“CHANGED!” A Testimony by Christina


Every year the Lord gives me a word for the new year.  In December of 2012, I began to pray about what the word would be.  Almost immediately the Lord said my word was “change”.  With that being such a simple word, I thought that just couldn’t possibly be it–but it was!  And one of the things the Lord said would be changing is my eating.  So being the planner that I am, I started to decide for myself what that change would look like.  Following my emotions and compulsiveness, I decided that God no longer wanted me following Weight Watchers, but wanted me ordering powdered shake mixes to follow a regimen of drinking shakes and doing cleanses.  The Lord let me go along with it, and after a few days in the beginning of January of drinking shakes and being told when, what, and how to eat, I was humbled and confessed that I made the wrong decision.  Oops!  I knew that change still needed to take place in my eating, so I began to search again.  This time the search led me to contacting a naturopath, hoping to figure some things out with my body.  Again, I followed my emotions and was compulsive.  And the Lord let me go along with this as well.  I was told not to eat carbohydrates or sugar.  And so I began that quest and discovered very quickly that I felt very deprived and, after awhile, fearful that if I ate those two “don’ts” that I was damaging my body and tempting God.

And so began (or continued) my struggle.  I had never been so fearful about food in all my life.  I was constantly being attacked in my mind about food.  I wrote SO many journal entries about this, going back and forth about what I should do.  I wanted to go back to Weight Watchers SO badly, but I didn’t feel peace doing that.  I also didn’t have peace following the naturopath’s regimen.  And then one day in March, the Lord led me to look at Heidi’s blog.  I hadn’t looked at it in a couple of years.  And immediately, as I began to read her posts, peace entered my heart.  It was the first time in months that I felt peace and comfort in the area of food.  It was like the Lord shone His light and said, “This is what I want you to be doing.  This is the change I intended.”

That peace remained in my heart for a short time until I began entertaining the dieting and restrictive thoughts again.  I was really hung up on the lie that eating carbohydrates and sugar would damage my body–that it would basically kill me.  I was being tormented in my mind.  When the enemy tries to bring fear, he likes to ask the “what if” and “what about” questions.  There was a major battle going on in my mind and I had a very hard time getting out of it.

I knew from personal experience and from what Heidi was sharing about renewing our mind, that truth was the only way I was going to win the battle that was going on in my mind.  The hard part was pushing past the “what abouts” the enemy was throwing at me constantly.  I had to get to a place where I absolutely could ONLY believe and focus on what the Lord says in His Word about eating and food.  I wrote out scripture after scripture on notecards about how God has blessed ALL foods, about how no one had right to judge me in food or drink, about how I was to set aside what the world was saying and fix my eyes on Jesus, etc.  And every day I read through those cards 2-3 times a day, sometimes less, sometimes more.  It wasn’t easy at first, but after awhile those truths began to resonate in my heart.  I also asked different ones to pray for me.  After awhile I recognized that it wasn’t so much of a battle about food, but it was the enemy trying to lead me down the path of fear.  Fear comes in all shapes and sizes.  The enemy will tempt us with fear about EVERY thing in life.  But God and His word is bigger and more powerful than any lie the enemy throws at us.  The Word of God is our weapon!  It never returns void.  It goes out and accomplishes what God has set for it to do.  The truth sets us free!

So little by little, every single day, every single time I read those scriptures, the Lord was setting me free!  By mid-June I was walking in victory over this food battle.  Praise the Lord!

And then the next part of the journey began.  The second phase of the Renewing of the Mind Weight Loss Bible study started mid-June on Heidi’s blog.  The Lord blessed me with an accountability partner and I began the next phase of my journey.  This part of the journey included overcoming the diet mentality and finding truth about Weight Watchers.

Would you believe that I subscribed and cancelled my Weight Watchers subscription probably 4-5 times since January?  You better believe it!  It’s quite embarrassing, but that shows right there how hard it was to break free from those chains.

Let me give you a little history about my experience with Weight Watchers.  About 4 years ago I was at my heaviest weight, which is about 30 pounds heavier than I am currently.  I knew all about Thin Within and normal eating.  I felt that I had “tried” eating 0-5, but really, I wasn’t committed and found every excuse to eat.  I had just come through a lot of emotional healing, which unfortunately was combined with emotional eating.  We had also been trying for a child for about 5 years at this point and I was very discouraged.  So I ate.  And ate.  I felt disgusting.  I felt discouraged about normal eating not working for me (even though that was a lie I was believing), so I prayed about doing Weight Watchers.  The Lord allowed me to follow Weight Watchers for about 3 years, except for when I was pregnant or breastfeeding.  I always kept in mind listening to my body’s hunger cues and I knew better to eat if I was hungry, even if I didn’t have extra points.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel guilty about it, but I knew that listening to my body was more important than a points allotment.  I lost weight and then lost weight again after pregnancy.  Toward the last few months of following Weight Watchers, I began to lose my peace.  And when the Lord told me that my word for this year was “change” and that would involve even my eating, I knew I would be kissing Weight Watchers goodbye.

Up until the last part of August of 2013, I was really struggling with thinking about going back to Weight Watchers. My accountability partner encouraged me to commit myself to a certain amount of time with Thin Within.  The Lord told me 90 days, which would end September 11th.  I went back and forth about Weight Watchers, with it as a constant afterthought.  Whenever I felt like I failed with eating 0-5, I would tell myself that I just need to go back to tracking points.  And sometimes I would be so tempted that I would actually subscribe to Weight Watchers online again, but never actually track points.  Why didn’t I actually end up tracking?  Because there was NO peace!  The Lord kept putting His foot down and would NOT release me back to Weight Watchers.

Heidi has talked a lot recently about truth cards.  I have a little notebook with about 50 cards filled out with scriptures, truths from Heidi’s blog, tidbits from the Thin Within book and from Intuitive Eating (my other favorite book about normal eating), and quotes.  I read through these cards about twice a day.  I had lots of truths written down about how I don’t want to diet anymore and about why dieting (Weight Watchers) is not something I want to do.  But I was still struggling with going back to Weight Watchers!

Finally, toward the end of August, I emailed my accountability partner and Heidi, asking for prayer and help with my thoughts about Weight Watchers.  Heidi shared an idea that was so powerful to me that it honestly rocked this whole mental roadblock.  She basically said that maybe my thoughts about Weight Watchers was bringing some kind of “drama” into my life that I was actually, in a weird way, enjoying.  Like, that I needed something to fixate on and Weight Watchers was that thing.  It was creating this drama, this thing for my brain to constantly go on and on about.  One word came to my mind: obsession.  I was OBSESSED with thinking about Weight Watchers.  This wasn’t new to me.  The enemy has used lots of things over the years to encourage me to obsess over.  Little obsessions.  Big obsessions.  When I realized that this was just something that was trying to get my attention and create drama, I was like, “There is no way I’m entertaining this anymore!”  And I made the decision not to entertain the Weight Watchers temptation anymore!  I was done!

And really, just like that, the obsession was gone.  It was all the Lord.  It was like I had to surrender that drama to the Lord.  He gladly took it.  And now when I read those truth cards about how Weight Watchers IS a diet and the damage dieting does, I can nod my head in agreement, with NO temptation to go back!  Praise God!

So since starting the Thin Within journey, in 6 months the Lord has freed me from the bondage about fear of food AND about being on a diet.  I PRAISE God for what He has done!  His work is marvelous!!

This was something I wrote in a comment recently on Heidi’s blog.  It pretty much sums up my thoughts on truth cards and the importance of renewing our mind:

Renewing our mind is VITAL to becoming a normal, intuitive, Thin Within eater! I wish I would have realized this truth many years ago when I was “trying” to eat 0-5. I had so many hang-ups and wrong thoughts about it. But now I have truth cards that I read every day at least twice and they are packed full of truths from the Word, from the TW book, from this (Heidi’s blog), from other ‘normal eating’ material, and tidbits of truths I have found here and there. The first few months I felt like it was more of a burden to read the truth cards, like it was more of a duty than a privilege. But NOW it’s what I cling to and it’s VITAL in overcoming the battle I have had within my thoughts about food, body image, dieting, etc. 

Back in May I was struggling (almost being tormented) by thoughts about food. I was believing lies that I couldn’t eat certain foods and that if I did, that I was purposely damaging my health and tempting God. It was a HUGE battle! The Lord had me write out scriptures on notecards, which eventually became part of my truth cards, and it was after reading those cards over and over again that I began to see a breakthrough. God’s truth prevails! It doesn’t return void! It is our weapon! I have read through scripture cards like that before for other situations, such as fear. When we consistently wash our mind with His Word and truth, we are being renewed little by little. At first it may seem like a lot of work, but after awhile we see LIFE being brought back into our minds. The lies flee. Freedom reigns! It’s pretty awesome! 

I no longer deal with those thoughts about food. God has completely released me from those lies, that prison which held me. He continues to set me free daily from other mindsets I have struggled with. I am praising Him for what He has done and is doing!

I don’t know how else to emphasize on how very important it is to renew our minds in the area of our struggle with eating, dieting, and body image.  Honestly, if I would have understood this years ago, I would have been set free a lot earlier.  I’m thankful for the journey I have been on because I learned a lot along the way.  The beauty of having truth cards and renewing our mind is that even when we don’t think it’s working–it is!  God’s word is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword!  He wants us to absorb these truths.  I think of the scripture Psalm 119:11, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  I thought I would never be able to conquer the food thoughts I was being tormented with earlier this year, but as I began to bathe my mind with the Word, I saw victory through Christ!  The Lord helped me breakthrough and all I did was read those scripture cards that I had hand-written.  That’s it!  God did the rest!  I had to commit myself to writing them out and reading them; that was my part.  God honored His word.  He set me free!  And He WILL do the same for you!

I’m not perfect with 0-5 eating.  I have moments where I want to eat when I’m not hungry.  The next part of my journey is learning to delight in the boundaries God has set up for me in regards to eating.  I see Him working in me and I’m so excited!

There’s one more thing I want to share.  When I decided to commit to 90 days of Thin Within, I asked the Lord whether I should weigh myself after the 90 days were done.  He didn’t answer me right away, but then the answer came when I found out I was pregnant about 1/3 of the way through my commitment.  I’m one of those that doesn’t want to know weight gain in pregnancy until the very end.  So that pretty much solved that question.  And I think it’s so neat to be going through this part of the journey being pregnant, without the focus of weight loss (which is what I should be doing anyway), because I really get to mentally focus on finding peace with food and allowing God to help me with renewing my mind.  God is so good!

Oh, and in case if you were wondering, I did stay committed through September 11th, and I continue on!  Praise God!

What About You?

Can you identify with Christina’s turmoil? Do you find yourself playing along the perimeter, toying with 0 to 5 eating, but never really “buying in?” Do you leave in fear of “normal” food? Do diets seem to have the answer, but you don’t feel released to have peace dieting any more? What thought has Christina shared here that God is driving home to your own heart and mind? WIll you please share it with us here? We can commit to praying for you!

It Takes Energy!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

1 Timothy 4: 7b-8 says:

…train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Physical training is of ____________ value.

________ has value for ________ things.

Have you ever been or known someone who has been a true fitness fanatic? The amount of energy they put into their training is amazing. The time invested…the sheer determination and true grit….well, wow. It really is a testimony about what someone is willing to do when they want something badly enough.

Years ago, I trained for marathons. I completed the San Francisco marathon in 1997. I invested hours in my training, in reading about how to do the marathon well, in learning about nutrition on the run and a million other things!

I wonder about the investment of my self that I made back then. I have to wonder about how quickly I fuss now about the energy and effort it takes for me to keep at 0 to 5 eating and how far afield I can go in a week of traveling (or even staying home). Why don’t I put even a fraction of the energy I used to put into my physical training for marathons into persevering now? Into honoring God with my thinking? My eating? My choices? It seems I would rather use that energy to complain after the fact!

This is a long haul. There can be no doubt that it requires a lot of us—quite a commitment. We want to reshape, rebuild, change our character. This is no quick fix!

So, how much energy DO you (and me, too!) 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 we were to put that energy into this journey at the front end? What if we were to do the radical thing? Like take the time and energy to write up the truth cards and to speak them out loud once or twice (or three times) a day?

What if we were to use our computers to record ourselves reading these truth cards and then saved the mp3 recording to a CD or to our iPods and then played this recording on our morning or afternoon commutes? What if we were to really put some ENERGY into changing the way we think?

What if we were to pray  that we would be faithful? Spend time with God daily in the Word? What if we were to set the timers on our watches or our cell phones to go off every hour to remind us to check in with Him and to recommit (again) to honoring him with our eating? How badly do we want this?

I know when I struggle with stringing together days of eating to glorify God with 0 to 5 eating, I have to evaluate what I believe right now. Sometimes, I get distance from what I know to be true—that this WORKS! It works for keeping me close to God spiritually. It works for being sure I don’t numb myself emotionally to feelings and helps me to process things like a “big girl” instead of like a child. It works for getting me to and maintaining a healthy weight.

So maybe…just maybe…is it worth the energy and effort to do whatever it takes to think and act differently? Ya think? 🙂

How About You?

What do you think today? Will you put extra energy into thinking differently? Into creating and reading truth cards out loud? (I believe this is much more effective because it affects more modalities…it means I see it with my eyes, shape the words with my mouth, and also hear it with my ears so truth is affecting me in at least three ways.) What about choosing to create a “Renewing the Mind” play list that includes recordings that you can download from the Sound Cloud site, your own recordings (of you speaking your truth cards) and some songs that can encourage you (do a search here if you want as I have posted songs that have encouraged me and they may encourage you). By the way, all of the official Thin Within lesson recordings are available from the Sound Cloud site now, too.

Are we really willing to do what it takes to think differently? Yes, it takes time. Yes it takes energy! But we put out a lot of energy bemoaning bad choices after the fact. Why not put that energy out at the front end, planning for positive change instead?

What can you do to change things up a bit?

Will you? 🙂

Renewing My Mind – Evening Eating Part 3

2013-10-06 15.13.26

On Monday and Tuesday, I posted parts 1 and 2 in this series. Today is the final installment. Evening eating is one of the things that many of us struggle with–it is that “bewitching hour” between dinner and bed-time. Often the kids head off to bed and we want the reward for a day well done! Or conversely, we are lonely and want to comfort ourselves. Whatever the primary reason is for giving in to eating in the evening when we aren’t hungry, we can FIGHT the lies we believe with truth. I have been sharing my truth cards with you this week. I hope it is helpful. I would love to know what other truths you use to fight the lies that lead to night-time eating. What you share may help one of the people who visits this blog! 🙂

  • My enjoyment of my family/husband is NOT dependent on my eating with them when I am not hungry.

If my husband or kids start munching on something in the evening, there is nothing that says I have to join them. I can relish their company even more when I focus on them instead of the food. I wonder what it is that has created the lie that fellowship is equated with eating in our minds? It certainly doesn’t need to be that way. I can absolutely enjoy my family members without eating!

  • My enjoyment of movies, games, etc., in the evening does not hinge on eating too!

This is another lie that I tend to believe…that if we watch Netflix or play a game together that it is made all the better by eating. Truthfully, I feel like my conscience kicking into overdrive and the physical misery I end up in diminishes the enjoyment of the food AND the movie or game that I might be enjoying (AND the company of my husband and kids!).

  • I can RELISH the precious hours before bed and TOTALLY enjoy them—ALL THE MORE when I don’t blast through my boundaries and eat outside of 0 and 5.

This gets back to yesterday’s truths as well…that it FEELS SO WONDERFUL to be tender hearted to my boundaries. Don’t you think? Those hours before bed when I am not hungry are made so much more rich…so much more of a blessing when I don’t defy my conscience!

How About You?

Do these truths sound like they might work for you? How might you amend them to be more applicable? When do you use your truth cards for the most victory?

Bratty Eating

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

I am a brat.

There. I have said it.

It’s true, too.

When I get mad at a family member (maybe sometimes even when I get mad at a mean church lady), I want to eat to “get back at them.”

This is just silly.



But somehow it has fueled much of my eating outside of 0 and 5 for years.

I think it began when I was a kid and my parents would abuse me over food doing all kinds of desperate things to try to get me to eat foods they felt I needed to eat and NOT to eat others. As soon as the ordeal was over, I would sneak cookies. Or ride my bike to the liquor store to buy candy bars with money I stole from my dad’s change stash. (True confessions!) I would do other things, too, just to “get back at them.”

So I guess I brought this behavior into my adulthood!

I became aware of it when I was a mother of a relatively young, rebellious pre-adolescent (who shall remain nameless). Said pre-adolescent with special needs (no less) required a great deal of me and there were times when I just had a major melt-down tantrum of my own. In a huff, I would grab the container of frosting (bag of cookies, chips, ice cream carton…whatever…it made no difference what) a spoon (if needed) and shut myself into the bathroom where I would relish my “I can TOO do what I want–you are NOT the boss of me–get back at them” eating or “Bratty Eating” for short.

Can you relate?

If I am honest, although said child 🙂 no longer lives here…in fact, my “nest” is pretty empty…I still can find myself doing “Bratty Eating.”

In those moments, when I pull out my truth cards or rehearse in my mind the things that I know are true, I come up with quite the arsenal to defeat this “Bratty Eating” and the bratty attitude that fuels it, too!

When I look at the Lord I serve and what he was called to experience when he walked the dirt of this earth, I realize that he was called to suffer. How can I expect to be called to something different? A life of ease? Really? I think I deserve that? And when I bump up against someone who bugs me, I think I should eat? Hmm…. seems to me I need to grow up just a bit! I am so thankful that my God is in the business of doing that very thing—growing his children, including me. Funny thing is…he often uses trials to do it! But he provides everything I need for life and godliness if I call on Him.

How About You?

Do you ever engage in “Bratty Eating?” If so, do you know what situations or individuals typically set you off? What truths can you cling to so that you can defeat this tendency?

Where’s Your Focus?

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Do you ever wonder why you can’t beat this? Why you keep doing yet another study about food and weight? Why you can’t just SHAKE loose of this challenge, this relationship with food, this weight?

The answer may be as simple as focus.

Let me illustrate:

Right now, don’t think about green gorillas.

No, really. Don’t think about green gorillas.

You aren’t, right? 🙂

Sit there for 30 seconds without a single thought of a green gorillas.

You aren’t thinking about green gorillas, are you? 🙂


Ok, be honest…what are you thinking of?

If you are like most, if someone says “Don’t think about green gorillas,” that is precisely what you think about. When we try NOT to think about something—either a food that is off our “diet foods” list (when we were on diets), or a food we want to eat and are free to eat, but when we are not hungry—we can’t help but to think about it! Diets tell us what we can’t have and can’t think about. The more we try not to think about or not to want these things, the more we think about them and want them until we become overwhelmed and give in, sometimes after we have already eaten the dieter’s version of whatever it might be.

Read Colossians 2:20-23 in your Bible or below:

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:

21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?

22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.

23Such 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.

Please take a moment and underline descriptive phrases in this passage in your bible that are used to describe the mentality that Paul is confronting. Two are done for you.

Now write down what you underlined in the passage above:

  1. _____Rules________________________________
  2. _____Destined to Perish with Use_____________
  3. _________________________________________
  4. _________________________________________
  5. _________________________________________
  6. _________________________________________
  7. _________________________________________
  8. _________________________________________

Which of the above descriptive words and phrases could also be used to describe a prescriptive way of managing weight or, which of the words above fit in describing “diets?” Circle any that apply.

What can’t diets do according to this passage?

Did you notice all those “do nots” in the passage? When told DO NOT, what do we do? Do you find it true that, often, you end up doing the very thing that you are told NOT to do! (Just like not thinking about green gorillas?)

Most often in worldly programs we are challenged to merely be “self controlled.” With these programs, we have often found ourselves eating foods that, while “good for us” don’t match up with what we really desire—they don’t satisfy. We have tried desperately to conform ourselves to an outward standard while resentment builds deep within. We are told not to eat this or that and, often, we give in to what we wanted in the first place.

God’s way of freedom from the chains that bind us, the coping mechanisms that constrict us, the addictions that hinder us, is for us to experience freedom from these outward restraints, to have our hearts and minds renewed and to transform us from the inside out! As our hearts are transformed, our choices will be as well. Moment by moment, our choices, when built one upon another, will radically alter externals—our appearance and behavior. We can walk in freedom!

This is why I have been crowing about renewing our minds for so long (and I will continue to do so!). We have to be willing to do the work it takes to change the way we think.

God has created us to experience joy in life—even in something as mundane as eating! We can praise HIM for his marvelous creativity in making mangos, asparagus, ice cream sundaes, and cheese enchiladas. Eating was never intended to torment us, but to bless us.

Dieting has caused us to be focused on ourselves, on our food, on our weight, on our size…on everything ME.  Some of us have “done” Thin Within the same way we have done dieting—with the focus all on ME, MYSELF, and I. The focus has been on the externals…on my appearance, my behavior, my food, my exercise…ME. In embracing these approaches, however, we have done nothing to change our hearts in a positive direction. In fact, often, we come out of our experiences with these programmatic ways of handling food with an even deeper fixation on food or our bodies.

This is forming and shaping our hearts…not just our bodies (if physical changes happen at all). Do we really feel that the way we are becoming more self-absorbed is God-honoring and worth it as long as we lose weight? I hope not!

Let’s be intentional…and choose to take a radically different approach. Let’s allow our King to have our heart, our focus, our desires. He is going to do something major in our lives so it stands to reason that we want to have our focus in the right place.

How About You?

Are you ready to “do” this differently than you have done diets or Thin Within in the past? Do you want this to really be the last time you have to “start over?” Are you ready to do the work that is involved? If so, I strongly encourage you to go to the Renewing of the Mind Bible Study page here and do these studies (again if you have done them already). Do that and/or do a search on the blog for “Truth Cards.” I believe you will be SO blessed as you work on the way you THINK and on where your focus is. When we stop thinking ME ME ME and start thinking GOD GOD GOD some amazing transformations begin to take place. Honest. 🙂