June 24, 2018 - Ragen Chastain

Image Description: A screenshot of the new ‘Add a Business’ interface, which appears as a web form where the Ample user can input the name and contact information of a business. At the bottom, there are drop menus to categorize the type of business. Overlain on the screenshot is a cartoon graphic of a fat, blonde, feminine-presenting person with the Ample peach logo is on her shirt. She is smiling and leaning into the frame to gesture to the new ‘Add a Business’ interface. Blue stars surround her, to convey the celebration of something new.

Accessibility is at the root of inclusion. Whether it’s being able to go to lunch with people at the office and know that you’ll have a chair that works for you, attend a networking happy hour and know that you’ll be safe and accommodated, attend the city council meeting and know that the room will be accessible, have access to a bathroom that is appropriate for you gender, or get your blood pressure taken with a properly-sized cuff at the doctor’s office.

If we can’t access spaces, then we can’t participate in society. Unfortunately, many spaces do the bare minimum when it comes to inclusion, leaving many of us without a seat at the table (sometimes literally!) That’s what excites me about isitample.com. We may not be able to convince every space to be inclusive (at least not right away) but we can take inclusion into our own hands. By writing reviews we can help make sure that our communities are spending money at businesses that have done what it takes to deserve that money. We can help people plan inclusive events. We can help keep people safe. We can help people make sure that they are going to get appropriate, evidence-based care from a health and wellness provider. And we can do all those things using a platform that is flexible, open source, collaborative, and inclusive.

Accessibility and accommodation are at the core of my work as an intersectional fat activist, and so I’m so thrilled and honored to be joining the Ample team!

Ragen Chastain is a speaker, writer, Certified Health Coach, and thought leader in the fields of Body Image, Health at Every Size, Athletes at Every Size, and Corporate Wellness. Ragen is a sought-after speaker on the corporate, conference, and college circuits where she has brought her captivating and motivating mix of humor and hard facts to stages including Google, CalTech, and Dartmouth. Author of the popular blog danceswithfat, the book Fat: The Owner’s Manual, and editor of the anthology The Politics of Size, Ragen is frequently featured as an expert in print, radio, television, and documentary film. Ragen is a three-time National dance champion, and two-time marathoner who holds the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon (Female.) She co-founded the Fit Fatties Forum and Fat Activism Conference. Ragen lives in LA, and is currently training for an IRONMAN Triathlon.