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LargeInCharge Magazine - Eighth Year in Progress

 Issue#91 - October 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!

Kelly Gneiting aka Fat Man
former Sumo Wrestler finishes Marathon!

Kelly Gneiting - Breaks Guinness Book World Record by being the first 400lb man to finish a Marathon! - March 22, 2011

By: Onlilne Source


400lb champion sumo wrestler becomes fattest person in history to complete a marathon (and only lost FOUR pounds)

London, March 22,2001 (ANI): A sumo wrestler from the U.S. has broken the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon.

Kelly Gneiting, who calls himself the 'Fat Man', completed all 26 miles in record time.

Gneiting, from a Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona, weighed exactly 400lbs when he started the Los Angeles Marathon this weekend, but by the end he weighed just 396.

The six-foot former sumo champ beat back torrential rain before crossing the finish line in 9 hours, 48 minutes and 42 seconds - beating his 2008 record of 11:52:11 when he weighed 275lbs.

They said he had a fat chance of completing all 26 miles in record time.

But American sumo wrestler Kelly Gneiting has proved his critics wrong and has broken the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon.

After the race, a breathless Gneiting told the Los Angeles Times: 'I'd like to see the Kenyan improve his marathon time by two hours.'

Gneiting, of Fort Defiance, Arizona, jogged the first eight miles but was forced to walk the final 18, saying he didn't know where he was for most of the race after delirium set in.

He said he only realized he had hit the 15 mile mark when a friend met him to hand him a clean pair of socks.

He added: 'I was really struggling in the last five miles, but I said to myself, 'If I have to crawl, I will.''

The 40-year-old, from a Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona, was always confident about his chances.

He had earlier told the Los Angeles Times: 'I honestly think I am one of the best athletes in the world.

'I'll have something very few thin people out there can say about themselves; I'll have made a little history.'

The three-times national sumo wrestling champion insisted that ‘big people can do the imaginable'.

Gneiting said he was just 190 pounds in high school and 200 pounds in college.

‘I was fit then. Still am. The doctor says I've got good blood pressure. My resting heart rate is 60 beats per minute. I always have had one weakness: food,’ he told the Times.

He admitted packing on the pounds after getting married.

‘I married my wife at 205 pounds,’ he said, eating a fried chicken sandwich, a mushroom cheeseburger and a massive portion of French fries.

‘Suddenly, jeez, I didn't need to attract anyone. I just kind of let myself go,’ he added.

The father-of-five said he once downed eight Big Macs in one sitting.

But the former long-haul trucker said his size didn’t help his search for work.

‘I would apply to jobs and people would see me and it was like they were wondering, 'Do we really want this monster walking around the office all day?',‘ he said.

‘Some people were just really shallow. Here's an example. I was at a store and this guy right near me says to his friend: 'Look at how freakin' fat that guy is.' I'm like: "Dude, I am right here in front of you, c'mon.'

'When you're this size, it's strange, but it's like you can be invisible.

‘I just got to where it didn't matter to me what people think, I am going to live my life.'


Now he is planning to follow up his marathon run by hiking from the Dead Sea to Mount Everest. He also said he wants to swim the English Channel because he says he floats like a cork.

‘In sumo, there's an advantage to being big, of course. That's when I actually made it over 400 pounds. My wife kept saying, 'Hey, being so big isn't healthy.''

'I think what she was really saying was, 'You are unattractive.' But we're still married, so maybe I'm not all that bad.'

In 2005, four years after his first sumo match, Mr Gneiting won a U.S. Sumo Federation title. He repeated in 2006 and again in 2007.

Article from Daily Mail UK


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature



Christine Traylor


Cover Model of the Month Interview


Interview: What is your name?

Christine Traylor Where are you from and what is your current Location?

I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, currently I live in Oakley, CA Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)? 

I am 37 yrs old, 5'10, 18/20, African American, single, no kids. Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?

I wasn’t a big kid I was pretty slim but I gained weight as a adult. (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?

I gained weight for various reasons but I didn’t realize the toll the weight had on me. I lost interest in doing the things I loved and did regularly and at one point didn’t feel pretty anymore, didn’t want to shop or dress because my clothes didn’t fit and I didn’t like what was in the stores for large sized people so I refused to buy new clothes. I couldn’t see what other people saw. I got tired of all the comments that said you would be pretty if you lost the weight. When that hit home something clicked and I said I’m pretty now and I started finding things I liked about me. I found I stopped loving me. I quickly learned how to love me where I was. What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search? 

I want to help people who may have been where I was or don’t feel like their pretty because they don’t look at someone else to know they are beautiful and encourage them to see their own beauty and change their own lives and inspire someone else who may see them. Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size?

It wasn’t hard once I found out and I acknowledged how I truly felt about myself and made the decision on how to fix it. Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?

I had people who accepted me and those who didn’t. The ones that didn’t accept my weight fueled my determination to redefine myself and the ones who accepted me gave me the confidence to define how people see me. What would you say inspires you most in life?

Love is my biggest inspiration. It changes lives, hearts, minds, and situations. What is your primary job?

Being a plus model/actress How did you get into this line of work?

Modeling was always a childhood dream but a local plus pageant director approached me on day while shopping with my mom and asked if I would be interested in modeling and pageants. I responded yes and I participated in the pageant, winning the 1st runner up title. From there went on to model for calendars and fashion shows around the bay area. Do you find acceptance in the work force?

In the beginning things were going really well them then my modeling jobs starting conflicting with my regular job. I wasn’t ready to give up my stable income, so I lost a lot of work and could only model part time. Once I decided modeling is what I wanted to do as my job I was blessed to receive a layoff notice that my job was closing the entire site and I didn’t have to quit. What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

I believe we should be taken more serious and our talents be recognized. We are awesome people! What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

I am actually excited about the direction fashion is taking and how designers are stepping up and recognizing curveaous people like to look fabulous too. What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?

I would love to see what’s considered plus redefined and the straight industry recognize plus as beautiful and fashionable. What changes do you think will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?

I think the industry would take us seriously and work with us not against us. Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.

I love Ashley Stewart, Macy's, Lane Bryant is starting to have better pieces, Torrid has some nice pieces. I am venturing online and I found, Igigi, and MarieDenee have great clothes.  Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.

I love to use gold’s and browns on my eyes and don’t forget the liquid liner love it.  Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot. 

What should models be prepared for?  My tips on photo shoots is to always be professional, listen, take direction well, don’t over think, relax and enjoy. Models should be committed to giving the best work, and working well with the other professionals on the shoot. Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?

People are learning how to accept change and differences and being respectful. What changes do you think will happen five years from now with size acceptance?

Hopefully we will be be able to say we have come a long way and we are more accepted. Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.

I want to travel and empower people with self love. Through self love we gain confidence and determination to set and achieve goals that better their lives and better individuals contribute to make a better world.  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?

I have encouraged young people and people as a whole to see how beautiful we all are. Beauty can be seen on the outside, but true beauty comes from within. I ask people can anyone see your true beauty? I have met and worked with great professionals who have all given me a great nuggets (wisdom/experience) that helped me to grow and get better in the industry. With this I have grown and I’m able to take on greater opportunities.  Have you entered or won and Contests or Pageants?  What was the experience like?

I have participated in some great contests and pageants. I did win one pageant and 1st runner up in another pageant which was a great experience. I've entered several contests as well. Even though I cant say that I won any of them, to me I was honored to even be in the running amongst such beautiful, intelligent, driven women. So to me I didn’t lose I learned and gained confidence from every experience. You get a rush, you’re nervous and you’re anxious but I love it! Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.

When I was struggling with my size and feeling faux fabulous a friend gave me a magnet that inspired me to just be me and love me. It simply said "It takes a big body to contain all your fabulousness!" And I know that’s the truth. From there when people commented on my weight I would quote that magnet and every time I quoted that I regained a little of me and my power over myself.. I got to the point where I was singing about how fabulous I am. That made the negative people take notice that what you say no longer affects me, and I’m in charge of me again. Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?

There's not just one. I am blessed to have many that keep me going now. Each person encourages and motivates me in a different way. I find encouragement in strangers and pictures and music and I pull little bits from everywhere and everyone even a few negative people. The negative people fuel me to prove them wrong. What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model? 

If you think you want to do it do it! You will never know unless your try. Dont compare your self to anyone else. You are a beautiful designer original. Its one thing to try and find out its not for you. But you may regret never taking the chance to even try. What plus size figure do you admire?

I love Monique, Queen Latifah, Sharon Quinn-The Runway Diva, Jennifer Hudson, Tocarra to name a few. 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 - BBW's and Dating?  Does take me out mean Get Take Out?

Written By: Raqui



BBW's AND DATING? Why does take me out mean GET TAKE OUT? from my old yahoo blog

I hate the fact that some men ask you on a date, but they really don’t want to date you. I went on one date with someone turned into a nightmare UGH. Over the years I found out many tricks of the trade that men and women use to manipulate a person who is looking for a life partner, creating a situation that is not a long term relationship.

For me I found more friendships from dating sites than actual people to date, Go Figure right LOL. Mostly ladies who gave me a GO GIRL to my profile, a few cool guys as well so not all of the men I came across were negative. Still I remained careful with men.

I left all dating sites for quite a while because I started chatting with other BBW ladies who were also on the site. I found out that many men who registered and were trying to talk to me, had slept with most of the other BBW’s, and SSBBW’s women on the dating site in my area. While I definitely wasn’t exclusive with these men, most had this story of how they haven’t dated or been with anyone since their last break up (insert number of years or months here).

Us ladies had a giant conference one night and all the women except me had slept with the same men. Some unprotected. DO I HEAR A HIV TESTING PARTY OR WHAT? Thank god I didn’t fall for the sugar coated crap that many of these men were trying to sling.

I have heard of these situations many times. A man asks you on a date and you end up sitting home with pizza and a penis in your mouth. I can’t believe that women are sitting at home on a date! I believe that I am a woman and the man's job is the entertain me. He wants my company, he asked me on a date. He wants to be around me and show me a nice time. In return I also want to share company and entertain him with great conversation and the opportunity to know me better. I also need time to get to know him better but that should be happening in a public situation. Why would I let him sit in my house?

Dates at home are for relationships that already have a status. Whatever that status maybe, it might be boyfriend/girlfriend status, a lover, booty call, dedicated dating or more. But you know where you stand with each other. You’re not confused or wondering what you are, or think you are going in one direction when you are actually in a completely different field. That limbo is what is often used to create a false sense of security and intimacy promoting things to go in a sexual direction and later it is said. OH but we never said we were in a relationship or something similar.

Do you find that men consider taking you out, to mean bringing you TAKE OUT?
Do you think it is because you’re a woman of size?
Do you find that suddenly your accepting this and don’t demand to be treated better?
Do you find that it is easier to stay home away from prying eyes than to be out in public?

Why do you allow this? Do you allow it? What is up with Dating and BBW's?
What are you ashamed of? Why has dating turned into an at home affair? Not how he treats you when he is with you in public?

Get me your dating yes and no's also how you feel about this subject. Do you find it to be TRUE?



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.



The Costume of Ourselves

by Xander The Food Dud


When I was a kid, I loved Halloween.  My family lived in the county so when we actually went trick or treating it was only to a few trusted local friends.  So it was never the heart warming scene like you imagine on the Norman Rockwell magazine cover.  It’s wasn’t a small neighborhood with dozens of families out with their children, going from house to house.  It’s strange how you can be nostalgic about something you never experienced.  Over the years I grew further and further away from even remotely being interested in Halloween.


Over the last few years I find myself thinking more about how I would like to have children to experience it through their eyes.  While I doubt that I would ever actually get dressed up in a costume, I can’t totally rule it out.  I figured I was just getting crazier than usual until I happened across an article that said that more and more adults were enjoying the Halloween festivities as each year goes by.


The article went on to explain the phenomenon in terms of masks that each of us wear.  In this case they were referring to how we each change ourselves to meet the demands of our lives.  We each wear a different mask depending on what situation and who we are with at the time.   The interesting part of article was how it described that we never get the time to take off the masks, that we are never allowed to be who we truly are in our “real” life.


What boy hasn’t at one time wanted at one time to be a Superman, or Sponge Bob, or a sports hero.  And what girl doesn’t want to be Wonder Woman, Hannah Montana, or a rock star.  We each want to wear the masks of people we want to be, people we want to emulate.  Some kids (in their younger years) may even want to put on the masks of their parents.  All the good masking becomes changed when responsibility, pain, and disappointment rears its ugly head.  We then learn the masks of hate, prejudice, and discrimination.  We teach those to our children whether we intend to or not.  Eventually we get imprisoned by the masks that say we have to be this or that in order to fit into a society that demands us to comply to what “they” think we need to be.


I invite you, and invite your children to try something new this year at Halloween.  Take off the masks.  For one evening, be the real you.  Emulate the best life has to offer.  Be the Hero or Heroine, Cowboy or Indian, Rock Star or Rap Star you want to be.  Above all else…be REAL.   Ultimately, if you’re going to spend the rest of your life wearing someone’s mask, shouldn’t it be yours.  Who knows who you can inspire to have faith and hope in themselves at through you’re actions.  Maybe we’ll cross paths this Halloween as I have volunteered to take my niece Trick-or-Treating.  I plan to go as (a) Superman.  Yep, I’ll be dressed as myself.  Every dream starts with high hopes for a better day or a better way.  Take care.


Xander's Recipe of the Month

Pumpkin Casserole


2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup self-rising flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter

2 pinches ground cinnamon



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and ground cinnamon to taste, Spoon into a casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup


3 cups chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Chopped Fresh Cilantro for Garnish


Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy medium pot.  Whisk in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes, Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese and cilantro.

Perfect Pumpkin Rolls


3 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

2/3 cup Pumpkin

1 teaspoon Lemon juice

3/4 cup All-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Salt



8 ounces Cream cheese -- softened

4 tablespoons Butter -- or margarine

1 cup Powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla



In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.


In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.


While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well.


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 - Baby I Love Your Curves
with Sonya Bennett & Angie Bee



How many of us would have loved to have heard those words come from the lips of a spouse?  'Wow, you love my curves?  WOW!'  So often when we carry a lot of weight, we become self-conscious about our curves when we really want to feel good about ourselves.  Some of us become aggressive and set up walls to protect our feelings from others and some of us become overly-ambitious with our feelings and actions; some of us become confident while others become withdrawn, but not too many of us hear compliments as often as we would like to.


Yesterday I was chatting with a friend that told me that her new boyfriend loves her curves.  "I will never have gastric bypass surgery because my boyfriend loves me just the way I am!"  This was nice to hear.  It was nice until she started complaining about her high blood pressure and sleep apnea.  I finally said to her "what else does your boyfriend love about you?"  She couldn't even give me an answer.


"Maybe you should not focus so much on what he loves about you, and start focusing on what YOU love about you", I said to her.  "Do you love your correctable life-threatening health problems?  Do you love paying extra for plus-sized clothing? What do YOU love?'  Again, she had no response.


I view being 'Large and In Charge' means getting your life in order, it means getting your health in order.  Having your life in order doesn't mean hiding behind issues that you ignore, it means grabbing issues by the hand and cleaning them up, correcting and challenging yourself, it means living with whom you love, and living with what you love. 


I love my curves!  I don't love my fat or my ill-health and I am correcting these issues.  I love my life in spite of the challenges and changes; I embrace and handle them.  I love myself more now that I am active in ministry and focused 100% on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love the improvement in my health now that I am 80+ pounds smaller than I was in March.  I love my dreams and desires and I am honored to see them fulfilled.  I am able to love my friends better, now that I love them the way Christ loved me.  I love my curves and I love me!


This month I began to experience "empty nest syndrome".  My youngest child will soon leave the nest for college and an adult life and I am wondering what is next for me.  Will I travel?  Will I go back to work?  Will I take up belly dancing? lol - who knows?  Will I remain healthy as I continue to lose weight;  I pray that I do. Never again do I want the nightmare of acid reflux disease or obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure or an overactive bladder.  Never again do I want the late-night hunger or the driving thirst to control my life.  I want to be in CONTROL of my life, Lord Willing... to have the control that HE dictates for my life, not the control that food and medications warrant and the gastric bypass has given me the tool to gain control of these things.


I don't care if you are large or small, young or old; I want you to be in charge of your life.  I want you to be in charge of your health.  I want you to share the responsibility in your relationships and I want you to love your curves.  Keep praying and I will strive to be with you again next month.


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


On the Board of NAAFA: A Five-Year Reflection




On the Board of NAAFA: A Five-Year Reflection

By: Lisa M. Tealer,

NAAFA Board Member,

Director of Programs & Interim Treasurer

I was wrapping up a few items after our national convention this past month, and it hit me! I joined the NAAFA Board five years ago in September. I couldn’t believe it has been that long. I had been approached to apply by then NAAFA Board members Marilyn Wann and Carole Cullum. To be honest the idea was appealing, but daunting. I was honored to be asked, yet I had already been approached to chair a community health care organization, so I wasn’t sure I could manage both, plus a 50-60 hour per week job and have a semblance of a personal life, too. They reassured me that being a Board member wasn’t too demanding and that Board members were very supportive of one another.

I forwarded a brief biography, including the size acceptance work I had been involved with over the years. Carole and Marilyn asked me to join a conference call with the other Board members. I was asked to present my contribution to the movement, my reasons for joining the Board and answer questions from the Board members. In turn, I asked about the direction of the organization, the challenges and opportunities, Board duties and expectations. The Board had just launched its five-year strategic plan at the last national convention. Shortly, thereafter I was officially voted onto the Board.

It has been an amazing journey, with valleys and peaks. The first valley was the untimely passing of Jeanne Tombs. I still think of her cheerful smile, love of music and her plan to take a dream trip to Paris. However, most have been peaks. One of the first was going to the NAAFA convention in 2007 in Rosemont, Illinois as a Board member. It was wonderful to meet NAAFA members and supporters from all over the world. It was a completely exhausting, exhilarating and learning experience. I am very proud to be part of a Board that works hard donating its time and other resources to fight size discrimination. As I reflect over these past five years, here’s an abbreviated list of efforts I’ve been proud to be part of:


·         Infrastructure

o    Secured an accountant and bookkeeper with expertise with non-profit organizations

o    Enhanced corporate governance models

o    Worked with Board members to restructure convention model

o    Embedded Diversity & Inclusion as a core value of the organization

o    Key recommendations for additions to NAAFA’s Advisory Board


·         Communication

o    Reviewed/edited 35+ issues of the NAAFA newsletter (and wrote a few articles, too), more than 100 press releases and countless letters on NAAFA’s initiatives, responses to discriminatory policies and programs

o    Wrote NAAFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Statement (on the website)

o    Represented NAAFA on panels, in webinars, and to the media (on-line, television and radio)


·         Projects:

o    Co-lead Size Diversity Toolkit Project (mailed to Fortune 500 companies and over 200 individuals, academic institutions and non-profit organizations, (also served as a contributor and editor)

o    Editor and Contributor to NAAFA’s Child Advocacy Toolkit


·         Programs

o    Committee Member for Advocacy Day on the Hill for NAAFA’s 40th Anniversary

o    Developed the NAAFA HAES Scholarship Program

o    Co-chaired NAAFA’s first International HAES Summit

So what’s next? I look forward to helping make NAAFA an even stronger civil rights organization through strategic planning, growing, diversifying and leveraging the Board and membership base and their talents. In addition, helping to develop the next exciting phase of NAAFA’s size diversity initiative, anti-bullying education and advocacy model, convention/summit planning and scholarship programs. As I am writing this paragraph of the many efforts NAAFA wishes to pursue, it reminds me of a favorite quote:  

Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas Edison

Being a NAAFA Board member is a lot of work, but there have been so many opportunities to make an impact to eradicate weight bias and size discrimination. It’s an honor to part of it. Join us on the EAES* train - All Aboard!

*EAES – Equality At Every Size (launched at the 2011 NAAFA National Convention)


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:  Kiyonna

Sale Price: $ 25.00 – 88.00


Kiyonna fashion is classic and everyday style.  From Mia Mesh Dress to Celine Chiffon Maxi you will find the perfect outfit just for you.  Feel confident and sexy, experiment with a different, feel fabulous with fashion from Kiyonna.

Product of the Month

Recommended by: Lucia

Name of Product:  Alternative Baking Company

Type of Product: Cookies

Where Product can be found:

Description:  Oh! My gravy these cookies are the best, vegan healthy and delicious.  Check them out!  They have 12 different cookies to suit your taste buds. My favorite is pumpkin spice and my mom loves the double chocolate decadence… so if you’re looking for a snack that good for you try Alternative Baking Company.


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.

You are not Weak

with Pat Llewellyn


About thirteen years ago I was diagnosed with depression. It was major depressive episode triggered by an ill parent.


I can’t pinpoint the day that I started to feel down. I just remember feeling so overwhelmed by even the smallest task. I would go from a crying jag to an uncontrollable rage. Everything was so bleak. While I wasn’t suicidal I wished, almost every day, that I was dead. I was ashamed of how I felt. I thought I was weak and a complete failure.


I was in a very dark place and not thinking rationally.


It took six months of self-loathing and hatred before I could admit I needed help. The day that I went to see my family doctor still stands out for me. I had known him since I was five, but I was afraid to go see him. I didn’t know what to expect and I was afraid that he would label me crazy and put me in a hospital.


I completely broke down in his office. Once he had managed to calm me down he said to me, “You are not weak.” Until that moment I didn’t know I needed to hear those words. Just thinking about this moment brings tears to my eyes. Those four words would become my lifeline over the next thirteen years. I would repeat them when things became too much and was ready to give up.


I wish I could tell you that I am now depression free, but I am not. My illness is well managed and most people who meet me would never know that I struggle with this disease. I have tried therapy with mixed results and I am on medication. I will likely be on medication for the rest of my life, and I’m ok with that. It means I can function well and live a full life. Without out it I’m not sure I’d be still here.


If you struggle with depression please know that you are not alone.  There is hope and the first (and hardest) step is making an appointment with your doctor. 


Above all else, please know that YOU ARE NOT WEAK.




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.


"You Better Wake Up & Pay Attention"

with Ms Suga


When I was a little girl my favorite movie of all time was Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit starring the wonderful Ms.  Whoopie Goldberg and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Honestly I still love that movie! Every time it comes on I watch it and still know it word for word. Yeah I like it so what you wanna fight about it?! (LoL Family Guy reference)


Any who in the movie Sister Mary Clarence (Goldberg) is trying to get the music ass (if you saw the movie you'd understand) to get uniformed and in touch with their musical side so they can pass the course. Well not to tell more of the movie but in this scene she has them repeat this phrase over and over and over "if you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention" until finally one of the girls starts to sing it and it comes out really great with a melodic flow to it. This phrase somehow became the motto of the class and the once group of rude hormonal teenagers actually becomes a choir and gives a big middle finger to all those that said they had no potential.

Yes that was a super long example but it has a point. In the plus size community there is much work to be done to make our community happier and healthier. Contrary to what you may think you can be happy, healthy, and fat! There are a lot of plus size people in this world that have serious issues with themselves mentally and physically. We as a community are here to support and uplift our fellow fat friends. I personally am here to let you all know we are all in this fight for acceptance together.

I'm officially revoking your right to feel sorry for yourselves and am encouraging you to get out and make a change. The first step (as I've said before) is self-love. We all have a place on this Earth and a reason for being here. So get up and make the best out of every situation.

If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention! Pay attention to yourselves. Pay attention to the fact that we can eat healthier and the food still taste good. Pay attention to the fact that regularly walking that one flight of stairs can give you more years to spend living and loving a wonderful life.

 Pay attention to that person who is a chronic dieter who in turn does more harm than good to themselves because they aren't happy with the way they look. Pay attention to that person who always seems so sad and depressed, you might not realize that all they needed was a hug and a kind word to stop them from going home and swallowing those pills.

There's so much more we can do as a community to make life happier and healthier for us all. So in case Disney and Sister Mary Clarence didn't get the point across before know you got it from Ms. Suga and remember, "If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up & pay attention!"


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.


Never Settle  

with Gabriela Falarz


One of the hazards that some BBWs fall prey to is settling. We settle for less in our love lives, our relationships with family and friends, our jobs, and our standards in general. Not that BBWs are the only people who settle for less, but I believe that the percentage is much higher among BBWs than it is for smaller women.


There seems to be a sad kind of logic to it. A lot of us think (and have been constantly told, by either family or society in general) that we can’t expect much. We are big, we don’t look the way we are supposed to look, and we have to pay the price for that. We can’t expect to get a great man, a great job, and have a great life if we’re big.


So a lot of us end up in bad relationships or putting up with abusive treatment from family members, friends, or bosses and co-workers, simply because we believe that is what we deserve.


Well, I would like to urge you to NEVER SETTLE. You are just as entitled to a happy, fulfilling life as anyone else, and if you believe that you don’t, you need to do some serious thinking about how that belief is affecting your life.


Recently, I was browsing the Rants & Raves section of craigslist in Toronto, where I live, and I came across a post that really disturbed me. The guy who wrote it claims that he likes BBWs, but his words really expose his true feelings. Here’s what he wrote:

  • “I like bbws. I've banged a few of them in my day (as most guys have). It’s about picky craigslist bbws that need to learn that art of how to settle. That's the key word "settle". It's safe to say most people wish they drove a Lamborghini from day to day but we all can't now. There's nothing wrong with a civic it's a very reliable automobile. So you picky bbws need to settle for a civic when it comes to dating and be fine with it because you're not getting the lambo.”


This guy is exactly the type of person you want to avoid if you’re looking for a love partner. What he’s really saying is, “You don’t look perfect, so you don’t deserve perfection.” True, none of us are perfect and no-one reasonable expects perfection in anyone else. But there is a big difference between imperfection and total crap. This guy sounds like type of man who’d expect you to be happy with him coming over and having sex with you, then leaving and not calling until the next time he wants to have sex with you … which will probably be in about a month or two. He probably wouldn’t take you anywhere or spend money on an actual date, he definitely wouldn’t treat you with respect … but people like this expect us to be happy with that, because at least we’re getting something, right? WRONG. You’re better off with a vibrator than a man like this.


Please, don’t ever, EVER settle. I know it can be hard looking and waiting for a good man. There are so many users and abusers out there who will take advantage of lonely BBWs who are desperate to have love in their lives. I spent years looking for a guy who’d treat me with respect, and they were very lonely years. And I have to confess, in my search for Mr. Right, I settled many times. I ended up being much more miserable at the way I was treated and taken for granted than if I had just stayed single and focused about what I wanted.


If you’re looking for a relationship, the first thing you should do is make a list of all the qualities you want in a partner (and I’m not talking about physical traits, I’m talking about character traits … the qualities you need a potential mate to have). For example, you’d probably want him to be hard-working, intelligent, moral, and mature. Make sure you include whatever traits you need him to have, and keep that list in mind whenever you’re considering a potential partner.


Most importantly, never waver. It’s not worth it. No matter how horny or lonely you are, if you give yourself to someone who doesn’t meet your criteria, you’ll end up regretting it, sooner rather than later. 


The same goes for anything else in your life: relationships with family and friends, co-workers, etc. A lot of us put up with being treated disrespectfully because we believe that’s all we can expect. Nobody has the right to walk all over us and feel like they’re better than us. You treat people how to treat you by showing them what you will accept, and what you won’t accept. It’s as simple as that.


We all have a built-in kind of radar that goes off whenever we feel that something is unacceptable. Always pay attention to it, and always honor what it tells you, because it is never wrong.




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