The Strange Mental Blank Spot

Sometimes we can see a break in our Bright Lines coming a mile away because we’ve been agonizing over the choice to eat off our plan, and sometimes a break catches us by surprise. Watch this week’s vlog to hear my thoughts on this perplexing topic.

Comments

  1. Trish

    Another superb explanation of Bright Line life – so, so helpful. I’m keeping my shields well-maintained., and sending love and endless gratitude to you Susan xxx Trish

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  2. Margaret Terris

    Thank you

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  3. Stefi

    Wow, this is one of my favorite vliogs , if not THE fav. Great explanarion- Thank you Susan🤗

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  4. Stefi

    P.S. that dresser/type neckline is fantastic on you 👌🤳🏽😍

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    1. Janet

      Totally cute, isn’t it?

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      1. Stefi

        Absolutely !!!

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  5. Amy

    Really appreciated this vlog. A fresh perspective and delivery for this long – time 12 steppper and former fellow in Boston – born, food addiction recovery program.
    Thank you, Susan, for offering a solution that is liveable, non shaming, and includes tools and strategies for getting back on track.

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  6. Jane

    This was a GREAT BLOG. This metaphor is extremely helpful. Yup, I’m a super Star Trek fan. 😉 Thanks for thinking this through and sharing your revelations with us. You are the best SPT. Plus, I love your dress!

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  7. Illaria

    SO very helpful and practical. Thank you, Susan.

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  8. Vee

    Excellent. A lot to chew on here. I want to keep this one in mind and review it again and again because I relate to all of it so well (unfortunately!)

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  9. Linda Wilkins

    Wonderful metaphor. thank you

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  10. Julie

    Lol! Very timely topic. I just experienced the mental blank spot on the weekend. I had my BLE breakfast, all was well. Then my visiting son, dil and I were chatting around the kitchen table. I unconsciously took an apple, sliced and ate it. Broke 2 lines right there. But I didn’t realize it until about two hours later as I was driving. I started to think about that apple and realized I had eaten it outside of my breakfast. Then I realized I had a banana with my breakfast. I was totally floored at this mental blank spot and not realizing it until hours later. Glad I know what to call it now.

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  11. Lauren

    Well done. Useful images.

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  12. Esme Boone

    Brilliant Vlog Susan, thank you so much! Another tool that has really helped me is one called Rational Recovery that uses Addictive Voice Recognition Technique. With this tool, I have been able to reboot after a rather long absence from doing BLE of about a year and a half in spite of being a Bright Lifer since I did the October 2015 Bootcamp. It helps to “keep the shield up”. It can be checked out on line–for alcohol and drug addiction but they have another one for food too called Taming the Feast Beast–it’s a book. It really goes well with BLE and has got me back on track.

    I just mention it here in case there are others out there who still just don’t know how to get back to the structure and security of the Bright Lines.

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    1. Susan Peirce Thompson

      I’m just discovering this set of tools through the book “Brain over Binge” and finding the perspective REALLY helpful. And very much in line with BLE and the neuroscience involved. I suspect there will be a vlog on it soon! Thanks for suggesting these resources, Esme. ❤️

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  13. Janet

    Even in AA, GOD can be “group of drunks” so anything besides you and your own brain works just fine for this purpose. So in this instance, I guess the “power greater than ourselves” is the program and the “posse.” It’s actually amazing how transferable the Big Book is to so many things. Nice vlog post.

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  14. Alex

    I have not joined or tried Bright Line Eating yet. I have listened to the majority of your weekly vlogs and each time, I am more and more impressed with your knowledge, compassion and wisdom. You really get it. I take away something meaningful that deeply resonates within me with each vlog. This one, in particular, blew me away. I am in the contemplative state of change. I worry that the investment of time will be all-consuming (no pun intended, but ironic choice of words). I am not religiously oriented so this vlog moved me one step further in my contemplative stage. I am a foodie. I love to cook, bake, eat. It is hard for me to imagine giving up some of the foods I love on a permanent basis. I am severely overweight and have knee problems. Given that I have two flights of steps in my condo, this is somewhat of a nightmare. I can only go up the steps using one leg to lead. No doctor will perform surgery until I lose 50 lbs. I am over 100 lbs overweight. I know that there are people who have lost hundreds of lbs and I am in awe of them, I was 10-14 lbs less than I am now a few months ago and was 41 lbs away from the surgery and was doing well losing weight just doing my own thing. Oh, BTW, one MD even told me that if I lose 50 lbs, because of all of the weight it takes off of the knees, that I might not even need surgery! Then a dear, close friend of mine of 20 years became very ill and still is not doing very well, but is doing somewhat better. I gained back most of my weight and was just sobbing each and every night over my friend’s illness. I realize my eating is not going to help him or me nor make him better. I hope to give your program a try because it sounds like it may be the only honest option out there for true food addicts. (I am a “perfect” [ha-ha] 10 on the susceptibility scale.) Thank you for sharing these vlogs with everyone. They do offer hope and peace of mind. Thank you, Susan.

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    1. Kate

      Hi Alex, I’m not religious but have been successfully following bright line eating for 40 days and I’m 20lb down already . I’ve got another 60 to go. One phrase that’s used is ‘one day at a time’ and it’s really helpful when you start out so stopping eating certain foods doesn’t become too overwhelming I started with the 14 day challenge and the support was so helpful . I wish you success on your bright line journey xx

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    2. Lisa

      Hi Alex, I did the bootcamp in April and lost so far nearly 100lbs and the wins over the losses exceed my wildest expectations. As a 10 I suffered from cravings badly and as I was free of them after several weeks of abstaining I cried from sheer joy because I did not know life could have that much ease and peace. I enjoy my food every day and feel satisfied. I have already avoided two surgeries and gained job opportunities. And one of the most maddening experiences? I spend less time with the programm and the food preparations then before!!

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  15. Susan Clow

    I honestly feel in many ways this was the most important and best video I’ve heard and I listen to all your great videos. Thank you much.

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  16. Bea

    Interesting. I lost 46 pound and could keep it that way but wasn’t able to say and measure my food. Defining quantity of fruits etc. Was in my system. I could only do it alone following my own rules. Even the first meal in the 14 day change diet not work. But I still kept saying I do my way of bright line eating. Why? Because the way I imagine the bright lines as like a luminous border between me and the not my food section has a very strong protecting effect. The word or better picture that I have of bright line eating plus the weekly blog are forming my shield.

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  17. Kristin

    Another great vlog, Susan! I like how you mentioned that if we’d been able to figure things out on our own, then we wouldn’t have needed Bright Line Eating. BLE is absolutely the solution for us food addicts. Thank you for sending us a lifeline! You’ve given us hope & a plan of action that works more effectively than anything else out there! I’m so grateful for your wisdom & compassion. It means more than you’ll ever know!

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  18. Kate

    Hi Alex, I’m not religious but have been successfully following bright line eating for 40 days and I’m 20lb down already . I’ve got another 60 to go. One phrase that’s used is ‘one day at a time’ and it’s really helpful when you start out so stopping eating certain foods doesn’t become too overwhelming I started with the 14 day challenge and the support was so helpful . I wish you success on your bright line journey xx

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  19. Denise Jones

    Thank you for the weekly vlog Susan. I love the idea of ‘shields’. It makes so much sense and puts the system of BLE into a framework of thinking and actions. I’ve been in the maintenance zone for a few months now and I’ve been so afraid that I would fall out of the system through decreased vigilance or over confidence. The idea of shields and keeping them powered up is very helpful to me at this stage. I can’t adequately express how grateful I am for BLE and how it has transformed my life.

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  20. Theresa

    Thank you Susan, Just came home from working a 12 hour day, first thought reward myself with my favorite snack! My shields 🛡 are up. What a great feeling over coming that thought.

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  21. Cornel Demonte

    Thank You – these “vlogs” are really inspiring and motivating – God Bless

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  22. James Young

    Great useful flexible metaphor – Star Trek shields – so good. Thank you. Other resonating takeaways – seek the lesson, evening routine. Automaticity can be magical – but it’s like riding a bike – Gyroscopic forces related to the spinning wheels make the bike “want” to stay vertical – how the heck am I balancing on these two wheels? – I’ve always been amazed. However, you do have to give the necessary attention and watchfulness. It’s easier than you imagine but not completely effortless. Sustaining that particular kind of mostly fun effort is the secret.

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  23. Jennifer

    Boy, I needed this today. I have been off my lines for a while, determined to get back in them as of today, November 1st. Thank you for help with the two self-sabotages. Once pointed out, they are pretty clear. So, here’s to repairing the shields and getting them back up. Oh, and love the dress!

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  24. Christine

    What about a brain injury? Concussion. I have had trouble remembering anything, let alone bright lines. (seen plenty of doctors )
    And measuring weighing food so overwhelming as numbers and time seem to have become excruciating. Also shopping (lights, decisions)
    Can that blank spot be caused by a head injury?

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  25. Susan Delia

    Absolutely excellent Vlog. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten NMF without thinking about it just pure habit and then after realized the break . Even if instantly after the first bite but still just grabbed and ate without thinking. The shield analogy is perfect. Thank you. I do have a hard time with the Higher Power. I love Bright Line Eating. I do not work the program as well as I need to to build my shields but I am trying, it is always on my mind. I will get there. Love you Susan, Thanks.

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  26. Helen Roberts S.

    My favorite vlog…..will watch many times for reinforcement re: those darn mental blank spots that just turn up without warning too often
    for comfort. Tuning up my “shields” will also be a big help. Love BLE and Susan most of all!

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  27. Heidi

    I love this! I’m such a Star Trek geek that this metaphor is perfect for me. My shields are currently damaged but I’m going to start throwing a lot more power toward them.

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  28. Diane Roderick

    One of your very best – from the heart , authentic, more than helpful

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  29. Maridadi

    Thank you so much Susan. You are inspiring.

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  30. Phyllis

    Boy, I needed this message. I’ve been mostly sharp with my bright lines for 95 days, but using few of the tools. I’ve had a vague sense that I need to build more into my program without being able to define the “why” for myself. This vlog helped me realize that adding to my arsenal of tools will help me resist the strange mental blank spot or insane thinking that is sure to crop up eventually. I have a very thin shield at the moment that may be easily damaged. I don’t have to wait for damage to occur in order to do something about it. I can deepen my defenses now. The main reason BLE has worked for me is the scientific and factual info Susan provides. This vlog gave me more of what. I’m so grateful for this message and for the question posed that generated it.

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  31. Leanne

    I have to chime in that this one of the very best vlogs you have done–and that is saying a lot. The shields analogy is extremely helpful. Thank you.

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  32. Nancy Goss

    Excellent — love the shields analogy!

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  33. Cathy

    So, so helpful. I’m doing the boot camp and have just started a week away with friends. Last night after driving all day kept to BLE at dinner but immediately felt very sad at not having the NMF and NMD like I usually do with these friends. It was the first time in 4 weeks of BC that I had felt and thought this way. After listening to the vlog …wow… it all made sense. I was very tired and stressed, still a shortt way into my journey of BLE. So it made sense and this vlog has reminded me of the tools I need. Thanks so much Susan.

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  34. Elizabeth

    Perfect timing. I experienced my first mental blank spot last week on Day 89. “What was that?” I asked myself. I didn’t see it coming and fortunately nothing was triggered, but I wondered, “Who was that who just did that?” Now I understand.

    In fact, on my nightly checklist, which I do in the morning because it works better for me, I’m changing, ” I TRUST myself to keep my Bright lines” to “Are your shields up?”

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  35. Margaret Rose

    Susan, this was probably the most important vlog for me of the last 16 months and has come at just the right time. Last year, in the UK, simply following the BLE book, I successfully lost all the weight gained since I had been on insulin. Mentally that was a huge goal for me, but I never intended to stop there. 2018 has been a different experience as I have struggled to stick to my bright lines while dealing with issues of Low Blood Sugar. I have got into bad habits of expecting to need ‘sugar’ and straying from the bright lines almost ‘without thinking’. I am still below the weight when I started insulin but I am finding it really hard to make further progress. Your vlog has given me lots to think about. I can understand the lady who wrote that she was afraid that the investment of time would be all consuming. I realise I have let some of the disciplines slip and need to ‘rezoom’ properly. After 14 years’ retirement I started working again recently and feel like my brain has been high jacked ! I shall watch your vlog again, noting all the pointers you mention and making sure I give myself time to act on them. Thank you so much . ( a buddy system in the UK would be amazing!)

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  36. Lisa

    Powerful vlog! Thank you, Susan.

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  37. Andrea

    I love the honesty Susan speaks with and how much it feels like she is right in my head. She helps so much by explaining what is going on in my head!
    Thanks.

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  38. Carmen Young

    Susan you are the light! 💕This weeks vlog was the truth. I’m so empowered to keep my sheilds up or at least in working order.

    P.S. I see you…Your hair at this length becomes you and those collarbones are inspiring ! Carmen xoxo

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  39. Cliff

    Margaret Rose I can’t help but wonder if you are Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic. I’m sure you know that a healthy diet can decrease your need for insulin and in some cases some have been able to completely stop insulin especially if there type 2. Treating diabetes with insulin can save your life if you really need it but as your body starts to produce insulin it can be a rocky road, It really helps to have a Good Naturopathic physician who understands the need to help you reduce insulin intake and get as much juice from your pancreas as possible.
    Having worked in allopathic medicine for 40 yrs I despise what some physicians do … just keep increasing the insulin to keep up with sugar intake. Low blood sugar can hurt your brain and make you very vulnerable. I hope you have a buddy or relative that can help. If you are Type 2 and I suspect you are a good Naturopathic doctor will get you off the insulin because it make your body crave, demand and require extra sugar.

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  40. Margaret Rose

    Thank you Cliff for your contribution to the discussion. I just got the latest HbA1c test result. Lowest ever!! I am Type 2 diagnosed 18 years ago. I think I am simply wanting to progress in all areas. BLE has certainly helped the weight loss and I have reduced the insulin. Yes, hoping that one day I will not need it, but as I learned from the I Thrive videos treatment is ‘by numbers’ here in the UK as in the US. Thank you for your advice. I will look into Naturopathy.

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  41. Summercat

    Susan I sure appreciate this vlog. As a recovering alcoholic of 30 years, the steps leading me to AA saved my life back then and the program and it’s and principles became firmly ingrained in my me. The ‘Higher Power ‘ concept is essential in helping us realize how powerless we really are. And it’s wonderful when you finally come to realize we don’t have to do it by ourselves! Though I no longer attend meetings regularly, I am forever grateful to the program for teaching me timely truths that will stay with me for the rest of my life!
    I liked your ‘shields ‘ analogy and hope it will benefit those who need it. You defined it well!
    Though I don’t do anything perfectly, when it comes to food-(or drinking-) all I have to do is look at the ‘big picture’—carrying it through to the end. And because of that envisioned hangover or weight gain—that is plenty to keep me on track! Been on that roller coaster too many times in my life and for me—just ain’t worth it!! Bright Line Eating came into my life at the perfect time. I am 10 weeks in on Monday and am down 21 lbs.~ and I am grateful!! Thanks so much Susan ~ May you ALL be blessed and successful as you travel your own Bright Line journey!

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  42. Sue Brink

    To my mind this is your very best vlog. “Shields up” will help throughout the day and empower me to know I have the total ability to follow through to my goals. thank you Susan

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  43. Ari Averett

    Fantastic vlog, especially for those of us who not only struggle with the god language, but actually feel it compromises our ability to believe in BLE, and of course for those of us who love all things Star Trek. I have used the shield concept in imagery work for a long time and to have you introduce it here is as a way of thinking of the source outside yourself and then to explain the maintenance of those shields with our BLE tools, so liberating. I just love this new vocabulary and will add it to my morning and evening reading routines. Our tools and routines are really the dilithium crystals for powering our shields. Shields up!

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  44. Bev

    I joined the 14 day challenge 11/12/18 have not received email on how to get started is there some problem the Vedio said would take 15 minutes what do I do paid for this and have had no response please please please help bev Qualls.😊

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  45. Judithyers

    I am only two months into the system and
    being a very slow loser, even when I am
    following the program exactly, I need
    some additional support and haven’t
    found anyone. I am old, but determined to
    experience the free, thin, and happy before
    I die.

    Reply ·
  46. Judith Myers

    I am only two months into the system and
    being a very slow loser, even when I am
    following the program exactly, I need
    some additional support and haven’t
    found anyone. I am old, but determined to
    experience the free, thin, and happy before
    I die.

    Reply ·
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