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My Second Half of Development and Beyond Diary


Taking it Day by Day
I shall try and keep a record of my final struggles with development until I reach management. I think I need to do this now, writing things down can be such a cathartic process! :psiholog:

Realistically I will probably need between 4 to 8 weeks to get to management. I am 1stone and 11lbs away from the target weight of 10 st 8 my LLC has set me, but currently I am just trying to focus on my 1 month challenge, which will end on 3rd October 2007, at which stage I will review the situation with my counsellor. I have now lost a total of 5stones 1lbs in 19 weeks, something I would have never thought possible and I will still need to get my head around this...

As I have posted in another thread somewhere I have really been struggling the last couple of weeks, and while I didn't have a big binge I did eat on a few occasions and I have to fight with myself virtually every day not to cheat. On the plus side I had so many lightbulbs go off in the last couple of days about why/how/when I eat, the emotional triggers connected to it, that I am actually not angry at what has happened (which is something new to me as in the old days lapses would have just led to more lapses and eventually to the "I can't/don't want to do this anymore feeling). I haven't worked out any coping strategies yet, but being aware of the triggers is the first step to being able to dealing with them.

Two of the main things for me are stress and loneliness. And by loneliness I think I mostly mean feeling lonely emotionally, as physically with 3 kids bouncing around me most of the time, I am actually not really lonely. So I will need to find a way of filling this emotion of feeling lonely with something other than food, which was exactly what I was doing at the start of the week when I had that dreadful homework struggle with my daughter whilst juggling the other 2 and DH had to work late so I felt utterly alone in having to deal with this all and the food was there to quite literally fill me up... The rest of last week I managed to stay 100% and so luckily there was no weight damage done by this.

After my weigh in on Wednesday I came home and had some cheese and seeds. The weird thing was that I sort of "planned" this all day. It's really hard to explain, I was having discussions in my head about it all day, and almost made a rational decision to actually have this and then move on (if that makes sense). Even being at my meeting didn't deter me. Now I don't know whether it actually helped my emotional wellbeing but I have found yesterday a lot easier to deal with. Didn't cheat at all and even today I am just "in the zone"and am aiming for a whole week without any hickups, as I really want this to get finished asap now...

What I did yesterday was that I saved my last 2 shakes for really quite late in the afternoon/evening, as this seems to be the time when things get to me. And by the time I had them I actually felt full and satisfied and didn't even want to pick on anything. I will try and do the same thing today. And it's almost 2pm and I just realised that I haven't had my soup yet, now that has never happened before. Maybe I just have to keep on writing whenever I want to eat??? Then again, I think I am going to have my soup now...:eat:
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Taking it Day by Day
I did it! I managed another day of staying abstinent and gave myself a nice smiley face on my chart. I really have to focus on a day by day at the moment. It is so hard at times though, and last night I turned into the ugly old troll again. Basically DH suggested whether us and the kids should go out for a little drink in the evening as wheather was still really nice and warm and I just thought "what's the point, I can't drink anything, can't even have a cappuccino since I am back 100% so no milk whatsoever" and basically just snapped at him. I think I am going to lead very much a hermit's life for the next couple of weeks if I am going to finish this properly:sigh:

But enough of the pitty party. Just started my first litre of water today and looking forward to a nice americano later with my lemon bar (yes, I am actually looking forward to having a lemon bar:eek:, at least something to chew on)

I couldn't resist the scales this morning, and have (unofficially) lost 2lbs since I last hopped on on Wednesday morning so that's great!!!


Taking it Day by Day
Arghhhhhh!!! I am just hiding away from the rest of the family while their eating their nice cheese on toast lunch, and hubby comes walking in asking me "what are you doing?". Me saying "I can't watch you eat cheese at the moment, sorry." He gives me one of those "looks" and walks out again. I am so angry now:mad:. He normally is vey supportive of my diet, but now I feel like he is only as long as it doesn't infringe on his life, i.e. having to make lunch for the family!!!!!! So now I have got the rest of the afternoon left, feeling really cross, and wanting to stuff something down me just so I can say "see, told you so, I needed to stay away from the cheese.." I am of course not going to do that and need to find anohter way of snapping out of it. Probably should be "adult" about it and talk to DH, telling him that this is really important to me and for the next couple of weeks I will need to do whatever necessary to stay on track and finish this. Probably should mention the money as well, the faster I finish the less it will cost, I bet that will get his support;).

Ah, already feeling a bit better now. Will just have some more water now to fill me up. Down 2litres so far


Taking it Day by Day
Why Oh Why?

This probably has been my most challenging weekend to date. I don't want to go into food details but instead I need to work out what went wrong and to find coping strategies. In short on both Saturday and Sunday I had birthday parties to attend and gave in both times, not to the cake and crisps I am happy to say but into fruit vegetables and protein.

Now after Saturday's experience I thought I would be better prepared for the Sunday challenge, and in a way I was, I didn't touch any food while I was actually there but when the leftovers were forced on me to take home (long story why I couldn't refuse to take it, say I didn't want to rock the boat of a rocky relationship with Sister-in-Law) the old "I can't waste this" voice won and I acted like the bin of the family I suppose. This time it was also mixed with the "I actually want to eat and taste some food again, I've been doing this forever". I do wonder whether the body actually sincerely starts missing food after having survived on the soups and shakes for so long or whether that is just my crooked thinking getting me into eating something.

I am really worried that trying to stay abstinent I might do more damage than good to my eating habits. What I mean by that is that I would really like to eat healthy foods but as I "can't" because I am still in development I start to sneak food, which is easily done, doesn't need preparation and can just "disappear", exactly one of the habits I am trying to break. I am just utterly confused at the moment.

Saying that, I don't want to sound all doom and gloom. I am still positive and believe 100% that I will achieve my goal, which is something I wouldn't have said on any other diet, so obviously something inside me must have changed. I have a lot more confidence in myself and can reason with meself a lot better, and because of that can control my "all or nothing thinking" before it can take over.

So far I had 1 litre and no bars yet (as not feeling hungry, so hopefully am still in ketosis) I am just angry that by having these slip ups I will make my journey that bit longer. I will have a chat with LLC about this on Wednesday, and see what she has to say.


Taking it Day by Day
Utterly Confused Am I...

Well, while I wouldn't want to say that the last few days have been a complete disaster, they were far from picture perfect, and have left me with a lot to think about.

I wonder whether I am just ready for management, or whether I am just looking for the quick way out. I craved and had some food every day for the last 4 days, but I definitely wouldn't call it bingeing. I probably each day had about 300 – 500 kcal worth of food, mainly protein and salads. I still haven't got a problem staying away from all my old trigger foods like crisps, bread and crackers. Once I have eaten above mentioned I have no problem for the rest of the day, so I am definitely not bingeing but something inside me just stops me from managing a whole day without the extra calories.

I don't want to feel guilty about eating, I just don't want to go down that route again. But I also would like to lose a little bit more weight. I think I just don't know where my "happy place" is yet. I am now a size 14 ( ½ ). When I started this journey I always said to my husband that I want to be a size 16. Now that might have partly been my goal as I probably didn't believe that I could get lower than that. During foundation I changed that goal to being a size 12, which at present would mean that I would have to lose another stone and a bit. The idea of aiming for a healthy BMI (i.e. below 25) has gone out of the window for the time being and I would really like to mainly focus on dress size. The BMI is only a general indication anyway, as it depends also on how much muscle mass you have. My fat percentage is about 35% at the moment, and I think I would like to get that below 30%, which basically means more exercise to achieve that. My GP said that anything below a BMI of 30 is fine, especially bearing in mind where I came from (BMI of 41).

I really will need to have a long chat with my LLC tonight as I am all thought out and don't know whether I should keep on struggling with development and the risk of evoking all my bad habits of secret eating and feeling guilty, or whether an "open" approach, i.e. one meal a day, or even RtM would be an option for me.

Sorry if the above doesn't make much sense but I suppose I don't make much sense to myself at the moment….


Taking it Day by Day
What a Difference a Day Makes...

I can’t believe I am the same person as I was two days ago. I am actually feeling really positive at the moment, despite having come down with a nasty tummy bug and feeling rather drained. I managed to do a whole day of ss-ing yesterday (Thanks to Sez and her 7 days challenge thread, it really spurred me on) and despite my struggles over the last week managed to lose 3 lbs, which makes 7 lbs in two weeks.

I had a real good chat with LLC as well last night about when/how to start management, about my goals (or the lack of them…). And we have decided to change our approach again, and to take it week by week from now on. Also she again asked about where I would like to be at the end of the LL journey and after some deliberation I said “I really would like to be a size 12”,so she said that that is what we’re aiming for now, forget focusing on the weight (as much as possible…). My BMI is in the 28’s now, so I think if I insisted she would have been happy for me to start management.

I am a proper size 14 now, so size 12 doesn’t seem so far away or impossible anymore.

I think I am going to lie down now before little one wakes up, as still feeling rather blah, and my tummy is making the weirdest of noises. If the recovery rate of my children is anything to go by I will be ok again by tomorrow.


Taking it Day by Day
I am having one of my philosophical moments….

Last night while I was lying in bed zonked out from whatever was living in my tummy and making me extremely uncomfortable (try to run to the loo every 10 minutes on a VLCD and you know there isn't much coming out so probably the body makes up for it with more cramps… sorry for being graphic) I had a lot of time to think about things.

It's so easy to reduce this whole weight loss journey to wanting to be a certain size/weight/BMI or whatever. But (at least for me) I realised it's about so much more than that. All my life I was trying to "disappear", to hide from the world, to blend into the background (guess you got the idea by now…), I didn't feel worthy to waste anyone's precious time, so I didn't. I didn't want to evoke anyone's attention in case the attention I got was negative (I had a lot of name calling going on when I was younger from people who hardly even knew me…). And although I probably always knew deep down that I am hiding behind my weight and use it as an excuse (and self-fulfilling prophesy) to feel like that, I just couldn't see the other side as I had never been there.

So here I am now, "almost normal" (size wise that is ;)) and my "shield" has just disappeared and has left me without any protection but also without any excuses not to take charge of my life. My confidence is all over the place, one day I feel like taking on the world and the next I am back into useless mode. I still find certain things very hard, like making phone calls (of all things), you would have thought that that would give me the safety of not being seen but I suppose my lack of confidence was so great that I always feared that people could hear in my voice that I am fat and as such unworthy to talk to (I need some therapy me thinks:silly:….)

BUT (and it's a big but) I can feel a change inside me. Its baby steps only really, and sometimes I try to run before I can walk and then fall straight over. One example I can give is this, for years I wanted to get a Christmas job in a shop to help with the finances around that time of year. Every October I would say again and again to DH (bless him, he always listened and encouraged me) that I SHOULD (anyone remember the "SHOULD" exercise in the early weeks of LL?) get myself a job for Christmas but of course I never did. I never even went as far as going into a shop and enquiring about it (the old feeling of being unworthy to even waste their time asking about it and the fear of them just "laughing" at me). Well, last Wednesday I went into M&S to buy myself a new pair of jeans and while at the till (I don't know where that came from) asked the lady whether they are recruiting for x-mas yet. She was very nice saying that they normally start recruiting around early October and also I could check on the website to find out about it.

I still find it hard to believe that I actually asked. To me this feels more important that to actually get a job. It's hard to put into words. When I started LL it was mainly about losing the weight as it started affecting my health, and yes I thought the counselling sounded attractive and can help me to reprogram my eating habits but oh boy, once the Pandora's box is opened there is just so much more to deal with. I am just now starting to understand that I can take charge of my life, that I have gifts and talents which are worth developing and which can be useful to myself and other people. I am learning that by putting myself out there I will at times get knocked over but then I will have to pick myself up again and carry on.

Funnily I now believe (I would have never said so before) that I am actually quite a perfectionist and unless I can do something really well or know it's going to be 100% I will not do it, which realistically means that I didn't do much at all because to be honest who can do everything 100%? So I am learning that it's ok to just try and do something and yes it might fail, and yes sometimes I will not chose to do it for a variety of reasons. Which also comes back to my eating. If I now expect to always be perfect in my food choices and just eat healthily (once I finished LL) I will set myself up for failure from the word go. So as with everything in life it will have to be a balance

How wrong was I when I thought that this LL business will be over in a couple of months, I now realise that the actual journey is just beginning but I think I am finally ready to deal with it.
I can so relate to you!

Julia do you know you make so much sense - I can relate to all you say. I find your honesty refreshing and really enjoy reading your posts.

If you read my thank you to Sun you will see I experienced an emotional rollercoater which I had not experienced before.

Please keep up your posts - I read them with great interest



Taking it Day by Day
Thanks Mini64
I am just trying to make sense of myself at the moment and find writing things down really helpful (now there's something new for someone who always tried to hide from the world...) but it's nice to know that some of it might help other people along the journey.

Thanks againxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Dear Julia

This is such a great thread and you're getting such great insights into yourself that will last WAY beyond LighterLife.

Development is a rocky road and it's so fantastic that you are doing all the head stuff too; that will really help when you are ready to go into Route to Management.

Wishing you much luck for the final push of Development.

Take care.

Mrs Lxxxxxxxx


Taking it Day by Day
Thanks for your kind words Mrs L, they are much appreciated.

I am actually lying low at the moment and was experiencing somewhat of a writer's block as again lots of things happened over the weekend which need reflecting on… I wish that after 3 straight days of abstaining before the weekend I could report that I had no problems and just sailed through the last 2 days, but of course life isn't like that…:sigh:

On the plus side (and the new me is always trying to look for that…) I have now finally acknowledged that it's the weekends that seem to cause me the most trouble and that that is something I need to learn strategies to cope with. It is so easy to say "well it's the weekend so I can let go a bit". Of course on LL that is not an option, so letting go regardless (especially after 3 very good and positive days) means that there are other triggers than just letting go or choosing not to that meant the difference between being able to abstain and not to being able to.

One big trigger over the weekends is of course having the family around me all day and as the three little ones are still young having to provide their every food need from dawn till bedtime, which I find increasingly more difficult to deal with as the weeks go on but which will solve itself once I am allowed to participate again (as long as I watch what I eat). Others, like eating because of stress and bad planning (in terms of mealtimes/snacks when out and about/shopping etc) and then just grabbing whatever is in sight for the family is something that I need to address immediately so that good habits are in place by the time I start management.

Not to sound too despondent and also to put it into context, I spent most of Friday evening and Saturday morning at a course at our church, with about 6 coffee breaks loaded with biscuits and chocolates and cakes, and I was very proud of myself that I didn't give into any of them while everyone else tucked in…, although I went as far as picking up a piece of chocolate but I managed to put it back again before I unwrapped it. I think by Saturday lunchtime all my strength of resisting was used up (why do they have to serve such amounts of sugar laden &*&* at any events these days:mad:????) and by the time I got home (combined with just feeling a bit low and anxious about who knows what, another trigger of mine) I just popped some cheese in my mouth while making the kids a sarnie and that was that… Once that first bit went in it's all too easy to find excuses for the second but anyhow… I at least managed to keep an eye on what and how much I sneaked so there was some form of control there, I just wished I could have stopped before the first bit went in.

Also I feel somewhat stuck in this "I am not allowed to eat, therefore I just sneak something quick" cycle. I actually would have preferred some salad or a piece of fruit to the cheese and seeds I sneaked but as not allowed to eat and also the fear of doing more damage with a piece of fruit than cheese I couldn't/wouldn't want to do that. Does any of this make sense???? I actually want to learn to eat a balanced, healthy diet rather than sneaking stuff I feel I can get away with. I somehow have to get back to the mindset of abstaining until its time for management.

I have picked myself up and today I am doing fine again. I really need to ask DH for his support over the next couple of weekends. Even though I have asked him in the past, somehow it's still me (apart from the porridge at breakfast) who does all the cooking. Whilst fine doing this once a day on weekdays, having to think about food all day on weekends is just a killer for me at the moment and it only takes a little bit of something else to push me over the edge. Somehow, although he acknowledges my request for help, I don't feel like he is taking it serious but maybe I haven't made myself clear enough yet:whip:;)

There are no big events/parties etc planned until my birthday on the 5th so that gives me about 11 days to focus on LL, again day by day it will have to be


Taking it Day by Day
Why are some days so easy and others so hard?? I managed just fine on Monday, no temptations whatsoever and then yesterday it was an all day battle and I gave in in the end. Not massively but enough to make me cross and to wonder why I wanted/needed to eat those extra calories. I think part of me is just getting weary and tired of the good old foodpacks, I want some more variety in my food!!!!! Now I know there are new flavours coming but I am not holding out much hope of getting them anytime soon as my LL still hasn't got the new vanilla flavour packs…

On the plus side I seem to be more and more able to put a stop to my eating rather than letting it spiral out of control. After my nibbles last night, I made my last foodpack, ate it and then wanting some more of something, anything, decided to give it 10 minutes and if I still really wanted something I can deal with it then, and it worked. The urge had disappeared after the 10 minutes, in fact I don't think I thought about more food at all until it was time to go to bed at which point I just told myself to just get up the stairs and brush my teeth…

I think last night it was definitely a combination of "tiredness-itis" and "boredom-itis" and a not too good atmosphere with other half, who just spent all evening working away at the computer which made me cross and which in turn made me want to eat. Old habits are indeed hard (but not impossible ;)) to break.

According to my unofficial weigh in this morning I should have lost a bit of weight at tonight's meeting, but my high hopes of a big one for this week have gone out of the window. TBH any loss will do at the moment but then again, I don't want to be forking out this amount of money forever, so I am a bit cross with myself.

Thinking positive though: I did manage another week on LL, lapses or no lapses, and have already decided to go for another week (this is in relation to my "deal" with LLC to take it week by week) and again I will try to abstain totally.


Taking it Day by Day

Hi Eileen, yes it always helps to know that other people are facing similar struggles. I would actually guess that most longer-term developers will struggle from time to time, at least from what I gather from my group. They might not always be willing to share the nature of their struggles (which is perfectly ok) but you can tell by the way people lose (or not) and how they feel about it. But the important bit is that we are still here and that we will get there even if it takes a bit longer. How are you getting on at the moment??

Hi Whatsnewpussycat, thanks for your interest. I have lost 3lbs tonight, and I am actually quite proud of it (weird as it may sound). I have fought really hard over the last week not to lose control (too much) over my lapses, I have managed 4 days of being abstinent and also have learned a lot about myself. That aside I might have lost more if I would have stayed 100% abstinent, and this is what I would still advise anyone to aim for, I don’t want to advertise getting away with cheating in any way, it would be a slippery slope.

Now for the hard bit of facing another week of LL and although I am determined to make it a week of full abstinence I can already hear my rebellious child inside me kicking and screaming and telling me to stop now…so it will have to be day-by-day again.

Oh, and another trigger for me, moaning kids refusing to eat the dinner I cooked for them (and of which I would love to just have a spoonful of…). It just drives me mad :badmood:. But even while on this diet I will not give in to at least on occasion daring to serve something that remotely resembles healthy eating, I will just have to get better at bracing (sp?) myself for the “fight”.


Taking it Day by Day
Ohhh, I am sooo cold, LL and cold weather don't seem to go together very well.

I've just realised if I manage to lose 4lbs this week I would still have lost 1 stone in the last 4 weeks!! Now its up to me to make it happen.

I am actually feeling hungry today but just focusing on getting through today and hopefully that feeling will have left me by tomorrow. So far had 2.5 litres of water, 1 pack, tea & coffee (to keep me warm). I think I will keep on posting throughout the day, as I really, really want to stay abstinent and I need to keep myself motivated.
I have a friend and her kids come round in the afternoon, so hopefully that will keep me distracted and the kids happy....

Waiting for the plumber to return with the new valves he has to fit in time for our new washing machine to arrive, and am not good at just waiting, really I would just like to snuggle up in bed for half an hour and get warm while little one is sleeping and definitely in the past I would have resorted to food to keep me occupied while waiting, maybe I will get a book out and read....
Hey Julia. Well done on your loss this week - you should be very proud of yourself. As you say - you're sticking with it and that in itself is a huge achievement.

For days when I'm feeling extra hungry I make some St Clements lollies - always handy to keep in the freezer. Also, have you tried the savoury drinks? Sometimes a savoury drink or two does the trick - especially if you're feeling cold (I've currently got my central heating set to 22 degrees and I've made myself a hot water bottle as well! what a lightweight!).


Taking it Day by Day
Oh yes, the savoury drinks, I couldn't have survived without them. I actually have the Mariegold stock, as the ingredients are virtually the same as the official savoury drink, just a lot cheaper. I just had a nice long HOT bath, so am definitely not cold anymore now, just very tired.

A quick update, I don't know how it happened but so far I have only had 2 1/2 packs:eek::eek: and about 4 litres of water. It's almost time for bed so I will have some nice thai chilli crisps and the rest of my banana shake pack (hot), mhhhh.

What a day though, I don't know how I got through without giving in. son came home from school with a huge Toblerone :drool: and for about 2 seconds I thought "so what, just gimme one...." but I remembered the commitment and the goal that is so close now, so somehow managed not to. I just managed each tempation as it came. so hopefully I can do that again tomorrow.

foodpacks here I come....
Excellent thread julia. I am mostly lurking at the moment because I find reading about people falling off the wagon is making me think its OK to fall off mine too and I am struggling a lot at the moment to keep any motivation going! However I am finding this thread very inspiring, you are just brilliant getting back to SSing like you have.

Keep it up and keep posting!

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