Health boundaries as a path to freedom rather than a restriction

Boundaries are important in all aspects of our lives as they provide the backbone of all healthy relationships including the relationship we have with ourselves.

Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.

— Gerard Manley Hopkins

In today’s article I will focus on HEALTH BOUNDARIES which can serve you as a preventative rather than a sick care roadmap.

When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters.
— Augusten Burroughs

Taking responsibility for our own health matters as it allows us to show up fully in every area of our life. 

Why are health boundaries important? 

  • Because they bring freedom in life.

  • Because they give us clear guidelines of what we need to create a safe and supported space.

  • Because they help us make healthier food choices.

  • Because they foster the behaviour we want.

  • Because they remind us and others what is acceptable for our body.

  • Because they make us feel safe and relaxed.

So what do health boundaries look like?

Well… here are some I created for myself:

  • My body is my temple, therefore I treat it with love and respect.

  • I don’t compare my body to other people’s bodies and I love it fully.

  • I listen to my body and give it rest when it needs it.

  • I nourish my body with whole, natural foods that include lots of veggies, a moderate amount of fruit, high-quality protein, and healthy fats.

  • I chose to eat local, seasonal and organic food whenever possible.

  • I cook homemade food whenever possible.

  • I don’t eat food that is made with gluten, refined vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners or refined sugar.

  • I don’t eat when I’m feeling emotional, stressed or overwhelmed. I wait until I feel more calm.

In order to feel safe and supported in your path to health and wellness, I challenge you to make a list of your Health Boundaries.

But before you start creating your own list, I want you to ask yourself these questions:

  1. “What is my definition of health?”

  2. “How do I feel in my body and mind?"

  3. “What are my TOP 3 health goals?”

  4. “Where am I right now with eating?” (read my article on cravings to heighten your awareness and get honest with yourself).

  5. “What are some specific actions I can take to improve my health?”

  6. “What health boundaries do I need, to stay congruent with my health goals?”

  7. "How do I think other people will respond to these changes?”

  8. “How will my life be different once I’ve established these health boundaries?”

OK now you’re ready to create your list ;-)

Remember having clear boundaries and staying true to them in all areas of life is an act of self-love. Upholding the boundaries you created for yourself through daily practice is important because if you don’t respect them nobody else will.

Once you defined your boundaries these will be tested every day at every corner especially at the beginning. In fact, some people, no matter how many times you’ve clearly told them your boundaries will continue to overstep the line, as in the case of a colleague who continues to offer your sugar-laden cupcakes, even though you have said, “No, thank you” a dozen times. When this happens don’t debate, defend or over-explain, just be direct and firm. This might feel awkward at first but eventually, you’ll become great at asserting your boundaries and others will start to honour them.

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Soon you will notice that having Health Boundaries in place will allow you more control over your choices. As a result, when negative thoughts about your weight or other health problems appear, you will be able to reframe them in a way that will allow you to move forward with your life. To put it simply, you’ll be able to change from “I can’t have this because I’m trying to lose 10 kilograms” - a very disempowering statement - to “I choose not to have this because I love my body and respect my own boundaries”.

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Now, treat, anyone? Today is all about cupcakes that are fully supported by my Health Boundaries. Forget about devouring crappy conventional cupcakes made out of lousy ingredients, instead, try baking these delicious chocolate goodies made from beneficial ingredients that help to improve your health rather than destroy it! 

Chocolate Bites 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 duck eggs

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 6 drops wild orange dōTERRA essential oil

  • 2 tbsp coconut milk

  • 1 scoop of Primal Kitchen Collagen Chocolate Fuel

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.

  • Add everything to the food processor and mix it until smooth.

  • Divide batter into silicone muffin cups.

  • Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

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Don’t forget to check out my blog for more recipes. If you decide to make any of my recipes don't forget to tag me on Instagram @ThriveInShanghai. I’d love to see it!

P.S. I have a quick announcement to make… ready?

For those ready to make a commitment, I have limited spaces available for one-on-one work. I find that free information is a great start, but it's personalised support and accountability that really make the difference. Find out more here. Time to ditch the dieting for good, make peace with food and love our healthy bodies.

Yours in health, 

Izabela