It’s time to go international.
According to the CDC, the current obesity rate in the US is 35.7%. And we can all agree that this nation is obsessed with fat – the idea of it, the gaining of it, and multi-billion dollar fitness industry dedicated to getting rid of it. I spend much of my time researching fat, talking about it, working toward a healthier me, and of course, sharing all of it.
But what about places like France, whose obesity rate is between 6.6 % – 9.8%, with only 5% of the French belonging to health clubs?
From what I’ve researched, the French exist in a way that I’m trying to achieve…where food portions are small and savored, even with an abundance of cheeses and breads, walking is a part of life, and fresh, whole, seasonal ingredients aren’t something that your weird hippie neighbor who works at the co-op pays twice as much for – they are simply what each meal consists of, because that’s the way it is and should be. It’s all just ENGRAINED, from the get go, because it’s how the culture works. (Some will attribute the low obesity rate to the amount of smoking, which curbs the appetite, but that doesn’t quite solve all of our problems, does it?)
The book French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, by Frenchwoman Mireille Guiliano, shows up in almost every google search of “why French people aren’t as fat.” According to Guiliano, Americans should stop scarfing down their food and slow it down, making eating a pleasurable experience. I can get behind that, although not completely realistic – but then I have to ask WHY IS THAT NOT REALISTIC? Why is it so hard to conceptualize the idea that eating should be an EVENT? How sad and terrifying. Guiliano came to the US as a student, gained 20 pounds, and when returned to France, slimmed back down just by acclimating back to her home culture. (A culture that most likely does not have a sugar addiction – but that is an entirely different blog).
I’m taking a trip to France next week, so while I’m on this French adventure, I will observe and analyze, ask questions, and of course, eat, savor, walk, explore, and come back with possible revelations.
Until then, here’s a great quote to keep you motivated:
“If you took all the energy you put towards hating your body into changing it, you would be amazed with the results.”