Gearing Up for the Holidays

Gearing Up for the Holidays


The holidays are quickly approaching, with Thanksgiving (in the United States) just a couple of days away.  This means there may be a lot of opportunities to practice staying within our God-given boundaries.  There may be temptations lurking around every corner, but with every single temptation, God has provided a way out.  This is such good news!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

There is nothing wrong with the sweets and goodies that surround our holiday parties and traditions.  The Lord has said that ALL foods are hallowed in His name.  I am determined to view all food as being “good”.

 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  1 Timothy 4:4-5

Six years ago, I was practicing the principles of Thin Within for a short time.  I released 5 pounds and was delighted to see that eating within 0-5 truly works!  But then shortly after, I went home around Thanksgiving time and everything came to an abrupt halt.  You see, my grand-parents make the most amazing and delicious turkey dinner my taste buds have ever laid their eyes upon.  That is, if taste buds even had eyes!  Since I knew this was a meal I only partook of every few years, I ate way more than my body needed.  And then there were the leftovers, which were just as good as the fresh, out of the oven delicacies.  And for some reason, I lost momentum and went back to overeating and struggling with my weight and body image.

Looking back, I realize it didn’t have to be this way.  I could have enjoyed smaller portions of their amazing turkey dinner during the actual meal AND leftovers.  And because I did choose to overeat, I could have observed, corrected, and then continued eating 0-5 and releasing weight.  I let the guilt and condemnation weigh me down.  I believed the lies that I would never get back to being a normal eater.  And after this incidence I struggled for years with dieting, eating, and food, all because of one turkey dinner and its leftovers.

I blamed the food.  That’s a diet mentality.

I felt so guilty that I decided to eat more and more.  That’s a diet mentality.

Since that Thanksgiving meal, I asked my grandmother for her recipes.  On a recipe card, I have typed out each step of how they prepare their turkey dinner, from brand names, to minutes of stirring.  I have replicated this meal several times over the last several years, and though it’s not quite THE turkey dinner my grand-parents master, I think I have come pretty close!

You can do the same thing with holiday meals or foods.  When you know that you can have that food later (even if it has to be next Thanksgiving or Christmas), you will find that you can actually relax and enjoy each delightful bite!  Ask for the recipe!  Take leftovers home!  Freeze cookies.  There are so many options to having that food for future enjoyment!

Heidi posted about the importance of being proactive in our eating in her post titled It Takes Energy!.  On one of my truth cards I have copied some questions she asked:

How much energy do you put into lamenting poor choices…after the fact?

                How much emotional energy do we put into beating ourselves up and then trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?

                What if I put some ENERGY into changing the way I think?

What if we went into the holidays geared up and ready?  What kind of truths can you focus on to renew your mind about eating during the holidays?  Do you have truth cards prepared for these moments?

My plan is to go into the holidays being proactive.  I will have my truth cards.  I will type out scriptures in my ‘notes’ section on my phone to read.  I will read through the sections in Barb Raveling’s ‘I Deserve a Donut’ app.  I will pray and ask the Lord for His strength.  I will give thanks.  I will have joy in knowing Christ has come to give us life and peace!

Those are all choices I can make BEFORE the holidays are even upon us.

I can be ready to turn down every temptation.

I can immediately expose every lie of the enemy with TRUTH!


  • You can always have those foods again!
  • It’s completely possible to eat within 0-5 during the holidays.
  • Eat what you enjoy!
  • If you did choose to overeat, you can observe, correct, and wait until 0 the next time to eat.
  • ALL foods have been blessed by God and hallowed in His name.  Give thanks and enjoy His provision!

How about you?

How can you prepare in advance for the approaching holidays?  Do you have your truth cards ready and handy?

Written by: Christina

Filtering Your Mind


Would it be weird to tell you that this post was inspired by the movie Finding Nemo?  When you have a two year old, inspiration comes from all sorts of random places.

In the movie, Nemo and his aquarium friends are trying to find ways to get Nemo out of the aquarium and into the ocean to find his father.  One plan they come up with is throwing a rock into the filter to make it stop working.  Their plan worked (the second time of trying) and the aquarium was soon filled with slimy, green goo.  When I saw this part in the movie, I started thinking about the importance of having a filter in our mind, keeping out the junk and keeping in the pure.

Heidi has talked so much about the importance of renewing our minds in order to change the way we look at food, our bodies, dieting, etc.  When we renew our minds, we are recognizing the lies and replacing those lies with truth.  There’s another important part to this: filtering out the junk.

How is your filter functioning?  Is there a rock stuck in it?  Do you let nasty, disgusting things pass through?

What do you allow into your mind?  What are you focusing on?  What do you see with your eyes?

Are you standing guard over your mind?

Can you handle watching shows that encourage dieting and excessive exercise like The Biggest Loser?  Can you flip through a copy of a fitness or dieting magazine at the doctor’s office waiting room?  Or do those types of things stir up anxiety inside of your mind?  Are you tempted to buy that new, bestselling dieting book, thinking, “This could be the one!”?

What are you reading?  What are you watching?  What are you listening to?

Is it time to get the rock out of the filter?


Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4:23-27


I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.  Psalm 101:3a


I’ve been watching The Biggest Loser for years.  Since the Lord has been doing so much in my life this year, I didn’t want to hinder progress by watching a show that might tempt me to even think about dieting.  So I prayed and asked Him if it would be alright if I watched it.  He gave me peace to watch it.  I won’t go into the reasons of why I like to watch the show (that’s for another post), but this is just an example of something that could trip us up if we aren’t carefully watching over our mind and heart.

The same sort of thing happened with a Prevention magazine in the waiting room at my chiropractor’s office.  I used to find the articles interesting, but the last time I opened the pages I found myself appalled by the magazine.  I had no peace reading it so I put it down immediately.

What about those innocent conversations with friends about the latest dieting fad?  I used to be sucked into those conversations.  I would ask questions.  I would even buy the book.  My curiosity was spiked.  But now I do all I can to exit out of those conversations or avoid them altogether.  God has brought me so far; I’m not interested in allowing any of that back into my mind.  It wasn’t easy at first, but the more time I spent pouring God’s truth into my mind, the more junk was cleaned out.  I want my mind’s filter to dissolve every lie.

It’s been really important for me to filter out anything that could trip me up because in the past I would take those kinds of things mentioned above and obsess.  And when I say obsess, I mean OBSESS!  I would buy the diet book and read (consume) it back to front, looking and searching for that final answer to help me lose weight, feel better, be healthy, etc.  And then I would talk about it and think about it and talk about it and think about it…  And I would talk with my husband about it and he would get so tired of hearing me talk about food.  Good thing he is a very patient man!  It was like reading, watching, and talking about dieting was my ‘fix’.  In fact, the Lord clearly told me that one time.  That was one of those “ouch” moments of truth.  It was my drug.  But praise God because He freed me from all of that!  I chose to stop looking at those things and instead I looked to Him.  He became my focus.  I looked to His word for truth.  He has been so faithful!  He brought me out of that miry, gooey pit!  Praise God!


He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.  Psalm 40:2

How about you?

How is your filter functioning?  Does it need some maintenance?  I want to encourage you to pour God’s truth into your mind.  Watch over the doors of your mind.  Stand guard over every single thing you hear, see, and think about.  If you are not sure about something, ask the Lord.  He will clearly show you.

Written by: Christina

Pregnancy & Thin Within


Last month, I wrote a blog post about what God has done so far this year in bringing change in my eating.  At the end of the post, I shared that I am pregnant.  I wanted to share a bit about what the Lord has been teaching me about what it looks like to be a Thin Within (aka “normal” eater) during pregnancy.  For those of you who aren’t pregnant, I have something to share with you as well, so please keep reading!

As I shared in my previous post, in the middle of this journey of returning to normal eating, I found out I was pregnant with my second child.  The Lord had already given me victory over a major stronghold food had over me, and was in the process of helping me overcome the diet mentality.

It’s been a huge blessing to be going through this part of this journey pregnant because it has forced me to not focus on weight or body image.  It’s completely normal and necessary to gain weight throughout pregnancy.  So that really freed my mind to just focus on eating 0-5 and to grow closer to the Lord in this area of my life.  With my first pregnancy, I never weighed myself.  Each time I was weighed at a prenatal appointment, I made sure to let them know that I didn’t want to know my weight (and this was before I was eating 0-5).  It wasn’t until the very end that I asked about weight gain because I was just curious.  And so far, I’ve done the same with this pregnancy.

Halfway through my 2nd pregnancy!

Halfway through my 2nd pregnancy!

Weight gain during pregnancy can be attributed to so many things, but I am a firm believer that if you are eating 0-5 (as a normal eater) that it’s really genetics and other factors that come into play.  Years ago, I read a book by Denise Austin (exercise guru) and she said that with both of her pregnancies that she gained 50 pounds.  She’s a very fit lady and very conscientious of what she eats.  If she can gain that amount of weight during pregnancy, then that just proves right there that there are factors out of our control that lead to weight gain beyond just the weight of baby.  But this isn’t an excuse to just throw in the towel and eat, but hopefully it’s a good illustration that weight gain is a natural occurrence during pregnancy.

During the first few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I was out of town visiting family.  I was still at a point in this journey where I wasn’t completely delighting in my boundaries, so I found myself giving myself the “pregnant” excuse to eat.  But the Lord quickly got my attention and showed me that He has created our bodies to eat 0-5 no matter what, even during pregnancy!  So I reigned myself in and realized that it really didn’t take as much extra food as I had hoped.

Here’s the thing—I think a lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat with abandon.  But really, 0-5 still applies.  You don’t even need to worry if you are getting those extra [insert “magic” number] calories a day.  All that is required is listening to our body and honoring our hunger.  It’s really so simple.

Here is what it says about pregnancy and eating 0-5 in Thin Within (page 79):

“A common belief that can lead to rationalizing is that any amount of weight gain is acceptable during pregnancy, despite abundant medical evidence to the contrary.  To apply the Thin Within Keys to Conscious Eating during this special time might seem inappropriate, but we have had many women use the Thin Within tools when they were pregnant.  We have found that 0 to 5 eating uniformly results in less weight gain, fewer blood pressure and diabetes problems, more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancies, and happier mothers, babies, and obstetricians.  What a wonderful time to honor your body, God’s temple.”

About 7 weeks into pregnancy I started to feel “yucky”.  Call it morning sickness, call it “feeling gross”, call it whatever you want, but I felt really weird at times.  I found that if I waited too long to eat that it would make me feel worse.  So I had to find the fine line between 0 and “eat now!”  It was tricky, but I did my best.  I just wanted to be so careful that I didn’t use that as an excuse just to eat for the sake of eating.  I really wanted to honor God and stay within my 0-5 boundaries.

I’ve also noticed that I’ve had to tweak how I would normally eat.  Like, I eat 2 breakfasts.  Maybe I’m part Hobbit; I call it Breakfast #1 and Breakfast #2.  I’m finding I cannot eat too much for Breakfast #1, otherwise I feel weird.  About 1-1/2 to 2 hours later I am hungry again, so I will eat Breakfast #2.  For other meals, it’s helped to use a small plate or bowl for portions because I really cannot eat too much (and actually, I would use those same plates and bowls anyway).  As I am eating 0-5, I am surprised at how little food I actually need, even pregnant.

And to be honest, I cannot share all of this without admitting that I find myself wondering what it will be like after pregnancy.  Will it take a long time to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight?  Will I be tempted to diet?  Will I feel pressure to be a certain size by a certain time?  Will I have time to exercise?

I lost my first pre-pregnancy weight fairly quickly.  Unfortunately, the weight loss was sped up by being sick and in the hospital for almost a week due to a burst appendix and surgery, 6 months after my first child was born.  But I don’t look at that as a fair way of getting back to pre-pregnancy weight.  And thankfully we only have one appendix, so that won’t be a reoccurrence.

I do know this: I can trust God!

His ways are perfect!  At the core of every human being we are a normal eater.  I can trust Him that if I honor Him by eating 0-5 and eating within my boundaries, that I will release any weight that is needed to get back to my God-given size.  I don’t need a diet.  I don’t get a strict exercise regime.  I can listen to the Lord and honor my hunger signals that He has given me.

Praise God!

How about you?

Maybe you aren’t pregnant, but maybe you struggled with overeating when you were pregnant.  Or maybe it’s that pregnancy weight you are hoping to release since you had your last child.  Can I encourage you that eating 0-5 will help you release that weight?  There’s no magic formula, no gimmicks—just pure and simple waiting for 0 and eating to a satisfied 5.  The Lord has set up a perfect way to release baby weight and get back to our God-given size and weight.  Isn’t that awesome!?  All of His ways are perfect!

Maybe you are years past your pregnancy years, are waiting to have children, or maybe you are a man reading this.  Do you find yourself making excuses to eat?  Do you have weight you would like to release?  Is there something in your life that is tempting you to throw in the towel and just [over]eat?  Are you willing to admit those excuses are only getting in your way of finding peace with food and finding freedom with the Lord’s help?

What can you do today to stop making those excuses?

Written by: Christina