It’s been a while since I last communicated with all of you concerning myself or ISAA. I’m sorry for that; the last year has been tough. But I
want to start by saying I’m alright and so is my family.
Late last December, I finally had the abdominal surgery (not weight-related) I’ve been needing literally for years. It was becoming critical for my survival, and that’s not an exaggeration. I went into the hospital on December 19th and had the surgery on December 20th. I was released on December 28th. Unfortunately, there were complications and I spent half of January in the hospital. February required a few emergency room visits but by March, I had pretty much stabilized.
I have a good job with an understanding manager so my vacation and sick time kept me paid during my hospitalization and recovery. I’ve been working since late January. My wife, kids, family, friends and church were were wonderful before and after my surgery and recovery. My wife did an incredible job decorating my hospital room for Christmas and visited very often. So did other family and friends. My pastor was by my side right until they wheeled me in for surgery. I kept in touch with some via my Android phone. And last year, I started a new webcomic called Super Chibi Girl , so writing story for that and (once home) working on new pages were therapeutic in my recovery.
I have been staying apprised of all news, several mailing lists and my friends and contacts in the Size Acceptance Movement throughout all this
time. The state and future of ISAA has been a great concern of mine all this time. And honestly, I’ve been conflicted on how to begin this
discussion with you. But I’ve never hid away from difficult topics when it was important. And it has become important.
The “other side,” those promoting weight loss, has been steadily upping the ante against us over the last several years. Recently, the American
Medical Association (AMA) officially declared obesity a “disease,” which flies in the face of one of ISAA’s slogans and campaigns (“Obesity is NOT a disease!”). And we can only speculate what the AMA and others will do next.
At the same time, the Movement has not been as unified as it once was. For whatever reasons, and I’m not trying to assign any blame (as I know some of the reasons are personal and financial), people have not been as responsive or as available as they once were. And on top of it, I’ve had to make some painful decisions, parting with some whose goals and ambitions were running contrary to ISAA’s and even size acceptance in general.
ISAA is and always has been a network of volunteers. No one has ever asked me to run ISAA by myself but because ISAA’s network is volunteers, I’ve often had to do just that, for years. And I can’t do that anymore. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to you, either. More importantly, I need your help. Mostly, we need to restructure if ISAA is to continue as an organization, nevermind a viable one. And by restructure, I simply mean that we need a new network of volunteers. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And some of you maybe didn’t know how you could help.
I think ISAA has a lot of good it can still do. And in less than 30 days, ISAA is going to need to raise funds to continue its web hosting. But I didn’t feel right going into fundraising talk with settling matters about where ISAA is and what it’s future could be. The simple truth is, a lot of that has to do with you, individually.
I would like to hear from people who can become a part of ISAA’s new network of volunteers. Think about this and ask yourself, realistically,
what area can you help in? I’m not worried about finances. If 15 people gave $10, we’d meet our financial goals. What I’m talking about is who can represent ISAA, as far as new content for the ISAA website, giving the ISAA website a much needed overall and new look, people who can contact the media or respond to media interviews, people who can be a representative of their corner of the world.
Since ISAA was founded in 1997, our history has repeatedly shown us that when we unite, we can do great things. Together, we’ve saved and improved lives, educated the world about size acceptance and fought discrimination.
I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to respond to this post or if you prefer, write me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen Steadham, Director
International Size Acceptance Association