Embracing Quarantine: Taking Control by Creating Boundaries

Part 2 of 4 Part Series

Hopefully you feel more settled with the “stay at home” order from our government and the broad spectrum of emotions experienced initially may have lessened. However, we are now left with a whole new set of feelings and challenges due to the open-endedness of our predicament. Using food to cope initially was the greatest issue for many, which is why we focused on awareness last week.

Now, moving into this upcoming week, we want to recognize which areas need focus. After speaking with over 50 clients this week via Telehealth, it is clear to us that anyone who is interested in protecting weight they’ve lost or who is determined to come out of this crisis healthier than before, needs to focus on establishing BOUNDRIES!

Healthy boundaries are a crucial component of self-care

Boundaries in general can be physical or emotional, and they can range from loose to rigid. HEALTHY boundaries often fall somewhere in between. In terms of eating, this is a fine line for some people. Too much rigidity can cause a person to step into the “diet” mindset, which we all know, does not work in the long run. Labeling a food “bad” or “good”, obsessively counting every calorie eaten, and frequent negative self-talk are just a few traps a person can get into with too much rigidity.

Setting clear “rules” for yourself can help

Create a plan for yourself to help you maintain or establish new habits, create a more positive mindset, and allow you to feel a sense of control in this new routine and environment that we all are facing. Below are some helpful ideas around boundaries that have helped us and our clients. Maybe one or two will resonate with you:

Scenario: The day is over, you stuck to your plan, drank your water, exercised and are about to sit down to watch a movie or some trash TV. In your mind, you feel good about the day and you are done eating. If you ever had issues with eating too much at night, this is an area to focus on right now, big time! This is when appetites can go on overload. If this sounds familiar to you, what we have found helpful is to institute a “KITCHEN CLOSED” rule for yourself. Setting a boundary for when eating is not an option anymore. By creating this, you can save yourself 300-600+ calories! For some, if you simply focus on this one area, it can help propel you to YOUR next level!

Boundary … Kitchen Closed by _____ pm

Aim for about 2-3 hours before bedtime. Set a timer initially to help your brain get programed to expect it and, most importantly, follow through consistently. You may find it helpful to set out a mug after dinner with a tea bag in it or our go-to is having a flavored, zero-calorie carbonated beverage like La Croix™— something to keep your hands busy during this time. Why? Because, let’s face it, changing habits is HARD! We need all the help we can get!

Scenario: Work is done for the day, the bottle of red wine purchased in bulk before the apocalypse is sitting right on the counter and it is calling your name. You open it, decide you deserve it after your hard day and the rest of the evening is history. Appetite is stimulated, munchies kick in and you drank more than you planned to. You sleep poorly because, sorry to let you down, but alcohol actually DOES NOT help with sleep! It most certainly interferes and disrupts the sleep cycle during the night. You may have fallen asleep fast, but it causes restlessness and increased body temperature causing you to possibly fall asleep quickly only to waking in a few hours and not be able to sleep soundly the rest of the night. The strategy here requires you to create a boundary with alcohol consumption. This is really important right now!

Boundary… Alcohol only on the weekends

No Monday-Thursday cocktails allowed! Then, set a goal for how many you will enjoy. By doing this, you are more likely to stick with the goal you set. Aim for no more than 1-2 drinks max and be accountable for this via journaling.

Scenario: You just can’t seem to get your daily water goal in! You had no problem when you were at the office, but the transition to working from home has caused you now to forget to drink. We all know why hydration is SO important. In fact, you need to drink at least HALF your body weight, in ounces every-single-day! Now is the time to create a plan to make this happen.

Boundary…Scheduled water consumption

Something which helps a lot of our clients is to have 32 ounces of water before noon and 32 ounces after noon. This will at least get you to the minimum requirement of 64 ounces of PURE water each day. Other people have found it helpful to have a container that has a 32-oz marking or try taking 8 rubber bands and wrapping your 8-ounce glass with them. Take one rubber band off each time you finish a glass to help you keep track.

Focusing on just one of these scenarios can help you maintain a sense of control during these uncertain times. Remember, at Inspire Nutrition, we encourage “Progress, not Perfection.” Whatever the scenario may be that is taking you off course right now, we encourage you to not give up. Take control. Don’t let this Pandemic take control of you!

www.InspireNutrition.com is a Regional Nutrition Counseling Practice that helps people eat healthy with real food. We specialize in emotional eating and nutrition to fight diseases. Your insurance company may cover Telehealth sessions with one of our experts from Inspire Nutrition.

Call 267-217-1330 or Book your Appointment Online Today!

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