This a question that I have spent quite a bit of time worrying about as a person who provides recipes to self proclaimed food addicts. Some of you have asked me about my thoughts on Susan’s stance on recipes and food neutrality, and whether that’s a point of tension.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing potential collaboration opportunities with Susan and the BLE team, and yes, it’s been a tricky and nuanced subject. In her vlog this week, Susan explains why she isn’t willing to endorse an official BLE cookbook. I believe that her stance comes from the culture of FA (which is where Susan learned the tools of BLE) and also from her lived experience as someone whose food freedom is compromised by even the slightest food excitement.
But as the popularity of my blog shows, not everyone has this same lived experience or perspective, and many Bright Line Eaters (myself included) are successfully able to incorporate recipes into their plan.
At the end of the day, I take comfort in the idea that everyone is self responsible. Ultimately, whether or not recipes serve you in your journey is something you have to figure out for yourself.
I appreciate too that in the very same vlog, Susan also acknowledges the potential differences for mid-rangers such as myself (I’m a 7 on the susceptibility scale). She says that for many people like herself who are high on the scale the goal of this way of eating is food neutrality, or as she put it, keeping your food in black and white so that you can live your life in full color. I don’t connect with this statement at all. In fact, I pretty strongly reject it. But I also can see how this mentality could be useful for someone whose suffering with food has been much worse than my own.
Because I really can keep my food in color AND can life my life in color too. And I want to. If you CAN, then why on earth wouldn’t you? It just isn’t true for me that focusing on my food sometimes detracts from the quality and fullness of my life in other areas. I guess I am one of the lucky ones that really can keep a foot happily in both worlds and live in a body that I’m happy and healthy in.
I appreciate her addressing this because sometimes I feel like I am doing Bright Line Eating “wrong” because I do let my food be fun and sexy sometimes.
But I have a different history with food than Susan. My food was not abusive to me in the way that she describes. She makes an analogy of her relationship to food as an abusive relationship (with food as the abuser), and that she wants nothing to do with food anymore.
But food didn’t abuse me. It manipulated me, and made me feel powerless at times. But through Bright Line Eating I became empowered with the tools to regain control over my food. These tools helped me eliminate the manipulative parts of that old relationship, and to repair it. And at the end of the day I am glad to say that food and I are still good friends.
This has not been everyone’s experience, and I am sure that Susan’s experience is much more common in the BLE community, and in the food-addiction recovery community at large.
What about you?
Are recipes making your life brighter and more vibrant, or are they preventing your from living your life in full color?
I’d love to hear about your experiences in relation to this vlog topic. Leave a comment!
P.S. Here’s a link to the susceptibility scale if you are new to the idea of Bright Line Eating!