The end of the year, or close enough to it in this case is when we begin to wrap up things. First we wrap up our presents for Christmas and put them under the tree or to ship them out to loved ones far away. In my husbands line of work he tries to wrap up deals so he has a good showing for the year
( and the month). Many of us wrap up our gardens so to speak, to face the often dropping temperatures and in this case it happens to be the time to wrap up the series of posts I have been doing while going through my journey through the book The French Twist by Carol Cottrill. It has been an interesting journey and through it even gained a new follower out of the author herself ( very honored with that). Doing these blog posts have also renewed in myself a dedication to try to apply some of the twelve secrets to my own life and diet. Not counting the indulgences over the holiday that are over and above my normal ones, I have managed to let go of the writing down of each morsel of food, to upgrade the food that I have been eating and how I eat it and not have an issue buttoning my pants like what would normally be happening this time of year. Reading the book and doing these posts did not just effect my dietary habits , but in wanting to add that little bit of a French touch to my life as well, I found myself pulling out my inner French Girl via fashion choices, music, the movies I was watching and the posts being made on Facebook. I have had so much fun adding those little touches to my life, and it has even motivated me to try to learn to speak the language. I know that I shall never be truly French ( other than a pinkies worth in my heritage) and I am not trying to pretend I am or ever will be and well there is some American ways I will never fully give up of course, I am proud to be an American ( nope not going to break into song) , but anything that can add a little bit of the French touch to life and is a positive influence on how I live my life, it is worth doing. Oh I know, I have not covered eleven or twelve, last week was only ten, but I wanted to wrap up the posts based on this book this week, so I am combining them into one post.
So, what is chapter eleven and twelve about? I shall tell you. Onze ( eleven ) is titled "Les Valeurs"
or "Values", and Douze, twelve is "Manger 'a la Française"(loosely translated) or "Eating the French Way". In Eleven, the first sentence wraps it up even before the chapter begins "What could be a simpler secret than this one? Learn what you value- what works for you and yours. Cherish those values and stick to them." Simple as it seems many have problems sticking to things, be it eating, how and what, and how much and to make it work for them in regards to their weight management , I am not immune to this, but in reading this book each week ( no I did not read ahead), I began to realize that I was not valuing myself or my health with many of my food choices, and that changes needed to be made and stuck to. That is not to say I shall not have Taco Bell every so often, as bad as it is for me, but if I really value myself I need to stick to healthier foods that still can bring me pleasure but in a different way, and the indulgences that I have that are not healthy I need to remember to eat in small amounts and not very often... I need to stick to my guns so to say and not cave at the slightest smell or sight of junk food.
The author goes on to delve into the subject of value by using as an example of what we feed our children in our schools and even at home in comparison to those children residing in France. I have always known that what our kids are eating in schools is not very healthy, no matter what their officials try to tell us. Steps are being made each day to better that from what I have been reading and seeing on tv, but it is an uphill fight. I was amazed at reading about what French children eat in school, they eat better and more gourmet than the average American adult does within their own homes. It is quite eye opening. Chapter eleven is very eye opening and informative to say the least. So how does how children and school lunches relate to us who want to channel our inner French girl and values, well it would take pages to go into that, but loved this partial quote from a book that I did a French Girl Friday Series on years ago on this very blog, from the book Entre Nous by Debra Ollivier , " Where the French girl seeks culture or knowledge, we ( Americans) seek self-improvement, self-help. To unleash her, we don't have to act French or (God Forbid) pretend to be French. But we might want to rethink our values. Reject certain aspects of the status quo....." I think that is in itself a great wrap up of chapter eleven.
Chapter twelve can not wraps up the book in it's entirety by simply stating what the twelfth secret is,
"Eat the French way." Each section of the chapter goes over the last eleven, but in a new way, and with a few extra tips and suggestions thrown in for good measure. Following is the epilogue and the appendix of the book offering up some great information that is like the bow on a package ( in keeping with this wrapping it up theme) , and is of course worth reading, just as this book was worth reading. I would highly suggest buying a copy of this book. When I bought my copy I did not know what to expect or if I would even find anything in it that I had not known or read before in other similar books, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong about that and I did learn something new, many things new and I close the last page armed with knowledge that will indeed allow me to partake in decadent dining and the tools in which to naturally manage my weight. The best of both worlds wrapped up in twelve simple steps. Not to forget , I also found a little more of my Inner French girl on each of these Fridays.