The French Encounter

When I was a kid I did lots of sports. Actually I was addicted to it. I was training a lot and applying to every single school’s teams, no matter the discipline: volleyball, athletic, basketball, long / high jumps… I just had lots of energy and loved to run around and see what my body could achieve with training.  Pushing my limits. Destroying them. It’s because of this obsession that I was quite good of gymnastic rhythmic, and thank to 8 years of splits, front and back walkovers, split leaps etc.. that now I’m one of the most flexible yogy at my class in Primrose Hill.  I also played with the  boys’ basketball team, careless that it wasn’t really a girly, classy sport or that my mates were quite smelly and very interested in my growing chest. Later, I wanted to try volleyball,  but I was so short that the rest of the team never let me stay in the first line, therefore I was running like a mad on the back of the field to catch impossible balls… I never had a chance to put in practice all the lessons learnt from Mila on Attacker You! (Mila & Shiro for my Italian friends)!
And then aerobic, athletic, badminton, horse riding, running, and whatever else you can think of… I tried most of them.

However, at the age of 17 I thought I had enough of sport in general as all my friends weren’t into it at all. They thought sport wasn’t cool. It was the time when everybody had a motorbike and we were spending Sunday afternoons in kids’ clubs getting drunk and competing with my girlfriends on the number of guys we managed to snog in a few hours. We even had a diary with an endless list of boys of which I don’t even remember faces, names or traits. So.. during my tentative to become “cool” and like the others (i.e. teenager peer pressure), I gave up all my sporty habits and got a new one, “really cool” at the time:

smoking.

In the last 10 years, two things have constantly increased: the number of cigarettes per day and the number on my scale in the morning. At the beginning of this year I actually managed to quit smoking and after 10 years of addiction, I felt like a prisoner released after he was wrongly condemned to death penalty. Surprisingly, my weight didn’t increased at all.

But then, in May, during my solo-exploring to Indonesia, I met a quite frank vagabond who in all honesty told me I was slightly overweight. We were sipping a cocktail in front of the stunning Asian ocean on one of the beautiful Gili beaches just off Lombok. I then turned my view down to my belly, my thighs and my arms. I thought: who’s this body? whom does it belong to? This isn’t mine. All of a sudden, after 10 years, I came to the shocking truth that myself was living under a blanket of fat I had accumulated with too many spritz, beers and sigarettes. So while we were there, with the stunning view, the waves and the blue sky I linked to amazon with my iPhone to order a new book.
Few days later, back in London in the office, still in a deep holiday-blues, he has arrived. He was there. In the Amazon carton box.

Monsieur Dukan

This skinny, little French man has definitely changed my life. Well…maybe that’s too much. But he has changed my weight for sure. Since the start of my meat-based diet I’ve lost 7kg (over a stone) and, most of all, I’m feeling good! Really good!

I’ve been eating tasteless galettes in the morning for weeks now, tons of tuna, salmon, prawns, chicken breasts, chicken wings, turkey, meatballs and I’m feeling good. I’ve been avoiding pasta, pizza, bread…all carbs in every form and I haven’t even been looking to cakes or croissants for months. But I’m feeling good. Isn’t that incredible? I mean, I remind you here for a second that I’m Italian and Italians BASE their diet on carbs. They CAN’T live one day without carbs. I think Monsieur Dukan should be in the list for beatification. I think he’s a genius.

Obviously for every good thing, there are also some negative effects. Let’s point out here a short list.

 

  • my friends hate me. Most of all when we go out for dinner and spend half an hour checking in the menu outside if the cuisine offers stuff allowed by my diet guru
  • my friends also hate me because it takes me hours to pick something from the menus
  • most of all they hate me because I’m not drinking any more and I’ve become a boring, healthy person 🙂
  • when you only eat proteins, your energy level is extraordinary, it’s like to be on some sort of heavy drug. this can be a good thing because suddenly your days becomes longer and you can fill them with all the stuff you want to do, but on the other hand, you might have too much energy. Some time ago I had a row with somebody in the office. I almost ate the person alive. My boss told me I should start eat normally.
  • if you are only eating animal-related food, you are always thirsty. Your mouth will just keep drying up constantly and as a consequence, you will keep drinking thinking that at some point you’ll feel satisfied. You won’t. Your friends will also hate you and tease you because you will need the loo every two steps. Yes, exactly like your grandma.
  • you will start thinking that Diet Coke is delicious and a life-saver. It isn’t. At all.
  • after all, I’m pretty happy and lighter. I have to say that this was the first ever diet  my body faced and actually it wasn’t that hard… well excluding my friends’ insults!

Now I feel better, in my new body, I’m not longer carrying  my blanket of fat around. I feel new and refreshed. I also feel sexy and attractive, well let me say it: I’m HOT now.  I feel like I felt 10 years ago. I finally feel confident to wear that skirt or that sexy top. I also feel  good in that tight black dress I bought and never wore.
People have re-started to stare at me, to give the look, to ask me out. People are interested in me. I’m interested in people again. I feel good and I am happy. Maybe they never stopped looking at me? Maybe they were still interested in me also under the blanket? In fact, to be completely honest, I never lacked lovers or boyfriends in these years, not for more than a few weeks, anyway. But the truth is that now I like myself. Actually I love myself.

I love myself very much.

So I really have to say it….Merci beaucoup Monsieur Dukan!

Oh.. by the way, 7 kg later I am smoker again. I’ve quit carbs, I went back to tobacco. I’m not a superhero.

Not just yet.

  • Quite a saga. Hope you’ll quit smoking for good– there are few things worse for your health.

    You’ve come a long way– sincere congrats. There’s no substitute for true self-esteem. No need to settle for false friends who want to exploit you when you really respect yourself. Hang tough, good luck to you. 🙂

    • Hi Mark, I know, you are right.. I should definitely stop smoking as well.. It’s on my 2012 plans.. I still have a couple of months to achieve the goal..fingers crossed for me! 🙂

      You know what? I feel like a completely new person now, when I see myself in the mirror, I like what I see and after over a decade, it’s a true pleasure..
      Thanks so much for your kind words!
      😀

  • You should not thanks Dukan, you should only thanks yourself. You choose the way to feel good, to be happy. Probably you couldn’t start a diet before, because you didn’t realize how bad you was feeling. Sometimes we are just too scare to look deep into ourself and find something we don’t want to face. It’s easier to stay under that blanket and pretend that everything is fine. But when a stranger came, and somehow, raised the blanket, you couldn’t ignore it anymore, because you knew he was right.
    We all know the road to happiness, the hard part is to choose it.