Sunday, 18 March 2012

French women don't get fat!

...is the title of a book I am reading at the moment. Don't let the somewhat superficial sounding title fool you, it is actually a really good book. I'm only about a third of the way through, but so far I have discovered that her (or the french people's) philosophy is quite similar to that in "If not dieting, then what?" It identifies that diets don't work, it's pointless (and no fun) trying to restrict ourselves and if we want to get to a point where we feel bien dans sa peau (comfortable in your skin) we need to learn to enjoy our food, eating to a point where we feel satisfied so that we don't overeat and can enjoy a wide variety of food. It just comes at these ideas through a different approach to Dr Rick...it's very french! I guess that's good because it makes it seem very chic.

Other points she makes are:

- prepare your own food
- eat lots of fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of types of food
- compensation or "fooling yourself" - if you have a croissant for breakfast, have a salad for lunch. If you have a big lunch, go for a walk later. I guess you have to adjust this to what you feel like having because you wouldn't want to start thinking in diet mode.
- walking is one of the best, most enjoyable and less strenuous activities
- eat sitting down at a table, and if possible try to make it as presentable as possible - the rituals of eating

One of the biggest things she stresses is enjoyment of food. I think this is crucial - to stop seeing food as the enemy, as something to be guilty about. Then it makes it okay to have as much - or as little - as you want.
She makes a lot of other good points and I would definitely recommend this book; it's nice to be able to see the non dieting philosophy through fresh eyes.

The only thing I don't like is that she says not to let yourself get hungry. But getting hungry (not overly hungry because then you either eat everything in sight or feel too sick to even eat) is important to be able to know what you feel like eating, or whether your body even feels like eating at all. But if you just ignore that part, and keep your rational mind with you, the book is still really good.

So you may have noticed there's an almost two week gap since my last entry! I'm sorry about this and it's because I have had a lot going on and been very distracted. I think this did equate to some mindless eating but nothing too worrying. Then last Thursday I ended up being tipped to the opposite end of the scale - I lost my appetite! This has not happened to me much, maybe a couple of times in my life, but it has been like this for half a week now. I think it might have started because I was nervous about something upcoming on the weekend, but to be honest that would usually make me eat MORE. It's so strange, it's just like I can't be bothered eating or preparing food. The reasons I have eaten over the past week have purely been because I am hungry and I want to make the hungry feeling go away. I'm not condoning this at all though because a lot of the time I didn't eat enough and have had a kind of constant gnawing feeling in my stomach. And it is definitely bad when you go out for a huge night of drinking (St Patrick's day, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it) and you don't eat enough to line your stomach.

I'm sort of worried loss of appetite could be a sign of something else, but I'm not sure what and I won't waste time worrying about it, it could be just a phase. A normal/natural phase where you don't feel like eating as much. Just like phases where you are more hungry then usual. I guess I'll wait a couple of weeks and see how I feel then.