DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister and I decided to get healthy together a little over a year ago. We were both at least 30 pounds overweight, and in those 12 months we lost weight and completely changed our lifestyles. As the year was ending, my sister decided to go back to her old lifestyle because it's just "easier." We did agree to be healthy for a year, so she kept her promise, but I want her to continue doing this with me.
I saw the change in myself and have watched her gain some of the weight back in our short weeks of having different lifestyles. We don't go on walks together anymore or attend Zumba. I can't force her to do anything, but I want my sister to be healthy for as long as possible with me. What should I say to her? Telling her she gained weight would make her defensive. -- Happy & Healthy, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR HAPPY & HEALTHY: Sometimes it's worth it to make someone a bit defensive. Plan a get-together with your sister and find out how she's doing. Remind her of how much fun you had committing to healthy living last year. Ask her to resume the plan. Tell her you are concerned because you have noticed that she has gained weight. Remind her of how easily you both gained weight and how capable you both are of losing. Tell her how much you love her and want both of you to be healthy.
Know that she may not join you, but you can continue to invite her to go on walks or engage in other healthy activities with you. She may come back at some point.