4 Places to Avoid “Yummy Food” Eating and the Breaking of Your Boundaries

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

“Yummy Food” or “Good Food” eating is what we do when the food happens  to be available and we just happen  to decide to eat it. Can you relate? It is typically, a grab-and-go sort of experience…not at all a thoughtful one!

For instance, you are making dinner and simply must taste the goods as you do so. A taste here, a taste there and you discover when all is ready that you are not  hungry for dinner when it is time to sit down with the family! BOO!

One solution to this sort of “Yummy Food Eating” is to chew gum while you are cooking/preparing food. It is typically a bit off-putting to taste something else while the gum is in your mouth! At the very least, it can help you to realize that you are being more intentional about the tasting than you thought. When I discover that my “accidental” bites aren’t quite so “accidental,” I know it is time to pray for a willing heart and renew my mind about my boundaries!

Another example of a “Yummy Food Eating” temptation is Costco and Sam’s club (or other membership club). Food samples that are out everywhere no matter which time of the day you choose to shop there. This may sound silly, but if you know you love the samples, you can actually plan to be hungry during your shopping trip at Sam’s or Costco. That way, you can enjoy the samples (though you might be “breaking” your secondary boundaries, so I recommend being intentional about focusing on the food since you will likely NOT be sitting down!) and it won’t break your boundaries. It can actually be your meal! If you end up not hungry and find yourself at one of those stores, then I recommend chewing gum as you shop, too. Again, it isn’t likely you will “accidentally” eat the samples if you are chewing gum.

A third place we may give in to “Yummy Food Eating” is at bible studies or fellowship groups. Again, you can plan your hunger (remember, this takes practice, so extend grace to yourself as you work on this!) or establish a secondary boundary, such as staying out of the kitchen. Again, if those options don’t work for you, chewing sugarless gum can.

It may sound like I chew a lot of gum! To be honest, I hate chewing gum, and you may as well. It is worth it while we are training ourselves to be more aware, though. It IS temporary! You won’t feel like you always have to do this. But for now, as you are realizing the moments of your life when you unconsciously may have had tastes of food that resulted in a “mess up,” it may do the trick.

Some of you work in an office where snacks and temptations abound literally all day long. You can “strike early” by taking samples of the foods in the office staff room and putting them in your own container in the fridge. Then you can have them when you are hungry! You can enjoy the items that other people brought without breaking your boundaries.

Plan ahead. Think through the day. Are there any potential opportunities for “Yummy Food Eating” to come calling? What will you do to prepare for it?


CONTEST WINNER: I will make that announcement later tonight. I hope you will check back!

Day 2 of the “Ditch Your Scale” Challenge: How is it going? Did you stay off the scale today? Did you need to renew your mind about it at all? Are you off to a good start today? What thoughts have you had about this as you have given this to the Lord? 🙂

How to Survive the Weekend (with your 0 to 5 Boundaries in Tact!)

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Are weekends a challenge for you?

Is your routine disrupted and, while you start the weekend with wonderful intentions, do you find that pretty consistently, you fall into more chaotic eating patterns? Perhaps weekends have historically been a time of letting down your guard, throwing all caution to the wind!

I know for me, weekends signal me to “Celebrate!” which traditionally in my life has meant “It’s time to eat!” The whole mentality for me that weekends are a time not to work at anything creates a challenge with being diligent with 0 to 5 eating boundaries.

What can we do about this so we don’t end up the other side of the weekend, disappointed by our “failures?”

Preparation is our greatest ally for the weekends. If we expect the weekend to be disruptive, let’s take time to be with the Lord when the house is quiet. Let’s renew our minds about “fun,” about 0 to 5 eating being a good, godly, boundary that we can delight in, and call on His strength to help us. Let’s put on the armor of God found in Ephesians 6.

Know that there will be challenges to your resolve, but you don’t have to just let them roll over you like a tidal wave!

Consider the forms the challenges have taken in the past:

  • A spontaneous family trip out for ice cream.
  • A game night where snack foods abound.
  • Nascar/other sports on the TV all day with people munching as they watch.
  • One of the family members trying out a new cookie recipe.

One of the best strategies I know of is to plan ahead for all the fun. Then, I can plan my hunger to happen the same time as the fun.

For instance, we can plan the ice cream outing (or the cookie baking) ahead of time! Ask the family in the morning… “Hey, let’s go out for ice cream this afternoon!” Not only will it be fun to have the outing itself, but there will be joy all day at the anticipation. Spontaneity IS fun, but so is the joy in planning ahead! Once you have the plan for the ice cream outing (or going out to dinner…whatever it might be), you can plan your hunger so that you are at a “0” when it is time to go out. It is true that planning hunger takes some experience, but you can learn it in time. Just extend grace to yourself if you have never done that before. This is a process!

Let’s renew our minds about the connection of food with fun. The truth is we can enjoy the experience without the food. We can enjoy the laughter, the joy, the emotions, the hugs, cuddles, tickles of the family…just being together… without having to break our boundaries.

Let’s come out the other side of our weekends victorious. Let’s not shrug our shoulders, throw up our hands, and figure we can’t fight the disruption to our routines that often comes on the weekends. We can do this if we are committed to it!

If we do “mess up,” let’s observe and correct, rather than observe and condemn.

Invite God into your weekend. Renew your mind! Ask the family for their support. Plan ahead for the fun.

What can you do in your home life and family to ensure that weekends still provide fun without breaking your eating boundaries?

Secondary Boundaries To Support Your Journey


In Thin Within, our primary boundary is typically eating “0 to 5” or between the parameters of physical hunger and physical satisfaction.

There are a number of behaviors that can set us up for success in keeping this primary boundary, however. If we don’t establish these “secondary boundaries,” we may find that we are not as successful in keeping our eating within 0 to 5 parameters.

In Thin Within, the most logical secondary boundaries are the Keys to Conscious Eating.


1.) Eat only when my body is hungry.  This is one of the primary boundaries so we won’t elaborate on it.

2.) Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment. This is a great secondary boundary. If we try to become calm within, even if we can’t make our environment calm, we find that we can enjoy our food. We “record” the dining experience in our minds and this goes a LONG way in helping us to keep our primary boundary of 0 to 5 eating. Judy and Arthur Halliday say that  a chaotic environment produces chaotic eating. Turn off the TV, the computer, quiet the loud noises, and try to establish a quiet spirit and environment if you can.

3.) Eat when sitting down.  Eating in the car doesn’t count! 🙂 Much of our unconscious or “mindless” eating is done while driving. Standing up to eat often means we aren’t taking note of the food we are eating. That, too, makes it easier to break out primary boundary of 0 – 5 eating.

4.) Eat when my body and mind are relaxed. Invite the Lord into your meals. When you pray asking God to calm your body, mind, and heart, it is easier to respect your primary boundary of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are no longer hungry.

5.)  Eat and drink the food and beverages my body enjoys. Be authentic. We can eat and enjoy whatever our hearts desire and whatever our bodies tell us they need—all with thankful spirits and no guilt! Be sure to acquaint yourself with the phases of Thin Within shared in yesterday’s blog post. In Thin Within there are no forbidden foods. Ask God to show you what your body needs and you may sense him nudging you in a particular direction.

6.) Pay attention to my food while eating. If you are eating with others, attempt to establish a rhythm as you eat. Look at your food, take a bite, chew deliberately and fully experience the flavor. Then, set your fork down and focus on your friends or family. Repeat. 🙂 Again, ask the Lord to help you with this and you will be amazed at how doable it is! It also helps in maintaining your primary boundary of eating 0 to 5.

7.) Eat slowly and savor each bite. Eating fast may be one of the most common reasons we overeat. We just blow right by the “satisfied” signals. As we eat more slowly, our stomachs can accurately signal our minds about when we should stop eating.

8.) Stop before my body is “full.” Again, this is a part of our primary boundary, so we don’t need to elaborate. Just be sure to stop at a place of comfort where you have had “just enough.” The goal is not “How much can I eat before I am too full?” The goal is, instead, how little does it take to be satisfied? Our bodies are remarkably efficient!

Which of these keys can act as a secondary boundary for you? Have you thought of other secondary boundaries you might establish? What are they?

Maintaining Boundaries Under Stress


While we were in Disneyland last night, my husband received a text that seemed to indicate that our flight out of Orange County (where Disneyland is) was due to leave in just a couple of hours. WHAT????

As it turns out, hubby had inadvertently made reservations for us to leave a full 24 hours before we planned to leave! Oh no!

Suddenly, Bob’s stress level was in OVER-drive as he anticipated righting this wrong and having to pay what could feasibly be $100 or more for two new tickets at the right time on the right day so late in the game.

Having had a relatively long day and knowing that some phone calls to work out details were yet ahead, we made our way out of Disneyland early.

In the video below, Bob and I talk about how we are very hungry–clearly at “0”–but didn’t want to stop for food on the way back to the condominium and why. This video talks about the temptation to eat emotionally–even when at a 0, but wanting to plan for what could happen if we do that…hungry and emotional.

Bob shares from a guy’s perspective.

We take you from initial concern through several segments until we finally show  you what we ended up doing.

What plan or strategy can you have in place so that when you are faced with STRESS you don’t blast through your boundaries? Have you ever considered waiting to eat–even if you are physically hungry–because you knew that if you started eating you might not stop? What can you do to avoid that predicament?

Note: We hope to make future videos closer to 5 minutes or less in length. Thank you for your patience with us as we get this figured out! 🙂

How To Travel and Stay Within Your Boundaries

Disneyland Lover1

Disneyland! Hubby and I LOVE Disneyland. Even though we live 400 miles away from Disneyland, we are annual pass holders and enjoy multiple visits to “The Happiest Place on Earth” each year.

So, when Bob announced that he had to travel to Oxnard (not terribly far away from Anaheim, the home of Disneyland) for business, we knew that we needed to add me :-), another day, and a side trip to Disneyland (he has a Companion Pass for me to fly free with him on Southwest). Tonight (Tuesday night) and most of Wednesday, we plan to visit the park.

This is a wonderful opportunity to share with you how we maintain our boundaries of eating 0 to 5. It also will hold us accountable!

The only thing more exciting to me than being in Disneyland is hubby joining me in videos for you. This is the first of at least a five video contract. LOL! Seriously, he will be providing the guy’s perspective in future videos.

Hubby is successful using Thin Within principles to release weight, having recently lost 25 pounds. While he isn’t a big fan of the spiritual/emotional element of the program, he has the “mechanics” part of it down with his own unique approach added to it. I would say he is definitely in “phase 2” of Thin Within, using information about food to make wiser choices. That means he considers nutrition and caloric density in his foods. He has never dieted a day in his life, so he doesn’t have the challenges with this that some of us have (including me!).

If you know any men who might appreciate hearing Bob’s take on this approach to weight loss and maintenance, let them know that Bob intends to be a part of the blog and the intention to continue to support Thin Within participants.

Below is a video we made of our lunch out at El Torito and how we go about doing that together. For some of you, this is old hat, but for others of you, it may be a new way of doing things, of thinking about food and eating out! I hope you enjoy! (Stay tuned for another vid or two about Disneyland!)


How about you? Do you have someone you travel with or go out to eat with who will enjoy sharing meals with you? Do you struggle at all with vacation eating? Do you get an “entitlement” mentality that  says that since it is a special event you can toss out your boundaries? What do you think? Does that work for you? Or does it set you up for failure, making it more difficult to return to your boundaries after the trip or meal out is over?