Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joie de Vivre vs. Joy of Skinny

Last night, Jessica Simpson's new VH1 show, "The Price of Beauty," chronicled the story of a model who weighed in the upper 80 lbs. She had lost about 30 pounds after modeling agencies told her she wasn't thin enough.


I'm not sure about this woman's actual height, but 87-ish pounds on a grown woman? If that's what France is selling, I ain't buyin'.
Jessica Simpson & gang also discussed the French concept of life- "Joie de Vivre" : The Joy of Life, and how French women are assumed to be able to sip lattes and eat croissant all day while not gaining weight.

While this seems like an ideal lifestyle, it sounds too good to be true, and probably is.

A French model they eat with picked up a green (I'm assuming an asparagus?) and said, "THIS is the model's diet."


Don't I know it.

While I've (obvi) never been a model myself, I know chocolate croissants and full-fat lattes aren't going to give you that ribs-sticking-out-in-a-couture-way. Unfortunately.

If you want to see an awesome blog about real life in Paris from an American's eyes (and who wouldn't!) check out Hungry Yogini's blog. She's actually doing a giveaway right now, too.

Speaking of which- my giveaway- will be comprised of my favorite bars and shippable (is that a word?) goodies that I can send via-FedEx/UPS - I'll tell you this, it will include homemade granola from Original Pizza Palace, which is just about the greatest thing ever. Check out their menu here. Satchel's Pizza salad dressing may also be included;) Deets on how to enter below...

Back to the story- it seems like French women have this air of confidence, but are their realities trapped behind the same thoughts of croissant-eating guilt?

I might be going to an exotic local soon... I'll give you a hint- Alessandra Ambrosio, bikini waxes, acai berries... While my first thought should have been "WOW! What an amazing opportunity"- I sadly thought about what I'd look like. Must repel fat talk! I'll keep you posted more about that if I learn more.

Ya'll know what the V.S. models look like, no need for a picture of 'em- or a bikini wax, for that matter;)

Will the sad cycle of food = guilt ever end? I thought I was getting better, but something triggered and I've been down on myself lately.

Maybe you can help- in accordance (fanc-ay word;) with my giveaway, in order to enter...:

1. Please leave a comment about what makes you feel beautiful/how you make yourself feel beautiful on those days you aren't.

2. Tweet about this and attach me to the link- I'm exerciseandeat :)

Good Luck! I will be "closing" the giveaway at Friday at noon est.

Updated to add: the beautiful Jenny of Peanut Butter and Jenny is hosting a giveaway of her on- check her bloggie out and sign up!


  1. i have my 'bad' days too and i actually dont know what gets me out of a slump. but on days when my confidence level is high, I revel in how tall I am and how my body really does look great from any angle....

    p.s. i like J.S.'s new show. I missed last nights episode. such a bummer.

  2. Great post! This is a really important subject and I'm glad people are talking about it!

    I feel beautiful after dancing! Swing dancing, contra dancing, salsa, tango, hip-hop--you name it! Even a zumba class can get me going! If I'm having a bad day or obsessing over my body, shaking my butt almost always makes me feel sexy and glowing!

  3. I feel beautiful after a great workout, and also..whenever I'm with my husband!

  4. Eating healthfully always puts me in a happier mood, which in turn makes me feel more beautiful. It makes me feel good, which translates to confidence!

  5. working out makes me feel beautiful (sweat and all)

  6. I know it's cliche, but being "girly" helps make me feel beautiful. Smelly lotion, new makeup, etc. Most of all I think it's the mood these products put me in. I feel better, therefore I am!

  7. such a great post love!! i love jess simpsons new show!
    makes me feel beautiful-knowing i have the gift of salvation and a creator that loves me unconditionally!

  8. love this.. i watched that episode of Jessica's show at the gym.. ahh it was so sad! I love the concept of her show though and featuring of what other cultures view to be beautiful.. it is mind opening to say the least.

    i feel beautiful after a shower, after I get ready for an evening, when I look back on old photographs of myself enjoying my life with friends and family!

  9. Wow, this was good timing for me to discover your blog. What a great giveaway!

    I feel beautiful when my hubby tells me so or when I get sweet comments on my blog. Yep, I like validation. :) And when I'm not feeling so beautiful, yoga always makes me feel amazing.


    *Sorry, my google account links to my old blog! :)

  10. yoga makes me feel beautiful and leaves me feeling so peaceful...it's the best.

  11. meaningful conversations, exercise, and good hair days (;)) do the trick for me!

  12. Yeah...I'm pretty sure French women dont' subsist on lattes and croissants. I do think they generally have a healthier attitude to eating than other nationalities of women in that you will see them eating "real" food but in moderate and modest quantities.

    Thanks for the great post!

  13. When I'm feeling not so beautiful, a workout definitely turns my attitude around. Also doing something extra just for me, whether that is doing my make up or taking a walk or buying a myself a little gift.

  14. I love Jessica Simpson and yes I agree that the French women can not remain thin eating breads, cheeses and etc unless they are taking small nibbles- that must be the secret lol

    When I'm not feeling my prettiest-taking a nice walk or having an awesome talk with a friend always helps and I remember I have so much beautiful things going on inside as well, which I think make me beautiful.


  15. Oh and I also tweeted about your giveaway as well!


  16. taking a bath makes me feel beautiful. i always feel better naked!

  17. linked back here:

  18. I think everyone has their down days but you just have to pull yourself out of them. Remember, everyone is different and unique and beautiful!

  19. Such a great post. I watched glimpses of the "Price of Beauty" while I was at the gym, I really like the concept of the show. There is always something about each of us that makes us beautiful and special. I feel beautiful when I am laughing and care-free! Sometimes I have my bad days and I try to surround myself with people (boyfriend/momma) who remind that I am beautiful, haha ;)

  20. I wanted to see jess's new show so bad! I heard it was so well done

    what makes me feel beautiful? being STRONG, working out, eating healthy and always trying to stay positive :)

  21. great post! I'll have to be on the lookout for the next showing!

    my Mister makes me feel beautiful ;)

  22. As cliche as it sounds, complimenting someone (their shoes, haircut, etc) always makes me feel beautiful! Thanks for holding the giveaway!

    - Ava

  23. I lived in Paris for 3 years and there is no secret behind the fact that french women are thin, they just eat fewer calories.

    My secret for feeling beautiful is get enough sleep!

  24. Damn it, I NEED VH1! I want to see this show so bad. Have you ever read the book The Beauty Myth? You HAVE too!!

  25. Being an european girl, spending also some time in France and spending also some time in an American family- I can tell you about the "French" secret: We eat a lot - we eat all the cheese, bread, croissants, drink lattes. And we move. But the point about it is:
    1. We cook/bake a lot and we don't buy that much ready made/take away stuff. We do it all by ourselfs.
    2. We don't eat all that stuff in addition to something else - cheese & bread, thats all we have for dinner, with a glas of wine. Or a croissant and coffee, thats breakfast. What I want to say: We don't snack that much/ not at all. Because when u have croissan&coffee for breakfast, salad for lunch and cheese and bread for dinner - thats not so much (in calories)
    3. We move a lot. Of course we go to the gym, do Yoga etc. but we also move much more: We go shopping by bike, we walk our ways much more than the "normal" American does.
    4. We don't think that much about it. Of course we also sometimes think about dieting or doing more sports - but thats not the main point of our lifes. We just enjoy, move and don't think about it.

    At least thats what I and my girlfriends do.

    By the way: I totally agree with your thoughts about Jessica Simpson.

    Greetings from Europe :-)