Add LargeInCharge to your MySpace Friend List CLICK HERE

LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#76 - July 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


Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


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!

No Legs... No Arms... No Worries - Nick Vujicic
written by Raqui
No Arms... No Legs... No Worries

     This month I wanted to feature someone who I have spoken about before.  His name is Nick Vujicic a man born with no arms and no legs yet he has found his way to happiness living a full life.  Many of you may wonderful why feature such a man who is not plus sized.  How can he know what life is like for a plus sized person.  How can he not understand life and its difficulties? 

     One of the things I think about most is the fact that many Plus Sized people are not living life.  They live shame, rarely going out into the world.  Living in fear of what and who is around or in front of us.  No living at all only existing.  What I admire most about Mr. Vujicic is that he lives.  He hasn't allow his lack of arms and legs to stop him from enjoying life.  He is out doing things that many of us with arms and legs are not.  Most of us as plus sized people have arms and legs and can get around ( some more slower than others) but still we can get around. Yet what is stopping us from living a full happy life.

    The answer is our mentality,  Nicks encouraging words, his message, a message he has taken across the world to 15 countries begins with our mind.   Let me introduce you to this inspirational man  Nicks Vujicic.

About Nick Vujicic:

taken from the Attitude is Altitude website

     Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together: no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?

     Meet Nick Vujicic... Born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Nicholas Vujicic (pronounced Voy-a-chich) came into the world with neither arms or legs. Having had an uneventful pregnancy and no family history to expect this condition, imagine the shock his parents felt when they saw their first born, brand new baby boy, only to find he was what the world would consider imperfect and abnormal. A limbless son was not what nurse Dushka Vujicic, and her husband Pastor Borris Vujicic had been expecting. How would their son live a normal happy life? What could he ever do or become when living with what the world would see as such a massive disability? Little did they or anyone know that this beautiful limbless baby would one day be someone who would inspire and motivate people from all walks of life, touching lives all over the world.

Read more at the Attitude is Altitude website



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Feltonia Smith

Cover model of the Month Interview
 What is your name?


Feltonia Smith Where are you from and what is your current Location?


I am originally from Chattanooga, TN but currently reside in Nashville, TN Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?


I am 29 years old,5'8, 260 lbs of fabulousity. I am African American, married to a wonderful man with 6 Beautiful girls! Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?


I have always been on the thick side but didn't really gain until after I started having my kids. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?


As a child I was larger than most girls my age so at first I suffered from low self esteem, and it wasn't until I was about 17-18 that I found confidence to except myself just they way I am. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?


At age 12 I lost my mother to breast cancer and went through severe depression so I know that greatly affected my weight gain. Then when I had my kids they were stair steps so I just kept gaining before I could get the weight off. I was afraid I would get to an unhealthy stage to enjoy them. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?


I had never thought of myself being the model type because of past industry standards but in recent years more things have come out for men and women of size and several people have asked me am I a plus-sized model and I would always say "I wish", so when I saw the opportunity I thought here's my chance, go for it! Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?


At times I do feel like I am discriminated against because of my size. I am an aspiring Singer/Songwriter which is a largely male dominated field and I definitely see that sometimes producers/promoters would rather work with a artist that they find physically attractive than just based on raw talent. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?


Yes because I try to surround myself with people who are positive and only bring positive energy my way otherwise I won't be around them. What would you say inspires you most in life?


I feel my inspiration comes from my faith and my family. What is your primary job?


I am a full time student working on my degree in Commercial Entertainment and Aspiring Singer How did you get into this line of work?


 I have been singing since I can remember but was too afraid to follow my passion so I was going to school for something I thought was more practical until I realized that I owed it to myself to follow my dreams and a year ago I found out about this program and immediately knew this was what I needed to be doing. Do you find acceptance in the work force?


 I am not currently working but when I did I did have some people actually tell me when I went to apply for a job that they didn't really want to hire me not because of my qualifications but because of my size I was more of a health risk and once a clothing store told me I wasn't the image they wanted representing their store. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?


I feel that some people are just ignorant and they think that large people are lazy and therefore would not make good employees. I feel that people need to understand that their is no certain mold that all people should be made from, we come in all shapes, colors and sizes for a reason and don't disqualify a person simply based on what they look like. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


I am happy that a lot more designers are catering to people of size and I would love to see more fashion designers add plus size, and not over charge just because it's in a larger size. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?


I want to see more plus size on the runway. Why it is that we are not seen as sexy enough to be on the runway and not just up to a size 10-12 and call it plus size but real plus size ripping up the runway and designers who claim to have plus size actually have extended sizes for people who maybe larger than a size 14/16. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?


I think it would change the way people think about the fashion industry, it will expose that there are some very beautiful larger size people out here that before had been discredited. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.


I shop at Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Ashley Stewart, places like that. I look for stores that offer things that are not too expensive but still look stylish. Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.


I think one of the best beauty tips I know is skin care. A lot of times people focus so much on what covers the skin but neglect the skin itself. I like to use a natural remedy I found out about mix honey, yogurt, and a little bit of lemon peel it is great for keeping skin moisturized. Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.


I think a good photo shoot starts before you get there, thinking about what outfits you want to wear. How your hair and makeup should be and does it reflect the image you are trying to portray. What should models be prepared for? I think you should be prepared for different lighting and how it can make your make up look, would you need more or less. Certain weather conditions especially if shooting on location. But most of all they should be aware that confidence or the lack there of comes across in your photos. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?


I see that a lot more people are plus size now so maybe that has lead to more people stepping up and taking notice that this is not just a small group of people that we can ignore. More that  40% of our nation is said to we overweight so if companies don't start to address the needs of full figured individuals they are going to lose a lot of revenue. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?


I think five years from now even more people will be of larger statue so I think we will see more designers adding extended sizes and plus size really being recognized as what the average person really looks like. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.


 I would love to sign with a modeling agency and do some print as well as runway modeling. I also hope to release my project in this year and hope to gain exposure as a Singer. Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants? What was the experience like?


I have never entered any pageants but I have won several singing contest and it was a great experience. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.


I have several like just when people see my pictures and they just tell me that I am so beautiful and I should be modeling it just makes me feel so good and that it doesn't matter about my size. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?


My children and my Husband What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model? I would tell them go for it!


Just have confidence in yourself and never let anyone try to make you feel like you have to fit someone else’s image of what a model should be. The more of us that step out there and show the world that we are here, we are beautiful just the way we are and we're not going anywhere the industry will have no choice but to acknowledge us! What plus size figure do you admire?


I really admire Monique, because she was one of the first ones I heard empowering women of size and saying how she was discriminated against and told she would have to lose weight to make her dreams come true but she did it being large. And she not only talked about it she set the platform for plus size models with her show Phat Chance and I was just blown away by the beautiful women that were represented on that show. 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 - When Intelligence becomes your weapon against others... It is no longer an asset.

Written By: Raqui 


     Intelligence... it is often sought out when dealing with people.  Whether they are friends, family, coworkers or mates.  People tend to gravitate toward those considered smarter than average.  Maybe it is a part of our survival instincts.  When trouble arises we want to have someone we consider smart enough to lead and figure out problems.  While we might not think about it in this time and day, having intelligent people around can make conversation more interesting.  You can learn new things and exchange skills.  When seeking a companion you want to bond with, many times intelligence is a must.  Can being smart ever be a negative?


     Most people would not be able to see intelligence as a negative attribute.  Yet in the hands (or mind rather) of some, it can be just that.  Some people have used their brains to put down others, to feel superior and above the rest.  They need to assure themselves they are better and using intelligence to do so is something that has been happening for a long time.


There are words to describe these types of people:

  • Smarty-Pants

  • Smart Aleck

  • Braggart

  • Brain

  • Windbag

  • Wise guy

  • Know-it-All


    Many times people have been called the above names for being smart.  Just because your a knowledgeable person, doesn't mean your showing off or looking down on others.  More often than not it is a pride of self, and happiness about accomplishments that make individuals want to speak about what they know.  Still some (and I am sure most of you have come across this type of person at one time or another) use intelligence as a weapon.  A way of getting others to shut up and be quite.  Just like a knife can cut flesh, so can words, more often words can cut you deeper than a blade and the injury to self esteem is harder to heal. Used as a way to force others into submission, intelligence can cause a fatal blow.  Some like to have their words be the only ones heard, as though the opinion of others don't count and could not be rational.   


     In my own mind I see it as a way to control the people around them.  Many times those who are called intelligent were often bullied and cast out.  They are not always socially accepted in their younger years.  But later when everyone has grown up.  It is often the outcasts, those who are smarter than average who have gone to school and received the training necessary to aid the masses the culprit of these form of abuse. Some will say it is only right to give a little of what you have gotten.  But at what expense?


     Would you be able to value the contributions that all of mankind give?  Would you be able to enjoy the simple wonders of the world?  Would you miss out on meeting some of the most amazing people with marvelous personalities, because your busy looking down your nose at them?  What do you cut out of your life when you begin to think that you are better than other people, because you happen to have some book smarts?


     An even bigger question is, how do you really feel about yourself?  Those who have the need to act superior for one reason or another, often do so because they feel inferior.  Because somewhere inside they feel out of touch with something.  They feel a bit envious of others, maybe they wanted to be the cheerleader or popular girl, a jock or cool guy.  Maybe they felt out of place because they were the skinny bones or fatty.  Some might be super shy and never got into the dating scene.  The world can be a lonely place when you have no one to relate to. 


     I think what many don't realize is that using intelligence as a weapon recreates that same loneliness.  Some will say that they do not want to associate with anyone who is not their equal mentally.  This is just another way to ostracize those they want to look down on.  Socially you can gain so much from different people regardless of their intelligence level.  You have not partaken of everything life has to offer, and you can benefit from sharing life experiences with diverse individuals.  You might even be able to give a helping hand to those who want it.  Would you be willing to lend a helping hand? Or would you rather sit on the sidelines watching waiting for others to fail so you can have a good laugh, with your better than thou attitude? The limits are only put by yourself.  When Intelligence becomes your weapon against others... It is no longer an asset.


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 on Twitter


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



“All right, girls, here’s the deal.  Things did not go well with Dale.  You were right about him.  But it might have gone better if you hadn’t gotten all goofy on wine and sent him that stupid e-mail.  So, if I want advice I’ll ask for it.  Otherwise, I’m doing this on my own from now on.  Got it?”


            Jany held her head steady and tried to speak with conviction.  It didn’t completely work.  Her voice wavered a little.  Even though she was all alone in her apartment, speaking to her own reflection in the mirror.   


There was no way she would ever work up the courage to repeat her little speech to Mala and Selena. 



Best not to make any bold declarations.  Best to just do what she needed to do and try to keep them out of her dating life for a while.  And there was no time like the present to start.


            William.  Observant William from the BBW dance, who had stolen her away from a date she was bored to tears with, who had picked her out of a crowd, chosen her.  They hadn’t actually dated so far, or even talked all that much, but they had danced a lot, and he had given her his e-mail address.  It was worth a try,




Subject: You Probably Don’t Remember Me


But I kind of hope you do.  I met you at a BBW dance back in December sometime.  You actually stole me from the guy I was dancing with, which I appreciated.  A lot.  You told me he wasn’t my type and you were totally right.  We danced for pretty much the rest of the night, and before you left, you gave me your e-mail address.  I was wearing a black skirt and a sparkly red top.  Hopefully that refreshes your memory.


Anyway, I liked you when we met, and I was wondering if you’d have any interest in getting together sometime.  If you’re still single, that is.  Actually, I guess I don’t know if you were single in the first place, but I assumed... 


I look forward to hearing from you. 






Subject: Re: You Probably Don’t Remember Me


Of course I remember you!  You’re about five-three with gorgeous eyes and dark messy-cool hair and you work in an art store or something like that.  You were dancing with an older guy that looked totally bored with life.  I spent about three months hoping you would e-mail me and wishing I had taken your e-mail address instead of giving you mine, and then I sort of gave up.  And now here you are!


I’d love to get together with you sometime.  I really had a good time dancing with you.  I’d love a chance to put my arms around you again.  There’s another dance next weekend, I believe, either on Friday or Saturday.  Let me check and get back to you, and if you’d like to go with me, I’ll pick you up and take you out for dinner beforehand.




            “Don’t tell Selena.”




            “Don’t tell Selena you’re goin’ out with this dude.  She gets all sad every time you go out with someone.”


            “Oh, yeah.  Right.  She seemed totally depressed when you two were sabotaging my date with Dale.”


            “Um, yeah.  We were sabotaging it, remember?”


            “You weren’t trying to, remember?  You guys were drunk.”


            “No, I was drunk.  Very drunk.  She was a little tipsy and lot trying to sabotage your date.  She really wants to keep you to herself, you know.”


            “Oh, whatever.  She can have anyone she wants, she’s all pretty and bubbly and outgoing.  She doesn’t care that much about someone like me, I promise.”


            “No, I think she really does.  Be nice to her.”


            “Oh, you’re one to talk, Miss Every-Woman-For-Herself.  All that time when I never had a date and I had to sit and listen to you go on and on and on about all those guys you were seeing, do you think that was fun for me?  At least Selena can get herself a date.  And she knows I’m just not sure how I feel about the whole lesbian thing.”


            “Whoa.  Calm down there.  I never knew it bothered you, shoulda said something.  And I’m just saying you should tone it down a notch with her or come out and tell her you don’t wanna see her again.  Don’t lead her on.”


            “I’m not leading her on.  I told her I just don’t know.  Trust me, she’ll meet someone else and move on.  Someone like me won’t hold her attention for long.”


            “That’s a really great attitude, Jane.  Awesome.  See ya tomorrow.”


            Jany was at a complete loss.  She hadn’t imagined that Selena could possibly care that much.  Should she call Selena, get together with her?  Leave her alone?  Knowing how Selena felt, or at least how Mala said she felt, made everything feel off kilter and Jany was suddenly a little bit afraid of Selena.  The part of her that was determined to avoid conflict won out until Saturday morning when she finally dialed Selena’s number, half hoping she wouldn’t answer.  She did.



            “Hey, Jane.  What up?”

            “Not much.  You?”



            “I’m okay.  Haven’t heard from you in a while.”

“I’ve been busy.  Mala’s been keeping my nose to the grindstone, you know how it is.”


            “Yeah, she’s a real slave driver.  Cracks the whip real hard.”


            “Okay, okay, don’t get all sarcastic.  I can’t really blame it on Mala.  I’m just—I’ve been busy with stuff.  But I miss talking to you.”


            “Yeah, same here.”


            “Why don’t you come over for a while?  We can do lunch or something.”


            “I could do that.  You got anything goin’ on tonight?”


            “I—uh, kinda.  I’m going out.”


            “I see.  Yeah, I could come over for a while.  Maybe I can help ya get ready.  Not like I have anything to get ready for, may as well keep in practice helpin’ you.”


            “Oh, come on.  You’re way gorgeous.  You can have a date anytime you want one.”


            “Not really.  I’ve been asking someone out a lot lately and I keep getting turned down.”


            Jany didn’t have an answer for that.  In fact, she wanted nothing more than to put the phone down and just run away, never have to respond at all.  But that wasn’t really an option.


            “I’m assuming you’re, um, referring to me?  I’m really sorry.  I told you, I will sometime.  I just—God, Selena, I don’t know what to say.”


            “Never mind.  We’ll talk about it some other time.  Let me get dressed and I’ll see ya in a little bit.” 

            Jany’s mind started spinning as soon as she hung up the phone.  There had to be some way to cheer Selena up without agreeing to go out with her.  She didn’t really have anything against going out with Selena; that was the scary part.  She felt like maybe she should have been a little more concerned about dating someone she shared a gender with.  Best to think about other things.  Like how to make Selena happy.


            Impulsively, Jany picked up the phone and dialed William’s number.  She half hoped he wouldn’t answer, because calling a half stranger wasn’t really her style even if she was going out with him in a few hours, and because she wasn’t sure she’d find the courage to ask him what she intended to ask him anyway.  She was Go-With-The-Flow Jany, not someone who demanded things from her dates or even offered suggestions.  but this was to save her friendship with Selena.


“Jany?” William said when he picked up.  “You’re not calling to back out on me, are you?”


            “No.  No, no, no.”  Jany spoke quickly to hide the tremor in her voice.  “I just wondered—well, I mean, would it be okay if a friend of mine came with us tonight?  She—she’s been having bad luck and she feels sort of lonelyish and she’s on her way to my house and I feel really terrible just leaving her here.  But I definitely don’t want to cancel on tonight.  You can say no, I totally understand and I’ll still go to the dance.  I can’t believe I even asked you that, really.  I never do things like this.  It’s probably a bad idea.  Never mind.”


            “Slow down, there.  That sounds fine with.  I kinda like it that you’re that worried about your friend, actually.  It’s cute.”




            “Yeah.  Don’t worry about it.”


            “You are really cool, ya know that?  Thanks.”


            “No problem.  See ya soon.”




            It was Selena who wasn’t so sure it was a good idea.


            “You really don’t want me getting in the way, Jane.  I mean, it’s no fun having a third wheel along on a date.  Ain’t much fun bein’ a third wheel, either.”


            “It’ll be fun.  I won’t be so scared to talk at dinner if you’re there.  I’ll probably make a better impression.  And at the dance, I bet a ton of people will ask you to dance.  I mean, there were pretty many that asked me last time, and you are way prettier than I am.”


            “Oh, shut up.  I wish you’d stop picking at yourself like that.  Just to make you happy, I’ll go, but if it starts sucking, I’m leaving.”




            When William called to say he was waiting downstairs, Jany answered the phone almost before it rang.  She and Selena each looked in the mirror one last time before they went down to meet him.

            “Hello, ladies.  How goes it?”


            “I’m fine,” Jany squeaked.  Selena kicked her in the ankle and rolled her eyes.


            “Great.  I’m Selena.  You’ll have to excuse her, she gets a little weird when she’s nervous.”


            “Nice to meet you, Selena.  And she’s not that weird.”  He leaned over and hugged Jany.  “You feel just as good in my arms as I remember,” he whispered.  He opened the car door and when Jany, paralyzed with embarrassed pleasure over his compliment, didn’t move, he gently pushed her toward it, then opened the back door for Selena before he got behind the wheel.


            Dinner was fun.  Selena was at her silly, boisterous best and talked almost nonstop, which made Jany talk more rather than less.  She was much bolder, much more herself, with Selena there.  Will seemed to be amused by their animated story-telling.


            “I thought you girls always went to the bathroom in groups,” he said when they had finished eating and Selena excused herself.


            “Yeah, I’ve heard that, too, but I don’t quite get it.  I wouldn’t know what I was supposed to do or say if I went in there with her.  I must not be a real girl.”  Jany laughed, more because she didn’t want Will to think she was cutting herself down than because she thought she had said anything funny.


            “I’m pretty sure you’re about as real as it gets.  Hopefully I’ll find out for sure later.”


            Jany was relieved when Selena reappeared and she didn’t have to try to come up with a response.  The art of flirting escaped her; she was just as worried that she might cross the line and come across as cheap and easy as she was that she might say something totally discouraging.


            They got to the dance fairly early and found an empty table near the dance floor.  Will hung his coat over the empty chair between Jany and Selena and then excused himself and disappeared.


            “I’m jealous.  I think you found yourself a good one here.”


            “Selena, someone will be asking you to dance in like two seconds, I’m sure.  I am so not worth being jealous of, I promise.”


            “Who said I was jealous of you?  Maybe I’m jealous of him.”


            “Come on, let’s not go there tonight.  We’ll talk about it soon, but not now.  I can’t figure out why it’s so important to you anyway.  It’s just me, Selena.  I’m not worth all this trouble.”


            “Jany, stop it!  You gotta get a grip and stop bashing yourself.  I don’t care if you like yourself or not, I like you, but everyone else doesn’t know you as good as I do and they’re not gonna put up with it and try to convince you how great you are.  You’re gonna hafta either get over it and, like, like yourself more or I’m gonna be your only choice, and it’s pretty obvious you don’t want that.”


            Will came back then and Jany was left wondering what she might have said if he hadn’t, and if Selena was really as angry as she seemed.  Luckily, the music was loud and there wasn’t much chance to talk, so it was impossible for Will to notice if things were strained between Jany and Selena.  Jany sensed, or at least imagined, a hostility in Selena’s lack of words, and she wondered if it was really the music that was keeping Will from speaking.  Maybe he just liked Selena more than he liked Jany and was too nice to do anything about it.


Jany watched as a guy from the next table leaned over and said something to Selena.  She got up and followed him onto the dance floor.  Will scooted his chair closer to Jany’s.


            “Wanna dance, babe?”


            Jany stood and led him onto the dance floor, but not with enthusiasm.  What if he was only asking her to dance because Selena was dancing with someone else, using her to try to make Selena jealous?  She tried to lose herself in the music and enjoy dancing.  Even if Will ended up moving on to Selena, at least she’d still have the memory of dancing with him, of feeling special for a few minutes.  She wanted to have that to hold on to.


            “Something wrong?  You seem quiet.”


            “I’m good.  Just hard for me to hear with the music.”  A small lie, but Will didn’t have to know that.


            “Okay.  I’m glad someone finally asked Selena to dance.  I didn’t wanna leave her sitting there by herself, but I’ve been dying to get you on the dance floor.”


            Jany’s smile erupted so abruptly that she almost laughed out loud.  He hadn’t asked her to dance because he was genuinely just a nice guy.  And he liked her.  She relaxed a little. 


They went back to the table and sat down after a few songs and Jany tingled with excitement when Will draped his arm across her shoulders.  This is what it’s like, she kept thinking.  This is what it’s like to be a normal girl at a normal dance with a normal guy. 


            Selena seemed to be enjoying herself, too.  Several men asked her to dance and she refused no one.  Jany was glad she could stop worrying about Selena for a while.  They were among the last to leave at the end of the night; Selena collected phone numbers and e-mail addresses from what seemed like everyone there while Jany waited with Will on a couch in the hall, nestled under his arm.  It felt unbelievably good to sit there with him.


            “Thanks for letting me tag along tonight, Will.  I had a really great time.”  Selena paused.  “You should tell Jany—”


            Jany suddenly felt like she was spinning, spinning faster than the entire Earth was spinning.  She thought she might be sick.  She couldn’t believe that Selena was about to betray her.  Just because she was pretty enough to steal Will away from Jany, just because she thought she wanted Jany for herself. 

Except when Jany’s heart stopped pounding in her ears and she could hear again, Selena was telling Will that he should tell Jany what he liked about her, that she didn’t have a very good grasp on her good qualities.


            “No, no, it’s fine,” Jany said quickly.  “It’s fine.  You don’t need to do that.”


            “I’ll tell you what, Selena,” Will said, only he was looking at Jany and not Selena.  “You go ahead and go upstairs and wait for Jany, okay?  I plan on letting her know exactly what it is I like about her, just not in front of a curious onlooker.”

            Jany blushed and almost choked; Selena, who had to know how new and exciting this was for Jany, how flustered Jany was, laughed out loud.  Jany laughed too, happy to know that Selena seemed to have forgiven her.


“Gimme your keys, girl.  I won’t wait up.”


            Jany groped frantically in her purse and threw her keys into the backseat.  Selena got out of the car and left Jany alone with Will. 


            “Relax, there, Jane.  I’m not gonna attack you or anything.  At least not in a bad way.”  Will said when they were alone, and pulled Jany closer to him.  She pulled away a little, looked up at Will’s face.

            “Can—can I tell you something?”


            “Yeah, of course.”  Will lifted Jany’s hand and kissed it.  “Anything you want.”


            “I’m not really used to this.  To dating and all that.  If I do something stupid—well, I just wanted you to know.”


            “Just relax.  Nothing you could do would be stupid.  I like you.  I don’t think you believe me, though, so the way I see it, I have two choices.  I can either do what your friend there told me to and tell you all the reasons I like you, or I can convince you in my own way.  And I like my way better, because it’ll stop you from saying things to belittle yourself.”


            “Your way?”


            “Like this.”  Will leaned over and kissed Jany for so long that she thought she might pass out.  Not that she minded; she could think of plenty of things worse than passing out in Will’s arms.



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

     February 1st, 2010 South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe declared the state of emergency after a severe ice storm devastated the reservation. The storm topples more than 3000 power poles and left 13,000 people without power, heat and water. In addition the area’s water system is outdated and operating at capacity, leaving the tribe no room for economic expansion and preventing its housing authority from building new homes or any new development. The system is keeping an impoverished nation, impoverished, which is acerbating the very poor economy of the area with 86% current unemployment rate.

     Actors from the TWILIGHT SAGA and other celebrities have been working with United Global Shift, to create a project called Shift the Power to The People, whose mission is to empower people to create sustainable, lasting change in their communities and countries.

     To bring awareness of the current issues and conditions, TWILIGHT SAGA cast members and celebrities gathered early June 14 at popular Los Angeles club INDUSTRY, along with over 500 guests mostly representing entertainment industry and native-American tribes who attended to support the BE THE SHIFT campaign.

     In addition to Twilight saga’s Chaske Spencer, Julia Jones, Tinsel Korey, Alex Meraz, and Rick Mora, the event was supported by actors Tyson Houseman, Carla-Rae Holland, Cody Jones, Sonny Skyhawk, Alexandra Keller, Michele Laurant and Armand Assante, who has been an environmentalist farm owner for over 20 years. Also in the house were Actress Q'orianka Kilcher who is singer Jewel's first cousin, an accomplished singer/songwriter, and an activist for human rights; Jay Tavare who appeared in 2003's Cold Mountain; late David Carradine's daughter Calista Carradine, who is both an actress and singer; founder and CEO of Zappo's Shoes, Veteran Native American Actor Saginaw Grant; Mike Weber of the One Hope Foundation; and choreographer & actor Joe Slaughter.

     A Shift from not being informed or heard to making your voice be heard, reaching out to elected officials, government organizations and individuals to help create equity, dignity, accountability and justice. “We are here to be the voice of those who don’t have voice” Chaske Spencer said to open his remarks about this issue.
SHIFT THE POWER TO THE PEOPLE is creating a shift from hoping and waiting for the government to handle this, to being the voice that makes it happen now.

For more information:






Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet


     Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to writing Xander cook’s like he feels. A former Chicago native transplanted to Tennessee, His goal has been to experience the fullness of food heritage. He believes that as a people and society, can learn a lot from what we eat. Combining a great life lesson and a easy recipe.  They go hand-in-hand to provide a tasty addition to your day. Xander has to confess that ingredients in a great meal are like the ingredients in a great life are never far apart.



BBQ is the History of the World!

by Xander The Food Dude



     When examining the history of Barbecue people quickly breakdown into the age old argument of what exactly Barbecue is. If we credit the indigenous peoples of the Southern United States with the advent of Barbecue as a method of preserving meat then it only follows that modern day Barbecue is an evolution of this process, changing over time into that great southern icon, Barbecued Pork (or pulled pork). However if you wander out of the south you quickly find people who "Barbecue" hamburgers on their Weber grill. In my life I have eaten things referred to as Mongolian Barbecue, Japanese Barbecue, and Greek Barbecue. All of these are very different things. The biggest debate you will find along the purists of the meaning of Barbecue will occur if you bring together a Texan and a South Carolinian. In Texas, Barbecue means Beef, particularly Brisket. In the Carolina's (the whole south for that matter), Barbecue means Pork (typically shoulder roasts and Boston butts).

     So where do you start with a History of Barbecue? Let’s start with this somewhat controversial premise. Everything that is typically called Barbecue has a couple of things in common. Barbecue requires meat. You grill vegetables. For those of us living in the twentieth century, meat, regardless of what kind is far more prevalent than it was to our ancestors. Industrialized ranching, refrigeration and mass trucking of goods have made meat a not only a staple of diet but practically an every meal entree. In the evolution of Barbecue, wherever that evolution took place one this has always been a constant. Barbecue is more than a meal. It is an event. People gather for good barbecue, whether invited or not. Barbecue is an event that gathers people around a fire to watch, smell and eat. Like the fires of prehistory this is the place to eat, drink and tell stories.

     My point? Before you start brawling, remember that Barbecue is a social event and though you might not agree with the process, the food is always good. So my goal in this series of features will be to examine Barbecue in all its forms from the perspective of each individual history. I will be starting with the origin of Barbecue in the United States and in later features will look at the evolution of both Texan and Southern Barbecue individually.

     When the first Spanish explorers arrived in the new world they found the indigenous peoples preserving meats in the sun. This is an age old and almost completely universal method. The chief problem with doing this is that the meats spoil and become infested with bugs. To drive the bugs away the natives would built small smoky fires and place the meat on racks over the fires. The smoke would keep the insects at bay and help in the preserving of the meat.

     Tradition tells us that this is the origin of Barbecue, both in process and in name. The natives of the West Indies had a word for this process, "barbacoa". It is generally believed that this is the origin of our modern word Barbecue, though there is some debate on the matter.

     The process began to evolve with the migration of Europeans and Africans to the region of the Southern United States. European pigs and cattle were transplanted to the new world and became the primary meat source for the colonies, pork being the meat of choice in the South due to the ability of pigs to thrive with little care. The racks used to dry the meat were replaced with pits and smoke houses.

     Now pit cooking is by no means new at this point in history or specific to any particular region of the world. If we define Barbecue as a process of cooking meat (or specifically pork) in pits then the inventors of this process are probably the Polynesians who have been masters of slow, pit cooked pork for thousands of years. So we will have to leave the definition for another time.

     The process of slow cooking meat in early colonial times was often reserved for poor cuts of meat left for slaves and low income peoples. Higher quality meats had no need for a process of cooking that would reduce the toughness of the meat. Throughout the south Barbecue has long been an inexpensive food source, though labor intensive. But I am getting ahead of myself.

     One thing to remember that without a process of refrigeration, meat had to be either cooked and eaten quickly after slaughter or preserved by either a spicing or smoking process. Traditionally spicing requires that large amounts of salt be used to dry the meat and lower the ability of contaminants to spoil the meat. Smoking in this period of time had much the same effect.  

     However, with BBQ, it’s unique in that every area of the world has a different means of doing, and how they define what really is BBQ.  That, as they say, is what make BBQ so compelling.  Every person, place, region, meat, and seasoning has a different determination on what is defined as BBQ.  Give 5 people the exact same ingredients for BBQ.  Tell them to make BBQ.  Chances are, you will have 5 different dishes.  BBQ is only limited by experience and perspective, sometime you’ve got too much, sometimes you’ve got too little.  True BBQ is a soul food brought to life with love.  And that makes BBQ one of the greatest meals on the planet.  This summer spread some love, make some BBQ.


Xander's Recipe of the Month


BBQ Steak



  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (2 pound) tri-tip steak


  1. Place onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, rosemary, mustard, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Place steak in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over steaks, seal, and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  3. Brush grill grate with oil. Discard marinade, and place steak on the prepared grill. Cook for 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.





BBQ Quesadillas


  • 1/2 cup salsa, divided
  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup cooked and peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for low heat.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of salsa on half of each tortilla. Distribute the onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, chives, olives, and shrimp evenly among the tortillas. Sprinkle each with cheese, and fold tortillas in half to cover the filling.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the filled tortillas directly on the grill. Cook about 2 minutes per side, until cheese is melted and the tortilla has grill marks. Serve with remaining salsa and sour cream.




BBQ and Whiskey Sauce




  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic, and whiskey. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Mix in the ground black pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Run sauce through a strainer if you prefer a smooth sauce.

Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to


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... continued

with Sonya Bennett





   Plateaus come and go. I have a friend who had the surgery two years before me and she hit a plateau at size 22 (just as I did); she’s now in a size four (4)! I am not discouraged, just surprised; however, I’ve learned that your body is your body, no matter what you do with it. If you are dieting, your body holds on to the ‘fat’ like a camel stores water in its hump: for storage and clinging to nourishment for those times that it’s not coming freely.

As I have begun donating my size 32 clothes, I realize that it is expensive to replenish your wardrobe; especially when you aren’t sure if you’ve stopped losing weight. There are some shirts and dresses that I can still wear because they are flowing and do not show a shape so it is easier to conceal. I’ve always worn less form-fitting pants (never jeans) so those are easy to continue to wear, as well. People have noticed my weight loss, but in my mind, I am still shopping at size 14+, specialty clothing stores so I am depressed at what seems to be minimal success. I seem to still concentrate on where I ‘should’ be based on other people’s success which has nothing to do with me.
I’ve started working out again on a regular basis; doing water aerobics three times a week. I’ve concentrated on water aerobics, believing that I can do things against the resistance of the water with less strain on my muscles than conventional exercise. I never thought I could sweat in the water; but I definitely can. I’ve had my paid-off, lifetime spa membership for more than five years and I am glad to have it now! I’ve also been sitting in the steam room because I’ve been told that sweating with help to tighten. I don’t have a lot of skin hanging at this point, but I know that it’s coming so I’m trying to be proactive.

It’s been a year so meals are a no-brainer at this point. If I’ve tried it and it made me sick in the past year, I haven’t tried it again. As I’ve said before, though, the desire for things haven’t changed, though; only my mental necessity to eat them. I still drink my protein every morning and have now switched the flavors of juices and the flavor of protein so that I don’t get sick of them. Protein in the past used to be really gritty (so I’ve been told), but the whey protein that I drink blends great and even mixes well by shaking. I have tried the Fuzzy Naval with orange juice (peach and orange – yum!) and now I am drinking the Caribbean Cooler, a coconut-flavored protein. Though the packaging suggests drinking these proteins with eight (8) ounces of water, I have found that with juice, you’re getting some fruit in and also it encourages you to drink more of it. With the Caribbean Cooler, I have tried orange juice (tasty) but pink grapefruit juice REALLY brings out its underlying island taste! I am full until lunch with just one scoop of protein, an eight ounce juice and ice blended together.
Here is a picture I took the night before the surgery and a picture now; one year later.

Join me next month as I continue my meal changes: one year later.
We’re in July: Express that independence! 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 guide to Relationships

with Estrelia Mateo


      As a single girl you spend a lot of time thinking about relationships especially if you have other single girlfriends.  Most of your time together is spent dissecting relationships whether it is casual dating or a serious relationship. In fact almost every chick flick is about this very concept. Girl meets Boy, Boy does something jerky, Girl runs to talk to girlfriends, Girl forgives boy and the cycle starts all over again.  I have spent many a night on the phone with my girlfriends talking about something some guy did and vice versa.  

      Now I am no relationship expert and I don’t claim to be but I do notice patterns in the way the women in my life handle their relationships.  One of my friends has a hard time letting go of relationships when they are done. She wants to hold on even though she knows it won’t work out in the end. Another friend jumps into relationships so fast that by the end of the month the relationship has had a beginning, a middle and an end.  One friend has standards so high that it makes it impossible for any man to meet them.  I also have a friend who refuses to ever talk about the important things in her relationships.

     I have been guilty of some of these transgressions at one point or another. When I was in high school I was the move too fast girl. I went through relationships like they were going out of style. Almost as soon as they started up they would fizzle out.  In college I did the not-say-what-was-on-my-mind thing. I guess even though I was confident with my size for some reason all those doubts began to creep into my relationships. I felt like if I spoke my mind maybe the person I was with would not want to be with me. So I held my tongue and let a lot of the little things go until they became big things.

     Now as I am older I realize that in order to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship I have to take a hard look at myself and recognize that I can’t fall into the my old patterns. I have to be able to talk things out and to not hold myself back.  I have to be able to get out of relationship if it doesn’t have a chance of working out instead of staying in it because I am scared of being alone.  I shouldn’t use my standards as a shield to keep me from getting to know someone because you never know where true love can comes from. I shouldn’t be scared to give my heart because even if it is a fragile thing I know that if it is broken I have the strength to put it back together again. As they say with age comes wisdom but if Brad Pitt or Shemar Moore looked my way I may have to throw some of those rules out the window.     



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


The Summit is Coming!  The Summit is Coming!


NAAFA, in partnership with leading experts and volunteers, announces its first Health At Every Size Summit (HAES), to be held on Monday, August 9th at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, following the NAAFA convention at the same location.

The Summit's keynote speaker is Dr. Glenn Gaesser, Professor and Director of the Exercise and Wellness Program and Director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation located at Arizona State University. Dr. Gaesser is the author of many publications including his groundbreaking book Big Fat Lies: The Truth about Your Weight and Your Health.

The moderated summit sessions will cover a plethora of topics, such as a critical review of obesity research, including an ex-US perspective; highlighting the Health in HAES, with therapists, fitness and public health professionals; highlighting our next generation of HAES warriors, including the 2010 NAAFA HAES Scholar; and going beyond the HAES definition into action from a Fat Studies perspective. The Summit will conclude with an open forum to comment on the day, announcements of upcoming events, and strategies to move the HAES perspective forward. Following the conclusion of the summit, attendees are invited to an informal reception and poster session.

If you are interested in attending the summit, please register early as space is limited. For more information, please go to:

The poster session will be a broad and informal venue for your research or highlighting your community and/or educational projects, books and organizations that use the HAES tenets. Interested? Please click on the link (the deadline has been extended to July 5th):

Join us and let your voice be heard!





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: Sale,$29 & Under & Outlet at Silhouettes

Silhouettes offers Extended Sizes and you‘re able to shop in the comfort of your own home with. Be sure to check out the shoes and Boots section.

Prices for Outlet section: 14.99 - 79.99
Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: CURLS

Type of Product: Hair

Cost of Product: $ 5.00 - 95.00

Where Product can be found:

Description: As a women I sometimes have hair issues and now since I’m going nature everyday is a bad hair day. So when I buckled down and did some research to find the best product for my hair I discovered “CURLS” with organic ingredients. The best part it’s for everyone from straight to kinky hair.  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.



Letting Go: I release you

with Candace Lane




The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn- David Russell


            Why is it that it is so easy to love someone, but it is so hard to walk away from them?  I recently had conversations with various friends about knowing when to let go of someone and being strong enough to walk away completely. There are multiple scenarios that can be applied to this topic: the bad boyfriend, the no good girlfriend, the family member that prays for your demise, your child that bleeds you dry. Some people take unconditional love and twist it into something that becomes a shackle attached to an oar headed towards the bottom of the ocean. Love should never bring you down. Love should raise you up; take you to the next level. When is your “Enough” enough?

            I have met some rotten people, I mean really rotten people. Sometimes I wonder what it is in me that attract the crazies. I met a girl in college, Dee, and we became instant friends. She was there for me at a time when I needed someone the most, or so I thought. I had just moved 6 hours away from my family and was dealing with the recent death of my best friend. Here comes this beacon of happy that just made forget what I was going through. Dee would always tell wild stories, stories that were so crazy they could never be true. It was just one of those things she did, which was part of her charm. She could tell a story and have the entire dorm floor laughing until they were in tears. Sadness made me blind.


Another girl warned me to watch out for Dee because something was not right. At the time, it just did not make sense. She would not elaborate as to why and so I forgot about it. Near the end of the second semester, I found out why. Dee had featured me in a few of her wild stories. She was telling people that I was a charity case that she was loaning money to and taking care of. It was crazy because it was the exact opposite of what was really happening. My family would send me care packages and money and from time to time, I would spot her because supposedly her grandma was on a fixed income. I did it because that is what friends do. She used me, ran my name through the mud and she started “dating” a boy that I was stopped sleeping with. I did not care about the thing with the boy because he was just something to pass the time, I did not have feelings for him at all. Still, it was the principle of the matter. Dee was a con artist, her mission was to infiltrate and destroy. Some people are so unhappy in their own lives that they see something in other people that that want, either for themselves or just to be able to destroy it. She wanted to be me and for the life of me, I have no idea why. If only she knew… The point of this whole story is that I was warned, but in wanting so badly to have my close friend again, I was blinded as to whom I was really dealing with. In retrospect, I should have known better, there are always signs.

     Many of my girlfriends are dealing with man troubles right now. One girl is still in love with her child’s father who clearly not seeing their relationship the way she does. One girl has a boyfriend is on and off again who is verbally and physically abusive. One girl will find a nice guy that she really cares about and then sabotage the relationship because chaos is all she knows. One girl’s husband is living with another woman and she is still waiting on him to come home. Then there is me, the girl that does not trust men enough to put emotion into the equation for the risk of being burned. What a jaded web we weave.  It is sad really, because they are all beautiful caring women who do not realize their worth. I think that when we hold onto people we should let go of, we block out people who should really be there.  Or in my case, holding on to hurt feelings that should be let go of. Women will forever stand in the way of their own happiness. You cannot change a man. Hell, you cannot change people, period. You can only change yourself. See him for who he is not what he can be and look at yourself in that same light. We go and adjust ourselves to fit some mold for some guy. What makes him so special that you should change who you are for him? Why should you be unhappy just to make him happy? So what if he does one nice thing for you, what about the other ninety-nine things that he did that were really horrible? You can do bad all by yourself. When is your “enough” enough?

     If love is the reason you do what you do for someone, do you love yourself enough to do what is right for you? Do you treat yourself the way you treat other people? Do you believe in yourself the way you believe in other people. There are times when you have to release things in order to gain: release people, release feelings, release objects, release excuses, release ideals, release baggage and release yourself… just let it all go. Release the oar that is weighing you down so you can finally stop sinking and float to the top. You deserve to be happy, joyful. When your enough is enough, you’ll know. 


Be Blessed- C. L.




Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

      Return to Back Issues of LargeInCharge Magazine    Return to the Front