Happy Independence Day!!

Happy Independence Day!!


FireworksI am celebrating Independence Day! Yes, I know it is the week of July 4th and we celebrate the freedom and independence America gained back in 1776. But, this is also my year of independence and I am celebrating! What have I gained my independence from you may ask?

Man made dieting rules

Counting and measuring – calories, grams, points, etc.

Eating only certain types of foods or restricting certain types of foods

The scale

Worrying if I am up or down in weight

Worrying if I am thin enough or fit enough

Worrying over how others look at me or what they think about me

Worrying if the clothes I have laid out for tomorrow will fit

Listening to Satan’s condemnation

Beating myself up for calling learning opportunities failures

Wishing I was someone or something I am not

Feeling like I was living in chains

You see, I’ve found something beautiful, and I want to share it with you. What I’ve found is freedom in my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. He said to me, “Come, Deanna (feel free to put your own name here, because if you are reading this, I know He is calling out to you too!!), because you are weary and carry heavy burdens. I want to give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and I will give you rest for your soul. My yoke will fit you perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)  matt 11v28I found that I was spending an excessive amount of time thinking about nothing more than food and my life seemed to be going on without me. I was obsessive, focused only on myself. I had an emptiness that I kept trying to fill with things that never seemed to satisfy. I had the self-will to change and fix my life, but as we all know, self-will is weak and powerless. Do you identify with me? Well, Jesus met me right where I was and opened my eyes. He revealed to me the truth of where my heart was. He pointed out that I was worrying about my life, what I was going to eat or not eat, what the scale was going to tell me the next time I stepped on, what I was going to wear or even if my clothes would fit. He told me how my life was for more than food and my body was for more than  clothes.(Matthew 6:25-34)

My life is for Him and my body is His temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

Through the program of Thin Within/Hunger Within, I have been spending time with my LORD in a way that I have never done before. He has brought me to a place of surrender. I surrenderI’ve surrendered my dependence on all of the things I have listed above and what a difference my life is today compared to where I was. I have also learned a beautiful paradox of walking with the LORD in this way. By allowing Him in every area of my life and heart (and I mean every dark and hidden corner!!), I learned that I can really celebrate the independence from all those things I have listed above by being dependent on the One who is faithful to grant me the freedom from them. To find independence, I have to be dependent. My freedom has come from being free to trust Him fully. My freedom has come from throwing up my hands in surrender, knowing that in and of  myself, I never had what I needed to break free from disordered eating and thinking.

The Word of God and prayer are the weapons I use to keep from going back into my old ways. The temptation is still there to fall back into what is familiar, but as long as I feed on God’s Word daily, He is faithful to complete this good work He has started in me. My loving Father has shown me where the pleasant boundaries lie that keep me safe and in His will for my life. Whenever any issues come up that make me want to run into the arms of false comforts, I stop and lay them at the feet of Jesus, with thanksgiving. I know that He is able to set me free from worry and fear about anything. The blessing is not only that I have let go of my will for His will, but that by doing so, I have opened my heart to healing and freedom in so many other areas. With His strength, I have let go of anger and frustration. With His strength, I have let go of trying to get my family and friends to fit into a mold of my own making. With His strength, I have let go of being selfish with my time so that God can use me to serve others. With His strength, I have let go of all thoughts that “I can’t” because with God’s leading, nothing is impossible. My job is to stay firmly dependent on Jesus, the Lover of my soul.

Where are you today? Are you ready to celebrate independence with me? Take my hand and let’s walk together in full surrender and dependence so we can shout together, “FREEDOM!!”Gal_5-1



Have you ever been on a detour? You are on your way from point A to point B and you find yourself crossing X, Y, and Z?


I went on a detour recently with my weight loss journey. It is so easy to be swayed off the straight, tried and true path, and I was swayed. Luckily, my loving Abba Father led me back to the path He wants me on and opened my eyes to watch out for any detour signs ahead.

I was feeling worn out, tired and was not sleeping well. A friend had been suggesting a line of supplements that promised better health, energy, better sleep and a decrease in appetite (which leads to weight loss). I am a cheerleader for staying healthy using any natural ways possible, so I jumped on board. I signed up and started the “line”. Even though I wasn’t taking them for weight loss, I know that in the back of my mind I was hoping for some weight release. Actually, I was hoping for big things.

During this time, my mind kept wandering away from Thin Within/Hunger Within. I looked at the success stories and started reading the recommendations about how to eat, what to eat and when to eat. My friend even told me I needed to eat first thing in the morning, whether I was hungry or not, because I needed to get my engine running. And, my mind kept wondering to diets and what I should be doing to move things along.

Then something happened. I realized that I actually felt worse on these supplements. My stomach was getting upset and I was sleeping worse. I was confused because what I had been expecting wasn’t happening. Where was my success story? I prayed and took the mess to the Lord, and do you know what He laid on my heart? He said, “I am here. I have been here all along. My plan works. My plan is what is best for you. Have you come to Me?”

So, here is some honesty. I have recently been haphazardly following our 0 to 5 eating boundaries. When I decide I am going to eat outside of them, I do it. I hadn’t been renewing my mind in God’s Word when I felt tempted to break my boundaries or after I had broken them. I hadn’t been using the other Keys to Conscious eating as they are laid out. My accountability partner and I realized recently that we were treating our Thin Within/Hunger Within programs as another diet. To me, a diet is something you go on and off at a whim. I have never really been on a diet that I have truly seen as “lifelong”.

But, God’s plan is a lifelong plan. His plan honors the way He created my body to eat. When I listen to the cues my body naturally gives, I eat with joy between hunger and satisfaction. When I follow these boundaries, I don’t mindlessly eat at night (which causes sleep disruption that leads to feeling worn out and tired). When I follow my body’s cues, I crave whole body pleasers instead of taste bud teasers (and those total rejects).

My short detour only lasted a month. I am back on the path of Thin Within/Hunger Within. My eyes are no longer on the bright sparkling promises of another program. For today, I am committing to the plan God has for me, and when I am tempted or when I fall, I am using the tools that are right there for me. I am embracing the detour I took as a learning experience, and one I needed to take in order to bring me right back where God wants me.

Embrace Detours

What about you, dear reader? Have you taken a detour? Turn to God, and reach out for help. You will get back on the right path.

Facing Challenges

Facing Challenges


3023_10153859066186079_4312427224707664508_n“If you faced any challenges in this last month, raise your hand!”

Several months ago I wrote a blog about this. Over the last month or so, I found I needed to revisit it as a reminder to myself! I can imagine that a lot of us who read this can relate to challenges that happen from time to time.  Maybe you face challenges every day! So, I think it is worth looking at this subject again.

Body Challenges


One BIG challenge I am facing every day is with my body. I am currently going through menopause1412637_10153859542021079_333653843032504061_o (or have hit menopause….) and my body is doing some strange (and unexpected) things!  One thing in particular that I really don’t like is my body just doesn’t want to release weight but instead would rather shift it to different areas of my body! Add to that hot flashes, occasional dizziness and appetite spikes and cravings.



Other Challenges

Another challenge has been many different and big life changes going on with my family.  My son just graduated from college, my husband just resigned from his ministry position at our church (he was bi-vocational) and I just went full-time at my job. (which will not make up the difference financially….but that’s another story of faith!)

.Add to that my family coming to town for my son’s graduation (I wrote about that in an earlier blog).

Then for his graduation trip, we went  to Disney World for a week! Yes, it was fun, but can we say FOOD, FOOD, FOOD???

I found it has been difficult to stay focused and eat mindfully with all the challenges going on.


All of us can relate to the struggles of life.


  • You might have three little ones running around and pulling at you juggling-actfrom every direction.
  • You might be one of those people that have to carpool all over the place and that is your life.
  • You might be someone who has a sickness in your family or you are a caregiver for your aging parent.
  • You can fill in the blank.

We all know that life can be stressful and unpredictable.


How in the world do we stay focused?

How in the world do we not just jump right back into a pan of brownies and swim around while throwing it all in our mouths? How do we keep from going back to food for comfort and sanity?

Although, I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, I can tell you what I do.


I just keep practicing.

  • I practice saying “no” when deep in my heart I already know that I don’t need the food.
  • I practice eating 0 to 5.
  • I practice the different keys to conscious eating that help me stay in my boundaries.

I can only do this in HIS strength, which means I also practice some other important things!


I surrender things to the Lorda girl's hands are uplifted in prayer.

Sometimes I am giving the Lord the same thing over and over because I’m going through a hard time. That’s what I have to do. I surrender it up to the Lord and I lay it down at his feet.


I take time to spend with the Lord.

Even if it’s just a sentence prayer in the shower or praying while I’m washing the dishes. It may even be just singing a simple praise song over and over again. It may be renewing my mind with His word or listening to worship music.


I know that if I seek Him, keep renewing my mind with His truth and try to follow Him as best I can then I will remember:


He will meet me where I am and give me the strength to carry on.




stop beating yourself up

I don’t practice beating myself up when I mess up. I have to stop and I have to just take a moment to say,

“Lord I knew that that extra piece of pie was not going to make me feel better. I thank you that after I took one bite, I realized it and I knew I wasn’t hungry and so I stopped.”

I don’t beat myself up about the one bite. I celebrate the fact that I only took one and I walked away.

Maybe for you it’s that you ate the whole piece of pie (or whatever). BUT you don’t have to beat yourself up for the one piece. Celebrate the fact that you didn’t eat the whole pie! Try to look at the positive and cling to what God is doing in you!


I try to focus on the good things that God is doing. I try to thank HIM.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6

This peace that he talks about may not be something that’s instantaneous in my soul but it is a peace that’s deep in my soul knowing that no matter what, He is still there with me.

Basically, it comes from building a relationship with the Lord. Relationships don’t come easy and they don’t come instantaneously. There’s a give and take in relationships. And it is the same with the Lord. I’m not going to be perfect. Only God is.  I can rely on His perfection to help me get through the rough times.

So, no matter what rough time you might be facing….how big or how little… remember to PRACTICE.

PRACTICE relying on Him, renewing your mind with His truth, surrendering to Him and allowing Him to love you through it all.



Romans 12,1-2

Dear readers, have you grabbed onto the importance of renewing your mind in God’s Word? In good times and in troubled times, this command from God’s Word in Romans 12:1-2 never fails to bring me peace and understanding. Whether I pick up on something I need to hear from my daily Bible reading, or the Lord places an area of my life He wishes to work on in my mind, or a topic keeps being placed in front of my face, digging in the Word and then praying about it is the way I renew my mind.

The other day, I was lead to read John 6:63 –

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

This scripture hit me hard because since summer started I have been floundering with my boundaries of 0 to 5 eating. I would like to blame the steady stream of birthdays and graduation parties, but that would be a lie. There are also many more opportunities for drinking during all those parties, and if you happen to drink, you will probably notice like I do, that overeating is so much easier, but blaming this too would be a lie. It is my flesh wanting what it wants, when it wants and in the quantities it wants. I was reading old blog posts that Heidi Bylsma wrote from back at the beginning of our blog (January 2007). She called what I am talking about “Recreational Eating” and boy, is that a great description about what has been going on. Am I following my boundaries? No. Do I feel good? No. Am I comfortable? No. Am I using the tools? No. Am I happy about it? No. What am I going to do? I’m going to renew my mind. And as Heidi is fond of telling us, when you fall off the horse, dust yourself off and get right back on. so I am back on my “horse” and I am continuing on my journey.

Each day we have a choice, dear reader. We can choose to follow our flesh or we can choose to follow the Spirit. One counts for nothing and one counts for life. When I am living the way I have been this month, I don’t feel like I am living at all. I am tired and I am blah. Here is what I wrote in my journal after meditating on the scripture from John 6:63:

Lord, my flesh is greedy for comfort. It seeks what is not of You. It is not honoring to Your will for me. It is not honoring to Your Word. It draws me from feeling Your presence in my life. It listens to the lies of the evil one. It seek s self-gratification. It does not want to selflessly give. My soul and heart cry out to You for deliverance from my flesh. Because of Christ Jesus I can choose whom I serve. I can choose to continue to be a slave to sin or I can choose Christ and be a slave to righteousness. Today, I choose Christ. I choose to be weak so that His strength be made manifest in my life.


I choose to follow Christ.

I choose to honor God with my body.

I choose to bring the Lord into my mealtimes.

I choose to take my frustrations and lay them at the feet of Jesus.

I choose to praise and glorify my Triune God…God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit who brings comfort, discernment, conviction and peace.


Dear friends, let’s renew our minds today so that we can keep our focus on God, the healer of our hearts and minds. Will you pray Psalm 119:37 with me?

Turn my eyes away from worthless things: preserve my life according to Your Word.


My “Dirty Little Secret” (part 2)

My “Dirty Little Secret” (part 2)


Telling+a+secret-thumb-572xauto-204006-500x401My Dirty Little Secret (part 2)

Last week I shared with you my “dirty little secret”, about how I wanted to give up and was so discouraged because my body was not releasing weight.  I have been so frustrated because I *felt* like I have been eating between hunger and fullness! Why, oh why have I not been releasing weight but seem to be going in the wrong direction? I was even tempted to go back to a diet!



The thought of going back to a diet is like asking me to go back to prison!

I just can’t do that!



So, As I usually do, I cried out to the Lord to show me what HE wants me to do with all of this. I have been praying and seeking HIM.

The next day, I wanted to share what God revealed to me with my good friend and accountability partner,  Deanna Burris (who is another author for this blog). We feel comfortable enough to be honest with each other and so I had already shared my frustrations with her.

And now, I want to share it with you:

Good Morning, Dear Friend.

I think God has whispered something to me today. I have been wondering (more than praying….) about what to do regarding my weight gain. I have been thinking about diet pills, trying “healthy eating”, reading another intuitive eating book ….just whatever.

Do I REALLY want to go back to the diet lies???


Also, God has shown me that I’ve been lying to myself….

He  has shown me the TRUTH

This morning the Lord ever so gently showed me that although I think I’m eating 0-5, I am not eating mindfully. I am distracted most of the time and honestly, with letting go of some of my co-dependent behavior,  feeling full (probably an 8) brings me emotional comfort.

So lately I say I have been eating in my boundaries, but when examining and getting real with myself, I have not. And I think there probably have been many more times that I have had the blinders on about this.



Instead of guilt, I am feeling HOPE!


There is hope because it’s NOT Thin Within that’s “not working” but I’ve not been honest with myself. Also, I am not beating myself up about my body or how I’ve been coping with things.

I am going g to prayerfully seek the Lord in this now that He’s shown me some things.

  • I admit to feeling a little rebellious in that I don’t want to stop eating over the counter or while watching TV. (The Lord gently showed me that I now rarely eat without doing these things). 
  • I’ve gone back to eating out of large bags of food instead of serving myself a small portion.

When I look back on the last year, I see that I only have rare days when I stay within these secondary boundaries, thinking I can just listen to my stomach. But what happens is THIS:

Because I’m distracted, I’m not really listening.

I’m just stopping when I feel like it and have eaten more than I really needed (I think a 6 or 7 has become my new 5). No condemnation here, just being honest with myself. 





  • I am going to give my body grace with its shape since I am in menopause.
  • I have gone thru loads of BIG stresses (and am doing some hard and deep work with in Screenshot_2016-05-26-10-36-50-1myself with the LORD…some huge layers of grave clothes God is working on and has been for a while…).  So there is GRACE there, too in regards to how my body has been reacting.
  • I am going to be on my face before the Lord for direction on what secondary boundaries HE wants for me so that my primary boundaries (0-5) can be kept on a regular basis.
  • I am opening my hands that have been grasping food for comfort etc. and grabbing on to JESUS, HIS PLAN for me and HIS FREEDOM.



Most of all……I am surrendering to HIM.










What about you? When you examine yourself, do you find there are things you need to surrender to the Lord?  Are you being honest with yourself? Are there boundaries you might have let “slip”.   If this is so, TAKE HEART and have HOPE for HE has given us the tools we need in Thin Within and Hunger Within. Let’s use these tools that have been given to us!