Like all good parents, mine decided they would teach me how to ride my new bike - btw it was a pink and white Huffy! I had tried it out a little on my own and was moderately successful - meaning I could go about 20 feet before crashing. I figured out that I could balance the bike against the front fence, hop on and start pedaling, go 20 feet then crash - maybe that accounts for some of the loss of brain function I have!! But I digress......
Back to the parents teaching me how to ride. On that fateful day we all gathered out in front of our house and my dad started pushing me and running along side me to help me learn to balance, then he would let go and let me do it on my own, but catching me if I started to fall. After 3 or 4 tries he decided I was "experienced" enough that he wouldn't go with me this time.
Dad gave me my big send off and I started pedaling like mad! With the family cheering me on and screaming "pedal Lynn, pedal faster" I was going to ride this bike by myself or die trying! I made it down the street pedaling my heart out only to come to the end of the street where I knew I had to stop or I would ride into a busy street. I had 2 choices: 1) put my brakes on and try to stop or 2) put my brakes on and turn. The problem with either choice was I hadn't been taught how to do either! We were so focused on teaching me to stay upright and to ride that no one had bothered to teach me how to turn or stop!! Minor detail??
So here's where the Tribble's tree comes in. Remember the ride or die trying sentence a few moments ago? Well, I was going so fast that when I tried to use my coaster brakes I didn't realize I would end up turning too. And that's when it happened - I killed the Tribble's Tree! Yes, I AM A TREE KILLER!! Mr. Tribble had planted a small sapling in the front yard that ended up breaking my fall. A tree gave it's life so that I, the helmet-less, training wheel-less young bike rider could live!
You're probably wondering why I would tell you about the Tribble's deceased tree. From the story of the tree we can learn:
- Weight loss is like learning to ride a bike. You have to learn to balance your life in order to be successful. Eating 6 healthy meals a day is so different from what most of us have done in the past. Yes, we may have eaten 6 (or more) times a day, but it probably wasn't healthy, and no french fries are not a vegetable!
- Using replacement meals, like the ones we use, is like using training wheels. It makes our weight loss "ride" easier. Yes, you can learn it on your own, but it's a lot harder, and you'll find yourself crashing - a lot!
- Having a coach is like having your parent run along side you as you learn to ride on your own
- Like training wheels, at some point you may decide to take them off - and that's ok. My words of caution: make sure you have mastered the fundamentals of riding, like stopping and turning, BEFORE you take them off!!
- If you find yourself crashing because you took the wheels off too early - you can always put them back on
- And finally, watch for the trees in your path. Don't become a Tree Killer!