Having been a yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life (and an overweight teenager), when I hit my 60’s I decided to try and lose weight once and for all. My parents both became type 2 diabetics in their older age and regularly overconsumed sweet foods. Eventually my mother became increasingly infirm, susceptible to falls, and rarely able to leave her home.
Realising this may also happen to me I knew I needed to lose weight soon and permanently. Our family had enjoyed sailing for many years and so unless I lost weight I would be unable to continue to enjoy our hobby. So, it really felt like I was in the Last Chance Saloon to lose weight successfully.
Why did I choose LighterLife?
Over the years I had tried medication and multiple diet plans. While I did experience some short-lived successes, I learned nothing about the way I thought about food, my body, or my health. I was introduced to LighterLife during the Summer of 2021 by a friend whom I had not seen for 40 years. Having lost contact we had found each other on Facebook and had a wonderful meet up on the Isle of Wight, both sailing there in our boats (an unknown shared passion).
I was so determined to win this battle with myself that I honestly can’t remember much about my first week on TotalFast, apart from how quickly I lost the pounds and that my energy levels went up! The fact that I could forget about food and give my body a break whilst I lost the weight and learned more about myself was a refreshing change, and it allowed me the space to focus on my success.
Following the plan
I started TotalFast in October 2021 with a 12-week subscription, making sure I contacted a Mentor. With her support, and the help of the weekly online CBT Mindfulness Zoom sessions, I found I was on a roll! I lost 5st 7lbs which I’ve been maintaining since May 2022. I’m now a size 12/14, depending upon the make of garment and can buy online knowing exactly my measurements and what will fit me.
My Mentor, Tracey Rawson, is the most fabulous person. I’m now able to think about eating in a new way and have a completely different relationship with my food. Having been on the Management plan for more than 18 months, I would encourage anyone to maintain contact with their Mentor too as I‘ve honestly not stopped learning about myself. My husband has been incredibly supportive. He’s always been slim, and I was always overweight but now we look even better together.
Mindfulness and Mentor Support
The Mindfulness “Hot Topics” are really helpful. Some weeks they resonate with me more than others, but they all take place in a safe place so it’s easy to join in or just listen. There’s no pressure to do either. Nobody’s weight is discussed, and neither are food types.
My Mentor asked me to keep a photographic record of my weight loss and my measurements, which was so helpful as some weeks I lost inches rather than pounds. The LighterLife Facebook Community Group and my Mentor’s private WhatsApp group are also extremely useful, and it’s encouraging to see the success stories of others.
What can I do now that I couldn’t before losing weight?
So much has changed! I can move around our boat much more safely and can go for a walk, something I actively avoided previously. I have a hearing loss but am so much more confident now that I am not overweight. I suffer with lower back pain but this has eased a lot since losing the weight and after being treated for asthma for many years I now rarely need to take any medication. Being out of breath is long gone for me.
My body shape has changed too and I love that I can sit in a restaurant chair with my handbag alongside me rather than having to put it on the floor.
Best of all, I was able to wear a size 12 dress to my doctoral graduation ceremony in the summer of 2022. I was awarded my certificate in January 2020 but because of Covid this was delayed. If I had graduated that year my dress size would have been size 22!
My new Lighter Life
As I lost weight I sold, altered or donated my larger clothes to make sure I could never go back to my old self. This meant literally every item of clothing had to be replaced except for my socks! There’s not one item of clothing in my wardrobe that I cannot wear – and it is full, I can tell you! The feeling of being able to choose anything on the spur of the moment is absolutely wonderful.
What have I learned?
That maintaining a healthy weight is a continuous process but that I can be kind to myself whilst doing it.
In practical terms, I maintain a good relationship with the weight scales and the measuring tape, and always wear a belt on my jeans. I have a planned diet but when I feel a few pounds going on I have the tools alter my plan in response, to help me keep the weight off long-term.
Janice’s Top Tip
Go for it! If you want to stop the yo-yo dieting and truly learn about your relationship with food, then LighterLife is for you. My ultimate tip would be to find a Mentor, attend the weekly CBT Mindfulness sessions, and do the Management programme. It will pay dividends and you will reap the benefits for years.