The “Girls” have been friends, and fat, for years. Their bond goes deep and wide, literally and figuratively. They are smart, intuitive, complex, warm, and compelling and speak openly about their inner lives. The Girls met via the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and partied together among Austin’s Big Beautiful Women community. Meanwhile they tried every diet and every pill. Now they’re going through the life-changing process of weight-loss surgery in an effort to lose hundreds of pounds. The experience presents a host of issues and consequences—some they knew they were in for, some they feared, and some they never could have imagined.
“I started the journey of making All Of Me thinking about the experience of weight-loss surgery and wanting to know what it would be like to quickly—and almost magically—lose hundreds of pounds and live in a totally “new” body.
But the more people I met and stories I heard, the more I learned about the real journey of weight loss surgery—the one beyond what can be market-ed as a “quick fix.” The real journey is long, difficult, disorienting, and never-ending, even for those whose surgery is “successful.”
I was fortunate to meet the “Girls,” a close-knit group of friends in Austin, Texas who had been fat all their lives and who were now choosing to have the gastric-band or gastric-bypass surgery, in essence, together. My crew (Deborah Eve Lewis – camera, and Andrew Garrison – sound) and I totally bonded with the “Girls” and they truly let us in to capture the intimate, the sweet, the ugly, and the deeply personal. My goal was to offer a unique and thoughtful look at a community that is often vilified, the butt of the joke, or quite simply ignored in our culture.
I hope that by tapping into the rich networks already in place, All Of Me will provide an opportunity for all audiences to think about their own relationships to their bodies and to food, as well as open discussions about weight-loss surgery, mental health, fat-girl stigma, eating disorders, body acceptance, Health at Every Size, and the false promises of the diet industry.
I hope that by giving the “Girls” a platform in the film, they can share their stories, be heard, and pave the way for other women to come forward and share their own voices, experiences, struggles and wisdom.”