Hikes & other events for the SLC 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
Kylie, Melissa and Andrea can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For many years of my life I had a tenuous relationship with the outdoors. I spent six years in a small mountain town where the outdoors community was deeply rooted in diet culture and held specific expectations of ability. I could never keep up and ultimately felt like a failure.
I then moved to Portland, OR and joined the Fat Girls Hiking community, where I immediately felt like I had found home. The amazing people in this community taught me that hiking—or any other activity—can be healing, supportive, and an incredible way to connect with people and nature. It transformed my outlook on movement and what it means to be a hiker. I cannot wait to help create that same community in Utah.
I grew up in southern California, not far outside of LA. I spent my entire childhood and adolescence trying to change my body through restrictive diets and over-exercising. I went to college in northern Arizona, where I developed an eating disorder, but could not find adequate help because of the bias against my weight. Finally, I moved to Portland where I got treatment and am now in recovery, which is an ongoing process. A huge part of my healing was reconnecting to movement and the outdoors, and FGH made that so much more accessible.
Now that I am in SLC, I want to create a space for people to move without shame and come home to their bodies without worrying about expectations or judgments. I want to offer support and safety to people who have been marginalized. I want to build a community of people who show up for each other and connect in authentic ways. I want everyone to know that they are welcome here.
In the past few months I have felt that depression coming back, one day I found FatGirlsHiking and with tears in my eyes knew this was a community that I needed and I can’t wait to watch it grow in the Salt Lake area!
I spent my formative years along the Sierras in the Reno/Tahoe area. Right after high school, I was a Camp Counselor for the Girl Scouts. I spent my summer looking at the Sierra Buttes, telling myself I will hike to the top when I’m in shape or lose weight. That was 12 years ago and I still haven’t hiked to the top of the Sierra Buttes or any other mountain peak for that matter. I had self-doubt in my ability to do it. In the last year or so I have been working on challenging diet/wellness culture and beliefs that I had and working on my own body acceptance.
I haven’t always appreciated the outdoors, but as an adult I love it. My partner and I typically enjoy the outdoors together – he hates crowds and concrete jungles. I am trying to get him to enjoy camping (and maybe backpacking). When I’m not in the outdoors, I enjoy intramural kickball, dancing, yoga, lifting weights, cooking, and reading a good book. I’m also a National Park junkie working to collect all the stamps for my book.
I’m excited to help build up the FGH Salt Lake City Chapter. This city and surrounding area can be intimidating with what feels like hyper-outdoorsy people. My first week living in Salt Lake City, I decided to try this hike and it was rated as easy. Nothing about that hike was easy – it was uphill the entire time and my body was not used to the high elevation. Moral of the story – I made it eventually and on my own time. I want to help build a space where you don’t feel intimidated or rushed when you hike with a group. Where the hikes will be gentle and you can just be in the outdoors.