Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to the Weekly Vlog. So, I want to talk today about food, thoughts, and cravings and the difference between them and how to navigate them. I'm shooting this vlog in mid-November, and in the United States of America, the Thanksgiving holiday is coming up. December is a holiday season, in many, or maybe most, parts of the world, and food often goes along with those holidays and with it, extra socialization, extra food pressure, extra food thoughts for a lot of people. I really want to focus in today on the anatomy of what goes on inside of our mind when it comes to food and how we can be exceptional stewards of our mental state in relationship to food. So, a lot of us who come into Bright Line Eating¨ have experienced profound food cravings, and a craving is like a dragon in the analogy that I'm going to be presenting to you today.
We're going to talk about dragonflies and dragons and everything in between. So, a dragon is fire breathing and scary and intense, and it feels like it swallows us alive. It absolutely swoops in and is associated with a really intense motivation for action. It starts to get us to move in the direction of fulfilling its wants and needs and desires. Its demands. That's a dragon, and it's hard to escape from. It's hard to deal with. It's not easy slaying a dragon, right? Once our state of mind is in that kind of zone, it's going to take some emergency measures to escape alive. Now, there are things that work. I think phone calls to supportive Bright Line Buddies can be among the most helpful things. I think fervent prayers can help a lot. I think journaling can help a lot. I think a couple of minutes of timed quiet meditation can help a lot. Remember, there's five things that research shows replenish your willpower in the moment. Prayer, meditation, social connection, gratitude, and service. Those are the five things that research shows will replenish your willpower. But when a craving hits, it's going to take a lot of action on your part to deal with it.
What I want to let you know is that cravings subside when we do Bright Line Eating. The brain heals the dopamine downregulation. That is, the source of those cravings becomes less and less acute as we abstain from sugar and flour as those dopamine receptors begin to repopulate. What happens before too long, in my experience, well, in my research, within the first eight weeks on Bright Line Eating on average, people's cravings have gone down to little to no cravings anymore ever. Now, that doesn't mean that people aren't having food thoughts though. And that's where the next analogy comes in.
What happens over time is that our state of mind around food, like eating more food or eating foods that are NMF, like not my food, foods that are off the Bright Line Eating food plan, those food thoughts turn into what I call dragonflies. Not dragons. Dragonflies. So, a dragonfly, if you've seen a dragonfly, they're these strange little creatures and they're winged and they fly and they're colorful, they're odd, they're beautiful, and they just kind of land a alight somewhere. And then they kind of look at you. They look around, they invite your inquiry and attention, they're captivating, and then they fly off and they're pretty easy to get to fly off. If you shoo them away, they'll just take off, right? That's a food thought. It's not a craving. It's a food thought. And I encourage you to notice when you have food thoughts that are dragonflies as opposed to dragons. The big game or task or endeavor, if you will, once your cravings, your dragons have morphed into dragonflies, is to make sure that you shoo them away before they grow into dragons. Because dragonflies will grow into dragons if you give them too much attention, if you let them hang around, if you feed them with your presence, your curiosity, they will grow from dragonflies into dragons. And that happens when we're not vigilant, when we're not clear in our identity, when we're not aligned within ourselves about not wanting to eat that excess food, about wanting to stay Bright with our whole heart about wanting this program of recovery.
Now, of course, there's a part of us that wants to eat the excess food. It's the Food Indulger Part that thinks that food would be helpful for so many reasons, right? It would help relieve stress. It would help us socialize better. This Food Indulger Part has all of these reasons why it wants to eat a addictively. But with our highest self, with our Food Controller Part, with our Rebel Part that we can recruit to be a Òhell noÓ for eating NMF and supporting our toxic food industrial complex and the big food and big pharma industries, we can recruit our Rebel Part to be like, no, I'm not going to buy into that system anymore. I don't want to live in a world that's dominated by these terrible moneyed interests, and I don't want to be dominated by their products. I don't want to be eating 60 to 80% ultra-processed food like most people are today. That's the Rebel Part that can be recruited toward in service of that crusade. We could use those other Parts of us to be at least 51% clear and vigilant that we do not want to let those dragonflies grow into dragons.
What do we do to keep the dragonflies from growing into dragons? My favorite thing to do is to use a mantra. My favorite mantra is, ÒThank you, God. That's not my food. That's not my food. That's poison to me. That's not my food. That's poison to me.Ó That orientation and really, really letting the poison aspect of it sink in. It poisons my emotions. It poisons my state of mind. It poisons my body. It poisons my spirit. It poisons my attitude. It poisons my self-esteem and my self-concept. It's poison all the way through and through. ÒThat's not my food. That's poison to me.Ó That's my favorite stopgap measure to keep the dragonfly from growing into a dragon.
Prayer is another great one. ÒGod, please take this food thought away. Please don't let me focus on it. God, help me to stay vigilant and clear. Just please remove the thought.Ó That's very helpful as well. A phone call is very, very helpful as well. A call to a supportive person, find out about them. It doesn't even have to be someone who does Bright Line Eating. Call a friend, call a family member. Call your Aunt Sally and find out how she did with that procedure she just had. Call someone and ask about them. Get out of yourself and ask about them. But of course, a call to a supportive person can be really helpful in Bright Line Eating. Then you can tell them all about it. Say, ÒRemind me why I don't want to be eating that food. Remind me how good it is to be Bright. I just really need a good car wash for my mind. Just help me remember why it is that I do this, and I love to do this.Ó Oh my gosh.
I want to also let you know that there's an in-between creature between the dragonfly and the dragon. Think of it as kind of a grotesquely large dragonfly that maybe has some dragonesque features. It's a way scarier pest than a dragonfly, and it can be shooed away, but youÕve got to shoo it away more aggressively, maybe bang some pots and pans and really get it out of here. That's what we've got when we've been Bright for 2, 3, 4, 5 weeks. There's this zone that I've discovered, and I discovered this back in Australia when I was binging horribly and trying to put down the sugar and flour. It was a nightmare. It was a nightmare. I've spoken about this time in my life. Written about it. This was the period of time when I went from a size four to a size 24 in three months. It was horrific. What I found was that when I had had the sugar and flour and the binge just in the last day or two or three, I really had a dragon on my hands. And sometimes I just, my personal experience wasÉit didn't feel like I could withstand it and it would drive me back into the food with a ferocity that was beyond my ability to put up any defenses. When I got about 21 days away from the sugar and the flour, it felt like the dragonfly, the dragon was now a dragonfly, but it wasn't just a little dragonfly. It was more this weird creature that was bigger and a little scarier. But what happened was I had some choice restored. I had some agency restored, and the tools that I would work, the prayer, the mantra, the phone call, those tools would shoo it away, but not for a whole day usually. I usually had to work those tools hard again every day. But one day at a time, I strung those Bright days together like pearls on a necklace, and suddenly I had something quite beautiful. And it really felt for me, like 21 days was the turning point. Twenty-one days was the turning point where suddenly I was on firmer ground terra firma again. And the tools really worked faithfully, and I was no longer in danger of being eaten alive by the dragon.
Oh, goodness. So, what I want to say as you live through this holiday season is it is so, so worth it to protect your state of mind because I will just say it again. You've probably heard me say it before. If you succumb to the notion that you need to make exceptions because it's the holiday season, the problem with that thinking is it's always something because then it'll be Valentine's Day, and then it'll be your birthday or your spouse's birthday, or your kid's birthday, or your mom's birthday. Then you'll be having someone over for dinner. Then you'll be going on a trip. Then there'll be Independence Day celebrations, and then there'll be another trip, and then there'll be the holiday season all over again. It's always something. Consigning yourself to a life where you're breaking and Rezoomingª because there's a special occasion at hand, is locking you in a prison where the dragonfly isn't the thing. It's a dragon. Because when we've just been eating those foods, when we've been making exceptions, when we've been giving in to the cravings, the dragon has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. That dragon is more and more resistant to turning into a dragonfly, to shrinking down and becoming less powerful if we've been feeding it recently.
So, being vigilant this holiday season is really worth it. It is really worth it if you're new or newish to Bright Line Eating, I just want to say double down on having a really, really Bright holiday season because your first one will be the hardest one, and the second one will be so much easier because you did it once. You will know that you can do it again, and you will have had a whole year of practice and automaticity and building a social support network. You'll be buying yourself a lifetime of freedom, a lifetime in a Bright body, a lifetime of feeling in alignment with your eating, with your food, with your weight, with your health, healthy and well and Bright and sparkly in every way. There is no bite of holiday-whatever that is worth it. It is a bum deal. It is a bad trade, and your mind during the season will likely convince you that it's worth it, and it's not in any way, shape or form. Everything that you get here at Bright Line Eating by being Bright is worth it. And so, in parting words, I just want to say, if you notice by listening to this vlog that you have a dragon fly and not a dragon, that the food thoughts when they come, they're pretty meager and they just alight and look at you with some curiosity. Sometimes the food thought will come of like, oh, there's those people eating that food. Do you want to consider that? Is that a thing that maybe you should consider? It just lands that lightly. And all you have to do is just stay clear that when the dragonfly arrives, your job is to shoo it away, because the minute it lands, it starts growing into a dragon right before your eyes. If you just let it sit there, it's growing rapidly. Just get it away, mantra, prayer, phone call, breath work, gratitude, service, and just be so, so grateful that all you have to do for the rest of your life is just shoo away the odd random dragonfly. Just know it's a dragon in wait. It's a dragon in disguise. It's just waiting to grow. Don't let it. That's the weekly vlog. I'll see you next week.