Weight Loss Bible Study (WLBS) Review – Careless, Justification, and Indulgent Eating

Renew the Mind with Truth

Renew the Mind with Truth

This week, we are going to take some time to go back through the material that we have been studying and review or highlight the points that we may want to be sure we grasp a hold of! Even if you haven’t been doing the study, I think you will find this material encouraging, challenging, and life changing. You could always decide to DO the study! Each one of the “days” can stand alone, truly. Give it a try. See what you think! ūüôā

Careless Eating – Barb made a GREAT observation about how an alcoholic has a very stringent boundary:¬†not one drop of alcohol–ever. So often we think that we can’t possibly be as careful as the alcoholic because we know we¬†need to eat. We think “If only we didn’t have to eat to survive, we could break free! Just like the alcoholic!” The truth is, we can have our primary boundary be¬†just like what the alcoholic¬†does. We can determine that not one bite…no, not¬†one, ever, outside of our primary boundary of 0 and 5. I loved Barb’s direct approach when she asked:¬†Do you think you‚Äôre the type of person who can eat what you want when you want without having it mess up your life? There are some great verses to review, too, to help us nip careless eating in the bud. We do NOT need to break our boundaries by being careless!

Justification Eating¬†– Barb nailed us to the wall once again by pointing out that so very often we don’t come right out and just say “I am going to break my boundaries now.” Instead, we try to make it seem like we¬†aren’t really breaking our boundaries. So, we justify. This seems to accompany almost all the eating that I personally do outside of 0 and 5. Does it for you? Barb points out that there are a number of lies we tell ourselves to justify eating outside of our boundaries. You might want to pop on over to the page and see if any of those still fit for you (again, just gloss over any reference to calorie and reword the sentences to fit the non-diet approach). One of the most convicting scriptures she uses in any of her studies (for me) is Psalm 120:2 –¬†Deliver my soul, O¬†Lord, from¬†lying lips, From a¬†deceitful tongue.¬†Ouch. SO much of my breaking of my boundaries has a root of deceit in it. Isaiah 28:15 is another one: “…for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.” OUCH!

Indulgent Eating¬†– For me, the power was packed in a couple of Barb’s questions:

  1. If you were to eat ‚Äúwhat you want, when you want‚ÄĚ 100% of the time, how much do you think you‚Äôd weigh?
  2. If you were to eat ‚Äúwhat you want, when you want‚ÄĚ 100% of the time, would you happy? Why or why not?

You know…I really don’t have to go much farther than that! But if you haven’t had a chance to do this study yet, do check it out. THe scriptures are well worth it!

Another question she asked is: How often will you follow your boundaries if you only follow them on the days you feel like following them? (Be honest.)

Well, that is a question that would be really helpful to answer. The answer for me is a big fat…NEVER!!!

So, what is the conclusion of the matter for us? If we wait until we FEEL like living according to 0 and 5, well…how long will we end up waiting?

Which of these is most challenging for you: Careless Eating, Justification Eating, or Indulgent Eating? When and where are you most likely to struggle with the one that is the hardest for you? What plan of action can you have so that you will be able to resist the next time?

What Really Satisfies?

Image Courtesy of Stock Exchange

Image Courtesy of Stock Exchange

Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:2

So often I am in *pursuit* of satisfaction…to find something that will ease and soothe the aching and longing of my heart. I spend boundless energy and time diligently seeking, yet the solution I turn to doesn’t have the capacity to satisfy.

“He has placed eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and that “God-shaped hole” can only be filled with HIM–not a food-shaped peg.

As I turn to HIM, instead of the refrigerator, turn to His WORD, instead of into the drive-thru, as I sit at His feet instead of bow in homage to the almighty _______ (insert tasty morsel of your choice), as I listen to Him and eat of what He¬†offers, my soul will¬†be nourished, satisfied…*delighted*. What a wonderful promise!

Lord, I pursue You today. I will look to You to meet the ache in my soul. Whether it is sadness, loneliness, happiness, boredom, I will not spend myself in trying to satisfy the longing I have. Instead, Lord, today I will turn to You, through prayer, to listening to You, through Your Word and the Holy Spirit. I will “eat” what is good…that which You provide. I look forward to your promise happening for me… I will delight in what you bring my way, as You nourish my body and my soul. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

© Heidi Bylsma 7/4/1998

10 Ways to Renew Your Mind and Why You Want To!

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God‚Äôs will is‚ÄĒ
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

We all have beliefs that subtly erode our values, boundaries, and godly goals. Sometimes these beliefs are about ourselves. Sometimes they are about God and his care about us. Whatever it is that you need to renew your mind about, it is totally worth the time and effort it will take to do it. If we don’t, we might find that something we value, rely upon, that is foundational in our life, slips off and out of our lives. We don’t want to experience the depth of this sort of loss. We want to guard against it!¬†Wisdom would require that we be proactive. Romans 12:2 says we don’t want to do as the world does and just let whatever happens happen. We want to allow God to¬†transform us and he will do this by renewing our minds.

Relative to our Thin Within journeys, the sorts of thoughts we may have might be:

  • I won’t ever¬†get this weight off…and even if I do, I won’t keep it off.
  • I am such a failure. I never can string together two good days of 0 to 5 eating.
  • I simply MUST have ice cream each day! If not ice cream, then cookies or brownies or…something to “treat” myself!
  • I MUST be a size 6. If I can’t get down to a 6, then I am a failure.
  • God doesn’t care about my weight/size. If he did, he would remove this struggle from my life.
  • I keep letting God down. He is so disappointed with me.

NONE of these are truths! NONE of these reflect the way GOD thinks!

Here are 10 ways you can renew your mind so that He can transform you from the inside out!

1. Using Barb’s I Deserve a Donut App

2. Using Barb’s Weight Loss Bible Study

3. Truth Journaling

4. Go through a favorite book of the bible–for me it is Ephesians–and pull out all the truths that are there that can refute the lies you tend to tell yourself. Make index cards, type up a document, make a graphic image, write out post-it notes…so that the verses and the thoughts that go with the notes are EVERYWHERE that you may struggle. If you struggle in the kitchen, post them there. If the dining table, post them there. If with the scale, tape them on the scale. If the mirror, tape them on the mirror. If in the car, tape them on the mirror. You get the idea!

5. Create a God List. That is explained here and in this video:

6. Use the God List to have a praise-fest or Praise FEAST! That is explained here.

7. Memorize Scripture. You can use this iPod, iPad, or iPhone app to do that–or just the good old fashioned way of index cards and practicing going through them!

8. Start and update a gratitude blog. Mine is here if you want to have a look (it needs updating).

9. Create a “Renewing My Mind” play list on your mp3 player or iPod. I have suggestions at my other blog here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

10. Ask a friend to hold you accountable for your thinking. I recently asked Barb, who is my accountability partner, to hold me accountable for something I clearly need to renew my mind about. It doesn’t have to do with eating so I won’t bog you down with the whole story here, but I will be posting about it at my other blog sooner or later.

The point is, we don’t want to let whatever happens happen to our thinking. When our thoughts and feelings are given free rein, they take us into crazy places! Places where lies seem like truth!

Instead, we want to allow GOD’s thoughts to be our own thoughts. In His Word, he tells us what he thinks. The more we bathe our minds with Scripture and truth from Scripture, the more we will think like he does. That is what we WANT! ūüėÄ

Which of these will you try…today? If you are already routinely renewing your mind is there a new approach you can take to doing so? Is there a new thought that God might perhaps want you to renew your mind about?

Day 9 of the Ditch Your Scale Challenge

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First things first:

Winner of the contest this week is Doublejay4me!

CONGRATULATIONS! I will email you. You get to select from a Thin Within book, donated by Joe and Pam Donaldson of the Thin Within Company, a Hunger Within book, donated by Arthur and Judy Halliday (authors and founders of Thin Within) or a week of one-on-one coaching with me. This is our last week of contests until June! I hope you will all continue to post and encourage one another!

—–

We began our Ditch Your Scale Challenge 8 days ago. This is day 9. Have you made it this far? We have 5 days left to go!

I have to admit. I have NOT made it. Not at all! I am somewhat surprised, too! Maybe I need Kim to come and take this scale from me like she did the last one! ūüôā¬†Oh, Kiiiii-iiim…LOL!

I leave on Sunday for a very LOOOOOONG trip and won’t be on a scale again during all that time (at least through May 9!), so I will have to deal with it cold turkey! I am going to be prayerfully evaluating what is going on with me to make me so dependent on the scale. While it isn’t like it used to be, it certainly has a feeling about it that I don’t care for! I have discovered that I have minimized any need for concern…which…er..concerns me. True confessions!

So, let me ask you: What are the challenges you have been facing staying off the scale? Anyone but me struggling with this? I started this challenge so cocky!

Have you tried renewing your mind about it? I must admit that it feels like there is SO much I am renewing my mind about these days that I will never get going on life each day if I keep renewing my mind about everything I have unworkable beliefs about! LOL! I need to renew my mind about renewing my mind! HA! Then I won’t make such a big deal out of it, I am sure. I can renew my mind when I am driving, when I am showering, when I am waiting in lines…it doesn’t have to be a big deal to be powerful!

What truths have you used to replace the thought that “I must weigh or else I will _____” ?

I love what one of our participants said…that she is choosing to stand on the promise that God will complete that which he began and that she will resist checking on His progress! I love that! Maybe I need to paste that ON my bathroom scale. Yes…that is a good idea.

What else can we do to cooperate with God in resisting the call of the bathroom scale?

Three Things to Do When You Mess Up…

Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

A day in the life…

The day begins with hot tea and the warmth of a personal encounter with Jesus. Blessings and truth gush like a fountain off the pages of the Bible and saturate your heart as you are in awe of how intimate and personal His presence is to you. You have carved out this time first thing in the morning and it is richly rewarding!

In fact, you don’t think about food until a gnawing sensation in your stomach overcomes all other thoughts. Wow! I haven’t eaten since last night’s dinner! I am at a zero! Your quiet time was so satisfying and fulfilling and your heart so satiated with the goodness of God that it wasn’t until you were truly hungry that you gave a thought to breakfast. You thankfully relish a modest portion of a thoroughly satisfying meal.

As the day continues, you are prayerful, joy-filled, aware that Jesus walks with you.

Lunch is another “I-can’t-believe-I-am-actually-hungry” eating experience as you enjoy a lunch out with a favorite co-worker. You readily stop eating when you are no longer hungry.¬†This is¬†what it is like to “whether you eat or drink, do it all to the glory of God” as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 10:31!

Upon returning from lunch, however, demanding clients and a disgruntled boss cause the afternoon to lose it’s luster somewhat. ¬†By ¬†day’s end, the warm glow of the morning’s embers has been pretty well snuffed out. Tired, you saunter to your car considering the late afternoon commute. Your heart falls–overwhelmed–at what you know¬†waits for you at home. Barring a miracle, the kids will be squabbling and messes will be everywhere. By the time you emerge through the thick traffic–made worse by a fender-bender in the slow lane–you are famished…you¬†deserve some joy in your life. You enter the house and,¬†sure enough, no one else thought to clean up the sink which now demands attention before you can even think about dinner preparation.¬†Why is this always left to me?

You plug in the electric skillet with ingredients of what will not-soon-enough be a delicious meal and, as you reach for the cumin in the cupboard, the chocolate chips sitting right next to the spice rack grab you by the arm and threaten that you had better eat them! Ha! Not really, but you would think so! Before you give it any thought, let alone a prayer, you dive in. You finish your dinner preparation as you continue to revisit the bag of chocolate chips and by the time dinner is ready, you have¬†inhaled enough chocolate chips to populate two batches of cookies. You aren’t hungry for dinner but feel the need to eat to “balance your blood sugar” since you know you will crash and burn later when you¬†do¬†get hungry after eating so much sugar. Besides, you don’t want the family to ask why you aren’t eating. That would be even worse than having eaten the chocolate chips!

By the time you go to bed, you are miserable…not just from having overeaten, but from the overwhelming sense of “failure.”¬†Why can’t I ever have ONE good day of eating 0 to 5 all day long? The club of condemnation comes out and you start beating yourself up.

Can you relate to this scenario or one sort of like it? Are you frustrated that you can begin the day so well, but by the day’s end you have¬†steamrollered right over your 0 to 5 eating boundaries?

What can you do when this happens?

In my personal experience and through the one-on-one coaching I have been doing for the past few months, I have seen this scenario or one like it play out numerous times. What we choose to do with our “failure” determines how “successful” we will be with our Thin Within program and the release of weight we hope to experience.

It isn’t the slip up that will keep us from releasing weight–not usually. It is allowing a mis-step to define what the next meal will be like, what the next hour will look like, what the next day, week, and month will look like.

This is why we have to,¬†have to, have¬†to¬†be willing to go from merely “observing” (and condemning) our behavior to planning a correction¬†immediately. That way, the next time–and there WILL be a next time–we will have a plan of action to ensure success! We can take the proverbial bull by the horns and bring him down!

What do I mean by observation and correction? For those of you new or not yet experienced with the Thin Within book or workbook, this is a tool we use to help us see where we strayed from behavior and thoughts that didn’t correspond or support our godly goals. This is the “easy” part. It is the part that says, “I ate all those chocolate chips and then ate dinner when I wasn’t hungry and now I am stuffed!” In Thin Within, though, we try to observe dispassionately. We ¬†look at what happened and declare what action or thought was the culprit that derailed our godly intentions. We don’t judge. We don’t pull out the club of condemnation. This is the FIRST thing we do. You can add more power to this step by¬†confessing it to the Lord in prayer.

Secondly, we want to plan a “correction”–what will we do¬†differently¬†the next time we are in the exact–or similar–situation? This is, simply, repentance. Choosing and planning a new behavior for the next time this situation arises.¬†In our example, I would want to make a plan for when I am tired, frustrated, famished, and get little (if any) help at home after a long day. What could I *do* to change things around so that once I land at home the chocolate chips don’t assault me out of the blue? One suggestion for the woman in our example is that she could use her CD/mp3 player for the drive home to refocus her thoughts so that the commute time is spent renewing her mind about the rest of the day. Praise music can make a huge difference! Alternatively, downloading and using the audio files that I have made available to you might be helpful for the stressful commute. You can download the bible as mp3 or iTunes files, too! The journey home from work (or wherever) can actually become a sanctified “Holy of Holies” of sorts–land that you capture for the Lord. And if, when you do finally get home, you are famished you can have a prepared-in-advance baggie with a small snack designed for just such an occasion–to shave the 0 off just a tad. Like three Ritz crackers or one Oreo cookie–enough to get you through the dinner preparation without inhaling the chocolate chips!

Third thing you want to do after you have messed up is REJOICE! What?¬†Did she actually say “Rejoice!”? Yes! You see, you are sensitive to the Lord and to the boundaries he has asked you to live within. That is why you have an awareness of the situation as a “Mess Up!” It means that you are tender-hearted. You haven’t become calloused to sin or to living outside of boundaries. It is a wonderful thing to realize! So, thank the Lord that he has given you a heart to obey him and that while you aren’t doing it “perfectly,” you are growing in godliness with each day. THIS time is different than any that may have come before as you are¬†learning to do the struggle well.

Bringing it home:

Step 1: Observation.¬†Consider the last 3 “mess ups” you have experienced. What did you think or do that worked against your godly goals?

Step 2: Correction. What will you do to structure life for success so that the next time you are in a similar situation you maintain your commitment to your boundaries?

Step 3: REJOICE! Can you thank God right now that he has given you a heart tender to him? You are here reading about this, aren’t you? That says a lot! LOL! ūüėÄ

Share your three steps below for one of your “Mess Ups.” You might give others that read your ideas some strategies for dealing with their own struggles! Let’s win some for the LORD!

Life Isn’t Fair – I’m Glad!

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

So often, when we have a look–a¬†really good look–at what drives our overeating (or our gluttony to put it out there)¬†it is the thought of “Life isn’t fair and it¬†should be.”

When other people seem to eat whatever they want in the amounts they want, it really doesn’t seem “fair.” Does it? Have you ever felt that way?

When I struggle with my weight and I eat so little food, it really doesn’t seem “fair.” I have “given up” so much food and the physical changes seem to be so minimal! Have you ever felt that way?

I know that I am growing spiritually, I am depending less and less on food to meet emotional needs. I am turning to the Lord and growing in my walk with Christ, yet this battle with food seems ever before me. It hardly seems “fair.” Have you ever felt that way?

I am doing¬†my ¬†part. Why on earth won’t God do¬†His? Have you ever felt that way?

If I am not careful, this thought that “Life isn’t fair and it¬†should be”¬†can become a root of bitterness in my relationship with others and with the Lord. I can end up harboring a grudge.

Let’s consider what “fair” would be.

Who among us can stand before holy, perfect, God and claim to be holy as He is holy? In this moment, we might fool ourselves into thinking we are “good enough,” but sooner or later a stray thought, a harshly spoken word, a thoughtless deed will betray that we are far from holy. God has declared that we all have sinned and fall short of his glory (Romans 3:23) and we seem to prove it with each hour that passes!

He has also declared that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

So what is fair? That I would be zapped by a bolt of Divine Lightning where I stand (or sit as the case may be). That I would be eternally banished from the presence of God!

Thankfully, God is NOT “fair.” He has provided a way for us. He demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we are¬†yet¬†sinful, he had Christ pay the death penalty. Christ died in our place and his righteousness was credited to our account. (Romans 5:8)

Is that fair? Goodness no! “Fair” would never have required Jesus–who died a perfect life–to be brutally tortured and sentenced him to die on a Roman cross–one of the most brutal ways of dying. And “fair” would never credit ME with Christ’s wonderful, amazing, sinless righteousness.

In light of all of this, do I have any business coddling the thought (I can hear Gollum’s “My precioussssss…..”): Life should be fair to me. I deserve better!

You don’t deserve better. I don’t deserve better. We¬†deserve¬†hell! But God has intervened and to all who will look to Christ and what he has done for us, we may be saved from that death sentence. Romans 6:23 which I quoted in part above says “The wages of sin is death¬†but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Pretty¬†unfair stuff! Pretty GREAT stuff!

So, what does all of this have to do with eating? Well, God has given us a variety of foods to enjoy. The textures, the tastes, the wonders of all the varieties of food we can enjoy are myriad. There really is no limit to it. But, as with all of the many blessings he gives us (like sex, for instance :-)), God has intended that the pleasure be enjoyed within certain boundaries. Within those boundaries we are free to drink deeply of the pleasures of His hand! We can delight! Thrill! Be blessed! This is grace abundant! This is merciful bounty and kindness! We want to renew our minds about what we consider “fair” and begin to see God’s goodness as it is:

  1. My body is fearfully and wonderfully made and remarkably efficient!
  2. I have taste buds that can enjoy the plethora of flavors that are available!
  3. When I live within God’s intended boundaries for me, he rejoices in my delighting in his gifts
  4. I can foster a heart of gratitude for the many blessings he has given and put greed to death
  5. The textures and explosions of flavor that are possible with literally millions of combinations of spices make food one of the most diverse gifts available

What can YOU add to this list to put the whole “Life isn’t fair and it should be” into its proper perspective?

Do I really want to fuss, be resentful, claim that “it isn’t fair” if I can’t stuff my face until my stomach is miserable? Really?

So, I have decided that I am glad that life isn’t fair. If it was, not only would I not be able to enjoy¬†any¬†food (since I would be in hell where I don’t think food is necessary), but I would not have a relationship with the Lord. I wouldn’t get to enjoy the pleasures that God brings my way in this life–all wonderful delights that I definitely don’t want to take for granted.

How about you? Does the lie that life should be fair impact your life at all? Does it hinder your joy in 0 to 5 eating boundaries? What can you do to make today different?