Mailbag

updated 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

BYPASS MEASURE
Congratulations, People, for showing how gastric-bypass surgery improves the quality of life and health of celebrities like Randy Jackson as well as real people. Articles like this one will help severely obese people be aware of their options and the risks.
Jaime Ponce
Dalton, Ga.

Randy Jackson, I have three words for you. You look awesome! I hope you have a long and healthy life.
Melani Brown
Portland, Ore.

Thanks for your balanced reporting on gastric-bypass surgery. After 50 years of being overweight, I recently took this lifesaving step. If s not a magic bullet but an effective tool when you've exhausted all the other options.
Andy Cohn
Long Beach, Calif.

I've just returned home after undergoing gastric-bypass surgery. My best friend brought me your magazine and I immediately read your article. It gave me hope that I have a new life to look forward to and it will be worth it all.
Tamra M. McVey
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

I applaud Randy Jackson for his weight loss, but did he work his butt off? My friend and I decided we had enough of being fat. One year later, she's lost 120 lbs. and I've lost 77 lbs. with plain old hard work and dedication.
Kathe Vore
Oneida, Kans.

I'm amazed that people are willing to subject themselves to a surgery with a 1-in-200 death rate. I was an overweight woman who lost weight and has kept it off simply by closing my mouth. It's a sad state of affairs when we eat our way into obesity and want it fixed.
Ruth Mendes da Costa
San Juan Bautista, Calif.

Your latest cover has put me over the edge. The choice is portion control, either with self-restraint or by paying $25,000 to have your stomach reduced to the size of an egg.
Nan Weaver
Shreveport, La.

Wow! American Idol's Randy Jackson looks great. So do the rest of the people featured in your cover story about gastric-bypass surgery. Why am waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Alice Lennox
Kihei, Hawaii

KATE'S BABY, GRAND
Imagine my excitement on learning that Kate Hudson and her husband, Chris Robinson, have named their precious little man Ryder. I'm the mom of amazing 6-year-old twins named Ryder Landon and Somer Elizabeth. I couldn't get to your story on page 58 fast enough. Best wishes to the family, and if you experience a fraction of the happiness and unconditional love that I have, blessed indeed you'll be.
Sheri Simpson
Bossier City, La.

Thank God Kate Hudson had her baby. Now we can stop seeing those disgusting pictures of her pregnant stomach hanging out of her shirt. No class whatsoever.
Jill Pitzonka
Buffalo, N.Y.

CAPITOL GAINS
In a world where politicians, like celebrities, can seem larger than life, Howard and Judith Dean appear to be a refreshingly normal couple. Judith is clearly devoted to her family and career. She would make an excellent First Lady and be an inspiration to a generation of young women.
Julie Drysdale
Aptos, Calif.

Howard Dean may be up for the President's job, but it doesn't sound like his wife, Judith, is. What's up with her not participating during most of his campaign? And is that the best she could do with her hair for this interview? She doesn't look like what I want a First Lady to look like.
Beverly Ross
Little Rock, Ark.

BETHANY BREAKS WAVES
I was thrilled to find a follow-up article on Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost an arm to a shark attack in October. Seeing her back on a surfboard in such a short time, I know that no matter what life tosses me, I can get back up. Way to go, Bethany!
Cheryl Sanko
Buffalo, N.Y.

This child is the epitome of resilience. Her parents should be proud! Either she was born with it or they taught her very well. Bethany said, "I wasn't sure I could do it." I think she can do anything. She'll go far in the world, doing anything she wants.
Alix Blick
Burnsville, Minn.

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