Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It's that time again

The time has come for me to stop kidding myself that I can lose weight on my own. I used to be able to not eat much for a week and drop half a stone. It was something I would regularly do when I was about 20 and for a few years I managed to remain slim without medical aid. Then when it became harder to do that I went to one of 'those doctors' in Harley Street for injections and pills. When my doctor of choice got struck off I found another doctor down the road, one with a celebrity client list, and who had managed to pass himself off as a legitimate health clinic, despite the fact that he was doling out the same injections and pills as the disbarred doctor. I even began buying slimming pills from dealers, so desperate was my desire to stay slim (with the minimum of effort). I can't even begin to recall how many thousands of pounds I must have spent over the years on these meds, legal and illegal, but they did their job and I remained slim and attractive.

Of course when I gave them all up - following a 'bit of a situation' which I might blog about one day - the weight did what it always does when you have artifically kept it down. It piled on and, from the age of about 38, I have had a constant battle with it, one that I have not won for many years.

Weight Watchers is not as big in France as in the US and UK but it is still here. Tomorrow I will be going to a group meeting which is about an hour's drive away and to say I am in the zone is no exaggeration. You know when you get to the stage where you just don't like the body you are in anymore and you know that things have to change, well I reached that last week. I think being here most of the time now on my own is also causing me to turn to food a bit too much and, once on a definite eating programme, it will be easier for me to stay in control of food.

I've often said that given the choice between winning the lottery or being a naturally slim person able to eat anything they wanted, I would pick the latter. It must be the most fantastic feeling in the world to never put on an ounce and be able to wear clothes you had 30 years ago (although my ra-ra mini skirt and pixie boots might look a bit odd round here).


Jean said...

How I sympathise with you. It's such a delicate balance when you get that bit older - it only seems to take a couple of extra biscuits to pile on the weight.

I have following the general principles of some diet or other for about 30 years and my weight fluctuates by about a stone throughout the year depending how I stick to the diet. I found Weight Watchers difficult in that you have to count everything and once you've had all your points you're not supposed to eat anything else, regardless of how hungry you are. I have lately found Slimming World much easier. It takes a bit of sussing out but once you get the hang of it, it works really well. A friend lost 27 pounds in 4 months by following this diet.

Having said that, I have put on nearly a full stone in the last month due to being totally inactive after the operation on my foot, eating up all the chocolates from Christmas and being fed 3 square meals a day by his nibs. I'm hobbling along to rejoin the Slimming World class this week.

French Fancy said...

Oh yes, like all perpetual dieters I do know all the Big Diets. I lost a couple of stone with Slimming World once - that red day/green day system. In fact I remember sitting there with a pile of mashed potatoes and two poached eggs on top of it thinking it was the best diet in the world.

SW doesn't have classes out here or I would have gone there, rather than WW. I have lost with WW before though so I know it works.

Good luck with your rejoining. We can monitor our losses together.

(how's this for a coincidence - I was at your blog when you were at mine)

Lulu LaBonne said...

Crikey - slimming pills, how do they work? Sounds dangerous.

I find keeping my weight down a lot easier when I'm away from my man, I don't buy cheese, salami, biscuits (all the things I love) but there's no easy answer - my best one is 'make soup'

LadyFi said...

Slimming pills sound awful! I think that a sensible diet that doesn't leave you feeling hungry with the occasional bit of chocolate coupled with exercise and activity are the best ways of beating the bulge.

Also, keeping active and not eating out of boredom probably helps too.

I did react to your description 'slim and attractive'.. there are plenty of gorgeous larger women out there too! :-)

Dash said...

I am the opposite to you, when my other half was working in Paris during the week, I lost weight, as I was eating when I was hungry, now the other half is working from home full time, it's three hearty meals a day, plus tea and biscuits in the afternoon, the annoying thing is, he remains slender, whilst I pile on the pounds. Bonne Chance, for your meeting tomorrow.

French Fancy said...

Lulu - they are amphetamines that increase your heart rate and depress the part of the brain - the hypothalamus - that controls the appetite. You run around like a speedy person and say FIE to food. Legally they are called 'slimming pills' - on the street it is 'speed'.

'Make soup' is a good motto

Lady Fi - I am either in a state of dieting or eating too much. It is hard for me to be a balanced person. I think it is from all the speed I used to take - that part of my brain is a bit disturbed I think.

I agree with you that being larger does not necessarily make one unattractive - I was speaking purely for me. I was very body-conscious when young and just looked better when slim.

the fly in the web said...

I lose weight when away from Mr. Fly. He, when well, likes his food...plenty of it and at frequent intervals, so it's a good job I have a good view from the kitchen window.
When he is in hospital, I eat the odd tomato sandwich and that is that, but when he's home there is a pressure to eat, as he won't eat alone, which amounts to blackmail at times. He, of course, doesn't put on an ounce!

I enjoy good food too, but I can't get it into his head that we can eat together, but different things.

Just another of the problems of living with someone who is ill.
Probably shouldn't have said all that, but never mind.

Ayak said...

I was considered to be under-weight until I had my children in my 30s. From then on, although I lost my "baby weight" my size has fluctuated. Stress used to make me lose weight rapidly..but these days it has the opposite effect. A couple of weeks ago I felt that I was on the way to shedding some of my extra kilos, but then a friend in England sent me a huge supply of Cadburys chocolate...which I'm greedily wading through...ah well...I'll start again when its finished!

Good luck with WW!

French Fancy said...

Dash - you posted that at the same time I was doing a reply, hence me not including you.

I start off the day with good intentions but - when Mr FF is away (most of the time), by the evening I get so fed up that I just start eating. It's not even fattening stuff per se that I eat, it's just more of the good stuff and that is why I'm not losing weight. Isn't it annoying though when people eat the same as you and don't put anything on

tfitw - I didn't realise he was ill. But then why should I?

I love tomato sandwiches, in fact I love sandwiches. My mum used to cook for my dad and myself - beautiful beautiful food - and then she would often sit down with us and just have a sandwich. I never used to understand it but I do now.

Ayak - how great to have been considered 'underweight'. I was a podge from the age of 5.

I have gone through phases of my life - espcially when coming off all the speed - when I did lost a lot of weight from stress. I was chain-smoking, unable to sleep properly and just didn't want to eat. I would so love some of that nervy edginess to return - sounds barmy to wish for that but it is true

Steve said...

As you probably know I am one of those people who can stuff their faces stupid and never gain an inch... I can however use my imagination to sympathise. Getting some sort of structure in place and support is definitely a wise move - good luck!

Dash said...

I know exactly what you mean by nervy edginess and I agree, when I am stressed especially emotionally, the weight falls off. We are obviously far too content! Maybe something adrenalin fuled is the answer.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the exact same place, I'm so desperate I'm considering diet and exercise ;) I even had a ra-ra skirt and pixie boots once.
Good luck, I was thinking of WW but they don't have it here, it'd never fly with the culture of secrets I live in, but I thought I might try it online, do you think it'd work without the meetings?

the fly in the web said...

Take heart, FF, I have seen a ra ra skirt and pixie boots being worn round here, by a lady who certainly should have known that varicose veins are not the best of accessories...and no, it wasn't me.

Jean said...

Re: online slimming. It doesn't work as well as that motivation to have lost a pound or two when being weighed in front of your fellow fatties.

Even though at SW they don't reveal your actual weight, the public bit works for me. Then everybody goes straight out and has a curry or a chinese and starts again aiming to lose another pound the next week. You can cheat or kid yourself too easily using a computer or your own scales even though you think you're not !!

I'm sure people with superhuman self-discipline can do it online - but they're probably sensible enough not to need it in the first place.

Berowne said...

Folks take pills and injections. Folks exercise like crazy.

The way to lose weight is (drum roll): eat less!

North West London Girl said...

I hate to tell you but as well as eating healthier and less you will also need to participate in exercise. Ghastly, but necessary. Good luck xx

Dumdad said...

Bonne chance!

Ken Devine said...

what a pleasant surprise to see Berowne making a comment!

Thirty year old clothes wouldn't suit you FF and if that's you in the picture you are worrying about nothing.

I think I'll re-visit and have a good read of this one.

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned on my blog recently I have rejoined Guardian Eatright, which I find works for me. I know I would not go to weight watchers or anything like that, but I like having the week's menus, and the ability to change things around so I get what I will actually like and eat. I don't cheat on the weighing - what is the point, when you are paying for it anyway? if I don't lose the weight I can't get into the clothes I want to. Anyway, due to my pitiful shortsightedness I cannot actually read the scales so have to get one of the girls to do it for me - they don't forget, and they make a point of telling the other what I weighed and how much I have lost since last week.

Anonymous said...

Having never been on a diet in my life I won't pretend to understand what you went through. But I'm sure there is absolutely nothing wrong with your body. Take care of yourself.

CJ xx

French Fancy said...

Steve - some men find it impossible to empathise or understand this weight gain problem (see Berowne further down the comments page). I knew you wouldn't be like that though.

Dash - that's it - we are too relaxed and happy (although a lot of mine is being here alone and a bit bored some of the time). But then what was my excuse last year :)

missbehaving - what Jean said is sadly true. I think people do kid themselves when doing an online version of one of these mega-big corporate diet schemes. Nothing beats going along, bonding with fellow dieters and knowing that you want a reduced figure on your little record card the following week.

tfitw - tell me about it. There are many local French women of a certain age who - from the back - could be teenagers, such is their dress code, dress length and figure. Then you overtake them, steal a glance and do a double-take. I think there is a slang word for them - Kronenbergs

Jean - that used to be me after a WW weigh-in - off to get a Chinese takeaway and then make up for it - and more - over the next six days. It grew to be fun too and you can meet some nice people.

Berowne - I've met many people over the years who think just as you do - just stop eating. It's not that simple for many many people who eat for reasons other than keeping themselves going. Food issues are very complex.

NWLG - hello again. A lot of new research has been published lately about people not really needing to do exercise to lose weight. I remember going to WW years ago and lost three stone without doing anything. Then of course I put it all back on.

Dumdad - merci mille fois

Ken - I wish that were me in the picture. I'd go and buy some chocolate

CA - yes, I've given that Guardian site a look over but it is not suitable for people out of the UK - and I probably would not be in the 'right place' atm to have the discipline to stick to it for longer than six weeks.

I can do it on my own for six weeks - something happens after that to throw me off.

CJ - how nice to see you here and thank you very much for the nice words

Bill Stankus said...

I have no advice, nothing new to add to the discussion. I can say only this: I had surgery on my foot this past October and I still have pain from the repair work - so I don't walk much. Consequently, lots of computer time and I've gained too much weight. When the pain subsides I expect to do lots of walking and then I'll dust off the bike and hit the trails.

Angie Muresan said...

Losing weight and managing weight is tons of work. I struggle with it more than I care to admit, and the older I get the more difficult the battle. I have conceded that I will never be as skinny as I used to. Genetics, pregnancies, aging all have been and are contributors.
All those who simply say, you must eat less, aren't taking into consideration the relationship one often has with eating.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Weight is a tough, tough thing. Good for you, deciding to get back on the WW regime. It's excellent that you've done it before so you have confidence that it will work.

I yo-yo dieted for years and the weight loss never, ever stuck for me. Until I committed to a lifestyle change, that is. I didn't focus as much on restricting my caloric intake -- I gradually worked in moderately-paced walking five days a week for 20 min. each time. As I got stronger, I upped that to 25 min., then 30 min., etc. That's how I made the exercise a habit without making the change feel drastic.

DJ Kirkby said...

Good luck, did you know WW is on line too? x

Lane said...

Ra-ras. That takes me back. And pixie boots are all the rage again now, apparently:-)

I never gave a second thought to my weight... until I stopped smoking.

The best of luck with your meeting. I'm sure it will help.

Anonymous said...

Dear FF
my only suggestion is NOT to diet.
The moment you diet you start thinking about food.
I eat everything and walk a lot
I am about 10 pounds fatter than I should be but if I dieted I would be three STONE fatter.
You could move to morocco where the fruit and veggies are so fresh and lovely that even I was slim (ish) there
I genuinely think it makes you fat.

good luck anyway

Clarity said...

I missed you and love you for caring.

Proud that you are taking control - that brain and heart need a healthy frame, but please focus on the health, not some idea of beauty, an attribute you already possess.

French Fancy said...

Bill - oh what a shame you hurt your foot - it must be even harder for sporty people like yourself to bear than people like me - although I do walk the dogs each day I don't actually do much else that is physical. When in London I used to belong to a gym - and actually went along.

Angie - that is it exactly. Naturally slim people who are tuned in properly to their appetite control find it very hard to understand the problem people like me have. You understand perfectly.

CT - I do daily walking and it is even quite fast because the two bichons are pullers, despite their special harnesses which are meant to prevent that. I like to walk fast and get breathless - I don't amble with them, although I have got a very good window shopping speed - an observant saunter.

Den - yes, it is online but the UK one does not allow people with a French address and a UK registered card to sign up for it. The French one is online but I thought it would be better for my French to attend in person. I also don't trust myself to stick to the online one for as long as I need to. Going each week is more of an incentive - and I thought I might meet some new people, some of whom might even click with me.

Lane - smoking - yes, it used to be my 'I won't have a biscuit I'll have a fag instead' type of thing. Well done for sticking to it though. This is my ninth year without a cigarette but - sometimes after a meal - I still think of them. I'd never light up again though.

ewix - I need to feel back in control around food and at the moment I am anything but. It's not even that there is so-called fattening food in the house - there isn't but I am not doing too well on portion control. Things like pasta and crackers and even protein - I'm eating too much of all of them.

The thing is that with WW you can eat anything you like as long as you count it. It is a very healthy eating programme and the word 'diet' is never used. I've lost weight before with them and felt very healthy - I've never felt deprived.

Clarity - you are back! I am so glad - I've missed you. Thank you for such lovely words

Delana said...

ah, this strikes a chord! This has been my forever battle. The only thing that I found that works for me at my age is the gym. I have to work out with weights...big ones...at least twice a week and really kick myself. It took several months for this to become a habit, and when I moved to France, I fell off the wagon. And it shows. It hurts, it takes discipline (something that does not show up in my genetic code), but it seems to work. And as we speak, I'm packing my bag to go hurt myself some more. Bonne Chance, FF. We're all in this together!

French Fancy said...

Hello Delana. Your bit of France is much better than mine because gyms are not in this region. You get keep fit at the salle polyavente - twirling bits of ribbon around the place - and there is the odd class of yoga here and there but a gym, the sort I used to love with the weight resistance machines, is not here.

Having said that, in one of our basement rooms we have a rowing machine, an exercise bike and a stepper - all good heavy duty ones. How often do I use them - well lets just say I can write my name in the dust.

Delana said...

oui, FF. Je comprend! I used to have a ski machine. It was a marvelous contraption for hanging clothes on!

A Super Dilettante said...

Oh my dear, first of all, I LOVE your new design on your website. Loving the borders in particular. It's so chic and elegant! Would you mind giving me some tips? I definitely could do with a change :) Re: weight watching, I heard the art collector, Charles Satcchi managed to lose weight. He ate eggs everyday for a week and he lost about 5 stones. Is it Atkins? I'm not surprised if he put on weight because his wife, Nigella's cooking is anything but healthy eating... I don't think having a few extra pounds is a problem as long as one is healthy. My mother said to me once, "I lost my figure after I have you" and she said, "I've been slim all my life. I've paid my dues and I think I'm allowed to have a few extra pounds". In my case, I wish I could gain a few stones as I'm TOO skinny (waist 28) but I eat like I have hollow legs.

cheshire wife said...

I have never had to diet in my life but recently my body has started to become flabby. I have decided to try exercise and even after only four weeks I look less flabby.

Good Luck with your weight loss however you decide to go about it.

French Fancy said...

Delana - I laughed out loud then. When Mr FF was still here we would have exercise sessions side by side but it's not my favourite room - it's very cold down there.

ASD - it is very easy to download new banners and sidebars - if you click on the little advert my new look seems to have put on the blog - top left corner - it will all be explained. However I think your blog is perfect as it is.

As for a few extra pounds - well, change the pounds to stones and you have my situation. Still I have gone to the Weight Watchers class now (all in French) and will now lose all this bulk.
How lucky you are to be able to eat anything and never put on weight. That is my greatest wish

cw - yes, I imagined you as very lean somehow. Isn't it funny how we do build up a mental picture of our blogging friends. I've probably given people the entirely wrong impression by putting on my blog some of my photos from yesteryear when I did in fact look at my best. I mean I still look bearable but nothing like my gorgeous years.

Kathy said...

Weight Watchers works very well and keeps you motivated I found, then I stopped going and so did the weight. I tried those doctors and felt awful on those pills couldnt sleep, felt kind of nervous all the time, yuk. I think I would go for slim and eat all you can too. Being on ones own can really play havoc with your diet. I have had a rotten cold and pulled my back out so have been in bed feeling sorry for myself all week and I had so many plans for this trip, now I have to cram it all in. Good luck with the weight loss, hugs, Kathy.

Clippy Mat said...

Hi FF:
I hear you. Weight loss, or not losing rather, is the bane of my existence. Yesterday I moved the treadmill into this room where my computer is. And I even went on it.
This is a step forward for moi.
Good luck with WW!
I agree also, being slim is better than winning the lottery.
No, wait.
I want to win the lottery first and then pay someone to be my chef, nutritionist, personal trainer.
yeah, that's it.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Good luck, FF, I'm sure that you can do it! Hxx PS: I'm with Clippy on this one!!!!

French Fancy said...

Kathy - aw, you poor thing with the cold *and* the back. As for diet doctors - don't they take hold of you. I used to feel not so great taking all these things but the urge to lose weight over-rode everything . Wishing you better

Clippy - hello (love your nick). Oh imagine having a team of people around you that meant you had no choice about exercise, food planning etc - yes, you are right. Winning the lottery would be best - and then one could even live in a health farm for a year.

Hade, thanks - yes, Clippy is right