A Lost Cigar Lighter and Finding 5

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In Thin Within we get to enjoy whatever food we want when we are hungry–“0.” We stop eating when we reach a “5”–when the body has had “just enough” food…it isn’t full, but is satisfied. Usually, it will take about the same volume of food as the size of a loosely held fist (depending on the type of food eaten).

Sometimes, participants lament “I can’t find 5!” This typically refers to having eaten more than they needed and realizing it only too late. With Thin Within, this need not spell disaster. Simply wait for hunger before eating the next time. No more waiting for another Monday. 🙂

There is one primary reason why “Finding 5” may be difficult.

A distant relative lands on your doorstep, beaming with delight that he has decided to stay with you for a few nights. Oh, joy! We always liked Uncle Joe. Until…shucks…he has, unfortunately, taken up the habit of smoking a cigar–one in the morning and one in the evening–each day. Content to do so out on your wonderful deck beneath the trees, the distinct odor of cigars is, nevertheless, carried upon his person when he re-enters the house. The scent hangs in each room–the living room, bathroom, guest bedroom. And now, Uncle Joe has lost his special butane torch lighter (the kind that any good self-respecting stogie soldier uses) and solicits the help of the family to find it. Hmm….how eager are we to join the search when doing so means something we aren’t particularly eager to experience–in this case, more pungent aroma wafting through the house?

The desire to find what is lost will determine the zeal of the search! How easy is it to find something that you aren’t really that interested in finding? If finding something means an end to what you find pleasant, why would you *want* to find it?

Cathy Maher, who is teaching one of our Thin Within Workbook Classes, pointed this out in her video recently. It is a REALLY good point!

We are SO eager to “find 0″…that point where we get to eat. YIPPEE!!!! We have little difficulty finding “0”–in fact, many of us “find” it before it really appears, if we are honest…calling every gurgle of digestion a hunger pang!

But if we don’t really want to “find” 5–that place of physical satisfaction where we have eaten enough food and it is time to stop eating–then we will have difficulty! It is because we don’t really want to find it…we aren’t looking that hard, just as with Uncle Joe’s lighter.

It will serve us well if we evaluate if what we REALLY want is to “find” 5 or if we would much prefer to continue eating instead.  Are we really looking?

If this rings true for you, I want to encourage you to renew your mind with some of these truths:

  • My body is remarkably efficient. It doesn’t take much food to satisfy and as I stop at “just enough,” my body will become leaner and healthier.
  • God’s 0 to 5 boundaries provide a pleasant place for me to enjoy freedom in my eating.
  • It is best to live by design rather than by desire.
  • The portion allotted for me will be completely satisfying, physically. I may need to lean extra hard on the Lord to experience soul-satisfaction, though.
  • I can call on the Lord to give me the “want to” to find 5.
  • The Lord will grant me a willing spirit to sustain me (Psalm 51:12b)

How About You?

Do you look for 5 like you might look for Uncle Joe’s lost cigar lighter? Will you begin to pray today and renew your mind about the joy of eating within the godly boundaries of 0 and 5?


8 Responses to A Lost Cigar Lighter and Finding 5

  1. Susan Bradbury March 26, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    I love the story! : )

    Once you let yourself get to a true ZERO, you will never forget what that feels like. It is the willingness (CHOICE) to wait for it that makes all the difference. We have many excuses why not to wait. Those excuses steal from us. They steal our peace, joy, love, and our self control.

    The enthusiasm wanes when we give in to “I-don’t-want-to-wait” feelings…it is pretty simple. God would not have given us this little cue, if we could not do it.

    God has given us a free will. We can choose to make it simple, or we can choose to make it hard. It is not a matter of our will power. It is a matter of if we choose God’s power to flow through us.

    Romans 13:14 tells us NOT to make provision for the flesh…Stop indulging yourself in overfilling yourself instead of letting God fulfill you! The New Living Translation says: Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. I say: When I get wrapped up in the presence of God, I don’t even think about ways to indulge…

    The Holy Spirit who lives inside of us is that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead! He will quicken our moral bodies. (Romans 8:11) He so desires to us to allow Him to assist us. He gives us more loving-favor (GRACE) to choose….When we CHOOSE to humble ourselves by saying: “God, You know what is best for me. I will do it!” He then quickens (energizes) us by His Spirit. Submit yourself to God then you will be able to easily resist the temptations because you will be so filled up with God, there is room for nothing else!!! (James 4:5-7)

    We may look at someone to indulges in smoking or drinking or some other thing we don’t do and think: WHY DO THEY DO THAT? It is because they are trying to fill the emptiness inside of them, just like we do when we eat when we are not hungry.

    Let’s make the next bite when we are truly hungry!! Just like we can wait for a ZERO, we can find the 5 also! It is no different….Looking at the black and white facts is not to condemn us, but to FREE US!!! Once you find that satisfaction, you know what it is…you will never forget it. It just gets clouded when we let those excuses rule over us. Let’s walk in JOY and FREEDOM! It is a choice!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Great points, Susan. Thanks so much for making them. So often, I do make provision for my flesh…what is up with that? I lose sight of what I value…what is REALLY valuable to my soul. I get my eyes off the prize…Instead of waiting for true satisfaction in my Lord and what HE supplies, I tend to want instant gratification…or I think I do. NO! I want to be done with that tendency to impatiently run ahead of my gracious loving Lord. Amen…walking in Joy and freedom IS a choice! I make it again and again and again throughout each day.

  2. Carrie March 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    This is exactly what I needed today! What a great visual – and Cathy’s video was right on. More Truths added to my Truth cards! Thanks to both of you for sharing your wisdom.

  3. Jamie March 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm #


  4. Molly Wells March 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Great post, Heidi!

  5. simplydalena2013 March 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Heidi, you hit the nail on the head! I’ve lost my “want to”. How do I get it back?

    • simplydalena2013 December 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Oh my goodness!! I reread this post, you’d mentioned it in a post in our study. And then looked down through the replies and saw I had replied. This is so interesting. Yes, I had lost my “want to”. And now I have my “want to”. And of course it all feels so different and with the “want to” and the study and the renewing of my mind, I am releasing unwanted weight!!! I was sitting here thinking about the difference and thinking, I don’t know what changed. And then it hit me!! RENEWAL OF MY MIND!!

  6. Laura January 25, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    I agree there is a choice involved here. There is also a pattern of behavior that has clouded the actual physical sensation. For those of us that have binge eaten or chronically overeaten, that feeling can take time to discover. I may want to find it, but if I’ve been doing this a long time with lots of food, learning the sensations may not immediately right there. That has been my experience and now, if I am paying attention and eat slowly enough, I can tell when the hunger sensation stops (neutral place) and when I can start to feel food in my stomach.

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