Every year the Lord gives me a word for the new year. In December of 2012, I began to pray about what the word would be. Almost immediately the Lord said my word was “change”. With that being such a simple word, I thought that just couldn’t possibly be it–but it was! And one of the things the Lord said would be changing is my eating. So being the planner that I am, I started to decide for myself what that change would look like. Following my emotions and compulsiveness, I decided that God no longer wanted me following Weight Watchers, but wanted me ordering powdered shake mixes to follow a regimen of drinking shakes and doing cleanses. The Lord let me go along with it, and after a few days in the beginning of January of drinking shakes and being told when, what, and how to eat, I was humbled and confessed that I made the wrong decision. Oops! I knew that change still needed to take place in my eating, so I began to search again. This time the search led me to contacting a naturopath, hoping to figure some things out with my body. Again, I followed my emotions and was compulsive. And the Lord let me go along with this as well. I was told not to eat carbohydrates or sugar. And so I began that quest and discovered very quickly that I felt very deprived and, after awhile, fearful that if I ate those two “don’ts” that I was damaging my body and tempting God.
And so began (or continued) my struggle. I had never been so fearful about food in all my life. I was constantly being attacked in my mind about food. I wrote SO many journal entries about this, going back and forth about what I should do. I wanted to go back to Weight Watchers SO badly, but I didn’t feel peace doing that. I also didn’t have peace following the naturopath’s regimen. And then one day in March, the Lord led me to look at Heidi’s blog. I hadn’t looked at it in a couple of years. And immediately, as I began to read her posts, peace entered my heart. It was the first time in months that I felt peace and comfort in the area of food. It was like the Lord shone His light and said, “This is what I want you to be doing. This is the change I intended.”
That peace remained in my heart for a short time until I began entertaining the dieting and restrictive thoughts again. I was really hung up on the lie that eating carbohydrates and sugar would damage my body–that it would basically kill me. I was being tormented in my mind. When the enemy tries to bring fear, he likes to ask the “what if” and “what about” questions. There was a major battle going on in my mind and I had a very hard time getting out of it.
I knew from personal experience and from what Heidi was sharing about renewing our mind, that truth was the only way I was going to win the battle that was going on in my mind. The hard part was pushing past the “what abouts” the enemy was throwing at me constantly. I had to get to a place where I absolutely could ONLY believe and focus on what the Lord says in His Word about eating and food. I wrote out scripture after scripture on notecards about how God has blessed ALL foods, about how no one had right to judge me in food or drink, about how I was to set aside what the world was saying and fix my eyes on Jesus, etc. And every day I read through those cards 2-3 times a day, sometimes less, sometimes more. It wasn’t easy at first, but after awhile those truths began to resonate in my heart. I also asked different ones to pray for me. After awhile I recognized that it wasn’t so much of a battle about food, but it was the enemy trying to lead me down the path of fear. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. The enemy will tempt us with fear about EVERY thing in life. But God and His word is bigger and more powerful than any lie the enemy throws at us. The Word of God is our weapon! It never returns void. It goes out and accomplishes what God has set for it to do. The truth sets us free!
So little by little, every single day, every single time I read those scriptures, the Lord was setting me free! By mid-June I was walking in victory over this food battle. Praise the Lord!
And then the next part of the journey began. The second phase of the Renewing of the Mind Weight Loss Bible study started mid-June on Heidi’s blog. The Lord blessed me with an accountability partner and I began the next phase of my journey. This part of the journey included overcoming the diet mentality and finding truth about Weight Watchers.
Would you believe that I subscribed and cancelled my Weight Watchers subscription probably 4-5 times since January? You better believe it! It’s quite embarrassing, but that shows right there how hard it was to break free from those chains.
Let me give you a little history about my experience with Weight Watchers. About 4 years ago I was at my heaviest weight, which is about 30 pounds heavier than I am currently. I knew all about Thin Within and normal eating. I felt that I had “tried” eating 0-5, but really, I wasn’t committed and found every excuse to eat. I had just come through a lot of emotional healing, which unfortunately was combined with emotional eating. We had also been trying for a child for about 5 years at this point and I was very discouraged. So I ate. And ate. I felt disgusting. I felt discouraged about normal eating not working for me (even though that was a lie I was believing), so I prayed about doing Weight Watchers. The Lord allowed me to follow Weight Watchers for about 3 years, except for when I was pregnant or breastfeeding. I always kept in mind listening to my body’s hunger cues and I knew better to eat if I was hungry, even if I didn’t have extra points. That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel guilty about it, but I knew that listening to my body was more important than a points allotment. I lost weight and then lost weight again after pregnancy. Toward the last few months of following Weight Watchers, I began to lose my peace. And when the Lord told me that my word for this year was “change” and that would involve even my eating, I knew I would be kissing Weight Watchers goodbye.
Up until the last part of August of 2013, I was really struggling with thinking about going back to Weight Watchers. My accountability partner encouraged me to commit myself to a certain amount of time with Thin Within. The Lord told me 90 days, which would end September 11th. I went back and forth about Weight Watchers, with it as a constant afterthought. Whenever I felt like I failed with eating 0-5, I would tell myself that I just need to go back to tracking points. And sometimes I would be so tempted that I would actually subscribe to Weight Watchers online again, but never actually track points. Why didn’t I actually end up tracking? Because there was NO peace! The Lord kept putting His foot down and would NOT release me back to Weight Watchers.
Heidi has talked a lot recently about truth cards. I have a little notebook with about 50 cards filled out with scriptures, truths from Heidi’s blog, tidbits from the Thin Within book and from Intuitive Eating (my other favorite book about normal eating), and quotes. I read through these cards about twice a day. I had lots of truths written down about how I don’t want to diet anymore and about why dieting (Weight Watchers) is not something I want to do. But I was still struggling with going back to Weight Watchers!
Finally, toward the end of August, I emailed my accountability partner and Heidi, asking for prayer and help with my thoughts about Weight Watchers. Heidi shared an idea that was so powerful to me that it honestly rocked this whole mental roadblock. She basically said that maybe my thoughts about Weight Watchers was bringing some kind of “drama” into my life that I was actually, in a weird way, enjoying. Like, that I needed something to fixate on and Weight Watchers was that thing. It was creating this drama, this thing for my brain to constantly go on and on about. One word came to my mind: obsession. I was OBSESSED with thinking about Weight Watchers. This wasn’t new to me. The enemy has used lots of things over the years to encourage me to obsess over. Little obsessions. Big obsessions. When I realized that this was just something that was trying to get my attention and create drama, I was like, “There is no way I’m entertaining this anymore!” And I made the decision not to entertain the Weight Watchers temptation anymore! I was done!
And really, just like that, the obsession was gone. It was all the Lord. It was like I had to surrender that drama to the Lord. He gladly took it. And now when I read those truth cards about how Weight Watchers IS a diet and the damage dieting does, I can nod my head in agreement, with NO temptation to go back! Praise God!
So since starting the Thin Within journey, in 6 months the Lord has freed me from the bondage about fear of food AND about being on a diet. I PRAISE God for what He has done! His work is marvelous!!
This was something I wrote in a comment recently on Heidi’s blog. It pretty much sums up my thoughts on truth cards and the importance of renewing our mind:
Renewing our mind is VITAL to becoming a normal, intuitive, Thin Within eater! I wish I would have realized this truth many years ago when I was “trying” to eat 0-5. I had so many hang-ups and wrong thoughts about it. But now I have truth cards that I read every day at least twice and they are packed full of truths from the Word, from the TW book, from this (Heidi’s blog), from other ‘normal eating’ material, and tidbits of truths I have found here and there. The first few months I felt like it was more of a burden to read the truth cards, like it was more of a duty than a privilege. But NOW it’s what I cling to and it’s VITAL in overcoming the battle I have had within my thoughts about food, body image, dieting, etc.
Back in May I was struggling (almost being tormented) by thoughts about food. I was believing lies that I couldn’t eat certain foods and that if I did, that I was purposely damaging my health and tempting God. It was a HUGE battle! The Lord had me write out scriptures on notecards, which eventually became part of my truth cards, and it was after reading those cards over and over again that I began to see a breakthrough. God’s truth prevails! It doesn’t return void! It is our weapon! I have read through scripture cards like that before for other situations, such as fear. When we consistently wash our mind with His Word and truth, we are being renewed little by little. At first it may seem like a lot of work, but after awhile we see LIFE being brought back into our minds. The lies flee. Freedom reigns! It’s pretty awesome!
I no longer deal with those thoughts about food. God has completely released me from those lies, that prison which held me. He continues to set me free daily from other mindsets I have struggled with. I am praising Him for what He has done and is doing!
I don’t know how else to emphasize on how very important it is to renew our minds in the area of our struggle with eating, dieting, and body image. Honestly, if I would have understood this years ago, I would have been set free a lot earlier. I’m thankful for the journey I have been on because I learned a lot along the way. The beauty of having truth cards and renewing our mind is that even when we don’t think it’s working–it is! God’s word is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword! He wants us to absorb these truths. I think of the scripture Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I thought I would never be able to conquer the food thoughts I was being tormented with earlier this year, but as I began to bathe my mind with the Word, I saw victory through Christ! The Lord helped me breakthrough and all I did was read those scripture cards that I had hand-written. That’s it! God did the rest! I had to commit myself to writing them out and reading them; that was my part. God honored His word. He set me free! And He WILL do the same for you!
I’m not perfect with 0-5 eating. I have moments where I want to eat when I’m not hungry. The next part of my journey is learning to delight in the boundaries God has set up for me in regards to eating. I see Him working in me and I’m so excited!
There’s one more thing I want to share. When I decided to commit to 90 days of Thin Within, I asked the Lord whether I should weigh myself after the 90 days were done. He didn’t answer me right away, but then the answer came when I found out I was pregnant about 1/3 of the way through my commitment. I’m one of those that doesn’t want to know weight gain in pregnancy until the very end. So that pretty much solved that question. And I think it’s so neat to be going through this part of the journey being pregnant, without the focus of weight loss (which is what I should be doing anyway), because I really get to mentally focus on finding peace with food and allowing God to help me with renewing my mind. God is so good!
Oh, and in case if you were wondering, I did stay committed through September 11th, and I continue on! Praise God!
What About You?
Can you identify with Christina’s turmoil? Do you find yourself playing along the perimeter, toying with 0 to 5 eating, but never really “buying in?” Do you leave in fear of “normal” food? Do diets seem to have the answer, but you don’t feel released to have peace dieting any more? What thought has Christina shared here that God is driving home to your own heart and mind? WIll you please share it with us here? We can commit to praying for you!
Yes! This story nearly had my name on it. This is the cycle I have been spinning through…Thin Within, calorie counting, cutting out carbs, protein shakes…you name it! I have been so frustrated consistently riding the weight loss carousel, losing five pounds, gaining seven, etc. I know the truth of Thin Within and 0-5 eating, but it seems I always get drawn back in to the world of diets and deprivation, only to be dissatisfied, have no peace, have more stress, AND failure. Now I see the truth of it…obsession. It’s time to give it over to God completely and let go of all of the diet mentality that has gripped me for most of my life. Thank you for this post!
Aprille, I have been there! One truth that helps me a lot is knowing that dieting is not the solution. It only fuels more chaos in our eating. It’s like a trap and it’s hard to break through, but with God’s truth, we can! He can help us as we keep our eyes off the diet books, and keep our eyes on His truth. He will help you overcome!
Christina, after you had the baby, I am assuming you continued to follow 0-5. Did you go back to your “normal” healthy size/clothes pretty quickly? I’m considering having another baby and want to commit to 0-5. Just curious what the pregnancy/post-partum will look like. For some reason every time I try I never make it past about a week and I don’t want that to happen this time!! I’m scared!
Christina, This testimony really speaks truth to me. I have joined Weight Watchers so many times I’ve lost count. I know that this freedom of eating within 0-5 is the only way. I still struggle with my mind going to “I wonder if I should do weight watchers.” Because I am also resisting eating within 0-5. I really need to commit to this. I would like to get an accountability partner. Thanks
Hi! Thank you for sharing this!!! I asked God this morning for a sign…something to show me what to do as I’ve been feeling frustrated & confused about what to do concerning getting my health & weight in order. I was asking for his sign to tell me which route to go. I believe this is his sign…how cool! I’ve been back n forth and back n forth with all kinds of diets via internet, facebook, tv, etc. A program similar to this had helped me lose but something had been missing. I’ve always been drawn to Thin Within and it’s always given me a peace. Heidi’s also been terrific & ever so giving & helpful. I’ve felt deprived on other programs though the weight came off. I lost about 30lbs & have gained it back. I’ve been trying to figure out why it didnt last. I think God is showing me now. I was telling myself I was being deprived of food & starving. I realize I need to tell myself the TRUTH! The truth is I was grabbing for food to comfort me & food cant do that at all. All of these TRUTHS! I’m not starving, I’m learning how to give my body the amounts it requires only when it is time! God will comfort me when I need it. This works! God works! The truth works!! I am committing to my 90 days. The holidays are coming & I want to enjoy the family and treats God allows. No “have to” veggies & fruit unless my body craves them! God has made our wonderful bodies…truth…and he has made us know when we are at a zero & a five…truth! We are fearfully & wonderfully made…Truth! I am deciding now not to look to other programs…but to do Thin Within for 90 days! This is a big decision as I’ve not followed thru this long for quite some time. Please pray for me!!! I will get my note cards out to write the truths down & refresh my mind. Praying God guides me & gives me the strength to go all the way this time!!! It is time! Thanks for listening!! Thanks for sharing this Heidi!
Praise God! He is speaking to you and showing you what you need to do. As you write out those truths and read those truths each day, the Lord will transform your mind. There is freedom in His truth! Praise God! That’s awesome about committing to 90 days! And remember, this isn’t a diet! If you overeat at some point during the 90 days, observe, correct, and just wait for 0 the next time to eat. It’s not something you have to feel bad about! It’s a journey, a process! Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Thank you so much Christina for taking the time to write this and Heidi for posting it. There are so many points in this testimony that have spoken to me.
1. Each year God has given me a “Word” but instead of meditating on that “Word” to fully understand what God is saying to me, I jump in with both feet; going in the wrong direction, wasting time, energy and ending in failure, then I get discouraged because I don’t see the manifestation of the promises He has given me working in my life and I make no progress.
2. Being so fearful about what I am eating. Is it “clean”, did I eat too much, will I gain wait. Some times I would take just one bite and then stop because I was afraid that I would gain weight. That would last at best 3 days and then I would eat everything in the house…plus some
3. Christina’s comment “And every day I read through those cards 2-3 times a day, sometimes less, sometimes more. It wasn’t easy at first, but after awhile those truths began to resonate in my heart.” Was very helpful. I set up such a strict reading schedule that I wasn’t able to keep up with it and fell flat on my face. If I didn’t read the cards and do the homework perfectly I was a failure. Since I kept failing…I would just eat.
4. This is so true for me “After awhile I recognized that it wasn’t so much of a battle about food, but it was the enemy trying to lead me down the path of fear.”
5. This was such an encouragement. “It wasn’t easy at first, but after awhile those truths began to resonate in my heart.”
6. Reading this was helpful. I wanted fast immediate results. This reminded me that I have to commit to being persistent and consistent. “So little by little, every single day, every single time I read those scriptures, the Lord was setting me free!”
The below comments helped me realize that I have to just keep going and not beat myself up or expect immediate change. If I persist, change will happen.
• “The first few months I felt like it was more of a burden to read the truth cards, like it was more of a duty than a privilege”
• “At first it may seem like a lot of work, but after awhile we see LIFE being brought back into our minds. The lies flee. Freedom reigns!”
• “The beauty of having truth cards and renewing our mind is that even when we don’t think its working–it is!”
• “The Lord helped me breakthrough and all I did was read those scripture cards that I had hand-written. That’s it! God did the rest! I had to commit myself to writing them out and reading them; that was my part.”
Lisa, I’m just so blessed and encouraged that you were so touched by what I shared. God is so good! Reading God’s word is such a blessing, and we shouldn’t feel bad if we miss reading them at a certain time during the day. His truth is always there. There are days I only have time to read a few things I have highlighted in my cards, and then there are days where I need to read all of the cards. But the important thing is being in the Word. Renewing our mind is a HUGE part of overcoming and having that victory in Christ!
THANK YOU!!! LOVE THIS!!! Exactly what I needed to read at this moment!!!!
Praise the Lord!
I’m about to go on a juice fast for 3 to 4 days before going to a women’s retreat in Arizona next Sunday. I stumbled on this in my e-mails. I can identify with this testimony and the comments of the women above. Will you pray for me? I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and knowing Thin Within principles are truth, but feeling pressure at the same time from people around me and myself to eat clean, etc. I used to be a fitness instructor and have been going back for a long time with bondage with the world’s principles, principles from Christians I highly respect, and eating within Godly boundaries.
Father, I ask that you would help Shelly with this pressure she feels from the people around her to eat a certain way. Father, there is such a difference when you are leading us to do something compared to when you are not leading us. When you lead us to something, you give us peace. Father, I pray Shelly would find peace in what You want her to do. I know that bondage she is speaking of and I know that You want to set her free! Your burden is light! You never intended for us to be burdened down with what we put in our mouths. I pray Shelly would turn her eyes away from what is not true and turn her eyes on Your truth, to You, to Jesus! I pray even as she’s on this juice fast, that you would show her your truth. Father, help her to renew her mind. Help her to get back to the basics of what you meant for food to be in her life. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This was so encouraging! I just had my third child and am struggling to get the weight off. I joined Weight Watchers and yet I can’t bring myself to track points. I know it’s because this is not what God wants me to do.
I completely relate to what Christina shared! I find something to obsess over because I am so fearful. I have watched “Forks over Knives” and am so tempted to eat this way. Why can’t I just let go and trust God? This is so frustrating.
I want to commit to reading the truth cards because I want to be set free from this bondage. Please pray for me!
Sarah, I really had to completely STOP reading the books and watching the videos about food. I was so obsessed with food research. To me, it was temptation to look at something that wasn’t giving me peace. It wasn’t what God wanted for me. There was absolutely NO peace. I had to make the choice every moment to turn my eyes away from all of that stuff and to keep them on Jesus. That’s where the scripture cards (Truth cards) really came into play. I had to look at what God says about food. And now, several months after He’s set me free from that obsession, I am no longer tempted to look into any of that stuff. And actually, it’s rather repulsive to me. Ha! What God did in my heart, mind and soul about all of that obsession is amazing! And He can do the same for you! Are you wiling?
I am like what Christina was as she struggled with Weight Watchers. I have become obsessed with the Paleo diet. I have ordered tons of books on the subject from amazon, not respecting my husband’s desire for me to cut way down on my book ordering. I am truly obsessed and feel so in bondage to it. I am afraid to eat whole categories of foods now. I want to find freedom but am afraid to let go of my idol of dieting. Would you please pray for me? I almost feel crazy from the constant obsession. And I am really driving my husband crazy with my on again off again dieting. Poor guy. He never knows from meal to meal what I will or will not be eating. Ugh! I feel so trapped. Thanks for “listening” Heidi.
Kathy, the Paleo diet was one of the last things I obsessed over before the Lord set me free! And like you, I had ordered so many things. I ended up returning books or giving them away. I did find some really tasty recipes, but if I make those recipes now it’s only because I enjoy them and not because of some strict eating regimen. I am praying you will find freedom in eating 0-5. My husband was really annoyed with all of my food obsession. He was so tired of listening to me talk about it. Poor guy! We were just talking a couple of days ago about how the Lord has set me free! Praise God! My husband is enjoying the freedom God has given me as well! I am praying as you search God’s Word about what He says about food, that He would dissolve that fear.
Father, I pray for all of these amazing women who have responded here. Father, I ask that you would show them Your truth, Your light, and Your way. Lord, you are not a respecter of persons and if you did this for me, you can do it for them. These women have tried, sought, and spent time and money trying to lose weight–and I sense a desperate cry, needing You to intervene. They need a change. They need a new thing. They need You! Father, I pray that they would lay aside all of the diets, all of the food books, all of the excess, and that they would cleave to Your simple, beautiful, delightful truths. All we need is You Lord! I pray they would see the simplicity of writing down scriptures and reading them. You breathe life into our souls through your Word. I pray they would cling to your Truth! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
“The simplicity of writing down scriptures and reading them. ” The truth and value of this one statement is immeasurable! I was listening to a preacher yesterday and he said that the Bible was never meant to be read silently. The reading of God’s Word out loud will transform us into the image of Christ. I have made this change!
I think the “spoken word” is the word, “Rhema” in the greek. I believe it has power to speak God’s truth out loud. Not like an incantation or something, but because the Word of God is living and active…it just makes a difference to me to read it, say it and hear it all at the same time. 🙂
Excellent word, Christina, thank – you!
Thank you Christina! Wonderful encouragement:)
What an awesome testimony! I am learning more and more each day. I want to be set free from the diet mentality, it is hard…but I know this journey is so worth it. congratulations!
This whole testimony will be my first truth card…it is now on my home screen along with the comments. Thank you so much…all of you.
Such an awesome testimony and something I can relate to, being several years in this battle, and a huge encouragement to press on with renewing my mind because He is going to be setting me free so very soon! Thank you for sharing 🙂