HEAL Group Session 4 2013

I almost missed it...God IS doing a NEW thing!

You DO have “Body Beautiful!” I hope you are beginning to see that. You have arms to give hugs; a mouth to offer affirmation; a smile that warms a heart or gives courage to another; legs that have carried you throughout life, enabling you to experience adventure, to work, to play, to live! You have shoulders that are strong and arms that have carried groceries and moved furniture. You have served, used your hands to write notes of encouragement and your bottom has sat beside a friend in need! 🙂

Are you beginning to know full well  that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Is the truth, reality, validity, accuracy, actuality, authenticity, certainty, correctness, exactitude, genuineness, infallibility, legitimacy, precision, rightness, veracity of this fact beginning to come home to you? Continue to invite God to show you this truth that you might know full well that ALL of his works are WONDERFUL (including you).

Looking at this week’s material in Lesson 4, what resonated for you? What did God show you, perhaps for the first time, or remind you of? I would love to hear!

On page 76 of the HEAL book, we have an activity: Praise and Reflection. If you were in my living room with me, we would do this activity together, so I have included a part of the video for it! I hope you are able to view the entire video. If you are short on time, fast forward the video to 6:26 and take about two minutes and thirty seconds to participate in the activity with the video running. Welcome God to show you what you can praise Him for because of your body. If the Psalm says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” then we want to invite God to show us what specifically we can praise Him for relative to the amazing creation that is our bodies!

God, you have shown me ________.

God, thank you for _____________.

Additionally, will you please share with us what some of the things you have added to your Body Beautiful checklist on page 73 to keep your body in the most God-glorifying condition possible? I have so enjoyed your comments this week on the blog posts. Now let’s welcome the “rubber hitting the road” with how do we DO this? How do we work this out? God will lead each of us uniquely, to be sure. Whatever he shows you, another person can prayerfully consider. Who knows? Maybe God will use what you share–what you have added to your Body Beautiful checklist, for instance–to encourage her to do something similar!

On page 74, we were issued a challenge to renew our minds about our body. What are some truths about your body that you can continue to tell yourself so that you can relish and praise God for the body he has given to you? Again, if you share here, someone else is going to be encouraged by what you post!

Did you memorize 1 Corinthians 6:19-20? How has God used that in your life this week?

How can we be praying for you?

Is your routine changing right now? I know that when weekends come and when summer comes, many of us experience a shift in our routine and this challenges us! Let us know how we can pray for you!

What was the Trigger? The Food? Or the Thought?

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

A frustrated dieter for years, you are finally taking the plunge! You have decided to give  Thin Within a try. You are aware that the “freedom phase” — the beginning stage of Thin Within where you are encouraged to set aside all  dieting laws and rules — is likely to be very challenging for you. You are aware at every turn that eating whatever you feel like eating can be tricky. It has been so long since you have enjoyed chocolate guilt-free, for instance. Regular dressing on your salad instead of fat-free has been unheard of until now. The idea sounds wonderful, but it is extremely frightening to trust this process.

You begin the day tentatively…some toast, an egg, and a bit of yogurt. You are hungry and the food actually tastes good…well, all except the toast–you know it would taste better with some butter, or at least some jelly, but you toss it out instead of risk it. You stop eating when you are no longer hungry and head into the day.

A few hours later, you sense hunger approaching. You finish the meeting with a co-worker and by the time you can break for lunch you are famished. Again, aware that you are allowed great freedom in your food selections, you nevertheless, “play it safe” with a salad at lunch. You want to reach for the regular salad dressing, but guilt overwhelms you. You are just positive that you need to be careful about things like this if you are to lose weight.

You pick up the kids and their friends after school.  It’s the last day of class and they are in a celebratory mood! School is out for summer! They ask if you will take them by the grocery store to get the fixings for hot fudge sundaes. One thing these kids are is naturally thin eaters! Upon arriving home, they scoop themselves modest portions of ice cream, heat up some hot fudge in the microwave, topping the masterpieces with a smidgen of whipped cream, sliced almonds, and chocolate sprinkles. After enjoying conversation and their snacks around the dining table, they head to the TV room for a much-deserved movie.

Now, you find yourself alone in the kitchen. The refrigerator and freezer with aaaaalll those hot fudge sundae fixings stands there as if to say, “What are you going to do?” Your stomach is clearly empty–and no small wonder, when you consider what you have eaten today. The internal battle commences. Will you enjoy some ice cream? Or will you play it safe?

Prayerfully taking what feels like a large leap of faith, you scoop yourself a modest portion of ice cream, drizzle a tablespoon (or so) of hot fudge over it and forego the whipped cream and almonds altogether. Oh! Dare you really EAT this? Sure, you are hungry…but how on EARTH can you justify eating this? It is SO decadent and it really can’t be ok. Making a quick mental calculation for the premium ice cream and the hot fudge, you are just positive that this is an easy 350 calories if not closer to 500. “Surely, Thin Within can’t teach that I am not supposed to do the math!” You wonder how you could possibly lose any weight if you eat ice cream and hot fudge. You are just sure you need to learn to say NO to yourself. You are reminded of what the leader at your Thin Within class said only the night before about being willing, when you are hungry, to select foods you will enjoy. You know you would LOVE to have this sundae. So, you sit down, and try desperately to calm your mind.

You dig your spoon into the creamy ambrosia as hot fudge drips off the edge of the spoon. You savor the flavors slowly while an internal battle continues to rage. You can’t shake the guilt.  “I can’t eat this! This is wrong! If I am going to do the right thing, I can’t eat this! This is so bad for me! I am abusing my body when I eat like this! I am such a failure. This can’t be ok for me–maybe for others, but not for me.”

You force yourself to finish eating the small sundae anyhow–after all, this is “freedom!”  (“Thin Within says so!”) You, however, are plagued by guilt. It is a tremendous load on your shoulders. Even while you chastise yourself, something flips a switch inside of you. “That’s it! I have blown it! It’s over with now. I may as well GO for it!” Guilt guilt guilt and more guilt.

You get an edge–an attitude–you open the freezer door. Reaching for the ice cream you dig out a larger second portion and heat up twice as much hot fudge as the first time. This time, you heap a generous portion of whipped cream all over it, smothering it as if trying to smother your own guilt. Sitting down to watch an afternoon TV show while you eat you mindlessly inhale the second portion of ice cream. You find yourself back in the kitchen taking a spoon to the hot fudge. You hear the kids coming, so you steal away to the bathroom, hot fudge container and spoon in hand where no one will see….

You find yourself in the bathroom and, devastated, you sentence yourself, “I will never break free. I have to stop eating foods that trigger me!”

New Thin Within participants often share incidents such as this one. They explain that chocolate, bread, pasta, etc., “triggers” a response that keeps them stuck eating for the rest of the day once they have indulged in something not formerly on their “allowed foods” lists.

But I wonder…is it the actual food that does the triggering? Or could it, perhaps, be the thought that you are eating something that you are not supposed to be eating? Perhaps it is important to renew your mind about food before you eat it. If you haven’t informed your conscience and renewed your mind about the food, then no matter how permissible the food may be from God’s perspective, it isn’t from yours. Romans 14:23 says you may be condemned because you are defying your conscience. Maybe you need to inform your conscience.

But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat,

because their eating is not from faith;

and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Romans 14:23

So let’s inform your conscience just a bit together. Reason with me for just a moment.

Let’s say that you have a choice to eat either a salad with low-fat dressing or a half sandwich with chicken, cheese, and veggies.

There is no doubt that the salad has less calories than the half sandwich.

You feel compelled that choosing the lower calorie option is the better choice, even though you are learning how to eat the Thin Within way.

Consider for a moment, though: What are calories? They are fuel. So the salad offers less fuel than the half sandwich. What this basically means is that while you may be taking in fewer calories in the salad, you will run out of fuel sooner…and get hungry sooner, when you will then have to make another choice about what to eat when hungry or choose to deprive yourself when you are hungry. The person who eats the half sandwich may be choosing the option that is higher in calories…which simply means it has more fuel to offer. The way our bodies run, that just means that she won’t need more fuel quite so soon if she is eating according to physical hunger and satisfaction. She won’t be signaled that she is hungry quite as soon. 

You see, there really is no benefit to eating the item that is less calorie dense when you follow the Thin Within approach.

When I was releasing 100 pounds using the Thin Within principles, I never ate a single salad (I don’t like vegetables). Instead, I ate pizza, desserts, french fries (from McDonalds…I know, this is appalling to many :-)!), etc. I honestly lost all my weight eating this way. When I tell people that, they often say “You must have exercised a lot.” Not while I was still releasing the weight I didn’t. I didn’t do much exercising in addition to normal life (with kids, horses and dogs) until much later, after I had released the weight.

But because I ate these foods according to physical hunger and satisfaction, it meant that I ate small portions and these foods, because they are calorie–FUEL–rich, sustained me. I didn’t need to eat very frequently or very large portions at all.

Some might feel that by eating those foods that are so high in salt and fat that my cholesterol would go flying off the charts. Consider with me again: When we are concerned about these things, it isn’t the thing (like fat) itself that causes these problems in our bodies. Just like it isn’t sugar itself. It is the quantity. When you eat the small amounts of ANY of the foods that you desire, you will not end up with high cholesterol or diabetes (at least it isn’t likely) or any of the other health problems that so many of us relate to eating “too much of the wrong thing.” Portions served in restaurants are HUGE. You can enjoy a bit of any food on the planet and discover that it doesn’t take much to satisfy you AND it will not cause your blood pressure to spike, cholesterol to go up or your arteries to clog.

Back to our triggering example that we began with: I believe that the reason many of us are “triggered” as we try to break free from dieting is because we haven’t informed our conscience about all of these things. We haven’t explained to our brains the truth about food.

The Truth is: No food is more righteous than any other.

Sure, it is best to have a variety of foods with a variety of nutrients–something Thin Within calls “beneficial foods,” but having steamed broccoli instead of chips and salsa doesn’t make someone a better person, a godlier Christian, or a skinnier person either. The key is why we what we eat, when we eat what we eat, and how much we eat. In the past, we were told “You are what you eat.” That simply isn’t true.

My husband and I go out to breakfast every so often at McDonalds. I get the sausage biscuit. He gets the yogurt and fruit parfait. The sausage biscuit sustains me for four hours–even when I play two hours of tennis. The yogurt holds Bob about two hours, as he sits at a desk at work. Which choice is better? 🙂 (Gosh, I am spoiled, aren’t I?)

Do you see what I mean?

So inform your conscience about food. See if doing so doesn’t eliminate any “triggering” behavior. I really believe it isn’t the food at all. It is the false guilt that kicks in when we think we have “blown it” and want to quit.

When you inform your conscience that you can enjoy the hot fudge sundae with freedom between the godly boundaries of physical hunger and satisfaction, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that you won’t go binge crazy and gobble down another hefty bowl of ice cream *or* find yourself hiding out in the bathroom with the hot fudge and a spoon.

What do you think? Do you need to inform your conscience about food and give yourself a chance to truly enjoy the freedom you have? What might that look like for you? Can you create a list of true statements about food and use it to renew your mind about food?

Body Beautiful ~ You HAVE it!

Today's Challenge - Exalt GOD! :-) Revisited!

What is TRUE about you and about your body? It isn’t what the world says, what the media says about it. Not at all!

Here is a sound file that I hope will encourage you today. Feel free to download it and listen to it when you have a chance. You can even put it on your iPod if you want. Whatever works!

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/94220393″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

What do you think? Are you beginning to know that you have an amazing body? Not only are you God’s incredible creation, but you are also His dwelling place if you are in Christ! How might believing that–REALLY believing that–change how you view yourself and how you act?

Note: Much of the material in this audio was modified/adapted from Lesson 4 in Healthy Eating and Abundant Living by Allie Marie Smith and Judy Halliday and Thin Within (chapter 5) by Arthur and Judy Halliday.

HEAL Lesson 4 2013

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Half of the image above was photoshopped by someone at iStockPhoto. Which is beauty? Which is untouched? Who is to say what the standard of beauty is.

This week we look at that a bit. I am excited!


…I worked my patootie off editing a video for you for this week’s session and then inadvertently deleted it…so I have to give it up. So sorry. I just can’t seem to figure out how to recover it. So here are my notes from my video…

This is a GREAT lesson this week! We will get to DIVE in and invite God to help us to KNOW FULL WELL that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Let’s seek His will, His heart, His mind, His truth about our bodies, shall we? We want to pray: Lord, help me to know full well that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

The authors redefine “Body Beautiful,” reminding us that our bodies are wonderful inventions that hug needy friends and family members, carry us, kiss a special someone, serve those in need, nurse babies, etc. If we could really believe that these things are what define “body beautiful,” I think we would break free of some destructive lies that hinder our freedom!

These are lies that are perpetuated by the media. Have a look at the Dove video called, Evolution:


The truth is, the perfect body doesn’t exist! It is PhotoShopped! We want to be able to love our bodies–the wonderful creations that God has given us, but in order to do that, we may have to go about it in a round-about way. We may have to get to know our God better. As we get to know him, we will love him more and more and begin to see that he has created our bodies in a truly marvelous way. One of the best ways to get to know God is with a God List (I have shared this here at the blog numerous times, but I really believe strongly that this is SO helpful, so I will keep mentioning it!). As you begin to love God more and more, you see that what he creates is wonderful and trustworthy and amazing…and that means YOUR body!

We are in week 4 of our HEAL study this week. So you may be wondering “How do I know what my ‘natural, God-given size’ is supposed to be?” The authors mentioned it briefly early on, but I want to highlight it again. Here is the definition of YOUR personally unique natural God-given size! Ready?

Your natural, God-given size is the size you become

when you

eat according to

God’s parameters for you–hunger and satisfaction.

When you do that, you will “land on”



the size you are intended

by your Creator to be.

What is so awesome about this, is that there is no need for a bathroom scale ever again! Use the hunger scale and you won’t need a bathroom scale! You just keep at this 0 to 5 eating and you will become the size you are supposed to be and you will live there. No fuss! No muss! No obsession! This really IS freedom. Never having to worry about the content of your food ever again. Never having to live in fear about the “weigh in” ever again. Sure, your size may vary a bit, but you will know that eating 0 to 5 a bit more faithfully will restore that healthy size once again.

It is SO worth pursuing this! Honest! 🙂 This is ONE thing I really DO know! 🙂

Spend some time asking the Lord to show you what your “Body Vision Statement” should be. Then, dare to write it down! 🙂 On Friday, you can share it with us. 🙂 (If you want…)

Do you still need an accountability partner? Visit the Accountability page and pick someone that you feel God is leading you to possibly reach out to. Email me and I will forward your request to her. You may want to consider a second and a third option in case the person that you select first has a partner already. But after you email me, I will shoot your request to the person you have asked about. If you don’t hear anything, it is possible that they haven’t checked their email…you can shoot me the name of another person and we can keep trying until we get you linked up. Something this important is WORTH persevering about, ok? 🙂

If you have an accountability partner, it may be worthwhile to check in and evaluate how your accountability is going. Do you need more frequent check-ins? Less frequent? Is it taking too much of your time and you are concerned? Are you LOVING it? 🙂 You may want to open a dialog to tweak your partnership so it can be even more effective. I honestly believe that if you want an accountability partner, there is no reason that you should be without. A bunch of you are celebrating the value of being partners! Let’s do this for everyone!

This week, consider prayerfully what a godly approach to activity (exercise) might be for you. You might want to try Dance Praise (I just did a search and “Digital Praise” seems to be out of business, but you can still get Dance Praise from various vendors, I think). It is a “game” for the computer that includes a mat and Christian dance music in a video-game like approach similar to “Dance Dance Revolution.”  What are some activities that you enjoy to move your body?

Gratitude has been life-changing for me. This, too, is covered a bit this week. I would love to see everyone here create an online gratitude blog! We could share them with one another and be not only a dynamic supportive community like we currently are, but one of the most grateful communities online, too! My gratitude blog is found here (I need to update it more frequently!). I have found that when I practice gratitude daily, my ME oriented mentality can’t thrive! MY food, MY body, MY way, MY will just has no where to rest when I am thanking God for HIS gifts, HIS will, HIS way. Truly, it is really hard to reach for more food than my body needs when I take the posture of humility that gratitude requires. Try it and see what you think!

I am eager to see what you add to the Body Beautiful Checklist!

Also, develop your affirmations in the “Challenge” on page 74.

Memorize 1 Corinthians 6:19,20. God will use this verse and crucial moments to encourage you to offer yourself to God in humble devotion and worship as HIS property!

Let’s do this! 🙂

Encouragement from YOU!

Doc and Heidi Rebuild Trust

Doc and Heidi Rebuild Trust

I get so much encouragement from you all. Sometimes, you encourage me in your texts or emails. Sometimes in your comments here. I want to share some of these tidbits of encouragement with anyone who comes to the blog.

Last week, Michelle posted a comment that bears highlighting.

When faced with an “opportunity” to eat something–anything–when you are not hungry, but especially when a sudden “surprise goody” is made available, ask yourself this:

“If I eat that, then what?”

Will I only eat one (whatever it is)? Or will that send me down the path of eating even more? What will the rest of the day look like if I continue that way?

What if I were to, instead, invite God into this moment? Could it be an opportunity to grow in my intimacy with him?

Thanks, Michelle!

Adriane created another Sound Cloud file that I must share with you!

We have to hang in there. We *can* do this. We *can* train ourselves in godliness. Adriane points this out beautifully!

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/93526121″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

What do you need to do today to “get back on that horse?”

HEAL Group Session 03

Image Courtesy of Good Salt

Image Courtesy of Good Salt

Hundreds of years ago, Hagar gave God a name – “The God Who Sees Me.” (Genesis 16:13)

In her most difficult place, God made it clear that Hagar was noticed and cared for personally.

The Psalm that we have continued to make reference to through our study so far–Psalm 139–makes it clear that we, too, are precious in God’s sight. He knows us. He cares.

This week, we took a deeper look at the story about Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well in Samaria from John 4. I hope that you are able to take time to watch our group session video below where I share some thoughts about this. (So sorry that the video is so long this week, too. I want to keep them between 5 and 10 minutes in length–hopefully, closer to 5 minutes, but this week, I just got so excited about John 4.)

Some questions that I asked in the video:

  • Why do *you* think that Jesus “had” to go through Samaria?
  • Based on John 4, make a list of character traits of the woman Jesus meets. What is she like? What might be the things she struggles with? Why was she at the well at mid-day?
  • How does it affect you to realize that Jesus “had to go through Samaria” to meet this woman in the middle of the day in the middle of nowhere? What does that say to you about God?
  • What is the “Divine AND” that Heidi spoke of in the video?
  • What “Divine AND” are do you want to trust God for in your life?
  • Can you relate at all to the shame that this woman was experiencing–the shame that kept her from going to the well during the typical times of the day and the shame that might have caused her to want to never have to come to the well ever again?
  • After her encounter with Jesus, what did the woman do? Like the woman, is there any chance that God may (one day) call you to minister to others after he brings you out?
  • Do you think God has turned his back on you and stopped listening or caring? What does Scripture say about this?
  • Do you try to perform to win God’s heart? Or do you struggle with thinking God will never accept you? The truth is, you can’t do anything to win His heart. You can’t woo Him. Why? Because you already have His heart! You are His bride! He has chosen you. He wooed you! You love Him only because He first loved you!

The woman thought she wanted water. The conversation with Jesus proved she wanted–and needed–something deeper.

  • You may think you want to be thin, but is it possible that you want–and need–something deeper as well?
  •  What do you suppose it is?

God used the woman’s need for physical water to lead her to an encounter with him to offer what she really needed.

  •  Is it possible that God is using your physical challenges with food and your body to lead you to an encounter with him to offer you what you really need?

God knows all about you.

Your history.

Your shame.

Your hopes

Your dreams

He knows your TRUE need, like the woman.

He chooses NOW for an encounter with you.

The story of the Samaritan woman, focuses our attention on heart hunger, certainly. The authors give us an opportunity to process all three hunger types: heart hunger, head hunger, and stomach hunger. What has it been like for you to experience each? On page 62, the authors have a chart for us to record experiences we have with each kind of hunger. Take some time to fill this chart out.

One of the things you may want to consider is the fact that while stomach hunger may seem to be the most straight forward, we nevertheless often experience emotion in response to it. Some of us, when our stomachs are empty, find fear rises up, we get agitated, or panicky. It can be really helpful to sit in this physical hunger for a few minutes and ask the Lord to show you what is going on. Take time to journal about it and to tell yourself the truth (renew your mind) about how you are *safe* being hungry and that God is meeting you in that place.

I would love to hear from you any of your thoughts that you have in response to the questions here or whatever God lays on your heart to share.