12 years ago by

Moving abroad is much more than a new apartment and a new subway card. It’s a total change, a shift of what seems important, a questioning of priorities and this series of small shocks that you can’t really talk about when they come because there’s no perspective. You don’t yet understand them.

The first thing that struck me was the relationship New Yorkers have with their bodies. A few months back, I was laughingly observing it all, and now I’ve almost completely changed my style of life. Here’s why…

Have you ever had lunch with a New Yorker?

Really, it’s not far from an episode of Sex and the City.

Up close too, the girls are perfect head to toe, and all the way to their nails. They’re rosy-cheeked, perfect hair, and their outfits, even if they’re vintage, all seem brand new. And they are really, and I mean really, skinny.

Okay, so I gotta say that when I first arrived in New York, the first people I met all worked in fashion. Then I met lots of other girls and I can say that not ALL New Yorkers are like that. Not all of them.

But the women in fashion in New York, they’re not just skinny. They’re New York skinny. New York skinny means thin to the brink, yet muscly from Pilates because it gives you those super long lean muscles. Anna Wintour style… Muffin top? What’s that mean?

It was cute, at first, to be the only Parisian at a New Yorker lunch.

But now, have you ever had lunch with Parisians? Well all right : Have you ever had lunch with me?

Lunch usually involves a glass a wine, one or two desserts that everyone shares, no need for an appetizer but stuffing your face full of half the bread on the table is kind of totally ok. Finish with a coffee and twelve cigarettes, saying that no, it’s no good, but so much fun.

So it was cute to be the only Parisian at a table of New Yorkers. They would watch me rip another piece of bread off, order a glass of wine and a dessert and ask me what was the secret of those Parisians who stay thin despite such a devastating diet.

And I’d just laugh saying that everyone in NY is just too skinny, that they have to live a little and no, I don’t work out at all cause I have so many other fascinating things to do in my life. Like smoking a few cigarettes, just to name one. And I’m perfectly fine with my little muffin top, thank you. I was perfectly happy that way.

This whole little game went on for a while just like that.

Until, actually, my muffin top took on a mind all its own. I swear, I couldn’t get my skinny jeans to button. There, all of a sudden, I started to shut up. I stopped being smug at lunch. I saw it right there. I gained weight. I  gained weight like I’d never gained weight before.

That’s when I first started to understand some of the many differences between the Parisian and New York diet.

1 / The restaurants : Yes, Parisians will just let it all go ten times more when they go out. But they’re 10 times less likely to go out as well. And in Paris, no take out… You cook. In New York, your social life happens outside the house. You have meals out. The only time I “cooked” since I got to New York, it was to make crepes to show just how French I was.

2 / The portions : Have you ever seen the size of plates in New York? BIG. You understand right away the doggy bag concept that makes everyone laugh in France. Really though, with one plate, you could easily make two real meals out of it. But unfortunately your eyes and body get accustomed so fast to the giant mounds and you find yourself finishing your entire plate without even realizing it.

3 / The dietary norms : So maybe this isn’t something I can speak abut as I don’t know anything about that, but one thing’s for sure, the laws are totally different about things like what growth hormones you can feed beef and chicken to make them grow faster. I don’t know how all this affects our weight, but I don’t see how it could help but get into the milk, eggs and meat. It’s crazy. I was talking with Emily, my Australian friend who just got here to NYC and she also gained 10 pounds just like that (It’s known as the little house warming gift in NYC – Hello! Welcome! Here’s 10 pounds!). Plus here, not only did were we getting fatter – the fat seemed softer. Yeurk.

Here are just a few things that would end up making anybody a little paranoid of food… And end up with extremes… Work out to lose weight – and here, working out is an every day activity, eat less, worry about where your food is coming from, decide to stop eating meat, or gluten, milk, or just all that stuff all together… And become New York skinny.

And then after that, there’s another thing that pushes this weight-loss obsession and that’s social status. “My mom always says, ‘the smaller the dress size, the larger the apartment.” I once read that in the New York Times. It’s funny, but totally baffling, right? Oh New York social status… Just let me digest for a second (ahah) and we’ll get back to it later.

I feel like there wasn’t that same pressure in Paris.

That isn’t to say that Paris is a paradise of health and self-acceptance, but just that it’s less about extremes.

But with me, stuck between the obsession of skinny in New York, my overly relaxed Parisian attitude, and the pounds that keep adding up behind my boastful smile, it was maybe time for me to ask myself questions about my lifestyle… And look at myself in a mirror.

Oh my gaaaaaad. Life’s tough.

To be continued!!! Big hugs!


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  • what a beautiful illistration wow stunning image .. ur brilliant love ur work Garance


  • *Cette illustration est une merveille, véritablement !*
    Amusant cet article du NY Times, pas franchement du même avis mais la citation est plutôt drôle !Si Paris est bien moins sous pression alors ça reste plus agréable non ?! Mais NY reste NY et la magie qui y est aussi …

  • Illustration magnifique et texte plutôt flippant. Pq les filles devraient elles toujours être mince ? Bon courage pour ton questionnement en tout cas…!

  • this is why i prefer Europe any day. bring on wasting away the day at a cafe, smoking and talking and drinking endless coffees… that’s how my paris friends don’t put on weight, there’s never any food!

  • this is an awesome article! i’m originally from Croatia, but have lived in the states for 5 years…. the food and the attitude towards the food is totally different! you wrote it nicely ;)


    Fashion Fractions

  • A really insightful article, without the preach or the incessant need for political correctness that damages all good rants these days! Looking forward to your further musings on the subject.

    Sarah x

  • tres intéressant ton article Garance, mais même à Paris on y vient, le truc c’est que les français sont rebelles il suffit qu’on leur interdise de fumer pour qu’ils fument etc. etc. sinon le culte de la minceur existe aussi ici. Par contre, ce qui est aussi hyper différent c’est la conception du repas parisien qui peu trainer en longueur qui est n vrai acte social, avec les americain que je connais c’est plus un truc à faire pour se nourrir qui doit aller vite et on passe à autre chose

  • Great post. I’ve always felt that way about about “NY Skinny.” Its such an extreme. . . And love that line about apartment size! Its awful but SO true I’m afraid.

  • Mais à quoi ça sert de manger dehors si on doit compter les calories ?
    Rhooo, c’est pas sérieux ça !
    Sinon il paraît que manger seulement quand on a faim, mais alors super faim, ça marche bien pour garder la ligne – ou pour perdre quelques kilos. Evidemment, y a un truc : il faut s’arrêter avant que l’estomac ne soit blindé.
    Ça semble trop beau pour être vrai, non ?

  • Well put and bright with imagery. In loveee.

  • Reste Parisienne mais gare à la viande et produits laitiers…
    On peut être à NYC sans gonfler comme une mongolfiere, mince et en forme c est bien n’y skinny c est un chouille trop skinny


    Et va te régaler chez Caravan dream, mon restau végétarien préfère sur Manhattan

  • ben c’est la meme chose de l’autre cote de la manche, a Londres…

  • Thank you for articulating this! I thought I was losing my mind when I moved to the Village from the West Indies some years ago. Living smack dab in the middle of those Bleeker restaurants… Horrid business for the thighs & waistline! Love the illustration, BTW.

  • How interesting! Thank you for sharing your ideas about this.
    You should see us in Wisconsin :o)
    You would go from delicate to whopping.

  • L’illustr est géniale! Pour Paris, ça dépend dans quel arrondissement tu te trouves. Sur le bord du canal, c’est tout comme tu le racontes mais j’étais en dèj de boulot dans un palace parisien la semaine dernière et les nanas du coin passaient boulotter des assiettes de salade verte comme dèj :-/.
    Quant à l’affaire du statut social, il suffit d’avoir quelques amies rue de passy pour entendre des choses de ce niveau. Il y a 10 ans, la voisine de cousines (alors agées de 12 et 13 ans) expliquait que les plus beaux apparts étaient ceux dont les toilettes sentaient le vomi en leur faisant un clin d’oeil (là, elle les incitait gentiment à devenir boulimique, hein…).

  • Faut trouver le juste milieu là dedans… Profitez de la vie sans se laisser aller complètement. Il y a des règles de bases comme faire 3 repas par jour, ne pas manger entre les repas et réduire le sucre au maximum. Boire beaucoup d’eau. Les régimes en tout genre ça fait grossir en fait. Car on force notre organisme à être en manque et dès qu’on fait un écart il réagit en stockant plus facilement. Les régimes c’est la fausse bonne solution. Manger sainement et de saison et faire un peu de sport c’est la meilleure solution.

    Mais ce que j’observe quand même autour de moi c’est que passer un certain âge les femmes un peu (je dis bien un peu) rondes sont plus pimpantes et jolies que celles qui sont très très minces. Les femmes de 45 ans et + qui sont très très minces font un peu sèches non? Genre Anna Wintur justement. Mis à part Ines de la Fressange… mais bon elle c’est vraiment une exception sous toutes les coutures.

  • Also just moving to a new country is a huge shock to the system. I moved from South Africa to Milan and I have had the opposite change in my body here. I thought I was going to gain so much weight as I eat sooo much pasta and gelato 3 times a week. But I seem to just lose weight or stay the same. Me and my friend from the States discussed this. I think in Europe they put a lot less sugar in things. Also in South Africa I would drive everywhere, here I walk everywhere. I feel lot less stressed about food and diet and exercise here in Italy.

  • omg! i’m so excited for the second part to this! I recently became more aware of what I eat and how to eat better too.. and am trying to make a lifestyle change.. I’d love to hear your story!!.. p.s. it was really hard to give up milk!!!

  • How I understand this all! Although the experience is not pleasant and I am sorry you are dealing with it… I thank you for sharing it here !! I also recently relocated to the States from Berlin, and only a few long stays here before have warned me and took the house warming party gift away from me!
    Still I leave daily with the mistrust of the food on the shelves in the supermarket, packaged and non-packaged!! and not many restaurants options…American food industry is most corrupted, and if you leave New York the evidence is on the great majority of people’s body!
    All best,

  • Hahaha, I LOVE this piece. As a man born and raised in New York, I feel like I’ve developed a taste to most things European and that includes topics like this and how much I despise “New York skinny” women. I’m absolutely sure there’s is a way to balance eating what you like/love and still working out to remain in shape…..but not skinny where you look malnourished. For men it’s nearly a double standard but there’s even a segment of men who subscribe to NY Skinny as well.

    My only advice is eat smaller portions of what you normally eat (or find eateries who serve smaller portions) and continue the yoga/jogging/however you like to work out….but then again, what do I know, I’m a slender man myself but don’t exercise. Stay beautiful Garance!



  • Some powerful observations!
    I really hope you find a happy medium between the 2 extremes.

    I remember the MASSIVE portion sizes from last visit to NY 13 yrs ago – they haven’t shrunk any then? We were 4 and ordered 4 separate dishes. When the waiter came with the first 2, we thought oh how thoughtful they made it so we can ALL share…..then the other 2 orders arrived LOL!

    I totally agree with you about the food additives. As I am responsible for 3 small persons as well as myself, I have been using organic products where possible. I do believe it helps.

    Also, I’m afraid I will have to mention that a person’s metabolism slows down with the advancing years – it’s something that happens so don’t beat yourself up about it!
    I loved reading this and can’t wait for the next part!

  • Great post Garance!

    I have just moved to Italy and my main activity there is to avoid eating too much pasta!
    Whereas in Belgium I was eating pasta twice a month here it’s every week 3-4 time per week, so if I want to see the end of a meal without feeling like I am going to explode I have to find subterfuges ;)

    Diary Of a Fashion Stylist…

  • Interesting post. I love nyc and the food is great (especially for vegetarians) – But the portions and also class associated with being skinny is creepy. I felt it when I was shopping in the fancy departmen stores – they can tell I’m not local only by my size.. I’m a 2-4.. not the -1 all the rich girlies seem to be.

  • I love this post. I’m an american living in Spain though right now I’m spending the month in nyc, and I totally see this. In spain I feel like most food is fried, and then fried again, but the truth is what you say about the french, they just don’t eat out that often. And now after being in nyc for just 2 weeks (and eating my way through every neighborhood like there’s no tomorrow), it looks like I’ll be taking back a souvenir on my thighs too! Kind of worth it because everything is so delicious and for me at least, it’s only temporary… Great post!

  • Smiling but oh so true – we used to call them social x-rays growing up and snigger in our pre-pubescent bodies that ate chips – imagine! But seriously – the shit in the food – not clever – vegan over night … looking forward to post 2 x

  • I acutally had a similar experience when I lived in Austrlia for a few months. My hostfamily cooked every day from scrach. Normal healthy food. But just like that, despite 40°C in the shadow and no Swiss chocolate around, I gained 5 kilos… The only real difference in my diet that I could discover was that dinner was often prepared in advance and then everyone could heat it up in the microwave (which I never do at home). Luckily, as soon as I was home I shed the extra weight again…
    I’m sure you’ll fine your NY balance soon!

  • J’ai eu la même impression, qu’à NY les gens cuisinent beaucoup moins à la maison et vont plus au restaurant ! En tout cas je pense que toutes tes explications sur la prise de poids sont justes (les portions, la composition de la nourriture) en revanche le culte de la maigreur est malheureusement aussi fort chez nous et dans beaucoup de pays aussi..Cela dit ils ont peut être plus “le culte du sport” que nous ? Ici on aime être mince mais c’est pas pour autant qu’on est très sportifs.

  • Je vis la meme chose mais a Londres bon ok c’est temporaire (3 mois ) je rentre a Paris en septembre mais c’est hard question nourriture a chaque coin de rue un café , un resto , un snak … je suis entrain de faire une liste de quoi rapporter de Londres et je me rend compte que c’est surtout question de bouffe … j’ai dus rester vigilante sur se que je manger et surtout faire du sport tout les jours

  • here here! I gained about 3kg (but probably equiv 5kg of fat) when I moved from Sydney to NYC.. It’s the lifestyle of eating, drinking. And if you’re working really hard you don’t have time to exercise… The clothes still fit me, I was just a tiny bit bigger, and very very very unfit! It just took me a whole year to shape up, and permanently lose it!

    But oddly enough today my darling secretary who lived in France for 3 years told me French women make sure they don’t overeat! EG big lunch, tiny dinner.. !!

  • Well, I have to say I didn’t realize that difference about food, saw many skinny girls eating only salads both in NYC and in Paris. But you’re right about what and how New Yorker wear: they can use vintage clothes in a wonderful way so that they look like new. And also yes, have perfect nails!

  • Agreed! Great read :)

  • … bien vu …

  • Ton post c’est si interessant, et c’est bien que vous avez réalisé des problèmes avec l’alimentation nord américain. C’est non seulement les hormones qui rentent dans la nourriture, mais des ingrédients sont différents. Surtout le sucre, habituellement remplacé avec “high fructose corn syrup,” un veritable poison. Aussi le “palm oil” etc… Beaucoup des producteurs veulent seulement le profit et ne sont pas intéressés de la qualité.

    Anyways, désolée de ma mauvaise Français, mais il y a environs cinq ans que je sors de l’école!

  • La nourriture est aussi beaucoup plus sucré surtout leur pain. Même mon frère qui est un adepte de la junk food n’a pas supporté. Courage mais ne devient pas comme elles.

  • J’ai connu la même chose en vivant à New York 8 mois. Je passais mon temps à sortir, au resto vu qu’a New York on ne cuisine quasiment jamais! (j’avais même visiter un appartement sans cuisine!! sans rire!)
    Depuis que je suis rentrée à Paris, j’apprécie beaucoup plus faire des diner chez moi et chez des amis, ça à son charme qu’on ne trouve pas toujours au resto.

    Bon courage, le dilemme n’est pas évident! Il faut essayer de trouver un équilibre, être raisonnable ( mais c’est chiant!), ou trouver un cours de sport avec des copines, ça motive pour y aller…

    J’ai le même problème j’ai toujours 10 000 choses plus intéressantes et plus importantes que d’aller faire du sport, mon mec, un dingue de sport, ne sais plus quoi faire de moi lol!

    Good Luck!

  • Do these New Yorkers have tv or newspapers? Maybe they should take a look and see what REAL problems exist in the world…watching news nowadays show us poor, hungry people in Africa for example. Of course we cannot compare our lifestyle to their life, but we should never forget that food is something special and as long as we eat healthy food and try to live healthy everything should be okay. We sould be thankful for that.

  • such an interesting post..and the illustration is really beautiful!

  • I love this post. I am very interested in the way food is produced, and, for the past month, I’ve tried to cut out as much meat and dairy as possible. It’s really scary the more you look into it all. I hope NY treats you well otherwise. The States are lucky to have such an amazing woman living here!


  • Being skinny is really tough, no matter where you live nowadays. I actually signed a holistic nutrition education just to figure it out and here are the results:
    95% of all diets fail, so there is no need to start one;
    the growth hormones in the animal products like meat, dairy, etc all truely there and they make you fat;
    the trans fats present in almost every store bought meal make you fat too;
    exercise is not enough to be skinny, diet is the only key (being fit is a whole new thing);
    etc. etc…

    As a start, you can try to read more on the subject, limit animal products (and I don’t mean only meat, dairy too), stop all the whites (white bread, sugar, salt) and replace them with wholewheat alternatives and alltogether try to eat more natural diet – vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds :)))

    Sorry, it’s hard, I know.

  • Thank you so much for so eloquently illustrating this point. Americans go to Paris and eat as much as we want, yet gain nothing, that same behavior here lands you in elastic waist pants! Is it the walking? Although it seems the average urbanite walks quite a bit, at least that is true here in Chicago. Maybe you are on to something with the hormones and what not in our food…..I just don’t want to join the legions of no meat, no gluten, no fun eating people. However if American clothing companys keep ‘sizing up’, (my weight has been the same for 10 years yet I have gone from a 4 to a 00) we can all just
    keep eating away:)
    Thank you for your blog, it brightens my every day!

  • Too much pressure! i could never live like that! But for me moving abroad has also made me gained some kilos, and i haven’t even left europe!


  • I feel the same way about NY Skinny vs Italy Skinny. It’s just a completely different way of life and a completely different approach to aesthetics & extremes. I’ve been in NY for a few years, and I hope I never start thinking that I have to be NY Skinny.

  • amazing illustration:) love your works always , u got talent:)

  • Oooohh! Garance, thank you for this post. It is so nice to understand that it is not just me but the country!
    3 years in USA = 20 pounds
    And I still can’t get reed of them. All the three points that you talk about are true! The differnces in meals between US and France are tottaly the same as US/Russia.

    I do understand you so well.
    Please write again…

  • Salut Garance!
    Je suis totalement d’accord avec toi. I’m from Colombia and we eat three very substantial meals over there and I never felt that I had to keep an eye on my weight.
    Here I eat much less but I have to constantly make sure I don’t go over on some things.
    The worst part of it is that you start believing on being that skinny that you become obsessed with food but more as a repression than as a foodie.
    Can’t wait for your next post on this.
    Love your illustration!

  • Tout ça pour nous préparer à ne pas te voir en photo avec le beau maillot de bain créé par ton amie Lisa Marie!

  • Je me demande si la situation serait similaire au nord du 49e ( surtout la portion francophone ;) Les portions reste généreuses, mais je crois pas trop m’avancer en disant que la qualité de la préparation et des aliments est sans doute moins dommageable pour la santé et que ici on est un bon compromis entre les standards européens et newyorkais…Bon la poutine ça compte pas par exemple !!

    À quand une visite?!

  • It’s all sooooo true! I’m a nutritionist who goes back and forth from France to the US [read: OCD about diet]. In France, at first I am always amazed/envious of how free and happy French women are around food and they are gorgeous and thin. But, I really do think it is hormones and crap we put in all our food to make it cheap but also in the water! They have found traces of birth control in our tap water even! In the US, I have to work hard to stay thin. France is the only place I get drink copious amounts of wine and have cheese and then desert and not gain weight! (We also put a lot more crap in our wine- ugh).

    So, good luck with it all!! And going gluten free really, really helps!!

  • Hé bien courage pour ta bataille…

    Après, en effet, l’argument que je retiens en observant la bouffe à NYC, c’est purement un problème de normes alimentaires car nos produits sont plus “naturels” en Europe… Quant à prendre ses repas hors de chez soi, il en va de même à Paris je pense, donc il faut savoir alterner… Une amie dir com d’un palace parisien alterne repas gastronomiques avec les journalistes au restaurant et bouillon léger à la maison pour garder un équilibre…

  • Je suis a new york depuis une semaine et je vais de découverte en découverte comme par exemple les gauffres beurre sirop d’érable comme accompagnement de plat… En france, ca se joue entre haricots verts, riz ou frites pour accompagner une viande ici il y a aussi gauffre !?!
    Ecoeurant ! Je suis mannequin et les 10 pounds welcome me guette !!!

  • As much as I love your blog…reading it reminding me of an episode I just had with a french girl while a cooking class. Is it typical for all french to ALWAYS compare themselves to others? and find differences to make you look LOOK???

    I don’t get it. Not all French are like you or all NY girls are skinny, maybe the ones you hang out with ’cause as you say they’re obssed with fashion and yet, this is ANOTHER country.

    The french girl in the cooking class was so annoying asking questions like, do you guys eat ribs everyday? (mmmmm) how can you eat bacon with the fat??
    Yikes, that’s too much fat! (just ’cause we’re not using a fancy french cheese, where really ALL cheese have FAT.

    I don’t find the purpose of comparing to critize…

  • Oh my God! i love it! i think ur work is very good i’m in love with ur art<3

  • J ai déménage a Boston l an passe et c est exactement pareil! Je suis devenue obsédée par les origines des aliments … Je n achete que du organic … Et j ai aussi pris 5 kg malgré le sport ;-)

  • it’s true though, if you move to america, you’ll gain at least 10 pounds in a month! it happened to me too and it’s ridiculous. I lost all the weight when i moved back. It’s all the hormones they fed the beef, chicken etc. So just buy organic. Organic everything!

  • I completely agree with you, being a New Yorker (of 12 years) and now living in Paris (for 2). I dare not call myself a Parisian ;) Since I moved to Paris I cannot seem to gain weight (true, no matter how many croissants I eat) while in NYC the air seems to make you gain weight (not really true, but it feels that way). YES to the huge portions and everyone constantly on a diet and obsessed with what they eat. YES to eating most meals out, or eating take out, a tough adjustment for a NYer in Paris. (There’s a whole new world of cooking!) Don’t forget the cocktails after dinner… And YES to NY girls being too skinny, though I find Parisian’s very skinny too (it’s those cigarettes isn’t it?)

    Bon courage!

  • Oh, how true! Moving countries has a huge impact on your body. I must agree with this, since I’ve lived in 3 different countries so far and each and every time, my body is in a state of confusion over my new eating habits so I have to be careful because I love delicious food. When I first moved to France, I couldn’t understand this “excessive” bread culture in particular, washed down with tap water, even in restaurants. I love bread myself but you surely champion it!

  • I really like the drawing. You describe very well the different behaviours in Paris & NYC, & why NY skinny is not Paris skinny: dining out / social status…
    Having said that, I agree: too skinny is ugly.

  • This is such a thought provoking piece, there really is such an extreme difference between the two lifestyles.

  • I love this entry!!

  • I’m reading the book, Entre Nous, at the moment and this is the exact topic I’m on! I must say another big difference I noticed between US and France… the walking. I may have only worked out once during the week or more I was there, but I definitely got my exercise from walking everywhere! and uphill! My souvenir from Paris/Lyon… toned calves. It was fabulous.

  • Si astute et drole! J’adore vos illustrations, aussi–vraiment vous etes trop douee.

  • Yep Garance welcome to NYC. Et effectivement cela touche tout le monde justement parce que la qualité de ce que tu manges, les portions et tout ce dont tu parles sont différentes de la France.
    But, but i would definitely say that yes, in Europe we have better and higher consumer protection standards. Je parle en anglais… :-) non vraiment les lois européennes sont bien bien plus strictes qu’aux Etats-Unis…
    Et je ne ta parle même pas de l’éducation des Européens. Demande un peu à une New Yorkaise quand est la saison des raisins et d’où viennent les mangues qu’elle achète.
    Dnfin, tout ça pour dire que moi après 6 mois, j’étais une abonnée de Gourmet Garage (et de leur peanut butter chocolate chips cholesterol free cookies :-) ) et de Dean and Deluca… bisous et bon courage à NYC!

  • As a Kansian who has moved to Paris back in 2007 I have gained more weight then I did in the US. The food just doesn’t process the same for me. It’s difficult to keep my weight in check here vs how it was in the states.
    But the reason for this isn’t so bad. It’s just that the food is so much better. The tastes great. I don’t really eat more then I did in the states. I think it’s cause the food is so much more rich than I’m used to. (ex. butter, more olive oil, cream, etc.)

  • Ah! So true! When I moved to Paris I LOST 10 lbs even though I ate tons of cheese and drank wine every night. Though I did feel way more pressure in Paris to be supermodel thin – like Natasha Poly thin.

  • Moi aussi je viens d’arriver à NY et je trouve tes observations très justes. En un mois, je n’ai cuisiné que pour faire des crêpes (!) et des pâtes. Et je mange dehors tout le temps donc, ou takeaway. Le plus drôle c’est que j’ai une cuisine super bien équipée dans mon appart, mais il y a tellement d’options pour manger dehors, c’est trop tentant. Et oui, les portions sont plus importantes mais aussi, je pense qu’ils cuisinent moins sain. Par exemple, en Australie, je prenais toujours des oeufs pochés, tu en trouvais sur tous les menus, ici c’est oeufs sur le plat ou brouillés (et donc avec bcp de crème !). Tout est un peu plus gras/sucré je pense. En bref, il faut vraiment faire attention et s’auto-discipliner, mais c’est dur !

  • super post ! et magnifique illustration ! le plus dingue pour moi est que ce que tu racontes est arrivé exactement de la même manière à ma meilleure amie quand elle est arrivée à NYC pour y vivre… mais alors exactement : après avoir pris les 5 kg règlementaires, avoir fait une déprime, avoir changé ses habitudes, elle qui était une bonne vivante (on dit aussi une parisienne non ?!) est désormais ultra mince, comme elle ne l’avait jamais été auparavant… bref flippant que ce schéma soit si systématique !

  • Cet article est vraiment tres interessant. Je viens de vivre un an en echange universitaire aux US, et cest pareil pour moi: des kilos en plus; et les raisons sont presque les memes. Primo: le restaurant universitaire, tout a volonte… et puis viens, les restaurants qui sont vraiment moins chers qu’en France, donc on se lache… Les proportions sont ENORMES mais on s’y habitue…
    La seule solution est d’eviter les restos ou de prendre le menu enfant haha! Mais bon, j’imagine qu’a NYC, c’est une toute autre histoire, vu que tout le monde mange dehors.
    Au final, je pense que c’est un probleme americain car ils n’aiment pas cuisiner (faineantise ?). Conclusion, faire attention a ceux qu’on commande et achete et malheureusement reduire sa frequentation aux restaurants!

  • Condoning smoking as an activity isn’t the best strategy…… the fact, things ARE changing in Paris. The on-the-go lifestyle is more prevalent than ever and that includes take-out. People are cooking at home less and when they are preparing food at home, chances are it’s from Picard or the frozen food section of Carrefour or Franprix. Women are just as obsessed with their weight in Paris – hence the diet coke, cigarette and fromage blanc diet – they’re just more discreet about it than New Yorkers.

  • C’est très intéressant, et un peu fou. Quand même. Moi qui trouve que déjà les Parisiennes sont des obsédées de l’apparence totally under control… C’est plus relax en Suisse, et les minettes ne sont pas rondes pour autant. Relax attitude, I do prefer! :))

  • ça me rappelle des souvenirs…

    Mes beaux-parents nous ont emmenés 5 (trop courts) jours à NY. Effectivement, chaque commande de plat voyait des tas d’yeux ronds s’ouvrir!
    “ça? une assiette? mais c’est pour combien????”
    on ne s’en est sorti qu’en commandant des appetizers ou en ne mangeant que deux fois (matin et 16h)…

  • This is so interesting! I would love to hear more. I am one of those workout-obsessed Americans but I eat more like a Parisian! I believe in healthy, good food in moderation. I love a glass of wine with my meals and don’t you dare hide the bread basket!

  • i love the artwork! I hope you’ll doing well in a new place :)

  • This struck me as hilarious, because I wrote an article that was almost the exact opposite when I moved to New York from Florida. I LOST 10 pounds when I got here, and not because I go to the gym. (At all.) While New York is still America, the American South is so much more extreme, and the lifestyle in New York is overall a ton healthier for me with the walking culture here. New York might be my Paris. Thanks for keeping things in perspective.

  • Keep preparing your meals at home. Start inviting your friends over so that they’ll prefer having wine over your table instead of eating out!

  • J’ai eu droit à mes kilos de bienvenue aussi, au Portugal, moi! Pas de problème de nourriture malsaine aux hormones ou autres, simplement des portions gigantesques dont on ne mange que la moitié en emmenant l’autre à la maison au début, et qu’on finit par engloutir.
    Alors j’ai fait le premier régime de ma vie et j’ai perdu très facilement les 4 kilos que j’avais pris + 6 autres, 10 kilos envolés en un mois et demi. Et j’étais sur ma lancée pour retrouver le 36 de mes 18 ans pour 1m73 quand un jour mon fiancé me dit stop, arrête de maigrir. Parce-que retrouver une alimentation saine et équilibrée et faire un peu de sport pour avoir un joli corps équilibré entre muscles, rondeurs et minceur, c’est très bien, devenir une maigrichonne control freak et obsédée, pas question! C’est tout simplement anti-sexy, mais quand on a les moyens, ce qui est difficile, finalement, c’est d’arrêter de maigrir et de garder ces quelques rondeurs qui font que les hommes se retournent sur ton passage et louchent sur ton décolleté!

  • I’m a Euro living in NYC, too, and there definitely is a huge difference in how food (and bodies) is seen over here. Coincidentally, I’m currently reading ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver at the moment which let’s me start to understand how food is even produced here. The tone can be somewhat annoying but it’s well worth the read!

  • Your thoughts are so interesting to me because when I, an American, moved from Seattle to Paris I thought the same thing, but in reverse. In my mind, Paris was the culprit who forced me to gain 10 pounds.

    While living in Seattle I never (ever), had to think too much about food dos and don’ts or staying in shape. Skinny came quite easily. Don’t eat too many bad things (just because fast food and candy are there doesn’t mean you have to eat them, etc.) and get in some exercise in the form of play (bike riding, tennis, etc.).

    As for portions, you’re right, they’re big. But the immediate thing that I learned growing up was to immediately divide the food in half and assume that the other portion will be used for the next day’s lunch. All American females that I know do likewise.

    Paris though. You guys aren’t only skinny, you also have slender bones and the most intimidating arms I’ve ever seen. The French don’t even gain weight in the same way, if my hypothesis is correct. Countless times I’ve seen French ladies who are chubby only in the stomach. That’s it. The arms and legs are still birdlike and most months it’s easy to conceal that by putting on a nice scarf or coat, leaving the perfectly healthy foreigner to feel obese. Seriously though, sometimes I catch myself walking behind someone and wonder how their tiny stick-like legs can possible support them. I make sure to stay close in the case that if their bones snap or break then I’ll be able to catch them.

    Going out to eat, you say, isn’t a regular thing? I, an editor, work at home and get to avoid this daily ritual; however, my husband and our circle of friends, all different ethnicities and work environments, complain that it’s impossible to keep up with the French and their desire to go out to a restaurant every single work day.

    All this is to say that when I moved to France four years ago and adopted the culture’s eating habits, I found myself weighing more than I ever had in my life and had to fight furiously to lose it again, bringing me to believe that with each countries’ eating habits comes the know-how to combat it to maintain a reasonable weight. I lost in France because I didn’t have your upbringing to combat butter, bread and cheese. You lose in New York because you were taught to finish everything on your plate. Apparently we only win if we stay put or adapt again, and then again.

    Good luck!

  • Super post Garance! je trouve ton analyse hyper intéressante, je ne suis pas très surprise par ce que tu écris concernant les aspects extrêmes de la vie New yorkaise … disons que j’en aperçois quelques élements à chaque fois que je vais à New york. Quand on part à Nyc pour les vacances se faire servir d’énormes assiettes c’est marrant … parce que c’est les vacances et qu’on se lâche, mais après “aîe!”, les kilos arrivent insidieusement … .

    Pourquoi les New YORKAIS passent leur temps dehors? J’ai l’impression que c’est lié à cette obssession de leur apparence, non? Faire AUTANT d’efforts pour être beau et parfait, pour ne pas être vu, c’est bête … Je ne vis pas à NYC, donc je suis mal placée pour savoir, je me pose juste des questions :)

    En tout cas je serai curieuse de lire un jour un post concernant le statut social, ça aussi, ce doit être intéressant:)

    Merci pour ce post!

  • Francaise a New York depuis 2 mois, je ressens cette meme impression des “extremes”!

    Heureusement, notre “French DNA” nous rappele toujours a l’ordre et nous inscite a se faire plaisir, rire et vivre… meme au pays des “NY skinny”!

    Coco (

  • P.S/ Ton illustration est juste géniale:)

  • Good read! This sounds very stressful. I live in Zurich, and I’m going to spend the next couple of months in England. Change of country often means change of food and lifestyle which often results in bodily changes as well. But why do they put so much food on the plates, when the people can’t /don’t finish it anyway?

  • Dear Garance, I might even go so far to say there’s a difference between Uptown Skinny and Downtown Skinny here in New York. I had to go to Iowa a few years ago to edit a magazine for plus-size women and the further I got from NY, the larger and happier the people! As I got closer to NY, they got skinnier and angrier – probably because they were hungry! By no means am I any kind of skinny, but I do find that a lot of very thin people are so obsessed about their weight that they no longer get any pleasure from eating – they don’t taste the food, appreciate the flavors and textures. And what fun is that?

    Any time you want to get together for a lunch of Sancerre and steak sandwiches with frites at Pastis, just say the word! D’accord!

  • not to make you or anyone unhappy, but apart from hormone-ridden food and huge portions and less walking there is another factor to reckon with: AGE… once you get to the other half of 30, things start to add up and slow down…

  • so true Garance~!

  • I sooooo understand!

    Let me tell you that some things are just typical NY or American (e.g. growth hormones for meat) but the majority of them are typical of just one thing: moving to another country. Period.

    Two years ago I moved from Italy to Belgium (in Flanders) and I gained 10 kilos without even noticing.

    How could that be so easy? Simple: they use butter to cook instead of the olive oil I was used to, the portions are HUGE, the food is greasier as the weather is colder and the only occasion to meet my friends was to go out and have beers (!).

    So basically what changed were all my habits, in a way that I couldn’t notice in the beginning but that slapped me in the face once I got myself on the scale, alarmed by my favorite trousers that didn’t fit anymore.

    Now I sport more and I got back to my Mediterranean kitchen (not 100% easy because I don’t find all the ingredients I want, but feasible), I drink a glass or two of wine a week and I eliminated beers: I still go out but they get beer and I get diet cokes :-P

    So I think you shouldn’t be alarmed, I think it happens to all the people that move in another country and have to get used to the new lifestyle.

    As for the extremes… I agree with you, it can be annoying… But every time you think that you would like to scream for the frustration and the constant effort in adapting to your new environment look around you and notice once again that you live in one of the coolest and most beautiful cities of the world ;-)

    (and oh, I’d so like to read more of these strories, I feel for them! :D)

    A kiss


    -The Red Dot-

  • I am from Asia and visited Manhattan for 3 weeks. My stomach literally expanded. Back in Asia, I am an avid fan of pilates, yoga, kickboxing, the treadmill…. but I was thinking, what the heck, I will just gorge myself on the food in Manhattan. I let go and I enjoyed it. I felt my muscles turn wobbly and I couldn’t fit into my normal jeans size in the fitting room. It felt ok.

    Cos those croissants at City Bakery and the burgers at Shake Shack burgers were pretty darn worth it. Besides, I was walking more than six hours a day when I was exploring the city.

    Well, I am back home now. I miss the butter and grease but I would say it still felt like home back in the gym.

  • GREAT ARTICLE! You sound so fabulous as you describe yourself eating like a Parisian amongst New Yorkers, with your cigarettes, bread, and multiple desserts! I love it, but I’m sad that you can’t keep up your Parisian lifestlye in NYC! I just came from there, and each time I go- I go on a crazy food spree trying different bakeries, street food, ice cream, etc. but i feel that I don’t gain the weight (and the proof is in the scale when I got home that I didn’t) because I walk around just so damn much! Then again, we were there for travel and not living there- so maybe normally you (New Yorkers in general) don’t walk around just as much? :/ Maybe just walk like a tourist lol or just more to balance your intake? Good luck- I hope you can continue to order desserts!

  • ha–I must have been born French and whisked away at birth. Women who live life sensually with a piece of bread and glass of wine now and then are more attractive than grizzled, rigid women. I had a model boyfriend once–it was like sleeping with a bicycle.

    You are thin and look amazing in your clothing (including short shorts!) but more importantly insanely attractive and full of LIFE (not to mention extraordinary talent, humor and cheer) so please don’t change. You and your beaux are what got me excited about fashion again. Please don’t become another NY fashion magazine. I gave up on those.

  • I looove this post! Being a brazilian, it was interesting to learn how differently americans relate to food when I lived there for an year. The large meals impressed me!! In time, we learned how to deal with this. I would go to a restaurant with my family (husband and two children – 7 and 13yrs) and we would ask just one or two entrées and a kids meal. The waiter would look at us as if he was seeing aliens, but I just got used to it. And there were always leftovers!
    I also came to realize that line about the dress size (and I lived in Kentucky, not NY)!

  • firstly i must say (once again) i love your chronicles. i love your french relaxed way to send the message.

    about the subject, well i don’t have the paris/ny experience, but i have the lisbon/london one and i can assure you that in london i used to be fatter (and swollen). gosh, i couldn’t control it at all. used to eat much less though with weird results. on my holidays back home i would eat 3 times more though a few less pounds on my way back to britain.

    now that i’m back home, my old diet routine is back too with real real real organic tomatoes, every kind of tasteful fruits and fresh fish… like in paris, we cook, we bake and we have friends over for long long dinners (even if the house is tinny).

  • Loved the article! I think as Americans we are far to obsessed with skinny, skinny. Being healthy is far more important. Not everyone can be skinny, skinny and need to be happy with who they are. Life is short and should be enjoyed!

  • It doesn’t matter if you’re in New York or California, typically moving to the US you gain weight no matter where you go!

    But don’t blame the eggs and the meat… in fact, have you heard of the Dukan Diet? It’s how Katie lost so much weight for her wedding…

  • Ben moi, je suis rondelette et je ne pense pas “crever de faim” pour faire comme les autres et être maigrichonne parce que c’est la mode … !! Je suis type méditérranéen, difficle de lutter contre mes hanches et autres … Je trouve que c’est débile de ne pas manger tout ça pour être androgyne !! Désolée mais avez-vous remarquer qu’une femme bien dans sa peau, avec ses petits kilos en plus est bien plus rigolote et est toujours d’humeur plaisante contrairement à celle qui s’oblige tout le temps au contrôle !! Je ne veux pas dire par là qu’on doive succomber aux excès mais bon pas la peine non plus de “crever la dalle” … Et honnêtement, une femme “bien foutue” est bien plus attirante qu’une maigrelette … bien sûr il faut peut être avoir des jambes de rêve et être hyper élancée pour qu’à la rigueur ça puisse plaire … Enfin, c’est mon point de vue … Je continuerai maintenant en été à petit-déj une bière avec un énorme sandwich voir un 2ème si j’ai trop faim, tout en rigolant avec mes copains … Le ventre creux me rend d’ailleurs de “mauvais poil” ;;))

  • NY women are so neurotic, as was I when I was there in the fashion industry. I really thought if I was thin, men and women would like me better, when in reality, when I like me better, and have fun, so do others.

    Those thin women are usually not very nice, and you know why? They are hungry.

  • This is so true! I just moved back to Manhattan a month ago and my muffin top has grown too hahaha…the trick is…walk, walk, walk!!


  • Moi aussi j’ai eu mes 5 kilos “réglementaires” en déménageant à l’étranger suivi de OMG, diète, changement de vie, ‘toussa’ même si j’ai toujours vécu en Europe. J’ai l’impression que le “choc” culturel laisse des traces même dans des pays réputés pour la qualité des produits.

    Mais il y a un truc aux US qui fait pas envie, des extrêmes tellement clean, tellement PC, on boit pas, on fume pas, on se lâche pas, qu’est-ce qu’ils feront quand ils seront des petits vieux bien sous tous rapports?

  • I really like this post. Garance I feel for you. I have never been to NY and I am. From Angola a very diffent culture, but I have been in Paris for long periods of time.
    However I come from a very diffent culture so that is all a bit foreign to me but I understand what you are saying.
    The post is funny, there is good touch of humor and lost of good taste, it is well written and I really enjoyed reading it.
    I love the illustration, so cool, so you.

  • Flippant en effet ! 5 kg sans s’en apercevoir ?? Si un jour je vais là bas : organic shop, only organic shop !
    Rien qu’à voir les cafés au starbuckcafé à Paris on prend des kilos : des tonnes de crème fraiche et de sucre dedant !

  • How funny is this post?! Well you are right about one thing, the fashion crowd in NYC definitely IS laughable at how they treat food. I feel like I may be ostracized for having a bagel (or anything with bread)!

    Although its interesting to hear you have gained weight…when I moved here I lost weight! After the constant running around , I was just always on my feet walking in addition to when I actually worked out. I lost 5 pounds here, but I lost 15 living in France…and I did it by running a lot and eating bread, cheese, and yummies and drinking LOTS of good red wine. The food in France is definitely more natural and that makes a difference. Since I’m American (and from the South no less where everything is sugary and buttery and fattening) I think it was an easier transition to come here and actually lose weight.

    You just have to do everything in moderation. It’s just as bad to look at food as your enemy and only eat a cube of cheese all day as it is to gorge yourself on it in gluttony. Both are unhealthy. Good luck haha ;)

  • I completely agree about the growth hormones. Have you ever seen a Purdue chicken drumstick at the grocery store? I often do a double-take, they are almost as large as turkey legs. That can’t possibly be natural.

    All the walking around should offset some of the pounds, though. I grew up in NYC, I had a cousin from the west coast who came to live with us for a few months and she lost a ton of weight because instead of driving everywhere like you do in LA she had to walk everywhere.

    I hope the body issues don’t consume you. I think the Parisian “joie de vivre” (even if the carefree aspect of it might be contrived) is still a much healthier attitude than the relentless pursuit of perfection (impossible without extreme measures?) in the US.

  • Je suis allée à New York en avril et c’est vrai que l’hygiène alimentaire des new yorker est particulière, pas comme ailleurs dans le pays (je suis allée dans l’ouest aussi). Là-bas, ils mangeaient plûtot burgers, hots dogs … alors que les new yorkais mangent bio, font beaucoup de sport … J’ai beaucoup aimé leur hygiène de vie, même si c’est un peu extrême parfois !

  • C’est marrant, ton effet New York, moi c’est Paris qui me le donne, je suis Bruxelloise…
    Je me sens toujours mal degrossie dans votre capitale. Je suis une grande blonde mince mais avec des hanches et ne porte donc pas de slim.
    Mes fringues ne sont pas toujours neuves neuves et face à la parisienne (cure dent brun à frange sans hanches nerveux et à la simplicité vestimentaire trop étudiée) je me sens extra-terrestre…

  • You nailed it for me! Especially 1 and 2!

    Moving to Canada 11 years ago, I used to saw wow seeing the portions of the plate they feed people here… I could never finish a big honking burger or a big plate of pasta. I always tell people that the “child size” drink here used to be considered a medium drink in Asia. And then I got so used to the whole “supersized” meal and appies, entree and then dessert. Of course now I too, have a muffin top, where else would all those supersized food go? I secretly wish it would go on my… pardon me… T&A but it just won’t! LOL.

  • Oh Garance, it is TRUE! I gained so much weight in the States – from the huge portions, the little movement, the yummy yummy (junk) food… until I went to San Francisco where I did nothing but cycle (up and down theses steep hills), went to the gym all day and to (no smoking, non-alcohol!) dance clubs at night and only ate organic, macrobiotic food – because that’s what EVERYONE does in California – and where I got San Francisco skinny… which sounds very much like NY skinny.

  • P.S. I’m back in London and back to normal now :)

  • Garance, this is such an acute observation!!!
    I feel 5 pounds over weight in NYC, fat in LA ( even worth than nyc!) and skinny normal in Paris!!!
    As for the gaining weight in NYC: it’s too easy! So you have to watch out what you eat and exercice ( yuck).
    and yes, there is a social stigma associated with weight.
    Very interesting.

  • Quelques ruses d’une française pour rester mince :

    J’ai été maigre à une époque , sans joie de vivre et sans libido ;-(

    Mince c’est bien, ronde aussi… le tout étant de garder une peau tonique, un beau sourire, le regard pétillant …

    et d’avoir du DESIR !

  • P.P.S. Beautiful illustration. How could I forget to say that?!

  • Pfffff que dire? comment réagir…
    Je crois bien que je suis un peu outrée ou non disons plutôt que tout ça me gonfle… Franchement Garance ne rentres pas dans ce jeu là. Ne te poses pas trop de questions. C’est tellement plus agréable ! Garde ” ta cool attitude de parisienne” comme tu le dis si bien!
    Une fille fraîche, pétillante et avec des formes est tant plus cool à côtoyer, qu’une pauvre fille rachitique qui a perdu en même temps que son appétit sa joie de vivre!
    Je me permets de juger car pendant plus de 4 ans j’ai souffert d’anorexie mentale! Et j’aimerai dire à toutes ses NY Skinny ou Paris Skinny que peu importe… Il y a tellement d’autres choses plus importantes (ou plus grave) que leur tour de taille…

  • I absolutely agree! Having moved here 12 years ago from europe, I soon realized that the food here seem to have a lot of added “stuff” like hormones and pesticides etc. Apparently it is ok and approved here to do so, meanwhile that is what goes into your system on a daily basis! I started to go Organic pretty soon after moving here, realizing that would be the only way I could somewhat control what goes in, and also do start cooking! I believe you can eat good food with yes, whole fat and all and the added glass of wine,as long as you know where it came from and what is in it. I highly recommend the movie food inc to everyone, as it is such an eye opener on the food system here.

  • I really enjoyed this article. Besides the amazing illustration, you really described the differences between the lifestyle in New York and Paris – places I would both like to visit very soon. I would definitely like to know your comparison to other places in the world like Stockholm or Montreal. It would definitely be a very interesting point of view…

    The I on Fashion

  • C’est pareil ici au Québec et pourtant j’ai habité en Angleterre pendant 5 ans sans prendre un gramme! Un peu plus de resto, une viande bourrée d’hormones etc et hop, les 5 kg obligatoires. À croire qu’ils vont de paire avec le visa. Donc je mange encore plus de fruits et légumes qu’avant et fais attention au sel et continue le sport (la rétention d’eau, ça peut aller jusqu’à 7 kg pour quelqu’un qui pèse environ 60kg)! Courage!

  • Garance, since this is my first time posting, just want to say that I love your blog. About the hormones in food in the U.S., I have to say that I completely agree. Although I haven’t read anything scientific about it myself, I really think that it must be it. I know so many friends who move to the States and gain those 10 lbs immediately. It’s crazy. That, combined with eating out and less need for walking is not a good combination. It’s even worse in California because we drive everywhere. I hope you share more on this experience with us. xx

  • I completely agree with you, there’s just a different standard and lifestyle in New York! The pressure to be one of those “beautiful” extremes was just not worth it to me, so I moved to Montreal (the Paris of North America)! Here I eat loads of poutine and DELICIOUS food, don’t really exercise, smoke cigarette after cigarette (God forbid I do that in NY), and I’m still the same size as I was in New York. Same size, only 10x happier that I don’t have to convert back to the NY lifestyle I grew up with. Come have a few laughs in Montreal, Garance! I promise you’d love it :) C’est une belle ville.


  • What an interesting perspective (and gorgeous illustration)! I’m from the Midwest U.S., but I’ve lived in both Paris and New York. I lost weight in both places without trying, which I chalked up to living in a big city (besides Detroit where I’m from, a.k.a “Motor City.”) I guess on the continuum of naturally healthy lifestyles, New York is somewhere between Paris and the Midwest!

  • That sucks. Bon courage, Garance!

    P.S. Gorgeous illustration!

  • what an amazing post!?! well said, well written, well observed! I guess I should should to Paris. xoxo

  • waaaa pour les hormones, c’est tres flippant je le reconnais, mais pour le reste, for god sake Garance, MANGE.
    En France on dit “mange, tu ne sais pas ce qui te mangeras”. AHAH. et toc aux NYCskinny.

  • love this post. made me laugh out loud. you are completely on point with everything. i will trust you on nyc skinny, but what about souther california skinny? since i live in socal i think this skinny kicks it up a notch. and it does make me feel overweight even though i am only 10 lb over my usual which is still considered normal, healthy weight. ugh! anyways, one thing about european lifestyle though – i think people in europe suffer from chronic dehydration. i swear i thought i was the only one carrying a bottle of water while siteseeing in paris. and i know how strange i would have looked to my younger, european self who got imported to america oh-so-many years ago! <3

  • Just genious cet article !!!! <3

  • I am from Mexico City, and moved to the Central Coast in California two months ago… your article made me laugh sooo much… I can relate to that!

  • Génial cet article ! Surtout que je viens de me passer une dizaine d’épisodes de Gossip Girl et c’est vrai les Américains sont assez rédhibitoires concernant la social life !

  • Oh que oui j’en ai pris des petits dejeuners avec des et plus particulièrement une new yorkaise et à chaque fois, bien que me promettant de ne pas grossir, je suis revenue avec des kilos en trop. Superbe illustration.

  • Que mangent-elles alors les skinny new-yorkaise?

  • oui, quand je rentre à Paris, je suis frappée, non seulement de la minceur des filles, mais de l’obsession du poids; les premières remarques sont souvent sur le poids d’ailleurs. Si c’est pireà NY, au secours. Ça me rend vraiment dingue. Je n’aime pas du tout cette relation malade à la bouffe… Une fille qui pétille de vie et de passion est une déesse, maigre, ronde ou grosse! chouette illustration!

  • J’ai prit 5 kilos en 1 an en vivant a NYC et NJ sans vraiment meme changer ma diete et en marchant beaucoup plus qu’au Canada! Alors moi aussi je me suis fait assimiler par la culture extreme; apres 3 enfants, et comme j’aime manger, je vais donc a la gym 5 fois par semaine…. C’est le seul moyen on dirait! Ca doit etre les additifs dans la nourriture pourtant je mange tres sainement et je fais mes courses que chez Whole Foods le plus bio possible! Il faut dire que pour garder le corps “ideal” c’est un emploi a temps plein. Mon poids “sante” ne me demande pas d’effort du tout!
    Je suis allee en France en octobre dernier, mange que de la nourriture maison ( nous avions embauche des chefs pour la semaine), vins et du fromage du midi au soir et je n’ai pas prit un kilo! Je n’y comprend rien…..

  • Bon encore une fois, je vais faire un peu de Montréalo-centrisme mais l’évidence est là; ici, nous sommes entre les deux mondes et donc, nous avons le meilleur et le pire des deux mondes.
    Les gens ont des grandes cuisines et cuisinent beaucoup mais l’on peut aussi sortir facilement dans les restos; il y en a plein et de tout à tous les prix.

    Je ne suis pas d’accord avec le post publié plus haut; s’il est vrai que nous avons l’influence nord-américaine sur les produits alimentaires, nos viandes sont beaucoup moins hormonées qu’aux USA et de plus, les farines animales sont interdites depuis les années soixante. Et ceux qui ne sont ni chauvins, ni stupides ni étroits d’esprit peuvent trouver plein de super bons produits et de super restos sains et gastronomiques.

    Donc à Montréal, nous avons tous les styles de vie et les filles ne sont ni NY skinny, ni Parisian skinny ni super obèses. On surtout de très bons vivants qui ne donnent pas de leçon fashion à personne.
    Le matin; je peux aller me prendre un croissant et un bol de café au lait, un breakfast à l’américaine où un truc super bio.
    Bon pour conclure, c’est chiant mais c’est vrai; on est super choyés!

  • I can appreciate what you’re saying and thinking. I can also appreciate your thoughts. Nice post that gives me something to think about.

  • New-ish to NYC but not from Paris… and I have to say, I see what you mean. Excited to read your next entry on the topic.

  • I absolutely LOVE your articles always! I was just telling my bf about it, he has to start reading it too now ;) Anyway, this one is sooo good again. I am not sure if I would manage to stay happy (you know what I mean, not in a depressive way of course) in NY! I would be swollowed by the feeling I have to get thinner too…not good! Stay you Paris skinny way, as much as possible

    XO Charlotte

  • @ coco: it’s funny how you talk about your size 2 like it would be a big one, it’s not ealthy at all if you have a medium/high height, not far from size zero. People have to change their mind first. French women fit a size 6-8 and they are not fat at all, they are “femmes”.

  • i know, what you are talking about!! i’ve been studying in states and i almost got nuts with the fact that i was so desperately incapable of maintaining my weight.the only way i managed to get back to my size and lose weight a bit was my coffee fruits and desert diet.and maybe a salad on a go-out basis. and lotsa work and some serious walking around town – ditch taxi technique
    oh well..maybe it’s just my unfortunate genes

  • I just have been in Paris studying abroad this summer and I think you are so correct about all that you have said. The pressures in NY are at the extremes and Parisian life is so much more relaxing and nurturing. Thank you for posting this because it really hits a huge point that I have been faced with while being in France!

    Love the illustration!

  • So interesting! Such interesting observations and thoughts. I was raised in the midwest and currently live on the east coast and there are SO many differences between the two. But a lot of what you are saying goes to the heart of the lifestyle I’m trying to develop for myself – not a life of extremes, but a life of a balanced normal somewhere in the middle.

  • C’est très intéressant. Vraiment. Et l’illustration est superbe. Lors de mes deux séjours aux USA j’ai été vraiment surprise de voir les portions servies. Ce n’est pas un mythe!! C’est triste à quelque part. Cela veut dire que là-bas, les gens mangent mal (j’entends par là des aliments de mauvaise qualité) alors ils doivent se priver pour ne pas grossir…

  • It’s sad because you talked nothing about being healthy. Skinny or not skinny, why does no one care about being healthy?

  • Hehe I always love your stories :) so funny and real

    I think I prefer the french way of eating..long dinners with friends, nice deserts,…

  • Interesting, well written post (and great sketch!) . In addition to what’s been said, I wonder if the fact that you are probably smoking less may be affecting your weight? In America with our smoking bans everywhere, I find myself wanting to eat since I cant smoke. It’s different in Paris no?

    Perhaps without you realizing it you are smoking less and eating more to compensate here in the states

  • I’ve always wondered about this. I live in Canada and consider myself to be thin (5’8 and 125lbs on a healthy week). But if I stood next to celebrities or women in NY – would I suddenly be the curvy one? It must take a confident woman to squash the NY and LA point of view. I think I’d go insane.

  • Ca fait vraiment peur quand même non?!
    Je suis bien contente de vivre à Bruxelles avec mes petits bourlets…

  • Garance,
    beautiful illustrations and insightful observations as always! But honestly, you should (or well shouldn’t) try living in LA. LA skinny puts New York skinny to shame! Every time I step off the plane at LAX I immediately feel I have gained 10 pounds! It is interesting how closely our self image in tied to the world around us!

  • Garance! I love your blog—an incredible post!

    My degree is in nutrition and dietetics, and although I no longer work in that field, I remain forever interested in the various cultural, dietary, and physiological aspects that lend to how our bodies put on and lose weight and how our image of ourselves and others influence how we feel about this process. Excellent point about the type of fat that’s gained (e.g., “the fat seemed softer”)! I believe that can be directly related to the amount of processed food consumed. The way the fat is stored is different, and the location of the fat and how it “hangs” is representative of how the body processes and stores that kind of hormonally treated/chemically processed food. This is a new challenge to the human body—such processed foods weren’t an issue pre-WWII. Great observations!

    Love the cultural distinctions and perceptions of food and exercise. Looking forward to future posts!

  • I totally agree with the idea that all of those hormones must get into the food. when I moved to Europe I lost 10 pounds in a matter of 2 months. No dieting or anything. I’m sure it’s all the chemicals and hormones that are making Americans the fattest nation on earth.
    Also someone else commented about things aren’t as sweet in Europe and I’ve noticed that if I bake something here using an American recipe no one really likes it or they want a really small portion, just to taste, because it is so sweet.

  • Haha, great article! Enjoyed reading. :) I had similar problem when I lived in USA for a while (3-6 months on different occasions) – every time I gained 1-2 kg. Sounds like nothing, but for skinny me that was a tragedy (mostly because I can’t say no to ice-cream and other sweets). Now I’m happily back in Europe and can eat all the ice-cream in the world! :D Honestly, I think more than anything there is something wrong with American food (sorry Americans). ;)

  • Salut Garance ! Je n’interviens que très rarement sur ton blog, mais j’en suis une grande fan.
    A la lecture de ce post, j’ai eu envie de réagir. Hier, sur la chaine câblée Planète + ils ont passé le reportage “No impact man” j’ai pu découvrir qu’à new york, il y avait de quoi se nourrir sainement à tous les coins de rue ! Un marché bio immense, des jardins familiaux (enfin, on appelle ces jardins comme ça en france, où l’on peut soi-même cultiver ses légumes)..Bref, il existe tout un tas de solutions qui peuvent t’éviter de contracter un cancer et de grossir à cause des hormones !
    Car, comme tu l’a si bien mentionné, les animaux et légumes étant nourris avec des ingrédients douteux, il vaut mieux faire TRES attention ! Sans être alarmiste, quand on est jeune, on ne pense jamais à sa santé, et quand à 40 ans on contracte un cancer du sein ou de l’utérus..on se rend compte qu’on a pas forcément été très prudent ! Et cela arrive de plus ne plus..c’est un drame planétaire.
    Une vie sociale peut surement être épanouie en consommant mieux, ou en se remettant au fourneaux ! Ce serait peut-être la French touch healthy qui pourrait te caractériser! :)
    Le yoga c’est bien, mais c’est un pansement sur une jambe de bois ! Cela ne sert pas à grand chose si ton corps est régulièrement intoxiqué…
    Sport, alimentation saine et équilibrée, réduire la clope et le café….je suis sûre que ce programme va liquider sans efforts ces 5 kilos de trop !
    Fais une cure de détox pour remettre les batteries à zéro et repart sur des bases saines!
    Du thé Oolong pour aider à mincir, des infusions à base de queues de cerise et de prêle pour drainer, du radis noir et de l’artichaut pour purger ton foie..une cure d’algues Klamath pour récupérer en forme et en santé !
    Prends soin de toi…et j’espère que tu suivras ces petits conseils…en plus on arrive vers septembre, c’est le moment de s’y coller, les changements de saisons sont parfait pour envisager des cures !

  • yep… i hear you..
    one time on 30 rock, the page, kenneth said to liz lemon “you’re thin, but you’re not new york thin”

    that always stuck with me.

    my german husband has to order double portions every time we go to paris. they just don’t make enough food for him!

    that said, i won’t stop eating real food. i don’t care if i’m not new york thin, even though i live in nolita and models actually walk the streets. i’ve been new york thin and it didn’t make me any happier. a size 4 will do just fine.

    and my apartment? well, it’s bigger than my size zero apartment. ;)

  • ooh i need a cup of tea with this post!!! long and with a beautiful illustration! back in a mo:))
    thank you!x

  • Thank you Garance for the amazing post. I completely agree with you! I myself, work in New York City and in fashion and I struggle with this daily. I am 5’3 and 112 pounds perfectly healthy I think, but next to most fashionista’s I feel fuller figured….

    I know I’m never going to be a “tall super skinny girl” and so I focus on being healthy and working out to feel good (and drink my wine and eat the foods I love). However, I still struggle with the thought that “I look fat” next to the “New York skinny” fashion girls.

  • La parisienne est aussi super skinny. La difference c’est qu’elle fume sans vergogne alors que la NY skinny fait du sport. A outrance peut-etre, mais avouez que c’est plus sain!

  • belle illustration !
    je ne suis jamais allé à New ne pensais pas que les filles étaient pour la plupart maigre. mais j’étais au courant des kilos réglementaire :)

  • J’avais moi aussi pris quatre kilos en un été à NY, parce que je finissais toutes mes assiettes en française bien élevée, que je n’avais pas soupçonné la dose de sucre qu’il y avait dans les smoothies et autres frozen yogurt, etc etc… C’est vrai que la nourriture est différente, c’est compliqué à gérer… Mais stp ne devient pas comme elles! Rien de pire que cette obligation de picorer à la place de manger, et que cette stratification socio-pondérale complètement contre nature (les rondeurs c’est la santé, les squelettes c’est la mort)! Come on, bonne chère power!!!!!!!!

  • I love this post! I recently moved from Europe to Canada, and here I also find it harder to eat healthy. Of course, I am curious to try out different foods (mostly the unhealthy ones), because we don’t have them back ‘home’. But, I also see far more easy opportunities to take out food or eat something ‘fast’. Hot dog stands are everywhere, and also my Starbucks intake has grown significantly.

    Though people seem to be more sporty here and I went with that lifestyle for the first little bit. Now I am stuck in my routine of doing pretty much no exercise (except for walking everywhere) and I am afraid I will get that belated house-warming present you’re talking about.

    I feel more stressed out about being slimmer since I have lived here, probably also because I started my blog a few months back. I am planning on going organic and combine a protein diet and exercise once I have found more structure in my life.
    NEW POST: Beautiful Industrial

  • Première fois que je suis allée aux usa j’ai aussi pris 5 kg. C’est vrai que je n’avais pas l’habitude de faire un resto trois fois par jour !! Et plus ça va et plus on finit facilement ces big assiettes ! Mais je crois que je ne pourrais jamais être réellement new-yorkaise vis-à-vis du corps car même si je fais attention, si j’ai envie de me lâcher sur un repas qui me semble super bon, alors je n’hésite pas !

  • J’aime beaucoup cet article !!
    et ton dessin est top :)

  • You are so spot on! I’m from Buenos Aires I lived in NYC for years… Also work in fashion.. Catering on shoots is bad too.. So bad…
    I was never as fat as when i lived there, i arrived being a size 0/2 and left being a size 4/6… Depressing.. I think the worst is the dietary norms, its the food quality… I rarely snacked or drank anything either than water, walked everywhere… I cooked at home a lot too, so… Now that i am back i fit in my old jeans, back to my size 24. They will feel better than new!

  • i could not agree more. i visited paris for only one month and ate more and some how lost weight. i feel crazy when i’m here in new york. like i have to be a control freak at all times. i don’t know what it is but i really do hate it. i wish everyone would live more freely here, then maybe people wouldn’t be so hyper sensitive about their weight and just be naturally thin. AH. this is a point that could not have been addressed at a more perfect time.

  • Man you are good Garance! I’m from Poland and gained the same 10 lbs when I came…its’s the food they eat here. I go back to my home country and stuff my face with all the polish goodies and I end up loosing weight somehow. I now don’t really eat meant or milk and try to eat my hubby’s cooking as much as possible but going out in New York is oh so fun! At least we have good yoga and pilates…..I’m dreaming of that bigger apartment! xxxx

  • Love this. And it’s OH SO TRUE! That happened when I moved to LA. Everyone here is so “organic” obsessed and you think they’re crazy at first, and then one day, you are too. Then you realize the importance of sample sizes being 1 size. But then you just turn sample size or you just are sad that you’re not sample size. I need to lose the rest of my moving to Cali weight so I can too be sample size skinny. Damn you skinny status quos!


  • I love when I go to France and everyone is sitting around grabbing bread and wine! It is so not like that in LA either and this is one reason I relish and love my vacations in France. It is so much more relaxing and refreshing to not worry about your figure every single second and just enjoy life!

  • omg I enjoyed reading every single word . great post :)

  • Garance,
    I love your perspective on this. Although everyone I know who moved here from the midwest or other parts of the country and even London said they’ve lost 10 – 20 pounds after moving here. New York Skinny!!

  • What a timely post. I just returned to LA from 3 weeks in Italy. I ate and drank whatever I wanted, bread, pasta, wine. No gym workouts either. Gained 2 lbs only. In LA, I can gain 5 if I eat one “bad” meal. Something is so wrong in the US. Everyone gains weight here, and it’s not fun to constantly be deprived. OK – rant over.

  • oooh fashion and skinniness .. they always go hand in hand… so i recently quit my job at a reputable corporate giant and am now looking for internships in fashion.. the first thing i realised – i need to lose weight! and i mean… Im not even big to start with.. in fact im tiny.. but why is it that fashion makes you want to always lose weight and be healthy and skinny and all those things that New York fashionistas are?! Ok.. back to my salads now :) no carbs or sugar tonight

  • So well said and the illustration is beautiful!

  • Dites les filles, arrêtez un peu le délire. Pas toutes les rondes sont pauvres, croyez-moi pour s’habiller bien quand on n’a pas une taille 34, faut avoir le portefeuille dodu, on n’achète pas ses fringues chez Zara. Je suis cadre sup, gagne très bien ma vie et je suis contente de ma silhouette très ronde qui plaît aux mecs. J’ai des copines de toutes les formes (du skinny au oversize) et presque toutes vivent bien avec leur corps…peut-être parce que nous sommes jeunes quadras et que nous avons atteint le niveau de sagesse nécessaire pour se dire que les diktats de maigreur sont bien pour faire vendre de la copie mais par pour les vraies filles :-). Alors, bonne chance aux New Yorlaises névrosées et voici une mode que nous n’avons pas besoin d’importer chez nous
    Ayant dit cela, très bon blog Garance, j’aime beaucoup ton regard ironique et tes illustrations.

  • Merci pour votre article Garance. Je trouve que c’est une belle analyse et je pense que le recul était nécessaire comme vous le dites !
    Cela m’expliquera sûrement pourquoi je semble prendre du poids sans manger beaucoup plus à Washington D.C. où je suis pour 7 semaines !! Je vais à mon tour observer un peu plus ses habitudes, ça m’intéresse énormément.
    Merci encore, et bon courage !

    Mais restez comme vous êtes, finalement, nous sommes tous différents et uniques et c’est ce qui rend l’humanité si belle, (avec quelques kilos en trop ou non).

  • I’ve always loved art and fashion, so I the two combined are even more wonderful. I always enjoy the posts including illustrations of girls in current designs(the Spring 2011 RTW Miu Miu dress in a picture is one of my favorites). You’re style of drawing has an ease and doodlish feel to it, but is still realistic; altogether lovely. I must ask: where and/or how did you learn to draw?

  • Wow! Such an amazing illustration! The colors just pop!

    Look who’s Wearing (LwW)

  • I recently visited America myself, and I was finding I was having to eat only one meal a day to stop myself being sick from overeating! The portions are ridiculous over there, I cannot fathom how they stay so skinny! Especially with the menus, I couldn’t help succumbing to burgers and fries…every day. Its good to be back in London with normal food so I can shed the holiday weight.
    The Parisian way sounds far better, I’d stick to that :)

  • Hello Garance,
    Fraichement debarquee de Paris a New York, ca me rassure de lire que je ne suis pas la seule cool parisienne plus du tout cool. Je me revois donner une conference improvisee il y a 6 mois sur la minceur des Francaises, et aujourd’hui, moi et mes 5 kg a la recherche frenetique d’un bon cours de yoga, quasi prete a chausser des baskets de running…
    Merci pour tes precieux conseils sur cette ville fascinante, ton blog est mon guide officiel!

  • No one warned you not to drink wine at lunch? Besides being a high calorie drink it makes others highly suspicious of your daily alcohol intake. Best to wait ’till after work.

  • I love how sincere this post is. It’s curious because I experienced the same baffling weight gain as an American living abroad in Paris. I had been the same size since puberty so to gain weight was truly novel to me. I was convinced that I could stay the same size as all the skinny-parisian girls around me if I ate like them and walked everywhere (which is untrue anyway because there’s a metro stop always around the corner) but I’m still stumped by the fact that my fellow metro riders could be shoving a baguette in their face on the way home before they even eat dinner and stay so thin (which is worse, a baguette or croissant chocolate? I preferred the latter…). I’m convinced it has something to do with the dairy: I don’t think my roommates ever grasped the French equivalent of skim, 2% or whole milk, not to mention the insidiousness of creme fraiche and butter which seemed to be in everything (Not that I’m complaining because everything was delicious)! Anyhow, I’m back to my normal size–and you will be too! Just takes a little adjustment!

  • So true!

    This American envies Europeans and people of the rest of the developed world that has access to better quality meat and dairy products and ingredients/food altogether.

    It’s disgusting how animals are treated in this country. You’d think since this is food for human consumption, people would treat them better but no, anything for greater profit people will do and the government is paralyzed to do anything, thanks to lobbyists.

  • What a fantastic article, Garance!
    I am Australian, & whilst I have never been to the states, I have been to Paris.
    I relished in the relaxed, order what you want to eat, not what you feel you have to attitude.
    The best thing about it was, I didn’t gain weight at all!
    Over large portions have been a problem in Australia for quite a while, and often dubbed an “Americanisation”. I often think it’s a sad generalisation, but perhaps it’s not.
    Eager to hear your next installment :)

  • je suis ex-parisienne et j’adore le skinny version Cambridge (Harvard), parce que le sport et les repas equilibre ne tuent pas aussi vite que les clopes des parisiennes. Ici, les skinny sont franches, elles se battent dans les gym pour leurs corps. Moi j’aime la franchise et pas trop le cancer.

  • I loved this article oh so much!! And I always look forward to your amazing illustrations!! This is so true though; although I’ve never been to Europe I hear the proportions here in USA are like ma ma ma ma major compared to Europe. No wonder why we are the “most obese” country in the world.

  • Garance,

    I live in Australia. In Canberra – here we eat like American’s. For all of the good things that have come out of that country there is the one whopping bad thing, their food culture.

    For a while now I have been struggling with my own feelings surrounding my body and my relationship to food (it needs more work than any other relationship in my LIFE – how awful when food not your man is first!). I’ve already lost 25kilos – because I felt awful in a body that couldn’t live well!!! Now I’m definately curvy, but not overweight. The problem was I still felt horrid on the inside. So I set to thinking about why…

    A little while ago I got hit by an idea. Food wasn’t bad. My ATTITUDE to it was. I was looking at everything I ate with good or bad, fat or skinny, calories or sugar, guilt, sadness, overeating and I was getting NO PLEASURE from how DELICIOUS good food is when cooked beautifully and not over consumed!!!

    I am a vegetarian – who occasionally eats fish. I eat very little dairy as I am allergic to it (yuk!). I eat fresh and well, I cook at home. The simple truth of the matter is I ate TOO MUCH all the time.

    To solve thisI had to change my ATTITUDE. So now, when I eat, I am French!!!! I taste my food, I’m careful about where it comes from – but not anal! I enjoy it! I cook fresh and flavourful. And I try to tune in and listen to my body, so when it is full – even if my plate is still half full, I put my fork down and sit content with my delicious meal!!!

    I’m learning to exercise differently – not because I don’t want to be FAT but because I feel damn goooood when I am flexible and lightly toned and fit! Exercise it not supposed to be an army waging war against the ills of food and fat – its supposed to just be about YOU feeling good.

    I think I’m getting there – somewhere where I am so damn sure I am sexy that living well, eating well, exercising well are about making me feel good, rather than as tools of punishment to bend my body to some imagined place of perfection.

    Garance, it sucks that you put on weight – no lady likes to!! But don’t go super crazy. Get back to how you were, but keep that Parisian attitude. Listen to your tummy and it will tell you when to stop. And for gods sake don’t go crazy and cut a million delicious things out of your diet – all things in healthy measures can NEVER be bad for you.

    Most importantly – what is life for if we deny ourselves everything and are scared of our very own flesh???!!! All during the times of your life when you are dreaming of some far off ideal which will make you happy, you are still alive and UNhappy. What the hell is the point of that??!!!!

    Live well and happy. But i’m sure you know that. :)


  • I am in absolute agreement with you on this! I am from Seattle and I moved to Japan about a year ago. Within about 6 months I lost weight! I didn’t consider myself overweight, but I did have a bit of a muffin top. I didn’t think I could become any skinner, because diets never worked! Living in Japan I walk EVERYWHERE and love it. Plus, the food size is smaller and there are no take out boxes. It is considered wasteful and rude to not eat all of your food. Nice job with this article. I think most people can relate to this in one way or another.

  • I usually have a short attention span when it comes to reading blogs, but this entry was just too good to skim through. Garance, how refreshing it is to read an honest-to-goodness piece about what every woman worries about- her weight. When I read about people complaining about weight in their blogs, I sometimes think they’re just fishing for compliments…for her/his reader to validate how thin and skinny s/he really is. Your piece, however, resonates with an actual concern and honest observation about cultural differences. Kudos.

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! The illustration is amazing, too! When I moved here from Europe, I also gained just over 10 lbs. I did find the meat and dairy were different from home, and I actually started to get allergies from them, to the point where I would get completely sick from foods I ate…also food here seems to have more salt than back home, and I agree portions here are also double the size of what I was used to. I did stop eating almost all meat except fresh salmon, and I eat no dairy… The pounds came right off!!!:) Can’t wait to read the continued article! I love your blog!

  • Thanks for such a frank and entertaining discussion on the French vs American diet and culture.

    I, an American, used to live in Paris, and have since constantly found myself comparing mindsets. Would love to hear more!! Merci!

  • Sigh. So true. Native NYer here and I always carried that extra 10 lbs until I had children and started cooking at home most nights. Whole Foods is my friend + farmers market. We eat no animal products with hormones or antibiotics. Tons of vegetables. As much organic as we can. We are all thin. My mother was from Spain so my palate is normal (I crave olive oil and think so many american foods are too sweet, etc, etc.)

    But one thing I would like to add is that this image of the perfect NY woman, super skinny, perfect clothes and obsessive mani-pedi…..these are not real NYers. These are aliens that showed up from the 90s on when Giuliani supposedly made it safe for them not to live in the suburbs. Back in the day only prissy park ave women had manicures and overly groomed eyebrows. Chic, bohemian, downtown types were far less groomed, and much more interesting. We have been swallowed by suburbia here.

  • Thank you for this article! Makes me feel like I’m not alone! I moved to NY last January for grad school and I’ve been fairly thin all my life (110lbs for 5’4″). I just started exercising regularly when I moved and in spite of a 4 -5x a week workout, cooking at home with all that wheat and other healthy stuff; I still received the NY welcome! Absolutely horrifying!

  • BRILLIANT comparison, Garance, and so true! Do yourself a favor and rent some movies from the 60s/70s/80s before too much plastic surgery and too little eating made people look like Valley of the (Barbie) Dolls! It’s amazing (and refreshing) to see women with small bosoms, and normal curves and faces. *sigh*

    As for portions, come visit Texas. You’ve heard things are bigger here? The food portions, MERDE! They’re enough for 3-4 meals, easy. But if you come, better come hungry!

  • Ahh yes! The New York skinny. I think it also has to do with the fact that everyone is walking like their on a mission. But the people there are definitely more conscientious about exercise and food… I wouldn’t say overall health because I include mentality under that. I think becoming too focused and rigid stemming from fears (you know they’re afraid of gaining any weight) is not doing anything for overall health. Our bodies can also sense when we mentally stress out and sometimes react against us. I also think that synthetic hormones and GMO foods mess with our bodies.. and pesticides as well. I think you will find yourself back to a spot where you and the muffin top are comfy ;) One thing that helps is not comparing yourself others, just to yourself.


    p.s. I write a food blog, and although you said you don’t have time to cook perhaps you’ll be inspired to invite some friends to your place and cook something you find on there :p

  • I hope you can get out to meet more “real” girls in NYC instead of the willowy invaders who inhabit the fashion industry and how now invade the rest of the city, as Ines mentioned.

    There are plenty of us real and natural girls around. I’ve been here for a decade and never been healthier. The constant walking keeps me fit. My friends and I like to cook when we can. And we don’t eat massive portions when we eat out.

  • I love hearing someone else say this! I moved to New York almost a year ago from Vancouver, an outdoorsy, fit city where most people are skinny. Then I learned about New York skinny, and roamed the streets feeling like an elephant when I’m a gargantuan size 8 (which some stores don’t even stock). To be appropriately skinny here, you just can’t eat. You have to accept that looking good means being hungry.

  • I think you’ve hit it right on the head.

    I was born and raised in Malaysia for 17 years and I gained weight when I moved to Melbourne, in which I’ve been living for the past 8 years. ALL my asian friends have the same dillema and it didn’t make sense to us at all because asian food are notoriously salty and not exactly healthy either so why were we not as fat when we were in Asia? Even when we return home for a month holiday, we immediately lose a little bit of weight. I still don’t know. I THINK our bodies are raised on a particular diet since infancy and are not used to a “western” diet.

  • I was in the US for just 2 weeks and I did gain weight easily… it’s probably their type of food too, fried everything, deep dish this, steak good for two but only for one. American SIZE.

  • I think that portion size is just vital and America subscribes to the “more is better” philosophy which has been so detrimental! Quality is, of course, and quality food also satisfies us more quickly. But we tend to eat large quantities of lower quality wrong! Thank you for the insightful post!

  • I’m moving to NY from Los Angeles tomorrow, and while I’m quite afraid of gaining those 10 pounds, I’m so glad that the whole world isn’t obsessed with “skinny”: It puts everything into perspective and simple reminders like this post really make me value happiness above looking perfect. Thank you, Garance!

  • Oh yes, the food in America is pumped full of fakeness, which goes straight to your ass. I think it’s just a matter of letting your body and system adjust. Because on the positive side, you move around more in New York. And New Yorkers smoke a lot too. But, c’est vrai, those restaurant meals and portions will do you in and it’s 10x easier to eat unhealthily in NY than Paris. Courage!

  • Haha! I’ve experienced exactly the same thing! I was staying in NYC for 3 months only, but it was enough for me to gain about 10 kilograms :) It took me a Year in Europe to go back to my old weight! ;)

  • Oh my, I think I had as much fun reading the many comments above me as well as this brilliant post, Garance, complete with a gorgeous illustration to boot!

    Living in Australia I completely understand the oversized American (and Australian) food portion. Whenever I travel overseas I am in wonder at how people can eat so little, when I find the portion size reduced. Then I get used to eating less, only to return to Australia to find I can no longer finish a dish at a restaurant! Sadly, that again is temporary, as I slowly, but surely stretch my stomach back up to polish off a dish AND dessert (although desserts are hardly oversized, haha).

    Ah, but with change in address usually comes a change in lifestyle. The latter is the culprit in my weight gain…


  • Beautiful article, its crazy how women can be about their bodies. i have had my body issues as well for as long as i can remember. however i live in a society where i think its alot less rigid than Paris or Newyork. hate to be in your shoes:)

  • Los Angeles skinny is far, far worse.

  • Bonjour Garance,

    Ce qui ma marquée lors d’un petit séjour à NY l’année dernière , c’est justement le fait que l’on puisse manger partout et à tout heure du jour et de la nuit. Tandis que les musées pour la majorité n’ouvrent pas spécialement tôt et ferment tôt (la plus part à 5h de mémoire). On peut donc manger (mal en général) quand on veut mais s’instruire dans des plages horaires assez réduites.

    Sinon pour l’anecdote, une amie qui a passé un an au USA (Washington) à non seulement pris des kilos mais a aussi vu sa pilosité se développer ! Après diagnostic, c’est du aux hormones dans les aliments.

  • L’important c’est que tu aies du recul là dessus. Tu as toujours été bien ainsi alors pourquoi changer simplement parce que tu as déménagé (même bien loin) ?

    Merci pour l’anecdote en tout cas :)



  • J’ai été au USA deux fois. La première j’ai pas grossi, même si j’étais devenu addict à un latté vanilla de chez starbuck et que j’en prenais un tous les jours! après je me suis rendue compte que c’était pas juste une boisson… une vraie bombe calorique.
    Ce qui m’a super étonné c’est que c’est impossible de trouver du pain sans sucre par exemple. Fou non? peut être chez whole food.

    La deuxième fois, pendant trois semaines, j’étais avec un groupe d’alter in New-Mexico (Santa Fe tout ça), qui mangeait RAW et SUPERFOOD et bien sur végétalien et bio ça va sans dire. RAW et SUPERFOOD, deux concepts américains, qui montrent aussi une certaine obsession, dans un autre milieu, de la nourriture. Celle qui sera la plus saine et le plus nutritive possible, celle qui qui fera du bien à ton âme comme à ton corps… bref j’ai pas grossi, j’ai même maigri mais bon j’avais des nausées pour d’autres raisons.
    De toute manière c’était un voyage génial, là-bas dans l’alternatif, il n’y vont pas à moitié.

    Bref. J’ai été NY skinny, Paris Skinny etc. Rien de tout ça ne m’a apporté le bonheur ni une plus grande reconnaissance des autres what so ever. Aujourd’hui je suis mum skinny, c’est à dire je suis maman mais mince mais bon, une maman sans petites formes c’est pas cool (vous aimez des calins avec un tas d’os froid??). Donc tout est ok. J’ai découvert des marques de vêtements qui aiment les formes féminines comme heartbreaker que je recommande à toutes !!!

    Allez, pensez aux relations, aux liens, à votre potentiel créatif et sortez vous de la tête ces obsessions pour la nourriture et l’apparence du corps, ce n’est porteur de rien ;)

  • Hmm moi j’ai été elevée comme ça, dans le culte de la minceur.Pour reussir, il faut être mince. Résultat des courses, je suis ronde, fière de l’être, et j’ai un rapport malsain avec la bouffe. Alors skinny, ya des limites ;)

  • I live in USA two years, after a few mounth I couldn´t fit into any of my brads.
    I think there is lots of hormones in all the food in the country. It´s not healthy. Take care with milk . When I was there i used to go to Trader Joe to buy the food.

  • Tres drole l’histoire et si vraie! Une amie a moi est revenue avec 5 kilos en plus apres 10 jours a New York, meme les petits dej’ avaient l’air de bombes de calories!

  • Oh là, moi qui croyais que les Françaises étaient beaucoup plus pointilleuses… je me trompais!

    Même si j’apprécie le contenu du texte de Garance, il serait bien de prêter une attention plus particulière à l’orthographe.

    Je suis assez d’accord avec cette citation: ” The smaller the dress size, the larger the apartment”. Prendre soin de son corps demande une dose importante de temps. Hors, quand on a de la difficulté à joindre les deux bouts et qu’on n’arrive pas à trouver de solutions à nos problèmes financiers, il devient assez dur de contrôler le stress, de bien manger et de trouver le temps nécessaire pour faire du sport… À méditer… !

    Je vis à Montréal et je dois avouer que je flippe quand je vois mes copines manger autant… Non pas que les filles soient grosses par ici, mais je ne les considérerais pas minces non plus. Dans la normale, quoi. Du haut de mes 5pi3 et de mes 100 libres, je suis assez obsessive dans mon alimentation et, même si je pratique du sport régulièrement, je sens que je pourrais en faire davantage. Peut-être que New-York serait une ville parfaite pour moi après tout!

    J’avais regardé un documentaire sur la viande aux USA, et bien franchement, si je devais vivre dans ce pays, je ne mangerais que du bio certifié. Autrement, on ne sait jamais ce que notre assiette peut contenir…

    Merci Garance pour ton texte et j’espère que tu arriveras à trouver l’équilibre parfait entre ta diète et ton mode de vie.


  • Vraiment très intéressant et très belle illustration. J’adore ces articles sur les différences et les particularités culturelles des différentes grandes villes du monde. C’est ce qui crée leur atmosphère particulière (pour celles que j’ai pu voir en tous cas haha)

    J’imagine même pas si je débarquais à NY comment je prendrais trop de poids d’un coup, bien plus que les 10 lb réglementaires… Je suis contente d’être à Paris :D

    Je suis sure que tu vas réussir à trouver une façon d’être “Garance skinny” ! Essaie de ne pas trop te laisser envahir par la psychose concernant le poids. Et les hommes, ils ont la même pression ?

  • I so understand you. Back in the time, when i lived in States, I gained extra 10 pounds. And I didn’t even eat that much! I believe the whole problem is in the hormones given to beef and chicken, which end up affecting us in kinda similar way. I would strongly recommend you to start eating organic food and check out the organic restaurants in N.Y., (like Pure Food and Wine). At least then you’ll be sure that the food you are eating is healthy. And yes, you’ll stop gaining weight in an abnormal way!

  • The food in US is unhelthy. It contains a lot of crap like Corn syrup, and all other kinds of sugar. The americans are terrified about fat in their food, but they put sugar in it instead.
    Of course they have to starve to keep skinny on such a diet.

  • I would love you to compare England skinny to that of the NY or Paris skeletal model frame!

  • Je te suis depuis longtemps et j’aime beaucoup tes articles décalés et tes photos (tes dessins aussi hein), mais c’est ici que je finis par laisser un commentaire…
    Pourrions-nous avoir plus souvent droit à des articles sur NYC vu par toi, sur la vie à NYC?
    Merci en tout cas de nous faire partager ces choses là ;)
    Au sujet du poids et des US, je suis partie 1 mois à San Francisco dans une famille l’an dernier, et il est vrai que les portions sont assez impressionnantes! Le jour où on m’a mise une côte de boeuf entière dans l’assiette, j’ai été… étonnée.
    Bonne continuation

  • Cela pourrait s’expliquer aussi par le fait que, de manière générale, la nourriture est plus grasse et beaucoup beaucoup plus sucrée aux USA. C’est ce que j’ai remarqué en tout cas…

  • I love everything from the illustration to the hilarious text ! Thank you Garance, you made my day :) ! Check out :

  • Bonjour Garance,
    A chaque fois que je me rends à New York, je prends mon petit déjeuner vers 8h00 dans un Starbucks pour voir le défilé des NewYorkaises qui vont travailler … je suis toujours impressionnée par leur look parfait.
    Sans parler du samedis après midi dans les ongleries … du footing en tenue recherchée à Central Park le dimanche matin … un mode de vie que j’essaie de copier en rentrant à Paris, mais cela ne dure pas très longtemps.

    Le statut social, l’histoire est la même à Paris avec un discours moins direct …

    Je trouve difficile à New York de s’alimenter à la “française”, ce dont j’aurais du mal à me passer … surtout la diversité et la qualité des produits.

    Si tu peux les imiter et arrêter de fumer, ce sera quand même pas mal …

    Bonne journée

  • J’ai vécu quelques mois à NYC, il y a maintenant bientôt deux ans, et j’y ai perdu du poids !
    Il faut dire que je ne mangeais plus grand chose : j’ai quasiment arrêté la viande, mangé très peu d’oeufs, et n’avais même plus envie des cochonneries type Reese’s.

    Tu dois bien connaitre le Whole Foods, je pense que c’est ton meilleur ami.

  • I grew up in a Southern family in which it seemed to be expected to eat A LOT at every meal. Have seconds, thirds…My grandmother grew up on a farm, and they needed a lot of food. But now everyone works in an office. Maybe they just never stopped eating. My theory is to eat a few bites of dark chocolate rather than a whole piece of cake. (Unless you really really want the whole piece of cake.)

    As to the quality of the food, I think the American consciousness is just becoming aware of the growth hormones and chemicals on our food. I’m hoping things will start to change.

    – Meredith

  • Dear Garance,

    My name is Edel, I am 19 and from Belfast, in Ireland. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND…and empathise with this blogpost. Why? Well I have just come home after half a year living in Sao Paolo Brazil. I too gained weight when I was there, the delicious Brazilian was so yummy and different and flavoursome. I actually feel there is something more going on though, as well I personally was naturally a bit homesick and missing all the things familiar.

    It hurts to look into the mirror and realise, yes I HAVE a muffintop, however once I was completely honest I was able to get things under control and started running in the mornings or whatever. The great thing I felt about Brazil was however, that I noticed all the girls did not feel SKINNY the way we know skinny to be in Europe was particularly sexy. They and the boys told me that thighs and a bum are hot, and natural.

    It’s all about finding a balance isn’t it?

    I have been reading your blog for about two years now, you never fail to make me laugh and your photos are beautiful – keep up the good work!

    kiss xxo

  • Ton billet est très drôle! Ca me rappelle une expérience lointaine : mon voyage chez les correspondants allemands quand j’étais collégienne. Je suis revenue plus grosse, et aussi avec des boutons.

  • Je vais sur ce joli blog régulièrement mais n’avais jamais noté les -trop nombreuses- fautes d’ortographe.
    Viligance please !!

  • Je ne suis jamais allée à NY donc j’avoue ne pas savoir à quoi ressemblent les vraies New Yorkaises, pas celles des séries. Mais bon ça ne m’étonne pas qu’elles soient très minces, et ça ne m’étonne pas que nous petites frenchies grossissont à vue d’oeil en allant là-bas car on a tendance à se ruer sur les burger et les méchants plats locals qui doivent être beaucoup plus caloriques que nos habitudes alimentaires en France, ça doit être le prix à payer ! ;)

  • Je trouve que ton article résume très bien le rapport d’une majorité d’américain avec la nourriture, toujours dans l’extrème.
    Et comme si c’était pas assez difficile de manger équilibré aux US, je trouve que les aliments bon pour la santé la bas n’ont tout simplement aucun goût. En Europe et en Asie, nos aliments bon pour la santé sont cuisinés de telle façon que ça a quand même du goût, assez pour qu’on y prenne du plaisir.
    J’enmenage bientôt à Montréal, et je sais déjà que trouver un équilibre alimentaire va être difficile, mais en tout cas ce que je veux c’est garder un certain plaisir en mangeant et ne pas tomber dans l’extrème !

  • C’est marrant parcequ’au Brésil ou je vis depuis quelques mois, j’ai noté aussi ce rapport au coprs très présent dans la vie des brésiliennes. Sauf qu’au paradis “latino”, pas question d’être skinny!!! Et Dieu merci! L’idée ici c’est d’avoir de belles formes, de les sculpter, et de les entretenir.

    Ici il y a le culte du corps pour de vrai, dans le sens ou on le fait exister. Je ne connais pas NewYork mais quand je te lis, j’ai plutôt le sentiment que le culte dont tu parles s’aparente à celui du “non-corps” en somme, puisqu’au final, plus on est mince mieux c’est, c’est à dire, moins il a de coprs, mieux on se sentira!

    A Rio de Janeiro, les femmes ont des corps spectaculaires. Un visage oval encadré par de très longs cheveux parfaitement lissés, une poitrine menuue le plus souvent, mais ferme, une taille délicate, une chute de reins parfaitement sculptée qui mène à des fesses rondes, larges et fermes, et enfin des jambes fortes mais élancées… C’est vertigineux!

    Mais pour autant tout cela demande autant d’entretien que pour tes copines. Elles ne comptes ni les heures ni l’argent dépensés en instituts de beauté et autres salles de musculation. Mais là encore, c’est un art de vivre. Et j’ai opté pour celui là!

    I Love Brasil!!

  • Oh, I loved this whole article… it is true, it’s a big change, it’s so funny how little things make a big differences… good luck with everything!

  • I am a brit who has lived in NYC for 7 years, I also work in the fashion industry where you have to try very hard to not let the neurosis of most of the women that work in this industry rub off on you. I have tried hard to keep my English wits about me and not sucumb to it all. It is the NYC way where you are constantly striving for more and competition is so fierce for everything (including looking for a man)

    A few months back I took some meditation classes in the garment district and the place was filled with fashionistas clicking about in their heels, probably trying to find some meaning in their lives. Though indulging in the many sweet treats the city has to offer would do them the world of good in bringing them some joy!

    I have also worked in the industry in Paris where I have to say I found the attitude to eating just as obsessive. I devoured french food but the women around me drank lots of coffee and smoked like crazy to supress the appetite and they were some of the most gaunt looking waifs I came across.

    Try living in London for a while, the women there are a little more dishevelled (in a good way) and relaxed in their attitudes.

    Good luck with not turning in to Woody Allen while you are here!

    You illustrations are beautiful…what pens do you use? is it a mix of ink and pencil?

  • Well Garance, you are definitely not alone on this one.

    When I moved from Mexico to the US (boarding school in Connecticut) I immediately gained about 7 kilos! (And I was running cross country every single day!). I’d never had any issues with food, diets et al. (in fact, I used to eat so much Mexican food -which for some is even considered fattening!). No matter what I did during my years at boarding school I could not shed the weight.

    The solution? Moving to Europe for university! Despite the increase in wine (yeah yeah, I did indulge in some drinking while at uni!), in a matter of two years (and without dieting) I was back to my normal weight.

    Weird huh?


  • UGH! you should try living in New York your whole life, then continuing on to go to FASHION SCHOOL!

  • This is why I follow your blog. You’re legit, sane and all around awesome. Don’t change…I mean if you really hate the expanding muffin top, fine, but that’s it.

  • Such a beautifully written post, Garance. I adore your work.

  • Great story and oh so true. Would love your take on Los Angeles Skinny!!


  • Je veux ajouter que la meilleure chose qu’on peut faire est de cuisiner soi même avec des ingrédients les moins transformés. Comme ça on sait plus ou moins ce qui entre dans le système digestif. (Encore, excusez mon Français!)

  • This post was such a breath of fresh air!


  • interesting observation. less stressful being a Parisian than a New Yorker.

  • Such a fascinating topic… During the Great Depression it was fashionable to be quite rotund. It meant you had enough wealth to gain weight! Now the opposite is true. Living in LA is pressure to always be fit and thin. I also happen to love food! My friends and I enjoy eating out and we never skip dessert! We are all sizes 2-6, and fairly fit. Maybe we aren’t zero’s but we are enjoying life! I think that’s what really matters… Eating healthy is a concern but not an obsession… I will think of you at happy hour at Figaro tonight when I devour my charcuterie and glass of rose!

  • Ahhh garance! je comprends!! Mais, je suis le contre. J’ai démenagé à Paris il y a deux semaines et tu es correcte!!! C’est different ici à Paris. NOBODY works out like they do in New York! I do miss New York, but I like my once a week-go out for a nice dinner/6 days a week-cook at home for myself. Have fun in New York! I’ll definitely have fun here in Paris sans New York City stressss!!!!

  • Thank you for your candid experiment on Paris to NYC! The bottom line is that there are too many preservatives in food, and it is best to cook from scratch. Although NYC kitchens prevent that – I think the developers are in cahoots with the restauranteurs! I had a hard time staying on track in NYC despite my constant walking.
    Economy also forces the better restaurants to use more processed food. Seek out those places who make their own sauces, pasta, breads, etc and I think you will find that even though you are eating a stick of butter your body knows how to process the food better. The chemicals slow it all down and get stored for later use.
    And of course enjoy a good cupcake once in a while :)

  • Oh Garance, I would rather have lunch with the Paris you than the New York you any day!!!

    I hate to say this, but since we’re about the same age, I have to point out that annoying fact about weight gain after 30 – apparently if you do exactly the same amount of exercise and diet as in your 20s, you will still gain a pound every year. So you have to kick it up a notch every year that you get older, when really it seems like we should be allowed to slow down.
    Love the illustration BTW!!

  • “never too thin, never too rich” disait Anna, euh Chanel… argggg.

    … au sujet de la nourriture, avec le mot clef “slow poisonning” dans google on trouve des choses surprenantes, et très très très flippantes. have a look:

  • i agree!! gained lots of weight in ny as i thought i’m not the getting fat kind and i will do just fine as i did in my home country. i always ate a lot more than i looked. but, it turns out……once you start gaining, it won’t stop until you realize you’re REALLY fat because you’ve gotten to the point where you just can’t NOT recognize how fat you are even though you try to tell yourself this must not be true!!!! still love NY but man you gotta watch what you eat

  • I loved reading your insightful comments on NYC vs. Paris. Having lived in both cities, I had a similar experience. I have to say, I much prefer the Parisian relationship with food!

  • Hi Garance, I totally get where you’re coming from (as fellow New Yorker who knows exactly what New York Skinny is) but I can’t help but point out that your generalizations are just that — very general — and probably a bit misguided. You run with the fashion crowd, which is not representative of the city of New York at all. It is a tiny insular world, usually full of very well off people (yourself included). Most New Yorkers, the ones who have boring office 9-5’s, students, blue collar workers, and others who are less privileged (I’m sorry I used that word, I’m not trying to sound super sanctimonious and that word drips of it, but it really is the only word I can think of) are NOT New York Skinny and would probably roll their eyes at you if you ever dared utter your ideas about the subject in their presence. My advice is to keep doing your awesome thing in the fashion world (I love your work), but get out of SoHo every now and then and explore the city — see how the other 99% lives. New York Skinny is only a “thing” for one percent of the population.

  • So true ! California gifted me with 15 pounds in one year :( … grew 2 jeans sizes… never had weight issues when living in Europe … so frustrating ! You are right, we always eat out , portions are huge , and I just have to have some cheesecake too ! Living with a man is also tough , they always want to eat ! How can I resist temptation like this ?! As a single , my fridge only had water and orange juice :) Getting a huge sweet Starbucks instead of a tiny strong delicious Espresso doesn’t help either . And the main problem : everything and anything has High fructose corn syrup ( = poison for your body , crime against human body ) . Europe is so lucky not to use this awful sweetener .

  • Ouhaaaaaouuuuu ! Avec cet article tu es dans le DailyMail !
    You’re a star, poupée !! ;))
    (et très jolie sur la photo !!)

  • je suis française avec quelques origines méditéranéennes, je fais un 36-38 et je suis petite. J’ai une poitrine ( un bon 85C )et mes copines very “parisiennes” m’ont toujours trouvé ” pulpeuse” à cause de ça , ou me disait ” oh moi j adore ma petite poitrine les gros seins, c est vulgaire ( euh donc les miens sont dignes de playboy?)…hum hum… alors que je n’ai JAMAIS eu de pb même quand je prenais quelques kilos superflus….so believe me, la pression est identique !
    je suis d ‘accord avec toi sur les portions et les normes, tu mets le doigt sur qqch d’évident et effrayant…
    Quand au fait de devoir être mince pour réussir, je pense que c’est valable en france, et encore plus dans la mode…expérience personnelle à l’appui….

  • I live in Sydney and I’m intrigued by the people commenting on how Australian portions are becoming ‘Americanized’! Maybe I’m eating in some stingy joints, but getting served massive portions isn’t my experience! It might be what I’m ordering. I don’t eat dairy (I eat goat’s cheese, not cow’s cheese or cream or milk) and only eat fish as a source of animal protein. I rarely eat deep fried food. Maybe if people took some time to examine what they are eating it might make them more able to control their weight.
    I did the high protein diet for ages and I couldn’t shift the extra last weight hurdle, no matter how hard I exercised. After cutting out meat and only eating some fish I’m losing the extra weight I wanted to and I exercise less. My diet is really healthy and I eat bread!! Healthy food is a choice and I think that people are mentally lazy in their approach to food. Yes, I know I sound like a ‘food nazi’! I apologize, But ‘you are what you eat’!

  • Il est simplement genial ce post!!

  • C’est très intéressant, en fait j’habite à Paris depuis quelques mois (je suis hollandaise), et je me demande comment tous les Parisiennes sont tellement mince! Avec le vin, le pain et les fromages, qui sont tous trop bon!
    Peut-être t’as raison et les portions sont plus petit ici. En plus, on marche beaucoup à Paris, même quand on prend le metro. Ca compte aussi comme des sports, n’est pas? ;)

  • Try living in Los Angeles, where it’s everything you said, eating out everyday, big portions, etc and then add NO WALKING!!! There’s not even a subway you can walk to. And if you do TRY to walk you always have someone saying “Oh, why don’t you just drive?!” Because I have an ass the size of Cleveland thankyouverymuch.

    This is why I love to visit London. I can drink all the beer I want and still come home 5lbs thinner for all the walking you get to do there.


  • C’est vrai que les latinos ont le culte du corps féminin sexy, mince mais musclé et rebondi. D’ailleurs, on voit bien plus de femmes qui se font opérer les seins et les fesses que de femmes au régime. Mais la tendance dans les milieux médiatisés est la même, j’ai d’ailleurs croisé la nouvelle miss Brésil, priscilla machado, et elle est maigre comme un fil de fer, même si elle est jolie, pas du tout aussi sexy que les brésiliennes dans la rue. Et miss Mexique est en train d’être destituée pour avoir pris 3 kilos alors qu’elle est très maigre aussi. A voir combien de temps avant que ça “contamine” les anonymes!

  • I was also a recipient of the NYC house warming gift!!! Of course, after living here for 5 years (plus working in the fashion industry) I’m now the thinnest I’ve ever been in my life. I do miss the relaxed, more healthy, California life and diet I grew up with. I love New York but it’s a little poisonous.

  • Well put. As a European living in NYC i can also say that this is 110% true.
    organic/soymilk/almond milk/ vegan/raw/liquiteria cleansing …and then mix them into diets of today’s mood and Voilá!

  • Hi Garance,

    A frequent visitor in New York myself I totally know about the gift you get (maybe not 10 pounds but several indeed). The thing is that food in Europe has got way less preservatives then in the US. Plus people here have serious issues with the sugar dose they add in desert or in any substance for that matter. Good luck staying Parisian thin because New York skinny is frightening at times.


  • WORD. i’ve been a stylist in NY for 4 years and i’m really starting to wonder: am i the only one who f*cking eats anything around here?! i just hang out with the photo assistant boys…

  • You have outlined exactly why I find Europe to be very liberating…

  • Firstly, that’s an awesome illustration. Wow, your work is amazing!

    Secondly, I really liked this post. Very interesting and I think the same thing happens in London. I used to live in Denmark and brought my food habits with me to London only to discover that I was unable to eat in the same way and maintain the same weight :(

    I’ve recently started dance classes to work it out… :)

    Love your blog :)

  • I am from Australia, and was shocked when I moved to NY. Everything — not just weight — is used to identify and distinguish between classes. America feels like a first and third world country residing together. Every country has inequality, but in America it feels like it’s very pronounced. I haven’t heard the line about weight and apartments, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.
    I have also lived in Europe (Spain) and with French friends. The food was rich and wonderful, but the thought of food didn’t dominate peoples’ thoughts unless they were preparing or eating it. Food was a matter-of-fact part of life, to be done well.
    For me the big difference is the snacking and portions in the US. I’m back on three meals a day (two at home) and it made such a difference. At home I can use olive oil and not the cholesterol-laden ones they use everywhere!

  • What can I say… After 4 years in NY… Tu as tout resume… Je n’ai pas pris de muffin top mais les habitudes alimentaires changent, resto souvent, tres souvent, tellement moins cher qu’a Paris, idem pour les take-outs… De retour a Paris apres plus de 4 ans a NY, j’ai eu un grand moment de blues, lorsqu’on a cherche avec mon mec un chinois qui livre… None…

  • This is the best post ever. I do not understand why you are not writing for American Vogue yet. Hello Conde Nast….get with it.

  • C’est fou… tu mets les mots sur ce qui m’est arrivé en partant en vivre en Nouvelle Zélande… Bon pas que le poids ait à voir avec le statut social ou même qu’il y ait ici des gens skinny. Mais bam en arrivant à moi les éclairs plein de crêmes (ils sont dégueux on s’entend bien mais c’est l’extase de la nouveauté!), les fish & chips, les barres de chocolat énormes (500 gr minimum!), les paquets de chips énormes… tout est ENORME! L’enfer du take away également, tout est à emporter, tout le monde ne bouffe que des cochonneries… ça m’a pris 1 an pour réaliser et depuis c’est Pilates et jogging tous les jours, pas le choix. J’ai essayé de reprendre mes habitudes françaises saines avec un repas à trois services mais avec petites portions, le dîner se finit avec une salade pour la digestion mais punaise ça a pris le temps. Difficile aussi d’au final ne rien faire comme tout le monde mais je pense à ma santé et à tous les additifs dont je ne m’empiffre plus quotidiennement!

  • Il y a des gens qui savent ecrire, un point c’est tout. Et c’est pas moi, mais toi chere Garance ! :)
    Ca fait 8 ans que j’habite en Californie, et je n’ai toujours pas assez de recule pour expliquer mon experience. Mais tu as tres bien decris ce que je pense pratiquement tous les jours. Merci !
    Je suis tout-e-fait d’accord avec les 5 kilos. Il n’y a rien a faire. A moins que ce soit l’age…?
    Je pense constamment a ce que je mange. Les lois sont differentes ici, ca c’est sur et c’est tres decourageant au debut pour savoir ce qui finit dans ton assiette. Tout est rattache au marketing et au money making… Tu peux laisser tomber la gluten free diet, si tu n’es pas allergique ca fait grossir !!!
    On peut du moins se decontracter un peu quand on achete aux marches locaux (farmers markets) et dans les co-op (produits locaux et organiques). C’est un peu plus cher, mais il faut se l’avouer, on se sent mieux.
    Et oui, en France on cuisine plus, mais on travaille plus efficacement (pas moins, je peux temoigner) donc il y a plus de temps pour ca. La culture et politque europeenne sont la pour defendre les droits et avantages sociaux de citoyens. Ici, aux US, tu gagnes ton propre pain (y compris ta propre assurance maladie…).
    Bref, tout est similaire de loin mais tellement different de pres. De toutes facons, il ne faut pas compter vivre a la francaise dans un autre pays, ce n’est pas vraiment possible, il faudrait se battre tout le temps.
    Embrace your environment Garance. Garde tes 5 kilos de trop, t’embete pas trop pour la gym et do lunch with your gal pals as often as you want. Mais quand nous retournons a Paris regulierement, rejouissons-nous de notre perte de poids naturelle et de faire ainsi partie du French Paradox !

  • I love your brutal honesty. Culture clash! So happy you are practicing yoga. BALANCE in life eh?

  • oh c’est vrai! le cheval et mon petite muffin top a san francisco. nobody notices here.

  • Your third point is so spot-on. There is definitely something – I don’t know what, but not organic (to the body) – in American food that makes you blow up, due to the body’s inability to break it down effectively. I was in the US for four years for university, during which I gained a surprising amount of weight… I lost it, and then some, once I returned home, despite eating MORE.

    Garance – you are gorgeous, stay healthy, and resist the fads of the crazies!

  • sorry no offense but you have many grammar errors. could you plz ask your bf to proofread your article next time before publishing it?

    i don’t want you to find this as an insult. if i have an English native speaker bf, i’ll ask him to help me improve my English as well.

    why let this opportunity pass you by when you have a chance?

    p.s. i am learning English too…


  • I love the honesty of your writing, you write what everyone is thinking. I think it is generally the difference between the European and American lifestyle. When I am in Europe I always lose weight!

    Peroxide Blonde

  • Ca a peut-être déjà été dit dans les quelques presque 300 commentaires mais je me suis demandée s’il ne fallait pas avoir une certaine situation sociale pour se permettre de vivre ainsi. N-Y est une ville assez cher à ce qu’on m’a dit et manger dehors tout le temps doit monopoliser un certain budget non? A moins que les tarifs soient tellement accessibles qu’il n’y a pas de différence avec l’addition des courses alimentaires? Bref, tout ce que je sais, c’est que je fais des économies en ne mangeant pas tout le temps dehors (et je mange plus sain, les quantités que JE décide et je ne dépense pas une fortune dans des salles de sports du coup…).

  • Oh, hahaha!
    This was THE best! And no one talks about it really, it’s like a secret code and everyone’s just trying to make it to the SkinnyGirl.
    Europe vs. America – Europe wins. Everything’s just not as extreme. Hope some day it’s gonna be more balanced in the States as well :) …and I mean this in a positive way!

  • yep! you got it :*) the eyes must understand what they’re seeing. then it becomes easier again.. good luck hon <3

  • J’ai hâte de savoir ce que tu as fait après, âlors quel est ce nouveau mode de vie dont tu parles en introduction ?

    Sinon l’article est super intéressant et m’a fait comprendre notamment (cf. les normes alimentaires) pourquoi les américains qui veulent manger sainement partent directement sur le bio ou même arrêtent la viande, les laitages, etc. Il n’y a pas vraiment de juste milieu aux US.

  • If you think the portions are large in New York, venture to anywhere in the Midwest or the South! You could feed a family of four with one entree. I’ve been in NYC for five years, and I think I would classify myself as having an average body as NYC skinny goes, but every time I go home to Texas friends and family tell me how thin I am and how great I look. It’s the NYC mind f*ck.

  • Just got back from Paris yesterday and totally know what you mean when you talk about the parisian lifestyle and attitude. Wine, coffee & cigarettes all the way.
    And one more thing. Have you read the book ‘skinny bitch’? It’s basically about healthy nutrition and the mention all those things like hormones in meet and the whole egg and milk stuff. Probably the scariest and most terrifying thing I’ve read in my life. Including pretty much every thriller.

  • This post generally sums up my experience of New York. I did a job over there some years ago, the city was amazing. The Met was seriously impressive.The eating habits pretty much as you describe. It all felt a little too hyper and obsessive, frantic. And nobody understood my liking for Gauloise, espresso and pain chocolat(I’m English, I love them with bitter marmalade) or bread and real cheese for breakfast. All in all I was delighted to get back home to Paris.

  • Génial votre article Paris Skinny vs. NY Skinny! Une chose que les Européens ont compris, c’est le juste milieu.

  • Tu as bien cerné le problème. Voilà 3 ans que j’habite à NY et même en faisant gaffe, j’ai enflé…Mais le pire, c’est que quand je rentre en France, je me lâche sur tout ce qui m’a tellement manqué aux Etats-Unis à savoir vin, fromage et pain au chocolat…Pas vraiment diététique non plus ! Je n’ai donc plus qu’à me mettre au sport. :(

  • this is a great article…the food industry in north america is so different from that in africa, asia and europe…ive always lost weight whenever i traveled, and part of the pleasure of traveling for me is trying new foods and eating at nice restaurants!

    so yeah…new york – food’s yum, but bad for yo’ behind!

    thanks for opening up garance :)

  • i usually don’t comment anything, but now i just can’t be quiet. i thing, that parisian attitude is a very good thing, and you have to do your best to keep it. maybe, just try not to eat the whole nyc portions. relax is much better than total control and working out, isn’t it?

  • J’aime bien ce post Garance. :)
    Moi, si je passe 1 semaine à Paris ou à NY, je vais prendre du poids à Paris je pense. Je suis allée dans les 2 villes et je peux te dire que c’est difficile de résister à votre nourriture parisienne. <3

    P.S.: J'ai une question pour toi: depuis que je suis toute petite, je rêve d'aller habiter à New York. Je suis tombé en amour avec à l'âge de 11 ans. Est-ce que tu as un conseil pour moi si je veux aller m'installer dans cette ville qui ne dort jamais?

  • Such a great post. I have such a love hate relationship too with all our preservative foods. And I am such a stickler to know where my milk, meat, fish and eggs come from. To see what they put in that is gross. Hope this article circulates the food world.

  • I agree completely- I’m originally American but have lived in Latin America my entire life. When I go to the states it’s almost impossible not to put on weight and right when I get home I have to readjust and get used to the small portions, the lack of eating out, and the lack of food whenever we do go out (it’s much like a european society where I live). I will probably be moving to NYC next fall and can’t wait to start cooking for friends and family and I think that’s one way to maintain your weight; with restaurant food you don’t know if they’re using the best products, or even what they’re putting in your food… the easiest way is to be your own cook and maintain a healthy diet. I don’t think there’s a need to work out in NYC since walking is such a large portion of one’s day activities already.
    I have to say I love your drawing style and admire your work. Thanks for the article, it’s dead on.


  • Love your honesty Garance. Stay true to yourself, be happy and enjoy life! Exercise to feel strong and beautiful and eat wonderful things (including desserts and wine) to feel alive!

  • it’s mostly the added sugar. there’s sugar in everything here, sugar in mayonnaise, sugar in pasta sauce, sugar in… well, everything. hidden sugar. it’s so very very cheap.

  • Je comprends très bien ce que tu ressens car je vis aussi dans une grande ville américaine tout en étant française. Cependant il y a des alternatives. J’ai aussi remarqué que les dents sont un vrai marqueur social!

  • quelle vie bougeante et changeante au gré du temps….

  • This is an interesting conversation. I am a native New Yorker and when I lived briefly in the South of France I gained weight that I was able to lose after returning to NY. I think my gain was due to eating out a lot- not just wine, coffee, and cigarettes, whereas normally I cook healthy food at home and when I do go out I never have any restrictions whether I am in NY or elsewhere.

    Anyway not all NY restaurants serve enormous plates it just depends on the restaurant. Thank your for your honesty – certainly I think many women share similar experiences.

  • I moved to the U.S. six years ago and I haven’t gained any weight. (I live in D.C.) and I actually lost 3 lbs. I knew after a few months coming here that eating out will make me fat. I’m really particular about what I eat because I have a horrible genes, especially when it comes to having heart disease. So I became more conscious and I only eat out on special occasions and even then im really careful what I eat.

    Just try to eat everything fresh and have a balanced diet. I wouldn’t trust anything that promotes fresh sounding food from fast food joints.

  • Très intéressant ton article,je n’aurais jamais cru que le style de vie changeait autant.
    J’espère juste que tu prendras soin de toi et que tu ne tomberas pas dans l’extrême.
    Les françaises te font des bisous.

  • Yes! Stay away from American meat and dairy! You will gain so much weight. And also stay away from soy, processed foods, any preservatives…they preserve fat. I find in New York women are either pudgy from the previously mentioned are absolutely skinny from running around, over working, going to the gym and living off Starbucks.

    It’s very hard in the city to nurture yourself when it comes to food. It’s exhausting so sometimes the last thing you want to do sometimes is prepare healthy food. Also produce is very hard to find. I could go on and on!

  • well, I can kind of see what you’re saying about NY skinny from women in your photos. in LA I think it is similar. my friends who are not actresses have the strictest diets. like their whole meal is the size of the palm of your hand. and then they skip dinner. and no carbs (no ice cream!) and no red meats. but they will allow for wine and alcohol. I have to work out every day and watch my carbs (only 1-2 servings of whole grain bread or pasta in a day usually). but luckily it’s in my nature I enjoy exercising and sweating (only not sweating in front of men). it’s just a matter of time. for my treat I will have pastries (almond croissant or lovely wheat croissant from the farmer’s market), sold by a cute French man.

  • Mon dieu, j’ai déménagé à Boston il y a deux ans pour l’uni, et c’est exactement les scènes que je décris à mes potes qui ont du mal à croire que les New Yorkais (et à Boston aussi hein,,,) font beaucoup (trop) attention à leur physique!! Je compatis Garance! C’était un changement de mode de vie, ca c’est sur!

  • Si l’on trouve la vie différente en France et à New York, il faut bien se rendre compte d’une chose : la culture de masse dont le mode de vie “Mac Donaldien”, devient coutume en France. Nous n’avons pas d’obésité aussi record que là-bas, mais elle tend à grimper, les minettes à la taille fine et aux jambes de gazelle se trouvent toujours une silhouette disgracieuse, mais font plus où moins avec. Le fait est que la minceur reste symbole de richesse et de “réussite sociale”, avec le bronzage et la grosse baraque et/où voiture. Pourquoi ? Pour moi, parce que seule les classes “favorissées” peuvent se permettre de pratiquer un sport, que les classes “favorisées” ont assez le moral pour gigoter leurs fesses sculpturales dehors, que le bronzage et la minceurs sont les signes d’une bonne santé et de l’avantage de partir en vacances. Que l’on érige la minceur en un pouvoir de beauté et de séduction alors que la plupart des hommes disent les minces “bonnes” ou moches de maigreur et les rondes délicieuses et belles. Je ne sais pas se qui se passe à NYC, mais en France la recherche de prestige doit s’en approcher. Il est vrai que l’alimentation ne doit pas être la même, mais quand est il du reste ?

  • Merci pour ce post très intéressant et plein de sincérité. Les changements de style de vie ont souvent une influence sur notre corps. Le tout est de se réveiller à temps !

  • I love you Garance! Your view is completely correct!

  • Ms. Dore, I love this and I don’t want to disagree with you about these two cities in any way, but having visited Paris many times and lived in New York for a while, I want to just say…you’ve obviously never seen Seoul Skinny. Takes things to a whole new level and makes both New York and Paris a moot point. Seoul girls are crazy skinny, no competition in the world.

  • Tout avec modération, y compris la modération!

  • Ici à Amsterdam, les filles ne semblent avoir aucun problème avec la nourriture – qu’elles conçoivent comme un carburant pour le corps : un bon gros sandwich pas très bon et puis hop, c’est reparti!
    Elles ne sont ni maigres, ni grosses, juste tranquillement bien portantes. On dirait qu’elle n’ont aucun complexe ; leur rapport à la nourriture est très sain et en meme temps, c’est un peu triste, car il manque un peu de passion là-dedans…

  • Same thing happened to me when I arrived in New York from Poland 20 years ago. From a perfectly happy with her naturally slim figure 20 something, I seemed to blow up almost overnight – gained 10 pounds, stopped fitting into my clothes. My personal theory – it’s the sugar that gets added into everything, and it is corn sugar, not beet sugar. It even tastes different. And portion sizes too – your stomach stretches, then you’re always hungry, and the vicious cicle continues… Thank you for the articlr, I enjoy reading your blog. XO J.

  • je viens de lire l’article du daily mail en rapport à ton article!! félicitations !

  • It’s the salt.

  • J’aime beaucoup ton texte, tu as vraiment saisi l’ambiance et la mentalité new yorkaise. Et ton illustration est chouette !

    antonia neyrins
    artiste voyageuse

  • so so true Garance ! but as someone who has spent most of her life commuting between Paris and California you wait till you live in LA….! at least in NY and Paris you are walking and running in and out of the metro all day…..when you live in LA you have to get in the car just to drive 3 blocks away to the supermarket and before you know it WHAM ! everything is tight and you are living in a pair of Juicy Couture stretch pants because that is the only thing that fits….a big JUICY logo tight over your ass , flip flops and it is all downhill from there. Even my city shoes don’t fit after a month in this city .

  • can’t say how grateful I am for your honesty and your realistic image you are giving here…

  • I love your blog in general. This post is so truthful I can’t stand it. Just a word of wisdom to you personally, Garance, go back to being(and eating) french in NYC (maybe just cut back on the bread)…so you don’t lose your soul. It has taken me personally 7 years of living elsewhere to come out of this obsessive NYC skinny thing that I too lived through living and working in NYC for 6 years. As a working musician, not just a girl in fashion or PR, we too were encouraged to watch our weight. After living 7 years now in eastern europe and working as a skin care specialist in a salon…my colleages encourage me to enjoy life and to be hedonistic. Your clothes, hair, skin, make-up and MOST OF ALL HEALTH (which you will lose by going along with this NYC skinny thing) are more important than gaining a kilo or 2.

  • it’s why i eat organic food.

  • The NYC skinnies have such a different perspective…It’s best to be strong and enjoy your caffeine, carbs and cigarettes…..

  • Garance, if you think you gained weight in NYC… just imagine moving to a place where there’s little (if any) walking as transportation. Imagine a place where the car rules, and most restaurants are chains. A 10lb-gain would be “nothing” relative to what one gains when they move away from NYC to a city that requires one to drive, etc.

  • This is so interesting! I’ve never lived in NYC or Paris and live on the West Coast of the U.S. but I HAVE noticed that people in New England are ALWAYS eating out. People on the West Coast eat out a LOT less and everyone I know seems to care about the chemicals and hormones in their food/cooking homemade “real” food with good ingredients; and people in general, in the cities, seem nice, normal sizes! Everyone is also active too, running, hiking, surfing, biking, that sort of thing, because the weather is so mild. So the NYC thing strikes me sort of as East Coast craziness. For me, why worry about it!

    Also, no offense, but you maybe need to hang out with more than just fashion people, size 0s are not the norm, even in NYC. ;-)

  • Thank you for articulating this! Finally. When I told my friends in NYC that I was moving to Paris three years ago, they all said: “Wow, everyone is so thin there.” I tried to explain that that perception is just not true — sure, it’s rare to see an obese parisienne, but it’s just as rare to encounter a Parisian woman who eats only lettuce and spends 2hrs/day at the gym! I find living in Paris so liberating for this reason.

  • Sometimes I think you read my mind. Seriously. It started with the documentation of your first jobs (restaurant, art museum… mine are the same), followed with the turquoise nailpolish article, and continues with this. And obviously I love everything in between. But thank you for this article. I’m moving to Paris next month and cannot wait! J’espere de trouver tous les choses que vous avez dit de Paris la. Si j’ai la chance de rencontrer quelqu’un comme vous (ou un peu comme vous de tout!) je vais penser moi-meme tres de la chance! (Oui, je sais que mon francias n’est pas parfait, mais j’espere de trouver un meuilleur comprehension a Paris aussi. Et aussi, j’espere, les accents sur le keyboard.)

  • I lived in Dublin for a year and gained 7 kgs which I had to work very hard to shift when I moved back home. Socialising seemed to revolve around going out for drinks (because eating out was prohibitively expensive) as well as eating a large meal at lunch time (the way the locals do) and then also at dinner (the way Australians do). Also because the weather was so cold I didn’t do as much outdoor activity as I would at home.

    New York and Parisian gals obviously know what works for them, because they are hands down the skinniest chicks I have ever met!

  • This is my third time to view this post. Brilliant article that no nutritionist or scientific studies could ever come up with. It is equally backed up with your readers comments in which every single comment has been noteworthy and informative. You should be proud.

  • AAAh je me souviens de ces moments!
    J’ai habité deux ans à New York. Je suis arrivée en fil de fer (c’était à la fin de l’adolescence), et je suis clairement repartie avec beaucoup plus de “pounds” que ceux avec lesquels j’étais arrivée.
    Maintenant, j’ai décidé de finir mon master en Australie. Rebelotte: pas de cuisine, que des take out, des plats trois fois trop gros, des frites qui accompagnent le moindre plat. Et pourtant, les filles sont du genre “Sydney Skinny” ici. Peut etre beaucoup plus de sport? et de surf?

    A Paris, un bon petit carpaccio – salade, un verre de vin (ou une bouteille, bien trop souvent), un paquet de Winston, et on était au top. Gosh I miss Paris sometimes…

  • You’re right – the hormones and additives in our food do make a difference. There are less vitamins in the food, so you eat more of it – your body is just trying to get the nutrients it needs. Plus, a lot of the chemicals they put in food to improve the flavours, give you sugar cravings! In Europe, the food is still healthy, but in the USA, Australia and UK, our food supply has totally changed since the 1970’s. And yes, it makes us fatter.

    The best way to deal with it is to eat organic and avoid ALL additives and convenience foods. Its hard, but the food supply is so polluted that its your best option (other than moving back to Europe or a going to third world country where the crops and products are still clean and healthy.)

  • Have you read “French Women Don’t Get Fat”? Its written by a French woman who moved to NY and gained 30-40lb – and then how she lost it again. AND she says you can eat dessert, wine, bread, chocolate and everything, but shows you how to do that and still stay thin. Its a great book and helped me figure out how to walk the diet tightrope.

    Here it is on Amazon:

  • Thanks for your always delightful insight.

  • Fantastic article and point of view!I live in england and visit NYC every so often, but was struck by the portion sizes! Thankfully I wasn’t there long enough to gain a significant amount of weight, but it’s raised an interesting point about hormones etc. i’m definitely going to start thinking about what goes into my food.

    Dree xx

  • I think your experience is pretty universal. It happened to the lady who wrote ‘French women don’t get fat.’ I am from Australia, but my parents are Europeans. I think a bit of the US eating habits have crept into Australia. I love wine, cheese, food etc. My aussi friends often ask me, how do I eat like this and remain the size I am?
    I don’t a an exercise regime, but I move. I will take the stairs, I will lift heavy things, go the longer way. Also, it’s about balance. When I am out at an amazing restaurant, I am there to enjoy. I listen to my body, if I have had many rich foods, my body will naturally crave for simple, lean things the next day. BALANCE. That’s the difference.

  • Moi je suis sIure que t’es magnifique. En même temps quand je suis arrivée à NY oui j’ai senti passer le régime alimentaire et je me suis mise à faire du sport tous les jours. Pareil à LA. Maintenant de retour à Paris, je me sens toujours grosse. Et je n’ai pas le temps de faire du sport. Et je rechange de régime alimentaire, je ne sais pas ce que ça va faire.

  • Thank you, so true! I think skinny is great but skinny to the brink is unhealthy and leaves the body no reserve if you get sick.

  • I’m American, but studied abroad in France and lost weight, and then moved to Paris for 2 years and again lost weight, despite eating amazingly delicious meals with lots of cheese, wine and bread.

    I think you might be onto something with all of the preservatives and ‘fake’ food we eat in America. Our bodies don’t know how to handle it.

    I now live in London and am still thinner than when I’m in the USA. I think it also has to do with walking all the time. Taking the stairs. And no snacking! ;)

  • I love this article! I also find this subject fascinating!

  • Intéressant…

  • I love this post. Thank you for your honesty & projecting it in such a way, that it was humourous (at times) and such a delight to read.

    ?, Rosa T.

  • I LOVE this article! It reminds me of a book I read called French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.

  • Oh please les nanas, curvy is the new skinny.

  • Great post! Funny and true and thought-provoking. Ha, the famous ten pounds! I have been presented with 15 (exchange student upgrade, hihi).

    Looking very much forward for new posts! Brilliant.

  • “Adapt or die…” so the saying goes. New York is a tour de force. Deal with it… I find you are spot on. In a way. Struggling to put my finger on it, I get the vibe that something has changed since being skinny crept into your blog. The free and fresh, bubbly and bursting joy of life has a new companion, a sort of shadow it strikes me. I so dearly enjoyed your flamboyant, playful view of aesthetics, void of utilitarian prescriptions. “Please, unleash again!”, I want to say and know it isn’t my place. I am sure there is a lot of pressure on you – yet: Isn’t the real battle the one keeping fanatic skinnyism’s joylessness at bay? Think Paris in the morning, surrounded by fabulous patisseries… truly wonderful… think vegetables and steak, this is joy! I don’t know about you, but sizes 0-4 remind me more of forced malnutrition than of female beauty. I hope you keep sharing your Parisian esprit with us – even if in New York disguise. Martha, Berlin – age 29, size 8, Bachelor, Master, PhD

  • There’s a big difference in the way people eat in Europe compared to the States. I LOST weight while I was in Italy for the summer. That’s right, I lost weight eating pasta, pizza, gelato, etc. No, I’m not lucky, they just serve you portion sized meals and emphasize ENJOYING the complexity and deliciousness that is non-processed, hormone-free food. And needless to say, the atmosphere is much more relaxed. My favorite part of the day was waking up extra early to make myself some coffee with two or three oatmeal cookies from the little market down the street. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for those cookies now….

  • I am a Latina, and the way the American media potrays us as curvy-licious and stuff isn’t all that true. Head down to Mexico (in my case) and you’ll see very thin people who eat breakfast, brunch, ‘dinner’ at 3pm and go out for hamburgers at 8pm! Don’t forget the numerous snacks like cookies, more bread and fruit. I easily consumed about 3000 calories per day when I was there and I lost weight. Why? because I was more active and the stuff was so much better for me! And street food in Mexico? Healthier (and cleaner) than you’d think. Endame, sweet potatoes, corn that’s 3 servings of veggies right there!

  • Comme Parisienne a New York depuis trois ans, je me reconnais tellement dans ton article, Garance. Merci de l’avoir si bien articule!

  • Well, well, well…. everybody knows that in Europe we eat better and healthy and the mediterranean diet is the best one for sure!
    Great post Garance!

  • I died laughing upon reading this post of yours as well as many others, including the one about the sleepy yogi. You have a wonderful since of honesty that is humorous and delightful. Thank you so much for your insight. As a girl born and raised in the South, I spent every summer interning in the fashion industry in NYC and then went on to move there and continue working in the fashion industry… ie I had lunch in the same cafeteria as Anna Wintour. I felt the exact same way about the “New York Skinny girl.” It was way too much pressure and no matter what I was wearing, I felt less put together than all of the other manicured, coifed haired girls that I worked alongside. Sigh… Needless to say, I bowed out of the race. But, I still admire those girls, and every once in awhile I miss being the less put together girl among them.

    Again, such a wonderful read! You’re one of my favorites!

    Sarah Rumsey

    Manolos to Asolos

  • Justement c’est pour tout cela que les New yorkaises adore les françaises, car on est belles sans besoin de faire trop attention , c’est la french attitude….je crois qu’un sourire vaut plus que des bras muscles!

  • Thank you for this post Garance!

    I struggled with the weight issue after moving from SF to LA. It started this really unhealthy cycle of cutting out different foods, trying every diet under the sun & just plain not eating…but the more I analyzed & restricted myself with different fabricated rules, the more unhappily obsessed I became- until all I could think about was my next meal, or the calories consumed. Yes I may have lost some weight, but looking at my pictures from that time, I was not my most beautiful…Beauty for me is being happy healthy and active …and it really shows if you love yourself & your body.

    I’m finally back to my happy weight, which is still a size 4, but it’s effortless without all the calculation. Simply by eating 3 well- balanced meals, lots of veggies, whole organic foods, minimally processed & fully enjoyed. I still enjoy my (whole grain) bread, wine, coffee & dessert. Just a bit though & with no guilt :). Also walking a lot, dancing & yoga are the forms of exercise I enjoy- no gym for me! If it’s not fun, I can’t do it…and forcing myself to do something I don’t enjoy, is aging frankly.

    I love your post, thank you for your lovely words & pictures!

  • This is so true Garance! Thank you for this article! I’m Parisian, living in the US and have been experiencing the same thing. Thanks for putting it into words!

  • Interesting article. Thank you for sharing this info! The portions are so different here in the USA than Europe. I’m from Finland but have lived in Southern California for 13 years now. It’s a real challenge to stay slim here with the amount of sugar used in food and the huge portions. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t buy our family’s food from Trader Joes. It’s a heaven for people who like European food and want to eat healthy.

  • Love your article, so perfect said. I read it to my husband and he agrees. He is the most anti fashion, don’t gain a pound person ever. But he loves your writing. You have a very blanced view and I wish more people in Toronto would read it. Keep it up

  • I agree with your views.

    Americans are all about all the way. The whole North American is obsessed with diet and work ups.

    I love the French way of NOT doing any work out. Mostly because I have better things to do – like you said.

    I just want to add that French are skinny because they are picky and they do not starve themselves. I believe that if you starve yourself all the time and deprive of your craving, you will binge and you will find yourself obsessed with food eventually. It is not healthy.

    Develop picky taste. Then you will not settle to eat crappy food.

    I will never deprive myself of deserts, foie gras, baguette, sugar (real sugar – I hate the taste of fake sugar), croissant is a must. I don,t work out at all. And I am still pretty thin.

    However, unfortunately, I am surrounded by diet-and-gym obsessed women who talk about calorie non-stop. (Since I live in North America). Honestly, I want to tell them, don,t you girls have better things to do? Life is more interesting than that!!!!

    Exercise is to keep your healthy NOT to keep the scale pointing at a certain number. The whole NOrth American trend is making me sick.

    I think I need to move to Europe

  • WOW, this article has hit a nerve. We all struggle with our weight at one point. Your readers appreciate your dilemma. I for one am curious to know what happens to our bodies when we travel. I have always been jealous of the Parisian diet. What is a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do you really eat dinner at 21 heures? how do you digest your food that late at night? On vacation in France and Italy I always gain weight. Too many treats. Too many 3 course meals. Too much wine! xxx

    I live in Montreal and the restos are world class. Portions are generally good. I eat well, I cook well, walk a lot and exercise with my family on the weekends. I have cut dairy out. I do not eat friend food. I am still struggling! Maybe I should take up smoking? KIDDING


  • Alors, moi je suis arrivee a NYC y a 4 mois.

    Donc la vie sociale et les restos a tir larigot… oui…
    La taille des portions… oui…
    Et pis qu’est ce kon ingurgite vraiment… oui… et j’aime autant pas le savoir…

    Par contre je suis pas encore passee par la case 5 kilos (j’ai bien du passe par la case 2 kilos par contre et case fesses molles aussi – vous reprendrez bien un petit bout de fesses molles et de celluliiiight…!!!) et le pire c ‘est que je fais gaffe et que j’ai pas tendance a prendre de poids…

    Sympa l’article as I can relate big time…

  • I loved it!

    I am sure that each one of us had this kind of experience with food.. when you think, you will stay as you are for ever..and then you realize that your weight is increasing.. but it’s ok because you still believe that you can loose it in a week.. But NO .. it stays here! especially after a certain age.. I lived in Paris for 18 years.. and the weight has never been an issue.. i have never missed my glass of wine and desert at lunch.. and it was super ok!
    I moved to Dubai.. and it’s the same story.. god knows how the meet has been raised.. and the vegetables have no taste at all… in less than 3 month I gained 8kg.. and since I am still struggling to loose them.. I never realized how lucky I was to live in Paris till I left ..It is by far the best city to eat..

    But I still love food and learned to accept that won’t be as skinny as I used to be in Paris but I still can wear a size 38 and feel good about myself.. I would be sooo depressed if I don’t eat what I feel like eating.

    Garance NY or not.. If you enjoy cooking you should never stop.. it’s the best way to eat what you love without doubting too much about the quality.

  • Bonjour Garance juste te dire que ton post le Daily Mail a fait un article
    Bravo beacoup de plaisir a le lire et excue mon français
    a bientôt….

  • Incroyable aussi le fossé qui existe entre le New York “healthy” et le New York “junk food”!
    J’ai fait des échanges d’appartement et est donc vécu quelques mois à Manhattan chez différents new yorkais, dont deux étaient proches de l’obésité. Et leurs cuisines faisaient un peu flipper… Mis à part le fait que l’équipement pour cuisiner est hyper sommaire, voir inexistant, les placards sont remplis de trucs inhabituels comme des Jell-O (ces gelées bien chimiques avec des arômes artificiels improbables et des colorants dignes du pays des teletubbies) et de l’aspartame en guise de sucre, dans le frigo des sodas 0% et des sauces plus bizarres les unes que les autres. En gros aucun produit naturel comme du sucre, de l’huile d’olive, du beurre… mais juste des produits transformés dont l’étiquette vous fait la promesse du zéro calorie: “no fat”, “sugar free”…
    Et à côté mon pote, new yorkais également, qui est végétarien, ne boit aucun soda, boycotte les fast food, fait du foot (du soccer bien de chez nous!) et du jogging…
    Pour ma part j’ai perdu un peu de poids alors que j’avais déjà prévu de prendre les quelques kilos réglementaires. J’ai pas mal évité la viande (avec tout ce qu’on entend sur les hormones ça fait pas trop envie) et aussi énormément sillonné la ville… à pied!

    Quelques photos de mon voyage sur mon blog…

  • Tu écris divinement bien!
    Ce que tu décris ne m’étonne guère mais j’avoue que moi aussi j’avais réfléchis au problème des hormones dans la bouffe et ça ça fait flipper…….. sans parler des antibio qu’il y a dans la viande:::::) Brrrrrrrr heureusement qu’il y a des starbuk et des cheese cake (oups ba non pour le poids c’est pas génial!)

  • I haven’t been on here for a while but I noticed that the mood of your writing has really changed. I’ve lived in New York too. It’s wonderful in some ways but it’s a hard city.

  • Et Bien Garance,
    tu as decris parfaitement ce qui m’est arrive en arrivant aux States!!
    Et je ne vis pas a New-York mais a Austin,Tx et c’est la meme, crois-moi!
    Je me suis vite apercu qu’il me faudrait regarder les etiquettes avec les ingredients minutieusement pour eviter le sucre qui se trouve dans tous ces plats soit-disant “sales”…
    Bonne chance a toi en Amerique!

  • Et si NY est pire que la France, et que la France est pire que le reste de l’Europe… Je comprends que des New Yorkaise sont vraiment mais vraiment skinny!

  • Tu changes New York par Los Angeles et c’est la meme ici. Je suis la plus “grosse” au travail. Mes collegues sont toutes entre le double 0 et la taille 4. Au secours!
    Je te comprends avec les slims. J’ai reussi a garder mon poids pendant 5 ans, et boum cette annee, c’est la cata.! Je ne rentre plus dans aucun de mes jeans et shorts. L’horreur! Et pourtant je fais du sport 3 fois par semaine comme une dingue… Tu as raison avec la viande. Il faut que je l’achete qu’a Whole Foods, vraiment!

    Jen, une compatriote de LA.

  • Get healthier habbits but PLEASEEEE don’t fall into that frenetic pressure!!! We need people like you to keep the world in balance!

  • I feel really sorry about missing your last posts but I’m catching up and laughing as never! I really love when you give us this kind of information! you have a great sense of humour and a beautiful redaction, i always enjoy reading you, I feel like if I were reading a fashion, social guide but for mortals! I’m planning to travel to NY so this information is gold for me and my sister,she’s now really worried about her weight cause her prom is in one year so it would be a monumental catastrophe if she gain weight in NY, maybe she’ll never would like to go again if so! hahahaha My best wishes for you and your husband and hope the hurricane won’t affect both of you! G.F MARTI

  • I loved this…

    Coming from an american, please don’t get all american on me! I depend on you for your more relaxed, pleasurable opinions? insights? One of my favorite quotes is from a french man: Everything in moderation, including moderation!


  • intéressant tout ça…

    De mon point de vue masculin / Montréalais, ça m’a frappé avant-hier dans le train Newark-Manhattan : pour la première fois de ma vie j’étais le seul dans un wagon avec un (petit) surpois. En plus, personne ne transpirait malgré l’humidité suffocante des gares (lire : tout le monde est en forme sauf moi) et tout ça en étant tiré à 4 épingles….

    J’aime j’aime j’aime NYC mais cette course folle – qui inclut en prime plein d’autres choses que le poids – me dérange. Il s’agit peut-être d’une espèce de grand triage yankee, inhérent à la taille et au dynamisme de cette ville magique.

  • the same thing happened to me when i moved back to new york after living in milan for 2 years. 7 pounds, just like that. all of a sudden and before i even realized it. now i work out every day to get back to normal. but everything you wrote is really spot on. the portions, the amount people go/eat out, all the hormones and preservatives in the food. it’s pretty disturbing.

  • Such a great post… As a 36 year old woman who grew up in the LA area I can relate to the pressures surrounding body-image (not to mention long, blonde hair flowing down to the waist a la Daryl Hannah in ‘Splash’). I’m convinced that a good way of looking at the body is from the inside. Focus on health, which means avoiding pesticides and hormone and anti-biotic laden meats and dairy products, and the rosy cheeks and thin limbs naturally follow… At 36, I weigh the same as I did in high school, a healthy 125 pounds and I have never been on a ‘diet’. And the portions are ridiculous! I eat until I’m satisfied (never until I’m full) and take the rest home for that second, and in some cases third, meal you mentioned.

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  • Superbe article, merci de l’avoir partagé car j’habite à paris et me rend tout bientot à New York !

  • thank you SO MUCH for writing – and observing – this.
    i am so irritated but have been keen to the fact for a few years that every time i return to NYC from berlin (not paris – but still – some shared dairy and meat standards) I GAIN WEIGHT. i have tried to wrestle with this demon and figure out WHY as i feel its as if i put on an extra 5 – 10 pounds as soon as my toes touch US soil. its not far from the truth. here i am 4 weeks into a NY return and inevitably i am really and truly 5 – 8 pounds heavier. yes, my skinny jeans are – too skinny. ouch – theyre tight now! arrrgh! its so incredibly annoying. i feel as if its not the portions not the meal choice – thats is IN THE FOOD. really if i starved myself here totally id still be fatter. maybe its the water? defintely it has something to do with the basics – the milk – the eggs – the flour. can i figure out this problem? do i have to become a marathon runner? in NYC – maybe! in the EU – not at all!!!

  • I love this!!! I’m from SF and I really wanna see the difference in east and west coast as well. Good luck, I’ll keep checking back for your updates!!!

  • Love your illustration but the Parisienne is missing un cigarette in her hand! It will c o m p l e m e n t the so true article.

    Amber que

  • Nice lines. Made me in a good mood! Thank u!!! Andre

  • Hormones in meats not so much (that’s China), but antibiotics, yes. And unless you cook for yourself or eat at top flight restaurants each day, there’s a great deal of bad fats and sugars in everything here in USA, even bread. Even in “healthy” prepared foods from high-end grocers. Also, NYC is not always that much fun to walk in. Paris is much more a pedestrian city, walking is still the best excercise. And NY stress levels are epic. Take time to relax and walk and the weight will subside. Funny sidebar to all this – a number of years back, the fashion industry here did a study on body type and decided to revamp the standard sizes. Ratios changed a bit and the numbers went UP, so when your coworkers are congratulating themselves for being a size 2, that’s really closer to the old size 4! All you have to do now is smile and pretend to be interested…..

  • Je suis tout à fait d’accord, d’ailleurs quand on change de pays on prend de poids. Mais c’est surtout vrai que à Paris il y a pas cette pression social par rapport a être mince ou pas. On peut voir ça même dans le langage, ici tout le monde est accepté physiquement tel quel, on peut dire, mince, maigre coustaud, fort etc, en anglaise est: Fat or skinny.
    And I can say that from my foreing person point of view, in Paris I’ve been my most fat, but I don,t feel any pressure because pleople don’t find it representive of who I am. If I was with this 7 extra kg back in Colombia or in the US I would be miserable

  • What’s quite funny is that as a New Yorker living in Paris I have only gained weight and lost hold of my healthy habits! With the abundance of pastries and French culinary meals I hadn’t had access to before (although don’t get me wrong, New York has great food too!), I find myself living more in the moment and then regretting those extra bites later. I also don’t smoke which would help suppress my voracious appetite for such treats and I certainly won’t start to for that reason either.

    I wouldn’t agree with another commentator’s comment on how everyone is accepted, come as they are physically, in Paris. I find a ton of pressure to be extra skinny from Parisians (especially at these elite business schools where looks mean everything). I think the pressure is felt whenever you’re in a foreign capital filled with beauties and are submitted to fit in with its definition of what’s beautiful. This submission of course is mainly psychological, because no one really forces you to be fat or skinny. Unless you work in fashion or another similar industry where looks are unfortunately linked to success, or you circle social scenes that place an inordinate and unhealthy amount of importance on looks rather than intellectual and social attributes.
    in the end, it really is all about self-confidence which is in my opinion the major source of beauty and style.

  • Mais quand même à New York c’est un peu extrème. Chaque fois que je rend visite il me semble que les filles sont plus minces qu’avant et plus obessives de leur poids.

  • I’ve never lived in Paris, but I’ve lived here and there in the USA my whole life. I’ve also visited several countries in Europe and elsewhere. One thing I’ve noticed is that you walk a LOT LESS in the United States. A lot of this is because a) we have crappy public transportation even in cities and b) everything is spaced farther apart. I grew up in an area where the closes food store was 10 miles away and the closest anything else store was at least 15 miles away. There is no way you could walk there and back a few times a week and still have time for other things. So then the only real times you get exercise is when you make time to work out daily (which is less fun that walking places).

    Also, we do have larger portions. They get in your head and soon you forget the amount you used to eat and start eating more, even without noticing.

    And we do eat out more often as a social thing. When you eat out more and have bigger portions, you tend to eat more automatically unless you’re REALLY watching it.

    I don’t know if it’s anything to do with hormones or chemicals in food, but we do have a LOT of foods that are engineered to make you want to eat more. Their look, taste, texture, everything about them is designed to make you subconsciously go back for another bite and not notice that you are full. I’m dead serious – I’ve researched the crap out of this. Just Google the subject if you want some quick info.

    So we have less opportunity to move in our daily lives, our social life revolves around going out (and usually “out” means food/drinks), we have bigger portions, and our food is designed to make you want to eat more.

    I know people laugh at the USA for our overweight/obesity problems, but there are a ton of reasons we actually have those issues, and some of them are much more serious than those I mentioned (lack of access to nutrition education, lack of time to make food b/c of low socioeconomic status, lack of fresh foods within 70 miles – it seriously happens – and lack of transportation to get to anywhere but crappy foods).

    So yes, it is very different here. We’re still trying to figure out a way to balance all of this into something resembling healthy. But yeah, you definitely saw several of the factors that make it hard to maintain a regular weight.

  • this is the first thing I read on your blog. It’s great to read and I love the illustration very much.

    After moving from the countryside to Oxford and now to Vienna I gained a lot of weight (5kg), which never really bothered me. In the UK the unhealiest things are the cheapest ones and I ate more sweets to prevent homesickness. Vienna instead is a city where you get great food everywhere, you take the tube instead of walking, eat some snacks on the way and at the end of the semester the exams are coming and you are eating all day long.

    In my point of view, Vienna is relaxed. Of course there are skinny people here too. But if it wasn’t for my mother, no one would have recognised the 5kg more on my hips.
    For me is the best way to loos weight to not think about it all the time. :)

  • Cet été, je suis partie chez de la famille en Californie. Ce que j’ignorais, c’est que cette chère famille ne mange QUE fast-food. Du coup, ils sont tous obèses et torturés par leur poid…

    Vu que je déteste tout ce qui n’est pas sain, je ne mangeais que quelques fruits par jour. Incroyable mais vrai, je n’avais pas faim et j’ai perdu dix kilos en un mois. Déjà que je n’étais pas grosse, là je suis devenue anorexique. Pardon, “skinny like a model” selon des filles éperdues d’admiration…

  • I am late to this party but wanted to say that YES, I have noticed this too, even moving back and forth from the US to Canada! Within a week back in Canada from the US, those few extra points drop off naturally. AND, from Israel to London, where I now live. I ate SOOO fresh and beautiful food in Israel, the food is amazing. Back in London? Packaged, old-seeming food, even the ‘fresh’ stuff. Sad!! Having said that, my ‘trick’ in London is to have much less milk (no more lattes, it makes me break out like crazy but white Americanos are OK), and very little sugar. Sorry, but sugar kills it all. Skin looks older and more worn, mood and energy fluctuates up and down like crazy – I just don’t need it. Of course I can have a special treat here and there but.. well, having said that, when I’m coming on my period and a few days on it, the massive slabs of chocolate (mint Aero bars, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Galaxy caramels) slip down my throat like water.. and then next week I don’t want them at all!

  • I’m relieved that I’m not the only one that made exactly the same experience!
    I’m not from France but used to live in Germany (they have some really delicious things at bakeries as well, which I loved to have)…
    Started to work out and eat healthy/less a few weeks ago, it works!

  • CRAIG LEONARD April, 8 2014, 2:19 / Reply

    yES I like thin women, but not paris thin or ny thin. I think a women should look and feel dignified, but not to the homosexual thin boy look.

  • Merveilleux post, pérennise comme cela

  • I’m from New York State but not NYC, and I also got that little 10lb gift. From what I can tell you’re spot on. The opportunities to go out and eat is insane – almost every day the invites come in for brunch, bbq’s and dinner – and it can be very hard not to get caught up. Aside from the large portions I find that it’s become totally normal to be drinking at almost every meal and almost always more than just a casual glass or two of wine. I’m not even talking about night life. As far as I can tell the only way to survive the constant temptation is mass amounts of will-power. Exercise and portion-control are a must here, as is cooking for yourself as much as possible. Regardless, I feel your pain.

  • i’m italian so i have eaten well my whole life, even when i eat bad i eat well :)
    i can totally relate to what you say dear garance :)
    i watch a lot of youtubers from usa or uk and i can see clearly how hard is for them to get thin!they have a lot of food that looks delicious but that is more than i eat in a month!
    you are always an amazing writer garance,
    lots of love

  • J’ai rearqué cela aussi á New York , j ‘Ali grossi car la bouffe dehors est 100 fois plus grasse. C’est aussi très sucré. Le mème dessert a paris est moins sucré. Seul les restau cher cuisine leger. Les take away pas cher rapide c’est du gras Et du sucre.

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  • April T July, 17 2015, 3:56 / Reply

    So my story is the complete opposite, and I really am stumped about it because I come from Texas, not really a place known for skinny healthy people, but I was in really good shape and very active, I have been in France for two years now and have had a constant 10-15 pound gain that I cannot seem to get rid of!!! I am not sure what is going on, but I am definitely less physically active in France………..and the food… rich, and also some of the best produce I have ever had! I am really stumped, all of my french friends eat so much sugar, bread, dairy, wine, and they are all so skinny, and no they don’t work out! I really cannot figure this one out.

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  • Hello! I know your struggle very well! I moved to New York last year because of my job. I am from London and I thought that the difference between these two cities won’t be so obvious but actually it is. Girls are really skinny in New York and this is kind of stressing! I felt perfectly well with my weight but suddenly I started to thing about the food that I eat all the time and I didn’t like this feeling at all. I don’t thing that these crazy thoughts are good for any person. Fortunately, I lived in New York for an year and now I am in Australia. The pressure in New York is one of its kind!

  • Scooter Johnson January, 1 2016, 3:27 / Reply

    Just try not to be fat. Don’t eat until you can’t, eat until you aren’t hungry. You don’t have to kill every single thing and lick the bowl. Just stop when you no longer feel hungry.

  • ” there is a good bit of that when it comes to Cajun cooking. If they are not cooked, do them for a further minute, and keep going until they are as you like them. The main job of the cooks is to prepare and serve regular meals to the ship’s crew and passengers.

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  • I moved from California to Paris and I find the lack of obsession about appearances so refreshing!! Blown out hair, constantly manicured nails, false lashes, spray tans… nowhere to be seen!

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  • The reason the French are skinny is the cigarettes. Most Americans used to be skinny too back before the U.S. Government decided to wage war on smoking. If Americans took two hour lunch breaks and sat around smoking cigarettes for an hour and a half after eating like the Parisians do they would be skinny too. Of course smoking is banned in most restaurants here in the US.

  • Anna Rexia April, 12 2019, 2:53 / Reply

    Great observations. Portion sizes are just far too big here in the U.S. Particularly in the South & Midwest. I can make a meal & two snacks out of one takeout meal from most local places, no exaggeration.

    It’s all about calories in vs. calories out. Weight is 80% diet & 20% exercise. I’ve lost 36 lbs in the last 6 months by just eating 1,200 calories (no exercise whatsoever!). Counting calories is not the most exciting thing in the world, but it really is effective in monitoring your energy intake & preventing weight gain. And of course, most restaurants here don’t provide calorie info unless you ask for it. But if you rely on your eyeballs to guesstimate how much you’re eating, it’ll never work. I’ve noticed that sweets will cause you to plump up faster than ANYTHING. I believe some calories might actually be “worse” than others due to their effect on insulin & metabolism so variety is key.

    I let myself eat out once or twice a month & go all out…have whatever I want. The rest of the time it’s all about sticking to the CICO diet of 1,200 cals or less. No smoking, drinking, soda, red meat or pork. But tons of carbs & any other junk that’s convenient :}

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