Today’s blog is about setting loving boundaries for yourself and how this is a critical element of self-love and self-worth. To start, let me give you an example to understand what I mean. I had a client who started with me a few months ago, and she’s done very well. One of her challenges was that she just didn’t take the time she needed to prioritize herself. Prior to the pandemic, she would often go out for lunches with clients and coworkers, without special request for healthier options, so she was regularly exposed to unhealthy meal choices which also led to gaining weight. She has been working from home since the pandemic, so travel and meals out were not as much of an issue but she still was still booked into meetings all day long, wouldn’t take time for a proper lunch, then would finish her workday and feel depleted and starving. Naturally, since she was so hungry, she then would start snacking in the kitchen while making dinner. This is one of the many challenges that contributed to her weight gain. Ultimately, she hit a point where she realized she was no longer willing to sacrifice her health, well-being, and confidence for the sake of the patterns that she developed at work. So, once she joined my program, of course we got her on a healthy food plan, but aside from weight loss a big part of what she wanted from the experience was to develop the mindset and learn the strategies to really transform her lifestyle. This was important because it was not just about reaching a weight loss goal – it was also about adjusting her lifestyle to keep the weight off and not fall back into old habits.
The Importance of Boundaries in Weight Loss
In order to make the necessary changes in her daily life so she could stick with the program, it meant she needed to have a shift in her mindset, her sense of self-worth, and her journey of maintaining her health. So, part of the coaching process was working with her to identify: how can this change? What it came down to, she started to set boundaries for herself. She began blocking off time for lunch, to ensure she had the time to make and eat a healthy and satisfying meal. Initially, she kind of felt a bit guilty, which can often happen when you begin to prioritize yourself – but ultimately, she shook off that feeling of guilt and felt confident in her decisions. And guess what? It did not have any negative impact on her work at all. Nobody was upset that she wasn’t available for a short period of time over lunch, it was a non-issue. Occasionally, she does have to go out and meet clients in their workplace, and in these situations, she takes the initiative to suggest where they order the lunch from which she then brings with her so this way she can have some control over the available food options to ensure she has some healthy choices that work for her. Rather than asking where the client would like to order from, which she used to do, now she provides the options that she knows can work for her and her goal to stay on track and keep losing weight. So again, this is all about setting the necessary boundaries to prioritize your own needs and set yourself up for success in your weight loss journey.
Setting boundaries truly is a matter of mindset. You must recognize what is getting in the way of your success, and make the necessary changes to not allow those things to interfere any longer. It can be difficult to initiate these boundaries at first. It just takes getting to the point of realizing: “I want to make the people around me happy, but NOT at the expense of my own health and well-being”. You begin to draw a line in the sand, creating the boundary, because you recognize the importance of this journey and that you are worth it.
My Own Experience with Boundaries
Part of my role in coaching my clients is providing them with encouragement to take this step, and I understand the value of this personally having been on the receiving end of this type of support as well. If you’ve been on my website, you may have read about my own personal struggle with weight loss, several years ago, when I put on weight and couldn’t lose it; that’s what led to my discovery of this entire approach that I use now, which is ideal for women over 40. But prior to my discovery of this method, when I was putting the weight on, I had been to my naturopath, because of the weight and some other hormonal related issues as well. My life was extremely stressful at that time: both my parents were very ill, I was working long hours in an executive medical clinic, plus hormonal changes. The naturopath started telling me I needed to draw some boundaries, I needed to make sure I carved out some time for my own enjoyment doing something I love to do to help reduce my stress. As she was telling me this, I was sitting there thinking about how I tell people this exact same thing, all day every day, and here I am needing to be told to do the same thing. Yikes!!!
First, I was a bit embarrassed, thinking that she must think that I’m a terrible health practitioner because I’m having to be told these things. But once I got my ego out of the way, I realized – I do need to do this. But it took somebody telling me to do this, to put me in a position where I could give myself permission to do it. So, that next weekend, I took the initiative to start scheduling regular time for myself. My husband was very supportive, my kids were a bit older so that wasn’t an issue, and I did it – I had just never claimed that time for myself. Giving yourself permission to set some boundaries can be uncomfortable at first, but it is so important for your success on your journey of health and self-improvement.
Identify Your Boundaries
You may identify a variety of challenges that require setting boundaries throughout your weight loss journey. Perhaps the food options in your home make it very difficult for you to stay on track, then you need to let your family know that it would be much easier for you if those things aren’t in the house for a little while as you start your journey. Maybe your family has a tradition of ordering in takeout on the weekend then request to make some changes so that you’re ordering from a restaurant that will have healthy options for you. Take some degree of control in these situations to set boundaries, prioritize your needs, and ensure your success.
Giving Yourself Permission
So, if you’re like me and the majority of my newer clients and you simply need someone to tell you it is okay to set some boundaries and to let people know what you need then here I am….. I’m giving you permission to stake this claim, draw your line in the sand until you are in the position to give yourself permission to do this as well. The beauty of this is you’re actually going to create new habits that will support you in a new lifestyle where you can enjoy your health, have more balance and not risk putting the weight back on again. Often the weight comes back because people haven’t dealt with these sabotaging patterns. They’ve just white-knuckled it through some sort of diet, then the old patterns come back to haunt them once they finish their diet. With this strategy and mindset, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success in your weight loss journey.
Set some boundaries! Sometimes it’s hard, it can be a bit uncomfortable, but the short-term challenge is much better than the long-term struggle of being unhappy with your body, experiencing poorer health, not feeling great. It is worth it, and the people around you probably want this for you as well – you’ve just got to ask for it.
I hope you found this information helpful.If you want to learn more:
- You can book a complimentary call, and discuss your challenges, and obstacles, and together we can determine if my program is right for you.
- You can also go to my Facebook page, @DrSherBovay, where you can find and join my Private Facebook group, The FastLane Mind Body Reset Mastery Group. Here, I host Facebook lives and frequent posts where you can engage and learn more.