Barb's Health Plan:


My Humble Thoughts

on Losing Weight and Exercise

  by Barb Shelton



I have lost ~ and regained ~ weight many times in my life.  I am utterly ashamed of myself, and sad for the shame my weight brings to the name of Jesus ~ who is supposedly my Love and my Victory, but looking at my body, you would not know it.  For this, I ask the Lord ~ and you, my sisters (and brothers) in the Lord for forgiveness, as I know my sin affects you in different ways.


I know that my only hope for victory begins with complete repentance, and will continue by counting on the Lord's FAITHFULNESS to "complete the work He began in me" many years ago!  He alone is able to set me FREE from my life-long addiction to food!!!  I'm ashamed to admit that I have lived most of my life addicted to food.  But the Lord, in His mercy and grace, and true to His own nature (which is beyond ME to fathom!), is "faithful to complete the work He began" in me.  There is something very relieving, comforting, restful and releasing about GOD (as opposed to ME) being the one completing the work that HE BEGAN.  This is not a work of myself; it is HIS work IN me!  **I** am His work!  I do not need to figure it all out and go on a self-improvement kick!!!  I just need to LET HIM do HIS work in me!!! ~ to cooperate with Him as He leads and empowers me to walk the path He desires me to walk! ~ not to EARN His grace or love; but to WALK in it!  ... THIS is the foundation of "My Plan."
Food addiction has been called the (supposedly) "socially acceptable sin," but it is nonetheless just-as-binding and just-as-sinful as any other addiction.  But by "the Lord's mighty power at work in me," I have begun the process of asking ~ and allowing ~ Jesus to release me from that addiction!!!  ... to heal me!!!  ...  to re-set the "bones" within my soul that have grown weak, twisted, and distorted over these many years of being too closely attached to and dependent on food. 


So here is the plan God is using            

             to help lead me out of "Egypt"...



 This is actually quite simple:

From the book Thin Within (Their website is at Thin Within.  ...  We do sell the book here. It should be the fourth book down on that page.)

Wait until hungry to eat, and stop when satisfied.  This is nothing new! ~thin eaters do it all the time as a regular and normal way of life!   In the meantime, when not really hungry, and "head hunger" is raging, demanding to be fed, I GO TO GOD to be satisfied deep within.

Eat lots of fresh veggies and fruit, more whole grains, less refined sugar and flour.  However, eating certain foods ~ even healthy ones ~ and exercising are NOT "The Key" to the success of this program!  Allowing God to change my HEART is!  Specifically, turning my heart from food and toward God; learning to abide in and lean on Him, and be satisfied by Him!  As others have put it:  I thought I had a weight problem; what I really had was a spiritual problem.  ...  So, back to food...  I can eat whatever sounds good!  However, when I wait until I am actually hungry to eat, healthy foods are much more appealing!  In fact, some that I only "sorta liked" before are now absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!!

Eating this way ~ as God originally designed us to eat ~ we are free to eat whatever seems right and good, just wait until you are actually truly hungry to eat. God designed our bodies to eat what we are hungry for, but then towhen satisfied.  Click here to read about their philosophy of eating.  "Thin Within" didn't create this approach to eating; it's really just the way God originally set it up to work.  Thin Within just recognizes it, and outlines and expounds on it for those of us who have a hard time figuring it out ~ much to the amusement of thin eaters, I'm sure, since this is really just "thin eating."  They also give much spiritual counsel and insight to help us get over the hurdles that keep us bound from being FREE to follow these simple eating guidelines!  (I'm not currently reading this book; I've already read it a couple of times, so I now know what I need to in it.  But it's an excellent place for a neewcomer to start.)


The book I am reading right now is Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick.  That's a very odd title, in my opinion, but the content is amazing.  Totally focused on God being at the center of our hearts, lives, and appetites, plus very practical application of this to our "real life."  It's very spiritually and nutritionally sound.  (We carry this book, too, here.  It should be the second book down on that page.)


MY BASIC EXERCISE PLAN:  As you have heard a thousand times, exercise is soooooooo important!!!!!  You will see in my plan (below) that there is a lot of flexibility.    I want to exercise for an hour to an hour and a half a day.  To some that might seem like a lot ~ to others it might seem too little ~ but one (to one and a half) hours is a good amount for me since my lifestyle ~ with no babies, and a sedentary job at home ~ does not include much physical activity.  I don't use any one resource or "tool" for my exercise;  mostly I have just learned many things over the years that make sense and feel right and good to me.  

Stretching* Routine - 10 to 20 minutes, daily  (This is usually 10 min.)
Floor Exercise Routine (Toning) -  10 to 30 minutes, 6-7 days a week. (Usually 15 minutes; more if I'm watching a movie at the same time.)
Go for a walk every day.  (I started at 10 minutes and am now at 20 to 30 minutes.  My "usual" is 30 minutes now, less if it's nasty outside, or I'm extra-tired.)

Aerobics: 10 minutes a day minimum, but preferably 20~25 minutes.  (20 minutes is my "usual" right now; I might do more later on as my weight decreases and my stamina increases.)


Here is a document with the cues for my stretching routine, my floor exercise routine, and my aerobics, if you'd like to use it for ideas.  Someday I plan to videotape myself doing these so you can see them in action!  But not quite yet!



NOTES ON STRETCHING - This is SO beneficial!!!  I used to think that, since it isn't very "exertive," it really wasn't of much value.  But there are MANY benefits to stretching!  At the website, I just found a good, quick summary of...


Why we need to stretch


Stretching is the key to maintaining your flexibility — in other words, how far and how easily you can move your joints. As you get older, your tendons (the tissues that connect muscle to bone) begin to shorten and tighten, restricting your flexibility. Flexibility is one of the keys to good posture. When your front neck muscles are short and tight, your head angles forward. When your shoulders and chest are tight, your shoulders round inward. When your lower back, rear thigh, and hip muscles are tight, the curve of your back becomes exaggerated. A regular stretching routine also can reduce pain and discomfort, particularly in your lower back. In fact, the pain often disappears when you begin doing simple stretches for your lower back and rear thigh muscles. What's more, flexibility exercises can correct muscle imbalances. Say that your front thigh muscles are strong, but your rear thighs are tight and weak. As a result, you end up relying on your front thighs more than you should. Chances are, you won't even notice this. Muscle imbalances can eventually lead to injuries such as pulled muscles. They also contribute to clumsiness, which in itself can lead to injury."


If exercise is a "hard thing" for you too, know that the Lord understands, and doesn't condemn for finding this difficult!  BUT He doesn't want you to stay there!  He wants to bring us to a new place!!!  A good and balanced place!  If you are sensing a desire to get into better shape, know that this desire is from the Lord, and whatever He calls and leads us to, He will also equip and give us the grace for!  It is truly "ours just for the asking"!  "We have not because we ask not"!  ... Do you need more motivation?  Then ASK God!!!  Do you need ideas?  Then ASK God!!!  He will lead you to whatever is just right for YOU! 



MY "REALLY  BASIC PLAN" for if I'm in a hurry or not feeling well

Do at least a little stretching as this will make me feel better. 

Try to walk at least 5 minutes, even slowly, just to get some fresh air and get my blood circulating. 

Pray my "Basic Quickie Plan" prayer...  (Note that in the black print, I'm talking to myself, like David talks to his soul in Psalms.)



Basic Quickie Plan

       If you simply and truly do not have time to spend with the Lord first thing, or if you are too sleepy, then at least make a “basic connection” with Him before moving on with the day.  Pray:

    Thank You, Lord, for a new day even though I am in a hurry.  Help me to be kind, pleasant, cheerful, patient, and to know my limits for how much to do and not do today.  Show me Your priorities for this day that, in your mercy, You have given me one more of.  Help me realize ~ and operate within ~ my limits at both ends:  just how little to do (not being lazy when I really could do more), and not doing too much, beyond what’s truly good for me, in YOUR eyes, or in Your timing.  And then “in between” too! ~ helping me fill the hours of my day with what’s on Your agenda ~ and in Your order.

Lord, I want to hear Your words of love to me, and to commune with You throughout the day. Help me set aside or rise above all distractions, and focus on abiding in You, the Lover of my soul.


If not feeling good, add:  I ask You, Lord, to search my heart; I want to repent of anything that may have caused me to feel this way.  (If you can’t think of anything, then…)  I thank You for what You are going to teach me through this, and I ask You for abundant grace to carry me through it in complete victory, not turning to food for comfort or cheer.  If it would be possible and within Your sovereign plan to shorten this time of not feeling good, that would be so nice.  :-)  But if not, help me to accept it with grace for whatever the duration of it is.




WEIGHT-WISE:   My starting weight was 196 last Fall (of 2010).  I'm thinking that 140 is going to be about right me, but I'll need to get there before I'll know my optimum-for-me weight.  So that's 56 pounds.  Time-wise I have no goals for losing that, though the sooner the better for my overall health.  Yet I should not lose more than 2 or 3 pounds a week so that my skin has time to shrink into my shrinking body as the weight comes off.  If I lose an average of 2 pounds a week, that's 28 weeks.  Or about 7 months.  8 months to allow for plateaus.  Wow!  That means that by my birthday ~ July 26th ~ I can have at least most of this weight off!!!  And that's a very healthy and reasonable rate!

PHYSICALLY:   I want to feel good, look nice, wear all my "skinny clothes" comfortably (I have 2 whole boxes of them awaiting me!), be sick less, and have more energy to live a full, fun, productive, service-giving, and enjoyable life!  I'm tired of huffing and puffing when I've done hardly anything, and of avoiding active activities!!!  I know that my blood pressure will go down, too, as I do more exercise and lose this weight.  It would be wonderful to be able to totally get off my blood pressure med!!!!
SPIRITUALLY:   I SOOOOO want to "glorify God in my body"!!! ~ and not be a "shame" to His reputation.  Right now (and this was when I was first starting out) I feel like, if people look at my body, they say "Hmmm, God is really Lord of her life?!?!?!  It sure doesn't look like it."  How can I say or think God is truly the "Lord of me" when, truly, He is NOT Lord of my eating!?!?!  ... Oh Lord, thank You that you are full of mercy and grace!!!  But I want to walk more in victory, not just taking you up on your grace!



Spend time with God every day to get and keep my heart and mind on track ~ "stayed on Him."
Read Love to Eat, Hate to Eat.  When done with that, re-read Thin Within.  Then keep referring back to both books ~ especially to the highlighted portions ~ for reinforcement and encouragement.
Be accountable to my support/accountability team by keeping track of my progress and journal in my "Personal Care Focus Chart" and sending it to them each day ~ which I will explain next...




My accountability is in the form of a chart that I call my "PERSONAL CARE FOCUS CHART."  Click on this little chart here to see a sample, which you can use as a template and edit to your own needs and desires, if you want.  It has several disciplines that I am wanting to focus on.  This chart, in and of itself, has NO innate power; it's just a tool to help me keep my focus on things I want to focus on to better my health and deepen my walk with the Lord.  (Click on this mini chart to go to the actual document!)


Here (below) is another of my entries for the SPIRIT-EMPOWERED VICTORIES TODAY section.  (If you do not have a problem with food, you will think I'm CRAZY!!!  But if this helps someone who is struggling with food, then I'm happy to look like a fool!)


SPIRIT-EMPOWERED VICTORIES TODAY:   Dave made microwave popcorn with BUTTER tonight (one of my VERY favorite foods!)   He asked me if I wanted any, and I said "Just a LITTLE," so he gave me a small bowl of it.  But then when I picked up the bowl to eat it, I felt a surge of GRACE to say "You know, I can really live without this," and then poured it ALL into Dave's bag!!!  Oooooh WHAT JOY!!!!!!  …  Also, at dinner at my sister Julie's…  I ate just a little soup and just one third of a roll!!!!  And only about 2 bites of sauce cake ~ which IS one of my fav foods!!!  (Hmmmm… it's beginning to sound like I have a LOT of "VERY favorite foods," isn't it?!?!?!?!   :-)   I KNOW it is GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



(Yes, I know; I do tend to get a bit excited!!!  Someone amusedly told me that the exclamation mark must be the first key on my keyboard to wear out!!!!!  )


So I have invited a few gals in my life ~ as the Lord has brought them to me ~ to help keep me accountable to this.  They are my "cloud of witnesses" whose presence in my process, and whose eyes upon it, help me walk in the light, and stay walking in the light ~ instead of hiding!!!  They are staying connected to me throughout this process since I re-started on January 1st of this year, and are free to speak into my life.  (If you would like to be part of this, where I'd send you my chart/journaling every day, please email me to tell my why you'd like to do this, and I would be happy to add you on!!!!  You'd be free to quit anytime if it's just not helping you.)






Having gone the "health food route," tried just about every diet there is, and now doing this as I am (as explained in the Thin Within program), I have come to believe that the single factor that affects health even more than the specific foods we eat is excess weight.  Once we get rid of that, and keep it off, a lot of other health problems "miraculously" disappear.    Research confirms this; it's not just my own observation.  What I have learned and gleaned in Thin Within and Love to Eat, Hate to Eat affects every area of life.


I know personally, and only TOO well, what a burden excess weight is, not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  I want OUT of this "Egypt" that I have been in for most of my life!!!  I want to walk in and enjoy the freedom in this area that God has for us! ~ the freedom that is our birthright, which I have, sadly, been selling for a "bowl of soup." 


I believe that merely focusing on healthy eating, exercise, and herbs, minerals and vitamins, etc. is not the main key to weight loss or good health.  These are certainly elements of it, but they are not "the key" or "the answer."  "The key" in losing weight is Jesus Himself.   If we want all that God has for us in either area, we must "take up our cross" and "die to self" ~ daily surrendering all to God.  This is not a nice "side dish"; it is absolutely "The Real Meal Deal"...  and foundational.  Nothing else is more important or more effective if we truly want all that God has for us in any area of our lives.





(Click here to see the write-up on the book called

Thin Within. Scroll down a few items until you come to it.  You

can purchase it at the end of that write-up.)





A Bit More About Thin Within

Hundreds of men and women

have lost thousands of pounds through the

Thin Within ministry, and have kept it off!

Visit the Thin Within website

(click here, or here's the name:

 to read success stories of these people, as well as more information

explaining what it's all about.  It's not just about weight loss,

but about getting victory (via the Cross of Jesus)

in any area of your life that currently

has control over you.








Side note

to homeschoolers


      Thin Within is to the world of weight and food, what Lifestyle of Learning is to the world of education. And if you haven't heard of Lifestyle of Learning yet, you'll be learning about it in your Season of Re-education, in Wisdom's Way of Learning in particular.  (Note: There is NO connection between Lifestyle of Learning and Thin Within other than the connection I have made in my own life and present to you here! The two are entirely separate entities.)


      Both concepts are revolutionary in our culture, yet neither are really new in God's eyes at all!  And the two go hand in hand completely!  The messages are similar because they both usher us to the foot of the cross.  The slight difference is in their focal point; one being on renewing of the mind in education, the other on renewing of the mind in food, health, and weight. Both expose misperceptions, lies, and wrong thinking that our culture is steeped in. 





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   This web page was last updated on February 16, 2011