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by Abigail Van Buren

Man of Former Big Girth Should Not Give Fat Women Wide Berth

DEAR ABBY: Congratulations to "Abnormal in California," the 34-year-old bachelor who lost 100 pounds and wonders where the women he's now dating were when he was fat and alone.

Perhaps he should look to women who understand what he's been through -- those who may be sitting at home feeling rejected and alone because they are overweight.

If he doesn't consider a fat woman worthy of his time, then he's doing the same thing he accuses the women of doing to him. -- A DULUTH, MINN., READER

DEAR DULUTH READER: You make a valid point. "Abnormal" has a special understanding to offer women whose social lives are suffering because of their weight. I was inundated with letters from readers who shared their painful experiences. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: In reference to "Abnormal in California": I, too, was overweight during my childhood and teen-age years. After painful harassment and great struggle, I finally lost the weight. Suddenly, I miraculously fit into the socially acceptable world, even though nothing else about me had changed. I had the same personality, moral standards and sense of humor I had when I was heavy.

Although being overweight is unhealthy, it doesn't mean an overweight person is not worth knowing.

Unfortunately, we live in a "visual" world where people cannot see us for what we are inside.

Perhaps "Abnormal in California" should consider dating overweight women instead of those with "body perfect" figures. He could then be sure they would have something in common with him, and they could see each other for who they really are.

My husband is overweight, and he is the most wonderful friend and companion a woman could have. -- C.A.A. IN DELAWARE