French Women Don’t Get Fat

Hey friends! How was your workout this morning (if you had it already)? Mine was rockin’. Seriously hard. But I guess I like me a challenge :) I did stairs, on the stairmill, for 50 minutes without leaning my entire body on the railing (changing it up–killer.) So dang hard. But a really good glutes, hamstring, quad, and HEART workout!


Then I taught a BodyPUMP class. We did the entire release 75 and it was so fun to challenge our bodies all over again, because we haven’t done that release straight through in over 2 months. Plus, overloading the muscles and working them to fatigue in a new way is always fabulous for the muscles, mind, and the spirit. It “shocks” the body (i.e. muscles, cells, etc.) and causes a greater stimulus for change. Thus, a leaner, fitter body and appearance when done often.

Release 75 Poster

I always feel stronger, sexier, and more ready to tackle the daily stresses after getting in a good BodyPUMP class.


My photography skills are unmatchable, I know 😉

I fueled up with a fabulous green monster smoothie during (and the rest after) the class

so full it drips down the side

In the mix: a humungous handful of spinach + lite soy milk + cottage cheese + water + ice + protein powder + cinnamon.

The cottage cheese made it creamy, the spinach made it GREEN, and the cinnamon made it extra special today.

so frothy and yummy

I am reading a book that I never got around to reading when there was a huge “hype” about it. You might have heard of (or read) it? It is called French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.


It is fascinating thus far because the writer (a French woman who immigrated to the States), is not a dietitian, doctor, or nutritionist. She is simply a French woman who gained weight as a study-abroad student in America and then learned from a French doctor how to, again, “eat the French way.”

She offers some advice and tidbits that are kind of funny yet so true.

  • French women do not obsess over the scale as American women do
  • French women love, love their food, and so they always emphasize quality over quantity (totally opposite in most areas of America, don’t you agree?)
  • “there is no lasting glory in rapid weight loss” AMEN. and amen.
  • “there is weight and then there is weight.”  meaning: “there’s the ‘ideal’ body weight that shows up on insurance company charts, based on nothing but height; there is the ‘fashion weight,’ an ideal much less natural, in which commerce plays a big, sometimes insidious part; and then there’s the ‘well-being’ weight, the one at which a particular individual feels comfortable in his or her own skin.” This is too oft forgotten in our world of worshipping the ‘fashion’ or ‘model’ weight, which is also quite unhealthy (and unfeasible) for many.
  • French women (as compared to the author’s habits learned in America) do not eat standing up, most often make their own food, and do not live off of “whatever.”

So far I have enjoyed the tid bits of hilarity that ensues when she mentions our catastrophic way of eating in this nation. How often have I just opened the fridge and shoveled food into my mouth? When was the last time I lit a candle at dinner? Or put my fork down between every bite? Seriously. I have work to do in order to really experience my food a little more 😉

Some of these things may seem extreme, but the point the author makes over and over again is, that we must “recast” our eating habits if we are to be successful in losing weight (if that is the desired goal), beinging comfortable in our own skin, and celebrating eating instead of hating/despising/dreading it. Really valuable information if you’ve ever felt out of control or a slave to certain “eating” habits picked up along the way. Some clients of mine have had some crazy stories too… maybe you, them, and me, need to adopt some of those French habits and then we’d all stop obsessing over each and every calorie and pound?? haha. I know I could always improve, for sure.

I also know (and realize now since starting this book), that if I drive in my car and eat a snack at the same time, I will not register having eaten a snack, and probably do not enjoy it as much as compared to if I had eaten it at a table, chewing and savoring each bite slowly.

Anyways, just thought I’d share some things I’ve learned! I’ll keep ya updated as I finish the book and share some other fun facts or ideas to think about. The blog world is a great way to open the mind and possibly see things in a different light :)

When was the last time you did a new strength move and “shocked” your system? Do you agree that eating should be enjoyed or are you more of a calorie counter?

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  1. I’ve heard about eating like a French woman: savoring every.single.bit. Whenever I finish my plate, I always seem to want more, but I’m trying to distinguish that I’m just feeling satisfied and still appreciating the great meal :)

  2. Caroline says:

    then I wish I was born a French woman!
    But seriously this “slow down and enjoy your food” phenomenon is something I’ve been working on. In fact, sometimes I set the kitchen timer so that we don’t rush dinner. It works- try it. =)

  3. That book is so interesting! I have an Aunt (through marriage) that is French and she totally fits everything you mentioned. I was reading a Self magazine once and she gushed about how she didn’t understand why I subject myself to magazines that would make me worry about my weight or the way I looked. I wish I had her way of thinking and her confidence!

  4. Great post Annette…I think I need to purchase this book! I used to be a calorie/points counter back in my weight loss days but now I’ve taken on the “live life and love food” mentality. And I’ll never go back to counting again!

    As for shocking my body, probably a few weeks ago when I went to the gym with my hubby…As you know I am an at home DVD workout gal so anytime I do anything at the gym my body is killer sore afterwards!

  5. Thanks for posting this. I’m currently reading “In Defense of Food” and author briefly mentions how French people love their food but don’t suffer the same health problems we do. I think I’ll have to check this one out!


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