LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and
what is your current Location?
I am a California girl
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some
information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital
Status, Children, etc.)?
I have been a plus model for over 6 years
now and I love it! I am 29, 5'6" 370lbs, size 32, Sicilian-American,
single, no kids.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or
did you gain weight later in life?
I was a large child growing up.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child)
how did you feel growing up as a large child?
Growing up, I never thought of myself as any
different until the teasing and name calling started in school. Then
later on I got the comments about my weight from my family and my
pediatrician. My parents even tried to put me on diets at the advice
from my doctor ( can you believe that, a CHILD on a diet?!), which
obviously never worked. I never understood why being overweight as a kid
was such a big deal, it didn't make me different on the inside.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight
later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about
I have gained more weight over the years, in
the past two years I became my biggest. My health began to decline, so I
began making better food choices recently and some physical activity. I
believe in health at all sizes. I have lost a few pounds in the last few
months as a result, but I'll never be "skinny" because my body isn't
built to be. My goal is optimal health and mobility right now.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to
enter the LargeInCharge model search?
I kept telling Raqui that I was interested
in the exposure, but I never thought my pics were good enough, so
finally I took a chance.
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard
journey to be accepted by others at your size?
It's an ongoing difficult journey. I was in
nursing school at one time and an instructor pulled me aside and
basically said that I was too fat to be a nurse! I couldn't sue the
school because weight is not a protected category under the law!
Unfortunately size-ism is alive and well. I even went on dating sites
only to get some nasty emails. It's always going to be a hard journey as
long as the weight stigma is there.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find it a hard to
accept yourself as a Plus Sized Person?
I accept myself as is-flaws and all, big or
small! As long as I am healthy I will be a happy camper no matter my
size. The number on the scale doesn't define me at all. I still don't
see myself as different from anybody else on the inside. Look and none
of us will because size doesn't matter. Being a good happy person does.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance
among your family and friends?
I keep very open minded friends, I guess
because I am a very open minded woman, so they accept me with no
problem. My family however have their rude remarks sometimes, but you
just have to consider the source. Some people are still going to talk
even though they have no room to! Furthermore, I have found a GREAT
network of friends within the BBW community that I am so glad I have
found and am a part of!
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say
inspires you most in life?
Music. I am constantly listening to music,
it's what motivates me. I love dance music that is upbeat, it helps me
be upbeat and when I am upbeat I feel I can conquer a lot!
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary
I am actually a certified medical assistant,
but right now I am a full time model.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this
line of work?
For medical assisting, I loved the medical
field-I was premed at one point, but that didn't work out, but I stayed
in the industry. For modeling I just did my research on plus modeling
and networked online with some outstanding people in the BBW community!
I always did modeling contests and submitted pics and then one day
BODacious Magazine called...I was flown to LA and before you know it,
issue 5 was on newsstands. It was then things took off and I did more
print and even web work.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in
the work force?
I tried to go back to school for nursing,
but then there was that incident with the instructor telling me I was
too fat! I think there is a lot of size-ism in that industry because
people automatically think you are unhealthy if you are overweight,
which isn't quite true. I'm for health at every size! Now for modeling,
you have to have a thick skin because you can be anywhere from too
short, too flabby, too fat, butt too big, etc., etc...it's very
competitive because if you don't have the right look for the job, the
job goes to someone else who they think does. However, I find myself
amazed and blessed with many fans who accept me for who I am and love my
work and to me that's the acceptance that matters when it comes to my
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you
believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I don't think anything will change in the
medical field until EVERYONE ACCEPTS that you can be healthy at any
size. As far as modeling, the mainstream industry needs to accept that
the average woman is a size 14. A lot of times, actually all the time,
in catalogs the girls selling the plus size clothing are like a size 8!
Let me see that outfit on a real size 32! Employ more supersized models!
I don't see why not!
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about
the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
I'm tired of seeing tents and mumus for
supersized women! We like style just as much as the non plus sized woman
does! However, I have been seeing a "movement" of many plus size fashion
bloggers and small shops and designers coming out with some real style
for our sizes! I think so far it has come a long way than what it used
to be and we do have more choices than we once did! But we still need
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see
change with the fashion industry?
More supersized women, modeling, supersized
clothing. And a mass burning of tents and mumus...ha!
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think
will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
I think we plus sized and supersized
individuals would be accepted in society more, clothing would be more
stylish, and less hard to find our sizes.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the
places you buy your clothing from.
I love to get my tops at Torrid, but I wish
their pants went to a 32! I have to get my pants at Avenue or Fashion
Bug or order from Woman Within and OneStopPlus.com. I like Lane Bryant
lingerie, but they seem to have gotten snugger in their sizing! I know I
am not the only one who noticed that!
Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
I use a few products that I love: Shiseido
day moisturizer before foundation to give your skin a healthy refreshed
look. I also use Shiseido White Lucent brightening massage cream to give
me a glowing complexion. My complexion is far from perfect, I still
break out, but I like to wash my face twice a day with Neutrogena and
that controls it. Vitamin E ointment to prevent wrinkles and for those
of us with piercings, to prevent keloids because I get them for every
Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.
What should models be prepared for?
Have an open mind and have fun with it!
Don't act like a diva and don't tell the photographer and makeup artist
how to do their jobs. Come early to your shoot, come prepared with
clothes if none is being provided and jewelry-lots of options! Remember
to eat a good breakfast before and bring a light snack if it's all day,
but don't eat too much. Treat each shot like it's the cover shot! Always
be friendly and flexible.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance
five years ago... look at size acceptance now.
What changes do you see?
I see many more women embracing their
curves, even in mainstream media!
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think
will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
I think if we continue to demand for
acceptance I believe that we can go far. I think we will have more plus
size stars in mainstream and just maybe a real size 32 woman wearing a
size 32 dress on the runway and in the catalogs.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you face
discrimination in your daily life as a Plus Sized Person?
You always wonder what other people are
thinking when you walk by and in public, but I don't worry too much
about it. I don't blatantly face discrimination daily.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals
as far as modeling and other interests.
I want to enter more mainstream modeling
eventually if I can, but that will be quite a challenge with today's
standards. I don't know if I will return to the medical industry, but
that's not ruled out.
What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I have been published in a few magazines in
U.S., Canada, and the U.K. I have been featured as a web model on a
couple of sites. I have done commercials as well.
Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?
What was the experience like?
My interview was featured on Mo'Nique's FAT
CHANCE Paris a few years ago, but I didn't make the final cut. It was
amazing to see myself on TV though. I was featured in BODacious Magazine
which is very selective on the models they print, so that's an
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an
inspirational moment in your life that made you feel good about your
The very first time I saw myself in magazine
print. It was beautiful! I've never loved myself more, it was me, all of
me, and it was tasteful. I no longer had any shame left in me about my
body. Since then I never looked back.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your
life that keeps you going?
Sadly my aunt Ruth passed away July 2011.
She always supported my modeling and bought every publication and always
defended me when I did something the rest of the family didn't agree
with. Her memory keeps me going because she would want me to live life
to the fullest as I always have. Her son, my cousin, who is still with
us reminds me every day.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you
give to other people of size who want to model?
Do your research, ask other models, find
photographers in your area and bring escorts to your shoots. Buy fashion
magazines and mimic the poses you see in there in a mirror until you can
do them without the mirror. If something is fishy don't do it. Check out
the magazines and websites FULLY that you are interested in. Know what's
expected of you and that the company is legit.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do
you most admire?
I admire Velvet D'Amour as a plus size
figure, she inspires me and I am glad to say someone I can call on
whenever I need advice.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with
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
COUGAR-ISM - A lifestyle to live by?
Written By: Raqui
This is a question I have been asking myself for a while. Being a 37
year old single woman is not always an easy thing, but it is not
terrible either. My husband died almost 11 years ago and I am on the
adventure of my life. Traveling and visiting, seeing places and
passing through locations I never thought I would see. I feel happy
and peaceful for the first time in my life and will never regret my
decision to try and see a few little spots in this wonderful
When it comes to dating I live by certain codes.
1. I will not date or have sex with a man who has been with someone
I know well. I don't care if they did break up, if the woman is not
OK with it I AM NOT OK WITH IT! And in reality it kinda creeps me
out thinking about sharing a penis with one of my friends. BLEECH!
2. I am not interested in women. Yes I am straight and while I love
my female companions in life. I never have nor will I ever see them
3. I am a big woman who will not apologize for my size. If you don't
like it don't look. While I might be HUGE woman (6'4 and 600+ lbs)
in comparison to others, I have never had a lack of attention from
4. Be open and honest with your needs and wants to avoid confusion.
And I am ending it here because I could go on.
5. When it comes to dating I prefer a man in my age range. Being a
Cougar is not my style.
Now I have dated a younger man a few times in my life. 2-4 years
isn't much of a difference. I was engaged at one time to a man 6 1/2
years younger and I felt weird about us dating at first. I was
turning 31 and he had just turned 24. I did realize that 6 1/2 years
wasn't that much of a gap when we had so much in common and we
enjoyed each other. Alas it did not end well, and I felt a lesson
After that relationship I was being approached even more often by
younger men. I wondered how could women in their 40's or older date
such young men? Like the ones who were approaching me. What future
do you have if any? Doesn't it feel strange dating or going to bed
with someone closer to your children's age? Is being a Cougar a good
lifestyle for a woman?
Definition of a Cougar (about.com) - The most commonly-accepted
definition of a cougar is a woman 40 years of age or older who
exclusively pursues very young men. The onset of the cougar years is
hotly debated. Some feel that a cougar can be as young as 35, but
women of this age would not be viewed as cougars unless their sexual
conquests were no older than 25; the ten-year age difference seems
to be an unspoken but accepted minimum between partners.
Typically, cougars prey upon men almost young enough to be their
sons. Thus forty-something cougars would be attracted to men in
their 20s, and fifty-something cougars would pursue men in their 30s
and so on.
During my daily life I do not pursue younger men; I am the one being
pursued. These men are not a few years younger than me, but 10 years
or more younger, Some just out of high school at the age of 19 or 20
years old. I constantly tell these men that the age difference is
too great, but they do not back down, they are determined to show
they are a man, and one worthy of a date. A man who can hold his own
and be a companion to an older women.
"Us Younger men treat older women better than the older guys." - One
24 year old told me while we chatted on the phone.
While networking I talk to many women. I have learned that the
average cougar is not what is seen on TV, A super slim, plastic
surgery patient, who is rich or well to do, searching bars at night
or meeting in night clubs to pick out and go after younger men.
The average cougar is not a predator at all, I'm not even sure
cougar is the right term. They are taking care of home, maybe a
widow, divorced or single. Maybe they have children or maybe not.
They are not HUNTING for younger men, they are chased by them.
Slowly being convinced by these young men, that they should be given
a chance, to spend time, date or maybe more. Yes many of these young
men want relationships, and are more than ready to start a life with
a woman who is not in their age range.
In fact many younger men have a strong resistance to seriously
dating women their own age. I have heard it all.
"It is just too much drama and problems". a 23 year old told me.
"If it’s not their gay best friend, it is every female friend they
got in our business, or their family or mama". One 27 year old said
"If I treat them nice they treat me like a dog". "If I am a asshole
they love it and can’t get enough, I can’t be a asshole and I don't
want to be either". A 25 year old young man vehemently spat.
"I don't want to live in a reality show, have you seen how some of
these chicks act"? a laughing 24 year old told me during a phone
"They dress like candy canes, act like drama queens, and have no
sense of pride". a 21 year old told me strongly one evening at a
dinner. He was a bus-boy.
"Maybe it is the females you’re picking". I said in reply.
"Why do you think I am talking to you, you’re a real grown up
"That is what I want". The 21 year old told me without hesitation.
I never wanted to date a man that much younger than me because I
felt my own mother made a mistake in marring my father 10 years
younger than her.
My mom was a young mother in her early 20's (with 3 children), when
my father (only 11 years old at the time) would pass by every day to
look at my mother from afar. Sometimes going inside and saying
hello. My mother worked at the local dry cleaners in the Bronx NY,
to provide for her children from her 1st marriage (an abusive drug
addicted man she divorced). She worked very hard and was a good
mother. My father had a full blown school boy crush (one that I have
found most men share) the crush on their ultimate woman.
She is the woman around the block or town, she is the teacher they
love or hate, she is the baby sitter that cared for them, the female
friend of their mother or mother of one of their friends. She exudes
everything womanly. In her 30's 40's or 50's these women that boys
love as they grow up, are everything they want in a woman. They
represent the ultimate in female, strong, confident, self-assured,
provider, temptress, fully mature with ripened breasts, Bellies that
have carried children, and legs and butts that have swollen. They
have a movement that is looser, more relaxed than a young woman but
is not of a old woman. She is just right. She comes in all forms,
tall, short, skinny, fat, really fat, and all in between, she can be
dark or light, long hair or short. She is exactly what the young man
sees as attractive. She can be every woman or fit a certain type.
She isn't seen as a mother figure like most people believe. In fact
many younger men hate the term cub (the cougar and her cub) because
they date older women. These women do not represent MOTHER, one
young man told me. They represent everything womanly and feminine,
confident and able, mentally stable and no-nonsense.
"They are the best of everything that is WOMAN"! one 26 year old
told me as we had a conversation.
My fathers crush lasted way into his late teens and developed. When
he finally was a physically mature man and able to go into the navy
(during Vietnam) he told my mother he wanted to marry her and would
be back. He wrote her letters during the war, and while he saw
others, he never lost sight of the woman he really wanted, the one
who he had been watching for years. While his teenage hellos went by
unnoticed by my mother, his love grew, Until finally he was a man
and could express it.
After the war he came back actively pursuing, wooing, and married my
mother at the ripe old age of 21 with my mother being 31. No one
could tell the difference in age (My family line is one that
gracefully ages, on both sides, always looking 10 years or more
younger.) I was born when my father was 26 and my mother 36. They
loved each other fiercely but yet my father was still to young
mentally and life was not happy. Mom tried hard to make it work, but
after 11 years of marriage it was over. My mother divorced my father
all the while he protested. My Father has said he owes everything to
my mother she taught him so much and he changed because of her. He
grew up. Still to this day my father would do anything for my mother
if he could. I guess you never lose sight of your first love.
I didn't want to be that woman, helping a young man grow up. NO I
WANT A MAN WHO IS GROWN ALREADY! But during the dating process I
started to notice something. Many men (not all but many) in my age
range who are single, and available, seem so sad, mad, hopeless,
hurt, and yes some down right depressed and affected. Lets say jaded
in some ways, maybe years of hurt, pain, and failed relationships
took its toll on them. To the point they don't even try anymore.
The younger man isn't that way, they are hopeful, ready, happy,
funny, and looking for some joy to counter act the hard work they
are putting into developing themselves. Younger men still have some
romance left in them. They take a chance in speaking to a woman even
if they feel she is out of there league. They are not as afraid of
rejection and openly flirt, yet they don't have particular
expectations. Open to listening and talking, not judging and enjoy
what the older woman has to say. They appreciate a older woman who
spends time with them, whether its talking, going out, or more. They
know she doesn't have to pick them to spend time with and are happy
if she does.
Men my age feel that if they have a house, car, and a job they don't
need anything else. Maybe that will impress a woman in her 20's but
a woman in my age range needs more than that. Chances are we already
have our own house, car, job and maybe more than what he has. He
isn't giving the one thing that would impress a woman in her 30's
40's 50's genuine interest, companionship, and worth. Many men in
their 30's 40's 50's feel if he isn't getting exactly what he wants,
as he wants it, then getting to know a female is a waste of time.
Why even bother having a conversation if she doesn't fit in his
little box of wants, forget that she is a individual of her own.
It is what she can do or will do for him immediately. The
thing I don't get is if you don't get to know a person how can you
figure out what they can or cannot do? Most importantly what can you
do for her in return other than talk about yourself and the items
It seems like the difference in approach is significant.
As a loose example here are two approaches from men that happened to
me with in a week period. (This does not represent all men)
The Man in his 30's - He saw me our eyes locked and he walked past
me. I saw the attraction and waved hello to him but he kept going
only coming back when a friend of mine was walking to my vehicle. He
got my name from her and then came over to speak to me. We spoke
briefly he flirted some but was more focused on telling me what he
had, such as house, car, etc. He thought I was 25 when I told him I
was 37 he was surprised. We exchanged numbers and the phone call he
promised, didn't happen. He texted me a invitation to his house two
days later and when I suggested we meet up to get to know each other
he declined. I understood he was only looking for one thing but the
way he handled the situation was totally classless. I could have
been looking for the same thing but he guaranteed rejection with his
actions. What happen to the Get to Know a Person Process?
The Man in his early 20's - Upon parking I was getting together my
items to place in my shopping cart to enter my residence. He was
sitting outside smoking a cigarette. My cart rolled away, He ran up
to help me, His eyes were large and almost dreamy while I said thank
you and put my items inside. He watched me carefully and smiled at
me as I started walking. He opened doors and kept asking me
questions about myself and answering questions about himself. He
made me laugh and I didn't want to go inside because this was a nice
conversation. He also was surprised at my age, he thought I was 26
(he is 24).
When i told him my age he said;
I guess I just love a woman like you, Your built, your look,
everything is amazing.
I looked at him with a side glance and he immediately said;
I don't want you to think I am flirting with you... because I am.
OK he got me with that cute move, I came out after I put away my
things. We sat and talked for quite a while. About life, what we
want to do, music, where we came from. What we want to accomplish
while we are here at this location. What we like and dislike, all
the while his smile and humorous flirtations just tickled me. He was
so vibrant and hopeful, he looked at me like I am not just a woman
he liked, but everything he ever dreamed and hoped for in the word
WOMAN. I was his image of her placed right down in his path like a
gift. He wanted to know me and that was a nice experience.
It is a similar situation every time I come across a younger man. I
am more often than not treated like my time was a gift that I was
sharing. This is not just one young man one evening... this is over
and over again from the younger men who try to get and keep my
As I was about to get up to leave he gave me his hands to help me
up. He looked at me up and down. My extreme large 6'4 600+ lb frame
super curvy and thick with extra helpings of everything, compared to
his 5'8 180 lb nicely built young body.
He then says, "I think I can pick you up"!
Humor in my voice I say, "go ahead try it".
Knowing he wasn't going to be able to.
He came in close and put his arms around my waist and rested them on
my overly ample hips. I heard him smell me with a few deep breaths
and press himself softly against me. He backed up slowly staring me
deeply in my eyes.
"No... I don't think I would try to pick you up... I would rather
make love to you, if I ever got close enough to you." "If I was ever
given that chance."
He statement while serious and sensual it wasn't dirty... and it was
said in such a sweet way that I couldn't help but give him a kiss on
"AWE your too sweet... Then I smooched him.
"Can I give you one back?"
"OK" I replied
When he moved in closer to me with his arms around me he leaned up
to kiss my face three times from my ear down my jaw line.
As he did this my thought was... "I see why".
I saw why dating a young man with a fun, vibrant personality, yet
sweet was something cougars do. These men haven't been through the
ringer yet and hopefully they wont become like the men who are in my
age range now.
His kisses didn't come with expectation; he just lived with me in
the moment and hoped to share more moments. He kissed my face so
softly and sweetly as if he might never have the chance again. Yeah
of course this could just be his way but whatever it was worked
because I gave him my number to call me.
The next day I looked at the evening before and the kisses as just a
wonderful experience and I then looked at cougars a different way.
In many culture the older woman, young man relationship is very
important. She in her wisdom teaches him to be a man and to treat
women correctly. What type of women has the qualities for a wife and
which don't. She takes this seriously and realizes she is preparing
him for life with woman as companion. But now relationships are
coming about from older women, younger men relationships.
What about relationships that start with young man/older women. Some
studies have shown that they can be the longest lasting most
successful relationships. In a twist other relationships with older
man/younger women or partners of the same age do not last as long.
Some say it is a horrible experience and some twist it to make it
sick. Yet these relationships are still happening, the numbers
increase, and more and more happy couples are coming about from it.
I can’t judge any one's relationship and if it works then I say be
happy. Still I don't know if it would work for me.
As my phone range several times the next day, I wondered if it was
this young man who had kissed me so sweetly with dreamy eyes. When I
answered his voice was happy and excited.
"I have been thinking about you all day!" he said to me.
"I thought about you too." I replied.
So me and this younger man hung out, had fun, and laughed more than
I have laughed in a long time. There was no pressure, no
expectations, just two people being people. I can say I enjoyed
being with this young man and it opened my eyes to Cougar-ism in a
I guess rules are made to be broken because I am going to date
whoever actually wants to spend time with me, as two people getting
to know each other. Now I can’t say I would have a full blown
committed relationship with a man much younger. But at this point I
am never going to say never. I don't need to be proven wrong again!
HA HA HA
- 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 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
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
“don’t let that be the last breath, please God !!, help her.
You spend your time in prayer that God should take my
life before my mother’s.
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 don’t 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 “lesson”, 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 “Good”.
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 “touch”
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 life…to 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. Tabasco™)
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 Fritos®
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!
I Know What I'm Hungry For!
with Angie Bee
Tonight I was the guest on a BlogTalk Radio show.
The host is Gail Moore Richardson and I have been a guest on
her show before. About
one year ago, I was a guest promoting a tour event that I co-created
and she was cordial and kind enough to allow me to speak with her
about the tour.
However, during this past year my relationship with Gail has grown.
She ministers to me.
She sends me daily scripture through text message and her
Facebook messages to me are stimulating and encouraging.
At one point during our talks, Gail said to me "When God
gives you something; He doesn't want you to give it to someone else.
God gave that to YOU!".
Now I know what Gail meant.
I have a hunger in my belly and this hunger is for me.
Now, I know what I am hungry for.
It is now my 13th month, since having gastric bypass surgery.
I look GOOD! I
mean, I really do! I
look in the mirror and I want to put on earrings and I paint my
nails and I try new eye shadow looks (thanks to my daughter Jasmine
for teaching them to me!).
People see me and they say "YOU LOOK GREAT" and I can't
believe that my clothes are falling off of me.
I was on webcam chat with my sister Sonya and she exclaimed
"Oh My GOD! Your face
is SO SMALL" - even my night cap is too big for my head now - lol -
I know that I look good... but I'm not hungry for the compliments.
The compliments are just an appetizer for what I am REALLY
My health concerns prior to surgery are a thing of the past now.
Let me tell you what happened: My new primary care doctor
sent me for a sleep study to confirm what the new setting should be
on my C-PAP machine. My
pulmonologist suggested reducing the pressure from 12 down to 10 and
my primary care doctor wanted to be sure.
So, off I went to the study.
Two days later, the sleep lab technician called me to say
"I'm not supposed to tell you this, you're supposed to hear it from
your doctor; but you don't have any indication of sleep apnea.
If you had it before, it is certainly gone now".
Yesterday my phone rang.
signed up to participate in a diabetes study 18 months ago and now
our program has funding.
We can compensate you up to $500.00
When can you start?"
My reply: "I have been
off all diabetes medicine since March 2, 2011.
Her response: "Wow!
What have you done?
Diet? Exercise? Alternative herbs?"
My answer: "Gastric
Bypass Surgery. I was
discharged from the hospital with normal blood glucose and my
endocrinologist kicked me out of her practice three months later.
My A1C is 5.2 and I am fine.
Can I still have the $500.00?"
I remember when my blood sugar was out of control.
I would eat a peanut butter sandwich while popping a bag of
popcorn in the microwave... all while cooking rice for dinner.
I would have consumed it all in less than 30 minutes.
My great-grandmother used to say "You gotta feed that sugar"
and that's what I was doing.
I was hungry all the time.
Then, when the diabetes and high blood pressure crept in, I
developed a hunger for a life with no prescriptions.
Medicaid was paying over $1,200.00 per month in my
prescription costs and I was consuming over 14 pills a day plus two
(2) insulin injections.
My sister Sonya had to teach me how to use an insulin pen!
I was hungry all the time... taking medicine all the time and
drowning in misery.
Now, I have lost nearly 140 pounds in 13 months and I am
Tomorrow, I will give my C-PAP Machine to someone that really needs
it. My blood pressure
on March 16th was 101 over 66 and my pulse was 78.
When I am hungry now, I can snack on a piece of cheese and a
handful of nuts and I am full.
I am hungry for the Word of God.
Now, I can read scriptures and not fall asleep.
Now, I can stand and praise God without my ankles swelling.
Now, I can speak on the goodness of how God healed me through
gastric bypass surgery and I can testify on the hell that I lived
through these past few years with major depression.
My testimony is stronger every day and now I know why:
I was hungry for a closer walk with God, and now I have it!
BEE Blessed, Fam
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
Hi Ho! Hi Ho! A-Stigmatizing Fat Kids We Go!
In late February, NAAFA was appalled to learn that Disney, a
traditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, had fallen
under the shadow of negativity and discrimination. It appeared that
Disney now believes that using the tool of shame, favored so much by
today’s healthcare corporations, is the best way to communicate with
After pressure from NAAFA, physicians groups and other special
interest groups, Disney has chosen to close their
Habit Heroes attraction
at Epcot Center for “retooling” and their website for “maintenance”.
There is no date posted for
re-opening. We thought
you might still like to hear about their project, write to them with
your opinion, sign our petition and cast your vote regarding this
project, if you haven’t done so already.
Media articles are clearly pointing to NAAFA as the
responsible party for the closings, but we need to make sure they
“hear” us about what changes need to be made.
Disney, in partnering with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to create the new
Epcot attraction and on-line game, Habit Heroes, has taken the side
of the bullies. Although their website is now closed for
you can see a few of the characters used on Canadian Dr. Freedhoff’s
and a video tour of the exhibit at:
The attraction and game feature negative stereotypical characters
such as "The Glutton, Overeating and eating too fast"; "Snacker, Too
much fatty, processed food"; "Lead Bottom, Not enough exercise"; "Stinkbomb,
Bad hygiene"; "The
Fungus, Eating rotten or expired food"; "Stress Case, Stressing
Out"; "The Prescriptor, Ignoring doctor's advice" and "Cereal
Killer, No time for breakfast". The use of these stereotypes,
traditionally used to torment overweight kids, will potentially
reinforce and strengthen a cycle of bullying, depression, dis-ease,
eating disorders and even suicidal thoughts.
Disney theme parks and characters have always been associated with
positivity and joy; there is no upside to following this new
negative path. Let’s keep Disney theme parks "the happiest places on
NAAFA encourages everyone to call and write Disney to express your
Call Epcot Center: 407-824-2222 and register a complaint about fat
characters used in their Habit Heroes Exhibit and online game.
Call Disney Corporate Headquarters: 407-354-2754
Write Disney Corporate Headquarters:
Attention: Kristin Nolt Wingard
Senior VP of Public Affair
1375 Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
Email Disney's Communications Dept:
Sign the petition NAAFA has created at:
NAAFA recommended that Disney and their partners, Anthem Blue
Cross/Blue Shield and Wellpoint, review NAAFA's Child Advocacy
This toolkit is a
resource that focuses on a health-centered approach to improve the
health of our children without doing harm.y
takes one click, just a couple of seconds:
Help us bring permanent change to these new
Help us bring permanent change to these new Disney projects!Help us
bring permanent change to these new Disney projects!Help us bring
permanent change to these new Disney projects.
All children, regardless of body size, should be free to enjoy the
"happiest place on Earth"!
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!
Can’t 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: 25%
time is here… 4-U.
This awesome site call Yours Clothing offer quality
on trend plus size clothes that both fit and flatter, in
sizes 14 to 32 (UK sizing). New styles are launched weekly
on the web with everything from dresses to knitwear, jeans
to nightwear, lingerie, shoes, and stunning accessories. At
Yours Clothing you will find the hottest trends at the best
Product of the Month
Recommended by: Lucia
Name of Product:
Type of Product: Computer
Where Product can be found:
Description: iPad with the stunning Retina display. 5MP
iSight camera. And ultrafast 4G LTE. Starting at $499.00
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
Are You The One?
with Pat Llewellyn
Last month I talked about a nasty series of emails a jerk sent
me on a dating website. This month I want to talk to you about
the general lack of effort and lack of understanding what a
woman is looking for on a dating website. While the idiots make
great stories for entertaining my friends, I really would like
to meet a solid guy.
One of the first things I notice about your profile is your
username. It can be clever, funny, honest & it reflects who you
are. It’s a tool to get me interested in communicating with you.
It literally is my first impression of your personality. What a
woman doesn’t want to see is what you think your sexual prowess
is (Magic Lick, ThckNLong), your recreational drug of choice
(Higg420) or contain the number 69. If that is all you have to
bring to the table, I’m not interested. I want a person who is
articulate, not the guy who just wants to get laid.
Before you send me a message, read my profile. I clearly
articulate what I am and am not looking for. If you send me a
message and you clearly haven’t read my profile, it shows you
just don’t respect me or what I’m looking for. When you are
sending me a message, don’t send me a picture of your penis. I
really don’t want to see it. It’s not a turn on.
Really, it’s not. Also, don’t start off telling me how
you want to *give it to me.* It’s not a compliment and it
certainly won’t endear yourself to me. At best you will get a
sarcastic comment back and blocked. If it’s particularly vile,
I’ll get your account deleted.
If you are sending me a message, you should be selling yourself
to me. Just because you send me a message, it doesn’t mean I’m
going to *hit that*. I have loads of self-confidence and am
willing to pass on someone I don’t think would be a good fit. I
am not obligated to meet with you or even respond to your
message. It’s a little thing called free will.
If you can’t handle rejection, don’t go on a dating website. For
every yes you get, you will get many women saying no. Don’t
start insulting me or *gasp* call me fat. I know I’m fat, I
don’t have a problem with it. Trying to insult me with the word
is like insulting me by calling me blonder. Don’t tell me you
are doing me a favor by asking me out, because I’m fat and must
be desperate. It just makes you look pathetic when the women you
pity thinks you aren’t good enough to date?
When I say I’m not interested, I really do mean it. Repeated
messages trying to engage me in conversation is not acceptable
and not going to end will for you. Sending me pictures of your
penis will get you reported and your account deleted.
Before I respond to your message I read your profile. If you
don’t have information about yourself or fill the about yourself
section with gibberish, I will respond in kind. If your profile
is rude or is all about how your ex screwed you over, I will
take a pass. Every time a guy, who has said on his
profile how nice of a guy he is, messaged me he turned out to be
a jerk. If you are nice, the way you interact with me will show
If I agree to meet your for a coffee or a drink, that is what I
actually mean. It’s not code for come over and have sex with me.
Sending me random message asking me for sex is also not going to
work. Most sane women are not going to agree to go to
a complete strangers home or agree to have them come to
their home. I don’t know if you are a creepy stalker or a nice
guy. I’m certainly not going to put myself in a position where
you could hurt me.
If you are sending me a message I’m guessing you like fat women.
There is no need to tell me your preference is a BBW. Also,
putting down skinny women to try and impress me won’t fly. I
believe is size acceptance. That includes fat, thin, tall,
short… If you think I’m pretty, by all means tell me. Just don’t
try to build me up by tearing down someone else Also, don’t
insult me then say it’s ok, you’d date me anyway.
You shouldn’t be taking dating tips from Howard on The
Big Bang Theory. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s not a ladies
By now you are probably thinking I hate men.
I can tell you it’s not true. I LOVE men. I want to find
a man to share my life with and someone I can respect. I just am
dismayed at the lack of understanding men have of what will
attract a woman.
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 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
with Ms Suga
It breaks my heart
when people especially children are wronged and treated unjustly. I
live in South Florida about 3 hours south of the Orlando/ Sanford
area. Up until now the state of Florida has had its share of news
worthy tomfoolery but I think the events of the past few weeks
really take the cake.
Here are the facts. On a grey and rainy Sunday afternoon, February
26th 2012 to be exact, a man called 911 to report a suspiciously
hooded figure walking through his apartment complex. He described
this suspiciously hooded figure to the 911 dispatcher and instead of
doing like normal people and letting the cops do their jobs; this
man, Mr. George Zimmerman, followed the suspiciously hooded figure.
The 911 dispatcher stated that Zimmerman needed not to follow the
person and to wait for the police to arrive (this entire
conversation can be heard on the 911 tapes released by request of
the Martin family). The next several minutes and actually next few
days are rather "fuzzy" to put it loosely.
Another 911 call is made by an unknown woman who states she hears
someone outside her back door calling for help but she has no idea
why and is afraid to go outside to investigate. The 911 dispatcher
can also hear this unknown voice in the background yelling for help
and then there is a "pop.” The caller tells the dispatcher she heard
a gunshot and opts to go and hide on the upper level of her home.
When the police arrive they find the original caller Zimmerman with
a broken nose standing over the previously referred to suspiciously
hooded figure with a recently fired gun in hand and blood splattered
all over him. He tells
the police that he shot the suspiciously hooded figure, which he was
told not to follow, in self-defense. The police, considering the
original 911 call, take Zimmerman's statement at face value and
basically rule it as an open and shut case. The now dead
suspiciously hooded figured is tagged as a John Doe and taken to the
morgue. It is documented that in John Doe's possession is a bag of
skittles, a can of Arizona iced tea and a cell phone. Nobody ever
went through the cell phone to find a family member or even a last
call made to help identify John Doe. John Doe's body is tested for
drugs and alcohol but the tests came back negative and he sits in
the morgue for roughly 48 hours before his identity is discovered.
Nearly three days after being shot in the chest the previously
referred to suspiciously hooded figure is finally identified as
seventeen year old Trayvon Martin.
Now I wonder how those three days went for the Martin family; scared
out of their minds with grief and worry that the worst has happened
to their beloved Trayvon. Constantly praying that Trayvon returns
home safe and unharmed. Tears of grief stain their faces as the time
ticks on and reality begins to set in as to what may have happened
to Trayvon. And then that devastating knock at the door, the
investigators entering Trayvon Martin's mothers home and delivering
news no mother ever wants to receive. The officers saying something
like "Ma'am unfortunately Trayvon was shot in the chest a couple
days ago and he has been sitting in the morgue as John Doe. The man
who shot him stated he was acting in self-defense and Trayvon was
walking around suspiciously in an apartment complex in Sanford." I
can’t begin to imagine the pain and anguish his family must have
felt. The anger that their son, brother, cousin, nephew was chased
down by a man he had never known,
murdered in cold blood then treated like a common criminal
who simply “got what he deserved.” My blood boils at the thought
that this man is still free nearly a month later and has yet to be
arrested for anything. I mean what the hell is the hold up? He
confessed to shooting this child, they have him on tape being told
not to apprehend this so-called suspiciously hooded figure. I know
I'm a few degrees short of being a district attorney but that at
least sounds like interfering a police investigation, kidnapping,
and possession of a firearm something. People have been convicted
with way less than this and this asshole cowardly excuse of a man
Zimmerman doesn't even get a warrant out for his arrest.
In the weeks that follow, the murder of Trayvon Martin has become a
household discussion. Rallies have been held, petitions have been
created, and people all over the United States are demanding
justice! Leading the movement have been the family as well as famous
actors, athletes and several community figures all asking for the
same thing; that this man at minimum be arrested and the crime be
Students at a high school in Miami Fl, staged a walkout in the
middle of a school day in honor of Trayvon. Pictures of people in
hoodies are plastered all over Facebook with captions like “Am I A
Threat?’ and “I am Trayvon Martin” beneath them. Talk is brought up
about the "Stand Your Ground" laws and how racism still exists
within the nation that has an African American man as the Head of
State. Trayvon's murder is now being compared to the murder of Emit
Till how both young men were brutally murdered by white men in cold
blood for no apparent reason other than them being black in the
wrong place at the wrong time.
Now I will not say that I am one that always feels like racism is
still the root of all problems in society and the "man" is always
trying to keep us down. But I will say that it's painfully clear
that this is an issue that is still very real here in 2012. Being
young in the United States is stress enough in itself why are we
still being exposed to this hatred. Last time I checked the skin you
are born with is the only skin you get. No matter the hue, or the
fact that some people actually attempt to change the color of their
skin you cannot change the person God has created you to be. If you
don't like me being black take that up with God! I'm just playing
the game with the cards I've been dealt. I've never felt nor was
taught to be superior or inferior to any race or nationality. We all
are born, live, cry, laugh, bleed and then we all die.
I encourage you all to take a stand against racism and injustice. We
are all God's people and we need to start spreading love and peace
throughout this nation we call home. Land of the free and home of
the brave is what we claim this land to be. Prove it. Don't let
Trayvon's death go by in vain. Let the love and positivity start
with you. #hoodieup
Be blessed, Be safe, Be inspired
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.
Ghosts of Diets Past
with Gabriela Falarz
Here and there, in dusty dark corners of my house, live ghosts of
diets past. Every once in awhile, I’ll stumble across one of them
and reminisce. I’ll find them in my medicine cabinet and the
occasional cupboard – herbal supplements, “fat burners”, diet
pamphlets, diet recipe books.
The most frequent reminder of my ghosts of diets past are in my
closet. There are clothes ranging from a size 10 (my smallest) to
26. There are also clothes in every size in between. Nowadays I’ve
settled at about a 24 and I’ve stayed at that size for years,
fluctuating a little up or down at different times of the year. It
seems to be my “natural” size. Summers I tend to lose a little
weight, being extra conscious of the less clothes I wear and the
skin on display.
I know a lot of people say that if you want to feel good about your
body, you shouldn’t keep your “thin clothes” around. If they don’t
fit anymore, just give them to Goodwill, love the clothes you wear
now, and add more pieces to your closet that you enjoy. Still, I do
have fond memories of the clothes, if not the diets. I can still
remember slipping into that sleek denim mini skirt and the ecstasy
at being able to pull up the zipper. I remember turning around to
admire how those cute denim pockets accentuated my ass. I still gaze
fondly at the designer labels and the lovely fashionability of the
clothes and wonder why it’s just not the same with plus-sized
Somewhere far back in the corner of my mind there is probably still
the fleeting dream that one of these days, I will be able to wear
them again, through some miracle or other. Of course I know that
won’t happen. But I still can’t bring myself to throw or give them
all away. (Actually, last summer I donated a few huge bags of old
clothes to a woman in need, only keeping my most sentimental items.)
What is most likely to happen is that these old mementos will end up
clothing my daughter. She’s already raided my closet and adopted
several items for herself. I guess I can live with that. If my body
could not accept being size 10 for too long, perhaps my daughter’s
body will be more accommodating.
I can definitely do away with the old diet pills, though. Time to
chuck those relics in the garbage where they belong.
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 broker’s 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.
Are you dating a true BBW or FA Lover?
with Kathy Hernandez
I've dated men in the past where I didn't think it was important
that the man I dated preferred BBW's or larger women but after a few
mistakes I realized that it was important that I was their type on
the outside as well as on the inside.
These men that I dated liked my personality, my blues eyes and
smile, intelligence, sense of humor and we had lots of common
interests but when it came to my weight they were settling for a
larger woman. In
the end these men would ask me to lose weight because I was perfect
for them in every other aspect except for my weight.
I want a man who looks at my curves and can't keep his eyes
off my face and my body because I need to know that I am his type
and he's not settling for me until he finds what he is really
I decided about 10 years ago that I needed to ask a man if BBW's are
his type and if his response came back with "I like all women and I
don't have a type" than he wasn't the man for me to date.
It's pretty hard to invest your time and heart in a man who
you think really likes you then he gives you an ultimatum to lose
weight or he is going to find another girlfriend just because you
aren't the size he wants you to be.
I understand that when we start dating someone that we are
physically attracted to the person that we meet and if someone's
weight goes up or down 50 or 60 pounds then we might not be as
attracted to that person as we were when we first met them.
My weight didn't go up or down when I dated these men and I
guess they figured they could either deal with the extra weight or
convince me to lose weight just for them.
There is a flip side to this also and that is when men who are
dating BBW's and then their girlfriend loses weight or says they
want to lose some weight and are told by their boyfriend or husband
that if they do lose weight they will break up or divorce them.
I think at some point when you are in a true loving
relationship that you have to love that person no matter what their
size is because I have a lot of friends who have lost weight due to
health problems and mobility issues.
Can you imagine getting dumped by your loved one because you lost
weight and are giving an ultimatum to put the weight back on or you
will lose your relationship over being healthier?
I have asked men who tell me that they exclusively date BBW's why
they are attracted to larger women versus women of what society
considers an average size.
The responses I have
received have varied from them and include the following:
I think larger women have larger breasts and booty's and I'm not
attracted to a woman who looks like a 12 year old girl who hasn't
I think larger women are better lovers in bed.
I think larger women aren't as bitchy as smaller women are.
I think larger women want to be in a committed relationship and will
give their relationship all they can.
How do you tell if a man really does like larger women and they
aren't just trying to have a hit and run with you?
Is the man asking you out on what I consider a "real date"?
A real date to me is going to dinner, seeing a moving,
bowling, having drinks etc. These
are things you do out in public and not just being invited in
private to his place to "hang out".
Does he introduce you to his friends, family and coworkers?
There are many in the closet BBW Lovers out there today and yes they
really do find BBW's attractive but they are embarrassed to tell
people that they like larger women...
this is definitely a man that I wouldn't date because I'm not
a fetish and if you can't be proud to tell the world that I'm your
girlfriend than you need to go back into the closet until you get a
pair of brass ones and can tell people that larger women are your
My current boyfriend dates only women with curves, plus size, BBW's
or whatever you want to
call women who are considered larger than society's norm and he
won't ever ask me to lose weight for him but if I did gain or lose
weight he would still be with me and love me regardless of my
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
Before Plus Sized Fashion
It seems these days that every plus size conversation leads to the
topic of fashion. It’s certainly a good thing that there are
clothing designers developing plus size apparel more than ever
before. But let’s turn back the hands of the clock to a time when
the plus sized community wasn’t viewed as a viable market, and there
were little to no options available.
I had a close friend share the details of an experience that gave me
insight to some size-related injustices. (Let’s call her Cary) She
was a young girl only 10 years old. She was a heavy-set girl with
pretty jet-black curls and olive skin. Her favorite thing to do was
to go out with Mommy on Saturdays. They would go out for breakfast,
stop at the baker to buy fresh bread; they would visit her aunt who
lived near the baker’s shop. Everything was perfect until it was
time to shop for a new dress. From one store to the next, her Mom’s
pleasant disposition would gradually change as dressing room visits
reveal that nothing available fit Cary. As a grown woman giving me
account of these experiences still cause the corners of her eyes to
fill with tears.
In the dressing room Cary’s mother would grab her by the collar pull
her near, look her straight in the eye and say,
“You mack truck, you don’t fit into anything!” She would say
it in a deep threatening tone to prevent the sales person outside
from hearing the piercing words. As her mother tried to stuff her
into various outfits she would pull Cary from side to side, pinch
her and eventually smack her in frustration. Once she got a full
blown spanking when they got home because one of the dresses ripped,
and her mother had to pay for the torn merchandise.
As an adult Cary has self-esteem gray areas, she is confident about
her career, and very successful. She is a beautiful full-figured
woman, but in the quiet times looking in the mirror getting ready
for her day, she will still whispers to herself “I look like a mack
truck.” It’s almost as if her mother’s voice is forever playing back
in her head. Cary never truly feels beautiful. At a time when her
mother could have placed words of affirmation into her, instead she
dampened her spirit with painful, hurtful words. To add insult to
injury when Cary tried to speak to her mother about how those days
made her feel, her mother denied that it ever happened. This
would’ve been an opportunity for healing and closure. But that will
have to come later.
Sometimes we have to forgive those who hurt us, whether they
apologize or not. It’s the only way to heal, and the only way to
find peace. I am not suggesting forgiving people and affording them
the chance to hurt us again. I am just referring to the steps
necessary to achieve personal growth.
The art I create is in the hopes of causing the viewer to identify
with images of self-confidence, and empowerment, which are qualities
that can only come after struggle, and after overcoming life
challenges. While you are in the eye of a storm, it’s hard to
understand what good could come from it, but when you come out of
it, the strength of the storm is the gage that measures your
strength of your endurance.
Return to Back Issues of
Return to the Front