Image courtesy of Suvro Datta / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Recently, I was sharing with a friend about where I’ve been on my journey about food and eating. I was sharing with her that it didn’t work when I tried to be a “normal eater” years ago. I’m not sure why, but I remember really struggling and feeling like I was never going to overcome. I had a few successes, but something would come up, and then I would go back to overeating or obsessing about food.
Almost a year ago, I came back to Heidi’s blog after really having a hard time with food thoughts and fears. Immediately, the Lord gave me this incredible peace and then He showed me that He wanted me to let go of all of the food thoughts and fears and to eat within hunger and fullness (0-5). It was a rough start of one step forward, two steps back, but after a couple of months, the Lord showed me that in order to be completely set free from the fears and thoughts, that I needed to renew my mind. And so began my “truth cards”.
And that, my friends, has been the difference. Ever since May of 2013, I have met with the Lord every day to renew my mind. It started with renewing my mind about learning that I can enjoy ALL foods with no fear attached, to currently, where I am learning to delight in my God-given boundaries. And there have been things in between that I have renewed my mind about. I am currently reading through my second set of truth cards. I felt that I “graduated” from my first set of truth cards, so I was ready to move on with the Lord in this journey to becoming free in this area of my life.
In May of 2013, I was already at a healthy weight. I wanted to maintain that weight. The “weight” I needed to release were the lies and obsession. It was more of a mental weight. That’s where I needed to be set free. And He has been doing just that, setting me free with His truth! Every day I choose to renew my mind with His truth, and every day I’m set free more and more! Praise God!
I truly believe I wasn’t able to press in and persevere with eating between hunger and fullness years ago because I wasn’t getting to the inner parts of me that were causing overeating in the first place. I wasn’t renewing my mind. I was looking to myself for strength instead of falling at the feet of Jesus each time I messed up or needed Him. I remember one of the things I really struggled with years ago was thinking that Thin Within was too spiritual. I didn’t want to dig into the reasons I ate emotionally. I felt like that was for wimps. But oh, I was so wrong! I am stronger today because of falling at the feet of Jesus and humbling myself before Him and crying, “HELP!”
Facing the “spiritual” side of hunger and fullness is uncomfortable for some. I know I was uncomfortable. And even last year when I was just starting out, I really fought the spiritual side of this journey. I didn’t want to admit that I was indulging my flesh every time I overate or even obsessed over food. It was like I wanted to walk in unrest instead of the peace God was offering me. I kept thinking, “I can do this without being so spiritual about it.” Oh, how I have been humbled with His truth!
It DOES take time to renew your mind. Honestly, I wouldn’t have experienced any of the victory in Christ that I have if it wasn’t for renewing my mind. Let me say it plainly: If I didn’t take time to renew my mind, I would overeat, I would obsess about food, and I would be freaking out! Just ask my husband.
I remember when Heidi would post about how HARD this journey can be. I did NOT NOT NOT want to hear that. I remember thinking, “Then I’ll just keep tracking [Weight Watchers] points!” I wanted and want this to be easy, but at times, it’s not. Why? Because sometimes I want to eat what I want to eat, when I want to eat it. Sometimes I don’t want to read my truth cards or stop my mind in it’s tracks and renew my mind about WHY I want to overeat. But guess what?…the harder times make me stronger. Just think about it, when you renew your mind, it’s like you are retraining it. You are suddenly STOPPING it and steering it in another direction. And each time you do that, you are training it to turn the other way! This is totally unrelated, but when I was potty training my daughter, each time she started going, I picked her up and put her on the potty. And after a short time, she recognized that when she needed to go that she needed to sit on the potty. It’s sort of the same thing when we renew our mind. After awhile, we no longer have “accidents”, but we direct ourselves in the right direction. Isn’t that awesome!?
Let’s look at this with an example. Let’s say I’m feeling emotional. Something just happened and I am sad. I want to numb myself with food. Well, I know that I’m not hungry, so eating right now would not be within my boundaries (0-5). I have 2 choices, I can eat, or I can STOP and renew my mind. One way that I can renew my mind is getting out my journal and getting out the ‘I Deserve a Donut’ app (if I ever meet Barb Raveling she’s going to get the biggest hug ever–I hope she likes hugs!) and I am going to go to the section under Attitudes called Emotional Eating. And I would answer the questions in my journal and read through the scriptures. If needed, I would take a time-out and write out to the Lord what I’m dealing with and really just let the emotions pour out to Him. As I do this, the Lord meets with me and speaks to me from His Word. The questions from the Emotional Eating app make me think about why I want to eat and how it’s not a good idea to eat outside of my boundaries. And pretty soon I’m feeling better because I’ve gone to the LORD instead of food. I may still want to eat, but I realize that it’s not even worth it because food isn’t going to fix the problem. Most likely, I won’t want to eat outside of my boundaries because the Lord has met my need. And so the next time I’m feeling emotional, it will be easier to turn away from the thoughts about eating and turn instead to the Lord and His truth. Each time I renew my mind, I will be transformed!
So there you have it, the difference in seeing victories in Christ as I have applied the Thin Within principles has been that I have renewed my mind. That was the missing key before, but it’s no longer missing now!
How about you?
Have you been diligent in renewing your mind? Are you seeing a difference as well because you are renewing your mind? I would love to see some comments about how renewing your mind has made a difference!
The first time I heard Mandisa’s song Overcomer on the radio, I just smiled to the Lord knowing that, yes, I am an overcomer through Him. It wasn’t until months later that I watched the official Overcomer music video that the song spoke even more to my heart. No matter how many times you’ve heard this song, I want to encourage you to watch the video. I have a feeling it will pull on your heartstrings as it has mine.
There are many battles that are faced in this life, but God is right there wanting to strengthen us and to help us overcome. Nothing is too hard for Him! He is able! We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus!
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? Jeremiah 32:27
Even as I finish typing out this post that I started a few days ago, I’m tired, I’m worn out, I’m weary. I’m tempted to eat and I’m not hungry. I just sat down and journaled through the emotional eating questions from the I Deserve a Donut app. It was so good to do that. I wrote out some scriptures that really spoke to me. I read through my God list. To be honest, I still feel like eating, but I know that food isn’t going to take care of the real issue. I am believing I will overcome this. I won’t give into the temptation to eat. God is my strength! Food isn’t my savior.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
I AM an overcomer!
How about you?
What are you facing? Do you believe you are already an overcomer? Are you willing to stop in your tracks and renew your mind? Do you trust God to take care of what needs to be taken care of? Praise Him! Talk to Him! Journal! Read your God list. He is able!
It’s a few days before Valentine’s Day and I am sitting in my home in Atlanta, GA – you know, the city often called “Hotlanta.” Well, it’s been anything but hot this winter. We are snow and icebound today, unable to drive anywhere and we are experiencing the third round of school closing since the beginning of the year! (Ok, all of you who live in snowy places, don’t laugh at us. We just don’t have the equipment to clear our roads J .)
Today I am reflecting on the last snowfall just two weeks ago. Do you remember watching the news about the gridlock on our roads? The stories of people stuck on the highway overnight, many of whom had to abandon their cars the next morning? My family and I were fortunate to be at home that day by 3:30 and enjoyed time playing in the snow and then sitting in front of the fire. But, before I arrived at home, I was in traffic for 2½hours – that’s the time it took to leave work early and pick my children up from school. The drive usually takes about 25 minutes.
What surprised me that day, other than the unexpected traffic, was myattitude during the traffic jam. Of course, I didn’t know how terrible the night would be for many people – all I knew was that I had never been in traffic like this! And not one time, not for one moment, was I angry, frustrated, disappointed, or upset as I crept mile by mile to school and then home. In fact, I was content for most of the drive and actually joyous as times. How was this possible? I mean, I seriously surprised myself with my cheerful outlook. So, I thought back over the day to see why I handled the situation so well.
1) On my way to work that morning, I listened to my RenewingMyMind playlist. This list of songs fills me up with the Truth of God and allows me to worship Him on my drive. I remember intensely feeling the presence of God about 1 mile from work. He was so present and palpable that I was brought to tears. I know that His joy and peace carried me through the day.
2) Last year, I began practicinggratitude. This practice, begun during one of Heidi’s Bible studies, has changed my perspective on so many things – not just my body and eating and food. It has made me more present with my husband and children. It allows me to be thankful in the midst of folding laundry, driving carpool, working my job and raising (often stubborn) children.
3) You may have heard Heidi say “you cannot practice gratitude and entitlement at the same time.” That’s true. In the traffic, I was thankful for a warm, newish car, a full tank of gas and an XM radio. I’m not entitled to these luxuries and I was no more entitled to get home quickly than any other person stuck in the traffic.
4) The God List and the Praise Fest. When I worship the Lord and know His character and know how He loves me, the traffic just isn’t a big deal. If I focus on the things above and not on earthly things, if I have an eternal perspective rather than an earthy/daily/fleshly one, my attitude and thoughts do change. His peace, joy, freedom and His will become the desires of my hearts.
So, I know this post isn’t so much about eating, boundaries or body image, but I did want to share how my experience with Thin Within, Heidi’s blog and studies, and practicing gratitude have affected my life outside of food/body issues. It does take time, effort and practice, but God can change your mind, attitude and heart. You will find yourself changed from the inside out and the beautiful, godly changes will spill into all aspects of your life.
How about you?
Would you be willing to start a gratitude list? You may want to start by listing 3 things every day for which you are grateful – big and small. Write them on evernote, a notebook, in a Word document or on the TW app.
Are you renewing your mind daily with music, Truth cards, reading the Bible, or I Deserve a Donut, etc?
Are you adding to your God list and praising Him with it, out loud? If you don’t know where to start, consider the Psalms.
Image by Jeff Ratcliff, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
If you’ve read the Thin Within book, you’ll likely remember the story about the eagle that thought he was chicken. If you haven’t read the Thin Within book yet, I’ll recap for you quickly.
One day a naturalist was passing by a farm and as he looked over at the chicken yard, he noticed a beautiful eagle mingling with all the chickens. Perplexed, he stopped and asked the farmer why there was an eagle pecking corn with the chickens. Equally perplexed, the farmer told the naturalist that he didn’t know why the eagle was there. He explained that the eagle had been there for a very long time and refused to leave, fly or scare away. “He believes he is a chicken,” responded the naturalist. After multiple attempts to get the eagle to leave the chicken yard, the naturalist eventually had the idea to teach the eagle to fly. He put the eagle in a cage and hiked up a very large mountain. He took the eagle up where the rest of the eagles lived and the moment the eagle saw his natural setting and his fellow eagles, he realized who he was. He stretched his wings and flew…high above the chicken yard.
The moral of the story is that the things we believe about ourselves have a tremendous power over the actions we take. If we believe ourselves to be all the wonderful things that God declares us to be, we will likely behave like those very things. But if we believe ourselves to be failures, destined for defeat…guess what? We’ll likely behave (and eat) like one!
I remember one of the first times I began to believe that I was a naturally thin eater. It was after watching one of Beth Moore’s videos in her Believing God series. She recounted an argument with God that she had recently had over engaging in a tempting behavior that she knew wasn’t His best for her. “God! I want to do that! I think that will make me feel good and everyone else is doing it!” she exclaimed. “Why would you want to do that Beth? You’re a This. This-es do this, not that,” God said back to her.
It was like a light switch turned on in my brain. I am called to be a naturally thin eater through Thin Within. So why on earth would I ever want to stuff myself beyond a 5 or adhere to a diet mentality or do anything outside of God’s best for me? Behaving like someone wrapped in bondage is the opposite of the victorious freedom in Thin Within God has called me to!
I have found myself in many many many situations saying in my head “I’m a THIS! There’s no need to do that, because I’m a this!” Whether I’m tempted to eat past a 5 or order food at a restaurant even though I’m nowhere near a 0, knowing that God has called me to be a naturally thin eater, helps me act like one and gracefully bow out of any situation where I may be tempted or already engaging in a behavior that doesn’t align with the Thin Within boundaries that I have committed to.
It’s a wonderful thing to get out of that chicken yard and finally stretch your wings as an eagle!
How about you?
Do you ever feel like an eagle stuck in a chicken coop? What barriers might be in the way of you accepting, believing, and acting upon being a naturally thin eater? Are you ready to accept your identity as a this (naturally thin eater, victorious in Christ, obedient, covered in grace, redeemed etc.) and not a that (failure, stuck in a dieting mentality, rebellious, hopeless etc.)?
This video is a bit different than the others…or at least I hope it is! Are you ready to hear me fuss, moan, groan, whine and wail about my day? Well…in it I confess about a situation that I was caught in right as I was trying to prepare to make the video about “Counting the Cost!” In fact, I had to stop recording, delete, talk to God about it all and start again! God wanted ME to count the cost! So I did and I share other thoughts with you about counting the cost as we launch into our study this week.
1.) (02:26 – 03:12) I challenge you to settle the issue of if God is calling you to 0 to 5 eating or not. Have you done so? What have you concluded? If you have a conviction that 0 to 5 eating is a godly boundary that God wants you to have, have you written it down, dated and signed it? (It is likely to be important later!)
2.) Why do you suppose I put such a premium on getting that issue (see #1 above) settled?
In the video, I refer to Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies that Make You Eatbook. The question set I refer to for much of the rest of the video is “I’ll Start Tomorrow Eating.” Basically, this is eating that is motivated today by the “promise” we tell ourselves that we will “get serious” about our boundaries tomorrow.
3.) Have you been waiting for a good or easy time to start following your boundaries? Are you waiting until you are “in the mood?” Evaluate this attitude. What are boundaries for? Think about this… (It is sorta a trick question.)
4.) Give some thought to the question poised at 05:12…”What sacrifices will you have to make to uphold your boundaries?” Consider this thoroughly…at any time you are tempted to eat outside of 0 and 5 you can consider this.
5.) If you put off following your boundaries (0 to 5) or “skip a day”…will you still have to make those sacrifices? Will procrastination make a difference in how “fun” or “easy” following your boundaries will be?
6.) What blessings will you experience if you follow your boundaries today?
7.) If you don’t follow hunger/satisfied eating boundaries, what will you do instead? If you don’t stick with this…or don’t return to this approach if you have been wandering far afield, what will you do instead? Are you ok with that?
8.) What do you want to experience 6 months from now? What will it take to get there?
9.) Will it be worth it?
10.) Personalize Philippians 3:7-9. What do these verses mean to you?
Renewing the Mind – Pressing On
1. List 10 truths that God wants you to speak to your soul. For ideas about what to include, consider:
What is true about you?
What is true about God?
What is true about “failure?”
2. Speak the truths from #1 above to your soul…out loud! 🙂 (Yes, I mean it!)
3. Record yourself speaking them to your soul and then add them to your music player (iPod, iPhone, or mp3 player). Play it for yourself when you don’t feel like reviewing your truths.
Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 17th.
Please don’t try to do both the book and the workbook at the same time! 🙂 Here is Study Guide Week 6. Please feel free to discuss the material here or in the private Facebook group.
Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 17th.
2. This week, the Hunger Graph is introduced. This is an OPTIONAL tool. You can use those provided in the Temple Tool Kit if you feel so led. You can also find the Hunger Graph tool in the Thin Within iTunes app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Please do not feel like you have to use this tool. Just ask God if he would have you do so and follow His lead. 🙂
3. Complete the exercises for Lesson 6 on pages C22-C28. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C29.
4. Have you begun to notice how different foods affect you? Take some time to share here what insight you have had so far. In Thin Within, we call those foods that are yummy and that sustain us with *no* negative consequences “Whole Body Pleasers.” Which foods are “Whole Body Pleasers” for you? Foods that we like the taste of but that don’t sustain us very well and, in fact, may cause confusing hunger/satisfied signals are referred to as “Taste Bud Teasers.” Which foods are “Taste Bud Teasers” for you?
5. What have you added to your God List? Won’t you share with us here? (That means writing in the comments. lol!) Have you had a Praise Fest when you have been tempted? How has that helped redirect you away from food?
6. Use the entries for Day 36 through Day 42 in the Temple Tool Kit. Again, please don’t use any part of the Tool Kit that you aren’t confident God intends for you to use.
7. Memorize 1 Peter 4:1-2 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. How have you been called to suffer. In what ways might accepting the suffering that God calls you to enable you to overcome temptation to eat outside of your godly boundaries?
How About You?
So, what do you think? I know I came down pretty hard in the video. I just want to encourage you to really think through the decisions you make. Especially the decision not to press on. I believe that if you are here, it is no accident. There is a reason you have come this far and are reading this paragraph or have watched the video. I believe you know in your heart of hearts that the cost is worth it.
The recording of our webinar wrapping up last week’s lesson, Lesson 5 on Restoration, can be found here.
I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available.
Yesterday, I was using a set of Barb Raveling’s questions to truth journal. I have challenged myself to do this exercise at least once a day and each session has been insightful and rewarding. At the end of yesterday’s session, I wrote down the words BELIEVE, TRUST, INVITE, SURRENDER. The Lord has been speaking these words to me lately and I knew that they were important in my journey with Him. I looked for a way to help me remember the words daily and then it struck me – BITES! (The Holy Spirit impressed upon me the word for “E” so that I could use this acronym).
Believe – The Lord gave me this word in prayer this month. He wants me to not only believe in Him, but to believe Him. I must believe that He is working in me and through me. I pray that I will believe Him and that He will help my unbelief. I pray to believe what He says about my true identity as His child.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. (1 Thessalonians 23-24).
Invite – I invite Him into all aspects of my life – He is invited to each meal, into this process that deals with eating, into my thoughts and really into all of my choices in my life. In my healing from the dieting mentality and the control of food and exercise, I have learned that much of this is a heart issue. Therefore, I invite Him to change my heart – to remove greed, envy and covetousness and to make it pure and wielded to His way.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and rightspirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
Trust – I trust Him, that in His goodness, mercy and faithfulness, He will set me on the right path. I trust that He uses all things, including our suffering and challenges, for good. He is Abba, the perfect Papa, and He is trustworthy. And, it becomes easier to trust Him as I get to know Him better. I accomplish this by reading His Word, praying, and renewing my mind with His Truth.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Exclaim – praise and truth. I cry out to the Lord – I name who He is, what His character traits are and what He does for His people. My “God list” and praise fests help me to do this.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.(Psalm 100)
I also exclaim His Truth in moments of doubt and temptation. He answers those who call on Him. He will provide a way out of temptation. And the Word of God is the sword in the battle against the enemy and the flesh (Ephesian 6:10-17).
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. (1 Cor 10:13)
Surrender – For me, this really gets to the bottom of it all. Absolute surrender – in all ways and in all things – to the Lord is the path to a life of freedom and peace. If I believe that He created my body intentionally with its particular hunger signal and if I know that He has called me to eat within the boundaries of 0 and 5, I then desire to surrender my eating to Him. I need to submit to His authority on this and all things.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:6-8)
So, I am now thinking about BITES as I take each bite during my meals. It keeps me focused on God (not my flesh) and my goal (freedom from the control of food).
How About You?
How do these words speak to you? Does the Holy Spirit lead you to different verses? Different definitions? Different words?