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LargeInCharge Magazine - Starting our Eighth Year

 Issue#83 - February 2011

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


Cover Model of the Year Winner


Words from Fawn:

     Wow! I'm completely surprised and extremely honored to be cover model of the year 2011! Thank you for thinking of me and for voting for me, I appreciate your support and love! What an amazing experience, I will never forget it! Thank you to Satu for taking such a beautiful photograph and to Marlene G. who always knows exactly how to do my make up.

Photo: Satu
Make Up: Marlene G.

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

More of me to Love - Two Gift Sets
(The Lovely Lady and The Curvy Comforts Gift Sets)   $80.00

A collection of books by Plus Sized Author Chamein Canton  $50.00 A Fat-Friendly piece of Art $30.00

Dennis of  Cedar constructed Bird House $25.00 Gift Certificate for purchases on website  $25.00

Kat of  an original ornament or pin $20.00

Donna Furry of
Silver Heart shaped Earrings with crystal accents $20.00

Joe Reaves of Gives one of his Size Friendly Tee-Shirts - $20.00

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 big now, doing better than physical magazine sales.  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 poll for the public and name one of them Cover Model of the Year he or she wins prizes 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 the 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 - Thoughts vs. Actions!

Written By: Raqui 

     How many of us have heard of this common saying, "Think of the things you want, and they will come to you."  I'm sure many of you are nodding your heads as you read this sentence.  It is a positive life improvement technique.  If you visualize yourself with the things you want, then you shall receive.  I find this to be useful in many areas of my life.  Still I have to sit, and question how literal should we take this technique?


     When I think about my fellow plus sized associates, I can see where they have tried, or are trying to use this thought process to improve, and enhance their lives.  But still things have not worked out, as they wished.  I began to question them when I see a fb or myspace status, that sounded hopeful a few months ago to now sounding totally helpless. 


     I have found one important key factor that many seem to be missing.  That is ACTION!  I don't understand how you can make a request, and then do not take action to achieve the request.  If you wanted a Masters Degree then you should take action, you should enroll and attend school.  Just because you asked for a Masters Degree, doesn't mean the magical degree fairy will come flying through your window one night, and leave it on your pillow.   We cannot just think about what we want out of life.  We have to make opportunities to receive what we wished for.


     You cannot expect to have a more active social life if you refuse to associate with others and isolate yourself at home.


     You cannot expect to find love if you will not speak to new people and open your circle and heart so that you meet someone new.


     You cannot buy a home unless you make moves toward saving money for the purchase.


     You will not get your high school diploma or college degree if you don't enroll in school.


    Nothing in life can be achieved with out action.  You cant sit back and assume that by thinking something it will happen magically.  You must take action to allow the things you wish to be achieved.


      In this New Year will you take actions?  Will you still sitting back assuming that you will sit on your behind and not make a move toward your own life improvement?  I cant tell you what to do this year.  But i know for a fact if I have to make a choice in the Thoughts vs. Actions war.  Actions win out in my book all the time.  

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



Excitement.  That’s what Jany needed.  The thought came to her on Friday night, woke her up at three a.m.  She’d come straight home after work, crabby and depressed, had ignored phone calls from both Haroon and Selena.  She couldn’t explain how she felt, even to herself.  She was tired but she couldn’t sleep.  She was hungry but nothing sounded good.  She didn’t want to be alone, but she couldn’t stand the thought of having company, either.  She was tired of life and afraid of the future, if it meant solitude and difficult decisions, but she wasn’t ready to die.  Her body was tense and jumpy, like her muscles were crawling and twisting and jumping underneath her skin.


Excitement.  All those dates back forever ago, that had gone so wrong, had been exciting.  There’d been adrenaline rushes, bursts of fear, because everything had been so new.  And because she’d gotten herself into some dangerous situations, but she was smarter now.


There was fear and newness now, with Selena, but that was scary.  She had to be careful because she didn’t want to hurt Selena.  It had been different with strangers, guys she’d resented because they’d failed to treat her with respect.  She’d never even considered whether she was hurting them.


She threw back the blankets and got out of bed, fired up her computer.  Waited, impatient.  Finally, she logged into  Scrolled through her list of favorites.  And then there he was.  Frank.  If it was excitement Jany was craving, Frank was her man.  You couldn’t get much more exciting than a gay bar, a liquor store, a sex toy shop, and a house of ill repute, all on the first date.  She had a feeling he wouldn’t disappoint her lust for excitement on a second date—she just wondered what it would take to top the first one.


Quickly, she typed a message.  Sorry she’d been out of touch, but she’d been seeing someone.  It was over now, she was looking again, and she’d had such a wonderful time when they’d met that she’d never forgotten him.  A few little white lies wouldn’t hurt.


As the sun came up, Jany finally crawled back into bed.  She was able to sleep without tossing and turning now.  She’d taken action.  All that was left to do was wait.


When she woke up, just before noon, Jan y was filled with nervous energy.  She was much more optimistic than she’d been, though, so she decided to put her energy to good use.  She cleaned out her refrigerator and threw away all the old food, and the quick-to-make unhealthy food she had a habit of buying.  She told herself it wasn’t about losing weight, that she just wanted to eat better food so she’d have more energy, and it was mostly true.  She mostly accepted herself the way she was.  But she couldn’t help wondering, as she tossed a frozen pizza in the trash, how people might see her differently if she lost a little weight, even just twenty or thirty pounds.


She showered when she was finished, taking time to shave her legs and lather up her whole body with pretty-smelling body wash.  She wanted her skin to feel soft and smell sweet and pretty, so she could pretend that other people saw her that way—and in case Frank had responded to her e-mail and wanted to get together, but she didn’t let herself think about that too much.  No use getting excited over nothing, in case he didn’t want to see her.  And she also didn’t want to think too much about what she wanted from him, what she was really looking for to ease her craving for excitement.  It made her feel a little dirty, in a thrilling sort of way.


She dressed in jeans and a sweater, but underneath, she put on the one matching set of underwear she owned.  It was hot pink and lacy and made her stand up a little straighter when she wore it; she’d splurged on it once when she’d been feeling down and needed to be able to pretend she had someone to wear it for.  When she left her apartment, her little secret made her smile and gave her the courage to meet people’s eyes as she passed them on her way to the corner market to restock her kitchen with fresh, healthy food.


Finally, once she’d gotten her groceries home and put them away, and straightened up her kitchen, Jany let herself check her e-mail.  She held her breath as she waited to see if Frank had responded.


And he had.  Simple and to the point: “I’d love to see you again.  Tonight?  I’ll call around 6.”


Jany’s newly perky attitude improved even more.  Her opportunity for excitement was confirmed.  Ignoring yet another call from Selena, this time because she felt a little guilty, Jany set about preparing for the night.  By 5:30, she was dressed and ready.  She’d gone for a look that was classy enough that she could pretend she wasn’t after a cheap thrill—admitting that she was would have opened her up to rejection—but she bared enough skin to, hopefully, make Frank try to convince her that a cheap thrill was just what she wanted.


She walked back down to the corner market, where she selected a box of condoms, then also grabbed a loaf of bread and a pack of gum before she checked out, trying to act as if she bought condoms every day.  She didn’t, though, and it made her knees quiver as she approached the cashier.  She half expected him to say something like, “Isn’t that wishful thinking?” or shudder in disgust as he thought about her using condoms with someone.  He didn’t, though, of course.  He rang up her purchases and took her money without even seeming to see her.


She left the store, set the loaf of bread on the sidewalk in the hopes that someone who needed it might find it, and dawdled along the street, waiting for her phone to ring.  At almost exactly six o’clock, it did.




“Hey, there, Baby.  How’s it going?”


“I’m good.”  Jany cringed, suddenly hating the way she made herself sound less intelligent when she was talking to some guys.  Guys who seemed like they might not appreciate her intelligence.  Guys she shouldn’t like anyway.


“Good.  So you wanted to see me again?”


“Well, I mean, it was fun, and—yeah.  I wanted to see you again.”






“Yeah, why?”


“I—I told you.  I had a good time last time we got together, and now that I’m a free agent again, I figured I’d see if you were still interested.”  Jany was impressed with how smoothly the semi-lie rolled off her tongue.


“So what you’re saying is you liked my cock and you want me.”


The sensation Frank’s words caused made Jany look to see if her stomach had actually dropped out onto the sidewalk.  It hadn’t, so she closed her eyes tightly and tried to pull herself together.  She’d been trying all day to avoid admitting to herself that what she wanted was sex, and it actually scared her a little to think that it might be within her power to get it.


“Okay, maybe that was part of it.  But, I mean, I had a good time with you, too.  Out of bed, I mean.  Even if you didn’t take me to the gallery opening like you were supposed to.  I had fun.”


“If you say so.  For the record, I have no problem at all with you using me for sex.”


“I see.  Okay, well, uh—what do you want to do tonight?”


“I think you know.”


“But, before that?  I mean—well, I’m not the kind of girl to—do that—without at least spending some time together first.  Like dinner, or a movie, or just, like, a walk or something.  Whatever.”


“What difference does it make what order things happen in?”


“I don’t know, it doesn’t, I guess.  Except, it does.  To me.”


“All right, fine.  Have you had dinner yet?”




“Good.  I’ll take you out for dinner so you can pretend you’re looking for more than a good lay, and then we’ll get it on.”


“Uh—dinner sounds good.”


“Meet me at the same train station as last time, soon as you can get there.  Later.”




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.

David Harrison Levi birthday party and Breast Cancer Awareness
Article by: Cher Rue

January 19th, 2011 was an amazing charity event at the Highlands club at the Kodak center in Hollywood. Starmaker David Harrison Levi a breast cancer awareness advocate who's sister past away from Breast Cancer has made it his mission in the fight of awareness of this cause.

With Tony Boldi the new Mayor of Hollywood attending there were many celebrities in the house showing their support for this cause.
The place was poppin with paparazzi and the musical guests rocked the house. A fashion show put on by the one and only Parris Harris who had the models strutting their pocket change down the runway! With about 800 people dancing to the music, drinking, socializing and meeting new people, I have to say it was a good night!

Designs by:
Kelvin James,Sydney Collection, Brit Boy, Mercedes Giovanni, Oliventa, Malici, Kiss One, Boi Toy, Forbidden Kiss, Afeaka and Parris Harris.

Performances by Nathalie Matthews, disco diva Pepper MaShay, Ditch, Maria Amor and the Exoti-Angels Dancers, Lisa Lewolt, Roxy Darr to name a few. Seems like the list just went on and on for a packed show.

Celebrity guests include Said Faraj (the green zone), Vikki Lizzi (Dr.Drew), Sabrina Parisi (Europe's #2 show), Chance & Real of VH1's Real Chance of Love,Cher Rue (actress), John Barrymore, David Golshan, Rob Patterson,Artist G G Artist, Bentworth Blues, Craig Zucchero, Holly Wood Press, Rizza Aladiffi Apcar, Hana Slavick, Manon Lassert, Sara Abbas Al-Awadhi, Sasan Soury, Ron Whitaker, Sarahi Stewart, Monica Wilson, Natalie Lieberman, Elena Smith, Anita Jewels Danelian, Princess Corinna Oldenburg.


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.

Time is Getting Near...

with Sonya Bennett




As many who have endeavored to have this procedure know: it can be a very long process to have the gastric bypass. Nothing worth having is worth rushing, though... we continue to follow Angela on her quest:

Well, today I paid a visit to my Pulmonologist for the results of my recent breathing study. A little over a year ago, I met this doctor as an in-patient at the hospital, following a massive asthma attack. I actually spent News Year's Eve of 2009 in the hospital and I watched the fireworks from my bedside window. I was really sick and miserable; in walks this little doctor who prescribed inhalers and pills and a therapy action plan especially for me. The doctor told me to "walk around your apartment as much as you can and LOSE SOME WEIGHT!"; a classic theme.

So now I sit in her office a year later, asking for a pulmonary clearance to have weight-loss surgery. During this year, she has successfully treated my asthma, and even diagnosed me with Obstructive Sleep Apnea through a sleep study. Now, I sleep with my CPAP machine every night and during my afternoon naps. I am thrilled with the increased energy, and I wonder how I ever lived without one! Now, when I am in a public place and I see another large person falling asleep... I try to slip them my doctor's business card!

Living "large" may make others feel like they were in charge of their lives, but it was never that way for me. As I sit and write this article, my bra straps are digging into my skin and my ankles are swollen. Yes, I had a busy day... but no busier that any other day as a mother. I took my daughter back and forth to school, went to the post office and the bank, had my doctor's visit and wrote this article... nothing fancy. I didn't even cook dinner tonight so why are my ankles swollen? It could be a side affect from the diabetic pills, but my doctor seems to think it is from uncontrolled diabetes (sigh).

I know that I see younger women walking in heels and strolling through stores without sweating. I see women carrying babies and pushing strollers and I KNOW they are pushing 300 pounds! Why is carrying all that weight easier for them and not me? My sister says that I waddle when I walk and I carry myself like a pregnant woman. Maybe I am pregnant? Pregnant with too much FAT and now I need to go into labor to remove it from my body! I dunno...

Well, I received medical clearance from my pulmonologist to have weight-loss surgery. Now on Monday, I go to pick-up the clearance from my cardiologist (now THAT was an experience! A stress test for a 350 pound woman!). My chest ex-rays came back normal although there was a comment on the report that said "Large body habitus limits the evaluation". Wow! Even an x-ray can't get through all this fat!

Next month I should have my surgery date, and maybe even my sister Sonya by my side. I'm ready, my daughter is ready... my body is ready. Come on and go along with me.

***Debuting January 30th on The Jericho Broadcast Network - "350 & Closing... A Gastric Bypass Story". My weight loss documentary begins with a pre-surgery video of my sister, Sonya Bennett.
Log onto  to watch the show**.

Catch us next month as Angela continues on her journey to have the Gastric Bypass Surgery



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


Two for One Convention Announcement!

from: - Peggy Howell

Two for One Convention Announcement!
Two times the excitement! Two times the info!

NAAFA is pleased to announce the dates for both our 2011 and 2012 Convention.

As a strategic goal, the NAAFA Board has set out to simplify and streamline all of NAAFA's activities. One of the organization's key events, our major fund raising event of the year, is our annual convention and as such it has been a major focus of our streamlining efforts. In order to help members get the most for their money and budget their time, we have been able to secure the Convention location contracts for the next two years. These contracts lock in our cost at the same levels as our 2010 convention and in some cases gives a further discount.

This year we will be returning to the Washington, DC area for our annual convention.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 - Monday, August 8, 2011!
The Westin Washington Dulles Airport
2520 Wasser Terrace
Herndon, VA 20171

In 2012 we will be having our annual convention in San Francisco.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - Monday, August 6, 2012!
The Westin San Francisco Airport
1 Old Bayshore Highway
Millbrae, CA 94030

Make plans now to join us in August, 2011 at The Westin Washington Dulles Airport. Room rates are a super low $79 per night and can be booked for Thursday, Aug 4, 2011 - Monday, August 8, 2011! The Westin is prepared to receive your NAAFA convention reservations today at: 

We have worked hard to keep the cost of this convention down and to get the lowest hotel prices we could. $79.00 per night for a premium hotel in the DC area is a significant deal. The Early Bird Special price is $225.00 and will be available beginning February 1 through May 31, 2011. Beginning June 1, full convention price will be $265.00.

We will have again made it easy for you to register for the convention as well as the hotel through our website at We encourage you to register for the NAAFA convention package today and look forward to seeing you in DC.

Watch our website for more exciting details as they become available.

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.

On the web:  



Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA



Our WebGirl Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A. degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music, movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos about life.

This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.



The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

Fashion Find by: Lucia

Fashion Type: CLEARANCE
Prices: 11.99 -39.99
Happy New Year everyone it’s that time again… End of the year sale!! Curvaceous Chic Woman is having a Winter Sale 60% off.
Product of the Month
Recommender: Lucia

Name of Product: Doo - Wops & Hooligans (Bruno Mars)

Type of Product: Audio CD
Cost of Product: MP3 Download, 10 Songs, 2010 -$7.99, Audio CD, 2010 - $9.00

Where Product can be found:

Description: If you don’t have Bruno Mars CD it’s a must get.

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

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