Thursday, February 16, 2012


Hello Fellow Sphere Citizens;

Below is a note I submitted through the corporate compliance website asking who can answer the questions that the Strong4Life staff is refusing to answer. I am not the best writer and I am not sure if this will create any action by the organization, but I was surfing the website of the hospital and came up with this below.... I will post any responses I get from them.

TO: Chief Compliance Officer, Beth Howell of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Dear Ms. Howell,
I am writing you because I am confused about the conduct of the individuals running the Strong4Life advertising program. After having reviewed your organizations Mission and Value statement as well as your organizations Standards of Conduct, I just wanted to bring to your attention the actions of these individuals when asked about the potential harm that the program can cause. At first your staff was interested in answering the valid questions posed about the harm the ads can do. Data, published studies, and other scientific proof has been provided to your staff and they suddenly decided to stop discussing the harm the advertising campaign can cause. As I look at the various items I cut and pasted below from your corporate website, I cannot understand how an organization like yours thinks it is ethical to refuse to discuss something they are doing that has been scientifically proven to do harm. They have provided some justifications for the approach, however, when asked to provide the studies that they quoted as justification, they at first promised it would be forthcoming and most recently advised they are no longer going to discuss the harm they are doing.

This does not seem to comply with your stated values, your mission or your standards of conduct.

Is there someone that you can direct me to to answer the questions these staff are unwilling to discuss since the individuals running theStrong4Life facebook page have shut down all discussion about the harm they are perpetrating with these "Phase I" advertisements?


Ivan Greene


MISSION To enhance the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education.

Integrity Being honest, ethical and committed to all we do
Respect Appreciating all people, work and ideas
Nurturing Fostering the care, growth and development of the individual
Excellence Delivering the highest level of care and service
Teamwork Working together to achieve our goals

Children's recognizes the problems that both deliberate and accidental misconduct in the health care industry can pose.

"Children's is committed to ensuring that it operates under the highest ethical and moral standards…"


We will treat our patients, employees, physicians and visitors with dignity, respect,
compassion and courtesy.

We seek to inform all patients and their parents (or legal guardians) regarding treatment recommendations and alternatives and the risks associated with the care they are seeking.

We will respect the human dignity of each patient and parent or legal guardian by sensitively responding to questions, concerns and needs in a timely manner.

Employees are expected to follow the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) values, Standards of Conduct, policies and procedures, federal and state laws and regulations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Betrayed by Hollywood, again

Last nights episode of "How I Met Your Mother" had a particularly hurtful fat joke. One character had proposed marriage to another. The woman was unable to have children and was scared to tell because she was afraid the male would rescind his proposal. The man was reassuring the woman of his love and she started machine gunning out different flaws about herself and after each one he still said he would marry her. She then confronted him and told him to stop being so nice and he said, there is nothing about you that could make me not want to marry you, unless you became a big fat fatty. The man then said "See, I do have my standards" For those of you who saw the episode I am sure I am not recounting it verbatim but sharing my impressions of what the joke was. I can tell you that this is one of my favorite shows. I can tell you tell you that over the years I have come to care about all of the characters on this show. I can also tell you that I feel sad and betrayed by the producers and the writers. Most of all I am sad and discouraged that our culture hates guys and gals my size so much that I have pretty much resigned myself to being alone which saddens me too. Now I have to go grocery shopping and inflict the world with the awful spectacle of having to look at my fat body.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

wow 6 months since my last post

Hello Fat-o-Sphere,

I really miss you guys and gals. I have been under water for quite a long time. The reality of it is that I am ashamed of myself.

It is hard to write this post. I want to explain all the facts of my medical stuff, my emotional stuff, my financial stuff et al.

Long story short is that there was a perfect storm of all sorts of stuff going bad in my life and I had no strength to do almost anything to deal.

So I sleep.

So I don't go out.

So I stop blogging.

and so on, and so on, and so on.

The few times I do talk to someone about what is going on with me, (mostly with my brother who is a prince with the way he does not judge me) I almost always come to the place where I think that losing some weight would bring so much relief to my problems.

Then I remember all I have learned and I realize that is not a viable option. Then I feel a little hopeless. Then I go to sleep.

It feels like I have become the cliche homebound obese man. Not the knock the wall down and use a crane to get me to the hospital fat. But the rarely go out kind.

The problems that I choose to not deal with aren't insurmountable. I just can't summon the will to do anything about them.

While I know I can start to address these issues without trying to loose weight, the weight does make it much harder to move and motivate.

I couldn't even get myself to Washington for the convention which was more about shame than physical ability.

Maybe I will get into details of health in some future posts and open myself up to the compassion of those here on the sphere that understand my stuff better than any others.

For now, I just want to check in and connect from my default lurking position.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Conditional Love/Conditional Hate-- Guess the condition

You know that moment when you recognize that you are watching a commercial for some sort of weight loss product, or that feeling of disappointment when you hear a Fat joke or some other message supporting the Fat Hatred that is a part of the world we live in.

It happens all the time. Everyday. Every hour. Every minute. On top of that, there seems to be a new crop of shows about very fat people trying to loose weight. Even Rachel Ray started her season introducing a young fat girl, a senior in high school, who agreed to accept the show's help with her weight (and the show's cameras to document her struggles) for a new feature that call "80 pounds by Prom" There is new clone of The Biggest Loser that follows two very fat folks try to make their "Lifestyle" change before the six months of free trainers, nutritionists, and medical observation all expire. These is a MTV type show called, "I used to be Fat" where fat high school seniors are given a summer of free personal training and some cooking advice so they can go off to college skinny and prepared to stay skinny for the rest of their lives.

You in the FA world know that feeling of disappointment as we see fatties being told they are going to die and early death, or never get married, or some other bullshit that we know isn't valid…. or helpful for that matter. I really like Jimmy Kimmel, and every time he goes for the fat joke, I am disappointed in him because he is so much smarter that the cheap fat joke.

How about the anger and rage. Like when a diet supplement TV commercial touts that a university's double blind study confirmed that it works, and actually 88% of all the weight lost was belly fat! oh joy.

The frustration when a cooking segment talks about how much weight you can loose by cooking the food in a better way.

The feeling of defeat when Michelle Obama says something about her program that we all know will translate into some fat kid getting more messages of how wrong they are to want to eat and how bad it is that they look the way they do. Children being supported in hating themselves with generous help provided by our government, paid for by cutting the food stamp program designed to keep people from starving.

Today's feeling was profound sadness courtesy of the MTVish show. The young girl featured who during the intro talks about how important getting married is and how she knows no one will want her in her disgusting state. She is so self hating about what she looks like. Then cut to the father talking about how her daughter dreams of getting married, but, sadly, guys want girls who are thin and pretty, and his daughter is going to have to work very hard to stop being fat and ugly and unloveable, and condemned to a life of profound loneliness. (I am embellishing, of course) Cut to another scene at the dinner table when Dad asks our Fat college bound young lady what kind of wedding she dreams of, his passive aggressive way to tell her to not eat so much.

I was so sad for a couple of hours thinking about the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated on fat children all the time. I was sad that a Father would let his daughter think she isn't pretty. I flash back to some of the hateful, abusive things my Father said to me when I was a young boy, things that I internalized and bought into as the Gospel. Things that I still struggle with. The biggest being my lovability.

My Fucking Lovability! Even today, although I know that it is all based on lies, I still battle with feelings about my worth, especially when it comes to being the subject of a woman's desire. How tragic that we teach folks that their lovability is in question. No one's lovability should every be questioned.

I have a fantasy. I meet a television producer who really understands what FA and HAES is about, and we do a six month intensive around HAES and Size Acceptance. Sort of like the show Heavy, but teaching all our participants the tenants of HAES and Size Acceptant and we show how all their relationships go through that common reaction to a decision to stop trying to loose weight. I think it could be compelling television.

When I stop fantasizing about producing tv shows and come back to center and I honor my feelings that came up when I watched a show on TV where I saw that Father make his approval of his daughter conditional on what she looks like. I honor the sadness and pain that live in all my cells as memories of sad times gone by.

I also honor myself by writing about this. I feel connected and valued as I think about folks on the feeds reading this and shaking their heads in agreement and recognition. I honor myself by recognizing that most of the world not only doesn't want to hear what we have to say, they actually think we are crazy and out of touch. I am honored to be connected into our little corner of the universe, our determined little sub culture, where we understand that Fat is not bad. It is just fat. Where we understand that we are not bad, we are awesome, courageous, trailblazers who boldly go forth knowing our value and taking care of ourselves.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm not an animal!!!

When I get right down to it I don't feel human. I feel that 405 or 410 pounds on my 5'8" frame disqualifies me from the human race. With the exception of the friends there already know me and my family, I don't feel like I belong anywhere. I don't feel like I'm a candidate for a job. You don't feel like I would never be considered as a romantic prospect (by a heterosexual woman) I've often said to friends that I wish I was gay because at least the gay community has the sub community of the Bears. I know I'm a little down and feeling a little sorry for myself today. The good thing is I got my physical exercise and I don't have to figure out this whole not feeling human thing tonight. Anyway here's some rambling thoughts from today related to my fat acceptance journey…

I caught the second half of the show on MTV called “I used to be fat” it was about a high school senior preparing to go to college and it tracked his work with a personal trainer and the process of getting more fit and getting ready for college.

My fat acceptance glasses made me suspicious of this young man's chances to maintain the significant weight loss over the long-term. I found myself wanting him to be successful. I mean over the long run in the next couple of years when the show will have forgotten him. I hope for him that as he left home and went out on his own that the habit of working out and cooking in a healthy way would stay with him and he would not have to suffer the indignities that our culture thrusts upon that people.

There was one scene when he came back home to visit after the first couple of weeks away at college and had lost a little more weight and was wearing jeans for the first time in a long time. Everyone in the family praised him for his looks, and everyone in the family was joyously happy for him.

I also feel a lot of sadness for all the young fat people graduating from high school who choose not to go to college because of the stigma out there. I personally, had to drop out of school for health problems and I never went back and finished. So this particular episode brought up a lot for me.

I guess I saw this guy start his college career, really his adult life, completely bought into the culture's bias against fat. I thought about the odds of him gaining the weight back and how the entire show framed isn't higher life problem around his size. And while I hope for him that he is one of the 5%, I equally hope that he finds a way to love and believe in himself if his body weight goes back to where it was throughout his entire adolescence which you and I both know is probable.

I also saw Seth Rogen on one of the night talk shows and he mentioned that he cannot fit into any of the close he bought when he was at his thinnest for his upcoming movie the Green Hornet. Yes I know he's Hollywood but he started in Hollywood fat and I wonder if he gains back the weight if he will continue his successful career. I guess I'm just wondering out loud what Hollywood will do with him if he gains weight back. Will they punish him by only giving him the fat clown roles going forward. There was a movie he did I think it was called nine months when he played the lead and he was heavyset. Some very curious to watch out things progress with Seth Rogen.

I know this post really doesn't have a central theme but these are few things that I've been wondering about. The last thing I want to ponder about is the very well-received website big boy fashion. I think it's great that these guys are doing what they're doing. I just find myself thinking if they consider themselves big boys what the heck am I. And I know this has nothing to do with them or their body size or shape and everything to do with the own insanity inside my head.

Just thinking out loud tonight.


I consider myself a pretty smart guy. My blog is more of a “this is my experience as I navigate fat acceptance, and a sort of journal/diary.

Over the last two years as I've kept up with the fat acceptance blogs on the feeds, I have been intimidated often. The quality of the writing, the intellectual level of discussion, the academic atmosphere of many of the blogs, are both impressive and intimidating.

While I consider myself very smart, I've always struggled with school and deadlines and time management. On top of that I find reading very difficult. The part about reading I find very difficult is that I have such a short attention span that I can actually be two or three pages into something having actually read the words and have absolutely no idea what was said in the last two pages and have to go back and reread. I don't think I'm dyslexic. But I know that I am nowhere in any way close to the level of intellectual horsepower of many people who blog regularly here on the feed.

I fantasize sometimes about getting involved in school again. I've tried to go back to times since I dropped out back in 1986. Each time was the same thing, flameout before the end of the semester. Whether it was a psychology class or a writing class… to a simple photography class, every time was the same result I just didn't finish.

I have something called amblyopia which I've been told is also called lazy eye. From kindergarten into second or third grade they put a patch on my good eye to force me to use my weaker eye. I've always had a hunch that some how my brain wiring… when it comes to reading and writing was skewed in some way that has something to do with the vision in my right eye being impaired and wearing a patch over my good eye during kindergarten and first grade in a little bit of second grade.

I know that when I write from the heart and just talk about what's going on for me and not worry about how it sounds that I connect with lots of people in the feed. I think that simply because the experiences that I talk about are so universal within fat acceptance that people can identify. And I know when I connect with someone else that gets me I feel good.

I'm very grateful to all the amazing really and people who inspire, impress, and intimidate me with their talents when it comes to writing. However I also worry about how my poor grammar and writing skills reflect on me.

I'm also grateful when I can just accept that it's okay for me to be the writer/blogger that I am and not do the compare and despair dance.

I've been inside the house today and yesterday due to weather. I've gotten my exercise in using the dance program on the Wii from a sitting position. My heart rate and my breathing rate gets elevated and I totally feel it in my shoulders. And it's actually more fun than walking although I think that I'm doing more core strength building walking than sitting doing this dance program so when the weather allows, back to the walking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Good Day or Bad Day...What's the Difference?

Since the beginning of November I have been walking almost every single day for at least 15 min.

Most of the time it's a struggle to get out and going, but it's a lot easier to get to it living here with mom who helps me to get going simply by asking me, “When are you going to take your walk?” Once I get on my way, I'm able to find aspects of what's going on around me that are enjoyable. So on one front it's enjoyable movement. On another front it's a complete act of discipline done solely because I was completely sedentary and just walking became too much for me.

Thankfully I'm able to see noticeable improvements since I started this daily regime of a 15 min. walk. I feel more sturdy on my feet. Most of the time I'm nowhere near as winded as I was when I first started doing the walk two months ago. Moving around is little easier which is indicating to me that I am getting a little more strength back just from this one simple activity.

There are many things going on in my life right now that when I spend too much time thinking about them I am upset, disappointed, and just generally feel bad.

When I spent time thinking about where I'm at and where I want to go and how far the distance there is between those two points I am discouraged. I try to stay away from that kind of thinking and when I find myself doing it I say to myself the only thing I have to do today is my walk. As long as I get my walk in the day is a win.

So today with the big storm bearing down on the Northeast, the roads being a little icy from the last storm, I took the action of going to the local mall and doing my 15 min. walk there.

It's a small victory, but it's something positive to focus on. My intuition is telling me that it's very important for me to focus on things that feel good, that are positive.

This also requires the skill of being able to not focus on all the messages that come from within and without that judge my situation and make conclusions that are negative about who I am, what I do, and what I am worth.

I got my walk-in today, and that's a win.