When taking the Thin Within journey to release weight, God will begin working on the inside of us before we see results on the outside. Does this mean that weight release can take time? Absolutely! However, this should not be discouraging. We should be encouraged because the change will be lasting, not temporary.
Philippians 1:6 states the following:
“Being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it
until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The work WILL be complete. If God started it, He will finish it. That is not to say that we will not make mistakes along the way. We will, but we know that God is still at work in us.
For years, I have tried numerous diet plans such as Weight Watchers, the low-carb plan, and even a tuna diet. Yuck! I lost lots of weight on Weight Watchers only to gain it back plus some. I lasted one day on the low-carb plan which should tell you what kind of food I prefer. The tuna diet was disgusting! I love tuna, but not by itself. It must have mayonnaise which was forbidden on the tuna diet. Frustrated, I began to eat more and more. Well, you know the rest.
The Holy Spirit began speaking to me about allowing the Lord to deal with the root of the problem. The problem, which was emotional, was on the inside of me. I still struggle with my emotions, and when I am not allowing God to work on the inside, my emotions rule. As a result, I eat out of emotions rather than physical hunger.
I did the Thin Within program in 2009, and released 45 pounds. When I returned to college in 2010, I slowly began yielding to my emotions, and I have gained 25 pounds. I am so thankful the Lord has lead me back to Thin Within, and since the work is inside out, I feel the Lord would have me to avoid the scales so I can focus on the inside as I surrender my emotional eating to His delivering power.
Speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:26, Jesus said, “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish that the outside of them may be clean also.” Now I am not calling any of us “Pharisees”, but it is human nature to want the outside to look good before taking care of the inside. In my case, the inside is emotions that spin out of control. For you, it may be something different. Jesus wants to do the work on the inside. It may take time before outward results become evident, but when the work is done on the inside, the results are lasting. I want lasting change. I have settled for temporary changes such as diets which I have noticed have a tendency to irritate the problem rather than solve it.
I am not a patient person by nature, but God is teaching me patience in this process as He begins the work on the inside. The work He is beginning is the same work He promises to complete. Let’s allow Him to begin that work and yield to the process even though it will take time.
How About You?
Do you find the process of waiting as God works on the inside frustrating? What can you do to relieve the frustration? How have diet plans added to any emotional issues or other issues? What do you sense God is leading you to do today?
~Allison Mitchell – Allison lives in Hanover, West Virginia with her husband, Lanny, and her two children, Aaron and Amber. Lanny and Allison are pastors of Peaceful Valley Community Church. Allison is beginning her final semester at Bluefield State College where she will have a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education and Middle School English.
I replaced the light bulbs in my bathroom this week. Two bulbs over my mirror had burned out long ago, and because of their height above the mirror, I postponed the replacement for months.
And then my husband informed me that a repairman was coming to replace our water heater. He would need access to our master bath to check his work. I immediately went to work cleaning up the bath, including replacing the lights with new, extra bright bulbs. When I hit the light switch, I saw my face in a new light, literally.
You know, the right light can change everything. It can change our priorities and choices. It can change our perceptions and immediate plans.
Let’s just say my tweezers saw some heavy action that afternoon.
This has been very similar to my experience with the boundary of 0-5 eating. It has been a bright light in my life, and what it is revealing has surprised me. Perhaps I am not who I thought I was.
Because weight loss wasn’t a major concern for me, I thought the 0-5 boundaries were a wonderful tool. Notice I said, “tool,” and not “boundary.” You use a tool when you need it. Tools are morally and spiritually neutral. They’re useful and wonderful but only occasionally necessary.
A boundary is a commitment that reflects a moral or spiritual truth. Boundaries also hint at which identity I have embraced, and what I have given authority in my life. To recognize 0-5 eating as a boundary moves its priority up in my life because it reflects what I believe to be true. 0-5 eating is not an occasional tool anymore; it’s part of my daily walk with God.
That means that my commitment to this boundary is a lifelong commitment. With diets, there is a goal and an end date. “I’m only going to lose a few pounds,” I might have said long ago. “Then this diet will be done.”
When we choose to recognize 0-5 eating as a God-honoring boundary, we’re committing for life. Weight loss is not the goal; submission is.
As I make daily eating choices based on the truth that God is my ultimate authority, I find His light growing stronger and brighter. I have found, much to my surprise, that not everything is really what I once thought. When faced with conflict in the past, I fought for what I wanted, and what I thought was right. Today, however, I recognize that submission to God’s leading is the quickest route to inner peace, and inner peace is more valuable to me than winning a fight. I can trust God to work things out in His own time, and my “assistance” is often not required.
Choosing 0-5 eating as a boundary has changed a lot of things for me and I have begun to realize I am capable of big changes. I can do new things, and in new ways. Submission and obedience are tough but tender teachers. I have found a peace I didn’t know was available. I’ve learned that my real strength comes from surrender. And that God can surprise us all at any moment in our journey, leading us somewhere bright and new.
What About You?
Do you think of 0-5 eating as a tool, or a boundary? Do you think there is a difference for you?
When you consider the words “surrender” and “submission,” what is your first reaction? Is it pleasant or negative?
If you lost all the weight today that you wanted to lose, would you still continue with the 0-5 eating guidelines? Why or why not?
A few years ago God took me on an emotional healing journey, which lasted about 4 years. It was a very hard time in my life, but such a blessing at the same time. One of the areas the Lord addressed was my area of security, or rather, my lack of security in Him. It was really about where I was placing my identity, because it certainly wasn’t in Christ.
It all started when the Lord asked me a question. I had been waiting for a few years for Him to fulfill a promise He specifically gave me in a dream. It wasn’t only a promise, but a desire He placed in my heart. And so in that discouraging time of not seeing the evidence of His promise, He asked me, “If you never had this thing, would I be enough for you?” I remember right where I was, standing in front of our dining room table. I didn’t have to think about His question for very long at all when I spouted off, “No!” I wasn’t ready to sacrifice that promise. Oh, it really bothered me that He would ask me that. How dare He!? And so the journey to placing my true identity in Christ began.
I knew in my head who I was in Christ. I read my Bible. I spent time praying and in Bible studies. I only listened to Christian music. I sang on the worship team at church and was a leader for the youth group. I knew my stuff, but I was so insecure. I had fears. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t even know who I was. And I really didn’t know who I was in Christ.
Over a long period of time, the Lord showed me all of the things I was putting my security and identity in. He would show me one thing, we would work on that one thing, and then it was on to the next thing. I’m glad He worked slowly with me because otherwise it would have felt very overwhelming. I was shocked at the things I was placing my identity and security in. It was in food, in my friends, in my husband, in where I lived, in my past, in being a mother, in my job, etc. There were so many things. I remember the day he showed me how I was putting my security into one particular friendship. I couldn’t believe it!
When I say I didn’t know myself, I mean I didn’t even know the basics about myself. Like, I didn’t even know what my favorite color was. I believed it was blue and purple, but after awhile the Lord showed me that I only liked those colors because they were “safe” colors to like. (My favorite color is actually orange!) Even a little toddler might know their favorite color. (I think my daughter likes pink!) But that’s how lost I was.
I even believed things about the Bible, but I didn’t really have anything to stand on aside from what someone told me to believe. So I had to start at ground zero with some of those beliefs. The Lord took me back to the basics and taught me
His truth so I could know without a doubt why I believe what I believe. I couldn’t lean upon someone else’s Bible teaching. I had to go to the Teacher Himself!
I wore masks. I pretended to be invisible. I didn’t want anyone to know the real me because the real me could get hurt. The real me could cry and feel pain. It felt safer to hide behind all of my false identities. No one could hurt the real me because they didn’t know the real me.
And the Lord stripped all of my defenses away. I had built a wall around my heart, and He began to tear it down brick by brick. There were times it was so scary that I was trying to build up that wall again even as He was taking it down, but of course He won that battle. Praise God! He showed me my true identity in Christ. All of the façade was washed away. All of my defenses were brought down. But I wasn’t left desolate or feeling naked. As the Lord revealed the false identities, He also began to clothe me with my true identity. It really was and is a beautiful work!
I praise Him for what He’s done. I can honestly say that I’m at a place where I know who I am in Christ. Yes, there are times when I’m tried and tested, but ultimately, I am no longer moved or threatened by things as I used to be. I keep my eyes on Christ and He is there with me. There are quirks about me (we all have them), but I rejoice knowing that this is how the Lord made me. And He loves me for me! All of those false identities went to the wayside because I know that I am something without them, but I am nothing without God.
So let’s go back to that original question that started all of this: “Is God enough?”
And my question now is a loud and joyous YES!!!!!!!
I can honestly say that I got to that place where I knew in my heart that if I never saw the fulfillment of His promise, that I would still praise Him. That I would still live for Him. The realization that brought me the most joy was knowing that no matter what, I can still have more of God! He is enough for me!
Nothing fulfills or satisfies me like the Lord does. Like Jesus does. It’s like an overflowing cup. He just keeps on pouring in and I am full of Him. It’s so beautiful! Nothing in this world satisfies my heart like He does. Not my friends, not my job, not my husband, not my house, not my role as a mother, not food, not anything.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:35
It was a journey. Four years feels like forever when you are in the midst of it. But it was so worth it. Maybe you are in the midst of a similar journey. Maybe you have no idea who you really are or who you are in Christ. My friend, He will show you! He wants to fulfill that desire. He wants to satisfy you. No food will satisfy that. No person will. No job. No amount of money. No friend. Only Jesus!
You are precious in His sight. He loves you. He wants to be your Protector. He wants to clothe you in Him and His righteousness. He is drawing you to Him. Allow Him to take down those defenses and those false identities. And He will give you all that you need, He will not leave you defenseless.
Your identity is in Christ. He is Your rock! Stand upon Him!
How about you?
Is your true identity in Christ, or are you hiding behind false identities? How do you see this come into play with your eating? If God were to ask you if He was enough for you, would you be able to give him a joyful “YES!” or would you tell Him “No!” like I did that first time? He is our strong tower, our refuge…run to Him and HE will keep you safe!
Tonight (before this posts tomorrow), the Lord has been prompting me to ask another question. What if you never reached your “goal weight”, would He still be enough for you? He’s not saying you won’t get to your God-given weight. What He wants to shine His light on is, are you focusing so much on a goal weight or size that it’s become a false identity in your life? Have you used food, dieting, or your reason to lose weight as something you have hidden behind or have found comfort in? He wants to be enough for you, no matter what your weight or size. He is more concerned about your heart. Is your heart fully His?
Many people have shared in our class Facebook group that they are seeing evidence that God is doing a new thing. One way is through the Body Awareness (Mirror Mirror) Activity that we did last week on Day Three. Class participants shared that they had breakthroughs in how they feel about their bodies. If you haven’t yet done this activity, please don’t put it off. It IS hard, yes, but prayerfully invite God to help you through it. In fact, Lesson 2’s webinar, includes my walking us through it. I hope you find it helpful! The Hallidays have included it in nearly every book and workbook that Thin Within has created, so it is clear that they feel, after helping people since 1975…this is important!
This week we turn our attention to a very vital area for renewing our minds with truth. I hope you have your spiral deck of index cards and pen ready. (Some of our class members are using colored pens and artwork to create compelling — and fun! — cards.) We are going to look at our Identity in Christ. So often we get our sense of value, purpose, and identity from our performance at the various roles we have in life. We will see what God’s thoughts are on this subject this week. When we begin to think God’s thoughts after him about who we are most fundamentally, all kinds of things are possible!
1. What will happen as we begin to think God’s thoughts after him (renew our minds with truth) about our identity?
2. From 02:29 to 03:28 I share a list of who you are in Christ. Which of these are most meaningful to you personally? Why? Do you believe that this is who you are? Why or why not? Make a truth card that tells you that you *are* that! This week, read your cards out loud. Here is the Who I Am in Christ list that I read from on the video.
3. Failure is something that you ______. It is not something that you ______.
4. Failure does not need to be an __________________. Failure can be the best _____________ that we’ve got going.
5. How can the tool of Observation and Correction help you turn failure into victory?
6. I speak about “falling off the horse” and “getting back on again.” What does that look like, practically speaking, on this Thin Within journey?
7. What makes you “worthy” of Heaven? How does this apply to our Thin Within journeys?
8. If you believed you were more than a conqueror, how might that affect how you live and the choices you would make?
9. What are you telling yourself about who you are? Are you telling yourself the truth?
10. Of the lies I mention at the end, which can you identify with the most?
Renewing the Mind – Pressing On
NOTE: Don’t be overwhelmed by the material in this part of the “assignment” each week. This section is here to give you ideas for renewing your mind. Maybe just pick ONE thing and try it out each week. Thinking differently about food, our bodies, our God, life is vital if we want changes that will last!
What are strategies you are currently using to renew your mind so that you believe the things we are studying? We don’t typically lack knowledge. We lack BELIEF! So speaking the truths from our lessons into our souls again and again will serve us well if we want to see our beliefs change. Remember, this progression?:
Beliefs –> Actions –> Patterns –> Fruit
If we don’t feel like there is fruit in our lives that concurs with our godly goals, then we want to back up. What patterns are in our lives? Back up a bit further to see what actions or choices are we making in the moment. Remembering that moment upon moment is what our lives (patterns) are based on, we see that choices are fueled by our beliefs. So, if we don’t like the fruit in our lives or are convicted that this isn’t honoring to God, we must go back to our beliefs and begin to work with our own minds, hearts, and souls to change what we believe. We can do this by telling ourselves the truth repeatedly. Here is a short list of ways to do that:
1. Music – Christian music does a great job of this. Secular music, not necessarily so much. “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” is not going to help you to live like “More than a Conqueror!” For ideas for a Renew Your Mind Play list visit this post or this set of posts.
2. Truth Cards – Make ’em, Read ’em, Recite ’em, Record ’em, LISTEN to ’em! Yes! You can use your computer (most laptops are equipped to make audio recordings) or your device to record yourself reading your truth cards. Then, you can listen to them with your earphones or your blue tooth. Even if you “aren’t in the mood” to read them, you can passively have them playing through your head throughout the day or while you vacuum, prepare a meal, go grocery shopping. It is a great way of having the truth saturate your thinking.
3. JOURNAL through a set of questions in Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies that Make You Eat or the I Deserve a Donut app. I do believe journaling these questions at least once makes all the difference in getting the material into your heart. After journaling a set, you can pull truths from them in statements to add to your truth cards. Then, in the future, when you know you are struggling with worry, insecurity, or annoyance (for instance) you will be more able to benefit from using the questions by thinking through them. Journaling won’t always be necessary, but I do suggest it at first. (I journal a set of her questions at least once a day even though I have been doing this a long time!)
4. Set your timer to check in with God and recite a truth that is meaningful to you from memory. Visit this page to see what I mean.
2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 3 on pages B40-B44. Use your discretion about the optional exercises on pages B45-B46. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page B47.
**Note** Did you know that I post a question each day at our Workbook Study Facebook Group? Come on over and discuss what you are discovering there. Feel free to post what God is doing in your life, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, too. Our class is releasing weight and strongholds!
3. Continue to add to your “God List.” Can you add 10 things this week? Or more? I would love to hear what you are adding!
4. Have one Praise Fest this week (or more!) and share about it with us here.
5. Use the entries for Day 15 through Day 21 in the Temple Toolkit. This week, the Thin Within Food Log is added to the choices of tools for you to use if you like. This is optional. Many of us do not have the freedom to use the Thin Within food log at this time. That is perfectly ok. Ask the Lord if he would have you use it or not. Do what He says. If you do choose to use it, remember that it isn’t a weigh and measure sort of log. It is just for added accountability for your hunger numbers primarily. It can also be very helpful to write down how you felt while eating. I write really small when I use this tool since I generally eat more than four times each day. Don’t be limited by the lines! If you want a larger place to write, download this copy of the Thin Within Food_Log. Again, please do not feel like you have to use this tool. Some of us are so fresh out of dieting that to do this might throw us back into our old dieting ways. That is NOT what we want! If you have the Thin Within app, you can use the Food Log tool included in it, if you like. You can send it to your accountability partner, straight from the app!
6. Evaluate how it is going with eating at 0. Are you eating at 0 more often than not? Have you found 5? Many find it helpful at first to use the boundaries of “Hungry? or Not Hungry?” instead of 0 to 5 and all the in-between numbers. Do what works for you. Are you experiencing freedom with your selection of food choices or are you still categorizing foods into categories from your dieting days? (“Junk food,” “healthy food,”, etc.) Ask the Lord to help you experience freedom from your dieting past, if so–Renew Your Mind! 🙂 If you need convincing, list to 7 Reasons To Ditch Dieting Forever.
Those random but not so random words! I must get back to life!
NO… this is life! Believe GOD!
What about you?
Do you believe GOD and His TRUTHs?
2 Corinthians 9:8And Godisable to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Do you BELIEVE God is ENOUGH?
Psalm 73:26My flesh and my heart may fail, but Godis the strength of my heart and myportion forever.
Do you believe God is ABLE?
2 Corinthians 9:8And Godisable to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
LaRessie lives in Franklin, NC with her husband of 25yrs and three of her four daughters. They have homeschooled for the last fourteen years. When she isn’t homeschooling, taxiing her kids, bugging her daughter and son-in-law or busy with her home-based businesses, you might find her taking pictures, crocheting or dabbling in writing.
Exercise. It’s a love-hate relationship. And for those of us who have come from the world of dieting and intense exercise plans, exercise could be more of a “hate” relationship. I can relate. In fact, years ago, I thought that any time my husband wanted to go on a walk or hike, that it was some conspiracy.
I’ve done a lot of different exercise programs over the years, mostly inside the comfort of my home, including: Denise Austin workouts, Beachbody workouts (Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, P90X, Insanity, Slim in 6), running, walking, hiking, and I even bought one of those jump ropes that counted your jumps. I’ve done all of those and other random exercise programs throughout the years. I’ve enjoyed some and really NOT enjoyed some. I have gone through times of exercising consistently, to not wanting to exercise at all.
Over the years I have learned that I actually DO enjoy exercise, WHEN it’s something I enjoy. For many years, my go-to exercise has been riding my stationary bike. I often will have a good book to read while riding it. In the past year, I bought a treadmill, and it quickly became one of my favorite ways of exercising. I find that I personally don’t do as well following a exercise DVD program that tells me what I have to do each day, 1) because I get bored, and 2) it feels like I’m in captivity after awhile. Everyone has their favorites. And I want to encourage you to find your favorite way to exercise.
I do believe that exercise (movement) is important, but I don’t believe it’s necessary for weight loss. I like to look at exercise as more of a mental boost, but of course our body gets a lot of great benefits from it. One of the reasons I like to exercise is that I love the good-feeling endorphins that accompany it. In fact, when there are times I cannot exercise to my potential, I really miss feeling those endorphins.
Another reason I like to exercise is that it helps my body feel good. Currently, I’m pregnant with my second child, and exercise has helped alleviate some of the lower-back and hip pain I’ve experienced on and off this pregnancy. I’m not out training for a marathon (I can’t even imagine running right now), but I do walk outside or on my treadmill, and I do prenatal toning exercises. Now, my walking is very slow right now due to being pregnant, and sometimes I can’t even walk for 15 minutes without calling it quits, but it’s better than not moving at all. No matter what, I know I just need to do my best. And sometimes my best is just taking a rest day…pregnant or not. It’s important that I listen to my body. But most often, my body says, “I need to move!”
Exercise (movement) can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Maybe it’s just simply wearing a pedometer and challenging yourself to 10,000 steps a day–for fun and to move your body. Or maybe it is training for a half-marathon. Or anything in between. Maybe it’s walking with a friend around your neighborhood or at a track. I’m not here to define what your movement should look like. I’m not even here to say you “have” to exercise at all. There are no requirements or rules about exercise. I do want to share that I no longer look at going on a hike with my husband as a conspiracy, because now I thoroughly enjoy it because I like the way it makes my body feel and it’s a great way to spend time with my family. I have learned to love movement, and my body craves it! I believe God created our bodies to move!
Thin Within doesn’t have an exercise program you have to follow. You are free to make your own choices about exercise. There shouldn’t be any bondage involved. Movement does require some self-discipline at times. There are days that I don’t really “feel” like exercising, but I know that it will help my body and I will feel better by doing so. Yes, there are days I make myself exercise, but I never regret it. And because I’m doing exercises I enjoy, it’s more likely that I’m looking forward to hopping on the stationary bike, treadmill, or following a toning DVD. There are also days I feel like I have to make myself eat 0-5, when really, I just want to eat when I want to. That’s where that self-discipline comes in.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11
I’ve given some thought into what naturally thin/normal eaters are like when it comes to exercise. I would consider my husband a naturally thin/normal eater. He’s also very active. I was asking him some questions about exercise and he said that he never dreads going on a hike (whereas I used to dread it). He really enjoys being active, but he said that if he had to go work out in a gym that he probably wouldn’t enjoy that. I can think of some other naturally thin/normal eaters who will suddenly realize that they haven’t had enough movement, so they will go on a long walk or do some kind of physical activity. They don’t look at exercise as some dreaded activity that they have to cross of their list; they purely look forward to movement and they enjoy it. I know that I cannot say I felt that way about exercise when my only focus and goal was to lose weight. So I’ve definitely learned a lot from the naturally thing/normal eaters around me who truly enjoy movement. I’ve learned to enjoy it too!
Exercising with only the goal to lose weight just leaves a bad taste in my mouth now. Maybe it’s because in the past I focused so much on trying to exercise for a certain amount of time instead of it being a more freeing activity, or maybe because I could earn more food points with activity points (Weight Watchers). I would much rather be free to choose whatever kind of movement my body needs, but also to have some sort of self-discipline. I like that I now crave movement, but it took a long time to get to that point. It took appreciating how my body feels with movement, and not looking at it as this dreaded means to weight loss. I also look at it as a way of me taking care of God’s temple:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
In fact, honoring God with His temple (our body) is what we are talking about this week in the Thin Within Workbook study. And this reminds me of all the many years ago when I was not satisfied with how my body looked. Oh how I wish I could go back and tell myself the truth: that I looked fine! For so many years I didn’t like certain parts of my body because I had the wrong perception of what I thought my body should look like. That definitely wasn’t how God wanted me to be, but there I was, dishonoring His temple by wishing I had another body. Now, no matter what my body looks like, I can take every moment to honor this temple. And for me, that means eating 0-5 and taking care of how my body feels by exercising. I no longer bash certain body parts, but I’m learning to be thankful that God has wonderfully made me. Praise God!
How about you?
I truly believe that eating 0-5, even without exercise, will help one release weight. With that said, I also believe that exercise has so many awesome benefits, so why wouldn’t I want to? Do you genuinely enjoy exercising? If not, what are some activities that involve movement that you could enjoy? Do you only view exercise as a means of losing weight? What if you were to change your views of exercise as a way to feel good and to help your body? How can you honor God and take care of His temple?