Friday, July 15, 2011

Back away from the donuts...

I know I should eat better…and I have every intention of doing precisely that.

Until I’m hungry or eating with friends and then I don’t and then, with a sugar and fat bolus on board, I don’t care…until next time I pass a window, look in a mirror or see a picture of myself and can’t even recognize who that middle age fat lady is!

Its not that I don’t know what to do.
I’m a fairly smart lady with an advanced degree… and a Lifetime membership in Weight Watchers…which I take to mean that, hopefully, sometime in my lifetime, I’ll finally get the hang of how to deal with my deep seated emotional issues (which clearly exist despite extensive and exhaustive therapeutic intervention) other than eating!

I recently came across dieting advice from Janice Small (who, in my mind, is as her name implies and probably a frickin size 2).An unregenerate Anglophile, she claims that lovers of Jane Austen have a built-in guide to weight loss if we would only follow the rules from her time as demonstrated in her novels.

So, without further ado, here are the ideas…

1. Stick with REAL FOOD.
All the food available was the real thing.
There were no fast foods and fizzy drinks, full of hidden fat and chemicals, in Elizabeth Bennett’s day. The foods eaten were mainly local and seasonal and meat was organic (not from huge ‘factories’ with animals pumped full of hormones or fed artificially. The only additives would have been herbs and spices.
Pizza , diet soda and chocolate bars had no place in Elizabeth’s life!

2. Focus on food.
For the upper and middle classes at least, food was served formally. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were eaten at a proper dining table and food, along with amiable conversation was the only focus.
Elizabeth Bennett did not mindlessly shovel forkfuls of food into her mouth while being glued to the TV and surfing Facebook.

3. No snacking.
Food was only available at set times, so Elizabeth never got into the habit of munching 500 calories worth of snacks as a way to pass the time on a boring afternoon (although God knows the girl must have had plenty of those!)

4. Manners maketh the woman.
It just wasn’t seemly to grab and gobble large quantities of food. Ladies would eat modestly, slowly and daintily, making it quite unlikely they could pack in vast amounts of calories at any given meal.

5. Ignore advertising.
Elizabeth was not exposed to the 10,000 commercial messages a day that are said to be thrown at us, so she would not be getting continual bombardment from the media with “Eat me” messages. Turn off the commercials whenever you can!

6. Set a calmer pace of life.
True, the girls in the Bennett household did not have to hold down a full time job, get the kids to school and dinner on the table. They had servants to take much of the load. But if you turn to food when you’re stressed, have a look at delegating some of your workload and think about reducing your commitments. With no TV to keep them up and distracted, in the evenings, the Bennetts would all get plenty of sleep too!

7. Take short journeys on foot.
Elizabeth would walk miles to wherever she needed to go. Only long distances would call for a horse, carriage or coach. She would burn up calories everyday in this manner. What about you? Do you pop into a ‘coach’ to go just a mile down the road?

8. Cultivate active 'pursuits'
Elizabeth and her sisters would go for walks as entertainment and, for sheer pleasure, they also loved dancing – fantastic exercise without going to a gym. How about trying salsa dancing or ballet…even line dancing – as a fun way to exercise.

9. Fashions with nowhere to hide.

The fashion of the day was fairly revealing – with flimsy material and an Empire line. It was a gorgeous look – if you were slender. But your dance card would, no doubt, stay unmarked, if you looked like a beached whale in a lace curtain.
10. Obviously, being in love helps.
A love interest in the shape of a tall dark proud (did we mention RICH) Mr Darcy helps a girl ‘go off her feed’ a bit too. See, all you need is a dark proud hero of your own!

Damn…should have known. There’s always a catch!

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