Until her publisher reached out about her book, I'd never heard of Brittany Gibbons or read her blog. Or so I thought... remember the woman who slept with her husband every day for a year? That's her. I only knew about her for gimmicky "morning news show" stunts that randomly made their way into my Newsfeed. When I got her book, however, I was very pleasantly surprised to find I absolutely loved it, laughing and insisting on reading portions of it out loud to Dan.
Fat Girl Walking was refreshing and honest. It reminded me vaguely in tone of the book that The Bloggess wrote (but more coherent) in its no-holds-barred, explicit confessional form. While I've never considered myself a "fat" girl, I could wholeheartedly relate to her body image adventures and more. I've been technically "overweight" and about 20 pounds heavier than I really want to be for a few years now, and I don't often like what I see in the mirror. (Stomach, upper arms, BLERGH.) And now, with a wedding in less than a few months, I'm increasingly self-conscious. Reading Brittany's book made me remember to feel beautiful and confident, because I'm truthfully the happiest I've ever been. Here's an excerpt from Brittany (used with permission) that really brings it home for me:
My fitness and body aspirations at thirty are different from my aspirations at twenty. At twenty, I just assumed I’d work out until I was so tiny, people became concerned for my health and I’d roll my eyes at them from my Victoria’s Secret bras and Abercrombie jeans. Now I just want to maintain my current weight so I don’t need to buy new clothes. When you look at weight loss, it’s often clothing driven. Weddings, vacations, and high school reunions, all things you are supposed to be thin for. But what if you have a gorgeous wedding dress in your current size, loads of flattering bathing suits, and a killer pair of jeans? Starving myself has suddenly become a moot point. I have options; I’m no longer a fashion pariah. So where does that leave my weight? Well, unless I’m sitting atop you, what I weigh is really none of your business.
I like to put good food in my mouth, and while I am aware of the calories I ingest, instead of cutting them I make them count. I have a full-on love affair with food, appreciating the different cultures and processes within it. In fact, I take entire vacations around eating. It’s how I remember where I’ve been; I’ve either eaten, thrown up, or started my period without the proper supplies there.
Beignets with my best friend in New Orleans. Too much rum on the beaches of Playa del Carmen on our second honeymoon. Orlando, Florida, the city of emergency men’s tube sock maxi-pads.
You see, these flabby parts aren’t problem areas; they’re parts of a scrapbook.
This book was an easy read, and an entertaining one at that. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I was laughing out loud; Dan was my witness. Her stories about marriage and pregnancy were insightful (and hilarious) for this soon-to-be-newlywed. I also think, since I wasn't acquainted with Brittany before, that this book helps to show a side of her beyond the publicity given by the media. If I'd only known her as "plus-size bikini girl" or "year of sex with her husband girl", I think I would have written her off. Now, since I read the book first, I find myself drawn to her blog and her unabashed sense of self. So if you're biased against Brittany because you've only seen her on GMA or read snark about her on GOMI, I say you need to read the book. Because I kind of adore her, and she gives me hope.
Enter to win your own copy of the book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
w/fat-girl-walking-brittany- gibbons/1120554060?ean= 9780062343031
Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of Fat Girl Walking via temporary eBook from the publisher, and all opinions are my own.