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**First Anniversary Issue!**

Taking it on the Road

A Message from Carol H. Munter and Jane R. Hirschmann

Dear Readers,

Our new book, When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, will be in the bookstores late this month and we're ready to go with The Women's Campaign to End Body Hatred and Dieting. We're excited and we're hopeful. This April marks twenty-five years since Carol started the first anti-dieting group. It is sobering to realize that twenty-five years after that initial group, a campaign focused on body hatred and the ills of dieting is still a radical undertaking, bound to meet with opposition.

Speaking of opposition, have you heard that Dr. C. Everett Koop, who led the antismoking campaign, has now called for a Shape Up America! crusade, endorsed by the White House? Just when Americans are considering the possibility that diets really don't work, the government is going to breathe new life into a floundering diet industry by endorsing a campaign against fat! According to the literature, the campaign advocates only small losses of weight and a bit more exercise—not a diet, you understand, just a "lifestyle change." Haven't we heard that one before? The backers of the campaign—Weight Watchers International™ and Heinz™ (the owner of Weight Watchers) among them—each will contribute a million dollars to the effort. Can't imagine why! The campaign seems to be based on the idea that obese people are responsible for rising health care costs, a variation on the theme that welfare mothers are responsible for the national debt.

On the positive side, we were delighted to be part of a coalition of size-acceptance/antidieting groups at a press conference held immediately after Koop's White House press conference on December 6th. NAAFA convened the conference, joined by the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, AHELP, and The National Center for Overcoming Overeating. We prepared a statement which you'll find reprinted on page 4 and Jane spoke. The conference got network coverage that afternoon and evening.

Interestingly, after a lot of initial hoopla, the Shape Up America! campaign seems not to have sparked much interest. Could it be the media realizes we've heard it all before? But keep your eyes and ears open. Koop promises lots of education and retail tie-ins. Hard to believe that he really thinks the problem is a lack of information about diet and exercise! Clearly, the diet industry is not ready to call it quits and is willing to spend millions to keep its billions. Already the ads for Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are sporting Shape Up America! seals.

If Koop was looking for a project, we wish he'd gone to work for us instead. We certainly could use his expertise and some of that money he's raising. Do you think he'd be interested in making a bet? Who will be in better shape a year from now? The women who join the Campaign to End Body Hatred and Dieting or the draftees of the Shape Up America! crusade?

Of course, we're always disappointed at a new wave of fat phobia and dieting mania. Disappointed, but not surprised. As we wrote When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, we began to understand more profoundly just how deep the problem of body hatred really goes and how strong both the external and internal resistance is to overcoming it. It's not enough to understand that diets don't work; a woman needs to cure the body hatred that makes her susceptible to the siren call of diets in the first place. To do that, she must challenge all the ideas she's internalized about the place of women in the world. Quite an undertaking!

Our term for the body-hating, body-bashing syndrome that so many women suffer is "Bad Body Fever." In our new book, we discuss its symptoms, etiology and cure. We also explore all the resistances women encounter—in the world and within themselves—as they attempt to do away with dieting and become good demand feeders. Many readers of Overcoming Overeating have requested more information about mouth hunger and how to handle the feelings that prompt it. We've tried to provide it. We're eager for your reactions.

We're finalizing the plans for the opening phase of The Women's Campaign to End Body Hatred and Dieting. In this issue, you'll find the schedule for the March, 1995 speakouts and an insert containing campaign materials. In March, we'll be traveling to 10 cities, presenting our perspective on ending body hatred and dieting. At every speakout, we will have open microphones for women to speak up about these issues. We hope to meet many of you at these events.

If you live in or near a city where a speakout is being held and you can help to publicize it, distribute leaflets, or organize for it in any way, please call us at 1-800-299-0577. We'd appreciate any help you can offer. The campaign materials are yours to use as you see fit. If you want more campaign packets or have ideas about the campaign, please get in touch.

After these initial speakouts, our next campaign event will be on May 6th, International No-Diet Day. We're calling on women to do a Spring Cleaning that day, to clear their closets of all the clothing that no longer fits, and to donate it to a battered women's shelter or an organization for the homeless. We're starting to organize the Spring Cleaning event in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Boston. We're looking for organizations to take the clothes, arranging for places women can bring their donations, and thinking about how to raise consciousness around the event and draw attention to it. We hope that women at the speakouts will join in organizing a Spring Cleaning event in their communities and that some of you will participate as well. Call or write to the newsletter with questions, suggestions, and reports.

And come June, we'll be on our way to the weeklong workshop at Lake Austin Spa Resort (June 4-11), hopefully along with many of you. If you want to know what happens When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, there's no better way to find out than to attend the workshop. For one week, we create an entirely different culture—no body judgments, no food rules, no talk about diets, no hatred of fat. From what past attendees tell us, the effects are undeniable and lasting. Once you live a wonderful week without body hatred and dieting, you're ready and willing to do everything you can to recreate that reality in your life. For more information or to talk to someone who has participated in the workshop, please see our Support Groups Directory.

Our other news is that we're expanding. We're delighted to welcome Karen Carrier and Kathy White as directors of The Houston Center for Overcoming Overeating and Barbara Ganzer and Cheryl Juba as directors of The New England Center for Overcoming Overeating. Statements from each group appear in this issue.

Last but not least, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of this newsletter. Volume 2, Number 1 is a milestone for us and for Carol Grannick and Judith Matz of the Chicago Center. Slowly but surely, with a lot of help from the Jills at Jade, we're getting into the groove of quarterly publication and we're enjoying the chance to share our ideas with you every few months. We have one request: Please, please let us hear from more of you more often.

We began the newsletter because we wanted to create a forum for an exchange of views on nondieting and living without body hatred. Please write, call, or e-mail, and tell us how you are doing with non-dieting. What works? What doesn't? What do you notice about body hatred? Would you like us to interview you? We're eager for your observations and your questions.

We are looking forward to meeting many of you as we travel around in March and when we go to Lake Austin in June. We wish all of you a great New Year and, as always, hearty appetites.

Carol and Jane

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