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The Taming of the Shrew - Transforming the Inner Critic - Issue #39
October 08, 2013

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
—William Shakespeare

We all have an inner critic. We develop this part of ourselves during childhood when we internalize the rules that our parents and other authorities give us. The more harsh and judgmental our caregivers were, the harsher our inner critic is. If we have perfectionistic tendencies, this critic can be extremely punitive, as nothing we do can actually ever live up to its standards of perfection. The voice of the critic is based on our past. It doesn’t contain the truth of who we are; it reflects the judgments of others, and who we think we should be.

The main reason most people don’t fully realize their full potential in life is because they are being held hostage by this critic. They fully believe the lies the critic tells them; they react self-destructively to its vitriol; and they never stop to question the validity of the critic’s claims. Therefore, they never get to see the critic for what it really is: a misguided attempt to protect us from harm; a voice that actually wants what’s best for us; it even tries to motivate us, but goes about it in a dysfunctional way. The critic’s sole job is to judge and criticize us, no matter what. When we begin to see it for what it is, we can then separate ourselves from it, and not allow it to control our lives.

This critic is the main driver behind emotional overeating. It’s the voice that tells us we’re fat, a loser; we’re never going to be successful, and that we don’t deserve the good stuff in life. It’s these kinds of comments that drive us to overeat to silence the critic’s voice.

If we want to recover from overeating, this inner critic must be dealt with. We don’t need to get rid of the critic, what’s needed here is to give the critic a new role in our life: the one of an encourager. By practicing self-love and self-acceptance, we can embrace this critic and transform it into a helpful ally.

The first step to transforming the critic is to become aware of the things it says to us. Write them all down in a column. Then, for every negative comment and judgment it gives, find some kernel of truth in it and then challenge it with a more realistic and affirming response.

For example:

Critic: You’re a loser.

You: Why do you call me loser?

Critic: Because you can’t stay on a diet or eat well most of the time.

You: Yes, that’s right. I don’t seem to be able to stay on a diet or be consistent in my eating. I’m not perfect, and never will be. But I’m getting better all the time. Most people fail at diets. I’m learning a new way and that takes time. I’m making mistakes because I’m in the learning curve. Making mistakes makes me human, not a loser.

The key here is to catch our inner critic speaking and then practice replacing those harsh, judgmental thoughts with kinder, more encouraging ones. The more we practice this, the better we get and soon the old critic will begin to leave us alone. Then we will be well on our way to becoming our very own cheerleader and best friend; and our eating will become a true act of nourishment, instead of an attempt to stuff down unwanted negativity.

Are my thoughts working for me or against me? Who would I be if I wasn’t chained by an internal critic? What might I be doing with my life?

Are you ready to tame the shrew and become your lightest and most loving self? How you do food is how you do life!® Contact me for a free consultation!

Feast for the Eyes - Changing Leaves - Photo by Catherine L. Taylor


  • Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • You must do the things you think you cannot do.
    — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • All you really need is the courage to be yourself. Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do. The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world. You’ve been told all sorts of likes as to why you can’t do that. But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.
    —Steve Pavlina
  • Don’t worry about what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and do that because what the world needs are people who have come alive.
    —Howard Thurman

  • Weekly Affirmations

    I support myself with kind words and encouraging thoughts.

    I feed myself a steady diet of positivity.

    I speak to myself like a treasured friend.

    I stay focused on what I do right each day.

    I motivate myself by giving myself encouraging pep talks.

    Positive thinking leads to positive results.

    I allow myself to be imperfect, fallible, and simply human.

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    Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and master your weight and your life?

    If so, you may be a candidate for coaching. Coaching can make the difference between success and failure.

    I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.

    This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.

    The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®

    I coach and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction, mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self esteem and body image issues.

    Note: My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of you.

    What you call this place -- God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom, or true self -- is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you back to the truths that are already inside of you.

    If you want to know more about why and how coaching works click here.

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    I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what's working for you and read about your success stories.

    Many Blessings,


    Catherine L. Taylor
    How You do Food is How You do Life!

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