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Exhaustion and Inspiration in Development

Apologies for not checking in for the past few days - Route to Management has taken all my energy!!

This week I went to my second Route to Management class and it was fantastic. Totally inspirational and the best session I have had with LighterLife for several weeks. So I tried to figure out why that was.

I got and continue to get so much inspiration from Minimins (I think Mini, who founded this site deserves our gratitude!) and my fellow bloggers and yet it wasn't enough to keep me motivated. I struggled in Development, really struggled and I didn't enjoy the classes even though there were some women in my group with incredible weight losses. So weight losses were NOT motivational enough (for me).

And then I had a lightbulb moment and realised that the difference was the women who HAD succeeded at LighterLife, long after they finished Route to Management. And I got to meet them! The only person I know, in the flesh as it were, who has succeeded long-term is my LLC. The successful women were the difference!

And then it made me realise that I had got deep-seated doubts about whether I really could do this programme, could LighterLife really work, in the long, long term? And I have probably had those doubts for weeks and weeks, if not months but as they were so deep, I was not even aware of them. (And I have done a lot of soul searching along the way with LighterLife.)

If you are in Development for the long-haul, exhaustion is going to kick in - particularly if you are committing yourself to the programme wholeheartedly (even with deviations). The mental and physical energy required is astounding and if you read Tiger Girl's thread on Development, you will see just what I mean. So many of us were - quite frankly - knackered!

So, if you couple the exhaustion with the doubt, it's not a formula for success. I have contacted my LLC to suggest that what might be helpful is if long-term LighterLifers can 'visit' Development groups from time to time, to inspire them and reassure them that it DOES work, it CAN work, and what your realationship with food CAN be in the future.

Of course, my fantastic LLC is already ahead of the game on this one so if you find yourself in this position, it might be worth asking your own LLC if they can organise something like that. I'm not sure of the protocol involved but it may help. I simply think it would be just the motivation you need when Development seems never-ending.

Hope this helps. Good luck to everyone in Development and/or about to go into it.

Mrs L xxxx
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Likes: KD


Gone fishing
Good post :clap: It really is a lifelong commitment.

If I tried to do this for anyone in my offline world then I would have failed long ago, because people forget so fast. They stop saying "well done". They stop asking you how you did it. There really is nothing to motivate me to keep going apart from wanting to do it because I feel better slimmer.

Sometimes I want to go over the whole story again with my colleagues, because I need a pat on the back :D, but I don't need it to keep going, just to raise my morale a little when I'm feeling low. I don't though. I might start, but think better of it;)

I did take in my before and after photo when I reach my two year target. I had never shown it to them before. They said they couldn't remember me being big:confused: I'm sure they could, but had forgotten how large I actually was.

Sorry. Waffling now.
C: 13st3.0lb
Mrs L,

I have been wondering about this for a while now. I feel the opposite from you in development. I feel better and better as I continue, it gets easier and easier for me. I am having no problems at all. (Big scary thought: "Am I just putting my problems on hold till management")

I have been mulling over why there is such a contrast between those finding it really tough and me, and one other person I just met in development last week who is the only one I have met who feels like me.

If we could find the difference could we crack the problem?

I can't remember how long you did on development. I've been at it for a month now. I think I've got another 6 weeks left.

Reading your post, you say the physical and mental energy required is exhausting. I feel that every day I gain more and more mental and physical energy.

As I was driving back from work after my first visit to the office in 6 weeks I felt so empowered, it was as if I was flying. I have never felt such tremendous confidence. It was surging through me. I truly felt like I was set free, liberated, a different person.

I would really like to discover what makes the difference. Do you have any thoughts?

Karion - you are perfect inspiration. Thanks

Hi Claire

Oooh! That IS an interesting question. First, I have to congratulate you on your weight loss AND your feeling so fantastic. That is amazing. And I am genuinely thrilled for you because it is so important to hear about people who are so positive. You are the people we need to 'model' ie copy for success!!!

Apologies if you have said this anywhere else but have you been 100% abstinent? I do wonder if this makes a difference. There was one woman in our Development group who is exactly like you - she is positively thriving on LighterLife. And I know she has been 100% abstinent. (As you know, I wasn't.)

The second thing I would wonder (about the difference) is whether your weight gain was short term or lifelong? I just posted on Nixx's thread about the counselling and I think that there are some people who really don't have an emotional relationship with food - they've just eaten the wrong types (the founders talk about the four major trigger foods) and/or too much.

I have a really complex and long-standing relationship with food, as do Cerulean, Sandra EG, ISOM and Tiger Girl (I'm not disclosing - we have all discussed it online and on our development thread, as you know). So, for us, it's dealing with all the head stuff too. That IS exhausting - liberating, yes, but exhausting. There is also the fact that long-term abstinence is tough on the body. No two ways about it.

I think it also depends on where you are in life and what else is going on for you while you are doing LighterLife. My LLC once observed that I wasn't tired because of the programme but simply because I was tired (I have a lot going on right now). And she was right but I had blamed the programme.

I don't know if that answers your question so I am going to ask YOU a question; what do YOU think the difference is? Why do you think YOU feel so fantastic? Have you done all the homework and exercises outside class? I must admit that at the end of Foundation I did feel fantastic (well, I think I did!) but, to be honest, Development did my head in! I don't think it helped that I also moved house at the same time and started a new job! I also found getting smaller and all the comments very hard to deal with. Tiger Girl talks about this on my blog, if you want to have a peek.

As LighterLife is working for you in such a fantastic way, then you MUST continue with that. IF anything, please tell us how and why. As you know, I've just taken the plunge into Route to Management (just writing up my guide about how NOT to do it!) and I feel back in the zone. I LOVE the Management classes! I feel fired up again, which is fantastic and just what I need.

You wonder if you are storing up all your problems for Management; only you can answer that. Abstinence is liberating, it really is. Please tell us what is working for you and why and then, when you are ready for Management, you can read how to do it properly and save yourself a whole heap of problems!

I'm so glad you posted; I think this could be the perfect complement to our highs and lows of Development.

Keep in touch; I'm really keen to hear your thoughts! And yes, Karion is pretty phenomenal - Tony Robbins would call her outstanding!! In every way!

Take care.

Mrs Lxxxxxxxx
Echo all of Mrs L's sentiments. I simply could not believe that my euphoric state of Foundation achievement just upped and left me 4 weeks into Development. It was the toughest time ever.
I'm still in Development and whilst I'm not 100% sure where my end goal weight wise is, I reckon I'll definitely be here for at least another 6 weeks. It's really motivating to hear about the 'other' side of Development. JDI - please come and post your progress reports on the Development thread. It really would provide a great balance for some of the struggles going on over there! I'm back in perfect abstinence just now and am getting on with getting on, but when the demons hit there's a full scale emergency lock down manoevre required! It would be great to share the Development tips in depth, on the lighter and shadier side if you see what I mean!


Cambridge Counsellor
I did take in my before and after photo when I reach my two year target. I had never shown it to them before. They said they couldn't remember me being big:confused: I'm sure they could, but had forgotten how large I actually was.
It's funny that. I occasionally get my 'before' photos out for clients - although not too often as i'm very embarrassed about them! Anyhow, a while back, my other half saw them and was quite stunned by what I looked like... and he took the photos in the first place! In his words, I looked like 'a little barrel' (he did say it in the nicest way possible), and he genuinely seemed to think he'd never seen me like that at the time.

I dunno what that means (if anything!), but just thought i'd share. :D

Jo x
C: 13st3.0lb
Mrs L,
I am 41. I have struggled with weight issues since the age of 8 when my headmaster told me to cover up in gym class. I remember getting a Mr Man notebook and starting to write down my daily diet.

Since then food and weight and issues have been the major problem and major influence in my life. They were a burden, a constant threat (? don't know quite what I mean by that). I perceived myself as huge, was called 'Flesh' in the playground, looking back at photos I was completely normal, not fat at all. But by the end of my teens had gained weight and fulfilled my self perception.

I have battled with it long and hard and for a brief moment 18 years ago I lost 4 stones with WW and didn't do any maintenance and ended up exactly back where I started plus more.

My weight has been a huge issue in my marriage. I run a business with my OH, have a part-time job and 3 kids. Stress, control and self-esteem seem to be main contributory factors to my size.

I have done WW (plus others) every year for the last 18 years. Every year I have failed. At the beginning of this year when I visited my sister and she started up the old 'This year I'm really going to do it' chat, I suddenly realised that I never would. I was sick of talking about it. I could see myself just getting bigger and bigger until I died. I resigned myself to that. I was very, very low. I ate constantly, felt disgusting, couldn't move etc.

As soon as I heard about LL I knew I wanted to do it. I wasn't sure about my ability to do it, but at the same time I knew that I would never eat anything other than the packs. I have been 100% abstinent, don't have flavourings or anything else.

I wonder if I am managing because at the beginning I saw my journey clearly. I saw the Foundation, the Development, the Management. My goal was to complete the process. It was as if I knew that sticking to it would work, so my goal was to undergo it. I thought 'right no food other than packs til October'.

If I look at food I smell it and think of it but it is no longer part of my options. My choices revolve around, Bar? Shake? Soup? Mousse?

I have tried to do the homework and exercises, but for the last 5 weeks of foundation and first 2 weeks of development got no counselling.

Sorry, that was loads of ramble. It just came from nowhere! And I'm supposed to be doing the accounts at the minute, they were due in February!

Look forward to discussing this further. I am quite fascinated by it.
(Will read your blog when accounts done!)
Dear Claire

Wow! That's not a ramble - that's an amazing story! I applaud you, I really do. And I think we can see the answer - 100% abstinent. And a very clear goal. Sarah (Cerulean) also had a really clear goal and she made it. I had no clear goal, I've got to be honest. I was too scared to write down my goals. But that's a whole other story. I didn't even think I would make it past Foundation and, if you do have a chance to read the blog, you will see I am full of self doubt - even at the grand old age of 40! I'd really like to find out more about how you did all of THIS with all of THAT going on in your life. As Tiger Girl says, it would be great if you could post on the Development thread too. I think, Claire, you could really help A LOT of people behind you and on here - we need to capture what you did!

No counselling - that is SHABBY! Sadly, this is something we hear a lot of on here and I feel strongly that this is something LL absolutely must address. Sarah (Cerulean) is going through Route to Management now, all by herself, no back up from LL. It's simply not good enough. So much so, I am going to email my own LLC (who is totally gold standard) and mention this to her.

Sorry, that sounded like a rant. Anyway, Claire, good luck with the accounts (my absolute nemesis)! I think you've done an amazing job with LL.

Look forward to hearing more. You sound like an amazing woman!

Take care.

Mrs Lxxxx
Whoops! And a message for Karion because I never acknowledged her post!

That wasn't a waffle either; you have amazing wisdom - funnily enough, I tried to give you a reputation but a prompt came up and told me I must spread my reputation comments around!

You are on the money, as usual. People soon forget how big you/we are and they often say "but I don't remember you being that big" but there are no hiding from the photos. In fact, your post prompted me to look at my heaviest photos; I emailed them to my mum because I just felt so awful and knew she wouldn't judge me! I had that moment of "oh my God, did I really look like that?" and, sadly, we all know the answer!

Sorry, now I am waffling....
C: 13st3.0lb
Thanks Mrs L, I'm embarrassed now.
Whoops I couldn't resist Minimins and I've stopped the accounts again!

I will post in the Development thread. I really feel the need to get to the bottom of this. I think it would help others and me too.



Full Member
Hi Claire - your post and user name struck a chord with me. People have asked me "OMG, how do you do it, how do you live on milk shake?" and all the usual other questions, and my answer is, I just decided to do it, and told myself "Just do it". I too heard about Lipotrim and thought - "I'm doing that", went along to get it, told myself I would lose my 4 stones or so by two weeks before my holiday, would refeed for 2 weeks, go on holiday, come back and join WW with my sister to maintain. I've done exactly that (the holiday is on Saturday - can't wait). I knew from the start that I WOULD do it, and that I wouldn't stray from the straight until I was narrow.

I've been 100% abstinent too, and reading the LT forum and their used website, I honsestly think this is the key - and that is, after all, how it is designed to be done. I want to say to people who are regularly posting that they've cheated/binged/strayed, however they put it "Just do it", but even though I've "Just done it" myself, I know it's far harder than that, so it would be unfair.

I do think having a cut off point worked for me - that magical 2 weeks before the holiday date. I knew all along that there was an end to it, and that 4 months out of my long long life to achieve and to get to where I wanted to be is, in the grand scheme of things, nothing, really.

I've been thin before, too, so I think knowing how I would look and feel made it easy to stick to LT. And although being thin doesn't make everything in the garden rosy, it makes ONE thing rosier - my self-image/confidence - and takes away the constant self-loathing I've felt when I was fat. And that one thing being rosier makes a lot of other things easier, somehow. I'm a nicer person all round (pardon the pun!).
Hi Nixx and Claire and well, Everyone!

Totally agree with this (what Nixx has said):

And although being thin doesn't make everything in the garden rosy, it makes ONE thing rosier - my self-image/confidence - and takes away the constant self-loathing I've felt when I was fat.


Mrs L xxxxxxxxx

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