Not an Option

A Bright Line Eater recently raised a concern about how many food-related decisions she still has to make every day, even after writing her food down the night before. I don’t think she realized that her question actually raises one of the deepest philosophical debates in the addiction/recovery world. Watch this week’s vlog to hear my thoughts.

Comments

  1. Helen Spingola

    Not an Option!! Wow! Terrific! This is a keeper! Thanks so much Susan. This will get me through anything that comes up!! Whew!!

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  2. Nancy Sherrill

    Loved the weekly blog! Iam almost 2 yrs in to BLE and I found it helpful with my family if they would reframe their food question. Instead of ‘Do you want this NMF?’ They should say ‘Are you eating this NMF? It made it easier for me to stay bright. ❤️

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  3. Elena

    Fascinating. An explanation I didn’t know I needed. Thank you for a great vlog.

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  4. Cindy Rinaman Marsch

    I am grateful to have lived the “not an option” life for over two years now. I haven’t had a perfect record–in fact I had my first breaks in recent weeks. But even in those breaks I didn’t eat sugar or flour–just larger quantities of “legal” foods outside of meal time. A year ago I went through one of the most intensely traumatic seasons of my adult life, and eating off plan was never a possibility in my mind. I’m grateful for the automaticity I’ve built in this way of life–this new identity is saving me from myself. Thank you, Susan.

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  5. Kellie

    Thank You Susan – your explanation provided me with some great insights also called a AHA moment. This would be why smoking is never presented to me, it’s been 28 years it’s just not an option, I no longer identify myself as a smoker. Yet with food I find myself having a herd time to DECIDE!!! Which with your explanation explains why I am having such a difficult time. My brain continues to present lending into my haggler, imy saboteur. I like this breakdown going forward – much appreciation.

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  6. Peggy Mowry

    Dear Susan, you’ve hit the nail on the head again. What you said. It is as true for me as the day is long. You’ve provided the answer as to why I don’t struggle as many others do. I’ve wondered, and struggled, with this fact. I wasn’t able to explain it before today… other than to call myself lucky. Again, your thoughtfulness provided through an undeniable scientific filter has provided a deeper understanding of our BLE journey. Thank you (x7).

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  7. Lisa Sikkenga

    I second that Wow! This really spoke to me – the acknowledgment of just how susceptible I am has been (slowly!) sinking in, and I realize that the concept of “sometimes” still floating out there is a major factor for me. “Not an option” will be my mantra from here on out! Listen up brain, I mean it!

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  8. Kim Girard

    Thank you Susan, I have been following you for almost 5 years and that was one of your best talks thank you very much I really needed to hear that

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  9. John Anthony Charles

    I am one that started out having (99% nearly) perfect Bright Lines from amid Sep to mid Jan , then my brain got hijacked on IV opioids in the hospital and it was like I had been abducted & shot up with heroin. I didn’t want more opioids, but whamo, did I ever want sweet fruits, date sugar, handfuls of nuts. It has taken me the last 2 months with daily help of my SPONSOR (indispensable!) to clim back up to this level of peace around my food, and the resolve that comes with being a member of what Dr. Joy calls the “No Matter What Club.” Maybe now I will see my weight start releasing again from a 2 month long stall. I have 30 lbs to go to reach BMI 123 and a goal weight of 155 at 5 ft 10,

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Proud of you for pushing through, John! You’re doing the work! <3

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  10. Midge

    I feel if I am making lists of what I am going to eat, I am constantly thinking about food. Is it already made, do I need to pre prepare it. If it is in the frig, for another meal, it is a constant struggle not to go for it. To make something to eat when I am hungry, and have it within my line of eating I find easier and less conflicting than listing what to cook or eat. Thank you

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  11. Justyna

    Amazing insights. As a compulsive eater I think I got “lazy”. One of my triggers is dieting and changing my food. For the longest time my only goal was to not gain weight. I was diabetic and I wanted sanity. It happened. And then through spark people, which lead me to something like bright line eating, I slowly wiggled down 64 pounds. I was thrilled. My food dragon, my reward driven brain, was calm. But there came a day when I was not happy with that plateau weight and I was gifted a new food plan that worked. I started losing weight… but then my “food dragon” was woken up. On one hand I was thrilled because I love love love what I have found but… I would sabotage my successes with old eating behaviours because some people could… and I think my mind latched onto that thought. Some people can eat flour and sugar. Not me. I binged. . I actually gained back the 10 pounds I had lost since starting this new way of eating. On the day that I was pulling my hair out in frustration I found your bright eating secrets Susan. I was in OA and recognized right away the truth in what you were saying. It was like being able to breath. Thank you. I am a sugar and flour addict. Somehow with the trigger those foods came back in and when I found a quiet place in my brain I was able to see that about myself. Bright line eating, yes. So since that date (about 2 weeks ago) I have been able to go back to the food plan that I know works for me. (IF and LCHF) and it is working. But it is working only because of your insights. This blog today just cemented that for me. My fasting blood sugars this week have been 5.7’s and 5.1. That is not diabetic! After 30 years, and I was on insulin twice a day for a while, and then glumetza or metformin, I am finally off all my meds. ALL of them including for blood pressure and cholesterol. I know it has been a journey getting to where I am supposed to be, but honestly if I had not found your site I fear I might have gaining it ALL back and more. I’m in onederland. Good sugars. And in my mind I have created bright lines to eat by. Thank you thank you. Justyna in Ottawa Canada

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  12. Lavina Blank

    You did it again! Thanks for insight.
    You look so good with your longer hair! Very feminine.

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  13. Stephany

    Super vlog Susan ! Thanks so much 😃 I always knew my brain knew when I was serious & you just confirmed it!!

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  14. Kristen

    Wow! This vlog made an impression. I am a 10 on the susceptibility scale. I’ve been watching your Vlog for a few years now, bought your book when it first came out and read most of it. I seriously considered making the change. I showed it to my husband (who is maybe a 1 on the scale) he doesn’t buy into much and doesn’t get it. To him it’s just a choice, a decision. Easy. I froze. I was afraid to begin and fail.
    I am an Army wife of almost 20 years, who lives in Germany where wine and bread is amazing, and in the winter the sun never shines! Where most of our socializing revolves around European travel and food. We move every 2-3 years. When I began watching you we lived in the US and my husband was in Afghanistan for 1 year for the 3rd time. He came home, we moved our 2 teenagers and dog across the ocean, and now, 2 year later, it’s time to move back. Stress, anxiety, fear, weight loss, weight gain. Can I give up my 1 or 2 glasses of Pinot Grigio who have been my friend for ages? Do I have the strength you spoke of to begin? That deep down in my pit strength that I gladly give to my kids when we take our kids away from their friends, find the right new home in the right school district. Getting them and him settled. Finally, comes me. Friends? Maybe at this point, but they aren’t necessary. I have my core spread around the globe. The thought of going on a another blind date with women makes my skin crawl. Then to find a new job. I’m tired. To my bones tired. But, I want to be thin free and happy! I want it for me and for my family. I want to set the right example for my children. What it I finally decide, really decide, and they aren’t with me? Is it crazy to mourn? I guess there is never the right time, there is only “the” time… right? Please forgive my stream of consciousness. This is the first time I put this thoughts to words. I better hit send to put my words into the world before I change my mind. Thank you Susan.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      So glad you hit send, Kristen! We can understand the struggle and confusion and fatigue you are feeling. We’re here for you. <3

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      1. susan

        I love that a relative told me about BLE. I love that, for me, “that is not an option” mentality has worked for me. I know that when I consider making an exception, the exceptions occur more and more and then I am right back where I do not want to be. The biggest thing that was helpful for me was not eating between meals. I also do not eat meat or dairy and have come to really LOVE my veggies, fruit, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. My ‘dessert’ today for lunch was an orange and it was a perfect ending to a huge plate of raw and cooked veggies.
        I also found that my cravings have gone away and my inflammation (osteoarthritis is my thumb joints) is almost non-existent.
        I wish you all the luck in the world, Kristen. You have so a demanding life and it may seem daunting to add another challenge. If you can muster up the desire to commit, I think you will be glad you did.

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    2. Kima

      Kristen, I´m moved by your comment. I totally feel you girl, how difficult it should be following BLE in such a situation. We have a great BLE support group of Europe based women. Send me any way of contact if you want to join us. A big hug.

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    3. Lorelei

      Kristen
      We were all lost and scared in the beginning. Try the 14-day challenge. See what happens. Then decide.

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  15. sharon sielschott

    Yep. The brain knows when we’re serious. Love the quote, “stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it”. Day 185 of being a crystal vaser!

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      “Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it”. Those are some powerful words!

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  16. Geni

    Such a great vlog – one of the best ever. Totally agree! Love love love. 💕 Thank you dear Susan.

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  17. Shelley Hess

    Just. Sooo. Real.

    Can’t begin to adequately express my gratitude for the truths revealed and shared by and through your journey, Susan.

    Dieting and wrestling a 10 on the susceptibility scale since my teens, though others didn’t often know it because I wasn’t always noticeably overweight. I will be 63 this month. First heard about food addiction 3 years ago, then on this journey saw your three ‘intro’ videos last September and my husband David and Iopted in to Boot camp immediately, beginning October 15, I haven’t looked back. I WILL say, in my economy, that’s by God’s grace.

    The freedom “in my skin” I have enjoyed now for easily two months is indescribable. Standing on scales hasn’t been a good option for me this far, so I haven’t. Oddly, my husband weighing in and seeing steady loss, I’ve been able to claim as mine, too! Figure that one.

    He’s been on maintenance over two months. It remains my near goal, maybe 10 lbs to go, and I allow time and awesome experience with this newfound freedom to continue the rewiring.

    This vlog today takes us to the next level of understanding, as I remain vigilant and less often tempted, and David still struggles with temptations. We committed and gave each other permission from the start to be accountability partners, whatever it takes to be that in any given moment.

    Yes, our journey is very much individual. THANKS for clarifying!!!

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  18. Claire

    I just read a study on the heroin addicts that came back from Vietnam-and despite dire predictions-that a huge percentage that they would be continuing to be hopelessly addicted-something like 80 or 90% of them went “cold turkey” upon their return because their environment and social structure changed-unheard of method today!-most of them remain “clean” to their deaths or old age. Fascinating huh?

    One of the problems with our environment now-is that people who are “addicted”-no matter what the substance-return-even from a rigorous and successful rehabilitation to their “addicted self” environment, social structure, job, options…with food of course-it is a matter of what and how much to continue to live-but the less healthy options and portions fly in our face every minute of every day…as we all know.

    You have touched on the fact that sometimes people have to “shed friends” as well as pounds….but sometimes moving, changing jobs or spouses and family is not an option…so perhaps some good “dis-tracking” brain exercises are what people need to focus on…such as-instead of going to the break room-make sure you have whatever you need at your work station or locker…and if possible-encourage yourself to go outside or walk around the building-do a few flights of stairs….I believe it is called “mini-habit” building.

    Instead of “going out with friends to eat/drink…ask them if they will meet you for an amble date-or a “do a project” date…?? Food can be included-but you CAN guide that…real friends will be supportive.
    Families-whew-that can be a real trigger-but relationships are important-and health is part of that…My husband is very low on the susceptibility scale AND-he can eat ANYTHING and stay very thin. I gave him a section of the “pantry” that I don’t even look at, and he tries hard not to eat it in front of me. I also tongue in cheek verbalize, out loud and as juvenile like as possible!…”I Dream of…chocolate cake-or ????” and then we laugh and go on. I’m like Justyna above-If I even whisper “diet” or NO!…then I’m off on a jag of “will I-won’t I?”…

    These “dis-tracking” or reality check verbalization’s seem to help me. I haven’t got the courage to try to do a very disciplined format of OA or BL-but I really glean good information from both and appreciate the knowledge I have been exposed to as well as the joy in watching you and others try to be the best people on all fronts. Kudos to you for your work and your joy in your work.

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  19. Celene gohsman

    Flour is not an option…as I am celiac….so there is no yes or no…no willpower involved. Sugar is not an option as I was bordeline diabetic 20 years ago so it was necessary to say “no” and zero whavering. Now…..stevia. I have to work to say no, as I have not seen the studies that shows it firers up the brain the way artificial sweetners do. At this time Im not going to give in as I dont want my brain to start clamoring for it if it is addictive for me. So you are so right about training the brain, that no means no. Give in once, and your struggle nxt time is two fold.

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  20. Carole B

    I’m so GRATEFUL to have gotten to the not an option point. I was just on an airplane and a meal was served. The two items of NMF weren’t an option. I did need to eat the salad in my bag!

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  21. Charlene Crawford

    Oh. I so needed this today. Thank you!!!

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  22. Linda

    How did you know that I needed exactly this today? You are a mind reader Susan! LOL.
    I am working maintenance after 520 days on BLE and the least little taste of S sets me off again!
    Back I go to bright lines and the craving goes away again. When will I admit to being a Sugar addict?
    Thanks so much for this vlog. I love all of them, but this spoke to me so clearly!

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  23. Marc

    Thank you, Susan! This is by far the most useful and valuable vlog I have EVER seen from you. I have been on the BLE path since Oct. 2015 and I have prolly never missed a vlog. The information you presented here inspires me to surrender AND attempt to eliminate ALL the minor exceptions that have crept up on me over time and that I pretend I am ok with. I think my continual indulgence in my standard exceptions may be the final roadblock to peace and freedom around food.

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  24. Madeline Caporale

    I think too there are other points that may influence the options that we respond to, at least in my experience. One is that the individual has done the inner work to understand and heal the underlying issues that have led them to comfort with food. For many , this involves having done the recovery from past trauma(s) often through a combination of 12 Step programs and therapy. Through both coming to terms with past events and learning healthier emotional coping skills one can reduce and/or eliminate the use of food for comfort. The other, is to let go of the identification of addict in the present. There is a difference between claiming the identity of ‘addict’ and being in recovery as opposed to being healed and having addictive behavior traits that one has indulged in in the past. While it may be true that the traits may never leave us we can change our behavior and our identity.

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  25. Maureen Murphy

    OK. This is good. Just what I needed to hear.

    I was allowing exceptions when I get stressed, when I go out to dinner with others, when I get invited to dinner with others, at the first of the month when my office celebrates birthdays. God, it is stressful being a food addict. I do remember a five year period when I was eating a macrobiotic diet when I was never tempted.

    Soooo – at least I know the cravings will stop. I used to smoke and now many years smoke-free, it never enters my mind, in fact, I find the smell of smoke on people repellent. There’s hope.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      There IS hope, Maureen! You’re right about that. Your smoking experience is a PERFECT example of that! Hang in there, friend!

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  26. Karen Sandstrom

    Wow. This is EVERYTHING. Like, seriously, the answer to the question I couldn’t quite even articulate for myself. Thank you.

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  27. Janey

    What a TERRIFIC vlog! TY

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  28. Marion Miller

    Not following this thread but interesting – I found losing weight very seductive. I could have kept going and even now am having to watch that I don’t go below goal weight. Very different from a life time of always watching my weight to make sure it did not go up – now I am watching it to make sure it does not go down.
    Balancing maintenance is the issue.

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  29. Tracy

    You said so many things that answered so many questions for me. I have two good friends I’m doing BLE with. I’ve been staunchly black and white with my lines since i started (just 5 weeks ago). I was wrestling with how to navigate conversations we have together when they are struggling with their lines (sometimes not even noticing that they’ve slipped because they diffuse it so quickly in their mind). Both have been doing the program months longer than me, and I had this assumption that they would already be ahead of me in the over all game plan. I get it now that their battle is in retraining their minds, and perhaps I’ll hit that issue when I get deeper in to my journey. I hope not, I hope to always have bright lines and not give myself the mental clutter that comes with bending, fudging, and excusing the lines. But now, thanks to this Vlog, have a more grace for them and their journey, so thank you for that. I’ve said good bye to 10 lbs, 3 inches from my waist and 2.5 inches from my hips and almost an inch and half from my chest. That’s some great motivation to keep my lines super bright.

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  30. Kelley Allen

    I’m only in week two of BLE, but this vlog tang true for me. My choice was made when I decided live my life a new and different way. I feel so free from making those choices. Knowing what I’m going to eat every day has been SO freeing. There are no options outside of BLE!

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  31. Mary

    Unhappy – wrong foods for YOU as addictive qualities. Tough to accept!
    Slave – Mind demanding, craving more of the addictive foods
    Fat – as a consequence!

    Free – Addictive Foods, NOT an Option. FULL STOP.
    Happy – Mind ( in time) no longer causes any agitation. Peace.
    Body – Happy too.
    Thin – as a consequence!

    Simple – but not easy. BUT, so worth the the initial
    Agitation of Re-training the mind and accepting, ‘Not an Option’.
    The body doesn’t want the sugar and flour.
    The mind when functioning as it was designed to – doesn’t want addictive sugar and flour.
    ‘Not an Option’ Will set mind free.
    Mind is Free.
    Body is Happy.
    Body is Thin as a consequence.
    Bright Line Eating 😀😄😊
    Happy, Thin and Free💞

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  32. Pal-pip-we

    I am so happy, loosing weight rapidly, and free, because I know in my bones that it’s NOT AN OPTION in regards to crossing my 5 bright lines (all dairy is addictive for me also). I know this 100% and have peace with food for the first time in my life for two main reasons:

    1) I am 60 years old and I started overeating before I was 4. It has been a long hard struggle and I’ve done a ton of research about my powerlessness…. and I have negotiated endlessly with myself and my binge foods. After 57 years, I’m sorta at that point that they call “sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
    But if I am honest I would have to say that I probably felt that way at least 100 times in my 20s and 30s and 40s and 50s also! So enter reason #2.

    2) I found Susan Peirce Thompson’s book! She describes the brain science of food addiction in a way that I’ve never seen anywhere else and with total clarity.
    THIS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR ME. For the first time I truly understand that I am a food addict and that flours and sugars and dairy are my drugs of choice. Because I’ve been around a lot of recovering addicts and alcoholics I know that I need to put down my drug of choice to have the life I want!!

    So I did. Today I’m 13 days clean.

    My experience reminds me of this alcoholic’s experience written about in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

    “Today I feel I have used up my right to chemical peace of mind.

    It helped me a great deal to become convinced that alcoholism was a disease, not a moral issue; that I had been drinking as the result of a compulsion, even though I had not been aware of the compulsion at the time; and that sobriety was not a matter of willpower.

    I was finally able to say, “Okay, God. It IS true that I — of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn’t give my permission — really, really am an alcoholic of sorts. And it’s all right with me. Now, what am I going to do about it? When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink”.

    THANK YOU SUSAN PEIRCE THOMPSON

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      We’re so glad you found us! Congrats on your first 13 days too! Your thoughts about compulsion vs. a moral issue are spot on! <3

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  33. Tammy

    Great Vlog. I don’t usually comment on these, but this one was point blank spot on. Bullseye. Needed to hear it. I keep thinking (hoping) there is a way to live a life where I can have lots of choices and eat in “moderation”, but this just doesn’t work for me. It has to be black or white… no in between… And I think a blunt reminder is good to hear! Thanks for taking the time to put this one out.

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  34. Lu Gala

    This made me cry. I am pushing boundaries right now due to lots of stress and anxiety. This blog was just what I needed to hear. Thank you, Susan. I have a new plan moving forward to keeping my bright lines clean!

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  35. Victoria Sublette

    Great video, but it has left me with a question. I understand the concept of not having a certain food for so long, it isn’t even on your mental list of options anymore (I haven’t eaten meat in 35 years; I don’t even see it anymore).

    So if this is true, how did you go for years not seeing the NMF type of foods and then go off of your bright lines? How did the invisible become visible for you?

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    1. Carol

      I wondered the same thing, Victoria. Awaiting her reply!

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    2. Susan Peirce Thompson, PhD

      Great question, Victoria!
      I’ve had long stretches of Bright Lines followed by relapse a few times. Here’s how it’s happened:
      1. After my first six months, my Hashimotos thyroid disease was running rampant untreated, and a cascade of hormonal imbalances (DHEA and other adrenal hormones, etc.) ensued. I had food freedom for a few months, but by months 5 and 6 I was obsessing about food regularly. Finally I binged. Gained all my weight back. Three months later got back on track. Stayed that way for 8 years without a break.
      2. After those 8 years, I convinced myself I might really be cured and I did a thorough “competent eating” experiment. Very similar approach to intuitive eating or mindful eating. So, that time, I ate deliberately, thinking I could control it. Within a month I knew it wasn’t working and about six weeks later I was back to Bright Lines, very relieved. My lines stayed bright, without a break, for 2-3 years after that.
      3. In those 2-3 years I started the Bright Line Eating email list and left the 12-step food program I’d been in. The stress of the first year of Bright Line Eating was intense, especially considering that I was still a full-time college professor and my kids were 5, 5, and 2 years old. But my lines stayed bright for about a year. At that point, largely due to stress and the fact that I wasn’t yet leaning into the Bright Line Eating community to get my OWN support, I slid down a slippery slope which started at first by eating a little more of Bright Line foods at a baby shower. More small breaks ensued, and in the next year or so I did pick up sugar and flour at some point. It was a very, very gradual thing. For 3 years and 3 months I had 95% bright days and some days that were really not bright. During those months food was most definitely an option. Now I’m back in the zone where MOST of the time, food is not an option. My brain advances the thought of eating if (1) my support has slipped (2) my habits have slipped or (3) I have recently done anything wonky with my food.
      So…it can happen in many ways. Those are some of them. Hope that helps.

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      1. Victoria

        Thank you, Susan, for your thoughtful reply. So it seems that when your life is chaotic or unbalanced, then the visible become visible; the NMF choices become options.

        We can’t keep life on an even keel all of the time, and there are so many forces out of our control, so I suppose we have to prepare for those challenges in advance.

        Perhaps just have a quick recovery plan in place.-?

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  36. Natalie Barnes

    Holy guacamole! Yes, I can see there is light at the end of this food tunnel. Now to just keep going until I get there.

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  37. Nancy

    Perfect timing for this topic! I really needed to hear this. Alcohol and cigarettes are no longer presented as an option for me but food has taken their place. I understand now that it comes down to me to decide that eating off plan causes enough harm that I’m just not willing to flirt with the idea. After two years of BLE, with some flirtation with the idea that I can handle treating myself from time to time, it’s obvious that I can not without harming myself. Thank you!

    Susan, I was wondering if you had any ideas to share in regards to how to cope with menstrual cycles and increased cravings. I often have increased intensity during PMS and find this is when I sometimes crack and eat off plan. Although, I think you’ve addressed that question here when you talk about times of increased stress. I don’t entertain getting a bottle of wine and cigarettes anymore when I’m PMSing. Clearly I have to fully remove sugar and flour from my options in order to have more peace of mind.

    Thanks so much for this gem. Sending lots of love from Canada ♥️

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Nancy! Love your thoughts in that first paragraph! ♥️

      Many people report a reduction in pre-menstrual symptoms once they are eating whole, unprocessed foods. Once sugar and flour are eliminated, many women are delighted to discover they no longer experience PMS to the degree they used to. It sounds like this hasn’t been your experience though, so if your PMS symptoms have increased, and it seems to be a pattern, you may want to consult with your OB/GYN.

      Susan does recommend that In order to handle the heightened food cravings that often accompany PMS, you make sure to avail yourself of extra support. Post more frequently in the Online Support Community, rest more often, and keep your food squeaky clean.

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  38. Theresa

    SURRENDER… that was the key word… a word that is deep and certainly not easy. Another amazing VLOG…SPT… Thank YOU!

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  39. Deb Maccabee

    This could be the most helpful vlog ever! Lately I’ve noticed a critical decrease in my peace around food. Your perspective and wise counsel is much appreciated. Blessings dear Susan.

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  40. Kristine

    Thank you, Susan! No exceptions! That works for me and also in the beginning,
    when I “wore my bunny slippers”. Thank you for this tool of
    No Exceptions. It works 😊

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  41. Kathy

    This vlog resonates with me. Entertaining exceptions has lead to months of struggling while doing Reboot Rezoom. One more reminder to just eat what I plan !
    As I was listening , a book cake to mind that exemplifies this- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I loved reading the book to my girls and now see it’s a picture of my brain when I’m not following the plan. 😊
    Thanks for the right vlog at the right time for so many of us.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      If you Give a Mouse a Cookie! (Such a fun book!) But, it IS a perfect example of how we end up playing games with ourselves of deviations, justifications, and exceptions. It’s a slippery slope.

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  42. Gina

    So well said.

    I’m one of those people who have had an easy time from the beginning. I’ve been amazed at how my mind just immediately turned off the option to eat NMF. I believe the reason is that I’m an extremely black and white thinker by nature. (Don’t judge me because of that, Susan. I can’t help it ;)) It’s not that I have an abundance of self-control, because I don’t. But when SPT says “I don’t eat that anymore” and other such black and white statements, my brain just falls right in line. Of course, the black and white aspects of other programs have never swayed me. But this eating plan makes sense from a scientific perspective. It’s worth submitting to. (Faith is much the same way. I think God creates our brains to respond in this way when we submit.)

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  43. Sarah Thimmesch

    This one is definitely a keeper, again it reinforces bright line eating is the way. Thank you thank you thank you so much, I will keep working on it for as long as I am around.
    Once again you look gorgeous and you must tell us what you do to have such a beautiful complexion.

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  44. Martha Wilborn

    For me, it’s been important to say “I don’t eat that” or “I don’t eat between meals” instead of “I can’t eat that”. I say it out loud.-like a positive affirmation-with confidence because I’m training my brain with positive messages. So it feels like a gift I give myself rather than a punishment. I try to remember to smile too as I say it. My susceptibility score is 9. I just completed my 7th week of BLE and still holding the lines. “Not an Option” let’s you walk right by the sample tables at Costco. That’s a pretty big win.

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  45. Deb Paine

    Excellent info. Thank you, Susan.

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  46. Anita

    I recently had an interesting experience regarding options. I was going to go out with friends for a drink and while walking to the bar and considering what exception I could make this time something surprising happened. Somehow it occurred to me that having a nice cup of tea, not breaking my lines and continuing to feel great after this event was an option too! It sounds funny, but it kind of struck me as a new idea. Instead of saying no to temptation, I suddenly had the BLE option to say yes to. I don’t know if it makes sense to you guys, but to me this moment just felt so good! And I excepted the option to stay happy, thin and free and had my tea 🙂
    Thank you, Susan, for everything you do!
    Sending my love to everyone!

    Reply ·
    1. Anita

      * accepted the option 🙂

      Reply ·
  47. Leslie

    Loved this Vlog! People ask me how I was able to switch things so easily and quickly. I am 53 days in and haven’t broken a line yet. And I wont. To me it feels the same as it did when I quit smoking. I just DON’T want to do it more than I DO want to. The balance shifts. Susan said it perfectly. My brain knows I am serious. I honestly dont even think of breaking lines as an option. I have struggled for so long . I refuse to struggle this time. I dont allow thoughts of deprivation or lack or FOMO ( fear of missing out) creep in. Instead I celebrate the choices I do have through a lens of self love and self care.

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  48. Lauren

    I just re-watched the SPT boot camp video about the recovering alcoholic at 12-step meetings who always said, “I won’t drink today, but I might drink tomorrow.” And since we never live in tomorrow, but only today, he kept on ‘not drinking’ today. That thinking helps me tremendously. So, I can tell myself ‘that’s not an option today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.’ That works. Thanks for the video. Good insights.

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  49. Gigi

    Totally, completely, 100% agree!!! I truly believe that is the reason my previous attempts failed. That allowable treat was always my downfall. Thank you for crafting a program that recognizes and supports that this is just not an option. Bravo!!!

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  50. Mary H

    I read an article in The Atlantic by Joe Pinsker March 7, 2019
    People who eat the same meal every day.
    My take-away from this is… Knowing what I will eat –
    Keeps my life simple. Simplify my diet.
    Save my will power for more important matters.
    This confirms what SPT is telling me … Will power is a
    muscle = Gets tired more I use it.
    Keep will power strong —limit its use. One less decision
    I make when I have a food routine and my mind learns and
    knows I only eat certain foods. Routine helps me feel stable
    and secure. I keep my will power for life decisions not for food.
    Thank you for listening to my share.

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  51. Jennifer

    I like the concept of Not an Option and I believe I have attained that with other substances so it gives me hope with food. At this point in my BLE journey I feel like I’m on a pink cloud . I’m just so grateful to have found something that works! But I wonder – Does anyone else worry about the danger of complacency?

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  52. Nancy

    Please consider talking about the gut microbiome. If the gut is fed right, the bacteria in it stop so many of these compulsive behaviors around food. There is a direct gut brain connection. Putting fermented foods into your body each day—maybe only 2 Tablespoons full—will greatly help a person to be able to choose and desire the best food for its body. I would really love to hear you discuss this one day in a vlog.

    Reply ·
  53. Jackie

    Waiting for my brain to kick it. I haven’t gone cold turkey sugar yet but just about, but I have on flour its been 5 days and my body joints feel better already. Im going to begin the 14 day challege i signed up for soon. I know this way of eating works i had lost over 80 lbs following a similar plan but gained it all back once i invited sugar n flour back, but its a new day. Thank you for your vlog.

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  54. Tasha Nesbitt

    Great points! Exactly my experience too. Thank you for sharing!! And I’m loving your video look and color wall!!

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  55. Sarah

    This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I feel like I have reached that point where Flour and Sugar are not an option for me and I am okay with that. I have been exploring alternatives but that is something I know I can work out for myself. I either can have it or I can’t. Where I have been struggling lately is with my protein. I weigh everything out, but I found I have been letting myself have an extra handful of almonds… an extra cheese stick… another bite (whatever the protein happens to be.) It’s not flour or sugar, so I’m not as worried, but here’s the issue. I struggle a lot with anxiety depression and I know the extra protein is helping with that, but I stopped losing weight and I am not yet at my goal weight…which adds to my anxiety. Should I be content with where I am at? I know I am at the healthiest I have ever been. I am about 10 pounds lighter than I was when I met my husband. I just don’t like the idea of not reaching my goal especially when I am so close. I’ve lost about 125 pounds (30 of those are after I found bright line eating) and I would like to lose another 10 to 20 pounds to be closer to the “ideal weight” for my height. What are your thoughts?

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  56. Rev. Elizabeth Teal

    I have been vegetarian for years, animals of the land and sky are simply not an option for me as part of a series of vows i took. I do not crave them, i do not even think of eating them, although i prepare and feed them to my cats and dogs. I am over a year in BLE, over 100 pounds released and have not consciously had sugar or flour in that time – (in restaurants i have learned to be much more careful! but it did not cause me to go off the rails)…. looking at sugar thru the lens of a drug that is destroying our selves and our environment has helped and i have no cravings at all….but while i have not craved NMF i still have not fully committed to the idea of no flour, even though i have not had any in 15 month, i realized i was holding it out as an option for when i reach my best weight ( no idea what that is!) foolishness! thank you for clarity on this!

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  57. Rosalind Ackeret

    Ok crying ! Happy happy inside! This THIS needed right now. So tired of Choices. Had been making exceptions since I started maintenance but I’m done. Done. I’m back to no exceptions. I can tell my brain knows it too. Haha.
    I feel free again.
    Girl Scout cookies- NMF
    Pizza-yuck
    Work snacks- no way
    Thank you Susan! I needed this sooo much.
    #grateful

    Reply ·
  58. Rachel

    I’m getting ready to start the 14 Day Challenge and have been dealing with this very question. I am flying to be with son and family out of state for a week. Should I start after the trip or start now? The family eats well but there is good whole wheat bread my daughter in law makes. My quandary is exactly what you have presented. Can I fudge on BLE while I’m gone or can I do it no matter where I am. ‘Big Sigh!’ I really needed to hear that outside bright lines I need to say to myself it’s not an option. Health wise, my doctor called me this week and said that according to my blood tests I need to lose weight. I need to have the mind set of telling myself it is not an option to consider when I am tempted.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Rachel! Welcome! One thing to keep in mind is that there is always going to be something: a birthday, a vacation, a wedding, a family function, or some other special occasion. Consider if you’re using your trip as a reason to delay or if it really would be best for you to have your Day 1 upon returning home. Do what works best for you! Enjoy your trip and all the best to you! <3

      Reply ·
  59. Donna bemont

    This one hit home! Deep commitment- need to hush that brain that acts like a 5 year old who wants a snack… thank you for this vlog. 🌟🌺🌟

    Reply ·
  60. Heather Hudson

    Thank you as always Susan. This really helped me. I really needed to hear this. I just don’t know if I can do it. I’m feeling like I just have too much on my plate and I don’t even know how to get back on the horse right now. I’m scared that I’ll feel like a failure at the end of the line if I don’t really commit to this program….. yet I keep getting derailed.
    Thank you as always. You are a light in the tunnel. I so appreciate you.

    Reply ·
  61. Anne Marie

    I think you’re right! Very well-said and -supported.

    Reply ·
  62. Sharon

    Great information again, thank you!

    Reply ·
  63. Tracy Nymeyer

    Yep! If you give a mouse a cookie…the cycle never ends! Just chop off your options. I love it!! Thank you, Susan!

    Reply ·
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