Sticking to a Healthy Diet with Susan Peirce Thompson: "Health Talks"

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Video Transcript

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: We are living in the dark ages around food. I don’t know if you guys remember the movie, Forest Gump? Did you see that movie, right?

TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: And when Forest is a little boy, and he’s seeing the doctor, and he’s saying about his crooked spine and stuff, and the doctor’s got a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Do you know that scene? That’s the state of our society around food right now, where we are becoming overweight and obese at breathtaking, gobsmacking, horrifying rates.

Our kids are destined to have Type 2 diabetes at levels that we’re going to be watching this generation of kids have legs amputated and go—and be going blind in their 30s and 40s at mass numbers. And financially, as a society, we can’t afford it. Like the heart disease and diabetes and stuff, we’re about to go bankrupt on a global scale because of how we’re eating.

 And we’re still at the point where if you try to stay “No, thank you,” to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, people give you a hard time, like you’re some sort of ridiculous version of a like overzealous, like “Nobody diets on Thanksgiving, come on.” It’s like in 1950, and you’re trying to say “No, thank you,” to a cigarette, or 1970, and you’re trying to say “No, thank you,” to a drink on New Year’s Eve.

 Now I haven’t had a drink in a long time. Nobody harasses me on New Year’s Eve if I try to stay “No, thank you,” to a drink. If I say, straight up, “No, thanks. I don’t drink,” they go and find me some sparkling water to put in my champagne glass, right? They’re cool. But if I try to say, “I don’t eat sugar,” on Thanksgiving, they give me a hard time, like I’m being ridiculous, right?

TeriAnn Trevenen: Well, and nobody wants to talk about the fact, we’ve talked about this multiple times on different episodes about food not even being real anymore. A lot of the food that people are eating is not even food.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right.

TeriAnn Trevenen: It’s not food.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right. Just because it’s edible doesn’t make it food.

TeriAnn Trevenen: Right.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Well, and it’s the whole fat-free movement, right?

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right.

Jonathan Hunsaker: That I think has also moved a lot of this faster, right? To get rid of the fat, we just added a bunch more sugar.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah.

Jonathan Hunsaker: And so, it’s made, so…

TeriAnn Trevenen: The chemicals—

Jonathan Hunsaker: That’s for another episode that we will do in a little bit about sugar addiction. But let’s get back to the holidays because I think it’s a very relevant point, right? That—and I, I’m not shy about it, I smoked for 20 years. I was very unhealthy. I quit smoking close to five years ago. Anybody that knows me now, like would never judge. When I say “No, I don’t smoke,” or anything like that, they’re not going to try to push a cigarette on me. That would be absurd, right? The same thing with somebody who drinks, or you say “No, I don’t drink,” or “I’m sober.” It would be absurd for you to push a drink on that person.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah.

Jonathan Hunsaker: But we’ll push sugar.

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, food.

Jonathan Hunsaker: We’ll push crap on people without, without any second thought.

Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson: Without even knowing we’re doing it, yeah.

Jonathan Hunsaker: And a lot of times, it’s Aunt Jane, that’s 50 pounds overweight…

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, totally.

Jonathan Hunsaker:—that’s pushing it on you, that’s not healthy. And you’re trying to get healthy. But it makes her feel like crap because you’re drawing a line in the sand and you’re trying to be healthy, and it’s like “Oh no, well, if I’m going to be unhealthy, I want to bring everybody down with me.”

Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: And a lot of what I do, and the Bright Line Eating Approach that I teach, is I  help people navigate those social situations with their families, with the Aunt Jane who has baked something gluten-free and/or—whatever, out of spelt flour and agave syrup, or whatever, and she’s handing you these baked goods, and she’s like “I know you’re on a special thing…”

I’m not going to eat it. How do you language that to her? How do you get through the family? Because breaking bread together is a very primal thing, right? And how do you keep your relationships intact? How do you stay close to the people that you want to be close to? Jonathan, so okay, right here, right? I’m in your home.

And last night, we were on the phone, and I said “Let’s talk a little bit about the food for tomorrow because I just went to Whole Foods and I got all my food. I’ve got enough food to like get my dinner for tomorrow.” And you’re like “Well, I got this and that and the other.” And now, I have a choice point of like am I going to eat what you’re serving? Am I going to break bread with you in your home, eating your food?

And I decided to because you were—you told me what you were serving, and it was like foods I eat, right? But there is this sort of dance, this negotiation that has to happen when you decide to swim upstream from society’s expectations around food and not go with the healthy—with the unhealthy flow of food products that everybody else is eating. You decide you’re only going to eat whole, real food, in whatever way you want to spin that, and there are relationships to navigate.


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