LargeInCharge Magazine -  Nine Years and Counting!

 Issue#108 - March 2013

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.




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 Hernandez


The Observer - Jness


Curvy Styles - Amy Lucas


The Skinny on Big Love - Jay Hansen


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!


BULLY - A look at Reality!


Bully - A film we all should see!

By: Internet Soures - www.thebullyproject.com



Bully is a 2011 documentary film about bullying in U.S. schools. Directed by Lee Hirsch, the film follows the lives of five students who face bullying on a daily basis.

Facing History and BULLY



Facing History's Guide to the Film BULLY: Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools helps adult and student audiences confront the stories in this film and explore the meaning for their schools and their wider communities.

BULLY offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children through intimate glimpses into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices.

Like the phenomenon of bullying itself, the film is direct and hard-hitting. Through the power of individual stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children, and society as a whole.

Facing History and Ourselves has worked with the creators of BULLY to craft a guide that can help adult and student audiences confront the stories told in the film and explore their meaning and resonance for their schools and wider communities.

Careful preparation by educators who intend to use the film with their students is not only critical, but will pay off in precipitating the kind of honest, open discussion about caring and responsibility that the film is designed to engender.

At Facing History and Ourselves, we have spent over 35 years researching, teaching, and writing about historical episodes of collective violence in which the marginalization and humiliation of particular groups played the central role.

Seemingly small steps of ridicule and labeling, when allowed to persist and go unchallenged, have too often had catastrophic consequences. Why, in such cases, did some people willingly conform to the norms of a group, even when those norms encouraged wrongdoing, while others spoke out and resisted?

That is a Facing History and Ourselves question that might well be on the minds of viewers of this film. It is part of the intellectual and pedagogical framework developed by Facing History, which not only focuses on how history informs the present, but also helps young people look at difficult events and find connections to their own lives. That framework further encompasses concepts and vocabulary that are familiar to adolescents: identity, membership, stereotyping, conformity, peer pressure, leading and following, in-groups and out-groups, judgment, and responsibility.

Having students use such terms as a lens through which to view and discuss the stories in the film will encourage them to make connections between more extreme situations and less serious actions and behavior that they participate in or observe in their everyday lives.

The necessity of adults previewing the full film before using it with young people cannot be overemphasized. Ideally, that would be done with a group of faculty and school personnel, including counselors. In any case, it is important that adults take the time to reflect upon their reactions to the film, and many of the suggestions in this guide will assist in that process

When using the film with students, adults need to anticipate and prepare for how young people will respond. Initially, there can be a wide range of responses—silence, blaming victims, discomfort that shows itself in joking and laughter—as well as an insistence that it has nothing to do with their lives.

On the other hand, some students may see the film as hitting particularly close to home, and need individual support. But engendering the kind of classroom atmosphere of trust, respect for different opinions, and honest, informed discussion that is described in the opening section of the guide will best facilitate moving on and thinking together about actions that sustain an environment in which bullying of any sort is simply not acceptable.

Preventing bullying in our schools and communities will not be a quick fix or simple solution. Stopping it needs to go far beyond reacting to alarming media headlines, completing surveys, and distributing zero-tolerance policy reminders—as important as all of that may be.

In the best schools, every adult, no matter what his or her position or job title, recognizes and accepts his or her responsibility as role model and educator. Every adult takes the matter of bullying seriously, and sees it as his or her responsibility to prevent it when possible and intervene if it arises. Explicit curricula and non-curricular programs foster social and emotional competencies, such as perspective-taking and empathy, which make bullying less likely. The entire school community is alert to signals and warning signs and everyone finds a way to “upstand” on behalf of the safe and respectful learning and living environment that every young person deserves.

About the Author

Facing History's Dan Sigward worked extensively with middle school students for eight years in the Boston area. He taught Facing History to eighth graders before joining the organization as a researcher and curriculum writer this past fall.


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Cover Model of the Month!
April Jones


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





LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?


My name is April Jones.



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


I am from Temecula, Ca and I currently live in the Murrieta/Temecula area.


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


I am 33, 5’4 a size 12 and am of Mexican-American decent.



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


I was not big as a child. I gained weight after I had my children. It was a difficult adjustment after being thin most of my life. I struggled to adjust to my new body as well as, learn to love my new curves.


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

I entered the LargeinCharge model search to promote a healthy body image and demonstrate love and confidence for my new curvy body.



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?


I have found it difficult to find acceptance with my size. At my work places I have been encouraged to join Biggest Loser contests, I receive multiple solicitations online to join weight loss groups or join work-out sessions, I have even been solicited by personal trainers for discounted sessions. I find that people provide a large amount of praise and support when I am losing weight but as I gain, the compliments stop and some people are even so bold to comment on my weight gain. People seem to feel it is acceptable to encourage weight loss rather than accept a person at any size.



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


I am inspired most in life by my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a devoted Christian and mother. Watching what God has done for my family and I, inspires me to continue to minister into the lives of others.



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


I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I started college in 2002 and graduated with my Masters degree in February 2011. Since then I have begun a career as a Social Worker at a non-public school and have recently started my own private practice providing individual, couples, family and group therapy. I also do motivational speaking and volunteer with the local police department providing psycho-education to at risk youth. In addition I have develop my own faith-based self-worth curriculum. I conduct workshops helping people know their self-worth by knowing what God says about them.



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


I have found acceptance in the work force, I work hard and do my best to perfect my craft. In my field results speak for you, and I am able to provide them.



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


With the exception of Torrid, finding fashionably trendy attire is difficult for a plus size woman. I do not want to be reduced to wearing muumuus and sundresses. I like pencil skirts and mini dresses too J Fashion should be designed to enhance your curves, not make you look frumpy and without a waist-line. I like to pair a large belt with oversized dresses and shirts to define my waist.



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

When I go to a photo shoot I bring several out fit changes, I always include a black tank top and black heels and make sure I have my own mascara and lipstick. I don’t like to share or use others mascara and lipstick. I also make sure to bring lots of water and get a good nights rest the night before, I don’t want puffy eyes.



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


I have seen changes in size acceptance with reality shows like Curvy Girls and recent ad campaigns in major fashion magazines highlighting plus size models. However, fashion magazines continue to define plus size as sizes 9-12, anything above that continue to be unacceptable. They expect a small waist-line, toned arms and legs and no double chin. In my opinion, that’s not really plus sized and eliminates many beautiful women.



LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about your goals.


My goal is to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and increase my private practice. I would also like to get married someday!



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


In 2008, I was invited by a great friend to speak at a women’s empowerment conference, We Are Sisters, presented by Royal Fabulosity. At the conference I was able to empower women of all sizes to love the person they are. I gave a 30 minute lecture on self-esteem. I received great feedback and at that point realized I have discovered a new calling. I have continued to work with Royal Fabulosity to empower women throughout Southern California.



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


My mother passed away October 2011, she was proud to see me speak at my first empowerment seminar and encouraged me to continue. Whenever I speak or blog, I feel saddened that she is not here to see me but know that she looks down on me and feels proud.



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


I often tell women who want to model to go for it. Royal Fabulosity provides opportunities for women of all sizes to model and show off the body they been given. I have also developed a faith-based self-worth curriculum and on my media images I use models of all shapes and sizes. I use the connections I have to help empower other women to take chances and accept that beauty comes in all molds.



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


The plus size figure I most admire is Rosie Mercado. She has re-defined beauty and pushed through stereotypes. She has found success in her size and is a beautiful woman inside and out.



LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself with one word.



If I had to describe myself in one word I would say, Christian. My passion for Christ surpasses all other accomplishments in my life.



Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month



     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge.com, Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to LargeInCharge.com.  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 8 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.  Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.


     Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

To view her Online portfolio visit www.Raqui.com

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

go to www.Raqui.com Portfolio Section

Raqui-ism - Worthy Charities 2013

Written By: Raqui





 This year not only is LargeInCharge begining our 10th year but I will be starting my own little quest toward learning, giving, and expanding my own mind by donating to a new charity every month.  I hope that you all will enjoy learning about these new charities with me.   I began to understand that most of us only donate to a charity if we have an emotional connection to the charity itself or someone who is trying to raise money for a cause.   One day when I happen to dismiss a charity that was asking for donations, I realized I dont want to be that person.  I want to give because the cause is worthy and I can.  Not only because of an emotional connection.   So join me in learning about new causes and charities this year.  I will post a new one to my column every month.


CHARITY OF THE MONTH:  Operation Smile

Our Work

We work to transform the lives of children who suffer from cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. Our approach to solving the problem globally distinguishes us and is leaving a lasting legacy — and a world of smiles.


"I am so happy. My life has changed. I give thanks to all the Operation Smile people."

— Arifase, age 13

·         1 in 10 children born with a cleft will die before their first birthday.

·         We are helping children in need around the world.

·         Surgeons are standing by to volunteer and provide free surgeries and train in-country doctors.

Donate now



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!


Buzy, Buzz-ing and Still Losing Weight!

with Angie Bee

Well, I just celebrated the two-year anniversary of my weight loss surgery and I can't believe how incredible I feel; not just because I have lost about 187 pounds during that time, but because I am TRULY a buzy little bee!


When my diabetes was out of control, if was difficult for me to stand and walk; my ankles would swell and the bottom of my feet would burn like hot needles were piercing them. I had to drive around in the handicapped grocery cart at the grocery store and my physician actually approved for me to have diabetic orthopedic shoes (so unattractive!)


When the high blood pressure was kicking my behind, I suffered from headaches. With the overactive bladder, I couldn't drive more than 10 miles from my home without stopping to find a bathroom. The sleep apnea, the pills, the injections... all made for a miserable life as a 380 pound woman.


Now that those ailments are in remission I feel SO MUCH BETTER! I am walking and standing and rejoicing and even driving! I recently made a 90-minute car ride, non-stop and I didn't need to find a bathroom! I was amazed. I stopped before the return trip home just on general principles... but I wasn't doing the "I-gotta-pee" dance! The TOUR had a three-hour radio interview at WKTO 88.9 Radio in New Smyrna Beach and I don't think I had to use the bathroom for the entire interview!


I have to admit, I love having curves and I know that I am an attractive woman. Many of you are attractive and you feel the same way that I do. My goal was not to lose weight in order to "find a man"; my goal was to save my life. How healthy are you weighing in at over 200 pounds? How healthy are you weighing in at over 300 pounds? How healthy are you, really? If your doctor told you to lose weight so you could live longer, would you do it/could you do it alone? If your doctor told you to lose weight so you would become healthy, would you do it/could you do it alone? My doctor told me that I probably would lose my limbs from the diabetes, and that I could suffer a stroke or heart attack before the age of 50. My doctor told me that I was shortening my life span by not sleeping and another doctor told me that I would suffer from ulcers from the chronic acid reflux disease.


Now, I am living with some of the effects from the obesity. As the result of my eating habits and size two years ago, I was diagnosed with G.E.R.D. (indigestion and heartburn as the result of being fat). Even though the G.E.R.D. is gone now, the acid destroyed a lot of the enamel of my teeth and made them thin. Now, several of my teeth have cracks in them! It seems like as soon as the dentist fixes one tooth, the x-rays find another one that needs work. Root canals, temporary crowns and gingivitis treatments are how I've spent my past month. I told my friend about this and he says "that sounds like a Facebook status - Save your teeth! Avoid obesity AND heartburn today!"


This past month I have made appearances at a Christian night club and two separate radio stations for interviews. This past month I spoke at a Florida juvenile detention center with "Hope 4 The Hood Ministries" and next week I will MC a Holy Hip Hop concert during an AutoFest in Winter Park, Florida. Later in the month I will speak during a book signing in Dayton, Ohio and in April I will do backstage concert interviews at another concert in Ohio. In May I have been invited to speak at a women's group retreat and in a few moments I will go for a walk with my 7-year old nephew. During last night's walk he told me "Angie, I don't ever remember seeing you go for a walk before. You're not even huffing and puffing!"


I want to keep buzzing around for many years to come. I want to live a long life so I can go for walks with my infant niece and I want to see her graduate from college. I will be the Auntie in the front row yelling and jumping up and down with joy! I want to keep getting hugs from my physician when she sees that I am still losing weight in between check-ups and I want to keep standing and speaking and loving my life! I am grateful for the weight loss, I really am... but I am THRILLED by the healing and the ability to do more for myself and others too.


Come BUZZzzz with me




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 - My Gastric Bypass Memoirs

Sonya's Links:


Sonya Bennett on Facebook

     Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.


     This Column is dedicated to the tremendous work NAAFA has been doing for over four decades.  LargeInCharge wishes to support NAAFA in spreading the word of its work, and give the public more information into issues we as plus sized people should be aware of.  The fight for equality for people of all sizes is one we support.


     This Column will include News Releases and Calls to Action from NAAFA Directors.


This Column has been Approved by NAAFA.org


Shame Police

from: NAAFA.org


Mariano and Reed Added to the Ranks of Shame Police!



When Dr. Connie Mariano and film critic Rex Reed made public statements criticizing the body size of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and award winning actress Melissa McCarthy, they both stepped way over the line and outside their job descriptions entering the ranks of the Shame Police. The Shame Police are a group of self-appointed, unqualified individuals who believe they are influencing the health of individuals by publicly shaming and embarrassing them about their body size. Reality check; Connie and Rex it does not work!


"Fat or thin, we all pay dearly for a culture that stigmatizes the diversity of human bodies. Surely the ethical path is to liberate us all from this burden, not to intensify it,” states Deb Burgard, PhD., Clinical Psychologist, Eating Disorders Specialist and NAAFA Advisory Board Member.


NAAFA, a civil rights organization working for Equality at Every Size, wants them to know that fat shaming and public embarrassment do not achieve positive results. They are tools of the dark ages.


“NAAFA urges people to understand and embrace size diversity. We come in all sizes. You cannot determine a person’s health, ability to do a good job or talent based on their body size." stated Peggy Howell, NAAFA’s Public Relations Director.


Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.




Thanks for reading

From the Desk of NAAFA




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


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


Motto: Cook with your heart not with your head.


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




St. Patties Irish Stew
with Lucia Roth

March! Is pretty much know for St. Patrick’s Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Beware of the Ides of March!, March Madness if you're a college Basketball fans, ...the March wind doth blow, bringing the April showers... , Coming in like a lion, out like a lamb, and the spring equinox. But it also so known for family gathering around the table and enjoying a big bowl of Irish stew.

The History behind Irish Stew

Irish stew is a peasant dish made with the cheapest, most readily-available ingredients. Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" as it is called in Gaelic, is traditionally made of lamb or mutton (less tender sheep over two years of age), potatoes, onions, and parsley. Often, lamb or mutton neck bones, shanks, and other trimmings were the only basis for the stock. Yet, these would-be discards still held enough flavor after a long simmering process to do justice to a hearty bowl of stew.   The root vegetables added further flavor and thickening power, as well as filling sustenance. Some cooks added turnips or parsnips, carrots, and barley when available.

Irish Stew Today

When the Irish people began immigrating to the United States, fleeing from the ravages of starvation caused by the potato famine, they naturally brought along their wonderful hearty food traditions. The stew evolved and adapted to include the local offerings.

Sheep were not as plentiful in America, so other types of meat were often substituted. When made in the traditional manner, the result is very thick and hearty.


Irish Beef Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes


1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)

6 large garlic cloves, minced

6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth

1 cup of Guinness beer

1 cup of fine red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley



1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


     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.


Why Me?

with Ms Suga


Recently I encountered three women all of whom chose to share their stories of trials and survival with myself and about 200 other ladies. The event itself was extraordinary and when I left I felt a sense of gratefulness as well as joy. I mainly felt grateful because after hearing their stories I'm not sure how I would've handled those situations better yet if I could have been as strong as they were. One lady, whose story I will share with you said that "through this whole ordeal, through all the pain and the treatment I never asked 'Why me?'

Ok so here is part of her story. At age 21 this woman was in a horrible accident. The driver in the other car swerved in her lane and collided with her head on. As a result of the collision she ended up with 3 broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, one broken hip, one sprained hip, a cracked femur, cracked tibia, a broken wrist and the whole bottom row of her teeth were pushed back in her mouth. Because of all her horrible injuries the hospital put her in a drug induced coma for 12 days. I am happy to say that ten surgeries and 20 years later she has healed completely, gave birth to two happy healthy children and had a successful career.

Now I'm sure you are wondering, just like I did, why did she have to go through so much? Or what did she do to have to suffer so much? After experiencing such a strong woman and some serious praying I feel as though now I know the answer. I've always been one to listen to the tales of other people and try to take the lessons they learned in their experiences and apply them to my life. I used to think that if I learn all the lessons the test wouldn't be too hard, and after crashing into a wall (metaphorically speaking) so many times, I'm finally understanding how "life" works.

Life lesson #1019: Sometimes your struggles are not meant for you but for you to share with someone else. I personally feel that God made struggles for us to build and determine our character. And even though I know there is always someone or something that is against us, I also know that everything happens for a reason. According to the lady I referred to before, she never questioned, why did all these things happened to her, because she always knew her miraculous story was meant to be shared with others… Including myself.

I encourage each reader to consider this: life happens and there is NOTHING we can do to stop it. You might feel that you are at the lowest of low points in your life but do know it can always get worse. And also know there is always someone in this world that wishes they can trade places with you. Your story might be just what someone else needed to know that they can make it to see another day. With that being said wherever you are in your process of trials and troubles I suggest you grab the bull by the horns and face your problems dead on. It will be hard, you will fall and you might fail. But the true success lies in the survival. From now on I encourage you all to not ask "Why me?" But better yet hope that whomever that lesson is for you both understand it and apply it. We all want to complete that journey and know that we made it from Surviving to Thriving.

Be blessed
~Ms. Suga~





Kathy is originally from a small town in Michigan but has lived in San Diego County since she's been 18 years old.  Kathy graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Finance in 1999.   She has a real estate broker’s license and works as a mortgage banker.  


Kathy also owns BBW Club Catalina in San Diego which has monthly night club parties and other fun events on a frequent basis.  Kathy has been an avid supporter of NAAFA, Vegas BBW Bash and San Diego BBW Bash and believes in size acceptance and health at every size.  


Kathy is a firm believer that people need to have a full life by going to the movies, dinner, bowling, dancing and anything that will make them a happier person and not wait till they are at the perfect size to start living their life to the fullest. 


Kathy is in her mid-40's and her children are grown and living productively on their own.   In her spare time she likes trying new restaurants, dancing, modeling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.



The Single Mother and Dating

 with Kathy Hernandez


The dating world is hard enough when you are single without children. It can be harder when you are a single mother, but it doesn't have to be an impossible mission. There are some men who won't date women with children and of course there are some who will date a woman with one or maybe two children, but if you have 3+ children than it's a larger challenge.

There are some valid issues that have been brought up why men prefer not to date women with children, because children taken up a lot of our time and this would be less time spent dating a man. The very beginning of dating, a man has to be divided between him, and your children because most women won't introduce a man they just started dating to their children, which I think is a good idea. Single mothers have to decide at what point in their relationships it's a good idea to introduce their boyfriend to their children. I think most mothers want to make sure the relationship is going somewhere before they even think of integrating their dating life with the lives of their children.  Children can get attached to a new man in their life, and it can be devastating to them when the relationship doesn't work out.

Of course dating someone involves time away from our children. It requires that a single mother find adequate child care, when going out on a date. When I was a single mother (when my son Alex was younger) I would date a man exclusively for over 3 or 4 months before I introduced Alex to him. I didn't want my son to be disappointed if my relationship with a guy I was dating didn't work out. I also traded babysitting with a few friends of mine, making sure my son was with a quality person when I was out on a date. When a single mother is out on a date, she is trying to enjoy herself and the person she is with.  There is nothing worse than the constants thoughts, is my child is happy?  Am I being selfish going out instead of spending all my free time with my child?

Single mothers need to know that it is alright for them to date, or just spend time with friends, without her children. Being a mother is one of the best blessing in the world we could ever have, but we also need to be a well-rounded person, and continue to grow (on a personally level) outside of being mom. If a single mother has very young children then going out on a date after the child's bed time, (making sure the child is with a responsible friend or family member) is going to make the mother feel better about going out, and doing something good for herself.  She will ultimately have a much better time on her date.

The man that she is dating also needs to be viewed as a possible future father figure for her child.  She wants to be certain that this new man will love and respect her children. I was lucky in the fact that my step father treated me, and my sisters just like he treated his own children. A good man isn't going to care if the child he loves, and cares for isn’t biologically his child. When you find a man who loves you, and loves your child, then you are just that much closer to having a happy future, full of love that you and your child both deserve.





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.



A Changing World

with Jness



We are in the car bobbing and weaving through traffic, the call came 40 minutes ago. Fortunately the traffic flow is not too heavy, but just enough to prevent us from reaching the hospital sooner than later. I never heard of this hospital, why did they take her here? I gather my thoughts; it’s a hospital, when the unexpected goes down you don’t pick and choose… you just get to the nearest one. This one just happens to be far from where we live. Time to stop thinking about myself and focus on some prays that our friend is ok.


We get to the main driveway of the hospital and I note how old and stately the buildings look. Not a good thing I think in my unconscious mind. I can’t say I remember ever seeing a medical faculty that looked so much like a throwback to decades ago. Well at least that’s how it looked from the outside. Another mental note was how big this place was. Well at least that’s how it looked from the outside. After a brief stay at the security desk for some guest passes we took the hike to the gift shop. The hospital was actually modern on the inside, and the staff seemed upbeat, in contrast the depressing appearance of the outer décor.


Our friend was in good spirits, and was being held for testing on her heart. They made careful evaluations on the function of its valves and chambers. The doctors and nurses were kind and thoughtful. They took their time to explain every procedure. They even had translators on call to translate every detail in Spanish so that our friend was comfortable. I was impressed. While my wife, our friend and other visitors exchanged sentiments and stories of better times, I decided to feed my curiosity about this place. I walked around, and was politely greeted by staff in every hall. At the elevator something caught my eye. It was a sign on every floor of the building, it echoed the good ethics of PATIENT SAFETY. Seems like a normal thing to see in a place medical practice. Upon closer inspection I smiled and had a sense of victory and progress. As you know I am a graphic designer and illustrator. My artwork and client base closely adheres to the needs of the plus-size community and the positive representation of the same. I said all of that because my goal is for my artwork to change the way the world sees people of size.


The PATIENT SAFETY SIGN actually had plus-sized people on it. It made me feel like maybe the world is catching on. Here we have art in its most practical state, being used as a tool to communicate a very important message, while including characters that stray away from the leaner and more common renditions. I wonder if the unknown artist had a a goal that is similar to mine. Though we may never know the answer, it’s nice to imagine. I keep drawing and creating logos and graphics with my goal in mind. Who knows, maybe a major hospital or government institution will call me someday and my work will be featured for all to see without my signature, but heavily saturated with my thoughts. Visually making my statement heard.


Shout out to Einstein Hospital, in Philadelphia, PA.






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.



Pretty in Peplum
with Amy Lucas

Peplum has become a very popular style whether it is in dresses, shirts, or skirts. With so many ways to wear peplum, it can be figure flattering on everyone. It also makes you look feminine, classy, and modern. Wearing black and white is another hot trend for spring so why not combine them both to create that ultra chic image you desire.





Stop Staring!

Black with Gold Beads Peplum Icon Dress

sizes 12-26, $120.50


J. Renee Adena Heel White/Black,

available in medium and wide widths,

$109.95, www.zappos.com




White Cabochon Stone & Crystal Necklace,

$20, www.jcpenney.com


White Stone & Crystal Drop Earrings,

$12, www.jcpenney.com



Black Floral Braided Waist Strapless Top,

sizes 0-5x, $38.50,



COCH001 Heritage Peplum Skirt Black,

sizes 0-5x, $69,



Joan Rivers A Budding Romance

17” Necklace w/ 3” Extender,

$35, www.qvc.com



Crystal Drop Earrings, $14,



RSVP Perfect Black Satin,

available in medium and wide widths,

$79, www.zappos.com

Smart & Sexy Women’s

Plus Size Knit Peplum Top,

sizes 1-4x, $14.88,


Women’s Plus Jersey Pencil Skirt in Canvas, sizes 1-4x, $20,


Betsey Johnson Iconic Jet

Teardrop Multi-Charm Necklace,

$68, www.amazon.com

I’m A Cute Little Princess

Ribbon Pavé Earrings,

$8.98, sold through


from Charmed by Stacy

Gabrielle Rocha Athens,

available in medium and wide widths,

$69, www.zappos.com

COCH005 Hype Velvet Peplum Dress,

sizes 0-5x, $130,


Palm Beach Jewelry

Simulated Pearl Metal

Bib-Style Necklace and Earrings,

$39.95, www.onestopplus.com

J. Renee Nalda White,

available in medium and wide widths,

$99.95, www.zappos.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.

with Jay Hansen

"I know you. You're Heidi." said a woman at the table next to ours at IHOP, "You own the Oklahoma BBW group, right?"


Heidi, my partner, confirmed her remarks and engaged in a conversation. Apparently, being a large woman herself, our table-neighbor had heard of our group and was eager to learn more, especially since she had the random chance encounter of meeting the owner in public. A few sentences were exchanged before she looked over at me with a smile. She was sweet, polite, and genuinely had no idea how much she was about to stick her foot in her mouth.


"And you must be her son." She said.


I saw it coming a mile away. The moment she looked over at me I could hear those words charging in her vocal cords. I've heard them before, and I know I'll hear them many times again. More amused than offended, Heidi and I only giggled to ourselves and suppressed the urge to sigh or roll our eyes.


"Actually, this is my boyfriend." Heidi said. Immediately the woman's face sank. I've never seen someone so quickly and hurriedly issue an apology. To save the woman further embarrassment, Heidi soon added "my son looks much older." We all had a giggle over it and continued our conversation, and meal, normally. Our new friend actually provided lovely company and conversation to our lunch.


Cougar-ism, a lifestyle or dating relationship in which significantly older women of their forties or higher date younger men usually of their twenties, has become increasingly more socially acceptable over the past few years. My partner Heidi and I have nearly eighteen years, a whole person who can legally smoke, between the two of us and we've never been happier. We get lots of looks and questions when we go out together or meet new people, usually followed by shocked reactions, especially when they learn my partner's actual age, thinking her much younger.


I can't say that I'm specifically attracted to older women, but I have noticed a repeating pattern in my life where the women I do find attractive for whatever, separate reasons do end up being at least moderately older than me. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that I put high stock in maturity, pragmatism, and common sense, all of which grow with age. Of course, a woman's waistline tends to grow with age too, so as an admirer of larger women I'm sure that plays a large part as well.


It was this concept that got me thinking one day; is cougar-ism more prevalent amongst the fat admirer and big, beautiful woman communities? When I was younger I went to a very "preppy" high school filled with children of very affluent families. Many girls were already getting cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery at the age of sixteen or seventeen. Chubby girls were almost non-existent, so there was hardly a girl to whom I found myself even remotely attracted, let alone worked up the courage to ask out. This trend continued, though not to the same extent, into college. Women at that time in my life leaned both towards immaturity and rail-thin figures. Because of my preferences in both mind and especially body, I time and time again found myself driven towards older women. Eventually I met Heidi and we've been madly in love ever since, but I can't help but wonder if similar admirers that have been attracted to bigger women their whole lives (such as myself) have similar stories about encounters with older women and cougar-ism. If so, there may be something to my theory.


As cliché as it may sound, to me age is just a number. As an admirer of large women, this concept has never been foreign to me because of my views of weight as well. Surely, the taboo of admiring larger women does itself require a certain level of open mindedness, particularly about relationships and public displays of affection, but cougar-ism requires this exact same mentality as well. Considering everything else on top of this core principle, it seems more than natural that a love for big women and cougar-ism would go hand-in-hand.


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