18 February 2012

Guest Post: "My husband and I lost 15 Kilos since moving to France" (includes before & after photos)

Blogging is such a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
For the first at Mademoiselle Slimalicious, I would like to introduce you today to one of my new "blogger" friend, Jacqueline Brown from The French Village Diaries.

Jacqui and her family left the UK in August 2004, to live in a small village in the French countryside. Both her husband and Jacqui have lost 15 kg since relocating to France...
Jacqui has kindly accepted to share her story, experience and weight management tips with you my fabulous readers!

Guest Post by Jacqueline Brown

"Here is my story of finding the right balance and positive relationship with food in France;
I’m a 40-year-old English Mum and have lived in France for nearly 8 years, but loved it for many more. It was our love of France and the romance of days spent nibbling cheese and sipping wine that helped make our decision to move here. However, I have always battled with my weight; remember the short, tubby kid no one wanted on the sports team? That was me, and getting married and having a baby did nothing to improve my figure.

Food has always been important to me, and still is, but my relationship with it wasn’t a healthy one. I did overeat, eat the wrong things and I didn’t exercise enough. Settling into a new life abroad is difficult, we thought we knew France and had done our research, but it was still a huge change and a culture shock. I soon discovered adding lots of cheese and wine to my diet wasn’t good and I put on quite a bit of weight. It was time to change. The exposure to the French culture, their attitude to food and having more time on my hands has helped me alter my relationship with food. I am now as passionate about good food and where it has come from as I am about France.




BEFORE: Jacqui in 2005
BEFORE: Jacqui in 2004, she had just relocated
to France from the UK
AFTER: Jacqui's fitness level has increased
significantly since her weight loss

AFTER: Jacqui now, growing her own fruits and veggies
BEFORE: Jacqui's husband, in 2005 after just
relocating to France from the UK
AFTER: Jacqui's husband lost 15 Kg in France

My Mum bought me Mireille Guiliano’sFrench Women Don’t Get Fat’, shortly after we moved here, and this explained the basics to me; the French may eat 3 or 4 courses at each meal, with cheese, dessert and wine included, but portion size and balance is everything. My French friends also helped – they were horrified that it was ‘normal’ for us to sit in the evenings, watching TV, drinking wine and eating cheese. Once their meal is over, so is their snacking and alcohol drinking, it was certainly something to think about. I have learnt that quality is better than quantity, our portions may be smaller but our variety and flavours are better so we get more satisfaction from what we eat. We are lucky to have the time, space and inclination to grow a lot of our fruits and vegetables, these form the basics of our diet with quality meat featuring, but not being the predominant ingredient. We also get plenty of fresh air and exercise whilst working on the ‘plot’.


Before moving to France I was no cook, I’d never cooked a whole chicken, rarely baked a cake, sauces came from jars, pizzas from boxes and curries from a takeaway. My passion for food is now a passion for cooking too. The kitchen is the heart of our home where our meals are cooked from scratch, and although I regularly bake cakes, they contain our cherries or plums and are a fat-free sponge recipe I have developed – definitely nice, but not naughty, and served with a spoon of home made natural yoghurt (thanks Mireille) it’s a delicious way to end lunch.


These daily changes to our lifestyle resulted in both my husband and I losing 15 kgs four years ago that we have managed to keep off, despite still enjoying the cheese, wine and chocolate of France."



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Thank you Jacqui for sharing your experience of "losing weight in France" with us. For more of Jacqui's experience of living in France, visit French Villages Diaries, follow her on twitter Loubille, or like her facebook page for regular updates.

To my dear readers, I hope this story has inspired you! Keep visiting Mademoiselle Slimalicious for "real-life" weight management tips inspired from the French Non-Diet Approach.

Don't be shy & leave me a comment if you have any questions!


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