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by Abigail Van Buren

Getting Out Is Best First Step for Introvert Seeking Friends

DEAR ABBY: My father has a problem with food. He has no portion control. He rarely eats fruits or vegetables, never exercises, and is addicted to cigarettes. He admits he could do better but makes no effort to improve his health. To be honest, Dad is lazy and gluttonous.

I'm worried he will have cardiovascular health issues in the future. My siblings and mother share my concern. I am a recent college graduate with a paying job, and I'm living at home temporarily to save money. I'm willing to exercise with him and can commit to encouraging him daily. How do I intervene without seeming disrespectful (considering I'm still under his roof)? -- WORRIED ABOUT DAD

DEAR WORRIED: How about putting it this way: "Dad, I love you so much. I want to have you around for a long time. But I'm worried sick that you're so sedentary, your diet isn't healthy and you smoke. If you don't start doing something about these things, they are going to bite you in the butt. Please let me help you to become more active. I'd love to exercise with you, if you're willing. I know it would make you feel better if you do."

If your father is so addicted to nicotine that he can't quit on his own, suggest he talk to his doctor about a smoking cessation plan. If you say these things with love, it should not be regarded as disrespectful.