University scientist’s plan deactivates appetite— so you drop up to 30 lbs in 14 days
On a very ordinary morning not long ago, Susan Gaynor gritted her teeth and struggled to climb into the shower. It had become so hard to maneuver her 281-pound body that she was winded as she finally relaxed in the hot water. I need to hurry, she thought, bending to grab a washcloth that had slipped to the floor. Intense pain shot through her knees; she had to stand and brace herself. As the cloth swirled in the water near the drain, dread settled over the New York nurse. I might not be able to pick it up, she realized. Susan’s mind flooded with images of patients bedridden and unable to care for themselves because of their size. She imagined herself trapped in her bed… trapped in her body. “No!” she said. “Please, no.”
Susan felt shaken as she kissed her husband, Jeremy, goodbye and left for work that day. How did I end up here? she asked herself. For decades, she’d fought her weight fiercely with diets, pills, workouts. But thoughts of food were constantly in her mind, creating a hunger she could never control for long. Her weight had soared. She developed terrible arthritis and prediabetes; her blood pressure shot skyhigh. Still she ate. She’d have chips, a burrito, beer, flan— and go out for ice cream afterward. A normal weight seems impossible for me, she thought. But maybe I could get down to 200 pounds? Maybe that would be enough.
Desperate, Susan joined a weightloss support group she’d heard about called TOPS. The idea was that other members would encourage her and help troubleshoot any plan she chose. New friends Melinda and Kathleen suggested she consider Bright Line Eating, so she started reading the e-book. Each page left her stunned. This is why I overeat! she thought. And this is how I can stop…
A new beginning
Susan learned that a big part of Bright Line was eating in a very similar way at every meal— repeating the same nutritious pattern day after day. Eventually, this pattern would become ingrained and automatic, so instead of endless decisions about what or how much to eat, she’d just do what she always
did. The book promised it would help silence constant thoughts of food.
To make it feel easier, she would also avoid any food with flour or sugar. The neuroscientist who wrote the book explained that many of us are so sensitive to these highly processed modern ingredients that they actually damage brain pathways, leading to hunger that’s nearly impossible to satisfy. “No matter how much pizza or cake I have, I always want more,” Susan shared with her TOPS group. But could she go cold turkey? They urged her to take it one meal at a time.
Her first “bright” breakfast was oatmeal, berries and cottage cheese. Lunch was tuna salad on cucumber slices and an apple. Dinner was chicken, veggies and avocado. “I feel great,” she said to Jeremy that night. In the days that followed, she did have rough moments when she was hungry or full but still wanting more. Her TOPS friends urged her to sip hot tea and hang in there, vowing it got easier. They were right! In the next few weeks, Susan dropped 11.8 pounds. My face already looks slimmer, she thought, smiling at her reflection in the mirror. And my constant urge to eat is gone. This is working!
As weeks became months, Susan’s meals didn’t change much. When she did add something new—like nut butter or flourless crackers—“if it reactivated the food chatter in my brain, I’d know to avoid it,” she recalls. “As long as I did, I was only hungry when it was time to eat.” Pounds poured off. In nine months, she dipped under 200 pounds and kept right on going. She came off blood pressure meds, normalized her blood sugar and no longer needed arthritis meds or cortisone shots. “I even got rid of my sleep apnea and CPAP machine!” Down 138 pounds in all, Susan still can’t quite believe it. “Bright Line does have rules that you always follow. I tried bending them a bit, but the food chatter returned. So I just follow the plan—and it’s actually so liberating. Everything about my eating is black-and-white so I can live the rest of my life in color,” says the 57-yearold. “I was overweight even as a kid. This is the first time in my entire life that I’m at a healthy weight!”
To learn more, check out Bright Line Eating or visit Brightlineeating.com