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Better Connecticut, Worse Me.

Today proved that I will do just about ANYTHING to help cats whether it be go broke or wear an ill-fitting, too tight promotional shirt on television just so my rescue group name gets seen by the viewers. I had to ignore my vanity and fear of being fat on TV and just go for it. It's all about the cats, not me, right?

The show is called Better Connecticut and it's hosted by Scot Haney, the sunny, yet madcap weatherman and his co-host, Emmy-award winning journalist, Kara Sundlund. It's an hour long program that covers a wide range of topics. Our segment was devoted to talking about the need all rescues have for foster homes. To help illustrate the point, Enid, from The Queenie Foundation and I brought cats. Enid chose Munchy, a cute year old black and white cat and I brought Belly Holiday and Hello Dahlia.

©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. There must have been 10 SUVs in this fleet. I had no idea Connecticut had so much News to cover.

I arrived to the set at 9am; about an hour before taping and 30 minutes before the audience arrived. The stage manager, Bob, showed me to the Green Room (which is not painted green) where I was able to transfer the kittens from their carrier into a small pink crate and give them time to relax.

The Green Room.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The Green Room.

I took a moment to reflect. Was it a good idea to feed the girls this morning? I fed them at 7AM and they had until 8AM to use the litter pan. Maybe they would get sick on the Host's nice suit? I feared they would poop in their cage while we were filming, but I didn't want their blood sugar to dive so they had to have something to eat. I offered them a portable litter pan and one of them used it, then dumped half of the litter onto the sofa. I cleaned it up as best I could, then looked around and tried to figure out what to do with my nervous energy.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Scot & Kara go over the day's entertainment news.

Diane, who arranged for me to be on the show arrived and started talking up a storm. My brain started to swirl. I felt like I couldn't remember what I needed to say. It only got worse once Enid arrived and they jumped into a heated discussion about Lennox, the Pit Bull, who was unfairly and despicably euthanized in Belfast the day before—simply for being a Pittie. As much as I am angered, furious and heartbroken about this, I didn't want to forget the talking points I'd been practicing. We could talk about Lennox after we were done shooting. We shared 4 minutes and 45 seconds of air time. That's it. Make the point that ALL the rescues and shelters in Connecticut are in DIRE need of foster homes and give the viewers information on how to find rescues in their area where they could volunteer.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Pano of the studio before the audience arrived.

I kept thinking about Lennox until they quickly changed the subject to something else. I wanted to talk about our segment and go over the points. Since that wasn't happening, I tried to hide. I looked out the door of the Green Room and hoped for clarity of mind. The past month has wiped me out and getting up at 6AM after another night of not sleeping well didn't help the situation.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

At 10: 20 AM it was our time to go. The crew set up my huge Kitten Associates banner on the set. It looked GREAT! Scot sat on a sofa and Enid and I sat at an odd angle on another sofa facing him. They placed the pink crate with the kittens inside it onto the floor. I suggested they put it onto a table so I could stand in the hopes that my rolls of gut fat would slide to my ankles and I'd look less like the Michelin Man. They said it was fine on the floor. I sat on the sofa, a mix of adrenaline, fear and determination buzzed around in my gut. What were we talking about again? What was my name? Un oh. Brain melt.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Peeking out the Green Room window.

Harlin, the sweet guy in a headset who seemed to be in charge, must have got some direction from the control room. He had Enid count to 10 into her microphone, then asked me to do the same. In the blink of an eye he told us to get to our places and Scot introduced us, then began a blur of questions. I felt like I was in a batting cage with balls flying at my face, swinging a child-sized bat in my hands.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

During the segment, Scot decided to open the crate and take one of the kittens out. He murmured so the audience couldn't hear that it was okay to let them out. LET THEM OUT? Black kittens in a BLACK WALLED STUDIO with nooks and crannies where they could disappear forever? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Ready for my close up?

He grabbed Dahlia and she began to squirm. I had Belly and suggested he take her since she was a bit calmer. We did the switch and I almost lost Dahlia before I could get the crate door shut! Scot continued to ask questions while he jiggled, petted, and basically tossed Belly around. Thank GOD she took it well and didn't flip out. In fact, she went a long with his antics as he mugged for the camera, then went on and on about how cats rip up the furniture! Great! This will REALLY help people want to foster cats! Ack!

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

And then it was over, almost as if it never started, the time passed so quickly. In my mind, I thought I did well, answered the questions on point and did a pretty good job not saying too much. Of course, as soon as we were done, I started to realize how very tired I was. There was another 45 minutes to go before the taping was finished up, so I restlessly traveled between the Green Room and the audience. I'd check on the kittens and watch them taping the show. I was amused at how different the set looked compared to how the show appears on television. I had a good time and thought that I'd like to do it again if I ever got the chance.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The girls chillaxin' in the Green Room.

That is, until the segment aired.

We all have an image of how we think we look to the world. We may look in the mirror for hours on end, admiring our firm physique or we may, as I do, not spend much time looking because we're too scared at what we might see. It's very difficult for me to talk about being fat. I was never a skinny kid and I've struggled to try to keep myself from getting truly huge. Not to blame, but to explain, my father killed himself and my mother probably did, too, but I will never be able to prove that. I think maybe I am too stressed and depressed to do what it takes. I don't drink much or smoke. I guess my comfort comes from food, but I don't even do nutty things like eat a tub of ice cream or a bag of chips. I just don't exercise and like most people, I could do better with what I do eat and when (we eat dinner late at night here which is bad, I know).

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Scot…well that's Scot…with Belly.

As I watched myself on TV, I heard my voice, but I saw it coming out of this disgusting mountain of flesh. I wanted to pay attention to what I said, but I kept getting distracted by what I looked like. The angle they shot me at was probably the worst they could have chosen. I tried to sit up straight, but I was sitting at an awkward angle. Could that really be ME? Was I "that" fat? I was so horrified I wanted to turn off the TV and run for it (which I suppose would have been good since I'd get some exercise).

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

Sam was very nice and said I did well and agreed I didn't look that great, but that I didn't look as bad in real life. Of course he would say that. I'd say that to him, too. But I just sat there hating myself more than ever. Struggling to accept that I must do something about this is very tough for me, cats or no cats, but what can I do?

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Scot Haney and me after the taping.

I know how to lose weight. I know about exercising. I don't need tips for what to do or how to do it. It's my journey and I have to at least try to help myself. I can put myself out there “for the cats” but I can't keep looking at my own reflection and feel shame and self-loathing. I wish that it wasn't an issue and that our culture didn't care. You are what you are, peace to everyone. Everyone is beautiful…but in our culture if you're fat, you're not all that. Maybe if I want to help cats, then in the end, maybe I have to help myself, too? Right now I'd like to hide under a rock for awhile.

It takes a lot for me to share this link with you, but it's part of my journey, warts and all. Here's our segment. I hope you enjoy it.

WFSB Channel 3


I so hear you, Robin... Your words could've come out of my own mouth. I was 125 lbs. for about 15 minutes in 1982 going through my divorce. Great photo of you and Scot!


I wish I were closer so I could give you a big hug.


You are so not alone on this subject.  I have stuggled with weight all my life too.  If we were cats, we would jump into action and take care of ourselves to avoid health issues.  We would lay down our lives to help a cat or kitten.  I don't have any answers either.  

What you look like is truly separate from how you are thought of...  You are a deeply caring and loving individual who I am so very greatful to know!!!  You have many, many blessings to count, do not dwell on weight and appearance. 

(((((Robin))))) <hugs>



I was not able to watch the show, however, just knowing that you do what you do for the cats and kittens that cannot and how many of them your are awesome.  We are not all size 6, 8 or even 12 (I am a PLUS size), but you are beautiful....inside and out.  Thank you for what you do. 


This article is totally you! Personal, open and about the cats.

The pink crate was perfect, and yes, the squirmy kittens made me involuntarily reach for them as they were in the guy's lap and oh, the tearing the furniture to shreds comment, I too cringed. While you can control what comes out of your mouth, what the interviewer says is out out your control, sigh. But you did good by coming back and saying good rescues help fosters with behavior issues, etc. 

I think it was a good segment, and yes, your banner looked awesome and I love the new T's, too. I know, a six-pack underneath would have looked nice too...but that is something you can change. I'd be happy with a 'barrel' rather than the donuts stacked on top of each other look I currently have when sitting down...

I have not been on TV in a while (like 20# ago) and how my eating for comfort (yes, pints of Ben & Jerry's and Potato Chips) and eating dinner at 9pm and not exercising etc etc. I did not have the trauma you had as a child, but I often feel like flotsam after a tsunami and aimless and have the same feelings of digust when, well like right now, sitting bent forward typing on the laptop...

I thought dating might have an impact on me having the incentive to lose weight, but the last man was older than me and thought I looked great, hahameow. No incentive there. You may have found your incentive on TV and in the end, helping both you and the kittens, yay for that. 

I am glad you did this and think the segment turned out great!

Robin, I thought  you looked fabulous and did extremely well. We're all harder on ourselves than we should be. I get how you feel. My journey has been so very different. I was always a skinny, skinny person until 2000 when I suddenly took ill and was diagnosed two years later after so much pain with Fibromyalgia and, for five years, could hardly walk, let alone exercise. On top of that, I was on nine meds a day that screwed up my very fast metabolism and it hasn't corrected yet. So I've been on both sides of this fence and I get what you're saying; just please don't be too hard on yourself. Your story hardly even scrapes at the underlying issues of what make you who you are, warts and all. Right now, focus on the good that you did, because those little kitties (and we're all thankful for this) couldn't give a rat's ass how we look!


Love, T and L


Those 3 cats were so cute nobody was looking at you! You sounded smart and caring, that's what matters. 



The photo of you and Scot after the taping is a great picture. you are beautiful.

You are much too hard on yourself!! Don't be so mean to yourself. You say you have some extra weight. So what. Does it change how much you care for others? Does it limit the amount of love you share, the caring and attention you give to others less fortunate than yourself? NO.  You do more for so many than many do for even a few.  Please do not let the scale rule your world.  I used to. I used to weigh myself 2x a day. It was crazy. Then I realized that other people still liked me and talked to me and that I was kind and good and did fun stuff.   If I lost 5, 10, 20 pounds would that make me somehow a better person??  More likeable??  I dont think so, I am still who I was then and will still be tomorrow.   You have a great, kind heart and a compassion that zillions of others dont have, be they skinny, medium or overweight.   A few pounds extra, SO WHAT.  What you do is so admirable.  If you want to loose wt, then do so, but please dont let it take over your world.

Tell you what .... you ask Tater Tot what he thinks.  He'll give you the truth, kids always tell it like it is.  I bet he (and all the other kitties you have helped) only see you for the person your heart shows the world.  The real Robin. 

Love and hugs to you and all your furry friends. Anne


Oh did a GREAT job and I think you look great too!! I know it can be so hard to see ourselves but really, take stock that you were brave enough to get on live TV (and yes, that guy seems a little nuts) and talk about what is important. Would we all love to be skinny? Maybe, but I would rather be loved (which you are) and be brave (which you are) and do something we love - even when it is hard (which you are).

Hi Robin - I watched your interview and thought you did wonderfully.  I so admire you.  I almost had a heart attack when he reached over and opened the cage door.  We had a cat let out at a Petco adoption event and it took hours to find her.  Luckily she did not escape the store and all was well.  Congrats and hope to see more of you on TV. 

A supporter from Los Angeles.

Robin--I just read your post.  Please do not beat yourself up like this.  You so wonderful work and that is the most important thing.  I have been overweight (read--fat) my whole life and I have had to learn to look at the bigger picture of my life.  I do what I can to loose weight/get healthy but I have stopped letting those feelings rule my life or define whol I am.  Be nicer to yourself--you are a wonderful person who is doing wonderful things!!!!!

No matter how you think you look, remember this - you are a freaking awesome person, and you are my idol in the rescue world.  I wish I had the opportunity to know you in person, but instead I will just admire you from a distance ;)

Robin I can't begin to say how awesome you are. The show was great (although the host seemed a bit wired, lol, especially the frantic way he kept petting the cats), and you spoke wonderfully. You do a difficult job and you do it extremely well, my cats are all sending good kitty fortune to you :D

The woman I see standing next to Scott has a great smile, beautiful teeth, beautiful eyes.  If I met her on a plane or train I'd want to sit with her and get to know her.  Even if I didn't know she loved cats.  Get my drift?

You looked just perfect. I cept cringing everytime Scott reached for a cat because of the way he was "petting" them. It looked like he was on speed or something. If I was a cat, I'd have swiped him and run off to hide. To be honest after initially seeing everyone, all I could see was giant fingers attacking poor kitty heads. I did have a good laugh in the end when the kitten decided she was done and bolted for the cage. Traumatized kitties for life.

Robin you did a wonderful thing and I completely understand about how you feel regarding the weight. I have the same problem and I hate looking at pictures of myself or on video, well, just forget it! I can't even look in the mirror at myself much anymore. I'm trying to do what I can to lose weight, but it is very hard and for me will likely be a lifetime battle. You did a great thing for the kittens and the animal shelters in your area. I know it was hard and you felt bad seeing yourself, but it's okay. Sometimes we just have to pause and acknowledge how we feel no matter how good, bad or ugly and then move forward. Go at your own pace and take one step at a time. Thank you for speaking up for the kitties!

Robin –


We all have our own emotional baggage and I understand all too well the struggle you are feeling. I know that you will find that hard to believe – I am a skinny bag of bones and you are probably thinking, I wish I could be that thin. I was unbearably shy as a kid and was a by-product of a lot of moving due to the endless numbers of bad relationships my mother was in. I was picked on and bullied mercilessly for years – I was always the shortest in class, always picked last for everything, had thick bottle glasses, and long stringy hair. In short, I cried a lot and hated myself. I have dealt with it as best I can and feel I have defeated most of my inner demons – sometimes the insecurities and hurt feelings pop up now and again, but, for the most part, I really like me now.


My point, you are awesome to me, inside and out, and from every angle. What you do to help animals is nothing less than heroic and you are a wonderful person who has an incredible sense of humor. There is not a time I am around you, that I don’t feel happy or laugh.


I am not telling you that all is well – if you are uncomfortable with yourself, then nothing I can say will change that – you already know all of this. But, what I can tell you, is that you have a whole lot of friends and fans who care about you. This post took a lot of courage to share and post. I can see that and you will find that it will make you are the stronger for doing it. xoxox  

Now give yourself a pat on the back for me and all the rest of us who admire you. I'm heavy too and would hate to be on television but if is was for the cats, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

You do wonderful work and are an inspiration to all of us: from professional rescue organizations to individuals who take in and care for as many as we can. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are a beautiful person, just ask the kitties... they don't lie.

Be forever blessed..... Joyce and the kitties

I think this shows you as a beautiful, caring person.  Don't be so hard on yourself!

You are too smart of a woman to actually believe the bullshit lies that "society" tell us about having to be a certain size to be of value!  Robin, I love your blog because you are so honest and don't hold back. Today when I read you putting yourself down because of your gravitational pull on the Earth, tears came to my eyes.  I is a woman, an amazing woman...she is talented, compassionate, funny, intelligent and has contributed SO much to the world...and yet she doesn't allow herself to embrace her "wonderfulness" because "they" say she (and the average real woman) is "too" fat!!!!!!!! 

AAAAAAAAAARRRRGH! Sadness turned to anger.  The good thing is that THEY cannot control YOU!  THEY cannot make you feel bad about yourself...that is YOUR choice. Your fans love you! Your compassionate, tireless work within the cat rescue community is truly phenominal!  Love yourself dear sistah (and tell "them" to get f*cked!!)! You deserve it! You deserve to be struttin' your gorgeous self all up in front of that camera (snap to the Z). You know it's true...right? ;-)


You came across as a compassionate cat lover, someone totally dedicated and caring. Your co-speaker did, too. But the anchor? Give me a break -- he couldn't hold the cats, couldn't even pet them right, much less show a little love. I was NOT impressed with him at all. And he actually said you didn't look that great? I'm just appalled. It certainly does take all kinds to make this messy world. But rest assured, you were beautiful both inside and out. Keep up the good work.

You are amazing.

Please don't beat yourself up. You are more than a dress size. You have dedication and heart.

You look great. :)

-Joyce, Samson, Sadie, Daisy & Lola

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