Posts By: Aurélie

Liking yourself and or loving yourself?


“Is it necessary to like yourself to love yourself?”

Yeah well it’s all fun and game but I am supposed to work on this subject for my next session with doctor Z.
And I’m lightly drying up.

Let me tell you that the Doc has his thoughts on the matter and from what I’ve understood – we’re starting to know each other well – the answer is no.

It could even be the reason for all our misfortune, this confusion we make between being liked and being loved.
No, you’re welcome, it was a pleasure.

Edit: The picture is there just because, right now, I wish I were in Sifnos. And also I like the mise en abyme: I’m taking a picture of you taking a picture of me. And finally, it is not that far from the question of liking our image or not. Ok, I talking shit now.

Over exposed


“You are exposing yourself too much, be careful”.

It’s doctor Zermati who warned me on Monday. Wait, no value judgment in this warning, neither criticism of my articles about the therapy. No, what he wanted me to understand, is that giving here details on how many kilos I’ve lost wasn’t necessarily good for me.

Why? Because somewhat, I put myself under pressure. The pressure not to « deceive », to have to hold on absolutely, not to fail, in order not to then be ashamed and have to confess here that yes, I’ve put on weight again.

“I often saw more or less famous people who were supposed to lose weight for a brand of health food and whose weight loss became a selling point. They all ended up putting on weight again”, he added.

On the spot, I have to admit, I’ve been shaken. After all, I do what I want, and on this blog I’m used to telling everything, and I’ve also shown myself when I was bigger, and the idea is not to talk big, simply to share my experience. No, I’m not using it as a selling or communication point, rubbish man!

Excep that… hum.

Of course, I talk big.

Just like a kid who sports her hard fought medal, I gave in to temptation to pin up the lost fat on these pages. With great many flattering pictures and victorious announcements, minus one, minus two, minus three, minus ten, minus… stooooop.

That’s right, if I think about it, it puts me under pressure. Because putting on weight again would be, wrongly most probably, a failure. For sure. A failure all the more so stinging that it would be public and observed by all of you.

“I don’t wish you this at all, I even touch wood, but it’s possible that one day you will put on weight again. Even if you respect your food sensation for all your life, there are mainly external factors that can play de role. You could be forced to take medicines (antidepressant, anticancer or others which act on the metabolism), suffer from menopause’s hormonal effects and so on. On that day, will you be worth less?”.

Wow, then too, needless to say, I’ve been a bit shaken. Wait, I’m the perfect Zermati good student and here is what I receive? No but where are the gold stars, huh?

More seriously, I believe it’s the way to calm down my hysterical goose euphoria from being able to fit into a size 12 again.

Yes, it’s good, yes, it’s normal to be happy and appreciate yourself again. But no, over-highlighting this change in my figure is not good on the long term. Because it’s getting the idea into my head that gaining two kilos would be tragic. And the odds are that it wouldn’t be two kilos that would add up but ten more, as a result of stress and generated anxiety.

All these remarks, the doctor expressed them after reading my list of how I would feel if I were gaining weight again. It was clearly highlighted that, for me, obesity and self-esteem don’t get along so well (actually that’s not really a scoop, huh)

In other words, I have a slight tendency to consider myself as person with a higher worth when I slim down.

“What matters is not how other people look at you, you can’t do much about it. What matter is that you are convinced that you haven’t been fat during all those years because of a lack of will, weakness or lack of tenacity. Because, yes, I assure you, it has NOTHING to do with willpower. Actually too much will in those cases just damages the system a bit more.

To make a comparison, a goal keeper can stop one penalty. If twenty persons kick at the same time twenty balls towards the goal, he won’t be able to stop them all. It’s what happens with the urges to eat with people like you who suffer from a slight eating disorder. One urge to eat, you can, with willpower, stop it. Two, three, maybe, But if your brain sends 50 per hour, it’s impossible. Whether or not you are a stubborn person”.

He also explained the whole process of gaining weight over the years. It’s a bit complicated and tedious to explain, but if you are interested, I will try to express it with my words. But basically, what I remember, it’s that yes bitch mother nature. Or not actually, because according to doctor Z. I’d better stop moaning at her. Because I’m really lucky to have lost so much in so little time, it’s the proof my body is not completely damaged by all the diets I’ve put it through.

What I’ve retained too is that, unwillingly, I take the same malevolent look at me (and thus overweight people) than the boys who were bullying me at school when I was a child. And as long as I won’t stop despising this ingrate teenager, I will not move forward much. 10, 15 or twenty kilos won’t change it.

“In the street or elsewhere, when you’ll come across overweight people, look at them as they should be looked at. As people who are not to blame for those kilos, for which they are not responsible. It will be a good start “.

I left with those words and since Monday they are in my head. I don’t really feel like talking big anymore, I understood, I think, that the game is far far from being over. And I try to convince myself that, indeed, to see the scale’s needle going up again would noy be a proof that I’m worthless…

Edit: From now on, thus, I will keep talking about all this but without giving figures on my performance, which shouldn’t be considered as such.

Edit2: I think it’s obvious but I’d rather point it out, the words I report here are correct in their sense but I don’t take notes and so I write it with my style. Doctor Z. is kind enough to let me tell all this without ever judging or making a remark when I think he reads it, maybe not all but still. These texts are firstly my version of our discussion.

Edit3: I also want to add that I don’t tell everything from the sessions and each patient lives things in his or her own way. Each patient is different and what is true for me might not be for someone else…

Edit4: No, nothing.

Edit5: Yes, the picture is from a shooting from 3 years ago from a shampoo brand which wanted it likes all women, like Dove right. For those who are interested, I wrote about it here and there.

If I were

If I slimmed down more…

– I would easily fit into a size 12.

– Buying a swimsuit would make me enthusiastic.

– I might be able to climb on 10 cm high heels.

– I would enter public places with slightly more self-confidence.

– I would feel more attractive.

– I would tell myself tales where I’d be desired only for my body.

– I would look at myself in the mirror all the time.

– I would pose on my blog with my knees inside, like a professional.

– I would feel younger.

– I would be, maybe, less scared to talk in public. Or not.

– I would always be Caroline, 38 years old, married, 3 children.

– I might be less inspired.

– I would be bankrupt but on the other hand La Redoute and American Vintage would be taken as examples of blossoming companies in Davos from all over the world.

– I would still be so scared to die.

– I would put my hands on my jutting out hips and, without understanding why, I’d like it.

– I would create a scandal assuring that you never feel as good as when you’re slim. And I wouldn’t see the issue.

– I might be less funny.

– I would feel fragile.

– I wouldn’t ask myself anymore if the person next to me in the train is too squeezed because of me.

– I wouldn’t be afraid of people letting me have their seat in public transport.

– I would suggest to my GP check my weight, even for an ear infection.

– I would weight myself in a pharmacy, in front of everyone.

– I would go back to La Pitié[1], in the consultations-maternity ward, I would jump on the scale and ask the midwife to tell out loud the displayed figure. I wouldn’t even beg to be allowed to take off my shoes.

– I would go to Comptoir des Chiffonniers[2] to try all their pants on.

– I would offer my mother a shopping session together, to rewrite history for that dramatic episode in Nouvelles Galeries[3] never to show up again,  she and I crying in the fitting room, because I was twelve and the only skirt that fitted me was a brown flannel skirt size 14.

If I were putting on weight again…

– I would want to tear off that muffin top which prevents my pants from fitting without being too tight.

– I would retrieve my clothes that are too big from the bottom of my wardrobe.

– I would put in the bottom of my wardrobe all the newly purchased clothes.

– I would wake up again with this existential question if any: what am I going to wear today. Fuck.

– I would move the scale’s needle to cheat, only for the pleasure of postponing what’s ineluctable.

– I would invent hormonal issues, I would curse water retention.

– I would end up informing everyone, even before it’s visible, that, here you go, another knock for nothing.

– I would anyway go to the beach and the sea would be at the same temperature than with 10 kilos less.

– I would enjoy this coming spring in the same way.

– I would drop the whole tutu idea (ok, it‘s to justify the picture)

– I would always be Caroline, 38 years old, married, 3 children.

– I would fall again head first in the cookies packet, this explaining the gain too.

– I would let him stroke my hips, trying to forget they don’t jute out anymore.

– I would have plenty money again in my account and would shout to anyone who might be listening that everything is ugly this summer in the shops.

– I would say goodbye to my boyfriend jeans and hi to my slim. With no need to buy the latter, nothing’s lost everything transforms.

– I would still know how to write.

– I would still be a journalist.

– I would still be alive.

And the others, what would they think?

I think my friends would be sad for me, sorry even. Maybe some, secretly, would think that finally everything falls back into place and it’s not that bad to keep things the way they have always gone. My mother would still love me but we would forget this shopping idea. She would find me pretty anyway, I think. My kids would tell me that they don’t see any differences and that no, really, nonsense, mum, you are not fat. The man will be very enthusiastic about my breasts coming back.

Maybe once my back is turned, some would tell themselves it’s too bad for it suited me well. And then to my face, they would assure me that, honestly, when you are too slim it makes you look bad, your face is not made for it, it wasn’t you. And it could be that they would be sincere in both cases.

Here you go, all this came out on its own, without much thought. If I’m 100% honest, the most wonderful thing about being slim is that you can get dressed without thinking of it. Is it normal to have studied for years, to claim the fact that a great-head is ten times more important than a perfect body and to however long for such a futility? Not so sure…


[1] TN: Hospital in Paris

[2] TN: sarcastic nickname for the brand Comptoir des Cotonniers, chiffonnier meaning ragman.

[3] TN: French shopping mall

Set point and match

In the comments on my article from Friday, I’ve been asked how many kilos I have lost and how, in the end, I cope with this weight loss. It’s funny because it’s sensibly the same subject as the one we discussed during my last session with doctor Zermati.

“If you were to stop losing weight, if these 10 kilos were the maximum you could lose while keeping eating like you do now, how would you feel?” he asked.

“I would be perfectly fine with it”. It came out just like that, without second thought, and I think it was totally honest. You could think that 69 kilos for 1m63 – less 11 thus to be precise – it’s far from the current ideals. You could even say that in terms of ambition I play it safe. But I have to remind everyone that I’m a yo-yo backpacker. And being 38 years old, you are indeed not always reasonable, but you know certain things. Like you haven’t been programmed to be in the same category as Charlotte, Vanessa[1] or Kate.

The doctor seemed rather surprised by this cry from the heart but in a good way. During our first conversation, after discussing my weight history over the years from when I was 15, he evaluated my set point (weight for which, a priori, I am genetically programmed – bitch mother nature) around 67-68 kilos. Meaning we are reaching the target, if there were a target.

But despite everything, he warned me, it might well be right now that it really begins. Simply because we’ll have to identify how I manage what he calls the “weight stress factor”. Namely the fear of putting on weight again. Thus the necessity not to lose too much, I guess. The more you try to maintain a weight that is not your set point, the more stressed out you are not to succeed and the higher the risk to put on weight again. I point out that this is my own extrapolation, the doctor did not deal with it in depth but this is what I’ve deduced and what I deduce from my past experiences.

While if you content yourself with your “set-point”, a priori it is possible to eat your fill, according to your desires, without triggering the infernal mechanism.

Nevertheless, even in this case, the fear to put on weight again is there and I won’t hide it. If I were Dalai Lama, we’d know it.

It’s actually to deal with this fear that doctor Zermati gave me this little exercise for the next session : write what I would feel if a) I were slimmer, b) I’d put on weight again. And also what my kin, according to me, would think in both scenarios.

Objective: working on the image we have of ourselves and the image we think people have of us.

Of course, I haven’t started my homework when it’s due in two days. But I have an idea and promise, if you’re interested, I’ll share what I can say here. I have my decency, eh, even if it’s not always blindingly obvious on these pages.

That’s it, I realise that actually, I haven’t really answered the question from the beginning on how I’m coping with weight lost. Not yet. But the coming list will be, I’m sure, a good start…

Edit: the picture is supposed to illustrate this great coming reflection. Ok, it’s woolly, but sometimes I think hard about the images, right…


[1] TN: Reference to Vanessa Paradis and Charlotte Gainsbourg who are two, rather thin, French artists.

A matter of balance


During one of my session with doctor Zermati, I broached the question of balanced diet.

– No because you see, indeed I’ve lost weight, but I have the impression  that I eat any old how.

– What does it mean eating any old how? (The question which will lead to a stupid answer from me which will be flummoxed in one second, doctor Zermati’s secret trick)

– Well… it means the five fruits and veggies per day, when we play hide and seek, damn, they can’t find me.

– And is it a problem for you? Are you afraid of deficiencies, are you balance obsessed? (Ok I feel the coup de grâce coming)

– Hum… no, that’s not it, but on the days I eat no vegetable and no fruit, I…

–  … feel guilty? (And bang, spot on, he wins again, it’s too unfair)

– Let’s say I guess it’s not that good for my health, is it? (the girl who tries to buck the trend without really believing in it)

Wrong. Wrong, he explained, mister Zermati, alias Obi Wan Kenobi. Wait he didn’t recommend eating chips with mayo every day, eh, let’s be serious. But you shouldn’t mention too many times these campaigns about 5 fruits and vegs a day to my master Yoda. He looks kind but he could get mad. Why? Because according to him food balance shouldn’t be reached within a short time like one day. Not even one week.

Translation: it’s not because you don’t eat dairy products during a few days that you’ll break into pieces or that all your teeth will fall. Same for oranges, there’s no risk of scurvy if we skip them for a month.

The body knows how to ask for what he needs, same way as it knows how to show it’s hungry. And forcing yourself to eat broccolis with your steak when you feel full, it’s simply dumb (now it’s me talking, doctor Z. is more polite). Because in the end, not only will it not change much on a nutritional level but, furthermore, you gather calories for nothing. And so… you put on weight. By eating broccolis.

The truth, after six months of therapy, is I’ve never bought that many vegetables at the market. Not because I have to, but because I enjoy cooking them and, some evening, after a lunch made of quiche/custard tart/brownie/sandwich (not all at once of course) I want only one thing, to eat another type of food.

But there are also weeks when lacking time, will or need, starches will dominate my diet, or dairies, or fruits or what have you. Likewise thus for my kids. And not only do I keep losing weight but I don’t feel tired or nauseous.

In short, as mister Zermati explained to me, between eating for lunch a pain au chocolat and a full meal like ‘chicken, green beans, bread, yogurt and apple’, it’s the pain au chocolat that will be less calorific. Thus the full meal will make you put on more weight. It doesn’t mean – I insist – that having pain au chocolat at every lunch is good idea. It’s just that we have stupid patterns in mind, as a proof, when he asked me to point out which one of the two lunches would make me put on more weight I chose the pastry. Then I changed my mind, suspecting the trick.

I don’t know for you but it’s doing me so much good this idea that balance is on a longer period than a day. And I can’t tell you how relieved my kids are as I’ve stopped hammering home my dumb principles according to which they will shrink and lose their hair if they don’t finish their soup. It’s a bit like that thing on video games versus reading, basically. You can very well have books periods followed by Mario Bross weeks. And in the end, you will have done both at your own pace…

Come on, may the force be with you, grasshoppers…

Cashew nuts addict


“So, now, how would you describe your eating habits?” Doctor Zermati asked me a week ago.

– Hummmmm… I would say I’m more relaxed with food, some days I don’t even think of what I’m going to eat or of the therapy, I let my needs and wishes guide me. I even have the impression I can stop at the end of meal without reasoning just because I’ve had enough. Well, it’s not always the case, but it is nothing like it was before.

– Could we say it’s becoming natural?

– Yes, that’s it, basically, it’s becoming natural, I agreed. And, a few second later, always this nasty habit of opening my mouth too much, I added: “on the other hand, there is still one scenario in which I’m anxious, when I’m invited”. “Because of pre-dinner, I mean”.

– You’re afraid of drinking too much? (Worried face of a doctor who’s wondering if from slightly bulimic his patient became seriously alcoholic)

– Oh noooo, I reassured him immediately. Because of cashew nuts.

– Yeah, ‘cashew nut’, he said with a knowing look.

– No it’s very serious, I can’t stop. I think they put cocaine or something in it, it’s the only thing I can think of, I’m not myself in front of a bowl of cashew. And then, honestly, I don’t know what to do.

– At home, what do you do, then?

– At home? Simple, there aren’t any. I’m not crazy you know.

– Really? You love it but you don’t buy any? (Excessively astonished look of a therapist who wants to send a message). Then what do you serve for pre-dinner?

– Well… cherry tomatoes, possibly some cheese or raw carrots, or…

– And is it good? (Pointedly sceptical look of a therapist who wants me to say cherry tomatoes suck)

– Hum… yes, of course… (Girl who’s that close to crack)

– As good as cashew? (Therapist using the next gear, namely sarcasm)

– Of course no! (Patient falling feet first in the therapist’s trap)

– And people prefer cherry tomatoes to cashews? (Triumphing look of therapist who knows he just dealt the death blow)

– I doubt it but I don’t care, all I know is that at least I don’t fall in it head first. (And bang, get this Sigmund, unanswerable)

– Basically, you prefer serving everyone a pre-dinner that is less appreciated than what you could offer, only so that you don’t eat some, am I correct? And, if I may, do you eat what you put on the table anyway?

– Hum… yes, but it’s better than eating cashew or Pringles, isn’t it?

– …


Zermati 1, Patient, 0.

This verbal fight thus ended up, you suppose so, with one of those exercise Zermati likes so much.

For four days, I’ll have to start my lunch with cashews, even – Doctor Z is magnanimous – a mix of these delicious little things and crisps, Pringles or Chipster. Basically same song as with chocolate. Except that now, if I’m hungry again after one hour, I must eat the same and nothing else. Besides, I must have a big enough quantity to have some left afterwards.

And the rest

I throw it away.

Every evening.

Why throwing away? Because according to doc, keeping eating when you are not hungry anymore is nothing more nothing less than considering your stomach as a bin. Or even as a recycling center. He isn’t in favour of wasting but he doesn’t see how throwing rests away is more of a waste than swallowing it when you’re unable to stick it anymore and it will thus do you no good.

In short, here I am, forced to eat cashew four days in a row. What a pain.

Let me point out that contrary to what you could think, the goal is not to put me off cashews for life. The objective is, I believe, to make me discover after what quantity of cashews I don’t enjoying it anymore.

Not sure, it’ll sort completely my issue with pre-dinner, which is also linked, I think, with the sort of anxiety I feel at the beginning of an evening with friends, I don’t know, fear that we don’t get along, that we get bored, that I don’t say things I should, etc etc etc. But never mind, I’ve decided to trust my therapist, thus inch’allah and cashew nuts here I come. Damn it.

Everything about G.R.O.S (1)

This is an informative message, which explains the lack of image with it. Ok, mainly I didn’t have any idea to illustrate it.

As I receive a lot of requests by email or in the comments on how to get information on Zermati’s or Apfeldorfer’s guidelines, I wanted to give you the GROS’ web site, the network created, amongst others, by these two doctors.

You’ll find there plenty information on their method – if we can call it this way – and by writing to the email address given on the site you can get a list of health professionals with the same obedience. I think also by calling Zermati’s secretariat – in the Yellow Pages – you can get some numbers.

I’m often being asked for the price of a consultation and refund possibilities. I said it already but it’s 100 Euros per consultation, with one appointment every two weeks. In my case, I get refunded, as my GP asked for an eating disorder specific care. Now I’m not sure it will work for everyone, but I think so. I have an extra medical aid so personally I can manage. But it’s obviously an investment and you have to pay in advance, thus I agree it’s not within all budgets’ reach.

Here you go, that’s it for today, you’ll excuse the terse aspect of this article but as Helmut loves running jokes, she’s playing the stomach bug sketch again. For the past two day, I think no place in the house hasn’t been sprayed with vomit. Couch and carpet included. I even walked around the whole day with shoes stud with regurgitated milk, maintaining, with typical maternal bad faith, that, really, snow and salt do damage the shoes, damn it.

In short, I imaging that it will be my turn on Saturday to make sure I’m in perfect shape on Monday to start over the week and deal with the olders’ puke as their immune system is equivalent to a fly’s, may I remind you.

Maternity is a rose paved path.

(1) : TN: French research group on obesity and overweight, this association groups health professionals who deal with people struggling with their weight or eating behavior.

Not watching what I eat anymore


The first nutritionist I saw when I was 15 warned me straight away: “You’ll have to watch what you eat all your life, that’s it, don’t believe this diet will last two months only. If you then start eating any old how again, you’ll gain all your weight again.”

Verdict had been given, in terms of diet, I got life sentence.

Years passed, all health professionals told me the same. “You’ll have to WATCH what you eat all the time”

Watching what I eat.

I think I’ve said these words more than ten thousand times. “It’s fine, I manage to stay stable, I’m watching what I eat”. “If I watch what I eat, kilos don’t come back”. “Gosh, I’ve put on weight again, I must absolutely watch what I eat”.

Obviously, the negative variant works too “I haven’t really watched what I’ve been eating lately, my weight is a total mess”. Etc.

It took my meeting with doctor Zermati to understand that actually, watching what you eat is bad. It’s permanent control, the feeling of being imprisoned in healthy food constraints that systematically unleashed my compulsions as soon as I lower my guard.

With this therapy, for the first time I don’t feel this unlimited conviction, I don’t wait for the “end” of the diet, I don’t ask myself the fateful question of “stabilisation”.

Very simply because there won’t be any stabilisation. For the simple and good reason that there’s no diet.

I’m often being asked lately, here or in real life[1], how I will manage “after”.

I answer that there is no after. There is, overtime, I hope, my now at ease food way of live rendered banal.

Ok, put like this it sounds like Frédéric Lefebvre[2].

But I’m as categorical as I can be, I can live the years I have left with these eating habits. It has never been the case in my previous experiences, during which, pick and choose, I weighted each bread slice, cooked for breakfast so called proteins packed pancakes with a subtle taste of Smecta, or 40g of green beans, not one more, enlivened with half a tea spoon of rapeseed oil. Yummy.

This year, I’ve spent festive season enjoying foie gras, smoked salmon, chocolate and chestnut fondant, one of the things I prefer in this world. I’ve also happily skipped several lunches or dinners, without forcing myself, simply because my belly was full. Result: for the first time of my life1, I’ve lost one kilo and even a bit more during the past two weeks.

So yes, I can continue forever, because nothing will ever be forbidden anymore and I haven’t said the now banned sentence: “No thanks, I’m watching what I eat”

On the other hand, to my biggest surprise, I have refused several times truffles, chocolates and other sweets because no thank you, I’m not hungry anymore. And it’s my last word.

Edit: These sweets were sold during the Grand Palais funfair, and I haven’t even been tempted. Amazing.


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

[2] TN: French politician who has been Secretary of State for Trade, Small and Medium Enterprises, Tourism, Services, Liberal professions and Consumption under the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, François Baroin. Source: Wikipedia.


Everyone puts on weight during the Christmas period


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Not this year you’ll see.

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

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

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

— Basically … yes.

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

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

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

— You’re forgetting 3)

— Which is?

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

— Amen.

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

Personally, I find the program rather…mouth watering.

Isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

What does being at ease with yourself means?


Living with it or being at ease with yourself.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Thus, this picking up of the issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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