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!