After putting on several pounds a year for
I am super lucky that my job is a physical one, because otherwise, I might be as big as a house, as much as I love eating :) I basically get paid to exercise, and much of it is weight bearing activity. (which helps to avoid osteoporosis!) For instance, this time of year, we get our mulch delivery in. Forty or so pallets, seventy bags per pallet, forty to fifty pounds per bag. I handle every one of those bags at least once. If you do the math, that's a total of sixty three tons - minimum.
Dieting by denying myself food has never worked for me. Eating is such an integral part of life, and should be an enjoyable experience. Better food choices, proper timing and size of meals are all helpful approaches.
I struggled with weight for half of my life before I had any kind of success. I've lost (and kept off) twenty pounds for the last three years. My weight still fluctuates seasonally, but the fluctuation is very minor now. Weight finally doesn't feel like an issue.
Increasing activity and controlling consumption are typical approaches to fitness. In my experience there is a mental component that is equally important. Mental energy. Focus. Focus helps with improving eating habits. Shop for and prepare food mindfully. Eat mindfully. Appreciate the look, smell and taste of the meal. Stop eating when full...
Focus is essential to riding as well. You can practice mindfulness and improve your riding skills when you're not on a horse. For example, focus on engaging the core - all day, in all activities. Focus on posture... shoulders up and back, head in line with your spine. Stand with your weight evenly in both of your feet. (not more heavily on one foot than the other which torques your hips)
Being mindful / paying attention is harder that it seems, as are all new habits. It's like learning a new language. Multitasking, in a good way. And I don't know about anyone else, but I always benefit from more focus when I ride. Use your mind to slim down, tone up and ride right - it's all good.