Life After Stuffing Feelings With Food

On this VLOG I talk about how to handle the flood of emotions that can surface when we stop stuffing our feelings down with food. Eating is a very emotional thing. Not eating even more so.


  1. Carol Marie

    Hi Susan,

    I was wondering if some of this advice truly applies as a caregiver. I know a bit of your story with your twins, you were able to keep bright lines during that time of your life when their lives were in danger. I am blessed to not yet know the suffering of watching my kids go through that kind of battle, but I am a caregiver for my husband who has severe and active Crohn’s disease. He has been in and out of the hospital every few months for the last two years, and I’ve taken a lot of that stress that comes with care giving out through food and really was the kick off to my food addiction. I guess my question is — how can you deal with your emotions in the moment when you are in caregiver/responsibility mode? I cannot fall apart when my husband is suffering in that moment, but I know I can no longer stuff my emotions away with food or avoidance. Do you have any advice on this related to this vlog, based on your experience? My husband is not in the hospital yet, but I know that his Crohn’s can flare up rather unexpectedly, so I want to be mentally prepared to best deal with this in my new BLE journey. Thanks so much in advance!

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  2. Leslie Caza

    Wow. Made me cry. Great help. Thank you.

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  3. Jana

    Thanks Susan extremely it each of your video ❤️

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  4. Kathie

    Yet another fantastic vlog. I love the way you are able to break down every part of bright line eating into logical, understandable and enlightening segments. I’m writing down “Your feelings are your feelings, but your actions are your life” as a new mantra to see me through. Lots of “food” for thought on this one. Thanks again.

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  5. Autumn H

    As an alternative, sugar detox/withdrawal could be causing the emotional response without it having anything to do with “stuffing down emotions.” I’m surprised you didn’t mention that because the headaches can be severe, along with other symptoms such as lethargy, anger, and irritation.

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    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      You’re so right, Autumn! I didn’t think of that, as the person who initially asked the question had already been doing Bright Line Eating for long enough to be through the withdrawal period, but ABSOLUTELY, the emotions that come up in the first week or two are likely to be due to withdrawal as much as anything else. Thank you so much for pointing this out!

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  6. Naomi

    Susan, I am getting so much out of your posts! So much that I was particularly interested in listening to this one because I’ve recently experienced the exact thing you describe here – of emotions bubbling up when no longer being shoved down by food. Your advice is great – and I wanted to add something which really helped me and might help others as well and that is that while you are crying, raging, obsessing – whatever it is you are experiencing – do TAPPING. This helps the body process and release these pent up emotions and ensures that you don’t actually reinforce the emotions, the way repetition or “indulging” can sometimes inadvertently do. What do I mean by Tapping? Simply tap with your fingers on several points of lowered electrical resistance on the skin of the head and upper body. It’s also called EFT, meridian tapping and psychological acupuncture and there’s lots of free info on the web about it. (Just avoid Wikipedia. There’s a weird bias there and its editors keep deleting references to the mounting scientific research – all clinically valid – most being done at major universities around the world including a recent one of the efficacy of EFT on food cravings conducted at Griffith University here in Australia).

    Thanks for sharing such valuable – and intelligent – insights into the mind-game of weight loss.

    Naomi Janzen
    NSW Australia

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    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Thanks, Naomi! I keep wanting to look into tapping. 🙂

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      1. Naomi

        EFT Universe is a great resource. It’s one of the largest training bodies in the world and takes a very academic approach which I think would resonate for you. Also check out Dr. Peta Stapleton’s work on Clinical EFT for the emotional component to weight loss (she’s faculty at Bond University). I think Tapping would be a brilliant complement to Brightline! Thanks again for your clarity – you’ve even got me thinking about using a food scale (didn’t think it could be done)

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        1. gerri z

          I have been using EFT for a few years now and it is an amazing and no cost tool to “let go” of issues, both emotional and practical. Nick Ortner’s videos and books are a great start to get the technique down pat.

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  7. Cindy

    Where do I find the actual eating plan? You allude to weighing and measuring foods, but how much, what, when?
    Thank you!

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    1. Nichole

      Hi Cindy,

      If you join the next Boot Camp, which will start in the first week of October, you will have access to all of the BLE materials, including the food plan, as well as various other super-valuable resources and tools. If you are interested, go to and register your email address. That way you will be on the mailing list and will receive the free videos that will come out towards the end of September.

      Alternatively, you can contact to find out about private coaching opportunities.


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    2. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Hi Cindy,

      Sounds like you might be primed for the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp. The next one is starting up pretty soon. All the details on how to do Bright Line Eating are covered in this 8 week course. If you’re not on my email list, be sure to hop on (see the “Get Updates” box in the top right) and look for info to start being released in late September, 2015. The first thing will be the Susceptibility Quiz, so you can see where you fall on the Susceptibility Scale! Boot Camp registration will start in early October. 🙂


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  8. Susan Deogracias

    I was wondering why the predominate color scheme is red in your video communications when red is known to stimulate your appetite.
    Also, even though I am trying to emulate your program, I feel sometimes your insistence on daily documentation, meal timeliness, weighing, and measuring is substituting an over eating addiction with a compulsive monitoring addiction. I really need to be addiction free. I am finding that when I forgive myself for missing a documentation, meal, measurement, or exercise ( I must exercise to avoid joint pain) I have more physical and emotional success than when I try to adhere to a restrictive plan, especially when my husband is not on board.
    Susan Deogracias

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    1. Joseph Fleischman

      “red is known to stimulate your appetite”

      Susan Deogracias:

      Please cite a peer-reviewed study that associates increased appetite when viewing the color red.

      As to your stated concern about writing stuff down, did you get addicted to it, or are concerned that you might get addicted to writing stuff down? But have you considered this: if it helps you get slim and stay slim for years, and if it helps save you from developing Metabolic Syndrome — see Dr. Robert Lustig’s book: Fat Chance — then maybe it’s worth your while to switch your addiction from sugar and flour to an “addiction” of writing stuff down. FYI, Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of diseases that afflicts at least 40% of Americans who are in their 60’s and 70’s.

      But Dr. Robert Lustig says that it’s much more than 40%. These diseases include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes — just some of the grave afflictions derived from eating the Western diet. According to government statistics, 39.6% of Americans will get cancer at some point in their lives.

      I think you should write stuff down, it’ll prove to be the least of your worries, unless you just like to worry.
      Joseph in Missoula

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    2. Lm

      Susan Deogracias,
      Maybe if you go a bit deeper with your self awareness, you might conclude that this program is not a fit for your needs…
      So why label the awareness techniques as an “addiction to self monitoring”? It’s simply a tool you can take or leave, you don’t have to place yr own negative, subjective spin on it, thanks.
      .I really struggle with having to read superfluous, self-catering comments that critique unnecessarily. If y can’t jive with what SPT is offering , then move along. Don’t hinder us with your petty critiques of colour schemes and strategies.

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    3. Brenda Petru

      Hey Susan Deogracias,

      I appreciate your concern that you are switching out one addiction for another, and I can really appreciate your recognition that when you forgive yourself for not being perfect then you have more physical and emotional success than when you are too hard on yourself. I have struggled with this same issue- trying to improve myself, but then picking up my failed attempts and using them as another stick to beat myself. I learned a wonderful tool to help me clean up my thoughts, forgive myself and allow myself to move forward without beating myself for my mistakes and failures. I am not perfect at it either, ha ha, but it has helped me to find so much more peace with myself. I made a 31/2 minute video explaining how I do the technique on youtube. You can find it at this link: I hope this technique brings you some relief from the pain you have felt. I also use it to release unkind or judgmental comments that others make to me or about me. Blessings!! Brenda

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  9. Donnella

    Thanks Susan. Extremely helpful.

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  10. Shirley DuErmit

    I started doing some health and wellness coaching. It seems we need to start with changing up the foods. I really like your program. Thanks.
    It is nice to let people know it is a hard thing to change the foods and habits they have and that is a human response to feel some anger and sadness as the change happens.

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  11. Sarah

    Thanks. Great vlog. Can you give us the reference for the study you mentioned about making new habits?

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    1. Robin Berkeley

      Susan you are compassionately brilliant. Thank you for your gift.

      Robin Berkeley

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    2. Nat Denkin

      Here is the reference: “How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world” was published by PHILLIPPA LALLY*, CORNELIA H. M. VAN JAARSVELD, HENRY W. W. POTTS AND JANE WARDLE in European Journal of Social Psychology 40, 998–1009 (2010).

      “Modelling the habit formation process in individuals allowed us to calculate the time taken for automaticity scores to plateau; operationalized here as time to reach 95% of asymptote. The average modelled time to plateau in this sample was 66 days, but the range was from 18 to 254 days”

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      1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

        Hahaha! We were both posting our replies at the same time! Thanks, Nat!

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    3. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Hi Sarah,


      Phillippa Lally, Cornelia H. M. van Jaarsveld, Henry W. W. Potts and Jane Wardle “How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world.” European Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 40, Issue 6, pages 998–1009, October 2010.


      P.S. — In the video here I say that their study showed that it takes 66 days to form a habit, ON AVERAGE, but the range was “something like 17 days to 250+ days” … in digging up this reference for you, I can now fill in the exact numbers. The range was 18 days on the low end, to 254 days on the high end. And the average was indeed 66 days. My favorite blogger James Clear has a nice article on habit formation that features this study. You can check it out here:

      Reply ·
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