From all around the World
From all around the World
I can not thank God enough for His amazing work of healing in the lives of ladies who joined this program. I have tears in my eyes while writing this because I know so well that all my work of developing this program, making videos and answering emails would be for nothing if God didn’t do the biggest part: Heal women by bringing them into a relationship with Jesus.
All the glory be to God!
September 14, 2019
There are few book studies I can say that changed my life—until this one.
Having struggled with food issues for 45 years had left me feeling pretty hopeless, with the belief that most information out there was pretty much the same. Most are written with a “just do it” emphasis that don’t get to the core issues of why, and what role does my relationship with God have to do with it? Because Heleen has struggled along with us, she has a remarkable ability to write with tender compassion, but also with spiritual insight that help peel the layers of lies, pride and denial away. Each chapter takes the reader one step deeper into understanding that for most of us, the issue isn’t food (or being skinny) at all–but about surrender, idols, perfection, forgiveness and ultimately where your hope lies. This book spoke to my heart, and shifted the trajectory of my behavior from addiction and shame to hope and freedom. I highly recommend it!
April 24, 2016
I don’t know if you will personally read this message. I pray that you will. I can’t go another minute without letting you know how thankful I am to God for you and for this ministry. I wish I could sit down with you and share my story and my journey with you, but just know that it’s been a long, grueling journey that just a month ago, through prayer, brought me to you. I was again, at my wits end and couldn’t go on another minute and desperate for help and I cried out to God once again.
I then, googled “Christian eating disorder help” and stumbled across the “Appetite for Freedom” book on Amazon. I bought it immediately, then made my way to your website and was just completely overcome with emotion because for once in my life, there was someone who truly understood what it’s like to live with disordered eating and food addiction. I became a member on the site right away and as soon as my book came, I got started. The amount of work you have poured into this is so incredible and I truly can’t thank you enough. I look forward to every day, every video, every resource. It’s truly an answer to prayer. I thank you from my soul for sharing your journey with me and everyone else. You are kind, loving, empathetic and you speak the truth through Christ. Praise God! I am praying for you as you continue to journey through getting your degrees and working hard with that. May Jesus bless you and I look forward to continuing on this journey of healing and I would appreciate your prayers. Thank you again. Thank you!
December 30, 2015
December 28, 2015
I want you to know how much you have helped me. I feel you must be very busy and going through a lot yourself. This wonderful program you have created has led me to so many healthy supports. I am closer to God and farther away from abusing myself and food than I have ever been. This project had to be so amazingly time consuming. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard heartfelt work. I don’t even remember how I found the first week of your twelve week program. I only know that I am not the same and I am growing into my best self because of you. I found Take Shape For Life and lost 30 pounds. I have shared you program with friends and may get a small group together. Thank you for helping me heal. I wish you all the blessings and happiness you deserve.
March 26, 2015
January 7, 2015
I have been leading a 12 step program for overeaters for many years, but always thought that something was missing. At the beginning of this year I found your ministry online, and I can not thank God enough for what He has done in my life. I’ve been on so many programs, including being a coach for Take Shape for Life and I kept feeling that something wasalways hindering me from moving forward permanently. I only do better for a little while and then I am so ashamed when I fall again, especially seeing that I’m supposed to lead others.
I can not explain to you the change that has come in my heart and in my eating since I’ve going through your program and learned to surrender my whole life to God instead of focusing on this one broken area. The joy and freedom is unbelievable to me! Thank you so much for being obedient to God and putting this program together for us. I am going to incorporate your study with our 12 step program so that more of the girls can experience this kind of freedom
God bless you and your ministry.
Joline from Texas
October 10, 2014
I don’t know how to tell you how much your ministry helped me in my road to freedom. 10 years of bulimia, never thought I’d come out on the other side. But God is GOOD and His love is enough to heal, shelter, and grow something beautiful from something ugly. Thank you for being faithful and real. Your ministry is part of my story and I can’t say thanks enough. I lead a group of 8th grade girls on Wednesday nights, and to think that my once shameful past was used to help a younger girl through her own unique struggle… it just floors me. Your ripple reaches further than you know! Thank you Jesus!
July 8, 2013
God used your 12 week program to transform me. In my first testimonial, I had just gotten done with the 12 weeks and the barriers I had built up between me and God had been lifted. That was the first step: Trusting God completely and giving him complete control. However, I was not ready to give up my favorite foods and because I didn’t have a weight problem I didn’t feel like I “needed” to. Months later, I continually felt convicted about the amount of time I spent eating sweets for comfort instead of turning to God. I would try to go on a meal plan that allowed those sweets in moderation but would do what I always did which was go off of the diet when I needed a “break from life” and then I’d go back to eating the way I was before. I would say I was ¾ of the way healed from my eating disorder but I was still holding on to some things.
Five months ago, I began working for a company selling health and beauty products. I had been earnestly praying for God to give me a platform to share all of the amazing things He has taught me through my healing journey. When I first started, I thought several of my friends and family would be as excited about the products and this opportunity as I was, but I was mistaken. Most of my family and friends, people I had supported over the years, deeply hurt me. I have no idea why they don’t want to support me in this endeavor but I do know this: I am 100% sure I am going in the direction God has pointed me and I know He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.
God is the only one I need to worry about pleasing. While it still hurts deeply that my family and friends aren’t supportive of me, I know God is and He is the only one that matters. A month ago, I let God have complete control in my eating and I AM FREE!!! I have been doing The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin. I would have never been able to do this had I not gone through and learned the lessons I had learned previously. I don’t count calories and I eat when I’m hungry but I haven’t had sugar in almost a month which is a MIRACLE! I’m not going to say I don’t miss cake but I have no desire to go back to where I was. I was so miserable and knew I wasn’t being the best I can be.
I tell everybody I know that is struggling with weight about your program because after 14 years of struggling with an eating disorder and reading every self-help book imaginable, God used your program to begin the process of setting me free. It has almost been a year since I finished your online program but now I can say with all certainty that I AM FREE!!!
May 11, 2013
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I am taking the Appetite for Freedom study much slower than the 12 weeks (I’m on week 6), as I am involved in another Bible Study that I spend my time with in the mornings. The first few weeks of the Appetite for Freedom really opened my eyes and my heart to surrendering each day, and sometimes moments, to God; and your videos are SO encouraging. I’m also on Weight Watchers, which I’m doing well on (sans a couple stress-related binges), and remind myself that this is going to be a life-long journey of eating healthy and not to think of it as a quick fix so that I can go on eating whatever I want when I reach my weight goal (which is what I’ve done in the past). When I have my binges, I give my guilt and shame to Jesus and get back on track, not giving up on myself. I do think, though, that I’m still too focused on food and Weight Watchers is a way of “controlling” what I eat. My exercise isn’t consistent because of my work, but I’m doing better at “forcing” myself to leave the office, at least for 30 minutes, and go for a walk. It’s so easy for me to eat at my desk and work through lunch.
My prayer request would be for balance in my life: work, relational, physical, and spiritual.
My Appetite for Freedom is by my chair where I spend time with God in the mornings, and plan on finishing it when my regular Bible Study takes a summer break. And once I finish it, I will mostly likely begin it again. Your study thus far has taught me so much about surrender, trust, and obedience to God, and my need for His Word and armor. I wrote the following post on my Facebook, which I believe your study helped me reach this point in my life:
I’m in a relationship…but it’s probably not the kind of relationship you’re thinking of. I’m in a relationship with God! I’ve known Him for many years, but it seems that the more I spend time with Him the more I love Him and want to spend more time with Him…in prayer, in His Word, listening for and to His voice, and looking forward to when I can spend more time with Him. If this isn’t a love relationship, I don’t know what is!! — feeling loved.
I am SO THANKFUL to God for you and your study, which God brought into my life at just the right time when I was feeling so out of control, my weight was climbing the scales, and I was worried about everything and turning to food for comfort instead of God, and feeling so bad about myself.
March 5, 2013
December 15, 2012
I felt God leading me to write you a letter, to thank you for allowing Him to use you to bring so many ladies closer to Him. I have just finished the 7th week. I can’t do justice in words, what God has been doing in my life, and how he has used my struggle with food addiction, and your ministry to bring this change. You said it best, when you said “I am only as free as I am surrendered to God” I have found that to be so true! I started your program looking for healing in the area of food addiction, and in the process have found healing and freedom in so many other areas, as well! God is good! I don’t remember ever having this kind of joy and peace in my life. You have definitely been a gift from God!
Lots of love, girl!
December 5, 2012
November 13, 2012
I came across your website randomly a couple of weeks ago; not sure how, but I think you through Beth Moore’s website. Anyway, I was really encouraged and felt maybe this is what I have needed all along! Last, Monday, Nov., 5th was my breaking a point. I finally made it through one day with out binging and purging! I always told my husband if I can just get a grip on this; if I can just have one day of not binging and purging, I can finally see hope and strength and can continue. Since Monday, Nov. 5th I have had 5 successful days (working on completing 6 days). The first week has been amazing. I have so excitement to wake up every morning and spend time with God. I have learned SO MUCH about myself and Our Savior in the last week and a half! You have helped me so much! I have struggled with bulimia for 10 years. From reading about Pride and Denial, I totally see where denial = Satan. I never thought I had denial or pride because I am so incredibly guilty and shameful. I am a very driven, goal-oriented, perfectionist,. I find my worth through performance and pleasing others. Now, I know that my worth is in God alone. I haven’t weighed myself in a week. I don’t feel that I need to because that stupid number doesn’t define me. I am now craving healthy food all the time (I came from an extremely healthy family, so I grew up with healthy eating habits). I am now having so much fun cooking and experimenting with different vegetables and fish dishes. I am so much more joyful and happy because I am on this earth to glorify God. I am have to get healthy so that I can fulfill God’s purpose in its full entity. I have never been this close to God in my life before. All my life, I craved this. It is truly because I am spending time with God every day and throughout the day as well. I have to pray constantly and talk with him in my head as if he is my best-friend (He is my best-friend matter of factly). I listen to the webinars and worship music while cooking dinner because like everyone else night time is my weak point. I am so excited that I am overcoming this! One of the best advice you have said in one of your webinars was to “prepare food as if you are preparing it for the Lord.” I DO!!!! Every time I make breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner I tell God that I am preparing this for you, with the most care and preparation. Then it makes me feel so blessed, and I want to sit down and enjoy it, while listening to my body on when I am satisfied. I believe that there is no “bad” or “good” food. There are days when our bodies crave chocolate and there are days when our bodies crave lots of veggies, we have to be in tune to what our body needs. I have learned to eat slowly and enjoy the food I have prepared with care for my Father. I have learned with exercise and intuitive eating that we are healthy. Healthy is all that matters. We need to be healthy in order to function right to glorify God in this dark world. I have learned that every woman’s body is different; some women are taller and some women are more stout, thin, etc. I have learned to accept my body. My body is beautiful because God knitted me together in His image! It would be boring if we were all the same or had to meet some stupid, perfect (doesn’t exist standard). I have learned that I can’t let myself go around and around the stupid mountain; instead of going around and around it, I am going to move it with the help of my Savior! Satan is not going to get a hold of me anymore! I imagine God sitting across the table from me when my husband is flying (He is a pilot). I can go on and on, and I know there is a long road ahead of me. With all the counseling, therapy, and programs I have done, your program exceeds all of them by far! Heleen you are my MIRACLE! I thank God so much, every day, whatever pops in my head because I have learned from you that being thankful is the key to learning about God, letting go of strongholds, and growing deeper, and being joyful in life. I thank God, every day, for you! I pray for you! I pray that God will give you the wisdom, strength, and the words to teach all of us women about Our Redeemer! I know there will be days that I might still fall, but the key is to have faith, hope, and know God loves me! I am His! I am a child of God. Satan will not get a hold of me; I have to reach out to God, repent, and get back on the horse! You are an amazing woman!
October 10, 2012
Things are going really really well! Everyone around me has seen a difference in how I carry myself, my attitude, and the peace that is surrounding me! I am still working through some things in regards to my family. Realizing where the root of the problem stemmed from was a difficult one. I am in the process of creating healthier boundaries. I am getting to practice the whole “Good Enough” aspect of life on a more regular basis now. I haven’t binged or purged since I started your program! There were a few days I wanted to, but I turned to prayer instead and opened up my bible for awhile. I cannot thank you enough for your testimony. I cannot thank you enough for the time and the effort you have put into a program like this. My marriage thanks you. My friendships thank you. My life thanks you. I plan on going through the 12 weeks again with the small group. The time I have implemented with God has been amazing. I have never experienced such a relationship with Him before. Thank you for allowing God to do some amazing things through you. I will keep in touch!
Jessica (Extremely Grateful)
Aug 21, 2012
First of all, I just wanted to thank you for following God’s call to write this 12 week program. It literally changed my life. I had so many things I had to work on that I wasn’t even aware of until I took part in the program. I have been trying for 7 years now to do this “with the help of God” (really, praying that God will help me but try to do it all on my own) and I have always done the diet/binge/diet loop…a miserable existence. Over the past few years I have always felt like there was a “wall” in between me and God and it turns out that wall was ME! Through your program, God demolished that wall and Satan fought (and still is fighting) HARD to keep me in bondage. I will say that the hardest thing for me to let go of was the notion of losing weight. I struggle with body dysmorphia and, even though I am thin, I feel fat despite the numbers on the scale saying otherwise. God is teaching me how to live my life helping others instead of a life focused on myself. He is showing me how to break bad habits and build new ones.
I have been working on intuitive eating (which has failed me in the past) but God has truly been giving me the strength to get past that initial phase of just eating junk food all of the time. I am learning that my natural way of eating isn’t going to look like everybody else’s. Also, I learning that hunger isn’t just getting to the point that I have to eat now! Hunger is very subtle and, as long as it is there, I eat mindfully and try to just eat until I’m comfortably full. I am learning that I have a CHOICE about when and what I eat. Just that simple fact has changed me. Instead of eating a filling breakfast because I feel like I have to, I eat it because I want to because eating junk food all day makes me feel sick. Starting my day off with a real meal instead of cereal, etc. makes a lot of difference.
I appreciate all of your prayers! In the beginning, I just had to JUMP into the water. I thought I was drowning at first but I slowly am starting to dog paddle a little and my head is coming to the surface. I can feel God getting me ready to swim through this life and I am so excited!
Aug 6, 2012
My eating disorder started for me when I was 18. Self hatred and low self esteem had been in my life for many years without me realising and accepting the depth of the issue. My relationship with God developed a lot from I was 15 when I lived on a Christian boarding school for a year but at the same time the enemy began to whisper lies in my ear about that I was not good enough, comparisons with other girls started and my self talk became very negative when I failed to loose weight countless times from I was around 11 years old. (Even though I was a normal size.)
I had my makeup to cover up my insecurities and with perfectionism and people pleasing I looked completely fine from the outside. I grew up getting attention for my looks and instead of taking it in as compliments I believed that my only value came from my looks or my performance (I was the best student in my class.)
My mum criticized herself and compared herself to other women and compared me to my girlfriends, and my dad was emotionally distant so it affected me as well…and when I overheard my parents fighting for the first time in my life when I was 19 where my mum accused my dad for having an affair, it broke me.
These are the answers to why I developed an eating disorder which started with a strict diet- and exercise regime/diet half a year before I graduated high school. I read about health and food constantly on the Internet (probably to keep my mind entertained with something else than the pain) and even though I prayed and read my Bible it was not enough at all in comparison to how much I had given the enemy a foothold in my life. I believed Satan’s lies about me much more than what the Word of God says about who I am in Him. I accomplished my goal of loosing weight with a lot of control but what almost spiraled into anorexia turned into bulimia during the days after my graduation when I went crazy in chocolate and found myself purging for the first time and the struggle with bulimia continued 8 months from that day on.
I found your website but didn’t want to subscribe because I didn’t think I was dealing with the underlying issues, only the eating! But once more I came to your website and I am convinced that the Lord led me there. It has brought me so much freedom to come out of the denial and face all my emotions and not hiding them for myself and others! Your program was the first step towards my complete freedom.
Just after going through the 12 weeks I went to a Bible School (YWAM) for 5 months and God sat me completely free there from the self-hatred, identity in my looks, pride, binging, comparison with others and self-centeredness. The freedom came from the inside out when I began to receive and get a revelation of God’s crazy love for me personally, it changes everything. To raise my focus to Jesus and reach out to others and share about my faith has been a pivetal point in my healing. In Jesus I found hope for my future and realized that I actually “can laugh at the days to come”. (Prov. 31, 25)
Heleen, thank you so much for your obedience to God! Thank you, thank you!
Jul 24, 2012
First off, I want to say thank you. Thank you for all of the hard work that you put into this website to help women break free from the bondage of eating disorders. Thank you for listening to our Lord, being a faithful servant, and living your ministry here on earth. You are such an inspiration and I have learned more from this 12-week course than ever I could have imagined. I thank God for you.
To give you a little background on my story, my eating disorder began when I was a senior in college. I was a collegiate athlete who played women’s college basketball. My senior year, due to chronic ankle problems, I was forced to quit playing yet remain a part of the team in as much capacity as I could at that point. My identity was lost. For 15 years I was the basketball player – this was the ground I stood on. Not growing up in a Christ-centered and loving household, I did not learn what standing on the rock of our Lord Jesus Christ looked like. Once the eating disorder began, I turned to all the dangerous methods that you spoke of in the last 12 weeks, particularly starving myself. Eventually, after graduating, that eased and I began to eat more again, but the mental aspect was still there. This led to binge eating. My body has been through so much and my weight has fluctuated so much in the last 6 years. Like any other addiction, it was progressive and I finally realized I was powerless over my eating disorder and so I began to search online. But this time it wasn’t or another miracle pill or diet, but for HELP. This is when I came across your program.
I can now say, without a doubt, I am in a totally different place. I still fall, but the falls are no longer followed by days of guilt and depression, lying in bed and continuing the binge. Instead, they are followed by questions of how I mentally got to that place, and turning to the Lord, again and again.
Going through your program has been the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. Thank you for being so honest, humble and pointing to Chris in everything. You are so lovely and so wonderful and God has used you for His purpose. Thank you for blessing me and for being such a strong sister in Christ. God bless you Heleen 🙂
Jul 24, 2012
ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! no not my birth birthday but celebrating 1 whole year of recovery!!!!!
If you had said that it was even possible a year ago, I would not have believed you!
So I can only thank Jesus for being by my side and guiding every step and revealing things to me in the last year that I could never of dreamt of.
Thank you to Heleen for this program, it is the only thing that has worked for me after 14 years of bulimia, it is a truely God inspired program. Thank you Heleen for your consistent encouragement and obedience to God.
And thanks to all you lovely ladies, particularly in those early day when I thought I was the only one and therefore must be a freak!!! You have all been an amazing support.
I will still come on here and give you my support, it also keeps me accountable.
So I pray for you all today, that as you continue to trust in our Saviour, however hard things may seem, keep pressing on, He does care, be patient, He will bring you the healing, victory and freedom that you long for.
Jul 6, 2012
Thank you for providing a structure to assist my journey to wholeness. May God bless you and your ministry.
I have been struggling with eating disorders since I was in the 4th grade. I didn’t realize until this year really that I had a real problem on my hands, but I always knew something wasn’t right. I was diagnoised with Lupus when I was 10 years old. One of my symptoms made me photo sensitive. I couldn’t go outside at all without being covered in blankets and hats. I had rashes so bad that I could only wear jumper dresses. I went from being an average looking girl on graduation day in 4th grade, to unrecognizable coming into the 5th. The doctors put me on a prescription called Prednisone. I swelled up so big. I remember a boy I liked coming up to me the first time he saw me and with big eyes he asked what happened to me. It was torture going through school that way. I knew God was going to fix it though. I just knew it! I prayed and prayed about it. I went in remission in the 7th grade! I was so excited because God answered my prayer! Slowly all signs on the disease were disappearing. The dctors couldn’t explain it so that had to state that is was misdiagnosed.
October 16, 2011
June 26, 2011
I just want to thank you. Your program is making a difference in my life. I tried EVERYTHING before. I failed and failed and failed over and over. GOD SPOKE TO ME THROUGH YOU when nothing else has worked. You are anointed with his wisdom and spirit when it comes to your ministry.
I in no way intend to be negative about other programs on the internet but this is why they didn’t work for me, “Setting the Captives Free” suggested I eat everything in moderation and that my main sin was gluttony and I FAILED DAILY, why? I DIDN’T REALIZE MY heart loved food more than God. I didn’t realized this affair I was having. How could I eat my trigger foods in “moderation” at the beginning? This is an addiction, it’s like telling an alcoholic to let go, let God, drink but stop when you think you’re getting drunk. I’m sure God heals people differently, but with it didn’t work that way for me. Having 1 bite of my trigger foods on that program only left me eating more and more.
Any other program that suggests 12 steps, didn’t bring me to healing. I loved the first 3, admitting that I’m powerless, surrendering to God, making a decision to change…but then I would get lost. I needed more details. I need to know that my heart loved another and until I realized that and WANTED to let go of that nothing would change.
Heleen, I am barely on week 2 day 2, but your program has already awaken me to a new way of thinking. The devils lies, what happened to my heart, my idols, my brain fog, 40 days of warfare have been the most powerful tools I’ve come across in this search of mine.
I am the type to buy a journal, write in it and tear out pages, when my day is not perfect. I have found such release in journaling on your website. The very second day when I wrote I wanted to delete the previous post because I had failed. BUT I am so thankful that you don’t have the option to delete posts, that we have to ask you because it really shows my battle, good days and bad.
THANK YOU HELEEN!
June 24, 2011
Thank you, Heleen
I am Australian, 20 and I struggle with an eating disorder.
Your email and the links you sent after I downloaded your ebook were so encouraging.
Thank you so much for putting in the time to address the issues that so many women face alone, isolated and without hope of any true escape from the lies Satan feeds them.
Your work has really helped me to put my struggles with bulimia, dieting and my idiosyncratic behaviors around food into perspective.
Thank you for giving each one of us a reminder of how important it is to see past the lies so we can feed our inner hunger for God’s truth.
I want to feel how I once did; carefree, bright, energetic and healthy. After five years of starving, bingeing, purging, and believing in ‘short-cuts’ to get me out, I realize now that my focusing on the issue was in vain. Matthew tells us, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”.
The answer I’d been looking for all this time was blowing in the wind, it was the still small voice which I ignorantly chose to cast aside in my strive for control and perfection.
That voice is our Father in Heaven, He wants me to surrender all my cares, worries and concerns to him.
I know the answers. I want to be free, yet pride, stress and loneliness get the better of me. I can relate so well to Paul when he writes “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”.
I’m not alone in these thoughts, and my heart goes out to every young woman facing their own individual problems – especially those who don’t have their hope in Yeshua (Jesus).
I pray that these women will visit your site and realize the truth behind their disordered thoughts. I’m sure they would appreciate you as much as I do.
To you and all who walk along-side, thank you from the bottom of my heart for voicing and producing such helpful material for the many sufferers like me.
God bless you and guide you as you continue helping those in need.
June 21, 2011
I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for the eBook. Thank you for allowing me to be a member of the website through your donation program. Thank you for creating the website. Thank you , thank you , thank you!
I am only on week 2, but already I have made huge changes in my life. Food no longer occupies my every thought. I have not had a binge for over a week, NOR EVEN THE DESIRE!!! Simply not eating all the time has caused a loss of 5 lbs with no exercise or special meal plan. I am much closer to my Savior than I have ever been in my adulthood. I can’t thank you enough. This morning I woke up with a worship song in my heart and mind.
I will continue your program and look forward to the end results! Your journal is so close to my heart as I have thought exactly so many of the words you wrote. Thank you for sharing something so personal.
Thank you again and God bless you, Heleen, for I believe that you brought me the path to find my Holy Husband again, and quite possibly gave my life back to me.
Personal Testimony A.A. – for Heleen
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, Hebrews 4:16 (KJV).
I needed help. I needed mercy. I needed God’s grace. In my deepest darkest pit, my spirit cried out to God for help. My prayer was simple. My heart sincere. My humble prayer went something like this “Oh Lord, I don’t know what to do with myself, or where to go from here. If You want me somewhere else then please show me. Unless You move me, I will do my best to cope the way I do,
and learn to be content with my lot in life.” This prayer transformed my life. By simply releasing everything to the Lord’s power, a supernatural peace settled within me. With all my destructive coping mechanisms which had entangled me, being able to accept life as it was offered much relief…
Please click here to read the rest of this testimony
November 11, 2010
November 10, 2010
Thanks for this opportunity to share about a “work in progress”.
It was answered prayer to find you, Heleen, and your ministry “Women Struggling with Food” website in my search for help with a long effort with bulimia and binge eating. Over the last two years God has given me great victories in changing habits, with lots of good support from a special network of friends and the PRISM program. However, I’ve still had struggles with the eating disorders during the times of stress–such defeat, such shame, such damage to my body and spirit. Connecting with you and the network of others who are finding victory has been a great encouragement to me. Not feeling alone means so much. Thank you for the truths you have shared about the journey to health and freedom.
May the Lord strengthen you and bless your husband and your family with new hope and every provision.
God bless, Sheree
November 2, 2010
I have completed the 12 weeks and am now taking my time going back through them a second time. While I can’t say I’ve been set completely free from overeating, my addictive foods and obsessive thoughts about food and weight, I can say that I truly believe the answer lies in the program and my falling short of complete victory is due to remaining denial on my part. Having said that, there is 1 miraculous change I have victoriously made as a result of the program. As it has inspired me to be obedient to God so I could have a peaceful relationship with Him, I was convicted and moved to lay down my 35 year smoking habit. It has been 4 months since my last cigarette. While it hasn’t been easy, I’ve been able to apply a lot of the program for strength in staying abstinent from smoking and avoiding overeating to the extent of gaining the weight associated with quitting. I am most grateful for the change the program has made in my relationship with God. With smoking out of the way, I feel a lot closer to Him to have faith that He wants to help me with other areas needing change.
God bless you especially, Heleen for your development and administration of the program. This is another life you have helped to save in more ways than one.
October 25, 2010
Thank-you so much for this wonderful program. I have to be honest with you….the very night I purchased this program I got set free. The key for me was repentance and the choice to be obedient. I love this program and it is comforting to know I have it forever. I joined weight watchers on Sept 7 and have lost 13 pounds so far. I am so great full to you for your sincere passion to help me. You have no idea the pit I was in………HOPELESS……Now I am free and hanging on to the threads of His garment. Thank-you so much and may God continue to richly bless you.
July 15, 2010
Dear Heleen, thank you so much for your book!! I read the whole thing last night because I knew that it was from the Lord. Your insights are so right on, and many of the topics you covered are things that the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me lately as I have been battling with my eating disorder. I am 19 and about a year ago I started “dieting” (even though I wasn’t overweight) and then eventually starving myself… after starving myself for awhile my body started making me overeat (binge) and this totally freaked me out because I obviously was obsessed with keeping my weight down. So, after every binge I would starve myself again and exercise a lot. I knew that my weight had become an obsession and definitely an idol in my life, but choosing not to eat made me feel better about myself, and was the only way I knew how to feel like I was in control again. It has been a constant struggle for me to release it to God because I am afraid that I will keep binging and gain lots of weight. But, yesterday I finally decided that I am not going to get better right away (surrender my need for a quick fix ;), and that giving it to God is the only way I can have any hope at all. So, I didn’t skip meals yesterday like I was planning on doing. At first, I think Satan was trying to attack me and make me feel guilty for eating, but I realized it and decided I have no reason to feel guilty. Later, I went online to look up Christian help for eating disorders, and I found your website. The E-book was exactly what I needed. I almost want to read the whole thing every day so that I can remember all the amazing topics you covered. Surrendering control over my eating is the main thing for me, and I am trusting God that He will get me through. I know every day is going to be a struggle, but I want to be victorious this time!
Thank you again for a book that was definitely from the Lord,
Samantha (*name has been changed to protect privacy)
January 9, 2010
I am amazed today how free I feel compared to this time exactly 4 weeks ago, when I woke up only to immediately begin a binge and purge. To God be the glory, great things He has done! That day, 4 Saturday’s ago, I cried out to the Lord as I had done many times before and then proceeded to spend the remainder of the morning on my computer going through website after website looking for help with my ED once and for all. I am so thankful to the Lord for leading me here. This site felt so right…nothing warning me against it…quite the opposite really as I felt drawn here. Now 4 weeks later, I have not had one binge or purge and I feel closer to God than I ever have in my entire walk with Him.
January 1, 2010
Before I signed up for this program, I spent years trying to lose weight. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. I am 51 years old and I have wreaked havoc on my body, mind and soul. I asked God to help me lose weight through all those years but I still got nowhere. Looking back I see that I was asking Him to help me lose weight, not deal with why I was so heavy. It was when I cried out, “God, I can’t do this anymore! I am helpless!” that He led me straight to your program. I had no idea that I had an eating disorder. It honestly never occurred to me. Eating disorders, in my mind, were anorexia or bulimia, not binging and stuffing yourself to the point you’re sick.
Something God has taught me through your program is that once I pray for His help I need to accept it. That may sound silly but when I began to see I really wasn’t interested in His way of doing things I realized why He couldn’t help me. I had so many control issues and perfectionist ways that no one could really help me. Thanks to your teaching in this program my eyes have been opened to that and I have come to a place where I trust God to help me overcome…however He chooses to do so!
I was reading something in my journal from August of 2007. Here is some of what I wrote…As a Christian I have desired to do the ‘right’ things. I want to live right, act right, be right, and pray right. Lately I’ve seen my motive for doing this has not necessarily been correct. I have done this because I want those around me to see that I am living the Christian life by doing the right things. While this may not be bad in itself, I don’t believe it’s the motive that pleases God. And that is the underlying issue. The fact that I haven’t lived my life to please my Father, instead I have lived life to please myself. That’s rather hard to digest. I tell God all the time, “I want to be all You want me to be. I want all You have for me in this life while I’m here on the earth.” But in reality I have hindered His ability to complete His work in me simply because I have refused to allow Him total access in this area of my life. I really think I’m on to something here. The question is, “What am I going to do about it?”
It’s been over two years since I wrote the words above. I just completed the 12 week on-line program this month. When I first wrote those words I did not see the issue of control or perfectionism in my life, but I can clearly see them now. Praise God, He did not leave me where I was! I have a long way to go but I am making tremendous progress. The scales are coming off my eyes, one layer at a time. I believe with all my heart that one of the keys that unlocks the door to freedom starts with absolute surrender. Without it I am traveling on a never ending road that leads me NOWHERE! Another key is obedience…choosing to walk the path He has chosen for me.
My heart truly seeks all God has for me, and I can now say this with a new level of confidence in God…not myself…I cannot get there in my own self effort. I simply must make the decision to do things His way, in His time, if I want to experience the “all” I am seeking.
A whole new door opened for me when you added the forum for members to be able to communicate with each other. It has been a tremendous encouragement for me to be in touch with other women who are going through the same things I am. Even though our eating disorders are not exactly alike we struggle with so many of the same issues. I find it very healing to share my thoughts with them. It helps me see I am not a basket case and that I’m not alone. There really are other women like me out there! And your continuous encouragement to us is like icing on the cake, Heleen.
I am so happy God led me to your program, Heleen! I hope and pray that God will lead women from all over the world to you…just like He did me!
I love you, Heleen Woest!
*If you are a young woman who struggle with food this testimony of God’s provision and grace will be very encouraging to you. Our God is so good!!
December 13, 2009
Hi Heleen! I have never contacted you before, but I’d like to say thank you so much for this program. It has totally changed my life around. I have been a member since about October and I have been keeping up with your videos, advice and prayers ever since! But I’ve been meaning to email you before and tell you a little bit about myself. Well first of all, I’m 16! Fairly young, but I fell into this trap of eating disorders when I was freshman in high school. I would starve myself, binge, and eventually turned to vomiting to the extreme! For the last 3 years, Ive secretly struggled through this on my own. I would act like everything was ok but actually my soul would be crying inside. The whole idea of being perfect, pleasing people, and being skinny was imbedded in my mind. And this was crazy for me! I should of been so thankful for my life. I have an amazing family. My parents are wonderful, christian people who are deeply in love with each other and provide me and my sister with their love and friendship and give us everything they can offer. I am truly blessed. I know that.. But oh wow my eating disorder took over my life and mind and I was loosing control. I was so scared to tell anyone because eating disorders are so uncommon within my family. I didnt want my mom to think i was weird and stop loving me.. I hid my problem for so long and I can’t even explain how bad it got. I couldnt live the life of starving myself to be skinny so i would throw up all the time and became obsessed with food! Anywhere and anytime, the enemy would attack me and before i knew it I couldn’t control myself to stop eating.. You know how it goes, haha but I just want to explain my situation. So my life was falling apart. My mom and my sister have always been like best friends to me and they knew something was wrong. I would randomly cry, be in grouchy moods, and isolate myself from friends and everyone! I would just tell them that life and school was hard for me and i was depressed. I never ever admitted the problem was food! I kept denying it. But after years of falling and beating myself up, one day i just broke down to my mom and cried. I cried that i had a problem with food and I wanted to get help so bad. My heart craved to find my true self again, and Jesus was nudging me to surrender. My mom just hugged me and told me It would be ok and I would get help, but I knew she didn’t really understand my situation at that point, so it was my job to explain the disorder and how i felt. This was definitely the hardest thing I had to do in my life! But afterwards I felt relief wash over me and my mother’s care soothed my soul. It wasn’t long until my mom made a doctors appointment for me to get me checked out. My doctor is a young women so she was very nurturing as well. She recommended I see a counselor but in my heart i was scared to death to see one! No one could understand my problem like I did! I got home and researched eating disorder programs and omg i found you! The fact that it was christian, and a real experienced lady, and a life long membership, I didnt have to think about it long, I signed up right away girl! And the program was even incredibly better than i thought! Once I started, I fell in love! It has been EXACTLY what i need! It fits me perfect! I just want to thank you so much for making this for women. Its awesome. My faith has grown so much and my relationship with Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit just keeps growing deeper. It has been about 3 months on your program and Im doing so good, im so proud. I am maturing into a strong faithed young lady. My mom and my sister are the only people that know (besides my doctor) and they have given me such amazing support. They pray with me and watch your videos with me. Their faith has also been affected and has grown as well. I have been pacing my self though throughout your program and so i just ended week 3. I really needed to get the spirtually aspect of it down and corrected in my life first. Ive started the 40 day warfare and i bought the Purpose Driven book and aww i love it! Heleen thank you so much! Im really finding the true me. I hope to continue staying strong and keeping Jesus close for the rest of my life. I will be a senior in high school next year and then going off to college so I really needed to get my life straight and you have helped me. At first, I didnt think it was possible to overcome this and it scared me to death. But this program has blessed my life so much..Thanks again! I just thought I’d let you know a little bit about myself and I will try to keep you updated about how im doing. Your an amazing lady, God bless you! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! 🙂
Christine **Name is changed to protect privacy**
I am so excited about a lady in Kazakhstan who has been a member now for a few months. She is learning English, but her daughter had to translate most of the material for her. Below is a letter from her daughter, testifying how God has been healing her mom, but also touched her as she was translating. What an amazing God we serve!!
October 14, 2009
August 24, 2009
I can’t thank you enough for this program that you put together. God is using you in a tremendous way in my life. Week 6 has been the beginning of a break through for me. Your own testimony about the thoughts Satan puts in your head was so touching. For the longest time I thought I was the only person in the world who felt this way. So many times I have thought that I just had a wicked heart. But the truth is that my heart is good. The Holy Spirit lives there and these thoughts are from Satan! How could I have been so blind for so long? Satan has been using me as a punching bag. I know there is much work to do…much reprogramming of my mind.
I did want to share with you that I’ve been hearing from God again! It has been so long and now just to be in his presence and to think of how he loves us! He is the ONLY one who can fill this emptiness inside of me. I had a great day yesterday…absolutely great…and I can only imagine the rest of my life that way…free from this eating disorder. Of course today the fight was on. I had to keep refuting Satan over and over and over and even now my thoughts keep straying, but I know where my strength lies! I know where my help comes from! I am reminded of a phrase Joyce Meyer uses in one of her books…”I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m OK and I’m on my way!”
Thank you again for listening and sharing and teaching! God Bless YOU!
August 17, 2009
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for sharing your journal. I have been feeling discouraged lately, having a couple “good” days followed by a couple bad. And I am so familiar with all of the thoughts and feelings that you write about in your journal. I am only on day 6, but I can’t wait to read the rest. What a blessing to know that I am not alone. I am not an especially bad case, I am not hopeless, and God still loves me. I can’t say thank you enough. God is using your story to heal me. Thank you!!!!
August 11, 2009
Thank you so much for all your wonderful and encouraging words. It really kept me going when I felt like giving up at times. Our God is so faithful, and I can not take credit for any of the wonderful things He has done in your lives, however, I am so glad and feel so privileged to be part of the “miracle ride”!
**Please note that I sometimes used fake names in order to protect your identity and privacy.
“Thank you so much, Heleen!!! I have been on it for some time now and have been in tears (good tears). It amazes me of how much of yourself you poured into this program to help people like myself and for such a small price!!! I can tell that it’s DEFINITELY NOT money you are interested in, but rather seeing women being set free!!! I can never thank you (and especially God) enough for this gift. I already told my prayer partner who also struggles with food (not bulimia) and she’s going to take a look at the website. I believe God is doing infinitely more than we could ever imagine….thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”
“As a word of encouragement to you, I want to commend you for a few things. First of all, throughout your online study, I am struck over and over again by your sincerity. The daily recordings of you talking mean so much more because it is clear that you are speaking from your heart (and not just from words off a page). One really gets the sense that they are not walking through this alone. If that was your intent of this ministry, believe me, you have been successful at achieving this! For a sin as shameful as an eating disorder that absolutely leads to excessive alienation and aloneness, the fact that you are walking with us each day is HUGE!
Secondly, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to type up and then post your entire 40 day journal. I literally spent almost my entire Sunday (yesterday) reading it and I am not exaggerating when I say that I think I underlined 75% of it because I could not get over how EVERYTHING you were saying was like coming from my experience! I was brought to tears numerous times mostly because of the relief I felt knowing that I am not alone in the crazy things I have experienced with this food addiction. It took a lot of guts for you to essentially post your heart on the internet like that but TRUST me when I say that that was one of the greatest gifts you could have given to this community. I am so grateful for your ministry.
Heleen, thank you for being the woman that you were and are and that you stuck it out, and fought the enemy and fell, but bounced back, strove with all your heart to know the Lord, but most of all was obedient to His call for you to use your experience to bless and help others. I speak on behalf of ALL of us who suffer from this sickness of eating disorders, THANK YOU!!!!
I feel very hopeful about all of this…”
“Heleen, I got your email about how I am doing. I bought this course about five months ago. I want to thank you for writing this. I was really one of the ladies you talk about that wanted to have everything change in 12 weeks or nothing… so when I didn’t see any weight loss around week 8 I just gave up. My sister told me about a new herbal pill on the market that take you appetite away and I got some. I lost some pounds and felt better, but then after a month I didn’t lose anymore and I became scared and anxious. I started eating and throwing up again and I was so confused. But then I remembered that you talked about the dangerous methods and to lay it down. I went back to your program and me and a friend start to do it together. For the first time I feel as if I am really giving up the dangerous methods and learning to trust god. Thank you for everything because it has now been 3 months that i didn’t throw up and I am going through you course again and listen to the videos every day. god bless you.”
“I am encouraged that I’m not the only one that feels the way I do. Reading your journal entries was like someone wrote it exactly about me. I have a hard time surrendering and up until you explained it I had know idea how. Thank you for putting this course out there for those of us with eating disorders it’s a struggle but with God on our side it’s more bearable. I do want to be free from this. It has abused me in one way or another for almost 18 years and I’m tired. But you’re right it’s scary to let go. Satan has made me believe that my eating disorder is who I am, it has become I’m identity. I am looking forward to one days seeing myself the way God sees me and actually loving myself. I’m looking forward to the day when that awful emptiness deep down in my soul is gone and I am truly happy and at peace. I understand that it won’ t happen over night and that it will take a lot of work on my part but for the first time I can see that their is hope and I’m thankful that God hasn’t giving up on me yet.
Thanks again for this course.”
“What I love about your program, however, is hard to explain in words, but let me try! First, your honest heart and your gentle voice (something rare these days). Secondly, (and this is where it’s hard to explain)… you know how someone can say the same thing to you as someone else, but has a different way of doing so? That is what I find with your program…I track with you wonderfully (with that one exception), and it hits me in a whole new way…it causes me to look at something in a way I never looked before. I am not afraid to have God search my heart anymore…I want HIM to!!! I don’t feel that your words condemn me, Heleen, or that they are watered down in any way…they just resonate with the deepest part of my spirit.”
“I am not where I want to be with all of this, but after going back and back to your course (for 7 months now) I have finally see God break the bond of addiction in my body. I can now walk into stores without thinking about buying food. I dont’ have this fear when I go to costco that I will want to eat all the yummy things they put out. I just don’t have the draw to those things anymore. I know this seems small but to me this is a very big thing. I have been a people pleaser like you and I had to build up my strength to stop pleasing people and say no. My pastor’s wife helped me a lot with that too, and I think this is part of why I now don’t care about binging on food anymore. Thank you.”
“I am so grateful for Heleen’s program. I’m on week 3 and getting so much out of it. And yes, I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior!
Thank you, and God bless you!”