Hubby and I decided to celebrate our anniversary this year by going on a 4 hour trail ride. We used to own horses and we really miss having them. It was fun riding with hubby and remembering the different horses that have come through our lives including:
Jumps Fences, Copper and Spirit:
Lacey and Miss Ginger-Lee
Here is a picture of our group heading out across the fields towards the coulee. Hubby is in blue, I am in red.
The ride was really great. As you can see, these weren't nose to tail trail horses which makes the ride so much more enjoyable. Over the 4 hours we went across the pasture, down into the coulee, along the river, back out through a meadow and back across pasture.
This is a photo of the coulee we rode into.
The only scary moment happened on the descent. The first 40 feet of trail is very steep, then 20 ft of slight slope followed by 100 feet of moderate slope. Most of the path is quite narrow. When I was about 30 feet down the steep part, the horse behind me spooked at the sight of 3 power boats racing along the river below... which spooked my horse too. Fortunately, we were both able to get the horses to quiet quite quickly once they reached slight slope section. After that, hubby and one of the other guides decided to walk their horses down the steepest part. Smart.
We saw a lot of wildlife on the ride. The first thing - a rattlesnake. The guide knew it lives under the cattle gate we were about to cross, so she dismounted and flushed it out of the grass into the grate. I was surprised the horses stayed completely calm, but I imagine this isnt the first time they've seen this particular snake. It was cool for me. First time I"ve seen one & I was only about 10 feet away. We also saw a coyote about 100 feet off who appears to be guarding the entrance to a den - we gave her plenty of space. Other wildlife included a small herd of antelope, gophers, pelicans, sandpipers and a golden eagle.
This is a photo of our group coming back out of the coulee.
And one of me.
Every time I do something like this, something that I simply wasn't able to do 100lbs ago, I am grateful. I simply love being able to do physically challenging activities. I was disabled by my weight for so long and more than anything, this weight loss journey is about freedom.
Being free to hike 1.5 hours on Friday, horseback ride 4 hours on Saturday, walk downtown for Canada Day activities on Sunday and then do a 17km/10.5mile bike ride followed by swimming and a bit of kayaking... which is what I have planned for this afternoon.
Except for the bike ride, all of these activities I enjoy with hubby and DeeOhGee. Before spark, hubby would watch TV and I would play on the computer and think about how we never seemed to connect anymore. Since spark, we are both leaner and fitter. Being active together gives us the opportunity to get away from the mundane problems of our lives and just have fun. New experiences lead to new stories and fresh conversations.
THIS is why I track my calories and drink my water and exercise every day. This is what I need to hold onto when I'm tempted to overeat.
On the eating front, I'm three days into clean eating. I'm remembering all of the things I love about clean eating:
- how pretty the food looks on the plate with the different colours
- how big the portion sizes are
- how tasty fresh quality ingredients truly are
- how much I enjoy building layers of flavours when I cook
- how much energy I have when I'm not poisoning my body with processed foods
Tonight's plan is a picnic at the beach. I'm biking the 17km out and hubby will drive out with step-son and DeeOhGee, bringing the food, the bbq and my inflatable kayak. Hopefully the lake is warm enough to swim in today. I'll need it after the long bike ride!
For dinner, the guys are having steak & I'm having 2 monteray jack cheese topped veggie patties with with mushrooms and onions. Greek salad for the side and fruit salad for dessert (fresh apple, cherries, blueberries, banana and watermelon with a dressing of fresh lime juice, honey, a drop of vanilla and mint from my garden).
I'm so glad I had this 4 day weekend to really focus on fun, food and exercise. I've been struggling with my weight for months. These 4 days feel like I've finally turned a corner and remembered that losing weight and being fit doesn't have to be a chore. It can be joyous. Fabulous food, fun physical activities and spending time with people I love.
I am building a bigger life in a smaller body.