RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 5

We’re a third of the way through this challenge as we begin week five. Last week we went on a treasure hunt. This week, we’re engaging in praising the Lord.

 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalm 150 (ESV)

Worthy of Praise 

It is my prayer that we are beginning to see how great and awesome God is. I hope we are recognizing that He is indeed worthy of our praise.

Recently, I heard of a man who had a problem with God “commanding” us to worship Him. In fact, he was so against it, he refused to worship unless he “wanted to”. He didn’t want a “god” who demanded praise.

You see, he viewed God as though He were a human tyrant demanding to be worshipped for the purpose of benefiting Himself. I must say, I would be leary of a “god” like that too.

Thankfully, the One True God is self-less and sacrificial. He is for His children, not against them. Contrary to what some believe, God doesn’t tell us to worship Him alone for His benefit. It is for ours. God knows the pitfalls we’ll encounter when we value anything above Him and He wants us to avoid that pain. Many of us can attest to living in those pits. I know I have scars and extra pounds which testify to bowing at the wrong alter. You probably do too.

This is precisely why He sent His Son to die in our place on the cross. He wants us near. He longs for a relationship with us, not to complete Him, but to complete us as His dearly loved Creation.

Let’s consider for a moment His Son, Jesus Christ. We’ve all heard the catch phrase, “What Would Jesus Do.” Most Christians would say He is a good example of how we should live in this world. Well, what did He do when presented with the opportunity to worship something other than God?

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. ~ Matthew 4:8-11 (ESV)

In a sermon titled, You Shall Worship the Lord Your God, John Piper paints a beautiful picture of us (as a peasant) playing outside the castle with the Prince (Jesus). Then, we’re invited to enter the castle to meet His Father. Jesus immediately kneels and brings His face to the ground before The King. He bows, not out of fear of wrath, but out of a deep love and devotion and respect. I highly doubt any one of us would still be standing there thinking, “You want me to bow to You? I don’t think so.”

Jesus would bow because He has a full understanding of who God is and what He can do. He understands how great the Father’s love is for us. We would bow initially because we’re following the Son’s lead. Then, as we begin to get even a tiny inkling of the magnitude of God, we will find that praise and worship are a natural, gladly given, response.

“Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah” ~ Psalm 24:8-10 (ESV)

So, beginning this week we’re going to increase our time to 20 minutes beginning with praise and worship. By now, we have been praying scripture prayers on overcoming idolatry, unbelief, and pride, all of which attest to the awesomeness of God. We have also listed out many reasons God deserves our praise and worship through our week of “treasure hunting”. You can begin there with your time of praise and worship, but feel free to add on. You may also choose to sing.

”Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.”

~ Psalm 115:1 (NKJV)

Week 5 – We’re going to add to our daily habit of renewing our minds by increasing it to 20 minutes per day beginning with praise/worship, confession of sins, and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 20 minutes with any method you wish. Also, keep that second appointment during the day that is about five minutes long. During this time, renew your mind specifically about your boundaries (what tempts you to want to break them, why you need boundaries…etc). Be sure to take full advantage of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download this week’s PDF.

_______________________________________________________________________
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes a day & kept my food boundaries.
I’m down 0.2 the fourth week :)*
Challenge Total: 4.8 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.
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RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 3

We are already beginning week three of our “Renewing the Mind Intensive” Challenge. I want to encourage you to continue renewing your mind each day. The mirror exercise mentioned last week is difficult for some in the beginning, so press on, it will get easier.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. ~ Psalm 16:6-8 (NIV)

Choosing Food Boundaries

This week we are going to focus on our “body” and set some food boundaries. This is the place where I will probably lose some people. You’re thinking, “Wait, I thought this was a Bible study about weight loss, not a diet program!” Let me reassure you, this is NOT a diet program. I am not asking you to diet, I am asking you to consider setting some boundary lines which will benefit your body.

You guys know how much I love Barb Raveling’s books and website. She has a wonderful gift of being able to zero in on a lie like a heat seeking missile. Often in her books she talks about how we have boundaries in most areas of our lives, but seem to think it’s ridiculous to have boundaries in regard to food. Oops, guilty.

Let that sink in… how many areas of your life do you have boundaries? Certain words pop into my mind like: budgets, fidelity, manners, property lines, schedules, laws, oven mitts…etc. Yes, living within boundaries is something we already do and is absolutely good for us. However, but we don’t always feel this way when it comes to food. This is why it is so important to renew our minds about our boundaries. We must see them in the light of the truth.

The truth is, eating anything and everything we want, whenever and in whatever quantity we want, doesn’t feel great? Well, maybe temporarily, but go with me for a moment to the “morning after”. Think about all those times you’ve woken to that food hangover filled with regret. The bloating, the guilt, the frustration… etc., none of it is pleasant.

Give me a second… I’m really feeling this one… nope, not pleasant at all.

Boundaries benefit us because they prompt us to stop and assess the situation before we end up dishonoring God and our bodies. Choosing boundaries can be somewhat difficult because we often fear they will take the “fun” out of life. Come on people, is it really fun? Be honest.

Fortunately, our boundary lines can and will fall in pleasant places if we choose wisely and then renew our minds to stave off our fleshly desires to dance around outside them with reckless abandon.

One of my favorite resources for renewing my mind about my boundaries is Barb Raveling’s little book, I Deserve a Donut . If you’re joining me in this challenge, it is time to set some food boundaries (if you haven’t already). If you aren’t sure what boundaries to set, turn to the “Appendix: Boundaries” section of I Deserve a Donut. Barb has a list of questions and some other information about “Lifelong boundaries”. Or you can check out these links:

Choosing Your Boundaries…

Now it’s time to make some decisions. We’re going to choose a set of healthful food boundaries today, or at least by the end of week 3 (next Friday).

In deciding on my own boundaries, I’ve come up with some criteria that has helped me:

  • Simple – too many rules increases my risk of breaking them and can feel overwhelming to keep.
  • Clear – I know exactly where the lines are – no guessing. Saying, “Eat less sugar” is really vague and could be subject to interpretation… “Well, I ate less sugar today than yesterday” or “I ate less sugar than at lunch” or “I ate less sugar than my husband.” Where is the line? How do I know if I’ve avoided sugar enough to honestly say I’ve lived within my boundary line? I don’t. When my boundaries are unclear, they leave a gaping door for the enemy to convince me I’ve blown them when I haven’t… or I’ve kept them when I haven’t.
  • Good Fit – my boundaries are loose enough to allow for real life but tight enough to still support my goals (maintenance, weight loss, overcoming food worship, health). That line should say, “This is far enough, take it up with God.”
  • Yours – don’t choose a set of boundaries simply because someone else is doing it. We’ve all fallen for it. A friend shares how she’s dropped a ridiculous amount of weight doing such and such… so naturally, we think the diet must be the answer. This is not a “one size fits all” type of thing. Sometimes we have to swim against the current, and that’s ok. If I “own” my boundaries I’ll be less likely to be swayed by every mention of every diet out there.

 Start by writing out what you need from a set of boundaries and then find some plans that meet those requirements. Next, write your boundaries on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure they meet the list above.

On the same piece of paper, list all the reasons you love these boundaries. That’s right, I want you to love your boundaries… not the same way you love God or your family of course. That would be silly.

Now you’re ready to begin living and moving and “being” within these boundary lines.

Week 3 – we’re going to continue building the habit to renew our minds for at least 15 minutes per day beginning with confession of sins and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 15 minutes with any method you wish focusing on renewing your mind about your body (boundaries). I’m going to suggest the chapter on “Overcoming Pride” from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and the “Lies that Make You Eat” section of I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling (particularly the “I’ll Start Tomorrow” questions/verses).

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download the PDF.

_______________________________________________________________________
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes every day last week.
I’m up 1 the second week 🙂

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RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 2

It is time to move to week 2 of our “Renewing the Mind Intensive” Challenge. Those who are following along, I hope you’ve enjoyed renewing your mind for at least 15 minutes a day. I pray you’re also feeling lighter by getting those unconfessed sins out of your way.

This week we are going to focus on our “soul”. Beth Moore says “the soul represents the seat of our emotions and our personality.[1]”

If you’re an emotional eater, you know what that does to you. When our emotions drive us, we’re probably going to be in trouble. In the past, I’ve been one to eat no matter what emotion I’m experiencing. Also, I believed for a long time, this was out of my control.

You know the old Lays potato chip commercial with the tagline “no one can eat just one?” (WARNING, the link contains a potato chip commercial designed to make you want potato chips so don’t view it if you think it might trigger a potato chip binge) Well, I fell for this about a lot of things. I believed I couldn’t resist that temptation. Partly because my desire to eat those things was driven by an attempt to stuff down my emotions, and partly because I believed this was just “who I was”… my personality.

While my personality makes me “uniquely me” , what I believe about my personality plays a pivotal role in my eating habits too. If I believe myself to be a “chocoholic” or a “sugar addict” or the family “garbage disposal”… guess what I will act upon? That’s right.

Every personality trait has a positive and negative side side. Someone who is passionate can use that passion for good, or it can get them into a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, we often live out the negative aspects more than the positive. As we grow up, we are labeled along the way (whether intentional or not) based on our personality or how we process emotions (such as “You’re too sensitive” or “You were born old” or “you are totally out of control”). Perhaps we are still acting on those labels to this day.

When we believe these things about ourselves, our views become warped and, if we know Christ as Savior, we are acting on false information. Unfortunately, most believers keep these labels even after Christ has set them free.

It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. So, every morning this week we’re going to speak the truth about who we are in Christ, directly to our souls.

Below you’ll find a short list, but I encourage you to look up more verses about your true identity. A google search will return countless references. Next, write down the three “In Christ I am…” statements you struggle with believing the most. One look at your behavior with food/weight/body image should be a clue as to which ones you aren’t believing.

I realize you may have more than three (I certainly do), but we’re going to begin with just three for now. Place this list on your bathroom mirror (or nearby). Every morning, we’re going to say them in the mirror. That’s right, look yourself in the eye. It will probably feel very awkward at first. In fact, everything in you may scream, “this isn’t true!”

My friend, if God says this is who you are in Christ, it is most certainly true. You may not be living it out at this point, but it is the truth. So, let’s get started!

In Christ…

I am wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am forgiven (Colossians 2:13)
I am loved (1 Peter 1:5)
I am not condemned (Romans 8:1-2)
I am set free (Romans 8:1-2)
I am light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14)
I am protected (1 John 5:18)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am a victor (1 John 5:4)
I am healed by his stripes (Isaiah 53:6)
I am God’s beloved (Romans 1:7 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:16)
I am able to do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13)
I am able to defeat the enemy (Revelations 12:11)
I am never separated from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39)
I am secure (John 10:28-29)

Week 2 – we’re going to continue building the habit to renew our minds for at least 15 minutes per day beginning with confession of sins and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 15 minutes with any method you wish focusing on renewing your mind about your soul (emotions/personality). I’m going to suggest the chapter on “Overcoming Unbelief” from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and the “Emotions” section of I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download the PDF.

_______________________________________________________________________
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes every day last week.
I’m Down 5 the first week 🙂

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[1] Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds, Beth Moore, page 149

RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 1

Today marks the start of the first week in a 12 week journey I am calling a “Renewing the Mind Intensive”. Members of the Taste For Truth Support Group have copies of the PDF version, but I do intend to share a bit out here for those wishing to follow along.

The first week, we are focusing on renewing our minds in regard to our spirits. So often we are ruled by our soul (emotions/personality) or our bodies (fleshly dwelling), but obviously this causes us a bit of trouble. If you’ve ever eaten for emotional reasons or been driven by physical cravings, you know what I mean.

As children of God, we don’t need to be ruled by those things, but rather have power through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to behave differently. We will address this more and more in the coming weeks, but this first week, we are going to focus on:

  • Spending 15 minutes a day renewing our minds.

We want to build a habit one step at a time. Whether you already know about renewing your mind or not, I’m going to ask you to begin your daily appointment with a time of confessing any unconfessed sin. Confession of sin isn’t for God’s benefit, it is for our own. When we agree with God about the sin in our lives we are better able to let go of those behaviors.

So, I’m asking you to get alone with God and ask Him if there is any unconfessed sin in your life. When He brings things to mind, write them down. Remember, God’s voice will be one of loving correction so if a voice of condemnation floods your mind, you’ll need to filter that through God’s truth. The difference might be:

  • Loving Correction: Jules, the way you spoke to your husband last night was hateful.
  • Condemnation: There you go again, you are such a hateful person. I can’t believe your husband puts up with you.

If you are a child of God, there is no condemnation, so really think about which voice you’re listening to. As you write each sin, humbly ask God’s forgiveness and ask Him to help you avoid making that mistake in the future. This doesn’t mean you’ll never mess up again, but your heart will be one of humility and this will alter how you view God and even how you interact with others.

As we go through this journey, it would be a shame to trade in our overeater identity with one of self-righteous pride. We will not be perfect this side of heaven and it is necessary to continually remind ourselves just how much we need God.

When you’re finished with your list and talking it over with God, tear it up, shred it, burn it… destroy it in some way. It is finished and you are forgiven. The Bible says that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and that He remembers them no more. By destroying the paper, you are agreeing to let go of those sins. You are symbolically forgiving yourself as well.

If the enemy… you know, that condemning voice… tries to beat you up with that sin again, stop, rebuke the enemy in Jesus’ name, and then turn that sin back over to God.

Use the rest of your 15 minutes to focus on who God is and what He can do. A great resource is Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. I would suggest starting with the Chapter on “Overcoming Idolatry”. In the PDF, found only at the facebook group, you will find day by day suggestions for renewing your mind in regard to your spirit.

And that’s it for week 1…. 15 minutes renewing your mind beginning with confession of sins.

TFT Support Group Hosting 2017 Challenge!

Alrighty gorgeous people! I’m throwing out the big “C” word in the hopes someone will join me on a quest to building (or solidifying) a renewing of the mind habit. Not sure what “renewing the mind” is? That’s ok, check out this post.

Already got it? Great, let’s continue…

Three weeks from today, the Taste For Truth Support Group*  (on Facebook), will be hosting a twelve week long cHaLLeNgE to inspire us to renew our minds to the mind of Christ in the New Year. The focus will be tri-fold and will be based on this passage of scripture:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV, view other versions)

We will renew our minds concerning the three parts of every human: spirit, soul, and body during the 84 days. The assignments will be geared toward pouring in God’s truth and will build as we go along.

Participants will need:

  • 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)**

You can ride along (to some extent) just by following this blog, 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.

So what is the official start date? January 6, 2017  That’s right, we’re kicking this off on a Friday. Why? Because our weekly weigh ins at the TFTSG will be on Fridays and to break us out of the whole, “Oh, I’ll start over on Monday” mentality. Of course, I’ll be posting more information here and on the support group before then.

If you are already a member of the TFTSG, do NOT use this upcoming challenge as an excuse to ignore renewing your mind and/or blow your boundaries for the next three weeks! Stay the course, my friends!

If you have come across this post after our start date, that is perfectly fine. Just begin as soon as you can.

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

 

from beneath the waves

jesusonwater1

Well, I honestly thought I was ready to move to another set of boundaries, apparently not. The “diet mentality” noise in my head reached deafening volumes about two weeks into the boundary shift. I know it had everything to do with eyes of my heart shifting from relying on the Lord to relying on the diet. I stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus, but as we know, humans can’t walk on water in their own strength.

As soon as my inflated ego got in the way, I began to sink. Over analyzing every little thing I ate returned along with feeling the weight of taking back the responsibility of making my own transformation happen. It seemed all I thought about was food and exercise and weight.

Then, I broke the boundary… and broke it again… and again…. and the hours of fruitless research returned. I would find myself googling and reading about all kinds of diet plans, supplements, and exercise programs. Finally, I started through books in my own library that I’ve read over and over.

UGH!

The  noise of “diet mentality” running amuck is horrible and dare I say, torturous! And trying to control my weight and flesh desires is exhausting (and futile). I’m glad I kept up with the practice of renewing my mind but I was so bombarded I felt frozen in my old pattern of behavior.

When I awoke from falling asleep on the sofa after downing an entire bag of snack size Almond Joy, I knew I wasn’t ready for “walking on water” when it came to my food boundaries. Pride is still very much alive in my flesh. I really hate admitting defeat, but I needed to humble myself and cry out to the Lord for help.

Fortunately, on the timeline of my journey, this will be seen as a tiny blip, hardly significant in the realm of damages, but a very significant turning point for me.

One really positive result from this was a re-reading of Lisa Bevere’s You are Not What You Weigh and Sharon Hersh’s The Last Addiction (which I’m still in the middle of). Ironically, reading them again, I came away with an entirely different message which has dropped another layer of scales from my eyes and shifted my focus even more intently to the Lord. I hope to post more about this soon.

I did return to Weight Watcher points as my boundary line, and much of the diet noise dissipated almost immediately. I still have to renew my mind about keeping my boundaries, but it isn’t like having a screaming banshee in my ear all day long. Obviously, clear boundary lines that allow for “real life” are better for me right now.

If you find yourself slipping beneath the waves, cry out to Jesus and then grasp His waiting hand. Don’t let it go on simply because you feel powerless to change… admitting your powerlessness is pivotal to tapping into the unfathomable power of the Almighty.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV)

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)