Spiritual Warfare ~ An Interview with Carrie (South Africa)

Spiritual Warfare ~ An Interview with Carrie (South Africa)

Image Source: Morgue File

Image Source: Morgue File

Some time back, Carrie from South Africa, shared an incredible story of God delivering her from an intense eating disorder that had kept her imprisoned for years.  That post gives context to this one. Don’t miss it! 🙂

After getting to know Carrie a bit through the preparing of her testimony, I wanted to follow up with her about the God’s healing in her life. Today, I interview Carrie a bit and get her thoughts: 

Heidi: Carrie, on November 4th we shared your testimony. So many people were greatly encouraged by your story. It is an amazing tale of escaping from incredible, long-term captivity to dieting and eating disordered behavior. How did you ever begin to break free when you were in so deeply?

Carrie: Thanks Heidi. I look back at that time in my life and it is incredibly dark. I sometimes wonder how on earth I managed to get out of it! You know, when you’re in that kind of bondage, you don’t realize how obscured your thoughts have become. I was just at such a place of exhaustion and hatred for myself, and I thought that Jesus surely didn’t die for me only to for me to live in such a hell hole. (Excuse that, but that’s what it felt like. Trapped.). So I think my desire for self preservation must have kicked in and I began to think about what I was thinking about. I know that sounds silly, but I knew that my thoughts weren’t right. All my disordered actions where coming from a disordered thought.

All I knew at that time about spiritual warfare, was that somewhere in the bible there was a verse that said that some things can only be broken by prayer and fasting. And so started my amazing journey of freedom.

Heidi: What did you sense God was leading you to do to change the disordered thoughts that were fueling the eating disorder that you struggled with so much?

Carrie: Well firstly I just want to say that I’m not a person who sees the devil behind every little thing. If the waiter is slow in bringing my coffee, I don’t automatically think the devil is behind it! LOL! But I’m also not of the school of thought that believes the devil is a fairy tale and doesn’t exist. The bible is full of references pertaining to the devil and his demons. In Ephesians 6:12, it says we are involved in an invisible war that has eternal implications.

So when I was in the midst of my fasting weekend [mentioned in the testimony], this verse kept on coming up, in almost every book I was reading:  2 Corinthians 10.3-5. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

And I thought, well how does this war work then? If it isn’t a war in the flesh, how does the enemy attack me? And how do I fight a fight I can’t see? I started to get filled with fear and cried out to God. There are verses that say we must just stand our ground and God will fight on our behalf,  and then other verses that say that we must put on our armour and actively fight.

And I didn’t know what to do!! But God is so gentle and PATIENT!! It was like He was saying to me not to get my knickers in a knot, and just chill. I felt I needed to read and believe the verses in Isaiah 40. I realised that even though I was a saved, born again, Christian, I was being influenced by the works of the enemy. I think I had been so influenced by how “Hollywood” had portrayed “evil” and the “devil”. You know those terrible movies of exorcisms and evil stuff – that’s how we think the enemy operates. And I’m sure he does but he is a lot more subtle too. If he were to present his evil self at the get go, then everyone would be frightened off. So he whispered a thought to me, to put it into my thoughts. I don’t know what it was. Perhaps that I wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough. Or perhaps I have sinned so much, God will never love or accept me. I don’t remember what the lie was that I started to believe. But what ever it was, I “thought” about that thought, and then came into agreement with it. That’s the danger! As soon as I accepted that thought, the enemy had legal ground to start influencing more of me. I was horrified at this, when God revealed that to me. I got those knickers in a knot again and in the midst of my frenzied panic, I felt God say,”You are not fighting FOR victory. You are fighting  FROM victory. There is victory through the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:14-15)

There is victory in the name of Christ (Mathew 10:1, Acts 5:16)

There is victory in the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4:4)

Proverbs 23:7 says For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…..

So my problem was, I had no good thoughts about myself. I hated everything about me. God had now lead me to a place that made me realise that the thoughts I was thinking, were not from Him. But what now? (Although, just coming to that point was a miracle in itself!).

Heidi: So what did you do?

Carrie: I slowly picked up my sword and began the fight. The sword is the Word of God. It is what has brought me so far. In those early days I literally had to take most of my thoughts (and you have at least 1500 thoughts per minute!) captive. For example, I would walk past the mirror and instantly think,”Suck in your stomach. You are so fat.”  I would catch myself while in conversation with someone. I’d suddenly find myself saying,”Ah man! I’m so stupid!” Or “I’m such an idiot!”  I felt the Holy Spirit making me feel uneasy when I’d say these things. So the first thing God did was to let me know that my thoughts were not in agreement with His truth. The second thing, was the Holy Spirit giving me a sensitivity to what I was thinking and saying about myself. And the third thing was the picking up the sword, which is the word of God, and fighting the thoughts.

Heidi: What did that look like for you practically speaking, Carrie?

Carrie: In those early days I struggled a lot with fear. Behind everything I did or said, fear was the motivation. So I would literally ( and still do this) say out loud,” I rebuke you fear in the name of Jesus.” And when I said that, I would back it up with a verse. Something like: “God has not given me a spirit of fear.”

I did that with every thought I had. And I did it out loud.  I must have looked a tad crazy. I would think,”This healing is fake. I will never get better. I’m useless and fat. No body likes me.” And even though I didn’t feel like saying the truth ( or even believe it), I would immediately say,”I rebuke that thought in the name of Jesus, because he says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He has plan for me that is good, to prosper me. Not to harm me.”

Heidi: Did that take care of it?

Carrie: In the beginning, I didn’t even believe the words I was saying. But I did believe in Jesus. And that’s all I had. As I took each thought captive that way, I found the attacks less and less. And my sensitivity grew more and more.

Just the other day, I was having lunch with a friend who is very beautiful and much thinner than I am. And all of a sudden, I start thinking I’m not a good person because I’m not as pretty. And while I’m not as pretty, I may as well go to gym tonight because I feel so fat and unworthy. I stopped myself right there and went to the bathroom. I started rebuking (softly… LOL!) and calling upon God. I find that if I know that I’m being attacked but I can’t think of any verse to say out loud, then I start to praise God. I sing full ball and out of tune ( usually in my car). My kids are use to this now. If I’m alone in my bedroom, I’ll put on some worship music and sing and dance before The Lord. Usually within minutes, I’m flooded with peace, and I realise how bizarre those thoughts were.

Heidi: What else can you share with us about doing battle, Carrie?

Carrie: I think one of the biggest lessons I have learnt, is what I need to do when I’m thinking things that don’t line up with what God says. In that moment, I’m in FULL agreement with my thoughts. I totally feel fat or stupid or less than. Or what ever it is. But the secret is – even though I totally feel like that, I go against what I’m feeling and replace those words and emotions with truth. I have got to do what is right even when it feels wrong.

Heidi: I call that letting TRUTH define my feelings rather than letting my FEELINGS define what I consider TRUTH!

So, Carrie…how do you think this is different (or similar) to the renewing of the mind that I have been crowing about here at the blog for so long? 🙂

Carrie: Hahahaha. Well Heidi, it is absolutely NO different to what you’ve been harping (LOL!) on about! Faith comes from hearing, so maybe the more we speak about it, the more people will confront it and fight.

It says in 1 John 4:4 and 5:4-5, that we are to claim Gods promises out loud. We need to take our authority and position in Christ to command demonic forces to stop their activity and depart. If you don’t know what your authority in Christ is, read Ephesians. (Particularly chapter 4).

What does this have to do with losing weight?

The way we think, what we think will have an impact on how we act. Many of you may just want me to share practical tips about how to eat 0 to 5 or how to handle being at parties, etc. I hope you do get practical help with the mechanics of Thin Within here, but constraining the outer actions will only last a short while before we boomerang back to acting like we used to… unless we change the way we think.

How About You?

By no means are Carrie and I saying that there is a demon under every rock and behind every bush. But the truth is, the Bible speaks about the warfare we fight. We are called to demolish strongholds of the enemy. The first line of attack in almost any struggle we endure is the MIND. Taking captive your thoughts and submitting them to obedience is vital. Here at the blog we have talked about Truth Cards, Truth Journaling, reading God’s Word, doing the Renewing of the Mind Bible Study, listening to Sound Cloud files, memorizing scripture, watching You Tube videos, adding songs and playlists to your mp3 player so that you can hear the truth wash over your mind throughout the day. What are your tactics for trading lies you believe with God’s truth? Are you stuck letting your feelings define what you think of as fact? Or are you letting what God says is true…true FACTS…define your feelings?

It is relatively easy to lose weight compared to learning to think differently. But it is worth it to learn to think differently. That is where lasting change is birthed!

The Battle is On!

The Battle is On!


Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the last couple of days I’ve been struggling.  I know part of it has been that I haven’t been renewing my  mind as often as I need to be.  Thoughts like this keep coming to my mind:

“Why does this have to be so spiritual?”

“Why do I have to think about this so much some times?”

“Why does this have to be so hard at times?”

“It was easier when _____, so maybe I should just go back to dieting.”

These are LIES!  I’ve noticed that as I delve deeper into the Word and closer to the Lord in this journey, and the more I’m open and share the positive, godly message of Thin Within (with friends and on this blog), the more I am attacked.  Friends, this is spiritual warfare!

The enemy wants me to quit.  He wants me to feel like a failure.  He wants me to feel scared of being vulnerable.  And that just shows me that the message Thin Within has to share is a POWERFUL one because it is backed up by the Word of God.  The enemy wants to put those shackles back on my feet, but I refuse!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  Galatians 5:1

I REFUSE to go back to slavery!  I refuse to go back to focusing on food, to obsessing over food!  Are you in this with me?  Are you tired of the lies of the enemy like I am?

The Word of God is our weapon!  Let’s raise up our banner.  Let’s put on the full armor of God so we can withstand the attacks of the enemy!  We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.  Ephesians 6:10-18

I will not give up!

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.  Hebrews 10:39

Fight the good fight of faith!

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12

I realize that if I’m not spending time reading through my truth cards and renewing my mind, that I become vulnerable to the enemy’s attack.  It’s becoming so ever clear to me how important it is to fight this battle with the Word of God.  I am defenseless without it!

My battle plan: to be in the Word, to pray, to thank the Lord, to read my truth cards, to renew my mind, to keep pressing on!

How about you?  What is your battle plan?

Written by: Christina

Change Thinking for Holiday VICTORY!

Change Thinking for Holiday VICTORY!

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Image Source: Stock Exchange

Are you like many? Dreading the holiday season?

Are you convinced that you will be taken out—knocked down for the count—all because turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie (etc.) have an amazing “left hook” and you feel like you just can’t resist heading straight for disaster in the presence of sweet potato pie?

Are you persuaded that all your good intentions will be for naught at Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow or the first Christmas party of the season…only to be multiplied in the days to come…so you figure why should I bother trying…I will only fail?

If we take on this fatalistic thinking, we will be convinced that there is “no point” in being vigilant through the holidays. We will put off having any boundaries and wait to focus in January—maybe even after we have gained some additional weight and hardened our hearts further!… After all, we reason, there is an online Thin Within class I can plan to take in January. I will get serious then!

Let’s DITCH 🙂 this trepidation, intimidation stuff.

Let’s DITCH the lies!

We serve the Living God!

He blew the lid off the grave!

The same resurrection power that raised Jesus out of the tomb is available to lift us away from the table and enable us to say NO to another bite beyond 5 (Ephesians 1:19,20).

Do I really think I can’t say no? That is a lie! Time to admit it!

Let’s choose to REDEEM the time we have right here and right now! Yes, even on the eve of Thanksgiving! Let’s embrace the meaning of passages such as these:

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,

and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

– Romans 13: 14

…train yourself to be godly

1 Timothy 4:7b

What if, instead of being intimidated by what’s ahead on the holiday horizon, we were to view this as an opportunity for training in godliness?

Wouldn’t it be great if, by this time on Friday, you could look back over the previous day and rejoice that you had taken captive run-away thoughts (many might be lies) and had emerged a victor, rather than a victim of yet another Thanksgiving Day feast?

Think about it! We have an OPPORTUNITY to navigate through the most CHALLENGING season and to learn a lot as we do—by desperately clinging to God and seeing his grace as a presence, provision, and power in the moment or even by observing and correcting in those rare instances when we “mess up!”

What if we were to truth journal, truth card, Sound Cloud, You Tube, bible study our way through this season instead of just belly up, give in, not care?

Has God called you to boundaries of hunger/satisfied eating? I know for many of us, this is a conviction in our hearts. Then is it really negotiable? Rather than making a provision for our flesh to go hog-wild and eat whatever we want tomorrow, maybe we can make a “provision for our spirit”… by doing as Christina suggested in yesterday’s post and having a battle plan!

Let’s think of the next five weeks as a great opportunity to train for godliness, to grow in dependence on the Lord, to build our thanksgiving muscles (not just tomorrow, but every day). This is a season for training. If we make it through January 1st staying on the horse, or getting back on immediately if we DO fall off, we can do just about anything relative to our eating after these holiday parties and cookie exchanges are over. We don’t need to come out the other side of December looking like the Christmas Cookie Crisco Girls! We can train our spirits AND our bodies so that we have grown closer to the Lord and have released weight, too!

The reason I know YOU can do it is because did it and I was the biggest rebel ever known to exist! So if I can do it, you can, too.  I wrote this post on January 2, 2007, where I share the details of my first holiday season being faithful to God and the conviction that he wanted me to eat 0 to 5 even during the holidays. I had released just over 20 pounds–much of it through November and December! If that is your need, YOU CAN do this, TOO!

How About You?

Honestly, it IS possible for you to emerge victorious on January 2nd! AND it doesn’t need to ruin your holiday fun, too! I can’t promise you won’t have to make sacrifices, but isn’t it worth it? This time next month, you could have shed the burden of some extra weight, enjoyed your holiday celebrations (so far), AND be closer to the Lord! To do that, I challenge you to:

  1. Shift from an intimidation mentality to an opportunity mentality. Think of this as an OPPORTUNITY to TRAIN for godliness this holiday season! Start now! Just think about how much stronger you will be for whatEVER challenges face you after December!
  2. Recommit to 0 to 5 eating boundaries. Ask God to show you if this is what HE wants for you—even through the holidays.
  3. Commit to getting back on the horse again quickly if you do fall off. Honestly, the success we experience in this approach is not by pursuing perfection. It is by refusing to quit. Instead, over time, you will fall off the horse less frequently and stay on the ground less long. So if you find yourself having “messed up,” just get back in the saddle. RIDE! 🙂 FIGHT! It is worth it!
  4. Try this…my friend Barb has a great idea. It has worked for me! Since she knows she may want an extra bite of _______ even outside of her boundaries, she tells herself she can have _______ after she has renewed her mind. You can do this by choosing to do a set of questions in the “I Deserve a Donut” app or the “I Deserve a Donut” book (both by Barb) or even after you have read a post at this blog (or another blog that encourages you). Chances are once you do that, you won’t want the extra bites of __________. Last night I did this when I wanted a second handful of chocolate covered cashews. It worked like a charm. I didn’t want them. I knew I COULD, but didn’t!

So, who of you are IN? 🙂

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, if you think you need a bit of extra support, you can get some coaching during the holidays. If you are interested in that, have a look at the Coaching page.
Gearing Up for the Holidays

Gearing Up for the Holidays


The holidays are quickly approaching, with Thanksgiving (in the United States) just a couple of days away.  This means there may be a lot of opportunities to practice staying within our God-given boundaries.  There may be temptations lurking around every corner, but with every single temptation, God has provided a way out.  This is such good news!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

There is nothing wrong with the sweets and goodies that surround our holiday parties and traditions.  The Lord has said that ALL foods are hallowed in His name.  I am determined to view all food as being “good”.

 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  1 Timothy 4:4-5

Six years ago, I was practicing the principles of Thin Within for a short time.  I released 5 pounds and was delighted to see that eating within 0-5 truly works!  But then shortly after, I went home around Thanksgiving time and everything came to an abrupt halt.  You see, my grand-parents make the most amazing and delicious turkey dinner my taste buds have ever laid their eyes upon.  That is, if taste buds even had eyes!  Since I knew this was a meal I only partook of every few years, I ate way more than my body needed.  And then there were the leftovers, which were just as good as the fresh, out of the oven delicacies.  And for some reason, I lost momentum and went back to overeating and struggling with my weight and body image.

Looking back, I realize it didn’t have to be this way.  I could have enjoyed smaller portions of their amazing turkey dinner during the actual meal AND leftovers.  And because I did choose to overeat, I could have observed, corrected, and then continued eating 0-5 and releasing weight.  I let the guilt and condemnation weigh me down.  I believed the lies that I would never get back to being a normal eater.  And after this incidence I struggled for years with dieting, eating, and food, all because of one turkey dinner and its leftovers.

I blamed the food.  That’s a diet mentality.

I felt so guilty that I decided to eat more and more.  That’s a diet mentality.

Since that Thanksgiving meal, I asked my grandmother for her recipes.  On a recipe card, I have typed out each step of how they prepare their turkey dinner, from brand names, to minutes of stirring.  I have replicated this meal several times over the last several years, and though it’s not quite THE turkey dinner my grand-parents master, I think I have come pretty close!

You can do the same thing with holiday meals or foods.  When you know that you can have that food later (even if it has to be next Thanksgiving or Christmas), you will find that you can actually relax and enjoy each delightful bite!  Ask for the recipe!  Take leftovers home!  Freeze cookies.  There are so many options to having that food for future enjoyment!

Heidi posted about the importance of being proactive in our eating in her post titled It Takes Energy!.  On one of my truth cards I have copied some questions she asked:

How much energy do you put into lamenting poor choices…after the fact?

                How much emotional energy do we put into beating ourselves up and then trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?

                What if I put some ENERGY into changing the way I think?

What if we went into the holidays geared up and ready?  What kind of truths can you focus on to renew your mind about eating during the holidays?  Do you have truth cards prepared for these moments?

My plan is to go into the holidays being proactive.  I will have my truth cards.  I will type out scriptures in my ‘notes’ section on my phone to read.  I will read through the sections in Barb Raveling’s ‘I Deserve a Donut’ app.  I will pray and ask the Lord for His strength.  I will give thanks.  I will have joy in knowing Christ has come to give us life and peace!

Those are all choices I can make BEFORE the holidays are even upon us.

I can be ready to turn down every temptation.

I can immediately expose every lie of the enemy with TRUTH!


  • You can always have those foods again!
  • It’s completely possible to eat within 0-5 during the holidays.
  • Eat what you enjoy!
  • If you did choose to overeat, you can observe, correct, and wait until 0 the next time to eat.
  • ALL foods have been blessed by God and hallowed in His name.  Give thanks and enjoy His provision!

How about you?

How can you prepare in advance for the approaching holidays?  Do you have your truth cards ready and handy?

Written by: Christina

Night Time Eating – Carrie’s Testimony and Challenge!

 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
 turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:26
Night time eating is the most recent stronghold that I am seeking to overcome, with God’s help. The Lord has delivered me from the diet mentality, afternoon snacking, over-exercising and several other habits and obsessions. However, I was still holding onto eating after leaving the dinner table. Not eating several hours later when I was hungry, but almost immediately after leaving the dinner table with a satisfied belly.
The habit was created during my years on weight watchers – I would save “points” for the end of the day. While my husband put our son to bed, I could finally rest and relax – I had earned a treat and I was going to enjoy it! Fast forward many years and it was a daily habit, largely associated with emotion, that I was just not willing to surrender. I realized recently that I had to give it up, to surrender it. So, I thought I’d share some of my strategies that have helped me continue moving forward in this journey. (These strategies are in addition to the reading of Truth cards, reading scripture, prayer, praise music, etc).
Please understand that I had to draw a line in the sand to not eat after leaving the dinner table. Some of you may need a meal closer to bedtime, but I sleep better and feel better if my stomach is empty or close to empty at bedtime.  So, I choose to close the kitchen after dinner!
1)   I start every day with a commitment, a promise, to God that I will not eat after dinner.  When I am tempted, I remember my promise and then my mind and heart turns toward my Lord. I know, too, that He provides a way out for me in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2)   I report to my accountability partner nightly on my success or failure on this point.
3)   I track on my phone with a checkmark if I have stayed in this particular boundary. It gives me an easy way to see if I am stumbling or succeeding.
4)   I review “my reasons to stay in my boundaries even when it is tough” daily. The reason that speaks to me the strongest currently is that I don’t want to be in this same place in 6 months. I want to be experiencing more and more freedom. I know that surrendering the nighttime eating is crucial to this growth.  So, when I am tempted, I often ask myself “where do I want to be in 6 months?”.
5)   I have started planning for a little sweet at the end of dinner. I will join my family in a small bowl of ice cream. And sometimes I don’t eat the ice cream. I am free to do either one!
6)   I change the direction of my feet.  TV watching is strongly related to the urge to eat after dinner. I am now watching a lot less TV at night. Now, especially when I am strongly tempted, I will take a bath. Or I might read a book or work on my Bible studies or call a friend. Or I just wait for my husband to come back downstairs.  I just do not go near the TV and I try to stay out of the kitchen.
7)   I memorize scripture so that in a tough moment, I can immediately go to the Truth. It helps me to pray my way through the tough moments.
8)   When I do slip up, I observe and correct. I make a plan for next so that I will have a better outcome. I also may truth journal about my thoughts that I had before I broke my boundary.
I underlined the two strategies that have made the biggest difference for me. As of today, I surrendered this habit to the Lord 40 days ago. Quite biblical, isn’t it 🙂?  I have had 4 nights where I slipped up and 36 nights when I was surrendered. I consider that a huge success when I look back and know that I was eating after dinner almost every night.

What About You?

What behavior of yours may be holding you back from total freedom? Pray about what steps you might take to help you overcome.  Please share that that others may learn from you!
~ Carrie