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LargeInCharge Magazine - Eighth Year in Progress

 Issue#88 - July 2011

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui

From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck


Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


The Big GB My Gastric Bypass Memoirs - Soyna Bennett


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


Fashion & Products with The WebGirl ~ Lucia Roth


Big Beautiful Hollywood ~ Jonny T


Fattitude - Its a Fat way of Life ~ Pat Llewellyn


The BIG - Beautiful Inspirational Girl  ~ Ms Suga


LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!


LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

Diet Soda may be making you Fat!

Diet Soda may be making you Fat!

By: Internet Based - Author Lylah M. Alphonse Senior Editor, Manage Your Life @ Shine



Think you're making a healthier choice when you reach for diet soda instead of a sugary soft drink? Think again.

Diet soft drinks may have minimal calories, but they can still have a major impact on your waistline, according to two studies presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

Researchers at the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio tracked 474 people, all 65 to 74 years old, for nearly a decade, measuring the subjects' height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake every 3.6 years. The waists of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.

The findings are in line with those of a 2005 study, also conducted by researchers at the Texas Health Science Center, in which the chance of becoming overweight or obese increased with every diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

But how does something with no calories cause weight gain? Turns out that even if our taste buds can't tell the difference between real and fake sugar, our brains can. Another study, also presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting on Sunday, found that after three months of eating food laced with aspartame (which is also found in many diet soft drinks), mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food. According to Fowler, who worked on all three studies and is now a researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego, the aspartame could trigger the appetite but do nothing to satisfy it. That could interfere with your body's ability to tell when you're full—and could lead you to eat more in general.

It happens in humans, too. A 2008 study found that women who drank water sweetened with sugar and water sweetened with Splenda couldn't taste a difference, but functional MRI scans showed that their brains' reward center responded to real sugar "more completely" than it did to the artificial sweetener.

"Your senses tell you there's something sweet that you're tasting, but your brain tells you, 'actually, it's not as much of a reward as I expected,'" Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study, told the Huffington Post. So you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.

Aside from the health problems that go along with a widening waistline, diet soft drinks have also been linked to an increase in diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. One study of more than 2,500 people found that those "who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day," ABC News reported in February. And a 2008 University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64 found that drinking a single can of diet soda a day led to a 34 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of health problems that includes high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high levels of belly fat.

"Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn't likely to hurt you," writes Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic. "The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there's no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer."

"Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals," she added. "But diet soda isn't a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss."



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


Tanesha Jackson

Cover Model of the Month Interview

Interview: What is your name?
Tanesha jackson Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I am from Newport News, Virginia but I reside in Memphis, TN Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am a married woman with a ten year old child and I am African American Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?
Actually, no I wasn't! I was always small but a thick girl on the inside. I gained weight after my daughter was born.
when my mom passed away i gained a ton of weight! (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

does not apply (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I was depressed ( I know that now!) I ate to compensate for the pain and hurt What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?
I am a big fan of the magazine and of the talk show and I knew that it would be a perfect fit for me Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?
Yes cause in Memphis, TN plus models have no variety in clothes, work and acceptance so I had to inspire myself Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
At first they wasn't ( my in laws) but as I am not due to being able to not listening to drama. My family realized I was happy and left me alone. What would you say inspires you most in life?
All the of the single mothers...cause i know how it feels to be there and still make it work!
And my daughter cause she has plus girls in her class and I tell her to accept all people regardless of size What is your primary job?
Bra Specialist ( Victoria secret) How did you get into this line of work?
I have always been a fan of the store but everyone that worked there at the time did not look like me
so i wanted to work there so women like me can feel comfy enough to come in and shop without fear. Do you find acceptance in the work force?
It is not an option cause I make sure I present myself well so no one has a reason to not accept me. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
being understanding that we are not always eating cause we are plus. To accommodate larger desks for college students
Making nice looking clothes for us and not just online or the "normal" What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

it is not what it needs to be. It bothers me that we are not being accommodated accordingly.
They want our dollars but they wont make or create beautiful things for us! What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

Be even and create for all sizes! Put plus models on the runway not a size 10,12,or 8
That's not plus its okay! What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

It would be extraordinary and amazing for everyone models and all! Advertisers will have to open doors for plus models to advertise Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

Curvy Divas( local designer) and Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

washing my face every night and plenty of water Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
Come well rested hair clean, proper undergarments, and positive attitude.
If you are shooting a paid shoot please be 30 minutes early if you have to get hair and makeup 1 hour early
Be professional at al times! No asking a ton of questions! Think of something very happy and roll with that!
Listen to what your being told, be aware of your atmosphere! Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?

It is slowly changing and I am proud of the progress...but it takes more than a few models as a small feature and the movie precious
By the way the star needs more respect than what she gets...she is beautiful What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
Being plus will not be just a "fad" you will lose weight for health reasons
More magazines and agencies will sign more of us Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.
I would love to get on a television show, be on the cover or a feature of 15 magazines in 2010
Design a plus lingerie line for Victoria secret and have a wedding planning business What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
God has been great to me lately...I have done numerous fashion shows, was featured on man vs food season one
did a spec commercial and more... Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants? What was the experience like?

I competed in ms classic beauty in 2008 Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.
I was at school today12/9/09 and a lady came up to me and asked me mentor her plus size daughter
she liked that i was confident and she wanted whatever i did to rub off on her child...that touched me truly Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?
Her name is Katherine Braxton she is my best friend and she encourage me all the time! What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?
Its going to be rough but be confident and inspire someone else and you will gain strength from that What plus size figure do you admire?

Queen Latifa Describe yourself with one word.



Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month


     Raqui the Owner and Founder of, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 6 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.  Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.


     Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

To view her Online portfolio visit

Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully Speaking! -

 Raqui Host's Super Sized Seminar at 15th Annual Vegas Bash 2011

go to Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - The Sensitive Nature of Women and the Destruction of it

Written By: Raqui

Unknowingly... this subject has been with me since I was a very little girl. While you can go on, and on about women, how emotional and sensitive we are. I am going to specifically talk about men, women, and how over the years slowly, we are destroying the sensitive nature women have been blessed with. In my eyes as a society we are throwing off the delicate balance that make male and female relationships work.

Let me start... as little girls we are sensitive, emotional and caring. In an ideal family, our mothers are there to understand and sympathize with our feelings. Our fathers are there to protect those feelings. In your father’s arms you can cry about the flower you carried whose stem has broken. You can smile and kiss Daddy when he buys you an ice cream cone. If that ice cream cone falls and you begin to cry, he will hug you, and hold you wiping the tears away.

Daddy doesn't try to make sense of the fact that it’s just a flower. He doesn't disdainfully say go pick another. All he knows is that for some reason, this flower meant a lot to his little girl. Now the flower is broken, and so is the heart of his baby. His job is to protect and comfort. Daddy isn't going to scream about ice cream, he sees his daughter’s treasured treat is on the floor. He sees her tears, and knows that he is going to make it all better.

Men are problem solvers by nature. If something happens, men try to fix the issue. That is how they think. They are also protectors, if there is danger big or small a real man will try to make things safe and secure, even the dangers of flower petals and Mr. Softee.

There was a time when a woman's sensitive, emotional nature was honored, protected and celebrated. Songs were sung about it, it was expected for a man to not only acknowledge the difference, but protect it, because it was that difference that made woman very special to him, and a treasure. Men were raised to take to heart the emotions of the women around him. Not because the sensitive nature of women made them lesser but because it was a difference that made men and women compatible.

Woman so very keen observant and able to tap into your inner being can read situations and why it is a problem. Being sensitive we naturally can figure out what is going on behind the scenes. Being emotional we can feel the pain of others and imagine what it is like. We problem solve from the inside out. We try to create stability around us to minimize stress, to make things comfortable, to create a more relaxed environment. We relate to others more in a relaxed way.

Men do things differently. They jump into action upon notice of a problem. They want to solve things quickly and efficiently. They have a job in their mind and set out to do it to keep everything running smoothly. Some men are quite observant but usually they watch actions. Not fine details. This is not to say they cannot understand fine details, but men are more upfront about what they see and what they do. Some say it is that math mind that they have. One plus one will always be two, problem solved. If a problem is not solved stress is bound to take over and create havoc.

In this way Men and Women fits perfectly:

Women can understand the things Men don't usually talk about. We see the issues easily and can feel what Man is going through, understanding him when he doesn't understand himself. We can create an environment to calm him and help to ease those issues. Relax him and he will be more at peace, a man will recognized this and feel cared for, loved and appreciated. He wants to stay, because it is exactly what he needs. Once relaxed and feeling safe with his woman, he can open up to her and talk about the things he wouldn't talk about to others. Thus relieving stress and creating and strengthen the bond with his mate. The fact that he can do this hits home, makes him want to do things for this woman, makes him want to protect her no matter what.

Man sees a woman's problems and jumps to take action (which we love because the faster he tries to help us the more loved and important we feel). He doesn't exactly have to understand why there is a problem, he just has to know there is one, and to make woman happy he must do this, and that, to equal HAPPY WOMAN. Happy woman, makes happy family, makes Happy Man. His job is to protect what he sees as his, his home, his family and most importantly his woman. He doesn't want the delicate balance to be disrupted. A woman will appreciate how quickly he handles things. She sees this as her feelings being number one priority on his list Being the most important thing to him, she feels valued, appreciated and understood. She feels happy, loved, relaxed and cared for. Chances are she is going to want to display her love back to him by doing all the things I mentioned in the above paragraph about women. The cycle continues.

In this way honor is being brought to both. While yes there are all different types of men and women these principles worked. Through the centuries in the USA our culture taught us a woman’s sensitive nature was weak thus labeling them as unable to think or do things properly. Making them a lesser human being and thus making man higher than woman mentally. As if we were children or animals who needed to be trained and watched.
Through the woman’s movement we earned rights that were not given to us. We demanded that we be seen as equal and be able to work, vote, attend school and more. This all were good things. But in many ways I feel that some women took things to an extreme. In wanting to prove we were just as equal as men and deserving of these rights. Some began to lose or not show the sensitive and emotional side that we are blessed to have. This fight had to happen so we can be seen as equal human beings. But did we have to portray a strong woman as emotionless?
We no longer have men who protect women and their emotional and sensitive natures. We have men who degrade women for being exactly what we were meant to be. We have women, mothers and fathers who do the same.

"Stop being so sensitive!"

"Your too emotional!"

"Do not let them see you cry."

"Shut up with all that crying."

These phrases are spoken continuously and loudly. It starts in childhood and continues throughout life. Many girls are not lucky enough to have a father or any type of protective father figure. Some have had the unfortunate experience of abuse by a father or trusted male figure. Making them ultra sensitive or seemingly hard. If a male protective figure doesn't exist for them at all to reverse this negativity. We have many women who cannot or will not express themselves naturally.
We do not want to seem weak now do we? We want the whole world to know we can stand on our own and don’t need anyone’s regard.

Somehow along the way men have been taught that having a sensitive and emotional woman around is bad for them. Being raised in the same environment that our girls are being raised in has that influence. Those who show emotions are weak; it is no longer an asset that people want to have. When you see a woman being emotional, run something is wrong with her, she is uncontrollable and crazy.

Females seeing this try to become the woman they think males want. Emotionless, Uncaring as if nothing fazes them. Keeping their feelings inside, hiding them in secret as if it's a sin. Treating her man with a non-chalant attitude of disdain, and many times disgust.

This is not natural, Male and Female have been given attributes for reasons. These attributes compliment and work together to bond them. They need each other and it seems that the concept now is



As a woman, a strong, independent, woman who works for my community I understand and cherish the role a man plays in the stability of life. I would never say, I do not need a man because I am strong, independent and know myself. It means I need a man even more. The larger the load a woman carries the more she needs a man who understands of the ways of woman. One who is strong in character and can calm her in ways that no one else could.

Man knows that woman is emotional and things that bother her may not make sense to him. But making logical sense isnt the point. The point is she is feeling an emotion, a valid emotion that is logical to her. She is affected by this emotion and that is the problem. Man supports woman to ease her feelings, make her feel safe and secure. So that she knows that he is there for her and she will not face her thoughts, fears, emotions alone.

With his arms he embraces her holding her to his chest, making her feel safe. With his hands he wipes tears that have fallen do to, anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, stress, or just plain feeling worn out. His voice soothes her, listening to him calms the storm in her mind. With his lips he quiets her cries until all she feels is his affection and knowing she is cared for. If she allows he can make love to her and suddenly instead of a hurt heart she has a heart full of passion and love for her man.

Women are creatures of the heart it was said. If you cherish her in all ways, her heart will beat for you. Can we get back to the appreciation of this virtue? or will be insist on killing it along with what makes our women special?

LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 7-9 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui on Twitter


Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.


     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.

Emily Smiltneck receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive recognition for their life's work.  Join me in this Joyous moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her contribution and great dedication to her goals in life.  Click the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.


The Adventures of Phatgurl

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck  


The Adventures Of Phatgurl is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a personals website.  As she embarks on her dates, she meets many different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.  Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more serious and even sad. 


If you have any ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at  I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future columns.  Thanks!


The Ad (Part 2)

SWSSBBW seeks SM who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise.  The ability to both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus.  Must not inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”  Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a current significant other will get you far.  And a well-developed sense of humor won’t hurt, either.  If you like smart chicks with jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to





Selena laughed softly.  “We seem to go back and forth a lot, don’t we?  Like, I mean, emotionally or whatever.  If you’re all stupid and depressed, I’m trying to talk you out of it, and as soon as it works, then I get all sad.”

            “Maybe we really just hate each other and one of us can’t be happy unless the other one is miserable.  So pizza, or no?”

            “Pizza, I guess.  I’m okay now.”

            “All right, come on, then.  And put a smile on your face, hey?  I know it’s tough, but if you smile, people treat you like you’re happy, and if people treat you like you’re happy, it’s a whole lot easier to pretend.  And then it gets easier to be happy.  I’m not always great at following that advice, but when I do, it pretty much always works.”  Jany dragged Selena over to Jacob, who was still waiting patiently.  “We’re in.”

            “Great, thank you!  I’m honored to be allowed to spend these wee hours of the morning with two women of such outstanding beauty.”

            Selena roiled her eyes and Jany poked her in the side.  “Stop acting like me,” she whispered as Jacob left them to retrieve his car.  When he pulled up at the curb, Jany opened the front door and then quickly slipped into the backseat.


            “What?  I—“ Selena started, but Jany just shrugged and swung the backdoor closed.  Selena shot Jany a dirty look and got in the front seat, mumbling under her breath.  Jany smiled.  Anger would help her forget her misery, and even if it made her feel uncomfortable, sitting in the front seat would make it pretty close to impossible for her to feel like a third wheel.

            It was only a few minutes before Jacob pulled into a parking garage.  They followed him across the street to a tiny building crammed between two larger buildings that seemed to be trying to edge it out of their way.  The windows were dirty and the red awning tattered, but the lights inside were bright and loud, happy chatter and an inviting aroma poured out when they opened the door.  The scent of burgers and pizza mixed perfectly with the smell of people dressed, perfumed, and cologned to impress.  The place was so full that Jany thought they might not be able to fit inside, but Jacob scanned the room for just a second before he led the way to a table in the corner of the room, smiling and nodding and grabbing empty chairs from a couple of table along the way.

            “Everything’s good here,” he said as Jany sucked in her breath and squeezed between two chairs occupied by men who were too drunkenly self-absorbed to offer to scoot in.  “But I’d recommend the pizza.  This place has been open since around the time Columbus landed, and their pizza’s the reason why.”

            “That’s pretty impressive.  I didn’t think there were any pizza ovens here until Columbus hauled one over on the Santa Maria.”

            “Okay, fine, but it’s been open at least since the 50s.  And you definitely need to try their pizza.”

            “Sounds good to me,” Selena piped in.  She slid her chair behind the table and sat down next to Jany, leaving Jacob to park himself almost directly across from the two of them.

            “I feel like I should be interviewing you.  Either that or reprimanding you.”  He turned and scanned the room until he spotted the single waitress in the room.  “Hey, Carla?  Can you grab a few Cokes when you come take our order?  Thanks, hon.”

            “You know the waitstaff by name?” Jany asked, twisting toward Selena in an attempt to fit more comfortably between the table and the wall.

            “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, so yeah.  She’s the owner’s latest fling.  They all end up working here, and he must be a pretty decent guy, ‘cause most of them keep working here even after their fling’s been flung.”

            The waitress approached and set three glasses of Coke on the table.  “Crazy in here tonight!  What’ll it be for you and your latest harem, Jake?”

            “Oh, Carla.  You make me sounds like such a womanizer.  Don’t be hatin’.  We’ll take a large deep dish with everything.  Leave off the anchovies, actually.  Don’t wanna scare away the ladies.”

            “You never scared away a woman in your life, darlin’.  Got it.  I’ll be back as soon as the lazy ass cook they got workin’ tonight puts down his beer and gets this here pizza made.  Wanna run off a few drunks for me?  Sara went home sick—probably trouble with her kid again, for real—so I’m the only one workin’ and I’m gonna start tossin’ pizzas in their faces pretty soon.”

            “Just tell ‘em there’s free beer outside.”  He winked at the waitress as she rolled her eyes and darted back toward the kitchen.

            “You really come here a lot, hey?” Selena asked, scooting her chair closer to Jacob.  Jany, stuck in the corner, could no longer hear their conversation.  She gave up and just gazed around the room.  Not a good idea.  Selena was all cheered up and basking in Jacob’s attention, so it was Jany’s turn to feel neglected.  It didn’t help when one of the men who’d been too busy demolishing a greasy burger to move when she’d tried to slide behind him leaned over and kissed the woman next to him.  The woman wrapped her arms around his neck and they spent the next five minutes trying to trade tongues, or at least that’s what it looked like they were doing.

            Jany averted her eyes when she felt the familiar sting of tears springing up behind her eyelids.  Except, when she looked away from them, her eyes landed on a woman who was gently rubbing her thumb in circles on a man’s back as they talked quietly and seriously to one another in the center of the crowded room.  And a buxom blonde at another table had two men mesmerized; one was holding her hand on top of the table while the other secretly rested his hand on her thigh underneath it.

            It wasn’t fair.  The only difference between Jany and those other women was that they were thinner.  If you didn’t count their weight, which Jany knew most men did, she really didn’t think any of them were any prettier than she was.  Not really.  And the blonde wasn’t even a skinny chick.  She wasn’t fat like Jany, but she was well-padded and a little soft in the belly.  What was her secret—what secret did all of them have?

            Jany started looking for a way out—some path to the door or the restroom, so she could disappear before the flood of tears came.  The waitress scurried up with the pizza before she could find an escape route.  At the same time, someone jabbed Jany in the shoulder.  She jumped in her seat, half expecting it to be one of the drunks at the next table telling her she was too fat and she should leave so there was more room for them.  Instead, she looked up into Haroon’s face.


            “Oh, my—hi!  How are you?”  Jany glanced around the room to see if anyone noticed that the fat chick in the corner was finally getting some attention.  Then, ashamed that she cared, she looked back at Haroon.

            “—came down to get something to eat,” he was saying.  “But it doesn’t look like there is anywhere to sit.”

            “Well, if you want—hold on.  Hey, guys?  Mind if my friend joins us?  He needs a place to sit.”

            “Sure, dig up a chair,” Jacob invited.  Jany forgot her impending tears as Haroon sat down and Jacob motioned for the waitress to bring another plate.  Haroon filled in the empty space at the table, reconnecting Jany to the conversation.  After everything she’d been through—the incident with Franklin, the semi-drunken escapades at the bar, soothing Selena’s fears—it was turning out to be a pretty decent night after all.



Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


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 apart.



How to Know if what you got is what you wanted

by Xander The Food Dude

How to Know if what you got is what you wanted.

 And what to do if it isn’t.


When it comes to your life, what do you want? How does your money fit into that?

If you can't answer these two questions, you won't ever know when you've been successful In fact, it might be worse than that: you might achieve what you thought you wanted, or what all of your friends want, and suddenly realize that it doesn't satisfy you. In order to make sure you're going the right direction for you, it's important to figure out what you want from your life (to find your definition of "success").

Why It Works

We're all going after something. That's part of being alive. As long as we're living and acting, we are headed towards something. Even if we don't want to live, we're going towards our goal (yes, death is a goal!). Our lives are going somewhere. We're caught up in the stream of living and we'll end up somewhere.

Luckily for us, we have some say about where we can end up. Sure, we all die in the end, but we have the ability to decide what is important and make choices towards that end. If you're saying, "Sure, Sarah, we all know that. Make this entry worth reading, already!" then tell me what you're living for. Go ahead, tell me what your life's goal is. Tell me why you're on this earth and how all the different parts of your life fit into that.

If you can do that, you're ahead of most of us. Deciding what we want, what we're about, takes a lifetime of deliberate, focused introspection. But we can figure out different parts of this whole at different times in our lives, and we can live deliberately towards them.

How it Works

If you're not sure how to get started in this process, here is a process that helps.

1. Take out a blank sheet of paper. In 10 minutes, list as many things as possible that you have not done, that you would regret not doing if you died tonight. To the best of your ability, don't stop writing and don't censor or even think too hard about anything. Just write. You might find some crazy things coming out the end of your pen, and that's OK. Let them be.

2. Read your list. Notice any internal reactions you have to different items on the list. Note these in the margins next to your list so you can remember them later.

3. Step away from the project for 3-7 days, except to read your list once a day. This lets the list percolate in your mind. Often, writing down our desires brings to the forefront things that we haven't thought about in a while, or voices things we avoid voicing any other time. It can take us a few days to become accustomed to these things being a reality in our lives. We learn to accept, "Yes, I am the person whose life won't feel complete if I never help the refugees in Darfur," or, "Yup, I'm the busy entrepreneur who really wants a desk job so I can spend more time with my kids before they leave home."

4. Come back to the project and read the list again. Note any internal reactions that have changed as you let the ideas percolate.

5. Start pulling the different items on your list together and write a statement that encompasses what you're about. In the beginning, this can be a list of more general categories that cover all of the items on your list. For instance, my list would containing such items as "helping people grow" and "working with groups to help

them better understand and support each other." My larger category might be, "working with people, as individuals and in groups, to help them better understand and support the growing process in themselves and others. Eventually, this statement will be less like a list and more like a sentence or two, but the list is fine to start.

6. Write down and commit to one step you can take this week! today! right now! to help move your life more in line with your statement. Make sure that this is small enough to be achievable and is something you can maintain.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have a statement that feels right. Most people know when they've hit on the one that's right for them. It moves many to tears, but some also feel joy or peace when they find it. Continue with the small goals until your life looks like what you want it to be.

8. Live the life you've designed. Achieve your definition of success.



Xander's Recipe of the Month


Argentine Meat Empanadas


• 1/2 cup shortening
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
• 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
• 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
• salt to taste
• 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

1. In a sauté; pan melt the shortening and add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweet paprika, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

2. Spread the meat on a sieve and pour boiling water on it for partial cooking. Allow meat to cool. Place meat in a dish add salt to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion mixture. Mix well and place on a flat to dish to cool and harden.

3. Cut puff pastry dough into 10 round shells. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture on each round; add some of the raisins, olives and hard boiled egg. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon. You should have a 2/3 to 1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl. Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and empanadas must be juicy.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork near the curl to allow steam to escape during baking. Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.





Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

Please send thoughts and comments to


In 2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake.    Only a few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot.  Doctors finally diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes. 

That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her weight,  it wasn’t until this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something about my weight."  On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she made for herself.  In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one who lives it every day.
Angie Bee @ Three Months
with Sonya Bennett





Happy July, Everyone! I've had the pleasure of visiting my sister during this, her third month after the gastric bypass. She looks great: Losing weight all over and she is sharing her third month's doctor's visit in this month's article. Enjoy! Sonya B.

This morning, my sister came with me for my three-month check-up with my weight loss surgeon and I am proud to k now that she is with me to hear the great report! Sonya came to my home for vacation. We call them "Va-Stays" because she can "stay" as long as she wants! I mean, she IS my sister and I love having her with me; especially now that we have one more thing in common: We BOTH have had gastric bypass surgery.

Three years ago, I vividly remember praying for my youngest sister as she and my family traveled to the hospital for her procedure. She had been absolutely miserable prior to surgery with health complications from obesity. Even today, she continues to say "I didn't have the surgery in order to get skinny. I had the surgery in order to improve my health!". Today, many of my sister's health challenges are in remission.

Today is my three-month check up with Dr. Kim's office and I feel pretty good about it. I am still focused on consuming my nutritional supplements every day. I am still sipping on every kind of liquid that I can find. I still pay attention to consuming proteins and I continue to try to walk everyday. Upon arriving for my check up - my doctor informs me that I have lost a recorded 50 + pounds... this does not include the 20 pounds that I lost in the two weeks prior to my surgery. That makes a grand total of 70 pounds of weight loss since February. Seventy pounds!!!

Looking at three months post-surgery compared to three years post-surgery is an amazing revelation. I mean, my sister has lost 150 pounds during her three years of health improvement. Keep in mind... this procedure is a tool to allow you to improve your health AND gain control of your life! Complications from diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure can control your life! Pills, injections and sleeping with a mask connected to a machine may SEEM to be small inconveniences... but you miss a dose or a night without your mask and those complications can and DO control your life. My constant indigestion controlled my life. Now, since my surgery... the indigestion is gone. The diabetes is in remission (according to my endocrinologist) the high blood pressure is gone. The ankle swelling is gone. I am in better control of my life, my health, my mind and my goals.

Many people are anti - weight loss surgeries and I respect their opinions. I respect anyone that can justify why something is or is not good for them. This procedure was GREAT for my sister and a blessing for me. Since having the surgery I have heard about other weight loss options.

-Injections that trick your body into believing that it is pregnant and forcing you to lose weight (I may have lost weight... but what about the high blood pressure?)

-Shakes and drinks that suppress your appetite (how would those drinks affect the diabetes?)

-Pills that increase your metabolism (the swollen ankles hindered my movement)

-Underwear garments that compress and reshape you into a flattering figure (could you afford to purchase them? If you'd like to check some out, my sister is a distributor:

-Fitness and dance programs that encourage weight loss... (did I want to be the only 350 pound woman in THAT class?)

And the list goes on and on. You have probably heard of them all and tried most of them following celebrity recommendations and family/friend testimonials. None of them were suitable for me. Gastric bypass was suitable for me, and this procedure was a blessing for me.

Back in January, we began to document my life before, during and after the surgery. The documentary is called "350 & closing... a Gastric Bypass Story" and it begins airing weekly on The Jericho Broadcast Network ( Episodes are also on and my Facebook friends get to watch an episode each week as I place the link as my status update. I hope that you have an opportunity to watch the show. It is a personal experience, yet it shows faith, growth and strength as I continue to lose weight and remain "In Charge".

Angie BEE Productions
Producing Christian entertainment enjoyed by the entire family!
Check out The BEE HIVE at
See our past projects at

Come see me on tour this summer!
Log onto 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 (Our first secular station!)
noon - 4 pm EST on (returning for our 3rd year!)
6pm - 10 pm EST on (Look for us on Chicos TV soon!)
11pm - 3 am EST on (The BEST in Holy Hip Hop!)

Glorious Cooking -
returning for a third season on
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
VIDEO NEWS - A video version of YOUR press release!
airing Friday's on
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 - account Angie BEE - AngieBEEproductions
Call us today at 407-914-6519
BEE Blessed!



Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

Sonya Bennett on Facebook

     Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.


     This Column is dedicated to the tremendous work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades.  LargeInCharge wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give the public more information into issues we as plus sized people should be aware of.  The fight for equality for people of all sizes is one we support.


     This Column will include News Releases and Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.


This Column has been Approved by











Who:  We need YOU to contact Members of Congress TODAY

What: The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739)

Why:  The legislation does NOT include weight and height as part of its anti-bullying protections


How:  Use our legislative action alert




The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739) is a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey and Mark Kirk to help prevent bullying in schools. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require schools and districts receiving designated federal funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. It was introduced to the Senate on August 3, 2010 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP Committee).


There has not been a hearing on the Bill to date, so now is the time to contact these Senators and ask them to amend the legislation to include weight and height to the list of protected classes prior to the Bill’s approval.


You can send an email to any or all of the Senate Committee members below.




The members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions include:


Democrats by Rank:

Tom Harkin (IA)

Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)

Jeff Bingaman (NM)

Patty Murray (WA)

Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)

Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)

Kay R. Hagan (NC)

Jeff Merkley (OR)

Al Franken (MN)

Michael F. Bennet (CO)

Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

Richard Blumenthal (CT)


Republicans by Rank:

Michael B. Enzi (WY)

Lamar Alexander (TN)

Richard Burr (NC)

Johnny Isakson (GA)

Rand Paul (KY)

Orrin G. Hatch (UT)

John McCain (AZ)

Pat Roberts (KS)

Lisa Murkowski (AK)

Mark Kirk (IL)


Even if you are not a constituent of the members listed, it is important that they hear your voice. Also, if you have specific stories about how bullying has affected your child or a child you know, that has a huge impact.


Here is an example to help in composing your letter to the Committee members:


        HOW TO CONTACT THEM: Sample Letter


Dear Senator _____________:


Because you are a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, I want to bring to your attention the need to amend the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 (S.3739) prohibiting bullying and harassment, including conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.


While I support the intent of this legislation, there is an entire segment of children that would not be covered in this legislation as currently written, fat children. As we have seen in recent events, fat children are at risk.  One such event occurred when a teen girl from Minnesota committed suicide partly because of being teased and bullied about her weight.


There are numerous studies that outline the effects of bullying on children because of their size and/or body image. Along with fat children, short children are victims of incessant bullying on a daily basis.


While we believe it is the intent of this legislation to ensure a safe environment for all children within public schools, we ask that the Bill not exclude and further stigmatize the largest group of children that is facing bullying on a daily basis.

We ask that the Committee request to amend the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 to include weight and height to the list of protected classes.  Thank you!



City, State

Email Address


Or you can write to the Committee at:

Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

428 Senate Dirksen Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


Thank you for helping to make positive changes in the lives of children.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

On the web:  




Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA



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

This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.


I just 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 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.



The WebGirl Picks of the Month

Fashion Find Product of the Month

Fashion Find by: Lucia

Fashion Type: Sale 70% off/CLOSEOUT
Price: 19.99 - 169.99


Fine fashion for us big girls size 1-7x so go and check it out. BBW Boutique has everything for everyone.
Product of the Mont

Recommended by: Lucia
Name of Product: The Deal, the dance, and the Devil
Type of Product: Book
Cost of product: $ 8.85
Where Product can be found: CLICK HERE

Description: Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Money, Money, Money, Money...Money!

Who wouldn't jump at an offer of five million dollars, free and clear? The main characters in Victoria Christopher Murray's latest release, The Deal, The Dance and the Devil learn the hard way that some things shouldn't be for sale at any price, for any reason.

Evia and Adam Langston have loved each other since forever. When she found herself pregnant with his child while they were still in high school, they didn't think twice about getting married. With the support of his devoted single mother; they managed to graduate and were determined to make their way out of the poverty-stricken D.C. neighborhood where they grew up.

Adam's mother believed that loving God with all of your heart and getting a good education were the answers to a life out of the curse of poverty that had plagued her family for generations. She helped the young couple take care of their twin daughters while working her fingers to the bone at a low-wage job at night.


     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 respect.
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time with friends.

Bash, Bash, Bash...

with Pat Llewellyn


Bash, Bash, Bash…


If you have never been to a bash I highly recommend going. My first bash was a weekend one in NY State. To be honest, the only reason I went was because my friend told me I was going and I didn’t have a choice in the matter.


The good little fatty that I am, I said ok…


Keep in mind I had been going to Fatty/BBW parties in my area, but they were one night deals and you either got a room at the local dive hotel or drove home afterwards. It was fun, but over way too soon.


Going to a true bash is a totally different experience. You get to spend days surrounded by people who have the same body size as you. Fat asses, big round bellies, monstrous bewbies and luscious thighs. My first though when I saw the group of bashers was OMG, what have I gotten myself into?


What I got into was a great party, great friends and a real sense of community. There are many people I met at that first bash I still speak to. I run into them at other bashes and they even make it up to Canada for some of our events.


This summer I am going to the Vegas BBW Bash. It will be my third time attending and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see my bash friends, flirt with hot men, party the night away and to be comfortable in my own skin. I love seeing all the women who wear bikini’s. I love hearing about women and men who are wearing a bathing suit for the first time in their adult life. The fact that they have found a place they can be themselves. I love seeing the guy’s dressed up flirting with the women. I love knowing that being the fat friend is a good thing.


The biggest shocker about the bash is when you leave. When you leave the hotel and head to the airport and find yourself surrounded by skinny people. You don’t feel ashamed or uncomfortable. You just forget to think about people’s (your own) size when you are at the bash. You want to rush back to the Tuscany and start the whole thing over again.


To my bash friends, I treasure you and I look forward to seeing you again very soon. While we only get so see each other in person once or twice a year, know that you are always in my heart.



Pat (A.K.A. Lulu)


     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 others.

     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 size community.


Live, Laugh, Love

with Ms Suga


Yes we've all heard this phrase time and time again but have you ever really sat down and thought about what it means? Well in my opinion it's quite simple: live your life because no one else can live it for you, laugh at life because if you are always crying you'll never be able to enjoy anything and love hard with no regrets. It's better to know love than to keep waiting for love. But let's really discuss this (and note these are my opinions and mine alone).

B.I.G. Opinion # 1) You only have one life to live. We are all put on this earth for a reason and it is up to us to figure out what that purpose is. I personally have come to realize part of my fate is to help, support, and inspire others. Right now my goal is to help people of all shapes and sizes see that we all have a purpose in life. Yes things will get you down and situations will not always be in your favor but that doesn't mean that negativity will prevail. Dream big and work hard to make that dream come true. If your goal isn't accomplished more than likely a new goal, desire and mindset will be realized. As i said before we only get one life to live. You might as well make the best of it; it’s not like you will have the chance to do it again.

B.I.G. Opinion # 2) People that laugh more live healthier lives. I'm no doctor but I am a witness. You put out positive energy you attract more positive energy. Some people laugh to keep from crying and others do it because it simply feels better. Laughter relieves stress. Some say it takes more muscles to frown then to smile and it also prevents stress lines and wrinkles in the face.  In the BBW community there are a lot of people (especially teenagers and young adults) with self-esteem issues. And that's ok not everyone is going to hold the confidence level of their peers but this can change. Laugh at the good times, laugh at the bad times, laugh to past the time, and laugh when there’s no time left. Some might think you’re crazy but that’s ok laugh and someone will definitely laugh with you.

B.I.G. Opinion # 3) "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." Alfred Lord Tennyson is known for this quote. Most people hear this and think "ugh! F*** love" but it's not as bad as you think. The first step to living a positive life is self-love. The second step is to be happy better yet content with you. These two steps go hand in hand because you can't love yourself without being happy with yourself and you can't be happy with yourself without truly loving yourself. When you love and are happy with yourself it's easier to give and receive love from others.

Love doesn't always have to be every day is Valentine’s Day mushy, kissy face type of crap. (Yes I said crap! LoL) Love can be much more than two people; you can love your family members, friends, pets, even art. Love can be found in the rarest places and will leave an imprint on your heart, regardless what happens next.

The moral of the story folks is in our community we all need to learn to live, laugh and love. Then we can teach others this philosophy to bring a more positive mindset within the BBW community. I am learning to apply this philosophy to my everyday life and I can say one thing (well two things) I wake up smile and I go to sleep smiling. I may cuss and bitch and moan throughout the day but I couldn’t be happier or more inspired to “Live, Laugh and Love.”


~Ms. Suga~

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