Help, I’ve Fallen Off My Diet!

Help, I’ve Fallen Off My Diet!

Pink scars line my right shin where I tripped and smashed—face forward—onto my asphalt driveway. It happened a month ago while I was doing yard work. Both my wrists and my right leg had cuts and bruises. My body ached from whiplash. I’m grateful I didn’t break a bone.

Today, those scars are the visible evidence that I fell. A reminder to be more careful when I’m walking. I’m not young anymore so I don’t bounce back as quick. The same goes with my weight.

In my twenties, I could eat what I wanted without evidence showing up on my waistline. Childbirth and an aging metabolism has added to my girth. Thin Within showed me I need to be careful around food because I’m prone to fall and eat for no reason. And that bad habit increases my weight that doesn’t shed as easily.

This week’s lesson on God’s grace brought to mind those moments I’ve stumbled during my Thin Within journey. Snack food…within easy reach…is always the culprit.

The lust of the eye gets me every time. “One bite won’t hurt.” And it probably wouldn’t hurt except I stumble into having a second and third helping. Soon, I’m belly aching because I tripped and fell—again—off the eating right wagon.

Oh, I may not have visible scars like the ones on my leg, but there are mental scars because I beat myself up when I fall. Frustration turns into hopelessness and smothers me like a wet napkin.

Will I ever be able to socialize without nibbling? I want to taste the snacks. When I discover they’re good—I want more.

Remember the mythological Siren that sang and lured men to their death? Their only escape was to cover their ears. Well, food—particularly appetizers—has the same effect when I’m socializing.


I need to hide my eyes from the doughnuts when I walk into church. Cover my ears from the sound of people chewing popcorn in a movie. Glue my lips together when the hostess serves coffee cake at our book club. Slap my hand when I’m playing a board game with friends, and the snack is inches away. Tell me I’m not alone!

When I fall, self-condemnation and a wailing regret are my first response. Grace—from the Lord or myself—no where on the table.

However, Heidi’s video about observation and correction, makes perfect sense. I’ve observed my habits for a month now so I know my weakness. Now, I need to correct my behavior.

When I get with my friend to play games, I’ll know to go hungry so I can have a small portion of her homemade snacks.

If I’m hosting book club, I’ll have the women fix themselves a small plate in the kitchen instead of bringing the food platter to the table.

At church, I’ll learn to strategically stay far from the doughnuts by pretending it’s the enemy.

Equally beneficial is studying Barb Raveling’s book The Renewing of the Mind Project to discover the little truths about myself.

Why do I love appetizers? Why do I associate snacks with pleasure and socializing? Is there something I can do to re-place food and still have fun with my friends?

Years ago, a friend of mine once struggled with her weight and she didn’t want to gain back the pounds she’d lost. Whenever we met in her home, she never served food with the beverages. Sometimes we’d walk while we talked instead of sitting around a table. At the time, I felt like food was a missing ingredient, but now I understand her wisdom. Even if I’m not there yet.

Hosting people in my home is synonymous with food. Drop into my home, and I’ll haul out the cheese and day-old crackers. Are you hungry? Let me microwave a frozen corn dog and smother it in mustard. Isn’t food the definition of hospitality? Even Biblical patriarchs killed and cooked the fatted calf whenever they entertained guests. But I assume they were hungry. They knew better than to pig out on fried pork rinds.

Who knows, I might be doing folks a favor and keep them from tripping if I become more creative, and less calorie-oriented, when it comes to entertaining.

Meanwhile, the Big Truth: God’s grace is new every morning. He’s not bringing up yesterdays belly flops and face plants. He wants us to “taste and see the Lord is good” so we’ll want more of Him and be truly satisfied.

Isn’t it time, we believe God and give ourselves some grace too? Knowing…

“The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:8, 14).

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What are You Numbing?

What are You Numbing?

I have just finished leading a small group of wonderful ladies through Taste for Truth, a weight loss Bible study by Barb Raveling. I highly recommend this study. I believe it is best to go through it with some friends. The daily scripture reading and writing has opened me up to more healing by God, my Great Physician. He is so good and patient with us, His children. The things He wants to teach us take as much time as it takes. He is patient and He is teaching me patience during this lifelong journey.

Idols-art-blankOn day 26 we talked about idols. I know that many of us, especially as Jesus followers, don’t have statues that we bow down to, but I know for me that I have idols. Food, for example has been an idol. My compulsive thinking about my weight and body has been an idol. Dieting has definitely been an idol. When I used to start a new diet, I tried so hard to be righteous in bowing down to the idol of the perfect diet that was going to take me to the perfect body size and health and vitality!! Sadly, what happens when I bow to an idol, the idol lets me down. They have no power. They are inanimate objects. We were asked in our study: According to the following Bible Verses, what do you have to be careful of when you really love something like food? I want to share with you the things that the Holy Spirit laid on my heart.

In Jeremiah 2:11-13 he asks, “Has a nation ever exchanged its gods? Yet my people have exchanged their Glory for useless idols. Be horrified at this, heavens; be shocked and utterly appalled. This is the LORD’s declaration. For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the Fountain of Living Water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.  When I love food, or other gods, I am pouring my life into something that is cracked: those things don’t hold water! They bring hurt and destruction. And I have abandoned the One who heals and gives me Living Water.

Isaiah 44:17 says, “He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it (wood and things man-made is the example in previous verses). He bows down to it and worships; he prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.” Is this not what I do when I run to food to numb or stuff feelings that I don’t want to feel? I make it (the food) a god and I want it to save me from my thoughts and emotions. The food fog sets in and I am lost in my ability to deal with what is going on; let along the ability to take those things to my Abba Father!

I love 1 Corinthians 6:12 that tells me that, “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be brought under the control of anything.” When food is my god, it controls me. I push the Holy Spirit aside and I let an inanimate object take control of me and then I eat it!  The Holy Spirit is my Comforter, my guide in this Jesus following life that I am living. Yet, I push Him aside and say this thing, this food that is drawing me to it life a moth to a light is better for me than the perfect healing that I am being drawn into by the Holy Spirit. Lord, may I taste and see that You are good!!

Feelings offLet’s face it…food numbs…and food brings about a fog in our minds that keeps us from dealing with the things that the LORD God wants us to deal with (with Him and through His strength). I’ve recently been given mercy to deal with the things I was numbing. At this writing, I am not being controlled by any food items. It took work on my part, but I did it and He is healing me.

What about you dear reader? Is food still an idol? Are you still running to it for numbing or stuffing of feelings you don’t want to deal with? Jesus asked the invalid at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-14), “Do you want to get well?” I believe you do, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  It takes work. When you eat 0 to 5, all the feelings and emotions that have been stuffed and numbed come back to the surface. The tools to take them to the feet of Jesus are there in Thin Within/Hunger Within and Barb Raveling’s books. You too can be set free!!

Vacation is No Excuse to Eat for Two

Vacation is No Excuse to Eat for Two

Going on a vacation when you’re trying to lose weight is like going to the Land of Plenty. Plenty of Temptations to eat more than normal. Plenty of Good Reasons to justify eating.

Part of me dreaded vacation. I’d spent two weeks renewing my mind to only eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied.

What if this trip to Seattle became a roller coaster, rousing my senses—sight, smell, taste—to incredible heights until I couldn’t resist. And then plunging me into a sea of gluttony and condemnation from which I’d never recover?

So I packed my Bible verses to remember who I am in Christ rather than identify myself as an anything goes tourist on holiday.”

First day in the city, my family walked to the Bay where the salty sea air wasn’t the only thing I breathed in. Asian, Italian, and Seafood restaurants lined the wharf where customers dined outdoors…savoring their meals in plain view.

I tried to shield my eyes from the culinary temptations, but the smorgasbord was everywhere. Ice cream waffle cones, fried fish and chips, shrimp cocktail, sushi, calzone, clam chowder. I felt like Pinocchio walking through the midway of food booths at a fair.

In the Public Market, food—cooked and raw—were displayed on ice or slanted trays like crowned jewels. People—hungry or not—lined up to satisfy their appetites. Until Thin Within, I never realized how food monopolizes our day.


Waiting until I was hungry to eat, wasn’t the problem. It was the mental debate before each meal: what I wanted versus what I was capable of eating before I reached a five. 

In the olden days, I might have postponed my diet or played the martyr…eating a house salad while my husband and son devoured the Seafood Sampler. However, Thin Within isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. So I asked for the smoked salmon on a side salad instead of as an entree. Even so, the salad portion was larger than a fist.

“Food is fuel,” I said, and scraped half my salad on my twenty-year-old son’s plate. I took a tiny bite of my husband’s crab cakes. And I only had one slice of fresh sourdough bread. By allowing myself to taste different foods, my taste buds were tickled and my stomach had “enough.”

Initially, I thought I might lose weight because we never ate more than two meals a day. Never snacked between meals. Burned more calories by walking than we ate.

However, my diet declined as the week progressed. My battle wasn’t a lack of self-discipline as much as listening to my family.

“Eat what you want. You’re on vacation.

“You can eat smart next week.”

“You should try my Belgium waffle.”

“I can’t eat all this pizza. Do you want some?”

“I thought you were going to help me eat this Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream.”

“Is that all you’re going to eat? Don’t you like it?”


Instead of saying, “I’m trying to lose weight,” I’d tell them, “I’m not hungry.” 

Not being hungry empowered me as opposed to sacrificing food to lose weight.

Portion control was my worse enemy. One afternoon, I ordered fish tacos from the appetizer menu thinking they’d be smaller portions, but the waitress brought three large tacos. I was satisfied after I ate the first taco. But my son refused to be my garbage disposal and eat the other two.

“Clean your plate & Don’t waste your food” were ingrained in me from birth. I made myself eat the second taco. My stomach groaned. “You’re not eating for two.”

So I tried a childhood trick. I picked at the third taco with my fork to make it appear like I’d eaten some of it. Then I placed my cloth napkin on top of my plate so the waitress wouldn’t see the uneaten food. 

Some folks might wonder why I didn’t ask for a Doggy Bag. 1) We never ate near our hotel, and didn’t want to carry it around. 2) Our room didn’t have a microwave to reheat the food. 

By the last meal, I stopped inventing ways to eat or not eat my food. Not knowing when I’d eat next, (another excuse) I ate both halves of my croissant breakfast sandwich despite being full. Rather than justify my actions or live in condemnation, I focused on the positive. 

  • Everything I ate was delicious.
  • I tried to limit my food.
  • I did better than I anticipated considering how little control I had regarding meals.
  • Thin Within exposed the false reasons that made me think I deserved to eat with abandon during vacation. 

I’m home now, and happy to announce, “I didn’t gain weight.” That’s a first for me!

Photos: Karen Foster


Pleasers, Teasers, Whole Body Pleasers

Pleasers, Teasers, Whole Body Pleasers


In Thin Within, we are freed from the “good food/bad food” mentality.

Instead, we look at how much we enjoy various foods and also discern how our bodies respond after we eat them in moderation–0 to 5. In chapter 18 (bottom of page 185-189), we learn a practical tool for progressing in our journey.

We can mentally categorize foods into:
1. Pleasers
2. Teasers
3. Whole Body Pleasers
4. Total Rejects

This is the Discernment Phase of Thin Within. We have moved beyond freedom and, while continuing to exercise our freedom to enjoy any food in moderation, we now realize that we are free from *having* to eat a certain favorite food if it makes us feel energy depleted!

Because all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial (1 Corinthians 6:12), we want to begin to take stock of these facts and respond accordingly. We are more than taste buds, so we begin to note that some foods make our entire body feel good.  These are the “Whole Body Pleasers.”

Diets typically have us eating foods that we view as “Total Rejects.” We don’t have to do that any more. But we may also find that some of the categories shift and grow. This is a good thing. Something that has been a “Pleaser” we may discover doesn’t energize us the way we need it to. We may end up calling it a “Teaser” or even a “Total Reject.” Cooked differently or with different seasonings to enhance the flavor, a food that is nutritionally dense, but that we have never appreciated the flavor of, may actually become a “Whole Body Pleaser!” These categories will shift and change with time. Let’s be adventurous and explore and experiment.

Over time, you will want more and more of your eating (which is all done 0 to 5) to include “Whole Body Pleasers”–foods that you enjoy *and* that leave you feeling energized!

How about you? Have you begun to notice how certain foods make you feel? What foods are “Whole Body Pleasers” for you? What foods are “Teasers?” “Pleasers?” “Total Rejects?” Has this changed for you over time so far?



We have tools to use on this journey toward intuitive eating. Some come naturally and some come with some pain, but they all lead to a closer relationship with the Lord and they all lead to healing if we do the work needed to get there.

It started with a negative emotion. Anger. I had an issue going on in my life that was making me angry. And, it wasn’t just the anger that was causing problems but the obsessive thoughts that went along with the anger. My thoughts and obsessions about what was going on was becoming an idol and they were making me want to break my eating boundaries.

I’ve been in this community for almost two years, so I know the right tools to use when these situations come up, but I wasn’t using them. I had grown accustomed to dwelling on the problem. Have you ever felt like that? Sometimes we are so comfortable with the bad feelings that it takes a special circumstance to get us to want to change.

My special circumstance is taking a small group of ladies through Taste for Truth by Barb Raveling. I felt as a leader that it was about time I use our tools to work through what I was feeling. So I did. The first thing I did was make a commitment to my small group to go through the Anger and Annoyance questions in “I Deserve a Donut” by Barb Raveling. I completed my commitment, but it was difficult. I was weeping by the time I finished just the first couple of questions. Wow, now I know why it is so hard to actually do what helps us! I have to admit that even though it was difficult, I felt better when I completed my task.

The next day our lesson was on Truth Journaling. I took what I had written for the first question and used that for truth journaling. This opened my eyes to some things where I was in the wrong and believed lies instead of the truth.

The following day, I went back to complete our lesson on Day 21. I once again used my anger issue for this lesson. Barb asked us on Day 21 in Taste for Truth to focus on a trial that is going on right now. Then read Hebrews 12:1-15 and record everything it says about how God wants me to handle this trial and what He is hoping I will get out of it. Here is what I learned:

  1. Lord, You want me to lay aside the weight of this trial. It is not mine to carry.
  2. Lord, carrying weight that is not mine to carry is a sin. It is in essence saying that I should take care of my own trial instead of taking it to You. Lord, keep me from being ensnared by obsessive thinking which draws me into sin.
  3. Lord, You are calling me to endure this race I am running to You.
  4. Lord, You are telling me that the way to endure is to keep my eyes on You.
  5. Lord Jesus, You are the source and perfecter of my faith. I can’t grow in my faith without You.
  6. Lord Jesus, You called me as Your own and You feel joy in that.
  7. Lord Jesus, You endured the pain of the cross and suffered the shame of crucifixion for me, one of the sheep in Your fold. I praise You as You sit at Father God’s right hand in glory!
  8. Lord, as I look at Your example I see that as I walk with You and lean on You that I will not grow weary and lose heart.
  9. Lord, in my struggles against sin I am not doing well in resisting the pull. Lord, help me keep my eyes on You. Renew my mind as I turn to You.
  10. Lord, I am Your child; Your daughter. Let me not take Your discipline lightly. I know that Your discipline shows Your love for me. You desire my growth into the likeness of Jesus and You want Your will and glory to show forth from my life. That’s what I want too Lord!
  11. Lord, I can endure this suffering as Your loving discipline. Lord, show me what You want me to learn from this trial and show me how to use this knowledge to help others.
  12. Lord, do not let me forget that I am Your child and that You love me.
  13. Lord, I submit to Your discipline for my growth. Transform me and my life Lord. Make me holy for You are holy.
  14. Lord, even though I feel emotional pain right now, I know that Your discipline will lead to and yield the fruit of peace and righteousness.
  15. Lord, I submit and surrender to Your training.
  16. Lord, strengthen my tired hands and my weakened knees. I want my life to reflect Your glory and to show how You grow and transform me.

After working through this issue using the tools we have at our fingertips, I felt healed from my negative feelings. I shared with my friend and accountability partner Deanna Lewis that I felt like I had been washed on an old fashioned wash board, put through a wringer and now I have been hung up on a wash line to hang in the healing light of the SON! It was hard. It was difficult. But it was so worth it!

1.12If you are dealing with negative feelings and emotions that make you want to break your eating boundaries, may I introduce you to Freedom from Emotional Eating by Barb Raveling? There is more work for me to do and I am happy to announce that Deanna Lewis and I will be offering a group study of this book starting in mid-September that will end by the end of November.

This class is for people who already have the basics of Thin Within down and are ready for the next level.

We will not be discussing weight, diets or any jargon regarding good or bad food choices.  This way, we can be free to not be tempted to return to diet mentality while God is healing us from emotional eating.

Look for more information on the TW website soon.

Freedom From Emotional Eating

Freedom From Emotional Eating



Right now I am involved in a study called “A Taste for Truth”  by Barb Raveling.  It’s a great way to learn to renew my mind and  fits nicely with eating “intuitively”, or 0-5.  A few days ago, I joined the discussion on the chapter regarding emotional eating. My good friend Deanna Burris, who is leading the class asked us some questions and gave some advice that I wanted to share with you.


1.112Do you remember the first time you ate for emotional reasons?

Gals, we have tools to use that will sidetrack our desires to eat emotionally today. We can renew our minds before we eat out of our emotions. If we miss renewing our minds before eating, we can renew our minds after and that will bring us closer to making this a habit.

Barb says at the end of this lesson, “When we stuff our emotions with food, we miss out on so much. We can change that by developing a habit of going to God to talk through all those hard situations in our lives that make us want to eat for emotional reasons.”

Share what you discovered about those “Hard Things” in your life as you worked through today’s Bible Study.


Emotional eating came early in life for me.

I was put on a diet at 5 yrs old and wasn’t allowed to have sweets.  However, my sister was allowed to have them because she was skinny and I was not.

I remember feeling ugly and unloved while my sister was the favored one.

The first memory I have of emotional eating was probably when I was around 8 years old. My family was visiting my aunt’s house and she had a bowl of candy on her coffee table. At one point I was alone in the living room and so I saw an opportunity to eat candy. As I was eating it, I remember how good I felt and powerful and loved!  Thus began my pattern of sneaking food.  This is the beginning of my unhealthy relationship as food being my friend and comforter.



From the time I was a child, I learned that food helped ease the sadness and feelings of being unloved or insecure with myself. It made me feel like I had power when I would sneak food. I have learned now that I have done this into adulthood without even realizing it. As I used food to cope since early childhood, it became ingrained in me to respond to emotions with food.


··· God Gives Hope! ···

God has opened my eyes to my emotional eating thru the book “HUNGER WITHIN”.  He continues to show me ways to STOP this behavior thru the study of the book “A TASTE FOR TRUTH”. Renewing my mind about my identity in Jesus helps me a lot. Scripture about God being in control and His love and provision also keep me feeling secure in Him and I don’t reach for the food. I have learned that food is a lier. It is certainly NOT my friend and DOES NOT love me back! I am learning with these tools God has given me that only HE truly satisfies.

He loves me right now, right here wherever I am on the journey.

Food is just a tool for nourishing my body.



.1.12God has more work to do with me regarding emotional eating.  Because of this, I am excited to announce that Deanna Burris and I will be offering a group study of Barb Raveling’s book “Freedom from Emotional Eating”.  We will start in mid September and end by the end of November.

This class is for people who already have the basics of Thin Within down and are ready for the next level.

We will not be discussing weight, diets or any jargon regarding good or bad food choices.  This way, we can be free to not be tempted to return to diet mentality while God is healing us from emotional eating.

Look for more information on the TW website soon.