LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
My name is Amy Lucas.
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your
I am from Battle Creek, Michigan.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about
yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status,
I am 34 year old single woman and I have no children. I am
5’6” and my size really varies. It depends on the style of
clothing and where the clothes come from. I can really run
the range of almost the entire plus size spectrum depending
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain
weight later in life?
I have always been a big girl. In fact, I even had a tummy
when I was in Kindergarten.
LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you
feel growing up as a large child?
It was difficult growing up as a big girl. I dealt with
bullying when I was young and I was always the girl that was
told that if I would lose weight I would be so pretty.
However, I was always smart and good at school so I didn’t
let my size affect my life. I was involved in everything
after school and had good grades. I’ve never really had a
low self-esteem because I always had value in being the girl
who knew everything and got everything done. It did take me
quite awhile after I got out of high school to realize that
there are guys who like big girls. Who knew? After I
realized that I could be both big and beautiful, I knew then
that I needed to represent that title to the rest of the
world so that they too would start to believe that. I hate
when people still think that I must want to lose weight or
that I want to be skinny. I’m good with who I am and I can
look just as beautiful as any skinny chick.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the
LargeInCharge model search?
I thought well why not. The opportunity presented itself so
I thought it would be interesting to try something new.
Besides, we need more confident bigger women representing
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be
accepted by others at your size?
I did as a kid yes, but I have always taken pride in being
smart and a leader in getting things done so I knew my worth
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find it a hard to accept yourself
as a Plus Sized Person?
I didn’t really have a problem with that. I have always felt
like all you really have in life is yourself so you had
better figure out how you are going to like you and be ok
with who you are. People come and go but you will always
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance among your family
I do find acceptance among most of my friends and family. I
wouldn’t really waste my time with people who wouldn’t as I
don’t need that in my life. Obviously, there are some people
you have to work with or deal with in life that are going to
be close minded so you just have to stand up for yourself
and deal with those people the best that you can.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in
There are lots of things that inspire me in life. I love to
travel and experiencing different cultures. I feel so alive
and loving life when I am able to take a tour of a foreign
country. I also am inspired to help other plus size women be
the best they can be by running a bbw (big beautiful women)
fashion group on Facebook showcasing cute outfits in our
size and different tutorials on how to make us look the best
we can be. Lastly, I also think that bbw events have helped
women connect and helped us to accept ourselves for who we
are so that inspired me to start a Facebook group to help
connect people to events in their areas.
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation?
I am a certified educator and principal; however, due to
circumstances I am currently a family caregiver.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this line of work?
I student taught Kindergarten when I was a senior in high
school. When I went to college I wasn’t too sure of what
direction I wanted to go in. I started in International
Business and Spanish. I realized quickly that I did not
enjoy business and always felt that connection to children
so I decided to choose education. As my career has
progressed through different jobs, I realized that I wanted
to be a principal to help change schools for the better so I
got my master’s degree in Central Office Administration so
that I could do that or work in an administrative office
making things better for our schools in the entire school
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?
For the most part I do feel that it hasn’t mattered too much
in my job; however, when you work with children you also
deal with how cruel they can be towards other overweight
children. I felt like I was the spokesperson for being plus
sized for them. I tried to help them deal with what they
were going through and to give them someone they could go to
when they couldn’t handle it. It’s been really sad at how
overweight children are still treated today from both adults
and other children.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take
place for Large People in the work force?
This question I think really pertains to your specific line
of work. I don’t think many changes should be made in
education, but anti-bullying legislation and a no tolerance
policy may cut down on the bullying I help overweight
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion
industry for big sized clothing?
I think it’s definitely getting better. There are more
options out there than before. Unfortunately for those above
a size 24, your choices are usually limited to buying
clothing only at a few stores in person. You usually wind up
going online to buy on a website or through a catalog and
that really needs to change.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the
I do wish that designers would realize that not all larger
women have an hourglass figure. I think that there should be
more designs to help mask a multitude of issues we struggle
with and showcase ones we have. I’ve also noticed that for
clothing over a size 24 the prices tend to go way up. There
is not that much difference between a 24 and 26 yet the
price can be dramatically different.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen if
plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
It would be nice to see someone who is on the larger ends of
the spectrum especially when you are looking to shop for
clothes. I hate looking at a skinny model in the dress I am
looking to buy because I can’t get a good feel if that dress
will look right on my shape or not. It would be easier to
shop and find something to look good on me if we had larger
models and models of different body shapes. People might be
more apt to buy an item if it looks good on someone with
their size and shape.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your
I buy my clothing at One Stop Plus, Torrid, Lane Bryant,
Fashion Bug, Deb, and Ebay. However, I am always looking for
new places online because I am all about trying to find
something cute that’s right for my shape.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
To keep your lipstick on, apply lip liner and then your
lipstick. After that, put facial powder all over your lips
and then put another coat of lipstick overtop. Finally blot
with a tissue. The powder keeps your lips dryer which keeps
the lipstick on longer and not on your teeth.
LargeInCharge.com: Give us some tips on how to have a
successful Photo shoot. What should models be prepared for?
You should have some poses in mind that you think you look
cute in. Try on everything they put you in as you never know
what will look good on you. Show off your self confidence
and rock it.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago...
look at size acceptance now. What changes do you see?
I see the acceptance movement getting larger and women
accepting themselves more for who they are. I also think the
movement is helping to change ideas about beauty and who can
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think will happen
five years from now with size acceptance?
I think the movement will get even larger with more bbw
clubs and events popping up all over the country. However, I
do think it would be nice to see this movement go into
smaller communities that have never heard of the term bbw
nor about bbw dances.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you face discrimination in your daily
life as a Plus Sized Person?
Occasionally I do experience discrimination. I remember
wearing a shirt that said big and beautiful and getting
quite a few nasty glares from people, but that’s exactly why
I do that. People need to see these messages and realize
that how they have been treating a bigger person hasn’t
always been great. It’s about fighting back for my right to
be treated equally and decently, as well as, showing other
plus size women that message too. I have also experienced it
in stores that don’t carry my size but I might happen to
like their perfume or accessories. I may get strange stares
and not get approached much there by staff. Lastly, I think
the airline discrimination is probably the worst kind there
is. Something really needs to be done about this airline
stuff as it seems to encourage people to discriminate
against bigger people even further. It really makes you not
want to fly and I can see why many feel like they are stuck
at home not wanting to deal with all the embarrassment and
harassment they receive trying to travel.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as
modeling and other interests.
I hope that my modeling will help other plus size women with
my size and shape realize their beauty too. I also hope it
encourages them to try new things like I am doing here and
give them the self-esteem to be the best they can be.
LargeInCharge.com: What have you accomplished as a Plus
As a model, I haven’t done a lot of modeling. I enjoy it but
it’s not my career. I’ve done some local fashion shows and I
won Ms. LBC 2008 in Chicago.
LargeInCharge.com: Have you entered or won any Contests,
Pageants or Awards? What was the experience like?
I entered the Ms. LBC (Linda’s Big Connections) pageant in
October of 2007 for the Ms. LBC 2008 title. The experience
overall was great. It was great to see so many talented
beautiful women representing our community in such a
positive light. I did science experiments for my talent and
had to answer a question. To my surprise, I won!
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational
moment in your life that made you feel good about your size.
I had a student that really felt like an outcast and her
family didn’t know where to buy plus size clothes so she was
wearing boy’s clothing and getting bullied in every class.
She was in a fight almost everyday trying to fight for her
right to just be her. I took her under my wing and tried to
get her to understand that teen years are hard and things
will change once she gets older. I gave her all my old
clothes and told her family where to purchase clothing her
size. I was able to work with her so that she could start
passing her classes and I provided a no tolerance
environment for bullying in my classroom for her to thrive
and succeed again. I felt good that I was able to help show
another person that I can look good at my size and so can
she and help her through some tough moments.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that keeps
I would have to say that is me. Everyone has a bad day once
in awhile you just have to pick yourself up and start again
tomorrow. You are all you have so take care of yourself and
learn how to pick yourself up again.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other
people of size who want to model?
Take lots of pictures as you never know when you are going
to wind up with a great photo. Know how to work your body at
your size and shape. Learn how to dress to flatter your
shape and make you look the best you can be.
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do you most admire?
I don’t admire too many people as I feel people have to earn
their way to be admired. I would have to say I admire Oprah
(a former bbw) as she has made the difference in the lives
of so many people. She made her struggle to be happy with
who she and with her weight an open discussion among people
and let them know that they are not alone.
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 in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
For the past 8 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 Seminar at 16th Annual Vegas Bash 2012
www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section
Death by Hospital - Back by Request
Written By: Raqui
It was Monday April
27th 2009 when my so called stubborn big mouth saved my life.
Saturday April 25th I arrived at the Emergency Room in so much
pain I wanted to die. Death would have been relief after
eleven hours of horrible pain.
Since eight am that morning I had pain in the center of my chest
leading under my ribs. I thought at first it was gas and
tried all the normal things people would do to relieve it.
Alka-Seltzer's, Gas X, Maalox, Hot Tea, Ginger ale,
My mother and good friend both rubbed my back and ribs trying to
release the gas I believed was trapped. I had to get to
the hospital while I could still walk and get into the
ambulance. 911 was called and very soon I was on my way.
At the Emergency Room I went through Doctor's looking at me as
though I was RETARDED when I told them I have no health
problems. I repeated to at least 20 people that I DID NOT
have, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure...
etc etc etc. Blood tests confirmed all of this to their
amazement, I mean how could a big ole fat woman like me
not have ONE HEALTH PROBLEM? It was a mystery. This
prejudice almost cost me my life as you will see.
After many tests that came out completely normal, EKG,
Sonograms to my groin to detect blood clots, Chest x rays
for my lungs, Finally they did a sonogram to the area that
hurt! They found the small tube from the gallbladder to my
stomach was dilated and a stomach specialist was called in.
The Stomach Specialist told me he didn't believe that it was my
gallbladder, he said there is something going on in your
stomach and we have to check, it could be an ulcer.
Since the Hospital I was in didn't have a large enough Cat Scan
Machine, I would have to have a camera enter my body
through my mouth and go down into my stomach. And I would
have to be put to sleep to do it. I was admitted early
Sunday Morning on the 26th and finally after three morphine
shots the pain began to subside.
Heparin shots to my upper arms
I spent Sunday on a liquid diet waiting for my procedure on
Monday. My chest was very sore and I felt so tired,
Again more blood was taken and I was being given IV antibiotics
and heparin shots (a blood thinner) I am not sure why but I was
told it is mandatory. They stabbed my arms so viciously
trying to get through my fat (I ASSUME) that I was left with
knots and bruises on my upper arms.
Monday morning I had to face anesthesia and I was nervous about
it. But I cant complain about the camera procedure that
went completely well it is what happen afterward that almost
cost me my life. Many doctors consulted with me and I was
told that my stomach itself was inflamed and making to much
acid. That was the root of the problem and my pain.
I was then put on medication to control stomach acid.
Here is where the big mouth I have saved me. Monday
afternoon they are preparing me to leave the hospital as long as
I can keep a meal down. Final blood had to be drawn to
double check everything and while I wasn't happy about it I let
them take it. They came back to me saying that my Sugar
level was sky high...
What do you mean...
How high? I asked
Why didn't you say
your Diabetic? the woman who took my blood asked.
I'm not Diabetic...
I don't have high sugar. I said matter of factly.
Well with your
weight you know....
I cut her off
immediately and said. Listen I know I am not
Diabetic... I have a doctor I go to and have never been
pronounced with Diabetes. I just went to her last month,
and my tests are clear! For the past two days I have been
getting blood tests and they are all normal so don't tell me
that now I have suddenly become Diabetic!
It could be because
of the procedure, your weight, You cannot leave
until your Sugar is normal so we have to medicate you and bring
NO... Take it
again! Take my blood again! I said.
I refused the medication and put my foot down to have my blood
taken again. The woman who took my blood then re-entered
and asked me.
Where did I take
your blood from? Your right it doesn't make sense
that your sugar is suddenly high.
I then showed my arm to her and the vein she removed the blood
OH I HAVE TO TAKE
YOUR BLOOD AGAIN!!! she exclaimed. You have a I.V.
in that arm and that could make the test inaccurate. I
will be right back to take your blood again!
Bruises from having
my blood taken improperly three collapsed veins
she poked me to no avail three times, making me bleed all over
my gown, and left me horrible bruises she got another person to
come take my blood and once it was tested I got a clean bill of
health with out HIGH SUGAR!!! With out that medication
they were so ready to pump into my body.
It wasn't until I got home and the next day that I told my
brother about it did he say. They could have killed you!.
If they would have put that medication into you, you would have
gone into a Diabetic Coma and quite possibly have died.
If anyone would have found out that she took blood out of that
vein she would have lost her job. And of course
since I am a big fat woman it would have been easy for them to
cover it up.
Right now I could be in a freezer somewhere pronounced with
Diabetes instead of the true reason! DEATH BY HOSPITAL!!!
The automatic assumption that I was a diabetic no matter of my
records and medical history is terrible. The fact that
many in the medical field believe that every person of size must
have a health problem is horrific. It seems as though they
were waiting for one test to come out badly so they have a
reason to preach gastric bypass and pump medicine into my body
to try and set me right! Show me how wrong I am about not
having health problems. But my big mouth and persistent
claims made them think it through when they should have thought
it through from the beginning. Maybe they should have
people who obviously know how to take blood properly.
After taking my blood from the wrong arm and then making three
veins on the other arm collapse I would say she needs to get
recertified. At least she listened to my claims of course
they were done with a loud determined voice that demands
Could this have happened to anyone? Yes it could have...
But I believe that those taking care of me leaned more toward
something wrong with me. Than something wrong with them,
because in their eyes I am a Big Fat Woman one step away from a
medical nightmare! All people (especially Plus Sized)
have to be our own advocates. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER,
Have a regular doctor and know your what your blood tests mean.
Have a medical history on record and have physicals. Ask
questions, demand retesting if necessary, I AM SCARED TO DEATH
OF NEEDLES but that didn't stop me from getting them to take my
blood again. Doctor's, Nurses and other Patient Care
Service Workers have a sense of authority because they are
supposed to be dedicated to your health and well being.
But many of them are not qualified because they have prejudices
that make them point toward you first instead of assessing the
situation properly. We also listen to them because of that
Authority. If I would have listened to them before myself,
and let them medicate me. I probably would not be writing
this article today.
is your responsibility, with out knowledge you cant make a
proper decision and fight for your rights. It is your
Life... Cherish it.
With Love Raqui
- 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
A Gun to Your Head
by Xander The Food Dude
There are times in your life when frankly, you're just not
motivated to complete anything.
You don't want to do anything because nothing seems
Survival from day to day is simply the best you can achieve.
In those down times, you really go down into levels
where the brain loses what little focus it has and the most
involved you want to be is likened to a vegetable in front
of the television before eventually going to sleep from
It's at times like these when our humanity is most
questioned because all we feel is dead inside.
There are no hopes, no dreams, no aspirations, other
than to just hold on for another day, if we were to die then
that would be alright, because at least the fighting for
survival would be over.
I've thought that way a lot in the last few months.
I have resigned my self on various occasions that the
fight is too much for me and I would welcome death.
Let me clarify, I am no suicidal.
I don't want to hurry myself of this mortal coil; I
can't seem to get in mind what would be so bad.
Survival is too hard.
I have recently read and article that recounts a scene from
"Fight Club" where Brad Pitts character holds a gun to a
clerks head finding our what a terrible basic life the
Pitts character asks the clerk, "What was your dream”?
Eventually the clerk confesses that he wanted to be a
Pitt's character then says, "I know who you are and where
you live. If
you aren't in the process of becoming a veterinarian in six
week, you'll be dead."
He then tells the clerk to run home.
No matter how hard we try, sometimes the element of
change we seek can only be achieved when a gun is put at our
head. While in
the example it was literal, but I'm thinking more
An example of this is a man who needs to change his
lifestyle, only to finally change it after the second or
third heart attack.
Change is thought to be all about willpower, but
creating change isn’t really about willpower.
Willpower works for a while.
But eventually, if at the deepest level you associate
more pain to changing than you do pleasure, then the change
is not going to last (even when you know it’s what’s good
This is when you need someone to hold a gun to your head.
This is a new way to change.
Willpower is old school.
It’s a brute force approach that rarely works.
The smart way to change is with leverage —
recognizing your own fallibility and taking an action now
that makes it inevitable that you change in the future.
Buying an alarm clock without a snooze button is a simple
know that when 6 a.m. rolls around, getting up early won’t
seem like nearly as good an idea as it does now.
So by taking this action now and making things rough
on your future self, you’re actually helping yourself to
make a better decision when push comes to shove.
When you sign up for a marathon before you’ve trained for
it, you’re doing the same thing.
Investing money, even just the 100 bucks to register
for the race, changes the game.
Now, when you feel like eating a donut instead of
going for your run, all of a sudden it’s not quite so easy
to be content in your laziness.
Now your money is at stake, as well as the feelings
of guilt and foolishness that we associate with wasting
money. And as a
result, you run.
What about when the action isn’t so obvious?
The alarm clock example is easy.
But what if it’s losing weight that’s your goal?
Or any of a mess of other things where there’s no
obvious action you can take now to make success in the
The point it to make the process of change less painful,
than that of not changing.
Whether its by good or bad circumstance that we all
need to make large changes in our lives, I wish you all the
best with who, what, where, and when that change must be
of the Month
Amish Breakfast Casserole
As comforting a food as you'll ever have.
Make for a family breakfast.
It will bring them back to the table again and again and again…..
1 pound sliced
1 medium sweet
4 cups frozen
shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups
small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups
shredded Swiss cheese
In a large
skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl,
combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a
greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until set and bubbly.
Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
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!
Getting “Busy” after Bypass
with Angie Bee
Earlier this year, I went with a friend to see the movie “Think
Like a Man” based upon the book written by Steve Harvey.
There was a character in the movie that wanted to wait a
significant length of time before having sex with her boyfriend.
One of the tricks that she used to keep herself in check was
that she wore her “Granny Panties” on each date; the raggedy, torn
and unsexy panties that she didn’t want him to see.
Well, that trick worked for the most part!
Last night, I went on a first date with a man that my sister
introduced me to.
Before he arrived to meet me, I thought about putting on my granny
panties but then I remembered what my post-bypass surgery body
looked like. That was
the only deterrent that I needed! “How
can I ever get naked in front of a man again?” I asked myself.
Look at all of this loose, hanging skin!
Yes, I know that a tummy tuck and a breast lift are in order right
about now. I have lost
pounds since my weight loss surgery in
February 2011. Not even
the tightest girdle can hold in this skin that’s laying on my hips
and middle and when that girdle is off, one could get a concussion
under all this mess! In
the beginning of this journey, I just figured that a good bra would
keep the ‘Wonder Twins’ upright and standing at attention and I
wouldn’t need a breast lift, but last night when those soft, brown
eyes smiled at me from my blind date, all I could think of was that
my nipples could actually touch my navel.
How do you get busy after bypass surgery?
I asked my friend Dorie, “What is sex like for you after
bypass?” Dorie has been
in a committed relationship now for years, and I really wanted to
know how things were for the two of them.
“Girl, I get more sex now than before! (lmfao) but the loose
skin is an issue for me.
I feel like it gets in the way”.
She continued to say “Boobs sagging, belly hanging but it is
what it is; I feel sexier now that I am smaller, but was more comfy
in a big body -- boobs
were firmer, but you trade firm boobs for the healthier heart.”
My darling sister is now four years post surgery.
She never had the boob lift procedure and during her
exploration into the tummy tuck procedure, she discovered that she
was expecting her first child (shout out to my darling niece!).
I guess that the sagging skin didn’t stop my sister from
getting busy so there is hope for me yet!
A healthier heart: WOW -- that’s what I’m talking ‘bout!
Just because this man was SUPER FINE and treated me like I
was a Queen during our night out doesn’t mean that I had to jump his
bones on the first date! I know that I am healthier than I have been
in years and I admit that my sex drive is screaming louder than ever
but I am grateful that the skin hanging off my body was a chaperone
for me that kept me in check and stopped me from flirting with him.
In the long run, this loose skin reminded me that I want a
healthier heart. I want
to be in a loving relationship and not just a one-night stand.
I want to know that when I do decide to get busy after bypass
surgery, it will be with a man that will see me for me; even past
the loose skin and the jiggle of my curves.
At least, I hope so! LOL
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
NAAFA Develops Guidelines for Fitness Professionals
NAAFA supports the philosophy that physical activity benefits all
body sizes and can be delivered and enjoyed free of size bias and
judgment. To that end, NAAFA has partnered with veteran fitness
expert Cinder Ernst to create guidelines for fitness professionals
who serve or have interest in serving fat clients, using a
weight-neutral and body positive approach.
“It is our goal to assist fitness professionals in thinking beyond
the traditional dogma of exercising to lose weight or to reach a
number on a scale.
Instead, to focus more on a health-centered approach to the overall
well-being of their fat clients”, states Lisa Tealer, NAAFA’s
Director of Programs, former aerobics instructor and health club
The guidelines challenge the fitness professional to learn more
about size discrimination and the impact it has on the health of fat
people and to consider other benefits of movement.
They include tips on exercise modifications, use of language
and equipment. It also lists
additional resources, including journal articles, books and
websites. The guidelines are available as a free download from the
NAAFA website at:
NAAFA (in partnership with leading experts) has created Guidelines
for Therapists, Health Care Providers and Travel Tips. These free
downloadable documents are also available from the NAAFA’s website
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: All Fashion Styles
Sale Price 80% off Clearances Sale - prices varies
We also talked about how clothes fit on “everyday” fat
bodies. But Romans has some gorgeous styles that can fit the
short to the very tall. So, come and shop the sale at
Roamans something for everyone.
Product of the Month
Recommended by: Raqui
Name of Product: Wrap With Us Wedding Products
Type of Product: Wedding
Favors, Accessories and gifts for all occsaions
Where Product can be found:
Description: 15% off sale
for a limited time. An all inclusive wedding accessory
store (online) with lots of options, including themes and
religious items. They also have items for Baby
Showers, Sweet 16, Bridal Shower, Religious occasions
(different denominations) and a section that includes OTHER
special occasions such as Birthday, Graduation, Sweet 15 "Quincinearea"
(Spanish version of Sweet 16) and Wedding Anniversary
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
Living and Breathing
with Pat Llewellyn
When I signed up for this e-zine I was given the task to write
inspirational columns. At the moment, I really don't think I'm
capable of being inspirational or writing inspirational stuff.
What I can talk about is depression. (Yes, another column about
my illness.) Right now I'm living and breathing it. It consumes
me. I'm fighting back, but it is tough.
After my last column, Raqui asked me to write about my illness &
the difficulties being a larger person brings to the table. In
my head I balked at this idea. I've tried looking at it from
this perspective & will continue to do so over the next while.
What I can tell you is that for the most part I think I've been
treated fairly by the medical community. My family doctor has
been incredible. He's been very supportive, made me a priority &
has even called me at home during the evening & on the weekend
to check on me.
I've recently started a treatment program referred to me by &
paid by my insurance company. I feel lucky that I'm getting the
additional support, but I'm getting annoyed by my case worker &
my therapist. My case worker is insisting that I walk every day.
Exercise increases endorphins & creates a physical release for
stress. I'm fine with doing exercise, but the walking bores me &
it's painful. Last week my worker & I went for a walk together.
She pushed me & we doubled the time I normally walk. The next
day my knee was swollen & very painful. My back had completely
seized up on me. While exercise is good for me mentally &
physically, I need people to respect that my physical
capabilities need to be considered. My fat body has been
neglected (I can admit it) & I need to slowly build up tolerance
to exercising it.
It's a struggle to do anything, but to do something that you
find boring & causes you pain makes it seem daunting.
My therapist has been driving me a little crazy. During our
third session she asked me if I had ever exercised in my life. I
was so annoyed. I may be fat, but come on... Now whenever she
asks about my exercise or diet I feel defensive & get angry. Not
a great relationship to have with your therapist.
While I initially didn't think I could write from this
perspective, I think the idea has merit. I hope to share more
about this with you in future columns.
I apologize if my thoughts seem scattered or disjointed. It's a
bit hard to keep things flowing smoothly right now.
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
Sharing is Caring
with Ms Suga
Ok, so since I've been unemployed I have become a TV show junkie.
Reality shows, medical shows and even some sitcoms; you name it I've
probably watched at least an episode of it. Any who one of my new
favorite shows is Extreme Couponing...I know I know WTF Ms. Suga...
Extreme Couponing? Yes dammit I like it! The checkout part is so
exciting to me! Just watching the prices go from $500, $600, $700
and up to less than $20.00. It's insane how everyday people are able
to feed their households for damn near free on a regular basis.
Makes me want to do it too sometimes...well maybe not that often LoL.
But my point is it’s exciting and apparently addictive to the people
And the stock piles are absolutely ridiculous! They have enough
groceries in their homes to start a store of their own. That's the
only thing that bothers me. They have so much of everything that it
seems nearly impossible that they will use every item in their life
time. One teenager did extreme couponing to pay back the people that
let him live with them as well as his parents who were struggling to
pay their bills. And another young man was couponing to have a party
for his fraternity house. It might not be the ideal reason but at
least they aren't piling food in their homes and using the food as a
gym like this one lady did.
So why are we talking about extreme couponing Ms. Suga? I'm so glad
you asked. Like those the extreme couponers, every one of us has an
abundance of something in our stock pile that we probably won’t be
able to use all of it for just ourselves and those closest to us.
Yes it's great to provide for those you love but I'll tell you
what's even better...helping those who need help.
Now I don't mean just physical or financial stock piles, you can
help people by giving your time and attention. Now you don't have to
give me the -_- face I am so serious about this. Think about all
those clothes in your closet that are either too small or you'll
never wear them; they can go to someone who can't afford to buy new
clothes. Those canned goods that have been in your cabinets for
months, donate them to a food kitchen or a church that feeds the
homeless. Have a lot of time on your hands? Volunteer to visit a
nursing home a few hours a week. Sign up to be a Big Brother/Big
Sister that’ll definitely give you something to do. If nothing else
you will feel a sense of pride in knowing you were able to help out
and not sit around with an over filled stock pile and nothing to do
I encourage you to try it. I'm always willing to help someone. I
volunteered in a small family owned restaurant for months and made a
few good friends. It took my mind off the sadness of being
unemployed and made me feel good that I was helping someone else. I
even learned some new recipes ;-).
I'm not saying give up everything you have mentally,
emotionally and financially but I encourage you to try something
different. Remember what the teachers told you in grade school
"Sharing is Caring." Until next time loves, hope you all are
enjoying your summer. I sure am.
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.
Undercover at the Beach
with Gabriela Falarz
Summer is here and you know what that means … hot weather, less
clothes, and the beach.
I went to the beach the other day and I have to admit … I do get a
little on edge when I am at a pool or the beach. I wear my bathing
suit and I do go swimming, but I definitely try not to draw
attention to myself. I wear a one-piece, for one thing, not a bikini
(no matter how much my husband wishes I would), because no matter
how much I love myself I am not the kind of woman who’d feel
comfortable parading myself in a string bikini just anywhere, around
just anyone. I think I would feel this way even if I were thin.
However, the other day, I saw something that made me sad. Actually,
it was someone … a large woman. She was at the same beach as me -- a
small beach, not a large one (that’s why we like it there, for the
peace and quiet). I’m guessing she was in her 30s, and she was with
a bunch of people: an older couple that looked like the parents, two
other women around her age who possibly could have been sisters or
other female relatives, and a few young children who belonged to the
other women. One of the other women was a little chunky , the other
was quite thin.
Anyway, what made me sad was that this large woman was covered from
head to toe. Well, not toes, because she was wearing Capri-length
pants, but you know what I mean. She was wearing a loose, floppy
T-shirt and pants, even though it was close to 100 degrees outside.
Everyone else was in their bathing suits or shorts, but she was all
I have seen many other large women cover themselves like this at the
beach, and even smaller ones … and it always makes me feel bad for
them. Like I said, I’m not the kind of woman who feels comfortable
displaying my body at the beach either, but I’ll be damned if I’m
going to wear long pants and a huge T-shirt to cover myself. I’m
certainly not going to deprive myself of swimming, which I love and
have been enjoying since I was a kid. If the dreaded occurrence
takes place and some ignorant fool decides to critique my body, I’ll
be more than ready to deal with it, but there is no way I’m going to
deprive myself of the pleasure of summer sun and breeze on my skin
because of the fear of it possibly happening.
I understand the fear, though. And I’m angry that some large people
have been made to feel so ashamed of their bodies that it exists.
The beach isn’t just for thin people. It’s for everyone. The fact
that some fat people feel un-entitled to enjoy it makes me sad … and
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.
Dating the married man… Why
would you do that?
with Kathy Hernandez
Pretty much everyone has a friend who has dated a married man and a
few of us out there have also dated a married man whether we knew it
or not. I have watched
a few of my friends who have dated married men go through all kinds
of drama, insecurity, mistrust and being lonely because they
couldn't be with the man they were dating when they wanted him
because he belonged to someone else already.
Let's talk about the holidays like Christmas, Easter, New
Year's and Halloween to start with because these are the major
holidays that we want to be with our loved ones and these are also
the major holidays that the married man is with his nuclear family.
I'm going to start with the reasons I have not to date a
1. If he's unfaithful
to his wife now, he will do it to me later
2. I would have to hide
my love and relationship because he couldn't risk people finding out
3. I would have to
settle for time when he could get away from his family...
I'm not into sneaking around with anybody
4. Spending holidays
alone and not having my own husband and family would be depressing
5. I don't like being
second best to another woman, if I'm not enough for a man than he's
not the man for me
6. Think about all the
lies the married man has to tell just to keep the truth coming out
about him cheating on his life... I want an honest man
7. Does this man really
love his family and kids if he's willing to lose them over having an
I've had girlfriends who date married man for reasons that I just
can't agree with such as:
1. I don't want a full
time man and just want a part time man
2. He buys me jewelry,
clothing and takes me out to expensive restaurants
3. I don't have to nag
him to do anything like take out the trash or cook him dinner or do
4. We don't see each
other that often so when we do it's so romantic and special
5. I'm not ready for a
real relationship so getting the romance, gifts and sex is enough
6. If his wife isn't
taking care of him than that's not my fault that I am
7. I don't want to have
kids so why does it matter if I'm with a married guy or a single guy
I guess you have to figure out what makes you happy in life and if
you can be happy with someone making you his mistress and not his
wife than to each their own.
I have found that different people require very different
things in order to be happy and you have to be true to yourself to
make sure that you have what you want in this life.
I think that you need to make sure that you aren't just
thinking of yourself but think about the children, the wife and
anyone else that your decision would affect when you think it's
alright to date a married man.
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
DOES IT PAY TO BE SKINNY?
Does being skinny pay at the workplace? I am sad to report that it
seems like it does. Even though we are all very aware of size
discrimination and it’s practices, I admit it leaves a bad taste
when statistics prove the point, and stress it in such a staggering
way. I recently read an article
that noted the stats I am referring to. As proven time and time
again various types of injustices exist everyday and in every arena,
and as long as they are carried out within the lines of general
practice they go unnoticed, and unchallenged. Fortunately, there are
other ways to detect trends that shine light on these practices.
“A recent study led by Timothy Judge at the University of Florida
revealed that overweight women in the US earn $13, 847 less than
average in contrast to women who are underweight and earned $15, 572
more than average.” The study also revealed “employers seem to
subscribe to stereotypes that cause women of size to be judged more
harshly than their leaner counterparts at the workplace.”
So once again it seems that your qualifications may get you through
the door landing the job you have always wanted, but the way you
look can affect the bottom line in the end. Bare in mind that I
didn’t point this out to make my readers feel frantic or feel like
all hope is lost. I am highlighting this in order to add clarity to
the situation you are up against, and hopefully offer some tips to
help turn the tables in your favor.
Often we forget that the views of others no matter how skewed can
affect our situations. There is no way to control or alter the
thought processes of others, but what we do have control over is
ourselves. We should never lose sight of that, even if it looks
grim. When people make comments that are size-discrimination driven,
they give you an opportunity to revisit your professional
strategies. It is crucial that you strive diligently to be the best
at your profession and always work to learn more technical knowledge
about what you do. Not only is the work place extremely competitive
as it is, clearly there are other challenges working against you in
the background. Always work on yourself, keep your professional
arsenal fresh and up to date. Always think of new ways to give
yourself an edge over the competition.
What you learn and how you apply it will always give you the
skill-set that can’t be denied. Build yourself up, take
responsibility for your professional portfolio. There are books out
there that can help you do your job more effectively. Pick- up a few
books and see if any new information available can be added to what
you do. If you aren’t in school consider going back.
As you climb the corporate ladder and eventually reach the top elect
your staff based on their abilities, and qualifications. Promote
them by the same criteria. Next thing you know there will be new
studies that tilt the scales with better results
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