The Weekly Vlog

Bright Lines as Guidelines for Weight Loss

May 08, 2024

I recently received an email from a woman named Peggy Sue Parker. She said she’d been using three of the four Bright Lines: no sugar, no flour, and only three meals a day. She said, “I have not weighed my food, because I have never been one to overeat.” Using those three Bright Lines, though, she has been able to lose weight successfully. She wondered if some people could manage their weight using only some of the Bright Lines.

When I was registering BLE as a company, I registered our name officially as Bright Line Eating Solutions, LLC. That’s solutions—plural. Because BLE is not just one solution; it’s many solutions for people who may be at different points along the food addiction continuum. It’s not binary: there are mild, medium, and severe cases of food addiction, plus there are people who legitimately have NO food addiction but do have weight to lose, and each of these situations needs a different approach, not one single written-in-stone solution.

This reminds me of a line in Shakespeare’s great play, Hamlet, where the king’s advisor, Polonius, says: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” This sentence can be found on sobriety coins, and back when I was first sober, I didn’t understand it.

Now, coming up on 30 years of sobriety, I do understand. Each person needs to make their recovery their own. And Peggy Sue, what I want to say to you is: do what brings you peace. And whatever that is, you are welcome in Bright Line Eating.

There are plenty of people who would benefit from what Peggy Sue is doing. Although I do tell people to weigh and measure their food, I’m generally speaking to the tens on the Susceptibility Scale. Maybe that’s not you.

Peggy Sue is doing Bright Line Eating appropriately for her needs. She doesn’t weigh her food because she “has never been one to overeat.” That’s a telling sentence. Someone who needs to weigh and measure their food would never say that, because it’s not their experience.

Not everyone needs to follow the Bright Lines strictly. Some people can use the Bright Lines as guidelines, like the lane markers on the highway. It’s not a train on a track; you can deviate a bit while still staying in your lane. 

Another point: psychologist Solomon Asch did powerful experiments to show that people will go along with what others say, even if they believe it’s wrong. People want to conform with others. In BLE, I’ve tailored solutions for those who are high on the Susceptibility Scale. If you don’t fit that model, it can feel like others are exerting pressure on you to conform to what isn’t right for you. 

In Asch’s experiments, all it took was one person to speak the truth to free others to say their own truth. What that means for Peggy Sue is that she is important to the Bright Line community, even if her experience is different from the experiences of the majority in the community. 

The reality is that I’m going to spend most of my time speaking to those who are high on the Susceptibility Scale because they need the most support. I’m like the Lorax. The Lorax “speaks for the trees” and I speak for the 10s. But today I’m speaking to those who are not. 

Our brains can indeed deceive us, and many people are scared to deviate even a little from the Bright Lines because of this. I like to give people the full roadmap for what may work for them, along with the freedom to follow it or not, figure it out on their own, and choose their path. But we’re not going to police you. There are no BLE police. 

So if you’re using the Bright Lines as guidelines in a way that serves you and it’s working for you, you’re doing great. Please stay with us, because there is a place for you even if you only follow two or three of the Bright Lines. Everyone is free to be here. Remember: to thine own self be true.

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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