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Doing my own RTM ***warning food talk!!***


Surgically happy.
I'm thinking about not doing LL's version of a RTM.

I never thought I'd say that but I'm at a point where I'm losing respect for the programme, or rather the way they go about things. I'm not going to vent much but I think that the men's programme is an afterthought, and that we're given a raw deal in general. The number of 20 minute sessions we've had, the repetitive material, CBT that is helpful at first and then virtually meaningless for me at least, because its so generalised and feels lightweight. I feel that it's there to take money, as men have it "easier".

But anyway.

The problem with LL's RTM programme, is that is doesn't look like it will suit me. The insistence on uncooked veg, which I KNOW I will not do is a particular bone of contention. The first few weeks look like they will be very difficult - not because I'll be dealing with food but because I'll be dealing mostly with food I have no wish to eat.

That coupled with really not trusting them with their support (as I say, I feel they want men there to make money). I understand why there's no "food talk" but I've been ready for weeks to learn how to do rtm, but instead I'm skipping meetings now, because I feel I'm just sitting in on the new members' meetings.

So while I haven't decided 100%, I am probably already 90% sure that I will do my own version, I'll be talking to people I know who have done their own (like LS), and I'm making a dr appointment to discuss being referred to someone. I have some friends/aquaintences who know a lot about nutrition.

I'll have to take multivitamins as I won't be doing the packs at all. But it also means I can start exercise within the first 2 or 3 weeks, rather than later in rtm (I know that some people manage it but I haven't been able to exercise at all - and now most days I feel faint when I get up and I'd rather start getting nutrition from food asap).

So with that in mind, I've decided that April 30th is my cut off point. Though in truth, it should be sooner as I have only 18lbs left to lose. Plus they've told me I need a letter from my surgeon saying I am ok to stay on LL after my op on April 21st, so it's possible I'll have to finish sooner - it's not that I object, but they must surely have faced this question before and know whether it's ok or not for me to do RTM after a keyhole op. So it suggests to me, they're not really interested in people, just in covering themselves. It feels like they do the bare minimum in terms of heallth (bp and pluse checks for example).

Sorry - keep slipping into vent mode. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted with the results and I owe the programme a lot - though I'm coming to believe that I did this - and should be taking a lot more credit for it than I ever have. It's a personal feeling and I know other people's mileage will vary.

Anyway, I'm going to start researching my options now. I have 46 days to decide I guess! Not sure when my final weigh in will be - I have a free week to get, plus have enough packs for over a week. So I may have my final weigh in in mid-April.

I've questioned my motives with this. I wanted to be sure I wasn't just trying to finish early. But in all honesty, I wouldn't be starting RTM any earlier, and it wouldn't take any less time - it may even take longer.

Obviously if things go wrong, I will have to go back and do RTM their way but to be honest, I know I can do this. They say people who skip RTM almost always put it on and people who do it almost always keep it off but I don't believe that is the case - I think it's people who don't do ANY sort of RTM who have problems, and people who were unwilling tomake a lifestyle change in either case.

The one thing for sure, is that I'm making a huge lifestyle change.

Thoughts on what I'm thinking of doing? Good and bad. Not looking to be swayed in either direction.
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...we're sinking deeper.
First of all: are you sure you're not making a slight excuse...
The sessions are actually not LL's fault, they are much more dictated by the LLC (maybe it happens that you have a rubbish one).. My OH was forced to stay for an hour, have a chat, share in his group.
RTM is I think essential, yes, your choices may be very limited in the first few weeks but that's the point, your body NEEDS A VERY SLOW introduction to calories and food. You don't have to have raw vegetables, cook them if you prefer them that way! :)
I suggest having a chat with Huseyin since he's on RTM at the moment. But as a way of going forward, I do suggest doing the full RTM program, my OH didn't regret it one bit. It fact it teaches quite a bit of discipline which abstinence on it's own can't deliver.

When I came off LL, I thought I could manage on my own, I thought abstinence taught me things, but at the end of the day; NO. I didn't know portion sizes, I didn't know how my body/mind would react to different substances, I didn't know anything until I had my first salad.

Please, don't underestimate the program... and don't overestimate your own psyche... It may seem so clear at the moment, but so many people say that and ignore RTM because they're so confident that they can do it better... I have seen those people doing Refresher's at my LLC's having put it all back on.
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Surgically happy.
First of all: are you sure you're not making a slight excuse...
Yep - I didn't think of this on the spur of the moment. I've been evaluating it for quite some time.

If my LLC is rubbish, it is LL's fault as well as hers. Every week the woman's group overruns by up to 45 minutes, and we get a small, fairly useless session. I'm tired of doing the "what does it mean to be a man" exercise.

As I said, whatever I choose to do will take at least as long as their RTM - so it's not exactly accurate to assume that I'll not be introducing slowly.

If they want to teach me "discipline" then they shouldn't make me sit and wait every week - they should teach me.

I think the fact that counsellor quality varies just proves that I'm right to be thinking of quitting - I'm not going to get access to a better counselllor (her helper does all the RTM sessions and her helper, lovely as she is, doesn't have the confidence or experience).
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Surgically happy.
I guess the issue is that I don't have trust or faith in the counselling and given the quality of the men's abstinance programme, I'm not able to put any trust or faith in their rtm programmme
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...we're sinking deeper.
Mmm.. The RTM program is quite good - and to be fair my LLC isn't the most useful person in the world either. Our sessions are quite brief, and actually after Foundation she never fit me into another group for Developers, so for 6 extra months I was pretty much on my own. Go in, get packs, get out. I was on my own.
For RTM it was a similar story, most of the group didn't stay, it was all disjointed. I did it by taking the initiative and reading and following the RTM book myself. It helped a lot. I noted down many of my feelings and discussed them with my OH. He was pretty much my only help through the whole thing.
The only person you have to answer to - is yourself at the end of the day. After all, we're not losing weight for anyone, but ourselves.



Surgically happy.
Ok, I'm willing to listen, and may be willing to try the first 4 weeks of their brand of RTM.

What is good about the cbt for rtm? (bearing in mind that I consider most of the abstinance stuff 1/10). What do they teach you? How do people use it?

And when week 1 is like this:

Week 1
1 meal, 3 foodpacks, 4 litres of water – £49
Chicken (skinless)
Cottage cheese (plain) choose the lowest fat option
Egg whites, hard boiled
Fish, any, fresh, frozen or tinned in water/brine
Quorn, plain
Shellfish, any
Tofu, plain, any
Turkey, skinless

From day three there is a large list of herbs/spices which can be added, plus a selection of condiments, sauces and dressings. Additionally from day three you can also choose from a selection of green raw vegetables.

Herbs and spices
Various including Curry powder; Paprika; Garlic; Mustard; Mixed herbs; Chives.

Condiments, dressings, sauces etc.
Various including Balsamic vinegar; Lemon and Lime juices; Milk - skimmed; Tabasco sauce; Soy sauce; Tabasco sauce.

Raw salad
Cabbage; Celery; Chicory; Cress, Endive; Lettuce; Spinach; watercress and other mixed salad leaves.


There is nthing whatsoever in the raw veg that I'll eat raw. Just not going to do it. So is there value in me even trying to do it without it? If I was doing my own rtm, I'd be eat other veg, and it'd be cooked. And it wouldn't cost £49 a week for the privilage of a short meeting with my LLC's helper.

ETA: And amounts? Os there anywhere I can find out the amounts? I have rad somewhere that in week 1, a 100g of cooked chicken or similar is all you can have. (not an issue - I haven't a clue what 100g looks like, but it would be nice to know what people actually are expected to eat).

I feel conflicted now - and what gets me is the "fear factor" If I don't do things their way, I get judged if I fail, if I do it their way, when I have no faith in them, well, that's nto really a good thign either.
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...we're sinking deeper.
Hmm. Personally I had salad, didn't have the veg until I could cook it.

And to be perfectly honest: I reckon you could start with the same amounts that LighterLife Lite recommend, with the stuff that we're allowed. I can PM you a list and weight measures (and what it would look like) if you'd like since I shouldn't discuss f**d here. After all: we're having 3 packs plus a meal as well (we're still in ketosis, blah blah), you could try doing the 'Lite' plan for 3-4 weeks, you'd have more choice (and we can cook our veg!), and you'd still be introducing things slowly until you can have more from the lists of the 12-week RTM. How does that sound? :)

Andy - remember. You're not alone. If you'd like any sort of advice, please feel free to PM me. I feel a lot of anger from your side, and I do hear you. LL let me down too in many ways, but it does come down to seeking comfort not just from others but from within you.

I didn't receive any 'therapy' during my RTM (I read the book though.. lol), I think most lessons will be learnt and analysed by you personally. Feel free to write down how you feel with every new step and addition in the RTM forum: maybe start a diary in there!

The fear factor? Hey, you're your own person, you are not answering to anyone! If you choose to do it your way, DO IT. They are NO ONE to judge you. They are only there to support you. If they don't, then they are... well.. psychos. Yes. :D


Surgically happy.
Will reply properly later as processing - but yes, please PM me a list. And I like your thinking about LLL - I will have a chat with Ellie, who I know has just started it and may well talk to my llc - though it depends on when she has classes for that, if any for men.


...we're sinking deeper.
Oki doki, will PM you a list. I think it would be a nice move for you. have a chat with the others of course as well. :)
If you do decide to go forward with it, I do still suggest at least following the 'Trigger Weeks' as they suggest when you are ready for them. :)
You seem pretty confident in your approach to all this, just my humble opinion but why dont you try doing things yourself and in the unlikely event that things don't work out you always have rtm at ll to fall back on. I think its good you feel you can go your own way, sooner the better i reckon. One last thing, I don't think food is the enemy, its the way we think and approach food, thats the real enemy.
Good luck Andy. I cannot say I agree necesarily, but then I have not walked a mile in your shoes.

I must admit, it does make me angry - and this is not a go at you at all mate - but it does make me angry when people think LL use people, or situations to make money.

Andy - they don't need excuses to make money. WHere you drop out of class, three more will fill in as starters. They do not need to milk customers or drag out the diet or deceive them. Its an unending market. They will always have new blood and make loads. ANd I was happy to give them every single penny for making me want to live again.

You sound very bitter, and I don't really understand this - but as said,m I've not walked in your shoes.

It sounds lke maybe your LLC is unorganised - but I would not blame LL for that.

I think it is very risky what you are doing. That is my honest opinion, but I can only base that on ME really. LS did it - I think she felt comnfortable for the most part, she can advise you on her experience.

You do sound confident. And I hope that confidence carries you through. As said, if you get into trouble you do have LL to fall back on, but I just don;t understand, as I;ve not been in a mans class to understand why you feel you are an afterthought. From where I stand, that just doesn't make sense to me.

The CBT is repetitive. As is most counseling. BUt it does sink in and it does work.

The CBT does tend to become less formal in RTM, because now you are poutting into practice what you have learned. It does still come into play but I think it takes a back seat more so then it did in foundation.

I don;t understand your refusal to follow the plan and have raw veg. That is obviously a personal choice - but the "I refuse to do it" is sort of sounding like the rebellious child? Its for a few days. Not for life. So I don;t get it? ANd its not meant yet to be a tasty diet - its meant to be a diet that allows your body to adjust to food again. It is important. The packs are not WONDERFUL, lets face it - but you agreed to have them, so whats the issue with the raw veg? You almost sound angry that they expect you to eat raw veg. Which is incredibly healthy and very tasty. If you did not like it before you may find now your appreciation for healthy food is so strong that you enjoy it?

I wish you all the luck in the world. You now I think you are a star. I just hate to think of all your hard work leading to more difficulty? And maybe it won;t of course - and you do sound quite positive and ready to mkae lifestyle changes.

It is your defcision of course - but I am never going to be a proponant of doing it your own way. I think its a dangerous move and a mistake. BUt you will have my support - I just wouldn't necisarily agree with it - if that makes sense.

Going to read the rest of the thread now.

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Surgically happy.
Tbh I've obviously come across really badly and caused people to misunderstand me - I'll answer a couple of points then I'm going to just leave it.

I'm annoyed at ll because the mens programme is just cut down. Many of our sessions are 15 minutes long. We've had some which were less than 5 minutes.

Eating raw veg for 4 weeks when most cooked veg makes me retch is impossible. I get that I have made myself look like a petulant child so as I say, I'm just going to let it go.


Likes to lurk
Well I can only talk from my own experience and I really think the RTM part of LL for men needs some serious work. I think it's far too long for a start. Now I didn't do my own RTM plan as such but I modified the plan to suit my needs.

I decided I wanted to keep in contact with LL and still have my packs. They are an easy way to keep your calorie levels up without stressing you out with what to replace them with. I did follow the RTM plan to the letter for the first 3-4 weeks and I'm very glad I did. It does do a very good job of reintroducing food as I think I would have really struggled with all options on the table from day one. I wasn't keen on uncooked veg either so I just had salad.

After this point I needed to make some changes. I was still losing as much as 3lbs in any one week and I'd already gone 10lbs past my target weight to build in a buffer zone in peperation for food. Also I'd increased my exercise quite considerably in the first few weeks of RTM and as a result, I needed the carbs. I also had issues where I'd been worrying about certain food types and putting all my hopes on the phased approach. I guess I'd conditioned myself to have this 'carbs are the enemy' mentaility when they're really not. Carbs aren't my triggers and I needed them as I was still eating a low carb diet and losing. As a result I decided to keep having my packs but take a calorie counting approach and trust myself to manage my own healthy diet.

I have still increased my calories in stages in order to find the balance and I think I'm getting there. I realise that you can't really be a maintainer until you've kept the weight off for quite some time but I think I'm almost there. I've had all food types on the menu for around 5 weeks now, I'm averaging over 2000 calories a day and am nearly a stone under what I weighed when I started RTM.

It is about re-education but it's mainy about change in my view. If you feel you've changed and trust yourself to succeed, do it you're own way. :) There is no one size fits all when it comes to re-intriducing food. One of the big problems I had at the start of RTM was how vague it all was. I understand why now. It's cos everyone is different.
Good luck Andy i will be curious to see the results as i feel good diet will suffice for RTM.

About the Veg you can eat them cooked at week 6 i believe but i will need to check that one. Remember its good for you to have them raw also and is part of being healthy it mops up colesterol in the blood much like fibre in fruits.

Leaf Salad with dressing is fantastic and srping onions in Fromage. Try it before you do your thing, but either way good luck in your choice and dont worry i get you fully ;)


nearly there!! :)
heya hunni,
i dont really have time to properly have an input, so will try come back later...
but i did ll's rtm up untill week 6...then i decided to go at it alone.
i didnt eat raw veg or salad as and from week 1 i cooked it...
this was a personal decision cause i too just couldnt get a feel for raw veg.
im finished rtm and went at it alone at the end of jan...and 2months later im still lighter than my final wi with my llc. i now control it with cal counting.

i do think its a personal choice about whether or not to do the llc rtm but i would advice to try the first 4 weeks...even if its just to push up the cals a little.

will try come back later and give more input xxx

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