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Chicken is freaking out!!!! HELP!

A question for all you management people out there… actually it is more likely to be a rant – so I apologise in advance.

I am having a pretty major freak out about route to management and the lack of rules / portion control that is given at the start of the programme. It just feels so strange after foundation to be given rough guidelines and to just get on with it.

With foundation / development – it was so simple. 4 packs, 4 litres of water and nothing else really. Now in management (once you are past the first 2 days) it is suddenly so vague.

I keep reading the books over and over and have found some recipes that have portion sizes for the protein but everything else is a bit “wishy-washy” for my liking. I like to know that I am either 100% following the programme or not, at the moment, I just feel like I am making it up half the time.

For example – I am on week 2 currently and about to go into week 3. Week 1 I had a big loss (5.7lb) and was really happy because I went into management early hoping to lose a few more pounds to get me to goal and perhaps lower by being very strict and maybe even repeating the early weeks until I was happy with where I was weight-wise before proceeding.

Week 2 choices are still pretty limited – but it is the portions I am getting freaked out by and what time of day to eat and how much. I had a little blip over the weekend and ate a homemade bread roll with butter which I am not proud of. The next day there was an increase on the scales and I have been terrified ever since. Currently I am having a small portion of protein (a small salmon fillet or piece of chicken or tin of tuna) with quite a large helping of salad with dressing, and a jelly and/or yoghurt during the day. I am also having a couple of cups of tea with skimmed milk a day. There are just several questions I have that don’t seem to be adequately explained in the book that I would like clarification on.

For example, the salad portions etc. I am allowed 225g of salad veg – is this total for the whole day, or is it just for the snack? It says I am allowed sugar free jelly – but not how much. It says I can have fat free yoghurt, but is this in addition to the jelly or instead of it, there are recipes for dips, but it doesn’t say how much of it you can eat in one sitting and whether this replaces your protein choice with your main meal or whether it is in addition to it… the list seems to grow each day. Then this week (from tomorrow) I am allowed fruit. It says you should eat a rainbow variety of fruit any time you like – but is this part of the 225g of veg allowance or is it really “unlimited”. Surely with the sugar in fruit, you can “over-do” it and this could lead to a gain??? Arrrrgghhhh I am just so freaked out by the whole thing.

I think what this boils down to is that despite advising others against it – I am panicking. I am mortally terrified of seeing an official gain on the scales and yes, I am sure you will agree, moving into management with the express intention of losing weight is adding to the terror. Continuing in Development was no longer an option for me for many reasons – but mainly financially so I have to continue with management but for someone who is usually so level-headed I can’t seem to stop myself panicking and worrying about food.

As a positive – I am sure this means I have come a long way since April, the old me would have used the lack of direction in the book to eat everything in sight and blame anyone else but myself – so at least there has been some progress. However, I hate feeling like this and if any of you could spare me some advice I would be most grateful.
The most useful advice you could give me was a rough idea of what you ate in the early weeks of management and how much you ate.

I am going to class tomorrow to be weighed (gulp) and I will try to ask as many questions of my LLC as I can, but the class is very busy at the moment so one on one time is somewhat limited.

Sorry for waffling on so much
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Hiya L

Sorry can't help as no a Lighterlifer myself BUT don't panic please :)

At the end of the day your LLC is there to help and support so give him/her a call and ask for their expertise. Explain that you need some real guidance on this issue and whether that means a 1-2-1 meet after class or a long phone chat then that is what is needed.

Dear Laura

Don't panic, Captain Mannering! Sorry you are in a spin and I wish I could be more helpful. First, I am sending you a massive virtual hug! And then say, sit down, with a cup of tea and relax. You have come so far, you're doing really, really well.

On your questions...my inclination would be to watch portion control on everything bar salad. The bread roll would not have shown so early. Others may agree or disagree.

It's natural to panic and it is compounded by the fact that you want to lose more weight. Like you, I had not reached goal.

I would email all your questions to your LLC so that she has them in advance; that way you won't feel under pressure at the scales, when time is limited, and she may be rushed.

The only real advice I can give you is two-fold; you can repeat any of the weeks, if you feel you are not ready to move on. This is helpful to know. Second, and I speak from personal and painful experience, you have to sort out if you are really happy NOT being at your goal weight. And, if not, what can you do about it/would you be prepared to do about it? I went back on packs after two weeks, I think, of RtM. I hadn't reached my goal and I am , only now, truly understanding why they suggest you go as low as you want to before making the switch to Route to Management. I just have not made the same commitment to RtM because I have got the goal weight issue in the back of my mind.

If you haven't reached goal, it's just another thing to worry about and as you have shown there is already so MUCH to think about after the calm and simplicity of four packs, four litres, etc etc.

I know the others will be able to give you some sound advice. In the meantime, thinking of you.

Big kiss.

Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Hi Laura, I've got my records out and I'll try to answer your questions! To put it in context this is what I lost/gained in RtM: wk1 -6 (but I'd been wearing heavy jeans the previous week so that's really 4); wk2 +1; wk 3 -2; wk4,5,6 stayed the same;wk 7 -1; wk8 +1;wk9 same;wk10+1 then hols.

For example, the salad portions etc. I am allowed 225g of salad veg – is this total for the whole day, or is it just for the snack? It says I am allowed sugar free jelly – but not how much. It says I can have fat free yoghurt, but is this in addition to the jelly or instead of it, there are recipes for dips, but it doesn’t say how much of it you can eat in one sitting and whether this replaces your protein choice with your main meal or whether it is in addition to it… the list seems to grow each day. Then this week (from tomorrow) I am allowed fruit. It says you should eat a rainbow variety of fruit any time you like – but is this part of the 225g of veg allowance or is it really “unlimited”. Surely with the sugar in fruit, you can “over-do” it and this could lead to a gain??? Arrrrgghhhh I am just so freaked out by the whole thing.

Salad/veg: think it's for the whole day but I never counted and tbh it is unlikely that you could eat enough for this to be significant.
Jelly: I have confessed this before. Yes I'm weird but I ate a pint of jelly every night during RtM. It helped me but it's not for everyone. It's 32 calories; it's not really significant unless it's a trigger for you.
Fat free yoghurt: I had it in addition to the jelly. I mix it with tomato salsa (which I like but most people don't) and dip salad/peppers in it.
Fruit: It's the low GI stuff for wk 3 - apples etc. I accidentally ate lots of fresh pineapple because I wasn't concentrating! You probably could overdo the fruit so I didn't go overboard on it (except for the pineapple).

Wk2: I would have a pack in the morning, something like prawns and cottage cheese (large portion) with salad and yoghurt dip then raw veg and greek yoghurt around 6pm then a lemon bar later.
Wk3: a typical day:am pack mid morning apple;green pepper and dip lunch: smoked mackerel (one not tiny fillet), cottage cheese, prawns, salad, pineapple(!); 6pm pepper, courgette, yoghurt dip, pint of jelly 9pm lemon bar. I wrote everything down from wk 3-8 and did a calorie count. That day was just over 1000. Other days ranged from 850-1200. Calorie numbers are not unhelpful for me but I know that for some people it can make things worse. It helped me be aware of what I was actually eating.
Portion sizes: I ate more protein than suggested. Trial and error. It worked for me because protein takes longer to digest so you don't get hungry too soon. I have noted quantities some days. Here are a few examples: 102g chicken and an egg (big one from my chickens);60g prawns with 100g cottage cheese; 85g smoked mackerel and 50g prawns; cott chees 42g,smoked salmon 12g, 50g prawns. I basically ate what protein I fancied but think I would have eaten bigger portions if I hadn't written it down.

Please do not worry. If you eat pretty much what is on the list you'll do fine. Don't worry if you make mistakes; it's easy to do. Try to keep off anything sugary and have plenty of protein and fibre which will stop you getting hungry. I ate every 3 hours or so - apples were good for those in between times. And the first time you gain weight it feels bad, but it's not the end of the world. We just got so used to losing. RtM is a learning process. Planning exactly what you'll eat each day seems to be helpful for some. I was a bit random at times but I'm glad I wrote everything down.

I'm sure you'll be fine. As Mrs L said, talk to your LLC. That's what she's there for!
And breeeeeathe!!!

My LLC said that the reason they are vague about portions etc. is that this is your time now to be finding out what your ideal portions are and how you want to go about it. I found this quite liberating, actually chosing for myself what did or did not seem reasonable.

I now use the rule of thumb that a fist-sized piece of any fruit, veg, or carb is a portion. Once I've had that portion I say "well, nutritionally speaking, and health-wise, that's perfectly adequate for my body" and then get on with other things.

I had massive amounts of fruit every day from week 3. I couldn't get enough of it and would graze on it all day and never once put on in Management. I lost 13lbs in Management. My LLC said that grapes seem to be either a trigger for a lot of people, or cause a lot of people to gain weight so go cautiously with them until you find out if they're ok for you or not.

I also had fruit and yogurt in addition to any other 'meal' requirements.
But by far the best advice I got was from a LL magazine. One lady said that in order to keep her eye on portion sizes she would imagine how an M&S Count on Us Meal for One looked and try to make her meals that size. I've been following that rule and it seems to be working really well and I'm amazing myself on how satisfying such a 'small' (i.e. 'proper and reasonable') portion can be.

Hope that helps.

By the way, in a way it's a good thing that you're freaking out because it shows how important weight management is to you and how much you want to learn and succeed. Pat yourself on the back for doing so well and having the initiative to work things out.
Hi Laura,

I know what you mean, its terrifying having so few guidelines. I have scoured the blue book for the answers, my interpretation is that the 225 g of veg is in addition to the salad at meal times. It says low fat jelly whenever you want, so I take it literally that if you want to eat it 24 hours a day you can (But I don't) and it looks like as much fruit as you want.

But yesterday I started week 3 ( to get in synch with my LLC) and the grapes had a very bloating effect, especially as I felt I ate too many. And I enjoyed the fat free fromage frais far too much, I am going to keep that as a treat. And I have been having 2 Weight Watcher yogurts a day (3 today!! I'm scaring myself now)

I've been making a note of the total amount of calories I have been having. It may be wrong, but it helps me to calm down and also makes me see how little I am having really, it was about 650 a day last week, but with yogurts and fruit I am up to 1000 yesterday and today I haven't added up. After I post this I'll go and add it up.

I was giving myself a good talking to that 1000 is really not a lot, it is still losing weight quantities, and I am supposed to be maintaining (I know you want to lose more) but I had lost again this week.

I also scare myself because I seem to need to make myself feel full, and I mean FULL at my protein meal. Am I over indulging? I don't know, I don't feel Christmas Dinner full, or Sunday Luch or 3 course meal full, I rate it as a 6.8 to 7.2 out of 10 full.

Then I keep myself topped up with tea and coffee. My LLC says its OK to have loads of salad. And I reckon that I will not put on 6 stones overnight if I have a few calories too many today. (Again, I am right now thinking forcing myself to think, its only 1000 calories - Relax)

I guess old habits die hard.

Hope you manage to calm down into a Chilled Chicken!

Best wishes
Oh my word - how lovely you all are!
Thank you so much for all your well thought out and helpful replies. I am feeling a little calmer today and I can see from what others are eating that I am eating about the same and therefore not overindulging like I felt I was.

Goombagirl - thank you so much for looking through your diary and showing me portions - that is so incredibly helpful (and thoughtful of you). It is exactly what I needed.

Mike & Mrs L - I have set some one on one time with my LLC tonight after class so I can talk this out properly. I know exactly what you mean Mrs L about pressure at the scales. I always find it difficult to take up the time I need with my LLC because I am always one of the first to be weighed and feel "pressured" to get it over with so I am not holding anyone up. Its nothing the LLC says or does that makes me feel this way - I just do.

I may repeat this week again as you suggest Mrs L as I am feeling a little rushed and not ready to move forward. I can't go back to 4 packs for money reasons at the moment, but staying put until I feel more comfortable may be a really good piece of advice right now.

6st lost - I am going to remember that advice about the M&S meal portions - I think that is a cracker.
I have always been an "eyes bigger than stomach" kind of girl - problem was I would always stuff down everything on my plate full or not. There is one thing I have learnt recently that I am really proud of - I serve out my food on the small side and tell myself that if I want more 20 mins after I have finished, I will have a bit more. Twice I have genuinely wanted a bit more, but more often than not - I am happy with what I have eaten. Like I said - I am proud of that.

I realise 6st lost that they are deliberately vague about the portion sizes so that you can find your own balance - but to be honest I think in the early weeks it could be a little more prescriptive just to ease you in carefully. I know I have been running around like a startled horse this week spooked by everything and frantically thumbing through my blue book over and over again. I even got my partner to read the book and he couldn't make sense of it either... I am just scared with it being so ambiguous in places that I am reading what I want to read, and not what I am supposed to read.

JDI - I have also started working out my calorie intake and it is about in line with yours so far. I promised I wouldn't count calories again when I started this diet - but old habits die hard. At least it gives me some kind of ballpark figure for where I am and mentally this really helps me.

anyway, I really should be working right now - so I had better get on.
I would just like to take the time to thank you all again - you are an amazing group of people and I am really touched that you all spent so much time and effort to help a stressed out chicken like me.
Love you all
Well, I know this thread came out of a panic for lovely slinky chicken (!) but this is fantatic. GG you are so wise, you really are.

I am going to send this to a couple of bloggers who don't visit Minis because it's so important. This is what I should have been doing for the past few weeks.

Anyway, I am tucked up in bed, after a nasty stomach virus and just catching up with everyone.

Laura - definitely a case of something good coming out of something bad. Thanks everyone for contributing; I will certainly be able to use this for myself and I am really grateful. Hope, Laura, you feel a bit more in control; at least you are NOT on your own.

Big kiss.

Mrs Lxxxxxxxx

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