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Three Keys to Life-Long Weight-Loss Success: SPT

Thursday, March 17, 2016


OK, I watched Susan Peirce Thompson's weekly vlog yesterday (on her website): in which she spoke about the first of the three "keys" to life-long weight-loss success. And offered a link for a 2 hour live-streamed presentation last evening between 8 and 10 pm to describe the other two. Which I couldn't resist watching since MAINtenance is the main thing, right?

And there's the replay link above (which may or may not work??) above.

The Three Keys?

1. An effective program. And yes, for SPT that's Bright Line Eating, BLE. BLE meaning: no sugar, no flour; 3 meals a day only, without any snacking between meals: and weighing and measuring all foods to ensure eating the right quantities. There's more (of course there's more): but those are the Bright Lines (unbreakable "rules"). Moderation doesn't work, she reminds us, because of the "will power gap": we can't sustain will power so we need rules that are firm, strong, clear.

2. Social support. We can't do if alone, we need to be part of a community. Although community alone won't work without #1, the effective program. (Spark offers lots of "community": but lots of people still don't lose weight . . . ). SPT describes her previous involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA); then Overeaters Anonymous (OA), then in Food Addicts (FA): all 12 step programs. Plus 20 odd years of therapy. She says what's key in community is shifting identity: from "I can't eat that, I'm on a diet (temporary) " to "I don't eat that (ever). This is who I am." A person who doesn't eat sugar/flour . . . so there's never any choice. It's Not My Food. Identity shift happens and is maintained in community, in belonging.

3. Doing the Inner Work. Yup, when you stop using food as a crutch, "things come up". Social support is not enough: she advocates therapy. Because: if you're not stuffing down emotion with food, self-medicating with food, addicted to food as a means to deal with stress and boredom and anger and celebration and everything: you need a new solution. Such as actually dealing with the problem(s), whatever they are. SPT describes her own personality as "challenging": the kind of person who wants what she wants when she wants it, a demanding perfectionist, scratchy and abrasive with no friends, essentially alone because she never learned how to get along with people. She used up all the air in the room. As a university student, she annoyed other students in her classes by dominating class discussions and asking too many questions and taking all the attention. And, she says, we cannot sustain a life free from food addiction without "doing the work".

OK then: so far so good. And then a pretty hard sales pitch for boot camp (That's $1,000 give or take). And a further pretty hard sales pitch for the "First Annual BLE Family Reunion": to be held April 14th through 17th on Paradise Island resort off San Diego, which she says will be an occasion for "epigenetic change" at a cellular level: turning off the genes that contribute to food addiction, beginning to "do the work", shifting DNA by "all being together". And that too will cost $1,000 give or take: for all the sessions and all the foods for the 3 days (but not of course hotel room or air fare . . . ). "Come be with me . . . " was the repeated invitation.

She tells us she's quit her job as a professor. She tells us BLE is just about breaking even, not making her rich: she has a staff of 23 people and she pays them salaries and benefits and contributes to their retirement savings. She tells us she will lose $50,000 on the First Annual BLE Family Reunion. She tells us she's writing a book which will be published about a year from now and that will be a low-cost point of entry into BLE for people who can't afford her programs, and maybe can't even afford a computer or internet . . .

Good enough. She is generous with her information. She is entitled to make a living.

And although I don't accept the inflexibility of BLE as the "only program" I do agree that moderation doesn't work well but "automatism" about habits (with few exceptions) is important to maintenance.

I do think social support is important. But not enough.

And I do believe that quite often there are underlying psychological reasons for food addiction. Which do surface when self-medication with food ceases. And unmasks them. Although up to now I think it's fair to say SPT been focusing on biological reasons, where an individual fits on her "susceptibility" scale for food addiction between 1 and 10, the need for highly susceptible individuals to replenish leptin by reducing sugar and flour . . .

But having said all that . . . there's something about the BLE cult that makes me moderately uneasy. Something scratchy, abrasive, insistent?

As in so much of life: we can take what we need, with gratitude. And leave the rest. Beck reminds us: when we're full or even before, we can leave the rest on our plates.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for sharing!
    I missed your blog and thought you did not watch it ; )
    And I watched the first 40 minutes of the replay, but was annoyed she chatted so much and gave so little information so came here to see maybe you did... and I'm so glad you did!
    I quit the video and read your review instead and enjoyed a lot more.

    1477 days ago
    I so appreciate your insights and analyses, my friend.
    I find SPT very engaging and charming and am grateful for what she gives away in the form of her OPINIONS and beliefs and her tales of what works for her.
    But...I am done spending money chasing magic pills and solutions to my problems.
    I know what I need to do.

    1478 days ago
    Hmm. You watched it so we don't have to.
    I like a lot of what SPT has to offer. But I've found myself disappointed about the hard sell. And the personal endorsements that if I follow them hand over my email address to relentless pursuers. But now you have mentioned she has given up her day job, I can see why she is so stressed.
    I'll keep an eye on SPT because I think she is looking to be another player in the diet industry, and actually I think her messages are true and well founded and offer a workable solution that is very likely to be permanent for a lot of people wanting to attain and maintain a desirable weight.
    And what she has to offer is better than some offerings, and I think she deserves to be able to make a living. For me, her prices are out of reach, and I'm a roll your own kinda chick as well. There are a lot of people out there who if they had hit upon BLE the first time they tried to lose weight, would have saved a lot of money, time and angst. Not for everybody, for sure, but SPT is definitely worth the respect you are according her, Watermellen.
    Thanks for another great blog!
    1479 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5288236
    emoticon Thank you for always sharing new information with us. I am in the process of "doing the work" to deal with my inner stuff. It is a difficult process, but so worth it.
    1480 days ago
  • NANCY-
    It's all about having the proper tools for us to do the task. what works for some may not work for others.... but I have to say it is nice to have options.
    1480 days ago
    it's funny - reading the comments is almost as valuable - nah, equally valuable - as reading the blog - especially coming in at onekidsmom's "roll your own" - or as you put it, we take what we need with gratitude. i have a cousin whom SPT reminds me of, whom i find ... abrasive and annoying. and i can't watch her without thinking about my cousin. and $1000 is ... $1000. a lot. of. money. so we take what we need - add it to beck, to berkeley, to plant-based in my case. and spark away, our community!
    1480 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon
    1480 days ago
    I am reminded of a Latin motto: Omnia probate, optima tenete. Bear witness to all things and hold fast to what is best.

    I love your curiosity, dear Spark friend, and learn so much alongside you. We are each on this journey of Self discovery which includes tuning in to what is best for us and tuning into our own inner guidance, truth-meter/ BS meter. While there are many external guides, I have learned the long way round to follow only love and kneel only to truth. With deep respect for your wisdom,

    Grateful hugs!

    1480 days ago
    "As in so much of life: we can take what we need, with gratitude. And leave the rest. Beck reminds us: when we're full or even before, we can leave the rest on our plates." speaks of your sanity! Perhaps I have not done the work it takes to kick food's butt? My inner rebel is way too powerful to buy into giving up something totally and forever. Maybe again I need to do that work, but I don't wanna! Thanks for another terrific summary and view!!

    1480 days ago
    1480 days ago
    ANYTHING that tells me that there's only one way, THEIR way, makes me run in the opposite direction. Really.
    1480 days ago
    B.L.E. is no different to me than the old "drawing a line in the sand".
    The ideas are all well and good but the "get this free, be my friend and by the way..." The hairs on the back of my neck rose as I read more and more of your blog.

    And take this as it comes from the source. OKM's comment about rolling your own.
    Sorry child of the 60's!

    1480 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Personally I think taming the monkey mind, winning the mental game needs to be the first and most important step. If you can't resolve the things that lead you to use food as a crutch no program will ever work for you. One person on a webinar suggested a lot of our troubles began in childhood. These days, a lot of people come from broken homes, 1 in 4 women suffer sexual abuse, quite often as a child. There is a lot of baggage we could be carrying. Childhood is the most impressionable, formative part of life that gets us going. If we had a bad experience (even something not so significance), it could have set the tone for the rest of your life. We have to tame our inner critic that says we are not good enough, will never be a success, that our bodies are too flawed. We must truly love and accept ourselves before being able to help ourselves. Maybe I will finally have some time to start writing blogs on what I am learning, but right now its a little overwhelming lol.
    I would have loved to go to that BLE reunion, I think it would it have been fun, but its really too expensive with our poor dollar and also too soon after my surgery. I have always liked the idea of a retreat when I first heard of those fat spa camps. The procrastinator in me never went for it even when I had the means. Maybe it was a lost opportunity.
    1481 days ago
    Eh, I'm not much for all that epigenetic whoozitstuff. Weight loss / maintenance really isn't rocket science. I think those three points she mentions are essential, but exactly how that plays out with each and every one of us...?

    As I keep saying, we are all an experiment of one. And as I also keep saying: there are no miracle one-size-cures-all strategies out there. I immediately become suspicious if someone's approach takes on a proselytizing tone.

    Because if a certain approach, potion, pill, food is truly miraculous the media would be totally on FIRE with the news and there would be people melting away on a mass scale before our eyes. Nobody would choose to be fat if there was a safe, easy solution to obesity.

    Yeah well, that ain't happening anytime soon I suspect.

    So in the meantime we all have to find our path. And I think these 3 points for SPT are probably good underpinnings for what works. But those devilish details are up to each and every one of us.

    1481 days ago
    What a wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing! Wishing you a Wonderful Day!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1481 days ago
    Thanks. I'm thinking that there are some good things with BLE, however, I know so many people at Weight Watcher (almost all the staff plus I know 25 maintainers) who regularly eat sugar and flour and maintain. On the other hand, I know that 35 people are just a fraction of the people I have met at WW. BLE probably is a very good way for some people, but not all. And I think you said that!

    Good blog.
    1481 days ago
    "As in so much of life: we can take what we need, with gratitude. And leave the rest."
    Amen Sista!
    1481 days ago
    Discrimination is what our brains are designed to do...but it is a gift. And it can be acquired.
    1481 days ago
    There are many paths to one destination. Generally, we I find a concept repeated in some manner between several respected authorities, I start to pay attention. As soon as the hard sell starts, I'm out the door. Doesn't work for me.
    1481 days ago
    Looking forward to watching her Vlog. Loved your blog as usual!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1481 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/9/2016 12:35:53 PM
    Great insights!

    I don't think i could ever totally give up anything...that just strikes rebellion in me but do agree that flour/sugar are tricky and so on and so on and on and on...

    So I listen and pick and choose what to try...

    I also have that same eerie feeling....!?!? Could be the marketing strategy...she may be sincere and a case of success but has to use marketing to sell it. A shame we have to be so cautious these days. Some days she hooks me into interest. I just avoid being reeled in for $1000. I always tell my friends who are easily persuaded into anything that if it was really THAT AWESOME it would be all over the media in a matter of seconds!

    P.S. I had to teach "bandwagon" effects of advertising to 3rd and 6th graders for years.

    But I do agree with some of which she says and will use it to my advantage.

    Thanks for sharing. I didn't bother to to do the live stream because I knew I'd get the most authentic version right here!

    Keep Sparking!
    1481 days ago
    Thanks for the overview.

    I find myself wondering ... employing 23 people to do what?
    1481 days ago
    Thanks for the info!
    1481 days ago
    Thank you for the synthesis/analysis.
    My problem with #1:
    Don't we need will power to follow the "rules that are firm, strong, clear?"
    Yes, it does have a cult-like feel. I would be very uneasy about handing over $1000 too.

    1481 days ago
    Yeah. Kind of my reaction to almost ANY weight loss commercial program. I'm a "roll your own" kind of woman. Take the elements that work for you, accept they may not work for all, and do those three things... but like with the Jenny Craig surveys I used to take, when it comes to the statement of agree/disagree and degree of agreement:

    "I cannot imaging a world without Jenny Craig". Yep, same reaction... extreme disagreement. We do not NEED these things. We NEED to learn to know ourselves and ADAPT to what we need in any given moment.

    That is NOT easy. But it is essential to long-term success in ANY endeavor. You are a voice of sanity, Spark-friend! emoticon
    1481 days ago
    Exactly. We can pick and choose what we need and leave the rest. That's the best approach with any process.
    1481 days ago
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