French Women Don’t Get Fat and other Aging Blunders

I’m not too fond of New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m a no-nonsense girl – if it doesn’t happen in normal life, then why should it with celebratory occasions?  So, when it comes to trying new things or recalibrating behavior, I just do it one day when I decide to.


So, as winter was approaching a month or so ago, I faced the dreaded challenge: how will I engage in healthy, active behavior this winter?   This is always a challenge for me because I hate to exercise for the sake of exercising, and I like eating just for the sake of eating, especially during the dark hours of winter.  But I am a recovered anorexic and bulimic, so eating, staying fit, and weight gain is not something I take lightly.  There always has to be a game plan.

Last spring I came across a book titled French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.  Though I am not French, I am half Italian, so I figured if it works for French women, maybe it would work for Italian-American women.  While I only skimmed the book, I remembered Guiliano advocated that French women do not diet like American women, they simply eat healthy and stay active.  I remember she said she walks a lot of stairs.  So, in convenient laziness, my winter workout plan on the back-forty includes climbing stairs.


Not a stair-master, step or elliptical, but real stairs.  Each evening, I put on my Ipod, some old sweatpants, and start walking from the second story to the basement.  I’m beginning to like it.  I tidy up in places I don’t usually get to and I actually see my teenagers a little more.


I chalk it up to creative aging.  Ten years ago I began running, and while I still do it occasionally, I’m too pooped to pound the pavement like I used to.  I wonder at the change in aging from the 30’s to the 40’s.  In my thirties, I visited the tanning bed. Just recently, I purchased tinted moisturizer, firming eye cream, and age spot remover. My mother recently informed me that eye lids droop when I realized my eye liner ended up on my eyelids making me look like Tammy Faye Bakker by 5:00.  I don’t have to worry about dieting too much because I’m too concerned with……well, let’s just say I eat salad for fiber, not the calorie count.

My daughter thinks I’m loosing it.  If she only knew. I used to tell her it’s painful to be beautiful.  Now it’s just time-consuming to simply look your age. I sleep more and drop things a lot more.  What’s up with that?  The last time I did that I was pregnant.  Yikes!  That’s a scary thought.


I was in Italy a few years ago.  Italian women aren’t fat either.  I bet it’s all that Mediterranean cooking.  Shoot.  That’s one more time consuming thing I need to figure out how to do in farm country where store shelves are plentiful with grain fed beef and Amish noodles.  Trips to Walmart to be healthy. Now that’s an oxymoron.


Tonight, I am sitting here empathizing with our diaper dog…..our family pet who is in heat, thus wearing a diaper apparatus for the week.  Her awkwardness-disgusting factor is fairly high.  So is mine on certain days. Reminiscent of some junior high years if I remember right.


I’m going to write a new book – Italian Women in Rural America Age Gracefully.  At least that’s my goal. I don’t know if I’ll succeed or not, but it’s worth a try.


Grace trumps beauty at this stage.  I’m too pooped to endure pain.


I’d love for you to visit my friend’s new blog about aging, life, and womanhood – Approaching the Vintage Years…her creativity and honesty about aging is right up my alley. Good stuff   approachingthevintageyears.blogspot.com


So as a graceful Italian woman, I’ll say, Ciao!…..before I hit the late night snacks……

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