Along for the Ride – Body Betrayal

by Robyn Schiller

Robyn is the wife of horse (and people) trainer Warwick Schiller. She invites you to join her as she journeys through her life as trainer’s wife, mother, businesswoman and Internationally competitive rider.

I get stuck writing these blogs because I feel like I have to have the answer for whatever it is that I’m sharing or a moral to the story or something to leave you with.   This one will be different, in that it’s just pure sharing (and commiserating with those in the same boat).

I’m reading/listening to a book given to me by Angela Koning after I posted on the WSPH Facebook Group announcing my first FB live (thank you Angela!).  The post was a musing on how I could contribute in other ways to this incredible community that we have gathered. The book she sent me is called Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell.  Today, while listening (I have hard copy and audible version), she said something that made me sit down at the computer and write about something that I haven’t before.  She said that I should write what I most need to hear.

I am going to write about this because it is top of mind right now and I guess I most need to hear that I’m not alone and that our worth is not determined by the numbers on a scale or the size of our bodies.

The best way to put it out there is to define it as a feeling that my body is betraying me.  Shouldn’t there be a silver bullet by now?  Shouldn’t it be as simple as calories in vs. calories out? Shouldn’t your body do the right thing – haha? This has not been my experience.

I’ve been the chubby kid all my life.  I went on my first diet at The Diet Center when I was 12.  Let me just say right here, that I don’t blame anyone. Thin has always been in.

I had grown out of my mom’s & sister’s size bra and pants when I was 13.  I’ve always thought of myself as overweight and have measured myself by the numbers on the scale and size of pants I wear.  The higher the numbers, the worse I feel.

When I was 19, I discovered exercise!  At that time, in the early 90’s, aerobics were all the rage.  I’d always been active, not athletic – I was a cheerleader in the days where we did standard cheering, not the crazy acrobatics they do now. I’d never really exercised outside of gym class at school. But when I found aerobics, I loved the way that I felt! I loved it so much that I went and got a certification to teach it and teach I did.  I’d also do hours on the stairclimber (even before teaching a class).  I had another measure of my worth now – did I exercise enough today?

It’s no surprise that this happened at the same time that I also had a very controlling boyfriend.  He was the sort of “boy”that was jealous of the time that I spent riding my horse (which I had gotten back into after taking a break in high school) or going to school (I was attending a 2-year college then).  I’m glad we didn’t have cell phones then – that would have been a nightmare.  This is when I began a very unhealthy relationship with food and exercise.  Amongst other things, I cut out ALL FAT – it was the devil (that is what we were told at the time) and if I ate something, I had to make sure that the exercise I did negated whatever it was. I did this because it was really all I felt like I could control.  I guess it was to spite the boyfriend – ‘you can’t control what I put in my mouth’.  But, here’s the kicker –   my body betrayed me! I didn’t lose any weight!  (I know now that, in actuality, my body was actually pretty good at survival – still is!  I wish that realization made me nicer to the image in the mirror.)

I got rid of the boyfriend (and engagement) thankfully before I took on more of his stuff and I sought out the help of a therapist that specialized in eating disorders.  He got me back on track and it was when I was really working on this that I met Warwick.  One of the main reasons we didn’t jump right into a relationship was because I was not ready – I was still sorting stuff out.

Through the years I won’t say that I’ve ever been truly happy with my body – there have been times when I’ve been happier with it. Coincidentally always when I my body was cooperating with my efforts! I’ve had some success dieting, I lost 20 pounds after Tyler was born and then 30 pounds 5 years later on Weight Watchers.  I’ve done the Bullet Proof plan and keto and lost weight and felt better on them.  I’ve even – get this – had my belly fat frozen…haha.  I don’t recommend it – I can’t imagine liposuction hurting any worse.

The last couple of years though, dealing with the changing hormones of menopause, I’m back to feeling betrayed again.  I’ve always taken good care of myself, I don’t smoke or do drugs and I exercise modestly (not obsessively anymore). I’m active outside on most days doing horsey chores and riding. I don’t eat processed food anymore and my sugar intake is minimal.  I do enjoy my drinks, but I’m a lightweight and if I have more than 2 I’m miserable the next day, so I don’t. So, why is my setpoint getting higher and higher? It’s embarrassing – I hate looking at pictures of myself these days (just keeping it real).

I wish that it helped to know that at this point in my life it is hormonal – I do blood work and have it reviewed by my naturopath every 6 months. So, I know, scientifically what we are dealing with and it makes total sense what is going on – it is totally hormonal.  We tweak the supplements I’m taking to try and balance them back out.  The latest results: my testosterone levels are so low that they couldn’t even do one of the tests! It had been low before (not this low) and she had given me some supplements for it.  But I had gone off of them because for one of them, the World Equestrian Games Anti-Doping regulations prohibited it and the other I felt had side effects I didn’t want to live with.

I’ve started back on the one supplement and have just gone back to really cutting out sugar.  If this isn’t successful, I’m considering doing some hormone replacement – something I’ve been dead set against because of all the nightmare stories I’ve heard. However, my naturopath seems to think it may be a good option on some lower doses.

May be a good optionIt might work.  But, in her opinion, our weight setpoint goes up until about a year after menopause and then it comes back down again (which is exactly what happened to my mom).  I’m in that grey area of not really being post-menopausal (although some of my blood tests do indicate it).  I can’t reach that year point, it keeps resetting itself! For me, this equals Body Betrayal of the utmost level!

Yesterday, I thought I’d start trying the deflection technique.  What I mean by that (as there is probably a better name for it, but that is what popped into my head) is that anytime I start thinking about how I feel about carrying around too much weight, I will instead practice gratitude or think about something else.   I’ll let you know how I go! I think between that and getting this written (and out of my head) it may help! I’m open to suggestions to those in the boat with me!

I guess that is where I’ll leave it. As Brene Brown says, “I am on the journey with you trying to get there, but I don’t have it mastered.”

Thanks for letting me share.  Please know that I get that there are people out there who have a whole other level of “body betrayal” (not just my narcissistic one) and I can’t imagine that, this blog is not meant to lessen their situation or anything like that.  It’s like another Brene-ism – I might not be in the same situation, but I may have the same emotional feelings as you.

48 thoughts on “Along for the Ride – Body Betrayal

  1. Hi, Robyn, Don’t feel bad – our bodies were not designed for the life style they are enduring – what I’m trying to say is this – in the very olden days – grandmothers ate last, the kids, the hunters, the immediate mums, but the old ones – like grandmother – often didn’t get much – those grandmothers – didn’t die – they were very valuable – however, their bodies learned to live on literally “nothing” – our bodies still remember the lessons. I have found through watching very closely what I eat, weigh myself every day, eat two meals a day – sometimes a small snack in the evenings, plus do lots of labor – I can control my weight – it isn’t easy. Eating gets to be a luxury – at least any amount – then I get to deal with it the next day as the numbers go up again:( All I can say is “Welcome to the club” perhaps the way to look at it is “the money we save not eating” can go for something else we might like to have or a pleasure it might bring:) Good welcome to the new age of “caveman grandma”!!!

  2. If its any consolation, a few years after menopause began, the weight did magically fall away. Now in my 60’s I am battling other body betrayals. I am sure like the rest of us your self perception is far more critical. I met you briefly at your booth at Equine Affaire (Thank you for my susbscriber bracelet). And I came away thinking how lovely you looked in person. Quite radiant. Mirrors are never kind I find. Not sure tou that old lady is looking at me. So I choose to only have a medicine cabinet mirror. Don’t weigh myself and just try to stay in my two pants sizes. I’ll let you know how that goes after shoulder surgery in 2 weeks. I have visions of gaining lbs a day as I lau up. Ugh. Hang in there and I like the idea of sticking with positive ideas and thoughts. Kinda like Warwick and the ladybthat could only say negative things about her horse. Substitute a positive word and Voila! Her whole attitude and experiences changed. Keeping smiling!

  3. Robyn – You have beautifully stated exactly what I feel and what I have struggled with for decades. Thank you for sharing it because no one really talks about it and I constantly beat myself up about it. I think we are around the same age and I too now have the fun hormonal struggles that seem to pile on… Please keep us posted on how things go as you go forward and if you happen upon any lesson or golden nuggets of advice. It’s nice to just be able to talk about this lifelong issue.

  4. Thanks for baring your sincerity, Robyn. I can relate in several ways. Don’t know if you heard but I had a heart attack last month. Talk about feeling betrayed. I’m only 53 and in pretty darn good health. As in everything else, this life is a journey and we need to embrace each step…even when we don’t like it or inderstand it. We are never in the same place tomorrow as we were today. Hang in there and jnow you arent alone!

  5. Robyn,
    You are not alone in this. I have been on hormone therapy for 30 years, went off it and INSTANTLY gained 20 lbs!!! No matter what I do the weight stays, menopause is cruel. I also dislike my picture taken right now and the fact that my pants no longer fit right. I am very encouraged by your blog and the statement that it takes a year for the body to regulate. I am hoping things will even out for me but if they don’t, oh well.
    You are a beautiful woman with tremendous talents – do not ever forget that! Thanks for keeping it real.

  6. Thanks for bringing this into the light, Robyn. I got back into horses shortly after menopause. Ten years and ten pounds later, I’m fit and strong and ridiculously healthy. Yet I have this apron of fat on my front that wraps around my waist. I suspect that this is just The Way It Is post menopause. That body shape is what I’ll always have, until I waste away going into death, if I do. So, well, okay. Long shirts, toss all those short tops and low jeans, eat well and let my fitness coaches (Akron and Dolly) help me stay fit. Could be worse, eh?

  7. Thankyou .. writing things down helps .. I’m
    In the same
    Boat .. pretty similiar story really .. thankyou for sharing Robyn .. and yes we need to be nicer to
    Ourselves .. you are such an inspiration.. I’m
    Hoping that he journaling i am
    Doing now will help
    One some day too .. xxx

  8. Wow and THANK YOU!!! As a 48 (almost 49 year old)woman this could have been my blog!! I know that the weight gain stuff is almost all my fault but it’s good to see someone who is really working on it struggling as well (yep misery loves company😁). After I couldn’t ride either of my horses a few years ago(during to various career ending injuries-now just beautiful pasture ornaments)…I started to gain a LOT of weight and it’s been like a snowball headed for hell ever since. Now I have a new youngster who will be sidelined for about a year due to a bowed tendon and so I find myself in the same boat again and i think “good grief what next?” However totally a good idea to do the “gratitude talk” instead. Again thanks again for just putting it all out needed right now!!

  9. Hi Robyn
    Have you heard of somaderm? I have just ordered it and it’s all natural. It is easier to get in your country a I had to order in from the states. If you contact Danielle capolon – Engle Hart ( she is in the pink whip group) she sells it.
    It’s having amazing results
    Best of love my friend – your story sounds like mine 😩

  10. Hi Robyn, I don’t really know what to say but I felt compelled to say something after reading this. Perhaps I’ll start by saying thankyou for your vulnerability and honesty. There is so much strength in vulnerability, and that is what I see when I read your words and see pics of you- a strong and very beautiful woman. A woman who has qualities I want to emulate. I have always struggled in the opposite end of the body image spectrum- being teased at school for being too thin. Eating to stack on weight so I could have boobs and a backside and fit into clothes. Now I have two daughters- one who struggles to keep weight on like I did and another who is just entering teenage years, who I feel has been betrayed by her body- ovaries removed at 12yrs because of cancer and already on HRT. She already struggles with her weight and body image. As their mother I have no answers, I don’t know what to tell them other than that they are loved, because they are them, you are you. I guess what I am trying to say is I hear you and Thankyou for sharing.

  11. Hi Robyn – thank you for writing this. I had a hysterectomy a year ago and this blog has made me feel a lot better because there are days when I feel the same things you describe and it seems like I am the only one feeling this as no one I know talks about it. Sometimes I don’t ride because I feel like Humpty Dumpty on my little pony. I too think of the positives when I get down about it – the good things that resulted from the operation = no more severe self loathing , monthly “spack outs”, severe pain and the massive flooding that used to stop me living life to the fullest.

  12. Thanks for posting this Robyn. I’ve had similar struggles all my life. It seems I’m always carrying around an extra 20 (at least). I eat similarly to you I think. Nothing processed; good food; minimize he sugar. I avoid yeast since I think it makes my body feel worse… I thought it might be gluten, but it’s not. Sourdough and flatbread are not an issue. It could be you have a sensitivity to some food you may be eating? I don’t know. I struggle in the same way. I just want to say to you, you look great. You ride beautifully, and you look lovely. Part of the journey is accepting ourselves. As I say that, it is still something I struggle with, but I think maybe it is because of the images we are flooded with… I am still hopeful to be accepting of my body and at the same time mindful of what I consume. I am hopeful that Weight Watchers will help a little with my mindfulness and thoughtfulness, and then too – that I am accepting of who I am at this moment. Thank you again.

  13. Hi Robyn thanks for your courage in writing something so personal. I’m not a therapist but have you ever tried thinking about your body issues in the same way you think about your anxiety issues? If you were a horse, how would you treat that horse; if she did something you didn’t like would you consider it a “betrayal”? I love that you redirect your mind to gratitude. In my religion we have a saying “ When a thought of hate comes, defeat it with a stonger thought of love”. It might help if you research the true meaning of forgiveness as well.

  14. One more thing to live about you, Robyn – your transparency. I’ve always felt like two parts, a head and a body. I’m the head and my body and I have a love hate relationship. I wrinkle my nose at myself in the mirror. Here’s the funny thing, though. We are definitely our own worst critics. If you only knew how many times I’ve seen a photo or video of you and said, “Man! She gorgeous, she’s smart, she’s funny, and she rides a horse like there’s no tomorrow. I want to hate her but I can’t! She’s so nice!” You are beautiful just the way you are!

  15. I struggle, also. I have always been strong in bone and muscle. I turned 51 this year feeling “body betrayed”, too. My husband got me a fit bit to help track my heart rate and steps each day. After a month, I gave it back to him. My average steps were over 12,oo0 a day and my heart rate was in the fat burning zone for my age many times a day for 20-30 minutes at a time.
    I am a natural balance hoof trimmer and farmer. Go figure. Not a pound lost. I keep my calories 1800-2300 and paleo diet. I just feel betrayed. Thank you for putting it into words.
    I feel good. That is what I am going to focus on. Heavy sigh. Hugs!

  16. WOW. So many points resonating for me. I smiled at the aerobics, my heart fell as I remembered my fiance who used me as his punching bag, I felt guilty when I remembered the bulimia stage, I smiled again as you found your horse again as did I, then the menopause plague and for me thyroid as well. BUT as I read this the only picture I have in my head is I always feel uplifted when I see photos of you. Your beautiful smiling face, your love of horses, your amazing family and of course the dogs. Thanks for sharing, women uplifting other women. The only thing I can share is getting your gut bacteria right seems to help.

  17. Robyn, I so appreciate your being open and vulnerable. We as women are so hard on ourselves especially when it comes to body image. I am 54, a pilates instructor and I show my horses as an amateur. My hormones began betraying me about 4 years ago. The weight gain and fatigue made me feel like I was failing as a fitness instructor. I also work with a naturopath but also began seeing an O.D. in OB/Gyn. We tried oral hormones that did not work and so she recommended a plant based bioidentical hormone implant with oral progesterone. I am also taking supplements to support my sluggish thyroid. This has made me feel like a new person and even though I was at peace with my body, my weight is on it’s way down and my energy is up.
    When I was feeling betrayed by my body or in a hard place, I would give thanks for the things that I have like clean water, a safe and comfortable place to live, the love of family and friends and the blessing of having horses.

  18. Dear Robyn,
    A Horse Analogy:
    What I most admire of your horseman ship is the attitude of taking the horse as it is that day; not holding onto what he “should” be or expecting him to be what he was 3 months or 3 years ago. Every day is a new start, a new horse almost and you strive to be kind, soft and reasonable in your requests ; saying “thank you” for every right response by being soft and respectfully work on any emotional or physical limitation that show up that day.
    As the horse ages so do your expectations and at a certain point the horse is past its prime but still can be a joy to work with as it is so experienced and you know each other so well.
    Try to look at your body with the same kind eyes today; the journey you had together; growing up, living, working, playing, riding, carrying a child………..
    I found saying “thank you” to my body for all the times it was there for me in the past, and me taking that for granted
    then again taking it for all it does for me today: walking, mucking,riding, hugging my loved ones……This gets my focus away from being upset with what I judge as wrong with my body, where it is failing to what I observe it does right, where it tries so hard for me. It shifts my emotion from upset and frustrated to calm and thankful. A way better place to be, trust me.
    If you only get one horse(body) ; cherish it for all it does for you, care for it , attend to its needs like you would for an older horse and you might realize the two of you make a great team after all ; it worked for me good luck on your journey


  19. Robyn, you’re so brave for writing such an honest post.

    I am also firmly in the “my body is betraying me” camp. I’m a lot like you – grew up being “active” but not “athletic”, and even now, I’m on the go almost constantly with horses in the backyard, our little farm to run, and my 9-5 job. I eat “relatively” well (not as healthfully as you, but not horrible either). I keep the booze to a minimum (another light-weight here, at least in that respect!), and the weight just keeps climbing.

    I struggle with body image most days, and think back to that one time I lost 30 pounds… and no matter what I do, I just can’t replicate those results. So if you come across the secret, do let us know.

    Until then, please know that you are admired by a large group of horsewomen who see you as the person they would most like to be like. We see you as a brilliant businesswoman (who else in the world could keep Warwick’s crazy world so organized?), a talented rider (your rides at WEG literally brought me to tears), and a beautiful person inside and out. I know it doesn’t always help to hear that, but maybe it will make you feel a tiny bit better to know that we’re with you, we’re rooting for you, and we can feel you rooting for us too.

    Thanks again for the honest post. It helps someone like me to feel like I’m really not alone.


  20. Thanks for sharing, I can’t help but think we are all victims to a bunch of unrealistic expectations, in these areas. Cave man Grandma would have been pretty happy about an extra 20 pounds and a lot warmer I suspect. I also hate photos of myself but have discovered I don’t see what others do. Try this get someone to point out what they like about a photo of you, bet you they are all things you never even noticed!! We are too busy hating to see the good bits.

  21. I have a survival body as well. I’m pretty sure if food got scarce all the skinny people (and their DNA) wouldn’t survive, but I will. Keto has been a godsend as carbs litteraly put weight on me overnight.
    Intermittent fasting and keeping insulin response opportunities to a minimum helps.
    I feel you pain sisters.

  22. Hi Robyn

    Re: I’m open to suggestions to those in the boat with me!
    OK, I’ll take you on your word and make some suggestions… 🙂

    This technique is similar to the deflection technique you described, but I’ve found it to be more gentle on the mind whilst at the same time more powerful in helping me to re-frame my thinking:
    (ignore those irritating, off-putting adverts at the start of each video; they’re not part of the program!!)

    My Body Betrayed Me—The Work of Byron Katie ®
    I’m too Fat ( Part 1)—The Work of Byron Katie ®
    I’m too Fat (Part 2)—The Work of Byron Katie ®
    I Hate My Body—The Work of Byron Katie ®
    Positive Thinking and the Bathroom Mirror—The Work of Byron Katie ®

    Best of luck!

  23. Thank you Robyn,
    It takes a very brave soul to be so honest.
    I believe you have put into words, what a lot of us are feeling.

  24. Oh my friend. I bwlieve we all struggle at times with all that you have written. Some carry to much weight, others like My boys can’t gain weight even when they try.
    Our society feeds us from a very young age on body image. It becomes part of who we are. A certain brand of clothes runs big, it is our new favorite.
    I used to weigh daily, but my mood reflected the scale. I have learned to weigh weekly and it works much better for my mind.
    I do wish we could come to a place where eating a truely healthy diet was enough.
    Being true to yourself…offering yourself grace…offering those around you grace..these bring you joy. There are days where that Joy may not be enough, those are the days you lean a little harder on your husband.

  25. You have no idea how much of a comfort it is to read your words (and all the replies!). Every morning I see my reflection in the elevator mirror and go “ugh”, I avoid looking at myself in bathroom mirror. I don’t see what my husband sees. Don’t get me started on the scales LOL Anyway, no answers, just wanted to say I can whole heartedly relate.

  26. Okay stop right there with the ‘body betrayal’. Reserve that for when your heart stops beating. You wouldn’t allow that language into your horse relationships! Your body is programmed to keep you alive and well and it’s doing its best in a modern world it wasn’t really designed for. You are lovely and so fit i’m in awe. Two laps cantering around the arena and I’m puffing. But here’s the thing; my weight has fluctuated with a 28 lb tolerance. The menopausal years saw me at the heaviest. I ended up thinking I’ll never get back to my lighter self. In the end i though ‘stuff it i don’t care’. i chucked out all my clothes i had kept just in case i slimmed down and decided to just enjoy life. Moved from UK to France with my horse for an adventure – and yes over a year i lost weight and my clothes were too big and i had to buy new ones – go figure! I won’t get back to my lightest without starving – I’m about 8 lbs off and that’s fine. A little fat plumps out the wrinkles 😀

  27. Hi Robyn
    Thank you for sharing. I had a hysterectomy that I didn’t want to have, and now my body hates me. I just have to look at food the wrong way and it decides to clung to my hips and tummy . I am hoping for the day that I can return to being half normal again. I have found it affects my posture and core strength when riding. I have taken up yoga for riders in the hope that it helps. Our bodies are our best friends and our worst enemies all at the same time. Thanks for letting us know we are not alone. 🙂

  28. Hi Robyn,
    Thanks for sharing your story. To echo the others, you are not alone. Struggled my entire life with body betrayal eg weight management. Diabetes runs in my family and being in the biomedical field, I decided I needed to get serious about managing my weight. I’ve always carried about 30 lbs on my 5 ‘ 9 frame. People would always say, you’re tall you can carry the extra weight, but I didn’t like the way I looked, didn’t feel good and avoided having my photo taken at all costs. I realized that everyday my thoughts were consumed with “going’ on a diet. Been to leanline, Weightwatchers, Overeaters Anonymous and every other crazy diet in between, until a few years ago. I went on a doctor supervised program that helped me drop 40lbs in about 60 days. It was an extreme caloric restricted diet. 500 calories/per, no fat, sugar or any personal care products that contained certain chemicals. We don’t realize that we absorb everything we breath, apply and consume and it significantly impacts our chemistry. This restrictive diet helped my body to heal. Weight gain and retention is a symptom of an underlying metabolic imbalance primarily caused by the toxic environment in which we live, despite our best efforts to live a healthy lifestyle. I like to think women like ourselves as the like the canaries in the mines. I believe our bodies are so sensitive to our environment that if you remove the cause, the symptoms resolve themselves. My experience with this calorie restricted diet lead me to a ketogenic and intermittent fasting lifestyle and it has helped me to manage my weight and hormonal balance better than any other time in my life. If you haven’t researched IF, I recommend it. It has so many therapeutic benefits. Research now show that our health and perhaps our lack of ability to maintain a healthy weight is directly related to our gut. Fasting has been around since the beginning of time. It’s a wonderful way of providing the body the ability to heal itself. BTW – I also have my blood done every 6 months and I am on a low dose of bio-identical hormones to rebalance my Prog-Test-Estrogen levels. At 58, I feel great and have more energy than my younger counterparts. Peace to you!

  29. Thanks, Robyn, for being out there with this personal story. It totally resonates with me. I’ve done almost all the same things you have, cut out “bad foods” and stick to low or non-processed foods. No soda or sugary drinks, had my thyroid checked (all is well), keep moderately active including with the horses, and yet still I always feel chubby. I’ve had to learn to like my body as it is and I feel better (mostly) about it than ever before in my life. But I too am in the beginning of menopause and my hope is that after this phase of life, my body may start responding positively to the regular activity and healthy eating I’m already doing. In the end, I know my husband loves me without question and my “ideal” body (whatever that is) is waiting for me in Heaven. I have learned to let go of my body image negativity, albeit very slowly. Much love and hugs to you.

  30. Robyn – oh how I understand! There is the saying wish I were as fat as I thought I was when I was younger. At 65 I was attracting the weight even more. This fall I found a lifestyle change or “diet” if you will, and have lost 37lbs in 10 weeks. Never felt better and actually looking forward to showing again this spring.

  31. Hi there, Please read ‘The Obesity Code. ‘ by Jason Fung, and ‘Why we get fat ‘, by Gary Taubes. It is not that we eat too much and get fatter, but hormonally our bodies fatten, and we have to eat to keep our bodies alive. amazing work by Jason Fung, he has youtube lectures as well. It has totally changed and saved my life. You are beautiful. Thank you. Yvonne Olson

  32. SAME!
    I have always had a hard time with my weight. I feel the same about “body betrayal.” Having 2 autoimmune diseases make me feel like moving is a chore some days and I really tend to beat myself up about my weight and not moving enough on those days…pr even about eating junk because I am too tired or in too much pain to cook. I have been blessed to find supplements that help me feel better most days. I like the idea of replacing negative thoughts with ones of gratitude. Nice idea! I also heard someone say or read somewhere that we are our own worst critic and we would never “say” the things we “say” or think about ourselves to a loved one, so why should we say them to ourselves. We really have to practice being a kinder and better friend to ourselves. Life is tough, but we are tougher! And thank God for the horse life, it keeps us goin! Sending love! Also, I think you look great and never think of you as being chubby at all! Keep on shining!

  33. Well it is amazing reading this Robyn.
    You need what you need at the right time.
    I was wasting time today scrolling through fb ( because I am feeling flat)and saw this post yesterday and skimmed past it. Today I needed to read it!
    I feel exactly what you have said.But the great thing is NOW I have read it and now know amazing people feel exactly the same way I feel!
    Why is that?Is that acceptance!
    Anyway I am getting off the lounge and going to go and do some positive stuff 😀

  34. Change how you look at things and the things you look at will change. Your body is not capable of betrayal. Maybe your mind is the one betraying your body? We are flooded with unrealistic expectations for our bodies. This is wrong. We need to adjust our expectations to the reality of our bodies. When we are realistic about what our goals are and what is achievable we will feel the body shame melt away.

  35. Dear Robyn this latest blog so touching and definitely relevant in so many ways. To show that very human vulnerable side of you, takes courage. One of your posts introduced me to Brene Brown’s writing and I will always remember that. This year I have found sharing the real stories of being a woman, weight, exercise, definitions of strength and beauty with my 19 yr old daughter has been a very different experience, than if I had tried to have these conversations three years ago. In return she has made me so proud of how she engages, views and loves her female friends and relatives, particularly her own age group. She is already learning not to give comparison of looks any power, to give people a chance to tell their story and to truly rate people by their actions not their size or prettiness. To share our experiences is a strength women have and it is important for us all to know how our struggles physical, mental, spiritual, make us stronger. Lots of love Ellie

  36. I could have written this, like so many others here, but you know where I am up to in my thinking – I just don’t want it enough. I wake up in the morning and make all the plans but then it all goes within hours. I have done different programs and lost weight but get it back on. The reason why I say I don’t want it enough is that when I get dressed and look at how overweight I am it upsets me and then I put on clothes to cover it and look at myself “yeah not great but that will do, not tooo bad, not gross but not too bad”. Then my body allows me to get on with it and achieve amazing things during my day – overweight not really holding me back. Look at the amazing life you have and you have just competed at the WEG! We are comfortable in our relationships and if like me the ‘need to impress’ faded along time ago with kids and daily functioning. I look okay, he looks okay. Everything is good. We exercise daily and eat well but too much food. I know the reasons why I am overweight – I have no allusions. I know what I should eat and what I need to do to live a healthy life. I don’t think it is our bodies that betray us but our minds. It has me stuffed how I get to want it enough – I think I am sick of it but maybe I am not. Tony Robbins does a You Tube video about having to hit the wall with say a health scare to be shocked into action. I hope it never comes to that. No answers here sorry just thinking out loud.

  37. Hi Robyn. I am late to comment but I have been thinking about this blog entry a lot. Have you read “The Wisdom of Menopause “ by Dr. Christiane Northrup? I bought it while going through peri menopause and it changed my view entirely about menopause. I am 61 now and have left so much of the negative body issues behind and I had a lot just like you! Right now I am happy to be healthy and active and riding my horses. Menopause can be a great time of life! I admit that I didn’t read the book cover to cover but it has been a great reference book for this stage of life. I hope you can see yourself as other people do, beautiful, kind charming etc. Having met you at the Massachusetts Equine Affaire, I can attest all those attributes are true! I just wish we could have sat down and talked over a beer or a glass of wine.

  38. I look at a couple photos I’ve seen of you and thought you have excellent curves, I hope you don’t mind my observation not knowing you very well. I have the stovepipe shape that has taken over post menopause. I’m doing Shakley protein diet, it’s taken 3 months to loose 2 lbs. losing is harder work now. I made it to the other shore so to speak with menopause at 57 and I’m so happy to be here. I had my first ever panick attack during menopause, that was unpleasant. I’m pretty sure I’m past that now. I had the advantage to go to art school when I was young and it reprogrammed my brain. I studied 5 years of art history and it sunk in. I also had years of life drawing with nude models. Beauty comes in so many shapes. One model that was particularly stunning probably could have balance teacups on her hips. I think we are all so much harder on ourselves, if we were our own daughters we’d be kinder. You look great just the way you are, but I understand your viewpoint. Thanks for sharing.

  39. I think your story rings true for many, many women. I was never thin, or petite, or super feminine. To this day, I am in awe of women who have tiny wrists, delicate features, and look healthy at a weight of 125 lbs. When I was 17 and having my prom dress made, the seamstress patted my belly and said “You need to go on diet”. I was a size 8 and 5’5″, but I’ve always had a gut! When I was 22 I dated a man 12 years older than myself, and he used to randomly make me lift my shirt up in the car, or at restaurants, because he’d look at me sitting and think it looked like I had a fat roll hanging over my pants, so he’d make me lift my shirt up to show him if I was fat or not. I swear to god, my skeleton alone weighs about 150 lbs! Hormones and genetic predisposition contribute hugely to your body build, where fat is stored, how you process certain foods, etc. I am going to take one of those DNA tests to see what kind of foods my body has trouble digesting (glutten, lactose, etc.) as well as what medications will work for my anxiety. I am ok with being chubby, but I don’t want to develop chronic diseases that come with carrying too much weight around the torso. We’re all in it together it seems. Thanks for sharing your story!!

  40. Robyn. When I look at you I do not notice your body betraying you. I see a rider. An awesome rider I was lucky enough to see in America at WEG. I saw a beautifully balanced and quiet rider with the biggest smile having a blast. You make riding look effortless and so much fun. You mentioned you don’t like seeing photos of yourself but perhaps look at yourself on your horse and you will see what I see 😉

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