The Pain Is Real

Check out my weekly video blog to hear my response to an incredibly moving Boot Camper question!


  1. Stephanie

    Tears. You nailed it.

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  2. Sys

    Susan, I am waiting for the February boot camp to start. So in order to stay motivated I’ve been watching some of the blogs. I feel like I’ve gained a wealth of information. I felt the need to comment on this particular blog. I appreciated that you understand that my weight is holding me back from my calling to serve. I’ve known this for quite some time and I feel like I finally am able to address it. Thank you so much for just really understanding this aspect. Even though I’ve been on a weight loss journey for almost 30 years I really have never heard these messages that ring so true. Susan thank you for sharing your gifts.

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  3. Barbara

    Thank you, Susan, for your MOST encouraging blogs! WOW, what an example you are & I’ve sent your address to everyone I know who I feel could benefit from ALL your WONDERFUL advice! Thank you for making me stronger in my resolve to keep going- the older I get & I’m now 73, the MORE I’ve realised that I have the CHOICES & then I must accept the CONSEQUENCES!
    I’ve learnt SO much since I started my journey with a Functional Medicine doctor, here in Cape Town, South Africa, two years ago, & how my heath has changed now that I’m ‘ addicted’ to WHOLE FOODS!
    So, BLESS you for all you’ve done- I LOVE your weekly blogs & I am also dedicated to serve others now.

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  4. Stefi

    Love ya Susan!!! I want to be of service beyond what I’ve done too!! THANK YOU!!

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  5. Christina Young - Wootton

    Thank you Susan. this was both moving and extremely powerful x

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  6. Corinne

    I just posted this comment on the BLE Bootcamp Forum and wanted to post here too. Susan, I feel so grateful that you transformed my blog suggestion into such a Powerful piece with lots of helpful golden nuggets throughout. Thanks!

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  7. Rabab

    hi there everyone,

    its true that we need to shut iron doors to our past to move along and ahead in life, without fear of the past and regrets and shame that’s killing us from within, that’s the only way one can move on to a truly blessed and peaceful life, but it s not as easy as it seems. you need physical, mental as well as spiritual power to do so, above all, you may not have physical and mental ability or power to do that , you must have spiritual power, a divine courage, that should keep you moving and going along without regret in life. and that comes only if you wish and ask for it. if you humbly seek guidance, the true guidance and faith.
    answer lies in prayers, humility and faith. you can find answers to anything in life.

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  8. Valerie Cannon

    Wow, I just listen to Susan for inspiration (lost 35 lbs ~35 years ago and have never regained!!) — and her life philosophy just astounds me. This is about self-forgiveness, self-kindness which is relevant in every situation in our lives. Such a beautiful message, so glad I get to hear her every Wed! Much love, Valerie

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  9. Sarah

    I cried through this video .
    You touched my soul .
    I needed to hear those exact words at this moment in time .
    May you continually bring light into this world

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    1. Claire

      Thank you so much Susan! Likewise, I cried tears of self-realisation and relief as your words were just there for me at exactly the right moment.
      After many decades of stuffing down my emotions with food, my new-found mental and emotional clarity prompted me to have a painful but necessary and authentic exchange of words with a dear loved one. Before BLE, I would have binged before and afterwards to stuff down the painful feelings, but I instead I listened to this Vlog and found immense peace and reassurance. Amazingly, my loved one is ok with it all – the sky didn’t fall in, we are still as close as ever, and I didn’t stuff my face!
      Yes, I wish I had expressed my true feelings sooner, but I’m so glad I had the strength gained from the BLE movement and you, Susan, to do it NOW rather than never.

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  10. Tracey

    Once you know, you know. And in that place, choice waits.

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  11. Charlotte

    WOW! I had tears in my eyes, listening to you speak, Susan. You are truly an old soul and this struck right to my heart. This has such wisdom for anyone going through recovery from addiction to anything. Thank you so much for your heart and compassion.

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  12. Anthea

    So tender and compassionate. It’s true we have to answer this calling of service and help others do the same. Thank you for your loving service. It is a true gift to the world.

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  13. Debbie

    Thank you Susan – this vlog was what I needed to hear today. I have been struggling with the “addiction” piece of this program and feeling like a trapped rat. After listening to your vlog I was able to take a deep breath and say “I am not going to get anymore than I can bare” Love your heart that is full of compassion and love and truth. – I am grateful for YOU!! Debbie

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  14. Maddie Penko

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for sharing this response to Corrine’s question. What really resonated with me is how you were straight about what it really takes. It’ll be difficult and painful, and you’ll “wail and flail” but we will not be given more grief than we can humanely bear. There is comfort in remembering that it’s not going to kill us to change, and the reward at the end is better than anything we could imagine.

    Thanks Susan! Looking forward to the next one.


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  15. Susan in Richmond

    An excellent post and a good deal of wisdom in the comments. I, too, have seen the Lord restore the ‘years of the locust,’ when one has squandered one’s resources. It is never too late to start, to try, or to try again. The defeatist attitude of “I can’t” or “I’ll never be perfect” must be jettisoned. It was insightful that a poster suggested that perhaps we were not ready at a particular time to have life unleashed upon us (paraphrasing madly and badly, I admit), but God’s timing is perfect, and Susan is absolutely correct that we are here to serve, to forgive, to be kind to ourselves and each other, and to help where help is needed.

    Susan’s Ph.D. gives her credibility and chops, but her humanity and her experience of having been there, done that and continuing to deal with it, is the real gold. That, and a loving, generous heart.

    And if little else comes across in the postings, it is that we each have a need for our own stories to be heard – whether they are shared or not, resonate or not. We all seek to be heard and accepted. And we need to start with accepting ourselves. That said, having grown up with two very judgmental parents whose first question when I left home and called weekly was not, “How are you?” but “What do you weigh?” I must admit it is no bad things to have standards for oneself. You may have a specific long-range goal or just the goal of planning your meals and getting through the day without too many mishaps. Have a goal. Set standards. Just don’t give up!

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  16. Beth

    Amen, Sister! And, for those who are still searching…I have found EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to be a fabulous way of managing pain – whether it be mental or physical.

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    1. Joan

      In Peter Hoeg’s novel, Borderliners, there is a quote about “keeping the past at bay” taking so much energy or being exhausting- of course I can’t find it now, but I cried when I read that years ago. I am glad you mentioned EFT because this process is the answer to relieving the weight of the past (no pun intended) . It does not dismiss the past, but helps you to face it, relieve the pain of it, so that you can move forward.

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  17. a

    Sorry, I was really surprised by this VLOG, and I took it as a semi-hard sell.
    But for fairness I generally like very much what Susan feeds us. Thank you very very much!

    For me, this VLOG puts BLE on a lower level, of focusing on eating right (maybe?) while ignoring thinking right.
    As for the question itself, it is in my opinion imaginary, based on lack of the experience.
    When one experiences getting “it” (whatever that “ït” is) one becomes happy and looks forward, not back.
    And if one looks back at that time, one has to regain control of thinking or learn to achieve it.

    Much love.

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  18. Ronna Berezin

    Profound and well thought out as well as expressed. The fear of regret is symptomatic of the ” I can’t !” mentality which is at the root of the addiction issue itself. Needless to say… “I can’t” is not an option any more. What is an option is “I won’t.” which is part of the temper tantrum of addiction. This may sound cruel, but it is the tough love way of addressing the innumerable self defeating manipulations and excuses addicts use to bypass the long time and uncompromising effort it takes to surrender to a different way of living.

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  19. Ron Jordan

    (even right my way fell) That statement there was a Google hearing problem. It was supposed to say, even when my weight fell off.

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  20. Bryan

    This one really hit home for me. Thank you Corrinne and and thank you Susan.
    I’ve always had this fear of regret — having “lost” all those years. But what did I really lose?
    I tended to think of it as regret for not having waved some sort of magic wand and instantly been transformed into the “happy, thin and free” me years ago.
    Then I came to realize that whatever I thought I would have instantly gained from all those “lost” years, I may not have been prepared to handle. Be it success in business, relationships or where ever. The journey to get from where I am to where I need to be gives me the other tools I need to truly live an “unleashed life.” I mean, who’s to say that I would have been better off in the “lost years” without those tools- I may become the world’s biggest jerk, egotist or self-centered father.
    The way I try to look at it is: whatever success lies ahead will be much more meaningful and powerful than it would have been in those “lost years.” Time to get moving. Thanks Susan, I get SO MUCH from your work!

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    1. jarka

      Thanks Bryan. This is THE BEST (and most valuable, in my opinion) COMMENT to the video.

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  21. Ron Jordan

    I am struggling, my highest weight at age 21 was 318 pounds and I got down in a year and a half 165 pounds. Now at age 46 I’m at 291 pounds I work outdoors all year round and still I’m gaining weight.
    At the age of 20 + 21 with the help of my mother I cut down to three meals a day and healthy ones instead of fried foods I would eat baked and instead of a whole piece of cake I’d eat half. My biggest accomplishment at the time was that if I messed up 1 meal I always correct the next meal not the next day.
    As one person to the other anyone can lose weight I myself am going to regain control. I always take it one meal at a time and that is going to be what I am going to get back to doing.
    As I lost weight I switched around things that were helping me keep the weight on. I turn the TV off and went outside to find something to do. I keep in mind during that time of all the things that I could do that others can’t, whether it be either age or handicap I knew there was more to just sitting around the house I became a busybody. Between my work keeping me busy and me getting out and doing things and on top of that even right my way fell off and fell off fast so fast some friends thought I was on drugs thank God I wasn’t I was just eating right and doing things to keep busy.
    One thing I kept in mind always was that with the amount of fat I have within my body I would survive eating healthy foods and proportions and the more I lost the better I felt, the happier I was, more was getting done in my life, not just work but in personal life too.
    I agree 100% with the video I just saw and it was a big statement to me, 3 years are going down the drain because of my weight gain even though I’m still a happy man I will gain control

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  22. Gill Kay

    As always, another amazing vlog and the advice is transferable to all projects and areas in life. I have only ever listened to the vlogs and am already well on the path to a sugar free life. My skin is becoming sooo soft, I love it.

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  23. David Nochella

    I’m glad to see that you connect the physical, mental, and spiritual together to be a whole person. All three of those play together to support and strengthen each other, and in result in a Whole being. So much focus can be only one or the other and there is never completeness.
    My strong spiritual backing has given me wisdom to make better choises and know the truth about the food industry and advertising and to keep learning how to make life better day by day.
    My thanks are to God who has given me wisdom to eat organic and to sift thru the maze of information and apply it to better my life, physicality,mentally,and spiritually.
    I give thanks to you and others like Ocean who help so many to get it together.

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  24. Julia Carol

    Thanks for the topic, Susan…. Also want to add that knowing you’re not the only one helps. The foggy brain and bad decision making that comes with addiction kept us imprisoned. Our Bright Line eating keeps us free. And the support is essential for this, I believe. Not just because support is usually essential for change… but because we’re swimming against the mainstream (because we were drowning in it before!) and we need sister (and fellow) swimmers coming with us to give us strength. Thanks for your loving support and for Bright Line eating boot camps!!! We’re not alone, and we can forgive ourselves and start LIVING!

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  25. Mary Sue

    Wow! What a powerful message. As I was listening, my thought was, “the only way out is through!” I will be listening to this many times. Susan, you have such a lovely and kind way about you and I find that very inspiring. Thank you!

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  26. celeste

    Wow, I’m not even on BLE and found this of great value this week. Thank you.

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  27. Edda

    Wonderful question from Corrinne. This fear is sooo real. It could be that some people will need
    HELP. Some people cannot deal on their own with the issues that come up.
    Not turning away from the option that brightlineeating offers is a good answer but may be too theoretical
    for some people. I DO NOT have the answer but I´ve been there and have survived….mostly through
    prayer and effort and living through the pain that I was trying to avoid.

    The last part of Susan´s answer sounded less theoretical but I was writing so didn´t catch all of it…
    but glad that people were left with something they could deal with on their own.

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  28. Lorraine Kozlowski

    I love your messages, all of them. Thank you.
    I am involved with the addiction community as a Hypnotherapist/Life Coach. I work with the clients to achieve a deep state of relaxation and encourage them to meditate on a daily basis. I love that you encourage meditation for BLEaters. I was wondering if you would find it valuable do discuss all the benefits of meditation. When I let my clients know that with a regular meditation practice the front part of the brain hooks-up with the back part and people make better decisions. That both sides of the brain work together better and students do better in school. That cortisol levels drop 30%, significantly more than from a good night sleep. That we are able to double the length of our telomeres, effecting our overall health.
    So many important benefits that get people excited to learn a practice.
    I tell them about free apps for their phones so they can have a 10 minute meditation practice or how to find a little metaphysical bookstores in their area where they can go to a guided imagery class.
    When I discuss all the benefits with the clients they find it interesting. The experiential involvement in a hypnotherapy session changes everything. You can feel what is possible.
    I am sure you have all the literature available on the benefits of meditation. I think it would help everyone so much in their stress, overall health and impulse control issues.
    Can you tell I LOVE IT! I love the BLE program and I love you. You are a bright light in the world and beautifully pull us all towards you. Thank you for everything!
    Lorraine, Proud community member of the Heart House!

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  29. Susan Arnout Smith

    Brilliant. Tender-hearted compassion for self is the key as we BLE. And so we breathe. We Just breathe…

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    1. Shirley J

      Thanks Susan for your words of compassion and encouragement. It is difficult to say how we can stop reliving the past. The longer we remain trapped in our blame and shame filled lives, the more difficult it is to enter into the path of healing. Regrets are nothing more than regrets. There is nothing I can do with a regret. I lived a life believing that nearly five decades of addicted living brought me pain and little pleasure. I was mistaken. Having an attitude of gratitude means thanking my Savior for all things. Today I can thank Him. I prayed and He answered my prayers. Approximately 6 weeks ago, the Trim Down Club sent me a message that I should check-out Susan’s blog. I am grateful to God that I followed their advice. Susan calls it BLE; for me, it has meant much more than that. Listening to Susan’s reassuring voice and plan helped lift me out of what was surely the beginning steps to another bout of depression. The first thing I remember her saying was about being grateful for something. I told others that I was grateful but really I wasn’t. You see, decades of self abuse has taught me the pain of addicted living. But Susan’s webinar, her blogs and this BLE community has given me assurance that I/we can have joy and freedom from our injurious behavior. I do not know Susan or the members of this support group. But I know that they offer inspiration that can help get me/us from one moment to the next moment. It happens when we plan and live for that moment in time, and when we venture to share our pain and our joy. I also know that the past will rear its ugly head. I can choose to live my life in the “house of regret” or, I can be thankful for all that my Lord has given. And He has given much more than I have lost. He gave me my 47 years of marriage, children and grandchildren, education, career, home, family and friends; I could go on and on. I am thankful. When I began to read Susan’s e-mails and listen to her blogs (I have read, reread, or listened to everything in her archives), I started to change my way of thinking. Yes I am an addict. For nearly 5 decades I have been chained to food, and there is nothing I can do about that. Still, I am thankful. Thankful for all that God has given me. This I know – I once was blind, but now I see. Now I am not only responsible for my actions and inactions, I am also accountable for them. This is not written to shame, blame or condemn anyone. It is written that others will know that there is nothing in me, in us, that can get us to a place of acceptance for our past and present behavior. But compassion comes as I (we) care for my (our) body, mind and soul now, this day, this moment. Every time I brush my teeth I am reminded of Susan and if I haven’t planned my day and meals for the day – I stop and plan for that day’s food choices (and for my choices for the next day). At this time I cannot afford the BLE Boot Camp. If participation in the boot camp is what my Lord wants for me – then He will provide. (Not to get all spiritual, but I have to trust that I know my Lord and Savior can and will do for me what I cannot and could not do for myself. Will power was never enough.) So I ask Him to strengthen and guide me and continue to send me all that is needed to journey for my freedom. For now, I pray that each and every time we are reminded of the “house of regret”, we take a deep breath, close our eyes and see the house we have built. Then see a tornado or hurricane demolish it. Watch it as it falls apart or drifts away. You’ve witnessed its demise, now you are the only one who can rebuild it. God be with you/us as we continue our journey.

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      1. tina

        This is so deep! Thank you, Susan! can I give you a virtual hug?

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      2. Philomina

        So true Shairley. “…; but one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind and reaching to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:13)

        Yes indeed,God is answering your prayers by opening doors and using His children (Susan and the BLE community to guide and support you in our journey of getting free from food addiction. The good thing is that you are doing the human part (planning for your day’s food choices the best you can, and trusting in your Lord and Saviour to do His part- continue to strengthen and guide you. Way to go girl. You have blessed me with your faith.

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      3. Chava Gal-Or

        Wow. . .such beautiful confirmation.

        As I struggle with allowing my feelings to flow. I really am not alone.

        Thanks all!

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    2. Jo Ann

      This was, I believe, the most precious and important of all the vlogs so far. Beautiful.

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    3. Carol

      Thank you Susan and Corinne. This topic is so timely as I blew my BLE yesterday and recognise two major character defects that result in me walking away from self-love and they are anxiety and people please pleasing with certain people. I know I need to learn new tools in these areas as I have spent 50+ years using food to get me through and it is keeping me a victim and preventing me from become the person I was greeted to be. I am going to use my latest failure as a gift to grow in self awareness and to make healthy and loving choices. Thank you for this week’s blog – it was really helpful. Anything on emotional wholeness is so helpful to know. Thank you Susan.

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    4. Eleanor

      I like your response. It reminds me of one of the 12 step promises, “You will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” This new path gives me a moment-by-moment connection to a power that is much greater than I am. I am not in this alone.

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