This is the very beginning of what will probably be a long work-in-progress.  I’ve called it a F.A.Q. but it may turn out t be a A.Q –the answer to any questions, whether frequently asked or not.

It was inspired by some people who had filled out the contact form on this website, but I had messed up my e-mail filing and never saw the questions (until yesterday–and it’s all fixed now).  They asked me some questions, and I think those questions are a good place to start.

List of FAQ Topics

Click a topic to see the FAQs that address that topic.

Anxiety

Dealing with the anxiety that produces, and is produced by, obesity

Depression

Am I depressed because I'm obese, or obese because I'm depressed? How do I untangle these?

Facebook Groups

A huge resource of online help and support.

Mind

Obesity is as much as condition of the mind as it is the body. The two are inextricably linked.

Physical Groups

The most powerful form of support, where we can learn the magic of face-to-face support.

Together We Can

A particular form of support, where we learn to give and receive support to one another.

Working Together

Some people can make the change by themselves. Others (like me) need help. Where can I find that help?

Complete List of FAQ Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

Complete List of FAQ Answers

How can I join a Live Free From Obesity group?

Some people seem to be able to do this whole “getting lean and fit” thing all by themselves, with no more help than you’d get from a book.

I’m not one of them, and, if you’ve asked this question then I guess that you aren’t, either!

We can join groups in several ways.  Firstly, and most easily, there are a lot of Facebook groups that provide help and assistance.  Here are three that I work with regularly with the ketogenic diet:

There is also a smaller, more private (closed) Facebook Group called Together We Can Weightloss.  Click that link, and ask to join, and send me a message using the contact form, telling me your real name and your Facebook name, and I will approve you becoming a member.

That group will have more personal questions and more emotional and psychological stuff (the mechanics of low-carb dieting are massively covered elsewhere).

Lastly, I will be running physical groups where we all get together under the same roof, in order to establish new friendships, new support networks, new habits, and new lifestyles.

Let me know that you’re interested, and I’ll make sure that you know when that happens.

When these groups are running regularly, they will probably be quite expensive.  The first few will be much lower cost (basically just covering overheads) until the model is refined and we know how well it works.

I’m not only obese, but also depressed and anxious. Will this help?

The short answer is YES!

The long answer is that it’s not a silver bullet, and it won’t happen overnight.

These things are all inter-related.  If you’re obese, then it’s extremely likely that you will be depressed from time to time.  And if you know of the health dangers of being obese, then you’ll probably get anxious, too.  And, when you’re anxious and/or depressed, you’ll probably eat too much, or eat the wrong things, or both.

So we need to work on all these areas at the same time, as I said on the home page.

I believe that it’s really difficult to do this by myself, and that’s why I invented “Together We Can”.  Here’s a (very small) introduction.

If you want to begin this journey, here are some things that you can do.

  1. Join a group.  Introduce yourself.  Read what others are saying (you’ll discover that you are not alone!)
  2. Start some gentle exercise (see this link on my Walking For Happiness website)
  3. Begin, gently to change what you eat: reduce the amount of sugars and starches, a little, and drink more water.
  4. Watch out for the brain-training post (it’s on my list of things to do)

How does this programme work?

This is going to be different for everyone.  I know how I’d like it to work for everyone: I have been working on it now, one way and another, for over 30 years.  I know how I’d like it to work for me (I haven’t achieved everything I want yet, either!)

But I have long-since learned that we’re all different: we will all need different things.

So here’s my vision.  I have learned a huge amount of stuff.  That’s:

  1. Nutrition stuff,
  2. Exercise stuff
  3. Mind and Emotions stuff
  4. Brain stuff
  5. Relationship stuff
  6. Supporting one another stuff
  7. etc

My aim is to provide people with some way of learning whatever stuff they need, and learning how to support one another in a “peer and reciprocal” way.

What does that mean? Well, in a nutshell:

  • If backside kicking is what is needed to get us, say, to get up and go for a walk, then I’ll kick your backside if you’ll kick mine.
  • If a hug is what is needed in order to provide the comfort that we’d otherwise seek in the fridge, then I’ll give you a hug if you’ll give me a hug.
  • And if no-one ever listened to you, and you just need to get stuff off your chest, then I’ll listen to you if you’ll listen to me.  (read “The Art of Listening“.)

People are different.  Live Free From Obesity’s mission is to help:

  1. People who need to get together in the same room, develop strong relationships, and provide amazing support to one another in order to change their whole lifestyles.
  2. People who just need chapter and verse on what to do to change their nutrition and exercise.
  3. People who just need a diet sheet.

(I was all three: I now have 2 and 3, but I still need 1!)

What does it cost?

At the moment (August 2013) it costs nothing.

I am currently writing two books, and they don’t have a price yet, but if you “join” me now, you will be a “beta tester” of those books.

I am developing an online course, that will teach all about nutrition, and how to cook the various foods.  I don’t have a price for that, either, but for a sample of things that you can cook, check out:

(I’d love it if you’d read/watch both of those, try out the recipes, and tell me what you think.)

And, of course, I’m developing the course where we all get together and learn to support one another.  The first one of those that runs will be free (except for accommodation costs).  The sooner you express interest, and commitment, the sooner your name will be on the “free” list for that course.

Or you can wait a couple of years, and but the books from Amazon, the course off of the internet, and pay full price for the residential course.  You chose!

Is it nationwide?

It’s world wide.

Well, the books and the internet course, the website, the Facebook page and the Facebook support groups are all worldwide (at the moment, that’s limited to the English-speaking world).

I will go to wherever there are enough people to make a viable physical group, who are willing to cover my and their costs.

In the summer (roughly April to November) I live in the south of England, and my car is cheap to run!

In the winter (December to March) I live in central Florida (near Orlando) and the same applies: you can come to me, or you can cover my expenses to come to you.

If you want me to travel further afield, I am happy to do that, just as long as my expenses are covered.

By the end of 2014 I will be charging for my time, as well as my expenses.

Are there groups to attend?

What sweeteners can I use?

This question comes up over and over again, for people on low-carb, primal, paleo, ketogenic regimes.

The short answer is stevia and luo han guo.  That’s it.

If you want the longer answer, check out “On Sweeteners“.

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