Month: December 2009

Everyone puts on weight during the Christmas period


A promise is a promise, here are some pieces of advice gleaned during my last session with doctor Zermati, three days away from Christmas and all kind of looming banquets.

Wait, I say “advice” but don’t expect readymade solutions or magic tricks to “celebrate without putting on weight” or even “lose three kilos before festive season”. You have understood, that’s not how I do things, even less doctor Z.

Nevertheless on Monday, when we were reviewing – after one month without any appointment, thanks to imponderables that made me cancel twice – my food way of life[1], I confided to Mr. Z. my apprehension of the year end, synonymous of gorging.

— How will I manage to stop when I’m not hungry anymore? At home, usually, it’s fine, I more or less manage, I leave the table when I feel I’ve had my fill and no one asks me questions. But in a more festive context, it seems impossible to me.

— Actually, it is impossible. No one respects his or her hunger during this kind of occasion. You, not more than anybody else, rest assured. You must be realistic, most of the time, during Christmas Eve, you are full at the end of the aperitif. No one is still hungry when the turkey comes, after eating foie gras, salmon and oysters. However, no one usually leaves the table before the end. And you don’t want to do this, you’ll end up not being invited anywhere!

— Yes but then it means I’ll put on weight?

— Absolutely. Like the majority of invitees. Everyone put on one or two kilo during this period.

— Except that I usually put on twice as much and, guess what, I have a tendency to make them bear fruit. If Stock Exchange were as sure as my year end weight gain, Lehmann Brothers would still be with us.

— Not this year you’ll see.

— Barring a jump in the space-time and skipping the next week, I don’t see how.

— How? Simply by trusting re-gu-la-tion. Namely the days after Christmas Eve, you’ll listen to your hunger and without even realising it you’ll eat less, to compensate the overflow. But pay attention, it won’t happen over one day like for babies who can skip dinner if their snack was too copious. The older you grow, the more time is needed for regulation. As a result, don’t weight yourself the day after Christmas, unless you’re masochist. Wait for one week and you’ll see, everything will be fine.

— So I eat what I want, I don’t feel guilty and I won’t even put on weight?

— Basically … yes.

— But still, don’t you have one or two tricks which could help me limit the damage, like a spoon of oil before the meal or an apple around 17h to get there without being hungry and thus avoid grabbing everything in front of me?

— Actually, it’s typically the kind of things you don’t want to do. When you’re about to eat your favorite dishes, it’s absurd to get there without being hungry, since, may I remind you, you don’t put on weight when you are hungry. So avoid having a snack just before.  Then, it could be useful to have an idea of the menu, so that you don’t gorge on foie gras when it’s actually just pre-dinner. The best is to make your hunger last as long as possible, it’s the principle of the sentence: “I’m keeping space for dessert”.

— So basically your two recommendations are: 1) Be hungry, 2) get insight on the menu in order to make your hunger last?

— You’re forgetting 3)

— Which is?

— Take pleasure and eat without guilt. Because you know what is gained today will be lost afterwards.

— Amen.

Well, Ok, this dialogue is slightly revised, but these three pieces of advice are authentic. And it’s buoyed by my loss of 8 kilos in three months and an half of zermating that I assure you one thing, it seems to be the good words. I add a 4) pay even more attention to taste during this festive season. Take time to enjoy the first bites, focus on flavors, try to compare two different smoked salmons, two foie gras or two oysters. Grasp the meal as a gustatory experience and not as orgy making you feel guilty.

Personally, I find the program rather…mouth watering.

Isn’t it?

With this, I wish you an amazing and tasteful festive season…

Edit: This session has been rich on several accounts, I will tell you in a future article, it’s now time for holidays…

Edit2: Yesterday we were talking about “Christmas” movies, “La Bûche[2]” is part of my classical list, not a master piece, but for sure a Christmas movie…

[1] TN: in English in the original text.

[2] TN: French movie from 1999 directed by Danièle Thompson. The ‘bûche’ is a traditional dessert in France during festive season.

What does being at ease with yourself means?


Living with it or being at ease with yourself.

These are the words that often come back when I mention my approach with doctor Zermati, here and there. “Why do you want to lose weight you always said you lived with it?”, “There’s dishonesty, you’ve claimed for years on your blog that you were living with it and here you are on a diet?”. “So curvy girls are not at ease with themselves, that’s it?”. “Are there happy fat girls who are at ease with themselves?”

More generally, it’s a term we can read everywhere, in more or less serious magazines: “live with your figure”, “how to embrace your curves”, and so on and so forth.

I can’t answer in the name of all overweight girls, only as far as I’m concerned.

Let’s be clear, yes I’m at ease with myself. Because according to me, being at ease with yourself means living your life, despite kilos, allowing yourself to be happy, not being ashamed, going to the beach, showing yourself half naked, making love, pampering yourself before going out.

Being at easy with yourself, it’s accepting yourself inside and outside. In other words, I claim the right to be fat without having to suffer teasing, snap judgments and cheap advices on cholesterol which will end up biting my head off. I yell loud and clear that Big Beauty and consort have as much legitimacy as Punky and her friends taking pictures of themselves and playing top model on the web.


It doesn’t mean I’d rather not be slim.

Neither does it mean I was living well with the kilos that had piled up lately, thanks to my pregnancy, baby blues, approaching 40s and a deviant food behavior.

Thus, this picking up of the issue.

I think we are dying, in this society, from wanting to stick people in categories. Proud curvy girls can’t become slim, math brains can’t feel like going to a history class, French people must feel exclusively French and be able to define themselves according to precise criteria during stupid debates, and so on.

If life was that simple, we’d know. You can, for years, sincerely think that you accommodate very well yourself to some physical or character traits. And then finally realize one morning that this weight you’ve been carrying is not only the fruit of your ill imagination. That luggage, you want to put it down and even empty it.

That’s what happened to me – and not only once, alas it’s not my first attempt – in September. That’s what took my hand and brought me to knock on Doctor Z.’s door.

Maybe this weight loss will be durable, maybe not, I’ve had too many relapses to have certainties today. What I know is no I won’t have to change this blog’s name since even with 10 kilos less I won’t enter the slim category. Even with 20 less, which is absolutely not the objective – as there’s no objective – I will never forget the curvy girl who lives in my body since I’m old enough to remember who I am.

That’s it, I don’t know if it’s clear. I haven’t felt attacked, I understand the questions I’ve read here and there and my kin’s reluctances. I thus try to answer with as much honesty as possible. Yes, if I were given a magic wand I would chose a size 10. But no, I don’t believe being slim is the key to happiness, just a facilitator in a society where appearance matters more and more. I wouldn’t be happy, I know it, if I kept putting on weight, because it’s more complicated in the everyday life, because it’s too demoralizing to know from the moment you wake up that you’ll make a ladder in your tights by dint of pulling it, to have to lie down to zip your jeans – which you’ll undo as soon as you’re seated -, to change your top three times before finding one that hides without looking like a bag and finally all this to hate the image you’ll see in the first mirror you’ll pass.

I sincerely believe the ones who say they are at peace with their body despite a huge BMI. It happens that it’s not my case. But no, I haven’t misled anyone, because it seems to me all this came to light from the first articles of this blog. And once and for all, you can be at ease with yourself while wishing to change…

Edit: I wanted to put the picture of the beautiful Spanish woman on the beach but I remembered it gave rise to arguments about image rights. Thus here is, once again, my cleavage, with which I’m at ease.

Striped jersey test


So what about those four days eating chocolate?


Nah, I’m kidding I loved it.

Might be that it was not really the objective, but I have to confess that around 11h, knowing that my slab of Milka was awaiting… wasn’t worrying me, if I might use a euphemism.

However, however, how-e-ver.

I’ve never finished the said slab. And not because I was holding myself back. Just because, after half of it, frankly, it was really losing its appeal. Especially knowing 1) I would  have some the next day, 2) two hours later, in case of munchies, I could have a light meal.

As a result, I had a small bread on the first day, a mandarin on the second and a slice of ham on the third as a snack.

There was no fourth one because it was on the same day as a business lunch and I feel not everybody is ready to receive the Zermatian message. In other words, I have a reputation for being an oddball at work, I prefer keeping my experiments for myself, there is such a thing as too much eccentricity in the eyes of my colleagues.

Thus, I slightly distorted the exercise in my opinion, but proof that I’ve had my fill of Milka, since then, no piece has fallen in my stomach and I haven’t missed it at all.

Ok, I slightly moved on to a competitive stomach bug.

But still. Let me remind you that in London there are Cadbury at every corner and I didn’t even think of bringing some back.

And on the scale, what the result?

Almost one kilo less, I would say roughly (I don’t have those scales that give you not only your weight in micrograms but also your body fat percentage, your thigh size and your star sign) 800 grams

Sign, thus, that you can slim down while eating chocolate. That is, as far as I am concerned, the best news from the past ten years. Next to it, discovering temperate lakes on Mars seems to me a vacuity.

In short, that’s it, I progress little by little on a totally new path for me and I admit taking a lot of pleasure in it. I’ve lost almost seven kilos, it means in concrete terms that I’m losing my pants a bit, that heels are less hard to bear during a whole day, that my bras don’t give me the impression anymore that I have breasts in the back too, that I wear a stripped jersey – JPG please – which was a gift ten year ago but was more like a brassiere lately and that I’m that close to zipping  a Comptoir Des Cotonniers pants bought without trying it on, on a pure madness day in 1998 more or less (a size 16 that was lost in the shop and I couldn’t leave it behind, too cruel, poor thing others kept making fun of it). What’s nice actually it that this brand always has the same collection each year, almost, so it is roughly identical to the ones you see in their windows today.

I don’t feel happier with 7 kilos less, I’m still in the 7 something, men are not falling for me in the street, mine looks at me with appetite but it was already the case two months ago. On the other hand, I feel better physically, my knee cracks less when I climb stairs and I’m less out of breath when I walk. In bed, it has changed as well, let’s say that the warning light that usually blinks when he reaches the zone between below my breast and my pubis – “stoooooop, don’t touch my belly” – is now mysteriously switched off. And this, this feels great.

Edit: I’m not putting this picture for you tell me I’ve slimmed down, it’s just that sometimes I don’t really know how to illustrate an article, the chocolate slab is now boring and I like this stripped jersey, it’s one of my test clothe, you see.

Edit2: I don’t mean to say that I don’t like being told I’ve slimmed down, like all women it fills me up with happiness inside.

Edit3: Actually, you say what you want, right.

Edit4: the picture was taken with timer, camera sitting on a shelf, it was dark outside. It thus has reasons for being as it is, spare it.