Press On


Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind

and straining toward what is ahead,

I press on toward the goal to win the prize

for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

 Philippians 3:13-14

Are you planning to join us for the new bible study tomorrow? I hope you will! Come on by the blog and, hopefully, be encouraged.

What do you need to forget about the previous miles in your journey? What do you need to focus on in order to move forward? Will you? 🙂

Fresh Start ~ A Mini-Bible Study


Blessed are those whose strength is in You, 

who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca, 

they make it a place of springs; 

the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 

They go from strength to strength,

till each appears before God in Zion.

– Psalm 84:5-7

This is a journaling/bible study activity. I wrote it some time back and have never posted it to the blog (at least I don’t think so). I hope you find it encouraging!

Let’s consider right now, today, this moment, our FRESH START! 🙂 Some of us are starting the new study on Monday, May 6th. So this is as good a time as any to evaluate before we get going!


We have joined together with God on a pilgrimage. We press on from where we find ourselves in this present moment and yearn for a future that God has for us. We have our hearts set on pilgrimage or we wouldn’t be here!

  1. Describe where you currently find yourself—that place from which you wish to depart.
  2. What does God’s Word say about the person who sets their heart on moving forward with God? (See Psalm 84)

The word “blessed” is a wonderful word! It actually can be translated “happy!” Did you know that God desires for you to have a happiness that bubbles up from deep within you? Consider this as we study this passage briefly. God loves His people to be happy. If you focus on Him and His strength, blessedness or happiness will be the result.

3. In the past, you may have focused on garnering up self-control or self-discipline to get your weight controlled. You may have even focused on bible verses to help you with this, such as “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” This is wonderfully true, however, the one who is blessed, made happy in the Lord finds their strength elsewhere. According to Psalm 84:5-7, Who is the source of your strength for this journey?

Let’s look at the word translated “strength” in Psalm 84:5-7. We see the word “strength” in this passage three times. The first time it is used to refer to strength that is found in the Lord. This is the Hebrew Word, oz, meaning “strength, might, fortress, stronghold.”Now that you are on this road, you will discover yourself hiding in your wonderful Lord for protection, for refreshment, for nourishment! You will find yourself shedding any other strongholds in favor of your Hero, our Lord Almighty! He is your strength!

4. Psalm 84:5-7 speaks of a journey, a pilgrimage. We aren’t sure of the departure point that the Psalmist speaks of, though we have defined our own.  However, we have some indication of stepping stones along the way. Identify any that you see in the passage:

Pass through the ______________________________________________________

They make it a place of _________________________________________________

They go from _________________________________________________________

And what is the destination? _____________________________________________

5. The Valley of Baca may be literally translated “Valley of weeping.” In what way can you foresee this pilgrimage as leading you past or through a “Valley of Weeping?

6. Note what the Valley of Weeping becomes when our strength is found in the Lord God. What significance do you find in the fact that the Valley of Weeping  is made a place of “springs” or “pools” (which can also be translated “blessings!”)?

7. Read Isaiah 41:18-20. What is the result of pools in the wasteland or springs in the desert? How might this apply to your life as you sojourn toward that which God has for you in the areas of food, eating, and your body?

8. According to Isaiah 41:18-20, for what purpose will God accomplish this?

Do you see it? Our God is going to use the wonderful work He is performing in your life to testify of His greatness to an onlooking world! He will be exalted in your life as you walk this path. He will be esteemed and many will see and know that the Lord is present in your life. Your joy will be made full and you will experience that abundant life that Christ came to so blessedly give us! And happy! Oh! He will make you happy as He fills you up with Himself!

9. Reread again the passage we began with as our focus scripture for today’s lesson. Fill in the blanks accordingly: “They go from ______________________ to ___________________.

This word for “strength” found twice in verse 7, doesn’t mean the same thing as “strength” in verse five. It refers to the Hebrew word, chayil, which means: “Strength, efficiency, wealth.” As we travel on this path, there may be a Valley of Weeping, however, from those tears will come fertile pools and springs, giving life to our parched hearts. Our Lord will take our tears and cause us to, go from “wealth” to “wealth”, or from “riches” to “riches.” We will discover that on this pilgrimage even through Valleys of Tears will come much abundance and joy. We will find ourselves arriving before our God in Zion—the place of promise!

10. We praise God that we are ever before our Lord now. We need not wait for a “someday” out there to stand before Him for the first or only time. Imagine, however, what it might be like for you to “arrive” in a “place” of promise. Describe what that “place” of promise looks like for you with regard to food, eating and your body. How will you know when you have reached that “place?”


Oh, precious Sojourner, find your strength in our Lord God Almighty this coming week! Only He can turn any tears shed along the way into verdant pools springing up, giving life and nourishment to the parched heart! Let us fix our hearts on pilgrimage and set off!

WLBS Review: Social Eating/Preventative Eating/Following Boundaries is Hard Eating


In Barb’s study we have had a chance to evaluate and study a bunch of different motivators that cause us to eat–to break our boundaries of 0 to 5 eating.

This is the last of the review, but please know that you can review all the time. I personally believe that I can do her sets of questions again and again and train myself for success as I do! That is one reason why I have her app on my iPad, iPod, and iPhone. I want to have them at the ready access so that “on the fly” I can THINK through the choice to blast through my boundaries.

Not only that, but if I DO break my boundaries, I can do the questions afterward and it can help, too. Just because the “damage is done” doesn’t mean the damage has to be done! 🙂

Social Eating – Life isn’t fair. But that’s actually a good thing! If life were fair, I wouldn’t have the freedom to sit at my computer and read a blog! LOL! I am a sinful person and God is holy God and if life were fair I would be sentenced to death and expelled from His presence forever. Jesus took my penalty…life isn’t fair and I am glad! So, when I think about how friends of mine seem to be able to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, in the amounts they want, I definitely don’t want to coddle the thought “Life’s not fair! How come they get to eat so much and I have to struggle so much with food, eating and my weight!” Instead, once again, God is giving me an opportunity to grow in my character. He can use my struggle to make me stronger in Christ–a more God-honoring person who has a tender heart to His leading!

Is breaking my boundaries just because I am in a social setting really worth it? What are some blessings that have come to you when you have kept your godly boundaries in a social setting even when others have been eating?

Following Boundaries is Hard Eating – This was the study day when Barb socked it to us with the reality that we so very often look for life to be easy. We had to accept the fact that life simply will NOT be easy. If following our boundaries is the only way that we face challenges in our lives, we are living a very blessed life! LOL! So, yes, following boundaries IS hard. Suffering and difficulties are hard, but we know that God forms and shapes our character. This weight struggle has never  been merely about losing weight. God is interested in our hearts. If we make it be just about weight loss, we will miss what he wants us to experience. Let’s not do that.

Do you struggle with the thinking that this should be easy? What is the truth about this? How might believing the truth–that life IS hard and God uses hardships to form and shape our character–affect you and your journey to be your God-given size?

Preventative Eating – We don’t like to be uncomfortable. We like to prevent a situation where we know we are likely not to be near food–not to have access to food. Sometimes, this motivates us to break our boundaries and eat to prevent hunger. Or to eat an extra amount of food so we are sustained longer, even though we know we are past 5. Eating to prevent hunger is still eating outside of our boundaries. We reviewed some strategies for coping with this concern and saw that really, it is a rare situation indeed when I will be without food of any kind. Planning my hunger so that I can eat within my boundaries just before a situation when I won’t be able to have a meal is one approach. Another is to carry a few nuts with me. Finally, another option is to be willing to be uncomfortable–to be hungry, knowing I can have a meal after my appointment, seminar, or courtroom appearance is over. God can grow our character!

Have you tried any of the strategies to avert preventative eating? What have you experienced?

So, which of these types of eating–of blowing through your boundaries–provides the greatest challenge to you?

  1. Careless Eating
  2. Justification Eating
  3. Indulgent Eating
  4. Appearance Eating
  5. Entitlement Eating
  6. Failure Eating
  7. Holiday/Vacation Eating
  8. Emotional Eating
  9. Keeping My Boundaries is Hard Eating
  10. Hopeless Eating
  11. Good Food Eating
  12. Bad Scale Eating
  13. Social Eating
  14. Preventative Eating

What have you done to grow? What has God been showing you? Please share your praises or questions or thoughts! Let’s celebrate what God has been doing!

NOTE: We are starting our new study of the Healthy Eating Abundant Living book on Monday, May 6th. I hope you will join us. If you want to join us, but this is the first you have heard of it, please do a search here at the blog for “Study May 6” and you will get a list of posts that tell about it. Hope you will join us!

WLBS Review: Hopeless Eating, Good Food Eating, and Bad Scale Eating

Week 04 - Assignment Thin Within Book

Hopeless Eating – Do you struggle with the thought that I will never conquer this challenge? Do you feel like  eating and weight will always be a struggle for me? Barb shares in her study that truth journaling about this is crucial! Reason with me for a moment: Who is it you serve? What does HE say about your struggle? What does he say about YOU? By way of review (or new information if you haven’t yet seen it), I urge you to download, print out and speak out loud each day Who I Am in Christ. <– Click that link and you will see a pdf document that is filled with wonderful truth about who you are in Christ! It is so very difficult to speak this truth over your own life and to remain hopeless. Christ blew the LID off the grave so that hope might be victorious forevermore! If you like, review the video where I speak about hopelessness. It is here. Also, Truth Journaling is an invaluable tool to fight the lies with truth when we struggle to experience hope. We CAN get to the other side of the feeling of hopelessness. Let’s fight our way through it. Besides, will eating make it any better? It never has before. In fact, eating feeds the very hopelessness we want to combat!

What are some truths that can feed and fuel hope when it wanes for you? Share here so we can all benefit from one another!

Good Food – or Yummy Food – Eating – Do you struggle with thinking if it is there and I want it, I must eat it?  This is the mentality that just says there isn’t any deep hidden meaning going on here right now in my desire. I just want the food and there it is so I will eat it. To not give in to yummy food eating we can be proactive. If we know we are going to be in a situation where we will have opportunities for eating food that tastes good when we aren’t hungry, we can plan for victory! Some of Barb’s questions are so helpful to me personally. In fact, I think I have started thinking sort of like her! LOL! (In a good way!) Will eating this right now break a boundary? Will I have to learn to say no to my temptation to break boundaries? If I don’t learn that, what do I know is likely to happen? Given my history, do I have the ability to eat whatever I want whenever I want in the quantities I want for the reasons I want without it coming at extreme cost? In light of the TRUTHFUL answers to these questions, what will I choose right now?

How about you? What are some questions you can ask yourself in the moment when the food is there and you, simply, just WANT it!?

Bad Scale Eating We just completed a “Ditch Your Scale” Challenge. Why not start your own challenge? Can you not get on the scale for a week? Do you feel like the scale has too much power over you? Do you feel like one person posted, “Sure, I will give up my scale as soon as someone pries my fingers off of it!” Many of us feel that way. We have an unhealthy relationship with that device that is meant to be a tool, but we can’t seem to drum up the willingness to grow through this. We continue to seek approval of the bathroom scale. Let’s pray that God will help us to stand on His Word and on His promises. Let’s do what one person here at the blog said and choose to stand on the promises of God found in Scripture that says he who began a good work will carry it on to completion. She said she would choose NOT to “check on his progress” by stepping on the scale for two weeks. Does weighing yourself cause you to celebrate by eating? Does it cause you to comfort yourself by eating? Then it might be a good thing to evaluate if you should have a friend or family member take the scale for a couple of weeks and pray you through this.

What does God call you to do relative to the bathroom scale? If you are able to use it as a tool and not allow it to define what you will do next, then you may have a wonderfully healthy relationship with it. If, however, you give it the power to make you feel like a success or a failure, consider doing something radical! 🙂 What will it be?

WLBS Review: Holiday/Vacation Eating and Emotional Eating

I Am Crazy! But GOD is AWESOME!

I dunno, but this lady looks nutty like I feel today. I saw this picture and there was something about it that screamed “ME!” Can you relate? For me, it is because of…well…have a look at this video (if you dare). It is more of a rant than a teaching video. Truly…it is Heidi letting her hair down if you will. SCARY.

See why I said I am this woman? She looks like she is prepared to travel. Like she is putting a lid on all her emotions…but they are ready to surface at any given moment. I need TRUTH to put my feet on the ground! I need TRUTH to keep me from freaking out when I travel at all, let alone for 16 days. I need TRUTH to keep me from letting my emotions run amok with me!

So, as I prepare this post ahead of time, I am preparing my mind for action–for obedience. Right now, as you read this, I am in New York. If you watched the video, you know how I feel about this! LOL! But I am preparing now (while I am still home writing this) for obedience. I am speaking TRUTH to my spirit daily as I prepare for the trip and the emotions and other stuff that all go with traveling!

Holiday/Vacation Eating –  I am planning to do the following WHILE on my trip:

  • Daily – I will wake up each morning to have a quiet time and first on my list after warming to Jesus’ welcome to the day will be to use  My Affirmations about 0 to 5 eating list to renew my mind.
  • Because this list travels with me everywhere via Evernote, I will also pull it out mid-morning (before lunch) and mid-afternoon as a reminder about what is really important to me.
  • I will remind myself that vacations are a wonderful time to train myself to keep my boundaries no matter what happens in life. Life will be filled with all kinds of challenges and opportunities. I want to train myself for godliness, for obedience and that I can “celebrate” with means other than food and overeating!
  • I plan to shoot an email to my accountability partner each day that I have internet access.
  • I will ask God daily to open my eyes to His Wonders so that I might keep track in my gratitude blog. If internet access isn’t available, I will use my 1000 Gifts app on my phone to take pictures of the gifts God brings my way. It is pretty tough to give in to “entitlement” or “justification” eating (what typically travels with me on vacations) if I foster a humble spirit grateful to God for all his gifts and blessings!

What strategies will you plan to use when you next go on vacation or have a holiday? Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are coming up. What challenges might face you and what will you do to plan for victory? How will you make provision for obedience?

Emotional Eating Barb encourages us to make use of Renewing Your Mind Tools that she has at her website so that we can overcome the temptation to eat out of emotions. I have included that link here. Barb has written a full-length workbook called Freedom From Emotional Eating. While it is from a dieting perspective, I found it valuable when I went through it a few years ago. Please, though, if you are struggling with the dieting mentality, don’t run out and order this now. There is time later! But if you feel you have some distance and space from the dieting mentality and feel somewhat confident that your 0 to 5 boundaries won’t be derailed in favor of counting calories or points any time soon, then by all means, order her book!

Many of us are habitual…can I say this…drama queens! Ok, maybe you aren’t, but I know I have been. God is really working on training me to diffuse the drama rather than INFUSE the drama (with extra fuel). It is really helping! The video was just an example of a mild version of  how dramatic I can be! Crazy, huh?


At the heart of emotional eating one simple truth diffuses my tendency to go to food:

Food won’t meet the need of my heart.

It just won’t.

What strategies will you use to diffuse emotions that might lead you to look for comfort in food? Please share with us any victories you have experienced recently and/or any questions or even prayer requests you have about an upcoming potential situation.


Note: This is our final day of the “Ditch Your Scale” Challenge. Some of us bailed early. Some of us bailed mid-way through. Some of us made it all the way through. No matter what, let’s celebrate that GOD IS DOING A NEW THING and prayerfully ask him to show us the importance we place on the bathroom scale. If we are living according to His leading, eating 0 to 5 as he directs us, do we really need to be concerned with our weight? The truth is, we will land on a healthy size and stay there…without worrying about keeping ourselves “honest” with the bathroom scale. Just a thought. Would love to hear from you about this. 🙂

WLBS Review: Appearance, Entitlement, and Failure Eating

Don't Give Up! Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Don’t Give Up!
Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Hey, how is it going for you on our DITCH YOUR SCALE challenge? This is day 13! One more day! Did you make it? I am away from home on a trip right now, so I am not weighing myself. Unfortunately, I am dealing with the “vacation eating” challenges. I must renew my mind! I think I will do that. But on to what we are reviewing today:

Appearance Eating – In this bible study, Barb reminded us that focusing on weight loss is potentially detrimental to our success!  (This is one reason why some of us may have needed to “ditch our scales!”) God may be at work doing a NEW THING that is a more lasting, valuable work and if we throw in the towel because we don’t see the results we want on the scale soon enough, then we may miss the blessing–AND the weight loss! If you want to review the video from this particular day, here is the link for that.I hope that, for those of you participating in the “Ditch Your Scale” Challenge, you were helped to see (well, I messed up on that!) that God is doing a new thing that is beneath the surface. What we see on the outside is not all that matters! In fact, it may not even be the most important thing at all. Do you need to renew your mind about that? I know I do. For me, here are truths I might need to rehearse again and again to combat a temptation to focus too much on appearance, weight, and size:

  • I am a 50+ year old woman and I simply will NEVER look like Barbi! And while looking like a teenager might be nice, it would be an unrealistic goal for this middle-aged lady.  (I know this sounds silly, but I have to get that simple sometimes.
  • My value is not determined by what size or shape I am (or how much I weigh).
  • I am able to go on long walks in the woods, play tennis (singles and doubles) and enjoy doing all kinds of things physically. My body is amazing when I really stop to think about it!
  • My value is not determined by what size or shape I am (or how much I weigh).
  • God is at work doing a new thing from the inside out. He puts a premium on my character. Do I really want to have a different set of values (in a different order) than he does? No!
  • My value is not determined by what size or shape I am (or how much I weigh).

Oh, and did I say yet that my value is not determined by what size or shape I am or how much I weigh? 😉

What other truths could you add to this list?

Entitlement Eating – I really think Entitlement Eating and Justification Eating are twin sisters that wreak havoc with our 0 to 5 eating boundaries. If we aren’t able to deceive ourselves about breaking our boundaries via justification eating, then we most certainly DESERVE better than to have boundaries as restrictive as 0 and 5!!! NOT! LOL! But entitlement eating really convinces me that I…well…am worthy of this treat or that “prize” outside of my boundaries. I may be tired, stressed, have worked hard, put up with behavior of spouse, kids, or in-laws and so deserve to REWARD myself with food! NO! We want to renew our minds with truth about this:

  • God has called me to this (stress, challenge, difficult person, etc) and he wants me to meet the challenge in the strength that His Spirit provides.
  • I have no rights in Christ, but because of God’s grace and mercy I am given everything I need for life and godliness and I have been given every spiritual blessing in Him.
  • If I want to “reward” myself, how about something that will invest in my spiritual and emotional growth–something really beneficial? Like a hot bath with praise music playing or time on the back deck with my bible open?
  • A food reward is actually not a reward at all as when I eat outside of my boundaries it costs me spiritually, emotionally and physically.
  • A true reward would be something that God bestows on me. If I wait on him and his timing for a “reward” that HE establishes, then I will experience joy!

What other truths could you add to this list?

Here is the blog page where I shared a couple of audio files during our bible study on Entitlement and Appearance Eating.

Failure Eating – If Justification and Entitlement eating are the twin sisters that wreak havoc with our 0 to 5 boundaries, then failure eating is a tag-along kid brother! No sooner do we “blow it” –usually due to justification or an attitude of entitlement–than we start beating ourselves up about our missteps and want to quit the entire thing. We reason “I didn’t stop at 5 so I may as well eat whatever now. I knew  I could never get this Thin Within approach right! I am such a failure!” Then for a day, a week–however long–we give it up until we finally try again. This is one reason why Observation and Correction is such an invaluable tool. (I spoke about this in this post.) If we get in a routine of using the Observation and Correction tool, we will not let our failures or missteps define what we will do next. We will, instead, 1) observe 2) correct and 3) rejoice that God has drawn us back to his side! On this page, I have a video discussing “Failure Eating” in case it helps to review or you didn’t see it before.

Some truths that I use to renew my mind when I struggle with a temptation to throw in the towel (and honestly, I believe the longer you keep at this, the less this temptation will face you):

  • I may have failed in the moment, but I am not a failure.
  • God has declared that I am more than a conqueror. That is a FACT. I may not always live like this is so, but since God says it is true, I can believe it.
  • Do I really want to allow one misstep to define what I will choose to do next? No!
  • 0 to 5 eating boundaries may not always be easy to follow…this is for a lifetime. Learning now how to start again immediately will serve me well for the rest of the days I am on this planet!

What other truths could you add to this list?

Which of these three–Appearance Eating, Entitlement Eating, and Failure Eating–challenge you the most? Can you anticipate a situation you may face in the week ahead when you will be tempted to eat because of this? What can you do to be victorious?