The Plus Size Girl’s Guide To Setting Healthy Boundaries

For many, the holiday season isn’t the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time when we’re stressed out! We’re worried about seeing family members who make unsolicited comments about our weight. Or worse people who say things about our kid’s weight. Let alone all the diet talk that will occur around the beautifully decorated table. I’m here to help with The Plus Size Girl’s Guide To Setting Healthy Boundaries!

I believe boundaries are sexy! Yup, sexy! Boundaries are sexy because they are empowering. When you set boundaries it means you’re putting your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your immediate family first and that’s critically important. But saying, “boundaries are essential” isn’t as fun as saying “boundaries are sexy.”

What Are Boundaries?

That’s a great question and one I didn’t have the answer to for most of my life! At the age of 30 I started to evaluate who in my life caused me trauma. Those who caused harm, including family members, were the ones I started to unfollow on Facebook (boundaries), not talk to as much (boundaries), stopped seeing as often (boundaries), or eliminate completely (boundaries).

“Personal Boundaries are designed to protect and honor important parts of our lives. They are created to clarify what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviors from others. Just as a fence protects and preserves our real property, so should personal boundaries protect our personal selves.” – Bradley Davidson 

3 Steps For Setting Healthy Boundaries At Holiday Events 

Wearing Spanx during a holiday feast is not living! So unless you truly love wearing Spanx, let them go! Do not feel obligated to shrink your body for fear of what others might say about your appearance. If our loved ones can’t accept us for what we look like or who we are, it’s essential to set healthy boundaries!

Here are three steps to help you with setting healthy boundaries this holiday season (and well beyond).

Setting Healthy Boundaries

1. Assess

Who in your life have you needed to set boundaries with for a long time? Is there a family member who always makes rude comments or makes you feel uncomfortable? Or someone who is always incredibly negative? Stop allowing people to make you feel insignificant! 

2. Prepare 

When it comes to setting boundaries with people who cause emotional harm, you have every right not to show up. If you revoke your RSVP to your family’s annual holiday dinner there are consequences to this decision. However, knowing that you have the right to opt-out can take a little pressure off of you even if you know family drama will unfold.

For most of us, we’ll still attend. So preparing to set boundaries while spending time with people who trigger you starts before you even leave the house.

Do you have a piece of jewelry you can wear that will help signal that you’re feeling triggered? For me, it’s a ring that I’ll start spinning on my finger.

What helps you to de-stress? For me, it’s Rescue Remedy (natural stress reliever you can pick up at your local drug store). Often we turn to a glass of wine to chill out. I want to encourage you to be mindful of how much alcohol you’re drinking. There are other ways to cope that won’t result in unintentional outbursts or a terrible hangover. Try to do whatever you can to eliminate stress from the beginning, from not arriving late, to making sure the kids aren’t starving the minute you’re trying to leave the house. As well as considering natural ways to destress like my go-to or some essential oils. This might sound like a no-brainer, but also be sure to be well hydrated!

Once you arrive at the event take note of who is there and plan out how you want to spend your time.

If Aunt Sally is the one who always has something to say, then don’t sit next to Aunt Sally! If she happens to corner you then have a statement in your back pocket. This means, if dear old Aunt Sally starts talking about your weight or politics then respond with, “I don’t want to talk about that, but I’d love to share with you the exciting news that ______________.” Fill in the blank with something you’re genuinely happy about that’s happening in your life! Most often that’s an accomplishment our kids have made or maybe you got a promotion at work. Have something prepared to talk about whenever the conversation turns to something you want to avoid.

3. Self-Care

So, you’ve planned out who you’re spending most of your time with and have your statement ready to roll. Now it’s time to take note of how you’re feeling (this is where the jewelry comes into play). If you notice you’re feeling anxious, spinning your ring or bracelet, then excuse yourself from the room!

Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, step outside for fresh air, or if things are just too uncomfortable then remember you’re not trapped, and you can leave at any time.

You have to look out for your own mental health and practice good self-care! This needs to occur throughout the evening as well as once you get home. If something triggering came up then be kind to yourself with a nice hot shower or a long talk with your partner or close friend to debrief. Or have a therapy appointment already booked a few days after your holiday event if you know these annual gatherings are a tough experience for you.

The steps above can be used time and time again for events throughout the year. The reality is while not showing up can be an option; odds are there will be people in your life you can’t avoid entirely – like a grouchy co-worker or nosey neighbor. Having a few helpful tips for setting healthy boundaries can go along way.

A great resource is this PDF by Bradley Davidson – Drawing Effective Personal Boundaries. As well as suggestions you’ll find in our 10 Steps For Body Love like filtering your social feeds.

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I hope these tips for setting healthy boundaries are helpful. You can dig in deeper and listen to how I’ve set boundaries in my own life, including not inviting my Grandmother to my wedding, below in episode 29 of the Plus Mommy Podcast.

Wishing you a holiday season full of setting sexy boundaries and making wonderful memories!

 

Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 29

Podcast-Available-on-iTunes

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The Pump and Dump Show

Today’s episode is from The Pump and Dump Show – the original moms’ night out.  Created by lifelong friends Tracey Tee and Shayna Ferm, The Pump and Dump Show celebrates AWESOME MOMS everywhere by delivering a night of laughter, commiseration and VALIDATION.

Currently on tour, The Pump and Dump Show is making more than 20 stops including: San Jose, Orlando, Atlanta, DC, Dallas and more. So book your babysitter, grab your fellow BREEDERS and get ready for an unforgettable, laugh out loud, pee your pants a little, moms night out. Click here for ticket and tour information.

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