Getting Back on the Horse, Again–AGAIN! :)


I used to write about my challenges with my horse, Harley, on a Yahoo group I was a part of. Readers of the posts said they thought that he breathed fire based on my description of him. I had turned him into a 5-headed monster! The truth was, he was spunky and needed reassurance from his human. If he didn’t get that…well, he might…um…buck. 🙂 Yes…BUCK.

Unfortunately for both of us, I wasn’t really situated very well to give him those reassurances. So…well…buck he did. Land on the ground…yes…I did that…frequently. I couldn’t stand the thought of coming off…again and again and again. I just quit riding him in 2005. The fact that I was 100 pounds overweight at the time, certainly contributed to my decision. I was somewhat convinced that my large size *hurt* him to carry! It broke my heart, but I was so tired of failure.

Finally, with the help of a couple of very gifted trainers…who trained me…I dusted myself off and got back on the horse. The above picture was taken, the second time I rode him after a two year lay off. I decided that I was done “giving up.”

You can tell by the smile on my face how I felt about the experience. The thing that strikes me about this picture is I finally overcame my fear and, other than the “death grip” of my right hand on the rein, I am riding with merely a halter! (No saddle!) It is one of my favorite pictures of Harlinator and me because in it, I had come such a far distance from where I had been.

[Note: Here is a video of the first time I got back on Harley after those two years of staying off. This was shot about a week before the photo above was taken. See if there are any similarities to how you feel when you consider “getting back on the Thin Within horse!” Note Melissa telling me to remember to “Breathe!”]

I haven’t come off of Harley in a long while, but when I did the last time, I dusted myself off immediately. I observed where I went wonky. I made note of a needed correction so that whatever-it-was wasn’t likely to happen again. Then I put my foot in the stirrup and lifted myself back in the saddle.

I approach my “eating life” the same way. When I fall off the horse, I don’t wait around until I feel like getting back on. I observe and correct and hop back on up in the saddle. There is fun to be had. Places to go! Adventures to enjoy! I don’t want to indulge myself in self-pity and woe-is-me self deprecation.

So, did you stay on the horse yesterday? Did all your good intentions win out? Did you keep your rear firmly in the saddle and are you smiling big, knowing that you DID it?

Or…Or did you get thrown off? Are you licking your wounds, mercilessly inflicted by the “Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie?” Or just a few too many bites (past 5) of turkey and gravy?

Well, I want to encourage you…you CAN get off the ground and back on that horse right now! 🙂 It is WORTH IT!

I was asked recently by one of my coaching clients…”What do you do when you overeat…when you overeat by a LOT?”

The answer…simply…is you just wait for hunger again. Presto! No big heavy emotional guilt tripping allowed! Instead, just get back on that horse and start riding again. Wait for 0 and serve yourself a modest portion, stopping when you are no longer hungry. It really IS that simple!

I do find it VERY helpful to build a foundation for lasting change if I deal with the beliefs that fuel my actions. Really, I can’t say this enough. We can keep restraining ourselves with “will power,” but unless we change the way we think and what we believe (beliefs fuel actions which fuel a lifestyle), we will find ourselves back where we were before or—worse. At the very least, change won’t be sustained.

God wants my heart more than he wants me to be thin. So it stands to reason he won’t let me be content to just lose weight. I got to the place where I carried 100 extra pounds on my frame because I believed food was a better comforter than God. I got to the place where I sustained such a large size because I turned to food to be my savior instead of to the Lord.

So, it stands to reason that the real work will have to be in my mind.

No, you really probably don’t need to read another book.

… and you probably don’t need to read the Thin Within book again.

Those things may be helpful, sure. But what you may need, if you are anything like me, is to work on what you believe more than what you know. You probably know plenty! But what do you believe?

If you watch even the first moments of the video I referenced above, you will see that I believed  that I was going to get hurt. The ride didn’t flow. It was hindered by my beliefs. By the time I was on Harley a week or two later bareback and with the halter, though, I believed that things were going to work between us! What I believe makes a HUGE difference in my actions! Watch the video to see what I mean!

So, what lies were motivating you yesterday if you overate? What truth can counter the lies?

EVERYTHING is redeemable by our wonderful Lord! In fact, no matter what you may have done eating-wise yesterday, God intends that “failure” be redeemed. “Failure” can be a great teacher. Observe what you did by looking back over yesterday. Look at where you went astray. And now, correct. What could you do differently in the future? What could you believe differently in the future that would help you to choose to do that behavior?

Getting back on the horse again after a mess-up is all about observing, correcting, choosing.

It is about extending grace.

It is about learning from your mis-steps and struggles.

It is about trading lies that have moved you with truth…doing it even before the lies have a chance to work again. Right now.

What About You?

What lies were at work yesterday that kept you from acting in a way that supported your godly goals of 0 to 5 eating?

What truths can you use to refute the lies?

How might your actions change the next time you are faced with a similar situation?

And if you negotiated through Thanksgiving Day with NO regrets, I would love to hear about it. It is encouraging. Tell us what challenge you faced and how you were able to emerge victorious. You may have experienced the bucking of that horse beneath you, but if you managed to stay on anyhow, we want to celebrate that with you!

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15 Responses to Getting Back on the Horse, Again–AGAIN! :)

  1. Rebekah S. November 29, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    I’m pretty thankful for how yesterday went. Because I didn’t have breakfast, I nibbled a little (a couple bites of turkey and a few slices of pickle) while I helped prep because I was quite hungry. I knew there would be a lot of yummy food, but I planned ahead to only take a little of whatever I wanted. I seriously only took maybe two tablespoons of each item. We ate “dinner” close to 2pm. I saw all the other plates piled with food. I honestly would have loved to take more food. I did eat it a little too quickly because I was hungry. After my food was gone, I was bummed because it tasted so good and I wanted more. I waited a few minutes to see where my hunger was. I did take a few more bites of some things, but I did not end up stuffed at all. I really felt good. I heard others complain of how stuffed there were. I was really glad to not be in that boat. The rest of the day went pretty good as well. While I may have eaten when I wasn’t down to a 0, I still am happy with the outcome. I am thankful for the Lord’s help! Although I must say, realizing our bodies don’t need as much food hurts the flesh. Haha!

    • Christina November 29, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Praise God! That’s awesome, Rebekah!

    • praytilithappens November 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Rebekah! I’m new here — back after a long absence, so we have never met. But I just want to say “hooray” for you!! Victories like yours really build confidence. Yay!!

    • Heidi Bylsma November 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Wow, Rebekah! This sounds like a HUGE victory! That is AWESOME!!!!

  2. praytilithappens November 29, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I have to be honest — yesterday and this noon (leftovers) were not my best days. With family at my house — expecting the Thanksgiving feast and all it’s trimmings, the temptation was great. My best effort will be in getting the leftovers out of my house!! Then, a trip to the grocery store for some fresh fruits and veggies. I feel so much better eating those types of foods — not that “stuffed” feeling. I can enjoy more healthful foods, eat up to a 5, and feel like I’ve enjoyed my meal. Eating “comfort foods” leaves me feeling miserable — even when I eat only to 5. I know that my body feels better eating more healthy things — less head-aches, shoulder-stress, irritability, sinus problems, etc. It’s incredible how much food effects you physically, emotional, and even spiritually! You’re right, Heidi! I have the information! It’s a matter of believing it for myself and living by what I believe!
    (Oh — and I love how you hugged your horse and thanked him at the end of your ride. Precious!) KK

    • Christina November 29, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      It sounds like even though yesterday was rough that you are seeking Gods truth. You can get back on the horse. You can do this with His strength. One thing that’s helped me is journaling after a rough time. Heidi is so right that waiting for 0 the next time to eat. Today is a new day! The next moment is a new moment!

      • praytilithappens November 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

        Thank you for your encouragement, Christina. I do like to write and will have some time alone tonight (family going to a high school football state championship game.) I plan on having some time alone with God to set some boundaries and guidelines for myself. Also, to take time to get re-connected with God in His Word and in prayer. The holidays can take a lot of time and I don’t get fed from the “Bread of Life” like I should. I need my quiet-time!! 🙂

        • Heidi Bylsma November 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

          I am in the same boat, KK! I find with my daughter home and waking up on her body’s pre-programmed central time zone (we are in Pacific), I don’t get that 2 hours of extra alone time in the morning. I love having her here…and every single moment she is with me is a joy. But I have noticed that I feel different…not on my best game, certainly.

    • Heidi Bylsma November 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      LOL! Harley is so precious to me…and he has shown me so much about perseverance. 🙂 It is great how your discernment really indicates what you need to feel your best, KK! 🙂

  3. Christina November 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Heidi, this is such an encouraging post about what you can do after falling off the horse. I’ve been thinking about a post last week about how we are not failures if we continue to keep on keeping on.

    I want to give a praise report about what The Lord did yesterday. But first I want to go back to a few days ago when I outlined a plan of what I wanted yesterday to look like. I wrote it in my journal. I also looked at Barb Ravelings ‘I deserve a donut’ app and answered some of the questions in my journal.

    So as I was willing to seek God and His truth, He met me and was faithful to watch over his word to perform it.

    Yesterday went so smoothly! I’m just so thankful for what God has done. I give Him all the glory, honor and praise!

    • praytilithappens November 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      YAY!! Christina!!! You are an example for me. Journaling is a great thing to do. I think I also need to have a few appropriate Bible verses in my mental treasury to draw on immediately when temptations arise — verses I can begin to say over and over to myself when the temptations are square in my face and I have no where to turn but to God and my own mental “Scripture arsenal.” This one is good for me:

      “Psalm 16:8 — “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

    • Heidi Bylsma November 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      I love how you visualized ahead of time and wrote down what you wanted the day to look like. THAT is a BRILLIANT idea! Will you write a post about that Christina? Run it before Christmas. I think that is a brilliant idea and I am praising God along with you!

      • Christina November 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

        Heidi, I can definitely do that!

  4. Cher'sThinWithin December 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Heidi . I’m CherHim in the TW forums . Haven’t been around in a long while. I’m needing to get back on the horse again and check my beliefs before The Lord –thanks for the reminder .
    Also to Rebekah–
    Amen to this : “Although I must say, realizing our bodies don’t need as much food hurts the flesh. Haha!”
    SO TRUE!!

    • Heidi Bylsma December 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Hi, CherHim! So glad you are here and have checked in! Don’t be a stranger. 🙂

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