Add LargeInCharge to your MySpace Friend List CLICK HERE <MMM,M?k'nvbkk'vvvkn'''k'';nnnncnb/jc;cvbbvbvvcbncbccbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#77 - August 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!

BRIMSTONE - Professional Wrestler, Actor, Musician and MORE!
written by Raqui

In the world of Professional Wrestling we see strong men perform amazing physical acts.  This Month we feature one such Individual who has used his size and strength to create a career that spans many avenues.  Let me introduce to you BRIMSTONE a man who is totally IN CHARGE!    What is your name (Real and staged)?

Brimstone:  My real name is William Kucmierowski, better known as Will Kaye or by my stage name, “Brimstone.”  I’ve been Brimstone so long that its normal for friends and family to call me Brim… it’s become a nickname and honestly, it’s easier to remember!   Where are you originally from and where is your home now?

Brimstone:  I was born in Mineola, New York and raised in Uniondale, New York.  I’m a Strong Island boy through and through so I continue to reside here.  A lot of people like to run off and try to make LA their home… they forget that NYC is a serious hotbed for entertainment.    What made you pick your stage name?

Brimstone:  When I decided to make professional wrestling my career, I felt I needed something that was not only memorable, but marketable as well.  I come from an extensive background of sales, marketing and advertising… so I know that branding yourself properly is half the battle.  I came up with hundreds of different names until I finally decided on Brimstone.  I think it’s a great name… I get bored easily but I still love it!  Madonna, Prince, Oprah, Brimstone… it just works! LoL…   You are a unique individual would you consider yourself a person of size? 

Brimstone:  I do.  It’s sometimes an obstacle to have a ‘little extra to love’ in the entertainment industry where anything over 100 pounds is unacceptable.  People are extremely judgmental, but you roll with the punches.  You always need to be proud of who you are.   Have you always been a person of size, or did you grow into your body?

Brimstone:  I was actually a small framed kid growing up.  Most of my close friends state that my photos of yester-year look as though I was a woman.  I was thin and pretty they say… I grew into my body the more time I spent in the ring and on the road.  When you travel a lot, you eat what you can get your hands on when you can get your hands on it!  Unfortunately, “fast-food” doesn’t work too well on the mid-section.   What was your original occupation? 

Brimstone:  I was a musician for many years… a drummer.  (Enter dumb blonde and dumb drummer jokes here).  I also spent a lot of time in sales, marketing and advertising.   Your choice of work (current) can be considered entertainment and is very well known, Please tell us what you do?

Brimstone:  I like to consider myself to be a jack of all trades… I’m a professional wrestler, actor, author and comic book hero.  It’s certainly difficult to get away from the stigma around pro-wrestling in general; you are basically put on an island where you get typecast pretty easily.  I always said that I refused to be a ‘one trick pony,’ so I have worked very hard to fight my way out of the proverbial box.  It always seemed as though the natural progression after wrestling would be the silver-screen.   What made you get into this line of entertainment?

Brimstone:  Since I was young I’ve always needed to be the center of attention.  I love the entertainment industry.  I love entertaining people, giving back to the community.  I most of all enjoy being in the spotlight doing my thing… Again, I’ve always been this way… it just comes naturally.  I got into professional wrestling after a chance meeting with Legends in the sport, the Iron Sheik and Bret Hart.  I’ve truly enjoyed spreading my wings into the many worlds of film, television, comic books, video games, etc.   How long have you been in this field?

Brimstone:  I’ve been in entertainment since I was five years old.  I was on Sesame Street and Romper Room.  I started as an actor and now thirty years later I’ve come full circle!   What or who inspired you to get into this field? 

Brimstone:  It’s different for each area that I work in.  When I was involved in music, I was inspired by guys like Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) and Rod Morganstein (Winger).  Years later, now Rod and I are friends.  Same with wrestling, the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Captain Lou Albano and the Ultimate Warrior were my all time favorites.  Captain Lou and I became close over the years and we lost him at the end of 2009.  Lou is one of the guys who inspired me from the get go… he is one of the innovators who paved the way for guys like me who were interested in being more than just ‘wrestlers.’  Acting, I have to say the cast of The Outsiders & Young Guns 1 and 2 have always been an inspiration as well as Johnny Depp who I’ve enjoyed since his 21 Jump Street days.  Depp has the best luck!  I’m infatuated by all the dark and obscure characters that he gets to try his hand with.   How long have you been entertaining the public?

Brimstone:  It has been about thirty years now.  Damn, I’m getting old!   Tell us about your first performance and how it has grown since then?

Brimstone:  I still get the butterflies… thirty years and that never goes away!  This is a hard question to answer because I am my own harshest critic.  I can say that experience is a wonderful thing, the more you have… the better off you are.  I’ve had so many firsts it is pretty difficult to pinpoint one of them to discuss, so… I suppose I can explain my embarrassing first with acting on Sesame Street.  One of my strangest childhood memories is of Big Bird breaking character in front of me backstage by pulling off the Bird head and continuing to talk to me in the character’s voice using the voice-box.  As the headless Big Bird eventually walked away, I remember looking up at Bird while he went and noticing Snuffy hanging lifeless up in the rafters!!!  Needless to say I was never the same again… I guess it is obvious that I now know the difference between muppets and reality!   Would you say you are popular, and who do you target with your work?

Brimstone:  I’d love to think I’m popular; but as vain as I may be… I could not say either way.  I get anywhere between 3,500 to 10,000 hits on my website a day, so I think that is better than a sharp stick in the eye, right?  I target everyone, I like to consider myself to be extremely diverse.  One day you will find me in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the next I’ll be on 106 & Park on BET, then I’ll be making special appearances in elementary schools for the Get.A.Voice Foundation to speak out against bullying, then I’ll be in the Jewish Magazine, etc.  I am everywhere for everyone.  You can even find me in “The Bra Book” by Jene Luciani in the chapter, “Your Bra and Your Beau.”  I feel as though if you want to be entertained, why shouldn’t it be by me?   Working with others is key when you perform, what part do they play?

Brimstone:  Again, this always depends on what line of work I am doing that specific day.  For instance, in professional wrestling… you are only as good as the person you are working with!  Hands down, your opponent has the power to either make you look good… or not!  While working on “Brimstone and theBORDERHOUNDS” comic book, I’ve learned to work as a well-oiled unit with my team.  Everyone has their job that is equally as important in order to accomplish something that is bigger than us all individually.  I have the luxury of teaming up with one of my closest and dearest friends, Marcello Carnevali; who is the writer for the comic along with one of the best untapped talents in the industry, my artist Sajad Shah.  We are the core of the unit and considering we all live across the country from one another… if we aren’t spot on with communication, we’d be done before we even started!   What make your performances different than others? 

 Brimstone:  I like to involve the audience in everything I do.  Whether its insighting cheers in a packed arena, getting chuckles for a funny line in a film, or being rooted for while ‘bringing it’ to the bad guys… I give 200% of myself always no matter what, end of story!  I care about my fans and the love they have given me over the years.  I feel that people can relate to me as opposed to other Hollywood actors and models.  I’m not your perfect mold and I personally don’t want to be!  I like being me and I pride myself in being different.  In a nutshell, regardless of any success… I’m real.   Tell us what is the response you get from your audience... what type of emotions do you want your audience to experience?

 Brimstone:  I expect my audience to be entertained.  I expect them to feel that the hard earned $20 that they just spent on admission to an event or theater was worth every cent.  I love sending people on an emotional rollercoaster during any performance, so be prepared to laugh, cry, be frightened etc.   How does your size come into play in your performance?

Brimstone:  Well, being bigger in the squared circle sometimes is a serious blessing.  For a moment, put yourself in my boots.  You just got bodyslammed in the center of the ring… your opponent (who may or may not be a friend) who weighs about 300 pounds heads up to the top rope.  He then proceeds to jump another four or five feet in the air, slamming all his weight down on you in a ‘splash’ position.  Let’s just say that it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a little extra meat in the wrestling biz.   Do you have other people of size who work with you in your act?

Brimstone:  If you tune in to WWE or TNA any Monday evening… you can get an eyeful of a plethora of entertainers who are larger than the average Joe.
   Do you collaborate with other acts?

Brimstone:  I collaborate with a tremendous amount of other entertainers from all different fields.  For instance, I recently did a “Little Red Riding Hood” themed shoot with Sarah Hartshorne (America’s Next Top Model) and photographer Ash Ahuja, where I was the Big Bad Wolf.  I worked with Wu-Tang Latino recording artist Gab Gatcha and Carlos Jahsir (Making the Band) on “Roast That,” the theme song for when I was roasted for my birthday in August of last year.  I’m working on a few projects with Leilene Ondrade (VH1) and working on an actual Haunted House with Claire Unabia (America’s Next Top Model) and her husband Matt James.  I’m always working with friends from all walks of life to find new ways to entertain and promote the things we love to do.   Tell us about some of the press coverage you have been featured in? 


Television: Sesame Street, Romper Room, WWF Superstars, “Wanna Be A WWF Superstar” MTV - TRL (Total Request Live), The Ricki Lake Show, The Wrestling Show, Channel 12 Long Island News Morning Show, Mr. Lee Hour, SLAMZ!, MNN Talk Wrestling, NYWC Television, LIWF Television, Wrestling World Wide Television, TNA iMPACT!, TNA PPV “No Surrender”, The Howard Stern Show on E! “Erotic Ball”, IFQ, Rock Me TV, NY Post, City Buzz, New York Life TV, NY Rocks TV, NY TV 10/55, New Buzz TV, The DJ Short-E Show, New York Dragons TV, Telemundo, UPN 9, Fox 5, BET 106 & Park, Holla Back, Latin Impulse, ESPN Deportes, Cablevision, Hog Wild TV, MY 9 – News at 10, Verizon Fios, Metal Noize TV, My Long Island, Sci-Fi Ninja Theater, Home Invaders and various wrestling shows overseas in Central America. (Partial Listing)

Movies: "Brimstone" THE DVD, Documentary entitled "Wrestling Then & Now" directed by Dwayne Walker, “For Your Island – Wrestling Documentary” ( Brimstone: Path of Destruction DVD, Blood Line, Kirby the Movie, The Roadhouse, Redemption, Killer Hoo-Ha!, To Be King, Madame X, Touch, Gangster’s Nightmare, The Brimstone Roast, Militia 15, Fashionista, Escape from New Jersey 2 – 4. (Partial Listing)

Commercials: “Heinz vs. Brimstone” for Heinz Brand Ketchup, Haunted Halloween Invasion 2010

Music Videos: “Street Star” by Frank Lucas Jr., “Touch and Go” by Joe Budden, “Let’s Go” by Frank Lucas Jr., “Lose Control” by Bethany Davis, “Get it Poppin” by Dawn Monroe

Radio/Webcasts: The Howard Stern Show, Fangoria Radio, Trash Talking Radio, Legends Radio, Wrestling Wednesday's 90.3 FM, WBAI 99.5 FM, WBAB, Power 105, The Josaine Show (ESP51), The Wrestle Zone, Radio Disney, WRAT, WMJC, The Loud Idiots, Metal Mayhem Radio Show, WVOX, Interactive Interview on Wrestling Epicenter, Heavy Metal Sundays, The Wrestling Hot Seat, Ringside Radio, The Wrestle Guys, The Rowdy One Radio Show, The Cruisin’ Cripples, Aural Fix Transmission (CW Post), Sirius Sports, Steel Cage Radio, Beyond the Ropes Radio, Sunset Flip Radio, No Topic Taboo, Arizma Radio, KBPI Colorado, Urban Latino Radio. (Partial Listing)

Magazines: WOW Magazine, East Tremont Newspaper, Wrestle America, Wrestling Then & Now, Pro Wrestling Monthly, “El Luchador” Lucha Libre Mundial, Master Comics Presents Series: "Masters of the Ring." TheBORDERHOUNDS comic based on the Brimstone character (, Levittown Tribune, Neighborhood Newspapers, New York Sportscene, Ultimate Athlete, LI Press, The Vignette, Newsday, Hometown, LI Voice, Village Voice, Good Times Magazine, The Island Ear, The Press of Manorville and the Moriches, Hot24Seven Magazine, The Jewish Magazine, The Wrestler/Inside Wrestling, Full Throttle Magazine, The Networking Magazine, Aural Fix, Celebrity Report Magazine, Signature Hits Magazine, etc. (Partial Listing)

Published: “The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to finding the Perfect Fit” by Jene Luciani (published by BenBella Books)

Internet:  Wire Image, Getty Images, IMDb, Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary and a ton more.   How can people learn about you and possibly hire you, do you have a manager/agent?

Brimstone:  I have a great team of individuals who work with me.  All of whom are listed on IMDb and the contact section on my website.  John Thomas of JT Talent is currently managing me with film and television.  Rick Eberle is my right hand man, my PR guy who I have known for close to twenty years.  My Official website is which has a ridiculous amount of information on everything Brimstone.  I am actually looking to increase awareness of my Twitter account at which has been a well kept secret!  Again, all my online properties are linked from the official site… please make sure to stop by for a visit!   Are you currently on tour or attending any major functions in the near future?


Brimstone:  I’m always out and about pending on the week.  I am doing something with Sleepy’s and the American Cancer Society in August with a buddy of mine Donnie Klang (Making the Band).  I’ll probably be making my way into LA soon due to my signing of a major deal to produce one of my television shows by a very well-known and prestigious production company.  I’m looking to add Executive Producer to my long list of titles Haha…   What would you say to other in your field who are trying to make it?


Brimstone:  After spending the better part of thirty years in all aspects of the entertainment industry, I can offer a few words of wisdom… Work hard.  Stay focused.  ALWAYS believe in yourself and NEVER let anyone put you down.  Let the haters hate… we know why they’re angry!   Do you have a good support system from family and friends?

Brimstone:  Absolutely, it’s imperative to have the love and support of your family and friends.  “They” always say that behind every good man, there is a better woman!  My wife Danielle has always been behind me and has supported me through the good times and the bad.  I know it’s difficult for my children to not have Dad around 24-7, but I try to do as much with them as humanly possible.  My daughter who is thirteen has been getting her feet wet with the modeling industry, so she is aware that being in the world of entertainment means sacrificing things sometimes that you would never want to give up!  My friends hate that I have to be so into myself and what’s going on in my mind… but they are certainly used to it.  My true blues have been by my side for years and I wouldn’t have it any other way!   Have you had any responses from the Plus Size Community?

Brimstone:  I have in spurts.  I have received letters from fans who are ‘plus sized’ saying that I have inspired them in one way or another.  Other than that, I haven’t really had an enormous amount of support.   What are your future goals? 

Brimstone:  To be a good husband and father… Continue working hard on everything I do whether it takes a day or a few years… and to keep my head as grounded as possible in a business filled with hot air!  Do you have a website, myspace page?  How can the public find you or communicated with you online?

Brimstone:   Give us one word that you can say best represents you?

Brimstone:  Driven   How much have you evolved since those first days?


Brimstone:   In a long career with scattered peaks and valleys… I feel as though I’ve grown not only as a person, but as a man.  I firmly believe that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he or she has overcome.  Meanwhile, in a land full of snake-oil salesman, I believe I’ve become savvier when it comes to making decisions with my career.   How can the readers at help support you?

Brimstone:  Just continue to show me love.  (…and follow me on Twitter!!! LoL)


Brimstone at WAR - Photo Credit: Holden Jay Leeds

Killer Hoo Ha - Photo Credit:  Heidi Kikel Make-up: Chris Lanston

Nothing But Trouble - Photo Credit: Heidi Kikel Model: Neon Lynxie

Squatsm - Art Credit: Sajad Shah

RedRidingHood 1 & 10: Photo Credit: Ash Ahuja Model: Sarah Hartshorne Hair: Salon Rock Wardrobe: Shag

Fashionista - Screenshot Courtesy: RPM Media

SB96 - Photo Credit: Bert Saraco



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Jenna VonDell

Cover model of the Month Interview
 What is your name?


Jenna VonDell Where are you from and what is your current Location?


 I'm a born and raised suburban Chicago girl. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

Well, I'm 39 years old and married to my high school sweetheart for over a decade. My ethnicity is an interesting mixture of English, German, Irish, Prussian, and African; I'm a 6th generation American. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?


I was a chubby little girl and grew up into an even chubbier big girl. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?


Mixed feelings, I didn't really notice my size difference unless I was struggling to do something physical that the other kids did easily. Of course as I grew into my teen years, my size was more of an issue. BOYS! I learned from a young age what, what I like to call, a "closet FA" is. Boys who liked me but they didn't want their friends to know they liked a "FAT" girl. I soon learned how to handle them; they got the boot. Over the years, you learn to deal with any issues that may arise due to weight and work to never let them defeat you. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?


My weight fluctuates quite a lot sometimes by choice and some not. My life and schedule often change and so does my weight along with it. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?


I've always been told I had "A pretty face" but I think I have a pretty body too. I love my shape and I don't mind showing it off. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?


 Family, not so difficult, my family is very accepting, plus I have a bold and big mouth. As far as the public goes, unless I know someone personally, I don't really seek acceptance from them, there is no need really; their not part of my world. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?


I do. I have been lucky to have some great friends and loving family. What would you say inspires you most in life?

Laughter inspires me most. I love to laugh and love to see and hear others laugh. They say it's the best medicine. What is your primary job?


Modeling is my main job and I'm launching an online boutique as well. How did you get into this line of work?


Several times in my past I've been approached to model for different companies and web sites. Finally I decided to take them up on it and just love the energy and the fact that I get to meet new people. Do you find acceptance in the work force?


In my type of work yes. When I worked in an office everyday I didn't really have any problems either. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?


OH more comfortable chairs, come on, lets get rid of the tiny, armed, office chair for good please. Can we? What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


It's really improving, and I'm so happy to see that. More companies need to cater to OUR wallets by making more of their "standard" sized clothing styles for plus sizes. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?


Stop using fit & runway models that are sizes below the average sized woman. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?


I seen more designers and lines adding larger sizes to their size charts. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.


I buy from the same few available places that everyone else does, avenue, lane bryant, fashion bug, Jessica London, Roaman's and so on. However, luckily for me I also know how to sew, so I do make some of my own clothing. Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.


Faux Hair!
Wigs, hair pieces, hair hair hair, love it! Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?


Relax, smile, have a fan nearby and have everything you need ready to go. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?


Oh my gosh, a lot. Fashion has improved, more resources are available now, size acceptance in the dating community has improved greatly. It's just amazing. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?


I think we'll see big changes. Fat people on TV, Fat leading ladies and leading men in popular films.
Hopefully we'll see real sized people on the cover of the top style magazines. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.


I'm launching my own feature website which will include my Pin-up membership site and an online boutique carrying ladies clothing and "Jenna VonDell" merchandise. What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?

Not only did I place 8th in the BBW magazine 2003 model search out of 800 contestants I was also a model on the site Big Hot Bombshells.

Currently I'm preparing to launch my new feature site After that I'd like my own talk show and then, take over the world ;) Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants?

What was the experience like? BBW magazine 2003 model search is the only contest I've ever entered and I placed 8th out of 800. It was fun but I was bummed I didn't win. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.


I love it when I get an email from a younger girl who tells me that by seeing my pictures she feels empowered and inspired to love herself just the was she is.

The funny thing is half the time she's what I would consider a thin girl. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?


My hubby. He's just my best friend and the love of my life. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model? Do it!


Share your beauty with the world. What plus size figure do you admire?


Kathy Bates, She's a fabulous Actress who happens to be plus sized. 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 - Hard work is always Rewarded... when you least expect it.

Written By: Raqui 



Photo Credit: George


     Attending the BBW Vegas Bash for 2010 took on a special meaning for me.  Not only did I enjoy all the socializing, flirting, hugs and reacquainting myself with people I haven't seen in years.  I along with three others were honored and received awards during the formal dinner.


     Presented by Cher Rue (someone whose work in the Plus Sized Community is well known and admired).  I finally for once didn't know what to say.  Which was commented on by many who know me for always having something to say. I didn't know I would be so emotional.  Usually I am not the nervous type but being in front of hundreds of my peers being honored for my work in the Plus Sized Community.  I finally became very quiet and was barely heard when I spoke about my love for my community and how dedicated I am to my people.



     I didn't cry alone, little did I know that many people in the crowd were crying with me. Even those who didn't hear my words felt my emotions and later cried with me when they congratulated me.


     BBW Achievement Award,  I still look at my award, at this honor that I hold. I remember when I first started LargeInCharge and all the work through the years.  How I had been attacked for many years on the net because I dared to go outside of the Model Box and do something more.  LargeInCharge grew through the years and I have grown with it. 


     For the longest time I have been happy to know that people liked what I was doing.  That somehow what I was doing was helpful to my community.  To be honored in this way,  was a special experience for me and I will never forget it.  I am thankful to JoAnn and Darwin the creators of the BBW Vegas Bash, to Cher Rue who presented the award to me, and also my peers who picked me to be honored.  Thank you so much you have no idea what this means to me.


     When you work hard for something you believe in you are always rewarded and sometimes when you least expect it you find out that others see your hard work too.


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



“I don’t know why you felt the need to drag me along.  I mean, really, Jane.  Who wants to look at paint a buncha dead guys slapped on paper like 200 years ago?”


            “Most of this stuff was done in the 20s.  And you didn’t have to come with us, you know.”


            “Yeah, yeah.  Let’s get this over with.”


            Mala led the way into the art museum and Jany followed Selena in, mostly to make sure she wasn’t going to bolt at the last second.  Mala looked around for a second, then tossed back her hair and swaggered over to a man whose black turtleneck and thick black glasses identified him as an artist.


            “I hate guys like him,” Jany murmured in Selena’s ear.  “You can always tell an arrogant male artist by the black clothes, black glasses, and stupid hat.  And by the fact that Mala is dangling off his shoulder.  She’s gonna be like a tumor on his side tonight and then she’ll probably sleep with him a few times and one of her paintings will end up in an exhibit he puts together and then there’ll be some dramatic thing and they’ll never speak again.  Happens all the time, and the guys are always dressed in the same uniform.  Watch.” 


Mala looked over toward Jany and Selena and motioned for them to join her.


            “Hi, girls,” she purred.  “This is Albert.  He helped organize this exhibit for the museum.  Isn’t he amazing?  Albert, this is Jany.  She works in my gallery.  And Selena here is her—uh, well, her friend.”  Mala hooked a thumb toward Selena and winked at Albert, who glanced at Jany and Selena with an obvious lack of interest and then wandered away.  Mala followed him.


            “I see whatcha mean.”


            “And did you notice what Mala did there?  She wants him to think we’re a couple.  Then he won’t try and hit on us, and all his attention will go directly to her.  He wouldn’t hit on us, though.  Not on me, anyway.  Guys like that always go for skinny things in peasant skirts.”


            “Shut up, Jane.  Stop that.  And even if, who cares?  He seems like a jack ass to me.”


            “He is, I’m sure.  Still be nice to get hit on, though.”


            “Oh, get off it.  You got along great with that Will guy and you, like, talk to him and stuff, and I—well, never mind.  You get hit on plenty, you just don’t pay attention.  Come on, you dragged me to a stupid art museum on a Friday night when I could’ve been doing something way more exciting, so let’s go look at the art so we can get outta here.  Mala promised me wine if I was good.”


            “She bribed you with wine, really?  That’s not fair.”


            “She didn’t have to bribe you, you get off on this shit.  And anyway, when Mala’s involved, there’s always plenty of wine to go around.”


            Jany pulled a tiny notebook out of her pocket and stopped to scribble in it every few minutes as they walked through the museum.  Selena kept up a running commentary on the art they were looking at: “That one’s all depressing and shadowy; why would anyone wanna look at it?  I like the colors in that one—ooh, that would be so pretty in my bedroom.  Some of these people that call themselves artists are ridiculous.  I coulda done that when I was like two, and I bet it’s worth a bazillion bucks, too.  What the hell is that supposed to be?  It just looks like someone spilled a bunch of blue paint and then didn’t wanna waste the paper stuff so they tried to make it into a picture.”


            They made it through the museum and rejoined Mala and Albert.  Mala was still clinging to Albert’s arm, and every time another woman tried to talk to him, she placed her hand on his back and rested her head on his shoulder and spoke for him, as if he was mute.  Jany glanced at Selena and they had to look away from each other to keep from laughing.  “I told you!” Jany whispered.


            “My God, she’s doesn’t even try to pretend she’s not trying to get in his pants, does she?”


            Mala finally noticed that they had returned.


            “Did you enjoy the exhibit?”


            “Yeah, it was incredible.  The light quality in some of these paintings is just amazing.  I took some notes on stuff I wanna try whenever I have time to do some painting again.”


            “Uh, yeah.  It was cool.  It was—the colors—yeah, it was cool.”


            “Are you ready to get outta here and go have dinner?”


            Jany was surprised that Mala was willing to leave so soon, but she didn’t argue the point.  Selena was most definitely ready to leave, and Jany figured they better get out while the getting was good.  They went to a small restaurant near the museum.  Mala went there often, so they got a table with a gorgeous view of the city almost immediately.  She ordered a bottle of wine and then excused herself to use the restroom.


            “Okay, so I got a question for you,” Selena said as soon as she disappeared.  “If she knew she was gonna try to get in this dude’s pants, why the hell would she bribe us to come with?  Wouldn’t she wanna fly solo?”


            “She needed wing women.  If there was a bunch of chicks around the guy to begin with, we would’ve been there so she wouldn’t have to stand around alone, and she could show off for him by telling us all about the art.  She knows what she’s doing.  It turned out she didn’t need us ‘cause he was standing there all by himself when we walked in, but I’m cool with it.  I probably wouldn’t have gone otherwise, and it was a good exhibit.”


            “So, like, if I hadn’t been there, would she just have left you wandering around by yourself?”


            “Probably.  She’s done it before.  I’m used to it.”


            “That ain’t right, kiddo.  Bros before hoes, ya know?”


            “Um—we’re not bros, and she’s not exactly a ho, either.  I see what you’re saying, but really, it’s fine.  It used to bug me because it seemed kind of sucky that she dragged me around until she found a guy to attach herself to and then I just got ignored, but I never stopped going along with it ‘cause it gets me into a lot of really cool shows and stuff.  And after a while, ya get used to being ignored.  As long as I don’t expect to have some guy fall all over me, it’s not so bad when she leaves with someone and I slink home alone.”


            “You should totally bring some guy with you next time.  Like, one of the guys you met with your ad.”


            “It doesn’t work that way.  If I’m with a guy, she’s the third wheel until she finds someone, and Mala isn’t exactly the third wheel type.  She wouldn’t stand for it.  And anyway, I kinda did bring someone I met with my ad with me this time.”


            “Oh, so this was the date you’ve been promising and keep putting off?  You coulda told me that”


            They both laughed, but not easily.  Mala slid back into her seat and changed the subject just in time to cut the tension.


            “So how’d ya like him?”


            “He was exactly interchangeable with every other man you’ve met in the past three years: arrogant, boring, not all that attractive if you manage to look under the beret and behind the glasses, and powerful enough that you won’t care about any of that until he moves on to some other up and coming artist.  Exactly your type.”


             “Shut up, I wasn’t talking to you.  Selena?”


            “He—uh, he seemed nice enough.  I mean, he didn’t seem to be too upset by the fact that your nose was stuck up his ass, so he must be okay.”


            “You two are terrible friends!  Can’t you be supportive for once?”


            “Two weeks from now, after he’s got a piece or two of yours in some exhibit and then broken your cold and unfeeling heart by moving on to someone else, then we’ll be supportive.  Even though you were using him just as much as he was using you.  Okay?”


            “Whatever.  The wine better get here pretty quick.  I can’t take much more of this abuse.”


            “You know we love ya.”


            The waiter brought their wine and bread and took their orders and they all relaxed a little.  Mala and Jany talked about the exhibit and Selena gave up trying to follow what they were talking about and played with her phone.  They had been there for two hours, eating and talking and giggling, and they were working their way through a second bottle of wine when Mala’s phone rang.  She jumped out of her seat and ran to find a quiet place to talk.


            Jany had decided, during dinner, to tell Selena that this was the date she had been promising, that she’d just been too nervous to say so.  It wasn’t completely true, but she thought it might get Selena off her back for a while and give her time to figure out if she actually wanted to go out with her or not.  Except, by the time Mala left to take her phone call, the wine was making it hard to think clearly.  When Jany tried to tell Selena that this was their official date, she spoke slowly and carefully so she wouldn’t sound drunk.  It didn’t necessarily work.


            “S’lena?  Yeah, this’s our date, ‘cause I love you—to be with you.  You’re so fun.”


            “Really?  Sweet.  You’re the funnest.”  Selena wrapped her hand around Jany’s wrist and pulled it toward her mouth.  She was kissing Jany’s hand when Mala returned, and instead of letting go, she turned and looked at Mala, her lips still resting against the back of Jany’s hand.  Mala was much more sober than Jany and Selena.


            “Okay, I see I interrupted something.  Anyway, that was Albert.  I’m going to go meet him to talk about some of my art.  I’ll get you guys a cab and send you back to Jany’s, okay?”


            “You’re not gonna talk to him about art.  You’re gonna do it!”  Selena barely got the words out before she started giggling.  “Oops.  Was that too loud?”  She dropped Jany’s hand and looked at the couple seated closest to them.  The couple looked back at her, amused.


            “All right, time to go.  Come on.”


            Outside, Mala shoved Jany and Selena into the backseat of a cab, said something to the driver, and gave him some money.  Jany and Selena waved goodbye to Mala, still giggling.  Selena wrapped her arm around Jany’s waist and snuggled against her.


            “Ya know what?  I think she got us drunk on purpose.  So we wouldn’t get mad at her for dishing us.  Ditching us.”


            “Yeah.  She dished us for a dude.  And she’s trying to make us hook up.  ‘Cause that’s what she told Al—Albert, ‘member?” 


            They laughed so hard they could barely sit up straight.  The cab driver took a corner a little too quickly and Jany sprawled across Selena’s lap.  They laughed even harder. 


And then Selena leaned over and kissed Jany.  Jany tried to pull away, surprised, but between the wine and Selena’s arm across her shoulder, she couldn’t move.  And then, suddenly, she wasn’t thinking anymore, wasn’t laughing anymore, just kissing.  It lasted forever.


            “You a-gonna get out, or what?  I gotta other people to give a-rides to!”


            Jany sat up fast and swung the door open.  She and Selena tumbled out of the cab and watched it drive away.  They stood in silence, leaning on one another for support but not ready to talk to each other quite yet.  Then Selena started giggling again.  Slowly, Jany joined her.  Clinging to one another, they stumbled back to Jany’s apartment and collapsed on the couch. 


            “That guy was mean,” Jany said through her laughter.


            “Yeah.  You woulda thought a dude woulda liked watching a couple-a girls makin’ out in the back of his car.  Sheesh.”


            “Yeah, but not if I’m one of ‘em, ‘member?”


            Selena didn’t answer Jany right away and Jany immediately regretted cutting herself down.  She knew that her assessment of herself was right, but Selena didn’t like it when she said things like that.  She hunched back into the couch and closed her eyes, trying envision how the conversation might have gone if she had responded differently.  It wasn’t easy; the wine was still making it difficult to focus on her thoughts. 


            When she opened her eyes, it was because she felt like someone was looking at her.  And breathing on her.


            “Don’t say that,” Selena whispered, her face inches from Jany’s.  “You’re beautiful.  Men do too like you.  And I like you.”


            Jany tried to gasp for air, but it was too late.  Selena’s lips were on hers again.  Jany wanted to tell her to stop, that she wasn’t ready for this, that fear had her heart beating so hard she was afraid it was going to explode, but she couldn’t form the words.  She blamed it on the wine.  She also blamed the wine for the fact that Selena’s hands on her skin were electrifying, and she blamed the wine when she pulled Selena’s face back toward hers.


            Somehow—Jany really wasn’t sure how, no matter how she struggled to remember—they ended up in Jany’s bed.  Their clothes did not end up in Jany’s bed.  There was a flurry of hands stroking skin and lips brushing across overheated body parts, which Jany pulled away from and initiated in turn.  Just like during her first experience with Bob, back when she’d first put her ad online, it felt like she was outside of her body, watching, unable to control her own thoughts or actions.  Except, this time, she didn’t feel like she was in any danger.  Not really.  She was afraid, but not afraid she would be hurt.  This time, she was afraid of herself, this new part of herself.


            Eventually, their groping slowed, stopped.  The wine, which had made them so giddy and brave earlier, dissipated and left them sleepy.  Selena fell asleep before Jany did, her head tilted toward Jany and her arm across Jany’s belly, just under her breasts.  Jany could feel every part of Selena’s body that touched her—arm, head, even hair—acutely, heavily.  She couldn’t move.  And she couldn’t think.


 She didn’t want to think.


She didn’t want to think that maybe this was okay, maybe she could really like Selena, love her even.


  She didn’t want to think that even though she could barely admit it, she loved being here, with Selena, like this. 


And she especially didn’t want to think that maybe it had nothing to do with Selena or her own sexuality and had everything to do with the fact that for once in her life, sleeping in the arms of someone who cared about her, life didn’t hurt.  Maybe it didn’t matter who was here with her—woman, man, friend, lover. 


It just felt good to be able to reach out and touch someone in the night, reassure herself that someone cared.  It felt good to not be alone.





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.

BBW Vegas Bash 2010
Article by: Cher Rue

Every year three great people Darwin and JoAnn Bellemore, and Brie Brown put together a gathering
for the plus size community called the BBW Vegas Bash. This year the event was held at
the Tuscany Suites. The rooms are spacious which us big girls like, and lots of people share.
The huge pool with lots of pockets for people to float around and socialize is where you found
people cooling off from the desert heat. The hotel has a great casino, 3 restaurants with great food, and friendly employees. The event began on Tuesday and ended on Sunday with a T-shirt signing and people saying their good by's to old friends and new ones.

People travel from around the world to come celebrate the oneness of the community. No one judges,
no one makes fun of us, it is all about friendship and having fun. There are parties and events every day and night and it is non-stop. After the events, well your in Vegas so gambling is also a lot of fun.
Friday and Saturday there is a vendor fair where you can shop and find lots of fun clothes, jewelry, and
other items for the plus size and regular size customers. On Saturday night is the creme de la creme, with a fantastic formal dinner, awards, and dancing. This years recipients were for the BBW Achievement awards were Raqui (large in charge) for her outstanding dedication to our community, Brie Brown who works all year on the Bash. The BBW admirer award, for the guy who supports all the women with so much love and dedication was Diamand Dave who was so touched he had tears. The friendship award for opening up your heart to everyone went to Paula Obeid. It was a very moving ceremony and the video is here for you to watch.

Everyone walked away with so much love in their hearts, new friends, and a feeling of happiness at a great week of being with their peers. I had a blast and if you have never attended you don't know what your missing. So plan on attending next year and have the experience of your life.

Special love and thanks to JoAnn, Darwin and Brie for without you there would be no bash.









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.



Ground Meat and Changing the World

by Xander The Food Dude



The history of the hamburger is truly a story that has been run through the meat grinder. Some sources say it began with the Mongols, who stashed raw beef under their saddles as they waged their campaign to conquer the known world. After time spent sandwiched between the asses of man and beast, the beef became tender enough to eat raw—certainly a boon to swift-moving riders not keen to dismount.


It is said, then, that the Mongols, under Kublai Khan later brought it to Russia, which turned it into the dish we know as steak tartare.


Several years later, as global trade picked up, seafarers brought this idea back to the port city of Hamburg, Germany, where the Deutschvolk decided to mold it into a steak shape and add heat to the equation, making something that, outside of Hamburg, was referred to as "Hamburg steak."

Of course, as it's been pointed out on the comments on this site and in John T. Edge's book Hamburgers & Fries, that's wishful thinking. As Mr. Edge writes, "The history of proletarian dishes like hamburgers is rarely explained by a linear progression of events."

But enough fishing in European and Asian waters; let's cut bait here. Somehow ground beef gets to America. Somehow it's put on a bun. But by whom? Surely the historical record becomes more clear once we cross to these shores.

It doesn't. There are currently three major claims staked on the confusing and contradictory map of American hamburger history. Each has its adherents and detractors. They are:


Louis' Lunch: This New Haven, Connecticut, burger joint claims to have invented our favorite lunchtime (and dinnertime) meal in 1900. From its website: "One day in the year 1900 a man dashed into a small New Haven luncheonette and asked for a quick meal that he could eat on the run. Louis Lassen, the establishment's owner, hurriedly sandwiched a broiled beef patty between two slices of bread and sen the customer on his way, so the story goes, with America's first hamburger."


"Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen: It's said that he started selling meatballs at the age of 15 at the summer fair in Seymour, Wisconsin. But, says, "Charlie was a resourceful young man with an outgoing personality. After not experiencing much success selling the meatballs, he had an idea and located some bread. He realized people could take this meal with them if he simply smashed the meat together between two pieces of bread. He called it a "hamburger" and yes, in 1885 the burger was born at the fair in Seymour, Wisconsin."


Menches Brothers: The brothers' descendents, who now operate a small chain in Ohio called, not surprisingly, Menches Bros. claim that their great-grandfather and his brother (Charles and Frank, respectively) invented the dish at an 1885 fair in Hamburg, New York. The brothers originally sold sausages but ran out and were forced to use ground beef, which at the time was considered declassé. John Menches, in a Business Week story, says, "Faced with nothing to sell at all, they fried [the ground beef] up, but it was too bland. My grandfather decided to put coffee, brown sugar, and some other household ingredients in it and cooked up the sandwich. My great-uncle Frank served the first sandwich, a gentleman tasted it and said, 'What do you call it?' Uncle Frank didn't really know what to call it, so he looked up and saw the banner for the Hamburg fair and said, 'This is the hamburger.' "


All in all, as we look back, it’s fun to think about who invented the hamburger.  The original idea has literally changed the world around us.  From its humble beginnings, to its chance of fate happenings that sky-rocketed a simple patty of meat to the world’s most consumed meal on the planet today.  Either way, ya gotta love it !



Xander's Recipe of the Month


Whisky Burger


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup beer (such as Sam Adams®)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger whiskey (such as Jack Daniels®)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil the grate.

Combine the ground beef, beer, Worcestershire sauce, whiskey, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix until evenly combined. Shape the mixture into 6 patties.

Cook on the preheated grill until the burgers are cooked to your desired degree of doneness, 5 to 8 minutes per side for well done. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).



Pesto Burgers



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/3 cup roasted sweet red pepper strips
  • 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted


Shape beef into four 3/4-in.-thick patties. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook patties for 5 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink.

Top each burger with cheese, 2 tablespoons pesto and pepper strips. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns.




Buffalo Blue Burger


  • 2 pounds ground buffalo
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 leaves Bibb lettuce
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 slices tomato


Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Season the ground buffalo with salt and pepper; form into 8 balls. Press a cavity in each ball with your thumb pressing halfway into each ball; place a tablespoon of blue cheese into the hole and seal the meat around the cheese. Press each ball into a patty shape.

Cook the burgers on the preheated grill until cooked to your desired degree of doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for well done. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Spread the toasted buns with mayonnaise. Place a burger patty onto each bun bottom, then place a lettuce leaf, onion rings, and tomato slice onto each sandwich. Top with the remaining buns to serve.



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.

Menu Challenges: A Year Later

with Sonya Bennett



Being overweight – whether 10 pounds, or 200 pounds – means that you’re constantly thinking about the next meal; even if you aren’t “dieting”. Having the gastric bypass exasperates that thought, in my opinion. I’ve heard people say that they think about food/meal choices more after the gastric bypass almost to the point of feeling they’re obsessed with food. I can see how that can happen – easily because as a baby/child, your choices are made for you; after this procedure, you’re forced to make those new decisions as an adult. Let’s face it, if those decisions were easy, the very difficult choice of having the voluntary surgeries such as the Lap Band and the gastric bypass wouldn’t be a necessity.

Whey protein; it has become an essential part of my meal choices. I am not promoting this specific product, it is just one that I use. When I took my initial nutrition classes before the surgery about a year and a half ago, there were a few people who complained that proteins of the past have been gritty and carried a bad after taste. I have not had that experience. For example: Syntrax Nectar has varieties of protein that not only have fruity tastes that mix well with juices (or water – either way, there’s no after taste) but they also carry an unflavored powder that you can add to your favorite drink. There’s a latte flavor for those who have that coffee fiend on their back (lol) yet it doesn’t have the caffeine! There are flavors by this maker that are milk-based in a line called “Matrix”. I’m not a huge milk fan so have only tried these once but I did enjoy them and since I need the calcium, I have considered switching up and trying the Matrix line however, there are juices now that have calcium so I’m curing both problems: receiving my protein and my calcium in one drink. This particular powdered protein has 23 grams of protein per scoop with no carbs, no fat and no sugar! As I’ve shared in previous months, this is my morning routine: a scoop of protein in juice and, at times, blended with fresh or frozen fruit. What I love about it is that I can toss it in a juice container and shake it up and it breaks down well without chunks of powder left over. It blends very well – a little foamy but very well. I have a protein drink almost every morning for breakfast before I go to work. It fills me up and keeps me going until lunch. I’ve been told that if you want to jump start your weight loss, having two protein drinks a day and a sensible dinner for two weeks will get your body back to its fat-burning; protein burns fat. Adding fruit to it makes it even more filling (bananas or strawberries, blue berries) and yogurt to it gives it added calcium. There have been so many variations on it that I’ve done, I haven’t gotten tired yet. I love the Fuzzy Naval (peach-flavored) and the Caribbean Cooler.

Join me next month as I lay out the REAL challenges: lunch and dinner.



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 tale of Growing Up

with Estrelia Mateo



     When you are a child you always think about what or who you’ll be when you grow up and as you grow older you start to focus more on the details and less on the abstract notion. When you were a kid you would probably say you wanted to be a doctor when you grew up and as you got older you would start focus on getting good grades and thinking about the best schools you could get into.  Growing up isn’t just about getting older in age, it is also about taking those necessary steps into adulthood.  There are rites of passages in every culture that person must go through to be considered an adult in their community.


     In the Hispanic culture one of the most important events in a young woman’s life is her Quinceañera, which is her fifteenth birthday. While most people see it as a huge birthday party rival to that of a wedding, there are certain ceremonies that each girl must go through to show her ascension into womanhood. There is usually a ceremony where the young girl takes off her shoes that represent her childhood and puts on her first pair of high heels, which symbolizes her adulthood.  I love this ceremony the most because I feel like it really reiterates what stepping into adulthood is all about.


     When I turned fourteen I was looking towards my quinces with so much anticipation as a kid on Christmas Eve. All I could think about how much fun party would be with all my family and friends looking on as I took my steps into adulthood. As we began the planning process everything seemed so real. From the moment I tried on that first dress I realized that after that night I would no longer be look at as a child but as a young woman.  The concept made me a little scared because I knew there were certain things that were required of a young woman that I didn’t have to do as a child. I knew I would have to act a certain way and carry myself in a certain way.

     I knew things would be different when my mom started pushing me to wear more feminine clothes like dresses and skirts. She started giving me tips about wearing make-up and jewelry and where before she would send me out of the room when she was talking with her girlfriends, she began to let me stay around for the conversation. She extended my curfew and even talked about letting me date boys. She even gave me the dreaded sex talk.  She began to talk to me about the importance of being a lady and having a sense of class and decorum.  She taught me that part of being a woman is being confident in your decisions whether they are wrong or right and to always stand up for yourself. The day of my party came and went but the lessons about being a woman stay with me always and when it is time to throw my daughters quince I will past on those lessons so that I can make her first steps into womanhood as solid as mine.




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 NAAFA Fashion Show Extravaganza


The curvy female form has inspired artists for centuries and plus size fashion designers are truly artists, transforming their customers into creatures of beauty and style.

Plus size fashion designers will present their latest collections of inspired designs at the highly anticipated NAAFA Fashion Show Extravaganza being held on Friday August 6, 2010 at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel in Millbrae, CA. These talented designers have a sincere desire to give women of any age and size the opportunity to be dressed in style and comfort.

NAAFA is very pleased to have The award winning designer, Ms. Yuliya Raquel will be our guest speaker during our fashion extravaganza. She will share with us her journey, beginning at age five when she first learned to sew, to becoming an award winning designer as founder of IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel, Ms. Raquel was recently presented the Best Plus Retailer of the Year Award during the final runway show at Full Figure Fashion Week on Saturday, June 19, 2010.

Joining us as our special guest is San Francisco Bay Area plus size fashion blogger Marie Denee of the Curvy Fashionista. She is all about curves and confidence; we will see plenty of that on the runway Friday night.
This inspiring event will showcase food, fashion, art, and our well known Not-So-Silent Auction. Be sure to bring your wallets, checkbooks and charge cards for both the auction and the Vendor Fair being held on Saturday and Sunday, August 7 and 8, 2010 beginning at 10:00AM where you will be able to purchase fashion, accessories, art and furniture - all catering to the plus size audience. NAAFA’s Vendor Fair is open to the public and free of charge to access.

Find more complete information and purchase your tickets at

The Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, 1 Old Bayshore Highway, Millbrae, CA 94030




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

Fashion Find by: Lucia

Fashion Type: CLEARANCE

SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss) is just one of my favorite online site to shop. They offer cute extended sizes for the girl on the go. Loving it!

Prices for Outlet section: Prices Varies
Product of the Month

Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Zappos
Type of Product: Sandals

Cost of Product: Prices Varies

Where Product can be found:

Description: Summertime Cuteness! Are you looking for that perfect sandal well… check out Zappos my product of the month where you can find that pair of pure perfection.

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.



Outside the Box

with Candace Lane



It is never too late to be what you might have been- George Eliot


          What is the one thing that you have always wanted to do? Everyone has something. Think back long and hard. What is it? What was it? Maybe the idea sprouted up back in your college days. Maybe it came to you in a daydream in high school chemistry class. Maybe it was something you saw in the fourth grade that made you shout, “ I’m gonna to do that when I grow up!” Why is it that when you are a kid, the world is yours and you have endless possibilities, but when you grow up it’s time to get serious and act like an adult? What does that even mean anyways… act like an adult? I mean, it really sounds to me like an adult is supposed to no longer have an imagination. We have become so consumed with the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget the simplicity and innocence of youth: dreams. Who was it that decided becoming an adult meant giving up on your dreams? Why does adulthood have to be so boring?

     One of my dreams started in high school. It was the first time that I can really remember being around such a diverse group of people, decedents from nearly every continent. It made me curious as to where they were all from. I had friends from Germany, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Poland, Pakistan, Jamaica and Taiwan. Everyone shared experiences from their heritage. It was then that sparked an interest in other cultures. I wanted to experience life abroad. What would life be like on the other side of the world? What are the people like? Do they laugh at the same jokes? Do they dance to the same genres of music? I had so many questions.

     I told myself that after I graduated college I was going to spend a year in Spain. I was learning Spanish in high school and it just made sense at the time. I would be young and unattached with the world still at my fingertips. College graduation never came and I took a full time job and became a part time student. The high school bubble was gone and now real life was ushering in faster than you can say FICO score. My life revolved around work, bills and being an adult.  I became complacent with what is normal and ordinary. I mean this is real life, right?  My dreams became more and more hazy.  At some point, I forgot how much I loved learning Spanish.  I forgot how much I loved other cultures altogether.

    It was not until I came across a video on YouTube from a person with the screen name Tenchijk that old passions awoke with a new twist. He was speaking on the media and Hollywood paints a very negative picture of Asian people. His statements made me stop and think. I could relate to him expressing his anger at the discrimination and misrepresentation on many levels. I could relate because I have at least two strikes against me that act as a discrimination bull’s-eye: I am a young black female and I am fat. I am sure that everyone has heard at least one stereotype of fat people, black people and Asian people.  I did not even realize that I too was buying into Asian stereotypes. His comments lead me to do some Googling, which brings me to the point of the story…

     I discovered that I have a passion and fascination with Korean culture, everything from the people, the music, the dance and dramas to the language. I want to understand it, to speak it, to experience it. I want to see the world through their eyes (or as close to it as an African-American female can). I have a new dream. I am going to go live in Korea for a year. I am learning the language and familiarizing myself with as much of the culture as possible. I am going to get like Nike and just do it. Why not? I have a list of all of the places I want to see before I die that has been tucked neatly away collecting dust. A nice reminder of all of the dreams I ever had that I gave up to be “an adult”. But why? I am the only one holding me back. Fear of the unknown and irregular kept me from even trying. I quit without even stepping foot in the game. I am going to step outside of my comfort zone and go somewhere extraordinary. I do not think anyone should live their life only seeing the four corners of their own country when GOD gave us a whole world to explore.

     What is your passion? That thing in the back of your mind tucked neatly away that reminds you of younger more hope-filled days. The teenager inside me lives on.  The adult in me is going to make her dream a reality. Never stop believing in your dreams. A dream is one of the few things in this world that you can truly own untaxed and untouched. If you want to climb Mount Everest, play the piano, paint a self-portrait, learn to swim, whatever… DO IT. Eventually our short time on this big rock will end, do you really want to die knowing that you never even once did anything that you loved? Sometimes life is about taking chances and sometimes it is about second chances. It is as George Eliot said; you are never too old to be who you might have been. You just need to believe.


Be Blessed- C.L.





Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

      Return to Back Issues of LargeInCharge Magazine    Return to the Front