Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello, goodbye

Last week was a bit crazy. I had some early morning appointments so weighing in before breakfast went completely out the window, and then, I just decided to wait until this week.

Good news, though. Looks like I'm holding steady at 163.

That's definitely a better place to be than where I started off eight months ago. Slower than I would have liked (-0.5 lbs per month is not exactly shocking), but still, it's definitely an improvement.

Now, though, as we approach the end of the year, I've started to think about how long I should keep up with the blogging.

The simple truth is, I don't spontaneously have enough stuff to share to fill up a week. And, I don't have time to dedicate so that I can think up or create content. I tried that when I first started this blog. I figured, maybe I can do a healthy menu with recipes on one day, and I can do something about fashion or shopping on another, etc., etc. But, I lacked the time and--especially--the motivation to keep it up.

So, if you've been reading this blog, you know by now that the last couple of months I've just checked in once a week. Hardly ground-breaking or exciting blogging, I'd say.

The French diet is a long game. It's about moderation, consistency, and, above else, self-respect. There are no quick fixes, and therefore, no quick "tips" or "tricks" that I can blog about.

Given that, I have decided to take a break from blogging. If I am feeling inspired, I may pick it back up after the holidays.

If you've stuck around for any of this, I thank you. And I hope that you will conduct a French Experiment of your own, and that it will be a smashing success.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Careful, now

So, as I wrote a few days ago, my weight is at the lowest it's been in...what?...a few years now? Yes, I think that's right. I think it's been a few years, at least, since I was at 163.

You'd think that that would have been enough to send me running to a week of steamed veggies and fish or lean chicken, right?


Last night, I had Patxi's deep dish pizza and a Caesar salad.

Monsieur and I typically order a mushroom and onion pizza, and usually I have 1 slice and plenty of salad.

For whatever reason, last night I was pretty hungry, so I ate two slices and plenty of salad.

It has been a really long time since I had deep dish pizza. I find that it is much more enjoyable if you have it infrequently. Last night, it was super enjoyable!

Now, according to the French diet, this should not be a problem. There are no "bad" foods (excluding, of course, fake/highly processed foods) only poor portion control. In this specific case, since my lunch was fairly small, having two slices of pizza wasn't in itself such a terrible thing. After all, I felt okay after eating and not overly stuffed and regretful.

But, I do have to be careful. Why? Because it has happened in the past that when I've made some progress with my weight (i.e. it's gone down!) I've had a somewhat unconscious tendency to sabotage myself. I don't really know why, but I have noticed it after it's happened. I want to make sure I don't let that happen again.

So tonight, I will go back to a lighter dinner option.

Perhaps I will even have some fish.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Check-In

Well, it's another Monday morning and that means, it's time to check in again.

Without further ado...

Monday's weigh-in: 163.0. (-0.5 versus last week and -4.0 to date)

I have to admit, I was just hoping that the number on the scale hadn't gone up too much. Seeing that the number actually went down was an unexpected treat!

If I look back on the week, the one thing that sticks out in my mind is that my dinners were generally quite a bit smaller than they used to be. I've been serving myself small portions, knowing that I can always get some more if I'm really hungry. But what I've found is that, in general, I have felt sufficiently satisfied.

The thing is...typically, about an hour or so after dinner, Monsieur and I have a cup of coffee or some herbal tea and a small sweet treat. This might be a cookie, or a mini cup of ice cream, or a piece of chocolate. So this past week, the combination of a small dinner (think appetizer serving size) plus the after-dinner treat has been perfect. It's not like I've been going to bed hungry.

On the other hand, I have also responded to my body's requests. So, while most nights dinner was on the smaller side, on one night, I really felt hungry, so I ate a pretty large dinner. Not to the point where I felt overstuffed, but I was hungry, so I ate. And on that night, I had an after-dinner tea, but no treat. I wasn't craving one, so I figured why have it "just because"?

This is the only thing I can think of that may have contributed to the last two weeks' results. Otherwise, things were much as they were before: mostly healthy, home cooked dinners; lunches were a mix of at home and out; breakfasts were nothing out of the ordinary; and exercise was less than I'd like.

Let's see how this week goes. Maybe this will prove to be my best way to be French.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Memoriam: Oscar de la Renta

Last night a friend of mine sent me a text message, alerting me to the fact that Oscar de la Renta had passed away. He was 82 years old and had been battling cancer for some time. I have always loved Oscar de la Renta's design aesthetic, and I was so sorry to hear that he had passed away.

By all accounts, it seems he was as gracious and elegant in his personal, real life, as he was in his designs.

As recently as 2012, at an event in New York City, Mr. De la Renta spoke about his cancer. He told the crowd, "The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."

It was always one of my dreams to attend one of his fashion shows in New York, but since I am not a regular customer, nor a celebrity, nor a fashion insider, that dream never materialized. BUT, I have been extremely fortunate to find a couple of Mr. De la Renta's designs over the years on consignment, or on eBay.

I always loved his use of color and his delicate, beautiful fabrics, especially his lace and eyelet pieces. One day I hope to find an eyelet or lace blouse, or a fabulous, colorful dress, to add to my collection.

Another thing I loved about his designs was that he made clothes to fit women who are a size 0 and those who are a size 16 or 18! It seems his goal was to make women feel beautiful, regardless of their dress size.

So today, the fashion world is poorer for the loss of this creative man, who it seems, more than anything, was a true gentleman. May you rest in peace, Mr. De la Renta, and may God comfort your family and friends as they go on without you.

“Never, ever confuse what happens on a runway with fashion,” Mr. de la Renta once said. “A runway is spectacle. It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on. Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.” ~ New York Times

Monday, October 20, 2014

The French (Baking) Diet?

Hello again!

Let's jump straight ahead and get the weigh-in done.

Monday's weigh-in: 163.5. (-1.0 versus last week and -3.5 to date)

Alleluia!!!!!! Yipee!!!!! Hurrah!!!!! [Insert cartwheels of joy here] 🎉

What happened??!!

I wish I knew! This past weekend, I did some more baking. This time, it was chocolate croissants.  

Maybe it's the French pastry diet?  Hehe

No, it's not. Last week I behaved reasonably well. I tried to eat reasonable portions, and I tried to eat mostly home-cooked meals. But the truth is, I also did eat out sometimes. And, last night, I had a tiny dinner because I had an upset stomach. I don't think it was from the croissants, since I only sampled 1/2 of one (to make sure it was good). So, the truth is, I'm not sure why I saw such a big loss this week.

But, I'm not complaining! In fact, if anything, it has motivated me to be extra careful this week. And, I'm going to be better about jotting down what I'm eating, if I'm exercising (and how much), and how my tummy reacts to it all. Hopefully that way I will have a better idea of why my weight fluctuates.

In the meantime, I'll just enjoy this new weight (probably my lowest in over a year) and hope that the downward trend continues!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Getting back into the swing of things

As I mentioned last time, I spent the previous week baking delicious treats and I was reasonably pleased to see that I hadn't completely gone overboard.

This past week, the trend towards more French behavior continued (moderately) as I focused on more home-cooking and got a bit more exercise in. But, on the downside, the approach of Halloween has meant that there has been more free candy crossing my path, and it's hard to resist candy miniatures. 

Monday's weigh-in: 164.5. (-0.5 versus last week and -2.5 to date)

Phew! Am I relieved!

For this week, my focus is going to be on menu planning, healthy meals, and moderate exercise. Today's been a scorcher, so I'm not really in the mood to go out for a walk or a bike ride, but temps should drop later in the week, so hopefully a few brisk walks will work their way into my schedule.

p.s. My new goal is to lose between 0.5 - 1 lbs each week. I'm hoping to be a bit lighter by the time I travel back east to see my husband's family at Thanksgiving. And, my Maman's family may be coming to visit for Christmas, and I really don't want them to see me as I am right now!  So, I have two things to motivate me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Back again, baking again

This past weekend I took another baking class: Viennoiserie at Home. Viennoiserie refers to "laminated" dough, like the one used for croissants and Danish pastries. So, we made croissants, pain su chocolat, assorted fruit Danishes, and brioche. 

Of course, this meant we had to taste what we made. :)

We each went home with lots of goodies. I kept some but gave a bunch away. 

Despite this, I'm sure these delicious treats didn't leave my waistline unscathed. 

Tuesday's weigh-in: 165. (-0.5 versus last week and -2.0 to date)

I guess I'll call this a success, since I managed to go back down a bit despite the enjoyment of numerous buttery baked goods. 

Now, the treats are gone. Time to get serious!