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LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#75 - June 2010

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue

From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck


The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett


Tales of a Happy Fat Girl ~ Estrelia Mateo


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


Fashion & Products with The WebGirl ~ Lucia Roth


F.A.T. - Free All Thinking ~ Candace Lane

Reflections from a Plus Sized Sista


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!

The Pampered Spirit of New Jersey - Spa Services catered for All!
written by Raqui

My Sister, Me and my Daughter
    I was preparing for my Daughter's Sweet sixteen and I wanted to have the ultimate spa weekend. Pampering and relaxation was well deserved.  My sister was joining in so it was just us girls getting away.

     Manhattan spas were to pricey and public.  I wanted a nice quite calm environment where we could get away. I searched Upstate New York and Connecticut.  Either the spa prices were great, but the rooms were ridiculous, or the rooms were fantastic, and spa services to much for my pocket book. Then I remembered many places in jersey had affordable suites and decided to search there.  Find a nice Day Spa and stay near it, this sounded like a good plan.

     My main concern was finding a location that they would service my daughter who was just turning sixteen and one that would be able to cater to a person of my size.
      In my search there were many spa's but I cant say they were equipped to service me.  I then found The Pampered Spirit of New Jersey.  What I liked the most was The Mobile Services they provide. Anything they do at their location they can do in your home or at a hotel of your choice.  I was so excited no getting naked in changing rooms. The focus would be 100% on us and not other clients.  But would servicing me be a problem?

     The last thing you want is someone rubbing on you who is Fat-phobic. It was really important to me that we all felt comfortable and if any of the staff who came to service us disliked fat people.  It would bother my daughter and my sister.  Maybe I would tolerate it but why pay for an experience when your not comfortable?

click the Logo to go to the website

     Upon calling the Pampered Spirit I was connected with Bridget.  I explained to her my idea for a Spa Party Sweet Sixteen style and she was ready and willing to help me plan it every step of the way.  Even calling hotels in the area for pricing.

     The most important aspect for me personally was my size. I wasn't sure how the body massage would be done. Do they have tables that can hold a 600 lb woman who is 6'4 inches tall?  Bridget told me that the table they use holds up to 800 lbs so weight wasn't an issue.  She wasn't sure about the width of their tables, but assured me that if I wouldn't be comfortable on the table she could easily make the bed my massage table.  Bridget explained how she has serviced many people who cannot be removed from bed and that she would be able to give me a proper body massage.

     Needless to say I was happy to hear that Bridget could accommodate me.  I wanted to be sure that all of the spa technicians for our party were'nt Fat-phobic.  Bridget told me she isn't judgmental toward anyone and doesn't believe her staff are either. She told me she would definitely address these issues when picking who would come to our Spa Party.
     I felt very comfortable during all aspects of planning with Bridget.  She listened to me and addressed all of my questions.  She was respectful and very friendly.  Me and my sister couldn't wait for our Spa Party Weekend.  My daughter was going to be so surprised.

    We traveled about a hour and a half from Yonkers to Tinton Falls by the Jersey Shore.  After swimming and Jacuzzi bubbles relaxing our bodies, we prepared to be pampered like never before.

     We had four technicians catering to us. They were all very friendly and fun.  They came in and turned our suite into a spa.  The Full body massage was so comforting, Bridget worked her magic on me and I didn't feel like I was a weird strange fat person.  From the beginning I was treated as a person no different from any other. That is when I knew I had to recommend The Pampered Spirit of New Jersey to all of my readers.
     I cannot rave enough about the services we received. The ladies who worked with us were wonderful at their job. They poured wine for us (sparkling cider for my daughter) and made it an amazing five hour extravaganza that we never will forget.  I am not joking when I say I have found a new way to blow my money.  Me and my sister both agreed we would rather head back to Tinton Falls, and The Pampered Spirit ladies than buy new clothes.  I am already starting to plan a new date with my sister and see who wants to join us.

     If your looking for some relaxation but have always worried that your size will stop you from having a fulfilling spa experience.  I suggest taking the trip out to New Jersey, spend some time at The Pampered Spirit Day Spa or get a suite and have them come to you.  You deserve to have your body pampered by people who will treat you like a person. You will not regret it, and when you call say Raqui of LargeInCharge recommended them.
Dawn - Facials & Scalp Treatment   /   Cathy - Manicures & Spa Treatment   /   Gina - Pedicures and Spa Treatment


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Molly Smith

Cover model of the Month Interview



Photographer credits to: Mark Sutton Photography What is your name?
Molly Smith Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I was born in Bellville, NJ and now I live in Ocala, Florida Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am 34 years old. I am 5'11" and a perfectly round size 26.. I am happily married. I have one wonderful little boy. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?
I was so thin people thought I had an eating disorder when I was young. Then, when I got pregnant 10 years ago I started gaining weight with the hormonal change. I am now a size 26. I had been a size 6 for a very long time. I enjoy my full figure. Being skinny was nothing special. Now I have curves. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?
I gained weight with my pregnancy. It never bothered me. I actually have more confidence now than I did when I was much smaller. I don't feel like I get lost in a crowd. I love to stand out and my big curves help me do so! What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?
I enter every year. I love to model. I am an avid size acceptance advocate, and I of course, enjoy your magazine. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?
You always get comments from the ignorance in the outside world. Got it when I was thin too. I just don't care. I really don't. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
well, they wouldn't be my friends if they didn't accept me. My mom was never a fan of my size, but no one else has a problem with it. What would you say inspires you most in life?
My son does. He is autistic and he does not care one bit about what anyone thinks about him. What he cares about is his happiness and about having fun. What is your primary job?
I model and run a new site which has a new plus sized clothing line which I am developing more and more each day. I am also a 2 times published author and am in the process of getting my first kids book published. How did you get into this line of work?
One of the owners of contacted me via Myspace and offered me a modeling job. I modeled before that, but they were my first web modeling job which is the bulk of the modeling that I now do. Do you find acceptance in the work force?
Very much. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I just think we should all be treated as equals. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
I think the majority of things out there are cut poorly. The patterns are old and they age women. If we actually find something trendy it is so high priced. I think the plus sized clothing industry has to be greatly improved. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?
I think shirts should be longer. I am 5'11" and when I buy a shirt in my size it is usually about 6 inches too short.. I think belly shirts are cute, don't get me wrong...but when I go to a parents teacher conference I want to look appropriate. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think society as a whole will realize that thin is not the majority, it is the minority and that we are everywhere so they better just accept it. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.
Wal-Mart, Torrid, Bells Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
Crest White Strips Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
Be prepared to have to do your own makeup and have your own wardrobe. Some shoots supply these things and some do not. You must be prepared to stand a lot and work long hours. My last shoot was 14 hours straight with 12 wardrobe and hair changes and 10 sets. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I see a lot more men coming out of the wood work and admitting they are attracted to large women. I think a lot of the bbw modeling sites out now have a lot to do with that. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
Hopefully, people will learn to accept themselves. I know we all want to be accepted by everyone, but the first step is in accepting and loving ourselves for who and what we are. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.
I want to model for as long as I can. I really want to get more into abstract modeling and couture. I love making myself look like a piece of art for a photo shoot. What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I have been in magazines and on the cover of magazines. I run my own site. I am on about 15 sites right now. I have been in catalogs and on coupons and fliers. It really has been a wonderful, wild ride! Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants? What was the experience like?
Never been in any pageants. I enter modeling contests all of the time. Most recently I have won Doll Of The Month for my site, but people voted and I was up against several other models so I won fair and square. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.
Really, every time I open up some fan mail. People always tell me that I am such an inspiration.. It is so nice to hear. All I do is be myself, but it's nice to be appreciated for it. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?
My son and my husband. They are my support team in everything I do. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?
Go for it! Don't be afraid to show the world your beauty. It's a hard job sometimes, but at the end of the day you feel beautiful and it is so worth it! What plus size figure do you admire?
I of course admire Raqui. This is not a kiss up statement. I have read her magazine and I have seen her on Tyra and I am a true fan. I also admire so many of the bbw web models. Web modeling jobs are hard to get sometimes and I know how many sets you have to do and how many times you have to submit over and over. It gets very tiring. I know how hard these ladies work and I am truly inspired by all of them.. Describe yourself with one word.


Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month


     Raqui the Owner and Founder of, 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 6 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.  Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.


     Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, 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 featured on and Glamour Plus - go to Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - If you don't Open your own Door... Don't be surprised when its shut!

Written By: Raqui 


    Reprint due to Popular Demand!

     Many plus sized women today are suddenly realizing, and aspiring to become models.


No more super skinny models" they say,


     We want to see women who look like us on the cover of magazines.


"No more fetish porn only work" they scream.


     I want to be taken seriously, I want to be seen for all that I am and not used for adult entertainment only.  Reduced to being called a fetish and valued for what is between my legs.

    This is a touchy subject, because we are ready to be seen but society is not ready to see us. We are slowly working our way into magazines, TV and other areas of public life. But we are not showcased the same way the super slim models are. We do not have the same status.

     But Raqui some of you may say. Many more companies are looking at us and we have some very famous plus sized models. I agree and what is begingin to happen is amazing and history making. The plus sized models out now are opening up the doors, but the doors are not OPEN WIDE YET. Notice I say yet.

    The label Plus sized in modeling. Really annoys me because they women who are being used as plus sized models are average size. When I look at what they call a plus sized model what I see some tall women who are a bit thick. I don't see any fat rolls on them in the pictures. I don't see a chubby double chin or the beginnings of one. I don't see a belly. I don't see any of the signs of plus sized in them. They shoot pictures and airbrush them  to make them look as close to slim models as possible. When I look at the Plus Sized Models I don't see plus sized. We haven't broken through yet but it is only a matter of time.

     The biggest question on this subject I get is, How do I become a model? People, Men and Women included, we have to look at ourselves objectively, and see what you can do as a model. I had to do that and I found my niche and have expand it often through the years.


You can read my story at my site.

     This month I have 5 tips for those who want to be models and are trying to find there way. I hope this will help some of you expand your minds in the world of modeling.

This is the hardest part, sitting back and really looking at yourself to see if you are model material, this can help you to determine which avenue to go for in the modeling industry. You may not fit the bill for one but work perfectly in another.

     A model is not just a pretty face, there has to be a fire in the eyes that reaches out to people through the picture. You have to be versatile in your look and being able to be photographed from many angles. Everyone has a signature pose which they believe is the best.  But every picture cannot look the same with the same pose. Learning to be versatile is important

     Understanding in the beginning you will not make much money. While you are building up your portfolio and getting experience under your belt, most of the time you will not be paid much, if at all. Companies and individuals will tell you what you will be paid.  If you see that they are not offering payment you should ask.  Many times when your work on small projects you have to balance getting paid verse the exposure you may receive from doing the project. At the very least your expenses should be taken care of if you have to travel.  You have to remember every project you do should run in theme with your modeling career.  If you are determined and continue to build up your resume and portfolio you will see that after some time being paid is not an issue.

WHAT YOU CAN DO - You cant sit back and wait until someone like you is out there already being showcased.  Or you can be that  person that paves the way. The more areas of modeling Plus Sized people get involved in, the more accepted we become. There are many types of modeling and if you cant fit in with one, you can try another.

If you cant model for a clothing company because you don't fit the type (I couldn't because I am to large for the clothes) Why not model for other avenues

  •  Try modeling for photographers

  • How about commercials

  • Local departments stores or online stores

  • Art students and Professional artists

  • amateur photographer's who want to expand there portfolios

  • Make up companies local and large

  • Local newspapers and magazines

  • Hair dressers

  • Make up artist

  • Online Magazines

  • Online photo contests, and more.

     You will have to open your mind to see the many possibilities.  You may not fit the bill for one type of modeling but another avenue might be perfect for you.  If your photogenic and are willing to commit yourself to Opening your own doors. You can start your modeling career in more than one field.

You want to be a model you have to have the skills, only super models and models who are part of certain projects receive the hair and make up treatment. You must be able to be on set, on time and be ready with clothing options, shoes, make up and hair in place. Unless you are modeling someone's clothing or their skill in hair or make up you must come ready. Always ask the project manager in advance what they are expecting.

This may take some time but if your serious about your craft you will dedicate yourself to the following:

  • All over body skin care - not just your face

  • Learning to apply your make up properly

  • Learning to take care of and style your hair.

  • Nail care of the Hands and Feet.

  • Some exercise to keep the heart pumping.

  • Having a variety of clothing and shoe options.

  • Walking in high heels.

  • Posing properly - No dead fish eyes. Dead fish eyes is a flat look with no recognition in the eyes. When you model many times you will begin to give a flat dead fish eyes look.

There are many books and magazines that can help you determine what is best for you. Of course trial, error and practice are always the way to go.

It is all in the presentation. Here is an example (from the Cosby show)

     Ok take your favorite food, Lets say it is a steak, it is cooked just perfect, you got everything ready, salad, potatoes, mushrooms if you like. Everything is cooked to perfection and it is smelling wonderful. They are about to serve you this marvelous meal.  And you see the chef take the garbage can lid off the garbage can, and put the steak right on it with the potatoes and salad and all the fixings and bring it to you and put it in front of you to eat.

Do you want to eat it? I don't think so.

     How you present yourself is quite the same. You think about how you are showcasing yourself, to the people, you want, to pick you to represent them. Are you presenting yourself in the best light or on a garbage can lid? Because that is what you do as a model, you are the face and body that represents, the company. or person, who you modeled for.

     Do not use pictures of yourself in your portfolio that have a cluttered background. No one wants to see what kind of lotion you have in your bedroom, in fact no one wants to see your bedroom. No one wants to see you standing in your hallway or sitting on your couch. That is not professional and if you present your self as a mediocre wanna be model. You will not be taken seriously.

BIG TIP: If you want to do photo shoots at home. Invest in a good digital camera with auto picture taking options, some lights you can buy them at home depot for 10-20 bucks, and a tripod. You can use a large piece of material, buy it by the yard at a fabric store. I suggest to buy a few different kinds. It should be as wide as possible and should cover the whole wall from the top of ceiling down to the floor and cover some of the floor where you stand (about 8 - 12 feet of material). You can reuse it over and over for different shoots and to cover things when your shooting your photos

   Networking with other models and people in the industry can help you get  to know more about what you should and shouldn't do. You will also collect many contacts and get advice from those who know the ropes.

TRADE TRADE TRADE - I know many of you are thinking, this is a lot of work, time, and effort and I might not get paid ever! I would have to invest a lot of money into pictures, comp cards, and a website to help advertise myself.

Yes it is true this is an investment this is not some fly by night thought.  It is a dedication.  Still there are many ways to cut costs and make a bit more affordable. It is called trading.

Search on and off line for photographers amateur or professional, hair stylists and make up artists in your area. Trade skills with them. Let the make up artist do your make up, the hair stylist your hair and let the photographer take your photos. You should all chip in to cover the costs of the film and developing and share the pictures (Using a digital camera will cut out this expense) all of you can use them for your portfolios. Make sure to write a contract you all sign saying you all have rights to use the photos for your own purposes.

Many times you can trade for clothing from smaller online clothing companies if you agree to model the clothing and send in your professional pictures for their website. You can model for up and coming designers for all sorts of occasions and ask to keep the clothing you model.

This will also work with independent jewelry companies, make up companies, Nail, Hand and Hair online companies or distributors.

The sky's the limit if there is a service or something you can trade, it can work out wonderful for you and them. All these jobs regardless if they are trading or not can be added to your work portfolio.

This is one area that you don't want to trade because you want the best quality. Design of your website, webpage, and comp card are essential.

You need to have a comp card made. When you present yourself to companies or people you should have a printed comp card with your resume and you should have a comp card you can send via email.

A comp card is a designed card (either a 4x6 or 8x10) featuring your modeling pictures. You will also have your contact information, measurements, age, race and other vital information on it.

Here is my comp card you can view as a sample:


Usually this cost is $75.00 to 150.00 dollars. You can try to find an up and coming designer though your comp card may not have the flair a professional can create. It also must be rendered properly for printing and sized accordingly for distribution over the web.

Weather you have a webpage anywhere on the net. (IE. myspace, photo sites, yahoo, blackplanet, etc.) nothing will represent you like your own dedicated website that is updated with as much information as you want. Having your own email account through your server is the professional way to go.

You can view my site as an example (it is due for reconstruction soon)

Showcasing you and your work is an important step for all people in the industry. This makes you viewable and searchable on the internet and shows your experience. Many people have websites that are hard to navigate and are not compelling the person who visits to stay. Sites that are annoying and cumbersome will not make people want to stay and read about you. Never the less visit regularly for updates and information. You are selling yourself and your site should drawn people into you and want to stay.

Usually the cost for a website starts at 1,000.00 and up. Yes that is a big investment which is why so many people try to do one themselves but only a real designer can make a site that draws people in.

HOW DO I GET HELP - I am dedicated to helping those who are up and coming and want to take the right steps to presenting themselves properly. If your ready to take the step to getting your comp card and website done... I will personally work on your site.

 I can give you the below prices:

Comp Card design: $50.00 - $75.00
Website design: Basic design starting at 250.00 - 350.00 including hosting and domain
Printing for all your needs
Email for quotes or price list

Shoot me an email for price lists:

I hope you got some good information here and I wish you the best on discovering your potential.



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Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

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


Looking Back ... Continued



“See?  Me and Mala told ya it wasn’t a good idea to go out with Paul.  Totally not your type.  Admit it, the date was a disaster!”


            “It was good for comic relief.”


            “Yeah, but not til after I sent you the picture of my boobs.” 


            “Selena!  Keep your voice down!  We’re in the middle of a restaurant and I’m sure not everyone here wants to know that you go around sending people dirty pictures.”


            “Oh, whatev.  And anyway, it was a very clean picture.  I’d just gotten out of the shower.”


            “Seriously, though, the date wasn’t that horrible.  I just think Paul would be better off with a good little—well, with someone else.  Someone who’s not actively seeking adventure.  Not that I’m overly big on risk-taking or anything, but he’s even less spontaneous than I am.  And it was funny even before the picture.  I mean, who assumes a girl owes him anything because he shared his popcorn?”

            Selena picked up the bill.


            “Well, I’m about to buy you a whole lunch, so what will you owe me for that?”


            “Lunch tomorrow.”


            “Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We really should, like, go out again sometime, though, ya know?  I had fun.  Look at you!  Why do you blush every time I so much as mention the fact that we went out?”


            “It’s just still a little weird for me.  You’ve been into girls forever so you’re used to it, but I still don’t even know if the whole girl thing works.  I just need to—to focus on these guys for a while and let the whole thing sit.  Okay?”


            “Okay, but I know ya wanna.  Otherwise you wouldn’t still be blushing.”


            “It’s not that, it’s just—never mind.  Are you coming to the shop tonight?  Did Mala ask you?”


            “You are totally changing the subject, Jane.  No, I haven’t really talked to her much.  It’s not like we’re best buds or something, we both just happen to like hanging out with you, so we, like, hang with each other, too.  What’s up tonight?”


            “Mala has some junk to do, like getting a bunch of stuff packed up for a show she’s doing next week at some other gallery, so we decided to get dinner—pizza and wine, I think Mala said—and have some fun with it.  You can come if you wanna.”


            “Pizza and wine?  I might just mosey on over.  What time, though?  I have an appointment with my therapist.”


            “Sevenish, I think.  Maybe you should bring your therapist with.  We could probably all use it.”


            “Well, I’ll invite her, but somehow I don’t think she’ll jump right on that.  I’ll be there, though.”


            “Cool.  See ya then.”




            Selena hugged Jany and then ran off to her car.  Jany walked slowly back to work.  She’d never had friends that hugged people so casually before, and since she’d spent most of her life trying to avoid letting other people touch her, she never knew quite how to react.  Was she supposed to wrap her arms around the other person, pat the other person on the back, what?  And she was always mildly paranoid that the hugger had somehow failed to notice how fat she was and would react violently upon feeling her abundant flesh.  She told herself it was stupid to worry so much, especially given that this time it had been Selena who’d hugged her, but it still took half the afternoon to get her mind fully back on work.


            Jany left the gallery at closing time to run some errands and got back just as Selena was arriving.  They walked in together to find Mala sprawled on the floor in the middle of the gallery, surrounded by cardboard boxes.


            “Workin’ hard, hey, Mala?” Selena asked.


            “Yeah, I am.  I just hauled all these boxes in from the truck all by myself!”


            “Well, you coulda waited.  And anyways, they’re cardboard.  How hard is it to carry empty cardboard boxes?”


            “Okay, girls, let’s get to work,” Jany sang out.


            Mala slowly stood up and disappeared into her office, returning with glasses and a bottle of wine.  The three set to work packing up some of Mala’s originals and sets of prints.  The wine slowed them down a little over time, but it only took them a few hours to have everything all packed up and inventoried.


            “Okay, time for that pizza!” Mala proclaimed finally, and a half hour later they were all settled on the floor in the office around Mala’s laptop, eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching silly videos.


            “Ya know what we should do?” Selena asked.  She didn’t wait for an answer.  “We should make Jany pick the next guy she’s going out with.  ‘Cause she keeps telling me she’s gotta date ‘em again before she’ll go out with me, an’ I’m gettin’, like, really sick of waitin’.”


            “Yeah.  We can do that.”  Mala brought up the website and turned the computer toward Jany.  “Log in.  Start typin’.”


            “I don’t know if now’s a good time, really.  I mean, we’re all a little drunk, and I might say something dumb that I’d regret—”


            “Get over it.  You’ve hardly had any wine at all.  We’re both talkin’ like we’re fifty sheven—seven—sheets to the wind, but you’re fine.  Who ya gonna ask?”


            “I don’t know.”  Jany logged in and looked at the list of guys to whom she’d decided to give a second shot.  “I’m not at my best today.  I think I had Insecurios for breakfast or something.”


            Mala and Selena laughed so hard that Jany almost managed a smile. 


            “That was a good one!” Selena told her, slapping her across the back just a little too hard.  “Insecurios!” 


            “I think,” Jany began quietly, “That I should maybe ask Dale next.  Because he was an ass, kind of, but he had a good sense of humor, and he was good for my self esteem.  I think maybe that’s what I need right now.  Input?”


            “Yes!  Ask Dale!” Mala said enthusiastically.


            “Dale’s da man!” Selena chimed in.


            “Okay, then.  Help me write the letter.”


            “We’ll do better than that.  We’ll write it for you.  Go away.”


            “No!  I absolutely do not trust you two, especially tonight.”


            “Oh, come on.  We won’t send it til you say we can.  Go drink some more wine and we’ll come get ya when we’re done.”  Selena stood up, placed Jany’s glass of wine in one of Jany’s hands and her own glass in the other, and ushered Jany through the doorway.  “Go keep yourself busy.  Be with ya in a minute.”  She pulled the office door shut.  Jany sat down at the service counter and stared from one glass of wine to the other.  And then, one at a time, she drained them both.


            “Alrighty!  Come on in!” Mala finally sang, and the office door swung open, propelled by a bare foot.


            “Are you guys so drunk you can’t even stand up to open the door?” Jany asked, half kidding.


            “Yeah, kinda,” Selena answered.  She didn’t sound like she was kidding.  Jany was more than a little nervous about the kind of letter Mala and Selena might have written to Dale, given their situation.




Subject: Another Date, Big Daddy!


Hey, you.  Its Jany, member me?  I’m the one you wanted to give you a blow job at the mall and I thought you were crazy but maybe you weren’t so crazy.  I mean thats actually kinda sexy really and even though I don’t do stuff like that much, it makes you seem like a fun guy.  You made me feel real good cause you didn’t think I should be all weird and stuff about how I look just cuz im fat and that works for you cause your not kinda ugly but you don’t care, you just have fun anways.  So we should go out to dinner and a movie sometime, like saturday, and see where things go.  Your cute.  Jany.


            “You guys, I am not going to send that!  It’s offensive to him, it’s not at all what I would say, and the spelling and stuff is all wrong!”


            “Oh yeah?” Mala asked.  Giggling, she reached toward the computer.


            “Mala, don’t you even—Mala!”  It was too late.  Mala had sent the message before Jany could stop her.  “That was way over the line, Mala.  Really.  You are totally going to offend him, and after the way I’ve been treated my whole life because of how I look, I would never, ever, ever do the same thing to someone else.  And saying he was cute at the end did not erase the part where you called him ugly.  I can’t believe you’d do that!”  Jany turned away so that Mala and Selena wouldn’t see her tears.


            “Mala?  I think maybe she’s right.  We mighta gone jus’ a little bit too far.  Well, you did, anyway—I didn’t send it.  Let’s leave her alone.”


            Once Mala and Selena were gone, Jany tried to get herself together.  She couldn’t figure out exactly why she was so upset.  She didn’t exactly think she had a serious future with Dale.  But she hadn’t been lying to Mala.  She really felt sick to her stomach at the thought that what she had said—well, what Mala and Selena had said—might hurt him. 


            And she still had her inability to burn bridges to deal with.  Jany felt like she had come a long way, but she still had a constant fear that she might let herself trust someone, one of the guys she went out with, and then suddenly find herself alone again, without anyone waiting on the back burner.  The thought of trusting someone and being betrayed was almost scarier than the thought of never having anyone to trust at all.


            Finally, she did the only thing she could think of to do: she sat down at the computer and typed another letter to Dale.




Subject: Please Excuse The Last Letter You Got—From My “Friends”


Sorry about that.  We all had a little wine, and I told them I was thinking about asking you out again, and they sent a message without my permission.  What I would have said, personally, if they’d given me the chance, was that I was pretty offended by what you asked me to do, but I do admire your attitude, and you really made me think about myself in a different and better way when I met you, and you have a great sense of humor, and I had a pretty good time with you in the end.  So, that all being said, I was wondering if you’d like to go out sometime.  I really hope you can get past what my friends said.  I promise you that I had nothing at all to do with that message.  In fact, I was just telling them that there was no way I would ever allow them to send something like that when one of them hit send before I could stop her.  They were only right about a couple things: you did make me feel good, you are cute, and dinner and a movie Saturday night would be pretty cool.  Hope to hear from you soon.  Jany.


            Jany joined Mala and Selena in the gallery. 


            “Okay, you guys, I sent him another letter.  Hopefully he’ll even be speaking to me.  You are terrible, you know that?”


            “Jany—I’m sorry.  We just got goofy.  But you really do take everything too serious.  You don’t gotta treat every man you meet like he’s the love of your life or something.  Once in a while, you’re gonna have to hurt someone’s feelings, it’s just how life works.  I mean, ya try not to, but if you don’t learn to be honest with dudes, you’re gonna end up married to someone ya can’t stand.”


            “Right, Selena.  ‘Cause I’m sure I’m going to meet hundred of guys that wanna marry me.  I don’t even have to worry about that.  None of this really matters.  I mean, yeah, I’ll get to have some fun, but I’m just not the kinda girl that’ll ever have a family or someone to wake up next to in the morning.  This is all just a distraction.”


            “With that attitude, you’re sure as hell not gonna meet anyone.  Get it together, Jany!  You don’t have to go gettin’ all depressed just ‘cause we got silly and wrote a letter to some guy.  Even if he doesn’t wanna stick around with ya forever, someone else will.  You don’t even wanna be with him forever—you were barely sure if ya wanted to see the guy again.  Get off your pity horse and have some fun for once.  It’s no fun for us when you go and get all sad.”


            “My pity horse?”


            “Pity horse, Mala?  Really?”


            “Shut up.  High horse, pity pot, whatever.  You know what I mean.”


            Jany and Selena laughed at Mala, which made her pout a little, but it relaxed them all, too.  They were friends again.


            Selena was too tired to check her e-mail when she got home.  She lay awake in bed for a while, wondering if Dale had gotten the messages, what he thought if he had, but it didn’t keep her awake for long.  It was the first thing she thought about when she woke up, though, so her computer was on before she was fully awake.


            Nothing.  Dale had not responded.  Selena got ready for work, but the fact that Dale hadn’t responded colored her whole day, even though she told herself that he probably hadn’t had a chance to get online.  She was crabby with Mala, which made for a terrible morning because Mala was a little hung over from the wine, and at lunch, she barely talked to Selena until they were finished eating.


            “Oh, come on.  Get over it.  I understand that you’re mad, but don’t let it be this big of a deal.  It takes, like, way more energy to hold a grudge than to just let it go.  My therapist always tells me that.”


            “Screw what your therapist says.  It doesn’t have anything to do with my issue today anyway.”


            “Whoa, girl.  Calm down.  I didn’t mean to piss you off—”


            “Look, I’m not pissed.  Not really.  I’m just kinda scared now.  Dale hasn’t e-mailed me back yet.  I think he probably got upset and now I won’t get to see him again.  He didn’t believe me when I said it was you guys or something.  Like things aren’t bad enough, now there’s one more guy in the world that doesn’t want me.”


            “My God, Jane.  He might not even checked his mail yet—are you crying?  Are you okay?”


            “I’m fine.  Leave me alone.”


            Selena stood up and walked around behind Jany.  She placed her hands on Jany’s shoulders and, squeezing them tightly, leaned over to whisper in Jany’s ear.


            “It’s okay, hon.  Just relax.  Come on, let’s get outta here.  You’re gonna be fine.  Come with me.”  Selena stopped at the cash register and paid on the way out, then led Jany back to the gallery.  They slipped into the office and Selena gently pushed Jany into a chair, then sat next to her and held her hand.


            “What—what’s this all about?” Jany asked quietly.


            “What is what all about?”


            “Why are you doing all this?”


            “’Cause you’re upset.  And I’m your friend.  I want you to be happy.”


            “If you just leave me alone, I’ll be okay.”


            “That’s not how friends work.  Now tell me what’s wrong.”


            “I already did.  I’m lonely, okay?  I don’t wanna live my whole life with no one to love.  It sucks.”


            “Jany, snap out of it.  Things are going really well for you, you just can’t see it ‘cause you got your eyes closed.  Open ‘em up.  I’m here for you, and Mala’s here for you, even if no one else is.  Which they probably are, I’m just sayin’.  And you got all these guys to go out with.”


            “But none of them called or wrote to me, I have to do all the work.  I’m not worth any effort on anyone’s part.  If I’m easy, maybe some guy is willing to do whatever, but no one really wants to get to know me.  I’m just not worth it.”


            “You were worth twelve bucks to me just now.  You were supposed to pay for lunch today.”


            “Oh my God!  I’m so sorry, here.  Let me get in my pocket,” Jany mumbled, leaning forward in her chair.  Selena placed her hand on Jany’s chest and pushed her back.


            “Never mind.  I was teasing you.  It doesn’t matter.  I just wanted to make you smile.  Listen, I know it’s not what you want to hear, but you will find plenty of people who want to be with you and who think you’re worth their effort or whatever.  You just haven’t, like, started looking the right way in the right places yet.  Once you start getting ahold of some of those guys, the ones you didn’t meet on that website, I bet you’ll be way better off.  And if none of them work out, you’ll always have me.  It might freak you out to hear it, but I really do like you, and if you ever decide girls are your thing, I really do want to go out with you again.  I mean, friends is cool, too.  I like to just hang with you.  But I’m attracted to you.  I don’t know if that makes you feel any better or if it’s just kinda weird, but there it is.”


            “It does—I mean, I do feel better.  I’m just—not sure.  But I appreciate you—this.  I’ve never really had any friends around when I got all weird before.  I usually just go hide out at home.  So I don’t really—I’m not used to this.  But thank you.  I’ll be okay.”


            Jany managed to get through the rest of the day at work, but she was relieved to go home.  It was exhausting to pretend she was normal when she didn’t feel like she was.  And she was anxious to see if Dale had responded yet, too.  Before she logged in to, she took a deep breath and promised herself that if he hadn’t responded, she would just forget him and move on.  No more tears.


            But he had.




Subject: Re: Please Excuse The Last Letter You Got—From My “Friends”


I thought maybe you had changed a awful lot.  It didnt sound like you.  I do my fair share a drinkin so I get it.  Hell yeah I wanna go out with you again.  I got hopes.




Subject: Lower Those Hopes


I’m still not going to do vile and disgusting things to you in the theater, ok?  I want to go out with someone, dinner, a movie, whatever, and just have a good time.  No pressure.  I want to feel like I’m worth something to someone other than being a place to put his—well, you know.  If you’re not cool with that, let me know.  I’d rather not see you, in that case.  And I just wanted to tell you that I’m proud of myself for saying so, by the way.  It means I’m getting better, because I used to never be able to say what I wanted or what I thought.  And I’m probably going to cry if you say never mind, you don’t want to see me if there’s no sex involved.  No pressure or anything, though.




Subject: Re: Lower Those Hopes


Im cool with that.  Some girls take more work than others.  Well see what it takes with you.  Let me come to youre neck a the woods this time.  Meet you at the bus stop you got off at last time around 6 on Friday and well go someplace to grab food before the movie.


            Dinner had gone well.  They’d gone to a Chinese buffet near the bus stop, and Dale had seemed like a perfect gentleman, not like the brute he made himself out to be in the e-mails he sent. 


            At the theater, he bought tickets for both Jany and himself, along with a big bucket of popcorn, even though Jany didn’t know how he could possibly eat any more after what he’d had for dinner.  At least he didn’t mention expecting her to owe him anything for it.  They scrunched themselves rather uncomfortably into seats in the last row.  The seats were close together, of course, and neither Jany nor Dale was a small person, so they were forced to sit almost on each other’s laps.  Jany wished she had waited until after Dale had sat down, so she could have left a seat in between them.  She tried to find a place to put her arm where it wouldn’t be resting on some part of Dale.  Dale obviously didn’t care that much.  He sat the way men have a habit of sitting, his legs splayed wide and pressed against Jany’s, and rested his arm on their shared armrest, even though it forced Jany to almost hold her breath as she leaned away from him to avoid letting her belly rest against his arm.


            “Whatcha doing?”


            “I’m trying to find a place to put my arm,” Jany whispered.  “I don’t want to crowd you.”  She hoped maybe he would take the hint and reign himself in a little to give her more space.


            “I know a place you can put it,” Dale whispered back, smirking.




            “Are we really going to start this again?  I was kidding.  Jeez.  Relax.”


            “Sorry.  I just don’t wanna lead you on.”


            “Even if you do, I’ll live.  By the way, I have a really small penis.”


            What?  I mean, no, don’t say it again.  Agh!  I didn’t want to know!”  Jany pulled herself as far from him as she could and closed her eyes.  She shivered in disgust.  “Why?  Why did you have to go and do that?”


            “Does it bother you that much?”


            “No.  Yes.  I mean, what made you think I needed to know?  It bothered me to hear it, yes.  Other than that, I really don’t care.  My God!”


            “Well, just in case I finally wore you down, I thought you should know.  It’s always better to let someone get used to it ahead of time so I don’t get laughed at.”


            Nothing in Jany’s life had prepared her for such a situation.  She didn’t know what to say, if it was appropriate to laugh, if she should be angry or feel sorry for Dale—she didn’t know anything.


            “I—uh, I wouldn’t laugh at you.  I mean, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me.  Look, can we just not talk about this anymore?  It’s creepin’ me out.  Not your—it’s the conversation that’s creeping me out.  I didn’t expect to find out that kind of information tonight, in any way, so it was kinda a shock.”


            They sat in silence for a few minutes, as the pre-movie ads and the credits played.  Then Dale leaned over toward Jany again.


            “Don’t you want to know how small?  Just in case?  So you can make an informed decision?”


            “No!  I don’t want to know, and I told you I don’t care anymore.  Drop it, please!  This is really weird.”


            “Oh, calm down.  I’m just being polite.”


            “Yeah, polite.  Polite people don’t talk about their genitals in a movie theater.  Now shut up and let’s just watch the movie so I can try and forget this awkwardness.”


            Jany couldn’t believe she was even able to talk to Dale about the subject; she was responding out of sheer panic and not her own will.  She shuddered one more time as she tried to refocus her attention on the movie.




            “I’m gonna regret saying this, but—what?”


            “A pack of Rolaids.”


            “No, thanks.  I’m fine.”  Jany relaxed a little.  Rolaids was a topic she could handle.


            “No, I mean, it’s about the size of a pack of Rolaids.  When it’s hard.”


            “Dale!  Shut up!  I.  Don’t.  Want.  To.  Know.”  Jany nearly shouted at first, then lowered her voice to a whisper when people started turning around.  “That’s disgusting!”


            “Sorry.  I just thought you needed to know.  In case I wear you down.  I’m still trying, you know.”


            “Wow, I felt sorry for you at first, but you just kept right on going until there was no sorry left in me.  You are not telling me because you thought I should know, you’re telling me because it’s turning you on!  Look at you, at the grin on your face.  You think this is just great.  They were right, I never should have gone out with you again.”


            “Who was right?”


            “My friends.  The ones that sent you that e-mail.  They told me I should shoot higher, but I didn’t think they were right.  I thought you might be cool, might bump up my self esteem again.  I never should have even bothered to e-mail you after they did—you deserved what they said.  You are ugly, and it has nothing to do with what you look like!  Now, I am going to watch this movie, because I’m already here and it looks good, but just don’t talk to me.  I don’t want to hear any more about your—about your body.  Even if it does turn you on.”


            Jany stood up and moved over a chair.  Mala and Selena had been right, just like always.  Jany wondered when she was going to start trusting them.



Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


Emily's Cool Links


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.

Article by: Cher Rue


April 23rd Friday night was a celebration of the plus size community.
Cher Rue put on the party of the year at Life on Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Cher a plus size activist and personality in the main stream of Hollywood put on a great event! A Red Carpet and paparazzi were there as the guests had a blast taking photos all night. The festivities of live performances by the communities own "Fawn"singer/songwriter who has made it to Number 6 on the dance charts, and we are so supportive of her. Pepper Mashay the Diva dance queen also a BBW, belted out two great songs and showed what she is made of.

Comedian Kymedienne was so funny with her charm and whit, she had the room cracking up with laughter. Comedian Georgia Van C from Australia was adorable and her stand up is so different and unique. Johnny V (Scott Baio is 45 and Single) teamed up with Georgia and had some laughs. Josh Harraway "Tupac" Impersonator, belted out some great vocals and had the sexy girls on stage dancing up a storm. To top it all off "Lyric Messenger" and his dance crew gave a awesome finale with his great hits and some new songs.

Cher gave Kathleen Divine creator of the Butterfly Lounge in Costa Mesa a BBW Innovator Award for all she has done for the BBW community.

Hosted by Alana Chandler (Janice Dickenson Models) did an outstanding job of MC, and Reggie a icon in the BBW Community, with a strut onto the stage and his Pimp dance everyone was captivated with his sexy dance moves.

Other celebrity guests that attended were comedian "Luenell" ( Borat, All about Steve, laugh factory and Kat Williams) was there, with Luke Conley from ( More to Love), Michelle Greenleaf (More to Love), Jesse Lewis (America's most Smartest Model and Nip/Tuck) , Nate Anderson (Seducing Cindy) Kanisha Johnson (Tough Love 2). Who were more than happy to take photos with all the guests. With special guests who flew in just for the party Paula from Arizona with Will, Vee from Chicago, Diamand Dave, and special BBW icon Zix from Bodacious magazine were among the crowd.
With the club at capacity, the BBW's, Big Handsome Men and all their admirers the evening was a great success with everyone having a fun time and wanting more. Photos were taken by Jennifer Ward and TMZ and Thrive News TV were in the house.  



Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet


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.

A Year Later

with Sonya Bennett





     April, 2008. It seems like just yesterday I was writing the details of how I came to want “The Surgery” (as it’s been shortened to), the troubles I went through before, during and after it and here it is, a year later and I’m sharing where I am. I began this journey wearing a size 32/3X-4X and I’m 5’0’’ and I carried that weight on my tiny frame for more years than I care to remember. “How did you get to that point?” someone asked (of course, this was a person of ‘normal’ size and their amazement of how I could “get to that point” was asked in the same bewildering voice as one asking how a 700-pound man got to his size and needed to be cut out of his house. “I don’t know” was the simplest answer without asking them, “How did you start smoking two packs of cigarettes a day? How did you come to need a roommate at 56 years old?” some questions just can’t be answered with a simple, “Well, one day I tried eating and….” A food addiction; I’ve never thought of myself addicted to food: after all, we need food to live so how can one be addicted to it? One day, I turned to the side and noticed I had “back boobs” (the back fat that sits directly where your breasts are except it’s in the back). One day, I realized clothes were more expensive at size 32. Weight creeps up on you just like anything else can. How many people do we know who have been at a job for 30 years when it started as an internship that they were going to have for “experience” and now, they’re about to retire? We never know how we get to where we are/were; it’s just a matter of desiring to not stay at that place; if it’s an unhealthy place, and mine was.

     It’s been a year since I’ve had the gastric bypass and, though it’s been a rocky year, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. My Diabetes is in remission; where my blood sugar levels were between 120 and 160 every morning, it’s now between 68 and no higher than 83 every morning. I’m no longer taking the medication to control it, because it IS controlled. My cholesterol is stable and I can sleep without the CPAP Machine that I needed (and without snoring everyone in the house out of their peaceful slumber!). I am now wearing a size 22/2X-3X. My shoe size has changed (surprisingly; is that because there’s not as much fat on the soles of my feet?) from a 10.5 to an 8/8.5. I definitely have lost a noticeable amount of weight.


     However….   I don’t seem to be losing any more weight. Where is the magic pill that I’ve heard so much about? Is this IT? Did I have my stomach cut in half and endure abdominal pain, three days in the hospital and changing my diet to only be five (5) sizes smaller than I was?! I have seen women have The Surgery and have thought, “Well, she’s not AS fat as she was” and I don’t want to be one of those where people think that about me. I know that when I was on diets before, I would reach plateaus: standstills where your body (feeling that it’s going into “starvation mode”) clings on to the fat that it has stored to insure it survives; I wasn’t expecting a plateau with The Surgery….

Join me next month as I continue… a year later.

We’re in June: Summer approacheth! Should you desire that hour-glass figure for yourself or your Sweetie , visit my site at:  and send a note with any questions.



Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook

 Tales of a Happy Fat Girl is the story of one girl’s journey towards size acceptance in a positive light. Estrelia Mateo was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She began writing poetry and short stories in middle school as way to deal with the teasing and bullying she received due to her weight. She has won numerous awards for writing including being nominated for the Silver Knight Awards in Journalism by the Knight-Ridder Foundation.
Estrelia is also one of the founding members of Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. is a multi-cultural sisterhood with the purpose of uplifting, encouraging and empowering the plus size woman. Estrelia currently resides in Boca Raton, FL.



A Happy Fat Girl’s survival guide for Family

with Estrelia Mateo

            I once heard someone say “family is a fate worse than death” and sometimes after particularly big fight with my mother I am prone to agree. Family can lift you up or tear you down in ways no stranger can and it’s not like you were given a choice to the family you were born into. God or whatever higher power you believe in placed you smack dab in the middle of the chaos that is your family. Now it is true that not every family is the same but one thing I am certain of is that at one point in your life your family has driven you crazy.

          One of the biggest issues of contention between my family and I is my weight. I have always been told I need to lose weight, in fact at least every single member of my family has told me this at one point or another. Now as an adult I can see that they were coming from a place of love but as a child and as a teenager I felt like they were attacking me. I guess the biggest problem I had was that I felt like they were being very hypocritical in telling me to lose weight while making no effort to help me change my eating habits or to start an exercise program.

          I come from a Hispanic family where food is one of the ways we show love. When I was in the fourth grade I had auditioned for a performing arts magnet school and I was rejected. When I got my rejection letter I cried and my mom offered to cook me a special dinner to make feel better. It was little episodes like that all through my life that made it hard for me to not to get mad when they told me to lose weight. What do you do when the people who are saying lose weight are shoving arroz con pollo down your throat?

           The summer after my freshman year of college I went to visit my father’s family in the Dominican Republic. It was the first time I had been back since I was eleven years old. The last time I had been there my grandmother, who I love to death, kept trying to feed me some herbal concoction that she swore up and down would make me shed the pounds. I must confess though I did lose weight along with half of my stomach because I spent most of the time in the bathroom. So needless to say I was not looking forward to the comments and suggestions I knew were coming my way.

          When I got there my family started in on me as usual and I thought to myself “oh great, it gonna be one of those trips.” One day we were all sitting in the garden of my grandma’s house and I got up to get something and tripped, hurting my shin. My grandma went into nursemaid mode and starting rubbing my calves and she noticed that there were really muscular and solid. I mean never been a workout junkie but I have always danced, which was my exercise, so my legs are very defined. I guess a light bulb clicked in my grandmas head and instead of seeing me as a Fat girl who needs to lose weight, she started seeing me as a person. I noticed that throughout the rest of the week my family started leaving me alone about the weight issue. I think my grandmother coming to terms with my weight made it easier for everyone else to accept me as I am. Now when I call my family I don’t get ask about my weight anymore, now if I could just get them to stop asking me when I am going to get married and have kids things would be great.



Thanks for reading Tales of a Happy Fat Girl

     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


People Come In All Sizes!



People Come In All Sizes!

Many of you are aware that May 5th was International No Diet Day. People in the size acceptance movement the world over took the day to spread the word that diets don’t work, they sometimes do more harm than good, people can be fat and still be healthy and that discrimination against any person for any reason is wrong! It is the goal of NAAFA that the message of acceptance and diversity be embraced and that every day would be No Diet Day.

NAAFA celebrates diversity. NAAFA believes that beauty comes in all sizes. We recently came across a video that warmed our hearts. When our message reaches our children, it gives us hope for our future. Please enjoy the video link below and listen closely to her message. Out of the mouths of babes!






NAAFA'S Announces Health at Every Size (HAES) Summit

In keeping with NAAFA's ongoing commitment to eliminate size discrimination and in response to inquiries focused on health concerns, the NAAFA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the first NAAFA Health At Every Size (HAES) Summit to be held at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel on Monday, August 9, 2010.

The NAAFA HAES Summit Objectives are:

• To bridge Health At Every Size (HAES) work that supports NAAFA's civil rights efforts
• To provide a supportive venue to bring together various individuals across
disciplines to present and discuss their work and latest findings.
• To award a scholarship to a promising undergraduate or graduate student whose studies and research are focused on or embodies the HAES tenets.

The Summit content will include:

• Engaging keynote speakers
• Affinity Table and networking format during lunch
• Panel Sessions on cutting edge topics from experts
• Evening Reception & Poster Session

Registration Fee Structure:
Professionals: $150.00, Day of $175.00
Student: $75.00 (limited to spots available and student ID is required) Day of
Go to to register

Hotel Information:
Do you need a room? The Westin is prepared to take your reservation 

Interested in volunteer opportunities?

For more information about HAES and the NAAFA HAES Summit,



Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA



Our WebGirl Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A. degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music, movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos about life.

This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.



The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

Fashion Find by: Lucia

Fashion Type: Clearance Sale at CATHERINES

Why I Like this Item: Catherine gives you a touch of business and casual fashion at a reasonable price.

(Prices varies )
Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Z Chocolate

Type of Product: Gourmet Chocolate
Cost of Product: $ 21.25 – 465.14

Where Product can be found:

Description: Every woman wants the finer things in life. Then reality hits, but with Z Chocolate Gourmet Chocolate you can.

Thanks for coming to Fashion & Products with the WebGirl

     Candace Lane (C.L.) is a 24-year-old plus sized artist from Illinois, where she was born and raised. She is a graduate of Proviso East High School. Candace is a certified Patient Care Technician who is experienced in the medical field.


     C.L. now works in technical support for a major electronics manufacturer. C.L. is currently pursuing a bachelorette degree in Mixed Media Art. Her artwork has been featured in local artist competitions. Candace considers herself a spiritual person. Being the oldest of four siblings gave her courage to lead and the wisdom to know when to follow.  As a member of what has been labeled Generation Next, she believes that life is a learning experience and everyone can teach you something; you just have to be willing to learn.


     In her free time, she enjoys traveling, art, music, good food and great conversation. Presently she is single, sassy and satisfied with where life is taking her.



When I want your Opinion

with Candace Lane


When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you- Samuel Goldwyn


          What is it about some skinny people that always makes them want to put in their two cents about weight loss? It is as if they believe that because they are skinny, that makes them the weight loss guru or something. You do not see fat people running around giving skinny people weight gain advice. What could possibly convince you that I wanted your advice on my weight loss? Heck, I AM the weight loss expert… I just need to do the opposite of what I do now. Duh! Just because you are skinny does not mean I want your disproportioned shapeless body. I want my body, just less of it.


          I say all of this because I am currently in the process of shedding some unwanted extra pounds. This is not a weight loss advertisement. I want to take better care of myself.  Period.  I started a weight loss challenge at my job because I work a nine to five in a seated position usually snacking on this or that. I picked up nearly 50 lbs in just two short years.  I was tired and so were some of my co-workers, thus came the idea for the challenge.  I was discussing food substitution ideas with another woman in the challenge and a co-worker who sits nearby piped in to proceed to tell us what was healthy and what was not and what she does. Now, I am not one to turn down good advice out of sheer pride. I was however, highly offended by her overall mannerism. It was like, “Oh, you fat people know nothing about weight loss. I know and I am an expert because I am skinny. You should really listen to me.”  Well, just who-asked-you-ANYTHING?


          Just because I am fat does not mean that I do not know how to lose weight. Just because I may be open about my weight loss goals does not mean I want your freaking opinion. I got this. I have lost weight many times before. Because of not choosing the right reasons for losing it and being in a bad state of mind, I picked it back up many times more. I could not wrap my brain around what made her think I wanted, much less cared about her opinion. What worked for one person’s weight loss will not necessarily work for everyone. If it did, no one would be fat and weight watchers would be out of business. Then skinny people would have to find other things to make them feel good about themselves.


          I am a woman, not a rabbit. There is no way I am going to be chomping on lettuce and carrots all day. It is not going to happen. That is like setting yourself up for failure. I like to eat. There it is. That is how I got fat and that is how I am going to lose weight.  I am not going to stop eating just because I want to lose weight. Weight loss is about making better, healthier, reasonable choices. It is about doing your research and finding out what will work for you. So instead of three steak tacos, rice and beans at 10 p.m., I would chose a grilled chicken pita and a side salad at 7p.m. Guess what, skinny disproportioned co-worker, I have lost 12 pounds in two weeks. Let me see YOU do that!


            Let’s just be honest, we know why we are fat. It lies in the choices and decisions we make and do not make. I knew every time I ate a piece of fried chicken; it was going right to my thighs. I did not need someone to tell me fried chicken was a bad choice. Nevertheless, it was my choice to make. For every one of your life goals, you have to know what you want, devise how you want to get there and do not stop until there is no breath left in you. I want to lose weight for me. I know my body better than anybody could. It is one thing for me to try, fail and then ask for help, it is a whole other thing for someone to be giving his or her opinion so smugly. Whatever your goal is, whatever reason drives you, do not lose your thunder because someone else wants to put clouds in your sky. Do you. If people could just keep their two cents to themselves, they would have more money than Oprah does. You have to expect that people are going to hate on your blessings; that is simply the nature of the beast. Rejoice in it, it means you are doing something right.


Be Blessed- C.L.


Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

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