I just had to write about this, because for the last 24 hours I was really psyched about the possibility of being an interview subject for a British documentary focusing on obesity. The producers were looking for a pre-op subject, and the moderator of our support group, Kimberly Taylor, solicited the our board for interested parties. Of course I obliged. I wanted the opportunity to be the voice for the obese population who while they may have physical and mental limitations, work to overcome the challenges they meet. I want to let people know that just because we suffer with Obesity, we are far from all letharic or stupid -- many of us lead incredibly successful lives! We just need help -- Obesity cannot be ignored, it is a serious disease, and is impacting more and more people every day.
Here is a description of what they were looking for:
"The documentary is a commission of the Current Affairs Department andaims to be a refreshingly frank and thought-provoking 60-minute filmthat will educate the British population about the reality ofobesity. Its aim is to warn people that obesity is not a condition tobe disregarded and that we must take it seriously. The way we plan todo this is, instead of reeling off more statistics and advice, tovery simply follow the journey of one person who personally suffers from the disease and listen to their story."
"...The person we arelooking to follow will be inspirational in their ability to beabsolutely honest with us about their weight, their struggles, their body and the life they lead because of it. As we document their month, as if like a journal, we wish to tell the story of someone who can really share their highs and lows with the viewer, and have the intelligence, wit, and sense of humor and reflection to really get a viewer to think hard about what life is like if you are obese."
"...We would like them to meet with British school children and educatethem about what obesity is, and possibly even lobby the BritishGovernment."
How cool of an opportunity is that?!? Of course I had to write Kimberly right away, and let her know I was interested.
Well when Kimberly heard of my interest, she was so excited! She thought I would be perfect! Here's Kimberly's response:
"Okay, you have me SO COMPLETELY EXCITED over here, I can hardly stand it! I am going to forward your blog directly to the producer. I'd cast you in a heartbeat! She will be here in a few weeks and will want to meet you in person... I LOVE that you're so articulate and in touch with what you're feeling, Donna. Wow! Amazing! You're ready for this journey. I am so excited for you, sweet friend!..."
Unfortunately though, it was all for naught. The producers responded to Kimberly this morning:
"...Thank you so much for suggesting Donna. She looks absolutely fantastic. I have just come from a meeting however with the channel and they have told me that they really want a male for the documentary. I am really sorry that this information has only now been clarified, and I hope Donna will understand that it was not she wasn't right for this project or anything personal.... she's just not a man!"
Right place. Right time. Wrong gender. Oh well. :(
That's just my luck -- if it was meant to be, it would have happened. It sure did feel good to have people think I'm in the "right" mind for my journey.
My friend Melissa, who is already a success with her WLS, wrote the nicest letter in support of me being the subject too:
"...I just wanted to send along my vote of confidence in Donna - not that you probably need it. I know it's easy to see Donna is an amazing woman. Still, with her permission, I just had to write and tell you how I think she would be absolutely perfect for it!!!
Donna is not only one of my most special friends, she is also my inspiration and motivator. I met her several years ago through her Weight Watchers online support group. From the moment I read her words of insight and encouragement, I was captivated. Donna is one, as you say, who "gets it." She always has. She gets it with the weight-loss surgery, but she's also always gotten it when it comes to living life fully as an obese person.
She, like me, has always worked to never let her weight hold her back. In fact, Donna is much more out there than I ever was. She is so athletic, adventurous and determined. Yet, I think she can articulate how her weight has placed limits on her despite her best efforts - thus the reason why weight-loss surgery is a good option for her. For the first time, she will get the results she deserves for all her efforts.
So many documentaries and articles want to focus on the obese who have low self-esteem, who have given up and who are bitter. I believe Donna represents the majority of us who often are not represented. She is realistic in that being obese has many drawbacks and heartaches - that's undeniable. However, she is also someone who proves that not everyone who is overweight is a lazy slob with a bad attitude and a life in shambles. She represents those of us countless people who have made our way in the world as best we can despite our weight. She is a devoted Mom, Wife, Daughter and Friend who is beautiful, intelligent, successful, funny and classy. She is an amazing role model for anyone.
Anyway, I just felt I had to share what's on my heart. When Donna told me of the opportunity, I could not think of anyone in this world that I feel would represent us any better. She would do us all proud. :-) Thank you!!! Melissa"
I might have been the wrong gender, but damn I have the best support system in the way of friends and family. *hugs* to Kimberly and Melissa