thin within: day two

thinwithinDay two was about “my relationship with myself and my relationship with God”. We begin the day by answering another questionnaire about our relationship with God. Of course, I won’t be posting my answers, but I will say that a couple of the questions made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t because they were bizarre, but because I didn’t like my authentic answer. There were a couple of questions that I know my answers are different now (in a good way) than they would have been last year.

I enjoyed the “God is love” portion. It was a great reminder of how He feels toward us. I also liked how the author listed some of the less than perfect people God worked through in the Bible. I figure if He can use them for His kingdom, He can use me too. This section definitely had the goal of building trust in our Creator. I think sometimes we say we trust Him, but our actions say otherwise. I mean, I would say that I was “wonderfully made” but I wouldn’t trust that the body He made could tell me when, what, and how much to eat… instead I would rely on diet gurus and food labels and apps.

Discovering My Own Hunger Level

This section was where the spiritual application joins with the physical application of trusting God.

Since your body is one of God’s masterpieces, it can be trusted. ~ Thin Within (p. 20)

The author introduces what she calls the “Bodometer Process”. Kind of a funny name, but she tells the reader to invite God into this process to help you know the clear answers. She then goes on to describe a process which helps you identify true physical hunger. I was actually thrilled to realize that I am on track for detecting physical hunger, but I loved the in depth descriptions about what is and what isn’t stomach hunger. I did use the full process twice during day two, I used a shortened version at other times (kind of like a “quick check”).

The Hunger Scale Tool

Ok, this was probably my favorite part of this day. Something about “you’re either at a zero or you’re not”, was comforting. I did feel like it reduced my anxiety over questioning whether I was hungry or not. So, I started trying to wait until there was no doubt I was hungry. Plus, it seemed to help resolve any lingering issues I had over the “your body needs less food than you think” concept from day one.

The really interesting thing about waiting until there is no doubt I’m hungry is that it seems to make it so much easier to recognize when I’ve had enough. I am finding that already… only two days into this thing… I’m pushing my plate away at shocking points in my meal.

I almost got a bit “bent out of shape” when the author made a recommendation that we choose “God’s provision of water” over “man-made” beverages, but then I reread it and focused on the “we recommend“. It isn’t like they are saying you’re going to Hell if you drink coffee or soda. And they aren’t setting a diet rule of “only drink water to be on plan”.

Healing is reaching a point where we can recognize that some things truly do benefit our bodies more than others without making those observations into “rules to live by”.

The Hunger Scale, that showed where you are if you’re holding on to extra weight or even gaining weight, kind of blew my mind. I think I stared at it for a while…. and then stared at it some more. Then they moved on to demonstrating that our empty stomachs are about the size of our closed fist. I am almost certain I’ve heard this before, but when I held up my fist and pictured some of those meals at the local, yummy, Mexican joint… um, yeah, I’ve definitely eaten past full. So I stared at my closed fist and said, “this is the size of your empty stomach”. Then I kept that visual in mind each time I fixed myself a plate of food. That doesn’t mean I only put that amount on my plate, it just means I kept it in mind. I would definitely agree with what the author said about our stomach size:

… however, it is a reality, and when reckoned with can be quite freeing. ~ Thin Within (p. 23)

You see, I think so often, those of us who grapple with binge eating think our stomachs are bottomless pits that will never be “full”. This visual shows us that they are not that way at all. We can honor our stomachs by not putting more food in there than what would be comfortable. We know what “stuffed” feels like. It’s miserable and doesn’t feel “honoring” at all.

Again, I got my back up at yet another quote from the book… seriously, I’m super sensitive when it comes to this stuff:

To honor God, who walks with us, and who leads and directs us, we need to honor the unique and amazing body he has made especially for each of us. ~ Thin Within (p. 24)

I could see how someone might take this as a form of condemnation if we don’t only do what appears beneficial all the time. So I read it again and asked God if this is what He means for me to take from this sentence. He told me to look up the word “honor”. That little word put the entire sentence into the proper perspective:

Honor: high respect; esteem

I absolutely want to show God the utmost respect and esteem Him above all else. I will never do this perfectly though, and God knows this. He knows I’m human. The goal is to live as Christ, but we must also understand that we need God’s mercy to live at all. The other day my 17 year old was asked “what’s the difference between mercy and grace” to which he replied:

It’s by God’s mercy that we’re still living on this earth, and it’s by His grace that we are saved. ~ my kid

Sometimes honoring our body is eating pie. I know that may sound strange, but sometimes your body might need pie. It might be the psychological part, but that’s still part of you. Eating pie is not a sin. Eating past “comfortable” won’t condemn you either. It may not be honoring, but it’s not condemning.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ~ Romans 8:1 (NIV)

Should we try to honor our hunger cues? Absolutely. Are we condemned when we don’t? No. The author later reiterates that The Hunger Scale is a tool and should be treated as such. Ha ha… “It’s a tool, not a rule!” I just made that up. Yeah, I know I’m cool (rolls eyes).

Anyway, those are the major points I took away. There was much more than this, but I’m trying not to make these posts soooo long.

That’s my Day 2 🙂

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T=”Table” & S=”Sofa”






thin within: day one

thinwithinFor those just joining the program, I’m going through Judy Halliday’s, Thin Within. The first post in this series is here. Now, let’s get on with Day One…

Day One

I previewed today’s lesson last night. One reason was because “preview what you’ll go over tomorrow” is one of the “ingredients” in the “recipe for straight A’s” that the kids learn at our DoJang. The second reason is because I tend to be impatient and this is a compromise that keeps me from reading through the entire book in a day. I preview the lesson the night before, then study it in the morning, then I get to preview the next day that night. Remember, preview doesn’t mean “do the exercises”, it means read over it to see where you’re going the next day.

Starting Point

I refuse to step on the scale, so I’m only going by how my clothes fit. Since I’ve gained weight during my journey through the “valley of doritos and donuts” (Josie Spinardi), I am currently in the largest jeans I own… and today they were snug. They bugged me all day in fact. I definitely felt bloated.

Why am I not giving sizes? Because I don’t want anyone “comparing”. I would hate for someone to think “well, she’s bigger than me, so I can’t relate” OR “well, she’s smaller than me, so how can she understand”. We’ve all read the books where someone is like “oh I was so huge” and they were 50 pounds lighter than you… and you want to throw the book across the room… ok, maybe all of us haven’t had that experience, but I have.

Anyway, I really, really pray I don’t grow out of these jeans, but I like how the author stresses that God loves us no matter what size we are. He doesn’t love us more if we’re a certain size and He doesn’t love us more if we eat certain foods. He just loves us… period.

But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do  ~ 1 Corinthians 8:8 (NIV)


I thought I would be put off by having testimonials peppered throughout the book, but I’m really not bothered by them at all. I kind of see them as little lights of encouragement that others have walked this path and experienced freedom.

Less Food?

You will begin to need less food as you realize much of your eating has been triggered by something that food really can’t satisfy. ~ Thin Within (pg. 5)

Ok, I’ll admit it, this was the first thing that made me go…. OH NO IT’S A DIET. But then, I had a little talk with myself. Maybe I do need less food, how should I know. I rarely paid attention to my hunger cues for 28 years, and one thing I have discovered since last Fall is that I’m not physically hungry as often as I thought I was. So, ok, I can get on board with the thought that maybe my body doesn’t need as much food as my mind says it does.

I think I’m so afraid of restriction… like paranoid… that I overreact when it’s suggested that I need less food. See, what I mean about my diet rebel?

And then the author stresses that we need to make sure we don’t turn what we learn over the next 30 days “into a set of laws that you must keep to be ‘good’ or to please God.” So, when I read that I said, “whew… ok, God, I need to you teach me how to know I’ve had enough, and help me not to even think about it being less or more… just ‘enough’.”

The Dieting Merry-Go-Round

I have never heard the following verse used to debunk the “dieting merry-go-round” before, but I will probably use it that way now (smile):

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. ~ Colossians 2:20-23 (NIV)

Um, sounds a lot like dieting to me, but I really never thought of it like that. Wow. I’m not saying the Colossians were dieting and that’s what they were being admonished for, but clearly they were putting more emphasis on man-made rules than on the worship and following of Christ. Boy can I relate to bowing at the altar of diets! How about that part that says, having “an appearance of wisdom”? Kind of eye opening. At least I thought so.

God made these bodies. He didn’t hand Adam and Eve a manual telling them exactly when, what, and how much to eat. No, He knew He had given His Creation internal cues to tell them when they were hungry and when they were full. We’re the ones who have messed that all up with our man-made rules.

I thought the exercise of thinking about your last meal was interesting. I liked the idea of observing my behavior from a third-party perspective.

Keys to Conscious Eating

Now, I’m not going to detail out the 8 keys. I’m sure you will be able to deduce what they are through this 30 day series, but I really do encourage you to just get a copy of the book if you don’t have one.

Most of this section wasn’t “new” to me per say, but there were some things I was able to take away that I think will be helpful as I journey on.

When in doubt, leave it out! ~ Thin Within (p. 8)

Super simple. If you aren’t sure if you’re hungry, don’t eat. If it all possible, wait till you are certain. The second thing that jumped out at me was when the author addressed eating what your body enjoys, not because it was a new concept, just because I like the way she worded it. I think recovering dieters really struggle with this one because we’re so used to being legalistic about our food. She backs up the thoughts below with two verses: Mark 7:18-19 & Romans 14:17.

Too often, we get caught up in thinking we are “good” or “bad” based on how we eat. Food cannot cleanse the heart no matter how little fat or how much fiber it contains. ~ Thin Within (p. 9)

Taking Action

This is where the author asks us to throw out all of our diet related paraphernalia. I am a HUGE proponent of this. Since I’ve already done this step, I was able to breeze through that part, but I do remember how difficult it was to get rid of those things. It feels a bit like stepping off a cliff, but that’s where we have to trust in the God who made us.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt… Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. ~ Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NIV)

Thin Within Observations and Corrections Chart

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

I LOVE charts. I do. It’s “a blessing and a curse” (Monk). So, when I saw that we were going to get a daily chart to record our progress with the 8 keys, I thought that was a brilliant idea. Now, my Day 1 chart isn’t that pretty. I am still trying to work out the best way for me to mark up this chart so that, at a glance, I can see what areas are progressing nicely and what areas need more help. So, when you look at the chart, it may be a bit confusing.

I think tomorrow I’ll draw lines between each of my “eating occasions” as the author suggests. I did try to color code them but ended up adding the dashes where I didn’t have check marks because it was looking a little weird to me. Oh, and the last row of pink was “dinner” that I forgot to add in the 4th spot and had to put it at the end. See, told you it is a mess.

“Standing in the kitchen” (circled K) occurred after dinner (which wasn’t what I wanted). I was in the kitchen and remembered that the 15 year old had made mashed potatoes for the 12 year old (whose mouth was hurting after the orthodontist today). Without thinking, I picked up the serving spoon and had two bites of the potatoes (which I did enjoy) before realizing I was standing and eating. I thought about putting some potatoes on a plate and going to the table but I checked in with my stomach. I wasn’t hungry so I put down the spoon and left the area.

Later, I was really, really hungry, but I was already in bed reading. I got up, went all the way downstairs and sat at the table (alone) with a small cupcake (on a plate) and a fork. I enjoyed every bite of that cupcake. It was gone at just shy of full, so I cleaned up and went back upstairs.

Now, I am choosing to focus primarily on the positive when I make these observations. I don’t want to get into the habit of beating myself up for not doing this “perfectly” (which wouldn’t be a far leap for me). I fully expect to observe some behaviors I don’t wish to keep (like standing to eat), but then I have the opportunity to make a choice to continue in that behavior or stop it.

Key #6 was the one I performed the best today with six out of six possible checks. Key #7 was in last place with four out of six possible checks. Earning those check marks took some serious concentration today. I had to be very deliberate, to the point that I had to remind myself to relax and breathe. It is so funny that I was motivated by little check marks.

I would also like to point out that I had already begun to work on hunger/fullness recognition before beginning this 30 day study. So, if it seems like I’m “rocking it”, that’s probably because I’ve already been attempting to practice some of these principles. So, if your chart is more of a mess than mine, don’t lose heart. Keep pressing forward and asking God for help.

Well, that was my day 1 🙂

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

thin within: starting tomorrow!

Here’s that post I promised on Saturday. It looks as though I’ll be doing this thing out here “solo”, and that’s fine. When I was stationed at Kelly AFB many moons ago, I put a sign on my door saying I would be hosting a Bible study in my room. I felt like God was calling me to do this. So every week on the day I’d picked, I would put the sign up and leave my door open. I met with God on the floor of my dorm room for weeks… alone. And then one week I got orders to join my new husband in another state. That night, I put out the sign again, but still no one came. I remember being really bummed until that last week when I realized, God just wanted my obedience… even if I was alone. We had some really great talks during those weeks of my lone Bible study. I wouldn’t trade it for a room full of people.

Anyway, I’m not going through this study entirely alone. I have God, and I am touching base with my friend on the forum who is going through the book too.

The Before You Begin Questionnaire

The thing that jumped out at me while I answered these questions was how far I’ve come just since I started my IE journey last Fall. If I had filled out this form back then, my answers would have looked very different. Still, I have room for improvement.

The Process

I like color coding things, so I’ve decided to give a color scheme to each “Part” of the book. So, Part 1 will be “Pink and Blue”. Part 2 will be “Green and Blue”. And Part 3 will be “Yellow and Blue”. Have I mentioned that I LOVE the color blue? Well, I do. I have colorful highlighters and pens ready to go. I’ll share more about my color coding later.

I plan to write the date at the top of the page for that day (and highlight it of course, lol). I don’t know why, but documenting the date kind of makes me feel like I’m “committing” to studying the devotional. Plus, when I look back on “where I’ve been”, it will be nice to have dates.

The third thing is, I plan to preview the next day’s devotional the night before. When I say “preview”, I mean I will read through it so I have an idea of what we’ll be learning. I won’t be filling in any blanks, just simply preparing to study the topic the next day. This is actually part of the “recipe for straight A’s” that we teach the kids at TaeKwonDo. When I complete my preview, I will place a checkmark in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of that day.

Other than the nightly “preview”, I will NOT be reading ahead. Now, this is going to take some serious discipline because I can burn through books like a wildfire through dry grass. It is very difficult for me to hit pause, but I’m going to do it so I can fully digest what I hope to learn… conscious eating.

Lastly, I plan to do every exercise in this book. Now, this could change if I encounter something I feel is “diet mentality” or contrary to the Bible. If it doesn’t fall into those two categories, I plan to complete it.

The Participation

If you do decide to participate, you are welcome to comment to any post. Feel free to share your thoughts on the initial questionnaire below. If you’re posting those thoughts on your blog, please link here so I can follow the ping back to you.

Alrighty, I think that’s all for now.


thin within: 30 days

Ok, so I’m one of those crazy workbook lovin’ gals. I just love workbooks. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s having permission to write in a book. Maybe it’s filling in the little blanks to make the thing complete. Maybe it’s because I learn best if I can read it and write it. Whatever the reason, I was totally intrigued when a friend told me about Thin Within.

I was considering writing a book about intuitive eating from a Christian perspective… and yes, I was going to do it in workbook format. Well, it seems Judy Halliday beat me to it… like years ago. In fact, I think she started Thin Within the year I was born. How humbled am I?

To make sure we are very clear… for those who maybe haven’t been to this blog in a while and are unaware of my journey toward intuitive eating… I am NOT dieting or following a diet plan. This isn’t 30 days of counting calories, measuring food, weighing food (or myself), food combining, food avoidance, food tracking…. etc. If you’re wondering about the journey I’ve been on, you can start here. If you’re caught up and understand that I don’t do “diet talk” anymore, please feel free to continue.

This book is basically a 30 day devotional that also walks you through eight “Keys to Conscious Eating”. I seriously need some work on the conscious eating front. Oh I do ok from breakfast to lunch, most days, but after lunch, all bets are off… usually. My friend told me she doesn’t agree with everything in the book (and I’m sure I won’t either), but the majority of it is spot on.

I actually started on April 8th (with day one on April 9th), so the posts will be written up to 9 days prior to the day they go live. Why? because I want a chance to “preview” the lessons… but I still want to do a “day by day” discovery of it myself (instead of reading straight through). The reason for doing a blog series on it is to keep me accountable to my commitment to complete the study and writing about what I’m learning helps me take the concepts deeper.

If you would be interested in participating with me, you will have until Friday (April 17th) to get the book, read up to Part 1 (don’t start day 1 till Friday), and answer the “Before you Begin” questionnaire. Yes, technically I’ll be slightly “ahead”, but my participation in comments and such will be real time. If you want to play along, please let me know (comment). I figure we can discuss in the comments of my daily posts AND/OR you can post as often as you like on your own blog and link back to my post for that day (so we stay connected through ping backs and such). It’s just 30 days people. I’ve done some seriously restrictive things for a lot longer than 30 days before. Heck, I dieted off and on for 28 years. 30 days is a blip in time.

I am still not stepping on the scale, but I will measure some of my progress by my clothing. I am asking that if you do choose to step on the scale please do NOT post your actual weight in my comments. I’ll might delete it if you do. If you wish to indicate pounds “released” in your posts, I’m fine with that, but let’s please don’t give scale numbers. It can be triggering and hindering to some. Plus, I don’t advocate the scale as an accurate measure of progress anyway. The next post in the series will be Thursday, April 16th, followed by the “day one” post on Friday, April 17th… we’ll go in succession from there (day two, day three…etc).

Why are we starting on a Friday and 17 days into the month? Because the rebel in me refuses to adhere to my old mindset of “I’ll start over” on Monday… or the first of the month… or the start of the next quarter… ha ha 🙂

If you want to announce it on your blog, go right ahead. The more the merrier.