Zermati: my answers to your questions


For the past weeks, I’ve received several emails in which some of you ask me about my experience with doctor Zermati.

I confess I haven’t answered to everyone, I spend a lot of time on my computer and handle, for work purpose, a high number of emails. Thus, I’m falling behind.

So I told myself that rather than answering ten times the same thing – you in general ask about similar stuff – I will create a sort of FAQ here. I actually already posted one sometime ago, which you can read here. But inevitably I evolve, my feelings and my impressions too, so this article is probably not useless.

Here is, thus, a compilation of the messages I’ve received and the answers I can give.

– You never mention how much you’ve lost, how much you weight today, what’s your exact clothing size, in short, give us numbers please!

Indeed, I’ve never given numbers here. Why? Because doctor Zermati advised me against it, right from the first sessions. You can read the explanation here. I want to keep that position, because I’m obsessed enough with my weight and if I start revealing it here, as well as exactly how much I’ve lost, it will only intensify. If I put on weight again and you realize it, there will inevitably be people asking how much I’ve gained. Yet it’s this pressure that, in general, makes you put on what you’ve lost. And anyway, Zermati’s method is far from perpetual “-3 kilos in three months” and promise no numbered loss. Giving you the amount of gone kilos for me might mislead you, make you think that what has been possible for me is so for everyone, or, on the contrary, make you fear not to lose more. Each organism reacts in its own way. Some will slim down more than me, and some less. In short, I’ve lost, it’s indisputable, more than I hoped, less than what I could have dreamed of at a certain period of time. All I can tell you, is that my current weight suits me perfectly, I don’t wish to continue slimming down and I’m not trying to. And the fact is that actually my scale has been fluctuating plus or minus two kilos for months.

– Was it easy to slim down from the beginning? Because for me it doesn’t work like for you and I’m wondering if you didn’t hide stuffs from us.

No, I haven’t “hidden” anything, neither medicine intake, nor intensive sport, nor any kind of privations. No, it wasn’t easy, as any total questioning of your eating system and of the way you grasp the very fact of feeding is still complicated. But it’s true on the other hand that compared to various experiences of all kind of diets and specifically the mother fucker protein diet, my Zermati journey was a true walk in the park. No food weighting, no calories counting, no forbidding… paradise for a sweet tooth like me! It’s true that I’ve lost rapidly. Maybe because from the beginning I was in a state of mind of complete trust towards this doctor. I had decided not to listen to my doubts and to lower my guard. I followed the exercise instructions literally, eating a chocolate slab for lunch during four days, then cashew nuts for my evening meal or trying to follow some rules like doing nothing else while eating. Maybe I’ve lost quickly because this therapy came at the right moment, when I was particularly receptive, I don’t know, I couldn’t explain it better than that, but I haven’t hidden anything, I promise.

– Do you still practice mindfulness exercises, do you reach it better than at the beginning?

It’s clearly one of the most difficult aspects of that therapy for me. Because you must take time to do it, you must find moments when it’s possible. Especially as I have to admit experiencing some difficulty in reaching mindfulness the same way I practiced it in Zermati’s office, with him in front of me patiently guiding me. But lately, I try hard to use these moments of mindfulness, because of the post-holiday stress, long lonely moment of my free lance life sometimes threaten to take me back into compulsion agony. And it’s true that when I reach it, before eating or during the first bites, I focus on what I’m doing and the temptation of wolfing down at 200 per hour my meal tend to disappear. I add that I also used mindfulness before leading a colloquium in June, with the satisfaction of feeling my panic calming down.

-Do you succeed not to weight yourself, do you feel freed from your anxiety towards food and weight?

No, I don’t manage not to weight myself. I weight myself everyday and I know it’s against Zermati’s recommendations, for the good reason that this weight obsession create such a fear to gain weight again that, often, you eat to calm that fear. Vicious circle, you see. But it’s like that, for now at least, I’m unable to get rid of this bad habit. Maybe because when I was gaining a lot of weight, I wasn’t weighting myself, refusing to face reality. Thus to imagining that I can lower my guard and not put on my kilos again, for now, I just can’t. You might guess that the answer is also “no” to the second part of the question.

No, I’m not freed from my anxiety. How to get rid of an anxiety that is part of me since I’m old enough to check myself in a mirror? When I was young, I would go to sleep every night kneading my tummy and repeating this prayer: “Make me slim down”. Today, I implore Mother Nature and all her henchman not to make me gain again. I haven’t reached yet this wisdom consisting of telling yourself that even if you put on weight again, you are not a looser and life is worth it anyway.

That said, I’m nonetheless a lot more zen than I was before. I’m not watching myself all the time, I’m capable of feasting without feeling guilty, telling myself I’ll wait until I’m hungry to eat again and that it shouldn’t be end of the world. When I put on one or two kilos, I don’t feel worry sick all day long with the idea that I could be on a wrong slope again. Most of all, I very rarely feel like emptying my biscuits cupboard, like it was the case before. And when it gets me, I sit down with the food I want and enjoy it, slowly. In general, it’s enough to calm me down.

– Does it take time for the method to be compatible with family life?

No, not really. I quickly found a pace compatible with my family’s. But on the other hand, I generally leave the table before my children or the Churros. Because I’m not hungry anymore. I sit a bit further on an armchair and continue our discussion with them or go about my business. I have to admit I’ve found the moment I reach satiety but I’m still struggling with not eating unconsciously without being hungry.  That explains me going awy when I feel I’ve had my fill. As a result, everyone does the same, when he or she thinks he or she is done, he or she asks to leave the table. I really have the impression that everyone is aware that it’s stupid to force yourself to eat or to finish your plate on the pretext of wasting. And there are no more crisis based on “you’re eating nothing” or on the contrary “stop stuffing yourself”. I’m not saying it’s full time serenity but better than before that is for sure.

Here you go, I believe I’ve covered it all. I’ve tried to be very honest in my answers. No, not everything is sorted for me and I believe it will never be the case. For the last couple of days, in the comments, I’ve been criticised in veiled terms for presenting my life only with its most positive aspects. Some of you thus are under the impression that I succeed in everything I do and that my life is smooth and perfect. If it’s the case, I’m sorry, because it is of course totally wrong. I’m trying hard here to spare you from my various existential anxieties. I also don’t want this blog is be my shrink. I thought it was obvious that what I don’t mention exist anyway. And if there is one worry that doesn’t leave me is the fear to put on weight again one day. Amongst others. Then, you can call it modesty, pride, arrogance, you name it but no, indeed, I don’t want to write EVERYTHING here and it won’t change.

Edit: And yes, I check myself a lot in the mirror. Probably to check that it’s not a dream and that yes, my body has changed.

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