Are you ready to find out if your brain is blocking you from losing weight?
Sharon M.’s Story
Ever since I was a child, I suffered because I was overweight. There are a few photographs of me as a happy child, but what I remember most is the sadness and isolation I felt from a very young age. My home was not a happy place – my father was an alcoholic, my mother was trapped in a situation she couldn’t contend with, and in the middle were us children. Food became a comfort…a friend…something to do when there was no one to talk to about what was deep inside. Along with my father being a drinker, he also had real issues handling sugar, so candy and sweets were a normal part of my young life. We had a large red aluminum tin at the top of the pantry loaded with candy, and it was very accessible. My earliest recollection of a binge was taking a box of frozen donuts from the freezer, hiding, and eating a few before I realized there was no way I could finish the “evidence.” The memory sticks in my mind all these years later. I was ashamed and realized I had done something wrong, but couldn’t stop eating even at 8 years old.
My weight continued to rise as I grew and kids, adults, and even teachers treated me differently. No one saw me or gave me the attention a child needs for comfort or guidance. So, food remained my solace – my go-to when I was angry, tired, bored, or sad. Hunger was not the cue for my eating. In fact, seldom did I ever feel hungry, but I ate constantly because I had so much anxiety. As a teen I made the diet rounds: Weight Watchers, Atkins, and pills, all before my 16th birthday. I had some success, but the issues of how to navigate the loneliness and how to maintain the weight loss were never addressed.
As I got older, I was able to use exercise and regular dieting as a way to control my weight. At 5’3″ and a high of 165 pounds, it was very difficult to feel good about myself. My body shape is very round and as any woman with a round middle knows, you just never look feminine in anything you put on. I felt unattractive, masculine, and aging, with thinning hair and a bloated body. There were many more diets to come: Overeaters Anonymous, Calorie King, Dr. McDougall’s, and Whole Foods Plant-Based. I once consulted a Ph.D. in nutrition and went on vitamins, shakes, and detoxing regimes in the hopes of a solution. It drove me crazy. Why was I so driven to eat sugar and refined food? Why would I send my husband out for a food run at 7 p.m. when I was too tired to go myself? Why couldn’t I solve this mystery? I’m intelligent, I have degrees in nursing and business management, and I’m certified in nutritional counseling and teach yoga. Why couldn’t I conquer this issue?
Eventually, I came to believe that there was just no way for me to get down to a normal weight. It just wasn’t going to be my experience.
Then one summer I was taking care of my grandchildren. After one week eating a “kid-friendly” menu I was miserable. Flying home, I went into a sugar stupor after drinking a sugary drink at the airport. Then my husband and I stopped at a fast food restaurant for dinner before coming home to an empty refrigerator.
That evening, tired from the trip and loaded up on refined food, I felt desperate. I prayed to God to help me because I did not know where to turn. That very same evening in an email, a friend shared the Bright Line Eating “Friends and Family” Video with me and celebrated her recent success. I immediately Googled Bright Line Eating and read everything I could find online. I realized it mirrored a 12-step food program and so I started the next day – no sugar, no flour, 3 meals a day, and measured quantities.
Within a few days I started to sleep better and feel better. By the time the October Boot Camp started, I had already lost 20 pounds and questioned if I should even sign up. But my BLE friend kept reassuring me that this was so much more than a diet – that this program had the tools for meaningful and long-lasting change. And wasn’t that what I really needed? Not just another diet, but tools for life, and perhaps even the dream of maintenance?
My weight loss was not fast, but it was steady at an average of 4.5 pounds a month. I reached my first goal weight of 120 pounds in early December and stayed there for a month. I started Maintenance and actually maintained that goal range through Christmas and the New Year’s Holidays.
Then I asked Susan on a live coaching call if she felt it was possible to get a bit lower, as my middle still had so much fat. She told me to go ahead and reach for my dream goal of 110-115 pounds to see how that felt and looked – it was totally accessible if I wanted it.
And it was. I weigh 110 pounds and feel totally comfortable with the maintenance program and my goal weight range. I have committed to be on the Bright Line Eating plan for the remainder of my life, one day at a time. I no longer eat sugar and flour and actually don’t really desire or want it. This program is enough for me.
So what have I gained from Bright Line Eating? Yes, my weight is wonderful and miraculous…but there is so much more. My hair is healthier, my skin is clearer, and my nails are stronger. I feel giddy when I see myself in size 4-6 clothing and now I can even wear a belt! I know my brain is healing because my long-standing anger and depression are lifting. I’ve had melancholy and anxiety my whole life and just assumed I was wired that way. Now my mood is even and high, and I feel real joy each day. I sleep 6-7 hours a night and awaken rested most mornings. My long standing hip and toe pain is mostly gone. My yoga practice is deeper as my muscles have lengthened even more. My energy is getting better all the time.
What I have failed to mention is that my sweet husband has also lost 60 pounds on this program. He and I have worked together to make this program succeed for us both. We are both feeling more hopeful about the next 30 years of our lives.
We use all of the tools, and refine our practice all the time. I have embraced this program with two strong arms. I don’t question it – I just follow it. It has been my lifeline and I know that it is the answer for me. One Day at a Time!