Entitled! I’m GONNA EAT! (Week 4 – Renewing of the Mind Study)

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

“I don’t care what my boundaries are…I wasn’t thinking about life on a day like this one when I ‘committed’ 0 to 5 eating.”

“Given what I am facing, surely God doesn’t expect me to just be ‘good’ after a day like today!!!”

“It’s just not fair. How come my sister can eat whatever she wants and never gain weight! It makes me crazy!”

“I am going to hang out on the boat this weekend with the ice chest, snacks, good friends, and just kick back. I’m not going to worry about my eating for a day! I have been good, after all. I deserve a break!”

Can you identify with these statements? Chances are, we all can.

In our society we are told that we deserve the best, we deserve all we can grab. Life should be fair! There is never a need to be sad or uncomfortable with so many options for making ourselves feel happy!

These are lies that we sometimes tell ourselves–lies that take us outside of our God-given boundaries of eating between physical hunger and physical satisfaction. If we want to really experience the victory that we have longed for, we have to be willing to recognize the lies when they appear and replace them with God’s truth. That is what our “Renewing of the Mind” bible study is about this summer. We want to change the way we think, because what we think, affects what we believe, and what we believe, affects our actions. Our actions over time establish patterns and it is those patterns that bring forth fruit in our lives…the results that we either rejoice in or are discouraged by–both in our character and outwardly.

If we want to choose a fruitful life that reflects the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, we have to start with what we tell ourselves. How often do we tell ourselves we are entitled to “the good life?” Is this creating an unworkable belief that runs counter to realizing our godly goals?

Here is a 7 minute video on this subject (if you are an email subscriber, you may have to visit the website in order to see it):

I believe that if Justification is a primary reason we eat outside of our 0 to 5 boundaries, then Entitlement is its twin. Truly, if we could eliminate Justification Eating and Entitlement Eating, much of our eating outside of 0 and 5 would stop altogether!

Consider how wonderfully refreshing it is to live with integrity, acknowledging and praising the God of the Universe as he walks personally with you, inviting you into a life of discovery. He is sufficient! No, maybe not in the way we have come to expect in our world of drive-thrus, instant coffee, and microwave ovens. We think we are entitled to bigger, faster, and more. But our God IS huge! His glory fills the entire earth and he invites us to step up into intimacy with him–even as we train ourselves for godliness. It is SOOoooo worth it!


1.) Each week, I have asked you to evaluate if GOD has called you to a primary boundary of eating 0 to 5. If you aren’t convinced that this is something God is calling you to do, I believe you won’t be successful. You will find a million reasons NOT to eat 0 to 5. But if you know God is calling you to do it, if you have a conviction that is deep and abiding, then write it down in your journal and each time you reaffirm that this is, indeed, a conviction that comes to you from God, date it in your journal. I urge you to do this today, too–even if you already did yesterday.

2.) Evaluate if you need to adjust your secondary boundaries. Have you successfully lived with the secondary boundaries you established for yourself previously? It might be time to move forward…to add another one or tweak a prior secondary boundary. For those of you new to this, if you have noticed that you are unaware of physical satisfaction as it approaches, you can observe and correct–see if there are any trends as you look over the past week or so. Are your eating occasions outside of 0 to 5 (your primary boundary) when you are in the car? When you watch TV? Typically limited to one food in particular or when you are with a certain friend? If so, this provides the perfect opportunity to establish a secondary boundary to support you relative to that trend. If you are unclear what secondary boundaries can be helpful to you, post a question here in the comments section. Chances are, someone has dealt with the same challenge as you and has an idea for some supportive secondary boundaries!

3.) Visit  this page at Barb Raveling’s website–read and do the bible study and journaling activities on the page. You can print her blog post out and then journal your answers if you like.

4.) What do you believe about entitlement? How has it been affecting your eating?

5.) In the video, I gave the example of my driving as another area of my life where I struggle with an attitude of entitlement. How about you? Where do you see an attitude of entitlement: “I deserve the good life.” “Life should be fair.” or “I shouldn’t have to suffer!” affecting you? What are God’s truths about these situations?

6.) In the video, I mention four steps that can help you eliminate an attitude of entitlement. Try one (or more) of the following and see if it helps you!

  • Create a God List. More about the God List is found here.
  • Use the God List to have a Praise Fest whenever entitlement rears its ugly head. Read about the Praise Fest here.
  • Establish a habit of gratitude–thanking God for His gifts–the way he has blessed you. More about gratitude can be found here and my gratitude blog is here to get ideas of your own.
  • Create Truth Cards that remind you daily the truth about entitlement, what God’s view of this is, whether life should be fair or not, and all that comes to the one who is willing to suffer if God calls you to do so. Here is a video about Truth Cards.

7.) Share here with us what God shows you about “Entitlement Eating” this week. How can we pray for you?

8.) Recording of our online class from this week of study (it is a sound file only, so don’t expect a video):


“I deserve the good life!” “Life should be fair!” “I deserve to never be sad or uncomfortable and if I am any of these things, I will use food to make me feel better because it is my right!”

Many of us have experienced this. Some of us may even live with a sense of entitlement. If we do, chances are we will never be consistent in our Thin Within efforts to eat between the parameters of 0 and 5 (or hunger and satisfaction).

What is God’s view of this attitude? What are we to do instead? How?

Week 3 – Justification Eating, or “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

I am not really breaking my boundary.

Truth? Or lie?

This little bite won’t matter beyond satisfied.

Truth? Or lie?

God doesn’t really care about my eating.

Truth? Or lie?

I have been exercising so I deserve to eat this.

Truth? Or lie?

What do each of these statements, said in an attempt to justify eating outside of my boundaries, have in common?

They are all lies.

Most of the time we violate our boundaries, it starts in the seed of a lie.  We may call it “justifying,” but it is, simply, lying to ourselves.

Since this study is about being transformed by the renewing of our minds,  since we have been evaluating the lies that we believe and rejecting these lies and replacing them with truth, one of the best places to look is the tiny little “mistruths” we tell ourselves that erode our resolve to live according to our boundaries.

I have asked everyone participating in this study (and even those of you not in this study may want to do this) to evaluate: Are you convinced that God is calling you to the primary boundary of eating within the parameter of physical hunger and satisfaction? 0 and 5?

Many of us, in a moment of clarity, were convinced that God was calling us to this. We don’t want to lose sight of that. Anything we tell ourselves that minimizes that conviction should be scrutinized. Here is a video about this:

This week’s assignment:

1.) How about settling this question in your mind: Are you convinced that God is calling you to 0 to 5 eating or eating within the parameter of physical hunger and satisfaction? If you are convinced that this is GOD’s call to you, jot it down in your journal: “I know God is calling me to eat within 0 and 5” or other statement that reflects your conviction. Date it. If you did this last week, go to the place in your journal where you wrote it down and write today’s date with an affirmation that you are recommitting to 0 and 5. This is important. If we aren’t convinced that this boundary is what GOD is calling us to, then we will rationalize and justify a million reasons not to live according to it!

In a moment of clarity, when we aren’t tempted, we prayerfully welcome God to convict our hearts about the boundaries HE has for us. Whatever these may be, we want to establish a way of remembering this moment. It is important and will serve as a guiding principle for our lives!

2.) Evaluate your secondary boundaries that you established last week. If you are doing just fine with those, you may want to ask God to show you another boundary to add or to trade out or modify. Remember, secondary boundaries support you in maintaining your ability to abide by your primary boundary of 0 and 5. Jot down in your journal what your new (or revised) secondary boundaries will be.

3.) Go to Barb Raveling’s website and read and complete the study she has on Justification Eating found here by jotting the answers down in your journal. As when we did this study last spring, it will be helpful for us to remember that Barb isn’t a Thin Within participant. Please don’t be thrown off by her reference to “calories.” Keep focused on what God has led you to do and invite him to show you the benefit you can glean from her material! It is great stuff! We just have to skip over some dieting jargon from time to time.

4.) List in your journal 5-10 “small lies” you tell (or have told) yourself to justify eating outside of your primary boundary of 0 and 5.

5.) Beneath each lie you have exposed, write down the TRUTH in that situation. If you find this helpful, continue the process, stopping every 5 to 10 of these to be sure to write the corresponding TRUTH down for each.

6.) Journal: If you start telling yourself the truth about your eating, will it affect how diligently you follow your primary and secondary boundaries? Are you willing to do this today? If not, why not?

7.) What food or eating experience are you most likely to justify going outside of your primary boundary (of eating 0 to 5) in order to experience?

For example: I love to go out to almost any restaurant for Mexican food. I know that when I sit down to the meal, I will eat enough chips and salsa to no longer be hungry, yet I still want to eat some of the meal when it arrives. I tend to tell myself “I am still hungry” when the meal comes to justify eating as much as I would have if I hadn’t eaten any chips to start with!

7.) Strategize what you can do about this situation.

For example: I will ask the server to bring the chips with the meal and consider it part of my portion.


When the chips arrive, I will takego to the restroom and take a time out. This will cut into the amount of time that I will have eating chips and salsa before the meal arrives. I will use the time in the restroom to review my truth cards (if I have them with me) or to remember what is true about my boundaries and the joy I have when I live according to them. When I get back to the table, I will slow my eating of chips or intentionally have only 5 or 10 chips with salsa. I will remind myself of the truth that I rejoice in living within my God-given boundaries.

8.) List things that are true whenever you have broken your 0 to 5 eating boundaries. How do you feel when you break your 0 to 5 boundaries? What does it do for you? List what is true about breaking your 0 and 5 boundaries so that when you are considering breaking your boundaries with your justification, you can look at your list of how you feel *after* you have broken your boundaries and remember! You might want to add this list to your TRUTH cards. “When I eat outside of my boundaries, I _____________”

For example: After I have broken my 0 to 5 eating boundaries, I am filled with regret.  After I have broken my 0 to 5 eating boundaries, I worry that I won’t stop. The joy of eating outside of my boundaries is momentary compared to the time spent frustrated with myself.

How is justification eating telling yourself a lie? What truths can you tell yourself when you are faced with a moment of decision about whether or not to give in to the temptation to eat outside of your boundaries?

Note: If you are just joining us, you can go to this page and see what we have done so far. Come on along!

10.) As a final part of the assignment, consider posting here some of the things that God showed you about the lies you tell yourself and the truth to counter those lies…OR anything else that you may want to share with others. If you have a question feel free to post it here as well! 🙂

Week 2 REMIX! – Boundaries and Making the Plan

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Here is a sound file that explains what I hope ALL of us (even those not involved in the bible study) will do! (Email subscribers need to visit the blog site to access the sound file):

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/98266648″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Our goals this week are:

1.) Establish our primary and secondary boundaries.

Mine are:

  • Primary Boundary – Eat 0 to 5
  • Secondary Boundaries – 1.) Eat only when sitting down (sitting in the car doesn’t count! :-)) 2.) Eat only when my mind and body are relaxed

2.)  Establish our plan for renewing our minds.

Mine looks like this and I will send a report to my accountability partner each day about these things as well:

  • Renew my mind with my Eating Truth Cards each morning.
  • Listen to my Truth Play List at least once during the day.
  • Review/Scan or re-read highlights in my cards between 4 and 6pm each day.

You can do this, too.

What is your primary boundary? This one’s easy–If you are a Thin Within participant, you will want to have this one be “To eat 0 to 5” or something like that.

What will your two secondary boundaries be this week? Remember that secondary boundaries support your ability to live within your primary boundary. Any of the Keys to Conscious Eating can work. “To have the TV off when eating,” or something like that can work, too!

What will your plan be to renew your mind? Remember, renewing the mind is something we are doing so we can think differently–specifically, so we can think God’s thoughts about something, in this case, 0 to 5 eating, or our bodies, or food generally…or something like that! I have made my truth cards specifically about eating 0 to 5 since that is my primary boundary. More on that in our online class. We talked about ways of renewing our minds agin the online class for this week. Here is that video:

Barb has a page for Renewing Your Mind Tools. You can get some great ideas there.

My Misplaced Need For Attention

My Misplaced Need For Attention

One of the sweetest things I’ve come to love about the Lord is how truly perfect his timing is to reveal something to us that up until now we’ve had no idea was impacting us to the degree it has.  Thankfully, he doesn’t just throw it at us.  When it comes to the matters of our heart, he is always tender.

Needless to say, for the past several weeks I’ve had a recurring thought that I’ve wondered about.  This morning after a nice two-hour quiet time I sat down to do some stretches and watch a Christian program.  As the girl shared some of her testimony about her mom I found tears streaming down my face.  Her testimony wasn’t the same as mine.  However, that “recurring thought” I’ve been having was triggered.  Funny, I thought I’d dealt with my “mom-issues” long ago.  In fact, I went up to Virginia and spent two weeks making amends with my mom before it was too late.  Then after she passed, other issues resurfaced and so I dealt seriously with them.  You see, I’m in the habit of dealing with my stuff.  I’m in the habit because I don’t want to give the enemy another foothold in my life.

In my reading early this morning the following resonated with me, “If we’re Christians, then the Lord has delivered us out of slavery.  Through Christ’s work on the cross, Jesus has removed our despair and darkness and put in its place victory, strength, and freedom.  The old is gone.  The new has come.  We are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).  We need never return to Egypt.  And yet … A life of slavery still beckons to us.  We find that our old, harmful thoughts are hard to shake.  Our former unhealthy habits are hard to break.  Long-embedded patterns of shameful living continue to entangle us – day after day, month after month, even year after year.  Some days we feel weighed down by those shackles.  We long for the freedom to respond to God fully as the people He has created and redeemed us to be.  But fear and heaviness and darkness surround us.  We wonder where to turn.  We need to recognize the reality of the spiritual realm.  We need to step fully into God’s plan to heal our broken world.  We need to move into life and healing, purity, liberty, holiness, and truth.”  (Truly Free, by Robert Morris)

I’ve often joked over the course of my life how disappointed I am that I’ve never gotten to stay in a hospital.  Since I’ve never had children, suffered an illness, or had need for surgery sometimes I felt I missed out.  Oh, I don’t want to have any pain that would cause me to go the hospital … I just want a valid excuse to receive attention, you know flowers, cards, worry, friends coming to see me, etc.  As crazy as this sounds, it traces back to my mom.  And that’s the “recurring thought” I’ve had over recent months.  Because my mom was mentally ill and had one perceived sickness after another, she demanded all the attention in our home.  I became a caretaker/little parent at age six and while I was occasionally commended for my help, it wasn’t the same attention a cLittle Parenthild longs for from her parent.  I wasn’t noticed for who I was but for what I did.  And that’s where my performance issues stemmed from.  Praise God we’ve dealt a death blow to that layer of my dysfunction!  But now I realize that perhaps many of my weight struggles have been a very sick and misguided attempt for attention.  If for no one but me, because I give myself constant attention … usually with disgust as how bad I’ve let myself get.

In the book I referred to earlier Morris goes onto say, “If we continually sin, particularly over and over in the same specific area, or if we willfully sin while consciously thumbing our noses at God, then that’s a big danger sign that something deeper is going on in our lives, something influenced by evil.”

All that to say, for me, these continued weight struggles go deeper than I first thought.  It’s a matter of the heart not willpower.  What I’m also learning is that as long jesus-huggingas we live we have an enemy in hot pursuit of the good work God is doing in us, that work of freedom.  That same enemy longs to hold us in captivity to the lies and misguided truths we’ve come to embrace as grownups.


What about you?  “So today ask yourself: Where do these thoughts originate?  We can be in bondage to habitual sin and not even be aware of it.  When a recurring thought comes to you take time to dig deeper to see what’s really going on.  Jesus sets us free!  Realize freedom is offered to you by Jesus.  He always cares for you.  He always loves you.  His arms are always open wide for you to come home.” (Robert Morris)

It’s Not About the Food

It’s Not About the Food

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It may be controversial, but I think we blame the food too much when it comes to our weight.  When it comes to releasing weight and getting thin within, I personally believe it’s not about the food.  In the past, when we want to shed the pounds, we change the way we eat.  We count.  We measure.  We weigh.  We change what we eat.  Essentially, we blame the food and start to label food as “good” or “bad”.  There’s way too much emphasis put on the food, but not about the emotions or the habits…or the heart and mind.  Our physical weight and even the mental “weight” is just a symptom of what’s going on deep inside of us.  It’s not about the food itself.

People can get really defensive about food.  It has become a really personal and passionate topic.  The opinions on food changes day to day from person to person.

We can have all sorts rules when it comes to food.  We can limit our food intake.  We can count and track, but ultimately, that’s just an external change.  The thing that sticks is the internal change, in our heart, mind, and soul.  Because really, how many diets exist in this world?  Hundreds upon hundreds!  And some of us have gone from one diet to the next, from one eating style to the next, from one restrictive plan to the next, and we lose weight, we gain it back, and then we lose, and then we gain MORE back.  Why is that?  I personally believe it’s because it’s not about the food; it’s about our heart.  When we don’t get to the core issue of our eating habits, we lose sight of what’s truly important.  Our eyes are on the types of food we eat and the quantity of food we eat, and we never glance at the condition of our heart and the patterns of our thinking.  So if food isn’t the issue, why do we keep blaming the food?

When I first started this journey, I had a lot of fear about food.  I thought that if I ate sugar, that I was tempting God and that it would kill my body.  I had an extremely hard time pushing past the fears and the thoughts that plagued my mind.  I cried out to the Lord for help and He answered my prayer.  He showed me His truth.  Even before this part of the journey started, I tried all sorts of ways of eating: food combining, eating right for my blood type, eating only raw foods, juicing, counting, weighing, measuring, etc.

We know what the always-and-forever-changing opinions of this world say about food, but what does God say about food in His Word?

  • He has given us every herb and tree to eat of. (Genesis 1:29)
  • Every animal is food along with herbs. (Genesis 9:3)
  • Food has taste. (Job 6:6)
  • He causes it to grow for the service of man. (Psalm 104:14)
  • He gives all animals as food. (Psalm 136:25, Psalm 147:9)
  • He gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:7)
  • Eat only as much food as you need. (Proverbs 25:16)
  • Food is for nourishment. (Proverbs 27:27)
  • He gives us food. (Ezekiel 16:19)
  • We aren’t to worry about what we eat. (Matthew 6:25)
  • Food doesn’t defile a man. (Mark 7:19)
  • Life is more than food. (Luke 12:23)
  • Food strengthens. (Acts 9:19)
  • All food is pure.  Don’t eat with offense. (Romans 14:20)
  • Food is for the stomach and vice versa. (1 Cor. 6:13)
  • Food doesn’t make a difference in our relationship with God. (1 Cor. 8:13)
  • No one is to judge us in food and drink. (Colossians 2:16)
  • God created food to be received with thanksgiving. (1 Timothy 4:3)

I wrote down scriptures on notecards and read them each day until those fears dissipated.  I knew from His Word that I can eat and enjoy all foods, but I needed more of an understanding of what God meant.

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

And 1 Timothy 4:1-5, which says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  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.

And then I looked up both sets of scriptures in the Matthew Henry’s commentaries.  These are the notes I wrote down in my journal:

  • We are to look upon food as that which God has created; we have it from Him, and therefore must use it for Him.
  • What God has created is to be received with thanksgiving.  We must not refuse the gifts of God’s bounty, nor be scrupulous (strict) in making differences about food where God has made none; but receive them, be thankful, acknowledging the power of God, the Maker of them.
  • Not only has He given us permission to eat all foods, allowing us the liberty of the use of these things, but He also promises to feed us with food that’s convenient for us.
  • Every creature is God’s, for He made all.  Every creature of God is good.
  • The blessing of God makes every creature nourishing to us.

God also says in His Word, “Have you found honey?  Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit” (Proverbs 25:16).  This is what Matthew Henry has to say about this verse (what I wrote in my journal): He talks about how we are allowed a sober and moderate use of the delights of sense.  Honey is not forbidden.  We may eat of it with thanksgiving.  God has given us permission to make use of our taste buds.  “Eat as much as is sufficient, and no more.  The pleasures of sense lose their sweetness by the excessive use of them.  Eat food with sobriety.”  Eat between hunger and satisfaction (0-5).

Before anyone throws rotten tomatoes at me for sticking up for ALL foods–I also want to add that everyone has different convictions and preferences when it comes to food.  When Paul was addressing the food issues in Romans 14 (it’s a really good read on this topic), he was letting us know that Christ has given us the liberty to enjoy all foods.  He says not to be judgmental about it.  He says not to eat food offered to idols.  He says to eat with thanksgiving.  He says not to make others stumble by what we eat.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink. Colossians 2:16a

When I was at a certain place in my journey where the Lord was showing me that I can eat all foods, I was so tempted to go back to some of my old ways of completely cutting out sugar because the lie was still there that sugar is evil.  So as the Lord was showing me His truth that I could eat sweets within my boundaries (eating between 0-5 of hunger and satisfaction), the enemy was also trying to ensnare me with the lies that if I ate sugar then something really bad would happen.  Someone even made a comment to me that sugar is “poison”.  Wow!  And they compared it to drugs.  Ouch.  Honestly, that was another hurdle I had to jump over with the Lord’s help.  We have to be SO careful about our convictions and what we say to others.  I bet that person had no idea that what they said would trip me up and cause me to stumble.  Obviously, that person is passionate about not eating sugar, but God has been working so hard to free me from any rules man has made about food.  Now, this doesn’t mean that all I eat are sweets; I believe in eating in moderation.  What we eat over a long period of time is what counts; it’s not one meal or one day of eating that makes or breaks us.

Image courtesy of akeeris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of akeeris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And then there’s also foods that some of us cannot eat because it makes us physically ill.  Maybe you have a gluten intolerance.  Or maybe you are lactose intolerant.  Whatever the case may be, I think we can be mindful of the food our body enjoys and be careful and considerate about sharing our convictions when it comes to food.

On pages 186-189 in Thin Within, it talks about how there are pleasers, teasers, total rejects and whole-body pleasers when it comes to food.  The pleasers are foods you know you enjoy, maybe even by specific brand.  They “hit the spot and bring physical satisfaction” (page 186).  The teasers are foods that you don’t really think about until you see a picture of the food or someone mentions the food.  They aren’t as satisfying of foods, so we may think that “more is better”.  Total rejects are foods that are “simply not worth eating”.  They may be too sweet, salty, artificially flavored, etc.  Whole-body pleasers are “foods that make you feel good overall”.  It’s the “foods that your body calls out for, are enjoyable while you eat them, and they leave you feeling energized afterward” (pages 188-189). I really like how Thin Within talks about these different ways we respond to foods.  I believe different foods will fit in different categories for different people.  What may be a whole-body pleaser for me may be different for someone else.  Most of all, I just love the freedom God gives us when it comes to food.

I can either listen to what the world and the diet creators say about what I should or shouldn’t eat, or I can listen to what the Creator says about food.  I will choose the latter because that’s where my peace resides.  I’m choosing to turn my eyes away from all of the babble and confusion about it, and I’m choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus.  He won’t lead me astray.  I will listen to His voice.  This is where it all boils down to–Jesus.  He came to set us free from the law.   And I believe in that freedom, He meant for us to be free even in what we eat.  The world makes laws and rules about food, but God gives us the liberty to choose what is satisfying to us.

How about you?  Have you been bombarded with all of the “billboards” about what the world says about food?  Will you take a stand with me and turn a deaf ear to it and listen to the One who knows your needs when it comes to nourishing your body?  Maybe you do have some passionate opinions and convictions on this subject, would you be willing to join me in being extra careful about sharing those convictions?  Let’s walk in love!

P.S. Heidi wrote a great post about this a little while back.  Click here to read!