Still hanging out in the living room together for our group study! 🙂

Moving on, then, to level 3. We will do level 4 tomorrow. If you want, to, you can move on to lesson three, but I don’t think I will post that assignment until Tuesday. I want to take as long as we need to cover the material. 🙂 This little book offers a lot to think and pray over!

Level 3: Hunger-Fullness Eating I am persnickety about labels. For me, “fullness” is too much food. So I prefer to have my goal be to eat to “physical satisfaction.” This is basically when hunger is no longer present. Since, scientifically speaking, there is a delay of about 10 minutes between the time my stomach is no longer empty and the time my brain registers this fact, I know that once I feel like I am no longer hungry, I am definitely good…filled with fuel for my body. To continue eating past that point will be too much food. In fact, 10 minutes after I stop is the real sensation…and it is definitely a fuller sensation than the one I stop for.

In the HEAL book, the authors have a different hunger scale than in the Thin Within materials. -5 (negative 5) to -1 (negative 1) is undereating. 0 to 5 is healthy eating…from stomach hunger to a comfortable place in the stomach. and 6-10 is overeating.

This stage is about abandoning any tendency to either overeat or undereat while learning to rely on the internal hunger and fullness cues God has given you. (HEAL, page 45)

Many of us don’t know what true physiological hunger feels like. We are so used to ignoring those either because we are on a diet and have had our allotment of points, carbs, or calories for the day (so we have to ignore our body’s legitimate call for more food) or because we want food and don’t care if we are hungry or not and dive in! So waiting for true physiological hunger seems foreign to many of us.

Add to that the fact that we are used to eating the amounts we are told, either by our diets (a half cup of this or a quarter cup of that) or by our “Full Meal Deals” at fast food restaurants or even the nice places we may choose to dine. Everyone seems to want to tell us how much we need to eat.

The truth is, only our bodies can tell us what we need and God has made us fearfully and wonderfully. He will use our physical hunger and satisfaction cues to direct us in our eating if we allow him to do so!

If you have never tried adjusting your eating to eat only between 0 and 5 (phyiscal hunger and satisfaction), this may rock your world! It makes a huge difference in everything. Without obsessing about what you put in your mouth, if you prayerfully seek to learn what your body feels like when it is hungry and what it feels like when it is satisfied physically, and commit to the Lord to allow these boundaries to direct you when you will eat, you will release weight and develop your dependence on the Lord, too.

When we stop eating for all the many reasons that we think we need to (sad, happy, celebrate, stressed, depressed, etc., etc…) we find that a lot of emotions go unanesthetized…and we need the grace of God to help us get through. We find that we have come to rely on food in more ways than we can imagine. But as we persevere and allow the Lord to get us through, not only do we release physical weight, but we experience the healing of our hearts and minds through the only One who can truly satisfy what ails us.

Here is my level 3 goal.

Level 3 Goal: To eat only when at a 0 and to stop at or before a 5.
Action Steps: To slow down, to be aware. To allow myself to take sips of a beverage between bites and put the food or fork down. I have been distracted while eating and I think this has caused my portions sizes to be larger. Also, for now, I will take half of what I have been normally. I will wait 10 minutes before getting another serving to see if I am still really hungry or not.

Your turn! 🙂 For Level 3, write your goal in your journal if you don’t have the HEAL book and/or share it with us here at the blog if you want added accountability.

Goal: ________________________________________________
Action Steps: _________________________________________

Don’t forget that our relationship with God is the foundation and is to permeate everything else. Once the focus shifts to 0 to 5 eating, some of us may struggle with leaving God out of it. Be aware of this tendency and the tendency to hop on the scale repeatedly through the day. Again, I urge you to toss the bathroom scale out or to, at least, send it to a girlfriend’s house for a couple of months and see if God and you can do this thing without that tool. 🙂

Tomorrow, level 4. Remember that we may not “accomplish” these levels in succession. We definitely will have to continue to work on level 1 all our lives long! 🙂

Have a blessed Lord’s day!