Add LargeInCharge to your MySpace Friend List CLICK HERE

LargeInCharge Magazine - Six Years on the Net!

 Issue#80 - November 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!

Yossi Loloi - The Full Beauty Project
written by Raqui


                Yossi Loloi              /        Raqui's Photo in The Full Beauty Project


On October 28th 2010 in Milan, Yossi Loloi opened his exhibition the FullBeauty project at the Gian Paolo Barbieri Studio. A project he has been working on for years.

     I met Yossi about four years ago upon recommendation,  The meeting was arranged by a friend of mine named Kira (director of Fat Girl Float - a Documentary).  Yossi was looking for large women of all sizes to represent the FULL SIZED FORM.  Yossi wished to express the beauty he sees in large women through this special and amazing project.  He has dedicated himself to showcasing some of the most beautiful and interesting shapes in our community. To do so in an artistic manner and truly bring out realistic plus sized female forms.

     After some conversations and viewing work Yossi had already completed I believed in what he was doing and agreed to pose for the Full Beauty Project as well.  The message is a strong and powerful one I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

Words about the Full Beauty Project

     "The work of Yossi Loloi highlights that the world today has broken the barriers of modesty to achieve an intact dignity.  The different human conditions are mesmerized here by the art. The pure tonality of his images stand out: "hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs negligent falling hands all diffused"

(W. Whitman)

     Like Ingres, Loloi adopts the cult of form through the abolition of thought. This 'No mind’ of Zen masters, is applied to this glorification of the cult.  The flesh is accentuated with courage and honesty, in these colossal compositions where there is nothing modest in the attitude of the models. The poses and expressions are serene and open, and do away with all the erotic nuances. Simply greatness and strength."

Gian Paolo Barbieri

Visit The Full Beauty Project to enjoy Yossi's Work -

 The Negativity in our Community

     In all of the grandeur of such an occasion of course there are the negative. When it came to my attention (through a friend of mine Gina) that Jerry Gatlin a self proclaimed photographer and graphic artist stole my image from the Full Beauty website, covered up the watermark, then used it illegally with out permission from me or Yossi to advertise himself.  I was quite upset.

     My first and last dealings with Jerry Gatlin were in 2002.  We never met in person, but he frequently emailed me when I started my site Queen Raqui.  He continued to sent me pictures of other females (many nude and some in very provocative poses) which I did not ask for telling me that I could use them on my site, Since he was the photographer and he gave me permission.  I was not interested in using another females pictures on my site, especially with out permission from them.  I came to find out (some years later) that many of the pictures he sent me were not his work.  His encouragement of me using these photos basically was setting me for copyright infringement charges.

     Over the years he has tried writing to me many times but I have no response for him.  I do not want anything to do with him. I also came to find out that Jerry Gatlin has spoken to numerous ladies of plus sized stature using my name and many others to gain females confidence (I am assuming to get the females to model for him).  When a woman wrote to me asking about him. I gave them the truth and told them I have never met him and I have no desire to, also of his shady practices.

     Now here Jerry Gatlin is again taking beautiful artistic pictures taken with purpose for exhibition and stealing them to advertise himself.  

What does Jerry Gatlin have to say for himself?

     Jerry would not reply to my email via facebook but he sure had a lot of nerve to write to Gina my fellow BBW Sister and Vegas Bash Friend.  He decided first to apologize not to me but through Gina.  That is not going to work here.  Then he decided that it is not his fault that he stole copyrighted artwork of me and used it to promote himself.  It must be my fault and the fault of every woman who has ever posed for a photographer.  Funny because Jerry himself claims to be a photographer who has taken some strongly explicit photos.

EMAIL FROM JERRY TO GINA - Posted with Permission from Gina  2 emails in total

Hey Hi Ms Gina I did receive your message regarding posting pics of Queen Raqui I do Apolozie for doing that one. I always try to show my Graphic Design Skills to lots of BBW's I do not have any direct intentions to Hurt any ones life or situations. Tell Queen Raqui I said I do Apolozie and want do that any more. 10-12-10.

Hi Gina in response to your massage yesterday regarding stealing Queen Raqui pics I want to leave this in your Mind before I die and leave this Crazy World of ours, I think Women like you and Queen Raqui and all other Women too need to 'Stop Posting' LUSTFUL Pics that 'Offend' our God and some Men too now. If I am wrong always remeber you are too now Gina you and not better them me or me then you now. If all are doing some Wrong in our lives every day we wake up now. 10-14-10.

What do I say Jerry Gatlin and others like him?

     I must Echo my Fellow BBW Sister Gina who replied with truthful words.  And I Quote her below

     Gina - No Jerry. I have done NOTHING WRONG. Raqui has done NOTHING WRONG. YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG! You can't blame me or others for the fact that YOU are stealing someone else's property for YOUR USE without the OWNER's permission.

First of all, If you had a problem with LUSTFUL pics then you wouldn't LOOK at or STEAL them AND THEN POST THEM AGAIN and use them for YOUR OWN PROFIT.

Secondly, Pictures are not lustful - the people who LOOK at them create their OWN lust in their mind - OWN THAT.

Thirdly, I don't post nude or arty-less-covered pics, but those who have the right to do so without them being STOLEN and used for OTHER people's promotion. They are NOT there for YOUR use and you do NOT have permission to use them!

What do we do?

     We must be careful as a community.  We must stand up for what is right and encourage those like Yossi who spend years to create special works and projects to show off the beauty of the large community.  Who dedicate themselves to showcasing us in a positive light.

     Then let others like Jerry Gatlin know when things are wrong.  If you see pictures of your friends being used bring it to there notice.  Watermark your own pictures before you put them on websites and social networks or dating sites.  It cannot stop the thieves completely but it is a deterrent.  We must work together because there are many men and women out there like Jerry Gatlin who steal pictures and use them or distribute them.  This is my way of putting you all on notice.  This is one man who cannot be trusted and I have the proof because he did it to me.



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to

Pamela Neilson

Cover Model of the Month Interview What is your name?

My Name is Pamela Neilson Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY and I still reside there. Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?

I am 43 years old, 5’7, I wear a size 26 dress. I am African American and divorced and I have a 17 year old daughter. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I have always been thick even as a child, plus I gained a lot of weight later in life. (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

I always felt as if I didn’t belong or an outcast, I was always the tallest of my friends , I wore braces and was the biggest one of them all. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I gained a lot of weight through sickness and depression. At first I was very unhappy, but as time went on I learned my size didn’t change me as a person on the inside. I then began to embrace my curves. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?

I entered the model search for a couple of reasons:

1)I want to show women that it is never too late to follow your dreams no matter what anyone says.

2) I believe in your magazine. I appreciate the forum in which you give us to shine and I wanted to be a part of that. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

Yes, there are always those who are quick to judge before getting to know you. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

Yes, once they saw that I was confident in myself…my size wasn’t an issue. What would you say inspires you most in life?

I would have to say all the beautiful sexy full figured women I have met along the way and they way they keep a positive attitude. They have inspired me so much. What is your primary job?

I am a hospital care investigator. for the city of New york. How did you get into this line of work?

I have always worked in the insurance industry. Do you find acceptance in the work force?

Oh yes, my size is NOT a factor at all. My coworkers see me for who I am on the inside. Like I said before there are always a few haters in the bunch and I quickly take care and dispose of them. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

I believe we should be accepted for who we are. Job promotions should not depend on what size you are or if you are a good look for the company. As long as you do a good job that’s all that should count. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

I have seen some improvements but not enough. We like sexy clothes too. All the tops look like moo-moos or something your great-grand mother would wear. A lot of the shoes, not all look like orthopedic shoes, especially if you have big feet(over size 11) like I do. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

I would like to see some agencies take a real stand and represent past a size 22+. Not all models are size 16-20. I would like to see some major clothing lines(ie; Lane Bryant, The Avenue, Ashley Stewart just to name a few) put us in their catalogs or in their commercials right next to the slim plus models. If we are good enough to buy your clothes, then we should be good enough to model them to be seen by everyone. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

I know we would take over the industry by storm!!!!! Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

I buy from so many places, Lane Bryant, MONIF C, Torrid, just to name a few. Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

No secrets, just LOTS of water. It keeps your skin and nails looking great. Also moisturize the skin ALL over. I use lotion mixed with a dab of baby oil/gel. Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?

I say don’t be nervous, because it shows in the pictures. It’s also good to have a connection with your photographer otherwise it’s not going to work. Be open to the vision they (photographer, makeup artist, stylist) are creating for you. Trust them. Relax and have fun!!! Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

I see the industry being somewhat more accepting , but has a LONG, LONG way to go before ALL the plus industry is afforded the same opportunities. When I say ALL I mean the size 24 & up. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

I feel the acceptance level is going to just thrive. The industry will then realize that we have a voice and demand to be heard and most of all seen!!!!! Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I want to be an inspiration to all full figured women. Letting them know to never give up on your dreams and to always believe in yourself. What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?

I have been in a Harvey Star Washington Fashion show, I have been featured in several online magazines such as Tabu Thick N Sassy, Venus Diva, Glamorous Curves just to name a few. Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants?

What was the experience like? Yes I have entered a few contests No, unfortunately I have not won any contests YET. But this is just the beginning. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

I would have to say when I became depressed and very ill, I then realized this is who I am and it’s not going to change. My outward appearance has nothing to do with my personality. Once I realized that, I began to get better and I knew life was going to be GOLDEN!!!!!!! Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

Yes, that person is me. I say this not to sound conceited, but I am self motivated. I believe in me and in my dreams. I whole heartedly know this dream WILL become a reality and soon. I know this is my time to shine. I just feel it in my bones. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

I would say keep on trying. Don’t let anyone stop you from reaching your goal. Put your best foot forward. For every door that closes another one opens. I truly believe that. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. What plus size figure do you admire?

I would have to say I admire Sharon Quinn. She has so much versatility to her. Her talents seem to be endless. 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 - The Courage to Compete!

Written By: Raqui 



Raqui Wins first Runner Up for Ms. LBC 2011  - All of the Ms LBC contestants for 2011   -  Ms. LBC 2011 Jill

     I have never been a woman fond of competition, I suppose naturally I am a person who works with others not one who wants to compete.  I guess many would assume that a strong minded woman such as myself who is confident wouldn't have a problem with competition.  But to me competition means one is better than the rest.  I don't see people in that manner, I tend to think each person is unique and has something valuable to share with the world. The choice of positive or negative is up to the person.


     So when I was asked to compete in the Chicago Ms. LBC Pageant I was surprised yet interested.  Ms. LBC is a Pageant that was started by Linda of Linda's Big Connections who services plus sized events in the Chicago area. Most well known for The Chicago Boo Bash Halloween event and Mari Gras.


     I figured why not I performed my spoken word poem "I am Plus Sized Beauty... Hear me Roar".  Many continued to tell me I was going to win.  Even before the competition started.  It felt good that many would consider me a winner and someone to beat out all the others.  But I felt sad inside as well.  I don't want to compete against so many ladies, I don't want to be proclaimed as better, aren't we all basically the same at heart?  A couple of women told me with you competing why should I enter?  That made me discouraged in a way.  I wanted to come together with the ladies not feel like we were on opposite sides.


     Once I decked myself out in my KZ creation made just for me.  I went to the ballroom.  I met the ladies we talked and laughed and it wasn't like I thought it would be.  It was a relaxed atmosphere and we all got along well.  In fact some of these ladies I had already got a chance to spend time with, and I truly felt at home with them. When it came time to walk out I put on my Raqui smile and came out with pride.



     Ten ladies in all and these ladies all making a move toward saying. I am confident and happy with me.  The talents ranged from board breaking, singing, dancing, spoken word, question and answer and more.  It really was amazing,  I cheered on with all the other contestants in the background for our fellow participants.


    No, I didn't win but Jill did she did a really great Evolution of Dance and since she lives in the area she would be able to do something in the community to help LBC become more well known.  I was a close runner up by about 2 points I was told.  Still I was happy as could be.  I stood up with my fellow plus sized sisters and we celebrated being confident together not divided.


     I never saw myself competing against other women for a title.  But in this case having the courage to see if this could be different meant a lot.  I didn't need a crown (I did get a cute one though)  I just needed to bond with my fellow plus sized sisters.  I had to feel like I was roaring with them and for them.  To touch others and be touched by kindness.  I got everything I needed after I performed my spoken word piece.  I cried openly and strongly and I saw others were crying with me.  We united for a moment and the many hugs I received were proof of that.


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




Jany picked up her phone and watched as it slid out of the other side of her hand.  She wiped her sweaty palm on her pants and tried again.  She dialed Haroon’s number but didn’t hit the call button.  What if he didn’t remember her?  They’d spent maybe a half hour together, and that had been more than six months ago.  She had no idea how to describe herself to him—what was she going to say, that she was the fat chick he saw sitting on the park bench back in the middle of winter like a crazy lady, trying to draw a bunch of people ice skating?  And even if he did remember her, he was probably seeing someone by now.  She tried to list every possible thing that could go wrong when she called him, just so she’d be prepared, so nothing could hurt, so she could pretend she’d known what the outcome of her call was going to be.

Finally, she hit call, bit her bottom lip, and waited for Haroon—or maybe his girlfriend, she reminded herself—to answer.  The phone rang one time, two.  Jany relaxed a little, disappointed but also relieved, when the phone finished ringing for the fourth time.  She was going to get his voicemail and not have to talk to him at all.  That would put the ball in his court, although she didn’t know quite what she was going to say in her message.  She hadn’t thought that far ahead.


“Hi, this is Jany.  I’m—I’m the girl—well, woman—that you met in the park while you were watching the ice skaters back over the winter.  You took me to a coffee shop.  You probably don’t remember me.  Anyway, I just thought I’d see what you were up to.  I mean, what you’ve been doing since then, not what you’re doing right now.  I—wait a minute, this isn’t your voicemail, is it?  You answered.  Oh—oh, I—”  Jany trailed off and cringed, waiting for Haroon to hang up on her.  Instead, he laughed softly.

“No, it is not my voicemail.  I am sorry I took so long to answer.  And I do remember you.  You are the pretty girl who couldn’t draw anymore because your fingers were freezing.  And you ordered a latte.  Vanilla, with skim.”

“I—I feel really stupid for thinking you were your voicemail.  I was just nervous.  I don’t do this very often.  Make phone calls, I mean.  Random ones.”

“Do not worry about it.  People do things sometimes that make them seem silly.    Don’t be nervous.”

“I’ll try not to.  I can’t believe you remember me.  I really thought you’d have forgotten me or be with someone else by now—am I sounding dumb again?  Are you with someone else by now?”

“No, I am single.”  Jany smiled at this information, but wished he had kept talking.  Now that he had told her he was single, he was expecting her to have something to say, and she didn’t.  She’d spent so much time planning for everything that could go wrong that she’d forgotten to think about what she might say if things went right.  And the silence was starting to get uncomfortable.

“Cool,” she started.  “Good.  Um—so—what—how’ve you been?”

“I have been fine.  How have you been?”

“Okay.  Not bad.  I’ve been fine.”  Jany wished she could shut her mouth off when she should instead of going on forever.  She clenched her tongue between her teeth to stop herself from rambling and waited to see how Haroon would respond, if he would help her make conversation or leave her to figure it out on her own.

“Is there a reason that you called me?” he finally asked.  A wave of nervous nausea sloshed into Jany’s stomach.  She couldn’t pretend, in this situation, that it was just a random call, and there didn’t seem to be a good way to trick him into asking her out so she wouldn’t have to put her pride on the line.  She had no choice but to admit that she was calling to ask for a date.

“Actually, I—well, I had a good time with you and I wanted—I’ve kinda wanted to call you for a long time, but I’m scared to death to do things like that.  I never really call people.  Probably because I do dumb things like think I’m talking to their voicemail when they answer.  And then I talk too much, like this.  Would you wanna go out sometime?”  The abruptness of Jany’s question, after so much pointless yapping, startled her and she almost dropped the phone as she waited for his answer.  Luckily, he didn’t make her wait for long.

“I would like that.  When would you like to see each other?”

“Friday or Saturday would be good, but that’s probably too soon.  You have plans, don’t you?  We can wait and do it next weekend.  Or even sometime during the week, if you want.  We can get together some day for lunch or some night for coffee or something.  Whatever you want.”

“You talk very fast.  It makes my mind whirl in circles.”

Jany’s heart sank; he was going to turn her down.  Her terrible phone skills were finally going to do her in.  Except, he hadn’t sounded upset; he sounded more like he was laughing at her.  In a friendly way.

“I’m sorry.  You make me really nervous.  You’re the first—well, never mind.  I was just super excited when you gave me your number, and talking to you makes me all weird and jittery.  I’ll try to calm down.”

“I don’t mind.  I think you’re funny.  I would like to see you on Saturday.”

“You would?”


“Oh, wow.  I didn’t think—okay.  How about if we meet in the coffee shop by the park, where we went last time?  Would that be okay?”

“Yes.  Do you like music?  I think there is music in the park on Friday nights.  Maybe we could have coffee first and then go for a walk in the park and listen to it for a while.”

“I’d like that.  What time?”

“I will meet you there at six?”

“Great!  And—thanks for—thanks for not thinking I’m weird.  Even though I am.”

“I will see you Saturday.”



            Mala and Jany were eating lunch in Mala’s office and Jany was in the middle of describing her awkward phone call with Haroon that had somehow turned out okay when they heard the gallery door swing open.  Jany stood to greet the customer but sat back down when Selena breezed into the room.  She kissed Jany on the top of the head, which drew a smirk from Mala, grabbed a handful of chips from Mala’s plate, and parked herself on Mala’s desk.

            “How’s it going today, girls?” she asked.

            “Oh, it’s going.”  Mala pulled her plate closer and wrapped an arm protectively around it.  “Jany was just telling me—”

            “—that I’m really, really tired today for some reason.  I guess I didn’t sleep well.  How are you?”

            “I’m okay.”

            “Jany was also telling me that she’s got a date on Saturday.”  Mala spoke faster this time, and louder, so that Jany’s attempts to stop her didn’t work. 

            “Ah, that’s cool, Jane.  I’m in such a good mood, by the way, that nothin’ can touch me.”

            Jany looked up, surprised.  Not the reaction she had been expecting.  And Selena’s calm acceptance almost hurt.  Jany sort of liked having the power to hurt someone—not being able to hurt someone, really, but knowing that someone cared enough that she had the power to hurt her.  She didn’t like that she felt that way; power trips and mind games weren’t her thing.  But it still hurt that Selena didn’t seem upset that she was seeing Haroon.  Mala saved Jany from spending too much time wondering what was responsible for Selena’s sudden upbeat attitude.

            “What got ya so freakin’ cheerfull?”

            “This girl I used to hang out with in high school?  We sorta dated a little?  Or something like that, saw each other anyway.  Anyway, she’s back in town.  Only for a few days, but we’re gonna get together Friday.  I am, like, so excited to see her again>”

            “Great.  I gotta be done with that stupid mural I’m doing at the bank by Tuesday.  You’re both gonna get more action than I am this weekend, and not even with each other.”

            Jany and Selena giggled nervously without looking at each other.  Jany was uncomfortable talking about her relationship with Selena when she was so unsure of herself and didn’t want to make eye contact because she didn’t want Selena to read the pain in her eyes.  She knew very well she had to right to be upset; she was the one who had said she wasn’t ready to take the next step, the one who wanted to see other people.  She felt betrayed, though, somehow.  She’d sort of assumed that Selena would be there waiting for her to make a decision.  It hadn’t occurred to her, even after their ‘can’t wait forever’ conversation, that Selena might be the one to move on.  Jany felt stupid.  She was the one no one really wanted, the one men didn’t seem interested in dating.  Why wouldn’t Selena be the one who would move on first?  Finally, Selena interrupted the pause in the conversation, and Jany’s thoughts.

            “Oh, Mala.  Always wantin’ to start some kind of drama.”  When that failed to get a reaction, she tried again.  “Anyway, not all of us get, like, that kind of action from all our friends, Mala.  It is entirely possible that Jany will go on her little date and I will see my friend again and neither of us will get any ‘action,’ weird as that might seem to you.”

            This time, Jany snickered and Mala rolled her eyes.  And then Mala defended herself to Selena and Jany backed Selena up and pretty soon they were all friends again.  Jany felt a little better.  Selena had, after all, called her date a ‘little date,’ almost with a sneer.  That meant she was feeling a little bitter, maybe.  That she did care, after all.


            Jany missed having Selena to help her get dressed on Saturday.  She was starting to get used to having someone else’s opinion to depend on in her wardrobe choices.  And it was weird getting dressed to see Haroon.  It almost felt like things were the way they’d been back when she’d first started dating, when she’d been so unsure of herself.  Haroon wasn’t like the other guys she’d met.  He didn’t want her just because she was fat.  Once again, Jany had to worry about choosing clothes that would hide her bumps and bulges instead of showing them off, just in case.  He obviously accepted her the way she was; he’d given her his number.  But what if he’d forgotten how fat she was, or what if he hadn’t noticed?  All the magazines Jany read talking about how men don’t notice details.  Or what if he noticed, but he’d never touched anyone Jany’s size before—what if he put an arm around and then pulled away, disgusted by her rolls of fat?  Jany was all about fat chick equality, but that was completely different from having the confidence to be the first fat chick that a guy dated.  She did her best to shrug off her worries and hurried to get ready.  If she just got dressed and left, got to the coffee shop, it would be too late to go back.

            Jany was twenty minutes early, so she was surprised to see Haroon waiting for her at the same table they’d chosen the first time they’d met.  That threw a wrench into things; she didn’t have time to give herself a pep talk and prepare.  On the other hand, it also assured that she didn’t have time to get any more nervous.

            “Hi,” she said as she approached the table, glancing uncertainly at first the chair across from Haroon and then the one next to him.  Haroon stood up and sort of hugged her hand with both of his.  Then he pushed back the chair next to him and waited for Jany to sit down.  She did, but his politeness was weird to her.  It made her feel less comfortable instead of more.  She was used to seeing guys whose main goal was to touch her inappropriately, so she wasn’t sure whether to respect Haroon’s manners or feel rejected that he hadn’t pulled her close to try and cop a feel as soon as he saw her.  Maybe he wasn’t attracted to her after all.

            Jany realized that if she spent the whole date analyzing everything and not paying the slightest bit of attention to Haroon, the night was going to be a disaster and it would be her fault, not his.  She forced herself to focus on the man sitting across the table from her and ignore the barrage of insecurities zigzagging through her mind.

            “I am glad you called me,” he was saying.  “I thought of you and wanted to call you, but I didn’t think to get your telephone number.  After a while, when you had not called, I thought that maybe you had a boyfriend or something.  I felt a little silly for not asking when we met.”

            “A boyfriend?  God, no.  I mean, no one’s ever wanted to—never mind.  No, I don’t have a boyfriend.  I just have this major anxiety when it comes to calling people.  I’m always scared I’ll interrupt them from something and they’ll get so mad they never want to talk to me again, or that they won’t want to hear from me and they’ll say something mean.  It doesn’t make much sense, I guess, but it’s the way I’ve always been.”

            “You shouldn’t worry about such things.  I think everyone would want to talk to you.”

            “Well, thanks.”  Jany blushed and looked away, not sure what to say.  “I—thanks.”  She clenched her teeth to stop herself from arguing with him.  She didn’t want to make him think she didn’t respect his opinion, and it seemed like a bad idea to try to change his mind if he actually liked her. 

            “Shall we get some drinks to go and go over to the park?  We can walk around and talk, and I am not sure where the music is, so that will give us time to find it.”

            “Yeah, that sounds good.” 

            They wandered around the park for an hour or so, stopping every so often to sit on a bench and watch the people around them.  Haroon told Jany all about school—he was going to be a chiropractor—and his job in the university book store.  He already had a degree in business, but he’d always wanted to be a doctor and his brother was a chiropractor and loved it.  Jany told him about her dream of teaching art someday.  When Haroon took her hand as they walked, Jany waited for the nervous chill to run through her body.  Instead, she just felt his hand, warm on hers.  It felt good. 

            Eventually, they found a band of Irish musicians set up on a little stage in the corner of the park.  They settled on the grass to listen.  It was exciting to Jany, sitting there.  She was with a guy who didn’t seem embarrassed to be seen with her.  He didn’t want to hide out in his house with her and rush her into sex and then send her off home.  It didn’t seem like he had decided that he liked her or didn’t like her immediately, based on her appearance

            She felt just as comfortable with Selena, of course, except that even with her there was an element of uncertainty.  Not because Jany didn’t know how Selena felt, but because she wasn’t sure how she felt.  She wasn’t ever sure if she should encourage Selena or run away from the whole situation before one of them got hurt. 

            The music ended and Jany and Haroon sat in the dark talking about the music and the park and their plans for Sunday.  Jany made no move to get up.  As long as they were sitting there, not moving, she didn’t have to worry about what might happen next.  She didn’t have to worry about whether she should pursue Haroon if he didn’t pursue her, she didn’t have to worry about unraveling her feelings toward Selena, and she didn’t have to make any decisions about anything.

            Unfortunately, it was getting late and they couldn’t stay there all night.  Haroon stood up and Jany slowly joined him.  They approached the members of the band and talked to them for a little while, Jany asking every question she could think of to keep the night from ending.  And finally, they were walking back toward the coffee shop. 

            “I had a good night tonight,” Jany said softly.

            “I had a good time, too.”

            “I—well, I just want to say thank you.  This is hard to say, but I’m trying really hard not to be afraid, and part of that is trying not to be afraid to say what’s on my mind.  I don’t get to do this very often, have real dates, I mean.  I’ve seen a few other guys that I met from my ad—did I tell you about my ad?  I keep forgetting that that’s not how we met.  I’ve seen a few guys, a bunch, actually, and none of them have been as respectful and as well-intentioned as you seem.  I mean, some have been good guys and stuff, but you are just really cool.  And I’m really glad I got to go out with you.  It felt good to see a guy out in public and stuff, without any pressure.  I had fun.”

            “I’m confused.  I think you asked me some questions, but I can’t remember what they were to answer them, and I’m not sure what you mean when you talk about your ad.  Are you nervous again?  Because you do talk a lot when you are nervous.  That’s what you said, and I can see that it is true.”

            “Sorry.  Yes, I’m nervous.  A lot of guys seem like they are embarrassed to be seen with me in public, because I’m—because I don’t look the way most people think women are supposed to look.  So I’m nervous because I’m afraid after we see goodbye, I won’t get to see you again, and it felt good to be with you tonight.  That’s the important part of what I was trying to say.  And I’m nervous because I don’t usually say things like this to people.  You make me feel comfortable.”

            “I’m glad, because I do want to see you again.  No one else will listen to folk music with me.”

            “That’s—good.  I’m glad you like listening to music with me.”

            “I can be silly too, you know.  Relax.  It wasn’t just the music.  I like talking to you, and I think you are a very pretty girl.  You have the prettiest eye brows I have ever seen.”  He stopped talking and reached a hand out to run his finger over first one of Jany’s eye brows and then the other. 

            “That’s the best compliment anyone’s ever given me,” Jany said, grinning.  “Very unique.  Now, as much as I hate to, I have to get going so I don’t miss my train.  The next one isn’t for two more hours.”

            “Okay.  Good bye, Jany.”  Haroon lifted Jany’s hand and kissed it, then held it between them for a minute before he let it go.  “I will call you tomorrow.”

            Jany walked to the train in a daze.  She was completely happy, for once, as she dropped into a seat.  Then her phone rang.  It was Selena.  Jany’s heart sank, partly because she didn’t want to go back to reality and difficult decisions just yet.  Also, though, it sank because when she’d seen Selena’s face light up her phone, her heart had raced for just a second.  She ignored the call, wondering if she’d ever figure out what she really wanted.




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.

October 30th 2010 was the 2010 High Times Magazine's Annual Stoney Awards
Article by: Cher Rue

8:00 p.m. October 30th 2010 - High Times Magazine’s Annual Stony Awards show at the Music Box in Hollywood. The Stony Awards celebrate the best of the year’s greenest TV & Film projects.

Celebrities Cheech & Chong, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Pauly Shore, Doug Benson, Jason Mewes, Governor Jesse Ventura, Steve Howey, Adhir Kaylan, Matt Bush, Dean Norris, Alex Borstein and more.

The evening started out with a Red Carpet for Breast Cancer Awareness, then an open bar. The stage was amazing and the crowd was roaring every time someone would light up a joint or mention pot. I was not use to being in this type of event and it was a big surprise to see people lighting up all around me. Ok this was a fun group.

The movies and television shows being awarded were really great just had to do with Marijuana. My cousin Bobby Black is a writer for High Times and he puts on a great event. They even have a contest for Miss High Times which girls from all over the country applies and is flown into LA for the Awards. It was defiantly a new experience for me.


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.



One Indian Changes the World

by Xander The Food Dude



We have all heard the Thanksgiving story about the Indians and Pilgrims having the meal together.  Seldom do you hear how the Indians and Pilgrim go to that point.  In reality, one Indian was solely responsible for the beginnings of what became to world’s most powerful nation.  This year I want to tell “his story”.


Who Helped the Pilgrims


The landing of the pilgrims took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the late 1620s. Although there were Native Americans living in the region, the pilgrims were on their own at first and may have died without help from those who knew the land well.


Challenges for the Pilgrim Fathers

During the first winter, the pilgrims did not get any help from local Native American groups, who saw these new arrivals as an enemy. All the pilgrims had were the supplies brought from England on the Mayflower. They began building a colony and searching for sources of food. Some of the pilgrims got sick and died during their first, harsh New England winter.


Help Arrives


In the spring, the Pilgrims finished building their colony. In March of 1621, an Indian named Samoset walked into the colony. Samoset spoke a little bit of English that he had learned from English fishing boat crews. Samoset introduced the pilgrims to a Patuxet Indian named Tisquantum, better known as Squanto.

Squanto had been taught English in London after his capture by English captain George Weymouth. He later worked as a translator on English expeditions to the New World and was eventually allowed to return to his village, only to find that everyone had been wiped out by smallpox.

As the last of his tribe, Squanto began a new village in the shadow of Plymouth Plantation. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to harvest sap from maple trees to make maple sugar. He also taught them how to grow corn and other vegetables, using cod as a natural fertilizer.

Squanto introduced the colonists to the Wampanoag Indians and acted as a go-between to resolve disputes between the colonists and local tribes. Because the Indians showed the pilgrims how to grow enough food to survive, the pilgrims invited the Indians to a big three-day feast in the fall to celebrate the harvest and to thank the Indians for helping them grow food.

A Tradition Begins

There wasn't always enough food to last through the winter, but each year the pilgrims had a feast in the late fall to celebrate having food. That feast, which the pilgrims held at the end of the harvest in October, became known as the Thanksgiving feast.

Over the years, the Pilgrims and the Indians traded food and goods. If the Pilgrims needed furs to keep warm, they could trade with the Indians to get them. Once shipping routes were established between the colonies and Europe, the pilgrims would meet the Indians to trade at Aptuxcet, an Indian word for trading post, located in the modern town of Bourne, Massachusetts.

History is a strange bedfellow.  We can look back at tragedies that have occurred in the history of the world and be very upset.  Through the looking glass of time and experience it is interesting to see how through the human spirit to survive takes that adversity and tragedy and turns it into something that helps others.  Our nation, all started with a sole Indian walking into a village.  Humble beginnings to a world changed.  Truly, something to be thankful for…..



Xander's Recipe of the Month


Make it Taste Brine

This turkey brine recipe makes enough for a whole turkey and will add flavor and give you a juicier and more tender bird.  This also works great for Chicken.


  • 1 gallon water

    1 cup salt (1 1/2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)

    1/2 cup sugar

    6 fresh tarragon leaves or 1/4 cup dried tarragon

    1 teaspoon black pepper


The water you use should not be chlorinated. If you don't have easy access to good spring water. Boil the water first, let the water cool and then add all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly.


Place Turkey in large non-metallic dish and cover completely with brine. Make sure the cavity is completely filled as well.  Let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour per pound, generally over night is the best for it. Remove Turkey from Brine, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Coat with olive oil. Place in Smoker or oven and bake using the included instructions.


The brining will add a huge amount of flavor as well as promote an incredible brown color on the finished product.


There are a huge amount of variations of the brining technique, check on the net to find you favorites.


Things to make sure you do:


Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.

Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge






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.

Patiently Waiting: A Pending Patient - My Sister, Angela

with Sonya Bennett


   I continue to follow Angela in her quest for the gastric bypass. She shares her next steps in her own words as follows:

So, last Wednesday I attended another gastric bypass weight loss information session along with a friend of mine. She, too, is interested in weight loss so I encouraged her to attend. I felt SO proud to be sitting there with her... a kindred spirit! I even envisioned us waking up from recovery together...comparing recipes and racing each other to water aerobics. I tell you, the feeling was encouraging!

I guess the biggest reassurance was to know that I wasn't in this by myself. Sometimes, obesity can be a lonely way to live; and I wonder if weight loss is just as lonely. I hear so many people say that "gastric bypass is not easy". Well, living at 5'5" with 350 pounds to carry around ain't easy either! I can't reach my feet, I can't bend over, I can't get off the couch without a couple of 'heave-hos" I just CAN'T do many things! Living this way is hard, and scary! I am living hard... now I want to live easier.

During my nutritional consult, I realized that I drink during meals, and that I need to work on not doing so. Well, I have tried... and MAN... that is hard! I am trying to move around more in my apartment... sit at the computer for an hour, get up and do housework for an hour, sit back down, work on the laundry - I even bought a can of paint and I am spending time every day painting the walls of my home. ANYTHING to help me move around and stretch a bit. I do see that my energy level has increased a bit... and I am also enjoying my new CPAP machine that I wear when I sleep at night.

God only knows how much "harder" life will be after my surgery. All I know now is how hard life is at 350 pounds. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, uncontrolled asthma and type 2 Diabetes PLUS P.A.D. (peripheral arterial disease) - each ailment will be improved or reversed with significant weight loss. I want to be able to WALK through the mall instead of driving a motorized cart. I want to not feel like I am being choked when I sleep. I want to no longer have to prop my feet up when I have had a busy day... I want to shop for new clothes and I want to get rid of pills, syringes, aches and pains. I want to LIVE!



*** Angela received her call October 29, 2010 that the Scheduling Team will call her within 10 to 15 days to schedule her surgery! 2011 – A new Woman***


Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook

     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



from: - Peggy Howell

This month I'd like to bring your attention to an article entitled "Plus Size Wars". This article appears to have been well researched and I found it quite informative.

Although I have no doubt that the figures they have quoted are what have been been provided by the fashion industry, I personally believe they are not accurate in that I'm sure they do not include all the wonderful independent designers with small businesses who focus more on the "supersize" fashions above a size 26/28, those designers who vend at our NAAFA conventions year after year. This article makes me appreciate them more than ever before.

NAAFA has links to dozens of these clothing designers on our website. We encourage you to support those clothing manufacturers who have been supporting our community for so many years and those who are new, up and coming designers for our community! Check them out on our links page at:


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

Prices for Outlet section: Varies

Every woman loves a clearance well I found one just for you at Catherine's.
Product of the Month

Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Believe by Lollia
Type of Product: Perfume
Cost of Product: (affordable) Price Varies

Where Product can be found:

Description: This is a cut fragrances soft and not over powering.

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.



The Important Things

with Candace Lane



“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”- Buddha


             When was the last time you treated yourself to something nice? I don’t mean the this-cost-$50 and-it-looks-like-it-cost-$200 nice, I mean the Yes-I-paid-$200-because-I-am-Loreal-worth-it kind of nice. How many times a day do you think about the wellbeing of the people around you before you stop to think about yourself? As women, we are natural born caregivers conditioned to fulfill that roll from birth. Think about it, your first toy was probably a baby doll. When we become women we are supposed to care for our children, our parents, our husbands, our friends, the homeless, and fight world hunger, but when do are when are supposed to care for us? Who takes care of us when we get sick or have a tummy ache? Who nurses us back to health? I remember seeing my mother always make sacrifices for my dad and her children, but I cannot remember one single time were she took time out to pamper and fuss over herself. I am not even sure if she knows how to.

             You do not have to have the IQ of Albert Einstein to know that life is short. Now, figuring out the meaning of life… well, that is another story. Sometimes it is not the destination, but the path we drive to get to the destination that makes the trip worthwhile.  Do you treat yourself the way you treat others? For many of us the answer is no. Grace Mirabella was the one who said, “The name of the game is taking care of yourself, because you're going to live long enough to wish you had.” I think of my mother every time that statement comes to mind. When I see tired in her face, I wonder if she had to do it all over again, would she. I think of the parents that work 80-hour workweeks to put their children through school. I think of the children who gave up school along with their childhood to take care of ailing parents.  I do believe that you can give and give and give to the point where you have nothing left for yourself and don’t even think about still being able to take care of others.  

             I found myself at a place where I was evaluating my wants, dreams, goals and desires and wondering if I would be like my mother. She is the world’s sweetest person. She is warm, funny, beautiful, kind, patient, loving, unselfish, gentle and a whole other list of words that cannot begin to do her justice. My mother is the only person in the world that I know has always had my best interest at heart. I have never doubted the authenticity of her love for her children. The only one word that I question whether it accurately describes her is happy.   I am saddened when I think about that, but It would hurt more I think, if I ever asked her about it. What is it that makes her happy? I hope to be even a half of the woman that she is, but my desire is happy. I desire to know joy and to have joy be as much a part of my life as my future children and husband. Is it possible to find a balance between humility and self-importance?  Does it make me selfish to desire the balance? I do not know, but I do know that I am not will to sacrifice happiness. So what exactly is it that makes me happy?


             It is okay to make sacrifices in life; everyone sacrifices something sometime. It is important that we take care of ourselves as much as if not more than we do others. You cannot be someone’s rock and foundation of you are withering and decaying away. When you get to a point where you are too tired to be tired, it is probably time to take a break and get some much-needed R&R. Get a pedicure, go on a vacation, buy yourself that sexy black dress even if you wear it just for you. Take a nice long no technology allowed walk at the beach and feel the sand in your toes while you listen to the ocean sing to you. Do something that gives you pleasure and makes you happy. We will only live a short while on this large rock; you should be able to enjoy it at least part of the time. When everything in your life becomes hectic, you cannot forget to take care of number one. We get one body, one soul, one mind and one heart.  Take care of these things; they should be your most treasured possessions. If you cannot do that for you, then do it for the ones that love you. You are just as important to the people you love as they are to you.  Never forget that.  I dedicate this message to all of the YOUS out there.


Be Blessed- C.L.





Thank you for Reading FAT - Free All Thinking

      Return to Back Issues of LargeInCharge Magazine    Return to the Front