On YouTube, they call him The Fat Surfer. Maybe you’ve caught
the video or seen some of his amazing pictures on Tumblr. We were
able to catch up with Jimbo Pellegrine, the man who has been blowing
away stereotypes and preconceived notions for years by simply
getting on a surfboard and doing what he loves to do.
WATCH THE YOU TUBE VIDEO
How long have you been surfing and how did you get
started? I have been surfing for 35 years. My dad is a
surfer and that helped me. We always lived close to the ocean and
near the best locations. I started surfing when I was 4 years old,
and by the time I was 10 I had already surfed places that many
surfers had only dreamed of, like Hawaii and the ranch in
What is it about surfing that keeps you doing it?
Surfing is the kind of thing that keeps you forever. I am a water
person and always have been. Once a surfer, always a surfer.
In looking at comments about
videos online, people seem to besurprised that
a big guy can surf. Are people as surprised in personwhen they see you heading out into the water?
People are always in awe, especially when I go to places I have not
performed yet. Usually people get strange looks on their faces and
snicker, and kids talk shit. Then there are the places I have been
known to frequent where you can find my name carved into cement and
posters of me everywhere, so I have a ton of hype at my favorite
spots and all the pros and homeys are with me so that makes a
What kind of board do you ride? Is there a specific kind
that is made for bigger guys? I ride a LOST board
MAYHEM Matt Biolos -2010 Surfing Magazine Shaper of the
Year. He constructed a Big Boy Fish and a sick round pin for me. My
fish is 7’0 24 by 3-3/4 and my round pin is 7’6 24 3-3/4. If anyone
would like to order the big boy pro models let me know (using
the info at the end of the article -Bruce) and I will
set you up.
A lot of husky guys think that surfing isn’t possible for
them. You’ve proven that wrong. Do you have any advice for people
that want to surf but aren’t sure how to get started?
Surfing is a great sport and the feeling you get from sun and ocean
is amazing. Starting to surf at an older age could get little bit
harder, but if you have the right equipment and the right
instruction it will be all good.
I read that you live in Indonesia and that you run
several businesses. What do you have going on now? I live
in Bali, Indonesia and I am a distributor of lost surfboards and
clothing through my retail store. We carry all Lost products,
including boards and clothing of all sizes. I am also working with
to design and produce a big size clothing label that offers shirts,
board shorts, walk shorts, and pants. The new label is called Big
Boy Trading Co., and we plan to expand to offer surfboards, skate
boards, and some high end button down shirts. Look for a website
My newest endeavor is a kick ass surf camp called Lost In Lombok
Surfari Camp that I am doing with surfer Chris Ward and Lost.
Lombok is a great island and Chris and I have been
spending a lot of time together this summer, so we decided to put
the Lost name on our own surf camp. We will be taking beginners
along with all of our shredders on the most incredible surfing
holiday of their lives. We also have a surfari camp in Bali and
luxury villas for rent.
Looks like Jimbo has a lot going on! For more info on any
of his businesses, you can connect with him at jsphatti[at]
See more photos of Jimbo and his amazing Bali home on our
Thank you for
Reading The LargeInCharge Feature
Cover Model Interview
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and
what is your current Location?
I was born in NJ. I am currently in
Lexington, KY. I will be moving to Florida in a little over 2 weeks.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some
information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital
Status, Children, etc.)?
I am 36. I am a size 22/24. I am Lithuanian,
German, and Italian. I am married but separated. I have one child, a
cat, and a dog.
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or
did you gain weight later in life?
I was a toothpick child. I was extremely
thin. I was very active in sports and dance. My weight gain started at
LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight
later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about
I gained weight for many reasons. Pregnancy
was the main reason. I am very comfortable at my larger size. I like my
curves. I think I look sexy and soft.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to
enter the LargeInCharge model search?I love the magazine.
I have been a fan for years! I was a cover
model for the magazine a few years ago and it was such an honor. I would
love to be honored again!
LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard
journey to be accepted by others at your size?
This may sound like a bad attitude answer,
but I don’t care. If someone does not accept me for my size, they do not
accept me. My size is a part of me and it always will be. I accept
myself. My friends and loved ones do too, and that’s who matters.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find it a hard to
accept yourself as a Plus Sized Person?
Nope! Everyone should accept themselves for
who and what they are. If they do not have it in themselves to love and
embrace themselves, they can hopefully find it in themselves to do
something about it.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance
among your family and friends?
I do. They wouldn’t be my friends if they
didn’t accept me. My family has known since I was about 5 that I march
to the beat of a different drummer. My size, my hair colors, all of my
tats, and a few piercings. They accept me and my entire package. They
know that appearance isn’t what makes a person who they are.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say
inspires you most in life?
My son, my friends, People who are honest
and live their daily lives without fear of what others may think, People
who live out loud, anyone who has the inner strength to be true to
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary
Modeling & web design.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you get into this
line of work?
The modeling was something I lucked into. I
had an eye doctor several years ago ask me to model for some head shots
to be hung in his practice and it went from there. A local agent saw one
of the pictures and contacted me. That led to some local shoots and some
mall runway shows, and it has just continued on for a quite an enjoyable
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in
the work force?
I work with all plus sized people so very
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you
believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I think there should be acceptance for every
single person at their work place. No one should be made to feel like an
outsider or uncomfortable in their work place. Acceptance seminars are
popular at some companies. They teach people how to accept people for
who they truly are. They should be taught not to judge on size, color,
religion and so on.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about
the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
I am starting to like it. A lot of stores
still have what I call old lady couch clothes. They look like couch
fabric styled into a dress an 80 year old lady would be proud to wear to
church. But, with stores such as Torrid out there, and a lot of newer
online stores younger ladies are now, more than ever able to dress
somewhat trendy and fashionable.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see
change with the fashion industry?
I would like the newer trendier stores for
plus sized ladies to go up to a size larger than 26. I would also like
to see department stores that carry all sizes to also carry cute and
fashionable plus sizes. A lot of times their cute and fun clothes end at
a size 16/18 and then their sizes 20+ are just frumpy, baggy and saggy.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think
will happen if plus sized modeling for men and women were to expand?
Hopefully society as a whole will notice
that beauty comes in all sizes.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the
places you buy your clothing from.
Torrid.com & Wal-Mart and I design a lot of
my own shirts through Cafepresss.com
LargeInCharge.com:Tell us one of your secret beauty tips.
I wash my hair every other day, but I
condition it daily.
LargeInCharge.com:Give us some tips on how to have a successful Photo shoot.What should models be prepared for?
They should be prepared to work! You are on
your feet. You are up! You are down! Heck, sometimes you are crawling!
It is a lot of work and sometimes several hours at one time. Hot lights,
Cold fans. Outside environmental issues…
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance
five years ago... look at size acceptance now.What changes do you see?
I see fans of larger people crawling out of
the woodwork. People are still very closeted about their attraction to
larger people…but every day someone new comes out of the closet.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you think
will happen five years from now with size acceptance?
I think there will be a few more fashion
choices. A few more un-closeted plus sized fans and a few more
comfortable work environments. I think that true size acceptance in this
world is extremely slow and I don’t think very much will have changed in
LargeInCharge.com: Do you face
discrimination in your daily life as a Plus Sized Person?
I probably do. I really just don’t pay
attention to other people’s ignorance’s. I have too much to live for and
enjoy to let other people hang-ups affect me.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals
as far as modeling and other interests.
My goals in modeling are simple: Model until
I am 80 and then retire. I love it. It’s self-expression at its finest.
My other goals in life are to just give my son the best life he can have
and to enjoy my friends and family
LargeInCharge.com:What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
I have been in magazines and on their
covers. I have done runway shows. I have been on coupons and signage and
in ads and on websites. I have accomplished a lot with my modeling. I
think the most important accomplishments I have made with my modeling
are inspiration. When I get a fan letter from a young, plus sized female
who says she is no longer ashamed of her size because of me…It can bring
a person to tears.
LargeInCharge.com:Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?What was the experience like?
For modeling I have won several contests. It
always feels great to win something of course!
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an
inspirational moment in your life that made you feel good about your
When I saw myself as the cover model for
this magazine 2 years ago I was elated! I called and emailed everyone I
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your
life that keeps you going?
My son. He has a lot of health concerns and
he keeps on trucken’ and with a smile on his face…and usually singing.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you
give to other people of size who want to model?
Do it. At least try it. It is so much fun!
LargeInCharge.com: What plus size figure do
you most admire?
There really are so many! There is this one
Plus-sized model named Francisca Acks-Ramos who is always so classy and
kind. She takes beautiful pictures, designs incredible jewelry and is
just an all around beautiful lady. She is one of the many I admire.
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 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.
Raqui-ism - A Letter from the Good Guy - A response from the
Written By: Raqui
I saw a graphic that was posting on a group
that I am a part of, my short response got a lot of positive
feedback so I wrote a little more on this short topic. Just
some thoughts that ran through my head.
Dear "Good Guys"
Stop chasing the backwards crazy chick who
doesn't want you, but keeps you as her back up. Stop running after
her hoping she will want you one day, after she goes through hell
and back, DO YOU REALLY WANT HER AFTER ALL THAT with the complexes
and bullshit? STOP STOP STOP have some self respect, and look around
at someone who cares about you, and respects you for who you are.
Maybe she wasn't your first pick, or who you lusted after for years,
but she is the better choice. You keep asking why backwards chick is
treating you this way, and you know the answer. She doesn’t want to
be with you ROMANTICALLY, and you don’t want to admit it to
yourself, but you’re the good guy and a good person. She wants to be
your friend, and reap the benefits of that friendship and your
feelings for her. She knows you like her, a part of her might even
know it’s wrong to lead you on, if she really thinks about it. Some
of you won’t take NO for an answer because you want to wear her down
and get the prize, but what are you getting someone with luke warm
feelings for you, not pure passion? Instead of chasing that chick,
who doesn't want you to be her man, because she is not feeling you,
and just isn’t into you like that. Look at the woman who is feeling
you, and who likes you just as you are, and wants to share her life
with you. When you move on and aren't available to that backwards
buster, and she suddenly wants you around, DONT YOU DARE leave the
woman who cherishes you to go back to buster-land, being her 2nd,
3rd, 4th, 5th choice depending on who is talking to her today. Using
you like a leaning post because your good ole Mr. Reliable. When you
respect yourself as a man for what you have to offer a real woman,
you won’t settle for less. Then you will find a woman who won’t try
to make you settle either.
PS: Backwards chicks do not make you turn
into assholes, they don’t make Good Guys Scarce either. Good Guys
won’t change your giving that Buster too much control over you. If
you allow her backwards behavior to change you then you need to look
at yourself first and think about why you’re accepting this crap on
a plate as The Cake you Desire. And you are just DYING TO EAT IT UP!
The Good Girls who are tired of guys throwing us to the side for
Backward Immature Chicks
A Little bit of Raqui-ism for your day! HUGS
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's 7-9
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Xander brings blend of life experience and culinary twist to his
writing. From cooking on television and live demonstrations, to
writing Xander cook’s like he feels. A former Chicago native
transplanted to Tennessee, His goal has been to experience the
fullness of food heritage. He believes that as a people and society,
can learn a lot from what we eat. Combining a great life lesson and
a easy recipe. They go hand-in-hand to provide a tasty
addition to your day. Xander has to confess that ingredients in a
great meal are like the ingredients in a great life are never far
The Will to act is the Ability to Change
by Xander The Food Dude
Over the last eight (almost nine) months I
have been involved with the care of my mother.She had four strokes in less than a three months
span.As I look
back at the months as they have seemed to pass in a
heartbeat of time, I finally have reached a point that I
think I can see some of the lessons that have been taught to
be by some celestial force in the universe.I wanted to take this opportunity to cover the first
few in this article and continue with more in next months.While I can’t claim that all of these lesson would be
the same for everyone in my situation, I can say with some
level of confidence that all of these lessons are good
lessons with application whether you’re in my situation or
It’s alright to be scared.
I can honestly say that for a while fear
became my journeyman in this effort in caring for my mother.I had more fears about more than things than there
are stars in the universe.I feared everything all coming from the feeling of
inadequacy in being a good caregiver to my mother.I felt bad that I feared everything.While it may seem to be a generality is saying that I
feared everything, I really did.Family and friends have been supportive, giving words
of praise, but it did nothing to alleviate my concerns.It felt and sometimes feels as though everything is
way out of my control.The solution is this:acknowledge that it’s true that most things are out
of our control.
This is not a defeatist statement but rather a statement of
fact.I had to
focus on the few things I can control, and take ownership of
these revolve around schedules, content of moments and
simply being prepared.While we can never be prepared for every possibility,
we can reflect on potential happens and at least have a
alright to be scared, but you can’t let that fear stop you
The Will To Act
This may be more of a Lesson 1.5 because it
ties in so heavily with Lesson 1.Facing fear and uncertainty with a plan is not
point it is necessary to reach deep within yourself and
resolve that you need to do something.For me, it was to take a step, to learn more, to dive
into those things that I never thought I could or wanted to
do, and just do it.A plan, a goal, and objective, without intent,
without the will to act is nothing but wasted energy.You can have a glorious plan that they world is
sunshine and everyone is happy, healthy, and rich, but life
simply doesn’t work that way.I have a friend who is a pastor and he puts it this
us free will for a reason.It allows us to choose right from wrong, good and
bad, and to take ownership of those decision whatever the
free will we are simply slaves.”He went on further to explain that less and and less
in society are people willing to make a decision and face
the consequences for the good or bad of those decision.Step on to deciding what tomorrow is going to look is
having the will to act on circumstances of today.
Take the Help
When I started this journey I was dead set
on providing everything my mother needed.I was the only one who was going to be responsible
for her care.In
a very short time I learned that I was not enough to meet
the needs of my mother.The worst part of it was that because I couldn’t meet
all her needs (as a son should) I had overwhelming bought of
Through other providers I have learned that in situations of
care giving, no one is enough.However, there are people out there who are willing
and able to help, it’s part of their life calling and they
had to learn that it doesn’t make me weak to accept help,
more it the need to focus on making sure my mother’s needs
are met.This is
case where we have to acknowledge that we cannot and are not
the focus, its other people.Everyone needs help from time to time in their lives,
it nothing to be ashamed of or to feel less about.Perhaps the next most important part of getting help
is to pay it back when you’re able.For me, at some point I intend on volunteering at
food kitchens or even the nursing home who took such good
care of my mother.I’ve also found that taking the perspective of paying
it back helps to alleviate some of my guilt for needing the
The Next Great Moment
I’ve learned that in time of Joy you need to
live in that moment as if it was your last.In times of strife and pain, you need to work hard to
acknowledge that just around the corner could be the next
The important thing to know is that if you get bogged down
and focus purely on that pain, that’s where you’ll always
stay… in pain.
When my mother got out of the nursing home, I was terrified
of taking care of her (now I’ve worked my way up to simply
being paranoid all the time).I had her home for two weeks and she went back into
Two days at home, back into the hospital she went.We hit a major home run, when she made it to three
weeks at home, then she had to go back into the hospital.Through all of the incidents it seemed like things
were not getting any better and in some cases they got
Sunday morning I was getting my mother out of bed, when it
seemed like her leg moved (this being the leg that had no
motion for the last eight months).I had many times in the past thought I had seen
motion only to try it again and again to no avail.This last Sunday morning I tried again.“Mom, move your leg”.There was a slight twitching in her upper leg muscle
and then her lower leg muscle.Bit by bit the leg started to rise.I almost broke down crying.I reset the leg.. “Do it again”,again the leg moved.Do it again I repeated over and over.Again and again her leg would move.I videotaped it.I was riding on such a high that day.The next morning I threw back the covers,
straightened out her leg.Do it again mom.Nothing happened.I would stretch her leg over and over, still no
movement. Today we simply had movement in her toes.While I would prefer that she had movement in her leg
every day I know that recovery is a very slow process.But I hang on to the fact that she did move it which
means she will be able to move it again.I hang on to the videotape to remind myself of a
great moment and I now know that I’m just working to the
next great moment.Its all there waiting for me and my mother to arrive.
The continuation of this article can be seen in next month’s
following series of recipes, Xander has decided to stick
with classic taste.This is part of an overall theme of keeping life
of the Month
Waffle Worth the Wait
My mom has really found a joy in breakfast
food since her strokes.
Trying to cook it fresh every morning has proven to be very time
learned that with some things like these waffles, the batter can be done
ahead for 1-3 day worth (keeping it in the fridge) and the quality
doesn’t suffer, but saves a lot of time.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt,
baking powder and sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the
milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour
mixture; beat until blended.
Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron.
Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Serve immediately.
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
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 weeklyTV 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!
Maintaining My Control Because I WANT To Be!
with Angie Bee
My doctor knocks on the door before she
enters the examination room. Just a simple knock that I always
expect, but this time it startled me. I had fallen asleep on the
exam table and jumped to sit up just as she was opening the door.
"Did I take THAT long to come and examine you today?" she asked me.
"Nope" was my reply. I just know that I missed my B12 injection!
As you begin your new lifestyle after
gastric bypass surgery, the first thing you learn to do is to take
your nutritional supplements and continue to take them regularly for
the rest of your life. Nutritional deficiency can lead to hair loss,
tooth loss, bone deterioration and even mental challenges. Add that
to the fact that you will begin to crave foods that your body needs
when you don't have proper nutrients and you can get into the habit
of overeating and weight gain! I am not proud to admit that I missed
my regular B12 injection and I maintained my same weight over the
past six weeks. I had been losing an average of 5-8 pounds per
month, so to maintain my weight this month is almost the same (in MY
mind) as gaining 5 pounds! WOW! Eighteen months after my surgery; I
stopped losing weight this month. I won't let let THAT happen again!
So, as my doctor examined me she asked me
the regular questions and even determined that I was a bit "blue".
Now, as a woman that lives with major depression and anxiety on the
regular, I didn't want to hear THAT either. She did encourage me a
bit by reminding me that I will feel better once I get my monthly
B12 injection and even just being two (2) weeks late in receiving it
can make all the difference in the world!
Don't get me wrong; I have cheated a bit
this past month. Our concert tour ministry has been BUSY and I
traveled a bit this month as the MC of The Tour that Angie BEE
Presents. I was interviewed this month by Lee Lee's Authors Showcase
Radio Show where I shared my testimony about the attempted suicide
and abuse that I wrote about in my book. God rescued me from SO much
in my lifetime and now is transforming me to a new creature by
healing my body through the gastric bypass surgery. We even chatted
about the weight loss during the interview!
I want you to know that I have fallen in
love. I really AM in love! My heart soars when I think about my love
and my taste buds drool when I am near my love. I am in LOVE with
the Key Lime Cake at the P&D Soul Food Kitchen restaurant across
from the radio station where I work (three layer cake with cream
cheese frosting -- Oh my GOODNESS!) and I realized that this new
lifestyle since gastric bypass DOES take some work!
Yes, I can treat myself to sweets on
occasion but I do have to use self control as well. I have to remain
in CHARGE of my cravings. I have to remember that I am in remission
from from Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure! I don't have to
sleep with a mask over my face forcing me to breathe at night and I
can walk distances now without swollen ankles and back pain. I was
HEALED and I don't want to ever return to where I was because of a
sweet tooth or lack of self control. The Soul Food Kitchen reminds
me that I, alone, control my eating habits by ordering smaller
portions and asking for higher protein (the meat loaf and ribs tips
are OFF DA CHAIN). I resist the temptation to indulge in the
starches that helped contribute to the nearly 400 pounds that I once
weighed, and I am proud of myself when I enter the restaurant
without drooling over the aroma! I love being in control, and I love
Next month our tour has appearances in
Orlando and Daytona Beach. Keep me in your prayers as I continue to
find new dresses for appearances on stage (my on-stage dresses are
now too big - I need a dress sponsor!) and come back next month for
more of My Life After Bypass Surgery!
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 Child Advocacy Toolkit Update
from: NAAFA.org -
by Darliene Howell
Since its introduction in 2011, the NAAFA Child Advocacy
ToolkitSM (CATK) has been shared with thousands. Yes,
thousands!Here are a
In June, 2011, NAAFA teamed with NAAFA Advisory Board Member
Joanne Ikeda and members of ASDAH to introduce and distribute
the CATK to interested parties at the 6th Biennial Childhood
Obesity Conference in San Diego, CA.
At the 2011 Annual Convention, NAAFA held a press conference at
the National Press Club in Washington, DC featuring the CATK and
speaking directly to bullying of fat children.
NAAFA was invited to participate in the 2nd Annual
Stop the Pain Teen Summit on Dating Violence and Bully
Prevention held by the Positive Results Corporation in April,
2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Members of the
NAAFA-LA Chapter staffed a table at the summit and shared
information about bullying of large children and the NAAFA Child
The NAAFA CATK has been distributed at a variety of venues,
ranging from the BBW Network’s Vegas Bash to The Fatty Affair in
San Jose and the BEDA Conference in Philadelphia.
Statistics from the online version of the CATK show over 5,700
views through the end of June, 2012.
One of my personal projects has been to send emails to any
agency, organization, governmental institution, or group of
individuals that say they are in some way promoting child obesity
interventions. In my email, I tell them of a wonderful resource that
I would like to share with them…the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit! I
have sent hundreds of these emails in the past year and a half.The following are a few of the responses. It’s important that
we know that NAAFA is making a difference in tangible ways.
“Thank you very much for replying to the commentary I wrote for
the Times record last September.I apologize that it has taken me this long to write you this
thank you! I very much appreciate your point of view concerning
stigmatization of over weight children.The Let’s Go, 5-2-1-0 program we partner with schools and
early childhood organizations on, takes the approach of encouraging
positive and healthy lifestyles, much like HAES.I agree that strategies to prevent childhood obesity must
avoid any strategy that could injure children psychologically.You are right, the resources on the Yale Rudd Center site are
terrific and I am sharing them with the teachers with whom we
partner.Thanks so much
for your interest in this subject.”
Marla H. Davis MSN, RN, TTS-C
Director, Community Health Improvement
Tobacco Cessation Specialist
Mid Coast Hospital
“Thank you for your email.The toolkit that you sent looks very valuable.It is very consistent to what we teach our campers at Camp
Strong4Life (www.choa.org/campstrong4life).If you have any other resources that you think would be
helpful in our work, feel free to pass them along.”
Laura L. Colbert, MPH, CHES
Program Coordinator, Child Wellness, Community Programs
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
office forwarded your recent email to the Florida Department of
Health for response. The Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and
Health Promotion in the Florida Department of Health is committed to
decreasing the impact of chronic diseases on the health of
Floridians. We receive
federal funding to address healthy lifestyles in adults and one of
our primary goals is related to healthy weight.We are familiar with many healthy weight related sites and
appreciate adding to our list of valuable resources.We recently attended a presentation by Dr. Kelly D. Brownell,
Director of the Yale Rudd Center, and have shared "Health At Every
Size" information with our health department staff and partners for
work within local communities.We will add the NAAFA Childhood Obesity Toolkit to our
resource list and share the information with other staff within the
Department who work with children. We certainly understand the
importance of dealing with health, environmental, and policy issues
at all age levels.Thank
you for sending these valuable resources.”
Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Florida Department of Health
I have received replies from the CDC, the
NIH, and the USDA. As evidenced here, we CAN reach others through
our efforts in educating the public of discrimination. NAAFA is also
looking forward to what can be done to improve the tools it
produces. NAAFA is looking to the next generation of the CATK to
include “visual scenarios” – video enactments of the scenarios that
can be used in educational settings to demonstrate the examples of
bullying and other discriminatory acts to promote discussion of how
things can be changed.
If you’d like to be involved in promoting
change in the lives of children, recommend the NAAFA Child Advocacy
Toolkit to teachers, caregivers, boards of education, any child
obesity prevention programs you come across. Simply send them the
link to the CATK on the NAAFA website.
You can also be instrumental in seeing
NAAFA’s vision of the visual edition of the Child Advocacy Toolkit
become a reality by giving. Donate today.Your donations to NAAFA are making advances in EQUALITY AT
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
I like this lip gloss it feels like silk and it makes my
lips look super sexy. For the women on the go or just for
the super sexy look you need to try Lucid.
Pat is a forty something woman living in
Southern Ontario, Canada. She has a varied past and has worked teaching
literacy and English as a second language to adults, as an environmental
science technician and in the health and safety field. Currently she
works in marketing.
Pat fiercely believes in human rights for all and has volunteered for
organizations that raise funds and develop and implement programs to
help impoverished people and educate women in third world countries.
Although relatively new to the size acceptance movement, Pat believes
with all her heart that people of size deserve equal treatment and
In her spare time she likes to read fiction, go to bashes and spend time
with Pat Llewellyn
*I have some good news on the depression front! The medication
is starting to kick in and I’m slowly starting to feel better. I
still cry at the drop of the hat, but the oppressiveness of the
depression is lifting. Yay me!*
I’m a little riled up right now about a couple of ad the Blue
Cross in Minnesota
The goal of these ads… are to shame fat people so that they will
lose weight. The thing
is, research has shown that shaming doesn’t work.
I’ve been fat most of my life. I’ve dieted, gained the weight
back. lost it again and gained it back. For a large part of my
life I believed that because I was fat I did not deserve love,
happiness and that I should be embarrassed because I’m fat. I
was to wear clothing that covered up how fat I was.I don’t need research to show me that shaming doesn’t
work; I’ve lived the cycle of self-hate and loathing.But for those who do need research, a study at
Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, has spent over a
decade studying attitudes toward weight.
Rebecca Puhl states: “"What our research shows is that people
feel much more motivated and empowered to make healthy lifestyle
changes when campaign messages are supportive and encourage
specific health behaviors," she says. "But when campaign
messages communicate shame or blame or stigma, people report
much less motivation, and lower intentions to improve their
All these ads have done is reinforcing the image of fat people
being lazy, and poor food choices. There is no mention of Health
at Every Size and no mention of recent studies that have shown
being fat does not necessarily equal being unhealthy.
A representative from the MN Blue Cross has said they stand
behind these ads and they were meant to start conversations
about obesity. Reading the comments under the videos and the
news article about these ads shows more of a free for all of
blame and shame than a discussion.
It makes me angry to see the concern trolls comment and the
passionate hatred they have towards fat people. After pointing
out a few inconsistencies in their comments I had to leave the
page. I know in my head that nothing I say, no research I post
will convince these people that they are biased and being
disrespectful. My heart wants to scream at them and rage right
back, to make them back down and apologize for being so hurtful
I know in the end that all I can do is provide a logical and
fact based response and hope that just one person gets it.
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
Who is that in the Mirror?
with Ms Suga
So I've recently made a major change in my life and to be honest I'm
petrified about what will happen next. Granted I'm scared to death
of this change but at the same time I'm uber excited! Contrary to
what some people think change is good. And with this change I can
reinvent myself into the woman I want and need to be.
The other day I was doing my
make-up and found myself humming 'Man In the Mirror' by Michael
Jackson. And if you are a true fan of MJ and this song I'm sure you
can picture that scene vividly in your minds. ?? Although I'm glad
no one could see me make an ass of myself, that song really made an
impact on my day. With the chorus blasting between my ears I started
to really evaluate myself and my new changes and I wondered who is
this woman looking back at me in the mirror?
Well just so you know I am
still evaluating myself and I think It will be an ongoing process.
I've learned that the more one learns about themselves the more they
want to learn about themselves. I encourage you, take a good look at
yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? Not just the
physical face but do you like the person you see? Is that person
kind and loving or cold and heartless? Is this the person you want
to be? Is this the person you need to be?
A friend of mine told me
that every time she goes to a different church some prophet always
asks her the same question "Why aren't you doing what you are made
to do? Why are you running from your true self?" (Of course she
ignored them and came to me for advice like I'm a certified prophet
or psychiatrist something.) But as her friend all I could do was
give her words of encouragement. I asked her the same question I
asked myself: "When you look in the mirror who do you see?" There's
no right or wrong answer.
I encourage you to evaluate
yourself. If you don't like what you see, change it. I love me but I
don't like all this extra weight I'm carrying. So I decided to do
something about it. Now it's your turn. Wanna go back to school? Go
for it. Want to lose weight? Go for it. Want to change careers? Go
for it.Want to let go
of those negative people in your life? GO FOR IT! I hope you are
getting the picture because I'm about to run out of ideas. LoL. At
the end of the day YOU are your greatest enemy.
So...I'm starting with the
woman in the mirror. I'm asking her to change her ways. And no
message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a
better place, Take a look at yourself and then make a CHANGE!!
Love and blessings to you
all. Until we meet again.
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.
What Makes You Beautiful?
with Gabriela Falarz
The other day, I saw this question on a website and I got all warm
and fuzzy inside when I read the answers. We all think that what we
look like is so important, but it turns out it’s not really
important at all.
On a daily basis, we are exposed to images of what we are told is
beautiful. It’s usually a young woman with large breasts and a small
waist. The cosmetic industry profits in the billions from selling
makeup and creams which we are told will make us more beautiful.
However, the vast majority of the responses to this question had
absolutely nothing to do with aesthetics. Here are just a few
examples of what people said they consider beautiful:
~ “Everyone’s always beautiful with a smile on their face.”
~ “What’s beautiful is who you are inside.”
~ “A kind, loving heart.”
~ “Authenticity, self-confidence, and a smile.”
~ “The beauty of a person comes from the inside. If the heart is
beautiful then that beauty will radiate to the outside so that all
the world can see it. A person can’t fake inside beauty.”
~ “Beauty radiates through one’s personality, the way a person
talks, smiles, and the way they handle themselves. It is something
you see in the face, the eyes.”
~ “Accepting who you are and being confident in your own skin.”
~ “Beauty is all about perception. If you identify with someone’s
heart, they will be beautiful to you. Sometimes a person who appears
beautiful will become unattractive as you realize they have no
substance or are negative and draining.”
~ “Character. Nothing else. Someone has a good character, result is
These are just a few examples of some of the answers, and 95% of
them were similar. There was the odd smart-assed, superficial
comment, but the overwhelming majority expressed sentiments like
these. I found it fascinating, but not too surprising.
In our society, we’re all required to lead double lives to some
extent. We all have a “packaged” side that we present to the world,
which is often quite different from the person we are inside. We all
have to be a little contrived in our daily lives in order to get by
in our demanding world. We can’t necessarily express every single
thing we’d like. But when we’re in the comfort of our own homes,
surrounded by the people and things we love, we can connect to the
real “us” inside … the person who is horrified and disgusted by all
the phoniness in the world, or the person who is delighted by the
sight of someone authentic.
We all know that we are beautiful, no matter what size we are … and
it turns out everyone else does, too. All that marketing and endless
preaching about physical perfection can’t take it away, because it’s
founded on a lie: that your beauty is measured solely by how you
Your beauty has far less to do with how you look, and far more to do
with WHO YOU ARE. Are you proud of yourself? Are you happy with who
you are? You should be … because that is what truly makes you
beautiful, and anyone of substance will be able to see it.
So, I ask you: What makes you beautiful?
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 till they are at the perfect
size to start living their life to the fullest.
Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living
productively on their own.In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing,
modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.
The much Younger Man... Why are we Cougars?
with Kathy Hernandez
I have been thinking about this particular article for literally
months, because I know the young man that I will be referring to
will read this, and he's a great and special guy who I don't want to
hurt at all by anything I say in this article.
I guess we should start with what we would define a cougar to be?
I've had this discussion/argument with many friends who think it
means many different things.I believe a cougar is a woman who is at least 10 year older
than the man she is dating, some think it's a woman who is even a
day older than the man she is dating and some think it's 5 years.Basically it's a older woman dating a younger man so someone
came up with the word Cougar.Let's flip this over and talk about the much older man dating
the younger woman....
lolya I know the stud
and it's somehow deemed more socially accepted.
When I turned 35 years old which was almost 10 years ago, I
discovered the younger man and how much they liked women older than
all have different reasons for wanting to date someone who isn't
their age but it seems like most of them like the fact that older
women are more mature, know what they want, are more settled in life
and yes are more experienced and definitely more confident sexually.I've been dating younger men for quite awhile and you are
wondering why huh?
I've found I have more in common with younger men, I like the latest
of Hip Hop,R & B and a
lot of men my age just don't like that type of music.I also loving dancing and I've found that most men my age
don't love dancing and will only do it as a means to an end which is
hoping for a relationship with women or sex.I like trying new restaurants, seeing live shows, amusement
parks, zoos, going on cruises and yet again most of the men my age
want to stay home and watch football or any other type of sports
versus going out into the real world.
Let's talk about the sex with younger men since I know everyone is
thinking she likes younger men because of the sex right?I will agree that younger men tend to be more experimental,
willing to learn what makes you moan and groan, I also found they
also love the cuddling, hand holding, and don't care who sees them
doing it in public.
The younger man I was referring to at the beginning of this article
is in his Mid 20's age wise but he has a very old soul and that's
not to say he isn't fun because he definitely is fun.I have such a great time when I spend time with him and laugh
the majority of the time.He enjoys going to the Jacuzzi and pool with me and taking a
shower with me afterwards.We cook and bake together, watch movies, go out to eat, and
yes the sex is very satisfying.It's not just the sex by itself though it's also the hand
holding while we are even asleep in bed, cuddling while we watch the
comedy's on tv and talking about our day.
Yes, I feel guilty that I enjoy his company so much because of the
age difference but mentally we are a great fit.He's amazingly smart and yes a bit geeky because he is so
smart.He is currently
writing a book which he won't let me read until he's totally done
and his major is in writing also.He doesn't have a lot of friends that are close to him that
are his age but he is very close to his father and I find that he
tends to talk like a much older man and has the mannerisms that I
can only assume that come from his father.I have talked to him many times about how I'm not sure I am
doing him any favors by spending time with me and not women in their
mid 20'sbut he assures
me he isn't interested in them and wants to spend time with me.He says he doesn't want children but a lot of people his age
say that and change their minds later in life and I would never want
to take away his chance at having children because I think they are
the greatest gift of all.I know he doesn't like my decision to only be friends,
because I want him to have a full life and date women his age to
make sure he isn't missing out on anything life has to offer him.
I think I have grown in many ways from my relationship and
friendship with him also.Don't judge a book by its cover because you never know what a
great story you will miss reading.
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
This month’s article starts by me taking you on a brief trip down
memory lane. I am turning the pages back to many Septembers ago. I
remember waking up before everyone in my house and sneaking into the
living room in order to turn on the television. I kept the volume as
low as possible making sure that Mom and Dad’s sleep went
undisturbed. You may ask what was so important to make a kid wake up
so early on a Saturday morning?
Saturday morning cartoons of course! When I got up extra early I
watched Kukla Fran and Ollie, followed by Isis, then Captain Marvel
and the list goes on. But the one show that really held me in the
grasp of anticipation was “The Superfriends”. This cartoon featured
Batman, Superman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Many other heroes were
added to the cast in later seasons.
I had no way of knowing that the impression they made on me would
last a lifetime. My fascination evolved to comic books, to drawing,
and ultimately any extra helpings of the genre that would fit on my
plate. Nowadays the Superfriends are more formally known as “The
Justice League”. They are officially American icons whose fame has
reached every boarder of the world. Which brings us to the point I
wanted to make, as you see in the illustration featured in this
article, I drew these heroes in my own style. I especially wanted
you to pay close attention to Wonder Woman. I took the liberty of
making her plus-sized, as I have done often with other superhero
women. I often get big reactions when people see this special twist
on the characters they have grown accustomed to seeing as much
I offer this rendition of Wonder Woman void of humor and serious, in
the same thread of dignity and womanhood that the character always
portrayed through the years, the only difference is that she is a
full figured woman. It is important to me that my artwork has visual
impact. That impact has to make a memorable statement. Wonder Woman
is an American icon, a symbol of women and their strength, not in
the super model frame, but in the curvy girl frame. This artwork
allows a wider audience of women the chance to see themselves in the
character and identify with her even more.
The public response has been very supportive, and I am grateful.
There are many voices saying yes to these new concepts. Society’s
views have been one sided long enough. An enormous canyon of
difference exists between the way things look compared to the way we
look at them. That is the reason why I love art as a communication
tool. It doesn’t have to adhere to the rules, and it doesn’t have to
make apologies. It’s art, visual explorations of the mind that
either restate the obvious or attempt to harness the unimaginable.
It’s a great privilege to have my art represent the everyday Wonder
Women of the world.