Hey, there. It's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to The Weekly Vlog. Imagine a world--and for those of you who are parents of multiple kids, this won't be a stretch--imagine a world in which you've got a parent or parents of multiple kids, let's say two kids,` that usually fight to no end, bicker, argue. They're always at opposite ends of any perspective, and they sort of, that's their identity is they don't get along. But in this one particular way, at this one particular time, they start getting together and conspiring against the parents. And they hatch a plan and they start working together, and they've got their nefarious little plan and they're going to play some sort of prank or surprise on the parents, or they're going to get away with something, or they've worked something out to their advantage and they're not going to tell their parents. You can imagine a world like that, right?
Well, I recently discovered that my food indulger part and my food controller part, and maybe my rebel part too, but definitely the food indulger and the food controller have been conspiring against me in my recovery from food addiction in my Bright Line journey. And I'm going to tell you the story in this vlog of how I discovered this. And it's kind of an interesting awareness and I think it might be helpful to you.
Okay. So here's what I noticed. Here's what happened. I'm living my life normally, everything's fine. And yeah, I'm in the kitchen making my lunch, and I've got one of those apple corer things that's like a metal thing that you shoop over your apple and it takes out the core and then it immediately breaks it into 12 different apple slices. I love this thing. It makes it so much easier to cut up my apple. So I take all the slices and I put them in a bowl, and there's a little piece of apple that's stuck to the core part, but it's good apple flesh, it's not core. And I'm in the kitchen making my lunch and I pop it in my mouth and I think to myself, "Well, that's my apple, right? That's legit. That's fine." So I pop it in my mouth.
Some other time, pretty close in time to that recently, I'm usually making my breakfast grain in this overnight slow cooker thing. But apparently, I set it up overnight wrong, so I awake in the morning, I don't have any grain for breakfast. It didn't cook overnight. "Darn it. Okay, no worries." I go to the cupboard and I get my quick oats. I weigh out an ounce of quick oats, I crack salt into it, I put some water in the bowl. I stir that, the water, salt, and oats all measured and everything, and I'm about to pop that bowl in the microwave. Now I've got that spoon, right? It's got the oat sludge stuff on it, not cooked yet, but I take the spoon and I put it in my mouth. But I think to myself, "Wait. Don't put that in your mouth. Wait. That's weighed and measured. That's fine. Okay." I put it in my mouth. No worries. Okay.
Another time recently, right before dinner, I'm making my dinner in the kitchen and David's like, "I think you'd really like this hot sauce." And I look at the ingredients. There's either no sugar, or there's sugar but it's like 12th on the ingredients list or something. He says, "It's not too hot for you. You'll like it. You'll like it." And he's thinking, "Put it on your salad. It'll be good. Or put it on your meat or something or put it on your whatever." And so, I take a spoon out of the drawer and I put some of this hot sauce. I look at it, it's got 15 calories per tablespoon. That's about the same as vinegar. That actually is identical to balsamic vinegar, and so I think, "Okay, that's a condiment." And so, I put it in the spoon and I eat it in the kitchen.
Now these things start to weigh on me a little bit, like niggle at me. One of my favorite sayings on my Bright journey with my food is, "Do what gives you peace." And I start to not have peace about it, no peace. I start to think about it a little bit. And so, I get to the point where I talk it over with somebody.
I talk it over with somebody whose approach to food recovery I really respect, right? Someone with immaculately shiny lines. And what she says is, yeah, so she says, "For me, when I sit down at the table and take a breath and say a blessing, this stuff that formerly wasn't food magically turns into food. And it's my food to eat. Like the dividing line between not my food or even not food at all, like not mine and food that's mine to eat happens for me when I'm sitting at the table, I've had a breath and I've set a prayer, and now I'm eating my food. And that is the line. It's the cleaner and brighter you make that line, the brighter your Bright Lines are, right? That is the sparkly line of Bright Lines."
And I've got to say that it made sense to me. And when I first was taught how to eat Bright, it was by food addiction recovery people 20 years ago. And they absolutely taught me that. They said, "Don't you dare put anything in your mouth until you're sitting at the table, you've had a breath, you've said a prayer." I put that in the first book, Bright Line Eating. I teach it in the Bright Line Eating Boot Camp and now the new Boot Camp 2.0. And somehow I'd gotten away from that practice, because now here's the interesting subtle thing. It wasn't my food indulger getting me to put that food in my mouth. It was my food controller that had decided, "It doesn't matter. It's your weighed food, so it's yours. It doesn't matter."
And I think the food indulger got the food controller to loosen up a little bit and see it that way. The food indulger thinks, "We should be eating all of this, because it's just so much nicer that way. We are happier. Life is better when we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want." The food indulger just wants to eat. The food controller is the one that has these boundaries. And I think the food indulger got to my food controller and convinced them, "No, this doesn't matter. This is okay because..."
And I'm sure there's people out there who are thinking, "Susan Peirce Thompson, you're a crazy-pants. This is obsession. This is ridiculous, right? Because, of course, it doesn't matter." And from a diet mentality, caloric perspective, of course, it doesn't matter whether you eat that smidgen of apple in the kitchen or sitting at the table, right? It's the same food. It's going in your mouth either way. That half a calorie maybe of oats that's already dissolved in water that's on that spoon, it doesn't matter from that perspective.
But this isn't a diet. This is a new relationship with food. And my integrity is such that... It's partially integrity. It's also I want to live in the safe container with food that I live in with drugs and alcohol, where I know what the first drink is. I know what the first sip of the first drink is. I know what the first drug is. There's very few circumstances where it's ambiguous. Vicodin after a C-section was one of those ambiguous circumstances, right? The alcohol in vanilla. When I used to binge on raw cookie dough, the alcohol in the vanilla that I would put in the raw cookie dough, that was a gray area. The alcohol in NyQuil or DayQuil is a gray area.
But there's very few of those, and I do my best to clean those up so that I'm living clean and sober and I know for certainty that I am. That's why it matters. That's why it matters. And I want that line between the food that I eat that's my food and the food that I don't eat, which is every other bite of food in the whole universe, even if it's baby carrots in a pile, if it's 3:00 in the afternoon and I've had my lunch already and I'm not having my dinner yet, those baby carrots are not my food, right? I want that line to be so Bright.
And here's what I realize, that the collusion between my food indulger and my food controller, my food controller deciding, "It doesn't matter," that's what got me in trouble in restaurants, little by slow, creepy crawly, inchy, take an inch. Now it's another inch. It's not quite a mile, but it's like enough inches piled up that suddenly I'm doing wonkadoodle stuff in restaurants, more quantities, more fat here, not asking them to hold the dressing and put it on the side for me. They're like all kinds of stuff I was doing that eventually landed me in a place where I didn't even recognize myself in restaurants. I was doing stuff that is not Bright. And I went back to day one over it. And this was a while back. And you can watch vlogs and catch yourself up if you don't remember. But now, I am immaculately Bright in restaurants in that same way of, I can tell you with each bite of food, whether this is Bright, whether this is my food. And I walk out of restaurants feeling so free.
And that insidious voice of, "It doesn't matter..." It DOES matter. This is my freedom. This is how I get to be the person that I want to be in this world. You've heard my story with drugs and alcohol, low bottom. From one perspective, that's a pretty low bottom. My bottom with food is lower. So yes, it matters. For me, food takes over my whole life if I'm not really in recovery, if I don't really know what's Bright and what's not, what's on this side of the line or that side of the line. So the line itself, the integrity of the line matters.
So I had my breakfast this morning. I assembled it in the kitchen. I walked it out not to the table, because I don't eat my breakfast at the table. I eat my breakfast in a rocky swivel chair thing that sits in front of the big window that looks out to the backyard, because in the morning I like to look out at the view at the green, if it's wintertime, at the brown and the snow. I like to look outside.
But I've got a little side table there where I put my food and I brought my breakfast out there. I set down my breakfast bowl. I snuggled into the chair. I put a blanket over my lap because it was a little chilly in the house. I put my bowl on my lap. I took a breath. I said what I like to say before meals these days, if you want to know what I say, my blessing, here it is before meals, "Thank you, God, for this beautiful Bright meal. May it nourish and sustain me until the next." And then, I picked up my spoon and I had my first bite. And that was my beautiful, weighed and measured food, so sparkly, Bright, and shiny, that my heart just exploded with gratitude. And that is how I want to eat.
That's the Weekly Vlog. I'll see you next week.