Featured Editorial

Happy Health and Wellness Relationship with Weight Loss

Happiness is envisioned as different things for different people. The common denominator is that we are all seeking to be happy in our lives. Can we be happy with the weight loss process? Here's a book that's not only a different approach to losing weight, in addition to helping us to find happiness in everything we do. Without giving away too much, here's the takeaway, “You can’t wait to lose weight to find happiness, you need to find happiness, and then you will lose weight.” Chatting with ex-serial dieter, Psychologist and Certified Health Coach, Nathalie Botros, her new book gives us insight on having a happy, health and wellness relationship with weight loss.

Thank you to Nathalie Botros for the courtesy of sponsoring this interview with a promotional advanced reader copy for editorial purposes.

Happy Health & Wellness Relationship 
with Weight Loss

It's all about the hook. I was hooked by the title- If You Are What You Eat, Should I Eat A Skinny Girl? Tips and Advice About Losing Weight Without Losing Your Appetite for Life written by The Bon-Vivant Girl, Nathalie Botros. Many thanks to Nathalie for the lovely interview and an intro into the "bon-vivant" lifestyle.

I was hooked by the titled of your new book and I truly adore your alter ego. What does it mean to be the “Bon-Vivant Girl”?

NB - 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.

Commonly trending diets offer a generic formula dictating the foods you can eat, when and how-to exercise and, more or less, change your life. How is the bon-vivant lifestyle a departure from the ordinary? Do you advise and recommend people eat, exercise and live a certain way?

NB - Most diets are about food intake restriction depending on their theory. The Bon-Vivant Girl’s lifestyle is a more holistic approach. My main demand is to do everything with pleasure. I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to do something they don’t. My book is step by step tool; filled with motivation, tips, and tricks to help you to achieve your goal. 

Now, what do I advise specifically? Before starting to talk about food, we have to work on our happiness. Sometimes our job, family, body image or friends can block that happiness. If we are not happy, even if we starve ourselves, we won’t lose any weight. Once we are ready, we can talk about the food intake. My philosophy with food is- instead of cutting the “bad foods”, you should increase and prioritize the “good foods”. For example, when you crave sweet, eat some fruits and then eat your candy. You will see that with time the candy becomes less appealing.

Concerning exercise, I feel great and happy when I work out, but it is not the case for everyone. So I propose to start with baby steps. If you don’t like to go to a gym, try to find an activity that you like. I believe that we need physical activity in our lives for health benefits, but don’t think working out will make you lose weight. Working out will make you healthier, stronger and fit, and most of the time hungrier. So my primary concern is not the hour that you spend at the gym, it is the 23 remaining hours.

It's my understanding that adopting the “bon-vivant” lifestyle is more than just weight loss and your relationship to food, you suggest an entire lifestyle makeover. Please share some of the important things to remember when cleaning house?

NB - 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 a 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. I don’t want you to fall into the “water games” - your body can retain more water some days than others. This doesn’t mean that you gained weight, and 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 to 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 in 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.

Self-help is a powerful tool in our lives, however, we cannot actually do all of the work alone. Connecting ourselves with a therapeutic foundation is essential. How did your background in psychotherapy help you develop the attitudes and ideas in your book?

NB - Thanks to my psychotherapy background, I know that when we don’t stick to a diet, it doesn’t mean we are not strong or determined. We are all humans. The minute we say the word “diet”, our brain translates it to “restriction”. The restriction means not eating what we want.

Think about when you tell a kid to not touch something. What he will do, go straight and touch it right? Now think that we are grown up kids. When society or a diet tells us to not eat something, we instantly crave that food. In my book I keep saying that “you are not on a diet”, and “don’t restrict yourself” or “you can eat everything”. It is positive reinforcement, so my readers don’t feel trapped in the eternal cycle of dieting.

Thank you so much for sharing your new book and advice on happy, health and wellness relationship with weight loss. Would you like to share any final thoughts?

NB - 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.

Get to know more about Nathalie Botros, the Bon-Vivant lifestyle and her new book at TheBon-VivantGirl.com
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