The Most Important Thing of All

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Sometimes, with all the time, effort, and intensity that we put into Thin Within, it is hard to remember that the most important thing of all in our lives isn’t pursuing good health.

The most important thing of all isn’t eating within the parameters of physical hunger and satisfaction—even though, as we do this, we seek to surrender our hearts, lives, thinking, choices to God.

These are noble, important goals, but they are superseded by something that is The Most Important Thing of All.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

– Philippians 2:3-7 ESV

What was it that motivated Christ to act while on this earth? We see it many places in the Scriptures, but this sums it up:

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world,

so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

– 1 John 4:9-11 ESV

This has practical applications to our 0 to 5 eating. I want to share with you how by telling a story first. 🙂

I love getting up each morning and having my quiet time. This isn’t because I am godly (as that is quite debatable!). It is because I am desperate. The days I don’t start the day quiet with Him, I feel deflated and defeated. I am desperate for that time of being still, soaking in God’s presence. Since Monday of this week, I have been in the Chicago area with my 19 year old daughter, returning her to Wheaton College for the beginning of her sophomore year. Between jet lag, a busy schedule  with Michaela, and my inability to sleep away from home, I am tired!

Yesterday evening, I said goodbye to Michaela for the last time (I thought) as she starts class this morning (I am writing this Wednesday morning, but it is posting on Thursday). Last night, I planned today. My plane doesn’t leave until later in the afternoon, so first, I would sleep a bit later (assuming I could sleep). Then, I would relish a nice long leisurely time with the Lord. After making my plans last night, I got a text at 11pm from Michaela asking me to come back to see her at the school. I had a choice…to preserve my plans, including a longer time with the Lord? Or take the hour and a half to drive to the school, help my daughter with one last task before class starts, and then come back to the hotel for a shorter time?

I longed to just be still and know that God is God…to be refreshed in His presence. But I also knew that I couldn’t spend time in His presence without Him asking me “Have you loved well?” If I had chosen not to go back to help my daughter with one last task, I know  having my quiet time, no matter how valuable, would not have honored Him. In this situation, having my quiet time at that moment, would have dishonored Him as He has called me to love well. I knew in my heart of hearts that He wanted me to help her one more time. (Besides, I wanted one more hug or two!)

This serves as a reminder  to me that nothing is more important to God than love. I want to be sure that I  love others well — even above insisting on having a quiet time or eating 0 to 5 if there is a conflict.

Sometimes, I elevate having a quiet time or even eating 0 to 5 above The Most Important Thing of All—loving others. God wants to cure me of this legalism.

I don’t think God will often put us in the position of having to choose between loving others and obeying him with regard to our eating boundaries. It’s important to be aware that the human heart is deceitful and will rationalize and justify breaking our boundaries using “loving others” as an excuse. Please don’t let what I am saying here today be fuel for that lie.

The truth is, God wants us to delight in living within our boundaries. But every “rare once in a while,” a dear friend will work hard in her kitchen to bring warm brownies over when she comes for a scheduled visit. The fact that I just finished my lunch before she came and am not at a 0 yet, might need to be set aside for the greater, the Most Important Thing of All… love. I may need to have a small brownie to love my friend well–-even if I am at a 5 already.

I believe that in instances like these, asking the Lord to give His wisdom, we will experience a confidence as to what will be the right thing to do. We can know that, generally speaking, there is nothing godly or honorable about eating outside physical need, but the Most Important Thing of All is beyond that. When faced with a decision between loving well and adhering to my 0 to 5 eating boundary, I want to do both. If I can’t do both, I want to PRAY first with a surrendered heart. Am I WILLING not to eat at this moment if God were to make it clear that THIS was His will? If I can honestly answer that question “yes,” then I may be in the best position to know that right now, loving well means honoring God in some way outside of 0 and 5.

Again, these instances are extremely rare, thankfully. But we don’t want 0 and 5 to become our functional Messiah. It can’t save us. Only Jesus can. And he loves people. We want to learn greater dependence on the Lord, to ask Him for His leading. To respond to His direction.

The Most Important Thing of All is not 0 and 5.

It isn’t a thin body.

It isn’t mastery over food.

It isn’t consistently eating only when hungry.

The Most Important Thing of All is to love God and love others.

How About You?

Can you think of any situations when you had to choose between maintaining your 0 and 5 boundaries and loving others well? What did you do? Looking back at it now, is there something you could have/should have done differently? What will you do the next time this type of situation presents itself?

Does God Want You To?


Image Source: Stock Exchange

Years ago (and in some countries today),it wasn’t unusual to mark property lines or a change in direction of property lines with the use of giant stones or markers. It was understood that these “boundary stones” represented true, physical restrictions from going freely into adjoining property or having someone encroach into one’s own property. The boundary stones were practical ways people in history knew whose land was where.

Sometimes, these properties were expansive. I picture myself frolicking amidst large, lush, rolling hills all within the boundary lines established by the Lord. The boundary stones are off in the distance and I so relish the freedom and joy I have skipping, dancing and playing in open fields with grass and flowers that I don’t even consider running to the stones and pushing against them with all my weight. It wouldn’t occur to ancient peoples to object to the presence of the boundary stones in their lives. Proverbs 22:28 challenges us not to move ancient boundary markers.

What if we were to rest in the portion God has assigned us?

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6

Does God want you to follow your 0 to 5 eating boundaries today?

For me, when I don’t live according to the pleasant boundaries he has established for me, I feel like I am that girl in the open meadow, forsaking all the beauty and freedom that is available to me, striving with all my might to push against the monolithic stone to justify my desire to go beyond it.

What will you have to give up in order to follow your God-given boundaries today?

Sometimes, I feel like I am giving up so much wonder and joy of what is beyond the boundary markers. When I have my eyes set on what is out there, I fail to rejoice in what is mine, right in front of me.

What will you gain now and in the future if you follow your God-given boundaries even when you don’t feel like it today, tomorrow and the next day?

Could the joy of living within the boundary stones be enough for me, knowing that I do so as the Father sings over me with joy? Can I “feel like it”—feel like living within the parameters that my good and gracious Father has set for me—by getting my eyes off the stones in the distance and setting them, instead, on all the freedom I have within these stones and His presence here with me?

What will life look like  in 3 months if you begin to live within your boundaries now?

What will life look like in 3 months if you put off living within your boundaries?

What will happen if you decide to wait until you want to live according to your boundaries? Is that likely to happen anytime soon?

What is God doing in your life through your participation in working to live within your boundaries?

Are you hindered by perfectionism?

When will you follow 0 to 5 eating perfectly?

Will you join me in delighting, rejoicing, praising within the boundaries that God has so graciously given us today? Will you resolve, along with me, not to push against the boundary stones, but instead be in awe of all that has been given to us to freely enjoy?

Note: The questions in this post are adapted from Barb Raveling’s Following Your Boundaries questions.

Travel Tips

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Traveling can be a challenge, so I like to go prepared. The following video (blog subscribers may have to visit the website to see it) shares a couple of my strategies for traveling so that I won’t “belly up” and eat outside of my godly boundaries. Or, like my husband has suggested in his videos, I plan to “refocus” by having some “safe” meals planned. I share about that in this short video (half of which is out-takes…I was being a dork).

Thanks to PamW for pointing out some things in her comments that I want to be sure to highlight (so I am going back and editing this post).

Some things to consider if you want to try this approach:

1. Are you loving others well by eating your own food? I believe God wants us to prayerfully depend on his leading. If you are traveling with your family, taking food with you is probably NOT the most loving approach. You will want to ask God about that. Eating with the family–eating food out with them or down in the breakfast room if you are staying at “suites” that provide breakfast) is probably much more important than having a meal of your own food. PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW MY ADVICE if this is your scenario!

2. Even if you are traveling alone (as I am right now), if this throws you back into dieting mentality, do NOT do it! Listen to the leading of the Lord, depend on him.

3. If you do bring food with you as I have, take food with you that you ENJOY! NOT diet food. The food that I have brought with me on this trip is what I eat for breakfast when I am home. For me to go out to eat or downstairs to the breakfast room (since I am staying at Springhill Suites) would mean I was planning to over-eat. This may not be the case for you. Having my food packed with me means I get to enjoy my favorite breakfast in the comfort of my hotel room all while abiding by 0 to 5! I ENJOY what I brought…this is a biggee. Please don’t overlook this! 🙂

How About You?

1. What plans can you make to assure you eat within your 0-5 boundaries next weekend, next holiday, or next vacation? Will doing so love others well? Is there some way that you can both love others well and follow your God-given boundaries?

2. My husband calls  intentional meals when traveling “Strategic Eating.”  Which meals this week might you plan to employ “Strategic Eating?”

“Holiday/Vacation Time! Let’s EAT!” & “Darn, I Blew It!”

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Do you ever hear yourself saying those words?

Or, maybe if not those words, then these? …

It’s Friday…Time to EAT!

It’s Monday…Time to EAT!

It’s a holiday…Time to EAT!

We’re on vacation…Time to EAT!

Then, have you ever experienced this sequence of events? That once you gave in to eating because it was a holiday, vacation, or weekend, you felt like a failure and it made you want to eat more?

Let’s kick this “left over” from our dieting days TO THE CURB!!!

This week, Week 11 of our Renewing the Mind Bible Study, we will have a look at these motivators for eating outside of physical hunger and satisfaction. We want to continue to scrutinize our thinking, expose the lies, dismantle them, and replace them with truth.


1. Time to update your “memorial stones” again in your journal. I am asking this question for the umpteenth time, but it bears repeating. Are you convinced…is it a conviction of your heart…that God is calling you to 0 to 5 eating?  If the answer is yes, write it down (yes, again!) in your own words in your journal and sign and date it. We are soooo prone to forget our convictions! If you aren’t resolute today, but have been in the past, go back through your journal and find an entry (or two) when you were convinced and wrote it down. Spend time with the Lord, asking him to restore that conviction.

2. Evaluate “Commitment.” The point of a commitment is that we do whatever it is, even when we don’t feel like it. It is the same with “Boundaries.” A boundary is a demarcation that we might stray across if we didn’t have the boundary there to protect us from veering. It is something we know is best for us. So, if you have said in the past that you are “Committed to eating 0 to 5” (or something similar) or that you have a “Boundary of 0 to 5” (or something similar) when you don’t FEEL like living that way is when your commitment or boundary is tested. That is the point of a commitment or boundary! That is when you really see it for what it is. Think about it this way…when you tell your child to wrap up the leftovers after she is done eating and she does it because she thinks it is a great idea so she can enjoy the leftovers again another time, is her submission to your authority really tested? Not really. When she doesn’t see a good reason, or doesn’t agree with you, but does it anyhow, that is when obedience or submission is really seen. Likewise for us. If the only time we are obedient is when we feel like it, if the only time we are committed is when we feel like it, then we aren’t necessarily committed. We may need to spend some time with the Lord on this one, so that is why I am including it as part of today’s assignment.


1. Visit Barb Raveling’s website and complete her study on Holiday or Vacation Eating.

2. The reason we are doing this study now is Labor Day is next Monday here in the United States. As you journal your answers to Barb’s questions, try to be as practical as possible. If you aren’t in the US, then consider strategizing about an upcoming holiday that you will celebrate.

3. Share with us here any strategies you will use next weekend to celebrate.


1.  Make a plan for what you will do if you “fall off the horse” during this week or the upcoming holiday weekend or a vacation you have coming up. What can you do to minimize the damage and to get back ON the horse? What plan will you have in place so that you will NOT beat yourself up?

2. Visit Barb Raveling’s study on Failure Eating. Read the introductory paragraphs, Self-Condemnation section, and the section under the subheading, “Does it Have To Take That Long?” Journal any thoughts that you have that are triggered by what Barb shares in these paragraphs. Can you identify with what she has shared?

3. Feel free to click any of her other links and explore the resources she has there.


1. Depending on how much time you have, visit Barb’s Failure Eating page again and select one or both of the bible studies she has in her “Bible Study” section to complete.

2. You can also read the article that she refers to. It is encouraging, too.

3. Add any new truths to your truth cards.

4. Share with us here any new insights you glean!


1. Visit Barb’s Failure Eating page again and complete her Failure  Questions.

2. What truths can you add to your truth cards?

3. What is your VERY PRACTICAL plan to be victorious TODAY as the weekend begins?


Consider vacations and holidays a training opportunity. Many of my coaching clients and bunches of the emails I get mention the concern that weekends are very challenging. Each weekend there is a change in the routine, a change in structure (there may not be ANY structure). We may have attitudes of CELEBRATION!!! Then, when we give in, we beat ourselves up and get caught in continuing to break our boundaries because we are stuck in that old dieting mentality of “I already went off my ‘program,’ so I may as well forget it…” Let’s use THIS WEEKEND (be it a holiday, vacation, or just a normal weekend) to practice rejoicing in the pleasant, wonderful boundaries that God has established for us! If we fall off that horse, let’s get back on QUICKLY and rejoice that his mercies are new each minute!!! NO failure eating! You with me? 🙂

Thin Within for the “Free Flowing,” Non-Structured Type :)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

On Wednesday, I shared a post that asserted that the #1 reason we fail at eating 0 to 5 is because of a lie that we believe that eating outside of our boundaries will be a bigger blessing to us than honoring God and staying inside our boundaries. I also shared an alternative truth that we can memorize and plaster (in sticky notes) around our house, office, and car so that we can begin to replace the lie with the truth that obeying God is an honor and privilege and no food will taste as good as the joy of obedience will feel.

If trading the lies for truth is the foundation upon which our eating is to be built (and I believe it is), then the mechanics—the how-to—of our hunger/satisfaction eating is the infrastructure.

Yesterday, I shared that there are two extremely different (opposite) ways of living within 0 and 5 boundaries.  I also mentioned that a person can choose a combination or a variation of either or both. More on that in the weeks to come!

In brief review, the first of these two extremes is a very structured approach. Yesterday, I provided a link to a Google Docs chart that you can copy, save and use if you feel God is leading you to do so. It isn’t likely to be a good idea to use it all the time. It might be for a week or a month-long “season.”

Today, I want to share the extreme opposite approach–that of the “free spirit,” “free-flowing” non-structured approach. This might be right for the person who—at least for now— does best (for any number of reasons) without charts, logs, or reports. God has wired us all differently, so if this is you, I hope you will celebrate it! But, before I share with you how this can work, I want to lay some groundwork with a couple of caveats:

1.) Our hearts are deceitful.

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

2.) Our bodies are not yet redeemed

 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, 
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, 
the redemption of our bodies. 

Romans 8:23

Because our bodies are not yet redeemed, because our hearts can be quite convincing, using this “less restrictive” approach is best used by those who have an intimate relationship with Christ, who are aware of their own weakness and tendency to wander. Not all people with this kind of relationship with the Lord will be suited to this, but it would be very difficult to have this approach if you know that you are definitely more of a “seeing is believing,” or “nuts and bolts,” or “cerebral” kind of Christ-follower! Even if you think of yourself as a true-blue “contemplative,” if you are like many of us and are too busy to be still in God’s presence daily or through the moments of the day, if an entire day (or week!) can go by without you being aware of God’s presence, if you think people “over spiritualize” the eating thing too much or you are convinced that God doesn’t care that much about your eating…then this approach isn’t likely to be for you at all!

Let’s talk straight. For some of us, structure can actually masquerade as godliness when it is really (perhaps, maybe?) a play for control.

Conversely, those who are sensitive to the Lord’s leading in the moment (or who think they are ;-)) might develop an air of superiority to those who are more technical or concrete in their walk with God and may attempt to justify sin as “The Lord led me to….” OUCH. We don’t want either!

To blow everyone out of the water :-), let me just say that one of the most tender-hearted, sensitive-to-the-Lord’s leading people I have interacted with is a client who is very “routine-oriented.” So while these approaches may appear to be mutually exclusive, they aren’t. My client has shown me that structure and free-flowing sensitivity to the Lord’s leading can not only co-exist, but be wonderfully complementary!

To make it even more confusing, some people who are “free spirited” might be challenged by people they respect to add more structure to their lives when what they really might need is to:

“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

Specifically, I would urge those who are drawn to this more “free flowing” approach to:

1.) Recognize the voice of the Lord—that He speaks at all—even in the moment (John 10:27)

2.) Know that He has a will—and is willing that you know what it is—even in the moment (Romans 12:1,2)

3.) Rest in the fact that He gives you what you need for life and godliness—even in the moment (2 Peter 1:3)

What do I do to do this, Heidi? You have convinced me!

It is pretty tough to provide instruction or a “This is How This Is Done” to a NON-structured, FREE-flowing approach! LOL!

Jesus says that his sheep know his voice—he speaks, but sometimes, we prefer not to hear it. We  may even hide behind 0 and 5, pointing to them as the rule we follow for our eating. Sometimes, the rule written on our heart, breathed into us by the Holy Spirit—the voice of Jesus—will over-rule what we claim is our 0 and 5. God may lead us to abstain from food, to choose another food, to eat more slowly, to stop eating…or, he may challenge us to love well by eating when we aren’t yet at a 0 when an aging aunt showers us with love (via a meal we weren’t expecting). GASP!!!! I know. I sound like I am contradicting everything, right? Sometimes that is the way God is, but we don’t want to blame God for a rebellious act, either. God’s #1 goal is for us to love well and he typically provides ways for us to do that without breaking godly boundaries. But, when in doubt, the Spirit can guide us to what God wants in the moment. In theory, anyhow! 🙂

If you know that you have the freedom to flow with the Lord and that you have a heart for obedience–not the heart of a rebel unchecked–then this unstructured approach might be where you will find the freedom that you know Jesus has purchased for you. When we boil it all down, asking the Lord “Is now the time to eat?” or “Is now the time to stop eating?” “Is God in this bite?” is probably what we want to do.

This first came to my attention in 2007 when I was still releasing weight. I had 0 and 5 wired and I was zipping along to my “natural God-given size,” releasing weight steadily. I was stoked! Then, I began to notice incredible stomach pain if I got to a zero. Also, I could only eat tiny little bits without hurting, too. I couldn’t eat to a 5. A visit to the doctor confirmed what I had suspected…I had a stomach ulcer–my first and, so far, my last! God used this season to show me I had turned 0 and 5 into something I listened to even more than I did the voice of the Lord!! I had turned it into a law that couldn’t be trumped even by God’s leading by His Spirit! I depended on 0 and 5 as if it had the right to tell me what to do. I had to stop being so rigid about hunger numbers and start listening more for God’s leading. HA! Fancy that! I found I needed him so much and he showed me just how much he was there for me, leading, guiding, strengthening. I continued to release weight, too!

If you think it is possible that you are looking to 0 and 5 or charts, challenges, reports as your “functional Messiah”—to save you from the sin of gluttony or over-eating, then you may want to consider waiting on the Lord to show you when to eat and how much. He may actually lead you to eat smaller quantities than you would eat if you depended on 0 and 5, although more frequently.

Be mindful of the fact that the heart is deceitful and prone to go astray. This isn’t a license to abandon 0 to 5 eating. Truthfully, the best approach is probably somewhere in-between both the extremes I have shared today and yesterday. I believe that, for most of us, it may be possible that the Lord wants us to listen to HIS voice, praying about what we are interpreting as our 0 and 5 signals (remembering that the physical body is not yet redeemed) as well as which foods will provide us the nourishment we need.

How About You?

  1. Have you been replacing the lie with truth as mentioned in Wednesday’s post?
  2. Will you sit with the Lord and evaluate which approach might be better for you or if God is calling you to a “both/and” approach of some kind? What do you think?
  3. What has worked best for you in the past to be faithful in 0 to 5 eating?
  4. Is your 0 to 5 eating about what you choose to DO or is it more about what you BELIEVE?
  5. What will you do about that?

Two Radically Polar Opposite Approaches

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Yesterday’s post shared that we often believe a lie…at the heart of our “failures” with eating between the parameters of physical hunger and physical satisfaction. I suggested actively replacing that lie with truth. This is the foundation for lasting change!

If we daily take our thoughts captive and surrender them to the Lord, trading lies we believe for His truth, we will be on our way.

Beyond that, there are a couple of approaches that we might choose to take when it comes to the “mechanics” of Thin Within. Anything in-between might be a viable option, too! The two radically polar opposite approaches are:

1.  Extremely structured

2. Extremely free flowing.

Today, I share the first of these. It isn’t uncommon for participants to use extreme structure to help get a handle on eating 0 to 5. What I will share with you here is something you can try for a week (or less)–though I HIGHLY recommend that you sit with the Lord and ask him if you should. This is not for the faint of heart or the person who still feels like they have some obsessive tendencies related to the old dieting days. In fact, as one person I know recently shared, you may feel like you are a person who should use structure, when God is actually calling you to the other approach which I will share tomorrow (or some variation of one, the other, or both!).

Thin Within has a number of tools that can be very helpful. These tools are intended to serve you, not for you to be a servant of the tool. It is important to be circumspect in your use of any tool or you might find that you are enslaved to the tool! That isn’t the way of freedom!

Paul’s challenge to the Galatians about their tendency to operate in their own strength rather than God’s might be applicable here:

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit,

are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

– Galatians 3:3 (NIV)

So, hopefully, I have shared enough disclaimers. Buyer beware! Please don’t go into this super-dee-duper-structured approach unless you are certain the Lord is calling you to do so. Then, if you do, I suggest that it be temporary with a plan to re-evaluate if you are experiencing the freedom Christ purchased for you. Sometimes, some of us discover that tools like these can be tools of grace.

So what am I talking about? Here it is: —>

If you visit this link, you will see a Google Doc that you can copy and save and make your own to use.

You can copy it to your own Google account, edit it to reflect the things that you want to keep track of and then, if you have an accountability partner (which I highly recommend), you can share it with her so that she can visit your Google doc online record any time.

What is the value of this? Well, I have been doing this for just over a week now. During that time, I have seen patterns and tendencies in my behaviors. I have been able to learn about myself a bit. For instance,  if I don’t eat to satisfaction at lunch, I have difficulty with figuring things out for the rest of the day. Crazy, huh? I tweaked my log to include a column of  renewing my mind and I jot there what I have done during the day to think differently. This helps a lot, too! VERY much, in fact.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

– Galatians 5:1

Whatever you do, I urge you to be sure to pray about whether God would have you do this!  If this would be a return to slavery for you, don’t even go near it! It may not be right for you! 🙂

Tomorrow, we will look at the polar opposite end!

What About You?

Before you make a choice about if you will use this extremely structured approach, be sure to replace lies with truth beginning with the lie that is operational for most of us when we eat outside of our God-given boundaries (see yesterday’s post about this). Daily, repeat the truth and reject the lie! Write it on a sticky note and place it in a strategic place or on an index card that you can carry with you. Find scriptures that support your efforts. Write them down. Create a deck of truth cards.

Will you take a moment and prayerfully consider whether God would have you give this structure a shot for a week? Will you connect with your accountability partner again (or get one using the Accountability page)?

We can do this, but we are stronger together!

The #1 Reason We Keep Failing

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

…for we have made a lie our refuge
    and falsehood our hiding place.

Isaiah 28:15b

At the heart of almost all of our eating “failures” — our choices to eat outside of our God-given boundaries of physical hunger and satisfaction — is belief in a lie. In fact, this lie is likely the #1 reason we keep “failing” at releasing weight or at sustaining 0 to 5 eating.

The belief we hold is this:

Obeying God is not as rewarding as eating will be.

“OUCH!,” right?

Is this a lie that is operative in your life? It is in mine (I hate to admit). In the moment, when the ice cream calls your name from the ice box or the GF muffin (when you aren’t hungry) insists that you peel back the paper and sink your teeth into it, what are you believing? This is going to taste soooOOooo good…and be more rewarding than heeding the Lord and living within the boundary that He has graciously given me.

Ok, so maybe this isn’t what you are intentionally thinking, but somehow, this thought is there, influencing your actions. It may have happened by accident.

How can we break this cycle? How can we stop the lies from affecting us accidentally? We can dismantle and, even, destroy this stronghold by being proactive. Each day when we wake up we can read, speak, listen to TRUTH. Even saying a true statement out loud can help set the tone for our day:

Lord, I know that obeying you is an honor and privilege

No food will taste so good that it will be worth disobeying you.

This is what it means to renew our minds with truth. I can use my truth cards to help me with this, taking just moments each morning before my feet hit the floor to practice what I want to think for the rest of the day!

We want to take a lie that has been causing us to act in ways that run counter to our godly goals (like eating within 0 to 5 eating boundaries) and reject it outright. We then replace that belief (rooted in a lie) with TRUTH–God’s thoughts after him.

As we do this more and more, we will experience transformation.

Romans 12:2 says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We want to expose the lies where they exist and welcome the truth into our lives. As we do this consistently, we will find that we actually like the freedom from the tyranny of the lie! We will find that we like the freedom from having to eat outside of our boundaries!

What About You?

1. What are some examples of truths that you can tell yourself each morning (and maybe throughout the day) so that when you are faced with an opportunity to eat outside of your boundaries, you have a truth at the ready…right there at the front of your mind…to refute the lie?

2. What is one practical way you will do this…today?

Stick With It! Here’s How!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Last week I shared in this post about some strategies that you can use to generate some motivation to stick with it when you lose your OOMPH! I believe in this so strongly that I wanted to create an audio file for those of you more “auditory learners!” (If you subscribe to the blog notifications, please visit the blog to  hear the 10 minute audio!)

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

I would LOVE to see your responses!

How are you all doing now that school is back in session for so many of you? Are you finding you have renewed motivation to get going again? Even if your kids don’t start school for another two weeks, you can dive back in right now! Why wait? Real life doesn’t wait for us, so let’s just do what we can to learn new strategies, new ways of thinking so that in real life we can do this. It takes time and practice, so let’s practice now! 😀


(Week 10 Summer 2013 Renewing of the Mind Bible Study)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Since January 11th, I have been going through a tough trial. It is taking me deeper and making me more desperate for God than ever. This has affected my eating. I feel like I am FIGHTING to do the right thing so often. And sometimes I just stop fighting…until I start fighting again…until I stop fighting again…until I…well, you get the gist, I bet.

I know that God peels back layer upon layer of stuff in my life…like the layers of an onion. Like Eustace in CS Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Aslan had to tear off the reptilian skin from Dragon-Eustace, ripping him clean of his scales…the pain of it all was necessary for him to be free of what bound him. Having gone through the transformation, though there may have been a grieving, there was also relief.

I feel a bit like Eustace. Will I welcome God’s new thing that he is doing, even in this? Or will I tenaciously cling to food as if by going through a hardship, being so sad, beaten up emotionally, etc., I deserve “this one vice?”

So, this week’s topic of emotional eating, coupled with hopeless eating, is something that is near and dear to my heart. Please don’t for one minute assume that what I share with you here is theoretical in my life. Far from it. Chances are, I have been in or AM in the trenches along with you. Or BOTH. Like with this week’s study topics, it is both. I have seen the truth of living these principles, but I need to be reminded.


Do you ever feel driven to eat? You give in and you are still driven to eat? And does it go on until you are just too miserable to keep going or all the food is gone? What causes this? For many of us, it is overwhelming emotions. I think sometimes we are trying to literally make ourselves so miserable physically so that we can’t FEEL our emotions any more. Or maybe we are trying to punish ourselves for something…like for “being so weak” that we feel hurt, or sadness, or pain, or anguish or guilt. Using food for these reasons won’t solve the problems. We know that with our heads, but we keep eating anyhow.

  1. Visit Barb Raveling’s Emotional Eating Bible Study page. What does Barb say is true in her blurb before the “Journal” section?
  2. Can you add to your truth cards anything from this preliminary section?
  3. Can you journal about the situation that is causing you to want to eat? Right now, take a few minutes to think back to the last time you ate out of emotion. What was going on? How did you feel? What did you do in response to the situation? If you ate, what did you eat? How did you feel as you ate? How did you feel after you ate? Did eating help?
  4. Consider using some of Barb’s renewing of the mind tools if you aren’t already.
  5. Read the “Journal About the Situation — Not the Food” and add any truths to your truth cards. NOTE: I love Barb’s material, including her Freedom From Emotional Eating workbook, but it *does* have dieting vocabulary in it. Please be aware of that if you decide to purchase it!
  6. If you didn’t already, visit Barb’s other site at this link and go ahead and do the activities on that page. It is very helpful in moving through emotions that might lead you to eat outside of 0 and 5 boundaries.
  7. If appropriate, add more truths to your truth cards.


  1. Visit Barb’s Emotional Eating page again.
  2. Complete the Bible Study questions.


  1. Visit Barb’s Emotional Eating page again.
  2. Complete her emotional eating questions at the bottom of the page with an experience you had recently with emotional eating in mind.
  3. Add anything to your truth cards that you glean.


I love what Barb says. This is NOT hopeless as long as we keep fighting lies with truth. That is KEY! We have to be willing to do the hard work!

  1. Visit Barb’s hopeless eating bible study page. Consider that Barb would write in her journal even after she had broken her boundaries. She shared with us in our first class that even doing this afterwards, she found it transformed her! Are you willing?
  2. Complete her Hopeless Bible Study eating questions.
  3. Can you add any truth cards to your deck?


  1. Visit Barb’s hopeless eating bible study page again.
  2. Complete her Hopeless Eating questions for your journal at the bottom of that page.
  3. Can you add any truth cards to your deck?
  4. Recap this week: What are you learning about emotions and how to take command over them instead of allowing them to lead you to food?