very heavy as a child is that you don't actually "lose" fat cells later... the number of "fat cells" you have is determined during childhood and adolescence and then they change in volume- growing and shrinking with your weight as an adult. I believe this is true. This is where genetics comes into play with the obesity epidemic. Two obese people get married and they have a child with a lot of fat cells. I believe those little fat kids we see are not that way from overeating. They are a product of their parents and the metabolism of their parents. It gets worse with each generation.

I'm older than dirt, and I can tell you that in my highschool, there was only one 'fat' kid. Now looking back at my yearbook, that kid wasn't fat at all compared to the kids of today.

If you are having weight problems in your 20's, you are doomed to be overweight as years go by. Sorry, but that's the truth.

SaturdayNightLive
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:11 PM
I believe this is true. This is where genetics comes into play with the obesity epidemic. Two obese people get married and they have a child with a lot of fat cells. I believe those little fat kids we see are not that way from overeating. They are a product of their parents and the metabolism of their parents. It gets worse with each generation.


This isn't true at all. Science has shown that humans haven't changed, genetically, in several hundred years. So no, it isn't simply that "fat" is inherited. It's that fat parents overeat and so their kids do too.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:19 PM
Rodawn that was an awesome post :yes:

MelanieC You're very right about clothing size, which equates to body size. Not only does being small or thin not equate to being fit, the sizing system in the US at least is all screwed up. A size 4 today was a 6 or 8 20 years ago. I've always been the "old" size 4 and finding pants that fit right these days is nearly impossible.

Making small changes is NOT that hard for most people. Take the stairs. Park at the back of the parking lot.

Tony Horton has a new interview of sorts on Foxnews.com about making a pact to make the changes necessary. Some of them are EASY - like dalpal's comments about replacing soda with water. That's a calorie-reduction choice that is yours to make or not, and saves money. At about 100cal/12oz that adds up QUICKLY. When you go out, either share the gigantameal or immediately cut it in half and put half in a to-go box. Easy, cheaper.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:26 PM
I believe this is true. This is where genetics comes into play with the obesity epidemic. Two obese people get married and they have a child with a lot of fat cells. I believe those little fat kids we see are not that way from overeating. They are a product of their parents and the metabolism of their parents. It gets worse with each generation.

I'm older than dirt, and I can tell you that in my highschool, there was only one 'fat' kid. Now looking back at my yearbook, that kid wasn't fat at all compared to the kids of today.

If you are having weight problems in your 20's, you are doomed to be overweight as years go by. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Of course there are some genetics at play. But don't think all those fat kids and their fat parents are fat despite eating right and exercising beyond walking to and from the fridge. Very, very many of them simply eat too much and exercise far too little.

Too many video games and not enough skate boarding. Too many sodas and juices and not enough water.

Now maybe some of them will never be svelte but they can SURE be thinner, and in MUCH better shape even without having to be any sort of athlete.

grayarabpony
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:33 PM
I totally disagree. There are hard-working fat people now. I've met plenty of construction crews or farmers that definitely have a life of hard labor, and it would be a good bit easier if they didn't eat bacon-cheeseburgers at lunch every day.

There is far more to it than calories in and calories out, but that is always a good place to start.

The real difference between now and the pre-1900s is the amount of processed food.

Huh? So much work like that is mechanized now.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 1, 2011, 06:40 PM
If you are having weight problems in your 20's, you are doomed to be overweight as years go by. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Wow, I am SO GLAD that you have now told me THE TRUTH, and I can stop wasting any energy on being anything but overweight for the rest of my life, because I could never get it under control in my 20's.

GrayArabPony - I was simply saying that activity isn't always enough. I think the changes in the food that is readily available over the past 100 years has more of an impact than the changes in technology. If you think all farm work is mechanized now, and there are no hard working farmers out there, I know some people that would love to have you visit (and help at the farm) for a week or so...

MelanieC
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:11 PM
I believe this is true. This is where genetics comes into play with the obesity epidemic. Two obese people get married and they have a child with a lot of fat cells. I believe those little fat kids we see are not that way from overeating. They are a product of their parents and the metabolism of their parents. It gets worse with each generation.

This would be an example of Lamarckian evolution, which there is zero scientific evidence for. The propensity to be fat may be heritable, but the fat cells themselves are not. There is no current evidence that current increases in overweight/obesity have any evolutionary component; this would suggest that fatness is being selected for, but most would not argue that. This does not mean, however, that characteristics that would have been beneficial in the environment in which we evolved (like the ability to quickly store lots of energy in the form of fat) are not coming back to bite us in the ass now.

That said, I personally (as a scientist and evolutionary anthropologist) believe that although the whole picture is undoubtedly complex (i.e., affected by differences in what people eat and how their bodies process these different foods), what it ultimately comes down to is using as many or more calories as you consume. Modern humans frequently have energy imbalances, and it is not surprising that so many people are fat, whether they are eating HFCS, processed foods, etc. or not. I am thin myself and have not personally experienced weight problems, but among the people I know and love who have, it has never been a big mystery why they are having them. It all ultimately comes down to eating too much and not exercising enough, both of which are really easy to do.

carolprudm
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:21 PM
Huh? So much work like that is mechanized now.

Ask me about stacking hay bales yesterday in 95+ heat

sophie
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
I've been living in the US for 20 years but what strikes me, along with all other Europeans coming to the US, is portion size, and the fact that everyone is driving everywhere.

Just the other day I was having ice-cream with some friends (French and German). They got a "kiddie size" ice-cream. The general coment was that the US "kiddie size" is a "normal" size in Europe.
I saw a sign in that ice-cream place, advertising "Now - INFANT size ice-cream!".
And I thought, great. Getting your infant hooked on sugar and fat bodes really well for his/her future... (OTOH, this is the size I'll order next time!!!)

To me, there are 3 major factors for being overweight:

- Portion size: the more you eat, the more you want to eat. But the reverse is true as well.

- Lack of basic exercise. I am not talking about joining a gym or biking or running. Walk instead of taking the car (take public transportation! That involves walking, too!), take the stairs instead of the elevator, take your dog on long walks...
When I first moved to the US I was very surprised that the little town I was living in didn't have ANY public transportation (this has not changed) nor did it have SIDEWALKS! But everything was made Oh so convenient for drivers. So of course no one was walking to the stores. Now, there are more and more sidewalks...and people walking.

-Lack of education in basic cooking. I've brought up my kids to at least know how to prepare rice, pasta, eggs and omelettes, salads, smoothies, cookies and cakes...and I brought them up without soda, candy, any type of processed food or junk food because I believe that you can become addicted to sugar and fat, just as you become addicted to nicotine. So if you don't get into the habit as a kid, you have a better chance at staying healthy in the long run. Of course my kids were a little embarrassed when their friends complained that we had nothing interesting to eat / drink in our fridge...lol but when my 18 yo daughter recently told me that it's exactly how she'll bring up HER kids, too, she made it all worth it!

As for riding...I am considered thin here, but I am not fit. An hour dressage or jumping lesson leaves me gasping for air. Working on it, tho!

Gloria
Jun. 1, 2011, 07:41 PM
One thing I find rather interesting is, when I am up and about, meaning, doing some exercises for example, I actually eat less, because smaller quantity of food fills me up quicker, and I don't feel the need to get another serving.

It is the days when I'm completely idle that I'm in trouble. If I sit on my bum all day long, and don't do anything, I get really really hungry really really fast, and I tend to consume a lot more. When I had massive migraine attack and I was flat on bed for two weeks? All I did was sleep and eat:eek:

I have to say I never watch my calories and I adore dark meat, especially those meat that come with tons of fat (hate dry lean white meat... unless it comes with fat skin:cool:)... However, I can't stand deep fried food and I can't stand most desserts in the States (too sweet), and oh I can't stand any pop, or pop corns served at the theater either. They gross me out.:eek:.

So really I basically eat everything I like (and really enjoy every bite of them) and maintains 123lb quite handily.

Carol Ames
Jun. 1, 2011, 08:17 PM
Most of farming is mechanized(?)Hear hear!
Ask me about stacking hay bales yesterday in 95+ heat

vineyridge
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:05 PM
Yes, of course. I'll give you stacking hay bales, if you'll give me a ditch witch.

BUT Electric saws, electric sanders, backhoes instead of shovels, pneumatic hammers, electric drills/drivers, screwdrivers and wrenches. Paint sprayers instead of brushes. Paint rollers that fill themselves. Grinders and electrically driven wire brushes. Welding machines instead of blacksmith shops and forges. Tractor cultivators instead of hoes; spraying and GMO seeds instead of cultivating; combines instead of scythes; cotton pickers instead of picking cotton. Wells with electric pumps instead of wells with buckets or pump handles. I could go on and on. A world with no chainsaws and no weedeaters and almost no herbicides.

The greatest human tools are shovels and hoes and knives and axes.



Ask me about stacking hay bales yesterday in 95+ heat

carolprudm
Jun. 1, 2011, 09:23 PM
Yes, of course. I'll give you stacking hay bales, if you'll give me a ditch witch.

BUT Electric saws, electric sanders, backhoes instead shovels, pneumatic hammers, electric drills/drivers, screwdrivers and wrenches. Paint sprayers instead of brushes. Paint rollers that fill themselves. Grinders and electrically driven wire brushes. Welding machines instead of blacksmith shops and forges. Tractor cultivators instead of hoes; spraying and GMO seeds instead of cultivating; combines instead of scythes; cotton pickers instead of picking cotton. Wells with electric pumps instead of wells with buckets or pump handles. I could go on and on. A world with no chainsaws and no weedeaters and almost no herbicides.

The greatest human tools are shovels and hoes and knives and axes.

I have 13 horses, 11 of whom are stalled half the day.

Manure is shoveled (by me)into muck tubs and dumped into spreader pulled by golf cart. :eek:

Hay and grain are stored in outbuilding not in barn, so I haul 4 bales of hay in said golf cart along with everybody's individual grain ration. :eek:In the winter we move 2 round bales a week with the tractor. :eek: Buckets and water tanks are filled by a hose from our electrically powered well:eek:

Next week I'll set 200 feet of RR ties, that Mr P and I unloaded them from the pickup and put on the fork lift. :eek:I'll use the Troy built tiller to loosen the dirt but I will muscle them into position.:eek:

I suspect many people would be more than ready for the hot tub by the end of my day.

BTW, I'll be 62 this month

LarkspurCO
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:47 PM
And here I thought mechanization had improved civilization and quality of life.

My Hitachi power drill is one of my most cherished possessions.

ASB Stars
Jun. 1, 2011, 10:59 PM
How many people posting on here actually are in a position to physically make use of mechanized farming? Raise your hands! OK, both of you may sit down.

Yes, there are medical reasons for obesity. Yes, there are those folks who have big old excuses. I am not quite sure why they feel compelled to honor a horse with their weight, but, there you have it.

For many, the best exercise they can do is to push themselves away. from. the. table.

I understand. Weight isn't an easy issue for anyone.

However, if you would like to ride an athlete, be one. Really, really simple.

Stop giving us excuses. Stop telling us how much better you are, now, than 10# ago. When you are still morbidly obese.

Just do it.

TickleFight
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:11 PM
The fact that people of normal body fat percentage are called "thin" in this country should answer your question.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:29 PM
Tickle, that is so the truth.

I admit I rely on protein bars for some on-the-go snacks because I just can't get a normal meal in sometimes. When I buy them at places like Target, I can't tell you how many times I get "I'd eat those things too if I could look like you"

:rolleyes:

As they sit there on their stool, 50lb overweight with a 44oz cup of soda sitting under the counter.

Uh, no, I don't look like this because I eat these. I look like this because I don't drink 44oz of soda with refills, and because I work damn hard at exercise.

grayarabpony
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:32 PM
Wow, I am SO GLAD that you have now told me THE TRUTH, and I can stop wasting any energy on being anything but overweight for the rest of my life, because I could never get it under control in my 20's.

GrayArabPony - I was simply saying that activity isn't always enough. I think the changes in the food that is readily available over the past 100 years has more of an impact than the changes in technology. If you think all farm work is mechanized now, and there are no hard working farmers out there, I know some people that would love to have you visit (and help at the farm) for a week or so...

I have a farm, thanks, and do a lot more physical labor than a "real" farmer, because I don't have all of the machinery. Or farm labourers. I do, thank God, have a tractor. So much easier than manual cutting.

I'm not saying farmers of any sort don't do any physical labor, because that just wouldn't be true, but it's nothing like it was in the 19th century. Same with construction work.

Sorry, activity IS enough. People just don't want to admit it. Barring a medical condition that slows down metabolism, such as hypothyroidism, weight is determined by calories in vs calories burned.

JB
Jun. 1, 2011, 11:57 PM
Activity by itself is not enough.

If you are more active than the calories you intake, you will lose weight. But it's more than just calories too, it's more than just about how much you weigh. 1500 calories a day of cheeseburgers is not at all the same as 1500 calories of fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

grayarabpony
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:11 AM
Yes, it is... it's 1500 calories.

Pocket Pony
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:28 AM
I do think that dressage is a kinder equestrian discipline to those of us who are less fit than some others, and it also tends to attract a demographic in which we are not as thin as we once were (middle-aged women, among whom I count myself by the way).

I find this kind of funny because I grew up doing h/j and I have never worked so hard in the saddle as when riding dressage. I think I burn more calories in my dressage lessons than I ever did in any h/j lesson. Sitting the trot is quite the ab workout!

Pocket Pony
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:35 AM
Activity by itself is not enough.

If you are more active than the calories you intake, you will lose weight. But it's more than just calories too, it's more than just about how much you weigh. 1500 calories a day of cheeseburgers is not at all the same as 1500 calories of fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

Actually I recall someone recently doing an experiment where he ate x number of calories but all in junk food and he lost weight. Calories are calories and if you take in less that you burn off then you will (maintain or) lose weight. If you are worried about toning and cellulite and things like that, then the quality of your calories does matter. But if you're talking basic weight loss as a pure number on the scale, then calories are calories.

Pocket Pony
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:36 AM
Yes, it is... it's 1500 calories.

Yes, which weighs more - a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? ;)

Jeito
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:44 AM
The greatest human tools are shovels and hoes and knives and axes.

And do you think the kind of people who rode horses for sport back in the good old days used shovels and hoes? I don't think so :lol: They had hired help (or slaves).

My maternal grandparents were very thin and lived until almost 100. (My paternal grandparents were also thin, but they died before I was born.) They never did a day of hard labor in their lives. They never belonged to a gym. The only exercise my grandmother did was walking. (Admittedly, she walked a lot.) My grandparents ate things I wouldn't eat, like lots of meat, and had dessert with every dinner. (They also ate veggies and a salad with every meal.) My grandmother used real sugar and real butter, was horrified at the idea of "diet foods," and was also slightly horrified at the idea of a girls lifting weights. She was around 5'4" and weighed around 110 all her life, except when she was pregnant. My grandfather was tall and bony. Genetics or something else? I don't know. If they had a gene for effortlessly staying thin, they didn't pass it on to my generation because my siblings and cousins and I all have to work hard at it :lol:

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:48 AM
Activity by itself is not enough.

If you are more active than the calories you intake, you will lose weight. But it's more than just calories too, it's more than just about how much you weigh. 1500 calories a day of cheeseburgers is not at all the same as 1500 calories of fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

For many people who are insulin resistant this is absolutely true

Swishy-Tails
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:52 AM
There is weight crisis in all "western" countries, not just the US. There are obese people in all walks of life -- including riders in various disciplines. I do not think it is fair to say that an American dressage rider is more likely to be fat than a German or other European one.

I have lived in Germany for over a year now, and they have their fare share of overweight people too. I would say the majority are overweight, just like Americans. The difference is that America has more obese people. Germans also eat loads of fast food, with the convenience of multiple pastry stands and so on at train stations and on the streets. Germans also eat loads of sausages (mostly pork), with bread butter and cheese 2 meals per day. I don't see how this is remotely healthy. When I first got here I lived with a family and I was really gaining weight because they did not really eat any vegetables like I was used to. I can't even find pure skimmed milk! I am talking about 0% fat. Not the reduced fat of 1.5%. It really does not exist here. fat fat fat. just like in America (but I can get skim milk there).

They are also really taking on the American company trends of putting high fructose corn syrup in everything over here in Germany. It is in every single type of yogurt unless you get pure yogurt or organic. I find it a little ridiculous. Also, it is really difficult to get a can of any type of beans that doesn't have added sugar. Why do I need sugar in my friggin kidney beans? They are starting to also become sugar addicts. In the local supermarket by me, there is a complete isle of candies and the supermarket only has a total of 7 isles (I counted yesterday). Not really much different than America.

I think the biggest difference is that the general population in Germany don't really go to restaurants (in general, maybe special occasions) and get extremely fatty foods loaded with lots of salt. When they do, the portions are much smaller. Also THEY DO NOT HAVE FREE REFILLS on soda like in America, so people here dont really sit and drink a liter or so of soda without realizing it like in America. Also, Europeans generally walk everywhere. I probably walk about 3-4 miles per day which is a lot compared to what I did in America. Now, I have lost about 20 pounds in total being here, and I wasn't overweight to begin with. When I went home for Christmas, my family was concerned at how much weight I had lost. Just from walking and now I really mainly only eat veggies.

Americans really need to walk more and boycott anything with high fructose corn syrup. Stop drinking so much soda and sugary things. Eat smaller portions and don't go to restaurants so much (you really cannot control your caloric intake at restaurants). That's really the biggest problem I believe. All small things add up. Get a bike and start biking to the grocery store or walk more places! I have a 20 minute walk to the supermarket. You'd be surprised how much weight can be lost from lugging a backpack and 2 bags of groceries for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:19 AM
Yes, it is... it's 1500 calories.
You must have missed the comment "it's more than about how much you weigh"

If you live on 1500 calories of cheeseburgers, you are NOT as healthy as if you live on 1500 calories of fruits and veggies and lean meats.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:23 AM
My maternal grandparents were very thin and lived until almost 100. (My paternal grandparents were also thin, but they died before I was born.) They never did a day of hard labor in their lives. They never belonged to a gym. The only exercise my grandmother did was walking. (Admittedly, she walked a lot.) My grandparents ate things I wouldn't eat, like lots of meat, and had dessert with every dinner. (They also ate veggies and a salad with every meal.) My grandmother used real sugar and real butter, was horrified at the idea of "diet foods," and was also slightly horrified at the idea of a girls lifting weights. She was around 5'4" and weighed around 110 all her life, except when she was pregnant. My grandfather was tall and bony. Genetics or something else? I don't know. If they had a gene for effortlessly staying thin, they didn't pass it on to my generation because my siblings and cousins and I all have to work hard at it :lol:
But I bet they ate "proper" size portions ;)

My grandparents were not overweight. Ever. They ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, my grandmother always made pies and cakes. Sure, my grandfather did work - he laid big, heavy cables for the phone company, all day. But my grandmother didn't work at all. But they ate appropriately sized portions of food and didn't snack all day on chips and soda.

knippes
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:34 AM
For me, it was a pretty simple decision. What is best for my horse. He's trying really hard to learn what I'm trying to teach him - the least I can do is try to be the best rider I can be. I've lost 30 pounds so far and lets just say that getting other forms of exercise is "challenging". I joined myfitnesspal.com (a free weight loss website) have cut back on the calories, cook much healthier foods and try to add exercise where possible. I feel great, but best of all, my horse is going better than he ever has. Granted he very young (just about 4) and is just starting to develop the strength to do what is required, but we are becoming a team. It seems to be much easier for both of us now that I've lost the weight and that is what it all boils down to for me.;)

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:37 AM
They are also really taking on the American company trends of putting high fructose corn syrup in everything over here in Germany. It is in every single type of yogurt unless you get pure yogurt or organic. I find it a little ridiculous.
Hell, you should check the label on many brands of frozen chicken breasts - HFCS is added! :no:


and don't go to restaurants so much (you really cannot control your caloric intake at restaurants).Oh but you can - immediately ask to have a box brought and put half or 2/3 in it :) Then you have 2-3 more meals to be eaten.

And don't get the fried corn with the chicken alfredo and the butter-drenched "vegetables". You can absolutely control your calorie intake by making better decisions on what you get, or how you treat it once you do get it.

Get a bike and start biking to the grocery store or walk more places! I have a 20 minute walk to the supermarket. Great for many people, not easy for others. We live 6 miles from the nearest real grocery store, 10 from the good one with the good fruits and veggies. Yep, we could bike if we were only getting non-perishable items or most fruits/veggies, but not anything frozen. And to be honest, neither of us has time to bike 12-20 miles a couple of times a week lol

But I totally get what you are saying. MANY people live a 2 minute car drive from a decent grocery store. People drive for 5 minutes around a parking lot waiting for a space close to the store (or the gym! :eek:).

Jeito
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:40 AM
You're right, JB. I'm also 99.9% sure my grandparents never ate fast food or soft drinks or candy bars. They would never dream of eating at places like Applebees of Chili's.

vineyridge
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:40 AM
This does bring one to the question of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. The only people in Olden Times who could afford to be fat were the "Upper Classes" and Eunuchs. I have no idea why upper class women weren't obese. They did very little, if any, work other than fine sewing, rode in carriages, and ate those enormous six and seven course meals. They didn't even suckle their own children. They did lots of supervising though. :) Of course, many of them died young, in childbirth primarily, before they had a chance to add middle aged fat.

White sugar was very rare and very, very scarce. It wasn't until the time of Napoleon that the sugar beet was developed. Before then, France and GB fought over the sugar islands of the Caribbean, and sugar was a luxury. Louisiana started growing cane in the 1830's or so. Refineries for pure white cane sugar are Victorian or Edwardian inventions. Corn syrup was unknown. Cheap and available super refined sugars and not walking may be the huge differences between life for females of the upper classes before 1950 and life today.

On the other hand, there were very few of the leisure/upper classes then and very many of the "work themselves to death or starve" classes.

Genetics undoubtedly has great effects. I got my apple belly and my low thyroid from my mother's mother. Also got my left eyebrow from her.




And do you think the kind of people who rode horses for sport back in the good old days used shovels and hoes? I don't think so :lol: They had hired help (or slaves).

My maternal grandparents were very thin and lived until almost 100. (My paternal grandparents were also thin, but they died before I was born.) They never did a day of hard labor in their lives. They never belonged to a gym. The only exercise my grandmother did was walking. (Admittedly, she walked a lot.) My grandparents ate things I wouldn't eat, like lots of meat, and had dessert with every dinner. (They also ate veggies and a salad with every meal.) My grandmother used real sugar and real butter, was horrified at the idea of "diet foods," and was also slightly horrified at the idea of a girls lifting weights. She was around 5'4" and weighed around 110 all her life, except when she was pregnant. My grandfather was tall and bony. Genetics or something else? I don't know. If they had a gene for effortlessly staying thin, they didn't pass it on to my generation because my siblings and cousins and I all have to work hard at it :lol:

vineyridge
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:52 AM
we're doing it to our animals also. Read the labels of many treats and foods from Agri-business, and HFCS is ubiquitious.
If HFCS would just disappear, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the World.

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:03 AM
But I totally get what you are saying. MANY people live a 2 minute car drive from a decent grocery store. People drive for 5 minutes around a parking lot waiting for a space close to the store (or the gym! :eek:).

LOL, not me, I drive an Excursion and my prefered spot...or 4 .....is always found at the far end of the lot.

But many people see what they want to see.

I'm 30 or 40 lbs overweight.

I don't sit around drinking pop and eating chips, I do 3 or 4 hours of barn work a day, plus garden and ride. I'm not the person ordering a supersized BigMac meal at the drive through, if I have to eat fast food it's either Subway, 6 inch flatbread with extra meat and cheese, or Chipotle, no rice or beans with a glass of water.

OMG

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:09 AM
LOL, not me, I drive an Excursion and my prefered spot...or 4 .....is always found at the far end of the lot.
:lol: Like when we have to drive the F250 long bed "into town"


I'm 30 or 40 lbs overweight.

I don't sit around drinking pop and eating chips, I do 3 or 4 hours of barn work a day, plus garden and ride. I'm not the person ordering a supersized BigMac meal at the drive through, if I have to eat fast food it's either Subway, 6 inch flatbread with extra meat and cheese, or Chipotle, no rice or beans with a glass of water.

OMG
And you're fitter than the sedentary person who is the "perfect" weight :)

ise@ssl
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:11 AM
Sophie - I have to laugh at your comments. I've spent enough time in Germany to say that I'd weigh alot more if I lived there and ate the diet typical for Germans. It made me sick just to look at French Fries with Mayonaise piled on top of them.

If you look at the statistics for demographic groups with respect to increased weight - German men are now in the lead!

The problem in the U.S. is that people just don't do enough physical work and walking. We live in a rural are of NJ and parents sit at the end of the driveway (usually with the car running) to pick up their kids from the bus!! They will probably spend the afternoon playing video games.

When I worked in various cities including New York - I always walked to the Train Station unless there was a terrible storm. Here on the farm I walk and don't use a golf cart like many horse owners do.

As far as food - I was raised by a mother who made everything from scratch so processed foods are not something I buy. And I rarely if ever drink Soda which is a huge contributor to weight gain.

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:45 AM
Sophie - I have to laugh at your comments. I've spent enough time in Germany to say that I'd weigh alot more if I lived there and ate the diet typical for Germans. It made me sick just to look at French Fries with Mayonaise piled on top of them.

If you look at the statistics for demographic groups with respect to increased weight - German men are now in the lead!

The problem in the U.S. is that people just don't do enough physical work and walking. We live in a rural are of NJ and parents sit at the end of the driveway (usually with the car running) to pick up their kids from the bus!! They will probably spend the afternoon playing video games.

When I worked in various cities including New York - I always walked to the Train Station unless there was a terrible storm. Here on the farm I walk and don't use a golf cart like many horse owners do.

As far as food - I was raised by a mother who made everything from scratch so processed foods are not something I buy. And I rarely if ever drink Soda which is a huge contributor to weight gain.
FWIW, we had a serial killer locally who snatched 2 girls as they got off the school bus. It is also possible that the parents waiting at the end of the drive were taking the kids somewhere, not to watch video games but maybe soccer practice.

I do use a golf cart. It's the most efficient way to get 4 bales of hay or 12 tubs of feed from the separate hay and feed barn to the impatient horses in their stalls (which I clean, dump into the manure spreader and spread...with said golf cart)

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:47 AM
All of this focus seems to be caught up on the fact that overweight=unfit. I believe that these are two distinctive - but not exclusive - problems.

For the overweight problem in America, I truly feel that the problem is the food. You can get thin by decreasing the calories in, even though it is easier if you increase the calories out.

For the fitness problem, it is the lack of activity. You aren't going to get fit simply by eating salads. There has to be activity in addition to the diet.

(funny but only slightly relevant story)
Last year, I was eating dinner with a European in a restaurant in Pamplona.
"Do all meals in Europe come with french fries?" I asked, since this was the third dinner in a row that came with them.
"Yes. But we just call them 'fries.'"

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:53 AM
All of this focus seems to be caught up on the fact that overweight=unfit. I believe that these are two distinctive - but not exclusive - problems.

For the overweight problem in America, I truly feel that the problem is the food. You can get thin by decreasing the calories in, even though it is easier if you increase the calories out.

For the fitness problem, it is the lack of activity. You aren't going to get fit simply by eating salads. There has to be activity in addition to the diet.

(funny but only slightly relevant story)
Last year, I was eating dinner with a European in a restaurant in Pamplona.
"Do all meals in Europe come with french fries?" I asked, since this was the third dinner in a row that came with them.
"Yes. But we just call them 'fries.'"
LOL, exactly

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:02 AM
All of this focus seems to be caught up on the fact that overweight=unfit. I believe that these are two distinctive - but not exclusive - problems.
Actually, several people, including myself, have made the separation :)

However, a person even 20lb overweight is not as fit as they would be if they lost the 20lb (assuming nothing else changed)


For the overweight problem in America, I truly feel that the problem is the food.
And the dramatic lack of exercise, which has been exacerbated by eliminating PE/gym time in many states :(


You can get thin by decreasing the calories in, even though it is easier if you increase the calories out.
Yep, and I fully agree, being thin does not in any way equate to being fit OR healthy


For the fitness problem, it is the lack of activity. You aren't going to get fit simply by eating salads. There has to be activity in addition to the diet.

:yes:

In addition, you can't get (very) fit if you only eat salads LOL

Coyoteco
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:19 AM
My suggestion is that COTH set up a forum dedicated to this subject so that the thousandth thread on this ridiculous topic is not on a horse related part of the forum. If I make this activity look bad because I'm not fit enough, or I'm not young enough, or I'm not pretty enough, or I'm not sufficiently well-dressed, or some other frivolous reason, then it certainly isn't the activity for me. Perhaps I should just avoid any and all of the competitions. To me, it's about horses and my own riding and not about whether someone else is overweight, or unfit, or ugly, or whatever.

Better still, I'd ban these threads if I were a moderator. They are not horse related.

magnolia73
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:20 AM
I do think there is an at least a positive trend of overweight people being more active. When I volunteered at an Ironman, I saw spare tires and saddle bags all day long- swimming, biking and running. Every 5K and even half and full marathon have their share of plus size people running along. It goes to figure that more are also riding.

I ran a marathon and was technically obese. I don't think 20 years ago that obese people were out running. When I got into fitness back about 10 years ago, if you were fat- there were some shapeless sweats for ya. Now there are technical clothes in plus sizes.

I think for good or bad, the overweight in America don't hide and get out and do things, including riding and competing.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:25 AM
This type of thread IS horse related, because how fit you are, how much you weigh, how that weight is distributed, whether it's firm muscle mass you have control over or flabby fat mass you don't, it all affects how you ride and what the horse feels. It's as much horse-related as people asking how to fix their crookedness.

paulaedwina
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:48 AM
You know what; if I were at a function and someone made the observation that many of my family were fat and out of shape I'd take offense on behalf of my family members. I wouldn't say, "you're right. They are fat bastards and should stay home and not embarrass me", but maybe my sense of family loyalty is too old school.

Paula

magnolia73
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:56 AM
I do think that JB has a good point... fitness and weight can really impact one's riding. Hey, I look like shit in breeches too. And I can tell when I am not doing enough fitness- particularly core work. I don't control my body well. And I do hunters. I can't imagine controlling my seat when my core is weak.

And fitness does tend to be ignored as an aspect of how to improve ones riding. Better understanding how excess weight impacts our seats is at least useful- though all too often these topics devolve into "how to lose weight".

For me, when I am fit and firm through my core, I have better control and stability of my body. When I let that get weak, my back hurts and I hunch and collapse and can no longer use my seat and upper body- and go to a hand ride with leg.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:57 AM
I do think there is an at least a positive trend of overweight people being more active. When I volunteered at an Ironman, I saw spare tires and saddle bags all day long- swimming, biking and running. Every 5K and even half and full marathon have their share of plus size people running along. It goes to figure that more are also riding.

I ran a marathon and was technically obese. I don't think 20 years ago that obese people were out running. When I got into fitness back about 10 years ago, if you were fat- there were some shapeless sweats for ya. Now there are technical clothes in plus sizes.

I think for good or bad, the overweight in America don't hide and get out and do things, including riding and competing.

This!
Here I am - technically "Obese." (http://www.barnbynotes.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/user_gallery_picture_view/user_gallery/Two%20of%20us.JPG)I am a distance swimmer, I plan my vacations around 100 mile backpacking trips, and I ride. The greatest thing for me was the realization that I didn't have to become "Thin" before I could become "Athletic."

I think that's the point that I'm trying to make. Just that you can be fit and athletic before, during, and after your journey to being at optimal weight. Nobody is perfect, and I've failed many times because I've listened to people that say "YOU HAVE TO..."

Now, who wants fried chicken for lunch with a side of creamy potato salad? ;)


PS, Magnolia - back pain is my #1 sign that I have let my fitness slide.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:22 AM
yep, I can tell when I have laid off the core work too much when my back tells me LOL

Rhiannon, I can't believe you are considered obese!

That said, it brings up a good point. BMI is a tool. It is not the be-all to determining obesity, which is what I suspect is the case with you.

Most body builders, due to weight vs height, would be considered obese just looking at those 2 numbers.

I DO think there are "obese" people according to a BMI who are not obese, just overweight, and in pretty good shape as in, can do a day's worth of real farm chores without puking their guts out.

Likewise, I know there are people who are just fine in weight, according to the BMI, who can't walk a flight of stairs without getting out of breath.

It IS more than simply weight vs height.

Coyoteco
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:23 AM
I do think that JB has a good point... fitness and weight can really impact one's riding. Hey, I look like shit in breeches too. And I can tell when I am not doing enough fitness- particularly core work. I don't control my body well. And I do hunters. I can't imagine controlling my seat when my core is weak.

And fitness does tend to be ignored as an aspect of how to improve ones riding. Better understanding how excess weight impacts our seats is at least useful- though all too often these topics devolve into "how to lose weight".

For me, when I am fit and firm through my core, I have better control and stability of my body. When I let that get weak, my back hurts and I hunch and collapse and can no longer use my seat and upper body- and go to a hand ride with leg.

No - not a good point. It is not horse related. Most of the thread is about the weight of someone else. The weight of someone else, the average weight of Americans, has no impact whatsoever on the poster. It's just a way to talk about other people in a disparaging manner. In these many, many, many threads on the weight of other people, there is no helpful information about how to ride better at an increased weight or anything helpful - just blah, blah, blah.

As for the comment about looking bad in breeches - I look just fine in breeches but that is the most irrelevant thing EVER. Perhaps we should qualify to post here by the size of our thighs......not!

NOT horse related!

grayarabpony
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:32 AM
You must have missed the comment "it's more than about how much you weigh"

If you live on 1500 calories of cheeseburgers, you are NOT as healthy as if you live on 1500 calories of fruits and veggies and lean meats.

Actually no, I didn't, because as I read your post you were relating calories to activity, which would lead one to surmise you were talking about weight gain. Whether you're eating bananas or candy bars, whatever the calorie excess you're going to gain approximately the same amount of weight.

btw, I do not agree with an earlier statement that someone with a weight problem in their 20's is doomed. An uphill battle that requires a complete lifestyle makover? Yes. Doomed? No.

Weight is an individual thing, with no absolute answers, as are defining activity levels. My grandmother never worked out and worked as a seamstress in a casket factory. But the way she did housework, it was practically an aerobic workout. She always moved very fast. Many athletes would have had a hard time keeping up with her.

I think one of the problems with weight gain is the fact that most people eat the largest meal of the day at the end of the day, and often their resting metabolism isn't high enough to burn off those late day calories.

magnolia73
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:34 AM
Then don't read these topics. I don't see how me saying that as an overweight woman that core fitness is so important to my riding is saying that someone else is a fat ass. Maybe someone suffering from back pain will read that and go do some pilates and ride better.

Like it or not, people weigh more. And apparently it seems like they do more. It's really damn hard to lose weight, so you might as well do the proper fitness things to insure that your weight is minimized in terms of impact.

I mean, hell, I glaze over the HFC stuff too.... And the idiotic stuff like taking pregnancy hormones. And yes, I know americans are lazy. Apparently so are germans. But then some posters post and you can relate to them and maybe they have some insight that is useful. It would please me to no end if reading this topic encouraged someone to go out and try ab-ripper x to get a stronger core vs. stopping riding until they weighed 120lbs.

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:46 AM
This!
Here I am - technically "Obese." (http://www.barnbynotes.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/user_gallery_picture_view/user_gallery/Two%20of%20us.JPG)I am a distance swimmer, I plan my vacations around 100 mile backpacking trips, and I ride. The greatest thing for me was the realization that I didn't have to become "Thin" before I could become "Athletic."

I think that's the point that I'm trying to make. Just that you can be fit and athletic before, during, and after your journey to being at optimal weight. Nobody is perfect, and I've failed many times because I've listened to people that say "YOU HAVE TO..."

Now, who wants fried chicken for lunch with a side of creamy potato salad? ;)


PS, Magnolia - back pain is my #1 sign that I have let my fitness slide.
This video was taken about a year ago. I'm not technically obese, but about 5 lbs more and I would be.

removed
It was about 110 degrees that day so we're not doing much but I don't think my weight is negatively affecting Sophie or my riding

Coyoteco
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:10 PM
M, it's not the effect on me that concerns me about these threads. It is true that I don't have to read them - but then I don't have to read any other not-horse-related threads either. Hiding behind a facade that it is horse related because one would be a better rider if one were fit doesn't make it horse related.

These threads discourage overweight people from feeling comfortable participating in horse activities. There is such a stated prejudice out there against people who are deemed overweight, that people are dissuaded from participating. These are, for the most part, mean girl threads intended to criticize anyone who doesn't look "right" - and that's what they are.

OP didn't ask "How can I ride better at my weight?" or "What saddle pad should I use to help distribute my weight more efficiently?" He said that he was bothered by rude comments, generalizations, made to him about the weight of other people.

And then it followed the line of Americans being obese or fat or whatever. NOT horse related, AND very destructive to people who are self-conscious about their weight.

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:16 PM
I think the biggest difference is that the general population in Germany don't really go to restaurants (in general, maybe special occasions) and get extremely fatty foods loaded with lots of salt. When they do, the portions are much smaller.

What Germany are you in????

I just got back from the local Hofbräuhaus where the menu basically included fried eggs, fried potatoes, potato salad, ginormous pieces of chicken, sausage to last till the end of time, endless beer, and on the way to the bathroom I passed a small shrimp of a woman eating a ginormous leg of ham still on the bone that was basically the size of her head.

This is honestly the first time I have had German food described as NOT "extremely fatty and loaded with salt."

When I get home I am having salad for lunch for a week to recover.

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:16 PM
You know every time we have a discussion about people who are overweight riding, the folks who consider themselves to be overweight end up acting like they should be a protected class. Don't pick on us! Don't tell us we can't ride as well as we could if we weighed X amount less!

This is, ultimately, a choice, Really. It may be the hardest one ever, for many people, but it isn't like they must. be. overweight.

If you want to talk about people with body image issues, who aren't riders- that isn't on topic. But this stuff is.

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:22 PM
And then it followed the line of Americans being obese or fat or whatever. NOT horse related, AND very destructive to people who are self-conscious about their weight.

This is largely why I am being driven crazy by these completely false generalizations being made on this thread.

It already makes people with weight problems feel bad enough to see these insults being slung around (and just because they aren't specifically directed at an individual poster doesn't mean they aren't intended to at least land on SOME unknown unfortunate and inflict some pain SOMEWHERE -which is in my eyes a completely cruel way to behave), but then when people deliberately skew their posts to act like a size 30 "would be considered a fatass" in Europe and "nobody in Germany ever eats a large portion size" it just gets completely ridiculous.

It is like when an obssessive compulsive neat freak invites you into their home and then goes on and on about what a mess their place is. The point behind that behavior is to lord their extreme neatness over their unwitting guests EVEN MORE, and it is pretty freakin' transparent.

Velvet
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:29 PM
Here's yet another example of people being offended when the OP did not say anything offensive.

Yes, there are people on BOTH sides of every issue these days that seem to get ticked off at anything that questions what they believe/feel. I'm suggesting that everyone just put them on their ignore list, rather than letting them hijack and kill threads because they've chosen to become offended or have read something nefarious into the actual topic at hand.

Please, are we going to let a hand ful stop the rest of us from having intelligent conversations out here that actually encourage people to have open and honest dialogues?

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:31 PM
It is like when an obssessive compulsive neat freak invites you into their home and then goes on and on about what a mess their place is. The point behind that behavior is to lord their extreme neatness over their unwitting guests EVEN MORE, and it is pretty freakin' transparent.

Actually, as obsessive/compulsive issues are a psychological disorder, you might as well want to compare a bulemic, saying, "OMG, I am SO fat!", as your analogy. It makes no sense to state that someone with a real, viable issue is demonstrating it, because they are trying to flaunt it- they are simply showing you that they have a problem.

Your take on someone elses' real issues is interesting.

carolprudm
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:33 PM
Here's yet another example of people being offended when the OP did not say anything offensive.

Yes, there are people on BOTH sides of every issue these days that seem to get ticked off at anything that questions what they believe/feel. I'm suggesting that everyone just put them on their ignore list, rather than letting them hijack and kill threads because they've chosen to become offended or have read something nefarious into the actual topic at hand.

Please, are we going to let a hand ful stop the rest of us from having intelligent conversations out here that actually encourage people to have open and honest dialogues?

LOL, I'm not offended by opinions I disagree with

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:48 PM
Actually, as obsessive/compulsive issues are a psychological disorder, you might as well want to compare a bulemic, saying, "OMG, I am SO fat!", as your analogy. It makes no sense to state that someone with a real, viable issue is demonstrating it, because they are trying to flaunt it- they are simply showing you that they have a problem.

Your take on someone elses' real issues is interesting.

I don't think you understood my analogy. Or, you are deliberately interpreting it into the narrowest possible box just to force it into being inapposite.


But just to humor you:
Change "obsessive/compulsive neat freak" (and just to spare us all the next tangential tirade, I apologize profusely in advance for casually referenceing a Serious Disorder, I kneel upon the floor and beseech forgiveness, etc etc) with "your generalized, not psychologically disturbed or anything neat freak, like for example my mother, who doesn't have a REAL mental disorder or anything but still notices when the the strands at the end of the carpet haven't been vacuumed in such a way as to lay parallel."

Imagine if you walked into her house where all the books are lined up exactly straight (because 'it is just as easy to put them on the shelf straight as crooked) and the food labels all face forward (because 'it is just as easy to face them all the same way and not willy nilly'), her paperwork/billing/junk mail is always under control and gets handled immediately, there are never dishes in the sink, and by the way all the carpet strands are vacuumed parallel, and she made a long face and kept going ON AND ON AND ON about what a mess the place was?

If you don't personally finish off YOUR vacuuming job with pulling the carpet fibers straight you can catch the subtext of "Well aren't you just a slob, then?" yes?

Do we understand the analogy to claiming that Europeans would consider a size 30 a "fatass" or are we just being deliberately dense?

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 2, 2011, 12:53 PM
You know every time we have a discussion about people who are overweight riding, the folks who consider themselves to be overweight end up acting like they should be a protected class. Don't pick on us! Don't tell us we can't ride as well as we could if we weighed X amount less!

This is, ultimately, a choice, Really. It may be the hardest one ever, for many people, but it isn't like they must. be. overweight.


Some of us are having a good conversation about fat verses fit, and there have been several cultural discussions regarding food.

Yeah, there have been some comments that could be hurtful to people's emotional wellbeing - but isn't the internet as a whole hurtful to the world's emotional wellbeing?

My posts here have been to encourage anybody of any body weight to see themself as an athlete even if they aren't portrayed as one by the rest of the world. Even if you ARENT an athlete, you will only become one if you treat yourself as one. I'm sure some of my posts got off that course, but that was my goal for being a part of this thread.

I don't want any protection as a fatty. I don't care what you, or anybody, thinks of me in that regard. That doesn't mean I don't care about my body and subsequently work to improve it.

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:04 PM
I don't think you understood my analogy. Or, you are deliberately interpreting it into the narrowest possible box just to force it into being inapposite.


But just to humor you:
Change "obsessive/compulsive neat freak" (and just to spare us all the next tangential tirade, I apologize profusely in advance for casually referenceing a Serious Disorder, I kneel upon the floor and beseech forgiveness, etc etc) with "your generalized, not psychologically disturbed or anything neat freak, like for example my mother, who doesn't have a REAL mental disorder or anything but still notices when the the strands at the end of the carpet haven't been vacuumed in such a way as to lay parallel."

Imagine if you walked into her house where all the books are lined up exactly straight (because 'it is just as easy to put them on the shelf straight as crooked) and the food labels all face forward (because 'it is just as easy to face them all the same way and not willy nilly'), her paperwork/billing/junk mail is always under control and gets handled immediately, there are never dishes in the sink, and by the way all the carpet strands are vacuumed parallel, and she made a long face and kept going ON AND ON AND ON about what a mess the place was?

If you don't personally finish off YOUR vacuuming job with pulling the carpet fibers straight you can catch the subtext of "Well aren't you just a slob, then?" yes?

Do we understand the analogy to claiming that Europeans would consider a size 30 a "fatass" or are we just being deliberately dense?

I'm not sure what *we* are being, and what the hell does "inapposite" mean?

But, back to *we*. I cannot fathom, with my obviously obtuse brain, what you are trying to say. Really. Do Europeans consider a size 30 a fatass? How the hell do I know, and, oh by the way- is that Euro sizing, or American?

Fat is, well, fat. People with more fat might try to describe their fat in different ways. Mine is mostly in the *fatter ass than I'd like* department, but, hey, that's just me.

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:11 PM
I'm not sure what *we* are being, and what the hell does "inapposite" mean?

But, back to *we*. I cannot fathom, with my obviously obtuse brain, what you are trying to say. Really. Do Europeans consider a size 30 a fatass? How the hell do I know, and, oh by the way- is that Euro sizing, or American?

Fat is, well, fat. People with more fat might try to describe their fat in different ways. Mine is mostly in the *fatter ass than I'd like* department, but, hey, that's just me.

Maybe you should read the whole thread and look words up when you don't know them so that you can catch references to prior posts and follow along without everyone else having to explain things three times and rewrite the dictionary on your request.

vineyridge
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:32 PM
Lest we forget, riding is darn good exercise. Barn chores are darned good exercise. Walking is darned good exercise. These are things we do every day. While it may not be targeted fitness, riders do get stronger the more and longer they ride.

If one is overweight, one's balance isn't as good as it should be usually, but riding helps with losing weight and gaining balance. All it takes is time and a lot of posting trot.

So get out there and RIDE! And watch the sugar.

Wellspotted
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by Mike Matson:

Does American Dressage Have an Obesity/Fitness Problem?

No, thank goodness! Here you see riders of all different kinds of "conformation" doing dressage. We all get out there and ride, enjoying ourselves and our horses, being supported by our friends and fellow horsepeople.

Well, at least I thought so. Maybe out there among those fellow horsepeople are a few lurkers who look, don't like what they see, and go home to criticize us. Maybe they even criticize us to their US friends (sorry, I'm assuming that by "American" you mean US--maybe you mean Canada as well, et al.!?).

Maybe if the US like the rest of the civilized world had free health care for its citizens we could all be stick-figure horse people. Maybe you will say that horse people can certainly afford medical care--and a good diet!

But I'm happy to say that in the part of the US where I live we are so happy to have people doing dressage--for the sake of the horse as well as the rider--that we don't criticize the people who aren't Eurosleek, 3rd world emaciated.

:p

Wellspotted
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:39 PM
Some of us are having a good conversation about fat verses fit, and there have been several cultural discussions regarding food.

Yeah, there have been some comments that could be hurtful to people's emotional wellbeing - but isn't the internet as a whole hurtful to the world's emotional wellbeing?

Sometimes--thank goodness horses are not!!! :winkgrin:

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:44 PM
Consider this thread your good trainer telling you that you would most likely be a better rider if you were more fit and/or weighed less

If that offends you/anyone there are bigger issues to address

Fourbeats
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:54 PM
I don't want any protection as a fatty. I don't care what you, or anybody, thinks of me in that regard. That doesn't mean I don't care about my body and subsequently work to improve it.

I agree with this poster. I'm a work in progress and as long as I keep riding I'm working on improving my body, my health, and my horses. That is what I chose to focus on.

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:56 PM
Maybe you should read the whole thread and look words up when you don't know them so that you can catch references to prior posts and follow along without everyone else having to explain things three times and rewrite the dictionary on your request.

Well, darlin', me and Webster-- you do know Webster, right?-- we have no idea what inopposite means. But that is, actually, because it isn't a word.

I would deeply appreciate it if you'd explain things once, but please use English, and logic. Please.

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 01:56 PM
Consider this thread your good trainer telling you that you would most likely be a better rider if you were more fit and/or weighed less

If that offends you/anyone there are bigger issues to address

This.

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:00 PM
Well, darlin', me and Webster-- you do know Webster, right?-- we have no idea what inopposite means. But that is, actually, because it isn't a word.

I would deeply appreciate it if you'd explain things once, but please use English, and logic. Please.

Nice try.

Maybe you should read the fact that I said "inapposite."

You even spelled it correctly when you typed in "and what the hell does 'inapposite' mean?", so belatedly pretending like actually I said inopposite is sort of silly.

And yes, inapposite is a word.
It means "not apposite".

How many more posts of this thread would you like to devote to your complete inability to read?

ASB Stars
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:05 PM
You're right! It IS a word.

I like this definition best, all things considered:

–adjective
not apposite; not pertinent.

and I still do not understand your analogies, at all. But, maybe in time I will!

It IS five o'clock, somewhere!

meupatdoes
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:08 PM
You're right! It IS a word.


...congrats?

Velvet
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:10 PM
:rolleyes: Why is it that when certain users/alters show up all conversations devolve into name calling and crying over someone being "mean" out here? :rolleyes:

Not going to point fingers. I have most of them on my ignore list these days. :yes: I just see references to them in other posts.

For those of you dealing with "them"--you have my sympathies. Eventually you're reach the conclusion I have, which is that when you listen to these dogs barking you'll go deaf without learning anything!

Just back away from the keyboard when you see their alters show up. And if they're on your ignore list, always log in first when coming to the boards and never give into the temptation to view their posts. :yes:

Some posters are just trolls and need to be kept in the dark. ;) (Why feed their need for attention?)

As to the OP, it's an interesting topic to raise, and there have been many thoughtful replies (at least in the first couple of pages :D ).

I think that the addiitives in our food and the lack of exercise in general is causing problems in our society. Calling it an epidemic, though, is making it into something I don't think it is. It's not contagious. It's choices. As for the horse world and dressage, go back to my post on when heavy is too heavy. Many people had some great thoughts on how much a horse can comfortably carry, etc., and it was really interesting.

Ldbgcoleman
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:12 PM
I'll wade in. Its my experience that while there are some overweight people who are just plain lazy thats not always the case. The issue is extremely complicated. Having a weight issue can encompass everything from sexual abuse, past personal issues, health issues, the list goes on. Some have failed at losing so many times or have families unwilling to help them. It is an extremely difficult thing to do. Genetics definatly play a part and those that can basically eat what they want and stay thin have no idea what its like for someone overwhelmed by losing weight. I applaud anyone who gets out there and goes for it. There are so many people of all sizes who dont have the guts to put themselves out there and walk into that arena.

If you want to help someone who is overweight beating them up is not going to motivate them. Invite them to walk with you really listen to them share a healthy dinner. Dont preach or condescend. You have no idea how or why that person got to where they are.

Monica67
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:27 PM
My suggestion is that COTH set up a forum dedicated to this subject so that the thousandth thread on this ridiculous topic is not on a horse related part of the forum. If I make this activity look bad because I'm not fit enough, or I'm not young enough, or I'm not pretty enough, or I'm not sufficiently well-dressed, or some other frivolous reason, then it certainly isn't the activity for me. Perhaps I should just avoid any and all of the competitions. To me, it's about horses and my own riding and not about whether someone else is overweight, or unfit, or ugly, or whatever.

Better still, I'd ban these threads if I were a moderator. They are not horse related.

You are so correct!!

sophie
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:34 PM
Ise@ssl, you must have me confused with someone else? All I said was that my German friend commented on the fact that her "kiddie" size ice cream would be considered a "regular" size in Europe...and my friends and I agree with her.


Sophie - I have to laugh at your comments. I've spent enough time in Germany to say that I'd weigh alot more if I lived there and ate the diet typical for Germans. It made me sick just to look at French Fries with Mayonaise piled on top of them.

Your quote below is what I was getting at in my post, so I guess we actually agree...? lol


The problem in the U.S. is that people just don't do enough physical work and walking.

As far as food - I was raised by a mother who made everything from scratch so processed foods are not something I buy. And I rarely if ever drink Soda which is a huge contributor to weight gain.

I don't like the term "Obesity epidemic", as someone mentioned. In the vast majority of cases, obesity (in any country!) is not a disease that you can't escape. You CAN lose weight. It's hard, it may be very hard, it may require you to turn your back to the lifestyle you've been used to, but it's possible.
Name calling and other disparaging comments definitely do NOT help.

Velvet
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:35 PM
Just an FYI. If you haven't noticed before, Mike (the OP) tends to start subjects and then walk away. I'm not sure about the reason. Maybe it's watch a train wreck. Maybe it's a study in personalities out here and to see who says or does what.

Just thought you all should know...if you haven't noticed before.

Monica67
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:38 PM
Hey at least this time it wasn't another one of his videos. Oh wait, those are saved for Off Course.

Velvet
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:42 PM
Hey at least this time it wasn't another one of his videos. Oh wait, those are saved for Off Course.

:lol: No kidding! I've bitten on those a couple of times. :eek: I must have been bored. ;)

Fourbeats
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:47 PM
If you want to help someone who is overweight beating them up is not going to motivate them. Invite them to walk with you really listen to them share a healthy dinner. Dont preach or condescend. You have no idea how or why that person got to where they are.

Wonderful suggestion! May I add: encourage them to ride more, maybe even offer to ride with them. Anything that gets them exercising more and allows them to become a better rider. It's hard enough to buck the system and get out there when you're a larger rider, other riders should support and encourage their efforts to improve their health, not point fingers and make them feel worse about themselves than they already do.

MelanieC
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:51 PM
I find this kind of funny because I grew up doing h/j and I have never worked so hard in the saddle as when riding dressage. I think I burn more calories in my dressage lessons than I ever did in any h/j lesson. Sitting the trot is quite the ab workout!

That's a good point. I too grew up doing h/j and then switched to dressage after college (because I never enjoyed h/j and loved dressage, not for fitness reasons or fear). When I was taking lessons on big-moving upper-level horses I would be dripping with sweat after every ride. People who don't ride dressage often have no idea how difficult it really is.

That said, I also have nightmares about endless lessons involving posting without stirrups from my h/j days with cards tucked under my knees to see just how tight and immobile my legs could be that would leave me unable to walk normally afterward.

I do think the lower levels of dressage are (or at least can be) easier than the lower levels of other disciplines that involve more speed and jumping. There's also the perception that dressage is safer, which attracts those of us who are older or may perceive that we are not as athletic as we once were. And personally, now that I am starting over again with a green (to dressage) ammy-friendly Arab of my own, and just beginning to introduce basic dressage concepts to him, my rides are not nearly as strenuous as they were when I was spending long lessons in the saddle sitting the trot on a 17.2 hand Hanoverian learning upper-level movements. "Dressage" encompasses many different levels of exertion, and I do think it is possible to get away with "doing dressage" without working very hard. Not good dressage, or upper-level dressage, but dinking around at it, sure.

Of course, I do remember that the majority of my h/j jump lessons involved standing around waiting for my turn, so...

MelanieC
Jun. 2, 2011, 02:52 PM
For many people who are insulin resistant this is absolutely true

However, insulin resistance often does not occur until one is already considerably overweight.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 2, 2011, 03:21 PM
However, insulin resistance often does not occur until one is already considerably overweight.

Eh, it is rather a chicken and egg situation, where there is debate as to which comes first. But who cares when it occurs, if it is a detail that people need to know when figuring out their body?

In fact, what point is there in this post at all? If IR makes it hard for a person to lose weight, are you just blaming the fat people for getting fat in the first place that this information needs to be out there?

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 03:50 PM
Type II diabetes is nearly always caused by poor eating habits earlier in life. Yes, even the skinny minnies who ate ice cream and cake and flaunted to their friends how they just never gain weight.

I know more than a handful of adult onset type II diabetics who ended up on meds to control symptoms. Several of those folks chose to fix themselves - much better eating habits AND good exercise. All those folks are now off meds and in control of their own health and their symptoms are *gone*

It's been proven there is a link in horses too between obesity and IR, and between high sugar diets and subsequent IR. Its also been shown that the right diet and (more) exercise can even eliminate the symptoms in most cases. And guess what - it involves getting those simple, non-structural carbs as much out of the diet ;)

I cant speak for everyone posting but I do think most people have responded like me - not talking about those who have real medical conditions and are still fat. I speak only about people who simply do not care enough to make the necessary changes.

MelanieC
Jun. 2, 2011, 04:29 PM
Eh, it is rather a chicken and egg situation, where there is debate as to which comes first. But who cares when it occurs, if it is a detail that people need to know when figuring out their body?

Well, causation matters when it comes to identifying the best way to solve the problem. As far as the chicken and the egg question, the facts are these: the current trend towards increased overweight/obesity in the United States is a secular trend that has changed too rapidly in very recent years to be explained by some global underlying biological background. Environmental explanations are far more parsimonious. In addition, if inherent biological factors were the better explanation I would expect everyone on the planet to be as overweight/obese as we are, and they aren't (not yet, anyway). Instead, what you see are individuals who come from populations that are typically rather thin (say East Asia, where my ancestors come from) who become, along with their offspring, overweight/obese after emigrating to the US. Again, the most parsimonious explanations would cite environmental factors and individual behavior to explain these trends, not some sort of sudden epidemic in genetically-determined (i.e., not weight/fat-triggered) insulin resistance.

I suppose it is not impossible that there is some sort of insulin-resistance causing virus running rampant through the population that no one has yet detected, and that is either only found in the United States or originated here and is spreading to other industrialized nations (presumably carried in Big Mac containers, I guess), and that this explains the obesity epidemic, but I don't think that this is a very likely explanation.


In fact, what point is there in this post at all? If IR makes it hard for a person to lose weight, are you just blaming the fat people for getting fat in the first place that this information needs to be out there?

It's not a matter of placing blame. I have family members who are obese and I don't love them any less for it. I also know how hard it is for them to lose weight. That said, the point is that the reasons they are obese are not mysterious and the solution is rather straightforward, even if it is not simple or easy. Insulin resistance isn't some lightning bolt that strikes without warning that you (and I mean the universal "you," not you personally) can't do anything about. The causes of insulin resistance are usually not mysterious, and luckily it is a condition that is often ameliorated by losing weight/fat. Isn't that a good thing?

I am not overweight, but if I were I would certainly rather believe that being overweight was something I could DO something about (if I chose to) rather than a condition that was thrust upon me that I was helpless to change. I am not saying that there are not serious medical conditions that can lead to overweight/obesity, but that given recent trends, it is likely that such conditions explain a very small % of the current overweight/obese population in this country and around the world.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 04:41 PM
One study showe that Asian migrants grew fatter and more unhealthy the longer they lived in New Zealand.

They are also gaining weight in their home countries where fast food restaurants are popping up

It's not a medical problem, it's an eating problem.

quietann
Jun. 2, 2011, 04:46 PM
FWIW, we had a serial killer locally who snatched 2 girls as they got off the school bus. It is also possible that the parents waiting at the end of the drive were taking the kids somewhere, not to watch video games but maybe soccer practice.

Agree on the problem of driving kids home from the bus... but in MA, a child under 12 *cannot* legally be dropped off unless there is a parent or authorized guardian waiting for him/her at the bus stop. I found this pretty amazing given that I was walking the mile to school by myself at age 6 or 7.

rodawn
Jun. 2, 2011, 05:05 PM
Type II diabetes is nearly always caused by poor eating habits earlier in life. Yes, even the skinny minnies who ate ice cream and cake and flaunted to their friends how they just never gain weight.

This is simply NOT true. I work in health care so I deal with this all the time. yes it is sometimes caused by poor dietary habits, but quite often it is NOT.

And more personally, my own dad has Type 2 diabetes and he was never a poor eater a day of his life. He has never had a sweet tooth, never even consumed alcohol, and has always had a strong dislike for heavy fats and fatty foods. On top of that, has always been an extremely phsyically fit and active lifestyle - regularly hunting, camping, hiking, not to mention farm work.

Quite often elderly people develop diabetes due to the pancreas just beginning to fail. He now watches his diet even more carefully and maintains a very trim 165-170 pound range (he's 6 feet tall) and he still requires medication. And at 84 years of age is still very physically active.


I know more than a handful of adult onset type II diabetics who ended up on meds to control symptoms. Several of those folks chose to fix themselves - much better eating habits AND good exercise. All those folks are now off meds and in control of their own health and their symptoms are *gone*

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Depends what else is going on with it.

All the way around, a very healthy eating lifestyle and activity lifestyle cuts down the risks of developing the severe secondary complications that diabetes ushers in, so a healthy lifestyle is a good choice no matter what.

For the other person who mentioned Insulin Resistance problems, the number one beneficial treatment is exercise. With regular exercise it causes the body to start becoming more insulin sensitive and eventually, you can completely overcome IR strictly through exercise, as long as you don't let the IR go on for a long period of time. Even still, you can reduce the effects of IR through a regular exercise program.

For women over 40 who are developing a tummy around the middle that maybe they've never had before, it is a storage depot for estrogen hormones. Once you hit 40, your ovaries start reducing not only their estrogen output, but also their TESTOSTERONE output. Especially the drop in estrogen causes your INSULIN levels to go up and your THYROID levels to go down. Both of those events cause you want to eat more, but yet you burn fewer overall calories because your metabolism is slower.

2 women are sitting in a chair, both weigh about the same. Both do similar fitness activities. The 20 year old is burning about 200 calories a day more doing the same activities than the 40 year old. It is just known medical fact.

Exercise helps cause the fat stores to release estrogen. As well, there are certain foods you can eat that help level out the fluctuating estrogen and fight against the hunger/insulin/metabolism issues - and specifically it is foods that contain a lot of soluble fiber - berries, no-sugar granola, whole brown rice (1/4 cup). Oolong tea is proven to have fat-blocking enzymes it, so that is helpful to drink 2-3 cups a day. Green tea, 6-7 cups (decaff or caff work similar) contains high antioxidants and is a booster of health and metabolism overall as well as cancer fighting properties.

The best tool an older woman has to increase overall general calorie burning is resistant-weights training.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 05:34 PM
According to several articles I have read, the CDC say 95% of type II is brought on by obesity and/or lack of exercise.

I also did not say all issues could be fixed with proper diet and exercise, so it is not "yes and no" for the specific examples I gave. I'm saying in can and does happen, not that it *will*

It's also a fact that type II is showing up more and more in children, who are, shockingly ;) less active and more overweight to the tune of 34% as of 2008.

n2dressage
Jun. 2, 2011, 05:38 PM
Germany doesn't have many obese people period and I've yet to see a heavy dressage rider at all.


Read Gary Taubes book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It"... It's a pretty easy to read lay out of why Americans are fat. :yes:

Fallbrook
Jun. 2, 2011, 05:57 PM
M, it's not the effect on me that concerns me about these threads. It is true that I don't have to read them - but then I don't have to read any other not-horse-related threads either. Hiding behind a facade that it is horse related because one would be a better rider if one were fit doesn't make it horse related.

These threads discourage overweight people from feeling comfortable participating in horse activities. There is such a stated prejudice out there against people who are deemed overweight, that people are dissuaded from participating. These are, for the most part, mean girl threads intended to criticize anyone who doesn't look "right" - and that's what they are.

OP didn't ask "How can I ride better at my weight?" or "What saddle pad should I use to help distribute my weight more efficiently?" He said that he was bothered by rude comments, generalizations, made to him about the weight of other people.

And then it followed the line of Americans being obese or fat or whatever. NOT horse related, AND very destructive to people who are self-conscious about their weight.

I agree with you. shame, humiliation, and guilt are generally extremely poor motivational tools. It seems as though our horses are more much more accepting of our imperfections than our fellow riders.

I thought the original comments were ridiculous generalizations based in prejudice. Based on many of the comments since the original post, it seems that attitude is pervasive. Those of us who are overweight should probably not be riding at all until we get our fat*sses in shape, and definitely not show our faces at a show or clinic.

Just FYI.... after riding for nearly 40 years I did QUIT riding because I could not maintain fitness with my lifestyle. I had 4 extremely nice horses in the barn and ended up having to find someone else to ride and show them because I was so upset and ashamed of myself. I wasn't terribly overweight when I stopped riding, but guess what happened when I quit?

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 06:21 PM
Good grief, NOBODY has said ANYONE should stop riding until they are at a "perfect" weight

In fact, several people have said to ride MORE to get more exercise

Stop reading into these threads and posts that everyone is out to pick on and humiliate you.

Arizona DQ
Jun. 2, 2011, 06:38 PM
I have a 20 minute walk to the supermarket. You'd be surprised how much weight can be lost from lugging a backpack and 2 bags of groceries for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week.

When I lived in Germany, I would walk to the market every Saturday morning. It was a good hour walk... problem in the winter was that my lettuce was frozen by the time I got home. :D

RunningwaterWBs
Jun. 2, 2011, 06:44 PM
Four months ago I gave birth to twins. In August, I'll be 43. Oh, and I'm hypothyroid. I look a lot like the woman who posted a picture of herself. You can see a picture of me here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1409980338469.2060836.1501311931&l=18024d2365


FWIW, I read this, by Jane Savoie, not long ago, and it gave me great inspiration:
http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/index.php/2011/04/26/motivation-from-moshi-59-by-jane-savoie/

I know full well that George Morris would not approve, but right now I'm backing my three year old. I don't think anyone should wait until they're in perfect shape to ride. Life's too short. And besides, my mare's MPT next year gives me great motivation to lose weight.

How am I going to do it? Riding, walking, and and eating to beat my thyroid (see books by Dr Mark Hyman).

KBC
Jun. 2, 2011, 06:57 PM
Fat lady doing dressage here, and yes I could do it better when I was thinner, yes I've gotton fat again, and it's my own fault.

My horse however is still carrying me with total ease, not one sign to show that he is struggling.

I am working on it because I know that I will be a far more affective (effective) :confused: rider when I am back down to a proper weight.

I gave up smoking 3 years ago, a pack a day 35 year habit, and it was hard, I gave up drinking for 2 years and it was hard. Both were a breeze compared to trying to get a 'normal' relationship with food.

When it comes down to it, if you are a competitor and you are fat/obese as I am, you are probably not serious enough, real winners look for every edge, and being fit certainly gives you the edge. However as the bottom line, to me it is the horse that has the final say in the matter, if you are big ride a horse who is able to carry you, simple.

rodawn
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:06 PM
Fat lady doing dressage here, and yes I could do it better when I was thinner, yes I've gotton fat again, and it's my own fault.

My horse however is still carrying me with total ease, not one sign to show that he is struggling.

I am working on it because I know that I will be a far more affective (effective) :confused: rider when I am back down to a proper weight.

I gave up smoking 3 years ago, a pack a day 35 year habit, and it was hard, I gave up drinking for 2 years and it was hard. Both were a breeze compared to trying to get a 'normal' relationship with food.

When it comes down to it, if you are a competitor and you are fat/obese as I am, you are probably not serious enough, real winners look for every edge, and being fit certainly gives you the edge. However as the bottom line, to me it is the horse that has the final say in the matter, if you are big ride a horse who is able to carry you, simple.

To quote you: Dear "Fat Lady Doing Dressage":

I commend you.

Because you gave up a most dangerous health habit: Smoking.

You gave up something with very high sugar calories: Alcohol.

Kudos. :cool:

Keep riding. And make sure you have fun doing it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I stepped on the scale again this morning. I'm down 7 pounds from mid May. Very, very pleased. Deep breath. Being a Loser feels good! Let the losing continue. Fiber has been my best friend.

vineyridge
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:20 PM
Folks--
Forget being cruel to your horses by being overweight. Unless you weigh 300 lbs, you are not overburdening your horse.

The United States Cavalry believed the ideal size for a cavalry horse who would be ridden all day "far and fast" was 15h 3". The average weight of man and equipment that would be carried was 180 pounds. The horse was believed to be able to handle 1/6 to 1/5 of his body weight without strain. This comes from the Cavalry Manual and from their publications.

Big horses can carry people weighing well over 200 lbs. 1200 pound horses can handle 200 to 225 lbs ALL DAY.

Get over this obsession with horses being abused by carrying people. Men are people too, and they almost always are bigger than women. So should men not now ride? Should they never have ridden?

Just ride your horses and be happy.

netg
Jun. 2, 2011, 08:58 PM
These threads discourage overweight people from feeling comfortable participating in horse activities. There is such a stated prejudice out there against people who are deemed overweight, that people are dissuaded from participating. These are, for the most part, mean girl threads intended to criticize anyone who doesn't look "right" - and that's what they are.

I just finished reading the thread, and the pictures of self-professed overweight women made me feel better.

I've been sick for about a month in the 15-20 hours/day sleep kind of fatigued. It's been very frustrating, as I definitely haven't been able to ride, and I've put back on all the weight I lost in the last year. I'm sure when I get back in the saddle I'll feel even weaker than I started out, too, since I won't be fully recovered from what may or may not end up being a long-term chronic illness.

I absolutely want to get down to my ideal weight (which BMI would still classify as overweight, but given how much muscle I put on as I get fit will still be ideal), and I want to get fit.

But seeing those pictures others were brave enough to put up, I feel ok looking back at the pictures from my 3rd ride on my horse, and realizing fitness- and weight-wise I'm back to where I was there. Yes HE is more fit and therefore I may be more of a mess because his movement is much improved and increased in size... but we'll be ok, and I don't need to keep worrying about it like I have been as I start thinking I am almost ready to get back in the saddle.

So I'm glad for this thread, and thank you to those who posted photos.

(For reference, my out of shape size 30 fat-butt self in that third ride on my horse during our trial period: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4449659470_a934182b41.jpg )

Fallbrook
Jun. 2, 2011, 09:58 PM
Good grief, NOBODY has said ANYONE should stop riding until they are at a "perfect" weight

In fact, several people have said to ride MORE to get more exercise

Stop reading into these threads and posts that everyone is out to pick on and humiliate you.

Yes ma'am.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

The original thread said this: "the number of unfit and overweight American riders he saw". It didn't say anything about poor riding ability or poor performances. When the conversation becomes about how we look and not about how well we ride it bothers me.

I chose to stop riding for a while because I let this type of conversation convince me that despite many, many years of riding fairly well, I was in some way harming my horses. It was stupid and I regret allowing myself to think that way. I hope that others don't repeat my mistake.

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:08 PM
Except the thread was never only about the aesthetics of a person. It was nearly always in relation to how that translates into how well one may be riding.

Do you deny that you ride as well if you are 50lb overweight?
Do you deny that you ride as well if riding is your ONLY exercise (and you are only riding 1 horse a day, maybe only 4 days a week)?

Despite how the thread may have started, the majority of it was about weight in relation to fitness in relation to being a more or less efficient rider, regardless of your level of riding ability.

paulaedwina
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:39 PM
RE: I chose to stop riding for a while because I let this type of conversation convince me that despite many, many years of riding fairly well, I was in some way harming my horses. It was stupid and I regret allowing myself to think that way. I hope that others don't repeat my mistake.

And this is why these discussions are so terribly destructive. We should be discussing fitness and strength, but inevitably the discussion turns to aesthetics. The truth is that weak does not ride well. Weak comes in many forms. So let's see if we can have the important conversation -the one about being strong.

Paula

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:49 PM
Where has the aesthetics been in this thread?

Aside from "please don't wear a coat 2 sizes too small just to make yourself feel better that you're wearing a smaller number".

Most of this thread has been about how to improve strength and fitness, by doing things it takes to lose weight, which includes exercising. If you have a hard time losing weight because of genetics or some other issue, nobody has railed on those people for that. If you ARE working to become stronger, that is more than half the battle.

fargaloo
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:02 PM
To those of you at peace with your weight (whatever it may be) -- good for you! If you are not hurting your horse (chances are, you are not), and you are happy with staying at your current level of riding, who's to say you need to change? Enjoy your horse, enjoy your life and don't worry about the naysayers.

To those of you trying to get fitter and lighter to improve your riding -- good for you, too! I wish you all the best in reaching your goals.

The only "problem" I see is when people who genuinely want to improve as riders discount the importance of fitness and weight in achieving those goals. I'll address 3 common questions I see on these boards as evidence of this disconnect.

"Help - this saddle puts me in a chair seat!!" Someone will post a video or picture of themselves because they are unhappy with their leg position, and many well-meaning posters offer advice about makes of saddles, riser pads, adjusting stirrup length, different seat sizes, flap lengths etc. etc. Now, it may well be that any or all of those things could help; perhaps it truly is an ill-fitting saddle. However, I often see a rider who is not exhibiting a lot of core strength, making it well nigh impossible to stay balanced over their leg. Better fitness may cure the problem without investing in a lot of new tack.

"Help - I have no confidence over fences!" (I know this is the dressage forum, but please bear with me ;)). The suggestions for this problem cover the gamut -- books, sports psychologists, therapy, having the coach raise the fences when you are not looking, anti-anxiety medication, BEER.... If a picture or video is posted it is usually a very tense and unhappy rider being jarred loose in the tack due to a weak base of support. No wonder jumping is scary for the poor rider! Walking down stairs isn't scary -- but it is on stilts. Better strength = better seat = more confidence.

"Help - my horse is so spooky, he terrifies me!" Now, this is a tricky one because you need horse knowledge, experience AND fitness to stay on and, more importantly, school a difficult, flighty horse. In some cases, the person with the problem may well be over-horsed and the fitness of Lance Armstrong won't get them out of this bad situation. But I know from my own experience that I stick on a hell of a lot better and thus ride with a lot more confidence if I am at my ideal weight and am strong and fit. The confidence is so important because it allows you not to just survive the crisis, but to be effective and actually ride through it. I have been hitting the gym pretty religiously and yesterday took my mare for the first xc schooling of the year. She jumped a little bitty ditch like it was 18' wide and had monsters in the bottom. I had the strength and balance to stick on, so all that happened was I laughed, turned her around and trotted it over and over again until it shrank to normal proportions. It was a funny moment followed by a good lesson, rather than a moment of sheer terror followed by a trip to the ER.

I could go on, but I think you get my point... :)

JB
Jun. 2, 2011, 11:13 PM
Bravo fargaloo, that is exactly it.

Wayside
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:22 AM
I gave up smoking 3 years ago, a pack a day 35 year habit, and it was hard, I gave up drinking for 2 years and it was hard. Both were a breeze compared to trying to get a 'normal' relationship with food.

Good for you, and I agree completely!

It was way easier for me to quit smoking than it is to get my weight under control. There is an anecdotal saying among Overeaters Anonymous members that "when you are addicted to drugs you put the tiger in the cage to recover; when you are addicted to food you put the tiger in the cage, but take it out three times a day for a walk."

And there's definitely a genetic/health component, as much as some people hate to admit it. That doesn't mean that I *can't* lose weight, but for whatever reason, it does make things more difficult for me than for some people. Currently I measure and record every bit of food I eat, and I'm eating what both my dietician and the food tracking program agree is what should be my basal metabolic rate, and I'm not losing weight.

I walk my son to school in the morning, I walk him home in the afternoon, so that's two miles a day 5 days a week on a regular basis, at least. That plus the horses and the yard and garden isn't a huge amount, but it's not so little that I should be maintaining my fatness on the number of calories I'm taking in. :P

vineyridge
Jun. 3, 2011, 03:07 AM
And another big HOLD IT. Just because one is born with a chunky or squat or round or square body style does not mean that one is not at one's ideal weight. If you can maintain your weight for twenty five or thirty years within five or ten pounds and if you exercise enough to keep fit, you do not need to be losing weight. Because what you will lose is not fat but muscle. Anyone who walks several miles a day is not overeating and doesn't need to lose weight.

If our society can't or won't distinguish between people who have different body styles and people who are obese/unhealthily overweight, our society is verging on insanity. The ideals of beauty change and have changed over time. And they are also different for different groups of people within our society and around the world. If you are strong and large and healthy, YOU DON"T NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. People may think you are less attractive than a boyish and very lean type, but that's aesthetics and not what's really important. THIS is why we have anorexics and bulemics.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 3, 2011, 09:49 AM
That Jane Savoie link was fabulous. (http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/index.php/2011/04/26/motivation-from-moshi-59-by-jane-savoie/) I think that if anybody is feeling down after reading this thread, they should bookmark it to read every morning :)

RunningwaterWBs
Jun. 3, 2011, 11:14 AM
That Jane Savoie link was fabulous. (http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/index.php/2011/04/26/motivation-from-moshi-59-by-jane-savoie/) I think that if anybody is feeling down after reading this thread, they should bookmark it to read every morning :)

I'm glad you liked it! I thought it was so refreshing to hear.

paulaedwina
Jun. 3, 2011, 11:20 AM
Like I said; it's not about aesthetics it's about strength. Skinny doesn't guarantee strong and fat does not guarantee weak. Good riders are strong riders. We must aim for fitness.

Paula

dressawest
Jun. 3, 2011, 11:27 AM
I have not really read through all the posts so someone could have wrote it before me:

To me the figure of rider is not important as long as they have the gift to feel the horse and are effective ... and that is very rare to find even in the "prettier" riders,no matter what level.

Running and ducking away now...

magnolia73
Jun. 3, 2011, 11:30 AM
However, if you would like to ride an athlete, be one. Really, really simple

I'm sorry this made me giggle in a dirty way because some of those athletes don't mind a lil' junk in the trunk. Carry on.

AppendixQHLover
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:34 PM
Ok as a former overweight dressage/hunter jumper rider I can tell you from first hand experience how much my riding has changed since dropping 75 lbs.

I did a Bent Jensen clinic last month and spent most of the time doing the sitting trot on a big moving horse. Last year I wouldn't have made it through the clinic.

I was riding a spunky QH that had a attitude problem. Since I had better balance he was not able to dump me.

I am in the home stretch of getting down to a weight of 135 lbs...right now 148. I have gotten so much grief from friends and family about getting down to 135. 135 is right smack in the middle of a normal weight chart for me. I am working with my dr and he is FINE with 135 because if I get there and feel that I am to weak/hungry all the time/ or hard to maintain. I can gain 5 lbs.

I run 4 miles a day now either outside or on treadmill when heat index is bad. Once I am off the VLCD and eating just a bit more I will start with the serious biking again. Most likely once I muscle out the weight of 135 will not stay.

My asthma is 100x times better.

I can ride 3 horses a day.

My young horse is VERY atheletic and I HAVE to get fit to ride him.

Also I wished that I had done this along time ago so that my wonderful QH that I had could have known me at this weight instead of my higher weight.

ASB Stars
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:42 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. I cannot possible explain how much respect I have for people who take responsibility, and then, reap the rewards, rather than just say "Hey, this is who I am-- screw you!"

I wish you all the best!

rodawn
Jun. 3, 2011, 01:05 PM
When friends and family give you grief over a healthy weight loss goal you have personally set because you want to feel better and be healthier, then it means they are jealous of your efforts. They liked you being overweight because it made THEM feel better. Now you are taking control of your life, your fitness and your health, and it makes them aware of their shortcomings. This is not the same as family becoming genuinely concerned about an individual who is becoming much too thin (anorexic). Being too thin is just as dangerous to heart and organ health as being obese is.

When they tell you that you'll be short of energy at 135, they're lying. Plain and simple. Here's what a cardiologist said to one of his patients: Excess fat and flab is a burden, not a source of energy.

You are moving down a greater path. It's your own heart and lungs you need to be concerned about.

We as individuals have to guard our own health. Quite often, we must become our own best cheering squad. We need to stand in front of that mirror after we've lost 1 pound and determine to continue to lose another pound, and another pound, and another pound, all the way to our goal. Oo-rah.

Love your bodies, love yourselves. Set your goals and don't let others ruin it for you. Set your self-talk as positive (have you heard how negative your self-talk is - that voice in your head when you speak to yourself??). Work with a supportive nurse, doctor or dietician. It's difficult, but even 5 pounds lost is better.

Fourbeats
Jun. 3, 2011, 01:53 PM
I support anyone who is happy in their own skin, whether that skin comes in a small, medium, large, or extra large size. I praise anyone who is working hard to improve their health, no matter if the result will still be 20 or 30 pounds heavier than what others consider "normal". If that is who they are then I say more power to them!

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 3, 2011, 02:28 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. I cannot possible explain how much respect I have for people who take responsibility, and then, reap the rewards, rather than just say "Hey, this is who I am-- screw you!"

I wish you all the best!

In case you are directing that comment to me, I say that it is possible to say "Hey, this is who I am, screw you!," AND be taking responsibility. I hate the mindset that you have to hate yourself in order to be trying to improve yourself.

I hate the mindset that it isn't ok to be a certain way because you could always be better. If you are fit, you could be fitter, no matter what you weight, you could weight less (or more), if you think you ride well, you must not know what riding well is.

Sometimes, thinking well of yourself helps motivate you to improve yourself. As many have said here, we are all different, and there are definitely those that don't seek constant improvement.

Rhiannonjk
Jun. 3, 2011, 02:35 PM
When they tell you that you'll be short of energy at 135, they're lying. Plain and simple. Here's what a cardiologist said to one of his patients: Excess fat and flab is a burden, not a source of energy.


Extra muscle weight is different than flap and flab. Some people perform better in an endurance sport when they have extra weight for their body to pull fuel. There is a lot of nutrition involved in preparing your body to use that fuel, though.

(I'm an Ironman groupie.)

partlycloudy
Jun. 3, 2011, 02:50 PM
One way to get more exercise and train your dressage horse all at the same time is to learn how to longrein/work in hand. I was huffing and puffing to keep up with my dutch horse this morning, let me tell you!
Kill two birds with one stone.

Wayside
Jun. 3, 2011, 04:32 PM
I hate the mindset that you have to hate yourself in order to be trying to improve yourself.

Yes!

I agree, whether we're talking about weight, riding, or anything really, you shouldn't have to hate yourself in order to progress. Self-loathing does not need to be an integral part of change.

magnolia73
Jun. 3, 2011, 04:41 PM
Extra muscle weight is different than flap and flab. Some people perform better in an endurance sport when they have extra weight for their body to pull fuel. There is a lot of nutrition involved in preparing your body to use that fuel, though.


While yes, there are less than lean bodies at any Ironman, the winners aren't toting extra flab. Even the supplement people who support those races sell all sorts of weightloss pills. That said, probably anyone finishing an Ironman - even a "flabbier" Ironman is probably not going to stick out in a pair of breeches as someone we might perceive as obese.

I think more than anything, riding like golf and a few other sports attracts less fit people from size 2 to size 22. And as it is mainly judged on the horse's performance, your actual fitness is only "judged" in so much as you can ride well and/or buy a really easy horse. Face it, the winners at marathons, ironmans, or even local 5K's are rarely even remotely heavy. There are many heavy but fit out completing them but they are not winning. Riding can be quite different.

millerra
Jun. 3, 2011, 04:53 PM
Personally - I think you have to LOVE yourself enough to change. IMHO, self-loathing is extremely counter-productive to trying to become more fit and I don't think it will work in the long run. It is toxic to you.


And I've been watching those Dr shows about weight loss. WTH... I eat pretty healthy, and I exercise and I ride and I do barn chores. And their advice - go walking for 30 minutes... H--- I DO that just doing my work... And I am still 'just' holding even after doing the "what happened when I turned 40" weight gain! Try and lose 15 lbs???? ha ha ha ha ha.

GAH!!!

BaroquePony
Jun. 3, 2011, 04:58 PM
Well, I actually decided I needed to start running a bit, so I put my Cob in the round pen while I ran outside the round pen ... and he followed me :yes: inside the round pen. He thought it was great fun :lol:.

rodawn
Jun. 3, 2011, 06:12 PM
Extra muscle weight is different than flap and flab. Some people perform better in an endurance sport when they have extra weight for their body to pull fuel. There is a lot of nutrition involved in preparing your body to use that fuel, though.

(I'm an Ironman groupie.)

You're talking apples to oranges. The cardiologist didn't say "excess weight". He said excess flab and fat - which is not muscle. A cardiologist wants his patients to be fit, trim with good muscle tone. Flab and fat are the opposite of fit, trim and toned.

paulaedwina
Jun. 3, 2011, 06:20 PM
Hey ASB, this is who I am. Screw you.

Paula

Wellspotted
Jun. 3, 2011, 06:27 PM
Rodawn, I wish I could come and eat at your house. :)
Seriously.

I have been wanting to travel to Canada anyway ...

The way you describe food and flavoring makes me really hungry in a good way; wish there were places around here that served herbs and spices rather than just saltsaltsalt.

Am trying to learn more about cooking for flavor ...

I like your post.

Good info.

I am one of those people who are "overweight" with most of the excess inches being muscle rather than fat/flab. Still looks the same in clothes as fat/flab, though--and still requires the larger sizes. But I'm just trying to eat properly these days and exercise and stay in shape (even tho my shape is rounder than some people think OK ;)). I can't help their imagery.

Gayla
Jun. 3, 2011, 07:54 PM
As a counselor who has struggled with dieting my entire life, let me share a few thoughts I have on weight and dieting.

Change does not happen when criticism (self or others) or feelings of being judged are abundant.

Changing ones weight can pretty much go under the column of "things we cannot change". Let me qualify. I am not saying that people cannot change their weight for the better, what I believe is that the reward for a significant weight change is so far in the future that the reward is too far away from the behavior to be motivating. Other measures of fitness are better ways to motivate such as body fat, blood pressure improvements, blood sugar improvements, lipid improvements, fitness goals reached etc. This is the way to change. I believe many people believe that if they just hate themselves enough, they will get motivated. The mind does not work that way. That thinking leads straight to "the "fuck its" " as my clients say and a relapse in old behaviors happen.

Food is a wonderful part of being human and part of the human culture. Food is woven into every significant event of lives and marks the happy times we share with friends and family. This is such a powerful part of our "humanness" that I believe trying to push against that urge to share in the traditions of our families and communities that we grew up in, is too much to ask of people. So, diets that ask us to change our eating habits radically are basically like holding your breath, you can do it for awhile but you will eventually take a breath. So, changes in food have to be workable and take into account our powerful and strong relationships with food. What can we live with long term? What changes can we hold up to year after year? I think big changes! But they have to be slow and it has to be okay to indulge in things that we love. Happiness is the goal. Eating whatever you want/not exercising (actually much more powerful predictor of long term health than weight) might make you happy short term, but longterm it will cause you unhappiness from poor health and reduced mobility as you age etc. so it is a balancing of what changes can you live with long term?

Do think that for one minute that diet corporations such as weight watchers and jenny craig don't know that self loathing sends people in their doors and they peddle all those ads with women crying about their weight and then jumping for joy in the arms of a man when they have lost some weight. The messages are everywhere! Most of the research on weight is also done by them. Saying, hey, taking care of your body is a loving thing you do for yourself so you will feel great, the weight will change over time...or it won't but you will feel better when you eat better and exercise...that message ain't keeping the stockholders happy. :lol::lol:

We should be kind to each other, most of us are struggling with one thing or another, fat people just can't hide it.

BaroquePony
Jun. 3, 2011, 08:47 PM
Riding brought me to the table :lol:, so to speak. The more time I spent in the saddle, the more hungry I was when I got off the horse.

There were a few time periods in my life where I either wasn't getting the excercise I needed or I wasn't able to eat properly, and I put on the pounds quickly. Chubby dork :yes:.

But I kept going back to horses. Over time I eventually became fit enough (horses, yoga, horses, hiking, horses, horse chores, horses, biking, horses, running) that the only way to get enough calories, vitamins, roughage, etc., was to take cooking and nutrition seriously. It also was beginning to get expensive :yes:. So learning about food became a priority at certain stages of my life ... and continues to be so, but I have developed good habits now for the most part (over years, not months).

Learning to feed my horse(s) properly actually ended up teaching me to look at my own *input* :no: and began a life long hobby/habit/quest to learn about food, cooking and everything that goes with it.

Cooking can be so much fun that you won't even realize that it can be good for you :yes:.

AppendixQHLover
Jun. 3, 2011, 10:03 PM
Sorry just got back online this evening...

I dealt with my food issues before even starting to lose weight. I admit that I am a emotional eater and it has been a massive struggle not to reach for food every time something happens. I am going through a time in my marriage right now. I am running to keep me from reaching for the food and honestly it is helping. My horse keeps me sane and from ending up on snapped.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 3, 2011, 10:21 PM
I'm loving the turn this thread has taken. :yes:

mishmash
Jun. 4, 2011, 12:37 AM
A couple of thoughts..
1. If the only way you have to feel good about yourself is to look down on someone who weighs more than you, that is pretty pathetic. Unfortunately, whenever this topic comes up, I get the impression that some of the people jumping on the "lose weight to be an athlete/ride" bandwagon have some low self esteem issues themselves... :no:
2. There are many people playing sports who are overweight-does not matter what sport it is. They play basketball, football, run, lift weights, swim, etc. Are they competitive (win), are they 'real athletes' ? Maybe not, but the majority of AA's riding dressage aren't either. I would think it fair to say that the majority of AA's don't show.
3. Why is this even an issue? Get a life, folks...

wasagroom
Jun. 4, 2011, 12:59 AM
Yes!

I agree, whether we're talking about weight, riding, or anything really, you shouldn't have to hate yourself in order to progress. Self-loathing does not need to be an integral part of change.

In fact, for sustainable change, it shouldn't be.

I am proof. Count me in as another fat lady on a horse (and I also *gasp* encourage other fat ladies to get on (appropriately sized and conditioned) horses, too!). I have lost 65lbs, more or less - have about the same to go again. Then I'll weigh about 180, which is still overweight by every standard in the book and over 20lbs higher than what my highest weight for BMI would indicate - but come on, I'm 6' tall and built like a twin bearing linebacker. Srsly. Anyways - my warhorse doesn't seem to mind:

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/224127_10150185211961950_514776949_6860728_627750_ n.jpg

(Don't mind Squirrely McFriskypants there, she was fresh off of like a 3 month layoff and feeling STROOOOOOONG.)

With all of that said, I have lost weight before. I've never kept it off consistently until now. The 65lb weight loss has been kept off for over a year (and some of it without work) because feeling good about myself makes it easier for me to make the right choices for my body. It is way more aerodynamic for my lifestyle for me to love myself and so, because of that, put good food in my body, get myself the exercise I ought to have, etc.

Unfortunately, the weight loss equation logically be less calories taken in + more calories lost = weight loss, but realistically for many, there are emotional roadblocks left, right and center, and while I admire the women who don't allow their emotions to take them down a wrong turn or two, realistically, I am not one of those women, and I have to have my ducks in a row mentally to have my ducks in a row for weight loss. Sometimes that is harder for some than others.

I know I'm fat. I don't need anyone to tell me that. I know that some people think I should not be riding. They can tell me that until they're blue in the face, I guess - but it's their oxygen loss, not mine - big girl and I are happy to meander along and have our fun. If I waited for the stars to align and the situation to be "ideal", I'd be waiting forever.

paulaedwina
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:08 AM
I love your warhorse.

Paula

BaroquePony
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:17 AM
wasagroom, you and your warhorse look very well matched. Great photo. I wouldn't call you *fat*, more toned chunky :yes:. Some very good jumper riders that I rode with when I was younger were *big* girls, they also were beautiful by prestigious boarding school standards :yes:.

Look at some of the famous girls that were big, ... Julia Childs was really tall and very large boned, Amelia Earhart was too, I think, and of course Wonder Woman was no petite flower. And there are others, I just can't spell their name right, so I'll pass on trying and mucking it up :).

netg
Jun. 4, 2011, 01:52 AM
My search for fitness/weight loss is definitely motivated by trying to become the rider my horse deserves, rather than any desire to look a certain way, or really even a motivation to be healthier even.



Cooking can be so much fun that you won't even realize that it can be good for you :yes:.

Yep! I really tend to dislike unhealthy foods because of the food I cook. I just had 4 friends over for dinner and one was vegan. My mom is diabetic. So trying to come up with a vegan and diabetic-friendly meal was pretty fun. I look at food as new challenges to try all the time - so fun!

graustarkian
Jun. 4, 2011, 03:34 AM
Consider this thread your good trainer telling you that you would most likely be a better rider if you were more fit and/or weighed less

If that offends you/anyone there are bigger issues to address


YES!

snoopy
Jun. 4, 2011, 08:21 AM
I am always amazed at riders who carefully weigh hay portions, measure feed portions, plan their horses's fitness routines to the second, etc etc....and yet are often very over weight and unfit themselves. I think it is very unfair for the horse to be expected to perform at it's best when the rider does not hold up their end of the bargin. It looks sloppy and is a burden to the horse. Quit making excuses about illness, back broblems, ankle problems, genetics etc. Perhaps it it
the the lack of good diet and exercise that are causing all those things unfit riders use as their excuse.

There seems to be this thought process that if one is too fat to play any sort of sport or take any exercise that they should take up riding.

Not impressed in the slightest.

snoopy
Jun. 4, 2011, 08:24 AM
A couple of thoughts..
1. If the only way you have to feel good about yourself is to look down on someone who weighs more than you, that is pretty pathetic. Unfortunately, whenever this topic comes up, I get the impression that some of the people jumping on the "lose weight to be an athlete/ride" bandwagon have some low self esteem issues themselves... :no:
2. There are many people playing sports who are overweight-does not matter what sport it is. They play basketball, football, run, lift weights, swim, etc. Are they competitive (win), are they 'real athletes' ? Maybe not, but the majority of AA's riding dressage aren't either. I would think it fair to say that the majority of AA's don't show.
3. Why is this even an issue? Get a life, folks...




Blah Blah Blah.


The standard fallback response of turning it around on those who are fit, exercise, sacrifice etc. Yes we all have self esteem issues.

carolprudm
Jun. 4, 2011, 09:41 AM
Blah Blah Blah.


The standard fallback response of turning it around on those who are fit, exercise, sacrifice etc. Yes we all have self esteem issues.

It must be truely wonderful to be so perfect

Coyoteco
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:07 AM
YES!

Actually, that silly post that you quoted was exactly backward. If that's all the trainer has to offer (or he/she even has time during a lesson to go off on such an idiotic tangent), then he/she has bigger issues or nothing to offer at all. I'd fire that trainer immediately for wasting my time and for being incompetent.

If I want a fitness expert, I will go to a fitness expert, but I won't go to a trainer who is most likely very much an amateur in fitness and weight issues, especially one of the caliber evidenced in these multiple threads. There is a lot of misinformation in this thread, and a "trainer" who goes off into those subjects would almost certainly be incompetent in that area, also.

eta - there were some knowledgeable posts later in the thread, after it changed so I'm only referring to the others, the people who think they know things that they don't - no experience, no education, just assuming that they are stating the obvious, but weight issues are anything but obvious for many.

paulaedwina
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:24 AM
I have a kick ass trainer who kicks my ass. The work I do with her is making me so strong. She has never ever said anything about my losing weight. She has said that I needed to be stronger. When I started riding with her I could trot a couple of rounds and then I needed a break. When I started riding with her walking uphill to the paddock required at least one break.

Six months later I'm a machine. I can work my whole lesson. I can walk that hill. My resting heart rate went from 94 beats per minute to 74 beats per minute. I've got muscles that I didn't have before and it still blows my mind.

Still fat. Skinny doesn't have a darned thing to do with it. I'm not making excuses, I am not looking at skinny riders longingly. In truth there's a rider there (3rd level I think) who is like a little pocket Hercules. She isn't very tall, and she is by no means skinny. She rides like the devil and she is so strong. She's someone I admire. I asked her what she did to be so strong and she uses some intense boot-camp-like workout program whose name escapes me at the moment. I'll have to ask her again.

She and my trainer have more influence on my fitness than any catty, armchair bs analysis of why I'm fat and whether I should ride, etc.

Paula

Bats79
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:37 AM
I had an Aussie event rider acquaintance return from a recognized dressage show ranting about the number of unfit and overweight American riders he saw.

What embarrassment! Why was he ranting about what he saw at a dressage show - as long as it wasn't bouncing around on the horse's back causing it pain - why should he need to rant.

And it's not like we don't have exactly the same "issues" here in Australia.

Interesting that I thought the thread was going to be about horses too. In her master class at Dressage with the Stars this year, Ingrid Klimke recommended that a couple of the FEI horses could do with some galloping. :)

Coyoteco
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:46 AM
Yeah, Paula, I'll take fitness advice from Tony Horton (P90X) not only because of his excellent program, but also because of his very positive and encouraging manner -tough workout, sweet manner. I was recently with a friend who would like to lose weight. She is very strong and very fit and I wonder if she'll lose some of that when she loses, but her goals are her own, and none of my business. She's an excellent rider, btw.

Coyoteco
Jun. 4, 2011, 10:48 AM
What embarrassment! Why was he ranting about what he saw at a dressage show - as long as it wasn't bouncing around on the horse's back causing it pain - why should he need to rant.

And it's not like we don't have exactly the same "issues" here in Australia.

Interesting that I thought the thread was going to be about horses too. In her master class at Dressage with the Stars this year, Ingrid Klimke recommended that a couple of the FEI horses could do with some galloping. :)

Dressage with the stars? Is that televised?

snoopy
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:00 AM
It must be truely wonderful to be so perfect


Your passive/aggresive post is yet another excuse/fall back response.

vineyridge
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:20 AM
Best post yet.

Eating is one of the two activities that humans engage in for survival that use all five senses at the same time for pleasure. Think about it. We are designed and programmed to enjoy eating and sex.

And it's even harder to forego food pleasures. :)

We can enjoy food; we just need to work it off afterwards.




As a counselor who has struggled with dieting my entire life, let me share a few thoughts I have on weight and dieting.

Change does not happen when criticism (self or others) or feelings of being judged are abundant.

Changing ones weight can pretty much go under the column of "things we cannot change". Let me qualify. I am not saying that people cannot change their weight for the better, what I believe is that the reward for a significant weight change is so far in the future that the reward is too far away from the behavior to be motivating. Other measures of fitness are better ways to motivate such as body fat, blood pressure improvements, blood sugar improvements, lipid improvements, fitness goals reached etc. This is the way to change. I believe many people believe that if they just hate themselves enough, they will get motivated. The mind does not work that way. That thinking leads straight to "the "fuck its" " as my clients say and a relapse in old behaviors happen.

Food is a wonderful part of being human and part of the human culture. Food is woven into every significant event of lives and marks the happy times we share with friends and family. This is such a powerful part of our "humanness" that I believe trying to push against that urge to share in the traditions of our families and communities that we grew up in, is too much to ask of people. So, diets that ask us to change our eating habits radically are basically like holding your breath, you can do it for awhile but you will eventually take a breath. So, changes in food have to be workable and take into account our powerful and strong relationships with food. What can we live with long term? What changes can we hold up to year after year? I think big changes! But they have to be slow and it has to be okay to indulge in things that we love. Happiness is the goal. Eating whatever you want/not exercising (actually much more powerful predictor of long term health than weight) might make you happy short term, but longterm it will cause you unhappiness from poor health and reduced mobility as you age etc. so it is a balancing of what changes can you live with long term?

Do think that for one minute that diet corporations such as weight watchers and jenny craig don't know that self loathing sends people in their doors and they peddle all those ads with women crying about their weight and then jumping for joy in the arms of a man when they have lost some weight. The messages are everywhere! Most of the research on weight is also done by them. Saying, hey, taking care of your body is a loving thing you do for yourself so you will feel great, the weight will change over time...or it won't but you will feel better when you eat better and exercise...that message ain't keeping the stockholders happy. :lol::lol:

We should be kind to each other, most of us are struggling with one thing or another, fat people just can't hide it.

BaroquePony
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:23 AM
Posted by snoopy:

Your passive/aggresive post is yet another excuse/fall back response.

Meow ....

paulaedwina
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:24 AM
Oh Snoopy, you're right. All us fat riders pray on our fat knees every night to be just like you.

Paula

sophie
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:24 AM
In her master class at Dressage with the Stars this year, Ingrid Klimke recommended that a couple of the FEI horses could do with some galloping. :)

Too funny! I've had this very same thought while watching some recognized dressage shows around here.

I'd love to see this Dressage with the Stars show!

carolprudm
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:50 AM
Your passive/aggresive post is yet another excuse/fall back response.

LOL, I didn't think there was anything passive about it

Fourbeats
Jun. 4, 2011, 12:42 PM
I have a kick ass trainer who kicks my ass. The work I do with her is making me so strong. She has never ever said anything about my losing weight. She has said that I needed to be stronger. When I started riding with her I could trot a couple of rounds and then I needed a break. When I started riding with her walking uphill to the paddock required at least one break.

Six months later I'm a machine. I can work my whole lesson. I can walk that hill. My resting heart rate went from 94 beats per minute to 74 beats per minute. I've got muscles that I didn't have before and it still blows my mind.

Still fat. Skinny doesn't have a darned thing to do with it. I'm not making excuses, I am not looking at skinny riders longingly. In truth there's a rider there (3rd level I think) who is like a little pocket Hercules. She isn't very tall, and she is by no means skinny. She rides like the devil and she is so strong. She's someone I admire. I asked her what she did to be so strong and she uses some intense boot-camp-like workout program whose name escapes me at the moment. I'll have to ask her again.

She and my trainer have more influence on my fitness than any catty, armchair bs analysis of why I'm fat and whether I should ride, etc.

Paula

This! :yes:

TickleFight
Jun. 4, 2011, 02:19 PM
I'm sorry this made me giggle in a dirty way because some of those athletes don't mind a lil' junk in the trunk. Carry on.

When men say they like some junk in the trunk they mean Jennifer Lopez or Monica Bellucci.

dkcbr
Jun. 4, 2011, 02:39 PM
One way to get more exercise and train your dressage horse all at the same time is to learn how to longrein/work in hand. I was huffing and puffing to keep up with my dutch horse this morning, let me tell you!
Kill two birds with one stone.

I love this idea!! :yes:

KBC
Jun. 4, 2011, 11:19 PM
Best post yet.
We are designed and programmed to enjoy eating and sex.


Both at the same time :lol::lol:

We have all got sort of personal on this, either sharing our own experiences in support of others, or wielding the axe to cut the heads of others, well I suppose it makes the writers of those posts feel superior or something.

To go back to the OP, I think the issues are separate, but hey I'm guessing I've never been to an American dressage show, so maybe everyone is obese, but I think it unlikely.

Stop getting hung up on the weight issue, it is actually counter productive to keep focusing on it, BUT the fitness issue is more important, take your own personal body type and work with it and do the best for you and your horse.

If America as a whole is scoring well in dressage, is competing competitively at International level then it doesn't have a problem.

mishmash
Jun. 5, 2011, 02:03 PM
Once again, think some of the people jumping on the riders need to be fit and thin bandwagon seem a little defensive-more so than us fat folk.
I am 5'2, and have lost 37 pounds since January following, more or less, the Weight Watchers program. I have 18 more to lose, and I can tell you my goal weight will still put me solidly in the overweight range for my height. My goal in losing weight is not to be thin, or fit societys values, but rather to eat healthier and get off my BP medicine. I like to eat, enjoy food, and if I attempted to make my ideal weight according to the charts, I would be on a diet the rest of my life. Not interested.
I am still the same person I was before I lost the weight-my life (including my riding) has not magically changed for the better. Sorry to disappoint those of you who think weight defines a person. I was fairly fit before, the main difference now would be I am more limber without the extra pounds. My riding is not magically better. (By the way, if you want to ride better-spend more time in the saddle and get good instruction-weight loss won't do it).
I am always so sad for those people that post, and talk on TV about how much weight loss has changed their lives. I have always had a full, active life, with friends, family, horses, hobbies, work etc-my weight does not affect that. And if weight loss affected your life that much, well, I think there are a lot more issues going on with you than your weight...

Gestalt
Jun. 5, 2011, 03:04 PM
Oh Snoopy, you're right. All us fat riders pray on our fat knees every night to be just like you.

Paula

hahahahahaha Hey let's all pray together and when we're done we can give each other a 'leg up' :lol:

Mishmash, great post.

Kelanbec
Jun. 5, 2011, 03:30 PM
I believe that your weight/fitness does affect your riding. I've always been heavier than I should. When I was in the Army and running marathons I was always on their wieght loss list, nevermind that I could outrun the boys. I worked out three times and a day and was ripped. Thats when I stopped caring about weight as a number and just focused on size. I gained weight pretty steadily after I got out and got pretty thick. I'm 5'4 and short waisted so my size 10 body looked like an oompah-loompa (sp? ). Recently, I lost about 15lbs. Didn't take much, eating less and getting off my lazy caboose. I have noticed a big difference in my riding, especially on xc. I've also just starting taking dressage lessons which I'm sure also accounts for some of the improvement. My over fences and canter work has improved pretty dramatically in the last few weeks. I can tell my core is strenghtening and I'm able to open up more through the shoulders and really sit down and RIDE my horse as opposed to perching on him and hoping he will carry me through. I've been doing a ton of squats, lunges, etc. and have found that it has helped stabilize me for changes in terrain. Before, I was carrying too much excess through the middle and up top and I feel like it really inhibited my movement and ability to ride. So to me fitness does matter.

ShannonLee
Jun. 5, 2011, 04:03 PM
It's a no brainer that excess weight and insufficient fitness and strength will negatively affect your riding ability, it's a sport, and doing it well needs the rider to be athletic. However, too thin can be as much as a liability - brittle bones, lack of strength and insufficient endurance can be a problem for those who battle at the other end of the weight spectrum.

There are great riders of the shorter and more muscled (or chubby) body types as well as the tall thinner riders. Not all top riders look like Anky or Edward. Anyone seen Isabel Werth off a horse? And she sits and rides beautifully.

As for if we have an obesity epidemic in American dressage? I don't see it in my neck of the woods. Here in the huge shows in South Florida there are all body types to be seen, at all levels of riding, but not many really overweight riders.

I say embrace healthy eating, fitness and good riding and forget the scales.

xcpony
Jun. 5, 2011, 04:15 PM
You said you wanted to hear from people living outside the US and I am an American living in Germany and I work at a large riding farm with at least 80 horses and at least 100 active students. We recently had a big 3 day show here with a bunch of local barns invited to show at it too. Our barn has one little chubby girl and I saw 2 big adult riders that came to the show from other barns. We had something like 700 riders in the show and I guess 2 out of 700 is not bad. We have some other riders who are little chubbyish but I wouldnt consider them obese or even fat, just a little more seat in the saddle.

Compared to the fit and healthy riders here, I really believe American dressage does have a problem with obesity. Well, the US has a bad obesity problem as it is, they eat junk and dont enough sport or fitness activities. German riders typically use riding as a real active sport and/or are so active in other things, swimming, jogging, tennis, bicycling etc. They don't stay cooped up indoors all day and they have a lot less fastfood restraunts. They normally bring a packed lunch with them to the barn which is normally a sandwhich and some cut veggies and fruit and a big bottle of water or apfelschrole (water and apple juice mixed). I dont see coke or sports drinks or bags of chips and cookies. They do eat that stuff but normally only at parties or special events. I am dead serious that they really are so much healthier than Americans in general and deffintley in dressage.

EqTrainer
Jun. 5, 2011, 06:19 PM
I normally do not comment on these threads but the deal about riding not being negatively affected by being overweight? Really? After I had the kids and was carrying extra weight I definately could tell and it wasnt positive. Maybe if you have never been really fit and thin the difference is not discernable, I dont know. But if you have been, at least for me, it was undeniable.

I kept thinking "what IS that behind me?!" in sitting trot... It was my rear end :lol: sort of like a shelf. Hmmmmm. Much easier once it was gone.

And before ya'll jump on me, those are just the facts IME. YMMV.

vineyridge
Jun. 5, 2011, 06:27 PM
Fitness makes a huge difference in balance, which is what riding mostly is. But you can get strong and fit to ride by riding, although barn chores help, as does walking whenever possible. Ride without stirrups. Ride bareback. Get longed without reins or stirrups. That will develop the rider's core strength as much as anything.

One old foxhunter's recipe for fitness was "When you and your horse can do three to five miles at the posting trot, you're fit to hunt."

I'm not saying that one shouldn't do other exercise, but the other exercise isn't essential for riding, if you ride enough to keep fit.

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 07:17 PM
Let us be precise; weight and fitness are 2 different things. Many posters conflate the two incorrectly. You have to be fit to ride well. Fitness comes in many sizes. Weakness compromises your ability to ride well (at least in demanding disciplines). Weakness comes in many sizes.

Weight and fitness are not interchangeable.

And BTW riding in a demanding discipline will help your fitness.

Paula

wasagroom
Jun. 5, 2011, 07:20 PM
Of course extra weight can make a difference in your riding... but it doesn't make you completely incapable of riding. Obviously, if you are overweight and you and your horse are competing and doing well, it doesn't affect it as greatly as someone else might be affected - and stamina and strength (for both horse and rider) quickly develop if you do anything more than just plod along.

Coyoteco
Jun. 5, 2011, 07:26 PM
The question posited by this thread, and countless others like it is not whether one can improve her riding by improving her fitness. The question is how does someone else's weight affect your riding and why are you obsessed with the weight of another person? That's all. If you want to get more fit or lose weight or talk incessantly about your own weight, that's great. If you want to comment on someone else's weight or fitness or suggest that they should change themselves to fit your image or limitations, then you post on a thread like this one yet again.

The best way to improve your riding: focus on your own riding and stop being obsessed with someone else's weight! That's number ONE. Focus, focus, focus on yourself and your horse.

Mike Matson
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:19 PM
You said you wanted to hear from people living outside the US and I am an American living in Germany and I work at a large riding farm with at least 80 horses and at least 100 active students. We recently had a big 3 day show here with a bunch of local barns invited to show at it too. Our barn has one little chubby girl and I saw 2 big adult riders that came to the show from other barns. We had something like 700 riders in the show and I guess 2 out of 700 is not bad. We have some other riders who are little chubbyish but I wouldnt consider them obese or even fat, just a little more seat in the saddle.

Compared to the fit and healthy riders here, I really believe American dressage does have a problem with obesity. Well, the US has a bad obesity problem as it is, they eat junk and dont enough sport or fitness activities. German riders typically use riding as a real active sport and/or are so active in other things, swimming, jogging, tennis, bicycling etc. They don't stay cooped up indoors all day and they have a lot less fastfood restraunts. They normally bring a packed lunch with them to the barn which is normally a sandwhich and some cut veggies and fruit and a big bottle of water or apfelschrole (water and apple juice mixed). I dont see coke or sports drinks or bags of chips and cookies. They do eat that stuff but normally only at parties or special events. I am dead serious that they really are so much healthier than Americans in general and deffintley in dressage.


There you have it. From the outside looking in.

ASB Stars
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:33 PM
Let us be precise; weight and fitness are 2 different things. Many posters conflate the two incorrectly. You have to be fit to ride well. Fitness comes in many sizes. Weakness compromises your ability to ride well (at least in demanding disciplines). Weakness comes in many sizes.

Weight and fitness are not interchangeable.

And BTW riding in a demanding discipline will help your fitness.

Paula

OK, perhaps some incorrect conflating is going on, but the truth is pretty simple; you can only be so fit, if you are so fat. Your level of fitness wll not compare favorably to someone less fat- in a healthy weight- who is equally as fit. Never happen.

I am fairly sick of us trying to pussyfoot around this, and the truth is, I am not sure why we do it.

Many years ago, there was an instructor with a big lesson barn in this area, who used to come up to clinics at my barn. We brought in International talent, several times a year. To her credit, she wanted to learn. She obviously rode alot. She taught alot. She wanted to learn. She weighed in excess of 300#, and stood about 5'4".

Her horse, a 16.1. plus warmblood cross, was working first level, and I rode with her in semi-private lessons, with a new horse I had. I will never, ever forget following her down the long side of the indoor, working on shoulder in. Her horse was no tiny item- but her butt was wider than his. I cannot even imagine the amount of pressure her mere weight put on him- let alone when she tried to position her legs, and ask him to engage. He was one kind critter, but think about the Jolly Green Giant putting his hands around your rib cage, and crushing you. I often think about how that must have felt, to that horse. He was generally inverted, and although she had a bunch of pads under her saddle, it didn't seem to help. How could it?

I am not sure how people can look at something like that, and not realize that there are some things you just don't do to a horse- or any animal.

You can be fit for the condition that you are in, but that simply isn't the level of fitness that one needs to have to actually say they are an athlete. My hat is off to the dressage trainers who not only ride all day, then cross train on their bikes, and treadmills, as well.

You want to ride a horse, because it makes you feel better, and helps your self-esteem, and is a form of exercise- fine. No one is going to stop you. But please, do not attempt to make a case for how you are just as fit as "X", or more healthy than "Y", because, statistically, you aren't.

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:38 PM
Your level of fitness wll not compare favorably to someone less fat- in a healthy weight- who is equally as fit. Never happen.

This is a hedge. You start off saying that someone fat could never be fitter than someone who is not fat, but then you say they are both equally fit? Are you saying if I can run a 4 minute mile with a BMI of 30 and you can run a 4 minute mile with a BMI of 25 you're still fitter? Or if my resting heart rate at a BMI of 30 is 70 and your resting heart rate at a BMI of 25 is 70 you're still fitter? Or perhaps a fatty riding a 70% is still less able than a skinny minny riding a 70%?

What are you saying?


On the other hand if you're saying that your two subjects are equally as fit then your fat is irrelevant right? Then you are actually supporting the view that it's fitness, and that aesthetics is purely, as another poster put it, being a busy body obsessed with someone else's backside.


Paula

Coyoteco
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:38 PM
There you have it. From the outside looking in.

LOL, seriously? A person who lives outside of the US declares that all Americans are slothful and out-of-shape, and perpetuates the stereotype that we sit around drinking cokes and eating chips all day, and you say "There you have it." !! lol

How lame is that! lol If I were one who repeats stereotypes, I can think of a few that would apply to others in this thread, but I learned at a very young age that repeating and promoting negative stereotypes is worse that useless.

If you really are embarrassed by American riders, perhaps you should market your products to people for whom you have respect.

EqTrainer
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:50 PM
So how does it shake out exactly..

If all things are equal other than weight, doesnt the extra weight being carried around automatically put the heavier person at a disadvantage? After all, the first thing you have to do in order to expect a horse to carry itself, is carry YOURSELF. So I am not sure how two equally FIT people, one overweight and one not, are on a level playing field.

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:58 PM
I think some people are still trying to justify their scorn of fat people and rationalizing their behavior towards fat riders. After all their contempt is holy and they really are just worried about my health right? That's why they spend so much time concerned about the size of my ass? No matter how well I ride or how fit I might be they're just embarrassed for me showing my fat ass in public? They're just trying to show me the way? The whole idea that fat people can be fit just doesn't fit into that world view and those of us who hold it must be made to realize the folly of our ways?

Paula

EqTrainer
Jun. 5, 2011, 09:15 PM
I dont know if that is directed at me and if so, you are very mistaken about the motivation for my question/comments. I could care less what anyone elses ass looks like in their saddle. however, this is a discussion, on a discussion board, in the dressage forum and it is being proposed now that it is fitness that matters, not weight and that because fitness is what matters, two equally fit people are going to be able to ride equally well regardless of their weight - is that correct?

If so, I am proposing that I dont understand how that can be so, since the heavier person will still have to work harder to stabilize their extra weight. What that has to do with how anyone looks in the saddle, I have no idea. What I am acknowledging is that the heavier rider will have to work harder, that is all... And quite franly, that was my experience when I was 40 lbs heavier. I had to work harder to stabilize myself. Is that something that we can talk about, or is it taboo? I have taught many heavier riders who could talk about this without blinking an eye. The conversation is not much different than discussing how having a tall upper body affect your biomechanics, or a short thigh and a long calf.

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 09:25 PM
It was not. It was directed at people who have a lot to say about whether fat people can be fit, should ride, etc. It was directed at people who have to express an opinion on this topic and presume to understand what motivates people.

As for your question; can a fat person be fit - the model you propose is that a person who is heavier has to work harder. Not necessarily. I imagine a person who has gained a dramatic amount of weight over a short period of time would be more challenged in that way than a person who has always been large. And of course we're not talking about extremes in weight here. Consider it this way; a man weighing a solid 250 pounds has to work harder to carry his weight than a man who weighs a solid 150lbs? They are not carrying each other's bodies right?



Paula

ASB Stars
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:41 PM
I think some people are still trying to justify their scorn of fat people and rationalizing their behavior towards fat riders. After all their contempt is holy and they really are just worried about my health right? That's why they spend so much time concerned about the size of my ass? No matter how well I ride or how fit I might be they're just embarrassed for me showing my fat ass in public? They're just trying to show me the way? The whole idea that fat people can be fit just doesn't fit into that world view and those of us who hold it must be made to realize the folly of our ways?

Paula

Honey, trust me. I really do not care about your ass. Really. No one said anything about you showing it in public either.

This is about health-- yours, and your horses, at the end of the day.

Why don't you show me how you, and rider "X", who is at their ideal weight, and equally as fit as you, for their weight, have the same ability, all other things being equal.

Now be very careful not to take anything out of context, and spin and contort it. The question is rather simple.

And, please, use factual references, as you would, for your students.

ASB Stars
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:44 PM
.
Consider it this way; a man weighing a solid 250 pounds has to work harder to carry his weight than a man who weighs a solid 150lbs? They are not carrying each other's bodies right?



Paula

OK, let's also say that they are each 5'10" tall. Different picture.

You make no sense, and you do it to substantiate a falacy.

JB
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:51 PM
Actually, that silly post that you quoted was exactly backward. If that's all the trainer has to offer (or he/she even has time during a lesson to go off on such an idiotic tangent), then he/she has bigger issues or nothing to offer at all. I'd fire that trainer immediately for wasting my time and for being incompetent.
Actually, if you even half comprehended what I said, you would not have assumed that I was implying that ALL a good trainer would be telling you was to do those things.

Don't for an instant think that a good trainer of any athlete/competitive person won't tell them *exactly* what they have to do to be better at whatever it is they are doing.

If you are 300lb and 5' and not a body builder, absolutely your weight is negatively affecting your riding.

If you are 5' and a 95lb weakling, absolutely your lack of fitness is negatively affecting your riding.

If your trainer didn't know or bother to tell you that your weight and/or fitness (notice I said "and/or", not that you have to necessarily improve both, though losing weight if you're grossly overweight usually does mean you are becoming more fit in the process) then they are not all the trainer some people need.

If you are happy with your trainer painting butterflies on your helmet and saying nothing but "oh that's great!" and never telling you how to improve things - all of it - then that's great for you.

But most people who want to be competitive have hired a trainer to tell us EVERYthing that we need to do to become better riders. You can certainly choose to ignore some/all of the advice if it makes you feel too sorry for yourself or "it's just too hard".

You choose the trainer who gives you the feedback you desire. The more competitive you want to be, the more and faster you want to improve your riding, the more there will be things you can and need to improve.


If I want a fitness expert, I will go to a fitness expert,
Then go to a fitness expert. But you know what? You might get more out of it if they also know about riding ;)


but I won't go to a trainer who is most likely very much an amateur in fitness and weight issues, especially one of the caliber evidenced in these multiple threads.
You aren't looking for someone to tell you what it takes to win an Ironman. The best trainers who are also competitors DO know that fitness directly affects riding ability. If you're naturally a good rider, you WILL be better if you are a more fit person than if all you do is ride 1 horse for 1 hour a day. Nobody said these good trainers have to tell you HOW to become more fit, but they DO know that being more fit will only help youl


There is a lot of misinformation in this thread, and a "trainer" who goes off into those subjects would almost certainly be incompetent in that area, also.
Really? You think horse and rider trainers don't know anything about human fitness?


eta - there were some knowledgeable posts later in the thread, after it changed so I'm only referring to the others, the people who think they know things that they don't - no experience, no education, just assuming that they are stating the obvious, but weight issues are anything but obvious for many.
which is why just about every single valuable post on this thread (which doesn't include anyone whining about how everyone else is being mean to them personally) has said that weight is not necessarily equal to a measure of fitness, ie there are some overweight people who are more fit than people in "healthy" weight.

JB
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:56 PM
Consider it this way; a man weighing a solid 250 pounds has to work harder to carry his weight than a man who weighs a solid 150lbs? They are not carrying each other's bodies right?

Yes, the 250lb man works harder relative to the 150lb man, but they can both be of the same relative fitness, all else equal.

However, the 250lb man's legs are going to be stronger, in the absolute sense, than the 150lb man's, again, all else equal.

JB
Jun. 5, 2011, 10:58 PM
It was not. It was directed at people who have a lot to say about whether fat people can be fit, should ride, etc.
Maybe I've missed something, but WHERE - quote the post please - did someone say one shouldn't ride if they are overweight? :confused:

MelanieC
Jun. 5, 2011, 11:11 PM
Let us be precise; weight and fitness are 2 different things.

They may not be exactly the same thing, but they are certainly correlated.

rizzodm
Jun. 5, 2011, 11:15 PM
Yes, the 250lb man works harder relative to the 150lb man, but they can both be of the same relative fitness, all else equal.

However, the 250lb man's legs are going to be stronger, in the absolute sense, than the 150lb man's, again, all else equal.

Here are two men of different weight showing their fitness level:D

http://youtu.be/lSeYyJL7B40

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 11:30 PM
which is why just about every single valuable post on this thread ... has said that weight is not necessarily equal to a measure of fitness, ie there are some overweight people who are more fit than people in "healthy" weight.

Pretty much in a nutshell. All else is folly. When it comes to riding it is important to be fit.

Paula

paulaedwina
Jun. 5, 2011, 11:32 PM
RE: Let us be precise; weight and fitness are 2 different things.


Melanie, funny you should say this, "They may not be exactly the same thing, but they are certainly correlated." Because as we all know, correlation is not causation.

Correlation: All people who eat carrots eventually die.

Causation: Carrots kill people.

It's a facetious example I use to explain the two concepts to my students. Please excuse the smart ass in me.

ETA:

I have a colleague who is huge. He is a walking risk factor; he's a morbidly obese, black male in his late 30s. He is not in any way shape or form fit. He works very hard to undo this damage, but I look at him and wonder where he finds the courage to go out in the world and swim in pools, work out in gyms, etc. when I know there are people who feel entitled to treat him with contempt. I know there is the equivalent of an observer comparing him to "the jolly green giant" and wondering how the machine he's on isn't just collapsing under his weight, or observing that his butt was bigger than some comparatively large piece of equipment. I imagine he deals with condescending "bless your heart" people every day and yet he has to go out and do these activities to regain his health.

I never want to be that person who offers even an inkling of discouragement to someone trying to be fit. I don't want to ever find myself looking at someone and comparing that person the jolly green giant. Or observing that that person's butt is bigger than the horse's or anything similarly uncharitable. I don't want to ever find myself that kind of person. So I appreciate the opportunity to be reminded of what kind of behavior to guard against.

Paula

mishmash
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:22 AM
"If so, I am proposing that I dont understand how that can be so, since the heavier person will still have to work harder to stabilize their extra weight. What that has to do with how anyone looks in the saddle, I have no idea. What I am acknowledging is that the heavier rider will have to work harder, that is all... And quite franly, that was my experience when I was 40 lbs heavier. I had to work harder to stabilize myself. Is that something that we can talk about, or is it taboo? "

Ahhh...so fat people are actually going to be fitter, right? Having to stabilize and work that weight will result in fitness, right?

All you people that are so concerned for overweight riders fitness-how many of you smoke? How about we put my fat butt in the saddle, and your wheezy butt in the saddle and we see who lasts longer. If you are a smoker, you have ZERO credibility in any discussion of fitness, health, etc.

MelanieC
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:37 AM
Hi Paula,

I'm a biological anthropologist and I also teach at the university level. I am aware of the difference between correlation and causation.

No one is saying that there is not a range of healthy body types and weights. I am currently 5'1" and 105 lbs, which puts my BMI at 19.8 and at the bottom of the healthy range for my population origin (I am Asian-American). People often assume that I am very weak when they see me, but they are wrong. I can easily heft half my body weight, hike for hours, or keep up with a grueling fitness class, but I look like a total noodle. This is me on my horse:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloriver/5696338739 (isn't Danny cute?)

When I was in my mid-20s I weighed 95 lbs, for a BMI of 17.9. (I couldn't afford real in grad school.) I guess most of you would think I was on death's door, but I was extremely active and that was also the only time in my life that I rode big-moving, upper-level dressage horses regularly. One of my mounts was a 17.2hh late-gelded Hanoverian trained to Grand Prix who didn't always like to work for a living, and I guess that most people would assume that I couldn't control him given my size, but I could and I did.

I could weigh up to 127 pounds and still be within the healthy weight range according to normally accepted standards, with a BMI of 23.9. (Asians experience negative health consequences of overweight at lower BMIs than other populations, so we are considered "overweight" at lower BMIs than other people. Most of you probably more familiar with the 24.9 cutoff.) Now, if I gained 20+ pounds (almost 20% of my current body weight), I think that at my height and with my frame I would appear to most people (especially men, who are so frigging unforgiving about these things) to be rather chubby.

However, the point is that there is a rather wide range of BMIs that are considered to be compatible with good health, and it encompasses phenotypes that many people would probably refer to as "anorexic" (i.e., me now) and "chubby" (i.e., hypothetical me at about 130 lbs). BMI isn't the best gauge for everyone, particularly for people who are very tall or who have a great deal of muscle mass, but it is the best general gauge we have for the general population, who tend not to be either of those things. And I don't think that anyone is saying that you have to look like Lance Armstrong to be considered "fit." I certainly didn't say that.

None of this means that body weight is not an indicator of fitness. (All other things being equal, for me to gain 20+ pounds would indicate a major change in health status, for example.) Taken in isolation, body weight alone gives a VERY incomplete picture, but when body weight exceeds certain limits it becomes incompatible with good health. The sequelae of overweight and obesity are absolutely devastating to health. I am sure it is possible to be technically obese and have none of the health problems associated with obesity, but obesity is generally predictive of such problems, which is where the entire concept of "metabolic syndrome" came from.

America has an obesity problem. The reason it is a problem is not because Hollywood (or equestrians) considers obesity unsightly, but because obesity has so many negative health consequences. This is why Michelle Obama (no skinny mini herself, but the picture of health) has made combating childhood obesity into her signature issue (http://www.letsmove.gov/).

I don't know if American dressage has an "obesity problem," in that I don't know if a significant percentage of competitive riders out there actually have BMIs >30, but I rather doubt it. The vast majority of riders I know are not technically obese (I actually can't think of any at the moment, but am trying to be conservative). Europeans LOVE to tell Americans how fat we all are (because, you know, we rule the world and they don't anymore and some of them can't get over it), and I really think that the comment that started this thread was more of a bitchy aside than some sort of cutting social commentary. But it is true that the average American is probably fatter than the average European, and yes, this does reflect problems related to diets, activity levels, and all types of other things having to do with modern American lifestyles, including an overall lack of fitness. People aren't getting heavier "just 'cause."

The good thing (if you can call it that) is that we are rapidly exporting our fatness all around the globe. There are more overweight people (and overweight kids) in France every time I go back there, and the French sure do love their "McDo." The Euros may laugh now, but it's only a matter of time before they're just as big as we are.

Moogles
Jun. 6, 2011, 05:52 AM
Hi Paula,

I'm a biological anthropologist and I also teach at the university level. I am aware of the difference between correlation and causation.
...
No one is saying that there is not a range of healthy body types and weights.
...
However, the point is that there is a rather wide range of BMIs that are considered to be compatible with good health, and it encompasses phenotypes that many people would probably refer to as "anorexic" (i.e., me now) and "chubby" (i.e., hypothetical me at about 130 lbs). BMI isn't the best gauge for everyone, particularly for people who are very tall or who have a great deal of muscle mass, but it is the best general gauge we have for the general population, who tend not to be either of those things. And I don't think that anyone is saying that you have to look like Lance Armstrong to be considered "fit." I certainly didn't say that.
...
None of this means that body weight is not an indicator of fitness. (All other things being equal, for me to gain 20+ pounds would indicate a major change in health status, for example.) Taken in isolation, body weight alone gives a VERY incomplete picture, but when body weight exceeds certain limits it becomes incompatible with good health. The sequelae of overweight and obesity are absolutely devastating to health. I am sure it is possible to be technically obese and have none of the health problems associated with obesity, but obesity is generally predictive of such problems, which is where the entire concept of "metabolic syndrome" came from.

America has an obesity problem. The reason it is a problem is not because Hollywood (or equestrians) considers obesity unsightly, but because obesity has so many negative health consequences. This is why Michelle Obama (no skinny mini herself, but the picture of health) has made combating childhood obesity into her signature issue (http://www.letsmove.gov/).


Great post. It comes down to health in the end, and obesity has been proven to have negative health consequences. Obesity and morbid obesity have a large strain on our healthcare system, and as such primary prevention has never been so important. Nutritional food and exercise are effective and cheaper than dealing with the after effects of a life lived with health issues stemming from obesity (ie. diabetes and heart issues).

I really don't care what your waist line is, just that you treat your body with the respect it deserves, which is good food and exercise. I used to be on the low end of BMI and was fit as a fiddle but weak, now I'm on the higher end a little "squishier" around the hips but I eat better and exercise better now than when I weighed just over a 100lbs at 5'5. This thread is very defensive but I think we can all agree that fitness and healthy life style are important.

Now as far as obese versus smokers, you both have negative consequences on your body, you can both reverse those by modifying your lifestyles. Harm reduction is reducing the negative consequences in little steps. So smoking a few less cigarettes, or reducing sodium/fat intake. Please don't try to say one is more healthy than the other, you both have risk factors from your life style choices.

I think what is important to take away from this thread is that fitness is an important aspect of riding and we should all be taking steps in our lives to improve our fitness, regardless of the number on the scale. A lot of top riders work out in the gym as well as riding all day long. Improving their fitness complements and improves their riding skills.

BaroquePony
Jun. 6, 2011, 07:48 AM
Posted by mishmash:

"If so, I am proposing that I dont understand how that can be so, since the heavier person will still have to work harder to stabilize their extra weight. What that has to do with how anyone looks in the saddle, I have no idea. What I am acknowledging is that the heavier rider will have to work harder, that is all... And quite franly, that was my experience when I was 40 lbs heavier. I had to work harder to stabilize myself. Is that something that we can talk about, or is it taboo? "

Ahhh...so fat people are actually going to be fitter, right? Having to stabilize and work that weight will result in fitness, right?

All you people that are so concerned for overweight riders fitness-how many of you smoke? How about we put my fat butt in the saddle, and your wheezy butt in the saddle and we see who lasts longer. If you are a smoker, you have ZERO credibility in any discussion of fitness, health, etc.

Well, this post reaffirms the entire phrase from the European perspective that Americans are, "Fat, Mean and Stupid" :yes:.

Smoking is a bad habit, an addiction and it is generally bad for one's health (cardiovascular, as well as lung disease).

However it is not correlated with credibilty. Credibilty is based on education and honesty in conjunction with how one uses their education.

I believe Mikhail Baryshnikov was a relativley heavy smoker during much of his
outstanding career. I also heard that he has quit smoking.

There are MANY professional athletes that are smokers.

paulaedwina
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:27 AM
Melanie,

I liked your post. It was logical and unemotional. I agree with it wholeheartedly. Indeed in public health we are all quite concerned with obesity in the United States. As you say,

"None of this means that body weight is not an indicator of fitness. (All other things being equal, for me to gain 20+ pounds would indicate a major change in health status, for example.) Taken in isolation, body weight alone gives a VERY incomplete picture, but when body weight exceeds certain limits it becomes incompatible with good health."

I couldn't argue with that at all. But we aren't talking about 400lb individuals who ride. I'd wager there are very few 400lb riders. There are quite a few 200lb riders I'd imagine. And at that level of weight one cannot assume their level of fitness. Indeed, research indicates that even a small change in weight has a significant effect on disease risk and fitness (blood pressure, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, etc.) so the relationship between these two measures is not as linear as people would like to think.


RE: .....but I think we can all agree that fitness and healthy life style are important.

Over and over again. I think the trouble starts when some observers presume to know your fitness by your girth.

Paula

JB
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:36 AM
Great post. It comes down to health in the end, and obesity has been proven to have negative health consequences. Obesity and morbid obesity have a large strain on our healthcare system, and as such primary prevention has never been so important. Nutritional food and exercise are effective and cheaper than dealing with the after effects of a life lived with health issues stemming from obesity (ie. diabetes and heart issues).
Agree on both accounts - great post by MelanieC, and the *objective* issues associated with being overweight.

So many overweight people, who are quite ok (at least saying they are) with being so overweight, like to throw back "but it's my body, I'll do with it like I want". Um, no, when the health problems you bring on BECAUSE of your lifestyle choice ends up costing *me* money to help pay for *your* health care, yes, I think I do have a right to voice an opinion about how you treat your body.



This thread is very defensive but I think we can all agree that fitness and healthy life style are important.
Sadly, I don't think I agree that everyone here really understands or cares about fitness and a healthy lifestyle :no:


A lot of top riders work out in the gym as well as riding all day long. Improving their fitness complements and improves their riding skills.
And given that most, if not all, of those top riders are also trainers, many of whom many have "mere" amateur students, you better believe they will tell their students who have hopes of climbing competitive ladder that yes, they DO need to be more fit and/or lose some weight of the trainer thinks those are impeding their progress :yes:



There are MANY professional athletes that are smokers.
I'd honestly like to know who they are. I don't look at an individual who is/was a heavy smoker and is a top athlete despite that, as being a model for saying it doesn't affect you.

My Mom smoked for years before she got pregnant. Then she quit. When my parents divorced 33 years ago, she started again. For most of those years it was 1+ packs a day, and has tapered off some in the last 5 years. She still has perfectly clean lungs, thankfully. That does not at all mean smoking is ok for her or anyone.

There are always exceptions, and should not be used to say it's not that big of a deal :)

paulaedwina
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:41 AM
Um, no, when the health problems you bring on BECAUSE of your lifestyle choice ends up costing *me* money to help pay for *your* health care, yes, I think I do have a right to voice an opinion about how you treat your body.

Be careful what you ask for. Horseback riding puts more people in the ER than motorcycle riding. By your own model people would have a right then to to try to stop us from riding horses because our injuries cost them money when they pay for our health care. So they do have a right to voice an opinion about what we like to do for kicks.

Paula

BaroquePony
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:44 AM
Posted by JB:

I'd honestly like to know who they are. I don't look at an individual who is/was a heavy smoker and is a top athlete despite that, as being a model for saying it doesn't affect you.

Who on earth said smoking doesn't affect anyone?? Or that an athlete that was/is a smoker was a model for it not having an affect??

My entire post INCLUDED the statement that smoking is an addiction and it adversely affects your cardiovascular system and can lead to lung disease.

I named one top athlete, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who to my knowlege has since quit, but he was a fairly heavy smoker DURING his active career.

Football players are notorious for smoking, cocaine, alcohol ... and they make a lot of money and trash their bodies.

JB
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:18 AM
Um, no, when the health problems you bring on BECAUSE of your lifestyle choice ends up costing *me* money to help pay for *your* health care, yes, I think I do have a right to voice an opinion about how you treat your body.

Be careful what you ask for. Horseback riding puts more people in the ER than motorcycle riding. By your own model people would have a right then to to try to stop us from riding horses because our injuries cost them money when they pay for our health care. So they do have a right to voice an opinion about what we like to do for kicks.

Paula
I would love to know the health insurance costs of riding, vs motorcycle riding, vs car accidents, vs other things we do every day, against the costs of self-induced health issues. That was my point really. Everything we do puts us at risk of becoming injured or sick. 2/3 of this country, between adults and children, are overweight to obese. I wonder (honest question) what % of the population drives?

Baroque, I'm sorry if I misunderstood your post. It didn't seem to be anything else other than "but look, MB was a heavy smoker during his very successful career, it didn't seem to slow him down" making it SEEM like it's a pass to smoke (or do whatever else).

I realize football players are notorious for drug abuse. I'd (again, honestly!) like to know how many of them reserve that for the off-season, how many are actively into drugs during training vs the season, etc. We will NEVER know that answer, though I suspect the # dramatically decreases once the games start.

paulaedwina
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:26 AM
Here's something on Equine related injuries

http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/proxy/MCRF-Centers-NFMC-nccrahs-resources-factssheets-equestrianSafetyMay2005.1.pdf

This is from MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) from the CDC:

"Each year in the United States, an estimated 30 million persons ride horses (1). The rate of serious injury per number of riding hours is estimated to be higher for horseback riders than for motorcyclists and automobile racers (2). The following report uses data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to describe the epidemiology of horseback-riding-associated injuries in the United States during 1987 and 1988."

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001626.htm

These data are 20 years old. I won't speculate about whether it is better, worse, or unchanged since then.

To be sure; the top 3 preventable causes of death in the USA are tobacco related, obesity related, and alcohol related.

1. Smoking: 467,000 deaths.
2. High blood pressure: 395,000 deaths.
3. Overweight-obesity: 216,000 deaths.
4. Inadequate physical activity and inactivity: 191,000 deaths.
5. High blood sugar: 190,000 deaths.
6. High LDL cholesterol: 113,000 deaths.
7. High dietary salt: 102,000 deaths.
8. Low dietary omega-3 fatty acids (seafood): 84,000 deaths.
9. High dietary trans fatty acids: 82,000 deaths.
10. Alcohol use: 64,000 deaths.
11. Low intake of fruits and vegetables: 58,000 deaths.
12. Low dietary poly-unsaturated fatty acids: 15,000 deaths.

http://www.healthhabits.ca/2009/05/05/the-top-12-preventable-causes-of-death/

Specifically by disease the top causes of death in the USA are;

* Heart disease: 616,067
* Cancer: 562,875
* Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
* Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
* Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
* Alzheimer's disease: 74,632
* Diabetes: 71,382
* Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
* Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
* Septicemia: 34,828

(CDC -Faststats http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm).

Paula

carolprudm
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:30 AM
Um, no, when the health problems you bring on BECAUSE of your lifestyle choice ends up costing *me* money to help pay for *your* health care, yes, I think I do have a right to voice an opinion about how you treat your body.

Be careful what you ask for. Horseback riding puts more people in the ER than motorcycle riding. By your own model people would have a right then to to try to stop us from riding horses because our injuries cost them money when they pay for our health care. So they do have a right to voice an opinion about what we like to do for kicks.

Paula
LOL, I was thinking the same thing

paulaedwina
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:41 AM
For real :lol: When I start getting righteous when my students tell me they're getting motorcycles, and I go on about 'donor cycles' and how dangerous they are, I catch myself, remember what I do for kicks, and stop talking :lol:

Paula

JB
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:45 AM
Along those lines of "your lifestyle cost me money", this gets into a political and moral issues, but truthfully, health insurance is ridiculous. Politicians say everyone should be required to have it because after all, you're required to have car insurance (if you drive)

:confused:

They are not at all the same, and my opinion is health insurance should be optional and should be INSURANCE against the unpredictable. Otherwise it's not insurance which, by Webster's definition, is

the act (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/act), system, or business (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/business) of insuring (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/insure) property, life, one's person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fire), accident, death, disablement, or the (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/the) like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.


If you crash your car into a tree and you don't have insurance, the rest of society doesn't pay to fix your car.

If you want to buy a "wellness" package from your insurance company that will reduce the cost you pay for a yearly physical and eye exam, then that's great. Those things tend to pay off for the insurance company because X people pay into it but only X-n use it.

Or some physicians offices offer the same type of thing. It pays for them as well for the same reason. You can do that for your pets, why not for yourself?

There are many self-imposed health issues which raise the rate of health insurance claims. Driving isn't optional for a great many people. Riding is certainly optional, and many insurance companies DO have higher rates for more risk-based activities.

Most of the issues around my feelings of your (in general) health issues are because of how the healthcare system and insurance is set up.

I know all that makes me sound like a hardass, but really, I DO care. I DO help people, I DO donate to entities that are working to find cures for diseases, but that's my choice (and the choice of many, many people)

But you (again, in general) don't have the right to demand I help pay for the problems you cause to your body, and I don't have that right to demand it of you either. Politicians currently think that we do have that right.

paulaedwina
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:48 AM
If you crash your car into a tree and you don't have insurance, the rest of society doesn't pay to fix your car.

But they do pay to treat rehabilitate you if you are injured :D I have a feeling fixing the car would be cheaper.

Paula

xcpony
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:56 AM
LOL, seriously? A person who lives outside of the US declares that all Americans are slothful and out-of-shape, and perpetuates the stereotype that we sit around drinking cokes and eating chips all day, and you say "There you have it." !! lol

How lame is that! lol If I were one who repeats stereotypes, I can think of a few that would apply to others in this thread, but I learned at a very young age that repeating and promoting negative stereotypes is worse that useless.

If you really are embarrassed by American riders, perhaps you should market your products to people for whom you have respect.

I dont declare that all Americans are slothful and out-of-shape. I referred to America in general. The population of America, in general, has a higher obesity rate than any other country. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity It's one of thousands of statistics you can find on the web. Granted the entire world is getting bigger, but America is still the biggest. There is no reason to get mad and go into denial because I said something truthful. Everyone knows it but no one likes to talk about it and all of a sudden your the devil if someone actually says umm yeah it has 95% to do with your lifestyle choices. Sometimes they arnt good choices, sometimes they dont even feel like choices. Maybe its because of having kids, working 60 hours a week in an office, the advertisements, the government and its addiction to corn products and preservatives, etc. But no matter what it is, it still a choice made at the end of the day by the individual which represents this stereotype of America in the broader aspect. Stereotypes dont come from nowhere, there is a lot of truth in stereotypes... stereotypes are really just exaggerated truths... but truths nonetheless. America is obese... not everyone in America is but America herself is definitely the unfit, unhealthy kid on the block.

This thread has strayed far from the original post. Does American dressage riders have an obese/fitness problem compared to other countries. Yes, it does! The post didnt bash chubby riders or riders overweight... there is a difference between overweight and obese, just like there is a difference between underweight and anorexia. Over and underweight is one thing, while obesity and anorexia are diseases. Everyone who is chubby, fat, overweight (say what you like) does not mean your obese! Obesity really has a negative impact on your fitness, where as in being a little chunky does not mean your unfit. Why has everyone turned this thread into '' i need to defend myself for being a little bit of a heavier rider?'' the original post had nothing to do with that, no one needs to defend themselves because no one is targeting anyone. I may be wrong but I don't think most people care about those privileged to have a little cushion in their saddle. I simply answered the question and explained my observatations.

Denying negative stereotypes (America has an obesity problem and therefor so does American dressage) dosnt do anything to help the problem. The problem has to be first recognized, than accepted, and then conquered. But step one is to recognize it, not throw it under the rug and pretend it dosnt exist.

ASB Stars
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:57 AM
I am still waiting on PE to share the quality information she has about the fitness levels of overweight people, vs. people within their acceptable weight, given equal exercise programs....hello?

And what is UNversity adjunct, anyhow?