Ahhh… it is bright and sunny outside. It is also freezing cold but one should not be fooled by this last minute cold snap. Spring is around the corner and it will be here in no time at all now!
In Lisbon this weekend (more to follow), I peeled off the layers for the first time in months and was shocked to see my brioche belly sticking out from under my t-shirt! I then proceeded to walk round for the next few hours whilst sucking my tummy in but it was so much like hard work! I have to get this in check now before I go past the point of no return! Brioche belly and muffin top are two very appropriate words to describe my excess kilos!
I have always struggled with my weight since moving to France but the worst of my struggles have been since being with my now husband (10 years). The only thing that has changed is my weight, it has gone up – not down!
I now only have one pair of fat trousers that I can fit in, my other fat trousers have all become too small and my first summer holiday is booked so I have just 10 weeks to lose 10 kilos… (okay, so maybe 10 kilos is too much to lose in 10 weeks especially as I’ve not been feeling well, so 5 kilos will be fine but 10 kilos sounds so much better!).
My 10 commandments for the next 10 weeks:
1. I will not be enticed into the pastry shops:
The lure of the beautifully decorated patisserie or boulangerie shops on what seems like every street corner cannot be ignored. Each time I walk past one it is as if I’m being called in by the food. Perfectly formed, delightful delicacies in the way of cakes or the beautiful smell of freshly baked bread, playing with my sense buds, trying to tempt me in to taste them.
2. I will give up wine:
I am in love with wine, not just French but wine generally although French wine offers so much variety I absolutely love discovering le perle rare and deciding what bottles to age and what to drink now. Not to mention wine food pairing and how delightfully satisfying it can be to match a wine to each course of your meal.
3. I will donate the next box of chocolates I receive to a charitable cause:
I’m often treated to the most exquisite teeny tiny works of art which come in chocolate form. Next time I receive a box, I will kindly donate it to one of my thin friends rather than keeping it for myself. Not only will I not eat chocolate but I will also commit a charitable act. I will also stop buying Toblerone party bags.
4. I will stop socialising:
Every social event I throw or attend always starts of with an Aperitif and copious amounts of Champagne or Crémant. How I can avoid these I do not know, other than to stop socializing, after all, I can’t possibly hold a dinner party and not give an Apertif to my guests and I have no will power to resist!
5. I will use a smaller plate:
but then again all the lovely things in France are always served up in such small portions so will a smaller plate really make a difference? Nouveau Cuisine started in France and a lot of French food is so intricate and presented in the most beautiful way it only needs to be served in small portions. Maybe I’m eating UK sized portions whilst French women are eating much smaller portions?
6. I will not use butter:
Butter is one of the secrets to French cuisine so I’m told. I therefore started using it in abundance to make by English cuisine more French and more appealing to my French friends. My taste buds developed a liking for it also unfortunately. As did my brioche belly. I will therefore ditch the butter.
7. I will keep my fridge topped up with fresh fruit and veg:
I have no excuse, I have a local food market 3 times a week just a 10 minute walk away. I will just have to avoid the pastry shops, the wine growers, the chocolate shop and other temptations on my way there! I therefore think I should put a peg on my nose or a bag over my head to avoid being tempted!
8. I will exercise:
In one of the many parks that Lyon has to offer. I could take a run in the wonderful Parc de la Tete d’Or or go on a bike ride at Miribel Jonage or along the riverside quays.
9. I will stop buying clothes until the ones I already own fit:
I don’t know if this will work but if I maybe remove everything that doesn’t fit from my wardrobe I’ll be mightily disappointed and it may just shock me into doing something.
10. I will stop raiding the foreign aisle of my local supermarket:
Everytime they stock something like proper cookies, peanut butter, Dairy Milk Chocolate etc I feel absolutely obliged to buy as much as possible in terms of quantity so that the shop is encouraged to continue stocking it. When I first moved to France it was so hard to get hold of food from back home such as Branston Pickle, Brown Sauce etc that whenever I see it now I feel obliged to buy. But as I don’t like waste I also feel obliged to eat!
After all, I am living in France and so many French women are thin and slender that it must be possible if I’m good and try and stick to the rules? So, today marks day 1 of my mission… Just 10 weeks to go!