Tuesday, February 26, 2013

110 lb Weight Loss truly an All Grit...No Quit Story

Just last week I found an email I received from a lady I met at the Cowboy Christmas event we attend each year in Oakdale, California.  A tall, slim woman, she was looking at an All Grit…No Quit shirt to buy and simply asked about sizing.  As she made her decision, she looked at me and quietly said, “Sorry, it is taking me a bit to decide.  I am just not sure which size to go with".  We talked more and she shared with me that she recently lost 120 pounds.  120 pounds! You would have never known.  I’ve heard of and seen the weight loss stories in the news, but I never had the chance to meet someone in person who had such great success. I was amazed.  I asked if I could share her story and she agreed.  Although, I will not mention her name. 
Today, the 5’ 9” woman, now in her fifties, weighs 140 pounds but, just a year and  half ago, she weighed close to 260 pounds!  She was admittedly a compulsive eater who ate fast food for lunch every day and just couldn’t quit with one sweet. (I can understand that!)
She grew up a horse lover and as a young girl she spent her time riding horses, mules and even driving teams of ponies.  At one point, she even lied about her age so she could harness race.   At home, she had a horse and like most horse loving young girls, she spent most of her free time riding. After high school, she sold her horse, went to work and moved on to other things.  Nevertheless, she kept her saddle and knew that someday she would get back into horses and riding. 

As time and life went on, she struggled with her weight.  But then one day, she received some startling news.  She had 100 % blockage in a heart valve and on the 17th of that month, she had surgery to put in a heart stint.  It was a wake-up call.  That very day she knew she needed to make a change.  Within the week she started walking. She decided to change her eating habits too.  As the weeks and months went on, she did not give up.  She walked every day, rain or shine and soon went from struggling to get up and down the stairs, to walking a minimum of an hour a day.  She made the choice each day.  By the end of the year, she had lost nearly 100 pounds!  When I visited with her on the phone, she told me there were no surgeries or drugs and most important, no excuses! She now sits in any chair she chooses and is happy to shop for new clothes.
 Even with Asthma and difficulty breathing, this woman has only missed walking a handful of times.  A little over a year ago, she could not even picture herself ever riding a horse.  Today, she is actively looking for a new horse.  Here is a lady who, simply made a choice and, succeeded one day at a time, one step at a time.  Her story is amazing and is just one example of the all grit...no quit philosophy that is a Cowgirl's Promise. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

California Cattle Gather

Well, I’m back in the saddle, how about you? I pushed my Gone with the Wind hero, Scarlett O’Hara’s words out of mind and got my all grit...no quit on instead.
For me, there are more things to do in a day than the hours allow. But to be outdoors, horseback is one of my greatest joys. Over the past few weeks I spent many days gathering cattle. That is a highlight for me. I love it and wouldn’t trade those days for anything. It is the perfect opportunity for me to get my horse, Cisco, out of the arena and on the trail. Even though the country is steep and rocky and Cisco has to work pretty hard, I think he would agree with me, the days spent gathering together are good ones. At five years old, my little horse can start out fresh, but he settles in quickly and we go along, most of the time, low headed and peaceful. To gather the cattle, you must first find the cattle. Now you might just be thinking (like I did)…how hard is it to see a cow? Well, in the steep, brushy, tree covered country, it can be pretty tough and in such pretty country, some days it’s hard for me to stay focused. I look for anything that moves; coyotes, bobcats, eagles, deer, pigs, oh yes…and cattle. In the end, I see more logs and branches that look like coyotes, and rocks that look like calves than anything else. 

There are days when I am absolutely convinced the big granite rock in the shadows is a cow and the blackened log on the hill, just below, is her calf! After several bluff sightings, I've learned not to say anything too soon. When I see cattle (real ones, not rocks!) before anyone else, I’m thrilled and I sit as tall as John Wayne! Yep…for just a minute, I’m the Duke. But, the minute goes by quick as I am suddenly faced with the task of gathering those I spotted, keeping my herd moving in the right direction and making sure I’m in the right spot to hold them at any given time.
It’s a great day when the cattle end up in the corrals!