Can I Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating? With Barb Raveling [Episode 164]

Say Goodbye Emotional Eating Barb Raveling

Episode 164 [Part 1]

Episode 164 [Part 2 – BONUS]

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle on some level with their relationship with food. I sure do, and that’s why I found this episode with Barb Raveling, life coach and author, so helpful!

It’s full of practical tips and grace to help you get a right perspective on food, self-control, and renewing your mind. It’s a giant-sized portion of encouragement, so come with a great appetite because you are about to get full!

This conversation was so good that I decided to break it in half.

Some 4:13ers may not deal with this issue as much as others, so this first episode gives you a great overview. It will certainly whet your appetite for more if you struggle with this.

But following the first episode, I’ve included a bonus episode for those who want to go deeper. Barb gets into the nitty gritty about the emotions associated with weight gain and loss, and it’s so insightful!

We discuss how food can become a “stronghold” in our lives, which Barb defines as false places of protection. But food isn’t supposed to be a stronghold for us—God is! He’s our only true stronghold, and Barb helps us make that shift in our minds.

Are you ready for this? Oh, sister, I sure am!

Let me introduce Barb to you, and then we’ll dive right in.

Barb is a mom of four, a Christian life coach, and the author of six books and Bible studies, including Freedom from Emotional Eating and The Renewing of the Mind Project. She’s also the host of the Christian Habits Podcast and Taste for Truth Podcast where she helps people break free from their strongholds and grow closer to God.

You are going to get so much from this conversation, whether you’ve had a lifelong struggle with weight loss or are simply trying to break the habit of turning to food for comfort. She answers questions like…

  • What is the real secret of lasting weight loss? (Hint: It’s not a weight loss program.)
  • Can I set boundaries in eating without creating just another diet?
  • What’s the difference between a biblical and cultural understanding of eating?
  • How do I avoid the temptation to make ‘being skinny’ the goal while trying to lose weight?
  • What are some lies we tend to believe about eating, and how do we replace these lies with the truth?
  • How do emotions factor into the struggle to lose weight?
  • What are practical ways to break out of the emotional cycle that’s driving me to eat?
  • Is it possible to have an unhealthy relationship with healthy food?
  • After losing weight, why do we struggle so much to keep it off?
  • Breaking free from the control of food seems impossible! Where do I start?

You’ll hear Barb talk a lot about the “renewing of your mind” which comes straight from Scripture. Romans 12:2 says:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…

Emotional eating is more than a physical and emotional battle. It’s a spiritual battle!

But, be encouraged, my friend. God is with you in the thick of your battle and can help you overcome this struggle. He is our strength through any trials and temptations we face, including emotional eating.

You can renew your mind, and you can be free from food’s control over you, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

Related Resources

Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from Barb Raveling

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Related Blog Posts

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Episode Transcript


4:13 Podcast: Can I Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating? With Barb Raveling [Episode 164 - PART 1]

Jennifer Rothschild: I don't know anyone who doesn't struggle on some level with their relationship with food. I do. That's why I found this episode with Barb Raveling so helpful. It's full of practical tips and grace. So I think it's time for us 4:13ers to get a right perspective on food, self-control, and renewing our minds. And that's just what you're going to get today in a giant size portion. No portion control here, my friends. So come with a big appetite. You're about to get full. Okay, K.C., let's do it.

K.C. Wright: Let's go. Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothchild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hello, our people. K.C. and I are just so glad you're here today. It's going to be an interesting conversation we're about to have. I am Jennifer and I'm here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life, and that includes your relationship with food, which is often a very difficult spot. And I'll just let you know that this conversation that I had with Barb was so good that I decided to break it in half. Okay? Because some 4:13ers may not deal with this as much as others. So this episode is going to give you just a really good, you know, overview, and it's going to whet your appetite for more if you deal with this. So following this episode there's going to be a bonus episode with Barb where we finish this conversation, and it'll get into the nitty gritty. So check on whatever platform that you're listening to right now because you'll find that bonus episode when this one ends.

K.C. Wright: Speaking of listening, if you haven't followed the 4:13 Podcast, you need to. Hello. It's the best way to know when an episode posts. So hit your "follow" button there on whatever platform you are using, and you can get an email every single Friday from Jennifer, that's called "Java with Jennifer," and can take you straight to the podcast and show notes. Plus, this gives you the inside scoop on all things Jennifer. There will be a link on the show notes at 413podcast.come/164. My phone notifies me, hey, new episodes drop. Plus, I love getting that email on Fridays.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

K.C. Wright: And also, I cannot tell you how many times I've enjoyed going to the show notes to get the behind-the-scenes scoop of the conversation. So you can go to, sign up today. Okay? Now to our 4:13 question: can I say goodbye to emotional eating?

Jennifer Rothschild: Ugh.

K.C. Wright: Oh, boy.

Jennifer Rothschild: Let me just remind all of our people right now. We say that the 4:13 Podcast is just two friends, one topic, and zero stress. So no stress with this conversation if this is something you deal with, because I deal with it. K.C., you probably deal with it. We all deal with it.

K.C. Wright: Yeah, this is getting too close to home. You're getting up in my business.

Jennifer Rothschild: But I'm telling you, it's super helpful, and so I'm glad we're talking about it. Because, you know, there's this illusion that if someone is heavy, well, then they have a bad relationship with food; but, oh, if they're skinny, they must have a right relationship with food; and it's not so.

K.C. Wright: No.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I think no matter what you deal with, you're going to find something in this conversation because we're always learning and growing. And, K.C., I was laughing my head off when you told me about going to the pool the other day. You've got to tell our friends this.

K.C. Wright: Well, I just made a little comment that I have found myself emotional eating. I mean, you'll find me sometimes, you know, in the parking lot of Chick-fil-A and waffle fries on a bad day. No. But I went to the pool the other day, and my buddy Noah was there and he's got a washboard stomach. And I told him, "I used to look like you, Noah, years ago, I just have a couple loads of laundry now on top of my washboard stomach." But you know what? I'm not fat, I'm just fluffy, and God loves me the way I am. Amen?

Jennifer Rothschild: A to the men.

K.C. Wright: Amen.

Jennifer Rothschild: And this is not about weight loss.

K.C. Wright: This is not about weight loss.

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

K.C. Wright: But this is a real deal. Because I have lots of friends, and this is a topic, a discussion that needs to happen.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: And we talk about all things here on the 4:13 Podcast.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we do.

K.C. Wright: And I'm actually really excited about this episode and the bonus episode because this is a real conversation that needs to make sure it happens, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah. So I think you just need to introduce Barb so we can get this going.

K.C. Wright: Barb is amazing. Barb is a mom of four, a Christian life coach, and the author of six books and Bible studies, including "Freedom from Emotional Eating" and "The Renewing of the Mind Project." She's also the host of the Christian Habits Podcast and Taste for Truth Podcast, where she helps people break free from the strongholds and grow closer to God. You really, truly are going to get so much from this incredible life-changing conversation, so let's get to it. Here's. Barb and Jennifer.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Barb. Anybody who has written books and Bible studies about food and eating and all that, you probably have some experience with weight loss and weight gain and this whole journey. So could you give us a picture of that as we get started.

Barb Raveling: Sure. Weight loss was something I struggled for 25 years. I started in high school, and it was one of those things where I'd gain weight, I'd lose weight, gain and lose, and it just controlled my life. I thought I would never get over it. And I remember days in my college days just eating, binging, the hopelessness, the despair, and thought I'd never get over it. And then eventually I did.

Jennifer Rothschild: Which is what all of your resources have been borne out of in your podcast, and I want to hear more about this. Because even when you describe that, I felt it, you know, because I have had that same experience with lose, gain, lose, gain. It's all or nothing with me. And I know a lot of our listeners are similar. But in your resources, you don't recommend a specific weight loss program. So what do you feel is the real secret, then, of lasting weight loss?

Barb Raveling: Well, I think the real secret is the renewing the mind. That's what the Bible tells us is how to change. We are to transform by the renewing the mind. And I found that that was actually the only way I could break free from the control of food. Because I had so many things that were driving me to eat, so many emotions. Every time I had a trial, my go-to was to go eat something. Or if I was procrastinating, I'd go eat something, that that'd make it easier to do whatever it is I had to do. Or just the food itself, you know, if it was incredible food, oh, I wanted that food. And I wouldn't stop at just one, I'd have a bunch of them. So I couldn't control it at the desired level. You know, you hear that. A lot of times people will say, "Well, you're free in Christ, you can make a choice." But it didn't feel like I could make a choice because I was so driven to eat. So I had to go back and change it at the belief level, because it was the beliefs that were creating the desires that were driving me to want to eat so much.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's good. Well, and like you said, so Biblical because we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. I mean, when it comes to food, our brain is literally more powerful than our stomach. So get practical for us for a second then. How do we begin this process of renewing our mind when it comes to food and eating?

Barb Raveling: Okay. Well, the first thing I think you have to do is create some boundaries, because you need to know when to renew. So back in the old days, I'd go on diets, and maybe about every, I don't know, 50th diet I'd have enough self-control to actually follow through and lose the weight. But then as soon as I lost the weight, I'd go back to eating what I wanted, when I wanted. So it just didn't even occur to me that I needed boundaries all the time, even after I lost the weight, until -- well, probably until a few years into my own renewing of the mind process, then I realized, oh, I need boundaries all the time. So you set your boundaries. And maintenance boundaries may be different than weight loss boundaries. My maintenance boundaries are eat three meals a day and one snack, if necessary. And then every time you break your boundary, you would renew your mind. So what that looks like is you look at, okay, what was I believing before I broke my boundaries? What was I believing that made me want to break my boundaries? And then I teach a few different ways to renew your mind. But what it really is is we're changing the way we think. So, like, we're taking off that cultural perspective we have of food and putting on a Biblical perspective, we're taking off lies and putting on truth, and we're taking off what we learned growing up and we're putting on what we learn in the Bible.

Jennifer Rothschild: So what would be -- you just said something that piqued my interest. What would be a difference between a Biblical understanding of food and a cultural understanding?

Barb Raveling: Well, the cultural understanding is, you know, live it up. You know, we should do whatever we feel like doing, and you only live once, and if you want it, have it. And the Biblical perspective is you hold all things with open hands, you take up your cross. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. So the Bible isn't all about do whatever you feel like doing, do what you want when you want. So it's a different perspective.

Jennifer Rothschild: So when you're setting boundaries, whether it's for weight loss or maintenance, you're doing those within a Biblical understanding of the purpose of food and glorifying God with your body, not just -- here's my concern. How do you do that, setting those boundaries, and it doesn't become just another diet?

Barb Raveling: Okay. Well, I guess I'd say first of all, I don't think there's anything wrong with diets. And, you know, it depends on the person. Some people handle diets better than others. Like, for me, I'm not a person who obsesses over weight loss or counting calories or anything like that, so I can go on a diet and it won't be a problem. But I think the difference is not so much what boundaries we're using to lose the weight or maintain the weight, but just that we're having a Biblical perspective on it. Actually, I forgot what question you asked that led into that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Just basically this idea -- which you've just basically answered, Barb -- is that we do need to have this Biblical understanding of food and our bodies when we're setting these boundaries, otherwise it can become -- that's what I was asking, could it become, then, just this other culturally pressured sense of diet boundaries that you're setting, you know? So it's not part of transforming your mind, it's just part of following a mindless cultural norm.

Barb Raveling: Right. Well, I think when you're doing it, you have to hold two things with open hands. You have to hold food with open hands and you also have to hold weight loss with open hands. Because I think the temptation when we lose weight is we feel like, oh, I have to be skinny, I have to be skinny to be acceptable, I have to live up to these people's expectations. And when we feel that way, it actually makes us want to eat. So back in the old days, I'd sometimes feel like I'd have to be skinny for an event. You know, maybe I'm going to wedding, a reunion or something, I'd feel like, oh, I have to be skinny, so I'd try and go on a diet. And because I was an emotional eater, the trauma of going on the diet and then failing at the diet would make me want to eat, so I usually ended up heavier instead of lighter when I went to the event. So it's something that you kind of work together. You renew both about the weight and you renew about the food so that you hold both of them with open hands so one doesn't take control over the other.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's really good. And you just listed some lies, I think. Because you talk about and you just mentioned replacing lies with truth. So that's definitely -- you're talking my language here. So tell us how that helps, then, with weight loss. I mean, can you give us some examples?

Barb Raveling: Yes. So -- actually, I was just listening to your last podcast -- I can't remember who it was -- the episode that just came out, and she was talking about pulling thoughts up from the subconscious. And that's kind of what we're doing with truth journaling. Because a lot of women will tell me, well, I don't even know what I was thinking, I just wanted to eat. But if you go back, you were thinking something. So here's an example. Let's say I had some friends over for dinner last night and I made rhubarb pie. And this morning I still have half a rhubarb pie left over. Well, I'll probably want rhubarb for breakfast. And one of my boundaries is I don't eat sweets before noon. Because whenever I have sweets before noon, then I eat too much. So I think, okay, what's my belief? My belief is if it's in the house, I should eat it. That's something that I really believe and that's what I would have been thinking before I ate the rhubarb pie. So it's like, well, I have rhubarb pie in the house, why would I not eat that for breakfast? Of course I'd eat that for breakfast. So then I'd say, is that true? And, no, it's not true. Because if I had 12 rhubarb pies in the house, does that mean if it's in the house, I should eat it? Well, no, I'm not going to eat 12 rhubarb pies if I have them in the house, right? So at some point I'm going to say, no, I'm only going to eat this much. So if you're going to say at some point, I'm only going to eat this much, why not stop at a healthy point? And for me, a healthy point at breakfast is no rhubarb pie. I can have it a dinner, it'd be a great dessert, but I couldn't have it at breakfast. So I'd write down -- if I was going to write it in my journal, I'd write, "Belief: If it's in the house, I should eat it." And then I'd write, "Truth: Just because it's in the house, that doesn't mean I should eat it." And I might say things like, you know, that old line, if somebody jumped off a cliff, does that mean I would jump off the cliff? You know, there's all kinds of different truths that you can you can put down. So I might have one lie -- 'cause you have to journal the lies over and over again because you keep believing the same lies. You'll have different truths different times. Sometimes the truth will be the same, but each time you journal it, you have to think about it, your mind has to be engaged. Because we're going in with this one perspective, and by the end of it we need to have a different perspective. We need to totally embrace the truth. And here's another example. Just like for Halloween growing up, we'd go trick or treating and we'd eat all the candy. My parents would let us eat all the candy. And I know why, because you get tired of little kids saying, "Can I have some candy? Can I have some candy?"

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Barb Raveling: So you learn the lie that it's a holiday, I can eat whatever I want on a holiday. So that's something you learned growing up. But in the Bible, we learn, no, God wants us to have self-control. And somebody who didn't love food, they don't have to really worry about boundaries because they just naturally eat the right amount. It's those of us who crave it, who lust after it, who tend to say I'm going to live for that, we're the ones that need boundaries with it. Because we need boundaries so that we don't put food above God. We always want to keep God first, and the boundaries will help us with that.

Jennifer Rothschild: You know, you're describing something that sounds to me like you're slowing down the process. So instead of a mindless hand toward the pantry and into the mouth, you're interrupting that process. And I know you were just referring to a podcast we had a while back with a lady named Allison Fallon. She talked about the power of writing things down. And we'll have a link to that on the show notes. And so what you're suggesting is that truth journal to help really -- the more you write down the lie and the more, then, you write a corresponding truth -- I can see that process and how wise that is. But you know, Barb, there's -- I mean, gosh, there's so many lies we believe when it comes to this complicated subject. We can be very multitasking when it comes to it. Because I think a lot of us, too, believe lies about weight loss itself. Okay? So what are some lies that women tend to believe -- you know, men also, but I'm a woman, so that's who I'm thinking of -- women believe about weight loss?

Barb Raveling: Well, we might believe the lie it's too hard, I can't do it. We might believe -- we might even have a hard time getting started because we might think, well, everybody we know, they've seen us try over and over again, you know, and they'll be like they'll ridicule us if we try and fail and we will fail. Or sometimes we think it should be easier than this. I was listening to the podcast you had with Scott Hamilton -- I love that podcast episode -- and he talked about how many times he fell over the course of his career, and he felt like it was about 42,000. Okay. So if we're renewing our mind, we think, oh, it should be easier than this, I shouldn't have to take the time to renew my mind, or I should be over it by now. But we wouldn't think that if we're doing something like skating. We realize any worthwhile goal, it's going to take a lot of effort. So what we have to get to the point of, every time we fall down, use that as an opportunity to learn. So if I fall down, break my boundaries, and I use that as an opportunity to learn and go back and say, okay, what was I thinking? What's the truth? I write it down and that cements it in my mind, then that will help me get over it. And another thing writing down does is it makes us see that, oh, I really do have boundaries. Because we can do that. Every day we get up and say, oh, I'm going to follow my boundaries, but then something good comes up to eat and we just eat it. So even though we say we have boundaries, we're not acting like it, so we don't really believe it. But if we make ourselves sit down and write out the lie and the truth after we eat whatever it is we've eaten, that kind of tells our brain, Hey, brain, Hey Mo, we do have boundaries, follow them. So it not only helps us on a truth level, but on a -- I don't know, a will level to make us realize we care about this enough, we're going to work at it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Barb Raveling: 'Cause if Scott Hamilton just stayed on the ground and said, oh, this is too hard, he never would have become an Olympic gold medalist.

K.C. Wright: Now, do you see why we are having another bonus episode with her right after this?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: She has so much more to say about this very issue. But I must say, I love the write it down truth/lie thing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, me too.

K.C. Wright: Yeah. That applies to any lie in your life, not just the ones about food and eating.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that's so true. And I really liked her advice about boundaries. There was just so much practical stuff here. So that's why we're going to have a bonus episode that's going to follow this one, so that you can hear more from Barb if this is something helpful to you. But, my friends, you heard her mention that app "I Deserve a Donut." I downloaded it and it is so good. So you can download that. You can find it on the app store on whatever device you're using, or we're going to have a link to it on the show notes at

K.C. Wright: I love blueberry donuts. Okay, I'll stop. Okay. I am going to grab lunch right now and listen in to the rest of this conversation. So remember, our friends, you can face this topic, like you can face any topic, with faith, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's funny she didn't name her app "I Deserve Lettuce."

K.C. Wright: "I Deserve a Donut" is pretty creative.

Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't that awesome?

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's really fun.

4:13 Podcast: Can I Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating? With Barb Raveling [Episode 164 - PART 2]

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hey, 413ers. On Episode 164, we talked about the lies that we believe about weight loss and food with author and coach Barb Raveling. And so on this bonus conversation, we're going to talk about the emotions associated with weight gain and weight loss. And we'll deal with food being a stronghold, because, as Barb says, food isn't supposed to be a stronghold. In fact, she defines strongholds as false places of protection. Oooo. And food is not supposed to be that for us. God is our true place of protection. He is our only true stronghold. So let's finish this super helpful conversation today as we get going on the 413.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to a bonus episode of the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. And now [sings] my sister from another mister --

Jennifer Rothschild: What in the world?

K.C. Wright: -- my -- sorry.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, that was funny. Do it, do it again.

K.C. Wright: And now my sister from another mister --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: -- would you please make welcome my soul sister --

Jennifer Rothschild: Soul sister.

K.C. Wright: -- Jennifer Rothschild --

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that was funny, K.C.

K.C. Wright: -- who is spunky and cute and full of Jesus --

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, I like that.

K.C. Wright: -- and highly caffeinated.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, someone is in this podcast studio.

K.C. Wright: And is the female version of me without a beard.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. And I think you are highly caffeinated. The thing is, you don't even have to have coffee to be that highly caffeinated. Hey, y'all, we are super glad you're here, that you stuck around for this bonus episode, second half of this conversation. It's going to be so good. So we're going to get right to it because you might need to go deeper with some of these subjects. And so if you happen to have missed the first part of this conversation, it was Episode 164. And you can find it and a transcript at the show notes at And, in fact, you can find the transcript from this bonus episode at the same place. Okay? We're going to have it all right there.

K.C. Wright: Yeah. And you need to hear it. It was really, really good. I mean, it was just phenomenal. If you listened, you know, Barb. But just in case you're listening to this conversation first, Barb is the author of six books and Bible studies, including "Freedom from Emotional Eating," which is a life-changing book, and "Renewing of the Mind Project," both incredible, incredible books. Plus, she's a Christian life coach and the host of the Christian Habits Podcast and Taste for Truth Podcast. So I know you're ready. Let's finish right now this great conversation between Jennifer and Barb.

Jennifer Rothschild: I think that that is a big lie, because we -- the lie that it should be easier, because I think we see people, we hear commercial -- you only hear the success on Facebook, you know, wherever it is that you're looking, and you think, man, why is it so easy for them? And I appreciate you bringing out that lie. The other thing that I know is a thing is that weight loss, just the whole topic itself, is a really emotional topic for a lot of people. And so I'm curious your opinion, how do emotions factor into the struggle to lose weight and then you actually keep the weight off?

Barb Raveling: They really factor in. Because we have two things going on. First the food. And the food is so great, it makes us want it, right? But then the other one is lies. When life is hard, we have negative emotions, and we want to escape those negative emotions. We don't want to feel them.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Barb Raveling: So we want to eat, or it brings us comfort. So there's two different things driving it. There's the food, but there's also our need to be comfortable and to escape the hard things of life. And so with those things, you can deal with the lies and truth. You know, we can deal with the lie -- the lie is that eating is a good response to a trial. And, of course, the truth is it'd be much better to face the problem, work on it, go to God for help. So we can deal with it with that level. But another way we can deal is getting rid of the negative emotion. Because if you can get rid of the negative emotion, you're no longer driven to eat. So that's another thing you can renew your mind about. And, actually, I have an app called "I Deserve a Donut," other lies that make you eat. And I have a whole bunch of emotions on that app. So you can click on the emotion you're feeling. Let's say you're experiencing annoyance. Let's say your spouse said something to annoy you, and you're annoyed, and so that makes you want to eat. Right? So you can go through these little questions on the app, and the questions are designed to kind of help you see that situation from Biblical perspective. And by the time you're finished going through the questions, usually your emotion has left, you're no longer annoyed with him. A lot of times for annoyance, it turns to feeling sorry for the other person. And then once the annoyance is gone, you no longer have that negative emotion driving you to eat. Plus, there's Bible verses too for each emotion too that are super helpful.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love the name of this app, "I Deserve a Donut." We are going to so have a link to that, because I know right now -- I'm just telling you, 4:13ers, do not stop listening and go to the app store. Okay? We will have a link. We will make it really easy for you to get there, because you need to hear the rest of what Barb has to say because this is so good. I love that you have done that. That's so practical. And what I love about that, too, Barb, is it's simpler than maybe stopping at your kitchen island, writing down in your notebook what is the lie I believe, what is the truth? I mean, yes, that is something we need to do, I get it, but, boy, the convenience and the quick ability to have the app is super helpful. And so that's very practical. You've already talked about boundaries and lies and truth. But I'm curious, is there anything else you would suggest that we can do to keep our emotions from sabotaging us when it comes to our weight loss effort?

Barb Raveling: Well, I think the emotions, they get stronger throughout the day. So a lot of people will eat either in the afternoon, like around 3:00, or after dinner. So those are big times for us to break boundaries. And a lot of times, the reason we eat at those times of days is because the emotions that are kind of in the background in the morning, they're so strong by 3:00 in the afternoon or in the evening, especially for people who work during the day and they come home, that they're just -- they're driving us to eat, and we don't even want to take the time to sit down and renew our mind. In fact, when I was getting over this, I usually couldn't. I wanted that food so much, and I knew if I took the time to renew my mind I wouldn't want it anymore, and so I didn't renew my mind until afterwards because I wanted that food. But the great thing is that the truth works either before or after. Yes, it's more efficient if you renew before, then you aren't going to eat all that stuff before you're done. But it still works, the truth still works afterwards. So working through your emotions early in the day I think it's really helpful. So if you kind of feel yourself being, oh, I feel a little unsettled, something's wrong, think back to what happened that made you feel that way. Did you have a conversation with somebody? Were you worried about one of your kids? Did a friend say something to hurt you? Are you avoiding something? Procrastination is a huge thing that makes us eat too much. So go back, see what it is. You could go talk to God about it. Like, if you catch it early enough, sometimes prayer will just take care of it, talking to God about it. Or you could do, again, those donut questions. You could do the lies and truth. But the sooner you catch things, the better. And I guess the other thing emotional too, you could go out, go for a walk, call a friend, do something fun, just something to break out of that emotional cycle to keep yourself from going to the refrigerator.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. You know, I have found for me, I crave what I eat, you know.

Barb Raveling: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So If I could just stop eating such and such, then I wouldn't crave it anymore and life would be simpler. So I look at that process -- and listening to what you're saying -- and I think, okay, so what if your brain is so used to feeding your body, you know, when you're feeling these feelings or you're in at certain times of the day or whatever, what would it be like, Barb -- and I'm genuinely curious your take on this. So what if normally at 3:00 in the afternoon I grab a handful of peanut M & M's, okay? Let's say that. Let's say that's what I grab at 3:00 p.m. And so let's say tomorrow I'm just in this habit, this has been my mechanical mode. Well, walking outside might feel like just insurmountable to get my feet to go toward the front door instead of the pantry. Could I pick up a handful of almonds instead to help interrupt that process?

Barb Raveling: You could. But I think that would still be turning to food for the emotional relief. So if it's a scheduled snack, I think that'd be fine, and the almonds would be healthier, because almonds might not make you want to eat more. But if you're having the M & M's for emotional reasons and you're just switching to the almonds, you're still keeping that habit and the lie in force that this is going to make me feel better.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's so good. That is so clarifying for me. Thank you. Because you're right, raw almonds are healthy; M & M's are not. But it's the relationship with the food that you're feeding the unhealthy part. So that's super insightful.

Barb Raveling: Right. Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. I love that. That's helpful. Thank you.

Barb Raveling: And you know what else? I think if you have things that you tend to emotionally eat with, like -- I never emotional eat with a carrot. I might with almonds. I love -- I definitely would with cashews. I love cashews. But there's certain foods even now -- I've kept my weight off for 13 years and I feel like I'm free from the control. Actually, no, it might be longer than that. I think it's more like 15. But I still will have my husband hide some things for me. So, like, if we ever buy chocolate peanut butter granola, that chocolate peanut butter granola goes all over the house and the garage in little clever hiding places that my husband hides it. And then if I want some, I ask him to get it for me, I put it in a little bowl, and then he hides it right away. He doesn't even leave it out on the counter for an hour, or I will go back and have a second bowl. So sometimes, you know, it helps just to do some practical things. Although if you guys do this, anybody who's listening, don't ever get mad at your husband if he doesn't tell you the hiding place, otherwise he's never going to want to do it again. So you have to not go searching for it and not ask him to reveal the hiding place.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's so practical for your marriage and your weight loss.

Barb Raveling: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, so here's another question. Some of us find that weight loss is just too difficult to maintain. Okay, so, like, you could lose it, but just maintaining it. Like, when you just said 13 to 15 years, somebody's probably thinking, oh, that is impossible. So why do you think we believe that it's impossible?

Barb Raveling: Well, I think we believe it's impossible because we normally lose it with self-control. So we lose it with self-control, we get on a roll, and the whole time that we're losing it we think, oh, I can't wait till this is over and I get to go back to eating what I want, when I want. So we haven't done anything to change the way we think. So when we're renewing our mind, what we're really trying to do is we're trying to go from a person who thinks the best life is eating what you want, when you want, to become a person who actually believes that the best life is a life where you eat with boundaries. So we're changing who we are. And if you don't change who you are by the time you've lost the weight, it's going to be impossible to keep it off. And, of course, in some ways that's not true, because if you keep renewing after you've lost the weight, you're still changing after you've lost it. But if you're like me back in the old days where I lost it with self-control or I lost it because I'd gotten up to that weight that was so bad I really had to lose it, once that's gone and you go back to eating what you want, when you want, it just slowly comes back on again. But for me, it was pretty easy to keep it off this time. Now, it was a little worrisome because -I published "Freedom from Emotional Eating" in 2008, and I started renewing my mind probably in 2000, but for food a few years before that. But anyway, I published the book. And when I published it, I was so worried I was going to gain my weight back and it'd be super embarrassing, because here I'd written this book and then I gained my weight back. But I've kept it off just because --before I lost it, I probably had to renew my mind hundreds of times. Like, I have hundreds of truth journal entries in journals at my house of things about food. Because back then I didn't have the app, I hadn't read written the questions, I hadn't written any Bible studies, so all I did was truth journal. So when you truth journal that much, you change the way you think. I no longer had any desire to stuff myself, no desire to binge. I still broke my boundaries sometimes, especially when I started writing again because I ate for procrastination. But it's just easier. And the other thing was I knew that if I started having a problem again, I knew the answer. And the answer wasn't just to go on another diet or drum up the self-control or start, you know, quote, following my boundaries. The answer was to renew my mind in writing every time I broke my boundaries. And that was something I could do. I didn't have the power to keep myself from eating those donuts or the Dairy Queen Blizzards, but I actually did have the power to renew my mind. To write down one little lie, one little truth to my journal, that takes 40 seconds. Less than a minute. And it's hard in the beginning because it's the spiritual battle and Satan doesn't want us to do that. He doesn't want us to do anything that's going to help us put self-control in our life or help us have a path to go to God rather than food for help with life. So it is going to be hard in the beginning. But once you get into the routine -- for me at least, renewing the mind is something I really enjoy. And I just love the peace that comes with it. I think I was more motivated by the peace and joy than anything else, because I felt like I'd lived my life so long in distress, especially, like, back in those early days when I first started renewing my mind, I was always getting annoyed with everybody, and it was just so wonderful to live in peace and joy. I wanted that and so that motivated me to renew my mind.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. This is really good. So let me just put it this way. This is like the big question that will be really simple to ask, and probably more complex than a simple answer. Okay?

Barb Raveling: Okay.

Jennifer Rothschild: But the person who's listening right now who's thinking, oh, my goodness, okay, she just shared so much about lies and truth and boundaries and renewing my mind, and I really want to lose this weight and I want to keep it off, where do I start?

Barb Raveling: I guess I'd start first of all, by figuring out what your boundaries are. And you probably have an idea of what you like or what you're willing to do or what's worked in the past. You know, I'd make sure you don't spend too much time agonizing over that. Sometimes people can say, oh, I don't know what God wants me to do. You know, God said -- he'll say use self-control, but I don't think he cares that much what type of boundaries we have. At least it never says in the Bible, you know, pray and make sure you're using the boundaries God wants you to have.

Jennifer Rothschild: Only eating this many carbs and -- yeah.

Barb Raveling: Right, right. So simplify that, don't overthink that. Have a set of boundaries. And then I think the easiest thing to do is get my "I Deserve a Donut" app. And then every time you break your boundaries, go to that app and it will have little thoughts that you can read and say, okay, is this why I broke my boundaries, is this why -- I don't know how many lies I have on that. Maybe 15 lies. And just answer a set of questions. I actually started writing those questions 'cause I knew it was easier for some people than truth journaling.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Barb Raveling: Start renewing your mind, and do it in writing. It does take longer to do it in writing, but it sinks in more if you do it in writing. If you can't make yourself do it in writing, don't worry about it. But if you can make yourself do it in writing, do that. I used to do it when I made this commitment, because -- the year I finally broke free was the year I bought a special journal for it, and I did say I'm going to renew my mind, I'm going to truth journal every time I break my boundaries. And even the first paragraph in that journal said, "I believe a person can break free from the control of food." And so I kind of wrote this paragraph out, and at the time I didn't know for sure, but I just believed it. And so then I tried it out and I'm like, oh, it really does work. But you have to do it -you have to do it every time. So like Scott Hamilton, if he had been out doing his little -- you know, his jumps, but he only did it like -- he went to practice once a month or once every three months or once a week, there's no way that would have been enough to become an Olympic medalist. He had to go in every day, do all that work, because he had to, you know, train the muscles to learn those jumps. And so if you just renew sporadically, it's not going to work. You have to do it every time so that -- it's almost like it's a stronghold. I don't know if for whoever is listening, but for me eating was a real stronghold of my life. It just controlled me. And those strongholds, they're false places of protection. God's supposed to be our stronghold, but food becomes it. But the stronghold's built on lies. So think of a big wall, and the wall is filled with rocks, and each rock is a lie that we put there, that we learned growing up or learned in college or wherever. And so every time we put the truth to a lie, every time we break our boundaries, write the lie and the truth, we're taking a stone out of that wall, and eventually that wall is going to crumble. But it does take work. We have to go into the idea that, okay, this is going to take work, it's worth the work, I'm going to do the work.

Jennifer Rothschild: So, Barb, what does this look like in a very practical way for you? Okay, so, like -- you know, like, the nerve center of food in my house is the kitchen. So if I'm never going into the kitchen, that -- it might be easier to keep my boundaries. If I didn't have to eat at all, it would be easier to keep my boundaries. Right? So where do you truth journal? Are you talking like you do this in the morning when you wake up, or do you carry it around with you, or is it sitting in the kitchen? Tell me about, like, the practical nature of that truth journal.

Barb Raveling: Okay, with some people, they'll do it on a schedule. So they'll renew in the morning, at lunch, and, like, right before dinner, three times a day. So it's almost like they're proactively journaling. So if they're doing that, they might think, okay, what are my temptations going to be today and I'm going to renew beforehand. But, like, when I was doing it when I first started -- so with annoyance, that was my first project. That was easy, because every time I was annoyed, I could truth journal. And I just did it with my husband. I wasn't annoyed with him that often, so it's pretty easy. But I even put in that first paragraph in my journal that with food it's like I felt like I wanted to eat all the time. And while it's not practical to eat -- to renew all the time, right? You can't just sit there and renew all day. So that's why I made the boundary I only need to renew when I break my boundaries. Now, the only thing -- this wouldn't work if you had so much self-control that you never broke your boundaries. Because if you had so much self-control you never broke your boundaries, you wouldn't have any opportunities to renew. So maybe I'd say renew a couple times a day anyway. Like the weight loss Bible studies, those are really helpful for getting a Biblical perspective. I made the app first, "I Deserve a Donut," and then afterwards I thought, you know, I probably really need a Bible study to go with this to kind of explain it, and that's when I wrote "Taste for Truth." So that helped with that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and --

Barb Raveling: And I guess -- oh, go ahead.

Jennifer Rothschild: I was going to say, all of that is part of the -- in the broadest sense, renewing your mind, and then what you're talking about is the specificity of just whittling it down to renewing the specifics of your thinking.

Barb Raveling: Right, renewing the specifics of your thinking. But I think too. I just think of it as a process. So don't think of it like, oh, I have to lose weight or, oh, this is terrible or, oh, I broke my boundaries. Just do it like Scott Hamilton did. You fall down, you renew; you fall down, you renew.

Jennifer Rothschild: Fall down, you renew, yeah.

Barb Raveling: You have to just trust in the process. And if I hadn't seen God work in my life in other areas, there's no way I would have had the perseverance to keep renewing with food, because I just -- I would have thought this doesn't work. Because there's so many times, you know, when you binge or, you know, have a night -- say you're going great following your boundaries for a couple weeks, and then you have a night where it all falls apart, you just feel like I am never going to get over this because this has happened so many times in my life. So that's when you just have to trust the process. Trust the process and hold weight loss with open hands. It's not going to be the end of the world if you never lose the weight. So leave the results up to God and you just do the exercise of renewing.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, here's our last question. This has been so practical and helpful and inspiring and all that, it really has, Barb. So my final question would be, what would you say to the person who is listening right now, and they have tried to lose weight so many times that they literally are afraid to even try it one more time. How would you encourage them? Why should they try again?

Barb Raveling: I think I'd encourage you to try again just because it's going to feel so great to get over it. And you can get over it. And especially if you never tried with renewing, it is going to be different this time. So if you renew every time, that's different than all the other times in the past when you just did it with self-control. And as you try, just try and -- you know, have good fellowship with God. Think of those renewing times as little, you know, times to talk over life with him, to go cry on his shoulder, to get the truth. And also just to remember that you are so beautiful right now. I mean, our wait, that's just such a tiny little part of our lives. You know, think of who you are as a person. You know, some of you guys are adventurous, or you're peaceful, or you're great with crafts, you're great at helping other people. You might like to sew or you might like to run. You know, there's so many different things about you. And the world tends to objectify women and say, no, we're just a body, we have to be skinny. So we don't want to buy into that. God doesn't feel that way. He created us as these creative, interesting people. So as you do it, think about that and be kind to yourself and don't feel like you have to be skinny to be acceptable. Most people -- 95 percent of those people out there, they're not going to care if we're skinny. And if they do care -- well, we don't want to cater to that, right? It's not a super valuable love if they're only going to love us if we're skinny. But I remember back when I was struggling with weight, and it's like all my friends were tall and skinny, and I thought I'd really like some short, fat friends, I'm tired of all these skinny friends. So nobody cares if you're super skinny. Well, maybe somebody does. But if they do, you know, it's because they're believing lies, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Barb Raveling: So we can give those people grace too. So I guess I'd just encourage you to go to God for help. Get a group if you can. Accountability is so helpful. Like, when I was losing my weight, I did with Weight Watchers, and my accountability partner was the scale every week. So when I knew I was going to weigh myself, I'd be way more careful about not eating too much at home. But it is nice to do it with a person or some sort of group that just helps you keep accountable.

K.C. Wright: Just like the first half, great stuff.

Jennifer Rothschild: Mm-hmm.

K.C. Wright: You can find all things Barb, including the transcript from this and the last episode, the whole conversation, plus her "I Deserve a Donut" app, at the show notes right now at Okay, friends, we love you. We're here for you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: We mean that. Thank you for giving us a moment of your time today. We're so glad you listened in. And may God give you all you need in this area of your life. You keep trusting him to help you, because he will. We call, he answers.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: And remember today that you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. I know I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can. And that means --

Jennifer and K.C.: You can.

K.C. Wright: True story.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, you can. K.C., you started with singing an introduction. Why don't you sing us out.

K.C. Wright: Let's see. You're the singer.

Jennifer Rothschild: I don't have anything. I deserve a donut, yes, I do.

K.C. Wright: Hey --

Jennifer Rothschild: I deserve a donut, is that true? I deserve a donut eating it with you. So stupid.

K.C. Wright: This is fantastic.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, stupid.


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