Fat Is Not a Feeling!

FAt is not a feeling

Last week I saw a video on Facebook where a girl was talking about how we all feel fat sometimes. You know that feeling. You wake up and just feel fat. Well, she said something that really stuck with me.


Ok, so today I have been feeling fat. Bloated. Icky. Like I am gaining weight. What is going on with me? Just the other day I was feeling thinner, like I am losing weight.

Since Fat Is Not a Feeling, I need to look deeper and ask this question:

What I am REALLY feeling?


I am tired.

I am bloated.

I feel too full.

I examine what I have been doing differently lately. Oh…the weekend. I have been eating beyond 5 all weekend and not listening to the Lord. Oh…and I was rebellious when I was at one of my favorite restaurants. I heard the Lord’s voice when it was time to stop and I just kept on going. Oh Lord, I did this just because I wanted to!

I had seen some pictures of myself from the weekend and I didn’t like the way I looked. OUCH. That is why I wanted to keep on eating at the restaurant the other day.

Yes, I am getting closer to what’s been going on with me.

Even today I have been thinking about those pictures. I have looked at those pictures of me over and over. Do I really look like that? I don’t like it.

Ugh. I know I need to pray. I know that “feeling” fat means something deeper is going on. So, Lord, what am I really feeling? Unattractive. Flabby. Blah. Why? Well, I am tired. My body feels different because I ate differently this weekend. I haven’t been drinking enough water and that does make a difference.

Lord, what are you teaching me in all of this? What do You want me to see in this? Deep down, I am afraid that people will see these pictures and see how “ugly” I look. Wow. Really? Why do I see myself as ugly by the way I look in these pictures? By what standards am I comparing myself? Am I comparing myself to the way I was just a few years ago before I gained this weight? Before starting back to Thin Within? I am not the same person as I was then. You have done so much in me through Hunger Within. I no longer obsess over my eating and exercise and Lord that is a BIG layer you have removed from me. It clung so tightly and was part of my identity.

But, Lord, sometimes I still obsessing about my appearance.

Lord, when will I truly see myself as You see me? As Your beautiful daughter despite how I look in pictures or how an outfit may or may not look on me? You look at my heart and what do you see, Oh Lord?

Am I really able to accept myself the way YOU want me to be? Am I really beautiful in Your eyes right now? Am I acceptable? Am I attractive to You? Is the way YOU see me all that matters to my heart?

Oh, Lord, it is hard to peel away this layer of grave clothes that bind so tightly. This desire to look good to others and to be attractive still holds me captive at times. Have I gained weight in the last few years? Yes. Do I need to be ashamed of that? Well, I am on a journey to healing with Hunger Within. The changes in my heart are beautiful to You.

It didn’t seem to take much time to gain the weight. Lord, I know it will take time to release the weight and become my God given size. You are doing much more in me than just shaping my body. You are shaping my heart.

“Lord, You are showing me that I need to surrendering how I look to You. Yes, Lord this means even giving to YOU how I look in pictures and how I think others see me. Yes even that ….turned over to You, Oh Lord.”

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Help me see things through Your eyes, Oh Lord. Help me see through Your lens of Love and Grace that is extended to me. Your grace, acceptance and love is given regardless of what a number says on a scale or a pair of pants. It is there for me regardless of how I look in a picture. It is there regardless of how I think others see me. Oh Lord, Thank You for new beginnings and for grace.

What about you? Have you been struggling with how to look to others? Have you been struggling with what others might think of you? Can you accept the love and grace God has for you right now wherever you are in shape or size? Are you ready to surrender this area to the LORD?

From Grouchy to Glowing

From Grouchy to Glowing

Have you ever have an a-ha moment and you just want to face plant your palm on your forehead and quip, “I could have had a V-8!!”? (For you young’uns, this was a cute commercial that came out in the 70’s about eating poorly and then realizing you could have drank a can of V-8 Vegetable Juice instead) This happened to me this week but it wasn’t a V-8 I needed, but a simple prayer. It took a couple of the gals in the Hunger Within class that I am co-leading to open my eyes to some truth and give me the push I needed to make an easy change.

I have been grouchy. There I said it. I don’t mean cute like grouchyOscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. I mean like this:

I have been having a difficult time at work. I’m a bookkeeper at a CPA firm and the crunch has been on because of tax season. The pressure has been high and the tensions are flaring.  I would like to use this as an excuse, but I can’t. I would really like to blame all the drama at the office for my grouchy mood, but I’m not. This is my third time being involved in a class for Hunger Within, and the Holy Spirit is opening my eyes to portions I have read and taught on, but haven’t implemented very well in my day to day life.

Our chapter this week is Holy Action. Isn’t that a great title? Part of this chapter talks about the eight aspects of holy action. They are Love, Knowledge, Discernment, Responsibility, Self-examination, Prayer, Surrender and Boundaries. This chapter also goes through each piece of the Armor of God and how we use them in our lives. I want to share with you the lesson I learned in our Hunger Within class last evening and how all of these things just became my lifeline to take me from grouchy to glowing.  Whole Armor of God

We were discussing the Armor. A couple of gals in our class shared how they pray on the Armor of God each morning either first thing or on their way to work. Here is where I had my a-ha moment. I know to do this. I’ve led a Bible Study about the Armor of God. I’ve done this before, but have never kept it up. I needed to start doing this first thing in the morning. Maybe this simple action would bring about the great change I needed in my grouchy life. I know some of you may be thinking, “Duh!” while others of you may be squirming in your seats because you are struggling like I have been and maybe aren’t quite ready or willing to try this. Oh, sweet reader, I understand! I have been realizing that I had become comfortable in my grouchy state. You could say that I have been self-righteous in my grouchy state. After all, I was only grouchy because the world wasn’t doing things the way I though it should. Honestly, I knew this was becoming a bad habit and the part of me that is being transformed by the Lord wasn’t happy about it and really wanted a change.


So, using the lesson of Holy Action, I decided to love God, myself and others enough to use my knowledge of the Lord and how He works in my life to help me discern how I needed to take responsibility for my grouchy demeanor. Through self-examination (and listening to others) I realized I needed to be focused in my prayers in the morning. So, this morning, I surrendered my day over to the Lord and prayed on the Full Armor of God, ending my prayer time with some extra jabs with the Sword of the Spirit by praying specific scripture prayers over troubling areas of my life. Then I committed my food and relationship boundaries to the Lord and off to work I went. I really felt a new song in my heart (even driving in rush hour traffic on a major interstate). Draw of what you love I looked at the challenges I was facing in my day with an attitude of surrender, instead of being self-sufficient.  I opened myself up to some wonderful help that I needed, instead of sulking.  My 20 minute drive home took 45 minutes, but I just cranked up my praise music and had worship in my car with bumper to bumper traffic all around me.

I know there will be struggles another day. I am not expecting a sunshine and lollipop day every day. After all, I am human. But one thing I know; if I start my day out right with that special time with the Lord, my own attitude will be different and maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else go from grouchy to glowing by sharing what the Lord did for me.

What about you?




Have you ever had your pride come up and slap you in the face? I have. When it happened, I was brought to my knees with a new revelation about God, myself and how my pride caused me to overlook the healing material God put right in front of me.

pride-bible-versesIf you have been reading my blogs, you would have noticed that I speak often about being frustrated and critical. God and I (I think mainly I) have been working on (trying to work on) these negative characteristics that I have. I am really troubled by them (I am afraid they have become quite the bad habit) and I think I am ready to let them go.  Does that sound wishy washy? I think it does.  See, I have been searching for the answer to finally let these negative feelings go, yet when the Lord put the answer in front of my face, I glossed over it. I think I really believed that I could just fix these issues myself. Let me tell you what I discovered and how my pride kept me from facing the truth.

In the Hunger Within class that I am co-leading, we had read Chapter 7 – The Present not the Past. This is a great chapter that discusses how to let go of the past through facing whatever happened there, letting go of being a victim and a wonderful section on forgiveness. There is also a section on the 5 Stages of Grief. Now, this is the third time I have read through and studied the material in this chapter.  Each time until now, I have glossed over the section about grief. In my pride, I decided I didn’t really need to spend time on grief. After all, I had already worked through all the things in my past that I grieved. I had already forgiven those who had hurt me. I was beyond the grief of my past. And that is where I was slapped in the face with my pride. I think the Holy Spirit prodded me to finally take the time to read this section carefully; taking in all the information on the 5 stages of grief and how they impact not only why we eat in a disordered fashion but how they impact all areas of our lives. I also learned that the stages of grief are not always linear, but you can go back and forth between the stages. And then, I was brought up short. I had been wondering where all the frustration and being critical was coming from. Proverbs 20.30I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me that my frustration is a form of anger (Stage 2) and my critical attitude is a form of depression (Stage 4). The fact that I never saw this before is because I was in denial (Stage 1) that I even needed this material! Wasn’t I bargaining (Stage 3) when I begged God over a year ago to show me another way to lose weight without dieting and to stop the food obsession? I was grieving over needing another diet. Didn’t I ask Him for a biblical way that brought Him into the equation? Didn’t I make promises to Him? That is bargaining. I may be finding myself going into the 5th Stage of Grief right now. The 5th Stage is Acceptance. I am accepting that grief is a part of daily life and that I was trying to avoid calling my feelings grief, because grief hurts. Grief is raw. Grief causes me to cry and be out of control. Real grief is hard to hide. The Lord opened my eyes to how my pride was keeping me from recognizing that the healing path He has for me involves feeling my grief and taking it to Him. It was time to pay attention to all the material He has laid before me. With my eyes newly opened, I see that I have been wavering back and forth between all 5 Stages of Grief, spending most of my time in Stage 2 and Stage 4. Anger disguised as frustration and depression disguised as being critical. My grave cloth of pride was covering my eyes and it kept me from seeing how much there is to grieve over and work through in my current life. I would say I was saddened by things that were happening, but what was really going on was a deep feeling of grief. And that grief manifested itself in frustration/anger and being critical/depression because I didn’t want to feel the pain. I came face to face once again with being powerless and needing to go to the Source of all power.

Andrew Murray Quote on PrideThe wonderful thing that has happened since He showed me my mistake is that those feelings and behaviors have lessened. I feel that the grave clothes labeled frustration and critical are being removed. I am able to see what was lying underneath and my real feelings have been brought into the Lord’s healing light. There is a reason why the Hunger Within material brings healing to so many, and just as I don’t pick and choose the parts of the Bible that I like (because it is truth in its entirety), God has shown me that I can’t pick and choose the parts I like in the Hunger Within text. Don’t we often find that the things we say we don’t need or don’t have an issue with are the absolute things we need to look at? He is still teaching me, and I am humbled by His truth.

What about you? Is there an area of your own life that you are choosing not to look at? I pray that the Lord opens your eyes for a fresh vision just as He has opened mine.

Choosing Jesus

Choosing Jesus

Recently while teaching my music classes, I was using a book that came with a CD.  It is an adaptation of the song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” (how many of you automatically sang in your head and next came “clap your hands”? )

I love this book and so do the children. The only thing I would change is on the CD is the book is read to music and not sung.   (I can always just sing it myself, but sometimes it is nice to have a vocal break and let a CD do it for me.)

PicsArt_02-23-07.58.32I have used this book for several years now and although it has two tracks on the CD, I always go to the first track because it has the “turn the page” signals on it.  It just makes it easier to read to a group.

Well, the other day I was using this book in my lessons and for some reason I accidentally skipped over to track 2 instead of the first track that I usually use.


THE SECOND TRACK SANG THE SONG! This is what I had been wishing I had for years and IT WAS ON THE CD ALL ALONG!  I just didn’t know it because I had never thought to go to the second track!PicsArt_01-05-10.11.14

Right there, in the middle of my lesson with my class….right there in the middle of the book CD singing away and me turning pages….Right there….GOD WHISPERED TO MY HEART.


That is Me, my child.  So often You try to do things on your own.  You automatically go to the things you think will work.  You try to draw upon your own power and intellect.  You go to what feels safe. BUT child, ALL ALONG what YOU really long for is RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.  It is ME.  I am there.  I am with YOU.  I give you the HOLY SPIRIT to guide you. Look for me and you will find me, for I am never too far from you.

How many times have I run back to the familiar?  To the food? To  the diet that has “worked” before to just take that number down on the scale, but nothing changed in my heart?

How many times have I chosen “track 1” over and over again because it is just what I always have done…..not thinking to even try “track 2”?

Right then I realized that just like that “track 1” on the CD was close to what I wanted and did the job, so it is with anything I try to do on my own.  I might be able to ‘do the job’…the diet might be able to ‘do the job’ but it will NEVER be what I REALLY want.  It will never truly fulfill.

Isaiah 55: 1-3

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.

Did you notice that no matter how many times I chose the first track on the CD that the second one didn’t just disappear?  It was there “waiting” to be chosen.

So it is with Jesus.  No matter how many times I choose my own way…turn to food….eat outside my boundaries….think about dieting again…worry about my body shape…(fill in YOUR track 1 here)….


PicsArt_02-27-10.15.01Jesus tells us in His word that He will never leave us! (Matthew 28:20) He will never forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:6,8)

His love and His way is always there for us. He reaches out to us with open arms, ready to embrace us and gently lead us on the path HE has laid out for us.

Oh, Dear Sisters (and Brothers), let’s examine our hearts today. Are we settling into our own comfortable ways?  Are we turning to things that truly do not satisfy?

Let’s run and jump into the Master’s Arms and surrender up these things. Let’s walk this path to freedom from diets and scales and body image and food obsession…..together.



True Satisfaction

True Satisfaction

I recently shared in the Hunger Within class that I am co-leading, how I identify with the blog post written by my dear friend and co-leader Deanna Lewis. You can find her blog here: http://www.thinwithin.org/mindless-eating/. I have been and will probably be again the woman in this picture. I have eaten like this in periods of numbness to fill an empty spot in my soul. Why am I eating thisI have eaten like this to cover up emotions that I do not want to feel and especially do not want to deal with.  Dear reader, I have eaten like this just because I am bored.  Need I say that I have eaten like this because I love popcorn and if I am watching a movie, I love having a huge mound of it to stuff into my face? Late at night this kind of eating calls my name. The house is dark. No one but me and my cats are awake. No one is watching and it’s time to fill her up! Like many of you, I say I eat this way because I just love the taste of food. Whatever the reasons, I have eaten in mindless fashion, way past satisfaction and to the point where each new bite tastes more and more like cardboard. And, I always experience the next morning blues…why, oh why, did I eat like that last night? My mouth hurts from the salt (oh how I love the salt in my snacks) and I will probably never be hungry again!! Have you been here? Do you identify with me?


I am trying to visualize a good example of what this kind of eating is to me, and I think I found the perfect one. Picture a fish…yes, I said a fish. Now picture that fish getting caught with a rubber worm. Just in case you have never been fishing (I enjoy fishing. Haven’t been for years and miss it) I have a picture just for you to show you what it looks like when you have a fish caught on a rubber worm.

Fish with rubber worm

When I think about this fish, I am picturing myself going after the rubber worm. It promises a tasty meal or a snack and boy does it look tasty and good! Surely it is just the thing I need to fill my empty places. Do you like shiny things? Boy, sometimes these rubber worms even have shiny disks that attract my attention. I have to have it!! It’s shiny and it looks so good, like real food, and I have a craving that needs to be satisfied!! And, look…I’ve been caught…by a rubber worm. I have taken the bait, and I have latched on to something that looked like it would satisfy and give me pleasure, but it turned out to be fake. This is how I picture mindless eating or any eating for reasons outside of hunger. The craving is there. It looks good. It sounds good. My attention is grabbed and I am going to eat it. And, there is no satisfaction, and I am caught. I will probably even want more of the same thing. Isn’t more always better? Thinking more will surely satisfy and fill that empty spot that I am trying to fill has got to be good judgement, right? Wrong!

This is what excess eating has become to me. I still do it from time to time, and what I find each time is that there is little satisfaction. There is always the question of why. Sometimes I realize that I don’t even care for the food I overate anymore. I don’t beat myself up like I did in the past. God has healed those places in me where I hurt myself and sabotage myself. I am quick to take my sorrow to the Lord in repentance for my slip. Can I interject here how grateful I am that our Loving Father is forgiving and longsuffering?

Jeremiah 15.16It helps me to visualize the truth of how I am eating. I have a choice daily to go after the rubber worm or to feast on the Bread of Heaven, which is Christ Jesus. One is fake and will never satisfy. The other promises that when I feed on Him I will never hunger or thirst. For me, the choice is already made.  I want to eat what truly satisfies my every deep hunger. I am trading my popcorn covered lap for true food.


Will you join me in trading the things that look good and promise satisfaction but fall short for the Word of God which feeds our deepest needs?

Self Will Run Riot

Self Will Run Riot


I suffer from Self Will Run Riot. You may have never heard that phrase unless you have graced the rooms of 12 Step meetings. I don’t have outbreaks of this behavior all the time. Many days go by and I am happy as can be. And then it hits…BAM!! I am out of control and I really don’t care. When I think about Self Will, I see a will that is far from what God’s will is for me. When I am operating in Self Will, I am operating in willfulness that gives into whatever I want, whenever I want and in whatever quantities  I want. When I am in my self will attitude, I don’t think about what God wants, only what I want. When I go from Self Will to the extreem Self Will Run Riot, I don’t care what God wants, or anyone else for that matter. Picture a runaway train. At that point having a 0 to 5 meal is the farthest thing on my mind. This can even happen after a “perfect” 0 to 5 meal. I’m just barreling down the tracks and not caring one iota about who or what I may run over.  It doesn’t happen all the time, but there is a pattern of when it happens. It is always at night, when I am alone and the house is asleep, and I am “suffering” from a frustration of some sort. Are you with me? Can you picture what I am describing happening in your own life?

I am so grateful for all I have learned since coming into the Thin Within Community and having the wonderful blessing of Co-leading Hunger Within.  I still suffer from Self Will Run Riot, but God is slowly healing me. The times I have outbreaks are fewer and farther between. I believe God works miracles today just as He did back in history, for He never changes. I don’t know that I really believed that He would break the chains that held me to this behavior, but He is and it is a true miracle. Why? Because I had become very comfortable in my ugly attitude. I cried out many times for healing, but if I am totally honest with you dear reader, I don’t know that I really wanted to give it up. I mean, after all, I could do what I wanted and then blame my “condition” of Self Will Run Riot and feel excused for my “bad” behavior. Then one day, the pain of the out of control eating became more painful than letting go of this behavior that was really a part of me. I cried out in that pain, and God heard me and answered. He brought me here, to Thin Within/Hunger Within, and even though I still fall into my old behavior from time to time, my life is never going to be the same as it once was.

In many ways the miracles began happening as I learned the tool of Renewing my Mind. I believe God’s Word is inspired by Him and that the whole Word of God is true. So when I read 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it,” and contemplate the truth in this promise, I can turn to Him when I feel my self-will rearing its ugly head, I can Road to Recoverystop, take a breath, and look for God’s way out. I don’t have to bow to self and absolutely don’t have to run riot. This happened just this week. I had a tough day at work and was feeling beaten down and discouraged. I was on my way to a binge (haven’t had one in quite a while). Out of the blue at a time we don’t normally talk on the phone, my hubby called me. That phone call was God’s way out. The call lasted long enough that I was able to get my bearings and put an end to what was happening. Yes, I ate past 5…probably an 8 or 9…but it wasn’t a 10+ as would have happened before Thin Within/Hunger Within.

I want to leave you with some other beautiful promises that have been helping me tremendously in my journey here.

  • Lord, when I hunger, You will satisfy me…John 6:35 – Then Jesus declared,“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
  • Lord, when I am dry and thirsty, You are Living Water to me…John 4:10 – Jesus answered her,“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” And overcomerJohn 37-38 – On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
  • Lord, when I need comfort, You will be there delivering it…2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
  • Lord, You make known to me the path of my life…Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasuresat your right hand.

When I stay alert to my patterns, and stop, take a breath and renew my mind with these truths, I can rejoice that the Lord does fill me with joy in His presence and I know the truth of experiencing eternal pleasures at His right hand.

If you find yourself in the first part of my story (self will run riot), but haven’t reached the second half (healed into being an overcomer), I am praying that you too will cry out to God and allow Him to work a miracle in your life. I pray you find yourself in my shoes, where the pain of how you are living becomes more than the pain of letting go.