Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weight Loss Tips #14: Get Back on the Horse

I have bad luck with horses.  When I was about four or five years old, my family went to my Dad's nurses' house.  She had a lot of horses.  I wanted to ride one! Judy's husband Doug put me on a big horse, bare back, and the horse took off: bucking across the little ring they had put us in. 
I held onto the mane for dear life, and when Doug was able to stop the horse and pull me off I said, "Can I ride again?"   I did ride again, but the next time I was safely in a saddle with Doug sitting behind me.  My Dad used to tell this story to everyone, "Let me tell you about the time Lauren rode the bucking bronco and wanted to go again..." 

Then at 15, my Dad decided we all needed to take horseback riding lessons, because he was going to a Dude Ranch with some friends.  He signed us up, and we began taking lessons at some horse farm off of the Northern Bypass.  Things went swell at first, until one fateful day.  Dad and I were riding near each other, and I took my horse up towards Dad, sidling up too close. His horse apparently had a grudge against my horse, and the horse kicked me HARD.  My horse took off with me clinging tight, at a full gallop.  I held on, and I was eventually able to corral him back to the barn. 

Tears were streaming down my face as Mom and Dad helped me off the horse.  I couldn't place any weight on my right leg.  They took the boot off and my sock was completely drenched in blood.  I had a puncture wound on my right leg from where the horse kicked me.  Dad and Mom took me to the hospital, and Dad sewed me up.  Luckily the leg was not broken!  The scar is still there today.
And I even decided to go horseback riding after that happened!  I just waited awhile to face my fears again.
So what's the point of this blog, you may be asking yourself?  Persistence, facing your fears, and getting back up when you've fallen down.  These are all traits that can help you succeed in weight loss and any other endeavor you might wish to undertake in life. 

Bucking Bronco, Frederic Remington, 1908
If you are struggling to lose weight and you've had a bad week eating everything under the sun (kind of like my weekend in Panama City Beach), then just start over.  Throw that week away in your head, and get back on the horse, even if you're afraid, just do it.  You'll be happy you did, and you'll be healthier in the end. 
Most of the time the only person holding you back is yourself.  As a child, I could have been scared to death of horses, but I wasn't.  I faced my fears, I was persistent, and I always got back on.  This is what it takes to lose weight.  It takes looking one bad day or one bad week in the eyes and saying, "I'm going to start over.  I'm not going to let that destroy me. I'm not going to let my fear of change drive my health or my eating habits."  Positive self talk, and the ability to know that if you've failed once you can always try again. 
Many people eat out of fear, out of emotion, out of a desire to fill some void inside them.  Simply because eating is emotional, these people are afraid to face their demons and change their habits.  Change your habits, face your fears, get back on the horse.  You'll be happy you did it!

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