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Before Pics: I cared very little about what I ate or where it came from

“You put on so much weight… it looks good on you!” I was attending a friend’s engagement party, and as her mother squeezed my plump cheeks (yes, she really did), I silently wondered if being fat meant that I needed reassurance or that I will only look “good” when someone else was happy.

Flashback to 2001, Paris, I was there to meet that same friend for a four-day excursion to the most romantic and memorable city in the world. I say I visited Paris twice, the first time as a wide-eyed, typical American and the last time as a fat one. Naturally, the first thing one does following an overnight flight, to the most famously charming city in the free world, is to eat. It was at the first French cafe we could find that I proceeded to impress my lovely friend with my knowledge of tous les choses en Français… I hesitated, looked at the waiter, in his perfectly pressed, white apron, his one of two unruly eyebrows accusingly cocked in that infamous “you destroy my language” expression and indecisively said, “sans gaz?” Our friendly waiter stomped his feet, looked at my friend and very slowly, implored–in perfectly accented English–wit boo-bules or without boo-bules? There’s a famous French saying, Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es (Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are), and as I walked around fashionable Paris, in my Banana Republic sweater shirt and corduroy, Target pants, I cared very little – if at all – about what I ate or where it came from. I was hungry, presumably for food but in hindsight it would be for something greater. Oh, look! Chocolate croissants! More in my book, Fat-to-Fit: 50 Easy Ways to Lose Weight

  • Stefan,
    Fantastic before and after on your site. Very inspirational.

    Tim

    Tim Swanson

    9:33 am
    22/03/2013

  • Avec gaz o sans gaz… a common French phrase, and as the waiter looked at me impatiently, I fell in love with Paris and all of its charm and unfriendly impatience.

    In 2001, I was fortunate enough to meet a friend for a four-day excursion to the most romantic and memorable city in the world. I say I visited Paris twice, the first time as a wide-eyed, typical American and the last time as a fat one.

    It was the beginning of a brand new day when I landed in Paris armed with pride and 17 years of academic French. Surely, I spoke it just like une Parisienne! Naturally, the first thing one does following an overnight flight, to the most famously charming city in the free world, is to eat.

    It was at the first French cafe we could find that I proceeded to impress my lovely friend with my knowledge of tous les choses en Français… I hesitated, looked at the waiter, in his perfectly pressed, white apron, his one of two unruly eyebrows accusingly cocked in that infamous “you destroy my language” expression and indecisively said, “sans gaz?”

    Our friendly waiter stomped his feet, looked at my friend and very slowly, implored–in perfectly accented English–wit boo-bules or without boo-bules?

    There’s a famous French saying, Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es (Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are), and as I walked around fashionable Paris, in my Banana Republic sweater shirt and corduroy, Target pants, I cared very little–if at all–about what I ate or where it came from. I was hungry, presumably for food but in hindsight it would be for something greater. Oh, look! Chocolate croissants!

    Stefan Pinto

    3:11 pm
    28/07/2011

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