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LargeInCharge Magazine -  Nine Years and Counting!

 Issue#111 - June 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!

 

Johnathan and Charlotte
Hit Britians Got Talent
by Storm!

 

Johnathan & Charlotte - Amazing Opera Duo

By: Raqui with additional information via Internet Soures

 

If you didnt know NOW YOU KNOW!  In 2012 on Britian's Got Talent a Shy and Nerveous Johnathan along with his talented close friend Charlotte took the stage.  On appreance alone they knew that Johnathan was a loser and waste of time.  How could this fat young man (whose appearance was quite normal but casual for any 17 year old male) be talented?  And who was the pretty young lady next to him who did all the talking?

Internet Source: Jonathan Antoine (born 13 January 1995), and Charlotte Jaconelli (born 24 August 1995), known collectively as Jonathan and Charlotte, are an English classical crossover duo from Essex. Both were unknown prior to Britain's Got Talent, but were paired together at West Hatch High School, in Chigwell, Essex by the school's singing coach Jenny Ewington.  Their head of music, Ginette Tomlinson, chose "The Prayer", originally performed by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, which they sang for their GCSE and also at their teacher's church wedding ceremony.    Before shooting to fame on the hit TV show, Charlotte was training full-time in Musical Theatre at the Arts Educational Schools, London, while Jonathan was training classically at the Royal Academy of Music part-time as a junior.

Through the interview you learn that Johnathan was a victim (like almost every single large person in the world) of bullying, prejudice and self esteem wreaking hate throw upon him daily by others.  Charlotte was his friend who trained with him (when matched up together by their vocal teacher) on developing an act together.  Jonathan give a lot of him self esteem to his friendship with Charlotte.  Now these two take the stage together to have a shot to see if they can make it on the show.

When they began to sing everyone is amazed.  OMG the fat kid can sing Opera of all things!  Now Johnathan Charlotte didnt just sing some Opera... while Charlotte was great Johnathan knocked everyone off there feet and for a loop.

Internet Source:  An overweight, badly dressed contestant lumbers awkwardly on to the Britain's Got Talent stage, prompting the judges to roll their eyes at the inevitable car-crash of a performance to follow. . . only to be wowed by the powerful, pitch-perfect voices of the unlikely stars." Simon Cowell noted that Jonathan's voice sounded as good as Luciano Pavarotti, and he hadn't heard such a superb Opera voice in years.

Watch Johnathan And Charlotte's Performance

 So What Happen to Johnathan and Charlotte?

Internet Source - They finished as runners-up in the sixth series of Britain's Got Talent in 2012, being beaten to the winning post on 12 May by dancing dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey.  At the time, they were aged 17 and 16 respectively. Despite not winning, the young duo were offered a £1million record deal by Simon Cowell on his record label Syco. They have since released their album Together which reached No. 5 in the UK Album Charts. The album was released in the USA and Canada on October 30, 2012.

What and inspiration Johnathan and his friend Charlotte are.  Charlotte said it best herself "Don't Judge a Book by its cover... you have to have a look inside". Johnathan now is spoken in terms of having perfect pitch, perfect tone, a perfect voice for a male Opera Star.  Johnathan shows us that perfect comes in Large Sizes.  He didnt let his weight stop him from a dream, from working hard, training hard and loving himself and his talent.  We should all be like this amazing young man and his dear friend.

Their CD, “Together” is available on Amazon 

 

Learn more about Johnathan and Charlotte at the following link -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_and_Charlotte

 

 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

 
Cover Model of the Month!
New York Native
Jaritza Mejia

 

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

COVER MODEL INTERVIEW

 

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

Jari: Jaritza but everyone calls me Jari

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

Jari: I am from New York, Raised in The Bronx my whole life. Still live there.

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

Jari: I am 27 years old, 5’7”, 270 lbs (size 20), Dominican, in a relationship with my best friend, very much so in love with her. I do not have children yet but I do have nieces whom are my world.

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

Jari: I was always a “BIG” girl gowning up. Always was the biggest in the family, biggest one out of my cousins, the biggest in every grade. LOL, I was always the “BIG ONE”

LargeInCharge.com: (If you were a big child) how did you feel growing up as a large child?

Jari: I was big gowning up. Never really notice at home because my family was great with me. Never notice my weight till I went outside. Junior High School was hard, because some of the kids were really mean, but once I got home my mother and father always let me know that everyone was not going to be kind. My dad always told me that I just had to live my life that the world was big enough for everyone to live in it.

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

Jari: I have always wanted to be a BBW or Plus Size Model even when I was 410 lbs.  Always felt the need to show the world that yes one can be Fab, Large and In Charge! I need to show other Plus Size women that we can be sexy, we are sexy, and we are wanted by men and women.  That the world is big enough for us to live our lives how we want!

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?

Jari: My family and friends are awesome! I don’t have many sob sad story but I do have a few. My family never worried about my size just for worried for my well-being and health. As long as they knew I was healthily they were happy. My friends are my second support system, I am happy to say that I have a great group of friends that have always loved me just the way I am. No one ever asked me to change myself. My circle has always accepted me for who I was, who I am and who I will become.

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

Jari: My nieces! They make me want to be a person in life. They help me think twice. I try to be the person I want them to be come. I know they watch what I do, I am a role model not by choice but I know I have to be because I love them that much.

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

Jari: I am an Inventory Taker. I needed something that would pay the bills. But what matters is that I am happy while doing it.

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

Jari: I have never had problems in the work force. Some places are more shallow then ours but other than that never had a negative experience.

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

Jari: First, what needs to happen is that the people or person that is doing the hiring needs to know and understand that we are just lager not disable. We move, we talk, we walk and we can work just as well or maybe ever better than the person they hired just because they are thinner. One doesn’t work better just because they are thinner. One works because they are a hard worker.

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

Jari: I am a fashion! I love clothes and colors. I love the hunt for clothes. I think some big girls don’t really give it a chance. They don’t really look. The clothes is in store and the wide range of plus size clothes online is really endless. Shopping online has made it much easier.

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

Jari: Well, I can really say that the fashion industry has changed a lot in the past 15 years. What I would like to see is just more shape and structure to clothes. Sometimes I find nice clothes but they are shapeless. Yes, we are big but we also have curves we want to show off. They clothes is out there and I know it has lots to do with the internet.

 

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

 

Jari: I go to a thrift shop a lot! I do some online shopping also, Onestopplus.com Torrid.com Ebay.com LaneBryant.com AshleyStewart.com OldNavy.com Forever21.com JessicaLondon.com Avenue.com. Not only do I shop online I go to the stores as well. They best tips I can give is “TRY IT ON” & “WEAR YOUR SIZE”. You really never really know how it looks on you until you try it on. And if it doesn’t fit find something that does, don’t stress it!

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

Jari: Well, I have never really had a photo shoot. I have my very first photo shoot soon and I am very nervous. I would say just don’t let your nerves get the best of you. When you see that camera flash pretend it is your cellphone and work it!

LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance five years ago... look at size acceptance now.  What changes do you see?

Jari: I see that more people are more accepting because there are more big people now. We are no longer hiding because we do not fit in. We have become “the norm”. People are no longer as scared as they use to be. I think the more comfortable we become with our size so will the people around us.

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

Jari: I want to take over the BBW community, LOL. I want every big girl & guy to know my name. I really just want to show people that big is sexy, and fun. I am a big fan of the arts. Acting, fashion, drawing, I just love to feel alive! I enjoy showing my talents not to show off but to show that full figured women are talented as well.

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

Jari: Modeling is an art form. I want to do it not only for me but for every single girl that has ever wanted to be a model and has been told no. For every girl that has been told that she is not thin or pretty enough to model. I am here to show them that yes you can, not to let anyone tell them that they are not good enough to do something. I want them to look at me and say to themselves that they will at least try to do something they want to do. Trying is not going to hurt anyone. At least they can say they really tired.

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

Jari: Nope, I was going to enter a pageant but didn’t have the money to do so. But once I have the money to enter I am going to do it. I will do it.

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

Jari: On time on was on the train heading to a big girl club to get my dance on. And I was sitting down just minding my business when a very very good looking man came up to me and asked if he could sit next to me. I said, “of course you can”. He opened his mouth and said “I am not attracted to big women but I had to tell you that you have one of the prettiest faces I have seen in a while”. “As soon as I got on the train the first thing I saw was your smile”. I blushed and said “Thank you”. That to me showed me that my weight has nothing to do with my beauty. It’s just fat, it don’t not make who I am as a person. He showed me that my body had a small percentage to do with who I am.

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

Jari: My mother, no matter what I do, what I say and what happens she is never there to tell me “I told you so”. She always it there to hold me and to just give me that helping hand when I am need it. No judgment. She takes me with my flaws and all.

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

Jari: JUST DO IT! Do what your heart wants! Pay no mind to others and what they think. Do what makes you happy and makes your heart sing!

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

Jari: Melissa McCarthy, She is so funny! Every time she opens her mouth I pee my pants. She is not only funny, but every single time she steps out on to the red carpet she is flawless. She is classy and elegant with the right amount of sassiness.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

 

Jari: Fashionable

 

 


 

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 and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.

 

     For almost a decade 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 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:  Red Cross - Oklahoma Torado Victims

Yes the Charity Pick for this month is a repeat.  After so many were affected in Oklahoma how can I not give to the Charity that helps were the need is great.  Make your donation today!  Ever dollar counts.

Click the Banner Above to Make a Donation to The American Red Cross

http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

Oklahoma Victims

 

If you were like me and most of America, your eyes were glued to news reports or the weather channell, as Oklahoma suffered from Tornado after tornado during May of 2013.  Some of us hoping the storm doesnt come our way, some of us horrified by what was happening and praying for our friends and family.  Worse yet some were preparing for what might be coming to them and scared they were next on the tornadoes radar.  I myself thought about my many drives through Oklahoma City on my way to one place or another.  I thought about one of my New Writers this year Jay Hansen and his lovely partner Hiedi who live in Oklahoma.  Thankfully they and there friends are ok.

 

I saw the devistation and yes it affected me.  Hearing about the schools destroyed, the young lives lost, and watching those who survived frantically, looking for their children, loveds ones, friends and yes pets as well.  While some people lives are changed forever from the tornados.  Others were affected by flash floods, power outageous,  and fires.

 

The Stormy Weather will continue and now Hurricane season is coming full force and storm predictions are at a high.  We need to be prepaired for what will be coming in the near future.  At this time it is important for us to give to those who need it most and support the organizations that are there for every American in a time of need.

 

While I choose to Donate to The American Red Cross again this month.  There are many organization that are helping those who suffered the effects in Oklahoma.

Left - EPA/ERIK S. LESSER  - Mandy Chitty pauses May 23, 2013 while ending the day's search for personal belongings at her home in Moore, Okla.

Right - The Oklahoman, NewsOk.com - A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013.

Other ways to Help Oklahoma Victims

 

OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund
The state of Oklahoma, coordinating with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established theOK Strong Disaster Relief Fund to help "with the long-term medical, emotional and educational needs" of tornado victims.

Donations can be made online at UnitedWayOKC.org

Phone: 1-405-236-8441.

 

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, working with the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is seeking monetary donations. To donate, visit the regional food bank's website, or give $10 by texting the word FOOD to 32333.

Phone: 1-405-972-1111

 

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
This organization says donations will "go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters." 

It is requesting monetary donations (It says clothing is NOT needed). For more information, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief's website.

You can send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.

 

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army sent disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in central Oklahoma, including Moore, where it is set up mobile kitchens that are helping to feed people every day, and to South Oklahoma City.

Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.

If you want to send a check, the Salvation Army asks that you put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

 

Central Oklahoma Humane Society
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society is in need of towels, paper towels, bleach, gloves and crates to help with lost and injured animals. "Currently our greatest need is financial donations to help us treat and house lost and injured animals at our facilities," the society says on its site. Donations can be made online here and should be designated for the "OK Humane Disaster Relief Fund."

Phone:  1-405-607-8991


Some Information in this article was taken from NBC NEWS - Read the full article from NBC News and find out even more ways to help The Oklahoma Tornado Victims by following the link.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/20/18381508-how-to-help-oklahoma-tornado-victims


 

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!

 

I Cant Believe I ate the Whole Thing!

with Angie Bee

“Honey, are you feeling alright? I see that you are still eating. Aren’t you full yet?”
I was asked this question by my date as I steadily devoured my bar-b-q ribs, side order of Brunswick stew, pork-n-beans AND garlic toast during dinner. We were visiting a local restaurant and the aroma from the open pit had my mouth watering even before I sat down!

Most of my friends know that I was blessed to receive gastric bypass surgery in February of 2011 and whenever anyone dines with me, they have learned my eating patterns:


1. I drink before my meal, not during and I don’t drink again until one full hour after my meal ends.


2. I eat the protein on my plate first and if I am still hungry I move on to the veggies; I avoid starch whenever I can.


3. I chew my food 20 times before swallowing. I enjoy the company that I am dining with and make my meal last for 20 minutes; no shoveling food into my mouth and eating quickly.

These are some of the lessons that I learned in weight loss support group and I use these tips in order to control my weight loss even two years after the surgery. With these tips in place, I have been able to continue to lose three to five pounds each month!

Now, since I have learned new methods of eating right and I have lost nearly 190 pounds, why would I throw all that out of the window over a baby-back rib dinner? Hmmm? I wondered that just this morning! Is it that I have evolved a bit in my dietary lifestyle to now be able to enjoy larger meal portions? I know that other weight loss patients shared with me that my appetite would return eventually and I could begin to eat more eventually; maybe that is what is going on! I also heard that when I stop focusing on what to eat and on how many times I chewed my food that I could return to eating like a “normal” person. Whatever the reason for my hearty appetite, I really enjoyed this meal and the company that dined with me.

What I learned from this experience is that you can participate in an event that changes your life and then LEARN to control your life as that experience fades away. Think about a person that is hurt in a car accident: once their wounds heal, they can begin to return to a “normal” lifestyle in spite of their injuries. Consider a person that gives their life to Christ. They may turn away from friends and relatives and certain life actions that don’t line-up with their new teachings and life practices. Eventually they may return to visit friends and family that they avoided but now may help guide THEM to follow a Christian lifestyle! I believe that now my appetite has returned and I am able to consume larger quantities of food but now I can control my eating habits and my former habit of eating my way through pain, depression and negative feelings.

I enjoyed that meal! I truly did. I enjoyed my dining partner; I enjoyed the waiter that brought me a doggie-bag that I didn’t even need (lol). I enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversation between the mother and daughter dining at the next table and I enjoyed feeling full and satisfied after my meal. There was no over-eating just to satisfy the “clean-plate” club membership requirements that my family raised me to be a part of. There was not even a dessert craving once my meal was finished! There was just a wonderful meal where I felt like I was in control of my life and my situation. Life is like my meal! Sometimes you realize that you are strong enough to consume more than you could before. Sometimes you realize that the challenges that hindered you in the past are now the food and energy that keeps you going!

I think about Joyce Meyer Ministries and how she testifies about the sexual abuse that she grew up with at the hands of her father. Now she uses that testimony to empower others as she spreads the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think about when my leg was broken and I spent a year in a wheelchair while I healed. That leg was really weak for years and now there are times when I honestly believe that leg is stronger than the other one! Sometimes, the scar from a burn or a cut is only there to remind you of how you healed from the hurt and you don’t even remember the pain.

Well, I look forward to this summer. I have a new swimsuit (size 12!) and I just got a brand new BACKLESS dress! The outdoor bar-b-q invitations are pouring in and I am accepting them. I am in control of my health and my life and continue to follow my new eating lifestyle and behavior patterns. I know that the Lord will continue to guide me as he has so far and I know that I will continue to be IN CHARGE as my health continues to improve.

Until next month…

 

 

 

 

Angie BEE

www.daqueenbee.com

Author, Magazine Publisher, Producer, Promoter &

The Host of The Hottest Home Hotspot WORLDWIDE

Syndicated Holy Hip Hop Radio Show

Last Week I wanted to Die!

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!


 

   
 

Thanks for reading

The Big GB - Getting My Life back after Gastric Bypass

with Angie Bee


     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

 

STOP THE PAIN and End Bullying NOW!

from: NAAFA.org by Darliene Howell

On Saturday, April 20, 2013, representatives of national NAAFA and the NAAFA-Orange County Chapter were invited by Kandee Lewis of the Positive Results Corporation to be involved as exhibitors and presenters at the STOP THE PAIN, Teen Summit on Dating Violence, Sex Trafficking and Bully Prevention.

Donna Frey and Angelica Negrete were presenters for the End Bullying Now workshop where they shared with teens and adults the message of what bullying is and how each of us can work to end it. All participants were invited to sign a pledge card to END BULLYING NOW.  Additionally, Angelica presented on an anti-bullying panel.

 

The NAAFA exhibitors table featured information on NAAFA’s END BULLYING NOW (EBN) campaign including pledge cards for people to sign, EBN stickers, bullying fact sheets, a copy of the Child Advocacy Toolkit, general brochures and a YAY! scale. Flower Valadez of the NAAFA-Orange County Chapter, Peggy Howell and Darliene Howell were available at the table to share information about NAAFA, the work we are doing as a national organization and “on the ground,” as part of the END BULLYING NOW campaign.

 

We each wore our END BULLYING NOW shirts and the bright, bold statement drew people to us. We had numerous exhibitors invite us to come to their schools or organizations to share the message. Teens and adults came by to sign the pledge cards and take stickers to share with others. We garnered TONS of smiles at the compliments paid to those that stepped on the YAY scale! A positive impact was made that day.

 

This was the first Teen Summit that I attended but it certainly will not be the last. Kandee Lewis has already talked about NAAFA being involved in every Teen Summit that she organizes and we are delighted to be able to be part of these exciting, life-changing events. You can look forward to hearing more about how NAAFA is reaching out to communities and spreading the word to END BULLYING NOW!

 

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.

 

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
 

Red Beans & Rice Monday

To the rest of the country, red beans and rice is a New Orleans tradition. In New Orleans, it is a Monday tradition.

Growing up in Louisiana, I remember seeing Monday specials for red beans and hearing people say they wanted the dish solely because it was Monday.  Red beans on Monday were a generally accepted fact. 

History of Red Beans and Rice

After chatting with food experts my mother, we quickly learned that no two red beans and rice recipes are alike. "In New Orleans, you come out of the womb instinctually knowing how to cook red beans and rice. Really, only the nervous newlywed follows a recipe," says Poppy Tooker, a Louisiana native who is one of four U.S. international governors of Slow Food, an Italy-based organization dedicated to preserving world food traditions.

Nobody knows exactly when the dish was born: "Red beans have been ingrained in the New Orleans landscape for about 200 years," Poppy says. It is well known that Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong loved them. In a letter to a fellow New Orleanian, Armstrong wrote, "It really shouldn't be any problem at all for you to figure out my favorite dish.

 

We all were brought up eating the same thing, so I will tell you:

Red Beans and Rice with Ham Hocks is my birthmark." We should all be so lucky

 

Feeling inspired to whip up this New Orleans staple? Let’s Go!

 

 

Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients

·         1 pound dried red kidney beans

·         1/2 pound Andouille smoked chicken sausage, thinly   sliced (or any type of smoked sausage you prefer)

·         3 celery ribs, chopped

·         1 green bell pepper, chopped

·         1 medium onion, chopped

·         3 garlic cloves, minced

·         1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

·         3 cups uncooked long-grain rice

·         Garnish: sliced green onions

 

Preparation

1.    Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water 2 inches above beans. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute; cover, remove from heat, and soak 1 hour. Drain.

2.     Sauté sausage and next 3 ingredients in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until sausage is browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beans, Creole seasoning, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

3.    Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Serve with red bean mixture. Garnish, if desired.

Note: Andouille Smoked Chicken Sausage, Hot Sausage, and or Fried Chicken make a great side dish.

Bon Appetite!

 

 
   

     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.

 

Tell Me

with Ms Suga

 

OMG it's June already? Ok seriously where did the time go? I swear to BoB it was just Valentine’s Day! Well I guess time flies when you're having fun huh? Hope you guys are having all the fun you can stand because I know Ms. Suga is. But I'm also learning is more than just fun and games.

 

Last month I told you that everything will be alright and I stand by that statement. But...I have to admit time is not always on your side. Yes things will work themselves out but it's not always on our time or how we want it to end up. We live in a society where everyone wants any and everything when we want it and how we want it. But the reality is life doesn't flow off the Burger King creed you can't always have it your way. It may seem like I'm being a little harsh but like always I'd rather you be mad that I told you the truth then for you to call me a liar. 

 

So as I sit here writing this it's been almost a month since a woman I considered a friend passed away. She and I hadn't talked in a long time, it wasn't because of any hard feelings or emotions, it was just that life kept us busy. Anyway, when I found out my friend passed it hurt my heart, not only was her time done on the this earth but because I didn't have the chance to tell her how much I appreciated her and how she influenced my life. This woman and I weren't what one would call best-ies but her spirit impacted me in a way I hadn't understood until shortly before she passed. Last summer I experienced something similar with another woman who I loved tremendously. She and I had a misunderstanding some years back and I am so grateful she and I had made up when we did. When she passed away last summer I cried, (I'm crying now) but these tears are because I am thankful that we had the time we had together. 

 

Sorry for getting a little sappy but y'all know me well enough to know I am an open book when it comes to my life lessons. So I said all that to tell you not to live this world with regrets. If you love someone tell them now, if you've hurt someone apologize to them. Life is too short to hold a grudge...FORGIVE THEM and move on!!! 

 

Not even 2 weeks ago, a town in Oklahoma was ripped apart and people's lives were ruined. I'm sure there was one person in that bunch that didn't get to say "thank you" or "I love you" or "I'm sorry" and now they will never get that chance. I encourage you to do so before it gets to be too late. 

 

None of us knows when our time will end and we really should live everyday like it is our last. I don't mean live recklessly or destructively but do things great the first time just in case you don't get a second shot. I don't intend to sound grim nor do I want to scare you all but I'm trying to make a point.  Someone told me while back to learn to live with the apology you might not ever receive. Some good stuff huh? With that simple realization I decided to forgive and forget the wrongs done to me. Not that I didn't tell them how I felt but once I let it out I let it go!

 

And just like that I felt happier than I felt in a while. If you never remember anything else I tell you I hope you remember to forgive and tell those around you how you REALLY REALLY feel. As my grandma used to say "Give me my flowers while I'm alive baby, I won't be able to smell them when I'm dead".

 

Until next time loves!

~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.

 

 

Why do Women fight over Men?

 with Kathy Edmondson

 


I've been asking myself this question since I've been a teenager, and I first noticed friends in high school fighting over a guy.   It's been about 28 years since I've been in high school, and women my age are still fighting over men, and I don't understand it.    

The thing I don't understand the most, is when a man is dating two women, and neither one of the women are mad at the man, for dating both of them, but they are mad as hell, at each other.   Also, most of the time when these cat fights happen, it's when no one is in a committed relationship, with the man they are fighting over, and are merely in the early stages of dating.   If a man really wants to date you and only you than that is what he is going to do. 

 

There are also the women who are being told by a man that they are in a committed relationship and the man they are dating is out cheating on her.   I would be mad at the man that I was in a relationship with first and foremost. A lot of women think somehow it's the other woman's fault that their man is cheating, rarely do they blame their man.

Really???  

Let's move on to the man who has multiple girlfriends, and then they find out about each other.   Would you leave the relationship because your man was cheating on you, or fight with the other girlfriend to see who wins him?   How is it that anyone really wins in this situation?   Let's say you are the "winner" and you end up with the man...  are you really the winner when you have a man who has shown himself to be unfaithful?

I like the movies where both women find out the man is cheating on them and they both kick his lying, cheating ass to the curb.   What would cause a woman to fight for a man and stay with a man who is lying and cheating on her?   The rest of the relationship with this man will be spent not trusting him even when he isn't misbehaving.  

Every time the man leaves the house, sends a text or uses the phone will be suspect and who wants to live thinking that someone is cheating on you?   What about the fear of getting STD's from this man who is cheating on you with other women?   How many times on the news have we seen people get badly hurt or die from physical violence that stems from women fighting over men?  

I know that some men will fight with each other over a woman but for the most part they don't and just move on to another woman who will be right for them.  

Ladies, you should never have to fight for the attention and love of a man.   Don't blame the other woman, stalk her on social media pages, talk crap about her and make yourself look like you are certifiably crazy.   In the words of Keyshia Cole and her song  "Let it go"  You need to get if he don't wanna, Love you the right way he ain't gonna, It ain't where he's at its where he, where he wanna be.

 

 

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.

 

 

Plus Sized Bat-Girl

with Jness


 

This month's featured piece is entitled "Bat-Fam". I approached this one with a layered technique. Building colors from lighter tones to warmer, darker tones. I used alcohol markers, color pencils as well as paint markers.

The more colors I apply the more vibrant to piece looks. As an artist I admit I am a slave to my passions, plus size beauty and the superhero genre. In this illustration the main characters are featured at the entrance of the Batcave; Robin, Batman, and of course Plus-Size Batgirl who by the way holds the record for being the most revisited JNESS superhero. I never grow weary of illustrating this character.

For those who don't know, her real identity is Barbara Gordon a librarian by day, who is mild and meek. Her secret identity is Batgirl the crime fighting avenger by night. She's plus size in my version, which would most likely put her in line for overcoming, even greater obstacles by day. No matter how you slice it Batgirl makes great subject matter.

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.

 

 

 
Stylish Swimsuits
with Amy Lucas

     There are so many choices out there in swimwear, that there is a perfect swimsuit for every body type. Whether you are going on a bbw cruise or headed to a pool party these looks will make you look hot and stylish no matter which swimsuit you choose.

Bikinis

 

Ava Underwire Top & Hi Waist Bottom,

sizes xxs-5xl, $130,

www.blackcatbikinis.com

 

Sao Paulo High Waisted Bikini Top in black,

sizes 12-24, $61.60,

www.monifc.com

Sao Paulo High-Waisted Bikini Brief in black,

sizes 12-24, $49,

www.monifc.com

 

Underwire Bikini Top in Lagoon,

Sizes 36B - 46DD. $90.00

www.sorellaswim.com

 

High Waisted Swim Bottom in Lasoon,

Sizes 10/12 - 22/24  $70.00

www.sorellaswim.com

 

 

 

 

Gabifresh Hot Pink B/H Yoga Bikini, sizes 10-24, $68.00 www.swimsuitsforfall.com

 

 

Island Print No-Wire Bikini Top,

sizes 14-18, $49.95, www.lanebryant.com

Island Print Swim Hipster,

sizes 14-28, $44.95, www.lanebryant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim Sexy White Halter Bikini,

sizes 10-24, $68.00 www.swimsuitsforall.com

Two Piece Suits

 

 

 

 

Turq Triple Tier Swim Top,

sizes 14-26, $29.99,

www.avenue.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiered Bandeau Halter Swim Top,

sizes 14-26, $29.99,

www.avenue.com

 

 

 

 

Classic Swim Brief

with Tummy Control Panel,

sizes 14-26, $22.99,

www.avenue.com 

 

 

 

Animal Scarf Swimdress,

sizes 14-34, $79.99,

www.roamans.com

 

 

 

Tankini Style Swimsuit

with Sweetheart Neck

and Empire Bodice

in bright cherry floral,

sizes 14-34,

www.onestopplus.com

 

2pc. Retro Pinup Style Swimsuit,

sizes 1-12x, $79.00 www.biggalslingerie.com

 

 

Pink Mesh Dot Tankini Swim Top,

sizes 0-4x, $33.95,

www.torrid.com

 

 

Black Side Cinch Shorts,

sizes 0-4x, $36.50,

www.torrid.com

 

 

 

One Piece Suits

 

 

 

 

Underwire One-Piece Double Ruffle

One Shoulder Swimsuit,

sizes 1-3x, $119,

www.swimsuitsjustforus.com 

 

 

Split-top Maillot One Piece

Swimsuit by 365,

sizes 14-34, $79.99, www.womanwithin.com

 

 

 

 

Anguilla Cold Shoulder Swimsuit

in merlot, sizes 12-24,

$158.00

www.monifc.com

 

Zebra Bandeau Halter

One-Piece Swimsuit,

sizes 0-4x, $68.50,

www.torrid.com

 

 

 

Metallic Polka Dot

One Piece Swimsuit,

sizes 1-12x, $95.00

 www.biggalslingerie.com

Marilyn Monroe

Black Cross Over Halter Swimsuit,

sizes 18-24, $68.00 www.swimsuitsforall.com

 

 

Swim-Dresses  

Frill Front Swimdress in peacock,

sizes 14-24, $99.99,

www.1-plus.com

 

 

2pc. Black and White

Floral Halter Swim-dress,

sizes 0-9x, $49.99,

www.sanctuarie-net.stores.yahoo.net

 

 

 

Kelly Swimsuit in pin-up polka dot,

sizes 0-5x, $118.00

www.kiyonna.com

 

 

Side Bow Swimdress

in black and white,

sizes 14-34, $54.99,

www.roamans.com

Beach to Beach

Red Gingham Swimdress,

sizes 8-28, $62.00

www.simplybe.com

 

Swim Sexy Teal Aqua

Floral Shirred Bandeau

Halter Swimdress,

sizes 10-24, $68.00 www.swimsuitsforall.com

Cover-Ups  

Sheer Black Plus Size Sarong,

sizes 0-9x, $19.99,

www.sanctuarie-net.stores.yahoo.net/ 

Crochet Swim Coverup,

sizes 14/16 - 26/28, $49.95, www.lanebryant.com

Splendour Sequin Cover Up,

sizes 8-28, $52.00

www.simplybe.com

Palm Print Tie Front Cover-Up,

sizes 14/16 - 26/28, $23.99, www.avenue.com

Smocked Gauze Dress

Skirt Coverup in lagoon blue,

sizes m-4x, $34.99,

www.roamans.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.


 
Bubble Trouble
with Jay Hansen

Before we get to my article this month I just wanted to let everyone know that Heidi and I are safe and sound. We are Oklahomans and we have received many phone calls and messages from our out-of-state friends worried about us after the tragic tornados of May 19th and 20th. We appreciate and thank you for your concern. Thankfully, we live quite a ways North from Moore, the city that was completely devastated, and all we got was some severe thunderstorms. We have been using our Oklahoma BBW group for networking to make sure everyone is okay, and while everyone we know made it out alive, the extent of the financial and emotional damage to many people we know remains to be seen. If you would like to donate to the relief efforts please visit the Red Cross Disaster Relief page by clicking this link, or view this NBC News article to learn other ways you can help.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Bubble Trouble

 

The final test Heidi needed to check her heart murmur was called a "bubble test," or Bubble Echocardiogram, and we had to travel all the way to Integris Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City to have it done. We scheduled it on my day off so that I could go because Heidi openly admitted that, unlike the first two tests, this one scared her, and I wasn't about to leave her alone. At first, I just thought it would be a standard hospital visit and everything would be fine, but I quickly found myself in an environment with so many challenges for a plus-sized woman I had to take notes.

 

The first lesson is a simple but important one, especially for all the cheap guys out there such as myself; if there is a valet, use it. I was born in raised in Oklahoma, and out here valets are a rare sight. Honestly, I'd never even seen one before until we went to this hospital, nor did I even think we would need one. Heidi and I are lucky to have a handicapped placard on account of Heidi's knees because her orthopedist (bone and joint doctor) operated in the same building as her primary physician, both of whom had to coordinate to authorize one for us. So for us, obtaining it was quite simple; all we had to do was fill out some paperwork, wait for the approval of both doctors, and the placard was ours. If you or anyone you know has mobility issues, I would encourage them to just ask their doctor about getting their own placard. It never hurts to ask!

 

Nonetheless, the placard in this particular situation didn't really help us all that much. After all, it is a hospital; it didn't dawn on me until we were already in the parking lot that all the handicapped spots would already be taken. So our only choice was to use the valet, and yes, you do have to tip them, as I learned the hard way.

 

Once we were in the building we found the reception area and got checked-in. It was there in the waiting area while Heidi was getting paper work filled out at the front desk that I noticed our second huge obstacle. All the chairs in the waiting room had immovable, wooden armrests; one of the arch-nemeses of the plus-sized, and there was not so much as a love seat, let alone couch or sofa (which would have been the optimal choice) in the waiting area. I soon found myself wishing we'd have brought our own chair, or better yet, Heidi's seated walker, but as usual Heidi declined to bring it. In a future article, you'll read about what I went through shopping for Heidi's walker, but despite a frequent need for it she often chooses not to use it. That day in the hospital was one of those situations where it was a fine line to walk between Heidi's physical comfort and psychological comfort because it would be better for her physical comfort to have the walker, but possibly worse for her psychologically either because of the social stigma associated with a large person using a mobility aid (especially in a hospital) or a fear of inconveniencing me loading and unloading it into the car at a time where she might not even use it. As the partner to a plus-sized person, however, or just as a partner to anyone with special needs, there is no such thing as an inconvenience when it comes to providing their specialized care. We are compelled as partners to take care of each other no matter what extra burdens that may place on either of us. It's called love, and it's important to remember to not let pride get in the way of that.

 

We encountered a similar size-related issue when we were called back for the actual test. Heidi squeezed out of her waiting room chair only to go back and find her nurse waiting to squeeze her into an even tinier medical drape. Since it was a heart test, Heidi had to remove her top, so this type of drape was designed to allow for access to the chest without leaving someone entirely exposed. What it was most certainly not designed for, however, was a large woman. The largest size they had was an XL, which Heidi couldn't even get her arms through, let alone draw it closed in the front. Unlike the valet, which Heidi had predicted, or the chairs, which I had predicted, neither of us had even thought of this problem. Thankfully Heidi had brought a zip-up sweater because it was cold that could function as the drape just fine, but we certainly made note of it for future doctor's visits; bring your own cover.

 

The test itself went well, even though Heidi said it felt extremely weird to have saline bubbles injected into her veins. I kept a close watch to what the technicians and medical assistance were doing to Heidi the whole time. If you recall, in my last article I mentioned that the technicians "know little of where she is sensitive or thin-skinned, physically and emotionally." I chose those exact words because I'm sure anyone reading this is aware of how easily a large person's skin can be damaged because it is stretched so thin in some places. Unfortunately this exact thing happened at the second of Heidi's three medical appointments; the skin under her breast was torn when the technician pulled his hand out from under it. Now, the technician would have to monitor her heart from the exact spot where her skin was torn, and I wasn't about to let that happen again. I made myself available and on-hand at all times, standing right next to the bed they had Heidi laying, but not so much that I got in the way and was willing to move away when the doctor needed it.

In the end, Heidi and I left the hospital with a wealth of new experiences and lessons about future hospital visits. When we were climbing in the car to leave, despite a nasty look from the un-tipped valet, I felt particularly comforted that the tests were over. Heidi was healthy, and I was there for her. Taking care of Heidi always gives me great pleasure, but the trials and tribulations of this particular day gave me a greater sense of joy because now I was more capable of doing so than I was the day before. I smiled, turned to Heidi, told her I loved her, and we spent the rest of our day off taking care of each other as we both love to do so much.   

 

 

 

 

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.
 
Fitting In
with David Edmondson

     It doesn’t matter what context this word is used, but when the term Tolerance is used in conversation, it is sure to raise eyebrows. When it is mentioned on topics such as race, sexual preferences or religion; people seem to have a wide range of opinions. Yet, I’ve noticed that when it comes to being big, people have to be reminded, to check their egos and their attitudes at the door.

 

As I drive by 24 Hour Fitness, I am reminded why I am against using these places for my fitness regimen. Again, if you feel that you can do the gym routine, more power to you. I have found however, that with being bigger, there is more of a bias against people of size. For me, it started from the very time I walked into the gym.

   The stares, the pointing, constant laughter you hear until you get close… then silence only to have the chatter and laughter continue shortly after you pass by. It’s enough to make a person go mad. This was the reaction I got after standing in front of… wait for it… a fitness gym. You would think that this place, where everyone is trying to either; lose weight, get stronger or just trying to stay healthy, could help a person escape ridicule, but you would be wrong.  Is it any wonder that millions of people; begin their New Year’s Resolutions at a fitness center, only to quit a month later?

  Just in singing the membership form (Which really means signing your life away) is a rough experience. It seems as though they ask for your life story on paper. There is the family medical history, your current weight, your goals and of course your schedule for each day. Translation, everything you were doing was wrong and we are here to change your lifestyle, so that you are healthy and acceptable to modern day society. Yes, just the membership form is of itself a psychological profile, which will only cost you $10 to $20.00 a month with a deposit of $50-$100 of course.

  If you are lucky enough to get past the membership form, you get rewarded with a physical trainer (aka torturer). 80% of these people majored in physical education and are convinced that fitness is the only way to go. They reveal a plan for you based on your membership form and tell you it can be done. If they are nice, they tell you that you’re eating habits will change dramatically, both in what foods you eat and how much you will eat.  After the initial shock from that meeting, the physical training begins.

  The first month, you feel the burn. You wake up feeling muscles you did not discover until now. And yes, the first 20 pounds (More affectionately known as water weight) come off. You feel great, all that hard work and sacrifice paying off. You feel ready to go into that second month with guns blazing. The only problem with that is, your body has now adjusted to your routine, after getting knocked down, it has chosen to get back up and fight. Not only will the body fight you, but it has a defense, that you are not ready for.  In other words, reality steps in.

  Your fitness coach sees that their methods are no longer effective. If you have a good fitness trainer, they will have planned ahead and will work on other parts of your body. However, if you are unlucky, as I was, you will have a physical trainer that will blame you, use your membership form against you, hurl on the fat insults and use threats of eminent death, to get you to submit to their program.  That was when I stopped going. It wasn’t that I was not trying hard enough, it was that this particular trainer, had self-esteem issues and could not accept the fact that not everyone on this earth, was designed to look like him.

 

As I reflect back on my experience, I can laugh at all of the anorexic people that I happen to encounter that day, killing themselves, spending thousands of dollars, to  shape their bodies into what the media says is an acceptable body type. The general rule is, if you do not like something about yourself, change it.  Just don’t let it change you. Getting fit should be fun not torture.

 

 

 
 
 

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