Sweetassgal here jumping on the much clichéd but highly warranted bandwagon of “what am I going to change in 2010” and rather than make the obligatory resolution I’m simply going to take better care of my body. Here’s another of my many silly and embarrassing child hood secrets to share. I grew up very, very ashamed of whom I was and where I came from as a young girl. I was loved by my little family and I’ve got no real reason to gripe but rather than be the no-named little white trash girl from High Hopes trailer park…(High Hopes was right…we had HIGH HOPES of getting the HELL OUT of that place) I wanted to be one of those girls who had a big exciting family and an exotic Spanish or Italian last name everyone in town knew. Instead I was a stringy haired, knobby kneed little white girl with no name to speak of and a family I could pretty much pack up in my mom’s Plymouth Miser and move at a heart beat. In a town full of roots…I was rootless. And as such I often adopted different personas, ideals…heck even accents and planets of residence to seem more interesting! Before Madonna had an English accent I was speaking a faux spot on Brit…who’s the Johnny Come Lately now MADGE!
Thankfully this odd but imaginative streak came to an end before Junior High where I would have no doubtedly been persecuted mercilessly for my crimes against cool kids and burned in effigy before the masses. Nope…Junior High came (along with some rapidly sprouting boobies) and suddenly being just myself wasn’t so terrible anymore. Of course boobies or no boobies…I’m still a little geek at heart!
I have though, many years later, still retained my fascination with picking and choosing from other cultures and identities and taking from them what I love and feel connected to. Usually I do this through food…but THAT is what’s got my in my resolution pickle (no pun intended) in the first place! But one connection with food, a very French Connection…has me thinking I can keep my resolution and still be fabulous and well fed at the end of each day. Mireille Guiliano’s “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat” has become a bit of a staple in my life. Oh I know…the books been around for a while. Yawn…nothing new here. But picking it back up recently and giving it a second quick read I now realize this is my chance to incorporate some very simple and yet very chic practices into my daily life that just might add up to BIG results!
Mirelle is a gorgeous French creature with an incredible lifestyle. She dines in the best restaurants, travels internationally and all the while maintains effortless style and a trim figure. All I do is go to the market and to work…I can fit this stuff in! Her principles are sound, basic and of course…very French. The most noted I’m working into my life are as follows:
Fresh Food is best! Take time every other day or so to go to the market for the freshest ingredients available. Fresh fruits, veggies and meat don’t require a bunch of preservatives and just TASTE better. Who needs all that excess trimming if the food you prepare is fresh from the market wonderful!? Learn where your local farmers market is and keep it as organic as you can. Healthy on the inside shows up on the outside!
Say NO to your car! If you can (depending on your individual circumstances) try and step away from your vehicle. We don’t need to jump in the old Honda to go around the corner for some milk. Slip on those Adidas and hit the bricks gal! French women walk everywhere…and the DON’T spend hours sweating like pigs at the gym. Walk to lunch on your breaks, take the stairs instead of the lift (there I go again dropping into Queen’s speak), or just hop on your beach cruiser in a lovely long flowey skirt and scarf and head to the park and turn some heads!
Indulge…life is for the living! Just don’t OVER indulge. French women know when to say no. Be it crusty breads and rich cheese, a full bodied wine or a full bodied Monsieur…indulge a little and feel ALIVE! Just keep it in check and your cravings as well as your waistline will stay in check too.
Do it with flair! If there is ANY country that knows about flair its France. From the Grand Guignol to the Folies Bergere, Moulin Rouge to Edith Piaf…France has given us plenty to gawk at. And I LOVE it! No offense to my country or the “Classic American Style” but if I see one more overly thin WASP in that Stepford wife haircut I’m going to puke. The world is FULL of color and excitement and the French really know how to work it in with panache and without being “Las Vegas here we come” gaudy. What ever you do make it an event! Having dinner…turn off the TV, use the good China and break out the vino! A trip to the market? Have your lipstick and mascara on and top it off with a tied scarf. The French have 100 different ways to tie a scarf. Give it a chance…and the next time you see some sad little creature slogging her way through the produce aisle in her jammie bottoms and dirty slippers you will startle. I promise you…and you’ll never want to be that person again. Unless it’s 2:00 a.m. and you and your best girlfriends are crashing the 7/11 for a Slurpee and Red Ropes. That’s ok!
You can read all about the book everywhere online, including her very own website with links to her other books and really get the full sense of what she is talking about. For me, focusing on the things you can really control like organic foods you put into your body, and how much of it you do just makes natural sense. For those who LOVE the gym I envy and praise you. For those who can’t do the circuit to save their lives…sidewalks are the world’s first free gym! It’s all about living life with impetuosity and wild abandon…and hopefully just a little more savoir faire! The 10 year old Sweetassgal would be SO proud!