The Great Body Image Challenge – Video with Marc David

Body image is a huge source of suffering for so many people today, and it’s also one of the biggest reasons why people seek out Eating Psychology coaching. Body image is more than just a picture in our minds of what we think we look like – it’s also a conversation that we have with ourselves, and far too often, that conversation is not very nice. In fact, it can be downright hurtful. Where does this inner dialogue come from, and why do we feel like we need to put ourselves down? If you’ve ever pondered these questions, you’ll want to check out this fresh new video from #IPEtv. Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, breaks down the forces that influence our self-perception and poses a challenge that will have you questioning everything you think you know about how you look.

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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: The Great Body Image Challenge

Let’s see if we could agree on one thing from the outset here my friends:

Body image is a pretty tough place to make any kind of headway.
There are a lot of people who simply don’t like their own body.
There are even more people who don’t love their own body.

Stated in another way, there’s a huge amount of people who live in a constant inner conversation of body hate. Women are especially vulnerable to this, though I see it more and more amongst men.

When I say a constant inner conversation of body hate, I’m talking about incessant and silent self-criticism, self attack, self judgment, negative statements aimed at self, feelings of disgust for one’s own body, or body fat, or specific body parts, and so much more.

This is one of the most shocking and unfortunate mental pastimes that people engage in.

It crushes the soul.
It robs us of our power.
It drains our energy.
It has us wasting our time in over-exercising.
It has us wasting our time in foolish diet strategies.
It stops us from being more intimate with others.
It inhibits the flow of love.
It weakens us.
It slows our personal development.
It attracts to us the kind of relationships that often wound us.
And it’s a damaging legacy to pass on to our children.

Most people believe that they can heal their unfortunate image of their own body by simply changing their body. Sounds like it makes sense. Sounds like it would quickly take us out of our misery. It sounds completely reasonable. But quite frankly, I don’t see that working so well. Yes, there’s a small subset of people who lose weight and like themselves better. But the majority of people I meet don’t share that fate. It seldom works.

So here is the great body image challenge:

How do we love our bodies more?
What happens when we’ve been continuously unsuccessful in changing the body to look exactly the way we want?
Does that mean we’re screwed for life and we simply need to get used to a lifetime of self-hate?

But there’s more to the great body image challenge:

How can we learn to love our bodies more in a world where the media is bombarding us with impossible to attain images of airbrushed perfection?
How can we love the body we live in when all the images we see on television, in movies and magazines, show a world of happy slender Hollywood good-looking people – the likes of which will never ever be us?

This is the great body image challenge my friends, plain and simple.

I’m not offering a traditional solution here.
That’s because there is no quick fix solution.

This challenge in many ways, defies fixing.

But the good news here is that we can really see this challenge, frame it correctly, and look at it for what it is.

And what it is – is this:

Our minds have been hijacked.

The image we have of our own body has been poisoned and polluted by the stupidity, meanness, greed, and arrogance that exists in the world.

Your task is not to dramatically alter your body through surgery and exercise so you can be lovable and have the good life.

That’s the great body image challenge.

It’s about reclaiming our natural inborn love and acceptance of the body that we live in.

It’s about freeing our minds from the viral programming that the world has infected us with.

Think of your computer. How many times does it remind you that it needs to be virus resistant, that you need to purchase some program or some protection so our precious computer isn’t infected by malicious viruses that are designed to crash your machine, make it completely ineffective, and to corrupt all the good things that it contains?

Believe it or not, there are people in the world who spend a heck of a lot of their own time figuring out ways to create viruses that mess with your Mac or your PC. You know this.

What we fail to recognize, is that it’s the same kind of consciousness that is infecting our minds with the viral program called “ you will now hate your body. You will compare it to other bodies. In fact, you will compare it to the bodies that we want you to compare it to – which are the very bodies you will never attain. We will sell you things. We will make you buy our products. We will make you feel weak and insecure. And then we can influence you better to spend your money and your energy so it benefits the creator of the virus.”

I’d love for you to really consider this.

I’d love for you to think about how your mind may indeed be programmed.

This is the great body image challenge:

Not to change your body, but to begin to change your mind. To honestly look at where your thoughts come from.

Simply put, anything like a virus or bacteria which attacks the body is something that we would immediately treat with the most powerful drugs.

You would not hesitate to attack any organism that’s trying to bring you down or kill you. The field of medicine is very clear about this.

By the same token, I’m suggesting we need to take the same heroic measures when it comes to viral thoughts and beliefs. Your own mind is attacking you.

We need to change that.

That’s the great body image challenge.

Take on the challenge.

From there, the path to wholeness will begin to reveal itself.

I hope this was helpful my friends.

To learn more about us please go to

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 if you have specific questions and we will be sure to get back to you.

Again that is

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 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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  • Renee Daphne Kimball

    My first negative thought about my body was after I had a breast
    cut off leaving a horrific and VERY ugly scar. Since then however,
    I’ve absorbed the scar as a lesson of understanding and humility.
    After the operation, I gained over 65 lbs because of the drugs which
    I could never shed by any means for over a decade. It wasn’t that I
    had a negative thought but it was sooooo unhealthy looking and I
    felt so terrible all the time. Since I went Price-Pottenger
    (, I lost the weight, regained my health and now I’m
    really happy about my body and the fact it moves so well.
    I don’t even wear a prosthesis for the missing breast.

    • Hi Renee, Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story with our community. I’m so glad to hear that you are on a healthier, happier path! Warmly, Marc David

  • Lisa

    I’m in the process of working on this right now. Thank you for your thoughts on this. For me, I know it has helped to come at this with a spiritual aspect in mind. I believe that my body is a gift from God. I don’t always appreciate it enough, but I’m trying. I’ve made a commitment to consciously care for my body and do large, as well as small things that will help it to thrive and perform it’s best. When we take the time to care for something our love and concern for it grows – and as that happens, we want to care for it even more. It has started a cycle for me that brings me more joy and helps me to reach my goals and love myself more in the process. When my goal is to care for my body, rather than to lose weight, I find that I lose weight anyway but it becomes less important to me.

    • Hi Lisa, So glad to hear you enjoyed this video and thank you for sharing your insights with us. It sounds like you have truly seen and experienced that approaching your body with love, compassion, and kindness helps your body to function optimally. You have set some beautiful intentions for yourself and your body to treat it with the utmost respect! Warmly, Marc

  • Pingback: You can’t get there from here – Unless you get in and drive | Mind Body Nutrition Coaching()

  • REM

    I wish I had something more positive to say. I am someone who has a very negative body image. I do everything I can to hide it because of shame. I grew up physically beautiful and fit, but am very overweight now as a woman, and I have seen how differently I am treated as an overweight person. My first memory was when I first started gaining weight, someone wrote me an anonymous letter telling me how to eat healthy to lose weight; I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, REM. Body image issues can be tough to turn around, yet healing is definitely possible! We hope you will continue to be part of our community, as we provide lots of information on this issue and other issues related to body image. Take good care! Warmly, Marc

  • Marina Larva

    Hey Marc, you know? I wish you guys would have these videos subtitled in spanish, cause I feel they would also help a lot of my friends who are not english speakers. Thanks

    • Thanks so much for this suggestion, Marina. We may be able to do this in the future! 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.