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Weighty issues

 
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Mathilde Puppy



Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Weighty issues Reply with quote

Hi Everyone! I am new to these fourms. i have been lurking for a while now and just love the site.

I have a question for you all.... since i discovered a passion for food and cooking (and wine) a year ago, i have had much joy out of trying new recipes. But, i have also put on about 20 pounds in weight! How do my fellow foodies manage to maintain a decent and healthy weight, even though you all undoubtedly are exceptional cooks! I have just started a new programme that sees me drink wine only every second day, and am also alternating days where i am completely vegan (and low-fat) with days where i eat as usual. After a week, i have lost a couple of pounds, but have a long way to go.

I am curious to hear of other methods, and advice!

best to you all,

Mathilde Puppy.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no mystery at all to this. You have to move. Very simple.

Park at the end of the lot, use the stairs, wash the floor, polish the furniture, walk around the block five times, golf, garden, cut the grass, wash windows, put on Sinatra and dance....
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or...landscape each day, for 10-12 hours per day! Lift 100 fifty pound bags of River Rock to line a fish pond. Mow 36 lawns. Plant 126 8" caladium pots in a planter that's above your head!

You can't eat enough in a day to keep your weight normal.

That's what ManKind has done since we walked upright and they never had a problem! It's the TV, Gameboy's, and computers that, combined with food, put on the weight.

Sarape is right, you have to move, and move often to eat and not gain. It's that simple.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, it takes some effort.

This isn't a great topic for a forum devoted to the enjoyment of food, however, it is an important issue to many.

Here are some of my views:

    Energy in minus energy out equals energy stored -- 1st law of thermodynamics,
    Don't waste money on diet books,
    Don't waste money on diet clinics,
    Don't waste money on diet foods,
    Think long term, lose 20 pounds over 20 years, for example,
    This is a lifetime pursuit,
    It doesn't have to be a chore,
    You have to be dedicated,
    Find foods which taste good and are good,
    Always relax and enjoy meals,
    Never eat while driving, walking, or standing at the counter,
    Chew sugarless gum or drink water or diet soda between meals


We all inherently know what's good and bad for us. The key is sticking to it and knowing that this is the way it is every day for the rest of your life. And pick a routine which is comfortable to you. Don't pick someone elses routine.

And if all else fails, move to Chicago and beg Dairy_Queen for one of those jobs where she'll put you out on the line for 12 hours cutting lawns and planting trees. And if that fails, well, that's it, that's the last straw.
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Mathilde Puppy



Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: Weighty issues Reply with quote

Hi again,

Thank you for the replies. Goodness, I would just love to be outside and gardening all day for my job! How blissful. Currently I am stuck in a cold cement office in a small town in the middle of the Balkans from 8-6 each day. :(

But, issues of weight ARE intrinsically linked to the enjoyment of food! To enjoy food, to enjoy wine, to enjoy cooking for friends and loved ones is to be fully engaged with life and all the pleasures that life has to offer! And it is this spirit that is so much a part of Clotilde's blog. I think this is why I enjoy her blog so much. I can read, try recipes and dream of one day when i too might be in Paris.... But the inevitable results of that enjoyment and pleasure can be tough. (Particularly when i am on the reciving end of comments from others about the dramatic weight gain.) It surely must be an art- to enjoy, to indulge, to create, yet to remain slim. I do not know about others, but when my weight goes up, my pleasure in food goes down and the guilt begins. Move more, is good advice. As summer now comes, it is certainly easier to walk, to ride bikes, to swim in the river, to rummage through my little window pots on the balcony.

Thanks, Mathilde Puppy.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape: I'm reading your post and laughing. I hired a new, personal assistant a month ago; Sally's roommate, who professed "undying love for all things growing."

She's 29, and I'm going to be 53 years old.

I feel like I'm working with Methuselah!

For the past month, Michele and I have been "prepping" the gardens during this abnormally cold and wet Spring, getting them ready for planting, which is happening the beginning of this weekend.

The tasks that I set her on were sweeping, picking up leaves, and helping me go to the supply center, where we'd both load up my truck with bags of mulch, manure and soil.

If you can believe it, this girl of 29 years old is so out of shape, that she still hurts 7 days later, from her twice a week working with me???!!! I feel like Charles Atlas compared to her!

Mathilde Puppy: It's the simplest of things that can keep the body moving. Raking the yard, sweep or vacuuming the house, washing windows...basically all the things that people "job" out, now adays. I always say that my job is the BEST: I get tan, fit, get to work in gardens AND get paid for the pleasure of it! You can't beat that!

Also, I've noticed that as the heat rises, my appetite plummets, so in the hot Summer months, I continually lose weight rather than storing it. If you have air conditioning, you might want to keep it turned off, because it sure helps me with losing desire to eat.
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clotilde
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mathilde - I agree with you completely about the weight issue being so closely connected to the food one. It's like the yin and the yang, you know, two conflicting aspects of the same thing!

I am sure you have heard about the book "French women don't get fat". Although I don't agree with everything the author writes (she is a little irksome at times, too) she has some good advice about moderation and enjoyment. Have you read the roundtable discussion that a few of us French food bloggers had about the French way of eating? If you haven't, maybe you would find it interesting:
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2005/03/so_do_we_or_do_we_not.php

As for my personal take on it, I agree with the "move" advice -- I walk as much as I can, and I swim twice a week. I do this "private accounting" thing too, in which I compensate for a good meal with a "lighter" day.

Also (and I think this will ring true to most food enthusiasts), I try to stick to excellent food (not necessarily luxurious, but rather as high-quality as I can afford -- and this will of course be different for everyone). I don't eat stuff just because it's there, I will refrain from eating rich food (chocolate/cheese/pastries) until I have the occasion to eat an excellent version of them. This naturally reduces the frequency and the amount you will eat of them, and it heightens your pleasure when you do.

Finally, I try to avoid the guilt thing: popular wisdom in France says that if you eat without guilt you will not gain weight! Easier said than done I know, but I think what it means is that it's a matter of cutting the right deals with yourself (this I allow myself to have, this is over-the-top, this is totally worth it, this is unreasonable, and once in a while -- what the heck we only live once!) so that your conscience will have nothing to nag you with.

I hope this helps somewhat, and feel free to continue the discussion, I would love to know more about what you and the others think.


Last edited by clotilde on Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything that everybody else has said. Also something that I have learnt to do, through many ups and downs, is to plan each of my indulgent creations with an event or people in mind - maybe having friends for dinner, or going visiting on the weekend, or treats for my workmates. This saves me from having lots of tempting food sitting in my cupboards calling out my name. Having cupboards full of sweet food or nice treats is my total undoing. My cupboards are full only of 'raw materials', along with lots of fruit and vegetables. This is my learnt strategy that helps me both indulge my love of baking, and also recognises my tenuous will-power. I should probably work on my will power I know - but this is far more fun and seems to work just as well!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Clothilde et alia! Me, I've just decided to love my love handles!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with you David. I'm a little overweight now my appetite has returned. But I'm just so thankful to be alive I've decided to live with it, buy new clothes and tell myself Renoir would have liked to paint me.
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Barbara
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Lisa



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Location: New York City, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a word, I think we need to be cautious when we say the causes or solutions are simple. There are many things that can complicate someone's relationship with food and eating, and we don't all have the same leisure time or resources for exercising.

That said, I do believe that eating joyfully and eating healthfully aren't mutually exclusive ...

And I agree heartily about the suggestions to move ...

And as has been suggested in different ways, eating mindfully, really savoring your food, slowly and sweetly, can help. I find that when I eat slowly, and put my fork down between bites, till I've swallowed, I notice more easily when I'm full ...

I think it's wonderful when we can share our own successes, and wonderful to have a warm and receptive place to ask questions.

peace
Lisa
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
But I'm just so thankful to be alive I've decided to live with it, buy new clothes and tell myself Renoir would have liked to paint me.
Bravo, Barbara! The media is our worst enemy with all their anorexic models. As long as you're healthy and happy...c'est la vie!

Myself, I have been going to the gym recently, trying to get more active. My hardest meal of the day was always breakfast. A bagel was always so easy (and sooooo bad!). Now I have a fruit smoothie every morning: soy milk, flax oil, whey powder & frozen fruit. Sounds gross, but honestly it is delicious, and filling! I give it credit for my weight loss over the last few months. I change up the fruit every so often and add fresh when I had it although the frozen fruit makes it nice and cold.
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Elizagard



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 31
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:56 pm    Post subject: No low fat Reply with quote

Mathilde,

I lost 50 pounds (and kept it off for a year) all the while enjoying really good food. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. If you are eating a reasonable amount and the food is nutritious, there is no reason to feel guilty.

A book you might consider is the Fat Fallacy by Will Clower. It's written by an American but suggests French eating practices: Eat at the table, watch your portion size, eat small quantities of fat, don't eat too much sugar, eat whole natural foods, don't snack, and so on.

Elizabeth
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HarryDurt



Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a: moderation in all things,
b: use pico de gallo in place of _________. (in my case the blank is filled in with "salad dresing"),
c: ignore escalators completely and ignore elevators for the first four floors,
d: if you are going to lose weight, do it slowly.
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Mathilde Puppy



Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:42 am    Post subject: Weighty Issues Reply with quote

Hello to everyone,

Thank you all for your replies. There has been alot of good information and advice! It is interesting, Clotilde that you mention "French Women Don't get fat". I was finally able to obtain a copy last week when i was travelling, and despite my expectations (the title drives me nuts) I really enjoyed it. I love the emphasis on enjoyment. I also like your idea to remove guilt from the process. Guilt over food and eating and what one 'allows' oneself to have is so terribly destructive. The reasons for such guilt can be many. I am concentrating now on deriving maximum enjoyment and pleasure. Sometimes it can be something as simple as giving yourself permission to eat and enjoy.

Elizagard, i shall take you as my inspiration! 50 pounds! That is an incredible achievement.

Best wishes to you all,

Mathilde
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