Tuesday, September 20, 2011

20th Day in a Chic September

For the month of September I plan to document daily steps I have taken towards a chic, elegant and healthy life. My goal is to keep uppermost in my mind the kind of life I want to live. I will be focusing on all the small things I do each day that lead me towards my goal, rather than away from it.

Here are today’s mini-chic accomplishments:

I had a little breakthrough today. After beating myself up for indulging in too many unchic and high calorie foods over the weekend, and not wanting the hemmed in feeling of tracking Weight Watchers points, I thought to myself ‘what if I’m just normal’.

What if I eat normal foods in normal portions at normal times. I can be normal! For some reason (that I would love to know), I can happily spend months at a time following Weight Watchers to the letter (or point), and then I get to a stage where I want to run in the opposite direction. I’m off the diet, so I eat everything I’ve limited myself of, and enjoy indulging with wild abandon.

But today’s thought was something else altogether. I am normal. I know how to eat normally, I’ve done it for many years before I decided I wanted to lose weight and got into the dieting thing.

Normal isn’t lollies and excessive chocolate and fatty takeaways or snacks. Normal is real food in reasonable quantities. And it’s never normal food that we want to excess. It’s the other stuff, the refined carbohydrates that never fill you up, at least with nutrition anyway.

So today, whenever I felt like eating something tacky, or worried that I wasn’t writing my points down, I just calmed myself with ‘I am normal, I am eating normal food’. And the thoughts of revolting low-nutrition foods melted away.

There’s only one mini-chic accomplishment today, but for me it’s a good one.


If you feel like you want to make September a chic month for you as well, please join me. You are welcome to share your mini-chic accomplishments for the day (or the previous day if you read in the morning) in the comments section. It would be lovely to have you along for the ride!


  1. I think this sort of decision is a fantstic accomplishment. Most people nowadays have completely "unlearned" what normal eating means, so going back to it is very chic indeed :-) Wishing you a great week, Love from London xo

  2. That's a very big accomplishment. I agree with the previous comment, we have learned a new normal with constant dieting and finding our way back is a big deal.

  3. What an important epiphany! You are absolutely right, normal foods in normal amounts will give you a normal figure. It may not be the figure that fashion magazines promote, but it wll be normal and that can't be bad. Good for you, becoming more comfortable in your own skin is a very chic accomplishment.


  4. Your break through moment sounds like a major mind shift has occurred. I hope that you will be happy.
    We all need to feel good in our own skin.

  5. I was talking to my mom the other day who was telling me that my aunt and uncle were "back on WW" to try to lose weight--saying they have done it so often they know it by heart. My immediate thought (though left unsaid)was then, "why don't they do it all the time? Why do they go on, then off, then on again? Why don't they just eat normal amounts all the time?" No lie, Fiona. I think WWs and the like are great for people to use when wanting to lose weight but there is something in their dynamic that isn't teaching people how to eat right for life (example: I sought out the help of a nutritionist years ago...I stopped going to her when she suggested that a sugary Dole cup of peaches counted as a fruit). Smaller amounts of all things in moderation is what I try to do. I get too frustrated by "prescribed" diets. I hope your epiphany works for you! xxBliss

  6. Oh, Fiona, I think this is my favorite post of yours, ever, and that includes the heartbreaking ones of Atlas. Chic is being true to yourself, treating yourself with kindness and respect, and living your life with integrity. My motto is "moderation in all things. Including moderation." to feel bad about snacking when you're busily preparing for a move seems awful to me. You walk regularly, you eat mindfully, you treat others well. This epiphany of yours will result in much better results than obsessing over stuff that isn't so bad. You ARE chic!

  7. I have to agree with the other great comments! Eating "normally" - healthy food in appropriate amounts - and exercising - regularly but not to an extreme - will over time produce results and is very chic.

  8. I would love to join in I know were coming to the tail end of September here so I will be chiming in a little late...something I would love to work on is Posture...I can have the worst posture. I would love to stand tall, sit tall and walk tall....It makes me think of Audrey Hepburn and how wonderful her posture always was. Its is a great habit to acquire and since I have a very slight curve in my spine I think it would be very beneficial for me to pay attention to this. I enjoyed your post today I get the same way with diets or programs I do great for a while and then I go bonkers and go in the opposite direction. I do something very similar I exercise regular and eat healthy as much as I can and then if I want a treat I have it and I don't beat myself up about it ~ I hope being normal works well for you. Sounds like a great idea ~Love Heather

  9. This post really hits home with me. I almost got on the Weight Watchers program last year. Attended one meeting and never went back. I've been trying to get back on track with my weight after two kids. I realized that if I did something like Weight Watchers (and this is just me) it would create an obsession with food and I would feel deprived and/or spend my day thinking about food, points, and more food and points and counting and obsessing... you get it.

    What you've said is so brilliant. What if I'm just normal! So, I've tried to just become mindful of what I'm eating and how much. I started drinking my coffee without sugar, which was a huge accomplishment for me. And I'm taking steps to just be conscious and aware of portion sizes yet eating what I want, only after I've stopped to think and be conscious of what I'm eating.

    Your point about us never really wanting to eat vast quantities of real food is so true! It's always the refined, junk food that we go overboard on. It's like a drug or something. The more refined food we eat, the more we crave!

    I love your blog! Nancy

  10. This is more of a cravings note - I read somewhere, and I do believe it works, that when you are tempted by something sweet inhale some vanilla essence. A small bottle could be kept in one's handbag perhaps.

  11. This is sort of what "Mindless Eating" taught me. But every now and then I still try to convince myself to get back on a low carb diet (I was a die-hard Atkins enthusiast for two years and was 10 pounds lighter than I am now) thinking it's the only way to lose weight. But I don't want to give up baguettes and croissants and bananas, etc. I just need to eat 'normal' foods and 'normal' portions, like you!

    I would say this revelation of yours is a very big step in the right direction for you...and for me it's more proof that diets of any kind are not for me anymore.

  12. Mademoiselle Poirot, Stephanie, so true. It seems crazy to be talking about 'going back to' normal eating but there you go.

    Cindy, I am more than happy with a normal figure. What made me think of 'normal' as such a revelation is that if I weighed what I weigh now forever then I would be happy.

    Hostess, we do.

    Bliss, as a sometimes-WW person I don't know either! Out of all of them I think WW is the best diet plan and they do try to wean you off points into everyday life, but maybe I just try to break out sooner.

    Grethen, you are a honey, truly.

    Juhli, I am Libran and the scales is our sign. I tilt one way and then the other, but balanced in the middle is the place to be.

    Heather, welcome, and today is the perfect time to start making your life more chic. For posture, I like to think of the string from the centre of my head pulling me up, it instantly helps.

    Nancy, thanks for your comment! Refined food IS like a drug. It hits our system with such force that our body thinks 'what was that, I want more' Those 'food' manufacturers aren't silly.

    Catherine, I must try that. If it works with me it will work with anyone.

    Adrienne, you are perfect as you are from what I see, but how you feel is more important. I lasted less than 24 hours on the South Beach diet. I came over all dizzy from no carbs. You obviously had better success. Life's too short though. Mindless Eating was a fascinating book. I loved all the studies.

  13. Long time reader, first time commenting! This really resonates with me. I love food but I resent the way that I find myself having to think about it all the time when it comes to trying to lose a bit of weight. Should I be eating this? If I have this for lunch that means I can have that for dinner etc etc. All that mental energy wasted on something that is a natural part of life. I found a book by William Clower "The French Don't Diet Plan" a useful tool in retuning the way I think about food. It is echoes what you were saying about eating normal food in normal quantities but provided me with some new strategies. I risk sounding like a publicist here, but you can get as an ebook from Amazon...
    By the way I really enjoy your blog - I love the low key and very chic tone.

  14. BB, lovely to hear from you! Me too, sometimes I feel such a loser for having to think about it. I'm an intelligent person - shouldn't I already know how to eat well? I'll have a look for Mr Clower's book from the library. I've heard a lot about it from the French Chic yahoo group but not sure if I've ever read it. Thank you for your kind words about my blog. I hope that's how I am too - low key and chic!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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