Happy, Healthy, & Horsey: Detox Hodgepodge

Including that stubborn hoof abscess!

As every horseperson in the country counts down towards Daylight Savings Time (current clock at time of writing: 2 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes – woo hoo!), it seems like a great time to give y’all several short updates, so here we go!

First off, and most importantly, Kaliwohi is feeling much better!

Snuggles and selfies with a standing-on-all-fours Kaliwohi!  Photos by Esther Roberts

After stubbornly hanging on for days on end, Kaliwohi’s abscess finally decided to drain (detox #1) and the swelling went down. While he’s still a wee bit “off” in the right hind, Kiwi is well on his way to completely healthy. Hallelujah!

Secondly, when 2019 began, I chose the word “consistency” as my personal buzzword for the year. 2018 was anything but consistent for me in nearly every area of my life (#divorce, #ridingcrash), so I welcomed 2019 with renewed focus and determination. I realize it took years for me to get overweight, and it’s not gonna come off overnight. Small, positive, consistent changes in my food choices, my exercise endeavors, and my self-talk are the building blocks to long-term, sustainable change.

Soooo… while I’m not a big fan of water, I know I need to drink a lot of it, each and every day, consistently. (detox #2) To help make this boringly clear, unsweet, unfizzy drink more palatable, I took a page from one of my favorite local coffee shops, Capybara Coffee. Capybara is an ultra-cool spot here in Knoxville with a great vibe. I’ve met clients there, gone there to work and relax in between other meetings, and just dropped by to grab the best chai latte anywhere. In addition to all their fine beverages, the folks at Capybara offer unlimited free, chilled, fruit-infused water to everyone.

Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, right? So I picked up some organic fruit, along with some fresh mint sprigs at a local market and finally put my infusing pitcher to use!

Homemade fruit-infused water. Photo by Esther Roberts

When I began this weight-loss/fitness journey, I never ever thought I would find myself tossing berries and lemon and mint in a pitcher of water, and – drum roll – loving every delicious drop!

Also, as 2019 began, I was frustrated because so many parts of me still ached and pained from last summer’s crash off Kaliwohi. I knew I was at a crossroads, and a critical one, at that. I could choose to get strong again or I could start down the path of “aging.” So I decided to do something radical. Instead of using a quiet, “zen” type yoga program (Yoga With Adriene is a personal fav in this category of “zen yoga”), I decided I needed a program that would push me – hard.

Enter one of the most challenging, obnoxious, fast, difficult yoga programs I’ve ever heard of: DDPY. The instructor/coach/yogi is a former wrestler. Raw honesty: I despise arrogance and violence, and professional wrestling seems to be replete with an abundance of both, therefore I am sooooo not a fan of wrestling, friends. But Diamond Dallas Page, the mastermind behind DDPY, is part showman, part drill sergeant, part power-yogi, and all about personal accountability and success.

Page’s voice grates on this musician’s ears so badly I can hardly stand it. Yet I do what he tells me, every movement, as best I can, like I would if I were riding for George H. Morris. I can’t say DDPY “inspires” me per se; more like it challenges me to give everything I’ve got, and then some. In the first thirty days of consistently doing the DDPY program, I’ve lost inches in my waist and hips, and I’m far more flexible than I ever hoped to be post-crash, frankly.

I apologize the photos below are not of great quality, but you can clearly see how improved my balance and flexibility have become in the first month of consistent workouts with DDPY.

Day one (left photo) of my endeavors with DDPY yoga, I can hardly balance on one foot, let alone raise my knee. Thirty days in, (right photo) I can raise my knee to waist level. Photos by Sarah Frances Smith.

I intentionally stood on my right leg for this particular stretch, since it is the weaker leg, post-crash. I am getting stronger and more flexible and it feels amazing. (detox #3) I don’t know if I’ll ever move with the litheness and agility of a cat (#aspirations) but I definitely feel more connected, coordinated, and youthful, and no longer like some energetic spirit trapped in a damaged and aging body.

Another way I am embracing consistency is by striving to fuel my body better. Along this journey through 2018, I stuck to using tried-and-true food combinations and recipes; basically, staying “inside the box.” These days, I’m delightedly tossing out any “box” and allowing myself the liberty of holding no preconceived notions of what “should” go together. If it sounds good, and the ingredients are healthy, I’m game to try it. Here’s one example:

Weird-but-wonderful salad. Photo by Esther Roberts

This salad contains a few leaves of organic lettuce washed and torn into small pieces, a whole organic apple sliced into chunks, some fresh grapes, some pure asiago cheese crunches, one organic mozzarella string cheese chopped into pieces, and a handful of chopped cabbage-and-kale mix, along with about two tablespoons of my favorite salad dressing drizzled on top. I used to despise raw cabbage and raw kale, and I still don’t like either one by itself. But tossed into this salad, the flavors all blend to make a tangy and interesting mix and I really like it. (detox #4)

So come on, spring! The days will get consistently longer, and, hopefully, I will continue to consistently shrink!


Go Riding!

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