/ 30.7.11 / 14 Comments /

Is it true that French women don't get fat?

I'm sure you are wondering, why in the world I would bring up this topic. Is it true? I don't know that for certain, but I've always thought so. No doubt I'm not the only one who has had this impression.

One of the few French women I've ever gotten to know on a very 'small' scale, Diamond Berger, was a quilter from France. I met her at a talk at the Houston Quilt guild on French quilting or 'boutis'. She certainly was NOT fat. Neither were any of the young women with her who showed off their pieces of fabric art. She was in her 50's and looked lovely...just as lovely as her younger students.

Funny how a post is born.

I'm sitting here typing a way while the teenage boys are sleeping in after an all night birthday party including funny movies, games, shooting their guns (they can't do that in town), and just having a great time. This included ridiculous amounts of pizza and soda. (One of them ate the salad..I think..)  I plan to feed them a healthier breakfast IF they actually get up in time.


So I'm checking my emails and get a post from my friend, Maria Killam, asking the question, "If Gray is like Skinny Jeans, then what is brown?  (Mom jeans?)--Very interesting read for sure! All of her posts this week were fabulous!

One of the readers commented on how at least Mom jeans covered our tummies. This is true. I don't like seeing people where their tummies on full display when they aren't just cute little 'bumps'.  I DON'T think badly of them of course, I just feel a little embarrassed for them. In my day, you held your tummy IN if it tended to bulge..and ate a little less food for a week or two.

 
So I did a search and came up with the most LOVELY and INSPIRING website I've seen in a long time--French Women Don't Get Fat.


"Americans have the highest obesity rate maybe because food equals diet, to each its own. For the French it’s more about eating good food together, and conviviality and PLEASURE are key. We are still the least fat people in Europe. Witnessing school kids (6-12 yr-olds) eating lunch in a Provence village (not one obese or even overweight) was a true pleasure, and knowing that the next meal, dinner, will be home at the table with the entire family (like breakfast) and that more and more men are enjoying cooking is always an additional pleasure. Could pleasure be one of the factors protecting us against obesity?" Mireille Guiliano.



Mireille is a lovely woman and her whole desire is to 'inspire' we American women to be our best... She knows that many of us American women don't know why we struggle with food..and she's here to help, by showing us a different approach.

She talks about food and fashion...and more.  I loved her "French Woman's Manifesto". Here are a few things from it...
   
  • French women eat three meals a day.
  • French women adore fashion.
  • French women are stubborn individuals and don't follow mass movements.
  • French women avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure.

  •  French women balance their food, drink, and movement on a week-by-week basis.

  • French women care enormously about the presentation of food. It matters to them how you look at it.

  • French women choose their own indulgences and compensations.  They understand that little things count, both additions and subtractions, and that as an adult everyone is the keeper of her own equilibrium.

  • French women don't care for hard liquor.
  • French women don't diet.
 If you would like an interesting and inspiring read today..I highly recommend Mireille Guiliano's website or perhaps even her book...French Women Don't Get Fat.

Sometimes, ladies, it's good to take a peek in the mirror.... I know I need to do that!  Have a lovely weekend...
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14 comments:

Gloria said...

Hi Donna. That's very nice to know that French women don't get fat. tee hee. The key and I do mean key is do what they do. Eat the 3 meals a day, (the right kind of food of course), but and I stress again the KEY is moderation. That's all. We don't need to diet, but we do need to exercise at least 1/2 hour a day, 3 to 5 days a week. I'm taking a look in the mirrow though because I know I am 20 pounds overweight because I stopped exercising and haven't been moderating. So I guess I better start again with my daily exercise and moderation. Thanks donna....and today I was making chili verde with homemade torts, darn!! Oh well, I've got to remember the key, MODERATION!:))) Have a great weekend.

Floss said...

Whilst all those statements are true, and really are good things about living here in France, as an observer I also have to note that:

French women usually smoke.
French pharmacies are full, full, full of slimming products and advertising for them is quite paranoid.
French women have no hips, quite naturally - they are a different body type to those of us who have ancestors from further north or south.
At the school gate, plenty of French mums are fat. Some of their children are, too. It's French business women who (generally) stay slim.

I don't want to knock all the good points of that website, because, as I said, they are all true. But the bigger picture is, of course, more complicated, and has a 'dark side' of body fascism and beautiful women who skip meals, just like anywhere else in the developed world.

But to you, very best wishes, as I know you will only take the positive and not get drawn into the negative.

Donna said...

Thank you so much Floss for your input! That's why I wondered..how true is it? But I'm certain that if we don't obsess..we can learn a few good habits. I feel better though reading what you said.

I do think that the average American 'mom' doesn't worry too much about food or exercise and if we eat the normal 'fast food' diet..we are in for some trouble.

Any extra info towards a healthier lifestyle, is helpful. But no one, as you say, wants to obsess. Thank you for making me feel a little bit better about my hips. LoL!

xo
Donna :o)

Amy said...

Ooh. . . great idea. . . eating fruit with a knife and fork. So simple, and yet I never do it! I own both her books, but obviously missed some points:) Loved your post and the video:)

Donna said...

Gloria..you are so wise! Yes..we just need to DO it. :o) You have always been so sensible about food and exercise. Thanks for your comment Gloria.

xo
Donna

Raindrops and Daisies said...

Loved your post.
Great reading.

Needled Mom said...

I loved the book. It was all the yogurt that got to me!!!!!

Bed and Breakfast Brugge said...

Great posting

Countrymama said...

Being part French, as I went down your list of what French women do/don't do I kept thinking to myself "yep, I'm French" until I got the part about no hard liquor..then I became not-so-French. :) Great post! Thanks for the link too.

Lisa said...

Enjoyed this. I loved reading this book also. The one trick that helped me was cutting out most (not ALL) red meat from our diet. I would eat the proper amounts, exercise but I just couldn't drop those horrid last pounds till I cut our red meat consumption back.

Donna said...

You are all so funny and/or very right. :O)

Red meat..I think that's an issue. Jaime, you made me laugh. I think 9 out of 10 is pretty French. LoL!

claudia b said...

I love her books! I think it is a big clue about the cultural differences that there are many nude beaches in most of Europe, it is not as uncommon as it is here. It means a) people don't get as huge as Americans do, and b) they don't obsess over having a perfect body. Food is truly enjoyed there, not seen as temptation or punishment, ya know?

Donna said...

You may be right Claudia..but I would NEVER go to a nude beach..skinny or not. LoL! Shiver...

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

I'm from France and I can tell you that this book really does reveal a French woman's "secrets". Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but it's true that generally French women do not get fat. They certainly don't get to the "Biggest Loser" stage that is becoming too common in the U.S. I just read the statistic of 65% of Americans are now overweight or obese. I would say water, real food (not processed, genetically modified, etc.), and moderation are the most important things to remember. All of Mireille's books are great and I recommend them. Thanks for letting us know that there is a website now too.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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