Saturday, December 4, 2010

"They Say......."

Karen - Day 122 - Burbank, CA


To let myself off the hook about what I "think" I should be eating or doing is like a vacation. I've been on so many diets for so many years I have a suitcase full of ideas from the world of "they say".

The no carbs diet, the blood type diet, the grapefruit diet, the cleanse, the shakes, counting calories.....I've tried it all. They all worked. For awhile. I would reach my goal. (I love a goal.) And then I'd reward myself by eating all of the things I had denied myself. You know where I'm going with this. I'm nothing if not a cliche.

But I'm not an idiot. I knew deep down this is where my answer was. I fought hard against this being the answer. I would have rather walk 64 miles a week and mindlessly go up and down 640 flights of stairs instead of this being the answer. If I had started this experiment with no breakfast except a pot of tea, the lunch above and the same thing for dinner I would have been depressed for weeks. It would have felt like another diet. To me, Diet=Denying myself.

This is not a diet. I was not hungry at breakfast so I did not eat it. I was actually excited when I started to get hungry around lunchtime and enjoyed thinking about and deciding what I would have for lunch. BBQ rib dipped in sauce. (I love to dip.) Fresh baguette with butter and cheese. I made some iced jasmine tea to go with it. (I know, Michele, tea with lunch is not French!) The joy of eating is important. I have missed it. Now that I have it back, I'm hanging on for good.

It's interesting that "I" tried everything I could think of for 119 days before I finally asked for some divine guidance. Divine guidance brought me to science. Science brought me these 2 facts.

1. If I ate 10 hamburgers a day or 1/4th of one hamburger a day, my stomach would get used to this in 3 days. Which means I have been eating what I have deemed the right portions for myself and I can change that. In 3 days. I will not be denying myself anything because I will be full, just like before.

2. People only "taste for flavor" for about 3 or 4 bites of food. I've been trying this and for me it's really only the first 2 bites. After that it's just eating to fill up.

Shaboom told me that in France it is unheard of to eat standing up. Stores are closed for hours to enjoy lunch. It becomes an event. (Now, it's not going to take hours to eat French Skinny portions so I can only imagine what shenanigans are going on after lunch in a locked store! Ah the French.....)


  1. It's very interesting, isn't it? I had a similar epiphany about a year ago. I stopped dieting, stopped constantly worrying about how many times a week I went to the gym. My only rules for myself were 1. don't eat mindlessly and 2. If you're not really enjoying it, stop eating it/don't cook it. But as I went on, I noticed small habits I'd had all my life: like eating in the car on the way home from the store (!), putting too much on my plate at once (I usually only use dessert-sized plates now, unless it's a bulky salad), plopping down on the couch with snack food at the end of a tiring night at work and watching tv (now I take a book into the bathtub instead).

    Instead of gaining weight uncontrollably as I thought I would this year, I went up slightly at first, and then started going DOWN...and this is with barely walking the past 2 months due to an injury. But the best part of all: I feel like I'm 'myself' again, not trying to fit into anyone's idea of what I should be like; and I have zero anxiety towards food, only joy and anticipation. That's pretty much what my whole blog is about...

    bon chance! not that you'll even need it. :-) you got this.

  2. Okay, I've got to say that you are blowing my mind.

    I've been reading your blog for so long, but it's always been in a "fly on the wall" sort of way. I've been cheering you on (in my head) but NEVER did I consider that this is something for me. No way, Jose.

    My Type A personality feels safer with counting things. Counting calories doesn't work for me because I become crazy-obsessed way. I usually do an "unoffical" weight watchers approaching, journaling and keeping track of points. I also exercise like a fiend.

    And I'm not losing weight. (this could also be due to the fact that I get frustrated and eat as much chocolate that I can find, and then have to start the process all over again.)

    But now.

    I can't get your recent posts out of my head. They're calling me! But I'm having serious control issues. How do I let go of counting?!

    I'm nervous about trusting myself.

  3. I don't know why we didn't come to this conclusion sooner. As I think back over the last year that I have also tried all of the above mentioned diets, I also remember thinking that I wished I could eat like I was 20 again. The point being is that I hardly ate...I was, in my mind, never hungry. The truth of it is, I had so many other things going on, I only ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I weighed 105 lbs. Now after two children, a nasty divorce and years of sacrifice, I've found that food has been my one constant. It has become a habit...even when I am not hungry. So now I am trying to break that habit...and thinking it sounds a lot more fun to do this in France!

  4. Unfortunately, they mostly talktalktalkitytalk. Seriously. Less talk, more indoor cardio people!!!