Cover Model of the Month Interview
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, currently I live in Oakley, CA
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in
I wasn’t a big kid I was pretty slim but I gained weight as a adult.
LargeInCharge.com: (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.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model
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.
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for
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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
Love is my biggest inspiration. It changes lives, hearts, minds, and
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary job?
Being a plus model/actress
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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!
LargeInCharge..com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big
I am actually excited about the direction fashion is taking and how
designers are stepping up and recognizing curveaous people like to look
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion
I would love to see what’s considered plus redefined and the straight
industry recognize plus as beautiful and fashionable.
LargeInCharge.com: 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
LargeInCharge..com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
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
alight.com, Igigi, and MarieDenee have great clothes.
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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
LargeInCharge.com: 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
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other
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.
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
LargeInCharge.com: 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!
LargeInCharge.com: 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
said....you 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.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep
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.
LargeInCharge.com: 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.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you admire?
I love Monique, Queen Latifah, Sharon Quinn-The Runway Diva, Jennifer
Hudson, Tocarra to name a few.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being
featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.
She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised
and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For the past 6 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.
With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to
individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet
world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her. Knock her
down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.
Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized
people online her grace and style has made people love her. Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend
the world to fit her, her way.
Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe,
and the Spanish circuit. Her many magazines appearances have
been world wide. She has hit American Television in 2006 with
Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,
The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.
To view her Online
Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully
Raqui Host's Super Sized Seminar at 15th Annual Vegas Bash 2011
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Raqui-ism - BBW's and Dating? Does take me out mean Get
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
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
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
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
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
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?
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's 7-9
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Raqui's Cool Links
Raqui's My Space
Thank you for
Reading Raqui's Spot
Please send thoughts and comments to
the Plus Side
From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that
deal with all aspects of Plus size Life. Emily Smiltneck was
chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic
writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster
those who are Plus Sized go through.
Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
(pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a
substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business.
Emily is currently working on several writing projects,
including a historical fiction novel and several collections of
receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below
It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive
recognition for their life's work. Join me in this Joyous
moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her
contribution and great dedication to her goals in life. Click
the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the
page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.
The Adventures of Phatgurl
by Emily Suzanne
Adventures Of Phatgurl
is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a
plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a
personals website. As she embarks on her dates, she meets many
different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.
Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more
serious and even sad.
If you have any
ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see
depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at
I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future
SWSSBBW seeks SM
who will not rape her, emotionally or otherwise. The ability to
both speak and write in complete sentences is a plus. Must not
inadvertently throw her down stairs or pretend that she is “Mama.”
Intelligent conversation, a little respect, and the lack of a
current significant other will get you far. And a well-developed
sense of humor won’t hurt, either. If you like smart chicks with
jelly bellies and thunder thighs, reply to
“Jany?” Haroon whispered, when he managed to stop laughing.
“I am sorry.”
“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?
“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
“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.
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
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
“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's Cool Links
Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his
writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to
writing Xander cook’s like he feels. A former Chicago native
transplanted to Tennessee, His goal has been to experience the
fullness of food heritage. He believes that as a people and society,
can learn a lot from what we eat. Combining a great life lesson and
a easy recipe. They go hand-in-hand to provide a tasty
addition to your day. Xander has to confess that ingredients in a
great meal are like the ingredients in a great life are never far
The 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
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
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
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.
of the Month
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
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
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
2007, Sonya was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes; a generational
curse that she had prayed to avoid, but didn’t worry about while she
piled butter pecan ice cream on her German Chocolate Cake. Only a
few months into this diagnosis, she woke up one morning unable to
walk and in excruciating pain in her left foot. Doctors finally
diagnosed an acute tendonitis, exacerbated by uncontrolled
That was the wake-up call, She had suffered for
years with high cholesterol and sleep apnea; all associated with her
weight, it wasn’t until
this happened (wheelchair bound for a month and on crutches
following that) did she tell herself "I have to do something
about my weight." On April 17, 2008, Sonya had the gastric bypass
medical weight loss procedure and it was the best decision that she
made for herself. In these upcoming writings, Sonya invites you to
learn the ups and downs of gastric bypass: through the eyes of one
who lives it every day.
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
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 Bennett on Facebook
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit
civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life
for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on
body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment
through public education, advocacy, and member support.
This Column is dedicated to the tremendous
work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades. LargeInCharge
wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give
the public more information into issues we as plus sized people
should be aware of. The fight for equality for people of all
sizes is one we support.
This Column will include News Releases and
Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.
This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org
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
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
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:
Secured an accountant and bookkeeper with expertise with non-profit
Enhanced corporate governance models
Worked with Board members to restructure convention model
Embedded Diversity & Inclusion as a core value of the organization
Key recommendations for additions to NAAFA’s Advisory Board
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
Wrote NAAFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Statement (on the website)
Represented NAAFA on panels, in webinars, and to the media (on-line,
television and radio)
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)
Editor and Contributor to NAAFA’s Child Advocacy Toolkit
Committee Member for Advocacy Day on the Hill for NAAFA’s 40th
Developed the NAAFA HAES Scholarship Program
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.
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
Thanks for reading
From the Desk of NAAFA
Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A.
degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is
considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and
is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music,
movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos
This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.
wanted to re- introduce myself, since I just joined Large In Charge
magazine last year. My name is Lulu, and I am a fashion writer for
largeincharge.com I am a fashion junkie:) I look forward to finding
wonderful fashion find and product of the month for you. I also look
forward to chatting with you all an reading some good fashion comments!
Please let me know if you have a favorite. Web_girl1999@yahoo.com
Picks of the Month
Product of the Month
Fashion Find Type:
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:
Oh! My gravy these cookies are the best, vegan healthy and
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
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time
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
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
Above all else, please know that YOU ARE NOT WEAK.
Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She
is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in
Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life
she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where
she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has
also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those
around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help
Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go
to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or
support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed,
intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.
Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a
little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her
life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first
opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see.
Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her
future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus
"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
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 (www.celebreightyourself.blogspot.com).
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.
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
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:
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
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
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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