Susan Peirce Thompson knows something about addiction. Starting at age 14, she lurched from addiction to addiction, finally getting clean and sober at age 20. Years later, in grad school, she had become obese, and found that she was powerless to control – or even understand – her cravings and binges.
Unlike drugs, food was a must-have; she couldn’t simply abstain. When she discovered a method that had been refined, trial-and-error fashion, by food addicts in the 12-step community, she jumped on board and quickly went from size 16 to size 4.
Susan is now a tenured psychology professor with a PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and teaches a college course on the psychology of eating.
In our conversation, we discussed her journey, her own research, the state of scientific knowledge on food addiction, and her solution. Highlights include:
- how beating drug addictions led to Susan’s food addictions
- how not knowing about the susceptibility scale makes us take really bad advice from the wrong people
- the dangers of late night TV commercials to people high on the susceptibility scale
- the surprising science of “cue-sensitivity” and addiction
- why plant-based diets can fail to deliver their promise of easy weight loss
- the evolution of bright line eating from a successful 12-step program
- the four bright lines
- the two big dangers: sugar and flour
- why cheat days don’t work for food addicts
- why our brains can overrule our over-full stomachs
- why easily addicted people were once the most valuable members of society
- how we beat ourselves up for not sticking to our diets (and why we shouldn’t)
- how little we actually know about successful weight loss
- what research needs to be done
- how to deal with environmental triggers to eat
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
Audio note: there are a bunch of “dial tones” that pop up during the conversation, like one of us was sitting on our cell phone and accidentally pressing buttons. We tried to diagnose and solve the issue, but since I was on Skype and Susan wasn't touching her phone, we remained baffled. I apologize in advance if you find the sounds irritating…
Susan’s Blog – really compelling and valuable content