Better Together — Accountability Information

People in my life who have helped me--(left to right) Jan Tabrizi, my first Accountability Partner with Thin Within back in 2000! Pam Sneed, who mentored me in leading my first online Thin Within group, and Judy Halliday whose patient perseverance and constant gracious love kept me hanging in there! We are BETTER TOGETHER!

People in my life who have helped me–(left to right) Jan Tabrizi, my first Accountability Partner with Thin Within back in 2000! Pam Sneed, who mentored me in leading my first online Thin Within group, and Judy Halliday whose patient perseverance and constant gracious love kept me hanging in there! We are BETTER TOGETHER!

It’s time to get an accountability partner if you haven’t yet! I hate to think where I would be if I hadn’t experienced the loving support of others through the years. All three of the dear ladies in the picture above were online friends *first* before I ever met them in person! 🙂

If you have gotten a partner, please help us out:

  • If you posted to the Accountability page previously and are NOW paired up, please go back to your post and reply TO YOUR comment on the Accountability page and type: “I have a partner now.”  Or something like it in response to your own comment. I know that seems silly, but it will be really helpful. That way people will know you are already spoken for!
  • If you have not yet gotten an accountability partner, but HAVE posted to the Accountability page previously, please pray and then select someone on the page that you might like to connect with. THEN: EMAIL ME and tell me the name of the person that you want me to give your contact information to. I will contact them and let them know.

Please email me, though, or I won’t see your request, ok? I don’t do the pairing. You all do that and I just supply the contact information.

  • If you have a difficulty in your partnership (it happens) and it wasn’t meant to be for you with that person, please go back to the Accountability page and post under YOUR ORIGINAL POSTING a reply (I know it is weird to reply to yourself) that you are available after all so we know that you are still “up for grabs!”

If this doesn’t make sense, please post and ask me questions or shoot me an email. I won’t pair people up with one another, though. It doesn’t usually work for me to do that.

One of the first things you will want to do as partners is figure out what you want your accountability to look like. Will it be daily? Weekly? Scheduled (like each evening) or flexible (only when I feel like it…I don’t recommend that one!)? Do you want your partner to email you and ask how you are doing if she doesn’t hear from you? Will you send short reports to one another or will they be one word answers? Will you use the phone? Text? Email? What will your goals be for the partnership? I suggest you commit to this for 4 weeks…the rest of the study. I suggest three accountability points, but you can do what you like. I also suggest DAILY in email. That is just my preference.

Pray for one another, too!

Rather than post here that you are still looking for someone, please go to the Accountability Page and do it there! Thanks so much.

HEAL “Group Session” #2

This week we have had the opportunity to look at the freedom we are invited to experience in setting aside dieting rules, dieting laws, dieting “Good Foods” and “Bad Foods” lists and dare to trust the God who created our bodies fearfully and wonderfully.

Is Psalm 139 beginning to take root in your heart? Do you believe you are fearfully and wonderfully made?

In the material we studied this week, what resonated for you? If you aren’t doing the book or your book hasn’t arrived yet, share what  rang true for you or was impressed upon you here at the blog or in the comments. So much wonderful discussion has been going on! I would love to hear from you about it!

Have you been a “die hard” dieter in the past?

Are your dieting thoughts affecting you even now as you try to set them aside?

Do you have an accountability partner yet? If you go to the Accountability page here at the website, post your information and if you see someone you might like to connect with in email, please send me an email. Please don’t post to me in the comments on that page, as I probably won’t see it in a timely manner. Shoot me an email instead.

Turn to page 36 and have a look at the HEAL pyramid. You will refer to that during this video. If you don’t have the book, I think you will be able to visualize the pyramid just fine as I describe it. You will want to have your book or a journal to write down responses to the questions as we go through.

FOUNDATION – Relationship with God. When you get to the spot in the video, turn off the video, pray, then write down what God is leading you to establish as a goal for this level of the HEAL pyramid. What goal will you have for your relationship with God? We would love to hear in the comments, too. What action steps will enable you to realize your goal?

Second Level – Relationship with FOOD. Again, when you get to the spot in the video, stop, pray, and then write down what God is leading you to establish as a goal for your relationship with food. What action steps will enable you to realize your goal?

Third Level – Hunger/Fullness Eating. In the video, I indicate when to stop. Then pray and jot down what God wants for you in this area of your life. What action steps (or perhaps secondary boundaries) will enable you to achieve this goal?

Tip top level – Beneficial Food Choices. I urge you to approach this category with caution. If you have a history of obsession with dieting, it may not be time for you to establish a goal for this area. You want to learn to trust the Lord that you can eat anything between the parameters of 0 and 5 or hunger and satisfaction.

I hope that you have experienced God’s personal leading as you have established your goals in each of the areas of the HEAL pyramid. Please feel free to allow God to lead you to adjust these as we continue.

I would love to hear what your goals are! Let us know in the comments which area of  the HEAL pyramid and what your goal is. If you like, share your action steps, too. In fact, you could use this for your accountability with your partner, too, if you like.

How can we pray for you?

Frustrated with Yourself? You *Could* Quit…or…

Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

So, you have done it again, huh? You have started another study “fresh.” A “brand new start” you told yourself. “This time, I am going to do this right!” Yet, here you are again. You didn’t even want to come to this blog today. You didn’t want to see everyone else crowing about how wonderful they are doing and how great the study is. All you can see is what YOU think is your “big fat failure”…again. You want to throw in the towel and just plain ol’ quit. Once again, you did what you always do (you think). You flaked out before even the second week of the study had come and gone. You wonder why you should bother to keep trying?

STOP IT.

That’s right. I said STOP IT. (Do I sound mean? I really don’t intend to!)

What you have always done before, maybe, is quit when you have “failed.”

THIS time, you can offer your failure to the hands of the Redeemer and watch him take your failure and turn it into a victory. That’s right…your binge…even the binge that seems to have lasted two days or two weeks…you have come up for air. For some reason you are here. Right now. CELEBRATE THAT! WOOT!

You don’t need to wonder who has been spying on you and feeding me secret information about what to write for a blog post. 🙂 Not at all! I can write this because so many of us have been there…and ARE there. You are NOT alone!

You can STOP it NOW. You will NOT do what you have always done. What you have always done, perhaps, isn’t what you think. You may be frustrated with yourself, all right. But the “what you have always done” isn’t the binge or the purge or whatever else. It is the quitting *because* of it. And you don’t HAVE to do that this time. You can emerge a victor, more than a conqueror. You do NOT have to quit, but can, instead, say “That was just a step or two (or 7) backwards, but now I am moving forward again…” That’s right….get back on the horse today, my friend.

heidiharley4-16-09.02

Harley and Heidi Try to Rebuild

The photo above is of me in 2007. One of the things that motivated me to get serious about my weight loss in 2006 was, I am a bit embarrassed to say, I had horses. My lifelong dream had finally come true and I had allowed myself to get so heavy that I thought that I shouldn’t ride them. Harley had bucked me off. That’s right. Bucked me off. One of the first orders of business for me in the spring of 2007 after I had lost most of the weight was to work with a trainer to help me overcome my fear and to help Harley overcome his! I had failed but I had to get back on the horse. I was better for getting back on. So was he.

You and I live in a Genesis 3 world. We will NEVER be free from sin and sin’s pull on us. We will fall off our horses. Even after a week, a month, or a YEAR of doing so well! We can still fall! But we don’t have to let the fall win. It doesn’t have to dictate what will happen next. We have a great Redeemer. He can take our failures and turn them into teachers of truth. We can actually be better as a result.

Think about it. The cross looked like the biggest failure in history. The disciples must have wondered, “But it wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Satan croaked with glee, thinking he had won. Then, Jesus blew the lid off the grave and salvation was purchased for everyone. That is the way a Redeemer works. He takes what *looks* worthless…what *looks* worse than that, even…and turns it into beauty for all eternity.

So, STOP TALKING ABOUT QUITTING.

Right now. STOP IT. 🙂

You are NOT going to quit. You can’t!

We love you.

More…GOD loves you.

Now, press that restart button. Wait for physical hunger the next time you eat.

And evaluate dispassionately what has been happening to cause you to slip, to fall, to face plant. Consider what event triggered the challenge. How did you respond emotionally? Why? What is true in this situation? And what can you do to plan for success the next time, even if the next time is 5 minutes from now?

So, what do you think…can you do it? Will you?

When Food Torments You

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

NOTE: When I share a sound file like this, I feel a little weird. I know that my way of relating to God is probably different than most. I feel like I have let you into my secret prayer closet when I share files like this. I have prayed about sharing this and feel like God is in it, so I will step out in faith and trust that if you think I am weird, a nutcase or a Jesus Freak that someone somewhere is going to be ministered to, encouraged, or something…to make it totally worth whatever it might cost me. LOL! 😀

So, with that disclaimer aside…

God never intended food to torment us. When the thought of eating scares us because we know how we are, let’s take a proactive, intentional stand. Let’s renew our minds. Let’s trade the lies we have believed…including the lies we believe about ourselves when we do mess up. Let’s make a plan to do things differently. Let’s re-establish a boundary and then stick with it in the strength God gives. And let’s pray!

This is a sound file (if you are a subscriber, you may need to visit the blog site to access the sound file) that shows an example of how I  renew my mind about how I think about food. This is intended to be an example, but you can also pray silently along with this. I hope that you will join me in continuing to renew your mind with truth. If this idea is a bit foreign to you, it comes out of Romans 12:2 and our bible study of Barb Raveling’s material (if you missed it, please find the list here).

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/92250958″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

You are welcome to download this file and put it on a CD or your iPod, but even better if you record one of YOU doing this very thing!

So, what do you think? Is this a practical approach to changing the way you relate to food? Is it possible it could help you? 

If you aren’t comfortable doing it quite like this, you could truth journal. Learn more about that here.

Sugar – Is it the Monster We Hope It Is?

sugarcane

Image Courtesy of Image Stock Exchange

Sugar. Many of us feel like it sets us off…that we can’t escape its clutches if we give in to having a cookie–even if we are hungry. We feel convinced–and our experience may bear this out–that one cookie will start the binge rolling and we will be powerless to escape it.

But I wonder…and I know this isn’t going to be very popular. But I am just thinking about…what if this is just another way I am blaming something else, someone else, for something I need to take responsibility for.

See, if sugar is the evil that I want it to be, I am a victim. And we tend to feel sad for victims and self-righteous toward victimizers, don’t we? If sugar is the evil that I want it to be, it is the victimizer and I am the victim…I am the one who we all can feel sorry for and sugar is the villain.

But is this *true*?

Does this really make sense?

Who made sugar cane?

When God made sugar cane, what did he say about it like he did about everything else in creation? He said, “It is good.”

What is really going on then when I give in to overeating sugary foods and laying the blame on “sugar is addictive?” Is that true? Really?

Maybe *I* need to own responsibility for my behavior. Would God have created something, declared it to be “good,” if it was intrinsically evil?

Maybe it is my heart that bears the burden of the problem.

It is important to know that I don’t mean this with the idea that we should condemn ourselves for our struggle to stop eating once we have started eating sugar. Not at all. I will keep “crowing” about Romans 8:1, Romans 5:8, John 3:17, and Ephesians 1 as long as I have breath! That God didn’t send his son into the world to condemn the world. That He demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, that before the foundation of the earth–before I had a single godward thought–he chose me to be holy and blameless in his sight, that there is NO condemnation for those of us in Christ.

But if I am responsible for this tension that exists with sugar and myself, then I can, in the strength that Christ offers, admit my weakness and his grace will be sufficient for me. In fact, I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness because when I am weak, I am strong in the Lord. I know that John 8:32 says that knowing the truth sets me free. Laying blame on sugar doesn’t give me freedom. I might get charged up being all self-righteous as I claim a “no-sugar” stand, eradicating it from my life…for as long as I last adding it to a “bad food” list. But then the pendulum swings radically the other direction and I give in. Maybe that is the reason for the problem, in fact.

What if I establish a boundary for myself and just, simply, learn to say NO to myself if tempted to cross that boundary? Maybe I am supposed to learn how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit–the fruit of whom is self-control.

What if sugar isn’t the monster we hope it is? What if the darkness is in my own heart and I need a Savior to cleanse me, to strengthen me, to help me? What if I need to depend on the Lord to enable me to grow, bit by bit, to be sanctified…to show me how not to lust or covet for something outside of a godly boundary. What if I need Jesus more because I recognize that God declared that even sugar cane is “good?”

Seems like God wants a deep intimate relationship with me based on what I see in Scripture. Needing him as much as I do not to give in to eating outside of my boundaries ensures that I will develop that…if I will let it.

What about you? How do you feel about sugar? Have you felt like it is the villain in your life? IS it? Or is there a deeper work that God is interested in doing in your life? 

Week 2 of HEAL Study 2013

No More Diet Rules! Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

No More Diet Rules!
Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

I hope you have been blessed by the focus on the truth God speaks over you, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It has encouraged me to no end to see you participate in the study with one another  in your comments and there are a bunch of you who have posted on the Accountability page! Be sure to email me and let me know if there is someone you want me to send your contact information to. Let’s get paired up for the next 5 weeks. 🙂 I don’t want anyone left behind!

This week, we have a chance to look at the *mechanics* of this way of eating and living. Where last week a foundation was laid for our relationship with our good and patient Savior and establishing the fact that we want to EXALT Him instead of making it be about ME ME ME, this week, we learn to rely on the signals that our Great and mighty, creative, God has put in our bodies. He has made our bodies to be trustworthy indicators–especially as we submit to our God in prayer and ask Him to guide us to be obedient and honest.

Here is today’s video:

You may need to renew your mind if you are fresh out of dieting or if you have been vacillating back and forth between Thin Within and a diet. Just jot down (in a moment when you are convinced) truths about eating based on the physical cues of your body vs. eating according to a plan provided by a dieting company or industry (who loves to make money out of our failure).

What IS true about letting your body signal you for hunger and satisfaction? Here are some truths to get you started:

  • When I am hungry and eat, contrary to popular “wisdom,” I am not going to go into starvation mode and not lose weight. Instead, I am showing my body that it is perfectly safe to get hungry as I will eat when I am hungry!
  • It may seem like a small amount of food that satisfies me. That is because it is! But I can eat again as soon as I am hungry!
  • My body is so efficient!
  • When I eat when hungry and stop when I am not, I choose an effortless, easy way of regulating my food intake.
  • Eating when I am hungry and stopping when I am no longer hungry is the most natural way of eating the amount that my body needs in order to be it’s God-ordained size.
  • Eating when I am hungry and stopping when I am not enables me to eat all kinds of foods that I enjoy. I don’t have to count. This works. It has for millennia!
  • This approach frees me from obsession about food and nutrition information. I am free to use what I know about nutrition and free not to. I can listen to the Lord’s leading instead of the “leading” of the popular diet guru.
  • God knows me intimately (Psalm 139) so it stands to reason that his way will provide me with what I need.

This is radically different from the world’s way of doing things!

Colossians 2:20-23 confirms this:

You have died with Christ,

and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world.

So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as,

“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?

Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.

These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion,

pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline.

But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

So let me ask you the same things I ask in the video…the same things we are asked in the material we are studying:

Has being obsessed (even just a bit) with food, eating and your body, hindered your growth to be all that God intends?

This is a convicting question! Notice that it zeros in on being obsessed with food, eating and your body…obviously, God has a plan for all of us that we haven’t yet realized! But the focus here is…what is keeping you from it? Is it possible that the very thing that you pursue because you “want to honor God” is pursued in such a way that it stands  in the way of being what you could be?

If the Father seeks worshipers who worship in Spirit and in Truth, and we are thinking about ourselves so very much…does that, perhaps, tell us the answer?

What self-destructive lies have you believed?

What TRUTHS can you embrace to counter the lies?

Are you willing to befriend your body? What might this look like for you? Do you need to renew your mind about your body in order to do that? Here is what that might look like for me:

  • My legs have enabled me to hike and bike ride and see amazing scenery where no car can travel.
  • My abdomen–the one that has stretch marks (now faded)–carried both of my children into this world.
  • My chest nursed my children to give them a good start. Even if I think I look like “National Geographic Woman” now (everything is dripping a bit south), I know that my body has done a remarkable job!
  • My hands have played the guitar and keyboard for the worship team and our church family
  • My teeth have chewed the food I need to get the nutrition I need and while I have sometimes used them to chew more food than I need, I am still thankful for them!
  • My feet–which I so often criticize for being too big–have carried my body for 52 years (less the first year of my life, I guess). They have taken me all kinds of places!
  • My shoulders–as broad as they are–have enabled me to be strong to move hay, to carry furniture when needed and other heavy burdens.

I think you get the idea. Sometimes, I need to renew my mind several times a day about whatever it is I am struggling with. To “befriend” my body, as the authors suggest, I might need to review this list a number of times!

How about you? What do you need to renew your mind about as we progress this week and begin to get in touch with our hunger/satisfied signals? Does befriending your body seem impossible and, even, repulsive? Ask the Lord to show you HIS truth!

Assignment:

  1. Complete all of Lesson 2, the personal study and the group study.
  2. Write out your responses to the questions on page 45 under “Sharing and Discussion Questions.”
  3. Create personal HEAL goals for each level of the HEAL pyramid (page 36)
  4. Renew your mind about anything that God leads you to renew your mind about. I recommend doing this as part of your time with the Lord first thing in the morning–even if it is in the shower or as you dress and get ready for the day.
  5. Select an accountability partner if you haven’t yet!

Optional:

  1.  Consider memorizing the verse on page 42
  2. Add to your God List and have a praise fest! Do this at least once this week, if not several times.

What do you sense God is leading you to make a priority this week regarding your eating, renewing of your mind, your time with Him, an accountability partner, and anything else mentioned in our study so far?

What questions do you have going forward?