Portland Trip – Days Three, Four and Five

I’m back home after an amazing trip to Portland. If you missed out on the report from days one and two, you can find that here! I should mention that days three and four were separated by spending the weekend visiting my family!

Day 3:

Day three kicked off at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center, speaking to practitioners about Fatphobia in Client Care – the ways that weight stigma can wheedle its way into client care and disrupt recovery. The room was packed, the practitioners were really into it, and they asked great questions. Extra special thanks to Lindsey for all of the work she does around Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size, and all the work that she did putting the talk together, and also a shout out to those who came in on their day off for the talk, and to Body Positive Personal Trainer Gillian who came for the talk! (There are no pictures, but for once it’s not because I totally spaced it, but because pictures on campus are strictly forbidden due to privacy issues.)

I headed to the beautiful space at The Gem to give a talk and then take a Body Love Yoga class with Anna Chapman. The talk was a casual Q&A style and we talked about all kinds of stuff – from fathletes to blogging to dealing with fatphobic friends and family. Then it was yoga time. My body was tired from lack of sleep, lugging 100 pounds of luggage around (#OverPackersUnite) and climbing around and posing the day before, and Anna’s gentle class was exactly what I needed.


Day 4:

This was going to be a long day. I had traveled to spend the weekend with some family and so I had to start driving at 6am in order to make it back for my first talk of the day at the Oregon Food Bank. This is an exceptional organization that offers hunger relief by distributing food through a statewide network of 21 regional food banks and approximately 970 partner agencies that serve all of Oregon.

I gave my Public Health for Every Body talk, during which we discuss how to create public health messaging that is intersectional, inclusive, fiercely anti-shame and  effective.  The group is committed to doing excellent work and so I was glad to be able to give them some new information and perspectives to support what they are already doing. We identified some ways that I may be able to help support them moving forward so I’m extra excited about that. Big thanks to Heather and Johnnie for all of their labor to put the event together, Joshua for all of his support (technical and otherwise), and to everyone who came including the CEO. It’s always helpful to work with an organization where the top levels of leadership are committed to the work, and it was an honor to be among a group that is committing to helping solve such a difficult and serious problem.

I took this picture on the way in, totally forgot to take pictures after, sorry y’all!

Next it was time for lunch with Sarah, of Resilient Fat Goddess. We talked about all things fat activism over delicious food by a roaring fire (I miss the fireplaces now that I’m no longer in Portland.) There are no pictures because I always forget to take freaking pictures!

Then it was time for dance class at SomaSpace. I had worked with KT from Body Home – Fat-centric Dance Classes KT was already teaching a series of classes so we decided that I would teach my class, then we would do a Q&A, then she would teach her class from the series. I was worried about how tired I would be – my class started more than 13 hours after my day had begun but being in that space with those amazing people infused me with energy, and I got my second wind and felt great. KT generously let me take her class, and it was fun and powerful and wonderful. We all stayed and talked for a while afterward.


As I got back into my car the fatigue hit me all at once. I still had to check into my hotel and lug my stuff to the room before I could go to sleep. In an effort to save money I had booked a bargain hotel. I hauled my stuff up the stairs, but as I walked into my “non-smoking” room it smelled like people had been smoking there since the 50’s, the bedspread was stained and the curtain was falling off the wall. My lungs were protesting and my throat was immediately sore. I called Julianne, whose superpower is finding deals on travel. Within 10 minutes she had gotten my money back from this hotel, and booked me into a much better hotel for less than I had paid for the bargain place (why didn’t I just have her book my travel in the first place? That’s a really good question. Lesson learned.) At that point I realized I was also super hungry – it had been over 8 hours since lunch. I grabbed some dinner, checked into my hotel and collapsed into bed. I was hoping to wake up early so that I could spend some time walking around the woods, but I set my alarm for the last possible minute so that my body could get sleep if that’s what it needed.

Day 5:

I woke up at the last possible minute. I met DeAun, co-founder of the Do No Harm podcast for a live recording of the podcast. We hung out in her fabulous house (glass doorknobs!) and talked a ton before we officially started recording. We focused on healthcare for fat patients that meets the requirements of ethical, evidence-based care and informed consent (which is to say – not a weight loss recommendation) We finished up with a lovely dinner at a local restaurant and I headed back to the hotel happy and exhausted.


I’m glad to be back home with Julianne and our dogs (Bu and ChadShannel) but I miss the weather, woods, and wonderful people of Portland. I hope to get the chance to go back again soon!

The Bundle Up! Sale is on! – bundles that include books, online programs, and DVDs to get your year (or the year of the people you’re gifting them to) off to a great start, and save you some money!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com or on Instagram.

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

3 thoughts on “Portland Trip – Days Three, Four and Five

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Portland! I live in Portland, myself. Thanks also for the plug for Oregon Food Bank, an important charity that helps alleviate hunger – especially in these difficult times of government assistance cut backs.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I’m so glad you get to do what you love for a living, and be a positive force for good in the world. I would say I envy you, but I just retired and that’s even better than doing work that you love. Your blog is an inspiration, so thank you.

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