From Endurance to Dressage
My weight that is. Not too long ago I shared my weight loss journey. It was hard. It sucked. I am still on it. It's been more than a month since I wrote that post, so I thought I'd give you an update, especially for those who might have been inspired to lose a few pounds themselves. You can do it!
When last I left you, I was trying to get down to 123 pounds. I never made it, but that's okay. My doctor actually insisted I stop losing weight as my BMI was starting to get too low. I am holding steady at 125. I tick up to 126 now and then, but I easily bring it back, and when I've been particularly diligent, I even drop down into the 124 range. Don't tell Dr. Sharma.
It's been both easy and difficult to ease off the militaristic approach I took to losing weight. While eating yummy things now and then is wonderful, I am wracked with guilt as I do it which sort of diminishes the treat factor. The other problem is the slippery slope effect; if I've already had 1 scoop of chip and guacamole, I might as well have 12.
I am finding that within one or two days of a "splurge" - does 12 chips even count as splurging?, I can lose the gained pound without much additional effort. I feel good, my clothes are comfortable, and Speedy probably appreciates packing around less of me. Izzy's a chunk, so he doesn't even know I am up there.
Just about the time I started to think I had reached a kick-ass state of health - why wouldn't I think so after losing 40 flipping pounds?, I scheduled my annual physical, smug in the knowledge that I am HEALTHY.
The first thing my primary care physician noted was that my platelets were low. After pulling blood three times over 6 weeks, it was finally decided that my platelets are just low when compared to other people's platelets. My normal is just low. Be prepared; this will be revealed as a theme.
Even though I already take vitamin D and omega-3 fish oil, she noted that I am now rather deficient in B12 as well. Amazon should be delivering some of that in the next day or so. Again, low.
With the blood pressure cuff squeezing my now much skinnier arm, the nurse pointed out to the doctor that my pulse was quite low, somewhere around 52. An EKG machine was quickly rolled into the room and wires were strapped to my chest. Yep. Low.
Along with a questionable pulse, my blood pressure now regularly dips down into the 85 over 65 range. We're pretty sure that's where the dizziness is coming from. At the doctor's urging I now own a blood pressure monitor and cuff which I use twice a day every day to monitor and log my pulse and blood pressure.
I suddenly found myself being asked if I have a cardiologist. A what-ologist? I am 48 years old. Old people have cardiologists; not skinny pear-shaped women who carry their weight on their hips. I now have a cardiologist who I have seen three times, with yet another appointment scheduled for next week. That's how I found myself wearing one of these.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm. Your doctor may want you to wear a Holter monitor for one to two days. During that time, the device records all of your heartbeats. That I even have to visit the Mayo Clinic web site smacks of "old ladyage." Yes, that's a word. I just made it up.
That's how I ended up wearing the heart monitor on Wednesday. The day before, I had an echocardiogram, an ultrasound of my heart. After that I had a Carotid ultrasound, an ultrasound of the arteries in my neck. It was after that that they strapped on the Holter monitor and told me to come back the next day to return it.
So what does all this mean? Nothing. The cardiologist already explained that losing so much weight, nearly 25% of my body, has made the workload much easier for my heart. Losing weight is also an easy way to lower your blood pressure.
But remember, low. My normal BP has always been right around 120 over 70 which is considered a low, healthy number. So now, it's really low, low enough to make me feel dizzy when I stand up. In all likelihood, my body just needs time to adapt to all this lowness.
So. Get healthy. Get fit. Your doctor needs to earn a living. Right now, I am supporting an entire medical team, mine and Speedy's.
Go, Team Speedy!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%