Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to the Weekly Vlog.
All right, I am shooting this vlog the day before Thanksgiving 2023, so the day before Thanksgiving 2023. I am sensitive to the time of year as someone who helps to support thousands of people in staying Bright and doing Bright Line Eating¨ throughout the year. I want to talk today about a specific topic. It's not the Òhow do I stay Bright on ThanksgivingÓ topic exactly, but I just want to say that I've shot that vlog many times. If you want to know what my best tips are for Thanksgiving, if you want to know how to stay Bright on Thanksgiving, if you want to plan for Thanksgiving Day, go to brightlineeating.com or YouTube to the Bright Line Eating Channel on YouTube and just type in the word Thanksgiving and you will get so many vlogs. I've shot a bunch of them in the past, so this year I wanted to zero in on a specific topic that is especially relevant, I think this holiday season, and it's something I just want to share how I handle it, and I know that there are people in our community who do it differently than this, and I think there are many people who would tell you it works for them.Ê
I think there's a really good reason not to do it that way though. So, let me be specific here. I'm talking about the idea of changing your food plan on a holiday or special occasion. For example, if you're on the bright line eating weight loss food plan, you don't get lunch, you don't get, don't get lunch, you get lunch, you don't get fruit at dinner, but you get it at breakfast and lunch, and you also don't get grain at lunch or dinner, but you get it at breakfast. So I'm talking about someone who's thinking Thanksgiving is coming up. It's going to be a dinner meal with my family and the people I'm celebrating with. And what I'll do is I won't eat my grain at breakfast. I won't eat my fruit at lunch, and I'll move those components of my food plan to dinner so that I can have four ounces of mashed potatoes at the dinner meal, and I can have six ounces of fresh fruit when everyone else is having the dessert course. I don't do that. I can see why that seems like a good idea. Here's why I don't do it on Thanksgiving and every day of the year, 365 days a year, I eat exactly the food plan and I eat the same categories and quantities of food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't swap them around ever.Ê
The reason I don't swap them around is really twofold. One is, I am a food addict. I am a food addict, and I don't want to buy into the lie that that Part of me is believing, that my well-being and my sustenance and my okayness comes from the deliciousness of my food because it does not in any way, shape or formÉmy okayness is not related to the yumminess of the food that I'm about to get to eat. That anticipatory titillation is the addictive part of the brain that wants that, desires that, anticipates, and my recovery has largely been driven by my ability to live in such a way that that goes quiet in my brain, and my brain is no longer telling me that I'll be okay. I'll be better off. Everything will be right with my world if I've got the yummiest meal to look forward to and or I'm about to sit down and eat it.Ê
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my food. I enjoy my food. I make my food delicious completely, and I'm sincere about that. I love my food. It's amazing. It's delicious, but it's not addictive. I shot a vlog recently about the hot shower metaphor, right? I love my food the way I love my hot shower, but I'm never thinking about it before or after, just like I'm not obsessing about the hot shower that I might get to take later and how it's going to hit the spot. I don't want to ever be thinking about a meal that I'm going to be eating tomorrow or next month or six months from now.
I literally remember eating a meal on a cruise once. This was not the standard buffet. This was in a Michelin star restaurant that was on this cruise ship that was so just extraordinary out of this world that when the possibility of going on a cruise like that again with my husband came up, I literally in my morning meditation, found myself thinking for the whole meditation about that meal, and it was like a Òmaybe meal,Ó and it was like four months away. But, here I am meditating in the morning thinking about that meal and about what I might or might not order and how I might or might not be able to make it a really bright meal. And I'm thinking about it for the whole meditation session. That is not how I want to be living. That is not the brain that I want to have. Those are not the thoughts that I want to be nurturing and fostering. When I swap categories of food around in my food plan, what happens for me is days and even honestly weeks or even a month or more in advance, I start to think about whether I'm going to do that and how it would work and whether it will fly and all of that. And for me, that feels untenable. That feels unmanageable. I don't want my brain to be doing that to me.Ê
So, that's the first oneÉis in the same way that I think a food fast, sometimes, is a good thing to just cleanse us from the notion that food is where our fundamental spiritual nurturance and sustenance comes from. It's not, it comes from a way deeper source, right? Food is fuel, food is necessary. Food is amazing. Food is one of the pleasures of life for sure, but it is not the deepest source of my okayness or sustenance, and I don't want to be leaning on it in that way. It is. It's just a lie. I don't want to go there. So, in order to believe that I can be okay without mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, I need to live through Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes and notice that I'm fine and that there are other ways to get the deep nurturance and sustenance that I want and need and crave.Ê
I find myself dying to the food, if you will, and awakening to the hugs and the smiles and the laughter and the warm soft lamplight and the lit candles and the sharing of gratitude around the table, the things that make Thanksgiving really come alive. That's what I awaken to, and my food is whatever it is. I keep it pretty simple. I keep it pretty simple, and I don't want to demonize mashed potatoes. Honestly. If I get a grain at that meal and I'm eating at someone else's house where I don't really have the opportunity to set my potatoes aside before they're all mixed up with the fixings, I'll eat four ounces of mashed potatoes and not feel the least bit guilty about it. But if I'm home and I'm serving Thanksgiving, I'll make mashed potatoes for everyone else, but I will take four ounces of potato, like just boiled potato and set it aside, and I will eat plain potato because I'm a food addict and I know what lights me up. So, again, it's not a shame or judgment thing. It's really that I don't want to feed the part of me that believes that that's the way I'm going to be okay, because it's not alright.Ê
The second reason I don't do that is really critical, and it's that over years of experience, I've learned that doing that with my food builds in a wobble in my Lines later. And here's how. So let's imagine that I'm like, ÒYou know what? I'm going to do that. I'm going to swap my categories of food. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm going to move my fruit from lunch to dinner so that I can eat fruit while everyone else is eating their dessert.Ó Okay, fine.Ê
What happens in a few months when our dear friends from out of state call us up and they're in town and we're all going to get together, and I just found out about it at three o'clock, and of course, we're all going to get together. They're going to come over. I'm going to serve them dessert, and now I've already eaten my fruit at lunch. I didn't know this was about to happen, but if I'm so used to having fruit while everyone else has dessert, I am very, very likely to have fruit while everyone else has dessert, even though I already ate my fruit at lunch, I didn't move it from lunch to dinner. That's extra food in my food plan. Then the Part of me that's logging whether I'm Bright or not Bright is having a tough time because that wasn't entirely on the up and up, and suddenly there's a wobble in my Lines, right?Ê
It's the same reason I don't put cream in my coffee because when I justify putting milk or cream or something in my coffee like that and weighing it, then I'm nursing a beverage past meal time. It's got milk in it. Now, what happened? This literally happened to me. I was stressed. I was traveling. I was at a conference and I ended up needing more cups of coffee. I was very sleep deprived. It'd been a red eye flight, blah, blah, blah. And now I'm needing coffee at nine and 10 and 11:00 AM in the morning at the conference room, in the hotel center, the hotel convention center, and I'm pouring cream in every one of those cups of coffee. That was the beginning of a binge for me. It's the same reason that I don't put milk in my coffee, even if it's weighed and measured, even if it's my committed protein serving, I drink. Well, I don't drink any coffee right now, but if I am going to drink coffee, I'm going to drink it black, and I don't move my food plan categories around for that same reason. It's going to build in a wobble in my Lines later. I'm very interested in how to work my program such that years and decades of Bright Lines are possible, not just days and weeks and months, but years and decades of Bright Lines. That's what I'm in it for today.Ê
I am peaceful with my food. I'm peaceful with myself. I'm peaceful with my identity. I'm a Bright Liferª. This is how I eat. This is how I live, and I'm not deprived. I'm not deprived. I'm not wanting, I'm not lacking. I'm in my Bright Body. I am loving my life. I love my food. I feel privileged and blessed. I eat an abundance of whole real food. I eat better than almost anybody I know, except people who also eat this way. But we eat amazingly well, and I'm not missing or wanting or lacking anything even on Thanksgiving.Ê
I'm excited for the day. I'm excited for the people, and it's not the food that's going to make it a great day. It's all the rest of it. It's the gratitude and the service. So, here's to the holiday season, and if you live somewhere where Thanksgiving isn't a thing, I'm guessing there's still a nugget here because there are occasions where we're tempted to make a swap or a substitution or something like that, and I'm justÑno shameÑbut I'm just sharing how I orient toward those things in case you're curious.Ê
That's the weekly vlog. Have a wonderful week, everyone. I'll see you next week.