How to Cope With Your Inner Food Critic

Heather Dominick

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Every day that I eat energy food, I get almost instantaneous results. It’s wonderful: I feel good about myself, I am productive in my work, I am available for my friends and family. These days are the rockin’ days and make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

But I want to level with you that every day isn't all brown rice, greens and life as the Confidence Queen. In fact, here are a few excerpts of moments I've experienced over the past few weeks:

"I NEED a chocolate chip cookie. "

"Well, even though it’s a cookie – at least it’s organic. ”

"Grrrr. ”

"I’ll take a walk, no, I’ll go to the gym, no I’ll do stretches, no I’ll …”

And, about a recent dinner out: “I’ll take the curly fries" (Here's a tip folks. . . when you are eating at a diner with your 83 year old grandpa, just have a few fries. )

And there are more!

For example, I had an amazing piece of chocolate cake while out to eat on vacation, but I also took a few bites, asked for a to-go carton and then ate the rest over the next three days . But at least 5 different times I found myself on the edge of upset that every bite wasn’t really what I would call an Energy choice.

Got An Inner Food Critic? You're Not Alone

Now, hear me out: I'm not writing this article just to let you know that everything I write and coach my clients on is actually a fraud. I'm writing this to let YOU know that if you get moments like these, you're surely not alone. You’re human.

I learned fast and hard that the more you take care of yourself and reach the peak of self success, the easier it is to deal with moments of self-sabotage. They become bleeps, rather than black-outs.

As the saying goes, “Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat. " You’ve got to experience it, learn from it, move on, and do it less the next time around… IF, of course, you are really interested in making a true change and living your most energized life.

Whether you're a high powered executive, stay at home mom, leader, follower, single, or married. . . you WILL have moments of, what I call, “Difficult Execution”. The more energized you get, the bigger your life becomes. The more “out there" you feel, the more attractive you are and the less room there will be for moments of “Snack Magic”, street-fair lemonade, and days without greens. Your body will allow it less and less. Trust me.

Don't Be So Hard On Yourself

Between you and me, I’ve had Inner Food Critic moments in the past that have brought me to tears. It’s a big part of what brought me to this work in the first place. Now, when I'm starting to hear that not-so-helpful inner voice, I take myself out for a walk, and take a long stroll along the Hudson River Pathway. It clears my head and reminds me why I make the body choices I do - because I LOVE feeling good in my skin, breathing clearly, sharing what I know, teaching, and inspiring others to be living with Energy. It’s important to me that I walk my talk; not just to avoid being a hypocrite, but because I truly believe this: we all deserve to be feeling and doing our best (I even imagine world changes coming from this!)

I used to think it was only me. I would share my experiences of berating myself about a food choice and “friends” would just tell me I was silly, but after I began to change my food (and coincidentally my friends) and started working with clients who wanted to feel good about their food choices, I found myself letting people know that they are not the only ones who feel this way - all of the time! It just helps to be heard. And of course I remind each person not to be “so hard on yourself". Instead, get educated about what your body needs, the best way to go about getting it, make sure you have on-going support and then watch those voices fade away into little squeaks instead of screams.

Honestly, I still have trouble when a voice pops up; I always feel an “ouch" when I give myself a self-jab, but then I breathe deeply, and tell myself that it’s just a moment, I know what is best for my body, and it really is all absolutely just fine.

Here's What to Do

What I HAVE learned is that if your Inner Food Critic gets nasty with you, don't sink to its level. Remember that as a self-empowered person, you're in charge, not the food. I typically handle it via one of these three methods:

  • acknowledge the craving, the urge, the desire (it makes a difference to call it what it is)

  • give it a name (for some of my clients putting food choices on a scale of 1 – 10 makes a big impact)

  • go through a list of options (what is your body telling you? Can this be satisfied another way?)

    Through these navigation moments, remember the big picture of why you started changing your food and life in the first place. It was likely to gain ease and confidence while increasing your energy and improving your health. Your life is always on the line. After all, you only get one body, right?

    You may want to lash out and rebel against all of it, but in the long run, it ALWAYS pays to make the richest Energy choice.

    Encourage Useful Comments!

    Don't forget to welcome constructive guidance with open arms! Remember, it is about living your most energized life so you want to take in new ideas and shed the old, but you can do it all while feeling good and getting support.

    A client recently told me, “Heather, we have only been working together 2 months and I really need to thank you for the inspiration and making me aware of the food that I am eating. I don't think I would have gotten the same result just by reading books and magazines myself. A friendly personal adviser really helps. Thanks!”

    Just remember you don’t need to be screamed at (by you or anyone else) to make a change : )

    To Your Energy and Success, Heather

    Heather Dominick, “The Energy Expert” is an energy and nutrition specialist with over 10 years of teaching and coaching experience. Heather’s primary focus is in helping others identify sources for increasing physical energy and making permanent lifestyle changes. To sign up to receive your free chapter of the famed e-Book “Get EnergyRICH™", for her freebie how-to articles and no-charge teleclasses on creating your most energized life, visit

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