messy me (selfserve) wrote in thin_within,
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Thin Within: Introduction and Overview

taken from Introduction of Thin Within by Judy Wardell. PLEASE NOTE: this information and this community takes information and exercises from Thin Within - How to Eat and Live Like a Thin Person, *NOT* the later/more recent writings of Judy Wardell Halliday, i.e., Thin Within: A Grace-Oriented Approach to Lasting Weight Loss or Thin Again: A Biblical Approach to Food, Eating, and Weight Management. It appears Wardell's later writing has taken a more religious approach, which definitely works for many people. However, this community will be covering a non-religion-specific, more psychological approach. If you hang around and interest arises in her other publications, we may cover that subject matter later. For now though...


Thin Within is not a diet. There's no weighing in, no food plans, no calorie counting. It has nothing to do with will power, excruciating exercise, or group coercion. It is an easy, practical approach that has everything to do with losing all the weight you want, at the rate you want to, eating anything you want (from sweet butter to hot fudge sundaes), and keeping it off forever. In Thin Within we produce permanent, not temporary, results. It has been conclusively shown that the success rate of diets is between 2 and 5 percent, while and independent study of Thin Within demonstrated a long-term success rate of over 60 percent.

Ms. Wardell came upon Thin Within while struggling with her own weight. She kept looking for a program that would embrace her entire being - body, mind, and spirit - an approach that would involve her physiologically and psychologically.

At that point she met Joy Imboden Overstreet (these details are included for posterity's sake), who had already put together the basic concept of Thin Within.
We had both realized that we could lose weight and yet still be constantly obsessed with thoughts of food. We could look great (never great enough), and be afraid it wouldn't last. We saw ourselves as fat, whether we were or not. We never ate a bite of food without thinking it was going to make us fat. Joy and I concluded that if we could think ourselves fat, we could also think ourselves thin.


Think for a moment of a friend or a person you have known who is naturally thin. Not dieting thin, not can-eat-only-salads-at-every-meal thin, not a-life-full-of-sacrifice-and-suffering thin, but naturally thin. Someone who never diets and who freely eats anything and everything he or she wants. A naturally thin person is someone who is probably more interested in living and loving than in eating. She doesn't follow convention. Sometimes she eats cake instead of dinner. Sometimes he has a hamburger for breakfast. Sometimes life gets so interesting he even forgets to eat! However naturally thin people eat, they stay thin forever. The Thin Within concept evolved from a comprehensive study of such people.

A key point is understanding why diets don't work. Consider the following statistics:


  • : More than half of U.S. adults are overweight (BMI greater than 25, which includes those who are obese)

    All adults (20+ years old): 97.1 million (54.9 percent)
    Women (20+ years old): 46.9 million (50.7 percent)
    Men (20+ years old): 50.2 million (59.4 percent)

  • Nearly one-quarter of U.S. adults are obese (BMI greater than 30)

    All adults (20+ years old): 39.8 million (22.3 percent)
    Women (20+ years old): 23 million (25 percent)
    Men (20+ years old): 16.8 million (19.5 percent)

  • Less than half of U.S. adults are a healthy weight (BMI less than 19 to 25)

    All adults (20+ years old): 73.2 million (41.4 percent)
    Women (20+ years old): 40.3 million (43.6 percent)
    Men (20+ years old): 32.9 million (39.0 percent)

  • Medical and emotional problems associated with obesity and eating disorders (including anorexia and bulimia) have reached epidemic proportions

  • Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services (This figure represents consumer dollars spent in the early 1990s on all efforts at weight loss or weight maintenance including low-calorie foods, artificially sweetened products such as diet sodas, and memberships to commercial weight-loss centers.)

  • The most common nutritional problem of the aged in this country is not malnutrition, lack of a balanced diet, or osteoporosis. It is obesity!


It is clear that diets don't work. They don't work because they're based on a negative focus, one of deprivation, starvation, and denial. It's as if there were a Newton's low of dieting where every action produces and equal and opposite reaction, setting up a pendulum motion within us.

According to the Herman-Polivy study at the University of Toronto, diets actually trigger excessive eating behaviour, causing us to gain weight. That's right - diets make us fatter - because when we diet we swing back and forth on that pendulum from one extreme to the other. When we're on a diet we're thinking about the forbidden foods and when we finally go off that diet (after enjoying the compliments for a few days), we compulsively eat everything we have deprived ourselves of. And, finally, diets don't work because they do not take into account the uniqueness of the millions of people who are seriously overweight in this country. Ninety percent of formerly rotund people will backslide sooner or later.

Thin Within is a concept of harmony and balance. It will discuss how to eat just enough of the foods you love and release all of your excess weight. Each exercise builds on prior ones and contains ideas and explanations of how this works.

The purpose of this "program" is to put these tools into the hands of those millions (billions) of people who have food, eating, or weight-related problems. Toe revolutionize the way we eat from the attitude of "more is better" to eating "just enough" of what our bodies really love. Above all, it is to say emphatically that diets don't work and never will produce long-term success.

If you are interested in doing this on your own, the book Thin Within by Judy Wardell contains more details and should be available by Pocket Books.

I know this sounds like an advertising scheme. The purpose of this rundown is really just to provide a clear explanation of what Thin Within is, and is not. I am going to post summaries and each day's exercises in here, for the purpose of sharing, not for the purpose of ripping off the author. Which is why the book information is posted in here. It's actually a pretty old book, but if you can and you're really interested, I do encourage you to pick up a copy if you can find it. Apparently the original version is out of publication and now replaced by the newer Thin Within: A Grace-Oriented Approach to Lasting Weight Loss. The original is a small paperback, and mentioning it here would hopefully make up for the fact that I am posting so much of its content here for anyone's use. From the reviews and summaries I have read, the newer version is similar to the version used here, except with more of a Christian bent. If this is something you don't mind and are interested in, I still encourage you to look into it.
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