Before I get to the blog post, I want to share some context. 🙂 The above picture is my horse, Doc–well, it is his rear end, but I think it is so purty. LOL! I haven’t ridden Doc on the trail in a LOOOOOONG time. He…well…he has issues. Without going into detail, let me just say that his primary issue is arthritis throughout his body and if that wasn’t enough his secondary issue (which is a big enough one all by itself) is…well…ME :-). If I want to go down the trail, I take a different horse. If I don’t take a different horse…what you see in the video below, may end up happening:
Now, that video that you watched is a compilation of a lot of really BAD moments for a lot of people–and, to be honest, even WORSE moments for horses, but I have to say…riding horses can be a wonderful, serene experience. Horses are PREY animals and to their brain, they naturally think anything that pops up or that seems out of place might be a predator that will KILL them. So they react now and think about it (maybe) later.
This video shows my horse, Breezy, with Michaela when she was about 11 years old. Nice moments. 🙂
So, with these two piece of context, I want to share with you this post…my latest installment about how Thin Within is like one amazing, glorious, incredible trail ride! HA! 🙂
Diets are demanding dictators.
You either got it or you don’t.
You pass or fail.
You win or lose.
There is no “gray” with dieting.
With the Thin Within approach, it isn’t a black or white, right or wrong, got it or don’t got it sort of experience–or at least not in my fifteen years of experience with this approach to managing how I relate to food and my body.
That is why I often liken it to a horseback ride down the trail. Permit me to do so yet again.
There is a cycle that happens for me and has since I began in 1999 and, yes, even since 2006 when I really began to get “focused” and more diligent to eat 0 to 5 and let God have his way with my food and eating. This is how it works…I begin to get a rhythm. Things are humming along–I am heading down the trail, riding along happily. Most would say this is “success” or “victory” or, if we let our previous dieting mentality sneak in, it is the “got it” time. I am riding my pony down the trail. Enjoying the journey. Oblivious to any challenges. They are ALL behind me…or so they seem. Granted, this “season” may be SHORT–like the few hours between waking up in the morning and the “pit hour” when the kids descend on the house after school. Or it may be literally months of eating 0 to 5, taking God at his Word, renewing the mind.
A bogey appears from nowhere and scares the bejeebers out of me and my horse on the trail. If you have done any trail riding with a “normal” horse (not one who is brain dead from too many rides on the dude string!), you know that even a plastic bag is enough to cause him anything from slight concern to abject terror, bucking, bolting…the works. It may not be “anything” at all, but to a 1000 pound animal with a prey animal instinct, it is fight or flight to survive…not to be killed. Trying to ride that out is just plain impossible for most mere mortals! And to be honest, it is a rare trail ride that doesn’t include some sort of excitement like this. It is the nature of the…well…beast. 🙂
Wind knocked out of me, helmet askew, I am flat out on the ground. I have given in, given up, inhaled food. (This is the analogy part. LOL!) Maybe I only overate at just one meal. Or maybe I have started there and not looked back until it is two months later. Maybe the “bogey” or “plastic bag” that caused me to fall off the horse was bad news about medical tests from the doctor. Maybe it was a mean church lady who reminded me of an abusive adult I endured growing up. Maybe it is a job loss. Maybe it is a flat tire! It doesn’t really matter. All I know is I look around and wonder “How did I get here?” I was going along so well and now….I have eaten my way into oblivion 13 of the last 17 meals. I lick my wounds and look everywhere for the face of God. Ah…there it is, inviting me to get on up. Time to move on. Yes, child, put your foot in the stirrup and lift on up into the saddle again. There are places to go. Wonders to experience. Adventures to be had!
The new normal settles in and I am again heading down the trail with a new rhythm. I have gotten the 0 to 5 eating thing wired once again–even WITH the new normal. I am in the Word, believing God, and renewing my mind. Life is good. The weight is coming off again and intimacy with God is deepening once again.
Another bogey! This time, a piece of yellow “Caution” tape that my horse was sure was a horse-eating monster or the horse-eating mud monster. I just can’t stay in the saddle with this latest bugg-a-boo! I can’t hold on when life throws me these bogeymen…I am on the ground again. This time, just leave me here. I am SOOOOOOO tired of falling off. I fail to remember in moments like these that I spent a lot of time in the saddle heading where I wanted to go, enjoying the ride…Somehow the fall did something to my memory *and* my backside. My pride is wounded.
THIS time, the bogey may have been my dad’s failing health and all the heartache in my life because of never feeling his approval and knowing I may *never* have it. The challenge may have just been that annual event called “Christmas” and all the challenges that accompany it. That is all it may take! Or Summer vacation! Or being cut off on the highway. Again, it really doesn’t matter what it was…all I know is that I fell off the “I am being faithful 0 to 5” horse.
How long will I lay here before I… finally….
…harken to the call of God. Get up, dust off. Let him do it, in fact! Stick that foot on up in the stirrup again…git my bum back where it belongs. Whew…
And…Off I go again. And now, I am getting back on the horse and am ready to ride again…even with this NEW new normal.
You see…this IS faithfulness.
Faithfulness isn’t NEVER falling off. We wouldn’t be human if we never struggled.
Faithfulness is getting back on that horse again. New normal and all. Sore backside and all. We don’t keep track of our mess ups. We just get back on. We don’t count the number of pounds or days we have lost or gained or whatevered. We just GET BACK ON!
I wish I could tell you that I never struggle. That I lost all my weight and that was that. But nope. I STILL struggle. I STILL fall off the horse. I stay off the horse less long than I used to. I can’t even say that I fall off less often. Sometimes I fall off less often. Sometimes I fall off just as often as I ever have.
But…I press on.
Seems to me a really wise man once said that…
…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:13-14
How About You?
Are you insisting that this is DO or DIE, right or wrong, black or white? Do you consistently refer to your attempts at following the Lord in the Thin Within principles as having failed? Are you swinging between black and white? How would your view of things change if you believed that GRAY can be glorious? We are progressing by hanging in there…even when it is ugly! Do you believe it? How can you press on today? Can you “Git Yer Bum Back in the Saddle?” 🙂