February 13, 2007

I’m really only posting tonight for the sake of reminding myself I have this blog and that I intend to keep it up.

I’ve had what feels like the longest day in history, woken at 6.30am, up at 7am, out by 8am, 40 minutes early for work, a hellish journey back from work which meant we didn’t get home until past 6pm. I’ve had terrible stomach ache today too, I’m not entirely sure what’s up, but it feels like a cross between trapped wind, constipation, diarrhoea, and the feeling that my womb is about to drop out. As a result, I’m not even sure if I’ve been hungry today. I didn’t feel like eating at work, so I stuck to coffee and water, and more for the sake of having eaten something rather than anything else, I made a chicken and bacon salad for tea.

Atkins is going OK, providing it isn’t MEAT OVERLOAD that’s giving me a gippy stomach. I have emailed my Lighterlife counsellor tonight to tell her I won’t be continuing, and am still awaiting a reply from the counsellor I emailed on the weekend. Should I not hear from her by Wednesday, I will give her a call on Thursday.

Tonight will be a very early night, I’m shattered. I’d like to go to bed now, but to go before 10pm, for me, would mean waking up at daft ‘o clock in the morning. I’m hoping that having gone easy on the meat, having only 2 coffees, and nothing else but water today, will mean that I feel better tomorrow. Although tomorrow is Valentines day. Bleh. I don’t really subscribe to the whole thing, I haven’t bought my boyfriend a card or anything, but when everyone around you is constantly talking about the lovely evenings they are spending with their other halves, and how wonderful it is to be with them, it just drives it home how very far away he is, and how very very lovely it would be after a day like this, to have him here next to me on the sofa.

Thursday I will be taking Ella over to mum’s to ride her bicycle, and to be able to sit and enjoy a coffee and a cigarette with someone. Thursday evening I have a friend coming over, we’ll be making icing kittens to stand atop a birthday cake for another good friend. My boyfriend will also be over on Thursday night, but his train doesn’t arrive until just before midnight, and so I will probably be fast asleep by the time he gets here.

Friday I look forward to very much. Despite my hideous lack of money, we are going to the National Railway Museum, taking Ella to see Thomas The Tank Engine. She’s already excited about it, and asking to see him every day. As she is so small, and can’t really grasp time very well yet, I can only tell her that we aren’t going to see Thomas until mummy’s boyfriend is here. It should be great fun, and worth the money I think. I’m not sure who will enjoy it the most, Ella or Lewis.

Saturday once Ella has gone to her dads, we haven’t anything planned until the evening. I’ve bought us tickets to see Hot Fuzz at the cinema on an early evening showing. When we get back I suspect we may partake of some dinner, which I reckon HE can cook, and quite possibly a few drinks. We might try to make up for the boringness of our anniversary celebration! Having read up, I know that vodka has zero carbs, as does Coke Zero, therefore I think I can allow myself something. We were possibly going for a night out in West Yorkshire for a friend’s birthday (the friend the cake is for), but I can’t afford the petrol, and I don’t trust myself to drink when I will be surrounded by all manner of food I shouldn’t have. Alcohol really weakens my resolve and I’d rather not put myself in that position. At least having a drink at home doesn’t pose a problem, as all that’s in the house is what I can have.

I have ordered some low carb goodies from an online store, and am awaiting delivery of some zero carb marshmallows which I shall take to the cinema with me, some low carb tortilla wraps, a bottle of low carb sweet and sour sauce, some weird gelatinous zero carb noodle things (I am hoping to make some sort of stir fry with them, some chicken, some broccoli, & a bit of the sweet & sour sauce. God knows what they will be like though.) , and some cheesy snack things. There are some wonderful things available, all manner of zero carb sweets, low carb chocolates, low carb cake mixes, but I can’t afford any of them really. I shouldn’t even have indulged in what I’ve already ordered, but I do think it’s important to have some variety doing Atkins, it helps you stick to it.

Weight wise, I have no idea what is happening. My scales read drastically different at all times of the day on different days of the week. They’re so unreliable, I might just get rid of them. I will weigh myself on mum’s scales on Thursday to see what they say, they are usually accurate. I weighed 16st 8lbs on hers before I started Lighterlife, and last week when I was on them they said 15st 9lbs. I can’t imagine a reason why I wouldn’t be lighter than that by Thursday, but I have no idea by how much, so we’ll see. Fingers crossed. Again.


Day Thirteen.

February 10, 2007

Weigh in, about 3.5lbs (she tells us in kilos, so I get confused about the amount in lbs) off this week, plus another cm off my waist.  Good stuff.

I have pretty much decided that this isn’t going to work for me this time.  The class today was quite good, we learnt about ego states, and the effect they have on us.  It all makes sense, especially when you think about things from your childhood that still affect your behaviour now.  The trouble is, I KNOW these things.  I am aware that having such strong boundaries with eating when I was a child, probably sends me into a ‘child ego state’ now, and I think bugger it, I’ll eat what I like because I can.  It’s all subconscious though, and therefore very difficult to control.

I was quite infuriated while watching the weekly DVD today.  They were interviewing a lady who had lost something like 10 stone with Lighterlife.  She looked great, and had obviously done very well.  She was asked how she felt now being slim, to which she replied very evangelically, that it was fantastic.  I’m sure it is.  They then showed a picture of her X stone heavier when she started Lighterlife, and asked how do you feel looking at that?  She shuddered, and said she was ashamed at how she looked then, and is ashamed looking at herself like that.  I think this is utterly the wrong thing to let people hear, and encourages us to feel ashamed for how we look now.

I know that we all WANT to be thinner and look better, but to reinforce the feelings we have of not being worthy because we’re fat now, by showing a lady openly saying she was ashamed of herself, and thin people sitting in front of her nodding in agreement, is horrible.   It’s very contradictory to see that in the video, and then be asked about times people have made you feel bad because of your weight, and for the counsellor to then tell you to wipe those thoughts from your mind because you count, and you don’t need to feel bad about the person you are.

I was also concerned for one of the ladies who I go with.  3 of us car share, and today one of the ladies admitted that she’d eaten 3 pringles.  On the way home she was saying how relieved she was that she was still in ketosis and still lost weight even after having them.  She said she felt so disgusted with herself that she as spitting them out, and spent ages afterwards worrying and feeling guilty and disappointed with herself.  For 3 pringles.  For someone who has only moderately overeaten through occassional greed, and is not THAT overweight anyway, to suddenly be so terribly horrified by having put something so small in her mouth, and to feel so badly about it for so long afterwards – these are symptoms of eating disorders, and I really feel that whether intentional or not, this course actually encourages this behaviour in people who haven’t suffered with it before.

I understand that if you want to keep on top of your weight when you have lost it, that you will have to be vigilant, and make effort probably every day to recognise your feelings and keep control of them, but to actually instill in someone this sort of level of attention to something is akin to obsession, and therefore really not healthy.

The counsellor asked how many of us saw food as a treat, and most people did.  I think most people do.  Not all food, but lots of it.  Apparently it’s just something that has continued from childhood when we had sweets or crisps or ice cream as a treat.  I too see food as a treat.  I also understood when the counsellor told us that we should try replacing food with something else as a treat.  I may be trying to make excuses for myself here, but really, what else is there?

As a single mother, come 7.30pm my daughter is in bed, I am alone.  My boyfriend is 200 miles away in London.  I cannot leave the house.  I have neither the money, nor the opportunity (there are not many people who can look after my daughter for me) for treats like a spa treatment, a trip to the cinema, an evening in the pub, or even just to pop out and spend the evening with a friend.  I get very lonely and feel very isolated, and I also feel very trapped.  I know that food is not an answer, but it is the only thing that I can have that I enjoy at these times.

Since beginning Lighterlife again, I have been going to bed very early to help get over this time.  I will try so very hard to stick to this, but it only works if I am tired enough.  Also having identified that I seem to eat the most between 8-10pm, I can be conscious of this.  I may try reducing the hour at which I allow myself to stop eating, in gradual amounts.  Writing this blog has certainly helped, as once I start writing, I seem to be able to go for a while (sorry about that), and that keeps me occupied.

I did initially think that doing Atkins, I would keep tabs on my calories as well as my carbs, but now I think I will just focus on making sure I have the carbs I am meant to, and try to be conscious of when I am hungry, and when I am full.  We’ll see how it goes, but after all the consideration I have given things recently, I don’t think obsessing about calories and denying myself something when I really want it, just because I’ve run out of calories, is a wise move.

I have eaten this past week, albeit not much, and still lost what I lost, and am still clearly in ketosis.  I would expect to stay in ketosis, and eating every day, still be able to lose a couple of lbs a week.  I may still keep a food diary, not to count calories, but rather to be able to be able to identify any patterns that might emerge with what and when and how I eat.  I am so very determined to get on top of this, and will be getting in touch with the therapist I have found that I will hopefully be able to have one to one sessions with soon.

Day Nine.

February 6, 2007

I’m not sure, but this feels a bit like a sign –

OK, I’m not aiming for a size zero, but everything that woman says rings true. I was confident enough before I knew I was starting LL, and almost as soon as I had a start date, I started to feel very conscious of myself, even to the point of being a little bit put off being ‘intimate’ with my boyfriend, which I have never ever been.

I also felt disappointed with my weight loss last week. 8lbs in a week really is stunningly good, but last time I did it I lost 1st 1lb in my first week, so 8lb seemed shit. This is not the right way to think. I weighed myself before starting LL, to find out I had gained 6lbs in the two weeks leading up to it. Instead of being horrified, because really, 6 lbs in 2 weeks is disgusting, I was very pleased it wasn’t more, and dwelled on the thought no more. My thinking is apparently all backwards.

I still don’t know whether I will stop doing LL, but everything I keep thinking and hearing and reading is pointing me more towards giving it up. If I do, I think the idea will be to stay in ketosis and do Atkins to continue losing weight (at whatever rate my body decides), and to do some proper research into therapists/psychiatrists in the area. Perhaps I can get better results seeing someone on a one to one basis. I will probably decide on the weekend. I am still going to make it to my next meeting, and see if anything changes for me, and then I am going to visit a good friend on Sunday, who has a very sensible head on her, and talk it through before I try to make a decision. In the mean time, I’m going to mostly be drinking water, weeing, and cuddling the hot water bottle my delicious boyfriend bought me for our anniversary.

Day Seven.

February 4, 2007

First weigh in yesterday afternoon, and I lost 3.7 kilos, which is just over 8lb.  I still don’t know what my weight is, or was, according to the counsellor’s scales.  I was a little disappointed, as I weighed myself on my mum’s scales before I started and they read 16st 8lbs, and when I weighed myself on them again on Thursday (and also today) they said 15st 9lbs.  They have always been accurate before (and in line with the scales of whoever else is weighing me at the time), so I am trusting them.  My own scales said I had gone from 230lbs to 218lbs, so I’m fairly sure I’ve lost more than 8.  It’s perhaps down to the fact it is my time of the month.  Either way, I’ve had a good loss, and when I was measured, I’ve lost 3cm from my bust, and 3cm from my waist which is great.

Spent most of the weekend feeling a bit down about things.  The class yesterday was not at all inspiring, in fact everything the counsellor said made me think probably the opposite to what she intended me to.  She was talking about making SMART goals for weight loss and for life, and to illustrate her point she told us about tetraplegics she had worked with, who had before been healthy.  Her point was that you never know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t waste time.  All that made me think was why the fuck am I wasting 2 hours of my Saturday here, and the next three months of my life not eating, drinking, or socialising?

The class so far seems very geared towards weight loss, which I know is the main point, but the reason I am doing Lighterlife rather than any other sort of diet is because I have serious eating problems which I desperately want to overcome.  The CBT I’m sure will kick in more in the next few weeks when we start examining things like ‘crooked thinking’.  Although I’m not sure I can remember what that even means at the moment.  I am just so worried about various things, and beginning to wonder whether I can see this through.

My main worry is my daughter.  I am a single mother, and although she will be having lunch at nursery 3 times a week, all her breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 evening meals will be at home.  It is very difficult, not only to cook a tiny amount for a 3 year old, but also to sit her down and ask her to eat her tea nicely, when mummy isn’t eating a fucking thing.  My daughter is obviously my main priority, and as such I am so very desperate that she does not develop a problem with eating.  Whether my not eating for such a long time would have any impact on her at this age I don’t know, but it’s certainly a little bit hard to ask her to eat things, because she can, quite rightly, turn around and say “well you’re not” .

I also worry about social stuff.  I know 3 months out of an entire adult lifetime is hardly anything, but I am in a position at the moment where I am about to start a new job.  It would be a shame to miss staff nights out, or opportunities to go for lunch with collegues who may be prospective friends, because I am not eating.  I know that I can still go to these things if I want, and just drink water.  I know that I can explain my diet, or make excuses as to why I am not eating.  However, I do not like going to pubs or restaurants and not drinking and eating, it’s just not easy for me, and something that is likely to throw me violently off the wagon very quickly.

I had a terrible morning on Friday.  I felt very low (a lot to do with time of the month probably, and also just a general underlying sense of bleh I’ve had for a while now), and got quite upset thinking about the weekend.  My boyfriend was coming up from London on Friday evening, and staying until Monday evening.  1 year anniversary.  I should have been looking forward to it, but all I could think was ‘what the hell have I got to offer him?’.  I was going to be out of the house from 12 until 3pm at my Lighterlife meeting, too tired to go anywhere or do much.  No eating or drinking, early nights, and then out to work on Monday.  Of course the reason he came was to see me, even in my irrational misery on Friday morning I knew this, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

I was very seriously considering eating on Saturday night, because I really just wanted us to enjoy something together.  I managed to get through it but I think it was a very unentertaining night for him.  We watched telly, I spent a bit of time on minimins, & we played some cards.  I’m sort of glad I came through it without eating, but I certainly don’t feel any sort of huge pride in having done so, and it hasn’t enthused me any more for the diet.

Another reason I am doubting the course, is that my faith in Lighterlife isn’t what it was.  I already mentioned the Coke Zero thing, and I think I mentioned the amount of carbohydrates needed to stay in ketosis.  Well I’ve looked at the nutritional information for the foodpacks, and 4 a day total about 40g net carbs, which is 20g more in a day than I ever had when I was doing Atkins.  I am in ketosis though, unless the counsellor has magical lying ketosticks, so perhaps 40g a day is fine.  The only other thing that bugs the life out of me (apart from the horrific price), is that they tell you to avoid avoid avoid citric acid.  You are not allowed chewing gum, soft drinks, lemon in your tea, anything with an ounce of citric acid, and this is because it may affect ketosis.  Eating one of the bars yesterday, I happened to look at the nutritional information and the ingredients, and ZOMGLOL it’s got fucking citric acid in it.  *shrugs*

So, I haven’t given up, I’m still on the diet.  I try not to make important decisions when I may be slightly overemotional, or just not in the right frame of mind.  I do still want to lose the weight, this is important to me, and so I will continue on the course until I am sure one way or the other, which route is the best for me.

Day Four.

January 31, 2007

Oh.  My.  God.  I.  Want.  To.  Eat.

I have had a hellish day in terms of wanting to eat.  So far I haven’t, and I think now I am over the worst, but it has taken so SO much to stop myself.  I know I’m in ketosis by now, as I’m fucking freezing all the time, which is a side effect.  Unfortunately though, I don’t seem to benefit from the loss of hunger feelings you are meant to experience when in ketosis, which makes things very hard.

I have mostly been putting off eating by reading threads on minimins, only because it can be distracting.  Some of the threads are vaguely helpful, people encouraging each other, success stories, words of wisdom etc.  However, a lot of threads are about people falling off the wagon, and there is even a whole section for ‘restarters’ which doesn’t fill me with confidence.  There’s even a thread asking how many people who have restarted VLCDs have actually seen them through to completion after previously failing, and there seemed to be only 2.  I know that the success or failure of a bunch of internet strangers does not directly affect how well I cope with this, but it is hard to trust something entirely when you see so many failing.  It’s a bit like getting on a rollercoaster after watching 3 people fall off it.

The first time I did LL, I had sod all idea about it really.  I went to the classes, I bought my foodpacks, I took what my counsellor said as gospel, and stuck to it 100%, and it was so easy, the whole 9 weeks.  Since coming off it and doing Atkins, and researching various things, it is SO hard for me to stick to, because I know more than I should.  Ketosis is a result of having a very very low carbohydrate intake.  LL foodpacks are very low carb, and this is what puts you into ketosis (which allows you to lose weight quickly), not the low calorie intake.  To be in ketosis and losing weight at the same rate when doing Atkins,  you have to restrict your net carb intake to about 20g a day (net carbs is the carbs (g) minus the fibre (g) in the product).  Things like meat & poultry contain pretty much no carbs (unless you buy processed shite), and dairy very little.  This is why Atkins works, despite the fact that people eat large amounts of fatty foods.  When I did it, I existed mostly on chicken and bacon salads, low carb chocolate, bacon and eggs, german salami, and full cream in coffee.

I’m not sure how much carbohydrate there is in the LL foodpacks, I can’t find the nutritional values on the internet anywhere, and they aren’t printed on the packs.  I know you can get the nutritional values on a sheet, I had them last time, but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were.  Still, regardless of how much carboydrate is in the packs, the point is that you could add more protein to the diet without coming out of ketosis.  As the foodpacks total about 500 calories a day, and most ‘normal’ diets recommend reducing your daily intake from 2000 to 1500 calories in order to lose weight, just nibbling a chicken breast, or a piece of ham, or some bacon, would really not much affect your weight loss.

It is knowing this that makes it harder to stick to.  Plus the fact I am more cynical now than the first time I did the diet.  When I started it was £44 a week.  The company was set up by a couple of people who were desperate to lose weight quickly, conquer their food issues while doing it, and live happily ever after.  Apparently once they did this, setting up LL was merely because they wanted to share this wonderful diet with other desperate people.  Since the cost went up to £66 a week, I have lost the faith that this is a company that really want to help people, they are just grabbing as much money from desperate fatties as possible.

Another thing that would seem to confirm this point is the restrictions placed upon you during the diet.  You are allowed foodpacks, black tea or coffee, water, tablet sweetners, and that’s your lot the whole time.  However, should you find water boring, LL have 2 water flavourings you can use.  They cost £9 a tub.  They also have savoury drinks which cost about £8 for 7 sachets or something.  It’s basically boullion.

We are told not to drink soft drinks because the citric acid in them MAY knock us out of ketosis.  Last year when Coke Zero came out, I happened to read the ingredients and nutritional information.  Obviously it’s pretty much calorie free, as are most sugar free soft drinks.  It is also carbohydrate free, and indeed citric acid free.  So, I emailed LL head office to say I had found that Coke Zero had no carbs and no citric acid, and was it OK therefore, to drink it.  The replied with a no, as it MAY knock you out of ketosis.  I replied to them asking what it was that the Coke Zero contained that would affect the ketosis, and they hilariously replied with ‘we don’t know, it might be the citric acid’.

I am therefore convinced that the main reason you are told not to have soft drinks is because then you will buy more of their water flavourings.  With up to 12 people in one group alone, buying a tub at £9 each, every other week, that’s a nice extra profit on top of everything else they already get.  I find it quite horrible really that desperation is so badly exploited in this way.  It also makes doing the diet very hard.  I would like to stick to it completely, but knowing everything that I know, I have been allowing myself a dash of milk in my coffee, as the carbohydrates and calories are negligible (unless I start drinking 15 cups a day), and I have a bottle of Coke Zero in my car boot.  I haven’t touched it yet, as I haven’t fancied it, but if I do, I will have it.  Perhaps this is a mistake, I don’t know yet.

If any people on LL are reading this, I certainly would not encourage you to tinker with the diet.  It is most likely easier to get through your 100 days if you just do as you are told.  I am just very cynical, and spend too much time looking up things on the internet.  I know too much for my own good.

I may now have one more glass of water and a ciggie before bed.  A better day tomorrow, I hope.