Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Nook: If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat a Skinny Girl?

I love the title of the book If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat a Skinny Girl? so I was happy to be able to review it. Nathalie Botros, the "Bon-Vivant Girl," aims to help readers live better with her book and newsletter full of tips and recipes for a full and healthy life.

Nathalie can empathize with people who have tried several diets and ways to get fit but haven't had any luck. She went to a Swiss boarding school where she compared herself to the thinner, prettier girls around her, trying time and after time to get the right look and finally realizing that enough was enough.

Beginning with self-love and self-respect, she tried the concept of "well living" - a more balanced approach to health and self-fulfillment. This philosophy fits pretty well with my own definition of health - not just about the pounds on the scale, but about overall healthy living in mind, body, and spirit.

Nathalie writes with optimism and humor, making her book easy to read. Her experience makes her write with authority and compassion, to gently encourage readers to a happier, healthier life. You can find out more in her own words.

What does it mean to be the “Bon-Vivant Girl?”

If you translate “bon-vivant” from French, it means “well living”. A Bon-Vivant Girl is someone who socializes, travels, and enjoys every minute of her life. Thanks to her healthy and happy relationship towards food, she manages to lose weight and maintain it without any conventional diet.
The Bon-Vivant Girl believes that you won’t be happy because you lose weight.
You need to be happy in order to lose weight. And to be happy, you need to live your life to the fullest: go out, travel, and socialize.

Since adopting the “bon-vivant” lifestyle is more than just weight loss and your relationship to food you suggest an entire lifestyle makeover. So what are some of the important things to remember when cleaning house?

You have to clean your house from everything that blocks you from losing weight. You start by cleaning your pantry, fridge, and freezer from the bad food, but that is not enough.
I want you to get rid of your skinny clothes. Those skinny jeans that you bought 5 – 10 years ago. You think keeping them motivates you, but it doesn’t. Every time you try them and they are too tight, you get depressed. They are taking physical and emotional place in your closet. You are a bon-vivant girl! Go out and buy a pair of jeans that suits you and rocks your body instead.
I also want you to get rid of your scale. We all have different body types and bone intensities, so your weight doesn’t mean much. I also don’t want you to fall in the “water games”, since your body can retain more water some days than others. This doesn’t mean that you gained weight! I know when we try to lose weight, we get addicted to the scale - no need to depress yourself over nothing. If you need to follow your progress, buy a measuring tape. It would be more accurate to see yourself shrinking. Also getting rid of your scale will help you stop obsessing about numbers. No one walks around with their weight printed on their forehead.
I will also advise you to get rid of unsupportive friends for your new journey. They will judge you and hold you back, which will lead to failing your mission. You need to surround yourself with positive, supportive, and inspiring people. You have decided to change your life, they are not obliged to follow you, BUT they have to respect your choice.

Can you explain the usage of the Kubler-Ross grief strategy in acceptance of yourself?

The five stages of grief of Kubler-Ross came from my psychology background. When I was getting my master’s degree, I lost my father and went through all those stages to grieve his loss. When I was stuck with my weight, I decided to use the same steps.

The five stages of grief according to Kubler-Ross are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We can go through the first four stages in different orders until acceptance happens. I have used this analogy because when we gain weight, we grieve for our old body and self. The day that we accept who we are, we can finally start our new life.  It is the beginning of our journey.

What are some of the tips you want women to follow in order to change their outlook and to begin to truly love and respect themselves?

I would talk about three tips:
The first thing that everyone should know, “perfect” doesn’t exist. Even the women that you see in magazines are not perfect; they are photo shopped. Maybe they have very long legs, but who tells you that they don’t dream having your breasts or eyes?
So instead of comparing yourself to the others, compare yourself to yourself. Stand naked in front of the mirror every day and love at least one part of my body. It might be hard at the beginning, so take your time. I want you to embrace your curves and love them.

The second thing that you should know is that being skinny is not going to make you happy. If that theory is correct, every skinny person in the world should be happy. So instead of waiting to lose weight to be happy, think what would make you happy TODAY?

The third tip is about wearing clothes which flatter you. I want you to emphasize your assets. With the right cut and color, you could already look as if you had lost weight. I want you to enhance whatever is hot on your body.

Final Thoughts
I want the readers to identify themselves in my stories, get motivated, and laugh. I want them to stop dieting and start creating a lifestyle. “Diet” means “restriction”; “lifestyle” means “way to live.”
I want readers to understand that not being able to lose weight is not a failure. It shows that they followed a diet that was not suited for them. They are the only ones who can make it happen; by first loving and accepting themselves, then by creating and studying their food journal, and finally by starting their new Bon-Vivant lifestyle.

This book is not only a different approach to losing weight; but also a book to help the readers to find happiness in everything they do. The big message is “You can’t wait to lose weight to find happiness, you need to find happiness, and then you will lose weight.”

Learn more: facebook.com/thebonvivantgirl, twitter.com/bonvivantgirl, instagram.com/thebon-vivantgirl.


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