Don’t Wimp Out – Eyes on Jesus!

I have a love/hate thing going on with this quote from Beth Moore: “Have the courage to live under the strain and pain to be part of a better story. A larger story. Don’t wimp out. Only pain can bring change”

I love it because it’s so true, but I also don’t like it, for the same reason. Why does only pain bring change? Why do we only “get it” down in the pit of despair,  never on the mountaintop? I guess it’s one of those”wait till heaven to find out” kind of questions, but I want to talk some more with you about the “wimping out” part…

What is going on in your life today that makes you just want to WIMP OUT?

Are you in terrible financial trouble? Is your marriage a source of great pain an turmoil? What about those teenage children, are they breaking your heart? How are you doing with your food struggles these days? Are you maybe hiding out, avoiding people, and crying yourself to sleep again every night because of the terrible grip this thing has on your life? How are your relationships with your family, friends, or colleagues at work?

Let me stop for a minute here, take a deep breath with you, and say… I’m so sorry about the strain and pain of your story…

We can many times see the benefit of a trial in retrospect. That wonderful clear headed time when we can look back and reflect that “yes indeed God did use this to change me” or  “I can now see how God works everything for good for those who love Him”. The problem is when we are right there smack in the middle of the arena with the devil, the people who hurt us, the addictions we’re fighting, or sometimes the whole caboodle. In that place where there is only sweat, tears, and blood we just want to WIMP OUT, and honestly, who can blame us?

Remember the disciples out on the boat? They had the Lord of lords right there in the boat with them, but their eyes were on the storm, and they were freaking out! Peter had the same experience while walking on the water, only one thing could help him and save Him in that place of fear and terror, HE HAD TO FIX HIS EYES ON JESUS!

Let me encourage you today to fix your eyes on Jesus again. I know everything in you just wants to quit, run, hide, or give up… but there is another way. It’s in your room, with the door locked, on your face at the feet of the ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE YOU!

Pushing through this terrible pain, anger, or loneliness WITH YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS, will indeed bring you into a bigger story: HIS STORY for your life. In fact, many times our trials result in the very thing we’ve been asking God for years: A surrendered heart so that we can run free from the chains that bind us. A heart that truly loves Jesus above all else and that WANTS TO seek first the Kingdom of God.

I’m inviting you to fix your eyes again on Jesus as the Bible commands in Hebrews 12:2. Let Him into your moments, especially those weak moments, so that the PRINCE OF PEACE can reign over your life once again. 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15; 5-10

Your sister in Jesus
Heleen

Do You Fear Rejection?

I was desperately afraid of rejection for the biggest part of my life. I was rejected early on for not being pretty enough, not quiet enough, and definitely not skinny enough. I was rejected by peers, boyfriends, and family members in both big and small ways. However, the most important rejection was one I was not even consciously aware of: I REJECTED MYSELF COMPLETELY.

The fear of rejection became the driving force behind my vow to avoid rejection at all cost. I remade my appearance to the best of my ability,  and surrounded myself with “safe” people who would or could not easily reject me; mainly people with wounds, obsessions, and weaknesses of their own. I also made sure that I became irreplaceable in the lives of these friends, so they would never want to leave me. Through manipulation and lies I kept this all alive. I pleased, begged, fought, over committed myself, did things I hated, smiled when I wanted to cry, stayed awake when I wanted to sleep, had long talks when I had nothing more to say, bribed, gave advice, bent over backwards, and last but certainly not least,  rescued everyone around me.

God saw all of this of course, and placed ever so strategically four little beings in my life who would challenge my authenticity from the start. They grew up way too fast, and as young adults refused  to any longer be coerced into Mom’s perfection and people pleasing. They wanted to spread their  wings and fly, and they especially wanted to love me on their own terms. So I felt again the stabbing pain of rejection that I carefully tried to dodged for so long. I cried before God, tried to think and rethink the situation, made a new plan, did everything I knew to keep the relationship intact, and yet, there was nothing for me to do, except feel the searing pain of rejection…

Finally after allowing God to untangle my heart from the huge mess of being tangled up with other people, I asked the question that needed asking a long time ago: Why am I so terribly afraid of rejection?

His voice was clear and the message so simple: You have to stop rejecting yourself. You have to start loving the girl I made, and give her some room to grow and live. You have to let Her breathe and start pleasing her God instead of people. Other people are fickle. The ones who love you today might reject you tomorrow, but through the years, and all of your life, you have YOU an ME.

This was the verse that spoke to my heart and reminded me that God has never rejected me, not even once…

I took you from the ends of the earth,
 from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:9-10

What about you dear friend?
Are you terribly afraid of rejection?
Has it maybe been the driving force behind so many decisions and actions in your life? 
Is fear of rejection maybe at the root of your desire to be thin at all cost? 
Is your obsession to please others maybe driving you to the numbing effect of food?
Have you rejected yourself and as a result need to soothe the pain with food?

If we reject ourselves, then other people’s rejection is just too much for us to bear. If we criticize and hate ourselves, then other people’s criticism drive us over the edge, and many times make us reach for a substance to soothe the pain. It is when we are secure in our God and truly accept ourselves that we can handle what others throw at us; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I implore you to open your heart before the King of kings if you also fear rejection. Fear is from the enemy. Repent and allow God to flush out that fear and fill your heart with His incredible love and acceptance.

Your sister in Christ
Heleen

 

 

Resources for you

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use. 
Click on the image below to find out more

Controlling People and Situations can Feed you Food Addiction

We’ve just completed Week 9  on the forum that deals with PEOPLE PLEASING and CONTROL. If you find yourself reaching for food because of stress and turmoil in your relationships then this week might clear up a lot of issues for you. Please have a look at my 12 Week Online Program to find out more.

Here is a previous post I wrote that goes well with this week’s lesson:

 

This past weekend I was reminded that self-control and controlling other people can not co-exist in my life. I was getting anxious about situations in our family and fell back into my old pattern of controlling people and circumstances.

Of course I’m pretty good at “whipping” everything and everybody into shape, but things started unraveling fast inside of me. I was restless. I wanted to eat all sorts of things and I was avoiding God.

Fortunately I’ve learned, through much tears and many heartaches, to recognize these patterns in myself.

So I was back at the drawing board with God:

The Bible clearly says that self-control is part of the Fruit of the Spirit and “should” thus be part of every spirit filled Christian’s life. According to John 15 we will bear much fruit (including self-control) if we are plugged into the vine (Jesus). So having self-control means staying close to God, OBEYING GOD, and daily asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and give us control of ourselves.

However, no where in the Bible will you find any kind of command or even an indication that we are suppose to control other people and circumstances.

Now if you are immediately thinking  “I’m not a control-freak” you might want to first read the following to make sure:

Controlling can be blatant or subtle. Trying to please people and keep everybody happy doesn’t seem like control, but by always pleasing others we actually try to control the way they see us, or even what they think of us.

Controlling others has a nasty side affect: It robs us of our self-control. If we learn to give the people and things that we can not really control over to God, we have enough peace to build and work on our relationship with God and as a result we see the fruit of the Spirit show up in our lives..

You girls know me by now: I want to know how it works in real life!
I’m seeing how every time I choose to give control over to God, I have more peace, more time (by not obsessing about others) and more self control.

Try it…next time you feel like controlling or pleasing someone else, ask God what you’re suppose to do. Something like this “Am I suppose to control/please this person Lord? Which part of this is my job and which is Your job?”

Okay, so I know it’s not that easy: What do you do with the anxiety, the pain and the stress surrounding the relationships you are currently trying to control?
Women have so much more stress that’s related to relationships than men. We want to fix everyone’s problems and keep everybody happy. But at what price? We loose control of our own lives!

capture16One of the things I found that works wonders for this kind of stress: Girl friend time!
Get into a group or ask God to help you find friends with whom you can be real. I found that it’s easier to join a woman’s Bible study or a support group. The kind of”realness” that we all desperately need usually starts in these kind of groups, and lots of times it flows over into lifetime friendships.

God gave us each other, and nobody understands the needs, stress and worries of a woman like another woman. Please find a place where you can talk about the stress in your relationships.

Most women I know constantly put their own needs and wants on the back burner. So I guess it’s almost “normal”, but it doesn’t mean that we can keep doing it without damage to our lives. Our anxiety sometimes reach such high levels that we start looking around for a crutch such as food, alcohol, pornography or drugs.

Do you feel that you have little or no self-control left?
Please have a look at your relationships and circumstances. You might have the best of intentions in controlling people and circumstances, but it still robs you from the ability to control your own self.

Find a quiet place today where you can think and talk to God about control. If you give the control back to God you will feel peace come back to your life. In the light of that peace, you will be able to talk to Him more openly, and He will tell you why He created you in the first place

Don’t think for one minute that this is selfish. The most wonderful gift you can give your family and friends is to start taking care of your own wants and needs (spiritual, emotional and physical). If you do that, you will regain your self-control and will be able to sow love into their lives without controlling them.

I don’t say this lightly. I have to remind myself daily that by controlling others I am robbing myself of self-control. I need all nine parts of the fruit of the Spirit desperately in my life, so I keep giving the control that belongs to God back to Him…

From a ex control-freak

Heleen

 

Here are some resources for you:

 

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EXERCISE: Sacrifice of Praise!

We are a group of more than 30 ladies walking out a 12 week journey on the forum. It’s not too late to join in or just read along. Here is a link to the Members Forum.
If you are not a member you might be interested to click here for my FREE EBOOK: “God will I ever be free?”
Click here if you want more information on becoming a member: 12 Week Online Program for women who struggle with eating disorders and food addiction

This week (Week 5) we’re talking about Exercise. Here’s a re-post that deals with one of the most important issues surrounding exercise – WE HAVE TO EXERCISE FOR HEALTH – NOT WEIGHT LOSS!


I know exercise might not be your favorite topic, it’s not mine either, but let’s face it: Spring is in the air and our bodies are itching to get moving, even if our minds are still glued to the couch!

My battle in this area is no secret, so fortunately I don’t have to pretend with you ladies. For many, many moons exercise in my book meant only one thing: TORTURE!

Every time I started using exercise to get rid of some unwanted rolls around my mid section, I found myself despising it with a passion. I would get up in the morning and mumble to myself “This is just not natural, nobody does this, I must be crazy…” Weekends were even worse… who would want to “spoil” a weekend with exercise?

WHEN YOU EXERCISE TO LOSE WEIGHT:

1. You might use exercise as a dangerous method to “purge” after a binge

2. It might become part of your “diet-routine”, so you only do it when you’ve gained weight but you never seem to keep it up.

HOWEVER, IF YOU EXERCISE FOR YOUR HEALTH THINGS CAN CHANGE RAPIDLY!

Come on…change with me…let’s do it to have more energy, feel healthier, have more confidence, enjoy our kids, dance with our husbands, have glowing skin and shiny hair!

Their are so many benefits to exercise. One of it is weight loss, but don’t let it be the reason you do it girl, IT IS NOT A LASTING INCENTIVE!

Think outside the box. Why settle for the ordinary? If you dig a little deeper you might find a tennis player, a swimmer, a runner, or a salsa dancer hiding in your heart.

Do it for the glory of God! Let it be your sacrifice of praise!

Moving for Christ!
Heleen


Link Between the Church and Weight Problems

Did you hear about the new statistic that links attending church with obesity?
I was both sad and angry when I heard the anchor person say on the news last night that “church might be good for the soul, but it might not be so good for the waist line” She went on to describe how research has shown a greater weight gain in people who attend church at least once a week than those who don’t.

I can’t say that I was surprised about this announcement, but I sure was angry at the devil for humiliating the church like that, and I was sad for the thousands of Christians who struggle with their weight.

I have written a lot on this subject so I’m adding one of my earlier articles below. It’s a bit long, but something I think every Christian should be aware of.


Please Read:

I recently stumbled upon an article “Lard have Mercy: The Christian obesity epidemic”.

It was very interesting and although the author sadly showed an obvious prejudice towards Christians, I couldn’t help but agree with some of the points being made. The author based the article on Ferraro’s most recent study, published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, a follow-up to a study he published in 1998, where he found there were more obese people in states with larger populations of folks claiming a religious affiliation than elsewhere, particularly in states with the most Baptists.

I grew up in a Christian home, and I love the church, but even I can not shut my eyes to the fact the we have grown, to put it mildly, “bigger” over the years. Now of course this problem is widespread. Everybody knows by now that obesity has become an epidemic in America with more than half of the populations suffering from this. So the church has not been isolated in it’s denial of the eminent dangers associated with obesity.

The truth is that we as Christians did, for a long time, tolerate the sin of gluttony in our midst. I grew up seeing a lot of overweight people in church, including the pastors, and I never even gave it a second thought. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way condemning overweight people, that would make me a hypocrite seeing that I have struggled with food for many years, and still have to fight off the enemy in this area.

I’m afraid the church’s denial of this problem didn’t help though. We don’t allow alcohol at our meetings, and preach against the dangers of drunkenness. Some congregations have even switched to grape juice for communion to not give alcoholics the opportunity to stumble. All kinds of addiction programs sprung up over the years, and we have reached out a hand to help people overcome these. Pastors do their part by preaching against the lusts of the flesh that the Bible warns of. However, for a very long time, we ignored the fact that food can also become an idol; something to numb pain and help you deal with life; a drug of choice.

Until a few years back I found it so hard to keep my food addiction at bay while being actively involved in church. It is true that we can not pin it all on the church, then we will be no different than the people blaming MacDonalds for their obesity. But we also have to wake up to the truth that to beat obesity in our generation will take a team effort. Yes, individuals need to change, and families need to take a hard look at their lifestyles, but big institutions and government agencies have a role to play in winning this war against obesity. So the church can’t just passively sit by, refusing to change with the times.

It is true that the church, like the rest of the world, gather around food for all occasions. Granted at a secular party there would be alcohol too, but there will always be room for rich food and decadent desserts on the menu. Likewise, every meeting and gathering at the church have been a place for the ladies to bring their best dishes to the table, and best would hardly ever equal healthy in years past. In fact, if I brought a plate of vegetables to a church function a few years back, nobody would probably eat it, and I would have opened myself up for some serious criticism.

Have things changed? I think so. We’re getting there, slowly but surely, just like everybody else. There are more fruit, vegetables and healthy dishes at the meetings these days. It’s still fun to gather around food, and lots of times our meetings are right at lunch or dinner time anyway. However, our church gets it meals delivered from Subway these days.

There is also an awakening in many churches to the fact that God made us to move. Many churches have added gyms to their complexes, and some small groups are dedicated to help people get fit and loose some weight.
In recent years many books have been written to help Christians get their weight under control and programs such as First Place have been gaining popularity with their excellent material and support groups.

So I do think the church are realizing that our casual take on overeating is not good for us and it’s hurting our children. However, we still have a long way to go. Not everybody is convinced, and one can’t help but wonder why not, if all the evidence are on the table. Can it be that the love for food has become too big to let go of the rich decadent dishes? Also, habits don’t change over night and certain food became part of our traditions, making it all the more difficult to let it go. But I, for one, will encourage people to grieve these “food traditions” and start new traditions in order to save their lives and the lives of their children.

I am joining many Christians in the war against obesity in the church. If you are a Christian struggling with food, my heart goes out to you. It is not an easy struggle, in fact it can be very lonely in a church where people don’t talk about it and still pile the tables high with rich, fatty foods.

You can find help on my website that I created especially for women and moms dealing with eating disorders and food addiction. Make no mistake, it’s not just people with anorexia and bulimia who have an eating disorder. Anybody who doesn’t eat in a normal, healthy way needs help in this area. Come see for yourself, it’s online so you can do this program in the safety of your own home and at your own pace.

I must admit that after I heard that “proclamation” on TV last night, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me again to bring my own “crutches” that I’ve picked up recently and lay them down. The world is watching us, and the fact is, we do have the answer; His name is JESUS and he came to set the captives free!

In His Love,
Heleen

 

 

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How do you find victory in your WEAK MOMENTS?

I wanted to share this excerpt out of the new Breaking Free Bible Study by Beth Moore with you:

God has reserved momentous victories and great rewards for us. But we’ll never make it to our milestones if we cant’ make it through our moments

Isn’t that so true?
We set these milestones and we even have faith for it – but then we get to that ‘MOMENT”, that excruciating moment of temptation or weakness, and we cave… and then we lose hope…

SO HOW DO WE GET THROUGH OUR WEAK MOMENTS?

Beth goes on to say that 2 reasons exist that we don’t take the “exit” God offers in our weak moments (1 Cor 10:13)

1. We don’t want to

2. We don’t feel like we deserve to

We have to ask God in that MOMENT:

“God I don’t want to stop eating, but please change my WANT TO”
or
“God I don’t think I deserve healthy food/taking care of my body, but please help me see that I am a princess of the only true King and I do deserve it”

If you have been following along on our MEMBERS FORUM, you will know that I am struggling at this time in my life with “keeping my mouth under control”. Our family life has become very challenging because (as I mentioned before) my husband and I have a few businesses that we now run from home, and I’m still homeschooling two of my kids. So I tend to lose my temper and reach for some unhealthy snacks in those very stressful or weak moments during the day.

Sometimes it’s totally a “I just don’t want to” thing like Beth mentioned, and I’ve been crying out to God to change my heart’s desires in those times.

However, sometimes I even “want to”, and plan to do the right thing, but when I get to that MOMENT… I just DON’T!

Paul speaks about this struggle in his own life, and he concludes that it is indeed ONLY GOD who can saves us and help us overcome in those times.

So what can we do if we even want to do the right thing, but we DON’T?

I will tell you about the only thing that has worked for me even in the hardest of times:
I have  to  recognize that my thoughts of “it doesn’t matter” or “what difference does it make” in those weak moments  are LIES OF THE ENEMY. He knows my weakness and he will present those lies to me every time I feel stressed or weak – FOR AS LONG AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE JUST MY OWN LITTLE THOUGHTS.

So we have to first of all SPOT THE LIES – those are not your thoughts, and most certainly NOT YOUR WANTS – and then RUN INTO GOD’S PRESENCE. Listen girl, you will only find victory in those weak moments if you get out of that situation and find a place to pray. Rebuke the enemy and read those note cards with God’s truth out loud so your ears can hear the truth. The Bible says that in God’s presence the veil is stripped away, and as we look into the truth of His Word, we are changed (Go read this in 2 Corinthians 3: 16-18)

But what if you have 20 weak moments a day?
Don’t worry, even though daily time in God’s presence is the only way to remain free, you will not have to run and pray 20 times a day for the rest of your life. BUT FOR NOW – LET’S FACE IT – THAT MIGHT BE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

If you feel yourself going around in that cycle of making promises to yourself to do better, even wanting to do better, and then failing every day at that same weak moment… THEN IT’S TIME TO SURRENDER YOURSELF TO GOD, RESIST THE ENEMY, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU (James 4:7)

Please go read again WEEK 2 and WEEK 11 of my 12 Week Online Program for women with eating disorders if you have forgotten (or didn’t realize) that you’re not just fighting your own FLESH but also a very real enemy. I talk about these issues in greater detail there, and also give you some tools to find victory in those weak moments.

The following passage of Scripture underlines it all:

1 Peter 5:6-10 (New International Version, ©2011)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

In His Love
Heleen

PS: I highly recommend Beth Moore’s Bible Study “Breaking Free”  – it is life changing! Find a group near you or start a small group yourself, it is so much more effective if you do it with the accountability of other women.

 

 

 

More resources for you

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more

Keeping the “Spark” Alive

So with Valentines day upon us, I thought it would be good to write a little about my own love story.

I haven’t written a lot about me and Tony (the love of my life:) probably because this blog is more about helping women with their food struggles than it is about marriages.

However, every February I tend to wander a bit onto the path of love…

I have been a lucky girl for sure. God knew I needed Tony. All of the things that I desire deeply in my own life: self-control, patience, and endurance just come so “natural” to him. I’m the high maintenance one in the relationship, so I got the better end of the deal, I’m sure:)

We will be married 20 years in 2012 – so almost 20 years of  good times and definitely bad ones as well. We moved across continents and raised four children together (well technically we’re still busy raising some of those young ones) And then recently we’ve been thrown into a total different ball game ( by the economy and God’s plan of course) when we started up a brand new business at home. Some days I have to hang on to my sanity for dear life – homeschooling, phones are ringing, emails are coming in, work needs to be done, orders need to be processed, laundry, dinner, quiet time, exercise…well basically just a normal day in the life of a working mom:)

During times like these romance sort of fades into the background, and it bothers me. So I do what any decent Christian woman would do – I whine, and then I cry, and then I pout, and then I threaten, and FINALLY I cry out to God… and what do you know… He always first start with my heart. A pinch of gratefulness, an ounce of respect for my man, and a heap of forgiveness.

When we’re done with phase one (aka working on Heleen) God will surprise me with a sudden burst of laughter between me and my guy, or some secret we get to share, some inspiration for a project we can do together, some book that comes our way, or some marriage seminar that I “stumble” upon. He’s even been known to draw us into in-dept marriage counseling at times … and ever so miraculously… the “spark” comes back.

How’s your marriage doing?

Listen girl, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH OUR GOD. He holds the universe in His hands. He created love between a man and a woman. We can not bring the “spark” back into our marriages by whining, crying, or threatening. Believe me, I’ve tried it all. We can not let our husbands be responsible for our happiness or our wholeness. We can also not expect our marriage to be exactly like our friends’ marriages, and definitely not like the fake marriages we see in movies or read about in books.

God may want to restore your heart first before he restores your marriage. Granted, He may need to restore your husband’s heart too, but why don’t you allow him to start with your heart. This quote of  Oswald Chambers sums it up perfectly ” No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first”

However, when we’ve allowed God to heal us and fill us with His love, we can also ask Him to restore and heal our marriages. He knows exactly what is needed to put the “spark” back in your marriage. It might be a good book, a good laugh, a marriage seminar,  OR it might be something you and I never thought of. Go ahead and ask Him…HE IS STILL IN THE BUSINESS OF HEALING BROKEN PEOPLE AND RESTORING BROKEN MARRIAGES!

Tony and I  – 19 Years ago on our wedding day

Not so young anymore (but still in love:)  – this picture was taken last Christmas

Here are some of the resources that helped us through the years:

Laugh your way to a better marriage by Mark Gungor (Book)
Laugh your way to a better marriage by Mark Gungor (DVD Series)
Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Check Focus on the Family‘s Website for a possible Love and Respect Seminar in your area.
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley
Fireproof (DVD)
Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace

There are obviously many more resources out there, and if you ask God to show you the possibilities are endless…

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Heleen

augh Your Way to a Better Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love, and Marriage

Are you Desperate for Change?

Do you constantly feel defeated, guilt ridden, tired, depressed, worried, stressed and overwhelmed? Are you truly desperate for change in your life and your situation?

Lets tackle the question then shall we: How does change happen?

I’ve looked for change everywhere I could. I still sometimes fall for the lie that if I can just be “better”, work harder, and pull myself together, then change will come… but it never does. The only times I’ve experienced TRUE CHANGE (the kind that lasts and lasts) was when I stopped making plans and finally turned to the Author of my life.

Please note that change doesn’t happen through programs, books, Bible studies, support groups or counseling. All of these things/people are marvelous tools in God’s hands that He uses to draw us closer to Him. But in the end, after we’ve done the program, went through counseling, got some support, and studied the Bible it should all lead us to one place: A DEEP LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS!

WHY? Because we ONLY changed IN HIS PRESENCE!

So if you are HONESTLY READY FOR CHANGE then I have a prescription for you:

I prescribe ONE BIG DOSE OF PRAYER DAILY!

Wait! Please don’t tune me out or stop reading yet. I know I’ve lost some of you when I mentioned the word prayer. You might think “Man, I’ve tried that before” or “Not the prayer thing again”

So lets talk about it candidly for a second: Why would you even consider prayer?

Here’s what I found in the Bible and my life…

Prayer not only helps you “empty out” all the junk of the day, the world, and all the worries an thoughts racing through your mind, but more importantly it “fills you up” with the love, mercy, and greatness of God.

I need to be reminded of this often because if there is one thing the enemy wants to steal from me (every child of God really)  it’s my PRAYER TIME. I will still make time for Bible Study and somehow drag my sorry bones to the gym, but when it comes to spending time just “talking” to God, the enemy blocks me at every corner.

When I finally get a clue and jump back on the prayer wagon, I can’t help but think that if we knew how important prayer was for our everyday living and survival, let alone victory, WE WOULD FIGHT FOR IT WITH ALL WE HAVE. We would give prayer first priority every day, we would make time during the day, and for sure before we go to bed at night. In fact, if you’re battling to overcome an addiction or eating disorder prayer is CRUCIAL. I’ve heard many people, who struggle  to break free from addictions, say that prayer three times daily was the only way they could get victorious through any given day.

Here’s a little word picture for you. Next time you forget to pray, or something hinders you from just sitting down for 5 minutes to talk to God, imagine it as being the same as not showering. I know…gross… Now imagine not showering for a few days, the layers of filth gathering, the smell, the uncomfortable feeling. If this persists for a long time you might become “used to” the smell, thinking that it’s “normal” … but that won’t stop you from getting skin diseases and other illnesses that accompanies a lack of hygiene. Also, people will start avoiding you because of the obvious stench.

Honestly, the same thing happens in our spirit. If we don’t pray for a day or two we’re still pretty okay, maybe a little irritated, maybe we don’t feel so great because of the stress, anxiety and junk that starts piling up in our spirit, but we can still handle it. However, if this persists for a while we can start to “stink” to the people around us. We might not “stink” so much to ourselves anymore because we got used to our anxiety and yucky feelings. In fact we might even blame our attitude on the world we live in, the people in our lives, and the bad genes we have. We might turn on God and blame Him for not caring about us and not loving us, all this without ever really talking to God. If we would take the time we would see clearly the deteriorated state of our spirit (heart) and emotions and it will all start to make sense to us.

In the midst of business, loneliness, sadness, pain, joy, or fear there is ONE THING WE TRULY need: To be washed by the water of the Word – A good old fashion spiritual bath in God’s presence and His Word to wash away all the worries, the stress, the pain, and the anger. We need to come into God’s presence so that He can change us and remind us that He is almighty and He is in control of our lives.  If we wait on Him (talk to Him and listen to His voice) our strength will be renewed, we will rise up with wings like eagles, we will run and not grow weary.

Don’t wait any longer, GO NOW, RUN INTO HIS PRESENCE, GO SIT AT HIS FEET, BE RENEWED AND RESTORED!

I’m preaching to myself here ladies – I’m off to sit at His feet or as a good friend of mine like to say “feel His sweet kisses on my cheeks”

Love you ladies
Heleen

Please have a look at my 12 Week Online Program for women who want to stop binge eating, overeating or bulimia by growing into close relationship with Jesus Christ. My program is not a quick fix, but will gentle lead you to the ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HEALING AND CHANGE TO YOUR LIFE -JESUS.

EMERGENCY: I have to lose weight fast!

8How do you feel when you get an invitation to a friend’s wedding, or to go on vacation with family, or to come out East (or West) for Thanksgiving? Does your stomach turn and your blood pressure rise at the very thought of it? Special occasions can be absolute torture for someone with a food struggle. The worst part;  it happens all the time!

I receive emails of sheer desperation from ladies about this topic more than anything else: “How can I lose weight fast without jeopardizing everything “

The truth: This kind of anxiety is very dangerous. It will most likely make you look for a quick fix and a quick fix is just an accident waiting to happen.

The good news: You can use this “occasion” to start your journey, right now, seriously, by grabbing on to God and asking for help (counseling or prayer) to lay down the food (junk food and addictive foods) that always drag you down.

The bad news: You have to be honest with yourself, because it will be ONLY THAT, the start of a journey! Serious weight loss, without any regard for the consequences to your health and body, can not be your main focus. There are safe meal replacement programs on the market that I have used and that helped me lose weight pretty fast. However, if you only do this for a short time, without a coach or a support group, you are very likely to put the weight that you’ve lost right back on (and some).

I’ m sorry that I have to be so blunt, but I can’t lie to women who have already suffered so much. If you didn’t deal with some of the pain from your past or present relationships, you will most likely reach for the quick fix again. This dangerous method might cause you to lose  a few pounds (possibly) but it will not be worth the denial, pain and turmoil you’ll feel inside. It is this emotional turmoil, caused by fad diets or dangerous methods (purging, diet pills, etc), that makes people pick up lies, denial, unbelief and pride again. So in the end all it does is postpone your healing for a few more years!

So if you are still surfing the web, flipping through magazines and TV channels to find a quick solution to this long term problem, then you probably still carry a lot of “unfinished business”.

I know, because I have so been there. We once went back to South Africa for a vacation and because of some issues I still refused to deal with,  I was right back there, on the internet, looking to lose 60 pounds in one month! This was after I have been totally set free from bulimia! I am happy to report that it was 7 years ago, and it didn’t last long, but ONLY because I came back and dealt with my issues and for the first time 100% meant it when I told God “I now truly believe that ONLY YOU can heal me and that NOTHING and NOBODY else can. I am ready to lay down ALL the lies and start trusting you, one day at a time”

Let me try and help you if you find yourself in this very difficult place of needing to lose weight FAST for some occasion:

FIRST: LET’S LOOK AT THE FACTS

  • You will probably not be able to lose much weight before the special occasion, even if you try your best. All the stress doesn’t help. However, if you’re still a few months away from the occasion you do have time to shed a decent amount of weight on either a meal replacement program WITH A COACH in place or a safe program such as Weight Watchers IF YOU ALSO ATTEND A GROUP for support and accountability. Support will help you move forward after the occasion and make it a long term solution instead of a fad diet.
  • Also, when you get closer to the date,  find something you can wear that is slimming and “good enough’ (lower your expectations of perfection). This will take away some of the stress.
  • If you eat the right portions that are high in nutritional value and you exercise, you will get your metabolism to work for you (against the stress hormones) much more than any fad diet, diet pill, or extreme measure would.
  • A great plus point in starting to follow a program high in nutrition: You will have good hair and skin on top of losing a few pounds, and best of all, PEACE when you need to face the music (or the people)
  • However, if you follow a drastic measure  you will have exactly the opposite outcome: No significant weight loss and breakouts that usually goes along with irregular eating and stress. Also, depriving yourself like that can lead to binging, which can cause you to gain weight!


There are not short cuts, it takes a journey. However, this occasion can be the beginning of a journey to freedom for you…

Here’s a  prescription for you before the special event:

SIMPLICITY: If you feel like you have too many things to pull off every day it will just add to your anxiety. So make a commitment to yourself and God to just do 3 THINGS:

1. TIME IN THE WORD EVERY DAY, NO MATTER WHAT! Change that time every morning when you usually make plans for the day, and promise yourself that you will not eat sugar and carbs into a time when you are just honest with yourself and God. Tell Him that you can not do it at all, and ask Him to take over. I recommend you get a Bible study that can keep your attention, because you will probably find it extremely hard to focus on anything right now, due to the underlying stress. See my list of Recommended Books and Bible Studies

2. EXERCISE 3-5 DAYS A WEEK, NO MATTER WHAT! Please read last week’s post about Just Showing Up This is so important  because it will help you stay on track with your eating and emotional well being. Also read my other posts on exercise and have a look at the books I recommend to get you motivated. Even very moderate exercise such as slow walking will make the world of a difference in your emotional well being and your ability to resist temptation. Commit to doing this in order for you to stay sane; come rain or sunshine, whether you’ve binged the night before or not, whether you feel good or bad, whether you are depressed and have a lot to do. If you can do it first thing every morning, it will be great (also for burning more calories and having a better day food wise), but even if you have to go to the gym 9pm at night, just stick to your commitment.

3. As far as food: Sign up for a program that has GREAT SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. All the programs that I’ve followed in the past (never mind how healthy and balanced) did not work for long when I was doing it all by myself. The ones that really stuck were the ones high in nutrients and variety, and where I had either the support of a GROUP or a COACH. Please have a look at Week 4 of my program if you need more information on this.

 

Now, after saying all of this, I have to remind you: There is no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus! God is so thrilled that you set your feet on this journey back to Him where your healing lays. If you fall, He will run to your aid, and if you can not overcome this specific situation due to all the stress and pain you still feel, He will be waiting for you… until you’re ready.

And seriously, there is no condemnation coming from this girl either. I know about the pain and how we each have our own time frame of when we’re ready to surrender. I also know that if everybody else gives up on us, GOD DOES NOT!

If you feel that you can not do anything I’ve said, then please have a look at my program or go for counseling. Talking to a counselor or a pastor who has some knowledge about food struggles can help you find the reason why you so desperately need to lose weight, while you still desperately need the food to “cope”. You might find yourself between a rock and a hard place my friend, and then you really need help.

I pray even now that this upcoming event will be the last straw for every lady who reads this post. I pray that it will be the thing that opens your eyes to the truth, makes you hit rock-bottom, and help you to surrender your food struggle to God, forever…

You are so loved dear sister… the Bible says His eyes are on you!

In His Love
Heleen

More Resources for you – Please Click on the Links to learn more:
  • 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food – Get the FIRST WEEK FREE to try it out
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My Weekend VOW OF SILENCE…

I am fascinated by people who have the strength to take a vow of silence. Maybe you are not impressed at all. You might even need a “vow to speak up”, but for me, the self proclaimed chatterbox, being silent for a while seemed almost impossible.

So this past weekend, I did it.

Okay, of course I didn’t stop talking all together. That would really be impossible in my life and my house! There are little children running around, asking their mother all sorts of life altering questions such as “Where’s my pants” “Can I have some candy?” and “I’m bored, what can I do?”

No, my “vow of silence” more entailed not saying anything unless someone asked me a direct question.

Boy, did this turn my world upside down! I found myself with all these thoughts in my head that I had no way of getting out. It’s excruciating!

Weighing my thoughts and stopping them before they found their way out of my mouth turned out to be an eye opener to say the least. It was more like… an epiphany. I never realized how many of the things I say on a daily basis can be categorized as nagging, controlling, manipulating, hurtful or just plain idle.

I didn’t mean for it to be this way. I certainly don’t walk around cussing and yelling (just making sure you’re not picturing me as this cave woman with wild hair and crazy eyes:) However, I allowed little things to slip through the cracks and it became part of my speech.

The Bible says in James 3:5-6 that our tongue is a little flame that can cause a big wild fire (my translation)

I forgot all about taking control of my tongue. Sometimes I’m too late to take a thought captive, but then I can still stop a great fire by not letting that thought out of my mouth!

I’m just a Mom who runs a tight ship, right? Actually, as this little experiment proved, I can do a lot of damage, wildfire type damage, if I don’t double check the motives behind my words.

The thing that actually prompted me to do this experiment was the little issue of “control”. I know there’s a big link between control and food addiction in my life, so I read about it, studied the subject, prayed about it and wrote about it. However, it tends to sneak up on me and before I know it I’m trying to rule my little world again.

Before the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to do this little experiment, I never realized how many things would probably sort itself out if I just said…nothing…

I didn’t quite make it through the weekend.
It was my husband’s birthday and I just couldn’t help myself. I simply had to help. There is no way that he could know exactly what he wanted to do with his own birthday, right?

Oh well… I have decided to extend my project into the coming weeks seeing that I still have a lot to learn about keeping my tongue. My family members are looking at me funny. Some are wondering out loud if I might be sick. I just smile and hug them. I have a secret…and I’m not telling…

 

Please make use of my resources if you need help with what goes in and out of your mouth:

  • 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food

  • Health Coaching – For women who need to lose weight while dealing with the spiritual and emotional issues behind their food struggle. A great tool to use with the 12 week online program.
Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
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