Posts By: Aurélie

I’ll start Monday, promise

I think, originally, it’s one of you who told me about Mademoiselle Caroline and her blog. Intrigued by the homonymy, I confess, I had a look. And I loved it, her drawings, her humor, the way she tells her life of a city-dweller now expatriate in the mountains, her family and romantic anecdotes, etc. And then one day, Mademoiselle Caroline sent me an email to suggest sending me her comic book entitled « Je commence lundi, le régime anti-régime »[1].

Inevitably, I agreed. And I didn’t regret it, as this story, hers, is universal (in any case it’s mine too and it’s a good start for universality). Caroline is 29 years old too (or almost), she started to find herself fat from a very young age even though she wasn’t, she went on so many totally dumb diets, felt like killing someone after three days of protein diet with great many poo flavored pancakes or  vomit and chalk omelets. Like me, she went through fascists nutritionists, like me she has lost many friends by always asking them if salad sauce will come “on the side” before accepting their invite.

And then one day, Caroline met Amandine, her own Zermati.  That’s when our stories differ slightly because this dietician’s method, if it has points of agreement with Zermati’s – regulation, eating when you’re hungry, no taboo food -, is not exactly the same – on a few points I find precepts that don’t suit me, like “eating two or three light stuff before a feast, in order not to get there with the munchies = exactly the opposite of what I’ve now learnt to do” or else “never skip a meal”. But as no one holds THE truth, I’ll be careful not to express reservations, clearly with Caroline, in any case, it worked. Most of all, the book is not limited to this, needless to say, what’s delightful in these slices of life are all these anecdotes that any diets regular knows: the mega slim girl who, when she learns you’re on a diet since two months (and you’ve indeed shed 7 kilos), asks you if “it works” (urge to bite). The other girl, also a rake since her birth, who lectures you on life and undermines at the same time the little faith you have in the future: “oh but Caro, it’s all fun and games to slim down, but you know what they say, the hardest part is not to gain again” (in other words, you’ll never make it, you fat cow). Without mentioning the ones who try by all means to make you eat a piece of their chocolate cake while you are in mindfulness from the beginning of the meal not to glance at it. Or, of course, those 234 grams you’ve put on that morning, which are going to wear you down for the day, turn you in an irascible shrew and make you just gobble down the chocolate cake, because “there’s nothing left to lose, right”.


You get me, it spoke to me, made me laugh and also stirred me, because damn, it’s crazy to waste your life that much.

I can only advise you to get it, even to offer it to any person who one day, for the first time, has convinced you that you were too fat.

Personally it was an uncle of mine, whom I loved, and who found smart to repeat – as joke of course – that I looked like an old obese cousin of whom the whole family was making fun. He had even saddled me with her name. I was six or seven. I’m not saying he has been at the root of all the rest, but the fact that thirty years later (I’m lost in my calculations with these questions of age) I remember so precisely and that it still brings tears to my eyes make me think it hasn’t been totally pain-free…

« Promis je commence lundi »1, by Mademoiselle Caroline


[1] TN: I’ll start Monday, the anti-diets diet


Run, Caro, Run

During our holidays in the mountains, we played “beret”. It’s a sort of dodge ball but without ball and without dodge. No one knows that game except for former scouts actually.  I have to admit that explaining the rules is exhausting only by the thought of it but basically at one point you have to RUN. Usually, I am clever enough to be “busy” during those parental joy and group emulation moments. But that day, I don’t know, a blank, an invisible stroke or planets misalignment, I heard myself yelling: “wait for me, I’m playing too”

As a result, the best members of the group made up my team but we lost and not only did I humiliate myself trying to catch up with a six years old girl but I also fell flat like a shit while trying (no other less rude comparison comes to my mind right now). I don’t know what was the most degrading, falling heavily after running two meters or my panicked kids’ attentiveness, they treated me for the two following days like a 80 years old with anemia. “Are you alright mum?”, “Are you sure?”, “What about your bum?”.

Anyway, that day, I said to myself something that didn’t cross my mind since… since never actually: a bit of sport would do me good.

And once back in Paris, I took advantage of the fact that my children stayed with their grandparents to throw myself into a daily jogging routine.

Wanna read about it?

08h00: After investigating all available options for physical exercise and eliminating the gym (already tested twice), swimming pool (done too) and curling (my true passion, together with nail art, but it is difficult to practice in Paris), I find at the bottom of my wardrobe, well hidden, those lazy bitches of running shoes, which I bought on one of those days when full of hope you fall for a too small by two sizes pair of jeans AND the shoes that might enable you to fit in it after two years.

08h02: I inform the Churros that I am going to run.

08h03: The Churros reminds me that it’s not a school day today so I am not late to take Rose to school, “no need to rush”, I can even go back to bed.

08h04: « Running like in jogging », I precise.

08h05: « That’s great, but do you think it’s fine for your bum? ».

08h06: I tell the Churros that, strangely, he was not that worried for my sacrum last night when it was obviously much more loaded than during a jogging.

08h08: The Churros tells me that he gets excited thinking about last night.

08h10: I quiet him down directly, I will need all my energy. I don’t want to scare him but I read that athletes, after a while, are less interested in sex for they have such a blast during exercise (or maybe that’s Buddhist monks, I am not quite sure).

08h11: The Churros thinks it’s not nice to have a sporty wife. I tell him I’ll become a bombshell and he will surely like it. The Churros replies that he doesn’t care that I’m a bombshell if he can’t touch.

08h12: I am wondering if I should eat before or after running.

08h13: The Churros thinks it would be unreasonable to go with an empty stomach. He is smiling weirdly when saying this.

08h14: I call my friend Zaz to ask her if I should eat before or after running.

08h15: My friend Zaz doesn’t know, however she is worried for my knees, « jogging is very bad for joints ».

08h16: I call my friend Laetitia, she is in the cinema business, these people know.

08h17: « Fuck, we said we would never ever start jogging », this is what my friend Laetitia answers. For that eating before or after thing, she thinks it doesn’t matter.

08h19: My friend Chloé is extremely worried about me wanting to run, she proposes to take a day off so that we can talk together. She pronounces each word one after the other, articulating as if I suffered from cognitive issues.

08h20: My friend Julien is of the opinion that it’s better to eat before. On the other hand, he is categorical – he was in my team for the “beret” game – I must start slowly. Slowly meaning “twenty minutes max during the first week”. “Otherwise your body will give way”.

08h22: I’m starting to wonder if my close relations really want me to be a bombshell.

08h23: I’m tempted to call my friend Fanny who just finished a marathon in less than 4h, but I fear she will suggest I do it with her. I mean, my friend Fanny feels a bit low around the thirtieth kilometer. I still have in mind my friend Julien’s 20 minutes.

08h24: I decide to run on an empty stomach.

08h25: Now that the breakfast issue is sorted out, I am left with the place where to run. “Are you going to Bois de Vincennes [1]?” asks The Churros.

08h26: I reckon that Bois de Vincennes is too far for a 20 minutes run, I had in mind the little park outside our building rather.

08h27: The Churros thinks I will look like a hamster after two rounds.

08h28: I find The Churros has a tendency to minimize the area of the park. This habit of finding everything’s smaller than it really is, it’s typically French and where does it take us?

08h29: Anyway I’ve made my decision, for a first time I prefer to stay close to home. I know myself, I’ll give all I have and probably draw on my reserves. I’ll be too happy not to take the metro after one hour of sport.

08h30: I am preparing a playlist, I read it’s half of the work, to have good music.

08h45: I have 25 tracks which rock in my Iphone, it really is a pain to have only a 20 minute run.

08h47: I am hesitating on the first song of my playlist, I feel it will be decisive. Beyonce, Rihanna or a good old Dalida?

08h49: The Churros thinks “Mourir sur scene” [2] totally fits the purpose.

08h50: The Churros is officially deprived of blowjobs for the next six months.

08h51: I call back all my friends and my mother to warn them that despite receiving no support at all from them, I am about to go for the first jogging of a long series. We’ll see who the fool is when I am a bombshell.

08h52: There’s no pocket in my legging to hold my Iphone.

08h53: I wonder if it wouldn’t be wiser to first buy proper equipment and energy gel like my friend Fanny used during her marathon. I am putting the cart before the horse a bit and we know it’s the best way to get in troubles. Sport is serious business.

08h54: The Churros just dug up an old waist pack to put my Iphone in. He says that anyway at this time of the day the park will be empty so I won’t meet anyone.

08h55: I just remembered that my friend Fanny told me that some people shit themselves during marathon.

08h56: I am not so sure anymore that being a bombshell is that important. After all Photoshop is there to be used.

08h57: I want a cigarette.

08h58: I receive an SMS from my daugther: “Mum I’m so proud of you”.

08h59: I put my cigarettes away, close my waist pack, put my headphones on, check the time and let’s go Dalida, If I don’t do it for me, I do it for my kids.

09h00: 20 minutes it’s five songs MAXIMUM, it will be fine.

09h01: five songs if you don’t count Dalida. What a chatterbox. Seriously, are these twelve chorus mandatory or what?

09h02: Let her dance once and for all so that we can move to the next one, with this pace         this is going to be long!

09h03: I have a stitch in my side. Learning the hard way. It might be that I am already a bombshell.

09h04: Good news is Dalida is now done dying on stage.

09h05: A good old Abba and off I go.

09h06: I wouldn’t want to get carried away but I think I’m getting hooked on sport. I mean, I feel that if I don’t do sport tomorrow. I’ll miss it.

09h07: I am getting caught in a fucking system maybe. My family life will suffer even though I chose to become free-lance to be more available. Just try to be available when you run marathons all over the world.

09h08: When I think that Julien believe I’m not able to run for more than 20 minutes. I haven’t checked the time but taking into account Dalida’s logorrhea I must be almost there.


09h09: Fanny never told me about the nine minutes wall.

09h09: Is this a joke and the tenth minute is jerking me around?

09h09: We are in a spatiotemporal drift, it’s the only possible explanation. It could be that I will run for the rest of my life, stuck at 9h09.

09h09: Is it possible in this case to finally experience the famous moment of pleasure all those who run talk about? That thing which give the impression they’re having a vaginal orgasm with each stride?

09h10: I don’t recall exactly what Julien said, for sure I heard 20 minutes yet he said 10. Which would mean I’m done now.

09h10: The more I think about it, the surer I get. And if I can trust someone, it must be Julien. He doesn’t joke with this kind of things.

09h10: Here we go, time stopped again. Apple product are shitty, I understand why kids swear only by Samsung.

09h10: Dalida’d better keep her mouth shut or I’ll make her eat her hair. I can’t stand her anymore. Neither her, nor Abba, nor Michel Delpech. Damn underground playlist.

09h10: Go on, have fun eleventh minute, in the meantime I am shaping up.

09h10: I am not categorical but I might just have felt something that could the famous pleasure. Welcome ladies endorphins, I’ve been waiting for you for 40 years, bitches, NO NEED TO RUSH RIGHT?

09h11: or maybe these are gas.

09h12: Fanny didn’t mention gas, but for sure I’m that close to shit myself.

09h13: or to throw up.

09h14: I’m that close to a whole lot of nice stuff, that’s for sure, however I am not breathing anymore.

09h14: When Julien said « your body will give way », I didn’t get that it was meant literally.

09h14: There’s an old lady in front of me, she is running too. I don’t know yet the runners’ honor code, will she take it the wrong way if I overtake?

09h15: On the other hand granny’s in shape, of course she must be only starting her jogging – and she is not a victim of a spatiotemporal plot (or she has a Samsung Galaxy) – but I’m struggling to catch up.

09h15: That’s why I will keep running, having this much energy at that age is priceless.

09h15: Come on, another small stride and I overtake, it’s a spirits lifter. When I think it is said that jogging is a lonely sport. Whereas not at all. Bonds are created, quiet maybe, but I think that’s it, I just joined the runners brotherhood, it could make me cry. This or the lack of oxygen.

09h16: One last effort and I am in front of h…

09h15: Oh but, it’s an equipment from the playground

09h16: It’s an equipment from the playground which is thus immobile.

09h16: And which I’ve tried to overtake for the past three minutes (18 for those who have a Samsung)

09h17: Which means I am actually standing still.

09h18: Or dead.

09h18: Or both.

09h18: I get an abominable coughing fit.

09h18: I’m going to puke my coccyx.

09h19: Hey Dalida, if you think that I give a damn that you’ve put gold in your hair to openly go fuck a teenager, let me tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree.

09h20: I just saw my reflection on the entrance door and I’m anything but a bombshell. Or maybe it’s because of the waist pack.

09h21: I open my front door while running.

09h22: I know what I mean.

09h23: For now I’m not sure I’ll miss it, the idea of not running again tomorrow.

Edit: The legs in the pix could have been mine if I hadn’t dropped my marathon runner career after one week. These are Zaz’s, that tart who NEVER runs (or once a year).

Edit2: Fanny, since this experience, I have no word to describe the admiration aroused in me by your 3h45 on Paris marathon.


[1] TN: Bois de Vincennes is a famous park and wood next to Paris where lot of people go jogging

[2] TN: Mourir sur Scene is one of the most famous song from Dalida, it means dying on stage.

Nutrition, therapy, Zermati, a recap


Since the broadcast of the documentary about diets in which I appear briefly, I receive an enormous amount of emails. Touching emails for most of them, from women but also men who are fighting eating compulsions and/or kilos. Problem: answering is difficult. First of all, let’s face it, I don’t have time. I’m really useless for that matters, but now, with around ten per day, let me tell you it’s getting hard. Especially now that I’m in wrap up period for two newspapers and my days consist in back to back interviews over the phone. Yesterday I had interviews planned every hour, at one point I’ve been tempted to go pee while taking notes but something held me back, probably my dignity.

But it’s not only an issue of time. Questions I’m asked, I simply can’t answer them. I’m not a doctor, neither dietician, nor psychologist, I can’t give personalized advice, I can’t diagnose and neither can I give doctor Zermati’s cell phone number. Here is thus an article going over resources that can be useful and trying to answer your questions.

– Contact details of Zermati’s and Apfeldorfer’s offices are in the Yellow Pages. I absolutely can’t book an appointment with them on your behalf or intercede in your favor to obtain an appointment faster.

GROS[1]’ web site gives information on therapies mentioned during the documentary on France 2 [2]. There is also the GROS’ secretariat’s phone number which you can use to obtain contact details of doctors from your town who have been trained on these therapies. I don’t know if all of them follow the same protocols.

– Apfeldorfer and Zermati have also created their website, Linecoaching. It proposes, for a subscription fee, an online therapy. I don’t know if it is as efficient as a face-to-face one, I haven’t registered on this site and I am not linked to it at all. A while ago, I interviewed Dr. Zermati on that subject; you can read his answers here. In the comments of that note, there are also some feedbacks, positive and negative, you can make up your mind.

– Other than these two doctors, I’ve interviewed other practitioners whose approach seemed interesting. I’m thinking especially of Lysiane Panighini, psycho-practitioner. Ariane Grumbach, dietician, is also a follower of GROS and from what I could perceive a very nice person. Lastly, Laurence Haurat, who also has a blog, is as well a pioneer in her approach. I name these three because I think they have a site on Internet, which will enable you get more information.

– I’ve told my sessions with Zermati in at least twenty articles, all listed under the same category. The best is to read them from the oldest to the newest, I think, to get an idea of my journey.

– Recently, I summed up this journey in an article published in Psychologies Magazine which is now available online. It can give you an overview. I’ve written a few columns on this subject for the same newspaper, here they are.

There you go, I think it’s about everything. Don’t be mistaken, I wish I could help you more than that. If I’ve written that much about my experience it’s mainly for this purpose. Not only, rest assured. I did it also for myself, because it was doing me good, it was enabling me to “digest” the sessions and simply I was interested in putting words on all this.

But I can’t go further. It would be dishonest from me and probably dangerous, we are talking health here and illegal exercise of medicine is severely punished (and believe me I regret it, I belong to those people who wish they had a white coat and the sex-appeal that goes with it).

I hope anyway that this recap will be useful.

Have a nice day.

Edit: This Saint Honore is a killer and is sold in a bakery of my block only on Sundays. I’ve been drooling over them for years, telling the Churros I’d love to taste them. Last Sunday, he bought five. Knowing that an entire village can be fed with half of one. I think I’ll advise him to read this article AND call one of the doctors named above.


[1] TN : GROS (Groupe de recherche sur l’obésité et le surpoids) is a group of professionals from different fields who take charge of people having difficulties with their weight and eating behavior. The group aims to bring reflection, exchanges and training to the table.


[2] TN : French public TV channels

Diets, the inconvenient truth, debrief


So yesterday, the documentary « Régimes, la vérité qui dérange » was broadcasted on France 2, as part of Infrarouge . Saying I went through this – late, thank god – exposure serenely would be a lie. Actually for the past two days I had a knot in my stomach just thinking about it. So typically me, I act first and then think. Forget even, incidentally, because the shooting happened late September – beginning of October. It gave me time to bury this deep in my denial zone. Except that – note for future reference – what you bury always ends up coming back to the surface (I’ve started watching Dexter, I’m learning a lot).
After watching the documentary, phew, no drama, first of all, the intention is true to the promise I was made, it is about denouncing wicked effects of diets. If the slightly too “Live my life” style did not transport me completely, I enjoyed the polished images and the kind way directors followed Ingrid and Sandra, two touching women.
However, I wish there were more sequences with professor Lecerf and doctor Zermati, because their views speak to me and they are still rare in the medical community. I wish it wouldn’t conclude with children being taught that they must eat that much rye bread, that many fruits and so on. I wish it went further, I wish the 5 fruits and vegetables a day recommendations had been denounced. But by and large, I’m rather happy to have participated in this attempt to change popular beliefs.
When it comes to my performance in itself, it’s not up to me to qualify it, anyway I hate to see myself but I believe it’s a feeling shared by lots of people. The lunch with Sandra lasted for while and at the end there’s nothing much left of it on the screen, it’s always frustrating but that’s life. I wish there weren’t this “before-after” aspect based on picture, but apparently it’s more meaningful this way.
That said, I think it’s the first and last time I lend myself to such an exercise. Not being filmed as such, I’m not allergic to it, and I even, after the first stressful moments, find it funny. But I don’t think I want to embody the ex-fat girl until I’m sick of it. Not because I disown this period when weight was a real issue for me, but maybe just because of this. It’s too much pressure, I know too well it’s also possible to go down the kilos path again. And for me, pressure gives me chocolate cravings.
Most of all, I believe I’m not limited to this. During the last years, I’ve done many things on top of slimming down. And my biggest satisfactions are professional rather than dietetic. Of course, it’s great on a day to day basis, of course, I don’t deny myself the pleasure of being freed from food, my best enemy. But now going to TV sets and displaying my weight loss as a banner, no thanks.
I will continue to write here and there articles on the subject, because it captivates me. Maybe one day, I’ll even write a book about it, it’s a project I’ve had in mind for a while, but I need to find the right style first. But I will not turn into a professional weight loss witness, rest assured.
Even though, your nice comments were heart-warming, here or on twitter. And when I receive emails from young women who explain that my writings about my therapy with doctor Zermati have helped them to let go of stupid diets, I’m extremely proud. In short, I don’t disown anything, but I think I want to leave the “curvy girl” alone for a while, she deserves to rest. It explains why the new version of the blog, which is imminent, has a little surprise for you (the only one actually, because design will stay the same or almost, there will simply be less bugs in the comments and an easier browsing).
Have a nice day
Edit: The necklace is a Shourouk, it belongs to Marie, I like the idea of phoenix, etc. (I tried to steal it but not very discreet).
Edit2: the documentary is available here.

Jean-Philippe Zermati: “How to ‘defuse from’ negative thoughts”


Recently, some of you have asked me where I stand now with regard to food, what I’ve kept from the principles I inherited during my therapy with Zermati, etc. It’s difficult for me to answer this question as, to tell the truth, I now feel all this has become rather natural. In terms of weight, I might have gained 2/3 kilos in two years. It didn’t surprise me because I had lost too much, my set-point clearly is my current weight and it suits me. It’s not a model’s one, neither a bombshell’s, but I can wear what I want and I’m not out of breath after the smallest set of stairs and I feel in tune with myself.
Most of all, it’s the weight I can keep while eating chocolate every day, partying once in a while (I’m a party girl, I won’t change, 29 years old, that’s who I am) and NEVER wondering if what I’ve prepared for the meal is healthy. It’s a weight that withstands hard blows – and there has been a sizeable one during the last year to say the least -, that gibes at boredom, main source of my eating compulsions, at writer’s block, at rows, at slumps and at appendicitis that picks you up with no warning, In short, all is rather fine and mainly, I don’t feel “suspended” anymore. After three years of near-stability, I allow myself to take a breather.
I’ve thus stopped my therapy with doctor Zermati, more or less two years ago. I still regularly discuss with him, at the whim of my interviewing him. I like these moments. I take advantage to bring myself up to speed but also, I confess, to get a small session on the side, discreetly (I think he is not duped). Last time, doctor Zermati suggested talking about a new approach he now uses during his consultations. Pursuing tirelessly his quest of a parry to emotional eating, he indeed looked into a technique named ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), logical consequence of cognitive and behavioral therapies, more centered on emotions. The aim is to support patients with emotions acceptance and also help them to “defuse from” their negative thoughts which accompany them, even precede them. Like “I’m useless, anyway, I’m useless”, or else “I’ll never make it, I’ll never succeed in this job/ in taking this test / in writing this article (and if that’s how it is, I’ll have another Twix, or two).
Having indeed noticed that however hard he tried to demonstrate step by step to his patients that these recurrent thoughts are groundless, it didn’t work, Jean-Philippe Zermati has decided to attack them on another front, trying to make them question, not the truth of these thoughts but their utility. In other words, do these sentences, which disturb our mind despite ourselves, help us pursuing our dreams (whatever they are, romantic, professional, parenting, etc.)? If the answer is no (and it’s often the case, predicting a failure never helped anyone), the idea is to try to make them meaningless. How? Still using mindfulness techniques, but also with methods that could seem a bit naive, doctor Zermati admits, “but tremendously effective”. It can consist in repeating the sentence in question with different tones, in singing it at the top of your voice, for example. But also in writing it on a computer screen and changing the size and style of the font. Until these words are only strings of letters that have lost their meaning. You know, just like when you look at a word, detach its syllables, comprehend it without associating a meaning? All of a sudden it seems to be coming out of nowhere, doesn’t it?
In parallel, the work still consists in trying to accept your emotions, especially by observing them as well as their physical consequences. “You realize that the discomfort resulting from boredom, anxiety, sadness, is rather mild, at least less than a migraine, tooth ache or any other ache you can sometimes feel”, explains doctor Zermati. By resolving to accept the knot in your stomach before an exam, pins and needles in your hands when you’re angry, the slight nausea caused by sadness or you name it, you end up moving away from eating desires. Because, Jean-Philippe Zermati reminded me – he looked like he thought I had forgotten my lesson – “Annoyances don’t trigger compulsion but our attempt to get rid of them does”. Ok, ok, ok…
In short, as the good doctor Z admitted outspokenly, “we know the goal to reach but we haven’t found all the tools to get there yet”. But he added, while he was at it, “We progress every day and are starting to see more clearly”. Personally, even though I feel I’ve left on the side of the road a few cumbersome luggage, I continue thinking about all this and I’m not convince there’s an end to this journey. But, apparently, it’s not the destination that counts but the journey. Then what if we tried to travel lighter?
Edit: This discussion follows a bit the previous one, which you can find here. Doctor Zermati was mentioning the chocolate pump, a diagram of it is displayed on Linecoaching, the online therapy web site he created with doctor Apfledorfer.
Edit 2: It happens that this week, I tell my life story in Psychologies Magazine, thus the picture opening this column (it’s not the only picture of the article, there is one especially, full page, that I don’t love (euphemism). These pictures were taken two days after my daughter’s surgery, I couldn’t cancel and so I looked… like shit) (and it shows).
Edit3: It happens also that I’ve written an article for l’Express Style about diets and how highly I think of them. With the help of two experts, whom I met on this blog: Ariane Grumbach and Lysiane Panighini. Thank you to them.

Always something pink

<a style=”display: inline;” href=””><img title=”De3a0386705411e28eb922000a1fbc88_7″ alt=”De3a0386705411e28eb922000a1fbc88_7″ src=”” border=”0″ /></a>On my way to buy eggs and steaks, I came back from Monop with this. It is not as if I already had a dozen of striped shirts*. And as many red-orange nail polish. That said, some spend their lives looking for the true meaning of life or for a vaccine against cancer, my quest is the perfect tangerine nail polish. We make do with what we have.

Not much more to say today, except for the fact that it is less and less sore. I master completely going from one buttock to the other and do regret that it is not a sport because I think I would rock it. I mean: I would really rock it.

Have a nice day.

*Yes but none of them is pink, that what my evil inner voice told me when I tried to resist that day-glo call.

Edit: The reference of the Essie nail polish on the picture is “5th Avenue”. Can’t possibly resist, can we?

Edit2: On the other hand, if Essie polishes are, in my opinion, the nicest in terms of color, the French version is crap in terms of consistency. Too liquid, too transparent, apply in it is a pain. It doesn’t actually prevent me from buying them, but it is because I am a complete jerk. Sometimes.



So yesterday, I was singing snow’s praise.

That’s all in the past.

Now I give it shit, which is alas only a way of speaking (you’ll understand the joke at the end).

What’s the reason behind this sudden turnaround? Because in the unequal fight that happened yesterday between my backside and the snowed stairs of my building, the final score was:

Stairs: 1 – My butt: 0

I literally did bust my ass. Or more precisely the 4th sacral vertebra (right above the coccyx in fact). Not only did it break but it moved as well. It should considerably postpone my recovery, which is estimated to 3 months, best case scenario.

This past Monday was indeed a very nice day. After that memorable fall on the way to school with Rose, I first thought it would go away. “It”? The feeling of having been put on a spit, no more no less. So I somehow dropped Rose off in her classroom and went back home walking like I dried on a horse.

I hadn’t cried with pain since my childbirth but I made up for lost time.

After calling my brother for help, he for once didn’t advise me to see a shrink and I went for an X-ray of my buttocks together with my twins, of whom most teachers are off sick, which for once seemed fairly good news, since going out on my own was simply not doable.

I didn’t have much doubts as for the results, I felt on my bum often enough to be able to identify in my pain something else than a good old bruise.

My feeling was soon enough confirmed by the receptionist, who cried out after seeing the x-ray «Oh gosh, she didn’t botch, it’s properly broken»

« With all this snow you see loads of kids with broken wrist, don’t you? », I say to distract attention from my broken ass displayed on the wall. “No, mainly elderly actually», she replied, with a knowing look. This reply made my son die laughing, he was moreover totally excited to be able to see a real life fracture especially in an uncommon place.”

My daughter, trying to comfort me, hastened to tell that I’ll get well soon and that there must be a solution to fix me. “Not so sure, you know after a certain age, bones take time to heal” he corrected her immediately (he will not go to England this summer as planned, he can dream on). “You’ll want to eat yogurt mum” he went on in front of the receptionist in high spirits.

We went back home,so-so, with only one advice from the radiologist : buy a rubber ring. I thought I had been spared from this kind of festivities thanks to c-section. Apparently God had other plans for me.

And not only a rubber ring a priori.

Because, when he came back from work, The Churros decided I couldn’t stay like this without seeing a doctor. Here he is, calling emergency medical services. They choke when they learn I’ve been walking around since this morning with a vertebra out gallivanting and sent me directly to the closest ER.

I will avoid detailing the joyful atmosphere of that big hospital in this season.

After three excruciating hours on a plastic chair, cursing my dear husband for not letting me dying on my couch, I’ve been finally seen by a dark-haired doctor. Aka the orthopedic specialist who, what a surprise, was not twelve.

First, Dr Torres’ male twin basically explained to me that there is nothing much to do. But he corrected himself right away and wanted to check that the vertebra displacement didn’t cause any neurological damages.

Even with my medical education – eleven seasons of ER, nine of Grey’s Anatomy and the complete series of Dr. House, I can diagnose a lupus with my eyes closed – I didn’t see it coming.

The “DRE”.

I understood the meaning of this acronym when he walked the talk, lifting his little finger in a manner that didn’t call into question as per where the said finger was planning to take a stroll immediately. Good news was he lifted his little finger could have been the middle one (2013 is the positive thinking year).

Initially I laughed, thinking that the guy, feeling we had affinities, was cracking a joke.

I will not leave any suspense, he was not joking.

On the bright side, a priori, I am not suffering from collateral effects of this kind of accident.

Loose anal sphincter (Think positive).

Bad news is I am going to enjoy two weeks of laxative, on the grounds that, it’s not going to be a piece of cake on that side. No kidding!

Well and if, on the contrary, I start to experience the slightest incontinence, do not hesitate to come back immediately.

Or how to become bedridden within one day.

Honestly, I did love this 21st of January.

Here you go, I’m leaving now. This note has been written in a position decency forces me not to describe. Not sure I’ll come here often in the next few days, my ass is kind of wrecked right now.

When Zermati et Apfeldorfer settle old scores with Dukan

No doubt you didn’t miss it but doctors Zermati and Apfeldorfer finally settle old scores with Dukan. Not on a ring, no, but in a small book “Mensonges, régime Dukan et balivernes”[1], which I’ve personally found exhilarating, as it manages to expose the ridiculous – and nevertheless terrifying – aspect of the protein diet pope’s views.

Exhilarating also from the sharp style and some turns of phrase that, I have to admit, made me snigger (I’m a budding sniggerer, it must be said, the one who was systematically caught during class for giggling at jokes from funnier than me). Authors should take the credit for it, but Dukan too, whose words, quoted and dissected in the essay are themselves a huge joke. In which we learn that for example one solution to extra kilos but more globally to ill being lies in taking “for life” what “simply is a treat”: the much vaunted three table spoons of oat bran. Obransly!

In which we discover too that Dukan advises beauty industry to “take part in developing the awareness around overweight’s devastating role in the beauty equation, in the thickening of facial features, in eyes expression, etc.” , that he plans to create a “mac-du”, “big mac double” with …bran patties inside, what else… without mentioning “his future international cooking school to fight excess weight”, or a “French anti-overweight cooking Academy”. Bran it on, once again…

I could talk about it in length as some part also moved me – the book is funny through its irony but doesn’t forget to be serious nevertheless – when I’m now familiarized with the two authors’ theories.

Moved me because it appears rather quickly that, beyond Dukan’s cosmic and imperialist delirium, his method is based on stigmatization of people he calls himself “fat”. I hadn’t read his writings and I guessed he often crossed the red line, I didn’t think he played that cruelly with the essence of a fat person: his or her low self-esteem. In their work, Jean-Philippe Zermati and Gérard Apfeldorfer apply themselves to demonstrating this but also to rehabilitating the honor of overweight people.

I could talk about it in length but I’ve preferred asking doctor Zermati to answer a few questions, so, after this long preamble, here are his answers.

  • Why this book now, why did you go for Dukan as a subject 

The number of patients completely destroyed by Dukan’s method we see every day with Gérard Apfeldorfer made us react.  We are not talking anymore today about an epiphenomenon, but about millions of followers, as he states himself. All these castaways have devastated us, we couldn’t keep quiet.

  • So you decided to bury yourself in his work, to understand the phenomenon?

Exactly. Actually, I had never read his writings. I knew his method, I had heard him on TV, but had never immersed myself in his books. And there, what we discovered stupefied us. More than his precepts to slim down, it’s his philosophy that is terrifying. Not only does that man want to get rid of our fat, he wants in all modesty to save France, and then conquer the whole planet. On the premise that “fat people” are so because they react to their emotions with food – an observation that we share – what does he suggest? Nothing less than eradicating misfortune. As crazy as it gets, a dream for a smooth and purified society, with no emotions and occupied by beautiful and happy people because they are slim. A philosophy that bring to mind one of a guru, even the darkest hours of history…

  • What is, according to you, the most dangerous in Dukan’s diet?

The real danger lies in long terms destruction of eating sensations with, at the end, difficulties to treat eating disorders. Above all, with his permanent stigmatization of overweight people, whom he describes as “dehumanized”, Dukan ends up wiping out all their self-esteem. He has understood very well that the main anxiety of his patients is to be rejected. He plays with this feeling of exclusion by promising to make them more beautiful and thus more loveable. And during a first phase, he indeed makes them slim down. While warning them that if they don’t follow his principles literally, they’ll gain again.

  •    And that it will entirely be their fault…

Of course! It’s the funding principles of his theory and of diets in general. The patient has slimmed down? It’s thanks to the practitioner. He puts on weight again? It’s because he is a loser with no willpower. It’s magical and wonderful because it works every time.

  • Do you have good hopes to be heard and that these practices end?

I believe there’s currently a realization from health practitioners that diets are inefficient. The ANSES report published in 2010 denouncing the iniquity of diets has been a real trigger, even if it wasn’t a revelation for us who’ve been working for 15 years on alternative methods. But there again, there are misunderstandings. Many wanted to see in this report a comparison between good and bad diets. Yet what this report wants to question, it’s the actual concept of diets. Admittedly, we are able to differentiate Dukan’s purification delirium from the lighter Weight Watcher method for example, but it’s wrong to think that Weight Watcher is not a diet.

We sketch in our work a few trails that are the funding principles of our method: self-listening, respect of eating sensations and work on emotions. There are solutions. But they imply that you accept this initial postulate: everybody has a set point and this set point can’t be changed.  The objective of our therapy is to somehow get back to this set point, not to display a spectacular weight loss, even if this happens sometimes, when the patient is just way higher than his or her set point.

Edit: doctors Zermati and Apfeldorfer have put online a petition against diets. Feel free to sign it if you agree with this position. You can also leave your feedback on the site. Besides, you can find the two practitioners on Linecoaching. Very interesting articles are published there, starting with this one (it’s also a portal with paying online therapy).

[1] TN: “Lies, Dukan diet and nonsense”

Zermati, it works also during holidays (especially, actually)


In a recent, particularly tearful and full of self-pity, article, I was listing my end of holidays sorrows. I had especially confided my slight anxiety of having brought the ‘letting-go’ to its climax and having thus tested its limits. In simpler terms, I was dreading the scale moment, convinced I had gain everywhere a bit, even a lot.

Thus, some of you interrogated me in the comments about this, the difficulty of distinguishing between the letting-go recommended by Zermati and the holiday barbecue big mess.

I don’t have all the answers, but I can nevertheless tell you about the way I handle, since three years now, the periods when I’m not in my daily rythm. With, as a preamble, this clarification: I actually didn’t gain one gram during my holidays, I guess this impression of being swollen was 50% psychological and 50% hormonal. Or the other way round.

In short, during holidays or week-end with friends for example, I try to remember the exchanges I had with doctor Zermati. Who advised to, first of all, trust myself. You wouldn’t think but when you’ve been completely robbed of your instinct and common sense by years of stupid diets, trusting yourself is in itself a huge challenge.

Trust, thus, your hunger, your satiety sensation but mainly in this case REGULATION. The natural mechanism that will do so that, after two or three copious meals, exceeding by far the famous satiety threshold, the body will spontaneously want to go easy. For this purpose, guilt and anxiety of putting on weight must be banned and it’s certainly the most difficult, conditioned that we are to regret the smallest deviation.

Even though deviations, as mister Z often repeated, are somehow proofs of your balance. No one can keep, day after day, the same way of eating perfect quantities in due time. And even, those who manage to do so are maybe even more neurotic than the Pringles compulsive like us (like me at least).

In short, buoyed by this advice, I’ve made a point to keep them in mind and I’ve deprived myself of nothing during the holidays (that said, neither do I deprive myself during the rest of the year). That doesn’t mean I stuffed myself either. But I’ve eaten cherry cake every two days, chestnut/chocolate cake or pizzas to die for from our fetish restaurant. The rest of the time, it was homemade ratatouille (around 234 ratatouilles have been cooked during these holidays, my children are about, I think, to murder me with a courgette if I cook some more before June next year), tabbouleh or tomatoes salad.

At the end, thus, my weight is identical (less 500 grams actually).

I deduct from this that it’s possible, it’s not a scoop but I think it has been the first summer when I’ve really switched on the “instinct” mode, without restriction or almost (it’s a long way, right…)

I also notice that during these holidays, even more than during the previous ones and in general during the rest of the year too, except for children’s snacks, I’ve bought only few ‘readymade products’. I indeed opt for, and this with no effort, raw food which I cook, even in a very basic way. I mean that I never buy anymore readymade toasted sandwiches, frozen lasagnas, vacuum packed cottage pies or yogurts like Danette or La laitière (these are yogurt in name only).

My mother noticed that, even on holidays, I was baking lot of cakes. That is true, outside of holidays time too, I love baking, it’s my thing when I’m out of ideas or you name it, cooking clears my mind. But, I told her, the children almost don’t eat industrial cakes or pseudo dairy produces packed with sugar and fat anymore. At the end, I believe it’s for the best.

Don’t worry, I’m not becoming an organic fundamentalist or a fierce locavore. But I think it‘s part of a global process, trusting yourself is about listening to your desires and your body rarely request a Savanne or Twix, especially if it knows it can have much better instead.

Here is the fruit of my reflection, I’d add a damper to all this: I still eat industrial, milk chocolate and I could kill the one who finishes my slab of Nestle almond/nougatine.

Edit: I believe it’s one of the biggest misunderstandings about ‘zermatism’, some translate a bit too quickly “trust yourself” and “eat your fill” by “if you eat with pleasure, it doesn’t make you gain”. That is obviously wrong. The notion of pleasure is important. But when you eat compulsively, there’s pleasure but it makes you gain. In short, Zermati never advises to stuff yourself, let’s be clear!

Edit: The picture it’s because initially I wanted to write an article about my denim skirt, my summer basic, worn in every situation and again this morning. And then when looking at it closely, I told myself it was taken on the day I felt it was too tight and that indeed it shows a bit. And a thought leading to the other… Who knows, maybe tomorrow…

A healthy mind in a healthy body?


I don’t know how it happened, but I’ve let go. Not the weight or the fear to gain again one day, on this point I’m afraid I still have a long way to go. But everything else. Rolls on my belly when I’m wearing a bikini on the beach, the idea of my jelly bum which I can’t see but others can or my breasts that seem to feel like making a sand castle when I’m topless.

For that matter, I’m always topless here where only regulars come next to my towel and don’t give a damn if my D cup has collapsed and since when. It’s not the first time, but on the other hand it’s rather new that at the end of the day, with my neighbor who has become over the years a good friend, I do abs and butt exercises wearing only my panties for the enjoyment of passer-bys.  I believe if you had told me I would agree to do the dog peeing on a fire hydrant, bare boobs, in a public place, I would have burst out laughing with my coarse laugh which has already made a name for itself.

You’ll tell me that when you don’t care about all this, you don’t do abs and butt exercises instead of eating an ice-cream. Well it’s just the perversity of the whole thing I guess. Just as the guy comes to the single girl right when she’s not expecting him anymore (or the other way round), maybe, exercise imposes itself on the lazybones the day she hopes nothing more than the well-being it gives afterwards.

Wait, I’m speaking here of 15 minutes, at the very most, per day which are not resulting in aches, and, according to the Churros, is not a good sign. But he also told me with his legendary wisdom: “to do abs, you need to have some, that’s it, only rich people get a loan and it doesn’t work only for banks” (I’m wondering if love doesn’t last fifteen years only). Yet, damn we swear a lot when we do it, I can’t tell you but all our foremothers end up associated to the F word, a lot.

But now, there you go, the point was not to announce that I’m planning to succeed Veronique or Davina or that I will soon give you hints on best fitness centers in New-York. No because I know myself well enough to know that this fad won’t last long and that once back in Paris I’ll forget that my butt even exists (it actually always haughtily ignored  me so it shouldn’t be affected that much)

The aim was to say that I’ve let go, that this body, weighted by two pregnancies, and which has never done sport except during very small intermittences hasn’t been anymore for me, this summer, the object of a frustrating shame, which was forcing me day after day to find a new way to go directly from standing to lying on the back.

I believe it’s maturity, it’s the fact, without contest, that I’ve lost weight (but as this photo taken in Grau du Roi by violette shows, we are far from an irreproachable figure) (there I wasn’t topless, don’t ask too much from me, I was then the only person on the whole beach owning a size 12 swimsuit) and also maybe it’s because I’ve been living almost naked for three weeks. I believe that in self acceptation therapy, you must go through moment when you don’t hide from yourself. By dint of seeing my reflection in the house like this, I ended up liking it a little bit, maybe. Liking it, or even better, detaching myself from it. Without meaning to make a mountain out of a molehill (it’s not my style), it’s like all of a sudden I just got rid of an enormous drag. And if growing old is about that too, then Ok, I’m in.

There you go, apart from that, we’re starting our last week here and I guess no one will feel sorry for me but my heart bleeds already.

Have a nice week-end.