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The Unapologetic Fat Girl's Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts
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The Unapologetic Fat Girl's Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  255 ratings  ·  54 reviews
This empowering exercise guide is big on attitude, giving plus-size women the motivation and information they need to move their bodies and improve their health.

Hanne Blank, proud fat girl and personal trainer, understands the physical and emotional roadblocks that overweight women face in the word of exercise. In this one-of-a-kind guide that combines exercise advice with
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 26th 2012 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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I've been struggling for the last few years with how my body has changed and how I look and feel. Sometimes I feel like a badass with swagger to prove it. Sometimes I feel like my body is just a meatbag I have to drag around as a place to keep my brain. Oftentimes I feel ashamed, and I am goddamn done with that noise. Nabbed this from the library and so far it is an empowering voice for acceptance. I am myself. My body is part of me, and I (inside my body) am capable of mighty things.
Julian Griffith
Disclosure: I won a free, signed copy of this book by participating in a comment thread at Hanne Blank's blog.

That said: this book is great. It's written in Hanne Blank's usual friendly, no-nonsense, and very, very funny style, which some readers may be familiar with from books like Virgin: The Untouched History and Big Big Love, Revised: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size. It's full of encouragement about exercise that has absolutely nothing to do with losing weight or inches, and
This book is just AWESOME.

Disclaimer: I am not the target demographic for this book, in that I fall within the range of what's generally considered "not fat" and I have not had the social experience of being considered overweight. I say this just to make it clear that my perspective is from outside that lived experience, and thus there are some things that this book might be lacking that I'm just not aware of.

Ok, disclaimer over. I loved this book. I recently started voluntarily exercising for t
My life has so much more potential for confidence and happiness now that this book's words are inside my head. Need to re-read and re-read until the unapologetic attitude is reflexive.
I think I can feel people I know in real life that follow me on goodreads judge me for reading this. Anyway, this review is going to be kind of personal and stuff so I apologize.

I wasn't quite the audience for this book. It's taken me 2 years of running to admit this but I am a runner. I started running approximately five years ago, after we ran 12 minutes in gym class. I distinctively remember thinking "pfft, 12 minutes, that should be easy,". And nope. It wasn't. I couldn't run 12 minutes. Th
I really enjoyed reading this book as I felt a lot of it was relevant to me and how I'm feeling about exercise/being active lately. The whole book has a great attitude which I feel I've picked up on to give me an even stronger feeling that I shouldn't feel embarrassed about getting out there and doing whatever activity I want to. There's a list of resources to make things easier (including a mention of the Couch25k site which I'd already decided to do and a 200situp site which I'm now also going ...more
As a fat girl who also exercises, i figured I should check this out. I suspect it could be a very useful book for someone, however, for me there wasn't a lot that was new.
This is a good guide for beginners - beginning exercisers, beginning size-accepters - written with gentleness and good humor.

I like the resource guide for clothing, sports bras, etc.
I really like the list of specific exercises to help you get strong enough to get up off the floor.
I wish there were more specific workouts, like, a Couch to 5Kish program for people who haven't exercised ever (or in a long, long time).
I like the funny, friendly, and encouraging tone that Blank has in this (and her o
This is Body Positivity 101. As a longtime resident of Tumblr, I immediately recognized all of the confidence building portions of this book that focus on the idea that our self-esteem is everything. Some pages read like 'Fuck Yeah Self-Esteem' posts. The biggest takeaway I got from this is that confidence is what helps us best enjoy and reap the benefits of fitness. Learning to accept your body in motion is a big deal to a lot of people (myself included and I'm only a size 12) and this book hel ...more
This is a very 101 book. The author's characteristic gentle humor shines through and makes it a charming, friendly approach to what might be a difficult subject. Ms. Blank makes an effort to be inclusive and talks about ways to work around potential physical issues one might have as a fitness beginner or a differently abled person.

I gave the book five stars because it's successful in pointing someone to resources they might want and framing fitness as a positive thing that does not revolve aroun
I think this is a great book for someone who is just getting into size acceptance, and just getting into exercise, but as I am heavily into both, it didn't really help me much. I was hoping to learn more about other exercises from a fat girl's point of view, but it's a bit vague. However, I do appreciate reading a book on exercise that doesn't talk about weight loss the entire time!
Danni Green
This book provides a lot of useful info from a strong motivational framework. I would have liked to have seen it address a wider audience; it seems to presume that its readers are relatively able-bodied and can afford things like gym memberships or exercise classes. It also seems to take a "just get over it" approach to handling the internalized fatphobia that gets in the way for many fat people who may wish to exercise, which is an approach that may work really well for some people but didn't s ...more
Spook Harrison
Very informative and positive. Breezy chat and really useful discussions on body movement, body image, our bodies in the world...overall, a good read! Glad my library had it!
Giving me great ideas about how to workout now that no longer commute by bike! And making me feel good about being a big girl that just likes to move her body.
Aug 13, 2015 Robyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Nice. Very strong health promotion approach -- asset based, inclusive (of size, age, dis/ability) with a Health At Every Size viewpoint. She covers not only the physical aspects one might expect, but also the various internal and external mental stumbling blocks one might encounter. Lots of great checklists for assessing whether an activity or facility is right for the reader.

I particularly like her Incendiary Act #7, which is "Flail Proudly". Good advice well beyond the physical realm!

This is a fantastic book for those of us who have ever felt like we can't get out there and move our selves because we're fat, whatever level of fat that means.

There is a lot of "rah rah" here but it's not bullshit or trite, it's soild and meaningful and really does have an impact on your self esteem. The advice is real- how to get off the floor, for example. If you lack trunk strength and you realize that you can't get up, that could be embarassing so this could be seriously important info.

the 4-star rating is for the intent, and for how encouraging this book likely is for a self-conscious fat woman who's been abused about her size all her life, but is contemplating exercise. heck, i wish the title wasn't so strongly gendered because plenty of fat guys i know could use the information here just as well, even though they don't get quite the same type of grief. furthermore i would recommend it for people who might not have an issue with size, but who might have other body issues, su ...more

Hanne Blank is someone whose writing I have enjoyed for almost a decade now. She appeared with some regularity on the LiveJournal blogs of other authors I read regularly, and her confidence and intellect were readily apparent. I started following her there at the mostly-defunct LJ, and I have made it a point to read her books at they come out.

This book was one in which I was particularly interested, since Blank's blog entry from back-in-the-day about being a fat girl on a bicycle was particular
I saw this title in my library's collection, and though like other readers I don't identify as "fat" (just a little overweight), I was looking for a fitness book that would motivate me for reasons other than weight loss, because there are SO MANY other reasons than weight loss to exercise!

I ended up really enjoying the book. I have been an on and off gym rat for years (mostly off, lately), but there was still new material in here for me. Most of it was the less technical stuff: about how we all
I think this book has forever changed my relationship to exercise, my body, and moving through the world. I started reading it after my neurologist suggested aerobic activity to help alleviate a migraine condition I was developing. Having consumed a lot of Healthy at Every Size and Fat Activism content on the internet, I was uncomfortable starting an exercise program out of a sense that it was a thinly veiled attempt to make me lose weight. But this book made me feel in charge of my own wellbein ...more
I really liked this! I never thought I was one for self-help kinds of books, but that is not what this book really is. I would say it's motivational. It makes the reader question their own reasons for wanting to move more, and acts as a guide for what the reader wants to do or not do, and in what way might work best for them.

This book doesn't deal with the BS of working out to get thin, but instead working out to take back ownership of your body. The author makes it clear that if you do not wan
Engaging, informative, amusing, affirming, and accepting. Basically, everything you want and need in a fitness guide. Includes things you, my dear fellow lady of size, may have wondered about but didn't even want to risk googling. Sets you straight about things you assumed without actually bothering to fact-check. Inspiring in a completely non-cheesy way. I highly recommend!
Have you ever felt like you needed to get in better shape before you would be ready to exercise with "the real athletes"? Or feel like you look too gross in your workout clothes to show your face at the gym?

While my athletic prowess is far far ahead of the main audience for this book, I took two great things away from this book:

1) It is not your job to "prettify" the world for other people. You do not owe it to people to make sure that they only get to look at people that they find attractive.
It might sound dramatic, but being fat in public, especially trying to do movement (walking, dancing, sports, gym, ect) while being fat in public, often IS an incendiary act, at least judging by the strangers making comments, yelling, or throwing a ball from a moving car (things that have happened to me personally). This book is specifically catered to fat people, but I think it can benefit anyone and everyone. The takeaway that I got from this book is important reminder that "taking care of my ...more
Aug 24, 2015 dara added it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This doesn't really guide you through specific exercise routines, at least not in any in-depth way, but rather provides motivation for people who may feel (due to prevalent societal messages) that they don't have the same rights to take up space and exercise publicly as others. If you're looking for body positive support, this book may be of interest.
Samantha Davenport
Premise: people of all sizes should have physical activity in their lives not to lose weight, look more attractive or become "fit" but because movement is good for body, mind and spirit. Activity should also be fun. This book does an excellent job of supporting that premise with concrete information. Furthermore she elaborates on why that premise isn't always shared by everyone and what to do when it isn't...all with a light, accepting and occasionally humorous touch. I particularly like the use ...more
This is filled with practical advice, and actually has some pretty radical ideas about exercise, body image, and fat acceptance. It made me want to get my body moving.
This was a fun book that really helps to break down the psychological barriers many overweight women have put up that prevent them (us) from moving their (our) bodies. For me it wasn't as useful, because I already know that I love to hike, regularly walk to work and enjoy CrossFit. It was reassuring though that the "moving" in and of itself is what is emphasized in this book, not losing weight or worse, attempting to achieve a standard of beauty that is not possible for most people (even if they ...more
Wendy Wagner
Lots of body-positive information in this. Some of the advice is for every size and shape!
I don't think I am exactly the target audience for this book, but I still thought it was helpful.
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Hanne Blank is a writer and historian.
Periodicals which have featured her work include Penthouse, In These Times, Southwest Art, Lilith, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, the Baltimore CityPaper, the Boston Phoenix, Santa Fean Magazine, and others. Her short fiction and essays are frequently anthologized.

Ms. Blank's work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The W
More about Hanne Blank...
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“You have the right to not have to constantly manage how you look for other people’s sake. You aren’t here to decorate the world for other people. You’re here to live in it for yourself, no matter what that looks like.” 1 likes
“I want to get one thing straight right from the start: I am not a natural-born jock. I am about as intrinsically athletic as an oyster, with the innate grace and sporty prowess of a brick—a very cute oyster and a very intelligent brick, if I do say so myself, but oysterly and bricklike nevertheless.” 1 likes
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