Welcome to the Tenth Anniversary tour of

Big As
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The Tenth BIG AS TEXAS Spring Assembly took place March 18 - 20, 2005, at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott.

On Friday night, we had our get-acquainted dinner. Each table had a table host whose job it was to see that new people were introduced and included. One of the tables (it looks like a kids' table!) had lots of toys. We all envied them their goodies!

Image: People at table, making faces and funny gestures.
Friday night dinner. The "kids' table," having way too much fun!
Photo by Terry Early.
Another table had some bunny ears. All the tables had something to pass around to the folks who ate the southwestern dinner at that table. Later that night we had an evening swim, and for those who wanted to stay on dry land, there were puzzles and games in the hospitality suite.
Image: People wearing bunny ears at a table.
This must be the Easter bunny table!
Photo by Terry Early.

Image: People at table working on quilt squares.
On Saturday, we had four workshops. Just like last year, the "creative workshop" was the most popular one. We ended up with 22+ quilt squares for a Big As TEXAS quilt.

Terry, Melissa, Nora, and Karen confer on quilt squares. Photo by Ray Hackney.

There is even a square with Bossy on it, the Big As TEXAS mascot. The squares were taken home by one of the workshop facilitators to be sewn together and brought back next year to raffle. There may even be two quilts by then. The money for the raffle will go to purchase size positive books on the elementary school level for either schools or the public library. Our two able workshop leaders were Sharon Hackney and Nora Mills, who brought all the supplies we needed to create wonderful squares.

Image: A man and a woman at a table.
The second workshop was our "health workshop," and it was also very popular. It was entitled "Influencing your Body,"and discussed non-invasive and non-drastic ways to lose weight for those who want to do so.

Ray Hackney and melody Davis leading the workshop on "Influencing your Body." Photo by Terry Early.

This workshop was planned for 2005 when two attendees had returned to the 2004 Assembly saying they had been afraid to come back because they'd lost weight and they didn't know if people would accept them. Big As TEXAS is a size acceptance organization, not a size promotion organization. We accept people no matter what their size, and for those who want to lose weight, that's great too. Our workshop was led by Melody Davis and Ray Hackney, two attendees who have lost more than 60 pounds and kept it off for longer than three years. There was a huge amount of audience participation in this workshop.

Our "movement workshop" was our water aerobics. While the pool was heated, it was still a little chilly to the brave souls who participated, But it warmed up fast, because it was really a good workout! Our aerobics leader was Melissa Taylor, a certified aerobics and water aerobics instructor.

Image: Woman in the water.
This is a photo of Melissa Taylor, who led the water aerobics workshop.
The photo was taken by Francine Juneau.

Image: Two women at a table.
The last workshop was our "hands-on activism workshop," and this year it was sort of a combo, with the first part on building relationships with your lawmakers.

Terry and Sharon leading the Activism workshop. Photo by Ray Hackney.

The second part concerned a bill before the Texas Legislature to add BMI scores (grades) to children's report cards. The proposed scoring will actually factor into their GPA. Letters are needed to keep this bill from even coming out of committee to the House floor. This workshop was led by Sharon and Terry.

Image: Dining room full of people.
Our Saturday night dinner was followed by our keynote speaker, Darlene Cates. Her inspiring speech is included. Following Darlene's keynote address, we danced the night away to one of the best DJs we've ever had.

Saturday night dinner - everyone looks happy (no wonder, see the bartender!). Photo by Terry Early.

Image: Woman holding a baby.
On Sunday, we concluded with a brunch, followed by a less formal talk by keynoter, Darlene Cates, on self-esteem for children.

Darlene holding Hannah, our youngest attendee. Photo by Terry Early.

In between all the formal activities we had lots of informal, unplanned fun. The photos will never do it justice!

Next year, the Big As TEXAS Assembly will be March 17 - 19, 2006. Our theme will be Big As TEXAS: A Patchwork of Lives! We hope to see you there.

More photos of the event.
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