Week of August 10-16 – Assignment

Hi, everyone! This week I sure enjoyed using the tools in chapters 22 and 23. Did you? I love that I was reminded of valuable, rich ways of growing in my walk with the Lord by personalizing scripture, by praying scripture and the other suggestions for strengthening my belief system. Loved that and will continue to use these tools!

This week, let’s go for it and attempt to complete chapters 24, 25, and 26. This will leave us with one more week, when we will complete the book…but don’t rush ahead yet! I hope you will stick with us this week and really work through this material.

Chapter 24 will really challenge us to see what we are willing to do in order to accomplish the goals that we felt God called us to set earlier on in our study. I hope you will prayerfully read, study, and do the work in this chapter. It is bound to exhort us…maybe even rebuke us a bit, but God is faithful and will strengthen us. His Word says that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness!

Chapter 25 is a great chapter to help us to plan strategies for how we can keep our godly boundaries in difficult circumstances. Having an “advance battle plan” can really make all the difference in the world!

Chapter 26 will also spur us to evaluate the difference between godly satisfaction and more fleshly gratification.

Continue to praise God for His attributes! Share any gratitudes that you may want to with us here at this blog in the comments or let us know where to find your blog online where you tell about what God is doing!

Let’s recommit to eating when we are hungry (only), stopping when we are no longer hungry and going to God whenever we are drawn to food at any other time!

Hangeth thou in there! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yoda was Right!

“Size matters not” as one famous Jedi once correctly said….There may not be much godly wisdom that comes from the 3 foot tall (or is he shorter than that?) sage of Star Wars infamy, but he is definitely right about this. I think to a large degree, this is God’s own wisdom!


If life is about my body and my size and weight, then I have failed big time since October 2008.

Oh yes, indeed! In fact, what better description of “failure” can there be in this world than to finally, after years of struggling with losing weight, gaining it, losing weight, gaining it, writing about it all and the deeper work God wants to do, losing weight, gaining it some more, writing about it some more, then finally losing it…and keeping it off (!!!), “arriving” and “camping there,” earnestly striving to encourage others….only to gain weight back!?!?!?

The enemy has had a hey day with me over this…and, as you know if you have followed this blog at all, “FAILURE” has been a label I have tried to dodge–on some days better than others. Some days I have just let the label roll over me like a Mack truck.

..but the truth of the matter is, God has allowed this to happen in my life so that I could catch sight of much greater truths no matter what size I am! Size 12 or size 14…it makes no matter. SIZE MATTERS NOT!

The reality is…this doesn’t have to BE the “failure” I have made it out to be. In fact, I think God has something to say about this:

33 He turned rivers into a desert,
flowing springs into thirsty ground,

34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
because of the wickedness of those who lived there.

35 He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs;

36 there he brought the hungry to live,
and they founded a city where they could settle.

– Psalm 107:33-36

Has your fruitful land become a salt waste? Maybe God is trying to get your attention to teach you a tremendously important lesson: that success or failure is not the basis of your self-worth. Maybe the only way you can learn this lesson is by experiencing the pain of failure. In His great love, God leads us through experiences that are difficult but essential to our growth and development. The Search for Significance, pages 40-41

My rivers and flowing springs…my “fruitful land” if you will…has been turned into desert and thirsty ground. My “success” has been turned to “failure,” for the sake of a greater work he is doing. What relief there is in rolling with this! No, it doesn’t mean I throw in the towel on maintaining godly boundaries! Not at all! It means, I am discovering my natural God-given size (as opposed to my unnatural caffeine-given size), but more– I am discovering a “supernatural, God-given character change!” It is worth it! OH! It is worth it! All of this baggage I have carried for so long is being exposed by this…by this! It is amazing that He can do this.

In exposing it, it is being dismantled…”unpacked” as it were. I am not carrying it into each and every situation. All because I gained a few pounds! I love it! Truly I do.

I am ok with it.

And now, I have bought new Levis. ๐Ÿ™‚

Size matters not!

Worth Not Shame Part 5 – SO WHAT? :-)

When it comes to walking this thing out in the dust of the earth…SO WHAT? Great theological truths like:

I have been justified by God.
I am reconciled to God.
I am 100% accepted by and acceptable TO God right now where I am

…leave one wondering “So what?” “How does this impact my life right now?” “I just want to lose weight!” “I want to be THIN!”

The authors of Get Thin Stay Thin (formerly Thin Again and Silent Hunger) don’t leave us wondering:

When we know that our value is based on our new identity in Christ, we take on a godly sense of self-worth. With this comes a new direction and purpose in our lives: to live in such a way as to honor the one who laid down his life to give us security and significance. Get Thin Stay Thin, page 108

I can honestly say that this is happening with me now. My beliefs are finally making it through to my heart and to my actions. It has been a tremendously slow process, but I see the fruit. My actions really are affected by what I believe. And how we act sometimes reveals what we really believe in spite of what we say!

For so long, my theology and my reality haven’t seemed anything like one another. I guess in many ways, I didn’t really believe what I said I did! It comes back to that old illustration of “If I say I believe the chair will hold me but refuse to sit in it, do I really believe the chair will hold me?” My action, or inaction, shows what I really believe about the chair.

Our beliefs have a very powerful influence on our eating habits and our identity. …we must set aside the false beliefs that determined our old character and actions and enter into our renewed mind. Only then will we experience the renewal of our beliefs, thoughts, and actions and ultimately the transformation of our character. Our goal is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can discard the fat machinery of the past and establish present time eating. GTST, p. 114

Again, fat machinery is those things we believe or do sort of “automatically” that result in eating without engaging the brain. They can be conditioned responses (turn on a video and out comes the popcorn) or responses to trauma or other emotions (we celebrate by having a feast) or even unworkable beliefs (have to eat 3 “square” meals a day to be healthy)…that sort of thing. Many of the things that affect our eating, as we have seen, are based in false beliefs or believing lies. We want to throw out all of those beliefs and allow God to renew our minds, transform our thinking. As we embrace TRUTH and take on new beliefs, our actions will be affected!

A solid sense of your identity and worth is the precursor to your ability to eat and live according to God’s intent and to being the person he designed you to be. GTST, p. 118

Lord, I pray that we might cast aside all the unworkable beliefs and lies that we have knowingly or unwittingly embraced. May we embrace the truth that you have redeemed us, forgiven us, and stand as Almighty Judge of the Universe declaring us NOT GUILTY–we have been reconciled and justified. Amazing, Lord. May this truth affect our actions…May we know when we reach for food outside of godly boundaries that we were created for more than this. Help us to respect ourselves with the esteem with which you have attributed to us. We belong to you. You purchased us. We are yours. May we treat “your property” appropriately, Lord, and allow your truth to establish our sense of value and worth. No matter who may reject, hurt, or fail me, this great truth–that you LOVE and ACCEPT me unconditionally–over-rides that…it is astounding. Thank you, Lord. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Conscious Eating Not Compulsive Eating Part 2

When you get ready to have a movie night at home, you pop a DVD in and what do you do next? No home movie night is complete without…?

It is 12:00 noon…time for…?

Or you go to the movies with a friend and do you sit in the movie empty-handed? Or…?

Or you go to the county or State Fair…other than looking at exhibits and riding rides, what else do you do?

It is holiday time and friends or family gather. What is always a part of the event?

Or you have plans for a Saturday evening and they are canceled…again…what is your response?

You get on the scale and it reads a weight that you aren’t happy with. What then?

Most of these occasions include FOOD no matter what–without regard for physical hunger. If we watch a DVD, we get out the snacks. It is Noon, time for lunch. At the movie theater we get a tub of popcorn and a coke. The State Fair…oh my…weird foods that we look forward to eating because we only get to have them once a year. Who waits for hunger? Getting together with friends or family? Has to be at a restaurant or around a table of *some* kind with a good meal! Saturday evening plans canceled, a feeling of loneliness and we find solace in food. The scale says we are up two pounds and we get discouraged and figure why bother caring and start eating regardless of our body’s need.

There is a mechanism that is in place in our lives…it causes us to go on “auto-pilot” at times.

If we want to support our godly boundaries of eating when we are hungry and stopping when we aren’t hungry any longer, we have to recognize and expose that there are things that cause almost an automated response in us to eat! The Hallidays call this “Fat Machinery” in their books.

Sometimes, “fat machinery” can be like those things I mentioned above. It typically falls into two categories…1.) conditioned responses (like the movie and popcorn) and 2.) emotional stimuli – like a sense of failure, rejection, celebration or loneliness triggering eating responses.

Last week, I wrote the following in my journal:

I wonder if some of my struggle with eating right now has to do with shame I feel from failing–from no longer keeping the weight off…the weight that was kept off for over a year. I am not continuing to gain, thankfully, but I am 10 pounds up from my lowest weight. If I blew it over the holidays–which I did–and gained some back–which I did–and felt ashamed, guilty, and exposed–which I did–then maybe a “fat machinery” is in operation for me. Maybe I am eating now in response to the pain, shame, and guilt and self-contempt that have come as a result of this “failure.”


The sad thing is that my behavior which is sort of automatic–a part of my “fat machinery,” results in yet more shame and guilt! This results in yet more inappropriate eating outside of godly boundaries and it is a downward spiral!

Unless I stop it.

My struggle with my eating in obedience to godly boundaries has definitely been reminiscent of things long ago. Things that, in my pride, I thought were behind me. I think what happened with me is what was described in earlier pages of the Get Thin Stay Thin book and which I blogged about earlier. When I lost all the weight, I had a false sense of value, a false sense of achievement that sort of masked the real underlying issue–that I tend to do things with an eye on my performance and winning approval of others. Because I was “successful” and stayed progressively “successful” early on as I was releasing the weight and as I kept it off, I never realized the underlying issue of looking to others for my sense of worth or value. My false belief (or belief of a lie) that what others may think of me defines who I am and my value, needed to be brought to the surface. God alone defines my worth and value.

So here I am now. Dealing with it…which is a good thing. I guess I can say it is worth it. This is one of those things I mean when I say that “Thin Within isn’t about losing weight.” I mean, we all can lose weight. Most of us have been good at dieting, but we haven’t dealt with the reason we keep returning to the same old eating patterns and habits that have caused us to be overweight or feel bad about ourselves. The underlying reason we keep gaining the weight back again.

This leg of my journey, God is definitely not letting me blow by the real underlying reasons for things. We are going deep, I guess. It isn’t fun and I would sometimes much rather be in my Levis again thinking all is well and good and that I am “successful.”

But the Lord is after Truth. Because Truth is what really sets us free. He is showing me daily that he is more about my heart than he is about my size.

Conscious Eating Not Compulsive Eating Part 1

Ever find yourself face first in a package of Oreos and wonder “How did I get here?” Chapter four in Get Thin Stay Thin addresses many of the challenges we face that cause us to eat compulsively. The desire is that we might change things around a bit, and become more present in the moment and aware of the Lord, his sufficiency, his strength and provision for what really ails us.

I am reminded:

It takes courage to receive freedom. It takes courage to change. GTST, p. 79

Since coming off of my over-use of caffeine, there is a bit of extra weight that won’t seem to budge. My wonderfully comfortable Levi jeans that I lived in for over a year after releasing 100 pounds are so snug that I have stopped wearing them. ๐Ÿ™ I wonder if THIS is my truly *natural* God-given size…and the size I was before was *UN*natural because of the use of caffeine to be there.

A part of me feels drawn to drinking diet soda again (I was never without a can or big 64 oz cup near at hand!)…and just see if I could get back into my jeans again–you know, a sort of experiment. But I know I would be selling out if I did that.

It does take courage to receive freedom. It does take courage to change. I want to fit in those jeans again, darn-it! But at what price? So I press on, steering clear of the stronghold that had me firmly in its clutches for so many years. No diet soda for me…not even a drop. I would never be able to handle it in moderation. The price I pay is to be a size bigger perhaps. That galls me, though…I tell ya!

So what might you have to do to receive freedom? What changes is the Lord beckoning to you to allow Him and His strength to perform in you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Some folks feel like some foods are “triggers” for them that cause them to go nuts with certain foods. I realized during this past week that it isn’t the food that is the “trigger.” It is the emotion allowed to go unchecked that is my “trigger.” I love the idea that a food can be a “trigger” because then I can blame the food. But I see that it isn’t the food at all….at least not for me. It is my emotion…accompanied by pride that says, “I can handle this myself, thank you very much,” instead of bowing to the Lord and offering him what I am feeling. Yup, that is my “trigger!”

Yesterday was a good example of this. I was frustrated with my intermittent internet service when I was working on a new website for a new and very valued client. I couldn’t get the work I had done uploaded…ALL DAY. I found myself not giving a flying fig about “0” and eating in response to this frustration. (Seems to me that events like this could also explain the weight not coming off…but let’s not go there…denial is such a nice place to live…err…not…)

The things that stand in the way of applying the principles [Keys to Conscious Eating] and using the hunger scale [the practice of waiting for “0” or true physiological hunger to eat and stopping at a “5” or satisfied] are behaviors we call “Fat Machinery.” Fat machinery is unconscious, automatic, or inappropriate eating that is activated by external or internal stimuli. What this means is that much of our eating is done for the wrong reasons–social pressure, anxiety, frustration, and a variety of emotional stimuli that have nothing to do with our body’s need for nourishment. When we are wrapped up in our grave clothes, our eating is activated by these stimuli and we move through life like robots or automatons, reaching for food unconsciously when someone or something activates our “eat” button. GTST p. 81

Lord, today, I want to be mindful–conscious, aware–of you and of the things that would ordinarily cause me to grab food even when I am not hungry. I feel stressed about the day ahead and I know that this is not from you. That in you there is peace and joy. I give you the concerns I have and ask that you BE Lord. Please move in to my heart and life right now. Help me not to feel the stress of a rushed morning. I want to worship you, Lord…this entire day, I want to live as an offering to you, a praise to my King. I know that when I do this, when I invite you into the present moment, that nothing can lure me to food outside of your godly boundaries, Lord. Thank you for your boundaries that are there to protect me from outside harmful things and to keep me where I need to be to experience Your best for me. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.