Pasta with Courgette and Grilled Chicken; How I got fat in France

Yes, dear readers, I moved to France and got fat.

I became overweight.

Note that I didn’t say that I gained weight.

I became overweight.

Could this be the real reason French women don’t get fat?

Well, there are certain cultural differences that seriously discourage weight gain.

First, there’s the nudity.

We have topless beaches and nude beaches as well as the occasional visit to the doctor.  I recounted here the need to be fit and have sexy underwear for that.

Second, there’s that sexy underwear.

It’s the norm here, everyday wear, not just for date night or special occasions.  That little overhang of excess adipose tissue from the sides of the lacy hot-red bra tends to detract from the intended image.

But the real reason French women don’t get fat is the weight table.


Yep, the weight table.

According to the US weight table I weigh exactly in the middle for my height.

I’m perfect.

I’m 5’6″ tall.  I should weigh between 120 and 160 lbs.  I weigh 140.

I’m at the perfect weight….. If I lived in the US.

However, I live in France.

In France I’m fat.

I’m still 5’6″ tall.  I should weigh between 114 and 139 lbs.  I still weigh 140.

I’m fat.

To be perfect I have to lose 14 lbs and weigh 126.

Which would almost make me underweight by US standards.

I posit the following:

The US officially expects people to weigh more – so they do.

France officially expects people to weigh less – so they do

It’s all about expectations….. and the sexy undies.


Now I have to lose weight.
Presto pasta nights

However, I’ve always been of the ‘lose weight by increasing activity’ school of thought.

I do rather love to eat.

And I couldn’t possibly give up pasta!

I’m sending this over to Mansi, of Fun & Food Cafe for Presto Pasta Nights, the fantastic event founded by Ruth of Once
Upon A Feast

Mansi will have pastas from around the globe on her blog on Friday.

Pasta with Courgette and Grilled Chicken

Pasta with Courgette (Zucchini) and Grilled Chicken

1 1/4 cups pasta
2 chicken breasts
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow squash
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
2 tbs fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs good olive oil

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain.
Make marinade and spoon over chicken.  Let marinate for 10 minutes. Cook on barbecue grill for 8 – 10 minutes per side, turning once, or until done.  Remove and let rest 5 minutes.  Slice.
Cut onion in quarters, then slice.  Mince garlic.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, then slice.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and sauté until tender.  Add garlic, squash and sauté until squash starts to brown.  Add tomatoes and pasta, heat through.
Put pasta into a large serving bowl, add basil, vinaigrette and stir gently.  Add Mozzarella, stir gently.  Top with sliced chicken and serve.

Now I believe I’#ll go for a brisk walk.

I should add, that this was in the 8 page report I got on my health as a result of the physical I had 2 weeks ago.

10 thoughts on “Pasta with Courgette and Grilled Chicken; How I got fat in France”

  1. Katie – I hear you! Since turning 52, my metabolism finally slowed…I gained 30 lbs! I needed 15 of those lbs…but the other 15? I also love food, but suppose I should get more exercise….oh, and we are having pasta tonight too! Ina

  2. Wow that is so funny! Maybe if the US lowered its weight chart fewer people would be obese. I mean, why is there a 40 pound skew for normal?
    And I’m with you. Eat the same (or more) but MOVE more is the way to go! I couldn’t give up food to lose weight…everything in moderation!

  3. Those are the exact same pasta shapes I used last night 🙂
    I’m considered a bit chubby here in France, but boy will I feel skinny in 2 weeks when I get to Minnesota. I’ll have to remind myself to go easy on the snacking there.

  4. oh how you spoken the same words in my mind relating to weight issue. well good thing we are aware and not denial about it. Lovely pasta dish here, i love those spirals,the springy texture and really hold on to the sauce. Fresh and Lite! Do you like brown rice pasta or Whole wheat pasta?

  5. Guess it’s time to move back to the states ;-D
    OR…ignore the scales…so much easier. Great post and delicious dish to share with PResto Pasta Nights. Thanks for always making my day.

  6. Eeeek!!! I’ve been struggling (well, not really very hard actually – I’ve never been very good at reducing my intake – there are so many good things to eat!!) to get from 165lbs down to 160lbs – I’m 5’9. I’ll bet that in France I’m supposed to weigh around 155lbs. Good thing I live in Canada and don’t have to worry about anyone but those nearest and dearest seeing the state of my really rather dull underwear.
    (I can’t seem to find a chart for France OR Canada. I did find a BMI index at Health Canada but cannot for the life of me figure out how to read the chart. I even went so far as to calculate my weight in kilos and height in cm but it didn’t clarify things in the least.)
    Hmmm. Maybe I’m hungry. THAT’S why I am having trouble reading the charts. Yes. That’s it. Perhaps I should have a plate of pasta. Yours looks good.

  7. Mansi, thanks – and you are so welcome!
    Ina, for me it’s all about the exercise – I refuse to give up any food!
    Joanne, and extra 3 minutes on the treadmill for every piece of chocolate – makes it so worthwhile, too ;-))
    Meredith, the snacking always does me in… The stuff is everywhere and everyone is constantly nibbling. Have a wonderful trip!
    CDookNg Sisters – brown rice pasta? Haven’t seen that but sounds good. I get ‘integral’ which is whole wheat (I think)
    Ruth, ignore the scales – I did that when we first moved to this house and lost 4 lbs – of course it could have been the cold…..
    Elizabeth, Ah, the BMI…. There was a hint that my waist could have been smaller, as well….. Only so much time in a day and if I have to eliminate something it’s usually the sit-ups…. not the pasta!

  8. Just goes to show… everything is relative. Like the girth of my thighs relative to sexy red undies’ thigh openings. Aaaarrrrgh! Maybe this is the explanation for the rise in girls “going commando” :o) Just far less pressure!
    No way I am giving up pasta either – the resistance sarts here!

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