Friday, March 17, 2017

The drama-free way to lose weight

I have had slimming and weight loss on my mind a lot as I completed my latest book, so it is no surprise to me that this week’s post is on that very topic.

If you have ordered my new book Thirty Slim Days, thank you so much and I hope you get loads of useful information, inspiration and ideas from it.  When I wrote this post it was number 8 on the Amazon charts and I am crossing my fingers that it gets to number 1, because that would be so exciting!

If you would like to read a sample, you can see it on Amazon here (click on 'Look Inside').

What I have spent a lot of time thinking about is why diets don’t work and what are we meant to do instead?  Can we incorporate a structured eating plan without setting off alarm bells in our head?

Diets only address the food aspect, and they completely ignore all the stuff that’s going on in our mind.  Beyond the initial excitement phase of starting a new eating plan (if you have one), you rely on willpower to keep you going and after a while it just gets too hard.  You feel worn down and before you know it you are sinking back into the pleasure of your former favourite escapist foods.

I am not against structured eating plans to reset but you have to work on your mindset at the same time, otherwise it’s only ever going to be temporary.  I have decided that temporary isn’t going to do it for me anymore.  I am looking for a lifelong way to be slim, elegant, happy, well-fed and healthy.  I know it is possible.

After a time of plenty, it is a welcome breather to have a period of elegant austerity.  It feels refreshing.  Naturally slim ladies do this as a matter of course, but the rest of us have to learn how.  I don’t mind saying that it does not come naturally for me.

The naturally slim lady if, after the Christmas break, for example (when she probably did not overindulge to the same extent as everyone else, but still had more treats than she normally would), will have a January of simple and healthy foods.  What she likely won’t do is set far-reaching new year’s resolutions or join a punishing bootcamp – she doesn’t need to.

Just like the naturally slim woman, I decided to take the drama out of food, eating and my weight.  There really was no need for it.  And common sense comes into it too.  When you sit back and look at the big picture, or look at it as if you are designing a menu for someone else, it’s not so hard at all.  Deep down we all know what is healthy and what is less so.

If you’re like me, you just hoped for many years – decades – that the crappy junk foods that tickled your palette would magically become good for you.  No, it will never happen.  To get past that, I let myself feel sad that I couldn’t eat my ‘favourite’ foods and look nice and feel good.  I was fighting a losing battle and it was one I would never win.

The only way I was going to win was by changing what I considered to be my favourite foods.  If you are like me, and have mini-obsessions, you will know what it feels like to think that if your current favourite food is taken from you, you don’t know how you will survive.

Thinking back to years ago, there are food items I was obsessed with that now I don’t even think about anymore because I have moved on.  This sort of thinking is similar a two-year-old and their toys.  If you asked them to give up the toy they were holding right now, they wouldn’t want to give it to you.  But if you let them leave it of their own accord, they wouldn’t even notice.

I was like that with food – like a two-year-old having a tantrum.

Once I let go of the drama and introduced myself to a structured eating plan which allowed me to reset how I ate and lower my weight because I wasn’t eating so much junky snack food, all was well. And by structured eating plan I'm not talking about anything fancy - just good real food.  Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good carbs, limited or no processed junk and sugar.  Writing down what looks like a good plan and then following it.

I think some of us need that sharp jolt when we go from free-for-all to a strict menu plan.  Then, in the ensuing weeks we can happily add back in some of the non-triggering extras and we are happy.

If I try to take things away gradually, I get bratty about it and feel deprived.  If I have a period of resetting things every so often when I feel called to, it’s a shock to the system but I’m ready for it.  Then, when I add items back in it feels like a bonus!

If you are one of those normal people, you are probably wondering why all the fuss.  But if you’re like me… you probably know exactly what I’m talking about!  So… which one are you?  And do you find it easy to reset your eating… or not?

 All the best for your week and I can't wait to hear what you think of Thirty Slim Days!



  1. Thank you for this refreshing approach. For one thing, the ultimate goal is to be healthy--being too thin isn't any better than being overweight even though our ideas about "healthy" lean toward the thin end of the range. Everything ends up skewed.
    The other thing is that maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process, not a two-week over-and-done thing. As you say, one might make an effort in order to reset after a splurge, but deprivation isn't a good way to live, any more than excess is. Hats off to you for advocating a balanced alternative.

  2. Thinking about all the things (food and everything else) that you CAN'T have will draw you to them and make you crazy! Thinking about all the wonderful, beautiful and delicious foods that will make you healthy, strong and by-the-way slim is a much better way to do things.

    1. Exactly! You are drawn to what you focus on, so why not focus on health, strength, whole foods :)

  3. I totally agree. Say 'diet' and you automatically start listing all the things you can't ever eat again and getting all stressed out. Lowering the angst level is important, because we make better decisions when we aren't worked up and feeling deprived.

    For me, it's the 80/20 rule. 80% of what I eat is healthy stuff I enjoy, so when I have a piece of cake or a raspberry turnover it's a celebration and not a guilt trip trigger. Also, after I have a fun meal, say chili at my favorite chili place or whatever, I give my system a rest and eat lighter at dinner or the next day so I don't feel overloaded. I think Anne Barone mentioned this once.

    1. Yes, yes, yes, Aurora! Such a sensible yet doable approach :)

  4. Congratulations on your (third ?) book. Such a huge accomplishment.
    I enjoyed reading this post and the comments, particularly 'Taste of France'.
    I, too, love treats but that's what they are - treats. Not everyday foods. I enjoy having a plate with lots of colours and textures as we eat with our eyes. And I go for quality. If I want something particularly yummy, I sit and enjoy it. Eating in the car or in front of the tv is a no no - mindless eating results in overeating and it certainly isn't chic, either !

    1. Thank you Lara, it's my fourth :)

      I agree that texture and colour plays a huge part in the enjoyment of a meal.

  5. Hi there, That's fantastic about your new book. Congrats! I've never been successful with diets, mainly because they tend to focus on deprivation. What you say in this post makes so much more sense. It's all about balance. After some health scares recently, I am too focused now on enjoyment and pleasures in life, rather than being restrictive. Life is too short! This said, I have always eaten healthy, kind of like what Aurora says in the above comment about the 80/20%. I will, only rarely, eat something that is unhealthy but when I do, boy, it is unhealthy! ;)


    1. That's my focus too, D: on good health plus enjoyment. The types of food that were my downfall were not healthy, so reframing my thoughts on those was very helpful. And of course having a margin for out and out fun :)

  6. I can't wait to read your new book! I read the "look inside" and got so many tips already! I love the old fashioned formula for finding your ideal weight. People were slimmer back in the day so I want to go by their chart lol! I haven't been 115 lbs in quite some time so that's what the back page of my notebook will say lol....we will see how it goes....

    1. Yay, so glad the sample pages helped you already, Carla :) Yay for the last page of your notebook, too!

  7. Fiona, the paperback version of your book just arrived today and I'm so thrilled! I've been overweight and a sugar and Pepsi addict for most of my life. I am now 50 and it is time to change. You are right - it all has to do with mindset, finding your why, writing down your perfect day, and writing in a notebook. As I'm reading your book, I'm thinking "Yes, I can do this!" Thank you so much! By the way, what are bliss balls? Recipe please? And your recipe for your green tea? I'm going to switch from Pepsi to green tea! Thank you again so much for writing this WONDERFUL book! By the way, is the beautiful slim and happy lady on the cover you? I should find a picture of myself when I was slim and happy and post it some place where I can see it every day! This is my FAVORITE new book and it will be traveling with me everywhere! I can't wait to recommend this book to others! Also, did you self-publish? What company? I love the lay out of the book - it looks so nice and so easy to for this 50 year old farsighted lady to read! Thank you! And you do Paleo, righ? Thank you for answering all my questions! I'm just so DELIGHTED with your new book! Have a great day and hope you and Hubby are having a nice weekend!

    PS. Someday in my perfect day, Hubby and I will be debt free, living in our own home, I will be slim and healthy, and sipping on a coconut drink or maybe green tea while writing my own books! I want to be an author too and work from home too! :)

    Maria :)

    1. Hi Maria! Yes I did self publish, through CreateSpace. I did all the book formatting myself and included all the things I like in a book, such as a clear font. One book I donated without reading, even though it looked interesting had the tiniest font and close together lines. I just couldn't handle the effort it took to read those miniature words 😆

      I make green tea with a teabag and hot water - very simple 😊 To replace Diet Coke I have Lemon or Lime Perrier or plain sparkling water. It is the fizziness I like and prefer it without the flavour now. It's much more refreshing. There is a recipe on this blog if you search for 'bliss balls' I will copy and paste the link if I can on my phone.

      Yes, paleo is the closest to my eating style. Keep your dream life in sight and you can make it come true!!! 💝💗💝

    2. Also, no it is not me on the cover 😊


      This is the bliss ball recipe Maria 😋


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...