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LargeInCharge Magazine -  Nine Years and Counting!

 Issue#109 - April 2013

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.

 

 

Raqui-ism

Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui

 

The Big GB Getting my Life Back after Gastric Bypass  Angie Bee

 

From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance

 

FOoDiE in You ~ Lucia Roth

 

The B.I.G. Beautiful Inspirational Girl  - Ms Suga

 

Dating Survival for Today's Woman

Kathy Edmondson

 

The Observer - Jness

 

Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas

 

The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen

 

Thinking Big - David Edmondson

 

LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!

 

LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

 


Worst Diets Ever!

 

Worst Diets Ever

By: Internet Soures - Click Here

 

#10 The Air Diet

Also known as "L’Air Fooding" this French fad diet was popularized by a Dolce & Gabbana campaign. It showed Madonna and a few other celebrities holding up delicious foods to their mouths but not eating them. The concept of this diet is that you cook the food, put it on the plate, serve a setting like you were actually going to eat it and then rather than consume it, you hold it up to your mouth but do not take a bite. It is supposed to fool your body into thinking you've eaten. However, the diet is not completely without substance (no pun intended), dieters are allowed to drink water and have some salt soup (which is exactly what it sounds like: hot water and salt.) We are pretty appalled by this!

 

#9 The Cigarette Diet

Nicotine is a stimulant so smoking instead of eating can trigger your brain to feel satisfied. They are also said to suppress appetite in some people. In theory, the dieter smokes a cigarette instead of eating a meal. This is said to result in weight loss but we all know that smoking can cause a myriad of illness including asthma, heart attacks and cancer! This diet is not only bad, it's deadly.

 

#8 Tapeworm Diet

This was a fad diet back in the early 1900's when people would sell tapeworms for weight loss. As medicine advanced we learned that this parasite could cause malnutrition, diarrhea, anemia, the formation of fluid-filled cysts that damage organs and vomiting. In 2009, Tyra Banks interviewed women who said they would willingly ingest a tapeworm for weight loss, even though it could result in serious damage to organs, blocked circulation, seizures or even death. Since then, this diet has picked up some fame again despite the clear warnings.

 

#7 Sleeping Beauty Diet

The concept is simple: dieters sleep off the extra pounds. We would have nothing wrong with that since evidence shows that lack of sleep can slow down metabolism and result in major weight gain, but this diet calls for heavy sedation and days of sleep. The dieters have to take sleeping pills or other medications to sedate them. In theory, they lose weight because their bodies are not consuming extra calories, just burning them.

 

 

#6 HCG Diet

We are not big fans of any sort of "diet" that involves injecting anything or swallowing a pill. According to the diet plan, you are only supposed to consume 500 calories a day and the rest is supposed to be made up for by taking the hCG hormone which is supposed to suppress appetite. Experts say that the results are that of starvation and not a balanced metabolism. The risks far outweigh the "benefits" with this one.

 

 

#5 The Grapefruit Diet

This is one of the oldest diets in the book. In fact, we've been hearing about it so long that it almost seems normal. However, this diet is far from normal or healthy. In this low-calorie diet, the average caloric intake is between 800-1,000 calories per day! The experts have said that this diet will likely result in a slower metabolism down the road and there is no evidence that says grapefruit will give more health benefits than a well-balanced diet

 

 

#4 Baby Food Diet

When celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson created this diet, she probably had no idea it would become so popular. This diet is exactly what it sounds like, instead of eating regular foods you replace your meals with 14 jars of baby food spread throughout the day. You also have the option to have an adult meal for dinner. The major problem with this diet is that adults have different dietary needs than babies. By following this plan to lose weight you run the risk of a serious nutrient deficiency.

 

#3 Cabbage Soup Diet

We've all heard about this one. This is supposed to be some miracle diet where you consume cabbage soup every day as a main meal. Along with it, you are able to eat bananas, some meat or skim milk depending on the day. According to director of university nutrition at Washington University, Connie Diekman, "It is a monotonous, short-term fix, severely lacking in nutrients, which will result in a weight loss that is primarily water and not the essential fat loss that is so important to improving health." So, all that torture and no real fat loss or health benefits? No thanks! We'll pass!

 

 

#2 The Cotton Ball Diet

This one is almost as alarming as the Air Diet. Instead of eating a regular meal, dieters eat cotton balls before a mealtime. This is supposed to fill their stomachs so they will only eat a few bites of food and stay skinny. In some extreme cases, dieters don't eat anything at all and opt to dip the cotton balls in orange juice or something high in sugars for the energy. The risks of this diet are outstanding as it will lead to malnutrition, fainting spells, damaged organs and a variety of risks that could lead to a fatal path. Next meal, skip the cotton balls and just drink a glass of water or some soup before a meal if you want to fill up on less food.

 

 

#1 Caveman Diet

Also called the Paleolithic (or Paleo) Diet, the Caveman Diet is great in theory. It is high in protein focuses on vegetables then fruit and then nuts without even making room for bread and carbs. In theory, this seems like just the sort of extreme diet to lose fat and gain muscle. The experts are, however, not so impressed by it. Some believe that the lack of variety and high cost of the diet does not ensure overall health and it is not practical.

 

 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

 
Cover Model of the Month!
Neema Styles

 

 
Want to be a LargeInCharge Cover Model? Download the Application for 2013 - HERE

COVER MODEL INTERVIEW

  

 

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?  

 

Carol Hogan Kindred aka Neema Styles

LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?  

 

I am from Laurel, Mississippi, currently living in San Antonio, TX.  May 28 of this year, will make 11 years for me.

LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital Status, Children, etc.)? 

 

I am 31 years old, standing 5’9”, wearing a 14W/16W depending on the brand or designer.  I am of African descent.  I am married to a wonderful man.  We are actually newly weds, just married June 4, 2012.  I have two sons who are 11 and 12 years old.  They are the joys of my life.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or did you gain weight later in life?  

 

Growing up, I was a skinny child. I put on weight as a teenager but I was not really heavy.  As a young adult, after having my second child, the weight fluctuated a bit.  Even with the fluctuation, I was still wearing around a 10.  After moving to San Antonio, eating all this delicious food, the weight started build.

 

LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel about it?  

 

I believe that my weight gain is because, once I got to Texas, I was no longer as physical as I was when I lived in Mississippi.  I walked a lot and I hung out a lot when I was there.  Once I got here, play time was over…I was a young, single parent so the running the streets and hanging out all the time had to come to a halt.  I had to work and go to school and take care of my children.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to enter the LargeInCharge model search?   

 

I saw it as an opportunity to minister to the people who do not know me.   What I mean by minister is… attend the needs of women and men who feel like they are out of place because they are heavy. NO!  We belong just as well as everyone else.  There is nothing wrong with us. As long as we are healthy and we can handle our business, WE BELONG!

LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it a hard journey to be accepted for your size, and do you find acceptance among your family and friends?  

 

My personality is the first thing that people recognize about me.  I really do not think that most people I know pay attention that I am a heavy girl.  Half of the time, they are out of breathe before I am….lol  As far as being accepted by my friends and family… I am ACCEPTED and RESPECTED. My family and friends love me.  As long I am healthy, they are happy.  My size is not an issue.

LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?  

 

I would have to say, having God as the head of my life, being loved, having family and friends who support me inspires me.

LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary occupation, and how did you get into this line of work?   

 

My primary occupation is an Administrative Assistant at a University.  I have been working in this occupation for a little over 6 years.  I was tired of working crappy jobs so I applied for jobs with this University and I have been there ever since.

LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in the work force?  

 

I most certainly do.  They love me at my work place.  Thank God for my boss, She is very supportive of me.  I talk my co-workers ears off about modeling and such.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you believe should take place for Large People in the work force?

 

When I first started my latest position, my chair was not comfortable…lol!   When we interview, they need to be sure to have a chair in our offices that is big people friendly.  That chair in my office was not!   But honestly, I believe that workplaces should be more accepting and empathetic  rather than bias when it comes to Larger people in the workplace.  People look at Larger people and make all sorts of assumptions. Get to know me and then we can go from there.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about the fashion industry for big sized clothing?

 

I think that the plus size fashion industry is growing and booming. I think that there are high demand fashion pieces.  Do I think that it is perfectly fine? No.  I still feel like some people in the plus size world is being left out in the plus size fashion industry.  The plus size fashion industry most certainly still have room for inclusiveness and engagement.

LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see change with the fashion industry?  

 

Inclusiveness!!!  I see fashion cliques as of now.  Let’s open ourselves to others.  Let’s encourage one another.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing from.  Do you have any beauty tips.

 

Oh wow!!! Do you have about 10 more pages? Lol  I love to shop at Burlington, Marshall’s, ROSS, Avenue, Wal-Mart for Miss Tina, Target, local boutiques,  DOTS, Thrift shops, I like to shop in my friends closet and I LOVVVVVEEEEE hand me downs…Especially the good stuff.  I am pretty open to shop anywhere that has a quality product.  I do not like replacing my clothes quick so the quality of the fabric is important to me.

 

LargeInCharge.com:  How do you prepare for a Photo shoot?  What should aspiring models be prepared for?  

 

 I make sure that I have everything that I need.  Make-up, personal hygiene, water, time set aside, model bag with necessary items, extra shoes, jewelry and etc.  All models should come with a positive attitude, open mind and versatility.

 

LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and other interests.   

 

As a model, I want to step out of my comfort zone.  I want to meet more people in the business.  I would love to walk in FFF Week and eventually, I would like to open my own boutique.  I am currently trying to get into the business of styling models for photo shoots, fashion events and personal styling.

LargeInCharge.com:  What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model? 

 

As a plus size model, I have accomplished confidence and motivation.

LargeInCharge.com:  Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?  What was the experience like? 

 

A few years ago, I entered a Most Photogenic Portfolio contest here in San Antonio with PSP.  I won.  Winning the contest was a great feeling.  It motivated me to expand my horizons. It gave me a drive to boost my level of ability.

LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an inspirational moment in you life that made you feel good about your size.   

 

I am not sure if it is inspirational but It feels good to get compliments about looking good and being well put together by straight size women.

LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your life that makes you keep going?   

 

My kids and my husband makes me keep going…That’s my support group….They look out for me.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who want to model?  

 

Don’t give up! Work hard and stay positive. Network and surround yourself with people who are working towards their dreams just like you.  Make sure you know what the qualifications to be a model are.

LargeInCharge.com: Which plus size figure do you most admire?   

 

I would have to say that I admire what Gwen Devoe is doing for the plus sized community.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.  

 

Genuine

 

 


 

Thanks for reading about our

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 storm.

 

     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, Sweden 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 portfolio visit www.Raqui.com

Raqui's New Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully Speaking! - http://raqui-ism.blogspot.com/

go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - Worthy Charities 2013

Written By: Raqui

 

 

 

 

 This year LargeInCharge has begun its 9th year moving toward our 10th. I challenged myself this year by starting my own little quest toward learning, giving, and expanding my own mind, by donating to a new charity every month.  I hope that you all will enjoy learning about these new charities with me.  

 

I began to understand that most of us only donate to a charity if we have an emotional connection to the charity itself or someone who is trying to raise money for a cause.   One day when I happen to dismiss a charity that was asking for donations, I realized I dont want to be that person.  I want to give because the cause is worthy and I can.  Not only because of an emotional connection.   So join me in learning about new causes and charities this year.  I will post a new one to my column every month.

 

CHARITY OF THE MONTH:  Umoja Women's Village

How did I learn about Umoja Women's Village

In watching the documentary "Half the Sky" I was inspired and moved by the many, many stories of diffrent people across the world and their mission to help their communities.  I was touched by the purpose of the Umoja Women's Village in Kenya.  Victims of rape, abuse, female circumcision, poverty and murder... many times at the hands of their own men or invaders.  These women were able to make a safe haven "The Umoja Women's Village" still they fight off attacks at the hands of invaders to this day.  They promote business skills and education that will help their women to earn an income, be able to support their familes and have the freedom they need to prosper.  I knew right away I had to donate to these LargeInCharge Women.  I urge you all to watch the documentary and learn more.

Who is Rebecca Lolosoli?

Rebecca Lolosoli is featured in the second night of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Rebecca Lolosoli is the matriarch of the Umoja Women's Village in Kenya and an advocate for women's rights.

Growing up as a member of the Samburu tribe, Lolosoli attended primary school and then nursing school but dropped out early due to a lack of money to pay for school fees. She married at the age of 18 and then started her own business selling goods. As she learned of women who had been raped by British soldiers training nearby, she began to speak up to help them. In retaliation, neighborhood men beat her, and when her husband did not protest the beatings, she left him.

Lolosoli, along with several other women who were also survivors of violence, established the Umoja Women's Village, which means unity in Swahili. To sustain themselves, they sell beadwork and open up their village as a tourist attraction. With the money they have earned, they built a school for their children and those in surrounding villages and eventually purchased the land they live on.

Because the area is prone to drought, Lolosoli and her village have worked to decrease their reliance on cattle, which often die or are stolen during such weather conditions. They now have a chicken coop, which provides both income and protein to the women and children in the village.

Lolosoli has been repeatedly elected as chairperson of the village and is also chair of her local chapter of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO), a nonprofit, voluntary group working to improve the lives of women and youth in Kenya. Lolosoli received the Global Leadership Award from Vital Voices in 2010. She continues to fight for a woman's right to make decisions, own land and run a business, and she works tirelessly to end harmful and unsafe cultural practices and violence against women.

She plans to run for local office and will be the first Samburu woman ever to do so.

http://www.halftheskymovement.org/pages/rebecca-lolosoli

 

Want to Help?

You can donate at the following link, this month my donation though small will help two women of the Umoja Village to visit the clinic and recieve medical services.

http://www.crowdrise.com/teamumojawomensvillage/fundraiser/vitalvoicesglobalpar

 

You can also donate at the below link or purchase the traditional, beaded jewelry handmade by the women of Umoja, Kenya, a woman-only village founded by Rebecca Lolosoli. The village was established for survivors of violence as a refuge — a place for women to sustain themselves through their traditional beadwork. The funds they raise through their jewelry help support community projects. With money they earned in the past, they bought the land they now live on and built a school for their children and those in surrounding villages. They are currently raising funds for scholarships for the young girls of Umoja, teachers' salaries, a fresh water project, and more.

https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/440/t/11942/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=9058


 

LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 9-11 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

 

Thank you for Reading Raqui-ism

Please send thoughts and comments to

articles@largeincharge.com

 
 

   

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!

 

JUST LOOK AT ME NOW!

with Angie Bee

"Hey Mom!  Your butt looks GREAT in that dress!"  My youngest daughter proudly proclaimed that statement during my recent visit.  She left home a year ago to attend college and even though she tells me that she is okay when I talk to her on the phone, I just HAD to go and see her.  We went to see a movie, and finished the day at an all-you-can-eat restaurant.  Whew!  What a shame!  It almost doesn't seem fair to charge me an adult-priced meal; even it they DO have cotton candy and a chocolate fountain!  I am full off of a half of a piece of grilled salmon!  I watched my daughter fill her plate to the brim with a LOVELY salad and I didn't even stick my fork in the middle of it (well... maybe I did steal just ONE green olive... yum!).  She grew up knowing that her mother was always going to steal from her plate and whatever she did not finish, I would finish off as the official 'family garbage disposal'.  She told me that she was proud of me for not eating half of her salad and I was proud of me, too! 


Two years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. the tools are still working and I am still losing weight!  The night before I shared a day with my daughter, I was honored to spend the evening as the MC of a women's ministry event called, "The 100 Women In Red Gala" which took place in Ocala, Florida (I am still waiting to see John Travolta every time I visit that city).  Every woman that attended wore red, and it was the first time I attended a formal event where I didn't wear a black gown.  You know how it is: black is slimming (or so they have told us over the years) and to step out in a red dress brings all the attention to every lump and bump and dimple and curve.  I have to admit that I almost ditched the dress code, but the Holy Spirit told me to step into that ballroom with pride and have a good time.  I did just that! 

 

There were pictures galore!  I tried to remember to turn my head to the side when I smiled so that my saggy chin-skin wouldn't make me look old.  I tried to remember to "suck in my gut" for the red carpet photos.  I tried to remember all those little tricks that I used to do when I weighed nearly 400 pounds two years ago, and when I look back at the pictures I was proud of myself.  I looked like I had fun.  I looked like I had a great time!  OH MY!  Even standing next to the skinny teenagers on the red carpet, I didn't look like a blimp!  I loved my arms in that red dress, I loved the fact that my bra was "working it" that night and I love that fact that I am LOVING ME throughout that entire event!

Today I weighed in at 200 pounds even.  I remember one day just a couple of years ago when I got on a scale and the digital readout blinked 387!   My doctor says that I weighed more than that just before my weight loss surgery, but I told him that I just didn't even want to know what I weighed. I remember that I couldn't stand up for too long or my ankles would swell.  I stood and walked and even climbed the stairs this past weekend wearing a formal red gown and heels!  I remember one day a couple of years ago when the insulin and out-of-control elevated blood sugars had me shaking and trembling if I didn't eat something every hour.  At this red dress gala, someone had to fix me a plate and remind me to eat because I wasn't even hungry!  When my daughter and I left the movie theater during my visit and she complimented me on my rear-end,  I remembered a similar day years ago when I wore no panties to the grocery store because I couldn't find a comfortable size to wear.  Wow!  Just look at me now!

God is good (all the time, and all the time God is good) but sometimes I just gotta look at what He created: He took me through the challenges of living with high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, an over-active bladder, sleep apnea, poor leg circulation and more.  I lived with those diseases and my weight escalated.  My children were embarrassed by my perspiration and heavy breathing as I walked in the building to meet their teachers and during their school concerts I would have to pray that I didn't get stuck in the auditorium seats.  Even when I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, many people said "you will feel better if you lose the weight".  Why does everything that is wrong with you have to do with your weight in the mind of another?

Earlier this month, I traveled to Dayton, Ohio to participate in two book signings.  Rev. Dawn Martin of 'Just Dazzlind Ministries' had just seen me last July, but when I stepped off the plane in Dayton, she smiled and called me skinny!  During my visit, she allowed me to accompany her when she spoke at the juvenile jail and at the elementary school.  I walked with pep-in-my-step even while I carried my camera equipment and I was thrilled to be with her.  Rev. Dawn was with me  years ago when the weight and the disease forced me to take a daily nap and further hindered my actions.  Now, she sees a new me: still larger than some, but definitely healthier than I was before.  After my book signing I posed for pictures with three local recording artists, and it felt good to share some of my testimony with the attendees.

 

Today I am disease-free and nearly 200 pounds smaller.  I still have curves and I LOVE them!  While standing on the red carpet, my new shoes started to hurt but then I remembered that I was wearing 6 inch heels!  The first pair of heels I have worn in DECADES!  Oh my goodness, look at me now!  Look at what God has created!  I am a new creature in His Kingdom and I am excited about where He is taking me, but the joy really comes from seeing where I came from.  My new website is live now at www.DaQueenBee.com and it will not only tell you where I am headed next, but it will serve as a testimony as to where I came from.

Next month is my birthday and it will be time to schedule consultations with plastic surgeons.  Maybe later this year I can get this extra flabby skin removed from my tummy.  Maybe next year, I can lift these flabby breasts and remove the skins from my arms.  My thighs could use some work and maybe even this chin-skin... who knows?  There is one thing that I know that I don't have to worry about though; I don't have to worry about my butt because my daughter says that it looks GREAT!

I love you Jasmine.

Mom will see you next month!

 

 

Angie BEE

Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show

www.AngieBEE.com

Last Week I wanted to Die!

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!


 

   
 

Thanks for reading

The Big GB - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:

www.SonyaBennett.com

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's Goin' to Vegas!

from: NAAFA.org

 

NAAFA’s Goin’ to Vegas!

 

NAAFA, the civil rights organization working for Equality at Every Size, is excited to announce that it’s goin’ to Vegas, Baby!  NAAFA’s 2013 Annual Convention and Expo will be held on July 25-29, 2013 at the Westin Hotel, Casino & Spa, located at 160 East Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89109.  

In keeping with this year’s theme of Promoting Equality:  All Sizes Welcome! NAAFA’s convention workshop tracks are:

·         Diversity, Size Acceptance and Corporate Culture 

·         Bullying in the Classroom and Beyond

·         Accessibility: Tools for Everyday Living

·         Being Healthy at Any Size

 

Promoting Equality: All Sizes Welcome! is the preeminent event for size diversity advocates from across North America, including Canada and worldwide. This year’s event promises to provide informational and educational opportunities of the highest quality." stated Brandon Macsata, NAAFA's Convention Committee Chair and Advisory Board Member.

 

NAAFA has negotiated a terrific rate with this Westin resort property just a block and a half off the Strip in Las Vegas on Flamingo Road.  Our group rate is only $89.00 per night with NO resort fee and FREE internet connection.  There are lots of options available at this Westin, like a casino on the ground level and a restaurant open 24/7. 

"Many people say that the experiences they have had at previous conventions were life-changing for them," said Peggy Howell, NAAFA's spokesperson. "How will this year’s convention change you?"

 

NAAFA invites people of all sizes who support Equality at Every Size to come together with likeminded people for a week of learning, laughing, sharing, networking, community building, swimming, dancing and fun!   Visit NAAFA's website today at http://www.naafa.org to learn more about the NAAFA 2013 Annual Convention and Expo. Convention registration and hotel accommodations can be completed from the website.

 

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.

 

 
 
 

 

Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA

Link

www.NAAFA.org

    

Some of you make know me as web girl/Lulu from Fashion Find. Well… I’ve move on to another one of my favorite’s pastime which is cooking. To get you all up to date on what’s going on. I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree at Ashford University I have a B.A. degree in Organizational Communication from Southeastern Louisiana University. span>

 

I am most passionate about cooking. I believe with cooking you can always grow… I fried my first egg when I was 2 and baked my first cake at 5. Cooking is an easy and dynamic experience if you have a passion for a good tasting meal.

 

Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.

 

If you have a favorite dish you would like to share please forward with recipe and photo to

Web_girl1999@yahoo.com

 

 

 
Happiness Kitchen
with Lucia Roth
 

APRIL BIRTHSTONE is a DIAMOND… we all know the saying “Diamonds are a girl best friend”! And the old adage the best way to a man heart is through his stomach. Every girl deserves a diamond and behind every diamond is a man who deserves a robust meal and a mouthwatering dessert. Why not fix your hubby, boyfriend, or your significant other that lip-smacking, succulent, dessert the he or she deserves… I’m talking about super easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Mmmmm… 

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried very well

 

 

Directions

·         Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)

·         Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.

·         Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Bon Appetit!!

Send in your sexiest chocolate covered Strawberries photo.

 
   

     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 others.

     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 size community.

 

You Cant drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror

with Ms Suga

 

"You can't drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror" - T.D. Jakes

 

So I must admit I have read a couple of Bishop Jakes' books, watched videos of his sermons and even watched one of the movies he produced. It is my personal opinion that Bishop Jakes is a very intelligent man and the information/advice he provides is not only scripture based but beneficial to one’s everyday life. I say this to say I cannot recall the exact time that I heard this statement but I can say that I've heard it more than once and that i embrace the knowledge behind this statement.

 

Recently I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show and Steve referred to this quote by Bishop Jakes and he broke it down in a different way than I had heard before. And as you all should know by now I'm all about paying it forward so here you go. 

 

Many people today are nowhere near reaching their full potential in life due to several different reasons. The most common of those reasons is fear; fear of failure and/or fear of repeating failure. The simplest example of this is matters of relationships/companionships. As a woman, I now know that my heart is closely guarded because I don't want to get hurt like I did in the past. But also as a woman, I have this never-ending desire to be loved and wanted. At this point in my life I am learning that my future relationships are not dictated by my past relationships. The experience of heart break has taught me what I want and don't want in a spouse as well as what I am capable of doing and what I need to work on within myself. (Ok enough of my personal feelings.) Regardless of the realization and reflection stemming from my past I know that this is April 2013 I have to keep the lessons from years past and apply it to the here and now. 

 

Granted this is a difficult concept to put in place but it is necessary. I encourage you to consider my thought process, which is simply; you can't drive a car looking in the rear view mirror. If you focus on the past you won't be prepared for what is to come. If you take the explanation in its literal form (DO NOT try it just THINK about it) and you attempt to drive forward while looking only in the rear view mirror it won't take long for you to crash. To attempt such a task (in the literal sense) would be equivalent to suicide. And to attempt the task (in the mental sense) would be equivalent to emotional suicide. 

 

It is my belief that one of the reasons we are given these lives is to experience life, past tests, learn lessons, and proceed to the next level. Some of us may seem to have harder tests than others but you cannot focus on that aspect either. Don’t waste time worried about what Suzie, Mary and Keisha have going on, focus on your path. One can't drive looking solely out the driver side window; yes you will have a better view of what is coming than from the rear view mirror but you still aren't fully aware of your position and/ or progress.

 

I encourage you this month to attempt to look forward into your future, imagine your goal and work to get there. I usually close my eyes when in working out and try to focus on the body I dream of having. That vision gets those last 25 crunches and that extra mile out of me. So give it a try and if it doesn't work then you can at least say you tried something different. But if it does work and you continue the path of success, make sure you stop and tell someone along the way "You can't drive a car while looking in the rear view mirror.

 

Be blessed
~Ms. Suga~

 

 

 


 

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 banker.  

 

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 every size.  

 

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 Girl Friend Rule... do you live by it?

 with Kathy Edmondson


Yes… the long lived Girl-friend Rule that most of us live by, has been explained and interpreted by many in different ways around the world. What is the girl friend rule you say? The girlfriend rule in its basic form is when you are friends with another woman; you won’t date someone that they have dated in the past.

 

Most of us instinctively wouldn’t date our friend’s ex-boyfriend, fiancé or husband because it just seems wrong and well… kinda icky to do that doesn’t it? Although if you ever watched Jerry Springer on tv it would seem that no one ever talked to them about the girl friend rule because you not only have friends going behind other friends backs and dating their significant other. They even go as far as to date or sleep with a family member and even mothers are sleeping with their daughter’s man.

 

There are different ways to view the girl friend rule of course, because everyone has a different way of thinking about something. There are certain lines that can’t be crossed physically, and emotionally, for someone to be comfortable, with their friend, dating someone they thought might they might have connection and future with.

 

For example if you went out on a coffee date with a guy, you found out there wasn’t any chemistry between you, you ended the date with a hug good bye, then most women would say it is ok for their friend to date him, because there was no emotional, or physical contact, between you. I think that’s pretty reasonable, because if you weren’t attracted to this guy, or didn’t have enough things in common, this shouldn’t mean that your friend, who is attracted to him, and has a lot in common with him, shouldn’t have a chance to date him. There also should be, a mutual agreement, between these two female friends, that the first person, who dated him, is comfortable with the fact, that her friend now wants to date him, they have to agree, so the friendship doesn’t suffer at all.

 

Now let’s talk about a guy that you slept with, but it was just sex, and you moved on to date other men, and now your friend was asked out by this same guy… it’s a whole lot different than a simple coffee date, and a hug good bye. Again, the best thing to do is keep an open communication with your friend, letting her know that you didn’t have any emotional connection to this guy, so it would be ok if she wanted to go out with him. You should also be honest too, if it is an issue, because where some might not care if you slept with the same guy, there are others like me, that absolutely hate, the idea of my friend, and I sleeping with the same guy.

 

Let’s now talk about your friend, who dated a guy for 2 or 3 months, and of course there was an emotional and sexual connection. This is when a HUGE alarm should go off in your head saying, GIRL FRIEND RULE, GIRL FRIEND RULE, and this is the guy that you shouldn’t even consider dating. How do you talk to your friend about your new relationship, when it used to be her relationship with the same guy in the past? How would your friend feel knowing, that you are with someone she had feelings for, and how could you hang out together, without there being a huge amount of tension in the air?

 

There are so many men out there, that there is no reason, why anyone, would have to date the same guy, their friend had a true relationship with. I am a true believer in the girlfriend rule, because good friends are hard to find, and I wouldn’t risk losing my good friends, over dating a guy that they had feelings for, and being a true friend means being there for them always.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating almost two 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 size/BBW Art.

 

 

Forbiden Curves

with Jness

This month rather than share a piece of art that has been previously released to the public by me I am revealing a project that I have shied away from releasing to the public.  Follow along as I explain why I have artwork that I have felt restricted from releasing.

 

About 13 years ago, I decided to make plus size art my signature thread of art. I started off illustrating full figured women in the nude, primarily because I appreciated exploring anatomy through my art, and I felt the platform made an impact on the viewer. I saw the plus size woman as art, and I knew this was a way to make that statement heard. The reaction was mixed. Eventually there was an increase in volume from the voice of public acceptance. But there were many who insisted that anything displaying nudity was considered a form of pornographic. I never clearly understood why the general consensus leaned towards the conclusion that nudity in a modern illustration is morally questionable. However, nude figures featured in Renaissance art have been considered as acceptable and truly artistic.

 

In regard to my art, there is a stigma that follows the full figured woman throughout creative and social mediums. For example, Mae West, and Marilynn Monroe played rolls that presented them in a sensual way (for a lack of better terms). Curvy women seem to be more acceptable in the media playing a sexy roll rather than head strong, and intelligent roll. With that being said, I think curvy art receives the same reception. It’s instantly considered sexual. Don’t get me wrong; we have come a long way since the examples I mentioned. Does anyone remember Camryn Manheim, playing the roll of a powerful attorney in the television series “The Practice”?

As I mentioned, I exclusively did illustrations of the full figured woman in the natural. Until I received an email from a twelve year old girl, who said, that before discovering my artwork she never thought that someone who looks like her could be perceived as beautiful.  The experience lead me to changing my creative strategy. This started the direction that eventually became the type of art I produce now.

 I remember when the term BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) was associated with something positive and uplifting to the plus size community, now when placed into a search engine all you see are pornographic search results. My website is called www.bbwartbyjness.com, spread the word the name of my website reflects early days when the term was fresh and unexploited.

There was a collection I sketched out called “Curves”, it would feature close ups of plus size women. A series of panel squares featuring close observations of curves. I was not anxious to revisit the discussion of art versus porn so I put the project on the shelf. On this page you can see a sketch of what the concept would look like.

 

I have decided to exercise my creative freedom and make this idea I came up with from years ago a reality. I will reveal the collection here very soon. Thank you for reading.

JNESS

 

 

 

 

 

Hello there all my fashion loving friends. My name is Amy Lucas and in this column I hope to bring you some new outfits that will make you feel great and be Large and In Charge. My whole life has not been devoted to fashion as my background is in teaching Spanish, Math, and Science. I also have a master’s degree in Central Office Administration.

 

With that said, I have been wearing plus sizes for as long as I can remember so I do know the struggles we all face to find cute clothes. I come from a smaller town in Michigan, which means I have an even harder time finding plus size clothing in my area since the choices are so limited; as well as, the sizes and styles each store carries. 

 

Out of necessity, I started looking online instead of just settling for the places here and have found that other women could use the help too. I run a fashion group on Facebook called BBW Fashion where I post something fabulous each day hoping to help all those to find what they want in their size.

 

In my career, I've helped plus size students and their parents to find fashion in their sizes that would help them with their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves. I have also dabbled in fashion before this modeling for three different stores, winning a cover model spot in July of 2012 in Large in Charge magazine, and I was Ms. LBC 2008 for Linda's Big Connections in Chicago. I look forward to showing you what is available in plus size fashion and help you to look even more beautiful and chic.

 

 

 
Crazy for Mint
with Amy Lucas

No matter what store you go into right now you will see the color mint and shades similar to it everywhere. You can add just a few mint accessories to the wardrobe you already have to give new life to an outfit or add a few pieces to create a whole new look. Lace is also trending right now so pairing mint with lace is great as it makes a look soft, feminine, and pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

Roaman’s Lace Cardigan by Denim 24/7 in White, sizes S-5x, $44.99, www.roamans.com

 

Avenue Embellished Chiffon Tank,

sizes 14/16-30/32, $44,

www.avenue.com

 

 

 

 

Ulla Popken Stretch Twill Relaxed

Regular -length Pants,

sizes 12-38, $59,

www.ullapopken.com

 

 

A2 by Aerosoles Women’s Plush Above,

available in medium and wide widths,

$55.99,

www.shoes.com

 

 

Tri Rose Earrings in Mint,

$9.99,

www.shoplately.com

 

 

 

Large Clasp Clutch in Mint,

$35.20,

www.makemechic.com

 

 

COC110312 Batwing Dress in Mint,

sizes 0-5x, $75,

www.shop.cultofca.com

 

 

 

ASOS Leather Bow Across Body Bag,

$42.39,

www.us.asos.com

 

 

Josephine Ballet Flat in Mint,

available in medium width,

$49.95,

www.solesociety.com

 

Iridescent Tile Drop Earrings,

$10,

www.maurices.com

 

Tiered Ruffle Embellished Top in White,

sizes 12-26, $34.50,

www.ashleystewart.com

 

Mossimo Women’s Plus Size Pencil Skirt

in Green Curacao,

sizes 1-4x, $24.99,

www.target.com

 

Anna & Ava Pave Bangle Bracelet,

$25.00

www.dillards.com

Softspots Women’s Naveah in Mint Leaf,

available in medium and wide widths,

$85.00

www.shoes.com

 

 

Carita by Mellow World,

$44.80,

www.sonsi.com

 

Ruffle Front Cardigan by Ellos

in Pale Seafoam, sizes M-5x,

$29.99,

www.onestopplus.com

 

Ivory Lace & Beaded Trim Dress,

sizes 0-5x,

$68.50,

www.torrid.com

Mint Flower Necklace,

$14.00,

www.maurices.com

Bridle Party Bag in White,

$49.99,

www.modcloth.com

Lia Crochet Flat in White,

available in medium width,

$24.00,

www.maurices.com

White Lace Blazer,

sizes 0-5x, $58.50,

www.torrid.com

Avenue Satin Trim Cami in Seaglass,

sizes 14/16-30/32,

$16.00,

www.avenue.com

White Lace Drawstring Shorts,

sizes 12-28,

$38.50,

www.torrid.com

Bangle Bracelet Set

with Colored Metal and Stones,

$5.75,

www.debshops.com

Betseyville Classic Quilted Satchel

in White, $40.00,

www.jcpenney.com

Audrey Brooke Tobago Wedge Sandal,

available in medium and wide widths,

$74.95,

www.dsw.com

Mint Lace Dolman Top,

sizes 0-4x,

$38.50,

www.torrid.com

Dark Wash Cropped Sophia Skinny Jeans,

sizes 12-26, $48.50,

www.torrid.com

Simply Vera Vera Wang Velvet Rose Flip Flops

in Mint Green, available in sizes S- XL,

$14.99, www.kohls.com

Monet Minaudiere Clutch in Skye,

$30.00,

www.jcpenney.com

Floral Cutout Bracelet,

$4.80,

www.forever21.com

 

Jay Hansen and Heidi Davis are size-acceptance advocates from Oklahoma and co-own Oklahoma's only social size-acceptance group, Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and their Admirers. Heidi was born in 1969 and has been a large woman her whole life, just as Jay has been an admirer of such plus-sized women all of his.

 

Heidi graduated High School in 1987, which is the same year Jay was born. The two met online in 2005 and quickly developed a friendship. In 2009, Jay graduated the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s in English Education, and the following year he and Heidi started dating and quickly fell deeply in love.

 

Heidi is experienced, blunt, pragmatic, down-to-earth, and strong in every sense of the word, while Jay is intellectual, articulate, ideological, contemplative, and gentle. Heidi is eighteen years Jay's senior and nearly three times his weight, while Jay is 140 pounds soaking wet with a brick in his pocket. He's a king amongst nerds and all things geeky; she's a tattooed, rough-and-tumble, hard rocker to her core. Together, they are a beautiful personification of the old adage opposites attract.

 

"The Skinny on Big Love with Jay Hansen" was started in 2013 with Jay as the primary writer and Heidi as his muse and endless source of ideas and inspiration. Together, the two hope to provide people with a new frame of mind on love and relationships, promote open-mindedness and acceptance, ask intriguing questions, foster conversations, and prove to the world that titles such as weight and age, amongst countless others, should never stand in the way of one's pursuit of happiness.


 
The Dining Experience
with Jay Hansen
 

Every time Heidi and I go out to eat at a nice restaurant we encounter the same problem, and yet every time I find myself surprised by it. We step inside and I approach the hostess while Heidi finds a place to sit. I ask her for a table for two, and usually I'm told it's about a twenty-to-forty minute wait. I'm handed one of those little buzzing pagers and I return to Heidi, usually standing next to her rather than sitting so that we take up less space. We wait our fair share of time before our buzzer goes off, we return to the hostess, and she shows us to our table.

 

As soon as I begin following her I am reminded of what is about to happen, as it always does. My pace is an unusual, alternating speed so that I can keep up with the hostess rushing us to our table, but not get too far ahead of Heidi as she steadily saunters behind us. The hostess soon stops and places menus at our table once I've caught up with her, where I then can't help but sigh and close my eyes so the hostess doesn't see me roll them. She's brought us to a booth, not a table, despite specifically asking for a table upon arriving.

 

It's no secret that Heidi is a very large woman, as anyone could tell just by looking at her. Like most plus-sized people, it's very difficult for her to squeeze into a booth because of the fixed position of the seats and table. When she has to sit at a booth, she describes it as "being cut in half," with her belly below the table and breasts forced up top, spilling over it. There's no room for her plates, food gets all over her shirt and cleavage, and the whole situation is just an unpleasant mess. This is exactly why we always specify a table when we go out to eat, yet our hostess never seems capable of understanding that.

 

"Excuse me," I chirp up, "we asked for a table, not a booth."

 

The expressions I receive in response to this comment have always varied from neutrality to annoyed. Some hosts pause to ask why, others have quite rudely insisted on the booth, but usually they move right along with business and tell us it'll be another twenty minute wait. Inevitably, we end up waiting another twenty minutes or so because of the host's mistake.

 

In my short-lived brooding over these circumstances I always contemplate how such an obvious mistake could be made. The only conclusions I ever seem to reach are more systemic than a single simple-minded hostess incapable of reasoning that bigger people need more space. We live in a society that thrives on simple-minded assumptions and is growing ever more incapable of sympathy towards other people, especially those of size. Being treated rudely or at least insensitively at a restaurant as I've described is but a single symptom of this much larger problem, and there's no single, simple solution for it.

 

This is why, as a partner to a large person, there are some steps I've learned to take to prevent these kinds of circumstances from arising. When possible, I like to scope out the actual seating area before even waiting to be seated. Are the tables far enough apart for Heidi to sit comfortably? Do the chairs look sturdy enough to support her? How long of a walk is it to the restrooms? When we get to the table I always let her sit first so she can take all the room she needs to get situated, and I'll often feel the chairs for a better idea of how safe and comfortable they will be for both of us. We will also ask for extra napkins most of the time to wipe up spills, which are slightly more common since Heidi must sit so far back from the table (and for me because... well, I'm a klutz). Although we're out to have a pleasant evening together in a place where we are supposed to be waited on, Heidi's physical and mental comfort falls to me. Thus is the nature of love, as I do this without so much as a second thought and with great, loving pleasure.

 

As for the table-versus-booth situation, I'm still trying to learn to be clearer with the hostesses. Until our society overcomes its problems with insensitivity, usually as a result from a lack of sympathetic thought, I try to request a table by saying "I need a table for two, not a booth." If we're ever asked why, Heidi usually just points to her boobs and says "because I don't want these served up on the table." We get a giggle out of it, and hopefully by using humor and old fashioned honesty, we can start to change and open some minds towards being more sensitive and sympathetic to the needs of others. At the very least, we can make the moment more memorable for the hostess, which in turn may prompt her to ask "is a booth okay?" the next time someone just asks for a "table for two."

 

 

 

I was born in San Diego, California on August 30, 1972.

Grew up in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego California. I Graduated from San Diego State University in 1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism (Radio-TV News) and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science.

I interned with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.

I interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Currently I'm a Licensed Sales Representative with Pacific Shores Real Estate, Inc. in Solana Beach, California

I'm Co-Owner of Club Catalina BBW Night Club in San Diego, CA.

And a newlywed, married to Kathy Edmondson as of December 31, 2012.

I am the father of one daughter - Safiyah Edmondson (8) and stepfather to two young men, Alexander Hernandez (22) and John Rhakman Macklin (21).

I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis, football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also design a web page for a real estate company.
 
Think Big
with David Edmondson

Life is all about the adjustments you make. That’s something you hear growing up but you may not take stock in it at first.  When you have grown up most of your life skinny, where relatives and others are ready to force feed you, because you look frail, you may never heed that advice. When your metabolism never goes out of whack, no matter how hard you try, you tend to forget that advice.

When you can’t run that mile in 7 minutes any more or you can’t quite dunk that basketball on a 10 foot rim anymore, you dismiss it as getting older. When your memory starts to fade away, it’s accepted by society, as the natural order of things. These are things that as people we are not able to control. Yet when it comes to being big it is frowned upon by some. If you’re not ready, the things that were happening gradually can literally appear without warning.

Perhaps it was that moment, when those pair of jeans that you tried to put on no longer fit. Maybe it was that Sunday, when that custom made suit that you could always wear, was no longer an option, as the buttons on that jacket popped. Yes, you have grown and you may need to improvise that Sunday.  This is not a bad thing, but it seems as though society wants you to believe it is. So they tell you, see a therapist or go to your local gym and try to burn it off or take something like the Hollywood diet and loose the weight overnight. That sounds great except for one thing, I actually enjoy food and don’t believe I should be reduced to eating twigs and lettuce, just to keep up with society’s definition of being fit.

Now I’m not trying to downplay anyone who feels they need to lose weight. If you do not like something about yourself, then by all means change it. If that means, you want to lose weight; then go for it (I recommend Hip-Hop Abs and Insanity). What I’m saying is being big is not a death sentence. Yet, people want to make you feel you did something wrong because of your size. Now, I’m defined as 70-80 pounds overweight and believe me there are those in the peanut gallery who let me know that I’ve put on weight. But strange as it may seem, I’m thankful for the weight, because it allows me to separate those who are really in my corner from those who are trying to use me for their own personal means of getting over financially.

Yet, being bigger requires some…..wait for it……adjustments. I can’t just go to the same stores I’ve been going to and expect to find something in my size. It may mean I have to special order a few things or make friends with the guys at the shoe store, so that when a new shipment comes in, I’m first in line to receive it; or even shop at a store that actually caters to my size. It can be a lot to get use to at first but it doesn’t define you. I’m still the same person that would help someone across the street when needed.

Understand, I am a work in progress, just as all of us are. But the notion of being confined to one area based on my size is not something I accept, nor do I accept it for race, religion, creed or sexual preference. In this day and age, we must THINK BIGGER than that. I hope that this column will help men of size understand that they should not feel that they have to be closed from the world or each other. That it will serve as an outlet to explore those questions they’ve been afraid to ask. The stereotype can never be squashed without first understanding and then empowering. When we are able to THINK BIG and feel confident, it will rub off on others and that confidence will make you, the life of the party.

 

 
 
 

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