DEAR HARRIETTE: I am having a hard time reconciling the fact that I used to be thin and physically attractive as a younger woman with how I look now. Today, in my 50s, I am much bigger. Yes, I dress well, but I’m definitely not thin anymore. My doctor recently told me that I am obese! I do work out and am trying to get myself in a better position, but I can’t seem to stop talking about the way it was. My daughter tells me that I am always saying that I used to look just like she looks now. She tells me I say it too much. I don’t mean to live in the past, but I guess I miss it now that it is gone. How can I accept who I am today, appreciate my past and work to get healthy? -- Waxing Nostalgic
DEAR WAXING NOSTALGIC: Come up with a nutrition and fitness goal -- with your doctor -- that is realistic and healthy. If you have been diagnosed as obese, you have work to do in order to be healthy for your daughter. Make that a priority. You do not need to have the goal of being the size you were many years ago. Instead, create a goal that is reachable. Get a referral to a nutritionist if you want another layer of help. Set time targets for your progress that will help you to stay on course. Rather than living in the past, celebrate your daughter for where she is, and honor yourself for where you are and where you are headed.
Also, teach your daughter what she can do to stay healthy. The fact that she looks like you did years ago does not mean that in years to come she has to look like you do now. If you are at an unhealthy weight, make it clear to your daughter through your words and deeds that you intend to correct that. If she stays the course from now on, she may avoid obesity altogether.