Temptation

Week 11 of my 12 Week Online Program for Women Struggling with Food deals with the issue of Temptation. We are discussing this on the Members Forum this week. Come learn how you can find victory in those moment when you are tempted. 

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

 

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 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 is 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.

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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Is Food Addiction for Real?

I promised to re-posting some popular posts related to the 12 Weeks of my Online Program as we go through it on the forum. We are currently doing Week 3  and the topic is Food Addiction. So here is this post again in case you want to read it one more time, or you have missed it the first time.

 

Living with the “Brain Fog” of Food Addiction

People who struggle with Food Addiction use food in similar ways as others do drugs, cigarettes or alcohol. It is used to numb unwanted emotions and it actually does! If you have an overload of sugar, fat and salt in your system, you actually experience a “high”. It’s a state of mind where you just live for the moment, food is all that matters and for a few moments at least, it can make you forget about your sorrows.

Of course you always regret it afterward. However, it’s not necessarily a deep regret that brings you to repentance, but rather something similar to the alcoholic who cries when he is in a drunken state. It’s usually feelings of self pity and self loathing, but unfortunately mostly not the deep sorrow that makes you want to turn away from the addictive foods for good.

If you struggle with food addiction, you might recognize this pattern where you overeat at night, feel sick to your stomach, cry tears of despair, and promise yourself to never do this again, just to repeat the same cycle again the next day. It breaks my heart to see friends and family go through this cycle many times before they hit “rock-bottom”. I know the horrible feeling of utter failure.

There is another side to addiction that causes people to stay in the same rut, year after year: The “Brain Fog”. Food Addiction, as other addictions, covers your brain with a numbness, causing you to make wrong decisions, lack sound judgment, and not hear the voice of God. In my life, the feeling of numbness toward God and my loved ones became one of the big warning signs that I am slipping back into food addiction. Huge amounts of sugar, fat and salt can literally sap all your energy, make you depressed and pull a thick cloud of fog over your brain and your emotions. It is a horrible, empty life to lead: You pretend that all is well on the outside, but your heart has been stripped of all life.

Many books have been written about food addiction, but people still tend to make light of it. So even if you are skeptical about whether people can truly be addicted to food, I want to urge you to take a hard look at your own life. The enemy uses food to keep people in a lifetime of bondage. However, it is important to know that not everyone with an eating disorder suffers from food addiction, but those with food addiction usually have some form of distorted eating such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating.

Also, hereditary factors tend to play a major role in food addiction. If there is a pattern of addiction in your family or you have been addicted to other substances at different times in your life, you have a bigger chance to also get addicted to food.

How then can this be treated?
From my own experience and the testimonies of other ladies, I believe that some people sunk so deep into food addiction that their spirit (deep inner being that connects with God) can not respond to God before they don’t first clear the “brain fog”. Now before you get upset with me, I do believe, and have seen God heal people from addiction in a moment. However, to forge a deeper, lasting relationship with God these people too had to become “clean” from high amounts of sugar, fat and salt and stay that way. It is sometimes necessary to first become abstinent from certain food before our past wounds can be healed, simply because the food that we are addicted to keeps us in a state of numbness.

That said, you should never just stop eating. You are setting yourself up to sink deeper into food addiction if you starve your body. You need your body to “help” you with the physical healing from this addiction. So you first have to get it strong. In my Program I help women go through the necessary steps to first get their bodies to work for them, not against them. I always recommend going through a period of “restoring” your body first. I’m simply talking about getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating enough protein, whole grains, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for a few weeks before abstaining from anything. However, there is good news, it only takes 21 days to rid your body of certain cravings, and after the first 7 days it actually gets a little easier. I am always so amazed at how the cravings TOTALLY disappear after 21 days!

But far bigger than the lack of cravings for everything deep fried and smothered in chocolate is the joy of being able to FEEL again. Your senses come alive, and you can cry and laugh and feel the gentle touch of God as He heals your broken heart.

My 12 Week Online Program for Women struggling with Food might be an option for you if you need help to break free from Food Addiction. Please go have a look, your life matters to God. He is waiting to heal you and help you clear up the “brain fog” so you can enjoy life again.

PS: We are a group of about 30 ladies who are walking out this 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

Can Facebook Pack on the Pounds?

Let me immediately kick off with a disclaimer:
The title of this post was meant to grab your attention, I obviously didn’t mean to imply that the entity “Facebook” can (in a direct way) have anything to do with anybody’s waist line.

I also want to assure you that I am in no way a Facebook hater, on the contrary, like many others I found Face Book to be a great source of communication with friends and family locally and especially over seas.

So why write this post?

Well unfortunately, if you struggle with food or any other addiction for that matter, you might be adding Facebook to a long list of “‘mind numbing activities”. In other words you might be using certain objects or forms of entertainment to escape from reality and put off dealing with your problem.

If you want to break free from this struggle, it is crucial to learn to live in the present moment. You can not afford to put off surrendering this struggle to God until tomorrow or even for one hour! Every moment matters! The way you live TODAY is a clear indication of what your future will look like.

We have to take back our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit, and it’s impossible to do if we constantly “disconnect” from our minds and bodies. The enemy would like nothing more than  to bring an innocent little thing such as Facebook into your life and use it to entangle you. Many people with food struggles find themselves spending hours on Facebook, in front of the TV, on weight loss websites, or on forums.

Now most of you ladies already know that I have a Facebook page, a blog, and a forum for this ministry. These things can all be used powerfully by God if we go on there with the intention of finding or giving encouragement, but then get off quickly and get on with the business of living free in this world of seduction.

Warnings:

  • Surfing other people’s pages or “walls” can leave you dissatisfied with your own life, and make you reach for food to ‘numb the pain’
  • Spending too much time on places like Facebook can steal valuable hours of your life that could have been better spent in the Word, on your family,  exercising, building relationships, or following your dream and purpose in life

If you already have a problem with this, I would recommend you get out and buy yourself a Bible study so that you can get back into the Word of God and surround yourself with the truth. The enemy set up lies around our lives and the ONLY WAY TO REFUTE THESE LIES IS WITH THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD (2 Cor 10: 1-5)

Remember, other people showcase only the best parts of their lives on places like Facebook. However, if you don’t surround yourself with the Word of God you might not see this and buy into the enemy’s lie of  “everybody has a better life than me”

I’m calling all of you ladies to join me in resisting the enemy when he ever so subtle introduces “mind numbing activities” into our lives (James 4:7) I assure you that I also have to fight the good fight daily.

It will probably always feel easier to flop in front of the TV or computer than picking up your Bible. But please believe me when I tell you: Long hours in front of the TV and computer is sure to bring death to your life and circumstances. On the flip side, time spent in the Word and God’s presence will ALWAYS, without exception, fill you with LIFE AND PEACE.

Please go read again all of Romans 8, but let me at least quote this passage to remind you that how we spent our time and what we focus on shape our lives.

Romans 8 : 5-8 (NIV)

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God”

Love you ladies

Heleen

PS: You may also be interested in this post:
Stop Binge Eating: Turn off the TV!


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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Can you say NO to YOURSELF?

SAY NOSaying NO to other people remains a pretty challenging endeavor in my life. However, there is something that I find far more difficult: Saying NO to myself!

Our pastor recently encouraged us to focus again on saying NO to our own flesh as we keep reaching for the things God asks of us.

This is a powerful call to action and something any warm blooded Christian would agree to in a heart beat (that is when you’re sitting in the pew and everybody around you also agrees enthusiastically)

Unfortunately the church pew is not where we live out the truth of our conviction.

Soon after the above mentioned “call to action” I found myself head-on with my infamous “flesh” or  “sinful nature”. In those moments, I knew exactly what I had to do but I didn’t want to!

It’s started in my quiet time: I was bringing an old wound before God that had just been ripped open; bitterness and anger came oozing out. I wanted revenge, but He suggested forgiveness. I didn’t want to!

Later that same morning I started thinking about a certain snack. Soon after I found myself holding the particular snack in my hand. I knew I had no business eating it. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit nudging me to simply throw it away…  I didn’t want to!

It was then that the previous day’s sermon came back to me. Here I was, my flesh rising up in all its glory, and the battle was on!

What about you? Can you say NO to YOURSELF?

We are getting pretty good at saying NO to others these days (thanks to the Boundaries books:) and our awareness of the enemy’s schemes are growing as we educate ourselves on resisting and rebuking the enemy.

But what about that little voice inside of us crying out “I don’t want to!”

We live in a society where we all have rights, we all want to rule our own lives, and nobody wants to be bossed by anybody. However, this is not the way God created us; we are either ruled by GOD or by SIN. We have to choose. You can read all about this in Romans 8: 5-15

Let’s face it though, saying NO to yourself without the Holy Spirit’s help is excruciating, and frankly futile. Even if we muster up the courage to resist our flesh in certain areas of our lives, there are always those weak places where our flesh keeps getting the upper hand (hence the low success rate of diets)

So how do you say NO to yourself?
The same way you say NO to the enemy: SURRENDER TO GOD!

Start by being honest with yourself. Stop for one second next time you find yourself at  that crucial place of decision making, and ask yourself this: Why can’t I say NO?

  • That place where you’re either buy a bag of chocolates… or the bag of peaches.
  • That specific moment in time when you either start thinking negative thoughts about a person who hurt you… or reject those thoughts and choose to forgive.
  • That crucial point where you decide to either watch TV till 1:00 am in the morning, knowing very well that it steals your time and it will affect your work and family life the next day… or spend time with God and turn in early.

The answer might very well be … “I don’t want to”

Now you might not be ready to put down the remote or the expensive purchase yet, but at least stop and cry out to God IN THAT MOMENT.
Try this prayer
“God I’m honest with you: I don’t want to let go of this thing. I know it’s harmful to me. I know it breaks every promise I’ve made to myself,  but still…I don’t want to. Please change my heart. Take away the desires that is not of you. Help me grow in you and make time for you so that my desires will start to change, so that I will start to want YOU above all else!”

It’s not an easy prayer and it will take a brave woman like yourself to pray it, but I believe you can do it!

Please know that you’re not a horrible person if you can’t say NO just yet. It takes time. It’s like a muscle that you have to keep flexing, a little more every day, until it becomes strong. I have to DAILY starve that “I don’t want to” voice in me and flex my NO-muscle so that my spirit can grow and  I can desire God above all else.

It comes as no surprise that it all starts in the mind! If you can say NO to the thought before it turns into action, you have won the fight! Start by saying NO to only one sinful thought today, then two tomorrow… and before you know it you are setting your mind on God ALL THE TIME!
Romans 8: 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

I love how Beth Moore puts it when she refers to David’s sin with Bathsheba in her study A heart like His:
” The gap between wanting and getting is where we must flex the muscle of self-control to protect ourselves. David had risen to a position where his every wish was someone else’s command. He had ceased to hear a very important word – one without which integrity cannot be maintained . The word is NO.”
(emphasis mine)

My dear friend, may we learn to say NO to others when it’s appropriate, and may we say NO to the enemy when he  tempts us, but most of all MAY WE LEARN TO SAY NO TO OUR OWN FLESH ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, so we can become strong in spirit and follow in the footsteps of the mighty women of old.

I love you ladies,
Heleen

The Good and the Bad of being Busy!

woman writing 8_194x188I must admit, I have a need to stay busy all the time! It’s more than a need actually, for years I have equated busyness with power, prestige and value. Fortunately, God has brought about a lot of change in my value system and way of thinking, and these days I’m ready for a slower pace.

However, moving at a snail’s pace without purpose or direction can cause other problems. Let’s have a look:

The Good:

I’ve written in previous posts about the absolute necessity for someone who struggles with food to find again her buried dreams and desires. Those dreams are given to us by God and it makes each one of us unique and our lives worth living. If we don’t follow our purpose and dreams, we will follow something else, even something destructive. So to get busy with your dreams is a GOOD THING!

If you often find yourself bored, not interested in anything, tired, depressed and without purpose, you might have lost vision and purpose for your life. This is not God’s plan for you.

Living in this hopeless state can cause a person to turn to food again and again. In fact, you might pick up many other idols along the way if you don’t find meaning and purpose in your life. Even good Christians who read their Bibles and pray daily can fall prey to idolatry if they don’t find joy in fulfilling the purpose God has for them on this earth.

The Bad:

Unfortunately anything we devout all of our time, energy, and money to can become an idol instead of bringing fulfillment to our lives.
Take for instance this ministry I have for women who struggle with food. I’ve had this yearning to help other ladies for many years, but I wasn’t sure how it should all play out. I’ve asked God to show me what He wants me to do, and when He opened the doors for me to start a website and an online program I was so excited. I had a new zeal for life. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning. I was like a kid with a new toy!

This part was great, but the I started overdoing it. I spent way too much time with my new found purpose. I started putting the needs of others in front of time with God and taking care of my own needs. Last year this time I found myself almost at the point of being burnt out. The “bad” side of busyness was knocking at my door.

I was slipping even with my eating, this shook me out of my denial and I cried out to God to show me how to balance these things. What I learned is that to keep busy from morning to night shuts out the voice of God. We fall back into quick prayers, even quick Bible studies, but nothing seems to get to our hearts.

I felt my heart grew cold and numb, a dangerous place for someone who struggles with food. If there is one thing a food addict knows it is this: If you get too busy, you get out of touch with your body, your needs, and your emotions, and then you start binging mindlessly.

Don’t get so busy that you lose touch with your own self .

These days I don’t go online every weekend, on purpose. I stop working at a certain time in the evening to take a bubble bath, on purpose. I go on hikes to the park with my kids, without a cellphone or a book, on purpose.

All these moments in time creates opportunity to meditate on the Word, think about God, figure out what is going on inside of me and hear Him speak to me in ways I could never imagine!

So where are you with all this?

Do you need to get moving, find your purpose, and live the life God planned for you?

or

Do you need to slow down, smell the roses, experience the people around you and feel the gentle touch of God restoring your soul?

If you need help in finding your purpose and dreams please read this post where I’ve provided some tips and resources:
Stop the nonsense, chase your dream!

If you are in need of some rest, do it now, don’t wait for a vacation!
Get out in the sun or the rain, talk to God. Or just sit in your favorite chair and do nothing. Just wait and listen…
You will unfortunately never grow an intimate relationship with God while running a thousand miles per hour. The Holy Spirit will keep calling and drawing you to that quiet, secret place where you can hear the voice of God. He’s been waiting for you, all you have to do is STOP and LISTEN.

Come on, I challenge you today: Do what you have to do.
Life is too short to waste it on an eating disorder or any other addiction. One of the major steps you can take toward healing is to find out if you need to MOVE or STOP. I’m not going to lie to you, IT’S VERY SCARY either way. However, it could be the thing that turns your life around…you can do it girl!

In His Love
Heleen

 

If you are looking for Christian based eating disorder treatment, you will find a bunch of free material and a very affordable 12 Week Program on my website. Here are some resources for you:

 

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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

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Weekend, why does thou torture me so?

I love weekends! I look forward to them with high expectations of fun, romance and adventure. My Fridays are filled with anticipation, like opening one of Willie Wonka’s Wonka-bars, hoping to find a “golden ticket” or in my case, a “perfect weekend”.

Week days have a tendency to rob me of all my joy. Slaving away to bring in the bacon (turkey bacon of course), and running around like a chicken without a head can suck the life right out of you. But oh (sigh), then there’s weekends…

Wonka 3People walk around on Fridays with a bounce in their step, they greet each other friendly, and make some obscure comments about the weather. A total stranger will enthusiastically fill you in on her weekend plans in a check-out line. Bank employees are definitely friendlier, hey they might even offer you doughnuts and coffee on a Saturday morning.

Now that brings me to the problem, actually two problems:


1. I expect way too much from two fairly ordinary days

2. Fun in my dictionary is the same as Food

The one is connected to the other. If I try and eat right and exercise on a weekend, I’m already stifling the fun. So, I have to find a back-up plan so the fun can go on. I start looking around at my husband (who of course has his weekend expectations) or a friend (who’s plans didn’t quite include me) or a family member (who thought this weekend is a good time to dump some problems on me).

iStock_000000600602SmallNone of this is helping. Any time now I can find myself wandering through the house (or better yet, the mall), scouting for a glimpse of hope, any indication that this weekend is not going to crush my dreams. Lo and behold, what do I find? Morsels of hope…the true essence of life…the flavor of living…you know it…food.

If there’s one thing I am trying to learn, and I’m asking God to help me with, then it is to not set high expectation on days, people and things.

How many times in my life has this left me devastated and hurt? A far better idea would be to surrender (or at least try and surrender) to God’s plan for my life.

Beth Moore says that God is supposed to be our “mash potatoes” and all these other things and people are just the “gravy” (my translation).
So, it’s great if my weekend actually turns out to be all I ever imagined: A romantic getaway with hubby, laughs with my girls friends, or a great visit with family. However, I have to keep in mind that these things are only the gravy of my life, we all love gravy, but if I don’t get the gravy, I’m okay. I still have the mash, I’m satisfied.

I know, I know I’m making you hungry again! This was not my intention, but I hope you got the picture. If your struggle is food, then you know by now that weekends can be a fierce opponent. The enemy uses all those expectations of fun, laughter and good food to tempt us to throw in the towel.

We will indeed be wise to remember that Food Addiction and Eating Disorders can only be conquered through CONSISTENCY. Two innocent days every week can break that consistency time and time again. Things can actually change for good if we approach weekends prayerfully, with more caution than other days, and with rest and recreation in mind.

Recently I asked myself: Could weekends be the one thing (or one of the things) keeping me from total freedom from overeating? Maybe. I know I have nothing to lose by checking it out. No foothold should be given to the enemy, right?

Maybe a better question on a Friday afternoon would be: What expectations do you have for my weekend Lord? Sounds too holy? Well I’m going to try anyway. God’s answers tend to surprise me. In fact, in my struggle with food, I’ve found His answers to be much more practical and hands-on that I could have ever imagined. That is of course, if I get around to asking Him…

PS: I read a great book recently on this topic: Walking with God by John Eldredge

Love  as always

Heleen

 

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The tale of the Crazy Woman!

I can not believe how different two days can be. It makes me understand and love that verse about God’s mercies being new every morning so much more!

Yesterday was one of that Murphy’s law days for me: You know, everything that could go wrong indeed did go wrong!

By 10am I was ready to run into the mountains like a wild woman, screaming. Okay, fair enough, it was my first day of potty training my little girl and I also had some work to get done, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the day followed suit and by the evening I was ready to pull out my own hair. I did everything a good mother should never do, everything a good wife would not even think about, and everything a child of God is not suppose to do (well not everything, but you get the picture).
My little tree was standing barren in the winter sun without one ounce of fruit on it. The words peace, joy and especially self-control was so far removed from me that I could not fathom their meaning. In the midst of this I received devastating phone calls and news to the extend of my knees buckling under the burden. And so I did what every respectable lady should do: I clenched my jaw, buckled my belt (okay no belt) and I decided that I will show this day a thing or two. Needles to say, by the evening, after a rally with a few rude salespeople at the store and the worst customer service ever, I was ready to admit defeat. This day got the better of me. Some days I have absolutely NO control over anything, and the more I try the worse it becomes. I am after all not in control of my own life, and I am after all not as strong as I think I am. By 10pm I was a sobbing pile of misery.

Did I finally bent my knees and let it go? No off course not! I tried to see if the TV, my husband or a magazine could pull me out of my pit of despair: Yeah, you know it; no such luck!

It was only this morning that I got the message. Everybody was off to school and work and miraculously the little people in my house were still sound asleep. I heard it in the silence, I felt it in my bones: I need living water, I need to stop trying to control something that can not be controlled, I need to let God take over. I didn’t have to do much. I just laid down my weary head on a not-vacuumed carpet and let His mercies sweep over me…

And today? Today is a different day, packed with mercies and laden with fruit, and I’m grateful, because I’m well aware that tomorrow can be another “yesterday”. Then again, I was reminded of His mercies, and I’m not so afraid of tomorrow, because I’m not in control anyway…