Be consistent with your diet even around family and friends!
Join six-time New York Times Bestseller Melissa Urban as she breaks down how setting clear boundaries can help you meet your health and food goals. She shares how her personal health journey led her to create Whole30 and gives actionable steps you can take to start feeling better and achieve food freedom.
Start setting boundaries around food now with this episode!
Melissa’s journey to health, wellness, and setting boundaries started with drug addiction. During her second attempt at sobriety, she realized she needed to change everything about her life in order to maintain her recovery. Melissa had no boundaries the first time, and establishing boundaries after her second recovery gave her the sense of safety and trust she needed, which allowed her to rebuild her self-worth and value.
She had to find ways to automate her boundaries, build layers of protection around herself so not to rely solely on her own willpower. This included regular therapy and thinking of her future self in every decision she made, as well as letting certain friends go.
It’s very hard to moderate something you feel you have an unhealthy relationship with, and some foods or beverages are designed to make you over-consume. That’s where the Whole30 comes in because it’s designed to help you reset your body from all those kinds of foods, and build boundaries around it. Many of us don’t realize how bad we actually feel until we start feeling better, and by resetting our habits we can approach temptation from a more centered place.
When it comes to foods we need to avoid, there are two types of people: abstainers, and moderators. Abstainers prefer to completely eliminate from their diet certain foods, like sugar, while others do better when they’re able to have a little. That way they feel like they’re not losing everything. Knowing yourself and your tendencies is very helpful to learning how to approach temptation and employ the strategy that works best for you.
We also need to remove the morality around food and understand no food is good or bad. Some things serve you better than others. Saying no to things, not out of diet culture or fear, but from a place of self-care, can be very powerful. It’s a learning experience so if you eat something that doesn’t work for you, it’s not cheating or failing. It’s an opportunity to take that information with you next time and make a different choice.
With Whole30, there’s a very structured reintroduction program that allows you to compare how you’re feeling before and after your reset. There’s also an entire program after the Whole30 that helps you take what you learned and apply it to your life to create a sustainable diet for you. The idea behind Food Freedom is a conscientious practice when choosing to eat foods that may or may not serve you, and pausing to ask yourself if it is worth it. Then you can make an informed decision on whether or not something’s worth eating based on the context of your life.
Create a system that helps you stick to your eating style: Never go to a party hungry, bring someone who understands and supports your goals, or bring something you can eat and share that makes you feel fulfilled. If you can’t bring a buddy, set a clear boundary for yourself. Food can also be a very touchy subject for some and rejecting someone’s offer can feel a lot like rejecting their love. So setting boundaries to remove that defensiveness can go a long way to both eat only what is good for you, and have healthy relationships.
Setting a boundary isn’t the same as telling someone else what to do. Melissa talks about boundaries having three levels: green, yellow, and red. Green is a gentle reminder or communicating the boundary to someone who might not have realized they crossed it, while red is giving yourself permission to remove yourself from the situation. It’s important to give yourself permission to set and maintain boundaries, even if it can sometimes be uncomfortable.
Start setting and enforcing your boundaries around food with this episode!
Melissa Urban is CEO of the Whole30 and an authority on helping people create lifelong healthy habits. She is a six-time New York Times bestselling author (including the #1 bestseller The Whole30); and has been featured by People, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and CNBC. She lives with her husband, son, and a poodle named Henry in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin: https://gretchenrubin.com/quiz/the-four-tendencies-quiz/
The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban: https://www.melissau.com/boundaries-book/
Food Freedom Forever, by Melissa Urban: https://whole30.com/foodfreedom/