Follow along at www.ItsHugedoc.com
Jane Young Hill is a licensed clinical social worker serving individuals and couples.
She will be working with the men as a therapist but also to provide meditation and mindfulness training.
She specializes in trauma which she describes as ‘those life experiences that cause an individual to make
decisions about themselves and the world at a time when they are least resourceful”. She believes in a
holistic approach to treatment: insight, mindfulness, nutrition, exercise and emotional intelligence.
“My hope is that in working together, these guys will move in the direction of a richer, deeper quality of life.
I want them to see that we are all connected.”
'It's Huge' follows five Northeast Florida men trying to lose 100 pounds or more No one knows yet whether “It’s Huge,” a movie filming in Jacksonville, will have a happy ending. That will be determined over the next 10 months, as its five characters battle a scourge that’s growing ever more prevalent in America: obesity. The documentary will spend a year following five men, each of whom is trying to eventually lose at least 100 pounds. Some have a target of more than 200 pounds. Participating in the film was an easy decision for Tommie Fox. “Because I want to live,” he said. “That’s the die-hard truth. I’m tired of dying, sick of the roller-coaster ride, going up and down. I just want to live, with my family.” When filming started two months ago, Fox weighed 418 pounds. The first month, he lost nothing. The second he lost seven pounds. He’s now walking the bridges downtown, watching what he eats. “I’m determined,” said Fox, dean of students at the Art Institute of Jacksonville, where the movie’s producer/director, Nadia Ramoutar, is an instructor and documentary filmmaker. The timing of “It’s Huge” could be felicitous. The American Medical Association in June labeled obesity a disease, which is expected to bring even more medical attention to an issue that affects the 69.2 percent of Americans classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as either overweight or obese. To make the film, Ramoutar found five participants and enlisted the help of a nutritionist, a “mindfulness coach,” athletic trainers and a physician, Timothy McCormick, whose practice centers on obesity. It’s a team effort, she said, and nobody’s getting paid: The participants are volunteers, and the professionals are donating their time. The five men featured in “It’s Huge” have, by now, created an easy camaraderie, with jokes and support. “We’re like brothers now,” Fox said. Ramoutar is hoping to see real results by next May, when filming is scheduled to wrap. She shot a scene of the men at a swimming pool at the start, and plans to capture a similar image of them — thinner, she hopes — at the end. The cast and crew met last week at McCormick’s Baymeadows office, Empower Preventive Medicine, where lunch was salad, veggies, lean chicken and water — lots of water. Marian Thompson, a nutrition and health coach, chatted easily with them: She’s already taken them to a farmers market, steering them toward fresh, local vegetables. After lunch was over, McCormick was filmed giving a rundown of the medical factors involved in weight gain and weight loss. He wants the men to lose one to two pounds a week. “You’re a highly sophisticated piece of equipment here,” he said. “We’ve got to feed the machine properly.” He also spoke of the dangers of extreme obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, joint pain and the “incredible risk for sudden death.” Cast members Drew Bell and David Hicks know about that. They have a friend who died at age 35. He weighed more than 400 pounds. “For us, this is drastic, a last-ditch effort,” said Bell. “I’m comfortable, to some extent, with who I am, but this is either going to help me lose weight or I’ll be fat the rest of my life.” So far, so good: Bell started filming at 295 and has lost 20 pounds. Hicks — an actor who’s well-known in Jacksonville’s TV and film world as “Moonpie” — has lost 75 pounds recently, before starting the movie. He’d like to lose 200 more, though that obviously, he said, won’t happen in a year. Collin Blalock, at 23 the youngest member of the cast, is a graduate of the Art Institute. He’s lost 11 pounds so far and wants to shed 160 more. Starring in a movie such as “It’s Huge” isn’t always easy, he said. “I’m not really a huge fan of everyone knowing everything that’s going on in my life, but you get used to it.” Still it might make it easier to make steps toward his goal. “You feel like you’re letting people down if you don’t,” he said. William Ramoutar pushed to be in the movie. He’s 58, the oldest member, and he’s the filmmaker’s brother. He’d been active much of his life, and didn’t eat a lot of junk food. He did, though, eat too much good food, he said. The weight came on gradually, giving him enough time to learn how to camouflage some of it with his clothes. He peaked before filming at more than 300 pounds. “My waist accumulated and I got to be particularly heavy. It just wasn’t me: All my joints hurt and I thought, well, I’d better do something about it.” So far, Ramoutar has lost 18 pounds. He’s been walking his two Boston terriers, eating veggies, fruit, Greek yogurt, smoothies. Lunch is tough: He’s a jeweler and watchmaker, and it’s hard to get away from work and customers. But he’s making steps toward his goal of losing 100 pounds. “It’s a change of lifestyle more than it is a diet. It’s just learning to be mindful of what you eat,” he said. None of the men featured in the film blamed anyone other than himself for his weight gain. Still, Nadia Ramoutar sees them as caught up in the same things that have a created a country where seven of every 10 people carry around too much weight. “There’s one thing we can agree on,” she said. “Whatever we’ve been doing as a society does not work.” [email protected], (904) 359-4082