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by Abigail Van Buren

Doting Daughter Hesitates To Take A Step Without Mom

DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old woman with a problem I'm not sure how to solve. I am 30 pounds overweight (I have been heavyset my whole life). My mom and I have been walking together for years, talking and enjoying each other's company as we go.

For a while, we were both losing weight consistently as a result of our walks. But since my parents' divorce three years ago, Mom has had to work full-time and isn't able to walk with me as often.

I want to continue walking to lose weight so I can be healthier and feel better about myself. But I feel I will be betraying my mom by not including her. Walking together has been our tradition, so I don't know how she'll feel if I continue to walk without her. What should I do? -- STEPPING LIGHTLY

DEAR STEPPING LIGHTLY: Get out there and continue walking -- with headphones or with friends. Exercise with your mother on weekends if she's available, and encourage her to do some walking on her own during her lunch hour. The only thing you should not do is quit walking because you feel guilty that you and your mother are now on different "paths."

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Health & Safety