A Compilation of her
Letters from the Editor
1998 through 1999

From Radiance Winter 1998

Hi Friends,

Well, this is the season, isn’t it?! As we move through the winter holidays, I want to send my greetings to you and your loved ones. My wish for each of us is to come into even greater love of self and others, and to find new ways to express this love through action—at home, in our communities, and in the world.

Sometimes I just can’t wait to jump-start a new year. The latter half of 1997 was going in that direction. I was feeling out of touch with my body and had gotten away from my movement routine. I was feeling stressed, tired, and uncomfortable. And my internal critics were getting louder.

Finally, in September, I renewed my good connections with my body by finding my way back to the “swimming hole”—a pleasure I associate with my childhood. As a child, I swam in our backyard pool. There were always lots of people around, family and friends. We’d swim day and night, in the sun and in the rain.

Now I swim in a outdoor public pool several times a week. I’m swimming laps with more regularity and enthusiasm than ever, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t have to push myself to get started. Some days after work, I just don’t want to go anywhere. So I lie on my bed for a few minutes and try to chill out. Slowly, as I start to relax, my body reminds me of the experience, the pleasure of being in the water. I get up, get dressed, and off I go. I’m still not always sure where the motivation comes from, but I’m happy for it!

As I swim, I’m in my own little world. Sometimes I’m in thinking mode. Other times I look up from the water to appreciate the trees and the clouds and, at night, the stars. Sometimes I focus on my body. I notice how I stretch out my arms with each stroke, the way my hands move through the water, and how my legs feel as they kick. I experiment with different breathing techniques. Some laps I take slowly. With other laps I push myself quickly, just for fun. I do some laps sidestroke, some on my back, and others feet first (a technique Grandpa taught me). Wearing goggles is a delight: they make me feel like I’m on a snorkeling expedition, scooping out the bottom of the pool for anything unusual! 

In the water, I’ve rediscovered a playfulness, a strength, and a comfort with my body. I plan to continue my water play in 1998. Perhaps my story and the stories you read in Radiance will inspire you to find movement you love in the coming year.

The final months of 1997 have been wonderful for Radiance as well. We’ve signed on with a new distributor to make the magazine more available on newsstands, in bookstores, and in grocery stores across the country and abroad. I’ll keep you posted through the magazine as well as our Web site (http://www.radiancemagazine.com) on this exciting expansion.

Our Web site has been getting lots of visitors: nearly seventy thousand our first year. We continue to update it each quarter with articles, essays, photos, and artwork from past and current issues. The most recent additions include interviews with Darlene Cates (Johnny Depp’s mom in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) and with that film’s screenwriter, Peter Hedges, and Nancy Summer’s “Size Awareness in the Classroom” and “Yoga for Round Bodies.” Go to the Back Issues section (off our main page) to find the “links.” Happy reading!

Now to the issue at hand: Winter! I’m so happy for the history of the Fat Underground, thanks to Sara Bracha Golda Fishman, who shares her inside story of this group and their activities. Members of the original group are still fighting size discrimination today. Also in Winter, you’ll find excerpts from Losing It, health writer Laura Fraser’s powerful exposé of the diet industry in the United States. 

Sometime last fall, a reader sent me a magazine article on Boulder artist Sandra Bierman. After seeing photos of her paintings, I tracked Sandra down. I was as moved by her life and her philosophy as I was by her art. Notice the play of nature and light and color with her strong, grounded women—comfortable in their bodies and in themselves.

As always, you can count on William Fabrey (“Big News”) and Linda Brandt Tanner (“In Season”). I’m grateful to these writers for sharing their expertise and their passions with us through Radiance.

Coming up in Spring will be a wonderful assortment of goodies! We’ll launch our Kids Project with some kid talk! Seven-year-old Alan Morgan is the boy you’ve seen charming his way through Target commercials. I loved Alan the first time I saw him on TV! Watch for his ads: he’s the kid dressed in a Scout uniform trying to pitch a sale to his neighbor. At the commercial’s end, he’s at his neighbor’s door once again, knocking loudly and yelling, “I know you’re in there!” Alan and his twelve-year-old sister, Stephanie, also an actor, will add their voices to our pages. We’ll also be printing reminiscences from adults about their childhoods. And we’ll introduce you to a Canadian woman, Linda Omichinsky, who has created an antidiet program and support network for kids and adults.

As always, Radiance will have new art for you to discover. This time you’ll see the incredible sculptures of German artist Viola Jurgens. And you’ll see caftans, caftans, and more caftans by two artists, Cathy Miller (Big on Batik) and Melanie Debo—all beautifully designed, batiked, or hand-painted works of art for women of all sizes. Watch for our Spring issue in late March.

Well, dear readers, it’s time to close and let you begin feasting on this Winter issue. May this, and every issue of Radiance, inspire you, support you, and help you bring more of who you are into the world.

With this, I welcome you to Winter 1998.

Alice Ansfield
Founder, Editor, Publisher ©