# exercise # French Weight Loss

French Weight Loss Secrets Part 3- Exercise is a Part of Life (Not a Chore)

Our French Weight Loss Secrets mini-series concludes this week as we discuss chapter 3 of Lessons from Madame Chic, Exercise is a Part of Life, Not a Chore.

When I lived in Paris I exercised every day, not by going to a gym or doing a workout regime, but by living a vibrant, active life.

Here are four thoughts to consider:

Aim to live a more active life every single day. What can you do to incorporate exercise into your life?

Commit to walking every day. Walk the dog. Go on a walk with your family or friends.

Don't let life's conveniences keep you stagnant. Madame Bohemienne didn't have an elevator in her building and she lived several floors up. Challenge yourself to do things the old-fashioned way as much as you can.

You can still look presentable always while being active. Exercise clothes are not necessary. Remember that wearing activewear all day long is a recent thing.

I hope you'll check out today's video to see the conclusion of the series.


I will be traveling to Japan next week with the baby to shoot a television show in Tokyo. I am so excited to visit Japan again! I will definitely vlog my trip as I did last time.

Comment of the Week

Amanda writes:

Bonjour, Jennifer! I have enjoyed reading your blog and your diet tips are wonderful reminders even for us who live in France. I live on the Swiss border and I believe we have the best cheese and chocolate in the world. It's true that no one here deprives themselves and there is no guilt about indulgence. As regards snacking, I meet up with friends several times a week for coffee/tea and no one ever has food with it. When I'm in America it seems like people often have food socially. Here you will not be offered food between meals even if you're at someone's house for hours. Funny, right? Maybe it's a reflection of the people? Americans are friendly and casual with everything food included. French are formal and respectful food included. I love living in France but occasionally our family has an American evening and eats popcorn on the couch while watching a movie. It's ok as long as you're aware of your actions, respect your food and respect yourself. :)

Hello Amanda, I loved hearing about your experience living on the Swiss border. You are so fortunate to live in the land of high quality cheese and chocolate! :) Thank you for sharing your insight with us.

Did you enjoy this series? What are your thoughts? Are there more questions you have? Let me know, and I may address them in a future video.

See you on Monday for a What's In My Fridge? video. Then we are off on our journey to Tokyo!

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Carrie Willard said...

Great post! I am always looking for ways to incorporate more movement (I avoid the word "exercise") into my life. I've learned a lot by reading Katy Bowman's books and blog on this topic. She's a biomechanist who talks a lot about natural movement and how it's missing from our sedentary lifestyle.

Recently I began biking to the WalMart down the street. I love it! I get a few groceries at a time and get to hang out with my teenage son. It energizes me, and I wear my same stylish clothes. And since it's fall, I don't get sweaty. I don't even own "exercise" clothes because I find them ugly and immodest. I hate the "mom uniform" I see around me - sweatpants or yoga pants that are stretched out and thinning in the wrong places, ponytail, sports bras - so not chic!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer, I work in the field of Architecture, in a northen European country & would like to add a small tidbit of info. From aprox the 60-ies building standards require all newly build apartment buildings to have an elevator if there are 4 or more floors (so none needed if only 3). All buildnings built before this time might or might not have an elevator. So all around Europe you can find buldings with many floors & flights of stairs. As a university student I used to live on the 4th floor and I can say moving in and out was just a nightmare! And yes I had to just walk all the way up with my grocheries bags. But even when later living on the 3rd floor with an elevator I always chose the stairs, unless carrying something really heavy, with the thought in my mind that one day, at old age, my legs might perhaps not carry me anymore, and I should ascend to my flat on my own accord for as long as I can. This really came much sooner than I exprected though as I had an accident and injured my knee at age 28. I was disabled for the following 3 or 4 years were I had to move around using cruches. At first the doctors feared I might never be able to walk again but with treatments & physiotherapy during all those years I slowly gained more and more mobility, to the point were I could do without the cruches & walk again on my own feet! I still have some impairements, I can't walk too long a distance (I used to love walking for hours & hours/entire days), and have trouble acending stairs. Decending them is fine regardless of how long thet streach, but only a few upwards. So, remember this. God gave you two marvelous feet to use for walking & transporting yourself. Honor his gift by making use of them, for as long as possible.

Robyn said...

Hi, In the winter I can't walk as much as normal because it is dark or close to it when I get home from work, so to get walks in I follow your suggestion of taking the stairs whenever possible and when I go to a store I park as far as possible from the entrance as I can. It's amazing how much walking you can get in that way. I also practice yoga which does require yoga wear. It's hot yoga so I shower and change as soon as I get home.

Madeleine Lawrence said...

Hi Jennifer,

we live in the age of convenience, and unfortunately this means weight gain for many. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney in the seventies, and the differences between life then and now are striking.

First of all, no one would pay to have their lawn cut or their house cleaned. I lived in a reasonably well-off suburb, and it just wasn't the done thing. Both my parents worked, and on their time off they gardened, mowed the lawn and made the house beautiful. They took a lot of pleasure and pride in this, and no doubt it was great for their health and fitness. I only knew one family with a dishwasher (5 kids and mum worked) but no one regarded it as a hardship to have to wash up. Even the act of washing and drying dishes burns more calories than quickly throwing everything into the dishwasher.

Secondly, we had two cars but there is no way my mother would have jumped in the car to go and buy a carton of milk or some ingredients to bake a cake. She would hand one of us kids cloth shopping bag and sent us to get what was needed!

The third difference is, shops were shut a lot more so there was no temptation to just go and grab a tub of ice cream or some other treat. My parents, although on good incomes, were very careful stewards of their money, no doubt as a result of living through the war, but also they came from an era where you didn't expect to get things instantly. I think the culture has changed a lot, but I also think we can look back and learn from our elders and decide to go against the flow. Just the act of say, baking a batch of scones yourself instead of driving to get icecream will use more energy and in the long run provide more satisfaction.

One final thought, if someone is living in a suburb where it's hard to walk and they are planning a move down the track, maybe they can research the options for a walkable suburb. I think some forward-thinking councils are trying to plan more for this these days, due to the obvious benefits of less traffic, healthier citizens and more community engagement.

Sorry for the long comment, but you've raised such an important and timely topic here!