Racing To Freedom

Racing To Freedom

Photo credit:  Sura Nualpradid via

Photo credit: Sura Nualpradid via

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2

I’ve never been much of a runner. I tried to train for a 5k once and I eventually was able to run up to 3 miles, but I hated every single minute of it. Running was hard, my heart was rarely into it and I always found a way to talk myself out of training. So it fills my heart with joy that this verse in Hebrews isn’t talking about us literally running a physical race (praise God!). Our race is spiritual. But running a spiritual race is no less difficult than running a physical race!

The author of Hebrews tells us that there are things that hinder and entangle us in our race. Those things can look like: sin, disobedience, entitlement, pride, self-pity, fear, doubt, condemnation, lies, gluttony, distraction, complacency, negative self-talk, rebellion- none of these things are from God and they all hinder our forward momentum in our race. And we are called to throw them off.  We are called to cast off those things that hold us back, weigh us down, hinder our progress and cause us to stumble in our race. The author of Hebrews doesn’t tell us to accept them, live with them, hold onto them, excuse them or wallow in them! Throw that junk away! Toss it aside! Banish it from your life! Shake it off! Get rid of it!

Can you imagine how quickly a runner would quit a race if he had dozens of heavy bags of garbage hanging around his neck? I doubt he would go 100 yards before collapsing and calling it quits! The same is true for us in our Thin Within journey. It’s going to be pretty tough to maintain our forward progress if we are weighed down by false beliefs, lies from the enemy (“you’re no good at this, just quit, you’ll always be overweight, this is too hard, you’re a failure”), rebellious attitudes or sin. Imagine how much easier the race is without being weighed down with all that stuff!

So how in the world do we throw off the things that hinder and entangle us, so that we can run our race? Luckily for us, the very next verse has our answer: “let us run with perseverance…fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Jesus has the power to speak truth over us. Jesus can set us free from the lies. Jesus can strengthen us in our weakness. Jesus forgives our sin, washing us clean. Jesus can change our hearts, our minds, our attitudes and our actions. Jesus can pick us off the ground, remove the bags of garbage that are hanging around our necks and set us back on our path. Jesus can set us free to run our race! Jesus can do all of this. We need only ask. We need only fix our eyes on Him.

Our race is serious business. So let’s get serious about casting off all the things that hinder us. Let’s get serious about praying consistently against all the junk that holds us back and keeps us on the sidelines. Let’s get serious about coming to Jesus and asking for healing, deliverance, hope and restoration. Let’s get serious about fighting all the lies we have believed by daily renewing our minds and speaking God’s truth over ourselves. Let’s shake off everything that hinders us so that we might run our race with freedom and victory!

How about you? What things do you need to shake off? Can you identify anything that is slowing down your forward progress? Are you diligently praying against the things that hold you back? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus or are you distracted by all the things that try to hold you back? What steps do you need to take to get rid of the junk that is hindering your race?




Mandisa – Overcomer

You’re an overcomer!

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!

The Fight of Faith — Lesson 7 TW Class 2014

The Fight of Faith — Lesson 7 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Sometimes, it becomes really really clear that this just won’t be easy. Simple, yes. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are not hungry. Go to God for all the other reasons that you may want to eat and let him walk with you through them. Simple. Yes. EASY? Most definitely not. What do we do when it is tough? We hang in there. We put on the full armor of God and take our stand. We fight the good fight of faith.

Video Questions:

1.) God sees what you are becoming and will yet become. List some characteristics of you that God sees based on the work He is doing in your life. It is fine for this to be hypothetical if you like or, you can refer to the Who I Am In Christ list for ideas. This is how HE sees you!

2.) In the video (0:54) I refer to God’s “Big T” truth as “trumping our little t truth.” What does this mean to you?

3.)  I use a number of bible verses in this video segment. Select two or three of these and create truth cards based on these, personalizing them so you can speak God’s Big T truth to your soul!

4.)  Several times I mention that this is not a “Battle of the Bulge.” Why is it important to understand this? (Visit 2:40 to see what I think!)

5.)  What are three lies that you tend to speak into your own life? What truths does God want you to trade the lies for?

6.)  What is an example of a specific battle that you have had where you could choose between believing a lie or believing truth? Can you foresee a possible situation in the next day or two when you might have a battle? What lies might be tempting to believe? What truth will you use to fight the lies?

7.)  What practical tools do you use to fight the fight of faith?

8.)  6:48 – I assert that we have time to invest in preparing our minds for battle. What can you do this week to invest even an additional ten minutes each day to prepare your mind for battle?

9.) 8:00 – How do you think the enemy feels when you make even a baby step of headway in God’s direction for you?

10.) Why might it be a strategy of the enemy to get us to focus on weight loss?

11.) BONUS QUESTION: 9:15 – Is my dog cute? 🙂

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

1. If you haven’t yet created truth cards, do so today. Or truth “Post It Notes.” That works, too. Create some new cards or notes. What will your Post-It Notes or new truth cards say? How will you use them? What do you think of the idea of seeing it, saying it, and hearing it?

2.  Sometimes we get so focused on ourselves: our struggle, our fight, our eating, our mistakes. What can you do to focus on someone else or on the Lord as you fight the fight of faith this week?

Pick One (book or workbook):

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 24th.

Here is the Thin Within Book Study Guide Week 7. Feel free to discuss it at our Facebook group.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 24th.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 7, The Fight of Faith, on pages C30 – C34 or listen to it on Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 7 on pages C36 – C-42. Don’t worry if you are behind. Just do what you can of this week’s material. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C43.

3. What have you added to your God List?

4. Use the entries for Day 43through Day 49 in the Temple Tool Kit.

5. For those who persevere :-), I will be doing a drawing on Monday, February 24, from all those who respond in the comments section here to any of the discussion questions or blog posts this week. The winner will get an I Deserve a Donut book from Barb Raveling. (Thanks, Barb, for donating a book to this!). If you already have that book, Arthur and Judy Halliday have donated a copy of Hunger Within. You can have that instead. All you need to do is post a reasonably relevant comment and include a notation “Please enter me in the drawing” or something like that.

6. Memorize Hebrews 11:6 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards.

7. Join us on February 24th for our live webinar at 4:30 Pacific Time. We have special guest, Judy Halliday, who will share with us some of the challenges she has had to face over the years–especially more recently. She will share wisdom from the front lines Fighting the Fight of Faith!

How About You?

Have you given up? If so, it’s not too late to dive back in to the fray. Yes, it is tough. Yes we may get beaten up, but it is SO worth it!  Remember, those who are victorious over their struggles with overeating and overweight are those who understand that they may not “get it” perfectly. They know that this is a ride…and we may fall off the horse, but over time, we fall off the horse less frequently and stay on the ground less long before we get back on. How about if you get back on today?

The recording of our webinar wrapping up last week’s lesson, Lesson 6 on Counting the Cost, can be found here.

Here are the Lesson 7 Discussion Questions for use with the webinar.

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

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 2 ½ hours – 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 my attitude 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 Renewing My Mind 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 practicing gratitude. 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.

(Click here to read Carrie’s Recommendation of Heidi for Thin Within coaching.)

I’m a THIS!

I’m a THIS!


Image by Jeff Ratcliff, courtesy of

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 ThisThis-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.)?

Counting the Cost — Lesson 6 TW Class 2014

Counting the Cost — Lesson 6 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /

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.

Video Questions:

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 Eat book. 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.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 6, Counting the Cost, on pages C16-C20 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 6 at Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

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.