Back in June, I made a commitment.
It was a big deal. I wrote it all out, like a contract. I signed my name. And I was committed. I remember the person I was, as I wrote that. I was sure. I had no doubts that this was what I needed to do. What I wanted to do.
I had surrendered.
And it was easy. So easy. It made life so much simpler. I didn’t think about food – it just wasn’t an option. It had been taken off the table.
But I wasn’t exactly happy.
BLE is Not Always Fun
See, my brain is very messed up. As most of you reading will understand. We’re addicts. And while taking away my addictive substances calmed my brain down, it also left me feeling empty. Without that chemical lift I was used to, everything was just a bit…. flat. I spent the month of July in my favourite place in the world, and I was glad I could be there, but I wasn’t really happy about it. I wasn’t sad, but there was no joy, either. No rush of excitement or enthusiasm. No strong emotions at all. Just plodding along, day after day. Studying from 8:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night, with a few joyless meals in between.
It was ok. I dealt with it. If I didn’t have joy, I had contentment and peace. I had rocks and trees and a lake. And I knew it would get better. My brain would heal, at least to an extent. My cortisol receptors would up-regulate, and I would be able to feel happiness again – without the need for chemical stimulants.
But then I came home. To study for another 3 months, in a place that I don’t like.
Life Became Hard
And I broke my lines. I got back on track, but not without having a little mental breakdown. For the full story, see here.
Some good things started happening. I was reminded that God still loved me, even though I didn’t deserve it.
And then I totally crashed and burned.
I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I tried. I tried so hard. But for the past week, I have been an absolute wreck. Flour, sugar, and all. And I don’t even know why.
I broke my commitment. There’s no other way to say it. This wasn’t a bending of the rules. This wasn’t a setback. It was an all-out return to my former way of life. I was unfaithful.
Why? Why am I so messed up? Why can’t I just do this? Every time I underestimate the extent of this illness, I pay for it. Every time I think I’ve got it down. I become overconfident. I start to relax a little. And it blows up in my face.
Maybe I’ve had some excuse. I’ve just gone through 6 months of cramming for exams. Six months of studying more intensely than I ever have in my life. Even during midterm and exam weeks at school, I managed to go for a walk every day. I saw my naturopathic intern once a week. Relatively speaking, the last 6 months have been absolute chaos.
But it’s over, now. No more excuses. It’s time to dial this thing in.
This Ends Now
I’m renewing my commitment. And this time, I’m not going easy on myself. I’m committing not just to the bright lines, but to all the little practices that go along with it. All the things I need to keep me safely on this side of the fence. Because when I get lazy, things go very wrong. I can’t do this on my own. I need to be reading the book. I need to be watching the vlogs. I need to be committing myself every day, publicly. I need help.
Because again, this thing is like a relationship. Like a marriage. Saying the vows is important, but a marriage is more than a wedding. It is made up of every day. Every single day. All the little things you do to keep that relationship alive. Living with each other. Speaking to each other. Learning more about each other. When did I suddenly decide I didn’t need to renew my commitment every morning? That I could skip MasterMind meetings if I was doing alright? Yeah, it was nice to take a break from the Internet for a month. But when I came back to civilization, I knew it would be harder. I knew I needed to dial in. And I didn’t. I let everything else take priority.
No more. This is my priority.
And this is my commitment.
I, C.M. Gibson, promise to adhere to the principles of Bright Line Eating, from this day, for the period of 1 year. I will abstain from eating sugar and flour. I will eat no more than 3 meals/day. I will measure my quantities and consume no more than the daily allotment of the weight loss plan, until I am able to transition to maintenance, as outlined in the book.
For the same period of time, I will abstain from eating cheese and nuts. Seeds will be allowed.
For this year, I also commit to the following daily practices: 1) I will write down my food plan for the following day, each evening; 2) I will commit myself to following the bright lines every morning, in my Facebook group, provided I have access to the Internet; 3) I will write about my day in a journal.
For this year, I also commit to the following weekly practices: 1) I will meet with my MasterMind group, or if our meeting is cancelled, commit my week to them in writing; 2) I will write, at minimum, 1 blog post per week.
If at any time I am tempted to break my bright lines, I will read and follow each step in my Emergency Action Plan.
Finally: if I fail to uphold any of these commitments, I will immediately admit this to my Facebook Group (Bright Line Eating Canadians), to my MasterMind group, and on this blog. Before I go to sleep, I will read and record my answers to each question in my Permission to be Human Action Plan. No matter how much pain I’m in. No matter how much I want to hide.
I’m still fighting it. I can feel that rebel, inside me. That voice that doesn’t want to let go. It is angry. It is resentful. It wants to delete this post and walk away from this life and never talk to anyone involved in it ever again. It wants to forget. It just wants to be left alone, in its misery.
It wants to check out of this life.
I’m not going to give in to it. I may be a failure. I may never be able to do this thing. I may commit, and re-commit, and fail every single morning for the rest of my life. But I am not going to stop trying.
So here I stand. Publicly humiliated, ashamed, and broken.
God help me. God help all of us.