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How do YOU deal with the pressures of riding and being thin?

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  • #41
    I ride and I'm not... there you go


    "The tongue weighs less than an ounce but few have the strength to hold it."

    "Fool me once, shame, shame on you, fool me twi, you, you can't fool me again."
    ~ Sad day for us Republicans
    \"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats.\"

    \"Betwixt the stirrup and the ground, mercy I asked and mercy I found.\"


    • #42
      I've posted this before. This is from the US Air Force medical regulation AFI 40-205.

      It is the standards for Men and women. They cover from 18-40 years old. After 40 you get some leeway. The weight is based on a Body fat percentage of under 25% for females (I can't remember what the male is) BTW a healthy/fit BF% for women of child bearing age is 17-24% Lower than 15% causes reproductive issues, that may not be corrected when you gain the weight back.

      It assumes medium frame, and muscles. If you do not meet the weight standards, you are measured for BF%. I'm 5'8" now, and 150lbs. My BF is about 20%.

      "I love deadlines." "I love the swooooshing sound they make as they fly by!" -Douglas Adams
      Attached Files
      - Therese

      "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams


      • #43
        [QUOTE]Originally posted by commodore:
        That is for the AIRFORCE!! I mean, these people have to carry around giant parachutes and stuff. I am pretty sure that G.I. Jane would not look very pretty on a horse (and I thought that's what we were talking about).

        All I know is, if I weighed 148 (the "recommended" weight for my height based on that chart), I would feel horrible and look even worse.

        Not if you were really fit. Think about it this way... guys (who on average have much less body fat than women) are a better way to assess this. If a guy is 5'8" tall and weighed 150 lb, he'd be pretty thin, right? Why do you think a women (with a healthy body fat ratio) should be different?

        I would agree that you don't have to be super fit to ride. I was overweight for several years (another prednisone person). I rode the whole time but walking up 2 flights of stairs winded me.
        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


        • #44
          but if a man and a women are the same height, the same general frame size and have the same body fat composition, they will weigh about the same. Most women who are very fit weigh a lot more than you would believe. And many women who don't weigh much have a high %age of body fat for the reason you pointed out, muscle weighs alot more than fat. Ergo if you don't weigh much, you can't have much muscle.

          You don't have to be fit to look good on a horse. But it certainly doesn't hurt to be fit when competing. You won't look like GI Jane, you just don't wiggle. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
          See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


          • #45
            Ha Ha Ha, GI Jane. We're talking the Chair Force here.

            The weight standards are AVERAGES. If you are a not a medium frame, and don't have much muscle, you will weigh less (sometimes much less). If you look at the maxes, and the "desired" take the difference, you can "estimate" a lower end. 5'8" Max 164, desired 148, "min" 132. If you are under that, with a medium frame, and some muscle weight you are underweight. The American image is so totally off reality it's really funny. These are also for adults. You can't compare a 16 year old girl to a 30 year old woman.

            In all reality your best bet is to go off of body fat%. In what I thought was my "best" condition, I weighed 175. I had 10% BF, and a 23" waist. I was riding 3 horses a day, lifting weights, playing soccer, throwing shotput and discus, and shooting rifle. Also on the math team but that doesn't really count as an athletic event. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] I was also dating some really cute guys, so I must have looked pretty good. My doctor warned me if I did not gain fat I would have problems in the future. (I do [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] ). I'm now 150, and would like to drop 5 lbs, (all in my hips!) but am overall much healthier.

            Weight is a big soapbox for me. The American woman is so pound conscious that they overlook how it all fits together. You need to look at yourself in the mirror and consider what you see, not what the scale says. You could be 5'8" and 120 and look fat because you have no muscle holding it all together. Or you could be 150 and look great...or not. It's all how it is put together, not an arbitrary number on a scale. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]

            "I love deadlines." "I love the swooooshing sound they make as they fly by!" -Douglas Adams
            - Therese

            "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams


            • #46
              GI Jane may not look as pretty on a horse but I'll bet she could be darned effective!

              I guess if I could wave a majic crop and have any body type on the planet, I'd want to be like one of the Grand Prix riders. They're not fat at all. But neither are they Twiggys. They look like athletes.

              I don't know how riders who can't walk from the barn to the ring do it. When I'm slightly less out of shape it shows up in my riding right away. (And why-oh-why does it take so much more time to get into shape than to get out of shape?)


              • #47
                Just read your post Therese and I couldn't agree more.

                Several years ago, I went through a very, very tough time. My mother and a close friend were both diagnosed with breast cancer. I was a wreck. I couldn't eat and couldn't stop stressing. The only way I could clear my head was to push, push, push myself physically. I would literally run till I fell over (note: I do NOT recommend this for anyone--it was neither fun nor healthy). My body fat dropped like a rock. And my muscles were like rocks!

                Funny thing was, although I wore a size 24 breeches (and they were a bit loose) I weighed 10 lbs more then than I do now at a size 26.


                • #48
                  I'm 5'10, and last time I weighed myself, I was about 140. At my heaviest, I was over 155 - but that was when I played college volleyball and could squat more than most of the men's varsity soccer team [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] I think my thighs were about 26" then (and I have a 28" waist!) [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

                  Since graduation, I haven't worked out as much (not to mention sitting in an office chair most of the day vs. walking back and forth between apartment and class buildings!), so I've lost weight - but I've also lost muscle. The first day I went back to riding after over a year off, I could barely hold a half-seat at the canter for more than 2 trips around the ring. Now I'm tossing hay bales with the best of 'em [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Now, I'm more concerned about fitness for riding's sake - I want to be able to control that 1200-lb monstrosity underneath me!

                  I don't worry much about my weight. If the jeans are getting a little tight, I eat a few more salads and cut back on the portions for the next week or so. I have a feeling I'll be doing that soon, as my boyfriend and I killed a container of Chubby Hubby last night during the Sopranos [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                  "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx


                  • #49
                    There is health and there is the cultural standard for female beauty and worthiness. Two entirely different things.

                    The health part is easier for most people to apprehend intellectually--we know that never getting off our butts to propel ourselves forward is literally killing us. Drive to work, drive to school, drive to 7-11, and sit, sit, sit the rest of the time.

                    Food manufacturers and their advertising agencies have succeeded in creating suckers out of us by embedding emotional meanings in food, to the extent that chocolate and potato chips are far more important as mood enhancers than for their nutritional value. Women are not biologically programmed for the need to eat in response to stress--this didn't happen in the pre-advertising age. It's ADM and RJ Reynolds jerking our chains.

                    I don't want to speak for all of western culture, but at least in the US women's value has been firmly attached to their sexuality and body shape. We've only had Title IX and the Civil Rights Act for 30-35 years, and there is still a great deal of work to be done. Women gain and lose education and employment opportunities because their identity is boiled down to sexuality, childbearing and appearance.

                    Dealing constructively with "the weight issue" in the horse world requires some critical thinking about messages in consumer culture, about expectations of women's social worth vis-a-vis sexuality, and a critical assessment of the health tradeoffs of the suburban lifestyle.

                    Embracing the high school prom and football player-cheerleader culture, the white wedding dress, and laundry detergent commercials reinforces ideas about women as sex objects and subordinates to men. Proudly driving that troop-transport vehicle to the shopping mall a mile away helps to degrade the right to good health. Reading some good feminist theory places expectations about women's bodies in equitation in a broader context of oppression....subscribe to The Nation for weekly international news and it becomes clear that this happens in various ways to women everywhere. At that point, the opinions of some brats at a show become insignificant.


                    • #50
                      I have to agree with nhwr. When I was at my fittest (actively competing at the highest level in Highland Dancing and working out 9 hours a week with a trainer), I was 5'4", 130 lbs and somewhere between a size 2 and a size 4! Interestingly, sales people in stores constantly overestimated my size - probably because I was pretty muscular by US standards.


                      • #51
                        GI Jane wouldn't look good on a horse??? You mean Demi Moore?? What are you talking about, she is HOT.

                        I'm baffled here. I work near a marine barracks. There are always young marines in the neighborhood, jogging and doing whatever else marines do and they all look fit and GREAT! Any one of them, male or female would look great riding a horse.
                        The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde


                        • #52
                          I grew up in the same era as you...and I BEAT a few of those "skinny" girls in the eq...I'm a 32D and a size 10-12, at the time I was a 32C and an 8...I NEVER did well on the flat because of the bounce factor but I ALWAYS won over fences. I've got long legs, a short upper body and big boobs, I'm lucky about the legs but thats about it...It sounds to me like you have a slight eating/image problem...something to think about...

                          Aqha Clique
                          Can you stress-fracture your brain?


                          • #53
                            OK...I've seen dogchushu, she took a yoga workshop I taught early this year.

                            All I gotta say, if you have the image that you are "fat" or "bigger than most", you must have thought I was a tub of lard teaching that class! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                            I am not fat, I'm not skinny. I could stand to lose 5-10 lbs...wait, must run to find scale, I don't own one....ok, yup, 10 lbs over! I am at 136 today. Up 2 pounds from 6 months ago when I last weighed in.

                            I am 5'1" and wear 28R breeches. I'll never wear a 24 breech, my structure isn't that small. I'll never be below a 36 bra size. My wrist measures 6" around. Therese, thanks for posting the AF guidelines. I'd pass, but would love to be at the "target weight".

                            BTW, while I may not have the "clothes hangar" figure, I think I look good, and find that men appreciate my visual image when I wear either breeches or non-dumpy clothes.

                            Belen, you look great!



                            • #54
                              Gee thanks SFVA! I don't think I'm "fat," just that I'm not built like a "rider" (I have these darn short legs dammit). And you are sooooo not a tub of lard yourself. You look very athletic! For those who haven't met SFVA, she's a very strong and flexible person--and no cubbiness to be seen. Very petite but not to be trifled with! I can see guys being impressed.


                              • #55
                                I thought the Maclay finals were for Jr.'s.
                                The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde


                                • #56
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dogchushu:
                                  Gee thanks SFVA! I don't think I'm "fat," just that I'm not built like a "rider" (I have these darn short legs dammit). And you are sooooo not a tub of lard yourself. You look very athletic! For those who haven't met SFVA, she's a very strong and flexible person--and no cubbiness to be seen. Very petite but not to be trifled with! I can see guys being impressed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  Thanks! See, I'm not fat! But, there is a vocal minority who would suggest that I'm fat because I'm athletic. Some people have this 14-15 yr old, prepubescent ideal as a "rider body type" in their mind's eye. I do have some chubbiness, but since I'm fit, and more importantly, have good posture, it isn't very noticable.

                                  I have one friend (who IMO is probably disconcerted at the male reaction to fancy party dresses when I bare my back), who has suggested that my back is too muscular to wear certain dresses that reveal my back. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Many women expect us to dress for other women...since men aren't usually clued in enough to care.

                                  I'm not built like a rider OR a yogini, and well, just think, some hunt horses aren't built like conformation hunters, some great jumpers aren't built like jumpers. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] While being grossly overweight can hinder your riding progress, being weak also can. Do you remember any of the core strengthening exercises from the workshop? They are awesome.

                                  My riding has improved tons since I've become more fit. My "core strength" is better.

                                  I need to look into doing more workshops for riders. They are fun.



                                  • #57
                                    Laurel Mullins

                                    Laurel Mullen. She looked beautiful on a horse - one of my favorite riders!

                                    Hobson - I don't understand what you just posted.


                                    • #58
                                      I don't know about the rest of you but having seen many skinny, skinny girls in the show ring over the years, I can't help but wonder how an underweight frame fits anyone's definition of a healthy body - whether it be a jumper or eq. class.

                                      I'm now at 90 lbs (and trying desparately to gain 5 lbs) and think I look like skeletal and frail when riding. How anyone could conclude that a body like mine is the standard and ideal - well, the mind boggles.


                                      • #59
                                        I wasn't sure if you were talking about competing at the finals, or just looking like a Jr. rider.
                                        The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde


                                        • #60
                                          MargaretF: my long, windy point was that we can talk till we're blue in the face about how being too thin is unhealthy, and how muscle weighs more than fat, blah blah blah...people will still worry about their weight/image instead of their health as long as the female body image is arbitrarily connected to what women are worth, which is made especially difficult to negotiate in a consumer culture that encourages people to eat crappy foods for stress relief, celebration, social identity, etc.

                                          In other words, when (ok, I'm not holding my breath) the feminist revolution and the consumer counter-revolution arrive, this won't be a problem.

                                          I'm not feeling particularly coherent today, sorry if my ramble was totally indecipherable.