Friends and family are such important parts of your support system and sometimes make comments about your body or health out of love and concern. BUT – if these comments are not helping you, you have permission to set a boundary!
Boundaries are Important for a Flourishing Support System
I hear this quite frequently from clients that friends and family members will make comments about their body, health, motivation to exercise, etc, out of love and concern, which is so wonderful! It’s so nice to have a valuable and loving support system!!
With that said, if those comments are not helping you, or causing you more mental stress, you have FULL PERMISSION to let them know!!!
As you work towards a life of intuitive eating and living, some of the people in your life may not be in the same intuitive space. It’s tough to deal with, but just something we need to understand and respect.
Think about how long you have been working on your relationship with food – it does not happen overnight. As much as we wish (I know I do…) the people we spend the most time with would just jump on the anti-diet bandwagon with us, it’s not always the case. Rightfully so, many, many people are stuck in their dieting fantasies and put all of their faith in the diet industry. So how do we take care of ourselves while working on intuitive eating, while also considering our diet-y family members and friends?
How to Handle Friends and Family Stuck in Diet Culture
- Set boundaries! Having hard conversations is HARD, but sometimes necessary. I also talk to clients about the all. the. time. and bring up questions like: “do your parents know what they are saying is hurting you?” “Do your friends understand that you are working on your relationship with food?” “Can you start a conversation and let them know what you are thinking/how you are feeling?” And usually, once these conversations happen, and this information is out in the open, everyone feels much better and more comfortable!
- Change the conversation! We know our friends and family and know when it’s time to just navigate the conversation away from diet culture. For ideas on how to swiftly change the convo – check out this other blog post! Lots of good resources and smooth moves in this post.
- Preach the anti-diet life! You do not always need to share your views and opinions, but if you want to – GO RIGHT AHEAD! Share your intuitive ways of thinking, provide other forms of compliments that are not body related, and start planting some anti-diet seeds.
You Have Permission to Set Boundaries
Question – if you were saying something that was causing someone harm, but you were unaware, wouldn’t you want to know too? This is why boundaries and open communication are such an important parts of self care and are necessary for relationships of all kinds to flourish.
Consider this post and take the permission I am giving you to let your loved ones know if something they are saying is not helping you.
If you or someone in your support system would benefit from meeting with an anti-diet dietitian – please reach out or send them my information.