The Difference Between Dieting Mentality and Setting Boundaries

We all have a relationship with food and body. This relationship can get fostered at a young age by the experiences we have with food around our family, our friends, and what we observe in how others relate with their food. As we grow older, that innate ability to hear our hunger and fullness cues can get altered by holidays that revolve around food telling us to eat more, moments where we reach for food to emotionally self soothe, and when food becomes a source to numb, to foster joy, to cultivate comfort, to instill peace.

On any journey in cultivating a new relationship with food and body, we can begin to distinguish the difference between dieting mentality and setting boundaries. Dieting mentality can include restriction, deprivation, and will power. Setting boundaries can be focused on self nourishment, self empowerment, and focused on our vitality. So if there is a food you have discovered does not feel nourishing and grounding in your system, then we get to change internal language from, "I can't have this," to "I don't want this for my health and vibrancy." This way you are putting the power back in you and less in the food that you always have a choice in what is going to feel most supportive to you.

Telling ourselves No to certain foods is not a "bad" thing. There are so many different messages we receive in our culture that we "should" be able to eat any food and yet if there is a food that leaves us feeling bloated, gassy, lethargic, or anxious, then these are messages from our body we are meant to listen to that these foods do not resonate with our system. It is like telling a child, No you cannot run with scissors, as you are putting the care and safety of the child first. Saying No to certain foods we know do not resonate with us is putting the care and safety of our body as a top priority in our life. This does not mean that we are on a diet, but setting boundaries for our body so that it can relax and trust that we will be deeply listening to the messages it is providing.