Fat Girls Hiking was founded by Summer in Portland, OR in 2015. Summer has been leading hikes in Portland and across the US & Canada ever since. Fat Girls Hiking is currently expanding to cities all across North America & Summer will be taking a break from leading hikes in Portland starting in October 2018 to travel & open more chapters. Portland hikes will still be happening & we are so happy to announce Portland’s first ambassador, Ellen! Ellen has attended many Fat Girls Hiking group hikes & we love her love of dogs, yoga & the outdoors. She is smart & hilarious & we know y’all will have a blast hiking with her. Check out Ellen’s hikes on the events page & email Ellen directly at email@example.com!
I love being outside, hiking, camping, backpacking, gardening, anything; I just love being outside. Thankfully, I grew up with parents who had the same love of the outdoors and I have so many happy memories of family adventures. But, at some point there was a shift from doing outdoor activities because I love it, to it becoming exercise and striving. There were many backpacking trips where I tracked my points and beat myself up for moving too slow. I struggled as a backpacker because there is a lack of clothes, gear and representation of large-bodied women in the woods. Even though the industry of outdoor recreation does not cater to my body size I continued my adventures outdoors. Spending time in nature has always been healing and centering for me and pro tip: nature doesn’t give a shit how you show up, it will rain on everyone.
In 2015ish, I was telling a friend of mine that I was rejoining Weight Watchers, for the third time and she said, “I have a book you should read”. She lent me Health at Every Size, By Linda Bacon. The book started to shift my thinking and left me wanting to learn more about intuitive eating, but I still rejoined Weight Watchers. About a month into my return I was having my typical post meeting binge eating episode and had a, “Holy fuck they do not care about my health and no diet will ever fix my emotional eating” moment. I broke up with dieting and started looking for any information and people who were on the anti-dieting journey. I started following Fat Girls Hiking on social media, it took a long time before I went on a hike with Summer. I had a lot of fear around entering the world of body liberation. It is scary as shit. You are going against everything we’ve been taught, for most of us starting at a young age, about the value of a larger bodies in this society. That first Fat Girls Hiking hike I went on woke something up in me. Being with a group, of women specifically, not talking about diets or feeling shame around moving slow on a trail was so healing.
I’m excited to be an ambassador for Fat Girls Hiking, being a part of a movement where diversity is celebrated, is awesome. I look forward to the adventures we’ll share and building a community that at its heart is about holding space for everyone that shows up as they are. Besides my love of the outdoors I have three pups, AKA The Mutley Crew, I grew up in Chicago, lived in Santa Fe, and Sydney Australia but have called Portland home for ten years. I’m a yoga teacher working on my Yoga For All certification and a designer. I love blueberries, reading, conversations about “The Gilmore Girls,” pop punk music and horribly campy movies.