Week Seven, Day One
I read through the questions at the end of this lesson and it struck me again how important is it to have a GROUP so you can dialog about the answers to these questions! This is why groups are so life-transforming—we get to process, think, and have others listen to us and then…deep new grooves are formed in our brains! Even if you don’t have a group yet, please form one. The mindset of Skinny School will seep into your brain if you do. A group will help you, not tax you.
Handling Bad Moods
Recently, I had coffee with a woman who shared her excuse as to why she can’t lose weight with me. She said, “When I get in a bad mood, I eat.”
Bad moods. They show up. And when they do, watch out, because these little demons scream for self-soothing. Everyone hates a bad mood. As we discussed in an earlier lesson, negative emotions primarily come from negative thoughts. And if your body does not feel well, such as when you are sick or when you are tired, your likelihood of being in a bad mood increases. No one is exempt from bad moods.
And then she says, “But I was in a bad mood. I couldn’t help it.”
“No, you can help it,” I say. “If your baby wakes up in the night crying, no matter how exhausted you are, you get up and say sweet things to the little one. You can control yourself.”
The expression on a woman’s face when I say “you can control yourself” is always one of shock. We have a belief that if you feel a certain way (in a bad mood, mad at your husband, whatever) you can’t control yourself and you are not at fault. Girlfriend, I HATE bad moods just like you, but they are NO EXCUSE not to have Champion thinking. Just because you are in a bad mood, you are not to speak unkindly to others or to indulge in harmful behaviors (eating Trash Food, drinking, shopping with money you don’t have, etc.). It’s a lie to believe that you can’t control yourself.
How ludicrous to think we get a break to throw self-control out the window just because we’re in a bad mood. Again, this is how immature adults and children think. It is not how world class Champions think and act. They control themselves. They push through the uncomfortableness. Sure, call a friend. Get a cup of tea. Take a nap. But don’t tell yourself that since you’re in a bad mood, you can’t help yourself and you give yourself a pass on how you act. Of course you can help yourself. Of course you can choose.
“Well, I have so many unpleasant tasks I have to do.” “I don’t like my job.” “You can’t believe how rude he is to me.”
We all have hard things. We all deal with sickness, loss, disappointment, and sorrow. There is no other way to be a human. But letting bad moods dictate how you behave is ignoramus. If you are too busy and therefore, frequently feel in a bad mood, then resign from some of the volunteer stuff that overloads you…or tell your friend you’re sorry, but you can’t go to that event she wants you to go to…or tell your kids that you will take them where they want to go after you take a nap. No one is coming on a white horse and you are totally 100% responsible for having boundaries in your life. Or, maybe, if you are pushed for time and it causes a bad mood…maybe quit spending so much money and maybe you can just work part-time. There are not easy answers, but quit letting bad moods be an excuse to act inappropriately. Say to yourself, “Enough of this brooding. Enough of this self-pity.”
Bad moods are going to happen but Champions press through, knowing they are a part of life. Champions have long ago quit throwing tantrums, just because things don’t go their way. Bad moods are not an excuse to eat Trash Food. Quit letting excuses rule. That’s how the masses act. You are learning how to think like a Champion.
Don’t even consider cheating. As soon as the temptation comes, laugh and say to it, “Are you kidding, Buddy? I’m not giving up this emotional freedom. I’m not going to let The Crud Descend. Don’t even TRY to talk me into eating that garbage because the answer is NO.”
I mean, why would you consider inviting in what has caused you such suffering for so long? Don’t listen to the whine. Just tell it to shut up. That’s only Demanding Child, doing her stuff.
Quit listening to the debate in your mind. The answer is merely NO.
The trick to giving up a pleasure (that is not good for you) is to bathe your mind with the harmful and negative side-effects AS WELL AS finding replacements for entertainment and self-soothing. Read your lists in your Ruby Journal every morning. Add to the lists as you learn new negative side-effects and replacements for self-soothing and entertainment. Everyone can reprogram their mind. Everyone.
The Bible tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12). Growing in your walk with the Lord is done by reading and meditating on Scripture (Ps. 1:2), by reading and having relationship with mature Christians, and by prayer.
Bathe and bathe your mind. And the click and flip will happen.
Some temperaments are more likely to have self-control than others. If you have ever studied the temperaments by Tim LaHaye, then you know the Sanguine personality has low self-control and likes to live for the moment. That’s my temperament. And what I’ve found out is that the way to develop self-control is through your thoughts! You choose self-control because you have bathed your mind with the benefits of living that way.
If you look at world-class achievers, you’ll find they are masters at self-discipline. And self-discipline is something you have 100% control over. You decide with your mind what is good and right and then, YOU choose it. Your lower self wants comfort and ease but you say NO because you would rather have the benefits of self-discipline.
Everyone can grow in this. Everyone. You are 100% responsible for your choices. If you ditch Trash Food and get off sugar, then your cravings will go away. If you plan and prep, then you will have good food available to eat. If you wait until you are hungry, then you will not eat often. If you find substitutes for entertainment and self-soothing besides food (I love herbal teas with Sweet Leaf stevia and a good book!), then you will wake up one day in the near future and say, “Wow, I am a thin person.”
That’s right. That’s all you have to do. But all that emotional clamoring has to be shut up. We let our minds roll around in the mud. Stop it. Be intentional in thinking about all the good you have in your life, about your strengths and gifts and how God wants to use those strengths and gifts to bless others, about how great it is to be alive (that privilege won’t last forever). Get out there and be a song in the lives of others and quit fussing that you don’t get enough appreciation and attention (this is how addicts think and why they are constantly upset and need to medicate!).
Sometimes I feel like I’m harsh and a drill sergeant. But Friend, this is what I needed to hear years ago, so I hope you know it is with great compassion for you that I tell you this truth. I want you to enjoy being you and you can’t until you learn to live with self-discipline and personal responsibility.
Focusing on What is Missing and What is Disappointing
This week, our youngest child leaves for a summer job in North Carolina and David and I will officially enter the Empty Nest. I’m glad the children are moving on with their lives but because I love all of them so very much, there is a sadness that this “segment of life” is over. Maybe it is the circle of life that I see more clearly, and the sadness is realizing that life (on earth) is not going to last forever. I mean, I used to be the young mom who was obsessed with kids and the household, and now, I’m an empty nester. And soon, I’ll be old like my mother or a widow or dead and all of that is sad. Life moves forward and at the end is death. I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m trying to show you that there is so much you cannot control and therefore we have to find a way to guard our hearts and minds. We can’t let sad thoughts reign in our heads.
Friend, you are now retraining your brain on how to think about food, but getting thin will not solve all of your problems. You will still have to wrestle with sad thoughts. Yes, it is definitely better to do life thin instead of doing life as a chubby. But it will not make your life sizzle with complete ease and happiness. There’s a fantasy that it will.
I want you to have the proper expectations when you get thin. You will still have the same parade march across your mind, unless you take a HUGE effort to change that. Many women struggle with focusing on what is missing and disappointing. Maybe for you it’s your marriage, your singleness, your infertility, your children, your finances, your health, your relationships, your aging, your regrets, your friendships…there are a zillion topics. Learn to think correctly about your problems. Take massive action on solving them each day and daily, cry out, lament, to God and ask for His help. Every day do both of those things. And then there comes a time when we have to accept “what is”, believing that our sowing will reap, and believing that God will answer our cry.
There are some things we cannot solve. For example, the death of a loved one. There is nothing that will bring them back. We can’t stop our aging (although we can learn to age with grace). We can’t change mistakes we’ve made in the past (and BOY would we like to!) Sometimes, we need to say to ourselves, “This is the portion I now have. I will chose to be content with it, while taking massive action daily and each day pleading with God to help improve things.”
That’s a pretty cool way to live, being content with the portion or the circumstances now. I know, I know, you don’t like some circumstances but listen, they ARE the circumstances. So, you may as well accept them and even try to “like” them. I mean, again, they ARE what they ARE.
We can’t spend our short lives kicking the wall. We have to get our minds around the hard things (we ALL have hard things) and quit the demanding! A demanding spirit shakes her fist at God, doesn’t get what she wants, and eats it down. Food has been used to not face “what is” in many of us. I know, I promise I know.
We have to learn to change what we think about. We have to learn to have different thoughts. Become aware of when your mind stoops to thinking about “what is missing and disappointing” in your life and quit letting that beat you up. You are the only one in charge of what you think about. You are the only one who has any control over what you let march across your brain. You are in charge of whether you are grateful or whether you will whine and complain. I want you to change your thoughts about life, not just your thoughts about food. I want you to become a happier person and that is done by changing how you think. Remember the examples of the alley and the park? Your emotions come from your thoughts!
If You’re Frustrated the Scale is Not Moving Faster
It is a sowing and reaping world. If the scale is not moving fast enough, then you are probably eating before you are a three and probably eating past when you are a five. If the scale is not moving, then you are probably cheating. If I eat too many nuts (zero sugar, zero carbs) or if I eat too much sausage (zero sugar, zero carbs), I gain weight. Sometimes, I like to eat extra of both of those things because they are so yummy. But my body keeps track even if I turn off my mind. If the scale is not moving, tighten up on your self-discipline, your tracking, your ditching, and especially on your “waiting and only eating to a five”. The weight HAS to come off. Scientifically, it HAS to come off. What happens is that women get discouraged and then “medicate” their discouragement with cheating. How insane is that? Medicate your discouragement with tightening up! Haha. This is how Champions think! Apply MORE massive action daily!!!
The Lord Asked, “What Do You Want Me to DO for You?”
I heard a sermon on a familiar passage recently and it reminded me of a story. In Luke 18, Jesus asks the blind man, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Hearing this passage years ago, I had heard the Lord whisper to me, “Julie, what do you want Me to do for you?” I asked God to help me “not eat more than was healthy for me”.
At this time, God had shown me how sugar and carbs drive hormones and that they make me store fat. And He had shown me how to plan and prep. And He had shown me how to Wait.
He had revealed to me how to eat for nutrition and hunger. So when I asked Him to help me “not eat more than was healthy for me”, His response to me was, “You can choose to do that yourself. Ask Me for something you can’t do.”
It was a moment. A moment. I knew how to eat. Now, I needed to apply self-control, discipline, and self-mastery. I said, “You are right, Lord. I will ask You for something I cannot do by myself.”
You now know all you need to know to get thin forever: the Miraculous Threesome. You know EVERYTHING you need to know to eat healthy for the rest of your life. So it is up to you to bathe your mind with correct thoughts so deep new trenches are formed. God has revealed the ladder out of the Food Dungeon. Now it’s your turn to choose to ditch, plan, and wait.
When God whispers to you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Ask God for something REALLY big. And I mean, BIG! Something that makes His name famous!
The Diet We’re Looking For
The diet we are all looking for doesn’t require sacrifice, hard work, or discipline. The diet we’re looking for allows us to let our lower natures reign. The problem is, there is NO diet like that that works! Being fit and slim is about trading one thing for another. I don’t know about you, but cookies aren’t worth depression, The Crud Descending, health issues, and feeling unhappy about being BIG. Not. Worth. It.
I mean, we’re not talking about being hungry. If we’re hungry, we get to eat. And we’re not talking about eating non-delicious food. Why, the food we eat is fantastic. We’re talking about ditching Trash Food that completely bunks up your life in every way. Why would you want to hold on to that monster? Really? A two minute taste experience is worth all that bunk? I say it’s not. I say I will go with emotional freedom, choosing health, feeling confident, and buying little sizes.
It’s a choice. Your weight is controlled by three things and three things only: what you eat, how much you eat, and how much you move. A third grader could figure this out. No more messing up. No more cheating. No more “just a tad”. Quit arguing with yourself. Make a decision to quit whining. Champions don’t whine. Instead, they take massive daily action on their goals.
You have struggled and toyed with this long enough. Say it’s over. You will not cheat. Ditch, Plan, Wait.
Eating Healthy is A Privilege or A Burden
When I’m out and I hear people say how hard it is to eat right, I know they have not been trained to think right. Eating healthy is a privilege, not a burden. It is the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to health, thinness, emotional freedom, and is an important aspect of total wellness. Be grateful for all the beautiful food you can buy at Kroger. Be grateful for not being in a war zone, and instead, having the freedom and time to cook every night. Be grateful that you have such control over your size and health. Eating healthy is not a burden, it’s a delight.
Be sure you are washing your brain with TRUTH. Write down good sentences in your Ruby Journal and bathe your brain daily until this is your bedrock belief!
Week Seven, Day Five
Pleasure is Awesome
But all this fake sugar and fake carbs were never God’s idea; they were man’s. God wants us to enjoy His beautiful food. And God wants us to enjoy the beauty of creation. He wants us to enjoy using our gifts and genius to bless others. He wants us to enjoy marriage and children and friends. God has given us so much to enjoy.
There is hardly anything I enjoy more than sitting in my back yard, with my knock-out roses, the birds singing, the sun shining, the trees swaying in their grandeur, a good book, and a yummy drink. And all of those things are God-given and legitimate. You might need to think hard about how you are going to enjoy God’s good gifts and experience pleasure. You don’t need Trash Food.
Feeling Unwanted Because You are Large
Being fat in high school and college was the most miserable thing ever. One time, a cute boy asked me to talk and hang out, but the reason was so he could ask me about my friend! Ugh!
There’s no denying that people don’t treat overweight people right. And of course, you and I know that just because we have an issue with food doesn’t mean anything else about our abilities, brains, character, etc. Some of the nicest, most loving and giving people I know are chubby! You know that. I know that. But the world is mean about it.
But let’s quit being mad about that. We know the world is unfair. And this is an area–weight loss–where we actually have control if we Ditch/Plan/Wait! I’m sorry for your pain in feeling fat and unwanted. I have felt it too. But let’s forget it. Let’s get thin, healthy, feel great, energetic, and forgive them. They don’t understand. No one understands until they have been fat.
You have the secrets out of the Food Dungeon, the Miraculous Threesome. Crawl out. And forgive those who have hurt you. And maybe, just maybe…you can help others crawl out, too. Maybe you will be able to hand the ladder of the Miraculous Threesome to some other women who are still caught in the Dungeon of Trash Food.
I’m sorry about your past pain. But this is one area where you can decide to change. Not all areas do you have that choice, but as far as what you stick in your mouth, YOU have the power to choose.
So let’s get this pain off our backs. We’ve been hurt long enough over this one.
Freedom From the Insanity
I have several Bibles that I use but my favorite, by far, is an old Thompson-Chain NIV that no longer has a cover and is marked up with 25 years use. Before some of the boys were born, God named them from this Bible. Sometimes when I am reading along, I will see “Benjamin” circled, from when God whispered to me to name the child in my womb Benjamin (which was confirmed by his father). Another place I see where the name “Samuel” is circled from when God whispered that name (again, confirmed by the father).
All through the Psalms there are laments and cries to God written in the margins of this Bible. Reading the notes from where I begged God to help and now see that He answered, fills me with hope that He will again answer the prayers that are so important to me now.
This morning I was in Psalm 116 and I noticed where I had circled verse 16: “you have freed me from my chains”. In the margin I have, “TY, eat when hungry only, June 04”. Also in the margin, I had written, “Insanity of food”.
At that time in 2004, God had not yet revealed the truth that sugars and starches produce hormones that cause my body to store fat—that it wasn’t just about calories. And God had not revealed that sugar and excess starches DRIVE CRAVINGS and I could never, never, ever resist cravings until I got off those twin losers. Also, I had no idea I was messing with my emotional equilibrium by letting sugar and excess carbs jank up my moods. It wasn’t until a few years ago that that last piece of the puzzle was given.Across the page in that old Bible, I have Ps. 118:5 circled: “In my anguish, I cried to the LORD and he answered by setting me free.” I have many notes in the margin by that verse, but one of them is, “Freedom”.
I am now free from the insanity of food because of Ditch/Plan/Wait (Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of Skinny School) and you can be free, too. Free. I am now begging God to do some other huge things in my life, equal to opening the eyes of the blind. But I no longer have to ask for help with food. He answered that prayer.
May God answer your prayers, too.