Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy

It’s no secret, I’m a big supporter of the Obesity Action Coalition. I became a member to be a voice against obesity bias and stigma. Over the last few years I was honored to be chosen to join the OAC during one of their advocacy trips to Washington DC, accepted to both the Bias Committee and the Planning Committee for 2014 OAC National Convention – Your Weight Matters. It was at this event last month that I received a huge surprise – I was named Advocate of the Year.

I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to make a difference through the work done by an organization I truly believe in – an award like this is just icing on the proverbial cake. Below is an excerpt from the YWM Magazine article where all the annual award winners were announced.


Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy
(Award winner nominated by OAC membership)

The winner of the 2014 “Barbara Thompson Award for Advocacy” was Rob Portinga. Mr. Portinga is a Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, certified by the International Sports Sciences Association and is dedicated to constantly furthering his education in the field of health, wellness and nutrition and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners after studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Rob is also one of the co-hosts of The Wake Up Call, a health and wellness program, and founder of his blog, titled “Former Fat Dudes!”

Rob is a tireless advocate for the OAC, its mission and goals. In September 2013, Rob joined the OAC on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, as the OAC advocated to elected officials for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2013, which would allow for coverage of obesity management services and treatments under Medicare.

As a bariatric surgery patient, Rob easily identifies with the struggles individuals affected by obesity face on a daily basis. He is able to use this to help others educate themselves on obesity, treatments, advocacy and more.

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