Can 0 to 5 LEAD to Bingeing?!?

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

A note from a blog reader (and friend):

On one of your videos I heard you say, “following a 0-5 food plan,” which really got me thinking, because I have thought of a food plan as an “eat this, in that amount, at such and such a time” sort of thing, as opposed to an approach to how we are planning to eat when we get hungry. I had thought of 0-5 eating as “beyond food planning” or “letting go of food planning,” but, in the grand sense, of course it is a food plan. It’s a plan to wait for hunger and to eat to satisfaction. It’s a different type of food plan, but it is a food plan nonetheless.

I’d like to offer some more thoughts, based on my experiences as a person with a history of lots of very restrictive eating, including following restrictive food plans for much longer than was good for me, on the whole idea of food plans and how I’ve made food planning work for me within a 0-5 framework.

When I first learned about the whole concept of 0-5 (hunger/satisfaction) eating, I felt released from food jail and liberated into the loving arms of God. I was elated. I employed the suggestions and floated my way right into a headlong binge. What happened? It took me totally by surprise. Well, after repeating the same mistake about 25 times or more (I am not a fast learner in this department), I finally realized that I was eating -5 to +10 instead of 0-5. I was getting too hungry and then overeating. But I didn’t overeat each time I ate. Because I was so used to restricting, I was basically getting too hungry and eating too little for as long as I could take it, and then I would compensate by bingeing every few days. The old binge-starve cycle, except that it started with starving until I worked up to a compensatory binge. Aha. A clear problem presents a clear answer: stop starving yourself! My eyes were open to one answer for me: eat to satisfaction each time, and you won’t need to binge. Halleluiah!

As I continue to re-calibrate and re-fine my eating, I have become aware that although hunger and satisfaction are very important and help me to be and feel most connected to God through my body, life is much easier for me if I find my own eating rhythm and plan accordingly.

Here’s my rhythm: I am very likely to get hungry every few hours. I am hungrier in the morning than in the evening, but that doesn’t always fit well with family and social meals. I need to eat breakfast for myself, but I can’t usually gracefully skip dinner. I am hardly ever hungry for an evening snack, so I don’t plan on one.

If I plan to eat three meals and two snacks per day, separated by approximately three hours each, then I find that my brain is not constantly cluttered by calculating and re-calculating what I can or should eat next time I get hungry or how long it will take me to get hungry, etc. I do best when I expect to eat regularly. I eat meals and snacks in accordance with my signals of hunger and satisfaction, but I also plan to eat normal, social meals and snacks. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that three meals and two snacks is my primary boundary and hunger and satisfaction is my secondary boundary, but they both compete for primary (is co-primary a word? twin primary?).

The reason it’s important for me to elevate the regular meal/snack eating is that when I tell myself I’m just eating for hunger/satisfaction, I tend to default to under-eating and then become tempted to over-eat. I guess that’s because of my history of restricting, I’m not sure. But I do know what’s true for me, and what’s true for me is that although I am on the 0-5 food plan, I’m also on the three meals and two snacks food plan, and it is a manageable challenge to integrate the two. In fact, I think integrating the two is what normal eaters do. Normal eaters almost never say, “no thanks, I’m not eating dinner tonight – I’m not hungry yet.” They try to eat when they are hungry, but if they aren’t hungry, they’ll order something, eat a bit of it, and share the rest or bring home the leftovers or whatever seems like a good idea at the time to them.

I don’t always wait for hunger or eat to satisfaction. Similarly, I don’t always eat three meals and two snacks. Sometimes I get hungry for an extra snack. Sometimes I skip a snack. But I really never skip meals. I might delay meals because of life circumstances even though I’m hungry, or I might put a meal off because I’m not hungry yet, but I’m not going without lunch.

The big “never” for me is that I never binge any more (praise God!!) at least so far, since I started to get serious about this approach. The other “never” is that I never starve myself. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not satisfied, I eat more. But I do it in the context of  “I’m going to eat again in another few hours so I don’t have to stuff myself and in fact I don’t even want to because why would a person do that to herself?”

Maybe the main benefit of planning on eating three meals and two snacks is that it decreases my anxiety about starving. A person who eats that often is not going to starve. I am not going to starve myself and therefore I don’t need to overeat to prevent future starvation or to make up for past starvation. I am taking care of myself – I can relax around food : )

I hope this imperfect approach is useful to someone else. I so want to be linear and rigid, but I know that doesn’t work for me any more. It never worked for me, even though it’s how I attempted to live for years. I have to be integrated, complex, and flexible. Darn it.

~ Anonymous 🙂

What About You?

Have you modified your 0 to 5 eating in a way that frees you? Can you relate to this writer’s technique? How about sharing with us how you manage? It might encourage someone else!

Testimony – Rachel is On Her Way!

Rachel Before


I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can recall. I remember thinking I was bigger than all the kids in my elementary classes and equating that to being fat, although I was just taller than everyone else. My unhealthy self-image escalated and I began dieting the summer before 9th grade. I lost 10 pounds that summer and the exhilaration of dieting became a crutch that would follow me into adulthood.

By the time I found intuitive eating I had been on countless diets that always produced short-term results and lots of excessive baggage afterwards.

I had ballooned back up to 220 pounds and had finally decided to cry out to God for help with this stronghold.

Rachel Before 2


I found another Christian weight loss program that is based on intuitive eating in May of 2010, but the condemnation that they promoted caused me to seek another option. I had lost a bit of weight, but knew in my heart that their program wasn’t what the Holy Spirit wanted to show me. I found Thin Within just one month later.

I continued to embrace waiting for true hunger, but this time I allowed grace to cover me instead of guilt. I lost 18 more pounds—a total of  34 pounds—before I found myself pregnant with our 3rd child. This was a new challenge that I honestly wasn’t willing to face so I threw out the principles of intuitive eating and gained all my weight back, plus a few pounds during that pregnancy.

I reached my highest weight ever during that time and after having my beautiful daughter I delayed doing what I knew God wanted me to do to achieve my God-given size. When I finally got over myself and started eating intuitively again, God was able to really start the lasting changes on my heart.


Rachel with two of her precious little ones!

I was 228 pounds and a size 18 when I recommitted to eating God’s way.

I began to get active in the Thin Within ministry and lead a few groups. This is when the shift in my thinking really started to take place. This wasn’t just another diet for me. I wasn’t always perfect, though (not that God expects us to be) and I still had a lot to learn about how to become a naturally thin eater.

I did manage to lose 42 pounds and get into size 10 jeans, but that is when I discovered I was pregnant again with our 4th child. Knowing that I didn’t adhere to any Thin Within principles during my last pregnancy I was afraid of just how much time would be wasted. That is when I took my fear and apprehension to the Lord. He assured me that even during this season He could work on my heart and that’s just what He did. I gained weight, but He really chiseled the stoney places of my heart that have held me back for so many years.

I had my son on August 21st weighing in at 226 pounds and only 7 weeks later I am already down to 198 pounds. I have never lost 28 pounds this quickly after any of my pregnancies and I know that this coming year will be my best yet.

Rachel Before

Rachel Now — In Process! Looking Good, Rachel!

God has healed so many of my heart issues and I am beginning to reap the benefits of having a healthy relationship with food. I’m still a work in progress, but I know that God will indeed complete what He’s doing in my life. I’m only about 12 pounds from my lowest weight with Thin Within, but I know I’ll be breezing past that with God’s help. He’s going to do the work in me that produces long-lasting permanent results. I will be at my God-given weight and size sooner than I could have ever imagined. I’ve definitely learned more than I can express, but the biggest thing has been that no season in our life is wasted when we honestly turn it over to our Lord! We can do this because He is the victor and He’s alive in us!

Rachel L. Taylor

Way to Go, Rachel!

It is so exciting to see Rachel making such wonderful headway.  Watch this space for a follow up to share with you Rachel’s continued experience using Thin Within. If you are interested in the Facebook accountability group that Rachel administrates, please visit this page and request to be added. Let Rachel’s enthusiasm and success ignite hope for you! 🙂

This Changes Everything!


There are times when I feel such frustration with myself—the struggle that Paul shares in Romans 7 about the very thing he doesn’t want to do is that which he keeps on doing and the good that he wants to do he doesn’t. There are times when I am frustrated by others or my circumstances. Times when I feel despair and such a lack of hope. At times like these, I wonder how I will ever see my way clear. Hope is elusive!

It is times like these when one thing…and one thing alone…changes EVERYTHING for me.

In fact, the biggest changes in my life—my eating, my other stronghold struggles, my relationships—have happened when I have integrated this one thing into my life.

It’s praise.

I believe that so often those of us who struggle with eating and eating disorders have an extreme case of self-focus. I know I do when I am left to my own devices. Dieting definitely contributed to me being this way…and sometimes, over the years, I have turned Thin Within into being less about honoring GOD and exalting him in all I do into being .all about me, my food, my hunger, my body, me me me, my my my.

This doesn’t result in anything but more despair and struggle.

When I move my focus from ME to the Lord, it is amazing what happens.

We were created to worship him, to exalt him. When I am doing what I was created to do, my spirit soars, hope floods even the darkest parts of my mind and heart and I experience a change…now. There is something wildly wonderful about exalting my Creator, my God, my King.

This week, I have been struggling with some circumstances in my life and I was reminded ever so lovingly by my Heavenly Father that I hadn’t been praising as much. So, I recommitted to this as a daily practice. In fact, as part of the “Set Your Timer” Challenge, I praise! How awesome is it to praise God—even if ever so briefly—for a moment every hour!

I recorded one of my praisefests in case it can encourage you as you do your own. As I listened to it, I realized that you can actually tell that I am experiencing a lifting of my spirit as I go farther on.

Here it is for you:

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How About You?

Can you develop or add to a God List (this post at my other blog tells you about it if you haven’t seen me talk about it before) and then use it for your own praisefest? If not this, then how about opening to a favorite psalm and giving it a shot? 🙂 Just ask the question, “What is God like and what does He do for people?” and then say back to God what you find!

Night Time Eating – Carrie’s Testimony and Challenge!

 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
 turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:26
Night time eating is the most recent stronghold that I am seeking to overcome, with God’s help. The Lord has delivered me from the diet mentality, afternoon snacking, over-exercising and several other habits and obsessions. However, I was still holding onto eating after leaving the dinner table. Not eating several hours later when I was hungry, but almost immediately after leaving the dinner table with a satisfied belly.
The habit was created during my years on weight watchers – I would save “points” for the end of the day. While my husband put our son to bed, I could finally rest and relax – I had earned a treat and I was going to enjoy it! Fast forward many years and it was a daily habit, largely associated with emotion, that I was just not willing to surrender. I realized recently that I had to give it up, to surrender it. So, I thought I’d share some of my strategies that have helped me continue moving forward in this journey. (These strategies are in addition to the reading of Truth cards, reading scripture, prayer, praise music, etc).
Please understand that I had to draw a line in the sand to not eat after leaving the dinner table. Some of you may need a meal closer to bedtime, but I sleep better and feel better if my stomach is empty or close to empty at bedtime.  So, I choose to close the kitchen after dinner!
1)   I start every day with a commitment, a promise, to God that I will not eat after dinner.  When I am tempted, I remember my promise and then my mind and heart turns toward my Lord. I know, too, that He provides a way out for me in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2)   I report to my accountability partner nightly on my success or failure on this point.
3)   I track on my phone with a checkmark if I have stayed in this particular boundary. It gives me an easy way to see if I am stumbling or succeeding.
4)   I review “my reasons to stay in my boundaries even when it is tough” daily. The reason that speaks to me the strongest currently is that I don’t want to be in this same place in 6 months. I want to be experiencing more and more freedom. I know that surrendering the nighttime eating is crucial to this growth.  So, when I am tempted, I often ask myself “where do I want to be in 6 months?”.
5)   I have started planning for a little sweet at the end of dinner. I will join my family in a small bowl of ice cream. And sometimes I don’t eat the ice cream. I am free to do either one!
6)   I change the direction of my feet.  TV watching is strongly related to the urge to eat after dinner. I am now watching a lot less TV at night. Now, especially when I am strongly tempted, I will take a bath. Or I might read a book or work on my Bible studies or call a friend. Or I just wait for my husband to come back downstairs.  I just do not go near the TV and I try to stay out of the kitchen.
7)   I memorize scripture so that in a tough moment, I can immediately go to the Truth. It helps me to pray my way through the tough moments.
8)   When I do slip up, I observe and correct. I make a plan for next so that I will have a better outcome. I also may truth journal about my thoughts that I had before I broke my boundary.
I underlined the two strategies that have made the biggest difference for me. As of today, I surrendered this habit to the Lord 40 days ago. Quite biblical, isn’t it 🙂?  I have had 4 nights where I slipped up and 36 nights when I was surrendered. I consider that a huge success when I look back and know that I was eating after dinner almost every night.

What About You?

What behavior of yours may be holding you back from total freedom? Pray about what steps you might take to help you overcome.  Please share that that others may learn from you!
~ Carrie

CHALLENGE! “Set the Timer!”

Digitial Water resistant night glow watch

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Want to get serious about renewing your mind?

Want to take the bull by the horns?

Are you sick and tired of the embarrassment and shame that you feel for your size or your eating behavior?

Are you willing to get a little crazy to do something about this? Proactive?

Are you desperate?

How about taking the “Set the Timer Challenge?”

It’s a three day challenge, but you can take it as long as you want…half a day, one day…a week! Whatever!

Here is how it works.

Select 5 truths that, if you really believed them, would turn your life around. Truths that have to do with eating, with people, with God, with yourself—anything is fair game. For the purposes of the focus of this blog, I recommend that it has to do with eating in some way, but pray and see how God would lead you.

Here are some to choose from:

1. No food tastes as good as obedience feels.

2. Starting NOW with following my boundaries will bring a quicker victory!

3. God walks with me through my challenges!

4. I am more than a conqueror through Christ!

5. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, including eat only a fist-sized portion.

6. I feel best when I eat when I am hungry and stop after a small amount of food—when I am physically satisfied.

7. I refuse to bow to food any longer. Christ is my King!

8. I don’t need to diet to release extra weight—I can eat the amount of food that my body calls for and land on my natural, healthy size and maintain it!

9. Evening eating (outside of 0 and 5) is NOT worth the price I pay.

10. The sooner I live by my boundaries, the sooner I will experience the freedom Christ died to give me!

Set your timer on your watch or your computer or you cell phone (or whatever). You can set it for any increment you want to. I have mine set for 30 minutes, but that is a bit much for most people.

When the timer goes off, commit yourself to the Lord afresh, “Lord, I offer my eating, my choices, my heart and mind to you again.” Then, choose one of your truths to say out loud (or, if you aren’t in a place you can do that, to just go over again in your mind.)

If you do this for three days, I am CONVINCED you will experience some radical transformations beginning to take place from the inside out. This is where LASTING CHANGE has to occur! INSIDE! Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Let’s do it!

How about You?

What is your plan? Will you take the “Set the Timer Challenge?” What will that look like for you? Do you have an accountability partner? If so, ask her to hold you accountable. If not, feel free to report here! We can DO THIS!

What Are You Hungry For?

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. – Psalm 84:2

Years ago, there was an advertisement on television featuring Andy Griffith and his big toothy grin. Smiling ear-to-ear in his inimitable way he asked, “What are you hungry for when you don’t know what you are hungry for?” His answer was always “Something on a Ritz® cracker!”

Have you ever wondered what you are hungry for? Sometimes, we may think true physical hunger is rearing up, shouting to be satisfied. We mentally run through the litany of foods we like to eat and nothing sounds good. We calculate what we will feed our hunger.

If we are quiet, we may hear:

“Me. You’re hungry for me. Let me feed you.”

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26

We were created for intimacy with God. Our hearts cry out for it. For many years we have answered the cry with Ritz® crackers. Or chocolate, or pizza, or cheese enchiladas. We have misinterpreted the cry of our hearts for intimacy with God and fed our spiritual hunger, physical food.

Psalm 42:7 says “Deep calls to deep.” From the depths of our hungry souls we cry out for the Lord.

Try this: If you are hungry, but can’t figure out what you are hungry for, rather than tearing open a package of Oreos or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or whatever is your biggest temptation when you aren’t physically hungry, try instead , opening up God’s Living Word of truth. Try calling upon the Lord of Heaven and earth. Believe His promises to you:

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! – Isaiah 30:18

I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. -Hosea 11:4

Oh Jesus, I know that when I don’t know what I am hungry for, it is actually YOU I crave. I pray that I might wait for you and experience your abundance and joy flood my soul. Amen.

“CHANGED!” A Testimony by Christina


Every year the Lord gives me a word for the new year.  In December of 2012, I began to pray about what the word would be.  Almost immediately the Lord said my word was “change”.  With that being such a simple word, I thought that just couldn’t possibly be it–but it was!  And one of the things the Lord said would be changing is my eating.  So being the planner that I am, I started to decide for myself what that change would look like.  Following my emotions and compulsiveness, I decided that God no longer wanted me following Weight Watchers, but wanted me ordering powdered shake mixes to follow a regimen of drinking shakes and doing cleanses.  The Lord let me go along with it, and after a few days in the beginning of January of drinking shakes and being told when, what, and how to eat, I was humbled and confessed that I made the wrong decision.  Oops!  I knew that change still needed to take place in my eating, so I began to search again.  This time the search led me to contacting a naturopath, hoping to figure some things out with my body.  Again, I followed my emotions and was compulsive.  And the Lord let me go along with this as well.  I was told not to eat carbohydrates or sugar.  And so I began that quest and discovered very quickly that I felt very deprived and, after awhile, fearful that if I ate those two “don’ts” that I was damaging my body and tempting God.

And so began (or continued) my struggle.  I had never been so fearful about food in all my life.  I was constantly being attacked in my mind about food.  I wrote SO many journal entries about this, going back and forth about what I should do.  I wanted to go back to Weight Watchers SO badly, but I didn’t feel peace doing that.  I also didn’t have peace following the naturopath’s regimen.  And then one day in March, the Lord led me to look at Heidi’s blog.  I hadn’t looked at it in a couple of years.  And immediately, as I began to read her posts, peace entered my heart.  It was the first time in months that I felt peace and comfort in the area of food.  It was like the Lord shone His light and said, “This is what I want you to be doing.  This is the change I intended.”

That peace remained in my heart for a short time until I began entertaining the dieting and restrictive thoughts again.  I was really hung up on the lie that eating carbohydrates and sugar would damage my body–that it would basically kill me.  I was being tormented in my mind.  When the enemy tries to bring fear, he likes to ask the “what if” and “what about” questions.  There was a major battle going on in my mind and I had a very hard time getting out of it.

I knew from personal experience and from what Heidi was sharing about renewing our mind, that truth was the only way I was going to win the battle that was going on in my mind.  The hard part was pushing past the “what abouts” the enemy was throwing at me constantly.  I had to get to a place where I absolutely could ONLY believe and focus on what the Lord says in His Word about eating and food.  I wrote out scripture after scripture on notecards about how God has blessed ALL foods, about how no one had right to judge me in food or drink, about how I was to set aside what the world was saying and fix my eyes on Jesus, etc.  And every day I read through those cards 2-3 times a day, sometimes less, sometimes more.  It wasn’t easy at first, but after awhile those truths began to resonate in my heart.  I also asked different ones to pray for me.  After awhile I recognized that it wasn’t so much of a battle about food, but it was the enemy trying to lead me down the path of fear.  Fear comes in all shapes and sizes.  The enemy will tempt us with fear about EVERY thing in life.  But God and His word is bigger and more powerful than any lie the enemy throws at us.  The Word of God is our weapon!  It never returns void.  It goes out and accomplishes what God has set for it to do.  The truth sets us free!

So little by little, every single day, every single time I read those scriptures, the Lord was setting me free!  By mid-June I was walking in victory over this food battle.  Praise the Lord!

And then the next part of the journey began.  The second phase of the Renewing of the Mind Weight Loss Bible study started mid-June on Heidi’s blog.  The Lord blessed me with an accountability partner and I began the next phase of my journey.  This part of the journey included overcoming the diet mentality and finding truth about Weight Watchers.

Would you believe that I subscribed and cancelled my Weight Watchers subscription probably 4-5 times since January?  You better believe it!  It’s quite embarrassing, but that shows right there how hard it was to break free from those chains.

Let me give you a little history about my experience with Weight Watchers.  About 4 years ago I was at my heaviest weight, which is about 30 pounds heavier than I am currently.  I knew all about Thin Within and normal eating.  I felt that I had “tried” eating 0-5, but really, I wasn’t committed and found every excuse to eat.  I had just come through a lot of emotional healing, which unfortunately was combined with emotional eating.  We had also been trying for a child for about 5 years at this point and I was very discouraged.  So I ate.  And ate.  I felt disgusting.  I felt discouraged about normal eating not working for me (even though that was a lie I was believing), so I prayed about doing Weight Watchers.  The Lord allowed me to follow Weight Watchers for about 3 years, except for when I was pregnant or breastfeeding.  I always kept in mind listening to my body’s hunger cues and I knew better to eat if I was hungry, even if I didn’t have extra points.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel guilty about it, but I knew that listening to my body was more important than a points allotment.  I lost weight and then lost weight again after pregnancy.  Toward the last few months of following Weight Watchers, I began to lose my peace.  And when the Lord told me that my word for this year was “change” and that would involve even my eating, I knew I would be kissing Weight Watchers goodbye.

Up until the last part of August of 2013, I was really struggling with thinking about going back to Weight Watchers. My accountability partner encouraged me to commit myself to a certain amount of time with Thin Within.  The Lord told me 90 days, which would end September 11th.  I went back and forth about Weight Watchers, with it as a constant afterthought.  Whenever I felt like I failed with eating 0-5, I would tell myself that I just need to go back to tracking points.  And sometimes I would be so tempted that I would actually subscribe to Weight Watchers online again, but never actually track points.  Why didn’t I actually end up tracking?  Because there was NO peace!  The Lord kept putting His foot down and would NOT release me back to Weight Watchers.

Heidi has talked a lot recently about truth cards.  I have a little notebook with about 50 cards filled out with scriptures, truths from Heidi’s blog, tidbits from the Thin Within book and from Intuitive Eating (my other favorite book about normal eating), and quotes.  I read through these cards about twice a day.  I had lots of truths written down about how I don’t want to diet anymore and about why dieting (Weight Watchers) is not something I want to do.  But I was still struggling with going back to Weight Watchers!

Finally, toward the end of August, I emailed my accountability partner and Heidi, asking for prayer and help with my thoughts about Weight Watchers.  Heidi shared an idea that was so powerful to me that it honestly rocked this whole mental roadblock.  She basically said that maybe my thoughts about Weight Watchers was bringing some kind of “drama” into my life that I was actually, in a weird way, enjoying.  Like, that I needed something to fixate on and Weight Watchers was that thing.  It was creating this drama, this thing for my brain to constantly go on and on about.  One word came to my mind: obsession.  I was OBSESSED with thinking about Weight Watchers.  This wasn’t new to me.  The enemy has used lots of things over the years to encourage me to obsess over.  Little obsessions.  Big obsessions.  When I realized that this was just something that was trying to get my attention and create drama, I was like, “There is no way I’m entertaining this anymore!”  And I made the decision not to entertain the Weight Watchers temptation anymore!  I was done!

And really, just like that, the obsession was gone.  It was all the Lord.  It was like I had to surrender that drama to the Lord.  He gladly took it.  And now when I read those truth cards about how Weight Watchers IS a diet and the damage dieting does, I can nod my head in agreement, with NO temptation to go back!  Praise God!

So since starting the Thin Within journey, in 6 months the Lord has freed me from the bondage about fear of food AND about being on a diet.  I PRAISE God for what He has done!  His work is marvelous!!

This was something I wrote in a comment recently on Heidi’s blog.  It pretty much sums up my thoughts on truth cards and the importance of renewing our mind:

Renewing our mind is VITAL to becoming a normal, intuitive, Thin Within eater! I wish I would have realized this truth many years ago when I was “trying” to eat 0-5. I had so many hang-ups and wrong thoughts about it. But now I have truth cards that I read every day at least twice and they are packed full of truths from the Word, from the TW book, from this (Heidi’s blog), from other ‘normal eating’ material, and tidbits of truths I have found here and there. The first few months I felt like it was more of a burden to read the truth cards, like it was more of a duty than a privilege. But NOW it’s what I cling to and it’s VITAL in overcoming the battle I have had within my thoughts about food, body image, dieting, etc. 

Back in May I was struggling (almost being tormented) by thoughts about food. I was believing lies that I couldn’t eat certain foods and that if I did, that I was purposely damaging my health and tempting God. It was a HUGE battle! The Lord had me write out scriptures on notecards, which eventually became part of my truth cards, and it was after reading those cards over and over again that I began to see a breakthrough. God’s truth prevails! It doesn’t return void! It is our weapon! I have read through scripture cards like that before for other situations, such as fear. When we consistently wash our mind with His Word and truth, we are being renewed little by little. At first it may seem like a lot of work, but after awhile we see LIFE being brought back into our minds. The lies flee. Freedom reigns! It’s pretty awesome! 

I no longer deal with those thoughts about food. God has completely released me from those lies, that prison which held me. He continues to set me free daily from other mindsets I have struggled with. I am praising Him for what He has done and is doing!

I don’t know how else to emphasize on how very important it is to renew our minds in the area of our struggle with eating, dieting, and body image.  Honestly, if I would have understood this years ago, I would have been set free a lot earlier.  I’m thankful for the journey I have been on because I learned a lot along the way.  The beauty of having truth cards and renewing our mind is that even when we don’t think it’s working–it is!  God’s word is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword!  He wants us to absorb these truths.  I think of the scripture Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  I thought I would never be able to conquer the food thoughts I was being tormented with earlier this year, but as I began to bathe my mind with the Word, I saw victory through Christ!  The Lord helped me breakthrough and all I did was read those scripture cards that I had hand-written.  That’s it!  God did the rest!  I had to commit myself to writing them out and reading them; that was my part.  God honored His word.  He set me free!  And He WILL do the same for you!

I’m not perfect with 0-5 eating.  I have moments where I want to eat when I’m not hungry.  The next part of my journey is learning to delight in the boundaries God has set up for me in regards to eating.  I see Him working in me and I’m so excited!

There’s one more thing I want to share.  When I decided to commit to 90 days of Thin Within, I asked the Lord whether I should weigh myself after the 90 days were done.  He didn’t answer me right away, but then the answer came when I found out I was pregnant about 1/3 of the way through my commitment.  I’m one of those that doesn’t want to know weight gain in pregnancy until the very end.  So that pretty much solved that question.  And I think it’s so neat to be going through this part of the journey being pregnant, without the focus of weight loss (which is what I should be doing anyway), because I really get to mentally focus on finding peace with food and allowing God to help me with renewing my mind.  God is so good!

Oh, and in case if you were wondering, I did stay committed through September 11th, and I continue on!  Praise God!

What About You?

Can you identify with Christina’s turmoil? Do you find yourself playing along the perimeter, toying with 0 to 5 eating, but never really “buying in?” Do you leave in fear of “normal” food? Do diets seem to have the answer, but you don’t feel released to have peace dieting any more? What thought has Christina shared here that God is driving home to your own heart and mind? WIll you please share it with us here? We can commit to praying for you!

It Takes Energy!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

1 Timothy 4: 7b-8 says:

…train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Physical training is of ____________ value.

________ has value for ________ things.

Have you ever been or known someone who has been a true fitness fanatic? The amount of energy they put into their training is amazing. The time invested…the sheer determination and true grit….well, wow. It really is a testimony about what someone is willing to do when they want something badly enough.

Years ago, I trained for marathons. I completed the San Francisco marathon in 1997. I invested hours in my training, in reading about how to do the marathon well, in learning about nutrition on the run and a million other things!

I wonder about the investment of my self that I made back then. I have to wonder about how quickly I fuss now about the energy and effort it takes for me to keep at 0 to 5 eating and how far afield I can go in a week of traveling (or even staying home). Why don’t I put even a fraction of the energy I used to put into my physical training for marathons into persevering now? Into honoring God with my thinking? My eating? My choices? It seems I would rather use that energy to complain after the fact!

This is a long haul. There can be no doubt that it requires a lot of us—quite a commitment. We want to reshape, rebuild, change our character. This is no quick fix!

So, how much energy DO you (and me, too!) put into lamenting poor choices… after the fact? How much emotional energy DO we put into beating ourselves up and then trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?

What if we were to put that energy into this journey at the front end? What if we were to do the radical thing? Like take the time and energy to write up the truth cards and to speak them out loud once or twice (or three times) a day?

What if we were to use our computers to record ourselves reading these truth cards and then saved the mp3 recording to a CD or to our iPods and then played this recording on our morning or afternoon commutes? What if we were to really put some ENERGY into changing the way we think?

What if we were to pray  that we would be faithful? Spend time with God daily in the Word? What if we were to set the timers on our watches or our cell phones to go off every hour to remind us to check in with Him and to recommit (again) to honoring him with our eating? How badly do we want this?

I know when I struggle with stringing together days of eating to glorify God with 0 to 5 eating, I have to evaluate what I believe right now. Sometimes, I get distance from what I know to be true—that this WORKS! It works for keeping me close to God spiritually. It works for being sure I don’t numb myself emotionally to feelings and helps me to process things like a “big girl” instead of like a child. It works for getting me to and maintaining a healthy weight.

So maybe…just maybe…is it worth the energy and effort to do whatever it takes to think and act differently? Ya think? 🙂

How About You?

What do you think today? Will you put extra energy into thinking differently? Into creating and reading truth cards out loud? (I believe this is much more effective because it affects more modalities…it means I see it with my eyes, shape the words with my mouth, and also hear it with my ears so truth is affecting me in at least three ways.) What about choosing to create a “Renewing the Mind” play list that includes recordings that you can download from the Sound Cloud site, your own recordings (of you speaking your truth cards) and some songs that can encourage you (do a search here if you want as I have posted songs that have encouraged me and they may encourage you). By the way, all of the official Thin Within lesson recordings are available from the Sound Cloud site now, too.

Are we really willing to do what it takes to think differently? Yes, it takes time. Yes it takes energy! But we put out a lot of energy bemoaning bad choices after the fact. Why not put that energy out at the front end, planning for positive change instead?

What can you do to change things up a bit?

Will you? 🙂

Starting Fresh…Again!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17-18)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1-4)

In what ways have you focused your previous attempts to “fix yourself” on what is seen and temporary?

What is the better approach? What are we called to focus on now? (See the above verses for ideas.)

Right now, let’s choose to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. The way to do this is to focus our hearts,  minds,  gaze on our Redeemer, our King, our Salvation. Instead of focusing on how much we need to “control” unwanted behavior, we will concentrate on the greatness of God, HIS ability, HIS power, HIS provision, HIS love for you, HIS grace!

What About You?

What do you think about this challenge? Are you ready? Ready againI? There is nothing wrong with another new beginning!

Let’s rejoice that we won’t need to use numbers on a bathroom scale to define who we are! In fact, let’s lock our bathroom scales in a closet or put them in the garage. Likewise, we no longer need to allow our ability to fit into a pair of jeans determine whether we have a good day or not. Life is about so much more.

Our King redeems all the years that we have been less than we hoped to be, the insinuations of others (or ourselves) that we have been inadequate, all the moments in the past when we have been controlled by our appetites and the meals that are yet ahead where we hope not to overeat or under-eat, binge or purge. He will use these moments when we are drawn to food to remind us of His love for us. As he does this, we have a choice. To wait in the moment for His love to satisfy us and be enough or to give in to the temptation to fill the empty well of our hearts with the stagnant water of the counterfeit. Life-giving water—Jesus our King, or the life-draining effect of whatever it is we may tend to turn to instead?

Bible Study

Let’s have a look at the past and the present. You will want a journal for this or to print out this part of the blog!

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:3-7

In the above passage circle or underline every reference to the past. For instance “were.” Circle that. Any action word (verb) ending with –ed you will want to circle as well.

List  the words you circled.

What phrase in the passage above marks the turning point? (If you want a hint, see verse 4.) Do you see those wonderful words, “But when…?” Note the way the story changes.

Do you see a promise for the future in verse 7? What is it?

Read Ephesians 2:1-7:

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Do the same exercise for this passage, circle every reference to the past.

What is the turning point in this passage?

WHO is the hero? Who rescues whom?

Does the rescue depend on you at all?

Journal your response.

Aren’t these wonderful promises? We are encouraged to realize that the past is the past. We USED to live these ways. BUT…and here is where the story gets really good…BUT!!! While it is true we were in captivity, we were enslaved, we were without hope. “But…He saved us!” The daring rescue has happened!

How does this contrast with the notion that you can “let God down?”

When we have this sense that we let God down, what does that say about God’s need for me? If God is the one doing the rescuing, the carrying, the holding, the helping, how can I “let God down?”

In Isaiah 41:10, GOD says:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you and help you;
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

GOD is the one who does the carrying, the strengthening, the helping, the holding, the rescuing! He is the dashing warrior upon whom the story turns. He has done it. Jesus Christ has won the victory for you. He comes for you…right now. The gallant hero reaches for you from astride his noble steed. Will you allow him to lift you safely out of the kingdom of darkness?

He carries you. He lifts you.

Respond to the Truth

What do you think? How can believing this, that HE is the focus, that HE is the where our strength comes from, radically transform our experience? How might that affect you…TODAY? 🙂