Doing Battle – Even a Veteran Has to!

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christina posted yesterday about the spiritual warfare she is experiencing lately.

I am in the trenches, too. Even though I may be a “veteran” and have been at this a loooooong time, I nevertheless go through seasons of difficulty. To be honest, this is the most challenging I have ever experienced.

As a result, I have been struggling with an ungodly behavior pattern in the evenings. It is a pattern of not caring nearly so much about obedience as I do to use food to deal with life…to cope!

My accountability partner challenged me to truth journal even several times each week, knowing that God has used it in such an amazing way with me in the past. I am so grateful for this challenge and have since decided that I need to do it every day.

To coddle myself into being willing to do this, though, I told myself when the urge to eat outside of my boundaries hit in the evening, “I can eat after I truth journal…” This is a strategy I learned from Barb Raveling in her Taste for Truth Bible Study material (have I ever confessed to you all that I wish I had written that study? LOL!). After I have truth journaled or used another method to renew my mind, I often don’t want to eat outside of my godly boundaries after all–which is, of course, the point. As warped as this sounds, this causes me to be more willing to truth journal. It is almost like in my old-way-of-thinking-now-resurfacing, I tell myself I get a food reward for truth journaling! Crazy, right? Especially given all the things I share here at the blog. By telling myself I can ignore :-/  my boundaries if I want to after I have done some of the nitty gritty renewing of the mind work, I end up being more willing to live within the boundaries God has established for me. After I truth journal, my heart has a different focus and I feel as though I have feasted. My hungry heart has been fed a rich, nutritious “meal” of what it really longed for.

In this pretty intimate video (that I have designated as “unlisted” at YouTube), I share with you as the struggle unfolds. I give you a glimpse into the battle that is raging for me (even by the light of the Christmas tree) and what I am doing about it in real time. I also tell what happened after I renewed my mind.

I hope it is encouraging to you. There is really no way around the hard work of training our minds to think differently. THIS will cause lasting change.

If you get blog notifications in email, you will have to visit the blog for the video to display correctly.

How About You?

What work are you willing to go to in order to REALLY beat the tendency to eat outside of 0 and 5?

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17 Responses to Doing Battle – Even a Veteran Has to!

  1. Sarah December 12, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    I’m really struggling right now, too. It seems like every time I eat something sweet I go way outside of 0-5 eating. Is it possible that I need to adjust my boundaries and stop eating sweets for a period of time or is that just the diet mentality talking? I also feel like when I snack I go past 0-5 as well. Could 3 fit-size meals a day be a reasonable boundary? Any suggestions? I’m feeling very discouraged and frustrated!

    • Karen K. December 12, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Sarah — I can and have had the same struggles. If I know I am very weak around sweets and snack foods, I simply cannot have it in my house. Ugh! But I love it all so — that’s the problem — loving the wrong thing!! At the very least, I can’t have it in my line of vision — on the kitchen table or counter. Until you gain some strength against the temptation, you may need to not have these foods around at all.
      Also, when I feel weak in the kitchen, the first action step I take is to get out of there! I find something else to occupy my time — preferably God’s Word, a list of encouraging Bible verses, prayer, re-reading journal entries, etc. If not those things, maybe a favorite hobby or project. Even 15 minutes doing something else will get your mind off of the temptation and build your strength.
      The best thing to do immediately? Cry out to God for His power to eat within His boundaries. He is “mighty to save.” He will “quiet you with his love” during those moments and remain with you in the toughest times.

      “The LORD your God is with you,
      he is mighty to save.
      He will take great delight in you,
      he will quiet you with his love,
      he will rejoice over you with singing.”
      Zephaniah 3:16

      He loves you! He’s with you! You’re not alone!! I’ll be praying for you . . . Karen

      • Heidi Bylsma December 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

        Great insights and thoughts, Karen! Thanks for offering them to the discussion!

    • Christina December 12, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Sarah, I find that the more I keep something around the house, the less likely I am to eat it. I know that probably doesn’t make sense. Have you officially legalized ALL foods, even sweets? The most we look at sweets as “bad”, the more likely we will overeat those foods. I also am not afraid to eat sweets as my actual meal, like a slice of pie for dinner. 🙂 That way I can enjoy the meal and eat 0-5 without trying to squeeze the dessert at the end of the meal. I don’t do this very often, but I have done it and found it quite satisfying.

      • Karen K. December 12, 2013 at 10:46 am #

        Ha! Ha! It’s interesting how we look at things differently and both seem to work, Christina. It just shows how God has made each person so unique — each with our own “bent.” Sarah, you will need to experiment and find what works for you. I hope you are not confused, but God really does work in different ways with different people. He will work it out with you. I do agree with you, Christiana, about “legalizing” food. When I first began this journey, I was not able to have sweets around — I was not strong enough to avoid over-eating them. Now that God has worked in me, I do enjoy a bit of dark chocolate or — this time of year, a few Christmas cookies. I am now strong enough to eat a couple and be done — having thoroughly enjoyed myself.
        Bottom line — you have to do what works for you, as far as the practical aspects are concerned. Prayer and God’s Word work ALL the time for EVERYONE.

    • Heidi Bylsma December 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi, Sarah. I would submit this to prayer for sure. There is a lot going on…and God will lead and direct each person individually. How long have you been trying to live according to the Thin Within principles? If not very long, then it might require more time. When you say “ever time” you eat something sweet, how often is that? Is it truly “every” time? Or does it just feel like it? There may be seasons where we have to call something “off limits”—typically for a season. I don’t recommend setting an entire category of foods off limits, though…but if God leads you to do so, who am I to argue with that? 🙂 It is really subtle sometimes how the dieting mentality affects us, so keep praying. One of the things that I think is really helpful to do is to truth journal the feeling: “I am powerless to stop eating sweets when I start.” Is that true? What actually IS true? Certainly, if God leads you to 3 fist-sized meals, again, I won’t argue, but what if you are hungry a fourth time in a day? What then? The 3 fist sized meals does sound like dieting thinking to me personally… but I know sometimes people with a history of eating disorders may find safety in having a boundary like that. Keep on praying! (I sound like a broken record!)

  2. Karen K. December 12, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Heidi — Thank you so much for being open and honest with us about your own struggles. I’m right there with you. Significance, intimacy, and security and all the same things that I struggle with. I’ve struggled with them for a long time — especially with intimacy issues. I haven’t really got a good grasp on how God wants to deal with me in those areas, so I remain in His Word and continue to feed on His truths and delete the lies in my thoughts. It’s not always easy! Many times I don’t FEEL like sitting down with my Bible, or I’m not in a place where I can — during an immediate time of temptation. But — I just wait upon Him for how He will continue to grow me.
    I see that this whole thing is NOT really about the food. It’s about much deeper issues that weaken me and send me to food for relief. So — I am trying to seek God’s help in those deeper issues — some due to years and years of hurt and pain. At times, I have a great deal of trouble trying to understand “me.” What makes me tick and why am I the way I am? Why do I think the things I think? I am SO glad that God understand me, because He’s the one who “works in me to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
    I’m praying for the upcoming study to strip away some more layers in all of us, so that we can be REAL before our God and allow Him to move greatly in our lives. I have faith that we’ll all be changed. . . KK

    • Heidi Bylsma December 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      Hi, Karen. Thanks for the encouraging words and for praying for the class, too. That means so much! 🙂

  3. Christina December 12, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Heidi, I just love you! Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I know it’s hard to be vulnerable like that, but I know being real reaches even deeper to all of the hearts reading this blog. I like how you journal FIRST and give yourself permission to eat, but then you journal and end up not giving into the temptation. Praise God! Continue to press into the Lord! HE is your security. HE is the One you can find significance in. HE is the one who is most intimate with us. Praying for you!

  4. Sarah December 12, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Thank you for the suggestions and encouragement! I have legalized all foods but then end up justifying my overeating. Being a stay at home mom, it is so easy to reach for food…ugh! I will keep seeking God. Thanks for the prayers!

    And thank you Heidi for your post!

    • Christina December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Sarah, I’m a stay at home mom too. I totally get that! I agree with Karen that there are different ways that God goes about this in different lives. I know for me that I had to legalize all foods and have them around. I have gone through seasons where I can’t have like maybe ice cream in the freezer, but those have been few and far between. Sweets don’t have a hold on me anymore and I really think a lot of it is because I have them around freely and they aren’t calling my name like they used to. They have lost their charm. I actually have some cookie dough in the fridge right now that I’m not even sure if I want to make into baked cookies because I’m sorta “over” having them around. If I want something sweet for lunch, I will leave room in 0-5 for that sweet thing. If I start to tell myself I can’t have it, then I feel like I need to eat it no matter what. I try to look at sweets as the same equivalent as fruits and vegs. It’s all the same in my eyes. And after awhile my diet has become more balanced. 🙂

  5. Marjie December 12, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I love how your voice goes from frantic to calm through this video.

    Love you, girl.

    • Heidi Bylsma December 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      I noticed that, too. LOL! Love you, too, my friend. 🙂

  6. Paula December 12, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Thank you so much for your vulnerability and heart for God. This video is a great tool to me and I will be watching it again. Praying for you as you walk through this struggle.

  7. peacelily70x7 December 13, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    God lead me to your blog tonight Heidi, the video spoke to me as I too have been wanting to turn to food for comfort and to numb the pain that I’ve been feeling emotionally. Rejection has always been an issue with me and the old way IS to numb it.. feed it, stuff it.. but, I am tired of being unhealthy and really do want God to help me rely on HIM and not on food as my comfort. HE IS our Comforter.. that should be enough for me and where I NEED to turn too. Thank you for being so open and sharing, I really did need to hear it… <3 Lynn [from FB]!

  8. Susie July 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Heidi, thank you so much for sharing your vulnerability and struggle — it really helps to hear and watch you walk this out in real time. A friend of mine once quoted, “Never trust a man without a limp.” Thank you for sharing your “limp” with all of us because it lends to your credibility and makes you so relatable. To hear the sincerity and pain in your voice as you chose the better way by taking your struggle to the Lord by truth journaling is truly inspiring — which is exactly what I’m going to do after I post this comment. I also like the idea of yours that you will allow yourself to eat when not at 0 if you truth journal first — that is genius.

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