Weight Loss Bible Study Day 1

Today is the big day! πŸ™‚ Here is a video (10 minutes) that highlights some of my thoughts as we launch into this “Weight Loss Bible Study.”

  • Click here to go to day one of Barb Raveling’s bible study. You will want to have this page at Barb’s blog open.
  • As indicated at Barb’s site under The Plan section, select a Primary Boundary. For our purposes, we will assume it is 0 to 5 eating.
  • Select your secondary boundaries. For that, you could have it be anything you want that will support your primary boundary. You may want to consider any of the other Keys to Conscious Eating:
  1. Eat in a calm environment by reducing distractions.
  2. Eat when sitting.
  3. Eat when body and mind are relaxed.
  4. Eat and drink only the things your body loves.
  5. Pay attention to your food when eating.
  6. Eat slowly, savoring each bite.

The MOST important thing about our study and Barb’s material is this:

We will renew our minds. We will change the way we think. We will learn to think God’s thoughts after him about food, eating, weight, him, ourselves, etc…

Romans 12: 2 Says “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Suggestions about Picking a “Renewing of the Mind” Goal

I wrote a post (with a video just for this) last Wednesday. If you haven’t seen it, check out this link. Consider prayerfully (ask the Lord to show you) if there is any way that you should think differently about eating, your body, food, your weight, emotions, about Him, about people that challenge you. Is there a theme that impacts your success in adhering to your godly boundaries? There usually is. for many of us, it might be “I look to food to make me happy” or to reward me, or to energize me, or to comfort me, or… The list can be quite long. For me, my renewing of the mind goal has to focus, for now, on thinking differently about 0 to 5 eating. I want to be sold out, committed, delighting in 0 to 5 eating and all that I know God does when I live within this godly boundary.

My renewing of my mind goal: “To think God’s thoughts about 0 to 5 eating. To see 0 to 5 eating as a wonderful joy, and a path of freedom.”

I might end up getting more specific, too, as time goes on, breaking this renewing of the mind goal down into several smaller thoughts.

HOW will I renew my mind about 0 to 5 eating? What does it look like to “renew my mind” about this? I share that in the video, and here are My Affirmations about 0 to 5 eating (click on that link) that I can read in the morning and again later in the day when I know my resolve may weaken…and again, if need be, after dinner. There are times when I need to read this out loud every time IΒ before I eat! I want to GO AFTER THE WAY I THINK during this study. I hope you do, too! I want to crucify the lies I believe and replace wrong thinking with thinking God’s truth. I have my affirmations about 0 to 5 list on my Blackberry. You could put your list of true thoughts about whatever it is on an index card or piece of paper, if you want.

Decide what you need to think differently about relative to your weight loss journey, then write down the truths you want to start thinking about whatever it is. Decide when you will refer to that list. I suggest in the morning before the day gets rolling and any other time of the day that might challenge you relative to the thing you want to think differently about (for me, this is afternoon about 3pm and again right after dinner). Also, refer to the list after you have an “episode” of eating outside of your boundaries. Observe and correct and refocus by reading your affirmations again.

Click here for more information at Barb’s blog about renewing of the mind.

  • Do the questions at Barb’s blog called “Following Your Boundaries.” Journal these. Copy and paste them into a document if you want to have the file on your computer. Spend time with this. THIS will renew your mind, too!

This week’s ASSIGNMENT:

1. Today: Choose a renewing of your mind goal. (Tell us in the comments what it is…your name gets entered in the drawing for free books each time you comment.)

2. Today: Write down thoughts that are godly to think instead of the thoughts you have about whatever it is. I call this my “affirmations.”

3. Today: Plan when will you choose to read and pray over the list of affirmations? (Should be before you are tempted, but times when you know you are vulnerable and also anytime after you have given in to temptation.) Once you plan for it, you want to DO it. This will take practice! Extend grace to yourself! Remember, if you don’t want to renew your mind (or go over your list of affirmations about whatever it is you want to renew your mind about), it is good to renew your mind about that, too. Remember, at the heart, renewing the mind is thinking God’s thoughts after him…thinking TRUTH. What is truth about renewing the mind? πŸ™‚

4. Today: Select what your secondary boundaries will be. Write them down.

5. OPTIONAL (but VERY helpful): Get an accountability partner. (If you want professional coaching as you go through this material, see this page.)

6. Complete the questions in Day One of Barb’s Weight Loss Bible study entitled “Following Your Boundaries.” Share here any thoughts that you have upon completing these questions.

7. Before next Monday, complete Day 2 of Barb’s Weight Loss Bible Study.

8. Let’s talk about this material here! I will be doing our first drawing this Friday. If you comment, your name is put in the drawing. If you post at Barb’s site, I will count it, too, just let me know at the comments at her site that you want your name in the drawing for the TW materials. I won’t automatically assume that! The winner of the drawing each week will get to choose between a copy of the book, Thin Within, or a copy of the book, Hunger Within, or a one-hour coaching session on the phone or on Skype with me.Β The more you comment, the more entries you get in the drawing! My desire is that we build a community to support one another as we go through Barb’s material with a “Thin Within Spin.” πŸ™‚

Whew! This is a lot of stuff! This week, I will address your questions as they come up and provide additional material here at the blog. If you have a question and a preference for a video or written response, let me know that, too. Like if you have dial-up, I don’t want to respond with a video! πŸ™‚

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40 Responses to Weight Loss Bible Study Day 1

  1. doublejay4me March 4, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Hi! When I try to go to Barb’s website a warning comes up that says her site has been known to transmit malicious software or be linked to scams and frauds. It will not allow me to continue on to her site. ANY idea what might be going on??

    • Heidi Bylsma March 4, 2013 at 7:29 am #

      I have forwarded her your comment so she knows about it. you aren’t the first to experience this. I don’t have any problems when I go to her site. It is a WordPress site like this one is. I think it is hosted by WordPress, too! What kind of software do you use for security? Norton? McAffee? It might help Barb to know that. If you know, just let me know. I will email you the questions for today. πŸ™‚

  2. Mary K. March 4, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Great video, Heidi, and a great help to me in “getting” the distinctions about what renewing my mind means. I think too often I just gloss over that phrase thinking, “yeah, yeah… I know what that means…” But now I’m digging in a LOT deeper and I’m discovering a lot of new things. Going to spend more time today refining my “renewing my mind” goal… Spending some time here just thinking about “how I think about food” and making two lists: what are God’s thoughts vs. what are my thoughts that I want to change. (light bulb!!) God has PLANS for me! He will guide me. He sustains me. He’ll give me the proper amount at the right time. My body is not my own… He bought it at a price! He protects me. Hmmm… and some of my thoughts (and actions) that I want to change? Mindless/distracted eating while reading the morning paper. I’ll determine when I’m satisfied… Choices/quantities don’t matter “that” much…I’ll just eat what “needs” to be eaten in the ‘fridge first. AND I was determined to leave a reply here before going to fix my breakfast…and then to spend some time PRAISING him for providing me with a safe, beautiful home. Some peace and quiet to prepare for my day ahead. The abundance of fresh food choices. (fresh squeezed orange juice!) How the food choice I am about to make will fuel me for the hours ahead to stay focused and energized — to stay in His will, and not get sidetracked by worldly/fluffy distractions that often suck up my day… This time is such a gift. God is an amazing provider. Thanks to you and Barb… this study is coming at just the right time!! Looking forward to reading posts from others. Always such an inspiration.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 4, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      Wow, Mary. GREAT comments. I can’t wait to see what other people have to say about this, too! Your words have ministered to me today. Thanks so much.

  3. Lee March 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    After reviewing this material today I had the impression that God wants me to change the way I think about 0-5 eating. It’s not a diet or something I do every now in then to drop a few pounds, but, it is a way of life. This is the kind of lifestyle change I have needed to make for a long time.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Wow, Lee. That is a HUGE insight. Yes! You are precisely right! It isn’t that this just is “better” than dieting. It is a way of life. And it really can become a way of life that is delightful and freeing, too. Truly! Of course, we may have to mourn a few things…just being honest. πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting, Lee. Another entry in the drawing on Friday! πŸ™‚

  4. Christina March 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m really enjoying this study so far. I’m writing everything down in my journal. And as I was jotting down my “renewing mind” goal, I realized that I am really struggling with letting go of not tracking with Weight Watchers because I’m fearful that 0-5 eating won’t help me maintain my weight/size. I believe I am at a healthy weight, so I don’t need to lose weight, but I would like to maintain without tracking points. Last week the Lord met me in a very awesome way and gave me back my peace about food. For 5-6 months I was in a deep food obsession pit and I had a really hard time crawling back out of it, but the Lord picked me up out of that pit! Praise God! Barb’s question #2 about what would I gain to start faithfully following my boundaries of 0-5 eating really helped me sort through some of my thoughts. I realize that if I eat between 0-5 and eating mindfully (no reading, no tv, no iPhone–just eating) that I WILL be able to maintain my weight because then I’m following how God intended for us to eat. I’m so excited about what else God will teach me/us in this study!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi, Christina! I am so glad to hear it. So thankful. Really. Thanks for sharing this insight with us. One of the things I love about 0 to 5 eating is that it is a maintenance plan, too. Yes, it would be great to renew your mind about 0 to 5 eating, but it sounds like God is doing that very thing in you! Maybe, too, it would be good to renew your mind about weight/size. Sometimes we cling to a certain weight for all we are worth. I know God has called me to be willing to let go of some things relative to my body’s appearance. I simply will NOT have a body that looks the way it did when I was obsessive about exercise and strength training. He doesn’t call me to be those things now…not obsessed and not that muscular, even though I liked the way my body looked then. He is calling me to be willing to release that…and to find a happy medium…where I eat 0 to 5 and exercise 0 to 5! LOL! I still am not sure what that will look like! πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting.

  5. jackibar March 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    My renewing my mind goal is to come to truly and consistently believe that GOD’S LOVE is what I’m really craving and starving for – NOT FOOD – and that it is finding my JOY IN HIM that will bring my total healing in every area.

    I will work on renewing my mind in this area first thing in the morning whenever possible (or as soon after as possible during the day) – and also some other time later in the day to prepare my mind and heart for the evening time, which is my hardest time of day.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 5, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      I thought I had responded to your comment, Jacki. It is such a wonderful insight. As I read your comment again, I sense God’s presence wrapping me in love and His light. His joy in me bubbles up…Thank you for sharing your renewing of your mind goal and how you are going to actually DO it. I can’t wait to see the NEW THING God is doing in you, my long time friend!

    • Felicia April 1, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      WOW what a revelation!

      JOY IN HIM…instead of food!

      I’m right now at a “0” and I am excited and joyful, I want to remind myself to be excited about God helping me get to “0 to 5” eating first. Not first being excited to eat. I’m so joyful God is showing me revelation in this area and loosing the grip food has on me. This is so joyful! I will remind myself to be more joyful about God vs. Food. I cannot serve two masters.

  6. kris March 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    I love the videos and all the journal assignments so far. I have a lot of work to do but am hopeful now with all this material and information. One thing I have a problem with is how to handle 0-5 at work. Do you think a snack is okay until I have a break in my teaching schedule to eat lunch? I don’t want to eat breakfast if I am not hungry, but I don’t want to wait for lunch and be to hungry and uncomfortable. Thanks for all your input. I look forward to the weeks ahead.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi, Kris. If you are able to eat any time at work, but need to do it quickly, say at recess, then I recommend having some nuts or other simple food on hand to eat when you are hungry. It doesn’t take much to shave the hunger back a bit and you will end up at a 0 again for lunch. It may take playing with it a bit. One of the things I don’t typically do is consider something a “snack” or a “meal.” In my dieting past, the word “snack” was loaded and typically meant I was “cheating.” With Thin Within, that isn’t the case at all, of course. We can eat whenever we are hungry and we don’t need to eat all the way to a 5. We can stop after just a few nuts or crackers or whatever. But I totally understand why many of us call that a “snack.” I don’t know if that answers your question or not. Thanks for your kind words about the material, too!

  7. Becky March 5, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    My renewing of the mind goal ~ To think God’s thoughts as I approach hunger and sit down to eat. I have noticed I become anxious, lustful, and to a point “ravenous” when I am getting ready to eat. This is not physical, it is mental. As I prayed about my renewing the mind goal last night, God spoke to me gently and said, “Be still and know that I am God.” I am certain He will reveal more truth to my heart as I practice renewing my mind. I will intentionally practice renewing my mind first thing in the morning and every time before I eat.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 5, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      Becky…thank you for sharing this. I needed this reminder, too. You girls are just full of powerful insights. That sense of “lust” and “ravenous-ness” (if that is a word)…you are so right. I can even renew my mind about that! THANK YOU!

  8. Cindy March 5, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    My renewing of the mind goal: to learn and believe that staying within boundaries that God has set up leads to rest and peace and joy. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Unlike the laws and rules I subject myself to, that are difficult and so heavy to bear. (One of them being that I have to be thin to be acceptable and loved – wow, what a burden, one that God doesn’t ask me to carry!) I was originally thinking of a different goal, but yesterday this verse from Proverbs 8 just popped up at me: “I [Wisdom] was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. That’s verse 29, and in verse 31: “How happy I was with the world he created!” There’s such a sense of joy and delight in this passage, and it includes God-set boundaries!!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 5, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Wow, Cindy. Great stuff. You all are ministering to me SO much! I am SO thankful for you! You are so right…God doesn’t ask us to carry to very many of the burdens that we take on ourselves. Then so often I end up feeling like “God, you did this to me!” but he hasn’t at all! Thanks for bringing that up. It is a great reminder for me right now. Yes! There IS joy in God-set boundaries! Another nugget from your comment. Thank you!

  9. Christina March 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Heidi, where can I find the post where you talk about going too far with your weight loss?

    • Heidi Bylsma March 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Hi, Christina. I may not have talked about it much yet. I have been thinking about putting together a timeline…to demonstrate to anyone who it might help some of the cycles, the ups and downs, I have been through on this journey. That would definitely be included. Not sure how to do that yet. Feel free to email me if you want, Christina. heidi at heidi bylsma dot com. πŸ™‚

  10. Stacey March 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Just starting to read. Hope to get alot out of our blog.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 6, 2013 at 5:40 am #

      I hope you do, too, Stacey. Welcome! I have entered your name in the drawing for Friday, too. πŸ™‚

  11. Beth March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Whew! I am glad we have all week to do our assignments because it is a lot to absorb! My boundaries are to eat from 0-5, definitely. My renewing of the mind goal I had to stop and think about a little more and then it became crystal clear. I need to let go of the notion that my size and/or weight determine my worth. I know in my mind that God doesn’t see me that way but I need to convince my heart.

  12. Susan March 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I am working on the Following Your Boundaries Questions and I don’t understand number 5.
    5. Do you have to make those sacrifices no matter when you make that commitment to follow your boundaries?
    What exactly does that mean?

    • Heidi Bylsma March 7, 2013 at 6:20 am #

      I think what Barb is after is us understanding that putting off living according to our 0 to 5 boundaries doesn’t spare us from having to make sacrifices. We know that a boundary means that we can’t always have things the way we think we want them in the moment. We have to give up something. We procrastinate or throw out our boundaries in the moment so we can have whatever it is that is outside of the boundary. The sacrifices still have to be made. She wants us to probably come to the conclusion that violating our boundaries doesn’t solve the “problem” that we have to, sooner or later, come to grips with the fact that we have to make a sacrifice of some sort. Does that help? πŸ™‚

      • JEN March 16, 2013 at 11:52 am #

        Well written! Thanks Heidi I think after just now seeing this class….I am encouraged, hopeful and just want to say thank you for not giving up on helping so many of us!

        • Heidi Bylsma March 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

          Thanks, Jen. I am so glad to have you along with us. This is a great group–for sure! πŸ™‚

  13. Susan March 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Question # 8 said.”When you think of what you feel like on the days you eat everything you want to eat, are there even some advantages to a strict-boundary lifestyle? ”

    One of my answers was that I could have more little eating sessions instead of missing out on eating for a huge amount of time because I made myself sick. Do you think this is okay or am I still obsessed with food by wanting to not miss extra times to eat? It sounds like I am still in love with the food. (which I admit I am).

    • Heidi Bylsma March 7, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      Hi, Susan. If I understand your question correctly, you are asking about being glad to have many mini-meals instead of only one or two larger meals. When I was releasing weight, I would eat very very small amounts and ended up eating 7 times a day. I felt the freedom to do that, but I can see your concern about your heart. This journey is SO much about the heart. I would say just keep asking the Lord what he would have you do in this. Ask him to help your heart to break it’s passion for food and to be filled up with passion for you instead. I know that sounds silly, but I have found a direct connection between my willingness to worship and praise God and my satisfaction with eating less food. Eating many mini-meals a day is a great plan if it is 0 to 5 eating…much preferable to overeating once and not being hungry for a long while. I would urge you though above it all…extend grace to yourself as you figure this out. Give yourself time. God doesn’t expect perfection NOW. This is a journey of our heart even more than our bodies. It takes time. God delights over you with singing!

    • Christina March 7, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Susan, I have (for the most part) eaten mini-meals like that for most of my life. My mom said I was even this way as a child. In fact, sometimes I feel like a Hobbit and have 1st and 2nd breakfast. πŸ™‚ I think it’s perfectly ok as long as you are eating within 0-5.

      • Heidi Bylsma March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        Christina! That made me laugh. That is precisely what I have said… first and second breakfast! πŸ™‚ Funny.

  14. Michelle March 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Wow God’s timing is sooo perfect! I walked with a friend today & she’s doing ww. When i came home I was soo thinking I needed to exercise more, change up the food to lose like my friend. I considered doing ww again but deep down I know it didnt work well for me for many reasons. I sat down to start this study this evening & start my journal. Wow God is good! I realized I wanted a friend always to do this journey with me; always a friend or relative or some buddy. Then God just now gently spoke to me and told me he’s “the only friend” I need to go with on this journey!! How Sweet of him!

    My goal will be focusing on my 0 to 5 eating. I love the concept of “Renewing Our Minds”. It is sooo freeing and so not condemning when I feel like “I” just cant do it! God will help us renew our minds. I made my list to read every day. I’d like to plan to read it in the morning though I’m not a morning person so I’ll see how it goes. After work will be the best time as I’m weakest once I return home!

    Thanks Heidi!!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks for writing, Michelle. It is amazing what we hear when we take the time to be still and listen. Yay! I will be eager to hear how it goes!

  15. senkyoushi March 9, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    I’m looking forward to following along with this Bible study as I am able. Working on a goal for renewing my mind has been just what I needed to today to get back on track in this area of my life before I even think about shedding some weight.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 9, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      So often when we put first things first, the rest takes care of itself! I think there is a bible verse about that πŸ˜‰ “Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” πŸ™‚ So glad you are joining in!

  16. Catherine March 20, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    I’m coming a bit late to this – but, better late than never, as they say. My primary boundary is 0-5 eating, and my secondary boundary is “never eat alone,” meaning, at the very least, eat with Jesus, better, yet, with others as well. That will eliminate my sneak eating and my I’m-pretty-hungry-and-don’t-want-to-wait-for-a-meal eating, which inevitably turns out badly. My renewing of the mind goal is to remember that 0-5 eating is the only way I know to feel happy with my eating (and I know a lot of ways to go about eating). 0 to 5 eating eliminates my guilt and anxiety around eating and I will go to great lengths to eliminate those. It helps me stay in touch with God more, something I very much want to need to do. I want to maintain my weight and avoid bingeing, and if I eat 0 to 5, I won’t/can’t binge (because that would take me much higher up on the satisfaction side of the hunger scale and not be stopping at comfortably satisfied).

    • Heidi Bylsma March 20, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Hi, Catherine. Thanks so much for responding. You are on God’s timetable, so it is PERFECT timing! I totally follow your idea about your secondary boundary. I remember days when I would take a can of frosting into the bathroom and eat it by the spoonful out of site of the kids. Goodness… Anyhow, thanks so much for your responses. I am glad you are joining us. πŸ™‚

  17. Joyce April 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I am late coming to this study. I found it yesterday and am ready. It is just what God is calling me to study and do at this point in my life. Thank you for using your talent to create the study.
    Blessings, Joyce

    • Heidi Bylsma April 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      I will let Barb know you posted. Barb is the one to be credited with the great bible study we used. I hope you are going to keep at it, Joyce. I know it will be a blessing to you! I am praying that it will be. Many of us have experienced some significant changes in our thinking (and actions)…and some of us have released weight as a result of this study and the way it teaches us to think differently! I hope you will post your thoughts, insights and questions. I know others are lurking and perhaps they will join you!

  18. Cindy June 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

    I really am anxious to try this again.
    I know it’s more of a heart issue than a hunger issue.
    So Thanks for putting your self out there.


  1. Weight Loss Bible Study Week 5 | God is Doing a New Thing - April 1, 2013

    […] you are just joining us and have landed on this page, I encourage you to go back to Week 1 and do Day 1 of the study. Then come back here and join us right where we are. The bible studies […]

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