8 Reasons To Work on Thinking Differently

Why Renew My Mind?

Why Renew My Mind?

A few months ago, my husband was listening to something I had recorded. On my way to meeting a friend for lunch, I had recorded my conversation with God in case it could be helpful to you all. That file is found here. When Bob was listening to it, though, he stopped it for a moment and asked me, “Does anyone know just how hard you work  at this?”

I wonder about that. I get asked a lot about if it ever becomes easy. I have to say…well, yes, it becomes easiER at times. Until it becomes hard again. But I have to keep investing time, energy, and effort—I have to keep up the good fight.

That is why I make such a big deal about renewing the mind with truth. Because I simply HAVE to keep working on the way I think.

So, today’s truth card, found in the picture above, is specifically about renewing my mind and why it is worth while to keep on fighting, to keep working at changing the way I think.  Many of these statements come directly from the work I have done using Barb Raveling’s material at her website. In case you can’t read my writing, here is what it says:

Renewing My Mind:

1. God has called me to a renewing of my mind habit.

2. It is important that I do this every single day.

3. God wants me to develop this habit because it helps me to think differently…to act differently.

4. God is crazy about me. He loves me. I am His precious daughter.  I am precious in His sight. He calls me.

5. Satan doesn’t want me to renew my mind.  He knows it will make me a more effective witness.  He knows I will be more victorious.  Renewing my mind changes me permanently.

6. To develop this habit, I will have to make sacrifices.

7. If I make this sacrifice, I will be more godly, even 6 months down the road.

8. I can be thankful to God for many things in my situation.

What About You?

Have you been working on changing the way you think? About food? About life? About your body? About a person who challenges you? What are you doing, practically, to think differently? Are you committed to renewing your mind daily about this situation/problem/challenge? If not, can you make a plan today to renew your mind daily? Do you need a truth card about renewing your mind? What can you include on it?

Breaking Up With Your Ideal Self

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

I am preparing to go on a true vacation—one where I won’t be owned by my cell phone or email…even though these are things I love as I get to talk to wonderful people like you all! My husband and I are going to Grand Cayman on Saturday and will be gone through the 22nd of September.  After I return from that trip, I have a lot more traveling planned before October 17th when I get to stay home for a few weeks.

What that means is this blog will reflect my absence. I will schedule posts, but some will be re-runs, some will be Truth Card suggestions, bible verse devotions, and some will be references to other posts elsewhere that I think would be incredibly valuable and I want to share them with you.

Since I am trying to get a lot done this week, I am beginning now to cut back on time I spend preparing blog posts.

Today’s recommendation is to an online magazine article, Breaking Up With Your Ideal Self.” It is written by Allie Marie Smith who wrote the Healthy Eating Abundant Living book with Judy Halliday and who runs the Wonderfully Made ministry. I hope you will visit her article and be blessed. Then come back here and give feedback!

What About You?

Can you relate at all to Allie’s admission that her real self and ideal self have been separated by an ever increasing chasm?

How have you responded to this, if so?

Do you let your ideal self rob you of the joy that could be yours today?

What could you start to do today to stop this tendency?

Finally, Allie asked the question: How are you going to live your one valuable and irreplaceable life as the real, completely un-ideal you?

5 Truths for Freedom for the Restrictive Eater!

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Hi. A friend of mine who frequents this blog, sent me an email following my post last week on Truth Cards. I asked her if she would be willing to write a blog post to share her perspective with the readers of this blog. It is incredibly valuable, but one I have little experience with. I hope you will share the link with anyone you know who may need to see this!


I find truth cards to be extremely helpful. But my truth, as someone who has suffered from years of restrictive food plans of my own making and through various anonymous organizations, seems to be almost the flip side of your truth.

One of your truth cards, which you shared with blog readers on 9/3/13, reads, “Today I will have to give up food I want to eat in order to follow my boundaries.” When I read that I immediately thought, “that is not true for me.” For me, I MUST eat food I want in order to follow my boundaries. 

I had so many years of telling myself the following lies:

LIE #1. I cannot handle sugar.

LIE #2. If I start eating that binge food, I will never be able to stop.

LIE #3. There is something wrong with me at a cellular level.

LIE #4. The fact that I crave carbohydrates is evidence that I can’t handle them.

LIE #5. Desperate wanting (craving) is one step on the path to sinning.

Maybe these lies don’t ring a bell with you. If they do, if you have been like me and felt like you were evil for wanting things, and then denied yourself those very things in order to be “good,” then you can place yourself firmly in the “restrictor” camp.

I have been underweight, at my ideal weight, and overweight. I don’t think all restrictors are underweight. When I was overweight, I felt like a hypocritical restrictor. But wasn’t it inevitable? As I grew and matured physically and spiritually, I began to recognize the lies inherent in my beliefs. But that recognition was at a somewhat unconscious or perhaps semi-conscious level, and that’s when I transitioned from full-time restriction to binge eating. For me, binge eating is best described as intermittent restriction. It was restriction on the path to healing. But it was a very hard place to be, and it didn’t feel at all transitional. It felt permanent, and in fact it seemed like direct evidence that there was something very wrong with me. I told myself the lies, shouted them to myself sometimes, until eventually the unconscious or semi-conscious part of me said “NO!” and I ate every item of sugar that I could possibly stuff into myself in a short period of time. Bingeing seemed to confirm the lies, “see, I REALLY can’t handle sugar,” and “see, there REALLY is something terribly wrong with me.”

When I was finally able to see that the binges were actually created by the restriction and by my belief in lies, and I started to let myself eat the things I actually wanted, I was amazed and full of awe at the truths that God revealed:

TRUTH #1. I can eat sweets in moderation.

TRUTH #2. I can eat what I truly want and be satisfied.

TRUTH #3. There is nothing wrong with me (other than the fact that I believed a bunch of lies for years and years).

TRUTH #4. The fact that I crave carbohydrates is evidence that either I have overdone it in the sugar department and need some protein to balance out my overindulgence, or more likely, that I have not been eating enough carbohydrates and my body needs some sugar or complex carbohydrates to operate effectively.

TRUTH #5. Desperate wanting (craving) is a way of God communicating with me through my body. I can listen to God, honor my bodily signals, and take loving and nurturing action. Craving sleep, craving a hug, all my other cravings signal real needs that can be simply met. I do not need to be afraid. Cravings can be satisfied.

It all seems like a lot and as a person who is recovering from perfectionism, I tend to want to get it all right and find it overwhelming and want to retreat into a food plan that someone else has constructed because I still sometimes believe the lie that I am incompetent in the food department. When this happens, then I try to center on just one concept: My one goal for eating today is SATISFACTION.

When I am satisfied, I have no desire to binge. When I eat to satisfaction, I forget about food until next time I am hungry. In all those years of restriction, I was almost never satisfied, which is why I thought about food all the time.

Satisfaction is scary. It takes me to the next level. It solves my food problem and opens up new possibilities for me. I have been eating to satisfaction consistently for almost four months now. I have been eating to satisfaction and have been binge free for that entire time. This is coming from someone who five months ago and for the past 10 years before that was bingeing on average at least three times per week, with brief forays of binge free living that lasted at most six weeks at a time. It’s both a miracle and an incredibly simple answer to what seemed like a hugely complex problem.

It takes a lot of trusting in God to eat to satisfaction. But God is faithful, as always. If weight is a concern for you, then take heart. I had been bingeing heavily when I started, so I lost five pounds within the first week or two, of what for me has come to be known as “binge weight.” Over the subsequent few months, I’ve lost another five pounds. I am now at what I would consider an ideal weight for myself, a weight that I have not been at for over 10 years. And I got there by eating to satisfaction? Yup. Praise God!

Post by – Name withheld by request

How About You?

Prayerfully consider if you are someone who needs to write a different kind of truth in your truth cards. What does God’s Spirit testify to your heart? Are you, like my friend, in need of pressing on all the way to satisfaction? Are you restricting your eating in a way that is not trusting the body that God has given you? What is true for you? Are you willing to step out in faith and trust Him today?

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Do you remember those ads on TV that showed Frosted Flakes (or Sugar Puffs or something like that) with toast, eggs, orange juice, etc? The cereal was featured as “part of a nutritious breakfast.” Those commercials always espoused the value of a big breakfast!

“Dieting Wisdom” has told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Dieters have advocated NEVER skipping breakfast—even if you aren’t hungry in the morning.

Breakfast IS indeed the most important meal of the day. But not for the reasons that we have been told!  “Breakfast” is merely breaking our fast…it is eating after not eating for a long enough time to be hungry. It might be 1pm in the afternoon! That’s ok. The thing that you might want to consider. though, no matter what time you get hungry in the morning—that it is your first opportunity to set the tone for the day and to fuel your body well. What will you choose to eat to give you energy?

In Thin Within, we have freedom to select whatever we choose!

But if you are like most people, you may discover that what delights your palate, may not sustain your body well. You might feel “icky” with any number of yummy food choices you might select for breakfast. What is the very first thing you will put in your mouth to fuel your body? What will energize you? What will make you feel good?

I learned long ago that the foods I might like the most—typically really sweet foods, like fresh cinnamon rolls—while yummy for breakfast end up making me a bit of a mess for the rest of the day. Pancakes, donuts, muffins all do this to me. I find that something really high in sugar without protein isn’t a whole body pleaser for me. Truthfully, when I have a taste bud teaser for breakfast, I end up typically having trouble with my hunger signals for the rest of the day!

Then, sometimes, whatever-it-is just sits in my stomach. My mind plays tricks on me that I need to eat something in addition to what I just ate so I will feel better! Bring on the protein! Wait…in addition to what I already ate? Even if I am not hungry? Even if I am not feeling well? Yup. Silly, huh?

Do you find breakfast (breaking fast) with certain foods affects you this way, too?

You may want to do an experiment. Try evaluating what you enjoy having for your first meal of the day when you are at a 0 every day for 5 days. Observe how what you choose causes you to feel (coffee beverages count, too!)—both soon after you have had it and also later in the morning as you approach what you feel is your next hunger signal. You might want to experiment with different foods and even jot notes to help you make any observations that might be helpful. Notice how long different foods hold you until the next hunger and then how the next hunger feels as it approaches.

If you have been involved with Thin Within for any length of time and you haven’t explored phase 2—that of exercising more discernment about your food choices—maybe it is time. You might be surprised that it can be the key to opening a door to victory! I have found that what I pick for my first meal of the day can even make a difference in how moody I will be for the entire day.

Let’s consider looking to the most satisfying “thing” of all first thing in the morning. What might that look like for you?

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

– Psalm 90:14

How About You?

What foods are you most likely to break fast with? Does this seem to be working well for you?

Prayerfully consider if you might experience more success by selecting more beneficial foods—ones that you enjoy, of course!

Will you try the 5-day experiment?

5 Reasons Eating 0 to 5 is WONDERFUL!

Today’s post is another snapshot from my truth card deck.

Have you added to your truth cards just how great 0 to 5 eating is yet?

0 to 5 final

What truths will you add to your truth cards today about the blessings in 0 to 5 eating?

Take some time to review your truth cards today. Ask the Lord to show you if you BELIEVE what is written on them! If not, what will you need to do in order to truly renew your mind and be transformed?

Let’s Celebrate How Far You’ve Come!

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name;

give to him glorious praise!

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! 

– Psalm 66:1-3a

Some of us have been on this journey a while now. It is so easy to be discouraged when we look right in front of us. Sometimes, we miss the forest for the trees we keep ramming!

Today, let’s do some evaluation…some surveying of the road we have traveled. Let’s get to a clearing and have a look back over the land we have traversed!

1. Have you said NO to more food lately than you did previously? For instance, if you were to compare a year or two ago or even a month ago with the past week or two (or three or four), have you overeaten anywhere near the quantities of your “old days?” Have you overeaten nearly so often?  Let’s get specific…did you used to “binge” on a full bag of cookies and/or an entire loaf of bread, and/or  a half gallon of ice cream…and/or….etc., etc. Compare what you consider as having overeaten now with then. Is the quantity smaller? Has there been progress? While there is likely room for improvement as there is for most of us, note patterns of babystep progress and I bet you will see you have come a long way!

I remember back to Saturday night TV with my husband. There were four shows back-to-back that we looked forward to watching all week. We planned for that binge each week! It consisted of chips with melted cheese all over them….mounds and mounds of cheese (no kidding) and the giant sized bag of Hot Tamales that we got at Costco. That was just for starters! We continued the “salty-sweet-salty-sweet” food frenzy all night long while we watched our shows. God has delivered me from that. I bet there is behavior that you used to engage in that you no longer do! Right? Take a moment to praise God for bringing you out of that, for giving you moments of grace to take steps closer to having a healthy relationship with food.

2. Have you said YES to God more? To obeying his leadership? To spending time in his presence? To allowing him to have his way with you just a bit more? Have you prayed more? Praised more? Given thanks just a bit more?

3. Have you been exposing the lies you believe even just a bit? Have you been rehearsing believing his truth either with truth cards, music, scripture memory or some other means, allowing your mind to be renewed even just a bit more? Are you thinking differently even a little? 🙂

4. Have you been moving your body just a bit more? Again, think back to a year ago or so. Maybe this hasn’t been one of your goals. That’s ok. Prayerfully consider if God would have you move just a bit more. I don’t mean strenuously, but in a way that gives you joy and that can be an expression of worship! If this hasn’t happened yet, see if God might lead you to make gentle plans (that you will hold loosely) to do so. What are the possibilities?

5. Are you exploring the foods that best fuel your body just a bit more? Some foods make you feel energized. Some, depleted or even sick to your stomach. Have you been evaluating which does what? Have you been selecting Whole Body Pleasers a bit more than Taste Bud Teasers? Even just a bit?

Some of these things you may not have made any headway with just yet, but I bet it is because they haven’t been included in your list of things to be intentional about.

If you are going to do an evaluation like this a year from now and come up with answers that delight your heart, what changes—babysteps—will you begin to take now?

Let’s celebrate! You have come a long way, Baby!

5 Truths To Believe for Lasting Weight Loss

I hope you have been developing a batch of Truth Cards. If so and if you don’t have these truths added to them yet, maybe you would want to include these truths:

Truth 5

Truth 1

truth 2

Truth 3

truth 4


What About You?

What truths are you adding to your truth cards today?

THIS IS TOO HARD (and Preventative Eating) Week 12

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Have you been tempted to throw in the towel and just say FORGET IT to this entire boundaries/renewing the mind/losing weight/having a healthy relationship with food project?

It is totally normal to feel that way.

This is the 12th and final week of our Renewing the Mind Bible Study and the truth is…it IS hard to stick to your boundaries. If it wasn’t hard to stick to your boundaries, they probably wouldn’t be boundaries. Just think about it for a minute. If you don’t have any temptations to go into a certain store at the mall and spend up your credit card, you don’t need to have a boundary about that store (or the credit card)! If you don’t feel tempted to overeat shrimp scampi, you probably don’t have a boundary to give shrimp scampi a wide berth.

We establish boundaries because we know that we are likely to venture across a line or to welcome outside forces in that would influence us in a way that wouldn’t be best for us.

So, of course it is hard! We are training ourselves which implies that, left to our own devices, we would behave differently than we know we should.

Barb does a great job of exposing a lie that we want to RENEW OUR MINDS ABOUT. That lie is this:

Life should be easy.

Think about it for a minute. Do you have a feeling that you will only follow through if something is fun or easy? If you get tired of working at something, maybe you believe this lie that life should be easy. God never has promised us that life will be easy. In fact, if we read the Scriptures there is much there that speaks to us about being diligent, persevering, hanging in there. If life were meant to be easy, I don’t think these exhortations would be in Scripture!


1. It’s that time again! Evaluate your feeling about 0 to 5 eating. Has God called you to 0 to 5 eating? Are you convinced in your heart he has? If you have written this commitment in your journal previously, review the dates and entries when you were convinced that this was so. How about now? If you are convinced today, add a statement reflecting that conviction and date it with today’s date.

2. Visit Barb’s blog page on “Losing Weight is Hard.” Read her introductory material.

3. Complete the “Life Should Be Easy” bible study on the same page.


1.  Looking at yesterday’s bible study, what are some truths that you can add to your truth cards? Take some time to do this and renew your mind with truth!

2. Visit Barb’s blog page again at the same link. Please remember that Barb isn’t a Thin Within participant and don’t be put off by any “dieting” jargon that you see in her material. Complete her “Dieting is Hard” questions.

3. Are there any additional truths that you can add to your cards? If so, take some time to do so now.


1. Visit this page here at this blog. Take some time to read the introductory material and to watch the video on that page.

2. Can you list some situations that you have been in that are similar to what I describe? What upcoming situations might you face this week that fit this description?

3. What are some truths about situations like these that you can possibly renew your mind with?


1. Visit this page again. Complete the “Preventative Eating Questions” on that page. (When asked in the questions about “now”, just insert in your mind a recent experience when you have done this…or if you are currently facing a situation where you are tempted to “preventative eat.”)

2. What are some of the possible solutions that God might want you to consider?  Are you willing to use any of his solutions? If not, why not?

3. If you are not willing to use any of God’s solutions right now, please take some time to review your thoughts from Monday, Question #1 where you evaluated your commitment and God’s leading to 0 to 5 eating. Following boundaries IS hard, but if we are unwilling in these moments to do what we can (work!) to do so, when do we really expect to be willing? If we only follow our boundaries when it feels good, how often will we follow them?


1. Visit the Preventative Eating page again and work through the Fear Bible Study.

2. If fear isn’t something that fuels your preventative eating, how about if you evaluate what IS? Then create a bible study to share with us here so we can all benefit! What other emotions might possibly fuel the desire to eat outside of 0 and 5 in anticipation of not being able to get near food?

3. What truths can you add to your truth cards today? Take a few minutes to add two or three.

What’s Next?

If you made it through this entire study, then you deserve extra KUDOS! We started strong, but many of us got swept away by the fun, freedom, and busyness of summer! In January, I will likely lead a Thin Within workbook study here at the blog. I will do so with a renewing of the mind focus. Start saving your $$ for the workbook packet (about $50 on Amazon) if you don’t own a set. More information to come later this fall, but for now, just know that I will continue to provide  support here at the blog (as I have been) with a study launching  the first week in January 2014!

Let’s press in to our Lord and not give up!

7 Strategies for Holiday/Vacation/Weekend Success (repost)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Need some strategies for managing through the holidays, weekends or traveling? Consider these tips:

1. Figure out why you are going to a social occasion like a party or family gathering. (See chapter 25 in Thin Within.)

– Write down your purposes in attending and plan accordingly. Most of us, once we have decided to surrender this area of our lives, don’t go to parties intending to overeat. So ask yourself if it is because you want to connect with family, friends and co-workers, it is easier to accept that food isn’t required for that.

– Then, when you get to the event, achieve your goal! Socialize or network or whatever it might be!

2. When planning to attend a social event that includes food, plan to be at a zero (stomach totally empty) by eating a smaller meal earlier in the day.

– It may be unreasonable for you not to eat at some events–like sit-down holiday dinners and the like. If your event is at 7pm, for instance, and you get hungry at 5:30 pm–you are definitely at a 0 at 5:30pm–then have just a few crackers or a cup of milk or something that will just remove the hunger. You don’t need to eat to a 5. This way, you will be more likely to arrive at your holiday dinner at a 0 and ready to eat.

– You can also “ride the 0” a little while unless you know yourself well enough to know that you will have a hard time eating slowly if you get “too hungry.” Sometimes, when we eat too fast, it is easy to eat way too much.

3.) When you are eating 0 to 5 at a holiday party and there are TONS of choices from which to choose, you can look at all that is offered and evaluate before you choose the foods you will eat which choices are most likely to be “teasers,” “pleasers,” and “whole body pleasers” (see chapter 18 in Thin Within). You want to be “picky” about what and how much of each “pleaser” or “whole body pleaser” food you select.

– Identify which foods offered are teasers and don’t even “go there.”

– If something is available all year long (like fresh french bread) you may want to forego selecting it in favor of something that is a favorite at holiday time.

4. ) Look around the party or dinner for a naturally thin eater and note their behaviors. See if you can spot someone who is naturally thin, but who is enjoying the party without overindulging. (This may be tough as most Americans use holidays as an excuse to eat way more than we need.)

5.) Sometimes people give gifts of food. It is true that some people “love on” others by giving food any time of the year–all the more during the holidays! In Thin Within, there is nothing wrong with having a small piece of whatever food that you receive, of course. If you know that you can withstand temptation to overeat it, feel free to have it in your home, of course! But if you know that you can’t handle the temptation, then here are some suggestions:

– When someone wants to send you home with a bunch of treats 🙂 either politely tell them “No, thank you,” or oblige and state (or not) that you will be glad to share the treats with others…then re-gift them as soon as possible before temptations lures you into eating them.

– When you end up with treats anyhow…THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH FLUSHING THEM DOWN THE TOILET THE MINUTE YOU WALK THROUGH THE DOOR! If you are like me and sometimes need “permission” to do something so drastic, consider this a blanket permission… “Flush the cookies, cakes, pies, candy, whatevers…down the toilet!”

6.) Put the fork down between bites when you are eating out or at a holiday party. This helps slow me down quite a bit any time…not just for holiday parties.

7.) Maybe most importantly, EXTEND GRACE to yourself. If you “blow it” for a party or a meal or even for a day or a week…just OBSERVE and CORRECT! This isn’t a diet, so you don’t have to feel like you “blew it!” Instead, you just had a step or two back on your path…but forge ahead “forgetting what is behind!” Remember this is a journey…a life long journey! God extends grace to you in all things, so extend some to yourself!

What about you?

Do you have strategies that have helped you make it through the holidays? What are your plans for this weekend?