Reflections on the New Year

Happy New Year from all of us at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are at another crossroads. One year ends, another begins. It seems like such a great idea to mark time in this way – it helps humanity track itself, gauge progress, and do a little celebration along the way.  I appreciate being connected to you in this way, to be part of a tribe that’s really making a difference in the world. When I reminisce about 2013 and look to see what really mattered, here are a few thoughts I’d love to share with you:

  • The field of nutrition exploded with so much great information and research
  • At the same time, our nutrition related ailments and diseases have continued to rise
  • More and more people are embracing the need for real, honest, healthy food
  • And more and more people are hungry for good nutrition information – and don’t quite know it
  • The world is stressed, people suffer globally, and it feels like the planet needs a big dose of spiritual wisdom, and fast

I must say, I’m approaching 2014 with a deep concern for where humanity is headed. So I’m going to step up my own personal efforts and do whatever I can to contribute to a global awakening. For me, this means being the strongest, clearest, healthiest human possible – and taking all that good mojo and finding better and better ways to give back to the world.

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest a few food-related new years resolutions for you to consider. Usually, at this time of year, it seems like our health resolutions are centered around eating better, eating less, exercising more, dieting for real this time, and declaring that we won’t eat this, that, or the other thing. I’d like to suggest that you consider some different kinds of resolutions around food and health. Some resolutions that might take you into a whole new realm of success. See what you think:

Be an “ordinary” eater

I’ve noticed that too many people set the food and nutrition bar way too high. We create a dietary game plan that’s often intense, large, unattainable – and the net result is that in our desire to be a nutritional superstar, we end up feeling like a failure. The remedy: Be more ordinary. Choose a set of eating goals that are doable for you. Create an approach to your diet that’s truly sustainable. Be more humble in what you think you should be eating to be the perfect eater, and instead, plan on being imperfect. This will take off the pressure that burdens you when you set impossible goals. Consider this your number one nutrition goal for the new year – no impossible goals.

Show up for yourself

Perhaps one of the worst feelings we can have is when someone who we care about abandons us. What many of us fail to notice is that too often, we abandon our own selves. We turn against our own souls. We might self-attack when we don’t like our body. We might neglect our self-care if we don’t approve of who we are or what we look like. Or we can easily practice all kinds of unhealthy habits because we’ve concluded that somehow we aren’t worth it. Let 2014 be a time when you stand by yourself. Don’t be a hater when you aren’t perfect, or you still haven’t reached some arbitrary weight loss goal that you’ve given so much importance to. Be a good ally to your own heart. Show up for yourself.

Be Hungry

When it comes to eating concerns, it seems like a lot of people are focused on figuring out how to NOT be hungry. We think that to get where we want to go, we must control our appetite. This sounds like the royal road to weight loss and the perfect body. But as fate would have it, this strategy is destined to fail, and fast. I don’t believe that a single person in all of history has successfully eradicated their own hunger for their own betterment. But more to the point, when we try to artificially control our hunger, we lose our creative edge in life. We become less effective, less expansive, and way less interesting. Be hungry this year. Feel your hunger for good food. Feel your hunger for a life well lived, and for a better world. Hunger is good. It directs us to the things that can best nourish us.

Be Free

If you’ve ever complained that it’s impossible to have a healthy body image these days because of the constant bombardment of media messages that brainwash us with images of impossible to reach standards – then consider yourself absolutely right. But you’d also be right if you believed you could be victorious. If you’re the kind of person who is plagued by voices inside your head that tell you your body is not okay and lovable, then this is going to be your special year. That’s because 2014 can be the year when you set yourself free. It’s impossible to defeat the media and the culture of perfection – but it’s absolutely possibleand imperative – to free your own mind from the kind of toxic and poisonous programming that keeps us suffering inside and attacking self. Make the choice this year. And then make the effort. Of course we don’t know exactly how to do this – otherwise, we’d have done so long ago. It’s simply about making the commitment to finding freedom and loving your body, and your life, as it is right now. From there, the invisible help arrives. It’s time to be free of judgments that you simply don’t need, and don’t deserve.

I look forward to hearing your about which of these above resolutions you’re looking forward to exploring in 2014.

I hope you have a beautiful and Happy New Year.

Warm regards,
Marc David
Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014

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  • Sol

    I believe it’s also important to eat mostly real food and not processed, packaged, manufactured foods. It’s easy to get caught up in “the perfect diet” but I believe that there are zillions of perfect diets that work as long as one is eating real food.

    • Marc David

      Hi Sol,
      A lot of truth there. Real food is an important component for sure!
      But so is a willingness to let go, let the body speak to what it needs, loosen the restriction and thereby the stress that so many cling to in order to be “healthier”.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective with us!

      Best,
      Marc

  • Michele

    Thank you Marc, for this wonderful insight. I am looking forward to practicing all these honest and powerful resolutions. I can feel the compassion and I’m sensing that it’s really about learning to love ourselves more deeply.
    As I was driving today, I heard a doctor on the radio say that the only way to do it, is with numbers and tracking those numbers, meaning, keep counting calories and weighing one’s self is the only way to truly know where one stands and how to keep control. I laughed and felt angered at the same time. This mentality is still very prevalent out there, and with it, I feel that eating challenges around food will never subside. They will continue to obsess the minds of human beings until a better, more nourishing and sensitive approach to healing eating issues will be taken. I love the work that we’re doing and I’m dedicated and passionate in helping spread the magnificent work that you’ve laid out for the world!!

    Happy New Year!

    • Marc David

      Hi Michele,
      So true, my friend. Sometimes it seems like an uphill battle. But good change comes slow and steady. So glad to have you as a mover-and-shaker and trend-changer.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Jackie

    Hello there,

    I have just read your article during another spout of insomnia, in hindsight, probably not the best thing to do as the light stimultes the brain too much.

    I do not know what to do…this is not your problem, but I know all the right things to eat, mostly, I think it’s a lifetime of learning. My husband died in 2000, I had lots of changes, too many, now I find myself and have been for a little while, back at my parent’s. We’re not close at all. It’s very isolated, formal, etc but now my confidence has gone, my emotions are all over the place and so is my eating, then I was diagnosed as having traits of personality disorders and various other labels, but told, my issues are too complex for what they can offer. This left me feeling abandoned in my time of need. Emotional, mental and spiritual health are so important, my appetite has almost disappeared as I’ve gone more withdrawn and fatigued. Touch, people, sharing are all crucial to me for my health and now I feel stuck with big decisions to make and living in a rural place in the UK and feeling lost and needy, different people give different suggestions, but I feel I need a tribe, some TLC, some normality rather than be labelled, etc…I do not know what to do. but feel worthless. I loved your article and thank you for letting me share.

  • Joanna

    As ALWAYS, insightful and useful. Each resolution is packed with so many layers of information, and I agree with them all. Thank you for all you do, you have helped me so much in my understanding of myself, food, nutrition and life. Great blessings to you in 2014.

    • Marc David

      Hi Joanna,
      So glad to have you as part of our tribe.
      Thanks for sharing your kind words with us.

      Happy New Years to you!
      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Marianne

    This is really inspirational! I agree with you 100%. As I progress into 2014, I embrace it with the opportunity to know my body better and to find the Mouse(my nickname) why of health. I am going into the holistic field, and letting the universe lead me. Namaste

    • Marc David

      Hi Marianne,
      I believe in Vedic art a mouse carries the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha (remover of obstacles) on its back – not a bad totem to have on your side.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Maria

    Thank you Marc for this lovely and insightful reflection! I am looking forward to a healthy, positive, and insightful new year and I will be reflecting on these words of wisdom often during my journey. Many wishes to you and your staff for a prosperous and empowered 2014! Keep up the great work.

    • Marc David

      Hi Maria,
      So glad to have you here, part of the tribe – good to know this brought some light and focus for your 2014. Happy New Years to You too!

      Best,
      Marc

  • Brooke

    Marc, what a lovely, fruitful, grounding reflection. One of the things you have deeply impacted me with this year in your spirit and writings and offerings is to not let the “Self Improvement” world actually undermine soulful whole living. Thank you. I will be sharing and passing this wisdom on and most of all, savoring it deeply in my own dreams for the year coming.

    • Marc David

      Hi Brooke,
      Thanks so much for sharing with us here —
      So much power to bring forth in this new year. The very best to you.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Sue

    I am committed to: 1) refusing to give into the obsessive-compulsive urge to slam my body with dieting again, even though initially my weight is up 15 lbs since I first realized the need to stop slamming myself with dieting. 2) continuing to discover more about the personal triggers resulting in my trance-like eating resulting in my gains after losing. 3) continuing Tapping and other such means for dealing with the programming related to my trance-like behaviors being triggered in all aspects of my life-food, eating and otherwise. 4) stopping pretending; catching myself beginning to pretend-a definite clue that I’m trance-like again-because it’s like putting a band-aid on a psychic bleed-out that only leads to a worsening condition. Stopping pretending means facing the pain and fear of whatever is coming up for me in the moment because this is less painful and fearful in the long run, and the only way to become a grown up and stay free to make healthy choices in eating and in every other way. 5) learning to live with how badly I feel about many things I’ve done throughout my life that didn’t turn out the way I meant, once I recognize these things as being at the core of my pain and fear, and becoming compassionate towards myself and all others because we all suffer these kinds of feelings because we’ve all been in pain and fear and been pretending and trance-like as we’ve all fallen short of even our own best intentions, repeatedly, since infancy even. 6) continuing to choose to live no matter how much I feel at times that it would be so much better all around to simply fall asleep in death. While I’ve never been inclined to overtly take my own life, I have come to realize that, from the cradle to the grave, we all have a tug-of-war going on with ourselves that impedes, oftentimes, our ability to chose to care for and nurture our selves because most of us have yet to be able to fully choose to live, and live long, and live well due to feeling badly and ending up in pain and fear, then pretending and going trance-like, then acting out all those counter-productive automatic behaviors dictated by defective recordings in those tapes that are controlling us from below the conscious level.

    Well…these are the things I’ve been working on all along for a long time, though never so clearly defined and with such concentrated effort as now, now that I’m 58 years further along than when I started this life’s journey, and I’m committed to doing these things with all the more clarity and consciousness of purpose and focus of intent than was ever before possible for me.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share these things here, today.

  • John McDonell

    Marc, thank you very much for these great insights,
    All folks especially those on the leading-edge of nutrition tend to get lost in orientation because of the freshness of an approach. It is as if all-is-new-with-The-New-Year (and previous ideas are labelled ‘irrelevant’). Perhaps, we need a deeper understanding of some basics before committing to strongly. I am trained in the classical science of chemistry. But the science, these days has been discarded as if it was a relic from the-old-days.
    One of the most profound ‘truths’ in bio-chemistry (nutrition) was written as a PROTOTYPE for biochemical reactions. These occur trillions of times each minute in each living being. Because these are so diverse, ythe PROTYPE is used to show a pattern. Here is what Watson (of DNA-fame) wrote … A + B >>>(ARE CATALYZED)>>> X + Y . This trite statement ides an unusual ‘truth’ not fully utilized, even today.
    There are three classes of catalysts, yet only the first two are recognized. The three are ::: 10 enzymes; 2) co-factors, and 3) ENERGY. Many assume that ENERGY is the code word for ‘heat’, but it is such a diverse phenomena, including colors of light (Jacob Libermann); sound; (electricity (at least 5 types); magnetism; gravitation; mass; shape/size; etc… .
    Don’t recognize this in Marc’s eating strategies? Cortisol production is based on a relaxing response to environmental inputs … some are circadian-based; others are seasonally based. The total amount of cortisol produced will depend on the timing and kinds/patterns-direction of ENERGY.
    California’s weather is not as extreme-as-where-I-live and many diet strategies from there take little account of seasonal variation impacts on mood/growth. I believe that we will be closer to embracing a ‘truer’ dietary perspective when we embrace the energy impact of food.

    • Hi John,
      Love your thoughts here, especially around “energy” – I think it’s a frontier in science that has yet to be remotely explored…

      best,
      Marc

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.