A boundary is an invisible line between your choices, needs, and responsibilities and those of others. The boundaries we set around food and eating affect the way other people see us, and may inconvenience others at some times. If we change the boundaries irregularly and / or without warning, it may upset others who are planning to prepare food or to eat a meal with us.
But sometimes we need to change the boundaries; sometimes we need to set aside what we have been doing. And sometimes we need to experiment with different ways of eating until we find what really works for us. This can be confusing for the people who love us; it is important that we let them know when we make changes.
When we have “abstinent” boundaries, it may inconvenience others; when we set those boundaries aside, others may enjoy it or they may worry for our health and safety. So, it is important when we make boundaries with the food, that we maintain them and tell others what we are doing right now. It is frustrating for our loved ones to see us struggle and it is annoying if they never know what to expect. The goal is to be able to enjoy being together and caring for each other.
I think it is often really hard to draw boundaries with other people, around anything, but especially around food. And especially at holiday time. And it is even more hard to draw those boundaries with ourselves.
But we need to know what our boundaries are, and we need to have thought about how best to discuss the boundaries with the others. We think about other people’s feelings, and do not want to hurt them, and yet do not know how to enforce our boundaries with ourselves, let alone others. Sometimes we may create boundaries with ourselves that hurt us; they hurt our feelings or make us feel deprived and unhappy.
The boundaries we set for ourselves are the ones we need to be most comfortable with. They need to be clear in our minds, practiced regularly, familiar, and we need to experience their value. We must be completely committed to maintaining our boundaries.
Sometimes though, the conversations in our minds can be painful. The positivity is gone.
I hate my body weight! I don’t want to give up all the foods I love just to weigh a normal weight.
This abstinence idea seems more like deprivation than healing.
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life without sugar!
When you have these kinds of thoughts, something is missing. You have not found a solution that will work for the problem. Then it’s necessary to broaden the search for the positive and let your self feel the freedom of living your own best life. For the first part, until you find a food plan that really works for you, could I suggest that you be a bit less specific? Look at what you really want and point your thoughts in that direction without being real specific. When you have adopted a food plan that works for you, then you can create more specific boundaries.
I choose to eat food that nourishes my body and keeps me healthy.
I want my cravings and obsessions to stop.
I choose to eat with dignity and self-respect; usually that means sitting down, tasting the food and enjoying it.
Eating in a healthier way is good for my body, mind and spirit.
This is so hard and it hurts so bad, that I am struggling to stay level and calm and that is ok too.
My body is a gift, given to help me create a life of joy, growth, and service. I want to treat my body with respect and care.
Food and eating are the most intimate experiences of our lives; the molecules of the foods become the molecules of our heart, lungs, liver and other organs; the whole of our bodies, including our brains, are made up of particles of the food we eat. So, changing our relationship with food is one of the most important things we do. We need to do it with care and respect for the body.
Blessings to you,