"This book will reveal all the challenges and triumphs that made the person I am today," Whitney Thore tells PEOPLE

By Tierney McAfee
Updated September 10, 2015 03:15 PM
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There’s a lot viewers don’t know about My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore – and she plans to put an end to that with her revealing first book, I Do It with the Lights On: And 9 More Surprising Truths About Living a Blissfully Shame-Free Life, due out next year.

“In I Do It with the Lights On, readers will get to understand how I became the happy, confident woman they see on My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” TLC’s Thore tells PEOPLE. “There is so much more to me than can be edited down into 30-minute episodes and this book will reveal all the challenges and triumphs that made me the person I am today – and everything, and I do mean everything, in between.”

The working title of the book, to be published by Ballantine, is symbolic of the larger theme of achieving true self-confidence, Thore says.

“Feeling supremely comfortable and proud in your own skin is hardest in the bedroom where we are most vulnerable, and I’ve used it as a litmus test,” she explains. “Once I could enjoy sex with the lights on, I knew I’d made it.”

Plus, she jokes, “I chose the title I Do It with the Lights On mostly so my father will have to say it over and over when he tells people about his daughter’s book No, kidding, but that will be a bonus.” (PEOPLE editor Rennie Dyball is working with Thore on the upcoming book.)

On Wednesday, Thore kicked off season 2 of her TLC reality show, which follows her emotional journey to self-acceptance after being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The dance teacher, who first found fame on the Internet after her “Fat Girl Dancing” video went viral, recently stole the spotlight again with her powerful response to comedian and YouTube star Nicole Arbour, who posted a video rant claiming that “fat shaming is not a thing” and suggesting that obese people should be shamed into losing weight.

Thore retiliated with a video of her own – which garnered more than 15 million views – declaring, “Fat-shaming is a thing; it’s a really big thing, no pun intended. It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body-shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.”