I just got back from my Weight Watcher’s meeting where the topic for this week (July 5-11, 2015) was PLEASURE…
Taking care of yourself is more than eating healthfully, sleeping eight hours a night, and getting some exercise. It’s about the little things too, that have nothing to do with food or losing weight. These small but powerful bursts of pleasure help you nurture your relationships and balance your life.
Make room for moments like these, and you’ll be more likely to follow through on taking care of yourself in every way – including weight loss. And no, it isn’t selfish. (Remember the airplane direction to put on your own oxygen mask first?) So, unlink the words “guilty” and “pleasure.” (Weight Watchers Weekly, July 5-11, 2015)
This got me thinking about an old post I wrote back in 2010 about French Weight Loss Secrets, in which pleasure was a central theme. It was fun for me to re-read so I’m re-posting it in the hope that it inspires you to consider how weight loss and pleasure really are linked…
Tonya’s weight loss program is rooted in what she learned from the French when she visited her husband in the south of France while he attended graduate school. So, what were her French slimming secrets, you ask?
Tonya’s 5 French Weight Loss Secrets That Can Work for Weight Watchers
1. Focus on quality not quantity. Quality matters and the French cultivate quality time, relationships and appreciate high quality food. Increased quality allows you to be satisfied with less.
My Weight Watchers Translation: Eat smaller amounts of really satisfying high quality food.
2. Create supportive rituals. Establish regular meal times where you sit down and really savor your food, take time to honor yourself with a bit of self love and appreciation each day, spend a few minutes visualizing your perfect day each morning and then take little steps to realize it.
My Weight Watchers Translation: Create healthy routines that nourish your body and soul. Pay attention to your food when you are eating it. Stop eating on the run, standing up, or in the car.
3. Savor life. Take time to smell the roses. Find simple pleasures. Engage your senses. Savor your food – see it, smell it, taste it, notice its flavors and textures.
My Weight Watchers Translation: Sip, don’t slurp. Nibble don’t gobble.
4. Make time for solitude and relaxation. Take 5 minutes and do some deep breathing or read something inspirational. Find something to be thankful for.
My Weight Watchers Translation: Take a deep breath. Be grateful. Be still. These things will help lower your stress, which makes weight loss easier.
5. Clear away some clutter. Any clutter, not just kitchen clutter. Getting rid of closet clutter can be powerful too since everything is symbolic and interrelated. Follow the lead of savvy French women and focus on simplicity and quality with your clothes. Get rid of the clothes that don’t fit or make you feel beautiful and bring you joy. (If you want help with this, I highly suggest The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which I’ve been reading and implementing this summer.) You are better off with just a few articles of clothing that really ft and flatter you.
My Weight Watchers Translation: Get rid of the junk that is weighing you down. It’s a lot harder to cook healthy meals in a cluttered kitchen. And it’s nearly impossible to feel good about yourself with a closet full of clothes that don’t fit.
The bottom line is that to lose weight, you need to figure out a way to eat less. For me, eating less seems a little easier when I try to do it like I imagine a French woman would. If you have read French Women Don’t Get Fat, you will recognize a lot of similarities here. In fact Tonya used a word – compensation – that I first heard Mireille Guiliano use in French Women Don’t Get Fat, that essentially means making little adjustments in your diet. When you indulge a bit one day, cut back a little bit the next. It’s what Weight Watchers preaches when they tell you to just get back on the plan after a splurge.
How the French Approach to Staying Slim Can Work for Weight Watchers
Everything that Tonya said reaffirmed what I have experienced for myself – successfully losing weight has a lot to do with your attitude. While it’s never easy, taking a positive, realistic, sensible approach to weight loss can make it a little more so. You need to gradually develop behaviors you can imagine engaging in forever. Allowing yourself little pleasures along the way can help.
Try it for yourself. Begin by adopting just one behavior that has you focusing on nourishing/pleasuring yourself instead of depriving and beating yourself up. It can be as basic as taking the time to sip your morning coffee on the patio, getting a manicure, picking up a new book, playing a favorite song or heading out for a matinee.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” – Lucille Ball
If you liked this article you might also like:
- Positive Thinking and Weight Loss Success
- 7 Things You Can Do to Lose Weight That Do NOT Include Food or Exercise (Organize Yourself Skinny)
- 45 Reasons French Women Don’t Get Fat
- What Weight Watchers Can Learn from French Food Rules
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