I read a lot of stories and I write about a variety of topics.

Today I wrote a story about Ernest Gagnon. It was personal to me.

See, he found out that a company stole a picture of his to use to promote their product. Except they did not ask permission. And they also decided to “fat shame” him in the picture.

Yeah, see the “Or Not To Be” guy. That is Ernest. Not sure who the other guy is but I know Ernest well.

That is a wonderful man who was once 570 pounds. He was embarrassed to leave his house and his doctor were talking about gastric bypass…

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Wait. Before I go on. Let me tell you about a guy named Tony Posnanski. He is a wonderful man who was once 420 pounds. He was embarrassed to leave his house and his doctor was talking about gastric bypass…

Sorry about that. Back to Ernest. So a switch went off. He decided to contact someone on Facebook about cycling which is something he has always wanted to do. Cosmo Catalano was the name of the man who was excited about bringing Ernest to ride…

I forgot to mention something about Tony Posnanski. So a switch went off. He decided to go to the gym, which is something he has always wanted to do. He was excited to go there everyday…

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Anyway back to Ernest. He lost 240 pounds at the age of 33…

Wait. Tony Posnanski lost 221 pounds at the age of 33…

Ernest just wants to be healthy. He does not have a weight goal…

Tony Posnanski just wants to be healthy. He does not have a weight goal…

And then I realized they were not only shaming Ernest. They were shaming me.

My name is Tony Posnanski.

When I read about it at 5am I was at the gym. The company took down the image and wrote a weak apology at the time. So I went on my phone while I was on the elliptical machine and decided to write a post. I posted it and hoped it would get enough traction so a proper apology would be there.

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I got little interest at first. Then Jgur88 on Reddit shared the post. It got popular. Popular enough where the company sent a heartfelt apology. They closed their wall on Facebook. They did not have a choice.

I hate the fact that things have to go viral to get an apology. Companies are quick to shame and even quicker to back off when Facebook is involved. No one should be shamed and there are repercussions when it happens.

I was happy that Ernest got his apology. That was the only reason I posted it. I knew the company would get exposure and that is truly not a bad thing for a company.

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But I think it was more important that Ernest got the apology. I think after being treated so badly he needed to get the apology.

Because it meant I got one as well.

I read something on Ernest’s Facebook page that made me think….

“And as many of you know I struggle with my anxiety and depression when it comes to my image and self worth.”

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Could you do me a favor? Could you go to Ernest’s Facebook page and let him know that he is worth it and what he has done with his life is amazing.

I know. Deep down, I am Ernest Gagnon.

A lot of us are.