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Someone far wiser than I once said that we teach people how to treat us. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. That last part was a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. So how are you teaching people to treat you?

Do you have boundaries?

Have you set healthy boundaries and show people you respect yourself through self-care and self advocacy?

Do you draw the line when someone starts treating you with disrespect? Are you showing people you know your value by taking care of yourself?

I have seen it happen so often in the corporate environment where people, especially women, are so afraid of being sidelined that they neglect themselves and their health in the interest of keeping a job. As a result, they are available anytime, day or night, weekends, holidays, vacations, and sick time.

Your emergency doesn’t get to be my priority

So what message are you sending to your employer when you allow them to use you without limit? Your message to the people you work with or for, is that their emergency is your priority, so everything with them becomes an emergency because they know they can get you to treat it as such. You put your personal and professional needs behind everyone else’s. After you live in that dynamic for awhile, good luck trying to change it. It doesn’t just happen with your job, it happens with family and friends too.

Status quo doesn’t have to be

But just because people may react badly when you try to upset the status quo, you still deserve to be treated with respect. When you try to set new boundaries that you didn’t have before, other people have to change the way they interact with you. It’s likely they were comfortable with the way things were and will try to resist your newfound strength. Don’t let them derail you.

How do you define yourself?

Having healthy boundaries helps to define you as a person. When you don’t have strong boundaries, you don’t know where you begin and the other person ends because you don’t have a clear identity of your own. For instance, if you strongly identify as someone’s wife, you feel that you can’t exist without that person, so you do everything you think you should to keep your partner happy. In the process of constantly trying to be the perfect spouse, you lose who you are as a person.

Being a parent is the same thing. If being someone’s mom is your identity, once the kids are grown and no longer need you the way they did growing up, in your mind you may have no discernible purpose in life.

The downside of a defining role

The problem with assuming these roles is that we teach the people we co-exist with that they should treat us as the one who will do everything for them. So when you expect them to stand on their own two feet, they are unprepared to do so. As a result, not only did we lose ourselves but they were also taught that they need someone to take care of them too and the dynamic continues to be perpetuated.

The bottom line

Set firm limits for yourself.  Your identity remains intact and you teach other people that they can take care of themselves if they just give themselves a chance.

Respect yourself and expect everyone else to respect you too. You may get some pushback from people who are accustomed to you being at their beck and call. They can learn self reliance and to respect your limits. After all, they learned that you didn’t have strong boundaries. And treat yourself at least as well as you want to be treated by others…you deserve it.

My Story

Since June 2019, I decided to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I regained some of that weight in the last couple of years and I’m working my way back down. I’ve lost over 40 pounds since I began in June and have exercised nearly every day since August.

If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes to live your best life.

Do You Want Help?

Would you like to have more energy, lose weight, sleep better, and balance your hormones? I am launching another  5 week Sugar Detox Program beginning January 28th.

This program is open to anyone who:

  • would like to get control of their sugar cravings
  • feel better
  • have an abundance of energy
  • and an overall increase in well-being.

Aren’t you tired of feeling bloated and lethargic?

If you continue to follow the path you’re on, where will it lead you in six months? a year? Isn’t it time to take a different approach?

What you have done in the past hasn’t worked or at least has not stuck. I can help you change that. Click here for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your challenges and your goals for the coming year and see if we’re a good fit. You have nothing to lose except those nasty cravings.

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.



  1. Martha on January 19, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    What a great blog, I know a beautiful young woman that needs to read this.

    • Karen on January 19, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      Thank you Martha…feel free to share away.

  2. Alice Gerard on January 20, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Boundaries are definitely something that I need to work on. Thank you for the reminder that it is okay for me to set them.

    • Karen on January 20, 2020 at 9:37 am

      Alice…not only is it okay, it’s imperative for your well-being. So start setting them 🙂

  3. Doug on January 20, 2020 at 12:21 am

    That is the second time I have heart that message in the last week. I am not sure if the message is for me but it has made me sit up and pay attention.

    • Karen on January 20, 2020 at 9:36 am

      Doug…I don’t believe in coincidence so maybe you should perk up those ears and get the message. I believe we receive the messages we need to get. Unfortunately, we don’t always listen to them.

  4. Lily Leung on January 20, 2020 at 10:26 am

    I think I must have felt your vibes, Karen. Just this morning after my 20 minutes of meditation, I watched a Ted talk about self care and boundaries. I do have boundaries but have allow people to cross them. I’ve re-established some and still learning my yeses and no(s).

    • Karen on January 20, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Keep up the good work Lily and stand firm. Don’t allow anyone to make you less of a priority than you make them.

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