One of the biggest concerns I hear from those starting out on their Thin Within journey is about eating treats and sweets. It’s like there is this fear that to eat them, and that if they do eat them, they are going to indulge so much and gain weight. There is such a deep diet mentality that has taught them that eating sweets and treats is BAD. And isn’t that what diets teach us? That treats and sweets are evil temptations that have to be held at bay or they will ruin us? I really think this is a common fear when you are stepping out of the diet realm and into a journey toward freedom from the control of food.
I can understand this fear. When I first started my Thin Within journey, I was so fearful of eating carbs and sugar. I had believed a lie that they would literally kill me. It was the first thing I had to renew my mind about and seek God’s truth about. You can read about that in my testimony: CHANGED. And I praise God, because He has changed me in that area and I no longer fear eating tasty treats and sweets. I know I am free to enjoy those foods within hunger and satisfaction.
So I wanted to take some time to review some of what Thin Within talks about when it comes to our food choices. I believe our food choices are based on individual needs. No body is the same and it takes time to learn what is desirable and what isn’t beneficial individually.
In Thin Within, there are food categories called “pleasers”, “teasers”, “total rejects”, and “whole-body pleasers”. These categories help us determine our food choices. The description of these are found in the original Thin Within book for Day Eighteen. Here is a quick summary of them:
Pleasers: these foods bring physical satisfaction, they are very specific (you may even have to go to a restaurant to enjoy them), they can change from day to day.
Teasers: these foods are convenient, “tempting”, they look better than they taste, not very satisfying, wasn’t on your mind until your senses were “teased”.
Total Rejects: these foods are (for you) too sweet, too salty, too fatty, artificially flavored, don’t even taste good, don’t make you feel good.
Whole-Body Pleasers: these foods make you feel good overall, foods your body calls out for, they are enjoyable while you eat them, and they leave you feeling energized.
Everyone will have different foods that fit into these different categories. No one will have the same list for the same category. As you go about your Thin Within journey, you will learn about what foods fit in these categories, but you still have the freedom to eat them. If you have an intolerance or allergy to any type of food, you will learn to understand there is sweet freedom in choosing not to eat those foods. Your whole perspective on food changes as you go through this journey.
I used to be afraid that even though I have found freedom to enjoy all foods that at some point God was going to pull a switch and take away that freedom. But the Lord has shown me that He won’t take my freedom away; instead, He has helped me discern what foods fit into those categories. Praise God!
Personally, I enjoy a small serving of ice cream almost every afternoon. I have a favorite brand (or two). Personally, these brands of ice cream are delicious and very satisfying. One time we had a different brand of ice cream, which I ate one afternoon, and it gave me such a weird sugar high. I realized, then, that not all ice cream is equal (which sounds funny to say). I chose not to eat anymore of that particular ice cream and now I stick with my favorites. So can I enjoy eating ice cream? Yes. Has God given me freedom to eat it? Yes. And now I make sure I choose the kinds of ice cream that are delicious and satisfying.
Have I gone through periods of time where I didn’t feel “free” to have ice cream in our freezer? Yes, maybe a couple of times. And it was for a very short season and reason. It was something between me and the Lord. And you may have those seasons as well, and you may not. Everyone has their own, individual journey; that’s why it’s important not to compare or scrutinize someone else’s food choices. There are no BAD or GOOD foods listed here or in any of the Thin Within material. You are free to choose. Praise God!
During my 3rd pregnancy, I discovered that certain foods would give me horrible indigestion and just didn’t leave me feeling good. Normally, these foods are very satisfying. I realized that I had the freedom to choose to abstain from these foods for the remainder of my pregnancy. It was just for a season.
Last year, I touched on this subject in a post I entitled It’s Not About the Food. I encourage you to check it out.
So the question stands: can you enjoy sweets and treats? YES! And can you enjoy them without guilt? YES! God has given you the freedom to enjoy them along with ALL other foods. Consider your preferences. Ask Him for discernment. But do not attach food laws or rules. You are FREE to choose! (Romans 14)
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. 1 Timothy 4:1-5
I cannot conclude without mentioning this important point: the more you connect any food with being “bad”, the more deprived you will feel and the more that food will tempt you to indulge and overeat. So if you legalize the food in the beginning (Phase One: Freedom Phase), it won’t matter if you have a gazillion of those things in your fridge, freezer, or cupboard–because you will know you have the freedom to enjoy those foods within hunger and satisfaction. But as soon as you start to label foods “good” and “bad”, you are on a slippery slope. I know this from experience. And this is a very common occurrence for those who are seeking freedom from the control of food.
So you are free to enjoy ALL foods! Even sweets and treats! The Lord will guide you in this! Ask Him for help and discernment! He will show you His kind of freedom for you in your journey. God is SO faithful! Oh…and you can enjoy ALL foods within hunger and satisfaction AND release weight! Isn’t that wonderful news! Praise God!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1