Revisiting my steps


“You’re blessed when you’re content with who you are – no more no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
– Matt. 5:5 (MSG)

I keep reading this over and over.

I feel like I want to brand it into my forehead where I can see it everyday.

These are living words.

This is the “message” translation of Matthew 5:5 which is part of the beatitudes that says,”blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
I love “The Message” bible because I feel like its written in the everyday language that I use. It helps me understand what the heck the bible is talking about sometimes. I’m not a scholar, I just want to understand in lay men’s terms what is going on.

I think this scripture resonates so deeply with me because I feel like I am my own worst enemy. The war that I wage is against myself. I feel like a lunatic at times if I’m being honest. You probably wouldn’t trust me with your dog, let alone your children if you knew the levels of crazy I had going on in here. I get so sick of myself.
I’m ready to be free of the ways I hold myself back! I realize this isn’t a one time decision, but a DAILY one.

“As water reflects the face, someone’s life reflects the heart.”
-Proverbs 26:19 (NIV)

When I look around and see that my life reflects what’s in my heart, I am sobered by the truth of it.

Once again, I will make the choice to LET GO.
To unclutter my life, my home and my time to declutter the mess that lies waiting to grow in my heart and mind.

One day at a time, making the right choices even if I don’t feel like it. Managing what I already have and being thankful for it will bring contentment and hopefully peace. Surrendering it all to God who is big enough to handle it.


Pardon my rant

We’ve all seen the weight loss shows on tv where the no-nonsense trainer shows up in the life of a fat person who’s reached the point of desperation and promises to change their life.
I’ve often watched these shows for motivation but in all reality it ended up becoming more self deprecating than anything; watching pounds melt off of sweating people as I am eating bowls of ice cream or left over pizza.

Envy would ensue and I would make myself feel better by remembering that this was just TV magic. Real people cant realistically lose weight like this. If I could live on a ranch and do nothing but work out and cry with a trainer for 82 hours a day I might lose weight too.
But I still liked to watch. As jealous as I’d get, I still wanted to see what they all looked like after they lost the weight and got make overs.

It got to the point where I wouldn’t watch the show if my kids weren’t in bed because my son started to figure out what the show was about and he began to look back and forth from the tv, to me, making connections that I was not yet ready to face.

One thing I am sure of, I HATE the way people talk about their “old” selves after they’ve lost all the weight. Like the fat person they were was some disgusting costume they were being forced to wear.

“I won’t go back!” They cry. “I don’t even know who that pathetic person is.”


If there is anything I can say for sure its that WHEN all of this is over and there is finally peace in my heart…and I lose all my weight…I will know EXACTLY who this person is.

Right now, this minute.

Each day that I choose to be real and seek true healing and wholeness I become more and more the ME I’m meant to be.

If I can’t love and appreciate the me that resides in this body right now, I wouldn’t deserve being blessed with a stronger, healthier one.

This body has endured a lot. It has been strong despite the choices I’ve made. It has carried me through business, chores, commitments, tough work and even child birth, giving me two healthy babies.

Disconnecting with who I am right now is what has kept me from being honest about where I want to be going. My life wont be valuable and worth living if I’m thinner!? It is valuable now. I’ll just get to enjoy it so much more!

Step by step, I know I’ll get there and I guarantee I won’t be ripping up old pictures of myself the way I am now. I will look at them with respect of the pain, sorrow and hopelessness that was captured in them. I will be proud that I didn’t allow myself to stay in it and surrender to it.

I will praise God for setting me free.

I pray this for myself but also for anyone else who is struggling with me…a slave to food…tormented by your body…whether you are trying to lose weight like me or desperately need to gain it from extreme restriction…may God give us the strength, faith and love to get us to where we are going.


Hear ye!


What to do on a day when everything seems to be going wrong?

Sick children, sleepless night, passive aggressive dog trying to lure me into battle, clutter and messes, irritable husband on his way out of town for work…anxiety rising.

Left to my own devices, I would like to find something in the fridge or pantry to construct and consume that would turn the volume all the way down on this mess. A generic attempt at holding myself together is all it would be…like trying to fix a broken vase using cupcake frosting instead of super glue.

Manufacturing a sense of control over my problems, because if I’m full…I just don’t have to think of anything.


Eating has been the go-to distraction from stress, pain and worry. Quantity always trumping quality in my ravenous ritual. All the while lying to myself about the calories consumed and the reality of being imprisoned in an unending cycle.


Luckily for me, I am learning (slowly) to be still and LISTEN instead of relying on my old foolish ways…


“God is leading you out of here, and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.”
– Isaiah 52:7b (MSG)


But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord…” – Jer. 30:17a (NIV)

“God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.”
– Psalm 29:11 (MSG)


“What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless and poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.”
– Isaiah 58:7(MSG)


“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
-(Philippians 1:6 NLT)

I am fed, dry and safe!! 🙂


The truth about puke


“I am, The Lord your God. Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,’ Do not fear, I will help you.”
– Isaiah 41:13

This is a hard post to write…but it is heavy on my heart to share. I know I’m not alone.

The funny thing about being on track and doing well is that my inner extremist steps in and starts to act crazy. This has the potential for danger!
I suffer from an “all or nothing” complex. I like to do things well and superiorly when I do them. This is especially potent when it comes to eating and food.

Balance is what I seek.

Freedom from the manic behavior in my heart that seeks to control, whether its in the form of gluttonous binging or fierce restriction. This is why I have continued to stay fat and imprisoned in this body…the back and fourth from extremes is always too much and I give up, all or nothing. That’s why it’s defined as “dis-ordered”.

That being said…I’m working step by step each day to learn to listen to my body. To appreciate my body I stead of loathe it. To listen to Gods still small voice instead of that panicked one that I’ve been so used to giving in to.

I’ve been doing well and experiencing peace little by little. So, the other night when I had been up and awake with chronic pain,
( read more about that here:
I was surprised to find myself in the throes of some violent temptation. (I shouldn’t be surprised right?) I know that I have an enemy who doesn’t want to see me released…I should be more prepared to face these tactics!

My resolve and gained momentum became distracted by my pain and I sought to soothe it with food. I had a 3am binge that didn’t help what-so-ever and ultimately only brought the usual disdain and self hatred.

The binge that follows a week or so of good choices and “in bounds” eating is especially hard because the feelings of failure and shame are intense and seek to isolate and break you.

The shame starts to whisper old familiar lies,” Well, you CAN undo this…you know how. Just throw it up. No one will know. You’ll erase what’s been done here and be right back on track.”

I am happy to report that though I gave in to the temptation to eat, I did not give in to the temptation to hurt myself to “erase” it.

I confess this is hard to disclose.

There have been times in my past I HAVE given into this and sought this false sense of control and power only to feel worse and further shame.
I’m sad to admit that I’ve hurt myself in that way but I’ve realized how very seriously we need to talk about this as women!

So many of us are suffering in secret.

So many of us NEED to drag this beast out into the light of day!
We define eating disorders as something someone who is severely anorexic or bulimic is going through that might require rehab or treatment. This is true, but I am STUNNED to discover more and more of women I love are more commonly dealing with a casual dis-ordered relationship with food. I have been since I was about 16 years old. Dabbling with restriction, resorting to puking at different times. Yo-yo dieting my life away. Feeling worthless because my body wasn’t beautiful. FEELING LIKE FOOD HAS CONTROL OVER ME.

It’s all lies.

It has to stop.

Lord, please help us!
Help your daughters seek to nurture and soothe themselves with you. Help us to find our worth, value and beauty in you and how you’ve created us to be. Please continue to be my strength as I seek to be free…thank you or helping me be honest and seek health and recovery so that my daughter will have a mother who can be a strong example to her.
In Jesus’ name~amen.


Lifting spirits


What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
-Mark 9:23 NLT

“Realize the power that is within you and you will no longer be a victim of depressed spirit. And what is this inner power? Simply the God given ability to believe. To the extent to which you develop this faculty you will master the defeats of this life. The great issue is to learn to believe. Learn to believe! Learn to cast out doubt!”
– Norman Vincent Peale

I found this little old devotional in a box of old pictures that belonged to my grandma. We were going through them a few months ago to find pictures for the family reunion when I found this I decided to keep it and read it. I thought it was double special because it belonged to her and because the content seemed right up my alley! Call it serendipitous but I feel like I was meant to find it and enjoy if. After a few minutes of just resting my nose between the pages inhaling that delicious old book smell, I opened it up and was immediately blessed by the reading for day one.

Norman Vincent Peale is famous for authoring the book,”The Power of Positive Thinking”. Contrary to what some believe, he never implies that with affirmations and positive thinking we can manifest whatever we want. But rather, if we learn to have control over our thought life and train ourselves to look to God and trust in his power, the stronger our faith will grow and peace will abound. He says,” when you learn to believe, the area of the impossible is vastly reduced and the area of the possible is greatly increased.”
It seems like a simple and reasonable formula but it is the training of my thought life that I have found to be a black hole of doom. I am a certain kind of pessimist (which can be useful at times) that struggles with not living in constant terms of worst case scenarios.
Trying to capture my thoughts before they turn into feelings, desires and ultimately actions has been extremely difficult. Being constantly self aware is exhausting. Which is partly why I became so out of control in my addiction to food. It’s way easier to check out and not deal with myself. The always available cop-out of:

Ill start tomorrow.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS. These words will kill me if I let them to continue to let me off the hook TODAY.

So, for today I WILL…

Believe that God loves me and has a plan for my life.

Believe that he will give me the strength I need and the faith to believe to overcome this captivity of disordered eating and the bondage of this body that holds me back.

Believe that I can endure the path he is calling me to right now because he has supplied all I need.

Believe that I am on the road to recovery and freedom no matter how I feel or what I look like.

Believe that (despite battling omnipresent and continual pain) my body is healing and growing stronger with each good choice I make.

Believe that I will emerge as the woman I was created to be and not second guess myself and the strides I am making based on others opinions.

Believe that my husband and children deserve to have me at my very best and that I am striving for it minute by minute.

Believe that I DESERVE to be at my best and enjoy the life that I have to live today.



Grow up


“Grow up! Let go of the baby bottles and pacifiers and grow up. You do not have to be ruled by your feelings, you CAN live your life without getting your way all the time. When you grow in maturity nobody can steal your peace.”
– Joyce Meyer

I’ll confess, I LOVE me some Joyce Meyer.

I often have Joyce (first name basis here) on in the morning before my kids get up. I like to make coffee and listen to her gruff, tell-it-like-it-is voice speak into my morning like a sassy pep talk from a favored old aunt. My friends have often teased me about my love for her because tele-evangelists have a shady track record…but every time I listen to her I learn something good.

When I heard her shout this gem at me this morning, it literally stopped me in my tracks.

Hit me right between the eyes.


“Grow up!”

It really is THAT simple isn’t it?

My battle with disordered, compulsive binge eating has been examined in every way. I’ve unwrapped it and spread out its contents. I have flipped it over upside down and on its sides. I’ve folded it inside out. I’ve exposed every dark, dirty and shameful corner…all in hopes of finding some secret golden nugget of wisdom that would unlock this whole thing and set me free.

I’ve realized this morning what is so painfully obvious:
I’ve been acting like a big baby.

A baby is soothed with milk, pacifiers and swaddled bouncing when they scream and cry. We frantically change diapers and clothes if need be to assure our baby is warm and kept in dry, milky comfort. When they are newborn we jump into action to meet these needs diligently as needed for their survival. Every little squeak and squawk is tended to and fussed over.

Eventually we learn to create an appropriate balance. A feeding schedule and sleeping schedule is necessary. We learn to let the baby “cry it out” when they’re old enough so that it doesn’t learn to demand and command whatever it wants with screaming and fit throwing. (I know lots of moms who care for their babies in LOTS of different ways so there might be some who disagree with my methods here, but for now just go with it.)

If I apply this same thing to my own life it’s very telling. I’ve relied on (if not demanded!) food and eating to sooth my feelings. I’ve learned bad habits to quiet my anxieties and PACIFY me for awhile. But the time has come to grow up…and relearn how to live without my dependencies like a big girl. I’ve just HAD ENOUGH of it running and ruining my life. No one likes a cranky, spoiled baby.

When the time came to let my first born baby boy (pictured above) “cry it out” I knew I had to do it but it was agonizing that first night. I wanted to go in and pick him up but each time I did, it only taught him to scream harder and longer until I gave in. I knew logically that he wasn’t hungry, I knew he was dry and I knew he was safe. I would peek on him every 10 minutes or so to be sure and I would keep telling myself, “he is fed, dry and safe.” After about an hour he finally gave up and fell asleep. I peeked at him one last time, covered him up and with a heart full of relief and gratitude went to bed next to my husband and actually slept. 8 weeks old and he has been sleeping through the night ever since except for the occasional bout with sickness or whatever, but you get the idea.

I’m not saying that my struggle with food isn’t serious, obviously it’s a big deal that many women suffer from in different ways. I know I’m not alone. This is a painful and complicated road we’re on.
But this morning I’m feeling the call to a new level of spiritual maturity.

Maybe, despite how hard it will be and how loud my feelings scream at me…it’s just time to cry it out and tell myself I’m fed, dry and safe?


Mandi Holden

Believe. Begin. Persist

>>New adventure<<



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