If you’d like to learn more about the founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating – Marc David – then check out this brief and thoughtful biographical video from a self proclaimed introvert! Marc shares some words about his own personal journey and what inspired him to do his pioneering work in Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition. We think you’ll get to know him better, and you’ll come away with a good feel for who’s behind the breakthrough content taught at the Institute.
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, best selling author, nutrition and eating psychology expert, and primary teacher here at the Institute.
I’d like to share with you a little bit about me, and how I came to this work. I’m actually an introvert, but quite frankly, I’m learning that if you’re going to put yourself out there, then you indeed have to put yourself out there. I’m also a people person, and I love hearing people’s stories, so here are some of mine:
My earliest experience of life was dying. I was born intensely asthmatic with a compromised immune system that nearly killed me several times during infancy. As I grew older, things got better, and they got worse. I had some kind of undiagnosed automimmune condition that caused my knees to swell and created agonizing joint pain that I lived with daily. And my digestion was an awful mess. No doctors, drugs, antibiotics or vaccinations helped. (They might have been the problem) At the age of five I heard a rumor that fruits and veggies were good for you – this was back in the early 1960s when fruit loops, kool aid, marsmallow fluff, tv dinners, velveeta cheese, margarine and wonder bread were the considered good nutrition.
I turned it all around because I consciously changed my diet at a young age.
I’d heard a rumor that fruits and vegetable were good for you. By about the age of fourteen I was virtually symptom free, and was deeply moved by my own transformation. So I promptly became a nutrition fanatic, and I knew that nutrition and health would be my life’s work.
There was another big complication in my life. On top of my health issues, I was a very intense stutterer from the time I could first talk. I couldn’t say a single word without stuttering it about 5-10 times. Really. Back in those days, no one knew how to work with this. I fast discovered that kids can be pretty ruthless and make fun of you, so I decided that my best strategy would be to stop talking and just listen. I spent the first 13 years of my life quietly paying very close attention, speaking and stuttering only when necessary. The incredible bonus of all this that I never could have imagined was that I learned how to listen. I observed intently. I watched how people seldom really took one anther in. Out of a painful challenge, I developed a skill that would stay with me forever. Over the years, in my early teens, I pushed myself to take on any kind of public speaking opportunities that I could find. I reasoned that if I faced my worst fear – being humiliated and stuttering in front of a large number of people – I could somehow conquer my problem. It worked.
I eventually found myself in medical school, wanting to be a nutrition-oriented doctor back in the late 1970s. I was disappointed by the lack of what felt like a true health and healing education in the medical school world – so I left after my first year. My family wasn’t very happy.
I spent several years traveling around the country apprenticing with the best practitioners I could find who were using nutritional medicine and food to heal. I wanted to study eating psychology, but quickly discovered back in 1981 that there wasn’t any. I was baffled it didn’t exist. I located one clinic that worked with anorexia that would let me do an internship, but that was it. Eating psychology meant eating disorders. I wanted to focus on an eating psychology for everyone. I wanted to just pick up a book, take a course, or do any kind of training. Without any direct resources available to me, I wisely deduced that the next step was this: I needed to study as much psychology as I could, and then start learning on the job. I also decided that if the book I wanted to read didn’t exist – then I might as well write it myself as soon as I knew what I was talking about.
I earned my Masters degree in Psychology at Sonoma State University in California, and spent my time independently studying and developing an eating psychology everyone – we all have a unique and I believe very fascinating relationship with food, everyone eats, and so many people face the challenges of OE, binge eating, EE, Body image concerns, weight, chronic dieting, fear of food, and all kinds of health challenges that have an emotional or psychological component.
I moved back to New York in 1986, and began a clinical nutrition practice on Wall Street in NYC. I essentially had the amazing opportunity to experiment on highly motivated, highly educated, and highly stressed clients who were killing their bodies while making a killing in the stock market. I learned a lot.
I wrote my first book, Nourishing Wisdom in 1990.
I was a total unknown at the time, and Random House loved what I’d written and got behind me. That book has since been translated into 10 languages, it’s been a best seller, and has stayed in print for about 25 years, and is considered a classic and groundbreaking book.
I’ve worked for many years in the supplement industry in product development and formulation, consulted to some of the biggest food, vitamin, drug, and media companies on planet Earth – some of those companies don’t sell very healthy products, live and learn – I’ve logged thousands of client hours over 30 years, taught to every kind of audience you can imagine, used my own body as a laboratory – in short – I’ve covered as much turf as I could in the nutrition and health space.
My second book – the Slow Down Diet – is also a perennial best seller and considered a game changer in the field. About 9 years ago I had a traveling and teaching schedule that was too busy, I was a single dad, and wanted to stay put in one place and raise my son. I was also hearing an undeniable voice in my head telling me to start a teaching organization and put my work out there in a bigger way. (Have you ever had that happen to you – the improbable or even otherworldly voice-in-the-head-thing telling you to do something that you know you have to do, but you know it won’t be so easy?) I resisted as best I could, but the voice in my head won out.
So I started the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and it’s grown to be an educational company that I’m super proud of. It has a worldwide reach and features truly innovative and groundbreaking trainings for both professionals and the public that combine the psychology of eating with the science of nutrition.
I think what truly qualifies me to do this work is that I care in a deep way, I feel moved, called, it’s my mission in life, and the field of eating psychology and nutrition has given so much to me personally and professionally that I want to give back as best I can. I want to live a life where I wake up feeling good in the morning because I do good work in the world that makes a real difference.
I’m happy to say, mission accomplished.
I love seeing the magic that happens when someone’s health and energy returns because they found the right nutritional or emotional course corrections. I love when people see their symptoms or ailments finally resolve themselves, when their eating challenges relax in a big way, and when people become vibrant and inspired enough that their well nourished body now becomes a vehicle to live a life that’s meaningful, and where they leave the world a better place.
These days, I develop and teach all of our core programs here at the IPE, I write, I make videos like this one – I hope it was somewhat interesting – and I do my best to help lead the charge in a new movement that’s changing the way the world approaches food, body and health. It’s a positive, uplifting, honest and results driven approach that does it’s best to include all of who we are as eaters – body, mind heart and soul.
Thanks for listening…