Join Me and the OAC-Let’s Ban the ‘F Word!’

Good Morning, Loves!

I was so, so excited to check my email and all of my social media channels and learn about the Obesity Action Coalition’s latest campaign: The ‘Ban the F Word” movement has arrived!

Anyone who went to high school with me can tell you that I adamantly refused to use or acknowledge the word “fat.” I thought that it was such a harsh, degrading word….one that can often cause more harm than being “the f word” can in the first place!

I am honored to have been selected to receive a Weigh in for Healthy Change scholarship to attend this years OAC “Your Weight Matters” convention in San Antonio, TX. Thanks to Eisai Pharmaceuticals, I am able to attend Advocacy Training to be a better, more informed and effective proponent in the fight for better treatment and options for those struggling with Obesity. This latest campaign is a huge leap for changing the everyday misconceptions that excess weight defines people moreso than their character and actions.

Check out the press release:

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Launches “Ban the f word” movement to end fat-shaming

Tampa, Fla. – The OAC has launched a national movement – “Ban the F Word” – aimed at putting an end to fat-shaming. The movement is anchored by an online petition that individuals are encouraged to sign, pledging their support to raise awareness of fat-shaming and put an end to it.

“Weight bias has long been accepted in various areas of life such as healthcare, entertainment and more. With the rise of social media, a new trend has started in the way of fat-shaming. The goal of the OAC’s campaign is to raise awareness of fat-shaming and encourage the public to support our movement to end it,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman.

With a membership of 50,000 individuals, the OAC is no stranger to addressing weight bias. Developed in 2005, the OAC has taken on high profile weight bias issues such as, fat-shaming apps, a Tennessee insurer’s IQ testing requirement for bariatric surgery, and ESPN’s Britt McHenry’s stigmatizing comments regarding body weight.

“The word ‘fat’ is most appropriately used as a noun. The fact that today we use it as an adjective and shame people dealing with the disease of obesity is highly unacceptable. As Chair of the Weight Bias Committee, I know individuals, especially children, are often targeted and shamed for their weight. Ban the F Word will raise awareness of this alarming trend and hopefully put a stop to its pervasiveness,” said Melinda J. Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA.

In April 2015, Ms. Watman appeared on CBS’ The Insider where she discussed how obesity is one of the last acceptable forms of public humiliation.

“Fat-shaming doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender or socioeconomic status. We encourage all Americans to stand with us and end fat-shaming,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

To learn more about the Ban the F Word movement and sign the petition, visit www.BantheFWord.com.

About the OAC:

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.

I urge you to sign the petition and share on your social media outlets! Let’s BE the change, and take a stand to ban the “f” word!

See Sondra Sign-off-stacked

Making An Impact (or, My Challenge to YOU).

Hello, Wonderful Readers!

I come before you today, asking you for help with a big project.

As you all know, I was inspired to create this blog after coming across Michele Vicari, aka Eggface when I began reseaching my weight loss surgery. Her blog post today truly inspired me, and I want to be a part of what she is doing….but with a little twist, perhaps.

First and foremost, please go read her post here.

Now, I have lost a total of 94 lbs since surgery. I will be putting together my 94 food items this week, in addition to donating my clothing that no longer fits. The fight against hunger is just as important as the fight against obesity. As a matter of fact, sometimes, they go hand in hand.

As a kid, my mom didn’t have a lot of money. After my parents divorced, times were pretty hard, and my dad was usually pretty hard to track down. My mom did her best, but sometimes, I can honestly say we lived on Top Ramen, and my brother and I got pretty excited to have PB& J in two jars, rather than the weird stuff that’s mixed together in one. We spent our summers at rec centers and churches for free lunch, and always made a bee-line to the lunch line during school for free lunch. We also got to school early everyday to be there in time for free breakfast. When my mom finally was approved for food stamps (which was extremely difficult for her, because she had a job….), we were finally able to have a little more. But when you get something you haven’t had in awhile, it doesn’t last very long. Juice, cookies, candy, chips, ice cream….all those things you can’t buy on a Top Ramen budget, but look forward to as a kid.

My mom did a lot to make sure we never went hungry. In actuality, there are kids who don’t even get Top Ramen or the weird Pb & J.  But I always had a fear that we wouldn’t have anything to eat. I was also raised to eat everything on my plate, because we just didn’t waste food, coming from that life. As a result, I got older, and ate everything on my plate way after I was full. I hoarded food, for fear that I might need it later, and when I was sad, depressed, lonely, or angry….I’d eat it all.

I try not to remember those days. I try to just thank God that I didn’t end up with diabetes. That I got to a point in high school where I packed salads with grilled chicken for lunch everyday, and quit drinking soda, and eating red meat. I am thankful to my aunt, for intervening when she saw I was still hoarding sweets out of habit, and helping me realize that I will always have a home, a bed, and a meal. I finally broke the food dependence….but couldn’t shake the weight.

For some, my journey seems so out of the blue. But I have to look back every day at the little girl wearing juniors clothes, the middle school girl wearing womens clothes…the girl who wasn’t sure if she was going to get lunch or not today. And that drives me to see forward to the healthy woman without a dependence or fear tied to food.

And so, here we are.

Here is my challenge to you.

Clean out your cupboards. Donate any non-perishable items to the food bank, red cross, or other programs in your neighborhood. Maybe there is someone you know who could really use it, and you’ve been meaning to get it to them. DO IT.

Clean out your closet. If you love it, and it used to fit…that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t fit anymore. Donate it to the shelters, the Goodwill, Amvets…..anywhere where your unused clothing can help fund a great cause or clothe someone in need.

I can pick up any donations in the North County area if you cannot make the trip for whatever reason. Please email me if that is the case. I will see if I can enlist help in the South County region as well.

I really want to highlight the impact of this project. If you can, please send photos of your piles of items to: Sondrajo14@hotmail.com

I will be doing a follow-up post for this project, and will use the photos to help persuade larger business entities to help me make this a bigger movement. I would just like to start close to home and see what we come up with first. By using photo documentation, it’s a fun way for out-of-state and International readers to help, too!

I really hope you’ll all take the time to join me on this project. With each of us making a small donation together, we can create a HUGE impact.

Let’s start this year off with a bright beginning…..creating beginnings for others!

Your support, inspiration, motivation, and help mean the world to me!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO