Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, 
they make it a place of springs;
       the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
 They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion. 
Psalm 84:5-7
Typically, when someone comes to this blog, it is because they want encouragement with regard to their desire to change physically. Many (most?) visit this blog unhappy with the size or shape of their physical bodies. And this is the way it often begins. God gets our attention with our food or eating…and then the journey begins and sooner or later we discover that it really isn’t about food, eating, or body size/shape.
This is because (I guess) most of us realize that the physical condition in which we find ourselves is typically just an outward manifestation–a barometer, if you will–of something that is going on at a deeper level. “Within.”
We know almost intuitively that there is some inner churning or unworkable beliefs that have brought us to this place–this place of dissatisfaction with where we are.
So I ask you…are you ready for pilgrimage? Are you ready to move forward with the Lord? At some level, you must be! I don’t think you would be here at this blog if that wasn’t the case. So welcome! Let’s link arms together.
Question #1: Take a minute and answer in your journal or even here in the comments if you like–Describe that place from which you wish to “depart.” What are you hoping to leave behind as you move forward in your walk with the Lord?”
 I am at an unusual place. I have found myself in a  similar place only one time in my life–and that was over ten years ago. I struggle a great deal feeling like I am here, again, now…when I should be ten years farther down the road. It is my hope that I will understand God’s view of this “do over.” I want to leave this place in the dust–permanently. This is a place of uncertainty. It is also a place where old habits and mind sets with regard to food…things that I thought were ancient history…are again in my face! Emotions are raging and with that has come an ancient, yet somehow strangely familiar, feeling–that of being drawn to food for comfort.
This time, I have boundaries and I am not throwing these safeguards aside–at least not entirely. I know to do that would be to court disaster physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Nevertheless, I really hope that I will leave this “place” … and SOON. 
My heart is SET on pilgrimage. Is yours? 🙂 defines “pilgrimage” this way: a journey, esp. a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion…
So, “journey” implies a starting place, a place I LEAVE, and a destination…that place to which I go.
I am ready! Get me OUT OF HERE! 🙂 Beam me up, Scotty!

Question #2: Based on Psalm 84:5-7 (the verses above), what does God’s Word say about the person who sets their heart on moving forward with Him—on pilgrimage?

What do you see in this passage about that? If you set your heart on pilgrimage, what does this passage seem to promise?

In the past, you may have focused on garnering up self-control or self-discipline to get your weight under control.  However, according to Psalm 84:5-7, the one who is truly blessed finds strength where? 
How does this promise make you feel?
Question #3: What have you done in the past to get your “weight” under control? What are tactics and techniques to which you have resorted?

If you are like most of us, this doesn’t just include dieting and exercising, but it also includes some pretty physically unhealthy behaviors…maybe purging, using laxatives, throwing up, or not eating at all! If you feel so led, share with us what techniques, tactics, and dieting strategies you have relied upon. What were the consequences of resorting to these things? 

If you are like me, you may have been enticed by the promise of freedom that obsessive counting, exercising, weighing and measuring offered, but freedom was *NOT* the result–even if you lost weight. I will never forget how thrilled I was to be thin after a year with a popular weight loss program…but my heart was ensnared more than ever before. After a year of fixating my attention on food and weight, that was all I could think about. This was NOT freedom!

Thin Within throws all of the “wisdom” of the world out. Everything that “makes sense” to us…well…God may have us toss aside and do something entirely different. I dieted for years and years. I was “good” at it, too!  It wasn’t until I gave up all my dieting “wisdom” and exercising knowledge and began to listen to the Lord and what he was leading me to do that I could begin to be at peace and become healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

So, is your heart set on pilgrimage? Are you ready to leave everything you thought you knew behind and allow God to transform you inside and out by the renewing of your mind?

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, 
why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 
“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 
These are all destined to perish with use, 
because they are based on human commands and teachings. 
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, 
with their self-imposed worship, 
their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, 
but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Colossians 2:20-23

We are heading on a journey where God will teach us more about ourselves and about Him than we may expect. It will be a wonderful, wild, and terrifying journey. I can’t lie to you. But he provides us the strength we need. Let’s depend on Him.