When Mireille Guiliano released her buzzworthy book, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, back in 2005, I had not the slightest bit of interest in reading it. At time I felt burnt out on tales of the French and their miraculously trim bodies. Plus, I had already been to France and seen actual French women, so I thought, "Of course they don't get fat, they all chain smoke!"
Fast forward five years, and I know better than to think all French women chain smoke, or that there isn't something special going on in their country that keeps more of its citizens slim than we seem to be able to do here in the U.S. So when I noticed Ms. Guiliano's book on my roommate's bookshelf I decided to put away my old hang-ups and take a look.
"French women don't get fat because they have not allowed new attitudes and modern theories of how the body uses food to overrule centuries of experience."
With her no-fuss, no-muss attitude toward food Ms. Guiliano won my affection. I'm someone who's looking for a return to common sense at the dinner table, and that's what she's offering. FWDGF did, however, irk me in a couple of big ways. First, Ms. Guiliano's assertion that French women don't obsess about their weight and diets like American women struck me as a bit overstated considering the number of pharmacy windows in France that are decked out in ads for everything from cellulite-reducing cream to tummy-flatting teas. What's more, her disdain for working out at the gym or going for a run outside is very French, but I appreciate that some Americans (including myself) choose to keep fit this way, and there might just be a few French women (and men!) who could benefit from the same.
That said, I greatly enjoyed this book. It's a fun, quick read filled with lots of easy-to-implement tips for daily life and down-to-earth stories about the author's own struggle with weight (she currently lives and works in New York City where she is president and CEO of Clicquot, Inc...get jealous). Plus, it has recipes, and adding recipes to your book is a sure way to turn me into a loyal reader.
Have you read FWDGF? What did you think?