The Elephant

July 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

I heard this story the other day and thought it applies so well to not only weight loss but life.

It goes like this…..

A man passed by some elephants and was confused

Because though they were mighty creatures

They were being held captive by only a small rope

Tied to their front leg

No chains

No cages

No locks

They could have broken free at any time

The rope had no power over them

Yet for some reason they never tried to break free

The man asked the elephant trainer why they never tried to get away

And this is what he answered

“When they are very young, we use the same size rope to tie them and it is enough to hold them at that age and that size. As they grow up, they come to believe they can never break away. Even as they become bigger and stronger, they still believe the rope can hold them.  Since that is what they believe—they never try to break free”

How many of us are like these elephants?

Conditioned by our circumstances

Trained by our triggers

Discouraged by our beliefs

Maybe the elephants had tried to break away when they were younger

But because they failed—they learned they never would be free

Even as they grew stronger and bigger, they held onto this belief

Never trying again

Sometimes in life we try something

And it doesn’t work

So we never try again

We box ourselves in

We believe that the chains that once kept us imprisoned

The shackles that kept us bound

Will never loosen

Our actions are controlled by what we believe

If we believe we can’t do it—then we can’t

But if you believe there is hope

A chance

You’ll try

And you’ll keep trying

No longer tied to the false prison that holds you back

All we have to do is take the first step

To see that the rope can’t hold us back anymore

Like the elephants, we may have been conditioned to believe

That we will never break free

But now we know better

And freedom is waiting


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

annamarie July 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Words can not even describe of how much and how many times you have hit “home” with me. I can’t thank you and our Lord enough for all your inspiration and encouragement.

Many hugs
annamarie recently posted..Need to snap out of itMy Profile


Lady Amanda July 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I knew someone who had a dog, and as a puppy a broom stick fell onto him and it scared him really badly so from that point on he was afraid of brooms and any type of straight wood objects. Even when the dog weighed over 200 pounds you could keep him out of the room by laying a pencil across the floor and he would never cross it. He would look at the pencil and then look into the room, but he would never cross it. It is amazing how something traumatic can be hard to recover from. Animals are amazing and they often do offer many insights into how humans act. I have a feeling that this elephant story will be on my mind for quite a while thanks for posting it. 🙂


Jack Sh*t July 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Wait… did you just call me an elephant? RUDE, RUDE, RUDE!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down July 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Jack!!!! LOL


Joanna Shinn July 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Love this!


LHA July 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Holly, I love this post. I am also responding to the previous two posts about your mother and about your gall stones that went undiagnosed for so long. I just have to say that you are quite an example of the resilience of the human spirit! It is unfathomable to me how someone like your ex-husband can be so cruel and heartless. What does a person gain from acting that way? I suppose the best you can say for him is that he gave you four wonderful children and that he is no longer able to emotionally and mentally abuse you. I will never understand the human capacity for cruelty toward another human, but he is certainly a shining example of that. As for your mother and grandmother, how lovely and generous that you can see beyond their actions to the circumstances that influenced it.

When I think of all you have endured, I think the very best description of you is “survivor”. Thanks for an inspiring blog!


Amanda July 12, 2013 at 3:47 am

What a great post! I needed this today, thank you!


Sally July 12, 2013 at 5:24 am

I was worried that you were going to tell us how you were called an elephant once. It breaks my heart to hear of how you were treated previously by your family, ex husband, Drs. and society in general. . I’m glad the story was about a real elephant instead.


Paula July 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

<3 Thankful for your honest sharing..


Laine July 13, 2013 at 5:01 am

This entry was so moving, so profound, so beautiful. You are an amazing writer and not only inspire me to pursue a healthier lifestyle but to live a better life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.


Lou July 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm

What an excellent parable. I’ve never heard it. I can’t tell you how much HOPE I’m feeling in my heart as I read through your blog today. I was just saying to my brother yesterday, as he also struggles with his weight, that it can’t be about Weight Watchers or eating clean or the details like that anymore for me. It’s got to be about digging to find out the It as to why I use food as my close friend, confidant, lover, etc. Thank you for sharing your journey.


Shay August 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Holly, I had never heard this. It is profound! What a great story that can fit in anyone’s life and circumstances. Thanks for sharing!
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