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Old 02-01-2006, 12:05 PM   #1
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Topic For Thought: Setting Boundaries In Your Life From Those Who Would Violate Them

I am surprised and pleased to see this thread I started on "What is Your Weight Saying For You? And How to Stop" keep making its way to the top: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/sh...d.php?t=403092

Since the article spoke to others here, I have another topic to share with you from a book I have been reading: The Taming of the Chew by Denise Lamothe. (I will say that I do not necessarily recommend this book. I think there are better books that address compulsive eating very very effectively. This one in particular: The Solution: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss by Lauren Mellin, M.A., R.D. if you are going to read one).

This is part of the same discussion really, but has some ideas that really have, over the few days, since I read it, focused my mind and helped me even better explain to myself my life, my behaviour as someone who uses food for comfort and love, and the unhappiness I lived with for so long.

The author, Denise Lamothe, notes that many of us with an eating problem have failed to set clear boundaries with others. Rather than paying ourselves the ultimate respect of protecting ourselves with clear boundaries, we set fuzzy ones with other people. As I understand it, lack of a clear boundary sets us up for violation of our most intimate self. And when our confidence is violated, we turn to food to ease the emotional pain.

Some of us, in our attempt to be liked or wanted or needed, bare ourselves too soon in relationships. We do not wait for a relationship to develop (and by relationship, I mean with anyone, not just a love interest). It is not give and take for us; we give it all and somehow expect for our openess, goodness and generosity to be reciprocated. And we internalize it when that wish does not materialize.

Oddly (well, so I found it), Ms. LaMothe says we are to focus on ourselves and our needs and wants and desires. To do so is to respect to ourselves. To have sexual relations, for example when we are ready and to focus on ourselves more than on our partner. Well, this is the most extreme example. The same would be said of friendships. Kind of a shocking example, but when I really think about it, from what I know of myself and from what I know of my friends here, we are nurturers. We care about others and keep our pain and our desires to ourselves. Whether we were taught that is proper behavior (especially us women), or it is simply something we came to ourselves.

"Being clear means talking to ourselves and others gently, honestly, assertively, respectfully and lovingly. It means staying centered on ourselves and nurturing a positive attiude. It means using our sense of humor and being our own loving, nurturing parent. If we fail to do these things, life is murky and difficult much of the time. Our needs get mixed up with other people's needs and we end up giving up parts of ourselves to take care of others. We may set aside our plans or goals because we view others' needs as more important and we focus our energy on helping them to reach their goals. We become resentful and then we suppress our anger and become anxious. Our Chew [sabotaging inner voice] goes wild. We feel ravenous and then overeat to calm our nerves." pp. 128-9.

The section on boundaries, like the rest of the book, is not well-organized or well-written, but it stayed with me, so much so that twice in the past few days when talking with a girlfriend of mine, I stopped and said, "Holy Cow! This is a boundary issue I am talking about here!"

It is worth thinking about. I believe that success at this weightloss thing requires we set clear boundaries, demand certain things in our household: respect of our new wol, the right to eat differently, the time to exercise and the understanding that demands from our families and our friends. Some people in our lives are not going to be willing to give that to us. They have been spoiled by our crazy sacrifice for too long. They may be afraid that we will become independant. That they will no longer be the center of attention. We will need to be strong and set those boundaries anyhow ...

Setting personal boundaries = a REQUIREMENT for success

We respect our selves by setting boundaries and through that we empower ourselves ...

Are you setting clear boundaries?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

It is not really fair for me to ask you to bare all without sharing my boundary epiphanies:

1. A man asked to see my before picture at the gym. I had deep misgivings about it, even though I will pull that picture out at the drop of a hat to help someone I do not know who is obese like me. I said yes but was deeply disturbed by the request anbd had real second thoughts about it - luckily the picture was not with me at the time. Well, the old me would have complied out of fear of being "not nice" or "disrespectful."

Come to find out the man is a real creep, despite being in his late 70s, married and getting Parkinson's Disease, he tries to solicit sex from other women and is very insulting to his wife and woman in general especially when they rebuff him ... he is a boundary violator. Somehow I must have sensed that he was asking for a confidence innapropriate to our "relationship" as acquaintances.

The new me, without any knowledge of his personality or sick track record (found that out later), automatically felt the need to protect myself from such an intimate request from a complete stranger. I will not allow him to share that personal a thing. I have somehow, in the past few years found the respect for myself to automatically set boundaries ...

2. My past. I was talking to my girlfriend the other day as we ran and discussing how we each got to our particular problem - my obesity from a young age, her - extreme extreme shyness to where she would not talk to people even. In my search to help myself understand my obesity from a young age, I have had to pinpoint the things that happened to me to make me start to cope with life by using food a a drug. So I have had, what I thought was, a deep understanding of all of this for the past year or so.

But it hit me this morning. It was a boundary violation issue that I have solved as an adult by setting boundaries. As a very young child, starting from when I was a toddler, I was basically punished and humiliated for being overweight. Love was conditional. It was not the unconditional love we all need and deserve as human beings, but especially as little children who have no control over who is in their life. My personal boundaries were never respected. I was not given to feel that I had self-worth or value, never mind privacy or sense of respect. And this, even to adulthood by someone I cannot choose; a family member.

My healing has come about by forgiving, but at the same time, by setting those boundaries, by not sharing all of what I do for weightloss, or even allow discussion of my personal success with that person despite their wish to be included in that part of my life too - things like my clothing shopping, my clothing size, my friends here. Not allowing any discussion of food or weight in front of my girls, to protect them from this person. By setting a boundary, I have protected myself, protected that sensitive little person inside of me who cannot take anymore scrutiny, judgement, or pain ...

3. In the past year, I have really begun to place myself and my needs as number 1 in my calculations as to favors needed by friends, demands on my time by others, with my family -- while still giving so much to the people who need me. Oddly it is the setting of these boundaries that has gained me new respect from my husband, friends and family. They respect me and they need me even more than they ever did. And it IS very strange.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:12 PM   #2
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Hi Pauline, Boundary setting iswhat I do every day when I follow my abstinent program. Because I do weigh & measure my food, write it down, and call it into my sponsor, I am saying to others "I do this for me and not you. If you have a problem with it, it is your problem." By practicing at first with my food, I eventually have been able to set boundaries around other people, places and things in my life. For example, if I have an appt to get my hair done, and something else comes up, I take care of my hair appt. I don't let others guilt me into changing the way I eat, what I eat or when I eat. All the other parts of my life fall into place by having an appropriate boundary around my food.

The other boundary that I have in my life today is a belief in God. I see God performing miracles in my life, changing me in ways I could not have changed myself, giving me the inspiration or courage to change myself. I am totally grounded today in the belief system that God can do for me what I could not do for myself. And I think I will let him.

Thanks for the topic, Pauline.
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:38 AM   #3
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Awesome! You are so right. I am going the library today and see if I can check out that book. I need something to kick me in the butt.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:59 AM   #4
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Wow! What a fantastic post. I could feel every word of what you have shared with us. I am a nuturer by nature. It could have come from my being the oldest of 12 kids. But somewhere early along the line I was taught that my needs, desires and indiviuality had to come second or third or last or even not at all. If I think deeply enough about it, I believe I associated being thin with being selfish and being selfish was just plain evil. No wonder I "protected" myself from being thin all these years. I associated thin with bad and selfish and fat with self sacrificing and good.

Thanks so much for putting these issues out there. I definitely have boundary and limit issues and now that I am no longer medicating myself with food, I have to deal with these issues head on. I've got lots to think about.
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:06 AM   #5
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Thank you so much!

I am struggling with some issues right now and this really helps me to take inventory.

Great Post!!!!
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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It's interesting, how, once you start thinking about boundaries .. the concept applies to so many areas in our life that need revamping along with the physical aspect .. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Mary and Lisa. I find now, after having read about this a week ago, every now then I'll be thinking about a situation or the past, and new revelations just come to me based on this idea of boundaries ...

As you have probably figured out already from the wacky posts, I think we have to renew ourselves inside *and* out to succeed on this wol! KUTGW everyone!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:11 PM   #7
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great post - just what i needed to think about today

Quote:
Our needs get mixed up with other people's needs and we end up giving up parts of ourselves to take care of others. We may set aside our plans or goals because we view others' needs as more important and we focus our energy on helping them to reach their goals. We become resentful and then we suppress our anger and become anxious
ohhh ya, so true and i didnt really see this until i read that little paragraph there. Funny enough, even someone who is EXTREMELY independant like myself can get sucked into this stupid violation of boundries - just takes a skilled manipulator (my H)
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:35 PM   #8
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Pauline as usual another great post, thanks.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:06 AM   #9
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Pauline, your post hit home with me. I realize I'm continuing the abuse of others in my childhood and young adult life and I need to think about boundaries.
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:39 PM   #10
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Pauline,

what a helpful post!!

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Old 04-24-2006, 11:34 AM   #11
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Thank you so much for posting this today of all days I needed to hear that. I have been suffering for so long by being in relationships (or jumping) into them that are unhealthy, abusive and basically me being the primary care-giver. It's so hard to face that reality too once you realize that the other person was not as fully committed as you but YOU were the one who allowed that to happen. (Am I making sense?)
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:33 PM   #12
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You make total sense Courtney I spent much of my life in that same scenario. I think we can move beyond it though with a little work.

Here is another article that might also help:

"Just Say No" By Geneen Roth (an article in Prevention Magazine). Here:
http://www.prevention.com/article/0,...5559-1,00.html

This older thread probably made it back up since I posted it here ...

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/sh...d.php?t=422894

This is a thread with some resources that are helpful to binge and compulsive eaters. Working through some of the exercises in these books and articles has helped me immensely - to see these things and move on some.



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Old 03-15-2008, 06:14 PM   #13
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Boundaries? I can sure use some help on setting boundaries!

Maybe this thread will help me learn some better tactics than I now have.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:43 PM   #14
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This is a great post. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #15
Way too much time on my hands!
 
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I am having some serious boundary issues with a particular lady I only have known for about a year, lol!! She inserts herself in between me and any relationship with others -- I feel like she is walking around with a mental notebook writing down every word I might think or say for her to repeat at a later time, she even once did this with something I said and proclaimed that she was going to use it in a talk she was going to give based on what I said ... ok, she's a groupie, lol lol, but she wants to be my "manager"!!! however I am not into having a mini-me running around .... Anyhow, I went to find this post to remind myself and steel myself to what I need to do ..

I need to man-up and tell her to give me space ...

Anyhow, hope this helps someone else out there too!



Pauline

p.s. It appears I have saved the posts / summaries I wrote - and referenced in this thread - on topics from Ms. Mellin's book (that expired from the site) and will post them again at some point here on the cc for people. Thinking through some of these things was life-changing for me ..

Last edited by TaDa!; 03-15-2011 at 01:46 PM..
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