Yesterday, I focused on my need to let BLE become a part of my identity. I began really thinking about why I’ve failed in this, so far, and how I can fix it.
Today, I start to make the necessary changes.
First of all, I need to make a commitment. I need to be very clear about exactly what I am committing to, so that I don’t leave myself any loopholes. But also so that I understand what I’m getting into – so that nothing comes as a surprise. My commitment has to be reasonable. Something I know I can do, not some lofty, unachievable goal. I can’t give myself an excuse to give up.
This commitment needs to be public, but not coerced. I need witnesses, so that I will think twice about breaking my word. And yet I must be clear, in my own mind, that I am choosing this, independent of anyone else. No one is forcing me into it. I am fully informed, clear-headed, and decided. Otherwise, I will soon begin to feel trapped. My indulgers will convince me that such an agreement cannot possibly be considered binding.
Today, I am making this commitment. It’s not done lightly. You’ll see, when I actually say the words, that I’ve thought this through. I’m not over-committing myself. I’ve decided what is actually necessary to commit to, and what is not. Most glaringly, perhaps, is that I will not be committing myself to BLE for the rest of my life. In that way, this is not the same sort of thing as a marriage. If it were, I would need much more time to think this over, and the end result would contain so many caveats that I don’t know if it would be worth anything, in the end. Not every commitment has to be a lifetime one. Many historical vows were for a specified period of time, and yet were held very sacred. I think the time period I’ve decided on is long enough to keep me from viewing this as only a temporary situation, without seeming too overwhelming.
That being said, I fully expect that I will continue with BLE for my lifetime.
A Daily Practice
In addition to this initial declaration, any real commitment requires daily reinforcement. Something I currently do not have. Most of my regular BLE routine is completed on my own, without accountability. There are the monthly challenges in my Facebook group, but these involve a nightly check-in – either a triumphant indication of victory, or an admission of failure – rather than a commitment ahead of time. It’s a valuable tool, and when I’m doing well, it is a good motivator. But it’s not enough, on its own.
SPT suggests committing our food to someone else on a daily basis. I like most of her ideas, but this is not one of them. I can understand why it might be helpful in theory, but to me, it feels like too great an invasion of privacy; or rather, an oversharing of personal information. I understand myself well enough to know that I would not do this. If I promised to, I would not mean it. So I won’t even try. But here is something I can do: I can promise publicly, every morning, to stick to my bright lines. That is not so difficult. I can begin tomorrow.
I, C.M. Gibson, being of sound mind, hereby promise to adhere to the principles of Bright Line Eating from this day forward, for the period of 1 year, or until I have reached my goal weight of 150 pounds.
The principles of Bright Line Eating referred to include:
1. Sugar: I agree to abstain from consuming added sugar in any meaningful amount. This includes white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, date sugar, powdered sugar, evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave, maple syrup, molasses, sucrose, dextrose, maltitol, glycerine, malted barley extract, and maltodextrin. I will also abstain from artificial sweeteners which have sugar-like effect on the body, including saccharine, aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, and stevia. I will not add any of these sugars or sweeteners to my food, or eat any processed food listing them within the 1st 3 ingredients. I will also abstain from concentrated fruit sugars (fruit juice and dried fruit). If I have any question as to whether a food prepared by someone else contains any of these forms of sugar, I will abstain, even if it requires skipping a meal. Xylitol is allowable as an ingredient in toothpaste, but it not to be consumed, for example, in gum or mints.
2. Flour: I agree to abstain from flour made from wheat, rice, rye, spelt, or any other type of grain.
3. Meals: I will consume no more than 3 meals per day. I will endeavour to keep my mealtimes as regular as is reasonably possible.
4. Quantities: I will measure my quantities of food as precisely as possible using the tools available to me. I will use an accurate scale whenever possible, except in the case of fruit, which may be portioned by item (e.g. 1 apple, orange, or banana). In an emergency situation, a visual estimate is acceptable, but must be done conscientiously. If I doubt my ability to accurately estimate quantities, I will skip the meal instead. Exact quantities are specified in the Weight-Loss Food Plan of the book Bright Line Eating. If/when I am approaching goal weight, quantities will be adjusted as recommended in this same book. In order to simplify my life, homemade meat broth (with the majority of the fat removed) will qualify as a condiment, and therefore does not have to be measured.
If I fail to uphold this commitment, I will publicly admit as much, and face the consequences. I will not conceal my failure. I will tell my Facebook group, my Mastermind group, and the readers of this blog.
At the end of 1 year, or upon reaching goal weight, these terms may be revisited and updated to account for changes in health goals and situation. However, changes to my eating plan will not be implemented until they have been specified and communicated publicly.C. M. Gibson
Amendment: In addition to the prohibitions stated above, I also promise to abstain from both nuts and cheeses of all kinds, as both of these foods are highly addictive to me. Seeds (chia, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.) are acceptable, as is coconut.
– P.S. There was some definite mourning involved in writing this.C. M. Gibson
So that’s done. Next, I have to tell a family member. I’m giving myself a maximum of 2 weeks to accomplish this. I’m still not completely decided on who it will be, and I will need to find a good time for it. But I will do it.
It shouldn’t be too bad. I’ve thought about this for several years. I’ve had to repeat my history to 4 naturopathic interns, 1 clinic supervisor, my Facebook group, and on this blog, to whoever cares to read it. I’ve had practice. One family member should be doable.
Should be. We’ll see.