by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 31, 2007 | Blog
God used brownies last night to show me that I am still lacking in being prayerful. What is UP with that? I know what is UP…it is PRIDE. No matter how much I declare it, that just isn’t enough to make it go away. It is like looking out in the forest and saying, “Yup…there are rattle snakes out there…they could bite my horses.” But if I just stand up here and don’t go down and root them out…well, the danger remains.
So, too, with my acknowledging that pride is present. I seem to be good at pointing it out and saying “Lookee thar! That thar pride will wreak havoc if I don’t get RID of it” and the I stand back PROUD of myself for declaring it….uh…what is WRONG with this picture???? :-/
Well, I have to DO something about it. Like HUMBLE myself. That is where the rubber meets the road.
Before, during, after meals…I want to invite God into each moment. In the book this is referred to as practicing the presence of God. I want to return to that prayerful spirit that I have known before. I have to think that practicing pride has kept this humble way of living far from me.
I must get practical…foster a prayerful life…
So, I had a tiny square of brownie, but did I invite God into it? Nope. I did the “diet mentality” thing….”I wasn’t even at a 5 when I stopped eating at dinner, so I can justify having this brownie…it is, after all, just a fragment of my past indulgence!” BAH!
I could have invited God INTO this moment with the brownie and He may have given His total approval about it all! It isn’t even about Him saying NO to food I want as I generally am willing to remain within the parameters he has set for me (generally…usually…not always….)! It is STILL about being HUMBLE before Him! It isn’t about the food. It is about the relationship….and that continues to be a weakness for me. I don’t foster it.
I did the mechanical 0 to 5 eating for so long that it comes so…ermm…”naturally” to me! Well, I am called to live beyond “natural!” To live “supernaturally!”
Lord, make it so!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 31, 2007 | Blog
January is ending on an amazingly high note with my 14 year old autistic son coming to me last night repentant and broken hearted…confessing all his sins! He shared them with me and then prayed with me to the Lord, begging the Lord’s help. He wants to meet with our pastor! He has been carrying a load for 9 years as he has been arrogant, angry, prideful…(gosh, a lot like his Mom!). Last night, he came out of his room in tears, climbed into my lap and wept…telling me of all the things he wants to do to live for the Lord. And here I wondered if he was even saved….wow. God certainly IS doing a new thing!
My resentment toward God about my son was a HUGE roadblock to me in ever really giving God my heart in the area of food and eating in past years. I could mechanically apply the principles of 0 to 5 eating (like a diet), but it was hollow. It wasn’t about loving the Lord more than food. It was about “what would people say if they saw me and knew of my connection with TW?” See? Pride! Bleah! And my disappointment with God was rooted in pride…but He really touched me powerfully in November and December that I was parenting in fear…that he knows my heart and understands how broken hearted I have been about Daniel. I feel like what I got to experience with Daniel last night was a HUGE SUPERNATURAL HUG from GOD!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!
I reported at the end of 2006 that God had removed a bit over 20 pounds since early November. I don’t really know what the timeline is in all of this (one drawback of NOT writing stuff down or using charts), but as of moments ago, the scale indicated that God has released 35 pounds from me. Now instead of weighing 200-and-some, I weigh 100-and-plenty! LOL! YAY, GOD! No, I haven’t released 15 pounds this month, so I don’t know where the timeline really fits, but no matter…I will take it. Praising God! I am on my way to reaching my God-given size by May as I had hoped. Praising God…this IS a miracle!
Other goals that I reported having for 2007 are on their way…the exercising is going really well. I bought an advanced step DVD…one that I would have LOVED back during my fitness craze. It is way beyond me right now, but I am having fun playing with it anyhow! LOL! That and Dance Praise. Having so much fun with activity again sure makes it…well…FUN!
With the nice weather here in California, I am feeding my horses all over our steep hillside, carting their hay around and spreading it so they move while eating (like horses in the wild might). This is not only good for *their* health, but it gives me a mini- workout three times a day… and I can sure feel the difference in not having those 35 pounds when I go up and down that hill! LOL!
God has made me continue to beg him to remove pride where it rears its ugly head…it seems almost constantly…it is devastating on the one hand and wonderful on the other….I want to exalt HIM!!!
Another surprise blessing from the Lord is the writing I am getting to do again for Thin Within. What a blessing. It is amazing to me how God has orchestrated all of this. He has brought me back to Thin Within at the time when the company was changing hands (the Hallidays now own it!) and there is a need for help with the writing again…oh God IS good! I couldn’t say that a year ago…I was too myopic….but He has faithfully revealed His goodness! THANK YOU LORD!
I welcome prayers for my precious Daniel …the enemy will want to snatch the seeds that God has seen fit to germinate…Daniel wants to share Christ with others…he has so many hurdles to cope with to do so…I just want what God wants for him. He has NEVER been this repentant over his sin before…I am just in awe of God’s timing for this…it boggles my mind.
Some of my other goals….Harley, my horse, is going to training in April with a wonderful trainer! Daisy, our rescued golden retriever, is in agility classes and we are having fun with that, though I may have to give that up after February due to expense.
One other goal I verbalized….I still haven’t made much effort to develop three of my friendships….and that is something I must give myself to during February. I have spoken with one friend about connecting again…and I need to with the other two. So this goal has been waylayed….
Anyhow, I am praising God for all He is doing.
So much more ahead, though!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 29, 2007 | Blog
Wow… No duh! Or, said another way, a “Blinding Flash of the Obvious!”
There was something buried in my pastor’s message yesterday. It was almost incidental because his message wasn’t on this at all…not even on addiction, but more on angels…the passage was Hebrews 1: 5-14. The message was great, but this little zapper was hiding in it all.
He said something along the lines of how as Christians, we so often view our job as merely *avoiding* sin. Then we continue to looking longingly at what we *wish* we could do…that thing we are *avoiding*–that sin. We may abstain from it, but we long for it. He pointed out that to be Christ-like we will not just *avoid* sin…we will *hate* sin.
Using my own application, it isn’t just about how “Whew, I have eaten fairly consistently 0-5 for the past 3 months and have lived to tell about it!” But it is more about the attitude of “I will eat 0 – 5 for the rest of my life and never look back! I will LOVE it!”Romans 12: 9 says “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
Sin is evil. Am I *hating* sin? Or am I longing to be able to do it and just “disciplining” myself not to?
Whoo…this is a whole new level for me…I am no where close to there.
(Suddenly, Pam’s prayer request is making more and more sense…to have JOY in it!)
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 29, 2007 | Blog
Hi, dear Reader. If you are anything like me, you have found that following eating 0-5 (between hunger and satisfaction) isn’t always “easy.” Sure, there may be a honeymoon period of sorts…but then reality sets in.
The question popped into my head to ask directly…”What is really holding you back? What is *really* holding you back?”
This question is for anyone who may visit this blog who continues to “struggle” with responding to the Lord’s prompts to not eat yet or to stop eating or…well, any prompt from God to do or not do anything at all.
For years, I “played” at this. Pathetic really, given all God did to surround me with the most amazing support system. How many people have Judy Halliday as their accountability partner? God knew I was such a hard case that I needed that sort of accountability.
Well, I was tougher even than that….It has been years….years and years of mechanically doing the 0 to 5 thing on and off…releasing the weight only to grab a hold of it again…and always always…there was something REALLY holding me back.
The more I did this, it was like the harder my heart became.
Truth is, I was meant to fly on wings of eagles. I was meant to soar. I was never meant to stay in captivity…be it in a chicken coop, a cage, or a self-imposed prison of fat. I was meant to FLY free! God created me for it! (And YOU TOO, Reader! :-))
For me, when someone got in my face and said “What is really holding you back…” I knew it was God asking me that. I couldn’t blame it on much of anything any more…it was ME…I had something going on in ME…and I had to choose. It was that simple. Would I DEAL with it? Or keep shoving it aside…”Later…we will cope with that later….”
God helped that wall be destroyed this past November/December.But even now…I see my temptation to rebuild that wall that was holding me back…Even though God has exposed what I allowed to hold me back…even though he has reached out to me with such amazing compassion…even though he has again told me He has called me to ministry in this area specifically…even though 30 pounds (and counting) have been released and I can sense that freedom…I can taste the sky for the first time….I STILL see I am drawn like a dog to my vomit. It baffles me.
(Please note, I have been thin and fit before, but I was NOT *free*…I don’t care about the weight…I care about the freedom. I just know that the weight will leave as I live in the freedom that Christ purchased with His blood….)
Daily…if not more frequently…I have to allow Him to remind me…that what REALLY holds me back…what He showed me…must be laid down, offered to Him. It hurts…it really does–no, that minimizes it. It is EXCRUCIATING! But I know apart from that letting go, I will never do what I was created to do. Never.
I guess it is like Paul who said “I die daily.” Good grief…it hurts to die, doesn’t it? This isn’t just daily, either….bah…
Even now…in this moment, I can see that the barrier has like the first layer of bricks to it again…I have been rebuilding it. What EVER for?!?!?
I have allowed reconstruction of the barrier to begin again…I must beg God to help me have the strength to tear it down and keep it down.
I want NOTHING to hold me back. I want to run the race with perseverance. I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith who, for the joy set before Him (which was fellowship with all of us…we would be set free from sin to be holy in His sight!), endured the CROSS, for goodness sake! HE endured the CROSS! And I whine and moan about enduring so much less….The writer of Hebrews goes on to say “You have not yet suffered to the point of shedding your blood.” Boy, isn’t that the truth. I won’t come close to suffering that much, but I sure whine like I am!
What is really holding you back, Reader? Tough question to answer…at least for me….If I weren’t such a sinful, prideful creature, maybe it wouldn’t be! LOL!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 25, 2007 | Uncategorized
The exercises for today in the TW workbook, brought conviction…the exercises asked us to look in a Thesaurus for synonyms for “Sovereign” so I did. Here is what I came up with at http://www.thesaurus.com
absolute, ascendant, autonomous, chief, commanding, directing, effective, effectual, efficacious, excellent, guiding, highest, imperial, independent, kinglike, kingly, loftiest, majestic, master, monarchal, monarchial, overbearing, paramount, predominant, predominate, preponderant, prevalent, principal, queenly, regal, regnant, reigning, royal, ruling, self-governed, supreme, unlimited
Upon completing my reading through this list, I had to ask myself…or rather, the Holy Spirit prompted me to prayerfully evaluate, using some of the words that were most fitting…
Do I allow God to be…
…absolute in my life?
…ascendant in my life?
…chief in my life?
…commanding in my life?
…directing in my life?
…effective in my life? (This one really brings conviction…is my minimizing of his rule in any way, making him appear less effective than He is? It seems like it might sort of be the opposite of “magnifying” God…)
…excellent in my life?
…HIGHEST in my life?
…imperial in my life?
…loftiest in my life?
…majestic in my life?
…master in my life?
…paramount in my life?
…predominant in my life?
…prevalent in my life?
…reigning in my life?
…royal in my life?
…ruling in my life?
…supreme in my life?
…unlimited in my life?
Gosh, I don’t know about others of you, but there is room for growth for me. Not only that, but we don’t even have to look at my *entire* life to see the need for growth! Just in the area of giving my food and eating to Him there is still room for tremendous growth, obviously. Boy…this has really challenged me.
Psalm 73:28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 25, 2007 | Blog
Hi, everyone. Something soooooo interesting to me has occurred to me, so I simply must share.
Prior to being involved with Thin Within, I had a year of involvement with a popular weightloss program and then another one…and lost 110 pounds and with all the compulsive working out I did, including training for marathons and intense strength training, my bodyfat percent got to 14.5% which is pretty low for a lady my age at the time with two kids. I was thrilled, but I was in such intense captivity from eating that way and working out…and any time I didn’t work out, I feared that I would gain. I truly exercised to lose weight. My husband calls those days my “bulimic” period as I would eat and then “purge” by exercising all the more. Some days, even when I wasn’t doing a long training run (which could be 18 miles long or longer, as Ellie and others probably know), I would still workout two times or for 3 or 4 hours! Captivity!
In November a few months ago, I began to try to add intentional exercise back into my life. Mind you, it has been over 10 years now since I have done the marathon thing and the body building (which was really what I was doing, if I can be honest…). Recently, a thought occurred to me…it was like God shone His light on a thought that may have been there since November that I just didn’t identify as NOT being from Christ! It was FEAR that “Oh no! If I don’t have time for my workout, I will gain weight!”
It hit me like a lightening bolt that I had this thought that was totally, 100% a lie!
I was able to say to God, “What IS this? What do I DO with it?”
I have been carving into my life time for exercise now because I am enjoying it so much. I never want to return to compulsively exercising again. I have always loved being active–even when I did all of that 10 years ago, but I distinctly remember that it had begun to be motivated by fear…
Anyhow, God’s Holy Spirit quietly but definitively told me, “Don’t worry, Child. If you don’t have time to exercise, your body will just cue you that you need less food less often.”
Well, DUH! When I exercise, I find 0 much more frequently! When I don’t, the only difference for me in the day really is that I won’t get to zero as fast! So just don’t eat…until…zero! DUH! LOL!
0 to 5 eating works!
Days when I am inactive for other reasons (rain or injury or sickness…) it stands to reason…eat when I am at 0 and my body will get what it needs when it needs it. Stop when no longer hungry and presto…
It makes me think of when I was eating 0 to 5 in the year 2000. I had released weight (as I always do with this approach…why I ever walk away from it is beyond me…) and had a NASTY roller blading accident where I dislocated my ankle and broke my leg. I was laid up BUT GOOD for months…truly. I continued to release weight even though I was inactive. All because God made my body reliable and He continued to tell me when to eat and when to stop and enabled me to Just Do it!
Anyhow, I had to share with you all that I was SO relieved to realize this again in a VERY REAL way….what relief came over me! I don’t *have* to worry that my life has grown dependent on exercise like I allowed it to before. YAY!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 21, 2007 | Blog
I forgot to post this morning that I hit a milestone. I weigh on Sunday mornings. So today when I weighed in I was thrilled to see progress downward!
I won’t say what that milestone is, as my pride just won’t let me tell the world my current weight…but I am THRILLED!
This week of really trying to refine listening and heeding what God was trying to tell me about hunger and satisfaction really paid off. I have officially released the 5 pounds I so desperately wanted to.
Affter posting about what to do if we aren’t seeing the scale go down, *I* wasn’t seeing the scale go down. I am so thankful that I took on the task of really getting down to evaluating if I wasn’t “cheating” about 0 and 5.
That makes a definite 30 lbs that have been released! YAY! God has done it…that is for sure.
I am thrilled.
Here is to the next 10, 20 or 30 if God so leads!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 21, 2007 | Blog
In Isaiah 43:19, which I am meditating on these days, there is this wonderful little sentence:
“See, I am doing a new thing!”
Followed by this: “Now it springs up.”
The imagery that comes to my mind with the words “Now it springs up” is something sudden, unexpected and surprising!
I love this. Jesus has a HUGE grin on his own face. He holds my face in his loving hands with a great big smile and a laughing tone filled with love and compassion…”See? Heidi, are you LISTENING to me? What I am doing is nothing like you have ever seen before, child! I am doing something altogether fresh and new! Watch this! It will SPRING up and take you by surprise!”
The imagery of something springing up makes me laugh. Have you ever been to one of those water parks or Disneyland where they have the place where children (and brave adults) walk through the area that has holes in the ground with fountains that irregularly pop up and shoot water straight up? All of the laughter and joy that is there as people dodge in and out of the holes waiting to be “surprised” by the cool clear water springing up suddenly makes me think that this is the sort of delight that God fully expects I will get out of what He is about in my life even now.
Thank you, Lord! I giggle along with you!
by Heidi Bylsma | Jan 20, 2007 | Blog
Someone, who I appreciate very much, shared privately that they were concerned about the way my post Thursday sounded…She felt what I shared might encourage anorexic behavior in folks who might not understand the difference between what Thin Within teaches and dangerous anorexic behavior.
Until Thursday, what I called satisfied was truly *more* than satisfied. I knew it. God knew it. But because I was releasing weight, I figured we would call it “good”–I was being “obedient enough.” The fact is, I was still indulging my lusts for food. My heart was still connected to the food. What I am trying to do now (and what I wrote about yesterday) is tune in to the Lord more. I am trying to find out what is *want* and what is *need*. It is a lie if I call a *want* for food a *need* for food.
Thursday, I shared that it floored me to see how little food I need to be sustained. Yes, my focus was on what seemed to be a tiny amount of food…That focus revealed just where my heart was. The fact of it is…yes, that focus IS WRONG. Until yesterday, I hadn’t realized how focused I remained on food!
The amount of food should ultimately NOT be my focus. The goal for me is learning to listen to the Lord (as He uses my body, which He created to be reliable), to tell me when I need food and when I don’t…when to stop. Thursday, I admit, I *was* fixated on the amount of food because, quite frankly, I was startled…by the lie I had been believing!
However, this journey is NOT about eating less and less. If that is my focus, my friend would be right– it would be behavior of an anorexic.
When I am hungry, I SHOULD eat, but when I am no longer hungry, I SHOULD stop. It isn’t about the amount of food it takes to keep my body working. Of course, that is where MY focus was in my post yesterday because I want MORE food because I LIKE TO EAT!
I EAT when I am hungry. ALL OF US SHOULD! If we are “riding the zero” then we really have to evaluate if we are surrendering to God and trusting Him and the body He has given us. I believe 100% in eating when I get a hunger signal. “Riding the zero” can be as bad as a binge…refusing to trust God and give Him control. If we surrender, we heed the signals that our bodies give us…ordained, created by Him!
I believe that the behavior of eating *each* time a person is hungry doesn’t fit the profile of anorexic. Especially if a person carries extra weight or, even, maintains a healthy weight.
I hope this helps clarify things a bit!