This lesson is not about what exercise to do. It is merely trying to persuade you how important exercise is and helping you think differently about exercise….so you’ll do it!

Week Nine, Day One
Retraining the Brain About Exercise

You have been retraining your brain by learning the Miraculous Threesome: Ditch, Plan, and Wait. You have also been retraining your brain on how to think about eating for nutrition and hunger, instead of self-soothing and entertainment. We are now entering a zone where we will begin to train our brains about how to view Exercise! Get out your Ruby Journal, and write down any sentences or thoughts you want to accumulate.

One great thought I have written down is, “It’s a privilege to be able to exercise, because some people are too sick to do so.” Another sentence I have written down is, “The improved emotional well-being that comes after a good 30 minute workout is almost ridiculous in how good it feels. It is a legitimate source of well-being because of the endorphins released.” A third sentence is, “If anything keep you youthful and healthy—besides eating right—it is a good workout.”

To me, it is worth having margins in my day so I can have the emotional energy as well as the time to exercise. I am a better friend, a better spouse, a better parent, and a better Christian when I feel good. I’m not my best during my bad moods. And Exercise is HUGE to my emotional well-being!

I remember one time when I was so upset I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin. I went out and took a brisk walk. In 20 minutes, I’d gone from crazy/insane to just normal. I couldn’t believe a 20 minute brisk walk could take such a huge dent out of my emotional turmoil. At that time, I was still eating Trash Food, so exercise alone was what helped me. (Ha ha, maybe Trash Food was the culprit behind the crazy insanity in the first place!)

Honestly, I don’t think you can say you are a good steward of your body and not exercise regularly. It is too huge to your health, to your temperament, to your emotions, to your happiness, and to your energy that gives to others.

We are not four separate human beings: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. We are one being and each aspect affects the others. Getting exercise was not such a problem in Bible times. Because there were no cars, everyone had to walk everywhere. Everyone also had to work as there were no automated washing machines. Again, the Bible does not heavily address exercise except it does say that physical exercise is of some value (1 Timothy 4:8). But the writer, Paul, was assuming that you did a moderate amount of exercise because you had to in Bible times.

I want you to understand on the front end that exercise is non-negotiable for you in this culture. All you have to do is figure out how you are going to get from where you are now…to a person who regularly exercises. This may click today, or it may take a few months. Keep bathing your mind. The click and flip will happen. The light will come on if you don’t give up bathing your mind.

When You Don’t Like Exercise

I think it is funny how often I still don’t want to exercise, even with all I know about how great it is for me. I still have such Resistance. Resistance is such a perfect description. The psychological term is cognitive dissonance. It’s when two parts of your brain fight each other. You know you need to do it and yet you don’t want to. 

The strategy I’ve developed for myself is that I find an activity I don’t hate. For example, I hate laying on my bedroom floor and doing leg lifts. I hate going to a class that takes two hours (for example, getting there early to get a good spot for my yoga mat, etc.) So what works for me is to go to a nearby gym and stay for 30 minutes. Before I go to the gym, or even think about it, I get dressed in my gym clothes. I pull out my headphones, my water bottle, and any other apparatus I want to take. Often I read motivational sentences from my Ruby Journal that motivate me how amazing exercise is for me! Do you see what I’m doing? I’m kind of sliding into going to the gym.

Then, I don’t let my mind think about going to the gym. I think about something else and simply get in the car and drive there. Usually I talk on the phone. When I walk in the gym, I look at the clock, turn on some upbeat music on Pandora, and get through 30 minutes, trying to huff and puff and lift heavy things. I have self-talk that goes similar to this, “Ha ha, look at me. I’m working out and this is awesome for me, although I hate it at this second. I do know, however, that in thirty short minutes, I’ll feel great.” 

It seems to me that exercise should be easier after all these years. I’ve done every exercise known to man. But exercise is still a daily fight, although admittedly, a much smaller one.

Some women love exercise, but not me. But, I know I have to find a way to get it in four to five days a week. I know this is the way I treat my metabolism, my blood work, my brain, my emotional equilibrium, my hips, my sleep. Everything about me is improved with exercise. Our bodies were created to exercise. And we must live in line with how we were created.

Somehow, someway, you have got to find a way to exercise. It’s only 20% of your weight loss program, but it’s more important because it involves every part of your body.

Go find your Exercise I will do list in your Ruby Journal. Try new things. Again, what works right now may not work next week or next year. Be flexible.

Last weekend I went to speak at a cool gym called LiveFIT in Arlington, TN. The women in this gym enjoy the group fitness classes because of the additional benefit of fellowship. Find what you love (or can tolerate) and go do it!

When I Reaaallllyyy Don’t Want to Exercise

I rrrreeally don’t want to go to the gym this morning. I have a 12:30 appointment so that means I have to stop my writing early in order to exercise. Plus, it’s ugly outside.

But before I let Demanding Child go down that road, I shut her up, put on my gym clothes, get my headphones out, and put on a little makeup (it’s too scary for me to go anywhere with zero makeup).

I say the same thing to myself when my Demanding Child is trying to have a tandrum: “I will show up at the gym and get started. If I want, I can go home early.” That sentence helps Demanding Child, knowing that I can leave if I want to.

I have yet to go home early. Getting out the door is the hardest part.

Your health is the one thing that you must take pristine care of, because you can’t go buy another body. The Bionic Woman is a TV fantasy show. You are going to live in that body until you pull the dirt up over your eyes. You have to figure it out. There are no maybe’s, no excuses, no nothing. Tell yourself that it may take a couple months to figure out, but you will. By golly, you will. It’s way too important to let this topic of exercise slide.

Week Nine, Day Two
Getting on the Scale Every Day

For some reason, I don’t want to get weighed every day. All the women in Skinny School Online don’t want to weigh themselves daily either. It’s just sort of obnoxious somehow. But this is one of the best safeguards you can have. You may gain 2-3-4 pounds but you’re not going to gain ten without the sirens screaming. Women who gain ten-twenty-thirty pounds never stepped on the scale during that time.

I have all sorts of tricks that Demanding Child tries to use so that I don’t weigh myself. For example, if it’s wintertime and I get up in the morning and I have on jammies and a robe, I think it’s too cold to take all that off to weigh. The Demanding Child is so tricky. The Demanding Child does not want you to weigh yourself every day.

You absolutely must weigh yourself every day for the rest of your life. You know how tricky your lower nature is and how you would like to go unconscious so you could really eat what you wanted. You have to protect yourself from you.You’re the only person who stands in your way. You’re the only person who can get yourself thin. You always have to be on the lookout for how you sabotage yourself. You’re the only one who is going to stuff food in your mouth. 

Sick of Cooking

I’m getting ready to leave the house for a busy day and I don’t have anything pre-cooked. The thought went through my mind, “I’m sick of cooking”.

Now I just want you to know that that is not a Champion thought. That’s a warning thought. You have to start listening in and when you hear those thoughts, those are thoughts of self-pity and whining. I’m admitting that I am not free from self-pity. The correct sentences and the correct thought to say is that I am blessed that I can cook healthy food. I am blessed and grateful that I have healthy food I can afford and that I have the freedom and time to cook it.

Instead of thinking, “Oh dear, I have to go into the kitchen and wash all my vegetables and prep,” the way to think instead is, “Wow, I get to go into my kitchen, and there is an abundance of healthy beautiful food in my fridge. Many mothers all over the world would love to have gorgeous food in their fridge available to feed their family. It is a privilege and a great blessing to be able to go to a local grocery, buy healthy food, keep it in refrigerator, and have it ready on demand so I can cook it to serve my family to keep us healthy.”

Perspective is everything. Retrain your brain.

Getting Some New Life!

Food used to consume a lot of your life, as well as your thinking about your weight. Now, you have got to get a plan and figure out what is going to replaceall that time you have spent thinking about food. If your food is prepped and planned for the day, you should not think about food except when your Hunger Buzzer goes off. Then, after you eat, you go back and live your life, not thinking about food, until the Hunger Buzzer goes off again.

Hopefully, you have a full life with a lot planned and good things to think about besides food. (You’ve got your Quart Bags, if you need them. Of course you have yummy drinks to drink.) But mainly you’ve got to learn to think about some new things because you’re only eating for a very few minutes every day. Food, which occupied such a huge portion of your life before, is now being dwindled down to where it just occupies a small portion of your life. You’ve got to replace all that previous thought with some productive and virtuous goals and activities. Your Ruby Journal is a good place to brainstorm some ideas!

Week Nine, Day Three
Vacations are Tough

I’m on vacation in North Carolina and it’s pretty outside. My husband is at a conference all day so I get to choose what I’m going to do for a few hours. There is some great shopping nearby (Barnes and Nobles, my favorite!). So the question I am asking myself is, Should I skip my workout? I would have to get dressed, go downstairs to a new gym, and then actually workout. It would take an hour of my discretionary four hours. And I can’t forget that it would mess up my hair. 🙂

This is where you have to find your own motivation. For me, my motivation comes from what exercise does to my hormones, helping my memory, helping my heart, my mental attitude, my blood, as well as my hip size and weight. Exercise does so much more than just burn calories. It does a lot of resetting. What a great word, reset. So exercise is something I do, unpleasant I admit, so that I can have pleasant things, like health, a good mood, and slim hips. It’s always about delaying gratification. It’s always about maturity, which bottom line, is always about self-control. Choosing to do unpleasant things now, to delay gratification, so that you can enjoy better things later. Delayed gratification is one of the secrets in life. It’s only unpleasant for a little while but then it’s awesome afterwards. And don’t forget the despair you feel if you don’t choose self-control. I’m going to work out now. I’ll have to write more later.

Identical Twins Reveal How Exercise Affects Health

Copied and pasted from

While it’s virtually undeniable that exercise will alter your body composition and improve your health, a study involving twins—one of whom exercises and one of whom does not—makes for a fascinating case study of the health effects of exercise.

The Finnish study 6 published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, included 10 sets of identical twins in their early to mid-30s. All of the twins began providing health and medical data starting at the age of 16, and every five years thereafter. As reported by the New York Times:

“The researchers were looking for young adult identical twins…whose exercise habits had substantially diverged after they had left their childhood homes…[E]ventually the researchers honed in on 10 pairs of male identical twins, one of whom regularly exercised, while the other did not, usually because of work or family pressures…

The dissimilarities in their exercise routines had mostly begun within the past three years, according to their questionnaires…It turned out these genetically identical twins looked surprisingly different beneath the skin and skull.

The sedentary twins had lower endurance capacities, higher body fat percentages, and signs of insulin resistance, signaling the onset of metabolic problems. (Interestingly, the twins tended to have very similar diets, whatever their workout routines, so food choices were unlikely to have contributed to health differences.)

The twins’ brains were also unalike. The active twins had significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination.”

This study underscores just how quickly your body and brain can change, for better or worse, depending on whether or not you exercise. It also highlights the fact that you can indeed overcome any genetic predispositions you might have.

Week Nine, Day Four
Bathing My Mind With p. 134

On the reverse side of the front cover of my personal copy of Skinny School, I have only one thing written and it is: “p. 134”. That is the page in Skinny School where the benefits of exercise are noted. This morning, I was not especially pressed for time but when the thought of going to the gym came to mind, I thought, “Well, I feel sort of stiff today” and “I sure don’t want to do that” and “Honestly, I really don’t feel very good today.”

That’s when I pull out p. 134. I cannot tell you how many times I have pulled out p. 134 to get this cranky body to the gym.

After reading p. 134 again, for the umpteenth time, I got dressed and headed for the gym. And of course, as soon as I got there I turned on my upbeat music, got started and 30 minutes later, I walked out of the gym, feeling oiled and greased everywhere. Don’t let yourself talk yourself out of what you need to do. My rule is that I get myself to the gym, and if I feel bad after I start, I can quit. That has never happened once.

Here is the paragraph that begins on p. 134, when your Demanding Child starts in with the excuses of why you don’t want to exercise. These benefits of exercise motivate me.

The Genie: “Young Jackie, what if you heard about a new pill that reverses aging, reduces anxiety, increases longevity, decreases blood pressure, releases human growth hormone for youthfulness, steam lines the body for sleekness and youthful appearance, releases endorphins that elevate one’s mood, and unclogs metabolism, thereby changing hormones from a fat-storing mode into a fat-burning mode? What if it also decreased PMS symptoms, created healthier body image, improved memory, improved self-confidence, and inspired creativity? Would you be interested in that pill?”

P.S. I just got home from the gym after writing the above copy and I feel fine! My whiney, Demanding Child lost that battle. 🙂

Don’t Forget the Lifesaver of Leftovers!

It’s early and I’m a 2.5 hungry. I want to eat! Since we are going out-of-town tomorrow, I have not gone to the store so I know I’m out of many normally stocked items.

Walking into the kitchen, I heard myself wail, “Oh, dear. Oh, dear. What will I eat?”

Opening the fridge, right there in center field, was a plate of leftover hamburgers I had forgotten about. I felt the delight wash over me because I had something delicious to eat and it would be ready in 60 seconds!

Sometimes the obvious gets forgotten. COOK EXTRA! Cook more than you need. This again, is all about what? Planning! Such a magical word!!!


Some Ranting and Raving

Many women want a healthy and slim body, but they are not willing to pay the price. Every goal comes with a price. Champions err on the side of over-preparing, of being overly-strict with themselves. Be sure your actions are 100% lined up with the vision you have for your life.

Champions have incredible persistence and tenacity. Your thoughts are the key to your choices. When you hear yourself ask, “Why must I be uncomfortable and not have what I want?” be ready to answer yourself with your current Top Four Life Goals.

When uncomfortableness arrives, it is easy to do the weak thing. But know that you will be depressed and discouraged if you let your lower nature, Demanding Child, choose. You will feel empowered and have increased well-being if you go with your higher nature, Sane Adult.

Don’t try to avoid pain at all costs. You have to be willing to have some pain, like when you choose against your comfortableness at the moment. Your new self-talk is your ticket.

When the battle comes of what you’re going to eat, decide to choose for your higher nature, Sane Adult, and what you really want. Average people medicate with TV, alcohol, shopping, excess computer time, and Trash Food. You need self-soothing, but pick something constructive.

You may be exhausted from your past efforts in this battle but if you will stick to the Miraculous Threesome, I mean really stick to the Miraculous Threesome, you can crawl out of the Food Dungeon. Of course there’s going to be pain, uncomfortableness, and suffering, but you are a Champion, and Champions expect to have conflict and roadblocks. Get a very clear picture of what you want and know that it will take sacrifice. Every Champion has to sacrifice to get what they want.

It’s time to have mental toughness. It’s time to become who you really want to be. It’s time to say no to Trash Food, not even one bite. It has messed up your life for so long and now it is time to see it as a villain.

I don’t care how many times you failed, I don’t care how much weight you have to lose. This is about your mindset of saying no to your Demanding Child. You are not a victim. You can make a choice. No one is stuffing food down your mouth. If you are still eating Trash Food, it is your fault and your choice. It is not your hormones, it is not your period, it is not your parents and their bad parenting. It is you wanting to be comforted and entertained.

In the past, I hurt people’s feelings in my groups when I talked to them like this, but in the end, they appreciated it and got out of the Food Dungeon. You will not get this until you face your desire to be overly-comfortable, your desire to blame others, and your desire to blame circumstances for your lack of discipline and motivation. I know it sounds harsh, but it is like bad-tasting medicine that makes you well. You’ve got to get out of this ditch where are you give things a half effort. Piddly-squat efforts afford piddly-squat results. You got to start taking 100% responsibility for every bite, every day. This is how Champions think.

Over and over again, you have to choose discipline over pleasure. The old you saw discipline as a painful decision but now you see it as your ultimate power to get what you want.

Of course you’re asking yourself if all this effort is worth the price. You are the only one who can decide that. But you will suffer somewhere. You will suffer the short-term consequences of discipline and sacrifice, or you will suffer the long-term, more heavily weighted circumstances of feeling depressed and fat.

Champions expect to feel pain. Champions expect a sacrifice. Champions know they have to pay a price to get the prize. Are you ready to do that? Are you ready to give up that pleasure so that you can get what you really want?

Week Nine, Day Five
The Remarkable Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Brain Cell Regeneration

Here is some of’s fine material. I read his blog almost daily. HERE

If the Click and Flip Have Not Happened to You Yet

I don’t want you focusing on your weight for the rest of your life. I want you to flip the switch, have the light come on, learn to eat for nutrition and hunger (not self-soothing or entertainment) and then live your one, short, precious life according to God’s will for you. This course is merely a path out of the Food Dungeon. After you retrain your brain how to think about food and eating, you will be on a path where you will have FREEDOM.

Freedom is my goal for you. Freedom from all the health issues, depression, discouragement, wasted time and energy because you ate for self-soothing and entertainment.

When you get down, remember this glorious truth: Anyone can retrain their brain if they will feed it the correct thought long enough. That is why God asks us to bathe our minds with Scripture, so we will be transformed with His thought in our inner man (Rom. 12:2). That is why He asks Christians to not forsake meeting together (i.e. the universal church, Hebrews 10:25) because there is much encouragement in being together (not online). We can use the principles God has given us to grow as Christians to overcome our wrong views about food and eating.

It is a very broken world and God wants all of us to be His vessels to restore it. But it is hard to have energy to restore anything when you are overwhelmed because you are in the Food Dungeon. Crawl out, my friend, with the Miraculous Threesome: Ditch/Plan/Wait.

Just because you don’t have this yet (the click and the flip) doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get it. There are racehorses and turtles, and turtles eventually get thin, if they do not give up. I’ve seen it over and over again. If you are having trouble embracing the Skinny School teaching, then start over. Yes, start over. EVERYONE can get this. Here’s what you do: 1. Go back and again read the Genie’s teaching in the book, Skinny School. 2. Read your SSO lessons again. 3. Write down more in your Ruby Journal and review often. 4. Form a weekly group.

Piddly-squat effort affords piddly-squat results. If you don’t care, then fine. But if you do care, you can retrain your mind. It works for everyone who will do the work of retraining their mind. Everyone.

When the Scale Isn’t Moving

For discouraged Skinny School women:

I so appreciate how some of you have been courageous and honest, and have said, “Skinny School is not working for me! I’m doing better with my eating, but the scale is not moving.” There were several women in my SS groups that said this exact thing and I will tell you what I told them that turned around their weight loss.

Also, I want all of you to know that I incredibly understand this, and it is often a path many of us must walk until we finally get it. But stay with me, because you can get this. You can. I have seen it over and over and over again. Remember, there are Racehorses and Turtles, but in the end, Turtles are skinny too, if they will stay with me.

If you are not losing weight, I can promise you one of three things is going on: you are cheating somewhere along the way (not sticking to 15 g of sugar and 50 g of carbs), you are not waiting until you are a 3 (or eating past a 5), or you are eating over 1200 calories (if you are short, and over 1500 if you are tall and active).

Those are the only three things standing in your way. So, decide if you will adhere tightly to those three rules. Because Skinny School will NOT work if you don’t. You can’t cheat. Not one bite. When you are at your Goal A weight, you can only cheat a couple times a week to maintain, because it throws your metabolism out of balance and your body starts holding on to fat again.

You can’t eat when you’re not hungry (unless you eat out of your Quart Bags). Period. Just don’t. And you can’t eat too many calories, even if they have no carbs and no sugar (nuts, sausage, heavy whipping cream, etc.)

Now here is the truth. Ready? It’s time to think like a Champion and give this your full effort. Your half efforts in the past have not worked for you. You can continue to be unhappy with your weight, or you can go all in and not cheat. NOT CHEAT. What’s so hard about that? It’s Trash Food, and it messes up your health, your emotional well-being, your sleep, your blood work, and your jean size. Trash Food is terrible for you in every way. Trash Food messes up your life!

No one is stuffing food in your mouth. Tell yourself you will NOT CHEAT. WILL. NOT. I can’t help you lose weight if you’re going to cheat. If you plan and prep, it will HUGELY help you choose correctly. But in the end, either you are a Champion, and you say “NO” to your whiny lower Demanding Child, or you scream “YES” to that Champion mindset that knows you have wanted to be thin and healthy all your life.

NO CHEATING. Got that? Champions don’t cheat. They go ALL OUT.

It took me 30 years to learn this. I hope you will get it in the next couple of months. What suffering I could have avoided if I had realized I was the enemy, that I sabotaged myself, that I wasn’t making the right choices when I cheated “just a bite”.

Draw a line in the sand and say it’s over. Get out of the Dungeon. It’s all up to you. Not one bite of cheating. Okay?

My prayer is that as you get the Beast of Overeating off your plate, your energy to love God and love others will soar!


Julie Gordon


Questions for Group Discussion

  1. What are some of your motivating sentences you have written down in your Ruby Journal?
  2. How much do you enjoy (or not enjoy) exercise? Do you understand Resistance? What could you do to help yourself overcome Resistance?
  3. Are you determined to find a way to get exercise in regularly? What is your current plan?
  4. Do you weigh yourself every day? What excuses does your Demanding Child give you not to weigh?
  5. Since you are not spending so much time with eating, what other “life” are you adding?
  6. Have you ever blamed your weight issues on your genetics? Did the twin study show you how much control you have over your health?
  7. Have you written down the benefits of exercise from p. 134 in your Ruby Journal? How often do you plan on reviewing this list?
  8. Are you in the habit of fixing extra for leftovers?
  9. Do you still expect to find an easy way to lose weight instead of embracing the truth that piddly-squat effort affords piddly-squat results?
  10. When the scale isn’t moving, are you aware that if you stay the course and don’t cheat, the scale has to move?