Oh, of course it’s nice to eat everything you want.

In all my “Feel Good Books” and in tons of magazines I come across, I’m realizing it’s totally in right now to think that… Diets are in the past. Now you have to satiate your senses and eat until you’re full, that’s it, and that’s what’s most important.

All in all, I think it’s a good start.

It helped me to stop blaming myself in the months that followed my “crisis”. It helped me to stop blaming myself, but it also helped me a lot to continue not being able to button my jeans.

Ah, ça c’est sûr, c’est sympa de manger tout ce qu’on veut.

D’ailleurs, dans mes Feel Good Books et dans beaucoup de magazines que je lisais, je me rendais compte que c’était un peu la mode de penser comme ça : les régimes c’est fini, il faut se fier à sa sensation de satiété et manger à sa faim, c’est tout ce qui compte.

Oui, tout à fait. On va dire que c’est un bon début.

Ça m’a aidée à déculpabiliser pendant les quelques mois qui ont suivi ma “crise”. Ça m’a aidé à déculpabiliser, et ça m’a vachement aidée à continuer à ne pas pouvoir fermer mes jeans.

But really, the problem is that curves don’t come evenly. We’re not all like Crystal Renn, and gaining weight harmoniously… That’s luck that I just don’t have.

Life’s a bitch.

So, June arrived and I was in Paris at the Café de Flore with Sophie. We were drinking a glass of rosé and I’m watching her munch down chip after chip. She was loving each one as she always does and just as it always is, her silhouette was perfect.

And as always, I was telling her my whole life story, including my adventures with weight.

I asked her how she stays so perfect even after 40 years old rolled on by. She told me her trick.

And something clicked.

It’s not what she ate that inspired me… No, what got me was that she figured out how to really nourish herself. With her tastes, her desires, and even her lifestyle. For example, she has lunch all the time at Flore, so she’s integrated their menu into how she eats.

And right after she finished telling me all about that, she told me something that just cracked me up…

“And of course, you forget that the word dessert ever existed.”

No, no. That’s so impossible for me. No, no no no. I have my rules. And my rules, they’re as hard as iron… They’re stuff like :

  • Every breakfast has to consist of toast with butter. Real salted butter. And honey, of course.
  • And bread. Every meal has to have bread. My Papa taught me that just by teaching me to set the table (“Where’s the water? And the bread? Where’s the bread!?”)
  • Life is not worth living without a glass of wine and 12 cups of coffee a day.
  • Life isn’t worth living without snacks. And a snack is defined as a treat you can dunk in your tea.
  • Every meal has to finish with something sweet, otherwise it’s not a real meal, and therefore not real life.

Oh yeah, I’ve got some other words to live by:

  • Every cool self-respecting chick doesn’t exercise, because exercise is not cool. Have you ever seen Charlotte Gainsbourg exercising ? No !

And yet when Sophie talked to me about the way she feeds herself, her simplicity and groundedness inspired me.

I took a nice hard look at my “rules” and realized they were all pretty stupid.

So right then, I started changing things.

I started with giving up bread. Not completely, mind you, but in the past, I was the girl in the restaurant who finished the entire basket of bread before the appetizers arrived… And I eat out all the time.

I stopped eating desserts. Not all desserts, just mainly cakes and ice cream. I wanted to see what it felt like to end a meal without something sweet.

And the two were the same. It’s a little tough in the beginning, then you get used to it, and then you end up completely forgetting to look at the dessert menu.

After a few weeks, that’s what I did. But there would always be exceptions, because exceptions are part of life. I stayed cool about them.

I right away felt positive effects. And not only on my waistline but also with my self-image. I could eat differently without being totally frustrated. Realizing my “rules” weren’t anything more but bad habits to hide behind, not really understanding why I needed to change a system that worked up until then – even a system as chaotic as the one I had.

And I think I finally understood that if I gained some weight, it was my body telling me that it was tired of absorbing my excesses. I had to see it coming…. I’ve always eaten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. After 30 hit, the machine got a little cranky. Metabolism just doesn’t deal with your chocolate pudding or your 3rd glass of wine the way it used to.

It made me actually stop and think about my health. Gaining weight, for me, it was never just a cosmetic problem or about pride or fashion.

There is a lot of type II diabetes in my family. And with my dumb rules, it was dangling right in front of my face.

Finding encouragement in my progress, I read a whole bunch of books on nutrition and applied some new principles that seemed to work for me. I revamped my entire way of eating.

No, it wasn’t following some diet. No, not counting calories. And it wasn’t stopping eating what I love to eat.

It was just harmonizing my way of eating with my tastes and my lifestyle. And that’s really personal. No one else can do that for you, and it would serve no purpose whatsoever if I told you what I’ve been eating. It suits no one but myself.

It’s been three months since this has clicked for me. Three months isn’t a long time, and I’m still fumbling around with how to feed myself. I’m changing slowly, one thing at a time.

I’m slowly adapting to where I live : if New York is hell to start with, you can quickly realize that there are tons of delicious healthy options on every corner.

I have a giant Whole Foods just down the street and an awesome Farmer’s Market every other day.

This weekend, locked in the house because the not so hurricane, I cooked. It’d been months since I’d fired up the stove. I forgot how nice it is.

I don’t eat toast and butter every morning anymore. That said, it’d be dumb to try to eat like a Frenchie here. Nothing tastes the same. Not even the French wine, it’s somehow too sweet… If you want a good red, you really have to go looking.

By the way, I still drink a glass of wine every day. Just one, except, you know, exceptions.

And I lost weight.

I’m far from being New York Skinny and that’s not at all my goal, but I got back to the weight I knew and the weight I feel most myself.

Now my friends ask me to be their weight-loss coach, that they’re inspired by me… And it just cracks me up.

Seriously? Me?

It’s funny… I never thought myself capable of change. And still, I wonder if I’m just dreaming here. I feel such a strong sense of balance and I hope to continue this way the rest of my life.

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But the craziest thing that I found, I’ll tell you about next time!

Translation : Tim Sullivan