About Bonnie



Bountiful Women Book Cover

Bountiful Women


On Giving Bountiful Women as a Gift


To whom?

• to yourself, of course!

• to someone you want to understand more of your experience.

• to someone who would appreciate it.

• to like-minded people.

• to someone who might benefit from the ideas within it . . .

• to any one who has hesitated to live her fullest life because she is "weighting".


Top Ten Reasons Why

Everyone Needs to Read Bountiful Women.

10. You might start eating peeps!

9. You might cry with compassion or laugh outloud.

8. You might strut when you walk.

7. You might have fun.

6. You might do what you have always done,

and feel even better about doing it!

5. You might go on vacations, or more vacations.

4. You might be inspired to try something you never considered, learn or relearn something.

3. You might look for love and recognize it when it is near you.

2. You might wear bathing suits and go swimming.

1. And the top reason to read Bountiful Women: You might have more of the life you want!


To many people, Bountiful Women is a gift, hearing the chorus of voices that allow each reader to see herself or find an idea for herself to live the fullest, richest life. In deciding to give someone any gift, we must consider our motivations. If your goal is to fix or educate, demonstrate how smart, wise and good you are, the recipient of your gift may feel those things. If you give your friend tickets to a concert with music you would completely enjoy but has nothing to do with her preferences, the gift may not be received well because it suggests that you do not know her. What is in your heart and mind as you select and give a gift? That matters.

I thought about, and asked my friends and colleagues, for their thoughts on giving this book. The astonishing responses ranged from "everyone should read this book because it has the universal message of self-acceptance and self-appreciation" to, "if I want to read this book, I shall choose it for myself--if anyone gave it to me, I would feel badly." Some women will choose the book for herself, or happily give a copy to her mother, her sister, her friend. Some men will choose the book for women they love. Yet, other people may want to give this book to someone and are concerned the recipient may be uncomfortable about the topic.

Here are words and ideas, from women and men, on how to give this book to someone who may or may not see themselves as bountiful but whose life may be enriched by reading it.

On the attitude of the giver

"If a relationship did not already exist based on trust, love, support and honesty, then I don't think it would work very well. The gift of this book might be an opportunity to open a respectful dialogue, if one does not already exist. If you happen to love/care for a woman who is large, and you don't discuss the issue of weight, then an important part of that woman's experience is probably being left out." A.P., M.S., therapist

"When an emotional connection, or energetic linkage, is present between the two people, the book will come as a gift and a support rather than as a reproach. So if someone wants to give this book to a friend, she should concentrate on maintaining connection to her friend rather than on how the friend might react." S.S., Ph.D., author

"How connected I am to the person I'm giving the book to, how free of judgment, how full of caring is going to affect their response to my offering the book. A key piece is to suggest that the giver read the book before giving it. True friends, people with intimacy/connection, won't have a hard time with this at all--they'll be excited to share it. It's the critics/judges/psychological knowers who will have trouble." M.D., educator

"A person who has not been supportive of a large woman should only offer this book after reading it first and shifting his/her own thinking about the issue. I would have the prospective giver look deeply and honestly inside. The surface motivation, of course, will be to help. But what's underneath that? Is it a loving heart or a critical judge? Is it a person who sees the large friend as a fabulous person, fine the way she is, or as someone who needs to be "fixed"?" G.L., Ph.D., psychologist

I relate to people as if their being large is no more a secret to them than it is to me. What makes people most comfortable and gives the most support is talking about reality like it's real. I would say, "I heard about this book and I thought you might enjoy it. It's about embracing who you are, as you are and it has a lot of valuable tips. You know I really love you and more than anything I want you to be happy. I'll be interested to hear what you think." Z.L., M.D., physician

"When I hear you talk about a failed diet . . .,

"When I hear you put yourself down for being overweight . . .,

"I feel sad. I want you to feel good about who you are, no matter what your size may be. Here is a book that may help." L.T., M.S.W., social worker

"I think this is a must read for the sisterhood. Just understanding what other women go through has made me more compassionate, sympathetic, and less judgmental. I hope it will be as meaningful for you. After you read it, let's chat--I'd like to hear your thoughts." T.


Secrets for giving this book . . . you might say:

"Here is a new book, Bountiful Women. I hope you feel excited/touched/ (fill in the blank) when you read it, as I did. Let's talk about it when you are finished."

"I love you and so appreciate the wonderful times we have together, I wanted to give you this book to let you know how much you matter to me."

"I looked at this book and it celebrates living a full life. I want that for you and I want that for me. Let's read it together."

I found Bountiful Women touching. I learned that when I said, "you had such a pretty face if only . . . " that might not have felt so good to you. I am sorry. I have learned from this book. I wanted you to have it to celebrate your life.

Inspirational approaches:

"Bountiful Women has so much to offer in terms of how our society approaches anyone other than model-type-women that I am inspired by it and am passing it on in the spirit of spreading this inspiration. The book is about self acceptance--self acceptance is a form of promoting physical, emotional, mental health, as well as peace on earth." D.R., M.S.W., social worker

"I celebrate and love all of you and love you dearly for who and how you are right now. I offer this book to reinforce that celebration and help you increase your personal joy and health." M.B.

"This book is a gift of empowerment for the souls of large women in acknowledgement of their worth beyond the shape of their bodies--a gift of love." J.W., M.F.T., therapist

"Bountiful Women offers strong ideas as a helpful way to live and thrive on the planet. I found it good for me." W. S., Ph.D., psychologist

"You are wonderful and here is a book to support that." B.T., Ph.D., psychologist

Straightforward approaches:

"I don't know if this ever happens to you, but I've heard that large people are often treated unfairly simply due to their size. Here is a book that has tons of useful ideas for handling those situations." J.R., M.F.T., child therapist

"I saw this book and realized how little awareness I have of what it is like to be in someone else's body. I imagine there are all kinds of challenges to being extra tall or short or small or large that I don't directly experience. Maybe you will like this book. Let me know what you think." (The spirit is: I am open to conversation and it's up to you.) S.L., organizational consultant

"I just heard of a book for women size 14 and over and how they deal with doctors and other situations in this society that is so oriented to being thin. Would that interest you?" G.E., M.S.W., social worker

"I care about you and believe that you struggle with this. I thought the book might helpful." M.O., Ph.D., psychologist

Be direct, kind, loving and thoughtful. If one gives such a book while coming from a loving place, the recipient may feel those feelings from you. P.K., Ph.D., psychologist

"I have a present for you. I have found it very helpful in thinking about me and making the world more mine, as it should be. S.K., M.F.T.,

"Bountiful Women makes so much sense that I bought you and several other people copies. I want us both to read it and discuss it ." S.K., community volunteer

On "weighting" for a signal from the other person:

"I think it best to wait until someone talks about "weighting" and then suggest the book to them. The other person needs to open up the subject or else the offering might sound critical." R.R., Ph.D., psychologist

"I would simply mention it, offer to lend it to them if they are interested, and let it go. My words are based on my state of mind, and state of grace with myself and my body. Good days and cranky ones. I want a sensitive, respectful communication with anyone I am speaking to and getting to know." L.M., music teacher

"Someone could give the book by telling their overweight friend that they had heard about this book and are thinking about checking it out at the bookstore, maybe buying it themselves, or they might tell the friend that they bought it for themselves and really have gotten some good ideas from it. They could offer to loan it to them. Giving it is too obvious a directed message." N. W., teacher.

A story to tell on being who you are:

There is a beautiful scene in the movie "A Far Off Place" based on the Laurens van der Post book of the same name. A European boy and a young bushman are talking about love and marriage. The European boy has just fallen in love and wonders if he may be too young to know about finding the right woman. The bushman explains, "This is a very simple matter. You will know when you have found the right person. When you find her, you get married. I did. It has nothing to do with age." The Englishman then asks the bushman what he thought when he first saw his wife and knew that she was the right woman for him. "Did you think she was beautiful?" he asks. The bushman just looks at the Englishman in confusion. He doesn't know the meaning of the word "beautiful". Bushman have no concept of physical beauty! Since there is no word in their language for it, people are never judged by their physical appearance. They are, instead, judged by who they are. S.S., Ph.D.

Bountiful is a way of life!


Return to Resources Page

Bonnie Bernell

Bountiful Women
Bonnie Bernell

Bonnie Bernell Web Site

This website © Copyright 2008, Bonnie Bernell
All Rights Reserved.