Moving right along, we’re already one tenth of the way through. Woohoo! I had a heads up from my friend about the topic of Day three, and I’m kind of glad I did. It gave me some time to mull over what the author would ask us to do.
Today’s lesson was on setting Godly goals. Now, if you’re like me, you probably associate goal setting with dieting… especially if it has anything to do with food, or size, or exercise. So, truthfully, I haven’t set any goals in these areas in a while.
I think what’s different about the presentation of these goals in this book is that she is suggesting we ask God what our goals should be. Novel idea right? When was the last time a secular diet book said, “maybe God has some thoughts on the goals you should set.” Um, never. So, I decided to go into this chapter with an open mind.
God created us for His glory. He wants our lives to reflect His joy, love, grace, and compassion so that people will recognize Him in our countenance. ~ Thin Within (p. 27)
I can definitely say that my countenance didn’t reflect God when I was restricting/dieting. Joy, love, grace, compassion… those are difficult when your focus is on everything that’s wrong with yourself.
Vision Statement Exercise
Anyway, our first task was to come up with a vision statement. Now, this one was difficult. I think I was really overthinking it at first because I didn’t want to just slap something on the page. Even though I went through today’s lesson this morning, I left several of the exercises blank because I just couldn’t come up with how to answer them… until about halfway through the day that is. Finally I asked God how I should answer the vision statement and He told me what to write… duh, should have done that to begin with.
Realistic Goals Exercise
Now, this exercise is the one I almost had a panic attack over. I have been working so hard to ignore my size, and here she goes asking us to set a size goal for these 30 days. At first I was like, “Heck no”, and then I decided to humbly ask God if I should do this exercise. I felt that He said, “yes”, and then I really felt at a loss because I had no idea what goal to set.
I remembered Lisa Bevere’s story about asking God to tell her what she should weigh. He gave her a number and told her not to step on the scale again until He said to. I would say that Thin Within is similar to what Lisa did to get in a right relationship with God and food, but her book doesn’t give you as much “how to”.
So, I asked God about what size I should be. He gave me a size that I would consider closer to my size “destination”, but I wasn’t sure that should be my goal for 30 days. It’s very possible I was limiting God by asking for something “else”. I just have this really strong fear of failure. He complied and told me to go into my closet and try on a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear since last Fall. First of all, I was actually shocked by the fact that I could even get them over my derriere. I looked at the size and wrote that in the little blank in the book, BUT I wrote what God told me in the margin.
Yes, I know all things are possible with God, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like I had a clear answer on that first size and whether it was for 30 days, or if it was where my natural body would settle… eventually. You know? It’s highly likely that my fear is hindering me, so I’m going to start asking God to give me fearless faith.
The other thing that was bothersome is I found myself thinking way too much about the sizes I wrote down. I had a sense of desperation well up inside of me to “make it happen”. I told God that focusing too much on my body size was what turned me toward dieting. I felt like He said, “leave the results to me.”
He has said this to me many times over the years. I do have peace when I stop trying to bring about the results. He told me to let Him guide me in the principles of eating like a naturally thin person, and He would handle releasing the weight. Sigh of relief.
I do believe that being free of this weight/dieting issue would be glorifying to God. Why? Because the only way I’m getting out of this mess is through Him.
The other two goals we were asked to set were less intimidating for me from a food/body image front, so it was easier to ask God what I should write down there. Now, that doesn’t mean they will be “easy” to accomplish lol.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)
I think the biggest thing I need to take away today is that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Setting goals are fine as long as they are God’s goals for my life AND I’m not relying on my own strength to accomplish them.
Thin Within Observations
Today I felt like a total mess. Waiting for clear hunger is soooo difficult at times. However, I think what was most difficult today was how emotional I felt without food to soothe. I found myself in the kitchen numerous times looking for something to eat. Then I would check in and realize I wasn’t physically hungry… which meant something else was going on. Ugh. The dam broke and I cried a lot yesterday. I was really missing my “pacifier”. Of course, it’s also PMS week, so I’ve got hormone palooza happening too.
I really want to try to stick to my commitment to follow the 8 keys. At the same time, I refuse to get upset when I can’t check off every one of them.
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Hey, so I just read this chapter last night (I think it’s going to take me more like 60 or 90 days to get through this 30 day book! which is fine with me!).
I have to say- having spent the last 5 months or more trying to incorporate the tenants of Intuitive Eating into my life- and specifically, trying to “put weight loss on the back burner,” a very difficult one- I was NOT happy with this chapter. Fortunately, because I had been trying to practice this for 5 months, I was not tempted in the least to try to set a goal weight or size or whatever. I actually used the goal they suggested for those struggling with eating disorders- to be more attuned to my God-given body. My goal is to be comfortable in my size and to practice trusting my body using their 8 guidelines. I also decided to take time to be thankful for my body and to appreciate it each day instead of the suggestion of an exercise resolution.
IMO, this chapter is a huge weak point in the book. They say to reach your “God-given” size, but how on earth do you know what that is? I think focusing on weight, pounds, inches, amount of exercise, whatever is completely contrary to the goal of being set free of an obsession with weight and dieting. You CANNOT use the tools of the thing you’re trying to escape to escape from it! Because no matter what weight or size goal you set or in fact meet, it will never be enough.
It’s not that I don’t believe in goals. I just think the book prompts you to goals that focus on the wrong things.
Yes, Crystal, I agree, when I looked at this from an IE perspective, it rather upset me. I felt much the way you do about it… then I started to consider, maybe I should ask God if this is something HE wants me to do or not. The book says over and over to use the tools that work for you. Some people are coming straight from diet mentality, so they feel they need trackable goals. For me, I saw it as progress that I could actually set a size goal (not a scale goal), and while it freaked me out at first, I was able to turn it over to God. Still, I didn’t just slap a number on the page. I really sought God over whether I should do that exercise or not AND if so, what should the goal be. I felt like God told me it was ok to have something like my pants to “measure” the results of HIS faithfulness. He told me that, with His help, I could handle setting that goal without it becoming an idol. He also said setting that goal wasn’t about weightloss. It wasn’t so I could say, “hey, look what I accomplished”. In the end, He showed me that I wasn’t the one who brought about the smaller size, He did. It was so He could show me what HE could do if I turned it over to Him. I was far from perfect at following the keys, but I was faithful to seek Him through the study. I kept accepting that His grace was sufficient which made it so much easier to not beat myself up for overeating or not waiting till I was hungry. Of course, I do not say any of this to suggest that He is telling you to choose a size goal, and in fact, He may very well be telling you not to. I guess I’m trying to say that you must approach the book with the intent to apply a Biblical worldview to this journey you’re on. Things that really ruffled my feathers, I asked Him why I felt the way I do. If my beliefs were wrong, I let Him change them. If He said, “I want something different for you”, I accepted that too. I did experience times of rebellion, but He waited patiently for me to humble myself and tell Him I was ready to listen again. That was my ultimate goal in selecting to go through the 30 day book. I don’t want IE or even Thin Within to tell me what my view should be, I want God and His word to do that. I just feel that at least 95% of Thin Within is structured toward that goal, where the IE book falls well below that percentage. I’ve reached a point where I know that the answer to this issue isn’t in the 8 keys of TW or in the 10 principles of IE. Those are merely tools to use in setting our “boundaries” (the book talks more about boundaries later). The true key to transformation lies in renewing our mind. (Romans 12:1-2) So, while at first I saw the goal setting exercise as the complete opposite of what I thought was right… in the end, I decided what was right was seeking God’s thoughts on the matter. Don’t allow the enemy to use things like this to distract you from the main purpose of going through this study. We want to think different thoughts… we want to think the thoughts of God about our weight, and size, and food… and even about our goals. By all means, take your time going through the study. I didn’t agree with everything in it, but what I gained from going through it, I consider priceless. I’m shrinking, but more than that, I think less and less about the issues I’ve dealt with for decades and more and more about living the life God has blessed me with. Ok, this is probably way more than you ever wanted to read from me lol. Keep pressing on. Seek God and I hope you continue to share your journey with me 🙂