I just read another Sparker's blog that resonated with what I'm experiencing right now. She shared how she felt violated by other people's comments and advice about her weight loss.
As a person who deals with boundary issues, I really gleaned a lot of insight from her post. I agreed 100% that it's OK not to accept everyone's "helpful advice" about MY plan. It's hard to say these words without feeling selfish, but the truth is weight loss and health are an individual's responsibility.
Since rejoining Spark People 3+ weeks ago, I have become extremely sensitive to other's input and feedback. EVERYONE has an opinion about what you should or shouldn't be doing. They want to tell you what works for THEM. Quite frankly, it's not about them at all. It about the individual. Each of us are on our own health journey, and it's a highly personal one. While other's can be supportive, they can't tell us what the next steps will be.
Unsolicited advice is intrusive and often counterproductive to a person trying to lose weight or improve their overall health.
Here's some feedback/input I've received.
" You should try x, y, z diet. It worked for me!" Or, "It's the latest miracle diet!"
Boundary Violated: Unsolicited Diet Advice
Right now I refuse to overlay my eating plan with ANY diet, no matter how "effective." I do my own research in finding foods to help with MY health issues and I know what foods to avoid.
"You shouldn't eat that. That's bad for you/will cause you to gain weight/not on approved food list."
Boundary Violated: Food Police Issuing Guilt
I don't need added guilt or shame as others try to police my food choices. As a rule, I also don't have any "off-limits" foods. I'm practicing moderation and allow room for treats, practicing an 80/20 rule. If I choose to remove certain foods from my diet, it will be MY choice.
"You SHOULD eat this. A little bit won't hurt. It's not too bad for you." OR "This is a miracle food. I swear by it."
Boundary Violated: High-Pressure "Force-feeding"
I'm developing a backbone that I don't have to eat certain foods, even if there is risk of offending someone. I also don't need to be told WHAT to eat. I use common sense and my own judgment. I also reserve the right to bring my own food to a social situation to stay on track. Peer-Pressure and Guilt Trips to eat foods that will derail my goals, or giving in to Slimey "Sales" strategies to convince me to eat a certain food are no longer acceptable!
"You should share your weight loss progress with the world."
Boundary Violated: Privacy. Period.
I choose whether or not I want to be transparent. In the past, I kept most of my weight loss efforts to myself. This time around, I'm being a little more open. But it's MY choice what I share and what I keep private.
I don't have to do weight loss selfies unless I want to. I don't have to discuss my achievement in depth. My weight loss does not have to be a topic of public conversation on social media, at work, etc. I also don't need comments about how I'm such a better person now that I've lost this weight. My goodness and worth isn't determined by the scale.
"You should meditate each day." OR "You should pray to this weight loss saint." OR "You should chant this mantra daily for 10 minutes."
Boundary Violated: Unwanted Spiritual Guru Invading my Headspace
I'm a spiritual person who does believe I can hear God's voice and direction. I ponder daily in my journal - prayers, feelings & frustrations, new things I've learned. Faith is an important component in my life, including my health.
However, I don't need others to tell me to add any other spiritual practices to my life, especially those that (1) I don't agree with and (2) seem to be a shortcut for the lessons God is teaching me.
I believe in prayer and miracles, but I won't cheapen God's supernatural power to quick fixes. I believe in the power of the tongue to bring either blessings or death, and I know my mind is a battlefield. But I can't speak a magic formula or positive affirmation and then expect to eat garbage the rest of my life. My health and weight are just one aspect of my life that God cares about. My journey towards healing - whether physically, emotionally or spiritually - is ultimately between me and Him. He cares about the layers of my soul just as much as the layers of body fat on my frame.
What about you? What are some boundary violations you deal with as you try to focus on health or weight loss goals? Comment below.
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