A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 2000

From Radiance Winter 2000

Dear Friends,

Well this is it! With this issue we cross over to the year 2000. As I write this editorial, I find an excitement bubbling up inside. It’s a thrill to experience the start of a new millennium together.

Thanks for your feedback about our Fall 1999 issue, the start of our fifteenth year in print. Over the past few months, Camryn Manheim has sent us lots of new readers by recommending Radiance in her book, Wake Up, I’m Fat. Welcome to all of you newcomers! We have a good supply of back issues available to help you catch up on our many years in print. Our Web site is also full of articles, essays, and interviews from editions past and present, so “bookmark” us and visit our site often. We’re continually adding new material and features to our site at www.radiancemagazine.com .

This Winter 2000 issue has been quite fun to put together. Thanks especially to Catherine (our senior editor) for carrying the flame of enthusiasm about the millennium and planning this issue before my energy had been ignited! We’ve chosen four themes to carry us into 2000: dance, travel, activism, and style. You’ll also read quotes from leaders in the movement about what they wish for us in the coming years. We’ll continue our millennium celebration throughout 2000 with other special features.

Coming in Spring, you’ll be amazed by Sheryl Haworth, the seventeen-year-old world weight lifting champion! Also in Spring, an assortment of essays and reflections from a variety of perspectives, on finding love, intimacy and relationships, and on living single. We’ll have poetry, fashion, and resources for all areas of our lives. Watch for us around April 5.

On a personal note, these past months have brought a bunch of changes, professional and personal, to my life. New office staff, new art staff, new roommate, new personalities all around me. Interviewing, hiring, training. Perhaps most significant, I have been working to rebuild family relationships that reflect who I am now and how I want to relate to my most intimate others.

I had been waiting to feel inspired in order to write this column, to have something positive and upbeat to share with you. But it didn’t come. Recently, I saw an Oprah show on depression; I was amazed that it is such a common experience for so many women, and I recognized some of myself in these women’s stories. Over this past year I began counseling to look at some of the areas in my life which were giving me problems: Come in, sit down, kick off my shoes, arrange the couch pillows, grab some Kleenex, and begin talking! Through our weekly sessions I grew to trust my therapist with my heart. I’ve come to see a lot about myself, why I am like I am, what hurts, why, what’s hard for me, why. I also see more clearly the bright parts of who I am. My therapist helped me gain insight into the messages my dreams were bringing me and provided me with a safety net as I walked through and explored my life from all angles. She helped create a place for me to feel my pain without shame.

I’ve also increased my time outdoors in the pool—evenings, after work, and a day or so on the weekends. Being in the water has been, and continues to be, one of the best things I do for myself. I’ve developed quite a network of friends in the pool and we talk, or not, as we go back and forth in our slow lane! I’ve also made a point of going out more, becoming more social, with my sister Amy and her family who live an hour south of me, with members of the size-acceptance community in our Bay Area, and with different friends.

And I’m going to start taking some time off for R&R, real vacation time. I’ve rented a vacation home for a few days on the coast with a friend, for relaxation, reading, hanging out, and good food. Especially wonderful will be the hot tub on the deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I can hardly wait.

I plan to bring more fun and activity back into my life bit by bit, more meals and walks and nights out on the town with friends, more cultural events and live theater (which I’m always so inspired by), day trips throughout our greater San Francisco Bay Area, and short trips to visit pals around the country.

Almost serendipitously, as I found myself coming out of down mode and with better understanding of depression, I started getting more e-mails and letters from readers new to Radiance, who were very down. Some were feeling desperation (most weight-related, some not), and had found our Web site in the middle of the night while searching on-line for support. I could relate to what they were feeling. I had been there. I could tell them there is hope, that feelings and situations do change, and that there are steps we can take to help ourselves along.

If you find yourself going through a dark time, do what comforts you and helps you think things through. Listen to music, grab your journal, call your friends, send a letter (even an SOS!). And don’t hesitate to find a support group or professional therapist to talk to. I know many people who have gotten the relief they needed to identify new solutions and see life clearly again through a course of antidepressants and professional guidance.

The hype as well as the genuine excitement about a new year, especially a new millennium, can heighten all of our emotions; we can either be inspired or overwhelmed by this. On one level, it’s just another year. On another, it’s an especially good time to take stock of what in your life you like and what gets in your way.

For the year 2000, please do what you can to recognize more of yourself, your needs, abilities, joys, strengths, pleasures, and yearnings. Make a plan, take some steps, bring more of yourself to light.

With this, I welcome you to our Winter Millennium 2000 issue.

With love,

Alice Ansfield
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©

Remember, this is only a taste of what's inside the printed version of the magazine!