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LargeInCharge Magazine - Eighth Year in Progress

 Issue#90 - September 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


Fattitude - Its a Fat way of Life ~ Pat Llewellyn


The BIG - Beautiful Inspirational Girl  ~ Ms Suga


Big Girl, Small World - Gabriela Falarz


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!


More of Me to Love - Size Doesn't Matter You Do!

By: Raqui What is your name?


MOMTL: My name is Jay Solomon, and I created More of Me to Love. Where are you from and what is your current Location?


MOMTL: I'm from Atlanta, GA and live there now. Do you consider yourself a BHM, BBW, SSBBW, SSBHM or a supporter of size?


MOMTL: I'm an advocate for size acceptance, Health at Every Size and loving your body no matter what size it is. Who is the owner of your company... do you have any partners?


MOMTL: My wife and I run More of Me to Love together. I always want to go go go and she always wants to think everything through thoroughly. That dichotomous combination makes us a great team. Tell us about your company?


MOMTL: More of Me to Love is a free online community for people of size. We have weekly tips from our experts in the areas of mental wellness, fitness and nutrition, 8 blogs that discuss everything from plus-size fashion to fat activism to health and wellness - and ALL Size Accepting - a resource center for the plus sized community, and a store with all kinds of specialty products to make life more comfortable in bigger bodies. Our mission is to spread the happiness and comfort that people deserve at all sizes. How did your company begin?


MOMTL: It began somewhat ironically: with me looking for a successful diet program for a loved one who was trying to lose weight for the umpteenth time and couldn't succeed long term. Of course, now I don't support dieting as a means to body satisfaction, but then I was trying to help someone I cared about who hated his body. In the process of researching, I discovered Health at Every Size, fell in love with its honesty, reality and attitude, and sought to bring these ideas to whomever I could. I created More of Me to Love as a community resource for this person and anyone else looking to discover a way out of dieting and into body love. After we launched, the first question we ever received was from a wonderful woman asking if we knew where to get a seat belt extender. We looked into it and thus was born the More of Me to Love Store. How did your company get its name and what is your mission?


MOMTL: My mother came up with the name. She thought it was positive, upbeat and conveyed the nurturing body attitude we were going for. She was right! Does your company have a motto or slogan; and what does it mean?


MOMTL: This one my dad came up with. Our slogan is Size Doesn't Matter. You Do. More of Me to Love is meant to be fun. We discuss a lot of serious stuff and touch on a lot of tough areas of people's lives, but loving yourself should be fun and easy. When people ask if size matters, they're referring to something else, but we decided to turn that on its head by declaring definitively that size doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is YOU. How long have you been in business?


MOMTL: More of Me to Love and I actually share a birthday: March 17th. We launched in 2009. Tell us about your products?


MOMTL: We carry over 500 products and that number is growing rapidly. Our best seller is the Car Seat Belt Extender. We love it because it allows people who are otherwise driving unsafely to buckle up and be safe. We know every single day that we are saving lives. But that's only one product. We also carry high weight capacity furniture, walkers, scooters and mobility aids that are meant to support over triple the standard weight, huge umbrellas to keep all of you dry, fun items that promote body love like Fat Girl Swings Earrings, Bra and Tummy Liners by Pambra's that wick sweat and prevent irritation and chafing, special creams and lotions, products that make sex in bigger bodies easier and more enjoyable, reachers, grabbers and so much more. What made you decide to cater to plus sized people?


MOMTL: What made me want to take my desire to help my loved one learn to love himself beyond just him was recognizing the injustice faced by bigger people. There is nothing in this world that I hate more than injustice, which I consider to be at the root of nearly all that is bad.


Plus sized people are treated wrong in our society. They are paid less for the same jobs, stereotyped as lazy and slovenly, provided with environments that fail to consider their needs, branded unhealthy before being diagnosed, denied insurance and all the while mocked for these things. That disgusts and upsets me. It's unjust.


More of Me to Love is my attempt to show larger people who are down on themselves that they deserve the same respect and feelings of self-worth as anyone else, to educate the public about the illogical, unfounded and unjust treatment of bigger people, and to do my part in righting a huge public wrong. I can't imagine how much brain power could be focused on worthwhile endeavors if we all stopped stressing about our waistlines, counting calories, dishing diet-talk and blaming fat people for our problems. Where do you find your products?


MOMTL: Some of our products we design and make ourselves, some of them we get as ideas from community members and customers who share their needs with us, and many of them we source from manufacturers of specialty items. Are you currently expanding?


MOMTL: Absolutely. Our community is growing rapidly, the free services and features we're offering to make our community the best place to fulfill all of your plus sized needs are expanding, and our catalog is nearly doubling in size. What is the size range, weight limits etc. on your products?


MOMTL: If a person exists at a size and has a particular size-related need, our products exist to accommodate him or her. No person - no matter her size - should go without whatever she needs. Some of our beds hold over 1000 lbs, our scooters go up to 700 pounds and a seat of any size can be made, many of our chairs and furniture can hold over 1000 pounds and the widest bottoms. And if you are a certain size and need something that's right for you, we will do everything we can to find that item and get it made in your size. If you need it, someone else needs it, and you both deserve it. Do you have a website and a hardcopy catalog? How do we obtain a hard copy catalog?


MOMTL: In our attempt to be a green company - and we strive very hard to do that - we do not provide a print catalog. Almost all of our products can be found at We are in the process of creating a PDF catalog so people who prefer that to a website can browse that way. We also are always happy to chat with you over the phone, learn about your needs and suggest products we think would make your life more comfortable and enjoyable. You can call at 888.MOMTL.29. Overall, What are your best sellers?


MOMTL: I mentioned the Car Seat Belt Extenders - they're incredible. We also sell a ton of Airplane Extenders. They're FAA-Approved and come with a carrying case and registration card for discretion and security.




Pambra's Bra and Tummy Liners are simply a remarkable thing. They are doctor recommended, prevent irritation and discomfort and are hardly, if at all, detectable. We have literally had people call us crying to say how grateful they are for the Tummy Liner and how it changed their lives because it ended their fungal problem and made the heat bearable.



Loopos, which keep your seat belt from cutting into your neck, are also very popular. Which items do you have in stock that you like or are excited about?


MOMTL: Everything I mentioned above for sure, though we stock hundreds of items and I'm excited about all of them. Oh! And I didn't mention the HandyBar, which helps you rise from your car or lower yourself into it in an amazing way! Has your company been showcased on Television or in Print?


MOMTL: We regularly appear in online venues though we haven't done a lot of TV yet. Some  day soon! Do you feel the industry is doing a good job providing quality items for Big People?


MOMTL: In short, no. Though it's getting better. I don't think mainstream retailers are doing a good job, but there are an increasing number of boutiques and specialty stores geared at larger people. I hope that More of Me to Love can be the leader at fulfilling all of the needs of plus-sized people - not just physical and consumeristic ones. We want to provide people with the emotional and social needs that big industry tend to ignore - or fabricate. What are the ordering options that customers have?


MOMTL: Ordering options vary with the product. Some items - like Extenders, Pambra's and so forth - can be ordered overnight, two-day or regular ground. Other items go by standard shipping. Of course, as you can imagine, some of our items are specially made and can take a little longer to ship because they're so heavy. We find that customer's don't mind in the latter cases because they understand that these items are being made especially for them and their needs. How long does it take for a purchase to be received?


MOMTL: Anything we stock ships out in 24 hours, and may take only two days, in many cases. Other items can take up to a week but we try to be as speedy as possible, because we know you don't want to wait for your order. And we don't want to make you wait - customer service is our number one priority so if something is taking too long we like to offer a Gift Card, partial refund or a separate gift as an apology. What are your refund options?


MOMTL: As long as it's not personal hygiene related, if you don't like it, send it back and we'll give you your money back. You keeping something you don't like doesn't do you any good and it doesn't do us any good because then you don't think about us positively. You don't want it? Send it back and get your purchase price back. Was the site an automatic success or did it take time to kick off?


MOMTL: We've been growing steadily ever since we launched, but we believe in doing things organically and without outside funding. There are periods of slower growth and faster growth, but what's been such a success about More of Me to Love is that when people give our community a chance or buy something from the store, they never know how they did without us and how much there was to learn and share. We have more testimonials of people telling us More of Me to Love changed their lives than we can count. That's exactly what we're here to do. Name some companies you admire?


MOMTL: Apple, American Express, and Trader Joe's. They all have excellent brands, stand for something more than making money, have incredible customer service, provide what they promise or make up for any shortcomings and make you feel like you're a part of something great. If More of Me to Love can ever be counted in their company, I'll be humbled and honored. What are the most important elements to running a successful Online Company that caters to the Larger than Life Person...quality; comfort...what is important/ what is not?


MOMTL: People need to believe and feel that they are important and deserving. As I mentioned, larger people are treated like lesser ones, and that's unacceptable. That said, many have been pushed for so long that they believe they are less. The most important thing to running a successful online company - or any company - that caters to larger people is showing them how important they are and how much their unique needs matter. Do you feel clothing options for people of size have made progress in the last 10 years, do you think the internet is part of that progress.


MOMTL: No doubt the plus size clothing industry has made incredible strides in the last decade. The sheer number of stores alone testify to that progress. Our Resource Center has a link directory of online and brick-and-mortar clothing stores with nearly 70 listings, and when I see the others out there that I just can’t get listed fast enough I realize how wonderful it is that these resources are available. The Internet's contribution to this has been huge. Where standard clothing chains were refusing to accommodate plus-size shoppers in their stores, online locations have picked up the slack and provided a host of options for everyone who’s not a size 0-12. That said, there's a long way to go - especially in the real world. What can the readers at LargeInCharge do to help support your business?


MOMTL: Join our community. It's FREE, fun and I guarantee you'll learn something interesting, meet someone great or realize that having more of you to love is a good thing.




Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


BB Mercedes

Cover Model of the Month Interview

Interview: What is your name?

BB Mercedes Where are you from and what is your current Location?

Born & raised in a small town in North Central Ohio Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)? 

Age: 40 Height: 5'5  Marital Status: Married  Children: 5+1 grandson  Measurements: 55 53 59 Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I was slightly larger than some of the children but I really did not pack on the pounds until 17 years ago (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it? 

I was unaware of a thyroid problem (hypothyroidism) & gain quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy of my second child. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search? 

I'm big & beautiful for one but for the most part is to show others big & beautiful, women & men, that they can achieve what they set their minds too. Instead of you hiding away from the rest of the world, get out there & do what you want! There is only one life to live, so we must make the best of it. Show off those beautiful curves in a classy way & show what lies beneath that beauty...your intelligence!
 Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

YES & still do but I'm doing it slowly.
 Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

YES I do and I am thankful What would you say inspires you most in life?

To never give up! I've have had a troubled life, but always made it through those times. My hubby accepts me for who I am...which I love his acceptance. What is your primary occupation?


Housewife/Mother/Model How did you get into this line of work?


A dear friend of mine full of confidence. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

Ending the discrimination against BBW’s/men . We are hard working as people too. What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?


Catalogs should have plus size women/men in them to show exactly what the item might look like on a plus size individual
 What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry? 

The use of more plus size women/men What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?


There would be more acceptance from the community
 Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

Salvation Army, yard sales, online stores (ebay, women within, etc)  Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.


Now its a secret! No not really, I love to keep my skin young & soft...I use lotion like Aveeno Stress Relief + good genes helps too(:  Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.  What should models be prepared for? 


I would think an individual must have confidence Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?

There are more variety of plus size clothes, more plus size model sites, & more people admitting they are attracted to plus size people. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

More people accepting us.  51% (that's the last percentage I've heard) of the population is over weight. People should start accepting us for who we are. Hopefully they will be sites/modeling agencies willing to pay for plus size models. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.


My goals as a model, I want to be known so I will have more job offers My only other interest is raise the last child & be there for my family  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?


Just started to be known, but I know I got more work to do.  Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?  What was the experience like?


Yes a few contests as an aspiring model on Plus Size Profile I love to be a winner & everyone is seeing me on the internet. I have enjoyed it. Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.


Encouraging others our size to feel good about their selves. Other women have followed in my footsteps. I am proud of my size!!! Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?


My husband What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?

Go for it!! Be yourself & express your own individuality. Love who you are. You got it, use it. Don't let the negative from others influence your wants or needs. What plus size figure do you most admire?

Hourglass 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 - 15th Annual Las Vegas Bash

Written By: Raqui


 "YEAH" "Im a Bad Ass School Girl!" "And I don't give a Fuck about my Education!"


That was my line as I attended the School Girls and Geeks Dress up party at the 2011 Vegas Bash.  I was totally a bad girl and had attitude that night.  I was in full attired with a wig, fishnet gloves and my own created safety pin choker that lead down between the boobies and around my back.  I was threatened by more than one lady that night.  That if there costume came lose they were coming to take my safety pins.  LOL



This year was more than fun for me.  I was asked to Host the Super Sized Seminar which is one of my favorite events at the Bash.  A ladies only event where we can really open up and talk about the many feelings we have about our ever changing bodies.  How to handle anything from personal problems to work place issues and vacationing.  This year I was very excited to be asked to Host this particular event since Hosting seminars and being a speaker, is something I enjoy so much. 


The Outpouring of information was immense and everyone wanted to share.  I honestly learned so much from my fellow Plus Sized Sisters and they learned from me.  More than one woman cried with strong emotion or at the relief of finding out there was a solution to a problem that plagued her.  Each one of the ladies had a strong point and weak point.  With all of us together we were strong for each other.  One of the ladies shared her story on how she escaped death only a few months prior, due to the communication she has received from the Plus Sized Community on a Health Issue her Doctors were not handling properly.  Through a well known Message Board (Dimensions) and a few well known ladies who also are Vegas Bash attendees.  She not only was able to receive proper help but was recovered enough to attend the Bash and share her story with us.


To know that it was a large possibility that I might never have met this woman.  That she might have passed on to the next world with out help and proper medical care frightens me.  I was so happy that she was their with us.  Happy that every woman there was so open, willing to share and speak out.  After going over time for more than an hour.  I left feeling fulfilled.  The many compliments I received from the ladies for days after touched my heart.  The seminar was a grand success but the success of the seminar had much to do with the ladies in attendance.  I must thank you all for being so open and caring with each other.


I got to spend time with many new people this year.  I got to reacquaint myself with those I have met at prior events and Bashes. This year seemed much more open and friendly.  I thought everyone was friendly before, but I think it took a couple of years for that affection to grow.  I felt it strongly in 2011.  I was bear hugged and kissed so many times, I made up for the rest of the year and a few years in advance.


When I finally left and made my way back across the USA, I sat in my bed and felt very strange.  I realized I had not been hugged that day.  It felt so weird,  In my normal life I am not hugged very often.  I think I can count the number of hugs I receive in a 6 month period of time.  They are so far and in-between.  After attending an event like Vegas Bash where you are constantly being hugged, kissed or touched in some manner.  I felt a big difference.


You get used to the hum of voices that is constantly going on.  Your not surprised when someone grabs you from behind or casually lays there arm around you.  You learn that your face is the place for kisses from male and female and face rubs are great.  You lean on each other and color/creed seems to fade away.  One of the fun things I did this year was take a few pictures of the Colors of Vegas.  Some of us ladies put our different shades of skin together and took pictures.  I totally love the result.   Unknowingly I think we made a statement. The fact that one of the ladies in the below picture has a strawberry heart shaped tattoo says something to me. 


Love of self and others makes us all Equal



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






“Jany?” Haroon whispered, when he managed to stop laughing.  “I am sorry.”

            “Sorry?  For what?”

            “I do not usually sleep with women like this.”

            “You mean with two other people in the bed, or without your pants on?” Jany giggled.

            “I mean I do not sleep with women this soon.  I know we did not make love last night, but I feel like I should not have been sleeping with you with—with no pants.  I really like you, Jany, and I’d like to spend more time with you.  I do not want you to think I am the sort of man who—“

            “Did you seriously just say ‘make love’?”  Selena sat abruptly upright.  “Who says that anymore?  Really?”

            “I—why—yes, I did,” Haroon stammered.

            “So you love her?  You’re saying you love her.  Because it seems like you gotta, like, love someone to make love to them.  Otherwise, it’s just sex.”

            “Selena, shut up!” Jany hissed.  “I think we all know what he meant.  As if waking up in a bed with like a million other people isn’t awkward enough, now we’re trying to have a serious conversation and you have to make that awkward, too?”

            “I’m not the one who decided to have a serious conversation while I was in bed with a million other people.  It’s not like I was trying to listen or something!”  Selena threw her arms in the air in frustration, almost slapping Jacob in the face as he sat up.  He wrapped his hand around her wrist and brought her arm back down to her side.

            “Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Selena.  And Jany.  Come on, girls.  Kiss and make up.”

            Selena and Jany glared at one another.  Haroon, who hadn’t said anything since Selena’s outburst, had scooted so far back he was nearly falling out of the bed and was watching silently. 

            “This is no time for being crabby,” Jacob continued.  “We had a great night last night, a really wonderful time, and now Haroon and I are in bed with two beautiful women.  Let’s not ruin it by fighting.”

            Jany was pretty sure she knew what the problem was.  After everything they’d been through the previous day—Jany’s frantic call to Selena for help, their flirtations at the bar, Jany’s insistence that Selena was her date—Selena probably hadn’t been overly impressed by Haroon’s confession of his feelings for Jany.  And Jany felt a little guilty, even though his confession hadn’t been her idea.  Should she say something to indicate to him that she didn’t feel the same way?  That wouldn’t be fair; she wasn’t sure how she really did feel.  The fact that Selena was soaking up Jacob’s attention had sort of made her forget that she’d promised that she was Selena’s date for the night.

Jany did the only thing she could think of that might break the tension without saying something to hurt either Selena or Haroon: she followed Jacob’s instructions.  She reached up, grabbed Selena’s head, and pulled it toward her.  As Selena gasped in surprise, Jany kissed her, long and hard.  Their eyes locked again, more in surprise or even horror than in passion, and when they pulled apart, both held their breath.  Haroon, round-eyed, had risen up on one elbow to watch.  Jacob smiled broadly.

            “Thank you, Jany.  Didn’t that help?”

            Neither of them answered.  Instead, they continued to stare, unsure whether their standoff was over or not.  Finally, Jany tipped her head to the side and silently mouthed, “Come on,” at Selena.  And then, just as Haroon hesitantly whispered, “You should do that again, Jane,” Selena leaned over and kissed Jany in return.  Everything was okay.

            “This is very, very different from how I thought my Sunday morning would be,” Haroon said.  “I thought I would wake up by myself, very early, and drink some coffee, and then I would spend the day studying.  Instead, I slept with other people and now—well, this is interesting, isn’t it?”

            Jacob laughed heartily.

            “I thought that maybe you two were the kissin’ kind.  After all, I was there in the bar last night.  To be honest, that was part of what motivated me to bring you all back here last night.”

            “Pervert!” Selena spat, but she was smiling now.

            “We’re not—well, I’m not—I mean, I like guys too.  So does she.  Really, I mainly like guys.  I just—well, Selena’s the only—I--we’ve—oh, God, never mind.”  Jany flushed bright red. 

            “No need to explain.  I think Haroon over there is glad to hear ya like boys.  He probably wouldn’t complain if ya kissed her again, though.  With less clothes on.”

            “She was right.  You really are a pervert.  And I’m not sure that’s really what Haroon wants..”

            “I do,” Haroon sighed.

            “So you felt funny waking up next to me without pants on because you thought I might get the wrong idea about what kind of guy you are, but you have no problem with me getting naked right in front of you?  With another girl?  How’s that for a double standard?”

            “I—I just mean that I would not think badly of you.  You are both beautiful.  I would like to see that.”  Even Haroon’s skin wasn’t dark enough to hide the fact that he was blushing.

            “Let’s not fight again, girls.  We’re all here together, now, and we may as well enjoy ourselves,” Jacob said gently.

            “Jany?  I think they’re totally trying to talk us into an orgy,” Selena whispered.

            “I heard that, and no, we’re not.  I don’t like that word.  Haroon isn’t trying to talk you into anything; he can barely talk at all, in fact.  And I was merely suggesting that the two of you should enjoy yourselves, here, in my bed, and that if the mood strikes us, Haroon and I may enjoy you as well.”

            “Well, now this is all just weird.  I don’t usually get naked and start making out on command,” Jany said, lying down and hiding her face in a pillow.

            “Performance anxiety.  It’s only natural.  Just relax and do what you’d do if you were alone.”

            “Oh, you mean start talking about how much men suck?  ‘Cause that’s how it usually starts.  Let me out.  I gotta pee.”  Selena shoved Jacob’s legs to the side and climbed out of the bed.

            Selena left an uncomfortable silence behind her when she exited the room.  Jacob shrugged, then threw back the blankets and wandered out after her.  “May as well get up, I guess,” he mumbled.  Haroon got up and followed him.  Jany, not sure exactly what she should do, stayed in the bedroom, but she got out of bed, too, and walked over to the window.  The view was almost as pretty as it had been at dawn.  The sun and the sky were amazingly bright and clear, and the two together seemed to magnify the colors of everything that existed underneath them.

            “Hey, Jane!”  Jany turned around to see Selena hiding behind the half-closed door.


            “They’re out in the kitchen.  We should—you know.  We should do what they wanted us to do.”

            “You mean get naked and make out?”


            “Why, Selena?  I mean, they’re not even in here.  It would just be us.”

            “I’m kinda in the mood now, though.  I mean, after everything—and they’re not here to make us feel weird about it.”

            “Are you just doing this to try and make me forget about Haroon?  I know it probably wasn’t that cool for you to hear the stuff he was saying before, but don’t worry about it.  I don’t even know him that well—“

            “Jane, shut up.  I just wanna kiss you.  Nothing to do with either of them, ‘kay?  I just wanna, like, mess around.  We were pretty hot an’ heavy last night ourselves, you know.  At the bar?  Jacob even noticed.”

            Jany giggled nervously and glanced toward the kitchen.  Jacob and Haroon seemed to be keeping themselves busy.

            “Yeah, we kinda were.  I just—“ Selena walked across the room and stopped her from talking by kissing her.  Then she led Jany across the room and gently pushed her onto the bed.

            “Let’s get naked.”

            “What if they come back in?”

            “You really think they’re gonna mind?”

            In answer, Jany slowly stretched her arms into the air.  Selena took the hint and slid Jany’s shirt up and over her arms, then removed her own top.  She pressed breasts against Jany’s breasts and pressed her lips against Jany’s lips.  Jany wanted to stop her, wanted to say that she just wasn’t sure, that she was afraid of what might happen if Haroon and Jacob came back, but when she opened her mouth, she moaned softly instead.  Without her permission, her legs parted and made room for one of Selena’s legs to find a place between them.  And then, in the distance, she heard Jacob’s voice trying to speak quietly but failing.

            “Now this is what I was waiting for!”



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.



For The Love of It

by Xander The Food Dud


Even if you love to cook, there are times when cooking is simply about getting food on the table

and sustenance in our stomachs.  


And then there are the times when cooking is all about the LOVE. 

Cooking for those we love, with love.

This past week a dear friend needed some serious TLC, as we all do at times..  We've been friends for over twenty years and, not surprisingly, our love of food  started at the table.  A mutual friend and fellow foodie introduced us over marinated olives and egg salad sandwiches.  It was love at first bite.  For many years we ate often together, mostly at her house and mostly cooking together in the kitchen. It has been too many more to count that we haven't.  I didn't realize how much I missed our cooking rituals until I got into my own kitchen this past weekend to cook a few meals for her while she was recuperating from a recent hospital visit. 

It also reminded me why I love to cook. It's an offering and an altar of artistic expression. It's a way to soothe the soul; a delicious salve that can heal all kinds of wounds. It's how we connect with those we love and recollect those we miss.  It is, above all, a way to nourish and nurture us wholly, whether we're the ones who are putting the meal together or savoring at the table. 

For a few days after my visit to stock her fridge, my friend sweetly texted me about how she loved the flavors of the dishes I had prepared. In those few words, I felt her strength regain and her spirit revive.  I'm convinced that intention is everything. Food tastes good when good goes into it. Good ingredients, good loving, good friends, and good times all complete the experience of living.  Cooking for another is a very intimate act that we can use to share part of ourselves with someone else.  They in turn must give us trust.  When it works…. It works.

I'm hoping we won't have to wait for another event like this to get us sitting down to share a meal together.  Life is short and time does indeed fly by.  No time like now to enjoy with those you love.   So went life has got a friend on the defeated side, have dinner with them, or better yet, cook for them.  If they don’t want to come to you, take it to them, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish just showing up at the door with some munchies with help a person in need.  Remember, food helps us to nourish and nurture.  It’s power is infinite, and so are we if we only believe it.


Xander's Recipe of the Month


Perfection in Pesto


Homemade Pesto Fragrant and flavorful, pesto is pasta's perfect partner.

Pesto has its origins in Liguria, Italy, where people have been making it for hundreds of years with the brilliant green basil that grows wild on the hillsides. Nowadays, flavorful, fragrant

Basil's the traditional herb in pesto, but variations can be made with herbs like cilantro or mint.


Pasta Loves Pesto


Pesto is an aromatic herb paste, traditionally made from fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. It is most commonly used as a pasta sauce.

Since pesto has a very concentrated flavor, make a pasta sauce by reserving a cupful of the pasta cooking water when you drain the pasta.

Return the drained pasta to the hot pan, add a tablespoonful or so of pesto, and add the water a little bit at a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

The starch in the water will help to thicken the sauce and allow it to coat the penne or linguine (or whatever shape you choose).

Serve the pasta as is, or top it with chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and toasted pine nuts.

You can also make it more filling by adding sautéed vegetables and leftover cooked chicken or ham.


Simple Garlic and Basil Pesto


  • 3 cups chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/8 cup Brazil nuts
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


Place the basil in a blender. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, Brazil nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder, and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth.

Pesto Pointers


Fresh basil is very delicate, and will turn brown if it gets very hot or if it's exposed to air for long periods of time. Many cooks use fresh spinach as well as basil in their pesto to help maintain its brilliant green color.


When mixing pesto with pasta, potatoes, or risotto, stir it in at the last minute, just before serving.

Store pesto in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for about six months.


Keep it looking fresh and green by covering the top with a thin layer of olive oil or with a sheet of plastic wrap directly on its surface; this will keep it from oxidizing and turning brown. (If your pesto darkens in color, it will still taste good. Only discard it if it has been stored improperly.)

One way to freeze pesto in manageable portion sizes is to freeze it in an ice cube tray, and transfer the cubes to a heavy duty plastic freezer bag. (Reserve an ice cube tray for this purpose, as it might discolor and flavor your plastic tray.) Thaw frozen pesto in the refrigerator or in the microwave on medium power just until room temperature.


Serving Suggestions for Pesto


Although pesto is easy to make at home and will taste fresher than the purchased kind, you can also find it at the grocery store in shelf-stable jars, in the refrigerator case, or in the freezer section.

Pesto Chicken Pizza


  • 1/2 cup pesto basil sauce
  • 1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast strips
  • 1 (6 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese





 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Spread pesto sauce over the pizza crust. Arrange chicken pieces and artichoke hearts over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and lightly browned at the edges.





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.

Now Sharing her story Angie Bee  (Sonya's Sister) is sharing her Similar but entirely Unique Story with LargeInCharge Readers through Sonya's Column.
Angie Bee - Handling Stress Without The Comfort of Food
with Sonya Bennett & Angie Bee



"Comfort food" - This month I really began to understand what that term means. Eating provides a comfort for you, during stressful times.  When  your money is "funny", when there is sickness and death all around you and when you feel alone, food can be a comfort for you.  Now, what do you do when your tummy only holds a few ounces of protein?  Is this small amount of food going to be enough to comfort you?  This is where you need to develop some "In Charge" fortitude!  Let me tell you, this sixth month of life post surgery has been a stressful time for me, indeed and I am leaning on something higher than me and higher than comfort food.

First, I realized that I did not properly budget for my nutritional supplements each month.  Post surgery healing and maintenance requires added vitamins, calcium, iron and more.  For me, this equaled about $80 per month.  No big deal, right?  Wrong!  I have gone one month now without all that I have needed and I really feel the difference. 

Second, I was prepared that my weight loss during these past few months would be surprising to some people but WOW!  How awful was I looking before now?!  I've heard comments like "You look REALLY good now!" and "Oh My GOD!  You look incredible!".  All of this is flattering, but how jacked up was I looking before surgery?

Third, I recognized that during stressful times  in the past I have eaten:  salty foods and carbs.  I could KILL a bowl of salted, buttered rice despite my diabetes, and a bag of pretzels would not survive the night in my home.  This may not have been YOUR definition of the term "comfort food", but these salty tidbits were a comfort to me.  I was not in charge of my stress back then and all the doctors could do was prescribe new prescriptions to manage symptoms; hence bringing on MORE symptoms.  You can manage stress in your life without eating and this month I decided to try some of these options.


Suggested Steps To Managing Stress Without Eating

1.  Talk to someone.  Don't just seek out others that can  help you, seek out everyone!  Some people can listen.  Others can pray.  Maybe that is all that you need to remain in charge of this stressful time, but whatever you do... don't hold it inside of you.

2.  Change your routine.  This may be challenging if you work a 9-5 and are tethered to a desk... but strive to add something fun to the routine.  Like my friend just said to me today "I work hard, and I play hard.  You gotta do something fun for YOU!"  - Sneak away for a movie (no popcorn!) or a manicure or even let a professional trim your beard and mustache for you!  A little pampering goes a long way.

3.  Prayer and meditation really goes a long way.  It really does.  My prayer partner Anthony will get on his knees in a MINUTE to pray!  He is a big fella, and people always say to him "You should stay off your knees so they won't give you problems when you grow older" but his response is to say "I feel like praying and meditating puts me back in charge of a situation.  I am at peace on my knees as this is a simple act that I can do myself with no help or interaction from anyone else.  I can meditate on my knees and this comforts me and soothes my pain while calming my mind". 

We are large, and we need to remain in charge of each situation whether joyful or stressful.  We must remain in charge whether we are losing weight, gaining weight or trying to find salvation.  Pregnancy, death, and unemployment can make us feel like we are out of control but through prayer and mediation we can regain our control.  Don't let stress return you to a state where bad habits ruled your life.  Put that cigarette down.  Don't walk into that bar!  Is a booty-call really gonna make you feel better in the morning?  Take control of your life and dedicate it to something that is rewarding for you!  Find comfort in that new business that you want to launch.  Find comfort  helping the elderly!  Comfort yourself on a vacation or by getting on your knees!  Don't turn to food!  Be Large and Definitely Be In CHARGE and I will be right there with you!


Angie BEE

Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show




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


Another Successful NAAFA Convention




NAAFA has just concluded, yet another successful annual fund raising convention, held this year at the Dulles Westin in Herndon, VA. During the Annual General Meeting on Friday morning, NAAFA Chairman Jason Docherty shared NAAFA’s accomplishments during this past year and our ongoing strategies to end size discrimination.

On Friday night
, the Capital Chapter of NAAFA sponsored a "monumental" dance featuring DJ Xavier of Xcellence Entertainment. For locals that were not able to attend the entire convention, this was a great opportunity to become part of the organization that is working to protect their rights! The many out-of-town guests were able to experience how they party in the DC/MD/VA area!

Saturday’s Diversity and Inclusion workshop was led by NAAFA Board Member and diversity professional, Lisa Tealer, who discussed what we need to start, stop and continue to do in order to weave diversity and inclusion into the fabric of NAAFA.


Saturday's Child Advocacy Super Workshop featured panelists: Jason Docherty (NAAFA Chairman and CATK Project Leader), Darliene Howell (NAAFA CATK Project Volunteer), Deborah Kauffmann (RD, LDN) and Xavier Payne (Supervisor, Community Coordinated Care for Children, Inc), who discussed why it’s so important to advocate for children in today’s society and how to use the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit as a strategy in promoting Health At Every Size® (HAESSM).


NAAFA’s always spectacular fashion show on Saturday evening featured fashions from designers like Toula, Ashaki Charles Designs, Magic Bubble Shirts, Roger’s Wear, and the MzBBW Collection, plus awesome jewelry from Bold Bodacious Jewelry.  It is always an awesome experience to watch our fellow NAAFA members strut on the runway and highlight wonderful products made especially for us!


Sunday's Fat Advocacy Training Workshop, led by NAAFA Advisory Board member Brandon Macsata, prepared us to influence Capitol Hill during our Monday visits to lawmakers.  The role playing exercise was especially helpful as Brandon played the part of lawmakers who were sympathetic, apathetic and downright resistant.  Good experiences for us all!


On Monday while NAAFA members visited their lawmakers, Board Members Jason Docherty, Peggy Howell and Lisa Tealer, joined by Brandon Macsata, conducted a very successful End Bullying, Now! (Press conference) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  You can see the entire presentation on the C-SPAN website at:



As we gathered on Monday evening to share the results of our activism efforts, NAAFA members affirmed our resolve to continue our work to make the world a better, safer place for people of all sizes.


Big thanks go out to all our workshop presenters and volunteers who gave of their time and energy to make this convention such a success.  Big thanks to everyone who attended.



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

Fashion Find Type:  Igigi (pronounced ee zhee zhee)

Price: $ 29.99 -$ 179.99



Plus size women used to be relegated to wearing caftan like dresses. Well no more! Igigi is a plus size clothing retailer that offers dresses for plus size women in sizes 14 - 32. You will not find any caftan type dresses here. Their dresses cling to all the right curves and are cut to accentuate the positive.


Note: If there is a product of the month or a fashion find you would like to see in Large In Charge. Please send link to

Product of the Month

Recommended by: Lucia

Name of Product:  Bath and Body Works

Type of Product: Body Butter


Where Product can be found:


Description:  Moisturize, soothe, and protect skin with this lavishly lush blend of peach, cherry blossom and white jasmine. Nourishing body butter, with conditioning aloe vera, vitamin E, shea and olive oils, leaves skin hydrated and sensuously scented. Massage over body after bathing or showering, focusing on dry, rough areas such as elbows or knees.


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.

Bumper Sticker

with Pat Llewellyn


I have a great bumper sticker that I picked up at the Vegas Bash. It says, “Sexy is a vibe, not a size.” It is simple and conveys what I believe to be true.

When I saw it in Vegas my first thought was, “I need to have it and put it on my car! “  Well, I’ve been home since the 20th of July and I haven’t put the sticker on my car. I want to, but I seem to keep finding reasons not to.

At first, I kept forgetting it in my apartment. It happens, right?  One day I made a point of putting it in my purse when I got home, then I’d have no excuse to not put it on my car. The next day I realized my car was dirty and I needed to wash it first. Then the weatherman predicted rain. I couldn’t put the sticker on the car when it was going to rain, could I? Since then we’ve had sunny days and my car is no longer dirty, yet the bumper sticker is still in my purse.

I finally realized that my issue is that I am afraid of how people will react to it. I’m worried that I’ll get nasty comments, that people will call me on it and that they will try to shame me. Worst of all, I didn’t want to admit that is how I felt.

You might think it is just a bumper sticker, but it symbolizes so much more than that.

All of my life I have been told that fat is bad. That’d I’d be desirable if I was thin, that my life would magically be better if I wasn’t fat.  My fat always separated me from everyone else. I had to shop in stores that specialized in fat women clothes; these were mostly geared towards older women.  I was the fat “friend” and never truly felt accepted. I was the butt of many a joke and I can’t tell you how many times I had people call me “Fat Pat.” I kept people at a distance, because I didn’t want to be disappointed when they eventually used my size to marginalize me.

When I found the BBW community, I found a place where I fit in, where I wasn’t a freak or an object of ridicule. It was a place where I could feel at home and celebrate my curves and rolls. It was a safe haven for me. I didn’t have to make excuses as to why I was fat; I didn’t have to be ashamed. 

I’m an activist by nature. I find a cause and I support the hell out of it. It’s important to me and it drives me. It was only a matter of time before I became involved in the Size Acceptance Movement. To date my involvement has mainly been within the SA community and online.  Putting the bumper sticker on my car would be a public declaration. I’d have to leave the safe, warm cocoon of the fat community and my close friends and let the world know that I’m not ashamed to be fat.

It’s a big, scary step.  

Tonight, when I leave the office, the sticker is going on my car.



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.



with Ms Suga


"Be the reason for someone's happiness not just the part of it and be the part of someone’s sadness not the reason for it."

I can't remember where I saw this quote because I jotted it down quickly one day. Do you feel the truth in this quote? I think that this is the ideal mindset for people to have nowadays. But how many of us really have it?

Our society is so screwed up because people don't feel the need to be honest nor do they want to hold themselves accountable for their participation in the bullshit surrounding us. It’s rather simple. Just treat others like you would want to be treated. Show them all the happiness and bliss you would want to have. That way they can pay it forward. You give what you get and you get what you give.

You don't need to cause unnecessary drama. It's better to be upset at one person for one instance then to despise the entire opposite sex because of years’ worth of mistreatment and disrespect from that one person. That’s how people get shot! Watch that show "Snapped" that shit is real! It started out as heartbreak and can end up a double murder.

To love someone on any level you want to contribute to his/her life. No one ever wants to be the negative skeleton hanging in someone's closet but as humans we can't help it. We take advantage of those around us in an attempt to find that painless love. That love that you get everything from it but you don't have to work for it nor do you feel the pain that everyone else does. By then we've completely missed the boat and our lover has no idea what you've done until it's time for them to move on and start over.

"Dag Ms Suga. What can I do to make sure I'm not that negative skeleton in the closet?"

The answer is simple: Be the reason for someone's happiness not just the part of it and be the part of someone’s sadness not the reason for it.

I challenge you to remember this rendition of the golden rule and see what happens! At work, home, in the community & in life in general, think and act positively and positive results will definitely follow.


xoxo Ms Suga xoxo




Gabriela Falarz lives in Toronto, Canada. She has been up and down the scale for most of her life (mostly up), and is proud to say that she loves herself no matter what her size, although it has definitely been an evolution.


She blogs about size acceptance in her blog, Celebreight Yourself (  Gabriela discovered Large in Charge Radio about a year ago and has been hooked ever since. She is thrilled to be writing for Large in Charge and to be part of an organization that helps all large people realize how beautiful, special, and amazing they are.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall  

with Gabriela Falarz


Some of the most miserable people I have ever met in my life have been thin. When we hear celebrity gossip, there is never any shortage of beautiful actresses or singers whose husbands are cheating, or whose marriages are on the brink of divorce. There’s also no shortage of celebrity women so desperate about maintaining their looks that they resort to all kinds of plastic surgery and wacky diets … that can’t be fun. Yet a lot of us continue to buy into the myth that being thin is an express pass to happiness.


I have a friend who I’ve known since grade two. She was always thin – toothpick thin – and she was always miserable. She was painfully shy, usually quiet and glum, and a chore to have fun with at times. Due to my encouragement and spurring her on, we did manage to have a lot of fun when we were younger, partying together and meeting guys. But as we’ve grown older, she’s gotten even more miserable. She’s only had one boyfriend in her life and that relationship didn’t last long. She’s never married, has never had children, lives with her mother, and has no career prospects or interests. Her situation is very sad, and many people who know both of us ask me why I continue to have anything to do with her, as she tends to drag people down with her negative energy. My answer is: I’ve always been attracted to outcasts and loners, because for much of my life I’ve been one of them. I know what it’s like to feel perpetually depressed, because I’ve been there. At one time in my life, I felt so down that I couldn’t see any way out of it either. The difference between me and my friend is that I decided to take control and take charge of my own happiness. Rather than sulk and brood about what went wrong in my life or what didn’t happen the way I wanted it to, I decided to focus on the positive, and use my strengths to make my life better. It worked wonders for me. But my friend continues to let the years pass by without taking any action whatsoever.


I also had a boss who was very thin. She was a very educated, intelligent woman. But she had a frog face (literally, this woman looked like a frog) and walked around with a perpetual scowl on her face most of the time. I’ll never forget one incident that really highlighted her character. When I first got hired for the job, I was quite heavy, over 250 lbs. I had just started this starvation diet, and as I worked there, I lost a whole lot of weight. One day, after this huge weight loss, I was wearing this really sexy navy blue mini dress … the hem landed two or three inches about my knees and I was wearing these high-heeled tan boots with it. I looked hot, and it was basically the first time in my life that I felt drop-dead sexy. On my way out the door that Friday evening, I ran into her coming out of the bathroom, and as soon as she saw me, this nasty grimace passed over her face. What she was thinking couldn’t have been more clear if she had yelled it at me. Sure enough, the next Monday morning, we all received a memo about the dress code: skirts above the knee were not allowed in the office. That said it all, and I got a lot of similar feedback from other women who worked in that same office. When I was fat, they didn’t consider me a threat. But as soon as I started getting seriously thin, all of a sudden the claws came out. They started huddling and whispering to each other when I passed by, and I realized that these women didn’t wish me well. They were just pissed off that I started looking better than them. These women were all thin or average-sized women.


We are constantly told that being thin will improve our confidence, make us happier, and make us healthier. But it’s a total lie. If our minds are not in synch with our bodies, nothing in our lives will change. Even when I was the thinnest I had ever been, I really couldn’t enjoy it. It just didn’t feel like me. I don’t know whether I felt I didn’t “deserve” to be thin, or if it just felt too unnatural or odd for me, or what. All I knew was that becoming thin hadn’t helped my confidence or happiness levels at all. If anything, it only made me more aware of how unhappy I was, because I realized that becoming thin hadn’t changed my way of looking at the world.


Remember the classic line from Snow White: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most beautiful one of all?” Your mirror isn’t capable of convincing you how beautiful you are. You can look like Angelina Jolie and still be miserable. You know you’re beautiful when you genuinely like who you are, and are proud of the person you are. When you feel that way, your beauty radiates outward, and people feel it as well as see it. Don’t rely on the mirror to convince yourself how beautiful you are. Rely on what’s inside.



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