Monday, 8 March 2010

DIARY: How I Did It... LighterLife

This is me:
18 months ago, I looked like this:

It makes me really sad and embarrassed to think that I looked like that for so long. I know I should be proud of what I've achieved but that's far easier said than done. I'm now attempting to shift another 21lbs, to reach 9stone before my summer holiday, but this raises the issue - will I ever be happy with how I look?

I'm sure you'd all like to know my 'secret' as to how I managed to shift 29.1% of my body weight ;). It wasn't without difficulty, believe me! Like a lot of people I've always had an issue with my weight, the main issue being i weighed far too much for most of my life and three years at university added the extra tyre to my already over adequate collection. December 08 was, I suppose, the turning point in my long lasting weight battle. My auntie Kathryn came through for Christmas looking gorgeous - she'd been on the LighterLife diet and shed over four stone in 14 weeks. That was it, I needed to get me some of that!

For those of you who aren't clued up on the LighterLife programme, its a very low calorie diet (yes, believe it or not that is a medical term!) lasting a minimum of 14 weeks, during which you completely abstain from conventional food and rely on four food packs a day totalling around 500 calories (a quarter of a woman's recommended allowance). This probably seems absurd to most people, 500 calories a day is extreme dieting and is not to be taken lightly; even my own GP refused to give me permission to begin the programme and I had to travel 40 miles to a private GP surgery to get a medical check and get given the go head. To that Doc i am eternally grateful!

I abstained from food for 19 weeks and lost a total of 60lbs, along with quite a lot of my hair, taking me from 14st 10lbs to 10st 6lbs.

Many people don't advocate such extreme dieting but for me it was the only choice. I have a real issue with food and I still can't quite control my own appetite. For me, limiting my intake of food conventionally is virtually impossible, I have tendencies to binge and I have a real love/hate relationship with chocolate/cake/anything edible. By opting for such an extreme diet the temptation of food was completely removed and allowed me to focus on the issues surrounding my reason for over eating, something which LighterLife emphasise through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (will post about this technique soon!).

As with any diet, there are negatives. Lighterlife seems like a quick fix solution but it is not without its side effects. As I mentioned, I lost a lot of my hair - I was gutted! I loved my hair. Looking back, it was only a small price to pay as I've managed to keep the weight off for 9 months and my hair did eventually grow back - I'll be explaining the reasons for the hair loss in another post and even be reviewing some products which aided my hair regrowth (thank god for science!) Another side effect to the diet was low blood pressure. I suffered terribly with postural hypotention (the posh term for going dizzy when you stand up!). I don't really know why this happened but I knew it was time to stop at this point! As with some other diets I suffered a lot with digestive discomfort, more often than not I ended up going to the toilet just once a fortnight! Probably the worst affected area was my social life but I'll save that for a whole other post.

Despite the negatives of the diet plus the hefty £70 per week cost I would certainly recommend LighterLife to anyone serious about losing weight. It wont be easy but believe me it's so worth it! I never thought I'd be any smaller than a size 16 (I'm now a size 10!)

Remember I'm always here to answer any questions you have about LighterLife or any other subjects I post about (or don't!). Just drop me a line at

much love, Lady Gluttony x