Warning! Consequences Ahead!

Warning! Consequences Ahead!

I forgot something very important last week that nearly sent me on a downward spiral. I am praising the Lord for helping me to remember this important bit of information. I forgot that when Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and was resurrected and because I have placed my faith and trust in Him as my Savior and Lord, that I have His power to say no to sin. 

He broke the power of sin in my life.  

Romans 6.6-7

I think I became forgetful because we are going into the summer months. It’s during the summer months that many of us “take time off” from activities we do during the school year: like corporate Bible Study and co-leading classes for Thin Within/Hunger Within. I know that if I hit the summer without a plan in place, I tend to flounder and waste time. I tend to use the freedom from activity as an excuse to be lazy. And, this past week I used the excitement of upcoming freedom to put me in a dangerous place concerning my disordered eating. 

Yes, through Christ Jesus, I am free from the power of sin, but that doesn’t give me the right to freely sin.

I wonder if you can identify with me. See, I was looking at freedom from weekly responsibilities as an opportunity to run wild so to speak. I know it is easier for me to keep my focus on the Lord in what I am doing when I have responsibilities. They give me things that I have to get done in my spare time. But, sometimes I get tired and in my tiredness, I start to look forward to some freedom. With the summer months in front of me, I started relishing the freedom ahead, forgetting that I am not good with too much free time on my hands.  So, I started eating outside of hunger again. I couldn’t understand what was happening until I took it to the Lord. He showed me that even though I thought I wanted the freedom that the summer would bring, I was really afraid of the freedom. Why was I afraid? He showed me that I hadn’t made a plan to take Him into that freedom. Without Him in my free time, I don’t have His power to say no to sin. It is only through Him that sin has no power over me.

Running wild into freedom without Christ Jesus is no freedom at all. It is running straight back into bondage.


There is an old saying that I heard at a 12 Step meeting years ago that goes, “An addict lost in his own mind is in enemy territory.” I’m going to expound on that to say, “An addict lost in too much freedom without Christ along is in enemy territory.” That is where I found myself.

So, what did I do? I asked the Lord to help me. He helped me remember that I have an accountability partner in Thin Within (if you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one ASAP). I reached out and found out that we both were struggling. God is so good! We had a divine appointment. My accountability partner and I have agreed to stay in contact daily via text or personal message, and voice to voice via phone on a more regular basis. We are being vulnerable and admitting our weaknesses to one another and to Jesus. We are sharing our 0 to 5 eating, our plans for renewing our minds, our temptations and our victories.

I am no longer afraid of the freedom of summer because I have asked Jesus and my friend to walk with me.

I praise You

Dear reader, the moral of what I just shared is simple. If you are finding yourself in eating situations that leave you feeling unsettled, unhappy and condemned, would you consider doing what I did, and take them to the Lord, surrender to His wisdom and accept what He shows you? Look for those He has placed around you and reach out to them. There is freedom ahead and you don’t have to walk into it alone.

Suggested reading: Romans 6 through 8

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?

Time to Unpack

Time to Unpack

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Storage UnitThey just built another storage unit center that I pass on my way to work. Do you ever wonder why we as a society need so many storage unit centers? Why do we have so much “junk” that we need overflow areas outside of our homes? I know that some are used as temporary storage for furniture and other belongings while housing is in transition. I also know that many are used to store the overflow of “things” we refuse to part with but take up too much room in our daily lives to have at home, so we place this overflow in a storage unit. The new place is aptly called EZ Stor. Pull in, dump, and pull out…what could be easier: Out of sight, out of mind. And “things” just keep piling up. I can’t help but see a pattern here that also points to the things that keep us in bondage.

In Chapter 7 of Hunger Within we read, “The weight we have struggled to release is only a symbol of what we’ve been carrying—the compulsions, denial, shame, guilt, old unworkable beliefs, and painful past experiences. As we become aware of our burdensome bindings, our patient Lord is always near, encouraging us to be unwrapped as quickly or as slowly as we are able to bear. Layer by layer, the loving hand of the Lord dismantles our crippling defense mechanisms and removes the self-protective devices we thought were necessary for survival, knowing we sincerely long to be set free from the encumbrances we have been bearing.”

2 Corinthians 5 17It sounds like we need to clean out our storage units. Our minds are a lot like those units. We file our pain, our hurts, our bad memories, our rejections, and our abuse (both done to us and what we have done to ourselves through years of disordered eating and restrictive dieting). If you are here in Thin Within/Hunger Within to seek the Lord for freedom, but are not finding John 8:36 – “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” resonating in your heart and mind, I would ask you to unlock the door to the storage unit of your mind and start unpacking and bringing into the light of God’s healing grace the items stored there. I know this isn’t an easy task. I’ve been unpacking my own storage unit for years. I know some of those old comfortable “things” are really hard to let go of. I’ve had to unclench my grasp of many of them myself. I know that we open that door and see such clutter and mess and feel that the task in front of us is impossible. I’ve been there. That was when I threw up my hands in despair and said, “Lord, I can’t do this! The mess is too big!” He gently said, “Deanna, I have been waiting to hear you admit your weakness, for in your weakness, my strength will shine. With you alone, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
Don't look backI know it is a huge temptation to go back to the way we’ve always done things in the past. To start filling up that storage unit and to keep paying the rent (go back to dieting and man-made rules about food or jump on the current band-wagon that everyone else is trying in order to lose weight). But we need to remember 2 Corinthians 5:17 – 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Let’s make a commitment to God and each other that we will not go back to the way things were before. We don’t have to because in Christ Jesus, we have been made completely new. We don’t live there anymore. Let’s renew ourselves daily with the truth found in God’s Word. The temptation to look back is strong, but we can rest and take a stand on His truth! We can live in Christ’s freedom. We have His promise in Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. It’s time to clean out those storage units and cancel the leases. We are never going back.
The Last Bite

The Last Bite

coffeeAs I sat down this morning with my coffee,

I breathed a sigh of longing to be with the Lord.

Lord, I come in the quiet of this morning-

it is is a time of surrender.

Letting go.

Emptying out.

Giving to You

  • my desire for more food and
  • my desire to put more food on my plate than I really need
  • my desire to be skinny
  • my desire to be liked by others

I open up my hands, Jesus.  I release my fear and want of control.  


…..and You remind me….

to keep my eyes on YOU. that I need to TRUST YOU more than I trust MYSELF.  

I need to LOVE YOU more than I love MYSELF.

But, Lord.  Do I really do this?  Am I really faithful?  Oh Lord, my own desires always seem to get in the way. Yet….You remind me that I can come to You each moment….each day…each blink of an eye.  and YOU are there…..”

Your mercies are new each morning. 


So, there I was.

I had just finished reading a wonderful devotion and had some great journalling time with the Lord. I had written about daily surrendering the food and worry and control to Him.

I was at a zero and so had my breakfast.

Coffee, bite…yumm. repeat. again. and again and….oh!

 THEN IT HAPPENED. I felt that familiar sensation that I was no longer hungry.  I felt it AFTER  I HAD PUT THAT LAST BITE IN MY MOUTH. Yes, that was going to be the last bite. Food was left on my plate, but I was no longer hungry.

BUT BEFORE I COULD EVEN CHEW that last bite, I had a prick in my spirit.  Would I be willing to give up that bite?  Would I be willing to surrender it?

I knew I just couldn’t eat that bite. There I sat with a mouth full of food and thinking what to do with this food….I went to trash and spit it out.


Oh, Dear Reader!  It is now that we must be very careful!

 This can go down the legalistic slippery slope VERY QUICKLY if not taken in the context of the whole experience.  I had JUST HAD A DEEP TIME OF SURRENDERING  with the Lord.  And it was in that aftermath of that time that the Lord asked me if I would be willing to even surrender something as small as one bite.

Does He ask me to do this at every meal?  No.  But it showed me that IF I CAN SURRENDER THAT ONE LAST BITE THAT IS ALREADY IN MY MOUTH…I can certainly surrender the desire to eat before I am all the way hungry.  If I can not even CHEW that last bite and spit it out of my mouth because God asked me to do it, I can have the strength in HIM to push my plate away when I feel that comfortable sensation and know I’m done.

QuestionMarksHere are some questions.

Am I WILLING to truly give up my love of food?  Am I REALLY ready to surrender when and how much I am eating? I say I am.  I say I love God more than anything.  But the test comes when I am tempted…..what will I REALLY do?

What will you do?

No matter what, dear reader….if we choose our own way, we are forgiven and there is grace.  For most of us it is a daily….or hourly….surrender of our love affair with food!.  It is a choice we make.  BUT IN HIM and in HIS strength, we can do it!

Let’s live in TRUTH and FREEDOM!

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?


Fat Shaming

Fat Shaming

I heard the term “Fat Shaming” for the first time a few months ago in an article on Facebook.  It was written by a woman who has endured comments mainly from doctors that automatically assumed that she was unhealthy just because she was considered “obese” by the BMI scale. 150666859 All her blood work showed that her cholesterol levels were great, and all other “levels” that doctors look for in that type of test.  Her blood pressure was perfect.  She even ran several miles a week and was training for a 5K run! There really wasn’t anything wrong with her health other than she might have an illness every now and then like most of us endure when needing to see a doctor.

That led me to these questions:

Why do people automatically think that  a BMI scale, weight scale, fat pinch meter or a number on a pair of pants dictates how healthy I am?

Why is it that I know several “thin” people who have high blood pressure and some avid runners who are the outward picture of health have high cholesterol?

Ok…let me give this disclaimer: YES, it is true that obesity does lend itself to diabetes and high cholesterol. BUT really?  Is it the size of a person or is it the AMOUNT OF FOOD THAT IS CONSUMED that causes the health problem? Overeating does cause obesity.  That is a fact. But let’s put the focus where it should lie.  It isn’t the size or shape of our bodies that causes us to be unhealthy. It is too much food.  Too much fat, too much salt, too much sugar….but TOO MUCH. EXCESS.

No-body-shaming-beauty-redefinedSo let’s go back to the whole FAT SHAMING thing.  

The author of the article that introduced me to this term was simply saying that just because someone is considered overweight and the wrong shape or size by society, generally society frowns upon them. How many of us can relate to that? If you haven’t experienced that, just think back to the last time you were at the beach and might have been surrounded by bikini-clad and young beauties, some of whom look down their perfectly perky noses at you!


Fat shaming IS a real thing in our society.  

Dear readers, I am here to tell you that the biggest and strongest and loudest voice to fat shame you is YOURSELF! Yes, I said it.  It’s us!  We do the MOST shaming of all, don’t we?

But guess what?  THERE’S GOOD NEWS!!

In Christ we have no condemnation.  IN Christ we have no shame.  In Christ, we are loved the way we are.  In Christ we have a chance to be accepted and loved no matter our shape, size or number on a scale or pair of pants or BMI chart!

Romans 8:1

Therefore now there is NO COMDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus!

I believe it was Heidi Bylsma who once said “Jesus is not nearly as concerned about your size as He is concerned about your heart!”

Oh Dear Reader!

It is time for this FAT SHAMING to END!PicsArt_04-11-06.23.32


It’s time to FIGHT!!!  It’s time to tell those shaming thoughts to “get packing!”

Tell the evil one that YOU WILL NOT LISTEN ANYMORE!

Renew our minds with HIS TRUTH!

 ….Goodbye SHAME…..



How about you?  Would you like to learn more about kicking “shame” to the curb?  In Hunger Within, we learn ways to destroy shame and how it plays a part in our cycle of diet slavery.  You can order a copy to read or join a workbook study for tools to help with defeating shame.  Meantime, why not make a list of your identity in Christ? Here are a few scriptures to get you started fighting LIES with GOD’S truth about you:

I have loved you with an everlasting love, with unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. ~Jeremiah 31:3

See how much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are.        ~1 John 3:1

The Lord our God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will dance over you with singing.  ~ Zephaniah 3:17

I am complete in Him. ~Colossians 2:10

You are beautiful for you are fearfully and wonderfully made ~Psalm 139:14

If anyone is in Christ, they are a NEW CREATION.  ~ 2 Corinthians 2:17