Thin Within Travel Tips (From Bob)


Image Source: Stock Exchange

My husband works for Union Pacific Railroad. What that means is he travels a LOT. The railroad goes all over the country–so does he. 🙂

Last week, his travels took him to the home of wonderful southwestern and Mexican food – Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In this video, Bob shares his strategies for managing this trip in spite of having very little flexibility for the timing of his meals and what he would be served.

Questions to Consider:

1. Bob clearly is willing to say no to himself in spite of claiming to still have an incessant love for large quantities of food. Are you still battling willingness? Or are you seeing even an incremental movement forward in your life–where you are a bit more willing than you were yesterday, a week ago, or a month ago? CELEBRATE the movement forward! WOOT!

2. Consider an upcoming vacation, trip, or even a meal out. What plan can you come up with so that you can maintain your primary boundary of eating 0 to 5?

3. Sit with the Lord a bit and ask him to give you a truth that you might add to your truth cards related to conferences, traveling, eating out.

4. What is one strategy that Bob uses that you might be able to use?

Each Moment Matters!


This is an old video that I created some time back when we were studying chapter 10 of the Thin Within book.

What if we were to renew our minds and think God’s thoughts about the value of a moment? It is amazing what happens when even one small moment is given to the Lord.

What are some “marbles” that you have in your jar? What are some moments when you have made choices for the Lord?

Week 6 – Counting Blessings, Praising God for Progress!


Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

– Psalm 150:6 NIV

Have you ever known someone who, no matter what wonderful things were going on, they found the dark clouds amidst all the silver linings of life? A”Christian Eeyore” has that “There’s not a cloud in the sky, but that’s because a terrible storm is brewing and it is sure to take us by surprise” approach to life. You know the type, right? I hope you aren’t that type, though!

This week, we are going to choose NOT to be like that. We are going to CELEBRATE and count the many ways that God has been at work in our lives.

The nature of this journey we are on, requires that we prayerfully scrutinize our choices. We “observe and correct” and find there is SO much to “correct.” We tell ourselves repeatedly how we could/should have done this or that better. I don’t know about you, but after I have just inhaled an extra piece of pizza beyond satisfied, I can “overlook” the previous three days of wonderful choices, honoring God, walking with him, and submitting to his leadership!

We have been doing some HARD work this summer! Rather than weighing our bodies and comparing notes and results, let’s invite God to weigh our hearts right now. NOT our bodies. See below to see what I mean:

Heart Weight Scale

Heart Scale

All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.

– Proverbs 21:2

If God were to weigh your heart, where would it land in the above illustration?

Here is a spiel about what I want us to do this week! 🙂


1. ) Do Barb’s evaluation to start off.

2.) Create a list of “land” you have captured for Christ on this journey this summer so far!

For instance:

  • I said no to a second helping last night at dinner
  • I have been drinking more water and less sweetened tea/coffee
  • I have been renewing my mind frequently and have noticed that I have begun to think God’s thoughts about myself, food, and God–to actually believe them!
  • I have been adding to my truth cards each week.
  • I have an accountability partner.
  • I have had 3 nights of successfully eating within my boundaries from dinner preparation time until bed time!
  • etc.

Your turn!

3.) If you have noticed that you tend to break your boundaries under certain circumstances, prayerfully make a plan for how to take that situation captive *before* it happens next time.

4.) Which of the three challenge levels mentioned by Barb in her evaluation post are you going to try out? Pick one and get an accountability partner if you haven’t yet.  What can you do to structure your life to meet this challenge with victory? Make a plan!

5.) Consider having a gratitude blog or gratitude journal, specifically for thanking God for his gifts. Try these spots on the web:

6.) PLEASE POST HERE! What changes are you seeing in your life? Please praise our God and tell of all his wonderful deeds! Every continent (except Antarctica) has been represented by visitors to this website. So, if we are supposed to “declare among the nations” the things God has done for us, you can do so here and consider that one way of telling “The World” about what God has been doing! In fact, while I am asking for the moon :-), I would love you go to the Testimonials page and share a testimony there for everyone to see who lands at that page! Come on! 🙂

7.) Some sad news is that our trial membership at GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar has come to an end. I had *thought* that it was only $50 to continue, but it is $100! 🙁 I just can’t swing that. So, sadly, we won’t be having an online class this week unless I find a host that is cheaper. 🙁

8.) Will you pray for people to be encouraged through this ministry? I would love for visitors to see the many ways you see God at work in your life this summer! Thanks so much.

Idolatry in the Life of the Believer – Dr. Charles Stanley


Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

– Psalm 119:133 (NIV)

The definition I have been using of an idol is anything or anyone that I give the right or privilege to direct my steps–to impact my decisions. This may be somewhat vague–too vague to be helpful.

So, I have turned to an expert! Charles Stanley has a great podcast about Idols in the Life of the Believer. I found it on YouTube. Here it is:

Some highlights for me as I went through this for the third time:

God wants to reign supreme in my life. He will accept no challenges and no competitors for  His Lordship. The only way to keep idols out of my life is to keep up to date with what influences are present in my life is. Is it really  and only Christ? Is it pure obedience to him?

Or are there other things that influence me, challenge me, that I have to say, “God, well, yes, but…”

God says NO competition, no challengers, no competitors to your devotion and love to me.” We have to lay it down.

The only way to know how to deal with idols in our life is to ask ourselves the question of if I am willing to lay it down. With no anticipation and no promise of the future return, but am I willing to give it, no matter what. That’s hard. It depends on our value of that thing or person, relationship or whatever it may be, as to whether we are able to say, “Yes, Lord. Yes, whatever you want in my life, you are welcome to it.” It’s easy to say that, but it’s difficult to give it up.

God says he must reign supreme, absolutely in our lives. No competition in my life.

Questions posed by Dr. Stanley:

1. Are you walking in God’s plan for your life?

2. Is there anything that moves you in such a fashion that you would choose it over God? Is it more influential than God in certain situations.

3. Are you willing to lay it down and to trust him for his very best?

Don’t rationalize that “surely God wouldn’t want that…” If he puts his finger on it, we want to give it up. We will be richer by far for laying it down.

How does this connect with eating, overeating, “thinness,” and other issues that you struggle with? What is God calling you to lay down so that he may have supreme rulership in your life?

Rejecting God’s Love

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.

– Jonah 2:8 NIV

This week has been challenging for me. No small wonder. Any time I decide to teach something, God wants to be sure I learn it. Often, I seem to insist on learning it the hard way.

So join me in my introspection. Is there any way that you cling to greed?

We are told in Colossians 3:5 that greed is idolatry. So, if I am clinging to the excessive quantities of food that I want to be able to enjoy, I am in essence clinging to a worthless idol.

So, here comes the kicker…

If I cling to an idol, I am at some level turning away from God’s love for me, according to Jonah 2:8.

So I am spending time right now evaluating this. “Lord, how is this true? In what way am I turning away from your love for me?”

– When I turn to my idol – food in excess – to comfort me, I miss out on the comfort that God might give me out of his love for me.

– When I turn to my idol – food in excess – I fail to experience the joy and celebration that God intends as I praise Him for good news!

– When I cling to my idol, he can’t put in my arms the gifts he intends…so, again, I turn away from his love.

The examples go on and on.

What are the things I turn to food outside of hunger and satisfaction to do for me? To comfort me. To celebrate with me. To keep me from being bored. To center me. That is the short list.

How About You?

1.) What are you looking to the “worthless idol” of food outside of hunger and satisfaction to do for you?

2.) In what ways are you likely to be missing out on experiencing God’s love by turning to food instead of to him?


Don’t forget our online class today, Thursday, July 18 at 4pm Pacific, 5pm Mountain, 6pm Central, 7pm Eastern. You have to register in order to attend and come a bit early if you haven’t come before as there is software to download for your computer (or you can use your phone if you prefer). Here is the information:

Please register for Idolatry and Our Eating – OUCH!!!! on Jul 18, 2013 4:00 PM PDT at:

You knew we would have to deal with this sooner or later, right? We will be glad we have. Is idolatry something that only people in 3rd world countries struggle with? What IS an idol and what on EARTH does it have to do with our Thin Within eating program and healthy non-dieting boundaries? What does it have to do with our renewing of the mind goals for this summer? BUNCHES! Come on along and see!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

I hope to see you today at 4pm Pacific!

Can You – WILL You – Just Say No to Self?

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

My husband is an environmental lawyer. He often tells me about his work and something called “toxic torts.” I have to admit…I still, after all this time, have NO idea what a “toxic tort” is, but the tort in the picture above sure looks YUMMY and FAR from toxic to me! HA!

That has nothing to do with what I am sharing today except, perhaps, if you were at a 5 already and someone brought you the yummy tort in the above picture, how likely would you be to maintain your resolve? For me, my answer to this question tells a very long tale about my reality–my commitment (or lack thereof) to eating according to the boundaries that I say God has called me to.

In the following video, Bob and I talk about how sometimes, we just have to say NO to ourselves. There are plenty of strategies that we know for helping ourselves stick with 0 and 5 eating, but the real question is…WILL we DO them? When I WANT the food outside of my boundaries, will I coddle myself and call it “grace?” And believe me! The last thing I want us to do is condemn ourselves! But is there a happy medium? A place where grace tells us to say no to ungodly choices? If God has called us to this primary boundary of eating within the parameter of hunger and satisfaction, maybe grace is that “OOOMPH” that enables me to say NO to a decision to break my boundary. Hmm…I think there is a bible verse that says as much.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,

and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

while we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing

of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

– Titus 2:11-13 NIV

Thoughts for Your Consideration

1. Where is your line between “grace” and “I don’t give a rip?” Do you need to ask God to help you to care? Or is it truly grace?

2. Do you ignore your boundaries as often as you don’t? This is a choice to postpone the realization of your goals. Is that what you mean to do?

3. Are you willing to start telling yourself “NO” a bit more frequently? If not, why not?

4. What do you think of the assertion that “We may need to be mean to ourselves?” What could that mean in a positive way relative to your 0 to 5 eating journey?

5. Is it time to say NO to self…TODAY?  Can you make a plan for a possible temptation you will face today? Can you actually detail your plan to say NO to self? What will that look like? Can you do so with joy?

6. Bob said, “If you don’t follow your boundaries consistently, you won’t lose weight.” What do you think? He challenges us to “Do what it takes.” What will it take for you?

7. What are three strategies offered in the video for living within your boundaries? Are any of them doable today?

8. Is the way you are living right now going to lead you to the goals you have? What will it take? Do you like life as it is enough to give up the goals you have? Are you sort of tired of frustrating yourself? 🙂

9. Decision Point: Will you practice today staying inside your boundaries?


Don’t forget that this week’s online class is TOMORROW, Thursday! Information below:

Please register for Idolatry and Our Eating – OUCH!!!! on Jul 18, 2013 4:00 PM PDT at:

You knew we would have to deal with this sooner or later, right? We will be glad we have. Is idolatry something that only people in 3rd world countries struggle with? What IS an idol and what on EARTH does it have to do with our Thin Within eating program and healthy non-dieting boundaries? What does it have to do with our renewing of the mind goals for this summer? BUNCHES! Come on along and see!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

See you tomorrow!


Bob Weighs In on “The Myth of More”

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Sometimes, it can be helpful to have someone else share about the topic that I beat to death here at the blog. Bob has a refreshingly “bare bones” approach to many of the same issues that I use way too many words to describe. In this short video, Bob cuts to the chase about “The Myth of More.”

Thoughts for you to consider:

1. What mindset do you have about food? Do you have a mindset that is conducive to realizing your “weight loss” goal? (That is what Bob talks about most of the time since that is his primary focus for using the principles of Thin Within.)

2. Have you accepted the fact that you may never be able to eat food in the quantities that you might always want to and get to/remain at a healthy weight?

3. Are you willing to eat in the quantities it takes to get and maintain a healthy weight?

4. Do you like food more than you like the thought of being a healthy weight?

5. Have you found yourself rationalizing (justifying) eating more for “just one meal?” How often does that happen for you and does what Bob has to say about that make sense? What will you do with that?

The Myth of More – Idolatry (Week 5 Renewing the Mind)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

God is leading us into battle. He is our Conquering Hero and he leads us in a triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads EVERYwhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him (2 Corinthians 2:14). Let’s put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We are perfectly prepared for this. We have had four weeks of laying the ground work. We have our boundaries in place. We have a plan for renewing our minds. We have exposed the subtle deceptions involved in “Justification Eating” and “Entitlement Eating.”

This week, we are going to plunge even deeper smack  into the heart of the overeating issue. We do this, even though this is the time when many of us might be tempted to take a break.

Rather than head for the hills, the swimming pool, or a good fiction book, let’s GO AFTER THIS THING. Let’s go for the jugular and deal the DEATH BLOW so that the rest of our study is just icing on the cake (so to speak!).

Unlike Saul against the Amalekites, we are going to obey our God and take NO prisoners. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). will utterly destroy anything that condones apathy, overeating, associating copious quantities of food with “fun,” “fellowship,” and mood management.

We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). Like Gideon hiding out in a wine press, though it may seem unlikely, we are mighty warriors in Christ (Judges 6:12). We can scale any wall. We can stand on the heights! (See Psalm 18:29-36) It is time for us to put on who we are in Christ — who He has made us to be — and totally, 100% act like who we were born in Christ to be!

To do this, we need two things:

1.) To be honest. I know you already have been and I celebrate that! This week, we may peel back some of those “layers of the onion” and discover there is more to face into.

2.) To work hard. Again, I know you have been working hard. Thank you for that! Many of you are experiencing the NEW THING that we are promised God is DOING! Sometimes we don’t perceive it, but he IS DOING a new thing–right now. Let’s not lose any momentum right now. Let’s resolve to PRESS ON THROUGH!

As we have continued in our study, I realized that one VITAL thing we have to deal with is:

Why has overeating/food/body image been a stronghold in our lives for so long?

Why is it so stubborn?

No matter how extreme the measures are we take, we often continue to have a challenge at one level or another.

This week–if we persevere and do the work involved–will be transformative. So I apologize in advance. This week has probably the heaviest amount of homework of all the weeks (I didn’t see this coming, but sense God’s leadership in this). If you can carve out the time to do it, I believe it will be worth it!

First, to lay the groundwork for this week’s assignment, here is this week’s video. It is sort of a broad overview and, in it, I mention (again) the value of 1.) Creating a God List 2.) Using your God List for a Praise Fest regularly 3.) Building an attitude of gratitude and 4.) Creating and using Truth Cards. So if you haven’t already, you may feel nagged in this video. Here it is:

The video this week is a bit different in that it doesn’t directly hit on the material I cover in the assignment. In a broad sense it does, but not specifically.

So, without further ado, Let’s DO IT! I want to ask a question:

What is it that is the issue here?

When we boil it down, why is having a tiny little portion of food–which is really all we need to be sustained–not enough?

Why is it that we want *more*?

What is it that is true when we want *more*?

Think with me about this…cookies come out of the oven. I am free to eat them when I am hungry. Why is it that two cookies isn’t enough? Is it because I am hungry? Or is it just because I want the taste of… more? 

Out to eat at the Mexican restaurant…do I really need a second basket of chips before my meal is served? Why isn’t one basket enough? Or 5 chips enough (when followed by the entrée, rice and beans)? Do I really need more?

Why isn’t a coffee cup full of ice cream enough? Why do I reach for seconds? What am I looking for? More…

The Myth of MORE

I believe that The Myth of More is the heart of this issue. I want more food. More fun. More time. More money. But since we are in the context of food, overeating, body image, let’s address the More Myth relative to food.

But more is never enough.

The last bite still happens. And I still grieve. I want more.

Is it fair to say that this is greed?

The definition of greed is, simply, excessive desire. I don’t know about you, but I think that fits what I struggle with relative to food. While I have definitely begun dealing with this much better in the years since 2006, it continues to be an insistent “whine” in my life. Always there. Buzzing in my ear. Harassing me. More. I need more.

Ok, now comes the gut-punch. Ready? Before I share it, let’s remember some truth:

God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)

God demonstrates His own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us–the ungodly! (Romans 5:8)

There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

He chose you and me before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us…even before we did a single, solitary godly thing! (Ephesians 1…all of it!)

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)

So now I hope you are ready for the gut-punch. Don’t let Satan stand and accuse you. Send him packing. Right now.

Greed is idolatry (Colossians 3:5b).

That’s right…the Myth of More is just a nice way of being idolaters. OUCH, right? I know! Seems so harsh.

But if our eating is at all indicative of greed and if greed is idolatry…well, the old if a = b and b = c, then a = c has to be true, right? Maybe? So our eating aside from physical need seems to come from the Myth of More…greed…hmmmm….

I will leave you with that and Barb’s material to chew on this week. I do hope you will talk about this here in the comments. I am sure we have a lot to talk about relative to this!

ASSIGNMENT broken down for you by days because it is so much. SORRY! I think this is important!

1. TODAY (Monday): Read and do Barb’s quiz to evaluate if you do, in fact, have an idol operating in your life. Try to do it with food, overeating, dieting, “thin” in mind. If you feel so inclined, share with us what you discover here in the comments. I know that is a bold move, but I do believe there is something powerful about facing our truth and stepping into the light with it–talking about it. It loses it’s power when we do that. Or it is weakened considerably.

2. Tuesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry.” You will have already done her steps under How to Break Free From Idolatry #1, 4, 5 and maybe even 6, getting an accountability partner. If you haven’t yet gotten an accountability partner, you may want to do that this week. Post at the Accountability page. Don’t worry about #s 2 and 3 as you will do them this week in another part of the assignment. Journal your responses to Barb’s question: How is idolatry like adultery? How is it different? How would you get over idolatry in a way that would be similar with getting over adultery?

3. Wednesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry Part 2.” Respond to her questions for your journal. Respond here to her question: “How do you convince yourself your idol needs to go?” I want to add…REALLY go? I mean, you are participating in this study because you want to see some changes happen. YAY! Let’s celebrate that. But I know some of us struggle with cherishing some little aspect of our idol that keeps us from totally letting it go. It can be in the form of that final sweet in the evening no matter what. Or it might be in that but I am entitled feeling we have when the kids go to bed. We may even plan for what we will do after they are in bed without the thought of 0 and 5. Do you see what I mean? Do you cherish any little aspect of eating outside of physical need, even just a bit?

4. Thursday: Two of Barb’s studies are on tap for today or, you can save part of this for the weekend.  Read and respond to When You Don’t Feel Close To God. This post probably feels familiar as I covered some of the material in it last Friday here. It is worth considering again, certainly. Consider her journal/prayer activity in this post, too. What might be reasonable for you to do to take some focused time to work on this? Try to squeeze in time to read and journal through Barb’s post on Idolatry in the Bible. I was very convicted over this statement…in reference to some things not looking like idols, Barb said, “…but if we’re consistently turning to them for comfort, protection, fulfillment, and deliverance from life’s problems, they’re probably idols.”  When you consider her last question “Do you think idolatry is accepted in the church today?” you might want to consider church potlucks, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts, spaghetti feeds and the like. What would happen if we stopped chowing down at church? Have we been trained by our church involvement that “fellowship” and food are synonymous?

5. Friday: Read and complete the activities in Barb’s Post on “How to Set Boundaries to Break Free From Idolatry.” Much of this material will be familiar to you. You might use this as an opportunity to evaluate your secondary boundaries to see if there aren’t any that you have been “overlooking” using 🙂 to help you to be more aware of your primary boundary of eating within physical hunger and satisfaction.

6. Here is the recording from this week’s online class.

What is Your Commitment Level?

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

When I was a young girl, if a boy had my heart, I would write his initials and mine inside a heart. Putting this declaration on the front of my school folder or book-cover (made with a brown paper grocery sack) seemed to somehow make my intentions more intense–more true–more powerful.

I have never had my initials carved on a tree trunk that I know of, or a marriage proposal engraved on a tree trunk, though twice I have been proposed to by water–once by the river (by the man I married) and once at the California coast (by the man I didn’t). Both men knew that I wouldn’t take favorably to carving the proposal into a tree trunk (unless the tree was already dead), I suppose! LOL!

Though now, I suppose I might look at the declaration of love as more intense, more meaningful, more powerful had it been carved into a stately oak or poplar tree. True confessions! It certainly would stand as a monument to refer back to later in the marriage, wouldn’t it? A great way to remember youthful longing and dreams for what could be. Sigh! 🙂

I want to urge you again…evaluate if eating 0 to 5 is something that God is calling you to do and then if you are convinced–convicted–in your heart that it is, jot that truth down and then date it so you have it as a touchstone, a point of reference, to return to when you waver. It is a declaration of your intent!

Barb Raveling has asked a challenging question at her blog and, today, I ask you: “What is Your Commitment Level?”

Are you committed to this for now…are you “trying on” 0 to 5 eating and, as long as it feels good, you might keep at it?

Are you not quite even to that point yet, but only just now considering trying 0 to 5 eating?

Are you pretty committed–as long as it doesn’t take any more work than sticking with a diet?

Or are you committed as long as the scale shows results right away and every day?

Are you committed to 0 to 5 eating because of some deeper reason than weight loss? Maybe because you are sure God is calling you to moderation and you know this is the path he has for you no matter what?

Are you committed so that even when you fall off the horse you are going to get back on again–for the rest of your days on this planet?

As you can well imagine, the willingness to work at 0 to 5 eating will vary depending on the commitment level and that commitment level may be affected by if you are sure God has called you to it and what your commitment level to God is!

Several people who are convinced that this is God’s call for them have shared with me that they consider the commitment to 0 to 5 eating similar to the commitment in their marriage–they know that it won’t always be easy. In fact, sometimes, it might be downright UG-LEEEEE! They know that at times they may want to just throw in the towel as that would be easier. But they also know they just will never quit. Period. End of conversation. It is a non-negotiable.

While it is definitely possible to “over spiritualize” everything in our lives, including our eating and use of food, I also think that when you look at significant events in history in the bible and how many of them had food as a pivotal part of the scene, it certainly seems to be something that God values. We need look no further than the third chapter of Genesis before we see that a lack of commitment to godly boundaries relative to food had dire consequence!

Thoughts for Consideration:

1. How about you? Have you sensed the 0 to 5 eating is something that God has called you to? Jot it some place that you can record it with the date. If it helps, draw a big ol’ ink heart around it! 🙂

2. What is your commitment level to 0 to 5 eating? Refer to one of the options mentioned above or come up with your own and jot it down. Evaluate if you are happy with your commitment level or if you want to “woo” a greater commitment to moderation in all things relative to eating. Journal about this.

3. If you want to “woo” a greater commitment to 0 to 5 eating, you might consider creating a truth card (or a list) of all the benefits of 0 to 5 eating. On another truth card, you can list truths about dieting (don’t forget the truth that dieting DOES work to help lose weight, but include the other truths, too!). Another card, you could list truths about eating whatever you want, whenever you want, in the quantities you want. Give these lists of truths some careful, prayerful consideration.

4. You may need to go even deeper. Commitment to anything is pretty empty if a commitment to God is weak. Where do you stand relative to your relationship with Jesus? Are you willing to go wherever he calls you?