All of Me

All of Me

  • BY Alexandra Lescaze | IN Women and Girls
    Premiered March 24, 2014

About the Film

"The Girls” have been friends, and fat, for years, having met through the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and partied together among Austin’s Big Beautiful Women community. They’ve tried every diet and every pill but getting older and facing more health and mobility challenges, some choose to have gastric band or gastric bypass weight-loss surgery.

The Girls have varied post-op experiences but one reality is true for all of them: having surgery means the loss of their primary coping strategy (eating), and the experience of shedding, or trying to shed, hundreds of pounds changes everything. Their health, their self-images, their marriages, and friendships are all at stake. MORE

Although All of Me focuses on just one group of women, their story is not unique; more than 90 million Americans are obese. Our society’s diet and exercise talking points do not compute for those needing to lose an enormous amount of weight. 200,000 people a year are choosing weight-loss surgery and 80% of them are women.

The film focuses on the journeys of three of these Austin women: Judy, who is determined to succeed while her husband is conflicted; Dawn, who had an early career as a fat model and calendar girl, and struggles with both her weight and identity; and the heaviest of the Girls, Zsalynn, who, at over 500 pounds, desperately tries to save enough money for surgery, for her young daughter’s sake.

Through their stories, All of Me shines light on our attitudes and prejudices about obesity — its causes, challenges, and the intense psychological struggle so many have with food that no surgery or diet can cure. The Girls take us through their food addiction and emotional eating with a searing honesty. For a group so often vilified, joked about, or ignored, All of Me provides a platform for their stories and encourages viewers to take a fresh look at our own prejudices and complicated relationships with food, fat, and our bodies.

The Filmmaker

Alexandra Lescaze, Producer/Director

Alexandra Lescaze is a NY-based documentary filmmaker and the Executive Director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, home of the annual Hillman Prizes in Journalism and monthly Sidney Awards, honoring excellence in journalism in service of the common good. Her first film, Where Do You Stand? stories from an American mill, documented the 25-year effort of North Carolina textile workers to organize a union in the face of modernization and globalization. LESS

Film Credits

A Film by
Alexandra Lescaze

Co-Produced by
Deborah Eve Lewis

Edited by
Sarah Devorkin

Produced and Directed by
Alexandra Lescaze

Director of Photography
Deborah Eve Lewis

Sound Recording
Andrew Garrison

Original Music Written and Performed by
Gregory Talenfeld and Melanie Rock

Additional Music by
Scott Anderson

Jennifer Fineran

Additional Sound Recording
Justin Hennard

Associate Producers
Karen Bernstein
Sarah Devorkin

Assistant Editors
Betsy Kagan
Stephanie Schweitzer

Post Production Interns
Annie Bernstein
Ben Cawiezell
Abigail Fuller
Rachel Kenaston
David Lim
Josh Melrod
Meghan Olsen
Emiliano Pinto
Nina Sacharow
Ronnie Sandahl
Zaida Souissi
Cathy Trentalancia
Kate Walker

Graphics Designer
Eve Tarlo

Post Production Facilities
The Edit Center
Glue Editing & Design

Online Editor/Colorist
Steve Pequignot

Re-recording Mixer
John M. Davis

Post Production Assistant
Jordan Thompson-DeSon

Music Clearance Coordinator
Ilyse Wolfe Tretter, Esq.

Steven C. Schechter

Photographs Courtesy of
The “Girls”

Archival Footage
Andrew Taylor


“Fat Gal”
Written by Merle Travis
Performed by Merle Travis
Published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. obo Merle’s Girls Music (BMI)
Courtesy of CMH Label Group

“I Want A Big Fat Woman”
Written by Robert L. Willis
Performed by Chick Willis
Published by Koke Moke and Noke Music (BMI)
Courtesy of DM Records, Inc.

“Fat Bottomed Girls”
Written by Brian Harold May
Performed by Queen
Published by Beechwood Music Corp.
c/o EMI Music Publishing Ltd. (BMI)
Courtesy of Hollywood Records

"Clock On The Wall"
Performed by Chris Von Sneidern
Written by Chris Von Sneidern (BMI)
Courtesy of LoveCat Music

“Walk Beside Me”
Written by Timothy Page O’Brien and James Darrell Scott
Performed by Red Molly
Published by BMG Chrysalis o/b/o Chuck Wagon Gourmet Music,
Howdy Skies Music c/o Bash Music, Universal Music Corp.,
and Sony/ATV Music Publishing o/b/o Famous Music (ASCAP)

Special Thanks
Ernest Bennett
Lindsay Beyerstein
Deb Burgard
Nicholas Bussey
Baptist Health System
Battleforge Games
Clay Madsen Recreation Center
Penelope Falk
Michelle Ferrari
Kerthy Fix
Amy Foote
FreshPlus Grocery
Great Hall Games
Jackie Guerra
Lisa F. Jackson
Paul Kloss
Dina and my POP sisters
Abby Lentz
Susan McWhinney
Meredith Melnick
Matt Nowosielski
Lorraine Olivero-Rivera
John Pilcher
Sheila Shirazi
Joslyn Smith
Southwest Bariatric Surgeons
Paul Stekler
John Sullivan
Tom Watson
James Weber
Lana Wilson

In loving memory of Cathy Kesler and Sandy Traylor

Fiscal Sponsors
Women Make Movies, Inc.
Center for Independent Documentary

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Funding for this program was provided by
The Fledgling Fund
Tribeca Film Institute Documentary Fund
Donaldson Charitable Trust
New York State Council on the Arts
Annice Kenan and Jesse Smith
Susan Wilmink and Thomas Schneck
Sarah and Craig Richardson
And others, a complete list is available from PBS

All of Me is a co-production of Mighty Fine Films, Inc. and Independent Television Service (ITVS),
produced in association with Chicken & Egg Pictures and KLRU-Austin,
with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This program was produced by Mighty Fine Films, Inc., which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2013 Mighty Fine Films, Inc. All rights reserved.

Have you ever been on a crash diet yourself, or contemplated weight-reduction surgery? Do you think surgical solutions are too extreme?
Have you ever been on a crash diet yourself, or contemplated weight-reduction surgery? Do you think surgical solutions are too extreme?