Day 17: Don’t fence me in

Thought for the Day: Boundaries are not restrictive fences meant to keep you from enjoying life, but gifts from a God who cares about your well-being.

Sometimes, the words “no,” “boundaries,” and “limitations” stir up feelings of deprivation and resistance in my strong-willed self. But I’ve learned that I must embrace the boundaries of the healthy eating plan that I chose. I must see these limits as parameters that define my freedom.

I learned this principle through my sweet, little dog, Chelsea, who isn’t the brightest canine around cars. She’s obsessed with trying to attack the tires crunching against our gravel driveway inside our fenced-in yard. As a result, she had an unfortunate encounter with a moving vehicle about the same time I started my healthy eating plan.

After Chelsea’s injury, the vet informed us that helping her heal meant we’d have to keep her calm for three weeks. This recommendation sounded crazy considering it’s hard to keep Chelsea still for three minutes! Worse, she was forbidden to bite or pull at her bandages and stitches. So, the dreaded cone was placed around her neck to keep her injuries out of reach.

As Chelsea healed, I was the master of her new limitations. She punished me with hours of whining and crying. She constantly tried to escape through our fence and kept snapping at her bandages. However, my love for this dog wouldn’t permit me to let her to harm herself. Her brokenness couldn’t handle that kind of freedom. Not yet.

As I watched Chelsea struggle, I was struck by the way her situation applied to my issues with eating healthy. My brokenness couldn’t handle freedom with food outside the boundaries of my plan. Not yet. Eventually I would be able to add some things back into my diet in small quantities. But not yet.

Since my brokenness with food runs deep, my new healthy habits need time to run even deeper. Here are a few of the boundaries I’ve created to ensure success on my healthy eating adventure:

  • I am not made to be a victim of my poor choices. I was made to be a victorious child of God.
  • I can find ways to celebrate that don’t involve blowing my healthy eating plan.
  • If I am in a situation where the temptation is overwhelming, I will have to choose either to remove the temptation or remove myself from the situation.
  • Struggling with my weight isn’t a curse from God. Being overweight is an outside indication that internal changes are needed for my body to function properly and for me to feel well.

I’ve learned that boundaries aren’t restrictive fences meant to keep us from enjoying life, but gifts from a God who cares about our well-being. Whether you are staring at a party hors d’oeuvre table of all things cheesy, or ready to bite your friend’s head off as she reminds you of the healthy eating plan you chose, I pray these boundaries help you like they’ve helped me.


  1. If I can also testify, I have the hugest sweet tooth! I could eat two cupcakes for every meal and not even blink (of course, my husband did, hah!). After reading the first few chapters, I knew my obsession with sugar had to go on the altar. I missed having a working, thriving relationship with God. I struggled with giving up sweets before the holidays but knew the time had come. Amazingly, I don’t think of sweets or miss sweets. In her book, she talks about how feeding these cravings and longings just make them stronger. I think this is so true. Give it up, start memorizing scripture, play worship loudly and God will surprise you.

  2. amy black says

    Beginning now,I will weather only complex carbs and healthy, protein and oils…lower my sugar intake ,and limit my sprite zero… i will aim foe 24 ounces of h2o daily.. and start taking fish oil and a daily vitamin…i WILL get in 30 minutes of exercise …pray for me
    Please. I’m gonna need it…

  3. Thank you this is just what I needed to hear. God bless bless you. With the holiday coming up I have a choice on today I can stay on my healthy eating plan and walk in victory or I can walk in defeat. Today one day one meal at a time I choose victory with Gods help.I am not fenced in.Gods blessings on you all

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