Intuitive Eating Supplies: Non-Judgmental Curiosity & Self Gentleness

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Intuitive eating is a process that takes a little bit of time.

The supply list that we're starting with is just the basics to help you have a beginning foundation of where to start with this whole intuitive eating process. Our first supply list item was to know what intuitive eating is and is not. In Day Two, we talked about shifting our mindset and thinking about health overweight.


Let’s talk about the idea of disconnecting the association that our health is directly caused by our weight.


Can there be some correlations there? Possibly.


Try stepping into this idea that our weight is not an only indicator of our health. So to simply say, "Hey, lose weight and your health will improve" is not necessarily going to be the best thing for you. We also talked about ditching the scale and getting rid of that relationship so that you can focus more internally to your hunger and fullness rhythms versus external rhythms of rules and rigidity of dieting.


Let's dive into the third day of our supply lists - nonjudgmental curiosity and nurturing self-gentleness.


Titus 3:2 "speak evil of no one, be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men."


The idea of being gentle does not imply just to other people. We also need to be kind to ourselves. As we are more gentle to ourselves, we can also show that gentleness to others.


So let's talk about this idea of nonjudgmental curiosity. What do I even mean by that?


Think about the last time you wanted one of your favorite foods.

Is it a bakery item or a delicious dessert? You might look at it and think, "oh, I shouldn't have that. I haven't had enough exercise today" or "Oh, I can't have that. I had a doughnut at breakfast" or "that has too many calories in it, too many carbs in it." That's a lot of judgment on the food item.


With that kind of judgment on food, we place judgment on ourselves. We end up thinking of ourselves as bad as not having willpower, not having control, falling off the wagon, getting derailed from our diet. We believe that we'll never be good enough. We're a failure because we ate it. I've heard some of my clients say some horrific things, even to the point of hating themselves for having a particular food item.

This is a scheme of the enemy.

When somebody would hate themselves because of a food item, because of something that they ate, they are not allow the truth of God’s word to penetrate their life. This opens the door for the lying schemes of Satan. (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10) My hope and prayer for you is that through the series, you begin to get curious about your relationship with food and start to step into a freedom relationship with food.


Let's talk about hunger, okay?


How many of you, when you experience hunger, you think I shouldn't be hungry, I just ate an hour ago? Or how can I be hungry after eating X, Y, Z food?

You start to judge your hunger.


What I want to invite you to do is to be curious about your hunger when it's happening, how often it's happening, what it feels like, and is it hunger or is it an urge to eat?


We often get those two things mixed up. We might be thinking, "I am hungry all the time." It could be a person who truly is hungry all the time because they're not eating enough. Another reason that you might be hungry all the time is you have an urge to eat. An urge to eat is so different than physical, biological hunger. An urge to eat might come from seeing a commercial of your favorite ice cream and all of a sudden you want ice cream, or maybe it's you're driving down the road, you smell the local bakery baking fresh bread, and it's like, "Oh, I'm hungry for bread" when really you just had breakfast, and it's more of an urge to eat because it smells so good.


Hunger is okay; it's a good thing. It's an indicator that your body needs fuel.


And when we start to judge our hunger, then we begin to try to control our hunger. You might often hear diets say, never feel hungry again.


If you never felt hunger, how would you know when to eat?

What would tell you when to eat? And if hunger is not telling you when to eat, how do you know when to stop? So you are equipped with that ability to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Might take some practice to get back there. But you are equipped to do it. Another aspect of curiosity is what is your hunger telling you and how hungry might you get after a particular meal mix?


Let's say for breakfast you just had a bowl of cereal, and then an hour later you are ravenous. Well maybe for you that was not enough to hold you over for longer and you know what? It's okay. It's okay to be hungry an hour later, and you can learn from your body and what it's telling you. And it might be indicating, "Hey, I might need a little bit more protein and fat at that breakfast to help me stay sustained longer so that I'm not at my morning meeting and my tummy starts growling," right?


I want you to start to think about how can you begin to observe your hunger and notice it without judgment.


Be Curious. Let your body teach you; learn from what your body is telling you. And that will help to put in place steps to freedom with food. The same thing with fullness is non-judgmentally curious about your fullness.


Think about how much food it takes to get to where you're just satisfied; you're neither hungry nor full.


If you do eat past comfortable, don’t put shame and judgment on yourself, but think, “hmm, is that how I want to feel? Am I okay with feeling that way? Is that level of fullness okay with me?”


And if it's not, I want you to think about, well how did I get there? Was I eating mindlessly? What was I eating fast? Was I already kind of full when I started eating? So be curious about it and learn. Without that judgment, you'll begin to be released from guilt and shame and frustration. You will be released of this idea that you're a failure and can't do things right with your food.



There's no good food, and there's no bad food.


I don't even use the terms healthy and unhealthy because for a lot of people that can still be very judgmental. Indeed, some foods have a different nutrient profile that might be supportive for us in a different way than others. For example, fun foods as I call them or play foods-these foods provide pleasure/enjoyment/taste…they serve a purpose.

We want to be able to take the labels off of food like that. That will help detach the emotions that come with it because food is just food, right? Without that judgment, we can be curious about whether or not we actually like the local fast food restaurant that we've frequenting.

When you take the time to stop judging yourself for it, you can realize what your favorite foods are and what are the foods that you don't like.


Nonjudgmental curiosity is a doorway, a pathway to releasing shame and guilt and frustration, fear of being a failure and not getting it right. It opens a door for you to be empowered with your eating decisions because you start to understand your body and what it means and what it's telling you it means.


What does that feel like to you? I'd love to know your comments. If you put some questions and comments below to let me know, what does that feel like to you to start to think about not judging yourself?


Taking that a step further, when we have that judgment about our food, about our hunger, about our fullness, we're usually judging it negatively. What kind of thoughts are in your mind? What's the chatter in your head? Is it positive chatter?


Is it affirming? Is it reassuring? Most often, it's not right?


It's pretty negative. Like I'm such a dummy, or I can't get it right, or I don't understand, and it just builds up. Discontent builds up disconnectedness with your body, with your food relationship, and with God, right? It starts to consume you. You get all those negative thoughts in there, and it begins just over to overtake your mind. And that's not how we're supposed to operate as children of God. We have the mind of Christ. And in that mind, we have power and authority to speak to the negative thoughts and to implement and impart positive thoughts that are of God's truth.


Colossians 3:12-13 says,

"therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering. Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you. So you must do."


"therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering. Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you. So you must do."

Colossians 3:12-13

I bring this verse up to remind us of kindness, meekness, gentleness, not just towards others, but towards ourselves and in our minds. If we're judging, then we're not super kind, because we're allowing negative thoughts to come in. So, when I talk about nurturing self-gentleness, I'm doing that through the lens of scripture. Not so that we would be self-sufficient, but so that we would be sufficient in Christ. Right? So maybe it's called Christ-centered gentleness versus self-gentleness, but it's taking God's truth and allowing it to be alive in our spirit and our own life so that we can grab hold of that and start to say no to the negative thinking into the judgment that we're placing on ourselves based on our experiences from friends and family and society related to food, body, and our weight.


I want you to be thinking about how you can start to shift your relationship with food in your body from judgmental to nonjudgmental curiosity, giving yourself space to learn from what your body is telling you and what your life experiences are telling you. Start to think about how you can use God's truth about how he calls us to be with one another. Be that way with yourself also. Offer yourself love and gentleness, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, right? This allows you to fully step into that promise that he has for you, that promise of a full and abundant life. (John 10:10)

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