RYM 12 Week Challenge Ends

I can’t believe we’ve already come to the end of this challengeLast week we worked on treasure hunting again. It has been a really exciting 12 weeks. I’ve done many challenges over the years but I think this may have been my favorite. When I first felt like God was calling me to do this, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. What I gleaned from the last 12 weeks has been incredible. God has shown me such wonderful and very cool things through my time with Him and the willingness to step out in faith.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to complete these 84 days and to do with with such a fantastic group of women at the Taste For Truth Support Group has been beyond amazing. What a blessing!

If you missed out on the last challenge. There is a new one starting on March 31st at the Taste For Truth Support Group. Join us!

Also, for the final wrap-up video of the challenge: 12 Week Renewing the Mind – Week 12 Wrap-up

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Final Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 20 minutes 7 days, + God glorifying music 5 days, kept my food boundaries 7 days, and exercised 5 days for at least 15 minutes.
Released 0.6 lbs the twelfth week :)*
Challenge Total: -10 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.
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12 Week Challenge + TFT Study – Starting March 31, 2017!

The Taste For Truth Support Group*  (on Facebook) will be hosting another round of the 12 Week Renewing the Mind Challenge beginning March 31, 2017! This is the official start date but additional information about the challenge will be posted in the Facebook group beginning on Saturday, March 25th. We will also be going through Barb Raveling’s, Taste for Truthtogether as a group. You may join just the challenge or just the TFT study or both.

Challenge Participants Materials List (If you are just doing the TFT study you will only need the items in bold type face):

  • A Bible
  • I Deserve a Donut (book or app) by Barb Raveling
  • Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore
  • a Journal (any kind that suits your fancy)
  • loose-leaf paper or small spiral notebook
  • pens, pencils, highlighters (more on this later)
  • food boundaries (more information), if you don’t have this by the start date, don’t let that stop you from joining!
  • a scale (or access to one) if you plan to participate in the weekly weigh ins (optional)
  • access to a printer (for printing the worksheets)**
  • Study Participants or those doing both will need: Taste for Truth by Barb Raveling.

You can ride along with the 12 week challenge portion (to some extent) just by following this blog (start here), but if you want access to the PDF files once the challenge starts, you’ll need to join the TFTSG.

To add “community” and accountability to your challenge, pop on over to the TFTSG and/or comment regularly here at Brick by Brick.

* The TFT Support Group is named after Barb Raveling‘s book by the same name.
** Available only on the TFTSG.

 

SSMT 2017: Verse 4

Goodness gracious, is it the middle of February already? Well, I’m pressing on with the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, just check out Beth Moore’s post.

I’ve already posted my fourth passage over at Beth’s Blog and she has a cutie little encouraging video for us. I’m continuing with my plan to memorize Proverbs 3:13-18 between now and March 15th. So this segment will be Proverbs 3:15-16.

I’m already behind on decorating my cards, but that’s ok, that has been lower on the priority list of late:

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when it’s time to change

When I typed that title, the Brady Bunch kids singing a song by the same name came to mind. In a strange 70’s way, the song touches on the transformation we’re undergoing as we renew our mind. Things sometimes get worse, like Peter’s cracking voice, before they get better. And yet, sometimes we must change our boundaries in order to grow.

boundary-line-webRecently, I felt like the Lord was telling me it was time to change my boundaries. As most of you know, I’ve been following the WW points plan since March. I truly believe WW was a good fit for me at the time because of where I was in this journey to living in victory. However, the more I renewed my mind, the convinced I became that it was time to move on.

Trust me, I know how difficult it is to decide on a set of boundaries. So, if you’re having difficulty, Barb Raveling has a wonderful post that might help titled: 13 Questions That Will Help You Choose a Weight Loss Plan

But what about when you feel like it’s time to change your boundaries?

For most people, we’ll think we need to have a different set of boundaries simply because the ones we have are difficult. Or maybe we have a friend who is having success on another plan. It’s very enticing to think the grass is greener somewhere else.

These are not reasons to change our boundaries. In those cases, we need to renew our mind about them and gain a different perspective.

However, there are legitimate reasons it might be time to consider a different set of boundaries. These are just a few:

  • You’re consistently following your boundaries but aren’t releasing weight.
  • You’re consistently following your boundaries but you don’t feel well physically.
  • Your lifestyle has changed and your boundary lines are no longer a good fit.
  • God is prompting you to change them to bring you to a deeper relationship with Him (make sure it is God, His motives will not be the world’s motives).

Not Releasing Weight

If you’ve honestly been consistently renewing your mind and following your boundaries for at least a month, but have not released weight (or have gained), it might be time to consider trying something else.

I say at “least a month” because expecting quick results is part of what has landed us in the diet rat race in the first place. Sometimes our weight loss is delayed a bit because we are actually weighed down by a lot of lies and once those begin to change, our bodies let go.

Sometimes our weight loss is delayed because we’re telling ourselves we’re keeping our boundaries when we really aren’t. It might be that your boundary lines just aren’t clear enough for you to recognize you’re breaking them. Get honest with yourself.

The point is, we don’t want to be switching boundaries every couple of weeks. It’s tempting to keep changing them in search of the “perfect” set of boundaries. Well, let me just tell you, there is no such thing. Every set of boundaries will have it’s pluses and minuses and none will be “perfect”.

If you’re frustrated because keeping your boundaries isn’t as easy as you had hoped, that’s not a good reason to switch either. Keeping boundaries is hard and requires work, determination, and a whole lot of renewing our minds to the mind of Christ. Once you’re keeping them consistently for at least a month, reevaluate things.

If you are releasing weight and you just want it gone faster, that’s not necessarily the best reason to change boundaries either (unless directed to do so by a doctor). Instead, you’ll probably need to start working on your discontentment or greed issues. I Deserve a Donut  (book or app) has some great questions and verses in the “discontentment” and “greed” sections to help you renew your mind in this area.

For me, I was still releasing weight on WW (although it had slowed down), so I wasn’t really motivated by this to change boundaries.

Not Feeling Well Physically

If you’ve been consistently following your boundaries for at least a month and you don’t feel well physically, there could be any number of things going on. My first recommendation is to check with your doctor. Tell them what you’re doing and see what they have to say. Tests might reveal a root cause that has nothing to do with your boundaries.

Lack of sleep, overeating, under eating, food allergies, wrong food combinations for your body…etc could be at play as well. If you’re following a plan where you have eliminated addictive foods, you might feel horrible for the first few weeks because you’re going through withdrawals. You could also be nutrient deficient. Check into these possibilities and tweak your boundaries as necessary.

This was one of the major reasons I felt prompted to change my boundaries. Even while following the WW plan, I began to have chest pain again just over a month ago. I haven’t had chest pain in years. I stopped sleeping well. I felt really agitated and I had general pain all the time in my joints. I had started popping Ibuprofen regularly just to function, but when the chest pain started, it freaked me out. Sure, I was still releasing weight, but what fun is it to be smaller and feel terrible physically? I had a thought growing in the back of my mind over a couple of months that I needed to up the nutritional value of what I was eating.

It’s true, I could have done this while still on WW, but there was more at play.

Lifestyle Change

This could encompass a multitude of scenarios. Some examples that come to mind are:

  • One of your children is diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy and those foods must be eliminated from your life.
  • You end up traveling across country with your truck driving husband and no longer have access to your kitchen (yes, thinking about you Barb R).
  • You move to another country with a different eating culture.
  • Your husband is laid off and you have to cancel your WW membership.
  • A diagnosis requires dietary changes.
  • You’re training for a marathon and require a different nutrition plan to fuel your workouts.

This list could go on for a while. Even if your life changes significantly enough to warrant a boundary change, we still need to keep in mind that life is going to throw us challenges no matter what our boundaries are. This is where renewing our minds comes into play.

If you experience a lifestyle change, try to keep your original set of boundaries for a couple of weeks just to make sure they aren’t still a fit. Yes, it will be challenging. If after a couple of weeks it’s clear they aren’t working with your new life, change them.

For me, this played a very small role in the boundary change, but it did influence it. We recently decided to dramatically alter our spending habits because of some financial goals we had set. In doing so, we cancelled some memberships (WW and the gym) and we tightened up our grocery budget. This is the other “renewing the mind project” I’m doing right now. I was already considering the dietary change before we decided to tighten the budget, but it definitely made it easier to take the leap. It wasn’t enough for me though. I was still afraid I was changing them for the wrong reasons. I was also afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep stricter boundaries (cause I didn’t want to). I didn’t actually change them till God prompted me to do so.

God is Prompting the Change

This one can often be confused with our own feelings and emotions if we aren’t consistently renewing our minds in the process. If you are seeking God on the matter, He won’t be vague.

Even if He is the one prompting the change, you may feel scared and even have some doubts, but God will give you peace if it is His will.

For me, it began with a thought of, “Beloved, are you willing to give up certain foods for Me?”

Yikes. I didn’t like where this was going.

He challenged my mantra of “everything in moderation”. I said, “But everything is permissible.” To which He replied, “Aye, but not everything is beneficial.”

I was primed for this message with how terrible I felt physically. Then the husband and I started working on our financial project and I asked myself what I was willing to give up to meet our goals.

I remembered a plan I had done a while back, so I got out the book (one of the few “diet” books I’ve kept) and read it again. Convinced I was supposed to change my boundaries, I stepped away from WW and switched to a “nutritarian” diet a few weeks ago. The chest pain went away immediately and I have minimal general pain now (praise the Lord).

You see, when God prompts you to change your boundaries, the timing will always be spot on. He knew exactly what I needed and knew when I would be receptive to the change. I don’t know how long I’ll be “giving up” some of my favorite foods. I don’t even know that I’ll never return to WW, but you know what, it really doesn’t matter. Food is just food. It isn’t love. It isn’t peace. It isn’t joy. I’m going to take this thing one day at a time.

Transformed By the Renewing of the Mind

Even if we decide it is time to change our boundaries, there is one crucial thing we must keep in mind:

It is not our boundaries which transform us!

swordGOD transforms us through the renewing of our minds. I challenge you, even before you settle on your boundaries, pour your time and energy into renewing your mind about food, weight, and body image. Pour in His Truth at every opportunity. This is the only way I have a remote chance of keeping any set of boundaries long-term.

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. ~ Romans 12:2 (AMP)

are you tired of failing in the weight-loss rat race?

Are you a child of God who is sick and tired of fighting the uphill weight loss battle? Have you tried and failed more times than you can count? Do you feel like you will never change? Do you constantly feel guilty over what you do or don’t eat? Are you obsessed with food? Are you overwhelmed by all the conflicting information about the best diet or exercise program? Are you sick of shelling out loads of cash on diet supplements and weight loss products with flashy ads? Are you frequently looking for the next thing that will answer all of your weight/food related woes? Have you given up on ever breaking free of your food/weight/body image strongholds?

If so, it might be time for a change in perspective. What if a Truth perspective was all you needed? I’m not going to lie to you, this isn’t just taking a pill and being fixed. It will take work and a commitment on your part, but I’m guessing someone who said yes to those questions is used to working at this thing and getting nowhere. What if you could learn how to tackle this behemoth God’s way? You’re already spending so much energy in this area of your life, what if we focused some of it on addressing the root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms?

I’d like to invite you to check out a weight loss support group that is different than your typical group of this nature. Now is the perfect time because in about two weeks we will be going through a study which will walk you through how to change your thinking and ultimately your behaviors in this area.

We are about to begin the final week of our current study session, and it has been a lovely walk with some pretty fantastic people. Such a blessing.

If you would like to join us for the next session, here is the information:

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What: Taste For Truth Study
When: October 4, 2016 (schedule will post to group); October 10, 2016 (start date and will run approx. 8 weeks)
Where: Taste For Truth Support Group
Supplies Needed: Taste for Truth; I Deserve a Donut (book or app); Praying God’s Word (optional), and a Journal (any kind)

This group has only been in existence since March, but lives are changing, pounds are releasing, and faith is increasing. What if you could stop the rat race and start running the race of faith?

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

 

thin within: day fourteen

thinwithin

Today was rather crazy. Admittedly, I was not in the mood to do the study today. I tried while I was in the study room at co-op, but I simply couldn’t focus enough to do all the exercises. And then when I got home, I was too tired. So, some of this is from Day 14 and some was completed the morning of Day 15.

Day Fourteen

Today asked the question “who has God created you to be?” This can be such an overwhelming question to this recovering perfectionist… and to tackle it on such an exhausting day… well, I simply wasn’t in the mood.

We revisited the eagle story, which I still love. “I am an eagle, not a chicken!” It’s not enough though to believe you are an eagle. Yes, that’s where it begins, with belief, but if we truly believe, our actions will follow. I will act like an eagle if I the belief is my foundation.

If God had not intended the eagle to fly, stepping off the cliff with or without wings spread would have proven disasterous! ~ Thin Within (p. 139)

So, we have to know who God has created us to be before we jump off clinging to a belief. God’s word tells me that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) In Ephesians I learn that I am “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.”

Now, you may be wondering, “why on earth is the author harping on all of this – haven’t we already covered ‘who we are in Christ’?” Well, I don’t know about you, but if I had this belief down in my inmost being, food and body image laws wouldn’t have such a strangle-hold on me. If we don’t “get this” truth, we might as well stop because we won’t be able to live victoriousfreedom-chain01us for longer than it takes for our willpower, resolve, and strength to give out… which isn’t long.

We are building on the concept of who we are in Christ by acknowledging in this lesson that we don’t have to be a slave sin. We don’t have to be mastered by the food and body image laws any longer.

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. ~ Romans 6:14 (NIV)

A reminder, “eating” isn’t sin. The sin is turning to something other than God. The sin is trying to “fix ourselves” in our own power. The sin is in conforming to the world’s views, standards…etc.

I love how the author also talks about what happens when we “blow it”. She asks the question of whether or not God is grieved “by my willful reluctance to surrender all unto Him or to my lack of faith to claim the power of the Holy Spirit”. To this she responds:

He is grieved because we, as His beloveds, are missing out on His very best. ~ Thin Within (p. 142)

If you’ve got kids, think about this in regard to them. You tell them to do something and you already have in mind a “reward” you’re planning for a job well-done. Unfortunately, your kid decides to blow it off and either not do it, or does a very poor job. Sure, part of you may be angry (we’re human after all), but isn’t there a part of you who is disappointed that you can’t bless that kid with what you’d planned? Yes, I can relate to this.

Fortunately, God is a perfect parent (which may be difficult for us to fathom being imperfect parents). He has our best interests at heart, always. He knows what we’re capable of in Him and He longs to bring that to fruition. However, even though we mess up, He will never break His covenant of love.

The author goes on to describe an “obedient life” using a quote from one of my favorite Bible teachers on the planet. Beth Moore is like my big sister (in Christ) – yeah, I know I’ve never met her in person… but so what. Anyway, this was taken from her fantastic study, Breaking Free:

Obedience does not mean sinlessness but confession and repentance when we sin. Obedience is not arriving at a perpetual state of godliness, but perpetually following hard after God. Obedience is not living miserably by a set of laws, but inviting the Spirit of God to flow freely through us so the power to be victorious comes from God and not from us. Obedience is learning to love and treasure God’s Word and see it as our safety. ~ Beth Moore, Breaking Free

Take Action

This is the part that I didn’t fill out until the morning of day 15. We were asked to come up with lies we still believe. I’ve already been addressing these lies for a bit now, so it was hard to come up with some that I firmly still cling to. Most of them are cracked and breaking apart. God did show me that I am still relying a whole lot on my own strength, not just to follow the 8 keys and completing the daily lessons, but also to keep up with the writing of this blog series… eeekkk! Can we say, “hello, conviction”!

After addressing the lies, we were given a list for replacing false beliefs with truth. I really liked this list. Then we applied one of these truths to the visual aid on page 148. Neat exercise. Really hope you have the book 🙂

A Note About the Medical Moments

While, I have mostly agreed with everything in these so far, I still have to be very careful not to turn some of the information into “rules” or “laws”. I’ve been meaning to say something about it. Since today’s kind of hit me in an ugly way, I thought I would mention my thoughts on it. I am choosing to let God tell me what I should and shouldn’t eat. While I do accept that not everything is beneficial, I’m still keeping food “neutral” in my mind. Knowing something is better or worse for me has never been a strong enough motivator to force me to “eat healthy”. Besides, I trust God to naturally eliminate my desire for what He knows won’t work for my body and increase my desire for what does.

Observations and Corrections

Like I already said, today was wacky. I was running behind schedule and stood in the kitchen chugging my coffee so I could get out the door on time. I didn’t have time for breakfast (coffee was it) because I hadn’t planned very well the night before (so not me). I left the house a bit on the hungry side.

The second “standing in the kitchen” eating incident was out of sheer anxiety over trying to avoid plopping on the sofa with something to eat. I was genuinely hungry, but I wasn’t calm or relaxed. I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating. It was like “grazing” in the pantry. I know I didn’t eat much because I definitely stopped before a “five”. I could call this an utter failure, but the victory is that I didn’t eat while watching TV. Yes, it was still a form of distracted eating, but it wasn’t pleasant in the least. I hated it, and I think that alone will be a deterrent from making this behavior a habit.

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Circled K=”Standing in Kitchen; T=”Table”

Now, there has been a bit of a change in the tv watching dynamics at our house. The husband and I decided to put a sitting area (with a tv) in our bedroom this week. I’m not going to go into all the reasons we decided to do this, but from the moment we started discussing it (months ago), I said, “NO FOOD in the room” (with the exception of some date nights). Even though the TV was set up last night, I went to bed when I realized I was having trouble watching it without thinking about food. (the husband got headphones so I wouldn’t be kept awake by it).

Well, tonight, I was having the same issue, but kept in mind the boundary I’d set – “NO FOOD in the bedroom” (except date night) – and begged the Lord to help me honor it. I could still go down to the kitchen to eat… which is what I did… hence, the whole standing about grazing thing. When I came back to the room, I didn’t hang in long with watching TV though, I ended up going to sleep instead.

Part of the reason I was ok with the sitting area in our room was that I wanted to break my pattern of sitting on the living room sofa eating while watching TV. Knowing that I don’t want food in my bedroom on a regular basis, I hoped this would be a physical obstacle to my old pattern of behavior. So far, it is helping… but I still feel that draw to numb out in front of that box with food. This is something I really rely on for relaxation in the evenings. The husband and I have been doing this for years after getting the kids tucked in. Even when I was dieting I would do this (I had “tv watching approved snacks” then). I believe the Lord will help me break it though.

So, the dynamic change, with the exhausting day… yes, I don’t see today as a failure at all. It was an opportunity to turn it over to God… again, and again, and again…. and again.

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. ~ Colossians 1:22 (NIV)

 

SSMT: verse #6

Howdy Hey, it’s March 15th! That means it’s time for SSMT verse #6! Be sure to read Melanie Toup’s post on the LPM blog today. We chose the same verse as our first verse of the year. Too fun! It’s really cool that this is her seventh year participating with the Siestas.

Ok, so now on to my sixth verse of the year. I think this may be my favorite one so far, but that’s probably only because I’m really focusing on living free from dieting. You’ll see what I mean when you read the verse below.

I hopped online and posted my verse over at LPM. It’s really pretty neat to be joining all of these women in memorizing scripture. It’s like we’re unified in a way without ever knowing one another. Anyway, this is supposed to be a short post, so without further ado, here’s my verse #6:

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~ Psalm 103:5 (KJV)

I think I could write up an entire sermon on this… I guess I’ll save that for my “deeper with” post later.

Blessings to my fellow Siestas! Praying that we won’t just “eat the seed” of God’s Word, but will allow God to sow it into our lives and reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Also, it appears that LPM now has an SSMT app. Check it out 🙂