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LargeInCharge Magazine - Starting our Eighth Year

 Issue#81 - December 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


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!

Writers Search for 2011

Want to be a LargeInCharge Writer?

By: Raqui




Looking for new Writers for 2011



About Our Writers Search:

     LargeInCharge is looking for Volunteer Writers for our Online Magazine.  We are looking for Males and Females who wants to write about issues that concern large people.  We need people who will be dedicated to writing columns or doing an interview once a month in a timely manner.  You do not need to be a professional writer,  Good writing, typing skills, the ability to spell check, understand grammar and have your article sent in on time is what we are looking for.


     We want to bring the voice of the people to the people.  Give them something they can related to and enjoy on a monthly basis.


    LargeInCharge is a non-profit Online magazine which is why we are asking for Volunteer's.  This is a great opportunity to brush up on your writing skills and learn different writing styles.


NOTICE:  This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.  You must be able to hand in one article on time monthly for a period of at least 12 months.  You will be asked to give in three stand by articles for you column for emergency purposes.  If you wish to continue after 12 months then you may stay if your track record is good.


We are looking for writers for the following Positions.

  • A Big Man's World - a writer who will write about living life as a Big Man in this Society.

  • Make- up, Medicine and Body - External to internal make your body feel and look great!

  • All Natural - Natural Remedies that help the body be balanced. Catering to Plus Sized People

  • Fashion Find - Someone to search for and find Fashions and sales.

  • Inspiration - Inspirational stories, interviews and articles on loving yourself as is.

  • Plus Sized Entertainment - Interesting Plus Sized people on TV and in theater.


Would you like to be a writer? Apply following the directions below.


     Send in the information below along with a clear photograph of yourself and one complete article at least 350 words.  Please make sure your article is matching the position your applying for.  If you are a versatile writer and applying for more than one position send in one article for each position.


     Any submissions maybe be used in the magazine as a guest article or other wise if you do not receive a position.  If you are picked for a position it will be used as a back up for your column in case of emergency.


I want to Apply for a Writers Position:


My Name is:

My email address is:

My Phone Number is:

My location/address is:

The position I am applying for is:


Here is my article:


I am allowing LargeInCharge to use my image and article as they see fit.  By typing my name and date I understand that I agree to the above.   NAME/DATE


Send to:


Thank you





Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


Vote for our Cover Model of the Year!

Enter to be a 2011 Cover Model

Issue #72 - March 2010
Delores E. Smith
Issue #73 - April 2010
Issue #74 - May 2010
Conselola Brown

Issue #75 - June 2010
Molly Smith

Issue #76 - July 2010
Feltonia Smith

Issue #77 - August 2010
Jenna VonDell

Issue #78 - September 2010
Nicole Reed

Issue #79 - October 2010
Jeni Pierce

Issue #80 - November 2010
Pamela Neilson

Cover Model Sponsors

     Our wonderful Sponsors make it possible to give prizes to our Cover Model of the Year.  I encourage you to visit, purchase and support these generous companies. What will our Cover Model of the Year Win?

     This Years Sponsors are:  More to be listed soon


2011 Cover Model Application Process

Want to be a LargeInCharge Cover Model?

     It has been almost seven years since LargeInCharge opened its online doors to the Big World.  We started with 740 readers March 2004.  We have built up to over 800,000 readers a month.  We have continuously given the Big World article after article.  Fashion tips and clothing companies.   Hot events and self esteem advice. Interesting information and cool products.  We have changed, grown and become better.  Online Magazine's are the big now, doing better than physical paper magazines.  Any successful magazine must have an online presence.  LargeInCharge has been leading the way for the Plus Sized Community.


     Now with our sixth annual Cover Model Search taking place we are beaming with pride.  LargeInCharge keeps our entrance to be a cover model free by using photographs that the person submits for our covers. We don’t ask for an entry or submission fee from our models.  All we ask for is clear good photographs that would be considered portfolio type of pictures. At the end of the year we have a voting for the public and name one of them Cover Model of the Year he or she wins prizes and possibly money from our sponsors depending on what our sponsors give that year.


     Being a LargeInCharge cover model can be a great add on to your comp card or resume.  It can also be a feather in the cap of aspiring models.  So many beautiful and handsome big men and women who are not professional models can now be featured where they will be appreciated.  NO MORE SIZE 18 or 2XL ONLY MODELS.  AGE DOESN'T MATTER.  NO MORE FETISH ONLY PICTURES. We like them professional and in all sizes INCLUDING SUPER SIZED.  There are no limits with us.




NOTICE - Follow the Directions carefully, if you have a question you can email me and ask before you send in your entry.  Any Entries that are not sent in properly will be thrown out. Take the time to send in your entry properly.

Raqui does not Guide, Help, Preview, Custom Pick Photos of any model or submission. It is unfair to all applicants. All Males and Females are free to enter and encouraged to submit according to guidelines. - Thank you

Send In the following - You must send at least two of each.

  • One or more Head shot Black & White / Color - in your modeling attire
  • One or more Full body shot Black & White / Color - in your modeling attire

NOTE: the more pictures you send it the better.

Type of pictures

  • Digital or scanned pictures only
  • The Picture must represent you in your Current State
  • Pictures must be of one person, no group shots.
  • Pictures of Big Males and Females only.
  • Pictures must be clear with no watermarks. (EXCEPTION: photographers watermark)
  • Pictures cannot be smaller than 300 DPI, 800 x 600 pixels
  • Pictures must be tasteful and fully clothed - Swimsuit and tasteful lingerie is allowed.
  • Nude is not allowed unless it is artistic.  No private areas shown.
  • If your pictures are professionally done be sure to have permission from the photographer.


Cell Phone Camera Images

Pictures with distracting backgrounds  - example: clutter

Webcam pictures

Pictures with Multiple people or with multiple people in the background

Poor lighting or photo shopped edited images

Images that do not meet the size requirement.


Pictures are well lit, clear and centered, background is clear and natural, proper size.

You are free to browse our past cover models to get an idea of what we are looking for.



Picture Categories - You can send in pictures for any of the below categories

  • Professional - done by photographer
  • Winter - Winter wear, coats etc. and Seasonal type of clothing, costumes and colors.  Winter backgrounds scenes
  • Spring - Spring wear, sweaters etc. bright, airy, wind blown. Spring backgrounds scenes
  • Summer - Swimsuits, wraps, summer dresses. Summer background scenes
  • Fall - Fall colors and sweaters.  Earthy natural settings. Fall Colors.
  • Ethnic - Ethnic prints and colors.  Ethnic combinations of fabric and prints.  Jewelry
  • Business - Suite and tie. City backgrounds
  • Sporty - Sports clothing of all types. participating in sports. Jogging, walking, basketball, football, Skating. Etc
  • Exercise - In exercise outfits, gym scene etc.
  • Gothic - Gothic clothing and costumes etc.





DOWNLOAD the following text file read and complete and send along with your pictures.



What will I receive if I am picked to be a 2011 Cover Model

  • You will be Showcased for the Month you appear as our Cover Model, appear on the cover and remain in our database.
  • You will be entered in our Yearly Cover Model contest to win a Trophy and Prizes at the end of the year. 
  • For the Cover Model of the Year - you will be featured as COVER MODEL OF THE YEAR for the New Years February edition. You will be required to update us with pictures and a statement.

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.

Full Figure Fashion Week
Article by: Cher Rue

This week Los Angeles experienced something new, Full Figure Fashion week. The times are changing and for the good of the Plus Size Community who has been forgotten in the past for fashion week. New York’s own innovator and creator Gwendolyn DeVoe from DeVoe Signature Events, has made a difference on how we look at fashion for curvy women of all sizes. Gwen an amazing woman beautiful, strong, smart and a real go getter, has been doing Full Fashion week in New York for a few years. She has surrounded herself with a great team to bring Los Angeles a taste of what New York has experienced and I for one was amazed how professional and beautiful the event was. Her assistant for the Los Angeles event Marie Dena Leggette, Co-founder of The Curvy Fashionista helped Gwen put on an exciting event. But a good leader knows how to surround herself with a good team and Gwen was on point for that, her team and volunteers were very welcoming and helpful throughout the day’s events.

This three day event included a Pink Carpet Event and silent auction for the affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure as the Los Angeles charity and a thousand dollars was raised from some wonderful jewelry, gifts and designer dresses that were donated. The setting for the three day event was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel Los Angeles, it was a beautiful venue and gave a great ambiance to each event.

The second day included “The PLUS Side of Business” - Featuring Successful Businesses that cater to the Plus Size Community

The PLUS Side of Business panelists featured presentations from a diverse group of business owners who shared their experiences of running successful businesses that service the plus size woman/man. The panelists shared with the attendees the resources and information that they have used to create and maintain their respective businesses.


  • Jennene Biggins, Founder/CEO of the Voluptuous Woman Company, Inc.®
    Jennene founded the Voluptuous Woman Company, Inc.® in 1997 and has worked an an advocate for the plus size community for 13 years. The Voluptuous Woman Company’s motto is “Size is Just a Number..Not a Limitation.® VWC serves as a positive voice for the plus-size woman through their informative and empowering events, plus size marketing consulting services, plus size auction website and other special events specifically designed to encourage plus-size women to live life to the fullest. Jennene is also Principal of J Biggins Consulting, LLC, an internet marketing and social media consulting company that fuses many traditional marketing strategies with an extensive knowledge of Search Engine Marketing, Web 2.0 and managed E-mail Marketing Services.


  • Glen L. Johnson, President, Full Figure Network, Inc.
    Glen is a full time blogger making a decent living from a medium that he did not know existed before October of 2004. You may be wondering as a man why he would associate himself with something that is normally viewed as an area dominated by women. It’s simple. Glen is a plus size man married to a plus size woman and from a plus size family, so he is very much qualified to write about things related to the plus size fashion industry. Full Figure Plus a blog dedicated to plus size fashion and serves over 60,000 visitors a month.


  • Boneshia Perri - Fitness Instructor and Co-Owner of Bodacious Occasions Event Management Company
    Boneshia established Bodacious Occasions, a Boutique Style Special Events and Production Company based in Los Angeles, Ca. as a result of her 19 years experience as an Event Specialist designing unique and memorable events for celebrities and government officials. Boneshia is a 7 year Certified Spinning Instructor who teaches to sold out classes throughout the Losa Angeles, CA area.


  • Tina Sanchez, CEO, MoxieManagement, LLC
    Tina Sanchez is more than just CEO and Founder of MoxieManagement, LLC. She is a widely acclaimed fashionista with a flair for personalized fashion and a business-savvy personality to go with it. Tina founded MoxieManagement LLC., a premier public relations bilingual boutique marketing agency "specializing in fashion, music, culinary arts, entertainment, and lifestyle brands" while creating an outlet for her to harness her ten plus years of fashion and public relations/marketing knowledge and expertise.


  • Yuliya Raquel, Founder and Designer, IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel
    For Yuliya Raquel, the artistic environment in which she was raised served as the perfect backdrop for her creative talents. Plus size clothing designer, IGIGI, is synonymous with fashion-forward plus size dresses, career wear, bridal gowns, and separates. Founded by designer Yuliya Raquel in 2000, IGIGI's mission is to transform the world's view of beauty. IGIGI creates smart, stylish, and sophisticated plus size clothing collections for fashion-loving women in sizes 12-32. IGIGI designs accentuate and celebrate the beauty of the curvaceous female figure. IGIGI strives to provide clothing with the highest quality fabrics and workmanship, and all of the apparel is manufactured locally in San Francisco.


  • Rhonda Wilkins, CEO, Diva's Unlimited, Inc. and the Executive Director of The S.T.A.R.S. Leadership Foundation
    After experiencing negative behaviors from the industry towards plus size models is what prompted the birth of Diva's Unlimited, Inc. Rhonda wanted to give a voice for the Plus Community and show them that WE ARE HERE and you will notice us in a positive light. Diva’s Unlimited, Inc. began lending their talents to fashion and theatre productions and has helped raise money for several charitable organizations. In addition to their fashion production services , DUI serves as a Business/Talent Manager for many new and existing "talent" in the Atlanta, GA area.

New and Inspiring Models Panel and Discussion was held Friday afternoon to
Learn from professionals in the plus fashion industry:

  • How to make it or break it as a plus sized model on ANY level.
  • Why preparation is KEY!
  • How to develop a "signature" runway walk.
  • How to stack the deck in YOUR favor.
  • Knowing how much money you’ll need to get started.
  • Getting In Where You Fit In (Other branches of modeling)
  • Building your skills and using your personal budget
  • How to PROPERLY prepare for the open call.
  • How to avoid being put in a box or typecast
  • About investing in the business of YOU.

The State of the Curvy Community - A Panel Discussion

Perfectly timed, in the midst of current news in the media, this panel discussion addresses the current state of the plus-size community and the significance of Full Figured Fashion Week(end)™, through the eyes of the industry’s leaders, bringing different perspectives from various experiences and points of view.

There was an intimate panel discussion of “The State of the Curvy Community” hosted by the Curvy Collective and moderated by Chenese Lewis, who is a popular actress, motivational speaker, media spokesperson, plus model and President of the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women. The Panel included Icon’s from the Plus Size Community.


Sharon Quinn - The Original Runway Diva
The 6 foot tall, shaved head beauty is most recently recognized from her appearances on all three seasons of the Oxygen Network's popular "MoNique's F.A.T. Chance," and also starred in national television commercials for Weight Watchers and Just My Size and frequently modeling on ABC-TV's acclaimed morning show, "The View" and on BET's "Rip The Runway." As a model, Sharon Quinn’s career featured a client list that included The Avenue, Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Bloomingdales and Nordstroms. Currently, Sharon Quinn shares her astute knowledge of the plus modeling industry to coach plus size models wither column: "The Runway Diva Says..."

  • Reah Norman - Photo Stylist and Fashion Director of PLUS Model Magazine
    Reah's education, along with over 10 years professional experience, has refined her eye for detail, clean lines, flattering silhouettes, and has sharpened her personal style as a visual artist all of which she brings to the plus size community. Her work has been featured in print ad campaigns, company catalogs, and newspaper advertisements. Reah Norman brings her expertise as an in demand plus size stylist and as the Fashion Director for PLUS Model Magazine..
  • Heinrich Saint-Germain - of Judgment of Paris
    Heinrich Saint-Germain owns and manages the Judgment of Paris. Online since 1998, the site features images of many popular plus-size models, as well as an online art gallery, illustrated essays, video clips, and a discussion forum. The site views the shift from the traditional preference for curves to the androgynous, contemporary standard as being part of a century-long suppression of Classical beauty in all of the arts. By comparing images of plus-size models with historical depictions of femininity, the Judgment of Paris is devoted to restoring timeless ideals of beauty.
  • Kelly Price - R&B Artist
    Since 1998, R&B singer Kelly Price splashed onto the scene with the release of her double-platinum debut, Soul of a Woman, which featured the record-breaking single, "Friend of Mine." She returned to center stage three years later with the platinum-plus seller, Mirror, Mirror, led by her remake of the R&B classic, "As We Lay," and followed up with the gold-selling holiday collection, One Family: A Christmas Album in 2001. Kelly returns with the 2010 self titled album, Kelly; with the lead single "Tired," the song sheds light on the social ills that not only cause her distress, but also seem to be plaguing our world community.
  • Judge Karen Mills-Francis - Judge Karen's Court
    Judge Karen Mills-Francis is a television personality and published author with a colorful and engaging style that is as distinctive as her bold burgundy robe and her bright blonde hair. As quick to aid the helpless as she is to dismiss the harebrained, Judge Karen confidently dishes out justice before a television audience with her nationally syndicated courtroom series, JUDGE KAREN’S COURT. With the same compassion and razor-sharp wit she brings to the bench, the retired Florida State court judge has written her newly released book, “Stay in Your Lane: Judge Karen’s Guide to Living Your Best Life” guaranteed to inspire, delight, and motivate.

Winding up this spectacular event list was the Fashion show, and it was truly inspirational.

The Designer Showcase Participants were Abundance Plus Size Boutique, Chan.nel Karama, LTD, Forever 21 Plus, Hips and Curves, Igigi By Yuliya Raquel, Jill Alexander Designs, Kiyonna, Lane Bryant, Plush Boutique, Sassi Rebel Clothing, Sealed with a Kiss, SONSI, Youtheary Khmer.

The Sponsors for this great event were Sonsi, Evans, Curvy Collective, Lane Bryant, Mib Collection, Marinello, Feeling Fabulous, City Chic, Plus The Academy, Fennimas, Heart’s Desire, Sealed with a Kiss Designs, True Diva Designs,  NYX, Monif C., Fashion to Figure,  Cher Rue. Com, Shop it to me, and Jess.

Celebrities who attended or modeled included Kendra C. Johnson (Monique’s Fat girlz), Alana Chandler (Dr.Phil’s Housewives) Model Sharon Quinn, Judge Karen, Kim Cole’s (Living Single), Johnny V. (Scott Baio is 45 and Single) and more.

I had an amazing time, but more important us big girls are not being taken for granted anymore, we are here, we are beautiful and we shine, so move over and share the stage the “BIG GIRLS “ are here and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!


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.



Souper History

by Xander The Food Dude



The world of soup is incredible.  Empires have been built on it, as well as, many businesses.  But, where did it come from ?


Who invented soup? It's common knowledge that the word soup comes from the same source as the English term "sop," meaning a piece of bread soaked in liquid. In common parlance, soup replaced sop at about the same time that people began serving the heated liquid without the ever-present piece of bread (approximately one-hundred years after Catherine de Medici arrived in France with her entire kitchen in tow and proceeded to transform the world of French cuisine).  However, it's likely that people have been enjoying some version of meat cooked in heated water since the days when Prehistoric man was forced to stalk and kill his dinner before he could even think about cooking it. 


The origins of boiling are lost to history. Nonetheless, in The History of Food, Raey Tannahill states that it's clear man knew about boiling long before the invention of earthenware pottery (around 6,000 BC). Ever inventive, prehistoric man found that bamboo trees filled with clay, reptile shells, and especially the stomachs from the animals they had killed, all made perfect vessels in which to boil liquid filled with fresh meat over a hot fire. When nothing else was available, they could always resort to the more time consuming method of filling a pit with water and throwing in a few stones heated from the fire to bring the water to a boil. (How they managed to transport the hot stones from fire to water without scalding themselves in the process remains a mystery). 


Various evidence, including residue sticking to pots, tells us man was regularly consuming soup by the Iron and Bronze Ages. The Ancient Romans ate soup, including a type of fish broth cooked in wine and spices. The Greeks were familiar with soup as well, as the following quote from a play by the Athenian satirist Aristophanes illustrates:


Dionysus: ..."Did you ever feel a sudden urge for soup?"

Heracles: " Soup? Ten thousand times so far."


Today, the world of soup is vast and sophisticated. There are thick soups such as bouillabaisse that nearly cross the line from soup to stew, thin clear consommés, and everything in-between. Nearly all cultures have their own specialties: hearty Russian borscht, garlicky Spanish gazpacho, and Pot-au-Feu, a French clear soup made from boiled beef and vegetables. (I say "nearly" as I can't think of a soup native to my own country, Canada. Maritime clam chowder, perhaps?) Soup can be a meal in itself, an appetizer, or a dessert. And we can't forget soup's role as the ultimate comfort food. 



Xander's Recipe of the Month

Tempting Toscana Soup



  • 12 links spicy pork sausage, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chicken soup base
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 potatoes, halved and sliced
  • 2 cups sliced kale
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Place sausage links on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice into 1/2 inch slices.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent; add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Stir in broth, water and potatoes; simmer 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add sausage, kale and cream; simmer until heated through and serve.


BLT Soup


  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cubed French bread
  • 1 pound sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar picante sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce


In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium, heat butter and oil. Add the bread cubes; stir until crisp and golden brown. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup drippings; set bacon aside. Saute celery and onion in drippings until tender. Add sugar; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, picante sauce, tomato sauce and pepper; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes.

Just before serving, add lettuce and heat through. Garnish with the croutons and bacon.


Buffalo Chicken Soup


  • 6 cups milk
  • 3 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce


Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. How much easy does it get then that….






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


*** 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***



It’ the start of the holiday season, and this year, I am hosting Thanksgiving in my new apartment home in Orlando.  I usually don’t stress about cooking during the holidays because my daughter is an AMAZING cook, but this year I am stressing about something else… how do I resist the food?!  Grandma’s famous Brunswick stew and her mouth-watering Apple Cake (this ain’t no typo-not Apple Pie… Apple CAKE!) – Turkey, Ham, Fried Chicken, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Collard Greens, Corn Bread… drool, drool.

Just last week the bariatric nurse called to conduct a –pre-surgical phone evaluation with me.  She asked me for several test results from an assortment of doctors.  Sounds painless enough!  I can call the cardiologist, the pulmonologist and the sleep study-“ologist” and ask them to fax to her my most recent test results.  I have them all on speed-dial.  The conversation is going pleasantly well so far, and them she asks the question that sends the entire conversation into “Why did I answer the phone?” mode.  She asks me if I have lost any weight from the 333 pounds that I was back in January 2010.  “Why no”, I answer.  “I now weigh 350 pounds”.

About a month or so ago, a distant friend had gastric bypass surgery, and I called her a few hours after she was checked into her room.  She was still a bit loopy from the pain meds, but she was lucid enough to tell me that her liver “broke” during surgery.  This forced the surgeon to work harder and she remained under anesthesia for longer than expected.  This story replayed in my head as the nurse informed me that I have to “loose as much weight as possible” and that I needed to loose no less than 13 pounds within the next three weeks.  “I have to loose weight during the holidays?  How am I gonna do this?”

Sweet potato pie… Red Velvet Cake… I don’t know how to eat in moderation!  I vividly remember the Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s home, the year that I turned 13.  I was always tiny, and grandma wanted me to “put on some weight”.  That year, as I was drooling over the “dessert table”… my granddaddy pulled me to the side to show me a Sweet Potato Pie, sitting all alone; and he told me that this pie was all mine. “Grandma made a special pie for you this year, and you don’t have to share it!”  That pie was DEVOURED before we left grandma’s house that night!

I was stressing about everything.  Changing the mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflower (does anybody really eat that stuff!), not putting the food on serving plates set on the table (who wants to walk back to the stove for second helpings?)  I tried to keep busy cleaning the house, shopping, testing my blood glucose and trying not to think about eating.  I tried to fast on Sunday, and thought I did a pretty good job… until the sweats and the shakes started (my glucose dropped to 85!) As I sat down with a peanut better and jelly sandwich, with olives on the side and thinking about the corn flakes and lime sherbet in the freezer, I began to flip the channels on TV until I got to Discovery Health. Dr. G – Medical Examiner was on!  YEAH!  I can eat and watch an autopsy at the same time!  Well, this episode was a re-run of a 2009 episode where a 400 pound man took a nap in his parent’s guest bedroom, and never woke up (lemme go get a bowl of cereal before they split his ribs… that’s the best part!).  Now, during the autopsy, Dr. G interjects with a health background on this man.  He was 400 pounds (I am only 350 pounds, but he was 6 feet tall).  He took pain meds for his knees (I take pain meds for my knees and lower back).  He had high blood pressure (check, so do I).  He had sleep apnea (check, so do I.  My cpap machine is set on a pressure of 12).  He had asthma (check, so do I), and he had an enlarged heart (whew!  My heart is fine!)  Then, Dr. G. mentions something that literally turns my stomach.  She said that if this man had had one more diagnosis, like diabetes, he may not have lived for as long as he had.  OMG!  This man was only 42 years old.  I am a type II diabetic, and I am 45 years old.

I want to be here for my daughter and their daughters.  I want to play with grandchildren.  I want to travel and write stories.  I want to make more documentaries and produce more radio shows!  I want to stand before people and show them a picture of me at 135, 180 and 350 and I don’t want them to recognize me!  I want to have a testimony of being healed from aches and pains… of having type II diabetes reversed and being off my cpap machine and high blood pressure meds.  I want to go for a walk with my daughter, or stand in the kitchen long enough to empty the dishwasher and make a pot of coffee.  I want to LIVE!  I don’t want to be hungry ALL THE TIME!  I don’t want to wake up at 4 am with a splitting headache and a growling tummy.  I want to LIVE!  Gastric Bypass promises to help me to live.  My goal is to loose 200 pounds over the next three years.  I can do this.  I know that I can.



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


NAAFA is Proud to Support Dr. Regina Benjamin

from: - Peggy Howell



NAAFA would like to thank Dr. Regina Benjamin for her message of support for Health At Every Size (HAES).  We strongly support her message that people should eat healthy foods and participate in movement that one can enjoy on an ongoing basis, independent of body size.  There are many scientific studies that support the fact that body size is not an indicator of health.


A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that significant improvements in overall health can be made, regardless of weight loss, when women learn to recognize and follow internal hunger cues and begin feeling better about their size and shape.


Recent findings from the Mayo Clinic conclude that overweight and obese men with moderate fitness had mortality rates similar to those of the highly fit normal-weight reference group.


Dr. Linda Bacon stated in her book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight, that "Health at Every Size (HAES) is the new paradigm, providing a compassionate alternative to the war on obesity. No harm comes from supporting people of all sizes in adopting good health behaviors."


A recent study of a new school garden program in Berkeley, California showed increased nutritional knowledge among 4th and 7th graders who were fed a steady stream of gardening and cooking curriculum, vegetable intake was almost one serving per day greater and yet there were no detectable differences in academic test scores or body mass index based on differences in their exposure.


In July of this year, NAAFA sent a letter and packet of information to the Surgeon General stating our position and including resources on size discrimination and HAES.  NAAFA is proud that we have a Surgeon General who understands that a thin body does not equal health and a fat body does not equal disease.


Take a moment to view the video on the website of the US Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin: We encourage our members, supporters and others to let her know you support her HAES message for adults and children. You may call 301-443-4000 to express your support.




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 up to 75% off

Prices: Varies
Hey Ladies you can’t not beat this 75% off sale. Don't wait! Quantities are limited!
Product of the Month
Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Popcorn 470
Type of Product: Gourmet organic popcorn
Cost of Product: $8.00 – $50+

Where Product can be found:  

Description: Comes variety of flavor & pop it yourself kits. This is an awesome gift for love ones, friends or a treat just for you. 

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.





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