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Weight Issue II

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  • #21
    CTT - what can I say that hasn't been said? Thank you for sharing your story - I admire you greatly for that. And everything you are saying here is right on target.

    Thanks for sharing and encouraging everyone to share. I have a story I could tell about this - it is not a bad as most things posted here - I never threw up or took diet pills or anything of the sort- and I am fine now and proud of it. I will always be slight b/c of my body type (my mom is very slender as well) and dietery choices (although I will eat deserts and many types of 'snack food' I never touch red meat, cheese, or pork and don't put butter on anything). But eating disorders - andthe consitant pressure is a horrible place to be. I have survived - as have those here - but what about those who were lost? Could any of you be next?

    Sarah ( & Regal)

    what doesn't kill you makes you stronger -
    unless it breaks your heart first


    • Original Poster

      But eating disorders - andthe consitant pressure is a horrible place to be. I have survived - as have those here - but what about those who were lost? Could any of you be next?


      Sarah First of all THANK YOU. There are a fue questions i do have and I don't mean to offend you. Are you saying you are a vegitarian or ar you the type of person who is selective with what you eat. I too from time to time eat junk food but over the years ( especialy since my last sickness) I have not had the desire to eat cirten junk foods. I don't know why but for some reason I just don't crave it. Your last statement hit me hard. What about the ones who were lost? Could any of you be next? These two questions can be interpetid in so many ways. I don't know what you were feeling when you wrote thoes words but for me I interpeted them as this: What about the people who are lost and don't realize what they are doing? Are any of us who folow like this next?
      Any of us can interpit your post as is cause I see that with some of what you have said we can aply to us in our own life. Thankyou
      \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown


      • #23
        I feel very sorry for everyone who has gone through soooo much just to look like the perfect hunter or Equ. look. I hope the best for all of you. Those of you who havent done anything yet, why dont we help you start the right way! If anyone knows of any sites that are of good diet plans, ect.. lets give some people some help and make sure they make the right decision in loosing weight, not the wrong one~


        • #24
          Maybe that is the secret. Look for the people whose faces are missing now and used to be at shows with you all the time. How many did we lose not just to eating problems but image problems?

          You children are the victims of an advertising strategy designed to make you WANT! Those who practice this strategy don't care about you or what happens to you. They just want your money.

          The economy depends on selling you all sorts of supplements, vitamins, diets, diet foods new clothes and an assortment of creams an ointments to make you beautiful, skinny and healthy.

          You need to assert your god given right to be an individual and be proud of who and what you are. When the image takes more importance than the talent the shallowness will drive you into other self punishing things like alcohol and drugs because they are a way to excape what you believe is your own ugliness.

          Everyone is ugly to some people, and beautiful to some people. You just need to know that you have the privilege of being you. Square those shoulders and look the world back in the eye knowing that you are an individual and being different is a joy and not a punishment.

          You ride for yourself, you ride to enjoy the sport and your horse. You ride to enjoy the sun and the wind in your face. If a judge's opinion of about one minute of your life is so important than don't show. You're not ready. It is afterall just a progress report and not the final diploma.
          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


          • #25
            I've been lurking in the shadows on this thread, but I figured I should speak up.

            Any junior knows that the image of the "perfect" rider is thin. I am thin naturally, I'm 5'4" and weigh 92 pounds. I actually lose weight in my sleep and I think I lose it because I get stressed easily. Anyways, my last trainer yelled at me one day for wearing a tank top! She said I was anorexic and that I could no longer wear tanks to the barn, even in the summer! Ever since I have become very aware of my weight. I have recovered so to speak, but not fully.

            On the other side of the spectrum, I have had people tell me to watch my weight! They will say things like, "...You're weight will catch up to you, watch what you're eating..." So no matter what, you can't please anyone. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]


            • #26
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CTT:
              But eating disorders - andthe consitant pressure is a horrible place to be. I have survived - as have those here - but what about those who were lost? Could any of you be next?


              Sarah First of all THANK YOU. There are a fue questions i do have and I don't mean to offend you. Are you saying you are a vegitarian or ar you the type of person who is selective with what you eat. I too from time to time eat junk food but over the years ( especialy since my last sickness) I have not had the desire to eat cirten junk foods. I don't know why but for some reason I just don't crave it.

              Your last statement hit me hard. What about the ones who were lost? Could any of you be next? These two questions can be interpetid in so many ways. I don't know what you were feeling when you wrote thoes words but for me I interpeted them as this: What about the people who are lost and don't realize what they are doing? Are any of us who folow like this next?
              Any of us can interpit your post as is cause I see that with some of what you have said we can aply to us in our own life. Thankyou[/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

              CTT - you're welcome. As for your question- I'm not offended - I am semi vegetarian - I eat chicken and turkey (mostly white meat only though) I am just a fairly 'picky' eater. I really don't care much for any of the things I mentioned so it's not a sacrifice really. I am just very careful with what I eat - as I want foods that will give me energy without excess fats or sugars - thus a 'typical' day of food for me includes quite a bit of fruit/veggies (apple and carrots at lunch, something before riding then a salad and raw veggies or green beans with dinner), carbohydrates (usually a bagel or something at lunch or else some sort of bread or crackers etc), and protein (via chicken or some white meat - etc). When I'm competing I avoid junk food all together.

              As for my statement - I meant sort of what you said - you explained it well. I meant the ones 'lost' as in who have died or destroyed their lives b/c of something like anorexia - but also those like you said who are struggling inside and coming closer and closer to letting go. I fear for those who will be next - and I fear some of the faces will be very familiar to us - people in our own lives? How close to home can this come before we are able to end it - must it take our friends, ourselves - what else is there?

              And if you are dieting ask yourself - is it for you or someone else? Why are the number so important? why can't we forget numbers - numbers like on scales, dress sizes - they become consuming.

              What is the obession with thinness? IS thin so beautiful when you can see and count every bone? When some one faints from lack of food? When one is in a hospital with tubes down their throat feeding them? Is that beauty - that is where dieting can lead you - and it is not beautiful - it is horrible and tragetic.

              The quest to satisfy others and measure up - what does it get you ultimately. If you can't be happy with yourself the way you arewill losing weight really change that? Why are we so influenced by what others think? When can we judge people by themselves - instead of the measurements of their body?

              Sarah ( & Regal)

              what doesn't kill you makes you stronger -
              unless it breaks your heart first


              • Original Poster

                Snowbird that was the most wonderfull thing I have read. It realy hit home with me. It took so many years for me to realize what you in just a fue minuiets wrote. If I didn't slave myself to image maby I would not have learned what I did. Maby I would't be a slave to my pill but I made that mistake. It hurts to see somany children like me make that mistake. Im a diffrent person now and if for the better i still don't know. I can only hope for something to happen. Ill tell you all something that I remind myself every day about and I think its what keeps me going. Laying there in the hospital It hurt soo much that I would have done anything to end it right there. I would have traided in my life for peace and so i wouldn't half to go on with the agoney and shame. One night while I was there I got up and went for a stroll in my in my wheel Chare There was a miror in the hall and as I passed it I saw a person I did not even know. I cried cause I had done this to myself. I had hurt the most prechious gift. As I sat there I began to think of how empty my parents would have been with out me. .. excuse me I nesd a minuit to calm down...they would have never experienced the joys I gave them. I was a preachous gift that they made and I know it would have droven them to the end if I gave up. I went back to my room and from that point I stoped praying for the pain to stop and started praying for a kidnie. When I got out It was years of mental and physical battles. You can't change over night but you can start by just looking around.
                None of you are me. we are all diffrent but affedted by the same things . We just react diffrent to them. I am lucky and I mean lucky case I would not have been able to live thoes 18 months if I went on the list. Only till you eperience what dyeing is you cant change on your own. Thats why I reach my hands to people who nead that hand to get them threw things like this. its a disease and every day people dye from it but we fail to listen cause in our mind it can't harm us. but it can just by takeing that wrong turn. It hapens cuase we look at ourselves and find faults that we are not happy with but ehat hapens when we can't stop. So many people just never think. They say it can't hurt me, Im not aa slave to this, im doing it cause it what is expected of me, Im fat, Im ugly. No you are perfect. Thats why we are like we are. I can sit and tell more storys but unless you look deep down my experiences are worthless. This is when a change neads to start and to do it is by reaching out and admiting you have a problem. only till then no one can help. It starts with you.

                Sarah I read yours after I posted this one and well I want to say Im proud of you I wish more pepole will read what you just wrote. When will it stop? I respect you very dearly and for that thankyou. I wish I had know some of you when I was at my worst.

                [This message has been edited by CTT (edited 04-08-2000).]
                \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown


                • #28
                  Actually Snowbird, when you starve yourself your body doesn't burn the fat, it burns muscle first because it is afraid to burn the fat. So when you start starving yourself, all you are doing is causing your muscles to atrophy. I think it is terrible that you people on this board that have eating disorders are so open about it and proud of it! That is terrible. And what is worse is that trainers are probably aware of it and let it continue. This truly makes me sick. PLEASE seek help and therapy, I have a friend who is on those same pills as CTT, and it is heartbreaking to see the pain she is going through. Everyday she suffers because of this. My mother too had an eating disorder when she was younger, and she still to this day twenty something years later struggles with her body image because of people making comments to her like some comments I have heard from these judges. It's truly sickening and dis-heartening. These girls need to learn to stand up for themselves. If a judge ever tried to tell me that I would have won if I was skinnier, I would not only rip that judge a new one, I would report him/her and protest the show and get as many people as I could to not attend shows by that judge. Healthy living and fitness is the way to go. Look at Cindy Crawford, she is drop dead gorgeous and yet she is not waif thin. She is in excellent shape. I think that fitness needs to be the focal point in our world of horses, not the twiggy waif look. I personally think that those super skinny runway models are nasty looking with their bones poking out all over. If you look at female athletes in other sports, they are not starving themselves! Except maybe ice skating and gymnastics, but soccer players, tennis players (think Venus and Cyrena, they are beautiful and they are by far not tiny!) and other highly physical sports, and you will see a high level of fitness. How do you expect to go around a jumper course at 97 pounds without proper nutrition on a 17 hand horse? How do you expect to concentrate and achieve a perfect round if you can't concentrate because you have no energy and are out of breath? It will catch up to you and the ugly monster of eating disorders will either kill you or scar you physically for life. You will have a constant weight battle and really screw your metabolism over if you keep it up. I guarantee it. Keep heading down the path you are going and you won't have a pretty life.
                  Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                  An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                  • #29
                    Devildog, now you have it. What we can all do to help and stop this awful craze. Sent letters, not just one but one a week to the Licensed Officials Committee.

                    We have submitted a rules change proposal to change judging standards. This was sent in the name of all of you. It was just that someone had to write it down and mail it in.

                    I would be very grateful if every one of you every week sent a letter asking that "image" not be a criteria for judging anyone. Tell them you story and why you want it to stop. This is not a vanity parade but a sport. The joy of this sport was it's acceptance of all kinds of limitations. It was the only sport that not only never discriminated against blacks but revered their talent, never segregated male and female they have always competed equally. Why now there is a compulsion to create a total image of only one look I do not understand.

                    I can tell you as a MOM, it was awful to watch a class from the seats and not really be sure which one was mine. Everyone in their uniform, everyone with the same look, and if it was not for the numbers or thank-you for the difference in the horses many Moms would have been cheering the wrong child and never knew it.

                    You tell those judges and trainers that if they can tolerate the differences in the horses, sizes, color, build and markings WHY? must all the riders look exactly the same.

                    If you all wanted to be in a beauty contest you could do that and there's lots of money in scholarships available. We chose this sport because vanity is not who we are, and performance is who we are.
                    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                    • #30
                      I just watched the Stepford Wives today, and the horse show world came to mind... and OORAH to you Snowbird, give me the addresses of the people to write and I will write them and tell them what I think. I also really think that the weight thing needs to be addressed in an article written by the chronicle and have some girls like CTT share their horror stories. This truly needs to stop, and the only way to stop it is to revolt and buck the system. If the early revelutionaries could beat the English army and win the independance of a country, if the Marines could take control over Iwo Jima and raise the Flag on Mt Sirobachi after 32 days of continual fighting and tons of casualties, then by gosh we can take the sticks out of these judges butts and stick them in their ears! How many casualties of war must we see before we fight back? We need Esprit De Corps in the horse show world, the pride of being an athlete, not a twig on a horse. Be proud of yourself the way you are and try an achieve fitness and not weight. a lot of people get hung up on the how much they weigh issue, the fact is, muscle weighs more than fat, so it's the BODY FAT percentage that is what you need to look at. And you NEED fat in your diet as fuel, or your body will use your muscles for fuel. Skinny people can be just as much at risk for heart disease and cholestorol as a person who weighs more. Eating healthy and excercising is key. The reason people with eating disorders have heart problems is because the muscle around the heart starts to deteriorate! Less heart muscles = weaker heart = heart attack =DEATH. I eat extra protien in my diet so I can keep up with my activity level. Find out what the correct diet (and I don't mean it in the weight loss term but in the way one should eat term) you should be on to keep your body at its optimum.
                      Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                      An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                      • #31
                        Can I just say you are all great? CTT, Snowbird, Devildog - etc. If people like us were setting the standards we wouldn't have this problem! If we all work together- all of us meaning all riders at all levels - really all PEOPLE b/c this is not just a riding issue - or a teen issue- or a sport issue - or even a women's issue - perhaps we could bring people to see that being thin - having the right clothing size or the right weight # is not 'where it's at' - that whats matters really is how strong, fit, and HAPPY you are (ever met a happy anorexic- contradition in terms!).

                        To those of you who are 'dieting' taking the water pills etc - please stop and THINK - how is blue ribbon worth more then your health.
                        I read that book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes and one thing made me cry - it was saying how after gymnast Christy Henrich died her parents went home to where her medals were "scattered in a drawer like coins in a fountain" and her mom said something like "if christy can't look at those medals and be happy then it was all for nothing" - your 'victories' are meaningless if you lose your self in 'achieving' them. PLease trust me that it is not worth it...

                        Sarah ( & Regal)

                        what doesn't kill you makes you stronger -
                        unless it breaks your heart first


                        • #32
                          Right on Regalmeans,
                          They're only purpose is to build self esteem in your accomplishments. They are a way of measuring progress. They are not an end in themselves.

                          So we have a rally! Go to http://www.ahsa.org
                          click on staff. Write your email and then send copies to everyone including Alan Balch

                          Go to http://www.nhjc.org
                          click on committees, and send your letters to everyone on your Zone Committee, and to their Licensed Officials Committee.

                          And, don't stop, don't get discouraged just all of you and all of your friends keep sending those emails. They will notice and they will have to act.

                          The first step change judging standards. At all clinics instruct the judges that skinny is not a valid criteria.
                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                          • #33
                            All of the advice you guys have given me I've thought about for a really long time- thank you! I needed an awakening. But, I'm not saying that I'm going to start eating right entirely now... All of you trying to contact the ahsa have a very good idea, but until then, judges are probably still going to look at me and think I need to loose weight. It's hard because I compete against people like Sara Willeman and Avery Dimmig and Georgina Bloomberg and Lourdes who have all basicly been placed first, second and third before they even walk into the ring- I'm not saying that they don't have talent and that they don't work hard- b/c they do- I'm friends w/ them adn I SEE how hard they work. I have to pick another way to stand out- In WEF people were saying how skinny I was and how they envied my body. My boyfriend- who is also affileated w/ the horse show world- told me that people were complementing him on how great I looked. Now, because I'm not walking and I have more time to eat and lots of other factors, I gained weight. People still think I look fine, but I don't really think so anymore. I HAVE to stand out at Devon- in some way or antoher!!!! I guess if the only way I can do that is to loose weight- then I'll do it- I'll do anything. I know you say wining isn't everything- but it is to me. I'm basicly perfect- I know you'll say that nobody is- but truthfully- all I need is to win at indoors and I'll have everyithing I've ever wanted...


                            • #34
                              OMG, Cozmo!!!! You're not really reading or comprehending these posts at all and it's not only disheartening, it's extremely SCARY! You can have your whole life in front of you and you may not, because of this path you've chosen. And yes, I may get flamed for this, but you have made the choice. Hopefully, you will change your mind in time, but for now, it's obviously been your own decision to take this route of self-destruction! How can you say that you're basically perfect and that all you need in life is to win at the indoors???!! Do you really feel that way? PLEASE seek some help NOW!

                              If anyone knows this girl, please intervene with her trainers/parents, whatever, NOW. This is frightening!

                              [This message has been edited by Duffy (edited 04-09-2000).]
                              \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E


                              • #35
                                Well cosmo, unfortunatly it's people like you who are going to drag down the process. Maybe you should really re-think your goals and decide if winning a stupid horse show is really worth risking your life. Horses are dangerous enough as it is, and then to add to the top of it a weak, starved child is truly sickening. Think about those starving children in 3rd world countries who have no choice but to starve. DO you think they care about a dang horse show? No, winning is not everything and I must say that you are not a true horse person if winning is all you can think about. Disgusting. Really disgusting. You are in it to win, not for the love of the horse obviously, and that is what is the saddest part of everything. It's horrible when people do everything they can to make the horse better, but then it's also bad that you are doing it to yourself. Well, I guess it's better than doing it to the horse who doesn't have a choice. But YOU do have a choice, and it is a life or death one. Think about your future, not just the NOW. THat is the problem with most young people today. Instant gratification. They are willing to risk it all so they can be happy NOW. Who cares what happens in the future right? It doesn't matter, when the future comes I will deal with it then. So I may have health problems for the rest of my life if I end up living but for heavens sake I won a frickin horse show. If I live to see my children grow and they ask why mom has so many health problems and has a hard time eating hardly anything and still gains twice as much weight as they should because they have no metabolism left, she can tell them that it was all worth it for a freakin blue ribbon that is packed away in a box somewhere and you no longer can ride because of your health struggles. Yeah, it's worth it isn't it?
                                Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                                An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                                • #36
                                  On the money about the body fat and fitness, devildog. You, too, Snowbird, and all those who have made similar points.

                                  I'm jumping into this one because no one has yet mentioned that dehydration is also very bad for health, fitness, AND performance. Someone mentioned tennis players--they pre-hydrate til they squelch before they start playing, and keep adding water as they play. Once you start to feel very thirsty, you are already dehydrated--you lose strength, speed, reaction time, thinking ability. You feel faint, get overheated, cramp, and are nauseous. The heroics of Pete Sampras and Michael Chang notwithstanding, it's not a good practise for daily life, never mind for actually trying to do a sport.

                                  I'll stop for the moment (and get a glass of water [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]) but I think it would be a good thing to use this particular thread for many purposes: 1) bringing this problem--which I did not realize was so widespread among adolescents in this sport--to light; 2) letting people in all stages of dealing with it talk about their experiences; 3) providing alternative ways of viewing fitness and body image; 4) providing accurate health and fitness information, as well as sources for further information.

                                  More later...

                                  [This message has been edited by Nancey Phillips Fisher (edited 04-09-2000).]
                                  Tinwhistle Farm


                                  • #37
                                    I know for a fact that while Sarah Willeman is naturally slender, she is gym rat. She works out really hard to stay strong. I ride (or did before I became pregnant) at her home barn in Massachusetts. She has wonderful horses, yes, but she's fit ("buff"), plus how could you not get better riding as much as she does!
                                    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi


                                    • #38
                                      Oh yeah! dehydration! I almost forgot that one, don't know how since it's such a strict thing they push for in the military! Also, my bulemic friend passed out at school and had to be hospitalized for dehydration. Not fun. Oh, and to the last poster about Sarah, no one said SHE was like that, and I am glad to hear that she is athletic and works out, that is what we need in this sport. I e-mailed everyone who had an e-mail address on the AHSA site about this subject! Hopefull someone in cosmos' life will recognize her problem and get her to help herself.
                                      Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                                      An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                                      • #39
                                        So if you win at indoors this year your life will be perfect? I think not. You will wake up the next day and everything will be the same as it was the day before you won. Sorry to disappoint you.

                                        You will not be happy with who you are until you start being happy and proud about how you are living your life and what you are doing with yourself, not by the number of points next to your name or the color of the ribbon you won. All of that is wiped out at the end of the year and you have to start all over again from zero.

                                        Why don't you spend some time working at a therapeutic riding program or a developmentally challenged center or a soup kitchen. Those people have real problems and a little effort on your part can make a big difference in their lives. Much more than the difference between a size 4 and a size 6 will make in your life. Maybe if you concentrate a bit more on what you are giving instead of what you are getting you will find happiness and satisfaction.
                                        Man plans. God laughs.


                                        • #40

                                          I hear what you are saying. I understand perfectly that you want to look as slim as the other girls at the big shows. Wanting to be the same weight as your toughest competitors makes sense to me because I know that being heavier is a handicap to your winning ability at the big shows. Extra pounds won't necesarily stop you from beating thinner girls, but they won't help you at all, that is for sure. You usually have to make up for being heavier by riding better than the rest, which puts you at an unfair advantage. It is just not a level playing field. That is a horrible, horrible fact, but it is the truth, nevertheless. I don't see how writing into the AHSA and raising awareness will ever change the situation. Girls will always want to be thin and judges will always favor riders that are slender. It's disgusting... yes... but it's also a mentality that is not going anywhere soon.

                                          What we need to to do is learn to cope with it. Cozmo... you are a such a classic example of how junior girls feel. What needs to be addressed her is how Cozmo can deal with these feelings of hers in a safe and non-harmful way. Some have posted that she should not feel the way she does... that she has no reason to loose weight and that she should not heed her trainer's and judge's words. Well of course she SHOULDN'T, but she does anyway. No one can force her to change her feelings anymore than my girlfriends here at college can try to make me stop obsessing over this silly guy who I know is SO not worthy of my time and energy, but who I constantly think about anyway, DESPITE the fact that I know he is a jerk. We feel the way we feel whether we like it or not, and it usually takes years and years to change the strongest of our feelings (and a lot of therapy).

                                          SO... here are my recommendations for "coping" with the feelings of inadequacy you have regarding your weight. First of all, please consider going to a therapist. There is a lot of bad therapy out there, so you have to be wise in choosing someone, but when you do find the right person, therapy can be one of the most rewarding and helpful expereinces. It is something you have to do for yourself. My mother wanted me to see someone for years becuase she thought I was holding myself back from winning by psyching myself out. We also had a lot of family problems too. Well, I refused to go for a very long time. I was too embarassed really. I didn't want to have to explain to people why I was doing it and I really thought that I could deal with my problems by myslef. When I came to school, my friend finally got me to go to her therapist. I can not even begin to tell you what it has done for me. I wish so much that I had gone when I was a junior, I can't imagine how much it would have helped me then. With you, Cozmo, a therapist would provide an outlet for you outside of your family and riding. I know you think that you are too busy between riding, school, and everything else, but you just need to budget an hour a week and it is SOOOOOO completly worth it. If you think that you would be embarassed then the key is not to tell people! It might seem hard to keep it a secret, but it really isn't. I have a huge group of freinds at school who I am with all of the time, and only two of my freinds know I am in therapy. If your parents are in issue, let me know, because I have lots of ways to get around them. My mother doesn't even know I am seeing anyone! Believe me when I say that that is a feat!
                                          Moving on. Ok... so you want to loose weight for Devon. I am not going to criticize you for that at all... if it's something you really think needs to be done then there ain't nutin that's gonna change that. Just don't be a wuss and take the lazy and easy way to weight loss. Yup... you ARE gonna loose the weight if you don't eat and take pills. But god, you will so not be better off becuase you are just gonna feel like crap.
                                          A little anecdote for you. I gained weight my first three weeks at college. I went from 120 to 127 pounds at 5'9". It crept up on me fast and I was traumatized because I had never gained non-growthspurt related weight before in my life, BUT I also hadn't gone that long without riding or working for my trainers since I was in grade school, so the weight gain made sense. After all, I went from working my behind off every day at the summer shows to getting no exercise whatsoever except for walking around campus (plus, I was living it up and drinking a lot on the weekends). Towards the end of September I realized that I was gonna have a bit of trouble squeezing into my riding clothes (especially my boots) for Indoors. I had only gained 7 pounds, which is really hardly anything, but I knew that it was a meaningful 7 pounds. So I stopped eating. I would eat only when I absolutly could not take it anymore and I lived on vitamins and ultra slim fast. I had never "dieted" before, and my body couldn't take it. I was too tired to go out at night, I started falling alseep in my classes, and I kept gettingt the dry heaves. I was a cry for help. My wonderful roomate, who was this diet and workout guru, took me under her wing. We had two weeks unitl capitol challenge... three til harrisburg. First, we went to CVS and bought all of these cool vitamins. Then, she introduced me to the gym. I had never worked out before, and to me the gym was a foreign land with scary equipment and intense people, but she showed me the ropes and set up a routine, and I quickly got the hang of it. She supervised my eating, making me eat breakfast for the first time ever, cutting the caffeine out of my diet, and introducing me to the world of the mythical "balanced diet". And then there was the water, oh god the water. I had to drink it 24-7. I also had to make sure I slept at least 6 hours every night. I felt so wonderful, AND I lost 5 pounds... all in good health! Too bad I rode horribly anyway at Indoors!
                                          It's such a shame that you feel winning is everything, but once again, if that is the way you feel then that is the way you feel. But let me tell you a few things that helped me loose that mentality over time. I had to become a working student when I was a sophomre because my family lost a lot of money and could not longer afford to do the circuit without worrying at all about the bills. It was the best thing ever... I was such a spoiled brat before, and I only focused on winning... so much so that I was unable to do it! Being around my horses more and being responsible for them changed me so much... I learned to love the sport for the little things like arriving at the shows at the crack of dawn only to hear the birds and the sound of the horses munching on hay. I stopped going to the shows in hopes of expereincing the thrill of victory, and instead, I went for dozens of other reasons, like to see my friends and enjoy preparing my horse to show. Winning became secondary and I was so much happier.
                                          All right, this is way to long and I HAVE to stop this rambling now because I have too much studying that I need to be doing. Oh god... having panick attack about schoolwork... must go... hope somobody out there, especially cozmo, got something out of this...