Integrity around Food
Saturday, April 14, 2018
I've been adhering to the bright lines defined in the Bright Line Eating plan for the last 4 1/2 weeks. These "bright Lines" are hard and fast rules, lines that we do not cross. The most important two are No Sugar, No Flour or any processed foods made with these two refined substances. The other two are sticking to three meals a day and planning out and weighing food (I weigh proteins and fats every time.)
The purpose of eliminating sugar and flour from the diet is to reduce/eliminate cravings and allow the brain to simmer down, letting the dopamine receptors recover from the impossible hits that are delivered with a big influx of a sugary-floury food. If I can heal those channels/paths in the brain that drive me to overeat, then keep on eating - never satisfied, perhaps I can stay on track and get on with my life. Get me off the hamster wheel already!!
Anyway, I did buy the book, "Bright Line Eating - Living Happy Thin and Free", but I also bit the bullet and joined the 14-Day challenge. I enjoy Susan Pierce Thompson's vlogs and was intrigued with what I might get out of a two-week program. The cost was $29.95, the price of a fancy dinner out, so a couple of weeks ago I made the purchase.
Well, I've been at this for years, made it to goal in 2011 and maintained for 3 years before unraveling, so I don't need to be sold on the merits of planning, weighing and tracking my food. I don't fight it, I really embrace it actually. The tough part has ALWAYS been my brain working overtime with Sabotaging thoughts, temptations and ultimately talking me into going off plan. And once I do, that's the beginning of the end. Just one cheat meal becomes a weekend, which becomes "I'll start on Monday", and then off the cliff.
So after viewing daily BLE vlogs, on Day #13 I heard the message that made my purchase worthwhile to me. "Integrity around food".
How many times have we heard, and said, "Oh, I can't eat that right now. I'm on a diet." Or, "When I get to goal, boy, am I going to enjoy -insert favorite treat here-" But that's the recipe for the backslide. If I am going to succeed, I have to change my lifestyle. In order to do that, I have to change my identity as it pertains to food.
If you quit smoking, or never smoked, and you were offered a cigarette, your response wouldn't be "No thanks, I can't smoke." No! You'd say, "I don't smoke." Yet, how often in social situations do we say, "I can't have that".
Just like the person who gives up smoking, when I give up sugar and flour-based products, I have to change my identity. I have to become someone who doesn't eat sugar and flour. Think about it! How much more empowering is it to say, "No, thanks, I don't eat that." Simple. I don't eat that. And the more I practice this, and stick to it, I become the person who does not eat these things.
And it's a reciprocal process. We watch ourselves doing something. The more we do it, and stick to this new belief and behavior, the more we begin to trust ourselves again around food. We become someone who is trustworthy around food. How many times have I said, "Oh, I'm at a family party and there's all this delectable foods and desserts. I'm going to have just one..." How many broken promises to myself? I need to keep the commitments I make. Beck calls this strengthening the Resistance Muscle and it's no joke.
How often do we hear, "I was 'good' today"? When we frame it like this, along with "I can't have that right now", we're really silently acknowledging "Hey, I still eat like crap, but I'm doing this for now".
I need to become the person who doesn't, not the person who can't. It's an identity shift and the only person I need to convince is myself. Truly, who is the only one who is watching me all the time, hearing what I say and then what I do? Me! It's me. Like taking on the identity of a non-smoker, I need to shift my identity with food as well. It's about self-perception. I become what I do over and over.
When I remove the sugar and flour, the refined substances that send my blood sugar and insulin levels soaring, that suppress the leptin hormone and true "I'm full " signals, that produce the crazy-making sabotaging thoughts, my life is calm. I am not hungry between meals. I am steady and even-keeled. I stick to my commitments to myself. I become the person who doesn't eat those foods, not the one who "can't have" those foods.
It's an identity shift. It's truly a lifestyle change.