LargeInCharge Magazine -  10 Year Anniversary!

 Issue#126 - September 2014

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.



Words of Wisdom from the Heart & Mind of Raqui


The Big GB - Angie Bee

Getting my Life Back after Gastric Bypass


From the Desk of NAAFA

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance


Foodie in You ~ Lucia Roth 


The Observer - Jness 


Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas 


The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen 


Thinking Big - David Edmondson 


The Sacred Fat - Freakie


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!


Catching up with Lara Frater
author of Fat Chicks Rule!


LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?

By: Raqui



With a title like "Fat Chicken Rule" how can you not fall in love with the book and the writer.  Me and Lara Frater made company at an event.  Which one I am unsure about since I heard her name from many people.  Since both Lara and myself were East Coasters loving and living in New York. 

I was able to get to know her through others in the bbw community.  I believe it was Phat poetry an event in which certain spoken word and poetic individuals were selected to perform in downtown Manhattan. I performed that night and it was wonderful.  Maybe we bumped into each other at the Fat Girls Flea Market, or one of the Goddesses event.  Either way we were running around in circles in the same loop.  So when I had the chance to interview Lara it was a treat. 

Now catching up to see all the new things going on with Lara Frater and her new accomplishments is a real joy. Hope you enjoy as well and keep updated with Lara at her site www.LaraFrater.com



LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?  

Lara Frater

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

Iím a Queens Girl, born, mostly raised and currently living in Queens, New York.  

LargeInCharge.com:   When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine?

October 2006

Issue #31 - October 2006


LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?

I had a fun and awesome book out called Fat Chicks Rule which was a fabulous guidebook about being a big girl in a thin-centric world.

LargeInCharge.com:  How did you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?

I was excited and happy to be featured! I love reaching out to fans to let them know there is nothing wrong with being fat.

LargeInCharge.com:  How do you feel now about being included in our special Decade editions?

Honored, Iím glad I was remembered.

LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your appearance?

 When I first wrote the book, I was still fairly new to size acceptance. I didnít even have a section in my book on Health at Every Size (HAES). Now Iím more of an expert. I also feel more comfortable with my body and my choices than I did in 2006.

LargeInCharge.com:  What changes have you made to advance your career/business?

I try to send more stuff out than I did before or self-publish if I canít. I kept my online presence strong. I make sure the blog posting goes out every Monday evening.

LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?

The book Fat Chicks Rule and companion blog came out in 2005, so itís almost 10 years. (I was writing before that but Fat Chicks Rule was my big breakthrough.)

LargeInCharge.com:  Tell us about some of the most exciting events/occasions, you/your business have held/participated in.

I havenít sold my book directly for a few years, but I had a great time selling it at Phillybash, The Goddesses party, NAAFA, and the Fat Girlís Flea Market (Now the Big Fat Flea)

LargeInCharge.com:  Have you been featured in any press, on tv, newspapers etc?

 Iíve been on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC, in the Associated Press, The Queens Chronicle (My local paper), Xhibit P which explores themes in pop culture, the blog has been mentioned in the New York Times and my book was mention in on the floor of the senate


LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people since your first appearance?  

Iím seeing more social acceptance for larger bodies. There has been a massive increase in fat acceptance blogs and social networking. More clothing manufactures are carrying plus sizes and more people are saying no to dieting and embracing Health at Every Size (HAES).  

LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your venture/career flourish?

Iím a shy person and in some places I had to push myself to be more outgoing. I had to make sure I kept my internet presence up. I regularly post to twitter and Facebook stories about size acceptance.

LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have learned through the years?

I learned that what studies found out are often translated to the media incorrectly. I learned all about that correlation does not imply causation.

LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community among the people? 

Good feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons? I think itís a mixture of all three, although I havenít reached out to people who didnít like my book. (Actually people, not trolls), I feel like Iím always learning. Of course I always love positive feedback!

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

Positive stories, my good friends and family, fulfilling the need to write.

LargeInCharge.com:  Any new ventures/items/products you have planned for the future?

 I wrote a three series zombie novels called End of the Line.


The third book Full Circle will be coming out in October. Of course my blog still comes out every Monday.

LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?

Iím just going to keep writing, writing and writing. I also be working on the blog, doing activism when I can.

LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who might be interested in doing something simlar?

Iíd recommend keeping a fat positive blog, twitter, Facebook group. Anything to spread the message that itís okay to be fat. Twitter is the best way for people who donít have time to write long blog posts. The more of an online presence you have, the better.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.



Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature



Cover Model of the Month

Stacie Smith!







LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?  

My name is Stacie R. Smith

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


I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I have resided in Charlotte, NC for the past 12 years.

LargeInCharge.com:   When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine as a Model?

I was fortunate enough to be chosen to appear as a cover model in September 2013.

LargeInCharge.com: What made you decide to apply that first time?  

I wanted to apply initially as I felt there was not a good representation of African American models in the plus size world that had natural hair. Most models have the ever so popular weaved hair and they all tend to look like clones. So, I wanted to show a different look for the plus modeling world. 

LargeInCharge.com:  How did you feel when you appeared as a LargeInCharge Cover Model?


I felt like I had just won a pageant as so many apply but not all are chosen. It was a very good feeling to know that I was singled out to be on the cover and inside of a magazine that catered to men and women of size.

LargeInCharge.com:  Has your modeling career grown since your appearance?


I have not had any bookings yet but I must say my popularity has increased on social media. I get constant friend request and inboxes from admirers in and outside of the U.S.

LargeInCharge.com: Have your life and endeavors changed since your appearance?


Yes, my desire to pursue another career from my own to the media and entertainment field is now stronger. I feel that it has been a long time coming for me to not do what I enjoy doing vs doing what I have been professionally trained to do. I need to utilize my God given talents and make myself happier in life.

LargeInCharge.com:  What changes do you see in Plus Sized Modeling?


I see more curvy girls being recognized and accepted in print, runway and television. Society is finally coming to terms that everyone in America is not a size 5.

LargeInCharge.com: What changes do you see for Plus Sized People?


I see plus size people being happy with themselves vs. always being ashamed and ridiculed. I see plus sized people taking charge of their lives by not only being happier but becoming more aware of their health and making the necessary changes to improve their health whatever size they may be in order to live longer and stronger which will allow them to have a quality life.

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

My love of God, and the desire to help the less fortunate, just as he would do.

LargeInCharge.com:  Any new modeling tips and tricks to share?

Individuality speaks volumes.

LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals? 

My future goals will be to have a loving relationship and eventually marry the man that God placed on this earth for me to be with. I also want to own a business which will inspire the plus sized world.

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

Just remember to be yourself and not try to imitate what you see others do in the media. If God wanted us all to walk around looking like clones, he would have made up all alike, so when modeling remember, to just be you and you will shine as bright as the North Star.

LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.





    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 - Make 2014 a Inspirational Year

    Written By: Raqui






    In this world we live in, it can be hard at times to see anything but the horror and insanity around us.  News Reports, Crime Shows, Newspapers, Online Sites and blogs are way more interested in what is sensational and wrong with this world, without focusing on what is good in this world.  So this year I dedicate my column to all that is inspirational, positive and helpful.  


    Standing up to the Unacceptable

    We all know life is not fair, not to anyone of us.  Sometimes we face challenges in dealing with others.  Looking diffrent, thinking diffrent, it can make you a target for those who like to make fun of and mock you.  Bullying is not just something kids worry about, it is not innocent either.  People young and old are harrassed, hurt, physically and physocloically intimidated. Why is it that it seems normal to treated others as less than human?


    This month I wanted to bring to you two videos that make a stand agaisnt Bullying and Harrassment.  Not In Our School's video is a real eye opener.  Showing the behavior that many of us know is happening everyday in our schools and in our neighborhoods.  We excuse it saying kids will be kids and a little bulling is no big deal.  You wont say that after watching this video.  If certain behaviors are not acceptable for adults, why do we allow it to be normal among our children?   We dont think about these things often but we should and we should make a stand. 


    The second video is by Jonathan Novick, they feature his experiences (as a little person, drawf) traveling around the city of New York and how he is treated by the strangers around him.  It is a surprising real look at prejuice and disrespect that many of us deal with on a everyday basis. 


    These videos are real and hits a nerve, they make you open your eyes.


    Not In Our School - Unacceptable for Adults, Unacceptable for our kids!

    Not In Our School - Bullying Sucks from makevisual on Vimeo.

    Man with Dawrf-ism shows how he is treated by the public





    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




    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!


    Sisterly September Updates with Angie and Sonya

    with Angie Bee


    Re-Activating the Tool Equals

    Re-Activating Your Mind!


    I'm preparing for a book-signing tour this fall. At each workshop and tour stop I will talk about my first book "Last Week... I Wanted To Die" while debuting the new book that will be out later this month. The first book details the third suicide attempt and tells how my family handled my mental illness. The new book will reflect on my past three years of weight loss and healing from Gastric Bypass. I needed the mental healing even before the physical healing because I realized that if my mind wasn't right, the weight loss after bypass surgery wouldn't be right either.


    Today while watching the "HLN Now" TV show, a 22 year old young man named Tevante Clark was interviewed on how he lost 222 pounds. He participated in a Duke University program in an effort to lose his doctor-mandated 40 pounds in order to become a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Once he began eliminating sugary drinks and working out in the gym for three hours a day, he not only lost the weight that he needed to lose to qualify for surgery, but he became encouraged enough to continue on with the program and was able to lose the weight without having the surgery! Now, 222 pounds smaller he states, "The change in lifestyle helped but I had to change my way of thinking in order to see my progress". This 22 year old young man continued to say, "If you make up in your mind that you can do something, you can do anything that you want to do".


    Out of the mouths of babes (Psalms 8:2) we are gaining revelation and strength to know that our way of thinking controls our eating, weight loss and healthy living. Yes, the mind controls everything and this young man confirms that we aren't too young to think about living at a healthy weight. This young man talked about how terribly he was teased while growing up because he was obese and his before pictures showed a sad-looking young man with apparent low self-esteem. He talked about the physical limitations he grew up with by carrying around that excess weight, too. Just watching his live interview via Skype was so encouraging! He looked vibrant and alive and pleased with his accomplishment. WOW!


    Let's take time to focus on this young man's testimony and choose to make up in our minds to be healthy. Even when we have a setback of weight gain or illness, our minds can help us regenerate the healthy eating and exercise. Even after surgery when the medication causes side effects and mental despair, let's encourage one another to concentrate on healing and keep it moving! As I continue to prepare for my first book signing this month in Debary, Florida, my sister Sonya continues to heal from surgery and I am honored to have her contribute to these thoughts. Hope to see you on the tour route!




    Now... a word from my sister Sonya!


    Truer words have never been spoken as they have been from my sister, Angie Bee above! I am six weeks out from my stomach-muscle tightening and apron removal surgery. Recently, my sister and I were discussing whether there are "times of refreshing"; i.e., times when your appetite is minimal like it was directly after the gastric bypass. I was sharing with her that yes, there have been times over the past five years where I just don't have an appetite and have to remind myself to eat and nothing brought it on: I wasn't dieting or fasting or even doing a liquid diet; regular issues of life may be the cause. I believe we all have times that our appetites are affected: stressful situations, times of depression (such as losing a loved one), etc. and it really depends on your mindset as to which way your eating habits will go.


    I admit that before the gastric bypass, when these times would arise, I would head straight for the chips, the ice cream, the candy and anything else that would self-medicate me and, unfortunately, add on the pounds. I now find other avenues to handle these emotional roller coasters and sometimes not eating is at the top of the list and, as your body does when you starve it, my body starts retaining the nourishment it received (like a camel) and, coincidentally, the tool is reactivated. It starts in the mind, though like all things do.


    A friend, who had her surgery 10 years ago, was contemplating a revision surgery to try to reactivate her "tool" and while contemplating this option, she realized that if her mind wasn't ready to follow the instructions that she did not follow 10 years ago, then what's the point in doing it again? She stated that she knows what to do to lose the weight and admitted she'd gained back the majority of her weight in this 10 year time frame and wasn't sure if she was prepared to go down the lifelong road of weight loss that she did not travel correctly the first time. 


    My muscle-tightening surgery has reduced my intake substantially and since I was already familiar with protein shakes ( I love Designer Whey products; they mix smoothly without grit and taste great with either water or juice) my mind immediately reverted back to the lessons that were taught and learned after the gastric bypass. My friend, and others who have been in my social circle over the years, have pushed the envelope in regards to their weight: drinking excessively, eating sooner and more than they should and just generally not taking this intense treatment seriously.




    Revitalizing your mind can revitalize every aspect of your life. In this time of healing from this last surgery, I have had the energy mentally and physically to work on any things to move my life forward including working on my entrepreneurial mindset! Later this month, I will launch my trademarked and patented product creation "Safe Sac " and I'm so excited! A long-time coming, I have purchase orders from boutiques and will pitch my product to larger companies with the desire to have Safe Sac in nationwide retail stores; and now you may find us on Facebook! New energy can bring new desires and the desires of my heart have always surrounded around being financially stable and being my own boss. 


    As always, I hope I continue to see you on the other side!


    Sonya Bennett

    Angie BEE


    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!




    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 Concludes Successful 2014 Conference

    from: NAAFA.org


    On August 10th, NAAFA concluded another successful annual event held this year at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport in the Washington, DC area and hosted by NAAFA-Capital Chapter.  Although this conference was overshadowed by the loss of NAAFAís Chairman of the Board Jason Docherty, who passed away on July 28, 2014, NAAFA members rose above their sorrow and worked to continue the fight for Equality at Every Size.

    The NAAFA Board of Directors met prior to the conference in order to make some of the tough decisions that needed to be made in order to move forward.  We are proud to announce that Phyllis Warr will assume the responsibilities of Interim Chairperson of the Board, Peggy Howell has been named Vice Chair along with her Public Relations responsibilities, Donna Frey will serve as Membership Director and Darliene Howell has joined the Executive Board as NAAFA Secretary and Research Specialist. NAAFA Treasurer and NAAFA-Capital Chapter President Tony Harrell secured our comfortable and convenient venue and was instrumental in the 2014 Conference and its success.


    Board members appealed to the NAAFA membership to consider volunteering their talents to serve on the NAAFA Board of Directors or to suggest and help manage projects that might increase membership and fundraising so that NAAFA will not only survive but thrive as we move forward.


    First time attendees and longtime members alike walked away from our time together feeling appreciated, accepted and hopeful for the future of the size acceptance movement.




    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. WellÖ Iíve move on to another one of my favoriteís pastime which is cooking. To get you all up to date on whatís going on. Iím 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 growÖ 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




    Happiness Kitchen
    with Lucia Roth

    Summertime, and the livin' is easy Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin' so hush little baby, donít you cry. (Porgy and Bess 1935)

    Yes! Summer is in full swing and for some just about over. You survived the 4th of July, summer camp, screaming kids, etcÖ..  However, you still have time to enjoy the summer without all the chaos that summer has to offer.  Stop! Take a moment if youíre single, dating, and or married have a me, us, we moment.

    How you may ask? Simple a romantic picnic at home, on the beach, even at the park you need a moment just for you and your love one and for the single parents you need that moment as well.   Treat yourself to a glass of champagne or wine and for you nondrinkers Welchís White Grape Sparkling Juice. What more perfect a light easy not to heavy dish.  If youíre health conscious or not this Orange Beef Lettuce Wrap has a yummy factor of 10.


    Orange Beef Lettuce Wrap


      1 pound beef top round steak, cut lengthwise in half then crosswise into 1/8-inch strips

      4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided

      2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate,   thawed

      2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

      1 tablespoon rice vinegar

      2 tablespoons soy sauce

      1 tablespoon vegetable oil

      1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

      1 cup shredded carrot

      1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions)

      1 head iceberg lettuce


    1. In a large bowl, combine beef strips and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, toss until evenly coated. Set aside.
    2. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch; mix well. Set aside.
    3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef strips and cook 1 to 2 minutes, just until beef is no longer pink. Do not overcook.
    4. Add orange juice mixture, carrots, scallions, and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Spoon beef mixture into lettuce leaves and serve.
     Preparation Tip (Lettuce)

    Simply remove the outer leaves from a head of iceberg lettuce, rinse the head under cold running water, core it, then soak it in a large bowl of ice water for a couple hours in the fridge to crisp up enough to hold the beef mixture.


    Bon Appetite!






    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.




    with Jness


    This month I present you with an illustration that mimics the very familiar image we see every day in the media, featuring the triumphant plus size woman who found a miraculous method to lose weight. The ďbefore and afterĒ photograph. My illustration puts a fresh spin on the scenario. The big girl is the hero in my rendition, on the side showing improvement. Now please donít get me wrong, I am not against safe, healthy weight loss by any stretch of the imagination. My artwork featured in this article promotes a positive outlook on the body you are in and most importantly at the size you currently are. I donít like the way weight loss pill pushers place their advertisements in every area that pertains to people of size. Yes, I understand its business. There is something about it that feels more like an intrusion. They even create Facebook accounts posing as regular people so that their sales people can friend you just to post ads on your wall. This is a gesture I donít appreciate, resulting in me blocking them. I refuse to have my artwork be used as a lure to pressure people into purchasing weight loss products. That would be a gross misrepresentation of what my artwork stands for.

    Many plus sized people have gone under the knife in order to have fat removed from their bodies. It is the individualís right to choose this path. The size acceptance community has been in existence for quite some time. A lot of benchmarks have been accomplished in the areas concerning discrimination against people because of their size. There is still a lot of work to be done. Itís interesting watching how surgery can instantly change membership status in this community. Whatís even more interesting is what people do once they are no longer plus size. There is a woman I know on Facebook who used to be a very active leader in Yahoo bbw groups. She is no longer a woman of size. I recently read comments she made making fun of plus size celebrities. Itís funny how we can firmly believe in a thing and moments later forget where we came from and what it felt like to be mistreated and disrespected because of oneís appearance.

    The truth of the matter is that we should all be true to the words we speak. Just because your situation has changed doesnít mean your perspective has to completely change. If anything your insight should be richer and help form a more informed perspective. Love yourself as you are and donít allow others to make you feel like less than you are. You deserve more than that. If your desire is to lose weight, do it safely, and do it for yourself. Make sure itís not for others, because after you lose the weight they will just find something else to be critical of.

     Hope you like this monthís illustration. Share your thoughts with me by sending your e-mails to jness4bbws@gmail.com. Iím looking forward to hearing from you.

    Jean JNESS Nerestant
    Large In Charge Magazine




    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 masterís 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.



    Fun, Fall, Fashion Picks!
    with Amy Lucas

    This fall is all about having fun with fashion by picking pieces with interesting features such as zippers, leather, quilted details, lace, bold prints, mesh, and asymmetric cuts. As for colors, you canít go wrong with black, white, and grey as they make you look sophisticated and are always in style. You can turn up the notch on your fall wardrobe by adding a few of these pieces to give you a super-chic look. Here are just a few of the great options available to rock this season.


    17 Fun, Fall, Fashion Picks!  
    Number 1.  

    Chevron Romper,

    sizes 1-3x,




    Number 2.  


    Iím Ready,

    Mr. DeMille Dress in Denim Blue,

    sizes 10-28,



    Number 3.  


    Black Cocoon Cozy in Black,

    sizes 12-26,




    Quilted Peplum Top in Dark Grey,

    sizes 12-26,




    Quilted Panel Ponte Jegging Pant,

    sizes 12-28,



    Number 4.  


    Elissa Plus Size Maxi Dress

    in Ruby Deco,

    sizes 12-30/32,



    Number 5.  

    Caged Front Peplum Tank

    in Burgundy,

    sizes 1-3x,




    Torrid Denim High-Rise Skinny Dark Wash (comes in short or tall lengths),
    sizes 12-28,

    Number 6.  


    Black Side Buckle Asymmetrical Top,

    sizes 10/12-30/32,




    Smooth Ride Jacket,

    sizes 14-24,




    MYNT 1792 Giselle Pant,

    sizes 12-26,



    Number 7.  


    Exclusive Sweatshirt with Sheer Panel,

    sizes 14-28,




    Studio Perforated

    Faux Leather Midi Skirt,

    sizes 14-24,



    Number 8.  


    Aztec Twist Maxi Dress

    in Red Print,

    sizes 14/16-30/32,



    Number 9.  

    Sportalm Medium Length Lined Coat,

    sizes 14-22,




    Mandy Zipper Top in Black,

    sizes 1-3x (14/16-22/24),




    Xena Skirt in Black,

    sizes 1-3x (14/16-22/24),



    Number 10.  

    Ambrosia Plus Size Dress

    in Midnight Navy,

    sizes 12-30/32,




    Number 11.  


    Carmela Dress,

    sizes 12-24,




    Jessica Simpson

    Plus Size Quilted

    Faux Leather Moto Jacket

    with Band Collar in Ivory,

    sizes 1-3x (14/16-22/24),



    Number 12.  


    6th & Lane Dolman

    Mini Dress in Black,

    sizes 12-28,



    Number 13.  

    Zipper Ponte Shell in Merlot,

    sizes 14/16-26/28,




    Seamed Ponte Pencil Skirt in Merlot,

    sizes 14-28,




    Mesh Striped Jacket,

    sizes 12-26,



    Number 14.  

    Wrap Peplum Melange

    Knit Blouse in Heather Gray,

    sizes 0-36,




    Two-Tone Bi-Stretch Trouser,

    sizes 12-28,




    Jessica Simpson

    Plus Size Envelope-Collar

    Double-Breasted Coat

    in Off White,

    sizes 1-3x,



    Number 15.  


    Dominique Plus Size Dress

    in Emerald Escape,

    sizes 12-30/32,



    Number 16.  


    Lacee Dress,

    sizes 14-24,



    Number 17.  



    Colorblock Crisscross

    Sweater in Black/Gray,

    sizes 1-3x,




    6th & Lane

    Pleated Skirt,

    sizes 12-28,




    Calvin Klein

    Plus Cowl Neck

    Sweater Cape,

    sizes 0/1x or 2/3x,




    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 Bachelorís 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.

    Big Group, Big Challenges
    with Jay Hansen

    There seems to be a lot of validity in the old thought that no one having a good time at a party ever bothers to make sure the person or people hosting it are having fun too. Speaking from first hand experience owning and operating a BBW activities group, this can be unfortunately true. It's certainly not that Heidi and I don't enjoy our own parties, but it does seem all too common that others don't understand the amount of work, time, and energy it takes to host them, so we wanted to take the opportunity to explain in detail what we both do to make Oklahoma BBW, BHM, and Admirers happen. I apologize for the length of this article, but there was just too much that goes into planning a party that I couldn't leave out.


    The long process starts at the very end and very beginning of a new year. Each year we sign a contract with a hosting venue that meets our group's needs as well as establishes the dates and times of each party. First is finding a location, because most places we've contacted either don't meet our group's needs or fall way outside of our price range. The venue must be a hotel or immediately near an affiliated hotel so that we can negotiate a special, reduced price for members booking a room, to further encourage people to come to the party even if they live a great distance away. In such a sparsely populated state and region, this is a very important detail. It also enables people to drink responsibly and not have to worry about securing a ride home; they can just return to their room as soon as the party is over and sober up by the next morning to return home. After that, we pick dates for the parties based on the availability of our staff and how many we're going to have. Parties are always on Saturdays from 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM, and we have anywhere from three to six "night club" themed parties depending on the group finances and the climate control capabilities of the party room. That may sound minor, but when you have a room filled with 75-100 people, most of whom are fat, it can be impossible to cool down in the summer months, which is why in the past few years we've had to give up hosting parties from June through August. Similarly, we do not have parties November through January because people are always busy over the holidays and travel can be dangerous during the winter.


    Among other things, when looking for a venue we try to find places that allow us to play music after midnight and bring in our own food and alcohol. These two details alone disqualify a surprising number of hotels because of their strict policies on music or insistence that we use their in-house bar or licensed caterer. As a private party hosted by a private group, we are legally allowed to provide our own alcohol and food, and doing so enables us to keep membership dues down. It must be a centrally located establishment somewhere in the Oklahoma City area, it must be handicapped and plus-sized friendly both in its personal rooms and the room we book for the party, and, of course, it must be reasonably priced. Oklahoma BBW has never paid more than $500 per reservation for the party room itself and likely never will. Once the contract is signed, the dates and location cannot change. All of this must happen by the end of January.


    Not long after there is some sort of meeting with the group staff to discuss possible party themes if not already discussed. Our most popular theme by far is the Halloween party in late October and will always be done every year, while our Pajama Party is second both in popularity and timing usually around late March or April. The other party themes are subject to change so we can try new things each year such as the "Mustache Masquerade" or the "Nerds ~n~ Jocks Mixer," but the Luau is often a popular one we try to do at the very beginning of summer before it gets too hot. 2014 was actually the first year were we did not do the Luau. Once the themes are established, Heidi makes the first graphic of the year advertising the event themes and dates, and posts it all across our social media network. Primarily, this includes Facebook, our Yahoo! Group, and our main website, www.oklahomabbwbhm.net. Each individual party will also have a specialized graphic promoting it, which Heidi tries to have made and shared across this same network a month in advance of the party. Here are some examples:






    Around the same time the advertising graphics need to go up, Heidi and I have a discussion of what colors and decorations we want for the party, and Heidi places an online order for the decorative supplies we will need like tablecloths, candy, wall decorations and centerpieces. This must be done as early as possible as to give ample time for them to arrive in the mail. All online orders should be in our house no later than the Monday or Tuesday preceding the party, which is also when both Heidi and I have to run inventory of all party supplies. We keep the boxes of these supplies in our garage, and must go through them for each party and take note of what needs to be purchased like plates, utensils, batteries, tape, etc. Here's "the party wall:"



    It's also important the week of the party to call the hotel and ask when we can come decorate. Preferably, we decorate the Friday night before the party, enabling me and Heidi to stay up late that night and sleep late the next day since the party on Saturday goes until 2:00 AM (and Heidi and I usually go to sleep by 10:00 PM). If the room is unavailable that night, though, which has been an increasingly common occurrence in recent years, we have no choice but to decorate the morning of the party at 11:00 AM. We encourage everyone in our group to come help volunteer, and thankfully we usually get quite the turn out.


    In this same time as running inventory, placing orders, making graphics, and so much more Heidi and I must somehow find time to figure out our outfits or costumes for each party. Preferably this is done months in advance to make things a little easier on us, but sometimes we just get so busy that it just doesn't get done, which is unfortunate because the outfits are possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the parties.



    Thirty minutes before we leave to decorate (10:00 AM for morning decorations, 6:00 PM for evening ones, giving thirty minutes for travel), I have to pack the truck with all the boxes you saw in our garage. This is usually the work dichotomy for me and Heidi; I do most of the physical work, while she does a lot of the financial and negotiating work, much like I've written before about how we divide up the house work based on our capabilities and limitations. This is also why, upon getting access to the room, Heidi sits at the front desk and gets it set up while coordinating the entire decorating effort and I get started on wheeling out tables and chairs, along with the rest of the volunteers. Generally, decorating starts with specifically placing each of the twelve tables, placing eight chairs at each table, putting out tablecloths and centerpieces, setting up the food and DJ tables, hanging wall decorations, hanging information signs like "Staff Only" or "No Drinks Beyond This Point," distributing fans, checking the nearest bathrooms to make sure they're clean and well stocked, and making sure the air is cranked down to at least 68 degrees if not lower, so that way we can ensure the room is sufficiently cool by time the party starts. Heidi's work at the front desk usually involves getting signs ready to be hung, setting out proper paperwork like sign-in sheets, wristbands, and badges, organizing the raffle prizes and products for sale like group calendars or bumper stickers, and generally preparing for any contingency with ample supplies of safety pins, duct tape, tags, push-pins, and other handy tools. On average, we're done in about two hours, but sometimes it's taken as long as three or as short as one and a half.


    Once we're done decorating, it's a thirty minute drive back home. If we decorate on a Friday we sometimes go out to dinner along with our fellow volunteers, but once we get home I immediately start baking, if I hadn't already. Some of my recipes like my Better Than Sex Cake or Boom Booms can be made the day before and refrigerated, but my sweet and sour cocktail wieners that accompany me to each party must be made the day of. Each of my baked goods that I bring usually take at least an hour if nor two to bake, so that keeps me busy most of the day of and before the party. I also try to find time to nap somewhere in there but that rarely happens for me. Heidi is much more diligent about getting rest in before a party, but that's also because the stress of hosting always makes her sick the day of the party, albeit to varying degrees each time. It all depends on how much goes wrong, which something inevitably always will. Air conditioner breaking, outfit shrinking, broken tables, baking disasters, camera malfunctions, or just the constant stress of time limitations; Murphy's Law has never been more applicable than to the hours immediately prior to an Oklahoma BBW Party.


    Then it finally comes time for the party. Usually, I'm an absolute panicky mess and Heidi's about to throw up. Generally as soon as I'm done baking I load the more sensitive materials into the car like DJ equipment, beverages, the group lockbox, the camera, and my baked goods, and we try to be out of the house no later than 6:30 PM. This gets us to the hotel around 7:00, giving us an hour to fix any fallen or messed up decorations while Heidi fixes up the front desk more and puts on her makeup. I set up the stereo equipment and make an run to the nearest gas station sometime around 7:30 for bags of ice. If we're lucky, we may even get a few minutes to sit before guests start showing up around 8:00.


    Once the party starts, we're on our feet all night. I'm busy taking pictures, which is remarkably stressful for someone as introverted as me, and only compounded when I have to spend half the night apologizing for a wonky camera and re-re-re-taking people's pictures. Heidi greets new members, manages the raffle and other contests or announcements, and generally puts out fires all night. Whenever there's a security problem, it's reported to her and she handles it like a boss.


    Each party is a potluck with fantastic food, but if we don't get to eat before 9:00 odds are we're not getting to. We sometimes get a second window near the end of the evening around midnight, but by then most of the good food is gone. It's also in this window where I finally get a chance to actually socialize with my friends. If I'm lucky, I get a whole half an hour to forty-five minutes before it's time to start cleaning up and shutting down. When that time comes we pick up any leftover group candy and centerpieces, making sure to inventory the centerpieces to make sure none were stolen, which has been an increasing problem in the past couple of years. Once that's done we start dumping all liquid waste into a bucket for dumping, wrap all the trash on the table up into the disposable tablecloth, and just toss the whole thing away. All the wall decorations need to be taken down and re-packed, as well as the food table supplies like plates, bowls, etc. As with decorating, Heidi stays at the front desk at this time to break it down and manage it so that the rest of the staff can either clean or go home. The last thing that is broken down is the DJ booth, so that party goers can still listen to music, dance, and generally enjoy themselves even while clean up is going on.


    Then it's time to re-load everything back into the truck, which can sometimes be a challenge since it's two trips worth of equipment and supplies that are being loaded. It's usually in this time I go through the inevitable phase at the end of each party where part of me wishes we could attend the various "after parties" our group members hold in their private hotel rooms. It's an odd desire really, given how much socializing I've just had to do, but I guess part of me just wants to feel a more connected sense of belonging in attending the more exclusive after parties. Besides, since it's someone else's after party, there wouldn't be any responsibilities for me or Heidi, which would be nice, but the problem we always face is our undeniable desire to sleep. By this point, we'd have likely been up for nineteen hours or more and are about to collapse. Plus, neither of us feel comfortable leaving all the group property, especially the expensive stereo and computer equipment, just sitting in a vacant parking lot while we go elsewhere; getting the truck home and unloaded is a top security priority.


    We usually get home no later than 3:00 AM and pass out immediately after unpacking the truck... again. Once home and unpacked, a party is officially over. We do this anywhere from three to six times a year, and that's not even counting the lesser events like group BBQs, dinners, movie nights, picnics, etc., all of which we usually have to plan and execute ourselves too. Then there are also the invitations from other group members we regularly receive to the point where there are many months where every single weekend is filled with activities somehow related to the group, and even then many of such invitations must be turned down for this same reason; there's just no time left in our schedule.


    On top of all that there's the annual Oklahoma BBW calendar. We pick twelve models from the active members of our group, one for each month of the year, and they each get a photo shoot of at least three hours, as well as shoots for the staff that take about half an hour each. These shoots are often scheduled on weekends eating up more of our time, and taking over a month just to complete each of the shoots. It's then another month or two of work before the photos can be edited and the calendar designed and published.


    For the sake of brevity, all of this isn't even including the issues we've been having with our online group activity. Each day we get a dozen new members asking to join, yet so few of these newcomers are willing to obey the rules, or even read them. When the rules are enforced, they get angry and rail against the group, its staff, and online administrators, but in many cases they also won't leave the group; they'd rather stay and stir up trouble. Negativity and drama containment online has in and of itself become a full-time job on top of the full-time job of planning and managing group events, not to mention our actual full-time jobs.


    I didn't write this long column to complain or to be self-serving; Heidi and I love what we do and know it's all for a good reason. It always seems right when Heidi is feeling at her most exhausted and fed up with group-related drama we get a heartfelt and sincere thank you from a group member that was in desperate need of finding a place where they felt safe and where it was okay to love themselves as they were without having to hide behind the veneer of ridiculous societal expectations. Heidi, as a very plus-sized woman, and me, as someone of alternative gender identity, know first hand how important this can be, so being the ones to provide such a haven for others is a dream come true.


    Still, that doesn't change the fact that it is extremely exhausting and demanding physically, emotionally, financially, and psychologically, and many people don't seem to understand how much work it is. Many times group members will come up with great ideas for events, party themes, or new locations for us to scout out for our parties, but aren't willing to implement or even help implement them; they just expect us to do it. Many times others will suggest locations like casino hotels that would cost thousands of dollars per party and still not meet our needs as a group or our member's needs as plus-sized people. People will sometimes "volunteer" to take on new responsibilities, yet never actually do anything. So please remember when out at a party to keep the host in the back of your mind. Volunteer to help out if you can, and don't ask more of the hosts if you yourself aren't willing to put forth effort in implementing a new idea. Speaking from experience, I know any host would be grateful for any help you could provide






    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.

    10 years is not too late

    with David Edmondson


     First, congratulations to Large & In Charge Magazine for making a positive impact on the lives of people for over a decade. 10 years is indeed a cause for celebration. Many of us use a decade as a measuring stick for success in a timely fashion. High school reunions for example take place every decade. Wedding anniversaries, while special every year (HINT fellas) are made more special with the passing of each decade. However, you donít have to use a 10 year mark to make improvements on your everyday life. You can start today.


     Remember that grudge you have against a family member or former friend. You may have said to yourself, ďIt will be a cold day in hell before I talk to them again.Ē  Some things cannot be forgiven, but there are things within our power to forgive or at least investigate, what caused this tension in the first place. More times often than not, it was simply a misunderstanding that caused the rift. Yes, guys are also victims of the he said she said syndrome. More often than not, our pride gets in the way of us rectifying the situation. Start today by taking a straightforward approach. Donít wait until the next family reunion or the next funeral, to put issues to bed, because by then it may be too late.


     Stop me if you have heard or said the beginning of this sentence; ďIn ten years, I see myselfÖÖÖ.Ē There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself as that is one of the things that separates men from boys. However, if you take a little longer than a decade to accomplish your goals, it will not be the end of the world. There are some whom are so consumed with reaching their goals in a certain amount of time, that when itís not accomplished, they turn to alcohol, drugs or go into severe depression. You have to learn to take it easy on yourself and not worry about what others think. Learn to DO YOU.


     A lot of us look back at our pictures from decades past and realize we may have been much happier or smaller back then. Of course, things happen in our lives, which can be out of our control, which may explain why we are in the current state, we find ourselves in today. Asking where the time went is counterproductive as is trying to shift blame on someone or something else. What is important is to take responsibility for your actions and analyze what you did, what you could have done differently and how you plan to attack the situation. This will help you get back on the path you were traveling.


     Decades were made to be measuring points in our lifetimes and GOD willing, we will get a few of them to look back on our lives and adjust. Yet, the mistake we make is we allow fear, pride and sometimes laziness to get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish. Now is the time to take ownership of your issues and tackle them head on. Why wait another decade to say I couldíve, wouldíve Shouldíve; when instead you could be celebrating your next decade in peace?



    Freakie has been a member of the BBW community for over 20 years. She lives in Washington State with her two cats Boo Boo & Maxie, and has also resided in California and New York. Besides advocating for Big Beautiful Women she is a lifelong child advocate and is a strong believer in Size Acceptance (ALL sizes). She dreams of travelling the world and being an ambassador for the fat community. Her personal motto is, ďFAT CHICKS RULE!Ē


    Intentions Are Everything

    with Freakie


    I want to bring up the subject of BBWís and EXPECTING MORE.  We BBWs constantly settle for less and sell ourselves short.  We like to think that we are out there rocking the sisterhood and representing, and we may be individually, but as a communityÖ not so much.  Rather than define and promote ourselves we let people come into our community and tell us who and what we are and oftentimes the picture isnít very flattering.  But we canít blame the outsiders because we accept it.  We buy into the stereotypes.  That guy you are trying to get at, along with 15 other women you know, is not all that.  YOU ARE.  I donít care WHO you are.  He is not holding the cards!  You wonít find self-esteem anywhere near your Kristi Yamacootchie and the person who wants you to think it is has no plans to be around for your next crisis of confidence.


    The people around you who think you are less than, in any way, because you are fat are just trying to pin their low self-esteem on you.


    We need to be more protective of our community and learn difference between someone who truly supports the BBW community and someone who just promotes BBWís as sex-objects so they can make money.  There is nothing wrong with making money but people need to be real about what they are doing.  BBW strip clubs?  LOVE IT.  They arenít pretending to be something they arenít.  Anyone throwing hate & negativity around gets the boot no matter what they are trying to do.  Nothing good comes from hate.


    That fat chick next to you, across the room from you, chatting in the same group as you is not your competitionÖunless you make it so.  We arenít getting anywhere together because we arenít working together.  I have a LOT of wonderful fat women in my life and when we work together we can do anything we set our minds to.  Itís time to take back the reins and control our ďbrandĒ because right now ďBBWĒ means a desperate slutty fat chick with no self-esteem.  I donít know about you, but I would rather the BBW brand be a confident sexy fat chick with a mind of her own.  I know a LOT of women like that, donít you?




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