- Israel Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole
Hawaiian Super Star
IZ - Hawaiian Super Star!
Unknowingly I had been listening to IZ's
music for many years. Always wondering who it was singing.
Who was that voice that made me feel so instantly calm. It is
recently that I happen to come across a You Tube video with the image of
a Large Man (a Super Sized Man) heading the video. That video was
Isreal IZ Kamakawiwo'ole's "Its a Wonderful World". That's the
voice I knew from movies and tv, I had to know more. His
fame spans decades, I watched many videos, found websites, listened and
read what people said about him. What his music (what HE) meant to
Iz was not with us long just 38 years, (passing due to Respiratory failure from a hereditary disease in addition to other ailments) but
in those years he changed the world, he shaped music, he touched hearts,
he nurtured souls, with his voice, with his words, with his spirit.
He made a huge difference to the people of his country and culture.
He touched people from everywhere and he touched me.
Iz's body maybe long gone, out into the
wonders of the ocean, but his spirit lives on. Iz received honors
in life and in death. He achieved what some say a person of size
(not just size but GREAT SIZE) couldn't do. He found love and
acceptance among his family, peers, in business, through the public eye
and he achieved dreams some never thought a person of his stature could.
Iz touched the world, He is an example to us all, that we all
can reach our goals, we shouldn't let anything stop us, be good to
others, and to ourselves, His spirit was just to great for this world so
he left his mark for us to follow.
Peace Brother IZ, Hope to meet you some day
Over the Rainbow - Raqui
Quick facts about the life and career of
Birth name: Israel Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole
Occupation: Musician, Singer
Genres: Hawaiian, Reggae, Jazz
Born: May 20th 1959
Birthplace: Kuakini Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii
Died: June 26th 1997, 12:18, at age of 38
Location of death: Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of death: Respiratory failure
Height: 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 m)
Nationality: United States
Musical Instruments: Ukulele, vocals
Wife: Marlene Ku'upua Ah Lo (married 1982)
Kids: Daughter -Ceslianne Wehekealake'alekupuna Ah Lo ("Wehi")
Born in Honolulu, Hawai'i on May 20th 1959, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is
perhaps one of the greatest musicians to have come from the island and
arguably holds his place in the international hall of world music
Although neither his father, Henry Kalei'aloha Naniw nor his mother,
Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwo'ole were professional musicians, Israel
was exposed to the depth and soul of Hawaiian music from a very young
age. He would spend a lot of time at the Waikiki bar where his parents
worked, a place well known for performances from Hawaii's great
His uncle too had a great influence on him and, as a professional
musician himself, played a big part in the encouragement that led to
Israel first picking up an instrument at age 6.
Early Musical Influence
After years of listening to both his mother and his brother, in addition
to his uncle, playing the ukulele, Israel first took to the stage in
1970 to perform with his brother Skippy and cousin Allen Thornton.
It wasn't long before a young Israel and Skippy started taking much more
seriously and later on in that year they formed the Makaha sons of
Ni'hau with Louis "moon" Kauakahi, Sam Gray and Jerome Koko. The
formation of this band was to herald the entrance of Kamakawiwo'ole into
the world of professional music and they went on to record 5 studio
albums together before Skippy's sudden death in 1982 following a heart
That same year Israel married his lifelong love Marlene and later on
that year their daughter Ceslie-ann wehi was born to the newlyweds.
Looking back on his life many believe this year to be a turning point in
his musical career as much as his personal life. The Makaha sons of
Ni'hau continued to perform and record together although emphases had
shifted to family life.
A great deal of the Makaha sons' music took influence from past Hawaiian
musical greats whom Israel had grown up listening to. The likes of Peter
Moon, Palani Vaughn and Don Ho's styles feature heavily on their style,
tone and lyrics. These key inputs into his life carried on through to
his solo career as Kamakawiwo'ole redefined what was considered popular
Hawaiian music and created a style of his own.
In 1990 a determined and still strongly musically passionate Israel
concluded work on his first solo album and Ka'ano'i was released on The
Mountain Apple Company.
Although not common knowledge, this album which later in the year went
on to win the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) contemporary album
of the year, takes his own middle name as the title.
Perhaps his most internationally acclaimed song was featured on this
album, the compilation of "Somewhere over the rainbow" and "What a
It was well known through both the music of the Makaha sons of Ni'hau
and Israel himself that he was a proud Hawaiian nationalist and much of
the music produced held sentiment of Hawaiian heritage, pride and
independence. Hawaii 78 is perhaps the most notable example of this
where amongst many other references, the national motto of Hawaii "Ua
Mau ke Ea o ka ??ina i ka Pono" is repeated several times. It translates
loosely to "the land's life is perpetuated righteously".
Before Israel finally committed himself fully to his individual career
he went back and made a final album with the Makaha sons in 1991.
Ho'oluana, the last group album, remains their best selling CD to this
day, a success that can be attributed to the HARA award for Ka'ano'i the
previous year. Nevertheless, this son of Hawaii was set on his solo path
now and for the next 6 years, until his death in 1997 Kamakawiwo'ole
shared and spread his love for his nation and its music throughout
Hawaii and the world. He received several other HARA Awards including
Entertainer of the year in 1994 and Vocalist of the year in 1997.
The Legend lives on
His final award he was unable to receive in person but instead watched
the ceremony from the hospital in which he was being treated at the
time. Unfortunately there was to be no recovery from this time in care
and on June 26th 1997 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole passed away at the age of
only 38. He had spent much of his life fighting obesity and a
respiratory disorder along with other related diseases finally took
Few people have held the hearts of the people of Hawaii like this great
man and this was reflected in his death. His coffin was laid in state at
the state capital building, an honour that had only been delivered twice
before, never before to a non-governmental official.
A reported 10,000 people attended his funeral on July 2nd. After his
cremation thousands of people lined the shores of the Pacific to watch
his ashes being scattered into the ocean. The state continued to honor
the man and the legend when on July 10th the Hawaiian flag was flown at
There is no greater marker of a person's influence on their world than
to see their message and philosophy continue after their death.
As the twenty first century dawned there seemed to be no slowing down in
popularity of Israel's music and in fact the growth of the internet
sparked a revival in new fans and followers all around the world. Some
say that his pure heart and peaceful approach to life is the biggest
reason for his continued success whereas others just give credit to the
smooth sounds of his unique voice and rhythmic music.
Whatever the reason, that people continue to follow Israel
Kamakawiwo'ole, and continue to release his music, there's no doubt that
his impact on Hawaii and the world is as strong now as it ever was - and
looks set to continue for a long time to come.
Thank you for
Reading The LargeInCharge Feature
Cover Model Interview
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
My name is Kellie Lily Waller
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your
I'm from Dover, UK and I have lived here all my life
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about
yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status,
I am 22 years old, I'm 5'8" and a dress size 18-20, I am a
white British lady who is engaged to my boyfriend of 2 years
and I am yet to have children.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain
weight later in life?
my weight gained when i was about 15 as soon as puberty
kicked in and i never felt the need to lose it. I feel quite
lucky in the fact that i have always loved my curves.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the
LargeInCharge model search?
I joined the model search because I'm a strong believer that
size 8 models do not represent the women of this day and
age, there is nothing worse for me than looking through a
catalogue and seeing skinny people modeling the clothes
because you are going to have no clue as to whether that
dress/top/trousers are going to fit you right of flatter you
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be
accepted by others at your size?
I always get haters on my facebook page having a go at me
for being fat, do they think I'm stupid? i know Iím fat stop
pointing it out.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find it a hard to accept yourself
as a Plus Sized Person?
I know it sounds a bit of a clichť however I love every
curve! Donít get me wrong Iím only human and i do have 1 or
2 things I hate but itís not my weight!
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family
My mum is a fairly big lady too and over the years i have
watched her yoyo diet and i personally feel that she really
appreciates the fact that i donít feel the need to do that
and i wish more than anything that she didnít feel the need
to do it
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in
The dream of maybe one day in the future having a size 14-16
model hitting the runway and showing those skinny girls how
itís done, and hopefully 1 day seeing a woman with a bit of
meat on her in the magazines so I can relate and decide
whether i like a dress/top properly!
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?
I work as a crew member for McDonalds
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I needed a job, this is not the job i aspire to be in hahaha
but my time will come when i find a new one
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
Luckily working at a fast food joint Iím surrounded by a
fair share of plus sized colleagues so itís all 2nd nature
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take
place for Large People in the work force?
NothingÖ We are not disabled itís not an illness being large
so why should anything change? We should all be getting
along just fine, right?
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion
industry for big sized clothing?
I donít personally think thereís a lot out there but that
maybe just in the UK, and i think its blooming cheeky the
way some shops think they can charge you more money for
being a bigger size ...
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the
a lack of prejudice, i hate seeing shops like H&M and River
Island only going up to a size 16 but having a 'plus size
section' that does not even go up many more sizes. I think
they should just put those extra sizes on the rail and sod
all of the special plus size sections.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if
plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
At 1st there would undoubtedly be a lot of hate but to be
honest there always is when something new happens, some
people donít like change, but they will get used to it.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your
www.bonprix.co.uk, www.simpybe.co.uk, new look, peacocks and
primark (when it fits)
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
Smile as much as you can so that when your older your
wrinkles are in the right place :)
LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a
successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
Most photographers will expect you to be able to move so as soon as that
camera clicks find your next pose and practice facial expressions in the
mirror so when the photographer asks for a certain expression you can
pull it out of the bag for him/her.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at
size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
Very little changes, but i believe we are taking baby steps in the right
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from
now with size acceptance?
Again not many 5 years isnít a very long time however i expect to see
more of a substantial change to now and hopefully not going backwards.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you face discrimination in your daily life as a
Plus Sized Person?
When i am out on the streets doing some shopping or whatever I
personally donít feel discriminated against its the internet I have a
problem with because people always see it as a loophole to say what they
are really thinking and get away with it whereas if I saw them on the
street they wouldnít have the balls to say it.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other
I want to help pave the way and help wake people up to the concept of
'just because Iím bigger than you does not mean i am unfit and lazy' and
'just because Iím bigger than you does not make me any less of a model'.
I am a qualified pole dancer so itís not as if Iím unfit and Iím
certainly not lazy and it winds me up that people can be so shallow to
see my size and assume Iím lazy
LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I have been on the cover and been featured in a few magazines to promote
positive plus size body image and i have a growing fan base on facebook.
LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or
Awards? What was the experience like?
So far i have not felt the need to enter and pageants, i have however
won a few facebook based contests.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in your
life that made you feel good about your size.
The day my partner proposed to me, it made me realize that it does not
matter 1 bit about your size itís the confidence you have in yourself
that gets you places and knowing that my partner does not care what size
i am i will always be me
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that keeps you going?
My nanny, although sheís no longer physically here she is always in my
heart and when i was younger I used to be a proper nannyís girl and she
always believed in me she still inspires me to this day.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who want to model?
DO IT! you have got it in you and when you see the pictures come back
from the photographer it gives you an enormous ego boost haha it really
can help confidence issues or if you have already got the confidence it
a big slap around the face to anyone that doubted you.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?
Definitely dawn french ... she so pretty AND hilarious!
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.
It was Monday April
27th 2009 when my so called stubborn big mouth saved my life.
Saturday April 25th I arrived at the Emergency Room in so much
pain I wanted to die. Death would have been relief after
eleven hours or horrible pain.
Since eight am that morning I had pain in the center of my chest
leading under my ribs. I thought at first it was gas and
tried all the normal things people would do to relieve it.
Alka-Seltzer's, Gas X, Maalox, Hot Tea, Ginger ale,
My mother and good friend both rubbed my back and ribs trying to
release the gas I believed was trapped. I had to get to
the hospital while I could still walk and get into the
ambulance. 911 was called and very soon I was on my way.
At the Emergency Room I went through Doctor's looking at me as
though I was RETARDED when I told them I have no health
problems. I repeated to at least 20 people that I DID NOT
have, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure...
etc etc etc. Blood tests confirmed all of this to their
amazement, I mean how could a big ole fat woman like me
not have ONE HEALTH PROBLEM? It was a mystery. This
prejudice almost cost me my life as you will see.
After many tests that came out completely normal, EKG,
Sonograms to my groin to detect blood clots, Chest x rays
for my lungs, Finally they did a sonogram to the area that
hurt! They found the small tube from the gallbladder to my
stomach was dilated and a stomach specialist was called in.
The Stomach Specialist told me he didn't believe that it was my
gallbladder, he said there is something going on in your
stomach and we have to check, it could be an ulcer.
Since the Hospital I was in didn't have a large enough Cat Scan
Machine, I would have to have a camera enter my body
through my mouth and go down into my stomach. And I would
have to be put to sleep to do it. I was admitted early
Sunday Morning on the 26th and finally after three morphine
shots the pain began to subside.
Heparin shots to my upper arms
I spent Sunday on a liquid diet waiting for my procedure on
Monday. My chest was very sore and I felt so tired,
Again more blood was taken and I was being given IV antibiotics
and heparin shots (a blood thinner) I am not sure why but I was
told it is mandatory. They stabbed my arms so viciously
trying to get through my fat (I ASSUME) that I was left with
knots and bruises on my upper arms.
Monday morning I had to face anesthesia and I was nervous about
it. But I cant complain about the camera procedure that
went completely well it is what happen afterward that almost
cost me my life. Many doctors consulted with me and I was
told that my stomach itself was inflamed and making to much
acid. That was the root of the problem and my pain.
I was then put on medication to control stomach acid.
Here is where the big mouth I have saved me. Monday
afternoon they are preparing me to leave the hospital as long as
I can keep a meal down. Final blood had to be drawn to
double check everything and while I wasn't happy about it I let
them take it. They came back to me saying that my Sugar
level was sky high...
What do you mean...
How high? I asked
Why didn't you say
your Diabetic? the woman who took my blood asked.
I'm not Diabetic...
I don't have high sugar. I said matter of factly.
Well with your
weight you know....
I cut her off
immediately and said. Listen I know I am not
Diabetic... I have a doctor I go to and have never been
pronounced with Diabetes. I just went to her last month,
and my tests are clear! For the past two days I have been
getting blood tests and they are all normal so don't tell me
that now I have suddenly become Diabetic!
It could be because
of the procedure, your weight, You cannot leave
until your Sugar is normal so we have to medicate you and bring
NO... Take it
again! Take my blood again! I said.
I refused the medication and put my foot down to have my blood
taken again. The woman who took my blood then re-entered
and asked me.
Where did I take
your blood from? Your right it doesn't make sense
that your sugar is suddenly high.
I then showed my arm to her and the vein she removed the blood
OH I HAVE TO TAKE
YOUR BLOOD AGAIN!!! she exclaimed. You have a I.V.
in that arm and that could make the test inaccurate. I
will be right back to take your blood again!
Bruises from having
my blood taken improperly three collapsed veins
she poked me to no avail three times, making me bleed all over
my gown, and left me horrible bruises she got another person to
come take my blood and once it was tested I got a clean bill of
health with out HIGH SUGAR!!! With out that medication
they were so ready to pump into my body.
It wasn't until I got home and the next day that I told my
brother about it did he say. They could have killed you!.
If they would have put that medication into you, you would have
gone into a Diabetic Coma and quite possibly have died.
If anyone would have found out that she took blood out of that
vein she would have lost her job. And of course
since I am a big fat woman it would have been easy for them to
cover it up.
Right now I could be in a freezer somewhere pronounced with
Diabetes instead of the true reason! DEATH BY HOSPITAL!!!
The automatic assumption that I was a diabetic no matter of my
records and medical history is terrible. The fact that
many in the medical field believe that every person of size must
have a health problem is horrific. It seems as though they
were waiting for one test to come out badly so they have a
reason to preach gastric bypass and pump medicine into my body
to try and set me right! Show me how wrong I am about not
having health problems. But my big mouth and persistent
claims made them think it through when they should have thought
it through from the beginning. Maybe they should have
people who obviously know how to take blood properly.
After taking my blood from the wrong arm and then making three
veins on the other arm collapse I would say she needs to get
recertified. At least she listened to my claims of course
they were done with a loud determined voice that demands
Could this have happened to anyone? Yes it could have...
But I believe that those taking care of me leaned more toward
something wrong with me. Than something wrong with them,
because in their eyes I am a Big Fat Woman one step away from a
medical nightmare! All people (especially Plus Sized)
have to be our own advocates. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER,
Have a regular doctor and know your what your blood tests mean.
Have a medical history on record and have physicals. Ask
questions, demand retesting if necessary, I AM SCARED TO DEATH
OF NEEDLES but that didn't stop me from getting them to take my
blood again. Doctor's, Nurses and other Patient Care
Service Workers have a sense of authority because they are
supposed to be dedicated to your health and well being.
But many of them are not qualified because they have prejudices
that make them point toward you first instead of assessing the
situation properly. We also listen to them because of that
Authority. If I would have listened to them before myself,
and let them medicate me. I probably would not be writing
this article today.
is your responsibility, with out knowledge you cant make a
proper decision and fight for your rights. It is your
Life... Cherish it.
With Love Raqui
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's 7-9
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his
writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to
writing Xander cookís 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
A Gun to Your Head
by Xander The Food Dude
There are times in your life when frankly, you're just not
motivated to complete anything.You don't want to do anything because nothing seems
Survival from day to day is simply the best you can achieve.In those down times, you really go down into levels
where the brain loses what little focus it has and the most
involved you want to be is likened to a vegetable in front
of the television before eventually going to sleep from
It's at times like these when our humanity is most
questioned because all we feel is dead inside.There are no hopes, no dreams, no aspirations, other
than to just hold on for another day, if we were to die then
that would be alright, because at least the fighting for
survival would be over.
I've thought that way a lot in the last few months.I have resigned my self on various occasions that the
fight is too much for me and I would welcome death.Let me clarify, I am no suicidal.I don't want to hurry myself of this mortal coil; I
can't seem to get in mind what would be so bad.Survival is too hard.
I have recently read and article that recounts a scene from
"Fight Club" where Brad Pitts character holds a gun to a
clerks head finding our what a terrible basic life the
Pitts character asks the clerk, "What was your dreamĒ?Eventually the clerk confesses that he wanted to be a
Pitt's character then says, "I know who you are and where
you aren't in the process of becoming a veterinarian in six
week, you'll be dead."He then tells the clerk to run home.No matter how hard we try, sometimes the element of
change we seek can only be achieved when a gun is put at our
the example it was literal, but I'm thinking more
An example of this is a man who needs to change his
lifestyle, only to finally change it after the second or
third heart attack.Change is thought to be all about willpower, but
creating change isnít really about willpower.Willpower works for a while.But eventually, if at the deepest level you associate
more pain to changing than you do pleasure, then the change
is not going to last (even when you know itís whatís good
This is when you need someone to hold a gun to your head.This is a new way to change.
Willpower is old school.Itís a brute force approach that rarely works.The smart way to change is with leverage ó
recognizing your own fallibility and taking an action now
that makes it inevitable that you change in the future.
Buying an alarm clock without a snooze button is a simple
know that when 6 a.m. rolls around, getting up early wonít
seem like nearly as good an idea as it does now.So by taking this action now and making things rough
on your future self, youíre actually helping yourself to
make a better decision when push comes to shove.
When you sign up for a marathon before youíve trained for
it, youíre doing the same thing.Investing money, even just the 100 bucks to register
for the race, changes the game.Now, when you feel like eating a donut instead of
going for your run, all of a sudden itís not quite so easy
to be content in your laziness.Now your money is at stake, as well as the feelings
of guilt and foolishness that we associate with wasting
money.And as a
result, you run.
What about when the action isnít so obvious?
The alarm clock example is easy.But what if itís losing weight thatís your goal?Or any of a mess of other things where thereís no
obvious action you can take now to make success in the
The point it to make the process of change less painful,
than that of not changing.Whether its by good or bad circumstance that we all
need to make large changes in our lives, I wish you all the
best with who, what, where, and when that change must be
of the Month
Amish Breakfast Casserole
As comforting a food as you'll ever have.Make for a family breakfast.It will bring them back to the table again and again and againÖ..
1 pound sliced
1 medium sweet
4 cups frozen
shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups
small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups
shredded Swiss cheese
In a large
skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl,
combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a
greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until set and bubbly.
Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in
communications, promotions and planning.She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while
building businesses and her faith.
Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major
depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from
180 pounds to 360 pounds.She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg
circulation.At the age
of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced
her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her
younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric
launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to
it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is
focused on something new!
Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the
procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over
a decade.Losing the
first 100 pounds was just the bonus!She is now diabetes-free.She has normal blood pressure.The circulation in her legs is normal.She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!The joy that she feels is documented each day in her
syndicated radio show, a brand new weeklyTV show documentary and each month in this article.The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also
stands for "Getting (my life) Back".This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by
the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery
on Feb 28, 2011.This
is now her life!
Celebrate Good Times... COME ON!
with Angie Bee
There was an international holiday that occurred in May.Yep... Mother's Day was celebrated around the world and so
was Memorial Day, but the international holiday that was the most
special to me was my 47th birthday!HALLELUJAH!I
turned one year older and a whole lot stronger and wiser too!
The day began with my phone blowing up from the Facebook
was even a picture of a delicious looking chocolate cake on my
timeline from our illustrious magazine publisher, Raqui.I signed onto GOOGLE and there was a Happy Birthday Cake for
me!Text messages came
in with pictures of cake and ice cream and candy and through it all,
I never felt more in control of my taste buds.There was once a time when just thinking about my birthday
caused me feelings of grief and sadness because I knew that I
wouldn't have my family around me to celebrate.There was a time when the thought of my birthday brought
tears to my eyes.Not
this time!This time,
the celebration began and ended with peace, joy and friendship!
"Ang... what are you doing for your birthday?", Dorie -- one of my
fabulous friends -- called and asked me.She is the one that takes me with her when she shops for
shoes.I marvel at the
fact that she walks so elegantly in 12-inch stilettos! "I don't have
plans yet, Dorie.What
do you have in mind?"
By the end of the day, Dorie had the waiters at Red Lobster singing
Happy Birthday to me while I nibbled at my dessert.THANKS FOR DINNER, Dorie!
My birthday this year helped remind me of how much I have grown and
changed and learned during this past year.I have grown physically because of the weight loss surgery
and the restoration of my health.The diabetes is in remission, the high blood pressure is down
and the sleep apnea is long gone.I've grown to learn new eating habits and health regimens and
I even embrace walking as exercise now that my ankles don't swell
My birthday this year reminded me that my business and ministry have
grown as new clients have come onboard.The radio show ministry has picked up another syndicated
station and is now a morning show from 8am to noon EST.Can you imagine waking up to Holy Hip Hop music and MY VOICE
first thing in the morning?Even the radio show was cranking out the birthday song by
Canton Jones on the show during the celebration!The show has grown to include so much more fun and excitement
each and every day because I feel my joy returning; I see my
strength coming back: once again, I am IN CHARGE!
Next month the traveling will begin and I am ready for it, Back to
Detroit for a visit with family, and my new baby niece.Then, off to Boise Idaho with the tour.Maryland, Jamaica, New York and Nigeria all want the tour to
come to them, and at each tour stop I will share my faith, I will
speak about the depression that threatened by life three times and I
will marvel at how God has blessed me to have gastric bypass
surgery.I will show
the before and after pictures and I will talk about losing over 150
pounds this past year.
I will share with audiences how food no longer manages my life and
how my life is in control now as a result of this surgery.There were three different types of weight-loss surgery that
I was introduced to originally and I chose the most dramatic and
aggressive form of surgery:the Roux-n-Y gastric bypass procedure.I remember the surgeon's voice when he would tell us "this
surgery is only a tool; YOU must take control of your life and
youíre eating and health habits in order for this to work.You must accept this lifestyle change as a permanent one and
continue on with your life and the improvement in your health!"Dr. Kim's words radiated in my head, as they sang Happy
Birthday to me.His
words are a reminder that my life is in my hands and the control is
really mine!I can
control my eating, I can improve my own health and I can continue to
be a support system for my family without being a burden to them.
Happy Birthday to me and all the rest of the Mother's that embrace
the emerald birthstone like I do.Celebrate your life and rejoice in what God has planned for
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
Stop the Pain Teen Summit
written by Tracy Locker
The 405 freeway traffic was light that Saturday morning as NAAFA-LA
chapter members approached the 210,000 square foot West Hall, of the
Los Angeles Convention Center on our way to the Teen Summit. We
carpooled and our fearless driver Julianne made her very own path
through the massive parking structure.
Kandee Lewis, the dynamic woman behind
The Positive Results
organized the ď2nd Annual
Stop the Pain Teen Summit on Dating Violence and Bully Prevention.Ē
PRC was started in 1992 by an LAPD officer, Tony Newsom, who
developed mentoring, literacy, dating violence, and abuse programs
The Teen Summit was to evoke an anti-bullying agenda and did so in a
pro-active and supportive manner. We met hundreds of teens from
various group homes and faith-oriented support groups. There were
speakers and local representatives who motivated, inspired, and
offered their personal service to these warm, well-mannered and
very-bright kids from primarily economically depressed areas in and
around Los Angeles.
We were able to distribute NAAFAís
Fact Sheet on Bullying
(which includes a link to a free online copy of
NAAFAísChild Advocacy Toolkit)
to the teachers, parents, and other adults who attended. At our
exhibit table, NAAFA-LA gave away wristbands inscribed with ďLove
Your BodyĒ and provided a Yay! Scale for everybody to step on that
displayed only positive body-related feedback.
NAAFA-LAís Jeanette DePatie (www.thefatchick.com)
led the kids in an art project where they drew pictures representing
their positive and negative inner voices to raise their awareness of
the power of self-talk by giving them a visual tool. She also led
the youth in a body-celebrating dance party.
Among others, some of the workshop presenters were:
100 Young Black Men of Los
Angeles, who ran a workshop on staying in school, Captain Brent
Burton of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who spoke on ďWhat
It Means to be a Man.Ē There were workshops for young ladies on
self-esteem and self-defense and workshops for all the youth to
protect them regarding texting issues and social media. Also present
were the folks from;ĒSIERF,Ē or the:
Sensory Integration Education
Research Foundation (www.sierf.org);
who provided literature on sensory processing disorders affecting
many of todayís youth.
NAAFA-LA had a strong presence: While Jeanette led workshops, Anita
Garcia, Julianne Wotasik, Terry Higginbotham, and I spent most of
the event interacting with kids, parents, school administrators, and
teachers, introducing them to NAAFA and the fight against size
discrimination. NAAFAís ďEnd Bullying Now!Ē Campaign T-Shirts were
generously provided by BIG DOG Sportswear (www.BIGDOGS.com)
for the dayís event.
As a result of NAAFA-LAís active role, relationships with teachers
and school faculty were formed such that NAAFA-LAís help was
requested for classroom lectures and activities within L.A. County
in the near future! NAAFA provided resources for the youth and
touched many young lives that day. So in addition to working to end
bullying, this awesome event was about acceptance, education,
communities working with youth, and most importantly: personal
acceptance and empowerment.
NAAFA is pleased to announce that we will return to the San
Francisco Bay Area for our 2012 fund-raising convention.We have worked hard to keep the cost of this convention down
and to move quickly in making our convention package available in
time for you to give or receive a convention package for the
NAAFA is once again offering a Early Bird Special price is $199.00
from January 1 through May 31, 2012.Beginning June 1, 2012, full convention price will be
The 2012 NAAFA Convention Package would make a great holiday gift
for you, your family and all your friends!Canít afford a convention package?Why not give a one year contributing NAAFA membership for
We encourage you to register for the NAAFA convention package today
and to fully participate in this life-changing event.We made it easy for you to register for the convention as
well as the hotel through our website at www.naafa.org.Watch our website for more exciting details as they become
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human 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.
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
Spring is here...summer is right around the corner and if
you're planning a spring or summer wedding it's not too late
to order that perfectly gorgeous wedding dress!Itís nothing like a perfect June wedding. So, find
the perfect dress to match who you are.
Product of the Month
Recommended by: Raqui
Name of Product: Wrap With Us Wedding Products
Type of Product: Wedding
Favors, Accessories and gifts for all occsaions
Description: 15% off sale
for a limited time. An all inclusive wedding accessory
store (online) with lots of options, including themes and
religious items. They also have items for Baby
Showers, Sweet 16, Bridal Shower, Religious occasions
(different denominations) and a section that includes OTHER
special occasions such as Birthday, Graduation, Sweet 15 "Quincinearea"
(Spanish version of Sweet 16) and Wedding Anniversary
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
with Pat Llewellyn
Depression clouds your vision & there are times when you feel
like there is no hope. That may seem strange or unreal to
someone who has never had to deal with this, but it is true.
Not everyone who has this debilitating illness deals with it in
the same way. Some will be in denial and not seek treatment.
Some will hide their illness from family & friends. I'm sure
you've met those people and not even known it. They become a
master at playing a role. There are others who seek treatment
and learn to share their feelings & talk about their illness.
There are some that decide to end their lives. Many people
believe that suicide is selfish & cowardly, but to the person
contemplating it, they truly believe this is the only solution.
They believe that they are ending the suffering of those around
them or that no one will miss them. It is an act of desperation.
Recently someone I know decided to take their life. We weren't
close. I had met him at a few bashes, but we were very different
people. His death has affected me much more than I thought. It
may be because I understand the pain he was going through or
that we had many mutual friends & they shared their dismay and
shock on Facebook.
Please know that if you are feeling that there is no way out,
suicide is not the answer. Help is available. Go to your doctor,
a hospital or call a local suicide prevention line. Things can
In many ways I feel lucky. I live in a country where we have
universal health care & I can get an appointment with my doctor
the same day I call. I have a good drug plan through my work & I
have disability insurance that allows me to be off work while I
try & recover.
Most of all I have some amazing people in my life. Without their
love and support I'd be lost. The days I'm feeling low I hold on
to this knowledge & it helps me make it through the day.
Thank you to everyone who has & is supporting me through my
illness. It means the world to me to have you in my life.
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 Sugaís 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
Relax, Relate, Release
with Ms Suga
Last night I
cried. No major reason for it I just did. I'm no psychologist
(especially since I failed PSY101 once and barely passed it the
second time around) but I personally feel that every once in a while
a good cry helps cleanse the soul.
Have you ever
watched a show from the 90s called
A Different World? It was
a spin off from The Cosby
Show and one of my all-time favorite TV series from my
childhood. (Side note: If you ever need to buy Ms. Suga a gift
A Different World on DVD
is a great idea hint hint) Anywho, there's an episode where Whitley
Gilbert goes to see a psychiatrist (played by Debbie Allen) who
tells her that her problem in life is she needs to learn how to
Relax Relate and Release. Then they go into this dramatization of a
"clever" way for her to remember these three steps. Itís actually
very funny and if you know any of Debbie Allenís work you know she
can really let go and have fun.
Last month we talked
about my ďSUGGESTIONSĒ
on how to be happy and healthy one step at a time.
(I cannot stress enough that those are things that work for me and
I'm just sharing my own personal experiences.If they work for you then keep on doing what youíre doing and
if not then no harm no foulÖright?) A few small steps towards
wonderful is better than no movement towards mundane.
So here is another ďSUGGESTIONĒ: learn how to relax relate and
release. Life can and will be so much better and so much more
peaceful if you minimize the stress in your life.
Now once again I AM
NOT A PSYCHIATRIST in any way shape or form, I'm just giving my
opinion as far as my experience.
There are hundreds of
methods of relaxation; meditation, massages, reading, screaming,
exercising, stress balls, yoga etc. take your pick.
Ever thought you had
the worst luck in the world and then turned around and met someone
that really was worse off than you were? Well it happens. Shit
happens and then you die. Know that someone out there knows exactly
how you feel, they survived and so will you.
Let it go! Plain and
simple if it ain't broke don't fix it! If you can't fix it leave it
alone! Like the old folks used to say "no use crying over spoiled
Last night I cried and
damn-it it felt good! I think you should try it sometime. Until we
meet again. I hope I've helped you to help yourself and hopefully
you can help somebody else.
Gabriela Falarz lives in Toronto, Canada.
She has been up and down the scale for most of her life (mostly up),
and is proud to say that she loves herself no matter what her size,
although it has definitely been an evolution.
She blogs about size acceptance in her blog,
Celebreight Yourself (www.celebreightyourself.blogspot.com).Gabriela discovered Large in Charge Radio about a year ago
and has been hooked ever since. She is thrilled to be writing for
Large in Charge and to be part of an organization that helps all
large people realize how beautiful, special, and amazing they are.
The Present Moment
with Gabriela Falarz
How much time have you spent either thinking about the past, or
planning for the future? Most of us spend our lives immersed in one
or the other, some of us flip back and forth Ö but how many of us
actually live IN the present moment?
I have to admit, living in the present moment is a concept that was
totally alien to me until I read Eckhart Tolleís amazing book, ďThe
Power of NowĒ. I either spent so much time ruminating about the past
Ė wondering WHAT I could have done to make a situation turn out the
way I wanted, wondering WHY it didnít work out the way I wanted, and
remembering how awful it felt WHEN it didnít work out the way I
wanted. Or, I would focus on the future. I would think things like:
When I lose the weight, my life will be the way I want it. Or, When
I meet the right guy, I will finally be happy. I would spend my time
fixated on how to make those things happen, always chasing the
finish line, usually before I even crossed it.
Living in the past or the future is impossible, because neither is a
reality. The past is already gone. Whatever happened there is done
and cannot be changed. The future is just as unreal, because it
hasnít arrived yet. Doesnít it make sense to live in the PRESENT,
where you actually have awareness and some semblance of control over
It is definitely an acquired skill, living in the present. Usually,
we convince ourselves that the present isnít where we want to be.
Weíre not satisfied with the way things are. We want to lose weight,
be with the right partner, have the right job, live in our perfect
dream house. If we would just take the time to quiet our minds, and
breathe, and appreciateÖ your perspective changes. You can only live
fully when you live in the present. You start to realize that every
moment in your life has led to you to where you are RIGHT NOW.As one of my favorite teachers, Dr. David Viscott once said,
you are the sum total of everything that has happened in your life,
up to this moment. Appreciate it. Breathe it in. Donít push it out
the door to hurry it along. LIVE every second.
When you start divvying up your attention to the past or the
present, you are literally ďnot thereĒ. You cannot give your full
attention to possible graces and possible opportunities until you
look around and fully recognize WHERE you are.
One of my favorite ways to inhabit the present moment is to go
walking in my favorite park. Weather permitting, I go walking there
every day, and when Iím there, amid all the nature and solitude, I
try to feel and notice everything. The birds, the squirrels, and the
flowers arenít preoccupied with the past or the future. Animals are
blessed, in my opinion, without a subconscious mind to cloud or
muddy their awareness. They just LIVE, not stressed or saddened by
the past, or fearful or hopeful for the future.
Take some time to practice appreciating as many moments as you can.
The more you practice, the easier it will get. When youíre alone,
quiet your mind, and pay attention to what your senses are telling
you. When your mind starts poking in, and distracting you, pulling
you away, try to pull it back and steady it.
Itís really important to live in the present. As Erica Jong said,
ďThe moment now is all we ever have.Ē In the course of a life, there
are what seem to be an infinite number of moments. Each moment leads
to the next. Live as many of them as you can, because once gone,
youíll never get them back.
Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in
San Diego County since she's been 18 years old. Kathy
graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in
Finance in 1999.
She has a real estate brokerís license and works as a mortgage
Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly
night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and
San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at
Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by
going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will
make them a happier person and not wait til they are at the perfect
size to start living their life to the fullest.
Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living
productively on their own.In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing,
modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.
Dating the NICE guy and can a guy be just too nice?
with Kathy Hernandez
I know a lot of women who read the title of this article are nodding
their head up and down and saying yes a guy can be too nice!I know that just sounds really bad to say that someone can be
too nice but unfortunately it's true.The guys who are reading this are thinking how can a guy be
too nice?Don't women
want us to be nice to them all the time?
Yes, we do want the men in our lives to be nice to us all the time
and not just when we are naked in bed with them but there is a thin
line that you shouldn't cross and be Mr Too Nice.
The nice guy will buy us gifts all the time without having a special
occasion and it's cute in the beginning of a dating relationship but
it starts to feel like they are trying to buy your affection when
the gift giving is a daily event.The nice guy tends to call and text far too much throughout
the day which gets annoying after a while, don't get me wrong most
women love attention but when you feel like his ever thought is
about you and he doesn't have any other thoughts than life can get
boring very quickly.
The nice guy wants you to be happy all the time and lets you pick
the movies, the restaurants you dine at, the activities that you
want to do and when you ask him what he would like to do he answers
with whatever you want to do honey.We want a guy who can plan an evening without asking us every
step of the way what we would like to do and being in a relationship
is a two way street so we want to do things with you that you love
nice guy won't tell you how he's really feeling because he's afraid
it might cause a fight or hurt your feelings, but how are we going
to get to know the real you if you don't tell us how you really feel
I like when a guy is assertive, confident and spontaneous and that's
not usually the nice guy because he's too concerned with making sure
he doesn't do anything to upset you or do anything outside of the
box.It takes so
much more time to get to know the nice guy because he's trying so
hard to have the illusion of being the perfect guy without any flaws
that by the time we get past him being comfortable in being himself
around us we might have lost interest.
A nice guy can be very fun and stimulating but he has to show that
side of himself so we don't get bored and move on to someone who
stimulates us more intellectually, humorously and sexually.The nice guy also seems to wait longer than others to make
the first move to kiss us and then we think that he isn't interested
in us as women but only as a friend and once you put the Nice Guy in
the Friend Box it's REALLY hard to crawl out of that box and into
the Potential Lover and Relationship Box once we have
psychologically put you in our heads as our friend only.
What about sex with the nice guy is it as good as with the bad boy
type?You can be
a nice guy and be great in bed but you need to have the mindset that
we are attracted to you and we want the romance of making love
combined with hot and steamy sex.
I've also found that the nice guy is a door mat for many women who
have figured out the nice guy will buy them gifts, take them to
dinner and do whatever they ask.Do NOT be a door mat to anyone and know your worth when
never could understand why men would spend so much money on first
dates with women just to impress them and think if they spend enough
money they will have a better chance of getting a second date with
These are the women that you don't want to date because they will be
around until your money runs out or until they find a man with more
the things that we love that the nice guy does for us?We love them holding our hands in private or in public,
opening the door of the car or a restaurant door, calling us to see
how our day was and truly listening.Letting us do nice things for them like cooking them a nice
dinner, giving them a massage or rubbing their feet after a long
I personally enjoy giving more than I like receiving when I'm in a
relationship because I like seeing the person I love happy.A nice guy doesn't have to finish last but he does need to
put his best foot forward and learn that he needs to be himself and
know that we will love and respect him when he shows us exactly who
he is which is the good with the bad.
Celebrating almost 2 decades as a Graphic Designer/Published
Illustrator, Jean Nerestant Jr (Jness) got his start as a graphic
artist in 1994, Still working as a graphic designer by day/ Jness
devotes time to his hip hop Culture, comic book art and Plus
TRAPPED BY A MAN
To witness the beauty of a person completely is a special thing; any
passer-by can see the outer beauty. But for that person to trust you
enough to share the beauty they have inside is a privilege. In the
hands of the right person itís a great situation, but some people
see a free beautiful thing as something that can be controlled. I
recently sat down with my long time friend Maritza Ė at the edge of
my seat I listened as she shared her story with me.
Maritza is a beautiful full-figured girl from Panama. She met James
while they were in college. He had a great sense of humor, and
displayed a loving protective spirit. This quality was something
that was missing from Maritzaís life. So eventually the two became
an item. Maritza excelled in her studies but struggled in the area
of finance. Her parents didnít teach her much in that respect,
eventually she found herself in need of a place to stay. Pride
prevented her from letting her parents know she was having these
issues. Being the provisional type of man that he was James offered
to have her move in with his family. The home he grew up in wasnít
far from the campus, and he said his parents would be ok with it.
She moved into his home and stayed in his room (the attic).
Everything seemed fine at first until it became obvious that Jamesí
family was not ok with her living there. Gradually James started to
complain about her weight, and started making suggestions of how she
could loose weight. He encouraged her to go hiking and bike riding
even though she didnít enjoy doing these things. She did what he
asked to keep the peace. James would say things that were very
hurtful when he didnít get his way. Maritza honestly felt like she
would be living on the street if she crossed him.
His family was belligerent when it came to her. They called her fat
and told her she was eating them out of house and home. She wasnít a
big eater at all. They just couldnít stand the sight of her, much
less having her eat in their presence. She had to eat in the attic.
James put a small fridge and wooden footlocker where food could be
kept for her. One day she came home after a long day of classes. She
went upstairs and decided to eat something only to find a padlock on
the footlocker. James had decided that she needed to loose weight
and he was going to assist her by locking the food up. Maritza lived
under these conditions for 4 years, until she was able to get on her
own two feet and kiss this toxic relationship goodbye.
I encourage anyone reading this article to look closely at the
people in your lives. If they are not for you they are against you.
Sometimes the cards we were dealt cause us to stay in a situation,
but know that you are in that situation only for a season, and that
your troubles wonĎt last always. There will be an inevitable out for
you. Itís just a matter of time. Donít loose sight of the fact that
you will get out. No one has the right to control you or dictate
what you will and wonít do. Itís your life to live, so stay free,