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LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#78 - September 2010

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.

 

 

Raqui-ism

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!

 
Bellies Are Beautiful.com
written by Raqui

 

From the Bellies Are Beautiful Website

Bellies get a bad rap. You see them floating headless on news channels with concerned voiceovers calling attention to the "Obesity Epidemic." You see them, pinched, wrapped in measuring tape, or peeking out of pants 3 sizes too large, embossed with diet messaging on billboards and glossy magazines. Someone's always trying to flatten them, or deprive them, or suck them in, hide them, minimize them. We say -- drop your pants, hike up your shirt, and tell your belly you love it! Grip your love handles and shake 'em like you're happy to meet them! Tell your belly it's beautiful! Bump bellies with others! Take pictures of your bellies and hang them up in your house! Take pictures of your bellies and send them to us so other people can see how beautiful your belly is! So other people who may not like their bellies can see how many different kinds of bellies there *really* are in the world, and how their belly is just another beautiful belly in the broad belly spectrum.

Info

Bellies are Beautiful is a private project by Stacy Bias, dedicated to positive body image for all people! I know that bellies aren't the only focus of body hatred, but I do think they get more than their fair share of targeting. Bellies Are Beautiful is a celebrative, but not exploitative, collection of user-submitted bellies of all sizes, shapes, colors and genders!

I am sex-positive as an organizer, but prefer to take a non-sexualizing lens to this project, so please keep your submissions in the PG-13 category so folks of all ages can enjoy the belly love!

Submissions posted to BelliesAreBeautiful.com are done anonymously. If you want to include your face, I welcome this. If you don't, that's fine, too! My aim is to show that beauty comes in MANY forms -- every form, even. That everyBODY is beautiful in its own way!

www.belliesarebeautiful.com


 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

 
Nicole Reed

Cover Model of the Month Interview

 




LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

Nashira, but my friends call me Nicole (middle name)


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

I am a southern girl at heart and grew up in Mississippi, however I've been Midwestern for 10 years residing in Wisconsin currently.


LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

Let's see I'm 31, 5'5", 317 pounds and a size 24. My nationality is African American and I'm a mom to a beautiful seven year old little girl.


LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I've always been a chunky girl. But, when I moved on my own at 20 my weight ballooned hence I was eating alot of fast food.


LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

The most complicated thing was never being noticed by guys my age. Since I was very well developed, (especially in my chest), I got more attention from upperclassmen but it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Also, I wasn't necessarily teased but kids treat you differently and make you feel like the "odd one out"!


LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

Well, I lived a very sheltered childhood and also emotionally and physically abused. Food was EXTREMELY comforting and once I left home it became a bad habit hard to break. When I was stressed or dealing with unresolved feelings about my past I'd eat. I fell into a big denial in 2006 when I became a size 28 and was wearing one pair of jeans that flattered me. I wore cat lady gowns (as most would call them ha ha) at home, and when I went out it was either the one pair of jeans, sweat pants or a few other outfits that actually made me look flattering. I hated going shopping because it was a big reminder of how much weight I had gained. It was the pits-and I didn't know how to come out of the hole I dug for myself.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

Even though I've always been full figured I still loved the camera. Over the years I began to develop confidence and realized the person that hurt me in the past is a reminder of the person I should never be. This model search is not about me attempting to gather a name for myself, attention from the fan base of the magazine, etc. It's part of my liberation to say this is me, love it or leave it..and if I can have the confidence to accept who I am then hey you can to! I've always wanted to model, but felt I wasn't what they call "industry standard".


LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

When I was younger yes! As I got older I realized once I loved me others did to. Of course you have those that are shallow and it seemed some people have been offended by my confidence. Society says beautiful doesn't have curves, love handles, belly, and wear spanx. I say screw society, and love yourself for who you are and you'd be surprised how people can't help but respect that and love you as well. :)


LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

Yes, I receive a lot of love and support from my peers and family.


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

My daughter motivates me to be successful in every aspect of my life and knowing I'm her role model makes me push myself harder and harder.



LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary job?


I am a Restaurant Manager.



LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?

Well, I was self employed for five years and decided I wanted to do something different!



LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?

Absolutely! My co-workers are awesome.



LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

It should be mandatory company required attire accommodates all sizes. Whether you are a size 1x, 2x, or 6x, the opportunity to be hired for a position and wear the same uniform as the other employees is fair. If not, I feel that is discrimination.


LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

Some retailers have made huge mistakes in fashion and I have wondered why they think someone wants to wear a tablecloth or grandma's curtain. (ha ha) Before it was hard finding anything fashionable and cute. Presently, more stores carry clothes that flatter large women and men.



LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

I wish there was more lingerie that accommodated the bustier woman. But the creme de le creme is everything running true to size. It's extremely frustrating to buy a size 24 in one brand and it fits but in another brand your a size 26 or 28!



LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

I think the fashion industry would try to discourage it. We've lived in a world where big is not beautiful but we've fought the good fight and gained some acceptance. In sincerity I don't think we could ever gain that respect across the board. They want to sell the idea that thin is in and if you have curves or God forbid love handles its not appealing. Most full figured models are still within the guidelines of what is considered "attractive" Think about it, Lane Bryant and Torrid never have models over a size 20. There are still way too many restrictions and I'd love to see those barriers broken.



LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

Torrid, Lane Bryant, Target (I lovee them), Ebay, and Macy's


LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

Exfoliate your skin daily with a cleanser such as Apricot scrub or Neutrogena face wash with an exfoliation pad. You can purchase both at Target.


LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

Always have a variety outfits, and plan what you want to wear a day or two early. This gives you time to make a final decision or change your mind. BE sure to wear shapers/girdles, because it makes a big difference when you wear form fitting clothing. Also, if you don't know how to apply makeup, find a makeup artist who does TFP work if your budget won't allow you to hire someone. They advertise all the time on craigslist and model mayhem! When doing a shoot, have a theme in mind, such as location. You want your outfits to coordinate with where you will be taking pictures. You can find examples in magazines, or model profiles. It can also simply be what you decide creatively! Just be sure to not wear a ball gown at the beach. (smile) Try an area such as a vineyard, park gardens etc. Your photo shoot depends on the look you are trying to achieve. Lastly, practice your poses in front of the mirror at home. Although it seems ridiculous, you are able to see yourself and decide if it seems natural or too forced!


LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

There is still pressure from the media that only thin is beautiful, but there is a bigger acceptance of the large community. Monique did a great job having the first full figured beauty pageant and as time goes on I'm sure other opportunities will come forth. Our voices are not being ignored and we are receiving the same opportunities in areas of acting, fashion, and music. Five years ago, large women competing in a televised pageant would have been unheard of. We have come a longggg way!


LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

We will have the opportunity to express ourselves in many areas, and I think the issue of size won't matter. More importantly, insurance companies will lift the ban on offering coverage to larger applicants and not consider them a risk simply because of their weight. There are people who have been large for years and not have one health concern. Whereas, someone smaller receives coverage and acquires a multitude of illnesses. It's an unfair practice that I hopefully will change in the future.


LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I've decided to take a leap of faith and try my hand at modeling again. I did years ago, but I was burned badly by someone in the industry. However, that is the past and I think life is too short to not pursue my goals. I'd love to do print modeling and possibly host or co host a radio or TV show. In addition, I'm writing a novel and looking to start a nonprofit organization in the future.


LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?

I am more grounded than ever before and when you receive positive thoughts and well wishes from your peers it encourages you to keep pushing forward. I've gained alot of courage to fulfill my dreams as a model and hopefully it will happen for me!


LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants? What was the experience like?

I entered a contest once and I was extremely nervous. I didn't win but it was fun and because I had the confidence to try is what mattered most. Sometimes an experience is just as fulfilling as winning!


LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

I was out shopping one day and a lady stopped me and said, "You are so gorgeous!" At this point in my life I had already gathered an abundance of confidence but that made it jump 1,000 points higher.



LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

My daughter is my biggest motivation.


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

If you don't think your beautiful other people won't. So what if you have parts of your body that aren't flattering! Most models who aren't large are airbrushed to cover their flaws. (a secret we all know about) A model isn't always who we see on the cover of Cosmo, it could be someone who has established a name for themselves and want to showcase their beauty independently or for an organization that will accept them. We are in an era where more opportunities are available so get off the couch and make your dreams come true.


LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you admire?

Queen Latifah. I've followed her career since she graced the scene as a rap artist. I am so amazed at all she has accomplished- especially with Cover Girl.


LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

Determined



 

Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

articles@largeincharge.com

 

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to LargeInCharge.com.  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, 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 www.Raqui.com

Raqui featured on Gordos.com and Glamour Plus - go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - I will not adopt your Drama!

Written By: Raqui 

 

 

     The word Drama has changed in meaning, at least somewhat.  At one time it was a way to describe a movie, or show at the theater.  Now it is used to represent, a person or circumstance with negative traits.  Someone who is always living a sensational type of life full of dramatic flair. But not in a good way.

 

Definition: provided via wisegeek.com

 

Conflicts and disappointments are natural side effects of the human experience, but for a certain personality type known as a "drama queen," life's little setbacks can trigger explosive emotional outbursts and other irrational behaviors. The term "drama queen," or less frequently, "drama king" is usually applied to someone with a demanding or overbearing personality who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents. A drama queen often views the world in absolutes, and only has two settings on her emotional control button; zero and ten. Psychologists might describe a drama queen or king as a neurotic personality with histrionic tendencies, meaning they tend to become needlessly dramatic whenever order is disrupted. In adult life, being considered a drama queen or a drama king is generally not a good thing.

 

     We all know these types, an endless dramatic experience that usually tires, not only the drama Queen or King, but all those around them.  The drama driven person is usually seeking attention, and wants those around them to feel sorrowful over the many difficulties they seem to experience.  These types can drain you emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

 

     Those of us who try to help often become hyper sensitive, and are constantly trying to be there for the individual who is suffering.  This suffering is more often than not an addiction.  One that brings them the attention they are seeking, a feeling of importance.  Being able to repeat it again and again to get the "WHOA AS ME" fix.

 

     The problem with this cycle is that it can cause the Drama King or Queen to manipulate others.  Taking themselves and you on a never ending cycle that will drive the person who helps the drama king/queen to stress, often not being able to handle there own personal own issues, because they are consumed with what is happening in DRAMA LAND. 

 

     I myself have often been the helper, the ear to listen, the person to encourage my drama induced associates.  So much so that my life, and feelings, became second place.  Through association with these particular people, I saw myself becoming just like them.  A dramatic mess.  Once I realized how adverse the affect was on my life.  I knew I had to let them and there drama go.

 

     Once I let go of the first few, more and more people were erased from my life.  I knew that I had to focus on myself and being able to handle life's challenges affectively and not lose my mind because a difficult situation arose.   I started to see drama coming at me before I got involved, I started understanding those who purposefully created situations that became dramatic.  I now understand the needy mind of drama kings/queens, and how dangerous it truly can be when you have drama in your life.  Any obsession is harmful, Dramatic obsession can cause mental break down.

 

     At some point you have to let go of the Rush many feel when they allow the Drama king/queen attitude to take them over.  I have learned to run and get away as soon as possible. To turn my back on those who want to suck me into there dramatic experience.  I don't want to adopt your drama, I have better things to do.  Like being happy living my life drama free.

 


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

www.raqui.com  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui on Twitter

 

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

From the Plus Side

with

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 emilysuzanne20@hotmail.com.  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 phatgurl@personalz.com

 

Looking Back ... Continued

 

   

Jany slowly opened her eyes.  She was tense, nervous, and had no idea why.  Cautiously, she pushed the blankets down to her waist and stretched an arm out.  It touched flesh.  Jany was standing up next to her bed before she realized she was even moving, then let out a shaky sigh of relief when she saw Selena sprawled across her bed. 

 

            Then, the relief gave way to something else, anxiety, maybe, or embarrassment.  What should she do?  She didn’t want to leave the room, the comfort of Selena’s company, but she wasn’t ready to talk about what had happened yet, wasn’t ready to talk about what it might mean.  And if she was there when Selena woke up, the conversation would be inevitable.  She started to sink back onto her bed, then froze.  The shifting of her weight onto the mattress might wake Selena up.  Instead, Jany sat at her desk and turned her computer on.  She checked her e-mail, but there was nothing exciting to read.  Then she went to the web site for the university she wanted to attend.  It was too late to sign up for any fall classes, but she mostly just visited the web site to dream anyway.  Someday, maybe she’d have the courage to start taking art classes, but not yet.  It was a scary prospect; if she failed, if she wasn’t any good at art after all, her dreams would be dead.

 

            Too depressing to think about, and she had enough to deal with today.  Absent-mindedly, she went to Personalz.com and logged in.  No new messages, but she spent a few minutes perusing the profiles of the men she had yet to make a second date with.  There were only three that she really wanted to see again.  Three that made her feel like a real woman, just as attractive as any other woman, a woman who had options.  The rest didn’t seem to fit who she was anymore.  She paused to smile at that thought.  Perhaps she was starting to be who she wanted to be instead of who she felt like everyone thought she was supposed to be.

 

            Jacob was a lawyer.  A professional.  He hadn’t been a creep—no almost-rape, no groping in the backseat of a car, no head-shaving requests on their first date.  The only thing he’d had working against him was that Jany didn’t think she deserved him.  That and the fact that he’d brought her to the Club Bubbles before she was ready to accept the fact that places existed where she was the norm, even one of the “cool kids,” instead of being a fat freak.

 

            And there was Trent.  He’d been fun and funky and artsy, just the kind of guy she’d always imagined herself with.  Even though he’d taken her to a play about transvestites with an audience of half naked people, and even though she, herself, had been one of the half naked spectators, he’d made her feel completely comfortable.  She’d felt confident after their date, strong.  The only thing that had kept her from contacting him was that he’d told her he wasn’t really into fat chicks.  Granted, he’d also said weight didn’t matter at all to him, but it was hard to believe that an average guy, one who didn’t like her merely because she was a plus-sized woman, could like her.

 

            The third guy she still wanted to go out with was Haroon.  She hadn’t gone out with him to begin with, but he’d been friendly when she’d met him in the park, and he had given her his number.  Contacting him would take a lot of courage, though, since she didn’t know for sure that he had feelings for her.  He also didn’t have a profile on Personalz.com, so she couldn’t check out his status to see if he was still single.

 

            And there was William to think about; they’d stayed in contact and he had said he’d like to see her again.  And Michael, who loved her but wouldn’t meet her anyway. 

 

And looming above them all was Selena.

 

            “Jany?  Morning.”

 

            Almost as soon as Jany thought Selena’s name, she heard Selena’s voice coming from directly behind her.

 

            “Oh, hey.  Morning.”  Jany busied herself with rearranging things on her desk so she didn’t have to look at Selena.  She wasn’t used to waking up with someone, to the morning after.

 

            “So—did—last night didn’t mean anything to you, did it?”

 

            Selena’s voice was soft and sad, and Jany finally forced herself to look up.  Selena was standing behind her, studying the computer screen, which displayed William’s Personalz profile.

 

            “I—yes.  Yes it did, I just don’t know what yet.  I know I keep avoiding this issue, but I really don’t know what I’m doing here.”

 

            “Jany, you can’t keep messing with me.  I can’t take it.  One minute you’re all warm and soft and then you’re cold and hard and looking for someone else, for a guy.  You always talk about how you never feel like you’re good enough for anyone because they never want anything more from you than to cop a feel or get their rocks off, so you of all people should know how I feel when you keep changing your mind about me.  It’s driving me crazy!”

 

            “Selena, I’m really sorry.  I don’t have the words to explain myself is all.  Last night, in bed?  After the wine started wearing off a little, when we were falling asleep?  I’ve never felt that good before, that—acceptable.  I loved how I felt.  But I don’t know if I’m really gay or bi or whatever or not.  I mean, I guess I know I’m not gay, ‘cause I do like guys, but I don’t know if I feel like I do about you because you’re a girl or just because you’re you.  I mean, it might just be you being a friend and making me feel good that makes me feel that way.  It’s just so—weird for me, still.”

 

            “I know what you mean, but maybe you’re just going to have to make up your mind pretty soon so I don’t, like, lose it.  This yes-and-no, hot-and-and-cold stuff is killing me.  And maybe it doesn’t matter if you like girls or not.”

 

            “But—I think it probably matters.  I mean, you are a girl.”

 

            “No, that’s not what I mean.  This is a strange idea, I think, but I’ve always had it.  I’ve just never tried to explain it to anyone before.  What if—what if it doesn’t matter if someone is a girl or a guy?  That’s what it’s like for me.  I honestly don’t really care at all what parts a person has, it’s just, like, the way they make me feel that matters.  And sometimes it’s a guy that makes me feel all excited and jittery and giggly and sometimes it’s a girl.  It’s the—like, the feeling that matters.  Maybe most people don’t think that way just ‘cause they know they’re supposed to only feel that way about the opposite sex.  Do you get what I mean?”

 

            Jany got up from the chair by her desk and arranged herself cross-legged on her bed, then immediately regretted the move because there wasn’t anything other than Selena to pay attention to.

 

            “Kinda.  I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t know if I agree or not.  I mean, I totally understand, because last night I felt really, really good being with you and I didn’t even really think about you being a girl.  At least for part of the time.  And I was—well, I mean—never mind.  I enjoyed it.  But sometimes, I really do want to feel a guy’s arms around me and stuff.  There are times when I want to be with someone and I know for sure it’s a guy I want to be with.”

 

            “So are you saying you were turned on last night?”

 

            “Oh, god, Selena, I don’t know.  I don’t want to say that.”

 

            “But it is what you were going to say, right?”

 

            “Kinda.  Maybe.”  Jany had never looked so closely at her bedspread in her entire life.

 

            “And sometimes, guys turn you on.  Like when you’re in the mood, you think about a guy automatically and not a girl.”

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “Okay, so think about this, then.  What if you were in a relationship—would you expect to never get turned on by another person, ever?  That’s, like, totally not how it works.  You just learn to, like, kinda tune it out or whatever.  You don’t act on it.  So as long as guys and girls can both turn you on, it’s just like—whatever.  You just don’t act on your feelings with someone besides the person you’re with.”

 

            “I get what you’re saying, I do.  I just—this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever felt like I have options.  I mean, I don’t really feel like I have options, but I feel like I might have options.  And I’m afraid I’ll regret it if I don’t take advantage of them.  What if I don’t at least try to see these guys again?  What if I say, okay, fine, I’ll try dating you, and then you decide you don’t like me anymore?  It’ll be too late for any of the guys I’ve gone out with already, and there’s no guarantee I’ll ever meet anyone who likes me again. 

 

“I think about that just about every day.  I’m afraid to be happy with what I have right now because it could all be gone, just like that.  Every time someone touches me or kisses me or even says something nice to me, I think that it could very well be the last time it ever happens.  Don’t you see?  Can’t you be patient?  No matter what, I’ll always be your friend, but I just have to explore all my options before I can settle down with anyone.  It’s too scary not to.”

 

“Whoa, girl.  Slow down.  First of all, you’ll totally always have options.  Don’t be silly.  And I get it that you want to, like, check things out and finish off your list of dudes before you take yourself out of the game, and I, of all people, know how scary it is to make the decision to swing the other way.  I’m okay with you going out with the rest of the guys or whatever.  I just gotta know if I’m, like, still on your list or what.  I gotta know how you feel.  It kills me to have to be wondering all the time where I stand.”

 

            “You’re one of my favorite people, okay?  I like you a lot.  You are one of my best friends, probably my best friend, and I think you’re beautiful.  It has nothing to do with you as a person.  I’m just not ready to make a choice yet, at least not if that choice is a girl.  I really don’t know if I’m fighting it so much because I’m scared of an actual relationship or if it’s because I’m really just not made to ‘swing the other way.’  But I definitely don’t want to give up my friendship with you.  I just need time.”

 

“Okay.  But do you just need, like, time to decide, and we can still see each other and stuff, or do you want time completely away from me?”

 

“No, no, no.  We can still see each other.  I’ll even—I’ll even go out with you or whatever.”  Jany ducked her head even lower as her cheeks blazed.  “I just want to be free to test my wings on the guys I haven’t gotten to see again yet.  I decided something, though.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“I was going to go out with all of the guys again, even the ones I didn’t really like, because I thought it was just my insecurity or whatever.  But now I decided to just get ahold of the ones I liked.  I’m getting better, I really am.  Maybe I’m getting closer to knowing who I am.”

 

“Okay.  I’ll take it.  I’m okay with that.” 

 

“Good.  Now, should we go get some breakfast or something?  This is the problem with a relationship between two chicks, I think.  Too much thinking, too much talking.”  Jany stood up, finally looking at Selena again, and took a few steps toward the bedroom door.

 

“Yeah, that kinda is a problem.  Let’s get outta here and go have some fun.  We can get all emotional and depressing again some other time.”

 

 

   
   
 

Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck

articles@largeincharge.com

 

Emily's Cool Links

www.myspace.com/heartsoulspirit

   

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
Dawn Christie, Internationally Acclaimed Author, Psychic and Personality had an amazing cocktail party to promote her new book "The Hidden Veil" at the Beverly Hills hotels Club 210 on August 15th. Dawn has recently released a new book about her life and a sneak peak into some of her talents with her clients. The party was classy and cozy with clients and fans buying the book and getting a short personal reading. Fantastic appetizers, a Vodka bar, and
some amazing celebrities who came out to support Dawn.

Dawn has traveled the world and been privy to some of Hollywood's Elite. She counsels them on what movie roles to take, what... people to date, and how they should live their lives. She also owns and operates a prestigious spa and retreat in which clients can not only walk away spiritually cleansed but cleansed in their body
as well.

For over 25 years, people from all walks of life have sought and benefited from Dawn Christies wonderful gift –
her divine ability.

For a reading or more information check out her website.

www.dawnchristie.net

    









   
 

Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet

 

articles@largeincharge.com

 

     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.

 

   

Laboring For It

by Xander The Food Dude

 

Every year at this time, we celebrate Labor Day, but did you know that the bases of the holiday is actually a celebration of the worker of America.  It was created to celebrate the people who keep America running.  In an effort to close out the summer with a bang, I wanted to tell you about the essence of Labor Day and why its still important to you.

 

HOW LABOR DAY CAME ABOUT; WHAT IT MEANS

"Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, l883.

In l884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in l885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 2l, l887. During the year four more states -- Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York -- created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday -- a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. 

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership -- the American worker.

 

 

Xander's Recipe of the Month

 

Grilled Meatloaf

You can use whatever ground meat you like.  Try variations of beef, pork, turkey, or chicken.  You’ll find you love the added smokiness of….  ENJOY !

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, ground turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, mushrooms, garlic, Italian seasoning, basil, and Worcestershire sauce using your hands. Pat evenly into a 9 inch pie plate.

Place the pie plate onto a cookie sheet, and place on the grill grate. Close the lid, and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until no longer pink. The meat will cook faster on the grill than in the oven.

 

   
 

Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

   

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 PENDING PATIENT: MY SISTER, ANGELA

with Sonya Bennett

    

     I thought I would change up the column and introduce a woman who is one of my most encouraging supporters, one of the most creative women that I know and one whom I’ve known all of my life: my eldest sister, Angela. Through the years, Angie has always reminded me that the cup is half-full, not half-empty. Through the rose-colored glasses that she passed down to her daughters, my nieces have always seen me as Auntie Son-Son, not as the ‘baby sister’, the ‘fat sister’ or ‘the other one’ as some family members tend to deem me as the years have dragged on.


     I was born the baby sister of a fraternal twin set and we are the younger sisters of Angie who was an only child for five years (can you imagine; an only child and then: bam, not one sister but TWO at once!) It was a rough road, I’m sure: learning to share attention and space. We invaded her elementary and middle school and, at times, stole the spotlight with the whole “twin thing”. Angela later went on to college out-of-state and married, moving even further out-of-state to explore her own identity. Angie has made the life-changing decision to have the gastric bypass and with her permission, I post this story which will, hopefully, inspire the readers of this column and reiterate: the realm of weight is never ‘black and white’ and that grey area often spreads across the gamut (pun intended).


Here is Angela, in her own words:


     I am the eldest sister... the first-born in the family... the oldest... the "Big" sister. I am the one that walked first, talked first, dated first, graduated first, married and had children first... I was the one that was supposed to do everything first... and I did... until now.

     My "Baby" sister had gastric bypass surgery last year. My entire family went to be with her in the hospital, and my dad brought the video camera. One of the last things she said on the video tape that I saw was a greeting to me... her big sister. She said Hi to me just before they wheeled her away for surgery. I couldn't be there physically, but I was with her in prayers and in Spirit.

     Now, a year later, my sister is barely recognizable to me. I see pictures that she texts me, and she looks more like a cousin or an aunt than my sister. She was the cute, little fat baby that grew to be the sexy full-figured woman. I admired her for that. There was never any aspect of her "fatness" that seemed to bother her... until this last year. Her health complications really did a toll on her and the entire family. I am so proud of her now... smaller, healthier and happier!

     Now, it's my turn. I was always the "standard"-sized sister. Graduated from high school wearing a size 5 (ask my grandmother! She bought my graduation dress!) Married and conceived my now 20-year-old daughter weighing 135 lbs - conceived my 17-year-old daughter at 175 sexy-curvy-pounds and married my second husband weighing in at a happy, healthy 150 pounds. Now, eleven years later - I waddle from one room to the next weighing 350 pounds. I struggle to breathe, I struggle to sit, stand, walk, bend, stretch, cough, cook, eat... my life is a struggle. The diabetes is uncontrolled, the asthma is out of control, the Peripheral Arterial Disease HURTS... the sleep apnea requires a CPAP machine with a pressure of 12 (!) and the list goes on.

     Yes, it is my turn to undergo gastric bypass surgery. I am working with Dr. Keith Kim in Celebration, Florida (near my home in Orlando). The process is life-changing, the inspiration is encouraging. My baby-sister... the youngest of the twins... the "cute-little, fat baby" showed me the way. I can't WAIT to be where she is today! I can't WAIT to be off these 13 different prescriptions, many taken 2 to 3 times a day. I can't WAIT to be able to touch my own feet, to be able to wear a bra that doesn't make me bleed. I can't WAIT to be able to walk without huffin' and puffin' - to be able to stand long enough to participate in Praise and Worship at church - to be able to get off the couch without rolling over on my side to push myself up - I can't WAIT to no longer wake up STARVING in the morning... and to have the hunger no longer wake me up at 4 am.

     Last Friday I met with the nutritional counselor, and next week I meet with the psychologist. This will be an entirely new lifestyle for me, and I can't wait! It will be hard, and I can't wait for it. This new lifestyle will change my action, my health, my thinking and my body... and I owe it all to my baby sister... my inspiration... the one that showed me that life can be worth changing and improving. Thank you Sonya. I love you.

Your "BIG" Sister
Angie


You’re welcome, Angie … Readers, please join me next week as we continue to watch the beginning steps toward a revisited life with my sister, Angie



 

   
 

Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

www.SonyaBennett.com

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

 

articles@largeincharge.com


     Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

 

     This Column is dedicated to the tremendous work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades.  LargeInCharge wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give the public more information into issues we as plus sized people should be aware of.  The fight for equality for people of all sizes is one we support.

    

     This Column will include News Releases and Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.

 

This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org

 

2010 NAAFA Convention A Rousing Success!

from: NAAFA.org

2010 NAAFA Convention A Rousing Success!

 

NAAFA has just concluded another successful annual fund raising convention held this year in Millbrae, CA. During the Annual General Meeting on Friday morning, NAAFA co-chair Jason Docherty highlighted the accomplishments of the past year such as the creation of the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit and our new alliance with the International Association Against Image Discrimination, created especially to fight worldwide image discrimination. Their premier campaign, REFLEXIONS, is a global campaign to promote "Image Discrimination Awareness Week" which will be observed annually and took place April 26 through May 2, 2010.

Friday's Fat Advocacy Training Workshop, led by NAAFA Advisory Board Member Brandon Macsata, was an advocacy primer on influencing Capitol Hill and the new media. Saturday's Child Advocacy Super Workshop featured panelists: Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD Nutritionist Emeritus, former co-director of the Center for Weight and Health University of California, Berkeley; Deb Burgard, PhD, Psychologist and creator of the BodyPositive.com; Lily O'Hara, MPH and PhD (candidate), author and public health lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

NAAFA introduced two scholarships in 2010. The NAAFA Plus Size Fashion Design Scholarship was presented to Sarah Rosandick at Friday night's Fashion Show Extravaganza. The NAAFA HAES Scholarship was presented to Jenny Copeland, PsyD candidate at Forest Institute Springfield, MO at the Saturday Night Awards Dinner and Dance.

At Saturday night's Awards Dinner, NAAFA honored other key individuals that have made major strides for the size acceptance movement:
-The Legislative Pioneer Award was presented to NAAFA Board Member Carole Cullum whose tireless efforts behind the scene were responsible for adding height and weight to the anti-discrimination laws of San Francisco, CA .
-The Size Acceptance Vanguard Award went to NAAFA Advisory Board Member Dr. Esther Rothblum for her work with NAAFA over the years researching issues that affect our members which has led to the legitimization of Fat Studies at the University level.
-The International Size Acceptance Trailblazer Award has been awarded to Fatima Parker who faces constant harassment from a hostile audience, for her work in promoting the size-acceptance message throughout the Arab world.

On Sunday evening NAAFA concluded the 2010 convention with our first International Fat Film Festival. We were honored to premier "Weightless", a documentary by Faith Pennick featuring Dr. Liz Nickels, a plus size SCUBA instructor, and plus size women who learn and enjoy SCUBA diving. "Gordita", written and directed by Debby Wolfe, is an emotional look at a young Hispanic woman's blossoming into self-love. And lastly "A Matter of Size" is a heart-warming film about a group of fat Israeli men on their journey to size acceptance as they become sumo wrestlers. Each film depicted a different aspect of life in a fat body.

Join us next year when we return to Washington, DC for more visits to The Hill!

 

 

 

 

NAAFA Applauds Michigan Judge’s Decision

 

 

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2010

  

Oakland, CA - NAAFA applauds the decision of Macomb County Circuit Judge Peter Maceroni to uphold the anti-discrimination law of Michigan.  Judge Maceroni decided recently not to dismiss a lawsuit against Hooters by two waitresses fired because of their minimal weight gain.  Michigan is the only state in the US that has a law in place which protects against employment discrimination based on height and weight.  

 

NAAFA commends Cassandra Smith and Leanne Convery for standing up for their legal rights.  Hooters’ practices appear to discriminate based on gender as well as weight.  Their male assistant regional manager who refused an interview with the local news reporter is a very large man.

 

Policies such as those being enforced at Hooters for their female waitresses are directly responsible for creating undue stress in the workplace which can lead to a myriad of serious health risks such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, elevated blood pressure and heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and more.

 

NAAFA strongly urges individuals to take action by writing letters of protest to Hooters of Roseville Inc. and Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc. Hit them where it will hurt the most, in their pocketbooks, by taking your business elsewhere until Hooters is forced to reverse their policy. Cancel any existing reservations you have at any Hooters facility if at all possible and make certain that they know you are cancelling because of their weight control policy for their waitresses.

 

 
 

Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA

Link

www.NAAFA.org

    

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: SALE

Sophisticated style for sizes 14 and up. Dresses, pants, skirts, blouses. Sexy Full Figure Chic clothing.

Sizes: OX = 10W/12W - 1X = 14W/16W -
2X = 18W/20W - 3X = 22W/24W -
4X = 26W/28W - 5X = 30W/32W

Prices for Outlet section: Dress - $68.00 to 98.00 & Separates - $28.00 to 42.00

http://www.kiyonna.com/plus-size-clothing/Sale_Dresses.html
Product of the Month

Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Bliss

Type of Product: pore purifying mask

Cost of Product: $ 54 for one and $ 97 for two

Where Product can be found:
http://www.blissworld.com/skincare/shop-by-product-type/masks/bliss-steep-clean-pore-purifying-mask.aspx

Description: This pore plunging, clog clearing mask will transform skin into a scene of extremely clean when used weekly for 15 minutes. Intensive exfoliation, oil elimination, and deep pore purging are a perfect for all (but especially pimple prone) skin types. I “LOVE” this product!!
 
   

Thanks for coming to Fashion & Products with the WebGirl

articles@largeincharge.com

     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.

 

 

Imperfectly Me

with Candace Lane

 

 

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.” – Gandhi

     What is the price of being humble? It is a weird question, right? Let me rephrase the question then… How much as pride cost you?  If you are any bit like me, there is probably not enough time in the day to name off the list of mistakes made by a proud spirit. Recently, I found myself in a position where I had the opportunity to stop and evaluate my own humility over the course of several encounters. Let me tell you, I was very surprised by the results. I would have considered myself a good person judging from my own set of standards. I would have said that I am level headed. I would have said that I can be fair and unbiased as much as one person can, but the truth is that is bullshit. I am as many people are. I am self righteous, proud, and driven by my own desires. Where has that gotten me? I have a list of regrets that I keep buried in the back of my closet next to the skeletons and Band-Aids.  How much as pride cost me? How much has pride cost you? Think carefully, I am willing to bet that you can recall at least ten incidences today where you had the opportunity to react humbly, but did not. 

 

     My father calls it hardheaded, the condition that I have.  “You’re head is too hard for your own good.”  I am a product of my environment. We live in a “ME!” society. Who is number one? Me. Who is pretty, pretty princess? Me. Who is the center of the world? Me. It is not hard to see why our youth is growing up with a complex of self-importance. Pride is the result of the fear of not being good enough. From birth, we were conditioned to do better than the next person does. It is hardly taught, that we should congratulate the next person on the job well done.  It is probably truer that I say it is hardly taught that we should be genuine in our congratulating the next person on what they have done. Yet how often have you found yourself expecting praise for something? Do not give me that mumbo jumbo, we have all done it at some point in our lives.  Have you never put your foot in your mouth for stepping on someone else’s toes? Really? Well, I have.  I have lost friends, been estranged from family members, suffered financially, spiritually and emotionally all because I was too proud to do or not do something. 

 

     If we are so perfect, than how do we become we best? Man was made in the image of GOD, but that does not make man gods.  Personal growth comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone, doing something and then reevaluating failed attempts with honest heart. It is harder to look at ourselves and see our own faults than it is to see fault in someone else. Are you secure enough in yourself to recognize and acknowledge when you are wrong? I could blame every person in my life for everything that went wrong or that I never did, but would that change the fact that there were mistakes made? No.  Would I be innocent of guilt? No. We are ultimately responsible for every action and reaction we make.  So, just as we can accept credit for things we did right, we must be able to accept responsibility for things that we did wrong. I am human, I have limitations and I do make mistakes and will make mistakes until the day I die. I pray that, yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s will not be the same.  A wise woman once told me that everything happens for a reason and sometimes you may find yourself in the same situation because you didn’t learn the lesson the first time around.

 

     I have not heard even one person say that they have suffered for being humble.  I have heard people say that they have suffered the cost of pride.  Some people are so foolish that they do not even know they are suffering. Being humble is one of the hardest things for a person to do. You may have a better chance of ripping a car apart with your bare hands than being humble. Humility, like a hug, is free and it is the gift that keeps giving. One random act of kindness and mercy can set a chain reaction that has the potential to reach depths far beyond man’s comprehension. Take time to notice and get to know people for who they are without your own judgment.  Take time to listen to someone else and really hear what they are saying. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Put your pride aside to see the situation from more than your perspective. How would you like meeting and having to deal with you? It is perfectly okay to be equals. We were born equals and taught to be the best. Why is being the best so important? Who are you fighting to be the best for anyway? I do not mean that you should lack confidence. I do mean that you should not be arrogant.  It is a thin line, but there is a big difference. Do you know what that difference is?

 

     Life is a lot like buying items at a closeout sale, there are no returns. Was the price you paid for pride worth what you got in the end?  If every person in the world were humble, there would be no war, no famine, no hate and no fear. We would have Utopia. Wouldn’t humility be worth that much? How can you become a humble person? Remember, you are responsible for every action and reaction that you have. Reflect on that the next time you encounter someone.

 

Be Blessed- C.L.

 

 

 

 
 

Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

articles@largeincharge.com

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