Delightful Boundaries

Image courtesy of anankkml /

Image courtesy of anankkml /


In less than a week (give or take), I will be holding our newborn son in my arms for the very first time.  A lot of changes are around the corner, and I’ve been reminding myself to take it all one moment at a time, even with the lack of sleep a baby can bring.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what my eating will look like after the baby comes.  Most of my journey with Thin Within and overcoming the issues I was having before, took place during my pregnancy.  I shared a little bit about this before in a post about Pregnancy & Thin Within.  To be honest, there have been times when I’ve wondered if after I have the baby, I will be tempted to go back to Weight Watchers.  My accountability partner knows this has been a concern of mine.  I have seen the Lord do some amazing things in my life, mind and body throughout this journey while being pregnant.  In so many ways, it’s been such a blessing.  One blessing is that I have paid no attention to my weight.  And now seeing how I look and feel with only a few weeks of pregnancy to go, I want to give Him all of the praise, honor, and glory for helping me stay at a healthy pregnancy weight (whatever it may be).  I can tell I’ve honored my hunger within the boundaries God has given me, and He has helped me learn to delight in my boundaries.  Praise God!

The other day I was reading in Barb Raveling’s book Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study.  She was talking about how she was breaking boundaries right and left.  She said that instead of renewing her mind, her response was “being frustrated and thinking my boundaries didn’t work” (page 95).  This spoke volumes to me because that’s exactly what I start to think when I break a boundary.  “Oh, I guess these boundaries aren’t working for me (since I broke them), so I might as well go back to Weight Watchers.”  But these boundaries DO work!

So if it’s not the boundaries that are flawed, what is it?  It’s the LIES I am believing!  So then enters the importance of renewing my mind (which I keep on crowing about–ha!).  Instead of wallowing in my mess (remember my potty training illustration from this post?), I need to renew my mind about whatever lie that caused the boundary breakage.

This is huge for me.  HUGE!  I’m getting closer and closer to completely cutting off the lie that I have to return to a diet when I choose not to following my boundaries.  Praise God!

When I was spending time with the Lord this morning, He was showing me that eating between hunger and fullness works all of the time in helping one to lose or maintain weight.  There is no special program I have to go on in order to lose weight after having a baby.  Eating 0-5 will work!  So I won’t need a diet!  I won’t need to measure, track, weigh, or focus on food!  My boundaries are perfect boundaries!

Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “Whoa, ‘perfect’ is a strong word to describe your boundaries!”  But if I didn’t believe that, then I’d be in trouble.  They are perfect for me because it’s what the Lord has asked me to do and it’s the only thing that He’s given me peace about.  So basically, I know it’s His will for me.  It’s been my prayer that I would see my boundaries as delightful.

Here are some truths I have in my truth cards pertaining to my boundaries:

  • I can stay within my boundaries in spite of temptation or even when I don’t feel like it.
  • “Boundaries aren’t restrictive fences meant to keep us from enjoying life, but gifts from a God Who cares about our well-being.” Lysa TerKeurst
  • “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:7
  • I don’t need a diet when I can just listen to my body.  I can eat within my boundaries.
  • Breaking my boundaries is not a reward.
  • Boundaries make my life better.
  • I feel immediate joy when I choose to honor my boundaries.
  • Not even one bite outside of my boundaries.

Boundaries DO make my life better.  They keep me safe.  Some boundaries that I have for eating are: eating 0-5, eating while sitting and without distraction, and eating slowly so I can enjoy my food.  These are the boundaries God has given to me right now, and I am really starting to see how delightful these boundaries are.  I CAN stay within my boundaries!

So as I proceed into the next chapter of my life (being a mommy of two!), I know I can persevere in what God has already showed me to do: delight in my boundaries!

How about you?

Do you believe your boundaries are perfect?  Or are you tempted like I’ve been to go back to a diet when you break a boundary?  What lies have you been believing?  What truths can combat those lies?  Will you join me in persevering and delighting in your God-given boundaries?


9 Responses to Delightful Boundaries

  1. Jolene March 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    First off, congrats on number 2! Secondly, thank you for this. A mantra of mine for years has been “boundaries are made to be broken” or “they don’t apply to me”! Now, I am really focusing on listening to the Lord and waiting for his permission to eat this week, going back to basics. Thank you for the truth reminders in that this is what God has called me to do and that boundaries do work. Blessings on your family.

    • Heidi Bylsma March 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      Hi, Jolene. Isn’t it funny how we do that? Boundaries are for our good and yet we turn them into something we want to break or violate to “get away with” or something. You aren’t alone, certainly. Yes, let’s recommit to honoring our boundaries!

  2. Susan Bradbury March 13, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing this! I just got Barb’s book the other day and I am soo enjoying it! I am joining you in delighting in my God-given boundaries!!!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      WOOO HOO! Barb’s materials are just an awesome addition to our “supplies” on this journey. 🙂

  3. simplydalena2013 March 15, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    “I’ve honored my hunger within the boundaries God has given me, and He has helped me learn to delight in my boundaries. Praise God!” Christina, I love this. Great for my truth cards. Christina, your whole blog is inspired, words I needed to be reminded of. Thank you!!! I will be praying with you for your resolve to not turn to a “diet” program. And am anxiously awaiting the news of the birth of your second!

    • Heidi Bylsma March 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      It is so exciting, Dalena! Thank you for praying for my sweet friend, Christina! We are posting a video that Christina made for us…it should be on the blog next Thursday…about the time her baby is due, I think! lol!

  4. Pamela March 15, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    “The spiritual perception of divine things is invariably accompanied with a sanctifying influence, and knowledge is no further genuine or spiritual than as it leads to this result. When it is a mere natural and intellectual perception of divine things, the mind is only elated (1 Corinthians 8:2), not imbued with the humility which is the effect of all true spiritual knowledge. When it is a perception which takes its rise from the Holy Spirit, and is kindled by the contemplation of the divine perfections, excellence and glory, the taste is so changed that it is separated from the pleasures of sin. They who have a spiritual perception of the divine beauty of God our Savior are drawn by a high attraction and induced to forgo not only the sins but the pleasures, emoluments and distinctions which absorb men’s present thoughts. The knowledge of God, taught by the Spirit, is invariably connected with a new spiritual relish, or a new sense, which inclines the mind to rest in God as better than the creation — to regard sin as repulsive and holiness as the only element in which the mind delights to dwell.”

    George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Edinburgh, 1974), pages 254-255

  5. Sarah August 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Hey Christina,
    I really like this blog and was looking for one about boundaries. I am not sure at the moment how I set my boundaries. I feel for me the most important questions is WHAT WhEN to eat and then it’s about 0-5. So it’s about finding pleaser and teaser. (And that seems to change once in a while!)
    You wrote that you used to want to go back to a diet when you broke your boundaries. I find that to. Things like No-Carbs at all or anything similar. But actually, at the moment I gain weight and I didn’t gain weight in the last months, just now. So my exchange now is: breaking free from diet mentality, but also not being able to be in my boundaries. With no carbs, I can eat all the time and I won’t gain any weight and also won’t be that hungry … So I am wondering – is it normal for me to gain weight now? And will it stop? Why do you think? I also read that you were strict about sugar and now added it to your daily diet. How were your experiences when you expanded your boundaries with that?

  6. Christina Smith August 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Sarah, when you eat 0-5, you are listening to your body’s hunger signals. So that is the “when”. If you are hungry, you eat. If you are eating outside of hunger, it’s not a physical hunger, but maybe a spiritual or emotional hunger. “What” to eat is totally up to you as you listen to what your body’s needs are and being led of the Holy Spirit. From what I have experienced and read in all of my research about “normal eating” is that sometimes, at first, we tend to eat more “play” foods, but that over time, as we begin to trust ourselves with food again (knowing that we aren’t going to put ourselves on another restrictive diet or plan) our choice of foods begins to balance out. If you are eating 0-5 (no matter what the food), you won’t gain weight unless you are underweight to begin with. I have found that even if a person eats no carbs, they can still overeat and gain weight. When I began to eat sugar again, I just had to do a lot of reminding that ALL foods are blessed by the Lord and I because I knew I could have them between 0-5, I really began to relax about it. I really had to renew my mind about food and stop believing the lies that sugar was going to do fatal damage to my body. I would say if you are gaining weight, that you may need to reevaluate your 0-5. Please let me know if you have any more questions! Good to hear from you!

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