Two years ago, a company mailed me a copy of “HEALED: HEALTHY EATING AND ABUNDANT LIVING” by accident. This is a teen study based on the Thin Within program.
I don’t have a teenaged daughter. And I had never heard of Thin Within.
But I loved the book, and wanted to find out more about the Thin Within program. For so long, I had longed for a community of women that I could share these same principles with, and walk through life together. I already believed in the principles of 0-5 eating, but I wasn’t always careful to stop at 5. I wasn’t often careful to eat at 0, either, and often skipped two meals at a time because I was so busy. I kept the 0-5 principle as a a valuable tool, but not a boundary I was committed to for every meal.
I didn’t realize what that decision was costing me.
In the last several years, I had found that stress was harder to manage. The storms of life were getting stronger. And I didn’t have a good way to quiet the raging waters and listen for God. Surely chocolate wasn’t the only weapon in my spiritual arsenal! After years of walking with the Lord, I was worried that I was being lured into unhealthy patterns that begged to become a lifestyle. And then there were the negative voices in my head, that still bothered me from time to time. Those were the voices about weight, and body, and perfection. I hated them, but they were so persistent. And mean.
Did I mention I hated them?
I had already read lots of books by other intuitive eating experts, feelings-not-food gurus, and even other faith-based programs. Unfortunately, some faith-based programs seemed only to awaken fears of judgment and legalism, so I stepped away from them.
I really longed for community, but didn’t know there was anyone or anything else out there.
And then someone in an office in a far-away state made a clerical error, and sent me that book.
I love a good plot twist!
I began to connect with Thin Within through Heidi’s blog here, and found a warm community of like-minded believers. We live, and laugh, and encourage each other. We make mistakes. We dust ourselves off and live again. And while I knew I wanted a community, I didn’t realize how much I needed the routine, daily boundary of 0-5, too. I wasn’t desperate to lose weight but I was desperate for peace. I began to see that I was plagued by desires that “waged war against my soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
I needed to find a way to protect my heart and soul. I couldn’t stop the storms of life, and I couldn’t change our body-obsessed culture, but I could create a safe haven of inner peace. And for me, maintaining a daily boundary of 0-5 creates an inner peace that protects me. It’s like I can “keep the channel clear” to listen for God’s voice. It’s a physical way to daily live out a spiritual truth. I place my will, my plans and my pace, under God’s direction.
I don’t do it perfectly. But I don’t do it alone, now, either. And that is priceless. I need community!
Sometimes, when I imagine the last moments of my life, I wonder what I’ll think about. I doubt I’ll think much of my victories, even the spiritual ones, as cool as those moments are.
I might well be thinking of you. I might be thinking of all the people who loved and encouraged me, and the time we had together.
Because it’s not about the scale.
It was never about the scale, not for any of us. It was always about love, and community, and listening for that still, small voice. It was about finding a safe haven, and knowing that we were never alone.