Set Your Transformation in MOTION!

Set Your Transformation in MOTION!

Years ago, I looked at what search parameters were bringing people to the Thin Within blog on New Year’s Day. I noticed each January that people had typed into Google their earnest question, “Is God is doing a new thing?”

I don’t know if Google is clear on the answer, so I definitely want to be:


Our God, the King of the Universe, is doing a new thing! Even now!

His Word is filled with examples and passages of promise that state that this is so!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  (Isaiah 43:18-19)


But note what he asks US to do! To forget the former things and not to dwell on the past.

So, what if we stop telling tales of former glories, former wounds, former victories, failures, and the pain of our past? Let’s release our grip on whatever we think we know and open our arms, hands and hearts to what God IS doing now! Sometimes there is great benefit at looking at the past to learn from it, but let’s refuse to wallow (dwell) in it. Let’s invite our God to cut away anything that tethers us to our past so that we might be free to soar into what He has for us NOW!

In-19 God IS doing a new thing. RIGHT now. Even as you sit here reading this…

…God is doing a new thing.

Even if you think you are stuck in a rut…

…God is doing a new thing!

No need to ask Google! God IS doing a new thing! His eternal Word promises that this is so! This moment is brand new! Let’s capture it for the Lord.

He says the new thing He is doing is springing up!


Delight and surprise! Hope and joy! Like children in the heat of summer playing in a splash pad fountain that squirts up from the ground at a water playground, we, too, can delight to be refreshed by God’s new thing that is SPRINGING up!

He IS making a way in the desert of my life. He IS making streams in my wasteland!

AND in yours!

Many are caught in the “I’ll start dieting Monday” trap, but when Monday comes, their resolve often goes. Is that the “new thing” that God is speaking of, though? Or is that done in my own strength?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

What is the pattern of this world that we are not to conform to? Well, I don’t know about you, but saying “I’ll start Monday” or after this holiday, or jumping on the “New Year’s Resolution” bandwagon all sound like a “pattern of this world”.

I get the impression that God has set up a choice here. I can either conform to the pattern in this world OR I can choose to be transformed. Which do I want? Do I really believe any resolutions that I can make will promise transformation? Have they ever before?

How does the transformation I need take place according to this passage in Romans? Is it by pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and making promises to yourself or New Year’s Resolutions? Or, is it by renewing my mind?



It’s by renewing my mind!

Doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result is one of the definitions of insanity. Has having a list of “New habits I will form this year…” ever benefitted me? On the contrary, the enemy has used it as a club of condemnation for me often.How about you? So, what about joining me? Let’s be done with the insanity of doing the same thing we have done every year that hasn’t helped us. Instead, this year, let’s commit to the transformation that comes from God. It happens BY the renewing of our minds according to Romans 12:2!

We focus on this very thing in our small coaching groups. We learn how to renew our minds and experience transformation that STICKS!

We want to help with that!  These groups are the best possible means to a new start, joining God in the new thing He is doing in your life!

Start “the first day of the rest of your life” knowing that you have planned and set in motion YOUR transformation!





Groups run for 10 weeks, and new ones start up every few months. Check on this coaching groups page to see where we are currently at in the schedule and what we currently have going. 


Relish Your Holidays and Eat Yummy Food!

Relish Your Holidays and Eat Yummy Food!



By Guest Blogger: Brooke Espinoza


The year is full of holidays and special occasions – Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve. Plus there are baby and bridal showers, church potlucks, summer BBQ’s, family reunions, birthday parties, and eating out. There are always tons of goodies to eat and special drinks to enjoy.

We may already have challenges keeping our 0-5 eating boundaries when it’s not the holidays, but how can we keep our boundaries with all the delicious foods and drinks we look forward to enjoying during each special time of year?

Keeping our  0-5 boundaries during the holidays can be easier than we may think. Below are strategies in answer to specific struggles and questions – that you can start applying today too keep seeing results throughout each holiday season throughout the year.

Let’s take a few struggles and questions one at a time…


Q: I’m not at zero yet but I want to eat! What can I do to stick to my boundaries and hold off eating until I’m hungry?

Often we may feel like giving in when the temptation entices us with some form of instant gratification, even though we’re not technically hungry yet. Temptations abound like:

  • free samples
  • cookie exchanges
  • celebratory cakes and candies
  • office donut day
  • delicious leftovers that look so good

While no foods are off-limits, we may be tempted to eat favorite foods when our body isn’t telling yet us we’re hungry. Here are a few effective strategies:

  • Distract yourself with a project you can make progress on until you get hungry.
  • If you’re at home, see how many items on your to-do list you can complete before your body truly gets hungry.
  • Do something fun you enjoy like watching a favorite show, taking a walk, playing a game with someone, reading an interesting book, running an errand, calling a friend to catch up

Use the above ideas to make a list of activities you can do whether fun or on your to-do list – that you can get engaged in to get your mind off eating until your body says it’s time to eat.


Q: When I do get hungry, I feel super hungry! Then I end up bingeing and feel bad that I didn’t practice more self-control. How can I avoid this?

If you feel ravenously hungry when you’re finally able to eat, a stash of nuts on hand can diminish the intensity of your hunger signal, enabling you to eat calmly and consciously.

If mealtime is an hour or more away, eat a little something to tide you over until mealtime. Eat enough so you aren’t unbearably hungry, but not so much that you aren’t hungry for your meal (especially if you’re having dinner with friends or family at a certain time.)

The key is to listen to your body and not get overly hungry.

When my daughter was a toddler and was going through potty training, sometimes she’d run to the bathroom on the verge of peeing her pants. Thankfully she never had any accidents. I’d ask her, “How long has your body been saying you needed to go?” I explained to her that our bodies tell us when we need to go and will become more insistent the longer we ignore the signal that we need to go until we reach a point where we desperately have to rush to the bathroom. My husband and I always encouraged our potty-training daughter to listen to her body, because God made our bodies to tell us when we need to go.

For me, recognizing hunger is the same way. I listen to my body for a clear message that I need to stop what I’m doing and go eat. My zero is when my body has been nagging me to eat, until I no longer can ignore my body’s need to eat. Still at that point I’m not so hungry that I feel starving or ravenously hungry. I just know I definitely need to eat. I have a small bite to eat if my hunger becomes too intense before a planned mealtime with others. I enjoy eating meals with my family when it’s meal time, so I will curb how much I eat during the meal prior to make sure I’m hungry when our family mealtime comes.


Q: I started eating at a zero but I’m tempted to eat past a 5 because there’s still delicious food left to eat. (Or I’m having a rough day and deserve a yummy pick me up.)

Whatever tempts you to eat when not hungry or past contentment, there is hope!

I’m always comforted by 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

I’m comforted that our struggles are not the exception, but they are totally common. God in His grace will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able with His help to overcome. God puts limits on our temptation, just as He tells the oceans waves how far they may come up on the beach.

I love that, with every temptation we face, God will faithfully provide a way of escape. Every. Single. Time. May God open our eyes to always clearly see that way of escape and help us to always choose to take it.

When I’m tempted to go outside my boundaries, I like to ask myself, “What’s at stake if I indulge in this food when I’m not truly hungry? What’s at stake if I start eating at zero but continue to eat when I’m already satisfied?” Those calories will get stored as fat, and it’ll take me longer to release my excess, unhealthy weight.

“What’s at stake if I eat my food way too fast?” I risk eating past a five because my stomach and brain need about 20 minutes to clearly communicate to me how satisfied I am.

“What’s at stake if I eat when distracted?” I risk not feeling satisfied after my meal because didn’t pay attention to it. So I’ll want to eat something else I’ll enjoy to make up for the meal that didn’t satisfy.

Considering what’s at stake helps me see my temptation as much less attractive.

Today, thank the Lord that each temptation you face has God-ordered limits so you will not be tempted beyond what you are able.

Moreover, with each temptation God will always provide a way of escape! Praise the Lord for the way of escape so we be able to bear our temptations. Ask God what way of escape He has provided just for you when temptation comes and be on the lookout for it.

In Christ we are more than conquerors! And God has provided all we need for life and godliness. Putting on the full armor of God, let us not fear temptations, but boldly trust the Lord to give us the victory in Christ! With God all things are possible!

As you look to the Lord and trust in Him, you will surely be blessed! See what God’s promised you in Jeremiah 17:7-8.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Creating truth cards and truth journaling is a great way to combat temptations and stand firm in your boundaries.


Q:  I eat at a zero and stop at a five, renew my mind, and have been doing the book study, but my weight still went up! How is this possible?

Since you’ve been diligent to wait for a zero and eat just enough to satiate your hunger, here are some strategies I use to reduce the quantity of food I eat, resulting in losing weight consistently:

  • Try shrinking your portion by using a smaller bowl or plate for your meal. I do this and it has helped not only to consistently get my scale to go down, but enables me to be satisfied with my smaller portion because my small bowl looks full. I use my little dessert bowls for cereal, chili, ice cream, etc., and am plenty satisfied.
  • Lengthen how long it takes to eat your meal. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Since it generally takes 20 minutes for your brain to say its time to stop eating, I like to take mini bites and chew til there’s nothing left to chew. See how long you can take to make your meal stretch. Heidi has said, “Take twice as long to eat half as much.” It’s a fabulous strategy to take the weight off!
  • As mentioned above, packing snacks with you to take the edge off when you start to feel famished between meals will help prevent overeating at your next meal.


Q: How can I keep my boundaries with all the tempting holiday food that is around me?

If you have See’s chocolates or pumpkin spice muffins begging to be eaten, give yourself permission to eat them when you get hungry.

There are many times when I see something delicious, and I think, “I don’t want that just yet because I’m not hungry. But when I do get hungry, that is definitely what I plan to enjoy to satiate my hunger!”

When you’re not hungry, make a list of your favorite holiday foods and drinks you love to enjoy throughout the holidays. Then, plan to enjoy a favorite when you get hungry, working off your list.

You might pack a favorite food to enjoy when you eat lunch in the midst of running errands. Alternatively, you can wait intentionally to run errands until you are hungry, then drive thru and get your holiday favorite to enjoy when you take a break.  Another option is to work in holiday favorites into your family’s meal plan for the week. By satisfying your hunger with a satisfying favorite, you’ll feel doubly blessed!


Q:  How can I diligently keep my boundaries at a party or gathering of friends or family?

Since people typically gather at a specified time, make sure you eat light before it’s time to go to the get together. Eat light enough that you will feel hunger when it’s time to eat. Then you’ll be able to eat when everyone else does, yet you will not be breaking your boundaries by enjoying yummy foods with your favorite people. Rather than taking a whole scoop of each potluck food on your plate, you can use your plate to make up a little sampler platter so you’re able to enjoy the flavors of all that look appetizing to you, but without overdoing it.

If you love dessert like I do, you don’t have to go without. Simply serve yourself 2/3 the amount of what would satisfy your hunger, and then indulge in and savor a small portion of dessert. This way your hunger will be satisfied as well as your sweet tooth! Who says you can’t enjoy your favorite dessert while releasing weight?


Q:  I’m so tempted to abandon my boundaries and start over after New Year’s Day.

Again, whenever I’m tempted I cling to and am encouraged by God’s promise to us in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Since the Lord promises to provide a way of escape from each and every temptation, I look for the way out He is so faithful to provide.

While we are free in Christ, if we let go of our 0 to 5 eating boundaries, we will regret doing so after the holiday. God doesn’t want us to be gluttonous—especially as we celebrate His birth or His resurrection, or as we give thanks for all He has blessed us with. He wants us to enjoy our food, but with self-control. Thin Within 0-5 eating and renewing our mind are wonderful in helping us release unhealthy, extra weight and help us to naturally get down to our God-given size.



Take the deprivation out of staying within boundaries by changing your mindset about how you think about your boundaries

How we word any boundaries we set for our eating can make or break our ability to stick with them. If I say “I can’t eat anything after 8:00pm” I will feel deprived, restricted, and like I have no choice in the matter. However, the rebel in me is less likely to rear up if I say, “I’m free to eat past 8:00pm, but I choose not to because my body already had enough to eat earlier at dinner time.”


Boundaries are actually freeing!

When you think of boundaries, what comes to mind? Restriction? Denial?

I see my Thin Within boundaries like I see guard rails on the road where there’s a sheer drop-off just on the other side of the guard rail! They are put in place, and are there for my safety and to guide me in the way I should go.

I don’t trust in my boundaries; I trust in the Lord. I thank Him for my boundaries because of how He uses them in my life to protect me from overeating and guide me in eating what I love, without overindulging.

Until just a few months ago, I looked at boundaries as being depriving and restricting. Now I recognize them as being freeing! I am not free to eat whatever my heart desires when I am hungry.

  • I’m free to stop eating when I’ve eaten enough to soothe my hunger, so I don’t have to feel heavy and overly full after a meal.
  • I’m free to shed my excess weight, almost effortlessly, without counting, tracking, weighing, and measuring everything I eat.
  • I am free to eat when I’m hungry.
  • I don’t have to deny myself from eating when I’m hungry if I don’t have enough points or calories left for the day.
  • I am free to eat from all food groups and continue to release weight without cutting carbs, sugar, etc.

I’m still excited about the weight I’ve lost, and all without depriving myself of my favorite foods and drinks. I love the way God is using gentle boundaries in m life to help me shed my excess weight. Thin Within works! Stick with it and you will be blessed!


Brooke Espinoza has found freedom from overeating through
Thin Within, and she couldn’t be happier about it. She has been married to her husband almost 20 years and keeps busy homeschooling their daughter, caring for her family, blogging at Hemmed In By Love, and designing products for her Etsy shop, Joyful Life Printables.




FAQ: “BMI, Natural, God-given size,” and what doctors call “healthy”

FAQ: “BMI, Natural, God-given size,” and what doctors call “healthy”


In today’s blog post, we answer a question asked by one of our readers.

If YOU have a question you would like to see answered, please post your question in the comments below!

One of our readers of our Thin Within blog asked this question:

Is the size I will land on by doing Thin Within diligently, a weight or BMI that my doctor would call “healthy?” I am not sure if I am at my God given size as I still mess up with 0 to 5….

Thank you so much for asking this great question!

Short answer: It depends. Maybe not!

Long (ok…REALLY long) answer:

Even amongst medical professionals there is disagreement about the value of the BMI. I want to address the first part of the question and then your comment about not being sure if you are at your God-given size. 🙂

I lost 100 pounds once with a popular regular dieting program in 1996. I rigidly restricted my food intake, trained for one marathon and another, strength trained, and was fitter and trimmer than I had ever been before. I was weighed hydrostatically (the dunk tank which was thought to be the most accurate measure of body composition) to see what percentage lean and percentage body fat I possessed after a year of dieting and exercising “religiously.” My results indicated 14.5% body fat which is very lean! I had started at 32% body fat according to the caliper test.

I wanted to be a meeting leader of that popular dieting program because the thought of helping others, thrilled me! I was so excited about the role this company played in giving me my life back again!

The interviews went well. The person interviewing me for the last interview said that she had to check a couple of things with “corporate” and she would bring forms (after she made a phone call) for me to sign to get the ball rolling for me to start working for them as one of their meeting leaders.

She came back a few minutes later and began asking me about my weight–the specific number. My primary care physician had previously sent a letter to this company telling them that I shouldn’t lose any more weight because I was healthy, but lean.” For a frame of reference, a search on Google about women’s body fat percentages brought up these numbers:

  • Top athletes: 15 to 20%
  • Fit women: 21 to 24%
  • Healthy/acceptable: 25 to 32%

So, given I was just under 15%, it wasn’t a good idea for me to lose more weight.

Heidi’s body, according to body composition testing, is healthy here. Her weight on the scale, however, is a lot higher than most. The place she fell on the BMI when she was in this condition was “OVERWEIGHT” close to “OBESE.” !?

Even though my body fat percentage was so low, my weight was high (muscle weighs more than fat). I was fit, I was active, healthy,  muscular. When the lady interviewing me returned after her phone call, I was told that they wouldn’t hire someone with a doctor approved recommended weight if it was higher than the highest “healthy” range BMI. My BMI, given my weight, was 29!!! Just three points below OBESE!!! 14.5% body fat and almost obese? I wasn’t even CLOSE to needing to lose more weight!

I did the calculations to find out what would happen if I lost ONLY fat (not the muscle I had worked so hard to build) in order to get down to the highest number within my acceptable BMI. The calculations I made at the time landed me at 11% body fat! This is a number that is associated with women who struggle with anorexia. No thank you very much.

Soon after that experience, I ended up being admitted to the hospital with a challenging health crisis. They had to restrict what I could eat…that little sign “NPO” that means “NOTHING PASSES ORALLY”…all my meals and liquids came to me through an IV. After 10 days in the hospital with NPO for most of the time, I had lost more weight all right. I had another body fat composition test and it indicated that my body fat %  had gone up even though my weight went down! My body had metabolized some of the muscle or other lean tissue (my body had thought it was starving when I wasn’t allowed to eat, so it had begun to “burn” the stores…most of which were muscle, not fat!).

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Had I gone to the organization that I had almost been hired to work for previously, they might have PRAISED the accomplishment of arriving at a lower number on the scale. What was true, though? I had less muscle and more fat percentage wise. Once again, my own experience defied the value of the BMI. I was literally *more fat* than I had been at a higher weight.

Another incident that formed my view of BMI and doctors came when I had a doctor (temporarily, as it turned out) who considered BMI as a guide for her patients’ weights. During my normal physical, she expressed concern about the number on the scale, which was higher than most women my age and height who have no weight to lose. I would have been hard pressed to lose any weight without cutting in to the lean on my frame once again. Singles and doubles competitive tennis several hours on most days, combined with working out with “TurboFire” on some of those days (I loved all of this!) and I was in fighting shape!

Many of us have a body type that, when we are at our leanest, we nevertheless, simply will NOT land in the BMI–not without being anorexic!

“No more dragon lady doctor!” I decided to schedule an appointment with a new primary care doc. I told him about the conclusion of the other doc and he was noticeably  surprised that she concluded I needed to lose some weight. He told me that regardless of what the BMI said,  I looked fit and I was active and not to give it another thought.

How could both be right?

If one doc can see this differently from another, I imagine God may see it very differently from docs, too! 🙂

So, for the reader who asked the question…I guess you can see why I don’t give the BMI much credence.

Only the Lord knows what the best size and shape is for you today. I personally believe that what our size (weight) was in high school is NOT a good indicator of our “natural God-given size” today…today, after we have had 3 babies. Today, after we have gone through menopause… So often we are chasing after the “skinny idol.” That may not be the case for everyone…but it is for many of us.

That said, it really is true that if we renew our minds, if we realize that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and that they try to fool us often and will if we aren’t vigilant and hyper-aware, if we are committed to eating only when hungry and stopping when no longer hungry, and do the best we can, observing and correcting each time we “mess up,” allowing God to redeem all our mistakes and stumbles, we will get to a size that we can live with to sustain. This is a place of peace. It isn’t anxiety producing.

Do I really WANT to insist that I should get smaller if it would mean being hungry more often and not eating? A lot of people on diets or even using Thin Within principles, lose/release a lot of weight and wonder why they can’t get the last four or five or even 10 pounds off. We need to ask ourselves what we can live with and enjoy peace with ourselves, food, God, and our bodies without any anxiety.

As for our reader’s comment about “I am not sure if I am at my God given size as I still mess up with 0 to 5″  reality is, we are on a journey of sanctification. It is, by definition, progressive. I don’t believe we WILL ever be “perfect” in 0 to 5 eating this side of heaven. I really believe that life is composed of steady steps taken, one at a time, in a Godward direction…then out of nowhere (it seems)…OOPS! We slip! We overeat and go past 5 or pre-empt 0. That is the way of things. Do I really think that I can get the “last” 5 pounds off and keep it off if it means I have to be PERFECT? No way! I know I can’t be perfect!

God longs for us to allow His grace to cover us. When we observe our behavior, our choices, our struggles and invite God to show us what corrections we can make so we can be equipped for victory in the future when all things are equal, we are applying God’s grace to our repentance. His KINDNESS leads us to repentance.

So, dear reader, what do you think? Should you look for a doctor to confirm that you are, indeed, within the BMI? Or is it possible that you are healthy even if you aren’t  perfectly matched to the numbers that the BMI chart (created in the 1830s, by the way) says you should be? Will you ever be PERFECT about eating only between the parameters of physical hunger and physical satisfaction?

God’s ways are perfect. He created your body, food, eating, all withOUT the BMI in mind. The BMI is a man-made tool and while it has its usefulness (I guess…I am not sure what it is, to be honest), it is nevertheless not to be given authority over our lives.

That all said, if you are eating 0 to 5 nine times out of 10 and maintaining a size that is physically comfortable for you…maybe that is your stopping point. You just keep on eating 0 to 5 and you will stop releasing weight, but start maintaining the same size. This is a wonderful place to be. No new maintenance plan. We keep doing what we did the entire time we were releasing the weight!

Now, then, reader, will you rest in the blessings he has supplied?

Thin Within Coaching Group: Scholarship Available for One Blessed Participant!

This could be YOUR lucky week! 🙂

Heidi and Christina welcome you to join them for a 10-week Thin Within small coaching group experience!

We’re giving away a scholarship to the upcoming Coaching Group session!!!

A $350 value! 🙂

(Actually, we think that it is worth way more than that! At least to US as we LOVE LOVE LOVE our coaching group participants!)

To qualify, please comment below with your answers to the following questions.

  1. Why do you need this coaching?
  2. How will this coaching change your life?
  3. What food, that’s been on on your “no-no” list, will you be able to enjoy freely?

Please be sure to scroll on down and answer these questions in the comments to be considered as our Grand Prize Winner! 😀

WHY do we consider Thin Within Coaching Groups the ultimate Thin Within experience?


1.) Two coaches join together with 8 students for an intimate, deep dive into Thin Within for 10 weeks. We will provide you with more inspiring input and supply more effective strategies than Heidi offers even in 1-on-1 coaching!

2.) The other 7 students will contribute to your journey just as you will have insights and wisdom that may shed light on theirs!

3.) Heidi Bylsma works with Judy Halliday extensively, having collaborated on the writing of the Thin Within book and also the Thin Within Workbook series. In 2006 to 2007, using the Thin Within principles, Heidi released 100 pounds and kept a healthy size for 7 years. Heidi has joined you in the trenches, now, as she seeks to release weight that has returned to her frame due to a lack of diligence to renew her mind during a health crisis, and all that has been entailed in the dismantling of her 33-year marriage. She wrote the Fresh Wind Fresh Desire curriculum to share insights gleaned on her 18-year Thin Within journey.

Heidi – Before

Heidi – After (She has temporarily gained weight since this photo was taken!)

4.) Christina Motley has coached others with Heidi Bylsma for the past 2 years. Christina has been involved in Thin Within for a long while and uses her experience and enthusiasm as well as her brilliance 🙂 to contribute to the Fresh Wind Fresh Desire curriculum and to our small coaching groups in a powerful way. Her “Porch Chats” provide continued encouragement and inspiration to our coachees–all new content created each week, often in response to questions or concerns raised during our group coaching calls. Learn the tips, tricks, tools that both of these women use for victory.  Discover (and avoid) the pitfalls that keep you from victory on your journey. (Heidi has learned the hard way that when she stops using the tools, over-eating becomes an issue again…even after 7 years of maintaining a healthy size!)

5.) Facebook Group support all day every day where the 10 of us meet:

  • Use the group for accountability by checking in each day if you like!
  • Share prayer requests and praises about your journey specifically.
  • Ask questions and get feedback from 9 others, including at least 2 veterans (the coaches are veterans, but many of the people who sign up for the coaching groups are veterans as well)
  • When you need immediate prayer support and encouragement, you can post to our Facebook group.
  • Porch Chat videos by Christina available and uploaded 2x a week.
  • Heart 2 Heart videos by Heidi available and uploaded once a week.
  • Other helpful files made available in the Facebook group

6.) This is the closest thing we have to an “Insider’s Club!” 🙂 All of us in the coaching group will become great friends with one another over the 10 weeks together. Many of our participants so far have continued to meet together!

7.) You WILL experience victory if you participate! We know this will UNSTICK you! If you haven’t seen ALL the details, including a video or two to show you what’s up, visit this page.

What questions do you have about our coaching groups? Christina and Heidi will be hosting a Facebook Live event on Thursday, March 29th at 10am PDT, 11am MDT, 12pm CDT, 1pm EDT. Visit Heidi’s profile page and keep refreshing until you see a live video. If you miss it, you can always catch the recording.

Remember! To be considered for a full scholarship in a coaching group this Spring, please answer the questions at the top of this post by typing your comments below and we will be selecting a “blessed winner” who will get free access to be in a coaching group from the week of April 2-June 3rd.

FAQ: Confused? Thin Within: Where do I BEGIN?!?

FAQ: Confused? Thin Within: Where do I BEGIN?!?

We continue to ask (and answer) questions here at the blog in a new series…called our FAQ series! These will be questions that are relevant to you. In fact, we would love to hear from you! If you have a question about Thin Within, chances are, someone else has the same question! Please share your questions with us using the form at the very bottom of this blog post and we hope to get an answer out very soon!

Question from Marcia (Thank you for your question, Marcia!):

I am brand new to TW and do not yet have any of the books or workbooks. Where would you recommend for a newbie to start? I am hoping to join the next FB group in maybe May, but right now I am just gleaning from the blog and videos. Thank you!

The absolute best place to start is with the Thin Within Jump Start Training! It can be sent to you via email or you can access it at the Thin Within Academy. We are upgrading it a bit (version 2.0, don’t ya know! :-))  and I think that is the best way to go personally. But click this link to find the Jump Start Training at the Thin Within Academy. Or you can click the photo at the top of this blog post!

The Jump Start training is a great way to get your feet wet in Thin Within. So that is the best place to begin. We have 30 days of emails (or posts at the Academy) that you can do. It breaks down some of the basics into the most manageable bite size pieces. We cover a bit about mind renewal, about the mechanics of eating the Thin Within way, activity and it’s place, ways to think differently about food, eating, emotions, etc…and more!

Why not join us by starting with this easy-to-do beginners training? Or, if you are a veteran who needs a “refresher” course, you could try Jump Start as well!

What questions do YOU have?

We are eager to continue this FAQ series with questions that you have and would like an answer to. If you have a question, please use the form below. No one else will see your question or email address.

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Thanks so much! Let us know how we can help or serve you!

FAQ: What IS “Thin Within?”

FAQ: What IS “Thin Within?”


Welcome to our series of “Frequently Asked Questions” about Thin Within.

Over the next few months, we will be asking (and answering) questions here at the blog in a new series…called our FAQ series! These will be questions that are relevant to you. In fact, we would love to hear from you! If you have a question about Thin Within, chances are, someone else has the same question! Please share your questions with us using the form at the very bottom of this blog post and we hope to get an answer out very soon!

What is Thin Within?


  • Thin Within is not a diet.
  • Thin Within is not an endorsement for severe restriction.
  • Thin Within has no rules and no off-limits foods lists.
  • Thin Within is not a “quick fix” for extra weight or to cure eating disorders–please be sure to check with your medical and/or mental health professionals before starting this program.
  • Thin Within does not work well in combination with a diet.
  • Thin Within is not for the person who wants to keep their spiritual life separate from their eating and emotional life.

What Thin Within is…:

  • …a non-diet approach to lasting peace with your body, food, eating.
  • …a mindful, intuitive method for eating each meal (ANYtime food crosses your lips it is a “meal,” an opportunity for delight and nourishment!).
  • …liberating, as you enjoy any food you desire between the parameters of physical hunger and satisfaction.
  • …a refreshing way of being drawn into closeness with God.

Thin Within…

  • …requires no weighing and measuring of your food, no counting points, blocks, grams, calories, and absolutely no purchasing or preparing special foods for an event or on vacation.
  • …leaves label surfing behind forever.
  • …teaches you to begin to notice how different foods make your body feel when you are physically hungry and have a small portion and, when hungry, to select more and more of the “whole body pleasers” that you enjoy and that are beneficial for your body.
  • …encourages being adventurous in trying new recipes, new foods, new ways of preparing wholesome foods that you select!

Heidi “Before” Thin Within

Heidi – “After” Christmas 2007

Since 1999, when I stopped dieting and exercising obsessively, I have learned wonderful tools for teaching myself to think differently. This has had a huge impact on me as I act on what I BELIEVE and what I BELIEVE is drastically impacted by what I tell myself all the time. So, if I speak TRUTH to myself ALL THE TIME–that my body is fearfully and wonderfully made, that my body is remarkably efficient and needs less food than I can imagine, if I tell myself the truth frequently that I am being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do “all things” through Christ, including stopping overeating, then I will begin to believe it and if I believe it, I will act on it.


I need to speak the TRUTH to myself and reject all LIES I tell myself. // The more I speak the TRUTH, the more I will BELIEVE the truth.// I will then ACT on what I BELIEVE.

So, while Thin Within is very much about an alternative to dieting, it is so much more. It isn’t an “eating plan” like many other programs. It is, more accurately, an entire discipleship program! If you want to connect with God, this is a great choice whether you have food, eating, body image issues or not!

We have a number of resources:

  • Thin Within Academy – has 4 programs available (a 5th–our “vault” will be opened soon and it includes all of Christina’s Porch Chats and all of my Heart 2 Hearts).
    1. Think Thin Within – a digital program about how to think differently so you can act differently
    2. Thin Within Book Digital Companion – a fresh spin on a tried and true presentation of Thin Within from the 2002 or 2005 edition of the THin Within book.
    3. 30-Day Jump Start Training – our free introduction
    4. Thin Within: Fresh Wind, Fresh Desire – Currently available only for our small coaching group participants, this curriculum brings anything and everything about Thin Within and puts it all in one place!
  • Books 
    1. Thin Within – A Grace-Oriented Approach to Lasting Weight Loss
    2. Hunger Within – A Biblical Approach to Weight Management
    3. Raising Fit Kids in a Fat World – Written by the founder of Thin Within, Judy Halliday, and a pediatrician, the “Fit Kids” book is written for parents of kids to teach them how to pass on Thin Within eating and principles to their children.
    4. H.E.A.L. Healthy Eating, Abundant Living – Your Diet-Free, Faith-Filled Guide to a Fabulous Life

(Email me to purchase the pdf files instead. (Heidi Bylsma at gmail dot com))

We are eager to continue this FAQ series with questions that you have and would like an answer to. If you have a question, please use the form below. No one else will see your question or email address.

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Thanks so much! Let us know how we can help or serve you!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting #03 (a.k.a. “Pregnantly Thin Within”)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting #03 (a.k.a. “Pregnantly Thin Within”)


Back to Square 0!

One of the biggest challenges I have discovered in my third trimester with Thin Within, is that I am having a very difficult time finding and waiting for 0. Such a basic concept. I’ve been doing this for years, but suddenly now, I feel like a newby and needing to get back to the basics—back to Square 1, or Square 0 as the case may be.

I realize that there are a few factors in play here. One is decreased space. Remember the illustration in TW about your stomach being the size of a fist? Well…my fist-sized stomach has gotten squished by this beautiful growing baby boy! Secondly, indigestion—a companion of many pregnant women, especially in their third trimester.

What I found was that the difficulty waiting for or finding zero was wreaking havoc in my heart and in my walk with Jesus. Much of this problem was not physical…it was a heart issue that I was “blaming” on the changes in my body. As a friend from our Small Thin Within Coaching Group “Fresh Wind Fresh Desire” says—“One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is giving me great justifications for breaking my boundaries.” So here was a great justification, when the Truth, I know deep in my soul, is that zero WILL come, when my body is ready and that my eating rhythm* may change, but it is still God’s design for me to wait until I feel physically hungry. This is best for so many reasons. (*Technical note: I have found that my rhythm looks like smaller meals, more frequently)

It all started with difficulty waiting for 0.

It’s been a challenging month. Health-wise, I’ve had a mean case of bronchitis. I’ve had sick kids. My husband’s work schedule is at a fever pitch.

Nothing like throwing a pity party for yourself to poison your thinking and sneakily lead you down a road you don’t want to be. After two major eating episodes in one week, I got the message:

Wake up my child! Your mind and your soul need tending.

 But Lord, I don’t know where to start!

Create in me a clean heart…

 Oh Lord, cure my heart of this ungratefulness—this “take take”ing—this entitled attitude. It sits heavy on my soul like so many unenjoyed cookies—scarfed greedily and without a thought. I have done the same with the gorgeous view here—your gift of creation—devouring it without a thought toward you. Or with the precious moments with my children. So sweet. So valuable. Meant to be savored with a grateful heart and a song of praise. But I’ve just devoured them thanklessly—not enjoying and wanting “more”, wanting “what’s next”.

When I hear these gritty, real thoughts coming out of my mouth, I feel so unlovely. Yet you say your love for me won’t ever stop or give up. When I feel like everyone (including me!) is tired of my short-comings, you remind me of your Faithfulness that doesn’t grow weary of me or walk away.

Don’t we all hear these self-condemning, doubtful thoughts at times?

I found this in an old journal entry from last year:

“I’m so imperfect, LORD. I’m struggling with this over and over again and the weight of my own short-comings, failures and sinfulness is crushing.


This was never going to be about your righteous life anyway, Emily. There is glory in perseverance, sanctifying shades of transformation as you look to me, again and again. Keep coming to me, coming back, coming closer. As I peel off layers of your human nature to reveal my glorious new creation in you…it may be painful. It may seem messy. I have eternal eyes. And in my sight, you are beautiful and your heart that loves me is precious.”


So another layer of my human nature—you’re asking me to trust you with this season, this challenge, of finding 0 with a baby stuffed inside of me, this dying to myself again. And you have promised that when I do, you will not waste a single struggle, a single stumble.


Now, it’s down to the dirty work. I need a quiet moment to ask God—What is this really about? What is the emotion, the aching emptiness that I’ve avoided addressing? And then…what do YOU say about that?   What is true in this moment LORD?


God, this is tough work. And I’m really not sure I’m up for it. I’d much rather sit here with my coffee and my Reeses’ peanut butter cup and read a book about someone else’s’ journey finding freedom from her besetting sin through real connection with herself and you.

Thankfully, God did not leave me there. It’s been three weeks since that conversation with the LORD. He actually has used that good book to work in my life as well! But mostly, it’s been my cooperation with His Spirit in me, that has peeled back new layers of callous around my heart. It has felt messy, and been a bit painful, but God has drawn me closer to him, renewing that “right spirit” within me and reminding me that I WANT to find and wait for 0.

Emily lives in South Korea with her husband and 2.8 children. She enjoys being the token American in her neighborhood and baking for the Korean neighbors. She is grateful for the chance to lead worship in their small “expat church.” Like most mothers, she’s also good at multitasking–like cooking and putting on bandaids, rubbing four feet while reading two books and driving while chewing gum and talking on FaceTime with family back home. 

Thanks, Emily!

If you are a pregnant mom, won’t you post here and let us know? We would love to have a little support community right here on the blog for you all who are hoping to navigate the waters of your pregnancy (and after) while applying the Thin Within principles. Not only does Thin Within “work” during pregnancy to minimize weight gain, but many women LOVE the way they feel when they do this! EVEN when pregnant!

~ Heidi

Testimony: My Ashes for Christ’s Beauty – Isaiah 61:3

Testimony: My Ashes for Christ’s Beauty – Isaiah 61:3

Hi my name is Kay and I live in New Zealand. I found Thin Within in July last year (2017) ‘by accident’ when in desperation and crying out the Lord for deliverance and help He led me to Heidi’s TW videos. They were water to my thirsty soul! Since journeying with the Lord and learning TW principles, i.e. devouring the TW book and workbook, as well as the amazing website, I’ve found the freedom and joy I’ve always desired.

I’m 53 years old and have walked with the Lord since the ‘80s. I love Jesus and am so thankful for having a wonderful loving Heavenly Father who speaks to me daily through His Word. I have a long history (since age 14) of suffering with severe/persistent eating disorders (EDs) – anorexia and bulimia (non-vomiting but purging with exercise) for many years up unto recent times. My journey with the EDs (initially anorexia – severe food restriction, obsessive weighing and exercise) began in Fourth Form (age 14) when I began to develop and experience puberty. This triggered off a lot of painful emotions, deep shame and fear. I felt ashamed of my body’s changes and felt utterly betrayed by it. I wanted to hide it away and starve it back “into childhood”… so I did. I began to research diets in the American magazines in our library and became secretive about how much I ate, existing on a pathetic amount of food each day. I became dangerously thin as I carefully and obsessively calculated my food and calorie intake down to a very minimal level. Ironically, I was already thin, having been a very thin child and High School student. I definitely did not have a weight problem and did not need to diet.

But one careless remark during a lesson one day with our Gym Teacher (to the entire PE class) had triggered off the fear/shame and the ED obsession. She had simply said “Some of you girls need to diet and lose weight!” She was from Helsinki – attractive, fit and athletic – everything a self-conscious teenager admired; she was a past Olympic-class Gymnast who was also underweight and very body-conscious. Of course I now realise she was not at all talking to me – I was already thin, and to diet would have been unhelpful. However, due to my low self-esteem and because of my past history which I detail briefly next I was filled with self-hatred, rejection and self-loathing.

I’m a survivor (and overcomer in Christ) of severe abuse (physical/sexual) since the beginning of my life and but my clearest and earliest memories of the worst of the abuse were from the age of three. Our home was sadly one of pain and dysfunction. I’m so thankful that with the Lord’s help over the last 10 years I have processed (with professional assistance) the worst of this. It has been a long, and at times daily, journey of forgiving and blessing my offenders, and then releasing them into the Lord’s hands with His help and grace. Our Lord is so amazing. In light of His forgiveness of me, I can do as His Word commands me and that is to forgive those who have sinned against me. God promises me that His ways are the pathways of peace and life, and I have certainly found this to be true.

On my TW journey I have experienced the freedom from weighing (I no longer weigh myself at all – yay!), and I haven’t binged since July 2017 with the Lord’s help. I no longer count calories nor do I weigh and measure my food. My focus now is on “feasting on the Lord”, spending time with Him daily, praising and thanking Him for His goodness, and meditating on His Word. I certainly do not do the journey perfectly, and at times still struggle with 0-5 eating but I try to just “observe and correct” and move forward daily. After decades of starvation, I find it hard to find “0” at times, and also find it painful/challenging to stop at “5” because of the fear of deprivation which has long been entrenched in my mind. But God is amazing; He encourages me and is teaching me how to renew my mind daily with my truth cards, TW readings, watching/listening to TW resources, and participating in the TW Facebook groups. I’m so thankful for Thin Within and its wonderful resources and leaders; it has been such an integral part of my healing journey with Jesus!

Kay P lives in the lower North Island of New Zealand. She’s 53 years old, and lives with her hubby and their wee Bichon Frise dog called Ollie. She and her husband both love the Lord, enjoy walks and spending time in the great outdoors (in the bush). She describes herself as a fledgling writer…. and has begun writing her personal story in the form of an Autobiography. Kay is a qualified English Teacher and works for herself as a Freelance TESOL Teacher in NZ teaching English to children with learning disabilities and literacy challenges. She also works with adult immigrants. She and her husband are a childless couple but Kay has been privileged to work for the last decade with children which she really enjoys. Ollie-dog is her furry blessing from the Lord…