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Hearing about the experiences of women who "speak out" is encouraging to others who have thought about speaking up but don't quite feel ready to do so. Here are some samples. Send yours in for the next issue!

…About Truth in Advertising:

It makes my blood boil when I see catalogues advertise styles through size 26, yet the model wearing them is clearly a size 12. As a one-woman boycott I have begun sending back the order forms with the following in bold handwriting: "Please remove me from your mailing list. I spend $2,000 – $4,000 a year on clothes, but I refuse to order from a catalogue that doesn't show plus size clothes on plus size models!"

– from Marty, Chicago

…About doctors:

I went in to the doctor because my wrist hurt. She commented, "Haven't you lost any weight yet?" I have never spoken up about the new way I feel about my eating and my size, but after all these years, I took a deep breath and said, "Didn't you take some blood work on me?"

"Yes," replied the doctor. "And it was all excellent. You're in terrific health."

"Then" I said, "Please take your fat phobic comments and set them aside so that you can respond to people in the direct way they deserve."

– from L.B., Chicago

…And more doctors:

I've always put up with my doctor asking about weight at my yearly checkup. I endured the question, and then left, happy with my body as it is and quite comfortable with my eating. This year something changed. After listening to the recitation of my excellent blood work—low cholesterol, normal blood sugar levels, etc.—and my completely healthy internal system, the doctor once again stated, "But you really need to lose weight." I looked her in the eye and said, "Let me understand this: my blood work is excellent?"

"Yes," she said.

"My heart is healthy?"

"Yes," she said.

"My breasts, my pap smear, my mammogram—all fine?"

"Oh, yes," she said.

"Then, doctor," I commented, "What's your point?"

She had nothing to say.

– from V.T.

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