It’s no secret that my BLE journey has had it’s rough spots. Look no further than yesterday’s post, Day 58: The Honeymoon, for a complete rundown of those failures.
But today is my 2nd day of following the bright lines perfectly, since finally committing to do so. Day 2 out of 365. And I can’t help comparing this Day 2 to my previous Day 2 (This is Really Happening). One of the nice things about keeping up this blog is that I have a written record of that day. Unlike my original start with BLE, I can look back and see what I was thinking at that time.
I was such a mixture of hope and fear. It felt like a new beginning, the possible start of my new life. But I was already anticipating a failure, comparing that future event to a car wreck, self-destruction, or falling into a deep, dark pit. It seemed almost inevitable. I was a bundle of nerves just thinking about it.
Compare that with today. I’m not thinking about the possibility of failure. I’m not thinking about all the times I’ve failed, before. I’m not trying to convince myself that I can do it, this time. I’m just doing it.
How easy is it? The data.
Yesterday was my 1st day after making my commitment to BLE. I ran a little experiment. I kept a notebook beside me as I studied all day, and kept track of every time my brain tried to convince me to eat. They were strong pulls, every one of them. The same kind that had kept me eating outside the lines for most of June. Eighteen of them, all before noon. While I was sitting at my desk, with no food in sight. They’d come out of nowhere, surprising me. But I shut each and every one of them down. Immediately. There was no arguing, no discussion. It was automatic. And by the afternoon, my brain had given up.
Today, I did the same thing. There are 2 marks in my notebook. Both within the first hour of waking up.
The thing is, it doesn’t really matter to me. Whether it’s 2 times, or 18 times, or 100. The answer will still be the same. Saying no 18 times yesterday didn’t drain my willpower, because the answer was there before the question was asked. The energy it took to shut that voice down was miniscule. And I can do it again.
On my last Day 2, I was relieved that I wasn’t yet experiencing any cravings or hunger pangs. But I was also terrified of when they would. I knew they would come. And they did. And I caved.
I’m not scared of failure, anymore. Because I’m not scared of the cravings. It doesn’t matter how bad they get. It doesn’t matter how hungry I am. How much my head hurts. How cold I am. How sick I am. None of these things matter. I’ve committed to Bright Line Eating, and I will stick to it.
It’s taken me 9 months to get here, and I really wish I could have skipped over that part. When I think about all the weeks in clinic when I felt like a fraud, talking to patients about healthy lifestyles while being unable to control my own behaviour – when I think about the summer ahead of me, knowing I’ll be uncomfortable in my body during the best part of the year – it seems like such a shame. Such a waste. How much could I have accomplished, in those 9 months? How much further ahead would I be, now? How much happier.
But I didn’t. And maybe I couldn’t. Maybe I needed those 9 months. There are a lot of things I wish I could do over. Forget 9 months – I wish I’d been able to figure this out 18 years ago.
Grace & Gratitude
I’m here now. And I’m grateful for that. Some people will never get here. Some people will never even know that BLE is an option – though I know SPT will do her best to make sure that doesn’t happen. I didn’t find my way here on my own merit. It was a fluke. It was a gift. It was grace.
Because I’m me, I’m going to have to draw a Biblical parallel.
And you were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:1-9
I’m sorry for my past. Wishing it was different may do no good, but I do wish that. I feel guilt and regret because it was wrong. Call it whatever you like – illness, addiction, human weakness – it was wrong. And I bear more guilt than most, because I knew it was wrong. I knew exactly what it was doing to me. And I knew that I had no right to treat myself like that.
Eating too much may not be on quite the same level as being “dead in trespasses and sins”. But the same principle applies. I’ve been shown grace, so that I don’t have to live that way anymore. Because I’m a Christian, I don’t have to worry about paying for my past. What I was no longer matters. I can simply be grateful. I’ve been given a lifeline through BLE, and I can enjoy this gift.
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