Saturday, August 14, 2010

Avoiding overeating

I had the house to myself last night. My husband went out to a fund-raising quiz night with a group of his friends and the evening was all about me, me, me. In the past I have looked forward to such an evening as a ‘treat night’ where I would think about what I wanted to make myself for dinner and also plan what crap I was going to eat as well.

I would cruise the aisles of the supermarket shopping in preparation for the evening. There would be hard jubes, popcorn, chocolate and ice-cream (any or all of). So foul I know, and I would feel disgusting afterwards. Just how is this a treat Fifi? Yesterday afternoon as I was thinking of going out food shopping, I thought about the French Chic life.

I pictured myself reading the posts I have printed out off the French Chic yahoo group and being chic and slender ideal-French-girl Sabine rather than a piglet on a sofa with junque food. Just imagining myself reading my inspiring French Chic ‘book’ was all it took to change my mindset from ‘treat night’ to ‘French Chic night’.

All I bought at the supermarket was a piece of salmon and some milk.

I made myself the Jo Dinner as I call it. My mum Jo eats salmon and stir-fried vegetables five nights a week, she would probably have it seven if she didn’t spend two nights staying overnight at her job in a private girls school. People often compliment her on her complexion. I think it’s all that salmon like Mr Perricone says, along with a consistent skincare regime of course.

My stir-fry vegetables last night were carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, capsicum, celery, mushrooms and green beans, in lemon infused olive oil since I was having fish. I’ve run into trouble before when making stir-fry for the two of us when all the different vegetables add up and I end up with a wok overflowing with goodness. It’s not really the best start to the meal when your husband says ‘this is getting ridiculous’ in a good-humoured way (and he’s a big eater).

Is it possible to binge on vegetables I wonder? After a stir-fry I always have a ready-made lunch for the next day. Last night was no exception, I still made twice what I needed even though I only used ½ a carrot, a few florets of broccoli, three or four beans, three mushrooms etc. Those veges really play up in a wok and expand.

In the background while I was cooking played the latest Buddha Bar XII cd – it is so me – the inner leaflet has French imagery including the Eiffel Tower, and CD 1 in the set is called La Vie En Rose. I almost swooned when I realised all this. It’s not dissimilar to the other Buddha Bar cds but I like that. It’s new, but familiar.

Before dinner I had a glass of chardonnay with cheese and crackers. I already had some Laughing Cow cheese which I had read so much about on the French Chic yahoo group. It is very delicious spread on crackers but I noticed it was made in Poland. That’s a bit worrying, a French-brand cheese made in a nearby low-income country. It makes me think of problems with food made in China.

I could be totally wrong, it could be made in Poland because they have such high-quality milk from happy (laughing) cows. But normally these decisions come down to money. As nice as the Laughing Cow cheese tasted, the fact of where it’s made, and also that it’s processed, I don’t think I’ll be buying it again.

Later on I watched an episode of The Starter Wife. One of the characters attends AA and she reminded a character leaving rehab about ‘one day at a time’. I thought to myself that would be a good credo for anything you wanted to achieve in life, whether it is overspending, overeating, living the French Chic life.

It’s hard to imagine you doing (or not doing) something for the rest of your life and that scares you into going back to how you were before. If I say I can never have a mini-pigout again, I would likely fixate on that. By saying ‘just get through this day’ eating healthfully and in reasonable proportions, well, this is much more achievable.


  1. You so rock, Fiona!

    I have been a fitness trainer for 28 years. I've had many of my new clients share their "nun-like" lifestyle when I ask about it. Around week 10 they profess their "sins".

    These "terrible" women have sneaked ice cream and cookies (!) or a large glass (or two) of wine before the family comes home (!), or (the worst of worsts!) took a few drags on a cigarette at some party! ( I could go on, trust me!)

    Who is this judge within us? Who holds the "correct living" card so that we allow self induced "flogging"? All for having to "sneak" a harmless behavior?

    Would we "sneak" a treat if we didn't have such a strong "media" presence" dictating our lives?

    I commend you! You came forth and admitted you are human. And, you are a ton of fun. I can tell!

  2. Ah yes, the AA "one day at a time" motto. I used that when I quit smoking, finally after many many tries. One New Years Eve, after a party, I went home and put my cigarettes on top of the fridge. The next morning I said "I'm not having a cigarette today" and I didn't. Next morning the same thing, and so on. I had a couple fo setbacks, but I still kept on, one day at a time. After 3 months I finally said that I'd quit smoking.

    But if I've had success with one day at a time working so well, why oh why can't I get it work with food {sigh} :o(

    And speaking of food, your stir-fried veggies and salmon sounds wonderful!

  3. Thanks for your post - your leisurely preparation of your meal with the music in the background sounds so much more nuturing than the ice cream, jubes, etc. I can so relate to your experience and setting the mood and it's such a wonderful reminder of why we are here: to experience life fully! That's what I hear and feel when I read your blog today.

    I discovered your posts a few weeks ago and start my day with them ... thanks for being there!

  4. hi fiona,

    it's when i came to the realization that what i put in my body will directly effect what i'm able to put out is when everything clicked for me. i no longer care what books/magazines tell me the correct way to eat/live my life is. i know what is right for me. it's a very freeing way to live. the merchandising behind food is astonishing. i eat for compassion first, health second and it is simple, clean and not very fashionable but it is right for me.

    one day at a time is based on living in the moment and i think that is all we have, right?

    thank you for sharing your life with me here. i always learn something.


  5. Love this! For the first time on vacation that I can decide that I can eat 'a' chocolate croissant every morning and be satisfied. I could choose to stuff my face 'while' I'm on vacation but not to. Stop eating when I feel slightly full, it's usually fish and seafood. Sure I wouldn't say I'll never pigout again but then I'm just so tired of that feeling, you know what I mean?

  6. It's great that you were able to divert yourself to a more positive evening. I used to look at nights when my husband was gone as "spa night." I'd run to the drug store and pick up scrubs, bubble baths, masks, fingernail polish, etc., and spend the evening pampering myself.

  7. This is a fantastic post on so many levels. I think we all have been there at one point and making that realization like you have is a real turning point. I am learning so much from you.

  8. Debra, well said. And it's not even like I have to sneak stuff from my husband, so why would a night to myself be 'junque food night'?

    Jackie, well done on quitting smoking, and your technique sounds so simple but I bet it wasn't easy. I've heard that food is harder as we have to have it, whereas smoking you don't.

    Janelle (pretty name!), thanks for your comment and I'm glad you enjoy my posts.

    Janet, I totally agree about the merchandising behind food, and admire your self-knowledge.

    Thanks Ping, I've thought about the holiday thing too. It's natural to want to 'let loose' but it's more fun to eat in moderation.

    Cherie, a spa night is a lot more chic than treat night!

    Thanks Stephanie, and I you.

  9. Fiona
    You have such a fantastic blog! it is truly inspiring and your photograph shows a woman of great natural beauty.
    I love reading your posts...I just stumbled on your site a few days ago and have been catching up, LOL.
    I do have a comment however to make...
    you have some concerns about Laughing cow cheese being produced in Poland. As an Europen woman who lived in Poland quite few years, I would like to try to perhaps make you think a bit more openly about the world, be a bit more informed, I would like to explain how these things work on old continent...Poland is one of few countries with strict organic laws. Most of farming is done in small farms, carefully tended by and handed down from family to family, farmers take incredible pride in their products and polish products are currently rated one of the top in Europe for freshness and taste. Some of their cheeses received European trademark and are just delicious. It is definitely not the same as the issue with China and mass food production that impacted us here a few years ago...after all, Poland holds 4th place in Europe for standard of living, only after France, Spain and Denmark. Hope you get to visit this charming and well out of communist era country. Thanks for bringing such a wonderful blog to life.


  10. Bernadette, thank you so much for your comment, and your clarification on Polish food.

    I agree I should have done some research before saying what I did, and I appreciate that you took the time to describe to me what sounds like an idyllic old-world country.

    I will definitely be putting Laughing Cow cheese back on my shopping list and look out for other Polish cheeses. Merci and welcome to my blog.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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