Nashville, TN now has a FGH chapter! Hikes & other events for the area will be posted on the main social media pages as well as the Eventbrite page, ‘follow’ Fat Girls Hiking to receive an email whenever a new hike is posted: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/fat-girls-hiking-8629131029
Amy & Leslie can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I started hiking in 2016 after reading a bunch of memoirs about thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Until then I had never considered that chafing, blisters, and body aches were a thing people of all body sizes experienced. Group hikes had always been intimidating to me, but solo hiking fed my soul. I discovered FGH hiking and my connection with nature during a time of personal deconstruction and soul searching and felt the pieces of myself solidifying into something WHOLE. I fell deep into the world of body acceptance, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating – all new concepts to me, and I turned permanently from diet culture and began to embrace and partner with my body, my vehicle for adventure. My favorite hikes have wildflowers or waterfalls, and my best revelations form in the rhythmic cadence of my own heavy breathing and footsteps on the earth. As a FGH ambassador I hope to be a bridge between people in marginalized bodies and the outdoors, and to hold safe space for people to connect with themselves, nature, and others. I can’t wait to hike with you!
I grew up in a small town North of Nashville. I was always outside as a kid; running around the neighborhood with my friends, swimming at friends houses in the summer. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but as some point I didn’t feel comfortable in my body anymore. I would scold myself for eating too much or for eating something that was “bad” for me. Starting in middle school, I would lay awake in my bed at night and tell myself, “ok, tomorrow I’m going to start a diet. No more junk food, eat some vegetables, drink those gross weight loss drinks, start exercising.” But it was just a never ending cycle, as diet culture always is. So, the more I felt uncomfortable in my body the more I sat to the side and watched my friends do all the things I didn’t think I could do or would be embarrassed of doing if anyone saw me. So cut to many hard, body hating years later, I reunited with a friend I worked with years earlier (now, one of my two amazing roommates that make me laugh every day) She introduced me to the world of body positivity; People to follow on Instagram, books to read, and Fat Girls Hiking. I went on my first hike in many many years and I loved it! I couldn’t believe this body, my body, could do that! I realized I had spent so many years waiting to lose weight, waiting for that “special someone” to travel and explore with, waiting for my life the start. I broke out of the box that myself and society had put me in. I strapped on my Chacos and and went for a hike, then another, then another. I have seen so many beautiful places in the past few years. Every time I’m on the trail I just focus on the sound of my feet on the ground, the crunching leaves, the wind through the trees. It doesn’t matter what I look like while I’m hiking, how hard I’m breathing, I feel my most free and most comfortable in my body on the trail. The community that Fat Girls Hiking provides is amazing, it is changing the way people in the outdoor industry see fat bodied people and I’m so honored to be a part of this organization. Can’t wait to see you on the trail! 🙂