Monday, September 21, 2009

"Boundary vs Moderation"

According to the website dictionary online the word "boundary" means, something that indicates a border or limit.

When I think of the word boundary a picture of a house surrounded by a fence comes into view. I have been a pro at setting boundaries when it comes to people but not when it comes to food. I have two boundary categories when it comes to people.

Cat 1: Shield boundary - this category is flexible. I can move the shield up and down when necessary. Everyone I meet starts out in this category.

Cat 2: Wall boundary - this category is not flexible. You have no chance of breaking it down or climbing over it. Folks in this category has cause me a lot of unnecessary drama and pain. These folks are toxic and not good for my soul because they have proven themselves to be this way. Fortunately for me, I can count less than 5 people that fit in this category.

So, I started to think about boundaries and food. The media and health authors will say, "eat in moderation". According to dictionary online the word "moderation" means within reasonable limits, not excessive or extreme. That is fine but there should be more to the story. To me, moderation is not the word to use when it comes to food. I have decided to use the word "boundaries" and to put certain foods in the boundary category. For me, looking back over the years the word moderation has been my down fall. Moderation is an easy out to get off track and continue to make the same mistakes. I would not tell a person addictive to drugs to only us in moderation. My moderation is different from my neighbors. That word has to be tossed out when it comes to my health. It's all or none. I need to see foods in the boundary category. So the question is "which foods have contributed to my weight gain?" Which foods qualify for the "category 2-wall boundary?"

It's easy to put people in categories because their actions are mostly direct. If a person continues to cause you drama, they lie, they cheat, or just toxic you can make that boundary decision right way or overtime. For me food is harder to categorize. I do not believe only junk food will cause you to be fat. If a person consumed only ice cream for 1 month, I do not think they will gain weight. I believe they will lose because ice cream is the only food eaten. Now, they might feel sick for that month. So, for me to put certain foods in category 2 I must be willing to put that wall up and never bring it down. To do this I must go real deep inside and think about my food decisions. What will happen to my social life? What about parties? What about the holidays? What about my cravings? When eating in moderation you don't have to think as hard because there is flexibility. For me flexibility with certain foods have caused me trouble. I believe eating with boundaries might be hard at first but knowing the list will make it easier in the end. I want to be at peace with the foods I eat from this day on. It sucks to look back after eating and saying "why did I eat that?" It's time to think about the foods that cause us to make that statement. It's time for food boundaries!

"The Wall" category is very final. So, for the next week I am going to make a list of all the foods that deserve to be in this category. I will post the list next Monday. It's going to be interesting because I will be negotiating with myself. Cake over cookies, chips over ice cream, fried chicken over mashed potatoes w/gravy. I have to think about my life which includes social events and times when I crave certain foods. Are there options? What are my options? Yes, this is extreme but I need to make these decisions now. I feel happy about it because once the decision is made I will not have to think about it again. It's like saying no to trouble before it happens. The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. This must be done!

This week exercise routine: 3 weight lifting classes, 1 Yoga, 1 Pilate's, 1 Boot Camp, 1 Cycling and 1 Aqua


  1. Great post on boundaries and food. I feel like there are so many foods that need boundaries in my life because once they come my way, they attack. Protection from these deadly foods are vital! ! !

  2. Girl, you are going to be so busy with all that activity!!
    Love the post. Very insightful!

  3. Really great way to look at food. For me, when I first started on my journey, I did have walls around certain foods. As I gained more control, I was able to push a few holes in those walls. It took a lot of time though.

  4. Ehhhhh. I'm not so on board as everyone else with this post.

    Now, some people are truly destructive, and it's important to take care of yourself, but I'm a lot less comfortable with the idea saying "never" to certain foods/experiences/pretty much anything.

    Some day, you're going to have a wedding. And there's going to be cake. Or some friends will throw you a surprise party, and maybe one of them will have handmade a cake. You can't never have cake. You can't never have cookies either. Someone close to you is going to bake you cookies, or down the line you'll have kids and one day your kids will want to have cookies with you. Things happen. Don't make a rule that could HURT you if you follow it, and following a hard and fast rule of no cake or cookies would deprive you of key experiences and ruin important moments. Making a rule that entirely cuts out a certain food for eternity is, in my opinion, a very bad idea.

    I think it would be fine to say you're not going to have x or y foods until your weight is truly under control, but it's pretty ridiculous to rule out the idea that you could have a piece of birthday cake 10 years down the line. You're stronger than that.

  5. well, interesting... I would argue you change the categories just slightly to 2nd boundry -Almost never touch... food is not the enemy, and as we teach ourselves more control we find our desire for those foods decrease, but that does not mean that certain foods are 'bad'. I don't know, I guess after living life with an eating disorder I just want to look at food in a healthy way and see it as a tool for me to use as I choose. but healthy boundries make sense I just don't know that I would completely eliminate foods...