Chapter 6 in Thin Within encourages us to examine “Fat Machinery.” Anything that puts us on auto-pilot, when we don’t engage our brains, and eat anyhow–that is Fat Machinery. We want to expose Fat Machinery and dismantle it.

There are four categories. Let’s look at them.

1. Conditioned or habitual responses. This is when circumstances pushes a button in me and I eat without thinking much about it. The book gives an example of turning on the TV—food automatically comes out. Movies mean popcorn.

How about you? Can you think of conditioned or habitual responses where you eat without engaging your brain?

2. Beliefs. What you believe about things will affect your eating. For instance, if you plan to be active, you believe you need a “hearty breakfast”—even if you aren’t yet hungry. The book uses the belief we have that we need “three square meals a day.” Many think if we don’t have three meals a day we will starve ourselves.

How about you? Do you have any beliefs that cause you to eat?

In our chat yesterday, we discovered that considering “boundaries” as restrictive rules–which we may believe can never be good–may result in us pushing against keys to conscious eating and other boundaries we may establish. When we evaluate this more carefully, we see that it is rooted in believing a lie! The truth is, boundaries guard GOOD things from being eroded or stolen from us, too. 

3. Past stories. Things that happen in our past – usually that trigger emotional responses to food – can cause us to turn to food when we aren’t hungry. Again, since it is “fat machinery” we eat without prayerfully considering if we are hungry or not.

Our past stories are often a HUGE reason we eat. My parents were restrictive and abusive about food and eating. I developed a view that “freedom” from abusive parents meant plunging myself into massive quantities of all the foods that they restricted.

How about you? Do you have any past stories that you think might cause you to eat?

4. Failures. These can be dieting failures or even failures with Thin Within. If you have gained weight back you may feel like you will NEVER lose weight and keep it off. Believing this can keep you returning to food again and again…a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Do you have any struggle with this in your life?

One really obvious “fat machinery” mentioned in the book is our use of the bathroom scale. We allow the number to define our mood and often will eat differently in response to it.

If we haven’t gained, we are justified that “I got away with eating more…so I will continue to eat more…” if we didn’t gain any this week.

If we *have* gained, we may console ourselves by eating… “Oh what is the point of even trying to lose weight… I never will” and throw all godly boundaries to the wind!

Do you struggle with this at all?

This week, ask the Lord to make you aware of any “Fat Machinery” that is operable for you. But don’t stop there…DISMANTLE it. Write it down and ask him to make you aware of when it is happening…or to see it coming in advance!

What “fat machinery” do you see in your own life? If you would like help “dismantling” it, share with us here and let’s dialog about the lies, the automatic responses, the “triggers” that many of us experience relative to food.