Cover Model of the Month Interview
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I am from Newport News, Virginia but I reside in Memphis, TN
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age,
Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am a married woman with a ten year old child and I am African American
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in
Actually, no I wasn't! I was always small but a thick girl on the
inside. I gained weight after my daughter was born.
when my mom passed away i gained a ton of weight!
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up
as a large child?
does not apply
LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you
to gain weight and how did you feel about it?
I was depressed ( I know that now!) I ate to compensate for the pain and
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model
I am a big fan of the magazine and of the talk show and I knew that it
would be a perfect fit for me
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for
Yes cause in Memphis, TN plus models have no variety in clothes, work
and acceptance so I had to inspire myself
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
At first they wasn't ( my in laws) but as I am not due to being able to
not listening to drama. My family realized I was happy and left me
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
All the of the single mothers...cause i know how it feels to be there
and still make it work!
And my daughter cause she has plus girls in her class and I tell her to
accept all people regardless of size
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary job?
Bra Specialist ( Victoria secret)
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I have always been a fan of the store but everyone that worked there at
the time did not look like me
so i wanted to work there so women like me can feel comfy enough to come
in and shop without fear.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
It is not an option cause I make sure I present myself well so no one
has a reason to not accept me.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for
Large People in the work force?
being understanding that we are not always eating cause we are plus. To
accommodate larger desks for college students
Making nice looking clothes for us and not just online or the "normal"
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big
it is not what it needs to be. It bothers me that we are not being
They want our dollars but they wont make or create beautiful things for
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion
Be even and create for all sizes! Put plus models on the runway not a
size 10,12,or 8
That's not plus its okay!
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized
modeling for men and women were to expand?
It would be extraordinary and amazing for everyone models and all!
Advertisers will have to open doors for plus models to advertise
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
Curvy Divas( local designer) and torrid.com
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
washing my face every night and plenty of water
LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo
shoot. What should models be prepared for?
Come well rested hair clean, proper undergarments, and positive
If you are shooting a paid shoot please be 30 minutes early if you have
to get hair and makeup 1 hour early
Be professional at al times! No asking a ton of questions! Think of
something very happy and roll with that!
Listen to what your being told, be aware of your atmosphere!
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at
size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
It is slowly changing and I am proud of the progress...but it takes more
than a few models as a small feature and the movie precious
By the way the star needs more respect than what she gets...she is
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from
now with size acceptance?
Being plus will not be just a "fad" you will lose weight for health
More magazines and agencies will sign more of us
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other
I would love to get on a television show, be on the cover or a feature
of 15 magazines in 2010
Design a plus lingerie line for Victoria secret and have a wedding
LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
God has been great to me lately...I have done numerous fashion shows,
was featured on man vs food season one
did a spec commercial and more...
LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants?
What was the experience like?
I competed in ms classic beauty in 2008
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you
life that made you feel good about your size.
I was at school today12/9/09 and a lady came up to me and asked me
mentor her plus size daughter
she liked that i was confident and she wanted whatever i did to rub off
on her child...that touched me truly
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep
Her name is Katherine Braxton she is my best friend and she encourage me
all the time!
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who want to model?
Its going to be rough but be confident and inspire someone else and you
will gain strength from that
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you admire?
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being
featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.
She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised
and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For the past 6 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.
With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to
individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet
world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her. Knock her
down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.
Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized
people online her grace and style has made people love her. Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend
the world to fit her, her way.
Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe,
and the Spanish circuit. Her many magazines appearances have
been world wide. She has hit American Television in 2006 with
Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,
The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.
To view her Online
Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully
Raqui Host's Super Sized Seminar at 15th Annual Vegas Bash 2011
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Raqui-ism - The Sensitive Nature of Women and the Destruction of
Written By: Raqui
subject has been with me since I was a very little girl. While you
can go on, and on about women, how emotional and sensitive we are. I
am going to specifically talk about men, women, and how over the
years slowly, we are destroying the sensitive nature women have been
blessed with. In my eyes as a society we are throwing off the
delicate balance that make male and female relationships work.
Let me start... as little girls we are sensitive, emotional and
caring. In an ideal family, our mothers are there to understand and
sympathize with our feelings. Our fathers are there to protect those
feelings. In your father’s arms you can cry about the flower you
carried whose stem has broken. You can smile and kiss Daddy when he
buys you an ice cream cone. If that ice cream cone falls and you
begin to cry, he will hug you, and hold you wiping the tears away.
Daddy doesn't try to make sense of the fact that it’s just a flower.
He doesn't disdainfully say go pick another. All he knows is that
for some reason, this flower meant a lot to his little girl. Now the
flower is broken, and so is the heart of his baby. His job is to
protect and comfort. Daddy isn't going to scream about ice cream, he
sees his daughter’s treasured treat is on the floor. He sees her
tears, and knows that he is going to make it all better.
Men are problem solvers by nature. If something happens, men try to
fix the issue. That is how they think. They are also protectors, if
there is danger big or small a real man will try to make things safe
and secure, even the dangers of flower petals and Mr. Softee.
There was a time when a woman's sensitive, emotional nature was
honored, protected and celebrated. Songs were sung about it, it was
expected for a man to not only acknowledge the difference, but
protect it, because it was that difference that made woman very
special to him, and a treasure. Men were raised to take to heart the
emotions of the women around him. Not because the sensitive nature
of women made them lesser but because it was a difference that made
men and women compatible.
Woman so very keen observant and able to tap into your inner being
can read situations and why it is a problem. Being sensitive we
naturally can figure out what is going on behind the scenes. Being
emotional we can feel the pain of others and imagine what it is
like. We problem solve from the inside out. We try to create
stability around us to minimize stress, to make things comfortable,
to create a more relaxed environment. We relate to others more in a
Men do things differently. They jump into action upon notice of a
problem. They want to solve things quickly and efficiently. They
have a job in their mind and set out to do it to keep everything
running smoothly. Some men are quite observant but usually they
watch actions. Not fine details. This is not to say they cannot
understand fine details, but men are more upfront about what they
see and what they do. Some say it is that math mind that they have.
One plus one will always be two, problem solved. If a problem is not
solved stress is bound to take over and create havoc.
In this way Men and Women fits perfectly:
Women can understand the things Men don't usually talk about. We see
the issues easily and can feel what Man is going through,
understanding him when he doesn't understand himself. We can create
an environment to calm him and help to ease those issues. Relax him
and he will be more at peace, a man will recognized this and feel
cared for, loved and appreciated. He wants to stay, because it is
exactly what he needs. Once relaxed and feeling safe with his woman,
he can open up to her and talk about the things he wouldn't talk
about to others. Thus relieving stress and creating and strengthen
the bond with his mate. The fact that he can do this hits home,
makes him want to do things for this woman, makes him want to
protect her no matter what.
Man sees a woman's problems and jumps to take action (which we love
because the faster he tries to help us the more loved and important
we feel). He doesn't exactly have to understand why there is a
problem, he just has to know there is one, and to make woman happy
he must do this, and that, to equal HAPPY WOMAN. Happy woman, makes
happy family, makes Happy Man. His job is to protect what he sees as
his, his home, his family and most importantly his woman. He doesn't
want the delicate balance to be disrupted. A woman will appreciate
how quickly he handles things. She sees this as her feelings being
number one priority on his list Being the most important thing to
him, she feels valued, appreciated and understood. She feels happy,
loved, relaxed and cared for. Chances are she is going to want to
display her love back to him by doing all the things I mentioned in
the above paragraph about women. The cycle continues.
In this way honor is being brought to both. While yes there are all
different types of men and women these principles worked. Through
the centuries in the USA our culture taught us a woman’s sensitive
nature was weak thus labeling them as unable to think or do things
properly. Making them a lesser human being and thus making man
higher than woman mentally. As if we were children or animals who
needed to be trained and watched.
Through the woman’s movement we earned rights that were not given to
us. We demanded that we be seen as equal and be able to work, vote,
attend school and more. This all were good things. But in many ways
I feel that some women took things to an extreme. In wanting to
prove we were just as equal as men and deserving of these rights.
Some began to lose or not show the sensitive and emotional side that
we are blessed to have. This fight had to happen so we can be seen
as equal human beings. But did we have to portray a strong woman as
We no longer have men who protect women and their emotional and
sensitive natures. We have men who degrade women for being exactly
what we were meant to be. We have women, mothers and fathers who do
"Stop being so sensitive!"
"Your too emotional!"
"Do not let them see you cry."
"Shut up with all that crying."
These phrases are spoken continuously and loudly. It starts in
childhood and continues throughout life. Many girls are not lucky
enough to have a father or any type of protective father figure.
Some have had the unfortunate experience of abuse by a father or
trusted male figure. Making them ultra sensitive or seemingly hard.
If a male protective figure doesn't exist for them at all to reverse
this negativity. We have many women who cannot or will not express
We do not want to seem weak now do we? We want the whole world to
know we can stand on our own and don’t need anyone’s regard.
Somehow along the way men have been taught that having a sensitive
and emotional woman around is bad for them. Being raised in the same
environment that our girls are being raised in has that influence.
Those who show emotions are weak; it is no longer an asset that
people want to have. When you see a woman being emotional, run
something is wrong with her, she is uncontrollable and crazy.
Females seeing this try to become the woman they think males want.
Emotionless, Uncaring as if nothing fazes them. Keeping their
feelings inside, hiding them in secret as if it's a sin. Treating
her man with a non-chalant attitude of disdain, and many times
This is not natural, Male and Female have been given attributes for
reasons. These attributes compliment and work together to bond them.
They need each other and it seems that the concept now is
"I DO NOT NEED ANYONE!"
"I CAN DO IT ALONE!"
As a woman, a strong, independent, woman who works for my community
I understand and cherish the role a man plays in the stability of
life. I would never say, I do not need a man because I am strong,
independent and know myself. It means I need a man even more. The
larger the load a woman carries the more she needs a man who
understands of the ways of woman. One who is strong in character and
can calm her in ways that no one else could.
Man knows that woman is emotional and things that bother her may not
make sense to him. But making logical sense isnt the point. The
point is she is feeling an emotion, a valid emotion that is logical
to her. She is affected by this emotion and that is the problem. Man
supports woman to ease her feelings, make her feel safe and secure.
So that she knows that he is there for her and she will not face her
thoughts, fears, emotions alone.
With his arms he embraces her holding her to his chest, making her
feel safe. With his hands he wipes tears that have fallen do to,
anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, stress, or just plain feeling worn
out. His voice soothes her, listening to him calms the storm in her
mind. With his lips he quiets her cries until all she feels is his
affection and knowing she is cared for. If she allows he can make
love to her and suddenly instead of a hurt heart she has a heart
full of passion and love for her man.
Women are creatures of the heart it was said. If you cherish her in
all ways, her heart will beat for you. Can we get back to the
appreciation of this virtue? or will be insist on killing it along
with what makes our women special?
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's 7-9
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Raqui's Cool Links
Raqui's My Space
Thank you for
Reading Raqui's Spot
Please send thoughts and comments to
the Plus Side
From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that
deal with all aspects of Plus size Life. Emily Smiltneck was
chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic
writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster
those who are Plus Sized go through.
Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
(pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a
substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business.
Emily is currently working on several writing projects,
including a historical fiction novel and several collections of
receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below
It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive
recognition for their life's work. Join me in this Joyous
moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her
contribution and great dedication to her goals in life. Click
the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the
page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.
The Adventures of Phatgurl
by Emily Suzanne
Adventures Of Phatgurl
is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a
plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a
personals website. As she embarks on her dates, she meets many
different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.
Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more
serious and even sad.
If you have any
ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see
depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at
I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future
SWSSBBW seeks SM
who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise. The ability to
both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus. Must not
inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”
Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a
current significant other will get you far. And a well-developed
sense of humor won’t hurt, either. If you like smart chicks with
jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to
Selena laughed softly.
“We seem to go back and forth a lot, don’t we?
Like, I mean, emotionally or whatever.
If you’re all stupid and depressed, I’m trying to talk you
out of it, and as soon as it works, then I get all sad.”
“Maybe we really just hate each other and one of us can’t be
happy unless the other one is miserable.
So pizza, or no?”
“Pizza, I guess.
I’m okay now.”
“All right, come on, then.
And put a smile on your face, hey?
I know it’s tough, but if you smile, people treat you like
you’re happy, and if people treat you like you’re happy, it’s a
whole lot easier to pretend.
And then it gets easier to be happy.
I’m not always great at following that advice, but when I do,
it pretty much always works.”
Jany dragged Selena over to Jacob, who was still waiting
patiently. “We’re in.”
“Great, thank you!
I’m honored to be allowed to spend these wee hours of the
morning with two women of such outstanding beauty.”
Selena roiled her eyes and Jany poked her in the side.
“Stop acting like me,” she whispered as Jacob left them to
retrieve his car. When
he pulled up at the curb, Jany opened the front door and then
quickly slipped into the backseat.
Selena started, but Jany just shrugged and swung the backdoor
closed. Selena shot
Jany a dirty look and got in the front seat, mumbling under her
breath. Jany smiled.
Anger would help her forget her misery, and even if it made
her feel uncomfortable, sitting in the front seat would make it
pretty close to impossible for her to feel like a third wheel.
It was only a few minutes before Jacob pulled into a parking
garage. They followed
him across the street to a tiny building crammed between two larger
buildings that seemed to be trying to edge it out of their way.
The windows were dirty and the red awning tattered, but the
lights inside were bright and loud, happy chatter and an inviting
aroma poured out when they opened the door.
The scent of burgers and pizza mixed perfectly with the smell
of people dressed, perfumed, and cologned to impress.
The place was so full that Jany thought they might not be
able to fit inside, but Jacob scanned the room for just a second
before he led the way to a table in the corner of the room, smiling
and nodding and grabbing empty chairs from a couple of table along
“Everything’s good here,” he said as Jany sucked in her
breath and squeezed between two chairs occupied by men who were too
drunkenly self-absorbed to offer to scoot in.
“But I’d recommend the
pizza. This place has
been open since around the time Columbus landed, and their pizza’s
the reason why.”
“That’s pretty impressive.
I didn’t think there were any pizza ovens here until Columbus
hauled one over on the Santa
“Okay, fine, but it’s been open at least since the 50s.
And you definitely need to try their pizza.”
“Sounds good to me,” Selena piped in.
She slid her chair behind the table and sat down next to Jany,
leaving Jacob to park himself almost directly across from the two of
“I feel like I should be interviewing you.
Either that or reprimanding you.”
He turned and scanned the room until he spotted the single
waitress in the room.
“Hey, Carla? Can you
grab a few Cokes when you come take our order?
“You know the waitstaff by name?” Jany asked, twisting toward
Selena in an attempt to fit more comfortably between the table and
“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, so yeah.
She’s the owner’s latest fling.
They all end up working here, and he must be a pretty decent
guy, ‘cause most of them keep working here even after their fling’s
The waitress approached and set three glasses of Coke on the
table. “Crazy in here
tonight! What’ll it be
for you and your latest harem, Jake?”
“Oh, Carla. You
make me sounds like such a womanizer.
Don’t be hatin’.
We’ll take a large deep dish with everything.
Leave off the anchovies, actually.
Don’t wanna scare away the ladies.”
“You never scared away a woman in your life, darlin’.
Got it. I’ll be
back as soon as the lazy ass cook they got workin’ tonight puts down
his beer and gets this here pizza made.
Wanna run off a few drunks for me?
Sara went home sick—probably trouble with her kid again, for
real—so I’m the only one workin’ and I’m gonna start tossin’ pizzas
in their faces pretty soon.”
“Just tell ‘em there’s free beer outside.”
He winked at the waitress as she rolled her eyes and darted
back toward the kitchen.
“You really come here a lot, hey?” Selena asked, scooting her
chair closer to Jacob.
Jany, stuck in the corner, could no longer hear their conversation.
She gave up and just gazed around the room.
Not a good idea.
Selena was all cheered up and basking in Jacob’s attention, so it
was Jany’s turn to feel neglected.
It didn’t help when one of the men who’d been too busy
demolishing a greasy burger to move when she’d tried to slide behind
him leaned over and kissed the woman next to him.
The woman wrapped her arms around his neck and they spent the
next five minutes trying to trade tongues, or at least that’s what
it looked like they were doing.
Jany averted her eyes when she felt the familiar sting of
tears springing up behind her eyelids.
Except, when she looked away from them, her eyes landed on a
woman who was gently rubbing her thumb in circles on a man’s back as
they talked quietly and seriously to one another in the center of
the crowded room. And a
buxom blonde at another table had two men mesmerized; one was
holding her hand on top of the table while the other secretly rested
his hand on her thigh underneath it.
It wasn’t fair.
The only difference between Jany and those other women was that they
were thinner. If you
didn’t count their weight, which Jany knew most men did, she really
didn’t think any of them were any prettier than she was.
Not really. And
the blonde wasn’t even a skinny chick.
She wasn’t fat like Jany, but she was well-padded and a
little soft in the belly.
What was her secret—what secret did all of them have?
Jany started looking for a way out—some path to the door or
the restroom, so she could disappear before the flood of tears came.
The waitress scurried up with the pizza before she could find
an escape route. At the
same time, someone jabbed Jany in the shoulder.
She jumped in her seat, half expecting it to be one of the
drunks at the next table telling her she was too fat and she should
leave so there was more room for them.
Instead, she looked up into Haroon’s face.
“Oh, my—hi! How
are you?” Jany glanced
around the room to see if anyone noticed that the fat chick in the
corner was finally getting some attention.
Then, ashamed that she cared, she looked back at Haroon.
“—came down to get something to eat,” he was saying.
“But it doesn’t look like there is anywhere to sit.”
“Well, if you want—hold on.
Hey, guys? Mind
if my friend joins us?
He needs a place to sit.”
“Sure, dig up a chair,” Jacob invited.
Jany forgot her impending tears as Haroon sat down and Jacob
motioned for the waitress to bring another plate.
Haroon filled in the empty space at the table, reconnecting
Jany to the conversation.
After everything she’d been through—the incident with
Franklin, the semi-drunken escapades at the bar, soothing Selena’s
fears—it was turning out to be a pretty decent night after all.
Thanks for reading
From the Plus Side with
Emily's Cool Links
Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his
writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to
writing Xander cook’s like he feels. A former Chicago native
transplanted to Tennessee, His goal has been to experience the
fullness of food heritage. He believes that as a people and society,
can learn a lot from what we eat. Combining a great life lesson and
a easy recipe. They go hand-in-hand to provide a tasty
addition to your day. Xander has to confess that ingredients in a
great meal are like the ingredients in a great life are never far
How to Know if what you got is what you wanted
by Xander The Food Dude
How to Know if what you got is what you wanted.
And what to do if it
When it comes to your life, what do you want? How does your
money fit into that?
If you can't answer these two questions, you won't ever know
when you've been successful In fact, it might be worse than
that: you might achieve what you thought you wanted, or what
all of your friends want, and suddenly realize that it
doesn't satisfy you. In order to make sure you're going the
right direction for you, it's important to figure out what
you want from your life (to find your definition of
Why It Works
We're all going after something. That's part of being alive.
As long as we're living and acting, we are headed towards
something. Even if we don't want to live, we're going
towards our goal (yes, death is a goal!). Our lives are
going somewhere. We're caught up in the stream of living and
we'll end up somewhere.
Luckily for us, we have some say about where we can end up.
Sure, we all die in the end, but we have the ability to
decide what is important and make choices towards that end.
If you're saying, "Sure, Sarah, we all know that. Make this
entry worth reading, already!" then tell me what you're
living for. Go ahead, tell me what your life's goal is. Tell
me why you're on this earth and how all the different parts
of your life fit into that.
If you can do that, you're ahead of most of us. Deciding
what we want, what we're about, takes a lifetime of
deliberate, focused introspection. But we can figure out
different parts of this whole at different times in our
lives, and we can live deliberately towards them.
How it Works
If you're not sure how to get started in this process, here
is a process that helps.
1. Take out a blank sheet of paper. In 10 minutes, list as
many things as possible that you have not done, that you
would regret not doing if you died tonight. To the best of
your ability, don't stop writing and don't censor or even
think too hard about anything. Just write. You might find
some crazy things coming out the end of your pen, and that's
OK. Let them be.
2. Read your list. Notice any internal reactions you have to
different items on the list. Note these in the margins next
to your list so you can remember them later.
3. Step away from the project for 3-7 days, except to read
your list once a day. This lets the list percolate in your
mind. Often, writing down our desires brings to the
forefront things that we haven't thought about in a while,
or voices things we avoid voicing any other time. It can
take us a few days to become accustomed to these things
being a reality in our lives. We learn to accept, "Yes, I am
the person whose life won't feel complete if I never help
the refugees in Darfur," or, "Yup, I'm the busy entrepreneur who really
wants a desk job so I can spend more time with my kids
before they leave home."
4. Come back to the project and read the list again. Note
any internal reactions that have changed as you let the
5. Start pulling the different items on your list together
and write a statement that encompasses what you're about. In
the beginning, this can be a list of more general categories
that cover all of the items on your list. For instance, my
list would containing such items as "helping people grow"
and "working with groups to help
them better understand and support each other." My larger
category might be, "working with people, as individuals and
in groups, to help them better understand and support the
growing process in themselves and others. Eventually, this
statement will be less like a list and more like a sentence
or two, but the list is fine to start.
6. Write down and commit to one step you can take this week!
today! right now! to help move your life more in line with
your statement. Make sure that this is small enough to be
achievable and is something you can maintain.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have a statement that feels
right. Most people know when they've hit on the one that's
right for them. It moves many to tears, but some also feel
joy or peace when they find it. Continue with the small
goals until your life looks like what you want it to be.
8. Live the life you've designed. Achieve your definition of
of the Month
Argentine Meat Empanadas
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
• 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
• 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
• salt to taste
• 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1. In a sauté; pan melt the shortening and add the chopped onions.
Cook the onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove
from the heat and stir in the sweet paprika, hot paprika, crushed
red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
2. Spread the meat on a sieve and pour boiling water on it for
partial cooking. Allow meat to cool. Place meat in a dish add salt
to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion
mixture. Mix well and place on a flat to dish to cool and harden.
3. Cut puff pastry dough into 10 round shells. Place a spoonful of
the meat mixture on each round; add some of the raisins, olives and
hard boiled egg. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the
filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet
the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The
shape should resemble that of a half-moon. You should have a 2/3 to
1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge,
step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add
pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl.
Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a
fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and
empanadas must be juicy.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place empanadas on
a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada
with a fork near the curl to allow steam to escape during baking.
Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30
Thank you for
Reading Good Food 4U
By Xander the Food Dude
Please send thoughts and comments to
2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational
curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she
piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake. Only a
few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to
walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot. Doctors finally
diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled
That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for
years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her
weight, it wasn’t until
this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches
following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something
about my weight." On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass
medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she
made for herself. In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to
learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one
who lives it every day.
Angie Bee @ Three Months
with Sonya Bennett
Happy July, Everyone! I've had the pleasure of visiting my sister
during this, her third month after the gastric bypass. She looks
great: Losing weight all over and she is sharing her third month's
doctor's visit in this month's article. Enjoy! Sonya B.
This morning, my sister came with me for my three-month check-up
with my weight loss surgeon and I am proud to k now that she is with
me to hear the great report! Sonya came to my home for vacation. We
call them "Va-Stays" because she can "stay" as long as she wants! I
mean, she IS my sister and I love having her with me; especially now
that we have one more thing in common: We BOTH have had gastric
Three years ago, I vividly remember praying for my youngest sister
as she and my family traveled to the hospital for her procedure. She
had been absolutely miserable prior to surgery with health
complications from obesity. Even today, she continues to say "I
didn't have the surgery in order to get skinny. I had the surgery in
order to improve my health!". Today, many of my sister's health
challenges are in remission.
Today is my three-month check up with Dr. Kim's office and I feel
pretty good about it. I am still focused on consuming my nutritional
supplements every day. I am still sipping on every kind of liquid
that I can find. I still pay attention to consuming proteins and I
continue to try to walk everyday. Upon arriving for my check up - my
doctor informs me that I have lost a recorded 50 + pounds... this
does not include the 20 pounds that I lost in the two weeks prior to
my surgery. That makes a grand total of 70 pounds of weight loss
since February. Seventy pounds!!!
Looking at three months post-surgery compared to three years
post-surgery is an amazing revelation. I mean, my sister has lost
150 pounds during her three years of health improvement. Keep in
mind... this procedure is a tool to allow you to improve your health
AND gain control of your life! Complications from diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure can control your
life! Pills, injections and sleeping with a mask connected to a
machine may SEEM to be small inconveniences... but you miss a dose
or a night without your mask and those complications can and DO
control your life. My constant indigestion controlled my life. Now,
since my surgery... the indigestion is gone. The diabetes is in
remission (according to my endocrinologist) the high blood pressure
is gone. The ankle swelling is gone. I am in better control of my
life, my health, my mind and my goals.
Many people are anti - weight loss surgeries and I respect their
opinions. I respect anyone that can justify why something is or is
not good for them. This procedure was GREAT for my sister and a
blessing for me. Since having the surgery I have heard about other
weight loss options.
-Injections that trick your body into believing that it is pregnant
and forcing you to lose weight (I may have lost weight... but what
about the high blood pressure?)
-Shakes and drinks that suppress your appetite (how would those
drinks affect the diabetes?)
-Pills that increase your metabolism (the swollen ankles hindered my
-Underwear garments that compress and reshape you into a flattering
figure (could you afford to purchase them? If you'd like to check
some out, my sister is a distributor:
-Fitness and dance programs that encourage weight loss... (did I
want to be the only 350 pound woman in THAT class?)
And the list goes on and on. You have probably heard of them all and
tried most of them following celebrity recommendations and
family/friend testimonials. None of them were suitable for me.
Gastric bypass was suitable for me, and this procedure was a
blessing for me.
Back in January, we began to document my life before, during and
after the surgery. The documentary is called "350 & closing... a
Gastric Bypass Story" and it begins airing weekly on The Jericho
Broadcast Network (www.MyJBN.com). Episodes are also on
www.YouTube.com/AngieBEEpresents and my Facebook friends get to
watch an episode each week as I place the link as my status update.
I hope that you have an opportunity to watch the show. It is a
personal experience, yet it shows faith, growth and strength as I
continue to lose weight and remain "In Charge".
Angie BEE Productions
Producing Christian entertainment enjoyed by the entire family!
Check out The BEE HIVE at www.AngieBEE.com
See our past projects at www.YouTube.com/AngieBEEpresents
Come see me on tour this summer!
Log onto www.TheChosenTour.com for details
The shows that we are currently creating include:
The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE Radio Show -
with THE BEST in Holy Hip Hop - airing weekdays from
8am - 10 am EST on www.HeatfortheStreets.com (Our first secular
noon - 4 pm EST on www.MyJBN.com (returning for our 3rd year!)
6pm - 10 pm EST on www.ChicosRadio.com (Look for us on Chicos TV
11pm - 3 am EST on www.TheArkRadio.com (The BEST in Holy Hip Hop!)
Glorious Cooking -
returning for a third season on www.FaithiTV.com
350 Pounds and Closing... a Gastric Bypass Documentary
debuting exclusively this fall on The Jericho Broadcast Network
Highly Opinionated - A Teen Talk Show
debuting this fall on www.UrbaniTV.com
VIDEO NEWS - A video version of YOUR press release!
airing Friday's on www.FaithiTV.com
That's What's Up - A weekly bible study discussion hosted by
Evidence 322 COMING SOON!
Come check us out on tour this year! For details, log onto
Visit us online today at
www.ooVoo.com - account Angie BEE
www.Skype.com - AngieBEEproductions
Call us today at 407-914-6519
Thanks for reading
The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs
Sonya Bennett on Facebook
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit
civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life
for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on
body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment
through public education, advocacy, and member support.
This Column is dedicated to the tremendous
work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades. LargeInCharge
wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give
the public more information into issues we as plus sized people
should be aware of. The fight for equality for people of all
sizes is one we support.
This Column will include News Releases and
Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.
This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org
CALL FOR ACTION FROM NAAFA
NAAFA LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT:
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
HELP STOP THE BULLYING!
Who: We need
YOU to contact
Members of Congress TODAY
What: The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739)
Why: The legislation
does NOT include weight and height as part of its anti-bullying
How: Use our
legislative action alert
The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739) is a bipartisan
bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey and Mark Kirk to
help prevent bullying in schools. The Safe Schools Improvement Act
would require schools and districts receiving designated federal
funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying
and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or
perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual
orientation, gender identity or religion. It was introduced to the
Senate on August 3, 2010 and referred to the Senate Committee on
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP Committee).
There has not been a hearing on the Bill to date, so now is the time
to contact these Senators and ask them to amend the legislation to
include weight and height to the list of protected classes prior to
the Bill’s approval.
You can send an email to any or all of the Senate Committee members
The members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions include:
Democrats by Rank:
Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
Kay R. Hagan (NC)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Al Franken (MN)
Michael F. Bennet (CO)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Republicans by Rank:
Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Rand Paul (KY)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
John McCain (AZ)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Mark Kirk (IL)
Even if you are not a constituent of the members listed, it is
important that they hear your voice. Also, if you have specific
stories about how bullying has affected your child or a child you
know, that has a huge impact.
Here is an example to help in composing your letter to the Committee
HOW TO CONTACT THEM: Sample Letter
Dear Senator _____________:
Because you are a member of the Senate Committee on Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions, I want to bring to your attention the
need to amend the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739)
prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a
student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex,
disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.
While I support the intent of this legislation, there is an entire
segment of children that would not be covered in this legislation as
currently written, fat children. As we have seen in recent events,
fat children are at risk.
One such event occurred when a teen girl from Minnesota
committed suicide partly because of being teased and bullied about
There are numerous studies that outline the effects of bullying on
children because of their size and/or body image. Along with fat
children, short children are victims of incessant bullying on a
While we believe it is the intent of this legislation to ensure a
safe environment for all children within public schools, we ask that
the Bill not exclude and further stigmatize the largest group of
children that is facing bullying on a daily
We ask that the Committee request to amend the Safe Schools
Improvement Act of 2010 to include weight and height to the list of
Or you can write to the Committee at:
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Thank you for helping to make positive changes in the lives of
NAAFA is pleased to announce the dates for both our 2011 and 2012
As a strategic goal, the NAAFA Board has set out to simplify and
streamline all of NAAFA's activities. One of the organization's key
events, our major fund raising event of the year, is our annual
convention and as such it has been a major focus of our streamlining
efforts. In order to help members get the most for their money and
budget their time, we have been able to secure the Convention
location contracts for the next two years. These contracts lock in
our cost at the same levels as our 2010 convention and in some cases
gives a further discount.
This year we will be returning to the Washington, DC area for our
Thursday, August 4, 2011 - Monday, August 8, 2011!
The Westin Washington Dulles Airport
2520 Wasser Terrace
Herndon, VA 20171
In 2012 we will be having our annual convention in San Francisco.
Thursday, August 2, 2012 - Monday, August 6, 2012!
The Westin San Francisco Airport
1 Old Bayshore Highway
Millbrae, CA 94030
Make plans now to join us in August, 2011 at The Westin Washington
Dulles Airport. Room rates are a super low $79 per night and can be
booked for Thursday, Aug 4, 2011 - Monday, August 8, 2011! The
Westin is prepared to receive your NAAFA convention reservations
We have worked hard to keep the cost of this convention down and to
get the lowest hotel prices we could. $79.00 per night for a premium
hotel in the DC area is a significant deal. The Early Bird Special
price is $225.00 and will be available beginning February 1 through
May 31, 2011. Beginning June 1, full convention price will be
We will have again made it easy for you to register for the
convention as well as the hotel through our website at
www.naafa.org. We encourage you to register for the NAAFA convention
package today and look forward to seeing you in DC.
Watch our website for more exciting details as they become
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization
dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA
works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat
people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education,
advocacy, and member support.
On the web:
Thanks for reading
From the Desk of NAAFA
Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A.
degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is
considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and
is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music,
movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos
This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.
wanted to re- introduce myself, since I just joined Large In Charge
magazine last year. My name is Lulu, and I am a fashion writer for
largeincharge.com I am a fashion junkie:) I look forward to finding
wonderful fashion find and product of the month for you. I also look
forward to chatting with you all an reading some good fashion comments!
Please let me know if you have a favorite. Web_girl1999@yahoo.com
Picks of the Month
Product of the Month
Fashion Find by: Lucia
Fashion Type: Sale 70% off/CLOSEOUT
Price: 19.99 - 169.99
Fine fashion for us big girls size 1-7x so go and check it
out. BBW Boutique has everything for everyone.
Product of the Mont
Recommended by: Lucia
Name of Product: The Deal, the dance, and the Devil
Type of Product: Book
Cost of product: $ 8.85
Where Product can be found:
Description: Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Money, Money, Money, Money...Money!
Who wouldn't jump at an offer of five million dollars, free
and clear? The main characters in Victoria Christopher
Murray's latest release, The Deal, The Dance and the Devil
learn the hard way that some things shouldn't be for sale at
any price, for any reason.
Evia and Adam Langston have loved each other since forever.
When she found herself pregnant with his child while they
were still in high school, they didn't think twice about
getting married. With the support of his devoted single
mother; they managed to graduate and were determined to make
their way out of the poverty-stricken D.C. neighborhood
where they grew up.
Adam's mother believed that loving God with all of your
heart and getting a good education were the answers to a
life out of the curse of poverty that had plagued her family
for generations. She helped the young couple take care of
their twin daughters while working her fingers to the bone
at a low-wage job at night.
My name is Jonny T. I have been an admirer of plus-size women for many
years. As a recording artist, I have released a number of projects that
celebrate the beauty of big beautiful women.
Over the years, I have seen a lot of faces, heard a lot of
stories, and participated in a lot of bashes and clubs. I enjoy a
professional career as a recording artist, label, and executive.
I am currently the Executive Assistant for Street Scholar Music
Group (SSMG), a new label exclusively distributed by Bungalo Records and
Universal Music Group Distribution. So far, it has been a great
experience and I have gained a tremendous amount of insight from both
the standpoint of artists and decision-makers in the music industry, as
well as the entertainment industry as a whole. The goal of my articles
is to provide information about what it takes to be successful in the
mainstream entertainment industry while being a woman and/or man of
size. I look forward to making contributions to Large in Charge and
those who read the articles. Choose well, Live well!
Big Beautiful Hollywood
with Jonny T
Once again, it is time to take a look at big beautiful women and how
they make an impact in the role of mainstream entertainment. In this
article, I would like to give kudos to World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE) for ushering in their first BBW Superstar Kia Michelle Stevens
– in ring name Kharma. Kharma is proof women can be plus-sized
and athletic. She has had brief stints in other wrestling promotions
and has held multiple titles. She has wrestled by the name of
Amazing Kong and Awesome Kong. Why I would like to commend WWE is
because they would not allow a moniker like Kong because it lends an
avenue for the audience to associate and define the superstar by her
size versus her athletic ability.
She began her professional wrestling career in 2002 after appearing
on a reality television show. She primarily wrestled in Japan for
the first five years of her career, holding numerous championships
there. In 2006 she began wrestling in her native United States
again, appearing on the independent circuit before appearing on
national television with Hulk Hogan’s TNA Wrestling where she was a
driving force in the foundation of their Knockout division.
In December, 2010, Stevens signed a contract with World Wrestling
Entertainment (WWE). Since April, 2011 vignettes aired during WWE
television with Stevens, whose face was concealed by shadows and her
signature braids, dismembering female dolls while cackling
maniacally. During the April 25 episode of Raw, Stevens' face was
shown for the first time in the vignettes, and her new ring name was
revealed as Kharma. Kharma made her debut on May 1 at the Extreme
Rules Pay Per View where she caused chaos and mayhem.
Stevens grew up in Carson, California. Prior to becoming a
professional wrestler, she was employed as a social worker. She also
owned a business that put vending machines in several high schools.
Stevens' family and friends helped her fund her career in wrestling,
when she went to train in Japan. She is also an investor in Nu Skin
Enterprises, a line of skin and nutritional products. She is the
proof BBWs can make it in mainstream entertainment with diligence
and hard work.
Pat is a forty something woman living in
Southern Ontario, Canada. She has a varied past and has worked teaching
literacy and English as a second language to adults, as an environmental
science technician and in the health and safety field. Currently she
works in marketing.
Pat fiercely believes in human rights for all and has volunteered for
organizations that raise funds and develop and implement programs to
help impoverished people and educate women in third world countries.
Although relatively new to the size acceptance movement, Pat believes
with all her heart that people of size deserve equal treatment and
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time
Bash, Bash, Bash...
with Pat Llewellyn
have never been to a bash I highly recommend going. My first
bash was a weekend one in NY State. To be honest, the only
reason I went was because my friend told me I was going and I
didn’t have a choice in the matter.
little fatty that I am, I said ok…
mind I had been going to Fatty/BBW parties in my area, but they
were one night deals and you either got a room at the local dive
hotel or drove home afterwards. It was fun, but over way too
a true bash is a totally different experience. You get to spend
days surrounded by people who have the same body size as you.
Fat asses, big round bellies, monstrous bewbies and luscious
thighs. My first though when I saw the group of bashers was OMG,
what have I gotten myself into?
got into was a great party, great friends and a real sense of
community. There are many people I met at that first bash I
still speak to. I run into them at other bashes and they even
make it up to
Canada for some of our events.
summer I am going to the Vegas BBW Bash. It will be my third
time attending and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see my bash
friends, flirt with hot men, party the night away and to be
comfortable in my own skin. I love seeing all the women who wear
bikini’s. I love hearing about women and men who are wearing a
bathing suit for the first time in their adult life. The fact
that they have found a place they can be themselves. I love
seeing the guy’s dressed up flirting with the women. I love
knowing that being the fat friend is a good thing.
biggest shocker about the bash is when you leave. When you leave
the hotel and head to the airport and find yourself surrounded
by skinny people. You don’t feel ashamed or uncomfortable. You
just forget to think about people’s (your own) size when you are
at the bash. You want to rush back to the Tuscany and start the
whole thing over again.
bash friends, I treasure you and I look forward to seeing you
again very soon. While we only get so see each other in person
once or twice a year, know that you are always in my heart.
Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She
is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in
Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life
she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where
she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has
also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those
around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help
Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go
to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or
support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed,
intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.
Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a
little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her
life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first
opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see.
Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her
future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus
Live, Laugh, Love
with Ms Suga
Yes we've all
heard this phrase time and time again but have you ever really sat
down and thought about what it means? Well in my opinion it's quite
simple: live your life because no one else can live it for you,
laugh at life because if you are always crying you'll never be able
to enjoy anything and love hard with no regrets. It's better to know
love than to keep waiting for love. But let's really discuss this
(and note these are my opinions and mine alone).
You only have one life to live. We are all put on this earth for a
reason and it is up to us to figure out what that purpose is. I
personally have come to realize part of my fate is to help, support,
and inspire others. Right now my goal is to help people of all
shapes and sizes see that we all have a purpose in life. Yes things
will get you down and situations will not always be in your favor
but that doesn't mean that negativity will prevail. Dream big and
work hard to make that dream come true. If your goal isn't
accomplished more than likely a new goal, desire and mindset will be
realized. As i said before we only get one life to live. You might
as well make the best of it; it’s not like you will have the chance
to do it again.
People that laugh more live healthier lives. I'm no doctor but I am
a witness. You put out positive energy you attract more positive
energy. Some people laugh to keep from crying and others do it
because it simply feels better. Laughter relieves stress. Some say
it takes more muscles to frown then to smile and it also prevents
stress lines and wrinkles in the face.
In the BBW community there
are a lot of people (especially teenagers and young adults) with
self-esteem issues. And that's ok not everyone is going to hold the
confidence level of their peers but this can change. Laugh at the
good times, laugh at the bad times, laugh to past the time, and
laugh when there’s no time left. Some might think you’re crazy but
that’s ok laugh and someone will definitely laugh with you.
# 3) "Tis
better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."
Alfred Lord Tennyson is known for this quote. Most people hear this
and think "ugh! F*** love" but it's not as bad as you think. The
first step to living a positive life is self-love. The second step
is to be happy better yet content with you. These two steps go hand
in hand because you can't love yourself without being happy with
yourself and you can't be happy with yourself without truly loving
yourself. When you love and are happy with yourself it's easier to
give and receive love from others.
always have to be every day is Valentine’s Day mushy, kissy face
type of crap. (Yes I said crap! LoL) Love can be much more than two
people; you can love your family members, friends, pets, even art.
Love can be found in the rarest places and will leave an imprint on
your heart, regardless what happens next.
The moral of the
story folks is in our community we all need to learn to live, laugh
and love. Then we can teach others this philosophy to bring a more
positive mindset within the BBW community. I am learning to apply
this philosophy to my everyday life and I can say one thing (well
two things) I wake up smile and I go to sleep smiling. I may cuss
and bitch and moan throughout the day but I couldn’t be happier or
more inspired to “Live, Laugh and Love.”
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