Renewing My Mind – Evening Eating Part 3

2013-10-06 15.13.26

On Monday and Tuesday, I posted parts 1 and 2 in this series. Today is the final installment. Evening eating is one of the things that many of us struggle with–it is that “bewitching hour” between dinner and bed-time. Often the kids head off to bed and we want the reward for a day well done! Or conversely, we are lonely and want to comfort ourselves. Whatever the primary reason is for giving in to eating in the evening when we aren’t hungry, we can FIGHT the lies we believe with truth. I have been sharing my truth cards with you this week. I hope it is helpful. I would love to know what other truths you use to fight the lies that lead to night-time eating. What you share may help one of the people who visits this blog! 🙂

  • My enjoyment of my family/husband is NOT dependent on my eating with them when I am not hungry.

If my husband or kids start munching on something in the evening, there is nothing that says I have to join them. I can relish their company even more when I focus on them instead of the food. I wonder what it is that has created the lie that fellowship is equated with eating in our minds? It certainly doesn’t need to be that way. I can absolutely enjoy my family members without eating!

  • My enjoyment of movies, games, etc., in the evening does not hinge on eating too!

This is another lie that I tend to believe…that if we watch Netflix or play a game together that it is made all the better by eating. Truthfully, I feel like my conscience kicking into overdrive and the physical misery I end up in diminishes the enjoyment of the food AND the movie or game that I might be enjoying (AND the company of my husband and kids!).

  • I can RELISH the precious hours before bed and TOTALLY enjoy them—ALL THE MORE when I don’t blast through my boundaries and eat outside of 0 and 5.

This gets back to yesterday’s truths as well…that it FEELS SO WONDERFUL to be tender hearted to my boundaries. Don’t you think? Those hours before bed when I am not hungry are made so much more rich…so much more of a blessing when I don’t defy my conscience!

How About You?

Do these truths sound like they might work for you? How might you amend them to be more applicable? When do you use your truth cards for the most victory?

Eating – Practical Application After “Will We Fight the Rescue?”

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I posted parts 1 and 2 of “Will We Fight the Rescue?” In Tuesday’s post we evaluated if we fight the Lord’s rescue. Yesterday, we plunged head-long into a bible study about it.

Now, let’s get practical. For those of you who are Thin Within veterans, this will sound familiar. I hope you will experience a new wind in your sails—fresh motivation.

For others of you who are new to this approach, will you let go of what you think you know—things you have read or learned from science or your own experiences with dieting and weight loss? Will you, for now, just give this a try…where you toss aside fixating on calories, fat grams, or points—just for now for say…two weeks?

Sound radical? It is! Just like God asking Lot and his family (see yesterday’s study) to flee Sodom! Leave it, go, and set your eyes forward. God is going to provide an amazing way of escape.

Instead of counting, weighing and measuring, agonizing, or forcing yourself to eat things that are tasteless, you will trust the Lord that he has made your body reliably. He holds out his hand to lead the way. It can take 40 years like it did for Israel or it can take eleven days (figuratively speaking, of course!). Believe him, trust Him and you will see his rescue!

Bathe this process in prayer—ask the Lord to search your heart, body, mind and then listen to the voice of your Shepherd as He leads you to a place of getting to know the body He created for you.

Your body was designed with a fail-proof system for consuming the right amount of food for the needs it has.  This fail-proof system that you will use is, simply, the concept of eating when you are truly physiologically hungry and stopping when you are no longer hungry. It really is that simple.

When you are more active or the demands of your body, for whatever reason, are greater, you will find that your body signals hunger more frequently. When you are sick or less active, you will find your body requires nourishment and fuel less frequently.

You see, in our attempts to control and manipulate, we make things so much more complicated than God ever intended.  For now, learning what true, physiological hunger feels like is the task at hand.

So, let’s get this established at the get-go: Hunger is not a sound in your belly, sometimes referred to as a “growl” or “gurgle.” It is true that physiological hunger may be accompanied by a growl or gurgle. However, in the thousands of people Thin Within has helped over the years, we have discovered that hunger is more reliably an empty gnawing feeling in the stomach which is actually located much higher in your body cavity than you may think! Take a moment right now to find your rib cage on both sides of your body. Follow the lowest ribs on both sides to the place where they meet, just below your breast bone.  This is the location where your stomach begins, “flaring” a bit to the left side beneath your rib cage. It is an “elastic-type” pouch located just below your sternum. It is actually much higher in your body cavity than many think.

When the stomach pouch is empty, it is somewhat like a deflated balloon and you can often sense a “pit-like”  emptiness in that location. It may take some time to get acquainted with the sensation. We have found when many people wait for their stomachs to growl, however, often, they have waited too long and can get light-headed. Try to develop your sense of how empty your stomach is at any given point in time—when you are hungry, part-way through a meal, an hour after a meal and so on. The more you do this, the better acquainted you will become with true physiological hunger and satisfaction.

That place where it is empty and you know you are physically hungry, we call “O” or zero on the hunger scale.

How About You?

Today, be willing to wait for physical hunger before you eat whatever food you choose. Then, seeking the Lord, select a food that you enjoy and have a modest portion of it. Then, wait until you are hungry for the next time you put anything in your mouth other than water. Try this for a week and see what happens! We would love to hear from you

This is a radical rescue that is at hand. Your Prince has asked you to take nothing with you, but to fly freely as you flee the captivity of the past into the unknown. He carries you as you go. With Him ever present, you can’t go wrong! Don’t fight him! Go with him!

Will We Fight the Rescue? Mini-Bible Study

Renew the Mind with Truth

Renew the Mind with Truth

In yesterday’s post, we looked at how we often fight God as he tries to rescue us.

Today, let’s roll up our sleeves and do a bit of bible study.

In Genesis 19, we read of a daring rescue. Two angels arrive at Lot’s home in Sodom with a mission. The city will be destroyed, but God’s heart of compassion is moved for Lot and his family. While Lot and his family members move their feet, doing that to which they are called to ensure their rescue, one is lost. Lot’s wife could have experienced freedom, but couldn’t release the past. Her reticence to release what was behind put a swift end to her life. Her feet may have moved the right direction, but her heart was stuck in the past…

Read Genesis 19:14-17,26:

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Why do you think Lot’s wife looked back?

What might this say about her heart?

To all appearances, Lot’s wife was doing what was required. She was moving physically in the right direction. But, apparently, her heart was unwilling to be torn from the familiar, even though the familiar was dreadfully evil.  She was going through the motions of obedience with a heart stuck in unwillingness.  The price was high.

Describe a situation when you were compelled to do something regarding your eating, eating disorder, or to get your body into a certain condition and discovered that, while you went through the motions, your heart wasn’t in it.

What were the short-term results?

What were the long-term results?

Read Philippians 3:7-14:

7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Even as the darkness of the former kingdom falls behind and the hero leads the way to victory, the adventure has yet to reach its conclusion. There is the happily ever after yet ahead. We haven’t “arrived” even once the physical rescue is complete!

From the passage above (especially verses 12 and following), describe Paul’s current condition and intention. Two are done for you (you can tell what the other answers are by the word “I” in front of each or implied in front of each):

  1. I haven’t obtained it yet. (verse 12)
  2. I haven’t been made perfect yet. (verse 12)
  3. ________________________________________________________________________
  4. ________________________________________________________________________
  5. ________________________________________________________________________
  6. ________________________________________________________________________
  7. ________________________________________________________________________

From these verses, how is Apostle Paul’s heart in Philippians 3 different from the heart of Lot’s wife?

Rewrite Philippians 3:14 in a journal you use for your Thin Within journey.  Use your own language, paraphrasing it to capture the theme of “happily ever after.”

Please read Matthew 16:24,25

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Lot’s wife was called to chase hard after God. In order to do that, however, she had to be willing to let go, to lose her life. Doing so would offer new life—a life that held great promise.

Paul counted his previous life rubbish compared to that which Christ offered yet ahead.

Are you willing to consider all your dieting books, counters, scales (including the bathroom scale) rubbish? Are you willing to deny yourself the use of that which is familiar in exchange for the freedom that the Lord offers ahead of you if you will follow His leading? Journal your thoughts.

We may be called to a long, circuitous route of wandering through the desert to learn the lessons that our Savior has for us, but we can trust that every minute will be worth it. He calls us to leave whatever is behind us, and follow Him, wherever He may lead us.

It is true that our Savior calls us not to merely stand off as a spectator and be a fan, cheering him on as he saves the day. No! Instead, he calls us to follow him, but to do so, we must count our past—even our “good,” dieting pasts, practices that we consider reliable—as rubbish, take up our cross, the vehicle through which death may come, and follow Him. If we cling to what we have known, to the life that has been, we will actually continue in the slow death we have been living. If we let go of what has come before, release our hold on our coping mechanisms, obsessions, and bad habits, we will find Life!

When the pain of where we have been over-rides the pain of what may be, we will release our hold on what we have known in favor of going forward into uncharted territory. As long as we aren’t quite that uncomfortable with our predicament, however, we won’t trust the Lord with the journey he has in mind to take us up and out.  In fact, this may be one reason why God allows us to “hit bottom.” He wants us to see the futility of clinging so tightly to that which snuffs life out of us.

When we finally release our hold on that which we have held so dear, trust him that it is these very things that are denying us the life we long for, it is then that our arms are able to open wide to embrace his very best…and that is what he has in mind—the very best.

What About You?

How does God want you to respond to the truth you studied today?

Will We Fight the Rescue?

Image Source:

Image Source:

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness 

and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 

14in whom we have redemption,

the forgiveness of sins.

– Colossians 1: 13-14

Imagine a daring rescue under way. Yet, somehow, the one in captivity fights to be freed from the hero’s valiant attempts to save her. Resistant, she scrambles to break free from the champion’s grasp, clambering to return to the familiarity of the dungeon. Amazingly, she prefers the familiar darkness to the vast unknown. Even the most noble, brave and daring knight in shining armor requires the cooperation of the damsel in distress he tries to free.

Similarly, though the gloom of captivity had consumed the Israelites for 400 years under the oppression of the Egyptians, like a gallant warrior, God swept in to save his people. He did this with mighty miracles and a great show of power. Even so, the children of Israel wasted little time before complaining that the rescue was unwelcome.

Had they rested in the Lord’s embrace and trusted His leadership, the march to the land of Promise would have taken only eleven days. They chafed at His leadership, however, so it took forty years.

You may be tired of “wandering” around in your desert wilderness as well. All the diets, programs, prescriptions, and procedures over  the years have felt like exercises in futility. What many of us have failed to realize is that the solution to which we have turned again and again is actually perpetuating the very thing we hoped to remedy. When we diet and restrict our foods we tend to fixate on the food that much more, thereby further chaining our hearts in bondage to food, eating, and a preoccupation with our bodies! This explains why diets don’t work permanently. It is like Israel going around in circles out in the desert.

The Lord offered the Israelites the amazing guidance of the pillars of cloud and fire, yet they refused to see the compassion, kindness, mercy and grace of His leading. Had they followed his leading, their wilderness wanderings would have ended much sooner.

Similarly, our King of Kings offers us an even more amazing provision today, inviting us to house the presence and power of His Holy Spirit within us so that we might reach our land of promise and realize all that He intends for us. If we would follow the leading, our wilderness wanderings would end, too.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple

and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

–  1 Corinthians 3:16

The Lord’s goal isn’t for us to be thin.

It is for us to be HIS.

When people start Thin Within, there is often a “honeymoon” phase. All seems so wonderful!  But as time goes on, as God peels our hearts away from that which has actually bound us, we may long for the soothing familiarity of the very coping mechanisms that have been killing us. The sooner we cooperate with his rescue from the darkness of our obsessions, the sooner we can experience the joy and the freedom He offers us in the Kingdom of Light.

With the Israelites, God wasn’t after meaningless rituals, monotonous routines, and mechanical responses. He wanted adoration and obedience motivated by hearts of love devoted to Him.

In many ways God’s people said, “Thanks a lot for rescuing us, but we preferred oppression. At least we knew what we had back there in Egypt! The whippings weren’t so bad. Better than walking around in the desert!”

Certainly, from where we sit, this seems absurd. Yet so often we act as if the rescue our God intends for us requires too much of us. We, like ancient Israel, want the quick fix, the magic wand, the instant deliverance.

In fact, transformation requires perhaps the most challenging thing of all—that we are open to change, the willingness to let go of what has been—to press onward. Change is incredibly frightening for us. Even if that change promises new life.

How About You?

Do you feel like you are fighting his rescue his way? How so?

Are you willing to rest in his rescue now? If not, what is keeping you from trusting?

How are you like the ancient Israelites?

Take a moment and journal a prayer (or just say one) telling God about your intention to be willing to let go of the familiar, to welcome the new thing he wants to do in your life. 🙂

The Song Remembers When (Guest Post)

Dog listen to music with a music player

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

I was thinking back to a day when my children and I were driving in the car and we were listening to “80s on 8.” My son interrupted my constant singing by asking “Mommy, how do you know the words to every song?”. Play almost any song from the late 70s and 80s – Billy Joel, Madonna, Duran Duran, Journey,  John Cougar, Indigo Girls, etc. – and it’s likely that I know most of the words and will sing along. Music gets stuck in our heads, defines time periods in our lives (I still tear up when a song that was sung at my wedding 16 years ago plays on the radio), stirs emotions and tells stories.

When I joined a new Bible study last year, I was apprehensive when I learned that the session opened and closed with all of us singing – sometimes without music to accompany us. See, I love to sing, but was not blessed with a good singing voice. But, when I experienced a room of 150 women singing hymns and current praise music, I was moved – God was present there. I was so moved that I rarely listen to the 80s station any longer, but mostly to Christian music. I download most of the songs from my Bible study onto my iphone (things have changed from the cassette player in the 80s!). And when Heidi suggested, months ago, to create a Renewing of the Mind playlist, I jumped on board!

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

I believe that songs about the truth of God’s character, deeds and love not only “get stuck” in our heads, but in our hearts as well. Most Christian music is based on scripture. So, as we learn the words to a song we are singing, we are memorizing His Word. We are then able to meditate on it as it lives in our hearts. And we can recall the Truth during times of doubt or temptation. So, whether you enjoy praise music, gospel, Southern gospel, or hymns, think about making a Renewal of the Mind playlist.

When I am singing along with my playlist, in the car or in the kitchen or while working around the house, I am worshipping God. I am learning the Truth. I am reaffirming the Truth. I am renewing my mind. I am storing His Word in my heart. I am growing closer to Jesus.

 How About You?

What are your favorite worship songs? How do they speak to you? How do you find yourself changed by listening to them? How has God used music while you have been on your Thin Within journey?

Author: Carrie

Everything That Hinders

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

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.

– Hebrews 12:1

I used to train for marathons, logging many miles each week. I took whatever I needed with me for four or, even, six hours with me while I ran along the American River: quick energy “food,” water, bandages for blisters, sunblock, a towel to wipe my face, and identification in case of an emergency. Ibuprofen was a treasure as aches and pains could begin mid-run with ten miles yet to go!

With all of these “necessities” came extra weight. Increased weight meant increased effort to move forward. I was “hindered” by my many supplies. The benefits of being well-stocked came with a tradeoff.

On our Thin Within journey, we can carry baggage that will hinder us as well.

The Bible says we are to throw off everything that hinders. Shame that we have about our eating, our size, or our choices is included. Condemnation is not from God. It needs to be cast aside as a needless, destructive weight that will hinder our movement forward.

Godly conviction, however, that leads to sorrow and repentance—a change in our actions—is a welcome travel companion.

The way to cast off burdens that hinder comes by allowing God to renew our minds through His Word. We trade destructive thoughts, shame and condemnation with God’s thoughts, so that we can learn to think God’s thoughts after him about food, about weight, about ourselves. We trade lies for the truth found in the Bible. We cast off the sin that entangles us and the shame and condemnation that hinder us. We begin to see we are not hopeless to continue overeating forever!

Dear God, please replace the defective view I have of myself with your truth. I want to cast off the shame and condemnation that I seem to harbor—condemnation about my weight, my eating, about my choices. You are showing me a new way to live, though, Lord. Help me to spend time with you each day, allowing you to saturate my mind with your Word. The Bible tells me that I am precious in your sight. Help me to believe it and to run with perseverance the path you have presented before me. Amen.

Truth Card Installment #856 (Entitlement)


Ok, so maybe I haven’t posted about truth cards 856 times. In fact, I think I have only posted a half a dozen times specific truths that are in my truth cards.

Do you find it helpful? I hope so!

It certainly helps ME to review them yet again and I hope it helps YOU to have some “ammo” so that you can take captive runaway thoughts and replace them with God’s truth! 🙂

In my years of being on this journey with Thin Within (since 1999), I have found that for me and many others I have spoken with Entitlement is perhaps one of the number one challenges leading us to eat outside of 0 and 5. I know I say that about everything, but this time I mean it! 🙂

Seriously, if we can recognize when an attitude of entitlement has reared it’s ugly head and stop it dead in its tracks, I think we will find that a lot of our eating outside of 0 and 5 STOPS.

Reviewing truth about entitlement is a great way of doing that.

These truths came from my work on Barb Raveling’s bible study on Entitlement Eating. Credit where credit is due!

Entitlement Eating:

1. When I feel entitled, I feel like eating *anything* I want because I *deserve* it. THIS IS A LIE.

2. I do NOT have a “right” to eat in that particular situation. God ALONE determines when it is time for me to eat.

3. God is DISHONORED by my attitude of entitlement. He wants me to approach all His blessings with humility.

4. When I live by my “rights” and feelings in the area of food and eating, I OVEREAT and GAIN WEIGHT. I AM MISERABLE PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, and SPIRITUALLY.

How About You?

Does an attitude of entitlement affect you at all? Does it cause you to reach for food out of the boundaries that you believe God has set for you?



Heal the Wound – Leave the Scar

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

I referred in yesterday’s post to some wounds from my past. Some scars. While I did so with a humorous bent (or that was my intention), the truth is…there is pain in this world. It is a Genesis 3 world. As long as we are in this world, we will experience suffering. It is one of the ways God pries our fingers open from the things (even good things) we otherwise cling to so that he can fill them with himself.

This song is one of those that ministers to the deep places of my heart. On this journey to become all God calls me to become, to release my ungodly coping mechanisms to him, to overcome the strongholds that might otherwise bury me alive, I am called to know that He IS merciful. As Sheldon Vanauken refers to it as a “severe mercy.” Mercy nevertheless.

I hope this song touches you.

Heal the Wound

I used to wish that I could rewrite history
I used to dream that each mistake could be erased
Then I could just pretend
I never knew the me back then

I used to pray that You would take this shame away
Hide all the evidence of who I’ve been
But it’s the memory of
The place You brought me from
That keeps me on my knees
And even though I’m free

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

I have not lived a life that boasts of anything
I don’t take pride in what I bring
But I’ll build an altar with
The rubble that You’ve found me in
And every stone will sing
Of what You can redeem

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

Don’t let me forget
Everything You’ve done for me
Don’t let me forget
The beauty in the suffering

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

A reminder of how merciful, how merciful you are
I am broken torn apart, take the pieces of this
heart, and heal the wound but leave the scar,
leave the scar

This song is available for purchase from iTunes here and from Amazon here.

Bratty Eating

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

I am a brat.

There. I have said it.

It’s true, too.

When I get mad at a family member (maybe sometimes even when I get mad at a mean church lady), I want to eat to “get back at them.”

This is just silly.



But somehow it has fueled much of my eating outside of 0 and 5 for years.

I think it began when I was a kid and my parents would abuse me over food doing all kinds of desperate things to try to get me to eat foods they felt I needed to eat and NOT to eat others. As soon as the ordeal was over, I would sneak cookies. Or ride my bike to the liquor store to buy candy bars with money I stole from my dad’s change stash. (True confessions!) I would do other things, too, just to “get back at them.”

So I guess I brought this behavior into my adulthood!

I became aware of it when I was a mother of a relatively young, rebellious pre-adolescent (who shall remain nameless). Said pre-adolescent with special needs (no less) required a great deal of me and there were times when I just had a major melt-down tantrum of my own. In a huff, I would grab the container of frosting (bag of cookies, chips, ice cream carton…whatever…it made no difference what) a spoon (if needed) and shut myself into the bathroom where I would relish my “I can TOO do what I want–you are NOT the boss of me–get back at them” eating or “Bratty Eating” for short.

Can you relate?

If I am honest, although said child 🙂 no longer lives here…in fact, my “nest” is pretty empty…I still can find myself doing “Bratty Eating.”

In those moments, when I pull out my truth cards or rehearse in my mind the things that I know are true, I come up with quite the arsenal to defeat this “Bratty Eating” and the bratty attitude that fuels it, too!

When I look at the Lord I serve and what he was called to experience when he walked the dirt of this earth, I realize that he was called to suffer. How can I expect to be called to something different? A life of ease? Really? I think I deserve that? And when I bump up against someone who bugs me, I think I should eat? Hmm…. seems to me I need to grow up just a bit! I am so thankful that my God is in the business of doing that very thing—growing his children, including me. Funny thing is…he often uses trials to do it! But he provides everything I need for life and godliness if I call on Him.

How About You?

Do you ever engage in “Bratty Eating?” If so, do you know what situations or individuals typically set you off? What truths can you cling to so that you can defeat this tendency?