If you have read any of the Thin Within materials or Hunger Within, you know that it is advised to get rid of dieting and the diet mentality. I thought I did that a few years ago when I started back to this way of living with Hunger Within.
But, lately I have been doing some real soul searching and I realized that I had made this into just another diet!
I have been so focused on whether I have released weight, how my body is reacting with my clothes and if I am “following the rules” right.
I have gotten rid of my SCALE (and it was so freeing!!!), but slowly that diet mentality slipped back in as I worried about how my clothes are fitting.
I have thrown away my diet books, points calculators and calorie counters. But when I starting thinking about “doing” Thin Within “right” or “wrong”, I started sliding down that slippery slope to diet mentality once again!
I have so desperately wanted to be thin all my life. To be beautiful. To be accepted……but God keeps telling me over and over that His ways are not my ways. That His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. AND mostly….He tells me that
I am HIS. I am BEAUTIFUL at the shape I am RIGHT NOW!
Over and over, he keeps guiding me back to following Him with my eating. Yes, hunger to satisfaction. 0-5. and use the KEYS TO CONSCIOUS EATING as tools.
The KEYS TO CONSCIOUS EATING are Tools, not RULES!
If I follow what He is showing me to do, my body will BE the size and shape HE has made me to be.
Dear readers, I will be honest. My body is not the shape I want. It is not the size I want. This last year I have stopped producing certain hormones and that has caused my body to change in ways I do not like. BUT, guess what? God tells me that even with this….even though I will probably NEVER be what society sees as “thin”,
if I follow HIM and surrender the food, my body WILL be where HE created it to be.
At this stage in my life, my shape and size is healthy and beautiful even if it isn’t what I see in all the forms of media.
So, Dear Reader. I ask you now. Are you focusing on your shape or size? Are you caught up in a number on a scale or clothes? Are you worried you are not “doing it right”?
Remember this (as I must remember too!), this is a process of learning and growing and being. It isn’t going to be like the diets of our past where we do “x” and get “y” results. It is fluid, moving forward and back and side to side as we dance on this journey with the Lord.
And I say to myself and to you….let’s enjoy this journey. Quit beating ourselves up for how we look or a number on a scale. Quit trying to do things “right” and turn to HIM, surrendering the food and our bodies to the one who created us beautiful!
Have you ever been on a detour? You are on your way from point A to point B and you find yourself crossing X, Y, and Z?
I went on a detour recently with my weight loss journey. It is so easy to be swayed off the straight, tried and true path, and I was swayed. Luckily, my loving Abba Father led me back to the path He wants me on and opened my eyes to watch out for any detour signs ahead.
I was feeling worn out, tired and was not sleeping well. A friend had been suggesting a line of supplements that promised better health, energy, better sleep and a decrease in appetite (which leads to weight loss). I am a cheerleader for staying healthy using any natural ways possible, so I jumped on board. I signed up and started the “line”. Even though I wasn’t taking them for weight loss, I know that in the back of my mind I was hoping for some weight release. Actually, I was hoping for big things.
During this time, my mind kept wandering away from Thin Within/Hunger Within. I looked at the success stories and started reading the recommendations about how to eat, what to eat and when to eat. My friend even told me I needed to eat first thing in the morning, whether I was hungry or not, because I needed to get my engine running. And, my mind kept wondering to diets and what I should be doing to move things along.
Then something happened. I realized that I actually felt worse on these supplements. My stomach was getting upset and I was sleeping worse. I was confused because what I had been expecting wasn’t happening. Where was my success story? I prayed and took the mess to the Lord, and do you know what He laid on my heart? He said, “I am here. I have been here all along. My plan works. My plan is what is best for you. Have you come to Me?”
So, here is some honesty. I have recently been haphazardly following our 0 to 5 eating boundaries. When I decide I am going to eat outside of them, I do it. I hadn’t been renewing my mind in God’s Word when I felt tempted to break my boundaries or after I had broken them. I hadn’t been using the other Keys to Conscious eating as they are laid out. My accountability partner and I realized recently that we were treating our Thin Within/Hunger Within programs as another diet. To me, a diet is something you go on and off at a whim. I have never really been on a diet that I have truly seen as “lifelong”.
But, God’s plan is a lifelong plan. His plan honors the way He created my body to eat. When I listen to the cues my body naturally gives, I eat with joy between hunger and satisfaction. When I follow these boundaries, I don’t mindlessly eat at night (which causes sleep disruption that leads to feeling worn out and tired). When I follow my body’s cues, I crave whole body pleasers instead of taste bud teasers (and those total rejects).
My short detour only lasted a month. I am back on the path of Thin Within/Hunger Within. My eyes are no longer on the bright sparkling promises of another program. For today, I am committing to the plan God has for me, and when I am tempted or when I fall, I am using the tools that are right there for me. I am embracing the detour I took as a learning experience, and one I needed to take in order to bring me right back where God wants me.
What about you, dear reader? Have you taken a detour? Turn to God, and reach out for help. You will get back on the right path.
This week we are hitting “Night-Time Eating” head on by creating truth cards that will help us fight the lies we believe that cause us to give in to temptation after dinner with TRUTH.
Today, I want to share with you page two in my truth card deck!
This “habit” (of eating at night) is the single BIGGEST hindrance to my confidence that I am currently at my God-given size.
After I obsessed and went nuts and dropped all the weight I did, it was clear that I had gone too far. So I am not at that LOOOOOW a weight right now. I am good with that. But what I *don’t* know is if I am where I should be. I don’t think the number matters at all. But night-time eating is sort of a bug-a-boo for me. I haven’t conquered it at all. I know that many evenings, I do “desire” eating. If I were to be obedient during this trouble time, I know that I would have confidence that no matter what my size or number or whatever, I am right where God intends for me to be.
I need to CHOOSE to surrender my “desire eating” in the evening to God. Will I?
It really boils down to WILL I OBEY GOD? Or my desires?
Will I call “foul” to God when he asks me to give evening eating over to him?
Is this one of those areas where I retain *my* (supposed) rights? Or am I truly surrendered…”Not my will, but thine be done?” No food tastes as good as obedience feels!
Is giving up food after dinner (when I am not hungry) worth what I get in return?
There truly is no sweeter sensation–no tantalizing taste-bud thrill–than loving God with my choices. The peace that I experience when I submit to his authority is just SO wonderful!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are these truths that you can add to your truth card deck? How is it going for you using your truth cards? What truths can you add to these that I have posted?
Do you struggle with eating after dinner? I know that many do. We aren’t typically hungry for the few hours that follow dinner time, yet we nevertheless end up eating. I have three truth cards for that as well. It helps me to read these truth cards out loud just before dinner time. It also helps me to read them out loud just after dinnertime, too. If I find I am tempted, I like to launch Barb Raveling’s “I Deserve a Donut” app (she has an I Deserve a Donut book now too for those without iPhones!) and use some of her questions to illuminate what is going on.
In any event, here are THREE truths that I can say out loud that help me to NIP EVENING EATING in the bud!
Unless I eat an early dinner (or light dinner, stopping before I reach a “5” on the hunger scale), I simply WILL NOT BE HUNGRY before bed!
Have you experienced this? Where you know that you ate plenty at dinner time, but you know you are planning…actually planning to eat anyhow? Do we want to BE CURED of this overeating and extra weight stuff? Do we really WANT to be obedient to the Lord in eating only what we need for fuel? Then the truth is, unless we eat a very early dinner or an extremely light dinner, it isn’t likely we will be hungry before bed!
I sleep better when I don’t overeat at bed-time or just before.
Have you ever had a food-fest in the evening while watching TV or a movie or playing games with the family? Or perhaps that is your computer or reading time and you just munch most of the evening? Has it affected how soundly you sleep? It does for many of us who struggle with this. When we use food for fuel, we are able to sleep peacefully!
When I don’t overeat at night, I wake up hungry for breakfast which is a good thing!
A lot of people assume that they need to eat in the morning when they wake up. Honestly, when I overeat the night before, I am not hungry until 10am or sometimes even 11am! Is this true for you?
How About You?
Do you struggle with night-time eating? Might speaking these truths out loud each morning and again in the evening before you eat after dinner actually help you? What are your strategies for emerging victorious over the temptations to eat in the evening “just because?”
Stay tuned for part 2 of night-time eating Truth Cards!
“If you faced any challenges in this last month, raise your hand!”
Several months ago I wrote a blog about this. Over the last month or so, I found I needed to revisit it as a reminder to myself! I can imagine that a lot of us who read this can relate to challenges that happen from time to time. Maybe you face challenges every day! So, I think it is worth looking at this subject again.
One BIG challenge I am facing every day is with my body. I am currently going through menopause (or have hit menopause….) and my body is doing some strange (and unexpected) things! One thing in particular that I really don’t like is my body just doesn’t want to release weight but instead would rather shift it to different areas of my body! Add to that hot flashes, occasional dizziness and appetite spikes and cravings.
Another challenge has been many different and big life changes going on with my family. My son just graduated from college, my husband just resigned from his ministry position at our church (he was bi-vocational) and I just went full-time at my job. (which will not make up the difference financially….but that’s another story of faith!)
.Add to that my family coming to town for my son’s graduation (I wrote about that in an earlier blog).
Then for his graduation trip, we went to Disney World for a week! Yes, it was fun, but can we say FOOD, FOOD, FOOD???
I found it has been difficult to stay focused and eat mindfully with all the challenges going on.
All of us can relate to the struggles of life.
You might have three little ones running around and pulling at you from every direction.
You might be one of those people that have to carpool all over the place and that is your life.
You might be someone who has a sickness in your family or you are a caregiver for your aging parent.
You can fill in the blank.
We all know that life can be stressful and unpredictable.
How in the world do we stay focused?
How in the world do we not just jump right back into a pan of brownies and swim around while throwing it all in our mouths? How do we keep from going back to food for comfort and sanity?
Although, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, I can tell you what I do.
I just keep practicing.
I practice saying “no” when deep in my heart I already know that I don’t need the food.
I practice eating 0 to 5.
I practice the different keys to conscious eating that help me stay in my boundaries.
I can only do this in HIS strength, which means I also practice some other important things!
I surrenderthings to the Lord
Sometimes I am giving the Lord the same thing over and over because I’m going through a hard time. That’s what I have to do. I surrender it up to the Lord and I lay it down at his feet.
I take time to spend with the Lord.
Even if it’s just a sentence prayer in the shower or praying while I’m washing the dishes. It may even be just singing a simple praise song over and over again. It may be renewing my mind with His word or listening to worship music.
I know that if I seek Him, keep renewing my mind with His truth and try to follow Him as best I can then I will remember:
HE IS BY MY SIDE. ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT.
He will meet me where I am and give me the strength to carry on.
I DO NOT practice BEATING MYSELF UP!
I don’t practice beating myself up when I mess up. I have to stop and I have to just take a moment to say,
“Lord I knew that that extra piece of pie was not going to make me feel better. I thank you that after I took one bite, I realized it and I knew I wasn’t hungry and so I stopped.”
I don’t beat myself up about the one bite. I celebrate the fact that I only took one and I walked away.
Maybe for you it’s that you ate the whole piece of pie (or whatever). BUT you don’t have to beat yourself up for the one piece. Celebrate the fact that you didn’t eat the whole pie! Try to look at the positive and cling to what God is doing in you!
I try to focus on the good things that God is doing. I try to thank HIM.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6
This peace that he talks about may not be something that’s instantaneous in my soul but it is a peace that’s deep in my soul knowing that no matter what, He is still there with me.
Basically, it comes from building a relationship with the Lord. Relationships don’t come easy and they don’t come instantaneously. There’s a give and take in relationships. And it is the same with the Lord. I’m not going to be perfect. Only God is. I can rely on His perfection to help me get through the rough times.
So, no matter what rough time you might be facing….how big or how little… remember to PRACTICE.
PRACTICE relying on Him, renewing your mind with His truth, surrendering to Him and allowing Him to love you through it all.
Dear readers, have you grabbed onto the importance of renewing your mind in God’s Word? In good times and in troubled times, this command from God’s Word in Romans 12:1-2 never fails to bring me peace and understanding. Whether I pick up on something I need to hear from my daily Bible reading, or the Lord places an area of my life He wishes to work on in my mind, or a topic keeps being placed in front of my face, digging in the Word and then praying about it is the way I renew my mind.
The other day, I was lead to read John 6:63 –
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
This scripture hit me hard because since summer started I have been floundering with my boundaries of 0 to 5 eating. I would like to blame the steady stream of birthdays and graduation parties, but that would be a lie. There are also many more opportunities for drinking during all those parties, and if you happen to drink, you will probably notice like I do, that overeating is so much easier, but blaming this too would be a lie. It is my flesh wanting what it wants, when it wants and in the quantities it wants. I was reading old blog posts that Heidi Bylsma wrote from back at the beginning of our blog (January 2007). She called what I am talking about “Recreational Eating” and boy, is that a great description about what has been going on. Am I following my boundaries? No. Do I feel good? No. Am I comfortable? No. Am I using the tools? No. Am I happy about it? No. What am I going to do? I’m going to renew my mind. And as Heidi is fond of telling us, when you fall off the horse, dust yourself off and get right back on. so I am back on my “horse” and I am continuing on my journey.
Each day we have a choice, dear reader. We can choose to follow our flesh or we can choose to follow the Spirit. One counts for nothing and one counts for life. When I am living the way I have been this month, I don’t feel like I am living at all. I am tired and I am blah. Here is what I wrote in my journal after meditating on the scripture from John 6:63:
Lord, my flesh is greedy for comfort. It seeks what is not of You. It is not honoring to Your will for me. It is not honoring to Your Word. It draws me from feeling Your presence in my life. It listens to the lies of the evil one. It seek s self-gratification. It does not want to selflessly give. My soul and heart cry out to You for deliverance from my flesh. Because of Christ Jesus I can choose whom I serve. I can choose to continue to be a slave to sin or I can choose Christ and be a slave to righteousness. Today, I choose Christ. I choose to be weak so that His strength be made manifest in my life.
I choose to follow Christ.
I choose to honor God with my body.
I choose to bring the Lord into my mealtimes.
I choose to take my frustrations and lay them at the feet of Jesus.
I choose to praise and glorify my Triune God…God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit who brings comfort, discernment, conviction and peace.
Dear friends, let’s renew our minds today so that we can keep our focus on God, the healer of our hearts and minds. Will you pray Psalm 119:37 with me?
Turn my eyes away from worthless things: preserve my life according to Your Word.