Marc David’s classic piece, “The Eater’s Agreement,” originally appeared in the book Nourishing Wisdom in 1991. Since then, it has been used in countless college courses, community workshops, and coaching sessions, and has helped untold numbers of people come to a new, positive, empowered understanding of their relationship with food. Almost 25 years later, this “contract” still shines as an honest, straightforward, and compassionate testament to one of the few human relationships that lasts from before birth until we leave the planet for good. If you’re ready to take ownership of your lifelong identity as an eater, please join Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, as she shares this groundbreaking work in a heartfelt new video from #IPEtv!
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Do you know what it means to be an eater?
Do you know how deeply important food is, not just for our biology, but for psyche and soul?
Have you agreed to be an eater?
If not, then I would love to read you this piece by Marc David, Founder of IPE.
It truly impacted me, and I hope there is something in this that inspires you as well.
The Eater’s Agreement
I hereby agree, from this day forward, to fully participate in life on Earth. I agree to inhabit the appropriate vehicle for such participation – a body. As a requisite for the sustaining of that body, and of the life that dwells therein, I agree to be an eater. This agreement fully binds me for the duration of my stay on Earth.
As an eater, I agree to hunger. I agree to have a body that needs food. I agree to eat food. I recognize that as the biological need to eat is fulfilled with greater awareness and efficiency, the benefits of my well-being will increase. I further acknowledge that ignorance of the eating process may cause undesirable consequences.
Because the essence of my participation in life is one of learning and exploration, I agree to experience uncertainty as an eater. I recognize there are a great variety of foods to choose from, and I may not know which to eat. I may have a choice of different nutritional approaches, and not know which to follow. I may have an assortment of habits, and not know how to manage them. I recognize that my relationship with food is a learning process, and I will inevitably make mistakes. Therefore, as an eater, I agree to accept my humanness and learn as I go along.
I acknowledge that as the body changes from infancy to old age, so will the eating process change. I recognize that my body may call for different foods as the days, seasons, and years progress. My dietary needs will also shift in accord with changes in my life-style and environment. I understand that there is no one perfect diet.
As an eater, I accept pain. I recognize that I may suffer pain when the body is disturbed by my choice of food or eating habits. I may also experience pain when emotional and spiritual hungers are confused with physical hunger. I further understand that eating to cure a pain that cannot be remedied by eating may bring even more pain.
I further agree to accept a body that is imperfect and vulnerable, that naturally decays with the passage of time. I recognize there will be moments when I am incapable of caring for myself. I agree, then, that to live in a body is to need the help of others. I also agree to be vulnerable as an eater. I acknowledge that I will be helpless as an infant and will need to be fed. I may be equally helpless when I am old and unwell. I further recognize that even when I am fully capable, I may still need the warmth and care of someone who can feed me. Therefore, as an eater, I agree to be nourished by others.
If I have a woman’s body, I acknowledge that I have a special relationship with eating and nourishment. I recognize that as a giver of life, I am the nourisher of life as well. Whether through cooking or the milk of my body, I acknowledge that the union of food and love is a quality that marks my womanhood and has a profound effect on human kind.
As an eater, I acknowledge the domain of the sacred. I recognize that the act of eating may be ritualized and inspired. It may be given symbolic meanings that are religious or spiritual in nature. It may even be joyous.
I further agree that eating is an activity that joins me with all humanity. I recognize that to be an eater is to be accountable for the care of the Earth and its resources. I acknowledge that despite our differences, we are all ultimately nourished by the same source. As such, I agree to share.
I recognize that at its deepest level, eating is an affirmation of life. Each time I eat I agree somewhere inside to continue life on Earth. I acknowledge that this choice to eat is a fundamental act of love and nourishment, a true celebration of my existence. As a human being on Earth, I agree to be an eater. I choose life again and again and again . . .
I hope this was helpful.
To learn more about us please go to psychologyofeating.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions and we will be sure to get back to you.
Again that is psychologyofeating.com.
This is Emily Rosen, Chief Operating Officer for 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.