When I was in high school, my mom put me on a diet. I was supposed to drink nasty tasting shakes for breakfast and lunch and then eat a full meal when I got home from school, which was a full course meal, including things that I could never manage to stomach. I don’t know if my mom thought I *wanted* to diet or what. I know that, in my memory, I cooperated…even to the point of trying to stomach eating lettuce covered with oil and vinegar. Now, just the thought makes me gag. I can’t stand lettuce and I can actually smell it if it is in food that I order at a restaurant (always requesting NO lettuce).
I was an athlete, but would often cut school to go to my best friend’s–my “eating buddy’s”–house where we often made a pan of brownies and then ate the evidence that we had been home when we were supposed to be at school. Not one crumb of the brownies would be left.
What began in junior high as a response to molestation by a family member developed into a full-blown coping mechanism–a refuge, a comfort, a recreational activity, too! Because I was involved in sports, I often kept ahead of too much extra weight. I do remember weighing myself quite a bit. I remember the numbers, too. I also remember the numbers on the scale during all the diets I went on over the years. I charted my weight on a graph on the wall during one season. Then, there were the diet program weigh-ins. So, I would have NO problem pulling a number out of my mind that seems “reasonable” for what my “natural, God-given size” would be.
…that would miss the point…
GOD-given, means that it is God given.
It doesn’t mean that Heidi has to grab a hold of it and declare “HERE! This is it! When I reach this number I will have arrived!”
In fact, I distinctly remember in 2007, after I lost all the extra weight I carried having actually gone too far so that I could have the accolade of losing ONE HUNDRED pounds, I still hated my rear end…my hips. You see, even when I was really *thin*…I hated my body. Freedom clearly wasn’t in a number for me! There was something in my HEAD that needed to change. I needed to “drop the weight” of a mental image of the ideal body.
So now, I see that “natural, God-given size” means, God has in mind the way my body, fearfully and wonderfully made, hand-crafted by him, will look or be. And it definitely isn’t what this world uses as a standard for beauty. You know what? I think I am beginning (after all this time) not to care what the world says. I want what GOD wants for me. There is FREEDOM there!
And “Natural” means natural.
I don’t have to be fearful about it. It just is. Like naturally curly hair. Or a natural blond. Nothing added. It just is.
Notice Thin Within doesn’t promise you that you will be a “natural, God-given weight.”
In fact, what we really want to do–dare I be so bold–is get rid of the bathroom scale. Instead, focus on getting to know your body and the God-given hunger scale: hunger and satisfaction, 0 and 5. Let’s stand on God’s promises instead of the bathroom scale and the ever-elusive happiness that joy is found in a number. You are MORE than a number!
As you commit (and commit again and again) to eating 0 to 5 or between the parameters of hunger and satisfaction, you will not need any man-made device to tell you if you are succeeding. Success is not defined by the world or by your past. It is defined by God.
Your natural, God-given size is, by definition, the size you land on when you eat according to the way He made your body. Eating according to the cues of hunger and satisfaction will cause you to land on and maintain your God-given size.
This is GREAT news!!!
Aren’t we tired of pursuing a number on the bathroom scale?! Then, assuming we ever land on that number, we live in fear that we won’t *stay* at that number?! That is definitely NOT freedom!
Here is a sound file about this very thing. I hope it is helpful! Again, feel free to download it.[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/94321872″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Would it be helpful to you to get off the bathroom scale–to give it away or at least to have a friend or family member hide it for a month (or two or three)? Can you recommit to obeying the God-given signals of the hunger scale–0 and 5–or physical hunger and satisfaction? Will you trust him that he will bring you to the size that you want to be?
What will you stand on? 🙂 Here is a bonus! Good ol’ country rendering of “Standing on the Promises of God!”
Boy does that resonate with me! My mom was small and so were my sisters (remind you of an ugly step sister?). My mom started taking me to the doctor for diet pills when I was around 12, and even signed me up for a weight loss program when I was older. My dad used to count out the my potato chips for our evening snack, but only mine because the rest of them were not overweight. Man, it took a few years of counseling, etc., to move beyond that baggage!
I also have a history with Weigh Down, which is how I found Thin Within. I never really gave 0-5 eating a serious try, but allowed the concept of “food just being food” change my thinking exponentially.
So now, here I am, ready for the complete freedom that is mine for the taking. Only because of Jesus, can we be free indeed!
Have a Good and Godly Day, Sisters!
Becky, I have a history with WD, too! This blog was amazing…I am re-committing to eating according to the natural cues of hunger and fullness and i am getting off the scale….Thank you, Heidi!!
My pleasure, Lisa. 🙂
Wow.. you just told my story!! My Mom put me on diet pills when I was 12… my sisters were thin also. My Mom used to buy me cute clothes that were 1-2 sizes too small thinking that would motivate me to lose weight.. 😞
AmAAAAAzing!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m away from home, in another state, no time really to comment, BUT!! just can’t help myself. I was writing in my journal yesterday morning at 3:04 AM!!!! About putting my scale away!! for life!!!!!!!! I will share in more detail later, but just had to comment quickly. Blessings to all!Dalena
Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 11:22:16 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great, Dalena! You go!
My husband hid the scale the other morning and I am looking forward to being set free from defining myself by a number. My true character is not measured by a scale and neither is my value as a person!! This is a new concept to me but I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind!
My husband hid the scale the other morning and I am looking forward to being set free from the scale. This is a new concept to me but my value as a person and my true character is not measured by a number on a scale!!! I am excited about being transformed by the renewing of my mind!
Thank you! Thank you! This is exactly what I needed today!
I woke up and stepped onto the scale.& was frustrated with the number I saw. I thought to myself I really need to do something to get myself into a healthier weight range. Nothing seems to be working for me lately. I’ve felt pulled to all the worldly methods out there for weight loss. The past year and a half I’ve been stuck and nothing I’ve been doing seems to be working.
I never really thought I had a problem with my scale. It was a good tool & when I never used it, my weight shot up. However,this post made me rethink my situation. The scale is only a tool…not to be used for my self worth. What do I need to do to succeed??
This blog entry made me realize my sole focus needs to be on trusting God to assist me and for me to listen to the gifts he blessed me with, my internal hunger & satisfaction signals. I’m not the one to control my eating by listening to man made rules. In the past I’ve tried to control my eating by certain amounts or just saving hunger. That has only made me so hungry I’d eat too much! I did succeed in losing weight but I’ve put some pounds, too many, back on. I want to find out how to get to my natural God given weight and make this change a permanent one.
It’s going to be challenging for me not to step on the scale but I want that to be my goal this week. I stepped on the scale this morning. I will wait at least a week but would like to see if I can wait a month before I step on it again. Saying that I can now see how the scale has really had a hold on me!
I want to create the new habit of really slowing down and listening to God & my body signals. It’s sooo simple but so not easy to slow down!! Praying God will help me do this & make it a permanent new habit!!!
Thanks for sharing this Heidi 🙂
Sure thing, Michelle. Ditch the scale for good!
Michelle, I’m like you, never really thought the scale was an issue with me. Usually weigh every day, and when I don’t weigh, that’s usually because weight is going up. And then yesterday, out of the blue, I was just led to “put that scale away.”. It’s not too hard right now, to not weigh, I’m not at home, but when I get back, I’m going to have to remember to put it away, so I don’t weigh just out of habit. Michelle, I’ll be praying for you in this new endeavor of yours.
I so appreciated this encouragement to DITCH the SCALE!! I committed to not weigh myself during this 6 week study, and even though I’ve been occasionally anxious without that ritual, most of time I’ve felt wonderful FREEDOM of not having that daily reminder of failure or even affirmation–the scale would be my ‘god” and my feelings for the day would be dictated by what it said. The scale has defined my worth for 43 years, and setting it aside, even for this short time, has been a real blessing. 🙂
A delicate question for you girlies: I’m am struggling a bit with the “God given size concept” because I’m afraid that my God given size is about where I am right now–50 pounds overweight by most standards. Bleh. To be honest, I’m down 80 pounds from my highest weight, so I have lost in the past, but I feel like I’m stuck right here–I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied a majority of the time–binging is WAY in the rearview mirror. I absolutely LOVE not dieting–the starving and excessive attention to what I ate 24/7 just made me ANGRY AND drove me CRAZY. I feel so much better physically and spiritually when I eat this way, but I maintain, not losing any weight. Having wildly fluctuated in body size most of my life, maintaining is AWESOME and nothing to sneeze at–that alone is worth doing this BUT . . . I sure would like to NOT carry around so much weight. My question is: could my “God given size” end up being pretty big still? Could God’s purpose in me “0-5 ‘in” it NOT be weight loss but FREEDOM? Is this anyone else’s experience? 🙂
Wow, Debbie. GREAT question. I am eager to see what others have to say about this. How awesome that you have established consistency, too! That is great!
I think if you truly stick to this 0-5 and not eat to a 7-10, you will lose the extra weight. God has been leading me to be at peace with my body while I am on the journey. In the past, I would eat disciplined and than have a binge and than starve myself. I feel “jiggly” right now…I know I am a higher weight than what my body needs but I know that it is not going to come off over night. I am going to have to be consistent with this. This is so hard for me. I had this mindset that I can eat what I want when I want because in a couple of days I will go on a 21 day liquid fast. Total wrong thinking….so know through this study…God is asking me to trust Him with my body and be at peace with being overweight right now because as I stay obedient to what He is showing me–I will be free! Today, I rest in that promise!!! Praying for all of you……this is more than food and our weight..this is all about Jesus and our relationship with Him…Beth Moore said today…..she quoted that verse…as a deer pants for water so my soul pants for you O Lord—she said that a downcast soul pants …like a dog who is hot and thirsty..pants for water…when we are desperate and panting….what is our soul panting for …and in these desperate moments …be careful where and what we turn to in our panting….she said that we need to turn to the Living Water …the only One who quench our thirsty souls….how applicable to this study this past week! Thanks for everyone’s prayers and encouragement and especially to Heidi…I am seeing light at the end of my tunnel here!!!!!
So right, Marie. Consistency is also getting back on the horse when we fall off. It isn’t staying on the ground wallowing around. Over *time* we will have longer periods of staying on without falling off and we will also get back on quicker, too! We aren’t very patient with ourselves.
Debbie – I can only speak from my experience. For the past 2 years, I told myself that I mostly followed 0-5. But when I did the evaluation week in Barb’s study, I realized that I was hardly ever following my secondary boundaries. I was very resistant to letting my habits go. But, then I committed to really do this and follow my boundaries and that’s when I started to release weight. Also, I don’t eat right when I feel a 0. I usually ride it until the next meal – for example, we are eating in about 45 minutes and I started feeling the tug at my stomach about 1.5 hours ago. I want to be able to eat dinner with my family so I’m riding it out. Also, sometimes if I wait just 15 minutes, the hunger subsides.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not starving myself or dieting, but I did have to reassess my 0-5 and my secondary boundaries.
I will say that about a week ago I was feeling yucky about my body and was questioning is this my God given size. So, I decided that I will really remain committed to 0-5/ following the Lord in this for 6 months (I have probably 5-15 to release). I will reassess my interpretation of the hunger scale along the way, especially if I am not releasing weight (I judge by clothes, not scale). If at the end of the 6 months, I have been the same size for a while, I will rejoice in the freedom that that is my God given size. I am hoping, of course, that that will be a smaller size than I am today, but I will accept whatever it is. I can see that there will be so much freedom in that!
CMK, you always have such wisdom for us. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and what God has been showing you. It is SO encouraging!
This was JUST what I needed today. I have been obedient to His boundaries for me the last 5 weeks; I know that my clothes are fitting again. I know that I feel great, the aches & pains are gone . Yesterday, I walked around Target for an hour with a friend. (Target has just come to Canada & has become our happy place) . Being able to walk anywhere for an hour is a huge milestone for me. My friend said: Linda , you look fantastic, you’ve lost more weight .
BUT , today I bowed down to the scale god- a 40 yr old spring type scale that is clearly not communicating – maybe it doesn’t have ears . This nasty god ruined my morning & took away the blessings of yesterday.
He goes in recycling this morning. I’m done with him (it’s a blue scale ).
Thanks, Heidi . You have given me the courage to let him go & just
‘Weight’ for the whisper of Him as He says : Well done, precious daughter.
Celebrating! DEATH to the scale! 🙂
This is AWESOME to hear (the part about walking around and feeling great!), Lifepath! WOOT! So, tell me….tell us…did you send Mr. Meanie to the trash? 🙂 I hope so. You are right! God sees you very differently than the scale! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!
Yes, right on time for this post! I am so ready to be free and let God determine where I am supposed to be. He keeps whispering in my spirit…..when will you be happy with how I have created you? What are you waiting for? I have not been on the scale since you did the “ditch the scale challenge” last month and at times I want to jump on. I know my clothes are looser, I know I released weight, but I want to not care. Just like the other girls said, it either puffs ME up or condemns me. I am done with it and pray for the strength to not fear and to wait on God to take me to and keep me at the size he wants.
More importantly, what size does he want my heart to be? What size is my spirit? And his spirit within?
How lovely is your temple oh Lord……..
I am faced with what I weigh every time I got to the doctor and now they even give a computerized printout of the diagnosis and they include weight and BMI. I do feel I need to lose weight because when I was at lower weight my joints did not ache as much and I just felt better. That weight was still considered oveweight, but that did not matter as long as I felt good. My family doctor told me that my cholesterol is great, my triglycerides are great, my glucose is great and that because I exercise almost every day, I am very healthy cardiovascularly so he said he is not concerned that much about my weight! Perhaps I should listen to my doctor! I do weigh myself once a month but I do not let it define me.
I heard Mandissa speak (and of course sing) at a Women of Faith conference and she said when she got on the scale that morning it did not give her the numbers she had hoped for, but that number did not reflect who she is becaus she is fearfully and wonderfully made. What an inspiration she was!
Sue – I tell the nurse that I don’t want to know my weight so I close my eyes or stand backwards to the scale. I then tell my doctor that I don’t want to know. The last time I went, it wasn’t a problem and I didn’t find out the weight. I have another Dr. who prints it on the printout, but I wonder if you could request that they don’t.
That takes courage to speak out and share your experiences, Heidi, thank you. I also thank all the ladies that have shared their struggles and comitment. I’m afraid I too am being led to rely less on the scale and am having some anxiety about that. I want to make sure it’s God and not me wanting a way not to be accountable. For now, I know I’m supposed to skip my weigh-in this week, so today I skipped, and I’ll wait to see what I feel going forward. Thank you ladies for everything. This is a wonderful place to be. I am so encoraged by the community and leadership. God is truely doing a new thing, lots of new thins!
Oops, that’s supposed to say things, but maybe new thins also. 🙂
Oh, N, that brought a smile to my face. God IS truly doing a new thing!! Lots of new THINS!!! 🙂
OK, I have some time to write this, I hope it might help someone else. (while I’m on vacation I’ve had to have 2 teeth extracted, so I’m a little out of commission this afternoon, using this time for God! and Thin Within.)
I’ve had the book “Thin Again” for a while. While packing for vacation I threw it in and when yesterday morning I could not sleep I pulled the book out. At 3:04 AM, Tuesday, 5/28/13, I read on page 27, last sentence of 1st paragraph “To appease it we often develop compulsive behavior that results in food, eating and weight becoming the focus of our lives.”
WEIGHT!! The focus of my LIFE!! Boy, did that hit home!!! I’ve kept a journal for years and years. (I’m old) 🙂 And one of the things I’ve always done is record my weight. That way, I can compare myself today to last year to see how I’m doing.
Well, that’s just ONE way that it hit me, YES!!! weight is the FOCUS of my life!!! If not all the time, a lot of the time. And it is time to do something about that. And one of the ways I’m going to do something about that is put the scale away. I “think” for LIFE!! That is what seems right to me right now. Here are how some of my thoughts that yesterday morning were racing around in my head.
Here I am, away from a scale and I actually do not know how much I weighed when I got up this morning. Also, I do NOT know what my ideal God given weight “#” is. And thought about how cool it would be, as I continue to lose weight, (I’m thinking it is around another 20#’s I need to lose, after losing 30, but just don’t know) and when someone asks, “how much have you lost?”. I just plain ole don’t know!!! And that I’ll never know again how much I weigh, just that I’m on my way and will get to my God given natural weight.
And then to wake up this morning and have this post from Heidi, my goodness, God is good!! Isn’t He? Thank you, Heidi, for ALL you do!!!
Love and blessings to all,
My next door neighbor, whom I haven’t seen in a while, just asked me how much I have lost. I said “I don’t know”! But I focused more on telling him that I stopped dieting, that I am not crazy about exercising or my diet any longer and am following a Christian way of not dieting. Feels good to have the focus more on what I am being freed from than on the weight release!
Praise God…I too have been feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit to ditch the SCALE all together! My husband uses it to weigh himself…but I may be able to talk him into putting our scales away for a long, long time…forever! My close have got loose and they some are getting baggy to the point I may need to get down into another size. I am committed to getting rid of my scale for good! Here I go with the power and grace of God…I can do this in Christ I have nothing to lose but my excess baggage and release all my weight that God never intended me to carry around. I know I will feel much better in the long run with having the SCALE hanging over me! : )
Today was the day where I wanted the scale back. My husband had hidden it from me and it has only been gone for 3 days!!!! I even started to rationalize when I could get it back. Please pray for me that I will let go of the “need” for approval from the scale!!
Thank you ladies, love the comments! You can do it Adriane, but yep, it’s like the scale is made of some magnetic substance. IYesterday, I felt like I was told you can get back on the scale when you’re not being pulled to do it, otherwise, it’s holding too much power. CMK — love your comments. I hope I can echo these when I am questioned. I recently gave a number when my husband asked me, and this really would have been
a better response. God is doing great work in you all! 🙂
I know that the Lord has brought me to this wonderful community of people who are seeking to honor Him in their struggle with weight and body image…. including the issue with the scale. I know that after so many years of trying to do it myself, I finally brought my battle with food and weight to the Lord in a way I have never done before. Once again, He is faithful to do for me what I cannot do for myself. After week of learning to listen to my body’s hunger and fullness cues, I am feeling relief already; n my mind, heart, and body. I have wrestled with my size for as long as I can remember, and I know that giving this to the Lord too will bring peace and rest. He knows what is best for me, but it’s taken many years for me be willing to listen and receive what HE has for me, not bowing down to the image what I think I should be. I’m so blessed and encourage by all those who share their thoughts and experiences. Thank you!
Heidi, thank you for writing this. I just got back on facebook and decided to find the Thin Within page and group, and clicked on this post. It was much needed to reminder of God’s path not mine.
I was about to join and pay for another “support community,” when I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that He has already given me the tools. I need to trust in Him to help me get to the size He wants me to be.
I was looking for another (quick) fix, when God’s way is right in front of me…sigh.
Hi, Nisha. It is great to see you again! If you are interested, join us for the online class just starting up. You can participate or not as much as you like. We are letting participants pick whichever workbook they choose and creating a supportive environment for beginners and newbies to TW as well as veterans and everything in-between. If you are interested, just friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HeidiBylsma I see your point, though. God says we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds…not by being in another class. Hugs to you!
Thank you all of you who posted. I am really moved from all these posts that it is not about the scale, but rather about following 0-5 every meal to be the size God wants me to be, turning from the scale, and putting my worth on what God thinks is important me doing 0-5, not Him telling me to be a certain weight. I was very moved by all these posts. Thank you.