An American Paradox

by Al Pastor

It strikes me as an American paradox: a nation with many great athletes and a fascination for sports and such a mania for exercise technology, and they somehow avoid the easy, unheroic path to fitness. Sometimes I believe all these machines are a vestige of Puritanism: instruments of public self-flagellation to make up for private sins of couch riding and overeating. French women happily don’t suffer from those extremes of good and evil. Wellness is a gray area of balance.

From: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, Vintage, 2007.