I have to profess my love for Brittany Gibbons! I just finished her debut book, Fat Girl Walking and it was an utterly refreshing, laughter-inducing and fantastic read!
I am an advocate for loving yourself and living the life you deserve regardless of your size. Brittany is a real hero when it comes to this, and I like that Fat Girl Walking explains her journey and motivation to finally stop hating her body and loving herself inside and out.
There are so few of us (if there truly are any) who can honestly say that we have always felt secure in our skin. I’m not just talking about our body image issues. I’m talking about the ability to embrace who we are, not just how we look.
However, we don’t get to hear the full story.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about deciding to write my blog is the ability to become more transparent with the issues I have struggled with. It isn’t always easy to be so brutally honest about past struggles, especially issues as personal as recovering from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.
Telling our stories is part of a greater conversation.
Why You Should Love Brittany
There are many reasons I love Brittany, and here’s a few…
- She’s hilarious.
- She’s real.
- She wears her bathing suit wherever the f*** she wants (including at her TEDx Talk).
Why I love Brittany the most, however, is the moment she realized that if she wanted to change the world and start a meaningful conversation — she had to start somewhere VERY close to home.
Brittany didn’t want her daughter to feel the pain and discomfort that she always had when she looked at herself in the mirror. Let’s face it; we learn a lot of things from those we admire.
Being dissatisfied with what you see in yourself is a trait that can be impressionable for those who look up to you.
Brittany recounts a time when her daughter remarks on how big her [Brittany’s] stomach is and her immediate reaction to reprimand her daughter for using the word “big,” because big meant “fat” and “fat” is a mean word.
“And then it occurred to me that she had no idea that being big meant fat, and that fat was a bad thing. As far as she is concerned, I’m just mom-shaped and perfect for hugs. I put a moratorium on the supply of negative body words I was thoughtlessly supplying. I banned the use of fat as a slur hurled toward myself and strangers. I’m not saying I don’t see fat; saying that is akin to the people who make grand statements about “not seeing color.” Seeing color doesn’t mean you’re a racist. It means your eyes work, but that you are hopefully able to see color not for a discrepancy in normal, but as a beautiful component of diversity …I stopped glorifying women as beautiful only if they were also thin. In fact, beautiful was the very last thing I decided I would tell Gigi she was each day, after brilliant, hilarious, curious, creative, and daring. There are so many important things to be in the world, it’s unfair to devote so much of what describes us to our body size. (P. 159)
I took a similar stance on this subject in my post Where (I Think) The Latest Dove Beauty Experiment Failed.
Why You Should Read Fat Girl Walking
It is so important — if we want to change the conversation about body ideals, to empower people to feel worthy, confident and in control of their destiny — that we focus on not perpetuating unrealistic ideals, standards, and disempowering propaganda.
This perpetuation of propaganda not only starts and stops with yourself, but also this conversation starts and ends with yourself.
One of the best ways to start this conversation is not only to learn how to love your body and self but also to understand WHY it is tantamount to your ability to empower others to love theirs.
I don’t have a child yet, but I am sure as hell guilty of not practicing what I preach as a professional:
- I have lectured a client about stopping the negative talk, but then gone home hours later and made a fat statement about myself.
- I have sat in silence when I’ve overheard an overweight person being judged only to blog about it later in regret.
Reading Brittany’s book opened my eyes to the areas in my life where I am not only entirely starting a meaningful conversation, but also it reminded me that, we’re all capable of owning our bodies and ourselves.
“My original goal here was to prove to a preschooler that I loved my body and that she should too. But, as months passed and I stood grudgingly in front of the mirror, the positive affirmations were no longer followed by faults. In fact, I began to see less and less of them. I would catch my reflection in the car window or a security camera at the store, and instead of zeroing in on everything wrong with me, I began to only pay attention to the good. (Page 156)
That’s some powerful stuff, huh?
How To Change Your Conversation
I talked myself into loving myself purely out of persistence and repetition. I still knew there were things about my body that I didn’t love, but eventually, the good began to outnumber the bad. (Page 156)
How often do we talk ourselves INTO not loving our bodies and ourselves? It used to be my full-time job (with a serious amount of overtime).
Brittany reminds us all that we can certainly change the conversation with ourselves. Talk yourself into loving your body, perceived flaws and all. Start talking yourself into loving yourself today and keep doing it every single day.
Be persistent. Be repetitious. Be fearless.
Change the Conversation: Why You Should Read Fat Girl Walking by @brittanyherself #fatgirlwalking #bodyconfidence #livewithintention @beetsperminute
You will NOT regret it.
Do you ever not practice what you preach? How are you changing the conversation? Have you read Brittany’s book?
Continue the conversation!