A New Lifestyle

In thinking about losing weight & making healthy changes, I knew I did not want to partake in a "diet". I did not want some kind of script to follow that forbids bread or cake or fruit or meat. That is just not something I am willing to sustain for a lifetime. I wanted a lifestyle plan, where no foods were off-limits, everything being allowed in moderation. I came across the book Why French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. So many things about her story & French principles inspired me. It is totally intriguing how differently the French approach food as compared to Americans. She talks about savoring your food, each and every bite. Loving food more, not less. {Confirmed to me in an article I read here.} Treating each meal like a ritual, using real dishes and cloth napkins. {I'm sure eating a yummy greasy McDonald's quarter-pounder while driving is an abomination.} Focusing on all the good things there are to eat, instead of all the bad ones that you should mostly avoid.

The practical application of these lessons that fits my philosophy best is Weight Watcher's Flex plan. I have learned everything regarding this plan by reading the WW Flex forum and collecting information from various spots on the web. Basically you get a set number of minimum daily POINTS based on your gender, age, weight, and physical activity level, along with 35 weekly POINTS to use as you need them. You can earn activity points by exercising. Every food has a POINT value {the healthier foods are lower in POINTS, while the unhealthier ones are higher}. There is an emphasis on portion control {something I didn't realize how badly I needed}. There are also 8 Healthy Guidelines which you should try to meet every day, such as water consumption, taking a multi-vitamin, etc.

Best part? No food is forbidden. You can save your weekly POINTS for a special occasion or weekend meal at a restaurant. You can eat chocolate. Ice cream is on the menu. With no severe restrictions, I don't feel deprived or like I need to binge on something because it is being withheld from me. I see this plan as something I can sustain for the long-haul. I hope once I get to the Maintenance Phase of my weight journey, I can move away from the continual POINT-counting and will have already learned what foods are best for me, in what portions, and how to keep those special yummy treats in balance. {The POINT-counting seems like the most monotonous part of the whole deal.}

I guess you could say that this is my French-American version of how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the combination of the French Women's lessons along with the guidelines of WW. It just all makes sense to me. I. am. ready.


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