Without Measure (WOM) 365

December 6, 2011

Let’s Do Some Catching Up

Filed under: activism,fitness,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 12:51 am

A lot has happened in the last year, and I apologize that I haven’t done much writing here. I must like to save it all up and write a lot when I do write.

I guess I’ll start with the positive. My wife and I had a baby girl on May 9, 2011. We named her “Jeyli Ayane Steadham,” pronounced “jay-lee eye-yah-nay.” She’s a wonderful, happy little girl who’s been an amazing blessing to our lives.  We also have two sons, ages 16 and 13.

Another positive was that in my day job as a tech geek, I got a promotion and raise. That’s always good when there’s another mouth to feed.

ISAA has had several good media opportunities this year: an interview with FOX News regarding the Marie Claire blog debacle over the “Mike and Molly” show, a South Texas newspaper article on size acceptance, and our New York City representative, Catherine Schuller, was on the Dr. Oz show.

But it was a tough year, too. I had to make one of the hardest decisions in all my years with ISAA: I released Fatima Parker from her volunteer capacity as a representative of this organization. I won’t go into all the details because that’s not necessary. I felt that Ms. Parker was not accurately or appropriately representing ISAA.  Attempts were made to resolve the situation but in the end, it was not possible.

I always try to keep professional matters separate from personal matters. That way, people can maintain a friendship even if there are professional matters they have an honest disagreement about (same goes for politics and many other topics). That also wasn’t possible in this instance, and a 10-year friendship ended, too. I regret that loss but I won’t compromise principles when it comes to ISAA’s integrity, what it stands for.

Earlier this year, we released the original Without Measure (WOM) domain and obtained the withoutmeasure365.com domain. Unfortunately, a few months ago, a pornographic company obtained the original WOM domain and set up a porn site. So, several weeks ago, I updated the ISAA website to remove links to the original WOM url and replace them with links to withoutmeasure365.com.  If you come across any ISAA webpages that still have links to the original WOM url (withoutmeasure dot com), please email me at directisaa@gmail.come and let me know the url of the page(s) that needs to be updated with the withoutmeasure365.com link.

And then there’s my health/medical condition:  In the last month, I’ve been hospitalized twice.

The first time was for 8 days and we believe the circumstances (rapidly lowered blood pressure, dehydration and nausea) were caused by a bad virus that didn’t interact well with my unique gastrointestinal (GI) tract. But I seemed to be better by the 8th day and was released from the hospital on the Thursday after Halloween.

Following what seemed to be a normal several weeks, I got very ill (with nausea) the Monday before Thanksgiving.  After three days of not being able to keep down food or liquids and three Emergency Room visits, I was admitted to the hospital for violent nausea, dehydration and stomach pain from stomach cramps. Soon, the doctor discovered that I had an elevated white blood cell count and began treating me with anti-biotics, in addition to the anti-nausea and pain medicines plus the IV liquids they were giving me. So, yes, I was admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day (a Thursday).

It took until that Sunday for me to be able to drink and keep down liquids, but the antibiotics were working well. By Monday, I was able to eat a regular diet and any liquids. It’s still odd to think that I hadn’t had anything to eat in 7 days prior to that. Still, we (the doctors, nurses, my wife and I) wanted to do things right and not risk a recurrence of my nausea and previous symptoms.  And the doctor did confirm that my white blood cell count had come down.

That Tuesday evening (November 29th), I was released to go home again. Fortunately, my strength, my appetite, my humor and my love of cooking have all returned to normal. I will still need to follow up with my GI and other doctors but the dreaded nausea has not returned.

This leads me towards future plans. Next year, I do have plans to have surgery to hopefully correct a number of my GI issues and reduce or eliminate the daily abdominal pain I experience from my condition.

I’ll write again soon, more specifically about ISAA and the Size Acceptance Movement.

I would appreciate your comments.

Best Wishes,
Allen

Allen Steadham
Director ISAA

January 3, 2011

WOM Beta Becomes WOM 365

Filed under: activism,fitness,health,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 6:06 am

It’s a new year and it’s time for some changes! WOM Beta is finally going out of Beta; it’s becoming WOM 365.

And yes, this is in association with another important change: Size Acceptance 365!

Size Acceptance 365, or SA365 for short, is quite literally about creatively expressing the need and value in improving your own quality of life from day to day, and becoming an example to others concerning size (weight or height) acceptance. SA365 embraces the concept of health at every size, including fitness and making healthy food choices.

The very nature of size acceptance means to reach beyond the numbers on a scale or a shirt or dress size, to find ways to be healthy without embracing failed methods such as weight loss dieting, drugs or surgery. SA365 does not exclude those who have dieted, lost weight or undergone procedures such as surgery but it does not endorse those methods. SA365 starts today and looks forward to the future.

While SA365 is a concept created by myself, Allen Steadham, the Founder and Director of the International Size Acceptance Association, it is not ISAA-exclusive. ISAA is not sponsoring SA365, only participating and hosting this webpage.

SA365 is open to all people, organizations and groups. It is not limited to the size acceptance movement or size activists. SA365 does not exclude anyone unless their planned activity or participation is either illegal or blatantly against size acceptance (such as feederism or dieting/weight loss).

Here are ways to participate in SA365:

1. Link to the SA365 webpage – http://www.sa365.info – with the SA365 banner image below:

2. We’re on Facebook! Click on the link below and then we hope you click LIKE on our Facebook page and tune in for updates or join in discussions and/or related activities:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Size-Acceptance-365/185932598099683

3. Create your own event, webpage, blog or idea and then let us know about it! You can contact us through the SA365 email address: size.acceptance365@gmail.com

June 12, 2010

From The Director’s Chair…

Filed under: activism,fitness,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 1:45 am

On July 1st, ISAA will be 13 years old. That means our organization will officially be a teenager, which is certainly appropriate, because we also relate to the BBTeenz. We’d like to continue to reach out to the `Teenz and we want to hear from them, too! The next PODWOM (Podcast Without Measure) will have a BBTeenz theme.

Now, believe it or not, PODWOM is already five years old! And we’re making plans to expand (pun intended) and become international, just like ISAA. In the coming weeks and months, you can look forward to PODWOM UK, which will be hosted by ISAA UK’s Fatima Parker. Fatima’s been very busy, as always. Not only does she continue to run the United Kingdom and Middle East/North Africa (MENA) branches of ISAA, but it’s now my pleasure to announce her promotion to ISAA’s Vice President of Activism (both U.S. and International). We’re all volunteers here at ISAA, so we really appreciate Fatima’s dedication, determination, courage and professionalism that she has demonstrated since becoming a part of ISAA in 2001.

In other news, ISAA would like to ask for some volunteers, specifically ones who are knowledgeable concerning healthy food choices and fitness at any size. ISAA’s primary motto is “Respect, Fitness, Health.” We do pretty good at getting the word out about Respect, including educating about self-esteem and advocacy for the rights of people of all sizes and combating weight-based discrimination. But that’s only a fraction of what ISAA supports. We’d love to do so much more, but there’s only a few people presently able to provide information for the ISAA website, so we’ll admit it — we need your help.

We would like to open up a section that recommends safe fitness routines, varying from low- to medium-impact — which could help people become more active without compromising their health or their dignity. Unfortunately, for many people of size, going to the gym means enduring insults or being stigmatized. However, if the same people had an option either within their own home or nearby, the possibilities become dramatically greater.

We’d also like to create a section with guidelines for making healthy food choices. And we’d love to introduce healthy recipes for delicious foods which aren’t designed for weight loss; they’d be designed to taste great and make you feel great (because it’s healthy). We know most of our readers are on a budget of some kind (we are, too!), so we’d like to prove that healthy and tasty food doesn’t have to be expensive. We’d also like to offer vegetarian/vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free varieties to our “menu.” That said, we know this will take some time, but it w ill certainly be worth it.

So, if you’re fired up about fitness for all sizes or a foodie (or even nutritionist) with super recipes and a zest for cooking, contact ISAA at isaafitness@gmail.com or isaafoodie@gmail.com and put either FITNESS or FOOD in the subject line, depending on what your specialty is.

But we’re not quite finished yet! Keeping in mind that Without Measure (WOM) started out as ISAA’s printed newsletter, then morphed into an e-zine and now, as you see (since you’re here), WOMBeta is ISAA’s group blog. However, we’re looking for some new writers. We’re inviting anyone to write blog entries on a virtually unlimited variety of size- or weight-related topics. Your blog entries will be subject to WOM’s submissions guidelines but really, those are fairly lenient.

The bottom line is, we know you’ve got a lot to say and WOM wants to be your sounding board! Email your blog entries to womeasure@gmail.com with the subject line “WOMBeta.”

That’s it for this “From The Director’s Chair.” Have a wonderful day!

Allen Steadham, Director
International Size Acceptance Association
Email: directisaa@gmail.com

July 30, 2009

What Will It Take?

Filed under: activism,fitness,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 12:45 am

We have begun to get glimpses at the U.S. Government-proposed “public option” in health care, and it is worse than I feared. And now ISAA is getting media requests to discuss the proposed “obesity taxes” associated with the same healthcare measures. The possibilities of the potential future are frightening.

Of course, we should be used to being made afraid. The medical and bariatric surgery industries try to make us afraid of fat, the U.S. Government tries to make us afraid of fat and just about any public figure who wants to stir up fear uses the Universal Term of Horror (UToH): Obesity. And it works.

Well now it’s our turn, except we’re not saying to be afraid of obesity. We’re saying fear those who would legislate obesity!

Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius says “We are killing ourselves, and more importantly, we are killing our children” at a 3-day conference in Washington D.C. called “Weight of the Nation.”  Wow, guys, how subtle.  At the same time, a “new study” came out claiming “obese Americans — those who are 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight — cost the country an estimated $147 billion in weight-related medical bills in 2008.” (Source: USA Today)

Was that study made by the same people who said 200,000 people die of obesity each year and it really turned out to be closer to 28,000 or less? Regardless, people in the medical industry and more importantly, people in the legislative and executive branches take these studies-passed-off-as-facts very seriously! And these are the people who will determine whether or not the healthcare initiative gets passed and if so, what will become law.

Now, in all fairness, Sibelius and others did make recommendations for encouraging healthy food choices and more physical activities on the local level. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as that doesn’t translate into forcing people to eat specific things in specific quantities based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) or weight on a scale. Because we have another name for that: a DIET! And even the weight loss industry finally conceded that diets don’t work (just ask Weight Watchers, it’s their mantra now).

It doesn’t matter what those of us in the Size Acceptance Movement have been saying for years — that you can be fat and fit, that it takes a healthy self-esteem to make for a better person, that weight-based discrimination leads to eating disordered and other self-destructive behaviors (including suicide),  that the medical industry has a built-in bias against fat people that begins in medical school, that weight loss surgery kills thousands and maims thousands more each year. None of that matters! The law of the land is not ours to dictate…that is in the hands of elected officials in Washington D.C. who have their own opinions, their own biases and unfortunately, their own agendas.

A few weeks ago, I literally sounded the alarm! There is a threat to every fat person in America.  The threat is not healthcare you don’t have to pay for (except you do, through your taxes), it’s the control the U.S. Government would have to deny you healthcare at all! Some people have scoffed at that and told me “Allen, it’s like that now! I can’t get approved for this or for that already!” And sadly, for some people, that is absolutely true.

But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! This bill opens the door for the Government to have unlimited control of healthcare, which can literally mean they control your quality of life! And by tying it to insurance and ultimately, wrestling management from the private sector, all kinds of scenarios become possible:

1. Want a job? Get weight loss surgery. Hey, the government will pay for it!

2. Need lifesaving cancer treatment? Your BMI is too high, raising your risk factor. Coverage denied.

3. Need some credit to buy a house, buy a bed, medical equipment, a car? Will that be gastric bypass or lapband?

Shall I go on? There is a genuine threat building. And the only answer is to unite and fight for the term “size (weight and height)” to be added to Federal anti-discrimination laws before the drastic healthcare initiatives become the law of the land.

Do we need to have “hospices for fat people” and mandatory weight loss surgery before people will have had enough? The proposed legislation has proven to me that the people who drafted the legislation do not have human life as the priority, only the bottom line.

Seriously…what will it take?

January 7, 2009

The True Meaning Of Healthy Living

Filed under: fitness,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — tima888 @ 5:40 pm

This is something I have written after I saw Oprah on TV selling her style of HAES to the world:

I am glad to see that 2009 is the year of healthy living, the year to rediscover our bodies and our self worth, and learn to be active and lead a healthy life style.

This is all good, if it were not for the never ending message to lose weight and measure our achievement by the number of pounds lost or the our new thinner selves.

Glamorizing thinness is harmful, it has not only failed for decades, but obesity is on the rise due to the change in metabolism and eating disorders  these methods cause.

This is the reason why the promoters of weight loss are borrowing our messages of size acceptance and health at every size, to sell their diets and keep  women and teens especially, in the vicious circle of yo yo dieting and body loathing.

My idea of caring and loving my body is unconditional, it has no strings attached. I will love and care for my health no matter what weight i am at or if i lose pounds or inches as a result of a healthy life style or not.

I eat healthy and move my body for health and only for health, not to lose pounds or look thinner.

My self worth is not measured by the number on the scale or a dress size, I am who I am at any size.

I am worthy of respect love and dignity now as I am, it should not be less worthy when fat and more worthy when thin.

My self worth is not based on the scale or the tape measure, these statistics are part of me but not the whole of me, and when they fluctuate they do not affect who i am as a human being.

Caring for my health is a pleasurable duty I have towards my best friend, my child and the home of my soul my beautiful body.

Without it, I would not be able to love , feel pleasure, walk, run, laugh and dance, be happy or sad , work and play, be creative , be productive, be a lover and a friend, be a mother, a father or a child, without this body I do not exist.

For many years you made me hate it, loath it, despise it, torture it, stuff it, gorge it, punish it, insult it, starve it, and beat it.

You are fat an ugly you said, you should be ashamed of your body, who would want you when you are looking like this, you are disgusting, you are obese, lardy, horrible and flabby.

You have let yourself go you said, do something about it you lazy cow.

It is easy to lose weight and look great,  just stop eating, stop stuffing your face with sweets and junk food and get off your fat behind and move….

You only have yourself to blame, you have no will power, you are  disgusting.

No wonder obesity is on the rise, the reverse psychology meant to so called  motivate us fatties to lose weight, resulted in blood tears and death.

The get healthy message you have stolen from us, will not work for you, given your history of torture and abuse.

– Fatima Parker

July 27, 2007

Your Friends Make You Fat…Not!

Filed under: fitness,health,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 4:14 pm

The newest tidbits of expertise on obesity from one segment of the medical world published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (vol 357, 370-379, 2007) are, not surprisingly, painfully flawed and guilty of the same underlying prejudice against fat people that plagues the medical community in general. If you break down their findings, two dangerous messages come across loud and clear:

1. Being around fat people will increase your chances of getting fat, so you better not hang out with fat people; and
2. If you’re fat, you’re going to lose all your friends if you don’t lose weight, so you better get thin as soon as possible!

Even the Chicago Sun-Times had a problem with the new research in this article. They concluded that the NEJM research “may also contribute to prejudice against overweight people.” I agree.

The new research hangs on that blemish of science, the Body Mass Index (BMI), which has never been an indicator of health and the research also makes sweeping generalizations about social networking influencing eating habits.

Common sense always provides answers where research fails, because research can be influenced by the researchers’ assumptions and prejudices.

Common sense says your friends don’t make choices for you. You decide what what you want to do with your life, even if you decide to agree to what your friends suggest you do. The assumption the medical community wants you to make is that all fat people make poor food choices and overeat with abandon, so you’d better get away from their social influence or by gum, they’ll make you lazy, ugly and stupid, too!

It’s a silly assumption but too many doctors and medical professionals make leaps of logic like that every day.

Common sense says everyone is an individual and individuals make individual choices. It may be hard for some people to understand but people of all shapes and sizes can be fit, eat healthy and be productive and active members of society. By the same reasoning, people of ALL shapes and sizes (including thin ones) can also lack fitness, have un-healthy habits and not be productive and active members of society. For some reason, some people don’t like to hear that — but it’s the truth.

Common sense says that you choose your friends based on whether they’re good friends or not.

There’s another term for choosing your friends based on appearance…it’s called “discrimination.”

June 27, 2007

Filed under: fitness,health,self esteem,size acceptance — laurelnymph @ 11:45 pm

Pushing Jack Back Down the Beanstalk: So, I’m Fat; Must I Be Made Constantly Afraid?

by Daphne Yvonne Bradshaw  After my adventures with my now ex-doctor, I started thinking of all the fear mongering put on me and on others like me. I am constantly warned of a shortened lifespan with a terribly painful death awaiting me from cardiovascular (or insert another major disease or, if the fear monger is particularly rude, “your lifestyle choices!”) disease. This is even more a certainty because of diabetes, of course. The diabetes alone adds more terror — the potential loss of limbs, sight, and other ghoulish complications. This death is expected at any time because of my morbid obesity and other risk factors. Just an aside here–I am WELL beyond being morbidly obese, thank you! So, I will die eventually in a larger than life manner? So? I live larger than most life around me already. Now what?


 

Well, I am told that this demise will be extremely painful over a long period of time, but my death will come unexpectedly at anytime. Yes, the fear mongers do use a lot of redundancy and contradiction, I repeat … and I am still trying to figure out how to reconcile that. Excruciating but unexpected demise? Long period of time but suddenly? Hmmm….oh well…onward with my rant… When I am doing all I know to do and all that I am convinced can be safely done, is it still reasonable to beat me up over these risk factors? Have I really deserved what I get because of these factors? Do only people of large size with my risk factors get this treatment? Is this fear mongering normal for the wider population? or even the narrower population? Do skinnier people with the same disease(s), minus the morbid obesity (but note that fat is not a disease!), get the same whipped frenzy of terrorization? Has any of the “mob squad” ever studied genetics, body chemistry, endocrinology, or even basic high school science? Yes, I do include our medical professionals here, alas. Maybe the skinny, maybe the whole population, maybe we all get these scare tactics, but do people like me get it more than the “norm?”  What is the acceptable harassment and terrorism of fat people index for today anyway? Do any of these terrorists realize that fear is itself a major risk factor? Hmmm…maybe that is their angle? They DO want rid of my hulking hugeness by any means necessary. I hear it replayed now–“Kill the giants!”


Oh, and it starts young, too. We have to save those fat kids before they grow any bigger and have more risk factors! Why, don’t you know that even KIDS die of cardiovascular disease now-a-days? Uh, perhaps, but so do some major league pitchers, Olympic ice skaters, wild/health food nuts, avid joggers, … Oh, oops, I wasn’t supposed to look there. Foolish footnote freak that I am! Geesh. Sorry about that. Personally, I see scare tactics used to sell almost everything this society wants us all to buy. It is right up there next to the woman’s boobs which are used to sell everything else. But, I can’t help but feel that the supersized and the still-fat-but-less-than-supersized do get more of the terrorization. Terror keeps all too many of us in line…docile…not rebelling and disabling the farts who are pulling all the strings and stealing all the fear hostages’ money.


I do resent being targeted so often for things I either cannot control or for things I am doing the best I know how to do. I know these diseases are nothing to take lightly, but do I have to be beaten into terror in addition? Can’t I enjoy whatever life I have nevertheless? Can I opt out of being afraid or being made afraid?

My next trick is learning how to stop being afraid and just smile. I will button up my overcoat, put on my hat, silently smile for now, and wheel myself right past all my detractors. Want to come along with me? Yes, there will be obstacles in my path and yours, too, no doubt. Does anyone have suggestions for the huge hurdles?  Oh, I forgot that I am too large for jumping hurdles. Drats! Ok, so I will have to settle for mowing them down with my wheelchair! Onward ho!

January 2, 2007

New Year, New Diet Mania

Filed under: fitness,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 8:26 pm

Dilber from 01-01-07

We all know the scenario: the end-of-year holidays have come and gone and now the diet marketing goes into effect. People are guilt-tripped because they supposedly ate too much during the holidays, make New Years’ resolutions to lose weight this year and will try just about anything to accomplish this goal. Ah, but this year, we also have weight loss surgery being pushed by bariatric corporations, whether gastric banding or the full shebang, gastric bypass.

I’m pretty passionate in my disapproval of weight loss surgery (See ISAA’s Position on Weight Loss Surgery). I’ve had friends die from it, I’ve seen numerous lives ruined by it and I learn more not to like about it almost daily.

My outlook is not all gloom and doom, however. Actually, I have seen a lot of positive changes in recent years. Modern teens and young adults do not make weight loss as high a priority as their parents. Some do not make it a priority at all. In the United States, at least, this is the first generation of people to be raised with some awareness of size acceptance and the scientific proof that diets do not work. I believe this will eventually happen in other countries where word about size acceptance and healthy body esteem is beginning to spread, slowly but surely.

As we continue to work to get information about size acceptance, Respect Fitness Health and the pitfalls of the junk science being used to promote weight loss is dispensed in person and over the internet, the more information people will have to make informed choices concerning their health.

Even new studies are clearly showing that weight loss is not necessary to be healthy while making improved food choices and being active is. I believe we will see more research in this area and more conclusive proof but of course, time will tell.

Best Wishes,

Allen

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