DEAR HARRIETTE: It is so hot that I am finding it hard to go to work or do anything else for that matter. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but I feel like I sweat all day long, from the moment I wake up until ... well, it doesn't really stop. I feel like my job is going to be in jeopardy if I can't get my act together, but I don't know how. OK, so I am overweight, but I'm not going to be able to lose a significant amount of weight during this season, so I have to figure out something else. I don't have enough vacation time to take the summer off. What can I do to be able to survive this season? -- Sweaty and Frustrated, Atlanta
DEAR SWEATY AND FRUSTRATED: You haven't said what type of work you do. But in general, I would start by recommending that you select a wardrobe of clothing that is made of natural fibers, like cotton and linen. These fibers can breathe and are easier to wear in the stifling heat and humidity. When you shower, end with cool water. Make sure, however, that you clean your body thoroughly with soap in order to prevent or at least minimize body odor. Consider lightly dusting your body with odorless body powder, which can help to cool you down during a hot day. Drink lots of water all day long. Avoid spicy food. Do your best to stay out of extremes -- either freezing air conditioning or outdoors in the elements. Attempt to stay cool by not getting too cold or hot.
I also recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor to review your medical history and determine if there are any underlying medical issues that need to be addressed that may cause excessive sweating for you. If your doctor will allow you to exercise, definitely get into a fitness routine, preferably either early in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures are more forgiving.