Thursday, August 26, 2010

Countdown to 40

In a few months I will turn forty. I'm very happy to be going into the next decade. I feel like I'm already 'getting a good run at it' (as my husband says) with starting this blog and working out how 'chic' is defined in my life.

One thing that is still bothering me though, and which I've sat back and had a think about, is my figure. I stopped posting my Chic Eating updates as it was stressing me out. Saturdays came around very fast and what if that week hadn't been particularly noteworthy?

So I relaxed and thought to myself, how can I change this. Still no to Weight Watchers, it's too strict for me, but giving myself free rein is a recipe for disaster. I sat down a week ago and drew up some 'guidelines' for the way I want to live, to enable me to slim down slowly and quietly.

My guidelines are not a diet, and there are no quantities listed. Here they are (I've called them Countdown to 40, just for fun) -

Sunday to Thursday – alcohol-free nights
Friday night – Bubbly Friday (we've had Bubbly Friday for years)
Saturday night – snacks and drinks

- This means I've cut down drinks to two nights a week (from probably 5-7 nights, even one glass of wine each evening adds up to a lot of calories) and I only eat snacks one night a week. I've decided I would rather have some camembert and crackers than potato chips, but if I want potato chips that's fine too, only on Saturdays.

Salad with lunch every day
Vegetables with dinner every night

Protein at every meal, eg:
- Egg with breakfast
- Tuna with lunch
- Lean meat or fresh fish with dinner

One piece of fresh fruit every day

If I crave something sweet after a meal – 1-2 squares dark chocolate
If I crave savoury snacks, a small amount of rice crackers and cheese

Early nights – in bed by 9.30pm at the latest, preferably 9pm, to give plenty of boudoir time for reading and moisturising before lights out at 10pm.

Green tea first thing in the morning with blog time (6am)
Drink water all day

Two yoga classes per week
Three one hour walks per week (two included to and from yoga)

I have to say, having my guidelines has really helped me stay on track and have a balanced week with plenty of nutrition and good sleep. I started out by writing down what my perfect week would look like and added things as I thought of them.

I also like that they are not just about food, but incorporate lifestyle habits to aim for as well. I am still using my Chic Eating principles most of the time too (I can have anything I like as long as it is 'Chic' and 'Real').

If I ever feel like slacking off, maybe pouring a glass of wine on a Wednesday, I remember my Countdown to 40 list and I feel newly remotivated. I also have the Word document open on my laptop most of the time, so I see it whenever I'm on the computer.


  1. Love this! I think it's very chic too. It's like you live by your own guidelines and when tempted can refer to them rather than just throwing caution to the wind. It's like your inner french girl is once again guiding you, but really it's you. You are that girl. You are becoming just as chic as any French girl could be.

  2. Fiona,

    Good for you! All of that sounds so healthy. I like that you call them 'guidelines' and not 'rules'. Telling ourselves that we 'must not' do this or 'can't' do that usually backfires.

    I have to take little steps to make changes stick and sometimes it takes three or four or twelve tries before it does.

    Right now, I'm focussing on portion control, eating mostly vegetarian, and going for walks or the gym on most days.

    By the way, from your profile picture, I would guess your age at about 30 - 32. And Stephanie is so right, you are the chicest of the chic!


  3. Yep - I agree with Adrienne - you don't look anywhere near 40 years old.

    May I suggest a little book called "Let's Do Lunch" by Roger Troy Wilson? I think you would find it very interesting.

    Adrienne dePitera

    I gave your blog a little review today :-)

  4. Just found your blog. Great post. I am also turning 40 in a few months and would love to be a few pounds lighter when I do. Thanks for these guidelines.

  5. I think the older we get the more beautiful we become.
    Because, it is no longer about our young self's natural limitless age. It is now OUR personal decisions that create OUR achievement. And, within that is the personal decisions we make, perhaps not always congruent with "perfect health", that help us stay "human"!

    Really nice piece!

  6. You have created a very sensible and chic regime...
    you have inspired me to adopt some of your guidelines.
    Good luck to you as you countdown!

  7. Fiona, I love your list. Very practical and chic. I've also decided I need to adopt the alcohol only on weekends rule as a glass or two of wine really adds up calorie-wise. I recently read a book called "The Skinny: How to Fit into Your Little Black Dress Forever" which also had some very commonsense advice.

    I need to come up with a list similar to yours and put it on my desk top as a daily reminder as well. You were wise to stop documenting your food consumption; you don't need that kind of stress in your life.

    Adrienne, I'm going to have to look into that book.

  8. Oh Fiona, I have to say first, I love the idea of bubbly Friday! Lately the husband and I have either not been drinking anything other than water and tea or overdoing it on the wine (not excessive, but sharing a bottle means a few glasses each, and even over the course of a couple meals is a lot calorie wise!).

    I too love the guidelines feeling, it's less restrictive, more of a gentle reminder of your goals. And may I say I was shocked when you said 40! I thought, "no way." I hope I look as good then, you are gorgeous!

  9. Stephanie, caution to the wind does not have good results for me. And thank you for the highest compliment in the land, as chic as any French girl indeed!

    Adrienne, yes, rules are just asking for disobedience. Guidelines are more flexible and user-friendly. Thank you for reminding me I am not a failure if I keep trying at something. Just start again until it works.

    I always knew there was a reason I liked you so much - thinking I'm 32? That'll do it. I promise you this photo was taken 4-5 months ago (not WHEN I was 32) but I did have a professional photographer, it was a candid before my sister's wedding (and in my normal clothes). Professional hair and makeup never hurts either.

    Adrienne2, Thank you so much for the mention on your blog. What a lovely surprise and I'm pleased I'm in such good company in your post. Your daylily nursery is a beautiful property. Merci also for the book recommendation.

    Shannon, thanks for visiting. Are you Libra too? Looking at your beautiful blog I'd think so. I love your theme of beauty and spas. If I was rich I think I'd live in a hotel and visit the spa every day - I'm only half kidding.

    Debra, you always have such wise words. Thank you for your comment. I like the way you say that sometimes it's something that's not good for the body which is good for the soul (just not too often, as I can testify to).

    Merci Rose, can I just say I love your name? I think Rose is the prettiest of names, and I am equally enamoured with anything rose-scented or rose-coloured. Rose = bliss to me.

    Hostess with the beautiful kitchen, thank you! I thought I had your blog in my Google Reader and just realised last night that I haven't, and been missing all sorts of wonderful posts. Of course I have remedied that now.

    Cherie, I find even one glass of wine (and one is hard to keep from becoming two) affects my sleep. I sleep like a baby having just had water, and a hot drink after dinner. I will look into the book you recommended, thank you.

    Kalee, I hear you with the wine. I find I enjoy it much more when I don't have it every night too, it becomes more of a treat. And as you say, all those calories. Plus you don't have to buy it as often, so it saves the budget!

    Bubbly Friday is a bit of a tradition here. A celebration at the end of the week! We usually drink a reasonable quality sparkling wine (and always bought on special of course). We're not sitting there with Bollinger!

    Kalee, you are going to look fabulous at 40. Natural good looks, a kind heart, nutritious food giving you a glow from within and a chic personal style - watch out world.

  10. hi fiona,

    it is hard to believe you will be 40, you look much younger. you must be doing something right. champagne fridays sound good to me.


  11. Rules always make me think of the things that I can't do. Your idea of guidelines is great, and focuses on the positives and on what you can do. Great idea!

    And as far as I'm concerned, 40 is fabulous!!! But I agree with others, you certainly don't look your age. And yes, you are becoming tres chic!

  12. Thanks Janet, my mum reckons it's the drink that's kept me looking young and cutting back to two nights a week could be detrimental to my youthfulness!

    Jackie, merci to you too. Focusing on the positive is what I keep reminding myself. I am naturally quite a cynical person. I am working on replacing cynicism with something rather more pleasant.

  13. I am a new to your blog and I must say that I love it!

    Have you read "Naturally Thin" by Bethenny Frankel? She has developed 10 rules to becoming and staying thin. Her rules reflect a very European attitude toward food and, in fact, she developed them while on vacation in Italy.

    Her viewpoint has been very helpful to me.

  14. Pasunejeunefille, lovely to have you visit and thanks for the book recommendation, it sounds like a must-read for me. Merci!

  15. Fiona,

    This sounds like a great plan! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a kind comment:).



  16. Ah, I remember 40, it was...ahem...a few years ago.

    I also love the guidelines you've set up for yourself. What a great idea and one that I might use myself. Guidelines sound so much better than diet or exercise routine.

    Thanks for taking time to visit and comment at my blog. Your blog is wonderful and I've added it to my blog list.

    Have a good weekend,

  17. Kim and Sandra, thank you for visiting and commenting. I'm glad I have found both your blogs.

  18. Best wishes, it sounds totally doable! :)

    I love the idea of Bubbly Friday!!!

  19. Fiona, I had to comment again. I made my husband look at your pic. I explained it was a recent photo but that you were turning 40. He said, "no way. I would have guessed closer to 30." So there you go, the male perspective!

  20. Global Butterfly, you are aptly named! Your website has so much energy, I'm looking forward to reading it more. Love your painted suitcase too. Much more original than tying a colourful ribbon onto the handle to identify it at the airport.

    My plan has been very doable so far, and it was easy to hop back into it after the weekend.

    Kalee, you are such a sweetie. I drag my husband over to look at blogs too - mostly it's Adrienne's small dogs and how cute they are though.

  21. You're going to have a blast with this countdown to 40! Happy 40th!!!Like with other bloggers, you don't even like your age at all:) Have a great week.

  22. excellent. I am inspired by your regime.

  23. PVE, I love the word regime. It sounds so french to me. The sound of it plus the discipline.

  24. Great post. I have found that I do best with balanced meals and snacks: a protein, a complex carb and a bit of fat. Your plan looks very smart and do-able.

  25. Fiona, I love your blog. I just started blogging myself and I am finding this to be its own intriguing little world. I was curious, now that it has been many months since you initiated your guidelines, how has it been working out for you? Maybe you have this updated somewhere--so even if you could just direct me to the post, that would be fabulous. I am looking forward to reading more!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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