How has counselling helped you?

Discussion in 'Lighter Life Forum' started by nixx, 18 August 2007 Social URL.

  1. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Hi, just interested really....

    I've lost my weight with Lipotrim, after I decided against Lighter Life because of the cost, and because I thought I wouldn't benefit from/didn't need the counselling. I look at myself and why I overeat, and genuinely think it's purely because I'm either greedy or bored. I'm a real foodie too - I love cooking and I love eating. I've had a weight problem all my life after been "fed up" by my lovely grandma - the best cook ever! Mmmmm, those cakes!

    So that leads me to ask, a genuine interested question - what have you learned about yourself and food from the counselling? How do you feel the counselling has benefitted you? Is there anyone on here who has lost their weight and maintained for a while having genuinely changed their eating habits not through force but through understanding themselves better? Is the counselling about more than "why do you overeat?", as I think my problem is more "when you've put a few pounds on, why can't you control yourself a bit and lose it, instead of it getting out of hand and turning into a few stones?"

    I hope that doesn't make me sound cynical about the counselling - I'm really not, I'm just honestly interested to see how it's helped people.

    Thanks for reading.
     
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  3. Mrs Lard

    Mrs Lard Silver Member

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    Hi Nixx

    Well done on an amazing loss with LT. I must admit I don't really know what LT is, even though there's a whole forum out there! But that's another story!

    Anyway, I really wanted to answer your question because I think it's an important one.

    From my very limited experience, I would suggest that there are possibly two types of people doing LighterLife - one because they have eaten too many pies and can do abstinence, push straight through to maintenance (Route to Management) and sort out their trigger foods and move on. Then there's the rest of us - and I include myself - who have been overweight or had weight issues all or most of our adult lives, or longer. As the founder of LighterLife says in the introduction, we know we overeat, we may even know why, so why don't we stop?

    If you see comfort eating as addictive eating, you have a whole different approach to losing weight. Suddenly, it's not all about the pounds and stones melting away - it's about understanding and dealing with an addiction.

    This is why I decided LighterLife was for me and I am now 2lbs away from a 5 stone weight loss. BUT, mentally, I have got SOOO much more out of it. At the end of Foundation, I was very emotional and said that LighterLife had literally saved me. I put in a lot of work into the home activities (my blog details them all) and really tried to understand what drove me to eat. And, of course, it was very rarely hunger.

    When you move into Management, you start identifying how you can avoid those situations that drive you to eat. In fact, you already start it in Foundation. You are learning all the time. What I found, through the sessions, was that I had a much better awareness of just how much food was controlling my life (or I was allowing it to). And it really was to an alarming degree. But I also found out from the sessions that I was not alone.

    For me, the fundamental difference between LighterLife and all the other programmes was the group support, coupled with the counselling. You could easily do any other VLCD (and you have!) and buy all the books and probably do well. I know I just didn't have it in me. I'd read all the books yet I was still overweight and eating in an out-of-control way. I have just started Route to Management (stage 3 of LighterLife) and I am now in meetings with women who have done the programme AND kept the weight off. This has been an amazing experience for me because I am able to find out from them how they have kept the weight off and found peace with food.

    I think the important thing to remember is that there is no magic answer (to keeping weight off). We are all learning, all the time. A forum like Minis is fantastic because we can share with each other - what's worked, what hasn't. For me, the LighterLife sessions are an amplified version of this. I have a fantastic LLC (LighterLife Counsellor) too, which makes all the difference.

    I don't know if I have answered your question. I am sure lots of others will add their wisdom.

    Good luck with the next stage of your journey!

    Take care.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxx
     
  4. silhouettes

    silhouettes Silver Member

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    i am only in week 9 of LL but i have found that it is not just about why we over eat but learning the warning signs, and how to change our thought processes so that when things go wrong we dont reach for food but do something else instead.
     
  5. Frejja

    Frejja Silver Member

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    Hi

    I'm on week 12 of LL and although I do have loads of issues, I have found the counselling to be very disappointing. I think the standard is very variable and if you aren't one of the lucky ones, you don't get a lot out of it.

    In theory, it is a great idea but doesn't always work in practice.

    Having said that, I would recommend LL as my weight loss has been fantastic. I just have doubts about long term maintenance.
    F.
     
  6. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Hi mrs L

    Yes, you have answered it - you've told me how it helped you!

    When you mentioned addictive eating, something clicked there. I know I have an addictive and quite destructive personality (I don't smoke, but hell I can drink) and when I honestly think about it, yes, my eating is an addiction. There, I've said it! I'm going to try and look at it like that and see where that takes me.

    The bit about food controlling your life rings true, too. Every waking minute used to be "what can I eat, when can I eat it, how can I eat this without everyone noticing me pigging out?" Any given situation - a day out, a party, a holiday, a meeting, a shopping trip - and I would be thinking about the food part of it before anything else. An old WW leader used to say that the difference between us (chubbies) and them ("normal" people) was that when asked to a party, we thought "is it a sit-down meal or a buffet?" and a "normal" person thought "oooh, what shall I wear?" THis hit home with me as so true.

    Triggers - I loved a quiet night in on my own as it was an excuse to, pick up a curry, get in the family bags of crisps and the 500ml tub of Haagen-Daaz. I suppose a night in alone now would be a trigger situation for me, only I've not noticed it because I so rarely get one these days - my OH moved in 3 years ago and we do all our stuff together.

    I don't know if I have any trigger foods - I like everything LOL - so what's the LL definition of a trigger food?

    Like you, it was never hunger that made me eat (never stopped eating long enough to get hungry!) so I'm going to sit and think hard about what actually DID make me eat all that junk, apart form just liking the taste. I really am going to struggle, because I can't see past that right now. One thing that has occured to me before is that every time I've lost weight and got thin, I've gone a bit mental in that I've loved the male attention and gone a bit, well, daft! I just wonder if, I carried on eating (i.e. getting fatter) as a defence against myself - I was (still am) in a happy relationship and didn't want to risk getting thin, getting the attention and acting on it and messing things up. Does that sound too deep or does it sound reasonable?

    The meetings must be a real inspiration for you if you're among people who've done it and stuck to it. I must admit, I'd have liked to meet others at my pharmacy who've done well, although the pharmacist's amazement at how I've lost every week and got to my target, more or less, seems to suggest there aren't that many successes!

    You're right that there's no magic answer, and I am facing up, now to the the fact that this is a life-long problem for me, and the sooner I accept that, the sooner I can get on with staying slim.

    Thanks very much for your reply, it makes an awful lot of sense, and Congratulations on your losses - people like you and me are proof that these VLCDs DO work.
     
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  7. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Blimey, I went on a bit there, didn't I?!
     
  8. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Hi there

    That's where I always struggled - when things went wrong. I couldn't just say to myself "forget it". I would always decide to carry on and have a day or 2 off, then start again (having put pounds on!).
     
  9. Mrs Lard

    Mrs Lard Silver Member

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    Hi Nixx

    I am SO glad something clicked. Everything you wrote made sense (I did laugh at your WW's comment - I think that is SOOOO true and, if you don't mind, I'd like to use it on my blog. Let me know if that's ok.)

    You say you can't see past things right now but you seem pretty switched on to me! Those lightbulbs are flashing!!!

    Amanda Jayne has a fantastic Route to Management thread (I'll see if I can find it) and it will be worth reading that for inspiration and guidance to re-introducing foods. I'd also suggest you look at some blogs - Sarah (Cerulean), Gaijingirl, dare I say my own (!) and others. I'll dig out a list for the ones that deal with the head stuff, as that's what you seem to be looking for right now.

    I did a guide to Development, which while not relevant for you on LT, it does include an exchange between Sarah and me about getting close and then wanting to sabotage our efforts. I also asked for help about self-sabotage this week and had some AMAZING responses. That is really worth a look - just do a search. I think they will help you too. Everyone on here is so generous and that's how we keep going, I guess.

    Please keep in touch; I'd love to know how you get on.

    Take care and have a lovely weekend.

    Mrs L xxxx
     
  10. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    LOL yes of course you can use it! The woman was an absolute star - a real terror who scared me into losing weight - she had the class in stitches every week. Sadly retired now, so I can't join her class, which is a shame.

    She called normal people "civilians", as if we WW were a different species, and I suppose in a lot of ways we are. She said that if a civilian was ill, they didn't eat. If a WW was ill, they'd take to the sofa saying "oh, I'm ill, I couldn't eat a thing...or maybe just a lightly boiled egg... and a couple of slices of toast.... and a milky coffee..."

    If anyone had gained weight and gave an excuse of "we've had visitors" she'd be back like a shot with "what did you do - eat them?" Like I say, a scary lady, but very very effective, one of the most successful leaders in our area. My sister has been a leader for 10 years (just handed her notice in) but could never bring herself to say stuff like that to her class.

    Thanks you for all the pointers - I'll take some time to go and read. THe sabotage thing sounds very interesting - all about why people can't let themselves lose weight, I guess. I think I've got to the "lost the weight - what now?" point where I need to understand myself a bit to make sure I don't fall into all the traps. Look at that - from being convinced I didn't need counselling to trying to understand myself - all in 6 or 7 posts! I'll keep reading the LL forum to see how you're all getting on and what you're learning about yourselves.

    Thanks again, I'll keep in touch.

    Nixx

    xx
     
  11. Tiger Girl

    Tiger Girl Full Member

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    Hey nixx
    I also think there are 2 kinds of LL'ers out there. A friend of my sister is currently doing LL and on the counselling front has said "oh no, I don't want any of that head stuff, I just want to get back into my size 10 jeans" Whereas I want the complete reverse! Not on the size 10 front of course, but definitely know that I've finally faced my issues with addictive eating and my relationship with food. And that requires quite a lot of counselling! There are a whole heap of variables on the LL counselling front, which is a real shame. I've had to go and seek external support which I've never really begrudged, LL is 'working' for me and I do get a lot of support - more than I could ever wish for - from LL, but personally I needed more. I have a whole team of external support people in place - Team Tiger Girl! I went for coverage on the mind, body and soul front - all of Team TG can provide these services and it's the best thing I ever did.

    Your WW comments did make me laugh lots :D
     
  12. yo-yo-dieter

    yo-yo-dieter Silver Member

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    I have learnt about how the ego's control our thoughts, how to connect thoughts, behaviour and feelings, how to learn coping strategies etc...
     
  13. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Tiger Girl and Yo-yo - it all sounds really interesting - wondering now if I've missed out!

    It's funny, I recently finished a Uni course which had a module about Counselling, which I desperately didn't want to do but REALLY enjoyed. I wonder if I didn't want to do it because I knew deep down I could maybe benefit from some? I was so interested I'm taking more courses when I get back to work in September, and to gain a qualification I need to have some counselling myself, so we'll see how that goes. I think I'll get my books out and have another look form a food problem perspective and see if it all reads a little bit differently.

    I love the sound of Team Tiger Girl! Wish I had a Team Nixx, but it's just been me and OH (and DS, 13, taking the mick out of my milk shakes and bingo wings!). OH has been INCREDIBLY supportive, and he's reaping the rewards now having a nearly skinny girlfriend. I bent down the other day and he said my god, I can see all your spine, you look like a dinosaur! Er, thanks!
     
  14. Helen

    Helen Full Member

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    I have learnt a few things that leap out at the moment, a few more are probably lurking in the background and I haven't realised I have learnt them yet, if that makes any sense!

    The first thing that springs to mind is that when I break my diet by eating I have learnt the control to stop. Sometimes after eating one mouthful, or an evening, once after a couple of days. BUT I have learnt to stop, to listen to the voices in my head and to realise that one bar of choc or whatever doesn't make me a failure. Previously that one bar would have turned into two things then two days then a week of falling off the wagon and the diet would have been over with the weight regained and more.

    I have learnt to be gentle with myself and not give myself a guilt trip over this. I am breaking habits I have had for 30 years or more and it won't happen without the odd slip up.

    Meeting other people has helped with this a lot too as I realise I do not see them as failures or useless so cannot categorise myself like that either.

    The other thing is that I realise how many issues stem from my childhood. I am still having lightbulb moments about these but also realise that I am 43 and I need to move on from some of these issues.

    For example I was at my parents house last week and mum and made DH a choc cake for his birthday. My dad went on and on mentioning this cake until he ended up with the last piece. Everyone else had forgotten about it (even me:)) but he was going on about it an hour after breakfast. I mentioned this and he was in complete denial but mum and DH both agreed with me that he was desperate for this cake. It reminded me that he used to eat his sandwiches before going to work straight after breakfast. I think this is behaviour I have learnt (greed?) and this makes me feel much less guilty - less like there is something wrong with me, like a broken switch that won't turn off.

    I am also beginning to realise that I don't have to be 100% perfect - getting something wrong doesn't make me a failure, just human.

    There is still a long way to go I know.

    An idea is maybe to buy a LL foundation book from ebay or somewhere, and although I don't think it would be as effective as doing them in a group it would give an idea of what exercises we do in class.

    Hope this helps!
     
  15. Mrs Lard

    Mrs Lard Silver Member

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    Hello Nixx (again!)

    Your additional WW comments made me laugh EVEN MORE! Your WW leader sounds hilarious and you clearly have a ready wit yourself!

    Why not come and join the LL forum - in spirit - as part of your team nixx?? Just a thought?! We have all supported each other and it has made a massive difference. And a question for Helen (who is VERY wise, I have to say) - do people really sell all their LL stuff on eBay? I know I sound so ..err..naiive! Ha ha.

    Take care. Have a great weekend - I am currently waiting in a cafe for my other half and it's got wifi! For free! Cool!


    PS yes, really look into the counselling/mind stuff - if you liked the course but resisted it, chances are...it might be just the ticket! xxxx
    xxx
     
  16. clairejen

    clairejen Lurker

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    Helen, it sounds to me like you had to eat quickly before your DF scoffed everything in the house. You didn't learn greed, you learnt survival!
     
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  17. Helen

    Helen Full Member

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    Clairejen, that was hilarious! And actually closer to the truth than you probably realise - though my brothers were in on the act too!

    Mrs L, yes people do seem to sell their LL stuff on ebay. I presume its mostly people who give up within a couple of weeks and want to claw some of the money back. Icemoose advises against buying packs on ebay as its impossible to know if they have been tampered with at all but I can't see any harm in the foundation book! I have about a weeks worth of spare food packs (untampered with!) and am switching to CD next week so may give it a go selling the spares.

    I have been called many things but never wise - not sure if you are serious or having a joke:)

    Nixx - love your WW comments, have really cheered me up this morning. Wish I could meet this lady she sounds great!
     
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  19. nixx

    nixx Full Member

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    Yes, Mrs L, I think I'll camp out here for a while, you're all clearly very supportive of each other and a friendly bunch. And yes I can be witty when I'm quoting someone else!

    Helen, I remember as a child my lovely Nana plying me and my sister with plate after plate of food, and still blame(!) her for my appetite, as does my Dad, her son, blame her for his. SHe was never happier than when she was feeding people, and I see some of this in me too. I love having people round and cooking for them, and cooking stuff for my Grandma and taking it for her. As well as huge stodgy meals, Nana could bake cakes for England. Her house was on the way home from school, so I went every day, and every day it was a plate of cakes, then home for tea. My mum was the other way - restricting and limiting stuff like sweets and cake, so I guess I stuffed myself at Nana's while I could. Same went for if I had some money - off to the shop for sweets to eat away from Mum's beady eye. I suppose this tells me something about myself, but I don't know what!

    I could learn from what you say about being gentle with myself - understanding that I WILL make mistakes, and that the odd one WONT make a massive difference might stop the what I see as inevitable binge that follows on from one slip-up. There really is no need, is there? Just because I eat half a mars bar, doesn't mean I have to order pizza and neck half a bottle of vodka and think "I'll start again tomorrow".

    I'll have a sken on ebay for LL stuff too, it'll be worth a read I think.

    Have a good weekend everyone, and thanks for your replies.
     
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