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well, this is as good a place to start as any. i'm making this community closed-membership. if you really want to participate or get into this, contact me and i'll add you. since there was so little activity and interest over here, though, i decided to make some changes. i'm going to start focusing on this and unless it's something you're really wanting to be a part of, i don't feel comfortable just displaying my attempts at correcting my eating and weight problem. from here on out all posts will be friends-only.
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    crappy crappy



sorry i flaked out on maintaining this community. if you're still interested in being a part of it, i'm going to try to fire it up again. if not, it'll just be my little Thin Within journal.


i'm just fucking tired of watching millions and millions of people flock to the latest diets trends in the same attempt to lose weight. and we all know they don't work - but we want that hope, that promise, that THIS time will be different. the MAJORITY of people who have tried, or will try, whatever new diet, be it atkins, south beach, dr. phil, WHATEVER, will FAIL. and the majority of those who SUCCEED, will fail to KEEP the weight off. this is simply HOW it is, PERIOD. and why? because we will always go back to chocolate, ice cream, cheese, bread, croissants, coffee with full-fat cream, whatever. the thing with thin within that always appealed to me is it's acknowledgement of this fact. the whole premise is that if you listen to yourself and learn to love yourself and stop beating yourself up and waiting to live until you're thin, and putting off life as punishment for your fat, if you put yourself in the now and find peace and self-awareness and kindness, you can learn to enjoy fine eating and stop bingeing and subsequently abusing your body and gaining weight.

the problem i have, is that i suck at structure. and even the thin within book has a structure you're supposed to follow, little food logs and whatnot to train yourself to eat with awareness and not binge on crap. i guess i could make something for my pda... hmmmmmmmm. maybe if i do that i'll email it to anyone who wants one. if anyone even bothers reading this. haha.

well, the one thing i'm really excited about is that my life is about to change in a huge way. i'm about to leave my sedentary lifestyle of my office job and go back to work as a piano technician, where i move around a lot, and get daylight and fresh air and don't take my work home with me, and and AND i have a flexible work schedule so that i can go to the gym in the mornings when my baby goes off to his job, before i get going to work. i am really looking forward to this. oh, friday, you can't get here fast enough!
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Day 1 - Weight Mastery

A master is someone who is a professional, the best, and who exercises his or her skill effortlessly with a sense of sureness and serenity. Weight mastery means that you have absolute serenity in your mind, body, and spirit with regard to food, eating, and your weight. It means you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve balance in these areas. This is exactly what Thin Within teaches... the art of thinking, eating, and living like a naturally thin person.

Cybernetics is a comparative study of the electronic processes, the nervous system, and the brain. Such studies have given us a more complete understanding of how we learn. Human beings are basically learning mechanisms, and we solve problems and attain our goals, like computers, by using feedback. Thin Within is based on this concept. It has nothing to do with controlling yourself, using will power, or domination of any sort.

Each of us has a "god-given" genius inside of us that will reveal all we need to know to solve our problems. These tools are within you - not somewhere "out there." All you need to do is learn how to tap into your own genius.

In the past, before I realized that what I needed was already within me, whenever I was depressed, sad, or upset about my eating and my body, I used to think if only... if only I could find the perfect diet, that would solve everything.

The attraction to a diet is the promise. The promise that you will lose 10 pounds instantly, that if you lose 20 pounds you will meet the man or woman of your dreams and get the perfect job, because you're going to be thin and beautiful. However, it's a false promise, based on will power, deprivation, sacrifice, and control.

It's interesting that food is the only one of our obsessions (drinking, drugs, smoking, overwork, sex, etc.), that we can't eliminate. We can stop smoking or drinking but we can't stop eating. We need food to survive, so we must learn to handle it masterfully.

There's a really important part in the book here. Basically it notes that this isn't some concept you just read. In order for it to be effective, you have to decide that you're worth doing it. It isn't diet, but it *is* a behavioural change, much like anything else that's effective. And you can't just make the change effectively and permanently overnight. It takes learning and committing yourself to the 30 days outlined to learn it. Put your name in the comments of this entry as a committment to yourself that you are going to do this for yourself.

Now we're ready to proceed. The first exercise is extremely important because it will help pinpoint where you are, right now, in your relationship with food, your body, and the way you are currently eating.

My Last Supper Exercise

Slow down for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and take a look at how you usually approach food and eating. Can you remember the last meal you had? Jot down your answers to the following questions. Don't think about the answers too much, simply write down what first comes to mind.
  • Do you remember what you had to eat at this meal?
  • What was it?
  • How did you eat your food?
  • Did you take plenty of time to enjoy it or did you gulp it down?
  • Did you like what you were eating?
  • What was going on in the environment as you ate?
  • Was there a lot of noise and talking?
  • Where you reading?
  • Was the TV on?
  • Or, was your meal filled with peace and quiet so you could really savor your food?
  • How did you feel as you ate this meal?
  • Was it an enjoyable experience?

It's a common mentality amongst those of us with compulsive eating problems or overeaters, that we feel as if we're always in a food race, and always losing. As we are eating one thing, we're not focusing on it, rather, we're thinking about what we're going to eat next.

Naturally thin people do not diet. The first tool we'll be introducing will allow you to eat like a naturally thin person starting right now.

The Thin Within Keys to Weight Mastery

The Thin Within Keys to Weight Mastery are the hearbeat of this whole program. They are a guide to conscious eating. All you have to do is follow them and you'll melt down to your naturally slim state. The first day you learn how to do this. The next 29 days you learn to overcome your resistance to doing it. The body doesn't resist. The body loves eating consciously and enjoying every morself of it! It is the mind that resists (I know this is probably sounding kooky and cultish by now, but bear with - it's taken from a book written in the 80's, mmkay?). After investing years in the struggle, the mind can't believe the first step is this easy.

We deserve to have it all.
What is the use of having it all if we don't feel we deserve it? Think of this as a gift you are giving yourself. Read each of the following Keys to Weight Mastery carefully. Copy them so that you can carry them with you, hang them on the refrigerator or anywhere you eat so they can guide you away from compulsive overeating to consciously eating "just enough" of the foods you really love.

1. Eat only when my body is hungry. This is the fundamental key to weight mastery. We eat only when we're hungry. We feel there's no such thing as a little bit, or kinda hungry. We either are or aren't. When in doubt, don't eat. Pay attention to your body's messages. The can be trusted. And if we eat only when we're hungry, we'll lose weight and we'll feel good. if you don't have a chance to eat when you're hungry, don't worry; your hunger will go away and come back later. Hunger acts like a snooze alarm. It comes, goes, and always returns. It's even alright to be hungry and choose not to eat! Now you're probably saying to yourself, "but I'm always hungry." Not true! We'll learn on Day 5 how to tell when you are really hungry.

2. Reduce the number of distractions in order to eat in a calm environment. We love to eat, and being in a calm environment truly allows us to slow down and enjoy every wonderful morsel of food. For the next 30 days, arrange your life so that you can eat alone whenever possible. This makes it much easier to recognize old eating patterns that don't work and to change them to new workable ones. When we say reduce the number of distractions, we mean turn off the TV and the music, send the children out, put aside readin, etc. You'll learn later how to eat like a thin person with family and friends, at parties and business meals.

3. Eat only when I'm sitting. There is no joy in eating on the run. Such eating is not very satisfying and it encourages picking. It's interesting how when you eat on the run, the mind erases the meal but the body doesn't. If you sit down at the table every time you eat, you will naturally slow down and pay more attention to your food, which is precisely the point. It is an invitation to conscious eating.

4. Eat only when my body and mind are relaxed. Why? because you will enjoy your food more. It's not necessary to be in a state of meditation - simply spend a moment or two being aware of yourself and the food before starting to eat. Take a few deep breaths. Look at the food before you as though you are seeing it for the first time. You will be amazed at how this slowing-down process will enhance your eating experience.

5. Eat and drink only the food and beverages my body loves. This permission is for you to choose to eat anything that you want to eat. In Thin Within there are no good foods or bad foods, no shoulds or should nots. You can eat anything your body loves to eat. What do we mean by that? We mean ask your body what it would really love to eat. You do this by closing your eyes, touching your stomach and abdomen, and asking your body, "What would you really love to eat right now?" This might be a novel or scarey idea to you. However, if you listen to your body, you can trust its answer.
At first as you learn to tune in to what your body really wants, you may hear it say it wants all those "bad" foods you're not supposed to have when dieting. Go for it - as long as you eat only when you're really hungry and stop BEFORE you're full. What is happening is an important part of the process. Your body is breaking its "diet pattern" of labelling foods as "good" or "bad," which will allow you to eat like a naturally thin person - when you're hungry and only those you love. Practice abandon and at the same time stay attuned to the messages of your body, which can be trusted. It will tell you exactly what it wants in order to feel and function at its best. Don't worry if you think you're eating too many cookies or too much pasta - eventually your body will call out for broccoli.
Begin to notice what you really love and what you don't. For instance. you may think you love a combination sandwich and your body really doesn't. Perhaps what you really love in a BLT is the bacon and mayonnaise and not the tomato and bread (or vice versa). Then go for that. If the part of Mexican food you really like is the melted cheese, then have just that. Practice abandon and be creative. Savor all the flavors of the your food and drink, and when you eat, enjoy the food without diluting it or washing it down with liquids.

6. Pay attention only to my food while eating. When you're eating alone that will be easy to do. However, when you're with another person, it might seem difficult to pay attention only to your food. When eating with others spend about thirty seconds focused on your food, then put your fork down and focus your attention on the other person and the conversation. I have noticed that I cheat the person I'm with if I eat while conversing, and I deprive myself of the pleasure of my food if I talk while eating. So alternate eating and talking. This will allow you to receive optimum pleasure from the food and relationships.

7. Eat slowly, savoring each bite. It seems obvious, doesn't it, to eat slowly and enjoy each bite? Why then is it so rarely practiced? We rush through life not noticing what we eat, whom we talk to, what we say. We're never really here in the present moment, we're in the future or in the past. By using this key every day - eating slowly and noticing each bite - we are teaching ourselves to be in present time, and we will begin to enjoy more fully all areas of our lives.

8. Stop BEFORE my body is full! Here we learn when to begin (when we're hungry), and when to stop (when we've had "just enough"). We'll learn how to tell when we're hungry and when we've had enough on Day 5. This is how you train yourself to return to the natural balance of your body. It's very simple. You start when you're hungry and you stop when you're comfortable. If you begin eating when you're hungry, it will be easier for you to recognize that comfortable place to stop, which is just before you are full.

These keys apply to all the food you eat, and all the beverages you drink, except water. that includes coffee (even black), tea, and diet sodas (drink these only if you really love them and you're thirsty). We consider everything except water as food and recognize that everything except water affects our level of hunger.

Remember: this is not a diet. The book here asks the reader to set aside any and all diet pills, shots, liquid protein, or diets and focus 100 percent on Thin Within, reiterating that you can eat anything you want and release weight as long as you use the Thin Within Keys to Weight Mastery. It takes a great leap of faith, but I'm with that.

Success Tools
  • Use the Observations and Corrections Chart for the next 30 days to observe which Thin Within Keys to Weight Mastery you're using, and which ones you're not using. Every time you choose to eat or drink, place a check mark or star beside the keys that were used. If there are empty boxes at the end of your day, that will indicate for you to pay more attention to that particular key.

Thin Within Observations and Corrections Chart

Observations Day 1
1. I ate when my body was hungry.
2. I ate in a calm environment by reducing distractions.
3. I ate when I was sitting.
4. I ate when my body and mind were relaxed.
5. I ate and drank only the things my body loved.
6. I paid attention only to my food while eating.
7. I ate slowly, savoring each bite.
8. I stopped before my body was full.

The Where-I've-Come-From Questionnaire

The following is a tool to assess your past history and pinpoint where you are now so you can achieve all your weight-loss goals. Read it and note the appropriate answers. Following Day 29 you will fill in a Where-I-Am-Today Questionnaire, and by comparing your answers you will see how much progress you've made during this process.

Age____Height____Present Weight_____Desired Weight_____

1. How was your weight as a child? (under 12 years old)
  • underweight
  • ideal weight
  • somewhat overweight
  • very overweight

2. How old were you when you first decided you had a weight problem?
  • 1-7 yrs
  • 8-12
  • 13-19
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • over 40

3. How frequently do you weight yourself?
  • once a day
  • 2-5 times a day
  • 2-5 times a week
  • 2-5 times a month
  • very rarely

4. How was your father's weight when you were young?
  • underweight
  • ideal weight
  • somewhat overweight
  • very overweight

5. How was your mother's weight when you were young?
  • underweight
  • ideal weight
  • somewhat overweight
  • very overweight


6. How much of the time are you on a diet or sacrificing certain types of foods?
7. How frequently do you eat foods you really love?
8. How often do you think of yourself as a thin person?
9. Can you visualize or imagine yourself at your desired weight?
10. Do you think you are aware of your body's hunger and fullness signals?


11. At what point on the gauge do you usually start eating?
12. At what point on the gauge do you usually stop eating?

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT CONCERNS? (rate each item on a scale of 1-10, 1 being "serious problem," 10 being "no problem."

13. Spending too much time worrying about your weight or eating behaviour
14. Weighing frequently
15. Anorexia Nervousa
16. Bulimia
17. Disliking your body
18. Thinking too much about food
19. Snacking (between meals or at night)
20. Alcoholic beverages
21. Cigarettes
22. Feeling guilty about what you eat
23. Eating out of stress or boredom
24. Social eating (parties, restaurants)

IN GENERAL, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR LIFE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS? on a scale of 0-10, 0 signifying "poor, unsatisfying, or low" 10 signifying "excellent, very satisfying, or high":

25. Health
26. Energy Level
27. Physical Activity
28. Productivity
29. Job satisfaction (consider student, housewife, contractor, self employed as a job)
30. Close relationships (friends)
31. Family relationships
32. Sex life
33. Ability to speak up for what you want
34. Level of self esteem

remember, if you'd like to post your answers in this community, feel free to do so in the comments of the pertaining entry. if you're uncomfortable with this, either log your answers for yourself on paper, or in a private entry on your own journal. this is an open membership community so far, although if enough interest is generated, i might make it closed membership so that everyone can feel like this is a safe place to discuss their progress, bumps, troubles, questions, and findings.

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.