Something that God is really laying on my heart as I continue down this path is that when I make eating all about only what tastes good, that is catering to my flesh. This is my personal conviction and I am still struggling with how to handle it…it isn’t cut and dry for me, personally, because of things in my past. Indulging my flesh in what tastes good (as the only consideration) within the parameters of 0 to 5 is *still* catering to my flesh! 0 to 5 doesn’t make eating whatever I want “righteous” for me.

God has given me a brain. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat and in what amounts (a diet or diet law), but I know that even if the Burger King Stacker burger tastes fabulous and is “permissible” for me to have because I am free in Christ, it is NOT beneficial. It is a heart attack on a plate.

God doesn’t want me to check my brain at the door. He wants me to be informed and then invite the Holy Spirit to direct my choices. To be truthful, if I am really walking in the Spirit then I will not always choose foods (even if I am at 0) based merely on how they taste. I will take into account other things too, as the Lord leads me uniquely and personally.

Thin Within teaches that we move from the initial freedom phase to a phase 2 –this is a big difference between TW and other similar programs, btw. Phase 2 teaches us to use discernment about what we eat when we are at 0. We begin evaluating how various foods make us feel when we eat them…what sustains us, what doesn’t. What makes us feel agitated. (This goes for beverages, too…)

If we are going to insist that because a food is “permissible”–it is something I have the freedom to enjoy as much as I want 0 to 5–If I am going to insist that because I am free and at a 0 that it then follows that it is something that the Lord grants me permission to eat…well, frankly, that is sinful for me…plain and simple. My personal conviction is that God doesn’t want me to continue making regular (constant) meals out of foods that are all about flavor and offer detriment to me potentially…like things high in saturated fats, for instance.

I believe he would have me develop discernment to (for example) select chicken that is baked or grilled instead of fried as a matter of routine. I am *free* to eat the fried, but I am free NOT to eat it, too. If my routine is that of eating fried chicken (I must confess that it has been…a very small amount each time, but God is convicting me even of that…), is that the wisest, most beneficial thing?

The better question to me these days as God is working on my heart is, do I *have* to eat *that*? Or am I free *from* eating it? The third part of Thin Within and of that verse about what is permissible and beneficial is “I will not be mastered by anything.”

My goal is not to be mastered by brownies, chocolate, pizza, fried chicken…whatever it might be. CAN I live without those things? What about cheese enchiladas? Hot fudge sundaes? Yes, it is *permissible* for me to have them, but it isn’t the best choice for me. If I have high blood pressure and insist on fried chicken and french fries as staples of my existance, I am not being a good steward of my body–even if I eat these things 0 to 5. That isn’t exercising my freedom in a godly way…that is claiming grace so that I might sin all the more.

Further, if I insist that I don’t have to give something up fried chicken and french fries, maybe I am being mastered by it…does it own me? Can I live without it?

These things are a vast departure where many of us existed while involved in other programs that encouraged us to eat between the parameters of hunger and satisfaction. Sadly, these things that are taught with TW get buried beneath our relishing of “our freedom” to eat whatever we want. For me, it has been buried because I didn’t *want* to let God have the things that I soooo enjoy eating. Now he is making it clear he is calling me to step up, to somehow be willing to believe him that he can cause emotional healing in my life (much needed) so that I can eat things I have never been able to before–things that will promote *health* in my body.

If I am going to offer myself to the Lord, my eating, my sustenance…my choices…I give all my rights away and I ask him prayerfully what *He* wants me to feed my body. He will be faithful to tell me. Sometimes he will tell me I need more information so that I can understand what the best choice is…Maybe that causes me to read the nutrition information for the “chicken selects” at McDonalds and realize that these tasty morsels offer flavor at quite an expense. Arteries can still get clogged and hearts can stop beating…and I don’t want to regularly eat anything that will contribute to that happening and declare it “freedom in Christ.”

Struggling with living this out,