Why You Should Read Fat Girl Walking

Why You Should Read Fat Girl Walking

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…

  1. She’s hilarious.
  2. She’s real.
  3. 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 record and change the conversation.  Start now by reading Brittany’s book Fat Girl Walking.  You can also read her awesome blog.

Seriously.  Now.

You will NOT regret it.

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today for Thinking Out Loud!


Do you ever not practice what you preach? How are you changing the conversation?   Have you read Brittany’s book?

Continue the conversation!

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  1. Heather@hungryforbalance
    August 6, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    I have not read her book, but now it is now officially on my list! My daughter is 20 months old and I do worry about passing my insecurities on to her. I definitely don’t want her to grow up hating herself or her body or questioning whether or not she is enough. I want to be strong enough to look past my own insecurities and not give a f*** what other people think.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you, Heather! I honestly think this book should be a required reading for everyone! I really think we need more women, more people like Brittany in this world! We all deserve to be happy, grateful and define our own beauty standard. This book is all about doing just that! <3

  2. August 6, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    I’ve seen this book around a few times but never really paid attention, but now I REALLY want to read it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 1:51 pm

      You absolutely will not regret it at all, Morgan. It’s honestly so hilarious too! My husband could hear my random laughter outbursts as I stayed in bed for the day reading it! You feel so motivated and amazing once you finish — like you just want to take on the world! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. August 6, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    I haven’t read this book, but it sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I’m a huge advocate of devoting more time to learning to love and accept yourself for who you are rather than spending so much time trying to change and never being happy with the result. And I think that watching what kind of words you use, and what kinds of things you say to yourself is so, SO important as well. I don’t think we realize how big of an effect negative self-talk can have on us.

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      You’re very right, Amanda! I always think of the study about water molecules shifting differently while inside bottles with only positive or negative words on the outside of them. The molecules within the positive bottles were big and healthy looking while the molecules in the negative bottles failed to form properly. Our thoughts shift not only what we see but what we don’t see as well! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. August 6, 2015 / 5:19 pm

    These are the types of books that really change your perspective on certain aspects. Reading books from different people’s views has really helped me emphasize with people of all shapes and sizes, and has reminded me constantly that our shape/body says nothing about who we really are. None of that stuff actually matters when you get down to the nitty gritty, and the happiest people are never necessarily the ones with the most perfect bodies. Thank you for sharing this book, will definitely check it out!

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 9:27 pm

      I hope you like the book, Niki! One of the things that I’ve really absorbed the most in the few years as a fitness professional and coach is that there’s always so much more to people than their weight and size. You’re also absolutely right, some of the happiest people I’ve ever met are people who live a happy life and don’t get bothered by things like if their jeans don’t fit or if the don’t fit some societal mold! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really do hope you read this book, I know you’ll love it!

  5. August 6, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    I love this! Definitely put this book on my to-read list. I wrote a post about body shaming a couple months ago. As I get older I stop being so hard on myself about my body, but I still have some insecurities! I definitely want to be a good role model if I have a daughter one day!

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 8:58 pm

      I do too, Mattie! I think it’s true that we get less concerned with our weight and bodies as we get older — I guess it’s all our wisdom! It’s normal to still gripe about things from time to time, but it’s a long life to be hating on ourselves all the time. Think of all of the stuff we could be out there doing with all that energy! Thanks for reading!

  6. August 6, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    That sounds great! I love things like that that help to build us up instead of breaking us down.

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      I think you’d really enjoy Brittany’s book. She’s really has a great sense of humor about so many of the situations she faced growing up. Plus her writing is so on point!

  7. August 6, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    I can’t wait to pick this book up! Negative self talk is soo hard to get away from. I think we are all guilty of it. I had a situation where a friend was making some heinous comments about another human being and I still regret not being strong enough to tell her to stop. I definitely learned a lesson that day.

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 9:19 pm

      We are all definitely guilty of negative self-talk. I feel like sometimes it’s almost as if we’re all too afraid of coming across as vain to focus on the positive things we like about ourselves. I agree it’s super uncomfortable to be around another person when they are saying heinous things. I have stepped in more recently to say my two cents, but mostly I just feel really sad for people who feel they have to tear others apart. It’s such a reflection on their own misery!
      I really hope you do read this book and love it as much as I did! 🙂

  8. August 6, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    I have never heard of this book until reading this! I’m defiantly going to be checking it out thanks 🙂

    • Erin
      August 6, 2015 / 9:28 pm

      It’s a page-turner, Alexa! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

  9. August 7, 2015 / 5:28 am

    I’d love to read this book. I haven’t necessarily struggled with the fat thing, but I definitely have had “self” issues. Whether they be problems with my physical image, or my daddy issues of acceptance, or dealing with shit I’ve done in my past. I went through a phase of practicing self-acceptance and self-love and one thing that I did was I went to the nude beach in Vancouver and practiced being okay with myself, completely naked. I had to keep my head up and walk toward the water, and enjoy feeling that free feeling of swimming in the ocean because grace extends past stuff we can’t see and meets us where we’re at and gives us the freedom to be who we are in all our messiness, in all our flaws, and love ourselves through it all. Since then, I’ve had yet another baby and my boobs have taken a toll. I am having a hard time accepting my boobs right now and it’s something I need to really work through. It’s so hard, but I will get there. Life is full of these twists and turns, periods of peace and times of growth. I will get there, as long as I’m not alone.

    • Erin
      August 7, 2015 / 7:25 am

      You’re definitely not alone, Suzy! AND you’re an incredibly beautiful person inside and out. <3 I've walked through a nude beach to get to the "clothing required" section, because I was too scared to do it. It's actually one of my goals to go back to it! Plus it was in Spain, so, yeah I just need to go back! I remember feeling so envious of how much people appeared so confident and carried their bodies so naturally. Swimming nude HAS to be so amazing as well!? Also, just based purely on your sense of humour (and love of telling it like it is) -- you will LOVE Brittany's book. She is absolutely brilliant and hilarious! I hope you do get a chance to read it! <3

      • August 7, 2015 / 8:20 am

        I’ll make sure I read it sooner or later. For sure. <3

        • August 8, 2015 / 4:24 am

          I just ordered it! So excited. Thank you!!!

          • Erin
            August 8, 2015 / 6:49 pm

            I’m excited for you!! Awesome!!!

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