DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been on-again, off-again exercising for the past few years, and I don't think it's working very well. I feel like I keep gaining weight, even when I make an effort. I know I am not a marathoner or anything, but I do watch my diet and I do some form of exercise several days a week. Even so, over the course of the summer I actually gained about 10 pounds. I feel so mad at myself. In other parts of my life, I do a really good job of doing my best. Why is it so hard with my weight? And what can I do to feel better about myself? -- Claiming Me, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR CLAIMING ME: As we grow older, our metabolisms change. That means that what we were able to easily eat a few years ago processes in our bodies differently today. You may be facing a metabolic shift in your body due to the aging process. The best way to find out is to get a complete physical. Talk to your doctor about your weight concerns, and ask for guidance on how to curb your weight and get into shape. It may be helpful for you to go to a nutritionist for a while, someone who can evaluate what you are eating and how it is processing in your body. You may also want to engage a physical trainer or join an exercise class. Working out with others can be motivating, especially for people who have a hard time developing discipline.
As far as how you feel about yourself, of course it can be harder when you aren't happy with the person you see in the mirror, but I highly recommend that you keep looking at yourself and expressing self-love. Choose to love yourself just as you are. This will make it easier for you to do the things that will make your body healthier.