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!