Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

What to do when an upset teen is at the door

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Over the past several months I have gained 20 pounds (just from dining out too much). My clothes are no longer fitting me very well, and I feel it's time to lose the weight.

On the plus side, my breasts have (also) gotten larger, which my husband just loves. He thinks I look just fine and has asked me not to lose the weight. My question is, who should I please -- my husband or myself?

-- Worrying Over Weight

Dear Worrying: While it's nice that your husband loves your new figure, he doesn't have to live in your body -- you do.

There are a lot of misconceptions about diet and weight loss, but by far one of the most toxic (in my opinion) is that losing weight is only about how you look. In fact, trying to shed those pounds often has very little to do with looks; it's really about how you feel. I can't count the number of times I've said I'm trying to watch what I eat, and someone has oh-so-thoughtfully replied, "Why? You're not fat." This has the effect of negating a person's efforts, and of making you feel like a fool for wanting what you want.

The fact is that it is terrible to feel like an alien in your own skin, or to try and squeeze yourself into your favorite clothes that used to fit perfectly, and now resemble sausage casings.

If trying to lose this weight will make you feel your best, then that's exactly what you should do. Talk to your husband about why you want to do this. Don't let him make you feel bad about wanting something different than what he wants for you. It's your body; you deserve to feel the way you want to feel -- bigger breasts or not.

Dear Amy: I have enjoyed the ongoing discussion in your column about how to discuss divorce with family and friends when the news is raw and the details are not pretty.

When my 5-year-old son asked why his father and I had divorced, I told him to ask his father. His father was man enough to tell his son the truth -- that he had several girlfriends during the marriage.

That 5-year-old is now a man, and by all appearances, a good husband.

I know this would not work for all families ... but it worked for ours.

-- A Mom

Dear Mom: I'm glad this worked for you, but some 5-year-olds are probably too young to process the whole "I had a lot of girlfriends" explanation.

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)

 

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