Please help my niece Ruby

GoFundMe: Help Ruby Fight Back

I doubt this blog is read much anymore, but I thought it was worth a shot anyway.

My niece Ruby has been in hospital for 6 weeks now having been diagnosed with Crohn’s and Colitis (IBD) that has been further complicated by contracting two infections from the hospital.  She lost a massive amount of weight (down to 35kg) which she is just now beginning to regain. Stabilising her has been a challenge and her gastro team have said that it is one of the most complicated cases they have seen.

We hope she will be home soon, but her support needs and treatment will be ongoing.

My sister is a single mum who already has a special needs child with her son Phoenix, who is a gorgeous kid with autism. She simply does not have the resources to fund both kids’ needs (Dad is useless) and has had to put her studies and part-time business on hold to care for Ruby.

We have started a GoFundMe to help Ruby.  Please give what you can – every little bit helps – and please share.


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Former host lets loose about Biggest Loser (Aus. version)

Ajay Rochester, former host of Australia’s version of the Biggest Loser has let loose about some of the dodgy and unsafe practices on the show. All emphasis is mine:

I also remember how you [Adro Sarnelli, winner Biggest Loser’s first series] presented yourself at your final weigh in (behind closed doors and a few days before filming so contestants had time to recover and look healthy)… were starving, pale, had shallow breathing, low blood pressure, cracked lips and you were unable to stand on your own two feet – hardly a great advertisement for healthy weight loss….. all the contestants begged me to ask the producers to have you drug tested. I took that request to the producers and was told they didn’t want to know the truth, they just wanted a good winner and told me to shut up and go away. This was one of the many problems I faced in the job I became known for being difficult in…….because I spoke up when I felt it was wrong or that we were being deceitful. I refused to be the face of their online diet club, I refused to sell their shakes and diet bars, I complained when someone who went on to win was living off 200 calories a week, I complained when I had to participate in a cover up for the contestant (who also went on to win) who drank bottles and bottles of tea tree oil (and whose relative was caught smuggling more in) to lose gross amounts of weight and more… made me NO friends, but I refused to drink or even sell the Kool Aid. When I joined Biggest Loser I truly believed I would be able to help people learn to love and care for themselves and hoped my message of loving yourself first was more important than chasing a number on a scale. I quickly learned I was never going to be able to do that. And I am grateful for the good that came from that job but I am sick and tired of people like you who forget how hard the struggle can be and the arrogance and judgement you wield while making us feel inferior, forgetting that fat people have feelings too and deserve just as much love and RESPECT as anyone else.

Whether Ajay’s specific allegations are true or not, I don’t think anyone doubts for one instant that unsafe and unhealthy practices take place on the show and are tacitly condoned by the producers and the staff.

Weight Watchers cops a serve for their ‘Plate of our Nation’ campaign

Kasey Edwards takes Weight Watchers to task in the normally fat-phobic SMH:

[…I]f WeightWatchers has just cottoned on to researching ”real solutions” for people to lose weight, then what has it been doing with its customers for the past 50 years?

Oh yes, that’s right, running a highly successful business – one that profits from repeat business.

This is a company that, by its own admission, trades in failure.


But the Plate of Our Nation campaign is not focused on health. It’s focused on WeightWatchers core business – the promise of weight loss. And as any health professional should know, weight loss and health are not necessarily the same thing.


Lydia Jade Turner, the managing director and psychotherapist at BodyMatters Australasia, condemns WeightWatchers for its fat shaming imagery and messages.

”WeightWatchers is morphing itself to appear as a benevolent public health institution when in fact it is grooming customers for profit,” Turner says. ”The Plate of Our Nation website provides many healthy tips – essentially piggy-backing off already existing public health campaigns – but the problem lies in the ultimate promise of weight loss.”

Turner says ”WeightWatchers has no research to show that it is any more effective than any other diet on the market over the long term”. This makes WeightWatchers’ new aim ”to reverse this country’s obesity epidemic” at best naive and at worst highly cynical.




August 2019
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