I’ve never been obsessed with my weight, even though I always wished to look skinny… well, maybe skinny isn’t the right word. I always thought my belly looked big, or at least that it was showing whenever I was wearing something tight. Even when I thought I looked skinny.
Some people called it cute. I never did.
On the other hand, I’ve always loved food more than words can say. As far as I remember, I’ve never stopped myself to eat something (I was about to say a cookie but I’m more savory than sweet so I should say like I don’t know… a taco?).
I have never been really big, but I’ve been heavier. I gained some weight while I was living in the US. When I came back I not only did not lose it, but gained some more! With the years, I lost the weight I had gained, naturally.
To be really honest, I have never been on a diet in my life. Part of it because my mom always told me not to. She simply explained to me that part of her job (as a coach, and psychotherapist, and with hypnosis and so on…) was to help people who had been on diets on and off all of their life, to end up always gaining back all the weight they had previously lost. She taught them, and she taught me to understand (or at least try) what was the main reason why I was gaining weight (why I was eating so much, or so badly).
With the years I have realised that I get big cravings whenever I’m stressed, or not in a good place in my life.
Thankfully, my parents raised me with a big love for food, and for discovering lots of different cuisines. I was one of the only kid to love sushis, endives, but that didn’t like fries (the love came with the years, to reassure you!). Both of my parents have always cooked, even though they both cook with two very different styles. My dad cooks more belgian, typical dishes, or he bakes (and makes the best apple pies you could ever eat in your life), and my mom cooks veggies like nobody else does, she’s a master in raw, vegan, gluten free and organic dishes. This may explain why I usually eat healthy but can go crazy for a cheese platter once in a while (and feel sick afterwards…)
When I left my mom’s house (I was mostly living with her), I was loving healthy food, but couldn’t really do much more than pasta with pre-made tomato sauce bought at the grocery store.
Since my mom had always made the best dinners, I didn’t have to cook much at home (even if I did help her from time to time), and whenever I did have to make my own dinner, I was simply going for pasta!
So when I left my mom’s home to go live with my boyfriend…well, we ate a lot of pastas. We just ate a lot of everything to be honest… The weight I gained then didn’t bother me much though. The only thing bothering me was that I often had stomach ache. Like almost everyday! Nothing frightening that would bring me to see a doctor. But I just remember constantly whining about it. (It took me years to realize that back then we were eating pasta, bread and lactoses on an everyday basis).
A few years later, I realised I often had acidity problem (how sexy right?). Well, sexy or not, it is really painful! This brought me to look more closely at what I was eating. To analyse what was alkaline or acid for my body. I quickly realize my body was not a big fan of gluten or dairies, but I kept eating it from time to time.
In my previous articles (like in this one), I explain how I change my everyday diet (which isn’t a diet) to gluten free and dairy free dishes. The change came little by little after my trips to Bali (where it’s really easy to avoid gluten). After my first trip, I came back really skinny, but before leaving I was already quite skinny because of not really healthy habits. While I was working as a bartender, I was mostly living at night, and sometimes (often) eating one meal per day. My appetite had gone away, and for a year I got skinnier, but it wasn’t healthy at all.
I thankfully gained back all the weight, got healthier (a little too healthy maybe…), and got hired at Vente-Exclusive. There I was brought to live a very different lifestyle, something I had never experienced. Really tight schedule, office hours, boredom and stress. It felt like there were birthdays everyday, and I couldn’t help myself but eat a dozen candies or cookies at each of them. Even though I don’t like sweets. Sometimes I would just eat out of boredom. I would eat bread for every single lunch.
I wasn’t feeling really great….
My second trip to Bali gave me some kind of kick in the butt. I realised the job I was doing was not made for me. I also really stopped eating gluten and dairies. Then I got fired, and my lifestyle changed completely and it made me feel so much better. Eating when I was hungry, and not at the time other people had decided was a great change. Being able to cook my food everyday for lunch as well. Not being bored made me think less about food. I had also started to do some Yoga, which made me feel so good (I hadn’t had done any sports in years!).
I was feeling really good, and I started to lose weight little by little, naturally. The better I felt, the less I wanted to eat gluten and dairies (even if I would allow myself a treat from time to time).
I have forgotten to mention that before, but I have never eaten in between meals. Since I’ve never went crazy for cookies, I would neither eat between breakfast and lunch, nor during the afternoon (unless at a birthday party or so). Which I thought, would allow me to eat really big portions during my meals. Sometimes, I would love to eat so much, I would not be able to move after the dinner.
During my last trip to Bali, I learned that I did not need to feel full to leave the table. I could eat a regular size meal without feeling hungry afterwards. That realisation changed a lot the way I eat now. I realize I do not need to serve myself 2 or even 3 times when I’m at home. Of course, I’m a foodie, I will do it from time to time. But not every time, on a regular basis.
I also stop thinking that I need a huge amount of food. Even with half of what I used to eat before, I feel great! And I actually feel better not feeling full of food all the time.
I also keep my “resolution” of doing yoga once a week (yay! I have to admit I’m really proud about it!). I still walk a lot. And I also keep my other resolution (most of the time at least) of drinking alcohol once a week.
These simple new habits helped me stay in good shape and feel really good in my body. Feeling skinnier felt, and feels great, but was not the end goal and I really want to mention that as well. All this process, all of these years of understanding what my body likes, or dislikes, is to feel good inside, however how it looks outside.
I’ve come to accept the shape of my belly, this little round shape that never goes away, even right now when I feel the skinniest as I’ve ever been before. I accept that my boobs got smaller, or that my butt barely exists. But at the same time I’ve never felt so good in my body, and I really hope it stays that way for many years, even though I know I still have a lot to learn!
Coming soon: an article with my go to recipes!