Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson and welcome to the Weekly Vlog. Here we are the very, very last vlog of 2023, just about the last vlog of the first decade of Bright Line Eating, coming up to that soon here in January, that anniversary. Alright, so I was thinking about what to talk with you about this week, and I opened the spreadsheet that my team and I keep on suggested topics that people have sent in. And I wanted to read what this woman Kim sent in. I think it's apropos here. Here we are coming up on January 1st. It's a time when people start and restart New Year's resolutions that they've tried before oftentimes. So, today's topic is going to be Day One - Again and Again. So, this is Kim. She writes, I am strong. I have succeeded in sports in life, blah, blah, blah. I love that, blah, blah, blah. I have read and thought I have digested Bright Line Eating®, but how do I commit? I feel like I have had a hundred Day Ones. Literally, I know what to do. BLE teaches me how, but I can't make it stick. But a year ago I did Bright Line Eating for 10 days and lost six to eight pounds, and hence began the rituals of Day Ones. Insert big sigh and sad face. What would be some suggestions for getting it done? Boot Camp again? Never completed it. Help.
Oh, Kim, I just got to say I feel so qualified to answer your question, I am certain that I have had literally a hundred Day Ones. Certain. I started my food recovery journey when I was 21 years old. I was a year clean and sober, and I marched myself down to a 12-step program that would help me address all the food I was eating every night. That started eight and a half years of Day Ones over and over and over again. Then I found a different 12-step program that taught me how to not eat sugar or flour and weigh and measure my food. And boom, that was the magic that stuck. But six months later I relapsed, put back on all my excess weight and then started the most intense period of weight gain and binging I've ever experienced.
I was in Sydney, Australia, and in those three months I went through nine sponsors. Nine. That means full-blown relapses, getting willingness to start again, finding a new sponsor, and starting a new Day One nine times during those three months. But, during the eight and a half years prior to that, I'd had a gazillion Day Ones, and then that started a stretch of good, solid, Bright Lines. Then maybe a year or two later, I went back to Day One over artificial sweeteners. Then I had a good stretch of six to eight years of being Bright - abstinence, as I called it then. Then in mid 2015, I went back into the food again, and that started for years. I think I hardly got together 30 days consecutively. I was just over and over and over again doing Day Ones. That's four years of that. I mean, toward the end of it, my stretches of Brightness got longer in the months and months, but then I still had a few breaks in 2019, maybe two or three breaks in 2019, I don't remember exactly, but late 2015, all of 2016, all of 2017 and a lot of 2018 were hardly getting 30 days together. So that's a ton of Day Ones.
Then I got Bright and then started a weird stretch where I was breaking my quantities line in restaurants, but not calling it Day One, but now I would call it Day One. Then I finally went back to Day One again a year and a half ago, and I've been immaculately Bright since then. Really, really Bright. It's so interesting, Kim, because I stand here today, and I know there's so many people out there in the Bright Line Eating universe who struggle with their food. I'm considering the question of what I want to offer you, what I have, if it came with the requirement that you go through what I have had to go through to get it. It's such an interesting philosophical question because what I have is priceless. I'm in my Bright Body. I'm not thinking about my weight or my size. All my clothes in my closet fit. I have a healthy, strong, vibrant, beautiful body that I love and that loves me. We're in a beautiful symbiotic relationship, loving and being in love together, living this life.
I am peaceful with my food. I know that if I broke, I could get back on track, but I have no desire to go there. I have this diamond vase, it's impenetrable because I know how to get back if I break. I'm in such a place of ultimate surrender around the food. I just don't want to mess with it. I feel like my food recovery is just blessing every area of my life. I am so loving the trade every day that I surrender sexy and complicated food and keep my food simple so that I can show up for my kids, show up for my husband, show up for the Bright Line Eating movement and mission and vision, show up for myself, have a heart that's bursting wide open with joy.
I'm just so happy these days. I shot the vlog last week on that. This has been the happiest year of my life, but it has taken so much pain to get here. The path to get here has been so many years and decades of hiking through the “Research Rockies.” Would I offer that to you if the requirement was that you go through all of that to get it? Maybe I would because I'm only 49 and I've got what I've got now. It seems like a worthwhile trade. It's easy for me to say it's been worth it. It's been my pain, but would I hand that pain to someone else?
The point that I'm making here is we all have our journey. Anyone who is in Bright Line Eating and willing to do what we do around here has come to that place really honestly through a lot of whatever it is that they've been through that's convinced them that it is worth it to trade. The moments of using the food to give that up to have a life that is second to none. Because of the way food is used in our society and the role that it plays, it's a big sacrifice. It means not partaking. I mean, oh my gosh, it's December, right? I don't have to convince you. It means not partaking in a lot of stuff, all that food and all that alcohol, all that, but the trade is so worth it. The thing is, Kim, that people haven't all been through all of that by the time they get here, a lot of people get here and still have a long way to go to get to the place where they're convinced that it really is worth it for them to work the program that they need to work to put their food addiction into serious remission.
Sometimes people need to be here experiencing the struggle with eyes wide open and a head full of Bright Line Eating and the science and the knowledge and all of that, and watching themselves not really doing it, kind of halfway weighing it and experiencing the results that they get from that, realizing that if they put in half, they're going to get less than half. As a result, it doesn't actually work out. In the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it says, “half measures availed us nothing.” That's not even half a quarter. Half measures don't even, maybe a third, no half measures availed us nothing. It doesn't seem like half measures will avail nothing though, right? It seems like, oh, well, I'll just do what three quarter measures and I get three quarters out of that. It takes a while to run that experiment and realize you're not getting what you want out of it.
I have so many suggestions, Kim. I have so many suggestions. But the first one is just realize that nothing is necessarily out of place in your trajectory. You might still just be on your path doing your research and doing some of it here in Bright Line Eating. A lot of people, by the time they get here, have done enough research, and so, when they get here, they're done, and they pick up the tools that we offer and they're good to go. But that story is not everyone's story. I don't even know that it's the dominant narrative, frankly. I think a lot of people get here and still have to do a lot more research before they're convinced.
So, what are some of my suggestions? Well, I encourage you to look at each one of these Day Ones as getting you closer to your goal, not proof that it's impossible for you or evidence that this isn't your path. There was this study that was done that showed that the average person who used to be a smoker and is now a non-smoker, tried 30 times to quit. Thirty attempts. Thirty Day Ones with their cigarettes, right? Thirty times breaking those cigarettes in half, flushing them down the toilet, throwing away the lighter, washing the clothes 30 times. You can think of the first 29 times as failures and the 30th as a success, but I think the better, more accurate way to look at it is that each of those, so-called failures with cigarettes, brought them closer to the place where they could actually quit and it would work and it would take, right? It often takes a lot of doing that till you're ready, right? Okay. So, each of those attempts, each of those Day Ones is getting you closer to where you need to be.
Now in Australia, I did something different on the time that finally stuck, and I didn't do it on purpose. I didn't do it. I was smart, and I had figured out a better path. It was a fluke because my food was so out of whack. My whole life was out of whack. Everything was completely unmanageable, and I was basically failing at my postdoc. I was just not able to sort of show up, not able to be motivated. I was hardly leaving my apartment. I was just hiding and procrastinating and eating.
In order to get myself some support to show up for my postdoc, I hired a life coach, and I was lucky. I hired a good life coach. He's actually still someone I work with on and off today. He's amazing. We started working together, what would this be now? Twenty years ago? Twenty years ago. We had our first session. He gave me a homework assignment at the end of the call, and I said, I won't do it. It completely caught him off guard because our session had gone very well up to then, and he didn't strike me as an unreasonable person. He said, what do you mean? I said, well, I won't do it because I'm just eating. Then he got really curious, and he was like, well, now really? What do you mean you're just eating? I explained my situation of how I was just engaged in this horrible cycle of binge eating disorder, and I was just doing nothing but binging my brains out and recovering from binging my brains out. I told him all about my food recovery program, and he asked if it was what I really needed to be doing, and I said, yes. He said, well, if you can't work with me at all till you've got your food sorted, then your first homework assignment is to get your food sorted. What does that entail? I said, well, it entails calling this person at oh dark 30 every morning and committing my food to her, and then eating only and exactly that. He said, well, that's your assignment for the next seven days, and I'll talk to you next week. I didn't think I could do it. I had been trying to do it. This was my ninth sponsor, remember, in three months, and I was now a size 24, and I'd been a size four just three months prior. I mean, I'd gone from a size four to a size 24 in three months, I'd been eating more food than any human being should ever eat. It was just ludicrous.
Every part of my body hurt. It hurt to take a shower. The pelt of water felt like a daggers hitting my body. My skin was so puffy and inflamed and toxic. I was so miserable. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think it would work, but I just meekly said, okay. And there was something about him holding my commitment in addition to this new sponsor that I got that extra layer of accountability worked one day at a time. It just did. It worked day at a time. I think within two or three weeks, actually, maybe two or three months, I don't remember, I told him I wasn't going to work with him anymore because I didn't really need life coaching. What I needed was a program of food addiction and recovery, and to really focus on that a hundred percent, but for that initial period, that extra layer of accountability helped.
That would be something I would ask you, Kim, what extra accountability can you give yourself? What extra support, what extra containment can you give yourself that maybe you've never done before? That would be helpful. Okay, so that's one question.
Another thing that strikes me, Kim, is I notice, and for anyone out there who's got the same issue of Day One again and again, it strikes me that there's something going on here. The behavior seems a little bit like a diet mentality, and I want to challenge you to really get honest with yourself. How many of those were really Day One? I mean, really Day One, right? It sounds like you have a food addiction issue. Have you admitted that to yourself or are you still denying that in some way? What seems clear to me is that you're not working a program of recovery that's potent enough for the level of addiction you've got on board. Addiction is a progressive disease. It gets worse, never better. So, as you've been engaging with these attempts at recovery, your addiction has been progressing in an accelerated fashion because when you try to treat it, it gets worse on you pretty fast. It doesn't like the treatment. Addiction does not like being treated. It can flare up even worse when you try to treat it. My question for you is, have you been just doing a diet those Day Ones, have they been kind of, again, half measures availing us nothing? Right? Day One is just writing down your food and not even committing it to anybody, not even having any support structures in place. Is that what you're calling a Day One? Because if so, I would say, well, I don't know that that's Day One, right? Not really. I want you to think about being an addict in recovery. Day One, metaphorically speaking is you've called the rehab, they've got a bed for you. You've told work, I'm taking 30 days. I need treatment. A loved one has driven you to the premises and dropped you off, and they've gone through your suitcase to make sure you don't have any paraphernalia in your suitcase. And there you are to get clean and sober. That's Day One.
You see what I'm saying? So, there's day one and then there's Day One, right? I want you to redefine. I've tried Bright Line Eating. Yeah, really? Have you? I tried the Boot Camp and never finished it. Okay, I hear you. Maybe that was a full college try. Maybe that was the full, all in, really doing it. But did you do the equivalent of backing off your other commitments at work and in life, maybe resign from a committee or two, or do what you need to do to clean the decks a little bit so that you can focus on the Boot Camp? Were you really doing the Boot Camp? Did you get a buddy? Did you get a Mastermind Group? Did you call in for coaching when things got tough? Because there's doing the Boot Camp and then there's doing the Boot Camp. And the Boot Camp is potent medicine.
Another thing I want to say about that is even if you did do all that back then, if you did it again, you'd be different. Now. You have changed. You have watched yourself cycle through Day One, after Day One, after Day One, after Day One. At some point, those 30 attempts will catch up with you and the penny will drop from your head to your heart and you will realize, you know what? I need to stop bullshitting myself. I have a form of food addiction that is way stronger than my meager attempts at treatment have been addressing. I'm ready now to get the treatment that I need. It matters to me that much. I really want this. As I'm saying this, Kim, here's what I'm curious about.
Are you becoming aware of Parts of you that haven't really wanted this, that all along have been pushing back against this, have been saying, no, I'm not really a food addict. Or I don't, all those other people need all that support, accountability, blah, blah, blah. Really, I just want a diet. I really just want to lose a few pounds and get on with my life. Are you noticing that there are Parts of you that aren't on board with doing this fully? And if so, that's okay. Welcome to the party. Right? A lot of us have felt that way a lot of the time. In the Boot Camp, I don't know if you've done Boot Camp 2.0, you said you've done the Boot Camp, but there was an old Boot Camp, and now we have Boot Camp 2.0, and have you gotten in there and checked out what we make available to you right away, which is the Breakthrough Your Resistance Roadmap, which gives you the tools to address the Parts of you that are resisting it, resisting the treatment, resisting the joy, and the release and the well-being that comes on the other side of really doing the program.
This is not a diet, Kim. This is a program of recovery. This is a new way of life. Have you really tried it? Hearing me now, how many true Day Ones would you say you've had? None? One? A hundred? I'm not assessing or judging. I have no idea. I'm just curious, right? I'm just curious. May every Day One, may every Day One be put to good use and every break turn into a breakthrough. I would offer to you what I've got now. It's so precious and so priceless. So priceless. Knowing how much happiness it comes with, I would offer it to you. But, before you accept that gift, just know it comes with a lot of pain proceeding and a lot of research, and a lot of Day Ones, and a lot of trying what doesn't work before surrendering to what does? You're not alone. You're not alone. You're not alone. This is what the path looks like. This is what it looks like. January 1st, Boot Camp is starting. Boot Camp is starting. Come on in, my dear. Come on in. Clear the calendar, take time, carve out space, and really, really have your Day One. I promise it'll be worth it.
Happy New Year everyone! That's the weekly vlog. I'll see you in 2024.