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29 Nov 2012

French Living Manifesto- The Conclusion

It is now the end of November so this is my last post for my French Living Manifesto.

Next month (December) I will be doing my Resolutions for a Relaxed Christmas.

Over the past month I have now lost a total of 10lbs and generally feel more in control of my eating.  I am now more considered and slower in my actions instead of running around firefighting all the time.  I have learnt to take my time over things and enjoy each moment instead of rushing on to see what's next.

1. Eat more generous meals, but don't snack.
This is the number one change I have made.  I now enjoy much more fulfilling meals so the need to snack has been greatly reduced. I think this is the best lesson I have learnt as instead of thinking "what's next to eat" I have been free to get on with just living.  This allows me to try and enjoy all the recipes I watch on TV, pin on Pinterest or read in cookbooks while still keeping control of my eating.

2. Eat Real food, no pre-prepared junk, try eat food as close to it's natural state as possible, go for quality over quantity.
I have enjoyed cooking lots of new rich dishes from scratch and trying plenty of new cheeses. I still struggle not to eat "cheap" chocolate as I am so used to it as a treat, but hopefully I can reduce it even more so I actually enjoy the food I am eating not just eat out of habit. When you are only eating 3 times a day you put more thought and effort into those meals rather than just grabbing anything.

3. Look after what I have and only buy quality items if I really need them.
This is another important part of the French Living Manifesto, I have made a conscious effort to fix what we already have and buy quality items that will last in the first instance.  Convincing my husband not to buy the kids cheap tat toys is a lot harder though!  I have made a real effort to take my time making purchases not just going for the easiest option but really considering what I need from the item before spending the money.

4. No shopping for anything but food or Christmas presents.
Major fail.  I wish I could be better at this.  I haven't bought anything over the top but just a little treat here and there. I think this is going to be my New Years Resolution. 

5. Moderate my alcohol intake, keep to 1 glass on weeknights.
Hmmm, again not my strong point, I really enjoy wine and enjoy drinking good wine even more, but it is not good for my health or waistline to drink too much. I am now much more conscious of my alcohol intake (it's not over safe levels) but I still wish I had more self control with regards to saying no.  I have said no more times this last month than ever before in my adult life, except when pregnant, but there is still room for improvement.  I need to remember to drink sparkling water between glasses of wine.  I am good at making a glass of wine last though, so I get the most enjoyment from it

6. Slow down, drive slower to save fuel and the car's paintwork! 
I have got a lot better at this, there is no rush 9 times out of 10 and so I can just take my time and do my bit for the environment and road rage.

7. Slow down, eat more slowly and savour each bite, put my fork down between bites.
I have noticed that instead of being the first to finish at the table I am now the last, and I even have smaller portions.  I feel more satisfied at the end of a meal and have gained more enjoyment from it as I spent longer actually tasting the food.  This is a really important thing to master and I think is the key to French Living

8. Walk when/wherever possible.
 I am hoping for a few more crisp autumn days instead of the grey damp we currently have so that I can still enjoy the walks I take each morning.  I feel like I have missed something if I do go in the car to school but sometimes needs must.  I have made the journey to school at least 3 out of 5 days every week regardless of weather for the last month, which works out at roughly 10 hours spent walking.

9. Read the books, wear the clothes, play the games, watch the films I already own. Don't keep things for best and then rarely use them.
I have taken this on board and started to look for the diamonds in the rough.  By appreciating what I already have and perhaps just re purposing it or just using it, I feel that I have much more.  I have sorted through the beauty products, the lingerie, the jewellry and the books that I already own and found many things I had forgotten about.

10.Spend time on grooming, paint my nails, deep condition my hair, give myself facemasks.
I have spent some time on this in the last month but as I was not as committed as I could have been.  I have done at least 2 grooming items a week but I intended to do more.  This resolution will be part of my Resolutions for a Relaxed Christmas.

11. Dress well everyday, not just special days.  Wear stylish outfits even at home when relaxing, try to look put together.  Aim for a 7/10
I have done really well at this over the last week. I have stopped keeping certain items for best that could be worn on a normal day and just put them on. It is great to know you look your best whoever you bump into.  This does mean keeping up on the laundry, but that is no bad thing.

12. Lay the table for every meal, use napkins, water glass and jug etc.. don't sit in front of the computer or TV and zone out.
I make much more of an effort to make my lunch pretty, I use the best cutlery, a nice tray, I make an effort to plate the food nicely too.  However...I find it soooo hard not to then take the tray and sit down in front of the computer.  I have used my table linen more ercemtly and tried to keep fresh flowers on the table.

13. Sing more, dance more, socialise more, get out of the house more.
This has gone well, I now have a very active social life (after several years in the wilderness of babies and toddlers) and am making an effort to say yes more.  I have lots of Christmas events coming up so I will be dancing more than ever over this coming month.

14. Work together with everyone, make all your relationships a partnership not a contest.
I have tried hard with this but I think this is a constant item on most peoples to do lists.  I have to remind myself that a win/win is the best possible outcome when dealing with some people, and not just take the indignant righteousness route.  I find thinking 50/50 comes automatically for some of my relationships (my husband) and ridiculously hard for others (best left unsaid).

15. Do good, offer help and be there for others.
I have tried really hard at doing this and feel that I have given this a good go. I feel much better knowing I did my best rather than just got through the day.  I have tried to make life easier for people around me so that they can have some time to relax too.

I have enjoyed this month so much and have definitely explored my Gallic side.  A couple of these points definitely need to be revisited to get a better grip on them and over the coming weeks/months I will focus on different points so that I can actually improve significantly on them.

The most pertinent things I have discovered from this is to slow down, take my time and savour life.

I hope my Manifesto gave you some food for thought, and that it's offered something of use to you.  Feel free to join me in my Resolutions for a Relaxed Christmas.  You can follow my on Facebook, Twitter, RSS or by email by using the buttons on the top right.


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