Exploring My Middle Path

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Dear friends and followers,

I haven’t posted on here in a while, mostly because I’ve been feeling really well supported in my life and food journey, but also because I’m finding myself further and further away from the BLE lifestyle that my blog is built around.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role that Bright Line Eating has played in my own personal food revolution.

When I discovered Bright Line Eating almost three years ago, I was a pretty different person than I am today. It would be an oversimplification to say that I was fat and unhappy then, or even that I was unhappy because I was fat. There were aspects of my life then that were wonderful, and there was nothing wrong with my body, despite it not being a body that allowed me to live with full vitality.

All I know for sure is that before BLE I was fairly numb to my day-to-day experiences, and food was my numbing agent of choice. It was easier to soothe and numb any difficulties in my life with food than square my shoulders to the underlying issues or emotions.

Our society doesn’t exactly encourage people to use our internal resources to deal with things that feel stressful or hard. We are encouraged to use food to take care of ourselves emotionally from the moment we are born. But this isn’t universal. I realized this when a colleague of mine from China was asked what her favorite “comfort food” was, and this was a foreign concept to her. “I don’t know, rice and fish I guess?” she replied.

All of that to say that the rules, tools, and structure of Bright Line Eating were so essential and necessary for me to wake up to my life. It forced me to take away the numbing agents (food) and to learn to use my internal resources and external social support (meditation, reflective practices, intimate connection with others) to navigate life’s challenges.

And, importantly, Bright Line Eating taught me what healthy portions of healthful foods looked like and how to prepare them, on a completely practical level. Meal by meal, I spent two years building a new, strong intuition about what healthy eating looked like and felt like. Abundant quantities of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that make me feel energetic and amazing.

And in this way, Bright Line Eating completely changed my relationship with food.

But several months into maintenance, something started feeling itchy about some of the aspects and messages of Bright Line Eating. Something about it wasn’t resonating with me anymore. In fact, some of the things that Susan was saying were starting to directly contradict my experience.

I had taken on the Bright Line Eating way and identity so quickly and fully, that I hadn’t really considered which aspects of it were really true for me. Yes, I’d struggled with my weight in the past. Yes, I’d had problems in the past with binging on starchy and sweet foods. Yes, I ate mindlessly. But was I really a food addict? Was a set of strict, inflexible rules really the best solution to my problems? They certainly worked for a while, and the quick, easy weight loss was undoubtably awesome.

But as I settled into maintenance and lost some of the daily connection to the BLE community, gradually, my adherence to the BLE standard began to slip. I found myself eyeballing my quantities more and more, and even dabbling in sugar and flour products occasionally.

The outcome of those behaviors, if I believed myself to be a food addict in recovery, would be a backslide into addictive patterns, a loss of control and peace with my food, and gaining back weight.

But as I watched myself stray from the BLE way, none of this happened. I was actually fine. Not only was I fine, I was beginning to feel even more free. 

I am feeling free because I am supported, self-aware, and awake. 

I can’t “use” food anymore in the way that I used to, because so much of my life’s energy is now diverted to living each day in integrity and alignment with my highest self. Even with small amounts of “addictive” foods in my diet. And that’s what I learned from Bright Line Eating. The tools and support in their programs are amazing and life-changing, and Susan is a beautiful, passionate leader with so much integrity, compassion, and wisdom. But I don’t relate to Susan’s experience with food, and at the end of the day I’m just not a Bright Line Eater.

The identity that I am choosing to cultivate now is the identify of a mindful, healthy eater. I am learning to make my food decisions by asking myself: “what would a healthy eater do?” and “would this choice be self-respectful or self-harming?” I am practicing checking in with my body, with my mind, with my hunger, and I am not restricting my food choices anymore. I am trying to make choices spaciously, calmly, and without impulsivity. And if my body, mind, and heart are all hungry for little bit of dark chocolate, then I’m going to tune out all distractions, portion out a few squares of beautiful, delicious, rich dark chocolate, and I’m going to mindfully enjoy every bite.

And then, if it sets off a series of cravings or doesn’t feel good in my body, I practice my self compassion, seek the lesson, talk about it with my inner circle, and grow a little.

I’ve stopped buying into the idea that I’m somehow broken, or needing manage a problem by using bright lines. Because the fact is, there isn’t really a problem anymore. I’ve been eating in a fairly unstructured, mindful way for almost a year, and my weight has not budged. Despite regularly eating 4 oz (2 protein servings) of nuts or nut butter at breakfast.

I have also always struggled with sticking perfectly to my written food commitments from the night before. I often found myself making adjustments to my written food commitments, and responding to what “sounds good today,” which Susan explicitly warned against. But there just didn’t seem to be a good reason for me to have that inflexibility. I didn’t like how out of touch this made me feel with my body. Implicit in the practice of “eating only and exactly what I wrote down” is the idea that I can’t trust myself or listen my body’s signals, and that I will never be able to because my brain is just badly wired.

However, what I did learn from this practice was how to make food prep and planning a regular part of my daily and weekly routines, and how important this practice is for healthy eating. Because the willpower gap is real and that is where I benefit from structure. I am seeking a nice balance somewhere between “don’t eat a baby carrot off your food plan” and “do whatever you want all the time.” For me, the take home of writing down my food was about the value of planning and intention setting, not the rigidity of the commitment.

For today at least, I have learned to trust myself with food. I eat now when my body is hungry, and 95% of the food I eat is whole, real, unprocessed, delicious, plant-based food. I don’t crave anything junky anymore, and I allow occasional starchy or mildly sweet indulgences in small quantities. I am able to find a stopping place with pleasurable foods that I did not used to be able to find. And my body is SO grateful. Our relationship is thriving.

But I didn’t get there overnight. It took lots of gradual, supported, mindful exploration to obtain the kind of peace and freedom that I have with food today.

I needed Bright Line Eating because I needed a hard reset with my food. For years I watched myself treat myself poorly with food, despite my best intentions. Bright Line Eating can be easy to surrender to for people who are in a painful place, and I needed a good surrender in order to make real changes. But Bright Line Eating was the beginning, not the end of my food freedom journey, and there is so much more for me to explore.

I’m excited to see where Katie’s Bright Kitchen goes next, and I’ll be grateful to hear your thoughts.

Love,

Katie

137 Comments

  1. Jane M Schuster

    Well, I’m impressed and grateful you took the time to send this spot-on message. Keep going on your own path and sharing. It’s inspiring and real. Thanks. Jane

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Kate Shafer

    Katie – I so appreciate you sharing. Maintenance is tricky & as I go blurry I sometimes find myself waiting too for the crash & it just doesn’t come. Thank you for sharing! Kate – Day 581 😊

     
  3. Rosalind Ackeret

    I would have you continue delicious meals like you have been. You may lose some BLE folks. Maybe a lot but I doubt too many. Many of us relate to much of what you wrote. I for one am deterring from BLE b/c I have success on a spiritual, mental and physical parameter of Christian faith. I will continue subscribing if you continue with your awesome meals. Thank you. I saw this coming. You are not alone.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. Thank you Katie for sharing your journey all along so deeply and thoughtfully. I always find some inspiration in your words. Today ” I am feeling free because I am supported, self-aware, and awake” says it all. From that place, from that identity we can have a healthy relationship with food, ourselves, and others. Gratitude for your presence and service to others. Much Love, Jayne

     
  5. Once again dear Katie, you articulate what I am feeling and how it mirrors what I’m feeling! Please keep sharing on your platform! I love your creativity and am inspired by your food creations!

     
  6. This is wonderful for me to hear, because I am experiencing something very similar! Thank you for sharing it!

     
  7. I’m a year and 2 months in to BLE I have not had a crystal vase many days. I write food down but I frequently deviate from the chosen foods to a substitute . I have also done four or 5 days of research and failed on the 1st 3 or 4. Day 5 I succeeded and my boot camp house chastised me for talking about it. I felt smothered unimportant and certainly not validated. Thank you for sharing and I support all healthy recipes that you post. I use your recipes all the time because they give me a starting point and they are delicious

     
    • Thanks for your comment Sharon. What do you mean by you “failed?” What if you didn’t fail? Failing implies good/bad and right/wrong. I’ve been thinking a lot about the moralistic language we use about food, and questioning a lot of those beliefs. Sending love ❤️

       
      • I over ate to the point that I became physically ill. I was up most of the night with GI symptoms. This last time that I did my research I was able to eat small quantities and also drink very small quantity of alcohol. I want to be able to do that periodically
        Rezooming has so far been easy for me.

         
  8. Katie, thank you for sharing this. I previously purchased your instant pot e-book and a paperback version of your cookbook, and I am SO grateful that they will help me with BLE because of the measurements and portion sizes. I am largely plant-based and do hope I can reach the point where you are in terms of mindfulness and not having to weigh all foods and such. Because I have those resources, I can use them now, and keep an eye on any of your new creations for when I am ready. I know I am especially interested in batch cooking as, in the past, I have rationalized poor food choices when I am hungry and short on time.

     
  9. Terry Behal

    What a great blog post. Read this twice. I’m keeping this one.

    Terry

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’m also exploring other ways of eating, because I think BLE may be too restrictive for me in the long term, but I’m very grateful for everything I’ve learnt from the programme. I would be very interested to hear about your continuing journey and would love to keep hearing about your delicious meals.

     
  11. dearest Katie- thank you for your transparency- I love to follow your journey as it resonates my journey into maintanance as well. I don’t identify as being a food addict either and although BLE served me during weight loss I couldn’t see following the strict weighting and measuring for the rest of my life. I look forward to your posts and hope you develop a strong community where members can support one another. Wishing you the best!!
    Love, Christy

     
  12. Hughes Cindy

    Katie I love your honesty and integrity. Also love the cookbook and recipes! I think it’s awesome to take the tools that work for you and not the ones that don’t. For me regaining 15 pounds was experimentation enough to show me I do need to be strict on my lines. I definitely thought after a year of WL followed by a year of maintenance that I would be free but it didn’t happen like that for me. Small deviations over the last 10 months added up. The scale moved ever so slowly until boom one day my clothes didn’t fit again.

     
  13. Suzanne Sweetser

    Thank you Katie for such a wonderful explanation of how BLE helped you with getting freedom over food. Your experiences only confirm that I AM a food addict, in spite of my wishing I were not. I have been doing BLE over 3 years (Feb. 2016) and at maintenance for 2.5 years. And recently found my addiction rearing its head again, only on BLE compatible foods that have never been a binge food for me in the past. Therefore, your explanation on how you relate to food served to further convince that I can never eat like that. And SO HAPPY that you have found your freedom! So, so, wonderful!!!

     
  14. Katie, I’ve been on maintenance and kept my weight stable since November. I haven’t had flour or sugar but do have sugarless gum when I want. I do measure my food and eat in my maintenance categories and amounts but do not write it down. I enjoy the freedom to decide which grain I want at mealtime, etc. I also have 2 tablespoons of Viva cacao in my morning decaf. I only have it once a day and don’t feel it triggering. I ordered the brand from Amazon and it is not bitter or sweet – just delicious.

    I’m interested in learning more about how you make conscious choices to eat in your best interest. And always want to know more about the spices you use as that’s a subject I don’t know much about. Congratulations on following the right path for you!

     
    • Thank you! <3 I love the word conscious that you used. I've been looking around for a term to describe the kind of eating I'm doing these days, I think conscious eating captures it. Glad you are rockin' your own flavor of happy, thin, and free!

       
    • Sandy Christiano

      Hi Amelia, Savory Spice is my godsend as I typically keep my meals simple, but their freshly ground spices really add that flavor that keeps me from being bored. If you dont have their spice shop locally, you can buy online. My go to spices are their roasted garlic powder, toasted onion powder, red rocks seasoning and their cinnamon. You’ll never want to purchase spices from grocery store ever again.

       
  15. Keep on posting and sharing! I love your recipes and use many of them. I too am feeling some of the same issues and am working through them! Your post has given me new insights into my journey, so thank you for your honesty!

     
  16. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing. I too wonder about the arch of my lifelong journey, not just a program. I will continue following you.

     
  17. Katie – thank you for being so transparent and honest. I also do not believe I am a food addict but value BLE for bringing structure and order in my life while I release excess weight.
    I would love to know more about your mindful eating journey and new recipes you create. I am looking forward to reaching a similar place as you with peace with food.

     
  18. Thank you, Katie, for your bald-faced honesty. I so resonate with what you write here. I’m just now down to my goal weight (nearly two years) and am very curious as to whether I actually am (now) a food addict.

    I will be super cautious, but cannot think of a dessert I want even if I were to allow myself to. I’m just too engrained with healthy eating, as you say.

    One thing you could offer us would be any time you notice yourself eating emotionally, out of stress, or making excuses for the comfort exceptions. That is the slippery slope, as far as I know, that I fear. I am also a very different person with regard to integrity and self-honesty — what a miraculous transformation. Also tips for “special occasions” and *pressure* from well-meaning friends or family.

    I’m grateful for your journey and writing, Mela

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  19. Hi Katie, I met you in Oregon at that dinner with SPT. I really enjoyed our conversation and you expressed this thought process then when we talked. I agree with you on a lot of it. I’m not sure if I could go completely “mindful” but I want to. I want to for my sanity. I don’t care for the hard and fast rules either. I love the program and everything about it, but I feel freedom would be a little more flexible. I have a question. Which of the bright lines do you follow? Quantities and time? Just 3 meals a day? Currently I’m doing an 9/15 to 8 /16 intermittent fast each day. It works but I find that I don’t need as much food. I feel like I want to “hack” my bright line eating plan. I love what you’ve said here and agree that there needs to be a pendulum when it comes to BLE. That’s coming from a 7 on the SScale. It may not be so with a 10. Thanks for your thoughts.

     
    • Hi Angel, of course I remember chatting with you! To answer your question, I honestly don’t really follow any of them anymore. My only bright lines currently are around animal products, as I am vegan. Very, very gradually I’ve pretty much returned to the way I ate before bright line eating, eating whatever sounds good to me at whatever time I’m hungry. But what’s different is the abundance of fruits and vegetables in my diet, my lack of interest in processed foods, and presence while eating. I’m so tuned into my body and my experience now that I just don’t find myself eating out of alignment with my highest good anymore, even without any explicit boundaries. It took me a long time and a lot of support to be able to trust myself enough to let go of my bright lines, but the reality is that bright lines just don’t serve me anymore. That said, I needed the surrender and structure of bright lines in order to arrive at the place I’m at today. And who knows, maybe I’ll use them again someday. Good to hear from you. <3

       
  20. I could have written this blog post. Every word. You have truly summed up where I am in my own journey. May we both continue to heal and trust and learn to live in peace alongside food. I know that having some structure and principles around my eating is very helpful but I also know that strict rule following lends itself to guilt, perfectionistic thinking and what the hell effect bingeing. When I trust myself and tap into my inner wisdom, 1 piece of cake is just that. A choice, a pleasure, and a sign of true freedom.

     
  21. Louise Foley

    Perfect email for where I am at. Please keep posting recipes but I feel validated re not committing each day etc. I don’t identify as a food addict either. I too feel I can tolerate more flexibility that others.

     
  22. I just would like to see more WFPB recipes, I don’t care if they are BLE complaint or not! I’m finding that BLE doesn’t work for me so I have to adapt it for me. Good for you Katie for realizing that there is a whole world out there beyond BLE and that BLE isn’t the answer for everyone. It’s a great start, but I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life! I, too, have to have my dark chocolate every now and then and other things. I don’t have SPT wild dysfunctional relationship with food. So, I, too can bring things back into my diet in moderation if I so chose too! Leslee Feiwus

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    • Yay! Thanks Leslee, I have often wondered what it is that allows some people to slowly return to sane, mindful eating and some people (like Susan) to continue needing bright lines. Is it past patterns with food? Susceptibility score? Genetic predisposition? Attitude? I remain curious.

       
  23. Thank you, Katie, for explaining your stance so eloquently. I was a food addict coming from high numbers before I ever heard of Susan Pierce Thompson. I do thrive in a structured food and program environment which is why I am in that type of faction of OA. Regardless of my choices, I very much respect your path, both past and present. My commitment to my program is solid in my food plan, the daily tools and the steps. I waver at some of the parroting I hear, some of the things that make absolutely no sense to me. I walk a fine line and am currently seeking an alternate direction in OA which suits me better which is what I heard you saying. You have found a direction that suits you. Good for you for having he courage to follow it! In your BLE venture, I have loved your books and recipes having bought the e-books and copied multiple recipes. Will I still be able to access them on your website? I would hope so because it is one of the most valuable resources I have. I pray for your good health physically, mentally/emotionally and spiritually. Thank you for all you have done for us so far, it is so so appreciated!!! Hugs, Renee

     
  24. Your journey has motivated me for over a year now. I too am finding my bright lines blurring a little and still managing a right-sized body. BLE was the catalyst to finding peace around “diets”. The BLE program simplified eating for me. I have found the peace I was yearning for with eating. I love reading and trying your recipes and I purchased one of your cookbook s which I enjoy. I hope you continue your blog for those of us that consider you a kindred spirit.

     
  25. Yes! Perfect. This sounds like evolution. It rings true! I’m in.

     
  26. Cynthia Capone

    Thank you for communicating your journey so clearly . You are not alone in this. I look forward to following your journey.
    How do I subscribe to your blog?

     
    • Hi Cynthia, there’s a link on the right sidebar somewhere where you can put in your e-mail and join the e-mail list. Thanks for joining me on this fabulous journey! <3

       
  27. Anonymous

    I truly appreciate your message and your quest for the “middle ground”. I too have found that BLE was a good tool to “disconnect” from my addiction to sugar and learn to listen more closely to what my body actually needs. I look forward to your continued posts, we are all on this journey together.

     
  28. Katie,
    Many, many thanks for writing such a heartfelt, beautifully expressed piece on your experiences with BLE and the changes and growth that took place as your relationship with food evolved and healed. I support you in walking the middle path, a balanced and harmonious path — at least for me — for your experience has been my experience. I struggled mightily with all the rules and restrictions which sometimes felt like a prison to me when I longed to be free. The rules seem to set me off more than the so-called addictive food. I began to find peace when I began to practice self-love, compassion and kindness toward myself. And life changed in the way you describe. I wish you much peace and joy on your soul’s journey through ever deeper levels of health, healing and love.

     
  29. Thank you Katie for your honest post! I honor you for being true to yourself. I love your site and I am still needing the principles in BLE so I hope you continue to keep your original recipes for those who still need them, but I support you adding new posts that will follow your path too. Thank you for asking!

     
  30. Marrion Crooks

    Is this why I keep rezooming? Because I’m not actually broken perhaps I just needed to become more aware of what I was eating, when and why? Thank you for your honesty I shall join you on the middle path, portion control and planning and preparation are great tools-so I agree to keep them but living in the real and sometimes hectic world you can’t survive on BLE – well I couldn’t! Again thank you for your honesty let’s enjoy the journey of the abundance of foods we are blessed to be able to enjoy – together -you at your table and me at mine -cheers Marrion

     
    • Oh my gosh Marrion, yes! Join me! <3 That was actually the biggest lesson I learned from the reboot rezoom course, that I needed to stop trying to rezoom and take a look at what beliefs from BLE was actually serving me and what wasn't. So happy to be at the table with you!

       
  31. Judith Russell

    Hi Katie, I think chronicling your onward journey with specificity about food, journalling about mindfulness and support , even just a few lines a day, would be helpful. It could also be more interactive, with questions for your readers to answer like this one. I am no longer in BLE but in OA90; I consider myself a food addict and have released 85 lbs weighing, measuring and committing food for about a year. BLE didn’t help me. I still love your recipes and can make them in OA90 sometimes. I hope you continue sharing your thoughts.
    Judy

     
  32. Stephanie

    Thank you thank you. So beautifully expressed. I have been following BLE for 6 months but have always questioned the addict label. Despite scoring high on the SS scale I know I’m not an addict. For years I have eaten healthily and I am one of those people who can have a taste of chocolate or cake and be satisfied.
    I love some of the principles of BLE eg three meals no snacking. And eating unprocessed food. I started with only a small amount of weight to lose and am now wanting to maintain. But I love the idea of a middle path. So please keep writing.

     
  33. onboderoad

    Katie, I’m sure you are pleasantly surprised by all the encouraging comments you are getting from this blog about the Middle Road. I could have written many of these comments. I’m behind you 100%. I am not a food addict, either, but I loved the science and the focus and discipline that BLE gave me. It was just what I needed to get where I wanted to go when I was ready go there. I was already vegan/WPBD, trying to be gluten-free and kick the sugar. So BLE ‘clicked’ with me and was easy to embrace. Now I am on the Middle Road and would love to stay connected with you. You’ve been a bright star! I applaud your journey to true freedom.

    🌷👏🏻

     
  34. Thanks Katie, I haven’t reached goal weight yet but I find the BLE too restrictive. My life style is very unpredictable and it is impossible to plan food on many days because I am at the mercy of other caterers! At the moment even more so as I’m on pilgrimage in the UK eating in pubs and private homes.
    I too don’t find that the occasional deviation to something sweet causes a disaster. I think this is a good move and will continue to follow. 😊👍

     
  35. Sophie Baudrand

    Dear Katie. Thank you for this honest and thoughtful message. I am so happy that you have found the path that works for you and wish you all the very best on the next stage of your journey. I have loved using your recipes but as as I believe that I am someone who IS a food addict and for whom and deviation would trigger a backwards slide I think it’s that I don’t receive your emails anymore. But I’ve still got all your BLE recipes and will continue to enjoy them. With love and gratitude Sophie Ps. For the record I commit to “12 Oz produce, 1 serving protein” etc if I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to eat the next day. That way I can make a commitment that I’m sticking to – I guess that’s my version of a middle path xx

    Sent from my iPhone. Apologies for brevity (& typos) +44 (0)7932 000 932 @sophienbee

     
    • Thank you Sophie, I admire your self honesty and am so happy that you’ve found a path that works for you. Wishing you health and happiness and freedom on your journey!

       
  36. Lynn O’Neal

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I totally understand your comments, as I have been feeling the same way. BLE rules just make me feel so constrained and like a failure if I stray. So I quit BLE and have been doing pretty much the same as you. Awareness is everything, but life can’t be so rigid for me.

     
  37. This is honest and real. I am on Day 21, and I, too, do not always eat what I’ve written down the night before. I follow the Bright Lines, but I also believe that sometimes when we crave foods (healthy ones… like mushrooms or broccoli), our body is telling us that we need something that they contain. I think you very eloquently describe what my future will be with BLE. A great way to learn how to eat healthfully and not binge and explore new food patterns. Share what you are eating anyway… splurges or not. It will help all of us who use BLE as a tool, not a religion.

     
  38. Sharon E. Kelley

    Hi Katie -Thank you for this heartfelt post. I too used BLE for my initial weight loss. But, for multiple health reasons have transitioned to Keto and fasting. They suit me well and I am thrilled to be free of committing my food and weighing and measuring. Like you, this path has encouraged me to be more mindful and compassionate about my choices. Every traveler on this incredible journey is unique. BLE was a true gift when I stumbled across it. But, like any mother knows, you can’t dress a teenager like a two year old. I have evolved and am ready for new ideas. Bless you on your journey! Go out and get the perfect prom dress!❤️

     
  39. shakti wellins

    I so appreciate your blog, your recipes, and your middle path. I too have loved so much from BLE and some aspects of the rigidity also don’t work for me. Please keep sharing your truth and your discoveries
    They work for me

     
  40. Thank you for your honesty. I’m glad to know that there may be more to the path to healthy weight & body image. I’ve loved your recipes. I’d love to see more.

     
  41. “What would a healthy eater do? Would this choice be self-respectful or self harming?” This! at every eating opportunity!! Great post. I am in with ya!!

     
  42. Lauren Kutler

    Katie,
    I’m fairly new to BLE and have struggled with my weight for years. I 100% agree with you and feel moderation is good. I’m following the concept of measuring and keeping things consistent but if I want to treat myself I do. I know that’s wrong but I have to have balance or I’ll go crazy and not complete my goal. All I ask of you is continue to give us those wonderful recipes. They have helped my friend and I so much and we love them. Good luck on your journey and keep up the good work.
    Lauren

     
  43. Katie, your recipes have changed the way my family eats. I ordered the 14 day meal plan and we love every recipe. I lost my weight on BLE and have pretty much maintained. I wanted to lose some more and just couldn’t follow the strict guidelines again. And then a friend told me about your site and it has completely changed the game. I’ve been wanting to be mostly plant based in our home and you have been the vehicle that has made it happen. I so related to your post and I hope that your journey will continue to offer recipes that cater to the BLE community. It has changed our eating for the better. You are amazing.

     
  44. I find myself relating to your words. I am still finding what works for me. I honor your journey and look forward to hearing more of it!

     
  45. Toni LaChine

    Thank You, Katie
    I love and respect your decisions on what’s working in your life. I ‘ve really enjoyed your recipes and will continue to follow you. xo

     
  46. Megan McClain Kwacz

    Beautiful!!! I’m right there with you. Keep trying to get back to strict Bright Lines….but then I realize that I am just not there anymore. And that I’m actually happy and eating super awesome. And okay with 5 extra pounds, too! Cuz I am Bright, Happy and Free…all of the things we want from an awakened life.
    Thank you for being so radiantly honest.

     
  47. Hi Katie. I follow a few sites/bloggers related to healthy eating and in particular those writing about following a healthy whole food plant based diet. I find I always read yours through. I would say continue doing what you are doing, because it is always inspiring. I struggle with my weight and did try BLE but found it to restrictive although I think the information if stellar. I’m not sure what I am looking for , I sure did like the core meal Beans and Greens you published. Thank you investing your time and effort in educating and inspiring me as I make my way in this journey.

     
  48. Jana Warner

    Hi Katie,
    This message was so timely, validating, refreshing and…healing. For brevity sake, I’ll just say “ditto” to your warm and lovely message. It echos my experience and conclusions to a tee.
    After following BLE for three years, I not only know that I am not a food addict with a damaged brain, I also have learned the hard way that Susan just isn’t right about everything, and in one particular area is sadly very, very wrong. My situation is likely fairly rare, but then again, maybe not, given the high number of very, very slow losers that are in BLE. To be specific, it is not true that there is no such thing as Adrenal Fatigue. I am 61, and had a complete hysterectomy when I was very young, and also grew up in a profoundly dysfunctional family atmosphere. I lived in an almost constant state of fear growing up resulting in severe cortisol overstimulation. The eventual cortisol depletion combined with my hysterectomy led to severe hormonal imbalance. It came upon me so slowly over decades that I didn’t realize how crappy I really felt. It was just normal to me. My first clue that something was not normal was that I never experienced the “leptin kick-in” that is often reported to occur after about 90 days or so of doing BLE. To the contrary, I found myself to be more and more tired. Then, after losing 50 pounds on BLE , I hit a plateau that lasted two years!! Believing Susan and the support folks at BLE I adjusted and adjusted and adjusted my meal plan to the point that it seemed that I was hardly eating anything. Eventually, I went from doctor to doctor convinced that I must have Hashimoto’s or something similarly wrong with my thyroid. No one could find a thing, UNTIL a wonderful integrative MD looked further into the compounds that the adrenals produce. Turns out that I had the lowest cortisol levels that he’s seen in 40 years of practice! And a number of other very subtle hormones were either extremely low or absent from my profile. Now that I’m getting the help I need, I’m starting to feel so much better. Don’t know if it’s leptin, but I have energy again! I am slowly losing weight again, but along with you, while I have learned volumes about what good nutrition and correct portions are, I find that I do much better listening to my body rather than following such a strict regimen. For me, inner authority is better than the outer authority of BLE.
    Thank-you so much for your tender, thoughtful, and freeing message. For me, all I can say is, just keep up the good work. For my part, I love it that your recipes alway include BLE portions, it makes cooking easier, but other than that, please let your creativity and insights run free. I’m a big fan!!

     
    • Thank you so much Jana for your comment, what a journey you’ve been on! I honor your path, and am so glad that you are feeling more successful in finding health and energy! <3

       
  49. MARIA PICCOLO

    Katie, I’m so very happy for you!
    It is not my experience… I’m still close to goal after 3 years, and from there go up or down some pounds but never reached what I wanted.
    For some time I let my body stay in this closer to goal weight, because I refuse to go with less food in order to achieve certain weight…. what if after that in my maintenance I have to stay with really little food for ever…..
    In some way I do some personal deviations that does not interfere with my plan ( like raw cacao in homemade nut butter or corn handmade tortillas from the people that cultivate the corn!) and also I don’t get crazy about changing some planned food for other…. but in those cases, I try to reflect why I did it.
    But when life gets hard….. I start eating bigger quantities, or snacking…. and I end gaining weight!
    (So I have to work as planned in BLE , and keep my lines!
    As Susan said, she is not the police!
    Some people can handle little wine ( like me…) sporadicly, or coffe or whatever.
    I really believe Susan will be thrilled to know that your’e HAPPY, THIN AND FREE!, by taking what is usefull and deleting what is not!
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    For the general purposes, if you post recipes here , adherence to general BLE it is neccesary!

    THANK YOUUUU!

     
  50. jennborges

    Hi Katie- Thank you so much for your comments and your honesty! Your approach is similar to mine – determine the program that works for you and keep it! No judgment! Thank you for all you have contributed to this community – I look forward to seeing what you do next!

     
  51. Anonymous

    Katie,
    Your thoughtful post was so appreciated. It was just what I needed to read on this very day. I have been trying to follow BLE for 3 years and am a long ways from being a crystal vaser. Your post was full of self compassion and was a wonderful reminder to me to do the same. I am printing your post and will return to read it often as I continue on this journey. Thank you so very much.
    Sarah

     
  52. Marion Hatt

    Thank you for sharing. I appreciate and agree with all you shared. I will still look forward to your recipes.

     
  53. Merylee McMahan

    Hi Katie,
    I am in maintenance and relate to your post. I know have an awareness of how to eat and how to maintain my goal weight range. I also am adopting my own ways of doing things that aren’t strictly BL compliant. I am a 7 on the susceptibility scale and do not relate as a food addict. In the past, I’m sure there were many times I used food for emotional support or for boredom. I now have much more awareness as to why I am making certain food choices.

    I belong to a wonderful BLE support group, but do not feel like I have any support with others who are not strictly following BLE. Your post made me realize how I do not feel like I belong to a “tribe” with others who do BLE their own way.

    Is there anyone out there that wants to join me in a Marco Polo group/ FB group/Messenger/zoom call group or is there a group I could join? I’d love to connect with people who are similar to me.

    Thank you, Merylee McMahan

     
    • Thank you so much Merylee, I love that you are feeling a greater sense of belonging! Are you in my fb group? That’s where I found all my besties. Feel free to reach out for a small group to join in there. 🙂

       
  54. Kerrie Hutchinson

    Katie, thanks so much for sharing! I have wondered how this will pan out for me as well – I just am not at a place to decide these things yet – I am only 154 days in, so I am JF’ingTFP for now…. as far as where would I like to see your offerings on this platform go, I see so many in the online community recommending your site to new BLE’ers asking questions about what they should eat! Many of us love your recipes because we don’t have to think about how to count it – it is all given to us – for weight loss as well as maintenance! Priceless. I totally understand if you feel the need to move on past this, but it is indeed a valuable service that you offer to BLE’ers… and so much more could be added by way of different cuisine types – plain ol’ American, Cajun, Asian, Mexican, Italian/Greek/Mediterranean and more… and if I started digging I probably could find all that in your site – so what I’m saying I think is that it would really be a help and a blessing to continue to have access to all the food helps and recipes with more coming along the way! Thanks for all you’ve done and will be doing for us!

     
    • Thank you Kerrie! I know that my recipes provide a helpful service to many newbies! I’ll consider how to have a foot in both worlds. Maybe giving measurements in both oz and cups, with portion suggestions?

       
  55. Elaine Hughes

    Dear KatieYou are one amazing woman who stands in her truth!!  Bravo!  I can really pick up on your personal integrity to be honest and authentic. And I can feel your struggle to leave your security blanket BLE family and be open to new dimensions. Amazing things are ahead for you. Just trust and know that you can’t even dream how amazing your life will become in the future.  I have never done boot camp but I did the 14 day challenge and kept it going for 7 weeks. I did great and lost 20 pounds. Of course I bought the book even before it was released.   I did get on your Facebook group that you created but I’m not really an online person. In fact I’m totally off of Facebook now. I still listen to Susan’s weekly blogs.  Many years ago I tried OA and didn’t like the premise that I was damaged and would never recover. And I enjoy wine and do not feel like an addict.  I’m 70 years old now and have been battling 30 extra pounds off and on since I was 11. It was awful to make weight the entire focus of my life for all those years. I was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had surgery and am now going through chemo. Believe me, your priorities change so drastically. I am thrilled to have the extra fat on my body now.  I have always been connected to your messages and eating healthy and listening to your body. I would love for you to continue writing from the wisdom of your heart and your “gut”!!!! I love reading your recipes and your comments. Please stay active with this group. Maybe write your own book!!!  And continue to share your journey of loving your body and your health.  With much gratitudeElaine

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

     
  56. E Diane Hamilton

    I loved your post. I have felt the same way for a while now. I have such regard and appreciation for Bright Line Eating and Susan for her program. But, I don’t feel like I’m an addict. I am not sure what you can offer but your path and encouragement would be a wonderful start to help me continue on my journey.
    Thank you so much! I am certain this was not an easy task for you but I loved it.

     
  57. Thanks for your vulnerability, I appreciate your sharing. I “let go” of the written part right away, I saw that it triggered resistance and I often didn’t want to eat what I wrote down so I just had a BLE meal according to the time of day. I have “released” 25 pounds and am experimenting with alcohol occasionally which does trigger cravings for sugar which I do not indulge.
    Love your recipes.
    XO
    Jamie

     
  58. Thank you Katie for your wonderful post. I love your site and great minds, they say, run on the same channel. I will continue to read your posts and follow your recipes as long as you post them. I am not at maintenance yet but I’m getting there.

     
  59. Hi Katie, I loved this blog post.  I’ve been doing BLE for almost two years and just finished writing study guides for the entire Reboot Rezoom course.  A lot of what you say in the blog really speaks to me and I would love to talk to you further.  Thanks, Arlene Thayer

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

     
  60. carolj357

    Hi Katie, I think this platform would be a great place to share maintenance lessons and support as I don’t believe there’s enough of that with any eating program/plan. It’s “easy” to lose the weight, but figuring out what truly works for you once the weight is off is another leg of the journey that few share–maybe b/c it is individualized and can have many deviations from “The Plan.” Keep sharing what is working for you, how you experimented, how you self-corrected, where your support comes from and yes, feel free to continue to share recipes! Carol

     
  61. Katie, this is an honest, courageous post. I too gained much from BLE such as learning to eat 3 solid meals a day, planning meals to avoid poor, impulsive choices etc. Sadly, while in BLE, I also became more focused on NMF (not my food) and my binges, though less frequent, gained in volume and physical suffering. I have now incorporated what worked from BLE into a more mindful eating approach and am having much more success. I’ve been in maintenance for over a year and I think offering up your personal recovery story and recipes is tremendously helpful to many of us. It is very tempting to look for that one, silver bullet approach which will end all eating and weight woes. In reality, we often end up self-designing our recovery over a period of trial and error. Your fearless account of finding your recovery groove is so inspiring and reassuring. Please continue to be a supportive, loving voice out there in the wilderness! You are cherished my friend~~~~

     
  62. Sue Foose

    Love you site and want to encourage you to keep going with it. I have found myself straying more towards that “middle path” myself for many of the same reasons you listed. But I find that middle path a bit scary so I would enjoy continued blogs, product recommendations, and recipes based along that “middle path” avenue. I know this comment is not specific, but I hope it is at least encouraging.

     
  63. Terry Nunez

    I have enjoyed your info tremendously Katie! I absolutely wish you the best through your continued journey.

     
  64. I have felt the same way about BLE but that being said I do refer to your amazing recipes whenever I feel I really need to reel myself in! I hope and pray that you leave the info and recipes available but that you might also continue to share your recipes and journey as you venture down the middle path!! Blessings to you and you courage, commitment and other-centeredness!!

     
  65. Katie, thank you for sharing your journey. I am every bit as grateful for BLE as you have described, and also share some of the same issues with the program. I don’t believe I am ready to strike out on my own as just the smallest indulgence in sugar will send me down a bad road. But I still hope that some day, is will have peace with my food.

     
  66. Melissa Blackwell

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I think that you should follow your path and I hope one day that I get to where you are now. I just started bright line eating 3 months ago and I just entered maintenance. I bought your insta pot cookbook and make your recipes everyday. They are so delicious and give me such peace on my journey. I will still follow you regardless of what you decide.

     
  67. Maggie Mason

    Thank you for sharing your views and please continue on with the great recipes. If you decide to launch a formalized program you can count me in! I tried BLE but find it to restrictive. While I admit I am somewhat of a food addict I also believe that you are what you think about and if you’re continually told or say you have an addiction how will you ever get beyond that? Hope that makes sense. Would love a more flexible program.

     
  68. Pingback: 10 Lessons from Bright Line Eating – Katie's Bright Kitchen

  69. Florence Zilka

    Hi Katie

    Always love to hear from you! I am a solid 10 and then some on the SS . I accept that about myself. I did 30 yrs in OA several years in fasts like Medifast, Optifast, tried at least four or five eating plans and finally for the first time in my life, with BLE, got to my right sized body. I’ll be 70 in August. A long long long journey with much healing and insight. My biggest take away from BLE is an old adage from OA….take what you like and leave the rest….that is what I think Susan hopes we get to after our Highest Self is found and strengthened.

    Thank you for giving me the variety of foods and easy prep recipes. I don’t think I would have succeeded if I didn’t have the flavors and varieties of your wonderful recipes! They have been an indispensable part of my BLE journey!! I didn’t have to be bored by my food or feel like I was being punished for enjoying flavorful foods. You have helped me in my evolving plant based eating journey.

    Please keep posting! I love you….

     
  70. Tiffany M Jacobson

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! These words resonate my thoughts almost PERFECTLY! Thank you for being so honest about your journey. I did BLE for a year and a half and than decided it was not my path for various reasons. Many of which you have spoken of here. Thank you!

     
  71. I really appreciate your honesty with us. It sounds like you have made very positive decisions in finding your own path and I fully support you!

    Personally, I have made concessions with some of the bright lines. I don’t weigh food in restaurants. I will change my planned food so long as it doesn’t feel like a difficult decision/drain on my willpower. I am often okay with “grey area” foods about which BLEers debate on social media.

    However, I don’t think I would be able to completely leave my lines, even when I reach maintenance–I still feel like they support me and give me peace of mind.

    I hope you will continue to post the occasional recipe that BLE followers can still use, but I understand if that is not a natural fit for you anymore. If you decide to post non-BLE recipes, I ask that you label them as non-BLE.

    Your recipes have been such a life-saver on my BLE journey. Thank you for all you have done for us! 🙂

     
  72. Sandy Christiano

    Hi Katie, I’m glad to hear that BLE has put you on a peaceful, reconciled path with food. I’m finding my own way on that path as well. I started BLE a little over a year ago and have only been in maintenance a few months, so I’m still treading cautiously, but I have disengaged myself from the BLE community as I dont find the need to engage as much in conversations about food…I’m too busy living my life. And while I still weigh and measure and still write down my food, I don’t feel the need for the support or tenants of BLE as much. I have peace around food now too and remain very mindful about the food I eat and will be eternally grateful to BLE for putting me on this path. And bringing me to you as well!

     
  73. MARIA PICCOLO

    Oh Katie! I love your honesty as I love Susan’s, each of you speaks its own true.
    I’m looking to get where you are, and reading you, gives me hope!
    I’m 7 in SS, so as you, I don`t feel as addict as Susan.
    I have been in BLE for 3.5 years, after 4 months in BLE got close to my goal, then travel and gained 4 pounds and for 2 years stayed in WLP releasing and regaining some pounds. But my lines weren’t as bright (BLT’s usually). Since I came from little numbers: started at 145 and goal was 127.5… reached 128.8… Last year, stressing emotional family issues…. and little by little regained I’m now at 140!
    So I have to work deeper!
    I do use little raw cacao iun the nut butter I fix, no problem!
    I do eat, corn tortillas, hand made drom fresh corn that I buy in the sloww market.No problem!
    However, after last of the year dinner that i decided to have some Bacalao that had flour, adn a little piece of home made, no flour, little dark sugar cake……. and I “was fine”….. I decided to bake for january 6 “3 king bread” tipical in Spain and Mexico ( as I used to for many years) had a little piece…… next morning another…. until much of what was left after the family party…..
    So, I’m not where you’re and have to work deeper.
    I still look for food, when I’m sad or lonely!
    The anwear of your question will be, that I will like to hear of your journey ahead!
    THANKS AGAIN!
    LIKE YOUR RECIPES A LOT!

     
  74. Hi Katie, I initially started following your blog because it was the only one I could find that had BLE inspired recipes. Since then, however, i came to appreciate your reflections on your own journey (still like the recipes, too!). I am not sure how to provide feedback to your questions but I will continue reading as long as you wish to share 🙂

     
  75. Love this on so many levels, mindful eating and the middle way

     
  76. Cynthia Capone

    I appreciate your food journey. Do you think that following BLE healed your brain to allow this new freedom you enjoy?

     
    • I don’t really think of it that way. I don’t think I was ever “broken” or “fixed” or “healed” I think of it more as gaining self awareness and learning to make decisions more consciously.

       
  77. Katie that’s great that you have found peace and your forever path. Can I ask what you scored of the addiction scales ? I am a 10++ BLE has led me to OA where I now feel on the right path 😊

     
  78. I’ve been in the BLE community for over a year and right away I decided to do each meal without a written menu, which was too limiting and not spontaneous enough for me. I’ve dropped 25 pounds from my 5’3 frame and feel good. I think your middle path is a great idea for people like me, I’ve never been recognizably fat just had post-menopausal bloating around the belly and lots of water retention. I look forward to hearing more from you on this new path! You Go Girl!

     
  79. Toni LaChine

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve been doing BLE for almost 2 years now. I do write my food down nightly but I’m not rigid in the only and exactly what that may be. I know eating a mostly plant based diet works well for me. I do like your beautiful recipes that you continue to share and make available. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts of what it means for you to have an awareness of the body, mind, and spirit. And, keep me on your mailing list. Toni ☺️

     
  80. Thanks for your post. I’m glad to hear other people enjoy “fuzzy lines”. And reading all the comments, it looks like a lot of people adjust the principles for their own needs. Personally, I enjoy choosing what I’m going to eat for each meal on the day itself. I get to choose from a wide variety of yummy veggies pre-cooked in the fridge. I find that I don’t need to write down my choices the night before. So for me, it’s the strict portions that are helping me know how much to eat. And it really does give me freedom to think of other things and to be more productive during my day. I’m now trying to apply bright lines to other parts of my life: exercise, professional development, etc. I especially love going to bed at night feeling good instead of full of guilt for having eaten things I shouldn’t have. Wow, that’s nice!

     
  81. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for the BLE community. I love the cookbook I purchased and use it often. I don’t follow the BLE meal plan carefully, but I was a 6 on the SS scale and discovered my problem was one of too generous of servings at each meal rather than binges. I want to eat more vegetables and have found your recipes to be easy to prepare without a lot of items I don’t already have in my kitchen. I fix your recipes and get a feel for what a serving should be. I look forward to hearing from you and always read your blogs before I read anything else that comes into my email each morning. Thank you again Katie!

     
    • Aww, thanks Margie! That was indeed my problem too. I wonder what we would behave like in a culture where appropriate potion sizes were more encouraged.

       
  82. Mary T Harrington

    Thanks Katie, I love your perspective.

     
  83. Thank you Katie for sharing your thoughts and middle road direction you are now exploring, it all rings so true for me too. I love BLE for all that it has taught me, as you outlined, however I struggle with the same parts you did too. Whilst I am close to goal and I will follow BLE till I reach it, I aspire to creating a mindful, healthy eating lifestyle that provides me with the pleasures of all foods, to achieve true freedom and weight management. Therefore I am interested in anything you have to share (recipes, thoughts, ideas, whatever works for you), as you travel your journey.

     
  84. Mary McHargue

    Hi Katie, I have been following you since you started publishing. I started BLE almost 2 years ago and I was successful at weight loss and improving my health. Your recipes have been helpful and have given me variety in my food which I needed. My path has been very similar to your’s. I eat healthy now but I do eat the occasional NMF. I have found my base line of what I can eat and not eat. I do not feel guilty if I substitute a healthy food with another healthy food. I appreciate your honesty and dedication to your health. Please keep sharing your skills and talents with your followers. You have a big fan base and you are providing a great service for so many. You are part of our success and I thank you for being honest and sharing your story.

     
  85. Connice Finger

    Katie, I agree 100%! I think BLE is a great beginning place for those of us that need a hard reboot with our diets. What I have taken away from BLE and still use daily is measuring and weighing my food. It’s so hard to eye ball what a portion size looks like and in reality most often we over estimate what 4oz, 6oz really is. I track every day in MY Fitness Pal and this is also a great way to understand what 1500 cal looks like. Like you I enjoy an occasional treat like dark chocolate and have found that it helps to stay the course in a weight loss journey. Not all will agree with me and if your the kind of person that if an occasional treat leads to a slippery slope of weight gain I total understand. In the end, threw-out my many attempts at weight loss I have found balance to be the key to happiness in everything. It’s only one 51 year-olds opinion and experience. Thank you for your insightful words of wisdom. Keep sharing. Love your posts. Peace <3

     
  86. Anonymous

    Katie,

    Thank you for this authentic post. I related with much of what you said regarding the strictness of BLE and how it is not aligning with my higher self as much as it did in the past. BLE was a good starting point for me to reevaluate and look at the quantity and quality of food I was eating, but it is too strict for my inner rebel to not not to want to rebel against. “Oh, I can’t have ______? Watch me sneak it in and then feel guilty about it after”. Much better to eat it mindfully and be aware if it is serving my body or not, rather than sneak it in uncontrollably. I am an avid traveler of the world and do not want to miss on cultural experiences just because of the ingredients in something. That being said, after following BLE for some time, I am also better at taking stalk into what I’m eating and am now choosing plant based over animal products much of the time.

    As for how to evolve your blog, I think you do a great job already. I love all your ideas for plant based meal preparation. Because I travel lots, which does not afford the ability to build a tight knit group of like minded friends, it is nice to have your blog to remind me other people are also following this type of lifestyle. Once one has stepped away from ‘mainstream American eating’ it is quickly apparent the contrast as to how other people eat. Please keep on with your authentic posts about your challenges and celebrations so that I know there are others like me out there 🙂

    Cheers
    Brittany

     

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