All of Me, and More

Dawn's figurines, in All of Me

Alexandra Lescaze‘s All of Me may be premiering tonight (3/24) on PBS at 10 PM [check local listings] but that’s not all of it. The filmmaker collected several interesting pieces that didn’t quite fit into the finished film, but provide further insight into the challenges of being a “larger lady,” and the different ways some have overcome and made their own lives better, even if those ways may not work for everyone.

At the bottom of the page we also post the filmmaker’s place for you to share your own story about your body. [Update: If you missed All of Me on TV, it’s now available online through April 22nd.]

Heavyweight Yoga

The Austin “Girls” take a yoga class led by Abby Lentz, founder of HeavyWeight Yoga. She teaches the “three A’s”: Awareness, Acceptance, and Affection.

Ragen’s MORE Cabaret

Ragen Chastain, an LA-based activist/dancer, produces the MORE Cabaret show, and has a blog called Dances With Fat, where she writes about self-esteem and body issues.

Support Group

In this video extra, we see a support group for people — including some of the “Girls” featured in All of Me — who’ve had or will have the gastric bypass surgery. In this meeting they are encouraged to talk about “changes in attitude and changes in latitude.”

Jacki’s Excess Skin

Jacki Hatfield had gastric bypass surgery when she was 20. While we see her doing a workout routine, we also learn from her about an embarrassing side effect of the surgery, excess skin, which leads her to get three different plastic surgeries to try to address it.

What do food, fat, and your body mean to you? On the film’s “Fat Is ______” site, you can share with others your own stories, struggles, and successes.

See this extensive list of resources for further reading and clicking, as well as recommended organizations specializing in weight- and eating-related issues and health, including Overeaters Anonymous and The Joy Project.

More on bariatric surgery from WebMD. For what it’s worth and also of note, there’s a new study out just this week about how bariatric (weight loss) surgery may lower the risk of uterine cancer.

About Craig Phillips

ITVS/Independent Lens Interactive Editor and film nerd, based in San Francisco.
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  • Hector

    Congrats, I had the surgery almost 4 years ago and it was the best decision I have ever made. I weight before surgery close to 300 and I now weight about 145lb, it has change my life. I eat healthier as well consistent physical exercise or any physical activity.

  • Mary Stewart

    Please-what happened to the cats that lost their owner?

    • AllOfMe

      Hi Mary, Dawn took in Cathy’s cats. In the scene in the movie, she is introducing Cathy’s cat to her own cat. They are fine. Thanks for asking!

      • Mary Stewart

        Thank you for letting me know!
        PS I emailed this question too JIC you see it again!
        And I loved the show!

  • Lori

    I had the surgery three years ago and lost 158 pounds in the first year. Stated the same the second year and gained 35 pounds as of now. Struggling to lose more weight.

  • Debra

    For those that were able to succeed and change their living and eating habits for life, I applaude you; but I was sad and disgusted after watching this show. Over-eating is an addiction and I didn’t see any intense therapy for those that were having problems. For those critics who think obesity is just gorging because people don’t have will power, they will have their opinions confirmed by this show. Although the show did touch on the events in their lives when the obesity started, there was really nothing about solving those issues, dealing with the triggers, and what to do when that fails (and WHY it fails). And how much were these issues dealt with before the surgery? The surgery is not the weight loss, it’s a weight loss aid. When they first had the surgery and the weight was dropping off, they were on a high. Everyone should live that happy, but when they tumbled you didn’t show that they received any medical assistance for mental health. Group talk therapy is good, but it is not enough. The jealousy between the successful and the non-successful is a huge sign that the jealous should have been addressed with a mental health professional immediately.
    In the end I’m disgusted with the bariatric professionals; their follow-up sucks. Hopefully they are not actually so oblivious and the show just did not cover the depths that it could have. It was a truthful documentary on these womens lives, but it did not educate the public about the truths of obesity.
    And yes, I am obese.