Visual Cues and Food Addiction

What is “Food Porn”? Could it be affecting your relationship with food more than you realize? Learn all about it in this week’s vlog.


  1. diane

    Did you know that colors stimulate appetite as well. I notice Susan, your back drop is red. Doesn’t Red stimulate appetite.

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  2. Ly n

    This could be me talking here, I am the same, trying to follow bright lines, look forward to what you have to say, I try not to put to much on food, I wake up thinking about what I am going to eat , it’s hard trying to turn your thinking around, with your help I’m trying thank you ,

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  3. Erica

    Hi Susan what is your thought on sleep in relation to your bright line eating and other healthy habits that is going to assist us in being healthy, thin, and free i.e. getting regular doctor appointments. Also, in regards to bright line eating what about calorie restriction you talk about with bright line eating, I though a lot of health experts were saying to do away with that and focus more so on the types of food you are choosing especially when choosing to put good fats into your food plan.

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  4. Ellen

    This is so central to my disorder. I thank you so much for this message! I have often said I am a Food and Diet Book addict. Every time I hear of a new diet guru, I order “the book”. I’ve pre-ordered your book, but I believe it is what I’ve been waiting for. Meanwhile, I have a huge collection of books advertising low-carb, high carb, low fat, and high fat diets. Fortunately, I no longer need to research the “no sugar, no flour” issue. That issue is clearly resolved for me by the food addiction network. But I need to act on the 3 Weighed and Measured Meals guidelines. I’m still searching for the Perfect 3 Weighed and Measured Meals. I have a wonderful support network and guidance which I manage to avoid by staying home and reading the latest nutritional info in my books and magazines and online networks. Several different doctors send me conflicting advice every day in my e-mail message box. I keep telling myself to “pick a seat” but the obsession persists. I trust your guidance and feel that healing is underway. Thanks, Susan!

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  5. Linda

    I feel like this is a US thing and I’m in Canada so I can’t attend this event.

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  6. Deborah Morrison

    A very very good vlog! THANK YOU so MUCH!

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  7. Heather Jablonski

    This blog is very helpful

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  8. Dee

    OMG, only been doing BLE on third day now. Lost one pound but even better, I had to stop meal time insulin injections, blood sugar dropped so low. This should be the diet for all diabetics!! Can’t wait to tell my doctor.

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  9. Don Doornbos

    I surround myself with healthy, “alive” and safe food. I enjoy when I have time to experiment and cook, but I’m quite content with same-old, same-old stuff: fresh veggies like baby spinach, cucumbers, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, supplemented with legumes, nuts, cheese, eggs, yogurt. I rarely stray from these which have become my regular staples day in and day out.

    I love having the freedom of having whole swaths of “dead food” aisles of overly processed foods and skip the beverages altogether. Water, black coffee and brewed tea does me just fine.

    Life becomes so much simpler when I just don’t “go there” with all the angst and guilt and struggles around processed carbs!


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  10. Marie

    I love everything you have to say, but I cannot escape. I am a food/cake blogger. I also have a cake decorating business. It’s my passion – what I love and a source of income that I cannot do without. So I can’t draw a bright white line and take those things out of my life – I earn a full-time income from those things and it’s my livelihood. 🙁

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  11. TERRY


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  12. Randy Diner

    I jhad always looked forward to Olive Garden’s unlimited pasta week & when the commercials for it came on I watched it eagerly. It is so hard now to see it-I find myself re-watching it & salivating. What helps me is the no sugar, no flour. There is no wiggle room. I just can’t go. It helps if I skip over the commercial. My food obsessions are still there, but I can at least control the restaurants I eat in.

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    1. Erica

      Yes, Randy I agree commercials are notorious for trying to lure people in to unhealthy foods, that’s why is you have a DVR or able to skip over commercials it is so much better.

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  13. Margie

    I just love listening to you.. I remember in one of you videos talking about restraint from saying um. I smile when you do it because I know even though I am having food issues everyone has something they are trying to work on… Great Job explaining for Stephanie. Take Care and I hope you have a Great Day!!

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  14. Monica

    Love. How you adressed the point ,.

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  15. Adriana

    Thank you so much Susan – once more! I guess I need to practice going ‘no contact’ with food blogs and collecting recipes. Although I managed to shed all the weight put over the last 2 years in a few months (10 kilograms), I’ve struggled to keep my weight down, sometimes putting up to 18 kilograms (this has happened at least 3 times over the last 12 years and I don’t want it to happen again). With the weight gain there were always loads of other conditions that cause a lot of physical suffering, in addition to the emotional feeling of being a failure which does not help at all. I’ll keep your advice in mind, as I seemed to be under the impression that I don’t have time for a few things I’d like to try and I could be using the time spent with searching for new recipes and following food blogs and shows to invest in a new hobby. Thank you!

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  16. Joni Bund

    Wow Susn, this was great and so many answers I related to I cannot even count. I love my Tues 2 hr yoga class but I neglect to do that at home until next week. I go to deep water three times a week and work really hard. I seem to operate differently when in a group . Why?
    I was beginning to wonder what is wrong with me as I gave up cable to save. Money. I did not miss the cooking shows because I changed the Chanel? I do not look at food pictures and refuse to buy recipe books as I do not use them either. Have lots from years ago. I raised 6 kids then 8 then. Group home for mentally challenged and was a terrific cook and my waist showed it, but as I got older my husband and I started to be healthier. He ate more than I did and NEVER gained weight but died at 73 of massive and incurable cancer. Now I am alone and quite happy with BLE and satisfied with my simple food plan, and as I said, “no ” to all the pictures and recipe books but thought I was sort of weird. Now I appreciate your Vlog and all the comments that are helping me to feel better and hitch my bras up two lines over and wear pants that I could not get in last month and still have 30 more to go, but thanks to You and BLE I will succeed. JOni

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  17. Dr. Georgie, ND

    One of the reason the baker make their cakes and dessert LOOKS SO GOOD is that ‘PEOPLE EAT WITH THEIR EYES FIRST”.
    also the reason the chef makes their entrees is the statement…………………”PRESENTATION”……………..that what fancy 5 stars chef do.

    McDonald would go through making hundreds of hamburger to get the ONE PERFECT ONE FOR THE PHOTO.

    So people in food business, they OUT TO GET YOU TO EAT, since that how they make money…………….sadly the food they cook and sell to you is TOXIC TO YOUR HEALTH but will get your brain to reward you with the dopamine so you become “addicted” to their food.

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  18. Mary Vaughan

    Thanks for making the point that being under-weight, denying ourselves food, limiting foods, thinking too much about eating (or not eating enough) are part of the same problem. I have been overly rigid with food all my life, and somewhat underweight. I want to become more flexible and avoid being rigid about food. I’m committed to BLE. Still I have a concern about becoming rigid again in food choices. Can anyone relate, or advise? Thanks for any help.

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  19. Tess in NM

    Thank you, helpful. I certainly am learning that “my eyes are hungry” so I am learning to refocus, if only visualizing my ideal scene of what I look like at a healthy weight wearing wonderful clothes. THANKS for the reinforcement.

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  20. Jannie Foster

    First time I have seen your blog. My question is what do you think of the vegan diet? I love it..P>S> I also went on on the drug diet wen I was in my 20’s didn’t work.

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  21. Kathy

    Thanks again, Susan, for bringing truth and light to our lives!

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  22. Adrienne

    Susan this was invaluable information and it makes total sense.
    I will definitely be giving up watching the food channel, deleting the food shows that I’ve taped and giving the internet recipes sites a very long rest. Now all I have to do is get my husband to stop asking me what’s for dinner at breakfast, which gets me thinking about food all day long.

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  23. RJ

    I wholeheartedly agree with you in this vlog. So true! Before BLE I was known for being a great cook & baker like you, making everything from scratch. I loved the creativity…yet it was at the expense of my food addiction. But I think the hardest thing I’ve missed giving it up is all the affirmation & love I got from cooking/baking for others. Food has always been my go-to gift. I loved making people happy. But now I’m learning to appreciate that I’m not contributing to their poor health and well-being, or not at the expense of mine.
    Now if I want to give a food gift, I give a basket of berries, or some other seasonal fresh fruit; or nut;, or a special cheese. Nothing that takes preparation. I don’t get the same gush of appreciation but I still get a smile & thanks for-the-thoughtfulness… and that is enough. 🙂

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  24. Anne Metz

    I think that this vlog was just brilliant. Susan is amazing– she covers so much in such a nuanced and knowing way. So true.
    Thank you for this– I will watch it again.

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  25. Bea

    Great. I realized that I got hungry since my collegue left me a sugar and gluten free cook book. I don’t like to cook with recipes. So I looked at the pictures and some ingredients. 9 Sh
    ould i cook more? Am I keeping it too simple? Cool to have the answer to this question on todays blog. Thank you Susan.

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  26. eleanor

    THANK YOU!! Never would have thought of it myself but as soon as you started talking, I saw “myself”………………..that’s what I love about your blogs. They paint pictures and I can see.

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    Susan I loved your discussion today.

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  28. Lani MacDonald

    P.S. …. Laughing at my typos. I usually don’t comment from my cell phone because the screen is way too small for my eyes. proofreading is “impossible.” Can you tell that I am a Type A??? hahaha

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  29. Lani MacDonald

    Wow, Dr. Thompson, it is like you are looking out from the windowd of my very own soul when you describe your food-related experiences and perceptions. I took make it my business to look away from “food porn as I continue on my weight loss journey in pursuit of dodging the diabetes bullet which runs rampant on both sides of my family along with so-called “obesity gene.” But, I hereby affirm that my DNA is not my destiny if I rewire my brain!! — Your mentorship is a Godsend and I am so happy to have joined the BLE family yesterday after following you through your freebie video series. — Your personal firsthand knowledge coupled with your professional training in neuroscience and psychology make you the up and coming #1 world leader in the battle against the obesity epidemic and I am proud to be a participant in your research study.

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  30. Lorna

    Hit the nail on the head for a big issue that I’ve been dealing with for decades. I’m very susceptible to seeing salty snacks and desserts. Right now I’m in a large senior apt community and there’s food everywhere, free popcorn at movies, breakfast brunches, all the pizza you can eat for $6, birthday parties where everyone brings a dish (usually 2 tables laden with desserts), chick flicks with a food buffet, buffets sponsored by the management, etc., I’m not strong enuf yet to resist these temptations so I just don’t go and therefore don’t do much socializing, and it doesn’t help to eat ahead of time or bring a healthy dish – too much other tempting food there. I see some of my neighbors gaining weight and whimpering about how they can’t lose, so I’m telling people about BLE as the opportunity arises but it’s a big battle in the senior age group.

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  31. Andrea

    Wonderful commentary. I used to think of the food shows as ‘vicarious eating’ but now think they made me think even more about wonderful dishes I cannot have. So here is a humorous aside: I used to reward myself with a cup of decaf coffee at my grocery store after the gym. Problem was, it was (oh so coincidentally) right next to the
    bakery case with all the fresh morning goodies. And yes, i would occasionally indulge in a donut but felt bad that I did so. So……I ordered a ceramic coffee filter online which enables me to make a cup of good organic, free trade coffee when I get home, instead of getting the non-organic stuff at the store. Eliminates the bakery case temptation also. Seems to be working!
    Thanks again for your insights.

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  32. Natasa

    Great video and great comments. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.
    I am wondering how to grieve these losses?

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  33. Ronna Berezin

    Your insights need to be incorporated into the “Health Consciousness Movement, which has recently reared its head . However, since we are on the brink of discovering the relationship between eating excessive sugar/ flour and say diabetes and its connection to Alzheimers Disease which is occurring at youngerages than in the past, it behooves us to pay close attention not only to the signs of prediabetes, but pre-Alzheimers as well and to listen to functional medicine’s aproach to avoiding those diseases as a byproduct of healthy eating, which is what your program is about. It is no more insane to be overly conscious of gluten(for example) when one’sbody is inflamed than it is to be conscious of overeating or knowing when to leave the table. In both cases society is not really helping you to make the choices that are in your best interests. Hence….. the obsessions to make successful choices on your own.

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  34. Gayle Kirma

    Thank you Susan for your thoughtful and genuine response on these issues. All was very enlightening and helpful. I’m a lifelong (58 yrs) Type 1 Diabetic and have Celiac Disease X 22 years; I have no choice if I want to stay “healthy” but to focus foucus focus on food around these issues.. Your “discussions” are so very helpful for me personally; so grateful. Thank you!

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  35. Tina

    I flunked BLE on my first round because of my obsession with cooking, for one reason… I lost 14 lbs and then gained it back with the holidays where I am ALWAYS asked to make the desserts. This is happening again to me today for Yom Kippur break fast.. I lost 4 lbs and am surrounding myself with sweets today. I love to bake, did it professionally, and am constantly asked to bring dessert. I lhave to admit I love the attention apt hat my desserts bring to me. I am a shy person who has never felt I belonged and this is how I ENT a room full of people now,; not with a cocktail but a plate of something delicious. I think I’m ready to let it go!!! And that feels really good.
    I am a 10 and have successfully given up drugs, alcohol and smoking. Food is my hobby, my friend, and it fills my life with emails, cookbooks, and flavors. I am going to unsubscribe to all the food blogs today. Idon’t know why I haven’t done that. It makes so much sense.

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  36. Julia

    Susan, my love, this is SOOOO freakin’ fabulous! As always, you’ve nailed it. And that last part is for me. I am a fan of Dr. Greger and the site. It’s great… and I highly recommend it for many. However, I already know most of it… and I already eat super duper healthy, in large part thanks to Bright Line Eating. I’m already a vegetation eater… I only eat vegetation, things that grow out of the earth. And I already avoid food porn. But I use Dr. Greger’s blog to fixate on nutrition and it has in fact helped me overeat … too much quantities of my bright line eating food.

    So… no more. I’m healthy enough. Thank you , dearest Susan.

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  37. Anna

    Yes, food porn is real! As a food addict (scored a nr. 7)and picky eater, I spend a few hours every day in the kitchen preparing healthy and tasty food for my family. I admit to being addicted to healthy food blogs. Thanks for your video inviting me to look at this objectively and make sure I don’t get obsessed. There truly is much more to life than food.

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  38. Becky

    I just started BLE. This blog really has me thinking. I used to cook for a living, and I have a reputation in my community for being very good at it. It is also the main creative outlet I still have. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at “food porn”, but I do spend a lot of time thinking about cooking. This week, I started thinking about developing soup recipes that had the full breakdown of ingredients aligned with the BLE guidelines. On the one hand, this might be helpful to me, and to others. On the other hand, it does keep me thinking about food. I guess I need to feel into this more to see if it is possibly another way of obsessing about food.

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  39. Robert Nadeau

    Your talk was great but as you know understanding what you say, although true, is very hard to do. I hope we all do do it!!
    I am waiting for your book to come out in March. I have pre-ordered it!
    Thanks, bob

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  40. Leanna

    As always your vlog was very informative. On another note….. as I’m watching it looks like you have two different earrings on?

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  41. Margaret

    Along the line of today’s blog , I would like to voice my pet peeve with many of the gurus publishing their food plans from Paleo and Functional Medicine ….why do they emphasize “deserts and snack” in their published plans? I know the answer but it begs the issue …….I do believe the addiction factor is being sustained even if it is Paleo brownie or chia pudding…..stills sustains the reward factor.

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    1. Beverly B.

      Margaret, I agree with your assessment! I am constantly barraged with recipes for “healthy” ice cream, cheesecake, cookie substitutes from well-meaning fellow dieters. I don’t want another dessert to become addicted to- healthy or not!

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  42. Allyn

    Great question and blog. One interesting point that I believe you discussed previously is that some of us are genetically more able to see and recognize food cues- a boon to family and clan in prehistoric times, not as useful for us now, with food and food cues everywhere. Understanding this about ourselves can help us to deliberately avoid putting ourselves in the way of at least some of these cues, by not watching food shows, looking at endless recipes, etc.

    Thanks for all you do!

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  43. Melissa Kerby

    Wow. Wow., Wow, and Amen. And – how ’bout mainstream grocery stores, designed to keep shoppers walking in circles to each new “colorful area and aromatic display” (of the same foods in different parts of store, displayed in several different ways; now talk about food porn). If I go into even beloved Wegman’s (or Whole Foods, or our local health food stores) without a list (and even then, I must stay focuses and breathe very deeply, hum my favorite inspirational music to myself), I will wander from bakery to pastries to seafood to “organic” to bins to booze to here, there, everywhere and beyond – and even when sticking to my list “successfully,” – I emerge overwhelmed and drained. (I almost always leave with raw nuts that I had not planned on buying! Better than the donut and candy bar “reward” days!). I have thought abut this very topic (food porn) so much recently as I realize my battle is with food and body size obsession, even as I move to a right-sized body. Thank you also for addressing the grief of this process, which I am also dealing with currently. In addition, I gave up booze as a regular part of my life four months ago, but the self-treating with booze and food is very similar. PS. I just sent a question about ketogenic, and you are this minute addressing the also possible obsession of learning about latest, greatest, newest, healthiest ways to eat, etc. I have been learning and evolving for 18 months now, and I am increasingly aware of my reluctance – but need – to let go my obsession with food/body size (been at this since I was 13; am now 58. Oi vey). Amazingly timely vlog. And thank you for helpful adages!

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  44. Peter Lawrence

    Thanks again Susan,
    Was the use of methamphetamine in your younger years an effort to self medicate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? We know that many with serious obesity are cases of ADHD. We also wonder just how many with ADHD are cases arising secondary to chronic toxic carbohydrate intake.

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  45. Christina

    It is so, so good and encouraging to hear you talk about these very real life challenges. You are so genuine and caring. Thank you tons for the work you’re doing to save us from a sad, fat, and bondage-laden life! I have done my best to follow BLE for exactly 2 weeks now and lost 4 pounds. I look forward to a fat-free future!

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  46. Brianne

    Great message! I figured this out myself a few months ago when I got annoyed with always thinking about food while trying out the trim healthy mama plan. I only have like 5 pounds I’d like to see gone, but honestly, I feel ok with them because I’ve gotten used to them being around. I know a lot of people who had great success with the trim healthy mama plan, but when I tried it, I felt like I was gaining weight and was constantly thinking about food to make sure my next meal was on “plan”. I got very annoyed with it. Then I decided to just eat what I wanted, and stop when I’m full, and the few pounds I put on while on that “diet” came off. I totally think eating should be simple and then move on! At least for me anyway!

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  47. Helen Valenzuela

    I love your comment: “I keep my food black and white so that I can live my life “in colour”. I love that!!!

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  48. Kimberly Schaeffer

    Thank you for this. I am so uncomfortable with food ads and commercials as I am struggling to lose 30 pounds from past so cold diets! Sometimes you think it’s just you, but this help me to realize it’s not and I’m not ly sometimes you think it’s just you, but this help me to realize it’s not and I’m not Alone.

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  49. Debbi Anderson

    So true . I even had to stop reading some of the travel forums for the same reason. You get great travel advice but much too much content on restaurant menus and the perfect pastry shop etc. I can handle a week in Paris every couple of years but not daily thoughts about the food.

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  50. Mel

    Well, when you put it that way…it’s really obvious isn’t it!! Great analogy with the alcoholic going the bar for the “energy, drama and playing pool.” I stopped watching a very popular baking show when I started the Bootcamp because I sensed this could happen, but I am a bit sad about that. But how crazy to stoke your own cravings by watching TV?!?! Life gives us enough challenges without “daring” your resolve. Thanks for discussing this.

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  51. Janet

    Thank you, Susan, for addressing this issue. I am a musician and was on tour this summer. I was touring by car. I travel with my own food and have a plan for what I am going to eat for the day. I was noticing that I was getting hungry seemingly all the time while I was driving. I knew I wasn’t really hungry because I had eaten appropriate meals. It finally dawned on my that the constant barrage of food billboards were making me hungry. I started looking for how many food billboards I would pass in a certain amount of time and/or mileage. It was astonishing to me to realize that most every billboard was related to food. The first thing I thought was, “Wow, this marketing really works!!” The second thing I thought was that I did not have to be affected by these images. I had choices – I could deliberately not look at them. I could acknowledge them, feel the feelings and then let them go. I could pray. I could sing. I could call a friend. But the important part for me was to realize that this wasn’t some mysterious hunger coming upon me – this was a deliberate act by the companies marketing their wares and they were affecting me BY DESIGN. So, BY DESIGN I started combating them by deciding to think about other things. Again, thank you for talking so clearly about this.

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    1. Christina

      Excellent! Thank you for sharing!

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  52. Susan in California

    Absolutely fascinating vlog today!! It had never consciously occurred to me but as I have been on my own long journey before ever hearing of Bright Lines, I noted that even as one interested creatively in food (and a dynamite baker), I reached a point where I knew I needed a battery of serviceable recipes for family use, and turned the creative baking to serving others outside, like baking for church. The same goes for clothing: when one is enormous, one has a huge wardrobe to correspond to every weight fluctuation. When you get to the ‘right size,’ or close to it, and able to maintain that to within a few pounds consistently over years, you have a few items which serve you, and you turn your sewing skills to forms of serving others (Little Dresses for Africa, or quilts for all those cold, elderly knees you know). This was incredibly validating for me, whose father called her a food addict as a child, to note that I could, on my own, recognize what was useful and jettison the rest. No more labels on my behavior. Research into food as nutritional therapy for disease, yes, but only for guidance and then file it away. Thanks so much for your brilliant insights, and for those who author those penetrating questions! As a side note, there are many forms of ‘porn’ in our lives, which distract us from the business of living it – games, electronics, shopping, whatever – one reaches a point when one has to be a better steward of resources and time is one of the most precious. We need to inventory our pursuits and prioritize. Thanks again!

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    1. Margaret

      Thanks, Susan. You put your experience into words and action so nicely. I will ponder your words, because I am drawn to them. It’s funny how I like creativity and the idea of so many options, but when it comes time to actually do something, most of the time I’m quite content to eat simple, easy food; I dress in comfortable, predictable clothes,; and I’m best at keeping my exercise routine when it doesn’t get too complicated. I love the idea of simple living, and the freedom of simple living, yet I’m still seduced by oh so many things I want to try…someday! How nice to separate what you need & want for yourself, from the joy of giving away the surplus you enjoy making.

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  53. Carol Hess

    I definitely was involved with “food porn” for several years. I decided to get rid of my television (to save money and free up time), and I was shocked how much I missed my food shows! Now it’s not an issue — just a kind of wistful yearning every once in a while. I’ve also gone the route of getting obsessed with healthy food — bought lots of cookbooks, followed online bloggers, etc. Then I realized that that too was getting out of hand, even if it was “healthy” eating. So I gave away all but my most basic cookbooks and unsubscribed from the food blogs.

    A friend of mine, who lost 100 pounds and has kept it off for over 25 years, is a health coach. But I’ve noticed that she is still active in her food addiction. She is obsessive about gaining 1 or 2 pounds; she’s turned food (almost all food) into the enemy; she almost didn’t go on a vacation with her husband because she wasn’t sure she could get the very limited number of food items she allows herself to eat. This is NOT happy, thin, and free. She’s got thin down (although she doesn’t think so). But she most definitely is not happy or free.

    This darned food addiction is so tricky and wears so many different faces!

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    1. Christina

      You definitely nailed it with your last statement! And since the people around us, much less ourselves, don’t understand our plight, we are misunderstood and, to a degree, alienated from others. Thank you for commenting.

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  54. Janet

    I was financially unable to attend the current Boot Camp and don’t feel I would do as well on the New Short Version. I feel I need the extra support. When will the next boot camp start?

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  55. Donna Doncaster

    Very insightful. I enjoy your blogs and have gotten a lot out of them.

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  56. Georgia

    This was right on point. I even have trouble with grocery sale ads where there are pictures of prepared “delicious dishes”. Yet I feel like I have to shop for bargains since our budget is so limited.

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  57. Elizabeth

    Living on a very fixed income keeps me from even doing the short version of this plan. You mentioned a book that is coming. Would this give us clues on what to eat when?

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    1. Suze

      Susan has mentioned it will be coming in March of 2017 I believe!!

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  58. Catriona

    Hi Susan, your topic today got me thinking. I don’t watch the food channel, but and this is a big BUT, I do watch exercise videos, and buy health magazines, cutting out pages of exercises that I think I can do. The problem is I never do them, and worse I go for something to eat after my binge of exercise porn! It’s almost as if in my brain I believe I’ve earned the reward, even though I’ve done nothing. Your blog today made me think that perhaps my food addiction, I’m a 10, and my anxiety to lose weight is causing me to become delusional. As of today, I’m stopping the habit to see if this will reduce my addiction. Thank you so much for your insight, I can’t wait to get the next email about ” knowledge + volition + action = results. It’s the action part I’m stuck on, and can’t seem to carry through, no matter how I wish I could!

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    1. Genya

      Wow, that is a fascinating self-observation! Maybe I’m headed into another version of it with my nutrition focus. You made me think.

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    2. RJ

      I can relate to your dilemma! I can do the same with other areas– and what I’ve observed about myself is that I have this drivenness to gain knowledge (I love to learn) and then organize it; BUT then like you, I don’t take the next step of following through with doing what I’ve intended with that knowledge & organization.
      It’s like I love the process of learning something new, then love the idea of organizing that information (be it a notebook, a file, a list, a book, etc). BUT, like I said, I usually have a purpose for my interest yet can’t seem to put it into action. I too have done it with exercises, like its as if I think once I find the ‘perfect’ type of exercises for me & the ‘perfect’ amount of time it takes to do them, then I’ll be set up to succeed. Another example– if I find the ‘perfect’ way to organize my house cleaning so my house always looks clean and I haven’t missed any areas, all the right tips & ideas, all the safe products to use, etc–then I’ll be ready to have a really clean house and I won’t be so overwhelmed by the tasks.
      While I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist (I don’t spend my time obsessing about imperfections), though admittedly I have a streak of it when I feel responsible for something, I do want to do it as efficiently as reasonably can be, etc. It’s as if I am always looking for a ‘secret to success’ or better success than I’m having. So does this come down to a FEAR of FAILURE?
      Also, I like to organize. And I enjoy learning, gain more knowledge about things I’m interested in. And I enjoy being creative. –it’s like I get a ‘high’ from those 3 things, but I ‘fall down’ when it comes to action. Nobody who knows me would necessarily know this about me, as I function like a normal human being but it is more an internal frustration I live with, and always fighting the tide of procrastination that wants to pull me out.
      I enjoy:
      1. gaining knowledge/learning
      2. organizing
      3. creativity
      Is my problem of action due to :
      1. perfection,/efficiency?
      2. fear of choas?
      3. fear of lack of knowledge?
      4. fear of failure?
      5. all of the above?

      Reply ·
      1. EW

        RJ, I totally relate to your comments! I love learning, organizing and finding the most efficient means to accomplish a task. What I’ve learned about myself is that since I’m good at and enjoy doing these activities, I can feel good about myself, and, in a strange way, feel very safe and in control. I also understand that stall on taking action, which of course would lead to a completion. I answer #5, all of the above. I’m learning to allow myself to focus and immerse myself in the activity/journey and just do it, carry on. Whatever fears come up, are just that–fear–my fear of failure and mostly fear of success. If I stay unattached to any expectations of the outcome, I can enjoy the process. I’ve lived so much of my life in the mode of “getting ready to get ready.” It’s been a “perfect” diversion routine and false sense of security, and I’m ready to let it go. Thanks so much for your comments.

        Reply ·
      2. TERRY


        Reply ·
      3. Martha

        YES!! I have been struggling with this! It’s almost as if the planning and researching and organizing are somehow accomplishing what I want to accomplish. It is a high and an excitement, like everything is going to be okay, I have this plan, and then it never — I mean I never — get to the part of actually doing it. It mostly relates to my food addition but now I can see it in other areas of my life too. Susan, any advice?

        Reply ·
    3. hande

      Wow definitely! it is a really good observation, I think you are right, Thank you!!

      Reply ·
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