Chic & Slim: How Those Chic French Women Eat All That Rich Food and Still Stay Slim Paperback – Aug 1 2011
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From the Author
Bonjour! I could have called this book How Those Chic French Women Eat All That Rich Food And Still Stay SlimAnd How I Used To Eat Diet Food And Count Calories And Stayed Fat. But a 28-word title seemed a bit much. De trop, the French would say. What you need to know about how chic French women stay slimand some of the sneaky little ways life in America is making people fatteris here in Chic & Slim.
Yet I must tell you that I am neither physician, exercise physiologist, nutritionist, nor psychologist. I am merely an American woman who grew up fat and miserable. In my mid-twenties, I successfully lost weight using techniques I learned from French women. With my American translation of those techniques, I have kept the weight off more than 25 years. No small accomplishment since I live deep in the heart of barbecue and enchilada territory.
The information on these pages is not only for women who want to lose weight. It is for any woman who wants to be chic and slim and in control of her life. Any woman who wants to avoid weight gain provoked by stress or mid-life.
Forget diets. They are no fun and don't work. What I learned from French women is that ultimately staying slim is NOT about counting calories or fat grams. It is NOT about exercise exhaustion. It IS really about personal style. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"Chic & Slim" is the original book written by Anne Barone to share the secrets of how the French women eat rich foods, drink wine, are rarely seen at the gym and still manage to wear size SMALL!
The key according to Anne is the choices the French woman makes. She chooses natural unprocessed foods. Portion sizes are smaller. Exercise is fit in naturally by walking everywhere. Water not soda is the beverage of choice. Sugar is eaten in moderate quantities.
Instead of aiming for quantity, the French aim for quality. Eating a small slice of the finest pastry instead of a whole box of processed twinkies. Drinking one or two glasses of red wine instead of a number of unhealthy cocktails. Don't supersize your fries and double your burger. Instead eat a little portion of "pomme frites" with a palm size piece of grilled chicken. Forget the salad dressings with synthetic ingredients instead dress your lettuce with just a bit of heart healthy olive oil and vinegar.
Anne also goes into "ATTITUDE". The French women sees herself as a beautiful women despite her physical flaws. She is worth the effort of eating well, taking care of herself. She deserves to be slim and healthy. Many American women are unfortunately caught in a cycle of trying to look like the models we see in magazines instead of enjoying what we have and making the most of it.
The French woman does things that make her feel good about herself. She dresses to look and feel her best. No sloppy sweats and big gym shoes. Clothing that makes her feel feminine. A perfume that reflects her personality.
The book "Chic & Slim" also shares Anne's triumph of losing weight when she stopped dieting and started eating like the French. She shares more of her ideas at her website annebarone.com.
"Chic & Slim" like its sister book, ""Chic & Slim Encore" is a must read for the woman who wants to learn to enjoy and appreciate herself more. The woman who wants to get off the diet rollercoaster and learn to eat sensibly and with joy. A true treasure!
Anne Barone's tone is fun yet matter-of-fact. I did not like the little magazine-type asides which she uses to tout her own work; I found these to be distractive rather than helpful. She ends her discussion of all components of a French lifestyle with her 100 things-to-do list which neatly summarizes everything in the book. Recommended to every woman who needs to find her inner self, rejoice in it and lose weight along the way to finding much pleasure. I agree with Anne when she claims that if you don't want to do something, you need not feel guilty about JUST NOT doing it.
I do have several problems with the book. I think it is misleading to say French women eat "all that rich food," implying that they eat a lot and often. They don't. Basically, from what I can glean from the book and website,they eat what Overeaters Anonymous has been recommending for years: three moderate meals a day with no snacking in between. This I have not been able to do. I work long hours, getting up early and waiting until I am hungry for my cafe-au-lait and teaspoon-of-butter-on-good bread breakfast around 6:30 or 7 a.m., but by 10:30 a.m., I am legitimatlly hungry. Herbal tea just doesn't do it to tide me over to lunch. (I am a teacher and have 30 minutes to eat lunch-not a lot if you want to take small bites and chew thoroughly.) I also get authentically hungry around 5 p.m., which is too early to have dinner. I eat quality snacks, but I haven't been able to do without them without becoming completely preoccupied with food because I am so hungry! I am not talking about that desire to eat; I mean HUNGRY! Maybe my body will change after I have implemented these behaviors for awhile, but I refuse to go for hours being hungry. It smacks too much of deprivation and punishment. I also have a bit of problem with Anne's acceptance that people should feel ashamed of being fat. I want to believe that becoming slimmer should stem from recognizing the body's real need for food and honoring that rather than thinking that I am a disgusting fat slob. (Granted, she doesn't say this all the time, but when she does, it's quite palpable.) I also think she benefitted more than she knows by actually living in France for quite awhile before she left and was able to implement the ideas all over the world.
I don't think my complaints should keep anyone from reading and benefitting from this terrific book. It also has great stuff on beauty, style, the life of the mind, and the importance of examining your own life and developing your own lifestyle, including eating habits.It should be in the library of any woman who struggles with food and weight.