Addiction, Deceit, and Denial

Thanksgiving is fast approaching here in America, and this year is probably going to look a little (or a lot) different than most years because of the pandemic. Even so, if you celebrate the holiday, you might be starting to think about how to handle it. Around this time every year, I usually release a Vlog addressing those holiday eating concerns, but I’m not going to do that this year. Instead, I’m going to change things up a bit and discuss an edgy topic that relates to the holidays.






  1. Dave Hopkin

    I’ve been doing BLE since September 2019. At first I could put a couple of months together, then a month, now it’s just days before I relapse back into my flour and sugar addiction. Still I have lost 35 lbs. if weight loss was enough I’d be in my right sized body by now. I was in a 12 step program before and stuck to it for 9 months and lost 100 lbs. I am definitely a 10 + on the scale. I really appreciate your honesty and transparency. I have thought if I can’t do it perfectly then what’s the point. This Vlog helped me to keep going and not give up. Thanks Susan!

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  2. Don

    To err is human! I’m with you all the way. You have laid out the path for a happier, healthier life for me. And I started at age 77, have been at maintenance for over 1 1/2 years, with great numbers for weight, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, finally. Even during these unique times with COVID 19.

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  3. Helga

    Oh my goodness. What an eye opener
    Thank you so much for this vlog. You have just answered a huge question of why we have memory amnesia when it comes to our destructive patterns that are detrimental to our health in every way.
    This is gold.
    What does it take for people to see the truth of their actions?
    Please have a follow up to this vlog.
    We discuss weekly vlogs in our MM group.
    Gonna enjoy this week. For sure.

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  4. Carol Hall

    Such honesty and vulnerability! Memory is such a tricky thing. For me this is absolutely the best vlog ever. You are so relatable and made me feel more at ease, as well as more forgiving, with my own slip ups. If my back wasn’t hurting so bad I would give you a standing ovation. Thank you, thank you. 👏🏼👏🏼

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  5. Karen H

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this vlog. My addicted brain is so good at deceiving me.. It tells me falsehoods about how bright my lines have been and then I wonder why I’m not losing weight. Especially with holiday season upon us, I really needed to hear this vlog.

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  6. Maura

    AMAZING AMAZING and sincere THANKS to you! This is truly a Gift for the Season!

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  7. Joanne DeSalvo

    Best vlog ever! I learn so much more from shares about human imperfections with respect to characteristics of an addict, than the straight forward advice. As a food addict, I can identify these characteristics and tendencies in myself. I am imperfect, and it’s okay. I’m human. Awareness and acceptance is part of recovery. Thank you for the courage to share your experience. This is helpful for my journey, and is what I needed to hear as I move forward. Thank you Susan.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      We do learn so much from each other when we are vulnerable enough to share our imperfections, Joanne. 🧡

      Reply ·
  8. Nina

    Thank you Susan. I think it’s a sign of health that the memory was consciously forgotten. It just points to the fact that things are working well now and you are not stuck in the past. Looking forward to keep following your work and teachings. Lots of love to you!

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  9. Paula

    Thank you, Susan. That’s all I can think to say. This is the most powerful vlog I’ve watched.

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  10. Sandy

    Ooh…powerful comments. I can so deeply relate. I realized over this last week, as I piddled with BLE, preparing for my day 1, that I am truly addicted to sugar. And that is frightening. Tomorrow is Day 1. Thank you, Susan, for sharing..

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  11. Fe Day

    I love this! Admitting mistakes….how to be a grown up!! Millions of thanks xxx

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  12. Hilary McCarthy

    Thank you for your openness and honesty. I can certainly identify with these thoughts. 💛

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  13. Monica Dryhurst

    Oh Susan….that darn “Human Factor”!!! We love you. Keep on keepin on with us! 🙈😁👍❤❤❤

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  14. Betsy Hayes

    Excellent vlog. So valuable. I appreciate your constant, earnest honesty and vulnerability. You continue to create an accessible light that all of us can pick up and shine on ourselves and the result is growth and peace for all. The 2 big takeaways for me are what “the psyche of an addict” and “truthiness” mean to me. We are all connected. We all want the same things: peace, health, joy, calm, feeling safe, loved and to not feel like we are ever being dishonest. I do believe that there are parts in our addicted minds that have a strong tendency to “paint our red warning signs white”, in the name of helping us get our fix so we can feel better. I am more mindful of these classic, enabling and rationalizing thought patterns and the stronger my awareness, the more diminished these unhelpful thoughts become. The thoughts that don’t serve me anymore diminish and with them, the harmful behaviors that follow. You gave me another opportunity to look more honestly at my program and up my game. You continue to keep BLE fresh and vibrant in a world that truly needs this kind of honesty and integrity. Thank you!

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  15. Annelle Soponis

    Susan., you are incredibly powerful .. I can’t imagine ever being as strong as you are. Yes I’m an addict who lies and cheats.. or tells falsehoods easily. It’s always one day at a time. I’m in my 70s and still working at it. Keep up your good work. We appreciate you . Sending love!

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  16. Gina

    Question for you: In trying to assimilate to Brightline guidelines, the discussion came up about whether we were able to consume flours safely if we grind the berries/grains ourselves. Is it all flours, in general, that are unhealthy? Or is it the refinement process only?

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Gina,

      The Bright Line for flour includes all flour. It is not the ingredient, but rather the process of grinding and refining the ingredient into its finest form that triggers the addictive reaction in the brain. We do not eat any kind of flour, including those listed below:

      All-purpose flour
      Almond flour
      Amaranth flour
      Barley flour
      Bread flour
      Buckwheat flour
      Cake flour
      Chickpea flour
      Coconut flour
      Corn flour
      Instant flour
      Millet flour
      Oat flour
      Organic flour
      Pastry flour
      Pumpernickel flour
      Quinoa flour
      Rice flour
      Rye flour
      Self-rising flour
      Semolina flour
      Sorghum flour
      Soy flour
      Spelt flour
      Tapioca flour
      Teff flour
      Unbleached white flour
      Whole-wheat flour

      For manufactured products such as cereals and veggie burgers, we make sure there is no flour or sugar listed in the first three ingredients.

      Reply ·
  17. Julie

    Susan, what struck me from this vlog, was how it relates to my own self reflection. After seeing my own highly evolved skills in self deception, I have concluded that it’s caused by my equally high value on honesty. That might seem contrary, but, as I don’t have to tell you, the brain puts your safety higher than anything else, and once it’s decided that eating in a certain way, is central to your wellbeing, there are no lengths to which it will not go. So, if you are a person who puts an extremely high value on honesty, the brain can only combat this by making you equally good at self deception. I am currently struggling to regain my lines having achieved a right sized body using only your book and avidly watching vlogs, my journey, like yours, is a continuing process. I came to your book because you bring the science of addiction and how the brain works, I am extremely grateful for what you have contributed to my journey.

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  18. Jean

    Thank you Susan for your honesty and truthfulness! I am so admiring you to so publicly admit to your ‘incorrectness’, ‘mindblank’. It gives me a ‘pause’ to think, feel and be honest with myself about my food and all other aspects of my life.
    You are awesome! With much love!

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  19. Cindy Hauffe

    Good job Susan. I too, picked up on the inconsistency. But just pushed it aside. Left me questioning my own memory/ perception-which as a 4 yr survivor of a craniotomy; is definitely not my happy place. So thank you (& God)for the (once again🙄) reassurance that my brain indeed Is still working fine, & everything is gonna be okay.

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  20. Danuta H Fadanelli

    Very interesting information on memory, an addict’s brain. You gave me a lot to reflect on. Whoa! Also, very useful when needing to deal with certain family members. Thank you for using your brain’s misstep as a teachable moment for us. Love you!

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  21. Ann MacDougall

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a recovering alcoholic with 46 years sober, as an ex-smoker with 39 years nicotine-free, as a one-time recovering food addict with 12 years of abstinence (12 years ago), and as a boot-camp participant, all I can say is thank you, Susan. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  22. Sabrina Tolbert

    Enjoyed your message. The truth told perfectly. Yes, you are human. Thanks for your honesty.

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  23. Lisa

    Oops track not tract

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  24. Lisa

    Would like more info on how you got back on tract. I was a little sad thinking maybe this will not work.

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  25. Kim

    WOW. I am so this. Thank you Susan for such a great “confession “. I’m needing to refocus minute by minute!

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  26. Nena Gray

    This was such a helpful vlog. I am currently coming out of a big ditch, and I think back to YEARS that I spent just not getting on the scale, or buying new clothes in bigger sizes, rather than facing head on what I was actually doing. No need to blush in making your confession. You are just describing how this phenomenon works and who better than you to do so? I am a food addict, and integrity with myself is they key to keeping myself where I want to be, not stuck in the binges. Thank you as always for sharing your thoughts, your life and your honest feelings with us. I am grateful for you and BLE .

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  27. joseph

    No worries. Lies are always and necessarily intentional. All other untruths are simply false, whether by error or ignorance, neither of which is a matter for ethics. No need to eat soap.
    Joseph in Missoula

    Reply ·
  28. Mary Packard

    Thank you. Appreciate the reminder, reflection and refocus. Counting the real cost of the way I have eaten in the past…choosing a new to focus on the good my bright lines bring to my life. Every day.

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  29. Jan Clayton

    Susan, I have watched a good 40-50 of your blogs over the last 6 months, and this is, by far, the most impactful for me. You have so accurately described the human condition in those few minutes. We work so hard to be perfect — with the BLE plan and with all the other aspects of our lives — that we begin to believe that we can be perfect. And, by extension, we begin to believe that we have been perfect, or at least very close to it. In the last few years, I have worked to change my internal perspective. I am no longer trying to be perfect. I just want to do my absolute best, and that is good enough. I accept that to adapt to an imperfect world, I am going to be imperfect. When I take the perfection pressure off, self-denial and self-deceit are a little less prevalent. Not non-existent, just less prevalent. Keep fighting the good fight.

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  30. Kathy

    So glad you brought this up since I also remember well the vlog where you told about your bingeing at Thanksgiving. Our memories are so unreliable. Been in touch with an old school friend recently and we remember completely different things about our time together as teenagers!

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      That’s so interesting, Kathy! We’re glad this Vlog addressed an inconsistency that stood out for you too. 🧡🧡🧡

      Reply ·
  31. Winifred

    Thank you for this courageous, raw and honest vlog. I’ve been feeling driven to have “cheat” day for the holiday (even planning it in my mind), and this has reframed my desire entirely. Again, thank you and I am most grateful for your honesty and this message..

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  32. Marianne Hockema

    I did not join Bright Lifers because I expected you to be perfect; nor do I follow Bright Line Eating because I want to have x number of perfect days as you do. I joined Bright Line Eating because I am addict – now a thin addict – but an addict every morning just the same. Part of addiction from everything I’ve read is relapse – whether for a day, a holiday, or in my case three turns at gaining 80 pounds. Bright Line Eating addresses relapse/slips headon and teaches us to move forward. So while your vlog today was exemplary in its honesty and I applaud you for it — I have to wonder at the mindset that felt the need to call you out for claiming to have made it through Thanksgiving for so many years without a binge. I guess the attention to detail is impressive . . . but your message – the Bright Line Eating program – is so, so much more than your personal story, my personal story, your days of Bright Line Eating, my days of Bright Line EAting, etc. I guess the best I can hope for is that the person who felt the need to share such a minuscule – at least in my book – inconsistency can grasp the real life-saving elements of the program. Our addiction is powerful and its manifestations occur in many formats. My “take” on this subject may be different than others . . but I am old. I learned long ago to stop expecting people to be perfect and to listen and learn to the real message being conveyed. God bless.

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  33. Garda Rowe

    Dear Susan what a powerful powerful message on many levels. I am forwarding this to many people I love. Thank you dear heart for your honesty, your braveness in baring your vulnerable self so we can take stock of ours.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Thank you for sharing this with others it might benefit, Garda. 🧡

      Reply ·
  34. Christel

    Susan I just figured I missed something as I was very impacted by your sweet surrender vlog. I had no idea you missed looking at that. I think we’ve all been there! And again, I applaud your honesty. I have often said to other BLErs. “Susan can never be blackmailed in her role as a thought leader because she is so transparent it can be painful to watch and listen to” and the last thing it is, to me, IS HEALING. much love to you💕💕💕

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  35. pjm

    Thank-you for your honesty Susan. Wish more of us were like that, the world would be a different place. Forgiven. Which means you never use it against the other person that was forgiven. It sets us free to move on. Yup, it’s what Jesus taught! So Beautiful Susan…move on. An encouragement and helpful tips. I’m a practicing BLE eater and have had healthful results because of it. Thank-you for your work. And yes, when I mess up, I get back on track…forgiven. Keeping in mind that I do not take advantage of living in forgiveness. The price for forgiveness was too precious to take advantage of.. I don’t have to look at my past, going forward. One day at a time. Thanks for your encouragement and dedication to the work you do.

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  36. Patricia Riley

    Fascinating research! Your honesty, humility and transparency are amazing! Thank you for sharing your many gifts with us!

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  37. Andrea L Hines

    To not personally know you but love so so much. Thank you!!!

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  38. Steven

    Wonderful, Thank you!

    Reply ·
  39. Mary Watkins

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for sharing this message. I am on day 10 of the 14 day challenge and I’m hoping BLE works for me. So far, I’m loving this new way of eating. The simplicity of the plan is wonderful. I can empathize with you in many of the things you shared in this vlog. Your truthfulness is an encouragement to me. Hang in there. It’s a simple plan taken one day at a time. When we fall short, we’ve got to get up, dust ourselves off, and keep going. I’m glad you are my cheerleader. I’m looking forward one day to being free of all this excess baggage (weight) over the years. With BLE I know this dream is possible. Thank you!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear Mary. We’re happy to support you in the 14-day Challenge. 🧡🧡🧡

      Reply ·
  40. Tonya

    Wow I really needed that. You were inspired to share that, because I needed it. I am an addict to food and I lie to myself all the time about what I am doing so without realizing what I am doing I sabotage myself when I start feeling and doing good. Something in my brain begins to tell me that I don’t deserve to be healthy and so eat. I am also a stress eater so instead of coming up with a solution to eating when I am stressed I use it as an excuse.
    Thank you for being real and more for being strong enough to admit it. You are amazing and we all have our moments of weakness, but it is at that time in our lives that our weaknesses can also make us become so much stronger. I read your book and was moved to apply your techniques in my life. I am doing this for my health and the weight is a bonus. Thank you so much for your inspiration in every fashion of this journey for me. You are amazing!

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  41. Helen Roberts Spingola

    The best ever..A saver…a Susan so much…..the honesty is so complete….am beyond words….

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  42. Sandra Clements

    Oh my fellow BLE friend Susan, thank you for exposing your vulnerability. It is so much easier to stick with a leader who has fallen the same way we have and yet gets back up to show us it can and MUST be done.
    May your days ahead b e 🎼Merry & Bright 🎵

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  43. Nicola Basham

    Oh dear . Yes you are so right. The minimising, the white lies , the elimination of our actual deeds to keep our halo in place, to keep our story bright when it isn’t……I realised that was me. Thank you for this realisation Susan. It is hard to admit when i have fabricated reality, to keep my self image in place , but I can see that doing this is harmful to me. I will take your honesty as inspiration to keep things real, warts and all. A slip is a slip, and it can be admitted. It is a good reminder that I am not perfect, and to face issues without self-deception.

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  44. Suzan Hill

    Once more your honesty is stunning. As I learn the landscape of my own addiction I am often bewildered about what can seem like amnesia or some other strange mental lapse. Thank you for giving us language for this and being an example of dedication to recovery! Love and admiration!

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  45. Carrie

    Thank you! And thank you to the fellow Bright Lifer for the rigor! I remember watching that vlog and thinking, “no, there was a holiday she told us about having a binge” but the next thought was…”oh well, I love and respect Susan, so she gets a pass.” I gave Susan a pass just like I give myself a pass! A little bite here or little extra there, maybe a white lie thrown in. The power of the addictive brain over my own integrity and the brain finds a way to put a salve on it that eventually has me not notice.
    Thank you so much for bringing the rigor and honesty to the table. Much love!

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    1. Beth Wilmart

      Yep, I was thinking the same thing, “but wait, she told us about a holiday binge in a previous vlog…” Glad someone brought it to her attention and was gracious about her initial denial.

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    2. Leah Allan

      I agree that the recognition here should go to the person who initially called this out. It takes courage and grace to call attention to someone’s missteps, and I think the way it was done was a remarkable example of how to avoid enabling by gently bringing behavior to the person’s attention. Recognizing that Susan is, of course, human…but at the same time a role model who’s consistency in behavior is greatly valued by a large community was just a remarkable observation followed by a courageous act in calling it out. We all benefit from helping each other stay true and focused! It’s the community that makes it worth it to take such risks…so a major thank you and applause to the person who messaged Susan privately and lovingly called this out!!

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      1. Bright Line Eating

        Yes, 100%! And that’s what’s so amazing about this community we have. Look at how much care, tenderness, respect, and love went into the message that Bright Lifer sent to Susan–without being enabling. So wonderful. Thank you for shining a light on that aspect of this story, Leah, Carrie, and Beth. 🧡

        Reply ·
  46. Vicky

    Absolutely true! I have kept a journal for many years and have numerous times had to confront (disbelievingly) my mind’s reconstruction of the past. Addict or not, if you’re human and you’ve lived long enough, you’ve at some point deleted, denied, or enhanced a memory. No one wants to believe that, but hey..,we’re only human:-)
    PS- Completely off the topic: thank you , Susan, for writing your book and for continuing to share your knowledge. Your book speaks so profoundly to me and has freed me in a way I never could have imagined.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Love the way you’ve worded this, Vicky. Thanks for watching, commenting, and for your contribution to this community. 🧡

      Reply ·
  47. Julia Wagner

    I am saving this video forever. Thank you for your honesty and courage. I have been in recovery for 33 years. I have had numerous addictions. I am a food addict. I will always need this reminder. ❤️❤️❤️

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  48. Wanda E Palmer

    Thanks for making me face again the fact that I am an addict. I ‘knew’ it. I have addicts for other things in my family so that I was afraid to taste alcohol, and now I am learning that I am addicted to food. But also it seems that I get close to going down a certain point on the scales and I sabotage myself. Having a candy barrage to pass through at Walmart and the grocery increase the problem. But I needed to be reminded that I am an addict and lie to myself. Keep telling it like it is.

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  49. Pat Fitzmaurice

    That is a really good vlog Susan, thank you so much. I am an addict likewise and I can do all that denial. Be well.

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  50. Annabel Hulme

    Hi Susan thank you so much for your humility and honesty in this Vlog. It has made me think about the number of times I have deceived myself around my food consumption and justifying in my own mind my behaviour which has been so detrimental to my wellbeing. Once again thank you.

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  51. Arvella Witherspoon

    This is a fantastic message-Thank you!. We have to be so careful not to be judgemental of others about their own journey though. I get where you are coming from and I love the accountability you shared. There is no CURE for an addiction. You know this. Only one day at a time.

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  52. Julie

    Wow a powerful vlog, so inspiring and honest. Thank you, have an amazing Thanksgiving 🌸

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  53. Nancy W. Goss

    Certainly can attest to having experienced this myself. Thanks for your message!

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  54. Maryanne Soper

    Susan, Thank you so much for your transparency in addressing this topic. It is so helpful for me to consider and reflect on this. Absolutely life changing. You are awesome.

    With gratitude and respect!

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  55. Tam

    Oh, this one really hit me. I’ve only been BLE for 22 days, but have been on nearly every diet known to mankind. Losing, gaining, losing, gaining, gaining, gaining. Hearing you talk about what the mind does to justify the ‘fix’ –yep, been there, that is so me. I’ve been a non-smoker now for over 15 years, and know the journey is ever so long. I’m thankful I found something that really clicked on the food side of things, and now know that I’ll need to be ever vigilant going forward, even once I hit my right sized body. The ‘win’ is ongoing, we never really cross the finish line, we only jog or walk along side it as we keep the lines going forward. Thank you.

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Welcome to the Bright Line Eating community, Tam. You’re so right about never really crossing the finish line. Great thoughts. 🧡

      Reply ·
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