Have you ever been doing your thing, going through your day, trying to cope with what comes your way and found yourself mid-way through a half-gallon of Oreo Nut Fudge ice cream–wondering “How did I get here?” It is possible that what you were dealing with was what is called “Fat Machinery” in chapter six of Thin Within.

To illustrate this concept, I want to share a video with you. Actually two video clips edited into one.

First video clip: In this clip, we meet two unique beings discussing food. The man on the left has never been human before. He is an alien who never felt hunger or tiredness, but is now being punished for naughty behavior by being made into a human with all a human’s failings and frailties. The man on the right is an android. He wants to be human, but isn’t. He has earnestly studied humans and human behavior so that he can emulate them in his quest to become “more human.” In this clip, the robot offers advice to the alien-turned-human. What he shares is his observation of fat machinery in action.

Please watch the first part of the video clip below, then pause it and read the description of the second clip before viewing it.

View the first part of the clip now. When you get to the girl dressed in pink, click on pause and return here. 🙂

Did you view it? 🙂 Good…now answer these questions:


  • What is the fat machinery in this clip? What unconscious behavior pushes the humans that the robot has studied to choose food?
  • What did the alien say was his reason for ordering TEN chocolate sundaes? Can you relate?

  • The truth is, we sometimes DO feel better when we eat when in a bad mood. But (and this is an important “but”)…the greater truth is we still have to cope with what made us unhappy or in a bad mood.

Let’s dismantle our fat machinery…we do this by acknowledging it and rejecting it! Ask yourself the question…WHY am I eating!?

In the second video clip, we will see Princess Mia (dressed in pink). She is in line to inherit the throne of Genovia. She has been groomed by her Grandma for this job (played by the inimitable Julie Andrews). At a ball, Mia danced with the man who introduced himself, simply, as “Nicholas.” She accidentally stepped on his foot in the ball scene (not shown) and there had been much made over it. The evening had ended without her ever learning more about the “dashing, mysterious” Nicholas. Now, in the scene you are about to view, she is told someone is challenging her right to the throne of Genovia and he is coming to stay at the palace. In this scene, she greets the nasty person who wants the throne, only to discover it is the gentleman she had been so taken by at the ball…As we begin our clip, Mia is dismayed and disgusted by “Lord Devero’s” claim to the throne…and even more so when she sees who he is.

Watch the rest of the video now. When you get to the end, return here. 🙂

Did you watch the rest of the video?

After you watch the rest of the video clip, answer these questions:

  • What emotions did Mia have that she was trying to bury in the Haagen Daaz?
  • Can you identify with this at all?

In the book, another example of fat machinery is discussed…It is the way we use, and our responses to, the bathroom scale. Last week I challenged you all to get rid of your bathroom scale. My accountability partner drove off with my scale and I am still THRILLED–but, honestly, it has taken me two and a half years to be willing to do that!

Read the comments by the authors on page 59 about the bathroom scale. Please prayerfully consider the challenge to let go of relying on your bathroom scale–just for the summer if you can’t imagine a lifetime without it! Instead, wait on the Lord, focusing on HIM for what he will do inside your heart and on your body as you trust Him to lead and direct you!

The more we abide by God’s hunger scale (hunger and satisfied cues in our body), the less we feel the need to rely on the bathroom scale. Remember it is about so much more than our size! After we release all our extra weight, God will continue to use the hunger scale to direct our eating.

Here is a thought…so often jumping on the scale is something we do to see “Did I get away with it?” more than anything else! This isn’t a godly approach. Do we really want to endorse it in our lives? I have to give that up. It is HARD for me…I must admit. But I know this is one thing God wants me to work through.

For your consideration:

1.) If someone were to video a scene in your life, would they likely find you turning to food for comfort like the alien or Mia? I know they would me! Invite God to help you to wait on him in moments like those…and to allow HIS truth–that HE is sufficient–to be what you feast upon!

2.) Can you develop a list (maybe on index cards) of bible verses that you can use to “feast upon” when flesh machinery has kicked into high gear for you? If you have a “scripture pantry” of sweet words to feast upon in moments like that, perhaps you can defeat a tendency to run to food outside of physical hunger. Feel free to share any verses with us that God may use to encoruage you in moments like that!

3.) What other examples of fat machinery did you become aware of as you read the chapter? I remember in 2006 when I read this for the 10th (or so time), I became aware of a new one for me…it was weather! When it was storming outside I felt the need to bake! I am a weather weanie and used food to “comfort me” when I was worried about lightning striking a tall pine tree and smashing my house (I need a sanctified imagination! Can you tell?)

4.) Continue to keep your list of God’s attributes and take a few moments to praise him for his character and how he relates to you. My list grows each time I read the book. Sometimes it grows more than other times…But by now I hope you have a pretty long list…Why not pick 5 things on it and spend some time praising God for what these attributes mean to you?

I am heading out of town this evening for a couple of days…I may fall “behind” my tentative assignment for this week. I will actually be working with Judy Halliday on a new project (YAY!). I welcome your prayers for the Lord’s will in that.