My Bright Line Eating Journey
It's been a long road to get where I am. But isn't that the same for all of us? We have stories to tell and here's mine.
When I was quite young, for reasons unknown to me even now, I started to put on weight. I was about 8 or so and it was just a little bit. I was a bit chubbier than the rest of the kids in my class. I can see the progression in my class pictures; third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, a little chubbier each year and the years following. My family started to refer to me as 'butterball'. The girls on my street, who were all my age, teased me mercilessly. I was THAT kid. The one that the other kids pick on, the one that got bullied. Consequently, I spent a lot of time playing indoors by myself, exacerbating my weight gain.
I'd started wearing boys clothes because there were no girls clothes in my size. You'd think I was huge, I wasn't, but in the 60's and 70's there wasn't the problem there is today and there wasn't anything for girls to wear if they were chubby. In junior high, the unhappiest place on Earth, I had taken to wearing my coat, zipped all of the way up to my chin, every single day, in every season. I felt so vulnerable. It was my armor, my protection from all of the hurts.
And then puberty.
Enter high school. Those first few months of Freshman year were a blur. Here's what I know happened: I noticed boys for the first time. I had a crush on a boy who looked just like Andy Gibb (my teenage dream boy). With my hormone-addled brain, I lost my appetite, forgot about eating and promptly lost about 30 lbs. It was the last time that would happen by accident. I was shocked and tickled pink about this turn of events. I liked how I felt. The girls on the street wanted to be friends. My life was different. I wanted more.
Being fat was out. Being thin was in.
And so it began, the dieting nightmare. All of the girls I knew starved themselves, drank Tab (THE diet drink of the 70's) and took over-the-counter diet pills in a constant battle to be thinner and thinner, to wear the latest fashions and skin tight jeans. The 70's were an era of excess and ego. Disco was in. Farah Fawcett and Christy Brinkley were our female idols.
Over the years I've gained and lost hundreds of pounds. At 5' 2" , and a decided predilection for snacks, I have always had a challenging relationship with food and my body. I have a tendency to celebrate or commiserate my life through food. My mouth often wants to eat even if my body doesn't. I've been on more diets than I can remember. Thinking there was something wrong with me, I attempted Weight Watchers an astounding eight times. I've done LA Weight Loss, The Plan, NutriSystems, Atkins, Body for Life, Cabbage Soup Diet, to name just a few. I've starved myself. I never did get into throwing up my food. I mean, once it's in, it's in, right?
The most successful I ever was was when I was part of a 12-step group; Overeaters Anonymous. In 1994 I joined OA. It took me 2 years to create my "trigger" list: no cookies, cake, pie, candy or pastries. I ate one-plate meals a day and a small dessert of ice cream. Following this plan, I lost 60 lbs and kept it off for more than 6 years. Then I stopped going to meetings. I got a divorce. I started dating. I started to eat a little of this and a little of that. I had a challenging relationship and let that go. I met a wonderful man.
Life happened and before I knew it, my weight crept up and up. I was in the 160's when my husband proposed. Over 8 months I lost 20 lbs and looked pretty good for our wedding day. That was in May 2010. By December I was up 10 lbs. In another year another 10. The year after that... another 5. The increase didn't stop until I stopped it in June of 2018. I was at 192 and I could see myself creeping up to my highest weight of 199 which is what I weighed when I joined OA. I joined a gym and they had a food plan. I lost 10 lbs. Then the gym closed and I gained back 5 of those pounds.
Bring the zing.
By December 2018, feeling crappy and bloated and knowing that my best life was waiting for me, I knew I had to do something. Earlier in the year a friend had mentioned that she was finding food freedom from a program called Bright Line Eating. I'd looked into it and it didn't spark anything in me. I felt super resistant to the concepts of BLE which include no sugar and no flour. But here it was, the end of the year and nothing in my life was different. My dreams were on a vision board staring back at me and I had no zing to make them come true. Where had my zest for life gone? Where was my enthusiasm for adventure?
In a brutally honest moment with myself I knew nothing was going to change if I didn't change it. If everything stayed as it was, I was going to be a fat granny who watched everyone else have fun and wished that I could be like them. Screw that!
I decided to get curious instead of resistant. So I went back to look at Bright Line Eating and figured I'd read the book that Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson had written. Once I started reading (I actually listened to it, which I recommend), I couldn't stop. The SCIENCE! The FACTS! The RECOGNITION! She was talking about me and my story, (except for the prostitution and drugs and alcohol part.) I was not alone. There was nothing wrong with my willpower (except that I was constantly hijacking it). I was not a failure for flunking Weight Watchers eight times. She made sense of all of my experiences with food and weight. It was such a relief to have my experience acknowledged, I knew I had to give it a try.
And so I did... I am. On January 2, 2019, I started eating following the four bright lines and they are:
This is my journey to regain my best life and I am UNSTOPPABLE!
*Lauren Monack Coaching and Consulting services are not to be considered a substitute for professional, medical or psychological diagnosis and/or treatment. Participation in life coaching with Lauren Monack is considered voluntary and should not replace, supersede or conflict with treatment and/or advice of a health professional.