I'm usually immune to magazines that focus on dieting, because they all say the same thing: Eat smaller portions and exercise. But August's O had the courage to go beyond the food. Like many American women, I eat because I'm tired or because I've lost control. I eat to compensate for a lack of comfort, stimulation, or love. As a mother of two small children, I want them to grow up thinking of food as wonderful, sensuous, and nourishing, not insidious, devious, and treacherous, as I do. So I take my daughter and son to the farmers' market, and I relish the gusto with which they tackle a meal. Someday I will have time to fix myself. Until then I'll laugh with my children and feed my soul on their joy of eating.
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO
Your August issue was great, but it overlooked a key ingredient of weight loss: anger. In just over a year, I lost three older siblings--one to complications of diabetes, one to a heart attack, and one to cancer. Out of concern for my health, I started a more ambitious exercise routine, cut back on carbs, and watched my portion sizes. During the first half of 2004, I lost 40 pounds. But prevention was not my sole motivation. I was angry at my siblings for not taking better care of themselves and at family members who continued to live in denial; I was angry that I felt so powerless to change other people's thinking. Then I realized there was and always will be one thing I can change: me.
NEW YORK CITY
How do you do it? No matter what I'm struggling with, your magazine manages to address that subject. I wasn't surprised, then, to see that the theme of the August issue was How to Eat. Last month I dropped out of Weight Watchers after losing 35 pounds. I wanted to lose another 30 or so, but I couldn't get motivated--until I saw O, full of support and inspiration. Thanks for reading my mind. I needed it!
"Oprah Talks to Bill Clinton" [August] so angered me that I am canceling my subscription to O. He violated his position as president by pursuing his sexual deviancy in the Oval Office. I would have read the article to the end, but it sickened me. The fact that you printed it is an insult to Americans.
Rosemary K. Hendrix
Thank you for your interesting, revealing interview with former president Clinton. I appreciate your asking him the tough questions. Time, it seems, is the great equalizer. A man I was so angry with for lying to the American public about his personal life looks great compared to our current president, who lies about matters of national security. Your interview helped me to draw that distinction. I hope other Americans are able to do the same this fall.
I strongly related to "Mia Hamm's Aha! Moment" [August]. Like her, I relied on a sport to put me through school and, ultimately, to land a job. But after five years of coaching softball, I recently resigned to focus on my family. Though I was terrified of stepping away from such a major role in my life, I realize now that it was the best decision I could have made. I enjoy the extra time I have with my two young children and husband. As far as missing the competition and rapport of the team environment, challenging workouts fill those voids. So for all women contemplating a change: Go for it! Life as you know it will end, but a new, possibly better one will take its place.
I flipped open the August issue while steaming mad at my husband over a fight during which neither of us would admit to being wrong. When I saw "Hang Up the Gloves" [by Jeffrey B. Rubin, PhD], about winning the battle and losing the war, I didn't want to read it--I knew it would show me how foolish I was being. It did. After finishing the piece, I sucked it up and asked my husband which was more important: to be together or to be right? Happily, he answered correctly, and we avoided another 24 hours of nonsense.
WESTFIELD, NEW JERSEY
My compliments to Bo Caldwell for so aptly expressing her emotions regarding the death of her father ["The Beach House Rules," August]. I felt similarly after my father passed away in February. Our entire family has gathered in Door County, Wisconsin, for the past 12 years. This was the first time we had an empty chair. Caldwell poignantly conveyed the feeling that although our fathers were absent in body, their spirits lived on. I finally was able to grieve. They say that time will heal--so will stories like Caldwell's.
I was relieved after reading Julie Morgenstern's "Fire Your Inner Critic" [August]. The woman in the article could have been me. Understanding why I constantly berate myself for trivial things will give me the power to stop this behavior. Thank you, Julie, for changing my life!
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"We hear you! Readers find O spookily psychic, propose anger as a weight loss weapon, trade barbs about Bill Clinton, hang up the marital boxing gloves, and more ..." O, The Oprah Magazine Oct. 2004: 30+. InfoTrac Pop Culture eCollection. Web. 1 Nov. 2009.
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