Posts By: Aurélie

Every morning she bought her pain au chocolat


After two months working at Fauchon in the pastries section, I had put on five kilos. Indeed one pain au chocolat per day, it’s fatal, no one can get through without putting on weight.”

This secret has been told to me recently by a charming young lady who is a cupcake teacher, actually I’ll tell you more about her demoniac know-how soon.

I didn’t answer anything, I’m not Zermati’s press attaché, neither a nutrition guru who would try to spread the good word everywhere. But within, I smiled.

Every morning, indeed, for almost one year, I have enjoyed my pain au chocolat or my butter croissant, bought in the best bakery in the world, it has received several gold medals for its pastries. I eat them with an unspoiled pleasure, a twenty years moratorium on puff pastry, it leaves marks.

Every morning, thus, I defy the laws of healthy eating, the ones that have been instilled in children for generations.

Every morning, I notice on my scale that you can very well have a pain au chocolat without gaining a gram. Better, you can have this treat and slim down. A lot. Because doctor Zermati warned me a few months ago against the risks, for my personal balance, of featuring my weight loss, I won’t give exact figures. But what I can say is that this method suits me better than all tested until now.

I don’t know what it will be like in one year, I don’t know what life has in store for me, the only certainty to tell the truth is that I don’t demonize a piece of Milka at the end of a meal anymore, that I sometimes crack on onion and sour cream Pringles, that I buy myself, on Wednesday, a slice of custard tart. And that all this doesn’t make me feel guilty. I also know that I eat less, being full much quicker, that when I’m feeling down, when nothing else than a treat is tempting me, I sit down and give in to the urge, focusing on the comfort it brings me.

I also know that on other days, when kids are not there, I turn on the TV and decide to eat while watching it, just like before, I find myself swallowing without tasting, without counting, filling myself like a goose I’d want to force feed. I then have this awful anxiety that ‘it’ starts all over again, that old habits come back insidiously, that all the way I’ve gone ends up on a dead end.

Then I remember doctor Z’s words, on weight loss not being an end in itself, on the fact that my life won’t change completely if I were to put on weight again. I remember that it’s this terror that could ruin me, this disgust of myself.

Then the next day, I wait for hunger. When it comes, I hear what has become my principle: ”what you eat with hunger doesn’t make you put on weight”. And I ask for a croissant at the bakery.

That’s where I am today, not totally detached, rather chilled but not ready to give up on this wellbeing, which I enjoy every day, because here is my only disagreement with doctor Z, at least for now: being slimmer does make me feel lighter. I know he wouldn’t be delighted if I were to tell him face to face, I know why too. But, I wonder if doctor Z already had his thighs rubbing each other so bad under a skirt they bled. I’m almost sure he hasn’t. It’s probably why he assures so strongly that putting on weight again wouldn’t be so bad.

To be continued, all in all…

On the dot


“In fact, Caro, I wanted to ask you a question. Were you curvy before?”, I was asked yesterday by a person have been working with on a project (the next step of that important thing I couldn’t talk about and which I still can’t talk about but in short, it’s progressing).

Next to us, my friend Lud, who also doesn’t know me for a while but long enough to know that indeed before – and this in a close past – I wasn’t really slim, said, amused: “Feels good, doesn’t it?”

Well…yes, I’m not going to tell bullshit, eh. Perturbing too. Because let me be clear, I’m still curvy. In my head, first of all. On the scale too, much less than before, right, but for any Dukon, I still have a dozen of ‘extra’ kilos.

But flagrantly, for this person – who immediately became my best friend for life -, I can simply be categorized as ordinary, neither slim nor fat, in any case not enough to justify the title of my blog (it’s the former that triggered her question).

Why do I tell you this, apart from the fact that I need to boast? Because it made me aware that sometimes, you need truth to come from the outside. From someone who hasn’t been involved, who would see you for first time without any influence from memories from BEFORE. Because I’m still sincerely convinced I’m curvy despite the proof of my new size 10, I’m also fairly certain that my kin still see me as curvy too. Just like they are for me how they are right now but also how I’ve perceived them since I know them.

Ok, I’m losing you now, sorry, I’ve had some Jean-Claude Van Damme for breakfast and I can’t digest it.

No seriously, actually, I don’t really have a message to convey, other than yes, in six months, I’ve changed. My outward covering has changed. And as doctor Z often suggested, it didn’t revolutionize my life. I’m not happier or less happy, not more or less loved.

Then I won’t lie to myself, I do not want to gain those kilos again. Why, if I’m not happier? For all reasons listed here. And also because, before, I would never have bought a strapless dress with big white dots. This might be a wrong reason. Especially as the Churros, when he saw it, didn’t find anything to say other than: “yes, it’s nice, but why do you wear it with a t-shirt?”

Which I wouldn’t necessarily have taken badly if I indeed had decided to wear a t-shirt. Except, as it happens, the dress is made like that, like trompe l’oeil basically.

Come back on the second round darling for your blow job.

But let’s come back to our subject.

I also know very well that my terror of gaining weight again is in itself a threat to put on weight again. That said, casually, I have the impression that I play it less by ear, that I have a simpler relationship with food, the heat has been taken out, let’s say.

I still find myself sometimes, on very tiring days, engulfing the content of my plate as if a starving armada was about to steal it from me. When I realize that I have barely tasted what I’ve just eaten and that my meal is closer to filling up than savouring, I manage on the other hand to slow down the process better than before. And if I can’t, I simply tell myself that I’ll wait for a real hunger before eating again.

Regularly, I do something I was forbidding myself from doing before: buy a great cake, custard tart or mille-feuille, my two personal hits. On that day, a Wednesday usually, I eat almost nothing for lunch to really enjoy my sin.

I still eat my pain au chocolat on my way to work, I still munch two pieces of Milka after each meal. And, incredible fact, I always have a slab of the said chocolate in my desk, a slab that will last in average ten days, even more. Never until now, have I fallen for it and killed it in three minutes.

There you go, it was a totally disjointed article, written because I haven’t seen Zermati for more than one month. A cancelled appointment, a few leave days, and, I don’t know, the need to call back is not strong enough. Probably the temptation of having a break, to see what’s going to happen if I go on as a lonesome cowboy, a bit of laziness, a spectacular come back as well of my indecisive side.

I’ll keep you posted for sure of the course of the events.

Edit: In case the Betty Boop dress inspires others, it comes from Naf-Naf.

But where is the computer ?

So, where were we? I realised my laptop wasn’t in my hand luggage. But like not there at all. All this while stewards were busy doing their useless safety demo as if it will be useful to know where the emergency exit is or how to use a life jacket in case of crash.

Let’s go back to the unfolding of this crazy departure…

7h56: Sorry miss, can I just check my bag, just two seconds 1, thank’s.  There we gooooo, I open my luggage, slip my hand inside and notice that…

7h57: that I want my mummy.

7h58: And my daddy too.

7h59: But mainly I want my laptop. That most certainly is somewhere, but not in my luggage. Nor in my pocket. Neither in my hand bag. Neither in my bra. And the plane takes off in three minutes.

8h01: This is a nightmare, I’m going to wake up, there’s no question, I KNOW I took back that fucking laptop after customs check. After putting my shoes back. And getting my hand bag. As well as my cell phone. And my transparent toilet bag. And… Fuck, and nothing, I forgot all about the laptop, now I remember.

8h02: I don’t care I’ll tell my boss, it was stolen from me in the street and that’s it. No witness, foreign country, language barrier, he will understand.

Or not.

Moreover, it’s the second time in three years that I deplore the loss of a work laptop. The first was REALLY stolen from me but you know how fast a reputation is created.

8h03: Furthermore, my husband will soon be unemployed.

8h04: All those notes taken during the conference are in that vermin of a laptop. Or how to come back without your equipment and no material for a potential article.

Either I find a way to go fetch it or a whole family will discover insecurity.

8h05: I put my nicest smile on my face (= right now the worst grin ever) and explain with a stodgy gibberish (stress doesn’t have a positive effect on the so-called “Read, spoken, written English” you find on my resume) that it is a life or death situation and I MUST go back to the customs check point where I forgot, triple jerk that I am, my laptop.

8h06: the steward warns me that the check point is very very very far from gate E72 (I KNEW this lack of number 3 was a bad sign) and he can’t guaranty the plane will still be there when I come back.

8h07: Challenge accepted. I will get my fucking bastard of computer 1 back AND manage to catch the plane, what a fucker motheeeeeer 1.

Damn it.

8h08: Just like in a movie, I rush out of the plane and start running like hell. Ok from the outside it most probably is a slow motion movie. But I am running. Which didn’t happen since 1987 more or less.

8h09: I realise during this frantic race that a) Madrid’s airport is as spread as Oregon, b) I’m not 100% sure I know where the check-point is, c) I left the plane without my ID, credit cards, phone  BUT with my Carte Vitale. Best case scenario, if I find my laptop, I have twelve minute left on the battery (the cable is in my luggage, that won’t get me too far, why didn’t I forget the cable, instead on the laptop, a mystery of human brain) to send out an international call for help. And then I will need to find a psychiatrist who accepts the Carte Vitale.

8h10: I might spend the rest of my life in the international area of Madrid’s airport. I could become a sort of wild beast, we’ll do reports on that weird woman who holds on to an old laptop without power cable and lives in a trolley.

8h11: I’m half way through and, a priori, only one tenth of my lungs is still working. My tights are at the level of my knees and one of my breasts seems to want to arrive to the check point before me.

8h12: Do we know when the end is near? Cause now I have a sort of intuition that my life is going to pass before my eyes.

8h13: Against all odds, I reach the check-point. In a last rattle, I mumble that I’m here to fetch my computer forgotten a few minutes ago 1. A guy from customs confirms that they’ve got one but he needs to fetch the key of the cupboard where they’ve put it. There he goes, whistling.

Easy Peasy.

 “I AM IN A HURRRRRRRY!!!!!!” 1 I shout, staking all, aware that it will either wake him up or convince him I am dangerously mad and thus good for slammer.

8h14: Apparently he chooses option one. He shows me the laptop which is indeed mine. At the same time, there are no other laptops in the cupboard. It confirms that I’m the kind of drag that doesn’t proliferate everywhere. Reassuring for the rest of humankind. Not for me.

8h15: I’m about to start running again – even if right now I’d like to really be in a movie so that we go directly to the following scene where I’m all sweaty, in the plane I managed to catch, next to Georges Clooney who would be in transit between Spain and France and who would fall in love with me and the sweat drops that would drip on my breast because of the chase in the airport. Instead, speedy customs man is blocking my way telling me I need to open and start the laptop and then type my password to make sure its mine.

8h16: What do you get in Spain for murder? No but do I look clever enough to have plotted the whole thing, like I’m going to pretend to run like hell across the airport, bet that a silly goose has forgotten her laptop and pretend it’s mine? No but I mean, WHO COULD HAVE SUCH AN IDEA?

Clearly, it must have already happened, given that the guy is hard-nosed. “You have to write your password” 1.

8h17: I might as well do so, as calmly as possible (=moaning like a three years old and shaking so bad I make a mistake twice). The laptop takes three days to start, I shit on Bill Gate’s face and send him the finger, I’m doomed anyway.

8h18: The laptop has started, happy end, I feel like french kissing the customs guy, but he, who clearly wants me too, yells “Ok GO ! RUN RUN RUN, your plane is leaving!” 1

8h19: Off I go with an extra three kilos, long live IT stock from 1998.

8h20: While I’m trying to move forward with more of a crawling than a run, I get one of those thoughts I have a knack for. Maybe all this is a sign. And I’m rushing to my coffin. Even though in the sky, my guardian angel is desperately waving with his small arms to explain that I shouldn’t board that plane which is more moth-eaten than my brain. It is, if all this is true, the irrefutable proof that I inherited the dumbest guardian angel ever. Because there are other options than almost wearing myself out on a moving walkway at dawn.

8h21: If I go back in this Boeing, I might waste my only chance to be on front page for escaping Air Europa’s most deadly crash. I can picture the titles “She missed the plane because of a laptop forgotten at customs’ check point (what a jerk) and avoid an awful death” and just below “Sometimes intelligence doesn’t pay, that’s the proof”

8h22: Don’t care, between spending the rest of my life in a trolley being the butt of everyone’s jokes or exploding above the Basque country, my choice is made. ETA here I come.

8h23: I propel myself into the plane, out of breath like a tuberculous eighty years old suffering from syphilis, crying emotionally.

8h24: Hardly have I done two steps in the plane, when in the movie with Georges, I would be swamped with applauses and passengers would even carry me from arm to arm with Gloria Gaynor’s screams in the background, instead, 300 pairs of eye looking daggers. I know now what it’s like to be the object of group hatred.

I feel an incredible solidarity with Raymond Domenech.

8h26: I sit down, fasten my seat belt quietly. The plane is about to rush forward on the runway. And, incredible: I’m not scared. Not at all. I simply don’t have the strength.

Edit: Check out the awesome drawing from Penelope on a relatively close subject, it could have perfectly illustrated today’s article if I had been of the kind who doesn’t care for copyrights. She is so talented!


 [1] TN: In English in the original text

Unidentified Flying Objects

So yesterday, I took a plane, very early, to come back from Madrid. The kind of plane for which you have to wake up before 6h, even if everyone always says it’s useless to arrive too early at the airport, it happens that my small issue with this kind of flying objects make my life slightly complicated on the day I take it. Ok, good for the madhouse. Or worse, to testify in one of those tabloid talk shows.

Come on, wanna read about it?

4h39: Wake up with a start. Where’s my phone, it’s almost time to wake up and if I don’t find it I’ll miss my plane.

4h41: Phone found. Fuck, only one hour’s sleep left, I have to hurry. Except I don’t know how to hurry to fall asleep. That is a real issue.

5h12: Although the interest of not falling back to sleep is that there are almost no risks not to hear my alarm. QED. I’m brilliant.

5h24: Is it worth going back to sleep, that is the question

5h34: Now it’s obvious it’s not worth it. I’ll stay in bed anyway until the alarm goes off.

5h45: I confirm it wasn’t worth it, I was in a better shape ten minutes ago and now I feel like it’s 23h55 and the night is in front of me.

5h55: Where’s my e-ticket? I lost my e-ticket. It’s bad, shit, where is that damn e-ticket? Elements are against me, it’s a bad sign, fuck, it’s a VERY bad sign. Or maybe it’s just a little help from destiny. For me not to take flight A4566 which is going to crash down above Basque Country. Without me as I won’t find my e-ticket in time.

5h56: In my left hand. It’s in my left hand. Let’s forget about that Basque Country thing, we’re most certainly not even going to fly over it. Ok, I’m operational. I put right away this damn ticket in the inside pocket of my bag, together with my pass…

Fuck, that jerk’s not here.

5h57: There. It’s there, in the bottom of my bag. I leave it, at least I’ll remember it’s there.

6h01: I’ll have a quick shower and then put my clothes on and check the room to be sure I’m not forgetting anything. Especially my charger, I’ve already forgotten three in hotel rooms. Thanks to me, there’s a blackberry chargers black market. I’m obviously pushing the market to bankrupt.

6h03: Charger is indeed in my suitcase. I take it out and leave it in evidence in order not to forget it.

6h15: A shower and off I go

6h17: What’s this G-string? I didn’t pack a G-string, am I dreaming or what?

6h16: My fault, it’s my bra. And my panties… My panties are with my passport and that is extremely weird.

6h18: Cool I have ten minute left for a last check and then I close the door. And then I take a taxi. And then I board the plane.

6h21: Except if the volcanic eruption has started again.

6h22: That damn volcano.

6h23: It could have had a bit more stamina. Just to make sure I wouldn’t have to go through any plane ordeal anymore. After all, there are great reports one can make in Paris’ suburbs. And it would be good for planet protection too.

6h24: It makes me sick when I think of it. We had a dreamed of occasion to stop, once and for all, all those CO2 emissions and bang, that moron with an unpronounceable name doesn’t hold the distance. Lousy volcano.

6h25: Where’s my passport?

6h26: in the bottom of my bag, perfect, even though I’m wondering how it got there. On the other hand, my phone, no idea. That’s bad.

6h27: On the side table.

6h28: I recap: passport, ok, credit card, ok, e-ticket…ok, phone, ok. Vamos

6h29: Charger. I got it covered. I thought of the charger before being in front of the gate. That’s a sign. And not good one in my mind. I’ll take the risk anyway. As soon as I find the key. That is in the door. That’s fine, I close the door and call the elevator.

6h30: My laptop. It stayed on the bed. It’s not that important anyway, is it?

6h31: Hola quetal signor, aeroporto por favor, terminal due… dos.

7h00: Flight for Paris, Gate E72. All is fine up to now, these numbers speak to me, no 3, it’s a sign.

7h02: My passport. Shit, my passport. It stayed in the bathroom, for sure.

7h03: Hola signora, ouno momento por favor, I have lost my pass… ah, no, it’s here, my god, thanks.[1]

7h05: La signora doesn’t seem to be willing to share a beer with me. Neither a moment of true friendship.

7h07: So: my shoes are in a crate, my toilet bag in another, my laptop in a third one. My hand luggage here, my hand bag, everything is there. Off they go, everybody gets scanned and it’s done and dusted.

7h08: Huh, what? Passport? Fuck but I JUST showed it to you signorita, enough now no?

7h10: No, not enough, even in Spanish I get it.

7h12: Alright, alright, don’t call the border police right now, calm down, my passport, if it didn’t walk back to the hotel with its tiny legs, should be…

7h13: In my right hand.

7h14: I’m not crazy you know.

7h16: I put my shoes back on, put my passport away, my boarding pass here, my credit card in my pocket to buy cigarettes. I put on my coat, fetch my toilet bag and close my suitcase.

7h18: My suitcase that is …

7h19: My suitcase that is …


7h21: On the belt.

7h22: A suitcase is totally stupid. Couldn’t it wave or something?

7h23: Next time I take NOTHING with me, I’ll use paper panties and keep the same pair of jeans. And I’ll sew my fucking passport inside my coat, so that it stops hiding in the bathroom.

7h32: Anyway, I don’t mean to brag, but except a slight anxiety to lose my stuff, which is extremely common and totally legitimate, I’m rather zen. Hardly did I make sure I avoided white lines on the floor.

7h34: But it doesn’t count since it is well know that it really jinx people who are about to take a plane.

7h35: For example, the fool in the front, she’s a goner, for sure, she k.e.e.p.s walking on the line.

7h36: Fuck, she sits in front of gate E72. MY GATE. We’re on the same flight.

7h38: Because of that selfish woman, who has no sense of responsibilities, we’re all going to die. Even though I’ve been STRUGGLING since this morning to avoid all white lines.

7h41: I’m exhausted.

7h42: My passport. Shit, my passport.

7h43: “Passengers for Paris-Orly, please, passengers for Paris-Orly” 1

7h45: La signorita doesn’t give a damn for my credit card. Nor for my Carte Vitale [2]. Even less for my Pass Navigo [3].

7h46: HERE IT IS!!! I could cry. That bastard was in the inside pocket of my bag. As if it was the right time to hide. “Inanimate objects do you have a soul? ” was asking that visionary, well drop it, I have the answer.

7h49: All is fine. Except for that white line question but I KNOW it’s stupid. I KNOW it, the doctor told me so, it’s my mind playing tricks on me. Otherwise, honestly, I’m proud of myself. My heart beats normally, I’m not sweating nor do I have obsessive thoughts – my pass…shut up – and we’re taking off in less than fifteen minutes.

7h50: I think it’s what we call growing up.

7h51: Or getting old. But in a nice way.

7h52: Not sure there’s a nice way of getting old though.

7h53: If I were the woman from before, the one who rolled into a ball right after entering the plane or who put the crew’s body language under a microscope, I would yield to the little pervert voice whispering in my head that I’m not sure I put my laptop back in my suitcase after customs check.

7h54: When you must be really half-witted to do such a thing. Losing your passport is alright, but for that you’re good to “see someone” for the next ten years.

7h55: Right, I KNOW it’s another manifestation from my subconscious that wants to stop me from taking this plane. But it’s harmless to double-check all is in order in my suitcase which I just stored in the overhead compartment. I barely looked for my passport since this morning, we’re not going to nitpick for such a small thing, especially if it’s the key to peace of mind.

7h56: Sorry miss, can I just check my bag, just two seconds 1, thanks.  There we gooooo, I open my luggage, slip my hand inside and notice that…

7h57: that I want my mummy.

7h58: And my daddy too.

7h59: But mainly I want my laptop. That most certainly is somewhere, but not in my luggage. Nor in my pocket. Neither in my hand bag. Neither in my bra. And the plane takes off in three minutes.

To be continued…


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

[2] TN: The Carte Vitale is the health insurance card of the national health care system in France

[3] TN: Pass Navigo is a means of payment for public transportation in Paris region


A miracle in equilibrium


Do you remember that ad for a bank in which a guy was calling his financial adviser twenty times so that he would repeat the amount of credit on the guy’s account, just to get revenge for years of harassment about his overdraft?

I loved that ad.

Especially as, at that time, I was in the phase hide your head in the sand and filter calls from your bank.

Last week, I felt like doing a remake of that ad. With Philippe, the ski equipment rental guy.

And ask him every day to have me try on one of his pair of ski shoes. Come on man, these ones there, bring them on? Huh yeah, I can close them too. And you won’t believe it my foot is IRRIGATED. Bring on the red ones while we’re at it? Same, as comfortable as sleepers! And what about those ones which look narrow, he? Well, not that much, boy, you could fit two other in there, let me laugh, you don’t mind my Philou if I stay a bit more, do you? I’d like to try on one or two other pairs, just like that, for the enjoyment of it.

In short, you get me, my week has been ENLIGHTENED by the simple fact that I could fit into ski shoes without risking an amputation of some of my toes.

Now dare telling me that losing weight is about respecting society norms. Those who think this have NEVER known how humiliating it is to choose a size 7 pair when your actual size is 5 just to get an extra 3 millimeters on the last hook. Neither to have to tell your weight – slightly minimized – to the ski rental guy in front an astounded crowed (= my children who had never managed until then to obtain the damn number).

In short, I won’t bullshit you, having lost weight has simplified my everyday life. And not only a little bit. I know I’m not younger, not necessarily prettier, I didn’t turn into a sex on leg for all that. But not a day goes by without the thought that ‘this’ I couldn’t have done it so easily a few months ago.


– Put on that slightly out of fashion ‘flare’ pair of jeans, size 10 from Gap, which was sleeping in my closet since 2004.

– Run up the stairs at the Opera metro station without having the impression to have lost someone on the way. My left knee, as it happens.

– Tie the strap on these delicious Salomés bought an arm and a leg only for the pleasure of… tying the strap.

– Put on a belt my mother forgot at my place. Until now I could at best use it as a necklace.

– Have a bath without the fear of getting stuck (yes, it happened to me, thank you soap, my saviour)

– Sit on a fence to eat my sandwich without thinking in the back of my head that it could give way.

– Planning to sit on the Churros’ laps, just like that, without getting cramps trying to make myself lighter (one of my big regrets from teenage hood, all my friends were sitting on each other’s laps, it might have happened to me once or twice but usually people sat on MY LAPS.)

– Sidle in a row of seats in a cinema without hearing people breathe heavily or moan.

– Almost not hear these obsessive voices that shout « fatty » when I try to enter a crowded metro.

– Pass a group of guy with my head up high and be surprised not to feel my tummy getting tight. Not walk faster and be astounded they didn’t even notice me.

I know very well all these are insignificant. I also know that some are the fruits of an ill imagination.

I know as well that I give it too much credit. And it’s indeed the proof that I’m still half way through the river, torn between the fear of gaining weight again and being aware that this is what will ruin me. But here you go, here and now, I have the feeling of being miraculously in equilibrium…

Edit: It became a tradition, a ‘blogger like’ picture, because I’m worth it, am I not? Ok, I look like I’m pooping. Or that I need to. Come on, I’m leaving you with a few pictures from my holidays…

IMG_3726 IMG_3782 IMG_3781 IMG_3702 IMG_3721


IMG_0937 IMG_0967 IMG_3684 IMG_3685

Do you like Mars? (Episode 2)


We were talking about the moment when doctor Z told me he was about to have me savour a Mars.

– Are you hungry now?

– No, not really.

– Good, the goal is that you eat without hunger. Are you stressed?

– Currently I’m stressed 24/7 so yes.

– On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rank your stress level?

– I would say…5

– We can do better?

– Easily

– So we’ll be a bit masochistic and we’ll raise your stress level

And here I am, eyes closed, a mini Mars in front of me, listening to my good doctor playing Cassandre and, just like a telepath, explaining how the subject of my anxiety could have indeed stressful and negative consequences on my life. So much insight actually made me think that despite a high number of patients, he obviously scrupulously took notes of what I’ve been telling him for the past months, indeed, my mother, my sister, my Churros or my Zaz could have said the same thing. Disturbing. I tried to create a diversion by teasing him with “I’m glad I came, when I leave I jump off a bridge, and you’ll have it on your conscience” but it didn’t work, he looks nice mister Zermati but you don’t want to look for trouble too much with him and the glower he threw me did calm me down. After five minutes visualizing how my life could turn, in the coming months, if everything would go wrong as I have a tendency to imagine, that’s how optimistic I am, tears started rolling on my cheeks and you can say that if the objective was to make me panic, it was a success.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your stress?” he asked again

– 12.

Of course, doctor Z, alias mister Hyde was delighted, we could start the experiment.

He thus asked me to concentrate on my breathing, without trying to modify it, simply think of the air flowing through my nose, my trachea and my chest. “Thoughts that are coming to your mind, you make a note internally and you come back to your breath”. After a few seconds, he gave me the mini Mars, which I took out of its wrapping. He told me to look at it, to smell it, to touch it and then to have a bite. “ Now, you make the piece turn in your mouth, you enjoy the different textures, the smell. You take notes of the tastes you perceive, the sweetness of caramel, the softness of chocolate. Now you can munch it, chew it and then swallow it. You linger over its passing in your throat and you open your eyes again only once you have completely absorbed what you had in your mouth”, he intoned while I was getting, clearly, a shoot of Mars.

When I opened my eyes again, it seemed that my pulse was slower than a few seconds before. I munched only a few milligrams of chocolate but it felt like I had the entire piece. The doc had me take another bite. Following the same ritual.

– So, what’s you stress level now?

Stress? What stress? Gone, disappeared, in a totally temporary manner, I was aware of this but the fact remains that I felt lighter, though stuffed with a good dozen of calories.

In the meantime, I just understood why I like Mars: simply because it’s awesome, fuck, this crunchy chocolate, this soft caramel, oh lord, hung me high.

“The difference with what you just did, savouring food with the objective to calm down an anxiety, and a compulsion is that when it’s a compulsion, stress is not reduced after eating, it rises, which causes the intake of another biscuit, another piece of chocolate, another piece of bread. The difference is the full awareness with which you have eaten this piece of Mars. And even if you have a full Mars every day at the moment because circumstances are so that you need it, it is FINE. Because you also know that you can regulate yourself. That you’ll probably eat less at the next meal. Two bites of Mars or so won’t have any impact on your weight. On condition that you do it the right way.”

I left with new homework: make a note of my emotions during the day, name them (anger, anxiety, culpability, sadness) and grade them from 1 to 10 and assess how the food taken in case I wanted to has managed to make the tension drop.

I admit I am rather perplexed, even after this session. I feel that, indeed, complicated things are getting started, and not only because I have a good reason to worry. Time for prowess and perfect student has passed, it is now about living in the long term, accepting the idea of gaining weight again (inevitable because life is not alas or so much for the better always a flower paved journey), realizing that it won’t change the love my kin have for me and stopping to demonize all temptations which inevitably punctuate my days.

I’m not there yet but at the same time it’s so reassuring to know that nothing is forbidden…

Edit: No panic, I’m not ill, neither are the Churros or our children. I don’t want to give more details, because not everything should be told but no worries, nothing that is irreparable.

Edit2: The picture is a souvenir of a massage at Nuxe on Montorgueil street, a gift from my dear friend Mimi. More expensive of course than a Mars but zen effect guaranteed. During the hour I spent in the expert hand of the therapist, I thought of NOTHING and it was really NICE.

Do you like Mars?


Friday, I had a session with Zermati.

Each time, it starts the same way, with the same question: “How are you?” Harmless, we all agree, except that of course, the answer generally relates with how I am food wise. Well, in fact, I always start by telling my life a little bit as over the sessions, we are not very far from something like a therapy.

The thing is that inevitably my qualms bring me back rather quickly to the kitchen table.

And that time, more than any other day, it didn’t fail.

— I’m rather good, except that I’m preoccupied by rather stressing news. (Tearful eyes, noisy tears swallowing, silence and talk resumption). And thus… I feel like eating.

Of course, this good doctor, far from loading me with reproaches or coaching me as Cohen and Dukon would do, I guess, like: “you are stronger than the Twix call”, seemed almost happy. Wait, he was sorry for me and listening, but rather satisfied with my confession.

“I was starting to find the whole process too smooth”, he explained.

Like he was wondering if I hadn’t swallowed a Buddhist monk or interiorized so much our discussions that I became more Zermatist than Zermati. He shouldn’t worry, the little voice that is telling me daily that my issues can dissolve in a slab of Milka is still there, ready to sound the bugle for the slightest complains.

— And then what do you do towards this eating desire?

Then, the good student I’ll always make sure I am, I think, lifted her head proudly and bragged:

—Well very surprisingly, I think I manage it quite well. I mean, I treat myself but I wait to be really hungry to do so. Exactly as you said.

I think I looked like a dog standing on its back legs, convinced its exercise deserves a sugar lump. I haven’t been disappointed, instead of a sugar lump, I got a Mars.

But before, though, from the frustrated look of doctor Z, I felt that my brown-noser side didn’t hit the bull’s eye. Even that, basically, I didn’t understand anything.

— You must absolutely know AS WELL how to eat without hunger and feeling guilty. Yes, in some instances, food IS comforting. You eat to feed yourself, to answer nutritional needs but to comfort yourself as it is a pleasure. And just like you sometimes take care of one children more than of the other because she is sick, you can also favor one function over the other, punctually.  So if you feel that your stress can be calmed down by a treat, you have the right to do so.

— Yes but I’m too scared that one thing leading to another…

— That it would be a compulsion?

— There you go. I know myself and I know I can rapidly go back to the other side.

— Except that we have worked together and all is not exactly like before. You must trust yourself. Compulsion will come from this restriction you are forcing on yourself during this difficult period.

— Yes but how do I know I’m not giving in to a compulsion? How can I be sure a piece of chocolate will be enough and will do me good? How can I be sure I won’t end up eating the whole biscuit packet with all guilty feelings that go with it?

— By listening to your desire. By analyzing it. By asking yourself why you feel like eating , by thinking of another possible solution. Sometimes, you find one. Sometimes… you don’t, it happens that the piece of chocolate IS a solution, or at least the best available one. And in that case, you CHOOSE to indulge with that piece of chocolate. Yet a compulsion is forcing its way, it is not decided. When making that decision this is not compulsion. Then you take the time to eat that piece of chocolate. You stop and savour it. Do you like Mars?

“Do you like Mars?” What a question? Do cats like mice? Can tea go without milk? Can David spend holidays without Jonathan? Does Peter need Sloan? Does…

The answer is yes, Doc, I like Mars.

—Thus you’ll savour one now.

I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow if you’re in, I feel it has been a bit long and also, I like creating episodes. I mean, in case it is boring at one point…

Edit: On the picture it’s me wondering if I prefer Mars or Twix. What a hassle…

I wish I were an objectified woman


So, this idea of liking and loving yourself. I will try to report the fruit of our discussion with doctor Zermati on the question, without being sure I’ll make myself clear.

The problem is actually easier if you state it in the following way: do you like the people you love? Be careful, ‘like’ is to be taken in a broad sense, not necessarily in its ‘physical’ meaning. For you to ‘like’ someone, that person must correspond with norms which we think are personal but are in reality obliged by our communities (basically, is beautiful what everyone finds beautiful, apparently it can be verified if you show pictures of individuals to a panel group, there is unanimity on who’s handsome and who’s ugly). In short, the fact that you like someone is subject to several conditions.

That is not the case for love.

For example, our kids. Do we like them 100%? Is our love subject to their weight, their eyes color, their joyful, sweet and docile character? Do we need to explain why we would go through fire for them when these vermin deprived us from sleep during the first three years of their lives? (Ok, it’s not the subject but we are not out of the wood yet for that matter, I wanted to mention it too)

As far as I’m concerned, the answer is no. My thingies I love them unconditionally and somehow, doctor Z pointed out, luckily, as the entire human species is at stake, we don’t need to find our children beautiful to cherish them. Especially as, of course, ours are magnificent but it’s not the case for all children, right. Hum.

The comparison works for our days and nights lover, who, let’s admit it, have a dog’s breath in the morning, snores like a pig at night and doesn’t necessarily looks like Brad or George. Not to mention his steady habit of leaving the toilet seat up or of throwing away our personal belonging exclusively, on the pretext of ‘it was lying around’ when not at all I left it here intentionally (yes, ok, I’m deviating from the subject)

Nevertheless, even if you turn your head slightly when he starts talking to you in the morning, you love him. Yes yes. You can’t really tell how or why, it’s just there, you have him under your skin, this jerk.

Let me stop here, you get me, it’s the same with Bénédicte, whom you met in high school, who has a whole lot of habits that drive you mad, but whom you couldn’t do without for more than three weeks and it has lasted for 15 years. You find her pretty of course, except, if you really consider it, ok, her pores are dilated, her breasts are not so firm and she has a slight squint. Nevertheless, you love her, that goose.

In short, I think I’ve made my point, we don’t like everything about people we love but something happened, something was built, a bond was created and it’s like that.

So why would we need to like ourselves to love ourselves? Who, frankly, looks at himself or herself in the mirror in the morning and screams damn I’m hot, and brilliant as well? Well very few people. Or not every day. Nevertheless you have to accept yourself because, a priori, except if Rael and his visionary friends are right, you have only one life and one physical body. And loving yourself is a good start for the trip.

Except that our thoughts are upside down or even crooked, doctor Zermati was telling me. And the messages sent from all over won’t help us see more clearly. Then we interiorize that not liking yourself implies not loving yourself. And that, as a consequence, other won’t love us either.

— “Yes but I, I believe I wish I were liked. I’m a bit ashamed to say so, but I wish I were, once in my life, an objectified woman, a pure object of desire, not because I’m been appreciated or found funny or nice, simply because people turn round for me. I know, it’s foolish and stupid, but I never got this.”

Instead of making fun of me, doctor Zermati replied that indeed, during teenage hood, you need that thing, to be desired, displayed like a trophy. And thus sometimes you look all your life for that thing you didn’t get. Except that, let’s be clear, I’d be really embarrassed if, right now, Stan, good looking kid from grade 10, on whom I’ve drooled for hours in vain, were to propose a French kiss behind the toilets.

Or maybe not.

Edit: Picture taken with my phone, not very high quality, but I love her, what can I do…

My ten food commandments


Six months. I’ve been following doctor Zermati’s advice for six months. Without meaning to do an appraisal, because I think it’s too soon and mainly because I’ve integrated the fact that featuring my weight loss could, at the end, causes another loss, I keep in mind the below ten commandments which are not really commandments but which have become, over the weeks, my own mantras, my crutches when chocolate is calling…

#1 – What you eat when you are hungry doesn’t make you gain weight.

#2 – It’s eating beyond your hunger that causes weight gain.

#3 – A balance diet is obtained in the long term never over one day, nor over one week.

#4 – I’m not more responsible for being fat that I am for being small, short sighted or stammerer.

#5 – Losing weight won’t make me kinder.

#6 – It’s fear of gaining weight again that nine times of ten makes you put on weight again.

#7 – My value doesn’t depend on the weight my scale displays.

#8 – After an excess, the only thing to do is to wait for the feeling of hunger to come back before eating, without feeling guilty for the pleasure taken.

#9 – Eating without hunger is as dumb as charging an already full cell phone battery.

#10 – You can lose weight while eating chocolate daily or any other so called taboo food.

That’s it for today, I’ll come back soon on the “do you need to like yourself to love yourself?” subject, after discussing it in length with doctor Z., I believe I’ve understood his point and, at the same time, made a giant step forward, when it comes to what I think of me and also of my relationships with lovers, friends and family.

What is funny in this regard, it’s that Jaenada’s book I’ve just finished ends in particular with this sentence (as I recall it): “You don’t love someone for a particular reason, you love him or her and that’s it”. That’s, in substance, the conclusion of my exchange with Zermati: we love in general unconditionally people, whether they are our parents, children, partner or friends. Why aren’t we capable of doing so for ourselves?

Edit: I’ve chosen the picture because I believe I haven’t dared such a pose for ten years and because, even if it is indeed there, this muffin top, modest but present, strangely, doesn’t bother me.

Survivors (1)


“On a day to day basis, it’s fine. I deal quite well with my cravings, I don’t feel distressed by food, I indulge and stop almost all the time when I’ve had enough. But now, for example, I’m going for a week-end away with friends, I know that we’ll party, that there will be no set time for meals, that there will be temptations all the time and that I won’t be able to do like I do at home, namely leaving the table when I’m done, to avoid temptations. Thus, I’m getting distressed”, so I explained last week to doctor Zermati.

To which he answered: “You need to really trust yourself now. To trust regulation first and foremost.”

“Yes, you will most probably eat more than usual, in exceptional circumstances, exceptional food behavior. If you think it is possible to always eat according to your sensations, eating exactly what your body need, you’re totally wrong. People who never take a break, who have linear diet have a problem, precisely with food. They are the unbalanced ones. For that matter, honestly, I don’t know any”, he added.

What a relief, once again, to hear such things. Life is not a long quiet river and neither is food. As result, would you believe, I was chilled out during those two days, not denying myself anything and, above all, not thinking about what was too much or too little. And at the end, no mess on the scale.

And even if there had been a mess, I think it would be sorted, because when I came back, chock-a-block with toasts, pastries, champagne and beer, I craved furiously…

Braised chicories.

I know, it’s crazy.

In short, what I’m trying to understand and integrate, it’s that fearing extra kilos will make me put on weight. What I understand too, it’s that yes, it’s nicer to spend your evening dancing with a light feeling, yes, compliments from friends I haven’t seen since my figure was at its biggest last year are flattering. But no, it doesn’t change much the pleasure they’ve had – or haven’t had- to see me again and even less the one I felt.

I also understand, since doctor Z’s scientific explanations, that in order to put on weight like I can do, you must suffer from two pathologies. The first one is being unable to handle emotion without eating. We’ve spoken about it already, it’s independent from willpower, it’s a Pavlov classical conditioning, some will cry when they are sad or worried, others will need a drink, others a piece of Milka. Sometimes, you are even lucky enough to need all three at the same time. The other disorder, genetic this one, causes fat cells to multiply, an irreversible multiplication that make your set point evolve towards higher numbers inexorably. This, either you have it or you don’t. People who don’t have this genetic mutation will put on weight if they eat a lot but their cells will only increase in volume and this volume will be lost as soon as their diet reduces. People like me produce plenty friends for their adipocytes. And it’s only a combination of both disorders that causes weight gain.

I add that according to Doctor Z, if more and more people are obese it’s also and very simply because over the course of wars and famines, beings who were not able to multiply their fat cells have disappeared for lack of surviving abilities. Basically, us fatties, we are a bit like winners, survivors1. How about that huh? I would have loved to throw this in the face of the moron who wanted to start a ‘carothon’ to make me lose weight in secondary school…

In short, only one solution to stop the process, act on emotions. Not on the cravings they trigger, once again, you can’t help it, it’s a reflex you’ve had for too long. But when these emotions are coming, understand in which situation you are vulnerable, find the origin of the ill-being. I am currently working on this, a process which is much less simple than behaviorism from the beginning or knowing my sensations. It’s a quest which brings me back in my childhood, my teenage hood and I don’t know exactly what it will enable me to find out. But it’s fascinating and, oddly, I have very little compulsions currently. I have too, and it’s even better, more confidence in front of the ones who usually have me go to pieces (and there are many, I’m a corridor big mouth, may I remind you).

In short, no magic in all this, no evidences, lot of introspection and sometimes a few brain-waves which help me understand the reason of some snack times that, long ago, lasted until dinner…


[1] TN: In English in the original text