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A bit of advice from someone who screwed up...


Trainee Maintainer
I know we're all travelling along on our own journeys, trying to find an answer to effective and permanent weight loss, but I thought I'd say a few words about my experience. Hopefully it may help someone else NOT make the same mistake I did.

I lost 100lbs last year with LL. I was a size 12 for the first time ever and was on top of the world. At the time I had 'arrived' at my ideal weight, I pondered about whether to follow a diet plan like WW just to keep on a more structured diet. I decided not to - I didn't need that stuff any more.

WRONG! Looking back, I see that I personally do need structure. I don't know what would have happened if I'd made a different decision. Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference?

I now know for sure that even if I get back to my goal weight again, I am never going to be off the hook as far as maintaining is concerned. It is the hardest thing to achieve. I will achieve it again though.

I have learned some painful lessons and I hope I have learned them well. Gook luck to everyone working their way through Foundation, Development and Management. It is another step in the right direction... but it is not the end of the story if you arrive at your destination. Maintenance is ongoing and forever.

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Gold Member
S: 17st7lb C: 11st6lb G: 9st0lb BMI: 29.6 Loss: 6st1lb(34.69%)
Hi AJ so sorry to hear that it didn't work out as planned - I for one thought you had it sorted completely. However the joy with this is that it's not all over till we decide it is, the diet is still there for us to give it another go ---- we are all human, not robots and nobody expects that we do things once and that's it life is perfect ..... I'm here on my 2nd go and do you know what it actually feels more real and more 'right' this time.

So though I'm sorry you're back for you I've got to say that for the rest of us I'm glad you are.

Thanks for your post - although I would say that I am sure you haven't "screwed up" only made choices.

Believe me - I know how you feel at the moment and it can be so easy to revert back to being "down on yourself" when you are finding the managment phase of the programme a struggle... however, being mean to yourself is the worse thing you can do.

I was so overweight for so long that I try to keep things in as much perspective as possible (easier said than done though LOL!) A year ago almost to the day I weighed 21 stone 7lbs and at points in my life - I have weighed almost 25 stone. Granted I am back on packs today to try and lose the 2 stone I have re-gained and the 1 stone I never lost in the first place.... but I am still here. The way I see if - you can't ever really fail if you never give up. I have also "managed" my expectations significantly and now see that it was naive to think I could re-educate myself to have a healthy relationship with food without having to take a few stabs at it first. The stronger the pressure I have put on myself to be "perfect" (especially when you add in the pressure of running LL counselling sessions and feeling that I needed to have the answer to every question and be infallible!) the more likely I was to try to "break out" and binge/secret eat/comfort eat..... On the flip side - the more I have convinced myself that I am "making a choice" rather than "being a good girl and doing as I am told" - the more likely it was that I would make good choices.

Unfortunately, all this learning has cost me dearly on the scales - so now here I am (drinking black coffee) and starting afresh.....

You will achieve your goal weight again AmandaJayne - and this time you will be able to maintain it more realistically - you have been back in the big bad scary world of food for some time now - the rose tinted glasses are off and you now KNOW what you have to do. You can't be taught that in a LL group - you have to experience it yourself.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do to reach your goal again.
I will be here should you need someone to whinge to along the way.....
Thanks for your candor



Happily pro pointing!
S: 16st7lb C: 16st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 39.6 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Thanks AJ, that is very useful.
I am on week 10 of RTM and have been using a calorie counter website to keep an eye on what I am doing, as actually I wasn't eating enough a couple of weeks ago and needed to gradually up it some more.
I am going to go down the calorie counting/low fat/low GI route once RTM is over.
I have always been a planner and have found all the way through LL that planning has really helped me.
I do a full week food plan which helps with shopping but also I know what cals I will have each day and I can adjust accordingly if I am planning a night out.
I was hoping I wouldn't have to be too rigid going forward, but I think I will have to stick with this for some time.
I thought I was going a bit OTT with the planning etc, but your post has made me realise that is what I need to do.

I am going on holiday on Friday for a week, I am just staying at my mums but I am a bit worried how well I am going to be able to stick to it, it can be difficult staying at someone else's house.
Hi AJ - I followed your journey on here last year. I have realised exactly the same lesson as you, maintenance is not 12 weeks, it's forever. I think that should be stressed a little more during LL sessions. It is very easy to think 12 weeks and then you're free but the maintenance stage continues. What you said struck a chord. Good luck with the next stage. Hope.


Live the dream...

Thanks for your post. Yours is a very important message that cannot be stressed enough. LL brings about life changes, not just changes for the few months you're on it.

I'm always convinced that s**t happens for a good reason. In your case, I'm sure your second attempt will serve to make sure that the changes you are going to make this time round are for life - you won't be making the same mistake again! :)

BTW, what do you plan to follow after RTM?

Many thanks for sharing this with us and good luck with your new lighter life!



Gone fishing
Yee, it's bummer innit AJ:sigh:

I have learned some painful lessons and I hope I have learned them well. Gook luck to everyone working their way through Foundation, Development and Management. It is another step in the right direction... but it is not the end of the story if you arrive at your destination. Maintenance is ongoing and forever.
Tis true. I know the CD plans (like RTM) were vital for me, but I sigh when I read messages from people who appear to believe that as long as they do them, they will be free from problems when fully maintaining. :sigh:

I thought of an analogy this morning (I love analogies...as you may have noticed :D)

I was just thinking, this whole business is rather like having a baby in a way. Pregnancy being the actual diet. Usually plenty of support. Visits to an antinatal clinic or doctors for asking questions.

The RTM (or cambridge plans) are rather like the labour. Vital ;), painful (in my case :D), still some support.

Then comes the baby, (end of VLCD plans) and hey...you'll be fine now. Huh:confused:

Oh yes, you have the visit from the midwife, and health visitor, but mine was a drunk. I was more concerned about whether she would drop the baby when weighing him, than how much he weighed...and the advice was crap too. Otherwise I felt pretty much on my own, to make my own mistakes, and have my own worries that I was doing it 'right'.

Oh...and of course, the great feeling of having a baby :clap: Such mixed feelings eh.

I remember constantly asking them to talk about what happens after the labour, when at the antinatal clinic. What was it like to have a baby...what should I worry about. But no. I would find out:sigh:

Anyway....major ramble (as usual:eek:). Maintenance is very tough in parts, but it does get easier. It did take much longer than most people would realise before I knew I could 'go it alone'.

So good to have you back though AJ, you really are a winner :clap:


Trainee Maintainer
Ha ha KD,

That 'having a baby' analogy is just right. The fact that at the moment I feel like I am having one is simply a coincidence:D.

I actually never even thought about what happened 'after my baby'. I was so caught up with the pregnancy and planning the birth of my choice (you know, music, choice of drinks, massage, NO INTERVENTION, NO PAIN RELIEF:eek:, all the paraphanalia - which all goes out of the window once you are actually IN labour - but then it's too late) what I was most surprised about was to see an ugly, wriggling... 'thing' at the bottom of the bed (sorry Jayne). "Oh bloody 'ell", I thought, "a baby, so that's what it was all about". Then I realised that, far from it being the end of the journey, it was just the beginning...

I must say that the LL counselling brought up some 'interesting' feelings from the past, which I was/am not able to discuss. This has shaken my confidence a lot, but I have been working hard on trying to get back into the right frame of mind to move on. I think I'm nearly there, to the extent that I can communicate again, and have no desire to hibernate any more. My GP has put me on the waiting list to 'speak to' someone - a psychologist, heaven knows when that'll come through. In the meantime, I am back at Minis and trying to behave:wave_cry:.




Trainee Maintainer

Thanks for your lovely comments.

"I for one thought you had it sorted completely"

Me to:confused:. I don't want to dishearten anyone by my post, because I can see the bigger picture, and I want everyone to realise the it ain't necessarily over once you reach the end.

This business is not about food - it's about using 'a particular subtance' to deal with or not deal with other issues. When doing the LL counselling, I discovered that there were issues I had never dealt with, and still can't actually. I did not feel that it was approprite to discuss them with other members of the group, or friends either. They have festered ever since.

I am not saying that everyone has issues which cause them to overeat/comfort eat, but it may be surprising what the counselling brings up.

Be prepared, and good luck!



Trainee Maintainer

It's good to hear from you.

I love your comments about 'turning it all around' and looking at it from a different perspective. Yes, there is no doubt that I am in a better place weightwise now than before I started LL originally, so from that perspective I should not be despondent.

When we get caught up in a negative spiral it can be difficult to move out of it. I guess I should ask myself "What is the payoff here?" "What do I gain from making the same mistakes again?"

It's all about moving out of my comfort zone again, and feeling discomfort/anxiety for a while, until the moment passes, as it does.

Yes, taking responsibility is the bottom line (and it's a big bottom:eek:).



Trainee Maintainer

We haven't met, but it's lovely to hear from you. I wish you every success on your particular journey, and if my comments help, well that's brilliant.

I found with hindsight, (a wonderful thing is hindsight, by the way) that tiny little 'drips' gradually became a torrent, and because I did not monitor it, and in fact turned away from what was happening because I felt that I was on top of everything, it all slipped away before I knew it. Then I had to deal with guilt, self-disgust, and all sorts of other negative stuff. I got further and further away from my achievement no matter how hard I tried to 'swim' towards it.

You are right to be vigilent.

Good luck!


Trainee Maintainer
Smileyhope and Gobubbles!

It's lovely to hear from you both. I really believed that once I arrived at the mythical 'size 12' I would stay there. After all, I'd spent so much money and time to achieve this goal, why would I put all the weight back on?

Why indeed. There are things going on in our subconscious mind which we are not always aware of. They conspire to foil any plans you may have to stay slim once you have arrived at Slimdon. The crooked thinking goes into overdrive and if you are not vigilent, you could find yourself in my position.

If you do, it just means you have to learn more lessons!:D

I wish you both the very best of luck!
Well done AJ in expressing how you feel! Sorry you have been feeling like that, but hey Katie is right, we are only human. You have come to the right site and on the road to success. Well done and good luck :)

Blonde Logic

Yes. You can.
S: 258lb C: 228lb G: 168lb BMI: 35.7 Loss: 30lb(11.63%)
Hi AmandaJayne - hereafter will be known as the woman with the colourful posts!!

Sorry you have had to learn the hard way. But your experience will hopefully help untold numbers of readers and dieters - so it is not in vain. A small compensation I realise, but at least you are helping others.

I have known since starting LL that this is the easy part. I have figured when I get all the way through to the last day of RTM - that is when the hard part begins. I have always known how to LOSE weight. I just never know how to MAINTAIN weight.

I know I have to make permanent lifestyle changes with regards to my food habits, trends, traditions, etc. Right now, where I am, which is dead centre of 100% determintaion to reach my goal - I feel confident I can do that. But when I step out of "the zone", I worry about just how hard that is going to be. And it is scary.

I plan to continue my inner mantras that have been seeing me through this, all the way through life as I feel I owe a great deal of my so-far success to them. Those are "in it to win it" "failure is not an option" and "I can't change the way I feel, but I can change the way I deal" and " a diet isn't just for Christmas - it's for life." :D

So thanks for sharing your experience - it is a good reminder to us to proceed with eyes wide open.

All the best as you get back on track.

I'm sory to hear that you haven't managed to maintain your loss, and wish you lots of luck for phase two!

In my last LL session my LLC asked us all when we thought we would have finished the diet. It made our group realise that it doesn't ever stop. We are all invited to come back and weigh in for free each week after completing RTM. Also our LLC arranges a maintainers class, I think once a month or so to get everyone together to talk over any issues and she arranges outside people to come in and give talks too, for example on make up, which colours and clothes style suit etc etc. I'm not sure if that is the same for all LLC's? But it seems to me that it's a great idea to help you keep your eye on the 'problem' and motivate you to keep the weight off by helping to improve self esteem and confidence.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll soon be back on track x
Hi EmmaJane,

And welcome back.

I am one who believes that I am suffering from an addiction and I will never be cured, but hopefully will be able to control it. I may fall off on occasions (I have at the moment) but know the only was forward will be to jump straight back on. Some times it will be easier than others, depending on what is going on in my life, but with some of the tools I have learnt from the LLCounselling I think I may get there in the end. If at the end I fall off again, like you I will get back on again.

You should be proud of what you have achieved it is brilliant weight loss and good luck getting back on, I will be joining you tomorrow.;)


Silver Member
Thanks AJ, that is very useful.
I am going to go down the calorie counting/low fat/low GI route once RTM is over.
Hi Ali, just a thought, but you might want to look at Low GL rather than Low GI as Low GI is a bit misleading as it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate in any given food. This is a pretty serious fault which the GL figures take into account.


Silver Member
Sorry yes that clarification is important The GI restricts a lot of good food rather than the other way around, but there are some noatble exceptions where GI says OK but GL says no way -

E.G. Fructose - OK in GI but no way on GL (and it is a pure sugar so really should be avoided or used in very small amounts) Similar for dried apricots.

Things that GI restricts but are actually fine due to the limited amount of carbs per portion are carrots, broad beans and water melon.

Quite how Fructose is OK and water melon is not really does demonstrate the flaw in using GI.


Queen of the Damned
AJ, I applaud you on your honest and open post. It must be so difficult, but you know the sheer number of people you reach with what you say makes it worthwhile. Kudos to you - we're behind you 110% :hug99: