Top 3 Signs Your Boundaries Interfere with Weight Loss!


Updated: January 10, 2013

Top 3 Signs Your Boundaries Interfere with Weight Loss


Many of you have heard me talk about the connection between empathy and weight gain.  We all think it makes perfect sense that when we are stressed, or bored, or celebratory, we turn to food for comfort and rewards.  We have come to know this phenomenon as “emotional eating.”  But if it was that cut and dry, why are we still struggling with our weight even when we have learned to put the cookies down and go for a walk instead?

We know how to do the calculation:  calories out should exceed calories in = weight loss.  But what if you are doing the math correctly and you still gain weight?  It’s more than emotional eating it’s taking on the weight of the world – literally and figuratively.  Let me explain.

If you are one of the many (and I stress the word “many”) who feel too much and it’s directly affecting your waistline, you will likely agree with the following statements.

  1. You have little or no control over your weight.  Your weight can fluctuate without changing what you eat and dieting does not work – regardless of the latest and greatest diet strategy being pushed by your favorite celebrity.
  2. You feel too much.  Is it hard for you to be around people because the feelings you are experiencing are not always your own because they are emotions you picked them up from people around you?  Think of how it feels to be in a big crowd with a plethora of emotions all coming at you at once.  Are you exhausted after being in a room with a bunch of drama queens or frustrated co-workers?
  3. You have a disordered relationship with food and your body.  You are not consistent with healthy eating patterns or weight loss and gain – there is little consistency even when there are long bouts of healthful behavior.

Although it may feel frustrating to answer “yes” to all three of these statements, the great news is (1) you are not alone and (2) many people have been right where you are (including myself) and have made great strides to a healthier lifestyle, both physically and emotionally.

So what’s the secret?  It starts with recognizing that boundaries play an important role in your life.  I’m not just referring to boundaries with portion control on your plate I’m referring to emotional boundaries that are blurred when you find yourself taking on issues and challenges of people around you, voluntarily and involuntarily.  This is what I refer to as porous boundaries – you are enmeshed with the emotions of other people and it’s difficult to not be affected by conflict around you, whether it is in person or on a competition or “reality” show on television.  If you are physically agitated by what you see and hear, you have porous boundaries and empathy overload.

The first step in making progress is to notice what’s happening.  The second step is to affirm in yourself that you are NOT their issues and it’s not your job to fix it.  How great would it feel to be able to look at the people engaged in the conflict and say (to yourself only) “good luck with that” and mean it?  No, I am not being sarcastic or passive aggressive when I suggest this.  Honestly, wish them luck and move on.  It’s not callous or uncaring it’s you separating from them for your own self-care.

For one week, notice the emotions that are going on around you.  There may be stress, agitation, overwhelm and frustration, but is it yours?  Does it belong to you or are you feeling it around you?  Give this some serious focus and each time it comes up repeat this phrase to yourself, “good luck with that.”  It may also help you to journal about what you observe during that week.  Reread it at the end of the week and see what patterns show up and how you became increasingly proficient in detaching yourself from the emotions of others.

I would love to hear what comes up for you this week.  What did you notice?  How did it feel to disengage from other people’s drama?  Did detaching from the emotions that did not belong to you give you relief? Please share your comments below.

Love and blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor
fonder of the Master Intuitive Coach Institute | Intuitive Life Coach Training.

Showing 7 comments
  • valerie

    This make so much sense to me, thank you so much for all the work that you do!!

    • Susan

      Just received your CD’s today from Amazon and looking forward to a new year of facing my emotions and how they affect my overeating! Thank you!!

  • Farmgirl Susan

    What a great exercise! I have already been doing something vaguely similar in the last few days as I work my way through your new book, but I love the idea of having something simple to say at each moment. Yes, “Good luck with that!” 🙂

    Thank you for everything you are doing and all the people you are helping, Colette. Thank you for writing such an amazing book – which came into my left at the perfect time. Everything you say makes SO much sense. I have started the steps and things are happening. I do have a couple of quick questions:

    1. With something like this, or the EFT, etc., do you need to say the affirmations out loud?

    2. About how much salt do you generally put in your baths?

    3. I have already put two bowls of salt with water in my home but am wondering – how often does the salt need to be changed to keep it ‘working’?

    4. Do the journals need to be paper or does it work to type things out on the computer? I’m thinking it’s probably best to have a ‘real’ book to write in but thought I’d ask.

    I know you’re crazy busy but would love any answers you can give. Again, thank you! 🙂

    • Farmgirl Susan

      Of course that should have been ‘came into my LIFE at the perfect time’. . . 🙂

  • Martha

    I bougth your book on weight loss this week when you were in San Diego. I have some one of your cds and one of your books I never read it or listen to the cd. after meeting you I just been crying ,I thought that I was some kind of freak because I had so much empathy for people. I am 69 years old and will be 70 next month I have been studing truth since 1972. I have spent thousands of dollars on books tapes and workshops. YOU open up something in me. You makes sense and make it clear. I have the feeling that you were healing me while you were looking at me. I hope I have’nt been to muchy. Thank you.

  • Jessica

    I love this article. I am about to make a video on this topic but it is a struggle in which I live every day as a personal trainer: helping clients build boundaries, one rock or stone or pebble at a time. When they cross mine instead, I end up taking the brunt of their frustrations in a very ugly final session, no matter how gently but directly I address them; I know it serves them in the long run to either move on to a healthy trainer relationship or at least stop demanding more and more of me while wanting to pay less and less. Sometimes I think I’m crazy for having chosen this line of work, but the lives I’ve saved and improved are worth the bad days. Thank you again for this post, and for cheering me up on one of those bad days.

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