Set 5 Boundaries in Your Food Relationship

Photo by William Fortunato on

We are in a relationship with everything we encounter from ourselves to people to environments, and most definitely what’s on our plates. Our food relationships impacts us more than we often think. A holistic understanding of food relationships looks at more than nutrients, fuel, and intake vs calorie burning. Your food relationship feeds memories, emotions, promotes connections, and at times provides comfort. It can also be a coping mechanism for stress, boredom. You can stimulate focus with certain foods. You can use targeted food to promote physical and energetic healing. All of these things in your food relationship involve one common thing- you need for food relationship boundaries that support you.

5 Boundaries You Need in Your Food Relationships

  1. Do not accept or participate in food bullying.
    • It’s easy to be angry at differing opinions. However, each person has their right to their food relationship. Some of us have food allergies. Some of us have strong beliefs. Others have food preferences. Certainly sharing with compassion your ideas and opinions when asked is perfectly acceptable. Sharing unwanted advice or shaming others for their food relationship is never acceptable. We need to remember the person we are looking at is a person- thoughts, words, and expressions should be supportive. Or sometimes silence works best. Set the boundary not to accept bullying about what you eat and not to participate in bullying others.
  2. Know that you have power in your food relationship.
    • Guilt is the number roadblock I come across with myself, friends, family, and clients. For some, our food relationship lacks a boundary against shame. Guilt is far too present on our plates. It never helps. Guilt only feeds hurtful food habits and alter our body chemicals negatively including our metabolism and “happy” brain hormones. Additionally, guilt blocks us from realizing our power to make changes and honor where we are in our food relationship. The boundary here is internal- kick out guilt and claim your power.
  3. Feed thoughts for the food relationship you want.
    • Directly related to claiming your power, is what you feed your mind. This might be the most difficult boundary for some. Like guilt, you unconsciously accept and create thought tracks about yourself and food. When you stop to observe these thoughts, you are at that line- the line you claim your power to keep the thought or change it. For instance, when eating a “bad” food rather than saying “I’m bad for eating this,” feed your brain with ” I love myself where I am right now.” Also, question why you think this particular food or meal is “bad” and if that’s what you really believe. Set the boundary for more supportive thoughts such as “I am eating to heal,” “I enjoy my food,” “I support myself in my food relationship.” With a commitment to this boundary, harmful thought tracks can no longer stay.
  4. There are foods that require a short leash.
    • Certain foods do need to have a line drawn in your food relationship. They could hurt you with a consistent presence on your plate. This is not to shame or feed those thoughts of “being bad.” It’s to shed light on the foods that abuse your body and allow you to make changes as you see fit. These foods don’t necessarily must be gone permanently or be a “cheat day” thing. Occasionally eating of these foods is fine for some of us; however, often or consistent consumption has known negative impacts on your body and mind. Keep these on a short leash.
      • Sugar- organic or refined
      • Processed foods- “junk” foods such as fried foods, chips, and most packaged foods.
      • Trans fats and saturated fats are a definite NO
  5. Don’t feed into an image. Feed your soul.
    • You should enjoy eating and feel good about you food. It’s okay to splurge occasionally. Don’t stress if you get an unexpected invitation. Stop worrying about dieting or how you look. Join this foodie in coming into a loving food relationship. Make your food relationship about connecting with your food, your self, and others. Create memories. Get creative in the kitchen. Celebrate your fails in experimentation. Celebrate your victorious recipes. Celebrate when you can just pick it up and sit down. Let your food support joy and you. Set the boundary that your food relationship feeds the whole you.
Photo by August de Richelieu on

We have our common truths- we need to eat the rainbow, comfort foods are okay, and eating well doesn’t have to be a salad. Beyond, this your food relationship is about you. With these boundaries you protect and support your unique food relationship.

Honor and love where you are.

Published by JRiley

Certified holistic nutritionist, reiki master, and yogi who hates kale and loves tacos.

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