Be Curious, Not Judgmental

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(A quote by Walt Whitman that I became familiar with through Ted Lasso; a show on Apple TV you should go watch.)

Is your self talk about nutrition judgmental or curious? 

Judgmental sounds like: 

  • “You never should have eaten that, you know it’s bad!” 
  • “Why did I binge that again even though I know I shouldn’t have?”
  • “Why can’t I control my portion sizes?”
  • “If only you didn’t like cheetos.”
  • “You’ve been good all week and now you’ve ruined it with this cheat meal.”

Curious sounds like:

  • “How could I make this food that I love (pizza!) a part of my nutrition, so that I don’t consider it cheating? 
  • What else was going on last night that made me susceptible to eating more than I wanted to?
  • How can I put some systems in place that will help me with portion size?
  • Cheetos are delicious because they are crunchy and salty. How can you choose something else a little bit better as a snack this week?
  • How can I make a plan to start again with my next meal? 

Notice the skill that is required to move from judgmental to curious: It’s the shift from asking a “why question” to asking a “how question”. 

So you ate all your kids cold leftovers off their plate while standing over the sink before loading their plate in the dishwasher even though you just finished your own lunch of salad and chicken. Or maybe you planned to eat one Kane’s donut, but then they had a new seasonal flavor and now you’ve finished two. Or maybe you’re eating at someone else’s house and they don’t have your usual foods and so you eat a lot of something you’d never have chosen at home.  It’s so easy to immediately slide into judgment and feel angry with yourself.  

But what if in that moment you could recognize that judgment is close to curiosity? 

A WHY QUESTION can become A HOW QUESTION. How questions allow the same circumstances to become your teacher. 

How can we help you grow in this skill? We have a 4 week nutrition kickstarter that can help you take control of your habits. Set up a meeting and let’s get started this week!

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