After all these weeks about label reading, I hope you are feeling much clearer and more confident about evaluating the label and making your food choices. As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, please respond here and I am happy to answer your questions.
Today I want to talk about your own ingredient list. What makes you who you are? What do you need from your food, your life, and other people to let you begin to handle and reach your food goals?
These are called boundaries. We can have boundaries with many other forces in our lives, but what I want to talk about here are boundaries with yourself, and with food.
A boundary is a line we draw with the other person, food, or the situation. Boundaries can be of different strengths:
there is the red barbed wire boundary – (“Nuh uh, no way am I doin’ THAT”)
The real red boundary – (“No, honey, not in a million years”) not with barbed wire, just with serious intent and determination
The Orange – “boy I could get in big trouble here”
The yellow line – “better not to cross that”
The green – (Yeah this is safe”)
The lush deep green – (“O are we gonna love this”)
The most important part of creating food freedom in your life is the boundary you draw between yourself and the foods that hurt the body, mind and spirit.
Freedom means a clear and powerful decision to stop hurting ourselves with food, or thoughts about food, or fantasies about food, or rationalizations about food.
Truly, there are some foods that cost a lot and hurt us. We must say No, mean No, and maintain that No. Even if society and the other people around us offer us this, thinking it is good or fun or helpful, we still say, “No”.
We don’t want to upset, hurt or offend other people, and we don’t want to cause or receive negative feelings. But the first boundary we draw is inside ourselves and is refusing to allow the body, mind, and spirit to be harmed by the use of inappropriate foods.
Food boundaries protect you from binges, purges, and a whole lot of uncomfortable feelings and conditions. And weight gain. And negative energies. Food boundaries give you the ability to learn to value yourself, and they give you the freedom to learn to become comfortable within yourself.
This is scary. It may bring up unpleasant feelings. You may have a hard time rearranging your life to allow for the proper foods. This will be a learning experience and it will take time and you may make mistakes. But if you persist, you will find it becomes easier as you become more skilled.
This is why I suggest that you read the label on every food you buy or eat; if you don’t understand the label, or if it has ingredients that may hurt you, or if it contains foods you choose to avoid, the simplest boundary is – don’t buy it! Put it back! Walk away! Say a prayer and set it out of your mind!
Now the next piece is to grow past the feeling of deprivation, “I can’t have any…” and see what you want to gain. Make a list for yourself of five good and positive and valuable – to you – changes or characteristics or adjustments you want in your life. Make it meaningful – like, “I will be able to think more clearly” or “My golf swing will be better/stronger”. Be serious with me and pick things you value and want in your life, that being free of the food struggle will give you. (Maybe peace of mind and heart?) I can tell when my clients are in the food or not, just by talking on the phone. The voice changes, the thoughts come out differently, the focus changes. Find things that make a real difference to you, and focus on what you need to do to get those valuable things in your life. Let the food go.
What do you need the food to do for you? Take away bad feelings? Trust me. Food will push them down and numb them out but they will still be there. And next opportunity, they will be back to torture you. Get rid of them. Get help for this. Reach out to the people you can trust till you find someone who can help you kick them out. Now taste the real freedom!
Blessings to you,