Hopeless Eating


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This week, we look at Barb Ravelings Day 12 – Hopeless Eating.

Here are some thoughts about hope and hopelessness and how it affects our eating. If you are an email subscriber, please be sure to visit the blog site, as the emails don’t include the videos.


It is important when we are struggling with a sense of hopelessness to take our thoughts captive and replace them with truth. I strongly recommend truth journaling. It is a powerful means of learning to think differently.

What will you do today to conquer the subtle (or bold) influence of hopelessness that the enemy tries to settle on your life? What will you do to respect your boundaries when hope wanes?

3 Ways to Conquer Church Potlucks


I got an email from one of my coaching clients. What a GREAT question she asked! I thought that others might be interested in hearing some thoughts about emerging as a conquering hero over the typical Church Potluck!

If you are an email subscriber, please be sure to visit the blog site, as the emails don’t include the videos.

What will you do to emerge victorious over the next buffet, church potluck or other challenging church function?

Weight Loss Bible Study Week 6


I can hardly believe this is week 6 of Barb Raveling’s Weight Loss Bible Study! It has been going by so fast.

And it sure seems like a lot of you are experiencing some great breakthroughs. I have gotten to visit with some of you on the phone, in Skype, and in email and WOW! Your stories are amazing!

Please consider writing up a testimonial and sending it to me at heidi bylsma at gmail dot com. Let me know it is your testimonial that you would like posted to our Testimonials page (or you can just go there and post it in the comments, but I prefer to put it in the page itself!).

This week we get to deal with yet more pertinent issues related to the way we think that affects our eating. Here is a video about the first part of the week (the rest will come later this week):

If you are an email subscriber, please be sure to visit the blog site, as the emails don’t include the videos.

I am editing this post because God led me to do some renewing of my mind about “This is Hard.” I want to share this with you. You can make a list like this and then read it out loud daily for your own “renewing of the mind” experience:

This IS HARD.  That is true.


God will use this FACT and make me more beautiful – more Christlike inside and out through the hardship.

I will persevere

When it is hard, I am perfectly poised to see God show up.

In my weakness, he will be made strong and visible.

When it is hard, I get to see HIM as the Redeemer.

I CAN keep going when it is hard.

I HAVE to keep going when it is hard.

He never promises that Life will be easy.

I share in the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.

THIS IS LIFE! Life IS hard!

This is training for more challenging things in the future.

As I just DEAL with it and GET OVER MY DESIRE FOR EVERYTHING TO BE EASY I will develop and grow and change and be a better person—the one that God has placed me on this earth to be.

When life is hard, when eating 0 to 5 is hard, I know that I am becoming more like Christ. I am being trained to BUCK up for things yet ahead in my life.

I can PRAISE my God through this trial and blow the lid off of my own piddly expectations! GOD IS GREAT and He will show me His glory!

Satan doesn’t get to have his way with me.

LIFE IS HARD and I can LOVE it that way because I KNOW that this is for my good and God’s glory.

Through this being so hard, I get to develop a deep dependency, a greater intimacy with my God!

This week, your assignment (and mine) is the following:

  1. Evaluate your renewing of the mind goal that you set earlier. Do you need to adjust it? Do you need to recommit to it? If so, do it! What do you need to think differently about?
  2. Early on, Barb challenged us to commit to three days of staying within our boundaries. How about doing it again this week? Can you commit to just THREE days? Three days of saying YES to God and the boundaries that he has set for you? 🙂
  3. Complete Day 11 – Following my boundaries – Losing Weight – is HARD Eating of Barb’s Bible Study.
  4. Complete Day 12 – Hopeless Eating of Barb’s Bible Study.
  5. Continue to journal about the questions Barb asks and share with our community here. I know we are in the final stretches, but let’s finish STRONG! If you aren’t at the pace that I am posting at here at the blog, go at your own pace! 🙂

What has been the most rewarding thing about this study for you so far? What has been the most challenging thing?

Coming May 6 ~ Bible Study: Healthy Eating and Abundant Living


Beginning the first week of May, we will launch into a study of Healthy Eating & Abundant Living by Allie Marie Smith and Judy Halliday.

If you are an email subscriber, please be sure to visit the blog site, as the emails don’t include the videos.

The reasons I chose it for our study:

  1. The survey said people wanted a deep study of Thin Within. The GOOD news is you can get HEAL for about $10 or so shipped. Check this link. So while this isn’t the Thin Within workbooks, it does teach the same principles or it wouldn’t have Judy Halliday’s name on it.
  2. HEAL touches on issues that I think are deeply connected to renewing our minds as we have been. I think it will be a great fit.
  3. Because the book is a 6 week study, we will be done before summer gets rolling!
  4. Although it is written with a younger audience in mind (college girls), you will find that we definitely identify with the struggles mentioned in this book. We have all been that age and many of us were right there in the trenches.  I have talked with enough older women to know that many of our struggles are the same ones we had decades ago! The voice and refreshing approach will encourage you and renew you, as well as challenge you. We will continue to renew our minds as we use this material, too.

This study will be similar to what we have been doing. Each Monday starting May 6, I will post the assignment along with a video. Each Saturday there will be a summary and wrap up of some sort, usually with another video. Like I have been doing now, Sunday – Friday, there will be other material—all to support you on the Thin Within/HEAL journey!

If this sounds good to you, get your book hereAllow plenty of time for shipping so you are ready to start with us May 6th.

We will have about a week off in between Barb’s study and the HEAL study. I hope you will dive in and join us!

How to Start From Scratch


Image Courtesy Barbara Marshall

Are you interested in starting Thin Within, but don’t have a clue where to begin? Do you want to jump in but aren’t sure when and how?

Thin Within is pretty simple, really. Easy? No, not really. But simple, yes.

If I could boil it all down into a few simple thoughts and an answer about “how to get started” (or restarted) on this journey, it would be this:

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Stop when you are not.
  • Go to God for all the other things that would otherwise draw you to food!

Part 1: Eat when you are hungry. This means physically hungry. (We call this a “0” or zero.) This is in your  stomach, not your abdomen. See this post/video for an explanation about stomach hunger.

Part 2: Stop when you are no longer hungry. (We call this a “5,”) This might be a bit trickier for many people as most of us are used to just eating whatever portion is in front of us and possibly going back for seconds, too, eating until we are uncomfortably full or the food is gone–whichever comes last! 🙂 In Thin Within, the best way to get started is to give yourself no more than a fist-sized portion of food.If that seems impossible, then give yourself half as much food as you normally would. If you eat it twice as slowly as you typically, do, you will be surprised at how satisfying it is! Over time, you will begin to sense what it feels like to no longer be hungry and to be “full enough.”

Part 3: Go to God for all the other things that would otherwise draw you to food! The Bible Study we have been doing has helped us to evaluate all the many reasons we tend to eat when we aren’t hungry. When we are drawn to food, it may be our hearts are yearning for (hungry for) intimacy with God. We may be hungry, but it may not be physically hungry. It may be “heart hunger.” God has placed a God-shaped hole in each of us so that we might be drawn to him. He longs for closeness with us. So very often, however, we jam a “food-shaped” peg in a God-shaped hole! As we learn to go to Him instead of to food, we not only eat less and find that we release excess weight, but our relationship with God deepens. It is a win-win!

Where are you in your willingness to give this a try? Will you eat only when hungry today? Will you explore what it feels like to stop when your body no longer needs food? We call this “eating 0 to 5.” Will you go to the Lord in prayer or bible study when you are tempted to go to food outside of this boundary? Let us know if you are just starting this journey or are restarting this journey. There are a bunch of great people here who will encourage you!

What ONE Thing? (And Contest Winner Announcement)

Focus road sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

This week’s winner for either the Thin Within book, Hunger Within book, or free week of coaching goes to Christina!


Also, don’t forget to vote for what study will be next. Click this link to go straight to the poll if you haven’t voted yet!

I have been including less content this week at the blog because I know that many of you are joining the Weight Loss Bible Study a bit late or feel like you are “behind.”

But today’s question is significant, so I hope you will give it some prayer and thought.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,

but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philiippians 3:12-14

I want to focus on a little statement in the middle of this passage: “But one thing I do.”

Sometimes, as we look at the BIG picture of our weight, our issues with the way we think or the HUGE task ahead of us, we go on tilt. If you are anything like me, this can cause you to…well…simply…just SHUT DOWN.

We have to get away from looking at that big picture. The big picture of our holiness is God’s burden. He wants me to conquer this moment for Him.

So I want to issue a challenge and I would love your feedback today!

What ONE THING will you do today?

What is one thing that you can do–TODAY–that will help propel you forward?  One thing that hard, perhaps, but that you know you can do today? One thing that you know you need Christ’s strength to do because you know you are too weak to manage it?

Will it be to have one less cup of coffee? (I know that may not sound tough to some of us, but to others of us, we are convinced we need it!)

Will it be to take 15 minutes to truth journal?

Will it be to open the bible and be still for a few minutes?

Will it be to confess?

Will it be to say no to a particular food that you know has mastery over you?

What one thing…TODAY. I am not asking you to commit to this for a week or a month or longer, but just TODAY. What one thing will you do TODAY that is different than all the other days and times when you wanted to be free in the area of eating and body image?

Tell us in the comments what it is…AND be entered into next week’s drawing by doing so.

Let us know what ONE THING you will do TODAY and we can pray for one another as we read the comments!