Zelda's Reviews > French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
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's review
May 17, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 08 to 12, 2011

Well, that was a pleasant surprise. I avoided this book when it was so immensely popular the way I try to avoid all NYT Best Sellers. How it ended up in my library bag 7 years later is a mystery for the ages.

I have a love/hate relationship with France in which I hate that I love it and I love to hate it. I try to keep my past Francophile leanings on the down low. Sure, I took 4 years of French in college, won the university's French poetry competition (for a dirty limerick I scratched out in 15 minutes) and was my university's French Student of the Year (are you getting a clue of how small this program was?) but that doesn't mean I don't find the French vile and ridiculous. Or does it?

Of course, it doesn't. Or does. That sentence construction was pretty confusing so I'm not really sure now. Whatever, the point is that my ire, as Madame Guiliano seems to notice, has everything to do with the politics. But, non, ce n'est pas vrai. It is also the tendency toward sloth. I despise theFrench " joie de vivre" because it runs in absolute contradiction to my Calvinistic tendencies to value industrious pursuits over sensual indulgences. How a Southeast Asian Catholic cum atheist came by those tendencies is yet another mystery.

But this philosophy of savoring the sensual indulgences is exactly what helps keep the French in equilibrium. There is no shame in rich food so there is no need to hoard/scarf/smuggle/sneak it by the handful. There will be more bread/chocolate/pastry again soon so you don't have to download as much of it has your 11 stomachs will hold just in case you never encounter it again. Or if, when you do, you've sworn off of it for life. I like this idea because I'm very into self-deprivation but only when it makes sense. And how can depriving yourself of chocolate make sense?

I would like to incorporate some of this way of thinking into my approach to daily eating while maintaining my uniquely American penchant for sweating through multiple layers of very tight clothing of manufactured fibers on frequent bone-shattering runs through the bland suburban landscape that makes nary a nod in the direction of good design. Mireille doesn't see the point in this kind of madness. She prefers the nearly effortless, gentle waving about of the 3-lb weights between hits on her Gauloises. I don't actually know if she smokes but I've hardly touched upon any French stereotypes in this review and that is shameful. Like begging a German to spare my life in exchange for my wife, children, farm and country.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Peterson God you're funny.

message 2: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Peterson These comments about the French are well-timed, considering the big news about the IMF head.

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