How Healthy Boundaries Lead to Healthy Eating
Do you say, “Yes” when you really mean, “No?”
Do you agree to make a dish, attend a party, or host overnight guests when your schedule is already maxed out?
Do you disregard your needs just to please others?
And does the resentment you feel about doing this send you running to the tin of holiday cookies your neighbor brought over?
If you can relate, you’re not alone. Many people do not learn healthy boundaries growing up, especially if they experienced early trauma. With the added demands of the holiday season approaching, it’s crucial to your health that you know when to draw the line.
Me —> Boundary <— You
Boundaries are the emotional and physical borders we place between ourselves and other people. They reflect how we see and treat ourselves in relation to others.
Strong boundaries are essential for your health and self-care. They support you to make good decisions for yourself. Weak boundaries support others at your expense.
For example, Karen has strong boundaries and is very clear when she doesn’t want to do something. (“Thank you for the dinner invitation but no, I can’t. I’m looking forward to a quiet evening at home tonight.”) While she’s sensitive to other people’s feelings, she is not ruled by them.
Suzanne has weak boundaries and often says, “Yes” because she fears displeasing people. (“Sure, I’ll meet you tonight,” she tells her friend. She then beats herself up, “Why did I say that?! I have tons of work to do!”) Her fear of disappointing people makes their needs more important than her own. The resulting resentment and anger she feels send her straight to the fridge. Can you relate?
If you struggle with setting boundaries around your time and energy, somewhere along the way you probably learned your feelings and needs didn’t matter. Trust me, though, your feelings are the only things that matter. (more…)