Without Measure (WOM) 365

June 24, 2013

An Update And Open Letter Concerning ISAA

Filed under: activism,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 2:08 pm

Hello everyone,

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 directisaa@gmail.com

Best Wishes,
Allen Steadham, Director
International Size Acceptance Association


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 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:

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

November 17, 2010

New PODWOM: Interview With Dr. Robyn Silverman

Filed under: health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 10:59 pm

PODWOM – http://www.podwom.com

In this episode of PODWOM, I had the opportunity to interview body esteem expert Dr. Robyn Silverman, author of “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls And How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.”

The show is 33.5 minutes long and can be listened to through streaming media on podwom.com or downloaded directly from the website. The MP3 file is 15.5 MB.

PODWOM is the abbreviation for Podcast Without Measure, the podcast edition of Without Measure (WOM), the official electronic magazine for the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA). Each podcast will feature unique segments, commentary plus in-depth discussions and interviews conducted by the show’s host, ISAA Founder and Director, Allen Steadham.

Please enjoy the show!

Best Wishes,
Allen Steadham, Director
International Size Acceptance Association

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?

July 5, 2009

Sound The Size Acceptance Alarm

Filed under: activism,health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 8:18 pm

Here in the United States, we just celebrated Independence Day, the 4th of July. And yet, we are in uncertain times – financially, politically and most of all, in terms of our civil liberties. There is a growing feeling in America that our liberties are expendable in the pursuit of solutions to problems like the economic crisis and providing health care just as they were (and are) concerning the war on terror.

But something’s changed. Whereas past administrations were content to keep the status quo on health care and just create bloated budgets to pay for pet projects for lobbyists, we now have a government that seizes businesses and appoints czars that are not elected and are only accountable to the government that created them.

What I have just written is not new. It has been voiced by others…independents, conservatives, libertarians and others.

So what does any of this have to do with size acceptance, you might ask?

What if our government decides to create a Weight Loss Czar? Oh, they’d probably make the title sound less overbearing, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Or if/when they create socialized medicine, what if people who are above a certain BMI aren’t allowed certain treatments unless they lose weight? If you think it can’t happen, ask someone who lives in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. They’ll set you straight on that, and quickly.

[07-31-09 Update: Please stop sending comments like “Life is so great under NHS here in the UK, what’s wrong with you Americans?” I have already stated this is not an “us vs. them” blog entry. I’m no longer accepting those comments, so don’t try.

Please read the entire entry! This is about alerting people of all sizes to what is going on and being planned for the UNITED STATES and making preparations for those matters in advance. If you’re happy with what you’re getting in the UK, that’s great!]

Right now, fat people are mostly not protected under U.S. law, and as a result, we know the discrimination that happens every day. As bad as that is, it could get infinitely worse in the very near future.

We need to wake up, and we need to re-claim our voice. We need to get laws passed that add “size (weight and height)” to the current protections. It will take a lot of effort and it won’t happen immediately, so we need to get started.

And if you don’t live in the U.S., don’t think you’re excluded. What happens in the U.S. tends to find its way to other parts of the world, sometimes very quickly…

Some people will accuse me of being alarmist. Some people will say I’m being judgmental of a new President, that I’m one of those bitter, conservative Republicans who won’t find anything right with President Obama.

To that, I answer: I’m not a Republican (or a Democrat), and I voted for President Obama.

But the change he has unleashed is not what I was led to believe it would be — and the same could well be true of health care. This has the potential to lead to many deaths through malpractice/incompetence and denial of service. If so, it would be based on fear and an inherent prejudice that exists in the current medical establishment, fear and discrimination taught in medical school. Where “Do No Harm” takes a back seat to “do whatever we can to get rid of fat and line our pockets at the same time.”

And in fairness, not all doctors feel like that. But doctors have to follow the rules, and the rules could change…radically. And that’s what concerns me, and I think it concerns many doctors as well.

So call me alarmist, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. We’re in uncertain times, and it’s time to get ready.

This whole blog entry is about a “call to arms” to be prepared. There are some warning signs in what President Obama has already said concerning “obesity” in his presidential campaign. And should some of those concerns translate into restrictive/harmful anti-obesity rules or even legislation in what appear to be the coming changes to the healthcare system, then we — the so-called Size Acceptance Movement — would do well to have preparations made and plans in place.

The best defense we have is to plan now — a good offense, if you will. If we wait till the changes have been made, we will have lost opportunity to do anything about it. Right now in the U.S., we continue to enjoy the freedom to organize, peacefully dissent and voice our concerns to our elected officials. We need to avail ourselves of these freedoms and work to change the anti-discrimination laws to include “size (weight and height).” That is one step. The other step is to communicate with our representative officials concerning existing discrimination problems in healthcare.

I have spent the last 12 years working and fighting, alongside many brave and wonderful people of all sizes and all political, religious and sexual persuasions. We have fought and continue to fight the common foes of ignorance and those who would profit from others’ ignorance or fear to act.

This is not some lame “I hate socialized medicine and all countries that practice it suck” blog entry. This is me, Allen Steadham, the Founder and Director of ISAA, and based upon my experience and what I see happening on multiple fronts, I see cause for concern.

I hope I have made things clear. I will write more in the weeks and months to come. Thanks.

May 8, 2009

The DisFigured Interviews: Parts One and Two

Filed under: health,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 12:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

DisFigured is a new comedy that takes an honest look at size and body esteem issues.

In Part One of the interview, I talk to Staci Lawrence, who played Darcy in the movie.

In Part Two of the interview, I talk to Director/Writer Glenn Gers (Mad Money, Fracture).


February 7, 2009

New PODWOM – Size Acceptance: Moving Forward In 2009!

Filed under: health,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 4:27 am

A short and to-the-point podcast! Follow ups from the last podcast, an interview with Joan Poznick, the television producer for “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” and Good and Healthy Cooking!

Check it out at podwom.com

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

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