Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn From Weight: Part 3 – Video with Marc David

We live in a world where weight, body fat, and extra pounds are a pretty big deal. And yet, our strategies when it comes to weight loss aren’t working and are often causing us to do battle with our own body. The good news is, there’s a dimension that goes beyond what we can see and understand when it comes to weight and its loss. It’s the domain of the spiritual. Join Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, in this #IPEtv video where he shares about an important spiritual lesson we can discover from weight: Love. We think you’ll find this to be a fascinating and results oriented approach to weight.

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Below is a transcript of this week’s video:

Greetings friends, this is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the psychology of eating

Today’s Topic: Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn from Weight

Have you noticed that we live in a world where weight, body fat, extra pounds, gaining it, and losing it are all a very big deal?

Our collective concern around weight is one of the biggest conundrums that impact the human heart and mind. The amount of pain and suffering that occurs around this topic is huge.

Clearly what we’re doing when it comes to sustainable weight loss

doesn’t quite work.

It’s time that we all do our best to shed more light on this subject.

To think way outside the box so we can discover some smarter and more effective strategies.

This means looking to other dimensions to help find pieces of the weight loss weight gain puzzle that may be important.

In my 30+ years of research, clinical experience, inquiry, curiosity and deep care around this topic, I’m often led to this one particular and unexpected place:


By the way, if you don’t like that word or if it doesn’t apply to you – don’t let it get in your way. If you’re an atheist, then substitute the term “character growth and development.” If you come from a faith and Bible-based approach, then substitute the term “how God is asking me to grow.”

And if you’re good to go with the term spirituality, here’s what I mean:

There’s a dimension that goes beyond what the eye can see. There’s a hidden architecture to the universe. There are unseen forces that move us and guide us that we tend to know very little about. And the great saints, sages, prophets, religious and spiritual leaders throughout history have all pretty much agreed that when we set our sights towards the realm of the spiritual or sacred – our vision opens up. New possibilities are born.

And when I say weight, by the way, I’m talking about the challenges we face in trying to lose it, in not weighing the number that we want, in dealing with the prejudices and judgments of others, and the challenges we face when it comes to our own harsh commentary about the body we’ve been given.

Here’s one of the bottom-line spiritual lessons we can learn from weight:


Who would have thought?

How can we possibly learn about love from something that most people tend to hate – excess body fat?

And that’s exactly the point.

A majority of people are taught to believe that extra weight is the enemy, and we must attack it, starve it, and beat it down with exercise. Once it’s finally gone, then we can finally stop the self hate and feel the self love.

But how in the known universe can we expect to take a road of self-hate and self-attack and expect it to end up at the destination called love? It’s impossible. The journey informs and defines the destination.

Having body fat is one of the most powerful excuses that people can use to not love themselves. The amount of self-directed hate that humans aim at themselves because the number on the scale isn’t to their liking is profound.

And it’s an awful way to live life.

The tremendous amount of energy we drain in body hate takes away from living the life we’re meant to live. It reduces us to a whining, complaining, ineffective way of living that keeps us stuck in a fog of pity and loathing. And we rob the world of all the gifts we could be giving.

Extra weight, for so many people, is here to teach us about love, plain and simple.

This is a spiritual teaching.

It’s about learning to love without conditions – unconditional love.

Would you say to your baby, “I’m not going to love you until you lose all your baby fat and have six pack abs”? Absurd sounding, isn’t it?

Well, that’s how we speak to ourselves.

Planet Earth is the ultimate classroom, and just about everything can be considered our teacher.

Food and weight are powerful teachers for so many people.

But we have to listen, and learn the lessons we’re being taught, in order to graduate and move on.

Weight challenges are asking us to access a higher love. It’s asking us to grow in ways that we often don’t like. It’s asking us to step beyond our petty judgments and find love for self – even though this is a place where love is often absent.

Can you see the higher lesson here? Can you embrace a whole new way of looking at your weight challenges?

Self love and self acceptance

Loving what is – is one of the most powerful acts a human being can do. It’s not about giving up. It’s about being victorious in love, and then using self love as a motivation to get where we want to go.

I hope this was helpful, my friends.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating offers the most innovative and inspiring professional trainings, public programs, conferences, online events and lots more in the exciting fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition! In our premier professional offering – the Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training – you can grow a new career and help your clients in a powerful way with food, body and health. You’ll learn cutting-edge skills and have the confidence to work with the most compelling eating challenges of our times: weight, body image, overeating, binge eating, digestion, fatigue, immunity, mood, and much more. If you’re focused on your own eating and health, the Institute offers a great selection of one-of-a-kind opportunities to take a big leap forward in your relationship with food. We’re proud to be international leaders in online and live educational events designed to create the breakthroughs you want most. Our public programs are powerful, results-oriented, and embrace all of who we are as eaters – body, mind, heart, and soul.

Please email us at info@psychologyofeating.com if you have specific questions and we will be sure to get back to you.

Again, that is psychologyofeating.com.

This is Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Thanks so much for your time and interest.

To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at ipe.tips. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.


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  • Marc, I saw an interview with you on a program recently. I especially appreciated you informing the host that the cause of excessive weight gain is different for everyone.
    I wonder what you have to say about David Allison’s work, showing that lab animals, pets and feral species have also gained weight at the same rate as humans. And that the evolution of gut bacteria – pollutants and synthetic estrogens in plastics – may have contributed especially in susceptible individuals.
    I argue with people all the time, people who say “fat people are lazy” I point out that exercise does nothing for weight loss (well it does until you eat a single muffin then gain it all back) I kept trying to find more research on the topic.
    And thanks for your last response, I’m still in contact with my third generation coffee farmer friend, hopefully his and other’s agroforestry methods will spread so we don’t lose our coffee to rust disease! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, EmmaRose! There are so many studies that show that the methods we’ve traditionally relied on for weight loss simply don’t work. It’s great that you’re out there working to shed some new light on the issue! Warmly, Marc

    • Hi EmmaRose, Thanks so much for your comment and for your kind words! It’s great that you’re passing along the insight that the causes of weight gain can be totally different for different people. Exercise can be a good thing, depending on how you approach it – check out Emily’s post about movement here: http://psychologyofeating.com/most-important-exercise-secret-ever/ Warmly, Marc

  • rose_dreamer91

    This series was great. Deeply inspiring. But I think there is one more spiritual lesson that you might have missed: gratitude. Let me know what you think, cheers ;).

  • Mary P.

    Wow, this statement really hit home, “Having body fat is one of the most powerful excuses that people can use to not love themselves.” It’s true. I have been dieting almost my entire life. As I was experiencing a weight loss plateau in the 6th round of Weight Watcher’s, the thought came to me that my weight issues would never resolve unless I learned how to love and accept myself the way I already was…… I have tried and tried and tried to do this ever since, but have been mostly unsuccessful. I have no idea how to love and accept myself the way I am, I don’t know how to do it…. but it’s true what you say here, very true…..

  • Dear Mary, Thanks so much for sharing these insightful observations! Working on this spiritual lesson of love can be a lifelong endeavor. Any time you consciously intervene in a thought process that’s not self-loving, you’re setting a powerful chain reaction in motion. Keep up the great work! Warmly, Marc

  • Rose_dreamer91, thanks so much for your kind words! Gratitude is absolutely a lesson that we can learn from weight – thanks for mentioning it! Every individual will have their own unique spiritual lessons around weight, and we love hearing about how these lessons show up for you! Warmly, Marc

  • Serena Goldsmith

    Amen Marc. I know that everything in my life, especially the challenging stuff, has been my teacher and I have received many gifts and blessings from these challenges. Having been diagnosed with both Crohn’s disease and bipolar disorder at the age of 21, I have learned that I can find a positive lesson in just about anything, although it can often take a lot of soul searching and the passage of time. There have been times when I have gained a lot of weight very quickly due to certain medications for bipolar disorder, and it was very frustrating and disheartening. Suffice it to say that gaining all of that weight did not help to lift me out of the severe depression I was already experiencing, but only made it much worse. Thankfully I don’t take those medications anymore and my weight is within the normal range, but I still find myself looking at my stomach and wishing it were flatter. I have found that learning to love and accept myself is a constant process and that I can even love and accept myself for not always loving and accepting myself. 🙂

    If any of you would like to hear the story of my recovery journey related to bipolar disorder and Crohn’s disease and the things that have helped me to achieve and maintain my wellness, feel free to watch this video of a talk I gave recently: http://youtu.be/SZ45OlhK31o
    or email me at SerenaStoryOfHope@gmail.com. I want to help others dealing with these conditions to avoid the years of suffering I experienced, and even though I believe we can learn some of our greatest lessons through adversity, we can also learn through joy and feeling great!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May all of your blessings multiply and bring you unending reasons to give thanks and feel grateful. 🙂

    • Serena, I am so glad you liked this video and thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It sounds like the experiences you have gone through have cultivated an incredible, resilient, and strong soul. Self acceptance and love definitely is a life long journey and it sounds like you are doing a beautiful job accepting whatever is showing up for you even on your hardest days. You might enjoy this #IPEtv video on the power of authenticity here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwjjGDXi5n8&list.

      Thanks you so much for sharing your video with us and your insights and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Best, Marc

      • Serena Goldsmith

        Yes – this video about authenticity is really good and very true. I will share this with my mental health clients who are struggling with food and eating issues. Thank you for sharing it with me.

        • You’re most welcome, Serena. It’s wonderful to hear that you’re sharing this post with your clients. We’re so glad you’re part of our community! Warmly, Marc

  • Tamsone Barley

    Wow Marc… I watch a lot of these videos, but this one particularly struck me deep. The portion about love. Any time people talk about not being so harsh on yourself I just keep thinking… yeah, but I deserve it. Or, I have no idea how to circumvent this limiting belief that I need to hate myself into being progressive. Really doesn’t make sense to me now when you talk to a baby like that… I’m going to keep using that image to let go of my self hate. Thank you so much for sharing that metaphor… so brilliant. My energy is still shifting. It’s amazing how people can see clearly when they make it objective by shifting the situation to something outside of themselves.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Tamsone! I’m so glad that my message resonated with you. Keep sharing the self-love! Warmly, Marc

About The Author
Marc David

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.