Are you ready to find out if your brain is blocking you from losing weight?
Jan Deutsch’s Story
I am a 69-year old woman and I’ve lost 193 pounds over the past six years. My highest weight was 333 pounds in March of 2010. Initially, I lost 145 pounds over the course of four-and-a-half years by working closely with a wonderful bariatric physician. When I started Bright Line Eating in February of 2015, I weighed 188 pounds, and now, in March of 2016, I weigh a fabulous 140 pounds.
Let me rewind to when my struggles with food really started to surface…
My childhood best friend was petite. I had a body that was fully mature by age 14, when she still looked like she was 10 years old. That made me feel very self-conscious about myself. (It’s only in retrospect that I wish I knew how pretty and “just right” I was at the time.) When I was 14 years old, I weighed 135 pounds and was 5’7″ tall. This was by no means overweight, but in my mind, I was fat. So I started Weight Watchers at age 15. By the time I was 17 years old, I was in great shape…but then off I went to college, where I gained about 20 pounds during freshman year. After that, I spent some time on a rollercoaster of losing 20 pounds, gaining 20 pounds, and losing 20 pounds. Oh, and guess what my major was in college? Food and Nutrition Science – I was planning on becoming the next Betty Crocker. I loved thinking about food, planning meals, and entertaining. FOODTERTAINMENT!
When I got married at 21 years of age, I weighed 150 pounds. Then came my three pregnancies, which initiated an even steeper rollercoaster of repeatedly gaining and losing 40 pounds. At 29 years old I had a gall bladder problem that was temporarily keeping my eating in check, but after my gall bladder was removed, I was off to the races. I ate everything.
At one point, I did successfully lose 80 pounds on one of the supplement diets that was available. But the very day I made my goal I was eating junk food again. I think that was my lowest, saddest point. I felt like the ultimate failure. I just gave up and wouldn’t even think of dieting for the next eight years. During that time, I gained back all the weight I’d lost and MORE, for a total weight gain of 153 pounds. I ate whenever I possibly could. Whether I was happy or sad, it didn’t matter – I ate for comfort. I had tried and failed at so many “diets” in my life, I gave up on myself and started to accept that being obese was my lot in life. My primary care physician hinted at bariatric surgery as a possible solution, but I knew that my addictive nature would not let me keep the weight off long-term. I couldn’t understand why I could lose weight, but was never able to keep it off. I could diet, but why couldn’t I accept eating healthy food as a lifestyle? By no small miracle, I met my bariatric physician when I was at my highest weight of 333 pounds, and that’s when I learned I am a food addict and a compulsive overeater. I accepted that I was not a weak willed, lazy person. I was addicted to sugar and flour. What a relief!
I initially lost a large amount of weight by following a reduced calorie diet – no sugar, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no white flour. But in January of 2015, I was looking for something sweet to eat and opened a container of raisins. Over that weekend, I ate the whole container and added walnuts to enjoy my snack. I started to experience that “out of control” feeling again. Luckily, on February 8th, I listened to Susan Peirce Thompson being interviewed by Katie Mae. I felt like she was speaking directly to me and her words resonated so deeply that I immediately abandoned all flour, reduced my artificial sweetener intake, only ate three meals a day, and started weighing and measuring my food. I instinctively knew that Bright Line Eating was the plan I needed so I jumped in with my whole heart and soul.
I was so ready for Bright Line Eating. The biggest changes to what I had been doing simply were the four Bright Lines: no flour at all, no sweeteners, eating only 3 meals a day, and weighing and measuring my food. I think the two things that had the biggest impact on my success were eating only three meals each day and committing my food the night before. I had always been a grazer, eating almost every hour, on the hour. I never ate until I was full at meals because I wanted to save room for at least one or two snacks in the evening. The hardest part of the plan for me was eliminating snacking, as that meant my nighttime routine of several mini-meals was no longer an option. It took about 3-4 weeks to get used to that. I drank lots of tea, kept my hands busy, and stayed out of the kitchen.
I should mention that I eat WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based), where the philosophy typically goes: as long as you eat WFPB foods, there is no need to restrict quantities. But not for me! My compulsive overeater brain would tempt me to eat more and more. This is why the Susceptibility Scale made so much sense to me. I’m a 9 on the scale – I don’t know when to stop, and at the start of BLE, I had no leptin being registered in my brain to let me know when I was full. Even after reaching goal weight, I continue to weigh and measure my food because it gives me freedom. I know that what I have on my plate is exactly what I need. No second guessing.
I lost 48 pounds on Bright Line Eating to get to my right size. I reached my goal weight in November of 2015, and I have been on Maintenance for over 100 days now (mid-March of 2016). Today, I wear size 6-8 in anything from jeans to dresses. My body is definitely not what it was when I was younger, but I actually weigh 10 pounds less than when I got married. I live in New England with my husband of almost 48 years; we have grown children and two wonderful grandchildren, aged 7 and 11 years.
My life has changed dramatically over the past 6 years… At my worst, my triglycerides were through the roof from eating tons of processed foods; my HBA1C rose to 6.9 (in the diabetic range); and my knees, hips, and back ached from the extra stress and strain I was putting on them by carrying 193 extra pounds. In the past, I was either shut out of, or shut myself out of, so many activities that required physical effort. I used to be self-conscious in my size 24 or larger clothing. What I am most proud of in my Bright Line Eating journey is my identity as a Bright Line Eater, living at my right size, and most importantly, that I’ve been able to maintain the incredible weight loss. I am truly living Happy, Thin, and Free.
I want anyone who reads this to know that the changes don’t just appear after you’ve reached goal weight. I’ve noticed many of us tend to live for the “when I get there” moment. Please just enjoy the journey. I felt better with every pound I lost along the way. My skin was clearer, my brain fog was gone, and my arms swung freer. After the first few weeks, I was more energetic. As my hunger and cravings dwindled, I became less angry and less frustrated with myself and, therefore, became kinder and gentler with others. I have participated in several 5K’s and a 10-mile walk. I kayak and canoe, and I can ride a bike too. One of the most memorable moments for me in the last year was fulfilling a dream I had from about 20 years ago in Vermont. I was out on a golf course and I saw Glider planes swooping overhead. I thought, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that someday.’ But then I looked down at my 300-pound body and said to myself, ‘No way could I do that.’ There was a weight limit on the glider. Well, in August of 2015 I fulfilled that dream. It was so exhilarating to be soaring over the mountains. Dreams really do come true.
Bright Line Eating is the whole package. It’s an excellent food plan and it WORKS. Trust the plan. Try to think of it as a lifestyle and not a diet. Us Bright Line Eaters like to say, “Focus on the weight and you’ll lose your Bright Lines…focus on the Bright Lines and you’ll lose the weight.” I started BLE thinking it was the last plan I’d ever need, and it’s so true. My advice to newcomers is to jump into the Boot Camp fully – participate in the Online Support Community, develop a support system, and watch all the modules. You are cheating yourself if you don’t. Think of the Boot Camp as the foundation for the rest of your life. This isn’t deprivation or punishment – it’s something you’re choosing to do to improve your quality of life. Susan Peirce Thompson has created this program like no other. You can succeed because it truly works.