DEAR HARRIETTE: I work with a number of extremely overweight people. They do their work well and seem to manage fine, but they move slowly and complain incessantly about what ails them. One woman can’t walk more than down a hall without stopping to catch her breath. I feel for these people. I can see them growing unhealthier by the day. At the same time, I realize that I have slacked off in my exercise routine and my eating habits. I need to turn this around for myself. Do you think I need to find a new job? Do I dare say anything to my co-workers about their weight and their choices? That feels weird and judgmental. I need to do something. Help! -- Off the Scales, Cleveland
DEAR OFF THE SCALES: Trust your instincts -- do not point out your co-workers’ weight or movement challenges. That is not your business. People change their habits when they are ready. Yes, some people wake up to prompts, but let your prompts be your actions for your own life.
Rather than quitting your job, quit adopting their behaviors. Instead, recommit to your health and fitness plan. Take a walk every day at lunchtime. Bring your lunch and snacks to work, and choose lean, healthy options. You can also invite work friends to walk with you on occasion so that you make space to include them in your commitment to making smart choices for the long run. But do not get upset if nobody joins you. Just keep doing it for yourself -- without talking about it.