Cover Model of the Month Interview
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
My name is Kim Smith, but everyone calls me “Kimmi’ or “Kimmi-K”
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I am originally from St. Louis, MO. currently residing in Nashville, TN.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age,
Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
Yes sure. I am 28 soon to be 29 years old, I am a size 18-20 in
clothing, I am single, no kids, and I am African American.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in
I have always been big!! I don’t even remember ever being small, even
when I was a kid I was wearing women’s clothes, and women shoe sizes.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up
as a large child?
Growing up always being the bigger child, I hated my self. ON top of all
the name calling, being verbally abused it was hurtful. I never really
participated in anything at school, just b/c I feared people laughing or
talking about me. I had a very sad child hood.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model
I wanted to be a part of this movement because it’s going in the right
direction. It’s a positive magazine about large people. You also don’t
have to be naked to show your beauty unlike some movements. So I like
that, and felt like this would be a perfect fit for me.
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for
YES, and I still having a hard time proving to people that plus size
men, and women can model clothes, be beautiful, and role models. It’s a
never ending fight, but so worth it.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
Yes and No. My family still tells me that I need to go on a diet, but
then some people love the way I carry myself, and the confidence that I
have. So I get a mixed response.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
There are a few things that inspire me. Mainly, what inspires me is
young girls who are plus size that tell me I give them hope, and
motivation to follow their dreams, and passions. I want young girls to
love them selves and be happy big or small. For them to know you can be
fierce, sexy, and unique all at the same time.
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?
I work for the State of Tennessee as an Account Tech. I basically
Cancel/Reissue payments if lost, or I contact banks to locate lost
funds. I also work with spread sheets, and handle lots of phone calls.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I took a few accounting classes, but mainly I started out as an
receptionist, and learned our system, and basically applied for the job,
and had some great training and that’s how I got started. I have been at
my job for 8 years and my current position for 5.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
YES, I think everyone I work with knows my true passion and they support
me. They always tell me they read my interviews, liked my pictures, or
just keep me motivated when I get tired.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for
Large People in the work force?
I think that as large people including myself, we should maybe encourage
each other to eat better, exercise, and focus on our self esteem.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big
I am so pleased with the fashion for the plus size community. There are
plus size stores, and designers I just am learning about. I am loving
right now Ashley Stewarts, Torrids, and Lane Bryant’s clothes at the
moment. Even Fashion Bug has came a long way with the clothes provided
for the plus size community. I am very pleased.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion
I wish that we can have more plus size fashion shows where people will
actually support the shows. I wish that more department stores will
feature plus size models on commercials and in their print work.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized
modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think if the plus size community expanded more people will accept the
fact that they are big boned, and not be so insecure about their weight.
I know growing up I always hid, if the plus size community expands,
maybe some people will get out and enjoy their lives, and be more
social, etc. I think it would be great for this to happen. I still say
eat healthy, and work out but we would see more smiles.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
Well as I stated I shop at Ashley Stewarts, I order online from Torrid,
Fashion Bug, Cato’s Lane Bryant, sometimes Dot’s. It just depends on
what I am looking for.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
1 of my secret beauty tips is to keep my face clean. I’m very cautious
of my face, and keeping it cleansed. , I also drink water to keep my
skin free of pimples. Also, I walk everyday at least 30 minutes.
LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo
shoot. What should models be prepared for?
A successful photo shoot for me would have a stylist, a great MUA, and a
I usually get everything I know that I will need the night before. I
have everything packed. I make sure I shower, shave, etc. the night
before as well (Also shower the day of). I also get a full night of
sleep. I listen to music to calm my nerves, and pray really hard that I
can get some great images. It’s fairly simple in my eyes. Photo shoots
are to be fun, and exciting.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at
size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I did some research on Large in Charge and I see a huge difference, I
see 1st off more graphics, I see a variety of models, and more color,
and also neater. You guys have come a long way. Congrats on that!!
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from
now with size acceptance?
I think in 5 years there will be more plus size fashion shows, more plus
size organizations, plus models (male and female) will be featured in
more print ads, and also commercials.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other
My goals are I want to be happily married, I want to have a house hold
name, where I am respected and have been recognized for my hard works
and efforts. I want to grace many of magazines, I want to walk the
runway for top designers, open a boutique and also open a center for
young insecure girls to gain confidence.
LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I have done so much over the last few years, I have done album covers,
music videos, I have walked in many of runway shows, I have had photo
shoots with some awesome photographers, and I have been featured in
magazines, and several blog sites.
LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or
Awards? What was the experience like?
No I haven’t.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you
life that made you feel good about your size.
I have always have been large, I had a point in my life where I hated
myself. I stop feeling sorry for myself, and I started to work out more.
The more I started working out the more I started feeling good about
myself. I started paying attention to how my favorite celebrities would
dress, and how they carried them selves and that is how I basically
gained control over my insecurities, and began to feel confident about
being a plus size woman. It took me until I was around 22 or 23 when I
finally got it together.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep
My little cousins MyMy and NeNe I love them so much, and I have 1 big
cousin Delores Cox who has been there for me since day 1. I love her
dearly as well.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who want to model?
I would say learn the business. I say make sure this is something you
want to do. Just because you are plus size/slim does not make you a
model. Modeling is not a talent but a gift. You have to know how to sell
a garment, walk, talk, etc. Stay prayed up, and have tough skin.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?
Toccara Jones, Mia Amber, Mia Tyler, Asia Monet, Velvet, and the list
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 - Terms I Hate: "Yo Holla at Your Boy"
Written By: Raqui
Now a days there are more slang terms than I remember when I was
younger. Some of them I really dislike. I participated in
speaking slang with my friends as well, and some of those old slang
terms are still part of my vocabulary.
I love to "Hang Out" and "Chill" with my friends. I think that
some things I see when shopping are "Fly". When talking or
chatting with others and I "feel" what they are saying, I say
"I hear ya" that means I understand. If a buddy tells me a
story sometimes I think its "Cool" or "Kool". And I am pretty
sure for the rest of my life, when someone has been kind to me or
touched my heart I will tell them "Thanks for the Love". But
in general between all the little slang terms I may use on any given
day. I speak mostly understandable English. Other than
having a New York accent I am a normal person who speaks normally.
Yes every generation has there own terms and new found Ebonics that
are created and used. They have their greetings and goodbyes.
The have ways to express themselves uniquely. But some of
these terms just do not sit well with me.
The Term I want to speak about today is "Yo Holla at Your Boy",
why does it bother me let me break it down.
Yo - Yo is a way to
get someone's attention similar to Hey. I never liked someone
saying Yo to me, especially since it is often used in a loud
angry/startling voice. Hey is slightly tolerable but in
the end I prefer excuse me.
Holla - This term
really bothers me because I don't holla. I am not an animal nor am I
out of control hollering. Why any man would want to
another person espcially a woman to holla at him is beside me.
While I know people are going to say "Oh that is not what is meant".
Really what do these words mean?
Dictionary.com - Definition of Holla: A cry for attention, or of
encouragement ; to shout ; a very loud utterance (like the sound of
When I think of the
term holla it reminds me Howler Monkies. I don't know any man
or woman who want to be compared to a animal, never the less a
monkey whose loud annoying unbearable scream is proven the loudest
noise a land animal can make.
Wikipedia: Howler Monkey Communication: As their name suggests,
vocal communication forms an important part of their social
behavior. They have an enlarged basihyal or hyoid bone which helps
them make their loud vocalizations. Group males generally call at
dawn and dusk as well as interspersed times throughout the day. The
main vocals consist of loud, deep guttural growls or "howls." Howler
monkeys are widely considered to be the loudest land animal.
According to Guinness Book of World Records, their vocalizations can
be heard clearly for 3 miles (4.8 km). It is hypothesized that the
function of howling relates to intergroup spacing and territory
protection, as well as possibly mate-guarding.
So when men ask women to Holla at them, why are they surprised when
they receive a woman who is going to Holla. Make loud unruly
noise and scream in his direction until it is unbearable?
Boy - Last and not least boy. If you want to call yourself a
boy and degrade yourself go right ahead. Just remember later
do not expect to be treated and respected as a man. When you
yourself proclaim you like to be hollered at and that you are a boy.
You will be treated as such.
The only time a man will refer to himself as belonging to a female
and being her boy is when he speaks of his mother. A man will
always be his mothers boy for the rest of his life. So guys do
you want to be men or are you looking for a woman who is going to
play your angry mother while you remain a child?
This is all going to come down to preference, there are plenty of
women who go for that "Yo Holla at Your Boy" thing. But in
reality most women who respect themselves and want a man they can
respect as well, do not find this term attractive. Women who
understand what a man is and how he behaves, will never respect one
who refers to himself as a boy and says Holla after he screams Yo to
get your attention. It is usually an instant turn off.
- 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
Jany was nervous walking into the club. She
tried to paste a smile on her face anyway as Selena paid the cover
charge for both of them.
“Would you freakin’ relax? I feel like I’m draggin’ a corpse around
with me or somethin’. Rigor mortis ain’t sexy, girl. Shake it off.”
“I don’t wanna be sexy. I’ll probably just attract another few dozen
“Oh, for Christ’s sake. It wasn’t your fault. It was his. And if it
happened again, it would be that guy’s fault too. If you don’t know,
you can’t do anything about it. Just live life and stop worrying
“Well, try harder. On the dance floor. Come on.”
Before she knew it, she was on the middle of a dance floor so
crowded that she could barely move. Pretty soon, Selena was pressed
up against the front her body and someone else was pressed up
against the back of her body, the bass in the music was pulsing
through her body from the floor up, the warm air was throbbing
around her head, and the lyrics were drowning out the sounds of her
own thoughts. Selena had been right. This was exactly what she
They danced a few songs before Selena took Jany by the wrist and led
her to the bar. She ordered two very blue drinks tha tasted, Jany
thought, like summer. Summer on a tropical beach. She downed it and
asked for another. After the third, Selena suggested she slow down.
“That’s not Kool-Aid, hon. I want you to have a good time, but I’m
not about to try and carry your ass home.”
“It’s fine. I’m not even drunk. I swear.”
“Sober people never add ‘I swear’ to that statement. And even if,
it’ll hit ya soon enough. You’re grinnin’ like an idiot, and your
face is getting’ pretty pink.”
“’Cause I’m happy. Thanks, Selena.” Jany leaned over on her bar
stool, placed a hand over each of Selena’s ears, and kissed her. For
a very long time. Finally, she pulled back and tried to right
herself on her bar stool. Even with three drinks in her, she noticed
as she sat up that she’d drawn more than a little attention.
Suddenly embarrassed, she tried to bury her face in her arms on the
edge of the bar, to hide her nervous giggling, but she wasn’t fully
on the bar stool yet. The stool swiveled and she slid to the floor.
Selena flashed everyone at the bar a quick grin before she ducked
down to help.”I told you you’re drunk,” she whispered.
“Am not. I’m just clumsy. I do things like this all the time.”
“I didn’t mean because you fell. I meant because you grabbed my head
and stuck your tongue down my throat in the middle of a bar, silly.
I don’t mind. I’m just sayin’. Now get up before we have to start
answerin’ questions about what we’re doin’ down here. And I would
totally make you answer ‘em, by the way.”
Jany struggled to her feet and brushed herself off. “’Scuse me,” she
said to the bartender. “Can I get another one of those? After that,
I need another drink.”
“Actually, she’ll wait,” Selena chimed in. “We’re gonna go dance.”
She once again dragged Jany onto the floor.
Halfway through the song, someone tapped Jany on the shoulder.
“Here we go,” Selena whispered. “It’s starting. Just remember that
you’re the one who kissed me. I had nothing to do with it.”
Jany turned to look at the man who was standing behind her. She
almost fell over when she saw him. It was Jacob. The man who had
brought her to Club Bubbles in the first place.
“Hey, darlin’!” He hugged her. “You sure have come a long way since
last time I saw you. Looks like there’ve been some changes in your
life. I saw all the stuff at the bar.”
“Oh, that?” Jany giggled nervously. The warm and fuzzy feeling the
blue drinks had given her was quickly fading. “My stool just twisted
and I lost my balance. I’m fine.”
“Not that. The kiss. You never told me you like to play with girls.
In fact, I was under the impression that you didn’t much like to
play with anyone. Here I thought you were all conservative and shy.”
“Oh, boy. Yeah. Um, this is Selena. My best friend.”
“Hi, Selena. I wish I could be her best friend, with benefits like
“Well, it’s not all fun and games, but I’m pretty sure she’s worth
Jacob turned back to Jany. “Can we go somewhere and talk? I wouldn’t
mind catching up with you.”
“I—okay. Sure. Come on, Selena.” Selena shrugged and followed along
as Jcob led them to a patio behind the building.
“You’re lookin’ good, by the way. Seems like things have changed for
you. I mean, other than your sexual orientation. You’re a lot
more—less skittish. More comfortable.”
“I haven’t gained any weight.”
“Oh, come on. I told you I didn’t really care about that. I just
said I wouldn’t mind if you did. Are we going to fight over it
“No. I’m sorry. I have changed. My sexual orientation hasn’t,
though. Not completely anyway.” She laughed softly and glanced at
Selena before she continued. “When I met you, I’d hardly dated at
all. And I’d never dated anyone good. I didn’t know what I was
doing. And I thought that all the assholes I was meeting meant that
the only guys willing to go out with a fat chick were really just
looking to maybe cop a feel and mostly just hurt some chicks
feelings so they could feel like tough guys. Coming to a place like
this, where the dudes like big girls, was sort of surreal for me. It
felt like a dream. But it made me take a closer look at my faults. I
figured if there really were guys out there who liked fat chicks,
then there must be something else majorly wrong with me that I was
only attracting dicks. It was just—well, like I told you then, it
was overwhelming. But I’ve grown up a lot since then.”
“That’s cool. Really cool. Hey, it’s getting late, so—“
“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to hijack you from whoever you were
with. When I’m not too busy being shy, I’m kind of a blabbermouth.”
“It’s okay. You’re just making up for lost time. Anyway, like I was
saying before you interrupted me, I was wondering if you and your
friend would like to go grab some pizza or something somewhere.”
“Oh. Oh, okay. I thought you were trying to escape. Did I mention
that sometimes I misinterpret—“
“Shut up, blabbermouth, and go ask your friend if she wants some
“Go ask? Oh, she’s over there. Hold on.” Jany went to where Selena
was leaning on a rail and gazing out over the empty alley behind the
club. “Hey. Sorry. I didn’t even notice that you slipped away. You
should’ve said something. I wasn’t trying to ditch you.”
“It’s okay. You were just pretty wrapped up in him and I didn’t want
to mess with your mojo.”
“My mojo? There wasn’t any mojo to mess with. That’s actually the
lawyer I told you about, the guy who brought me here the first time
I came. We haven’t seen each other since then. He wants to know if
we wanna go get some pizza.”
“Oh—pizza? I’m not that hungry. I’ll just go home and–“
“No, you won’t. If you go, I go. I’m here with you tonight,
remember? He just wants to go out and chill for a while. And he
wants both of us to come. It’s up to you. If you don’t want to,
that’s cool. We’ll stay here, or take off and go home, or whatever
you wanna do.”
“Don’t want to be a third wheel, Jane.”
“First of all, if anyone’s the third wheel, it’s him. I told you,
I’m with you tonight. This wasn’t a man-finding mission, it was you
taking me out to get me over a really bad night. Second, you could
walk inside and find someone who’d love to be your date to go get
pizza in about 3 seconds if you wanted to, even though I’m hoping
you won’t. And third, hurry up and decide if we’re getting pizza or
going home, ‘cause dinner with the asshole was hours ago and I’m
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
The Wolves at the Door
by Xander The Food Dude
An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at
a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, "Let me
tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate
for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what
they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your
enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would
die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."
He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me;
one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all
around him and does not take offense when no offense was
intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and
in the right way."
"But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest
thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone,
all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his
anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these
two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eye and
asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"
The Grandfather solemnly said, "The one I feed."
I happened to come across this tale about a week ago.
Ultimately it was a good illustration of how I’ve been
feeling lately. Anger feeds anger, which feeds anger, which
feeds anger, etc, etc. This small tale helped (is helping)
me get some things into focus for which I had lost. We all
have a thousand different portions of our personalities. We
have to pick and choose, which portions of these
personalities we feed. If we want the positive aspects to
grow in our lives then we need to “feed” the positive
portions of our lives, in whatever form that may take. If
those positive aspects do not exist in our lives, then we
have to cultivate what we can from our lives and foster its
growth as we can.
I have often been remind of a quote from the Bible that says
“God helps those who helps themselves”. Up to now I have
always interpreted that as being, if I wasn’t willing to
work for what I want, then I have no right in asking for any
help. In the last couple of days I think it means that God
will meet me halfway if I put in my side of the effort.
Long ago I remember another tale in which there was a
terrible drought. Two farmer prayed for rain day and night
for weeks in the hopes that God would grant them rain. One
of the farmers did nothing to his fields electing to wait
for the rain to prepare his fields. The other farmer
prepared his field so that when the blessings of rain
appeared his fields would be prepared to receive these
blessings. Which farmer do think was successful ? In these
days, while being the most difficult to have, but maybe the
most necessary is the ability to take a leap of faith. Some
call it the power of expectation, or having a positive
attitude, but ultimately it comes down to seeing the
potential and positive offer the loss and pain. “Things
happen for a reason”, “every cloud has a silver lining”, dot
the landscape of my mind like gnats in the yard. At times it
is overwhelming and difficult to keep the “positive” alive
in our minds, hearts and soul, but to do anything less would
be to quit completely.
Moving, positively forward in a situation and purpose that
is getting us closer to a positive outcome. It seems now
after so long, that there may be some light coming through
the clouds. Until next time, you’ll excuse me while I go and
work on my fields.
of the Month
Chili with Rice
This is a great dish, due to it being lo-cal, lo-cost, and healthy.
You can vary it to your personal preference and add meat if you
• 1 15-1/2-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 14-1/2-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes, un-drained and cut up
• 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
• 1 cup water
• 3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon snipped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil,
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Dash ground red pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups hot cooked rice
1. In a large saucepan combine kidney beans, great northern beans,
un-drained tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, green pepper, onion, chili
powder, sugar, basil, cumin, salt, ground red pepper, and garlic.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes,
2. Top each serving of chili with 1/2 cup hot cooked rice. Makes 4
3. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare chili. Transfer to refrigerator
container; cover and chill up to 2 days. Reheat and top with rice.
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.
Life After Surgery: Chronicles from Angie Bee
with Sonya Bennett
Hello, Readers! I am now three years out from my gastric bypass
surgery and have enjoyed sharing my ups and downs with you. As
faithful LIC Readers know, I am following the success of my sister
who recently had the gastric bypass, as well. Please read on as she
shares one of her stories.....
"What do you mean, I need a headshot?"
"That's what I said, Angie BEE. You are being featured in The Spirit
Magazine and we need a headshot".
Wow, a photo shoot for a magazine promotional piece. Do I even have
something to wear? For the past six months, my business partner and
I have been working on a gospel music tour that debuts this summer.
It's called The CHOSEN Tour, and I was at peace working the tour
from behind the scenes. I could be in charge. I just didn't want
anyone to see me.
Now, the tour director wants a headshot, and I am almost panic
stricken. When you are morbidly obese, you don't always want your
face plastered everywhere. Your self esteem can be fading, and I
even think I suffered from a bit of agoraphobia. I never wanted to
be in public alone. Well, now was the time to prove to myself that I
could blossom just a bit.
My world class photographer went to Daytona Beach for the pictures.
It was fun! The ducks waddled by and the sun was on my face. The
camera kept snapping and she even helped me adjust by face for the
A couple of weeks later we took more pictures! This time we were
inside as I needed more promo shots for the radio show that I
produce. The first picture that she snapped was the one for the
record-books as I looked at my picture and was amazed. "Oh my GOD!
My face is SO SMALL!"
Yes, my face is small. Remember how you looked at your picture one
day and realized that you had gained weight? Well now I have
realized that I am losing weight. I knew that the daily vitamins
were easier to consume and the constipation was better. My energy
level is off the scale and I can not out-walk my daughter through
the Wal-Mart. I am becoming more adept at multitasking and have even
been out a bit more on my own. I KNEW that I was feeling like I was
becoming more in charge of my life... but when I saw the difference
in my face... I just was amazed.
This article is not as much about life after gastric bypass but my
life LIVING and GROWING! Last week my endocrinologist tested by A1C
- (the three-month blood test to determine how bad your diabetes
really is). When I first came to her office, my A1C was 10.7. A
normal range is 6.5 or below. While in her office, she told me that
my A1C was 6.4. Hallelujah! I am in charge of my diabetes; it is now
in remission, thank God!
Last week my syndicated radio show picked up TWO new stations... and
one of them broadcasts in the United Kingdom! I would not have been
able to handle this growth had I not been in better control of my
obesity; had I not been in better control of the diseases that
The magazine article is now out. Along with my new headshot. Log
onto www.TheSpiritMag.com to see it. I still can't believe how regal
and lovely this picture looks. Special thanks to my amazing
photographer JASMINE CHESTANG for capturing me in both shots. I
continue to Praise GOD for my weight loss and healing. I have talked
to people that have lost 20, 30 or 50 pounds in the time frame that
I am in. I have lost nearly 70 pounds, and I am feeling wonderful. I
will continue to write this article each month just to let you know
how I am doing...
Losing more weight, and gaining more faith everyday
Angie BEE Productions
Producing Christian entertainment enjoyed by the entire family!
Check out The BEE HIVE at www.AngieBEE.com
See our past projects at www.YouTube.com/AngieBEEpresents
Come see me on tour this summer!
Log onto www.TheChosenTour.com for details
The shows that we are currently creating include:
The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE Radio Show -
with THE BEST in Holy Hip Hop - airing weekdays from
8am - 10 am EST on www.HeatfortheStreets.com (Our first secular
noon - 4 pm EST on www.MyJBN.com (returning for our 3rd year!)
6pm - 10 pm EST on www.ChicosRadio.com (Look for us on Chicos TV
11pm - 3 am EST on www.TheArkRadio.com (The BEST in Holy Hip Hop!)
Glorious Cooking -
returning for a third season on www.FaithiTV.com
350 Pounds and Closing... a Gastric Bypass Documentary
debuting exclusively this fall on The Jericho Broadcast Network
Highly Opinionated - A Teen Talk Show
debuting this fall on www.UrbaniTV.com
VIDEO NEWS - A video version of YOUR press release!
airing Friday's on www.FaithiTV.com
That's What's Up - A weekly bible study discussion hosted by
Evidence 322 COMING SOON!
Come check us out on tour this year! For details, log onto
Visit us online today at
www.ooVoo.com - account Angie BEE
www.Skype.com - AngieBEEproductions
Call us today at 407-914-6519
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
Death by Discrimination... Two Teenage Girls Take Own Lives!
Just last month two teenage girls committed suicide, one as a result
bullied about her size (http://abcnews.go.com/US/suicide-pact-minnesota-eighth-graders-haylee-fentress-paige/story?id=13411751&sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4daf22af346f2162%2C0).
Discrimination based on
body size has to stop! The bullying of fat children and resources to
bullying is one topic covered in the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkitsm.
We have just made available the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkitsm
(CATK) to help educate and inform all segments of society with
regard to the effects of weight discrimination on children; from
negative body image and body dis-satisfaction to bullying. The CATK
provides references and tools to combat these effects using a
Healthy At Every Size (HAES) approach. A link to an electronic
version of this premier toolkit is available on the front page of
the NAAFA website at www.naafa.org.
Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD, a contributing author and NAAFA Advisory Board
member, has been invited to be a panelist at the 2011 6th Biennial
Childhood Obesity Conference. As a panel member, Joanne will present
sections of the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkitsm to attendees. She has
asked NAAFA to provide printed copies of the CATK for this important
presentation at the nation's largest, most influential collaboration
of professionals dedicated to addressing pediatric obesity.
NAAFA is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization and we look to
and supporters to help us spread the word of size diversity and
are asking you for help in achieving this goal. We are requesting
toward the printing and shipping of the NAAFA Child Advocacy
To donate online, simply go to:
complete the form and indicate "Donation to CATK Project" in the
Additional Information box.
To send a check or money order, please make payable to NAAFA with a
note that it is a donation to the CATK Project. Mail your check or
money order to NAAFA, Inc., P.O. Box 4662, Foster City, CA
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: Semi Annual SALE!
Summertime is upon us and we all want the bargain. That cute
dress, hot pair of shoes, and far out jewelry all for a good
price…. Well ladies. Roaman’s is the place for you. Check
out their clearance section and save up to 80%, next check
out Shoes & Accessories - Easy spirit sales $ 10 off
Product of the Month
Recommended by: Lucia
Name of Product: virgin mobile “Samsung Intercept”
Type of Product: Cell Phone
Cost of product: 199.99
Where Product can be found:
Description: Here’s the scoop. I been seeking and searching
for a phone plan
that would fit me and my budget and virgin mobile fits me.
Always wanted an Android Smart Phone and now (wink) I have
one. The beyond talk plan
is just awesome. Unlimited messaging, email, data & web on
all plans and plans start at just $25/month. No contract.
Again starting at $ 25/mo.
300 anytime min, $40/mo. 1200 anytime min with unlimited
text, email, data &
web, and $60/mo. Unlimited, and how can you beat that? You
can’t. 3G, 3.2”
touch-screen, keyboard and 3.2 camera
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!
Big Beautiful Hollywood
with Jonny T
Once again, it is time to take a look at big beautiful women and how
they make an impact in the role of mainstream entertainment. In this
article, I would like to give kudos to World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE) for ushering in their first BBW Superstar Kia Michelle Stevens
– in ring name Kharma. Kharma is proof women can be plus-sized
and athletic. She has had brief stints in other wrestling promotions
and has held multiple titles. She has wrestled by the name of
Amazing Kong and Awesome Kong. Why I would like to commend WWE is
because they would not allow a moniker like Kong because it lends an
avenue for the audience to associate and define the superstar by her
size versus her athletic ability.
She began her professional wrestling career in 2002 after appearing
on a reality television show. She primarily wrestled in Japan for
the first five years of her career, holding numerous championships
there. In 2006 she began wrestling in her native United States
again, appearing on the independent circuit before appearing on
national television with Hulk Hogan’s TNA Wrestling where she was a
driving force in the foundation of their Knockout division.
In December, 2010, Stevens signed a contract with World Wrestling
Entertainment (WWE). Since April, 2011 vignettes aired during WWE
television with Stevens, whose face was concealed by shadows and her
signature braids, dismembering female dolls while cackling
maniacally. During the April 25 episode of Raw, Stevens' face was
shown for the first time in the vignettes, and her new ring name was
revealed as Kharma. Kharma made her debut on May 1 at the Extreme
Rules Pay Per View where she caused chaos and mayhem.
Stevens grew up in Carson, California. Prior to becoming a
professional wrestler, she was employed as a social worker. She also
owned a business that put vending machines in several high schools.
Stevens' family and friends helped her fund her career in wrestling,
when she went to train in Japan. She is also an investor in Nu Skin
Enterprises, a line of skin and nutritional products. She is the
proof BBWs can make it in mainstream entertainment with diligence
and hard work.
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
with Pat Llewellyn
I love myself and I love my body. That has been my mantra for
the past 3+ years.
As it turns out, I’ve been lying to myself just a smidge.
I really do love myself, and I love my body except for one
thing. My big, fat, round belly causes me angst. When I get
compliments about its size or how it is beautiful, I cringe. As
soon as someone mentions my belly, I become self-conscious and
want to become invisible. Don’t get me wrong. I know my belly is
big and I’m sure that people notice all the time, but don’t
comment on it. I’m fine with that. I just feel mortified if
someone mentions it in a complimentary way. If someone were to
make a derogatory comment about it I wouldn’t take their crap,
but it seems I can’t take a compliment about it either.
Once I realize I have an issue I can’t pretend I don’t know. I
wish I could be the kind of person who can stick their head in
the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. I can’t though. I have to
fix whatever the problem is. For some people this might mean
going on a severe diet to quickly drop the weight and shrink my
waistline. I’ve been there, done that and gained all the weight
back and then some. That leaves me with one more option. I need
to learn to love my belly. I’ve thought long and hard about
this, about what I need to do to come to terms with my belly.
What does a fatty do to make friends with her belly? I have an
I’m declaring June, “Love Your Belly Month!”
What does one do to celebrate “Love Your Belly Month?” For me it
will involve a lot of positive self-talk and numerous pictures
of my belly in all of its glory. I am going to work up the
courage to post those pictures on Facebook and/or on various
message boards that celebrate the fat body and when someone
compliments my belly I’m going to take the compliment and not
cringe. If a shirt is a little tight and shows the roundness of
my fat belly, I’m not going to change. I’m going to write a poem
about my belly and share it with people. I may even paint a
self-portrait of my belly.
My question to you is what are you going to do to celebrate your
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
What Inspires You?
with Ms Suga
When asked “What inspires you?” some answer “plenty of things,”
others have one specific answer and then there are those that never
really pinpoint what inspires them to do whatever it is they do.
During a mini survey of people I know, my number one answer was
children and family. It’s interesting when asked “what” people
respond with “whom”. There is no right or wrong answer, it comes
from within. Several of my friends are single mothers in fact my
current beau is a single father. I watch these people struggle every
single day to provide for their children. I finally asked myself
what inspires me and since I’m not a parent the answer was not my
children but my family in general. If it wasn’t for my family I
wouldn’t be the woman I am today.
My parents have been married for 30 years and together they have
made a wonderful life for them and for me. They always expected the
best of me. In school I got good grades and applied myself to make
them proud. As an adult I did my best in everything from college, to
working, to staying out of trouble and taking care of myself to keep
them proud of me. My parents are my best friends, even though we
don’t get along all the time
As a little girl my parents made it their business to teach me about
my heritage, it was black history month all year long. They taught
me about our ancestors that worked the fields as slaves and they
taught me about their lives during the civil rights movement. I
learned about my mother’s fight will her weight and realized that it
isn’t much different from mine; and how my father grew up in a
broken home full of kids. My parents showed me that two people can
grow up from being dirt poor to being financially sound and able to
enjoy a life of retirement.
My family’s history tells me of strong willed individuals that
worked hard and never allowed their flaws to prevent success. This
motivates me, as a plus size African-American woman to walk with my
head held high. I am proud of who I am and my family inspires me to
keep moving forward. They motivate me to write these articles, and
reach out to help others in need. My family inspires me to work hard
and follow my dreams and with that I can see a future of pure
happiness. Every day I look in the mirror and I see this BIG
BEAUTIFUL WOMAN and I smile.
What do you see when you look at yourself? Ask yourself “What
inspires you?” and see where that inspiration leads you. Does it
lead you to do work in our community? Does it lead you to be
someone’s friend or to aid them when they need it? Always remember
that size does not make the person and those pounds are simply
numbers. We are all put on this earth for a purpose and it’s up to
us to figure it out before it’s too late. Go as far as you can see
and then you’ll see how far you can go.
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.
You Can Reach Your Ideal Weight by Purchasing Photoshop
with Ms Sherry Graf
Last year, SELF magazine found that 65 percent of women between the
ages of 25-45 have an eating disorder and 75 percent of all American
women have unhealthy thoughts, feelings and /or behaviors related to
food or their bodies. And apparently Photo-shopping your cover model
has absolutely nothing to do with this.
SELF Editor Lucy Danziger, boasts of the magazine’s manipulation of
imagery with the titled “Total Body Confidence” September edition
cover model Kelly Clarkson. How about digitally downsizing Miss
Kelly Clarkson from a size 12 to a size 4?
Self Editor Danzig, says that the article was “meant to inspire
women to want to be their best,” and that she has done it herself.
One eating disorder group said: “Thin, sexualised and digitally
enhanced images of women are linked with women’s experiences of poor
body image, depression and anxiety and eating disorders. The images
contribute to self-harming behaviors and not performing well
Danziger defends Self: We altered Kelly’s appearance? Only to make
her look her personal best. Did we publish an act of fiction? No.
Not unless you think all photos are that. But in the sense that
Kelly is the picture of confidence, and she truly is, then I think
this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the
newsstand… She is happy in her own skin, and she is confident in her
music, her writing, her singing, her performing. That is what we all
relate to. Whether she is up or down in pounds is irrelevant (and to
set the record straight, she works out and does boot-camp-style
training, so she is as fit as anyone else we have featured in SELF).
Kelly says she doesn’t care what people think of her weight. So we
say: That is the role model for the rest of us.
According to SELF’s Editor, “personal best” = thin And while Kelly
says she doesn’t care what people think of her weight, SELF sure
does. It’s not Kelly’s weight that’s “irrelevant” here; it’s her
talent. The irrational hypocrisy of presenting the weight-carefree
Kelly as a “role model for the rest of us” when obviously her talent
and accomplishments aren’t good enough for her to make SELF’s cover
in her own skin only gets even more neurotic.
SELF’s Editor declares, “A cover’s job is to sell the magazine, and
we do that, every month, thanks to our readers. So thank you.”
Your job: Think about your photographs and what you want them to
convey. And go ahead and be confident in every shot, in every
moment. The truest beauty is the kind that comes from within.
You got that, folks? Feeling inspired? True beauty comes from
within… so long as the outside is thin. And go ahead and be
confident in every shot because, hey, there’s always Photoshop to
shave off your big ass. It’s in SELF’s Editor’s line about magazines
selling covers that we get the only real flash of non-spinned
honesty here, because let’s face it: There’s a reason SELF readers
buy the magazine and it isn’t for its articles on body acceptance.
Every edition offers a plethora of weight-loss tips and new diet
plans designed to give readers the hope and often times illusory
promise of thinness. SELF photoshopped Kelly Clarkson because its
readers have given them reason to believe that a thinner Kelly would
sell more covers than a slightly-flawed, fuller-figured Kelly. It’s
the same reason Elle magazine Photoshopped Kelly and why a
digitally-downsized Kelly also appears on the cover of her album.
Even more ironically, right below Kelly’s digitally-downsized
physique is a teaser reading, “Want to Reach Your Dream Weight? Find
the Motivation Secrets That Will Work for You.“ Or, perhaps, a
half-decent Photoshop artist.
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