Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

February 28, 2009

A Weighty Matter of Astronomical Proportions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Twistie @ 8:30 am

A couple weeks ago, I had to go to the doctor. I hate doing this, and not just because I’m one of those pesky people who has to pay for medical care out of her own sadly slender, but ever so elegant purse. I wait so long between visits that I always fear I will get a mournful-faced (or angry-faced because I have clearly Done This To Myself through neglect of the yearly physical and the way my fat little body indicates that I clearly, ZOMG! am Eating The World) doctor informing me that I have mere moments to live, but I should sit back and hear why I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself before I shuffle loose this mortal coil.

In point of fact, what I had was a cold that had lasted way too long. Worse, the cough was going all deep and brochial, which, having had a couple bouts of brochitis which I enjoyed about as much as I would enjoy having half a dozen elephants tap dance across my chest, was an experience I was in no hurry to repeat.

And so I girded up my loins as far as my loins would gird and allowed Mr. Twistie to make an appointment for me. What? You thought I was going to woman up and do it for myself? Not a chance, bub! Look, we have our clearly outlined gender roles. I save Mr. Twistie from spiders and other things that have more legs than a cat, and he makes the uncomfortable appointments for me. In the end, we both have someone to help us cope with the irrational fears, tra la.

Being that it was the first time I’d been to this particular practice (unless you count that time back in about ’97…I told you I don’t go to the doctor as much as I probably should), I had to fill out a new patient form, full of questions about my medical history and lifestyle. I was actually kind of impressed that the questions included things about whether I considered myself to be eating a healthful, varied diet and what sort of exercise I get…but in a way that felt friendly, if I can put it that way. At minimum, I felt no specter of body shaming.
When I was called back into the examination area, there came the Moment of Truth. I was asked to get on the scales. Now I know a lot of people who refuse to be weighed or refuse to look at the number, but I must admit I was a bit curious. It had been literally years since I’d been on a scale and I sort of wondered what my weight happend to be, so I did look at the number when the readout came up.

The cool thing? Not one word was said. The nurse just wrote the number down without comment and led me to the next ordeal…er…the exam room proper where she sat me down and took my blood pressure.

When the doctor came in, she asked me a couple follow-up questions about my general health and family medical history, discussed my symptoms with me a bit more, redid my blood pressure (the first reading was kind of high, but when the second was absolute freaking textbook perfect, the doc put it down to a case of White Coat Hypertension), listened to my lungs, and said that she was going to prescribe a short course of antibiotics. I got the scrip filled, took my drugs, and started feeling like my old self in a matter of a couple days.

The best thing about the entire visit? Not once did I have to defend myself about my weight. In fact, no mention was made by any of the staff about my current weight, whether I should go on a diet, or how much healthier I would be if I just lost x number of pounds.

In short, they treated me for the problem I came in with, offered up their services in case I wished to avail myself of a more thorough exam at some point, and treated me like a real human being. It’s nice to know practices like that exist in this fat-phobic world.

Oh, and one more good thing came of the visit: now that I have a good idea of how much I weigh on this planet, I was able to play with the tools on this site and see how much I would weigh on another planet…or even a sun! Of course you don’t need to know your specific weight to play. You can just plug in random numbers and see what you get, too.

Still, it’s kind of fun knowing I would weigh approximately 6416lb if I were on the sun and 15.8 on Pluto. Important? Nah. Just a bit of trivia…and you all know how I love pointless trivia.

February 27, 2009

Happy St David’s Day! Also Richard Burton! Also I want to Strangle This Woman!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Miss Plumcake @ 4:09 pm

As I’m sure you all know, Sunday is the Feast of Saint David of Wales. Saint David’s Day is the Welsh –and thus infinitely more awesome– equivalent to Saint Patrick’s Day.  Being a daughter of Cymru myself, I firmly believe in observing Saint David’s Day and bringing the spirit of The Dragon to the poor unfortunates who for some unfathomable reason known only to God, aren’t even partly Welsh.

I’ve got my daffodils and leeks all ready to pin on all and sundry, I’ve got a white dress –or maybe not, depending if my red haired cousin from the country comes early*– and for later I’ve got a dark room and a night full of Richard Burton films. (Note: I am a Christian woman, but if you call me during Night of The Iguana, I WILL cut you. Next Monday Hotness is totally going to be Richard Burton. I would have hit that twelve ways to Sunday.)

Mmm Hmmm Richard Burton



The only thing I lacked was a potato-free recipe for leek soup. So I went to Chef Google and found this particularly dismal recipe from Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat.

Magical Leek Soup (Broth)

Serves 1 for the weekend


2 pounds leeks

1. Clean the leeks and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut off the ends of the dark green parts, leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of pale green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)

2. Put the leeks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.

The juice is to be drunk (reheated or at room temperature to taste) every 2 to 3 hours, 1 cup at a time. For meals, or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks themselves, 1/2 cup at a time. Drizzle with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if you wish.

This will be your nourishment for both days, until Sunday dinner, when you can have a small piece of meat or fish (4 to 6 ounces — don’t lose that scale yet!), with 2 vegetables, steamed with a bit of butter or olive oil, and a piece of fruit.

What the [redacted]ing [redacted]???

“This will be your nourishment for both days”?! Really? Nourishment?  Where exactly is the nourishment? Because here is the nutritional value of a half-cup of boiled leeks:

courtesy of

Even if you eat ten servings over the weekend –and though I am loath to speak ill of my patron root vegetable, that’s not an appetizing suggestion– you’d still clock in at 80 calories a day.  The strictest medical supervised starvation diet (which I still find highly questionable) according to the NIH is about 800 calories a day. So essentially you would have to eat ten times as much JUST to get to “starvation”.

That is ten pounds of screwed up in a five pound bag. And if Guiliano is trying to talk about the pleasure of eating, where is the pleasure in eating that? Oh yum! Leek broth every three  hours? And I can have parsley too?! The last person to be Alive with Pleasure from a leek. Well, I don’t even want to know about that, but I can’t imagine it’s healthy.

Also, French women DO get fat. One of my favorite big girl blogs is  Le Blog de Big Beauty from Stéphanie Zwicky. Granted, her sartorial choices are not always in line with my own particular taste, but she serves it unapologetically and à la mode, and for that I love her.

So go, buy a leek, wear a daffodil and if you’re Welsh thank your lucky stars, but for the love of Richard Burton (and that’s a whoooole lot of love) DO NOT spend you weekend drinking this juice.

A Big, Good Deed

Filed under: Be Super Fantastic,The Fat's in the Fire,Uncategorized — Francesca @ 8:26 am

Our internet friend Ashlea has alerted us to the fact that Dress for Success, a non-profit organization which provides professional, interview-appropriate suits and dresses to disadvantaged women who are entering the workforce, is in great need of plus-size suits and other work-wear.

From their website:

The clothing that Dress for Success provides to our clients symbolizes our faith in every woman’s ability to succeed.

Dress for Success solves the catch-22 that confronts disadvantaged women trying to enter the workforce: without a job, how can you afford a suit?  But without a suit, how can you get a job?

Shortly after Dress for Success was founded, we became well-known for providing suits to disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce. Although our mission has expanded, the suiting program remains a crucial part of our work and a vital first-step in a woman’s journey toward self-sufficiency.

Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview and additional apparel—up to a week’s worth of clothing—when she becomes employed.


What would you wear to a job interview? That is exactly the type of clothing we are looking for to distribute to our clients. Your fabulous suits and other professional apparel could furnish another woman with the confidence to enter or return to the workplace, make a great first impression and land a job that could change her life.

To suit our clients in style, Dress for Success currently accepts new or nearly-new and cleaned:

Coordinated, contemporary, interview-appropriate skirt and pant suits
Beautiful, crisp blouses
Gorgeous blazers and jackets
Professional shoes

We are particularly in need of larger-size suits and apparel

If you have plus-size clothes that could help another Big Girl land a job, go here to see where your nearest Dress for Success office is (they have affiliates around the world).

Big Girls helping each other!

February 26, 2009

Big Girls in Art: Rebecca Molayem

Filed under: Art — Francesca @ 8:56 am

Here we have the delightful work of the superfantastic artist Rebecca Molayem, who creates the visions of the Big Girls in different media!

Thank you to our internet friend Gwen for the tip!

February 25, 2009

The Big Question: No! More! Pancakes! Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 3:05 pm

Oh. My. God. Y’ALL.

I am not an evil person (shut it) but I swear, if I ever see a pancake again I…I…I just don’t know WHAT I’ll do, but it’ll be graphic, painful and probably not within the confines of the Geneva Convention.

Last night, in the period of 90 minutes, I served 185 plates of pancakes.


Lemme tell you something about your pal Plummy.  She may be front-of-the-house pretty, but she’s back-of-the-house mean, and if it hadn’t been for the outrageously filthy things the sous chef had been whispering in my ear with regard to the proper application of the bananas foster sauce (hint: not on pancakes, also probably illegal) SOMEONE would have gotten whacked with a ladle full of boiling hot wild blueberry compote.


Oh man, SPEAKING of ladles –and this has nothing to do with anything, except it’s my only ladel-related story and it’s awesome— a few years ago I was at a birthday party for a friend who worked in the newspaper industry. Now, newspapermen are a hard-drinking crew,  and at one point I was doing shots of cachaça out of a ladle with a supremely good-looking Pulitzer-prize nominated critic whom I accidentally punched for calling me a pterodactyl. Of course in the cool light of day I came to discover he called me a polydidact which is a lot nicer and makes a lot more sense because he is a) a big fan of mine b) not generally in the habit of comparing girls to winged dinosaurs. Anyway, I called the hostess the next morning to thank her profusely and related the story and she paused for a second and said “um, Plummy, I don’t OWN a ladle.”

True story.


In honor of my newfound hatred of pancakes I give you today’s Big Question:

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know: what food will you never, ever, evereverever EVER eat again? Gimme some backstory here. Bonus points if it involves ladles.

A Tip for Girls Only

Filed under: Absolutely Fabulous,Cheap Thrills — Francesca @ 2:36 pm

Often we talk about the importance of taking care of one’s clothes. It is far better to buy quality items (especially when it comes to shoes) and take care of them, so they last for years, than to buy cheapie things every season.

When it comes to lingerie, there are times this is difficult. We understand, yes, that there are times that, no matter how careful one tries to be, certain bodily fluids greatly threaten the panties, the skirts, and the sheets, yes? Especially at night while one is sleeping? You wake up in the morning and look at the mess and go “aw, I can’t believe it happened again.”

Francesca has help for you. It is a magical product called Biz. This powder has saved Francesca a fortune in linens and clothes. And you can get it at any supermarket. It looks like this:


Francesca says: First, run the stain under cold (not hot!) water, to remove as much as you can. Then, take a plastic bin. Pour in a few spoonfuls of Biz and a little water, to make a paste.  Rub the paste into the stain. Then pour in some more water, the least amount you need to cover the stained area. Put the bin away somewhere where guests won’t see it, and wait for two, maybe three days (check it every half day or so to see how it is doing).

When you take out the clothing item, it will look good as new. Just run it in the regular wash (or hand-wash, if it is fine lingerie) and you are done.

Francesca has tried this with white sheets and afterward she couldn’t see where the stain had been.  It was a miracle from above.

And now she shares the miracle with you! xoxo!

(Thanks to Francesca’s friend L. who introduced her to this laundry technique!)

February 24, 2009

From Francesca’s Inbox: New Arrivals

Filed under: Fashion — Francesca @ 1:32 pm

The following vendors have announced new collections/arrivals!iconicon

NordstromPlus-size jackets and coats

Lane Bryanttops, pants, skirts, jackets, swimwear

Torridtops, dresses, Twilight paraphernalia

Chico’swrinkle-free “Traveler” collection. Here is a pretty, asymmetrical top, available up to size 18 (darn, Francesca wears a 22) which is perfect for work-to-evening.

Alight tops, skirts, and dresses. Here is a pretty dress (pictured) for the tall, bold, bohemian woman.

Woman WithinNew arrivals in all categories.

Plus By Design – new collections in red, navy/lime, and black/grey florals

Evans (U.K.)New arrivals in all categories.

J.Jill – a new plus-size collection all in blue (Francesca’s favorite color!)

Happy shopping! xoxo

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