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!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 120 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

In Montmartre near Dalida's house...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Answering Questions

Photo borrowed from the Internet
Karen - Burbank,CA

My post yesterday was so long I didn't go into why the 8 miles and 80 flights of stairs a day for 8 days didn't work for me. But here are a few of the emails and comments I received about it.

I got this email from Monsieur M.
I'm curious as to something you didn't go into detail about. Like you, I've been working out like a you-know-what for the past seven months with a personal trainer three days a week plus two more just doing a couple miles on the treadmill. Yet, I've done nothing but grow into a stronger, fitter, fat man. I've actually gained weight. In my training sessions, I'm doing 200 ab reps, 40 push ups, free weights, machines, and yet, I gain. Everyone chants the old "muscle is denser than fat" mantra, but it isn't adding up (or rather, it is... to too much weight). May I ask you what the doctor said? How is it possible for you to do your 8 miles and 80 flights of stairs in 8 days, and for me to have worked out more than I ever have since high school, and for us both to have gained weight that wasn't muscle?

thecommonsensualist said...

Best post ever. And I think your gnomic doctor must be correct...although, I would like to know exactly why the 8 miles a day made you gain weight (out of curiosity).

Anonymous said...

Please -PLEASE- explain why you gained weight when you did 8 miles + 80 flights a day. I've been working out like a fiend and simply cannot drop the weight.

(I read your blog religiously, but have never commented before. I love your blog!)

The Magical Doctor explained that fat cells are Carbon molecules. We breathe in Oxygen and breathe out Carbon Dioxide. Fat is released through our exhale.
(This blew my mind.)
So, when people work out they might breathe in and out more than normal and lose a little bit of weight but there's also a trigger that tells your brain you need to eat. And many times, because you've worked out so hard, you feel like you can eat just a little bit more than normal. He said working out and gaining weight is actually very common.

Working out and being active is very good for maintaing a healthy lifestyle but when it comes to taking off the pounds successfully it's 90% portion size.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The French Skinny Epiphany

Karen - Day 119 - Burbank

As soon as I saw this guy I knew today would be magical.

Today's the day I finally had the French Skinny Epiphany.

2:30AM- Wake up from a strange dream. Lay in bed watching thoughts circle around my head.

3:00AM - Meditate and ask for guidance.

3:30AM - I sleep.

7:00AM - Hubby wakes me with this breakfast.
I tell him I need to take a long walk today and he tells me to take as much time as I need. I grab my camera and head out.
I decide that today's post will be called "Shooting Gnomes." I don't have any myself but I love them and think what people decide to put in their gardens is fascinating.

I spot my first Gnome, the little guy up top, and shoot him.

Then my mind starts to try and figure out how much time I have for this walk and I should really get back home to let Hubby do a little work on his own and blah blah blah.........stop!

Today I will not worry about some fictional amount of time I think is okay to take for myself.

I breathe.

Then I spot this guy. Isn't he wonderful?

I start to go crazy snapping pictures.

To me this flower looks kind of shy.

I breathe.

And start to follow paths I hadn't seen before.

Which way to go?

I walked up a street I had never explored before.

A seclude little street that went straight up a hill. I see this beautiful red rose and start snapping pictures. I'm in my own little world loving the seclusion when I hear a car coming down the street. I feel myself willing the car to keep going. Keep going. It slows down. I'm still taking pictures of this rose. My back is to the street. Please don't park here. Please. The car stops right behind me. Damn, now I have to explain why I'm taking pictures of this person's garden. I turn off my camera, turn around and say...

"I'm sorry, I was..."


"Cris? What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in Arizona!"

"We're here for a wedding! And this is my friend's house. What are you doing here?"

"Taking pictures of your friend's rose."

Cris and her friend get out of the car. My mind is racing. This is definitely mind blowing. Her friend invites me in to take pictures of their hydrangea in the backyard.
This seems very surreal.

They're having a pirate party for their kids today.

I snap some more photos.

Then I'm invited in while everyone is getting ready. Cris starts asking about The French Skinny Experiment and how it's going. I hear this.

"French Skinny Experiment? What's that?"

Cris introduces me to her friend's husband, The Doctor.
Not only is he a doctor but his specialty is weight loss.

I sheepishly start to explain The French Skinny Experiment. For some reason I'm intimidated. But this Doctor is one of those people who is passionate about helping people. He sits and talks with me for a long time. I honestly don't know how long because I was just in the moment and trying to pay attention.

He explained to me about fat cells. What they are and how they are released from the body.

He told me why I gained weight when I did 8 miles and 80 flights of stairs for 8 days. (And it's not because I gained muscle.)

Then he got to the heart of my problem. Portion size. He said that in France, the portions are a fourth of what we eat here. I told him that I have cut my portions down to what I refer to as Lilliputian size and he said I'm still eating too much. Then I blurt out something I hadn't even known I was harboring.

"Well, for the most part, Shaboom eats twice a day and that's it. That can't be healthy."

He smiled and said, "It is healthy. It's much healthier to eat 2 small portions a day and no snacks than to have extra fat on your body."

My whole body sank and I said, "So you're talking about a diet. I'm trying to find the answer to never dieting again."

He said, "I'm not talking about a diet. I'm talking about smaller portions becoming your new normal."

"But I'll be hungry all the time."

"No you won't. It only takes your stomach 3 days to get used to it."

"But I LOVE to eat. I really don't want to give that up."

He smiled again and said, "You will enjoy your food more."

I didn't believe him, sighed and said "Really? How is that?"

"If you were to eat 30 grapes for lunch you probably wouldn't remember it. But if you were to eat 3 grapes for lunch you would really enjoy them."

For some reason this clicked. It was if I could literally feel, in my brain, all the pieces of the French Skinny Experiment puzzle started to fall into place.

Click. Click. Click.
1. When Shaboom first went to France she was served every meal by her French boyfriend. She quickly go used to French portions. I didn't realize it but I had been afraid to eat the French portions Shaboom eats because I thought it wasn't healthy.

2. It takes 3 days for a person's stomach to get used to smaller portions. Then this becomes the "New Normal".

3. By eating less I will enjoy my food more.

4. I can eat ANYTHING I want just like Shaboom.

5. I don't have to do stairs and long walks anymore because I am chasing a 4 year old around all day. Bye Bye stairs!!!!

6. I will never, ever, have to diet again or work out again.

I walk home on a floaty cloud. Click. Click. Click. The puzzle was complete. A sense of excitement yet calm surrounded me.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 119 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Near Saint Michel...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Every year for the past 13 years Hubby and I have had Thanksgiving at our house.

This year's menu:
Roasted Turkey
Stuffing with Italian Sausage
Turkey Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes with lots of real butter and cream
Momma's bringing a green bean and mushroom dish
My Momma-in-law is bringing her homemade apple sauce
Tammy's bringing the par baked rolls that will be served hot and buttery,
Hubby's sister is bringing a pumpkin cheesecake

I am so thankful for so many things this year the list goes on forever.
But I would like to say how thankful I am to Shaboom and to all of you. Thank you for your support and your comments and your time. I look forward to being here every day.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and tomorrow it's back to The French Skinny!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 118 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Barbie likes lollies and hangs in the 16th around bus stops...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Million Years Ago

Karen - Day 117 - Burbank

A job I did a million years ago in Florence, Italy

I thought long and hard about this post, it's relevance to The French Skinny Experiment and if it was even interesting.

But 4 things inspired me to go ahead and dust off the memories.

1: A comment from my friend at thecommonsensualist, asking about my time in Italy.

2: A post by Ann's Rants, about her 5th grade crush.

3: This week I started wearing bifocal sunglasses and bragging about my cholesterol which = old enough to talk about the good ol days.

4: Nothing much happened today except the usual baguette, cheese and crepe extravaganza.

My 5th grade nightmare included headgear.

In 5th grade, when I was made the official "Deliverer Of Notes" between the popular girl and my mind numbing crush, I started dreaming of Italy. It became my happy place. My holiday. My escape.

In my dream, I was Sophia Loren in 'House Boat'. (I had a super good imagination)

What actually happened was not so glamorous.
I was working as a waitress at a truck stop, when my mom put my picture in a local mall modeling contest and I miraculously won. This led to a test with a big Hollywood modeling agency. (Where I first encountered politics.) I was brought in by the Vice President of the agency. The "new agent" that had to take me on was resentful. (I was oblivious of this) Every time I went in she said "You have to lose more weight. Your hair is a disaster. Blah. Blah. Blah." I realize now that this was meant to discourage me but, if you have read this blog at all, you know that once I'm motivated to do something, I throw myself into it with a passion. So I lost more weight. I cut my hair. On and on and on this went for about 6 months. Finally, on a Friday afternoon, the "new agent" told me that I would never make it as a model unless I got a nose job.
I thought about it all weekend, called the Vice President on Monday morning and left this message.

"Hi, this is Karen, I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity you gave me. I have decided that I like my nose the way it is and I won't be getting a nose job. Please thank everyone there and know that I really do appreciate your time."

I received a call from the Vice President a few hours later to come in for a meeting. She apologized, told me to forget about the nose job and to stop losing weight. She would call me again next week.
Meanwhile, one of the photographers I had done a test with introduced me to a smaller agency and I booked my first job. Then another. Then another. Then an agent from Italy showed up and wanted to represent me in Milano.

I talked to my folks and they backed me 100%. I had an open ended plane ticket and one thousand dollars. If I could make a go of it, great. If not, I was to come home immediately.

On the plane to Milano I studied the book "Learn Italian The Fast And Fun Way" like it was my lifeline.
My dream was about to begin.
I never expected to work in Italy but I would at least be able to see it in person for the first time.

I bought a map, met my 3 roomates and was introduced to my new boyfriend within a week. A handsome Italian with green eyes. His name translated to "Lucky". When we met, he spoke as much English as I did Italian. But these things have a way of working out.

I did find work, and for the next 2 years was able to travel to places I had only dreamed of. Venice, Florence, Rome, Paris, the south of France, Switzerland, Santo Domingo, Saint Martin, Africa....it was all amazing.

For 2 years we had, as Lucky used to say, "a beautiful story". But at the end I was literally kicked out of Italy. Not by the government, but by an even higher authority, his Momma.

I was staying at their place while I looked for another apartment. Lucky's Momma had been in and out of mental facilities for a few years. I came home one day to her screaming at me because I had not bought her a swimsuit. She threw me and my stuff outside. I waited for Lucky to show up. He was very sorry about what happened but.....it was his Momma. I had 3 days to find an apartment or go home.

Lucky and I knew we would never see each other again. It was not our time.

I cried all the way home.

Once home, I did the only thing I could think of to heal my heart. I dyed my hair platinum blonde.

Thank you for all the inspiration my friends, and for letting an old lady with bad eyesight and excellent cholesterol ramble on.

Je t'aime mes amis

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 117 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

Paris by night...

The François Mitterand National Library Buildings taken from the other side of the Seine -

Place de la Nation -

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ago's Restaurant

Karen - Day 116 - Burbank, CA

Robert De Niro
(Photo borrowed from the internet)

If it wasn't for my girlfriends I would just stay inside and go to sleep early every night.

Luckily they make me leave the cocoon and go to new places. Co took me to a restaurant called Ago. It was my first time, which sometimes makes me a little anxious regarding the hip/fancy shmancy factor. But as soon as I walked in I felt like I was back in Italy. The warmth of the people working there is so sincere and so Italian. There were sparkly lights and candles surrounding us in this warmth. Our ridiculously handsome and unassuming Italian waiter, Emiliano, walked up and was so gracious I felt right at home. If my home was in Florence and they were all my friends and I was hot...hey, it's my pretend home, right?

I held up one of the candles to look at the menu and Emiliano rushed over with a little tiny flashlight to help me. He was very sweet when I tried to order Muscoli Pepati steamed mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce in my long forgotten Italian. It was so delicious I sopped up every last drop with their fresh bread.
Then I asked for something not on the menu. Penne All'Arrabbiata: Which means "angry style" due to the heat of the peppers in the sauce. Isn't that a creative way to say spicy pasta?

"Emiliano, when I lived in Italy, an Italian family I new said I should have been from Sicily because I love things spicy. Do you think they can make me a penne all'arrabbiata so spicy it will make me cry? Please?"

"Of course! And if they can't, I will go to my house and make it for you myself and bring it to you."

I believe I giggled. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

They make the pasta themselves and it was perfection.
I came home and looked up Ago's online. Turns out it's an L.A. hotspot owned by a famous chef, Agostino Sciantri and one of my favorite actors Robert DeNiro. Well, there you go.

Once home, I tiptoed in and saw Hubby asleep on the couch with 4. My heart broke just a little at their faces, so similar. And I was so happy to be back home. To my own little cocoon.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Karen - Day 115 - Burbank

"We have to get ready to go, Buddy."

"Yeah, but Mom, I made up a new game called Planet Bingo. You roll the ball and if you hit a planet you win a tractor."

It's all about stalling today. Even with The French Skinny Experiment. I am not doing anything differently and I feel like I'm stalling. Or just waiting for the next inspiration to hit. It will. I know it. Unexpectedly and in the strangest of places. That's how it goes with me.

Just hang on. Because it will happen.

"Mom, can we read one story before bedtime?"
"Sure, Buddy."
"Okay Mom! I got a couple books for us to read!"

But maybe not tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 115 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lunch With Friends

Karen - Day 114 - Burbank, CA

Today's adventures led us to an unexpected lunch.

4 and I were out at an appointment when we saw Jamison and his beautiful daughter.

Of course my kid fell madly in love with her and begged them to have lunch with us.

We went to Cafe Verona and it was lovely.

If you're thinking to yourself, "Hmmmm he looks very familiar" you would be right.

photo borrowed from internet

Jamison Reeves is a very talented actor, writer, director and film maker.
He's also been a very generous and wonderful friend for many years.
His wife, Wendy, owns a magical place called Willow Spa.
If you are ever in Santa Monica you have to check it out.

What does all this have to do with The French Skinny Experiment?
I guess I'm trying to let go of my expectations and see where life takes me.
Did you see that salad? Delicious and very healthy.

And at the end of the day, it's all about good friends, good food and love.

The Sweet Life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 114 from France

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris SoCal...

The Eiffel Tower from afar.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Joyeux Dimanche - Pie

My first pie.

This week I received my Thanksgiving copy of Bon Appetit Magazine. And actually read it. I decided to make the "Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie" as a sort of test pie to make on Thanksgiving. It's worth it. And it's almost gone.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"My Thing"

Karen - Day 113 - Burbank

(Painted with a popsicle stick because, why not)

I'm feeling a little lost.

Usually when I'm feeling lost I curl up in front of the TV with some Nacho Cheese Doritos dipped in salsa and sour cream. This has been "My Thing" since High School.

In fact, I just reconnected with some High School friends and the first thing say is "You know that sour cream and salsa with Doritos thing you made for me? I'm still eating it."
My legacy?............ It could be worse.

I do know that Shaboom doesn't eat because she's feeling lost. So I will not do that either.

The calendar is tick tick ticking. Yet the day is so long...........

Until I see my kid painting Hedgehog. Over and over and over again. When he's done, there are 10 Hedgehog paintings. We made an art show in his room.

I'm not lost anymore.

2 cups of coffee.
Ham and eggs for breakfast.

Lunch was baguette with tomato, basil, garlic and some of 4's macaroni and cheese. The latter was eaten standing up so I'm going to call it "tasting for flavor."

Dinner was a lovely homemade soup made by Hubby.

I would include Hubby's recipes but he never uses one. He just throws things together and it turns out delicious.

Suddenly the day was over.
The art show was a success, everyone was asleep and I didn't miss the Doritos and salsa at all.

Kind of.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weigh In Week 16 - The Day R2D2 Went To The Dark Side

Karen - Day 112 - Burbank, CA

Weigh In: Week 16

Goal: Lose 35 pounds in 6 months the French Skinny Way.
Lost 1 pound this week.
Total lost so far: 14.5 pounds

Our day started out with a beautiful breakfast at De Bell Clubhouse.
It's very pretty, the people are nice and they don't mind a rambunctious 4 year old.
I had ham and eggs. Ate about half and took the rest home.

Then 4 and I were off to Jack Knapp's birthday party,
If you haven't met Jack's mom, mymomsanerd.blogspot.com, then you should go right now. She just dropped a bombshell yesterday.

This is the beautiful cake she made for Jack.
Take a good look. By the end of the party R2D2 will have gone to the dark side and I will have realized that I'm "one of those" people.
It's not pretty, people.

Everything was perfect.

The decorations.

The house.

The food.

4's creation. (Eaten before we left because they were delicious.)

I was enjoying a little tiny diet coke (first one since I started this), chatting with Smacksy. Bob, Jack and my kid were playing with balloons.
Suddenly there was a noise in the kitchen. There may have been a scream. That's the way I remember it. We rushed in.

R2D2 had slid off the plate and gone to the dark side.

Jack's Mom joined him on the floor in solidarity.

Once she was up and on her feet again she was saying "Keep Jack out of here until I fix this!"
I blurt out "Didn't you use dowels?"
She shakes her head no. I nod my head knowingly.

(When I was doing research for my planet cake I found out that if you're making an intricate cake you have to use dowels to secure them or they might.....well do this.)

I don't know what kind of crazy battle went on but the carnage is still on the wall.
She puts the candle on what was left.
Luckily Jack Knapp had no idea what had happened and cheerfully blew out the candle.

When we came home I showed Hubby the pictures of what happened.

Hubby:"You didn't start talking about dowels did you?"

Me: "Well....yes."

Hubby shakes his head and walks away.

Then it dawns on me.

(Gasp) I'm one of those people.
How could I have started talking about dowels at a time like that? What a horrible person I am! I send an email (and copies of the pictures) to Jack's Mom apologizing for being "one of those people."
I have no excuse. I'm just terrible.

Later I had baby carrots and some peanut butter.
This has no effect on the shame cloud.

Homemade chicken soup with half a freshly baked roll and real butter for dinner.
I know it's cliche but it did make me feel better.

Organic popcorn with a little butter while watching TV.
I'm pretty much over it now.

I believe she has forgiven me.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.