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Over the years, I have both loathed and loved my body. I have found that loving my body is much, much better. So I made a decision to love my body, not in spite of imagined flaws or ways that it deviates from the media ideal of what a body should look like, but rather because it is mine and it is perfect.

I spent decades putting my life on hold—waiting to achieve an acceptably, socially, skinny body. I didn’t lose any weight (at least not permanently). All I lost was a few decades. So one day I made a choice. I stopped waiting around for the perfect body and started acting as if I already had the perfect body.

Everything I dreamed that I would do when I was thin, I just went and did those things. It made my life much scarier. There is no risk in a life delayed—in a life not lived. My life was perfect in potentia. But it wasn’t juicy. It wasn’t electric. It wasn’t real. So I learned to jump into life with both pudgy feet. Since then, my life has been immeasurably better.

I also spent a great deal of my life wondering what other people were thinking about me. But at some point I realized that I didn’t really know what people were thinking about me. I wasn’t psychic. I was imagining in my own head what was in their heads. So one day I decided that I might as well imagine that they think I’m totally awesome. Why not? It’s my imagination. I might as well imagine something that makes me feel good and powerful. I might as well imagine something that will help me be a positive force in the world.

For many years, I believed that exercise would make me look like a supermodel. It would make me thin and tan, and sweat would sheen and glisten on my muscles. Exercise did not do that for me. So for a while, I was really kind of mad about that. Until I realized that exercise made me feel better and sleep better. I was in a better mood. I felt better about myself. I felt sexy.

Since then, I have decided that exercise is one of the most awesome things on earth, and that I want to share it with everyBODY. I help people understand what is really wonderful about exercise and help them find the fun in fitness. Because in every life, there comes a day where you have to decide whether to exercise or watch TV. If your exercise routine is boring, painful, or based on punishment, TV WILL WIN.

So find your exercise mojo. Do it out of love for yourself. Your life will be so much better for it.

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Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) is a plus-sized, certified fitness instructor and personal trainer author, producer and professional speaker who has helped thousands of people who haven’t worked out in a while (or ever) learn to love their bodies and love exercise again. She is author of the best-selling book and DVD, The Fat Chick Works Out! and creator of She is also co-creator of the forum at with Ragen Chastain and at with Dr. Eve Agee.

Ms. DePatie has held fitness certifications from the YMCA, ACE and AFAA. Jeanette serves as a role model and an inspiration for beginning exercisers of all ages, sizes, shapes and abilities. Ms. DePatie has served as a spokeswoman for The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and The Association for Size Diversity and Health where she commonly speaks on the topic of Health at Every Size®. She has been interviewed many times on television, radio and in print by Katie Couric, NPR, Dr. Drew, Hallmark’s Home and Family, Al Jazeera America, CTV (Canada), Huffington Post Live, Women’s Health, Scholastic Magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall St. Journal.

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Hi Jeanette. I loved your article. I don’t have a weight problem; in fact I am on the opposite end of the weight continuum. BUT, what I have battled are my feelings toward myself because of the stroke I had 3 years ago that left me disabled. I was a corporate manager, a healing arts business owner and an author of several books. The stroke stopped me in my tracks and ‘rebooted’ my life. Although I will fully recover (I am about 85% there), it has been a long journey of personal growth as I get back into the world ‘just as I am right now’, accepting things as they are and getting on with my life. I feel that one day I will be able to look back at this time of my life and appreciate what I have gone through. This has been a gift from the heavens. We are all gifts from the Divine, no matter what our circumstance. We just need to see that in ourselves. Again, thanks for the reminder to appreciate me for who I am. <3

    1. Hi Erica, Thanks so much for your comment and your inspiring story! Sending you gifts of love and light as you continue on this path of strength and discovery. Love, Jeanette

    2. Erica,
      What an amazing experience to be ‘stopped in your tracks’ when you were experiencing such success. I would imagine that the learning and personal growth will be quite substantial and life changing in a deep way. While I, in no way, envy your journey I admire your awareness that it is a gift and that it is up to you to appreciate and benefit from it.

    1. Lorene, that is so true. I have met some who have put their lives on hold for 20, 30 or even 50 years. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning. If I can help somebody recognize their current, indisputable awesomeness even one day sooner, I will have done something of value that day. oxoxox Jeanette

  2. fatchicksings…I needed this! It resonated with me in so many ways. I am going to learn from you and, instead of imagining everyone is thinking negative thoughts about my appearance, I’m going to imagine everyone is thinking of me as awesome!
    BTW…I think YOU are awesome!

  3. Great ideas, Karen! What a wonderful & gentle reminder for all of us to get out and get moving. Exercise is the antidote to nearly everything, in my professional opinion. Our bodies were designed to move. I regularly recommend that my clients get up every 30 minutes and go for a walk around their home, their building, etc. In my practice, I regularly discuss the benefits of exercise and not to wait to be ‘motivated.’ The best motivation is Action. Period.

  4. What a wonderful post! Thank you for pointing out that we’re unique and lovable just because of who we are. 🙂 Regardless of size or shape or color or invisible challenges, all of us can love ourselves. I really appreciate your encouragement and logical expression. God bless you.

  5. Jeanette, love this..and it is not just about weight is about and for anyone who doesn’t beleive they are perfect as they are..I once asked a client of mine if they believed that everything GOD creates is perfect. They said ,”yes”, absolutely. I then asked if he believed he was created by GOD. There was silence..and then he said…well, yes but everyone is perfect but me. As you have stated, we are all perfect as we are. We have each been given what we need to better understand, experience and express ourselves in that perfection. Thanks for sharing this awesome message of your victory!

  6. I read these Inspire me today articles a few times a week and I rarely write a comment. But I SO loved and resonated with so much about your article. I joke around that I lost 200 pounds because I keep losing the same 20 over and over again. Being small 20 pounds is two sizes and makes a huge difference in how I feel and how I showed up for my life. At 55 years old, I’ve finally come to realize how I help myself back as you wrote about due to fear of judgement and how much time I wasted thinking I would be happy when ……… ! Kudos to you for your strength and spreading the message and love that we have all been created perfectly imperfect and the media’s messages are detrimental to societies mental well being.

  7. I am not there yet regrettably. I do go on lots of adventures but the photos of a bloated face and body stare back at me and taint the memory of the day and instantly brings me down. I have worked out consistently with a personal trainer for 35 x 1 hours sessions and incurred injuries and stiffness but not a single change in my body shape or weight, no endorphins here. I resent my body and its refusal to adapt and bend, even just a little. I am at the stage where exercise is a chore and painful and I am pretty fed up. I have replaced my trainer with someone else for my last few paid up sessions so maybe the switch might make a difference. You are so lucky you can accept yourself. I will check out your website

  8. Thank you for sharing your story, Jeanette :). In life, we have a dream to motivate ourselves to reach it. During the life journey, we have to have time to stop, look and reflex again and see if our dream is reasonable. We come to the point that we have to accept the reality. We can always find something in our life that we are grateful. So, may be we change our dream to the more realistic.

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