Adulting and Boundaries

There’s that word again… ADULTING. I actually like the word and enjoy that it’s caught on like it has. Adulting implies being responsible, setting limits, being accountable, and doing what needs to be done - whether you feel like it or not.

I’m gonna give you a way to think about Adulting after weight loss surgery from a perspective you may not have considered. I’m pretty sure it’ll help you see things in a helpful way.

Think of parenting (even if you aren’t a parent, you can easily do this.) Parents set BOUNDARIES for kids, (and good parents follow through with those boundaries)! Boundaries provide children with limits and with safety. Boundaries provide structure, which we all need. Boundaries parents set for children may include:

-          a set bedtime to assure the child gets enough sleep to be healthy, do well in school, etc.

-          limited time on “screens” (ipad, television, computer, phone, games, etc.) so that the child uses their imagination in other forms of play and to encourage other activities such as reading, sports, dance, etc.

-          limits on where and with whom the child can play and associate with

When you tell a child it’s time to get off the video game to go to bed, you can bet the child isn’t likely to just politely hand the machine over. No way! It’s more likely that the child will embark on a tirade, “But MOM, I’m almost finished with my game! You always make me quit before I’m finished! Just ten more minutes… PLEASE!” A healthy parent will say something like this, “I know you love playing your game and if you get all of your homework done and chores completed tomorrow, you can play it again. Right now you need to get sleep so you can be awake at school.”

Let’s consider your reaction when you leave a really stressful day at the office and your typical way of letting your day go comes from eating cookies. You get home and there are no cookies. Your family reminds you that you asked them to make sure there are no cookies or sweets in the house. You set boundaries for yourself to keep yourself on track, to be “safe.” How might that go?! Now we see a grown adult stomping her feet, screaming at the top of her lungs, “I just want a cookie! I have been so good all day. I DESERVE a cookie! Just get me a cookie!”

Hmmm. We want (and expect) our children to live by our guidelines (without talking back), but when an emotional eater or food addict is deprived of what they childishly claim they “deserve,” then look out! 

I’m sure you get the point. Adulting IS required when opting to have bariatric surgery! Set healthy boundaries for yourself and at least try to behave like an adult when you don’t get what you want when you want it! Stay tuned for more Adulting examples…!