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Attracted by its amusing title, I picked up French Women Don’t Get Fat from my local library. I suppose my subconscious was drawn to the lean, lithe figures of French women in their 40s and beyond strutting the Champs-Élysées. ‘I want to be like that when I’m 40!’, my inner goddess screamed.

It proved to be an entertaining and mildly helpful read. Interestingly, it seems that my habits are already somewhat similar to those of French women. Like them, I really take pleasure in food and I like to stimulate my taste buds with new types of cuisine. So how do I stay slim? I choose variety but exercise portion control, meaning a bit of everything. While I don’t exercise frequently per se, except for the occasional swim or table-tennis game, like French women I walk everywhere. Leading an active life and having a well-balanced, satisfying diet is the key to health and happiness, the book suggests.

Hopefully, I’ll follow in the footsteps of my petite Chinese mother, who despite having had 4 children still boasts an impressive figure. Furthermore, she looks youthful (at least 10 years younger than her real age) and is energetic, as shown in our shopping trips together (her stamina is incredible!). Her make-up tends to be very natural a la French women. I wish I could develop the certain je ne sais quois French women have, such that I can step out of the door mostly unadorned but still be irresistably beautiful and chic.

Now I’m reading the closely-titled Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat, which packs a double whammy I suppose. Slimming AND anti-aging tips? Now that’s a winner!