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The 2009 Big As TEXAS officially opened at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, March 20, with a buffet dinner featuring salads, champagne chicken, seared tilapia Meuniere, potatoes, veggies and desserts.
Image: The Friday night tables.
Friday night hosts or hostesses established a theme for their tables, such as the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Photo by Terry Early.

Once again each table had a host or hostess whose job it was to welcome newcomers and make sure everyone was introduced to each person at the table. It has been a tradition for the last few years for the table host to decorate their tables, and this year was no exception.
Image: The Mad Hatters table, Friday night.
The Mad Hatters table. Photo by Terry Early.

As an icebreaker, we had a human scavenger hunt on Friday evening. This necessitated that people talk to one another to find out little-known details of each others lives. For example: What Big As TEXAS attendee once played with Doc Severinsen's band?

Following dinner and the opening program, we had a late night swim.

On Saturday, we had five workshops available.

First up was our Movement Activity. We started the day on the right foot, with some stretching and yoga, led by Melissa, certified by the American Council on Exercise.

Image: Melicia (left) demonstrates a yoga pose taught by Melissa (right).
Our yoga teacher, Melissa, on the right. Melicia demonstrates the pose on the left. Photo by Terry Early.

Our activism workshop followed, with a look at the "anti-obesity activism industry" and an open discussion on the recent endeavors of these misguided souls.

Our Health Workshop was the third session of the day, for a very hands-on discussion about scooters, medical procedures, and a how-to on getting someone up off the floor (no, I'm not kidding). This was very ably led by Elizabeth.

Following lunch, we had our Educational Workshop, where we discussed how (and if) we can keep our kids from going down the fat path to begin with, and what to do to protect them in terms of school policies and related issues. Our facilitator was Marleen, a pediatric nurse.

Our final session of the day was the Creative Workshop, in a show and tell format. Our facilitators worked with us to explore what we can do with garments that don’t fit or need repair. We were led by Sharon K. and Melissa.

Dinner that evening was a plated affair that included salad, breads, roasted strip loin of beef with a shallot demi glaze, veggies, and Carmel Apple Granny for dessert. Many attended dinner already decked out in their costumes for the dance, where we dressed as favorite characters from children's literature – fables, fairy tales, or novels.

Image: Man and woman dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy.
Raggedy Ann and Andy. Photo by Terry Early.

During the dance, attendees cast their votes for best dressed. Our winners were Raggedy Ann and Andy! (More costume photos are available.) We all danced the night away with our favorite DJ, Craig Root.

Image: Sharon H., one of our Sunday program speakers.

Sharon H., one of our Sunday program speakers. The cow on the podium is Bossy, our Big As TEXAS mascot. Photo by Ray Hackney.
On Sunday, we concluded with a closing brunch and the program Growing up Fat in America: A Bitter Pill to Swallow?

Image: Elizabeth, one of our speakers for Sunday's program.
Elizabeth, one of our speakers for Sunday's program. Photo by Ray Hackney.

We had three wonderful speakers who shared their experiences of growing up fat without being overcome by bitterness. Many thanks go to our speakers, Sharon H., Marleen, and Elizabeth.

Image: Marleen, one of our speakers for Sunday's program.

Marleen, one of our speakers for Sunday's program. Photo by Ray Hackney.
Big As TEXAS concluded at 12:00 noon, but no one wanted to leave! Many stayed for hours working on puzzles in the hospitality suite, and just talking. On Sunday night, there were still 16 people present at the hotel, and we all went out to dinner together to Boi Na Braza in Grapevine.

Image: People at a table working on jigsaw puzzles.
Sometimes folks don't want to leave after the closing of Big As TEXAS, so it's always fun to work together on puzzles!
This photo and the next by Terry Early.

Image: People at a table working on a jigsaw puzzle.

That's the thing about Big As TEXAS – no one ever wants to part when it's over!
Next year, we will meet for a five night cruise from March 20 – 25, 2010. Perhaps you'd like to join us for Big As TEXAS: Big As Texas Sets Sail!

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