(Note to Readers: Ms. Anne would die if she knew I told you about our late night conversation. She thought it was pillow talk among friends with no benefits. Act surprised now, that I am in the book. )
Attention everyone. This is your Brain talking, and I’m taking over this chapter, now that we’ve arrived in the South of France. Is it a fabulous day here in Cannes or what?
Ms Anne is so astounded by the vitriolic outpouring of anti-French sentiment against the facts of French women by Americans on last week’s NYTimes that she’s on a diplomatic mission with the French attaché to be certain that we are still welcome here in Cannes.
Truthfully, I think she hightailed it out of town, for fear you will throw her to the wolves, too.
Not to worry. I’m Brain, your inner control center. To know you is to love you — and I do love every ounce of flesh arriving here in Cannes on this splendid morning.
Your outer self may be throwing rotten tomatoes at French women but inside you know you’re not spending enough time at the farmer’s market.
Not to fear my friends. We’re here in the south of France, on our way to “la dolce vita” in Portofino. Trust me when I say we’ll be picking up more than a few good recipes on the way.
The parking is quite difficult here at The Carlton, so you’ll just valet your cars. Just give the keys to the good-looking chap, that glamorous stud muffin standing in the doorway. For god’s sake — don’t hit the Bentley.
Good job everyone! So many hybrids, Anne will be pleased.
When In France
We have quite a crowd building on this American journey to the promised land of healthy food, great sex, plenty of exercise and a focus on the love of your life. That would be YOU my friend.
Ok, if we just go to your right in the lobby, we’ve reserved the terrace for this chapter. Come along now.
My dear friends — a private word as we get started in the south of France. Just because we’re Americans, let’s not act like we own the place, OK?
“Oui, oui. Merci, monsieur.”
Don’t worry about the luggage, darlings. We have everything under control. Your luggage will be waiting in your rooms, when we’ve finished with our little chat. Then you can freshen up and enjoy la plage across the road after lunch.
Yes, of course that’s George Clooney walking through the lobby, but let me have your attention mes amis. If every famous person you will see in the south of France gets us off message, I simply can’t keep us on message.
One Brain can’t fight all the external factors that are fighting against us. Sugar, fat, the fashion industry, photoshop — they are all against us. Our problem is not with French women, my darlings.
Food Facts Focus, Please
Our problem is the Stars and Stripes, the good ‘ol USA. My apologies, but even the Mama Grizzlies aren’t blameless in this national security problem called obesity and declining health.
Tha Alaskan bear lady says that moms knows best.
No offence my dears, but if we manage the national economy the same way we manage our children’s eating habits, the national deficit will bring the entire world tumbling down in a sea of fat, sodium and worthless financial derivatives.
My goodness, even the Acropolis is drowning in worthless debt these days. It’s time for a timeout — not in Alaska, Wyoming, Dallas or Dubuque — but here in Cannes.
Talk is cheap when you look like Mrs. Palin. I’m your Brain, and I know you far better than she does. Contrary to Mrs. Palin’s call to action, I need all the Mama Grizzlies to sit down and listen.
We’re on a mission here in Cannes to become Sensual and Superyoung; enjoying responsible pleasure; finding joy in our sexual relationships. The focus is YOU and the loved ones in your life, preferably the adults.
If la glamour isn’t your cup of French Roast, we’re next traveling to Nice.
We provided no babysitting facilities on this journey, because the trip is not about the kids — or the grandkids. It’s about you and your honey. Or the nectar lost in your life. Our focus is the sweet life syrup you hope to taste in the future.
America’s children will be fine, while the adults get our act together.
I see that many more of you have jumped into our Sensual and Superyoung caravan.
It’s a dazzling vision Ms. Enke’s painting, trying to convince each of you that a happier, healthier, longer life can be yours — if only you will start moving, eat well and make energetic, intimate love more often.
Now that we’re in France, let me say the word “erotic” also. Yes, darlings, we’re in the land of eroticism and mysterious sensuality.
Brain in Charge
You might wonder why I’ve taken over this chapter. Let’s just agree that there are advantages to my being your Brain.
I know you all so well. You, the skeptical-looking woman sitting by the palm tree — I’ve lived with you for 32 years.
And you — the lovely-looking lady enjoying a croissant with butter and jam — we’ve made our New Year’s resolutions together for 27 years. You are one tough broad when it comes to conquering the most perplexing quality-control problems on the assembly line.
Ah, there you are sir. We’re so glad you could get away. I’ve known you for 46 annual champagne toasts. Forgive me, sir, but with the pace of your life, it’s astounding that you’ve survived and even more-so your marriage. Welcome, sir.
America’s Fat Challenge
The facts are, my dear friends, the ingredients of your personal jet fuel are in my database. We have more problems with finding our healthy promised land, than BP faces trying to plug that unyielding oil leak in the Gulf.
All your secrets, all those potholes that Ms. Anne keeps talking about, lie in my massive memory bank. Trust me, when I say this Brain is wired for the 21st century American future.
Steve Jobs could not better prepare me for our digital vision of YOU, and I don’t like what I see one iota.
If we piled up all the diet books published in 10 years, all the sex books, diet and self-help books, we could probably dump them and walk across the Atlantic Ocean, instead of teleporting over as we did last night.
Have these books worked? Not for one damn minute, if the escalation of America’s obesity epidemic is to be believed. Maybe the same well-intentioned people who want you to shop, rather than spend a lazy Sunday having sex, own the diet books companies.
America must rebuild its national economy, even at your expense. Have you noticed that buy-buy-buy is at the core of America’s diet and self-love strategy?
Well we are in France now, and on our way to Italy. More is not always better here, unless we’re talking about the ages of women at peak beauty. Let’s keep our heads lower to the ground and see it just maybe we can learn a thing or two in the land of “joie de vivre”.
Free of Charge and No Snake Oil
It’s time for real change in our approach to American life, which is why we’re publishing this book free on the Internet.
It would be hypocritical of us to turn around and insist that you pay for our journey to the good life, while criticizing conglomerates. Consider ours read a free ride with no hidden agenda, except your becoming Sensual and Superyoung.
If just a few of you become Benedict Arnolds — Mama Grizzly turncoats — we could set America back on course and away from our national guilt trip.
If your Brain knows one thing in life, it’s that all this macho American bravura reflects your deep-seeded insecurities.
Our mounds of flesh reflect the state of the national debt. Bloated!
We’re so drowning in excess that we regularly criticize French women for maintaining a national healthy BMI weight of 23. 2.
Rather than applaud French women for perhaps teaching us how to maintain a pleasurable balance of pleasure, food and weight in their lives, we rip into them as if they are weak, maintaining an aggregate BMI right in the middle of the American Medical Association’s recommended healthy BMI of 20-25.
My friends, we American women are looking like the nation of sore losers, women who can’t stand other women who are winners. This isn’t the picture of America that plays well at the Cannes Film Festival.
The World War II self-disciplined bravura we used to honor in our men landing in Normandy is now considered French weakness in women who actually exhibit self-discipline in giving up bread for good sex.
Make no mistake my dear American friends, French women do have more self-respect. This comment may get your Brain in big trouble, but I’m here to tough it out with you.
New American Mantra: Weight Control Is for Losers
When did the goal of American self-discipline in food intake become a reflection of national weakness? A French woman who maintains a healthy body weight is now scorned for balancing food, fun and self-respect in her life?
Your Brain has read some mighty irrational arguments about your behavior in the past, but this one takes the cake.
There is no debate that Americans must loosen up in the bedroom. The French and Italians kicked the pope out of bed long ago, and even if he does live around the corner.
As much as Ms. Enke loves Rome, we’re not headed there and for good reason.
Your Brain doesn’t mean to tangle with the tea party movement, but the Mama Grizzlies have it wrong. It’s my job to make us a nation of bonobos.
Yes, I said bonobos and I will explain later why we must become a nation of fun-loving, females-in-charge, bonobo apes.
Bad News American Health Facts Ready For A Kick in the Derriere
Good CEOs need the facts about their physical operations. (Note: this original manuscript section was written in 2006 and will be updated.)
So let’s ignore the palm trees, the beautiful Mediterranean across the street and all the thin French people strolling on the sidewalk. We’re on a mission here in the South of France.
Unless you’re Sensual and Superyoung, there is a good chance that you find yourself in some of these statistics.
• In 1991, only 12 percent of adults were obese. By 2001, almost 21 percent of adults were obese, representing a nearly 75 percent increase.
• Only 35 percent of adults are at or below a healthy weight. 30 percent of U.S. adults are obese and an additional 34 percent are overweight.
• Americans are getting obese earlier. Overall, 26 percent of U.S. men and 28 percent of U.S. women are already obese by about age 36, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
• The average American consumed 15 percent more calories a day in 1997 than in 1984, and it is likely that this upward trend in caloric consumption has continued.
• More than 60 percent of American adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity, a minimum of 30 minutes and a recommended 60 minutes, most days a week.
• Approximately 25 percent of adults in the United States do not participate in any type of leisure-time physical activity.
“Among men and women aged 40 to 50 years, being obese increases the risk of death to that of a person who is 5.9 years older if you are a man and 6.4 years older if you are a woman,” according to University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill scientist Dr. June Stevens.
By the Numbers
• 13.5 million people have coronary heart disease.
• 1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year.
• 50 million people have high blood pressure
• 8 million people have adult-onset (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes
• Over 60 million people (a third of the population) are obese
Other factors , combining to impact our physical infrastructure are:
• muscle strength decreases by about 10% per decade after the age of 45
• aerobic capacity declines 8-10% per decade after age 25
• skeletal muscle mass generally decreases after the age of 40
• immune system function generally begins a modest decline after 40, then falls more rapidly in both men and women by age 58 or 60.
One of every two men and one of every three women aged 40 and under will develop coronary heart disease, the main form of heart disease. (NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Jan. 28, 1999)
Cardiovascular disease claims more women’s lives than the next seven causes of death combined – nearly 500,000 women’s lives a year. In February 2004, The American Heart Association launched “Go Red For Women” a nationwide campaign to raise awareness that heart disease is women’s No. 1 killer.
According to a study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, excess body weight is strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of heart failure. This risk, which increases continuously with increasing degrees of body weight, is 34 percent higher for overweight individuals and 104 percent higher for obese persons.
“While the death rate from heart disease has decreased by 60 percent over the last 40 years, the death rate from heart failure has not declined,” according to NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. “This study suggests that obesity is an important risk factor for heart failure in both women and men. Promoting optimal body weight may help reduce the burden of heart failure we’re seeing.”
High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in the United States. About 1 of 4 American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects about 1 of 3 African Americans, 1 of 5 Hispanics and Native Americans, and 1 of 6 Asians/Pacific Islanders.
With the significant rise in obesity in this last decade comes a corresponding increase in the prevalence of hypertension. Almost 29 percent of the population is hypertensive (having a blood pressure (BP) greater than 140/90 mmHg or using hypertensive medications.) The relationship between obesity and BP appears to be linear and exists throughout the non-obese range. But the strength of the association of obesity with hypertension varies among different racial and ethnic groups.
Generally, risk estimates suggest that approximately 75 and 65 percent of the cases of hypertension in men and women, respectively, are directly attributable to an overweight condition and obesity. American Physiological Society 6-11-2004)
Sometimes, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts. These statistics combine in some people, creating the condition of metabolic syndrome.
As many as one in four American adults and 40 percent of adults age 40 or older have metabolic syndrome, an increase of 61 percent over the last decade.” (MayoClinic.com) This fact threatens the heart of your partnership.
Think of your overgrown cottage property or mid-Sixties Jaguar engine. From a medical standpoint, we call this condition metabolic syndrome.
The MayoClinic.com website defines metabolic syndrome: not as a disease, but a “cluster of disorders of your body’s metabolism – including high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess body weight and abnormal cholesterol levels – that make you more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Each of these disorders is by itself a risk factor for other diseases. In combination, though, these disorders dramatically boost your chances of developing potentially life-threatening illnesses.”
“Doctors have talked about this constellation of risk factors for years, and have called it many names, including syndrome X, the deadly quartet and insulin resistance syndrome. But several studies support what doctors have suspected all along—this syndrome is common and it’s becoming more prevalent.
It is also deadly.
Taking the Slow Road
Here we are, at a fork in the road in Cannes. You see this beautiful but narrow road along the water? This is one route to Portofino. It will take us up through Nice and on to Monaco.
We could dash out of this historic Hollywood hotel, gas up our cars and put our foot heavy on the pedal out to the A8, getting to Portofino in half the time.
Thankfully, the French still believe in enjoying the sights. The good life is not the land of big box retailers and our disposable American lifestyle. If we learn anything on this trip, it will be to stop and smell the roses.
Man or woman, you know that you can’t grow an entirely new garden in a single summer. It takes time. Luckily, the French understand the concept of eternity and wisdom in ruins.
Now you are in the land of ooh la la, when it comes to older women. They don’t serve koolaid in France. We are in wine and water country my friends, with an entirely different national perspective on Sensual and Superyoung women.
There’s a reason why French women believe that are hotter than Hades at age 45.
A “double Whopper cheeseburger with fries but hold the mayo” horrifies them, weighing in at 850 calories for the burger and 250 for “just a small fries, I’m dieting, thank you”.
This vision is totally not chic and Karl Lagerfeld would be horrified with our language, but a double Whopper cheeseburger with small fries makes most French women vomit.
This revulsion to America’s fast-food love fest comes — not because French women spend their entire lives bulimic in the bathroom — but because they respect the woman in the mirror and know that they must be vigilant in keeping her primed for the future.
When a woman knows that 90 percent of her kind over 50 are having sex in a national orgasmic celebration of female sensuality, she decides she’s worth preserving.
Yes, we are taking the slow road to Portofino, because a total absence of the joys of slow living are killing us Americans. Anne and I are not mincing words on this journey, in case our message isn’t crystal-lite clear.
There will be no French bashing on our Sensual and Superyoung journey to the land of “la dolce vita”.
Truly, your Brain isn’t trying to beat the crap out of you on what should be a pleasant day along the Mediterranean. It’s just that desperation breeds an intense desire to jump start new dendrite growth in our national American consciousness.
Responsible pleasure is our mantra — but not Las Vegas style but the Cannes way. Many Americans say “why should I go to France? I can see the Eiffel tower in Vegas.”
No, no, no my darlings. You have no idea of the pleasures awaiting you here in France.
We refuse to drink the lessons of “la dolce vita” in Las Vegas. The Europeans know that life is more than a crap shoot or game of winner-take-all blackjack.
We’re putting all the cards on the table in our discussion of Sensual and Superyoung. Your life is more than a lottery, my friends. We seek a more sensual, pleasurable landscape where everyone is a winner, not only the people on reality shows.
Come back in five, please. Ours is only a short break, and don’t get lost in the fabulous Carlton Hotel toilettes. The last time Anne was here, they rescued her from the confines of her marble, bubble bath sanctuary and promptly moved her to a most magnificent suite for the inconvenience. Your Brain