LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I grew up in Louise, Texas and just recently moved back there to my
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age,
Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)?
I am a 27 year old half Hispanic, half German.
I am 5í7, and I wear size 18.
I was married very young and am now divorced.
I feel like I need to be single for about 10 more years, so no
kids yet. But, I would like
a family one day.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in
I have always been a big girl.
However; I was, and still am very good at sports and activities
so I was never flabby or unhealthy in any way.
I actually have a smaller waist and nice curves now that I never
had when I was younger. I
love working out, and being active.
It is just hard to lose a lot of weight because food is a big
part of my family life (which I love!
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up
as a large child?
When I was a kid, I got made fun of so much.
I didnít have very many friends, but because I was good at sports
I was never picked last or anything.
It was funny because in elementary I was asked out, and hit on
all the time by older boys.
It was because I was taller and looked older since my body filled out so
early. But, since all the
boys in my grade made fun of me so bad, I thought the older boys were
making fun of me too. So, I
never went on a date till high school.
When I was in the 5th grade I changed my attitude
drastically. I decided to
take what other people made fun of and laugh with them.
I used comedy as an escape and in the midst of it; I became very
popular in high school. The jokes and hate never stopped but it was
easier to deal with because I had people that loved me.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model
I am a fan of the site and what it promotes.
It shows being bigger in such a beautiful light; for men and
women. Itís an opportunity
to be a part of something that promotes the same thing I carry everyday
which is pride, confidence, and support for the larger community.
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted by
others at your size?
When I was younger, I found it harder because I didnít know what to do
with myself. I didnít know
how to do makeup or hair or dress so I just fell into this place that
the people who made fun of me already saw.
As I got older, I learned that confidence makes a world of
difference. So, if you look
good, you feel good. I
learned how to fix myself up as a beautiful thick woman.
Not only do I see people looking and liking what they see, but
they tell me all the time.
I cannot tell you how many times a ďskinnyĒ girl has come up to me and
said they wish they had my confidence.
Itís a wonderful feeling to have that respect from men and women.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find it a hard to accept yourself as a Plus
I used to use so much energy in trying to lose weight, and try to be
something I just am not right now.
I love who I am because I accept who I am at this moment.
I work with everything I have and do the best I can with it.
I respect and handle my body very well.
You can be the perfect proportioned woman but if you donít take
care of yourself, itís a lost cause.
I take care of myself, and am so proud to be a beautiful plus
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family and friends?
My family and friends support me in all my endeavors.
They know I make sure I am healthy and do what is right for me.
I work out and keep active, and since my family and friends are
right there with me doing the same things we support and accept each
other. Itís a great feeling
knowing I can be myself with no judgment around the people I love.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
Honestly, I give myself the most inspiration.
I donít want to sound conceited but I have not had the best life
handed to me. I have been
through trials and heartaches, abuse, and so many struggles in my life
that I look back and think, ďHow could that even have happened to me?Ē I
have worked so hard to get through. The most inspiring is the fact that
not only did I find out I could make it, I learned I could take it.
I feel like all of those bad things led me to all these great
things that are coming into my life now.
I just know that if I got through all the bad stuff there is
nothing I canít accomplish with hard work and perseverance.
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?
I am a Secondary Math Teacher.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I decided to teach after I had a bad experience with an elementary
teacher who treated me so badly.
I was a very anxious child.
I was so excited to learn and do works, but she took that joy
away from me. I vowed that
if I taught, I could prevent my students from losing that excitement and
joy in the classroom.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
I have not had any issues with my weight and other teachers.
Once again I carry myself very well, and the confidence I have
brings people closer to me rather than them have a hard time accepting
me from afar.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for
Large People in the work force?
I think as humans we should have the ability to adapt to our
surroundings. Having said
that, I feel like if a company is going to hire a larger person who
needs accommodations; they should be met.
A personís size should not be a ďproblemĒ.
It is part of who we are, but it does not define us.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big
I think that plus sized fashion has come a long way.
I think it is more opened minded to big being sexy, and
revealing, and beautiful at the same time.
I like that you see bigger sizes on the runways and promotions
now. Iím glad fashion is
becoming more practical to the average Joe, or should I say Jane :>
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion
Iím going to have to say, just more of advertising to every consumer
If you sell sizes 20 Ė 28, it doesnít help to have someone model the
clothes who wear size 14.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if plus sized
modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think that people will start to see that being plus sized does not
mean unhealthy, or overweight.
There are all types of people, and so many are overlooked because
of their size. I think
people will start to see a need, acceptance, and empowerment of the plus
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
I love to shop at Dots, Melrose, Rainbows, Dress Barn, and my
undergarment from Lane Bryant.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us
one of your secret beauty tips.
I whiten my teeth at least once a week.
A lot of people compliment my teeth and I donít like to admit it
because I shouldnít whiten that much, but teeth are a huge deal to me.
A personís smile can change someoneís entire day, so I like to
keep mine as white as possible.
LargeInCharge.com: Give us
some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.
What should models be prepared for?
I think it is important to know
beforehand what the theme of the shoot is going to be. A model should
brainstorm and practice her poses because you can come up with something
that you may not have thought of right off the bat.
Itís also good to meet or speak with the photographer, because
they are all different.
Some are sweet and nice about giving directions, and then there are
those who have a stricter tactic to get a great photo.
Its good to know what to expect from the person who will be
capturing what you are trying to portray.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at
size acceptance now. What
changes do you see?
I think that society has become more comfortable in being attracted to
the plus size person.
Movies, and tv shows are portraying all the other qualities a plus
person can have just as well as an average size person.
It used to be that a plus model
would only be casted as the funny big girl/guy but now there are more
roles because this world is full of the plus person.
It is now a demand to accept large sizes, which was voided out
several years ago.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen five years from
now with size acceptance?
I am hoping that there will be no issues with the plus size person just
fitting in, and being accepted with the rest of society.
I do also hope that we remember to stay healthy and not just say,
ďItís okay to be big.Ē
LargeInCharge.com: Do you face discrimination in your daily life as a
Plus Sized Person?
Every once in a while I will come across some jerk who says something
about my size, but they are usually insecure and you can tell they are
just talking down to life themselves up.
This is a shame to me, but its reality.
For the most part, I am approached quite often about being sexy,
and beautiful. I donít see
it most of the time, but if someone goes out of their way to say it to
you, you got to believe itís true.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other
I am really hoping to continue my appearances, and features.
I would love to be a representative model for clothing lines.
I am hoping to do music videos, concerts, and movies in the
future. I would like to
dabble in all things beauty.
have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I was in the 2011 Miss Texas Plus America. I have worked for Farooq Chi
Hair Shows, fashion shows with Plus Size POWER, and Upstage Beauty
Events; as well as photo shoots.
I have been in D magazine, Scream Magazine, RedSkye Comics.
I am featured on several modeling websites such as: Model Mayhem,
411 Market Place, and Models.com.
LargeInCharge.com: Have you
entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?
What was the experience like?
I was in the 2011 Miss Texas Plus America pageant.
It was my first time in a pageant and it was amazing.
I met a bunch of gorgeous, confident women who have done so much
for their communities and lives.
It was truly an appreciative experience.
I won the talent portion of the competition, as well as Miss
Creativity for are opening T-shirt design walk.
I also was in the 2011 Plus Size Diva Competition.
I did not place but that was a great place to meet awesome
people, and it led to further opportunities in the modeling field.
I also won the 2012 online Biker Babe contest for Plus Size POWER
DIVA competiton. My dad
likes that one because his motorcycle is in the background lol.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in your
life that made you feel good about your size.
I think what changed my attitude and made me really realize that I was a
confident woman and proud of myself was when I was 23.
I was at a party with my friend and this gorgeous very thin woman
walks up to me, and asks if she could speak with me.
I said that it was okay and to my surprise all she wanted was to
know where I got my confidence from?
She told me that her and her friends were talking about how sexy
I was and how I was so beautiful, and I must know it because I was
glowing. At first, I
thought that she must have had too much to drink, but she didnít drink
at all. I told her that I
had been through the worst and just got tired of letting what people who
thought bad of me keep me from being happy.
It really made me realize how just keeping your head up can get
people to notice you. Ever
since then, I walk into the room like I own it.
I love being real, and knowing that other people know it too.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that keeps you going?
My soul friend Juanita is someone who just accepts everything about me.
She loves me for every choice I make, and supports me 100%.
Whenever times get hard, I know I can turn to her to make me
laugh. I think it is
because we been through the same hard times, and sometimes at the same
time. We have a connection
that just makes life a little easier because we know we have at least
one person who will be there no matter what!
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size
who want to model?
I cannot stress how important it is to stay healthy.
You also have to find a size that you are comfortable with
because if you arenít comfortable with yourself, people will see it in
pictures, on camera and everywhere you go.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?
Ashley Graham is an amazing model.
She is so gorgeous.
She walks and talks with so much confidence.
It is mesmerizing. I
am working on the skill to mesmerize people as well as she does.
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 - Eight Years going for Nine!
Written By: Raqui
Eight Years ago I had
an idea. Give the plus size community a consistent publication
that was 100% free and reliable. LargeInCharge was born by a
thought and since then has grown like a dream. It has not been
I've been threaten
harassed and stalked. I have had the most horrible things
emailed, messaged and said to me, because I wanted to do something
positive for the community. Because I did something
different. Now I sit here preparing the eighth anniversary edition
and soon with in a few months we will have our 100 issue of
Where are all
those people who made the first few years difficult. The
message boards where I used to advertise and share with people, only
to be verbally attacked, are all gone and disbanded. The same
men and women who used to say I had the nerve to do anything other
than squashing have all disappeared. The ones who called me a
poor excuse for a porn star (because the material on my paysite
QueenRaqui.com was not nude) have disappeared from existence.
Those who have met me on the road but who turned there nose up at me
or tried to talk badly want to claim friendship now. Most
important is that I made it through the bashing to feel pride!
I wasn't going to let
anyone stop me from what I believe in. I am not going to stop
now. I am going to try harder and advance even more. I
will keep expanding and now that I am starting year nine I think...
WOW soon it will be ten years. How do I feel about that?
It is a mix a mix of lots of emotions. My life is so different
now and I am happy to say that I have peace.
me, I have spent years trying to let others know to never stop
living that weight is not an excuse not to live and be happy.
Now I can say... damn it my life is more than trying to be happy.
I AM HAPPY FINALLY after 37 years on this earth I am happy. I
don't frown anymore, I am not stressed anymore and I my heart
is not heavy anymore.
changed the lives of so many and I am very proud of that. But
knowing it changed me is a reward that can only be felt when I close
my eyes and breath a breath of ease.
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's 7-9
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Thank you for
Please send thoughts and comments to
Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his
writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to
writing Xander cookís 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
Battles We Must Fight
by Xander The Food Dude
In mid-December my mother had one of two massive strokes.
These occurred about a week apart from each other.
They robbed her of her ability to use the right side
of her body and she cannot speak.
In the seven weeks since the start of this journey I
have often cursed the fates, tried to blame someone for what
had happened, and given into the feeling of hopelessness and
despair. I have
walked on the edge of giving up before this journey has even
begun. Even now
after weeks of sleeping mere feet from my mother in the many
hospital rooms, I worry if this is the night that I lose my
The night is the worst time, when very little distracts
your focus from her breathing and how shallow it can become.
You watch and wait as each little part of you wonders
ďdonít let that be the last breath, please God !!, help her.
You spend your time in prayer that God should take my
life before my motherís.
You make every deal you can in your mind with
whatever cosmic force will potentially listen to you in an
effort to keep her alive a little longer.
Finally, resignation comes in the form of asking that
she should not be in pain, you would do anything to at least
stop her pain.
If she has to die at least donít let her be in pain.
This would give you a good representation of what my last
seven weeks have been like in the late evening and early
friends have done their best to reach out to me, but I can
only isolate myself even more.
There are only two things in my universe right now,
my mother and what I have to do to help her.
The exhaustion falls into place and in those times I
finally find a few moments of rest.
I have given up the fight.
I have nothing left to do battle.
Through this all I have tried to be conscience about
a ďlessonĒ, any lesson I should be learning, but up until
now it has escaped me.
I finally got it yesterday.
days of illness and sickness, my mother is finally well
enough to be involved with her physical therapy and speech
progress has been very small, they can see some level of
the last three weeks all the nurses and therapist constantly
tell me what a sweet mother I have.
I see the way that she interacts with them, the waves
and excitement on her face when she sees them in the morning
and how they look at her when they get her into bed after
therapy or other treatment.
These folks have taken care of and even fought for
the care of my mother.
In a word, that have loved her like she was family.
For the most part my mother is a very sweet lady, good
disposition, but the folks that work with her often say she
will touch their hand, arm or shoulder in reassurance to
them and simply say the one word she can say ďGoodĒ.
One night I heard a nurse tell my mother that she (my
mother) made her job a joy.
The message finally hit me.
Despite the lack of words or ability to do many things
that she once could, she still has the ability to reach out
and touch people, not just physically but on a spiritual
level as well. I
was reminded once a again that we are all more than the sum
of our parts, that we too have the full ability to ďtouchĒ
others in a positive way if we just use what God has given
us to do just that.
I can tell you that in that particular moment I was
washed in a sense of awe and shame.
The awe can from what I had forgotten about our
mission in this lifeÖto help others.
The shame was from coming close to giving up on one
person I should never give up on.. my mother.
We al have our own battles.
Sometimes we admit defeat before we even start.
But we must continue to fight the necessary battle
everyday, if not for ourselves then for someone else.
When we get week we need to seek the guidance and
counsel of those we trust the most.
In that way, no matter the outcome, we can at least
always fight the battles that need to be fought.
My mother and I have only begun the journey of her
Together we stand resolute in the eventual winning of the
day. To this end
I pledge myself, because I owe nothing less than everything
I am to my mother.
From this day forth, pledge yourself to fighting those
battles that need to be fought.
God bless each of you until next time.
of the Month
Tailgate Superbowl of Chili
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian
3 (15 ounce) cans
chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can
chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans
diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can
1 large yellow
3 stalks celery,
1 green bell pepper,
seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper,
seeded and chopped
2 green chile
peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon bacon
4 cubes beef
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon minced
1 tablespoon dried
2 teaspoons ground
2 teaspoons hot
pepper sauce (e.g. Tabascoô)
1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white
1 (10.5 ounce) bag
corn chips such as Fritosģ
1 (8 ounce) package
shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the
ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until
evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes
and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell
peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer.
Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic,
oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper,
cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and
simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring
After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili
powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the
better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or
refrigerate, and serve the next day.
To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and
shredded Cheddar cheese
Thank you for
Reading Good Food 4U
By Xander the Food Dude
Please send thoughts and comments to
Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in
communications, promotions and planning.
She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while
building businesses and her faith.
Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major
depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from
180 pounds to 360 pounds.
She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg
circulation. At the age
of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced
her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.
It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her
younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric
Bypass Surgery. Sonya
launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to
it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is
focused on something new!
Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the
procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over
a decade. Losing the
first 100 pounds was just the bonus!
She is now diabetes-free.
She has normal blood pressure.
The circulation in her legs is normal.
She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!
The joy that she feels is documented each day in her
syndicated radio show, a brand new weekly
TV show documentary and each month in this article.
The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also
stands for "Getting (my life) Back".
This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by
the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery
on Feb 28, 2011. This
is now her life!
One Year Later
with Angie Bee
I had gastric bypass surgery on February 28, 2011.
One year later, I'm still excited about that day.
I remember others that refer to their surgery date as their
"new birthday", but for me it feels like February 28th is the date
that I fell in love with me.
Sometimes when you are overweight and miserable with health issues,
you find it hard to love yourself.
Measuring out insulin in syringes and taking high blood
pressure medication can make you hate the process of caring for
yourself. I began to
despise what was happening with my body.
I fell out of love with me.
I can't relate to being overweight and being healthy.
I admire large women that can wear stilettos and I rejoice
when I meet large people with normal blood pressure and no health
challenges. With my
increased weight came a decline in my health and the deterioration
in the love that I had for myself.
There is something special about falling in love... especially when
you fall in love with yourself.
One year later, I am SO in love with me!
I don't want to come across as conceited or arrogant... but I
didn't like the woman that I was before,
so I wasn't taking care of her.
Through the process of preparing for gastric bypass and
changing your lifestyle after the surgery, you are forced to take
care of yourself. This
was a new relationship for me and I am giddy over it!
Falling in love with ME means that I have enjoyed consuming
liquids because they are good for me.... even drinking water with
Benefiber in it. (Man,
I LOVE that orange flavored powder now).
There was a time when I would not eat because I didn't feel
like eating. Then, I
would overeat when the blood sugar dropped and the headaches came.
Now, because I am in love with me I eat and I have joy in
taking care of me. Just like
the joy I have in cooking for a loved one and preparing a plate for
them... I love me... so I take care of me.
Years ago I stopped shopping for new clothes because they were so
expensive and I didn't want to spend money on myself with my
children needed things.
Now, I don't mind shopping.
I had to realize that wearing ill-fitting clothes only
contributed to my misery... so I am proud of the outfits that I
wear. Even the cute
little red dress that I wore on Valentine's Day was more for me than
anyone else :) - I love
me and I am loving my relationships now.
One year later, I've hand-selected people that are in my life
and I enjoy them. I
Let me tell you about someone that has come back into my life during
this past year. We grew
up together as our mothers were dear friends.
We were the first-borns in our families and would share
stories and theories about school and friends and such.
He was the only boy that could come into my home to visit
without my dad freaking out.
His uncle was my first Pastor and he loved me as only a
12-year old boy could... he would spend time talking with me.
Billy was the smartest friend that I had as a child and
during this past year, we found each other again via Facebook!
Now, Billy had a bout with obesity at one point in his adult
life after leaving the military.
One day he got on the scale and realized that he weighed over
300 pounds. He made the
decision to kick fast foods and processed foods and to increase his
water intake. Because
he took charge of his life, he lost over 100 pounds and now even has
his type-2 diabetes under control!
He relates to me in my life of weight loss and control and
his friendship is very supportive too!
During one of our daily phone conversations, he told me to do
something. It was a
simple request, but it has made such a difference in my life and it
brings me a little joy each morning when I awake.
"Angie, what do you do for yourself every day?" Billy asked me one
"What do you mean? I
get up, I pray, I work.
What do you mean?" was my response.
"No! None of that
stuff. You need to
spend 1 hour a day just doing what you WANT to do... not what you
HAVE to do", he tells me.
"I want you to promise me that you will start loving yourself
by spending time doing this.
Go to the beach.
Read a book. Do
something just for you!".
Billy is STILL the smartest friend that I have!
I agreed to it, and I am so grateful that I did!
I joined water aerobics at the YMCA and I attend three days a
week. I have fallen in
love with ME-TV and I spend an hour watching original episodes of
Star Trek (Kirk and Spock remind me to drink my Orange Benefiber in
water - lol) and I don't feel guilty about watching TV!
I ordered new sneakers and now I walk around the neighborhood
because I want to see the kids come home from school and
sometimes... when I am just spending time with me... I don't even
answer my phone if I don't want to! (shock and awe!).
I do what I want to do for 1 hour each day and I don't regret
I love me now. This
year since having gastric bypass surgery I love the foods that I
eat, I love the way my skin glows.
I love my energy level and I am amazed by the improvement in
my health! I love that
my appetite for fun has increased and I even love saying 'NO" when I
don't want to do something!
I love me and I love taking care of me!
I want you to be in love with you, too!
One year after having weight loss surgery I have lost almost
150 pounds and several dress sizes (the dress I bought last month is
already kinda loose on me).
My children are grown and I'm a single woman and I LOVE ME!
I'm looking forward to next month and I'm looking forward to my next
year... sharing my life and my weight loss with each of you!
Talk to you next month!
Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &
The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE
Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show
Last Week I wanted to Die!
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!
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
Set a "STANDard"!
Set a ďSTANDardĒ!
NAAFA encourages you to stand in support of the efforts of the
grassroots campaign which has been organized in response to the
hateful ads and billboards launched in Georgia in early 2011.
You may recall that NAAFA called for the removal of these
damaging billboards in March, 2011.
Since that time we have learned that Georgia Childrenís
Health Alliance has committed to spending $5 million over the next
five years on this negative Strong4Life campaign.
There are three aspects to this exciting Stand4Every Body campaign:
Fat activist Marilyn Wannís graphic response to the fat hating ads
is the ďI STANDĒ ad campaign.
Marilyn would love for supporters of all sizes to send her a
photograph and she will help you become a ďSTANDardĒ.
Hereís what she suggests:
send a photo, looking straight at the camera, along with what
you stand for to:
finished ad can either include your name or not, but either way, the
white line of text in the bottom left corner can read something
like: PEGGY HOWELL, NAAFA MEMBER or NAAFA
MEMBER. Take a
look at some of the more than 300 fabulous ads created thus far:
Blogger and fat activist Atchka Fatty calls you to action by
providing contact information for the people to whom you should
write regarding the Strong4Life campaign and sample letters for
those who prefer help with writing a letter of protest.
He has also organized a video project for those who enjoy
expressing themselves via video.
Read all about how you can get involved at:
Dancer, performer and fat activist Ragen Chastain is coordinating
fund raising efforts to lease and post billboards with positive
messages and other materials to combat the Strong4Life campaign.
Read all about the Support All Kids Billboard Project at:
We encourage everyone to get involved, become a ďSTANDardĒ, write a
letter, forward campaign details to others, and contribute your
ideas and talents.
Letís combine all our efforts to put an end to Georgiaís Strong4Life
NAAFA Convention EARLYBIRD SPECIAL!
NAAFA is pleased to announce that we will return to the San
Francisco Bay Area for our 2012 fund-raising convention.
We have worked hard to keep the cost of this convention down
and to move quickly in making our convention package available in
time for you to give or receive a convention package for the
NAAFA is once again offering a Early Bird Special price is $199.00
from January 1 through May 31, 2012.
Beginning June 1, 2012, full convention price will be
The 2012 NAAFA Convention Package would make a great holiday gift
for you, your family and all your friends!
Canít afford a convention package?
Why not give a one year contributing NAAFA membership for
Make your reservations at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel.
Room rates are $89 per night!
This group rate will be available until July 10, 2012.
Westin is prepared to receive your NAAFA convention
reservations today at:
We encourage you to register for the NAAFA convention package today
and to fully participate in this life-changing event.
We made it easy for you to register for the convention as
well as the hotel through our website at www.naafa.org.
Watch our website for more exciting details as they become
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization
dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people.
NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size
and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through
public education, advocacy, and member support.
On the web:
Thanks for reading
From the Desk of NAAFA
Lucia Roth, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Graduated with a B. A.
degree in Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University and is
considering going back for her Masters degree. Lucia a people person and
is always willing to help out a friend in need. She enjoys music,
movies, poetry, and good book on a rainy day. Lucia has several mottos
This is one: Knowledge talks, wisdom listens.
wanted to re- introduce myself, since I just joined Large In Charge
magazine last year. My name is Lulu, and I am a fashion writer for
largeincharge.com I am a fashion junkie:) I look forward to finding
wonderful fashion find and product of the month for you. I also look
forward to chatting with you all an reading some good fashion comments!
Please let me know if you have a favorite. Web_girl1999@yahoo.com
Picks of the Month
Product of the Month
Fashion Find Type: Sale
Sale Price: $
10. 00 Ė 60.00
Vamp up your sophisticated style and, check out eloquii
(el-o-qu- ii). Reasonable price for your budget and guess
what? You donít have to spend a million dollars to look and
feel good. So, ladies get your sexy on and check out eloquii.
Product of the Month
Recommended by: Lucia
Name of Product:
Type of Product: Jewelry
Official Site: Save Up to 50% Off All Quality, Personalized
Jewelry. The best place to find everything you want at a
Pat is a forty something woman living in
Southern Ontario, Canada. She has a varied past and has worked teaching
literacy and English as a second language to adults, as an environmental
science technician and in the health and safety field. Currently she
works in marketing.
Pat fiercely believes in human rights for all and has volunteered for
organizations that raise funds and develop and implement programs to
help impoverished people and educate women in third world countries.
Although relatively new to the size acceptance movement, Pat believes
with all her heart that people of size deserve equal treatment and
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time
with Pat Llewellyn
I recently received two messages from an individual on a dating
website outraged that I had standards that needed to be met
before I would respond to a guy.
He wrote ďWho do u think
u r demanding all these things from men when ur like 500lbs!!!Ē
He also wrote other vitriol meant to denigrate me because I am
fat. In general I donít let these messages get under my skin,
but this guy made me furious.
How dare he tell me that I do not deserve to set standards for
the men I want to date and marginalize me because I am fat? How
dare he initiate contact with me just to belittle and try to
make me feel like I deserve less because my body does not
conform to societal norms?
This uppity fatty isnít going to take any sh*t.
Iím fat, beautiful, and confident so screw you if you donít like
it. No really, I mean it. Screw the fat hating, negative people
who want to try and bring me down. I not only have standards,
but if you donít meet them, Iím going to kick you to the curb.
Iím not going to put up with bad behavior and Iím not going to
let some random guy get away with sending me hate filled
I will fight back and I wonít pull any punches.
Iím an uppity fatty and I like itÖ
Lots of love
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 Sugaís 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
Progress for the New Year
with Ms Suga
Ok so we're three months into the new year...how are your
resolutions working out for you? I know, I know we talked about
making life changes but I am still curious as to your progress.
And if you haven't been making progress this is your official
quarterly reminder to get your ass up and get to work!! No one can
help you if you don't help yourself first!!
As I told you all before my
life changes started shortly after my birthday and I am proud to say
that I am STILL a work in progress. LoL I made my choice to take a
chance and make a change but damnit change doesn't come over night.
No matter how much we wish it did this shit is still hard work.
Anyhow for the moment let's steer away from the outcome and let's
consider the mistakes we make/ have made along the way. A friend of
mine once said that life is just a long trip to different places and
realizations but the fun part is the different roads we take to get
there. Think of all the major screw ups in your life, now think
about all the fun you had right before the shit hit the fan.
In hindsight you saw the signs (Lord knows I saw them plenty of
times) but you kept going. And sometimes you had the most fun with
those mistakes up until you wound up in trouble with the
"shit...shit...SHIT" look on your face. (LoL you know that :-0 face)
I once read a quote on the Facebook "I am the author of my life, but
unfortunately, I write with a pen, so I can't erase my mistakes."
This really made me think about my vision of my own life. I'm gonna
share my life philosophy with you and I encourage you to steal it
but ONLY if you apply it to your mindset. Don't just go stealing my
ideas and not using them...thatís so not it (as my goddaughters
So I always thought I don't regret anything I've ever done in life.
That's right NOT ONE REGRET!! I don't regret dating that dumb ass
guy just because he was cute and completely ignoring how much of an
asshole he was. Nor do I regret allllllll the shopping I do (yeah so
NOT giving up on that! Just gotta shop in moderation) spending all
that money on shoes, make up and allllllll that damn lip gloss!!
(I really am addicted to lip gloss/lip sticks) Those stupid
decisions, and others we wonít discuss, no matter how off the charts
you think they are have taught me valuable lessons that I probably
wouldn't have gotten any other way.
Now trust me...Ms. Suga has done her fair of dumb shit as I'm sure
you have too. But think about it like this... don't fear making a
mistake because that mistake could lead to some great discoveries.
For example dating dumb ass (and all the dumb asses that followed)
helped me learn what I want out of life and showed me how to love
myself. All the shoes and lip gloss has helped me perfect the idea
of always looking my best (yep that's my excuse and I'm sticking to
I encourage you to never be afraid to try something new. Have you
ever heard the saying "amateurs built the ark, professionals built
the Titanic." The way I see it there are only two mistakes a person
can make along the path to success: not going all the way, and not
starting at all.
So face your fears head on, embrace your mistakes, and follow your
dreams. We all will reach success at different times in our lives
but sometimes we reach success and never realize it until itís over.
Until next time...inspire someone and inspire yourself! Be blessed
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.
Verbal Abusers: What Makes Them Tick?
with Gabriela Falarz
Verbal abuse is something all large people have experienced. Whether
you were bullied in school, harassed in public by pack of bored
teenagers, or any variation thereof, we all know what itís like to
be singled out simply because of our weight.
Oddly enough, I hadnít experienced verbal abuse for many years --
until the other night. I donít know whether itís because I carry
myself in a certain way now (with more self-respect and confidence)
or whether Iíve just become very good at filtering out any
negativity around me. This recent experience, however, briefly
reminded me of the taunting I was subjected to in the past.
My husband and I had gone to see a movie, and weíd parked our car a
few blocks away from the theater. It was a beautiful night, and we
were strolling back to the car, in a very upscale neighborhood.
Suddenly, this car comes driving up beside us. I caught a glimpse of
an open driverís side window, and then some asshole yelled at me,
ďTHAT IS ONE BIG, FAT ASS!!!Ē This is while my husband is walking
The car continued driving on, of course. The little bitch was too
cowardly to stick around for my response. But instinctively, this
feeling of rage just spewed out of me, and I yelled back --
extremely loudly -- ďFUCK YOU!!!!Ē He started to yell something back
at me, to try and re-assert his dominance over me, but I drowned him
out by yelling another long, prolonged ďFUCK OFF!!!!!!Ē Then the
little bitch sped away for good.
The whole time, I was thinking to myself: ďCome back and say that to
my face, asshole!Ē I wished I had yelled that instead and had the
chance to look in his eyes and tell him what a piece of shit I
thought he was. My husband just muttered something about the guy
being an asshole, and we continued to the car. But the whole night
had been ruined by that microscopic interaction, and it made me
Itís not that I gave a shit what he thought about me. I could care
less what any fat-hating idiot has to say about me. What bothered me
was the fact that this TOTAL STRANGER imposed himself on my space --
intruded into my life -- even for that very short space of time.
Here I was Ö minding my own business, walking with my husband,
bothering no-one. Both of us were discussing the movie weíd just
seen (which was great, by the way) Ö and then this poisonous person
comes along and insinuates himself into my life, however briefly.
What right did he have to do that?
It also struck me that it didnít matter to him that my husband was
right there. Maybe he didnít see him? Maybe he didnít think it was
possible that the man with me could be my boyfriend or husband,
because Iím a fat woman? Maybe he felt safe because he was in his
car, and if the guy with me got upset and went after him, he could
just take off? Maybe heís just a sociopath who enjoys spending his
free time yelling insults out his car window at random people he
considers targets. Thatís my guess.
In any case, my husband isnít the confrontational type. Heís been
with me when many verbal assaults have taken place, and heís never
said anything. It used to be a bone of contention between us, but I
finally realized thatís just how he is. He hates confrontation. Me,
on the other hand -- if you mess with me, youíd better be prepared
to deal with me. I fight my own battles, and I donít back down.
I kept wondering what gave this guy the right to feel he could
inflict his opinion upon me. He saw me from a distance, saw my fat
ass, and the whole time he was approaching me, he was planning what
he was going to say. Then, he timed it perfectly -- slowed down,
yelled his insult, and sped away. And why did he speed away? If he
was so proud of his opinion, and determined to let me know it, why
didnít he just get out of his car, come up to me, and tell me I had
a fat ass? Itís one thing to have an opinion, and just think it to
yourself, but no Ö he had to
YELL his opinion at me, from the safety of his car. Demean fat girl:
mission accomplished. Then run away like a scared little bitch.
Thatís when I realized something I didnít have the maturity or life
experience to realize in school, when I was being bullied. It wasnít
ME this guy was demeaning. It was HIMSELF. A personís actions reveal
their character better than any words. What kind of person yells an
insult at someone and then runs away? A coward, A child, A pathetic
All verbal abusers demean themselves with their behavior, and
theyíre too stupid to realize it. They are cowards. They are psychic
leeches. They get their strength from feeding off weakness. But if
youíre NOT weak Ė if youíre strong and confident Ė they have nothing
to feed off. They run away frustrated and confused, because they
didnít get their fix. They werenít able to steal your soul, not even
a tiny little piece of it. As my daughter would say Ö they are an
Verbal abusers are attention whores. They use words to force you to
notice them. They are people who feel invisible in some crucial part
of their lives, and they canít stand that feeling. What theyíre
really saying, underneath all the hostility, is: SEE ME. ACKNOWLEDGE
ME. I AM HERE. I EXIST. Well, the sight of them disgusts me, just as
the sight of my fat ass supposedly disgusts them.
The incident angered me for a few hours, and even carried a little
into the next day. But then I realized how victorious Iíd actually
been in that situation, watching that pathetic little bitch run away
in his car, realizing heíd messed with the wrong fat chick.
Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in
San Diego County since she's been 18 years old. Kathy
graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in
Finance in 1999.
She has a real estate brokerís license and works as a mortgage
Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly
night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.
Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and
San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at
Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by
going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will
make them a happier person and not wait til they are at the perfect
size to start living their life to the fullest.
Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living
productively on their own.
In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing,
modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.
The Failure to Launch Man and Why he isn't the man for you
with Kathy Hernandez
Some of you are asking yourselves, what is the Failure to Launch
Man? This is the man
who thinks he was Peter Pan in a past lifetime and who just can't
take that big step to be on his own.
Birds know how to get their chicks out of the nest by nudging them
out of the nest and the baby bird learns how to fly out of necessity
because if they don't than they plummet to the ground.
Parents who make it too easy to continue to live at home and
make their children dependent on them financially and emotionally
can be the root cause of this.
For example, if you were a 20 or 30 something male and you
could live in a 4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom house in a great neighborhood
without paying rent, wouldn't you consider it?
Also this house has a pool and Jacuzzi in the back yard and a
big screen tv in the family room.
Hmm makes you think would I actually move out if I had this
cushy deal and pay rent in some studio without all these amenities?
The real question now that you have figured out that you are
interested in and possibly dating Mr. Failure to Launch Man is will
he ever move out of his parentsí home and become an independent man
totally taking care of himself even if it is in a tiny studio
apartment to start out with?
There's one thing you do NOT want to do and is have this man
move in with you without living by himself and knowing what real
life is really all about.
Unless, you want to be his mother figure which I wouldn't
recommend to anyone because let's face it, there's nothing romantic
and endearing about taking care of a grown man like he is your
There are factors in today's economy that makes it necessary for a
man to live with his family but that should be for a short period of
time for him to get back on his feet.
What are the different types of the Failure to Launch Man?
The man who is afraid of commitment and if they live at home than
they don't have to commit to a real relationship because how many
parents are going to be ok with having the girl friend live there
We have the man who is a considered a geek or a nerd because he
isn't socially equipped yet to establish a romantic relationship
with a woman because of shyness, low self-esteem or he's been hurt
in the past.
The mama's boy is my personal favorite because his mommy still does
his laundry, makes his lunch, cooks, bakes and does his errands for
him. She's basically
his wife without the sex and he's getting that from whomever he
dates so again what is the incentive for him to move out and get his
own place and take care of himself?
What makes a man grow up and want to take care of himself?
Parents need to learn to be like the parent birds and nudge
them out out of the house by letting them know their time is up and
they have done their jobs as parents so now it's their turn to go
out into the world on their own.
There needs to be benefits to being on your own such as having a
girlfriend, more privacy, the feeling of being an accomplished adult
to motivate these men to get back on track.
The girl friend also needs to let him know that she wants
someone to take care of her as much as she is taking care of him and
if he can't do that than she will need to find someone who can
fulfill her needs.
Is there hope for the Failure to Launch man?
Yep of course there is but you have to find out what
motivates your Failure to Launch Man and set a deadline for him to
learn to fly.
Celebrating almost 2 decades as a Graphic Designer/Published
Illustrator, Jean Nerestant Jr (Jness) got his start as a graphic
artist in 1994, Still working as a graphic designer by day/ Jness
devotes time to his hip hop Culture, comic book art and Plus
As a young man dating I always enjoyed walks in the rain. It takes a
special girl to entertain such a passion. Rain reveals so many
visual truths and secrets. Ten minutes of rain easily erases 2 hours
of the most skilled hairdresserís work. Make up washes away
uncovering the natural original design. Donít get me wrong; I donít
have objections to a well-styled and transformed face. I just know
that true romance is loving the face with or without the powdered
brush strokes. A walk in the rain with the right person brings
closeness. Recognizing the right moment after she feels a chill,
drawing her near for warmth, rain creates opportunities.
A building called the Watch Case overlooking the River Line
passenger train inspired this artwork. Built in the 1850ís it was
originally known as the Pavilion Hotel, according to the Riverside
Historical Society [http://riversidenjhistory.org] the building was
purchased by the Keystone Watchcase Company in 1892. It is a
beautiful piece of architecture, stuck in time marked by the dťcor
of the day it was finalized. As the songwriter said, ďStyle is
timeless and fashionís only nowĒ. It is aging gracefully; years of
rain have purified the brick and mortar, nothing to hide only the
truth of this structure remains, structural truth. Its stately
posture is romantic. I could think of no better backdrop for the
gentleman and the object of his affection on their way to a
wonderful evening. The evening will be perfect, the best light show
and sound clap the sky has to offer cannot spoil the kind of time
that can only be had by those who stand vigil at the gate eager to
fall in love.
In this illustration, the man is protecting the woman, and looking
where she steps before she steps. Not in an overprotective way, itís
more like the silent conversation that takes place during a dance.
His hand is ready to guide her. The touch of her hand lets him know
how much assistance she needs. Romance is an orchestrated
interaction, that should be practiced everyday. The graffiti on the
wall is there by creative license; it doesnít exist on the actual
building. It simply says the words ďOld SchoolĒ to reiterate the
classic theme, of chivalry.
The world is full of shattered hopes, broken wings, and ultimately
jaded people. This artwork attempts to restore the viewersí views
ushering a simple request. Dare yourself or better yet allow
yourself to feel the way you did about romance before you were hurt.
Before your brick and mortar walls went up to protect you against
the hurt and pain. Itís not easy to maintain filters yet allow some
good things to pass through. Custodial care of the heart must be
applied as needed; it should not be left in the on position all the
time. Just like the umbrella is put away when the rain subsides, so
should your guard be. Take the risk and go for a walk in the rain,
you never know what you might find.
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