Cover Model of the Month Interview
What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current
I was born in the beautiful Island of Trinidad and Tobago and I
currently reside in Jersey City.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about
yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status,
I am 25 years old. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall, I wear a size 20,
I am a Black Trinidadian, Currently single and I do not have any
children. I am a college graduate who is in the process of
going back to school for my masters degree.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight
later in life?
I was skinny up until the age of 12 and then I began to gain
weight rapidly in my teenage years.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel
growing up as a large child?
Well I was a small child but a big teenager. It was difficult
because just by observation you knew that you were different
from others your age. Growing up in the US it was not as big of
a deal. However having a West Indian family made it difficult
because they pointed out that I was bigger than everyone else
every chance they got and they still do it to this day.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the
LargeInCharge model search?
I am always looking for different opportunities to get my face
out and to inspire others in the process. I came across this
model search and I thought that it would be the perfect
opportunity to accomplish both those goals.
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted
for your size?
It definitely was as and it still is. I find that when you are
larger people tend to notice that first. They may think your
pretty or fashionable or talented but for every compliment there
is a comment about your size. For example or You have a pretty
"face" for someone of your size or you dress nice for a "big"
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and
As I stated earlier being from Caribbean culture people tend to
blurt things out without regard for ones feeling. So although I
am accepted by friends there is no one in my family that is my
size so I find myself in a constant battle with them about my
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
Anyone who follows there dreams without regard for what other
people say and think is inspirational to me. Just reading
stories about individuals who have overcome obstacles besides
there naysayers is a great inspiration
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?
I am a social worker.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I always wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted to help people.
However when I started college I took one sociology class and I
was hooked. I also enjoy helping others and working in my
community to link people to the resources that they need.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
I do find acceptance in the workforce my coworkers and clients
always compliment on my style. They really have no negative
things to say about my weight.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place
for Large People in the work force?
I think that the stigma with being LARGE should be changed in
general. I think in some work places have negative things to say
about bigger people. I believe that just as the awareness has
been raised for those who are homosexual there should be
heightened awareness in the workplace and in society for those
that might be different than the norm. Such as being a large
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry
for big sized clothing?
I believe that more designers are recognizing the need for
larger sized clothing. However I think there should be as much
variety for plus size clothing as there is for regular sizes. I
don't always find that when I am shopping for myself. I think
every store should have a component for stylish plus sized
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the
I want to see all designers, stores and major clothing hubs
embrace plus size fashion. I find that the plus size fashion
industry is very limited and it needs to be expanded.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus
sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think it would change the way society viewed larger people and
I think that it will help more people to feel comfortable in
their own skin. If you look in magazines and turn on the
television and saw more people that looked the way you did it
would be a self esteem boost for young and old.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your
Torrid, Forever 21 +, Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, ASOS Curves,
H&M, Marshalls, Rainbow, and Target mostly.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
I wear a girdle ,wash and moisturize my face everyday and I buy
accessories weekly. I do not wear a girdle because I am trying
to hide or camouflage anything , it is just a finishing touch to
any outfit to make it look uniformed. It is my number one
LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a successful
Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
A model should be prepared for hard work. Though photo shoots
are enjoyable, they are usually long and tiring as well. So you
should make sure that your fully rested otherwise it will show
up in pictures.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago...
look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I see more people being accepted for their size in the media.
However I do believe that there is a lot more work to be done. I
see more shows about size, more plus size models and actors but
I still feel like the media will only put plus size model in one
category and not give them enough range.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five
years from now with size acceptance?
More laws about bullying, more positive messages about size in
the media and more job opportunities.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling
and other interests.
As far as modeling goes I want to get into print work and some
runway. I also want to open up an organization about self image
for youth after I receive my Masters in counseling.
LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized
I have done a music video for an artist from Vegas. A print ad
for Finishing Touches Accessories and photo shoots for a few
LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won any Contests,
Pageants or Awards? What was the experience like?
I have entered many contest I have not won any yet but I am
hoping to do so soon. I was randomly picked as the fashionista
of the week from a plus size blog. That was an extreme self
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment
in you life that made you feel good about your size.
I hosted a girls night in at my home with a group of my friends.
We started a game where each person had to go around the room
and share there thoughts about each friend in the room. Playing
this game I expected to get the usual "I think your great" and
"I love you" comments. However what came out of each person
mouth was, how much of an inspiration due to my positive
attitude on size and body image. Each person said how they
admired me and looked up to me, even individuals who were older
than me. This made me feel so empowered and loved. It made me
happy to see that size could not measure how beautiful a person
was inside and out.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you
My mother and my grandmother. I believe that those two women are
definition of strong black women in their own right. My
grandmother who struggles with disability after raising 11
children and my mother who fought as a woman to accomplish all
her goals in life. Buying a house, raising a daughter, becoming
a nurse and owning her own business without the help of anyone.
She is truly my definition of a strong, independent woman.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of
size who want to model?
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. There is nothing that cannot be accomplished
if you put your mind to it and trust in God.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?
Madeline Figuerora Jones, Queen Latifah I admire there drive and
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being
featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.
She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised
and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
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,
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
Raqui featured on Gordos.com and Glamour Plus - go to
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Raqui-ism - Back by Popular Demand - Approaching a Woman Online!
Written By: Raqui
Approaching a Woman Online
Ever since my recent break up, I have been thrown back
into the dating scene. Not always by choice. It almost
seems like some have just been waiting for me to be single again.
Now the men are really out there saying "What can I do to get a
woman like you"? Problem is there is no real recipe to
get with a woman online that you may like. Because it all
comes down to compatibility. You can think your doing all the right
things but your just not compatible, the chemistry is not there.
If your not compatible it doesn't mean that either of you are bad
people. It just means that you don't make a good match.
The thing is finding out if you do match and if there is chemistry.
I know some of you are saying, "How can I find this out online"?
Well there is something called "Getting to know you".
The point is approaching a woman online can be tricky. You
sometimes want what you want but your not thinking about how the
woman feels. That is a sign that "HEY I probably don't want
this woman for the right reason".
This article is not going to help the Playa Playa types. This
article is for the men who do want to find a nice woman who they
want to meet one day. Maybe make them there girlfriend or
more. Who knows right?
Many women are different so this is not concrete. But lets
just say that a lot of women agree with me in these terms. So
it is a good guideline to follow and then go with the flow while
your getting to know this cool new woman your trying to bring into
A Good Impression
How to make a good impression? It is really
simple, I personally hate when men send me a message or email
with the subject "Damn Sexy". Yes I know I am sexy, and I know
if your taking time to send me a message or email that chances are
you find me Sexy. What I don't need to feel like is a sex
With all the things in the world to say, leave sex out of it.
Because if the first thing or most of the things you say deal with
physical attributes and sex. Women are going to think all your
out for is the physical.
It is an automatic that if your taking the time to talk to us that
you are attracted to us. If you want to express that you are
attracted to us say so in a tasteful way
Your very pretty.
I find your look
You really captured
my attention with your; Eyes, Smile, Skin, Hair, Body
Type, Style, Clothing Choice, etc.
I just had to get
to know a woman as beautiful as you.
Approaching us with sex on the brain is not the way to capture a
women you want to get to know. We already know you want to
have sex with us. We want to see that you have control over
yourself and that we are not a sexual conquest for you. That
you want to get to know the woman behind the sexy outside.
Say Her Name
Baby, Boo, Honey, Sweetie, Sexy, Babe, Darling.
Pet names are a big NO NO. Did you forget our name? Are
you talking to so many women that you cant get there names straight?
Are we just not important enough for you to remember our name?
This is what women will think. Some don't really care but any
woman who is going to take you serious wants you to use her name.
She wants to know that you know who your talking to. That you
took the time to remember a simple thing HER NAME.
Your talking to a woman who you really like. Maybe even
chatting for a month or so. Your ready to talk on the phone.
Just when your about to give her your number she asks "What's your
name again"? She didn't remember? What the HELL you
might think. You just were not that interesting for her to
remember your name? That can make you feel like crap.
Using a persons name when talking to her is just a common respectful
gesture. Don't take intimacy. Pet names equal intimacy
and represent a close friendship and relationship. You don't
take that you are supposed to earning.
The art of conversation can be tricky for some men.
Your not sure what to say. Your not sure what to talk about.
Maybe your just not the greatest conversationalist which makes the
online approach hard. Remember you can always say, Hey I am
not that great at conversation but I am going to try my best.
At least you put it out there. Maybe someone who likes a great
deal of conversation is not for you. But chances are in the
beginning your going to need some help so try these great ideas to
promote conversation that will help you learn about the women you
like and help her learn about you.
Leave sex out of it, until your both comfortable enough to flirt and
say cute little sexy sayings. Don't bring it up. Let her
bring up sex and take your queue from there.
The News and things
you have seen on TV.
Television shows and why you like them.
as a kid.
What was your day
like - good and bad.
What are your
What type of goals
do you have.
Find out what they
like to do; example: read, draw, talk, go out.
What is your
Where do you hang
What kind of work
do you do?
What is your family
What was it like
What is your home
town and state like.
What do you like to
do on a date
as an adult or child.
Do you have
Do you want kids?
Have you been
married or not?
Have you had long
What are your
feelings on Internet dating?
What are your
The Fun stuff to do
on the net?
Wanna play a game
I am sure you can think of a ton more. Hey even make a list
and you can talk about these things over and over and share cool and
many times funny stories. If you can laugh together that is a
Many men are in a rush to get the number. They
don't want to chat via email and graduate to instant messenger.
They don't want to take the time to peek the woman's interest.
All they want to do is hear your voice and not take the time to earn
the phone number.
There are a lot of women now including me who don't want to give out
there numbers unless they trust you. That can take a little
time or a long time. I have a friend of mine now that chatted
with me occasionally for 2 years until I gave him my number.
We are best friends now. But it took that long.
That's bullshit, many men will say. I am not waiting like that
if she isn't giving up her number then I am moving on. That is your
right to do that. But you might be missing out on an amazing
woman because you don't have the patience to earn her trust.
If a woman gives you a total stranger her number so quickly doesn't
mean you are so amazing that she had to give you her number.
It just means she gives it out regularly. So don't be
surprised when she is to busy on the phone to talk to you. Or
if during your conversations she has to go to the next line a lot.
If her voice mail is full from many left messages. If your out
on a date and her phone is ringing off the hook. Or even once
you get in a relationship that it is ringing from all the people she
gave her number out too.
Do you want to be one of the many or one of the few? Do you
want your conversations to be something new and different. Or
part of her regular day that she goes through with many people.
Either choice isn't wrong but it is different.
Many women wont give out there number right away because of bad
experiences in the past. Or stalkers. Phone stalkers are
just as bad and real time ones. If the woman is worth getting
to know typing some emails or instant messages shouldn't be that
hard. It is a safe way for her to get to know you so she will
want to call you. Keep that in mind when approaching women
online. She isn't being difficult by not giving you her
number. She is watching out for her own safety and the safety
of her family.
The So Called First
Regardless of the Woman's Right movement. A lot
of women still want to feel pursued. Many men want to be
pursued also. But the fact is many women will not pursue you
unless they feel you have real interest in something other than a
booty call. I know it is hard but if the woman really likes
you after you purse her for a while you will notice that your
getting emails first and instant message first because she is
thinking about you. If she is worth going after what is wrong
with you making the first move for a while. It says Hey I like
you and want to talk to you. When she does it back it says, I
like you too and want to talk to you.
Yes there are still men who believe in gifts. It
can sounds strange that women are actually suspicious of a man who
wants to send them flowers. Especially if he hasn't met them
Many men are saying, "Damn, I cant do anything right"! If I
want to send her flowers she is suspicious. If I don't, I
don't like her.
No gentlemen it is not that your doing something wrong. It is
other men who are doing something wrong. Between worrying
about who we are giving our address out to. The crazy stalker
who showed up at our door one day. Or that dude who threw it
in our face when we wouldn't have sex with them on the first date
and how about that guy who said he was sending you the new
book you wanted and he also started sending a bunch of stuff to your
address as part of a credit card scam. Only to show up on our
door step or harass us via email demanding we hand over the goods.
Women are downright confused and scared by a seemingly nice gesture.
It is hard to know if a man's gift means I like you. Or if it
is some type of payment for future sex. We know men do purse
us and give us nice things because ultimately they want to get close
to us and it is the way they show it. But we don't want to
feel that we have to give it up because we got flowers by surprise
one day or that we might be blackmailed by a internet scammer.
Some men think that gifts will buy the woman and then guarantees
them something. Really a man shouldn't expect anything from a
woman. You might find love or you might only get a date and
our company. The thing is to only give a gift as an expression
of liking a woman. Not in exchange for something later.
If your the type of man who expresses yourself with gifts from time
to time, and you find a woman who is nervous about it.
Reassure her that it is only your way of expressing your interest
and you don't expect anything but a smile and thank you. Don't
forget to mean it.
Invite Her to
So you have been talking for a while, maybe on the phone or via
instant message. You want to get to the subject of meeting
her. But you don't want to push to hard. Try inviting
her to share something you like to do.
Maybe a concert, nightclub, or party. How about going to one
of those cool classes or seminars? An art exhibit or museum.
If your lady is a bigger woman remember to take her somewhere with
good seating or resting areas. Take a little time to think
about it and tell her you know a great place you can go to with lots
of seating that is comfortable. Some bigger ladies find it
hard to express there needs and shy away from public places.
The park or zoo is great because there is always lots of benches.
You can invite her to a gathering in which there are many people
attending. So many options see if she has any particular
preference and go from there.
The First Date
You made it, your going on your first date!
Wow after all the emails and instant messages. After taking on
the phone and chit chatting. You are finally going on a first
date. Just you and her. OH WHAT A FEELING! By now
you have had great conversation maybe a few bumps in the road.
But now face to face your going to see that person you been waiting
to really know in person.
This is not just hanging out. This is Dating and expressing
that you like her THAT MUCH. What to do what to do? Take
it easy big boy, This is the time to flirt easy if you haven't
already. This is the time to express serious interest slowly.
Don't jump to fast. Easy body language should follow.
You want to let her know she is not just your hang out buddy or fun
friend. She means just a little bit more. How do you
flirt in a non vulgar way but still make your point? I SEE YOU
AS MORE THAN JUST A FRIEND!
Take into consideration how your relationship has been building.
How much flirting you have done by now will show you what level your
at. You might have even talked already about what she likes as
far as behavior in men. You might still be unsure. Here
are some easy flirting tips. Watch her reactions and if you
see her get serious maybe you might have to change the subject or
back away a bit. But in general these are nice flirting
techniques that are not overly aggressive.
Looking at a women
with interest says a lot. Pay attention hopefully you are
interesting enough for her to look back.
You can never go
wrong with compliments. Telling a woman how beautiful she
is will capture her heart.
Help her at the
table at dinner. Pulling out her chair, making sure she is
totally comfortable, Putting her straw in her drink, handing her
a napkin, maybe even wiping some food off her face.
Sharing a taste of your food and letting her eat it off your
fork. Feeding her can really be sweet and just a bit sexy.
All subtle ways to feel close.
The hand touch,
your sitting there talking and you want a little contact. You
touch her hand, maybe hold her finger between your fingertips.
If she responds nicely a little hand rub or hand holding might
be in order.
Are all the signs
pointing toward her responding well to your flirting? Time
to make her laugh, after a really nice laugh touch her chin or
cheek softly for a moment. She might be taken by surprise
if she blushes, looks down or smiles YOU SCORED!
Your walking to the
car, or waiting for that cab to take her home. Guide her
with your hand on her arm. Maybe even a hand on her lower
back. Above the butt. Hold open her door for her.
It is the end of
the night time for that first kiss if all went well.
Brining her hand to you lips to kiss it or kissing her on the
forehead will tell you if she wants more. If she moves
closer to you or does the same blushing, looking down, smile
thing. Hold her chin and kiss her softly. If your
not sure leave it at the safe hand or forehead kiss.
MAKE SURE SHE
THINKS ABOUT YOU ALL NIGHT - If you really like this girl leave
her with something to hold. You should know her really
well by now after all that chatting about things that you both
like. Bring out the flowers or small present at the end of
the night. Doesn't have to be expensive but handing her
something at the end of the date will leave an impression for
the whole night and hopefully days to come until you talk to her
I hope this article has helped you and give you a bit of insight
into approach a real lady online. Have luck on your search.
- 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
Thank you for
Reading Raqui's Spot
Please send thoughts and comments to
the Plus Side
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
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
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
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
Frank was waiting when Jany stepped off the train. She had no time
to get herself together. Oh, well.
“Hey,” she said, trying her best to sound seductive.
The trouble was, now that this whole thing was real, she was sort of
scaring herself. It sounded more like she was choking than trying to
“Hi, there.” Just like last time, Frank hugged her inappropriately
closely, and for just a little too long, letting his hands graze the
sides of her breasts as he pulled away. Jany tried to ask where they
were going, but it was hard to talk over the sound of blood rushing
in her head. Walking was a problem, too. Finally, Frank saved her.
“What ya want for dinner?”
“Uh—uh. Um. I’m good. With whatever. Is there someplace nearby?” She
remembered how fast he had walked last time, and nervous as she was,
she knew there was no hope of keeping up with him on her short,
chubby, shaky legs.
“You told me you’ve lived here all your life. You know as well as I
do that there’s always someplace nearby. Being this close to me
again have you rattled?”
“Wow, you’re arrogant.”
“Not arrogant. I just know my worth. I’m right, aren’t I?”
“I’m not going to answer that.” Frank’s casual arrogance, which Jany
now remembered from their first date, gave Jany something to react
to other than the way her body was begging her to touch him and she
found it easier to speak. “I guess I was wondering if there was
anyplace nearby where you’d like to go.”
“Well, Baby, I don’t know what you like. There’s a diner down the
street that has great burgers and breakfast all day, or there’s a
Chinese place. I think there might be a new seafood place that just
“Seafood sounds good.”
“Oysters? They say they’re an aphrodisiac.”
“Well, then I definitely don’t need any.” Jany stiffened up a little
when she realized how her words had sounded; that was something she
might have said, joking, to Selena or Mala, but not to a guy. Not to
a guy who had the kind of plans for her that Frank had. She was
definitely finding some of the excitement she’d been looking for.
Luckily, Frank only smirked. If he would have suggested that she was
coming on to him, she would have tried with all she was worth to
“Let’s go, then,” he said. He took her hand and led her out of the
Jany actually enjoyed dinner. She relaxed as their conversation
reminded her that, although Frank was arrogant and bold and dead set
on getting what he wanted, he was also intelligent and well able to
keep up with her in conversation. And this was the first time they’d
been together, really, other than the few minutes they’d spent in
the train station before their first date, that didn’t feel sleazy.
Dinner was nice, and since Jany was pretty sure of what Frank had in
mind for later, there was still an air of excitement about the meal.
“So,” Frank said, as he pushed his empty plate back from the edge of
the table and signaled to the waitress that he’d like the bill.
Jany’s pulse sped up a little. Frank did not continue, letting his
single word reverberate in Jany’s head. Finally, when the waitress
had taken Frank’s card and scurried away, Jany ventured a response.
“So,” she managed.
“I guess—I mean, I don’t know. I—what next?”
“I asked you first.”
“Do you ever not know how to respond to something? No matter what I
say, you always have an immediate answer.”
“That’s how I roll.”
“Okay. Um—did you want to—go to a movie, or for a walk? Or did you
want to just—hang out?”
“I think you know you I want to do, Sexy. I’m just waiting for you
to say you want it, too.” Jany’s head spun and her face went hot.
She sat in silence, cursing herself for setting this whole thing in
motion. If she waited for a guy to initiate an interaction, she
could relax and let him take responsibility for everything that
happened. If she did it, though, it meant accepting not only that
someone could see her as a sexual creature, but also that she was a
sexual creature. Both of those things were a little scary. Tonight,
it was up to Jany to say what was or wasn’t expecting. “You gonna
make me wait all night?” Frank asked, as he reached across the table
and lifted Jany’s chin with one finger, forcing her to make eye
“Sorry. I was thinking. Yeah, I think that’s what I want, too.” She
spoke quickly, to hide the tremor in her voice and to get the words
out before she changed her mind.
“You think what is what you want?”
“I—God, why are you doing this to me?”
“Because you’re cute when you blush, and because I want to hear you
say it. It turns me on.”
“What if I don’t want to turn you on?”
“You do. You just came pretty close to saying so. Come on, Baby, you
can do it.”
Jany pulled her hands back and looked away before she spoke. His
arrogance, and the way he was almost but not quite making fun of
her, made her a little angry. She was starting to realize that anger
fit her well, though. It fed her confidence, made her less afraid.
She forced herself to look Frank in the eye when she finally spoke.
“I want you. And don’t make me explain what I mean by that. You
know.” It took every bit of courage Jany had to say it, and the
result was that, after she had spoken, she simultaneously felt as
though she could run a marathon and like she might pass out at any
“Well, then, let’s get the hell out of here.”
“So where we gonna go?”
“I hadn’t thought of that. To be honest, I’m sort of used to playing
follow the leader. I didn’t think to plan—”
“Settle down, there, girl. Not everything in life has to be planned.
I was just askin’. How ‘bout if we go to your place?”
“My place?” Jany’s body froze while her mind raced. She mentally ran
through all the rooms of her apartment, trying to remember if there
was anything he shouldn’t see, anything that might embarrass her.
She’d never brought a date to her apartment before—well, Selena, but
never a guy. And then, as soon as Selena’s name popped into her
head, she had to say something, anything, to make herself stop
thinking. “Um…okay. My place is fine.”
“Lead the way.”
The closer the train got to the station near Jany’s apartment, the
more panic-stricken she became. Or at least, she thought it was
panic she was feeling. Her thoughts were bouncing around in her head
like ping pong balls on speed, her blood felt like it was flying
through her veins even faster, and the only time she managed to
breathe was when the rattling of the bus forced air in or out of her
lungs. And every time Frank brushed against her—Jany was pretty sure
he was doing it on purpose—all of the rushing stopped for just a
second before her insides pounded back to life.
Maybe it wasn’t panic, though. It was basically the same feeling she
had almost every time she went out with a guy, especially if a
hook-up seemed imminent. This was exactly what she’d been
craving—not panic at all, but just excitement, anticipation! It was
empowering to think that she might not be afraid after all, that
what felt like fear might just be a perfectly normal sensation. So
empowering that she found herself wrapping her arm around Frank’s
neck and stretching up to kiss him.
He looked down at her and laughed.
“Not that I mind, but what was that for? You surprised me.”
“I surprised me, too.” Jany laughed. “I don’t know, I can’t really
explain. I just—became a little more enlightened and wanted to
“Well, feel free to becoming enlightened as often as possible,
Enlightened was a good word, because Jany heart felt a thousand
times lighter now.
Thanks for reading
From the Plus Side with
Emily's Cool Links
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
To Where It all Started and Ended
by Xander The Food Dude
I sit here tonight with a vague
impression of what I want to convey this month.
At last March has arrived and thus the dance of
Spring is on us again.
Yes, at last the cold and snow is gone for another
few months, but damn, here come the bugs and sweltering heat
of the summer.
I have spent the last couple of days
rounding up all the magazines I’ve collected over the last
few years and have torn out the articles I want to keep.
At this point, I’ve gotten rid of about 1,000 pounds
of magazines and kept about 200 pounds in articles.
Eventually I hope to scan those into the computer and
get rid of the paper version.
I ask myself quite often, that if I haven’t looked at
them in two years what do I need with them now ?
Ah, the questions that can’t be answered by a
The things that hits me the most is the
dates on the magazines.
Some of these are better than 5 to 10 years old and
I’m only now looking at them.
However, I have noticed the dates on them and for
some I can actually recall the date of purchase.
I can see myself in my mind of when and where I was
when I bought them.
One, for example was a Men’s Health I bought for an
article on losing weight from April 2000.
Another was a cooking magazine from 1996 that I
specifically recall purchasing because of the Spanish
Soufflé recipe it had in it.
I detail this to you because since April of 2000 I
haven’t lost any weight and I never did make that Spanish
As I continue through I find a magazine
on sky diving (once a serious goal, If I would only lose the
necessary weight) and a hiking magazine in which is notes
the ultimate goal of any backpacker is to lighten the load
for the journey.
AND THEN IT HITS ME….
My greatest fears have come to pass and
only reason I haven’t realized it is that I am too stupid to
For the last year I have been thinking
that through some oddity I am in the midst of a mid-life
crisis due to my turning 40 almost a year and a half ago.
Now I can honestly say its turned into a high level
I have to finally acknowledge that ultimately I have
failed at everything I have undertaken.
I have no goals that inspire me, no dreams to
achieve. I have
surrounded myself with a mountain of shit I can never hope
to use and it’s burying me.
In short, I am not happy and don’t see the hopes of
every truly being happy with my life. (If you’re thinking,
Damn, this is a major Bummer to read, think about how I feel
to actually writing it.)
THEN I DO IT….
I actually take the time to read two articles that I
just tore out.
I read the one about skydiving and hiking.
I read this knowing that the reality is that I will
never go hiking or skydiving.
I’m thinking the whole time… what the heck am I doing
wasting MORE time just throw them away
The two articles, oddly present me with
maybe a partial solution to one of my problems.
The hiking article talks about when people first
start hiking they think they have to take everything they
might need with them.
This results in a heavy load to carry and make the
hike more taxing than it needs to be and you can’t go as far
as a result of the effort.
The skydiving magazine has a primary story on being
able to recover from a snag primary chute.
The first thing your must do before you can open your
is to dispense with the failed primary chute otherwise it
will only snag your reserve chute on deployment.
They call this the act of “cutting away”.
The stories spoke to me in my
It’s time to lighten my load and cut away parts of my life
to lighten my load.
Maybe this will make the long journey ahead easier.
Maybe its my desperation that makes me look for
meaning in places that there shouldn’t be, or maybe it’s
God’s sense of humor, or God’s pity for me.
Whatever it is, some things have come closer to being
clear. One, you
can only read so many self help books before you know the
real reason you fail.
You can only ignore the problem so long before you
know what the real problem is…..
in my case.. the problem is me….. there something
wrong with me.
The reality is that its always be there and its time to fix
Over the next few months I’ll keep you
posted on the cut away process, the ups and downs.
I hope through it all we can all garner something
good from it.
Some of you may feel the same way… If so, welcome to my
boat, and no, you can’t bring that will you.
In the mean time, enjoy the recipe I’ve included for
you, it from April of 1996…
(yeah, go ahead and laugh,
Next Month… Hot Sauce…. Just in time to start grillin’ and
turn up the heat.
of the Month
The soufflé omelet is an omelet in which the eggs have been beaten
until they triple in volume, It is then started on the stove top and
finished in the oven where the eggs soufflé up yielding an omelet
with a huge WOW factor. This omelet is easy to make and the finished
product is light, airy and quite delicious.
Start by sautéing 3-4 tablespoons each of diced onion and red bell
pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute until soft, about 5-8
minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to 3 eggs in a mixing bowl, beat with
an electric mixer until the eggs triple in volume.
Heat an eight inch oven safe skillet on the stove top on medium heat
add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter, when the foam subsides add
egg mixture. When edges just start to set add sautéed onion pepper
mixture, 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite salsa and 1/4 cup shredded
pepper jack cheese.
Place skillet on the middle rack of an oven preheated to 350
degrees. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until the middle is just set.
When the omelet is fully cooked remove from the oven, be careful the
handle is hot, and start to slide the omelet onto a plate. When the
omelet is half way out of the skillet use the pan to fold the last
half of the omelet over the first half so that it looks like the
Finish the plate with fresh fruit and heart-shaped scones like
above. The recipe for the dried fruit cream scones, a staple at my
restaurant The White Bear Cafe, can be found in another February
2010 blog post.
This omelet can be served for breakfast, brunch or dinner. How about
at midnight after you return from the theater? Also you can serve
2-3 people by doubling the ingredients and using a 10"-12" oven safe
Thank you for
Reading Good Food 4U
By Xander the Food Dude
Please send thoughts and comments to
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
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 Now!
with Sonya Bennett
The beginning of the end.. my sister, Angela, has finally her
surgery date! Share her excitement with me as she prepares for her
new ‘birth date’
Today, I got the phone call that I've been waiting for. The
surgeon's office called to schedule my surgery. "Hi, this is Amanda
from Dr. Kim's office. I'm calling to schedule your surgery! Give me
a call when you can so we can get you scheduled!". This excited
voice mail message was on my phone today... and Amanda sounded more
excited than I could ever describe.
My surgery date is February 28th, 2011. It almost seems surreal. In
April of 2009 I attended my first information session where I
learned about the three types of weight loss procedures available at
the time: the gastric bypass, the duodenal switch and the lapband.
It was then that I decided to travel this path, but at the time, my
insurance company wanted me to be on a medically-supervised diet for
six (6) months. During those six months I was diagnosed with high
blood pressure, uncontrolled Type II Diabetes, and I started having
symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. The last thing on my mind was
trying to diet... the stress and the medical treatments (insulin and
a high blood pressure pill) began to creep up on me. My weight
ballooned from 246 to 295 pounds.
Over time, I attended more information sessions, I tried to lose
weight. I struggled with stress and heartache, and I longed for the
day when I could really be in charge of my life. I don't feel like I
am in charge of my life when I have 12 pills per day that I need to
swallow (some even need to be taken WITH FOOD). I don't feel like I
am in charge of my life when I am struggling to walk, struggling to
stand and struggling to breath. If I was a large woman and had no
health challenges, that would be a different story... but at 5'5"
with 350 pounds to carry around, there is nothing that I am in
charge of! Even my worship life is compromised with this weight! I
can't get on my knees to pray, and standing in church to worship is
more painful than joyful.
Next week, I start my liquid diet, and my endocrinologist has
recommended several drinks that will fulfill my protein requirements
without crashing my blood sugars. After increasing my insulin intake
to 40 units, and taking over 1000 milligrams of diabetic pills, I am
finally waking up with blood sugars in the low 100's. After getting
a new CPAP mask, I can finally get a good night's sleep again! My
income tax refund should be here soon and I will set aside some of
that money to get a workout outfit and swimming suit for my exercise
plan. God is good and this summer looks like it will be a fabulous
one! I will be traveling with The 7 CHOSEN in '11 Tour and taking
advantage of the fitness areas in the hotels we plan to stay in! I
am really excited now, and I am feeling like life is about to be new
This will probably be my last article before surgery. After this,
you will hear of my recovery. You will hear the improvement of my
health and hopefully you will be encouraged by my "growth". I am
proud to travel this road with each of you...
Watch my weight loss documentary on The Faith Internet TV Network,
featuring my sister Sonya Bennett. Log onto
Listen to my radio show ministry weekdays from 4-8 pm EST on
www.V108GospelVibe.net - for the BEST in Holy Hip Hop,
Christian and Gospel Rap music, ministry and FUN!
Keep me in your prayers on Feb 28th!
Thanks for reading
The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs
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.org
Justice for Us - Takes all of Us!
from: NAAFA.org - Lisa
February was a month where we celebrated a plethora of events:
Presidents' Birthdays, Chinese New Year, Ground Hog Shadow Day,
Valentine's Day and Healthy Hearts. We also celebrated Black History
throughout the month and highlighted and recognized the
contributions of African Americans. However, as a woman of color, I
am surprised how monolithic our size acceptance movement is and
continues to be, basically white and female. Where are the men, the
people of color and other people of difference in our movement?
Historically, any revolutionary or evolutionary changes in our
society haven’t been achieved just by the people that were affected.
It was a collective effort by people from various sectors of our
society who were committed to equality. Our movement is no
different. Last month, I was encouraged to see Democrats and
Republicans sitting together at the State of the Union Address,
although symbolic, it's a step in the right direction. It will take
both political parties working together to solve our nation's
problems. The solving of complex problems benefits from diverse
thoughts and perspectives. Check out Dr. Scott E. Page's research, a
professor from University of Michigan. He has written about this
topic in his book The Difference: How The Power of Diversity,
Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies.
Stepping out of our comfort zone of like-minded individuals is not
easy, especially for those of us who face the potential of ridicule.
How our society views and treats fat people is not acceptable and
therefore our only option is to forge ahead, learn from our failures
and continue the fight. However, we can't nor should we do it alone.
Together planting those seeds of sacrifice and struggle now, allows
us to harvest a crop of equality for all later. Recently, The Los
Angeles Chapter of NAAFA branched out to the attendees at Club
Bounce (a social club for people of size) to highlight the work of
NAAFA, to broaden our reach and strengthen our membership. Even
small efforts can build towards a bigger goal. Encourage a colleague
and/or friend to attend a size acceptance event or meeting, give
them a NAAFA membership, donate to other size positive
organizations, write to your legislator or local paper about fat
rights and when opportunities come up, speak up and share your
story. Better yet ask people how they were like to be included in
If it weren't for people like Eleanor Roosevelt, President Kennedy,
Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harry Wu, Gandhi and Cesar
Chavez, how might our lives be impacted? The sacrifices of these
individuals and many others provided opportunities that have
benefited us all. We now have a Black President, a Latina Supreme
Court Justice, a gay senator and a visually-impaired governor. I
couldn't have imagined that in my life time.
At our convention this year, I'll facilitate an interactive workshop
on diversifying our movement and including others who may not look
like us. We'll discuss strategies and specific actions that will
require all of us to seek justice for us. I hope to see you there.
In the meantime, I call upon you to take steps now. If you have any
constructive ideas or suggestions, I want to hear from you! Please
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Shall Overcome!!
Lisa Tealer is a NAAFA Board Member, Director of Programs and
co-creator of NAAFA's Size Diversity Tool kit. She is a Diversity
and Inclusion professional at a leading biotechnology company. To
learn more about Black History, visit
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
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
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
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
We will have again made it easy for you to register for the
convention as well as the hotel through our website at
www.naafa.org. 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
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
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
This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.
wanted to re- introduce myself, since I just joined Large In Charge
magazine last year. My name is Lulu, and I am a fashion writer for
largeincharge.com I am a fashion junkie:) I look forward to finding
wonderful fashion find and product of the month for you. I also look
forward to chatting with you all an reading some good fashion comments!
Please let me know if you have a favorite. Web_girl1999@yahoo.com
Picks of the Month
Product of the Month
Fashion Find by: Lucia
Fashion Type: Simply Be
Introducing Simple Be - Be your own fashion icon with this
new British and European fashion website, clothes
yourself with the cutest trends. Sizes ranges from 10 – 28,
check out the accessories, and the shoes so,
ladies get you Simple on. The best part FREE shipping and
FREE return. What can be better than that!
Check out Simple Be and just be Simple Be.
Product of the Month
Name of Product: Really Cute Stuff
Type of Product: Website
Cost of Product: Varies
Where Product can be found:
Description: Free website where you can get really cute
stuff and ideas at a cool price and even free.
My name is Jonny T. I have been an admirer of plus-size women for many
years. As a recording artist, I have released a number of projects that
celebrate the beauty of big beautiful women.
Over the years, I have seen a lot of faces, heard a lot of
stories, and participated in a lot of bashes and clubs. I enjoy a
professional career as a recording artist, label, and executive.
I am currently the Executive Assistant for Street Scholar Music
Group (SSMG), a new label exclusively distributed by Bungalo Records and
Universal Music Group Distribution. So far, it has been a great
experience and I have gained a tremendous amount of insight from both
the standpoint of artists and decision-makers in the music industry, as
well as the entertainment industry as a whole. The goal of my articles
is to provide information about what it takes to be successful in the
mainstream entertainment industry while being a woman and/or man of
size. I look forward to making contributions to Large in Charge and
those who read the articles. Choose well, Live well!
The BBW Plan
with Jonny T
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is
Jonny T and I have been an active member of the online BBW
community since 2002 and what I call a certified admirer since
1998. I have a professional career path as an administrator in
the field of education, as well as an Executive Assistant for
Street Scholar Music Group – a label exclusively distributed by
Bungalo Records and Universal Music Group Distribution. As a
recording artist, I have recorded many compositions and albums
that celebrate the beauty of plus-sized women. Over the years, I
have had an opportunity to attend bashes, night clubs, hang out
with web models, and do a whole lot of chubby chasing!
I have had the pleasure of meeting many people.
I recently made a new friend. We have had a
few exchanges online and a few conversations by phone. She is
attractive and has a certain style and swagger.
She shares with me an aspiration I have heard expressed
by many women in the community over the years. Her goal is to be
the spokesperson for BBWs by becoming the first BBW model to go
“main stream.” And
how would this get achieved? Some photo shoots that involve
nudity, an adult-oriented pay website, a few adult scenes, and
there it is.
I hope the person who devised this strategy
put a patent on it because I know if I made a quarter for every
time I heard a BBW say it, I’d be rich and retired myself!
Ladies, let me be among the first to share a truth with you
–“THE BBW PLAN” DOESN’T WORK! Unless you have plans to root and
plant your career in the adult entertainment world primarily.
To be perfectly honest, most mainstream
vehicles that are driving forces in the media frown heavily upon
“THE BBW PLAN.” Honestly, the majority of both non-BBWS and BBWs
that have followed that formula have found themselves out of
work and rejected by the major television and movie studios as
well as their agents. Granted, there are some exceptions, they
are few and far between. There have been actresses and recording
artists of size that have made it. Among them include the late
great Tony Award and Emmy Award winner Nell Carter, Wynonna,
Aretha Franklin, Camryn Manheim, Kathy Bates, Carnie Wilson, and
Rosie O’Donnell. CBS delivers their hit #1 show Mike & Molly –a
comedy centered on an overweight couple. These are proof that
Hollywood is ready for women of size, contrary to popular
belief. Plus, this
distinguished group of entertainers never utilized “the plan” to
garner mainstream success.
So how did they do it and can you pattern your road to
success similarly? Here are a few tips for breaking into
Take high quality photos.
Headshots and full body shots that show your assets – no nude
Create a video of you doing what
you do (Singing, acting, dancing, etc). If you are a model,
stage a photo shoot and have it filmed. This allows the gate
keepers of that industry to see how well you respond to
Recognize your talents and play
them up to the best of your ability
Get some experience and build a
resume. This may mean some free projects to build a portfolio
Solicit professional management
after you have developed a portfolio of some sort
It is also important to
understand how imperative it is to use one path to open up
another. It is really ok
to be a model with more than great looks! For example, Kim
Kardashian is a great model, Las Vegas Party Host for certain
clubs and now recording artist being produced by The-Dream. But
she started with one talent and expanded. By the way, she is
making more money more frequently on the additional projects and
While this is not a list in totality required
to make it in the mainstream entertainment business. However,
this is a great starting point and I assure you I am not selling
a dollar and a dream. Here’s a real plan geared toward achieving
some real results in a very real and cut throat business. All
Pat is a forty something woman living in
Southern Ontario, Canada. She has a varied past and has worked teaching
literacy and English as a second language to adults, as an environmental
science technician and in the health and safety field. Currently she
works in marketing.
Pat fiercely believes in human rights for all and has volunteered for
organizations that raise funds and develop and implement programs to
help impoverished people and educate women in third world countries.
Although relatively new to the size acceptance movement, Pat believes
with all her heart that people of size deserve equal treatment and
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time
Facebook Changed my Life...
with Pat Llewellyn
explain. As most fatties do, I had struggled with my weight all
my life. I had been taught to hate my fat body and strive to be
thin at all costs. Needless to say, I failed at loosing weight
miserably. I would loose the weight and then gain it back.
In 2007 I was a few years away from turning 40 and I was
tired of hating my body.
people, my first glance into the subculture of BBW’s and FA’s
was the on CSI episode where they featured the Vegas BBW Bash. I
wasn’t ready to do anything with that information yet, but I
kept the information filed away in my brain.
years later after the death of my mother and a failed engagement
I was ready to shake up my world. I didn’t know what I wanted,
but I knew I wanted more. At this point I had discovered
Facebook and started to reconnect with people from my past. One
of these people had a link to a Toronto group that was for plus
size women and their admirers.
the online community/bulletin board and eased my way into the
community. After 2 months of chatting and having my interest
piqued, the time to put up or shut up came. The first BBW event
since I joined the board was happening.
I had never met any of the people on the board in person
and I was nervous.
a hotel room and bought a ticket and announced my intentions to
attend the event alone. Thankfully someone took pity on my and
invited me to stay in her hotel room with her. I cancelled the
room that I booked, packed up my stuff for the night, drove to
Toronto and patiently waited for my roomie @ the hotel.
I met so many people that night and had so much fun.
going to lie and tell you that my life has been a bed of roses
since that night, but in the 3+ years since then I have made
some fabulous friends, gone to several mini bashes and I am
going to my 3rd BBW Las Vegas Bash this year. Most
importantly, I have learned to love the body I have.
Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She
is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in
Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life
she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where
she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has
also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those
around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help
Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go
to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or
support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed,
intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.
Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a
little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her
life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first
opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see.
Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her
future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus
Loving Me: To be truly happy with your Mind, Body and Spirit
with Ms Suga
When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see? Self
esteem issues and depression are very common in our plus size
community and do you know why? Because we have gotten away from what
truly makes us happy and fall into the mindset of what society says
is beautiful. Contrary to what you may think: WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!
I have been plus size my whole life and as a little girl I was
always told “You have such a beautiful face, if only you would just
lose some weight.” I resented every person that told me that or
anything close to it and I allowed myself to be lazy and gain more
weight. Now at 24 years old and 320 pounds I am at a point where I
do LOVE ME. I love myself, I am in love with myself and no one can
discourage me or make me think otherwise.
I’ll tell you how I got to this point. I stopped letting other
people think for me and started to see myself the way I was created.
I can look in the mirror at the 50 pounds I want to lose and still
smile because regardless if those 50 pounds are on my body or on
someone else I know I am still beautiful. It is a wonderful feeling
when you accept and are happy with yourself. Now don’t get me wrong,
I’m not saying to be fat, lazy and content. I mean do what is right
for yourself and enjoy the life you are given. Yes I work out and
yes I am eating healthier than I was 2 years ago, and yes I am
trying to lose 50 pounds but that is for my health. It’s so that one
day I can play with my children and climb two flights of stairs
without feeling like I need an oxygen mask.
To love yourself you have to be happy with your Mind, Body and
Spirit. Mentally, that means erasing all the negative thoughts and
energy from your mind and focusing on the positive. Instead of
thinking “Ugh, I’m so fat I need to lose weight” try thinking “If I
cut down on all this take out and eat more fruits and veggies then
I’ll have the energy to climb these stairs and not feel like a
blob.” Physically, you have to get moving, get your heart rate up,
and sweat a little. Yes you’ll be sore in the morning but after 2
weeks of being physically active you will start to feel better.
Literally…Less back pain, less joint pain, you’ll sleep better and
those around you may see you as more than just the grouchy bitch
they tolerate. Spiritually, get right with your God. If you are a
Christian or an atheist, you still know the difference between right
and wrong. Do what is right by others and in turn things will be
right for you.
So remember my words, and do what you need to do to love you and be
Until next time, I’ll still be loving me
Sherry Jackson Graf was
born and raised in Richlands, VA. She was raised in a musical family and
began playing bass guitar in the family's gospel group at the age of 8.
Her family toured and recorded albums until she was 15 years old. She
wanted to attend public high school and chose to go to public school
instead of continuing her education with a home tutor. She played flute,
bassoon, and percussion for Richlands High School band and was chosen
for Flag Corps during marching season. The band won numerous marching
and performing awards.
She studied Business Administration in college and moved to Nashville,
TN with her father, Larry Jackson and began working at Buddy Lee
Attractions, Inc., a booking agency on Music Row. She is currently
Executive Assistant to Donna Lee.
She continues her career in the music industry, is an actress, stage
manages theater and is looking forward to writing for large in charge.
with Ms Sherry Graf
I grew up in the country. My grandmother didn’t serve food to me
in regular portioned bowls. Ice cream, cereal, etc. was given to
me in serving bowls. As I grew older my mother told me that I
was so tiny when I was born and developed pneumonia the doctor
thought I might not survive. I wonder if this is what my
grandmother was trying to prevent from happening. Maybe she was
afraid I wouldn’t survive unless I was given all this food to
make me bigger.
Once a year, we were weighed in gym class throughout elementary
school. I can still remember how nervous I would be waiting in
line for my turn. I dreaded and prayed that no one else heard
the gym teacher call out my weight for all my classmates to
hear. Yet the gym teacher called it out, some of my classmates
would gasp, others would giggle and I would retreat to the back
of the line wanting to melt into the floor.
When I entered high school I began starving myself to get
smaller never getting below a size 14. I learned to live with my
size and tried to make people see me for what I was a person on
the inside instead.
As a society I wonder why we judge each other by size
automatically. It’s the first thing we notice about someone.
When a picture is taken with me in it, I try to camouflage
myself in the rear peeking from between peoples shoulders, etc.
Then I don’t have to be embarrassed.
I see my issues within my youngest daughter now. She has been so
unhappy in school and has come to me crying. She too carries
this stigma and probably will most of her life. I try to tell
her that she is beautiful and people are cruel but it doesn’t
dull the pain that I too know all too well.
When will we be able to love ourselves as we are. We have more
to offer than a dress size.
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