February 03, 2003 12:00 PM

Half Their Size!

I actually choked back tears while reading parts of your article “Losing Large.” I work full-time, raise my son alone and don’t have the money for the quick fix. I have shed approximately 40 lbs. this past year and have another 30 to go. Your story kept me from hitting the vending machine on a stressful Monday.

Kirsten R. Tastula, BEND, ORE

After what felt like endless talk from Carnie Wilson, Sharon Osbourne and Al Roker, it is refreshing to see everyday people being honored for losing weight the old-fashioned way. I was beginning to worry that the only way to get recognized for weight loss was to go under the knife.

Danielle Leonardo, STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.

When I saw the picture of Ann-marie Santillan, I honestly thought she was a celebrity until I read the caption. She is absolutely gorgeous and should be very proud of her accomplishment.

Kristin Rudi, CAPE CORAL, FLA.

Thank you, PEOPLE, for continuing to provide me with motivation and inspiration. A year ago you ran a similar article about successful weight-loss stories. I have now lost 107 lbs., and I’m in great shape. Please publish more to help remind me of where I am and where I don’t want to return to.

Kelly Photopoulos, GLENSHAW, PA.

I really enjoyed reading your cover story, until I read about Onalee Braley. She stated: “I will never let myself get gross-looking again.” I weigh 200 lbs. and I certainly do not consider myself gross. Ms. Braley has turned into one of those people who used to make fun of her. That’s nothing to be proud of.

Kristyn Martin, BANGOR, MAINE

It amazes me that Julie Rovetti is 6 inches shorter and the same weight as me, yet she is a size 6 while I wear a 10 or 12. And Lisa Thompson is 155 lbs. and wears a size 8? Where are these women shopping? Is there a feel-good catalog out there?

Isobel Williamson, ST. BRUNO, QUE.

Where are the people in their 50s and 60s who have lost weight? Now there is the real challenge, since most of us slow up as we age.

Nancy Dostal, CHISHOLM, MINN.

You’ve depicted people who recognized how they got overweight and took responsibility. These are real people who deserved to be congratulated on the cover of PEOPLE.

Kathy Sawyer, GIG HARBOR, WASH.

Clonaid

E.T., phone home, please! What a waste of paper. These aliens are nothing more than a bunch of publicity hounds who have succeeded at commissioning free promotion for their group. Welcome to Earth, folks! Land of free speech and manipulative mental cases.

Karina Kennedy, LAS VEGAS, NEV.

Dr. Laura

How ironic that Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s mother lay dead and unnoticed just miles away from the studio where Schlessinger harangues her listeners to honor their parents and by proclaiming, “I am my kid’s mom.” Perhaps it is too much to expect some people to actually practice what they preach

Terry O’Neill, MISSION VIEJO, CALIF.

Scoop

Once again I am offended by another police department treating the so-called elite celebrity with a policy that is different for the rest of society. The people of Tucson should be outraged at the dereliction of duty by their police for not taking Diana Ross to jail.

Dan Powell, LANCASTER, OHIO

Picks & Pans

I found Chuck Arnold’s review of Kelly Osbourne’s new CD, Shut Up, to be nothing more than a name-calling disgrace. Complaining about “brattiness” and how “she whines in her nasal, karaoke-level voice” sounds more like distraught parents speaking of their spoiled child than a music review.

Becky Laur, PITTSBURGH, PA.

Mailbag

To Melissa Perlman: Where is it written that when you work hard, get yourself out of the ghetto and make a lot of money, you are not supposed to spend it? One of the luxuries of succeeding in this country is that you get to spend your money on whatever you like.

R. Conley, NEW YORK, N.Y.

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