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Large In Charge Magazine - Five Years on the Net!

 Issue #67 - October 2009

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.



Raqui's Spot -  with our Founder Raqui


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue


From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


DID YOU KNOW?  ~ Iolande Argent

National & International Plus Sized News


Hot & Heavy Entertainment ~ Stephanie Baham


The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett


CONFESSIONS - Let It Go and Confess!

Fashion Furious - Fashion Finds with Plus Size style.

Product of the Month - Products for People of Size


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!

Feature of the Month

Frannie Zellman

Author of

Fat Land & Fat Poets Society


Frannie Zellman

Frannie Zellman

Written by: Raqui


     Speaking to Frannie Zellman was an experience with in itself.  Her personality is so open and passionate about what she writes.  There is something that impresses me about writers, and that is the belief that they have in there work.


     While FatLand is a work of fiction, the truth in the book is apparent.  The truth of societies views and the feelings of those who live a Fat Life are impressive.  I recommend it to those who live a fat life and those who want to know the inner workings of those of size.  Imagine a FatLand where you are free to be seen as a person? Thought provoking?


     I also appreciate as a poet myself her other book. Through a online community and in person meetings the voice of People of Size have come out and are ready to be read in the book Fat Poets Society. 


      I am looking forward to Frannie's next two books in the continuation of the FatLand Series. I will keep you updated :)

Interview with Frannie Zellman


What is your name (Real and or Stage)?

Frannie Zellman  Where are you originally from, and where is your home state now?

I was born in Rome, NY, but now live in New Jersey. Tell us about your home life, children, marital status, etc.

I am married and have no children. Do you consider yourself a person of Size?

I am a person of size and have been one for most of my life. Have you always shown an interest in writing and poetry?

Even before I knew how to write, I would plunder my grandparents' bookshelves. They told me that I was peering intently into books at the age of one and a half.

I have been interested in writing and even needed to write poetry since I was rather young. How old where you when you began to write and what did you write?

I wrote my first poem at six and my first story at seven. What inspires you when your put your pen to paper?

The feeling that I absolutely have to write. We would like to know about your education, are you formally educated?

BA in English from Brandeis U., 1976

MA in Creative Writing from Boston U., 1980 Have you taken courses or classes to study writing?

Took classes and workshops at Brandeis and at Boston U in poetry writing. Have you ever performed your poetry or do you write only for reading?

Have performed at my own workshops, at MA readings (Part of my Masters' Degree requirement), at coffeehouses and at a ceremony honoring poetry prize winners. (This covers from 1974 on..) What do you like to write about the most?

I like to write about the experience of being fat in a culture, a country and increasingly a world which hates fat people. How did you get your work published, self published, publishing company?

I was put in touch with Pearlsong Press/Peggy Elam through the co-facilitator and then leader of one of the workshops I did at a NAAFA Conference. I really wanted Peggy to publish my novel FatLand because she is the preeminent publisher of fat acceptance novels. She also published Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society, of which I am the editor and in which I have some poems (along with my sister poets Lesleigh Owen, Kathy Barron, Corinna Makris Winter and Anne Kaplan). Tell us about the first time you saw your books in print. How did it feel?

I was oddly numb and yet astounded, as if the book were a child of mine who had come unexpectedly. How many books have you published so far, what are you working on for the near future?

I am under contract for the second and third books in the trilogy FatLand. Second book: FatLand: The Early Days Third Book: FatLand: To Live Fat and Free Are people of size included in your writing?

I write mostly -almost entirely- about people of size. How do people of size feel about your books, do you get more positive or negative feedback?

Would welcome feedback. Have gotten a fair amount of positive feedback from people who have read FatLand and Fat Poets Speak. I understand that you are also a speaker and activist. Can you tell us what led you to speaking out?

I got angry about being treated and made fun of as an inferior being when I could not for the life of me see why I was considered inferior in the first place. Can you tell us what do you speak about and what drives you?

I speak about the fact that fat people deserve the same opportunities and rights as slimmer people. Do you work with any Organizations, Companies, Etc?

I give workshops at NAAFA Conferences. Would love to work with other size-positive organizations. What other things do you do creatively?

Mess up my room and closet. Argue. How did you get known on the circuit?

Mostly through being and writing on blogs, including my own. Do you have a manager, PR person etc.?

Peggy Elam, the CEO of Pearlsong Press, helps with publicity. How can people learn more about you, Website, Links etc?

Look at  (my own website).

Also go to Big Fat Blog and check for answers by fatthought (that's me)
Another excellent place is at the Pearlsong website. What have been some of the obstacles you have overcome as far as your career goes?

The biggest obstacle was simply getting the courage to submit my work. I know it sounds easy, but it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Who are some of the Poets and Authors that you admire?

Galway Kinnell, C.K. Williams, Anne Sexton, Anne Leaver, Elizabeth Bishop, W.S. Merwin What would you say to other aspiring Poets/Writers?

Keep writing and keep sending. Write short but kind cover letters. What should they do to get their work out there?

Write and send, but never underestimate the power of a blog. Get one. Do you have other Poets/Writers that you collaborate with?

Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society is a collaborative effort with other fat poets, namely Lesleigh Owen, Kathy Barron, Corinna Makris Winter and Anne Kaplan. Tell us a few of the tricks you have learned?

I don't know any tricks per se. But do carry a notebook around so you can write ideas or thoughts or lines down when they come to you. Do you have a good support system from family and friends?

My family -parents, brother and husband- have been very supportive, as have my friends. What do you attribute your success to?

Ready for this? To being angry :) (at the way I was treated and at the way other fat people are treated). That anger drove my writing and determination to complete the novel and book of poems on which we worked. Where will you be appearing next?

Will read one of my poems at the Fashion Show activity of the NAAFA Conference in Washington, DC (July 31, 2009). Will be giving a workshop on writing fat-positive fiction at the NAAFA Conference (August 1, 2009) and will be co-facilitating the CoffeeHouse at this conference (AUgust 2, 2009). Is your writing career your primary source of work?

No, although I wish it could be. What other things do you do and do you tie them in with your career?

I play online trivia (intensely). I sometimes try to figure out how I could make a career of it :) Give us one word that you can say best represents your work?

Fatproud  - I just made that a word :) How much have you evolved as a Poet/Writer since those early days?

In my early days as a poet, I somehow did not see the value of writing so that my work and meanings were accessible to people of many ages and cultures. In other words, my wish to appear intricate sometimes obscured the meaning(s) of what I wrote. I now try to make my writing as accessible as I can to as many people as possible.

I also now understand that this occurred because for so many years I wrote without centering myself on my body and identity as a fat person, and it felt incomplete. When I started to write about myself as a fat person and part of the fat community, I found what I was and who I was as a writer. How can the readers at help support you?

They can read this interview, buy the books (FatLand and Fat Poets Speak) and take a look at my blog ( They can read about and buy books by other fat-positive writers (located on Raqui's website and the Pearlsong Press website and the NAAFA website). They can celebrate themselves as fat people with something to say and to contribute to the world, as fat people part of a proud fat community.


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


Cover Model of the Month


Jenna LoveCraft


Interview with our Cover Model of the Month What is your name?

JENNA LOVECRAFT Where are you from and what is your current Location?

IM FROM PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND, I CURRENTLY LIVE IN MASS. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?


CHUNKY, THIN, CURVY, AND NOW VAVAVOOM!! (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

I WASN'T EXACTLY "CONCERNED" I DON'T THINK IT WAS SUCH AN ISSUE TILL AFTER MY FIRST CHILD. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?






MOM LOL, I ALSO IM REALLY WORKING ON PIN UP AND OTHER ADULT SITES. How did you get into this line of work?


IN AN EVERY DAY JOB WELL IM SURE THERE'S SNICKERS, IM SURE IT DOESN'T HELP TO BE PIERCED AND TATTOOED LOL What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL AND UGLY IN OUR OWN WAYS... What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


MORE CURVES!!!! What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

 HOPEFULLY BE EQUAL TO ALL OTHERS Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

TORRID, DOTS, ONLINE SITES Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

I DONT GO IN THE SUN A-LOT LOL Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

ITS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS. BE PREPARED TO ADJUST TO WEATHER CONDITIONS ETC. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

I HAVE NOTICED THERE IS MORE PLACES AND SITES GEARED TOWARDS BBW SSBBW ETC. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

ONE DAY I HOPE TO POSE FOR PLUMPERS! Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

MY BOYFRIEND HAS MADE ME FEEL SO BEAUTIFUL AND BEFORE THAT I COULDN'T BE NAKED IN FRONT OF ANYONE! What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?


ALL! Describe yourself with one word.




Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

Raqui's Spot

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge Magazine.  This spot is dedicated to her thoughts, vents, and observations of Plus Sized Life.  Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to  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 storm.


     For the past 5 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, 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

Raqui feature on and Glamour Plus - go to Portfolio Section

Losing The Ones You Love

Written By: Raqui 


My Husband Christopher and Me: Oct 2nd will be 8 years since he died.  We would have been Married 10 years.


     September and October are always difficult months for me personally.  September used to be the best month of the year for me.  It always had the perfect weather which I loved.  It lead right into my favorite season Autumn.  It seemed to just be a marvelous month.  Then I met my husband another  reason to love September.  Why you may ask?  Because he asked me to marry him with in the first few days of September.    His birthday was September 11th,  He wanted to get married right around his birthday, so we ended up getting married September 25th.   It ended up being the best month of my life, even better than my birthday because there was so many celebrations during September and I found it so exciting to share them with a wonderful man who loved me with everything he had.


     Now September means remembering someone who I lost and from the first few days all the way into October I feel the build up of tension because of the memories.  Two weeks after our second anniversary my husband passed away October 2nd and he was Buried October 10th.  Watching our wedding video this year with my sister I see an old friend of mine toast us and how he had known me seven years and that seven is the number of God and Means Completion.  I notice how all the dates of my sorrow from September through to October run in secession of seven.  Completion?  I don't feel complete anymore.


     For some reason people think that with time the pain goes away and you just get over it.  That is totally false and untrue.  Loving someone is like loving yourself.  If your arm was cut off you would mourn it, you go through the same phases, disbelief, denial, anger, sadness, despair, depression, then you begin to adjust,  later you begin to cope.  This takes time to deal with and even with time you still feel the loss, you still will feel pain, just as vivid as the day you lost your arm.  You just learn to cope with it, you adjust your life to continue but you are never the same.


     So is losing someone you truly love.  In fact many would rather cut off there limbs than to lose someone they love.  They are never the same after connecting so deeply with another human being that is not a part of your body but yet you feel they are.  They are more a part of you than you are a part of yourself.  You will never be the same, the pain will hit you as strongly as ever,  You just deal with it over time.


     Have I been able to move on?  Yes I have loved others, I have had relationships.  I even wanted to marry again, something I thought I never would want to do.  I have loved fiercely with everything I had just as I loved my husband. But I wasn't loved back the way my husband loved me.  And no I don't expect to receive something exactly the same.  But I know I want someone who I can count on. 


     My husband set an example of the who the ideal man for me should be.  Constant, Steady, Loving, Firm yet amazingly Gentle, Secure, Comforting, A tad jealous in a way that was not violent, trustworthy, kind and thoughtful.  


     Yes we argued something fierce sometimes, Oh he got on my nerves other times and I bet I bothered him something awful.  But we were bonded and in the end he did anything just to see me smile, hear me laugh, and for me to put my arms around him for comfort.  My tears never lasted long under his firm hand and voice that told me "It will be alright". That was because I trusted him and believed he would do anything to make sure I was safe and unharmed.  He proved it daily.


     I showed my love by pampering him and he loved the attention.  I miss those days.  And when I fell in love again I gave my husband credit because he allowed me to believe that Love did exist and gave me hope in the men of the world.  It is Funny because with my new love I couldn't share myself I felt shrunken and stifled as though I didn't have an outlet to share because I was often treated badly when I shared my soul and my deepest secrets.  I learned quickly to not share and that hurt me in a whole new way.  He always disappeared around September, It happened 3 times, he just up and left my life regardless of anything we had going, just leaving all responsibilities because to be cleaned up by me or my family, and it was the memory of my husband that comforted me and made me believe that love can live again in my heart.


     So this year I can say it has been hard, you have weighed on my mind Chris and I will never forget you.  You have helped make me into the woman I am today.  I always hope you are proud of me.  You told me I would change the world, I try the best I can, and I hope you see that.  You knew me like no other and you saw in me things no one else does. 


     When you lose someone you love, don't try to make it go away.  Cherish it and grieve it as you need to.  You are learning to cope and adjust to life with out someone you love.  And while physically they are not there, they still live in you and around you because they have influenced you and are now a part of who you have become.  They are a part of who you will become tomorrow.  That is such an amazing thing and you should never try to get over it.


LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 7-9 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

Super Sized Sounds



     Super Sized Sounds will be a Music Column that will feature those who are in the industry or up and coming who are size positive. Giving recognition to the plus sized people who are out there and showcasing themselves.  Reviews, Interview, News and more from our new writer Super Sized Spanishfly Lynx.


      Lynx Garcia, also known as "SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY", is a Latina BBW from Queens NYC.  Lynx is an activist speaking out against size discrimination and began performing back in 1996 at social events for big beautiful women and big handsome males and their admirers. Her special mixture of sound held true as she sang, spat, danced and performed spoken word, soon she was in demand by Big and Beautiful parties nationwide.  Lynx taking her "look" and sound mainstream was rejected because of her size. She did not let this break her spirit, hurt her confidence or minimize her drive. Instead she rose up and started a public access show (LYNX' LAIR) aired in Queens on TIME WARNER QPTV . Combination of comedy and sexy style, she showcased underground artists of all walks of life. The response to her show was less than a year she has showcased many artist, some who moved to bigger and better things.


     Currently Lynx has caught the attention of Joey Mekkah of BLACK SOLARIS ENTERTAINMENT and found herself on the Grandmaster MELLE MEL's SOLO ALBUM "MUSCLES" featured on the hot latin hip-hop track called 'DIMELO", she is the only collaboration on the album. Lynx recently has started her own radio show on EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO.COM  called Ladies Night. EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO is #1 on the itunes network.





     Spooky scary October is here and brought the colder wind with it. Perfect weather for snuggling up with your BOO (the pun is intended.. lol) and checking out some Scary movies. I usually throw up music downloads but this month I will throw up some music videos that were made especially for HALLOWEEN. So all you juicy goblins and goblinettes, sit back and reminisce... cause I am going to take you back as I salute some of the greatest SPOOKY music Videos of all time .

My Top 5 Be sure to look out at the end of this feature for events and shows that are a must see, including a new movie premiering this month in NYC! And now let's pop this off

Coming in at number 5

MARILYN MANSON "This Is HAlloween" anything with him in it scares the hell outta me , I couldn't even waatch the whole slideshow but I love this remake of the original song from the movie "A Nightmare Before Christmas", hope you survive this one

Number 4...

Paranoia is a mother and Scarface is surrounded by candles and seeing crazy images only to find his own reflection

Number 3...

Not really a Halloween Song but the Devil is alive and well especially in our black and brown communities and Immortal's Pyschopathic recital is truly blood curdling

Number 2...

What , The Werewolf In London ain't got nothing on this video.. Michael Jackson's album thriller broke records and his video help set the standard of the way videos were made and presented. What? They used to interrupt prime time television to premiere one of his videos... R.I.P King Of Pop!

And coming in at number 1...

The Groovie Goolies!! Come on Halloween is for the was my favorite get up and do the Thriller to this! Awwww sookie!

Have a Happy and safe Halloween my people, mi me all the TAKE5 bars, my passion right now!



Be Sure To Support Your Latinos In Film and Go See Franc Reyes new Film (a little creepy, just right for a Pre- Halloween thriller drama) "The Ministers" Starring Harvey Keitel, John Leguizamo and Luis Antonio Ramos October 16th in NYC, Check you Local Theatres

Also I am happy to announce actresses April Lee Hernanadez and La Bruja are Starring in a Off Broadway Play titled "The Death Of A Dream" written by survivor of domestic violence Nancy Genova and directed by OBIE Award winner Frank Perez. Support

Want to send in your Voice in for review? Are you a singer, rapper, or poet who performs spoken word?  Up and Coming, already established?  Contact Lynx through her Myspace page or email and all information will be forwarded to her (PUT "FOR LYNX" IN THE SUBJECT AREA) 

You must be a Size Positive Artist, or a Plus Sized Supporter.

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx


Lynx Cool Links

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.


     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.

Emily Smiltneck receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive recognition for their life's work.  Join me in this Joyous moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her contribution and great dedication to her goals in life.  Click the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.


The Adventures of Phatgurl

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck  

The Adventures Of Phatgurl is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a personals website.  As she embarks on her dates, she meets many different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.  Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more serious and even sad. 

If you have any ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at  I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future columns.  Thanks!


The Ad (Part 2)

SWSSBBW seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.  The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus.  Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”  Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a current significant other will get you far.  And a well-developed sense of humor won’t hurt, either.  If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to


Candidate 2.3: The Second Chance



Subject: Sorry


Sorry bout everything that happened.  I didn’t mean to make you go out with Lee and it wasn’t cause I don’t like you.  Things just got messy, but I think they’re fixed up now.  Can I meet you for coffee or somethin?






Subject: Re: Sorry


I don’t know.  I mean, I’m not mad over the whole Lee thing.  The date was a little awkward, but he seems like a nice enough guy.  And it’s not that I think you don’t like me, really.  I just keep thinking that you were obviously trying to cheat when you contacted me.  I mean, you can’t be THAT clueless.  If Sarah or whoever she is thought you were in a relationship, there must have been something to it.  And so, say I do decide to meet you, and say we hit it off.  Then maybe we’ll be in a relationship, and you’ll do the same thing to me.  I know it’s probably weird to think that far ahead so soon, but when you’ve been hurt as many times as I have, you learn to think about every single detail of your life YEARS in advance so you can avoid as much pain as possible.  So that’s my answer.  I don’t know.




Subject: Re: Re: Sorry


I see.  Well, when will you know?  I think your real pretty and I want to get to know you in person.  Lee said you were cool even tho things didn’t work out with yous guys.  I don’t got to work on Friday, so I could come see you on your lunch hour and we could have lunch.  My treat.  At least meet me.




Subject: Re: Re: Re: Sorry

 Okay, fine.  Meet me at the deli next to where I work (Mala Ning’s Dynasty) Friday at 11:30.  I have ‘til 1 for lunch.  If you need the address, Google it.

     Jany settled down to watch TV.  The prospect of seeing Tom for lunch left her a little uneasy.  Queasy, in fact.  And with all the self analysis she’d done after her evening with Lee, and the guilt she’d felt as a result of it, she had no desire to get to the bottom of the queasiness.  She hardly ever watched TV, but once in a while it was the perfect thing to help her step outside of her own mind.

            She found a channel playing reruns of one of her favorite shows from when she was a kid.  Perfect.  She could almost pretend she was fifteen again, happily curled up on the sofa on a Friday night while her parents were out to dinner or visiting friends.  As long as she was safely at home, where she didn’t have to see her classmates gathered in boisterous groups that she was never included in, or paired off in couples that she was never asked to be a part of, she’s been able to pretend that she liked her life.  And shows like the one she was watching now had been important to her back then.  She’d watched them not as entertainment but as a sort of guide to what her life should look like, as if by watching them she could discover the secrets everyone else knew, the secrets to being beautiful and popular, loved and happy.

            Jany was drifting lazily between the TV show and sleep when the phone rang.  She sleepily peered at the caller ID and was suddenly wide awake and breathless.  Her heart skipped one beat and then thudded wildly in an attempt to catch up with itself.

            “Hey, Michael.”  He was the only person who could cause that kind of a reaction by calling her, or even just e-mailing, ever since he’d responded to that first terrible ad she had placed on

            “Hey, Sweetness.  How’ve you been?”


            “Good to hear.  What is it that’s got you doing so well?”

            “Uh—well, nothing, I guess.  Actually, things have been pretty crappy.  It’s just that as soon as I hear your voice, I forget about all the bad stuff.”

            “I’m sorry to hear that.  Not the part about my voice, of course.  But the rest.”

            “It’s okay.  It’s my own fault.”  Jany told him all about Tom’s messages and then the message from the woman, and about how Tom had pushed her off on Lee.  She almost left off the end of the story, the part where she’d used Lee for sex even though she wasn’t really attracted to him, how she’d stolen his virginity then run away as fast as her legs would carry her when he’d tried to make it mean something.  In the end, though, she held nothing back.  She needed someone to help her put the whole thing in perspective, to hopefully tell her she wasn’t a horrible person.  She finished by sheepishly telling him she’d gone on to make a lunch date with Tom.

            “Wow.  I guess we haven’t talked in a while.  I’ve missed out on a lot.  So, uh—are you looking forward to this date?”

            “Do you have to ask?  I’m not looking forward to it at all.  I totally used Lee and I feel like a monster for it and now I’m seeing Tom and I don’t even really want to.  I’m miserable.” 

            “So, not to ask the obvious question, but why are you, then?”

            “I don’t know, to be honest.  I didn’t want to say yes and I did anyway, same old story.  I’m actually trying pretty hard not to think about why right now.”

            “Well, I’m assuming that since you told me about the whole thing, my two cents’ worth is welcome, so here it is.  You were hurt by Tom, you thought he liked you in particular and then you found out you were the other woman, and you got pissed.  So when you had the chance to get back at him by hooking up with his buddy, you went for it.  Since you kinda took control of the situation with Tom, you felt powerful, and you’re not used to that.  When Lee turned out to be shy and didn’t take the lead, that feeling of power gave you the courage to do it.  You played around with your power a little and then your conscience kicked in.  Am I wrong?”

            “So far, so good.  I’d kinda already figured that out, just didn’t wanna think about it.”

            “Okay, good.  If it makes you feel any better, men do shit like that all the time, and I suspect that women do too.  Minus the conscience part, mostly.  It’s human nature.”

            “So I’m just as miserably human as anyone else.  Great.  Why, exactly, did I decide to go out with Tom, then, if you’re so good at analyzing me?”

            “Easy.  Because you’re not quite as confident as you think you are yet.  You’re still afraid to say no.  And you’re too damn nice to say no in the first place.  But the main reason is that he already screwed up once, pretty badly, and deep inside, you know that you have the power here, and you won’t feel guilty about testing out that power on someone who’s already proven that he’s an ass.  It won’t be like with Lee.”

            “That’s what I was afraid of.  I’m turning into a maneater,” Jany said dryly.  Michael chuckled.

            “I wouldn’t go that far, Jane.  You’re fine.  Go have lunch, have fun, and if he doesn’t give ya the feel-good jitters, tell him you had a wonderful lunch but you don’t want to waste his time when you’re just not right for each other.  It’ll feel good, I promise.  Now, back to the reason I called in the first place—”

            “It wasn’t just to hear my beautiful voice?”  Jany was relieved that Michael hadn’t told her she was a cold-hearted bitch—she’d been half afraid he would—and was glad to move the conversation in a lighter direction.

            “Of course it was, and to be your psychic advisor and romance coach, too, but there was one more reason.”

            “Okay, give it to me.”

            “There’s a TV show on tonight I thought you might like.  It’s called Big Date.  Just another dating reality show, except this one features a guy that’s into curvy women and the contestants are all plus-sized.”

            “Are you serious?  Big girl lovin’s going primetime?  Wow.”

            “It sure is.  Primetime on a major network, even.”

            “I don’t even know what to say.  I—really?”

            They talked for a few more minutes and then hung up in time for the show.  Jany sat up on the couch, ready to absorb every second.  If the premiere went well, the show would continue, and Jany had a vested interest in its success.  She knew there were men in the world who preferred bigger girls—the number of responses she gotten to her ad proved it—and if this show caught on, maybe those men would feel like their preference was okay.  Maybe more of the good ones would stop being afraid of what people might think and come out of the fat chick-loving closet.

            The show opened with maybe twenty women telling their stories—how they’d never been to prom, or never had a date of any kind, or never been able to accept a date because they’d been set up for humiliation so many times and been hurt.  They talked about how their weight didn’t hold them back in work—they had good jobs, ones they liked—and how it didn’t hold them back in life—they were active and healthy and happy in most ways—but how their weight held them back in one main area—love.  Some had been loved and left, and some had never been loved at all, but all of them could explain exactly how their weight had knocked the possibility of love right out of their lives.  Until now.

            Jany cried all the way through the show, so hard that she almost missed the end, when the man who was looking for a large, lovely, curvy lady to be a part of his life was introduced.  She cried because in each of their stories she heard a part of her own, and because she wished she’d had the little successes they spoke of.  She felt like they all had more potential than she did just because they were prettier and had each other for support and had made it on this show.

            Through her tears, though, Jany laughed.  Big Date was incredible; it shouldn’t be making her cry.  It was a primetime statement to the world that Jany, and women like her, could be okay, that Jany could find love someday, that Jany wasn’t meant to be overlooked just because she wasn’t a typical woman.  When the show was over and Jany finally fell asleep, it was with renewed confidence over her date with Tom.  And with a cool, wet washcloth over her eyes, so he wouldn’t know that she had spent the previous evening crying.

            Mala was chatty at work the next morning.  Jany was glad—listening to Mala’s banter held her nervous jitters at bay.  They talked about the newest series of paintings Mala was working on for the gallery, and what they might do for a holiday display.  Mala wanted to have a Christmas eve reception, maybe, early in the evening while people were doing last minute shopping on the way to dole out gifts to friends and family.  Maybe have some high school kids doing free gift wrapping and people could browse while they waited.  And then they talked about Mala’s latest conquest—a woman this time, because “there’s nothing so soft and sensual as a naked woman curled around you in bed.”  Jany blushed at that; Mala had a habit of sharing more than she was comfortable hearing.  Her wild tales, though, always inspired Jany.  Mala was just the kind of worldly, self-assured woman that Jany dreamed of becoming.

            Finally, Jany broke in shyly and told Mala about Michael’s phone call, and about Big Love.  She was always a little uncomfortable bringing up her weight to thin people, because they almost always either jumped in immediately with diet tips or dismissed her, telling her that no one ever even noticed her weight.  Both reactions were equally frustrating.  But Mala was like a big sister to her. 

            “Honey, I don’t know why you don’t just give up the whole online dating thing and settle down with Michael already.  You should see your face when you talk about him.”

            “Because he doesn’t want me.  Well, he says he does, but he won’t let himself have me.  Or something like that.”

            “Pish posh.  Seduce him.”

            “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not you.  It’s not that easy.  Every man who’s ever laid eyes on you has wanted you, and so have half the women.  All you have to do to seduce someone is look at them.”

            “Might be true, not gonna lie, but if you opened up your eyes and looked at a guy once in a while, you’d probably find out the same thing applies to you.  So when’s your next date, by the way?”

            Jany looked at her watch and let out a squeal.

            “In  twenty minutes, actually.  I gotta go get cleaned up.  Holler if you need me.”  Jany slid the order form she’d been filling out into an envelope and slapped it on top of the pile of outgoing mail.  “By the way, Mala, I hate it when people dismiss me like that.  It really isn’t as easy as you think—you wouldn’t know unless you’ve been in my shoes.  Or in my pants, I guess, ‘cause that’s the only way you’d understand what it’s like to look like me.”  She dashed into the bathroom before she had to see Mala’s reaction to her words..

            Jany got to the deli where she was meeting Tom five minutes early but a man slid into the chair across from her almost immediately.  He had dirty blond hair—dirty blond as in blond hair that was a little stringy-looking, not hair that was dirty blond in color—and pale, undefined blue eyes.  His body was nice; he was six inches or so taller than Jany and had a bit of a belly, both attributes that she liked in a man.  The way that he carried himself, though, made her think of a clumsy third grader who was extremely tall for his age.  And when he finally spoke, it was all Jany could do to keep from bursting into a fit of giggles.  He had the voice of a third grader, too—high-pitched and unsteady, overly loud with excitement.  He sounded like a cartoon.

            She forced herself to swallow her laughter.  The last thing she wanted to do was judge someone the way that she felt judged.

            “It’s great to meet you!  How are you today?” he shouted.

            “I’m doing well,” Jany told him, lowering her voice in the hope that he’d follow suit.  “How are you?”

            “Better now that I’ve met you!  I’m glad I worked things out with Sarah so I could see you!  She said as long as we both know about it, we can see other people!”

            “Oh.  That was nice of her.”  So he still wasn’t completely up for grabs—Jany and the Sarah woman were supposed to compete for his attention, just like the women on Big Date.  She was sort of glad she didn’t know what Sarah looked like.  This way, she could only compete based on personality and attitude, which were areas in which she had a fighting chance. 

            As they ate—Tom bought Jany’s lunch but spent ten minutes complaining about the prices at these little places downtown—Jany became more and more sure she wasn’t really interested in winning his attention, though.  Her first impression of Tom had been that he was a little shady and not exactly bursting at the seams with intelligence, and he did nothing to alter that impression.  His grammar wasn’t the greatest, but Jany could have forgiven him that if he hadn’t talked nonstop, spitting food from the corners of his mouth as he did.  Besides, most of his poorly spoken sentences were about Sarah.

            She grew mildly jealous listening to him, but mostly she was just annoyed.  By the end of the meal, she was tired of hearing about Sarah and even more tired of being showered with bread crumbs that came spewing out of Tom’s mouth.  When she had finished the last bite of her sandwich, she zoned out and let Michael’s words play through her memory.  She held her breath for just a second before she interrupted Tom mid-sentence.

            “Hold on.  I have to ask you something.  You seem to be pretty obsessed with Sarah.  So, why are you here with me?”  Jany gritted her teeth in anticipation for an answer she didn’t want to hear.

            “Well, I don’t know.”  Tom had the grace to blush before he finished, “I guess it’s because you have bigger boobs.  I’m a boob man.”

            Jany froze for just a minute, her thoughts and her emotions and her stomach’s contents all swirling madly within her, then surprised herself by laughing softly instead of crying.

            “I really don’t know what to say to that.  I’ve been worrying for the last three days about impressing you and all it took was having boobs?”  Jany was beginning to see what Michael had been trying to tell her.  It wasn’t necessarily her fault that some guys weren’t her type.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault.  It just was, didn’t have anything to do with being fat or shy or inexperienced.  And desperation and loneliness were not good reasons to pretend.  Not anymore, now that she knew the truth.  Slowly and carefully, Jany repeated Michael’s words to Tom.  “I had a wonderful lunch.  Thank you.  I don’t want to waste your time, though; I don’t think we’re right for each other.  But tell Sarah she’s got herself a really nice guy. 

            Jany stood up and hugged Tom, then said good-bye and headed back to work.  She was relieved that he didn’t seem to be upset.  Michael was right.  It had felt good.  She looked back once, a little wistfully, and then continued to more forward.  No use wishing for what wasn’t meant to be anyway.  And maybe Mala was right and she should focus on Michael.  Or maybe the premiere of Big Date would bring a whole slew of new messages into her inbox.  For once, Jany felt that life held the promise of possibilities.



Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


Emily's Cool Links

Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude


Gearing It Up

by Xander The Food Dude

Last month, I wrote about change.  As it is currently September, we have crossed the threshold from Summer to Fall and now we face the unrelenting assault of the impending holiday.  No rest for the weary you say ?  Perhaps, but it’s not like we can stop the clock… or can we ?  No…. no, we can’t stop the clock, but can we alter time as we see it.

 Let’s evaluate that and what we can do to minimize the torture of holiday requirement from a variety of aspects.  We live in a world of back-breaking, heart-wrenching, soul-stealing demands.  These demands are put on us from our personal and professional lives.

Back some time ago when talking about change I noted that some psychologists had indicated that 21 days of change would then have an internalizing effect on our behaviors.  So, in taking that to heart, I approached it from this angle.  In August I took my top 4 pains.  I had to stop there as they pretty much covered most aspects of my life.  They were as follows:



  • too much work to do

  • always behind - which resulted in

  • Too much time spent from family and friends, piles of work

  • Too much stress


Relationships  -

  • Tough with some family

  • Desire to elevate tensions

  • Starting new relationship

  • Desire to further develop those relationships

  • Too much stress       



  • Diminishing health

  • Increased health problems from Diabetes

  • Diminishing ability in physical capabilities

  • Too much stress



  • Covering all bills – very little left over

  • Doesn’t leave much for extras or emergencies

  • Need to supplement income  - How

  • Too much stress

What I realized was that each items was an integral part of the other.  So it looked at first as though the problems were pretty much “life in general”.  Obviously, this is no helpful in evaluation.  I thought at first if I just started tearing these things apart then maybe it might be clearer what I needed to do, but then it could take weeks to tear all these items apart.  It reminded of my ongoing 13 page to do lists.  Totally useless.  I stared at these items in desperation and finally it dawned on me.  Since these items were so integral, positive changes in one of the areas should have a mutually positive effect in other areas… at lease in theory.  Each item has the phrase too much stress.  I need to work on my stress level.  Even as much as I detest it… the quickiest way to deal with some stress it to burn off these stressful energy in the form of exercise.  Twenty-one days was my goal.  If I burn off some stress and calories.  It effect my health.  If it effects my stress and my health, then it effects all the other portions of my life.  Seemed to make sense.  Day one though day 14 can only be described as utter and complete Hell.  Day 15 though day 17, a little better, not much mind you.  Day 21, I was finished with my little experiment.  We know look back on the last 21 days with a fresh eye to see what we have accomplish.  The first thing is, I’ve dropped about 15 pounds.  Helped the Diabetes sugar levels and other key health aspects.  Increased energy and really the ability to better focus.  Work is still a killer, but I have been able to accomplish more with the better focus.  It become clear this is a long term adjustment. 

By getting more done in less time due to the focus, I’ve subsequently had more time to spend with friends and family, which further reduce stress levels.  One of those friends has offered me a possibility of supplementing my income with some small level of effort.  Nothing major, but I don’t need another source of time eating to take away from family and friends, so it’s a possibility.  With increased time with friends and family, the relationships are better.  Some of those bad relationship, I’ve come to realize are not going to get better with any amount of efforts, so I chose to accept that reality and move on to focusing on enhancing my good relationships.  I’ve come to accept that there is no use throwing away my limited resources on outcomes that have no positive aspect.  This is perhaps something I can address in the future, or revisit, but I no longer feel bad about what has happened.  Either it works out or not, I refuse to let it effect me anymore.

The results:  in 21 days I have started on one aspect of my life… my health and it has increased the level of satisfaction in other areas of my life.  Although there is still a great deal of work to be completed in these various areas, I now feel that there is FINALLY some forward momentum in a positive direction.  There have also been setbacks I this time, but I still think overall, those have been easier to deal with due to the changes in one area which effected all the areas.

Day 22 – back to the gym.  And the beat goes on.  I feel justified an empowered by the completing of the 21 day experiment.  Perhaps that’s the true point of it.  It’s a lot like High School.  The point is to survive it and come through it stronger.  The mere act of completing 21 days of something you said you would instills a sense of self pride that despite everything else you made a point complete one thing.  In turn, for me it effects so many others.

Christmas carols sing about wonderful times.  In reality they can be complete destroyed by the stresses of the season. Too much to do and too little time to do it, crowds, spending hours wrapping gifts and cooking special treats, icy roads, end of the year work reports, opinionated relatives, figuring out gifts to buy without breaking your bank account...all these things can serve to cause more pain than holiday cheer.  One things that you’ll need to focus on is to give things the proper priority and plan for it.  As MacGyver once said it’s better to make the best of a situation than let the situation get the best of you.  Below are a variety of tipe that may just help make these holidays some of your best ever.  Whatever else it may do, it may give your some precious time with family and friends to truly remember what we are to be celebrating rather than what multinational corporations tell us we should be celebrating.

Put First Things First – Determine things in order of Priority

Figure out what is truly important to do, and do those things only. If you can get more things at one single store instead of running all over trying to grab the best prices and hottest deals, you might save some headaches, and foregoing some of the deals will actually save gas money! Can you buy gifts online ? You can purchase items easily and save a lot of money and time by finding websites with great deals on the items you know you want to buy.  Also, make it a goal to enjoy the holidays.  There’s no worse feeling than to get through them only to start a new year and realize that you’ve ended it with a devastating amount of work.  Don’t do that to yourself anymore.

Make a Schedule

Sit down and write out every thing you need to do and remember. Once you know your list is complete, grab your calendar and start schedule a few things to accomplish every day.  Carry this list and schedule with you, and when unexpected things pop up as they always do, write them in. This little activity alone can help stop the feeling of being out of control which only leads to furthering stressful times.

Set Boundaries

What can you handle and what can’t you handle ?  Take time and be realistic about if your want to be the place for the holiday meal this year.  Instead of fixing everything yourself, maybe it would be best to have potluck where everyone brings in their favorites.  It’s one of the most common problems in the holidays is to take on more than your can handle.  Are you always the person who says yes even though you can’t find the time to take care of what you need to take care of when you need to take care of them.  One of the first things you need to take care of is you and your needs.  Otherwise what can you do for others ?  Family making too many demands on you ?  They’re your family and friends and you love them, but remember that you are your own person and you make your own rules.


 If you’ve said yes too many times and the To-Do list is out of control, start calling in the troops.  All of those friends and family members who expect you to take care of all the things can help.  If they don’t think they need to help then maybe it isn’t worth the time to worry about it.  Be aware that if you need help, there is not reason not to ask for it.  No one will think the lesser of you and everyone can enjoy the season more.  Make the season a true time of celebrating your friends, family, relationships, and yourself.

It is this control of stress that hit me so hard in my life that every September is seemed to increase due to the holidays I wanted to give you all some guide lines in order to help as we move into the “silly” season.  I hope these things help you.  Until October, I wish you all the best of luck and the best of times.  I hope this guide for the holidays gets you started on the a joyful, stress free and pleasant time for you and your family

Xander's Recipe of the Month



Food To Kick You Into Gear

This month’s selection of foods will give you high energy to combat the stresses that hit you everyday.  They each have a full, hearty flavor, with great healthy aspects.


Greek Beef and Pasta in a Pot

Looking for easy recipes for ground beef that are quick to make and taste great too? Try this quick one-pot meal. The combination of the salty feta and olives with the vegetables and beef makes this a real winner!  A chunky pasta like rotini or penne works best in this recipe.



2 cups whole wheat pasta

1 lb lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 sweet pepper, red or green, diced

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped, pitted black olives

2 Tbsp basil pesto


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, grate the mozzarella cheese. (A coarse-grind grater works best when grating soft cheeses like mozzarella.)


The pasta is still cooking! Put the ground beef, onion, mushrooms, pepper and garlic into a non-stick pot (I prefer cast iron) and cook over medium heat until meat is cooked thoroughly and any liquid has evaporated. Turn heat to low.
Stir in tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, olives, pesto and cooked pasta.
Heat it over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.


Mexican Skillet Supper

This is one of my favorite simple ground beef recipes. My mom used to make this when she was in a rush. I like it because it is a quick meal, because it uses just one pan, and - most importantly - because it tastes good! If you have leftover rice in the fridge, use it instead of cooking fresh rice.

1 lb g ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 can (14 oz) tomatoes, not drained

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 cup shredded cheese



First of all, before gathering any other supplies, put the rice on to cook.
Brown the beef and onion together in a skillet. Drain any fat.


Add the tomatoes and chili powder.

Cook over medium heat, stirring to break up the tomatoes.

The rice should be ready! Stir the cooked rice into the skillet.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until heated through, and any liquid is absorbed.

Spoon into individual bowls.

Top each bowl with lettuce and cheese.



20 Minute Chicken Creole

This quick Southern dish contains no added fat and very little added salt in its spicy tomato sauce.  It’s a traditional rib sticking, and quite healthy dish that goes into the keeper file for future use.




Nonstick cooking spray as needed

4 medium chicken breast halves, skinned, boned, and cut into 1" strips*

1 Can (14 oz.) tomatoes, cut up**

1 cup low-sodium chili sauce

1-1/2 cups green peppers, chopped (1 large)

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt



1. Spray a deep skillet with nonstick spray coating. Preheat pan over high heat.

2. Cook chicken in hot skillet, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Reduce heat.

3. Add tomatoes and their juice, low-sodium chili sauce, green pepper, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

4. Serve over hot cooked rice or whole wheat pasta.

* You can substitute 1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips.
** To cut back on sodium, try low sodium canned tomatoes.


Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

Big Girls on the Red Carpet


Cher Rue is an actress, writer and producer. Starting out with writing "Dear Cher" she knew she loved helping other people. Being plus size all her life this was where she knew her calling was.

Cher was seen on "Dr.Phil, "Good Morning America", "Entertainment Tonight", "Russian, British, Japanese, and Viet Vietnamese Television". Also a documentary filmed at the Las Vegas Bash on the Travel channel, and Current TV, a online station, with numerous radio interviews talking about size acceptance.
You can also see a recurring show "Secret Lives of Women" seen on the We channel "Women's entertainment".

Cher was recently in a new movie "Forever Plaid" coming out soon.

Cher is now involved with mainstream "Hollywood" and charity events showing that beauty comes in all sizes
it is what is inside that counts.

Cher has always loved seeing others happy and helping others to find their inner self and beauty.
Ten years ago, she found the plus size community and she knew this is where she would focus on helping others who were like her and had some of her experiences and pain that she went through.


Torrid/Breast Cancer Event - House of Dreams Pink Carpet

Article by: Cher Rue 




Thursday night September 24th it was time for the Big girls to shine.

Torrid clothing line had its annual fashion show, but this year topped the rest.

It was a great night to come out and support Breast cancer awareness. With great celebrities showing their
love and support. Carnie Wilson, Brooke Hogan, Linda Hogan, Audrey Kitching, David Hasselhoff, Nikki Mc Gibbon, Alexis Lopez, Frangela, Lisa Walters, Fawn, and more.

 Frangela                                Singer Songwriter Fawn  

Actress Cher Rue  American Idol Nikki Mc Gibbon


Linda Hogan                                              Carnie Wilson  


David Hasselhoff                  

With a beautiful "Pink Carpet", open bar, amazing food, and a fun filled night. Brooke Hogan opened up the show with three amazing songs and some pretty hot dancing, talk about a free concert it was so cool.

Nikki Mc Gibbon and Comedian Loni Love                Brooke Hogan and Cher Rue  

           Anna from "More to Love" is one of the women vying for the affection of Luke Conley on the FOX reality dating competition

series. Anna from "More to Love"s a plus-size model. Anna currently lives in Los Angeles, California but is originally from San Francisco, California. Anna is 27 years old 


Chris Daniel representing Torrid, was the star of the show, his sweetness and support of the plus size community really touched everyone there. The fashion show with the seven winners had the house going crazy as the girls worked the runway in some sexy creations. These girls were beautiful and proud to be plus size. It is about time the big girls are getting our props. Looking around the stage, I could see so many girls with so many dreams and they were so happy to be a part of change in the world. I think this year is the year that us girls of size are finally being noticed, and in a good way.


The event was held at the Fashion Institute in Los Angeles, California. (FDIM). I would have to say this was an event close to my heart and I had so much fun!

Torrid's House of Dreams Fashion Show featuring the seven lucky winners of their 2009 model search

Torrid, the Destination for Plus-Size Fashion, Introduces the 2009 House of Dreams Model Search Winners
Seven lucky winners rocked the runway at the 2009 Torrid House of Dreams
Fashion Event held on September 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

Torrid, the destination for young women's plus-size fashion selected seven winners of the 2009 Torrid House of Dreams Model Search, the world's largest plus-size modeling contest. The winners were selected from over 5000 entries from all over the country.

Finalists were chosen based on beauty, style, personality, and their potential to represent the Torrid brand's unique blend of youthful fashion, confidence and glamour. Finalists' popularity with Torrid fans, who were able to vote for their favorite models at was also a consideration in determining this year's winners.

As guests of honor at the Torrid House of Dreams event, the winners were
modeling original designs created by students from FIDM/The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Torrid has partnered with FIDM for this year's House of Dreams event which was held on the FIDM campus, West Coast home of Project Runway. House of Dreams benefits The National Breast Cancer
Foundation, Torrid's long time partner in the fight against breast cancer. This event kicked off a month long Torrid campaign to support National Breast Cancer Awareness in October.

Winner information.
    --  Heather, North Pole, Alaska
    --  Nikki, Northridge, California
    --  Taylor, DeWitt, Michigan
    --  Daron, Vancouver, Washington
    --  Natalie, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    --  Emma, Fort Wayne, Indiana
    --  April, Beaver Creek, Oregon


About Torrid
Torrid is the leading destination for forward fashion in sizes 12-26. Torrid
fashion is available in more than 150 stores and at

Video - Check out videos from the event below


Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet

Hot & Heavy Entertainment


     Stephanie Baham is a native of Los Angeles, CA and now resides in the San Francisco area. She's a 38 year old professional who has long enjoyed the craft of writing. Her other interests include film, theatre, yoga, dancing, literature and politics. Stephanie holds a Bachelor's degree from Cal State University, Long Beach in Theatre Arts. She is currently working towards her degree in Psychology.


The Naughty Chef

with Stephanie Baham



No, The Naughty Chef is not a XXX flick I found on the's a brand new reality series on the Oxygen network!  I'm excited about this particular series because the star of the show is a female plus-size chef.  And she's great at what she does.

Chef Blythe Beck is the executive chef at Central 214 in the Hotel Palomar located in Dallas, TX. She's 29 years old and hails from Houston. Chef Blythe's career goal: Total World Culinary Domination.

Why is she called the Naughty Chef? Because she loves to make that naughty food! She likes to fry it, slap butter on it, season it up and talk to it.  She's not afraid to make food solely based on taste. She calls her food the "Sexy New American Cuisine".  Health nuts beware....
her cooking may be too intense for you!


Another great quality of Chef Blythe is her no-nonsense straight-forward feisty attitude. But her love of good food shines through it all.  While giving a group of Texas housewives a cooking lesson for rib-eye steak....she reminds us that food is universal. Everyone has that in common...a love of food.

Her cast consists of a Sous Chef (whom she lovingly refers to as "monkey"), "Door Whores", food severs and hotel management.  Their goal is to help the restaurant run smoothly while being the best in Dallas. Their customers range from the Dallas elite to University students.  Chef Blythe's goal is to come up with the best recipes in all of TX. 

As I watched the show I admit I fell in love with Chef Blythe's take-charge attitude.  She gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "large and in charge"! What I also liked was her passion for food.  You can tell that she really cares about how much people enjoy her food.  She wants her dishes to be more of an experience than a meal. 

The other cast members where ok.....typical reality show characters. No one seemed to stand out, but I do recommend giving this show a chance. Finally, a plus-size positive show about food! Thank you Oxygen network.


Some reviewers pegged Chef Blythe as ball-busting & obnoxious. All the more reason to watch!  I would love nothing more than to see this plus-size lady grab a male-dominated industry by the balls and make it her own. If Gordon Ramsey can run season after season dropping f-bombs every 2 minutes...we can watch this tough lady in pink climb to the top of the restaurant world.

The video below is a 10 minute clip from the first episode. You'll meet Chef Blythe & the staff of Central 214.  And you'll see her go through the stress of getting her first review in the local newspaper. Enjoy!

To find out more information about the show, watch videos, get recipes or view the photo gallery, go to

Stephanie Baham


Thanks for reading Hot & Heavy Entertainment

Stephaine's Links:


National and International Plus Size News


     I am a former plus-size model and stage performer. I have written articles that have appeared in local newspapers, college magazines and I was a sports editor for my school newspaper. Currently I have a book coming out in May 08, How to Make a Living Without a Job: the Guide to Professional Temping. It will be available online through Amazon and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Borders. I split my time between the Bay Area, CA and Houston, TX.


Fat Rights Group is now on YouTube, Care to Join Them
with Iolande Vitt Argent


The Coalition of Fat Rights Activists are continuing to look for people to continue to take part in their project. Their Goal is to show the world that fat people have faces; that they are people and have their own stories. If you have watched a news report or read an article, it is often accompanied by a picture or video of a large person without a head, focusing on the stomach area and lower regions.

COFRA is looking to change the current view by getting large people to upload videos of themselves; telling about their everyday lives, essentially making them online celebrities. They want large people to join the ranks of the not so large people as online celebrities and celebrate their largeness by posting videos.

The goal is to show the world that we are people, first and foremost, no matter what our shapes. Fat people have voices, they have stories, and they have faces. For more information please visit:

COFRA group on YouTube or COFRA on the Fat Rights website


Thanks for reading Did You Know

The Big GB

My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya L. Bennett, (also known as “Truthfulblkwoman”) is a 38 year old, black female, single with no children living in Detroit, Michigan.  She is the youngest of a set of fraternal female twins, with a older sister.  Sonya lives with being the larger twin, and discovered people always presumed that they would look alike in SOME way... Even though fraternal twins don't necessarily look alike.  Always being the heavier of the two, people (family, associates, friends) were quick to point it out. She grew to realize an outer appearance is what people judge you on initially.  As a college-educated freelance court stenographer, it never occurred to her that size would prohibit her from receiving work.  In the legal world, the “eye candy” usually didn’t fill UP the corner.

In 2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake.    Only a few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot.  Doctors finally diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes.  That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her weight,  it wasn’t until this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something about my weight."  On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she made for herself.  In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one who lives it every day.


The Baby Stage

with Sonya Bennett


     I’m discharged from the hospital after a two and a half day stay.  I am blessed because I did not have to go home with drainage tubes, as some do.  These have been described as smelly, plastic appendages that drain the excess fat out and have to be emptied on a daily basis.  The pain is excruciating; oh how I miss my once-every-30-minute Morphine drip.  I’ve never had children so the abdominal pain was twice as bad as when my gall bladder extraction in 2000.  The surgeon and nurses cautioned me to make “wise choices” in my food decisions, reminded me that I was more prone to getting pregnant within these first two years after the surgery (when your body is healthy, the womb opens up, I guess!) and instructed me to walk as much as I could to get the gas out of me.  The gas is ridiculous; antacids and water are my best friends; I was afraid to eat because I thought the gas would be even WORSE if there was food in there!  Burping and flatulence are uncontrollable and luckily, I would be home for six weeks and no one had to hear it or smell it but me. 

     This is the time after the comfort and protection of the hospital (such as the womb is for babies) when nourishment is important: it’s the foundation that eating habits are built on.  Protein:  the cornerstone of any healthy diet and a necessity after the gastric bypass.  Not only do you need it to regain your strength but you also need it to help with the healing process.  Hair loss, longer recuperation times and lack of strength are your rewards for not getting in the amount of protein that is medically suggested.  The grams are determined by your current size so they vary by individual; I needed 36 grams daily initially which sounds easy on a normal day, however, with a stomach the size of a plum and a liquid diet, digesting protein is not an easy task. 

     After any major surgery, there are sacrifices to be made.  A gastrointestinal procedure such as this one, the sacrifices include: no heavy foods, avoiding caffeine, little to no fruit and no roughage.  Welcome to my description of “The Baby Stage”.    Babies have to rely on someone else to insure they are getting their nourishment; I’m not QUITE at that stage but damn-near!  If I could sleep all day, I would.  If I could have a hamburger right now without throwing up, I would!  Just because my body can’t tolerate it, doesn’t mean the desire is gone: I miss chewing.  My two-week diet consists of: chicken or beef broth, water, Crystal Light, sugar-free Wyler’s and sugar-free Jell-O as a treat – yum, yum, GOOD EATIN’!  I’m depressed because I can’t have the friend that is my comfort: food.  Some can’t understand that or won’t admit it but I understand it and I admit it!  Food was my reward when I excelled (even in my own mind), my comfort when I was sad, my punishment (where I would overeat) and oh yeah, my nourishment.  My lifelines are:  broth, Jell-O, Crystal Light and water and I’ve encouraged any potential visitor to bring me care packages of those things. 

     I feel like a baby: only having liquids, waiting to advance to soft foods and eventually to a “normal” diet of chewable foods.   I want to scream, “I HAVE teeth, I want MEAT“ but no one cares because since this was a voluntary procedure people view it as, “Oh well, this is what you wanted”  Sure, this is what I wanted: to save my life; to not damn-near pass out climbing a flight of stairs, to be able to sleep without a machine strapped to my nose to help me breathe, to not have to prick my finger twice a day and wonder why the number is so high; yup, this is what I wanted.   


Join me next month as I continue “The Baby Stage: Soft Foods


Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook


Time to tell it like it is!


     This is an experiment in Confession, you can anonymously confess, or let everyone know something that you feel.  Every Month we will post all the confessions and you can come and view them and be inspired to make your own.


     You can send in a picture,  You can make a graphic,  You can just send in your written words.  You can do it anonymously and get something off your chest.  You can let everyone know who you are and liberate yourself.


     Hope you enjoy Confession!  Send in your own check the bottom of this page!





Why is it so hard trying to move on from a relationship? Even after all I have tried?





I love you so much and miss you everyday, I dream about you and cant keep my mind from being on you.

There is a part of me that believes we were meant to be together.  That we will come back together one day.

There is another part of me that knows that you will never be someone I can count on if you remain the way you are.

What am I supposed to do?





She means everything to me and I cant figure out what is wrong with me.  Why does her size make me stay away.





I know you hear me, I know that you see me, even when I don't see you.  I remember you and I will never forget

The love and security you gave me.  You will always be the man of my heart part teacher, part lover, part friend.

I love you my husband and I will not forget.




Send in your own Confession,  Use the email to the Right and send in a your confession, weather it is a graphic you made (NO BIGGER THAN 5x7 92 DPI) or a picture you saw.  You can also just send in text words.  Your Confession can be Anonymous or you can tell everyone who you are.

Send in your Confession NOW!

Thanks for reading Confession

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One of our favorite parts of the Magazine.  The Guest Spot is for our readers to submit there talents to be viewed.  We want to see all you wonderful supporters making moves of your own.  If you write poetry, short stories, commentaries, or just thoughts in general, please submit them to us.  If your a designer we want to see pictures of your clothing.   We would love to include your talents in our newsletter.  We hope you take an active part in the L.I.C. newsletter. Send in your article, poetry, comments to -

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Guest Writer


Written By: Darliene Howell

I used to have a great deal of respect for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), until PETA as an organization has chosen to stigmatize a large portion of our population through their "Lose the Blubber" billboard campaign in Jacksonville, Florida.

If a child in school were to do what PETA is doing, their behavior would be called bullying for acting in an overbearing and/or intimidating manner. When has being a bully EVER been acceptable? It is not. This behavior and this billboard is NOT acceptable. How is this ethical treatment of human beings?

PETA's automated response to people that have had the courage of their convictions to tell them how this campaign demoralizes and demeans them, was "We apologize for any offense we may have caused; that was not our intent." (Too late!) And that "...we think it would be cruel not to tell people about the health benefits of going vegetarian." Oh! So it's being done out of concern for our health and that gives them the right to humiliate us? Is this their brand of ETHICAL TREATMENT?

The message goes on to talk about vegetarian living and how we wouldn't be obese and unhealthy if we stopped eating meat. Interesting, since I was a Vegan for a couple of years during my younger years and did not find that I lost any weight as a result. Okay, so I was still obese but I MUST have been healthier, according to their assertion. Hmmmm... Sounds a little like we could be healthy and still be fat? Does that mean that PETA believes in Health at Every Size (HAES)? Doubtful!

After all of this, they have the audacity to ask for a donation!

In a press release from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), they send a clear message that "Stigmatization does not work!" and that "This campaign's sole purpose is to bring PETA's animal rights agenda to the public discussion at the expense of an entire segment of the American population." I absolutely agree. They have received LOTS of media attention and letters of protest as a result of this campaign.

I'm very proud of all of the people that have stood up for themselves and others by writing to PETA in protest. If you would like to express your disappointment in their tactics and tell them that stigmatizing fat people is not acceptable, please send an email to

I've also had a number of friends who are animal lovers, that have supported PETA in the past, tell me they will no longer do so because of the way they have handled this advertising campaign. This may be the very best way to handle things. Hit them below the belt... the money belt, that is. There are many, many nonprofit organizations out there vying for our charitable-giving dollar. PETA will NOT be one of my choices.

For more information on Health at Every Size (HAES),


To read NAAFA's full press release,

"Message to PETA: Stigmatization Does Not Work!",

go to  or



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Fashion Furious

BBW/BHM Fashion of the Month

     We all hate how the Fashion Industry is just scratching the surface when it comes to Large Sized Fashion.  But I have found out that many clothing stores and online companies are beginning to take up the slack.  Creative BBW, SSBBW and BHM's are making there own clothing or mix matching and finding basic everyday wear and night club wear. 

     Making it affordable is what can be hard so showcase your wonderful finds here.  If your a regular shopper, sew your own clothing or a designer showcase your clothing here by submitting a picture for Fashion Furious of the month.


Fashion Furious of the Month

How to send in your Fashion Find. Send a Clear Picture as an attachment

and use the Format Below to describe your Fashion Furious picture.

Email to Raqui:

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type: New Arrivals from IGIGI

Why I Like this Item: Wish I could get some of these items but they don't make them in my size so all you ladies who can wear better buy them up :)







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Product of the Month!

What is good for Big Sized Bodies


    A very important and necessary part of LargeInCharge.  Find out what is helpful for big bodies.  Keep your self straight with some of our tips and tricks. Find out what other Big Sized people use to keep themselves smelling, feeling, looking, and living a proper life.  What kind of products are allowed. Anything that deal with the body. From cleaning aids to soap, lotions, powder, healing aids etc.  anything that can help a big body!

NOTE: The Opinion of those who submit items are not professional.  They are everyday people who found something that worked for them.  We are not held responsible for there opinion - The Large in Charge Staff

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Product of the Month

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product: Premium
Transfer Bench
Type of Product: Shower
Transfer Bench

Cost of Product: $129.99

Where Product can be found:


Moen® Premium Transfer Bench gets you in and out of the tub safely and easily

The Premium Transfer Bench from Home Care® by Moen® has a designer look for those who want function and style. The spacious 32"x18" seat with rounded end makes it easy to get in and out of the tub. Its innovative leg design with anti-slip rubber feet provides superior stability. Easy-grip handle offers extra support when sitting and standing. Chair adjusts from 16 1/2" to 21" high. Included shower holder and basket organizer keep necessities close at hand. Supports up to 400 lbs. Easy to clean. Rustproof.

  • meets ADA specs
  • 400 lb weight capacity

  • Why I like this Product:
    For a very affordable price this Shower chair can support up to 400lbs.  It is used to transfer yourself out the Bath Tub.



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