Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

Photo by Karen at French Skinny


Carving by my Daddy

The French Skinny Experiment will be back after the Holidays.

I hope everyone has the most magical Christmas ever.

Enjoy every silly moment.

Cry because your heart is happy.

Hug everyone you know.

Eat with passion.

Talk to your neighbor.

Kiss a reindeer's nose.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Everyone Needs An Elf

Karen - Day 129 - Burbank, CA

Photo by Karen at French Skinny
My Elf

That's my Elf. She's on my Momma's Christmas tree and has been around since before I was born but she's my Elf nonetheless. Every year Tammy and I help Mom decorate her tree. 4 helped this year too. When I unwrapped my Elf and saw her smiling little face I had the strangest feeling. As if she has been hiding clues for me all year. I'm pretty sure she's in cahoots with the gnomes.

Breakfast: Black Coffee and a half a croissant.

Lunch: Half a bowl of my French Onion Soup. Bubbly water.

A Diet Coke. (I know this is not what Shaboom would say is included in The French Skinny but everything in moderation is how I'm rationalizing it.)

Dinner: French Skinny portions of Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a roll.

A scoop of Chocolate ice cream before bedtime.

I am now eating about one fourth to one eighth the amount of food I was starting out. I have reset my "normal portions" to French Skinny portions and am enjoying what I'm eating more because I'm paying attention to it. The first few bites are where the flavor is.
EVERY single time I would ramp up to lose weight I had an end goal in sight. Then if I was very good, I could go off of it and treat myself with real food. There is no end goal anymore. I'm not denying myself anything. I'm living my life, eating the food I want, enjoying it more than ever and being physical because it's enjoyable, not to lose weight.

"Everyone needs an Elf."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 129 from France:
Har Du Det Bra?

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris Scandinavia...

Love the architecture here in Oslo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Magical

Karen - Burbank, CA

Miracle On 34th Street

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved this movie. I think I started loving it because my sister, Tammy, loves it so much. She knows every word of dialogue and now, so do I.

This year, I sat down with my 4 year old and we watched it together. He asked a lot of questions and has come to the conclusion that Santa is real and the Santas in the store are pretend. But it's a good idea to talk to the Santas in the store because they can tell the real Santa what you want for Christmas. At the end of the movie he looked up at me and said, "You're crying in a good way right Momma?"

Tammy doesn't know that through the years this movie has helped me in so many ways. Quotes that would swim around my head when life got a little tough. Here's just one.

Fred Gailey: "Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things in life that are worthwhile."


Saturday, December 18, 2010


Karen - Day 128 - Burbank, CA

Photo By Karen at French Skinny

Today 4 and I walked to the park, ran around playing superheroes and ran home for lunch. I run because he runs. I can't wait to make lunch. We both have some baguette with ham and cheese, grapes and sparkly water. Then we walk to the store for a few supplies.

Dinner is spaghetti with a sauce I made from Grandma Dee's tomatoes. The usual garlic, onions, fresh thyme, rosemary, basil and a little red pepper flakes for a kick. Parmesan on top. That's a ramekin on top of a salad plate. I have to tell you that I love pasta and even though I was full I could have eaten 3 more of these but today I didn't. Why? Is it because I knew I would be writing about it? I'm so happy the plateau is over I want to keep it going? Or I know it takes 6 weeks to really get used to a new habit? Maybe all of it.
Pasta is in that kryptonite category for me along with chips and salsa.

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

"The anticipation of a delicious meal is now joyful."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 128 from France:
Oh La La Oslo

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris Scandinavia...

The fjords are always beautiful...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Same Old Me.

Karen - Day 127 - Burbank

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

The Same Old Me.

Okay, so my tummy has gotten used to French Skinny portions. I understand that I taste for flavor for about 3 or 4 bites. Now I have to deal with everyone else. When I eat French Skinny portions it makes other people uncomfortable. Even Hubby, who from time to time, would put me on a super secret diet that was reminiscent of a 1950's five and dime store. He never said anything but all of a sudden there was cottage cheese, pineapple rings and a Salisbury steak for dinner. Now he's watching me like a hawk and I'm getting comments from so many people I feel like I'm on a diet again. Then I change one thing. I simply say "Oh, I'm so full." Instead of ordering something little, I order whatever I want, eat my French Skinny portion and take the rest home. This seems to calm everyone down.

"It's still the same old me. I'm just not that hungry. "

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 127 From France:

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris Scandinavia...

I'm in Scandinavia currently, celebrating a cousin's birthday with the rest of our family. It's weird being here without SwimSwim. At least everyone knows better than to ask about him.

We are eating and drinking and being merry. Lots of fish, salads, fruits and desserts!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weigh In Week 18 - The Plateau Is Over!

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

Weigh In Week 18
Goal: Lose 35 pounds in 6 months the French Skinny Way.
Lost 5 pounds this week!
Total lost so far: 19.5 pounds

After the Victory Dance, I have tea with a little cream.
I'm just a couple pounds away from the lowest weight I was last year doing cleanses, protein shakes and a salads every day. Along with Cardio Bootcamp, step classes and running.
Once I lost the weight I gave myself a break. All of a sudden I had gained all the weight back and then some.


Zanymad commented the other day about how hard it is to stop even when your full. I totally understand this. We eat for all kinds of reasons. It looks good, it tastes good, we're sad, we're happy, we're bored.....

This week I wasn't hungry. However, I really never realized how much I "mindlessly snack". I kept finding myself, even when not hungry, wanting to go grab some cheese or other "little something." Since I'm constantly getting snacks and food for my growing 4 year old, I'm around food all day. At night, after I put 4 to bed I would sit in front of the TV and zone out with a snack. I'm changing my habits. Now it's some chamomile tea, a little writing and bedtime.
I will not deny myself anything. If I am really hungry I eat. But if I'm eating out of boredom or anything else I walk away. This is the French way.
Shaboom was trying to explain this to me when she was here and I thought I was doing that but I really wasn't.
Yesterday I had sweet potatoe fries (10) and dipped them in mayo (as much as I wanted) for lunch, hot dog with everything on it and half a piece of corn on the cob. A scoop of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream for dessert. Like I said, I'm not denying myself anything.
I am really eating Shaboom size portions now.
I haven't done any stairs or big walks since last week's French Skinny Epiphany. Since I run around chasing a 4 year old all day, do all the cleaning and cooking I don't need to do any extra working out. (Let's not forget the all important "indoor cardio".)

I can feel my body burning the fat for fuel because I'm eating French Skinny portions.

Half a peice of French Toast for breakfast.
2 cups of coffee with cream.

Lunch was 2 pieces of French Bread with Brie cheese and a few grapes. Sparkling water.

For dinner I made brown rice (cooked with chicken broth instead of water) mixed with broccoli, corn and a soft boiled egg on top. I know the French like to throw an egg on top of things and it was delicious.

Things I do instead of "mindlessly snacking":
1. Clean the house.
2. Write.
3. Read.
4. Dance around with my kid.
5. Think about amazing recipes I can now make and eat without fear.

Photo by Karen at French Skinny

"This is not a diet. It's my journey to find The French Skinny Lifestyle."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 126 from France:
Home At Last

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris...

Thanks to everyone for your patience during my pseudo absence from the FSE while I was working in LA for one of my more difficult clients. (And I thank myself for my own patience which, believe me, at times wore very thin.)

I have finally left LA and my apartment and SwimSwim who I ran into on numerous occasions. He still makes my heart go pitter-patter but he ignored slash avoided me whenever possible. He's looking very thin ...maybe he's doing his own version of the FSE.

A huge thank you goes out to Karen, BootyDance, The Armenian Prince, ManEater, BadAss, Saskatoon, BugGirl, MahicMan, Vixen, CropTop and all my wonderful friends who helped me with my move and my general psychological well-being.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Happy Sunday

This week, I found a beautiful blog called Darjeeling Dreams.
I aspire to make little bits of heaven like this.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Works

Karen - Day 125 - Burbank

After a pot of tea, 4 and I put some music on and danced for an hour.

Lunch was (again) my baked sweet potato fries dipped in mayo.

Dinner: Hot dog with the works! Hubby grilled Boar's Head Hot Dogs. We both agreed they were the best hot dogs we've ever had. I ate all of the hot dog but couldn't have more than a few bites of corn .
I'm completely full and satisfied.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 125 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

One of the things that I'm missing most about Paris right now...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cowgirl vs. Sweet Potato Girl

Karen - Day 124 - Burbank, CA

I wake up with a smile.

Before I eat anything, I think about what I really want.
I'm not denying myself anything.
Do I want a chocolate croissant?
Hmmm. Today, I wanted a BBQ rib and a cup of coffee. I don't know why. Maybe secretly I'm a cowgirl. Who knows? But this is what my body wants so I give it to her.

There's lots of laundry and running around to do.

The truth is, I have a 4 year old boy that is constantly on the move. I used to run 7 miles every other day just for a break. I'm not kidding. Throwing on my ipod, listening to grown up music and mindlessly running was the only break I had.

I did not lose weight during this time.

Today I played with my little boy. We ran, we rode bikes, we played superheroes. This is more exhausting than running 7 miles.

Luckily, I have amazing friends, and just about the time I start to lose my mind, one of them swoops in and saves me.

Today, it was Lisa who swooped in and invited us to her house for coffee.

And some of these fluffy cookies.

Borrowed from the internet.

Turns out, I love Meringue Cookies.

We watched our little guys became Superheroes.

This is very serious work.

After they fought bad guys, saved the world and had some snacks, there was a tearful goodbye and a nap in the car.

Lunch was a fresh baguette with cheese and the last 2 ribs.

Dinner was 10 baked sweet potato fries dipped in mayo.

Today I learned:
1. Superheroes are very sensitive and don't like to clean up.
2. Hanging out with a 4 year old is more exhausting than running 7 miles.
3. I wanna be a cowgirl.
4. I like fluffy cookies.
5. Sweet potato fries are my new kryptonite.

"What's your Superhero Name?"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 124 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

A tabletop tiled in old stamps found in a café in the 20th

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'll Have Fries With That!

I fell in love with these guys.

I made the mistake of drinking black coffee for breakfast.
It's too harsh for me now that I'm eating French Skinny portions.
Tomorrow I'm back to the tea.

A leaf hanging in midair.

4 had a play date with his buddy. Afterwards, we went to a diner for lunch.

A real jukebox.

I can't order French Skinny portions, so I ordered a giant cheeseburger with fries and a to go container.

It felt a little funny at first but I didn't want to be staring at all that extra food on my plate. And I don't feel French enough to just let them throw it away.

I'm amazed at how full I am on half a cheeseburger and four fries.

When we got home, 4 gave himself a 2 hour nap. He woke up and we both wanted ice cream.

His favorite, mint chocolate chip.

I ordered a kids one scoop chocolate fudge.

This was dinner. Sweet potato fries dipped in mayo.

I actually ate more today than I have for the last few days and feel a little uncomfortably full. I have totally changed my "normal full feeling" in 3 days and after 2 or 3 bites I don't really "taste for flavor" anymore.

Today's motto:
"I'll have fries with that!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 123 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Saint Lazare train station

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Here's to you!

Karen - Burbank, CA

I took this yesterday. The holidays are here, ready or not!

Happy Sunday.

As we speed toward the holidays I had to dedicate Joyeux Dimanche to you!
Thank you for keeping me inspired.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

This is so helpful and well-distilled. Thank you! I found you through Ms. Moon's page.



Than you Sarcastic Bastard! I love your name and Ms. Moon too!

Joni N. said...

So glad you had your epiphany. I had mine this summer. I was having back problems (degenerative disc) and had to totally stop working out (except for some physical therapy exercises) for about 4 months. Freaked out about not working out, I watched my portion sizes and ate reasonably heathly foods. To my amazement, I actually lost a couple of pounds (I'm not overweight to begin with). I'm back to working out again but just for 20 minutes a day. I discovered that I don't need to kill myself working out hard because it only made me hungrier and frustrated. Now I'm so much happier.

thecommonsensualist said...

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.

Of course this is why I have gravitated to TheCommonSenualists blog. Her motto is "eat only what you love".
I now eat "only what I love" and if it's not absolutely wonderful I pass.

karen in slo said...

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.

Karen in Slo, thank you so much for rooting me on! I can absolutely relate to the diet mentality and working out like a fiend! How do you let go of counting? How about you give yourself a week off. Tell yourself you can always go back to the old way, this is not a diet. Remember to give yourself 3 days to get used to French Skinny portions, but eat whatever your little heart desires. No working out like a fiend just walking to the store, looking for gnomes and smelling flowers! When those sneaky little thoughts start to make you feel guilty tell them to come back in a week. Let me know what happens!

zanymad said...

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!

Zanymad, you know how much I love you. You've hit the nail on the head and are EXACTLY right! Food makes us feel better. It just does. It can still be your constant. Just start eating French Skinny portions. They will become your new normal portions in 3 days and you will be amazed at how full you become. You and food can still be friends!

"Choose carefully and with passion!"

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.....)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 122 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Arts & Métiers metro stop

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Everything looks a little brighter

Karen - Day 121- Burbank, CA

Everything looks a little brighter.

Pot of tea for breakfast......Just not hungry.

Lunch: A baguette with Momma's tomatoes, some cheese and water.

Hubby made BBQ ribs and stuffed chili peppers for dinner.
This is my portion.
I spot raised eyebrows from Hubby.

Which leads me to my next hurdle.

"Other people's idea of a healthy portion."

My sister, Tammy, who has always been one of my spiritual guides, reminded me of this quote.

"One eats in holiness and the table becomes an altar."

How Beautiful.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 121 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Near Hôtel de Ville...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bon Freakin Appetit, Baby!

Karen - Day 120 - Burbank

Dinner was at Smacksy's house

Today my head was still buzzing with excitement about my French Skinny Epiphany.

I'm remembering what Shaboom told me at lunch one day.

"I usually only eat this much (she holds out her fist) a couple times a day. I'm full, and after that why would I keep eating? In France, people are served about a fourth of what American's are served. And in France, people have no problem leaving food on their plates when they're full."

Sometimes a person can be told something over and over but then they hear it from someone else and it finally makes sense.

I get it now.
It's not a diet or walking 8 miles a day or doing 80 flights of stairs.
It's so simple.
How do skinny people effortlessly stay skinny? It takes only 3 days to reset the "full" button and realize that you only "taste for flavor" for 2 to 4 bites of food. (Try it. Really pay attention. The first bite is divine. The second bite is good. The third bite is okay and by the 4th bite my mind is drifting.)

I watched Shaboom eat WHATEVER she wanted. She didn't count calories. She doesn't care about dieting. She doesn't even understand the diet mentality. She just got used to French Skinny portions and when she's full she stops. But when she does eat, she pays attention to it and enjoys it.

Breakfast was coffee, one poached egg and a piece of bacon. (I'm full.)

The lunch bell went off in my head but, when I really paid attention, realized I wasn't hungry. So I didn't have lunch.

Dinner was at Smacksy's house that night. I ate whatever I wanted. I knew I would be full and only "taste for flavor" after a few bites so I chose carefully and with passion.

I was eating like a skinny person for the first time.

I was completely full.

I knew I would never have to diet again.

I was eating the French Skinny way.

Bon Freakin Appetite, Baby!!!