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
Looking for Transformational Change?
You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?
That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.
But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.
Right now, I want to triple my coaching practice to get more and more opportunities to do this work. And I'm lowering my fees – a lot – to make it easier for people to work with me.
If you're interested in working with me (and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 months), click the link below to open the form in a new browser tab and I'll get back to you within 3 business days.
You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.
The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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