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

October 1, 2009

New PODWOM: Chenese Lewis

Filed under: ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 6:48 am

PODWOM – http://www.podwom.com

In this episode of PODWOM, I had the opportunity to interview plus-size actress, model, speaker, podcasting talk show host and advocate for plus-sized women, Chenese Lewis!

The show is 29 minutes long and can be listened to through streaming media on podwom.com or downloaded directly from the website. The MP3 file is 13 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!

August 28, 2009

PETA Retreats, Removes Anti-Fat Ads

Filed under: activism,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 11:41 am


From ISAA Director Allen Steadham

08.28.09 – The People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has seen reason and removed the offensive “Save The Whales! Lose The Blubber. Go Vegetarian” billboard ads and replaced them with the ironic but considerably less offensive “Gone – Just like all the pounds lost by people who go vegetarian.”

“Gone” — as if to say to you, the public “Gone! We get it. We heard you loud and clear! We removed our ‘offensive’ ad and came up with something milder, okay?” And that’s fine. That’s all we were asking for.

This clearly shows once again that all it takes is a concentrated effort sending a simple yet very loud message to those who discriminate. With enough time and all the resources available (telephone, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, webpages, faxes and postal mail), the offending party will get the message and if they do not wish to continue to be flooded with angry (yet peaceful) protest, which can also lead to boycotts of them financially, then they will change course and correct the problem. This works for politicians, corporations and anti-fat organizations like PETA.

Thank you ALL for your participation in this activism/advocacy effort. It may seem like something small — but in this case, within two weeks’ time, you got PETA to replace billboard ads all across the United States! And those ads were berating and hurting fat people every time they saw them, sometimes multiple times in a day. So it’s a big deal! Give yourselves a hand, you deserve it!

August 20, 2009

PODWOM: Leonard Nimoy Interview

Filed under: ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 4:09 am

PODWOM.COM – “A Conversation With Leonard Nimoy.” After some time, I arranged an interview with legendary actor and photographer Leonard Nimoy (“Mr. Spock” from Star Trek). It’s short but sweet!

Listen to the streaming media or download the MP3 file at http://www.podwom.com

August 11, 2009

PETA Attacks Fat People — Again!

Filed under: activism,ISAA,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 6:45 am
PETA billboard ad

PETA billboard ad

From ISAA Director Allen Steadham:

I received the following email yesterday from a citizen who observed a new billboard ad campaign  called Save The Whales from the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), so I checked out their website and sure enough, there it was, listed as a Billboard campaign! Here’s the email (the individual’s name is being withheld for privacy reasons):

I would like to express my OUTRAGE of a Billboard I recently saw in Jacksonville, Florida. My family was visiting and i was planning on taking them to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day when i saw the billboard that made me want to cry. It says “Save the Whales” with a picture of an over weight woman in the foreground.

We all sat there and stared at it for a minute and everyone in the car was silent. No one wanted to mention my weight. I laughed it off as usual but it really had made me so embarrassed, so self conscious and so ashamed about my weight that I dropped off my family at the ocean front and left to go home making the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well.

My embarrassment turned to outrage as I was sitting at home contemplating the distasteful, disgusting billboard. I can’t believe that PETA would be so disrespectful as to use the terms “Whales” and “Blubber” when referring to obese people.

I wish there was something I could do. I’ve already written to them expressing my outrage of their malicious terms and asked them to take it down. PLEASE PLEASE DO SOMETHING! An organization such as PETA, who is in the news all the time, should not be allowed to get away with this!

I agree with this citizen and therefore, on behalf of ISAA, I am asking your help. We’ve taken on PETA before and we’ve made them change. Let’s do it again!

Please contact PETA (information below) and tell them to discontinue their Save The Whales ad campaign or we can exercise our right to boycott PETA and their sponsors.

Contact PETA:
Phone: 757-622-PETA (7382)
Fax: 757-622-0457
Leave comments on their Facebook page
Leave comments on their My Space page
Snail mail: 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510

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?

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