I love that saying! Recently Nathalie Botros, a ssychotherapist, certified health coach, author, and ex-serial dieter, posted on her Instagram! Some Mondays just need some sparkle added to it! As I begin yet another diet this summer in my never-ending attempt to get healthy and lose weight, I think I am really going to need that sparkle as I pass up the food that has comforted me for years!
Nathalie Botros is all too familiar with the struggles of weight loss – she herself fought that battle for years. She understands the behaviors of women who become caught in the downward spiral of today’s diet and body image cultures and recognizes the triggers that marketers and the media use to capitalize on negative self-image and drive the rapid, continued growth of the diet and weight loss industry. For Nathalie, however, she decided that enough was enough.
“Some eat to live while others live to eat,” she says. “I am happiest when I am around a table with family or friends, sharing a good meal. But I struggled with my weight for most of my life, and when I began to look back on it I was able to see distinct periods I call the ‘sparkling periods’ and the ‘black periods.’”
She explains the sparkling periods were when she lived life to the fullest: traveling, going out, and enjoying dinners and events. The black periods usually involved trying a new diet – whether that meant munching on three raw vegetables at home and calling it dinner or injecting herself with pregnancy hormones as the highly controversial HCG Diet requires.
Nathalie decided that her new approach would start from a place of happiness, self-love, and self-acceptance. By transforming her day-to-day relationship to food and writing a series of tips and tricks, she created a freer, healthier, happier lifestyle that led to a profound change in her body. From there she became a certified Health Coach with a mission to share the message that anyone can change their own story by simply beginning with self-love and respect – that by doing so they can live happily and healthfully while losing weight at the same time. And in sharing that message the “Bon-Vivant Girl” was born.
Translated from French “bon-vivant” means “well living” and Nathalie has made it her mission to help others live well – just as she has. Her new book IF YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT SHOULD I EAT A SKINNY GIRL? is the roadmap to the bon-vivant lifestyle and will help readers everywhere change their own relationship to their food and their bodies.
Nathalie explains: “You have to find the balance between your food intake and your happiness because both are vital to losing weight and to living a bon-vivant life. Today I can call myself a Bon-Vivant Girl, because I am done with diets, and I live my life fully. I travel, I go out, I party within reason, and most importantly I am happy. This is my new era and I want to share it with everyone.”
Living a Full Life was able to get some of our questions answered by Nathalie Botros. Check out what she has to say!
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 lost 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.
Can you explain the usage of the Kubler-Ross grief strategy in acceptance of yourself?
The five stages of grief according to 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 have decided to use the same steps.
The five stages of grief of 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.
In your journey you talk about sparkling periods and black periods. Tell me how you came to understand those different times in your life and how did you go about ensuring the reduction or removal of those black periods?
The sparkling periods and black periods were very distinctive. The sparkling periods would be when I was NOT on a diet and had a social life; go out, travel, eat, drink and enjoy every minute of my life. The black periods would be when I was on a diet. I would be depressed and sad, feeling punished and starving at home while thinking that it wasn’t fair. I decided that I couldn’t continue my life as an “on and off” dieter. Instead, I created a lifestyle. I started by loving and accepting myself and body. My next step was to create a food journal where I logged every food I ate, the time and the emotions while I ate. It helped me to see the strengths and weaknesses in my food intake. My newly found healthy relationship towards food helped me to slowly erase the black periods. In the process, I have also created some tips and tricks.
What do you say to people who are hesitant to change their outlook or begin a healthier routine?
I understand those people because they struggled for so long and are scared of yet another failure. It means that they are not ready yet. You cannot force anyone to change their life. You have to have the “click” to start the change. I hope my book will motivate and help them to do it.
Some people are hesitant because of budget issues. I would tell them maybe eating at a fast food restaurant is cheaper, but you might need to spend more money to lose weight or at the doctor later. And those who think cooking takes too much time, I say it is not true. It takes less time than to call for delivery. You don’t need to be a big chef to cook. Buy your vegetables precut and prewashed along with your protein. Cooking them will take less time than getting undressed.
What does she want her readers to get from her book?
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.”
After reading her book this past week, I absolutely fell in LOVE with her idea! A quick and easy read, she presents you with all the tricks you will need to follow to fit the lifestyle you live. Dieting is more than just a program that you follow, it is about a lifestyle change. I know you have probably heard that before, and so have I. The problem is we want that quick fix and that is why we tirelessly try diet after diet. Sometimes we find that we are successful, but then find ourselves back in the same situation once the weight comes back. Why does it come back? Because we did not make the lifestyle change. I do not want to be captive to pills or a certain regime. I want to live my life and that means that we must love ourselves no matter the body type. I can lose weight and be happy by making lifelong changes and exercising. As she says in her book, “Lose your weight without losing your appetite for life.” Do not lose your “joie de vivre,” which means joy of living in French!
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Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the book for review purposes. All opinions presented are 100% mine. No compensation was received for this post.