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October 17, 2019

Setting Boundaries With Food Around The Holidays Instead of Dieting

Halloween. Thanksgiving. Holidays. New Years. Now is the time we are bombarded with social events that revolve around food. Growing up in a large Jewish family, I have experienced how food can be an expression of love. Intense digestive issues in my teenage years launched me into an exploration around how to set boundaries with all the food being offered to me. I had to learn that feeling digestively at ease was more loving and respectful to my body than saying yes to all the love being offered through foods that left me bloated and in pain. So what is the difference between boundaries and dieting?

Dieting mentality can include restriction, deprivation, disconnection and a sense that we have to utilize will power. Setting boundaries can be focused on creating connection, nourishment, empowerment, and respect. If we discover a food does not leave us feeling nourished and grounded, then we get to change our inner dialogue from, “I can’t have this,” to “I don’t want this for my health and vitality.” This way you’re putting the power back in you and less in food. You always have a choice in what is going to feel most supportive to you and sometimes that means saying No to a food that does not feel nourishing physically and emotionally in your body.

This does not mean you’re on a diet simply because you’re saying No. We tell a child that they cannot run with scissors to put the care and safety of that child’s body first. We can do the same with our bodies. Saying no to a food that leaves us feeling bloated, gassy, lethargic, or anxious, is putting the care and safety of our body as a top priority in our life.

So what does this look like during the holidays? When a family member or friend offers you a treat, first pause. Ask yourself how you want to be feeling in your body at that moment. Then explore, will eating that food provide you with the emotions and sensations you’re looking to feel? If the answer is No, then you get to say no to that food to respect and honor the messages your body is telling you that eating that food will not support you in feeling calm, peaceful, present, and vibrant.

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Stephanie Mara Fox  |  Contribution: 555