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)

squishy bits and all

It’s been a really long time since I was “buff”, but there was a time when I had visible muscle definition. I have no idea if I’ll ever get a glimpse of that body again, but there are days when I look in the mirror and think, “where did all these squishy bits come from?”

Of course, one might wonder, how on earth can you ignore the elephant in the room when that elephant is yourself? For years, I couldn’t see past the obesity. I hated even walking by a mirror let alone standing in front of one. I was totally aware of every jiggle, every pinch in my clothing, and every stare. Now, though, the squishy bits actually catch me by surprise at times.

This isn’t because I’m ignoring the extra weight, but rather because most days I am able to view it through God’s eyes and not man’s.

…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. ~ 1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV)

However, if I let my “fat eyes” run wild, I’ll find myself in a full blown pity party on the brink of a dive into a bag of something sure to blow my boundaries right off the map. When I notice I’m focusing on my physical imperfections, I have learned that it is time for a perspective check, and lately, that has meant dealing with discontentment. I don’t even have to feel discontent about my body for it to trigger thoughts of food.

Before I began this journey of intentionally renewing my mind to the mind of Christ, I probably would have said I was a content person… or at least mostly content. I certainly didn’t think it was a stronghold or anything. Ha! Lies can be so blinding.

When God removed the binging from my repertoire of coping mechanisms, I was faced with a very ugly reality. I was one of the most discontent people I knew. Sure, it was lying there under the surface, squashed down by bad habits, but it was there, like a cancer, robbing me of really living.

Discontentment usually comes around when I’m believing a lie or making something more important than it should be… or both. This is one of the reasons I really love Barb Raveling‘s book, I Deserve a Donut: And other lies that make you eat. I can turn to the page of questions which addresses discontentment and get a much needed reality check.

By the time I’m finished journaling through the questions and the verses, my perspective has changed. Discontentment says I’m unloveable if I’m overweight, but God loves me, “squishy bits and all”. Because of this, I am able to worry less about the extra weight and focus on what really does matter, like loving God and others well.

gaining in a “biggest loser” world

To most people who want to lose weight, “gain” is a dirty word. The last thing you want to hear or see is that you gained weight. In fact, dieters often live for those “loser moments” each week. All seems right with the world when that little hunk of metal says, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

But what happens when the scale doesn’t budge, or worse, we gain a pound (or two, or ten)?

scales-make-you-cry

You know exactly what happens. We fall apart. It doesn’t matter what kind of week we’ve had, it is now an utter disappointment. We’re annoyed. We’re frustrated. We’re a failure and we think, “What’s the point”?

Which, actually, if you think about it, is exactly what we should be asking ourselves. What is the point of bowing to a hunk of metal each week, praying it will deem us worthy to spend another week striving for the opportunity to please it again seven days from now?

Many of us have heard it said that when you lose something, there is always the chance you’ll find it again. Did you just feel a bit nauseous? Are you picturing all the times you’ve played “lost and found” with extra weight? Yeah, me too. And yet, we keep saying, “I’ve got to lose this weight.”

Can you think of any other area of your life where you are so set on “losing” something?  If given the choice to lose or gain love, family, friends, knowledge, wisdom, money, a job or self-esteem (and the list could go on) what would be your choice?

Exactly.

Obviously none of us wants to gain extra weight, but perhaps you would agree our “loser mentality” is what has gotten us to where we are in the first place.

We lost control of certain areas of our lives, and we’ve paid for it with expanding waistlines, deteriorating health, and captivity.

Wait, what? Did she say, ‘Captivity’?

That’s exactly right. We become slaves to our habits, the scale, and diet plans. The Bible says that Christ came to set the captives free, but how many believers do you know who feel “free” as they fight the battle of the bulge? Instead, don’t they feel like losers, but not in a good way?

I was in this camp for decades. I lived in the pit, even put up curtains and spent time sweeping the dirt floor. I believed if I could just lose the weight, then I would be free and could live free. If I didn’t lose the weight, I felt I deserved that pit.

I thought I had a weight problem, an addiction, a justifiable struggle, a lack of willpower; when what I actually had was a “lie” problem.

“Being overweight is the worst thing that can happen to me.”

“All fat people are lazy and unattractive.”

“I don’t deserve to eat because I should be punished for allowing myself to become overweight.”

“The only way to get in shape is to work out to extremes.”

“I can’t control anything else in my life, but I can control food.”

“Having a ‘fat barrier’ will insulate me from being hurt by others because no one will want to hang around a fat girl.”

“I’m too ugly or too fat to go to that function… or be photographed.”

“If I’m not miserable, I must not be working hard enough to lose the weight.”

“Life sucks, but food is always there to comfort me.”

“People will reject me, but food will always be there for me.”

“Food numbs the pain and makes me forget my troubles.”

“I must follow my diet perfectly or I won’t deserve to lose weight this week.”

“I ate that cookie so I’ll gain five pounds on Friday.”

“I can’t stick to this diet for more than a few days, so I must need to try something else.”

This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of lies I had running rampant through my mind. I wanted to be a “loser” so badly, I lost sight of all I had to gain as a child of God.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog, God has been bringing me to a place of Truth for a while. He’s planted seeds that have grown, and then in June of 2015, I decided I was sick of striving to be a “biggest loser”. I decided I needed to become a “Truth gainer“. It was time to allow God’s Truth to set me free from my pit dweller mentality.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

I started with a concept called “renewing the mind” based on Romans 12:2. I agreed that I had spent far too long being “conformed to this world” and I wanted my weight transformed.

Well, I made a commitment to build a daily habit of renewing my mind to the mind of Christ. You can read about that in my series called Renewing the Mind=Transformation.

I don’t know what I thought would happen. I guess I thought the weight would just fall off and that’s how I would be transformed. Sure, I wanted my thoughts to change, but that scale was really important to me. Six months in and I had “lost” and “found” the same few pounds several times. Ugh.

Did I want to quit? You bet.

I had never worked at weight loss for so long and not gotten the results I wanted. I was frustrated. There were days I absolutely refused to keep my “renewing of the mind” appointments with God because I was angry He wasn’t keeping His end of the deal.

“If You’re not going to show up to this party, why should I?” I thought.

Of course, clinging to my “must be a biggest loser” attitude earned me a longer stay at this phase of the process. God would allow me to be humbled and I’d plant my rear back on the little loveseat in my room where I had my appointments with God.

God gently reminded me through Barb Raveling‘s book, I Deserve a Donut, that I had been living in a pit of lies for far longer than I had been renewing my mind with His Truth. He told me to be patient.

Yes, God could have had the weight melt off like butter on a pancake fresh off the griddle, but He didn’t. He opted for the long route because He knew I needed to learn a few things:

  • Patience
  • Trust
  • Contentment

Patience

Nothing, and I do mean nothing works at rooting out “biggest loser” mentality like being forced to be patient. I’m still a work in progress, but He’s brought me a long way already.

Trust

Having spent years putting my trust in everything but God where my weight/food/body image issues were concerned, I absolutely had to learn to place my trust in God. Did I trust Him with everything or didn’t I? Did I believe He was who He said He was? Did I believe He could do what He said He could do? Did I believe I was who He said I was? I had to face these questions with the truth that my actions did not match up with what I said I believed. Ouch.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

~Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

I still don’t do this trust thing perfectly, and doubt I will this side of heaven, but I actively do my best to trust Him and then ask Him to help my unbelief when I fail.

Contentment

This one was the turning point. I had already noticed some changes in my thought life and behaviors not related to weight loss, but after six months of no tangible scale results, I had to make a decision. Either I learned to be content despite living in a body with at least seventy extra pounds, or I was going to be miserable until the good Lord took me home.

I had to decide if I believed God was worthy of my praise, honor, devotion, and trust even if I never released another pound. If I spent the rest of my days obese despite spending every day walking with Him, abiding in Him, and renewing my mind, would I still love God? Would I still call Him faithful? Or would I eventually walk away if I didn’t get what I wanted?

Yikes. He offered no guarantee of physical change, but asked me to lay down my “biggest loser” attitude and follow Him no matter what.

When I let go and decided to be content, big girl jeans and all, transformation took on a whole new look. I started noticing my thoughts about weight/food/body image changing. My actions followed. It would be about three more months before God answered the question I’d been asking over and over: “What food boundaries would be best for me right now?

Why did He wait? Because I wasn’t ready. I needed to learn how to gain patience, trust, and contentment first. Otherwise, I would likely worship the boundaries like I worshipped the scale and every plan I’d ever done. I would put my trust in them instead of in the Lord, begging them to deem me a “good and faithful servant”.

Yes, the weight is releasing and to date God has removed just shy of forty pounds of lies from my body. That visual only represents a fraction of what I’ve gained in Christ since making that commitment to build a simple daily renewing of the mind habit.

His peace alone would be worth walking with God in this way the rest of my days.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

Renewing the Mind: One Year+ Later

It has been just over a year since I began seriously building the practice of daily renewing my mind, and what a year it has been! I had no idea where God was going to lead when I made that commitment last year (June 2015) and I’m still surprised.

Accountability

I’ve had the lovely privilege of talking with Barb Raveling and even going through a study on procrastination with her. She has been a wonderful support and graciously allowed me to host an online study group named after her book, Taste For Truth. That study group has morphed into an ongoing Support Group which the Lord continues to bless. I am so grateful for the fellowship and accountability I’ve found there as well.

God has provided a blessing through a weekly call with my mom to hold each other accountable to renewing our mind. I’m so thankful to call her my mother, sister-in-Christ, and friend.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ~ Matthew 18:20 (KJV)

Opposition

When I frantically scribbled notes from the audio I mentioned in that first series, I couldn’t have known the opposition I would face from the enemy. My family went through what we are calling, “a series of unfortunate events” that spanned months. I know this was directly related to the progress the Lord was making in my spiritual life, but as usual, the enemy is no match for the Almighty.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:4 (KJV)

Holding Boundaries with Open Hands

My boundaries have changed in several areas, but the most significant have been with food and the scale. What I thought were ideal boundaries for me, were not, and I’m not sure how long I would have followed a different (more frustrating) path had I not been renewing my mind on a regular basis and seeking God’s will for me personally.

Although, in my mind, I knew it wasn’t about the perfect keeping of my boundaries, it took some time for the Lord to transform how I viewed them. I finally stopped looking to them for “salvation” from my obese prison and other food related issues. I am far more open to allowing God to choose my boundaries because He knows what is best for me at this time.

With the scale, I am weighing again – two times a week. Once on my scale and once at my WW meeting (they are different days). I still struggle with scale issues, but I’m using this as an opportunity to renew my mind about that number and break the stronghold of scale worship.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. ~ Psalm 32:8 (KJV)

Tools for the Journey

In that first series, I listed a lot of tools I was using at that time. While I still use most of them, there have been some changes. For instance, I no longer read Have your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans TooThis has a lot to do with the boundary shift I mentioned above because my focus has changed and I think far less about “the perfect boundaries”. Also, I don’t view my boundaries as a “diet” anymore. God can use any set of boundaries He chooses to set the captives free. Who am I to limit Him, if I even could?

I have added other tools though:

  • Scripture Lullabies – LOVE these for creating a calming atmosphere while I work on other stuff. They are a great way to passively renew my mind with scripture about who God is, how much He loves me, and who I am in Christ. It is not uncommon for me to play these for hours at a time, very low, in the background of my day.
  • Taste for Truth – A fantastic book by Barb Raveling which walks the reader through building a renewing of the mind habit about food boundaries and other food related issues. Have done this study several times now.
  • Made to Crave – Another great book by Lysa Terkeurst. It is the book which inspired this blog many years ago but means even more to me since beginning to build a habit of renewing my mind daily. I read a bit here and there. It’s important not to get hung up on all the “healthy diet” speak in the book and focus on the meat and potatoes (going to God for His truth and to meet our needs). Of course, a healthy diet is important, but our boundaries need to be chosen by the Lord and not by what someone else is doing.
  • Scripture Typer – This is a scripture memory app. Currently I’m working on verses about Truth and the Armor of God. I can practice verses at any time during the day, but it will also prompt me to review.

TransformationButterfly_Beauty

God is transforming my heart and my mind in regard to food/weight/body image. Overall, I feel much more at peace about this area of my life. When I look in the mirror, I see fewer flaws than I ever have. This is a true blessing as I would often avoid mirrors and cameras if I could.

I am more likely to keep my boundaries than not. This isn’t because my boundaries are perfect, but because God is changing the way I think about food. I just don’t get as much enjoyment out of dancing about outside my boundaries as I used to. It feels more like punishing myself than “treating”. And who enjoys punishment? I don’t.

I use food far less for comfort than in the past. This doesn’t mean I never use it for comfort, it’s just much less because God is proving Himself a much better comfort.

I actually like renewing my mind. That’s right, there was a point when it felt like a chore and a time sucker. Now, I have to actually make myself move on with my day. Not every day of course, but more than not. I do still have days where I think, “Ugh, I don’t feel like renewing my mind right now.” Thankfully, those are few and are perfect opportunities to renew my mind about not wanting to renew my mind – ha!

I view exercise very differently. Exercise, for me, is no longer about weight loss. It is about feeling better. It is about using the body God gave me to do some pretty cool stuff. It is about leaning on God for strength to make it through the workout when my “can’t want to” brat is screaming. It is about time spent with Him (yes, you can exercise with God). Have you ever run down a trail imagining God running alongside you (with perfect form of course)? Try it, it’s pretty cool. I always imagine Him much taller than me where I have to look up to see His face or reach up to hold His hand. If anyone looks at you funny, just tell them you’re on a run with God.

I have released weight. No, it isn’t anything dramatic like “reality” TV, but it is still significant. God has removed more than 30 pounds from my body in the year since beginning to build a daily habit of pouring in His truth about food/weight/body image. I don’t believe that weight will come back as long as I keep my focus on the ONE who makes all things possible. I am still overweight, and while I do get discouraged over that at times, I know God is faithful to do what He says. Those emotions are other opportunities to turn to the Lord for His truth on the matter. The transformation process isn’t my job. It’s His.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time… ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11a (KJV)

one gal’s boundary is another gal’s prison

Wouldn’t it be great if God wrote a weight loss book? I’d totally be willing to spend a few weeks on a mountain with Him while He inscribed it into stone tablets. Although I’m sure there are others more worthy than myself for such an honorable task, I wonder, would it be high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat…

…actually, I think man came up with what is considered high or low in those categories, not God.

Speaking of mankind, have you walked down the “diet” or “weight loss” aisle in a bookstore? If you want to be overwhelmed and more confused, just take a gander through those rows of books. So much conflicting information in one place, yet the colorful covers are attention grabbing. The bylines and credentials are convincing. And the claims, well, they are enough to make you believe you’ve finally found the answer to your waistline woes.

We take on a different set of boundaries (or add more rules to our existing set) and maybe we even make it a few weeks. The dailiness of it all sets in and we announce, “this is just another diet” or “this is too hard”.

We run into a friend and she looks great. She’s obviously lost weight and while our first thought might be one of jealousy (come on, we’re being honest here), our second thought is probably, “Maybe I should do what she’s doing”.

Our latest weightloss “bible” gets pushed aside for a new one (or we keep adding rules) and we’re off and running again. That is, until we start looking for greener pastures or catch an interview with Dr. Oz on some breakthrough “power food” grown in a remote region of the Amazon Rainforest. This cycle could go on for the rest of our lives. Flitting from one plan to the next and never actually breaking free of anything.

Have you ever considered why there might be a myriad of weight loss plans out there? Sure, part of it is about money. Weight loss books and tools are highly marketable. It is also true that some of it is just “snake oil”.

one_size_headline

But maybe, it has something to do with weight loss not being a “one size fits all” sort of deal. There is a thought that no one knows us better than ourselves, but I beg to differ. God knows us better. He knows exactly what those of us with food/weight/body issues need. He also knows that what works for me might be a stumbling block to you (and vice versa).

This is why it is so important to go to God when choosing our boundaries. I wrote awhile back about taking a list of needs to the Lord and how He led me to the right boundary for me in this time in my life. Even though I know God has me at Weight Watchers right now, that doesn’t mean I’m never tempted to consider another set of boundaries.

When I see someone having quick success on the scale or hear someone bash tracking points, it’s tempting to think, “Maybe my boundaries aren’t ideal”. Worse is if I think that person thinks my boundaries are somehow “less godly” because they are based on a manmade plan.

Let’s get something straight. Food boundaries themselves are not gospel. They do not make us holy. They do not make us righteous. They do not transform us. They are a tool. As a gal in the Taste For Truth Support Group put it, “they are a means, not an end”.

God led me to Weight Watchers because He knows the ins and outs of every fiber of my being. He knows my background and the influences in my life. He also knows the season of life I’m in. Who better to decide?

I can have confidence in knowing I’m walking in the way He’s leading me, and at the same time recognize that what is freeing to me (yes, I think tracking points is freeing), might feel like a prison to someone else. Likewise, there are things God has led me away from because they negatively affect me (trigger my old disordered eating patterns), but these might be some of the very things He knows will speak to someone else.

Of course, there are things which are unhealthy. God is never going to lead us to a plan which will harm your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well being. So, if that’s happening, it’s not God’s plan for us.

Besides, as Barb Raveling often says, we aren’t transformed by the perfect keeping of our boundaries, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. It’s really easy to make it all about our boundaries, but that’s just exchanging one idol (food) for another (boundaries).

Keeping my eyes on Him is the only way to see clearly and experience freedom while living with food boundaries.

 

 

 

Taste For Truth and Freedom From Emotional Eating – Studies Begin August 8th

The Taste For Truth Support Group will be hosting the following Bible studies simultaneously beginning August 8th:

51n8CMGHsmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
What: Taste For Truth Study
When: August 8, 2016 (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)

 

FFEE_


What:
 Freedom From Emotional Eating Study
When: August 8, 2016 (Approx 8 weeks)
Where: Taste For Truth Support Group
Supplies Needed: Freedom From Emotional Eating; I Deserve a Donut (book or app); and a Journal (any kind)

 

The Taste For Truth Support Group is based on Barb Raveling‘s book. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere which promotes support and accountability in the area of food-related strongholds. Join us for the study, stay for the accountability.

 

Taste For Truth – Online Class Starting May 9th

The current group at “Taste For Truth Online Class” is nearing the end of the study and I’ve decided to continue. I am changing the name to “Taste for Truth Support Group” and will start back through the study again beginning May 9th.

This group (based on Barb Raveling‘s book) is a place where you can hold yourself and others accountable to building a habit of renewing our minds to the mind of Christ, taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, and living happily within our food boundaries.

51n8CMGHsmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Building a renewing of the mind habit isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. No matter how your journey is going, we want to walk it with you. Here’s the information if you’d like to join in:

What: Taste For Truth Study
When: May 9th – June 30th
Where: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163532310695887/
Supplies: Taste for Truth; I Deserve a Donut (book or app); Praying God’s Word, a Journal (any kind)

 

 

missing the kitchen sink

Several weeks ago we ripped out the pantry, some cabinets, all the countertops, and the kitchen sink. We rolled all of the appliances into another room, except the microwave, which stayed affixed till this past weekend. Unplugging that last device pushed me over the edge.

I remember thinking it would be “fun” to be without a kitchen for a little bit. Boy was I wrong. The fun wore off about one week in. Now, I try to avoid the entire first floor of our house because it looks like my kitchen threw up everywhere (even in the basement).

Chaos doesn’t give me warm-fuzzies, so I’m really not sure what I was thinking. It took years for me to “get over” general messiness that happens when you have six people living in the same house… but downright chaos? I haven’t grown that much apparently.

The FlyLady considers chaos an acronym meaning “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”. Yep, that about describes where we are.

My boundaries stayed in tact for about that first week, and then chaos stomped them to death. Here I am, day one of the official start of an online study group I’m hosting, and I’m scrambling to find those boundary lines. In fact, I’ve been trying to regroup for a week now.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my previous boundaries do not fit the current environment of no stove, no microwave, and nothing that requires washing. My trash can is filled with take-out containers and the remains of boxed/bagged foods boasting long shelf-lives. We have several gallon jugs of drinking water scattered about the temporary kitchen.

Two of the folding tables I was using for “counter space” in my fake kitchen are now eating up real estate in my family room where they are covered with cabinet doors in the process of being refinished. This means we’re digging through kitchen stuff on the floor and have no use of the family room.

The dog is beside himself.

I’m over it and beyond ready to get my kitchen back. Most of the counters are supposed to go in on Wednesday, but I’ve got probably 2-3 more weeks before it is fully functional again (yep, much of it is DIY). So, instead of continuing to try to keep boundaries which do not work in this environment, I’m changing them.

It has taken me a few days to decide what they should be, but I woke up equipped with a plan…

… and I broke them after lunch today.

Hmph. That’s right, day one of the new boundaries and I fell for the old “it’s just one bite outside your boundaries” lie. One bite became about seven and it was only capped there because my hand hit the bottom of the bag (which is now in that aforementioned trash can).

I’m thankful for the bottom of the bag though, it sure beats “rock bottom” (which I hope to never see again). It was the pause I needed to say, “what kind of lies are you listening to, Jules!”

The instant I found a quiet moment, I got alone with God and did some Truth Journaling. If you don’t know what that is, check out this post by Barb Raveling. And if you want to see a small sample of one of my entries, you can look here.

donutAfter that, I went through some questions from I Deserve a Donut pertaining to the root issues revealed during the Truth Journalling session. When I actually break my boundaries, I make myself write the questions and answers in my journal… so that’s what I did.

Next was scripture. I read through some passages that applied to my situation.

When finished, I felt so much better. I knew the problem wasn’t the new boundaries. They will most definitely fit in my current chaos, but like all boundaries, they still require me to sacrifice my “right to have whatever/whenever”.

The problem was my focus. I turned to food instead of God, which is often easy to do in the midst of chaos. Praise the Lord, God is faithful and His grace is sufficient!

Taste For Truth Online Class

51n8CMGHsmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Well, I’m finally jumping into the deep end. I’m hosting an online class based on Barb Raveling’s book, Taste for TruthIf you’ve never gone through this short little book… or have been through it a dozen times, this class is for you. The primary goal of the class setting is to have a place where we are held accountable to practicing renewing our minds.

Building a renewing of the mind habit isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. Anyway, here’s the information if you’d like to join in:

What: Taste For Truth Online Class
When: Begins March 7th (8 week class)
Where: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163532310695887/
Supplies: Taste for Truth; I Deserve a Donut (book or app); a Journal (any kind)

 

should boundaries take a holiday?

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m betting most of us have numerous traditions centered around, or least accompanied by, food. I know we do.

I’ve done the extremes when it comes to Holiday eating. I’ve had years where any semblance of self-control flew out the window the moment the smell of pumpkin pie wafted in my direction. I’ve also had years where I stuck to some restrictive diet where I would stare longingly at the food before me.

In the first example, my boundaries were too loose (or, nonexistent). And in the second, they were too strict. Both scenarios have consequences. One leaves me with regrets, bloating, extra weight, and misery. The other leaves me feeling deprived and like I missed out, opening the door for “back-lash” eating.

Fortunately, I don’t have to live in the land of extremes with my boundaries. If I’ve chosen long-term boundaries, they should be able to accommodate some Holiday deliciousness without the ugly side effects of eating with wild abandon or the deprivation of “being good”.

I can also choose to alter my boundaries slightly if need be for the season. This might mean I must be willing to accept that I might not release any weight or might even gain a bit. If I’ve made the decision ahead of time, aware of potential consequences, I’ll still be in a better place than if I throw my boundaries completely out the window or try to adhere to unrealistic ones.

Barb Raveling has some great questions posted to prepare us in advance for those little whispers tempting us to give in to “Last Supper Eating”. Renewing our minds before we’re in the situation will help tremendously. Then, when the whispers come, we can confidently say, “No, I can live within my boundaries and be satisfied because…”

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” ~ Psalm 16:6