I want to be honest with all of you.
I had another blog all ready to post today. I could have scheduled it and pretended everything was ok with me. But somehow, I feel as if that is being fake. So. I am admitting it. Here’s my “Dirty little secret”.
Right now, while writing this blog the Thursday afternoon before posting it on Friday,
I want to give up.
I feel discouraged.
I admit, I don’t want to go back to dieting. So, that is a step in the right direction. AND I am not cursing this body of mine that is not cooperating. So, that is progress. I’m also not desperate to be skinny or look a certain way. I don’t even seem to care much how others view my body.
WOW! Ok….so that’s
A LOT OF PROGRESS!
So, why am I discouraged?
Well, I tried on an outfit that I wore just last year and it is too snug to feel comfortable wearing. Yep. That’s right. My body has gotten a little bigger over this last year! That’s right. You read it…..I said it. My secret is out!
WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?
(well, other than a VERY stressful year and menopause reshaping my body in ways that I highly disapprove of!)
I was afraid to share this and be open for fear of discouraging anyone who is looking to Thin Within as a way to lose weight. Or discouraging those who are struggling. Because, I don’t want you to give up! God has used Hunger Within to do so much in my life! I want YOU to be able to break free of dieting and body shaming as I have been able to do.
Ummmm…..wait a minute. I don’t want YOU to give up, yet I think it’s ok for me to give up? I want YOU to experience breaking free of dieting and body shaming and yet I am ignoring this BIG work God has done in me?
••• silent contemplation •••
I guess I need to examine what this Hunger Within is all about for me.
It it about making my body behave or is it about total surrender to God with my food and body issues?
Will I continue to follow Him and obey Him even if my body doesn’t cooperate right now?
After thinking about it, I realize
I DO need to GIVE UP.
•I need to GIVE UP my plan and GIVE IN to HIS.
•I need to GIVE UP what I think my body should look like and GIVE IN to what HE says about me.
•I need to GIVE UP my will and GIVE IN to HIS.
Well, my Dear Readers I guess it’s that time again.
On my knees and in the WORD.
It’s time to reevaluate my boundaries again.
I need to examine my heart.
If anything, you all have learned that I am not perfect.
I am broken.
I am flawed.
I am forgiven and loved.
And, my Dear Readers. His grace is renewed for me this very moment!
My sight is shifting now from my tight outfit to JESUS!
I think I’m on to something here…..
I have had a lot of different, but big things happening (or are on the brink of happening ) with my family. Several things have made me feel as if I am in limbo as we are facing some life changes over the next few months.
Limbo is not a good place for me. I like order. I like to know what is coming. I am not a “surprise” kinda gal. So as I sit here in this place of “not knowing”….I find myself slipping back into a place of worry.
I am trying not to be afraid and to trust that God will provide. I know He will, but it’s hard for me to not wonder what will happen.
I have learned that the best way to battle worry and wondering about the future is for me is to renew my mind everyday with scripture about God providing and about trusting in Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. ~Psalm 9:10
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. ~ Psalm 37:4-6
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. ~Isaiah 26:3
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. ~Psalm 28:7
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. ~Jeremiah 17:7-8
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? ~Matthew 6:25
Do not worry or be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ~Isaiah 43:2-3
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. ~Psalm 23:1-2
Renewing my mind keeps me from grabbing food to numb the fear or anxiety. Or for escape. When I turn to the Lord instead and BELIEVE what He says to me “fear not for I am with You”….I look UP and not around me.
I look UP
I reach UP
I don’t reach for things that won’t satisfy.
Recently I did a small group study that had us identify one or two deep core beliefs from a list of a hundred or more. Wow! This was really hard to do! But, after much prayer, soul searching and thinking, I came up with my two. They are FAITH (in Christ as in He will do what He promises, will take care of me, has my back, has my future….etc.) and FREEDOM (from anything that holds me captive….)
After identifying these core beliefs, I then was to look at what behaviors keep these beliefs safe and strong in my life. Also, what actions do I do that lets me know I am not protecting these beliefs in my life.
When I started thinking about it, I started envisioning a picture of two paths I can follow.
PATH ONE: I am walking hand in hand with Jesus. This is the path of FAITH and FREEDOM. This is the path where I am full of His joy and love. To stay on this path, I need to do some pretty important things each day (and probably several times a day).
- Renew my mind with HIS truth
- Be involved in Bible Study
- Write in my prayer journal
- Talk to Jesus throughout the day
I have found that I need to stay pretty vigilant and disciplined to do these things, or I tend to wander off to another path.
PATH TWO: This one seems easy and comfortable but is is full of my own destructive behavior. It is one of SELFISHNESS, GREED AND SIN. Although I am saved and this trail doesn’t lead to eternal death, it is a path that leads away from a full life in Christ like the first path does. I know I have slipped off that narrow way when I find myself
- full of worry and anxiety
- obsessing about things
- trying to control situations
- overeating or loosening my eating boundaries
- feeling down about my appearance
So, which path am I on right now?
I need to examine my actions and my thoughts. This will help me see which path I’m following….the one that leads back to that prison or the one of freedom. I know I’m on the bad path if I am overeating or obsessing or worrying… etc…
I stay on the path to freedom if I am praying, in bible study, journalling to renew my mind…and staying within my boundaries for mindful eating.
TAKE A MINUTE AND THINK
What actions and thoughts keep you on the path that leads to abundant life?
What are your warning signs that you have slipped back on the path of self destructiveness?
No matter what, dear friend, if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, You are already on the road to heaven. You are SAVED, but He wants us to have abundant life with Him RIGHT NOW on this earth! He wants us to walk with Him on the path of freedom RIGHT NOW.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
So, as we walk this journey called life…
Lets examine our thoughts and our behavior.
Lets heed the warning signs that we are slipping back on that destructive trail.
Let’s plan to daily BE with Jesus and do the things HE calls us to do to remain IN HIM.
He calls to us.
There are times when I have eaten something, even within my boundaries (Thin Within principles such as eating between hunger and satisfaction), and I will feel guilty for eating whatever that particular food was. It probably goes back to my dieting days of the food labeling (the “good”, the “bad”, and the ugly). Recently, I was tired of the guilty feelings that were attaching themselves to what I was eating, so I sat down and typed out some questions to quickly renew my mind with when the thoughts would come. These are some questions to ask yourself ad renew your mind with when you are feeling guilty about what you have eaten.
Feeling guilty about what I ate:
- Why do you feel guilty?
- Where is this guilt coming from (satan, diet, friend, etc)?
- Did you eat the food within your boundaries? If not, what could you do different next time you are tempted to break a boundary?
- What does God say about this situation?
- What happens when you believe the lie? What is your habitual response?
- How does God want you to respond?
- What do you need to accept?
- What can you thank God for in this situation?
Colossians 2:20-23 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
1 Timothy 4:4-5 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.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Matthew 15:11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.
If you are familiar with Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut (app and book), these types of questions may look similar. When you ask yourself these questions, the Lord will expose the lie and reveal truth. I notice when I answer these questions and meditate on these scriptures, it helps settle me down and peace returns.
There are times when I need questions to help renew my mind that are about these specific circumstances, such as feeling guilty about a particular food I have eaten. Diets teach us that there are “good” and “bad” foods, and I no longer want to be under a law that says, “taste not, touch not” (Colossians 2:21). There are no moral values attached to food.
I hope these questions are helpful to you. I have a few other sets of questions that have been helpful to me as well that I will share at another time in other posts.
Are there any other sets of questions that would be helpful to you? Let me know and maybe I could come up with some questions.
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.
FAT IS NOT A FEELING
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?
Sometimes I question the reasons why I eat 0-5 or follow the Keys to Conscious Eating.It’s not that I want to stop living this way. It’s the motive behind living this way. What’s my reasons for doing what I do? If I’m not seeing the results *I* think I should, I may start do doubt if I’m doing this “program” right. I sometimes start to place my identity in how I look or if I’ve “lost enough weight” to be considered “successful”. When I start feeling and thinking this way, it actually comes down to that old struggle between grace and legalism.
—Old Diet LIES—
Sometimes those old voices from my dieting days tell me I must “succeed” or I have to follow every rule. I may start to connect my identity with a number on a little metal box (the scale) or in the shape of my body. When I start down this road of thinking, I start to become legalistic. I start slipping back into my diet mentality of good vs. bad or black and white…and rules, rules, rules!
In a previous blog post, I admitted that I really haven’t been releasing much weight. My body has been going through shifting and changing over the last few years due to menopause, but that isn’t the only reason why I haven’t released. As I examine my heart and my boundaries, I have to be careful that I don’t fall into that diet mindset that says “I’m not doing it right”.
PRAYER AND SURRENDER
So, I pray about it and look back over my journal. Once again….
I surrender my body shape, that scale number and my food over to the Lord.
As I do this, the Lord shows me all the things that He has changed in me. He reminds me that as I surrender more and more to Him that He is CONTINUING to set me free.
Areas such as my attitude toward food, the way I look at my body and where I place my identity are under God’s gentle surgical knife and healing hand.
I examine again my reasons for eating 0-5 or following the Keys to Conscious Eating. If I’m not releasing weight am I still eating too much? What am I doing wrong? If I try to eat even less, am I going back to legalism and turning this into a diet? I don’t want grace to be an excuse for me to sin and just do what I want .
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!
I get back on my knees and ask God to guide me.
As He always is faithful to do, He showed me areas where He is working in me. He also showed me areas that I needed to change some things. Grabbing bites here or there or eating in front of the TV has kept me in mindless eating.
He showed me that I don’t need to eat less, but to SURRENDER MORE.
I need to give up the food to Him. Pray for help when I eat. But mostly trust that HE knows what is best for my body including the size.
Giving up the food to Him most likely WILL result in eating less. It may result in releasing weight, BUT…..
God is showing me that the weight should not be my focus. He is to be my focus.
How different this is from legalism! It isn’t about doing it perfectly, but about leaning more on Him. It’s about learning from the mistakes I make. It’s about His love for me right where I am.
Why do I try to eat from 0-5? Why do I live the “Thin Within” way? I do this to break the chains of dieting! It is to break the chains of ANYTHING that has my heart captive! I do this to walk in the abundant life on this journey with Jesus. I do it because giving up any area of my life that is keeping me captive is the only way I can truly be free! It is all about God’s healing of me in every area of my life. Food, weight, body image, identity, people pleasing, control, worry, fear…..the list goes on and on. In EVERY area, God is placing HIS healing touch as I give Him permission and surrender it up.
Lord, I want to do all of it. I want this obsession with food and weight and the mindless eating out of my life! I want anything that is holding me captive to be removed. I want to be closer to You, oh Lord.
“Just take one step at a time, child.
You don’t have to be perfect.
Listen to My voice.
Turn to Me for every step.
I am with you.
I love you even if you mess up.”
How about you? When you examine your reasons for living the “Thin Within” way, what do you find is your motive? Have you found yourself leaning too much into legalism? Have you found yourself using grace as an excuse to break your boundaries? Let’s pray for God’s leading to show us what HE wants us to do. Let’s pray that our motives and our hearts are in His grace alone. Let’s remember that this is a journey to healing and wholeness in Him.