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

Friday, March 27, 2009


I’ve been thinking about rules lately and how they apply to emotional eating. The question is, “Do rules help us or hurt us in our struggle with emotional eating? Is it the rules themselves that make us feel like eating too much or is it something else?”

Because we know we’ve been saved by grace, and not by following the rules, I think we have a tendency to think that rules aren't very important. But is that true?

1 Timothy 1:8-9a says this: But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners . . .

At first glance we may look at this verse and think, “Doesn’t that just apply to non-Christians? Wouldn't we be considered the righteous?"

Well, yes and no. Yes, we are counted as righteous through our faith (Romans 4:3, 5:1), but no, we're not always righteous in our behavior (Romans 3:10-12, 23). And where we're not righteous, we need the law.

I see this principle at work in my own life. I tend to be "lawless and rebellious" in the area of eating—I feel like I should be able to eat whatever and whenever I want. I don’t like placing restrictions on my eating. Because of this I need a law.

A naturally thin person on the other hand tends to eat only when she’s hungry. She’s not stamping her foot and saying, “I should be able to eat whatever I feel like eating,” because food isn’t that big of a deal to her. She can easily give it up. In her case, it would be legalistic to have rules about eating because she doesn’t need them.

Timothy says the law isn’t made for the righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious. That’s me when it comes to food.

Will the rules keep me from emotional eating? No, they can't save me any more than following the law can save me. Why? Because I'm not capable of following the rules (or the law) in my own strength.

Then, you may ask, if I'm not capable of following the rules, why should I have them? This is the answer - because they show me my rebellious ways and tell me when I need to go to God for help.

Let's see how this works with emotional eating. Let's say my rule is, "I'll eat only when I'm hungry." If it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I’m craving something to eat even though I'm not hungry, my "rule" gives me a wake-up call. Barb, why do you feel like eating? Are you really hungry or are you going to food to satisfy your other needs? Are you willing to submit to God in this area of your life or are you going to insist on eating whenever you feel like eating?

If I didn’t have the rule, I might not notice that I’m eating for the wrong reasons. The rule itself doesn’t give me the power to eat the way God wants me to eat - but it does show me when I need to go to God to get that power. In that sense, the rule helps me.

Also - it's not the rule that's making me want to eat in the first place. I know it seems that way - after all, don't we start craving food the minute we go on a diet? Yes, of course we do, but we also feel like eating a lot when we're not on diets - we just don't notice it because when we feel like eating, we eat! It doesn't matter if we're not hungry, because we don't have any rules in place to tell us we can't eat when we're not hungry.

What the rule (law) does is point out the rebelliousness that’s already there in my heart - and it shows me that I need to go to God for help - because that's the only way I'll be able to follow the "rules."

Note: Although the rules themselves don't make me eat, the lies I believe about the rules often make me eat - and that's what I'll be talking about in my next post.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to Make Yourself Truth Journal

Studies show that over a period of three days we tend to remember:

• 10% of what we read
• 20% of what we hear
• 30% of what we see
• 70% of what we say and write

Maybe that's why truth journaling works so well. There's something about writing the truth that helps you remember it and act it out.

The question is, how do you get yourself to truth journal when you don’t feel like doing it? Here are five things that can help:

1. Truth journal at the same time every day.

When I was struggling with writing my son (who likes to write) gave me some good advice: “Mom, just pick a time to write and do it at the same time every day—it will get easier as time goes by.” He was right—it did get easier. If you don’t have the time or the drive to truth journal every time you break your boundaries, try truth journaling once a day instead.

2. Set an easy goal.

If you don’t enjoy truth journaling, make sure you set a reachable goal. It should be small enough that you can make yourself do it even if you don’t feel like doing it. You could set a time limit goal (five minutes a day) or a writing goal (one entry a day).

3. Get your ducks in a row.

If you have to search for a notebook and pen every time you journal, you won’t want to journal. Make it easy to write by having everything ready to write and easy to find. If you’re going to use lie-truth charts print a bunch of them out. You can download these charts from the sample content tab at

4. Truth journal about truth journaling before you start to truth journal.

I know this sounds a little crazy, but it will help you find out why you don’t want to truth journal. Here are some of the common lies that might be keeping you from truth journaling and the truths that will change your attitude.

1. It’s too much work.

Truth: It’s not too much work when I think about what it will accomplish in my life. It’s worth a bit of work to be set free from emotional eating.

2. I don’t have time to do it when I need to do it.

Truth: It doesn’t have to be done at a specific time to help me change the way I think. (Note: It is true, though, that if you wait until the next day to truth journal, it will be hard to remember your thoughts.)

3. It takes too much time.

Truth: It’s worth the time. And five minutes isn’t too much time.

4. I’ll just do it in my head.

Truth: Although doing it in my head is better than nothing, writing it down will be much more effective. It’s worth taking the extra time to write it down.

5. I’ll do it later.

Truth: The longer I wait, the less I’ll feel like doing it. I better do it now.

6. I’ll just force myself to (stick to my boundaries, etc) so I don’t need to truth journal.

Truth: I can only force myself to (stick to my boundaries, etc) for so long. Sooner or later I’ll break down and do what I feel like doing. It would be far better for me to put my efforts into forcing myself to truth journal—because that will change me permanently.

7. It doesn’t work.

Truth: It doesn’t work as quickly and as easily as I want it to work, but it does work. If I'm persistent and consistent, it will eventually change the way I think.

5. Pray about it.

Never forget that we're in a spiritual battle. Satan would just as soon see Christians focus on their behavior and not the renewing of their minds. Why? Because if we think like the world thinks we're going to act like the world acts - no matter how much we focus on our behavior.

If we want lasting change in our behavior, we need to take the time to renew our minds.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


(And I also choose not to have a strawberry smoothie right now even though my daughter is making them and they are very good for you and also very delicious!)

(Because I don't have to eat just because everyone else is eating, right???)

Just for today . . .

I choose to eat what’s best for the rest of my life and not what’s best for the next five minutes.

I choose to see myself through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of other people.

I choose to give up my right to eat just because someone else is eating.

I choose to say no to one more brownie and say yes to energy, well-being, and living life in control.

I choose not to define myself by a number on the scale.

I choose to not eat even one bite outside my boundaries.

I choose to go to God’s Word for help and not the refrigerator.

I choose to eat what’s good for me and not what’s available to me.

I choose not to condemn myself when I mess up.

I choose to die to self and live for God.

. . . and I hope I do the same tomorrow.