Weight Loss Bible Study: Day 1

Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study is now available.  Click here for more info.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503Wouldn’t it be nice if we could solve all our eating problems in three weeks? I’ve been madly wracking my brains for the last month trying to come up with a Bible study that would do just that.

I’m coming up empty.

Not only do we all have different problems with food, we all have different levels of bondage to food. Some of us are at the “I just want to lose a few pounds stage,” and some of us are at the “food is totally controlling my life stage.”

No matter what stage we’re at, though, we all need the same thing: a biblical perspective of life and food – so that’s what we’ll focus on in this study.

I’ll give you assignments for the renewing of the mind, Bible study, and self-analysis you can use to spend time with God in working through your eating issues.

Before we begin, though, let’s make sure we have our plan in place. This is what you’ll need to establish today.

The Plan

  1. Choose your boundaries. (In case you’re not familiar with how links work, look back at that word boundaries. It should be highlighted. If you click on it, it will take you to a post on boundaries. Any time you see a highlighted word, you can click on it for more information.)
  2. Establish secondary boundaries, if necessary, but try not to set too many. Your main focus should be on your primary boundaries.
  3. Make a renewing-of-the-mind goal.
  4. Find an accountability partner, if possible, to do this with you.
  5. Get a journal you can use for the Bible studies and exercises in this series.
  6. Buy the iPhone app I Deserve a Donut – if you don’t have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, I’ll be including the questions in the Bible study.

Note: If you’re not familiar with the renewing of the mind, read The Renovation of the Mind. Today’s Bible study is also about the renewing of the mind.

The Challenge

For the next three weeks try to spend at least as much time renewing your mind as you do exercising – or watching television – or some other activity you always make time for.

Get up in the morning and prepare with truth. Then renew your mind throughout the day with truth. The more time you spend preparing your mind before temptation and in the early stages of temptation, the more likely you’ll be to say no to temptation.

If you have a hard time making yourself renew your mind, read this post: 8 Questions to Ask When You Don’t Want to Renew Your Mind.


  1. Write your plan (from above) in your journal and start following it.
  2. Do this Bible study with your eating issues in mind: Working with God on Your Goal.
  3. Write the answers to the questions below in your journal. Take some time and really think through the answers.

P.S. If anyone wants to share their goals for the renewing of the mind or boundaries in the comments, it would be fun to hear what everyone’s doing!

Following Your Boundaries Questions

  1. Is there ever a good (i.e. easy)  time to follow your boundaries faithfully?
  2. What would you gain by starting today to faithfully follow your boundaries, even when it’s difficult?
  3. What do you think will happen if you don’t start today?
  4. What sacrifices will you have to make to lose and/or maintain your weight?
  5. Do you have to make those sacrifices no matter when you make that commitment to follow your boundaries?
  6. Do you think it would be better to start following your boundaries faithfully now and just get it over with, or is there a good reason to wait?
  7. Are you the type of person who can go without boundaries in this area of your life and still maintain your weight? If not, what will you need to accept?
  8. When you think of what you feel like on the days you eat everything you want to eat, are there even some advantages to a strict-boundary lifestyle? Explain.
  9. What will your life and body look like a couple of months down the road if you continue to renew your mind every time you feel like breaking your boundaries?
  10. When you think of all you have to gain, is it worth following your boundaries today?


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  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com tcavey

    I think this series will speak to many- I don’t blog everyday, but I will try and read all these posts!

    Really liked this part- “Are His reasons different than your reasons? If so, why?” We need our priorities and reasons to align with God. If we want to look appealing to the world and to fit the mold the world says we should then we are not going to be satisfied no matter how much weight we lose. God wants us happy and healthy.

  • http://gravatar.com/heidibylsma Heidi Bylsma

    So glad you have started this study, Barb! YAY!

    • http://www.facebook.com/noteslinger Jacki Waller Barineau

      Me too! And am LOVING the new app so far!! (Hey, Heidi!!)

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I think the most important part is writing these things down in a journal and meditating on them. That really helps us plant these truths in our minds and hearts – and that’s when the fruit comes.

  • Martha I.

    My goal is to love God with all my mind. My mind, as I experience it, goes off in so many directions at once, it is overwhelming! It is so undisciplined and random thoughts go flitting through like so many sparks in a fire. I know I need to just choose a smaller goal to work on – I’ll be praying for the Holy Spirit to show me, but would enjoy input from others.

    • http://barbraveling.com Barb

      You know, at first I was planning to suggest that everyone focus on just one area of eating during the three week session – but then I realized some people would rather just attack the whole thing. If you do decide to choose one area of life or eating, you could always do preparation truth in the morning for that and then renew your mind throughout the day.

      I always do the area that’s affecting my life and relationship with God and others the most – for me, that area has been writing (it provides me with numerous different “opportunities” for growth”) for about a year now – boy, I would like a change of pace from that struggle, but so far it’s not happening! It’s two steps forward, one step back.

  • http://thespiritmoves.org Brenda Ameli

    Hi everyone! I’m Brenda, friends with Heidi and Jackie through Thinwithin. :)
    Reading this post left me with a struggle last week—I realized I don’t always know if I’ve broken my boundaries in eating. I needed to clarify and firm up my boundaries! I spent time in prayer and journaling this morning, and here’s what I’ve come up with:
    Eat only when I am physically hungry ( “0” in Thinwithin)
    Stop eating before I am full. ( at a “5” in thinwithin)
    Slow down, sit down, pay attention when eating.
    Mastery over sugar and refined carbs (based on 1 Cor 6:12, “…I will not be mastered by anything”).
    Mastery means: IF I choose to have sweets on any given day, I will limit myself to no more than 10% of my total calories. I know from experience that’s about 150 calories. So one ounce of chocolate, 3 bites of a dessert. Mastery also means freedom to NOT eat sweets on any given day.
    I know from experience that full-on restriction of any food results in a binge or rebellion. I want what that verse describes, “freedom ( everything’s permissible), responsibility ( not everything is beneficial) and mastery ( I will not be mastered by anything. That’s right out of Thinwithin, but I’m feeling God drawing me to focus on this part now.
    Thanks for letting me share! :)

    • http://barbraveling.com Barb

      Hi Brenda – hope it helped to clarify your boundaries! I often find myself focusing on my main ones (three meals and a snack) and then forgetting about my secondary ones (no sweets before supper except for a few chocolate chips). And i do much better when I wait til supper to have sweets. Hope you enjoy the study!

  • http://kerryelzabeth.blogspot.com Kerry J

    I just came across this resource at a time when I really needed it… I am excited to start this study as I know my overeating can only change if I surrender it to God!

    • http://barbraveling.com Barb

      Hope it helps, Kerry – I also have another blog on the subject that has some examples of how I truth journaled when I was getting over my own battle with overeating. It’s at http://www.ideserveadonut.com. I haven’t been writing on it for awhile but if you look at the categories on the right of the blog you can find posts on subjects that interest you.

  • Lee

    I bought I Deserve A Donut and loved it. I’m look at the current Bible study book that’s been out since 2008. How is this different from the one coming out in December? Do you need to do the first book before this one or is it a major revision of the 2008 study?

    • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

      The one I wrote in 2008 is for emotional eating – so it mostly deals with our emotions. Many women have told me it helped them more with other areas of their life (anger, worry, discontentment, etc) than with eating. It’s a good foundational study and is more of a traditional study than the new one.

      The new study deals more with the lies that make you eat – so it’s more food specific. Also, it’s not as deep of a study I don’t think. More of a “just enough truth to get through the day following your boundaries” study. You don’t need to do one before the other.

      Glad you liked I Deserve a Donut!

  • Karen

    I jumped over here from Heidi Bylsma’s blog to get some extra truth and encouragement as I seek to get my healthy eating habits back on track — and also to control a difficult problem I have with judgmental and critical thinking. I lost my weight several years ago. It’s just a matter of maintaining and staying with healthy foods. I can waver a bit on that and need some accountability and encouragement to stay the course. My more difficult problem is that of renewing my mind. I tend to have critical and judgmental thoughts about others — way too much!! Unfortunately, there are many in my “environment” who are prone to gossip. I do not want to join in and am really feeling the Holy Spirit’s conviction to put an end to this kind of activity in my own life. I have received much backlash from others when I choose not to participate. So — I need some instruction and truth on “renewing my mind.” This is such a battle! There’s nothing harder than controlling your thoughts and tongue! Anyway — one day at a time — one moment at a time — one word at a time — one thought at a time — with God’s divine power that demolishes strongholds! KK

    • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

      Hi Karen, It’s great to have you hear. Heidi is a good friend of mine and I love her encouraging blog. I have also struggled with a critical and judgmental spirit. For me it was a lot easier to change in that area of my life than it was with eating. I wrote the judgment, pride, and anger questions in I Deserve a Donut based on my own experiences in struggling with those issues. One of these days I’ll blog more on that subject. I’ve been wanting to but just haven’t gotten around to it. I agree – it’s a battle to control our thoughts! But a battle that draws us closer to God as we rely on Him for help – that’s good!