How I’ve Changed My Life

The biggest change I’ve made in the last couple of months involves my nutrition. When I started working out over a year ago I tried to tell myself that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I did my workout for the day. Don’t get me wrong, I was still losing weight but I wasn’t gaining the muscle mass that I wanted and I definitely wasn’t burning fat as fast as I wanted to. This type of lifestyle let me slip back into my old eating habits way too easily, and it also let me convince myself to not workout. 

About six to eight months ago I started logging my calories in my Fitbit app on my phone. I started running a deficit, but I still wasn’t seeing the changes I wanted. Just counting calories allowed me to fit unhealthy foods into my day, so even though I was watching what I ate, my macros were way out of wack. In order to see the change I wanted, I knew I had to change the standard I held myself to. I had to make a commitment to myself to honor my body enough to make healthy choices over the easiest choices.

About two months ago I made another big change. I started taking supplements and watching my macros. Fitbit had come out with a new update that included tracking macro nutrients. I didn’t start out wanting to overhaul my diet, but after seeing how skewed my macros were I knew something had to change. I started focusing on my protein sources and planning my meals ahead when I could. I still let myself indulge. If my fiance and I go out to eat I still eat my favorites, but I make sure that I am still eating foods that nourish my body. 

On of the other ways I was able to change my results more dramatically in the last couple of weeks was by including supplements. Pictured above are the main supplements I use. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder in high school it is very important that I stay away from any “get quick results” products. I don’t take any sort of diuretics, thermals, or fat burning products. I only wanted to take products that would truly supplememt my body, not purge things from it.

On a normal day I drink two protein shakes by Aria Protein. I drink these as snacks between meals. I do not use these as meal replacements. Sometimes if I haven’t had enough fat in my day I will add a tablespoon of PB2 to either flavor.

Everyday I have at least one serving of Aminos, or Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). I use BPI brand powdered Aminos. I currently use two types of BCAAs, one that has added energy and one that doesn’t. I will use the energy version before a workout and the plain version after a workout.

I also have a pre-workout, but I will only take it before gym workouts if I’m really feeling sluggish. This stuff is really powerful so I only use half a scoop if I use it.

I never thought that I would be the type of person to take workout supplements. It wasn’t until one of my idols, Fallon Taylor, started talking about these types of supplements. She and her squad made a good point when they said that we feed our barrel horses the best supplements to keep them in top shape, why shouldn’t we treat our bodies the same way? In order for my horse to work the best she can I have to be able to ride the best that I can, and that comes with being in the best shape I’m able to be in.

I started this journey to look awesome in my wedding dress, but now it’s more than that. Now I just want to get into the best shape of my life and be the healthiest I can be.

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Where I’m From

In order for you to understand where I’m coming from I think it’s very important to understand where I’ve been.

I started riding at a pretty early age. I can’t remember exactly when, but I know it was at some point during elementary school. I begged and was finally allowed to take lessons at a stable near my home. 

Honestly-the first few years of my young riding career were very non-descript. I went to lessons once a week and rode around for about an hour and then I would go home. It wasn’t until I was told about an organization called 4-H that I considered horseback riding the highest priority of my youth. I showed western performance my first year at the county fair, but showing wasn’t really the highlight that year. While hanging around the show barn I heard my parents discussing possibly owning a horse, so that second I started horse shopping.

We ended up buying a 16 hand, 15 year old thoroughbred mare named Jima. Having already experienced, and developed a lack of interest for the western performance world, I decided to start barrel racing. Jima had never been trained western, but I, in all my fifth grade excitement, got to work right away in a saddle that was far too large in a bit that made absolutely no sense to my horse.

Jima was my learning horse. I rode around and did basically nothing to keep her in shape, I rode her on the patterns way too many times, and I often couldn’t be bothered to put a saddle on. Jima was the horse that I fell off of after I made what would’ve been a winning pole run at the county fair. She was also the horse that taught me that horses are for always, not just while they’re sound and rideable. When her arthritis became too bad, I bought her supplements and let her just be a horse. When her weight started to slip I about went broke buying feed. When it was finally her time to go I cried into her neck and told her how much I loved her while she drifted off to sleep.

When we retired Jima from showing I ended up finding out about a fresh two-year-old APHA mare. We aquired her through a family friend on a temporary basis, but as soon as I met her I was in love. I named her Allegra. Allegra was the first horse I had ever broke out. I trained her as a barrel racer, but I also made sure she had good riding basics. We won our contest horsemanship class two (three?) years in a row, and one judge said that “even he could have rode that horse and won”. My last year showing in 4-H we won the barrel class. Allegra is definitely my proudest achievement.

Currently I have Allegra and her miniature donkey, Cocoa, on my farm.

Hello

Hello.

Such a simple word. Two syllables, four letters. How many great things have started with “hello”? Maybe this blog will be something great for me…maybe it won’t. How many missed opportunities have passed you by because you were too afraid of saying “hello”?

My name is Taylor, and I am a twenty-something barrel racer from Ohio. I have a wonderful fiance, an APHA mare, a miniature donkey, and a beagle. I have a degree in Music and Journalism and  don’t use either of them. I love boxing and yoga but I absolutely hate running.

I honestly don’t know what prompted me to start this blog. I have had three blogs before this and I lost interest in all three (which is probably why I don’t use my Journalism degree). I think it might have something to do with my fangirling over Fallon Taylor and the way she chooses to live her life.

Honestly, I have always wanted to be in the horse business. I have always loved working with horses, and I don’t believe that there’s anything better than being in the saddle. I want to use this blog as a way to talk about my experiences, my methods, and my thoughts about  the current horse industry. I may not be able to be a professional in this industry, but I still live it.

My goal is to post at least once a week. If there is anything you guys want me to write about please contact me using the form on the Contact page.