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LargeInCharge Magazine -  Nine Years and Counting!

 Issue#114 - September 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!

 

 

Make-up: ColdAsEyce  Photo: J Humble - Charlotte NC.

 

8 Things Unhappy
People Refuse to Admit

 

8 Things Unhappy People Refuse to Admit

Internet Source: CLICK HERE

 

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
―Abraham Lincoln

 

Everyone experiences an unhappy mood on occasion, but there is a big difference between experiencing a temporary bout of unhappiness and living a habitually unhappy life.  That’s what chronically unhappy people do.  And although many of these people are afraid to admit it, a vast majority of their unhappiness stems from their own beliefs and behaviors.

Over the years, Angel and I have helped thousands of unhappy people rediscover their smiles, and, in the process, we’ve learned a lot about the negative beliefs and behaviors that typically hold them back.  Even if you are generally a happy person, take a look at the list below.  Many of the unhappy people we’ve worked with initially refused to admit that they carried these beliefs and behaviors, even when the evidence stacked against them was undeniable.  See if any of these points are keeping you from experiencing greater amounts of joy.

1.  They struggle with self-respect.

Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Trust your inner spirit and follow your instincts.  Accept who you are completely, the good and the bad, and make changes in your life as YOU see fit – not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know it’s the right thing to do, for YOU.

Be the person you will be happy to live with for the duration of your life.  Don’t rely on your significant other, or anyone else, for your happiness and self-worth.  Know that our first and last love is always self-love, and that if you can’t love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to either.

2.  They are self-conscious about what others think of them.

The minute you stop overwhelming your mind with caring about what everyone else thinks, and start doing what you feel in your heart is right, is the minute you will finally feel freedom and peace of mind.  In fact, you can end half your troubles immediately by no longer permitting people to tell you what you want.

You have to put your life in your own hands.  Others may be able hold your happiness hostage temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Happiness” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  They are holding on to old grudges.

You will never find peace until you learn to finally let go of the hatred and hurt that lives in your heart.  Life is far too short to be spent in nursing bitterness and registering wrongs.  Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, on the other hand, is for those who are confident enough to stand on their own two legs and move on.

In order to move on, you must know why you felt the way you did, and why you no longer need to feel that way.  It’s about accepting the past, letting it be, and pushing your spirit forward with good intentions.  Nothing empowers your ability to heal and grow as much as your love and forgiveness.

4.  The routines they follow imprison them.

Remember that the way you’ve always done it isn’t the only way.  It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re 70 is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $6 lattes from Starbucks, or not having frequented the same night club for years.  But the regret of missing out on opportunities is a real, toxic feeling.

The bottom line is that you’ve figured out drinking and going out.  You’ve had enough lattes.  It’s time to figure something else out.  Every corner you turn or street you walk down has a new experience waiting for you.  You just have to see the opportunity and be adventurous enough to run with it.  (Read Eat, Pray, Love.)

5.  There’s a lot they can’t control (even though they try).

Life is often unpredictable.  Some of the great moments in your life won’t necessarily be the things you do; they’ll be things that happen to you.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take action to affect the outcome of your life.  You have to take action, and you will.  But don’t forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change in an instant – for better or worse.

To an extent, the universe has a plan that’s always in motion.  A butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain – it’s a scary thought, but it’s part of life’s cycle.  All these little parts of the machine, constantly working – sometimes forcing you to struggle, and sometimes making sure you end up exactly in the right place at the right time.

6.  They let their fears numb them from life’s goodness.

“Numbing” is any activity that you use to desensitize your feelings so that you don’t experience vulnerability or hurt.  But by numbing yourself to vulnerability, you also numb yourself to love, belonging, empathy, creativity, adventure and all of life’s goodness.

Remember, every worthwhile venture in life – intimate love, friendship, a new business, etc. – is scary.  These things are inherently risky.  They are unsafe.  These things aren’t for the faint of heart.  They take courage.  And most importantly, they can’t coexist with fear.  When you open up to life’s greatest opportunities and joys it means you’re also giving life the opportunity to break your heart, but trusting that it won’t… that the risk is well worth the reward.

7.  They are addicted to avoiding themselves in the present moment.

This is something we all struggle with sometimes.  It’s also the root cause of nearly all of our unhappiness.

One of the hardest challenges we face in life is to simply live in our own skin – to just be right here, right now, regardless of where we are.  Too often we needlessly distract ourselves with anything and everything: food, booze, shopping, television, tabloid news, online social networks, video games, cell phones, iPods, etc. – basically anything to keep us from being fully present in the current moment.

We use compulsive work, compulsive exercise, compulsive love affairs, and the like, to escape from ourselves and the realities of living.  In fact, many of us will go to great lengths to avoid the feeling of being alone in an undistracted environment.  So we succumb to hanging-out with just about anybody to avoid the feeling of solitude.  For being alone means dealing with our true feelings: fear, anxiety, happiness, anger, joy, resentment, disappointment, anticipation, sadness, excitement, despair, and so on and so forth.

And it doesn’t really matter if our feelings are positive or negative – they are overwhelming and exhausting, and so we prefer to numb ourselves to them.  The bottom line is that we are all addicted to avoiding ourselves.  Acknowledging this addiction is the first step to healing it.  So begin today by just noticing with curiosity, and without judgment, all of the ways in which you avoid being in your own skin, right here, right now, in this present moment we call life.  (Read The Power of Now.)

8.  The grass isn’t greener anywhere else.

If you feel anxious because you constantly feel like you’re missing out on something happening somewhere else, you’re not alone.  We all feel this way sometimes – like the grass is greener somewhere else at this very moment.  But let me assure you, you could run around trying to do everything, and travel around the world, and always stay connected, and work and party all night long without sleep, but you could never do it all.  You will always be missing something, and thus it will always seem like something wonderful might be happening elsewhere.

So let it go, and realize you have everything right now.  The best in life isn’t somewhere else; it’s right where you are, at this moment.  Celebrate the perhaps not so insignificant fact that you are alive right now.  This moment, and who you are, is absolutely perfect.  Take a deep breath, smile, and notice the green grass under your own two feet.

Afterthoughts

Let me tell you a secret I’ve learned about happiness.  Nobody is happy all of the time.  It’s perfectly normal to experience considerable fluctuations in your level of happiness from day to day, month to month, and even year to year.  In fact, according to a recent scientific study, overall levels of happiness decline from one’s teens until one’s 40s and then pick up again until they peak in one’s early 70s.  So the chances are that your happiest days are yet to come.  Hopefully that gives you something to smile about today.

Got Comments? Go to the Oringal Article and Share your Thoughts: CLICK HERE

 

 

 
 

Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

 

Cover Model of the Month!

Stacie Smith

 


 Photo and Make-up: ColdAsEyce - Charlotte NC.

Make-up: ColdAsEyce  Photo: J Humble
Charlotte NC.
 

COVER MODEL INTERVIEW

Make-up: ColdAsEyce  Photo: J Humble - Charlotte NC.

 

LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?

  

My name is Ms. Stacie Renee Smith

 

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

I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and I currently reside in Charlotte, NC.

 

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

I am a single, African American female with no children. I am 47 yrs. Old, 5’8 “and am a size 26/28.

 

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

I have always been the biggest child growing up amongst family and friends. I don’t know what being small is about.

 

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

I initially felt bad as I was always made fun of. I was often the last to be picked for things and especially when it came to boys and dates. While others had boyfriends, I didn’t. Thanks to my mother, my self-esteem has been high as I became a young adult. My mother constantly told me that just because I am big do not mean I am ugly. My mother always told me that I was beautiful inside and out, that beauty is only skin deep and is in the eyes of the beholder. My mother always kept me dressed well as she herself was a size 22/24 and was a sharp dresser. I have always been told by family and non-family members how pretty I am. So in my later teen years my self-esteem started to go higher and thereafter no one could tell me different.

 

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

I have been out of H.S. since 83. In High school I wore a 22/24 so I haven’t really changed much. I have gained weight though and it is partially due to a low metabolic rate as I have a bad habit of skipping 1-2 meals per day. The other reason is due to being in America and not eating the proper portion of food. It is important to know that I do not binge eat. There are many foods and beverages that the average person eats that I do not. I refer to myself as an obese anorexic person!

 

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

I want to show the world that large is beautiful. I wanted to show the world that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. I would like to inspire women younger, my age , older, smaller than I , my size, and up that if I can do it, so can they. I want women of size to know that they should smile, be proud of themselves, love their bodies that God gave to them, hold their heads up and make eye contact when they walk into a room and not stare down at the floor. I want the world to know that I am a plus woman who is definitely “Large and In Charge” and that they can be the same!

 

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?

Yes as a female growing up in the Western Civilization, it is very hard being accepted. However, with my personality, they have no choice but to accept me. Both men and women always gravitate to me because of my personality and drive to be a better me.

However, once I was in entered into the world of events geared toward size acceptance, the journey that was hard was no more. Over the years, men have grown to love plus size women and women have done the same also in terms of accepting us and not ridiculing so much. It still happens but not as much. Society is still shallow but not as shallow as it used to be.

When I was younger, yes but now it’s basically like it or not, take it or leave it, what you see is what you get. I have been large my whole life so I don’t see myself as others do. I accept myself but others may have the problem and it’s just that…their problemJ.

Yes all of my family and friends accept me. This is the only way they’ve known me to be is big.

 

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

The need to want to help others inspires me. My belief in God inspires me most as he would not want me to be anything else but the best. He wants me to be happy. He has given me the gift of my personality, knowledge and beauty. I must use it to the fullest. The Devil wants me to be down, depressed, sick in my body, lonely and all other negative things. Therefore, I focus on the positives that God brings and has for me and that inspires me to press on!

 

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

I am a Registered Nurse. I went to Clara Barton H.S. in Brooklyn, NY and became a Licensed Practical Nurse after graduating. I stayed in the field of nursing from that point on.

 

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

Yes and no. It’s hard as my profession teaches health and physical fitness. So, it was hard for me and still is telling others when I myself am overweight.  However as I began to look around, there are a lot of overweight health care professional. I do think that once you enter into the corporate world your looks play a lot more into the job that you get depending on what your duties are.

 

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

Being able to obtain positions not based on their looks. Not being chastised for your weight a having to pay higher insurance premiums based on your weight. Not having to speak with “a life coach” so that you can decrease your weight and therefore pay the premiums that non overweight people pay. Not being denied life insurance coverage based on your weight.

I would like to see healthy foods for all people in vending machines and restaurants, exercise breaks and less job stress which contributes to being overweight also.

 

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

It has come a long way but yet there is still a ways to go. I do feel that the fashion industry needs to pay attention to the fact that the larger sizes are the first to be sold in the stores. This means they need to make more of them and not charge so much more than the smaller sizes. They are not using that much more fabric that they have to charge so much.

 

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

I think there should be more plus sized designers and true plus size models (not a tall 14/16/18/20) representing true plus sized women so that we will know how the clothes will look on us. I think they fashion world needs to have more choices for plus sized women and not stop at a size 20-24. I think that they do not need to make everything look like a house coat or a tent, or down to the floor or matronly plain Jane just because it’s larger does not mean it should be less stylish. We need to keep women uplifted not embarrass them by making some of these ridiculously styled clothes. To me, everything that they make in a smaller size should also be made in plus and super plus sizes to give the ladies an option.

 

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

I buy my clothes from Lane Bryant, DOTS, Simply Fashion, Ashley Stewart, Marshal’s, TJ Max, Simply Be, The Pyramid Collection, Holy Clothing, Pin Up Girl on Line, Romans on line, Ebay and any department store that carries my size. I shop at several different locations. So much so that when someone asks where I bought something, I have to really think!

My beauty secret was instilled in me since I was a teenager from my mother and my grandmother and that is keep myself neat and clean. Also making certain, that I have the proper undergarments for a neater appearance. I dress to accentuate my curves. Accessories…accessories….accessories!

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

The way I prepare myself for a photo shoot is to lay out all items that I would need for each outfit. That would include my undergarments, jewelry, hosiery and shoes. Before attending a photo shoot where I do not have to bring my own garments, I just make certain that I am clean, shaven of body hairs, freshly manicured, pedicured, well rested so that I show up on time and be mentally prepared for the photo shoot. Aspiring models should be prepared for a potentially long shoot.  Sometimes they also need to be prepared to bare the elements (extreme heat, cold, and various types of crowds with spectators).

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

That size acceptance has changed since five years ago. I am seeing more true full figured models. However, some catalogues use the smaller end of full figured that is not really considered full figured in their catalogues. I don’t know how I would look in those catalogues’s clothing as they don’t have anyone that represents me in them.  I do see that more Americans are more accepting of people of size as Americans in general are overweight. More people are becoming less shallow in the real world. However, in Hollywood, they are still the same. They still do not see the plus sized women as sexy and do not put them in leading roles unless they are someone’s mother or a court jester. It’s still a journey but we are continuing to improve on size acceptance.

 

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

My goal is to become successful in print work and commercials. I no longer wish to do runway (leave that to the young ones LOL). My other interests are to be in the media/entertainment/radio arena.

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

As a non- agency signed plus model, I have done many hair, hat and fashion shows as well as plus beauty pageants to which I placed in. However I still have not broken into plus modeling and connected with the right people on a larger scale to make it a career.

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

Yes I sent my photo into BBW Magazine some years ago for it a  plus clothing store in NY called Daphne’s who wanted plus models for her small  catalogue and for an in store fashion show . I also entered into two of Dimensions (out of Ohio) beauty pageant.  In 1991, I won second runner up in talent as well as in my division (there were three according to size). The experience was like no other to be chosen as a finalist out of all of the other contestants. In my eyes, I already won!  It was an amazing accomplishment for me and my plus sized friends and family. I became an inspiration for them and that was very rewarding. It only furthered my pre-existing confidence and self- esteem.

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

I can remember being stared at constantly when I walked into a room or by people. When I was younger, I always felt self -conscious with people staring at me. One day, after noticing a few people staring at me, I finally asked a lady why she was staring at me so hard. She politely said “sweetheart, I was staring at you because you look beautiful in your outfit. Your hair, your skin, your face is so pretty”. Then later that same day / or a few days later, a few girls my age asked me where I got my outfit from. They said they couldn’t find clothes that stylish to fit them and wanted to know where I shopped because they always noticed my style of dress and liked it. During those moments, I realize that it was not because I was large person but that I was a beautiful, bold, confident woman and people liked it.  From then on, whenever I saw people stare at me, I knew why and smiled. I knew I needed to continue to be an inspiration to other women of size to do the same thing and hold their head up high.

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

Although my mother and grandmother are now deceased, they were both plus a sized woman, my mother was a size 22 and my grandmother was between a size 32 /34/36. They instilled in me that just because I was larger, didn’t mean I had to be down on myself. They always told me to keep myself clean, neat, dress nice, do my hair, have my accessories to match, put on the proper undergarments and give people something to talk about because they would expect me to be nasty and sloppy. They always made sure that I was well put together and trained me to continue to be that was so that I would show people just how beautiful I am inside and out.

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

 

To continue no matter what, do not change your look because of pressure. If you have what it takes, you have what it takes. If you walk into an agency, do not shell out countless amounts of money to get a job, they will work for you not you work for them.  Models come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Not everyone is 6 feet tall and a size 14 /16. Real women want to see real looking plus models so be the best plus model you can be. Perfect your craft and you will get noticed for who you are….If you show up and show out no matter how many times the door is closed, one day it will be opened and once it’s opened …you are in!

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

I used to admire Mo’Nique but she is now small. Since eventually, those in the limelight give in to the pressures of Hollywood, having surgery and becoming thin, I really don’t have a plus figure that I truly admire any longer.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.

Confident!

 

 


 

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 happened 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:  Child Fund - Changing lives across the World

 

 

Giving, Donations, being a Sponsor,  when we hear those words, many of us think MONEY, how much does this cost, can I afford to give.  I am in a situation where I can't afford to donate to others; I barely can handle myself and my family.  Most of us think that we have to donate huge amounts of money to make a difference, or we just don’t have the extra cash to give.  

 

This was something I thought about this year before I made my dedication.  I wanted to give to a new charity every month,  I had to set a dollar amount and stick to my budget.  I wanted to figure out how I can give without affecting my monthly budget.  Each one of us has a different budget, and if you think that you don’t have enough to give to charity, that you have nothing to offer.  WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU!

 

When looking over Child Fund.org as my next option for donation, I happen to find options.  You can look up donation options according to the amount you have to spare.  This was really exciting for me because not only can you up a charity option according to dollar amounts but you know exactly what your buying and where it is going to.

 

The least expensive option is a $8.00 donation... that is less than 3 pennies a day for 30 days.  It is less than the spare change you probably have in your pocket or purse.  This option would a great way to teach children about charity as well.  Collecting pennies daily for charity and learning the lesson of giving to others and how lucky we really are that we live such a good life.

  

What can I donate at Child Fund?  

LINK: https://www.childfund.org/giftcatalog/GiftCatalogItems.aspx?SearchByPrice=0$25

 

Clicking the Link above will take you to the Less than $25.00 donation page.  By using the menu on the left you can choose Categories for donation or Dollar amount.  You can choose what you would like to donation and its as simple as that.  On the $25.00 or less page you have many options for donation, 15 options in fact and that is just something that I find very admirable.  So let’s challenge ourselves, we all can donate to charity even if it is collecting a few pennies every day.   

 

Below is a few of the things you can donate.

 

Raqui
 

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!

 

It's Time to Reflect

with Angie Bee

In 2005 I began showing symptoms of major depression.  I didn't realize what my symptoms were.  I was tired all the time, I couldn't concentrate on what I read and I couldn't remember instructions that I received.  Everything seemed to worry and distress me; I had nightmares every night and I had no appetite.  These were MY symptoms.  

 

In 2006 I lived through my first of three suicide attempts.  Yep, there were three of them!  This past weekend, I shared my story with a group of people and a man laughed and said, "I bet you were wondering what you were doing wrong the first two times!  LOL".  Don't worry; I kept my composure as he laughed out loud at himself.  The next day I shared my story at a book-signing event and I wish that I could have taken a picture of the faces in the audience.

 

Nearly everyone can relate to mental illness in one way or another.  Whether, they themselves live with a mental illness or a relative.  Whether they "know" someone who has depression or bipolar disorder or something, they can tell you things about that person but they can't tell you what they are doing to help that person;  How sad.  Some people have shared that I was suicidal because my daughters and I lived with my abusive husband.  Others say that I was suicidal because I weighed 387 pounds.  Others say that I wanted to "end it all" because my ex-husband was a "pretty-boy-Floyd" who didn't want to work and others said that I was still grieving the death of my mother from 1999.  It didn't matter 'WHY'; what mattered is that I needed professional help!

 

Two weeks ago I married my best friend.  After our wedding we traveled to Detroit to visit my family and enjoyed a WONDERFUL backyard bar-b-q reception.  Oh My GOD!  At one point during the festivities I began to reflect on my life during the past few years.  What if one of those suicide attempts had been successful?  What if one of those violent acts from my ex-husband had killed my daughters?  What if I had not been obedient to God and launched this ministry or what if I hadn't written this book?  My syndicated radio show would not be celebrating SEVEN YEARS on the air and most importantly:  what would have happened if my grandmother had not shared with me how depression "runs in the family" and encouraged me to seek professional help?  What if? (Thank you Gram-Gram)

 

If a family can rejoice at the birth of a new baby or a wedding, why can't we celebrate when a person becomes healed?  Healing is the first step towards being in charge of your life!  When you are healed from alcoholism or cigarette addition, why don't we celebrate you?  When you are still losing weight two years after gastric bypass surgery, why don't we have a party for you?  When you have a birthday there are parties and dinners and gifts?  Why not give a gift when someone gives their life to Christ or dedicates their talents and gifts to ministry?  Why not celebrate when a person announces that they are on anti-depressants and in weekly counseling?  Why is this action a taboo subject or considered "a lack of faith" in certain circles?  My faith tells me that God provided counseling and medication for me so that I can STAY in charge of my life and not let my mental illness be in charge of ME!  (hmmph!)

 

Praise God!  I am large and in charge of my life.  In August got married and I still live with symptoms of depression... but at least I now recognize my symptoms and I am LIVING with them.  After my wedding, my friend asked me "Are you happy now?"  Well, of course I am!  I was happy during my suicidal years!  Schizophrenics are happy and so are folks that live with bipolar disorder.  If I had another anxiety attack tonight I would still be happy.  Happiness has nothing to do with a mental illness, and once we understand this, we can help someone else.  She meant no harm, but her question reminds me that I have much work to do in sharing my story.  A man (or woman) doesn't make you happy.  Losing weight doesn't make you happy.  You must find peace and happiness within yourself and through your outward actions and THEN you can deal with the rest of the mess that defines your life. That's why I am a Christian.  I have someone to love and someone that loves me even if I have no parents, no siblings, no husband, no friends... I have Christ and he loves me through it all.  He will never leave me or forsake me and that knowledge contributes to the happiness inside me.

 

 I’m on tour autographing copies of my book and sharing my story.  I am celebrating seven years on the air as a syndicated radio show host.  My husband knows my symptoms and he helps me deal with them.  I am living with my curves and loving them!  I still have to focus on eating protein and drinking water and taking my vitamin supplements since having gastric bypass surgery and I just got medically approved for a tummy tuck!  Yes, I am a busy-little-bee-for-Christ and I love my life.  Yes, I am happy, but that doesn't mean that I don't still struggle on the REGULAR!  It's OK!  I got God on my side and He ain't finished with me yet!

 

Today I chatted with my sister on the phone. She asked me  "Why am I the expert on fat issues?  Everyone always asks me my opinion about others and their lives as obese people and they want MY opinion!  Having had gastric bypass doesn't make me an expert!"  I know what you mean Sonya.  Having tried to commit suicide somehow makes ME the spiritual expert on the topic.  When Pastor Rick Warren's youngest son committed suicide, my Facebook blew up!  When former Disney star and "Rizzoli & Isles" co-star Lee Thompson Young committed suicide my phone started ringing with people asking me questions.  How?  Why?  Now, I can accept that this is how our lives work better together... by sharing our knowledge and experiences with others we grow and enlarge our territories.

 

It may be difficult, but take time to share a dark time in your life with someone that you know.  Better than that, share it on your social network pages!  Your story may help someone grow from your experience and rejoice over their achievement!  If you can share the wedding pictures with the world, why not share the tears too?  Let's really be IN CHARGE of our lives by no longer keeping mental illness a secret and let's work to help someone else grow.  You might just help save a life... maybe even your own!

 

Much love and huggz!

 

 

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

 

NAAFA Moving Forward!

from: NAAFA.org

Fat activists, admirers and supporters of all sizes from across the U.S., Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. gathered to attend the 2013 NAAFA Annual Convention & Expo held at the Las Vegas Westin Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, NV.  During the Annual General Meeting on Friday afternoon, NAAFA Chairperson Jason Docherty reviewed NAAFA’s accomplishments over the last year and introduced new educational and support materials to assist people of all sizes continue to move forward promoting NAAFA’s Equality At Every Size and End Bullying Now campaigns.

 

Highlights of the convention included:

  • End Bullying Now t-shirts for every registered attendee donated by Big Dogs
  • Dynamic keynote speakers: 2011 Ms. Plus America, Michelle Anderson; Nomada What Productions CEO, Lynne Hurdle-Price; Chubstr Media founder & CEO, Bruce Sturgell; and author, researcher and nutrition professor Dr. Linda Bacon.
  • A vendor expo reception.
  • An announcement of new Guidelines for Nutritionists and Dietitians.
  • The introduction of End Bullying Now fact sheet.
  • Fashion Show Extravaganza featuring Oakland, CA promoter, Tigress Osborn, and the Full Figure Entertainment models wearing the latest in big, beautiful, designer clothing worn by big beautiful women.
  • Special entertainment from the Jewels of Miehana and the fabulous Fatimas. 
  • A stellar line-up of informative workshops covered such topics as setting boundaries, knee friendly movement, water aerobics, dance, fat friendly yoga, financial literacy, strategies to reduce joint pain, “plus size” fashion blogging, size diversity in the workplace, health, a gentlemen’s quarterly and more.
  • A lively town hall discussion.
  • End Bullying Now: Get Involved featured the progress made by the NAAFA OC Chapter and shared how others can take this campaign to their home towns.

 

NAAFA's Board of Directors thanks all attendees for supporting the organization and its programs.  We invite fat activists, admirers and supporters of all sizes to attend next year's convention, which promises more learning, sharing, moving and caring!

 

 

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
 

 LABOR DAY!  Is upon us and so is the month of September. For some it’s the end of the summer and for other it’s the beginning of … however, for you it’s another chance to have an excellent cookout to show off your barbeque skills.

How many times have you boasted about your barbeque chicken, ribs, and hamburgers; How about this time you brag about your BBQ side dishes. Side dishes that will make your friend and family mouth waters and asking for the recipe.

So instead of the same old BBQ potatoes salad, bake beans, and macaroni salad trying something different for example, New Orleans style crab cakes with Spicy Cajun Dipping Sauce.

 

 

 

New Orleans Crab Cakes

and Spicy Cajun Dipping Sauce

 

 Ingredients

For the crab cakes:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 tablespoons finely chopped green onion – white parts
1.5 tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper
1.5 tablespoons finely chopped celery
1 pound lump crab meat
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (for example, green onion tops, flat leaf parsley, celery leaf from the heart)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
cornmeal
olive oil
Louisiana hot sauce to serve on the side

For the Creole Mustard Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp hot pepper, finely chopped
1 tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Creole mustard
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning to taste

 

Directions

First, make the sauce by combining the yogurt, hot pepper, bell pepper, and mustard. Add your Tony's in 1/2 teaspoon increments to taste, whisking to combine after each addition. Refrigerate while cooking the crab cakes.

Melt the butter over medium high heat.

Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, then stir once to coat the vegetables in melted butter.

Cook for 1-2 minutes to soften the vegetables, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Beat the chopped herbs and lemon juice into the eggs. Add the crab meat, the bread crumbs, and the reserved onion-chile-butter mixture. Mix to combine all ingredients.

Taste a bit of the mixture and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Form the mixture into 6 or more large crab cakes, measuring with 1/2 cup measuring.

Heat a generous layer (¼ - ½ inch thick) of olive oil in a pan large enough to easily fit all 4 crab cakes over medium-high heat.

Gently coat each crab cake in cornmeal. When the oil is rippling hot, carefully add the crab cakes to the pan.

Cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Serve immediately with the Creole Mustard Sauce, or loosely cover and transfer to a warm oven until ready to eat.

 

Note:  You can always double your recipe to hide some for yourself…. Wink!

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.

 

What will your Legacy be?

with Ms Suga

 

 

So I was listening to Steve Harvey the other morning, and his morning inspirational message was about your legacy, and what will you be remembered by. This of course made me think about my life, my actions and my own legacy. Some of you know I try to live a good life; I try to stay out of trouble and not be provoked into reacting in an “unladylike manner.” Please note I said TRY. It’s a difficult struggle to be good but hey no one said life itself would be easy. Any way, knowing that we live in a world of technology I know for certain my words I have shared with you all over the past 3 years will be remain even after I’m gone. It might take some searching but that’s ok I hope these words I write today will help someone in the future. But other than these articles how will I be remembered? Will people remember me for my kind hearted and helpful nature, or will I be remembered for the reckless life I once lived in my late teen and early 20s? Will I do something when I reach the age of 60 that will go down in history? Or will the only people to think about me once I’m dead be my family? Gosh I hope not but hey you never know.

 

So my question for you is what will your message to the world be? Think about all the famous dead people and how we experience their legacies every day. Thomas Edison invented the filament to give us the light bulb and now the product of his legacy lights up absolutely everything! George Washington Carver invented 101 things to do with a peanut and many years and variations later we have Nutella. Madam CJ Walker started her own hair care products for women of color and from her legacy many of women ( and men) can look in the mirror and think “My hair is laid like…” in my Funky Dineva voice (If you don’t know who I’m talking about please find the doll on youtube you won’t regret it. Now don’t think I’m trying to pressure you into finding the next greatest invention. All I want you to think about is how you will be remembered either by a few people or an entire nation of people.

 

My grandmother passed away in 2007 she was an awesome woman that could be mean and caring at the same time; but the legacy of Mrs. Bill was her strength. She gave birth to 11 children only to bury 5 of them and her husband before passing on herself. She survived the trials of motherhood, marriage and Monticello Florida (a very small town in the backwoods of northern Florida). My grandmother was not perfect but her name and her memory won’t be tainted with her faults. What about your ancestors? That uncle, who will always be remembered for starting the electric slide at every family function. Or that aunt who perfected the art of macaroni and cheese and only a few women in the family know her secret and can replicate it during the holidays.

 

As Steve Harvey said the other morning “On your tombstone is your birthday, the day you died and a dash in the middle. What will your dash be?” Don’t wait until your time is nearly up to realize you haven’t done anything with this life you are given. You only live once so make the most and the best of it while you still can. I can honestly say I’d rather live a life of lessons than a life of regrets. Take the time to make this world a great place for you and your families. So when judgment day comes you won’t have to wonder what your fate will be; hold your head up high and know that you have done some good deeds.

 

 

As always inspire and be inspired, encourage and be encouraged to be the best person you can be.
Until next time.

~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.

 

 

How to get your Guy to Commit to You

 with Kathy Edmondson

 

I think we all have a different definition on what we feel it is to be in a committed relationship.    When we were little girls most of us dreamed about dating and falling in love then eventually getting married and having our own family.   First comes love, then comes marriage then comes baby in the baby carriage was chanted by my sisters and I when we were growing up.  

 

I have to admit to watching shows on occasion in the afternoon like Maury, Steve Wilkos Show, Bill Cunningham and the notoriously ghetto Jerry Springer.   The people on these shows for the most part do not have their acts together and are brought on these shows basically for shock affect.    I always think wow my life is so much better than that after I've watched these shows and wonder if people really make these kind of stupid mistakes or if it's scripted.  A lot of these shows are about cheating and people not willing to commit to the person they are dating.  

 

I think one of my biggest pet peeves on these shows is when someone says they have been dating someone for 10+ years and they have 3 + kids.  They want a commitment but they haven't been given the commitment they want which is usually marriage.   I can't imagine having 3 to 7 children with a man and living with this man as I was his wife but he calls me his girlfriend or fiancé.   I watched another talk show about why men do not commit to marriage and the bottom line was that the woman never said directly to him this is what I want, this is what I need to make me feel complete and happy in my life.   I listen to men say they don't want to get married because it's just a piece of paper and after their friends got married that the wives changed for the worse.   The sad thing about some of these stories is the man never had any intention of ever marrying the woman but yet continued to have children with her and lead her on to think that it was a possibility in the future.  

 

What are some signs that the man you are dating wants a committed future with you?   

 

1.  He introduces you to his family and friends

2.  He loves talking to you and he is using his free time to get to know you well.

3.  When he thinks of you as a couple and switches from saying "I' to "we" or "mine" to "ours"

4.  He talks about his future plans and you are there with him in his future plans.

5.  Your interests matter to him so he will go places and do things with you because he wants you to be happy.

 

What can you do to get your man to commit to you?

 

1.  Definitely be yourself and the happy person he fell in love with.

2.  Don't be clingy and make sure to give him his space so he knows he will still have his freedom when he's in a committed relationship with you.

3.  Don't try to make him jealous by making him think that other men want you because this often back fires.

4.  Make sure you are his friend and not just his lover, good sex comes and good sex goes but being someone he can talk to about anything is what he really needs.

5.  Tell him that you need and want a commitment from him.

 

Some food for thought....People treat us how we allow them to treat us so if you allow someone to treat you like an option instead of a priority than they probably will.   I know sometimes it's hard to say what you really want but if you don't vocalize what you want you may never get it.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Confidence

with Jness


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 reckoned with.

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.

 JNESS

LargeInCharge Hopes that you enjoyed this article. 

Our writer and artistic contributor JNess will be taking a vacation

so please enjoy his previous artwork and writing in

our other 2013 LargeInCharge Magazine Issues.

Check out Jness in our Back-Issues

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 
12 Outfits To Fall For This Season
with Amy Lucas

There are so many new trends coming to fashion this fall you can easily incorporate them into your current wardrobe or create a whole new wardrobe with them.

 

Warm colors such as plum, hunter green, and tan will warm things up this season while cobalt blue will be a popular pick too. Further, animal prints will be everywhere you look this fall; as well as, black, grey, and white. Spikes and studs will adorn a lot of clothing creating a hot edgy look. Statement necklaces and earrings will be catching your attention and can add some drama to any outfit. Leather and motorcycle jackets will also be a hit this fall. Lastly, peplum will continue to create that feminine sexy look women want.

 

 

Outfit #1  

 

Ambrosia Plus Size Dress in Royal, sizes 12-32, $175, www.igigi.com

 

Simulated Pearl & Curved Chain Necklace, $22,

www.jcp.com

 

J. Renee Trudi in pewter glam fabric, comes in medium and wide width, $69.95, www.zappos.com

 

Lulu Townsend Lace Frame Clutch in blue,$26.95, www.dsw.com

Outfit #2

 

 

Lace Yoke Babydoll Top, sizes 0-4x, $38.50,

www.torrid.com

 

Torrid Denim- Dark Wash Ankle Zip Stiletto Jeans (28” inseam), sizes 12-28, $58.50, www.torrid.com

 

“Viva La Diva” Court Shoes in midnight blue, comes in wide width, $30,

www.simplybe.com

 

Sabine Candy Color Chandelier Earrings in royal blue, $12, www.shoplately.com

 

ASOS Leather Clutch Bag With Punch Out, $74.94, www.us.asos.com

Outfit #3

 

 

Zip Hoodie by City Chic, sizes 14-24, $68, www.sonsi.lanebryant.com

 

Black Studded Strapless Dress, sizes 12-26, $68.50, www.torrid.com


 

R.J. Graziano “Bedazzle Me” Crystal 15 ½ Mesh Bib Necklace, $79.95,

www.hsn.com

 

Strappy Cutout Heel, comes in wide width, $69.95,

www.lanebryant.com

 

Contrast Stud Satchel in double cream, $34.50, www.ashleystewart.com

Outfit #4  

 

“Claire Sweeney” Collarless Biker Jacket in off white, sizes 12-28, $65,

www.simplybe.com

 

Embellished Shoulders Short Sleeve Pullover, sizes 0-4x, $34.50,

www.torrid.com


 

ASOS Curve Skater Skirt In Leather, sizes 14-24, $143.45, www.us.asos.com

 

Rhinestone Spike Necklace by Lane Bryant in silver, $34.95, www.lanebryant.com

 

Black Studded Pumps, comes in wide width, $44.50, www.torrid.com

 

MMSCL98088 Studded Chain Two Way Clutch in pewter, $24,
www.makemechic.com


Outfit #5  

Eugenia Vintage Plus Size Wedding Gown, sizes 12-32,

$570.00

www.igigi.com

Lace Organza Keyhole Back Gown

Style 2611

by Allure Bridals,

sizes 2-32,

available in white/silver or ivory/silver, $958.00

www.missesdressy.com

Outfit #6  

 

Michel Studio Trench Coat With Pleather Trim in khaki, sizes 0-4x, $150,

www.additionelle.com

 

Leopard Beaded Appliqué Strapless Top, sizes 0-5x, $38.50,

www.torrid.com


 

Black Knit With Faux Leather Stripe Leggings, sizes 0-4x, $24.50,

www.torrid.com

 

Nine West Robbins Bootie in black, comes in medium and wide width, $69.95, www.dsw.com

 

River Island Leather and Suede Simple Slouch Bag, $50.63, www.us.asos.com

 

Teardrop Bib Necklace in black/gold, $12.80, www.forever21.com

Outfit #7  

 

“Cecelia” Peplum Ponte Dress in purple/black, sizes 1-3x, $198, www.monifc.com

 

Silvertone Purple Statement Necklace and Earrings Set Fashion Jewelry sold by Pammy J, $26.99,

www.amazon.com

 

Gemma Purple Satin Purse, $40, www.shoplately.com

 

Patent Peep Toe Pump in black, comes in wide width, $59.95, www.lanebryant.com

Outfit #8  

 

Peplum Runway Tee by Denim 24/7 in black, sizes s-5x, $29.99,

www.roamans.com

 

 

Grey Lace Side Detail Pixie Pant, sizes 0-5x, $58.50, www.torrid.com



Double-Sided Charm Chain Necklace in black, $24.99, www.shoplately.com

 

 

Betsey Johnson Yours Mine and Our Tote in black, $79.95, www.dsw.com

Kelly & Katie Lecia Flat, comes in medium and wide width, $39.95, www.dsw.com

Outfit #9  

 

Cowl Neck Striped Knit Tunic in black/cream, sizes 12-34, $49, www.ullapopken.com

 

Fleece Leggings in black, come in two sizes, $28.95, www.lanebryant.com

 


Metallic Wave Earrings, $22, www.shoplately.com

 

Women’s Rockport Seven to 7 Wedge Pump in black suede, comes in medium and wide width, $139.95, www.onestopplus.com

 

Women’s Flynn Python Satchel, $19.99,

www.payless.com

Outfit #10  

 

Sevilla Dress in plum, sizes 10/12-26/28, $229, www.elizaparker.com

 

Miami Laser Cut Shopper in grey, $33.74,

www.us.asos.com

 

Fiore Necklace & Earring Set in black diamond, $40, www.shoplately.com

 

Mary Jane patent pump in red vino, comes in wide width, $59.95,

www.lanebryant.com

Outfit #11  

 

“Coby” Ponte Button Front Dress in tan, sizes 1-3x, $188, www.monifc.com,

Glam Statement Necklace, $13.99,

www.shoplately.com

 

 

Rockport Janae Plain Peep in natural, comes in both wide and medium width, $97.99, www.zappos.com

 

 Jessica Simpson Glitz and Glam Clutch in camel, $29.95, www.dsw.com

Outfit #12  

Chevron Cardigan in flame scarlet, sizes 14-28, $49.95, www.lanebryant.com

 

Athena Twist Top in black noir, sizes 0-5x, $64, www.kiyonna.com

 

 

Stitch Laser-Cut Pencil Skirt, sizes 1-4x, $17.88, www.walmart.com

 

Betsey Johnson On The Flipside Two Tone Satchel, $79.95, www.dsw.com

 


RSVP Julie Lynn shoe in red, comes in both wide and medium width, $79,

www.zappos.com

Endless Autumn Jewel Earrings in red, $13, www.shoplately.com

Plus Size Square Buckle Stretch Belt, $29.95, www.lanebryant.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.


 
Well Rounded Roundup
with Jay Hansen
 

Me and Heidi, being all adorable

Now that I've had a couple of days to rest after the Well Rounded Las Vegas Bash, I can finally sit down and write about the experience. This was my very first national size acceptance and BBW event as well as my first time in Las Vegas, so I got a lot out of it, and I'm happy to say it was almost all positive. I met a lot of people I've wanted to meet for years, made a bunch of new friends, and got some great networking and promotion done for our Oklahoma BBW group. Going in, I was certain that I would not go back for a second year if only because of my work schedule, but we had such a blast that it completely changed my mind and I look forward to going again!

 

Still though, as wonderful as the positive experiences were, a wealth of lessons can be learned from what few negative ones were had. The first lesson I learned was that we Okies really aren't built for altitude; my ears were already popping in New Mexico for crying out loud. By time we reached Vegas I thought my brain was going to get squeezed out my face from the pressure.

 

But seriously, the problems we encountered primarily came from the preparation stages for the trip. I managed to get off work seven hours early to shower, finish packing, load up the car, and head out on our 18 hour road trip. Despite this, we still got out two hours late, and forgot many important items. So in all seriousness, it's never too early to start loading up the car the day of departure, and there's no such thing as being "too thorough" in double, triple, and quadruple checking your luggage. We forgot power strips for our thirteen electronic devices, pillows for the 18 hour car ride, and even our custom-made costumes which I thankfully remembered about five minutes out so we could turn around and retrieve them.  

Costume night! The Doctor and the TARDIS!

 

Looking back on it, we probably could have asked the hotel for some power strips to use during our stay, because they obliged us on all of our other needs. We requested a complimentary mini-fridge and shower stool in our room on the grounds that they were medical necessities. Heidi had medication that needed to be refrigerated, and her knee issues it makes it almost impossible for her to shower without the aid of a stool. Never be afraid to ask for these things for free if you have a genuine need for them. It worked for us, and the worst thing that could happen is that you're told no.

Me, Heidi, and our Vegas buddy Lori

 

As for the actual event, the biggest problems we encountered all fell under one theme, taking care of yourself. For each member of our entourage, we encountered varying and unique meanings of this phrase. The most urgent was what happened to our friend Lori, who ran into trouble with taking care of herself physically. Thursday evening she started to feel very ill, and by Friday had gotten so bad we had to take her to the Emergency Room where she found out she had strep throat, a sinus infection, an ear infection and was somewhat dehydrated. She was not drinking enough water to stay hydrated in comparison to the alcohol she had consumed, nor had she consumed enough fruits and nutritional food, which weakened her immune system (as well as prolonged time in a very cold pool). The doctor that saw her even mentioned that just by breathing the air in Las Vegas you can get dehydrated because the air is so dry. Thankfully, she got feeling better before the bash was done, but we definitely marked it down as a lesson for next year. Push lots of water, especially in ratio to your alcohol, eat healthy, avoid crap food, and always be germ-conscious of the environments you're in (i.e. wash or disinfect your hands as often as possible).

 

    

                                Me on the Plaza rooftop at night                                Heidi on the Plaza rooftop at night

The second way we learned to take care of ourselves was psychologically, and mostly through me. I'm an introverted, always-on-the-move, creature of habit; three traits ill-suited for a BBW Bash. Normally, I'm an early bird, not a night owl, and yet I found myself in a situation where I had to switch. The first few nights, consciously or not, I resisted and didn't even make it to the end of a single party night until Friday. When I did though (thanks to a hardy nap late that afternoon) Heidi and I attended one of the pool parties and it was so pleasant outside on the roof during the night I was kicking myself for not having done it all week. So for next year I've learned to not be so afraid of changing up my schedule, as much as biology may protest.

 

In addition, Heidi was astonished by my complete and utter incapability to just sit down and relax and by how social I was. I spent energy daily by taking strolls through the Freemont Street Experience or just through the casino and lobby when it was too hot outside. It kept me busy, prevented cabin fever (hotel fever?), and gave me plenty of time to be alone with my thoughts; an important aspect of keeping an introvert happy and healthy. It was also my introverted nature that led to Heidi's surprise in how social and interactive I was with other party goers, whether we knew them or not.

Group photo! Left to right, Tommy, Lori, Me, and Heidi

 

This is a common misconception about introverts; that we supposedly don't enjoy social interaction, quite the contrary, as a matter of fact. The catch is that an introvert will traditionally not speak unless either they are spoken to or they have a reason to speak; the latter of which was most applicable to me at the Well Rounded event. As a group owner, complete with business cards for Oklahoma BBW, I had a good conversation starter, and more importantly, a reason to converse by promoting our group at a national event. I’m proud to say I actually ran out of business cards!

Me showing off the shirt I had made to promote our Oklahoma BBW group

 

Perhaps even more than that though, I was very comfortable in the environment. I knew people there would not be overly judgmental or critical of me as we were all part of the same community. We seek to foster this same environment at all of our own group functions in Oklahoma, and I'm pleased to say that the management and participants of Well Rounded achieved that same goal for us. As for Heidi, though, the environment provided a new challenge for her, which leads me to my final point on taking care of oneself.

More of me and Heidi

 

As I’ll be writing more about next month, Heidi has significant paranoia issues. She’s been cheated on far too many times in her life, and she was seriously concerned about me being put into an environment with so many other plus-sized women for the first time in my life and the temptations it would pose. This became a matter of emotional health, and the health of our relationship. Throughout the event, I would frequently ask her how she felt emotionally or if anything was bothering her that I may or may not have done. Furthermore, I made sure to tell her where I was going and what I was doing each day, and that we attended any Well Rounded functions together.

More adorableness

 

One night we were running very late to the evening party on account of Lori’s illness, and since Heidi takes significantly longer to prepare for the evening than I do I was stuck waiting in the hotel room for nearly an hour with nothing to do while she prepared and Lori slept. For half a second, the thought crossed my mind of asking to go ahead and go down without her (if only to stake our claim on the table nearest the water cooler), but I knew Heidi couldn’t emotionally handle that on top of the stress of her friend being sick so I didn’t even make the proposition.

 

It may seem to be an inconvenience at times, but we all have our own unique needs, be they physical or emotional, and we sometimes have to make sacrifices to fulfill those needs. It’s called love, and it's the most important ingredient in taking care of yourself and those around you. Plus, when it was all over and we were on our way home, Heidi said she had more trust in me than ever because of how I reacted to the environment and did more to help alleviate her insecurities than anything else I've yet done.

 

But even with Lori’s sickness, Heidi’s mixed emotions, and me running up the walls like a caged squirrel, we had a wonderful time in Las Vegas. We met lots of great people and had a lot of fun. If anything, my only regret is not being even more social and taking more opportunities to meet new people. As of the day I wrote this, we are officially going to Well Rounded 2014, and I’m already counting the days!

Me, Heidi, and our friends from Texas George and Dawn

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words too, so instead of just telling you about all the individual great moments we had, here’s some of the great pictures we snapped!

 

Heidi and our friend from Norway, Tommy

More of our Bash friends, Gary and Tawnee

Me and Bruce; kilts and other manshit

The Doctor and Glinda the Good Witch (me and Brie)

From left to right; Dawn, Heidi, and Lori in her cavewoman outfit!

The Doctor and Wolverine (me and Bruce)

The AMAZING cake made for the Bash by Sonny Robinson

Being silly at breakfast (Tommy, Heidi, me)

Me and fellow Large in Charge contributor Peggy Howell! So glad we got to meet in Vegas!

 

 

 

 

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.
 

Big Heartache maybe Treatable

with David Edmondson

    

I usually try to stay away from topics like romance. I could sit here and talk about the experiences I’ve had and the fact that I’m happily married now; however, it did not work for me the first time. I could use the example of my grandparents and the fact that they were married for 48 years until my grandfather passed away in 1987, but their experience was far different from the ones facing modern day couples.

The fact of the matter is, no one; not Steve Harvey, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, not your local Pastor, Priest nor your parents have that magic cure all be all for relationship rules. This is an especially difficult conversation for Men of size to discuss amongst us. It seems that guys with perfect abs seem to attract all of the women, leaving slim pickings. Those whom try for the women that are left, fall victim to women, whom take advantage of them financially, because they can. The main reason seems to be self-esteem.

There is no formula as to what women, big men are attracted to, as we like whom we like individually. However, we are not featured on your fitness, sports or style magazines. Certain women feed into that and can spot a mark, the moment they set foot into a room. They constantly remind him that he is lucky to be in the same room with them. These women will also take advantage of financial opportunities, shopping sprees on frivolous items, help with their bills; some will not work, insisting that a man pay their way. Yet, we as big men know we are being taken advantage of, but will continue suffering the consequences, because we feel no one else wants us.

There are those of us whom have a rent attitude when it comes to women. We don’t want to be taken advantage of or we have already been hurt and want to take it out on all of those whom come in contact with us. Thus, we have placed the friends with benefits policy on those women whom agreed to those terms. Yet, at the end of the day, though we try to build a wall of protection around ourselves, we eventually shatter, because we are not able to find true love.

Then there are those who turn a blind eye and have no idea they are being taken advantage of and for those people, here are a few signs to look for.

Not all of us can be with that certain someone everyday of our lives, but you should have some sort of daily contact and be able to see each other at least twice a week. If you are not doing these things, your relationship is not real.

If you have to spend two to three weekends out with your friends, explaining to those who will listen, why your significant other is not with you, you are not in a relationship or she is with somebody else and using you as a backup.

If this person is with you only twice a month for a three day period, which happens to coincide with your pay period, and then finds an excuse why she cannot be with you any other time; then you are not in a relationship, you are a paycheck.

So how do you begin to obtain a good relationship with the opposite sex? You start with YOU. You have to have a set of standards and stick with those standards no matter what. This is not to say that you set physical standards, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder; but you do need to know what you are willing to put up with and what you cannot tolerate. For example, she needs to have long term goals or has to have a job or perhaps you want to have kids. These are not unreasonable values and just know that you are evaluating, you are also being evaluated. Honesty is also a key component, any white lie you tell in the beginning, can and usually does come back to bite you end the end.

No one human being is immune from issues of the heart. There will be happy times, there will be rough periods. Each situation is unique, no matter how many times we claim to have the same issues. The truth is no one can protect you from heartache 100% of the time. But you can be proactive and recognize the signs of those who are taking advantage of you by staying true to, being honest with and learning to truly love YOURSELF.

 

 

 
 
 

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