Judge Foody…


“I can’t believe I ate all those M&M’s!”

“I ate so bad over the weekend! I will start my diet Monday.”

“I am going to have to stay on the treadmill an extra hour because of that lunch!”

“I have no Willpower at all!”

These are words I have said to myself or have overheard in line at the grocery store or at the table next to me as I eat dinner. Our inner Judge Foody is scolding us, and letting us know how unworthy we are…letting us know that we cannot be trusted when it comes to our food choices.  

These voices in our heads have had much practice. We have distinct perceptions and beliefs about what is Right or Wrong with the food choices we make. These perceptions and beliefs started long ago and have gained strength through the experiences we have had.

Judge Foody…

When we eat good foods and are “being good”, all is well. We are on track, worthy and feel empowered; yet when we eat “bad foods”, we begin an all-out war with ourselves. We make sure that we hear how much of a disappointment we are to ourselves and how we cannot be trusted with our food choices.

This voice, our inner Judge Foody, thinks things like this:

  • We need to punish ourselves with exercise for sharing dessert with a friend.
  • A morning step on the scale (followed by a couple steps off and on to reposition and try again), dictates our mood for the rest of the day.
  • We need to vow not to eat tomorrow, due to all the “bad” food we ate today at the office party.

Does this all sound familiar to you?

Aren’t you tired of listening to this judge? You are not a bad person for eating a bag of M&M’s. As a matter of fact, I personally think the M&M people are very cute and entertaining (even a judge can see that right?).

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Here are some facts…

Food has two purposes:

  1. Food is Fuel…we need it to keep us going, to keep our energy up and keep our brains and bodies working. It is needed for us to make a difference with our work, to enjoy a walk in nature, to connect with friends, carry the groceries, rearrange furniture (a fun trait I get from my mom, that drives everyone else crazy!), to write, to stretch…
  2. Food is to be Enjoyed…it is part of living, sharing, connecting, and fulfilling traditions.

Foods are not “Good” or “Bad” AND you are not “Good” or “Bad” due to the food choices you make.

This life we live it too short to continue to employ this Food Judge any longer. We have continued to give her way too much power. She has criticized our choices, dictated our actions, and scolded and shamed us into depression, addiction and abuse.

It is time to FIRE the judge, throw away the scale and begin to trust ourselves.

It is time to hire ourselves a new upbeat, positive personal assistant instead. One that treats us with respect and admiration. One that does not criticize our choices for dinner, but sits down to enjoy and treasure the moment with us.

This article was originally published as Judge Foody (Not to be confused with Judge Judy) on Friday, March 13, 2015.

8 responses to “Judge Foody…”

  1. Suzanna says:

    I love the name for “the voice”! I’m going to start calling my critical voice that and maybe add nagging to it. It’s perfect for my mindful and intuitive eating journey. Thanks for another Green Mountain encouraging and reinforcing article.

    • Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, AFAA says:

      Thank you Suzanna, I am glad you can relate to that Judge foody that I think a lot of us have. It is just food, and by listening to a kinder voice, we can have a much more peaceful and joyful experience with our eating. Thank you for reading the blogs!

  2. Kim says:

    A much needed boost! Thanks for giving me a reminder about my critical voice. Any suggestions in combating this negative dialog?

  3. Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, AFAA says:

    Hi Kim, that darn critical voice can come out more often than we would like. There are a couple of things that you can try.
    1. change the voice…softer, quieter, monotone (Evelyn Tribole talks about the neutral golfters voice). This can take away some of its power.
    2. Acknowledge the voice with a neutral statement. Thanks for sharing…interesting thought…an then question it, with non-judgmental curiosity…I wonder why you are saying that? Is that really true? What do you mean?
    3. Begin to strengthen a counter voice…a helpful one, a kind and compassionate one. Have some words or phrases that this voice gets very comfortable saying. Maybe, I am doing the best I can. I am working hard, I am strong enought to make my own choices. You are not being helpful right now…things along those lines to counter act the critical mini me (judge foody) in your head. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

  4. Debbie Landry says:

    What a great article. I definitely see myself in that article, I have been struggling for years with negative thoughts and talk….how do you get past all that self talk and put downs?

    • Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, AFAA says:

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for the comment, this inner voice is something that comes out all the time…and we have listened.
      The first step to work on this is awareness…being aware of when that mean girl (I call her my mini me) starts her assault. Noticing she is there, and then beginning to try to neutralize her, with a softer, calmer voice. “Thanks for sharing I hear you, I am doing the best I can right now”. Next is to try to strengthen another voice that is kinder, compassionate and supportive (I call her my maxi me). Help create words and phrases for her (she doesnt really know what to say!) I am worthy, I am strong, I can do this, I am working hard, I am capable. I have listened to self talk audios as well, to help strengthen my maxi me! We need her! I hope this helps Debbie!

  5. Cindy Kleckner says:

    Anne – this is genius! You have such an eloquent and clever way with words and it leaves a lasting impression. Thank you for your tremendous insight. With your permission I would love to post this on my FB page and of course acknowledge you. As a registered dietitian nutritionist I share the same philosophy and feel your post has meaning and can leave a lasting mark! Thank you.

    • Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, AFAA says:

      Thank you Cindy for your comment. Absolutely feel free to post wherever you like. It is all about helping us all realize how harshly we can judge ourselves. Noticing it is the first step to change! Glad you enjoyed my spin on my inner critic voice.

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About the Author

Anne Poirier, BS, CSCS, CIEC

Former Program Director at Green Mountain | Program Director at Shaping Perspectives - A Woman’s Way to Joy

By sharing experiences and lessons learned through her writing, Anne’s goal is to first, help women finally feel free enough to break away from their dieting chains and learn how to listen and honor their body’s internal cues. Second, to discover and experience more joy in moving their bodies and finally, understand the importance of taking time for themselves. Her philosophy of strengthening the connections among participants’ minds, hearts and bodies fits perfectly with Green Mountain’s philosophy of lasting change through comprehensive, integrative health programming. Anne is the Program Director at Shaping Perspectives - A Woman’s Way to Joy and former Program Director at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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