And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Value of Truth Journaling

If you haven’t done my Bible study, you may be wondering what I mean when I say truth journaling. Ephesians 4:22-24 speaks of the importance of renewing our minds. Truth journaling is simply a practical way of doing that.

My first brownie post gave you a sample of how it works. You write down what you believe, then look at each sentence to determine the truth of what you believe. Let me explain how this works with a simple diagram.

Beliefs ® Feelings ® Actions

(Note: This is only a simple diagram if you are a techie. For someone like me, it's a very complicated diagram, because I can't figure out how to turn those little R's with circles around them into arrows. I'm afraid you'll have to use your imagination. Picture an arrow starting at beliefs and going toward feelings and another arrow starting at feelings and going toward actions. While you're imagining the arrows, you might as well imagine that it's indented, because that's what I really wanted, but I couldn't make it happen.)

Behavioral scientists use this diagram to show how our thoughts affect our behaviors. Here’s an example: If I believe the plane is going to crash, I’m going to be terrified of flying, and I probably won’t fly. I might be able to force myself to fly, but it will always be a painful struggle.

How much easier it would be if I could convince myself that flying really isn’t all that dangerous. Then I would actually have good feelings about it, and I wouldn’t even have to make myself fly. I’d want to fly, because I could get places so much faster.

Now look at that diagram again. I also believe things about eating that aren’t true—things that my friends who don’t struggle with emotional eating have never believed. These lies make me want to eat, and because I feel like eating, I eat. Wouldn’t my life be much better, if I could learn to believe the right things about food so that I didn’t feel like eating for emotional reasons?

That’s what my Bible study, Freedom from Emotional Eating, is about—learning how to change the way we think about food so we won’t feel like overeating.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More on the Brownies

I hate to tell you this, but I have to write another post about the brownies, and I can just hear what you’re saying.

“What? Enough with the brownies! Doesn’t that girl have a life?”

“Brownies? That sounds good. I wonder if I have any in the freezer?”

“Hmmm…a three part series on two brownies? I might want to take this one off my favorites list.”

But I’m sure there are a few of you out there, my faithful readers (alright, maybe only my mom), who are still wondering, did she eat the brownies?

Well, let me satisfy your curiosity right away and say that there is still one brownie in the freezer (and, yes, it is the same brownie. I didn’t make another whole pan of brownies just so I could truthfully tell you that I still had one brownie in the freezer.)

After I truth journaled, I didn’t think about those brownies again the rest of the day. The craving was gone. I didn’t need self-control to keep from eating them, because I didn’t even feel like eating them after looking at the truth.

There’s great value in taking the time to truth journal, but I admit, it’s not a natural response. Let’s take a look at some of the other things we might do instead:

1. Say no to the brownies and munch on some celery sticks.

2. Do something exciting to get our minds off the brownies.

3. Throw the brownies in the garbage can and put something bad over the top so we won’t be tempted to take them back out of the garbage can again.

4. Eat the brownies and feel guilty.

5. Leave the brownies as a treat for the mailman.

6. Exercise.

7. Eat the brownies one thin slice at a time, so that it doesn’t seem like we’re really going to eat all the brownies.

8. Give the brownies to our kids.

9. Lock the brownies in the outdoor freezer and put the key in the highest cupboard in the kitchen.

10. Say, “I’ll go on a diet tomorrow,” and eat the brownies without feeling guilty….

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why truth journaling is the best option.

(Oh, and for all you extremely observant and possibly suspicious people out there who are wondering what happened to the other brownie - I ate it for dessert that night!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Editing Blogs

I am still not going to eat those brownies even though I have tried to edit that last post four times, and it keeps telling me I can't do it (even though I have done the same thing many, many, many times before) because of something to do with the html!!!!! (And I'm not going to think my life is bad just because I can't figure out how to edit my blog!!!) (And hopefully if I decide this is a very dumb entry, it will let me delete it!)


This morning I’m actively engaged in not eating the two brownies that are sitting in the freezer (They used to be sitting on the counter, but I put them in the freezer because I like them cold.)

This is what I’m thinking that’s making me want to eat them, “It would be worth having a treat since my life is going so badly, and I deserve a treat since my life is going so badly!”

Well, if you’ve done my Bible study or studied psychology, you know that what we believe determines how we feel, and what we feel influences what we do. So if I’m going to keep myself from eating those brownies, I better change what I believe pretty quickly or the brownies will be history.

Did you notice that I’m believing some lies that are making me want to eat those brownies? Well, you’ll be happy to know that I did actually truth journal already, and these are my conclusions:

Lie: It would be worth having a treat since my life is going so badly.

If I have a treat now, I know that I will have at least 40 points today and probably more. I’m at a dangerous point this morning (since I already had a half inch slice of the brownie, and I ate more that I should have last night.) I don’t want to add compulsive eating to my already bad life!

Lie: I deserve a treat since my life is going so badly.

God would say, “Come to me, Barb, I’ll give you peace. The brownie will give you bondage. It’s the darkness disguised as the light—don’t give in to it.”

Bottom Line: If I’m going to eat the brownies, I better tell myself the truth about them, and this is what I would have to say: “I’m going to eat those brownies, get discouraged and depressed, lose confidence in myself, eat enough to gain weight, and head down a path of being controlled by food, but it’s worth it for one minute of pleasure.”

I think not! I’m going to skip those brownies, and to be very honest with you, after looking at the truth, I don’t even feel like eating them anymore. (And for the record, my life isn’t even bad—I was just feeling sorry for myself because I have too much to do!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


“Lord, I just can’t do it. It’s too hard. I don’t know how. Are You sure You even want me to do it?”

How many times have I said that to God? I said that to Him when I first started writing the Bible study Freedom from Emotional Eating.

I didn’t really want to write the study…it was too hard…I didn’t know how to do it…and how could I even be sure God wanted me to do it?

After all, if He wanted me to do it, wouldn’t He give me a desire to write? Surely, He wouldn’t want someone to write a book who didn’t enjoy writing?

What I was really looking for, was God to make it easy, and to guarantee that it would be worth writing. In other words, I didn’t want to go to all that trouble if no one was going to want to read it.

Was my attitude Biblical? Well, no, it wasn't, although it made perfect sense to me at the time.

Think of all the people in the Bible who had ministries. God didn’t always make it easy! In fact, He usually didn’t make it easy. Much of their ministry may have been delightful, but we know from what we read that it also included a heavy dose of plain, old suffering.

I’m afraid we don’t have a foot to stand on when we expect ministry to be fun and easy. We have no right to expect that things will go smoothly, and that we’ll always see results from our little bit of suffering. We do the work that is before us, but the results are up to Him.

In a way, that’s a freeing thought. We don’t have to have “success.” We don’t even have to know for sure that He called us to do something. Knowing for sure, implies that He’s going to bless our efforts, and He may not bless them—at least not in the way that we expect. We may feel like we’re laboring in vain, with no apparent rewards for our sacrifices.

But if we’re to give up all things for Him, should we not also be willing to give up the outcome of the things that we do for Him? Should we not be willing to suffer for Him even when we don’t understand why we're suffering?

What we need to remember is that God is in control, not us. Hard things help us grow when we turn to Him for help…and even the growth is worth it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I've been having a hard time exercising, lately. I have good intentions, but often the day goes by, and I still haven't done anything to get my heart rate up.

I’m thinking it might be a good idea for me to try truth journaling before I exercise each day—my guess is that my desires would change, and I would start not minding exercise.

Let's look at a few of the things I tell myself about exercise that make me not want to do it:

1. It's no fun.
2. It's too much work.
3. I don't like to exercise.
4. It's too much work to get dressed. (Yes, I know, I'm pathetic.)
5. It takes too much time.
6. I'll do it later.

Now, let's look at the truths, because I bet you anything, when I really look at what I'm telling myself, I'll find some lies hiding in there.


1. It may not be fun now, but I think there's a good chance I'll enjoy it if I get in shape and make it a habit. Plus, it is fun to put on clothes that fit, and it's not fun to wear clothes that are too tight. When you look at it that way, exercise is very, very fun.

2. It's less work than having to deal with the emotional, social, and physical problems caused by having a body that's had too little exercise and too much food. The easy life isn't necessarily the good life!

3. There are many things I don't like to do, that I do anyway, because they lead to a life I like to live. I may not like making the time to exercise, but I will like having a fit, trim body, and I can't have that without exercise. (Note: I do like to go on walks with friends and family, so I could make the effort to plan that for my exercise.)

4. I have to get dressed anyway (well, not really, but it would probably set a better example for my kids), so I might as well get dressed now.

5. Exercising regularlywill actually give me more time, because I'll have more energy, and won't need as many naps!

6. Nine times out of ten, I don't do it later, unless I already have something planned with a friend or my family. So, unless I have something planned already, I better exercise now.

Wow, all this truth journaling is making me want to exercise. The only problem is that it's already after 10:00 (p.m.), and I'm thinking, "It's too late to exercise." Do you think that's a lie too?