LargeInCharge Magazine -  10 Year Anniversary!

 Issue#121 - April 2014

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.



Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


The Big GB - Angie Bee

Getting my Life Back after Gastric Bypass


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


Foodie in You ~ Lucia Roth 


The Observer - Jness 


Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas 


The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen 


Thinking Big - David Edmondson 


The Sacred Fat - Freakie


LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!


LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!


Catching up with Dennis Wilson
of Amish Crafted Furniture!
Size Friendly made for the Bigger Fram


LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?

By: Raqui


Find Amish Crafted on Faceook:  CLICK HERE to see all the wonderful products and Furniture. Stay updated as to when and where to meet Dennis and which events you can try out the Plus Sized Line of Furniture

I met Dennis the Summer of 2008, when I attended my first Vegas Bash.  It was my first time in Vegas and at the Bash.  I was conduting mini interviews through out the week with my small digital camera. (Go to: www.youtube.com/LargeInChargeTV to see videos from the event) 

While I had heard of Dennis and the Furniture he sells. Thus Amish Crafted was born when Dennis was able to connect with some Amish Furniture makers.  Working together with the Amish Crafters, Dennis has been able to supply many types of furniture, especially what I am most interested in, their plus sized furniture line.

Large Sized Glider 34 inches between the arms - The Glider we Raffled off. - modeled by Raqui

I have seen this line expand and get large through the years.  I truly love the craftmanship of the furniture having touched, sat in and tried out almost all the items, which includes bed, tables, chairs, sofas, dressers etc. for every room of your home.  I have gotten to know Dennis on a personal level he not only is a wonderful person, but he has become a friend.  Through the years at the many bashes we have attended,  I have tried out many of his indoor and out door furniture including the gliding chairs.  We were able to raffle off a wonderful Glider through LargeInCharge one year, and it was given to a wonderful woman who was very happy with the glider.

Size Friendly Outdoor Chaise Lounger (Reclined) - Modeled by Raqui

I myself have invested in a custom chair to my height and width. I have spent 5 times over buying and replacing chairs which never were comfortable, either to low, to narrow or just not strong enough.  With my Amish Chair I know it is a piece to stand the test of time.  I plan on furnishing my home with many pieces from Amish Crafted, I can personally say you will want to buy from this company, now that they have payment plans it makes it so much easier to invest in a few good pieces that will last.


Amish Crafted Furniture - VEGAS BASH 2008 - Check out the Video



Check out the Orginal Features (Amish Crafted had a Special two month feature)

by clicking the covers below.

Issue #58 - January 2009

Issue #59 - February 2009


LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

Dennis Wilson, I am the co-owner of Amish Crafted Furniture LLC and Size Friendly Furniture by Amish Crafted Furniture LLC.

LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I presently live in Hays KS. Our Company is located in Lagrange IN. “In the Heart of Indiana Amish Country”

LargeInCharge.com: When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine?

NOTE: if you don’t remember exact date and issue I can look that up for you. Put Please Look Up as the answer.

Please Look Up the answer.

LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?

We were new to the Size Friendly Market and Raqui saw us at the Las Vegas Bash. She was impressed with our product lines as well as our solid and quality construction. She asked and we responded.

LargeInCharge.com: How did you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?

We were very excited to be included in such an important publication within the BBW and BHM Community. It really spread the word about us and assisted us in creating a brand within the community.

LargeInCharge.com: How do you feel now about being included in our special Decade editions?

I am truly honored to be included. It means to me that I have been successful in keeping the promises we made in our Size Friendly Mission Statement. “We at Size Friendly by Amish Crafted Furniture Ltd. provide the highest quality American Made hardwood products. Our products are available in Oak, Cherry, Maple, Hickory, and some in Black Walnut. We believe that people of size deserve fine home furnishings that can enhance their comfort and reflect their style. “

LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your appearance?

My life has remained blessed and I have had the pleasure of being invited to and attending Bashes, Parties, and Conferences all over the Country. I have made many friends and customers plus hundreds of acquaintances. All who have shown me that the Size Friendly Market is alive and well, appreciating the products aimed at them.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you made to advance your career/business?

We are always adding products as requested; we have built many pieces to custom specifications to meet the needs of the customers. We have reached the ability to make almost every item as a size friendly piece, Even pieces not in the catalog for special requirements.

LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?

We began our company in 2004, selling Amish Furniture to the Hospitality industry. We still provide our products in Restaurants, clubs and Casino’s. Our first introduction to the BBW Community was in Chicago at the NAAFA Conference. We hope to continue and expand our Size Friendly Market by keeping in front on the competition and asking and listening to you the final users as you tell us what you want and need.

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about some of the most exciting events/occasions, you/your business have held/participated in.

Our participation include 3 NAAFA Conferences, 8 Las Vegas Bashes, 10+ LBC Halloween and Mardi Gras Events in Chicago, The Dimensions Event in Florida, always looking for new venues to show our products and meet new people.

LargeInCharge.com: Have you been featured in any press, on TV, newspapers etc.

We have been interviewed for pieces in Las Vegas, the Bar and nightclub show and the National Restaurant Suppliers, Also the great video interview with Raqui at our First Las Vegas Bash. (Boy I was young then.)

LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people since your first appearance?

The changes in the acceptance within the mainstream, more and more People of size being on TV, in Movies and not being the joke, but in serious roles. Newscasters, Models, and the recognition that this is an important market to pay attention too, this will increase the availability for easier access to Clothes, Shoes, and of course furnishings.

LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your venture/career flourish?

Stay in touch with your customers. Be available for Service calls and act quickly to make changes if necessary.

LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have learned through the years?

We know the most important thing we can do is listen, then ask for ideas, and be open to opinions, Then making the changes in the product to be more useful.

LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community among the people? Good feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons?

I would say our feedback is very good. There will always be a shipping problem, or a small adjustment needed to be made. The most important part is correcting the problem and making it right.

 LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?

I am inspired by the amazing human spirit, a person’s ability to accept the situation and make it work for them. I see this happen all the time. It is always a blessing to see and sometimes share with those you are acquainted with. I enjoy facebook for that reason.

LargeInCharge.com: Any new ventures/items/products you have planned for the future?

We will always be looking for new designs and products we can make and add to our lines. Sometimes it takes 4-6 months just to get the new stuff right.

LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?

Keep enjoying what I do. I know when you like what you do, your life remains an adventure, constantly learning.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who might be interested in doing something similar?

Research and Product knowledge, Know what you are capable of and stay within your limits.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.

Myself: Honest

Company: FUN


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature



Cover Model of the Month

Jennifer Barreto-Leyva!






Since being a LargeInCharge Cover Model Jennifier has made waves all across Latin American in Magazines, On Tv, Modeling and writing for Online and Print Magazines and much more. Check out her extensive portfolio @ www.facebook.com/jennifer.barreto.leyva

Some of her current titles:

  • Editor at Large for Latinamerica for Skorch Magazine at SKORCH Magazine, Director and Editor-in-Chief at Revista "Belleza XL" and Venezuelan correspondant at Latina Lista

    LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

    Jennifer Barreto-Leyva

    LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?

    From Caracas, Venezuela, currently living here.

    LargeInCharge.com:   When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?

    Issue #66 - September 2009

    LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to apply that first time?

    I was tired to not get chances in the plus industry, tired of the dynamic in the plus size modeling world. I´ve decided to apply one more time, one last time and surprisingly I got the cover!

    LargeInCharge.com:  How did you feel when you appeared as a LargeInCharge Cover Model?

    I felt the most beautiful girl on the planet for a month. I couldn´t believe it! It is an honor to be part of the “Large in charge” cover girls. I´ve got so many compliments and so many positive messages that are hard to forget.

    LargeInCharge.com:  Has your modeling career grown since your appearance?

    Big time, in all matters. I can´t complaint!

    LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and endeavors changed since your appearance? 

    Well I started to get notice much more not only in the plus size world but in Latin-America, which was and still my priority, not only open the market, but helping it grow.

    LargeInCharge.com:  What changes do you see in Plus Sized Modeling?

    Plus models are less afraid to talk and speak their minds, they have now many tools as social networks to find opportunities and keep in touch with their fans. When I started 18 years ago it was a totally different thing.

    LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see for Plus Sized People?

    We have now more places and spaces to talk, but we still have a long road to walk. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves instead of support each other and that's a big mistake we haven't realize yet…

    LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?

    Life itself.  The possibility to have a better and a different day tomorrow, the idea to have and meet good people and lovely places is enough reason to be inspired, no matter how hard your life it is.

    LargeInCharge.com:  Any new modeling tips and tricks to share?

    Be humble, learn from who started before you, never be afraid to ask advice and guidance and never say no to changes, is part of being a model.

    LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?

    I hope to be retired in about 5 years and start coaching. So many wrong people in the Latino plus size industry in the wrong positions, teaching and speaking about something they don't really know. Is a major concern for me.

    For personal life I have a million of dreams, but who knows if any come true?

    LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

    Be realistic, not because you have a pretty face or you are invited to a TV show you are already a model or model material, is hard to say this, but I think is enough of the “I´m a model” trend. Being a model is a serious thing, a lifestyle, you have to earn it with blood, sweat and tears as if you were a singer, lawyer, doctor. Respect is the keyword here.

    LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.




    Thanks for reading about our

    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 and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


         For almost a decade 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, Sweden 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 portfolio visit www.Raqui.com

    Raqui's Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully Speaking! - http://raqui-ism.blogspot.com/

    go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

    Raqui-ism - Make 2014 a Inspirational Year

    Written By: Raqui






    In this world we live in, it can be hard at times to see anything but the horror and insanity around us.  News Reports, Crime Shows, Newspapers, Online Sites and blogs are way more interested in what is sensational and wrong with this world, with out focusing on what is good in this world.  So this year I dedicate my comlumn to all that is inspirational, postive and helpful. 


    Showing Off Your Moves

    Fat Girls cant Dance,  I remember those words when I was young.  I didnt realize I was fat and when I look at pictures of myself back then, I wasnt fat, I was a tall big muscular girl.   I was strong,  I could jump higher, run faster, I was very flexible and with training I would have been a powerful dancer.  Still not accepted on the stage, but to have the freedom to be able to dance, to have been trained and to be guided on a journey toward something I loved to do.  I did get taller and bigger and I made my teachers look small in Elmentary School.  Still a list of all that you cannot do as a amazon type female became the usual.  Still I liked to boogie with the best of them.  Dancing is still something I have fun doing and weight has never stopped me from having fun at a good party.


     I remember watching Fame (the show that started in 1982) as a little girl, thinking that dancers didnt look like me.  Until that day when a big girl blew them away on Fame.  That changed my mind for a second she had more passion than anyone in the show.  She had something to prove, but why did she have to prove somethin?  Because no one would look at her, take her seriously, and respect her as a person who can dance because of her weight.  That was a clear message I took home from the show, and even through she showed them,  I always felt that she shouldnt have to prove that she can dance because she is fat.  She should just be seen as a dancer and prove herself as a dancer not as a fat person.


    Now through Youtube, Facebook and more you see many ameteaur videos of people who love to dance, and many of them are big people, men and women alike.  Bringing old school dance techniques, and bumping them up with some modern music and dance styles.  They are having lots of fun and the cheers and claps from watchers shows the support.  Dance is a way to express yourself and it is rediculous to think that Fat people are not allowed to express themselves through dance, because another person doesn't want to watch them dance.  It is a shame that if a person has joy, feels good, wants to get down, bust a move, and just shake that groove thang.  They should be looked down upon and feel some sort of shame at actually throwing their weight around.  The main response is Ewww... Yuck look at all that Fat moving etc.   Sometimes you get someone who says Oh you wont be fat for long.  As if that is the only reason why dancing is ok for fat people.  Only dance if you plan on using it as  a tool to lose weight.


    Well Darlings challenge yourself to live, love, dance and feel free, no matter what your weight... size... ability is.  Below I have found videos of women who love to dance.  I will also post some links to videos from facebook that have some Large Sized men showing off there moves.  I find them Inspirational because they are showing that size doesnt prevent you from the Joy of Dance.

    Watch the Below Videos

    Woman in Wheelchair shows off her moves - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=645003135559320

    Big man shows how a real man leads a dance with two talented ladies - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=752267284797528

    Whintney Thore

    My Favorite Moments: My Favorite thing about this video is that it is one in a series of this woman (Witney) dancing and showing off her movies.  She has danced on many day time shows and on the news she is making waves by dancing in the streets of NYC. Protoming a NO SHAME out look on life.


    Brazil has Talent

    My Favorite Moments: The video might say Britin but it isnt britin it is Brazil.  I loved seeing our big girl dance with a famous brazilian singer and dance one of the dances she is most knowin for.





    LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 9-11 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.


    Thank you for Reading Raqui-ism

    Please send thoughts and comments to




    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 Bypass Surgery.  Sonya 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 weekly  TV 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!


    "I'm Wearing Pants"

    with Angie Bee

    My daughter called to say hello and to tell me about her day.  She recently turned 21 years old and was calling me while on her way to work.  "Whatcha doing, Mom?" she asked me.  "I'm actually standing in my closet trying to decide which pair of pants I'm going to wear today" was my reply.  "Mom, What did you say you were wearing?" my daughter asked with justifiable shock coming from her voice.  "You heard me right!  I'm wearing pants!"


    My daughter doesn't remember me ever wearing a pair pf pants... ever!  As I mentioned earlier, she is now 21 years old and all she remembers me wearing are dresses and nightgowns.  When I came to her school concerts, I wore a dress with a wide-brimmed hat so that she could find me when she looked out into the audience.  When we went shopping, I wore a dress.  When we went to the movies, I would wear a dress.  I never owned a pair of pants; except the one pair of paints I purchased about a month before I had Gastric Bypass Surgery.  I bought a pair of pants just so I could measure my weight loss after surgery.  


    Have you even seen those pictures of people that had lost so much weight they could stand within one pant leg of an old pair of pants?  Well, I wanted to be THAT person.  I bought the size 26 pants thinking that eventually I could have my daughter take a picture of me standing in one pant leg.  I remember the first time I pulled those pants up over my hips and belly.  They were snug around the middle, and really too long... but they were mine to make a statement with.  My statement?  That I wasn't forever going to be too fat or too incontinent to wear a pair of pants.


    Sometimes we allow someone's opinion of us, or our own self-appearance to dictate what we do everyday or even what clothing we want to wear.  Some religious teachings tell some women not to wear pants or makeup or jewelry; that isn't why I never wore pants.  Sometimes we feel that our butts are too big (or too small) to wear a certain style of pants or certain length of skirt; that wasn't my reason either.  In fact, I wore a couple of "shorter" skirts (hitting just at the middle of my knee rather than below my knee... lol!).


     I remember when my aunt had Gastric Bypass Surgery and she started wearing shorter skirts.  She proudly proclaimed "the more weight you lose, the shorter your skirt should get!".  I remember thinking to myself "why not wear short skirts when you are fatter?  What's wrong with that?".  Is that the way YOU think, or this the way that someone else makes you feel?


    We need to be in charge of our lives so that we can lead the abundant lifestyle that the Bible teaches us about.  We need to have faith that our Lord and Savior will never allow us to go through anything alone; Jesus is always with us through the good and the bad and we need to thank Him for this.  Sometimes we may feel like we are alone; there are times when the depression or the abuse can be unbearable and we alter our lifestyles to accommodate this negativity.  Someone tells us that we are too "big" to wear those skinny pants or they may say "that short skirt makes you look fat".  I know men that like to wear long pants or men that wear saggy pants and lately I have seen more pregnant women wearing clothing that reveals their bulging bellies.  Why do these people choose to wear their clothing in a manner that may make others question their appearance?  Why did I choose to stop wearing pants while raising my daughters?


    When my daughter was born, I weighed somewhere around 180 pounds.  During her years in middle school I started gaining weight and developing an overactive bladder.  Sometimes my bladder would leak and while I was out shopping with my daughters one day I sneezed and completely wet my pants.  I remember leaving our groceries in the cart and asking my girls to walk behind me while we left the store.   That was the last day I wore pants out in public.  


    It became easier for me to wear a dress;  to run in the bathroom and simply squat over the toilet when my bladder urges became strong.  If I sneezed and started to leak, I could just wipe my legs without having to worry about my pants being stained.  The fatter I got, the more I leaked.  Wearing dresses helped me to acclimate.


    Last month, my husband took me shopping for an outfit to wear while we went bike riding together.  Now, understand that I don't have a bike yet, but I DO have my bike riding outfit.  I now have two pairs of sweat pants with matching shirts.  It is such a wonderful feeling: to wear a pair of pants and not worry about bladder leakage!  You see, sometime after I lost the first 100 pounds, I began to go for longer periods of time without having to run to the bathroom.  I am now even dealing with horrible bouts of sneezing from allergies and my undies are just as dry as ever (Whoo HOO!).  I hadn't even realized that my overactive bladder had been in remission until my husband asked me "do you want to try on a pair of pants?".  Well, every excuse came to my mind as to why I wanted to pass on that offer: "My belly is too fat,  my butt is too flat.  I don't even know what size pants to try on!".  Thank goodness my man saw through those excuses and took me shopping anyway.


    Now, my closet has a black pair of pants with pink trim and a pink pair of pants with silver trim.  (I like the color pink).  It's really cool to know that not only did my health improve enough for me to wear them, but my curves improved too!  I look at the "before" picture of me undergoing a medical breathing test in February 2011 while wearing my new pair of pants.  I ran to the bathroom just moments before this picture was taken and I went back to the bathroom just after the 20 minute procedure was finished and I still managed to leak quite a bit on the car ride home.


    Today my husband and I sat and walked on the beach for about an hour while I wore my pink sweatpants. We left the beach and walked through the grocery store for another hour before we headed home.  I only had to stop at the bathroom once while we were out and my pants remained dry.  God is good and I am thrilled!


    Angie BEE


    Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

    The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

    Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show

    Last Week I wanted to Die!




    Thanks for reading

    The Big GB - Getting My Life back after Gastric Bypass

    with Angie Bee

         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


    Superhero Visit

    from: NAAFA.org - by: Peggy Howell



    In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, the OC Chapter decided to start the year off right and plan a special End Bullying Now event for kids in Anaheim. On January 2nd, 2014, students at Walt Disney Elementary school received a special visit from Batman and Batgirl. Our Superhero team spent the afternoon with the kids talking about bullying. The message; anyone can be a superhero if they make the decision not to be a bystander and take action against bullying.  They explained that a superhero’s job is to protect people from bullies and stop the hurt that is caused. They also said that you don’t have to use violence to stop a bully.  Instead, you can get help from an adult. “Being a superhero takes courage “, explained Batgirl. “Sometimes it’s hard to speak up. It can be scary, but superheroes must defend people who have a hard time defending themselves.”

    Students were asked to identify superhero teams and discussed that sometimes it’s easier to approach a bully as a team. Examples given were The Justice League, X Men, Fantastic Four, and others. Batman and Batgirl explained how bullies seem powerful because there is an imbalance of power. By creating a superhero team, students can feel stronger knowing someone is standing beside them. They emphasized that violence is never the answer and bullying back makes you a bully too.

    After the discussion, students signed pledge cards and took individual pictures with Batman and Batgirl. There was a reporter present from the Orange County Register. She interviewed several students and wrote a full page article featuring lots of pictures that was published in the following issue.



    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.




    Thanks for reading

    From the Desk of NAAFA




    Some of you make know me as web girl/Lulu from Fashion Find. Well… I’ve move on to another one of my favorite’s pastime which is cooking. To get you all up to date on what’s going on. I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree at Ashford University I have a B.A. degree in Organizational Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University.


    I am most passionate about cooking. I believe with cooking you can always grow… I fried my first egg when I was 2 and baked my first cake at 5. Cooking is an easy and dynamic experience if you have a passion for a good tasting meal.


    Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.


    If you have a favorite dish you would like to share please forward with recipe and photo to




    Happiness Kitchen
    with Lucia Roth

    I love Chinese food!  It’s one of my favorites meals in which I can treat myself to seven days of the week.  However, reality steps in and that in not the case. I’m unable to visit one of my favorite Chinese establishments because my budget just won’t allow it. 


    So, I came up with an idea what if I can make my own Chinese dish? ... Light bulb! So I did some searching and I for an easy peasy Beef and Broccoli aka as Mongolian Beef recipe to make for dinner.

    Yummy! Meat is super tender and sweet and my family and I enjoy it.


    Mongolian Beef


    2 tbsp Vegetable oil

    1 tsp Ginger, minced

    2 tbsp Garlic, chopped

    1/2 cup Soy sauce

    1 cup Dark brown sugar

    1/2 cup Vegetable oil

    1 lb Flank steak or sirloin sliced thinly

    1/4 cup Cornstarch

    3 Green onions sliced or 2 Cups Broccoli steamed

    Note: I also you regular onions in this dish (not shown)



        Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic and let sizzle for 30 seconds, next add soy sauce. Gradually add the brown sugar and let it dissolve while stirring. Let the sauce come to a boil, next simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

        Cut the flank steak into thin strips against the grain. (Tip: Meat is easier to slice when it’s partially frozen. It will thaw quickly after sliced too!) Place meat and corn starch in a bag and shake to coat the meat. Let meat sit for 10 minutes, so the cornstarch sticks to the meat.

        Put 1/2 c. vegetable oil in a wok/ skillet and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the meat to the wok and brown for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

        Clean the pan out and return meat to pan and cook on high for about 2 more minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook for another minute. Add the green onions or broccoli and cook for 1 minute longer.

        Remove from heat and serve with rice.


    Bon Appetite!




    Celebrating almost two 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 size/BBW Art.



    A True Friendship Twist

    with Jness


    The illustration featured in this article is entitled TWISTED; it was an illustration challenge piece. It was created using alcohol based markers, color pencils, and ink.  It started with one plus size woman gazing out her window at a tornado. As I continued to work on the sketch I added a few of her big beautiful friends. This led me to thinking about how tumultuous friendships can be.

    I don’t pretend to be a relationship specialist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been best friends with a guy who has been my friend since first grade. We are approaching 5 decades of friendship. I have been married for 22 years. Neither of these relationships are easy or perfect, but it does make my words on relationships notable at best.

    Connecting yourself with the wrong friends can really prove to be a toxic experience. There is a great deal of time and trust invested into a friendship. Your friends are people you equate yourself to. You identify who you are by how you fit in your social circles. Friendship often happens via circumstance, not in all cases but friendship usually finds us instead of us seeking it out. When you do get a chance to choose them, choose wisely. Every now and then evaluate the ones you have. Don’t keep people in your life who want you around to make them look good. If they are bringing you down get rid of them. If they are building you up, keep them.





    Hello there all my fashion loving friends. My name is Amy Lucas and in this column I hope to bring you some new outfits that will make you feel great and be Large and In Charge. My whole life has not been devoted to fashion as my background is in teaching Spanish, Math, and Science. I also have a master’s degree in Central Office Administration.


    With that said, I have been wearing plus sizes for as long as I can remember so I do know the struggles we all face to find cute clothes. I come from a smaller town in Michigan, which means I have an even harder time finding plus size clothing in my area since the choices are so limited; as well as, the sizes and styles each store carries. 


    Out of necessity, I started looking online instead of just settling for the places here and have found that other women could use the help too. I run a fashion group on Facebook called BBW Fashion where I post something fabulous each day hoping to help all those to find what they want in their size.


    In my career, I've helped plus size students and their parents to find fashion in their sizes that would help them with their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves. I have also dabbled in fashion before this modeling for three different stores, winning a cover model spot in July of 2012 in Large in Charge magazine, and I was Ms. LBC 2008 for Linda's Big Connections in Chicago. I look forward to showing you what is available in plus size fashion and help you to look even more beautiful and chic.



    22 Glamorous Prom Dresses
    with Amy Lucas

    Prom is that special time of year in high school when you get to wear something that makes you feel very beautiful.  For those of you who are not in high school anymore, there are also plus size events such as bbw proms, cruises, and new year events all around the country so you can wear these fabulous dresses once again. Fortunately, there are so many great prom dress choices available today that there is the perfect dress for any body type, desired style, and in any color you could ever want. There are also just as many choices of shoes to pair with the dresses.


    Here are just twenty two of the amazing options there are along with the shoes to make you look glamorous for your special event.



    22 Glamorous Prom Dresses  
    Number 1.  


    Strapless Plus Size Ball Gown in Gold,

    sizes 16-32, $330

    (+30 for sizes above a 24), www.promgirl.com


    J. Renee® Sienna Pump in Gold,

    comes in both medium and wide width, $109.95,






    Number 2.  



    Fabulouss MacDuggal Plus Size Dress 64795F in Black/Silver,

    sizes 14-26,




    Women’s Sexy Platform High Heels in Black, available in medium width,





    Number 3.  


    Emerald Dress in Emerald

    by Party Time Prom,

    sizes 14-30,




    Wild Rose Women’s Ganice

    01 Exotic Heel Toe Ring Sandal in Silver, available in medium width,







    Number 4.  


    Fabulouss Plus Size MacDuggal Dress 76460F in Purple/Multi,

    sizes 14-26,




    Ellie Shoes Women’s

    457 Claudia Sandal in Silver,

    available in medium width,




    Number 5.  


    Red Carpet Dress in Red by Party Time Prom,

    sizes 14-30,




    Addison by Tony Bowls in Silver,

    available in medium width,




    Number 6.  


    Panoply 14560 Dress in Steel Tiger,

    sizes 0-30,


    (+30 for sizes above a 16), www.promdressshop.com


    Jenny Heels by Tony Bowls in Silver, available in medium width,





    Number 7.  



    Floor Length V-Neck Dress in Coral,

    sizes 14-32,




    Nina Women’s Keegan

    YS Sandal in Silver,

    available in medium width,






    Number 8.  



    Butter Wisked Away Dress

    in Butter by Party Time Prom,

    sizes 14-30,




    Nature Breeze Women’s Kylie

    09 Thong Sandals in Gold,

    available in medium width,




    Number 9.  




    Totally Teal Dress in Teal

    by Party Time Prom in Teal,

    sizes 14-30,




    Custom Made

    Blue Rhinestone High Heel Shoes,

    sizes 2-12 in medium width,




    Number 10.  



    Little Tease Dress

    SC8073 in Tutti Frutti,

    sizes 16-30,


    (+30 for sizes above a 24), www.sydneyscloset.com


    Ellie 527 Desiree 6”

    Metallic Heel with Rhinestone

    in Platform Shoe in Black,

    available in medium width,



    Number 11.  




    All Sparkles Dress

    SC6007 in Purple Punch,

    sizes 16-32,


    (+30 for sizes over a 24), www.sydneyscloset.com


    New Styles Platform

    Stiletto Heels in Silver,

    available in medium width,





    Number 12.  


    Tiffany Prom Dress

    16021 in Pink,

    sizes 0-30,


    (+30 for sizes above a 16), www.promdressshop.com


    Ultra High Heel Peep Toe Pink Shoes

    with Rhinestone Bow,

    sizes 1-8,




    Number 13.  


    White Starlight Evening Dress

    from Night Moves by Allure,

    sizes 14-32,





    Women’s Camryn Platform Sandal in White, available in both medium and wide widths, $36.25,





    Number 14.  



    Fabulous Beaded Top Bustled

    Bottom Dress in Fuchsia,

    sizes 2-26,




    Ellie Shoes Women’s
    431 Sterling Sandal in Fuchsia,
    available in medium width,




    Number 15.  



    Amazing Strapless

    Ruched Top Bustled

    High Low Dress in Black,

    sizes 2-26,




    Flame T-Strap Sandal in Silver,

    available in medium width,





    Number 16.  



    Ball-Gown Sweetheart Floor-Length

    Tulle Charmeuse Prom Dress

    in Blushing Pink,

    sizes 2-26, $162.99

    (+7.99 for sizes above a 14), www.jjshouse.com


    Johnathan Kanye

    Women’s Starlite Ankle-Strap Sandal

    in Black Silk,

    available in medium width,





    Number 17.  



    Long Embellished Sweetheart Gown

    in Tiffany Blue,

    sizes 14-24,



    Annie® Lysa T-Strap Pump in Silver, available in both medium and wide widths, $64.95,



    Number 18.  



    A-line/Princess Sweetheart

    Asymmetrical Chiffon Prom Dress with Ruffle Beading in Royal Blue,

    sizes 2-26,


    (+7.99 for sizes above a 14), www.jjshouse.com


    Envy Women’s Chicklit Sandal in White, available in medium width,




    Number 19.  



    Tiffany Dress

    16039 in Spearmint/Nude,

    sizes 0-30,


    (+30 for sizes above a 16), www.promdressshop.com


    Blue by Betsey Johnson

    Women’s SB-Shine Dress Pump in Champagne Fabric,

    available in medium width,




    Number 20.  



    Attention Please Dress

    SC7129 in Purple Mist,

    sizes 14-32,


    (+30 for sizes above a 24), www.sydneyscloset.com


    Touch Ups Women’s Jolee Pump

    in Silver Glitter,

    available in medium and wide widths, $55.99,




    Number 21.  


    Jeweled Strapless Short Dress

    with Cupcake Skirt in Black,

    sizes 14-24,




    Romantic Soles Ariza in Pewter,

    available on medium and wide width, $47.99,





    Number 22.  



    Wild Peacock Dress

    from Sydney’s Closet in Wild Peacock,

    sizes 14-38,




    RSVP Jutte in Purple,

    available in both medium and wide widths, $79,





    Jay Hansen and Heidi Davis are size-acceptance advocates from Oklahoma and co-own Oklahoma's only social size-acceptance group, Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and their Admirers. Heidi was born in 1969 and has been a large woman her whole life, just as Jay has been an admirer of such plus-sized women all of his.


    Heidi graduated High School in 1987, which is the same year Jay was born. The two met online in 2005 and quickly developed a friendship. In 2009, Jay graduated the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s in English Education, and the following year he and Heidi started dating and quickly fell deeply in love.


    Heidi is experienced, blunt, pragmatic, down-to-earth, and strong in every sense of the word, while Jay is intellectual, articulate, ideological, contemplative, and gentle. Heidi is eighteen years Jay's senior and nearly three times his weight, while Jay is 140 pounds soaking wet with a brick in his pocket. He's a king amongst nerds and all things geeky; she's a tattooed, rough-and-tumble, hard rocker to her core. Together, they are a beautiful personification of the old adage opposites attract.


    "The Skinny on Big Love with Jay Hansen" was started in 2013 with Jay as the primary writer and Heidi as his muse and endless source of ideas and inspiration. Together, the two hope to provide people with a new frame of mind on love and relationships, promote open-mindedness and acceptance, ask intriguing questions, foster conversations, and prove to the world that titles such as weight and age, amongst countless others, should never stand in the way of one's pursuit of happiness.

    Community Affairs
    with Jay Hansen

    Last year I wrote a column about how one of the most troubling parts of me and Heidi's relationship can be her paranoia over infidelity. Literally every relationship she's ever had, save for ours, ended when her partner cheated on her, so Lord knows she has good reason to be at a heightened state of alert. It's inconvenient and uncomfortable for me at times, but as I wrote back then that's all just part of accepting each other as we are, and being willing to fulfill our partner's special needs, be they physical or mental. While her trust in me has only grown over the years, it is unfortunately the world around us that continually provides her with reasons to cling to her paranoia.


    Recent events in the group prompted a conversation between us the other day about our group's policy on cheating. Oklahoma BBW has a zero-tolerance policy for anyone that cheats on their significant other; any member caught cheating is immediately banned. Members of the size community have enough difficulty with their self-esteem as it is in a society that constantly judges them, yet they often make frequent targets of those more likely to commit such impropriety for this very reason. No one should have to put up with the level of dishonesty and disrespect inherent in being cheated upon, least of all from a significant other, and we at Oklahoma BBW do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't happen. Fostering a safe environment for plus-sized people - for all people - is our top priority. That's why we take such a hard stance and go to such great lengths against infidelity, yet despite this, when Heidi and I had our conversation about the topic, we found ourselves hard-pressed to think of long-time members, past or present, of our group that have never been affected by cheating, be it cheated upon or doing the cheating. Seriously, of the people we know personally, the final tally was in the single digits.


    Surely the fact that we're a group for the plus-sized and under-confident contributes to the alarmingly high cases of extramarital and extra-relationship affairs, but that on its own couldn't be it. A little over a year ago Ashley Madison.com, a website specifically for people looking to cheat on their partners (<insert eye roll here>) released a report on the American cities with the most cheaters. For two years in a row, Washington D.C. has been number one. Oklahoma City, however, wasn't far behind at number five, and numbers two and three were nearby - Austin and Houston, respectively. Based on these statistics, there does in fact seem to be a cultural variable to this particular region of the country when it comes to cheating. Even our own Governor Fallin, in a state dedicated to so-called "family values" and "traditional marriage," is an infamous cheater.


    Even with that, though, we aren’t getting a full picture of all the infidelity in our region because Ashley Madison’s report only counted physical, sexual affairs. It did not take into account emotional affairs. Most of the time when we think of cheating we think of sexual intercourse, but an affair need not be physical to be hurtful and disrespectful. Especially in today’s world of casual sex, emotional affairs are actually far worse than physical love affairs, because sex is just sex. It’s impulsive, hormonal, based purely on shallow, physical attraction, and is more likely to illicit feelings of guilt or internal conflict within the cheater; it’s more short-sighted and short-term. Emotional affairs take place slowly over time; they are long-sighted and long-term. This means the cheater has the opportunity to actually think about their actions as they’re doing them, to think about the disrespect they’re showing their current partner by looking for or at another person without extending their partner the courtesy of ending the relationship as a mature adult would (or at the very least extending them the same freedom by way of an open relationship). Worst of all, someone involved in an emotional affair is straight up being lied to at all times whenever they’re being told “I love you,” because clearly either the cheater doesn’t actually love the person they’re cheating with and are instead thinking with their genitals, or they never actually mean it when they say it to the person they’re cheating on for however many months or years whenever they parroted the phrase back at them meaninglessly, because true love for another person involves extending them much higher levels of trust and respect than any cheater could ever offer. If that respect wasn’t there to begin with, it wasn’t true love at all.


    There’s a reason it’s called “alienation of affection” in court, and not “they f*cked a whore.”


    Therein lies the fundamental reason why cheating is bad too. Humans aren’t naturally monogamous; we don’t have some inherent part of our psyches that make us feel bad for having multiple sex partners. Cheating makes a person feel bad because they’ve violated the trust of someone that means so much to or has done so much for them. They extended the cheater trust and freedom out of kindness and love, and the cheater responds by taking advantage of this kindness. This is also why we at Oklahoma BBW, despite our strict policy on cheating, are fine with open relationships; in an open relationship, both parties have extended that freedom to each other, and both parties are mutually respectful and honest with one another. There is no violation of trust. Whenever Heidi and I learn of infidelity in our group, this is the first thing we investigate, often by directly asking if the supposed cheater is in an open relationship with their partner. If they are, and we can confirm it with their partner, then that is their business and their lives to live as they wish. If not, then they are banned from all of our group events and online communities, end of discussion. This policy is for the safety, happiness, and well-being of our members and for the advancement of our group’s goals to foster self-esteem and respect for other people as well as oneself all while learning to live happily the way we are. Without the bare minimum level of trust and safety that this rule provides, none of these goals are even remotely possible for our group, or for individual relationships of any kind.




    I was born in San Diego, California on August 30, 1972.br>
    Grew up in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego California. I Graduated from San Diego State University in 1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism (Radio-TV News) and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science.

    I interned with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.

    I interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican National Convention.

    Currently I'm a Licensed Sales Representative with Pacific Shores Real Estate, Inc. in Solana Beach, California

    I'm Co-Owner of Club Catalina BBW Night Club in San Diego, CA.

    And a newlywed, married to Kathy Edmondson as of December 31, 2012.

    I am the father of one daughter - Safiyah Edmondson (8) and stepfather to two young men, Alexander Hernandez (22) and John Rhakman Macklin (21).

    I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis, football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also design a web page for a real estate company.

    Knowing Better and Doing Better

    with David Edmondson

    This month has been a struggle for me personally from many reasons. First, health-wise I took the dreaded physical at the doctor’s office. Now for those of you whom have insurance and have been doing physical check-ups on a regular basis, I salute you. You have taken responsibility for your life and are willing to do what it takes to have a long life. I like many in this Obamacare age, did not come across medical insurance until recently, so taking a physical was a daunting task. Unfortunately, some of my worst fears came to light.

     I had to face the reality of my family’s history of high blood pressure and diabetes. I was then told I had to come in for more tests and be prepared to take medication. I was given a prescription for Lipitor to regulate my blood pressure. I had always prided myself with eating foods with no salt but that didn’t combat the fried foods I continued to ingest. The fact that I was getting older and those 2 mile walks, which use to be a breeze was now a big challenge was reality. Are there things I could have done better to have avoided this point? Of course there were, but I let pride get in the way. I assured myself, this could all be handled easily, all I need to do was take it seriously. I will start tomorrow. Then tomorrow turned into the next day and the next day, then next week turned into next month and well…..you get the picture.

     I had to get past that pride and will myself to take the medication. Now my high blood pressure is normal and with careful planning, I can actually eliminate the word Lipitor from my vocabulary. But there are things we can all do to avoid those dreadful diagnosis that doctors give us. The question you have to ask yourself, how much pride is enough. Having that extra piece of fried chicken, is it worth missing walking your daughter down the aisle. Is sneaking that cigarette outside really worth missing your 25th wedding anniversary? We aren’t getting any younger people. The things we did when we are younger are coming back on us and there is nothing we can do to rewrite history. However, there are things we should do and know we must do, to be able to enjoy the life we still have. You may not think so now, but there are loved ones, who are counting on us.






    Freakie has been a member of the BBW community for over 20 years. She lives in Washington State with her two cats Boo Boo & Maxie, and has also resided in California and New York. Besides advocating for Big Beautiful Women she is a lifelong child advocate and is a strong believer in Size Acceptance (ALL sizes). She dreams of travelling the world and being an ambassador for the fat community. Her personal motto is, “FAT CHICKS RULE!”


    When Little is Big

    with Freakie

    When I taught Pre-Kindergarten, there were days when the kids just needed to get out and have a change in routine (okay the adults too).  I had a roster of 45 children in my class and I generally had at least 30 children in class every day.  With my two assistants, I worked hard to maintain routine but sometimes you just need to mix it up. 

    If it was rainy I would turn on some music (usually jazz or classical), put a long piece of butcher paper on the floor, and pour our big box of crayons on the paper.  We would all lie on our tummies and color and socialize.  The only rule was that you couldn’t color on someone else’s work unless they said it was okay.  This activity never failed to change the dynamic of the class for the better.  It literally brought us all down to the same level, it created a sense of closeness and security, and it fostered relaxed conversations. 

    When it was sunny out, we would walk to an overpass near the school.  We would gather on the sidewalk in the middle of the overpass and the kids would wave to all the cars and arm-pump the big trucks driving down I-5.  We got lots of honks but the part I loved most was all the people you could see smiling & waving back from inside their cars; all this reciprocal goodwill!  It was so fun and was an amazing pick-me-up for all of us.

    Coloring on the floor might seem like a lame activity and it certainly wasn’t on my lesson plan.  I guess that just points out the biggest flaw in the American educational system.  We very seldom take into account the emotional needs of our students. We treat it as if acknowledging our feelings is some kind of weakness when who we are emotionally is WHO WE ARE.

    I know "waiving from the overpass" didn't sound like we were doing very much either but, looking back, what we were doing for ourselves and others was amazing.  We were exchanging positive energy with people we didn’t know, would never know and it was powerful stuff!  I really had no idea at the time.  I can look back now and wonder how many lives those kids may have changed for the better with an innocent wave from the top of an interstate overpass. 

    We are bombarded daily with trite memes about simple acts of kindness and they are all true.  They are so true that it is easy to overlook them or forget to act on them.  Think how life changing it could be, if each one of us decided to smile at one stranger every single day.  Just one, of course the real challenge is to actually do it.



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