Confessions of an Ex-Exerciseaholic

I have a confession…in the 10 months that I have been in France I have worked out one time. This may not mean much to you but in New York I spent a quarter of my life at New York Sports Club. I was….let’s just say a little obsessed with not gaining weight.
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Part of living in Paris is adopting the culture and working out at gyms is just not French.
The French are more interested in champagne, pain chocolate and foie gras than running on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Considering the French look pretty in shape to me I set out on own investigation…an unscientific study of sorts. I decided to indulge in all the amazingly rich foods that I found in France…and worry about any extra pounds when I returned to the States in 2009!

The result? Shockingly enough my weight has stayed the same and all of my clothes still fit. I was discussing the differences in the way Americans and French view fitness and eating with an older French friend. She said that going to the gym is a fairly new phenomenon in France. It is more in the French culture she says to find an activity that gives you pleasure and health benefits…so to the French, walking, riding bikes swimming and, of course, sex are perfect cardiovascular activities. She said she saw an hour in a gym on machines seems more like punishment. Funny thing is, so do I!

So the million dollar question is why pay upwards of $100 to do something you really don’t enjoy? Many of us have subscribed to the belief that the gym is the answer to all of our health needs. Is it more about health or marketing?

-French Kissed

Want to feel like you’re traveling without moving? Read the rest of French Kissed’s experiences here.

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  • L Coe

    I’m with you on that. I spend hours at Gold’s Gym in sheer determination to be healthy. But wouldn’t I enjoy the same benefit of treadmill running by just jogging around the subdivision and with the $40 a month still in my pocket?