Here’s part two of my interview with Kim Brittingham, author of Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large.
In her memoir, Kim writes eloquently about her desire for thinness, the many years she spent dieting and hating her body and how she finally found self-acceptance and self-love.
I can’t say enough great things about this book: It not only has a powerful and meaningful message, but each page is beautifully written and essentially reveals her heart.
Be sure to stop by Kim’s website to learn more about her book and other fantastic writing.
And check out part one of our interview. Don’t forget that I’m giving away one copy of Read My Hips. All you have to do is comment on yesterday’s post! (Of course, feel free to comment on this post, too, but I’ll pick a winner from that one. 🙂 )
Q: The last section of your book is called “living large.” What does this phrase mean to you?
A: To me, living large means relishing life, moving in the direction of your dreams, and acting from a place of love as often as possible.
Q: You talk about several instances when people were incredibly cruel to you because of your weight. (I was furious reading how disgusting they acted!!!) You have such a great take on it. Can you talk about how you deal with mean comments?
A: When someone makes a cruel comment, in that moment, their goal is to bring something dark into the world. Their aim is to create a negative emotion in another human being. And I think that sucks.
So at some point in my life, I had to ask myself – why am I bothering to be hurt by the words of such empty, ignorant people? I certainly couldn’t respect or admire anyone who is so purposely hurtful, so why would their opinion mean so much to me?
Besides, we’re talking about my life, here. There are so many things I want to see, do, and learn. I just don’t feel like wasting a minute of my precious time feeling bad over something a complete moron said about me. What a waste!
Q: What are some of your favorite body image tips?
A: There was a chapter in Read My Hips in which I wrote about learning to see my body differently. I wrote about cellulite as…I think I said it was “a dappling of fairy fingerprints across my skin.”
I also noticed that the ocean, when it recedes across wet sand, sometimes leaves patterns behind, and tiny craters where the bubbles in the sea foam popped. That reminds me of cellulite. When it’s wet sand, it’s beautiful and fascinating. When the same pattern is etched into the skin on the backs of our thighs, we talk like it’s the most offensive thing our eyes have ever seen.
Why? Who made that rule? Who decided? And why do they get to be right? So one of my favorite body image tips is to practice seeing your body differently. Start questioning why things “should” be one way and not another.
Q: Would message would you like readers to take away from your book?
A: I hope they’ll understand that hatred is never the right choice, and I hope they’ll reject anything that encourages them to hate – whether it’s hating their own body, or the bodies of others.
There’s so much messaging out there that aims to shame women for their bodies, and make them feel hatred for themselves and their parts. No matter what, your body does not deserve to be hated.
Q: What do you think are the most egregious myths about shape, size or weight?
A: The one that really bothers me, because it’s hurting so many people, is the myth that thin people never eat poorly, and never overeat. Likewise, the myth that thin people get a lot of exercise, and that fat people never do.
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign really irritates me because it frames itself as a fight against childhood obesity. It assumes that all fat children are sedentary, and chooses to pretend that thin sedentary children don’t exist. It’s such an injustice, to everyone.
Q: Anything else you’d like Weightless readers to know about your book, ditching dieting, loving yourself or a related topic?
A: I’d like Weightless readers to know that Read My Hips is not a book exclusively for fat people. It’s a collection of stories that will feel familiar to almost any female raised in this country in the past forty-odd years.
Fat – avoiding it, losing it, monitoring it – is a national obsession. We allow it to come between us and our true health and happiness. How many times a day does the phrase “weight loss” or “shed pounds” enter your brain, either through an advertisement, a magazine cover, or ordinary conversation?
For as big a piece of life as “weight loss” occupies, you owe it to yourself to read this one book – Read My Hips – to bring some balance to the way you experience the great weight issue. Your life is worth it.
Thanks so much, Kim, for speaking with me and for writing such an important book!