Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 20- Hard Cheese but 20% done!

 Today marks 20% completed of my 100 days of abstinence. I'm pretty pleased with that and proud of myself. I am aware that I'm probably going to need to be on Lighterlife Total for another few more months after the 100 days are finished but my first goal is to achieve the 100 days and then assess where I go from there.

Today has been a little harder. Mainly because I've had to make cheese toasties at work and damn did they smell tasty. I miss cheese! I made dinner for the mister today as well, and also found that hard to resist.

I've caught a virus from people at work so I've got a bit of a sore throat and am also feeling quite pathetic. On the plus side, we signed the contracts for the new house today and I gave notice to my current landlady. She wants to put her house on the market as soon as possible which means cleaning the place up pretty quick! We took a load of photographs of the new house and I'm really excited to start planning how we are going to make it home.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Day 19- Keep on plodding

Today has just kind of happened without me thinking about it. I'm on an overnight stay at work and have only managed to eat 2 packs today but to be honest I'm not hungry. This probably has something to do with the gallons of water I've drunk all day.

People at work have been asking questions about what I'm eating but I've not told them the truth as I can't be bothered with all the questions.

I did have a couple of hard moments today when making burritos at work for other people to eat. I've managed to avoid a lot of cooking so far but it is part of my job. The hard part was grating the cheese. It smelled wonderful and was a lot harder to resist than anything else so far. I have to say that I wasn't tempted to eat any, it was more just an acknowledgement that it was there and looked tasty. I know a little
bit of cheese won't knock me out of ketosis but I really feel committed to remaining abstinent for as long as I need to be. I know one thing for sure, I need the firm boundaries. I know that of I have one little thing, it's going to become a regular problem.

I've had a similar situation with certain foods before. I've refused point blank with myself to buy Cadbury's chocolate trifles because I can't manage them sensibly. If there are any, I eat them until they are gone. I really can't control myself. So I never bought them as a way of controlling myself. This feels very similar and so far is working!

Someone asked me about what foodpacks I eat so I thought I'd add that in here.  I eat a porridge for breakfast with a bit of cinammon on it to make it yummy. I sometimes have a toffee bar for lunch if I'm out and about or in the evening when I'm wanting something sweet but I'm trying to limit the amount of bars I eat because I think it affects weight loss. The rest of the time I live off spaghetti bolognese, pasta carbonara and shepherd's pie. I really like the meal packs and it makes me feel like I'm having regular food.. it also fits in well with work. I think my tastes may change over time and I've not htried things like a hot chocolate yet or a mint tea mixed with chocolate. Something to look forward to if boredom sets in!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Day 18- Let them eat cake

As the title of the blog suggests, there was cake and I didn't eat it! Instead, I enjoyed sniffing it and looking at it. Luckily for me it was carrot cake, which I like, but isn't a favourite. I also cooked sausages and mash and onion gravy for the Mister without flinching even though it looked yummy.

Aside from food, something I noticed is that my confidence is growing. I felt good today around other people. My friend showed me a photo of me and her, and I didn't recognise myself. Other people didn't recognise me either. I'd curled my hair in waves around my face and made a bit of an effort the night it was taken. I've got lovely dark brown long hair but rarely do anything with it and so it normally either looks a bit of a mess or really flat because I've straightened it. I'm definitely taking more time over my appearance at the moment and that feels good.

I've also been singing tonight. This has been inspired by X Factor and because I absolutely love to sing but have always been rubbish at it. The Mister used to sing on stage and was pretty good, he tells me, before he ruined his voice with smoking. Apparently I'm not as bad as I thought I was and he's going to help me learn some control to my voice. This is just for fun- I'm no Whitney Houston- but singing properly in front of anyone is not something I would normally do. I've really enjoyed it.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Day 17- Move over Little Black Dress for the Little Green Jumper

Another great day and I'm starting to feel like I'm on a roll.

We went to view a house this morning. We're saving up for a deposit but seeing as we are still paying for our wedding from last year, it's probably going to be a couple of years before we can afford the deposit. We rent at the moment and it's nice enough but it's not really a home so we've been looking for somewhere that can be home for the next couple of years. Unfortunately, I'm very picky, and there are literally about 3 streets that I want to live on! The house we went to see was pretty nice so we've taken it! We move in 1st November! I'm excited and really motivated to turn the place into a home. It's a 4 bed house and needs a bit doing to it- it's decorated very neutrally and I'll be painting it in more period Victorian colours if I get permission from the landlady which shouldn't be a problem.

After that we went for breakfast at Coast2Coast. Well, I say we, I nursed a cup of black coffee while the boy ate his way through a full breakfast. I was too busy mulling over ideas for the house to worry about it though, which was good as I'd not had time to have my first foodpack before we left to view the house.

I've not been hungry today. It's been a weird kind of day in my tummy! I could feel it was empty and there was an occasional grumble but I really didn't feel hungry at all. I know I need to eat the foodpacks and I've only eaten 2 today because of the timings.

We went shopping after breakfast and I found a beautiful jumper for £15 in Next. We were actually just walking through the shop to get to the car park as I'd gone to the shopping centre to pick up some long sleeved t-shirts from Primark. Primark seems to be a great place to pick up cheap clothes for when you're dropping sizes once a month! The jumper was a hunter green which suits my colouring perfectly. I have very dark brown hair, blue eyes and very pale fair skin. I love my colouring actually, I'm from Liverpool originally with Irish ancestry and the colouring comes from that. Hunter green and maroon really suit me. It was the right kind of fit and a flattering look on me, and the size 18 fit perfectly. But then I had a dilemma. It really was flattering and I know if I stick to Lighterlife, I'm only going to wear it for a month maybe two, and so it occurred to me that for something I really liked, it may be worth getting another smaller size. I've never ever done that before when dieting and it just goes to show that this really does feel like the real deal for me. In the end I got a size 18, a size 14 and a size 10. I'm still a bit shocked that I bought a size 10 to be honest. I can't ever remember being a size 10 as I've been big since I was a kid. I'm going to hang it up in my wardrobe and chart my weight loss by these jumpers. Most girls buy little black dresses to aim for- me, it's a little green jumper!

Another thing I'm pleased with today is that the boy brought home McDonalds for dinner and it didn't really bother me at all. I rang my Nan for a chat and made him sit on the other side of the room so I couldn't smell anything!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Day 16- Feeling Good

I'm in a cheerful kind of mood tonight. It's been a very good day. I've been on training again today, and as anyone who follows me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/lighterlifeme) will know already, there's been cakes and doughnuts galore available to munch on. What is it about training that they feel they need to feed you all up? Maybe they just want to make sure everyone stays awake with a sugar rush.

After training I walked into town and did a little shopping. One of my goals is to complete the 100 days of foundation so I'm treating myself every week. The Mister is giving me a Pandora charm for my bracelet for every stone I lose but I'm rewarding myself for just sticking to the plan regardless of weight loss. I'd decided to get some Benefit moisturiser as I ran out ages ago. I have expensive taste in make-up and beauty products but I have to admit, I don't take care of myself as much as I probably should. (Wait, let's re-phrase that...) I don't take care of myself as much as I deserve but that is changing. John Lewis were having a 20% off sale which I wasn't aware of so I got some toner as well. The plan is to start doing a morning and evening skin care routine.

I then had a couple of hours to kill as the Mister works in town and I was waiting for him to pick me up. I decided to sit in a café and take a look at the Lighterlife magazine I picked up at yesterday's meeting. Last time I sat in this café I had peppermint tea which was OK but I have to admit, I'm sorely missing a decent cup of tea, and black tea just doesn't taste right. I'm not much of a coffee drinker normally and I like it very milky or creamy usually but I ordered a weak black coffee and was really surprised to have enjoyed it so much. I guess it's true what they say about your tastes changing on this plan.

I have to say how impressed I was with the Lighterlife magazine. There were loads of interesting articles and the success stories were really motivational. It was great having some "me time" with such a great read. Then I discovered there's a Lighterlife YouTube channel! It was pretty cool to see videos of the photoshoots from the magazines. It made me want my own photoshoot! I'm going to get to goal and apply for it :-)

Another thing that has been great about today is the support from social media. There are loads of people on Twitter doing Lighterlife, I even got to speak to the person on the cover of the magazine I was reading today, which gave me a buzz. It's also good to swap emails with people in the same boat who know what you're going through.

So, I'm feeling uber positive and motivated today- long may it continue!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 15- 2nd weigh in

The day started with being very cosy in bed this morning and me really umming and ahhing over whether or not to go to the gym. Remembering the commitment to sorting myself out, I did actually drag myself out of bed. I did a bit of cardio at the gym and then went to a yoga class.

I met the personal trainer who was lovely and we had a good chat about what I'm doing at the moment and what my goals are. I really think he can help me tone and shape up while I'm losing weight. He was asked me about how I would feel about building muscle which would have an effect on what it says on the scales and honestly I don't care. I know the weight will drop off with Lighterlife if I stick to it but it's really important to me that I tone up as it happens so I look better when I've finished losing weight. I've taken the plunge and committed to 4 months worth of personal training, an hour a week. We're going to do resistance training and some boxing type work to keep it fun. I'm actually looking forward to starting it next week though I'm sure it's going to hurt!

There were a few more people at the Lighterlife group tonight which was good. I was disappointed with my weight loss- only 2 pounds this week. I'm feeling OK about it though as I really feel I've made progress this week, getting back to the gym and committing to being more active in general. Not to mention squeezing into the next size down jeans. I know for next week I need to concentrate more on drinking everyday and spacing the foodpacks out better.

We didn't really do any of the counselling in this week's session, which was disappointing as I find it helpful but we did have a general group chat about adjusting to different self-images as you lose weight and we looked over some of the homework I'd done from last week. It was good to chat to more people and I'm going to continue with the next bit of the counselling in the book I have by myself at home.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 14- Another quickie

Today has been really difficult. Work was intensely busy, so much so that I didn't have my first foodpack until lunchtime, and drinking water kind of went out the window. But I was feeling strangely upbeat and active, and I decided to cook the Mister some homemade chicken curry. Now, I haven't had anything to do with cooking his food or shopping for his food because I thought it would be better and easier that way, but I had to for work and handled it fine so I thought I would give it a go. I was fine, and actually really enjoyed seeing him eat something I'd made.

I've got my second weigh in tomorrow and I'm meeting the personal trainer beforehand which I'm looking forward to.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 13- Flyby

Day 13 already. That's almost 2 weeks and I think I'm doing really well. Work is keeping me busy and I'm on another sleep in tonight. I'm managing to eat my foodpacks at work without too much fuss. Actually it's been a lot easier than I thought.

My water intake falls dramatically when I'm busy at work and I need to watch that. 

Not much of a blog post tonight I'm afraid as I'm shattered and it's definitely bed time!

Ooh but one good thing I found out today... I now fit into my size 20 jeans! Woop! 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 12- First compliment

Just a short post today as I've been in work for most of it and work has been stressful today.

I got my first compliment! Someone at work looked at me and said "There's something different about you, in the face, like maybe you've lost weight?" I know this isn't exactly a compliment but it was meant in a positive way and he was the first person to notice so I was pretty happy.

Tomorrow is going to be another really long day which I'm not looking forward to but at least with the long days the 100 days will be done quicker.

Another positive about today was that I had to go to McDonalds as part of my job and sit there while others scoffed burgers. I sipped my water and was saintly!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Day 11- My Eureka Moment

Hope you're sitting comfortably as this is probably going to be a long post!

I love Sundays (the ones when I'm not in work) because the Mister always has Sundays off and recently we've cut back on a lot of our social commitments so frequently don't have much to do. This usually means a lazy morning in bed, a huge brunch and a day spent on the sofa watching movies and I sometimes will do a roast dinner for the two of us. Heaven!

Things are a little different now I'm on Lighterlife. We still had the lovely lazy Sunday morning in bed with no plans for the rest of the day. I did say I wanted to sort through the wedding and honeymoon photographs. Just to clarify, these are the wedding photographs from August 2013 and the honeymoon photographs from May 2014... which we've still not sorted out! With that in mind, the Mister negotiated some time to go out and play this game he's gotten into which involved running around Sheffield to various locations. (I won't bore you with the details).

Anyway... so there I am sat on the sofa all on my lonesome so decided to do my counselling homework from Thursday. At the session we spoke about time and how we generally spend it, especially in relation to how we eat. The idea behind this is that we get to think through how we have ended up where we are (about 8 stone too heavy for me) and what we can do to stop this from happening again once we have lost the weight and are eating real food again. I think engaging with the counselling is really important otherwise what is the point? I'm damn sure I'm not eating my way back up to this size again.

I completed the exercises which were about identifying examples of times I have overeaten- who was around, what was I doing, how did I feel, why it happened. Now, this was difficult as I have to admit I overeat every single time I eat. My portion sizes are huge and I frequently feel uncomfortable after eating, and sometimes a bit ill. But as they wanted specific examples, I did have a think. Basically I figured out that mostly I'm likely to eat loads when I'm bored or stressed, and when I'm stressed and not at work, I tend to have nothing to do. So boredom is clearly a factor. The next exercise was all about the different ways people spend their time and it highlighted a big issue for me. I spend an awful lot of time not doing very much.

If I have a day off from work then I'm likely to sit on the sofa watching TV, reading the internet, writing, playing games etc. Not very helpful for maintaining an active healthy lifestyle. While I think these kinds of days are really important to de-stress and unwind, I have them far more than I need to and the boredom I'm feeling is clearly an indication that I don't need that much of it. I'm pass-timing, just filling my time until something interesting happens. Here's where the food comes in. I'm using food as an activity. When my brain is wanting to do something interesting, I eat food. That occupies me for a little while, and is pleasurable, but then it starts again. The past few days have shown me that hunger pangs are a very particular feeling whereas normally, I very rarely experience those because I'm eating before I'm actually hungry.

All of this reminds me of the lyrics "what are you hungry for?" from the Alanis Morissette song "Not the Doctor". Hopefully her very expressive way of singing this will pop into my head when I'm wanting something and think food is the answer. I really do make food an activity far more than the more "normal" people around me.

This led me to thinking about how I spend my time and how I would like to spend my time in the future. There's a whole list of hobbies I'd like to be more involved with. My greatest wish is to go horse riding. I loved it as a child but I'm far too heavy to do it now and have been since being an adult. I'd need to drop about 5 stone to be able to even think about it. But there are plenty of other things that I can do at this weight as I'm pretty healthy even if I am big.

Obviously, sat doing this exercise on the sofa in my pyjamas made me feel a little uncomfortable. Then something amazing happened! I actually got off my fat behind and did some housework and went to the gym! The exercises really made the issue black and white. I had absolutely nothing to do, was on my own and was bored. Classic situation where I'd normally eat. Now, I've been waiting for the famous "ketosis high" before going to the gym but I think that happened on day 2 and I just stopped using the energy which is exactly what I do every day. I have noticed I've been fidgeting more recently too so I think I do have the energy, I'm just a gym-avoider due to the instant gratification available in food instead of the delayed gratification of the gym, which is infinitely better.

So, I went to the gym and am now feeling very smug. Actually, it's more than smug, I feel really good and really positive. I did 5km on the treadmill with the occasional jog making my time at 57 minutes. I'll continue to track that because although I don't really need the cardio workout, I would like to improve my fitness and be able to jog the 10km. I had a swim and spent some time in the spa pool and sauna. I'm a member of Virgin gym, the Sheffield Broadfield one, and it's a pretty impressive gym. There's a rock climbing wall which I love (even though I only get about seven feet off the ground as I'm so unfit), exercise classes (I can only manage the yoga and pilates), and they have just refurbished and included some impressive looking boxing equipment. With all the different activities available, you can really mix up a workout.

I'm feeling so determined to avoid the sofa I even contacted a personal trainer and we are meeting on Friday to look at whether he can help me. Something about losing so much weight quickly is that it can affect your skin. I'm 30 so I'm hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) young enough that most of it should shrink back within time. The Mister gives lots of massages which improves circulation so that also helps, and there are creams available, though I'm not sure how effective they are. I'm really worried about loose skin. At the moment, even at 17 stone, I wore a bikini on holiday and have posed for naughty photographs for my husband. I have a lot of body confidence for a bigger girl, and I really don't want to lose that. I know that toning as you lose weight can help you look better once you are slimmer, and I really don't know anything about toning so a personal trainer could really help me here. I've chosen someone who knows a lot about resistance training and does kickboxing type sports because it would be fun to do that too.

A personal trainer is quite a big financial commitment especially alongside the Lighterlife diet and the gym membership, and the Mister and I had a chat about it. Basically, I don't care. If I'm doing this, and I am, I'm doing it properly. I'm committing. (Go me!) With that in mind, I've created a music playlist featuring such greats as "Eye of the Tiger" and "Pump up the Jam" to inspire me. So that's me. On board. Fully committing after having my eureka moment and feeling really good about it.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 10- 10% of Foundation complete!

With day 10 over and done with, that is 10% of Foundation complete, and it's these kinds of figures that has been on my mind today. Rather than doing my counselling homework, I've spent most of today idly thinking about how long this is going to take, what I'm going to look like in 90 more days, how much longer it will take after that etc.

One thing I've definitely learned from today is that having nothing to do with my day leads me down the path of thinking about other diets and whether it would be easier. It's a dangerous mind set for me because I've been here before, and it's way of coming off the plan, eating takeaway and not doing very much about my weight at all. Clearly I need to get myself down to the gym on days when I'm on my own and have nothing planned. In the end I made myself write down a list of reasons why I'm specifically on the LighterLife diet. The main reason is that I have been low-carbing for the last year on and off, and I'm still at the same weight due to giving up after a couple of months. I'm a big fan of low-carbing as it suits my body really well, and I fully intend to low-carb once I've lost the weight that I need to as I really don't need bread/sugar etc in my life.

The Mister has resupplied me with lots and lots of bottled water as I don't think I'm drinking enough and I know it can have an affect on weight loss. I've been hungry for the past couple of days and I'm pretty sure it's thirst related rather than genuine hunger. So it's bottoms up for me tomorrow.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 9- Managing

Today has been hard at times. I was on training and the trainer brought in a load of sweets and chocolates which I had to avert my eyes from. I've felt hungry for most of today which I think is a sign I'm not drinking enough water but honestly I might drown if I have anymore. I've really been craving proper food. Most of all I just want a proper cup of tea. Tea without milk or green tea or peppermint tea really just isn't the same. I miss my tea :-(

I've had a lot of support to get through the day though. My husband is awesome and always there for me with fetching water and giving me massages to distract me. Twitter has been a constant source of support today keeping me motivated and distracted from eating anything I shouldn't.

Tomorrow will bring a day of not doing very much so I'm planning on spending some time doing my LighterLife homework and working on my thoughts from the group session.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day 8- First weigh-in!

My first weigh in results are.... drum roll please.... 9 pounds lost! That will do nicely thank you very much. It's what I was expected as I've been monitoring at home but it's nice to have it all official and written in my little measurements book. I'm really pleased with that. The plan hasn't been as hard as I was expecting, the foodpacks are nicer than I had dared hope and well, the results speak for themselves. I know next week's loss will be a lot less (I'm hoping for 4 pounds) but it's nice to feel confident that there will definitely be a loss.

The group was good tonight. There were a few more people and it was good to meet them. The three others that were there tonight have all reached the stage where they are at roughly the weight they want to be and managing it. It's good in one perspective as it means that they are showing me that it really does work and there is support once you start the scary road back to real food again, and bad in another way as nobody else is doing what I'm doing. It was nice to hear some of their advice and experiences which I was grateful for. Apparently there is a new person starting next week who will be on foundation so I'm looking forward to meeting them.

I picked up my packs for the coming week and I'm not sure whether I've been too restrictive in what I got. I have 7 porridge ones as I'm currently enjoying them for breakfast, 7 spag bol ones as they are the nicest meal type, 7 toffee bars because they taste like Toffee Crisps, and then I got 4 shepherd's pie, 2 mushroom soup and 1 chocolate. I've been told that your tastes can change and there's the possibility I might not be able to stomach this week's favourites by next week. I suppose that is one good thing about the LighterLife foodpacks being available at Superdrug- if I don't want to eat the ones I have got, I can get some different ones.

We spoke about how we spend our time in the counselling session today which was really interesting and I know I'm going to find useful this week. I'm not going to write about it now though as I'm really tired and the plan for the rest of the evening is to watch an hour of TV with the Mister and bed by 10pm.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 7- Easy does it

The end of my first week! Hurrah!

My virtuous plans for attending the gym today were completely dismissed and spending the day in bed pretty much took over. For the past week I've mostly felt a bit fragile and quite cold so I decided to just take it easy today. I spent most of the day in bed watching films and cuddling the cat, who was being extra cute and snuggly.

I did sign up for Twitter, partly to promote this blog and partly just for some company. I haven't told anyone (aside from the Mister) that I'm doing Lighterlife yet. I don't want to make a big deal out of it and I wasn't sure how I'd get along with the plan anyway to be honest. I still don't want to tell people because I'm not sure whether I'd feel supported by that or not. But it is a bit lonely, hence the social media. I had hoped that I'd meet people in my group who were in a similar situation to me and we could support each other but like I've mentioned in a previous post, my first group meeting only had one other in it and she'd finished the abstinence part of the plan after losing all the weight and was now on management so although she was lovely, we are too far apart in our journeys. I'm really hoping that tomorrow's meeting will have more people in it. I haven't heard from my counsellor this past week and we didn't set a date for me to go back after the first meeting and swap packs/get weighed so it will be good to see her again too.

I really hope the ketosis energy kicks in soon because aside from the cold fragile feeling, mostly I've been sleepy! I managed to potter about today doing a few useful things and this evening I've watched TV on the sofa. I am really liking the toffee bars, they taste just like a Toffee Crisp. I approve, Lighterlife, I approve!

I have really had to watch the negative thoughts today. I've realised that I spend an awful lot of time thinking through negative situations that probably would never happen, such as difficult conversations or arguments, and rehearsing them in my head. I'm not sure what that is about- maybe a way for me to release pent up anger or a symptom of low self-esteem? I don't know but it doesn't feel particularly healthy. If the lack of energy doesn't give way soon I might just go the gym anyway and see if I feel better afterwards because I really could do with the exercise and maybe the endorphins will help with the positive thinking.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Day 6- Toffee delight

Well, another day has ended and it's almost the end of my first week. It's been quite a good day today but I've been tired from my sleepin at work. I bought a few DVDs on the way home to keep myself distracted and entertained.

I tried a toffee bar today for the first time and was really really happy to discover a chocolately fudgy toffee-ness that was very satisfying. It did make me want to eat several more of them though.

I was planning on going to the gym tomorrow but I'm feeling so tired and generally a bit fragile at the moment so maybe a day in bed watching movies might be in order. I'll see when I wake up tomorrow.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Day 5- Coping

Today has been extremely stressful. But I've coped.

Prepare for the whinge/rant that's about to commence...

I struggled to wake up this morning but allowed myself a very indulgent lie-in until 10am, a whole 12 hours of bed! When I did get up I noticed a pain in my lower back to the left and started to panic. I occasionally get kidney infections which are mighty painful and leave me heading for the nearest Dr. Last time it turned out to be a kidney stone which was a lot more painful and included projectile vomiting in an ambulance as it transferred me to a different hospital and staying on a ward for a couple of days. The pain was slightly higher than I'd expect so I started praying that it was just a muscle pain.

I sorted myself out for work, had a shake and packed my overnight bag (my job involves sleeping in one night a week) and sorted out my foodpacks for the next day.

By the time I got to work I was feeling a bit shaky from the muscle relaxant I had taken but also relieved because it clearly wasn't a kidney problem as I would of been at the hospital by then if it was.

Work started off lovely then I had about 2 hours worth of abuse partly directed at me being overweight. My work is confidential so I can't talk about it here but part of it involves managing challenging behaviour and we do frequently get abuse.

Normally I don't get stressed with it but today it really bothered me, especially the bits directed at my being overweight. That happens a lot but it was focused on more today. I'm not sure why they did that. I missed lunchtime due to managing this and maybe being hungry made me feel more vulnerable. I don't know.

What I do know is that I managed to eat all my packs at work without it being an issue, I drank loads of water and didn't scoff any of the curry and chocolate that was at work, and I'm going to spend some time before bed listening to music and feeling happy.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Day 4- Hunger games

Today has been harder. It started off pretty good, I had two packs at work and plenty of water. Then at home I started feeling a bit meh. I was watching a TV programme which was a Christmas special repeat and there was lots of talk about food. Clearly I'm not at a stage where I can handle that. I had a bar for the first time, which I was pleased with, but I think maybe it wasn't as satisfying as the foodpacks and should probably only be used for convenience. The Mister decided today was the day he needed takeaway (so helpful) and I decided the only sensible thing to do was to take my remaining foodpack for the day upstairs to bed, put a film on and cuddle the cat. As he had bought fish and chips, the cat promptly deserted me (traitor).

Removing myself seemed to help and I wasn't tempted but it's now 10pm and I have to admit I'm hungry. I'm not sure the bars are so helpful. I know they will come in handy around work commitments so are still useful, but I think I'm going to avoid having them when there are other options.

I decided to go back to my gym this week. I have a membership to a great gym which I hardly ever go to, but actually really enjoy once I'm there. It has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool, climbing wall, gym and classes. I've booked myself on to the yoga class on Wednesday which is my next day off and a body balance, which is a toning class similar to pilates, on Saturday. I'm more likely to go if I book classes, and will generally spend most of the day there. I'm probably going to take it easy now I'm on a VLCD (very low calorie diet) and just see how my energy levels are doing.

I'm still feeling hungry but luckily I'm also tired so I'm going to go to bed and look forward to breakfast in the morning.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Day 3- Blended, not stirred

So today I learned 3 things. Firstly, soups need to be blended because lumpy soup is foul but blended soup is quite nice. Secondly, when myself, the Mister and the cat fall asleep mid-afternoon for a few hours on the sofa, I wake up completely dehydrated, hungry and grumpy. Thirdly, I can dash into McDonalds to use their toilet without scoffing cheeseburgers- who knew!

I've been less energetic today but have survived the mister making sausage sandwiches for breakfast while I ate my porridge. I'd sprinkled, well not so much sprinkled as chucked, in some cinnamon which the internet reliably informs me is allowed, and the porridge was bordering on tasty. Not bad for astronaut food. I'm so relieved about the foodpacks. My worst nightmare was that they would be awful, and they really aren't.

I also popped out for some yarn and spent some time listening to the Miranda Hart audiobook and starting on a green scarf for myself. I'm planning on knitting some scarves for Christmas presents so thought some practice would be a good idea.

This morning I caught myself thinking bad thoughts and set myself straight, which I was quite proud of, as it's something I'm supposed to be looking at through the LighterLife books. I weighed myself and was pleased to see I'd gone down a few pounds but five minutes later my head said "it's not really a big deal as you shouldn't be at this weight to begin with". Now technically this is true, I should never have allowed myself to get so big but I have and now I'm doing something about it, and I feel proud of myself for that.  

I'm planning an early night, rock n roller that I am, because I have to be up at 6am tomorrow for work. On a Sunday! Shift work sucks. I've prepped what I'm taking with me though as I've realised I need certain packs for certain shifts so planning is essential. I get the feeling that I'm going to spend the next few months living off the porridge and spag bol foodpacks. I'm looking forward to trying the bars, you aren't allowed one in the first few days and after that you can only have one bar a day because they are higher in carbs by a few grams than the packs. Bars are so much more convenient though, I hope they taste ok.

Nearly 10pm, night all!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Day 2- Overachieving

Today has been excellent and I'm somewhat smug at how saintly I've been. Today started with a visit to a friend and a slog up a hill back to my house afterwards even though she'd offered me a life. Admittedly it's a ten minute walk but every little helps right? I then felt full of beans and spent quite a while dancing around the living room with the cat glaring at me disdainfully. I've had plenty of water and all of my four foodpacks; a pretty good chocolate milkshake, spag bol, pasta carbonara which was good after I'd put in heaps of pepper, and a curry which I wasn't too impressed with.

I've also devoted quite a lot of time to reading through the books that were given to me yesterday and have completed the exercises for module one. It was pretty much what we had done in the session but it was good to concentrate on how it applied to me. I'm feeling very positive at the moment and not finding the programme particularly hard but I know that isn't going to last and I'm hopeful that the work I'm doing now is going to help me when things get harder.

One of the things I've committed to is making sure I spend some time each day doing something that makes me happy. It doesn't have to make me ecstatically happy, it could be something as simple as listening to music and singing along or going to a yoga class. The idea behind it being that I start to wean myself away from using food as a source of temporary happiness and use my time during abstinence to do things that really do make me happy.

OK so it's confession time: I weighed myself. You really aren't supposed to as you get weighed at the session but I can't wait a whole week! I'm a once a day kind of girl. Today I weighed myself twice! I've definitely lost weight. I'm going to keep quiet about how much as I want to use my session weigh-ins as the official version but let's just say the diet is working and I'm a happy bunny.

Fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow and the continuation of the energy boost. Only 98 more days to go!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Day 1- A bit of a bumpy start

Well, I've survived day 1!

I woke up at 6am for work but couldn't face breakfast so early. I also had a pounding headache possibly caused by the amount of rubbish food I ate yesterday. I decided to start with the water and work my way up to breakfast.

At work I was feeling pretty rough from the headache but I made my first foodpack, porridge. I didn't put much water in at all, completely ignoring the instructions as I've been advised to do so, and I have to admit I was quite impressed with the results. The porridge tasted creamy, which I wasn't expecting, and although I wouldn't call it delicious, it wasn't bad.

Unfortunately the headache got worse and I ended up vomiting. I got sent home from work and took a nap which made me feel loads better. So not the best start but at least the vomiting wasn't due to the foodpack.

After I woke up it was about 3pm so I tried a spag bol foodpack. I was pleasantly surprised. It looked and smelled vile but tasted like a typical ready meal version of Spaghetti Bolognese. Now I make a pretty decent homemade version and it was obviously not going to be anything like that, but it wasn't half bad.

I went to my group at 6pm but there was only one other person there, which was disappointing, and that person has finished their foundation course and is starting management so we are at totally different places. My official start weight is 17 stone 12 which is roughly what my scales at home tell me too. We talked about thoughts and feelings that happen before and after we overeat which was interesting and something I'm going to spend this week mulling over. I have the next 2 days off work so I'm planning on generally taking things easy, looking after myself and reading some of the workbook I was given tonight.

When I got home I was pretty ravenous so mixed two Shepherd's Pie foodpacks together. It was OK, not as good as the spag bol, but edible. The Mister tasted it in an effort to be supportive and acknowledged that it was edible and very like camp food he'd had as a kid. Here's hoping I'm a happy camper for the next 99 days!

Time for some milk-less tea and bed methinks. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ready to go!

I'm Joanne, I'm 30 years old and live in Sheffield with my husband. I'm currently 17 stone 10 pounds (ish) and have struggled with my weight since I was a kid. I've tried most diets and failed miserably, and now my twenties have come and gone, I feel like I've missed out on a lot of experiences because of my weight. My husband and I are wanting to start a family and I know my weight is going to cause lots of problems. I've also got Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome to make matters worse.

'For the past year I've been trying to eat low carb. It works quite well with the PCOS and I feel so much better when I cut out processed foods especially bread and sugar. My weight has gone up and down between my current weight and 15 stone 4 pounds over the past year because although I'm really positive about low-carb dieting, I have zero willpower. I've monitored my food/weight/cycle a lot this year and I think I've learned some really helpful stuff about the way my mind and body works so I'm a bit gutted I haven't been able to keep focused on it.

I've decided to keep a blog about the diet I'm about to start tomorrow, partly because I think it will be interesting to chart my progress, and partly as a distraction technique so I don't fall off the wagon. I'm going to be doing LighterLife Total; 100 days of abstinence from regular food replaced with 4 foodpacks a day plus lots and lots of water.

I've been so stressed out with food and my weight recently that I feel like I need something as drastic as this. To be honest, I really feel like I just need a break from it all- a break from thinking about what to eat next or what not to eat next. One of the promises that the LighterLife programme makes is time away from all that to assess what is really going on behind the food stressing. Not to mention the promise of huge amounts of weight melting away quickly. LighterLife give an average of 3 stones lost during this period but a lot of the bigger women have managed 5 stone. After the 100 days are up you can either continue until you've lost all the weight you need to or enter the Management phase where you learn how to eat food again without putting all the weight back on.

On Monday I went to see my local counsellor. S seemed nice, answered my questions and sent me away with 4 free foodpacks to try (pasta carbonara, chocolate milkshake, porridge and spaghetti bolognese) and an invitation to join a group on Thursdays. Unfortunately I work shifts over a 7 day rota so my working hours are all over the place. I definitely have the next few Thursdays off so that's OK and I've requested more so hopefully work won't interfere too much as I think the counselling sessions are going to be really important for support. So I'm starting the plan tomorrow and will attend the group in the evening.

I've bought some things which I'm hoping will help. I can't stand lumpy milkshakes or soups so I've got a proper blender for the milkshakes and a hand blender to do the soups. I've also got ice cube trays to make ice for the milkshakes. I forgot to pick up a box of straws but we might possibly have some lurking in the back of the kitchen cupboard so I will check that out. I bought 8x750ml bottles of Evian water, which was not cheap. I do really struggle to drink water and I can't stand tap water so I've decided to buy the mineral water (though I might switch to a cheaper brand). I'm not sure exactly how much you are suppose to drink- I'll ask when I go to the group tomorrow- but I'm sure it's like 3 or 4 litres a day. That's an awful lot of water.

I'm excited to start the plan, a bit nervous about my not-so-brilliant willpower, and also completely gutted to have been told that milk in tea is not allowed. Tea is my emotional crutch, and surely that's allowed for British people??? You can sort anything out with a cuppa. I'm resigned to having no milk in my tea for the duration which sucks, frankly, and is more upsetting than the expected lack of biscuits for the next 100 days.