The Way We Live: Sunday 18 April 2010

I realise I stand alone in many things. The fact I’ve never watched an episode of NCIS, CSI or SVU. My willingness to admit to buying Jason Donovan’s Ten Good Reasons able (there weren’t, by the way).  My need to know why Vince – the guy in the Shamwow ads – feels the need to wear a headset.  And I figure I may be the only person in the country avoiding watching the new series of Underbelly. Avoiding it the way certain overseas freighters avoid designated shipping lanes. The way Tony Abbott avoids board shorts. The way Kevin Rudd avoids push-ups. The way … I could keep going with this but you get the picture. Hey, I loved the first series. It was really well executed (no pun intended).  Then, we had Underbelly Two:  A Tale of Two Cities.  I was a bit meh about it. There seemed to be lots of naked people rolling around on dollar bills speaking in dodgy Kiwi accents. And now we have Underbelly 3: The Golden Mile.  But this one’s completely different apparently. It’s about um, hookers and drug barons. Excellent.  I’ve already heard a whisper that “Underbelly 4: Flogging A Dead Horse” is in the pipeline.

But who am I to criticise? You see this whole Underbelly thing got me thinking. All of us – you, me, Channel Nine, Roy Jones Junior – so often have an issue with knowing when to walk away*.

Whether it’s the right time to leave a job, a relationship, the work Christmas party (seriously, three karaoke songs from anyone is enough) – most of us seem to have difficulty gauging when to call it a day. And how about food? Good grief. We hear that inner-voice saying, “Put down the pork chop and step away from the buffet” and we hit the mute button.

In the 2003 best seller French Women Don’t Get Fat author Mireille Guiliano explained why only 11% of French people are obese despite having a diet high in cheese, wine, bread and did-I-mention-cheese-already?

They walk a lot. They savour their food rather than wolfing it down. They drink loads of water. And – and here’s the biggie – they don’t eat until they’re full.  Radical, I know. Instead those clever Frenchies stick to a three-bite rule.

In an interview with, Gulliano said, “I love pastry, chocolate and ice cream and eat them all the time. How much is enough, though? I believe the first two or three bites provide the most satisfaction. So, again, I indulge but in moderation, and without thinking I exercise a natural portion control.”

Three bites is a new strategy for me. To date I’ve been going for the lick the bowl clean approach. So from Underbelly I got a new approach to avoiding an Over Belly. Maybe I should tune in after all.

*Well all of us except Kenny Rogers who so totally knew when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, when to walk away and when to run … to the plastic surgeon).

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  1. Anthony on April 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Three bites? I’m not sure I’d get enough sustenance out of just three bites. Unless I increased my bite size of course.

    Hmmm… Maybe years of being a big mouth might pay off…

    • becsparrow on April 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      I hear ya, AS. You and me both.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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