Cover Model of the Month!
Want to be a
LargeInCharge Cover Model? Download the Application for 2013 -
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
Julie Michelle Davis AKA
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and
what is your current Location?
LargeInCharge.com: Can you give us some
information about yourself (Age, Height, Size, Nationality, Marital
Status, Children, etc.)?
37, 5’9, size 22/24, American, Married, 1 son & 2 step-sons
LargeInCharge.com: Were you a big child, or
did you gain weight later in life?
I have always been plus size
LargeInCharge.com: (If you gained weight
later in life) what caused you to gain weight and how did you feel
I gained more weight later in life after I got pregnant & the weight
just didn’t come back off.
LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to
enter the LargeInCharge model search?
The opportunity and also, I love to be involved in plus size
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?
Being plus size is a continual journey and it is hard at times
knowing that some of your closest family doesn’t accept the “plus
size” world. However,
you have to learn to accept the body that you are in and learn that
beauty is not a certain size.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say
inspires you most in life?
My husband is my inspiration.
He is the most loyal and supportive man no matter the
LargeInCharge.com: What is your primary
occupation, and how did you get into this line of work?
I own two companies. The
first is Passions by Jules, which our mission is to support husbands
and wives in the enjoyment of sexual intimacy in marriage. We are
committed to the idea that God created sex as a gift to married
couples to promote a special kind of human relationship.
The second is Avon by Jules making women always look and feel
beautiful. I also run a
non-profit organization called Supporting Fathers Rights which
provides emotional support for fathers dealing with child custody,
child visitation, and any fatherly issues that they need addressed.
I am active in charity work and my last position held was as
the Accountant & Media Coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Mississippi
Foundation which is a non-profit organization that grants the wishes
of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
LargeInCharge.com: Do you find acceptance in
the work force?
Interviews and meeting colleagues can be a difficult task when it
comes to them judging you from looks.
However, once they learn your personality (if they take the
time to & give you that opportunity), you are generally accepted.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you
believe should take place for Large People in the work force?
I think that everyone should have an open mind and not be so quick
to judge someone.
Everyone has their own circumstances.
We are in 2013 and half the world, if not more, is plus size
and it should be learned to be accepted.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you think about
the fashion industry for big sized clothing?
The plus size industry is actually quite small in the US and is hard
to find clothes. You
have some plus size clothes at about 4 retailers, but the price that
you have to pay for the clothing is unacceptable.
I would love to open up a plus size clothing store in the
future to cater to plus size men and women and to keep them in style
at a reasonable price, just like the smaller sizes.
LargeInCharge.com: What do you wish to see
change with the fashion industry?
More clothing options for plus size along with actual models and
mannequins displaying the clothing.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us some of the places you buy your clothing
from. Do you have any
I generally will buy my clothing from Lane Bryant, CATO, Ashley
Stewart or online shops.
The better you look, the better you feel so each day you get
up, get dressed and get ready to conquer the world.
Always be true to yourself and who you are.
How do you prepare for a Photo shoot?
What should aspiring models be prepared for?
bends, stretches, water and a positive attitude.
It can get aggravating waiting on the camera to focus or the
camera to set. It gets
aggravating that your make-up may run from getting hot and there is
always things that may irritate you, but you have to remember what
you are doing it for and if it’s something you truly enjoy doing,
the aggravation and irritation is just a little bump in the road.
If it’s what you want, go after it.
LargeInCharge.com: Look at Size acceptance
five years ago... look at size acceptance now.
What changes do you see?
People have been learning to come out of their shell and get
comfortable with being plus size.
It’s also accepted more than it was then even though it’s
still not widely accepted and sometimes frowned upon.
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals as far as modeling and
I am hoping the get to enter the Mrs. Plus America 2013 this year if
at all possible. I
always seize each and every opportunity that is presented to me and
especially charity work.
I am also hoping to get more fit and healthy while staying plus
size. I want my modeling
to keep growing and help reach others that struggle with plus size
acceptance and lifestyle.
What have you accomplished as a Plus Sized Model?
have reached many plus size women through plus size advocacy to
learn to accept themselves.
I have also grown more positive as a plus size woman.
Have you entered or won any Contests, Pageants or Awards?
What was the experience like?
I have been the cover model for a couple of magazines.
LargeInCharge.com: Can you tell us about an
inspirational moment in your life that made you feel good about your
Each and every day that I get online and go to my fan page, I see
that it has grown in number of fans.
I see the positive and inspiring comments and have been
blessed not to see any negativity on my page at all.
It is a tremendous accomplishment to have people on your page
that accept the plus size industry with open arms and not just there
to knock it down. I
thank each and every one of my fans for continuing to be an
inspiration to me and other plus size women and men.
LargeInCharge.com: Is there a person in your
life that makes you keep going?
husband is my rock!
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you
give to other people of size who want to model?
Reach for your dreams and goals and never give up nor let anyone
discourage you from them.
LargeInCharge.com: Which plus size figure do
you most admire?
It would be between Queen Latifah and Adele.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with
Thanks for reading about
Cover Model of the Month
Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's "Tell it like it is" style of
writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to
LargeInCharge.com. There is so much behind the woman who has
brought this magazine into existence. Being Internationally
known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies
and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the
world. She has made a career out of her size and personality.
Born and Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by
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,
and the Spanish circuit. Her many magazines appearances have
been world wide. She has hit American Television in 2006 with
Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,
The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.
To view her Online
Raqui's Blog titled Raqui-ism "Soulfully
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
CHARITY OF THE MONTH: TEAM GLEASON - bring awareness about ALS
Finding Out about
ALS has been an adventure for me.
I never heard of ALS until a news report made me look up an
event that happened recently.
Three Radio DJ’s
were fired last month (June 2013) after doing a comedy skit on the
air of Steve Gleason (former football star now suffering with the
disease ALS) they went on to have one of the DJ’s fake a robotic
voice asking for others to kill him, and other such offensive
You can read more
HERE and/or watch the Video
I couldn’t believe what I heard but then I
am not surprised with the way people are, and what extent they will
go in bad taste and entertainment.
Even after all that
was said and done Steve Gleason accepted the apology that was given
by these insensitive former DJ’s – Read More
I was very impressed
with Steve what character this man has and what an amazing
organization he and his team created for those suffering from ALS
trying to live out there final days in peace and with some pride. I had to learn more
about ALS, Team Gleason and Steve himself. I hope you take some time
learn with me and donate to this worthy cause.
– taken from the Team Gleason website
CLICK HERE for the site
lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and
outside the US as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) or Charcot’s Disease,
is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor
neurons in the brain (upper motor neurons) and spinal cord (lower
motor neurons) and affects muscle function.
neurons control the movement of various voluntary muscles including
the diaphragm. Associated with the loss of the ability of motor
neurons to function in ALS, the various muscles cells waste away
(atrophy), resulting in increased muscle weakness. Ultimately,
accumulated loss of motor neurons makes it impossible for voluntary
control of normal muscle function.
Symptoms of ALS
can include twitching and cramping of muscles (called
fasciculation), stiffness in muscles (spasticity), increasing loss
of motor control in hands and arms and legs, weakness and fatigue,
slurred or thick speech and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
In most cases,
ALS patients do not typically experience significantly impaired
sensory neural functioning, intellectual reasoning, vision or
hearing. Eye and bladder muscles, along with sexual function and
drive, are not normally affected.
ALS is diagnosed
using a variety of tests and examinations, including laboratory
tests, muscle and nerve biopsy, spinal tap, X-rays, MRI’s and
electrodiagnostic evaluation of axon function.
is only a single therapy approved for treating ALS progression – the
drug Rilutek (riluzole) with the accepted, modest benefit estimated
to be a three month extension in patient survival.
About Steve Gleason
born March 19, 1977 in Spokane, Washington, was a Safety/Special
Teams player in the National Football League. He played college
football at Washington State. As a free agent in 2008, Steve retired
from the NFL after eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
Gonzaga Preparatory School, where he earned consecutive Greater
Spokane League (GSL) Defensive MVP awards and was inducted into the
Gonzaga Prep Hall of Fame. While attending Washington State, he was
a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Steve was signed
by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He was
released by the team after the preseason and was signed to the New
Orleans Saints’ practice squad in November.
On September 25,
2006, Steve was responsible for one of the most dramatic moments in
Saints history, when he blocked a punt in the first quarter against
the Atlanta Falcons, which was recovered in the Falcons’ end zone
for a touchdown. It was the first score in the Saints’ first home
game in nearly 21 months, during which time Hurricane Katrina had
devastated the city.
That year, he
won the “Special Teams Player of the Year” award for the Saints.
Steve formed the
One Sweet World Foundation, a charitable foundation that focuses on
literacy and environmentalism. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina,
Steve’s foundation led a group of foundations and institutions in
launching “Backpacks for Hope”, an initiative to provide relief to
young hurricane victims in the form of backpacks and school
supplies. More than 7,000 backpacks and other assistance was donated
from across the country. He spent much of his career visiting
patients at the New Orleans Children’s Hospital.
Steve, known for
his long locks hanging out of this helmet, regularly donated his
hair to “Locks for Love”, which provides hair for wigs for children
from football, Steve attended Tulane University to receive his
Master of Business Administration degree. In January 2011, he was
diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Steve is married
to native New Orleanian Michel Varisco. In October 2011, they had
their first child, Rivers. In an effort to capture the essence of
himself and his life, Steve is currently building a video journal
library for Rivers.
Today, Steve and
his foundation are deeply committed to helping people with ALS live
productive, inspired lives by providing access to life-affirming
events and assistive technology until a cure is found.
The Gleason Initiative Foundation Mission
• Help provide
individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading
edge technology, equipment and services.
• Create a global
conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to
• Raise public awareness toward ALS by providing and
documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with
muscular diseases or injuries.
You can easily
donate to Team Gleason and learn more about their mission and
activities by going to this link -
- Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues. Friday's
pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.
Thank you for
Please send thoughts and comments to
Angie BEE grew-up a standard-sized young woman, educated in
communications, promotions and planning.
She became a wife, mother and ministry support member while
building businesses and her faith.
Through stress, age and a poor diet and while suffering from major
depression and attempted suicide, Angie BEE's weight climbed from
180 pounds to 360 pounds.
She was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes,
obstructive sleep apnea, an overactive bladder and poor leg
circulation. At the age
of 40 an anxiety attack and the decline in her mental health forced
her to stop work and look at improving her declining health.
It was during this time that Angie BEE became inspired by her
younger sister Sonya Bennett during her process towards Gastric
Bypass Surgery. Sonya
launched this column and will return occasionally to contribute to
it, but now that she is three years-post surgery... her life is
focused on something new!
Now, celebrating her first year of a new life since having the
procedure herself, Angie BEE is healthier than she has been in over
a decade. Losing the
first 100 pounds was just the bonus!
She is now diabetes-free.
She has normal blood pressure.
The circulation in her legs is normal.
She sleeps without a c-pap machine and more!
The joy that she feels is documented each day in her
syndicated radio show, a brand new weekly
TV show documentary and each month in this article.
The Big GB stands for The BIG Gastric Bypass and it also
stands for "Getting (my life) Back".
This article reflects how Angie BEE's life has improved... by
the grace of God and as the result of having Gastric Bypass surgery
on Feb 28, 2011. This
is now her life!
It's Time For My NAP!
Oh my goodness! June was such a wonderful
month! I have officially lost 187 pounds since having gastric
bypass surgery in February, 2011 and each day is a blessing for me!
Now I have discovered that I am losing inches along with continuing
to lose 2-3 pounds per month. As a busy summer is now upon us, I can
really say that I am getting my life back; that is, a better life
than I think I ever had! I am so splendid to share some of my
exciting activities with each of you!
I started out the month traveling to Ocala,
Florida to do a live radio remote with Orlando-based Joy Gospel
Radio at an outdoor church concert event. I debuted my new Afro on
that night which was WONDERFUL as the humidity in Florida that
evening was KICKIN'! (lol) I conducted red-carpet interviews with
recording artists and business owners and I nibbled on items from
the catered veggie platter. During the concert I danced and joked
with attendees while I enjoyed the yummy meatballs that filled me up
quickly! There was once a time in my life when live, public events
caused me stress and anxiety which resulted in my overeating. I
remember one event where I actually packed two (2) bags of Skittles,
a one-pound bag of Fritos and a bag of M&Ms in my briefcase which
were ALL eaten during the course of a two-hour event (smh).
Next we traveled to Lakeland Florida where I
served as MC for The TOUR Concert appearance at an outdoor family
celebration. The TOUR is a Holy Hip Hop concert featuring ministers
and Christian rappers in concert and I introduce each performer to
the audience before they begin. The TOUR began two years ago and
each concert has been stressful for me since I began serving as the
MC. "What do I wear?" "Do I have enough to eat?" These thoughts
have always ran through my mind as I prepared to serve the audience
during past concerts. Not this time! The family was thrilled by
the artists and their songs and when my fiancé serenaded me in song
at the end. There were applause and smiles from everyone! I
was certainly "In Charge" at that event and actually relaxed and had
a GREAT TIME with the kids and the face-painting as I ran around
taking pictures of the entire celebration.
Next was a speaking engagement in Orlando
where I brought a message of LOVE to all in attendance. This was a
five-year celebration of the Women Tearing Down Walls event so I
shared the testimony of my poor health and weight issues prior to
the weight loss surgery. I cracked jokes and told stories of love
and control and rejoicing because that is what is on my heart right
now! At the end of my presentation at the podium I was even able to
stand quiet a bit longer to pray with individuals as I was
instructed to do. There was a time when the poor circulation in my
diabetic legs would not let me stand at a podium to speak. I gave
my trial sermon in 2010 sitting in a chair at the podium! Since the
weight loss the circulation in my legs has improved and that
overactive bladder that had me running to urinate every five minutes
is gone now! I can even cough or sneeze now without leaking!
Last month as I was watching the news, I
learned that the American Medical Association (AMA) has officially
declared obesity as a disease. Hmmmm....
I know that I lived with several diseases
while I was morbidly obese. I lived with Type II Diabetes, High
Blood Pressure, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, yadda, yadda, yadda. The
Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms still
plague me on occasion. No, I was not depressed because I was fat, I
was depressed because Depression is a hereditary disease that I live
with and the weight didn't help. Now, since the other diseases have
been resolved and my eating is at bay, I have more control over the
depression and anxiety each and every day. I never considered that
obesity in itself could be a disease, but I do know that I am in
better control of my obesity.
Coming up next month is the Moms-N-Ministry
Weekend Retreat that includes workshops, music and fellowship among
attendees. Come join us! You will see for yourself that I still
have my curves, I still have the "disease" of obesity while
wearing a size 14 dress and I still have a smile on my face as I get
my life back after gastric bypass surgery!
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
Weight Based Wellness Programs Don't
from: NAAFA.org by
In early May of this year, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) invited members of the public to
submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at their
hearing on Wellness Programs. "Employers may want to take this
opportunity to tell the EEOC why they believe these programs are
important to the efficient operation of their businesses," advised
an alert by law firm
Jackson Lewis LLP.
Through efforts initiated by NAAFA member Darliene Howell,
NAAFA members, as well as other organizations and members of our
community, rose to the occasion and submitted written comments
regarding the lack of effectiveness of wellness programs that focus
on weight loss as a measure of success.
You may read the final document submitted by the community
wide efforts at:
The NAAFA board of Directors sent the following letter to the
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the meeting of
May 8, 2013 - Wellness
Programs Under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws.
NAAFA, a civil rights organization working for equality at
every size, objects to some of the wellness programs currently being
instituted by employers. Our objection is not with employers
offering wellness programs; it is with those whose wellness programs
include punitive measures or differential rewards based on health
status factors, including a person's cholesterol, blood pressure,
weight or body mass index. Body size or weight is not a proxy for
health or wellness. These programs are discriminatory practices.
Because weight loss efforts (from dietary restriction to
surgical intervention) carry significant health risks and may be
complicated by medication or other conditions, the decision to
attempt weight loss is a private one that should only be made in
consultation with one's personal physician. Wellness programs should
never require the use of BMI or other measures of weight as a
required metric for that reason; to the extent that a measurement of
weight is used, alternate measures that are independent of weight
must also be used to avoid disproportionately discriminating against
fat people with disabilities by what will be a de facto requirement
that they disclose personal and confidential medical information or,
alternatively, attempt medical interventions that are dangerous for
them compared to their thin counterparts.
A 2002 study, Evaluating a ‘non-diet’ wellness
intervention for improvement of metabolic fitness, psychological
well-being and eating and activity behaviors, whose objective was
“to evaluate the effects of a 'health-centered' non-diet wellness
program, and to compare this program to a traditional 'weight
loss-centered' diet program;” concluded:
“Over a 1 y[ear] period, a diet approach results in weight
loss for those who complete the intervention, while a non-diet
approach does not. However,
a non-diet approach can produce similar improvements in metabolic
fitness, psychology and eating behavior, while at the same time
effectively minimizing the attrition common in diet programs.”
Studies indicate that dieting results in one third to two
thirds of dieters regaining more weight than they lost on their
diets (aka yo-yo dieting) [Mann, 2007 and Pietilainen, 2012]; yo-yo
dieting has a negative effect on the immune function [Hutchison,
The 2013 study, Wellness Incentives In The Workplace: Cost
Savings Through Cost Shifting To Unhealthy Workers [Horwitz, et al,
2013], states “Recognizing the risk that unhealthy employees might
be punished rather than helped by such programs, the [Afforable
Care] act also forbids health-based discrimination.” Additionally,
it finds: “Although there may be other valid reasons, beyond
lowering costs, to institute workplace wellness programs, we found little evidence that such programs can easily save costs through
health improvement without being discriminatory. Our evidence
suggests that savings to employers may come from cost shifting, with
the most vulnerable employees—those from lower socioeconomic strata
with the most health risks—probably bearing greater costs that in
effect subsidize their healthier colleagues.”
For supersize individuals at the highest end of the weight
spectrum who are disabled by their weight, protections under the ADA
are now clear via both in court decisions and EEOC guidance. To
avoid blatant discrimination, all Wellness Programs must have a
mechanism to accommodate such individuals so that they have the same
ability to earn discounts and avoid penalties as their thin peers. A
Wellness Program that allows (or requires) a person to walk a daily
mile to earn a bonus (or avoid a penalty) would clearly violate the
rights of a person with a disability who could not walk, and this
remains true even if the disabled individual might be able to walk
in the future if they engage in Herculean efforts. So, too, the
requirement that a supersize person who is disabled by their weight
achieve a "normal"/target BMI to earn a bonus (or avoid a penalty)
would violate his/her rights, even if he/she might be able to do so
via Herculean efforts.
NAAFA supports the evidence-based principles of Health At
Every Size (HAES). These principles are aligned with our mission.
Instead of focusing on weight as a measurement of health, the HAES
approach removes weight from the equation and replaces it with a
focus on overall well-being, which includes the full range of body
shapes and sizes. For information on HAES principles, go to
As representatives of one of the major stakeholders
involved, NAAFA members and the NAAFA Board of Directors support a
thorough examination of the rules guiding employer wellness programs
to ensure that they are not promoting discriminatory hiring and
We appreciate the willingness of the EEOC to listen to the
concerns of the public and NAAFA is offering its assistance in
referring experts who may be of service to you in finding
health-based alternative wellness programs.
The NAAFA Board of Directors
Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol [Tomiyama, et
Medicare's Search for Effective Obesity Treatments - Diets
Are Not the Answer [Mann, et al, 2007]
Yo-Yo Dieting May Have a Long-Term Negative Effect on Immune
Function, According to Fred Hutchinson Study [McTiernan, et
Micronutrient deficiencies after bariatric
surgery [Shankar, et al, 2010]
of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding [Himpens, et al,
Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer After Obesity Surgery
[Derogar, et al, 2013]
Drugs that cause weight gain [Fernstrom, 1995]
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
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
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
with Lucia Roth
Independence Day, commonly known as the
Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States
commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on
July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great
Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks,
parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts,
baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and
ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private
events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of
the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the
So what’s the one dish that is easy and will
have all your friends and families sucking their fingers as you
celebrate our nation independence with a table full of wonderful
and mouthwatering chow. I have just the recipe! “Grilled Peach
BBQ Chicken Wings” Yummy.
Grilled Peach BBQ Chicken Wings
2 cups KC Masterpiece®
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
Salt and pepper
24 chicken wings, separated at the joint and
1 cup peach jam, such as Smuckers
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s
Red-hot, or to taste
Scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced,
•In a food processor, combine the barbecue
sauce and half of the garlic. Add the peaches and
process until finely chopped; season with about
1-1/2 teaspoons salt and about 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Reserve 1/2 cup for basting.
• In a reseal-able plastic bag, toss
together the chicken wings and remaining peach
barbecue sauce; refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
• Meanwhile, combine the peach jam, vinegar,
remaining garlic, hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt in
a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until
slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; let cool.
• Drain and discard marinade. Moisten a
paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled
tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken
wings, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from
the heat for 12-16 minutes, turning occasionally.
• Brush with sauce. Grill or broil,
uncovered, 8-10 minutes longer, or until juices run
clear. Basting and turning several times. Top with
scallions and serve with peach jam dipping sauce.
Yield: 4 servings.
You can always double your recipe to hide
some for yourself…. Wink!
Wine: Medium-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white
wine such as Riesling or Gewürtztraminer
Ms Suga is a plus size woman hailing from Sunny South Florida. She
is a 24 year old recent recipient of a Bachelor in Arts degree in
Communication Studies. Being plus size for the majority of her life
she has overcome many obstacles to finally come to the point where
she is fully content with herself and her life. This self love has
also allowed Ms Suga the privilege of sharing her love with those
around her. She is very passionate about life and loves to help
Ms Suga likes to see herself as the one everyone can go
to for positive, inspirational and truthful words of advice and/or
support. She is the Beautiful Inspirational Girl that is blessed,
intellectual, trustworthy, caring and hardworking.
Ms Suga has had a passion for writing since she was a
little girl when she used to think of short stories about what her
life would be like as she got older. This is Ms Suga’s first
opportunity for her thoughts to be public for the world to see.
Excited about this column Ms Suga is also very optimistic of her
future in writing and promoting self love and acceptance in the plus
"Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart
therefore he is."
with Ms Suga
Greetings again my wonderful LIC readers! I
hope my words find you all in good spirits and if not… I hope
you keep fighting the good fight. So over the past year I have
been traveling on something of an emotional journey. Along this
journey I am learning to change my process' in this life to
progress. I have been enjoying the good times to the fullest and
figuring out how to make the bad times seem a little easier to
deal with. This is my own personal journey and No I am not just
sharing for the sake of sharing.
According to those who know me closely I've
always been a positive person, always trying to find the silver
lining and the good in all things of this world. But every year
I get older & life placed its knee on my neck that positivity
dies out little by little. I began to notice the change in
myself and one day I started thinking "Who am I? What is my
purpose in life?" So I started writing in a journal trying to
figure out the answers to my questions. (Hint hint: if you are
as scatterbrained as yours truly I highly recommend journaling
your thoughts ;-))
I once read a scripture that said something
like "whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart therefore he is"
(ok don't quote me I'm far from being a biblical scholar I just
remember it's in Proverbs somewhere but you get the point
right?). The message behind this passage always stuck with me
because I felt it was referring to someone having evil motives
and actions regardless of the representative they present to the
world. For instance that person who presents themselves to us as
friends and/or potential lovers but they really are scam artists
(I know a lot of people using this representative, you'd think
they would try something different) Or that community figure who
is campaigning for utopia but is a closet
druggie/pervert/liar/manipulator/thief. Those are just examples
but you get where I'm going right?. In actuality we all have a
representative that we put forth so that people don't get to
close. It is a natural instinct that we as humans produce so we
aren't vulnerable to the evils of our world. Some
representatives are so far-fetched the person may have a hard
time believing their own lies while others are just a condensed,
watered down version of their true selves.
After thinking and writing and some more
thinking and writing I ended up back at this scripture and I
realized... I present Ms Suga to the world month after month but
the woman inside me is simply R.A. I am my thoughts, dreams and
desires. I am a Christian woman, I am a procrastinator (Raqui
can definitely attest to that), I am a hopeless romantic, I am
loyal and hot headed, I love potatoes and taking pictures, I
love spending money (usually money I don't have) and books and
long drives down country roads. I love to learn new things, and
I have a love/hate relationship with the Elliptical machine.
Notice I said "I am" and "I love". Those terms are repeated
because they are followed by my truths, they are a part of the
woman you all know (and love) as Ms Suga. Now don't get me wrong
there are some negative sides to me that we won't dwell on but
they too are a part of me. Whatsoever this woman thinketh in her
heart, so shall she be.
Ok so I know I took the long country road to
my point but hey that's what I do. Anyway. My life journey has
led me around my mind and back so that I could learn more about
myself. There are so many people in this world living in their
representatives that it's almost sad. My inspiration this time
around is simple: BE YOURSELF! We live in a world of reality
television and social media takeovers where everyone is so busy
trying to be "turnt up" that they don't know who they are. It's
clear that this generation is passing on a legacy of tattoos and
piercings, Molly's, IDGAF attitudes, unnecessary killings and
self-destruction. We as human beings at some point have to stand
up and show that person we are in our hearts. There are too many
people dying every day for us to continue to live behind the
representative. This journey has showed me that the
representative doesn't have to rule your life, as in everything
else in this world there can be a balance of the two.
So ask yourself, what do you think about
you? Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Is the person
you think you are the person you present to the world? Do you
want your representative and your true self to be more in line
with each other? If not that's fine, the journey isn't for
everyone. But if you do want to be yourself...start now. Wear
your hair how you want to wear it. Dress up or down whichever
you like. Say what you mean and do what you say and see if you
don't sleep better at night. Now if you’re true self is a
murderous pervert with scam artist tendencies please DON'T BE
YOURSELF! Seek help and turn the scamming into saving. Help
someone you know needs it, helping others will help you help
Well it's time for me to get off my soap box
and I hope you are inspired to BE YOURSELF or to help someone be
themselves because at the end of the day the truth will always
be "whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart therefore he is."
Peace, Love and Hair Grease!
Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in
San Diego County since she's been 18 years old. Kathy
graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in
Finance in 1999.
She has a real estate broker’s license and works as a mortgage
Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly
night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.
Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and
San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at
Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by
going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will
make them a happier person and not wait till they are at the perfect
size to start living their life to the fullest.
Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living
productively on their own.
In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing,
modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.
When you’re EX remains friends with your
When you are dating someone, you will
eventually introduce them to your close friends, and we all end
up hanging out and becoming friends. Having your
boyfriend hang out with your friends, is a great way to spend
time with friends, and your boyfriend at the same time.
Everyone wants their friends to get along with, and like their
boyfriends, because than everyone has a great time together.
What happens when you break up with your
boyfriend, and he continues to be friends with your friends
though? I think it depends on why you broke up with
someone, and if the guy was cheating, lying or doing awful
things to you, during your relationship. When there
is a mutual break up then having your ex still be friends with
friends you introduced him to isn't as bad, because it isn't
surrounded by hurt and feelings betrayal.
I know a lot of people expect their friends
to stop any kind of contact with your ex after you have broken
up, because they were your friends first. The hardest situation
for your friends is when they have also been close with your ex
for a long time, because your friends were hanging out with you
and your ex a lot over the years you were together.
I've had times when two friends of mine started dating and when
they broke up, I was expected to choose one of them as my friend
and no longer be friends with the other one.
I think a valid fear of many people is that
those in the relationship fight and may get back together. So
when a break up happens and you pick one friend over the other,
it is never forgotten by the person who wasn't picked. I think a
good rule of thumb to use is if your friend is ok with you being
friends with their ex, then go ahead and continue being friends.
If your friend is going to be hurt, uncomfortable and this
causes issues in your friendship then it's probably best to not
be close friends with the ex.
If you choose to continue a friendship with
you’re the ex, then it's a good idea not to give your friend
updates about their ex.
Most of us don't want to hear about our ex, otherwise we
would still be friends with them ourselves. I think
a lot of us have a small group of friends that we go to parties
with, movies, bowling and to have your close circle of friends
invite your ex to keep hanging out with you can be very
uncomfortable. Every situation is going to be different
regarding this subject and you will have to decide what is best
for you and your friend.
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
One thing I have learned in forty something odd years of
living is that life is richly and abundantly saturated with
challenges that seem to be tailor made for the purpose of
testing character and moral integrity. With that being said, I
am sure that many of you might agree with that theory. Then if
that is the true purpose of life’s mountains and valleys, we
have to strive for that bitter sweet spot of righteous
unwavering character. This is the very virtue that greatness is
gleaned from. As complicated as an individual’s life can be, my
careful review has lead me to believe that there are two ways to
walk through life, with your head up or with your head down.
When you choose one of these methods of walking through
life several things happen. The first thing that either posture
can affect is how you feel about yourself. Walking with your
head down makes your outlook one of defeat. For example a track
runner would have a difficult time gaging a rapidly approaching
hurdle with their head down.
When attempting to clear obstacles, it is better to keep your
head up, because it makes a statement of confidence to every
onlooker and challenger. Hence the second thing that is affected
by your posture, the way you are perceived by others. Keep your
head up. In reality every runner can’t win the race but, how it
was run, and how you finish makes you a winner and a force to be
This month’s new illustration features a fashionable curvy
beauty, and diva in the making. This piece is called CONFIDENCE.
It makes reference to, how a person feels, how they want to be
received, and most importantly who they are. Dress your best, be
your best, show you’re very best, and don’t yield to every
invitation that comes your way to distract you. You are far too
valuable for that, Big, with much more to offer, beautiful in so
many ways and ready for the world. You are poised for the
challenge and confident of what the outcome will be.
LargeInCharge Hope that you enjoyed this article.
Our writer and artistic contributor JNess will be taking a
so please enjoy his previous artwork and writing in
our other 2013 LargeInCharge Magazine Issues.
Check out Jness in our
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
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.
with Amy Lucas
Convertible and reversible items are becoming a hit from
convertible dresses to Miche® bags there are many options out there. One
great thing about buying these items is that you can get many looks for
just one price. You can also choose how to wear these pieces to highlight
the curves you want accentuated. Whether you want a sexy convertible dress
or to add some fun with reversible accessories the possibilities are
Joan Rivers 4 in 1 Vest with Belt, sizes xs-3x, $29.74,
This vest converts into four different looks. It also comes in four
Eternity Wrap Cardigan, sizes 1/2x-5/6x, $39.99,
This cardigan converts into several styles and comes in three colors.
DG2 Convertible Denim Jacket with Peplum by Diane
Gilman, sizes xs-3x, $79.90,
You can double your options by removing the peplum to create a shorter
This is also available in seven colors.
Pants with Convertible Length from Woman Within, sizes
These pants convert to Capri pants simply by rolling up the bottom and
buttoning the tab.
Capri Style Pants in Convertible Lengths from Woman
Within, sizes 12w-34w, $27.99,
These Capri length pants easily turn into Bermuda shorts by
rolling up the bottom & buttoning the flap.
IMAN Global Chic “Summer Crush” Convertible Couture
Jumpsuit, sizes xs-3x, $79.95,
This jumpsuit converts to five different jumpsuits and is available in
Maxi Convertible Dress, sizes 1-3x and 4-6x, price
varies per color,
This dress converts into thirteen different dresses and a skirt.
also comes in many different colors and combinations.
Queen Collection Foldover Maxi Skirt, sizes xs- 3x,
This maxi dress can also be worn as a skirt. It comes in blue or yellow
Convertible Short Dress Tunic Skirt, sizes 2-26, $75,
This dress converts into five different dresses and two skirts.
also comes in eleven colors and is made to order.
Eternity Convertible Dress, sizes 1-3x and 4-6x, price
varies per color,
This dress converts into thirteen dresses and a skirt.
It also comes
in many different colors and combinations.
10-Way Dress, size 1-3x,
This dress converts to ten different dresses and comes in shirred and
There are currently only three colors/patterns
“Marilyn” Ruched Convertible Dress, $138,
This dress is only available in two colors right now; however, new colors
and sizes will be coming this fall along with other
convertible styles. This dress can be styled twenty- two
Carol Wior 2-in-1 Front to Back Scallop Lace Cami, sizes
s-2x, comes in black or white, $26,
This cami simply reverses to create a v-neck or a straight neck design.
Serenada® Convertible Bra by Catherine’s, available in
sizes 38C-50DDD, comes in two colors, $42,
This bra converts into a halter, strapless, or
Solid & animal print reversible plunge bra by Cacique,
sizes 36C – 44DDD, $40.50,
This bra reverses to create a different look. Lane Bryant has several
other bras that also reverse to create a new look at
Solexpressions Women’s Convertible Heel Starter Set,
comes in sizes 6-11, $129.99,
These heels convert into short black boots or grey tall boots simply
by sliding a shoe slip over it.
Mohop Moped Mid Thong, comes in regular and wide widths,
This thong-style sandal comes in three wood colors, and a choice of three
ribbon sets to change your look. There are other ribbons
available to purchase as well.
Kimmie-Special with Chain Gang, by Convertibles, sizes
These metallic gold gladiator sandals come with nine colored chain tops
to change the look of the shoe.
Black and Brown Reversible Belt, sizes 0-5x,
Black and White Reversible Belt, sizes 0-5x,
Plus Size Black Cotton Peplum Belt by A Conversation
Piece, available in sizes up to a 26 and does larger
sizes as a custom order, $35,
You can add this belt to anything to create that peplum look that is so
trendy right now.
Renee’s Convertible Chain Belt/Necklace by Sure Couture,
available in missy or plus size, comes in silver or
This chain belt also becomes a necklace.
AKKAD “Thrilling Beauty”
Convertible Necklace and Bracelet Set, available in
Black Diamond Color or Tanzanite Color, $99.95,
This piece has four closures so you can create different necklace lengths
and/or create a bracelet.
Juicy Couture Black & Gold Convertible Chain Link
Necklace/ Bracelet with Ribbon, $78, sold by Tiffany’s
This necklace becomes a bracelet simply by wrapping it around your wrist.
Gorjana Bloom Reversible Disc Bracelet in Beach Glass,
Simply flip over the bracelet to change the color of the charm to match
Leather Cuff Reversible Bracelet by OLIOTTO, $ 35,
These bracelets can work with many outfits just by reversing them.
14k Yellow Gold Reversible Earrings from the
Amazon Curated Collection, $29
for the Cubic
Zirconia and $24 for the White Cultured
.75ct Blue and White Diamond
Sterling Silver Reversible Tassel Earrings,
These earrings are reversible to create a similar look but with a
2 in 1 High Gloss Black Top Double Handle Bucket Office
Tote Satchel Handbag Purse + Crocodile Print Crossbody
Convertible Shoulder Bag, $42.50, part of the MG
Collection and sold
The inside pouch of the black bag comes out to create another bag. The
handles are also interchangeable creating even more
Miche® Prima Base Bag with shells, $39.95 for the black
This base bag changes its look when you add on different shells to change
the outside of the bag. The shells shown are Melanie,
Pat, and Tereasa.
IMAN Global Chic Sexy Straw Hat with Set of 3 Elegant
This hat converts into three different looks by changing the scarves that
embellish the hat.
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
"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.
On the Road Again
with Jay Hansen
It's safe to say that we're smack in the middle of the
summer vacation season now, as is evident by the sunburns I almost
certainly have by time this is published. Summer is a busy travel time for
everyone, but especially for those of us in the size community since so
many of the largest events in the nation all happen during or around
summer. I'm very excited for the Well Rounded event later this month in
Las Vegas that both Heidi and I will be attending. It will be my first
national size-community event, not to mention my first time in Las Vegas
(heck, my first time further west than Guymon, Oklahoma). Our Vegas trip
is officially less than a month away at this point, so being the obsessive
planners and organizers we both are, Heidi and I have started going over
our final "check list," of things to remember for the plus-sized road
traveler. Heidi has been attending size conventions for years and has a
wealth of tips that we both hope can help make everyone's vacation less of
a hassle and more enjoyable.
Heidi, myself, and our mutual friend Lori (also a woman of
size) will all be driving together to Las Vegas. Whenever you're
traveling, especially by car, go with a travel buddy. There is nothing
more comforting than traveling with a friend who is either similarly
plus-sized or size friendly. Doing so will give you someone to help take
care of you and allow you to do the same for them. Be sure to have all of
your traveling companion's emergency contact information, and be aware of
any special medical needs or allergies they may have. Compassion breeds
more compassion, and bringing a friend to what would have already been an
enjoyable vacation makes it an awesome one.
We will be driving as opposed to flying. We live in
Oklahoma, which is pretty centralized for the entire country. For us, the
major deciding factors were that it's just cheaper to drive and
exponentially more comfortable. There's no worry about purchasing two
seats, no having to navigate large airports, no standing in long lines for
extended periods, no one feeling up our belly rolls (or for me, my
twig-ribs), and most of all there's no judgment from airline employees and
the all-too-often discriminatory policies regarding plus-sized people. We
get to make our own schedule and do things our own way, which is a very
liberating feeling, albeit a heavy burden of responsibility. For
flight-specific tips, I encourage everyone check out NAAFA's pamphlet on
travel tips for people of size, which you can view
by clicking here.
Thankfully for us, Lori's grandmother has a very
size-accommodating vehicle that she allows us to drive to Vegas. Its seats
are wide and there's plenty of room between the steering wheel and the
driver's stomach, while at the same time offering tremendous luggage space
in the back. Even then, though, Heidi and Lori will often bring pillows
for both their seats and up against their sides so their hips, legs, and
knees aren't being dug into by door attachments like handles and cup
holders. If you have the resources and wish to drive, Heidi recommends
looking into renting a luxury or travel car that suits your needs. A
little bit of extra room goes a long way on long drives.
Speaking of comfort, don't forget to stop and stretch
frequently. I'm a very slender person and even my legs get restless and
tingly after too long in the car, but for larger people it's even more
important to prevent cutting off circulation to the extremities. These
periodic stops can also provide a regular opportunity to switch drivers
when traveling in a group.
Stops are even more important, though, when you start to get tired. Never
drive tired; don't be afraid to pull over and take a nap.
I say "don't be afraid" because it can often be an
intimidating thought to stop in the middle of no where and let yourself
fall unconscious. This is by far the most important reason to not travel
alone; there's safety in numbers, be it safety from just not getting lost
in a big hotel or safety from creeper-predators. Heidi strongly recommends
bringing protection on long trips, especially for women, and especially
for larger women. Small weapons such as mace, tasers, or Heidi's
protection of choice, knives, can easily be stored in a purse, a
compartment in a car, or, as in Heidi's case, even cleavage or a bra. No
matter what your choice though, sometimes the best defense is to just be
intimidating and assertive. It's uncomfortable to think about for some,
but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Always call your hotel ahead of time to make sure your
physical needs can be properly accommodated. When I say that most people
think of handicapped rooms and access ramps, which are important to check,
but many people may overlook the smaller things. Do you have medication
that requires refrigeration? Call ahead to find where you can keep it,
because most non-handicapped rooms (and even some handicapped ones) don't
have their own refrigerators in which to store things. Some hotels do
offer special accommodations for those that need it such as a special
storage area for refrigerated medications or letting you bring your own
mini-fridge. Heidi is opting to do the latter, and made sure to purchase a
mini-fridge with a car adapter to properly store her medication even on
the long car ride.
Ultimately, as cliché as it may sound, just make sure to
have fun. If you're getting over stressed and need a time-out from the
planning or travel don't be afraid to stop and relax. Don't be afraid to
ask for help. Even if the travel part of your vacation is a major pain in
the ass, just remember how small a part of the vacation it is. When you
get to your destination, take a deep, cleansing breath of relief, put the
road behind you, and enjoy your well-earned time off.
As for me, when I get to Vegas, I'll have the...
pleasure... of looking after two
very rowdy, drunk, super-sized women who are so silly and outgoing they've
never dared to both get drunk at the same time out of fear of what they
might do without sober eyes keeping watch. I get to be those sober eyes.
Wish me luck.
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
I interned with U.S.
Senator Dianne Feinstein from 1995-1996.
interned with CBS News during the 1996 Republican
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
I enjoy bowling, basketball, tennis,
football. I play 12 musical instruments. I also
design a web page for a real estate company.
Getting Past the Stereotypes
with David Edmondson
“Oh my God, he looks like he is about to fall over. Sir,
can I help you with that? Do you need a chair? Can I get
you some water? How on earth is he able to finish a 12
km race, being that size? This is usually the language
you hear skinny people give to those who are of bigger
size. I know this because this was how I spoke when
seeing a person of size trying to finish the Bay to
Breakers race in San Francisco. Now, I find myself on
the receiving end of that talk.
But rather than
go through self examination or ask myself how did I get
to this point, I find it more productive to ask, how do
I get others to back off and deal with the new me? The
phrase often used is “You can get busy living or you can
get busy dying”. That rings true when dealing with
stereotypes. But the first person that has to get over
that stereotype is YOU.
You have to be comfortable in your own skin or no
one else will.
Sadly, it is
like dealing with children. When someone is feeling bad
about themselves, they usually look for a target to take
out their frustrations and insecurities on. If you are
fragile or timid, they will usually look to pick on you
and your size every time.
This means that
you must grow some thick skin and grow it rather
quickly, because people never seem to tire from picking
on a person.
Some of the
stereotypes are hard to defeat because we believe them
ourselves. How many times have you gone to a barbeque,
where there is an eating contest and people naturally
look to you to enter, because of your size? Or better
yet, they want you to block during a football game,
because they believe no one will attack them if you are
around and the probability of you running out for a pass
is unlikely, because no one sees you as having
endurance? It is up to us as individuals to push the
envelope and test ourselves. After all, no one is going
to know what you are capable of, if you are afraid to
show them. So go out there and sprint for that ball, you
may end up surprising yourself and others around you as
to what your capabilities are.
concentrate on what you cannot do, celebrate what you
can do. No, the probability of me running a marathon at
this point in my life is not going to happen. Even great
athletes retire at some point. Trying to get me to party
8-12 hours has in all likelihood gone with my youth.
However, I’m able to move heavier objects that were once
past my limits. I can physically move more things around
the house for longer periods of time than a slimmer
person would be able to endure.
Once you are able to embrace yourself, others
will embrace you as well and all of the sympathy talk
will soon disappear. This is what we all strive for in
the first place, to be treated like a regular person.
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