Week 8 – That Darn Scale (Again) and Food Just TASTES Good!

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

This week we are investigating two things that spur us to eat outside of our primary boundary of physical hunger and satisfaction. One is our response to our weight on the bathroom scale…(I really hope you aren’t still hopping on your scale, though!) As we begin this week, I urge you to remember that your ideal size is whatever you land on when you faithfully eat according to the God given parameter of physical hunger and satisfaction. You don’t ever need to step on a scale again! So, if you haven’t yet, why not give your scale to someone else to keep for you? 🙂

Additionally, we will look at how often we can wait for physical hunger before eating. We may even be growing in our willingness and ability to process our emotions with the Lord instead of running to food instantly each time. But when we DO sit down to feed our “0” , we may zip on past our comfortable “5” or place of physical satisfaction. Let’s see what we can learn to help us stop it!

If we can take care of these two things, practically speaking, we will eliminate a bunch of our overeating!

I have broken this week’s assignments down again in the hopes that it will be helpful for you.

Visit Barb’s page: Bad Scale Eating at this link. She points out that we typically want to lose weight in a way that is fast, easy and fun and that when we have been dying to self for 8 weeks, it really is hard to get on the scale and see that we haven’t lost weight…but maybe we have even gained!

To be honest, with the Thin Within approach to landing on your God-given size, it often happens that way (sorry to break it to you now…). People may gain weight when they start off! Sometimes this happens at the beginning before the weight starts coming off.

That isn’t to say you should ignore that fact, shrug your shoulders, and just accept it. NOPE! Instead, re-evaluate and see what it is that needs to be tweaked. Instead of focusing on the man-made bathroom scale, how about focusing on the God-given HUNGER scale–that true physical “empty” or what we call “0” and that true physical SATISFIED or what Thin Within calls a “5?”

Chances are, if you aren’t feeling your clothes loosening up, you may be either deceiving yourself about eating between 0 and 5 or you may be drinking a lot of sweetened beverages throughout the day (stop it!–said with love!), or is it possible you are already at the size God intends for you?

Which do you think it is?

Barb has a section in her post about the scale called unrealistic expectations. She hits the nail on the head! We often have unrealistic expectations, but, again, I want to urge you to THROW OUT YOUR BATHROOM SCALE or, at the very least, have a friend take it and hide it. We can get so focused on it that we miss the thing that God IS doing and he promises that HE IS DOING A NEW THING!

Wouldn’t it be a “new thing” if we stopped weighing ourselves? At least it would be for many of us. Give it a try and after the typical week or so of panic, you will likely settle in to experiencing the peace and freedom that comes from refusing to let a man-made hunk of metal, plastic, springs, etc., arbitrarily assign a number to your size.

In Barb’s section called Unrealistic Expectations, can you identify with either option #1 or option #2? Which?

So how about doing what she suggests! In order to keep following your boundaries with a good attitude, take some time to renew your mind about the scale.

What other unrealistic expectations do you have? Can you find any truths in God’s Word that speak to this? Jot them down or share them with us here.

NOTE: Tomorrow, I will be posting about a “Fire the Desire: 3 Day Challenge.” We can do just about anything for three days. You may want to plan now for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — for joining the Fire the Desire 3 Day Challenge!


Barb includes an “Exercise for Journal” section at her Bad Scale Eating page (this is the same page as the one I had you visit yesterday). This is an OUTSTANDING exercise for us to do. Note her examples. (Again, please note that Barb uses dieting “lingo,” but you can trade the words and phrases out for ones that fit Thin Within and 0 to 5 eating.)

If you do this exercise, share with us here what the truths are that replaced any of the lies that you struggle(d) with!

Read today’s blog post about the “Fire the Desire 3 Day Challenge.” Are you going to give it a try? Do you have an accountability partner?  If you haven’t connected with your accountability partner in a while, you may want to! Will you check in here? Tell us your intention if you plan to do the Challenge!


Turn to Barb Raveling’s Good Food Eating study at this link.

If you are like most of us, you can wait for 0 most of the time before eating, but stopping at 5 (or before) is another story altogether! What do you think? Do you find yourself continuing to eat past that place of pleasant satisfaction just because the food available is so YUMMY?   Sometimes the food just is there and tastes so good that we want to keep on eating it.

Do Barb’s More is Better bible study. Summarize what God shows you.

Are there any truths you can add to your truth cards as a result of going through these two studies of Barb’s?

Barb asks “Do you need to set any secondary boundaries to protect yourself from good food eating? If so, what boundaries could you make?” As you consider this question, we rejoice hat we don’t need to have ANY food be off limits completely, but what about staying within the boundaries of 0 and 5? How can you set yourself up for success with your eating when Good Food abounds and you waited until 0? How can you plan ahead to help you succeed?

Are you joining in the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge? If not, why not? 🙂 Today is Day 1! (You can start it any time, actually, but why not today?)


Complete the Good Food Eating section included in Barb’s blog post (again, this is the same post as yesterday’s).

What insights come to you as a result of going through this material?

How are you doing on the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge?


This is the last day of the Fire the Desire 3 – Day Challenge. How is it going? Stay off the scale in keeping with this week’s study. Truth journal about the scale if it will help. What about stopping at 5? Are you recognizing a 5 as it approaches? Are you eating slowly enough so that you can stop after a reasonable amount of food? What plan can you have to be proactive?

Extra Credit: 🙂 Weekends are tough for many of us. Sometimes it is because weekends signal us to let up our boundaries. Our routines are typically set aside. Can you create a plan for this weekend–a routine for yourself, some way to be proactive about experiencing success? Even if you aren’t doing the 3-day challenge, I hope you will include adding to your God List, having a Praise Fest, and adding to your Gratitudes Journal this weekend! I really believe that we will not stay in rebellion when we exalt God.

Share here with us how it is going!

Week 7 – I Don’t WANNA! (Revisited) Indulgent and Social Eating

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Here we are again. At the office party or in the kitchen after bible study and NUTS if the food isn’t just TOO tantalizing. It seems to have a magnetic pull on us.

We tell ourselves NO… we WON’T give in THIS time, but nevertheless before we know it we are laughing with the others, enjoying “fellowship” while holding (and eating from) a large plate of food.  And it isn’t about hunger. It is, quite simply, about I WANT IT AND I WILL EAT IT BECAUSE I WANT IT. We might even have the thought that “It isn’t fair that everyone else should get to eat and just because I am not hungry, I don’t get to…”

This week we turn our attention to two related types of eating, “Indulgent Eating” and “Social Eating.” Often, we just don’t feel like following our boundaries. Often, it may be because we are in a social situation and everyone else is laughing, having fun, so it is “only fair” that we should get to as well. Barb’s studies this week bring some very important thoughts to the forefront.

I am breaking this week’s assignment down into 5 mini-assignments. Of course, you can do it any way you choose. 🙂


1. Please visit Barb’s website and complete the Indulgent Eating bible study.

2. Select at least 3 statements from the first section under “This is what I learned” to add to your truth cards. Even better if you add all 5! Share with us which three you added. If you haven’t started a deck of truth cards yet, you can see a post about it here. Evaluate if this might be a tool that could be used by God to bring victory at a level you haven’t previously known. Is it worth it to try something new?

3. Use Barb’s journaling questions about Indulgent Eating to write statements that you can add to your truth cards. Here is an example:

The first journaling question, I use to frame my answer and to develop a statement that can go in my truth cards. Barb asks, “If you were to eat ‘what you want, when you want’ 100% of the time, how much do you think you’d weigh?”

My response:

“If I were to eat what I want when I want (in the quantities I want) 100% of the time, I would be at least 100 pounds overweight. I have been there before and I could get there easily again.”

Continue to use Barb’s Indulgent Eating material to frame statements for your truth cards. Share with us in the comments what you added to your truth cards today.


  1. Complete the rest of the journaling questions, including looking up the Scriptures that Barb supplied.  Which verse means the most to you or did God use to encourage or challenge you? Share with us.
  2. Answer Barb’s question: Is your life better or worse with boundaries?
  3. What percentage of the time do you feel like you live as if you don’t have boundaries?  Why do you think this is the case?
  4. Complete Barb’s Indulgence Eating questions. Again, use any of your answers that fit to create new truth cards. Share here any truths that you feel led to share so that others can be encouraged as well.
  5. Respond to Barb’s question: Do you think your best chance for happiness is to do what you want when you want? Why or why not?


  1. Visit Barb’s social eating bible study page found here. Please don’t be put off by the “salad vs pizza” dieting scenario. Instead, imagine the more likely situation for you, as a Thin Within participant, to be in a situation where everyone else at a party or get-together is eating four pieces of pizza when you either aren’t at a “0” yet and have to wait to eat or you are at a “0” but it takes only one piece of pizza to get to a “5.” The rest of the scenario she paints for us plays out. The situation is totally ripe for overindulging. You finally get this feeling of being “ripped off” and give in and eat along with and as much as everyone else.
  2. What is the lie that Barb says is present in the back of our minds?
  3. What is true about the notion that “Life should be fair”?
  4. Respond to Barb’s discussion of “The Fairness Line.”  What do you think about what she says?


  1. I want to join Barb in encouraging you to recognize the lies that our society feeds us. The lie that “Life should be fair” saturates everything! What are ways that you know you have bought this lie? Can you persevere in renewing your mind with truth about this today? This week? How will you do this?
  2. How are things going on your renewing of the mind plan? Maybe it’s time to recommit to your plan established in week 2! If you don’t have an accountability partner yet, please consider getting one today by visiting the Accountability Page and posting there. If you have had a partner, but haven’t been in touch, consider getting in touch with your partner and evaluating what you will do going forward or dissolve your partnership and let one another loose to find another partner.
  3. Complete Barb’s “Social Eating Bible Study” section at the bottom of the page.


  1. At the end of the Social Eating Bible Study, Barb asks: Think of an upcoming social gathering where you’ll have to control the way you eat if you want to follow your boundaries. If life is about indulging your desires, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation? Explain.
  2. If life is about loving God and others, will you have much to be thankful for in that situation? Why or why not? Explain.
  3. What is God laying on your heart today about Indulgent and Social eating? Are you happier when you live by design or desire?

Follow Up Comments

I know that the summer is filled with opportunities to enjoy friends, family, times in the sun, lots of fun! You can recommit to spending 15 minutes a day allowing God to change your thinking–even now in the middle of the summer. What do you think? I know lots of us started this study filled with promises to ourselves. If your heart is kindled to want to let the fire flare up again, why not just dive back in this week–today, even? There’s no need to throw in the towel until a new study starts. Don’t buy Satan’s big lie!

Thin Within Travel Tips (From Bob)


Image Source: Stock Exchange

My husband works for Union Pacific Railroad. What that means is he travels a LOT. The railroad goes all over the country–so does he. 🙂

Last week, his travels took him to the home of wonderful southwestern and Mexican food – Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In this video, Bob shares his strategies for managing this trip in spite of having very little flexibility for the timing of his meals and what he would be served.


Questions to Consider:

1. Bob clearly is willing to say no to himself in spite of claiming to still have an incessant love for large quantities of food. Are you still battling willingness? Or are you seeing even an incremental movement forward in your life–where you are a bit more willing than you were yesterday, a week ago, or a month ago? CELEBRATE the movement forward! WOOT!

2. Consider an upcoming vacation, trip, or even a meal out. What plan can you come up with so that you can maintain your primary boundary of eating 0 to 5?

3. Sit with the Lord a bit and ask him to give you a truth that you might add to your truth cards related to conferences, traveling, eating out.

4. What is one strategy that Bob uses that you might be able to use?

Week 6 – Counting Blessings, Praising God for Progress!


Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

– Psalm 150:6 NIV

Have you ever known someone who, no matter what wonderful things were going on, they found the dark clouds amidst all the silver linings of life? A”Christian Eeyore” has that “There’s not a cloud in the sky, but that’s because a terrible storm is brewing and it is sure to take us by surprise” approach to life. You know the type, right? I hope you aren’t that type, though!

This week, we are going to choose NOT to be like that. We are going to CELEBRATE and count the many ways that God has been at work in our lives.

The nature of this journey we are on, requires that we prayerfully scrutinize our choices. We “observe and correct” and find there is SO much to “correct.” We tell ourselves repeatedly how we could/should have done this or that better. I don’t know about you, but after I have just inhaled an extra piece of pizza beyond satisfied, I can “overlook” the previous three days of wonderful choices, honoring God, walking with him, and submitting to his leadership!

We have been doing some HARD work this summer! Rather than weighing our bodies and comparing notes and results, let’s invite God to weigh our hearts right now. NOT our bodies. See below to see what I mean:

Heart Weight Scale

Heart Scale

All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.

– Proverbs 21:2

If God were to weigh your heart, where would it land in the above illustration?

Here is a spiel about what I want us to do this week! 🙂


1. ) Do Barb’s evaluation to start off.

2.) Create a list of “land” you have captured for Christ on this journey this summer so far!

For instance:

  • I said no to a second helping last night at dinner
  • I have been drinking more water and less sweetened tea/coffee
  • I have been renewing my mind frequently and have noticed that I have begun to think God’s thoughts about myself, food, and God–to actually believe them!
  • I have been adding to my truth cards each week.
  • I have an accountability partner.
  • I have had 3 nights of successfully eating within my boundaries from dinner preparation time until bed time!
  • etc.

Your turn!

3.) If you have noticed that you tend to break your boundaries under certain circumstances, prayerfully make a plan for how to take that situation captive *before* it happens next time.

4.) Which of the three challenge levels mentioned by Barb in her evaluation post are you going to try out? Pick one and get an accountability partner if you haven’t yet.  What can you do to structure your life to meet this challenge with victory? Make a plan!

5.) Consider having a gratitude blog or gratitude journal, specifically for thanking God for his gifts. Try these spots on the web:

6.) PLEASE POST HERE! What changes are you seeing in your life? Please praise our God and tell of all his wonderful deeds! Every continent (except Antarctica) has been represented by visitors to this website. So, if we are supposed to “declare among the nations” the things God has done for us, you can do so here and consider that one way of telling “The World” about what God has been doing! In fact, while I am asking for the moon :-), I would love you go to the Testimonials page and share a testimony there for everyone to see who lands at that page! Come on! 🙂

7.) Some sad news is that our trial membership at GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar has come to an end. I had *thought* that it was only $50 to continue, but it is $100! 🙁 I just can’t swing that. So, sadly, we won’t be having an online class this week unless I find a host that is cheaper. 🙁

8.) Will you pray for people to be encouraged through this ministry? I would love for visitors to see the many ways you see God at work in your life this summer! Thanks so much.

The Myth of More – Idolatry (Week 5 Renewing the Mind)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

God is leading us into battle. He is our Conquering Hero and he leads us in a triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads EVERYwhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him (2 Corinthians 2:14). Let’s put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We are perfectly prepared for this. We have had four weeks of laying the ground work. We have our boundaries in place. We have a plan for renewing our minds. We have exposed the subtle deceptions involved in “Justification Eating” and “Entitlement Eating.”

This week, we are going to plunge even deeper smack  into the heart of the overeating issue. We do this, even though this is the time when many of us might be tempted to take a break.

Rather than head for the hills, the swimming pool, or a good fiction book, let’s GO AFTER THIS THING. Let’s go for the jugular and deal the DEATH BLOW so that the rest of our study is just icing on the cake (so to speak!).

Unlike Saul against the Amalekites, we are going to obey our God and take NO prisoners. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). will utterly destroy anything that condones apathy, overeating, associating copious quantities of food with “fun,” “fellowship,” and mood management.

We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). Like Gideon hiding out in a wine press, though it may seem unlikely, we are mighty warriors in Christ (Judges 6:12). We can scale any wall. We can stand on the heights! (See Psalm 18:29-36) It is time for us to put on who we are in Christ — who He has made us to be — and totally, 100% act like who we were born in Christ to be!

To do this, we need two things:

1.) To be honest. I know you already have been and I celebrate that! This week, we may peel back some of those “layers of the onion” and discover there is more to face into.

2.) To work hard. Again, I know you have been working hard. Thank you for that! Many of you are experiencing the NEW THING that we are promised God is DOING! Sometimes we don’t perceive it, but he IS DOING a new thing–right now. Let’s not lose any momentum right now. Let’s resolve to PRESS ON THROUGH!

As we have continued in our study, I realized that one VITAL thing we have to deal with is:

Why has overeating/food/body image been a stronghold in our lives for so long?

Why is it so stubborn?

No matter how extreme the measures are we take, we often continue to have a challenge at one level or another.

This week–if we persevere and do the work involved–will be transformative. So I apologize in advance. This week has probably the heaviest amount of homework of all the weeks (I didn’t see this coming, but sense God’s leadership in this). If you can carve out the time to do it, I believe it will be worth it!

First, to lay the groundwork for this week’s assignment, here is this week’s video. It is sort of a broad overview and, in it, I mention (again) the value of 1.) Creating a God List 2.) Using your God List for a Praise Fest regularly 3.) Building an attitude of gratitude and 4.) Creating and using Truth Cards. So if you haven’t already, you may feel nagged in this video. Here it is:

The video this week is a bit different in that it doesn’t directly hit on the material I cover in the assignment. In a broad sense it does, but not specifically.

So, without further ado, Let’s DO IT! I want to ask a question:

What is it that is the issue here?

When we boil it down, why is having a tiny little portion of food–which is really all we need to be sustained–not enough?

Why is it that we want *more*?

What is it that is true when we want *more*?

Think with me about this…cookies come out of the oven. I am free to eat them when I am hungry. Why is it that two cookies isn’t enough? Is it because I am hungry? Or is it just because I want the taste of… more? 

Out to eat at the Mexican restaurant…do I really need a second basket of chips before my meal is served? Why isn’t one basket enough? Or 5 chips enough (when followed by the entrée, rice and beans)? Do I really need more?

Why isn’t a coffee cup full of ice cream enough? Why do I reach for seconds? What am I looking for? More…

The Myth of MORE

I believe that The Myth of More is the heart of this issue. I want more food. More fun. More time. More money. But since we are in the context of food, overeating, body image, let’s address the More Myth relative to food.

But more is never enough.

The last bite still happens. And I still grieve. I want more.

Is it fair to say that this is greed?

The definition of greed is, simply, excessive desire. I don’t know about you, but I think that fits what I struggle with relative to food. While I have definitely begun dealing with this much better in the years since 2006, it continues to be an insistent “whine” in my life. Always there. Buzzing in my ear. Harassing me. More. I need more.

Ok, now comes the gut-punch. Ready? Before I share it, let’s remember some truth:

God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)

God demonstrates His own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us–the ungodly! (Romans 5:8)

There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

He chose you and me before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us…even before we did a single, solitary godly thing! (Ephesians 1…all of it!)

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)

So now I hope you are ready for the gut-punch. Don’t let Satan stand and accuse you. Send him packing. Right now.

Greed is idolatry (Colossians 3:5b).

That’s right…the Myth of More is just a nice way of being idolaters. OUCH, right? I know! Seems so harsh.

But if our eating is at all indicative of greed and if greed is idolatry…well, the old if a = b and b = c, then a = c has to be true, right? Maybe? So our eating aside from physical need seems to come from the Myth of More…greed…hmmmm….

I will leave you with that and Barb’s material to chew on this week. I do hope you will talk about this here in the comments. I am sure we have a lot to talk about relative to this!

ASSIGNMENT broken down for you by days because it is so much. SORRY! I think this is important!

1. TODAY (Monday): Read and do Barb’s quiz to evaluate if you do, in fact, have an idol operating in your life. Try to do it with food, overeating, dieting, “thin” in mind. If you feel so inclined, share with us what you discover here in the comments. I know that is a bold move, but I do believe there is something powerful about facing our truth and stepping into the light with it–talking about it. It loses it’s power when we do that. Or it is weakened considerably.

2. Tuesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry.” You will have already done her steps under How to Break Free From Idolatry #1, 4, 5 and maybe even 6, getting an accountability partner. If you haven’t yet gotten an accountability partner, you may want to do that this week. Post at the Accountability page. Don’t worry about #s 2 and 3 as you will do them this week in another part of the assignment. Journal your responses to Barb’s question: How is idolatry like adultery? How is it different? How would you get over idolatry in a way that would be similar with getting over adultery?

3. Wednesday: Read and do the activities in Barb’s post on “How to Break Free from Idolatry Part 2.” Respond to her questions for your journal. Respond here to her question: “How do you convince yourself your idol needs to go?” I want to add…REALLY go? I mean, you are participating in this study because you want to see some changes happen. YAY! Let’s celebrate that. But I know some of us struggle with cherishing some little aspect of our idol that keeps us from totally letting it go. It can be in the form of that final sweet in the evening no matter what. Or it might be in that but I am entitled feeling we have when the kids go to bed. We may even plan for what we will do after they are in bed without the thought of 0 and 5. Do you see what I mean? Do you cherish any little aspect of eating outside of physical need, even just a bit?

4. Thursday: Two of Barb’s studies are on tap for today or, you can save part of this for the weekend.  Read and respond to When You Don’t Feel Close To God. This post probably feels familiar as I covered some of the material in it last Friday here. It is worth considering again, certainly. Consider her journal/prayer activity in this post, too. What might be reasonable for you to do to take some focused time to work on this? Try to squeeze in time to read and journal through Barb’s post on Idolatry in the Bible. I was very convicted over this statement…in reference to some things not looking like idols, Barb said, “…but if we’re consistently turning to them for comfort, protection, fulfillment, and deliverance from life’s problems, they’re probably idols.”  When you consider her last question “Do you think idolatry is accepted in the church today?” you might want to consider church potlucks, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts, spaghetti feeds and the like. What would happen if we stopped chowing down at church? Have we been trained by our church involvement that “fellowship” and food are synonymous?

5. Friday: Read and complete the activities in Barb’s Post on “How to Set Boundaries to Break Free From Idolatry.” Much of this material will be familiar to you. You might use this as an opportunity to evaluate your secondary boundaries to see if there aren’t any that you have been “overlooking” using 🙂 to help you to be more aware of your primary boundary of eating within physical hunger and satisfaction.

6. Here is the recording from this week’s online class.